Title: A bit of ho'oponopono.
(and here this is on Archive Of Our Own)
Pairing/Characters: Kim Hall, Don Eppes, Charlie Eppes; mention of Alan & Margaret Eppes, mention of Val Eng.
Reference: the book They have a word for it.
With thanks to: Pygmymuse, who asked for this.
Summary: AU: Don proposes to Kim. Some things never change, while others depend on context.
Spoilers: Counterfeit Reality.
Notes: ho'oponopono is a Native Hawaiian word meaning "solving a problem by talking it out."
Disclaimer: I own none of the canon characters.
"I got an idea," Don said, one hand reaching out to touch Kim's waist, and when he did, pulled her to him in a gentle twirl.
"Yeah?" Kim asked when they were close.
Let's get - "Will you marry me?"
Kim blinked. "This a theoretical question or a proposal?"
"I'm proposing," Don confirmed.
After a while of the two of them in that position, Don raised a polite eyebrow.
"Don, your mom -"
"Is that why you want to get married, Don? Because your mom's dying?"
"She has cancer," Don said, saying now what he hadn't been able to tell her earlier today after his dad had called to break the news.
"Let me finish," Don asked. "Please."
Kim nodded and listened.
"According to the doctors, mom's got the slow kind. No way to know how long she has. And this way, we don't put off the wedding indefinately."
"And so our parents can't stop the wedding by saying 'I object.'"
"Actually I was thinking..."
"I should be worried, shouldn't I?" Kim teased.
Don looked at her innocently. "We have a quick civil ceremony here, then one up in Sitka with your folks and a separate one in LA with my folks."
"You don't think our families would get along?" she asked.
"Sure I do. But then there's the cost of airfare. Not to mention our folks' arguing over where to hold the wedding."
"Hmm," Kim considered, her nose against his. "Tomorrow good for you?"
"I don't have anything pressing scheduled. Though I really like the ring 'Don Hall' has."
Don chuckled. "Oh really?"
"You think you'll be wearing the pants?"
"I know you won't be, in five minutes."
Don answered the knocking door. "What're you doing here?" he asked his brother.
"Wanted to apologize," Charlie said. "And to thank you for letting me help with this latest case, even after I made the mistake -" of mentioning that Don doesn't always do what Mom asked of us. I forgot that Mom was upset that Don came home married to Kim and not Val.
"Water under the bridge, Chuck. Just don't mention it. Come on in."
"Thanks. Um, where's Kim?" I should apologize to her, though if you haven't told her what I said, I might end up making things worse.
"Working late," Don said.
"What're you watching?" Charlie asked, looking at the tv.
"Baseball movie," Don said.
"Lots of statistics in that. Sorry," knowing Don didn't always like talking shop when he was trying to relax. Few enough hours spare in the day.
Don waved him off. "Eh. You want a beer?"
"If you're offering, sure."
"Have a seat," Don said as he got up and headed to the kitchen to get the beers.
"Kinda surprised you and Kim are still in this apartment," Charlie said.
"We like it," Don said. "It's cozy."
"I talked to dad about it," Charlie said. I figured he'd agree with me, that an apartment this small isn't good for the pitter-patter of little feet.
Don stopped where he was - not that Charlie saw this - and asked, "Yeah?"
"Yeah," Charlie said. "He said it was connected to the two of you building a nest egg." He went on for ten minutes about the importance of a good egg.
"We are," Don said. "So?"
"Well it would explain why he's only hassling me about grandchildren now."
Don handed Charlie a beer.