|Turning the Bad Around
Author: Destiny JoRayne Adams PM
Tag to "In Plain Sight" 2x08 Don and Charlie talk about Jessica. Written for my Prompt Word List on LJ. Word is Silence.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Friendship - Charlie E. & Don E. - Words: 1,415 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-13-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7284575
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: My first Numb3rs fic! YAY! I was just rewatching season two; and this jumped out at me. So, here is a tag for the episode In Plain Sight (2x08). Were the authors just leaving something open for us fanfic authors? Written for my Prompt Word List, word is "Silence."
Beta'd by the awesome Mam711.
Oh, and their not mine. However, if I could steal characters, Don and Charlie would definitely be on that list, along with Sam and Dean from Supernatural and then I would take all four of them and throw them - *coughs* Oh, sorry, on with story.
His brother was in the garage, scribbling on those stupid chalkboards.
As a child Don wondered what Charlie would do if someone took away his chalkboards; would he be able to function through everyday life? Now, Don could see the good that the chalkboards did for his brother; he'd been able to help him on numerous cases because of them.
Charlie hadn't heard him come in, and Don was hesitant to break the silence. The last couple of days had brought a lot of tension between them. They'd had the same goal - rescuing a little girl from a pedophile - but they had two completely different approaches. And Charlie had been emotional.
Sometimes silence was the only thing Don and Charlie had. They had struggled to get along their entire lives, to find some common point of interest to build a relationship from. When Don was at Quantico, they had barely spoken. But now they had the common point, solving crime, catching the bad guys. They finally had something that they could work together at. But sometimes days like today happen and Don is reminded of how different they really are.
Alan had told Don that Charlie had known a girl that Charlie suspected was being abused but he hadn't done anything. Alan had explained that Charlie had been a child himself when it had happened, but he blamed himself anyway.
Don sighed. As much as he wanted to let this go and just move on, he couldn't. Charlie had always been verbally expressive; he needed to talk about things. When he needed to talk about math, he went to Amita or Larry; if he needed to talk about anything else, he went to Alan, or more recently, Don. They had found their point of interest and they were drawing closer. And usually Don loved it, being closer to his brother, but now, he had no idea what he was doing.
Charlie looked up. "Don, I didn't see you there." He set down the chalk and walked around the table that separated them. "Don, I want to apologize …"
Don held up a hand to stop him. "Why don't we both say we could have handled the situation better and leave at that, huh?"
Charlie nodded; "Okay."
There was another pause of awkward silence. Don leaned against the door frame and made himself comfortable. "Tell me about Jessica."
Charlie swallowed and didn't say anything for a while. Then he cleared his throat, "Jessica Cartman is the girl who lived a couple of blocks from us when I was eight." He paused for a bit, and Don just waited for him to go on. "One day, her dad came to pick her up at school and he put his hand on her shoulder and just the way she looked at me, she was calling for help, Don. I could see it, but I didn't do anything."
"Why didn't you?" Don asked gently, keeping any judgment out of his voice. Charlie didn't need any; he had been eight years old, for goodness' sakes.
"Jessica's father was a really large man; not like, obese, but just large and he frightened me a little bit. After a while, I just convinced myself that I had been imagining things."
"This isn't your fault, Charlie." Don knew his brother had a tendency to blame himself for an awful lot that wasn't his fault. It was one thing that Don didn't understand about his brother; actually it was one of several things that Don didn't understand about Charlie.
Charlie rubbed his forehead with his hand. "I know that, of course I know that. Logically, there is no way that I can be held accountable." Charlie sighed. "I just wished I had done something."
"You didn't know, Charlie."
"Yeah, I didn't know," Charlie agreed.
The silence that fell then was more familiar and more welcoming. It was a companionable silence, one that Don and Charlie had been sharing far more recently.
Don let his gaze wander around the garage. He remembered when this place was just a garage, before Charlie appropriated it for his personal work room. The chalkboards hung in random places throughout the space, some on the ceiling, others hung from the wall and some resting on the floor. This was Charlie's world, chalkboards and equations that Don had no hope of understanding. Don's world was of trying to rid the world of evil, one criminal at a time. It was an impossible task, Don knew, but usually he saw the small impact he made on the district he was in charge of. And he was proud of his work, and he was prouder still, working with his brother at his side.
He was content, he felt in a way he had never felt before. Life was nearly perfect. He missed his mom - he missed her all the time - but he knew that she would be proud that he and Charlie were working together.
"Megan suggested that I find Jessica."
Don started in surprised. "She did?" Come to think of it, it shouldn't have surprised Don. Megan was a profiler, after all. "Are you going to?"
"I don't know. At first, I thought it was a good idea, but I don't know now."
"You don't want to face her," Don said, he kind of understood; he wouldn't want to face her either.
"She probably doesn't even remember who I am, it would be rather awkward if I went up to her and was like 'Uh, you don't remember me but we knew each other a long time ago and I think your dad was abusing you.' She would probably call the cops on me."
Don chuckled. "Then I would have to come and save your hide." He suddenly had an idea. "Why don't I check up on her for you?"
"You'd do that for me?"
"Of course, I'll do it first thing tomorrow." Someday, Don vowed, he'll know I'll do anything for him, because Don really would.
Charlie was at the school when Don tracked him down the next afternoon. He was at his desk, bent over some papers with a pen. Don slapped a file on his desk, making him jump. "Here is some information I dug up on your childhood girlfriend."
Charlie glared at him, but there was no heat behind it. "She wasn't my girlfriend." He reached for the file, than hesitated.
Don noticed; "Charlie, it's okay, read it."
Charlie took the file and opened it. His eyes perused the papers for a moment before looking up at Don. "Her father's in jail?"
"Yep. Jessica went to her mother and told her what her dad was doing to her. Her mother went to the police and Jessica later testified against him in open court."
"Wow," Charlie breathed. "That's amazing; she was really courageous to go against her own dad that way."
"Yeah, and get this, she now runs a shelter here in the city for women who have been abused. She used the experience and completely turned it around and now she's helping other people." Don paused, then met Charlie's eyes. "So you can stop blaming yourself, Charlie. She's doing okay, in fact, it appears that she's doing better than okay, so you can stop beating yourself up over it."
Charlie nodded and offered Don a small smile. "Thanks, Don, for everything you did."
"Well, what else are big brothers for, right?"
Don wasn't proud of the decisions he made while he was at Quantico regarding Charlie, but he was very grateful that he was getting a chance to make better ones.