Author: Laura… me! Sorry for the sadness.

Disclaimer: All the characters used in this TINY vignette are not mine, but this chocolate bar is!

Summary: Small vignette of Charlie and Don after the news of their mother's death. Sniff…

NUMB3RS

"You said you'd never leave me," Charlie's heart broken voice echoed endlessly through the seemingly frigid air of his room. To the untrained eye, the young man would've seemed only slightly distraught - with a tense posture and shaking hands. But if you looked into his normally warm and exuberant eyes, you would see such agony and depression that it was staggering.

"I thought you loved me," Each and every word slipped out shakily as if he were actually speaking to someone who had betrayed his gentle heart rather then the cold unmoving wall that stood before him. The gray clouds and fierce rain that shattered the normal calm neighborhood cast an ethereal-blue haze throughout the room Charlie had grown accustomed to over the long years.

"I THOUGHT YOU CARED ABOUT ME!" He spat at the wall, his body leaning forward in a manner that looked intimidating but really bordered on pathetic. He let out a sob as tears poured from his eyes, but still he remained standing; his eyes never leaving the wall.

Lightning flashed and a loud clash of thunder followed. That was Charlie's cue to crack, to let the emotions that he'd tamed for so long leak through his heavy mental barrier. Another sob and soon he collapsed against the wall as if it would cradle him as gentle as a mother would, but not just any mother – his mother.

"Mommy," A grown mans plea for mercy was all he could speak; a plea for a woman that he will always love… for her to appear in the doorway and hold him like when he was little. A woman that used to chase away his nightmares and make him lunch after they played all morning.

"Please, please, please," He repeated until the lump in his throat grew too large and to painful for him to speak; so he cried. He cried for a woman lost and nothing gained. Hands that until now lied limp at his sides shot up and gripped the wall, keeping his unstable body from falling.

There was a slight rustle from the door and Charlie's gaze took in the appearance of his older brother. Don was disheveled; his eyes red rimmed, his forehead sweat soaked and his body shaking. His face was glued into an expression of hopelessness and pure disbelief. Though it wasn't that unbelievable; they had known what was to come for over a month now.

Don looked down, unable to keep a firm gaze on his brother. Maybe the thought of breaking down in front of someone who counted on him scared him, or maybe he needed to think of what to say.

"I…" He began but his voice cracked. His composure shattering, the older man rushed to the younger and embraced him. His actions were just as much for himself then Charlie. Don gripped the back of his brother's shirt and tightened the hug.

Once Don had regained a little control he pulled away and regarded his baby brother. Right then, he could forget that Charlie had locked himself in the garage and kept himself a safe distance away from sanity and reality the whole time; right then he could forget all the bills and funeral arrangements that were going to have to be made.

"Where's dad?" Charlie asked his voice hoarse from his desperate cries. Tears still fell from his eyes, but they were silent. Don reached up and lovingly wiped one away with his thumb.

"He's with h-her," Don whispered horrified that for a moment he was going to refer to their now deceased mother as "the body." Charlie nodded and sniffled, reminding him of when he was little and cried for such trivial reasons like: he broke a dish, or stubbed a toe. "I should go check on him," He took a step away and looked to the door.

Once again Don was pulling all the burden and responsibility onto himself, but for once he didn't resent Charlie from shying away from life. He left the room after letting a firm hand drop on his brother's shoulder and giving it a light squeeze.

Charlie turned back to the wall and stared for a moment letting his mind register that the ghostly blue that once settled it's hue across his white walls had drifted away and was replaced with a hideous gray. Small specks marred certain parts from the reflection of rain drops on the window.

The pain that tore at his heart lessoned at the thought of his brother. The one good thing that their mother's death had brought was Don's swift return. Maybe he would stay for a while. That's all Charlie could hope for. He looked up to his brother and missed him so much while he was away.

He would make it through this as long as he had Don there to keep him afloat. The mental wounds that were still so fresh bled freely and kept his face in a tired frown, but soon they would heal and leave just a scar; just a memory.

The End