Title: Don't tell Dad!
Author: N'kala
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Summary: Introspective on the guys from Alan's POV.
Author's Notes: I was going over old tapes with a friend:) and was noticing how much Don kept telling Charlie to 'not tell Dad' what they were up to. That brought up an interesting idea, and this was the result.

Don't tell Dad!
By: N'kala

They think I don't know.

No matter how many times I realize this, it never ceases to amaze me that my two sons- one an FBI agent and the other a PhD several times over- think they can hide anything from me.

What father wouldn't notice cuts and scrapes on his boys, or the careful way they manage to not give me information on what they had been up to? After nearly forty years of experience, I like to think that I know when my boys have been up to something.

I'm not really all that surprised with Don. He has a dangerous job, after all, and I know he just doesn't want me to worry about him. I appreciate the consideration, but I'll always worry about him. It's my job, and I've gotten pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. I have a sneaking suspicion, too, that Don knows this. His policy of 'Don't tell Dad' is more out of habit than anything else, and I don't think anything is going to change that.

I have to admit, though, that Charlie was the last person I ever expected to take up the 'Don't tell Dad' policy. Not that he wouldn't follow Don's example; far from it, in fact. I just never thought Charlie would ever need to. I mean, come on- how much trouble could a mathematician get into anyway?

The long conferences were my first clue. Some, I'm sure, were legitimate. It was those conferences that lasted over a week, the ones Charlie would blow off as no big deal and would never talk about that I would begin to suspect something. I may not know much about math, but I know my son, and Charlie never thinks of his math as 'no big deal'.

I don't think Don knew anything at first; when Charlie first began to work with him on a regular basis, he never seemed to know where Charlie went on his 'conferences'. He's stopped asking now, though, and it's beginning to occur to me that my little boy is doing something a little more involved than teaching basic probability to nineteen-year-olds. Not only that, but he's telling Don about it, too.

Well, telling Don isn't much of a surprise. If Charlie thought it would elevate him in his big brother's eyes, he'd do it. I just wish he'd be more careful. That case with the sniper could have ended a lot worse.

Yes, I know the 'Don't tell Dad' policy was in full force there. And neither of my boys let a word slip about what really happened in the end of that case, but did they really think I wouldn't suspect something?

Don had brought Charlie home and both had insisted that nothing was up, but Don had looked as though he had aged ten years. He was so tense that I thought he would break right in half.

And Charlie . . . my youngest son has absolutely no poker face with me. It's the same with Don, and had been that way with his mother, too. He had been seriously shaken about something, and it showed in his eyes. Still, neither of them were talking, and I decided not to pry. Both of them were all right, so I saw no reason.

I've lost count how many times my sons have used the policy with me, and to be honest, I think I'd rather not know exactly what it is they're up to. I just hope that they're careful, and that they'll look out for each other. In the meantime, I'll just continue to wait for the day until they realize that they're not fooling anyone. They're bright boys; I'm sure they'll figure it out one of these days.

I did raise them, after all.

The End. :)