Disclaimer: I don't own anything Numb3rs, it's all property of CBS and whatnot, so don't sue.

Chapter 25: A Round of Hugs and To Life Once Again

Don thought his eyes were in dire need of a check up as he gawked at his baby brother standing a few feet away from him. It was like everything else in the world had vanished and all that was left were the five people in the war room. The spell was broken when Charlie slowly walked to stand before his shell-shocked older brother. He reached out with his hand and placed it over his older brother's heart once again.

" Hi." Said Charlie with a very tired looking smile.

That was all Don needed to here before he lashed out and yanked Charlie into a bone crushing hug, unaware of the pain he was inflicting on Charlie's still bruised body. Charlie bit back the wince and returned his brother's hug tightly. When they finally pulled away, Don reached up and cupped Charlie face in both his hands before he spoke.

" Where the hell have you been?" He asked, successfully fighting back tears.

" It's a long story." Said Charlie with a grin, his eyes brighter than normal with unshed tears of his own.He thengazed past his brother at the three other similarly stunned faces,

" Hey guys." Said Charlie with a small wave of his hand.

The next thing he knew, three different pairs of armshad wrapped themselves around him in something he'd least expected, a group hug. Though his body was secretly screaming in protest, Charlie laughed out loud. The three otheragents let go and unleashed a barage of their own questions and greetings.

" Where have you been man? we all missed you" Asked Colby, giddy to have his beloved whizkid back.

" When did you get back?" Asked Megan beaming.

"You're here! Said a very thrilled David.

They watched as Charlie's smile faltered a little bit before he spoke.

" Listen, I can't tell you where I went because it's classified. NSA." Said Charlie, slightly apologetic. The three agents nodded in understanding, though they wished they'd gottn some answers. Charlie turned to a still stunned Don.

" What's been going on here since I left?" Asked Charlie. At that, Don snapped out of his trance.

" Charlie, I'll tell you later, right now, I'm taking you home." Said Don sternly. Charlie let out a small sigh, there was no arguing with Don when he used that tone.

" Okay." Said Charlie as he went over to one of the tables to get his duffle bag. with a final farewell to the team, the two brothers headed out of the building. All through the ride to the suburbs, Don kept glancing at Charlie in the passenger seat. Charlie was staring out the window with a far away look in his eyes.

" Where have you been Buddy, What did you do?" Thought Don as they pulled off the highway into the quiet neighborhood they'd grown up in. Charlie seemed to have aged somewhat, the scruffy semi-beard he now sported also gave him a slighly edgy look. The far away look vanished somewhat when they were pulling into the driveway of their childhood home, which was now Charlie's house. The two brother's got out of the car and headed for the front door, Don using his set of keys to open the door.

Alan was having breakfast with Amita when he heard the door open. Wondering who it was he got up and headed for the foyer.When he got into the hall he stopped dead in his tracks when his gaze fell on his eldest son.

" Donnie? Asked Alan, he watched as Don grinned widely before stepping aside. Alan's felt his heart stop beating for a full minute before he rushed forward and all but tackled hisyoungest son in a vice-like hug.

" Charlie! He yelled in delight, squeezing the daylights out of his youngest child. Charlie returned the embrace just as tightly, burying his face into his father's shoulder. After what seemed an eternity, father and son pulled apart. Alan's eyes shone with unshed tears of joy, as did Charlie's. A flicker of movement behind Alan caught Charlie attention.

Charlie's smile grew when he saw Amita standing near the stairs. The two of them stared at each other for what seemed a countless amount of time before they both rushed forwards, propelling themselves into each others arms.

" Charlie". Said Amita, her voice shaky, smiling through unshed tears when they pulled back.

" Amita". Whispered Charlie before pulled her back into a hug. Don and Alan smiled to themselves as they watched the two.

A little while later, Larry came bounding into the house, ranting with joy and disbelief. Charlie was home again.

Charlie POV:

Well, I'm home, back to my " Life" as the math geek and college professor. It's bittersweet, I know that deactivation won't last because like I said, the war between men will never end, no matter how idealistic people want their lives to be. I'm at peace for now, five months after the Zermatt mission. Me and Amita tried a releationship, but if failed and she went off to Boston. Still sore about that. I still consult for the FBI and workout at the gym with Colby and the guys, even taught them a thing or two about Kendo. I know that, even now, Don, Dad, and everybody else, they're terrified that I'll disappear again and not keep my promise of coming back. The future is not clear for me. In the back of my mind, I'm always waiting for that fateful phonecall.

But, I do know, that I am Charles EdwardEppes A.K.A. Ghost, leader of the " Big Three Unit". I wouldn't have it any other way.

The End... For know

I don't say much, but thank u all for liking this story, I won't disappoint with the next story