So, it's been a few months since I found that box, and I think I've figured some things out. I got called out for the NSA, and that Will Parker works security for them...
Charlie spent most of his time watching Will Parker when he was in the NSA building. Oh, he did his math, he ran the debriefings, he did his work, but it seemed that he was constantly seeing Will out of the corner of his eye. It was like being offered the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden- sure, he didn't want to get involved, but he just couldn't help it. Just like he couldn't help but wonder if maybe the security worker was watching him too.
Sadly, Charlie would never find out. He was preparing to leave, sliding his laptop into his messenger bag, not to mention collecting all of his pens and various scraps of paper he thought he may need. He was moving slowly, half-hoping to glimpse Will's wide smile once more, but he was dissapointed when he never showed up. For some reason, he had been convinced that Will was just as eager to talk to him as he'd been to talk to Will. Apparently that was not the case, so with a sigh, he shouldered his bag and flipped off the lights.
The NSA office was empty. Charlie thought mournfully of the somewhat inviting atmosphere of his brother's office back in LA; with the FBI, he always felt comfortable to comment on a picture on a desk, correct any mathematical errors, or just to wave hello to anyone. The NSA did not offer these amiable gestures, nor did they seem at all open to the idea. The only people Charlie saw on his way out were well-dressed people who may give him a curt nod if he was lucky- yes, he was definitely glad his consulting job was done.
By the time he reached the refuge of the parking lot (luckily for him, parking lots seemed universal, unlike government offices), Charlie had formulated a plan of his evening. Go back to the hotel room that had hopefully been cleaned by the maid, open up a Coke, call Dad back home to verify what time he would need to be picked up, then just lounge around the room at will. And sleep. God, he hadn't slept properly for the entire two weeks he had stayed here.
"Wait! Wait a moment, hold up, would you!"
Charlie turned to see the darkened form of a short and somewhat stocky man- Will Parker. He had to be yelling at Charlie, no one else was in this deserted parking lot.
"Professor Eppes!" The security worker was hurrying towards him. Charlie readjusted the bag strap on his shoulder as he waited for Will to catch up. "Professor Eppes, you walk pretty damn fast, you know that? Been tailing you from the lobby."
"I was in a hurry," explained Charlie, somewhat lamely. "Flight home tomorrow-"
"I don't mean to keep you, Professor-"
"Please, call me Charlie."
"Charlie," said Will with a funny grin. "Well, I'm sorry for keeping you, but I was hoping to get a word with you, ever since I realized you were Don's brother." He hurridly offered his hand to the other young man. "Dunno if Don's ever talked about me, but I'm Will-"
"I know," said Charlie, who couldn't help but grin as his hand was shaken vigorously. "I found a note-"
Will chuckled, running his fingers through his sleek blonde hair. "Don and I did our share of notes," he informed Charlie. "Surprised you only found one, we really ran up the paper charges that year, and- well, he never throws anything out."
Charlie gestured to his bag, which could hardly zip for the papers crammed around his computer. "It's an Eppes' thing."
The other man laughed. "Oh, good lord, you two are more alike than you know! I could just tell you were related to Don first time you came in. Damn, I've never seen anyone look so lost in thought before I met Don, and then you!" He shook his head, still flashing his white teeth in a smile. "Well, I think a lot of things must be an 'Eppes' thing', Charlie."
It was hard to believe this man wasn't a lawyer or a car's saleman. Charlie had rarely witnessed such an ammount of smiling and enthused talking coupled with hand gestures without money involved.
"So you know Don from work, I'm guessing."
"Oh, yeah, we go way back- to Quantico, actually. God, the guy is great, but he could be one heck of an idiot when he wanted to be. Never would have asked out a certain lady if it weren't for me, and may I say, he did really like her." Will winked, as in to let Charlie in on a good joke. "Of course, wasn't so good when they broke up, but I was always making him do stuff with me. Like the trouble-makers of the FBI-" his speech was punctuated with a laugh. "And they say that phase ends in high school."
A grin twisted at the young professor's lips. "You two sounded like you were good friends."
"Your brother," said Will, voice suddenly throaty. "Your brother- he's a good man. And I don't say it lightly, you don't know how many times he helped me. You should be proud."
Charlie had always been proud of Don. Whether it be hitting a homerun in a baseball game or arresting some dangerous criminal, he was proud of his big brother- he didn't need to be told to be proud of Don. "I am," said Charlie finally, not sure how else to respond- he was suddenly uncomfortable with this charismatic man. "Listen, Will, I really need to get go-"
"Say no more!" said Will, raising his hands in mock surrender, his serious tone lost almost immedietely. "I'm sorry for keeping you. And- Charlie? I wouldn't tell Don about us meeting up. We had a bit of a...well, a falling out. Nothing worth mentioning." He paused, his face lighting up with yet another smile. "It's been a pleasure, Charlie."
"Certainly has," said Charlie, shaking Will's hand again- or rather, Will was shaking his hand again. "Maybe I'll see you around."
A shadow passed Will's face, and for the first time, his cheerful expression seemed fixed. "Maybe," he said finally, his voice odd. "Good-bye, Charlie."
Charlie waved a final good-bye to this man before turning to walk down the street towards his own hotel. His mind was buzzing with unanswered questions, but mainly, he just wanted to know who this man who claimed to be his brother was. Why didn't he know any of the things Will had talked about?
Sorry for the delay, everyone! Hope it was worth the wait.