I don't own Num3rs. Just so's you know

"You sure they're not there?"

Charlie looked over at his dad as he dropped his bag next to the front door. For a second, he thought that his father was talking to him, then he realized there was a phone smashed between his neck and his shoulder while he scribbled something down.

"How long have they been missing? A week! You know who might have taken them?"

Charlie was surprised at this conversation. Taken who? His dad's face was tense, listening to whoever was on the other end talk.

"They're solving cases! How old are these kids?"

A pause, long enough for Charlie to realize he shouldn't be eavesdropping, at least not in an obvious way. He went into the kitchen, started slicing up an apple, still listening hard.

"Why do you think they'd be coming to LA?...Really? Why don't you stay at my place, lots of room over here, and my boys will be able to help out...Sure, I'll meet you at the airport, just hang on a second..."

When directions started to be given out, Charlie knew that the conversation would be wrapping up soon. He ducked his head, trying his best to look inconspicuous. When Alan came into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, and withdrew a beer, he decided to ask. "Who was on the phone, dad?"

Alan sliced up a roll, put some meat on it, and sat down at the table before answering. "A friend of mine from back east. His kids are missing."

Charlie, although he had heard this, pretended he hadn't, "That's terrible! How old are they?"

Alan opened his beer, drinking it periodically while eating the sandwich. "Seventeen and eighteen; boys fancy themselves detectives. Same as their father."

Charlie still felt as though he were in the dark. He ate a piece of the apple, "Who's their father?"

Charlie's dad waited a couple seconds, staring at a spot on the table. "Fenton Hardy. You met him once, even though you probably don't remember. Just before you started Princeton. He used to be on the New York Police Force. Good man. Good kids, too. Frank and Joe, if memory serves."

"What happened to...Frank and Joe?" Charlie was intrigued by all this, even if it was a terrible thing. He had a kind of morbid fascination with crime.

"Got kidnapped, apparently, by a friend of some guy they put behind bars. Turns out the guy was heading over here, to LA, and Fenton wants to know if the FBI will help him find his kids." Alan sighed. "What a shame. Been gone for a week already."

Charlie knew that he thought that boys wouldn't be alive. Statistics proved that the longer a victim (or victims) were with a kidnapper, the less chance they have of surviving. "Any ransom demands?"

"None. Fenton's supposed to be catching a flight here tomorrow, so he'll be here until the case pans out...one way or another."

Charlie nodded, seeing some connections already, math already writing some possibilities. He needed some more information, and some help.

That meant Don.

Yeah, that's all for now, folks. Review?