Title: Who we Are
Warnings: H/C, Angst, Violence, Language
Authors Notes: Even though the fandom is Numb3rs, it will be a little more OOC than usual, though I will do my best to keep the Charlie/Don brother thing as close to IC as I can.
Disclaimer: I don't own Numb3rs, or the characters. This fic was made for the enjoyment of the reader.
Summary: Charlie questions who he is when he finds a disturbing news article in his father's records about his sons.
He was doing it again. Don knew it the moment he pulled up to the house to see his father's worried figure coming out of the house, hands at his sides.
Opening the door of his black SUV, Don climbed out and approached his father.
"Dad, where's Charlie?" Don asked, though deep down he already knew what his father would say the second the eldest Eppes opened his mouth.
"He's in the basement. Did you two have a fight at work?" Alan asked, searching his oldest boy's face for the truth.
"The basement? What's he doing down there?" Don asked, ignoring his father's second question as he walked past Alan and headed for the basement of the house.
Don didn't ignore his father's last question because he didn't have an answer, it was more Don was trying to figure out Charlie's problem and not get his head bit off.
All that day, every second Charlie was in the office he kept getting more and more frustrated with the equation he was trying to write up on the clear board, while trying to answer David and Colby's questions about the latest case.
The questions weren't anything new. Don had truly thought that Charlie had gotten used to them, but he abruptly changed his mind about that when Charlie had turned around and quite bluntly ordered David and Colby to quote "shut up!"
Hearing the sound of rapidly moving chalk made Don shake his head as he entered the basement to once again seeing every single chalkboard covered in different numbers and equations.
"Oh don't tell me you're goin' after that P vrs…what was it? NP?" Don asked, looking at his brother who was hammering that piece of chalk down so hard that he was murdering it.
"Yes and no I'm not pursuing that. I told you that!" Charlie spat out, not turning to face Don, but instead scribbling more numbers on his last chalkboard.
"Charlie," Don began, holding his arms out a little ways like he always did when he was trying to reason with his brother, "What's the matter? Did I do something to make you mad?"
"No." Charlie replied in an angry yet sad tone of voice as he turned from his chalkboard.
Don studied his brother's pink face and knew that the work Charlie had done was literally starting to burn him up.
"Then what's wrong, buddy? I can't help unless you talk to me." Don said, following his brother's movement with his eyes.
"You can't help. There's nothing you can do." Charlie replied, before he lashed out at a low hanging chalkboard.
Don shuddered when he heard the tell tale crack of the board breaking as Charlie's fist smashed right through it.
'Whoa' Don mouthed, seeing how well and truly angry Charlie really was.
Withdrawing his hand, Charlie studied the chalk dust and the small specks of blood coating his knuckles.
"Charlie, please tell me what's wrong. I want to help." Don tried again, slowly walking towards his brother, who stood motionless in front of the broken chalkboard.
"You can't help. She…she made her own decision." Charlie muttered, a frown on his face as he lifted his eyes to look at the wall.
"She?...You mean Amita?" Don asked, knowing he was right when he saw his little brother close his eyes and lower his head.
"What did she…?" Don began, before Charlie interrupted him by saying, "She left…to take a teaching job in Canada."
"Aww." Don breathed, now understanding his brother's anger fully. It was always hard when the person you love leaves you. Don knew that for a personal fact.
"Do you know…?" Don began.
Charlie shook his head, the frown still on his face.
"I got in to work this morning, and Professor Packard told me that Amita had accepted a job in Canada. She left without even saying goodbye, Don." Charlie said, finally turning and showing his anguish covered face to his big brother.
"Oh Charlie. I know how much something like that can hurt." Don said, really having no clue as to what to say to his brother.
Charlie sniffled and turned back to the broken chalkboard, trying to fix the fist sized hole it was now sporting.
"Charlie no, stop. Listen, give me that." Don began, taking the chalk from his younger brother's hand.
"Take a few days off. Unwind. Everything'll still be there when you get back." Don said, knowing that taking it easy was the best thing Charlie could do at the moment.
"Can't. You need help on the case." Charlie said with a frown.
"Megan can get Larry to fill in for you, for now. It'll just be for a couple of days." Don replied.
Charlie began to shake his head, but Don gripped his shoulders and said, "Charlie, take a few days off."
Looking up in to his brother's face, Charlie saw the determination in those eyes and knew he couldn't fight it, so slowly he nodded his head and allowed his brother to help him out of the basement and in to the house.