Disclaimer: I do not own "Numb3rs" and I do not own "My Little Girl." They belong to their owners and I'm just playing with them. Reviews are appreciated : )

D is for Daughter

Someday some boy'll come and ask me for your hand/ But I won't say yes to him until I know/ He's the half that makes you whole/ He has a port soul And the heart of a man's man./ I know he'll say that he's in love/, But between you and me He won't be good enough. –Tim McGraw "My Little Girl"

When he received the phone call and heard the nervous voice on the other end, he knew what would be asked. He had been expecting this call ever since she started dating him. It seemed his daughter found the person with whom she wanted to spend her life and raise a family. He would finally have grandkids, just as his dad once bugged him for them. Of course, given that she was his daughter he was a little more discreet… Smiling he listened to the young man ask if they could meet later that evening.

"I have something I want to ask you."

"Very well. I'm fairly open this evening. What time?"

"Would seven-thirty be all right?"

"Seven-thirty is fine. Where were you thinking of meeting?" He could hear the young man start to speak, and then stop. Obviously he wanted to meet, but had not thought of where they should meet. After a minute of listening to the boy struggle, he decided to put him out of his misery. "How about you come by my office? I have to work late anyway," he lied.

"Yes, sir." He could hear the young man's relief. "I will see you then. Goodbye."

"Goodbye." Chuckling he set the phone back in its cradle and glanced at his watch. It was close to six. Normally he would be getting ready to leave right about now. Shaking his head, he picked up the phone to call his wife so she wouldn't worry or kill him when he was late.

"Hello, Dear," he said when she answered. "Yes, I will be home late, but not for the reason you think," he said when she beat him to the punch.

"Oh?"

"Guess who finally decided to pop the question?"

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Seven-thirty rolled around and he was there. Gesturing for the young man to have a seat, he ran over the questions he wanted to ask and the ones his wife wanted to be sure he asked, especially in regards to how any children would be raised. To his surprise and amusement, the young man remained standing.

"I think you know why I'm here," he said before any greetings were exchanged. "I wanted to ask for your permission to ask your daughter for her hand in marriage. I love her, really love her, and I want to spend my life with her. Now, I know I'm probably not the man you imagined for your daughter but we love each other and I would do anything for her."

Of course, the older man thought. All young men swear so at the beginning. All he said though was, "I'm sure you would. And children?" He did not have to say more; throughout his daughter's dating him, the issue of children always caused concern.

"They will be loved and cared for," was the evasive answer, delivered with a determined, knowing look.

The older man laughed. Aw, hell!

"Indeed! Well son, as long as you promise me you'll care for my daughter, provide for her in the way she's accustomed—of course knowing how the both of you are, I'm sure you'll be fine—and as long as you're a good father to any children and don't raise any heathens, you have my permission and my blessings, Alan Eppes!"

Alan's eyes widened. Had he heard correctly? "Sir?"

"Can you promise me, Alan? Do you promise?"

"I promise! Thank you!" He could barely contain his surprise and excitement.

"Go on then, Alan. Go make my Maggie happy." He held out his hand for Alan to shake, which he did. And then he rushed off, probably to explode in happiness without his future-father-in-law hearing or anyone else for that matter.

Robert Mann chuckled, recalling for a moment the day he asked Addison Wilson for his daughter's hand in marriage. Of course he had managed to offer his then future-father-in-law dinner. But he recalled exhibiting the same mask of control, that is, until Addison—saying almost the same as he did to Alan—finally gave his blessing.

Fortunately for him, Caroline's family was more accepting of her choice. Oh, Alan would surely be accepted in time, but Robert's sister Irene was going to be quite the banshee when she learned he gave Alan his blessing.

God bless telephones!

His task finished, Robert was finally able to turn off the lights and head home. Before switching off the last lamp his eyes rested on the picture on his desk. It was a picture of his two women. Caroline and Margaret were smiling brightly in the frame.

Robert picked up the picture and stroked it lovingly. "I said yes, Maggie. I told him he could ask you to marry him. You picked a good one, Maggie. Still," he said with a grin, "between you and me, he won't be good enough. You're still my little girl, Maggie. My beautiful daughter."

END