To Protect

NEW AN! I am strange. I am odd. I... am incapable of keeping up a multichaptered fic. Those of you who've managed to stick with me for this long have learned this. So Instead of leaving you all with a zillion questions, I'm going to instead do a series of one shots. This is the first, clearly, though I might go back and do a couple before mommy and daddy Eppes die. Once the oneshots are finished, they may develop into a single story, who knows?

Summary- When Charlie is 6, his parents are killed in front of him. Five years later, Burt Hummel's wife dies, leaving him with two last requests: Adopt her best friend's orphaned children, and take care of Kurt. Burt is completely unprepared for the baggage that comes with these two boys. How will he handle raising a bitter teenager, a young genius, and his gay son, Kurt?

Ages- Don- 15, Charlie- 11, Kurt- 13

AN- I feel like you Gleeks still new to the system should be introduced to the world of 'WTF, this would never happen in the show'. AKA, AU. I have taken two totally different storylines, times, characters and events, blended them, and smoothed them out for your entertainment. This particular blend is Numb3rs/Glee. Yup. See what you think, and let me know.

Disclaimer- If I owned Numb3rs, do you really think I would've cancelled it? Hell no.

Don and his little brother Charlie had been at the orphanage for three years now, and all hope of being adopted was pretty much gone. No one wanted to adopt a 15-year-old boy in the first place, let alone one who refused to part with his 11-year-old brother, who was supposedly delayed, mentally. The thought greatly amused Don. If only they knew. Charlie was anything but delayed. He was a genius, smarter then probably every adult who worked or came through the place. But seeing his parents killed in front of him had had serious repercussions, including the loss of his voice. Every doctor they went to assured them that it wasn't a physical thing, but a subconscious one. When he was ready to speak, he would, they said. Right. They'd been saying that for five years, now. Don had stopped wishing to hear his brother's voice years ago, instead teaching him and Charlie basic sign language, so they could at least communicate. The curly haired child had jumped at the chance to 'speak' to someone, anyone, and flew through the book quickly. In fact, at that very second, Charlie was studying the book; dark curls hiding big brown eyes, feet tucked up under his bottom in a chair that seemed to dwarf him. Don went back to his homework, not noticing the man standing in the doorway, nor the little boy next to him.

Burt Hummel stood in the doorway of a small room, watching the two boys inside it closely. He had only seen them a handful of times before, but he knew them immediately. Don was the elder brother, and was clearly protective of Charlie, the mute 11-year-old, who was currently seated in a beat up chair, reading a book half his size. Every few minutes Don's dark eyes would stray from his homework to his brother, and back again. Kurt nudged him, and then cleared his throat. Don's head shot up immediately, and Charlie dropped his book, startled.

"Hi. I'm Kurt Hummel, and this is my Dad, Burt Hummel. We're taking you home now!" Charlie frowned, and signed to Don, who shook his head minutely.

"I don't know you guys. Miss Storm lets us know before every adoption meeting. So why are you really here?" He eyed Burt warily. "You look like a cop. If you have more questions about our parents, I wasn't there, and Charlie can't speak. So leave us alone, and go away!" The teenager was standing now, unconsciously blocking Charlie from view. The younger boy peeked out from around his brother, and caught sight of Kurt. He frowned, and opened his mouth, as if to speak. No words came out, and the boy frowned. He tugged on Don's sleeve, pointing at Kurt and signing. Don frowned.

"Charlie says he knows you. You asked him to be your… wife?" Kurt blushed fiercely.

'Yeah, well I was seven! I also asked my neighbor's dog to be my best man." Don smirked slightly, and Charlie let out a soundless giggle. Burt cleared his throat.

"My late wife, Kurt's mother, was friends with your mother. Her last request was that I take you two in. The paperwork has all been cleared up, and once you get your things together, we can go home." Don wasn't having any of it, though.

"Oh, really? And what, we're supposed to leap with joy? We know nothing about you! Where do you live? Do you know how to take care of a mute genius? Where will we go to school? What's going to happen when you decide you don't want us? What if you only like Charlie, or only like me, and want to get rid of the extra?" Burt blinked. Kurt, who had wandered over to Charlie, was staring at Don, a pale hand clasped around Charlie's smaller one. Charlie was staring at Burt, unnerving him with his wide, unblinking gaze. And in those eyes he read exactly what the two boys needed to hear.

"Let me get one thing straight, here. The two of you are never leaving us. No matter what happens, you will never have to fear abandonment again. As for the other stuff, we'll figure that out as we go. That's the joy of parenthood. You never know if you're doing something right until ten years after you've done it. We have a house nearby, and you rooms are all set up already. Of course, you can redecorate them however you want. Within reason." Don bit his lip, before nodding slightly.

"Fine. But Charlie stays with me. He has nightmares if he's alone.' Charlie glared at Don, and kicked him.

"What? You do.' Don said, rubbing the back of his calf.

Kurt couldn't believe it. After five years, he finally had his best friend back! Sure, Mercedes was great and all, and Tina did have an awesomely bold sense of style, but no one could replace Charlie. Sweet, funny, shy Charlie. Charlie who was mute, and tainted after witnessing his parents' murder. And Don. Don had never trusted Kurt, not after that time at the park, under the slide. Not that he really knew what had happened. As far as Don was concerned, Kurt had pushed the then 5-year-old Charlie to the ground. If he knew that Charlie had actually fell after being surprised by Kurt giving him a kiss… No. Kurt liked his entrails on the inside, thank you very much. Not that Don recognized him now, but who could blame him? It had been five years ago after all, and he was preoccupied with the fact that they were going home with someone they'd never really met before. It would be much harder to hide his quickly resurfacing crush on the boy, though. Charlie was as adorable as ever, and when he had grabbed reflexively for Kurt's hand when Don started questioning his father… Never had the two-year age gap between them seemed so large.

The car pulled up to a cozy looking two story house, and Charlie pressed his face against the glass pane in the door, studying it. This was to be his home, forever, it seemed. Charlie had never been so happy before. He was with his big brother Don, he had a new daddy, and a new brother, who just so happened to be his one time best friend, and he got a pretty house! His face fell, however, when he was standing in the doorway, the other three males already in the house. Tears ran down his face, unchecked. Somehow, stepping into this house was like throwing away his parents. Kurt turned back to him, and, seeing his tears, placed a hand on his arm.

"Charlie? What's wrong?" The boy shook his head, black curls flying. "Are you scared? You don't have to be, you know. Come on, let's go see you new room! I decorated it myself!" Kurt smiled proudly, while using his thumb to wipe away the younger boy's tears. Charlie sniffed, and nodded, grabbing Kurt's hand. The older brunette blushed wildly, but Charlie paid no mind. He was led to a door on the left, which was painted red, with a chalkboard sign hanging on it, 'Welcome Home!' scrawled across it in typical preteen writing. Charlie opened the door, and stepped inside, gasping silently and releasing Kurt's sweaty hand to explore it. The walls were lined with bookshelves, except for the one behind the head of the bed, which was black, painted with that special chalkboard paint. The room's general color scheme was red and white, with small silver accents, like the desk lamp, or the picture frames. Charlie walked up to the picture frames, and was shocked. In each one were pictures of him and his parents, him and Don, even a few of him with Kurt or Burt. The boy spun to face Kurt, before running and tackling him in a hug. Kurt hesitantly returned the embrace, unaware of the dark eyes watching from across the hall.

Don sat on his bed, head in his hands. He knew it. Just like always, Charlie would end up the loved one, the cherished one, and would no longer need plain old Don to protect him. No, not when that Kurt kid seemed so eager to do so. Just like before, Don would end up left in the dark.