Maybe Then Someday

by

Numb3rsfan

Chapter Seven: Maybe Then Someday

Four weeks; it had been four weeks to the day if not to the minute that Special Agent Don Eppes walked through the door of the Eppes abode.

"Hello? Anyone home?" he called out; his voice echoing around the living room. "Yeah back in the back!" a voice called out.

Don smiled, recognizing the unmistakable voice of his brother.

When Don had gotten him out of the Genesis facility, Charlie had been more or less in shock from the turn of events and the fever. He had spent the next two weeks in the hospital recovering from whatever concoction of drugs he had been given. While the doctors were able to treat the fever, racing heart rate and occasional muscle spasms they weren't able to treat the unmistakeable talents that Charlie had gotten; quick reflexes and super human strength. How could they treat them? They weren't a disease, but could they really be considered gifts? Unwanted gifts certainly but gifts all the same?

~Yeah, gifts from a madman.~ Don thought to himself as he entered the kitchen. He saw his father by the stove obviously cooking something that smelled like spaghetti. Charlie was by the oven checking on the garlic bread.

"Donnie!" Alan called, happy to see his eldest son home from work. Donnie for his part nodded a greeting to his father as he went over to Charlie.

Charlie hadn't wanted to talk about what had happened; not to Don or anyone else. He was like that; something shocking happens and he would just shut down. Don had seen it many times before, once when their mother died and the second when the Charm School Boys stopped being so charming and started shooting at Don, David and Agent Terry Lake. It hadn't been pretty; they had lost a good agent that day and Charlie had slipped in to a math bubble that took awhile to pop. Now it was as if Charlie was doing the same thing but to a lesser extent.

"How's it going buddy?" Don asked. He had a feeling that Charlie was sick to death of people asking him how he was, so Don opted for a different question that conveyed the same meaning.

Charlie stood up, having been bent over to check the garlic bread. He gave a sigh that conveyed so many emotions with it.

He looked Don straight in the eyes. Charlie could see the concern glistening there; obvious concern for him. He appreciated it but it was getting a little old. Either Don or David or Colby had been hovering around him since he had been released from the hospital, and while at first Charlie thought it was a little cute it was down right annoying now.

"I'm okay Don, really. You can stop hovering. I'm not some ten year old who's going to suddenly break down, go in to a corner and start crying." Charlie said.

"I know you aren't." Don replied, showing the sincerity in his voice that he wanted to convey. He knew that Charlie wasn't a kid anymore but he wasn't as trained as Don was on how to control one's emotions and cope with certain issues. Don did almost half expect Charlie to do what he said he wouldn't do; break down, find a quiet place and cry.

"Just know that I'll be here, ready to listen when you are ready to talk about it. Okay?" Don asked. He placed a gentle hand on his brother's shoulder, forcing Charlie to look him in the eyes once more.

After a moment Charlie nodded his head. He would confide in Don in time; the both of them knew it. Many times during the past few weeks Charlie had woken up in a fight; nightmares fresh in his mind; nightmares about Joshua and his father.

Ethan Moore; Don and his team had arrested the billionaire on conspiracy to commit murder; it was only one of a number of charges, but the most likely charge to get the man convicted.

"I know Don...thanks. I just...I'm not ready yet...okay? I'm not ready to...think about all of that. I just wish it never happened." Charlie said.

Don gave a small half smile; patting Charlie's shoulder. "I know buddy, me too. Thing is it did happen and nothing's going to erase it no matter how much we might want to. Only thing to do now is try to move on and learn from your experiences."

Learn from your experiences...easier said than done but Charlie knew his brother would help him to do so, like he always did. He could always count on Don to help him through; they were brothers after all and that's what brothers do.

"You are right Don, it is the only thing to do. Heck, maybe then someday I'll be ready to talk about everything but it won't be today Don, I'm sorry." Charlie replied.

Don nodded his head in acceptance, already knowing there was no rushing his brother. He would cope in his own way, and that was alright.

"I understand buddy." He began. Seconds later he clapped his hands; rubbing them together to create some friction. "So when's dinner? I'm starving." he asked.

This brought a smile to Charlie's face. He glanced at his father who gave a short nod, indicating that the pasta and sauce were done. Charlie then checked on the bread once more, deeming it done as well.

"Is right now too soon?" Charlie asked, taking the bread out of the oven and placing on a cooling rack.

Don smiled and shook his head. "Now is just right Charlie." he replied, moving to grab three plates and utensils.

Once the meal had been plated and the drinks gotten, all three Eppes men sat at the table to enjoy a well deserved meal together.

This was how things were supposed to be right? All three men together; all carefree and happy? Don thought so; he enjoyed seeing smiles on his younger brother's face; smiles that at one time he thought he'd never see again. That thought caused worry to rise up in his gut; worry over his brother. They had been lucky; finding him in time but what about the next time...would they be so lucky?

"How is it?"

Looking up, Don saw Charlie watching him, a knowing look on his face. Slowly Don grinned, nodding his head in thanks.

"It's great Charlie, thanks." he replied.

"Don't thank me Don, thank dad it was his idea." Charlie returned, taking another bite of the meal.

Grin becoming larger, Don tipped his glass towards his father in recognition. "Thanks dad." he said.

Alan just nodded his head in understanding of Don's words. All three Eppes men then began to eat in silence, each just enjoying the company of the other.

Yes indeed this was exactly how things were supposed to be; the Eppes men sitting together for the foreseeable future.

~THE END~

Author's Notes: Genesis and the attributes are not my original idea, they belong to 'Alex Wellington' of the Genesis RPG. Also, no particular character from that RPG was named; some character names were changed to protect those on the Genesis RPG. Thank you for reading and please review!