A/N: Once again, when my books beckon me I avoid them. -_- Ellen has been shown in the show to be Neal's surrogate mother of sorts. I just wanted to explore their relationship from that angle.

This story is un-betaed. All mistakes are mine. Feel free to point them out :)

Danny Brooks was an extremely smart boy. He was smarter than most, maybe all eight year olds. And while his high IQ meant that he had skipped a grade, it also made him extremely curious about everything. He was always asking questions, taking apart objects to see how they worked. While that was something Ellen was very proud of, there was an off side to his inquisitiveness. Danny wondered about his father, something completely normal for a boy his age surrounded by kids with complete families. And every time Ellen lied to him about James being dead, she felt a twinge of regret. A day would come when Danny would find out the truth. She wondered how much it would hurt him to learn that his entire life was built on lies. That he was not Danny Brooks but Neal Bennet. She dreaded the day when he would learn that his father was not the hero everyone told him he was, but a dirty cop. She didn't want to see the look in his eyes when he would find the true reason behind why his mother was an empty shell of a once lively woman.

Ellen didn't want to shatter her boy's hopes and dreams but he had a right to know the truth. Just…not for a while, she thought as she stroked Danny's floppy brown hair from his face from where he lay in her lap. He cuddled closer to her as he slept, mumbling something incoherent in contentment. She wanted to cherish this innocence for as long as she could and hope that when Danny did find out about everything, he would still love her.

A/N: Thank you for reading! Please leave behind a review if you can, Reviews feed the author! :-)