Prompt: #84 Stockings
Word count: 300
Summary: Ian knows Charlie loves giving him Christmas.
Notes: Written for numb3rs100, part of A Silk Pillow ‘verse.
A Gift of Things Lost (#84 Stockings)
Ian reached into his Christmas stocking. For a Jewish atheist Charlie took great delight in setting up Christmas, long equations going into the optimum stringing of lights and other such nonsense. Ian pulled out a tin of his favorite sour lemon candies followed by a new pocket knife and an elegant compass. He kissed Charlie after each gift. Then he reached into the bottom of the stocking and pulled out a small square package, carefully wrapped in bright paper. He pulled off the paper. Inside was a small framed black and white photo. It took Ian a moment to realized what he was seeing. It was him. It was him and Sam. Ian’s heart stopped.
“I wasn’t sure how to give it to you or even if I should.” Charlie said softly.
Ian’s hands trembled. “Where did you get this?” Ian managed to choke out a million scenarios running through his head.
“Sister Teresa had it.”
“Sister..?” Ian scoured his memory. “My kindergarten teacher!”
“Yeah, she remembers you. Both of you. Said you were the king of finger painting.”
A sob tore out nearly choking Ian.
Charlie wrapped his arms around him. “I’m sorry.” Charlie said. “It just didn’t feel right knowing you had nothing of your brother. He should be here. He should be family. I had to find something.”
Ian nodded understanding Charlie and how important family was to all the Eppes. Something Ian still occasionally grappled with.
“Thank you.” Ian whispered hoarsely wiping his eyes.
“I have something else for you.” Ian braced himself. Charlie retrieved a stack of papers and handed them over. “I know you’ve been looking at this program. I talked to their admitting officer and they take returning students.” Ian looked at the university application. “You should be able to start in September.”