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11 December 2008 @ 07:40 am
A Woman Waits for Me 21/39  
Title: A Woman Waits for Me
Chapter: 21/39
Author: ladygray99 
Pairing: Charlie/Colby, Don/OFC, Alan, Larry
Summary: When Don’s life slides into the darkness only family will help him find his way out. – In which conversations are had and decisions are made.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 3,789
Warning: none
Disclaimer: Numb3rs belongs to other people who are not me. I’m not making any money from this though I wish I were.
Previous Chapters: Part 4 of Whitman ‘verse. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Authors Notes: Okay folks take this opportunity to take a deep breath, kick back, relax. Feedback would be nice but I also hope some of the things here might raise a bit of discussion and conversation between all you readers. Talking to me is fine but I also like it when you talk to each other about a story. Oh and there’s been some debate on this but I’m stating that the Craftsman, like many homes of the era, only has one bathroom.
Betas:swingandswirl  and riverotter1951 


 

Part 21
The Feel of a Warm Bath

“Alan, I have to say you are not on your game today.” Larry said sliding a rook across the board.

“I’m fine.”

“Check. For the third time.”

Alan sighed. “Sorry, Larry, I guess I’ve just been thinking about other things. Or maybe other things have been thinking me.” Alan said with a chuckle.

“Well that’s understandable, what with everything.”

Alan moved his king. “Every time I think I can’t get a bigger shock to the system…”

“How is Anne doing?” Larry asked.

Alan shrugged. “Hard to say, but every day is a good thing.”

“That is true.”

“Have you and Megan thought about…”

Larry moved a pawn putting Alan in mate. He didn’t even state it, Alan just sighed and started resetting the board.

“Children?” Larry asked.

“Yeah.”

Larry shrugged slightly. “Well, we have discussed it in passing but I’m afraid we are in a rather difficult situation.”

Alan took the first move, edging a pawn out onto the board. “Well, you haven’t married her yet.”

“Alan, last I checked, despite this slightly obsessive need you have to see the world married off, it’s not a prerequisite for getting someone pregnant. It’s just that in many ways I am as bad as Charles when it comes to falling into my work and living in my own world and Megan has fought too long and hard for her career to be a full time mother and I would never ask it of her, but it would leave primary care giving in my rather shaky scattered hands and frankly, Alan, I am not a young man.” Larry spun his knight out onto the field.

“You still have a few good years left on you.”

“True, but they’re slipping by quickly. Don’s current situation has brought the discussion up again, though…” Larry gave a sigh. “May I confide in you, Alan?”

“Always.” Alan shifted another pawn.

“I started out in nuclear physics, and I’ve been to space, and I’m afraid I have some concerns on the general state of my transitive DNA.”

“Worried the kid’s going to come out with extra arms?”

“Or no arms at all, yes.”

Alan shook his head. “Larry, I’m sure you and your transitive DNA are fine.”

Larry contemplated the board for a long moment then idly moved a pawn. “May I ask how Charles is handling all this? We haven’t had a lot of time to have a proper discussion lately. I’m afraid he’s rather gone to ground.”

Alan slid his bishop out. “Charlie is…Charlie has stepped up. I’m proud of him. He’s shouldering a lot of financial responsibility that he knows Don just can’t manage right now, he tries to make it to all of Anne’s doctor appointments, he’s over there almost daily. Between him and Don it’s hard to say which one is more nervous. I think he wants to see this baby born as much as Don.”

Larry nodded and snagged one of Alan’s pawns. “I do know he feels some guilt about not being in a situation to personally carry on the Eppes line.”

“Yes, well. There are ways around that these days. I’m sure Colby wouldn’t mind kids. He comes from a big family.” Alan contemplated the board but didn’t make a move.

“Still,” Said Larry pensively. “I’ve always gotten the impression that Charles is scared of the concept of his DNA being out in the world, as if all the things he sees wrong with himself would somehow be forced upon a child.”

Alan’s knight jumped a row of pawns onto the field. “That’s just stupid.”

Larry shrugged slightly. “He gets requests to donate every year and as far as I’m aware he has always politely but steadfastly refused.”

Alan peered across the board at Larry. “He does?”

“Oh yes,” The pawn guarding Larry’s queen slid out. “Between the genius and the big brown eyes there have been a steady stream of women wanting his babies.”

Alan frowned at the board and the thought. “He’s never mentioned it to me.”

“Well, like so many things in his life, I’m afraid it’s one more thing he did not feel comfortable revealing too much of to the world.”

Alan picked up a pawn but didn’t put it down, just twisted it about in his fingers. “Larry did you know about…well, did you know Charlie was gay?”

Larry lowered his head, “Well, not in so many words. He had just barely hit puberty when we met and for the most part seemed more interested in math. When there was word that he was interested in someone it seemed to shake out fairly evenly between male and female, but after a few years he seemed to come down on the female side and frankly, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, until… well, until I watched Colby snap a two inch thick piece of particle board with his bare hands at the sound of Charles in distress.”

Alan sighed “Well, at least it wasn’t a grand conspiracy to keep me out of the loop.” He put the pawn down within striking distance of Larry’s knight.

“I’m sure Charles just didn’t want to disappoint everyone. I’m sure he just wanted some part of himself to be perceived as normal.” Larry moved his knight.

“I just want him to be happy.”

“But a wife and a home and two kids would be nice as well, from your point of view.”

Alan shrugged and moved a pawn. “I’m getting over it.”

“Agent Granger isn’t a bad man.”

Alan nodded. “I know. He’s a good man, Charlie means the world to him and then some, it’s just as a parent when you try to picture your children’s future…I guess I’m just showing that I’m a product of my age. Always pictured Amita or some similar girl. You know sweet, pretty, understands the math, pregnant, barefoot, in the kitchen.”

Larry gave a bark of a laugh and slid his queen onto the field. “Amita would have cold cocked you if she heard you say that.”

Alan gave a wave. “Oh I know, and I don’t really mean it that way. I guess I just pushed at those two because I’d given up on Don finding anyone for more than three weeks and mainly she seemed able to put up with Charlie. Actually, at the start I kind of pictured her and Donnie.”

Larry stopped for a moment and went deep into thought. “Now, strangely enough, that is a pairing I could see.”

“I know.” Alan slid out a bishop. “But I like Anne. I mean I barely know her, but the fact that she’s willing to risk this… it says a lot.”

Larry shifted his queen. “That it does.”

“I still worry about Charlie, though. He’s changed so much, or maybe stopped being someone he wasn’t. Some days it’s like living with a stranger.” Alan slid out his other bishop. “Did you know he doesn’t like pancakes?” he asked quickly.

“I may have been aware of that.” Larry replied, studying the board.

“His mother used to make them ever week. He always ate them. Turns out he’s never liked pancakes but never said anything because Don liked them and didn’t want his mother to stop making them on his account.”

“And all these years you never knew.” Larry’s other knight shifted to stand by his queen.

“I was up early last week, decided to make pancakes for breakfast and he comes down and just looks at them and sighs and tells me that he’s never liked pancakes.”

“Oh my.”

“And then he said it was okay because he was trying to watch his figure anyways. I’m not sure if he was joking.” Alan said with a shake of his head.

“He has taking to preening a little more the last couple of years.” Larry said as Alan moved his own queen onto the field.

“Not to say I mind him dressing well but once upon a time his only requirement for clothes was that they were vaguely clean, and his only requirement for food was that it existed, everything else was just math.”

“You want to know the odd thing Alan?” Larry asked, claiming one of Alan’s pawns.

“What?”

“The math has gotten better.”

“Has it?”

Larry nodded. “Oh yes. Charles always had this odd habit of padding his math, making it seem easier, softer, like anyone could have done it and he just happened to be the one who came along it first. It was like he was scared of the math or scared the math would scare other people and would sort of edge around it in a lot of ways, but lately the math has become…sharp. Anything not needed is gone and it’s blatantly brilliant. Just in the last few years I’ve seen him put out equations that even I can’t begin to understand and he can barely explain but they are there in full glory and he signs his name to them proudly. I supposed hiding aspects of his genius went along with hiding other parts of himself and now he feels less need to do so.”

Alan shrugged and shifted his rook against his king. “I suppose so. Still a little warning would have been nice, a hint, a clue, from anyone.”

“It was a little startling.” Larry said nodding in agreement.

“I was so furious in those days.” Alan half whispered, sounding far away.

“At Charles?”

Alan shook his head. “At everybody. At Don for getting his brother so wrapped up in the FBI, at Charlie for being so ready to drop his own work for Don’s, at Colby pretty much for just existing, at myself, especially at myself. No matter how old your children get some part of you always believes that you’ll be able to protect them… Charlie never wears his old t-shirts anymore because he doesn’t want people to see how badly scarred he is. The thing is, the doctor told me that all the worst ones came from him trying to fight against the ropes. If he had stopped fighting they would have been minimal and healed to almost nothing.”

“Do you really think Charles would be capable of not fighting?” Larry asked.

“No.” Alan said with a sigh. “And I suppose I should take some pride in that, shouldn’t I?”

~

Don slid into the bath behind Anne and wrapped his arms under her breasts and over the steadily increasing baby belly. Anne hummed contently and settled her head back on Don’s shoulder.

“Oh why didn’t we install the tub first?” Don asked as the warm water relaxed his back.

“No idea.” Anne mumbled, sounding half asleep. “Long day?”

“They’re all long days.”

“I know.”

Don sighed. “I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“I don’t know. Everything.”

“Hey, takes two to tango, remember?”

Don cupped some water into his hand and let it trickle out across Anne’s stomach, her skin amber from the candles lighting the bathroom. “I know, it’s just all kinda...quick.”

“Second thoughts?”

Don shook his head a little. “No. Just, you know, uncontrollable blind panic. You?”

Anne gave a little nod. “About the same.”

Don chuckled a bit. “I was just thinking today, I don’t know your favorite color.”

“Green.”

Don thought about it for a moment. “Green is nice.”

“How about yours?”

“Blue.”

Anne gave a low chuckle. “Probably Dodgers blue.”

“Nothing wrong with that.”

“Never said there was.”

Don closed his eyes and just took a moment to enjoy the feel of the warm water and Anne pressed against him.

“We finished 24 weeks today.” Anne said softly.

“I know.”

“We should...we should probably start planning.”

Don let out a long breath. “I know.”

“I mean...I mean this is really going to happen.”

“I know. I did mention the uncontrollable blind panic, right?”

Anne picked up Don’s hand and put it over her stomach. “He’s asleep now but he was twisting around all day. Felt like he was swimming laps in there.”

Don chuckled. “He’s just getting into shape for spring training.”

Anne shook her head. “You know Don, considering the genetics of you family there is a chance he could come out a nerd.”

“My son, a nerd? Never.” Don proclaimed boldly.

“Well there must be some pretty major nerd genes running around somewhere to get Charlie and let’s face it your dad’s kinda a geek in his own right.”

“I don’t care if he comes out with two inch thick glasses and a calculator, Little League will happen.”

Anne smiled. “Whatever you say, Daddy.”

Don froze. “Oh god, someone’s going to call me Daddy.”

“Yep, little someone who’s asleep right there.” Anne poked her stomach.

“I got to get out.” Anne tried to lean forward but Don held her. “No, I mean...”

“What is it Don?”

“I’m kinda asking you to be a house wife aren’t I?” Don asked with a hint of horror.

“Yep. I got a glass of water yesterday and I realized I was pregnant, barefoot, in the kitchen. If you had come home at that moment I think I would have thrown the toaster at you.”

Don squeezed his eyes shut. “I’m sorry.”

Anne shrugged. “Don, any other guy, any of my exes, I would have been down at Planned Parenthood five minutes after that stick turned blue and you wouldn’t have heard two words about it or had any say if you had. This is as much my choice as anything.”

Don took a deep breath. “Give me...Give me a couple of years, I know it’s a lot but...the Bureau’s talking about opening a Quantico extension up in the hills and they’re going to authorize a second Violent Crimes unit. Let me...let me get the right people trained up, the right ones in place. I can...I can get out of the field, teach again, or get an oversight position, and...and I can do school runs and PTA meetings and be home in time for dinner and...”

Anne twisted around to look at Don. “Are you serious?”

Don blinked a few times. “Yeah. Yeah, I think I am.”

“You love your job, Don. You’re great at it.”

“Yeah, I love my job which has me sucking on my gun twice a month and in therapy and practically living on my brother’s couch and drinking too much.”

“You don’t drink too much.”

“Yeah, I do. A beer with dinner turns into four passed out on the couch.” Don closed his eyes. “Look, I’m not good husband or father material, never have been, and I’m not going to be able to change overnight but...I’ll try, okay?”

Anne blinked the tears from her eyes and leaned her head against Don’s chest. “Don, that’s more than I ever expected to get from anyone in my life. You’re a good man. I think that alone would be enough.”

“Well, I’ll try for more, I promise.”

~

Colby sank low in the tub and rested his head on Charlie’s chest.

“Long day?” Charlie asked.

“Multiple up in the hills, whole family.”

“Gonna need me on it?”

Colby shook his head. “Drugs. Looks like more of this Columbian verses Jamaican shit. Walker and Garcia are working it. We’re just providing forensics.”

Charlie gave a long sigh. “Every time I think we’re making headway...”

Colby just shrugged as Charlie gently massaged his arms and chest. “Did you talk to Anne today?” Colby asked.

“Yeah, she said the baby felt really active today, swimming around.”

Colby smiled. “Watch him turn out to be a jock.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it.” Charlie trickled some water down Colby’s chest. “Colby...do...do you want kids?”

Colby twisted his head around to look up and Charlie then gave a shrug. “I don’t know.”

“Really?”

Colby shrugged again. “I thought I wanted a wife and kids and house in the suburbs and a golden retriever but...I don’t know if I wanted it or if I wanted it ‘cause that was what I was supposed to want.”

“I’m sorry.” Charlie said softly. “I’ve kinda made that difficult haven’t I?”

Colby shook his head. “My life made that difficult. I mean, look at the office. Having a stable relationship with anyone kinda puts me in the minority.”

“Do you want kids?” Charlie asked again.

Colby shrugged again. “I guess it’s a nice thought in the abstract but the reality of that...nah...I’ll be Uncle Colby, that works.”

Colby frowned a little in thought as Charlie ran his fingers through his hair. “Do you want kids, Charlie?”

“No.” Charlie answered without pause.

“Really?”

“I’ve never wanted kids. At least not ones that are genetically mine.”

“Really?” Colby asked, a little disturbed by the statement.

Charlie shrugged. “I’m a mutant, Colby. I’m the result of a genetic fluke that altered the development of my brain. If I’d been born with an extra arm they would have cut it off. My mutation is useful so I’ve been spared the frontal lobotomy, but...there’s so much extra crap in my head that’s come with it. There’d be no guarantee that my genius would pass on and to potentially subject a child to all the other shit that’s wrong with me...”

Colby sighed and took Charlie’s hand and pressed it to his chest. He knew when Charlie got in these dark moods there was nothing to be done for it but ride them out. The medication kept them from crashing into full out suicidal urges but nothing could get Charlie to love himself at these points. And if he’d logiced himself into an idea like no kids ever then it would take more energy than Colby could muster up at the moment to logic him out of it.

“Plus, I’d be a disgrace of a parent.” Charlie added. “I mean I have a hard enough time keeping the koi alive.”

“Charlie, if it really came down to it, I have no doubt that you could rise to the occasion and be a fine parent.”

Charlie shrugged. “I always figured I’d probably have to one day. Figured I’d get roped into marrying some girl, probably Amita, have a kid to keep Dad happy. I guess I though if I could pull off the act for 18 years, try not to screw the kid up too much, get a divorce and die alone in the old mathematicians’ home…”

“You really thought you could fake it that long?”

“I faked it for 30 years, what are 20 more on top of that?” Charlie asked with a sigh. Colby kissed the palm of Charlie’s hand and got a happy hum in response. “This is why I love you so much.” Charlie said. “You’ve never tried to change me.”

Colby twisted around to look at Charlie. “Uh, Charlie...I’ve put vast effort into trying to change you.”

Charlie shook his head. “No, you haven’t. You’ve tried to fix the broken bits but you’ve never tried to turn a blender into a toaster oven. You never tried to make me into something I wasn’t, like everyone else. You gave me encouragement to rein in my bad habits instead of ignoring them or just trying to cut them off. You’ve taken every drop of insanity in stride. You’ve been...patient. I don’t know what I’ll ever be able to give you to equal that.”

“You give me plenty, Charlie.”

“It doesn’t feel like it.”

“You give me you. You give me a place. You give me a reason to get up on mornings when I don’t want to. You hold me when I have nightmares.”

“Doesn’t seem like enough.”

“Charlie, my own mother didn’t hold me when I had nightmares. I was told to toughen up and go back to bed.”

Out in the hall Alan silently mouthed ‘What!?’ He had been planning for a quick toilet run, one of the joys of being over 50, when he realized the boys were indulging in a late night bath. He had planned to give the lemon tree a quick water instead, then he heard them talking. He knew he shouldn’t be listening in, but Charlie had so many lies of omission these days Alan had gotten into the habit of gathering scraps of information any way he could.

‘Charlie, my own mother didn’t hold me when I had nightmares. I was told to toughen up and go back to bed.’

“You’re kidding.” Charlie’s voice echoed from the crack in the door.

“No.” Colby said flatly. “She knew we’d all end up soldiers. She didn’t want to coddle us.”

“Speaking as someone who was not only coddled but down right spoiled that’s complete bullshit, love.”

“I don’t think she wanted to get too attached to us boys. I think she had a bunch of us so she could afford to lose a few and still get grandkids. You know, an heir, a spare, and a couple that could be expendable.”

Alan buried his face in his hands trying to figure out how Colby could come from a family like that, go through war, and still end up with a delicate enough touch to lead Charlie through the minefield of his own brain.

“Love,” Charlie’s whispered voice trickled into the hall. “You are unique, brilliant, wonderful, and as long as I have anything to say about it you are never, ever expendable.”

Alan sighed and made his way downstairs and out back. He’d been trying for a couple of years now to figure out how Colby and Charlie fit together. Sure Colby was smart, had a good chess game, but not a genius like the women that Charlie had dated. Of course that was the thing, women. Alan had only ever seen how Charlie related to women in terms of romance. With Amita, Charlie had gotten into the habit of making grand romantic gestures to make up for brushing her off for the FBI or Larry or just flat out forgetting that she was there. Where as with Colby he seemed to remember the simple day to day affections and Colby seemed content to let him wander off into math land for as long as was needed, knowing full well that Charlie would come back to him. Alan had to admit that Amita had tried to turn Charlie into her perfect boyfriend where as Colby just let Charlie be Charlie and if Colby’s mother was anything to go by even Charlie’s small affections were probably more than he was used to.

Alan finished watering the lemon tree and looked up at the house, a soft glow coming from the bathroom window. He shook his head. For all the times he looked at his sons and wondered where he’d gone wrong, at least he loved his boys and more importantly they knew it.

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Erin: zNumb3rs DonOneofThoseDaysstarlettmalfoy on December 10th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
:) I love so many things in this chapter. It *is* relaxing, which, actually makes me nervous, 'cause I know it's the calm before the storm.

"frankly, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, until… well, until I watched Colby snap a two inch thick piece of particle board with his bare hands at the sound of Charles in distress.”

I still adore that scene most of all. Hearing Larry talk about it made my heart flutter a bit, haha, just from remembering it. :P

I *love* how both Don and Charlie are vying for the child to be like them. XP I, personally, would adore a little bit of a mix - part nerd, part jock, lol, but wishful thinking is sometimes just that. Hehe.

Ugh, I'm sooo excited for that kid to get here already! ::grins:: I should learn patience, shouldn't I? Oh well. :)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Patience is a virtue but you shouldn't have to wait too much longer.
ninou1ninou1 on December 10th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
What a great chapter.

Everything's in it. .A little Larry (I missed him) and Alan, he's got the most important part after all, he loves his sons and it's the same for them.
The part with Don and Anne is great, they're honest and it's the base of a good relationship.
And Charlie/Colby, it's nice to see them having a good moment without "pain" involved.

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I wanted everyone to have a moment to reconnect before things get crazy again.
chocolate is not meant to be ice cream.ickysheep on December 10th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
uh.. that was kinda sad... :( poor colby..

I really liked your explanations on how life should have been. they are so different and yet in the end everybody gets what they wanted, I think.

And I loved Larry. I always love your Larry he's just so in canon and sooo nerdy, always ;) and I just don't get enough of him saying charles like alan saying donnie.. great.

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
Colby's okay. Remember Colby is seriously loved now and Charlie tries to remind him of that whenever he can.
Glad you liked Larry. His voice is very hard to get right.
riverotter1951: north American river otterriverotter1951 on December 10th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Another excellent chapter. The talk between Alan and Larry is good with Larry expressing his fears and Alan providing reassurance. Poor Colby - ‘Charlie, my own mother didn’t hold me when I had nightmares. I was told to toughen up and go back to bed.’ “You’re kidding.” Charlie’s voice echoed from the crack in the door. “No.” Colby said flatly. “She knew we’d all end up soldiers. She didn’t want to coddle us.” “Speaking as someone who was not only coddled but down right spoiled that’s complete bullshit, love.” “I don’t think she wanted to get too attached to us boys. I think she had a bunch of us so she could afford to lose a few and still get grandkids. You know, an heir, a spare, and a couple that could be expendable... - and Alan realizing how messed up Colby's family truly is. Good that Alan loves his sons and they know that too.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
I always like writing Alan and Larry. It's fun to just have talk. When I was doing the headers I accidentally typed Alan/Larry. I think my muse was trying to tell me something.
PenguinGoddessclonus7 on December 10th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
I really need to start keeping tissues on hand while reading this.

What didn't I love about this chapter... um, nothing. Okay, the way that apparently Colby was treated by his mother I didn't care for, but other than that...

I thought Alan had gotten a better understanding of Colby the chp before, but I must say, the picture should be a whole lot clearer now.

I feel so bad for Colby, and again I just want to grab him and hold him and love him. *sighs*

Another beautifully written chapter. Thank you :-)

Patiently waiting for more.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Alan's getting better about Colby but Colby's kept a lot of himself from Alan and to Alan he really represents a large part of Charlie's life that he's just not privy to. But don't worry Alan is coming around.
fredbassettfredbassett on December 10th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
I love the way we're seeing Alan's thoughts about Colby developing in this series.

Poor Colby. What a background. *sigh*
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Colby will be ok. He's got Charlie after all.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of people would offer. ;-)
Margaret Anne: Basement Cathappi_feet on December 11th, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
I'm new to this fandom and your fic is inspired, riveting... I've been reading it straight through for the past three days from beginning to -- well, it's not the end, but to where it is now. Good job, keep up the good work!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 11th, 2008 09:24 am (UTC)
Well welcome, welcome, welcome to the fandom. We're a pretty laid back bunch and we like new people. I'm glad you're liking this. A strait read through is a bit of a trek, I'm glad you made it and I hope you'll get the chance to look around some of my other writing. Thank you for commenting and reading.
Margaret Annehappi_feet on December 11th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
I bookmarked your journal for further perusal. Not sure if I'm ready to dive headfirst into another fandom, 'cause I've already got a flist full of Remus/Sirius and Jack/Ianto, most of which I don't read. It's mostly just so much spam.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 11th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
Well I only have the one Jack/Ianto so you're safe on that front.
mikes_grrl on December 11th, 2008 11:41 am (UTC)
Sorry I forgot to get to this last night -- crashed early, just tired.

Anyway!

Loved the mirroring of the bathtubs scenes, really setting up the domesticity of them all in their own ways. I think Alan and Larry's feedback loop was inspired; you really do have both of their voices NAILED so I could just see them sitting there, thinking, talking, playing chess.

The most fascinating part to me was Charlie explaining his genius as a mutation -- which, duh, yes we all know that. But the spin of it being something wrong, that only by purest chance has proven helpful to society, is brilliant. To Charlie it is far more a curse he has had to learn to optimize and manage, much as anyone born with a genetic defect has to do. That he would fear giving his children a similar "defect" makes sense; odds are nonexistent that any of his children would even come close to his genius because it IS a mutation*, but they could still inherent some of the madness. I really feel for his concerns there...perhaps not giving Eppes genetics enough credit, mind you, but I understand.

(*I'm not a fan of kid!fic in general, it has to be STELLAR for me to read it to the end, but one thing I hate with the few Numb3rs kid!fic I've read is that Charlie's child is always JUST AS SMART as he is. Which is absurd, it would be astronomically high odds for a child to even come close. As smart as Don and Alan? Absolutely. But a mutant math genius? Not. It irks me. /rant)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 11th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
No worries. Figured as much. As for kid!fic I know what you mean. I'm rather guilty over in Vignettes in making the kids damn near as smart 'cause I wanted to put the boys trough the stress of having to raise a genius of her own but I made it a point not to make her a math genius and tried to give her a distinct and separate personality.
Oh and this discussion of Charlie's is going to get rehashed in W5. I'm surprised no one has really talked about Don and Anne's conversation. Don's plan to leave field work the fact that Anne would have probubly aborted if it was anyone else's baby. I figured someone would have an opinion on that.
mikes_grrl on December 11th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
Don's plan to leave field work the fact that Anne would have probubly aborted if it was anyone else's baby. I figured someone would have an opinion on that.

Probably because the way you've crafted the characters, it all seems very right and exactly what they would do. Anne is not only in love, she is damn smart so she knows a good thing when she sees it; and Don really IS a family man, for all he run around over the years. It is seen in how he behaves with Charlie and his father; Don believes in family. IMHO he just never actually expected to have one of his own.

Oh and this discussion of Charlie's is going to get rehashed in W5.

You are really dropping the hints about Charlie becoming a father in W5 somehow, which would be interesting to see. Especially given the nature of his and Colby's relationship, I could see Charlie freaking out big time. lol!

OT: One aspect I'd love to see in a story is Charlie - and, indeed, the child his/her self - dealing with the fact that his child is NOT a genius. He would know the statistical probabilities of it, of course, but it's different when faced with it. And the child? Has my pity. Nothing but nothing is more stressful for a child than to be the offspring of a famous/brilliant person. I doubt Charlie or anyone in the family would pressure the kid just for that reason, but it would always be over her/his head.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 11th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Charlie raising a kid in this 'verse? No. Wouldn't do that to Charlie or the kid. Charlie some way some how fathering someone else's child? could be.
twins_m0m on December 15th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
I loved the way family, children, and parenting were intertwined in the three scenes. First, with Alan's worries for his sons. Then, with Don's worries about how to be a good father. And finally, with Charlie not wanting to father children due to his 'defect'. Colby's description of his family was sad.

But Don's thinking he could live the life of a PTA dad, well, as a PTA mom, I'm thinking he'll last about a year, maybe two. Then he'll miss the draw of the adrenaline. I feel that's as much a part of him as breathing. I do believe that Anne would have aborted the baby, especially knowing the baby's chances of survival. It fits her character. I don't see her as heartless, just as having had too many struggles in her life and not wanting to add that to her baby's life.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 16th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
yeah, I don't think Don's ever going to get over the adrenaline junkie thing but at the same time he really doesn't want to be the kind of father who's not around or always working and that is his life.

Anne and Don actually had a very long talk off screen about having the baby. Don wanted it but knew in the end it was really Anne's choice, Anne had never planed for kids but also knew that Don was the first guy in a long time that anything resembling a) desire to have kids, b) a steady income. It was not an easy choice and this was before they were told the odds.
Mia: inlawsmia_dcwut_09 on December 26th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
at last alan understands
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 26th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
I always knew he'd get there.
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 18th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
A nice relaxing chapter all round. Nice to see Larry; he's been absent for a while, and it also gives Alan someone to talk to about his boys. Which reminds me- is he still seeing Ian's mother?

I'm glad to see Anne and the baby have made it this far. I'm not really up on the ins and outs of babies, so forgive me if this is a dumb question, but is he old enough to survive now if Anne couldn't carry him anymore? It was a little shocking to hear Don say he'd give up field work. But I can certainly see why he'd do it and it shows his committment to Anne and their son.

It was nice to see Charlie and Colby having a quiet moment, too. I'm glad they've had the talk about kids. It's obviously more difficult for two guys, but still worth finding out what each other thinks in terms of having kids or not. I can see why Charlie would be worried about passing stuff on to any child of his, and I can see why Colby's own childhood didn't really prepare him for a parenting role. I was with Alan (naughty eavesdropping Alan!) on his less than charitable thoughts towards Colby's mother. I guess it's easy to see where the self-esteem issues come from there, just as clearly as we saw the link between Charlie and Margaret.

Laura.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 18th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
At this point there would be a very slim chance of survival and the kid would probably have developmental problems but this is the point where there is some chance rather than none at all.
fractalmoonfractalmoon on November 27th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Your Larry is uncanny. I can just hear Peter McNicol saying those words.

"Charlie shook his head. “No, you haven’t. You’ve tried to fix the broken bits but you’ve never tried to turn a blender into a toaster oven. You never tried to make me into something I wasn’t, like everyone else."

This rings so true.

Alan's thoughts in the last couple of paragraphs brought tears to my eyes.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 3rd, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
This is another one I had to reread to figure out what I wrote. It was also me indulging my love of just writing dialog. And I do love writing Larry. In a way his canon voice is one of the strongest in my head.