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06 January 2008 @ 08:25 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Something I Can Never Have  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #140 – Generations

Title: Something I Can Never Have
Pairing/Characters: Charlie, Don
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: All's Fair
Summary: Charlie's still haunted after his breakup with Susan
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"Mr. Eppes? I'm Dr. Crichton."

"Dr. Eppes," Charlie corrected.

The elderly physician peered over his bifocals at him. "You seem a trifle young to be a doctor."

Charlie sat up a bit straighter on the exam table. "I'm in my twenties," he said, a bit more defensively than he would have liked. "And I have a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics."

"I see." The doctor nodded, clearly unimpressed. "Well, Miss Berry asked me to run some tests on the samples you both provided. I have your results here." He paused before handing a single sheet of paper to Charlie. He took off his glasses and laid a hand briefly on Charlie's shoulder. "I'm very sorry."

The doctor's voice seemed far away as Charlie stared at one word on the page. Generations of tiny Eppes geniuses ran rampant through his mind unbidden then disappeared just like the dream they were. He felt dizzy with loss, even though he only lost what he never had - what he never knew he wanted until that moment. His hand sought out the edge of the metal exam table in a desperate attempt to steady himself.

"Dr. Eppes? Dr. Eppes?"


"Charlie? Charlie?"

Don nudged Charlie with his foot from where he was reclining up on the couch watching a game on TV.

"Huh?" Charlie looked up from where he sat at the coffee table, pencil still poised over his notebook.

"Earth to Chuck! I asked you a question. Why did you and Susan split up?"

Charlie's eyes gravitated to the array of family photos on the nearby table and he felt a pang of longing at the sight. Grandparents, parents, children - the Eppes line unbroken.

Until now.

"She wanted something I couldn't give her," he said quietly, then turned his attention back to his equations.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 7th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
Another of my December prompts designed to evoke emotions. Don't worry, you'll be returned to your regularly scheduled N100 drabbles soon. Or not. /snicker/

The title comes from the Nine Inch Nails song of the same name. I had trouble titling it, but the refrain "I just want something I can never have" kept going through my head so I didn't fight it.

This is a stretch, but we have very little canon for their relationship and the fact that she's now with a man who has children... Well, I decided to abuse that fact for my own devices. ;-)

Besides, it would be a tragedy to have awesome genius genes and not be able to gift the world with your offspring. Some of the smartest people I know had to suffer through years of fertility specialists to have a child while a bunch of idiots kept pumping them out one by one. /sigh/

Very special thanks to betas melissima and sororcula for their assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
perhaps some frottage is in order: Numb3rs secretssororcula on January 7th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
Very nice!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 7th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
CeriseRevecerisereve on January 7th, 2008 06:59 am (UTC)
I liked the reasoning you gave for the Susan/Charlie split. We never did get a canon reason for it, did we? The unbroken line of family photos at the end was a touch I liked a lot. =)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 7th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's been a while since I watched All's Fair, but I don't remember one being given.

I reread Shattered Lives by telperion_15 (God that fic hurts so much) and was struck again by how Alan had removed all the photos of Don and Charlie from the house. /empathy pains/ I wanted to underscore in the fic just how strong the sense of family is in that family. I keeps reminding Charlie about how badly he feels about not carrying on the family line.
CeriseRevecerisereve on January 7th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)
I don't remember either. But as I couldn't stand All's Fair, I'm not about to go rewatch to verify there wasn't one. I agree that family is very important to the Eppes men. The house would be really empty without all the pictures.

New prompts are posted on Monday's, right?
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 7th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)
That's one reason why the fic was so striking and so sad. Imagining the Craftsman stripped of the Eppes boys is just heartbreaking.

Yes, N100 prompts go up every Monday night, usually between 8PM-12AM Pacific Time. (We like to leave time for last minute submissions so they get thanked right away!)
CeriseRevecerisereve on January 7th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)
Good to know. I knew it was Monday, but didn't know the timing. However, it's not like I don't have 136 other prompts to play with in the meantime...
andi: Charlie Eppesadmiralandrea on January 7th, 2008 08:04 am (UTC)
Wow, that was sad! Poor Charlie. I bet that's a hard secret to carry, especially the way Alan goes on about grandkids.

(BTW, I watched the tour of the house set again on the S3 DVD the other day and DK was showing us some of the pix, which are real ones of the actors, including a baby RM - cute!)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 7th, 2008 08:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, if I had to write a sequel to this (which I DON'T) I'd probably write Charlie finally admitting to Alan and Don he's sterile.

I suppose I could write him breaking the news to Susan and juxtapose it with him breaking the news to Amita, but then we're talking *series*! Gah!

I heard they had a good bunch of pics. Nice! I saw a baby pic of DK somewhere before and OMFG was he the most adorable baby or what? /dies/ The curls! /just wants to eat baby DK's pic up/ Haven't seen baby RM, but with that mouth? I'm sure he was a doll.
Devo79: hurt youdevo79 on January 7th, 2008 08:12 am (UTC)
That actually kinda hurt! Ow!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 7th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
Mission accomplished! /evil grin/

Yeah, sorry about that. I wanted December's N100 drabbles to all test my ability to evoke emotion. Guess it worked. ;-)

Then again, no one died or was horribly injured, so a step up from my Xmas eve one!

Thanks for reading.
hear me roar: PeytonHmagisterequitum on January 7th, 2008 11:55 am (UTC)
I like this take on the word/prompt. You even had Charlie protesting to the Doctor's slight questioning of his age and doctoral status.

And then we have the whole scene with Don and it just breaks to have him look at that line of photos and see them end.

Wonderful and I like your explanation of why they broke/split apart.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
LOL! You know, that wasn't conscious at all on my part, but I often see people pointing out literary devices and such I've used in my fic that I had no idea were in there. But yeah, I'm sure somewhere in my subconscious the muse is figuring these things all out before she hands me the story. I just wish she'd let *me* in on it. Hehehe

Thanks for reading and commenting!
fredbassettfredbassett on January 7th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
Ouch, poor Charlie :(

Clever explanation for the break up and well-imagined.

And I agree about Shattered Lives, that fic had me in pieces, but I still loved it.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I love my angst, but I normally go for some sort of hopeful or happy ending. GAH!

Thanks for reading!
bev_crusher1971: Busybev_crusher1971 on January 7th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
That's a little sad story. Very good but sad. I liked it nonetheless. *hugs* Thank you so much for sharing.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
The sad stories, they call to me. I can't nor write them. :-(

Thank *you* for reading.
telperion_15: Thinkingtelperion_15 on January 7th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, Charlie... *pets*

This is so beautifully heartbreaking. And the line about the family photos just got me right there, you know what I mean?

And thank you for the nice comment about Shattered Lives. That fic was pretty much meant to rip out your heart, jump up and down on it several times, and then throw it in the trash! *grins* Sorry!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
If that was the intent, then congrats on a successful fic. :-P /clutches battered heart/

I had decided that each of my December prompt fic were going to be 'feel it in the chest' stories. To be honest, I was kind of glad when the month was over since they were getting to *me* too!
rodloxrodlox on February 6th, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC)
I think I'm the only one here who hasn't read or heard of "shattered lives".

but I agree with the others about your ficlet here: owch!
(though it makes evolutionary sense: big brains are more difficult to birth)

very evoking ficlet, though.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 7th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
I think I'm the only one here who hasn't read or heard of "shattered lives".

Odd, since it was written by one of your Primeval compatriots.

Even if you don't do cestfic, there's no actual sex in it. It's a great character piece. Heart wrenchingly painful with no happy ending in sight, but well worth reading if you are into angst fic.

I almost typed 'like angst fic' but sometimes it's not about enjoying the story. It's about letting the story make you *feel* something.