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13 April 2009 @ 01:03 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Four  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #206 – Draw

Title: Four
Pairing/Characters: Alan/Margaret, Don
Rating: PG
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Pilot
Summary: Margaret rushes home from a conference when four year old Donnie falls ill
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Margaret almost threw the wad of bills at the cab driver in her haste to get in the house. She left her suitcases just inside the door, kicked off her sensible heels and headed straight up the stairs, a young mother's worry knotting her stomach.

The door to her son's room was open: Donnie's bed was empty - well, empty of Donnie. It was covered with crayon drawings, piles of childish scrawls that spoke of sickbed boredom not dire illness.

Alan was in the easy chair beside the bed with Donnie curled up sleeping on his chest. He was almost too big to be held like that at four - his angelic face tucked into his father's neck, baby soft eyelashes still against fever-flushed cheeks.

She tiptoed over, sharing a tender kiss with her husband.

"Hey, you," she murmured.

"Hey, Babe," Alan whispered. "Missed you."

"His fever come down?"

"Some." She lovingly draped an afghan over them both then pushed aside the drawings to sit on the bed. "You didn't have to come back," Alan told her. "I was doing okay, honest."

"I know." She threaded her fingers through Donnie's tousled hair until he stirred in his sleep. "It's just... A few hours into the conference my mind was already back here." She let out a long breath. "I know it makes sense to wait a couple more years before having another child, but I'm ready now. It will be tough financially... "

"We'll make it work," Alan assured her, taking her hand and squeezing it ardently to punctuate his resolve. He cocked his head towards the drawings on the bed. "Apparently someone else is ready too."

She gazed down at four labeled stick figures: Mom, Dad, Donnie... Her hand covered her mouth in surprise.

"Donnie drew himself a brother."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on April 13th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I confess I had trouble titling this piece, but Donnie being four years old and the idea that the family would be the final four once the decided on baby Charlie was born made Four a good title for two reasons.

I also had trouble *writing* this piece. It went through a ton of rewrites, all of them painful. This version is pretty far from what I started out with, but Mel assures me it's good. At this point I'm just happy to have something to post before I run out of time. LOL I mean, it's good, but I've spent too much time with it at this point to have much affection left for it really. Okay, maybe a little for the visual of Donnie sleeping curled up in a ball on Alan's chest, but that just might be sororcula's influence. /smiles/

(FWIW I would have liked Donnie younger, but him being four puts him at just the right age for Margaret to start trying to get pregnant with Charlie who is five years younger than Don. That and he'd have had trouble writing people's names under the stick figures without help if he was just a toddler.)

I figured after putting readers through the emotional ringer with my last N100 drabble I should do something with a bit of sweet Aww! about it this week to make up for it.

ETA: This was Numb3rs fic number 499. 500 has been started. It's Harbor House - the companion piece to Safe Harbor. That one will take a while to come out, but I'll try to remember to announce the 500th fic I *publish* since those numbers are just for ones I've started writing.

Very special thanks to beta melissima for her assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais

Edited at 2009-04-13 08:13 pm (UTC)
perhaps some frottage is in order: [babies] sucking thumbsororcula on April 14th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession

maybe a little for the visual of Donnie sleeping curled up in a ball on Alan's chest, but that just might be sororcula's influence.

TOTALLY THE BEST PART. (Except, actually, this was my favorite line: It was covered with crayon drawings, piles of childish scrawls that spoke of sickbed boredom not dire illness.) Hee!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 14th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
See, I wrote this thinking of you, so it was only right you came to enjoy it. :-) Wee!Donnie was super adorable in my head. /sigh/
hear me roar: Allie in bedmagisterequitum on April 13th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)

That last line kills me. Kills me so bad.

This is wonderful, Em.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 13th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hon!

I figured I owed people an Aww moment. ;-)

P.S. You fully recovered from basketball partying yet? Hehehe
hear me roar: Lazy Daysmagisterequitum on April 13th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, Awww moments are always nice. ;) And this one was a wonderful Awww moment.

P.s. The campus has quieted down. After a nap after class today, I am feeling great. At the moment, I'm trying to get a drabble to work.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 13th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)

That's always wonderful to hear. Fresh drabbles FTW!
hear me roar: Free Kahlanmagisterequitum on April 13th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
I forgot to tell you Congrats on #499 and the almost #500! =) Truly amazing.

And yes, new drabbles are FTW. Unfortunately it goes with this week, meaning you have to wait to see it. :P
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 13th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
There's always email! /winks/

And thanks!

I know 500 published fic is more worth celebrating (and I'll get there soon) but to me starting my 500th meant a lot to me.

Mostly that I must be INSANE to write so much fic in one fandom, but hey, I should take advantage of the whole wicked prolific thing I guess. Hehehe
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 13th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)

msgrahamcrackermsgrahamcracker on April 13th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
So many things to love about this story. The image of feverish four year old Donnie sleeping on Daddy's chest; Margaret rushing home to be with her little one even though Daddy was doing just fine; and of course, Donnie drawing himself a brother. (if he only knew)

Another enjoyable read from you. You never disappoint and I am anxiously waiting for Harbor House. Good luck in the awards.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 13th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! You're very kind. :-) Good luck to you as well!

I was really hoping if I put extra work into this story people might get to enjoy the way I experienced it in my head (which was so wonderful! Alan and Margaret as young parents were so darling! And Wee!Donnie! Aww!).

I'm very excited about Harbor House. It's moving along nicely and since half of the scenes are shared with Safe Harbor I hope they will move even faster. I can't wait to get it up and published. :-)
Candi: Charlie Flowermustangcandi on April 14th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
That last line just floored me. So sweet. I loved this. I'm really enjoying the Young!Eppes fic that has been popping up and this was just beautifully done. Thank you!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 14th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Even on the best days I don't really read fic so I didn't know there's been a plethora of Wee!Eppes as of late, but that's a good thing! I love them young. It's nice to see pre-series fic out there.
Candi: Colby - Grinningmustangcandi on April 14th, 2009 11:41 am (UTC)
I haven't been reading a lot of fic lately either but there has been an increase in the amount of wee!Eppes fic - I didn't used to see any and I think this is probably the fourth or fifth piece I've seen lately. Pre-series fic is some of my favorite. I love gleaning information about the characters before life at the FBI. *happy sigh*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 14th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
It must be off N100 since that's all that I manage to keep up with really. (And considering it had 1000+ drabbles last year, that's really a lot of fic to read!)

It's funny, I say I don't read fic, but I read nearly everything that gets posted at N100, so apparently I do read, I just only read short pieces. :-)
Karen: n3rs_donbyrons_brain on April 14th, 2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Hehehehehehe, naughty donnie, that was his plan all along, he wanted a baby brother.... lovely story hun...
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 14th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks, doll!

/gives you cinnamon swirl scones/
chymom: Lost Charliechymom on April 14th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
This was so sweet. I love how when the time is right for something you just know.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 14th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, I picture them as having discussed it, but it made sense there was a moment where they said to hell with what's optimal, we love our son and want another child.
Could use a little more cowbell: Don2thewhiteowl on April 15th, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
Aw, Donnie! I <3 that he really did want a little brother at one point, even if it was rocky in later years.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 15th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Only children can get lonely, but siblings come with built in bickering. It's only natural. Besides, now that they're older and their mom is gone? They'll really appreciate each other when Alan passes away.

Thanks for reading!
fyreflyfyrefly101 on April 15th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's just too sweet. I can just picture the reaction Don has when Alan reminds him of this story years in the future....perhaps right in the middle of some huge Don-Charlie fight. Wonderful!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 15th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)

And yes, Alan would so do that. Also Alan and Margaret would shake their heads at their little boy spats for the same reason.
rubynye on April 15th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Well, this is now part of my personal canon. I could feel it just reach up and climb into my head.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 15th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
Aww! Nice!

It's so easy to picture a lonely sick boy wishing for a brother to keep him company, you know? (Because what four year old boy would ask for a sister? LOL)