YOU CAN SHARE MINE
a Numb3rs/The Sentinel crossover
“Remember where we are, Donnie?”
Don looks up at Dad, who squeezes his hand tight to say go ahead. “March.”
Dad grins. “Good. Remember why we’re marching?”
Don peeks past Dad’s dark pants to make sure Mommy is still on his other side. But he can’t quite remember. “Fighting?”
He can hear Mommy laughing. Dad sighs, picks him up and looks in his face. “Sort of. We’re marching to let the government know that we need to stop fighting. Bring our soldiers home.”
Don nods; it sounds so serious and grown-up. He needs to help. Needs to make a big impression. “Need my gun.”
“Sorry, buddy.” Dad frowns at him. “I don’t know where you picked up the gun thing, but defintely no guns at a peace march.”
Maybe this wasn’t going to be as interesting as he’d thought. Don squirmed, and Dad let him down.
“Don’t you go anywhere, young man.”
He clutches Dad’s pants leg and has to move fast to keep up. That’s about the first time he sees how many people are really there. More than at temple, more than at the grocery store, more than at the parade! And they’re all tall like Dad and Mommy.
“I told you we should’ve brought the backpack, Alan,” Mommy says.
“No, he’s getting too big,” Dad says, and that makes Don grin, because of course he’s too big for the baby backpack. He’s even going to be a big brother in a while. Of course he’s too big for the baby backpack. “Stick close, Donnie.”
Don squishes even closer to Dad’s leg. He’s not going anywhere. And he thinks maybe this isnt going to be fun, because there are just grownups here, and everyone is cheerful and smiling and talking, but it’s also weird because they keep moving and no one is talking to them.
It’s a while later. Don is up on Dad’s shoulders, where he can see down on everyone they’re with--mommies in skirts and flowy tops (that his Mommy never wore), daddies in bright colors like fireworks, some of them together like his Dad and Mommy but a lot of them strangers or friends. Slaps on the back, jokes, laughing.
Daddy points out the police officers to him, walking along the side of the street. Watching all the people, like Don is. “They’re making sure we don’t break any laws, and that no one hurts us.”
“Hurt?” The concept of someone wanting to hurt Dad is so alien that Don can’t quite fathom it.
“No, no,” Dad reassures him, almost laughing. “No one is getting hurt. They’re just here to help out, like you help your mom.”
Don nods. He understands helping. Maybe the police will pick up the papers he sees the lady over there drop on the street.
He’s looking at the police, at his badge that shines in the sun, when he sees him.
Another kid. Bigger. Older. Curly hair going up and down, bouncing along next to the lady who dropped the papers. The kid looks up, see Don, and waves like they’re friends. The lady notices and asks him something, and then Curly Hair comes running over, shoving through the big people.
“Hi,” he says, grinning up at Don.
Dad finally sees him. “Hello, there, young man. Where are your parents?”
“Naomi’s coming,” the kid says. “I’m Blair, what’s your name?”
“Don.” He leans forward. Dad gets it and swings him down.
Blair’s only a little bit bigger than Don. “You bring anything to play with?”
Don shakes his head. He left his gun-stick at home, Dad said to, and didn’t think to bring anything else.
Blair shoves a hand into the pocket of his shorts and pulls out two metal airplanes. Hands one to Don. “Let’s race ‘em!”
To be continued....