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16 December 2009 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: A Day in the Life  
Posted to numb3rs_slash


Title: A Day in the Life (Sequel to Safe Harbor/Harbor House)
Series/Universe: Safe Harbor
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/Billy, Alan, Don, Colby, David, Megan, Larry, OCs
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Man Hunt, Judgment Call
Summary: One day in Charlie and Billy's life a year after they move in together
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


6:15AM

Magda had always been an early riser and getting up early was the way she got her time in on the exercise bike before the kids got up and needed help finding a missing sneaker or misplaced school books.

She vacillated between her telenovella on the DVR or the end of her most recent romance novel and the book won out. Estella was probably not coming out of her coma to claim her inheritance by naming her brother as the man who tried to kill her until at least next week so the TV show could wait.

As she pedaled she escaped into a world where a tall dark stranger swept into a woman's life when he moved his antique shop into the building next door to her restaurant, falling in love first with her enticing recipes and then finally her. She normally did only fifteen minutes on the stationary bike, but the ending was so sweet she decided to go for twenty just to finish the last chapter.

She needed to find herself a tall dark and handsome stranger, but for the time being a quick shower and then waking the kids.

6:30AM

Billy's alarm went off and he automatically slapped it to turn it off with a well practiced hand. Also automatic was Charlie's groan at the early hour.

"Morning, sleepyhead." Billy greeted him with a kiss to his sleep-mussed curls.

"I thought you didn't have to go in that early today." Charlie curled into Billy's body, eyes still closed against the sun.

"I don't," Billy murmured, gathering Charlie up in his arms. "I have my gun recertification today, but I need to go to the range early to get some practice in beforehand."

"No you don't," Charlie grumbled, burrowed beneath the covers. "You're an excellent shot. Stay in bed." Charlie rose off Billy's chest until his lips reached his neck, pressing a kiss just below the line of his morning beard. "I'll make it worth your while."

Billy ran a hand down Charlie's side, taking a tiny detour to skim over the roundness of his ass.

"How about a raincheck until tonight? I'll have my recertification to celebrate and you'll be more awake to enjoy it."

"Can't have both?" Charlie muttered into his neck, a little hopeful note in his tone.

"How about a few more minutes of this?" Billy offered, leaning down to kiss him. He took his time, kissing him thoroughly but not energetically enough to wake him further. After a while he pulled away to Charlie's rumbly complaint at his departure. "Go back to sleep…"

"Can't," Charlie pulled the covers up to his neck as Billy got out of bed.

"Then buzz Magda to let her know we're up and decent so she can bring you some coffee."

Charlie eyed Billy's bare backside as he headed for the bathroom.

"Um, you're more indecent right now."

Billy shot a grin over his shoulder.

"Ah, but that's what you love about me."

6:45AM

Alan stared at the coffee machine as if willing it to fill faster.

"Morning," Magda said, coming in, already dressed and ready for the day.

"Morning," Alan replied, managing a sleepy smile for his housemate.

"You must have an early meeting, especially if you're trying to psychically make the coffee brew faster again," she teased, starting to set the table for breakfast.

"New client," Alan explained. "They flew in last night so they're on a tight schedule of meetings. I drew the short straw so I get the 8AM one."

"If you want I can take the kids to school today," Magda offered. "It will save you some time."

"You don't have to, I can still take them."

Magda waved a dismissive hand at him. "You already take them every other day. The least I can do is take them off your hands when you're busy."

"Actually the most you can do is get this coffee maker to hurry up," Alan retorted.

"Tap the top," Magda told him as she pulled plates from the cupboard to carry out to the dining room table. "It seems to help."

7:00AM

"Wake up, Mija."

Magda shook Elena's shoulder as her daughter hid curled in a little ball under the covers.

"It's too cold out there!"

"Then put on warm clothes. Breakfast is in fifteen minutes."

Magda walked into her son's room next. Rocio was splayed out diagonally across his bed with his covers strewn everywhere.

"Mijo! Time to get up," she said, shaking his foot since it was the nearest body part she could reach.

"Already?" he asked with a wide-mouthed yawn. "It feels like I just went to sleep!"

"That's what you get for reading books under the covers with a flashlight," Magda teased. "And don't think I don't know about that!" When he pulled the covers over his head she nudged his foot again. "Breakfast in fifteen minutes and I'm not giving you extra time because Elena beat you in the bathroom again."

"Okay…"

7:15AM

Billy was fully dressed as he led a grumpy morning Charlie in sweats through the breezeway they'd built between the Craftsman and Alan and Magda's house, which had gained the nickname Casa Rojo - half because Billy had bought it and half because the Spanish style house had a red tile roof.

Dinners were mostly at the Craftsman, but breakfasts were almost always at Casa Rojo where Magda could float in and out of the kitchen as she got the kids ready for school.

They all filed up to their seats at the table, with sleepy greetings: Alan hovering over his second cup of coffee, Billy already serving himself up a plate of scrambled eggs and chorizo and Charlie staring into his cup of coffee as if he could will it into his veins by osmosis.

As soon as Rocio and Elena sat down at the table everything livened up with chatter, the kids waking everyone else up with their youthful ebullience.

"I'm giving my report on photosynthesis today in science class," Elena proclaimed proudly. "My teacher said I should consider doing a project with plants for the science fair!"

"Science fair for nine-year-olds?" Alan marveled. "They get younger every year, don't they?"

"I did my first science fair at eight," Charlie reminded him.

"You were also advanced two grades by then," Alan said. "I rest my case."

"It just tells me we're getting our money's worth with private school," Billy mused. "I'd be more worried if they came home and said they spent the day watching videos."

"That's what Discovery channel's for," Magda scoffed, filling the kid's plates.

"Shark week!" Rocio exclaimed excitedly.

7:30AM

"I can't find my backpack!" Elena cried.

"You left it in the laundry room when you went to get your sweater." Magda replied.

It was Rocio's turn next. "I need my P.E. uniform!"

"Rocio, I told you, I already put it in your backpack for you." Magda gathered up the kids and their gear as Alan was packing his briefcase.

"You sure you don't want me to take them? I've got time," Alan said. "Besides," he admitted in a quiet voice. "I kind of miss seeing them off."

"If it's no trouble."

"No trouble at all." Alan raised his voice. "Come on kids! Time to go!"

"Hey, Mom! Listen to how I can whistle!"

Rocio, with his two front teeth missing, made a horrible whistling noise then beamed proudly.

Magda muttered to herself in Spanish under her breath. "Promise me you'll only do that during recess. I don't want your teacher calling me because you did it during class."

"How was I supposed to know she could hear me practicing snapping my fingers all the way in the back of the class?" he complained.

"Dios mio…" Magda muttered. "Rocio! Time to go! Alan's waiting!"

7:45AM

Back in the Craftsman, Billy had finished cleaning his gun and checking it and would have been out the door if not for Charlie's arms around his neck.

"You're trying to keep me from leaving for the gun range," Billy protested weakly between kisses.

"Mmm, yeah." Charlie pulled him down for a more languid kiss. "It appears to be working."

"Don't you have papers to grade before your 10AM class?"

"Party pooper," Charlie grumbled, letting him go.

"Sorry, not all of us can have the lazy schedule of a genius academic."

"Hey, I work hard!"

"Yeah, when you're on a project or you're working a case with the FBI, but today?" He gave Charlie an affectionate smack on the bottom. "You know as soon as I leave you're heading back up to that bed."

"Yes, but it's to grade papers in bed so it doesn't count," Charlie pouted.

"I'll see you later," Billy said, with a final kiss.

"Be careful out there," Charlie gave him his same send off every day.

"Always."

8:00AM

"Mr. Ashtari!" Kath shook the well dressed man's hand. "I'd like you to meet Alan Eppes, he'll be doing this morning's presentation!"

"A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Eppes."

Alan shook hands with the new client as well.

"Thank you for flying in, Mr. Ashtari. I think you'll find we've packed a lot of good information into your day with us, so if you'd like to take a seat, we can get started."

"That would be excellent, thank you."

They settled their client into a seat and Alan took his place up at the front of the meeting room.

"As you'll see in my presentation, our software won't just meet your needs, it will be easier and faster to learn and use for your employees and I'm here to tell you why."

8:15AM

"Now when I pass back your papers I want you to take special notice of the marks I made as to which cursive letters you need more practice on. Most of you had trouble with capital Gs, so for today we're going to practice G and a few other capital letters in cursive that are harder to get right."

Rocio kicked his chair legs as he waited for the teacher to bring his paper to him. Penmanship wasn't his favorite subject, but he was pleased to see he'd gotten a B+.

The dreaded capital G glared back at him in red though so he pulled out his lined paper and got ready for another practice session.

His tongue ran over the empty space where his two front teeth used to be. His mom promised the new ones would grow in soon, but it couldn't hurt to practice whistling with them gone to at least enjoy them while they were missing.

He pursed his lips and almost blew when he saw his teacher walking back towards him to give someone else their paper back.

Recess, he should practice at recess.

8:30AM

Elena was paying attention to the sentence diagrams the teacher was writing on the board, at least until her friend Cheyenne poked her to pass her a note.

At first Elena tried to ignore it; she'd gotten in trouble for passing notes before and didn't want to be embarrassed in front of the class, but then Cheyenne just stuffed it in her back pocket.

She looked around, but no one seemed to have noticed.

The teacher's back was turned, at least for a while longer, so she pulled it out surreptitiously and read it, grumbling inside at having to indulge her friend mid-class.

'OMG Todd Mayhew just smiled at me! Did you see that?'

Rolling her eyes, Elena shoved it back in her pocket. Boys. How stupid.

8:45AM

Billy raised his gun and fired six shots in rapid succession then smacked the red button to bring the paper target forward.

"You up for recertification too?" Colby asked, walking up to Billy with a nod of greeting.

"Happens to the best of us," Billy drawled.

Colby turned to the paper target and raised his eyebrows at it. Three holes were perfectly placed in center mass and three holes were accurately in the center of the headshot zone.

"Apparently you already are the best of us," Colby intoned. "So why are you out here practicing?"

Billy sent a fresh target out and loaded up a new clip, slamming it home with a metallic click.

"Because practicing ensures I don't get dead."

9:00AM

Charlie finished grading the last of his papers, the bedspread covered in white sheets with red pen over them. He'd really have to come up with a better system than laying them out over the rumpled bed, but it wasn't exactly Billy's fault the bed wasn't made when he left.

He stretched and yawned and pulled his sweatshirt off on the way to the shower. He had just enough time to wash his hair and maybe enough time for it to air dry before he had to teach.

He'd have to have a talk with Millie about pushing his 10AM class back next year. It was just too early.

He could probably come up with some equations to show his 3:30PM class did so much better because they weren't all half asleep or twitchy with caffeine while he was lecturing.

Of course they'd all be twitchy in someone else's 10AM class, but that wasn't his problem.

9:30AM

"Cooper, William!" The Bureau's gun recertification process was brief, but regimented. "Present your service weapon for inspection."

Billy brought his gun forward, disassembled it and laid it out for the agent in charge of recertification to inspect. After a moment he got a nod to reassemble it.

Billy did so, snapping a clip into place and cocking it, removing the safety, but holding it in the prescribed safe manner.

"Step forward to stall 3 and prepare to fire on command."

Billy put on his safety glasses and hearing protection and got into his stance.

"Six head shots." Billy took the shots, aiming carefully yet not too quickly. "Proceed to stall 4 and fire two head shots and four center mass shots." Billy completed that task. "Proceed to stall 5 for three head shots and three center mass shots." Billy reloaded, changed stalls, and fired the final shots requested. Lowering his gun he waited for the agent to retrieve his targets.

All three buttons were hit and Billy stood back so they could be reviewed.

"All six, all six, all six." The agent pulled the three targets down and put them aside. "Congratulations, Agent Cooper. You get to keep your gun."

10:00AM

"Professor Eppes!"

Regina waved him down just as he was gathering up his lecture notes.

"Yes, Regina?"

"I hit a snag in my thesis and I'm considering a new take on my attack. Can you spare me a half hour during office hours to go over what I'm looking at changing? I don't want to go off on a tangent only to find out I'm wasting my time."

Charlie checked his watch. "Actually, do you have time right after class? That would be better for me than during office hours."

"Sure, I'd just need to run out to my car to get my notebooks."

"That'd be fine. We'll meet in my office once you've got your materials."

"Thanks!"

Regina went and took a seat and Charlie cleared his voice to address the class.

"Okay, let's get started. Now having graded your papers I can tell we're going to need to spend more time on Perfect Bayesian equilibrium as it relates to imperfect information games."

10:30AM

Cheyenne wouldn't stop talking about Todd so Elena avoided her at recess, looking around for something else to do. The tetherballs were all taken and she was getting too old for swings.

If only Cheyenne hadn't been so stupid about Todd, they could be playing cat's cradle right now and she could show off all the cool designs Charlie taught her how to make in string.

"Elena!" A voice called out to her and she looked over to find Samantha, Ji-Ju and Eli with a ball standing by the foursquare lines on the playground. "Come play with us!" Eli called.

"We need a fourth person!" Ji-Ju joined in as Samantha beckoned.

Elena dashed over, smiling.

"I'll play!"

As the two girls took their place in the first and second squares, Eli stood back so Elena could have the third square, taking the fourth one for himself.

"Hey, Elena," Eli said, a little shyly.

"Hey," Elena said back, tucking her hair behind her ear as she flashed him a smile.

Boys could be dumb, but Eli wasn't bad.

11:00AM

Billy slid into the back booth at the diner, gesturing to the waitress.

"Two coffees, thanks." The man across the table from him looked around as if afraid of being seen. "Relax, Bennie. It's not like I have a big gold star on my forehead that says I'm a cop or something."

Benito huffed. "And I don't have a bull's-eye painted on my back that says I'm a rat."

"No, but if anyone wants to see Jorge Almeida back in prison it's the man he put two bullets in so I'm guessing that's why you called me."

"You didn't hear this from me," Benito whispered. "But word is that he's been making a play for Crystal Campos. Taking her out, buying her crap..."

"What, you think he's trying to get close so he can take out old man Campos and take over the family business?"

"That's what I'd do," Benito said. "You know, if I wasn't a law abiding citizen."

"Right…" Billy smirked. "You're definitely an upstanding citizen."

"So…" Benito leaned in. "That ten grand reward still good? Because if it is, I can tell you where Crystal's going to be meeting up with Jorge this weekend."

"For information leading to the capture of one Jorge Luis Almeida? You bet the reward's still good. Only the information has to be officially from you to cash in."

"Damn, I knew there was a catch."

"I tell you what," Billy offered, holding his tongue while the waitress brought their coffee. "I'll conveniently neglect to file the paperwork until after Jorge's behind bars. That work for you?"

Benito nodded, satisfied. "Pleasure doing business with you, Coop."

11:30AM

"Good morning, Harold."

Magda put her purse down on the dry cleaner's counter to fish out her claim tickets.

"Morning, Magda." Harold leaned up against the counter, clearly in no hurry. "How are the kids?"

"A handful as always," she said with a smile, handing over the tickets.

"Tyrell!" Harold yelled back to his son. "Come get Ms. Pena her things." He handed off the tickets to his son who set about plucking the bagged clothes off the conveyor. "So," he said, turning back to Magda. "There's another Scrabble tournament at the end of the month - the last Saturday. Think you might make it?"

"I might be able to squeeze it in," she replied playfully. "I haven't been getting much practice in at home and I could use a few rounds."

"Free play starts at 2 and the tournament starts at 3:30!" Harold told her. "You should come!"

"Here you go, Ms. Pena." Tyrell handed her the items. "Do you want these on your account?"

"Yes. Thanks, Tyrell."

"You're welcome, Ma'am."

Magda turned to Harold with a wink. "Such a good boy, your son. I may have to send you my Rocio for training!"

Harold just laughed. "I got enough gray hairs from this one! You take care now, you hear?"

12:00PM

"Hello."

"Hey, buddy. You got a minute?"

Charlie checked his watch. "Sure, if I give you one I'll still have 59 for lunch."

"Ha," Don laughed over the phone. "How about I ask you for a couple of hours then? We got a break in the case, but we could use some help. We tossed Hazim Al-Jabbar's apartment after our warrant came through and he's definitely gone, but we found a wiped hard drive. The techs were able to reconstruct the drive, but we can't make anything out of the data. They found a big spreadsheet of numbers with no headings. I was hoping you could take a look at it, see if you can tell us anything about it?"

"Sure. Let me grab something from the cafeteria real quick and I'll take it back to my office. Have Matt upload the file to my folder on the FBI server and I'll download it to my laptop in about ten minutes. I'll see if I can come up with an approach to reveal some meta data that might give you some leads."

"Thanks," Don said. "Keep me posted."

12:30PM

As soon as the bell rang for lunch Rocio dashed for the cafeteria and claimed a good table, putting his jacket on a second chair to save it as he pulled his lunch out of his backpack.

"Rocio!" Rocio waved his best friend Malik over, moving his jacket aside so his friend could sit with him. "What have you got today?" Malik asked, opening up his own lunch.

"I don't know," he admitted. "I was busy looking for my P.E. stuff when my mom packed my lunch." He dumped out the contents of the nylon lunch bag onto the table, looking at what he had. "Tuna fish sandwich, goldfish crackers, a tangerine and a brownie."

"I'll trade you…" Malik looked in his bag again. "How about a banana for your brownie."

"No way!" Rocio retorted. "My mom makes killer brownies." He smirked. "But I'll trade you my tangerine for your banana."

"Done!" The two made the exchange.

"Here…" Rocio unwrapped the brownie and broke off a piece for Malik. "You can have some of it."

1:00PM

David picked up another eggroll and put it on his plate.

"So did Granger make a fool of himself at recertification?" he teased.

"You better believe it," Billy joked. "He dropped his clip on the floor, hung his target upside down the first time and then ended up shooting it in the groin when they told him to do center mass."

David laughed out loud as Colby poked at his beef chow fun.

"None of that is true," he told his partner.

"Maybe not," Don chimed in. "But I have seen guys so flustered they put their target up upside down."

"Seriously?" David laughed again. "Man, how out of it do you have to be to not notice the head's pointing towards the ground?"

"All I can say is, I still have my gun, so clearly I'm good enough." Colby cocked his head and stole the last eggroll off the plate.

"That's code for he did well, but didn't beat Coop's high score," Megan interpreted.

"What can I say?" Billy bragged. "No junior agent's going to show me up on the range."

1:30PM

Charlie exited the elevators at the FBI and headed for where he saw his brother in the war room. The case files were spread out before him and Charlie got him to look up by greeting him with a brief hand on his shoulder.

"Hey, buddy. You got something for us?" Don asked, returning the greeting with a brief pat of his own on Charlie's arm.

"Definitely." He pulled out his laptop and hooked it to the screen so Don could see his display. He brought up a spreadsheet first, filled with samples of the data he had analyzed. "I don't have all the fields yet, but I can tell you what some of the key fields are."

"Okay, hit me."

Charlie brought up a second document, a listing, for reference. "They're types of munitions, mostly small explosives like cluster bombs, but also ammunition for automatic rifles and RPG launchers. They're not using strictly United States munition codes so I discerned that one of the other fields is the supplying country of origin."

Don leaned forward in his chair, paying close attention. "So if they're from Russian, they'd call RPGs something other than RPGs."

"Exactly, so we have fields that have to do with country of origin, type of munition, supply, availability and price. Don, it's not a shopping list of things they want to buy, it's what they have available for sale."

"So they're not terrorists looking to do damage," Don mused, "they're more arms suppliers."

"Or suppliers to the arms dealers, to be more precise," Charlie corrected. "Nothing they're selling are actual guns - no actual RPG launchers, just the grenades themselves."

"Your one stop ammo shop for the well outfitted terrorist in LA," Don huffed. "Good job, Charlie. Do you think if I give you data on known arms dealers you can do some of your social network analysis math and find us some connections?"

Charlie beamed. "I love it when you remember what the math is called."

Don laughed, rising. "Keep working on me! I'll be able to describe one of those moebius things someday!"

2:00PM

"Hey, there's my favorite genius!"

Billy strode into Don's war room and bent down to give a kiss to Charlie, who greeted him, tipping up his head to accept the kiss then flashing him a pleased little smile.

"Hey… I thought you were out in the field."

"I was, but while I was out there I caught a whiff of something that relates to Don's case."

"This Al-Jabbar thing?"

"Yeah. There are a few guys in LA you go to when you want to get out of town, like when the cops are hot on your tail and you can't just hop a plane or waltz across the border? Anyway, I went to talk to an informant about a new fugitive who's probably trying to skip out and he told me he might have information on who Al-Jabbar is using to smuggle him out of California. Which, in informant talk, means he knows and won't cough up the info without wads of cash."

"What makes you think the guy he sends you to will give up the info on Al-Jabbar? Isn't it in his best interest as a businessman to keep quiet about his clientele? I mean economically speaking he'd see his business suffer if word got out that he shared private information."

"Oh, I have faith your brother and I can get him to talk," Billy said with a smirk. "One thing you left out of your equation, Professor? The law. He's not a businessman, he's a crook and he'd much rather see his clients suffer than suffer behind bars himself."

He slipped his hands over Charlie's shoulders, giving them a squeeze.

"Oh, that feels good." Charlie leaned into the touch. "Five minutes?"

Billy started kneading Charlie's shoulders as Charlie let his head hang down, making contented little noises.

"You've got until your brother shows up and busts us," Billy joshed. "And when he does, I'll claim I'm just trying to keep the Bureau's best consultant happy."

Charlie tilted his head back to give Billy a blissful smile.

"Ah, but you do it so well."

2:30PM

"Okay, people!" Don went to the front of the war room, gesturing for everyone's attention. "Now we have a few new leads to work here. Charlie's equations have narrowed down the list of local arms dealers who might have had dealings with Al-Jabbar and his crew. Megan, I want you to work with ATF. Show them our list and see what they've got they can share. Offer them a joint bust if they've got really good intel. David and Colby, I want you guys running down the last known locations on anyone known to work with these dealers. Find them, find the dealers. I'm taking Billy to run down a lead on Al-Jabbar himself, so call my cell if anything comes up. Let's go!"

He waved them out and then gestured to Billy. "I'll be ready to leave to meet with your informant in a couple of minutes. Meet you at the elevators?"

"You got it," Billy replied. He waited around as Charlie packed up his things, helping him gather up all the files, earning an appreciative smile for his efforts.

"You know, for once I won't be late for my 3:30 class," Charlie mused.

"Oh, now that you've said that you're going to hit traffic," Billy warned.

"Crud…" Charlie's face fell. "Okay, so I won't be as late for class."

"Don't jinx yourself more than you already have," Billy teased, leading him out of the war room with a hand at the small of his back, rubbing lightly. "Just drive careful. Your students - and I - would rather you be late then have something happen to keep you from showing up at all."

"I'll be careful." Charlie slipped an arm around Billy's waist and they shared a lingering goodbye kiss.

"Get a room," they heard Don josh playfully, coming up behind them and hitting the elevator call button. "Oh wait, you've got a whole house."

Billy chuckled. "That joke just keeps getting funnier each time you tell it," he mocked.

Don smirked as he held the elevator door open for them to enter as well.

"At least be smart like me," Don gloated, winking. "I know all the security camera blind spots."

3:00PM

Magda pulled up in front of the kids' school and waited as they got in the car.

"How was school today?"

"I got an A on my report!" Elena exclaimed with pride.

"Good for you, Mija!"

"I got eight baskets in basketball during P.E.! Eight!" Rocio held up eight fingers so his mother could see them in the rearview mirror.

"Wow! That's a lot!" Magda enthused. "You both buckled up?"

"Yes, Mom."

"Hold on, my door's not closed all the way." Rocio's small hands worked the door open and then closed it again harder. "Okay!"

"Do you want to see my report?" Elena asked, brandishing it in the backseat.

"When we get home," Magda answered.

"I beat Malik in handball twice today at recess," Rocio gloated. "I would have beat him a third time, but the bell rang."

"You're getting really good at handball," Magda told him, turning carefully onto the main street. "But remember, if you win too many times in a row Malik might not enjoy playing with you anymore."

"That's okay," Rocio told her. "He wins a lot too. And we play because it's fun. Why would anyone play if it wasn't fun?"

Magda smirked.

"That's a good question, Mijo."

3:30PM

Charlie rushed into the lecture hall, satchel over his shoulder, notes in one hand and a coffee in the other.

"Afternoon, everyone! We'll get started in just a minute!"

He went to put his things on the desk and heard a voice by the door.

"Charles?"

"Larry!" Holding up a finger to his class he headed back for the door. "Yes, what do you need?"

"If you're available for a moment after your lecture would you be willing to make a brief appearance at my office? I have a proposition about a new avenue of exploration based on your latest equations and I would greatly benefit from a second set of eyes - or to be more precise a second set of eyes connected to a brain familiar with supersymmetry - to audit my approach to help ascertain its potential value."

Charlie patted his friend on the arm.

"Yes, of course. I'll pop by after class."

"Many thanks."

Larry withdrew and Charlie headed back to his address his students, rubbing his hands together.

"Okay, today we're going to be revisiting Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations…"

4:00PM

"I have to leave to catch my plane, but today has been most informative! I appreciate all the effort you went to on my account."

"Not at all," Kath told him. "We look forward to doing business with you."

"Travel safely," Alan said as they did a final round of shaking hands.

Thirty seconds after Mr. Ashtari left their offices both Kath and Alan fell into chairs with loud sighs.

"He so needs to spend a lot of money on our software customizations," Kath intoned. "Dog and pony shows like that do not come cheap."

"Not for you," Alan teased, grinning. "Me, I get paid whether he decides to buy or not."

"Just for that," Kath taunted in return, both of them clearly joshing. "I'm booking your next client meeting at 7AM."

4:30PM

"What do you think, Coop? I've got a few friends at the local TV news stations. We could get them out for a perp walk in time for the 5PM news, right?"

Billy smirked at Don. "Plenty of time. In fact, we could invite them here to Alberto's fine establishment to make sure they get his front - I mean his business name in the footage."

"You've got nothing to arrest me for!" Alberto spat out.

"Oh, we don't even need to arrest you," Don gloated. "We just tell them we're taking someone into custody for questioning on a terrorist plot…"

"And there goes your whole income sneaking criminals out of the area." Billy made a gesture like a magician making something disappear. "Poof."

"If I give up a client, I still have no business," Alberto countered.

"So Al-Jabbar's already been here then," Don mused.

"I never said that."

"No, but if he hadn't you'd swear you'd never heard of him and send us on our way," Billy pointed out. "Since you didn't, you have to know we're going to tie him to you anyway."

"And terrorism isn't just 5-7 in a minimum security prison."

"We're talking hard time - maximum security," Billy said, playing off Don to ratchet up the tension.

"More likely the Gitmo treatment," Don added. "I mean, the government has to be sure we know all you know about terrorists."

"And how can we ever be sure?"

"Fine!" Alberto shrank back. "If - and this is a big if - you knew he was going to show up in front of my shop at nine tonight? You could pull over his car on the way here, like a half mile away? So he didn't know it was me who gave him up?"

"That might be doable," Don hedged. "If we have good info on what car he's going to be driving."

Alberto grabbed a piece of paper and scratched out some writing on it before shoving it across the table to Don.

"Not a pleasure doing business with you," he grumbled, clearly sarcastic. "Please don't come again."

5:00PM

Charlie dropped off his satchel at home then headed across the breezeway to Casa Rojo to find the kids hanging out in the living room with Alan.

"Hey, Pop. Hey, kids."

"Charlie!" Elena got up and pulled him by the hand over to her books. "Help me pick out a project for the science fair!"

"Okay." He settled down on the couch with her, glancing across to where Alan was helping Rocio with his cursive homework.

"No see, the capital G has that little loop right there."

"I keep forgetting it," Rocio complained.

"Well, let's work just on the loop for a bit then."

Magda came out of the kitchen drying her hands on a dishtowel.

"I've got dough for fresh tortillas rising now. What are the chances Billy's going to be home on time today?" she asked Charlie.

"Actually pretty good. He's chasing down new leads, but he texted me about an hour ago that they shouldn't go anywhere tonight so I'd say he'll be home for dinner by six."

"Good, because fajitas - as good as mine are - aren't good cold." She came to peer over Charlie's shoulder at the book on his lap. "Hydroponics? Oh please, no making my daughter into a pot farmer before she's ten." As Alan opened his mouth, she wagged a warning finger at him. "Not a word Mr. 60s Hippie!" she teased.

"So much for free love," he joshed wryly.

"My love is free," she fired back. "But my fajitas won't be if you teach the kids any hippie pot slang."

"That's okay, the kids are teaching me what you say in Spanish under your breath all the time."

"Ha!" she said. "If the kids knew that they'd have already taught Billy. God knows he's tried to bribe them enough times for it."

5:30PM

Billy was changing lanes on the freeway on the way home when his Bluetooth headset told him he had a call.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Red."

His voice softened as a smile graced his face.

"Hey back. What's up?"

"Magda wanted to be sure you'd be home by six. She's making fajitas."

"Yeah, I should be there by then. I'm in the car now."

"Oh, and do you know anyone who knows anything about hydroponics?"

"Other than pot farmers?"

Charlie paused a second. "I don't suggest mentioning pot farming in front of Magda."

Billy laughed. "Then no, I don't. Only felons."

"Crud. I told Elena I'd help her find a resource for her science project, but the botany expert at Cal Sci is incredibly annoying. She has this screechy voice and she always wants to talk about math in plants…"

"I thought you liked giving that daisy speech."

"I do! But she ruins it every time by interrupting!"

"I'm sure we can find her another hydroponics person. After all Cal Sci isn't the only university in all of Southern California."

"Ha ha," Charlie mock laughed. "So, did you blow them all away during the recertification?"

"No, because blowing them away in this case means you failed miserably and would be up on multiple murder charges," Billy joked. "I just shot the targets better than anyone else."

"My hero," Charlie drawled.

6:00PM

Billy parked his SUV in the driveway and headed inside, the aroma of Magda's cooking making his stomach rumble appreciatively. Fajitas were definitely one of his favorites.

"Hi honey, I'm home," he joked as he walked in.

"You're late," Magda scolded lightly, carrying the tortilla holder. "A whole minute late. Truly you don't appreciate my cooking."

"I'll bow and scrape before you later," Billy joshed. "Right after I kiss someone hello. Hello…" He bent to kiss Charlie, already sitting at the dining room table before taking his seat at the head of the table next to him.

"I did tell her you'd be here by six," Charlie apologized.

Billy leaned over, whispering in a mock conspiratorial tone. "Remind me to set all the clocks back five minutes then."

"I heard that!" Magda's voice came in from the kitchen.

"She hears everything," Rocio whispered across the table.

"I heard that too!" Magda appeared with a steaming and sizzling iron skillet of fajitas, placing it in the center of the table on a trivet. "Dinner is served!"

6:30PM

"So Alan…" Billy pushed back from the table, well stuffed. "Have you decided what you want to do for your birthday?"

"I think I'd like to do a backyard barbeque," Alan said. "I had been planning on asking Donnie to grill some rib eye, but now I've got Magda's fajitas on the brain and I kind of want her cooking now."

"Split the difference," Billy suggested. "Have Magda marinate some carne asada and have Don handle the grilling of it."

"Ooh, now that sounds like a meeting of two culinary minds!"

"That works for me," Magda said, nodding.

"We can do a nice condiment bar," Charlie suggested. "Fresh shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pico de gallo…"

"I can make the tortillas!" Elena chimed in. "Mom showed me how!"

"I want to help!"

"We'll find something for you to do, Rocio," Charlie assured him.

"Since I need the time right before the party to go pick my Mom up and bring her here, I'll get the grill ready this weekend," Billy said. "Someone has to make sure we're not low on propane."

"That was only once!" Charlie protested.

"Three times," Alan coughed into his hand before cracking a smile.

"Don't campaign for the job," Billy warned Charlie, reaching a hand into his hair affectionately, enjoying the feel of Charlie turning into his touch. "It means cleaning the grill too."

"In that case…" Charlie gestured with a gracious flourish. "Be my guest."

7:00PM

"Elena, it's time for you to get in the shower."

"In a minute!"

"Rocio, are you done with your math homework yet?"

"Yeah, can I read my book report book in the living room?"

"Not if the TV's on."

"But I won't watch it!"

"Then you won't miss it."

"Mom!"

"You can read in your room or in the dining room."

"Can I read at Charlie's?"

"You'd have to ask Charlie or Billy that."

Rocio went and buzzed the intercom and waited for a response.

"Hey."

"It's Rocio. Can I come over and read my homework book at your place?"

"Did your mom say it was okay?"

"Yeah."

Charlie's voice sounded doubtful.

"If I call her cell phone will she tell me the same thing?"

"Yeah."

"Then come on over."

"Thanks!"

7:30PM

Billy came down the stairs to find Charlie and Rocio curled up on the couch, both reading books only Rocio was reading something that looked like it had about 60 pages in it and Charlie's weighty tome had about 600 and in much smaller print.

Charlie had his arm around the seven-year-old and Rocio had his head resting against him. They both looked so cozy Billy couldn't figure out where he could fit in.

Charlie looked up and saw him hesitate.

"Scoot over, Rocio. Make room for Billy."

They moved over so Charlie was in the middle of the couch and Billy settled, grabbing a magazine as he did, on Charlie's other side, putting his arm around him as Charlie leaned back against him.

"Advanced Topics in Neurophysiology," Billy read from the book title as his fingers played in Charlie's curls. "So, a little light bedtime reading?"

"It's for my cognitive emergence theory," Charlie said. "I need to beef up my skills on the physiology side of things in order to get the full benefit of the research that's been coming out lately."

"Is this the part where you break it to me gently that you've decided you need a second PhD?" Billy nudged him, smiling.

"Just see if I take you to the conference in London then," Charlie teased back.

"London's rainy," Billy scoffed, opening up his magazine to read. "Find me a conference in Bermuda or Hawaii. Then we'll talk."

8:00PM

"Okay, the dry cleaning and the fresh laundry have been put away." Magda put her hands on her hips and surveyed the living room, checking for anything that needed her attention. "Do you need anything else before we close up house for the night?"

Billy glanced around and waited for Charlie to shake his head. "No, I think we're good. Thanks."

"You might want to take the rug rat with you though," Charlie teased, nudging a yawning Rocio to get up.

"Time for bed, Rocito," Magda said, patting him on the behind. "Say your goodnights."

"Night…" He waved sleepily and Magda smiled on her way out, following her son.

"See you tomorrow."

"Night!" Charlie called after them.

"Night," Billy echoed.

As she left, Magda flipped the switch Billy had had installed when they moved in. Rather than relying on locking the breezeway doors to ensure privacy, they used the intercom system with a light marking whether the house was open for anyone to stop in or if they were in privacy mode, which was every night after a certain point.

Charlie held up his book as he rose off the couch, Billy rising as well. "This reading has sparked some ideas. Do you mind if I head out into the garage to work on them?"

"Chalk time's all part and parcel of the genius deal," Billy leaned down to give him a kiss. "Just don't stay out there too long or I'll have to come drag you out."

"I won't." One more quick kiss and Charlie headed out.

"Take a jacket," Billy called after him, tossing him one from the coat hooks by the door. "It's getting chilly out there."

Charlie caught it and flashed him a smirk as he put it on. "You sound just like your mother when you say that."

8:30PM

"Rocio in bed?" Alan asked as Magda came out and plopped down on the couch beside Elena.

"Finally. I swear the more tired he is the more he fights his bedtime. Damelo!" She took the comb from Elena's hand and started working on teasing the knots out of her daughter's still wet hair. "I swear I'm going to cut all this off if you can't take care of it."

"It gets knotty! It's not my fault!"

"Hush, Mija. The show's back on." Magda watched as her hands worked their way swiftly through the knots in Elena's hair. "This is that show about the people who travel all over the world, right?"

"Yes, they're in Argentina now."

"They have hats like Abuela wears!"

"Maybe we should get Abuela to send you some hats to hide this messy hair of yours."

"No! I like my hair long."

"Then you have to remember to brush it out before you wash it, or else…"

"Ow! You tugged too hard!"

"Maybe now you'll remember to brush it out first."

9:00PM

Electronica blared in his headphones as Charlie moved fluidly from one chalkboard to the next, adapting, refining and adding to his equations.

Despite his fevered activities he noticed a chill in the air and paused to zip up his jacket.

Taking a moment to put down the chalk, he crossed to his desk to write a note on the notepad there.

'Buy sweatshirts and jackets to keep in the garage. Ask Billy to put up a coat rack for them. Ask Magda to make sure they get washed and put back regularly.'

After a pause, he wrote another note.

'Ask Billy and Dad and Magda how they feel about bottled water delivery. Consider putting one in the garage.'

He'd almost gotten back to his chalkboards when he remembered a final one and went back to the pad for a last note.

'Talk to Billy about vacation.'

Putting the pen down, he went back to his chalk, moving with the beat of the music as the math flowed out of him and into existence.

9:15PM

Billy settled at his desk in what used to be Charlie's old bedroom. By mutual agreement they'd left Don's room untouched - wanting him to always be welcome to visit, to feel at home - but after remodeling the master bedroom for them to live in they redid Charlie's old bedroom as Billy's office. Unofficially Charlie had no office, but he had desks in the garage, basement and solarium, so it seemed fair to give Billy somewhere that was his to keep his computer and such.

Opening up a web browser he headed to his favorite travel site.

There were a myriad of vacation advertisements and he clicked on a number that looked good: tropical islands mostly, some ski resorts and a European tour or two. They were fine, but not special enough.

Discouraged, he typed a word into a search engine and reviewed the results offered to him. One in particular caught his eye and his lips curled up in a hint of a smile as he clicked on the link.

'Once in a Lifetime: For the most memorable and unique honeymoon vacations in the world.'

Now these were trips that would truly impress Charlie. He clicked on the link to have a full color booklet mailed out and filled out the form with his mother's name and address at the nursing home.

She loved getting mail, enjoyed being in on the secret trip planning with him and he was definitely asking her advice on where to take Charlie, who was already well traveled enough that the normal vacation spots had become mundane to him. She'd been getting into it lately: spending time with the maps and atlases in the nursing home's well stocked library, even showing him obscure locations she'd found on their large freestanding globe. Between his online searches and her research he was sure to find a place worthy to take his Charlie.

9:30PM

"Tea?"

Alan blinked behind his glasses and put his crossword puzzle aside to accept a steaming cup of tea from Magda.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Magda curled up on the sofa with her own tea and her knitting.

"It's always so nice and quiet after the kids go to bed."

"It is," Alan agreed, sipping the soothing herbal tea. "They wear me out, but it's the good kind of tired, you know? I mean, I was afraid I wouldn't end up hearing the pitter patter of little feet, given my sons' apparently inability to produce any grandchildren, so I'm glad to have Rocio and Elena. They make me feel young again."

"They adore you," Magda said fondly. "But they can be a handful. They even make me tired and I'm their mother!"

"What are you working on this time?" he asked, pointing to her knitting.

"I made Jefe a green sweater last year and I've noticed Charlie stealing it a lot so I'm making a second one."

"So they'll have a Billy sized one and a Charlie sized one?"

"No, it's Billy sized," Magda said. "Because I know Charlie only steals it because it is Billy's. This way he can steal it and Billy will still have one to wear." She leaned forward, pretending to whisper. "Don't tell them, but I'm going to campaign for them to wear them for our annual holiday pictures."

Alan chuckled. "Good luck! Margaret and I tried for years to get Donnie and Charlie to wear matching clothes for our holiday pictures. I think it lasted until Charlie was three and Don - at eight - was too wise to let anyone dress him like a toddler."

"I have a back up plan," Magda said, pulling another project out of her knitting basket. "A Charlie sized version - in Hanukkah blue."

"Smart woman," Alan said, nodding his approval.

Magda cocked her head at the compliment.

"Why thank you."

9:45PM

The clack and clatter of chalk met his ears when Billy made his way to the garage. It was indeed chilly out there and he was glad he'd made Charlie take a coat. It occurred to him he should probably ask Magda to make sure Charlie had some extra coats out there, although she'd probably use that as a reason to make him a new sweater as well.

Leaning against the door frame he watched for a moment, enjoying the view of Charlie's agile body moving between boards, writing ardently, lost in the beat of his headphones and the rhythm of the math in his mind.

After a few minutes though he stilled, stepping back to survey his work.

Billy knew this was the ideal time to step in: as one line of thought wound down and before the next one caught on.

He flicked the light switch - their agreed upon signal so he wouldn't startle Charlie coming up behind him - and made his way across the room to wrap his arms around Charlie's waist from behind as Charlie plucked his ear buds from his ears, flashing him a quick smile.

"Decay channels for synapses?" Billy asked, surveying the equations as if he knew what they meant. He slipped his arms just under Charlie's t-shirt, tugging him back against his body, enjoying the warm skin against his.

Charlie just laughed. "It cracks me up how you can throw two or three random words together from math, physics and neurobiology and make it sound like it's real science."

"Hey, one of these days I'll guess something that actually exists!" Billy said with a chortle. "By the way, your brother called. They picked up Hazim Al-Jabbar tonight. He's already spilling, trying to cut a deal."

"They got him! That's great," Charlie enthused.

"Oh, and Don said since the case is wrapping up he is going to be able to come for brisket tomorrow night. He'll bring Robin if she gets off work in time."

"Good." Charlie laid his arms over Billy's, leaning back into him as they looked at the boards together. "So, is this the part where you offer me an incentive to leave the garage?" he teased.

Billy nuzzled his face into Charlie's neck, brushing his lips against his skin. "Now why would I want to distract a genius from a breakthrough in," he paused, trying to come up with a new random word phrase, "neuro-psycholinguistic patterning?"

Charlie laughed again. "I think that one might actually be real!" He turned around in Billy's arms, letting his hands rest on Billy's broad chest. "There are some good movies on the DVR. Can I lure you away to watch one with me?"

Billy leaned down for a relaxed kiss.

"Lure away."

10:00PM

Magda finished emptying the dishwasher and then hand dried the last of the bigger items that wouldn't fit, putting them away before surveying the kitchen one last time.

Everything was neat and tidy just how she liked it.

She crossed over to the corkboard and made a few notes on the grocery list.

'Carne asada and condiments, soda, beer, trash bags, paper napkins.'

On her To Do list she added a few items as well.

'Birthday cards for Alan, take Lillian shopping, update the Netflix queue.'

Checking the next month on the calendar, she made a final note.

'Ask Jefe about plans for Gerald's birthday.'

Putting the pen back in its proper holder she dusted her hands off, more figuratively than literally since she had no dust in either of the houses she took care of, and headed out of the kitchen for the night, shutting off the light with a sense of satisfaction.

10:15PM

Charlie and Billy were settled against the pillows in the master bedroom watching their movie on TV. Charlie was sprawled comfortably over Billy, head on his chest and an arm wrapped around his waist.

"They don't make Bond movies like they used to," he complained. "Bond used to be suave and smooth and didn't care if anyone thought he was an ass…"

"You're just saying that because Daniel Craig does nothing for you," Billy teased, carding fingers through Charlie's curls lazily as they watched.

"Well, if they had a ginger Bond next…" Charlie joked, pressing a kiss to Billy's t-shirt covered chest.

"They can't even manage a ginger Doctor Who," Billy tossed back, feeling his way for the remote. He paused the movie, letting the room fall into silence.

"What can I say, there just needs to be more of us into redheads." Charlie pulled Billy down with him so Billy was hovering over him, hands starting to roam over his body.

"It's a good thing there's not more of us into curly-headed geniuses," Billy said, mouth dragging down Charlie's throat into the open collar of his shirt. "Because there's a serious shortage of them."

"Oh really?" Charlie tugged Billy's shirt over his head. "Then you might want to grab yourself one while you can."

"That's just what I had in mind," Billy rumbled as he unbuttoned Charlie's shirt. "One rain check, coming right up…"

10:30PM

Magda logged into her Ravelry account and created a new post on her knitting blog. She'd taken some new pictures of her latest projects and had been looking forward to uploading them.

She'd gotten some wonderful comments on the airy mohair shawl she'd made for Lillian. She'd needed a lighter weight shawl for California and the variegated purple yarn had made a lovely piece.

The first one of Alan's new socks was done so she uploaded the picture, writing a blurb about how she'd adapted the pattern and where she'd found the lovely tweedy brown yarn she'd used.

Checking out her post, she submitted it then checked it again to make sure it published all right.

She cruised a few of the yarn sales, checked out some new patterns - scoffing at the prices some people were charging for them and commented on a few of her online knitting friends' new projects.

There was a lovely beret in a delicate leaf pattern she fell for at first sight. It wasn't cold that many days in Pasadena in the winter, but it would look really lovely over her dark hair, especially in a nice shade of green to match her coat. It came with patterns for mittens - which she'd probably never use, though they could be useful for gifts - and a gorgeous scarf in the same leaf pattern only more sinuous, snaking its way across the scarf rather than in a straight line.

The pattern was ten dollars, but Magda clicked to buy it anyway. She deserved a little treat once in a while.

10:45PM

Charlie and Billy lay entwined, breathing still coming back to normal as fatigue set in.

"Can it rain again tomorrow?" Charlie teased.

"Who needs rain?" Billy joshed back.

"Well, I could call you rainmaker."

"Beats rainman!"

"Oh, don't even bring up that movie! Don tormented me for weeks after that, claiming he was going to drag me to Vegas and call me that in front of everyone."

"Your brother is a cruel man."

"More like greedy. He knows I could count cards if I wanted to."

"Is that how you win on poker nights, come on, admit it…"

Billy shifted, covering Charlie's body with his own, bringing his mouth down for a lazy round of kisses.

"I admit… Nothing," Charlie said with a wily smile.

"Want to watch the rest of the movie?" Billy asked. "Or do you want me to kiss you until you forget how to play poker?"

"Movie? What movie?" Charlie wrapped his arms around Billy's neck and pulled him down for another round of kisses.

11:00PM

After saying goodnight to Magda, Alan settled into his bedroom. He noticed Magda had picked up the dry cleaning and put it away in his closet for him. It had taken a while to get used to her taking care of all his laundry for him, but Billy had impressed upon him to just let her take care of them. Magda had a lot of pride in her work and she felt like she did a good job in return for what she got from Billy and Charlie: room and board, her small salary and private school for the kids. To deny her the work she did for those things was to deny her her right to provide for her children.

He wandered over to the pictures on top of his dresser and looked over them, nostalgic.

Margaret on their wedding day, Don in his minor league baseball uniform, Charlie in his gown when he got his doctorate… Then there were newer pictures as well: Billy and Charlie, happy with their arms around each other, a group shot of Magda and the kids with Billy and Charlie behind them and a shot of Don and Charlie flanking him on the day he moved into Casa Rojo with Magda and her kids.

In truth he hadn't wanted to keep living with Charlie, but he didn't want to give it up either. And as much as he said he wanted to live alone, he really didn't. So now he was next door to the Craftsman, had dinner there most every night and still saw Charlie all the time, only now his son had privacy to be with this boyfriend and Alan had Magda and the kids to keep him company.

With a final glance and smile at Margaret's picture, he slid into bed and turned out the light for the night.

11:15PM

Warm beneath the covers, Charlie pillowed his head on Billy's bare chest, hand splayed across his stomach as his eyes grew heavy.

Billy reached over and set his alarm for 6:30AM again. One more day and it would be the weekend. He had plenty of party prep to do before Alan's birthday the following Saturday and he was determined to make it a good shindig for all.

He made a mental note to call the landscapers in to do some extra pruning; the hedges were getting a little wild.

He looked down at Charlie, almost asleep on his chest, and rubbed a hand across his back in soothing circles.

"I was thinking," Charlie murmured. "We should look at planning our vacation soon."

Billy smiled. He'd already been doing a lot of planning: ring shopping and coming up with proposal ideas in addition to checking out locations for honeymoons. He hadn't been kidding about grabbing his genius while he could. Charlie was his: he wanted to make it as official as possible.

"Sure, we can talk vacations at some point, but first sleep." He pressed a kiss to Charlie's curls.

"Sleep… I like that idea," Charlie murmured, nestling closer.

Billy turned off the light and let his eyes fall closed, his arms naturally around Charlie even as they began to fall asleep.

"You always like that idea," Billy managed, already drowsy, giving Charlie one last affectionate squeeze in his arms. "But that's okay because I like being your pillow, sleepyhead."

11:30PM

Magda finished up the additions to her to do list for the next day, adding a note to look for yarn for her new beret and scarf along with a reminder to find a local store that sold hydroponics supplies.

She was in bed by the time the late night show monologue started and she watched it from bed, brushing out her hair, laughing a little at the jokes.

Slipping between the sheets she let out a long exhalation. She'd put in a good long day and her eyes were already droopy and ready for sleep.

She managed to turn the TV off with the remote and shut off her bedside lamp.

As sleep quickly swept in to claim her, her last thought was wondering what color sweaters would look good on Alan and Don.

Hanukkah was coming and there were only so many knitting hours in a day.

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 17th, 2009 11:29 am (UTC)
Confession
More Harborverse!

And finally it's a sequel!

This was supposed to be a little ficcy niblet to hold SHH readers over until the inevitable proposal, wedding and honeymoon (and porn) fic, but it ended up a bloody 10K long!

/headdesk/

I blame my Libra need for structure and balance. And well, Mel and T for wanting more than the first draft offered. ;-)

I had the morning in 15 minute intervals, the afternoon in one hour intervals and the evening in half hour intervals. And then it grew. So now I have pre-9AM in 15 minute intervals, post-9PM in 15 minute intervals and 9-9 in half hour intervals.

And of course Magda is first up and last to bed. /hums She Works Hard for the Money/

But she finally gets a last name! Since she kind of reminds me of Elizabeth Pena (who I can't use because she was a guest star in Assassin) I gave her the name Magda Pena Vargas. Her kids are Elena Torres Pena and Rocio Torres Pena. So if I'm getting the Spanish naming construction correct, she'd be addressed as Ms. Pena and the kids would be enrolled in school under their father's last name, Torres. (Since Magda's divorced she no longer uses the Torres name herself.) I've never set an age for Magda, but she's not super far off from Billy - just enough years so that they aren't exactly peers.

The term Perfect Bayesian equilibrium is real and anyone who has watched the show enough knows they've talked about imperfect information games in game theory.

Cool designs for cat's cradle. Enough said.

Ravelry is indeed a big site for knitters. I feel my resolve crumbling against all the knitters in my life and fear by this time next year I will be assimilated. ;-)

Apologies for any gaffes in my Spanish. I studied French instead. /shrugs/

I confess this fic wasn't very SHHy when I first started working on it, but the universe did finally come back to me and I think the fic fits in much better now. There's a wonderful sweetness about the Harborverse I wasn't sure how to capture without the Harbor House location, but it's there - it lives in Billy/Charlie and in Magda and her kids. And it lives in you, the SHH readers. /appreciates you all/

Bonus! uld_numb3rs chose the Harborverse for today's (as I'm typing this) entry in her fanwork Advent Calendar! Go check it out by clicking on the 17 on her post. Yay! It's a little like having bigbang cover art! /is chuffed/

Very special thanks to betas t_vo0810 and melissima for their assistance with this fic.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
uld_numb3rsuld_numb3rs on December 17th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
You're welcome dear.

I love this 'chapter' of Harbor'verse. A lovely universe. Too bad that not really happen in the tv show...

I'm waiting impatiently for more of your work!
:3
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 17th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
ACK! Don't have time to read. Will come back. Promise. Promise. Promise.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 17th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the bad timing! It's a long one (10K) so I know it's not quick enough to fit in. It will be here when you are ready! :-)
devon99 on December 17th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
I may well have squeed when I read your message sweetie:) I love that you came back to this verse so quickly. So lovely, full of warmth and just a great big squishy hug of a fic that wraps itself around you and gives you a little squeeze.

Thanks sweetpea ♥
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 17th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Yay! I hoped it would brighten your day to hear about this. :-) I'm so glad you like this universe. It made me happy to think of having more to share with you.

And speaking of quickly, I'm writing the proposal fic *right now*!

/gives you a little squeeze of a hug too/

t_vo0810: Imp Charliet_vo0810 on December 18th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)

Billy ♥s Charlie
Charlie ♥s Billy
Casa Rojo + The Craftsman= ♥♥♥


I ♥ Emma
boymommytotwoboymommytotwo on December 21st, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
ME TOO!!!

(cool graphic)

~ami
winky3018winky3018 on December 19th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! This is one of my favorite verses and I get so excited whenever you write a new piece to it :D

*hugs*
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on January 27th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
I read it again today. It's like the comfort food of fic. /sigh/ ♥
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 27th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
/hugs you/