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04 May 2010 @ 10:38 pm
Numb3rs Fic: The Announcement of a Lifetime  
Posted to numb3rs_fic
Crossposted to sniper_voodoo


Title: The Announcement of a Lifetime (Companion to swingandswirl's fic Once in a Lifetime)
Pairing/Characters: Don/Robin, Charlie/Ian, Larry, Alan
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Seasons 1-6
Summary: Don invites family and friends over for a big announcement
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


The doorbell kept ringing in the distance as Charlie stood in front of the mirror carefully examining his appearance: bespoke suit, tailored to his exact measurements on his last trip to London; hair tamed in freshly trimmed curls; a smooth shave - a rare indulgence; and the silk tie Ian gave him last Hanukkah. In the time that they'd been together, Ian had never said a single word about converting - and Charlie wouldn't ask him to, given how little attachment he had to the faith he was raised in - yet he'd melded seamlessly into the Eppes family holidays, even Passover, as if he'd always known what to do when. Ian had that ability to make everything he did look effortless. The thought of it made Charlie smile as he straightened his tie once final time.

He could hear Don outside greeting guests as they arrived. The lavish estate, perched atop Malibu's famed cliffs, had been a score - a whole weekend in one of the most gorgeous locales in all of Southern California with a multi-million dollar view of the coastline. That alone was worth celebrating. Robin's lovely lilt floated down the hall as well. She was playing hostess at the bar as the bartender they'd hired mixed drinks for the incoming guests. The staff preparing the repast for afterwards was small, but bustling quietly in the kitchen. Don and Robin worked well as a team; they'd make a great couple. While Charlie knew he and Ian didn't make a couple as nice and easy as his big brother and his girlfriend did, it was what he wanted.

With a long breath and happy thoughts of Ian in his head, Charlie finally turned away from the mirror to go out and join the others in preparation for the big announcement.

+

"This place is really something!" Alan marveled. "I bet you those bathroom fixtures really are gold!"

"I myself am rather enamored of that Japanese soaking tub," Larry responded thoughtfully. "One could manage some rather excellent postulations whilst submerged up to the neck in it."

Charlie navigated the vast living room, picking up snippets of conversation here and there as he worked his way to where Don and Robin stood at one end of the room, their backs to the floor to ceiling French doors, their drapes drawn, barring the view of the sea beyond.

It had taken two tours of the party to greet everyone properly and things were finally settling down. Everyone who could come was already here and it was time to reveal the reason for the gathering.

Ian appeared out of nowhere it seemed and drew up along Charlie's side. They shared a brief glance, a sly smile and then their hands found each other out of habit, fingers intertwining to form a connection between them.

"Nice of you to join us, Chuck," Don teased as they approached. "Time to get this show on the road."

"Most definitely," Ian agreed on their behalf.

Robin bumped Charlie's shoulder in silent greeting and they shared a conspiratorial smile, two out of only a tiny handful of people in the room who knew what was really going on.

Don tapped a wine glass with a fork to get people's attention and waited until the room quieted and all attention turned to him.

"Ladies, Gentlemen, various Doctors and PhDs..." he began to a nice murmur of laughter. "We've asked you here tonight on the premise of a big announcement." He glanced over at Robin briefly. "So here is the announcement you've all been waiting to hear."

Don stepped back and Ian stepped forward, the audience's attention shifting to him with an air of confusion.

"Charlie and I are getting married... Right now."

As the crowd gasped in shock, Robin stepped back and pulled the drapes open, revealing the elaborately decorated terrace outside. She and Don swung open the double French doors, letting in the warm evening sea air.

"Please join us and be our witnesses," Charlie told the crowd, "as we take our vows."

Larry was the first to step forward, the only one in the crowd in on the surprise, and led them all outside, walking all the way up to the ivy covered arbor where he turned to face the crowds.

"I wish to express, in front of all assembled," he stated in his most formal tone, "the honor I feel at having been selected as officiant for this most exceptional of occasions." He bowed his head in thanks, nodding to both Ian and Charlie who settled themselves in front of Larry, facing each other.

There were no chairs - this wouldn't be a long ceremony - but the assembled guests naturally left an aisle like opening down the middle through which Alan walked to the front.

"How? What? Why?" he floundered. "You didn't tell me? I would have helped you plan a wedding!"

"I know, Dad," Charlie said kindly. "But this? Just this? This is what we wanted. No fuss, no stress, just family and friends and a beautiful place to pledge our love."

"Come on, Pop. Let's let them get started." Don took an arm and Robin took the other as they tugged Alan aside at the front of the crowds to watch.

Larry cleared his throat and began to speak.

"Ever since the universe began, subatomic particles have been bonding together to form new life. Such is love: a bringing together of two disparate entities into one new single unit, one whose ties are so strong it takes nuclear fission to separate them. I have been charged with the largely non-scientific task of overseeing the bonding of the molecules of Dr. Charles Edward Eppes and Agent Ian Stephen Edgerton..." He paused, looking fondly at the both of them. "But I think we all already know that bond exists - and has existed - for some time now." After a pause, he continued. "Charles and Ian have written their own vows and would like to share them with those assembled at this time."

Larry stepped back and a silence fell over the terrace.

This was the moment Charlie had been waiting for. His heart pounded in his chest, his mouth went dry and he felt like he might faint with lightheadedness.

But all that was forgotten the moment Ian began to speak.

+

When his turn came, Charlie was tempted to pull the notes from his pocket, but he'd been fierce in his memorization of his vows, wanting desperately to be looking into his lover's eyes when he said them, not head down staring at a crumpled piece of paper.

He squeezed Ian's hands with his own and held them, taking a deep breath to steady himself before he began, gazing up into Ian's emotion-filled eyes.

"Ian... I could go on and on about how when we first met we clashed: you with your foreign sniper mechanics and me with my math 'voodoo', but I want to focus on the best part - the part where we knew there was something unique here, something worth pursuing.

"My father would say you are so not what he expected in a son-in-law and Don would probably say that having someone in law enforcement as a spouse is far from ideal... But you challenged me, Ian! I had never met anyone like you, anyone who thinks like you think and that affected me deeply. I'd always thought I had this amazing mind that no one could understand and for that reason I'd always be alone. But you? You showed me that you had this amazing mind too - one I could never hope to fully plumb the depths of. I realized then it wasn't about finding someone who 'got' me. It was about finding someone I could spend my life with, never tiring of exploring their mind as they explored mine. You will always have new and interesting thoughts I can't fathom and want to understand. You've faced some of the most difficult challenges a man can face: in the army, in the FBI, as a sniper... And you've come out of them stronger when lesser men would have been destroyed. You leave me breathless in awe at your strength of spirit, of your drive to do good no matter the cost to yourself and your ability to continue to see that good around you no matter how much darkness may swamp you.

"I may never fully understand why you chose me to be your sole confidant, your soul shelter," Charlie's voice cracked slightly, but he forged forward, "but I vow that from this day forward I will devote my life to being the best husband I can for you, in good times and in bad, no matter what life may bring us."

He pulled the ring from his pocket and slipped it on Ian's finger.

"I am yours and you are mine," he said, trying hard to keep his voice steady. "'I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,'" he quoted.

Ian had held his gaze throughout, yet when Charlie put the ring on his finger he gazed at it for a few seconds then squeezed Charlie's hands tight, a beautiful yet wordless gratitude on his face as he gazed at Charlie anew - a sight that went straight to Charlie's heart, one he'd never forget.

A flash went off, the photographer marking the moment, but the best picture would be the one Charlie carried with him now in his mind's eye.

+

Larry raised his hands up, speaking excitedly.

"And now by the power invested in me over the Internet by the Universal Life Church, I pronounce you husband and husband! What has been brought together let not even atomic energy tear asunder!" He looked down at them, almost bewildered. "Go on! Kiss!"

Laughing with happiness, Charlie let Ian draw him into his arms, melting into them in bliss.

And then Ian was kissing him and this was all he ever wanted, sinking in, losing himself in Ian's passion, contented like he'd never known before in his life.

Flashes went off and suddenly confetti covered the both of them as Robin and Don showered the area with glee.

When the kiss finally broke, Larry nudged them to turn to face the audience.

"Go," he whispered so only they could hear. "Your future awaits you, my dear friends."

The crowd was applauding wildly and as Charlie and Ian stepped down the center aisle the confetti had to have been passed out because they were showered with it the whole way down.

"Oh, god!" Charlie exclaimed, still giddy. "I'm going to have to face my father now and explain why we didn't let him in on this!"

"Don't worry," Ian tugged him in close, pressing a kiss to his temple as they cleared the last of the confetti. "I've got your back."

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
Confession
This was written for ladygray99's birthday as a super sekrit project in cahoots with the lovely and talented swingandswirl. We whispered behind L's back (well the Internet equivalent) and colluded to come up with a joint project: a Charlie/Ian surprise wedding fic that we would both write portions of.

Seeing as how we all live in totally different parts of the world, the coordination and launch of this project was quite the affair, but I must tell you that Tam's brain is a delightful place. I hope more great bunnies get to come out of there because she's got some awesome creative chops. :-)

And L? She's gone from being a respected peer author in the fandom to an online friend to someone I call a real life friend - so much so that I texted her as soon as I found out we were sharing the Numb3rs Outstanding Slash Author award. I couldn't wait for her to get online to hear the news. I wanted to be first to tell her and to make sure she knew I was proud and honored to share the title with her. She's been quietly supportive and positive behind the scenes and her friendship means a great deal to me.

So L, I hope you enjoy your surprise and are happy that Tam and I went out of our way to gift you with a very special birthday fic this year. Many happy returns!

Very special thanks to beta melissima for her assistance with this fic and to swingandswirl for the initial idea and many of the details.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
lilacs_roseslilacs_roses on May 5th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
I *absolutely* love this!! Both of you really did fantastic and I'm so envious of LadyGray for this wonderful gift :)

I'm so happy and glad that the three of you have such a great relationship and wish all of you the best when it comes to keeping and maintaining it :)

Thanks so much, Em and Tam, for sharing this gift with us :)

Happy belated Birthday as well, LadyGray :)

/huggs!!
ladygray99: Charlie Blueladygray99 on May 5th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC)
*HUGS*
*HUGS*
*HUGS*
*HUGS*
*HUGS*
*HUGS*
This is sooooooooooo perfect. I love it sooooooooo much.

Larry was brilliant. Charlie's vows perfect. There is basically non stop squealing and bouncing in my head right now.

Thank you so, so, so very much.

(Now off to read Tammy's)
One Part Exuberance; Two Parts Obsession: all smilespenguingal on May 5th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
I LOVE THIS. And I love this collaboration and companion writing between the two of you. I read both parts before I commented on either place because omg I had to know what Charlie's vows were!

I could spend quite a few words just gushing but I have to work now. :D Bottom line, well done and L is a lucky lady.
devon99 on May 5th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
Wedding fic!!! So, so lovely Emma, you and Tammy did such an awesome job with these ♥
rubynye: Back to Back (Numb3rs)rubynye on May 5th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
*throws arms overhead and cheers wildly*
lives_to_learnlives_to_learn on May 7th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
hehehe, surprise weddings! gotta love it!

Alan will understand I'm sure.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 7th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
Hee! It was quite the coup to pull off - in fiction AND IRL (in terms of writing it)!

Thanks for reading!