?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
16 October 2007 @ 07:07 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Vice - Part 4  


Title: Vice - Part 4
Series/Universe: Vice
Pairing/Characters: See Series post
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Seasons 1, 2 and 3
Summary: An evening out ends in a bad decision (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ



Saturday, 6/2/07 - Night

"So it sounds like the Missing Persons part of the plan went off perfectly and Charlie's got Kit convinced the news was a shock." Megan stopped pacing and finally sat down. "So far so good."

"What's next?" Charlie asked, lounging on the couch with his head pillowed on Don's thigh.

"At this point I need to call an emergency staff meeting and let everyone know - officially that is," Megan added.

Don fingers threaded slowly through Charlie's hair. "So, I need to ask you to handle Billy's funeral arrangements."

"Yes," Megan agreed. "So ask me."

"Is that really necessary?" Charlie asked.

"It's a precaution," Don explained to Charlie. "If they question us separately we should both be able to recall about what was said, when and where." He turned to Megan. "Megan, this whole thing with Billy has thrown me for a loop. I can't think straight. I'm useless. Can you take care of the funeral arrangements and everything? And cancel all my appointments for the next couple of days. I can't imagine getting any work done."

"No problem. I'll take care of everything. Just let me know when you're ready to start working again and I'll reschedule your meetings."

"Thanks." Don nodded.

"I've drafted a statement from you to be read to the staff about Billy." Megan handed Don a printout. "Let me know if you want any changes made."

Don read the statement, reciting parts of it aloud. "'Not just a great friend, but a member of the family... Not sure where he went astray... A time to remember family loyalty... 'Nice subtle double message," he pronounced, handing it back to her.

"It gets the point across." Megan put the paper back into her leather portfolio. "I'll try to arrange for a funeral early enough in the day that all staff can attend." She pulled another piece of paper out, folded it in half and handed it to Don. "That's the preliminary data from my side project, by the way."

Don accepted the paper and opened it subtly out of Charlie's line of sight, reading the contents quickly.

'According to Kim, Edgerton said Billy told him nothing. Up to you if you want to tell Charlie.'

Don folded the paper back up trying not to show any emotion. He handed it back to her shaking his head.

"No, I really don't."

+

The skyscraper's glass elevator held only Charlie and Kit as it ascended to The Loft housed in the penthouse.

"If you don't want to go to this party tonight we don't have to. We could just leave. I know you're sad about your friend."

Kit tried to take Charlie's hand, but the elevator opened and he took off walking too fast.

"No, it's fine. This fundraiser is important and one of us should be here. Besides, Don's in a really foul mood at the mansion so it's best to just stay out of his way." He arrived at a set of double doors, which opened to reveal Terry striding forward to meet him. "Which room did you book the fundraiser in?" Charlie asked, barely breaking his stride.

"The White Room," Terry answered, matching his pace without batting an eye. "The media's already come and gone so you're cleared of press." She handed him an envelope. "Here's your donation."

"Good." Charlie paused at the entrance to the private banquet room, putting the envelope in his breast pocket. "Tell them I'll be upstairs in less than an hour."

Terry nodded as Kit caught up to them. "Got it." She turned and left as briskly as she'd come.

Charlie turned to Kit and straightened his outfit. "You look good," he said, giving him an appraising glance. Frowning a little at Kit's tie, he unknotted it and went about retying it.

"Nowhere near as good as you look though." Kit said.

Charlie looked down at his bespoke suit. "There's something to be said for having a top notch tailor. So, have you been to The Loft before?" he asked as he finished off the tie and fussed with it one last time.

"Never."

"It was our first business. Restaurant, bar and our specialty - high end private rooms for rich clients to entertain in." After giving Kit a final once over and a nod of approval, he opened the door to reveal a stark white room filled with mingling crowds and large-scale modern art. "Tonight it happens to be a fundraiser for a very powerful local politician so be on your best behavior. You're an employee tonight so make sure you act like one."

"I won't let you down," Kit said seriously.

"Councilman Jackson!" Charlie stepped forward to greet a gray haired man in an equally impeccable suit.

"Charles! So nice to see you!" The man shook his hand avidly. "Thank you so much for the use of the hall."

"My pleasure. Is my staff treating you and your guests well?"

"The service has been exceptional."

"Very good," Charlie said. "I'd accept nothing less."

Kit hung back, uncertain, until the councilman offered his hand to shake.

"And who do we have here?" he asked.

"This is Oswald Kittner, or Kit as we like to call him. He just joined our accounting staff this week."

"A pleasure to meet you, Councilman," Kit said formally.

"Likewise young man. I hope you're a registered voter."

"Since I turned eighteen, Sir."

"Good for you! So many young people don't understand that voting isn't just a privilege, it's a civic duty."

"Well, my dad always used to say if you don't vote you can't complain and well, I think he just really liked complaining."

The councilman laughed. "In politics you get used to the idea that you can't please even the majority of the people so I'm used to complaints. I'm fine with them actually because complaints mean people care."

"Speaking of caring..." Charlie pulled the envelope out of his pocket and offered it to the councilman's aide who was quietly standing a few steps behind him. "Don sends his apologies that he couldn't deliver our donation himself. Something came up today that was quite unexpected so he had to cancel."

"Well, thank you and let your brother know I'm sorry to have missed him. I hope it wasn't anything bad that prevented him from attending."

"Actually..." Charlie's expression grew somber. "It was a death in the family."

+

Megan parked her car haphazardly in the mansion's circular driveway and ran towards the front door to find Colby smoking a cigar on the marble steps.

"You don't want to go in there," he warned. "The boss is on the warpath."

Ignoring him, Megan burst through the door and met up with David in the foyer. They jogged up the stairs two at a time side by side.

"How long has this been going on?" she asked.

"I'd guess since maybe ten minutes after you left," David answered.

"He's been at this for almost an hour?" Megan exclaimed. "Why didn't you call me sooner?"

"He told everyone to leave!" David explained. "We just kind of figured he wanted some time alone with Charlie, but when Colby mentioned that he'd seen Charlie leave I came back in to check on Don. That's when I found him demolishing the place and called you."

They paused in front of the door to Don's office.

"Let me handle this," Megan told him. "Keep everyone away for now and tell Colby to keep an eye out for Charlie's limo. I need a few minutes advance warning if he comes home before Don's calmed down."

"You got it."

David headed back down the stairs as Megan took a deep breath and opened the door. Before she could get a word out a golf club sailed past her head.

"Don!" she yelled just as he plucked another club from the bag to throw. "What the hell is going on here?"

"What's going on? What do you think is going on?" Don spat out. "I killed one of my best friends and it turns out it was for no reason at all! That's what's fucking going on!"

He'd come close enough that Megan could smell the alcohol on his breath.

"Don, all that note meant was that we stopped Billy in time, not that he was innocent. Kim confirmed Billy was Edgerton's informant. The LAPD source who tipped us off that Edgerton had filed paperwork registering Billy as a Confidential Informant was correct." Megan reached for Don, but he backed away, head hung down sullenly. "I know you didn't want to believe Billy would talk, but you knew him better than anyone. You know there's no way he could do twenty years in a tiny cell. Hell, he refused to sit behind a desk! He needed to be free to move, to be in the air. Prison would have been unbearable to him."

Don slumped down on the sofa amidst the wreckage of his office.

"I just keep thinking that there had to have been some other way. That if I'd looked harder or been more patient that he'd still be alive and everything would be fine."

"Or he'd still be alive and you'd be in jail plus Charlie would be in jail being passed around, stuck being any man's bitch who wanted a piece of his ass. Is that what you'd rather have?"

Don's face hardened and he tossed the golf club in his hand to the floor.

"No."

+

"Dude, I tell you she was totally hot!"

"No, man. I believe you. It's just that women that hot don't fuck their limo drivers."

Tim took a swig of his beer and gestured to the bartender for another round for both him and Jesse.

"A guy can dream, can't he?" Tim said wistfully.

When Jesse didn't respond to either his statement or to the fresh bottle of beer the bartender put in front of him, Tim gave him a nudge.

"Oh yeah, dreams..." Jesse mused distractedly. "Speaking of, check out those two." He pointed to two women who'd just entered. "Tell me if you know of any jokes that start out 'a blonde and a brunette walk into a bar' because I am so going over to try to talk to them."

"Seriously?"

Jesse flagged down the bartender.

"I'd like to buy those lovely ladies a round."

The bartender nodded and left to take care of them.

"Dude, they are so out of our league," Tim cautioned.

"Who cares?" Jesse said. "Worst they can do is shut me down, right?"

"Well, actually..."

Jesse grabbed his shirt, interrupting him and pulling him in the direction of the girls. "Come on, let's go!"

They approached the end of the bar where the girls were sitting.

"Hello ladies!" Jesse began. "I'm Jesse and this is my buddy Tim. We were wondering if the two of you would like a free ride in our limousine."

Both women giggled girlishly.

"I'm Robin, she's Nadine and we'd love a limo ride."

+

Charlie closed the door to the White Room behind him as they exited the soirée.

"At least now the night's business is taken care of, which is good because I could use a good stiff drink or five."

"So are we leaving?" Kit asked.

"No, we're just going to an even more private party." Charlie led Kit to a different smaller elevator and nodded to the guard standing there. "He's with me."

The guard nodded back and stepped aside, swiping his key card to open the elevator for them.

Charlie gestured to Kit to enter and joined him for the brief ride up.

"I thought we were already on the top level," Kit said, mystified.

"We were at the penthouse level, but this building has a small glass cupola above the penthouse."

The elevator opened to reveal a relatively small room ringed with city views through its glass walls. Sparsely furnished, there was a small bar area off to the side tended by a wizened old man with white hair and a buffet table being replenished by an equally ancient woman.

The main feature though was a large oak table in the center of the room where four men sat playing cards.

Charlie nodded his greeting to the staff then headed for the table.

"Gentlemen," he said to those assembled there. They all nodded in acknowledgement as he took a seat and gestured to a vacant one for Kit. "My employee Kit will be joining us tonight. Any objections?" There was a bit of incoherent mumbling and some shaked heads so Kit took a seat warily.

"Uh, hi there." Kit waved nervously and received a round of nods in response.

The old woman appeared at Charlie's elbow and placed a rack of poker chips on the table.

"Give Kit a half rack on my account," he ordered. She disappeared wordlessly and reappeared with a partially filled rack that she placed in front of Kit.

The chips were large and metal. Kit picked one up and felt the weight of it in his hand. They bore no name, but the ornate numbers engraved on them - 1, 5, 10, 25 - were very distinctive.

"You do know how to play poker, right Kit?" Charlie asked.

Kit accepted the deck of cards from the man next to him and expertly shuffled them.

"Oh, yeah..." he said. "Poker, I know..."

Downstairs in The Loft's security room Terry stood looking at the camera feeds and talking to David on the phone.

"Well, when Megan gets unbusy you tell her I called on her security alert. Charlie just brought Kit into the high stakes poker match at The Loft."

+
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 17th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
Confession
Please see the Vice Series post for information on this Series and for the Part 4 Confession.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
Paraka: N3-C-Cheeksparaka on October 17th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC)
:D
So I actually suck really badly at leaving feedback. I never know what to say other than "Yay!" But I know you mentioned that you were worried that no one would be interested in this fic, so...

Yay!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 17th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Re: :D
Yay is great. Yay is plenty. Authors just want to know that someone read and gave a crap. Eloquence not necessary. You don't even have to be verbose. In fact, I saw a meme a while back that told readers if you can't come up with anything, just leave ♥ and nothing else. At least that way the author will know you read and liked their story.
Paraka: N3-L/M-Touchingparaka on October 18th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: :D
Authors just want to know that someone read and gave a crap. Eloquence not necessary.
Oh good, then I shall continue to leave non-eloquent feedback.

Normally I can get away with just lurking, but Numb3rs is a pretty small fandom compaired to the others I've been in (where a fic can be up for 5 minutes and already have 20 comments), and I just can't not let the authors know I love their work here.
cpwatcher on October 17th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)
Another fine chapter, Emma. I look forward to Tuesdays and these postings. *g*

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 17th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Thanks! First appointment television - now appointment fic! /grins/
cpwatcher on October 17th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
Well your fics usually beats television hands down. *g*
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 17th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC)
/blushes/

Well, there is some colossally bad TV out there.

*coughs*Yes Dear*coughs*

Hehehe
andiadmiralandrea on October 17th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)
The only thought that came into my head when reading this was a bit of Shakespeare "Oh what a tangled web we weave". Not quite sure why...

Another great installment and I love the image of Don wrecking his office and getting told off by Megan *g*
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 17th, 2007 08:32 am (UTC)
I think it's because now - four installments in - you've finally got all the key components of the conflict for the Vice story arcs.

Billy's murder has repercussions as does Charlie bringing a new person into the organization too quickly.

Ian? Going to be a problem.
Kit? Going to be a problem.

You can see now where some of the story lines are going and yes they are quite tangled indeed.

Don's a whole different kind of homewrecker in this. Hehehe It's important though because while Part 1 paints him out to be a callous murderer Part 4 shows that Don has feelings and regrets and that he feels the pressure of protecting everyone in the organization, especially Charlie.

In other words, it wouldn't be right if Don felt nothing over killing Billy.

Glad you enjoyed it. More in a week...
fredbassettfredbassett on October 17th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC)
OK, he's a murdering bastard but I'm still thinking poor Don! Great writing, lovely complex story.

I get this when I log in on Wednesday's, time difference or something, and I'm definitely looking forward to my weekly Vice :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 18th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
I know and I feel bad about that, but it's going to be Tuesday some places and Wednesday others - can't help that. I am trying to post earlier now that I have more time. I was so busy at first I could only post just before midnight Tuesday Pacific Time, but at least this time I did it far earlier. Now if I could just do it by lunchtime PT that would be good.

Don's not a bastard, though technically he is a murderer, yes. I am trying to keep him at his core the Don we know and lust over love, but yeah he's a criminal. Still, he's pretty pitiable in this installment. I do feel bad when he trashes his office thinking what he thinks. The guilt was hard enough already - that idea in his head would have pushed him past the brink.
fredbassettfredbassett on October 18th, 2007 11:02 am (UTC)
No worries re time difference, I'm happy with Wednesdays :)

*stamps tiny feet impatiently wanting next Wednesday to come quicker*
NVneur0vanity on October 17th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
Nicely done again.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 18th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for coming back each week to read.
mercilynn: charlie & colbymercilynn on October 18th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Gorgeous as always... I can't wait for the next installment!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 18th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
Thanks. I promise to try to start getting them out earlier in the day on Tuesdays. /raises hand to swear/
auryn_wrenauryn_wren on October 19th, 2007 09:38 am (UTC)
Poor Don, he's feeling so guilty, not knowing if killing Coop was neccessary or not. I loved that Megan told him off, and the way she reminded him of the risks of not killing Coop - Charlie being passed around in prison. In fact, I can see Ian making sure the brothers were in separate prisons so Don wouldn't be able to help him.

Does no one in this story trust Charlie's judgement? Terry calling to say Charlie had taken Kit to the poker game, Millie calling last chapter? Or has Don kept Charlie so far out of the bad side (worse side) of his dealings that Charlie truely doesn't get how much people want to hurt them?

Can't wait for next week - hopefully I'll remember ON Tuesday. Or Wednesday, which is when I get it, being a whole day ahead and such.