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13 December 2007 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Margaret Eppes - Subtraction  
Written for 1character Claim – Margaret Eppes
Theme Set Eta
Crossposted to numb3rs_fic

Title: Margaret Eppes - Subtraction
Pairing/Characters: Margaret et al.
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: S1 and S2
Summary: 50 Prompts – 1 sentence each based on the character Margaret Eppes
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

#01 - Fair Play
"Play fair!" she admonished, biting back more frustrated words as her sons pushed the boundaries of what was fair way beyond what she'd prepared for in law school.

#02 - Bones
One of her college boyfriends, who was pre-med, tried to get her to switch from pre-law so they could go to medical school together, and while he seduced her by naming the bones in her body as he kissed the skin over them, he forgot how squeamish she was at the sight of blood until she fainted.

#03 - Desire
Her textbooks lie scattered on the coffee table, her study session abandoned as she quickly jots down the new motif that came to her as she passed the piano coming back from the kitchen, ignoring the niggling thought in the back of her head that at some point she'll have to put one of her passions aside and devote her life to either law or music.

#04 - Flower
Donnie proudly offers her a dandelion from his grubby little hand, not old enough to know it's a weed and not really a flower, but Margaret accepts it - and loves it - as if it was a perfect hothouse rose.

#05 - Hat Box
Decades of attic dust made a gray cloud over the hat box as she opened it revealing a cache of letters she never told Alan about and never would.

#06 - Jump
Charlie's baby curls bounce as he jumps on her bed, and as much as she'd like more sleep, the sight of her happy toddler grinning and yelling "Mommy! Mommy!" makes the weariness disappear.

#07 - Mother
She has to sit down at first, because it's so overwhelming, but then the reality hits her with absolute clarity as her hand unconsciously goes to her stomach: she's going to be a mother.

#08 - Father
Alan laughs out loud as Margaret does a pitch perfect impression of her father saying, "And this Alan character - he makes a good living, he'll take care of you?"

#09 - Saliva
Margaret realizes with horror - as little Donny tries to squirm away from her hand wiping the smudge from his cheek - that she's become one of those mothers she swore she'd never be: one who washes their children in their own spit.

#10 - Kaleidoscope
She was always fascinated by kaleidoscopes as a little girl and her delight returns when she sees them again through little Charlie's eyes as he clutches his birthday present, enraptured by the constantly mutating geometrical designs, ignoring all the other gifts.

#11 - Primary Colors
Everyone said soft pastels for their new nursery, but she wanted bright primary colors - somehow convinced that her baby would be a boy even before the doctor confirmed it.

#12 - Ideal
Alan manages to stay true to his hippie roots as they slowly become upper middle class and she loves that he never lets her forget the ideals that drove her before she nearly had them beaten out of her by law school.

#13 - Challenge
"I had been hoping this would be some sort of a challenge, but if that's the best you can do..." she said, feigning boredom as the opposing council started to look very nervous.

#14 - Scar
The c-section hadn't been planned, but baby Donnie had and now - hand moving slowly across the scar on her belly as she stares at her infant son - she knows that she would have done anything to see him born safe and whole.

#15 - Face
Labor feels like torture - like there should be laws against it it's so inhumane - but when she finally gives that last big push and sees her son's face for the first time, somehow she forgets the pain.

#16 - Unzipped
"I know we were supposed to be there a half hour ago," Margaret purred, "but somehow my dress just happened to get unzipped..."

#17 - Comfort
They send her home, tell her family to make her comfortable, but she finds no comfort in facing her death - at home or anywhere.

#18 - Homeland
Prague was beautiful, strange and scary to eleven-year-old Margaret, but suddenly ancestry had meaning and a face: her grandmother's.

#19 - Window
The dinner dishes need doing, but as she watches her boys play in the yard through the kitchen window, she realizes the sunlight won't last and neither will their youthful innocent glee, so she goes out to join them instead.

#20 - Try
"Try not to freak out," Margaret warned Alan as he walked in from work, "but I'm pretty sure our toddler just did multiplication... in his head."

#21 - Black Cloud
The doctor's voice is tense on the answering machine and Margaret can't help but feel a flush of dread as he asks her to call him about her test results - immediately.

#22 - Call
Fugitive Recovery means long spells with no contact, but Donnie calls every year on her birthday so she won't rest, won't stop pacing until the phone rings and he sets her mind at ease.

#23 - Design
It's more than they planned on spending and maybe more than they can afford, but the Craftsman design of the house woos them both and they hold their breath as they tell the realtor they'll take it.

#24 - Concentrate
She concentrates on her studying, obsessively so, annoying everyone around her with her single-mindedness, but it works - she passes the bar on her first try.

#25 - Bite
It was little more than a nip, but Charlie cried all the way home and then some, giving her a good reason to say no when Don begged for a puppy.

#26 - Power
The new position would mean a promotion and lot of power - more opportunities to make a difference - but Donnie's at a difficult age and Charlie's educational needs are demanding, so she turns down the offer gracefully, citing family as her reason.

#27 - Fingers
Her fingers ghost over the keyboard, a fugue tickling at the back of her mind, but then the baby cries and she has to walk away.

#28 - Damage
Alan's not hurt - a miracle given the amount of damage to the car - but she can't stop crying and clutching him tightly, overwhelmed by the knowledge of what she almost lost.

#29 - Glue
It's a huge mess and it will take forever to get the glue out of Charlie's hair, but she can't help but dissolve into laughter at what her sons have done with just glue, glitter and Popsicle sticks.

#30 - Natural
"Mrs. Mann, your daughter is a natural; you should consider sending her to Juilliard to study the piano."

#31 - Respite
Alan takes the rest of the week off from work to take care of their sick children, since she handled the first few days, but it's no respite - she can't focus in her meetings because the image of her feverish babies haunts her.

#32 - Disaster
She doesn't even have to ask him, Alan just makes the call and within hours they're back with the Red Cross, helping setting up a temporary shelter in a high school gymnasium for all the families who are suddenly homeless.

#33 - Accuse
She's allowed to call the defendant 'the accused', but there are some choicer words - not fit for the courtroom - that she'd like to call the vile slumlord she's suing on behalf of the tenants rights organization.

#34 - Morning
She rises at 5AM and has an hour before Alan wakes and another half hour before Donnie wakes and has to be fed, but despite her fatigue she relishes the time for just her - wishing she could do more than just imagine the sound as her fingers dance lightly just above the piano keys.

#35 - Haunted
She's a wraith wandering around the house after her mother's funeral, haunted by the early death, as if it's an omen that she won't live long enough to be a grandmother either.

#36 - Wrong
She laughs at the name placard Alan's made for her that reads, 'Margaret Eppes, Esq. - Righting Society's Wrongs since 1967'.

#37 - Note
She gets home long after dark, briefcase stuffed and starving, to find a note on the fridge saying, 'Made lasagna - wake me up when you get home and I'll reheat some for you... Love, A'.

#38 - Go
She doesn't want to leave her boys, but as her eyes begin to fall shut of their own accord, she understands that it's time to go.

#39 - Upside Down
She flips little Donnie upside down and blows raspberries on his belly as he giggles uproariously, feeling no guilt at blowing off her afternoon meeting for some time alone with her son.

#40 - Keep Out
Margaret sees the sign on Don's room and almost tears it down in a fit of frustration with his adolescent petulance, but decides instead to make her own Keep Out sign - putting it on the upstairs bathroom.

#41 - Sides
Don fumes and Charlie has his arms crossed over his chest as they wait for her to tell them whose side she's on - both forgetting she's a lawyer.

#42 - Separation
They never said the word divorce, but the separation forced on them when she and Charlie went away to Princeton hurt their marriage more than they wanted to admit.

#43 - Trail
"No Charlie, it's trial: t-r-i-a-l; trail is what you hike on."

#44 - Liar
"Everything's fine, Charlie loves the Princeton campus," Margaret lies easily on the phone to Alan as she fetches an ice pack for her fourteen-year-old son's black eye.

#45 - Hour
She can't pace in the bedroom because Alan might wake up and he'll be angry if he finds out Don is still out an hour after curfew, so she tries to sit still - fingers so restless she wonders if she should take up knitting - until she hears Donnie's car outside and can finally go to sleep, letting him think he got away with it just one more time.

#46 - Easy
"Math isn't easy for Mommy and Daddy like it is for you, honey - you're special," Margaret tries to explain to her genius toddler, who doesn't get why she can't answer the multiplication questions off the top of her head.

#47 - Tie
"Come over here and let me do that," Margaret said with a good-natured huff as she pulled Don over and retied his tuxedo bow tie for him, watching out of the corner of her eye as Charlie sulked in his sweats on the stairs, jealous of his brother going off to prom.

#48 - Sense
"Don't even think about it, young man!" Margaret warned, sensing somehow that behind her Donnie was about to make Charlie cry again.

#49 - Education
"It's Charlie's education," she says and the debate ends right there - both her and Alan knowing that their son's needs come first.

#50 - Change
At first she thought it was just another symptom of the change, but when the doctor tells her it's ovarian cancer she can't believe it, can't accept it, can't face that there's a chance that cancer will kill her like it did her own mother.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 14th, 2007 09:02 am (UTC)
Another ancient fic finally published!

(End of year fic purges make me so very happy.)

So I have to tell the story behind the timing of this fic, because it amuses me and this is my place to go on and on and on about whatever I feel compelled to say in regards to each of my fic - usually until this post is longer than the fic itself. ;-)

I claimed Charlie Eppes in January of 2006 and had all 50 prompts written for him within about 2 days. I then proceed to rewrite over and over until I finally got the fic published on 6/29/06. On that date I claimed Margaret Eppes as my next character. On that date I finished all 50 prompts.

Oh hell, this is taking too long. Let me just paste what I wrote on that day. (For those of you who haven't figured it out my other LJ has been used for the last two years as my beta/draft fic LJ, thus these post copies coming from there.)

Excerpt 6/29/06 (some clippage and editing)

"A few hours ago I was all 'brain go splodey!', but I'm better now thanks. ;-)

Today Margaret Eppes ate my brain.

No, she did not bother with any fava beans and knowing my anti-alcohol stance eschewed the chianti (though she would have preferred a nice chardonnay I'm sure, seeing as how my brain is the *other* other white meat /grins/).

I finally posted my Charlie Eppes sentences for 1character and almost immediately turned around and put in for a claim on Margaret.

I really hope I get it because, well, all 50 sentences are written already. (The muse is not only fickle, she's impatient.)

It took two days to write the 50 sentences for Charlie and I thought that was fast. It took me 5 months to publish them though. It took me mere hours to write 50 sentences for Margaret so look for them to be published sometime in 2008. ;-)

Oh, and I titled this one too. I had decided to make Charlie's title something math based and oddly it worked for Margaret too, only on a more emotional level.

Thanks go to asemic who did Mary from Supernatural so well it inspired me to write 50 sentences about a dead mother who barely appeared on screen yet was a powerful force in her family's life just like her claim."

/end excerpt/

Looks like I wasn't too far off base with that 2008 quip. /eyes calendar/

The sad part is after a year and a half of sporadic rewrites I ended up *still* rewriting like a third of the prompts this evening just before publishing. /headdesk/

I think I needed to publish this just so I'd *stop* messing with it!

That said, I kind of love the title. Charlie's title - Nonlinear Dynamics - fit not only the math theme of Numb3rs but also the style of the fic: the dynamics of Charlie's lifetime told in a nonlinear fashion.

Margaret? She's gone. Subtraction is exactly the term for that loss.

So many people read these sentences over the last year and a half I couldn't keep track so thank you to everyone on my F-list who went through my Keep/Change/Redo cycles until they wanted to throttle me. Hehehe Your patience - and restraint - are much appreciated. ;-)


Emma DeMarais
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 14th, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
Oh yay! I'm glad you liked them.

42 was the last one I rewrote - just a few minutes before I posted actually - so it pleases me that you liked the new version.

Do you know what happened to 1character? Has anyone tried to take it over and get it back up and running again?
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 14th, 2007 11:02 am (UTC)
I hate when that happens. If you can't manage a comm then fine - give it up. The mod of N100 did and look how well that turned out! Everyone won.

I put in a request. We'll see if i get a response.
telperion_15: Dropping the Stelperion_15 on December 14th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Very nice. #9 made me giggle, and #38 made me sniff...
Livin' La Vida Dorkawere_lemur on December 24th, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
Wow! Great job!