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22 January 2008 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Vice - Part 11  


Title: Vice - Part 11
Series/Universe: Vice
Pairing/Characters: See Series post
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Seasons 1, 2 and 3
Summary: Kim and Ian suffer setbacks while Eppes Enterprises flourishes (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ



Thursday, 6/7/07 - Day

Kim's leg bounced nervously as she sat outside the Assistant Director's office. Her thumb brushed over the corners of the paperwork in her lap absentmindedly and when she eventually looked down at it, she discovered the pages had become dog-eared from her restless fiddling. She tried to flatten them with the palm of her hand and almost jumped when the administrative assistant called out to her.

"Agent Hall? Assistant Director Larson will see you now."

"Thank you." Kim stood, taking a deep breath to steady herself before going through the door into her boss' office.

"What can I do for you, Agent Hall?" It was hard to tell behind the old man's wrinkles what mood he was in - formal as he always was - so Kim just dove in.

"Sir, I need to request a leave of absence, effective immediately." She placed her sheaf of papers on the desk in front of him. "It's a family issue."

Thomas raised an eyebrow at her and ignored the paperwork. "Didn't you go on leave last year for a family issue?"

"Yes, sir." He hadn't offered her a chair and she wasn't sure, tense as she was, if she could relax enough to sit - her spine rigid with nervous energy.

"And you need to go on leave once more, again without any notice."

"It's an urgent issue. I had no notice myself. I'm very sorry." She paused for a second, letting a bit of her humanity slip in. "Dwayne deserves to have a partner he can trust in the field. He deserves to know someone's got his back. If I'm distracted I can't ensure his safety and that's not fair to him or to the Bureau." She gestured to the papers. "So I'm asking for a leave to sort things out. So I won't be attempting to work distracted."

Thomas paused, examining her with stern eyes and she squirmed slightly under his scrutiny.

"So why shouldn't I just give Agent Carter a new partner permanently?"

Kim's expression revealed her surprise before she could school her features.

"That's your prerogative, Sir," she said carefully. "But Dwayne and I have been a good team. I don't believe it's necessary to reassign us just because I need some time off."

"It's what I believe that matters, Agent Hall." He put on his glasses and picked up the paperwork to read it. She stood, each minute unbearably long as she fought the urge to fidget. Finally, he lowered the papers and looked at her over his bifocals. "I'm approving your request, if only to avoid getting Agent Carter or anyone else shot in the line of duty."

"Thank you, Sir," she said appreciatively.

"But don't expect to come back to the same assignment. I'm reserving the right to reassign you and Agent Carter as I see fit. Once you let us know of your return we'll see where we can fit you in."

"But it might only be a matter of days," Kim protested.

"Then we'll see then," he reiterated, slightly annoyed. "Hand off any paperwork to Agent Carter by the end of the day. I'll take your badge and gun now." He held out his hand for them with an expectant look on his face.

Swallowing hard, Kim removed the clip from her gun and handed the weapon to Thomas before pulling her badge off and placing it reverently on his desk. In a matter of seconds, everything had been swept into a desk drawer.

"Thank you, Sir." The words stuck in her throat, but she managed to get them out.

"You can go," he said tersely and busied himself with signing her paperwork.

She walked out of his office in a bit of a daze and rather than head back to her desk she slipped into the ladies room, needing a moment to let her guard down and breathe.

After a moment she was back in control, looking at herself in the mirror as if to confirm she was prepared for what was to come.

She flipped open her cell phone and dialed as she headed back to her desk to prepare for her imminent departure.

"Tammy! Hey, it's Kim. I know you said we could meet up at the house at eight, but can I just swing by your office to pick up the keys to your boat before you head home instead? No, I don't want any company. I really need to be alone..."

+

"Congratulations on putting Javier Velasquez behind bars."

Ian looked up from his desk to find his boss standing above him.

"Yeah, guilty on all counts. The girls came through this time. All but one testified so no sweetheart plea bargain for him. We may not have nailed him for being a pimp, but assault charges work for me just fine. As long as he goes away for a good long time, I'm happy."

"I'm not sure happy is the word I'd use for it." Darius casually flipped through the file open on the desk in front of Ian. "Found yourself a john to turn I see."

Ian bristled at the captain's intrusion, the not so subtle effort to check up on him. "That's right. I busted him for solicitation and it ends up he's a regular client of a couple of different escort services. He's coming in to talk to the ADA tomorrow, but the promise of making his charges all go away was pretty compelling given the fact that his wife has all the money in their relationship."

"Good. Keep me in the loop as it progresses, okay?"

He clapped Ian on the back with a fake smile and headed back to his office.

Ian watched him go and waited until he was firmly ensconced in his office before turning back to his files.

He packed up the one his boss had rifled through and put it aside. Reaching into his file drawer, he plucked a folder from the bottom of the stack there labeled 'Arthur Smith'. The thick file held photos and reports on a cold case he'd worked off and on for the last few years. Inside the folder was another folder, also quite thick even though Ian had long ago weeded out the less important items to slim down the bulk of it, taking them home to keep in his private version of the file.

He'd labeled it 'A. Smith research', but when he opened it the first items inside were recent surveillance shots of Don - following Charlie into Code, greeting Megan in the lobby of the high rise that housed The Loft, entering and exiting his limousine...

Ian glanced around to make sure no one was watching then surreptitiously flipped his desk phone ringer off. He dove into the file with a sense of satisfaction, free from any interruptions while he was working.

+

Kit sat on the edge of his couch, wringing his hands anxiously as Antoine reviewed the results of the equations he and Charlie had worked on together.

The coffee table was littered with statistics printouts and the spreadsheet that Antoine had been scrolling through on Charlie's laptop was the culmination of all his efforts so far. Charlie had checked his figures and worked with him to mold his theories to fit their business, but Antoine had the final say on whether he thought the sports betting modifications would improve their profits or not.

Finally, Antoine sat back on the couch across from him, relaxing as Charlie and Kit watched for his reaction.

"I like that you've divided this up using bettor profiles," he began. "We've done a lot of research into the kinds of clients we service and your analysis addresses each group separately. There's still some tweaking I can see needs to be done - some variables I'd want to add..."

"Like what?" Charlie asked.

"Factors that don't affect the bottom line, but that Don cares about: political connections, how new the client is and if we're trying to get their business in other ways, established clients we'd rather lose money on than piss off... All of that matters. But you've come up with a methodology that would get clients to bet more money more often and by limiting access to certain odds wagers we can ensure the clients we want to make happy win more often."

"So you think it'll work?" Kit asked excitedly.

"It's an innovative approach," Antoine admitted. "Mixing statistics, profiling and limited participation wagers to generate more opportunities hasn't been done before as far as I know, but I've seen that the more exclusive our gambling operations are the more desirable and more profitable they are, so this fits in well with our strategy for the future." He gave Kit a small nod. "Not bad, kid."

Kit beamed as Charlie clapped him on the back, a proud smile on his face. "I told you he was good," he bragged. "And this is just the beginning."

+

"Giuseppe!"

"Don!"

Don warmly embraced the old man who came out to greet him from beneath the hood of the luxury sports car idling just outside the limousine company's garage.

"Looking good there, and I don't just mean that Ferrari," Don joshed.

"She's a beauty, isn't she?" Both men stood for a moment, admiring the sleek red car as one of the mechanics revved the engine. "The luxury car rental side of the business has really taken off. I have an order in for two more Ferraris. I just wish it didn't take so long to have them shipped over." He nudged Don. "Did my boy tell you he and Bianca set a date?"

"No!" Don exclaimed. "But Rodolpho's a lucky man. He and Bianca will be great together."

"I'm very happy," Giuseppe said proudly. "Bianca's from Northern Italy, but I can deal with that if it means I have an Italian daughter-in-law."

Don smiled. "That's what I like about you, Giuseppe. Family is the most important thing."

"It is," Giuseppe agreed. "Speaking of family, did you come about Tim?"

"I did," Don said, nodding.

"Then let's talk." Giuseppe cocked his head towards his office and they walked inside, settling down comfortably on the leather sofa there.

"How's he working out so far?" Don asked.

"I've put him through his paces and I have to tell you, that boy can drive. He lost eight of eight tails without the client even realizing anything. I ran him through chase scenarios, concealment, weapons fire... He's cool as a cucumber. No matter what vehicle I put him in it's like an extension of his body. If you hadn't asked me to vet him for you I'd keep him for myself."

"What about loyalty?" Don asked. "Did you get a chance to test him yet?"

"I did. I had a fake client try to bribe him, I had a friend pose as a competitor and offer him more money to bolt and I even arranged with Millie to have one of your girls try to seduce him while he was on guard for a client. He's solid. And get this..." Giuseppe laughed heartily. "He told the girl he couldn't drive her home or let her in the limo, but he offered to pay for a cab so she could get home safely. A hooker! Oh, he's green this one, but he's got a good heart."

"Like his sister," Don said wistfully. "Sounds like he'd be a good hire for the organization. Of course," he added, "it would be so much easier if your business came into the organization entirely. We'd take good care of you and your son's already in."
"I know, I know..." Giuseppe waved his hand in a gesture of uncertainty. "I just always dreamed of my son taking over my business one day."

"He can still run it, once he's ready that is, and he's learning a lot working for David." Don nudged Giuseppe affectionately. "He's young. Let him be young a few years longer before you give him the keys to the kingdom. But I know you'd worry less if he stayed fully under our protection, like he is now."

"There's that," Giuseppe nodded thoughtfully. "I have slept better since he stopped running around and started working for you."

"Millie's happy she brought her business and her employees into the organization," Don offered. "I may be working on retiring, but I know you like Megan."

Giuseppe's face split into a buoyant smile. "That Megan... She's a fireball. I bet Tuttle won't be too happy once she takes over. She's a match for him, she is."

"I have every faith in Megan," Don stated confidently. "There's no one else I'd trust with my organization but her. Tuttle's out of luck if he thinks me retiring is his chance to move in on my business." Both men paused for a second. "Just think about it," Don said, rising. "And let Tim know we'll be contacting him. He needs to know we're not the competition trying to recruit him." He embraced the old man a final time. "Thanks for helping me out with this Tim thing."

"Nessun problema," Giuseppe said as he showed Don to the door. "Happy to help an old friend..."

+
 
 
 
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 23rd, 2008 08:03 am (UTC)
Confession
Please see the Vice Series post for information on this Series and for the Part 11 Confession.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
melissima: Don's softer by <lj user=scotts_rock>melissima on January 23rd, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
Gah I love this part! I love Kim's nervousness. The little tic, ruffling the corners of the papers? Very nice. :)

Giuseppe and Don together are so sweet. It's like an Alan scene without Alan. *sniff.* So lovely.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 08:07 am (UTC)
Makes you wonder how Don would have grown up sans Alan and Margaret, doesn't it?

I'm sure he misses having a father figure, but is too tied up in *being* one to the 'family' to look for a mentor. Vice!Don is used to relying only on himself so he might not even know how to relate to an older man on that level anymore.

But I do like them together. There's genuine male affection between them and Warm!Don is so lacking in canon. /sigh/

P.S. Thought you'd like the dog-eared papers detail. Hehehe
andi: Don sleepingadmiralandrea on January 23rd, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Ooh, this is a good part. Lots going on, but not too much of an info dump or exposition to make it seem awkward or overdone. I enjoyed this and hope you are able to resume regular service soon!

:sends the muse chocolate:
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Evidently the chocolate worked because Part 12 got wrapped up soon after and I was able to post it today as scheduled.

Part 13 is mostly done so I'm crossing my fingers I get the one scene I'm missing by next Tuesday.
fredbassettfredbassett on January 23rd, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Another good installment of an excellent series :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC)
Thank you!

/offers plate of toffees/
Karen: primeval abbybyrons_brain on January 23rd, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
Oooooooooooooooh, I need to more!

This is such a great series, I'm loving all the complex story lines, they work so well together...

Great stuff
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 08:13 am (UTC)
Thanks! The complex story lines are giving me headaches about now since this is my last chance to wrap up all of them before every scene in the entire rest of the novella is locked down for good. GAH!

Say, is that Hannah in your icon? (My mind boggles at the idea of her dating Andrew-Lee IRL.)
Karen: primeval lizard girlbyrons_brain on January 30th, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)
Yep it is.... they really make a cute couple IRL...
telperion_15: Fic Necromancertelperion_15 on January 23rd, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
As always, I'm impressed by how well you weave all the storylines and characters together to make a natually flowing story. Everything is interesting and nothing is superfluous.

Wonderful.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC)
Yay! The fic necromancer icon! /is gleeful/

Thank you for that nice compliment. It's *far* more difficult than I'd imagined keeping such a complex group of interweaving story arcs in line *as* I'm writing them. /tears hair out/ But I'm in the home stretch. Give me another week or two and every remaining scene will be plotted out. I'm only short maybe three or so then the entire second half of the fic will be ready to be written.

(Not that I haven't already written loads of it, but scenes out of order do not a cohesive novel make.)
hear me roar: Angelmagisterequitum on January 23rd, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
So, Emma, I have spent the last hour - when I should have been studying for my exam tomorrow - to read this entire series. And I love it. :) Vice!Don is just plain sexy. Bwahaha.

I love how you have created this universe, taken the canon and applied it, but you've also made these people distinct from their other world characters.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 08:21 am (UTC)
A new reader! /is chuffed/

So few people read Vice, which breaks my heart given that it's kind of my big masterwork, so a new person just fills me with joy. :-)

I hope your exam went well and just tell yourself breaks help clear the mind and prepare you for another memorizing session. Hehehe

I've learned a great deal about worldbuilding and character development on this project and I'm looking forward to using those skills on a future novel which I will have the sense NOT to release *before* in chapters I'm done writing all of it. ;-)

And yeah, Vice!Don is *hot*. For those people who have competence as a kink? He's bloody irresistible.
DarkEly: Familyelysium1996 on January 23rd, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
I am enjoying the series thus far even though it has a cest factor. Looking forward to part II
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 08:22 am (UTC)
Thanks for giving it a shot despite the cest factor.

Would it help if I told you it's really not going to be a factor anymore?

I did promise this would end up het...
DarkEly: Charlie thinkingelysium1996 on January 30th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Would it help if I told you it's really not going to be a factor anymore?

yes, but I think you said something in one of the confessions and/or chat that it would not remain so, and that is why I figged I would check it out.

Funny now that I think about it I wasn't going to read it but when I was in Ohio talking to bubbleslayer (and boring poor ceshie with fic talk) she told me that I should read it that it wasn't as bad ad I imagined and to check out the confession part. I usually stear clear away from D/C I just don't get it. Yeah thier pretty but.. eww squick brothers! hahaha but anyway it being part of the fic you are writing dones't bother me as much since I have been reading it and the reason for thier relationship is because they ae so F-ing screwed up not because they secretly are in love with each other.



:)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they love each other deeply, but are not in love. They are *profoundly* fucked up and you'll see how much in Virtue which comes next after Vice.

There's just enough cest to tell the story IMHO. Not much sex and now that it's done there won't be any more. /hides from D/C fans/

It's not hard to see that it's going to be Don/Kim eventually. The question is what happens to Charlie? Hmm... ;-)

I considered taking the cest out since I knew I'd lose readers over it, but to me it was the key aspect *showing* how fucked up they were. If Don wasn't with Charlie there's a chance Kim would have been more accepting and stayed, but she was freaked out by it and ran. Understandable.

Megan gets it - this sense of clinging too much to the only person in your world after a tragedy. They were young and hormonal and Charlie was a mess, so even though it wouldn't have happened in real life, it works for Viceworld.

I started out with a hardcore squick against cestfic, but it fascinated me so I pushed past it to discover why so many people *weren't* squicked by it and even enjoyed it. Everyone crosses that barrier for themselves, but once you do realize it has nothing to do with real life incest you can explore it (with the OMG it's WRONG fic) or ignore it (go with the Two Hot Guys theory of slash).

Anyway, enough blathering on! Just thanks again for being willing to give it a shot, especially given how long of a WIP it is. I'll have to thank Molly later for the rec and the push in Vice's direction. ;-)
Rachaeldancinbutterfly on January 24th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
I tried to leave a comment on the entry AFTER this but I wanted to give you a heads up - your post for Sweet Charity is amazing and I'm going to use it as a template (not verbatim, obviously. 1- that would be stealing and 2- that would be wrong and 3- i'm not offering the same things as you ^_^) but I will totally credit. If you have a problem with that let me know and I'll remove it.

*hugs* Im waiting to bid on you till later. My pockets arent bottomless and you ain't cheap.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 24th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
Steal as much as you want of the post, it's for a good cause. Please *don't* credit me. It's not about me, it's about the cause.

You are welcome to use my icons as well. I have one or two custom ones in addition to the ones on the SC site (which is where the main graphic came from).

I'm not cheap, but I'm worth it. Hehehe

Keep on pimpin' Ho!