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29 January 2008 @ 11:10 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Vice - Part 12  


Title: Vice - Part 12
Series/Universe: Vice
Pairing/Characters: See Series post
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Seasons 1, 2 and 3
Summary: Some careers are coming to a close while others are just beginning (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ



Thursday, 6/7/07 - Night

"I've always liked your office better than Don's."

Charlie nodded his thanks as Megan handed him a drink from her bar and settled into the oversized chair across from the one Charlie was lounging in.

"Why is that?" she asked. "He's got the best view in the mansion."

"It's cozier, more welcoming," Charlie said, glancing around. "Don's office is cold, all that modern steel and glass. Looks great, but you never feel comfortable in it."

"That's kind of the point. It's the image Don feels he needs to project as the boss."

Charlie gestured to the room. "You don't seem to feel that way about your décor."

Megan flashed a sly grin at him. "Who says I won't redecorate when I take over?"

Charlie laughed and reached over to clink glasses with her. "Touché."

"So, you have a progress report for me on Kit?" she prodded.

"Yes!" Charlie said, remembering. "I wanted to tell you that he impressed Antoine today with his proposal."

"Impressed as in he didn't pick it apart and go on about how much better things were in the old days?" Megan joshed.

Charlie leaned forward in his chair. "Antoine gave him a 'not bad', if you can believe that."

Megan's eyes widened. "That is impressive, for Antoine anyway. So he's on board with Kit then?"

"Yeah, I talked to him afterwards and he seems to feel that while Kit can't take on all the work I do now..."

"No one can, Charlie. You've got a world-class mind. We knew there was no way we could replace you with one individual."

Charlie dipped his head down and smiled, acknowledging her compliment. "Thank you. But Antoine feels that Kit can take on the higher level mathematics that was missing from the equation. Stendhauser's doing great as controller, but she's going to have to promote one of her accountants to take on some of her duties so she can take on mine."

Megan cocked her head to the side. "I was thinking that I might have her move up from controller to CFO after you retire. Suzanne's an experienced businesswoman, which we need for our legitimate businesses. That just means I need a title for Kit."

"Chief Mathematician?" Charlie suggested. "He's not about the status and I think he'd get a kick out of it."

"I like it!" Megan nudged Charlie with her foot. "Any progress on the retirement front?"

Charlie shook his head. "Don seems to think he can't leave so long as Edgerton is after us."

"There's always someone after us," Megan protested. "If it's not the cops, it's Tuttle, Penfield..."

"I know," Charlie interrupted her. "But I'm working on him. He wants me to leave, but I won’t go without him."

"But if something happened and you had to leave?" Megan posited. "Would you trust Kit to take your place? Is he loyal?"

Charlie let out a long breath. "Yes. I trust Kit. He will be loyal. No matter what."

+

"Didn't expect to find you here of all places."

Don turned around to see Megan leaning against the doorway to the soundproofed basement room.

"Yeah, well. I was just doing some thinking."

Megan entered the room and closed the door behind her.

"So now you can share those thoughts and no one but me will hear them."

Don gave her a look. "How did your meeting with Charlie go?"

"Fine, now quit with the avoidance and talk to me." After a moment of silence with no response from Don, her voice softened. "Don, please. I know you won't talk to Charlie about what happened down here, so at least talk to me."

Don ran his fingers along the back of the chair in the center of the room.

"This isn't the same chair. Someone brought in a different one." Megan stayed silent, waiting. "Where does it end?" he asked suddenly. "If I killed one of my best friends, where's the line that says I've gone too far?" He turned to face Megan. "What kind of man have I become?"

"You're the same man you were at eighteen, Don," Megan stressed. "Someone capable of killing a man who threatened the one person you love most in the world. The person who changed was Billy, not you."

Don pursed his lips, walking in a circle around the chair. "I'm not the only one who feels bad about this. You and Billy... You had something."

"Friends with benefits," Megan said with a dismissive wave of her hand.

"Oh, now who's doing the avoiding?" Don raised an eyebrow at her. "Who do you talk to when things get to you?" Megan fell silent and cast her eyes to the floor. "It used to be Billy, didn't it?" He let out a wistful breath. "It used to be Kim for me." He walked over to her and laid his hands on her shoulders. "I know you tried not to come to me too often. You wanted me to think of you as strong and capable of taking over the organization, but Megan - you've got it! There's nothing you could say or do to make me change my mind. It's not a question of if, it's when. And when I retire it's all yours to run." He ducked his head down to catch her eye. "So no more holding back. You tell it like it is and I'll do the same for you. Hey, if you ever wanted a chance to tell me what a colossally bad idea it was to fall for an FBI agent..."

Megan straightened up and looked him in the eye. "Don, you and Charlie need to retire," she blurted out all at once. "Not in the distant future, not once we're in the clear because that will never happen, but now. Say the word and we can have the transition done in a matter of weeks."

Don took a step back, blinking. "I can't leave now," he said defensively. "Edgerton's after us. I can't just abandon everyone."

"Don," Megan said gently. "Edgerton's not after us. He's after you and Charlie. Maybe it's time you realized that we'd be less of a target to our enemies if you weren't around anymore..."

+

It took ten minutes of scanning the inky black horizon before Kim was convinced she was alone out on the ocean. She'd learned to pilot a boat from Don and fond memories of her first time behind the controls of his yacht - Don warm behind her with his arm around her waist - kept coming up unbidden.

She left the boat in idle and snapping on latex gloves, went below decks to fetch her cargo.

It took her a while to drag the heavy box out to the edge and once she did, she couldn't help but give it yet another rub down with a cloth to remove any residual fingerprints. She'd cleaned and polished every auto part in the case until she felt satisfied there was no way anyone could get even a partial print from Tim off of them.

She'd changed the combination as well, just in case, and felt a twinge of guilt at erasing the day she and Don met from the lock.

She'd gotten the empty email back from him and agonized for hours whether she should respond or not. In the end she laughed at herself, chastising herself for going all schoolgirl over a man she'd given up ages ago, and convinced herself trading empty emails was kind of embarrassing at her age. Then again, so was still being single, but she managed, not having any parents to nag her about grandchildren.

With a steadying breath, she braced herself and pushed hard. The box teetered briefly on the edge then fell into the ocean - the glint of metal visible for a split second beneath the surface before the depths claimed it forever.

She was free. Tim was free. Don's organization wasn't holding anything over them anymore.

She returned to the controls and turned the ship towards shore, the lights of Los Angeles Harbor shining brightly in the distance.

She'd loved going out on the yacht with Don and the wind in her hair on the balmy summer night brought back even more pleasant memories.

She figured she could indulge herself until she reached the slip. An FBI agent and a career criminal were fine in fantasy, but as soon as her feet were on dry land, she needed to be grounded again.

She pulled the throttle back, reducing her speed a few knots. It was a beautiful night and she didn't have to go to work the next day. No need to rush back...

+

"Here you go, babe."

Tim handed Robin a drink then plopped down on the couch, pulling her bare feet into his lap. He picked one up and started rubbing it for her.

"You make a perfect mojito and you rub my feet?" Robin enthused as she sipped her drink. "Can I keep you?"

Tim gestured to Robin's shoes, kicked off by the front door when she arrived.

"With those crazy ass heels you wear to work? You definitely need someone to rub your feet for you. Besides," he grinned at her happily, "I like treating you nice."

She smiled back then looked at him thoughtfully as he engrossed himself in his labors.

"You know, we never did talk about my job," she said warily.

He shrugged nonchalantly then brightened. "Speaking of jobs, I got a call from my boss! He says this bigger company that he contracts out to wants to hire me. He says his son works there and I should go for it."

Robin hesitated. "Would it freak you out to hear that I know all about it because I work there with his son Rodolpho myself?"

Tim paused, considering. "Not freak me out, but I guess I'm surprised." He went back to working on her instep.

"Okay then," she ventured. "Would it freak you out to know I was asked to get to know you by the owner of the company? Nadine too."

Tim paused again. "Not if it's the kind of company I think it is. He's just being thorough, which I can understand." He turned to her. "He may have asked you to check me out, but I don't think you're here tonight on the job."

"No," she admitted. "I'm on my own time now."

"Good." He picked up her other foot. "Would it freak you out if I told you I was pretty sure what your job was?"

She raised an eyebrow at him. "Oh?"

He shrugged. "I lived in Vegas before I moved here. Knew lots of girls. Didn't matter to me. Just a job."

"So what I do... Doesn't bother you?" she asked.

"Nope. I'm not a saint, can't expect others to be one either."

"What have you done?"

He made a sour face. "I got messed up in an auto theft ring last year. I was stupid, trusted some guys I shouldn't have, and almost got busted."

Robin let the foot Tim wasn't working on trail up his chest and neck, letting her toes tickle at his ear.

"Cute, treats me like a queen and is okay with my decadent life of crime. I may have to keep you," she teased. "So why aren't you taken?"

Tim chortled. "Because all my other girlfriends said I had to pick between my love of fast cars and them." He grabbed her errant foot and kissed the inside of her ankle. "The cars always won..."

+
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC)
Confession
Please see the Vice Series post for information on this Series and for the Part 12 Confession.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
iolsaiiolsai on January 30th, 2008 10:09 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Hey, I just realized you now passed half-time!

Not sure if I should be happy you got so much done already or sad about the end coming closer...
I pick happy, because it's a great accomplishment and I'm so proud of you.
Congrats!
Love it!
(Of course, saying this is so much easier knowing that there's Virtue :D)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 7th, 2008 06:28 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
It took a week to notice? /weeps/

Yes, the end coming is a happy thing since Virtue is up next.

I'm fighting the muse who wants to start writing it early. (My assumption is she just wants Don and Kim to have sex and is impatient since Vice is pretty sexless as of late. Hehehe)
iolsaiiolsai on February 7th, 2008 06:57 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
It took a week to notice? /weeps/

Are you talking about me or *you* ;-)
Hehe.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 7th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Hey, I was busy writing *more* Vice. You're supposedly the one waiting with baited breath for more!

But then, that doesn't mean you wait excitedly for the Vice *Confession* posts. :-P
Karen: numb3rs boysbyrons_brain on January 30th, 2008 11:55 am (UTC)
Yay, another great chapter.... looking forward to more....
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Hey! Cool icon! I don't think I've seen that one before. I like the line up.
fredbassettfredbassett on January 30th, 2008 12:43 pm (UTC)
Good chapter! I particularly liked the Do/Megan interaction.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was about time for a good scene with just those two.
melissimamelissima on January 30th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
So much good stuff in this part! I love the interactions between Megan and the boys especially, but the scenes with Kim and Robin were a lot of fun.

:parks on the refresh button:

...

:wishes for a time machine:

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
Is there a Doctor in the house? ;-)

Refresh button? No pressure... Hehehe

/smooches/
andi: Ian sniper treeadmiralandrea on January 30th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Yay, great chapter! Loved Megan setting Don straight on things particularly with regard to Ian.

As it worked last time, :sends muse more chocolate:
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Here's hoping it does work.

Interestingly that line wasn't Megan's originally. I had an idea for a future scene, but since I didn't write it right away I lost part of it ans was *very* angry with myself as I never got it back. I wrote the scene anyway since all I was missing was the B (I try to have all the scenes in Vice do double duty so they accomplish their A mission but also have at least once additional purpose or meaning. In this case I lost the secondary one for that scene only.)

I ended up giving Charlie a bit of a rant and it ended with this line.

I hated it.

So when I was working on scenes that come earlier in Vice this scene came out of nowhere and it just seemed perfect to put those words in Megan's mouth instead.

The problematic scene got rewritten as well, but I'm still grumbling about the fact that there's *one* imperfect scene in Vice and there's now something missing I had intended to put in the story.

Grr...

Edited at 2008-01-30 05:48 pm (UTC)
telperion_15: Dropping the Stelperion_15 on January 30th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
Why do I think Don should listen to Megan...

Another great chapter! :-D
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 30th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
He should, but will he? /evil grin/

Thanks for reading!
hear me roar: Flowerpianomagisterequitum on January 30th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
I read this this morning before classes, and then now I'm reading it for the second time.

The scene with Don and Megan was just great. It's hard to have these two badasses sit down and be heartfelt with one another, and I liked that Don told her no matter what, she could talk to him now and they could be straight with one another. Then it was great when she turned it around and told him what was what. But, somehow, I'm not too sure that Don is going to listen.

Robin is just too cute, and I would love to have Tim rubbing my feet! =)

And then Kim. I think that was my favorite part of this. Just the scene with her in the bay and on the boat was really visual. And I just want to root for her and Don. *Grins*

Fantastic, Emma!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 31st, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Yay! Someone rooting for Don/Kim!

/is happy/

The Kim scene was written far in advance of the others and was - I thought - really well articulated. The others came all at once much later so they're a bit more stylistically in tune with each other.

I originally wasn't going to have Robin wind up with Tim, but I *like* Tim and I can kind of see her taking a shine to him. He's understanding without being jaded and that's kind of refreshing to her, I assume.

I could totally see Megan and Don being tight in the early days, but her making a concerted effort later not to show any weakness around him. As in canon, she's not the first of his team to join him so she had to work to get to be his most trusted lieutenant over people like Billy and Terry who knew him longer.

And Don might listen... Eventually. ;-)

Thanks for your enthusiastic and wonderful comment!
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 23rd, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
/struggles to keep lips zipped/