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05 February 2008 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Vice - Part 13  


Title: Vice - Part 13
Series/Universe: Vice
Pairing/Characters: See Series post
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Seasons 1, 2 and 3
Summary: Tension builds as enemies loom on the horizon (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ



Saturday, 6/9/07 - Day

"You've reached the office of Dr. Charles Eppes..."

Kit snapped his cell phone shut with a muttered curse and laid his forehead against the glass of his apartment window.

A perfect Saturday in Southern California... To his right was the Santa Monica pier, teeming with tourists enjoying the amusement park rides in the bright afternoon sun. To his left, the beachfront boardwalks of Venice where he knew every bit of concrete worth skateboarding over, where smiling girls in bikinis would watch guys do tricks and jumps in front of the No Skateboarding signs, where his friends from his old life were probably wondering what happened to him.

His hand opened and closed against the plate glass, his lungs rebelling against the artificial taste of air-conditioned air.

He'd found himself lingering in the shower every day since it had the only window in the apartment that opened at all, even if it was only a couple of inches. He'd sucked in the fresh air with a sense of desperation, as if he would drown without it.

He opened the phone and dialed again.

"Security."

"This is Kit. I really need to get out of here..."

"I already told you, no car and no bodyguards unless one of the bosses says it's okay for you to go out."

"Come on man, I'm dying in here!"

"Go to the gym if you want out of your apartment."

"The basement? How is that any better? At least here I can see what I'm missing!"

He snapped his phone shut again with an anguished growl.

Frustrated, he dialed Charlie's cell phone again.

"Hello..."

"Charlie! Oh man, I'm so glad I finally got through to you."

"Kit! Is something wrong?"

"God yeah, you've got to bust me out of this place. I'm going stir crazy in here not being able to go anywhere."

"I'm sorry, Kit. It's for your own protection. I thought you understood that."

"I do, but I'm dying here! I'm not an indoor kind of guy!" He gazed out the glass with a painful longing. "Please, can I just go outside for a while?"

"I'll ask Megan about it," Charlie offered. "But she probably won't agree to it until next week at the earliest. I have to run. I'll talk to you soon, okay? I want to go over those new statistics with you on Monday..."

"Yeah, sure," Kit said, his voice deadened.

He hung up the phone, tossed it aside aimlessly and headed into the bathroom to take another shower.

+

"Another gorgeous weekend..." David let out a long contented sigh. "I tell you it's really hard to miss New York when the weather here is this perfect."

Millie finished making herself a Mimosa and sat back to enjoy the view from the rooftop patio. "I may be tempted to slip into the pool after the meeting's over."

David flagged down Megan as she and Antoine approached the table.

"Megan, it's summertime. We need to schedule another party up here. You don't let us come up here enough."

"Get someone to fix my electronic blinds so you guys aren't staring into my apartment windows while you're up here and I'd be willing to unlock the gate more often," she tossed back, taking a seat next to him as Antoine sat next to Terry. "Okay, everyone settled?"

"Just about." Antoine poured himself some orange juice then gestured to her to go ahead.

"Right then. This is an informal meeting. No minutes, no recording devices, no talking to staff about this." After a round of acknowledging nods she continued. "The day before yesterday I had a talk with Don about retiring. He still hasn't agreed to yet, but I think I gave him something to think about. What I want to talk about today is what if he says yes."

"He won't," Terry asserted. "He'd never leave us if he thought there was a threat he needed to protect us from. He's not like that."

"But what about the threat he causes?" Antoine countered. "It's not just Edgerton! Tuttle's got it in for him! Tuttle never had any truck with me, just Don. And his Penfield's got it in for Charlie something wicked." He turned to Megan. "Did you tell him that I said it's more dangerous to us if he stays?"

"I didn't name names, but I expressed that to him, yes. I don't think he ever saw it that way so let's hope it gives him pause. Now..." She looked at all of them. "If he says yes, that will change the power structure of the organization. The succession plan has always been Don, then Charlie then me. We're taking two people out at once if they retire so I need to know who's going to be next in line should something happen to me once I take over. I know each of your capabilities so that's not the issue. The concern here is do any of you want to be in line to take over the company?"

Antoine put his hands up and shook them in refusal. "Oh, no. Not me. I'm already semi-retired. Celeste wants my fingers out of the pie permanently, but for the near future I'm happy where I am running the gambling part of the operation. I'm too old to go up against Tuttle."

David piped up next. "I'm with Antoine. I'm happy running Security. I don't have any designs on moving up ever." He shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not that ambitious of a guy. I don't want the stress of being in charge of it all."

Millie put her drink down. "I don't really want Don's job," she said slowly. "But if we lost a bunch of people and I had to step up? I would. However..." A sly smile graced her face. "I would like your job someday, Megan."

Megan nodded and turned to Terry.

"I'm in," she stated emphatically. "I want your job, I want Don's job. I want you to hand the company over to me when you're ready to retire. I have an MBA. I've put in my years building up The Loft and I'm ready for the next challenge."

"Glad to hear it. In fact, each of you responded exactly how I anticipated."

"I'd expect nothing less," David said, raising his glass to her.

"So unofficially, here's how I think things will go. I'll take over when Don steps down. Terry, you'll take my job as Vice President. Third in the line of succession will be Howard, but only if the top job is open. He's more useful to us as our attorney than as a Vice President. Otherwise it's you Millie."

"Understood," Millie responded. "I'd prefer that actually."

"The new club will need someone to run it and with three locations I want to add a layer to the hierarchy rather than adding anyone new to this table. Millie, I'd like you to take the new position overseeing Code, The Loft and the new club. We'll work together to replace Terry at The Loft and choose who will run each club."

"Speaking of adding someone to this table..." Terry made a show of looking around. "Why is Kit not here?"

"Kit got the seal of approval, no doubt," Megan said. "But as much as I'm ready for him, I'm not so sure he's ready..."

+

"Very impressive..."

Everett reviewed the dossier on the desk in front of him, going through it slowly page by page while Marshall stood waiting in front of him.

"I agree. The contacts we made at the sports establishments Oswald used to frequent were able to provide us with quite a few examples of his abilities."

"So why wasn't Mr. Kittner snatched up before the Eppes brothers could get to him?"

"He was a mere street urchin!" Marshall exclaimed, his distaste evident in his voice. "Who knew this dirty little rent boy had a brilliant mind for math? He didn't even go to college," he scoffed.

"Marshall, I don't pay you a lot of money because you have a Ph.D. I pay you a lot of money because you get results." He handed the folder to Marshall. "The Eppes brothers already have an unfair advantage. I don't want them to have this kid as another one. If we can't have him, I don't want them to have him either. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Mr. Tuttle," Marshall said formally. "But I would like to take some time to try to recruit him. A mind like that..."

"Is a terrible thing to waste. Yeah, I know," Everett said, waving a hand dismissively. "I have faith that you'll take care of this matter."

"Thank you, Sir." Marshall held himself up straight. "They've got bodyguards on him and he almost never leaves the apartment building, but I'm confident I can reach him."

"Are you sure you're not overconfident?" Everett asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Don't worry," Marshall said smugly. "I'll get to him."

+

Ian fished in his kitchen drawer for a bottle opener and popped the cap off his beer before heading to the living room.

He detoured to where he had his desk in the corner of the small room and removed a cardboard box from the top shelf of the hutch over his workspace.

He blew an imagined speck of dust off the lid as he carried it over to the coffee table. He sat down on the edge of the couch, taking a long swig and then a second before opening the box.

Inside were newspaper clippings - some old and yellowing, others fairly new.

He pulled them out one by one, arranging them to the left of the box or to the right.

A tiny rectangle of text with an unimposing headline that read 'Couple, Driver Die in Two Car DUI Crash' was placed to the left.

A larger article with a bolder headline font went to the right. It read 'Teen Saves Brother, Parents Slain.'

There were more articles on the right side and after a while he had to move the box over to the mostly empty left side to make room for them.

'Young Math Genius Earns Scholarship to Princeton', 'Local Orphans Return to Start Restaurant', 'LA's Most Eligible Brothers Open New Nightclub.'

Ian pulled a white paper out of the box. Instead of newsprint, this was a community center newsletter, xeroxed on cheap copy paper. 'Ian Eggerton Graduates Police Academy.' He scowled at the misspelling of his name, as he always did, but at least the photo of him in his new uniform was good and fairly large at that.

The last clipping in the box was a magazine cover, full color and glossy. Ian remembered seeing the picture growing up. It had taken on a life of its own - reprinted in local and national publications. It had been used for the cover story of a national news magazine. The story focused on the rise in random urban violence.

The photograph was taken at the scene of the crime, not long after the emergency vehicles had arrived. Charlie had been pulled away from the bodies of his dead parents - his hands and shirt still stained with their blood after clutching at them in denial. His face expressed the epitome of anguish, soul-wrenching sobs clearly ripping him apart in grief.

He clung to his big brother and Don had his arms around him, consoling him as best he could. The stunned faraway look in Don's eyes was familiar to Ian. He'd seen cops in the field wear it after their first kill.

He hadn't hated them when he first saw that picture. He'd actually felt bad for them, losing their parents to tragedy.

That hadn't lasted long.

He put the beer aside and walked over to his liquor cabinet, pulling out a bottle and grabbing a glass.

He sat back down on the couch, poured himself a drink and stared at the pictures.

+
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 6th, 2008 08:02 am (UTC)
Confession
Please see the Vice Series post for information on this Series and for the Part 13 Confession.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
telperion_15: Fic Necromancertelperion_15 on February 6th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
Love Megan's organisation and forward-thinking in this - a woman after my own heart!

And the picture of the accident - a little glimpse of the past... *shivers*

But why do I think that keeping Kit cooped up might end up backfiring on the Eppes'...?
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 6th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
Love Megan's organisation and forward-thinking in this - a woman after my own heart!

Yes! Vice!Megan is clearly capable of running the empire without Don. She's practically doing it now. Someone has an icon that has Competence on it and it's listed as a kink on Eliade's master list of kinks so I guess that makes Megan all the more appealing!

And the picture of the accident - a little glimpse of the past... *shivers*

Okay, I had a discussion with someone with this and they thought Don and Charlie's parents were killed in an accident. Alan and Margaret were shot by a man who Don killed to protect Charlie. That's come up in Vice more than once. Ian's parents were killed by a drunk driver.

Since there's no actual picture of the car accident, I'm hoping I'm just misinterpreting this and you're not implying Alan and Margaret died in a car crash.

/momentary insecurity/

I mean I know it's long, but I'd hoped that I'd made it clear that all of Vice came about because Alan and Margaret were *murdered* and Don *killed* a man to save his brother.

But why do I think that keeping Kit cooped up might end up backfiring on the Eppes'...?

May I introduce you to my anvil? ;-)
melissima: don/charlie elevatormelissima on February 6th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
where smiling girls in bikinis would watch guys do tricks and jumps in front of the No Skateboarding signs,

LOL! Pauvre Kit. /pets him/

"I'm in," she stated emphatically. "I want your job, I want Don's job. I want you to hand the company over to me when you're ready to retire. I have an MBA. I've put in my years building up The Loft and I'm ready for the next challenge."

HEE! Oh, Terry! *loffs* That is so perfect. I can just see her face, too. :)

'Ian Eggerton Graduates Police Academy.' He scowled at the misspelling of his name,

Oh no they didn't! argh! LOL. This happened to my dad with his retirement gift. /facepalm./

Charlie had been pulled away from the bodies of his dead parents - his hands and shirt still stained with their blood after clutching at them in denial.

*Sobs* Poor Charlie! I think giving this to us in Ian's bitter, detatched POV makes it hurt more. Ow. Brava.

He clung to his big brother and Don had his arms around him, consoling him as best he could. The stunned faraway look in Don's eyes was familiar to Ian. He'd seen cops in the field wear it after their first kill.

Ow ow! Damn, woman! Don holding a bloodstained Charlie wasn't enough? You had to give me a Don younger than Rockstar coping with murder? WAAH!!


He hadn't hated them when he first saw that picture. He'd actually felt bad for them, losing their parents to tragedy.

That hadn't lasted long.


Ian, you have so much bad karma! I predict a future life as a dung beetle...




Edited at 2008-02-06 02:41 pm (UTC)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 7th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
Ow ow! Damn, woman! Don holding a bloodstained Charlie wasn't enough? You had to give me a Don younger than Rockstar coping with murder? WAAH!!

Hey, I gave you that *months* ago in Vice. I'm just showing you a photograph now. :-P

Yeah, it's more interesting to have a sympathetic look at the criminal brothers from someone with no compassion for them at a time where we kind of do feel sympathy for the compassionless man.

Say *that* ten times fast. snickers/

BTW, are you sure dung beetles don't have a great life? I mean, usually not a shortage of dung anywhere in the world save maybe Antarctica. ;=)

When people used to bitch 'it's a dog's life' I'd respond with, hmm free food and board, people pet me and love me and I can sleep all day if I want and never do a lick of work. Yeah, dog's life indeed!

Just depends on *which* dog.

You and I keep making our hearts redder and bigger don't we? /smiles/

BTW, *ouch* about your dad's retirement. That totally sucks. I hope he took it in stride and assumed some new young kid was in charge of spelling and sucked at it. /nods/

/♥ you back/
andi: Don thoughtful B&Wadmiralandrea on February 6th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
Uh oh! Methinks that keeping Kit inside is going to go badly wrong! :Dun, dun, dun: And some great imagery in this.

And I just read your confession post about other authors writing in the universe and I think that sounds like an intriguing idea. I wouldn't do it myself - just not my type of writing. But I can understand why you'd want to guard your precious baby to yourself.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 7th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
Methinks that keeping Kit inside is going to go badly wrong! :Dun, dun, dun:

Yeah, that anvil was particularly heavy, wasn't it? ;-)

I might open it up, but for now I feel calmer knowing people have to *ask* first at least. It's my only WIP fic published so it would be weird, almost competitive, to post in it now. /shrugs/

Thanks!
Karen: numb3rs charliebyrons_brain on February 6th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
::bites nails:: please there must be more!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 7th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Well, at first there wasn't - literally. I had zero of five planned scenes written for Part 14. NONE! /flails/

I now, as of today, happily have two of five done so chances look good that Part 14 will be released on time next Vice Tuesday.

Or, as you Brits must think of it, Vice Wednesday. ;-)
hear me roar: PearlsAndKeysmagisterequitum on February 6th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
So once again, I read this this morning and then came back for another round. =)

Poor Kit. He's all cooped up, but I do think that this might cause some issues. And could potentially backfire. Big time.

Ahhh. Everyone is dreaming to get higher up on the ViceLadder. Megan is perfect, and then Terry and Millie's reactions were just too funny.

The ending? With those pictures. Gagh! That tore at me. The pictures of Don and Charlie, young, after their parents' death. The collection of photographs and clippings shows just how obsessive Ian is about this. Karma will end up getting everyone.

I miss my Kim/Don moments though. ;)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 7th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
Poor Kit. He's all cooped up, but I do think that this might cause some issues. And could potentially backfire. Big time.

Bad me. I really should not be so anvilicious with this fic. /loud mock sigh/

LOL at ViceLadder! /loffs/

Karma's an interesting notion, especially in Viceworld. You may not be wrong about it in the long run. /grins/

About the clippings, Ian's like one of those Criminal Minds serial killers - obsessively collecting clippings of his targets. Only without the serial killing. And the Criminal Minds cast. ;-) (But I'm pretty sure Ian's got just as much if not more of a criminal mind than Don! Charlie? Jury's still out...)

I miss my Kim/Don moments though.

Part 16.

IMHO best Don/Kim scene in this fic.

For the *really* good Don/Kim you have to wait for Virtue. Sorry!
numberbiscuitnumberbiscuit on January 30th, 2016 12:35 pm (UTC)
I really hate Ian in this series. He is so unbearably bitter about Don and Charlie's success and just won't leave them in peace. But then again - where would the excitement come from if the Eppes boys didn't have a few enemies and rivals?

I love Megan in this series, she is hugely capable and has a lot of power. It really shone through in that informal meeting :)