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26 August 2009 @ 07:17 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Virtue - Parts 27 and 28  


Title: Virtue - Parts 27 and 28
Series/Universe: Vice / Virtue
Pairing/Characters: See Series Post
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4
Summary: Leads make it look like Ian's out of the picture but he's more of a threat than ever (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ



Tuesday, 7/31/07 - Day

"I'd feel better if you didn't leave the grounds."

"I'd feel better if you didn't leave the grounds," Kim countered, hands on her hips. "I thought we weren't going to let Ian ruin our lives?"

"We're not," Don argued. "We're just being prudent. And if you don't have to go out..."

"I'm not missing my doctor's appointment," Kim said, adamant. "And I don't see why you have to go do a walk through of the new club when you're retired."

"It's better if I do it from a legal standpoint," Don explained. "I signed off on the work orders and if things aren't done to my specifications then I need to be the one to say it doesn't match what I asked for. If Megan signs off and then finds out they didn't do what I wanted? We have no legal recourse to get them to fix it."

Kim sat on the edge of the bed to put her shoes on. "So we go out with our extra security and get what needs to get done taken care of."

"We were just at a place with a clinic for a week," Don said. "You could have seen a doctor there."

"Not my doctor," Kim tossed back, rising and fetching her purse.

Don put out a hand to halt her. "Okay, okay. But at least let me leave first. That way if Edgerton is out there he'll follow me and not you."

Kim nodded begrudgingly. "Any news on that rumor?"

Don let out a breath. "I sent out a few guys with bribe money and the word keeps coming back that he's in Moreno Valley with a cousin or something. The guys who went down there flashing his picture in stores reported that a couple of the shopkeepers had seen him and said that he looked beat up, walking with a limp and all. So let's hope he really is laying low a three hour drive away."

"I know about Mo Valley," Kim mused. "It's really Hispanic in terms of demographics. A man who looks like Ian would blend right in. I'm kind of surprised these shopkeepers know for sure it's him."

"People tend to remember a guy who looks like he just got the crap beaten out of him," Don countered. "Still, until he's back on a tracker and under surveillance I'm not going to underestimate him. He could still be around - beat down or no beat down. He's too driven to let a little pain get between him and his goal."

Kim shuddered, scowling. "Not a pleasant thought." She let out a long breath. "Okay, I should get going so you should get going."

"Okay," Don said, grabbing his jacket.

"Come home soon," she said, finally caving enough to give him a kiss.

"Come home safe," he stressed.

+

"Come on, Megan! You're killing me here!"

Darby prowled the near empty living room of her apartment, her phone to her ear and a scowl on her face.

"Darby, you've barely been out of the hospital a week..."

"Ten days," Darby interrupted. "Plenty of time off. More than enough. So let me go back to work."

"No. Not until the doctor gives you a clean bill of health."

"I'm fine!"

"You're not a doctor!" Megan countered. "Who do you think I'm going to believe? A doctor who gets paid regardless of diagnosis or a woman who thinks being confined to a luxury apartment is a prison sentence?"

"I want to get out on the street again; I'm tired of being cooped up in here."

"No one said you had to stay home, Darby." Megan's voice was firm yet kind. "But I'm not going to okay you to work if you do go out there."

"Edgerton's in the wind," Darby said solemnly, changing her tack. "Don and Kim and Charlie are sitting ducks every time they step outside. He's a sniper and a good one! Until I track him down again they're not safe!"

"We've got people looking," Megan told her. "You're not the only one on the payroll who can do that work."

"No, but I'm the best you've got," Darby grumbled.

"Yes, you are," Megan agreed, her tone softening. "Which is why we can't afford to lose you. If you go out on the street and something happens - like you pass out while on your bike or your reflexes are too slow in a fire fight?" There was a sobering pause on the other end of the line. "I would never forgive myself. Yes, Don and Charlie and Kim are at risk, but I'm not willing to make them a little safer at your expense. You matter too, Darby. Don't forget that."

"Yeah, well..." Darby said awkwardly.

"When's your next doctor's appointment?"

"I'm negotiating that," Darby answered.

"What does that mean?"

"It means he doesn't want to see me again for at least a week and I need to get back on the streets before then, so I'm trying to come to an agreement on how soon I can go in and actually get signed off as opposed to going back in and just getting told not yet."

"Sounds like I'll have to ask him directly when you're fit to return to duty."

"I wouldn't lie to you!" Darby said, pretending at more affront than she actually felt.

"No, but if the doctor said you were doing great that's the part you'd relay back to me, not the part about wanting to see you back in another week."

"Hey, how about them Dodgers?" Darby said, quickly changing the subject.

"Go get some sunshine or something," Megan told her. "Call me once you've seen the doctor again."

"Fine," Darby conceded begrudgingly. "But tell David's guys to call me if they need more tips on who to talk to for intel!"

"Will do. Get some rest..."

Megan hung up and Darby stared at the phone, annoyed.

"Rest..." she grumbled. "Who needs rest?"

+

"Everything looks good. You seem to be progressing normally."

Kim let out a sigh of relief as her doctor reviewed her paperwork.

"So you don't think I have to worry about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?"

"Based on how little alcohol you had and it was only wine you said, not hard liquor..."

"Just half glasses of wine a couple of times."

"I'd say your risk factor is fairly low. Quite a few women don't find out they're pregnant right away so it's fairly common for social drinkers to have had small amounts of alcohol early in their pregnancy. There is no safe amount of alcohol for a fetus..."

"Don't worry, I haven't had a drop since," Kim said hastily. "And I won't."

"Very good. We'll be able to do more tests once you're a few more weeks along, but for right now just keep taking your prenatal vitamins as prescribed." The doctor made some notes on the chart. "I'm a little concerned about your blood pressure though. It's still in the normal range, but markedly higher than any other time you've been in. Are you under a great deal of stress?"

Kim huffed out a little laugh. "That's the understatement of the year."

"Are you overworking yourself? Spending too many hours on the job? You will probably find you tire more easily before too long."

"Actually I quit my job," Kim said. "I didn't think being in the field would be safe for her."

The doctor smiled. "You're already thinking girl then."

"Yeah," Kim said, her hand going to her stomach. "I guess I am."

"Well, hopefully when we do the ultrasound the results will be fairly conclusive. We wouldn't want any surprises on the baby's birthday, would we?" the doctor said with a wink. She went back to looking at the file. "You should bring the baby's father in for the ultrasound. Men really do like that part and it helps get them involved and excited."

"I don't know," Kim said, a little dismissive.

"Surely you want to see the baby," the doctor marveled.

"I do, it's just... It's complicated."

"You don't think the father would want to come?"

Kim made a face and a noise of regret escaped her.

"He's really busy..."

+

"Those aren't the same lights I originally approved."

Don pointed overhead as he and Megan walked with Liz through the finished club.

"I asked for them to be changed," Liz said. "And Megan approved it. I'd seen them used at another club and they are rated high for wattage, but they're really not that bright in place. I found them rather wimpy, so I had the vendor upgrade us to a model using reflective long life bulbs that run with less energy yet appear more brilliant to the naked eye. They should save us some money in electric bills over the years and look more impressive."

Don nodded appreciatively. "Sounds good."

"We've made a few minor cosmetic changes," Megan told him as they wandered across the main dance floor portion of the club. "Liz felt a more monochromatic scheme would play better against the colored lighting so we had the painters pull back on some of the colors in favor of plain white or white with more of those silver wall sculptures you commissioned."

"Those look great," Don said. "It really ties the club in to The Loft in terms of modern art without us having to worry about actually ruining any good art."

"I'm thinking of sponsoring a showing for her and a few of the other artists whose work we've installed at The Loft," Megan said. "Perhaps a charity event for a youth art group?"

"You've already got the hang of being president," Don teased. "Mixing philanthropy and PR..."

"And schmoozing," Megan added. "Don't forget that! Besides, youth group art is one of those areas that Tuttle's ignored. I won't have to worry about him if I start there."

"Trust me, you'll have to worry about him," Don warned. "He'll be stepping all over your toes before you know it."

Megan lifted her chin, eyes steady and strong. "I'm ready."

"How about the barstools?" Don asked, turning his attention back to the club walk through.

"I was really happy with how they turned out," Liz said. "Charlie's statistics match what I've seen in clubs over the years. Drunk people need a wide base and a back on a stool to keep them from falling over and since we really don't want to embarrass our clientele..."

"Or risk lawsuits," Megan interjected.

"I think the decision to go for the slightly less trendy looking stools was a good call. These still look nice, but when I sit on one?" Liz hopped up on a stool. "I feel sturdy even if I move around and the foot rest is in just the right place."

"Did we order enough?"

"Considering the cost ratio of storage in LA to reorder costs?" Liz mused. "I'd say yes. We have some spares in case they're requested for one of the VIP event rooms, but I think we might put in an order for more in about a year."

"I was surprised, given how upscale our demographic is, how many stools had to be pulled from rotation for damage our first year at Code," Don said.

"Accidents happen," Liz said. "Leather gets scratched and torn, metal gets dented and some stains just don't come out. It's all part of doing business - even if that business does cater to people less likely to vomit all over your floor from having too much Dom Perignon."

Don huffed a chuckle into his hand. "Trust me, vomit isn't the bodily excretion we're worried about."

Liz wrinkled her nose. "Remind me to give thank you baskets to the cleaners who handle the VIP rooms. Anyone whose job duties includes cleaning up semen deserves a bonus."

"So, how does it look?" Megan asked as Don stepped onto the center of the dance floor and did a slow 360 degree turn.

"I'd say just like I imagined it?" He finished his survey and turned back to Megan and Liz with a smile. "But it's even better." He nodded his approval, taking it all in. "I can't wait for the grand opening."

+


Tuesday, 7/31/07 - Night

Amita glanced nervously around the parking garage, fingers flipping an object over and over in her hand as she waited for Marshall's car.

She'd put the top up on the convertible, but she'd started obsessing about how the soft top wasn't much protection. Seeing the men attack Marshall had shaken her, made her feel vulnerable, and she no longer went through the city, top down in the sun, without a care.

A text message came in on the disposable cell Marshall had given her and she clicked the device in her hand on.

'Coming in now' the message read.

She was several floors down in an underground parking garage, an area that wasn't really used unless there was a major event going on, and she waited to see his Maserati pull up two spaces over.

He got out and quickly rushed to her car, shutting the door behind him, looking around furtively.

"It's okay," she told him. "I jammed the video cameras! They can't see us." She showed him Colby's feed jammer in her hand. "It's a feed jammer. I kind of borrowed it."

"Brilliant!" Marshall enthused. He cupped her face in his hands and leaned in to kiss her. She melted into his affections, letting herself revel in the complete attention he focused on her. "God, I've missed you," he breathed when they finally separated.

"I've missed you too," she murmured. "Are you sure this is safe? For us to meet like this?"

"It's not," Marshall admitted. "It's never truly safe for us, but I had to see you." He took her hand in both of his. "Listen to me. I want out. I want to quit, leave Tuttle and try to have a normal life. I can't go on like this anymore."

"I want to quit too!" Amita exclaimed. "So why don't we both leave and then they'll have no reason to come after us?"

"Priya, I wish it was that simple! What I have in my head? You don't think the competition would love to know? And you... Why do you think Tuttle bought me trying to recruit you as a project? You know so much about Code's operations, its statistics, its demographics... Stealing you away would be a huge coup for us and a big blow to Eppes Enterprises."

"But I'd never go to work for Tuttle and you'd never come work for Eppes."

"You and I know that," Marshall stressed. "But do you really think Tuttle would believe me? That he'd be willing to take that risk?"

"People have quit before, we wouldn't be the first people to leave," Amita stressed.

"Sure, but none of them were intimately involved with a major player from the competition." Marshall's grip on her hand tightened. "I'm afraid if we try to leave Don will have you killed and I can't bear that. But the alternative? Just stay with Tuttle and have to give you up eventually? I can't live with that either!"

"There has to be a way," Amita told him. "Let me talk to Millie at least. She knows about the professionals who retired. She can tell me how it went and if there's any real danger." She gave Marshall a kiss on the cheek. "I'm sure there's a way. And if there is? We'll find it."

"Just be careful," Marshall told her. "Even asking could raise suspicion. If they think they're losing you? They could watch you more closely and that might mean an end to our meeting in person."

"That," Amita said firmly, "is not going to happen." She leaned in and kissed him one last time. "I'm not giving you up..."

+

"I have three more potential new hires for you to consider." Millie handed a small stack of slim folders to Liz across her desk. "We've been staffing up for months in preparation for E to open and our business to get busier, but I think we need to keep adding. Two of these in particular would be good hostess candidates for the future. One has a Masters degree in English and speaks fluent Spanish and French. The other has a Bachelors in organizational psychology and speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin."

"Very nice," Liz said, opening the folders. "And very hot..." She checked out the headshots in each folder. "Nice eye."

"Thank you." Millie accepted the compliment with a nod. "I pride myself on having good taste when it comes to recruiting."

A rap came on the door just as Liz rose to leave.

"Come in!"

Amita stuck her head in the door. "Hi, do you have a minute?"

"Both of us or just me?" Millie asked.

"Just you, just looking for some advice," Amita said, with a dismissive wave of the hand.

"Sure, come on in."

Liz and Amita shared a non-verbal greeting as they passed each other, Liz closing the door behind her on the way out.

"Nice office!" Amita said, settling into the guest chair Liz had just vacated.

"Thank you! It looks totally different from when it was Antoine's," Millie told her. "I love it already. And having a view! Fabulous!" She leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially. "I keep having to turn my iPod up high - it feels weird to work somewhere so quiet!"

Amita laughed. "I think I'd be that way too."

"So, what can I do for you?"

"It's about working here," Amita admitted. "Alex told me I had to commit to coming back to work as of the 31st and I did, so I'm working tonight, but I... I don't know, I'm not really happy anymore and I'm not sure what it might take to be happy working here again. So I thought I should ask you, since you've had girls quit before, what it's like - leaving the company, I mean."

Millie looked at her, confused. "You give notice, you quit, that's it. Why would it be a big deal?"

"Because of the secrecy of the organization."

"Well, it goes without saying that you can't ever talk about the organization."

"That's the part I want to talk about - the part you think goes without saying."

"Why does it need to be said?" Millie asked. "You can leave, you just can't go to the cops and you can't go to the competition. How hard is that?"

"So I'm not allowed to even be friends with a girl from Tuttle's organization - even if she no longer works for him?"

"Why would you want to?" Millie asked. She took off her glasses and stared at Amita. "Why would you even want the slightest hint of an appearance that you might be passing intel to the other side?"

"But I'm not!" Amita exclaimed. "Why doesn't that count for something?

"Amita..." Millie leaned forward, her expression severe. "Don't you get it? The people who are actually guilty of collaborating with our enemies? Would proclaim their innocence just as loudly as you just did." She sounded out the words very plainly. "There is no way of knowing who is guilty."

She sat back and Amita crossed her arms over her chest, petulant.

"So everyone's guilty?"

"If the lives of everyone you cared about were riding on it, would you take that chance?" Millie asked. She put her glasses back on. "So get any ideas out of your head about making friends with Tuttle's girls. Don would just as soon shoot you if he thought there was a chance you'd double-cross him and Charlie."

"You can't be serious," Amita scoffed, rising.

Millie looked up at her over her glasses.

"If you don't believe that? Go visit Billy Cooper - in the cemetery."

+

"Are all the radio stations crap out here?"

David glanced in the rearview mirror of the SUV to see Jack splayed across the back seat, bored by the long drive from L.A.

"You got somewhere better to be, DeWinter?" he asked dryly.

"You got an iPod to make this a better place to be?" Jack drawled back.

"Actually I do, but I don't have a car adapter on me," Curtis piped up, pretending to pat himself down. "Yup, fresh out of iPod car adapters."

"Bite me, Miller," Jack huffed.

"And here I was going to loan you the iPod," Curtis said, amused. "But instead I think I'll leave you to bad country music interspersed with static while I enjoy some Metallica."

Curtis made a show of putting in his ear buds then turned up the car radio a little louder just out of spite.

David almost immediately turned it down with a warning glare at Curtis.

They drove the final half hour without conversation, Jack perusing the list of stores as they got off the freeway.

"That's the one - on the corner."

David pulled over and parked then the three of them got out and headed over to the small corner market. The tiny building was run down, with peeling paint and bleached out sun-faded signs in the dirty windows.

David entered first, scanning the store with a practiced eye before coming in all the way, Curtis and Jack flanking him.

"Can I help you?" drawled the old man behind the counter. His attention was half split between the tiny black and white TV he was watching and eying the three of them.

"Yes, sir. I was hoping you could help us. We're looking for this man..." David produced a photograph of Ian. "One of my men came by yesterday and you said you'd seen him?"

The old man peered at the picture. "Yeah... That's that fella who was all messed up. Somebody musta bashed his face in good. He don't look that good no more, that's for sure. Limps too. Remember watchin' him walk, thinkin' he reminded me of an old war vet friend o' mine. Never did walk right after 'Nam."

"Are you sure it was him?" David stressed.

"Yeah, I'm sure. Been around a coupla times now. Hard to forget a fella that banged up, ya know?"

"Thank you for your time, sir." David pulled a bill out of his pocket and left it folded on the counter in front of the old man. "Appreciate it."

He headed outside and Curtis and Jack followed right after.

"So he really did see Edgerton," Jack said. "Not sure why you didn't believe the reports."

David waited for them to get in the car before responding.

"I don't believe these sightings," he told them. "Something's not right."

"Like what?" Curtis asked.

"I can't say for sure, but part of counter-surveillance is to lay down a false trail. You don't get far in the business without learning how to smell one. And Edgerton?" He nodded his head, almost in respect of the man's abilities. "He's a pro when it comes to tracking. If he arranged for this guy to lie for him? He did a damn good job of it..."

+

Ian walked into the store and nodded to the man behind the counter. He made a tour of the small shop with wary eyes before returning to the cash register area.

"Anyone show up looking for me?" Ian asked.

"Some suit come lookin' yesterday," the man answered. "Three more 'bout an hour or so back - only different ones. A black dude - bald with one of them fancy beards - dressed all 'spensive like. Had two white dudes backin' him up. All flashin' your picture, askin' if you'd been by."

"What did you tell them?"

"Just whatchu said." The man shrugged his shoulders. "Told 'em I seen you and that you was beat to all hell. They bought it."

"If they bought it why did they send someone else out to check it out?" Ian mused.

"I dunno," the man said. "But they gave me twenty bucks - both of 'em." He looked meaningfully at Ian.

"Just so we're clear, I am not going to give you more money every single time I come back," Ian said, warning in his tone.

"Yeah, sure, whateva," the man drawled, watching Ian's hand on its way to his pocket.

Ian scowled and pulled a few bills from his wallet, slamming them down on the counter.

"There's something you should know about me, just in case you're thinking about accepting more money from these guys and violating our agreement."

"Eh? What's that?" the man asked distractedly, reaching for the money.

Ian slammed his hand down over the cash, a fraction of an inch from the man's extended hand, making him jump.

"I was a sniper in the military - one of the best. I can kill someone from a thousand yards away." He leaned in, his ice-cold steely gaze meeting the man's suddenly frightened eyes as he pronounced each word distinctly. "I. Never. Miss."

+
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 27th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
Confession
It's official: I talk too much. The Virtue Series Post overflowed and won't hold any more of my Confession prattle, so there's a new second post now for the remainder of the series.

Please see the Virtue Series Post (1/2) for information on this Series and the Virtue Series Post (2/2) for the Parts 27/28 Confession.

Information on the Viceworld universe can be found in the Vice Series Post.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
ladygray99ladygray99 on August 27th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
Oh god, Amita you are an idiot.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 27th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
It's truly hard not to headdesk when I write her sometimes, you know? LOL
t_vo0810: by <lj user=" title="t_vo0810: by " />t_vo0810 on September 9th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
"If you don't believe that? Go visit Billy Cooper - in the cemetery." I adore your Millie!! I was rather fond of her in canon as well but I like her even more in Virtue. She was perfect for Alan IMO- it makes me sad that her character just dropped off the radar completely without a word just because Larry (who i adore too) returned. Why not have her on every once in a while? Or mention her? I think it's weird how Numb3rs never mention departed characters again- Larry never talks about Megan, Don never mentions Terry, Alan never has offscreen dates with Millie anymore, and worst of all- Don never pines for the good ol'days with Coop /winks/. I guess I will just have to get my off-character fixes from your AUs!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on September 9th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
I wasn't a big fan of Millie in canon, but Vice!Millie's really something. I can totally see her as, essentially, a brothel madam. LOL I like her no nonsense style and straight talking frankness. It's refreshing.

FWIW I do know that they mentioned her at least once after she left. I think it was Charlie who did it, talking about running something past her or something, but she was mentioned - thus leaving us to assume she's still in the same job, just not interfacing with them as much.

I'm sure TPTB don't want us comparing new people to old people. (Boo Nikki! She's no Megan! That sort of crap - you know?) That said, The Unit ended so they COULD get Max Martini back to do a guest stint as Billy Cooper. /begs/ /pleads/ OMG that would be EPIC!

Out of curiosity, is there anyone in canon you haven't seen in the Viceworld universe, but would like to see? I'm still casting Sin with people and I'm open to bribes suggestions. ;-) (Right now I'm looking at Emmanueline Kirtland from Nine Wives, James Grace from Soft Target and Alice Chen from Trouble in Chinatown.)
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on September 11th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
OMG, if there is a petition to bring Billy Cooper back to N3rs, sign me up! i would virtually stalk the casting director to make that happen :)

Ok- here are some guest star requests in no particular order since you so graciously offered:
1)Ethan Burdick from Prime Suspect
2)Walt Merrick from Pilot Ep
3)Scott Reynolds from Sacrifice
4)Wal Eng from Soft Target
5)Daniel Shay from Calculated Risk
6)Eva Salton from Structural Corruption
7) Travis Grant from The OG (just cause i love aldis hodge!)
8)Seth Marlowe from Graphic
9)Carl McGowen from Blowback, etc
10) Che Lobo from One Hour
11)Tim King from Chinese Box

ok ok i know that's too many but once i got started, i couldn't stop! And some of them may have already been in Vice or Virtue but because I have a brain like a sieve, little details often don't stick to my brainwalls for very long.....
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on September 12th, 2009 12:12 am (UTC)
Oh, very nice list! /applauds/

Merrick is in Vice, though only mentioned briefly. He was the head of Vice at LAPD and on Don's payroll until he died of a heart attack, thus no longer able to keep Ian off their case. So he'll show up in the prequels for sure.

Val Eng I think was in the running to be either a prostitute or a doctor, depending on where I needed her. /grins/

Ethan, Eva, Seth, Carl and Tim are likely to make it in. I think I had Tim in mind for something, only I already made an OMC Tim so he might need to be a Timothy. LOL

Che Lobo is brill! He'd be a total good guy in Viceworld! ROFL I'll put some thought into this and copy this list into one of my notes files for when I'm next thinking about characters.

Thank you!

(And no, it's not too many. More choices is always good!)
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on September 12th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Let me know if you want more! :)