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19 July 2006 @ 10:07 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Smoke and Mirrors  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #64 – Smoke

Title: Smoke and Mirrors
Pairing/Characters: Don
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Man Hunt
Summary: Don goes undercover while hunting a fugitive
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

It's not technically undercover work, but Don isn't himself.

The designer clothes, the Cuban cigars, the money he flashes...

He lets one of the girls pull him away into a private room for a half-hour or so to avoid suspicion.

That's when he relies on Billy to be his eyes and ears.

Billy could never pass in a high end gentlemen's club, so he monitors surveillance from the van as Don listens in and the prostitute pockets the cash he's paid her to not tell anyone they didn't have sex.

The tip is good. They know their fugitive will show. Don just has to play his part and wait.

He's grateful to his mother for making him go to the symphony and the opera.
He's grateful to his father for keeping him up on national and international politics.
He's grateful to Charlie for helping him understand what intellectuals are into.

He moves easily in this world, conversing with the other men, all with beautiful women draped over their luxurious leather club chairs.

Don accepts a cigar from a hostess who makes a show of bending over to light it for him. The aromatic smoke curls in front of him as he exhales with a contented sigh. As the hostess moves away, he unexpectedly catches a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror across the room.

He doesn't recognize the man he sees.

He excuses himself to the men's room and stares at himself in the mirror.

He's not a carefree rich playboy.

He's Agent Don Eppes.

It's his job to put on a face that doesn't belong to him and then dispose of it.

"Everything all right, sir?"

Don hands the washroom attendant a folded bill.

"Everything's fine."

He puts the facade back on then goes back to work.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on July 20th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
I had the title for this fic long before I had any idea what to write.

Normally I get the concept which informs the title or I write first then title, but in this case the title was all I had for quite some time. (Which for me, given how fast and prolific I am, was at least a good hour. /grins/)

I had someone read this fic when I finished it and they gave me their impression of what Don was thinking during the mirror sequence. It was totally different from what I thought he'd be thinking.

So I asked more people (love my betas and f-list!) and got more perspectives, all varied.

I decided I liked this – that it wasn't that the fic wasn't clear, but that it opened itself up to interpretation which was intriguing.

So I let it stand.

I won't say what I thought Don was thinking, because it's moot. Just enjoy whatever you put in his head and that's what the fic is to you.

Very special thanks to monkeyfun1, 1trackmind, iolsai and orlisheart for their assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
NV: Numb3rs - Beautiful Mindneur0vanity on July 20th, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
Looooooove. The imagery! The fact that his family over the years helped to make this operation a possibility!

And Don's reaction to himself? Wow.

Really makes me wonder what's making him react that way. What's going on in that head of his? Is because the act/diguise/facade disgusts him or because -- maybe, on some level -- he wants it?

And it's wonderful that you didn't take it any further. Leaving it where it's at -- with those questions in the reader's mind -- is perfect.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on July 21st, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
What great comments, thanks!

I was all sad thinking Sucker and Smoke and Mirrors were going to get ignored because most people don't comment this late in the week. Well at least Sucker's not getting ignored.

Getting one good comment though is really rewarding. I appreciate every short one, don't get me wrong, it's just this fic begs for feedback on how people saw it, IMHO.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It means a lot.