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28 October 2011 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs/X-Men Fic: Chess Unchecked  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge October 2011 Rewind – Chess, Charm, Cheat, Check
Crossposted to crossoverfic and n3crossovers

Title: Chess Unchecked
Pairing/Characters: Charlie, Charles, OC
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 1200
Spoilers: Pilot (Numb3rs); XMFC
Summary: Two geniuses meet over a chessboard at a scientific conference
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

202. Chess

Charlie's reverie was broken when a shadow crossed the chessboard he'd been staring at.

"You look in need of a partner."

Charlie had, admittedly, been wishing to duck out of the genetics conference for a while. He was only there because he assisted with the math on a paper written by one of Cal Sci's geneticists.

The man standing above him was slight, suitably academic pale and had a lilting British accent. Apparently seating himself at an already set up chessboard was taken as an invitation.

"Do you play?" Charlie asked politely.

"I dabble." The man extended his hand. "Charles Xavier."

"Charles Eppes." Charlie shook the man's hand then gestured him into the seat opposite him. "Would you like white?"

"That would be lovely." Charles executed a brisk pawn opening. "So, are you enjoying the conference?"

"To be honest?" Charlie said candidly. "Genetics isn't my thing. I'm a mathematician who happened to assist on one of the papers being presented tomorrow." He cocked his head at his new companion just as Charles claimed one of his rooks. "How about you?"

"Well, I'm not terribly busy until the final day, so I felt a small break was deserved." He flashed a friendly smile, one that put Charlie completely at ease. He had startling blue eyes that sparked with intelligence and a hint of mischief, drawing Charlie in.

"As long as you don't mind spending your break getting beaten at chess," Charlie teased, capturing one of Charles' knights.

"Ah, the sin of the mathematician to believe they are the ultimate chess players!" Charles offered up a well-meaning laugh. "How about we decide now, no matter what happens, we'll make this conference a best of three match?"

A warm feeling of anticipation rose up in Charlie as he nodded in agreement.

"You're on."

283. Charm

Charlie was in the hotel bar the night of the second day after having successfully backed Dr. Hallstrom in presenting his paper on the adaptogenic qualities of neuropeptides in regards to RNA production when a familiar accent greeted him from behind.

"Considering a nice single malt scotch to fortify yourself for a rematch at the chess table?"

Charlie smiled even before he turned around to find Charles smirking behind him.

"Scotch is my brother's drink. I prefer to keep a level head when faced with a challenge."

"Oh, so you consider me a challenge then?" Charles' smile was infectious. "I thought you'd dismissed me as a mere amateur after that spectacular checkmate yesterday. I must say, I sorely underestimated your underhandedness and I say that with all due respect." He gestured to the nearby table where they'd played the day before. It was empty and the area around it mostly deserted, as if reserved for them. "Shall we?"

"Of course," Charlie responded. "Just give me a moment..." The bartender returned and placed a drink in front of Charlie which he paid for with several bills and brought over to the table with them.

"Oh, I see!" Charles laughed, bemused. "This is your way of saying I'm not a challenge at all!"

"I never said that," Charlie taunted, taking a sip of his cocktail. "But you're welcome to prove me wrong."

They sat in their same seats as before, but Charles moved the board so that Charlie would start as white this time.

"It's only fair, since I went first last time," Charles told him, flashing his most charming smile.

Charlie put his hand out to move his first pawn.

"And it doesn't hurt that you can blame it as the reason you lost."

Charles chuckled gleefully.

"Touche. Now... Let's play."

274. Cheat

"You cheated!"

Charles threw his head back and laughed uproariously.

"I did nothing of the sort!" he protested as he tried to catch his breath, clearly amused.

"You did!" Charlie wagged a finger at his new friend, but it held no real warning. "What that was? Was a decidely criminal case of planned distraction. I bet you even hired that woman to come sit on the edge of my chair and 'watch' us play."

"Hired is such a crude term," Charles said, waving a hand dismissively. "I just thought a young man such as yourself might enjoy the attentions of a lovely redhead such as herself."

"While you quietly made off with both my bishops!" Charlie protested.

Charles looked like he was enjoying the memory. "Ah, that was delightful. They were just there, ripe for the plucking."

Charlie glanced at the clock which showed 12:04. "Okay, we finished our game before midnight and now it's officially tomorrow. How about we play our last game now?"

"Now?" Charles raised an eyebrow at him as if trying to read him then put two fingers to his temple and stared at him a moment longer. "Yes, now I think would be good."

"Okay then." Charlie started setting up the board again, pausing only to glare at Charles and shake a queen at him. "No cheating this time."

Charles put up his hands, the picture of innocence except for the wicked little grin curling his lips.

"I wouldn't dream of it."

Charles turned the board back so that Charles was white.

"We're one and one right now and this game decides it. But I warn you... I'm not just any math genius."

Charles opened with a pawn and settled himself back into his armchair.

"And I, my friend, am not just any genetics professor."

285. Check

After the sting of defeat, Charles had been tempted to leave the conference early, but Dr. Hallstrom kept getting requests for interviews which he wanted Charlie to attend as well. By the time dinner and the final keynote came around he was exhausted and ready for a good meal and a good night's sleep before their morning flight home to California.

There was a program by his place setting, but not knowing anyone in the field of genetics, Charlie hadn't bothered to read it. He was here to support a co-worker, not glean any new knowledge. His interests lay far from genetics in all ways but one: catching criminals using DNA evidence.

With Dr. Hallstrom absorbed in conversation with the professor on the other side of him Charlie was left to eat in peace, enjoying the meal and relishing the fine dessert and coffee that followed.

The master of ceremonies on the dais was going on about the keynote speaker and Charlie barely paid him much attention. Cambridge, he picked up, leading expert in the world on genetic mutations... More accolades listed than he had patience for so he tuned out again until three words caught his ear just before the room erupted into ebullient applause.

"Professor Charles Xavier!"

Charlie blinked as he watched his chess partner take the stage. Reeling in disbelief, he even checked the program to confirm his name and was awed by all the awards Charles had won in his field.

"Dr. Eppes..." Dr. Hallstrom tapped him on the arm. "I've just been offered an opening to present at the fall conference in Florence. Do you think you might be able to come?

If Charles would be there, Charlie thought to himself, he would definitely like a rematch.

"Fiorenze, mi favorito," Charles murmured. "Count me in."

ladygray99ladygray99 on November 1st, 2011 05:40 am (UTC)
:) I really can't help it if I read this with slash goggles.
cat_13145cat_13145 on November 1st, 2011 06:52 am (UTC)
Same. I'd love to see a sequel to this, and I'm not normally a fan of X Men cross overs.
One Part Exuberance; Two Parts Obsession: pleased geniuspenguingal on November 1st, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
Slash goggles? Fused to my face? What? :)

Thoroughly enjoyable, my dear! I, too, would enjoy seeing more.
Ayesha: City Under Skybrowngirl on November 1st, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE post this to firstclass100! *squees in delight*
Indigo Catindigocat on November 2nd, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
Hope there is a sequel.
carletonagik on November 2nd, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
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