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19 November 2014 @ 12:00 pm
The Delicate Brothers – ACT 1 (17/17)  
Title: The Delicate Brothers – ACT 1
Author: ladygray99
Rating: NC17
Chapter 17/17
Series: Whitman
Characters/Pairings:Charlie/Colby, Don/OFC, Alan/OFC, Ian/OMC/OFC, Megan/Larry, Tarry Lake, David Sinclair, Matt Li.
Word count: 2,343
Warnings/Spoilers: Threeways, spankings, shaving, sexual discipline, gross descriptions of crime scenes, masturbation, medical stuff related to pregnancy and childbirth, original characters.
Summary: Life progresses, life happens, life perseveres, and life is better with someone by your side.
Notes: Master Notes for Story. This chapter is mostly Don and Anne talking with a bit of Alan and Larry. Sorry about that. It's the final chapter in act one. Thank you for sticking with it and me. I will respond to everyone's comments, and thank you so much for them, I'm just looking for a moment when I can really sit down and answer them properly. If you haven't left any comment yet and want to just say hello that would be really great. Thank you again for all the support and understanding with this.
Beta: None, feel free to point out typos of which there are many I am sure.



Chapter 17

Don's first stop was going to be coffee but there was a serious looking suit standing beside his desk. He took a deep breath and approached. "May I help you?"

"Agent Eppes?"

"Yes."

"AD Spellman."

"Ah, our new man on eleven." Don accepted the very professional handshake. "What can I do for you?"

"Well I've been going through the building the last few weeks trying to meet all the unit heads and I came down here this morning to find your section rather empty. Has a case come up?"

"No, we were just welcoming a new Junior G-Woman into the team." The AD looked confused. "Special Agent Megan Reeves gave birth this morning; we went down to the hospital to pay our respects."

"Ah, I see. Very good."

Don knew he we being judged by this man but he was judging in return. The suit said it all. Ladder climber with an eye on the top job and not much else.

"May we speak somewhere?" Spellman asked.

"Sure." Don lead him into the war room.

"I did my homework before coming to LA Agent Eppes." Spellman said with no preamble. "This is a very interesting office and you run a very interesting team."

Don gave an offhand shrug. "It's an office, it's a team just like the rest of the bureau."

"Now you know that's not true, Agent Eppes. No other Violent Crimes unit in a major city has a solve rate like yours; 85.3%. Very impressive."

Don decided he didn't like this guy already. "I work with good people and we get lucky."

"I highly doubt luck has anything to do with it. The name Eppes can be heard often in DC and Virginia these days."

"Well there's more than one Eppes in the world."

"True, some of that discussion is related to your brother, whom I hope to meet at some point, but when it's connected to the number 85% they are talking about you."

"It's really a team effort."

"Perhaps but it's still a number to be proud of."

"I do my job and I do it to the best of my ability."

"Yes you do which is why I was surprised to inherit this letter from my predecessor." Spellman pulled out a letter from his jacket and opened it. "You wish to leave the field within a year. You wish to teach or take on an administrative roll. For a man with a solve rate that is fast becoming legendary I have to ask why?"

Don pulled out his wallet and pulled out the most recent picture of Anne and Mattie. He handed it over. "Anne and Matthew. We had to go to five doctors before we found one willing to recommend anything other than an immediate termination and the fifth gave us 5% odds of a live birth. I want to coach his t-ball team. I want to drop him off at school. I want to teach him how to surf. I don't want to miss piano recitals and parent teacher conferences because I'm in the middle of a hostage situation. Plus Anne and I are talking about doing it all over again before I get too much older." Don read the AD's face. He obviously wasn't a family man. "I don't think I have too many years of the field left in me anyway."

"What makes you say that, Agent Eppes?"

"I played proball, minor league, when I was younger. Put myself through university on baseball scholarships. I blew out every joint at least twice doing it. The doctors said it would all come back to haunt me when I hit forty but forty was a million years away at the time. It's not anymore and I'm starting to feel it."

"Then I would think you would want to make the most of your filed years remaining."

Don sighed. "With all due respect sir I have a solid and well trained team. Agent Reeves will be excellent as the head of Unit 2. I fully expect her solve rate to exceed mine. Agent David Sinclair will be more than ready to step into my shoes in a year's time. In fact if I had to leave today I'd trust the team to him today. Agent Colby Granger is an excellent and adaptable tactician and frankly the only reason he doesn't have his own team already is because he doesn't want one. We'll have another agent transferring in in a couple of months, Terry Lake. She worked with us a few years ago and she was one of the first to embrace some new techniques we developed. My brother as even taken on his own apprentices and he's working them hard. A couple of years they'll be able to go off on their own. There is no I in team sir. The fight can continue on without me."

Spellman nodded a few times. "Well, we'll see. I'd hate to take an experienced individual out of the field when they're on a roll." Spender looked at this watch and handed Don back the picture of Anne and Mattie. "If you'll excuse me Agent Eppes. I have another meeting. Good day."

~

Alan tapped on the hospital door and peeked his head in. Megan waved at him from her bed. "Alan, come on it. My parents just left."

"Oh, well, I won't stay long then."

"No, no. Please stay. I need some sanity."

Alan let himself the rest of the way into the room. Larry was in a rocking chair with a little bundle in his arms. He didn't seem to be aware of anything else. Alan pulled up a chair next to Megan.

"How are you doing?"

"I'm fine."

"Yeah right."

Megan let out a long sigh. "Oh god, Alan I ache. Every inch of me aches. My toes ache. What the hell do my toes have to do with anything? My legs feel like I've run a marathon. Why?" Megan half wailed. "I haven't hurt this much since Quantico."

Alan took Megan's hand. "You'll feel better in a couple of days."

"And then my parents showed up. My mother actually acted surprised that Larry was here. Who the hell did they think the father was?"

"It'll be okay. You just need a bit of rest and everything will feel a bit more manageable. And if you need any help..."

"Thank you, Alan. I think I just need to get the three of us home."

"Speaking of." Alan looked over his shoulder at Larry.

"Larry?" Megan sang out softly.

Larry looked up. "Oh, hello Alan."

Alan smiled. "Hello Lawrence. May I?"

Larry stood up very carefully then sat on the edge of the bed where Alan could see. "Oh, she's lovely. Charlotte I hear?"

"Yes."

Alan tickled Charlotte's cheek a little, she gave a tiny yawn and her eyes opened a little. "She has your eyes, Larry."

"You were right Alan, about the first thirty seconds."

"And how's the rest going?"

Larry smiled down at his daughter. "So far, perfect."

~
Don swept into his home, swept his wife into his arms, bent her back and gave her a kiss. Anne kissed back until Don began to lose his grip and straitened her back up.

"Not that I'm complaining but what brought that on?"

"Just had a good day. We caught bad guys, we prosecuted and convicted bad guys, Megan had a baby, and someone screwed up and sent us good coffee."

"So all is right with the world?"

"Well I met the new SAC today. Ladder climbing twit, you can tell just looking at him but he'll be gone in a year. He just wants our solve rate to pad out his resume."

"Such is the burden of being the best in the business."

Don wandered over to the large play area and scooped up his son. "And how was your day?"

"We went and met Charlotte." Anne supplied.

"And were you a good boy?" Don asked Mattie.

"He kept trying to put his fingers in her mouth."

Don thought on that for a second. "Nope, not going to try to analyze that." Don bounced his son a bit. "And just you wait, in a few years you're going to have Charlotte to play with and you'll get to be like a big brother and show her all how to do all the best stuff."

"That's assuming Larry will put her down long enough to play."

"You can't blame him."

"I know."

Don just sat on the couch and ruminated on the day a bit. "Larry Flinheardt is a dad."

"Yep."

"The guy who doesn't entirely believe that time exists is now a parent."

"I'm sure he'll do fine."

"I remember when Megan was first going after Larry and Amita was going after Charlie. It was like open season on nerds and they both had this weird dear in headlights look all the time."

Anne sat beside Don with a chuckle. "Well I guess Megan has now truly landed her man now."

Don rubbed his eyes a little. "Megan and Larry."

"Megan and Larry and Charlotte."

"Charlotte. Like Chuck really needed that much more of an ego boost."

"I'm sure the first time she spits up on him it'll suitably deflate his ego again."

Don had to admit the look on Charlie face the first time Mattie spewed all over him had been priceless. He let out a long sigh.

"What was that sigh for?"

"Honestly? I was kind of wishing my mom was here to see this. She and Larry got pretty close while Charlie was at Princeton and Larry doesn't have any family to speak of and she and Megan would have gotten on great. "

"Yeah, I can picture your mom liking Megan."

Don turned towards Anne not liking the slightly dark shift in her voice. "She would have loved you too."

Anne snorted. "That's not the vibe I got. I mean I was still messed up in those days but it felt pretty solidly judgmental."

Don was supremely confused. "What are you talking about?"

"When I met your mother, sort of. I don't think I'd ever gotten a more pitying look. If I had the ability to sit up at the time I would have probably hit her."

"When did you meet my mother?"

Anne looked at him like he was an idiot. "That night, in the hospital? She came to pick up Charlie. I was on the bed next to him."

Don shook his head like he was trying to shake water out of his hears. "She came to get Charlie?"

Anne shook her head as well. "Wait, what did Charlie tell you about that night?"

"That he took you to the hospital, dropped you off, refused medical attention then walked out the door and then he blacked out or something because he swears the next thing he remembers is sitting on his bed bandaged up and it was morning."

Anne reached out and put her hands over Mattie's ears. "Well that's fucking convenient for him." She removed her hands.

"Okay, so what happened?"

Anne stood up running her fingers through her hair. "Charlie dropped me off. It was one of those overbooked ER units where they have patients on gurneys in the waiting room. He put me in the arms of some big ass orderly, stepped outside and hit the deck like a bag of rocks. They scraped him up and plopped him on a bed next to me. I was fading in and out pretty bad, but sliced up junkies don't get priority and Charlie was thin enough in those days they probably assumed he was using as well. I cracked open my eyes at some point to see them cleaning him up. Then he was gone, then he was back, then they were wrapping his toes. They were wrapping me up as well in between me passing out. At some point I opened my eyes and there was this woman standing next to him. I clearly remember I heard her say 'I'm not going to be able to take care of you forever.' I don't know what Charlie said but she turned around and looked at me and I swear Don I've had people looking down on me my entire life but I've never gotten a look of such raw pity. Pissed me the hell off. Anyway I blacked out again and she and Charlie were gone when I came to."

Don didn't know what to say. Charlie's version of events had painted a grim picture of that night but Anne's details just added an extra level of tragedy. "And you're sure it was my mother?"

Anne went over the book shelf and picked up the framed snapshot of his parents last anniversary. She held it out to Don. "That is a face you don't forget. Especially when it's giving you an unfriendly look. When I realized who Charlie was I had this flash of panic that I was going to have to face your mother and she'd want to know what her son was doing with some junkie. Then I remembered you said she'd passed away and for one horrible second I was relived."

Don stood and placed Mattie back in his playpen then he carefully cupped Anne's face and kissed her lips. "My mother would have loved you. She believed people could change and she had great respect for anyone strong enough to lift themselves out of bad situations. You're not a pushover, you're self-reliant, you don't put up with my shit, you don't put up with Charlie's shit. You're a strong, proud, independent, modern woman who's still willing to be an amazing mother, and an amazing wife. You are a catch. Mom would have like you just fine."

Anne flushed and bit her lips. Don knew she wasn't comfortable with gushing complements but he meant every word of it. He kissed her again.

"I'm not all that," Anne mumbled.

"Well as your husband I beg to differ."


END ACT 1

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rothesis on November 19th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. I love much of your writings, Vignettes, Silk Pillow, etc. Still Whitman verse is a favorite. I hope you feel up to the task of completing it sometime. However, even if you do not want to write the epic it was good to revisit old friends.
ladygray99ladygray99 on April 22nd, 2015 09:04 pm (UTC)
The thing is I do want to write the epic, the time and space just keeps getting eaten up by other things. I'm glad you enjoyed what I could give.
riverotter1951: Heart Cloudriverotter1951 on November 19th, 2014 03:01 am (UTC)
Thank you for a new act in the Whitman universe. It's nice to see old friends continue their lives with Megan and Larry having their daughter. Interesting bit about Anne meeting Margaret with Don learning more about that night and complimenting Anne as well.

ladygray99ladygray99 on April 22nd, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
yeah, I'm just now getting around to replying to comments. Only four months late. I'm glad you liked it and stuck with me.
(Anonymous) on December 18th, 2014 05:01 am (UTC)
Wow. You don't check someone's LJ for a year or so and something for which you'd lost hope happens. I'm looking forward to reading this. Anne
ladygray99ladygray99 on April 22nd, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
I hope it was worth the wait.
ElenaGmelharc on January 15th, 2015 02:06 am (UTC)
I cannot wait for the next act.
ladygray99ladygray99 on April 22nd, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
I'll do my best but we've seen how long that can take.
(Anonymous) on February 2nd, 2015 10:30 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. Thank you.
ladygray99ladygray99 on April 22nd, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Eirian (Katie)eirian84 on February 19th, 2015 06:15 am (UTC)
I have watched Numb3rs countless times over the years (reruns and now Netflix are wonderful things). I have always loved both Larry/Megan and Charlie/Amita. I've always been in other fandoms when I started marathoning the show again, so I just enjoyed it as a show and didn't dig any deeper. Something about watching it this time was different. I wanted more than just the same episodes. And out of the blue, I started shipping Charlie/Colbie. So I did what any self-respecting fangirl would in my situation: I started hunting for fanfics with them. I found the Whitman verse in a rec community, and have spent the last 6 days reading it, and your other fics with them, whenever I get any spare moment. I love your characterizations, they're fantastic, and I can clearly hear the characters speaking and see their actions as if watching any other episode (although the NC-17 stuff would have to be aired on Showtime ;P).

This is an amazing story/verse, and I do hope at some point you're able to continue it; but even if that doesn't happen, I am incredibly glad I found your stories, and I hope you're very proud of what you've written, it really is a masterpiece.
ladygray99ladygray99 on April 22nd, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you. My apologies for the late responce. I have a weird relationship with Whitman. The first seems so rough to my eyes now but it's still not finished and dangling over my head.

I'm glad you liked it though and welcome to the Charlie/Colby ship!
(Anonymous) on July 18th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
So happy to see this
I'm delighted to come back after so long to find this installment posted :D

I really loved the direction you took things in, and the gradually building cast of characters. (I confess, I've been really wanting more Sherwood after the snippets of him we got in the last story!)

Also, Mouse has the potential for much awesome, I'm intrigued that there's been nothing from her POV yet - makes me hope for an interesting slow discovery of her character :)

So thanks for coming back to this, it's a long (LONG) time favourite of mine, and I hope you find the time ad space to continue with the verse.
ladygray99ladygray99 on September 6th, 2015 09:01 am (UTC)
Re: So happy to see this
I'm glad to see people still reading and enjoying this. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to it at some point. I have a great love for Mouse and have some ideas for her.
redbankerredbanker on September 24th, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC)
Just finished this and it was awesome. You have nailed these characters perfectly. I can't wait for volume 2.
ranuaranua on November 20th, 2015 09:33 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how many times I've read this verse, and every time it's brilliant and consuming. I dearly hope you one day write more, but even if you never revisit it, thank you for putting it out there in the world.