Disclaimer: I do not own Numb3rs or the characters. No copyright infringement is intended. The math in this story is from Wikipedia.
A/N: Set in Season 2. This story is mostly fluff with a dash of angst. Many thanks to my new beta seether79!
Charlie blinked in surprise. Looking around, he realized they were parked in front of the federal building where Don worked. He'd been enjoying his conversation with Amita so much that the twenty-minute drive had felt like only a couple of minutes.
Shaking his head in chagrin, he climbed out of the passenger seat of the car and waited for Amita to join him on the curb. She happily patted the parking meter as she passed it without depositing any coins. "Gotta love Sundays," she declared with a smile.
"Nice to see you can appreciate the little things in life," he teased as they turned and headed toward the building.
"Hey! When you have to do all your laundry at the laundromat, quarters take on a whole new value. We're not all home owners with our own washer and dryer in the garage you know."
Charlie smiled and held up his hands in surrender. "Fair enough."
Letting the matter drop, Amita picked up their conversation from the car. "So, tell me more about your solution for the equation."
Charlie nodded as he returned to his original train of thought. "Right. Well, the solution is found by a direct numerical solver using finite differences and a variation of Stone's method."
"Hmm… Okay, but what about the collision term?"
"Ah! Excellent point!" Charlie turned around and started walking backward so he could continue their conversation face-to-face. "The collision term in the equation is found using the local approximation and the Rosenbluth potentials."
"Interesting! But how do you…"
Out of the corner of his eye, Charlie spotted a small, white object falling from the sky. He swiftly reached out and grabbed her arm to tug her away from its path.
Amita only got out a surprised "Hey!" before she felt a splash of water on the back of her legs and turned around. The white object lay in a puddle of water just behind her.
Crouching down to examine it, Charlie picked up the mangled remnants of a latex glove; the kind Don wore when examining evidence at a crime scene. Charlie was still puzzling at the meaning of the bizarre incident when he heard someone call out, "H-ey, Ch-ar-lie!" in a singsong voice.
Glancing up, Charlie spotted David and a couple other agents peering over a balcony. Just as the words 'water balloon' popped into Charlie's head, another white latex glove imploded beside him, sprinkling water on Charlie and Amita.
Quickly standing up and scooting away, Charlie reached out for Amita's hand and was just about to make a dash for the entrance when he heard Don's voice overhead. "Hey! Cut it out!" he barked in an authoritative tone.
Charlie looked up, hoping Don was there to put a stop to this nonsense. A hope that was quickly dashed when he saw the evil grin on Don's face as he commanded, "Wait until she's clear."
Instantly understanding Don's logic, Charlie moved to stand directly behind Amita. To Don, his little brother was both a fair and tempting target. But Amita, an innocent bystander, was off limits.
Feeling no shame in using Amita as a shield, he wrapped an arm around her and pulled her firmly against him.
Don teasingly called out, "Hey, Amita. Would you mind moving?"
Still looking up, Charlie tightened his grip and whispered in her ear, "Don't leave me."
Amita leaned back against him slightly and whispered back, "Don't worry."
Taking his eyes off the threat above, Charlie focused on the woman in his arms. He realized for the first time the intimate position they were in now. Her back was plastered against his chest and he could feel the warmth of her body against him. She glanced back over her shoulder and her eyes danced with amusement. "Amita…"
Charlie was brought back to reality in a hurry when another water balloon exploded just behind them, soaking the back of his legs.
He reacted by pressing Amita forward, planning to sprint for the lobby. But three more water balloons impacted in front of them in quick succession, cutting off their escape.
"I said, wait!" Don bellowed. But there was barely suppressed laughter in his voice as he repeated, "Not until she's clear."
Then there was silence as the group above retreated from the edge and fell into discussion. One agent remained leaning over the railing with a water balloon in each hand, clearly prepared to soak them if they tried to make a run for cover.
Charlie shifted from foot to foot, preparing to dart to the side and draw fire away from Amita if necessary. He had no problem using her as a shield when he thought they wouldn't try anything; but he couldn't let her get caught in the crossfire if Don and his cohorts were determined to get him at any cost. "When I let go, make a run for the building. I'll run to the side and they'll go after me. Okay?"
"What? Charlie, no! Let's just both…"
Their conversation was interrupted by Don calling out, "Hey, Amita! Would you mind taking three big steps to your right? Charlie, feel free to stay where you are."
Charlie hesitated, but couldn't see any advantage for their attackers in the move. They could douse them just as easily where they were now as if they moved to the right. He glanced at Amita who shrugged, equally puzzled by the request. Deciding they had nothing to lose, Charlie led Amita as if they were dancing and together they crab-walked three paces to the right.
Seconds later, Colby walked out of the front door of the building. Spotting Charlie and Amita, he stopped where they had just been standing and held up a hand in greeting. "Hey, Charlie! There you are. Don said..."
Charlie opened his mouth, but before he could voice a warning Colby was pelted by a series of water balloons in rapid succession.
"Hey! Hey! Hey!" Colby sputtered as they continued to rain down on him. When the volley finally ceased, Colby was dripping wet. Scrubbing water off his face, Colby looked up at the cackling agents above and shouted, "Oh! You guys are dead! You hear me? Dead!"
With that, he charged back into the building.
Looking up, Charlie saw that the balcony was now empty. The guilty parties had scattered.
Charlie stepped back from Amita. With a smile, he took her hand and led her into the building. "Come on. This should be interesting."