So I don't own Hardy Boys. Or Numb3rs.

"Frank, wait up!"

Frank turned around to see his younger brother running out of the high school, a look he knew very well plastered on his face.

"What happened to football practice?" Frank asked, trying to hide a smile.

Joe looked confused, "foot...? Oh, right. It got cancelled 'cause of ―" he gestured in a hopeless sort of way to the leaves and dust swirling through the air. "The wind is so strong it'd probably pull me away."

Frank nodded and together the brothers started walking towards the van that they shared. "What about the case?"

Joe's look of feigned ignorance was almost laughable. Maybe it was because Joe was too trusting, but he was a terrible liar. "What about it?" he sighed, "You always catch me. You know that case that dad's been working on? The one with the gang?"

"The Clowns?" Frank threw in, "yeah, what about them?"

Joe looked so excited that Frank was afraid he might burst, "They're meeting today!" he waited for his brother's reaction. When he didn't get one he added, "By the docks in the abandoned boat house." Still no reaction. "In about ten minutes!"

Frank took the drivers seat, "Fine, we'll check it out, but ONLY if you promise you won't do anything stupid. I don't want to explain to dad why you got kidnapped for the third time this year!" he thrust his finger at his younger brother. Joe seemed too happy to care.

The docks were nearly deserted, summer being only a distant memory. Frank stopped the van so that they were far enough away to be a threat, but still near enough to hear and see just about everything.

The gang that called themselves the Clowns was really a small branch of aan LA gang by the same name. It was comprised mostly of small-time criminals between the ages of twenty-five and forty. The Bayport Police force had been alerted to their presence by a rash of robberies of the local jewelry stores.

It seemed that this meeting, whatever it was about, had recently started. A small window in the boat house let the brothers see that there were about a half-dozen men inside, each of them of formidable size. They seemed to be arguing about whether or not to report the "snooping Hardys" to the leader, whoever he was.

Frank and Joe were so mesmerized by the conversation that they didn't see two men slip out of the small house and start towards them, each baring heavy crowbars.

In case you were wondering, this POV came first. Yes, the two stories fit together, but they'll have different endings. Look, just review, 'kay? Then I won't have to explain everything.