Title: Intervention Three Point Five: The Big Guns
Disclaimer: Characters from the wildly popular CBS drama "numb3rs" are respectfully, and without personal profit, borrowed.
She had been expecting the knock on the door, all day.
Given her recent behavior, she was a little surprised that they hadn't shown up in the middle of the night with the bomb squad.
But she was no fool. She had called the locksmith and had him install triple deadbolts before she was halfway through the electric shock chapter. So now, she leaned back in her office chair and listened to the banging on the door, smiling smugly to herself. She put her feet up on the desk, and felt safe.
Then, she heard it.
"Deborah Colleen, you will open your door this instant. Don't make me ask again."
Her feet slipped off the desk and slammed to the floor.
Holy, freakin, shit.
How the hell had they gotten her grandmother?
She lurched out of her chair and smoothed her hair, pulling down her blouse and straightening the material as she hurried across the room. Quickly, fingers stumbling over each other in her haste, she withdrew all the deadbolts and swung the door open wide.
A crowd of faces stared at her, in various stages of unhappiness. The entire team from the FBI office, the Three Stooges from CalSci – joined by Millie – Alan; they were all there. She swallowed, focusing only on her grandmother. She attempted a smile, but feared it was more of a grimace. "Um…hi?"
Her grandmother pushed past her, dragging Charlie behind her. "Don't 'hi' me, Miss Priss. Just what have you been doing to this poor boy? The stories his brother tells me are atrocious."
Don had pushed in behind her. "I'm not lying," he whined defensively and defiantly, looking at Charlie's fear-filled face. "Let go of my brother."
Her grandmother glanced at him as if he was something she had stepped in, but thrust Charlie at him anyway. She addressed her granddaughter again. "Well? What have I told you about playing nice?"
She fidgeted, the sea of silent faces at the door reminding her of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. "I always put him back together," she said, somewhat lamely. "I never break him for good."
Her grandmother hrumphed in stereo with Alan, but Don poked her in the chest, and used actual words. "Look at him! You're killing him! Did you have to have him held captive in El Salvador for months?"
She slapped at his hand. "Don't put that there unless you mean it. Besides, I gave you a lot of action in that one."
"Me, too," she heard Colby yell from the back of the crowd. "I appreciate that, by the way."
Don glared at him, then appealed again to her grandmother. "What about all that torture, from Martinez and his crew? She made him go through that TWICE, dammit!"
Her grandmother turned an icy look on him that left his mouth hanging open. "I will thank you to keep a civil tongue, young man.
She spoke without meaning to. "Oh, Grams, I'm convinced that tongue can hold its own, if you know what I mean."
Her grandmother gasped and lifted an outraged eyebrow. "Deborah! You don't write slash, do you?"
All eyes turned to the grandmother, but only The Writer found her voice, and just barely. "G..g..grandmother…what do you know about slash?"
The old woman reddened and frowned. "Nothing. Nothing. I don't know what you're talking about." She pulled herself up straighter and tried to regain the upper hand. "Now tell me why you put this smart boy through so much. They say you've even killed his dear, attractive father." She smiled toward Alan, who took a step backwards. She suddenly looked a lot like a feral dog he had once seen. The dog was pulling apart a stray kitten at the time.
Her granddaughter spoke in a pleading voice. "The potential for angst there is tremendous!" She scanned all the faces. "I like Alan, I really, really, like Alan! Most of the time I make him a great, supportive father. I've only killed him a couple of times..." Her voice trailed off helplessly.
Megan chose this moment to put in her two cents' worth. "We've talked about your inability to clearly evaluate a brother relationship in the past," she pointed out, gently. "Perhaps you have father issues, as well?" Larry tugged at her arm, but she ignored him and pressed on. "I'll bet you want to kill your own Dad, don't you?"
Steam exited The Writer's ears, and she stormed back to the door. She leaned into Megan and spoke in a low, threatening tone. "You'd better watch out, Bitch. You could take a bullet meant for Charlie one of these days."
Megan raised her hand to her throat, and Larry began to tug at one ear. "Oh, dear," he intoned.
Just before she slammed the door in their faces, she saw Millie trying to push her way past David. "What about me?", she complained. "I want to know why you haven't done anything with me, yet? Am I not good enough for you?"
She smiled, looking so much like her grandmother that Alan took another step back and came down on Amita's foot. The insipid wretch didn't even complain about it, which didn't really surprise FraidyCat any. But, she was dealing with Millie, now. She stared her straight in the eye. "No," she answered plainly. "You're not. You aren't worth the gunpowder to blow you up." With that, she slammed the door and whirled around to face Don, Charlie – who looked like he might pass out at any moment – and her Grandmother.
FraidyCat was on a roll, now, and she stomped toward them. "I don't know what the big deal is," she fumed. "You guys always get to live in the end. And I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY…" she was getting angry, now… "nobody gives you angst like I give you angst. Brother moments that bring people to TEARS, I tell you, TEARS!"
Don's chest puffed out as if he was creating his own bullet-proof vest. "You think that impresses me? All it does is remind me of how much you make me cry. And Charlie, too." He shot a look at his brother and saw a tear rolling down his cheek at that moment. He elbowed him in the ribs. "Knock it off!"
"Ow…", Charlie whispered, shrinking away from Don. "Please don't hurt me."
Don's face fell, and he turned to face Charlie fully. He grabbed Charlie's face between both hands. "I'm sorry, Buddy, I didn't mean it. Are you hurt? I just don't want to see you hurt, anymore. We agreed to come one more time and try to talk to her."
Charlie closed his eyes. "I know," he rasped. "I think now that it was a mistake. I just want to go home. I need a blackboard."
Don shook his face a little. "Buddy, no, we've got to make her stop. When I saw you go off the roof of the CalSci math building, I thought it would kill me before it killed you."
FraidyCat was about to interrupt, but her Grandmother beat her to it. The old woman crossed her arms over her chest and looked disgusted. "Is that was this is all about? You're not really concerned with him, you're worried about yourself!"
Charlie jerked his head out of Don's hands. He looked at him with wounded puppy eyes. "Donnie? Is that true?" His tears began in earnest, and he sniffed, looking at his shoes. "I should have just died in that rodeo barrel."
Don grinned, although he knew it was probably inappropriate. "Actually, that was kind-of funny. And when she shaved off all your hair? I almost sent her flowers."
Charlie looked at him in shock, eyes round and wide. "My hair?", he finally squeaked. "You liked it when she shaved off my hair?" He paled and stumbled aimlessly for the door. "Now you've just gone too far…"
Don turned his head to FraidyCat, intending to demand that she fix the mess she had created, but she wasn't standing where she was before. He heard an ominous clicking, and could just make out the top of her head over the computer monitor on her desk. He panicked. "What are you doing? Not Part Three, please!" He crossed to the desk and pounded on it. "Come on, Fraid! Give me and Colleen a week or two together, at least!"
Cat looked up, curious (as cats often are). "Where is Colleen, anyway? Why didn't she come with you?"
He snorted. "Well geez, Fraidy, you named her after your mother and made her beautiful, and sexy, and smart, and dangerous…. Is it surprising that she actually likes you?"
She tossed him an evil grin. "You want to keep her? Then back the hell off." He looked at her, shocked, and she threatened him again. "That's the deal, fed. You let me play with Charlie, or you loose the dame."
Grandmother spoke again, disapprovingly. "Deborah, I don't think that's appropriate behavior!"
FraidyCat looked up at her. "Put a cork in it, Old Woman. You can be written out any second."
Charlie whimpered, and Don exchanged a look with Grandmother. How had this happened? At what point did FCat gain the upper hand?
Don backed slowly away from the desk, his own hands raised slightly. He heard Charlie whimper again, and looked over at him apologetically. "I'm sorry, Buddy. You've seen Colleen. What would you do in my place?"
Charlie dropped to the floor in a dead faint, and FraidyCat squealed with glee, tapping frantically at the keyboard.