Picture Perfect

by Valerie Vancollie

valeriev84 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Note: This little scene just popped into my head and absolutely had to be written! It's not long, but it is about my two favorite Numb3rs characters.

Time: Pre-Series: Fugitive Recovery

Spoilers: Man Hunt

Disclaimer: I do not own Don Eppes or Billy Cooper. I only lay claim to the original aspects of the fic.

Don knocked his head back against the wall he was sitting next to as he tried to figure out how they'd gotten into this situation. The case had seemed easy enough, practically an insult given the reputation he and Billy had earned bringing back some of the most dangerous escaped felons. Yet here they were, not only surprised by a fugitive but incapacitated as well while said fugitive got away.

"Remind me again how we ended up like this?" Coop demanded as he tugged his left wrist closer to inspect the handcuff.

"We underestimated Landon and let our guard down like rookies," Don replied as his right wrist was pulled into his partner's lap. "Knock it off, we're not getting out of these, we take care of them too well."

"I can't believe we're restrained with your cuffs."

"Hey, yours are the ones tying us to the wall!"

Billy merely grunted in frustration as he dropped his arm back to the small space between their bodies. The first set of cuffs locked their hands together while the second attached the chain of the first to piping in the wall. Solid piping given the beating it had already survived earlier.

"How long do you reckon he'll wait?"

"A day or two."

Don didn't know what was worse, the fact that Landon had laughed at them when they'd woken to find themselves stripped to their boxers and cuffed or the fact that he'd taken multiple photos and promised that at least one of them would find its way to the local field office along with their location. Their only bit of luck was that Landon was smart enough not to kill them as he knew what kind of vengeance that would bring down upon him. Though, thinking of the lecture and ribbing that lay before them when they were rescued, he almost wished that Landon had killed them.

"We're never going to live this down."

"Just let them try and laugh at us," Coop growled, fists clenching.

"Oh, like that will help."

"Shut up, Eppes. I swear to God, when we get out of here I'm going to track down that little piece of shit and drag his sorry ass back to Maryland the hard way."

A quick, assessing look at his partner's pissed off face made Don rethink his earlier conclusion. Maybe Landon hadn't been so smart after all.

Please let me know what you think of the story and, yes, it is a finished fic.