EPPES MEN 0
Disclaimer: I do not own "Numb3rs." I just play in their sandbox when I get the urge to.
AN: This story is the result of two writing ideas on the Challenge thread at FanRush for "Numb3rs." They came together to make one very tenacious plot bunny. Reviews are appreciated.
Chpt. 1 "The Bet"
It had been…well, okay, not really that many years, but still it had been a decent amount of time since he'd last been in this position, and one could say he bore more than philosophical objection to being reacquainted with the concept. Of course years ago he had to admit he had done it willingly, albeit very inebriated. This time he was doing it sober and unfortunately his sons had been dragged in to doing it too. And it was all because of a silly wager made with one Mildred Finch.
Alan Eppes should have known better than to challenge the good doctor and Charlie's boss to a game of Spoons after he, Charlie, and Don taught her to play. After all she had won every game of poker, chess, gin Rummy, etc. she played with them. Why should they expect her skill to be any less when playing with cutlery?
Damn his pride! As he and the boys taught her the game, he thought he finally saw a bit of good, albeit confused concentration on her part. Since the woman had teased him, Charlie, and Don over their games scorecard, he thought why not challenge her and make a wager.
"All right. Name the terms," Millie said.
"If we win, you have to…" Alan glanced at Charlie and Don for assistance. As it was he hadn't yet thought of what he could wager.
"Dress like a nun for a week," Charlie suggested. Don, Alan, and Millie stared at him. "What? Everyone knows she's not that innocent."
"Remember who grants you access to the super computer, Professor Eppes," Millie said after a moment in a dangerous, singsong way.
"A nun, Charlie?" Don asked.
"Hey, if we're betting, we may as well make it good."
"Good doesn't have to include humiliating," Alan said, glancing at Millie to get her reaction to where the conversation was going.
"Oh, I don't think having to dress as a nun for a week is humiliating," she said, smiling in a way that let Alan know she was still having fun.
And challenging the Eppes to do their worse. In the end, the bet was if Millie lost, any time Alan, Charlie, or Don saw her and said "Nun," she immediately had to start singing "Amazing Grace," or "All Things Bright and Beautiful," no matter what she was doing. Then after a verse she had to explain why she suddenly burst in to song. If Millie won, then the Eppes had to attend a certain annual event and let the people they worked with or taught know and invite them to watch.
"Of course they also have the option to participate if they want to," she added after naming her terms. Millie thoroughly enjoyed the Eppes' wide-eyed expressions. "Why Agent Eppes, I believe you're blushing!" She then looked at Alan and Charlie who fared no better than Don.
"So gentlemen," she used the term lightly. "Do we have a deal?"
"Way to go, Dad."
It was late. Millie was gone having beaten the Eppes men yet again and now the three had a couple of months before they made good on the final part of their wager.
"I'm not the one who started suggesting outrageous wagers," Alan said.
"You didn't stop it," Don replied.
"How was I supposed to know she'd beat us?"
"Again, you mean? Given that she's beaten us at every other game. You failed us on that one, Buddy," Don said to Charlie. "I think you were too busy imagining your boss in a habit to remember the odds."
Charlie held up his hands. "Don't blame me. I'm not the only Eppes here who played with her."
"Don, Charlie, enough!" Alan had enough of the bickering. "What's done is done. At least we have some time to get used to the idea."
"I don't think I'm ever going to get used to it," Charlie said.
"Me neither," Don echoed the sentiment.
Alan remained silent.