Warning – drug references.
Disclaimer – I don't own them, I just borrowed them. Numb3rs and its characters are the property of those that created them. No copyright infringement intended. No financial reward received. All real organisations are used in a fictional sense. Original characters and the storyline are mine however.
A/N: References to one of my earlier stories: 'A Nice Day Out'. This is also a rather short chapter to wrap things up.
The surgery had gone well, leaving him with a new scar up the side of his leg but now Don was getting frustrated at lying flat on his back in the hospital. There were two imaginary lines etched in the bed head behind him to indicate the two days he'd already spent there. This morning the doctor suggested that he might, just might, get out tomorrow so he was determined to do whatever they wanted between now and then. That meant lying still, no hobbling around no matter how restless he felt. Just to the rest room and back using a walker like a 90-year-old and that was it. As to the walker itself, Don was sure that Charlie had a hand in that knowing that the big, bad FBI agent wouldn't be seen dead in the hospital corridors using it.
At least the steady stream of visitors kept him from getting too bored. Alan had been in earlier but had left to go to a meeting with Stan, something to do with his latest business project. Alan's visit shortly after the doctor's this morning had finally given Don the opportunity to explain the situation of his and Megan's adventure up in the hills. He'd told the whole story, including the standoff where Toby had pointed Don's own weapon at Megan. But taking the story as a whole, Alan had conceded that perhaps it wasn't as bad as he'd feared just as Don had claimed.
True, Alan was far from happy with the idea that his son's and partner's weapons had been taken and that they'd had no option but to let the drug producer leave unhindered. But on the other hand Toby had helped them out, and Alan accepted that he most probably saved their lives with the rider that if he hadn't been trying to cut a firebreak the tree wouldn't have fallen on Don in the first place. So bearing in mind Toby's subsequent actions he could not find it in his heart to be too upset at what the man had done. The most important thing was that his eldest boy was here, safe and relatively well. He would also have a week of having his errant son at home where he could make sure he rested and healed as per doctor's orders. And maybe get the truth out of him regarding some other questionable situations where he'd come home slightly battered and a little worse for wear.
For his part Don hoped that having come clean on this tale and having it, truthfully, not being the end of the world that the next time he told his father 'it was nothing' he might actually listen and not press the point. Maybe.
He sighed and tuned Charlie back in. His brother was telling him some tale from one of his classes that Don suspected was meant to be funny but he was sure he had needed to be there to appreciate it.
"Can you believe it?" Charlie enthused.
"No, I can't."
"Oh, come on Don. Even you have heard of Pythagoras."
"Yeah, sure, but not the other math dudes." How Pythagoras and the other math dudes had ended up in the position his brother had just described made absolutely no sense to him. He gave his brother a somewhat lopsided smile. The light pain meds were wearing off and he figured it was going to take some time to get used to having screws and plates in his leg. Also the bruises from the where the branches of the tree had struck him were now making themselves felt now that the pain in his leg wasn't so bad. "Sorry bro'."
"You need to sit in on some of my classes." Charlie said.
"How about you just practice some of your lectures on me at home?" He wasn't going anywhere for another week or so. Getting some lectures at home, even if it were on math would still be a welcome distraction from four walls or the koi pond. It might also reduce the amount of time his father had to make good on the look he'd given as he left the hospital room. That Don would be 'home' at Charlie's place was a given.
"Deal." The feral grin on Charlies face indicated that he fully intended on delivering more than just 'some' lectures.
Don let out another sigh, it was promising to be a long week. The sudden tap at the door announced that yet another visitor had come to call. Don greeted the man he'd been waiting to see. "Agent Gideon."
"Cam, remember?" The DEA agent stopped at the end of the bed where Charlie was perched. "Professor."
"Charlie." He stuck out his hand. "How have you been?"
"Good. Cleaned up the Torrenz file. I owe you for your help on that Charlie." Cam had accepted the professor's help with mapping the importation routes Torrenz had been using to bring drugs into California and some other western seaboard cities The case had come together quickly after that and was now a convert to the idea of using math to solve cases. Charlie was going to find himself being offered some more consulting work. During that time Cam also learnt of the relationship between the two men which explained those confusing moments on the Seahawk after he'd revealed his identity.
Charlie waved it off. "It was the least I could do."
Don shot the DEA agent a glance, wondering if Cam had shared the matter he'd wanted kept quiet. Charlie missed the silent query and Cam shook his head almost imperceptibly. The secret was safe.
"How did you go with Toby?" Don asked out loud. Megan had reported yesterday that she'd gone along on the raid to Toby's house with the DEA. They'd picked him up easily. Turned out he worked as a horticulturalist so had all the necessary skills to nurture the illegal plantation. The DEA also found plenty of notes and articles on producing Cannabis which helped seal their case.
"Strictly small fry." The DEA usually handled much larger drug plantations, those the size that Don and Megan had discovered were normally left to LAPD detectives. With the situation fully explained to him by Megan, Cam had been only too happy to deal with Toby. "He cooperated fully. That crop was his one and only investment. That's all it was to him, a cash crop. He hasn't smoked the stuff since college."
"He give you anything useful?"
"A couple of other names, mostly other small fry. Not linked together exactly, just known to each other. Similar interests you could say, but all dead ends. There was one name however that is of some interest. We'll work that and see what we turn up. Thanks for giving him to us." He meant it. He felt that he owed the FBI agent after the courage he'd shown on the Coast Guard cutter, especially after what he'd done to him before breaking cover.
Don had known it wouldn't be appropriate given what had happened for his team or even another FBI team to investigate Toby Cooper. He hadn't wanted to hand him over to the LAPD so Cam at the DEA was the most logical choice to ensure that Toby got a fair go. "No problem. What's going to happen with him?"
"In light of the circumstances and his cooperation we're asking for a suspended sentence with a long operational period, alternately an intensive corrections order. We won't run with the firearms charges so he'll be off lightly."
"Good. Sounds fair." Don glanced at his brother. Charlie was nodding his acceptance of Toby's lenient treatment.
"That's what we thought." Cam looked at him appraisingly then shook his head. "You sure are lucky, Don."
"I wouldn't call it lucky, getting held hostage on the Seahawk then having a tree fall on me in the space of two months." Don groused.
"But you walked," Cam stopped and looked at the agent's leg that was elevated on a cushion. "Er, came away alive both times."
"I think that makes you lucky, Don." Charlie piped in.
"You don't believe in luck, Chuck."
"That's why I prefer to call it the 'Don Eppes Anomaly'." Charlie answered, grimacing at the nickname. He climbed off the bed and gave himself a little distance.
"I think I can run with that." Don agreed, at last a theorem named after him.
"Good. I plan to publish in about a month."
Charlie ducked the magazine Don threw at him and headed out the door. "Coffee, Agent Gideon?"
Don got the last word in as the two men headed down the corridor. "Just you wait, Chuck. Tomorrow I get crutches!"
A/N: Well that was something different for me. Thanks heaps for all the reviews along the way, seems the experiment generally worked.
Also, just in case the wrong impression was gained, I do not condone Toby's actions. He was committing a serious offence by producing Cannabis and was only given leniency due to the way he treated the agents. I've seen people affected by the stuff, both short and long term users, and it is not pretty. It is a truly dangerous drug.
Anyway, enough preaching. The next story should be back to normal and hopefully up soon, with more action/angst for Don and Charlie. Alan gets to put in more of an appearance as well. Actually, truth be told, Alan wasn't too keen on the idea but like most people, stick a gun in his face and he does as he's told…