by Valerie Vancollie

valeriev84 at hotmail dot com

Spoilers: Judgment Call, Guns and Roses, Blackout, Tabu, Checkmate

Note: This fic was written for the summer fic quote challenge at Numb3rs Het to write a fic inspired by a chosen quote prompt.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Numb3rs characters, items or situations. I only lay claim to the original aspects of the fic.

My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people's. - Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892

Linda Heightmeyer sighed with relief as she heard the door close behind her youngest granddaughter. It wasn't that she didn't love the child, but a little went a long way with her. Between the blaring music, scandalous clothing, outrageous hair dyes and plethora of piercings, she really couldn't handle more than a few short visits every few months. Honestly, though, what was the child thinking? She looked like an irradiated porcupine half the time, or one of those kitsch pincushions Heather liked so much.

Self-expression or not, she'd have been arrested if she'd ever worn a skirt that short in public back in her day. If she hadn't died of mortification first! Linda tried not to look too closely at the outfit as her granddaughter stepped through the exit and out onto the sidewalk. Her living room window had a view over the parking lot and street beyond. In light of the fact that all the other windows looked over streets or buildings, she preferred this one.

Dutifully, Linda returned her granddaughter's wave and ignored how she shook her head, no doubt in disapproval of what she considered to be inappropriate snooping. The minds of kids these days! They shared anything and everything about themselves and what they'd done on their Bodybooks and SocialSpheres, or whatever those things were called, but considered over attentive neighbors a bad thing. Not that she sat here to spy on her neighbors; despite what her granddaughter thought, she sat here for the fresh air. When she was younger, she used to take regular walks around the neighborhood she'd lived in. With her arthritis, this was no longer possible so she chose instead to sit next to the window.

Heather, on the other hand, was a whole different story. She would take her embroidery and go sit in the lobby so she could watch everyone. Sure, she claimed to go there to watch the larger TV, but Linda knew better. She'd been to Heather's apartment, after all, and seen her TV which could only be an inch smaller than the one downstairs.

All thoughts of Heather left Linda as she spotted a dark colored Suburban pull into the parking lot. It was too dark out to clearly tell the color of the car, but she knew right away it was Don Eppes' vehicle. Now there was a nice young man, always willing to lend an old woman a hand. Why, he even offered to carry her groceries up when anyone could clearly see he was dead on his feet. And ever so polite.

Linda frowned as the car pulled into an empty spot right in front of the building. From here she could partially see into the car. Someone was seated in the passenger seat. Someone wearing a skirt. The frown turned to disapproval as she watched one of Eppes' hands leave the wheel and settle on the woman's leg.

Although she knew no one was perfect, Linda had been unpleasantly surprised to discover Don was so unable to commit to a woman. When she'd first moved in here, she'd assumed that he just hadn't found the right woman yet as she never saw one. So she'd been quite glad for him when she'd spotted the blond with him. She'd been wearing a suit and had her hair pulled up, looking very professional. Nadine was her name, according to Heather.

Unfortunately, Nadine had only been around for a very, very short while. Linda hadn't been too suspicious just then, as relationships did fail on occasion. What had worried her was how rapidly Nadine had started spending the night. That just wasn't proper. Her internal alarm had started going off when the brunette showed up so quickly after Nadine. Don seemed to have hardly waited at all before bringing her (Robin, said Heather) around, and for the whole night too! That just wasn't right and she'd been severely disappointed in Don. She'd meant to give him a lecture on how to properly treat a woman but the next time she'd seen him, he'd looked awful. His jeans and shirt were torn, grass stained and spotted with blood, and he'd been limping slightly while his face was bruised.

Instead, Linda had merely watched and prayed she was wrong. Alas, it was not to be and a mere six months later, Robin too was gone, only to be replaced by a foreign looking woman less than two weeks later. She'd been incensed when she had seen them together. How could such a seemingly nice man like Don be such a womanizer? He seemed to have learned all of his other manners well. She'd been so upset she'd listened in on part of their conversation one morning on the elevator and thus it had been her who'd gotten to inform Heather of this one's name; Liz. Heather hadn't liked that at all, acting all threatened. As if she'd want the title of building gossip; how undignified!

So it was with deep disappointment and disapproval that Linda waited for them to get out of the car so that she could see the latest woman. Although she'd lasted longer than the other two, Liz had eventually been dumped as well. Heather had been the last to see her, leaving late one night, all upset. She wondered how long this one would last. She had half a mind not to learn her name as there was no real point to it, knowing how quickly she'd be gone again. Thank goodness her sons had never behaved like that! Better that Don should take years to find a good wife like Brian had, than to just go through women like this.

Linda's train of thought stopped as the car doors opened and Robin got out of the passenger side. They were clearly in the middle of a conversation as the brunette laughed a minute later while she and Don walked towards the building's entrance together. As they vanished inside, she felt a smile cross her face. Well, perhaps all wasn't lost for Don after all.

Wait until she told Heather!

This was a bit of a point of view and character experiment. Please let me know if you liked it or not! Thanks.