Janus, Two Face
by Valerie Vancollie
valeriev84 at hotmail dot com
Prequel/Sequel: This is a prequel to my Ianuarius mini-series, however please read that series first, as this fic will spoil it!
Spoilers: Spree, Two Daugthers
Note: 1) This fic is a response to the Clich Fic Challenge over at the Don/Megan comm (despite that it is not a Don/Megan fic!).
2) There is no connection between this fic and The Janus List despite the title. I went with this title to connect it to Ianuarius. See, Ianuarius is the Roman name for January and it was derived from the god Janus, so I thought it appropriate to use Janus in the title to the Ianuarius prequel.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Numb3rs characters, items or situations. I only lay claim to the original aspects of the fic.
Megan stood in a corner of the room, pretending to read a file while covertly observing the team. She'd originally been drawn to psychology after watching people and how they reacted to unexpected situations and this definitely qualified as abnormal, even for the FBI office. Given the scope of the case, a lot of additional agents were involved, meaning many extra reactions to observe.
Strangely enough, Megan found herself not nearly as uncomfortable or self-conscious as she'd been afraid she'd be. Her current outfit had been chosen to be provocative as she was meant to be the decoy so Don could get hold of the key without the receptionist noticing. Between that and the location of the motel, her costume ended up consisting more of strategically located strips of cloth than anything else. Her miniskirt redefined mini and the tank top only just covered her breasts, with the knee length boots covering more skin than either article of clothing. Her initial reaction had been horror as she'd worked hard during her first months with the Bureau to prove herself to her male colleagues, but another part of her, the rebel, had rejoiced at the idea. She'd worn clothing like this as a teenager, part of her wild days and it seemed that side of her wasn't as completely stamped out as she'd believed. In the end, the knowledge that she could pull it off and that Don would be taking an equal risk had allowed her to change into the outfit.
As expected, she'd garnered a lot of attention, but Megan found the reactions to be more playful and complimentary than she'd expected. Most of the looks were appreciative and it amused her that so many of her colleagues couldn't meet her gaze if she caught them sneaking a peek in her direction. Colby and David in particular had seemed astonished and David still didn't seem able to quite believe it. Colby, on the other hand... Colby currently seemed completely unable to tear his gaze off of Don. Megan had been forced to hide a smile on more than one occasion at the expression on his face.
Megan had to admit, at least to herself, that she'd done a double take herself. Not at first, when Don had walked into the backroom where her hair was being dyed brown, but later after her makeup had been applied and she'd turned around. When he'd first walked in, Don had changed but the black leather pants and black muscle shirt weren't all that different from normal, merely tighter, so, while they made him look good enough to eat, it was nothing she hadn't seen before. Upon turning around, however, his hair had been bleached blondish-white with peroxide and he was in the process of having his face made up. He had been half turned away from her, his chin held by the woman applying lipstick, but his eyes had slid towards her and narrowed when he'd caught sight of the smile she'd clearly been unable to hide. The smile had only grown as she'd watched the woman apply the eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara and glitter.
The biggest surprise, though, had been the earring. Megan had known David occasionally wore one, but not Don, so she hadn't been expecting it though she known he'd be wearing lots of jewelry. If she hadn't been wearing so little, she'd have called him on it, instead she'd decided it was better to wait until she wasn't in a position where Don could turn the tables on her quite so easily.
Colby, though, Colby wasn't merely doing a double take, he seemed genuinely unable to believe his eyes. He kept glancing back at Don as if not able to believe what he had seen. Megan smiled to herself as she watched him stare at their boss in stunned shock. Although he'd probably seen more gruesome things than anyone else on the team and had been in a war zone, he was so very clearly still nave in a lot of ways. She wondered what he'd say if he learned he was considered the innocent corn-fed, small town boy by many at the office. Don's outfit could well be the first time he'd laid eyes on a guy all dolled up and bejeweled like that, and for it to be someone he knew, especially someone as macho as Don, well... it had to be quite a shock.
Megan fought back a laugh and looked away from the junior agent, accidentally meeting David's eyes. He sent her a questioning glance and she merely indicated Colby. His smile matched hers, though she detected traces of disbelief and shock in his eyes as his gaze moved to Don. Interestingly enough, the eyes of the people not staring at Don's face, seemed to follow the sparkling of the jewels of his rings.
Astonishingly, Megan found her respect for her boss grow as she watched him stand at the front of the room as normal, ensuring that everyone knew what to do and going over last minute details. Don could easily have had someone else take over this role from him and snuck out the back after getting changed into his disguise. Instead he had come out into the bullpen with her and pretended that everything was normal and daring anyone to make a comment on his appearance. She wasn't sure if it was to prove a point or an attempt to cut off any teasing before it began. If it was the latter, than he wasn't going to be successful, she'd already noticed several agents sneaking photos with their phones and it would be a small matter for an image from the security footage to make its way around the office.
"Any questions?" Don demanded. "No? Then let's do this."
Instantly there was a flurry of activity and Megan put down the folder she'd used as camouflage and stepped out of the war room. Although the others could simply go to their cars, she and Don needed to go sign one out of the car pool as neither of their cars fit the cover story and both had governmental tags.
"Hey, Sugar, how about a lap dance after ya're done? Ya look like a natural and ah can promise ya a good time."
Megan stopped in her tracks, anger flashing through her. She waited a second before turning around, clenching her fists in an attempt to control her temper. This was what she'd originally been afraid of; this type of comment and objectification. As she turned, she caught the angry faces of a few of her colleagues and was relieved that Cage hadn't been the trigger for more such comments.
When she finally found the man in question, a new transfer from the Houston office, Megan was surprised to find him flushed and looking quietly over some notes. Startled and confused, the retort died on her lips as she watched him, catching a furtive glance towards the right. Following his gaze, she caught sight of Don standing just outside the war room, a thunderous expression on his face as he stared straight at Cage. Megan was amazed at how intimidating Don managed to look despite the makeup and glitter. Or was it because of it? Whatever the reason, he'd managed to shut Cage up without a word and seeing how hard the man had tried to impress Don ever since arriving, bordering on outright sucking up, she knew she couldn't make it hurt more for him than anything Don might say. That there would be words from her boss as soon as the situation allowed was guaranteed.
Megan forced her attention back on the case and walked towards the elevator, feeling the sudden tension in the office. The playfulness of earlier was gone and now everyone was on edge. Undercover missions, even if as brief as what she and Don were about to do, were always dangerous. The fact that these people had already proven they were more than willing to kill only added to the severity of the situation and everyone involved knew things could go bad in an instant. Which was precisely why so many had grasped the opportunity to lighten the mood that their outfits presented; a mood now shattered.
Don reached her side just as she pushed the button for the elevator.
"David? Colby?" Don called out.
"We're on our way now," David replied. "We'll let you know when we're there."
Don waited until the elevator arrived and they'd gotten in before turning to her. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," Megan said, leaning back and taking the opportunity to get a really good look at her partner's dolled up face. "Angry, but okay. It's not like I thought very highly of him to begin with nor sought his good opinion."
"No, but you have a right to be respected as an agent, never mind a more senior one than him," Don stated, his voice steel. "I knew there were 'problems' in Houston and I got the impression from his file that the situation was worse than what was written there, but there was nothing to indicate this."
"How did he manage to get transferred here?"
"Connections," Don spat, eyes flashing before looking at her in speculation. "Fenton told me Cage's unarmed combat skills leave something to be desired. Care to be the one to take care of rectifying that?"
Megan felt a smile spread across her face. "Can I kick his ass?"
"Yeah, you can do whatever you feel it takes for to him to acquire the skills he requires. If you can combine teaching him hand-to-hand with some lessons in manners and respect, well, so much the better."
"I'd love to."
"Excellent, I'll inform him that he's to report to you when I, uh, talk to him."
It was just wrong to see Don smirking with all the makeup he wore. Megan had to mentally shake herself as she realized that she was staring almost as blatantly as Colby had been earlier. It was hard to resist, though, given Don's current appearance.
"Something wrong?" Don inquired, meeting her gaze and daring her to make a comment.
"Good," Don said just as the elevator's 'ding' sounded and the doors opened. "Ladies first."
Megan gave him a look, not at all fooled before she shook her head and stepped out of the elevator. As she walked across the parking lot, she could feel his eyes on her and deliberately added a swing to her hips, like she used to do in high school when she'd wanted to appear sexy. As expected, Don laughed loudly and she stopped to look over her shoulder at him, faking innocence. Don's eyes were sparkling nearly as much as his jewelry and he had a huge smile on his face, the one that had made many a woman weak kneed and which never failed to cause her to take another look at him.
If she wasn't already in a happy relationship and he wasn't her boss...
"You coming?" Megan demanded in mock outrage.
"Sure, I'm just enjoying the show. I think I'll continue to follow."
"Alright, wise guy, go get the keys so we can start the real show."
"As you wish, Mistress."
Megan's eyes followed Don as he walked towards the counter where they had to sign out all FBI vehicles without governmental tags. She'd always known he had a great ass, what with those tight jeans of his, but now it appeared better than ever covered in black leather so tight that it appeared painted on. On some level, she was amazed he'd managed to get himself into those pants as they made his jeans look loose in comparison. His shirt, too, left nothing to the imagination and Megan found her eyes tracing the outlines of muscle.
She could definitely see why he never had trouble finding a girlfriend. Megan wondered what Larry would say when she told him of this assignment and their outfits. He'd probably disapprove of the underlying human characteristic that made the tactic work. Larry felt strongly in seeing and appreciating the deeper aspects of people and Nature. Although he was the one who said people didn't take enough time to appreciate Nature's beauties, he was constantly appalled at people's tendency to take things purely at face value. That he took the time and effort to look deeper was one of the things she liked about him, though that could probably be said about all the guys on her team, even Don despite his dating habits. They all went for strong women who could hold their own, not the superficial and beautiful.
Don looked back at her suddenly, having signed the paperwork and waiting for the keys, and caught her appreciative gaze. His eyebrows lifted and a smug smile crossed his face before he shifted his weight, leaning back against the counter. Megan downed the instinctive reaction to look away and instead took the invitation and copped a better look. Don waited until she looked back at his face before he deliberately ran his eyes down her body and back up. Megan fought to keep the blush from rising in her cheeks and maintained her gaze, mentally cursing his ability to remain so composed despite his outfit and her appraisal.
The return of the attendant with the key broke the staring contest as Don turned around. When he turned back towards her, Megan had composed herself and headed towards the car, catching the keys when he tossed them to her. They both got in and she found the requested packet of cigarettes and lighter on the dashboard next to the steering wheel. She put them aside for later and attempted to find a semi comfortable position where her skirt didn't threaten to expose far more than what she'd ever felt comfortable with showing outside the bedroom.
"We got the cigarettes, now, where's the alcohol? Ah, here. Tequila?" Don offered, holding out the bottle.
Megan turned towards him and scowled. "I'm driving."
"Yeah, well, you're supposed to be the one in charge."
"And don't you forget it, pretty boy."
Don's eyes narrowed to slits as he glared at her, not quite managing his usual level of righteous anger with the makeup and glitter.
Megan nearly laughed. "What? You are supposed to be my boy-toy."
I hope you liked it. I had gotten a lot of requests to do more in the Ianuarius series and this stuck me almost right away when I saw the rules of the Clich Fic Challenge. Feedback is always appreciated, whether it's good or constructive criticism!