Disclaimer: I don't own Numb3rs or any of its characters or story lines.
Warning: Set in season five, but there are no specific episode spoilers. Rated for some swearing.
It was two o'clock on a Saturday afternoon and Robin Brooks found herself staring dismally at the remains of her attempt to bake desert. Normally, Robin was a fair cook, not great by any means, but she managed, normally. Today however, she was quickly discovering, was just not her day. She should have realized it this morning, the second that Don had accidentally woken her up as he was getting dressed. It should have dawned on her, as she lay there sleepily watching him slide his holster onto his belt. It should have. But it hadn't.
It was Saturday, Robin was not working, Don had specifically asked not to be on call, and as a result she had assumed that they would spend the morning cuddled up together in bed. Foolish me, Robin thought darkly as she scrapped the burnt pie into the trash, trying to remind herself not to be angry with Don. He had tried at least. Asked for the day off, requested not to be called in, and yet, off he had gone, gun on his belt.
Robin sighed and sank down into a kitchen chair. All she wanted was one day, was that so much to ask? She really did not think it was. The haze of smoke from her baking disaster was clearing, and Robin contemplated what her next step should be. Try again? Pick something up on her way to her parents? Call to cancel and crawl back into bed? As tempting as the last option sounded, Robin knew her parents would be far from impressed, especially since this dinner had been planned for awhile, what with her sister and her family being in town.
She leaned her head against the wall tiredly, thinking back to the conversation that had started her day on its downwards spiral.
Robin blinked sleepily, trying to figure out what had woken her. A noise off to her left drew her attention and she rolled over to find Don, standing fully dressed at the side of the bed, fixing his belt. "Don?" she muttered tiredly.
He turned to face her, surprised, "Robin, sorry. I didn't mean to wake you," he said, his tone apologetic.
"Work?" she asked sitting up and glancing at the clock. The LED display informed her that it was just past eight, which was odd, because normally they were up well before then. Normally, only not today because it was Saturday, she realized as she became more alert. And not any Saturday, today was The Saturday - the one Don was supposed to have taken off, so that they could go to her parents for dinner. That Saturday.
Don winced apologetically at the question. "I know, I know," he muttered. "I asked for the day off, I did, but there is some big raid going down today, and half the teams not involved in that have some training exercise," he explained. "A case came up, and Wright called. I promise I will just be running it until the raid is over and another team can be reassigned."
"Don, we're going to dinner. At my parents," she reminded him.
"I know, and I promise I will be there," he said leaning down and kissing her lightly. "I'll just have to come a little later than planned," he added before heading out the door.
Robin sighed again as she pulled herself out of the memory. Right now she should be pulling a nice pie out of the oven, Don should be putting on a nice clean ironed dress shirt, and together the two of them should be headed over to her parents house. Unfortunately all the 'should be's' in the world would not make any difference and if she wanted to get to her parents by three like she had promised, she had to leave now.
Dinner was planned for six-thirty, Robin's sister Hannah and her family had arrived the night before, Robin had arrived just after three, and Don had yet to arrive. Currently, at least according to the clock she had been starting at every five minutes since she had arrived, it was closing in on five.
Where on Earth was he? Robin wondered while trying to keep track of the conversation between her mother and Hannah. When he had said 'a little late' Robin had been thinking maybe four. Or maybe hoping was the correct term. She subtly pulled out her cell-phone to check the signal, for the ninth time in the last half hour. She glared at it for a moment as though willing it to ring, and nearly dropped it when it actually did.
Without bothering to check the caller ID she brought the phone to her ear, assuming it would be her wayward boyfriend. "Hello," she said, quickly getting up from the armchair where she had been sitting and heading into the hallway.
"Robin," Don's voice came over the line, sounding a little far away and rather tired
"Don Eppes," Robin ground out quietly, to avoid her family overhearing in the next room. "Where the hell are you?" she demanded, forgetting what had become her little mantra, 'don't be mad at Don, he tried.' "You promised you would be here."
"I know. I'm really sorry," Don replied slowly, "The case just got a little out of hand."
"All I asked for was one day, one day where you did not have to cancel or reschedule for work," she leaned against the wall and forced herself to take a calming breath. This was not the time to pick a fight, not over the phone, not about this. In all honesty, she was just anxious about him finally meeting her family and her desperate desire for them to love Don as much as she did was making her quick to snap. She'd had everything all planned out, and now nothing was going right.
Don's voice interrupted her self-pity thoughts, "I know how much this means to you Robin, I do. And I will be there as soon as I can," he assured her.
Robin blinked momentarily confused. She had just assumed Don had been calling to tell her was not coming. She felt horrible, especially after having nearly yelled at him. While she would have preferred the original plan, she had to admit he was making every effort to not break his promise. "You will?" she asked trying not to sound too hopeful.
"Yeah," came his reply.
"Okay, I'll see you soon then?"
Robin nodded, though she knew Don could not see her, and closed the phone she held tightly in her hand. Well it was not the way she had planned, but at least it was better than him cancelling.
Robin walked back into the livingroom and shot her mother a small smile, "That was Don, he's on his way."