Disclaimer: see Prologue
A/N:This was a really fun adventure. It's nice to see so many people still enjoying Numb3rs stories. Thanks to all of those who read this and a special thanks to those who took the time to let me know what they thought of it. As long as there are readers who enjoy the stories, let's keep writing them.
And, now, the rest of the story
~ by MsGrahamCracker ~
Martin had sent complimentary tickets to Don and Charlie for the star-studded July 4th premier of "Field Trip", but Charlie was speaking at a math symposium in San Fransisco and Don and the team were staking out a suspected meth house. Three weeks later when the meth lab was dismantled and the drug dealer was in jail working on a plea bargain, and Charlie had a few weeks before fall classes started, they stood in line at the theater with David, Colby, Liz and Nikki.
The summer blockbuster had already broken all existing attendance records and the theater was nearly packed. After a lengthy and expensive stop at the concession counter they found an unoccupied row in the back and sat down.
Colby Granger balanced his jumbo barrel of popcorn on his lap and deftly blocked Nikki's attempt to liberate a handful of the buttery snack. "The critics say this is the best action film since "Die Hard", some even said it's better."
David, who had managed to squeeze in a late date earlier that week with a woman in data entry and had already seen the movie, nodded and spoke around the popcorn in his mouth. "They're right. It not only has the best action scenes, it's one of the most realistic "cop shows" I've ever seen."
"The internet is buzzing about Oscar nods for both Boudines," Liz added, offering Nikki some of her popcorn.
"They deserve it." David said. "I've seen their other movies and this one just blows you away with the amount of insight and depth they bring to their characters."
Shifting his barrel of popcorn to one side, Colby reached for the drink in the cup holder attached to his seat. "It's not too often you get a good action film with any degree of realism. I read where they changed the script quite a bit at the eleventh hour with lots of rewrites and new scenes, trying for more action and a more believable storyline."
"I read in People that they're getting along better – even double dating with two of those actresses on that new medical drama." Nikki sighed.
"I don't know how they get along in real life," David laughed. "and, frankly I don't care, but they work together like . . . well, like Don and Charlie do, even though in the movie, the two main characters - the agent and the math teacher - fight all the time."
Don and Charlie glanced at each other, wondering.
David took a sip of his soda and turned to Colby, sitting beside him. "Some of the scenes, man, are so real it's as if they shadowed us, watched us work and then put it into the movie."
Don was suddenly interested. "What do you mean?"
"You've got the best instincts I've ever seen, Don, and the way Jordan Boudine plays the agent in this movie is just like that. He's sharp, knows what's going on around him, always ready for an ambush. He utilizes real tracking methods and techniques, the same ones we use, like the pursuit evasion model you and Charlie teach the newbies. I swear they use Charlie's overlapping search thing, too, you know, the Reeves Variation, to find the terrorist, and there's this great scene when the math teacher actually predicts a landslide just before it happened using this, um, lin...linear..."
"Linear discriminant function." Charlie said quietly, his eyes trailing to Don's, sending a silent "Are you thinking the same thing I'm thinking?" look.
Don suddenly remembered Jordan's "I've got a few ideas I'd like to run by Martin." and nearly laughed out loud.
"Yeah, yeah, that's it, discriminant function."David paused and peered intently at the young professor. "Some of his insights into the dynamics of terrorists cells sounded very familiar, too. You're not holding out on us, are you Charlie? Been consulting for Hollywood?"
The lights in the theater dimmed and Charlie settled back in his seat, saved from having to answer.
Forty eight minutes later Don felt the familiar vibration of the phone on his hip. "Eppes" he answered quietly, barely above a whisper, but five sets of eyes turned to him. "Yeah. Alright. We're leaving now. We'll coordinate with the NTSB and Homeland on sight."
"Small plane crash in the foothills." he said quietly as he closed his phone and slid it into it's holder. Everyone stood up silently, gathering their treats and wrappers. "Went down with two top names on Homeland's watch list and a stash of weapons," he continued as they maneuvered out of the row of seats and headed for the lobby.
As the others went through the doorway, Don stopped and turned back to his brother who had followed them. "Aw, Charlie. Stay and watch the movie. You can get a cab home."
Charlie grinned and shrugged. "That's alright. I prefer real life drama. I'll tag along, if that's alright. A plane crash offers complex dynamic problems, such as debris field variations and classical mechanics. Maybe I can help." As they left the darkness of the theater and entered the brightly lit lobby, Charlie added, cheekily, "In a supporting role, of course."
Don laughed, unwrapping a stick of gum and popping it into his mouth. Walking across the lobby towards the exit, Don casually turned to his brother and slid the package of gum towards him, offering him a piece.
Charlie hesitated, looking up at his brother, his brow wrinkled, his expression uncertain and cautious, but hopeful. Don's grin, however, was inviting, sure and somewhat challenging.
Swallowing back the lump in his throat at this unexpected and unprecedented gesture, Charlie raised his head and returned his brother's challenge with one of his own. "Spearmint." he said, reaching forward confidently and removing a stick from the package. "Is that all you got?"
Don pushed the theater doors opened and they walked outside. "Well, it won't win any awards, bro, but it will do the job."
Chewing with gusto, Charlie agreed and climbed into the SUV beside his brother.