Don wiped a hand down his face. "Guys," he whispered into the phone, deliberately looking away from Robin, "When you get that boy in custody, take him over to me." Don shut the phone decisively, putting it away under Robin's disbelieving stare.
"You're going to set him free?" Robin demanded, rising with Don as the agent stood to leave, collecting his scattered papers as he went. He paused, and looked up at Robin. There was something heavy in that gaze, mixed with something called compassion, and something else Robin didn't recognize. Without answering, Don turned and left. Robin stared at his retreating back in shock. Was he really… ?
The cajoling calls of the convicts shook Robin awake, and she hurried after her boyfriend. "Don!" she yelled, sliding her bag onto her shoulder, "Don!" But Don didn't stop. He walked down the hall, yanked open the door, and turned towards Curtis, a snarl on his lips. Robin stopped in the doorway, shocked to see Don so angry.
"I'll protect that kid," Don spat, "So you go do what you do best. Lie like you've never told truth before." Despite the harsh words, Curtis laughed. There was something wet and twinkling in those dark, entrenched eyes, something that turned Robin's stomach. She watched, unable to speak, as Don's snarl morphed into a frown. Curtis thanked the agent, and then bid them both a good life. Don's hands crumpled the paper in his hands, shaking so hard Robin almost mistook fear for anger. Don nodded once, jerkily, and then marched off, unheeding of Robin's cries. As she flew past, Robin tried to pretend that Curtis wasn't smiling like all his dreams had come true. Robin followed after her boyfriend, a troubled frown on her face.
O X O
"You can't do this," Robin hissed, slamming the car door harder than necessary. Don ignored her, taking off as if hell itself was at his heels. Robin gripped the car door desperately, trying to break through the fog in Don's head. "You're helping two convicts escape!" Robin yelped, bracing herself around a particularly sharp bend. Don said nothing, calmly turning the wheel like normal. But Robin knew him; she could see the faint trembling on the steering wheel, the tightness around Don's eyes, and the way he had yet to stop frowning since Curtis thanked him. Don was hurting.
Robin tried reason one more time, "You could lose your job," she said quietly, detaching a hand from the door and reaching over to squeeze Don's arm. In response, Don pried one hand off the steering wheel and squeezed back.
"I know," he said quietly, putting his hand back on the steering wheel. His demeanor remained tight and drawn, even under Robin's invasive gaze. Finally, she snorted. She took both hands off the car door and leaned back, causally buckling herself in place.
"Take a left here," Robin told Don airily, "You'll want someone who can get your buddy out of the country." Don glanced at her, something like hope in his eyes, as he dutifully made the turn. Robin smirked, sitting primly in her seat. "The law cannot follow a convict into another country without permission from said country," she informed her boyfriend. Robin grinned at the wide-eyed look and loose jaw Don was trying to hide. "I don't think we'll get permission to search for convicts in Iraq anytime soon, don't you think?" she asked controversially.
Don was too busy beaming at his girlfriend to say anything, though another squeeze of Robin's hand said everything. Robin smirked at him, pleased to have Don Eppes at her side. She very carefully ignored her conscience, something she was very practiced in the art of.
O X O
Julien Curtis was glaring at them when Don and Robin showed up at the office, passport in one hand and a new identity in another. "What?" Julien spat, glaring holes into the head agent, "You couldn't have another one of your lackeys bring me in?" The kid laughed sardonically, taking perverse pleasure in the way David and Colby tensed up. Nikki, thankfully, wasn't there to get up in Julien's face. There was no way she would've taken his crap lying down.
It was only Don's reassuring gesture, a splayed palm, and relaxed posture, that kept the partners from jumping down the kid's throat. As it was, they both shifted, ready to fight if need be. Julien bared his teeth, watching with hyperactive eyes, as Don walked quietly across the office room. "You got the keys?" Don asked, lips twitching when David hesitated only a moment before dropping the handcuff keys into Don's waiting hand. "Thanks," Don told him, moving towards the would-be convict, who was watching the proceedings with wide eyes.
"Don-" Colby started to say, but was interrupted by Julien. The convict let out a hysterical giggle, turning mad eyes towards Don.
"You're not gonna do it, right?" He asked, his eyes suspiciously wet, "Y-you're not gonna let me free, right?" Julien keened sharply when Don calmly raised the key to the handcuffs. They both knew what this was about. Julien jerked away from Don, looking at the other agents with desperation in his body language as he pleaded, "J-just let me d-die! I-I killed someone!" Julien squealed when Don grabbed him with one arm, not letting the boy move and not listening to what the Curtis had to say.
But before Don could unlock Julien's handcuffs, Colby stood up. "Don," he said, clearly uncomfortable with the situation, "Maybe you should…" Colby trailed off under Don's expectant stare. "Oh fuck," Colby mumbled, turning towards his partner and hoping David could explain. But David didn't have the words either.
Don jerked his head up. "Hey," he murmured, just loud enough for them all to hear, "It's gonna be okay." Colby stared at Don long and hard, assessing his resolve, before jerking his head up in mockery of a nod, turning away from everyone. He walked to the door, on the lookout for people who might report them. David watched his partner go, glanced at Robin and Don with calculating eyes, and then he left too, muttering an excuse Don didn't catch.
Robin smiled and opened the door to the unit. "Shall we?" She asked, the picture of poise. Don grinned and nodded, frog-marching Julien Curtis through the door. The kid, struck by his luck, starting babbling loudly, wailing about his crimes and fighting every inch of the way. Don walked through the FBI unit unhindered; this wasn't anything special. There were plenty of convicts who screamed on their way to jail.
O X O
Getting Julien on the plane was tricky, but with a little luck and a lot of threatening, Don managed to get the kid out and off. He watched Julien until he could see the lad no more, and then he watched the clock on the wall nearby. At 12:01 on the dot, Julien's flight took off. Somewhere, Don could feel Curtis smiling down at him. Don turned on his heel and stalked off, something heavy in his heart and gaze. Robin hurried after him.