Wait, What?

Disclaimer: If I owned either Numb3rs or Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, I would not be writing fanfiction.
Outtake on Ian and Charlie's first scene in Sniper Zero.

"I've done some rough calculations of trajectory models based on the bullet's angle of impact, wind speed and direction." FBI Special Agent Don Eppes followed his younger brother, Charlie, up the narrow, concrete stairs. Both brothers had dark brown eyes, and matching curly hair, though Don kept his cropped short so that it only had a hint of wave. Charlie, however, allowed his curls to spill around his head in a fluffy mop. Three inches shorter than Don, the professor moved with energy as they reached the top landing. "I approximate that our sniper fired from right around… here." Charlie gestured down at the landing of the steps they stood on. "This spot here. See?" He pointed to the street below.

"Uh-huh," Don muttered. He had to admit that the stair landing gave a direct view to where the sniper's victim had fallen.

"Actually, it was more like over here," came a voice from behind them.

Both brothers turned around. Agent Ian Edgerton, the fifth best shot in the country and a top tracking expert, stood twelve feet away. His posture was casual, both hands in the pockets of his black slacks. Sunglasses shielded his eyes from view, but the black-haired man's lips twitched up with a hint of smile as he strolled toward the brothers. Don steeled himself to introduce Charlie and the Quantico instructor. He would stand by his decision to request Edgerton's assistance—he needed the expertise, after all—but Charlie did not take criticism well. With the sniper's disagreement on firing position, his brother might feel that Don doubted his abilities.

"Edger!" Charlie exclaimed in surprise.

What? Don thought.

Edgerton removed his sunglasses and frowned as his sharp brown eyes studied Charlie. "No way were you ever military."

"No," Charlie agreed, shifting his weight from foot to foot. "But I did some consulting for Colonel Walsh when she was stationed through Camp Sunnydale."

Edgerton, who Don had never seen rattled, suddenly looked uneasy. "We met then? I'm afraid my Sunnydale days, are… Well, vague."

Charlie nodded. "I'd heard there'd been some memory loss after the, um, accident." Edgerton scowled. "I'm sorry!" Charlie spoke quickly. "I didn't mean to—I was just surprised to see you, and, um, what are you doing these days? You with the Bureau?"

"He's a sniper instructor from Quantico," Don said, glad to bring the conversation back to familiar territory. His little brother was not supposed to be more familiar with formidable agents than Don was. "I needed a different perspective." Charlie nodded. He seemed to accept that well enough. Don turned to Edgerton. "Thanks for coming."

Edgerton nodded curtly in acknowledgement, but continued to study Charlie. "You know what happened? They told me it was some sort of training accident involving a lamp."

Don blinked and tried to keep his face straight. Training accident involving a lamp?

"Yeah, didn't know what to make of that either, Eppes," Edgerton said. He turned back to Charlie. "It's professor, right?"

Charlie nodded. "I don't know everything that happened. I'm not sure anybody does. Your unit was supposed to demonstrate a riot control drill for… someone. Things got crazy; they think somebody spiked the water. There are several versions of events. They all agree that the collapsed light rack finished the… individual behind the craziness as well as knocking you out. And that an attack of leporiphobia somehow factored into the chain of events that led to that collapse."

"What's lep—"

"I am NOT," Edgerton's frosty voice cut Don off, "afraid of rabbits."

Charlie looked dumbfounded. "I was talking about a woman named Anya, but okay."