Categories > TV > NUMB3RS > Family Ties5 Reviews
The Eppes brothers have been through thick and thin, but when the stakes change, will they be able to pull through for each other?
Brother to Brother
Disclaimer: I don't have anything to do with the creation or use of the wonderful TV show called Numb3rs.
A/N: This is my first Numb3rs story and I'd love any feedback I can get. All kinds of criticisms are welcome.
Summary: The Eppes brothers have been through thick and thin, but when the stakes change, will they be able to pull through for each other?
Charlie hastily scribbled down some complex equations dealing with probability and statistics in his worn spiral notepad as the black SUV took another sharp turn to the left. He jounced up in his seat, hitting the armrest jarringly with his writing hand creating a long slash across his work. Tensing, he turned and glared at his brother.
"Can't you be a little more careful?" he requested tersely, concentrating on his work.
His brother gave him a tight grin in return. "And I thought that nothing could disturb you from your math." he joked.
Charlie didn't answer him, too absorbed in his writings. He scrawled two more barely legible equations before painstakingly stopping and rechecking all of his data. He smoothed the creased paper with his right hand and squinted at the equations on the paper. Biting his lip, he traced his pencil lightly down series of numbers and tapped the final equation with his pencil.
"I've got it!" he suddenly said excitedly, "The most probable hiding spot according to these statistics would be at either Stockhard's Warehouse on eleventh street or Chester's Storehouse right outside Los Angeles."
"Are you sure?" Don asked, already jerking the SUV towards the freeway.
"Absolutely. These people like isolated warehouses with little to no security and they have to be either very close to or in the city. If you factor in the places they've already used, you can see a distinct pattern that-"
"Good work, Buddy," Don interrupted, "Hold on a second"-Don turned on his cell and dialed Terry's cell-"Terry, Charlie's narrowed the location of the kidnappers down to two places: Stockhard's or Chester's. I'm closer to Chester's, so you and David check out Stockhard's on eleventh...yes, of course I'll wait for backup before entering, just get over to Stockhard's and tell me when you've cleared the place."
Don clicked the cell off and turned back to Charlie. "I'll drop you off at a store or restaurant once we're in the city. Do you think you can get a cab from there?" Don asked, putting on the siren and speeding up.
Charlie shook his head. "Maybe, but it's best if I come with you. I might be able to collect more data that'll help pinpoint the location of the kidnappers. Remember, they have hostages; you won't be able to just waltz in unknowingly. They could start killing people!" Charlie said, furrowing his forehead.
"Charlie," Don sighed, "I know how to do my job."
Charlie fidgeted with the pencil in his hands, twirling it in his hands. "Yeah I know you do. No one's doubting that Don, but..." Charlie trailed off, biting his lip.
"I can't let you stay with me, Buddy." Don said sympathetically, but with finality, "Don't you remember what happened the last time you tried to collect some data?"
"Please Don," Charlie pleaded, "I'll stay in the car this time, and I won't cause any problems; I promise."
Don turned for a second to look at his younger brother contemplatively. He was staring earnestly at Don with beseeching eyes. "Dad'll kill me if you're hurt." he said calmly, staring at the endless stretch of road before him.
Charlie rolled his eyes, "I'm a grown man; you and dad have to stop treating me like a child, Don. Anyway, statistically, I have a better chance of-"
"I don't want to know." Don said dryly, "Just...promise to lock the doors and be quiet, alright."
"No problem, Don." Charlie said, "I'll do whatever you say...but I won't be much help to you if I'm stuck in here..."
"Charlie," Don said warningly, "You already promised me that you'd stay here."
"Right, Don. I know." Charlie said sighing.
Don screeched into a halt ten minutes later in front a dilapidated warehouse. It was a large building made with old war torn wood and creaking metal. The whole thing seemed like it was about to tip over with the next strong gust of wind.
"God, that thing is one huge fire hazard waiting to happen." Don remarked, slipping off his seatbelt and opening the door.
"No wait, Don!" Charlie quickly reached across the seat and grasped the sleeve of his shirt, "Aren't you supposed to wait for backup?"
"Relax Buddy." Don eased Charlie's tight grip off his shirt and unhooked his gun, "I'm just going to do some surveillance."
"Alone?" Charlie said incredulously.
"Don't worry. I'll be back in five minutes after scouting the exterior of the building. I won't take a step inside it." Don closed the door on Charlie's protests and locked it. Mouthing, "Don't move" he disappeared from view around the side of the decrepit warehouse.
Charlie curled back into seat, anxiously tapping his pencil along the edge of his seat. He peered out the driver side window hoping to see Don coming back around the bend. Instead, he was reduced to worriedly calculating the age of the structurally unsafe building by taking into account the look of the wood and metal.
After several minutes, Charlie sighed in frustration and turned his attention elsewhere. He unclasped his seatbelt and absentmindedly calculated how fast the belt wound back into the car per centimeter. When he had done that (one second per three centimeters), he resumed staring out the window, watching for Don, chancing only a few guilty glances at the car door lock. He smoothed his rumpled Oxfords distractedly; his fingers were itching to unlock the door and get out to do nothing more than stretch his legs and gather a little informative data, or so he told himself.
Mentally scolding himself, Charlie flexed his fingers and sifted upwards in his seat, which was growing increasingly uncomfortable with each passing second. Then, with a silent plop his pencil and notebook full of calculations slid off his lap and fell to the vinyl covering on the car floor. Sighing, Charlie reached down to scoop up the fallen papers when-
Don's phone rang. Charlie jumped and he hit his head hard on the dashboard. Softly cursing his nerves, he scrambled upwards and tensely fumbled with Don's cell phone, which he had left in case the telltale sound gave him away. Turning it on, he stilled his quivering hands (just jitters because the call surprised me, he told himself), and pressed the phone to his ear.
Almost immediately, Terry's warm, static filled voice burst through the speakers and into his ear. Charlie nearly sighed in relief; it wasn't that he had been expecting something bad, but at least now, he was sure.
"Don, this warehouse was a bust. It's all clear here. Stand by; Sinclair and I will be there in twenty minutes...Don? Don, are you there?"
Charlie finally found his voice. "Terry!"
"Charlie?" Terry sounded confused, "Where's Don; why do you have his cell?"
"He didn't have time to drop me off somewhere, so I came with him to the warehouse. He told me he was going to scout the area and that he'd be back soon."
Terry cursed into the phone, and with a start, Charlie realized that he didn't know half of the words spewing out of her mouth...Charlie decided it blame it on the static; there was no way he was that sheltered.
"Listen Charlie, I want you to lock the doors and -"
"I have." Charlie interrupted, "Don't worry; Don already wrung that promise out of me."
"Good," Terry sounded a little more relieved, "Now no matter what you hear, you aren't to leave the car. We'll be there in less than five minutes to find Don, alright?"
"I'm not a kid, Terry; you don't have to try and make me feel better." Charlie muttered sounding insulted.
Terry laughed, "I know, but-"
A sudden explosion rocked the van, throwing nearby dirt into the air and tossing the phone out of Charlie's hand. With a short, cut off scream, he was sent crashing into the driver's window, cracking his already abused head brutally.
Dazedly, Charlie picked himself from where he was lying across the two front seats. Holding his head, he felt blood seeping from the wound he had received from the unfortunate impact with the window and running down his temple. Wiping the blood away, Charlie dragged himself back into his seat and grabbed his notebook.
He didn't care what anyone said, he was getting out of this car now. Don could be hurt, not to mention that the SUV didn't seem all that safe anymore.
Fumbling with the lock, Charlie suddenly heard Terry's voice screaming through the phone. Forgetting about the lock for the moment, which seemed to have suddenly become way too complicated anyway, Charlie lurched for the phone and had just found it on the backseat when two more things happened simultaneously.
Another blast went off, much closer this time, sending the entire van flipping over and Charlie tumbling headfirst into the backseat, landing at an awkward angle and through a haze of pain and confusion, Charlie saw Don rushing towards him.
Groaning, Charlie tried to push himself up and perhaps escape through a cracked window, but he had to stop as another nearby explosion blew out the front window, sending shards of speeding glass into his unprotected face. Wincing as he felt the sharp shards imbed themselves in his face, he blindly reached out and kicked at the backside window, trying to create an escape route.
Then, abruptly, he was pulled out through the shattered front window, yelping as he was caught and ripped away from a protruding piece of glass by his older brother. Soon, he was staggering away from the wreckage with the help of Don who ended up half carrying him as Charlie got progressively weaker.
"It was the window." Charlie mumbled as he stumbled to a halt, "The force of the blast directly equates to the strength of the glass. If the glass was reinforced, then the blast must-"
"Oh God, Charlie! Charlie!" Don sat him down a far distance away from the car and started shaking him, "Are you alright?"
"I didn't leave the car." Charlie answered drunkenly, smiling lopsidedly.
"You idiot." Don snapped halfheartedly, too relieved that his brother was alive to be mad.
"Don?" Charlie asked after a while, when his head had cleared a little.
"Yes Charlie?" Don asked, eyes swiveling in search of danger, "Does your head hurt at all?"
"No...well, yes, but I wanted to ask what happened. Why did the explosions start?"
Don sighed and raked a hand through his sooty hair. "I'm not sure. The kidnappers booby-trapped the place, that's for sure, but I didn't see anyone inside, so-"
"You went inside!" Charlie said angrily, but stopped when Don held up his hand.
"So," he continued, "either I set it off, the kidnappers triggered it from a remote location, or the bombs were so unstable that a little static electricity set them off. What I'm worried about is if the kidnappers did it, because that would mean that they knew we were-"
"Uh Don," Charlie said meekly, "I don't think the kidnappers set the bomb off."
Charlie held up Don's broken and bent cell phone that was still clenched in his hand for him to inspect. "Maybe it still works." Charlie said weakly.
Don's lips tightened and taking the phone, he threw it as far away from them as possible "At least there didn't seem to be many bombs." he muttered, peeling off his jacket and wrapping it around Charlie.
"Hey," Charlie said, trying to struggle out of the jacket, "This is your Kevlar jacket isn't it? I can't take it; you may need it."
"This place is dangerous and the kidnappers may still be around; just because I didn't see any, doesn't mean there aren't any. I don't want you getting hurt." Don said, zipping the jacket up.
"If anyone's going to get shot at, it would be you, the FBI agent." Charlie stressed, trying to stop Don's hands.
"Charlie!" Don finally snapped, patience wearing thin; then he continued in a softer voice, "Please keep the jacket. I'll feel better if you have it on."
Charlie sighed and let Don fix the bulky jacket, "Terry said she'd be here soon."
Don smiled halfheartedly, "I'm sure she's speeding."
Charlie smiled back and leaned into Don, closing his eyes. Looking down, Don ruffled his hair gently and pulled Charlie closer, letting him rest against him. Soon, Charlie had fallen into a restless slumber. Don winced; Charlie shouldn't be sleeping if he had been hit on the head, but Don didn't know what else to do with him. It wasn't as if he could make Charlie stay awake by making him recite the Fibonacci numbers or something; Charlie could list those in his sleep.
Above his brother's mop of curly hair, Don's eye scanned the area. It really wasn't safe to stay here, out in the open, but if Charlie was hurt, then there was no other choice. At least, Don thought, we should move to a more defensible position. Seeing nothing of use, Don looped his slumbering brother's arm over his shoulder and dragged him over to the upturned SUV. Leaning his brother against the exposed bottom, Don raised his head up and looked at his surroundings once more.
Terry would be here any second; all Don had to do until then was make sure neither of them got into trouble until then.
Don turned back towards Charlie. He was muttering in his sleep. Equations probably. Don stared at his brother as he mumbled something about pi and its relevance to sine waves. Smirking, Don brushed a lock of hair away from Charlie's forehead; he never pretended to understand him, just being his brother was enough for him.
"Oh look, how cute."
Don swung his gun around to face the person in front of him. A burly man with cold blue eyes had suddenly appeared, standing in front of him, clutching a mini Uzi and pointing it at him menacingly. The man motioned with his gun and Don stood up slowly, careful not to make any sudden movements.
"Drop the gun."
"Drop it or I'll kill him." he growled, pointing the gun at the hapless Charlie.
Don dropped the gun, letting it clatter it the ground and held his hands out in front of him. "What do you want?" he hissed, shooting a frantic glance at a rousing Charlie.
"Help your little brother up, Agent Eppes," the man said, gesturing with his gun, "and if you do it fast enough, it might be appeased enough not to put a bullet through him straight away."
Don's blood froze at his words. He shuddered and quickly bent to pick Charlie up. Charlie groaned at the sudden movement, but he shakily stood at Don's urging. Quavering unsteadily, he leaned on Don tiredly, burying his face in his shoulder.
"You know our names." Don accused, protectively curling an arm around his brother.
The man smirked, his chocolate brown hair glinting in the sunlight, "I know a lot of things, Donnie. For instance, I know how smart your brother Charlie is, and I know he helps you out with your work sometimes. It was only a matter of time before you called him in on this case."
Don stiffened. "You set us up." he snarled.
"I set your brother up;" he corrected, "you were just part of the equation, and do you know what happens to the extraneous part of the equation?"
He leveled the gun at Don's chest. Don pushed Charlie away and dove forward, grappling for the gun. As Charlie sank down to the ground, two shots went off into the air and Don punched the other man twice in the stomach, twisting the gun away from him and sending him flying to the dirt. The blue-eyed man sped to his feet and threw himself at Don, sending them both crashing into the SUV, while Charlie scrambled away from the fighting pair.
Charlie looked around him frantically. He was still drowsy and dizzy from the explosions, but that was of no importance now. While his brother and the other man exchanged blows, Charlie scanned the area looking for anything useful. His eyes lit upon the Uzi that Don had tossed to the side after he had wrenched it from their assailant's hands.
Quickly, Charlie limped towards it, aware of all the hurried movements behind him. Then, suddenly, the other man threw himself on top of him, his weight pinning Charlie to the ground, mere inches away from the gun.
A hot breath puffed in his ear. "Now you see, that was a bad idea." he rasped.
Then he hefted Charlie up by the lapels, holding him in front of him and twisting his arms behind his back. "Especially since now I have a hostage."
He took a smaller handgun out of his waistband and held it to Charlie's head.
"Do that and I'll blow a hole through your head." Don said, struggling to his feet with his own gun in his hands."
He smirked, "I wonder, did Charlie ever tell you that having a gun pointed at your head, means that, statistically, you're dead? If not, maybe he can tell you this, who here was the greatest probability of getting shot, me or him?"
Don clenched his teeth, listening to Charlie's short terrified gasps and slowly lowered the gun. "Even I can figure out that one." he said softly.
"I thought so." the man tightened his grip on Charlie and started dragging him away, with Don watching helplessly.
Don kept his gun up and ready to shoot in case their assailant made any mistakes, but he kept Charlie between him and Don's gun at all times, making it impossible for Don to get a good shot. Frustrated, Don ducked behind the SUV to try to sneak up on the other man, but as he peered around the corner of the overturned van, he felt a blinding pain in his head and then...all he knew was darkness.
To Be Continued...