luciazephyr: Book of the Still, the time traveler's lifeline (Default)
[personal profile] luciazephyr
I wrote this after 'Backscatter', sent it for a beta, and got no reply. *shrugs* Meh. I'll post it anyway.

Title: Alright
Author: Lucia Zephyr
Fandom: Numb3rs
Rating: PG for alcohol
Summary: Whatever happened to Larry?
Author's Note: Takes place directly after the episode, "Backscatter". No beta, all mistakes and typos are my own.

---


David left around nine, laden down with a tupperware full of roast, and the Eppes family finally had the chance to crack open the liquor cabinet. It'd been 'one of those days' for the last week, so Alan poured out some scotch for himself and his sons. They lazed around the living room, no one up to moving after sinking into their seats.

And, as Murphy would have ordained, that's when someone rung the doorbell.

Don threw a throw pillow at Charlie. "Go get it, Chucky."

Charlie shielded his glass, growling, "Trigger happy jock." He got up anyway and went to the door, hitting Don with the pillow as he walked past. Alan rolled his eyes, a bit annoyed with the insult war, but resigned to deal. Once the boys got going, nothing short of a national emergency halted them.

Charlie opened the door and blinked. "Larry."

Don leaned back in his recliner, almost upside-down, to see. "Larry's back? Didn't he get lost at the airport?"

Larry walked inside and closed the door. "'He' did indeed lose track of things for a period of time and ended up as far away from the conference as possible without use of a passport." He had a noticeably darker tan, comfy-looking sandals, khaki pants that cut off a couple of inches below the knee, a green-blue Hawaiian print shirt, and a tan bucket hat with brown sunglasses on the rim. Charlie looked him slowly up and down, mouth open a little bit in shock. Larry saw the expression and waited. "Well?"

"You look..." Charlie finally reached Larry's eyes again. "Different."

Larry sighed, looking minutely disappointed, then turned to the living room. "So, what did I miss while traveling the airports of the U.S.?"

"Mob hits, David getting shot, Chucky being a stubborn, nosy idiot-" Charlie made a move toward Don, but Larry instantly put his arm between the two, "-my bank account being hacked and depleted, federal bodyguards, and did I miss anything?" Don rattled off, slumping back down in his chair, holding his scotch with both hands.

"David mentioned an explosion." Alan added.

"Yeah, a homemade bomb, and Colby discovering his spidey sense." Don amended.

Larry whistled, examining the family more closely. "So alcoholic drinks are the answer?" He took half the couch, collapsing tiredly into the seat.

"Probably not, but it does take the edge off." Don replied, downing the last of his drink. Charlie busied himself at the cabinet, getting a fourth glass and pouring Larry a drink. "So, what happened to you? I'm guessing you didn't make your big speech... thing in Minnesota."

"Unless Minnesota is eighty degrees and sunny nowadays and no one left me the memo on the climate change." Alan joked.

"Thank you, Charles." Larry smiled, accepting his glass gratefully. Charlie sat next to him. "Or is it Chuck now?" Charlie elbowed Larry in the ribs. "Ow! For goodness- never again, I promise." Larry whined, before addressing the group again. "And Minnesota is still bitterly chilly. I left LA, got grounded in St. Louis, accidentally boarded the wrong flight through no fault of my own, and ended up in the Keys. South Floridian islands." Larry summed up, sipping his scotch. "At that point, I was a day late with three hours until my own lecture was due to start."

"So, you just stayed?" Don laughed, shaking his head.

Larry shrugged. "The Keys are quite beautiful. And I always liked that one Jimmy Buffet song. The one with the salt shaker..." He nudged Charlie, frowning.

"'Margaritaville'?"

"Yes, that one."

"And their margaritas?" Alan prompted.

Larry blushed slightly. "They were satisfactory." Charlie patted Larry on the back, Don's eyes crinkled around their edges as he laughed more, and Alan snorted, but grinned.

"Did you bring me anything?" Charlie asked.

Larry turned to stare at him. "Excuse me?"

"Like... seashells or something." Charlie blinked, innocent as ever.

"You live in California." Don pointed out.

"Yeah, but I don't go to the beach here, do I?" Charlie answered. "So, did you get me anything?"

Larry rolled his eyes, pressing his glass against his forehead. "You do realize there are no seashells on Floridian beaches, don't you?"

"There aren't?" Alan asked, a little surprised.

"No. Tourists take them all." Larry explained. "Not a single one left. Search a mile of sand and you'll only find a handful."

Charlie turned away, slumping back against the sofa with the most pathetic pout imaginable. Larry sighed, and said, "Maybe I got you a small something, but you can't have it yet."

Charlie smiled softly and winked at Don, obviously considering this his win. "You spoil him." Alan said.

"Can't spoil something already rotten." Don murmured, and Larry put a hand on Charlie's shoulder, keeping him seated and not committing fratricide.

The rest of the evening went smoothly with the group sniping at each other, joking around, and talking quietly as the night dragged on. Eventually, Charlie's low alcohol tolerance caught up with him, putting him to sleep like the dead, splayed out on the couch. Alan meandered off to bed, leaving Don and Larry to have one of their rare talks, in which Larry promised to have a few words with Charlie later about putting himself in danger like he had with the mob. They tried to wake Charlie to send him to bed and gave up after Don received a kick in the shin. Don cleaned up the glasses before collapsing in the guest bedroom, leaving Larry to steal Charlie's bed for the duration of the sleeping hours.

Later in the week, Alan would have nightmares and hard times in the silent house. Don would go to the doctor for a prescription to stop his migraines. Charlie would look over his shoulder for men in dark suits.

But for now, everything was alright.


-Luce
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