Sometimes, Ian thought, finger food was a torture device.
Why else would they be served at every FBI, CIA, NCIS, ACID event?
Then again, not everyone looked as good as Don Eppes when eating a shrimp cocktail. He watched as a dark haired female moved into his sights. He watched as she laughed and wiped a blob of mayonnaise off Don’s cheek.
A feral growl rose within Ian, and he shifted uncomfortable in the cold night air.
Only one hour to go.
Don lifted his head from the form he was working on.
“You have a visitor.” The woman from reception was smiling, the slightly shocked smile of someone who’d seen something they didn’t quite believe in. or someone who just had Charlie explain a math point.
“Alright, well send them up.”
The woman still looked like a rabbit in the headlights. “That’s not possible.”
She shook her head. “You’re going to want to see this.”
Grabbing his gun and badge, Don followed her down stairs.
On the desk, sat a man, handcuffed and gagged with a big red bow tied around him. An folded piece of paper attached to the bow read For Don Eppes.
Behind David swore. “Shawn Jackson. We’ve been looking for him all week.”
Don nodded, taking the gloves the receptionist held out of him, and removing the paper.
Inside it read. “Happy Valentines J”
“Agent Edgerton dropped him off about five minutes ago.” The guy on the desk volunteered timidly.
Strangers in the night
He never thought of himself as a cuddler.
He’d decided that “hugs were for babies!” when he was five, not too longer after Charlie was born (which of course all his aunts and uncles thought was too cute for words and hugged him more), and in all his long term relationships, he’d been the man and therefore expected to do the cuddling.
The first night they were together, he woke up to find Ian’s arms wrapped around him, his fingers interlocked just above his waist.
It should have felt smothering.
He should have hated it.
Ian, apparently realising he was awake, mumbled a sleepy apologise and made to release him. Don, however, pulled Ian’s arms right about around him.
He never thought of himself as a cuddler, but that didn’t mean he didn’t like it.
Touch me, Hold me
You never thought of Ian Edgerton as a tactile person. The sniper worked alone and even in the office eluded an air of untouchability about him.
That apparently changed when you were sleeping with him.
In bed, every inch of Ian seemed desperate for skin to skin contact and as they got more serious, this ran over into the office.
A hand on the back of his chair, while Ian leant in to look at something more closely, a slap on the shoulder to say well done. A casual brush against him in the corridor.
He wasn’t the only who opened. Nicki smiled knowingly, while holding out her hand to Colby, who shook his head, handing over $5.
Don smiled too. He hadn’t thought of Ian as tactile, but it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise.
Stop all the clocks
(Alternate ending to Ultimatum)
His watch had stopped.
He hadn’t realised until 3 weeks later, when he’d first tried to take it off.
Now he didn’t want to.
His Dad, Charlie, Colby, even Megan, who spent two years slapping his wrist every time he look at his watch, and had been dragged back to Washington to help, all begged him to take it off.
They said it was pointless, that it wasn’t healthy. They offered new, fancier, more resistant watches in an attempt to persuade him.
He didn’t care. It wasn’t about the watch.
The watch had stopped at the second he made that mistake. The second he shot an innocent man. The second he trusted his head over his instincts. The second he killed the fourth best shot in the country. The second he shot Ian Edgerton.
Of Bombs and Brothers
“Professor?” Ian stuck his head around Charlie’s office door, looking around carefully.
Charlie didn’t blame him. The office normally had at least one person in there besides himself.
“Ian. Come in.”
He moved away from the boards, dusting the chalk off his hands, over to the boxes he’d piled up earlier.
“You said you had some results for the case?” Ian was definitely looking spurious now, not that Charlie blamed him.
“You ever heard of Ted Kaczynski?”
“Serial bomber. Captured by the FBI in ‘95.”
“1996” Charlie corrected. He paused. “Did you know Kaczynski had a degree in Mathematics and for a while was a professor at the University of California?”
Ian was looking at him with the “let’s humour the kid” expression on his face, “ No. I did not.”
“He was a good mathematician.” Charlie said, standing on the box, so that he was on a level with Ian. “I’m better.”
Ian looked even more confused.
“Kaczynski killed 3 people. He was not actually caught by the FBI, but by his brother who recognised phrases he used in his manifesto.” He stared into the Sniper’s brown eyes, summoning up all his anger. “I have no manifesto, except this. If you EVER even think of hurting Don, I will find you and I will kill you.”
He checked to see his message had been received and climbed off the box and walked back over to the chalk boards. “Oh.” He added, picking up an piece and returning to his work. “Larry and Amita wanted me to tell you that goes for them too, but they won’t get a look in.”
Ian was smiling. “Of Course, Professor.”
If he got this wrong, Don was going to kill him.
If he got this right, he might kill him anyway, for letting it get to this.
Just one shot.
BEEEP. The Klaxon screamed out, as metal contacted with metal.
“Sorry Ian.” Amita reached out removing the wand from his hands. “Looks like FBI loses. Cal Sci wins”