So when I found these few good, plotty, character-revealing stories, I thought I should share them.
For those who don't know, Numb3rs is a procedural drama about two brothers. Don Eppes is an FBI agent in Los Angeles; his younger brother Charlie Eppes is a brilliant professor of applied mathematics, whom Don brings in to consult on some of his cases. The plots tend to be well worked out, with Charlie's math supplying obscurely useful lines of inquiry, but the pleasure of this show is in the characters and their relationships. Don is a protective (and perhaps slightly resentful) oldest son; Charlie is brilliant in math but can't spell (or figure out how to ask out his research assistant Amita) to save his life; and their father Alan is a generous, warm man, who is just happy that both his sons still live in the same town, where he can have them over for dinner.
Links and mini-reviews will be found behind the cut-tags.
Go-Cart Charlie, by Red Soprano
This is a crossover with the show Medium, but any fan of Numb3rs will enjoy it. Well written, everyone is in character, and there are moments of pure Eppes family interactions, as well as the fun of other characters interacting with our guys.
Oh yeah, and drama, and not-over-the-top H/C.
If you can guess who this moment is about, you'll adore this fic:
When the Dubois family arrived at the Eppes' house on Saturday, the door was opened by a charmingly distracted man whose attention was drawn immediately to the three younger Dubois. With barely a glance at the two adults, he scratched his head and peered curiously at the young girls, his expression a strange cross between delight and frank befuddlement.
"This is marvelous," he said. "Of course, I realized they came in different sizes... Nonetheless, it never occurred to me to consider more than one..."
Skewed, by sammac
The first really good case-story fic I found in this fandom. Small warning: this takes place about 3 years into the future, and Charlie's life has been dramatically altered during that time by an accident. The ways he's coping are part of the reason I love this story (the author knows her subject matter). He's still a professor and still consults with Don...but in a lot of ways, this is purely Don's story, and his journey as he comes to terms with the changes in his little brother.
Sammac nails the characters as we know them (I love anyone who can give me authentic voices), while giving them a whole new dimension on top of it, and wrapping it all in the excitement of an involved case story.
Annoyance winces across his face and disappears. I’ve seen that expression a lot these last couple of years, and I’m usually responsible for it. I just can’t get used to the change: before, it never mattered if I talked while he worked. He’d just ignore me if he was concentrating, keep staring at the equation scrawled out on his chalkboard; the trouble is, now he stares with his ears, and if I’m filling them with words I might as well be body-blocking his chalkboard. You still don’t understand, do you, Don? New factors, new equation. One new factor changes everything.
Hearing Voices, by dedletrbox
Stylistically, this is a bit different. It's done in smaller pieces, but the author tells you everything you need to know, and does it with grace and with a realism of thought that puts us first inside Don's head, then inside Charlie's. A lot of character work between the brothers makes for a slow start--don't give up. Once the actual drama kicks in, we get moments of pure shock, fear, and angst--and every bit of it is earned. I really enjoyed this fic.
Charlie. Alan. Don focused his thoughts by sheer will. He couldn’t let his mind wander. First things first: jacket pocket, cellphone, police. At least his throbbing head put his bruised thumb back in perspective, he thought grimly. He took a step; something snapped under his shoe. It was the belt clip from Terry’s CD player: fighting dizziness, Don glanced around the kitchen. The CD player had cracked under his weight when he’d fallen near the stove; its voices were finally silent. Don took in the rest of the room, pretending it was an anonymous crime scene. The contents of a drawer scattered over the counter. One kitchen chair knocked over. His empty holster hanging on the back of a second chair. The weapon, his own hammer, in the corner. His handcuffs kicked under the table. No jacket. Wait…empty holster. Oh, God.
That's all for now!