Title: What are the odds?
Pairing/Characters: Willow Rosenberg/Charlie Eppes, Faith Lehane, Don Eppes
Summary: A misunderstanding leads to a pleasant surprise.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al. and Scott Free.
Distribution: my LJ, my site, TtH, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Thanks to Angel's Kuuipo and wesleysgirl for beta'ing.
Author's Note: BtVS/AtS timeline: just after Orpheus. Numb3rs timeline: nothing specific
"This is bullshit," Faith's voice rang out in the interrogation room.
"I'm sorry," Willow said, her voice pitched low for just Faith's ears. "I should have thought to give you a glamour, at least until we were out of LA."
"It's not your fault," Faith said, calmer in the face of Willow's guilt. "We kinda had a lot on our minds. I didn't think of it either."
"But I should have," Willow insisted. "You're a wanted woman, after all."
"Got that right," Faith said, relaxing in her chair, making the fact that she was handcuffed seem incredibly sexy, and not like she was a wanted felon.
"Glad to see you're making yourself comfortable, Miss Lehane," Don Eppes said, walking into the room.
"Bite me," Faith replied.
"Faith," Willow admonished the slayer. "Ignore her, we've had a trying couple of days."
"I'd imagine so, what with breaking Faith – May I call you Faith? – out of prison," Don said.
Willow's eyes widened. "What? No, no, no, you've got that all wrong. I didn't have anything to do with that."
"Really? So you were merely transporting a wanted felon out of the city limits?"
"Yes. No. Look, I think that if you check your records you'll see that Faith isn't a wanted felon."
"We checked, Miss Rosenberg. It's why the FBI is involved and not just the LAPD," Don told her.
"Please, just do it again," Willow pleaded.
Don raised an eyebrow in disbelief, but acquiesced. "Fine, but don't expect the results to be any different."
"What was that all about?" Faith demanded once Don had left the room.
Willow excitedly told her, "You're a free woman."
"Get out," Faith said.
"No, really. I was going to wait to tell you until we got to Sunnydale, but I guess this is as good a time as any. I talked to Giles while you were, um, unconscious, and told him about what was going on. He agreed that sacrificing yourself to bring down Angelus was worth a big reward. He found someone connected to the Council who was able to get your incarceration amended to being the length of your time served."
Faith blinked back tears, refusing to give into such a girly reaction. "Are you for real? I don't have to go back to that place? Ever?"
"Never. Unless you made some lifelong friendship with someone still on the inside?" Willow said with a grin.
"Hell no! I wasn't exactly Miss Popular in there," Faith said.
Willow's eyes drifted past the window out into the main room. She did a comical impression of a fish out of water before whispering, "Charlie?"
Faith's "Who?" was lost to her as Willow slowly stood and moved to the window to get a closer look. Willow knocked on the glass, knowing she couldn't very well run out there, hoping to grab his attention.
She did, but she drew Don's attention as well.
Charlie practically ran into the interrogation room with Don on his heels.
Three voices spoke at once. "Willow? What are you doing here?" "What are you doing here, Charlie?" "What do you think you're doing?"
"Wait a minute," Don said, taking command of the room. "Charlie, you know her?"
Not taking his eyes from Willow's face, he said, "Yes, it's been a while since we've seen each other, but I could never forget Willow."
Willow blushed at the compliment. Her face became scarlet when Faith said, "You mean to tell me that you're playing for both teams now?"
Ignoring Faith's comment, Charlie asked, "What are you doing here in LA?"
"Shouldn't you be asking why she's being held by the FBI?" Don interrupted.
"I was getting there," Charlie bit out.
"It's a big misunderstanding, " Willow tried to assure him. "Me being here, in this building, that is. I was in LA to help a friend. Faith was helping him too, and she agreed to come back to Sunnydale with me to catch up with her old friends there. We went to high school together."
"Why didn't you tell me you'd be in town?" Charlie asked, sounding somewhat hurt.
"I wasn't planning on being here for very long. Besides, I wasn't sure you'd want to see me," she said.
"You still haven't explained how you know each other," Don pointed out.
"What's it matter to you?" Faith asked, standing up for her…not friend, but ally.
"I have every right to know when my little brother is associating with criminals," Don tersely answered.
"Brother?" Willow mouthed in question. Charlie shrugged his shoulders in acknowledgement.
"Remember when I did that lecturing tour around California earlier this year?" Charlie asked his brother. Don looked like he didn't, but nodded. "Willow was one of the attendees at my stop in Sunnydale. She asked some excellent questions and I invited her out to dinner afterwards."
Don looked between Charlie and Willow and how they were having a hard time not touching each other and knew that it had to have been more than just dinner. "Riiight," he drawled.
"Did you do that search again?" Willow asked, pulling her attention away from Charlie and her body's excitement at seeing him again.
Don dropped the file he'd been holding on the table in front of Faith. "I don't understand it, but it appears that in the time that the officer recognized you and now that you're no longer wanted by the State of California."
Faith smirked. "I told you this was a mistake."
"It doesn't make any sense," Don said, bewildered.
"What doesn't?" Charlie asked.
"Faith here broke out of jail after only serving two and half years of her 25 to life sentence," Don said. "She should at least be wanted for escaping."
"It was a clerical error," Willow nervously said. "It was only supposed to be 2.5 years."
"That's an awfully big error," Charlie doubtfully said.
"Tell me about it," Faith commented. Standing, she held her hands out to Don. "So, unless you're going to put these to a use that's a little more fun , you wanna take them off?"
"Of course," he said, pulling out the keys and releasing her.
"Does this mean that you're leaving?" Charlie asked Willow. "Since you're here, I'd hoped that we could…catch up."
Willow glanced back at Faith, who was making a show of stretching.
"We really should be getting back. People are expecting us…" She really didn't want to go just yet, knowing they were just returning to the frustrations of trying to beat the First. This might be the last chance for her to have any fun.
"B can wait," Faith said.
"Are you sure?" Willow asked, unable to keep the excitement out of her voice.
Faith shrugged. "I could stand to blow off some steam before heading back to ole SunnyD."
"Why don't we take you ladies out to dinner," Charlie suggested. "To make up for this misunderstanding. "
"What do you mean, 'we'?" Don halfheartedly protested.
"It's the least we can do," Charlie stressed, staring hard at his brother.
Don pulled Charlie aside to quietly ask. "And what am I supposed to do with Faith while you're <I> dining </I> with Willow?"
Charlie grinned, hoping that he and Willow could have a dinner like their previous one; one that didn't involve clothing.
"Take her dancing; it doesn't really matter. Please, just do this for me," Charlie begged.
Don warily eyed the brunette. "Alright. Fine. But you're going to owe me for this."
"All you have to do is name it," Charlie promised. Turning back to Willow, he held out his arm for her to take. "Shall we?"
"Absolutely, " Willow agreed, taking his arm.
"After you," Don said to Faith, gesturing for her to follow Charlie and Willow.
"Don't you even think of trying anything," she cautioned Don, preceding him out of the room.
"This is going to be a long night," Don mumbled to himself.
Copyright© March 2007