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16 July 2010 @ 11:16 pm
Fic: Brother Mine Part 3  
Title: Brother Mine Part 3
Authors: t_vo0810 and melissima
Artist: mustangcandi
Characters: Don Eppes, Charlie Eppes, Gary Walker, Terry Lake, David Sinclair, Billy Cooper, Oswald Kittner, Marshall Penfield, OCs
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Summary: It's the turn of the twentieth century, and Deputy US Marshal Don Eppes is tasked with investigating a series of disappearances in Pasadena. Residents are convinced the disappearances are the work of a local recluse who Don learns is his pale and sickly brother Charlie.
Art: Cover Art, Video

Don rode out to the manor in good time, hurrying his horse more than was strictly necessary. While his hope was that the extra bit of time would help settle Charlie's nerves, his expectations weren't that high. Don already knew his best option was keeping Charlie distracted enough that he didn't impede the process and make things worse on himself. The faster this was over, the sooner Don could clear Charlie's name.

He rode to the barn at the back of the property. Charlie'd reluctantly given him the lock's combination yesterday so he could properly stable his horse when he visited. After the horse was settled, he looked around, his curiosity peaked by a large tarp-covered object in the center of the barn. He peeled back the tarp and whistled at the fancy steam-driven carriage underneath. It was impressive - all sleek lines, polished to a luster, with rich black leather upholstery and a flexible canopy that lay flat against the trunk. It was as much an object of beauty as it was functional transport. Walking around the vehicle, Don traced its curves with one hand, pausing at the hood ornament. He shook his head in awe. This was the same emblem Charlie used to sign all his projects as a child, now executed in an elegant metal stamping. At some point, his brother had learned style and design along with his function. Clearly Charlie'd poured passion and meticulous care into this project. Still here it was, secreted away in a barn of all places. Don couldn't reconcile the scared shut-in he met yesterday with the man who designed this handsome buggy that begged to be raced down the coast on a sunny summer day.

Don crossed the yard to the kitchen door and rang the bell. He was unsurprised to note that Charlie repeated the same security procedures as yesterday, even though Don knew he had surely been aware of his presence since he'd stepped onto the property.

Don peered up at the scope above the door. "Charlie, I came alone. Sheriff Walker and his deputy will be here soon."

He didn't know what kind of reception he'd expected, but it surely wasn't being ignored once he entered the house. Charlie locked the door behind him and then continued his conversation with Lawrence as if he wasn't there.

"And you're sure you accounted for all the animals and they've all been switched to hibernate mode?" Charlie asked, pacing around the kitchen.

"Yes, Charles," Lawrence replied placidly.

"Including Libera? I couldn't find her again this morning. I really don't understand how she's escaping so often."

"Yes, Charles, I found her and placed her with the others. They are all deactivated and secured in the hidden annex as you directed."

"All the notebooks and sketches, my plans?"

"Secured in the wall safe along with the mechanisms and devices you requested."

"Good, that's good. And Don helped me move the more sensitive machinery from the basement to the annex yesterday. Everything's done, then. You understand your instructions?" Charlie stopped in front of Lawrence to wait for a response.

"I will secure myself in the annex, go into hibernate mode, and only reactivate upon recognition of your voice and code word."

"No other reason, no matter what your programming indicates. This command supersedes all others."

"Yes, Charles. I will be fine. I noticed your brother has arrived. Perhaps he would like some coffee, or to join you for breakfast?" Lawrence indicated the food congealing untouched on the counter.

Don watched Charlie crinkle his nose slightly, and cross his arms. The pose was so reminiscent of his stubborn baby brother balking at their mother's henning that Don felt an immediate rush of affection for him. "That's all right, Lawrence. Charlie and I will take care of ourselves."

Charlie's eyebrows lifted, and he wiped a hand across his lips. "Just let me walk Lawrence up to the annex and make sure it's secured," He gestured for Lawrence to follow him up the back stairs. "I think we should go over the checklist one more time on the way."

Don rummaged through the kitchen as he listened to their voices fading. Not much had changed since he'd lived here, with the exception of an elaborate network of pipes and boilers that led to the coffee pot. He would have poured himself a cup, but the carafe wouldn't budge. Don teetered between amusement and frustration. Apparently, Charlie was as protective of his coffee as everything else he made.

Within a few minutes, Don had eggs and bacon frying in a skillet. He'd slid the food onto a plate once Charlie re-entered the kitchen.

"Oh, you cooked." Charlie rubbed his forehead distractedly. "I should have offered you something. Wait, Lawrence did, didn't he? I wasn't really paying attention when you arrived. Sorry."

"I noticed. Sit down." Don placed the plate of food and a fork in front of him. "It's for you, I ate already. I was about to get us some coffee if I can figure out how." He gestured at the apparatus that had defeated him.

"Pull the chain next to it to close the steam valve, and the carafe will be released from its collar. It's a safety feature." Charlie looked down at the plate for a moment and then picked up his fork.

"'Course it is." Don poured two cups poured and placed one in front of Charlie before sitting down to take a sip of his own. He watched Charlie eat a couple of bites even as he looked fretfully at the ceiling. "Quit worrying. The more you worry, the more suspicious you act. You don't want to look like you're hiding something."

"I still think this is a bad idea." Charlie put his fork down and rubbed his eyes tiredly. "What evidence do they have that makes me a suspect?"

"It's just the way investigation works. They have to talk to whoever last saw the victim--"

"I didn't see him! I never see anyone."

"They don't know that. All they know is that someone says he was headed here. Maybe--"

"Maybe they just want to get inside my house." Charlie began tapping on the table, his agitation growing.

"Charlie, I will explain how this all works, if you agree not to interrupt and finish your food."

The corner of Charlie's mouth quirked. "That may have worked for Father when I was a child asking how a locomotive works, but things are different now."

Don waited silently, sipping his coffee.

Charlie glared for a long moment, then rolled his eyes and picked up his fork. Don hid his grin behind his cup. It was convenient that Charlie's insatiable need for answers still trumped his obstinacy. "You're partly right. There is no concrete evidence of your involvement. Neither the sheriff nor I am convinced that Ethan Bloom has come to any harm. But he's the third person to disappear and that's disturbing to a lot of folks. He was last seen on his way here, and the first boy, Jake Galuski, trespassed here on occasion. Those facts alone are enough to incite gossip and rumors in town."

"So I am to be gawked at...interrogated...invaded because of gossip and rumors? Charlie's voice grew louder as his hands gestured expansively, knocking into his cup and sloshing coffee over its side.

"You're making a mess, and you agreed not to interrupt." Don waited until Charlie had calmed and then wiped up the spill. "You need to understand: these young people have families who are worried sick about them. They want them home safe, and barring that, they want answers. They deserve answers." Don held up a hand when Charlie opened his mouth to protest. "You and I know there aren't any answers to be found here, but they don't. Nobody in town can vouch for your character or moral standing. Like you said, you never go anywhere, you never let anyone visit. You've closed yourself off completely, and that makes people think you have something to hide. Now that it seems their loved ones have been hurt or killed, they wonder whether you're hiding something serious. What I can't figure out is why you let it get like this, Charlie. Why have you shut yourself off from the whole world?"

Charlie picked up his half-eaten plate of food and scraped it into the trash bin and busied himself washing it. "I don't want to discuss this. Just tell me how to make this whole mess go away. Then we can both go on with our lives."

Don bristled. "Fine. The sheriff and his deputy will search the house and grounds for any physical evidence to place the missing persons here. They'll ask you a lot of questions. You have to stay calm and give the shortest answers possible. No long explanations or mathematical lectures, all right? If you go on and on they'll think you're avoiding the truth. Watch your expression and body language, too. They'll be studying you the whole time, whether they seem like it or not. If you act antsy or worried, they'll dig deeper. The calmer you are, the less time it will take, and the sooner we can all get out of your way."

Charlie looked momentarily chastened. "I didn't mean you, I-- "

Charlie's words were obliterated by a sudden high-pitched whistle. His whole body tensed, then he closed his eyes and took a deep breath before speaking. "That's the perimeter alarm. They just rode onto the property."

Don followed Charlie to the foyer, and was unsurprised when he opened a panel in the wall to reveal rows of levers. It was mildly interesting to watch the proceedings from this end of the periscope, but at this point, Don suspected Charlie was just stalling.

"We know who it is. I hardly think it's necessary to check."

"Please." Charlie's voice faltered slightly. He cleared his throat and began again. "I need to do this. I have my reasons, even if it doesn't make sense to you." Charlie finished his survey and stepped back, readjusting the levers and closing the panel to conceal the controls. Charlie took another deep breath and opened the door - though not quite wide enough for anyone to pass through. "Good morning, Sheriff Walker."

"Good morning, Dr. Eppestein." Gary tipped his hat in greeting and indicated the deputy at his side. "This is David Sinclair. I'm sure your brother explained why we're here."

"Yes, he did. However, I'd prefer that you store your weapons here in the foyer. I assure you the only guns in the house are my father's hunting rifles, secured in his gun safe. I'm uncomfortable with having armed men in my home."

"You can't… " Don tried to interrupt, but Charlie turned around and held up his hand. "honestly, I would appreciate it if you did the same. I didn't ask earlier, but it is my house and you are my guests...unless you can provide a warrant?" Charlie raised his chin, almost challenging him - he must've learned some law at university, or from their mother. Pride and frustration battled in Don's mind, unsettling him. He nodded and unholstered his revolver, setting it carefully on the table.

"That's an unusual request, Dr. Eppestein, but in the spirit of cooperation, I can agree. I will have to insist that you allow one of us to accompany you, and that you keep your hands in sight, at all times during this search. Do we understand one another?" The sheriff and Charlie stared at each other for a moment before Charlie stepped back and allowed them in. Gary and David followed Don's example; when the guns were all stowed Charlie gestured at a row of wall pegs for their hats.

Now that both men were inside and moving toward the parlor, Charlie had begun to deflate, his bravado leaking out in quiet breaths. Don could see how much Charlie's performance had cost him; now it was best to get him through this ordeal as quickly as possible. "Sheriff, we can either give you the five cent tour or just follow your lead. It's your show."

"Dr. Eppestein, why don't you show the Deputy around? I'd like to have a look for myself if you don't mind." Gary smiled reassuringly, then turned to mutter something to David.

David nodded and stepped toward Charlie, gesturing for him to lead the way. "If it's alright with you, Doctor, I would like to start in the kitchen. Might I trouble you for a glass of water? It was a long dusty ride."

"Of course, Deputy. This way, please." Charlie flicked a panicked glance at Don.

Don looked to Gary, who was already opening the parlor door. "I think I'll show the sheriff around, if that's all right with you, Charlie."

Charlie swallowed thickly, nodded, and followed David out. Don thought it was best if Gary wasn’t alone to snoop through the entire place on his own, but his brother was barely holding it together. It would be tricky, but he decided not to leave either Charlie or Gary alone for very long.

Gary made his way through the rooms pretty quickly. He scanned the dreary parlor and dining room, their layers of dust too thick to have been disturbed in over a year. Charlie's bedroom warranted scrutiny, to the point of examining each book on the shelves and the mess of papers piled on the floor. Not much had even changed since Don was last in this room when Charlie was thirteen. Gary said nothing just grunted on occasion as he inspected every detail.

Don showed Gary to the back staircase leading to the empty kitchen; a glass of water on the counter was the only sign David and Charlie had been here. Worry swept over Don at the silence in the house, and he began to strain his ears for the sound of Charlie's or David's voices.

"Just go check on him already. I'll be fine on my own." Gary said, shooting him a knowing look before he turned to the door at the bottom of the staircase. "Where does this lead to?"

"The basement. It's just used for storage."

"All right. I'm going to take a look and then check out the barn."

Don nodded, waited until Gary headed down the basement stairs and set out to find Charlie. He checked Mother's office first, which was dim with the curtains drawn. The lamps from the hall cast enough light to make the room visible. He noticed that it wasn't just undisturbed, but frozen in time - it looked exactly as it had on Don's last visit, as if she might return any moment. Don quietly shut the door.

The next doors down the hall was the solarium. As he approached the partly open door, he was relieved to hear David's voice. Don opened the doors fully, so that Gary could find them easily, but hesitated on the threshold, taking in how much the room had changed.

"There you are." Charlie said, looking considerably more calm and at ease than he did at the beginning of this ordeal. He stood in front of one of the many chalkboards clustered in the middle of the room, writing some numbers and equations. The rest of the boards were empty, washed clean and black just yesterday. "David asked about the plants; I was trying to explain."

David chuckled good-naturedly. "Actually, I asked if all mathematicians were such proficient gardeners. My wife would envy your garden."

"Which is what I was trying to explain." Charlie said, gesturing at the boards. "Math is nature's language--"

Don cleared his throat. Charlie winced, dropped his arm and stepped away from the chalkboard with a small shrug. "Nature speaks in math, and so do I."

David smiled and gestured at the board. "I appreciate you taking the time to show me that."

Strolling over to Charlie's workbench, David looked over the tools, occasionally picking one up as he continued speaking. "So, you're a mathematician and an engineer? What do you build?"

Charlie's increased discomfort telegraphed itself across the room. Now that David was resuming his inspection rather than discussing math, Charlie's expression shifted toward panic. He hovered near David's elbow, his hands clenching jerkily as if he were struggling not to interfere. "What does my work have to do with your investigation?"

Don shook his head minutely. Charlie bit his lip. "I build lots of things. I prefer the practical applications of math and science."

"You don't like discussing your work, " he stated, glancing up at Charlie.

"No. It's…in the past, people have...appropriated my work. I learned to…exercise caution before revealing my designs to anyone." Charlie wrung his hands, began to cross his arms and stopped, dropping them to his sides.

David's facial expression never changed, but Don could see him notice Charlie's rising agitation. The halting speech, the nervous movements… Charlie looked suspicious even to Don. He needed to shift attention off Charlie now.

"If you want to see an example, Deputy, you should look at Charlie's steam-driven buggy out in the barn. It's practically a work of art."

Charlie's body stilled as he looked over at Don, his eyebrows lifted in surprise. "You liked it? I used fluid dynamics to inform the body design; it suffers less wind-resistance when in motion. I haven't actually driven it in ages, but it's quite an experience."

"So you design vehicles?" David asked.

"Fluid dynamics is - was an area of special interest. Vehicle design is only one application of that study." Charlie recited the answer distractedly, watching as David sifted through a box of jumbled parts. After a brief pause, he continued in a strained voice. "I don't see the relevance of this - why you are looking through my tools and tackle."

"We're almost done, Dr. Eppestein. We need to explore your home and work to understand what attracts these young people to your property. That steambuggy sounds like it would be pretty tempting to bored youngsters looking for trouble."

"Honestly, Deputy, kids come out here to see the town freak. I have security in place, so I know when someone is on my property. My barn is always locked. To my knowledge, no one even knows that vehicle exists, except Don who only saw it this morning. I assure you, there is nothing here that will shed light on this investigation."

"I understand." David remained impassive, but noticed how Charlie moved in front of his desk as if to protect it. "It's all right, Dr. Eppestein. I'm going to look through your desk but I'm sure there will be nothing of interest here, just like your kitchen and solarium. We really are almost finished, I promise." He approached the desk slowly, keeping his expression warm and non-threatening.

Charlie flinched violently, obviously expecting David to physically move him away from the desk. David just waited until Charlie shuffled away and then sat at the desk, looking through papers as if he hadn't noticed Charlie's strange reaction. Don split his attention between his brother and David, impressed with the deputy's gentle but effective manner.

As David opened drawers to continue his search, Charlie started to pace. David pulled out scraps of crumpled paper and dogeared notebooks full of scribbled equations and diagrams, flipping through them even though he obviously couldn't comprehend them. As he opened the bottom drawer, Charlie moved close again, both fists knotted. "Ok, that's enough. You don't even know what you are looking at," he spat through clenched teeth, "those are just thoughts and scratch work. It doesn't have anything to do with investigation."

"We'll decide that for ourselves, Dr. Eppestein," Gary announced as he strode brusquely into the solarium. "This isn't a social call, it's an official investigation, and you'd best remember that. Now, I want to know about this item." Gary held up a soiled handkerchief, crumpled and stiff, stained with a dark rust color.

"What is that? Where did you find that? I don't know where that came from." Charlie stammered.

"It's a handkerchief, stained with blood. I found snagged in some underbrush near your barn. Who does it belong to and how did it get there?"

Charlie blanched at he stared at the dirty cloth. "I don't...It - it must be Kit's. The delivery boy from the general store, he cut himself yesterday, came to my door, his hand was bleeding. He must have dropped that outside," he finished in a rush.

"He's telling the truth, Sheriff. I met Kit on his way out of the manor yesterday. He showed me the bandage." Don confirmed, stepping to Charlie's side.

"Maybe so, Marshal, but the initials stitched into the corner hem say E.R.B. Can you tell me why Oswald Kittner would own a handkerchief with Ethan Bloom's initials on them?"

"I don't know! How could I conceivably know that? Ask Kit." Charlie's eyes flitted from David still rummaging through his drawers to the sheriff and the bloody cloth in his hand.

"Don't you be worrying about that. You answer our questions and we'll conduct our investigation."

"Can I see that, Sheriff?" Don accepted the handkerchief, pinching the corner with two fingertips. Holding it up at eye level, the dry handkerchief was splotched with dried blood, so that flakes of it might fall away if he shook it. Don handed the handkerchief back to Gary as David approached with a newspaper clipping in his hand.

Taking the slip of paper from David, Gary extended it toward Charlie. "Thinking about taking a job, Dr. Eppestein?"

Charlie's brow furrowed as he squinted at the square of paper. Don leaned closer to read it. It was an advertisement, describing an "exciting" job opportunity, "just right for a daring young man looking to have an adventure and earn easy money." There was no company or address listed, just a telephone number. There was no newspaper title or date of publication. Don's stomach sank as he recalled the job opportunity Jake Galuski and Alice Wright had mentioned before they disappeared.

"I've never seen that before. I didn't cut that out. I don't know where it came from." Charlie sidestepped toward Don, away from Gary and the clipping.

Don gently laid a hand on Charlie's back; he could feel him struggling to control his breathing, his muscles tensing.

Sheriff Walker looked unconvinced. "You have a phone, don't you?"

"Yes, but that is not my number. You can check with the town operator. I use it to arrange deliveries, otherwise, it remains disconnected. I don't accept calls - I don't like to be interrupted."

"And you didn't arrange to have this advertisement published?"


"You don't recall reading or clipping this ad?"

"I didn't say that! I said, I have never seen it. I did not clip it out. I don't have any knowledge of where it came from, or how it got here!" Charlie's breathing sped up, until he was nearly gulping mouthfuls of air.

"The missing young people were affiliated with mining interests in town. Does any of your work involve mining or mine equipment?" Gary asked.

Charlie glanced from Gary to Don, then away. "It did, once. A long time ago, back east. I was awarded a classified government contract. I'm prohibited from speaking about it, but I assure you I abandoned that line of work a years ago."

Charlie grew more sullen and withdrawn even as he spoke. Don could imagine what Gary thought about his demeanor - He'd be thinking it too, investigating anyone but Charlie.

"Classified. Hmm," Gary repeated thoughtfully. "Doesn't really help you, then. Maybe I should ask around, see if any of the local mining companies have worked with you. Tell me, Doctor, what will they say?"

Charlie hunched in on himself. "They won't know me, Sheriff. I told you I gave up that line of work a long time ago. I haven't published academically in years. No one has heard of me."

"Think I'll ask all the same. Mr. McGowan, at least, and that other scientist fella… what's-his-name. Pen, Pen-something."

"Penfield, Marshall Penfield," David supplied.

All the color drained from Charlie's face and he swayed under Don's arm. Don looked for a chair nearby and tried to maneuver Charlie toward it, but he warded him off.

"I know him," Charlie whispered shakily.

Don's stomach clenched in anticipation. This would incriminate Charlie, but hiding it at this point would only make things worse. "How do you know him?"

Charlie cast a nervous glance over at the two lawmen and cleared his throat. "I-I went to university with him. He was a few years ahead of me, but we both specialized in the same areas of study."

"So he's a colleague of yours?" Gary asked.

"No. Yes. We were academic rivals. I haven't seen or spoken him in years. The last time I saw him…" Charlie squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head forcefully, as it trying to erase some image from his mind.

Don wasn't clear on why but he could tell Charlie was working himself into one of his episodes. He needed to end this now. He squeezed Charlie's shoulder. He turned to Don and spoke in a strained, anxious hiss. "I did what you asked, now I want them to leave… I haven't done anything wrong, I don't…" Charlie's face began to crumple as his eyes grew glassy.

"All right." Don looked over his shoulder toward the lush plantings as a memory came to him. When they were children, Charlie retreated to the koi pond whenever he was upset. "Hey, you know what I haven't seen in forever? The koi. Let's go look at them for a minute."

Charlie nodded jerkily, his shoulders rising and falling with each pant of breath. Don coaxed him to turn away from the other men and gestured for Charlie to lead the way through the rows of plants. As he followed, Don explained over his shoulder: "We're just going take a short break, Sheriff. We'll be by the fountain."

The fountain was quietly gurgling, the sound as soothing as Don remembered it. He sat on the lip of the circular wide basin. It seemed huge to him as a boy, more like a fountain found in the center of a town square rather than a indoor garden. Now it seemed small and gray and shallow, the low wall awkward to perch on. Water slowly filled the top small basin and then overflowed into the lower larger basin, from there trickling into the pool. Water lilies swayed gently in the small currents, their roots gliding easily across the visible bottom. It was unexpectedly empty of all other life.

After a few minutes of pacing, Charlie slowly calmed. Sitting shoulder to shoulder with Don, he closed his eyes and focused on controlling his breathing in the same manner as yesterday. Don didn't know what to say so he stayed silent, listening to the babble of the water behind him.

Gary appeared a few minutes later, stopped a couple of feet away from Charlie. "We're done for now, Dr. Eppestein. You sure you don't have anything else to volunteer?"

Charlie shook his head, staring blankly at the sheriff's shoes.

"All right. I don't figure you have any plans to leave town, but don't - not 'til these young folks're found." He waved Don off as he stood up. "We can see ourselves out, Marshal." He turned as if to go, but stopped, glancing back curiously into the fountain. "Thought you said there were some sort of fish in there?"

Without looking up, Charlie sighed mournfully and replied, "I had to send them away."

Gary shook his head and walked away. Charlie hunched over, rocking slightly, pulling at his hair with both hands. Don felt sick, suddenly seeing his brother as a stranger might, as Gary must - a bizarre, unbalanced person trying fervently to hide something. Whatever Charlie might be hiding, Don prayed he could prove his brother had nothing to do with the disappearances.
msgrahamcrackermsgrahamcracker on July 19th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
Oh, I loved this! The AU aspect was, quite simply, outstanding. The images you created were haunting. And the way you worked some of the other characters from Numb3rs into co-starring roles was extremely enjoyable. I can't say enough good things about it. And, don't forget the art work and video!! I've always loved mustangcandi's work and she outdid herself this time. I'm really enjoying this Big Bang thing. Great showcase for some serious talent.

Is there more? There were only links to three chapters, but the story certainly doesn't seem to be complete. Billy Cooper didn't even show up yet!!
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on July 19th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! I think I can speak for my co-author of awesome when I say that we are so incredibly pleased that you enjoyed it and took the time not just to read it but share your feedback as well!

I am so glad you enjoyed the canon characters popping up in non-canon ways. We had hoped it wouldn't be too confusing to the reader. We are currently working on some author notes to add to the header of part 1 so that people know what to expect a little better.

Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! You actually had me dancing in my chair. And yes, Candi completely OUTDID herself. I cannot squee enough about her video and cover art. I will be sure and pass along your compliment to her as well.

Good News! there is 40K more of this! hahahahahaha. Hopefully, I didn't scare you away by admitting that. Just know that yes, we are steadily working on rewrites daily and plan to publish this mammoth fic in its entirety over the next month or so. We should be posting again very soon! And our intrepid Billy arrives in the very next scene to be posted so you won't have to wait long for that long drink of water. :D

Again thank you for your lovely compliments! Can't wait to hear what you think about the rest once we get it up on the comm. Stay tuned!

T <3
msgrahamcrackermsgrahamcracker on July 19th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
40K more to come! I can't wait! Believe me, I will be watching and waiting. Thanks for the reply.
perhaps some frottage is in order: [girls] Sophina/Aya grinsororcula on July 21st, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
You GUYS. I basically don't even read fanfic any more, but I've been looking forward to this since I first heard a description of the plotline MONTHS ago. So I saw it was up, and I read what's been posted and WHERE IS MORE PLEASE. omg. Haha, I loooove this! I read the three parts that are up and went to bed and woke up in the morning thinking, HMM, I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT!

Also, I have basically no knowledge/experience with steampunk stuff, so that aspect of it was kind of exciting, too. Like, you should've seen my face as I slowly figured out what Larry was. Ohhhhhhhh.... Iiiii geeet iiiitttt.... Haha.

ANYWAY. Y'all rock. I adore this.
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on July 21st, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
This comment totally rocked my world! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! <3 I am beyond happy that you enjoyed our story and woke up wanting to know more :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

If you are interested or it helps with the visualization of the story, we are happy to send you some steampunk links. It's not crucial tho to the understanding of the story. i wish i could have seen your face :D i was very hopeful that people would be surprised to learn about Larry!bot <3

thank you thank you thank you! as we said above, there is definitely more to come! if all goes well, part 4 should be posted on saturday. we hope u stick around! :D
devon99 on July 23rd, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
I've just read the comments so I know there is more to come *is relieved* You can't suck a girl in and leave her hanging!! I dont normally read WIP. but will wait impatiently patiently for more:)

Loved this part, Charlie's anxiety was palpable, and Don made me squee as he tried to reassure and calm him down, you have him spot on.

And so much love for your David too, he was polite and interested and almost gentle in his handling of Charlie - nicely done.

Now *bites nails* and waits for more :)
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on July 24th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
I am sooo sorry! We have author notes that haven't been posted yet that explain it's a work in progress to warn ppl before they read part 1. I understand completely about not wanting to read WIPs because it can try one's patience. But I promise you the fic has been written and will be posted in its entirety. Rewrites have taken Mel and I a bit longer than we anticipated initially so we couldn't get them all done by the BB deadline. But I promise you we won't leave you hanging for long. We plan to post new parts every week until the story is complete. We hope it will be completely up mid August before the fall semester starts and distracts both of us completely. :D

Thank you so much for you lovely lovely feedback. I really enjoy reading your comments so much. As you can tell, both Mel and I have a kink for that Eppes brotherly comfort and Mel is absolutely amazing at the nonverbal sensory details for scenes like that. I am pleased you liked it.

I have such a soft spot for David in this fic! I really enjoyed the idea of him recognizing the signs of trauma in Charlie because of his own personal backstory in this 'verse and being able to have a different perspective on how best to handle 'the town recluse'. I think that seed was planted with ScanMan in canon. When i saw how gentle and good-natured he was in canon with the autistic man. Not that Charlie is autistic or anything like that in this verse. i just appreciated that side of David a lot. How he can be sensitive but not to the point of over-identifying with the person. Just enough that it informs how he handles people and improves how he does his job.

It's coming very soon. Part 4 at a comm near you!

rbbythesea on October 13th, 2012 08:12 am (UTC)
I know that you say the story is written. And I'm really hoping that you post the rest soon. The story is really good, and it would be a shame for it to languish unfinished. That would be a true shame. You have such a good storyline going. Any idea when you might post the rest?