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The Elegant Solution

The Elegant Solution
By FaithDaria
Warnings: none
Rating: Teen
Spoilers: White Knight, general spoilers for Numb3rs.

Larry noticed her on the first day of class. She stood out from the other students in his only section of practical physics for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which was her age. While she was still much younger than he was, she was at least fifteen years older than the engineering students who made up the bulk of his class.

She came up to him at the end of class with an audit form, and that’s when he learned her name. He signed Elaine Mallory’s form, and hurried to his next class, but something about her stuck in his head. He eventually shrugged it off as unusual circumstances; he had never had someone audit one of his classes before. Auditing generally occurred in either the fun classes or the ones that were difficult to get into, and Larry’s classes were regarded as neither.

On the second day of class, his eyes were drawn to her again. She took copious notes, which was not unusual, but she didn’t bring any type of recorder with her, which was. When the other students raised their hands to ask questions, Elaine paid close attention, but she didn’t ask questions of her own. Larry wondered idly if she was embarrassed, but dismissed it as irrelevant.

She showed up during office hours after the third class, with a series of questions that quickly veered into the theoretical. They ended up talking for an hour about theoretical physics events before she glanced at the clock and made her excuses.

They ended up in bed together the night after the fifth class, through a series of events that would always mystify him. He spent the weekend with her, most of the time in her tiny apartment, and she told him why she was auditing a college-level physics class.

It was a little hard to believe at first. Charles would have gone into fits at her claim, demanding empirical proof and exclaiming that magic couldn’t possibly exist. But Larry had to admit that it was at least theoretically possible, and that was enough for him.

They’d been seeing each other for a month when he first understood the dangers in her life. Discovering that vampires existed was a bit of a shock, but the theorist in him had already allowed for the possibility of magic, so vampires and other magical creatures fell into the realm of probable existence as well. The nasty surprise was the secret war going on against magic-users. A war that Elaine avoided, but which her ex-boyfriend occasionally dragged her into.

He kept his newfound knowledge to himself for the most part, only bringing it up in “theoretical” discussions with his young friends. Charles was curious about Elaine, but it was Amita, who defined the relationship for them all.

“Elaine is your elegant solution,” she said, with a look of quiet understanding.

And Larry had to agree.