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10 December 2007 @ 06:16 am
(fic) Vignettes - Part 32: Thanksgiving by ladygray99  
Title: Vignettes - Part 32: Thanksgiving
Author: ladygray99
Chapter: 32/36
Pairing: Charlie/Colby
Rating: FRC
Disclaimer: Belongs to many other people, not me
Warnings/Squicks: Turkey!
Summary: What moments mark a friendship, a love, a marriage, a lifetime?
Previous chapters: Don’s Surprise
Notes: The triumphant return of Mrs. G as promised so long ago.  Feedback please
Beta(s): The amazing irena_adlerlong may she write.




 Colby pushed open the door with his hip, arms loaded down with bags, Megan right behind.

 “Alan, I swear to god this cobbler better be worth it. I had to pull my gun to get these apples.”

 “You did not.” Megan scolded.

 “Megan flashed a guy to get the bake tins.” Colby dropped the bags on the already bulging kitchen counter. 

 “Colby, there’s someone in the living room to see you.” Alan said, not looking up from a pie crust. Colby gave him curious look but Alan gave no hint.

 Colby wandered into the living room. The first person he saw was Charlie, the second was Esther, the third was his mother.


 “Colby dear, come in, sit down, Charles and I were just having a lovely chat.”

 Colby felt his brain begin to melt. “What are you doing here?”

 Emily Granger gave her son a pinched looked that Colby knew meant that he was swimming towards hot water.  “Can’t a mother see her son?”

 “Yes. Of course. Hi.” Colby gave his mother a hug and sat down. “Um...mom...it’s the day before thanksgiving. What are you doing in LA?”

 “Well it’s been unpleasantly cold this winter so your second cousin Margie has loaned me the beach place in Malibu.”

 “What about the rest of the family?”

 “Back in Idaho I presume. I really wouldn’t know.”

 A weird little part of Colby’s world vision curled up and died. “You’ve left home!”

 “Don’t be a drama queen, dear, I’m just taking a break somewhere warm and if I did not feel inclined to tell your siblings the exact location of my whereabouts, well, that’s my business.”

 Megan had walked in just in time hear Colby called a drama queen by his own mother and decided she liked the woman.

 “Good idea.” Megan said. “Alan’s pouring drinks. Who wants what?”

 Colby was still in shock a half hour later when his mother was sipping a nice merlot and actually laughed at Charles circle, circle, tangent joke.

 “Oh, I’ll have to tell that one to Katie.”

 “Wait.” Colby cut in. “You got that joke? Nobody gets that joke.”

 “Just because you didn’t pay attention in trigonometry, Colby Granger, doesn’t mean no one else did.”

 “I never took trigonometry.”

 “Well, I did and I rather enjoyed it.”

 Colby was sure one of his eyes was twitching and he would place money that something in his brain just popped. “Mom?” He squeaked out. “Can we talk?” He made gestures towards the other room.

 Emily put down her wine and walked proudly to the other room, Colby slinking behind.

 Esther leaned forward. “Last time dad had that look was the first time he heard me cuss.”

 “I know.” Megan said, “It’s the ‘I think I’m having a stroke’ look.”

 In the dining room, Emily Granger faced her son. “What did you want to discuss?” She said sternly.

 “What’s going on, mom?”

 “I told you, I...”

 “No. What’s really going on?”

 Emily gave her son a hard look.

 Colby continued, “Ok. Look at this from my perspective. Since before I can remember, you have spent the day before any Thanksgiving in the kitchen up to your elbows in giblets surrounded by enough food to feed the Army of the Potomac. The next day the whole family shows up, watches the game, and eats themselves into a coma and you run the whole show with military efficiency, and then do it again a month later for Christmas. You don’t sit in a California living room, sipping organic merlot, with your somewhat estranged son, trading math jokes with his husband.”

 Emily sighed and for the first time in Colby’s eyes, she looked her age.  “I’m tired and I’m done.” She said firmly. “I was picking out turkeys a week ago and saw them all just laying out there and decided that I was done. I wanted something different and someplace warm. I tried to talk the whole family into Fiji or something, something different but your brothers didn’t want to risk missing the game. Your sister and sister-in-laws all offered to cook dinner but it would just be the same. Same song, second verse. Then I remembered I had that standing offer from Cousin Margie and I thought a turkey sandwich on a Californian beach sounded like a perfectly good Thanksgiving to me.”

 Colby looked at the taking no shit look in his mother’s eyes and gave her a hug realizing for the first time where his own rebellious nature may have sprung from. “Do you really think Alan’s going to let you get away with a turkey sandwich on the beach? He’s been prepping for weeks. We have enough food to feed half the city. He’s been drawing up schematics trying to figure out how it’s all going to fit on the table. I’m sure I caught him weight testing it last week.”

 “I wouldn’t want to intrude.”

 “Don’t be silly mom. You’re family.”


 Emily Granger surveyed the table and was impressed. She’d seen this happen to widowers before. Either they lived off ham sandwiches ‘till they got another wife or they took up watching Food TV and a few years later their cakes were beating out the ladies at the county fair. Strangely enough, those men seemed to get remarried a lot faster than the ones eating the ham sandwiches.


 At the other end of the table, Alan Eppes stood and cast his eyes over the assemblage. At twelve people, it was the biggest thanksgiving to date. A long cry from the years of just him, Charlie, Don and Larry. Now there were husbands, wives, children, plus Agent Philip Matheson had been ordered along after making reference to turkey pizza, as had Niki Pepin, Larry’s new graduate assistant, who couldn’t arrange travel back to Boston. Alan thought it was cute the two already giving shy smiles at each other across the table. Geeks and G-Men, it was becoming a bit of a trend. And there was Emily Granger, who decided on a whim to chuck the good house wife image and have an adventure. In the other room, he could already see the first candle on the menorah burning low. It would be out by the time they finished.

 “Tonight, we give thanks.” He began. “We thank our gods, our universe, our family, our friends. We give thanks for our health, our fortune, and each other. Our friends and family gathered here tonight, for what is health and fortune without those we love to share it with? Share our triumphs, our tragedies. Look around and know that this is good. This is life as it should be. This is our blessing and for this we give thanks.”




Emily didn’t think she’d move ever again. The party had retreated to the living room where most of the adults sat with glazed looks on their faces. The food had been divine. She always knew a lot of the winter produce was trucked in from California but she was now sure they were keeping the best for themselves. She could have gorged on the tomato and cucumber salad alone. Colby sat next to her, gently sipping a glass of fizzy water. She smiled at her son.

 “You know you’re getting old when a pound of turkey on the stomach doesn’t sit the way it used to.” She teased.

 “I’m just glad the criminal element of the city has decided to refrain from anything requiring federal intervention tonight.”

 On the other side of the room Don raised a glass in agreement. “I don’t think I can remember where my gun is.”

 From the kitchen there was a high squeal and the sound of running feet. A moment later Esther sprinted past, followed by Charlie waving a wet dishrag.

 “How can those two have energy?” Emily asked in wonder.

 Colby gave a bit of a laugh. “Night owls, both of them, I don’t think Esther’s been to sleep before midnight in her life.” Emily looked hard at her son.  She had always been a firm believer in bed time.  Midnight was not an option. “Charlie’s no better.” He defended. “When Esther was little, I used to get up at three in the morning and wander out to the garage and there Charlie would be at his blackboards, working on something beyond us mere mortals, and Esther would be curled up on the couch with a book that should have been too hard for her. They’d just be there together, middle of the night, wide awake.”

 Emily could picture the scene, father and daughter, in their own worlds but easy in the same space. It didn’t take much time around Esther to understand how Colby could commit to another man’s child. She was brilliance, sweetness, and light. Though she wondered a bit about the girl’s mother. When Larry had mentioned some book reviewer Esther disagreed with Emily saw a quick flash of something hard and cold. Something surely not present in her father. Colby had sent her a portrait of the three of them when the adoption papers had gone through. It was tucked away in a drawer but she was now thinking it deserved a frame and a place on the wall with all the other pictures of family and grandchildren and if her other children, or friends, or the town had problems with it … well, they could just deal.

 “I’m glad you’re here. Mom.” Colby said, the copious amounts of turkey giving him a mellow tone.

 “So am I, you have a good life here, good family, good people.”

 Colby nodded. “Yeah. They take a little getting used to but this is good.”


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Devo79devo79 on December 9th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
Colby the Drama Queen?!

But shit this is gonna end soon! Damn!

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Don't worry. I'm already working on extraa pieces to go with this. Should have at least two up before xmas.
lilmoonbunny16: numb3rs donlilmoonbunny16 on December 9th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I've been studying for finals all weekend so this was just the break I needed ^_^
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
Well good luck on the finals and I'm glad you liked it.
thady: S&A: Geoffrey smugthady on December 9th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, Colby's mom. *hearts* Seriously, it couldn't be easy for her and yet, finally, there she is. :)

And there are only four pieces left. I'm gonna miss it, I always looked forward to each day's offering.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Well there will be more once it's done. Not every day but I've got a lot planed out in my head. This is a whole life time. By the final installment the boys are in their 70's and I've only shown 36 little parts. There's a lot of space to fill in.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
I've got another series I'm working on. It's basically the dark flip side of this one. Towards the end of the forth story (which was only outlined last night so might take a while to come up) Colby's whole family shows up for a redneck intervention.
del_writes: any lovedel_writes on December 9th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
Ahh, this is so sweet. I'm thrilled to see Colby's mother back, and ready to go home and pull out the picture of her son and his family no matter who has a problem with it. I love that the Eppes clan just can't bear the thought of people by themselves on Thanksgiving, so Matheson and Larry's assistant are added to the dinner list.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC)
My family is like that. If my mother knows you, you don't get to spend thanksgiving eating take out on the couch. :)
Jestana: #s: Charliejestana on December 9th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
That's what the subtitle of the show should be! I can see it now:

Numb3rs: Geeks and G-Men

*giggles madly*

An excellent chapter. It's so wonderful to see Colby's mom join them. She seemed like the only person in his family who gets him. Bravo!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2007 02:56 am (UTC)
I hadn't thought of that. I like it. Someone tell the writers. :)
devon99 on December 9th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
Yay for Colby's mum. Nice chapter..I've spent all weekend with family and somehow you manage to capture everything that, that encompasses on paper (figurative paper of course). There"s a warmth and easiness to your family Eppes/Granger that echo's real life. Fab stuff.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC)
Thank you darling. It's one of the things I like about Numb3rs, our crime fighting heroes have family. In so many cop shows they don't. I was hopeing to capture some of that. :)
(Anonymous) on December 10th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
Another beautiful story with too many special moments to mention them all. Yeah for Emily doing something for herself instead of just serving others (who don't seem to appreciate it). And I'm glad that Emily is accepting Colby's family. I think he needed to hear that. Our family Thanksgiving is similar to this one (and yours it seems). Everyone is invited and no one is allowed to celebrate alone - just bring your smile and your appetite.

Twin's Mom
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
I always thought those were the best kind.
fredbassettfredbassett on December 10th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC)
I love Colby's mom. The drama queen comment was priceless.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Well Colby does have his moments ;-)
athenedeinonychus_1 on December 15th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
Awww, that was so sweet. I loved the mental image of Charlie and Esther up late in the garage at stupid-o'clock in the morning. And the extended 'family' just keeps getting bigger. At this rate Alan's going to need an entire extension to the house to be able to host family diners in future.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 15th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
It is getting a little cramped. I think the kids table is going to get pulled out soon.
boymommytotwoboymommytotwo on March 9th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
are you going to write colby, charlie and ester going home to idaho? you would write that supremely well... :your next epic whispers to you:
ladygray99ladygray99 on March 9th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure. I try to keep Vignettes happy and I just can't seem to get Charlie near Colby's family without it going a little ugly.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on October 12th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
Glad you're liking the series. I actually looked it up and it's a once in those many, many years thing, like sixty, when the calenders sync up just right. Had a professor in university who bitched about it.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 17th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Damn strait. :-)