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14 December 2007 @ 07:34 am
Vignettes - Part 36: Presidential Medal of Freedom  
Title: Vignettes - Part 36: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Author: ladygray99
Chapter: 36/36
Pairing: Charlie/Colby
Rating: FRC
Disclaimer: Belongs to many other people, not me
Warnings/Squicks: None
Summary: What moments mark a friendship, a love, a marriage, a lifetime?
Previous chapters: Varsity
Notes: That’s right this is the end.  Extensive Notes at the bottom
Beta(s): The great, gorgeous, wonderful, goddess irena_adler.

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Charlie felt Colby’s arms wrap around him.

“You’re being very clingy tonight,” Charlie said.

“Can you blame me? We’re in a room full of people, here to celebrate the wonderfulness that is you. I need to mark my territory.”

Charlie gave a small laugh. “I’m a little gray to be attracting math groupies. I wouldn’t worry.”

“Nonsense, you’re only as old as your research assistant tells you that you are.”

Charlie fingered the heavy medallion around his neck.

“It should have been a Nobel,” Colby said.

“There isn’t a Nobel prize for math.”

“Well, they should have made one.”

“I wouldn’t take Noble’s blood money anyways,” Charlie joked.

Don came up a glass of good Champagne in his hand. “Mind if I butt in?”

Colby took a step back and Don pulled his brother into a hug. “I am so proud of you, Charlie.”

“Thank you, Don.” Charlie gave a bit of a sigh.

“Hey, what’s wrong?”

“I just wish…”

“He’s here, Charlie. Mom too, and they’re both just as proud of you as can be.”

Charlie gave his brother another hug. “Thank you.”

Don squinted at the medal. “Presidential Medal of Freedom.” He said. “For mathematical services to the country rendered to damn near everyone who ever asked.”

Charlie shrugged. “What can I say, I’m a math slut. I see a sexy problem, how can I say no?”

Don laughed. “You never told me you were on Project Reflex.”

“You didn’t have the clearance.”

“It was only the biggest simultaneous sting operation in the history of the planet.”

Charlie shrugged again. “The reaction probability equations were interesting to work on, though really not that complicated. I really just had to scale up the same kind of equations I was doing for you all those years.”

Don rolled his eyes. Both of them may have been old enough to be grandfathers but at times Charlie still acted like he was seventeen and playing with model yachts in the koi pond.

“Have you talked to Larry yet?” Don asked. “I haven’t seen him around?”

“Megan took him back to hotel. We talked for a bit.”

“I’m surprised he was able to make it. That hip can’t be in great shape.”

“He told me he would have glued feathers to his arms and flapped here if he had to.”

“That I would have liked to have seen.”

Charlie looked around and saw Esther elbowing her way past senators.

“Hide me,” she pleaded to her fathers.

“Murphy?” Colby asked.

Esther rolled her eyes. “He knows my terms, but he keeps pushing.”

Colby growled to himself. He still quietly blamed Alan and his James Bond novels for Esther’s insistence on being a part time spook. He knew her linguistic abilities were as important to the intelligence community as Charlie’s math was to defense and security, but it was still terrifying the first time his little girl went on a summer ‘research trip’ to ‘study obscure language groups,’ knowing full well she’d probably be in some third world war zone. She’d come back every Fall the first few years full of energy and ideas, then one Fall she came home with a limp, a puckered scar, and a haunted look. Colby had used every contact he still had to track down her handler and break his nose.

“He wants you back in the field?” Charlie asked.

“I told him no more malaria infested hell holes. I am done with that garbage. I want a minimum of three star hotels and drinkable tap water. I am getting too damn old for dysentery.”

Charlie laughed. “How did we raise such a diva?”

“Asks the man who still insists on particular brands of chalk.”

“Most chalk crumbles too much,” Charlie said.

“I know.” Colby gave Charlie a kiss on the head.

A photographer approached. “Can I get a group picture?” the young man asked.

“Sure,” Charlie said.

They all bunched together. Charlie was moved into the center of the group with his husband on one side and daughter on the other.  Don squeezed in next to Esther and put his arm around her to lay his hand on his brother’s shoulder. Colby smiled for the camera. The flash bulb went off and he was happy.

‘This is good.’

And they lived happily ever after.
The End

Authors Notes: Thank you everyone for reading this. I’d like to give a big, big thanks to irena_adlerfor taking on a monster of a beta project and insisting every bit get better.  Also a big shout out to fredbassett neur0vanity and deinonychus_1 for giving feedback from part one onwards.

I’d like to say this is the longest thing I’ve written, but too many years of liberal arts higher education makes me wander towards epics. For as long as this is it could be five times longer. I easily have ten pages on Larry’s wedding, Esther’s adventures as a spy, entire stories about the OCs especially Philip, Niki, and Stephanie. Not to mention Don, Colby, and Charlie’s adventures in parenthood. I even have an idea to bring Amita back

Every little chunk above is a dribble of a much longer story. Some stuff I didn’t write ‘cause I just didn’t want to put it down. I have Colby confronting his family, the slow and poetic death of Donald the Mad Scottish Poet, Alan’s funeral, plus fights and problems and nightmares all the other things that happen in a long and mostly happy life.

I wasn’t planning on writing more but I have succumbed to public opinion and in a few days after I get all the stories properly linked and on some sort of master index page I’ll post the first extension story.

Thank you for all the support.

Peace, Love and Math,
Lady Gray

Jestana: #s: Charliejestana on December 13th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
Yay! Charlie's work is recognized! *claps* I'm sorry Alan wasn't there, but Larry was, for a bit. *grin* Of course Colby would have hunted down the man responsible for Esther. *snerk* She may not be his biologically, but she certainly is his daughter in every other sense of the word. *grin*

I'm looking forward to reading the extensions!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
I wanted to give him a Nobel then read that there is no Nobel prize in math 'What!?' I thought. 'What is Charlie supposed to get then?'
Math medal - (Anonymous) on December 13th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Math medal - ladygray99 on December 13th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cazmalfoy on December 13th, 2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
I've been following this series closely, but suck at reviewing. But since this is chapter 36 I just have to say, well done!

I love the dynamic between the characters and while my brain can't quite see Colby/Charlie when I watch the show, I still find this one of the best N3 series fics on the net.

I can't wait for more and I'll try to be better at reviewing honestly! *angelic smile*

Caz xx
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
:) Thank you.
I'm really glad you've been enjoying it. I had a lot of fun writing it. Mainly at work ;-)
(no subject) - cazmalfoy on December 13th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
fredbassettfredbassett on December 13th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
*wipes away tear*

It was a wonderful, wonderful series, and I enjoyed every bit of it!

*envelops series in tight hug*

The only consolation of it being over is the promise of more to come :)

Thanks again, hon.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
:) Thank you darling. I'm fairly sure you've got the award for my number 1 feedback person. I think you only missed one. I hope you like what's to come. With any luck there should be plenty to read by the time you've got a next connection again. Have a safe trip.
(no subject) - fredbassett on December 13th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on December 13th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
This was a heartfelt ending to a truly beautiful love story. I am glad this is just a pause and not the end of your writing in this verse. I'd really miss the snapshots of Charlie and Colby's life together and of the friends and family that surround them. Thank you for writing this (I bet your boss isn't so thankful though).

Twin's Mom
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and really liking this. More will come. I've got a lot of Alan, Don and Esther lined up in my head.

I have a job where I quite literally do nothing for almost 8 hours a day. I babysit computers that are prone to crashing but the company figures it cheaper to have someone sit there 24 hours a day and hit reboot than pay for a stable updated system. Lots of time to write :)
del_writesdel_writes on December 13th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
Absolutely perfect, and if I didn't already know there was more coming I might just cry because it's over. I still might.

It was a wonderful distraction to my 700 sq. ft. house being crammed with 4 people, 4 dogs (one of them a St. Bernard), and 4 cats. Power's out all over the place here, but I at least still have power and internet, so I didn't miss your lovely story. Can't wait to see some of the missing bits.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
Give me a few days and hold tight. Don't let that weather get to you.
Dani: Snape happy placeumbralillium on December 13th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sad to see the Vignettes finished, but YAY! Extensions! ^_________^
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yes! May extensions though probubly not every day since I only have one written so far.
devon99 on December 13th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Sad that your series has ended but yay!! glad that you are going back to flesh out some of the "missing moments". Have loved this from start to end, especially the one with Colbys proposal. Looking forward to more. Thanks for providing my daily numb3rs fix. x
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Glad I could be of service :)
kabloinkokabloinko on December 13th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
Aww so sad that that was the last part :( It's been a joy reading all of the vignettes, thank you so much for posting :) Lovelovelove your Charlie/Colby! Looking forward to reading the extensions :) Sorry about not commenting any of the other brilliant!parts *shy*.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 13th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Awww. Thank you for reading. I'm feeling the love today. :-)
lilmoonbunny16: numb3rs donlilmoonbunny16 on December 13th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
absolutely lovely!!! *hugs*
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 14th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
*hugs back* :-)
Devo79devo79 on December 13th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
"He told me he would have glued feathers to his arms and flapped here if he had to."

LOL! I can just see that happen!

This whole thing was just GREAT!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 14th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Thank you. I can see an aged Larry playing Icerous for Charlie too.
shara50 on December 14th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
Absolutley wonderful, I love this series and I am looking forward to more in this universe!!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 14th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
Thank you. I should have a bit up after the weekend but I first want to orgonize the whole mess and post the whole thing to the numbers_fic group as one link.
PhilLeeGirlphilleegirl on December 14th, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)
Hey there! I've been reading this series from the very beginning and I adored it. (But I suck eggs at feedback, which is so bad for an author.) I loved the little moments, the little times that really showed us these people and their relationships. Esther was a trip and such a well rounded character in such few words. Anyhow, great work and I'm looking forward to seeing the additions.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 14th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading. And I'm glad you're enjoying it. It's always just nice to know that people out there are looking at it.
sandie k: sexsandiek on December 14th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
Awesome, incredible wonderfull story!! Im rereading it. Part 30 is in another tab.
I was wondering one thing though. Whatd ya do to David? He was in a few parts, and then sort of disappeared. I dont recall reading about a transfer or a death.

As for Nobel, never has been one for math. They give them an Economics one instead. But then, Charlie's math was used for crime fighting, and theres not one of those :(.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 14th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
I didn't write a lot of David. He got a promotion and transfer a bit after Charlie and Colby get married. I think I mentioned one line about it. He's around overall, he'll show up more in the extensions. I just never quite figured out how to write him well.
(no subject) - sandiek on December 14th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 15th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
thady: Casablanca: Ilsathady on December 14th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
\o/ Yay! What a wonderful ending. I'm glad that Charlie got the recognition he deserverd. And of course would Colby hunt that guy down that was responsible for his daughter.

I'm glad that there'll be more to come. Thank you. :)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 14th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I know it's about a 20 year jump from the piece before it but I wanted to end with Charlie and Colby in tuxes.
athenedeinonychus_1 on December 15th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
Awwww, I loved this series, I really loved it, and I'm quite sad that it's finished now.

The individual chapters might have been short, but the whole mounted up to one hell of an epic, which was great, because I love the longer epic stuff that you can really get your teeth into as a reader. And it was a fun ride along with them from a confused, faulting start through all the family stuff and to a happy ending, even if they have lost people along the way.

Well done for completeing it, and managing the chapter-a-day thing. I might wander off and read some of your other stand-alone stuff now.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 15th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
:-) Glad you liked it. I was just going to walk away here but there's been too much outcry for more and I'm just a sucker for love.