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15 October 2014 @ 01:10 pm
The Delicate Brothers – ACT 1 (8/17)  
Title: The Delicate Brothers – ACT 1
Author: ladygray99
Rating: NC17
Chapter 8/17
Series: Whitman
Characters/Pairings:Charlie/Colby, Don/OFC, Alan/OFC, Ian/OMC/OFC, Megan/Larry, Tarry Lake, David Sinclair, Matt Li.
Word count: 5,115
Warnings/Spoilers: Threeways, spankings, shaving, sexual discipline, gross descriptions of crime scenes, masturbation, medical stuff related to pregnancy and childbirth, original characters.
Summary: Life progresses, life happens, life perseveres, and life is better with someone by your side.
Notes: Master Notes for Story. More angst in this bit. And talking. Lots of talking.
Beta: None, feel free to point out typos of which there are many I am sure.

Chapter 8

Colby was heading for lunch when he was ambushed. His intent had been to get a sandwich from the place around the corner from the Federal Building. This meant crossing through about ten square feet of grass with a bench that someone in the city had designated a park. Larry was sitting on that park bench.

"Colby," Larry started pleasantly. "I was just about to have lunch here on this fine afternoon. Why don't you join me?" Larry held up a brown bag.

"I'm kinda in a..."

"No you're not." Larry stated quickly cutting him off. "And I brought enough for two. Sit, join me."

Colby had a sudden memory of his last little heart to heart with Alan. "Just as long as there's no tequila in that bag," he said sitting carefully.

Larry reached into the bag and handed him a reasonably safe looking tuna sandwich and a cup of coffee. "I realized that you and I have never really talked." Larry said pulling out a chicken sandwich for himself.

"We talk all the time, Larry."

"Humm, yes, I suppose I should say we've never talked properly about Charles."

"Ah." That was pretty much where Colby thought this conversation was going. "Look, Charlie and I will work out..."

"Of course you will." Larry said dismissively. "I'm here to tell you a story."

Colby figured he wasn't getting out of this. "Okay, go for it."

"Many years ago I was introduced to a little boy named Charlie Eppes. I say little and he was. Thirteen and for the first semester I knew him he could have passed for eight. He was a very serious little boy verging on morose at times, his whole world seemed focused on math and he drank it up like water and the math he produced himself was staggering. No one can produce work like that without passion but at least in the beginning the only evidence of passion I ever saw was frustrated fits where he probably did more damage to himself than to the chalk boards. But he began to grow into himself physically and mentally. I remember his first summer he grew nearly four inches, couldn't stop tripping over things."

Colby chuckled a little over the image of an ungainly little Charlie.

"When Charles was sixteen, just about to collect his first degree, I found him in my office one afternoon. He was pacing about, obviously distraught. I tried to ask him what was wrong and instead of receiving an answer he did something entirely unexpected, he attempted to kiss me."

"What!" Colby attempted to say with a mouthful of tuna.

"Well I pushed him away of course. Even if I had possessed an interest in Charles he was both a student and, in my mind at least, still a child. Well he tried again and I pushed him away again and if that wasn't disturbing enough there was a look on his face. By that point I thought I had seen all of Charles' looks but the look on his face was one of true pure loathing and disgust and it was not directed at me. He was heaping that purely on himself."

"Why?" Colby asked suddenly very uninterested in his lunch.

"I don't know." Larry answered plainly. "I have tried to ask over the years but he has never told me and I am afraid any theory I have come up with is only worse than the one before." Larry took a breath. "Now in the years after that event I am sorry to say I saw Charles in many unpleasant states. I sat by his bed while he came off the cocaine."

Colby quickly filed that information away. Charlie had admitted to using a little when he was younger but not so much that he would have spent any time coming off it.

"I was also there when they pumped the three litters of vodka out of his stomach after Susan left." Larry continued. "And when Margaret was sick. Well Charles' inability to cope with that has become the stuff of legends, however in all that time I have never again seen that look of loathing on his face until yesterday afternoon."

Colby's stomach sank. He guessed there were worse people to get told off by than Larry. Don came quickly to mind, followed by Alan. "I'm sorry, Larry."

"I am certainly not the one who needs to be apologized to." Larry snapped. "Do you know what Charles wants more than anything, what his three wishes would be if he could go right back to his first breath on this earth and do it again? He would want to be normal. For every brilliant thing he has done he would throw it away if he could have grown up to be five foot ten, an IQ of 120 and heterosexual without a single thought, kink, fetish, desire, or idea that could possibly separate him from the ignorant grey masses he often professes to loath. And what a terrible world that would be." Larry finished tersely.

Colby's stomach twisted and he felt his heart ache in his chest at the image.

"Setting aside the state of my own career without Charles in the world, let's look at your little slice of humanity. How many killers and rapists would still be walking the street without Charles? How many acts of terror inflicted on this city? And you yourself. What are the odds that you would be an unmourned corpse on a Chinese freighter without Charles?"

"Pretty good." Colby admitted.

"Yes. Unfortunately there are no wingless angles on snowy Christmas eves to point all that out to him. Instead he sat in his office yesterday, hating himself because some part of him actually believes, despite the complete ill logic of it, that he somehow infected you with all the things that deviate him from the societal mean and we both know that is utter nonsense even if you're not willing to admit it to yourself."

Colby took a deep breath. "Larry, if you knew..."

"I know enough." Larry cut in. "And what's more I've known Charles longer than you have and while he has kept secrets from me, as little boys are want to do, I do know that Charles will pretend to forget everything that may have happened that might have upset you just to keep the peace but it will shred him from the inside out unless the two of you step forward and acknowledge it."

Colby didn't know what to say. He just looked at his cup of coffee instead.

Charlie let the numbers flow around him. He had taken Larry's advice. He hadn't thought of much for the last day other than some theoretical problems he'd been putting off. It had turned into an almost embarrassingly productive fight. He got to the end of an expression and heard Colby carefully clear his throat.

Charlie put down the chalk and turned around.

"Can we talk?" Colby's voice was soft.

Charlie felt his pulse spike. He didn't want round two of a fight but they had to move past this stupid shit. "Okay."

"Actually," Colby said quickly. "Can I talk? Can I just say what I need to say and then you can say everything you want to say and then we'll...do something?"

Charlie sat in the straight back chair and folded his hands in his lap, ready to receive a lecture. "Go ahead."

Colby sat on the couch and seemed to be trying to make himself small. "I..." Colby stuttered. "I raped you, Charlie." Charlie jerked back in his chair. "I beat you and raped you in a stinking back alley and left you bloody on the ground." Charlie opened his mouth to object but Colby continued. "And before that I had never... Before..." Colby stumbled again and took a breath. "There were two men in my town. The wife of one of them caught them in bed together. Killed them both. She pleaded temporary insanity and got off and the other wife didn't push for any kind of prosecution."

Charlie felt a good old fashion spark of civil rights rage but the incident had obviously stuck in Colby's mind for worse reasons.

"I can't remember what I desired before you, Charlie." Colby continued "Some days I feel like I didn't exist before you. And mixed in with all these desires I've only had a handful of years to learn how to live with is this other, thing. And it's dark, and I know you want it, but every time I let it out it gets harder to put back, harder to reign in, it feels like it's just growing larger consuming... There are so many days when I walk in the door and all I want is to be greeted by you on your knees."

Charlie swallowed hard because that didn't sound like that bad an idea to him.

"...But I can't handle the thought of hurting you again like I did that night and when you said what you said it felt like a band around my chest just snapped and it was all I could do not to just keep going." Colby closed his eyes. "I know it's not your fault but I have no point of reference before you and if I had these desires before you they were so deep I don't know where they could have been and some days it feels like I've just been ripped open and this dark thing poured out and instead of trying to kill it you want me to feed it, and... I don't know what to do." Colby stumbled and fell silent.

Charlie quietly collected his thoughts. You'd think that after tens of thousands of dollars of therapy some of this would have come out sooner. And just when Dr. Anar decided to turn off her cell phone.

Charlie took a deep breath. "Colby, I'm going to tell you a story."

Colby chuckled a little. "That's the second time I've heard that today."

"One day I was walking through the sixth floor of the Los Angeles Federal Building and across the bullpen I saw someone I'd never seen before getting settled at Terry Lake's desk. I surmised that the person must be the new agent Don mentioned was coming. Well at that moment I had two thoughts. My first thought was 'Helllllllooooooo farm boy.'"

Colby gave a little smile.

"From the other side of the room I could see broad shoulders and strong hands and even make out a spark of green in the eyes. Mind you my second thought was 'oh god I'm probably going to have to explain basic arithmetic to this brick, well at least I'll have something pretty to look at.'"

Colby pinched his lips a little.

"Now maybe three days later a judge's wife is dead and there's a lot of confusion and I'm working on suspect lists and I start talking about pi and I feel the need to be a bit of an arrogant shit and explain to the dumb brick farm boy what pi is and he comes back with 'I know what pi is.'" Charlie closed his eyes and took a breath. "God Colby what I saw in you in that flash of a moment. No one talks back to me, especially when I'm lecturing. You came back at me with five words and I heard and felt such power in them I knew right there the dumb farm boy thing was an act. I got wood so fast I'm surprised I didn't pass out. I wanted to get on my knees right there and kiss your feet and say thank you sir 'cause I was being a bit of a brat and you weren't going to stand for it. I went home and nearly gave myself carpal tunnel running those five words through my head."

Colby gave a little snort.

"It's true." Charlie took a breath. "I then started on a mission to make myself completely crazy. I wiggled my ass at you so much it was embarrassing. I changed my hair, I changed my shirts, tried shaving, tried not, changed my cologne, my deodorant, I even tried going without deodorant, seeing if I could get some sort of masculine pheromone thing going."

Colby frowned. "I thought you'd forgotten to shower for a while?"

"My point exactly. If I got any attention from you it was just as a friend. And you were a good friend. You listened to the math even when you were pretending like you weren't. You backed me up on long shots. You drove me home when I had one too many. So as far as impossible crushes go I was hooked. I had such a major thing for you that I began to actually hate you for it."

Colby pressed himself back into the couch a bit.

"I felt like a fish on a line. You'd hooked me with five words then just left me out there. Then one night it was too damn much. The math was too much. The cases were too much. My bullshit relationship with Amita was too much. It was all too much. And you were sitting next to me at that bar and I could feel the heat from your body..." Charlie dropped his head remembering that night. "You know why I hit on that cop?" he asked.

Colby shook his head.

"I wasn't trying to start a fight or get pounded. I'd seen him check me out a few times that night. I figured if I couldn't have you I could get some dumb thug to fuck me into oblivion, and even if he did throw a punch it would have been pretty much the same result in the end." Charlie took a very deep breath. "When you dragged me out of there I thought maybe," Charlie chuckled. "I thought maybe some part of you was jealous. I thought maybe I'd finally found whatever button it was that I needed to push and then when you walked away... Colby you've been walking around with all this guilt, for god sakes I attacked you. I was furious, mainly at myself but I threw a beer can at your head, I came at you with both fists. You would have been fully in your rights to slap on cuffs and book me for assaulting a federal officer."

Colby's eyes went wide.

"Forgot that bit didn't you? You kept putting me down way past any rational point. You think you raped me? Colby I've been raped. I have been held down fearing for my life. That was not that night. I have never been afraid of anything you have ever done, ever. Was it good? Was it healthy? No, probably not, seeing as how all these many years later it's still haunting us but it was NOT rape."

Charlie took a couple of deep breaths hoping Colby was taking in what he'd just said.

"You said you left me bloody on the ground? You didn't. You picked me up. You took me home. You cleaned my body. You tended to every little scratch on me. That's the difference. There are people in my past who have left me bloody on the ground, looked at me with disdain. You picked me up and you continued to treat me as a friend and an equal. Is this sinking in?" Charlie asked breathlessly.

Colby gave a small nod.

"Good. And as for this thing you're so afraid of." Charlie got out of his chair and crouched down in front of Colby. "Yes, when you dominate me you become different but it's not darkness I see. Never darkness. It's not Jekyll and Hyde. You become... magnificent. It's more like, like Clark Kent and Superman."

Colby gave an almost frightened little chuckle.

"Maybe you see it as dark because of... Oh I don't know but what I see is a god hidden under the identity of mild mannered FBI agent. I see power. You practically glow. Your shoulders pull back, your chest broadens, your eyes sparkle and you become so magnificent. And if I feed that it's because whenever I look at you I see a man who has the strength to be so much more. I... I know you've followed orders you're whole life, and maybe that's it. Your family, your coaches, the army, National security, the FBI." Charlie took Colby's hands. "I don't think that's all of you. I know that's not all of you, I know that's not all of who you are." Charlie smiled a little. "Clark Kent may have to put up with shitty assignments from Perry White but no one gets to tell Superman what to do."

Colby smiled a little.

"I wish I could let you see through my eyes Colby. Since the first day I saw you in the office I knew there was something amazing about you and I have never been afraid."

"You can't feel what I feel inside me Charlie." Colby said softly.

"I know." Charlie got up and sat down next to Colby. "Maybe...Maybe we need to go there more, not less." Colby leveled a look at Charlie. "I'm not saying that just from a I'm chronically a little horny standpoint." Charlie defended. "I just mean little things, at meals or bath time, instead of letting it build up for days when I'm a brat. It's part of you, maybe you need to be the one guiding it, not me. Using it more so you become more comfortable with it. I mean if you want to get into numbers you only dominated me, for you, maybe twice a year. The rest is me acting out or getting into a state. Maybe going there more regularly would be good for both of us."

"Charlie, you don't... I mean you've never expressed interest in... I mean when we go out to clubs, the girls, the pretty boys, you just, drown them with your will, and..."

Charlie shook his head. He understood where Colby was going. "I'm a... mimic in a lot of ways. I could recreate on a technical level every crime I've ever helped solve. I've been under a lot of doms over the years, you know that. A few good, most not, with the girls it's no different than me blowing through twenty clips of ammo at the gun range after a few too many cases on top of each other. My mind doesn't let me properly forget, it doesn't let me fuzz out details, you know that too, so sometimes I have to exercise those demons a little. Talking about my own darkness, trying to bury it just made me crazy, so now I just try to take it for a walk once in a while."

Colby rubbed a hand over his face as if he was waking up. "You still don't... you want pain, and you only go into deep submission very rarely. I can tell the difference. Most of the time you're just playing along."

Charlie nodded. "That's a habit I'd like to break."

"I don't understand."

"That's survival after getting hurt too badly and not realizing it a few too many times. I trust you and I have never feared you and I'd like nothing more than to get rid of that little paranoid voice in the back of my head that won't let me go too deep anymore. Other bastards put that there, not you."

Colby reached out hesitantly and pulled Charlie carefully into a hug. Charlie melted against Colby. "My universe is at the greatest level of peace, safety and stability when you're the one in control of it. The only thing I have ever feared from you is losing you."

Charlie sipped his coffee, leaning over slightly so as not to risk it dribbling on his tie. Colby had picked it out that morning. Actually, Colby had picked out everything he was wearing. They had talked long into the night, rehashing a lot of hard moments from early in their relationship. When they finally crawled to bed there had been no sex, rather they had laid next to each other a held hands through the night.

In the morning Colby had sat in bed and told Charlie exactly what to wear as he dressed, from the black boxer-briefs that were just a hair tight and left him feeling like his cock was bound, to the new grey sports coat that was tucked at the waist just so. He had felt his body tingle and his mind focus with every word and once dressed Colby had sent him out into the world with an almost savage kiss.

He was still pleasantly rolling the morning around in his head when there was a quick knock at his office door and Millie let herself in.

"Good morning, Dr. Eppes"

Charlie cringed internally. Millie said Dr. Eppes exactly the same way his mother used to say Charles when he was in trouble.

"Good morning, Dr Finch. What can I do for you?"

"I just wanted to see how you were doing today?"

Charlie was suspicious. "I'm doing just fine, thank you."

"Good." Millie held out an envelope. "You're in trouble Dr. Eppes but Larry asked me to hold off yelling at you until you had your domestic issues sorted out and since you seem quite chipper this morning I'm going to guess that you are fine."

Charlie took the envelope like it was rigged to explode. "What exactly am I in trouble for?"

"You told a student to get laid and drop acid."

"I also recommended he see an opera and read Howl."

"That does not help your case, neither does calling your class lumps of salt water and carbon." Charlie looked at Millie. "Even if they are."

He hung his head. "What must I do?"

"You will read to your class the statement in that envelope prepared by the legal office." Charlie rolled his eyes. "You will also be taking the sexual harassment and workplace ethics seminar on Saturday."

"What?" Charlie whined.

"Don't worry, you'll be in good company. Ray-Ray told his class that their engines should 'purr like a woman after they've been screaming his name.'"

Charlie snorted. "Can I sit in the back and play solitaire on my phone?"

"No. For a man who deals with national secrets you're a little bad about shooting off your mouth, Dr. Eppes. It's something you could stand to work on."

Colby felt quite relaxed as he sat on Dr. Bradford's couch. He'd actually felt quite relaxed for the last several days. Charlie's idea seemed to be working on some level. It didn't really take much they'd found. The first morning Colby had told Charlie what to wear right down to his socks. The next night Charlie had eaten his dinner on his knees taking each bite from delicately from Colby's fingers. Another day he had washed Charlie, head to toe and the next he had ordered Charlie to wash him. Each time Colby had felt that dark creep in but when he was done it seemed to go back easier without an aftertaste of guilt.

"So what's been going on?" Bradford asked.

"Charlie and I had a fight." Colby said calmly.


"Last Tuesday morning."

"Almost a week ago?"


"And how are things now?" Bradford asked carefully. Colby knew that in the past when he and Charlie had fought it had dragged out for weeks.

"Just fine."



"Can I ask what happened?"

"We had a fight Tuesday morning over exactly how we see our positions in our relationship. We both sulked for a couple of days. Larry told me to pull my head out of my ass. I went home that night. I said what I needed to say to Charlie. He listened, then he said what he needed to say, then we talked for several hours and we worked out a game plan to deal with some long term issues."

The surprise on Bradford's face was obvious. "I feel like I should give you a diploma or a gold star or something." Colby gave a bark of laughter. "Seriously, that sounds like a perfectly rational, adult way of dealing with a problem."

"I know, scary isn't it?"

"So, what brings you here today?" Bradford asked.

"I'd like your advice on a matter of approached. I want to eventually talk to Charlie about something but I don't want him to clam up and I don't want to do any damage."

"And what do you want to talk about?"

Colby tilted his head back and stared at the ceiling. "I think something bad happened at Princeton."

"Now that you're going to have to explain."

Colby chewed his lip a little, he had yet to put into words the odd suspicions that had been creeping around the back of his mind for a while now. "I know that a couple of tutors got their hands on Charlie when he was a kid and if I ever get my hands on them they're going to be fertilizing the lemon tree. And I know Charlie got into some bad places with bad people in his early/mid-twenties but Princeton is kinda a blind spot."

"I figure he would talk about it a lot."

"Oh he does, that's the thing. He talks about all the crazy stuff he and Larry got up to, and he talks about the feud with Pemberton, and tutoring frat boys but... I've always gotten the same feeling I get when I'm interviewing a wife and she's going, oh no my marriage is perfectly normal, when of course it isn't."

"So what's feeling not normal?"

"Well, when Larry was in the process of telling me to pull my head out of my ass he told me that Charlie once tried to kiss him."

"Was he drunk?" Bradford asked.

"No. I'd actually sort of expect that. According to Larry he was sixteen, incredibly distraught, tried twice and to this day won't tell Larry why."

"Teenagers do a lot of strange things."

"Yeah but..." Colby got up and started pacing. "The other night when we were talking everything out, he said he'd been raped, held down, fearing for his life and in all the I don't know how many hours of joint therapy we've had he's never used that word. He's never said rape. He's said molested, he's said used, he's said broken, he's never said raped. And I think he was referring to something I don't know about and I know this is all completely circumstantial but I just... I just can't help feeling that for all he talks about loving Princeton, he's never gone back. They offered him a job right after he graduated, they've asked him to do lectures, teach for a semester or even a quarter and they were asking him this before he was settled down. I've seen him find flimsily excuses not to attend conferences there and maybe it's just too many years as an agent but something's not right and I don't want to open a can of worms just by blurting out a question. Partly because I think he'll lie about it."

Bradford raised an eyebrow. "Charlie's lying to you?"

Colby sat back down. "Charlie underplays things 'cause he doesn't want to see me mad at him or upset. I've recently found out that he probably did a lot more cocaine than he's ever admitted to me and we're going to have to talk about that at some point. I know sometimes he lies to me about work because he has slightly better clearance than me. He's in DC twice a month, I don't know for what, I've stopped asking, but Princeton, I think he just might lie to my face if for no other reason than it's something he might not want to face himself. So..." Colby held out his hands helplessly. "Advice. Please."

Bradford was quiet for a long time tapping the steeple of his fingers to his lips. "Why now? Is Charlie having nightmares, flashbacks?"

"No. He sleeps better than I do."

"Is there an important reason he needs to go back to Princeton and he's avoiding it?"

"No. Not that I know of."

"So really this is a matter of your own curiosity."

"I..." Colby stumbled and frowned in thought. "If someone," 'Who's mine.' "I care about has been through a major trauma I think maybe it's important that I know about it."

Bradford nodded. "Colby I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you pretty much define yourself by two things, your work and your relationship. Your work is to take killers and rapists off the streets and now you think there may be one out there that has touched your relationship. Wanting to know and act on that knowledge is understandable but..."

"There's always a but."

"But if it's not affecting Charlie right now, well, you were right, he'll probably clam up and you could do damage forcing it out. Plus there's nothing to say this isn't something he's worked through in private session already."

"And I have no way of knowing that." Colby sighed.

Bradford grinned a little "Ain't doctor/patient confidentiality a bitch?"

Colby rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it's saving my career."

"Next time you two have a joint sessions with Charlie's doctor you can try steering the conversation towards Princeton but think about how much you want to help Charlie verses how much you just want to satisfy your own hero complex and curiosity."

Charlie lowered his eyes coyishly as he crawled into bed. Colby felt small rumbles of lust and power roll through his system. For all the little moments of domination they hadn't actually had sex since the fight. Almost a week now.

There was only the dim bedside lamp illuminating the room and despite the scattered strands of silver and the small lines etching their way in around his eyes, in the soft golden light Charlie's face looked almost childlike.

"Is there anything you'd like tonight?" Charlie asked offering up his body and mind.

Colby shook his head. "Just want to hold you tonight."

Charlie smiled sweetly and shifted close. Colby turned off the light and pulled Charlie close. He drifted into sleep within minutes. Colby felt his heart break just a little. They still had their stupid game, catch a wormhole in a jar, go back in time, who would you save, what would you do?

"I would save you, Charlie." Colby whispered to the dark.

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