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24 January 2008 @ 08:36 am
Sing My Body Electric - 6/8  
Title: Sing My Body Electric
Author: ladygray99
Chapter: 6/8
Pairing: Charlie/Colby
Rating: NC-17, FRAO P SC GV
Disclaimer: Belongs to other people, not me.
Warnings/Squicks: Violence, Violent Sex, BDSM, and people talking about their feelings.
Summary: With love comes danger both from without and within. – Some Promises just can’t be kept.
Previous chapters: 1  2  3  4  5
Notes: The long awaited much feared sequel to The Modern Man I Sing.  The second part of Whitman ‘verse. Here there be dragons.
Feedback: Feedback is love and all you need is love.
Beta(s):The wonderful riverotter1951and ri_setackled this fic, except for the bits I added ten minutes ago.
Part 6

Pain and Promises, Old and New


 Colby had sat at his desk slowly compiling the paperwork for the week and trying to ignore the sideways glances he was getting from his fellow agents. After the first half hour of it he had wanted nothing more than to stand up and say ‘Yes I’m fucking the boss’s brother and not a one of you have a right to be judgmental ‘cause I’ve seen every last one of you checking out his ass and you’re just jealous it’s mine!’ Instead he had just buried himself deeper in the paperwork.

 A message popped up on his computer.

 ‘My office, Don.’

 Colby got up and approached Don’s office with trepidation. “You wanted to see me Don?”

 “Yeah. Come in.” Colby cast a quick glance over his shoulder. All eyes were on him. He quickly shut the door behind him. “Rumor mill giving your grief yet?” Don asked.

 “Just funny looks so far.”

 “Oh wait ‘till you hear the stuff I’ve been hearing.”

 Colby sat down in the offered chair. “Do I want to know?”

 “The girls are all telling tales of tragic unrequited love and passionate bed side confessions.” Colby gave a half chuckle.

 “What are the guys saying?”

 “Mainly that Charlie’s a sex fiend and you are the tragic victim of some sort of CalSci sexual brain washing experiment.” This time Colby did laugh.

 “You know I’ve wondered some days.”

 “They’re all waiting for me to take a swing at you.”

 “Can’t we tell them you already did?”

 “I think the masses want a show.”

 “Screw ‘em. Just as long as they don’t give Charlie problems.” Don nodded. He’d figured Colby or Charlie would slip up and it would all have come out sooner or later but it had been a little more dramatic and sudden than he had hoped for. He was sure Charlie wouldn’t have troubles at CalSci, the Bureau on the other hand wasn’t exactly liberal academia.

 “Have you seen him yet today?”

 “I was there this morning. I told him I’d try to get out early, just bring the paperwork over there.”

 “I haven’t been over yet. How’s he doing?”

 “Better. They were changing the bandages when I left and some nineteen year old nursing student was offering him a sponge bath.”

 “Well that should help his ego.”

 “I think he was more focused on the quantity of hair being yanked out with the bandages.”

 Don winced “Well it’s not like he can’t afford to lose some.”


 “Colby, do you know what was up with Sherwood? He nicked Leacroft but hasn’t been back for evidence and I don’t think he will.”

 Colby cringed a little. “He told me he and Charlie had a one night stand.”

 Don’s eyebrows hit his hairline. “Well Charlie must have made a heck of an impression.”

 “Yeah. I got the feeling he really likes Charlie but chickened out in the end.”

 “I’m not surprised.”

 “Said Charlie was high maintenance.”

 “That I believe. He got you buying him diamonds yet?” Don asked.

Colby gave a snort. “On what I make?”

 “Fair enough. I’m breaking his ipod and laptop out of evidence and taking it over in a bit. You can grab some paperwork and come with.”

 “Thanks Don.”

 “Oh, try to look contrite when you go back out, like I told you off.” Colby hunched his shoulders and tried for a kicked puppy look. Don laughed. “Does that look work when you’re trying to get something from Charlie?”

 Colby smiled. “Where do you think I got it from?”


 Alan was leaning against the wall by Charlie’s room when Don and Colby strode up.

 “Hey dad. What’s up?”

 “Counselor’s talking with Charlie. Thought I’d give them some space”.

 “Counselor?” Colby questioned.

 “Yeah. Bureau arranged for a trauma counselor.” Don said “Was supposed to come by today.” Colby had a sinking feeling. Every time Colby had ever brought up the idea of counseling to Charlie he’d been completely frozen out. Having the Bureau send one uninvited could go in a good or bad direction.

 As if conjured by the very thought there was a clunk against the door and a flustered looking middle aged woman quickly hurried out. She gave hard looks to the three men then brushed past.

 Colby, Don and Alan pushed into the room.

 A kidney pan lay on the floor where it had bounced back after hitting the door. Charlie had his knees pulled up to his chest and was shaking.

 “Charlie?” Alan asked

 “Charlie, what happened?” Colby said.

 “Keep that woman away from me.” Charlie hissed through clenched teeth.

 “She’s just a trauma counselor Charlie.” Don said.

 “I don’t need a counselor, I don’t need a therapist or a psychiatrist or a psychologist. I’m fine.”

 “Look, Chuck you had an ordeal. She’s just trying to help.”

 “Keep her away. I’m not having her inside my head, I’m not taking drugs, I’m not getting hauled away.”

 “No one’s suggesting that Charlie, why would they?” Alan said.

 “Who tried?” Colby asked softly.

 “No one.”

 “Bullshit. Who tried?”

 “The last one I let in my head.” Charlie replied voice thick with bitterness

 Bradford?” Don said very confused.

 “Who?” Colby asked. Charlie looked away. Colby gently turned Charlie’s head to face him “Who?”

 “Fucking shrink when I was twenty.” Charlie snapped at Colby “Went across state lines, didn’t give my real name. Told him everything I ever told you. He recommended immediate voluntary psychiatric admittance. When I said no he pointed out that I was a danger to myself and it didn’t have to be voluntary.”

 “What?” Alan exclaimed “Charlie, when were you ever a danger to yourself?” Charlie didn’t look away from Colby but gave his father a dismissive wave. Alan took a step back as if he’d been slapped.

 “She doesn’t need to know Charlie. It doesn’t have to be about that.” Colby said gently, Charlie’s fears suddenly making too much sense.

 “How can it not be? ‘You were tied up Mr. Eppes’” Charlie said in a weird falsetto. “Well it’s not like it’s the first time. ‘He cut you with a knife.’ Glad it wasn’t glass. That really stings. ‘You could have died Mr. Eppes.’ Been there, done that, got off on the endorphins!” Charlie finished with a shout, shaking with as much rage as fear.

 Colby gently took Charlie’s hands desperate to calm the wild look in his eyes.

 “That’s not you anymore, Charlie.”

 “As long as I’m doing the math it is and you know it.”

 “She just wants to help you get through this.”

 “I don’t want to get through it. I want to forget.” Charlie said yanking his hand away. “I want his sniveling voice out of my head,” Charlie roughly pulled the fresh bandages from his arms. “I want his fucking marks off my skin if I have to cut them away and lay down my own.”

  Colby roughly gripped Charlie’s wrists as he began to claw at his injuries.

 “That is not allowed.” He said slowly locking eyes with Charlie.

 “Then you’ll have to do it for me.” Charlie said just as levelly. Colby let go of Charlie’s wrists.

 “No.” He said, bile rising in his throat the same way it had that night in the alley.

 “He broke the rules.” Charlie hissed. “He touched me, he marked me. No one else you said so fix this, take it away!”

 “You’re hurt.”

 “I’m fine.” Charlie growled out.

 “I can’t.” Colby stuttered out. He’s eyes flicked over to Don and Alan. Alan looked angry and confused while Don looked like he was about to pull his gun again. He looked back to Charlie. “I’m sorry.”

 “We have an Arrangement.”

 “I’m sorry.”

 “You promised!”

 “I’m sorry.” Then Colby did what he had told himself to do almost two years ago. He ran.


 Don watched as Colby fled from the room. Charlie picked up his cup and flung it at the closing door showing far more strength than Don thought Charlie had.

 “What the hell is going on, Charlie?” Alan shouted. Charlie calmly picked up a pad and pen and began writing out equations.

 “Leave me alone dad.” Charlie said quietly.

 “I will not. What is going on?”

 “Dad, please. I have a lot of work and I’m very behind.”

 “You do not get to brush me away, I’m your father.”

 “Dad.” Don said taking his father’s arm. “Let’s get coffee.”

 “I don’t want coffee.” Don looked at Charlie nearly tearing the paper with his pen.

 “Let’s get coffee and come back later.” Don said in a way that he hoped made it clear it wasn’t a suggestion.

 Don dragged his father from the room and down to a private corner of the cafeteria.

 The best lies are 90% truths. Leave out the sex and this should be fine.’ Don told himself being fairly sure of the conversation that was about to take place.

 He grabbed two cups of coffee and put one of them down in front of his father. Alan didn’t touch his.

 “Donald.” Alan said unfairly dragging out the full first name. “What exactly happened up stairs?”

 “Looked like a lovers’ quarrel to me.”

 Alan actually slammed his hand on the table causing Don to jump.

 “I want the truth Don. What do you know that you aren’t telling me?

 Don sighed ‘So very much I’m never going to tell you.’ Don thought. “You know how Charlie’s a klutz?”


 “Ever since he was a kid, tripped over lint, two left feet, spent more time falling off his bike than ridding it.”

 “Yes. What does that have to do with anything?”

 “Charlie’s not a klutz. He’s incredibly dexterous. It’s an act, it’s been an act so long he’d forgotten that’s what it was. When he trips over air, crashes down a hillside it’s on purpose.”

 Alan’s face twisted with confusion. “I don’t understand.”

 “Neither do I. There’s something wired wrong in his brain so he…I don’t know…punishes himself.”

 “No.” Alan shook his head. “No, I don’t believe you.”

 “Look, Dad. I pulled my gun on Granger when he told me. Loaded, safety off, I drew down on my own agent. But once you think about it…” Alan closed his eyes. “Look it. Charlie probably needs a month in a padded room and a drug store full of meds and he knows it. Look how he reacted to the very suggestion of help. He also knows it’ll lose him his security clearance.”

 “Big loss.” Alan groused.

 “Dad, Charlie getting kidnapped was a national security breach. The President got briefed on it. That’s how high up he is. And that’s not the half of it. If he’s officially nuts any case he sat as expert witness on could be recalled, and how do you think CalSci would react, his standing among his peers?”

 “So what the hell does Agent Granger have to do with any of it?” Alan asked in a voice more cold than Don could ever remember.

 “Granger caught Charlie doing something stupid.”


 “I don’t know.” Don lied. “But he called Charlie on the act. He’s made Charlie promise to drop the act, to take care of himself. Somewhere it turned into something more.”

 “You’re defending him?”

 “I have never known what to do with Charlie since day one and neither have you, mom or anyone else really. Colby waltzed in and suddenly he’s out going, confident in things other than math, he’s more on time, more organized, well dressed…”


 “You can’t tell me that’s a surprise. When has Charlie ever looked at a girl that wasn’t shoved in his face and had an IQ of 180? And you can’t tell me that first year of fawning over Larry was anything other than a teenage crush.” Don watched his father made a face.

 “That doesn’t explain that fight.”

 “I don’t know, dad.” Don lied but had a strong suspicion as to what Charlie was asking of his lover. Without wanting to he had witnessed the after effects of what Charlie demanded of Colby. He had kneeled silently next to his sleeping brother that night cataloging every bruise and bite and welt and Charlie’s face sleeping with such peace. It had been burned into his brain. That kind of act had to go against every decent instinct Colby had. It was a wonder the man hadn’t shattered yet.

 “Don. You’re not..?”

 “I like girls, dad. And if I get drunk and stupid with the right one you still might get those grandkids you want.”

 “I’ll keep my fingers crossed.” Alan tried to take a sip of his coffee but his hands were shaking. “How could you not tell me?! My baby boy.”

 “What would you have wanted me to say dad!? ‘Guess what I found out today, Charlie has a self abusive streak a mile wide and has hooked up with a guy who’s also a fed and I know how you love them, what’s for dinner?’”

 “He hurts himself?”

 “Not anymore. For whatever reason, in whatever way, Colby’s holding that part of Charlie at bay and I’m surprised it hasn’t driven him nuts yet.”

 “He’s my baby boy Don.”

 “And he’s my baby brother. We wrap him in cotton to protect him from the world then demand he do great things and we’ve done it his whole life. We forgot to protect him from himself.”

 “Is that what we do now?” Alan asked. “Protect him from himself.”

 “No. That’s Colby’s job. He stepped up and volunteered, eyes wide open.”

 “Looks like he just quit.”


 Colby’s feet pounded the treadmill cranked up to the steepest incline. His legs burned and his eyes were squeezed shut against the sting of his own sweat. The mill beeped and began to lower and slow. Colby drew desperate breaths of air into starved lungs. He opened his eyes and saw Bradford standing in front of the mill turning it off.

 “A man who runs like that is running from something.” Colby was sure he had a witty reply ready but his body denied the request for enough energy to speak. He’s legs gave out and he hit the floor hard.

 “I heard what happened.” Bradford said. Colby’s head shot up.

 ‘How could he know? Who told him?’

 “Damn glad we got Charlie back.”

 ‘The kidnapping. He’s talking about the kidnapping.’

 Bradford handed Colby a bottle of water. Colby sucked it down gratefully.

 “Not too fast. You’ll make yourself sick.” Colby slowed down. “I hear you made quite a scene in the office” Colby gave a half hearted shrug. “You broke the corner off a two inch thick table.” Colby shrugged again. “This is going to be a stupid question but are you ok?”

 “No.” Colby managed to crook out.

 “Anything I can do to help?”

 Colby shook his head.


 “This is more than residual stress from the kidnapping I take it?”

 Colby raise his head. “I tried going home. The sheets still smell like us.”

 “Right. Well if there’s anything I can do to help you know where my office is.”

 Colby nodded. “Ok.”


gokuma: FoxyGin by Rangokuma on January 23rd, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
Wooooow, such a huge update! I can't keep up with reading new chapters (= *is sooo happy*)
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 23rd, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
Always glad to spread happiness
Gwaihiril: numb3rs charlie mathgwaihiril on January 23rd, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
Yay, another chapter! But oh noes, much angst. I'm glad Don talked to Alan, that went better than if either Charlie or Colby tried, I think. But oh, I will actually worry about Charlie and Colby until you post the next chapter.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 23rd, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah I think it needed to be Don to talk to Alan, and yes much angst.
scottish_neko: LadyBobbiescottish_neko on January 23rd, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
I found you through Vignettes and have been with this since the 'The Modern Man I Sing'. Thank you for writing. You are creating a wonderful tale and I'm fascinated to see how it all works out.

Long may you write

ladygray99ladygray99 on January 23rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you darling. That's so sweet.
fredbassettfredbassett on January 23rd, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Very angsty, but brilliant! I just love your dialogue. So in character.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 23rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I always try to keep dialogs true to the show and the rythum of the actors.
Devo79devo79 on January 23rd, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
“Oh, try to look contrite when you go back out, like I told you off.” Colby hunched his shoulders and tried for a kicked puppy look. Don laughed. “Does that look work when you’re trying to get something from Charlie?”

Colby smiled. “Where do you think I got it from?”


And the rest of this chapter is teh sad :(
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 23rd, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
What can I say, it's the Wheedon school of writing. make them giggle then kick them in the balls.
(Anonymous) on January 24th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Wow!! You went from funny to heart-wrenching in one story - amazing!! I can almost feel myself the soul-crushing pressure and stress Colby must be feeling. I hope that Colby takes up Bradford's offer of help. And Alan finally finding out about Charlie's self-destructive streak from Don (I'm glad it was Don instead of Colby). I'm sure that has been an elephant in the room for a long time.

Twins' Mom
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 25th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
A very large elephant especially for Don. He's been in more than a little denile despite knowing the truth but as long as he doesn't have to see anything he's perfectly happy to let Colby deal with it. And really Don's the only one who could of had the conversation with Alan. He wouldn't have accepted it from Colby and from Charlie it would have just turned into a very ugly fight.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
yeah. they're a little thick at times.
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 15th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
This chapter had impact!

The fight between Colby and Charlie was bad enough, but for them to have witnesses was worse, especially as one of them was Alan. More stuff for him to try and fit into his world view, and Don knew but didn't tell him.

I can understand why Colby balked at hurting Charlie when he's still so injured from his ordeal, but I hope he can get himself together and support Charlie. Maybe Don will have a few words? If not, it wouldn't hurt to talk to Bradford about it.

ladygray99ladygray99 on January 15th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yep talking would help, talking always helps, is Colby Mr. Lets talk about our feelings guy? Nope.
fractalmoonfractalmoon on November 25th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
I love Don here. Eager to find out how the boys get over this hurdle and back together. I'm glad Colby was able to coax out why Charlie's so adamant against talking to therapists.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 25th, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
That will come up again in the next story.