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24 November 2008 @ 09:22 am
Whitman: A Woman Waits for Me 4/39  
Title: A Woman Waits for Me
Chapter
: 4/39
Author: ladygray99 
Pairing: Charlie/Colby, Don/OFC
Summary: When Don’s life slides into the darkness only family will help him find his way out.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 5,230
Warning:ummmm…oh there’s a girl. Sorry
Disclaimer: Numb3rs belongs to other people who are not me. I’m not making any money from this though I wish I were.
Previous Chapters: Part 4 of Whitman ‘verse. 1 2 3
Authors Notes: Yep. Here she is. The girl ‘cause I still have the hardest time slashing Don. I’m going to work on that in the New Year, promise. Tell me what you all think of her. And all you lurkers who I know are reading (I can hear your heavy breathing) Please just drop me a quick line to tell me you’re reading then feel free to crawl back under your rock.
Betas:swingandswirl and riverotter1951 

 

Part 4
The Feel of Wind

Don poured himself a cup of coffee and looked at the calendar. Thursday again. It had been a long week, subjecting himself to more navel gazing and order taking than he was used to.

He’d spent the weekend on his back next to the koi pond just looking at the sky pondering his general place in the universe. He hadn’t slept in his own bed a single night. The one night he tried he’d ended up driving back to the house at two in the morning. He’d let himself into the house and quietly into his brother’s room where he’d put his gun into the drawer of Charlie’s bedside table.

Colby had looked at him from the darkness. He knew he could get into that room without waking Charlie but he knew Colby would be awake as soon as the downstairs door opened. Colby hadn’t said a word, hadn’t moved except to pull Charlie even closer to him.

That had hurt, the thought that his own brother needed to be protected from him. He had actually cried while talking to Bradford about that. Bradford had sighed and explained that Colby was Charlie’s white knight and was going to react to anything that might potentially upset Charlie. Don had then asked Bradford if the Eppes family was the best soap opera in the building. He had said yes without even pausing for breath.

Strangely enough, Don didn’t feel as uncomfortable as he should with a subordinate watching him crack apart. Then again he could do as much damage to Colby’s career as Colby could do to his and Charlie would never forgive either of them if they tried.

All told the oddest part of the week had been the amount of time he’d spent talking with Charlie. Each night after dinner Charlie would retreat to his blackboards and after a couple hours, Don would follow him into the garage and stay for a few hours at least. Sometimes he would find himself on long stream of conscience rants and stop mid-sentence because Charlie was watching and listening to him with such focus he’d suddenly feel like a bug under a microscope, other times he would ask Charlie simple questions and try not to wince, or cry, or rage at the answers honestly given. Sometimes they would just laugh themselves silly over stupid things that had happened twenty years before. When he’d groused about the bruise Charlie had left on his side Charlie had pulled out an x-ray that looked like a set of ribs made by a child with a tub of white play-doh, all lumps and nobs. Doc says if I break any more I’ll start having trouble breathing.’ Don had cried that night after going to bed but took some pride in the fact that he hadn’t thought about checking out.

Don sighed and took a sip of the coffee and made a face. The Bureau had gotten cheap again and had gotten something burnt and vile for the coffee pots. ‘You know you’re a Californian when you have a real opinion as to where your coffee comes from.’ Don thought to himself.

Colby entered the break room, poured himself a cup of coffee and drank it without so much as a wince. Don shook his head.

“One of these day’s we’re going to teach you how to have a proper Californian palette.”

“I’m a country boy, Don, as long as there’s caffeine I don’t care.”

Just then, Don’s cell phone when off. He answered it quickly. “Eppes.” The words of the agent on the other end caused his pulse to speed up and the adrenaline to start pumping. “Okay. Yes. I’ve got it.”

Don clicked his phone closed and stepped out onto the main floor.

“Everybody suit up. We’ve got a bank job in process with hostages. Exact same MO as the Locktell jobs.” There were groans of disbelief and annoyance around the room. “Colby, call Charlie. He was swearing for months the math said two teams, looks like the second one was just laying low. Full briefing in two, we’ve all done this before.”

~

David kept one eye on the road and the other eye on Colby in the passenger seat. He had his cell phone squeezed between his ear and shoulder and was checking over his guns on his lap.

“No…no…Don doesn’t want you there ‘till we’ve secured the area…no…are you planning on joining the SWAT team?...Well, then you can wait until the all clear…Yes, you were right…Yes, even Don admits you were right and we were foolish mortals to question your numbers … yes… Okay … I’ll be careful … promise … Okay … bye.” Colby clicked his phone closed.

“Awwww, your honey bunny all worried about you?” David gushed.

“You know you’re the only person allowed to say shit like that.” Colby said, sliding his gun into its holster.

“Yeah, why do you think I do it?” Colby rolled his eyes. “Seriously, it’s kinda cute.”

“Yeah, well, he should be more worried about himself ending up in the line of fire. I mean, you go down, I go down, sucks to be us. Charlie takes one in the head the entire species gets a whole lot dumber and we can’t afford that these days.”

“Well, then, you should be watching your back more ‘cause good money says if you go down we’re sticking the entire Eppes clan in the ground.”

Colby’s head whipped around. “What?’

“Seriously, man, you go down, Charlie takes three days to put his affairs in order and eats Don’s gun. Don’s not going to make it five minutes past that, and without his boys Alan’s six months away from a heart attack or a stroke or something.”

“Don’t ever say that again.” Colby said slowly. David looked over quickly to where Colby was giving him a look of pure death.

“You honestly never thought about what Charlie would do if you took a bullet?”

“He calculates the exact odds of me dying everyday. We try not to talk about it.”

David shook his head. “You and Charlie have been wrapped up in each other since the moment you set foot in LA. Really, how much time did you spend listening to his drunken ramblings on prime numbers before you two got together?” Colby winced a bit. “Even Larry checked out of those nights. You go down, he’s not getting over it. Even if he doesn’t eat a bullet, he’ll probably wander into traffic. Everyone knows if you take a bullet we’re picking out four coffins. If you really love him, start worrying about yourself.”

~

Don found the barely controlled chaos of the scene strangely comforting.

‘This is who I am,’ he thought. ‘This is what I do.’

Hostages were escorted from the smoking shell of the bank by emergency personnel.

“I need an eight block radius cordoned off and searched,” he called out to the assorted personnel and agents around. “Witness statements from everyone, let’s see if we can get composites.”

Don saw Charlie duck under a police line and waved him over.

“Was I right?” Charlie asked.

“Yes.”

“Injuries?”

“Some.”

“Fatalities?”

“No.”

“Okay. I’ll need lists of computers accessed, surveillance…”

“We know the drill.”

“Good, I’ll go talk to the bomb squad. See if I can’t calculate a more accurate point of origin.”

“You do that.”

Charlie hurried off to talk to the bomb squad captain. Don wasn’t quite sure whether he should be proud of Charlie, or feel a little guilty. He distinctly recalled a time when Charlie would nearly faint at the sight of blood or violence- now he could walk onto a scene of pure chaos and go right to what needed to be done as sure as any agent. ‘We should just give him a badge and a gun and be done with it.’

David came over. “Don, we got a witness, says she got a good look at the key man.”

“Great, let’s go.”

David led him over to the back of an ambulance, where a young woman with mousy brown hair and gray eyes held an oxygen mask over her face.

“Hello, ma’am I’m Special Agent Don Eppes, FBI. I’m told you got a good look at the primary robber?” The woman nodded and held out a hand.

“Anne Finnegan,” she said, quickly removing the oxygen mask, then putting it back on.

Don shook her hand. “If we bring over a sketch artist, do you think you could help him with a composite?”

Anne shook her head and gave a cough. She held out a hand again.

“Pencil, paper.”

Don took out a notepad and pencil. Anne grabbed them and began to draw quickly and furiously. After about two minutes she looked around as if seeking something, then she looked at her arm where an EMT had dabbed iodine onto a small cut. She rubbed her finger into the still wet iodine then rubbed it on the paper. She handed the pad back to Don. He looked down at the face of a man in his forties, a slight squint in one eye and iodine red brown hair.

“Are you sure of this, ma’am?” Don asked.

Anne nodded. “I paint portraits for a living. I’m good with faces.”

“This is excellent. This will be a big help.” He tore off the page and handed it to David. “Get this around.”

David nodded and headed off. Don turned back to Anne. “Now, I’ve got to ask if you can remember anything more, the faces of anyone else who may have been involved or maybe anyone who seemed to be a victim but appeared perhaps less frightened than they should have been?”

Anne shrugged. “I’m sorry, Agent..?”

“Eppes.”

“Eppes. I can close my eyes and see lots of stuff, it’s just…it’s just all kind of jumbled up right now.”

“Okay. That’s okay. A composite sketch of a suspect usually takes us hours to get, you’ve been a big help already. I’m going to get an officer to take your details and a basic statement.” Don reached into a pocket. “Here’s my card. If you could take a little time when you get home, sketch down what you remember, give me a call and I’ll have an agent come over to look, or you could just send it direct to the building, mark it priority.” Anne gave a nod. “Okay. Great. Thank you.” Don gave the woman a gentle, reassuring pat on the arm and went off to find Charlie.

~

Charlie’s surprisingly strong hands worked their way down Colby’s back. Each knot was worked with scientific accuracy and focus. Colby groaned. “God, Charlie, is there anything you don’t do well?”

“Well, my golf game still sucks.”

“I told you I could help you with that.”

“Nah, Dad needs something other than Scrabble to beat me in.” Charlie worked his thumb into a knot and Colby jumped. “You can’t tell me one little bank job got you in this state.” Colby rolled over, grabbing Charlie’s waist to keep him from slipping off the bed. Charlie laughed and smiled down at Colby. Colby didn’t smile back.

“Hey. What’s wrong?”

“Charlie, I need a promise from you.”

“You want to add something to the Rules?” Charlie asked seriously.

“No. I just need a promise.”

“What is it?”

“It’s just...If I get killed out there...”

Charlie quickly hopped off the bed. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Colby grabbed Charlie’s wrist. To his complete surprise Charlie twisted out of his grasp, grabbed a bath robe and walked out of the bedroom. Colby blinked down at his empty hand. Charlie had never avoided his touch, for any reason.

Colby jumped up and went looking for Charlie. He found him in the tiny apartment kitchen, apparently trying to make a cup of tea, but just fluffing around more than anything.

“Charlie, please...”

“Please what? Please calculate the likelihood that you’re going to die at any given point out to six digits, ‘cause I can do that. Calculate the rate you’ll decompose in your coffin? Calculate how fast I’ll go completely insane without you?” There were tears in Charlie’s eyes. He tried to wipe them away and turned back to the teapot.

Colby reached out to touch Charlie’s shoulder only to be shrugged away. Colby took a step back as surely as if he’d been slapped. Twice in two minutes Charlie had denied him the most simple of touches, the only two times in almost three years of being able to touch him with complete impunity.

“Charlie, find someone safe. If I should go, find someone safe. It doesn’t have to be someone to love but I would hope you’d find someone to make you happy. Just...just don’t go back to how you were.” Colby left the kitchen and went back to the bedroom. He sat on the edge of the bed and closed his eyes. He half expected to hear his front door open and close. He more than half expected Charlie to leave for the night. The bedroom door opened and the bed sunk down next to him.

“Who?” Charlie asked. “Who should I find? It took me over thirty years to find you.”

“I don’t know.” Colby said. “I just...I just don’t want you to follow me ‘till you’re 113 and when you do I want to know that your life was happy.”

Charlie leaned against Colby “I don’t know, Colby. I can’t think of anyone. I try and all I see are faces full of pity and disgust.”

“I don’t know either. Maybe...I don’t know...Sherwood?” Charlie gave a slight chuckle. “He said that there was once...”

“Martin is a very intelligent man in a position of not inconsiderable authority.”

“Well, yes.” Colby said feeling a little confused. Charlie chuckled again.

“Martin would much rather spend his life on his knees next to me than standing over me.”

“Oh.” Colby said, filing that bit of information away for future perusal.

“He was able to give me what I needed that once because he craves it himself. Something more than that would end badly for both of us.”

“I see.” Colby gently reached out and took Charlie’s hand. This time he was allowed and Charlie gave his hand a little squeeze. “Maybe...I don’t know. I guess our circle of friends is kinda small.”

Charlie nodded. “I promise I’ll hold out as long as I can. And I’ll abide by my half of the Arrangement.” Colby nodded and gave Charlie’s hand a squeeze. The two sat in silence, just thinking thoughts they’d rather not contemplate. Finally Colby turned to Charlie.

“Sherwood? Really?”

Charlie laughed. “You really can’t tell?”

“No.”

“Oh god, he practically has ‘whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks’ written across his forehead.”

Colby shook his head. “No clue.”

Charlie shrugged. “Maybe it takes one to know one.”

Colby scrubbed his eyes. “See, now that undercuts the scary Men in Black thing he does.”

“Oh it shouldn’t. He could still make you vanish in a puff of NSA smoke. Of course that would really piss me off and we’d have words about it.”

Colby leaned back on the bed and scrubbed his eyes some more. “Oh, some days I wonder what the fuck I’m doing in the FBI.”

“I know the feeling.” Charlie said.

“What do you mean? You’ve got a sweet deal at CalSci.”

“Between student papers and ever rotating department heads, believe me, the urge to chuck it all and get out of there is there some days.”

“What would you do?”

“Open a brothel.” Charlie said without any time for thought.

“What?” Colby said with a laugh.

“I’m serious. I know some people out in Nevada. Pick up a little place outside of Vegas. Lots of rooms, a pool. Make it a really classy joint. More of a retreat.”

“What about the math?”

“Nope.” Charlie shook his head. “Screw the math. Only math I’ll be doing is calculating how many mojitos it’ll take to drop my IQ below 100.”

“I see you’ve put some though into this.” Colby said with a serious nod.

“Well, you’ll come with me, of course.”

“Oh, of course.”

“Yep, bring the whole team, in fact. We’ll cater to feds and academics. High security and discretion our main selling point. Run weekend seminars on D and S with practical demonstrations. Larry can do the books, Megan can shrink heads. I’m sure David would be a big hit with the ladies.”

Colby put his hands over his eyes. “Charlie, please. I’ve got to work with these people.”

“We’ll nick some TAC gear and Don’s thigh holsters on the way out. Set him up in an interrogation room and people will pay 500 an hour to lick his boots.”

“Agh! Bad thoughts, bad thoughts!”

“Martin can be the house pet.” Charlie continued, ignoring Colby’s screams. “Sleep at the foot of the bed, have his own bowl. He’d like that. Bet I could even talk Edgerton into in-house security.”

“Damn it, Charlie, you have put way too much thought into this.”

“You think you’re the only person to get bored at staff meetings?” Colby gave a groan of general protest. “Nope, that’s it. I’ve made a decision. We’re chucking it in and getting out of here. We’ll hand in our letters of resignation tomorrow and let everyone in on the scheme.”

“Dr. Eppes, you are really weird.”

~

Don stood looking around his apartment. He actually found himself feeling fairly good. Not 100% but better than he’d felt in a week. Something about strapping on Kevlar and going out on a case blew out a few of the cobwebs that had been cluttering up his brain. He had decided that he would actually make a concerted effort to sleep in his own bed tonight.

The phone rang but Don didn’t answer. He let the machine pick up.

‘Eppes. Leave a message.’

‘Don, it’s Colby.’ Don reached for the phone. ‘Give me the phone, give me phone,’ Don heard Charlie say in the background. Don paused. ‘So Charlie and I quit. We’re moving to Nevada and opening a brothel.’ Don gave a bark of laughter. ‘You’ll get our letters tomorrow.’ ‘Shut up. Give me the phone.’ There was a sudden high pitched squeal. ‘No tickle, no tickle!’ Charlie squeaked. ‘Charlie said you can come too, but house gets a cut.’

Don picked up the phone.

“Hey, tell Charlie I get 70% and pick of clients.”

“50% and we give you room and board.” Charlie called out.

“60 and a 401(k).”

“Done.” Charlie said with a laugh.

“Good night, you two, I’ll see you in the morning.” Don said.

“Good night Don, See you then.” Colby hung up his end of the phone and Don hung up his with a smile.

~

“Package for you, Don. Came courier.”

Don carefully opened the package and peered inside. It looked to be a stack of papers at least an inch thick. He pulled them out. There was a handwritten letter on top with a business card attached to it.

Dear Agent Eppes,

I couldn’t sleep last night after they let me out of the hospital so I did as you asked and I drew everything I could from the bank from memory. I know a lot of it isn’t what you want but I needed to get it out of my head and I can’t exactly sell or paint most of this. Use what you can, consider the rest of it a gift or something. If you have any questions I’ve attached my business card, come by my studio, I live there anyway.

Anne Finnegan

Don looked at the first drawing. It was in pencil with a little drop of paint to denote eye and hair color. It was of a young man in his 20s with a lip piercing and earbud cords hanging down. Along the edge was written in quick cursive ‘Man behind me in line, listening to Linkin Park. Too much bad cologne.’ The next was of a little old lady with milky eyes. ‘In line ahead of me. Five foot, smelled of cat.’ Don was strangely put to mind of the copy of The Hobbit his mother had given him as a kid with the little pen and ink drawings and descriptions written along the side.

“Hey, guys,” Don waved the team over. “That artist that gave us a sketch of our key man yesterday just sent over a stack more.” Everyone gathered around as Don flipped through the pages.

“I interviewed that guy,” David said, pointing to a pudgy man with wide frightened eyes. “That’s actually a really good likeness.”

“She did these from memory?” Megan asked.

“So she claims.”

“Then she’s very good. Got a lot more faith in that sketch she gave us yesterday.”

Don flipped through a couple more pages. There was a large sketch of the bank. No one had detailed faces but it was easy to denote male and female, young and old.

“We should see how these match against our witnesses and possible suspects.”

Don turned another page and froze. He was looking at himself. He stared intently from the page as if he could see through someone’s skull right into the truth of their minds. She had painted in his eyes, hair and lips with a little watercolor, there was even a blush of color high on his cheeks. Special Agent Don Eppes was written along the side. Don blinked a few times.

“Do I really look like that?” Don asked.

“When you’re on the job you do.” Colby said.

Don shook his head. The next picture was of David, just as well rendered but looking a little off to the side. Don had the feeling that if you lay the two pictures together David would be looking at him.

After that were pictures of the chaos. Smoke from the bank, emergency personnel, a good portrait of the EMT that had bandaged her arm, a panorama drawing of the whole scene had no person more than a couple of inches tall but you could tell the feds, cops, firefighters, and victims.

“Hey, there’s you and Charlie.” Colby said pointing to a couple of figures no more than two inches tall. The figures had their heads together bent over a clipboard, one obviously in TAC gear while the other had curly hair and a suit in the long clean lines Charlie favored these days.

“Yeah, I think it is.” Don handed over the stack to Megan. “See if there’s anyone here we didn’t interview, they may have been in on it.”

“No problem.” Megan said, taking the stack.

“Oh hey, Granger. Where’s that letter of resignation?”

Colby gave a smile and a shrug. “Forgot it.”

“That’s my retirement plan you’re screwing with.”

“Maybe tomorrow.” Colby said with a smile and headed off.

~

Don felt weird about ringing the buzzer. The letter had said she hadn’t slept. It was six, she might already be in bed. Don took a step back from the building and looked up at the windows to see if lights were on. The building was an old chunk of warehouses that had been subdivided. Buyers got to buy a big empty brick box then renovate them into luxury condos to resell while the city gave breaks to business willing to go in on ground floors in the area.

Don thought he saw a little movement in the windows. He stepped up and rang the buzzer. The speaker crackled to life. ‘Hello?’

“Hello. This is Agent Eppes.”

‘Oh, yes. Come on up.

The door buzzed and Don entered. There was a staircase and an empty shaft where an elevator should probably go one day. Don climbed the steps and knocked on a door. Anne Finnegan opened the door. Standing up, she was a little shorter than Charlie but seemed to have a similar nervous energy that vibrated from her.

“Hello.” Don said and held out his hand.

“Hi. Anything wrong?”

“No, everything’s fine. I’m sorry if I woke you, I got your package, you said you hadn’t slept?”

Anne just gave a dismissive wave. “When I’m doing a major push I don’t sleep for a couple of days anyway. Come on in.”

Don stepped in and looked around. An elegantly renovated luxury condo it wasn’t. The apartment was basically still a very large brick box. There was a makeshift kitchen, a small bed against a wall, a couple of couches and a table marking off some sort of social space and a little pod that was probably a bathroom. The rest of the place was just filled with paintings on stands or leaning against the walls. Most were covered and all colors of paint covered the floor.

“Sit down.” Anne offered a seat at a cheap yellow Formica kitchen table. “So was anything I sent you any help?”

“Yes, actually that’s why I came by.” Don pulled one of her drawings from his jacket. “This man didn’t show up in any of our witness lists, leads us to believe he may have been part of the crew. I was wondering if you remember anything else about him?”

Anne looked at the picture and shook her head. “I only remember that guy ‘cause he bumped into me. I dropped my check book and he picked it up.”

“With his bare hands?” Don asked eagerly.

Anne thought and winced. “No. Damn it. He had driving gloves on, I remember thinking what pretentious fuck wears driving gloves any more?”

“The kind of pretentious fuck that’s pulling off a bank job.”

“Apparently. I’m going to be paranoid about men with gloves from here on out.” Anne said with a slight laugh.

“This is LA, if that’s your only paranoia you’re doing pretty good.”

Anne shrugged. “True. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.”

“You’ve been a great help already. If we could get an artist at every crime scene our jobs would be much easier.”

“Well, I hope you get the guys.”

“We’re working on it.” Don looked around, pointing to a half-finished portrait. “Is that your art?”

Anne rolled her eyes. “Calling it art is debatable. That’s how I pay my bills. Chairman of the board of some fascist mega conglomerate. 40 thousand so he can glare down at his underlings even when he’s not there.”

“That’s not bad money.” Don said.

Anne shrugged. “Every one of those lets me take time off to paint what I really want to.”

“Could I see?” Don asked though he wasn’t sure why, there was just something in him that wanted to delay leaving.

Anne looked at him and tilted her head to the side as if trying to look right into his brain. “Sure.”

Anne got up and lead him over to a row of paintings all covered. She pulled the cover off one.

“It’s my new series, almost done, got about another six months on it. It’s called Icarus Flew.” Don looked at a paining of a sun, silhouetted against it a human figure with feathers on the arms.

“I thought Icarus fell?” Don said.

“He did. But what everyone forgets is that before he fell he flew. He spent years prisoner on an island with a monster and whatever other hells his captors could conceive, little more than a child, but it didn’t kill him, it didn’t keep him. He launched himself from there and flew in a way we’ll never know. Felt true freedom but all we remember is that he crashed back down to earth with the rest of us.”

Don smiled. “I like it.”

“And for ten grand it can be yours.”

Don winced. “A little rich for a humble servant of the people.”

Anne laughed and pulled the cover from a few more. Some were still only half completed but the amazing talent was obvious. The next one was of Daedalus huddled in a corner, hiding his son’s face from some horror half-silhouetted on the wall. Then one of Icarus launching himself from a stone window. It was from the back and Daedalus could already be seen in the air ahead of him. Anne pulled down another cover. Don gasped. He felt a pressure in his chest like he’d taken a blow. He squeezed his eyes shut and turned away for a moment giving his head a shake.

“Are you alright?” Anne asked.

“Yes, yes. Fine. It’s very good.”

“Yeah, very good doesn’t get that reaction out of people.”

Don looked at the paining again. Icarus hunched over half built wings, dark curls obscuring his face. His back was covered in thin red lines, as if he’d been whipped, or some monster had raked claws against him. Blood dripped down his arms onto the white feathers.

“No. It was just.” Don rubbed his face. “I...um...my brother has hair a lot like that. A bit ago he got kidnapped, was cut up pretty bad when we found him, especially on his back. Just startled me for a second.”

Anne’s face fell. “Oh, I’m sorry. Is he okay?”

“Yeah, yeah. He’s good. Us Eppes are little but scrappy.” Don forced a bit of a smile. Anne covered the paining. “Do you ever paint his face? I mean you seem to be pretty good with those.”

“No. We’re all Icarus. We all want to fly so his face is ours.”

“Profound.”

Anne smirked. “That and I couldn’t find a model I liked.”

“You have real talent here. I mean I don’t know art from a hole in the ground but it’s better than a lot I’ve seen.”

Anne smiled and blushed a little. “Thanks. My agent wants me to paint kids and puppies. Says they’ll be easier to sell. I keep telling her I can’t paint something just ‘cause I want to or need to. I have to work what’s in my head. This is in my head.” Don gave a hard short laugh. “You find that amusing?”

Don shook his head, “No, no. It’s just my brother’s a mathematician and he does a lot of equations and work for a lot of different people and every so often he’ll just go off. Locks himself in the garage and tries to solve completely unsolvable problems, and the last time I tried calling him on it he told me that he had to work on the math that was in his head and he couldn’t solve something just because he wanted to or needed to. And P vs NP was what was in his head. I thought it was just a Charlie thing.”

Anne laughed. “When I was younger I briefly knew a guy who was really into math. Was all about working what was in his head.”

“Well maybe it’s a math thing.”

“Or an art thing.” The two fell into silence. Don knew this was the point were he needed to look at his watch and announce that he had to get back to the office.

“Um...Hey. Uh...this is completely against policy, and out of line, and feel free to tell me to screw off but...uh...could I get you a coffee downstairs or something?”

Don felt Anne quietly judge him and form an opinion. “Sure, but the place on the corner is better.”

Don smiled. “Okay.”

“Okay. Let me get my shoes.”

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Jestana: #s: Donjestana on November 23rd, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
Please tell me she's it. *hopeful* She seems like a good match for Don so far. I like the idea of the Icarus paintings. *claps*

When I was younger I briefly knew a guy who was really into math

It'd be hilarious if that guy she met was Charlie. *smirks*
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 23rd, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
That would be funny if Charlie was the math guy. Glad you approve of her so far.
(no subject) - jestana on November 23rd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on November 23rd, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
idle_devilidle_devil on November 23rd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
You're trying to kill me by only posting one chapter a day, right? ;-)

I've been remiss in commenting on parts 1-3 (sorry!), but I'm seriously loving this next part! I absolutely adore your characterization of Don. The show only scratches the surface of his feelings about his job and his family, and you are just amazing at getting into his head and showing us that the job he does actually messes people up quite a bit.

Still loving the Colby/Charlie and it's great how you let the other characters out to play, too. Also, David's insight in this chapter about how important Colby is to the Eppes family broke my heart! So tragic and yet undeniably true! *worships your amazingness* :-D
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 23rd, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
:-) I'd post it all at once but staking that much into peoples flist is a bit cruel. Beside I'm making a couple of little tweeks as I go. Just about every character is going to have a little moment in the spot light in this one. I hope you like it.
fredbassettfredbassett on November 23rd, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Everyone knows if you take a bullet we’re picking out four coffins. If you really love him, start worrying about yourself.”

Very poignant scene, counterpointed beautifully by the humour of the brothel idea!
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 23rd, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
:-) thank you. I try to keep a balance.
wes_lanewes_lane on November 23rd, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
This whole series is just wonderful. This chapter was so good, well they all are. I love how we're seeing into Don's head and how the various shrinks explain everything. Case in point:

"Don had then asked Bradford if the Eppes family was the best soap opera in the building. He had said yes without even pausing for breath."

I can really see Anne as a good choice for Don here, she seems levelheaded and someone capable. I adore how you write Don and Charlie and of course all the others. I especially loved the part about the brothel here, I can just see Charlie going in his head all the technical facts to managing a brothel, the images that this conjures are just perfect. I just adored this bit.

"“Yep, bring the whole team, in fact. We’ll cater to feds and academics. High security and discretion our main selling point. Run weekend seminars on D and S with practical demonstrations. Larry can do the books, Megan can shrink heads. I’m sure David would be a big hit with the ladies.” Colby put his hands over his eyes. “Charlie, please. I’ve got to work with these people.” “We’ll nick some TAC gear and Don’s thigh holsters on the way out. Set him up in an interrogation room and people will pay 500 an hour to lick his boots.” “Agh! Bad thoughts, bad thoughts!” “Martin can be the house pet.” Charlie continued, ignoring Colby’s screams. “Sleep at the foot of the bed, have his own bowl. He’d like that. Bet I could even talk Edgerton into in-house security.” “Damn it, Charlie, you have put way too much thought into this.”

Eagerly waiting for the next bit.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 23rd, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Next bit tomorrow. Ian will be back. :)
ninou1ninou1 on November 23rd, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Hope Anne is the one. She has already grown on me. She seems like a Charlie but feminine one, can get lost in her own little word too.
Go Don...

As for the rest I nearly cried about the "four coffins". I felt it was really going far, but with reflexion it's not, Colby is Charlie pillar, and if he goes down, so does Charlie. I bet Charlie will just calculate how many cars are going to avoid him, before one puts him out of his misery.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 23rd, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Probably yes. This is why Colby made Charlie promise.
Devo79devo79 on November 23rd, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
"I mean, you go down, I go down, sucks to be us. Charlie takes one in the head the entire species gets a whole lot dumber and we can’t afford that these days.”

That totally killed me ded =)
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
Well it's very true.
tonisimonetonisimone on November 24th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
"The Broken Ones Brothel"

you have to write that somehow. an AU or a spin off I'd be so cool

& if you could make it not Crack!fic it would be so cool

other wise

anne is so like charlie it isn't funny but she's also not like charlie which I like

the "four coffins" line is so... depressing &... intreging... & (i know i'm being weird by saying this) A little funny.

great story


toni
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
its been outlined. it's called charlie's haven. it's a n3/csi/bones crossover. I don't know if it'll ever get written but it's in my head.
mikes_grrl on November 24th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
I loved the relationship between Charlie and Colby evolving this way -- they've been through so much hell, they are playing catchup on the more mundane aspects of being together, I think -- like, 'what will you do if I die?' I'm glad David pointed out that Colby is the lynchpin of the Eppes right now, whether he wants to be or not. He needs to be giving that more consideration. Just they way he acts with Charlie is affecting Don.

And the brothel thing? Yay! Why do I suspect Charlie is only, like, 56.7893% joking? heh.

The part where Don and Charlie are talking was fantastic, too, btw. It was a short scene but I think shows how willing Don is to try and fix himself. He's not hiding from Charlie or their mistakes or damages, and the process is binding ever closer together as friends AND brothers. Love that.

Anne is good. A little to early for me to decide if I like her, tbh. I think that she is a committed artist is important; Don is not going to be interested (or remain interested) in someone who doesn't have a passion like that. I really do love the concept behind her Icarus paintings, though, and wonder more of the story there. Something about imprisonment, maybe? Many many forms of being trapped. Interesting!

I'm with jestana -- I suspect Anne and Charlie met once. Makes me wonder about the circumstances...hmmmm.... *eyes you suspiciously*
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
Me do something suspicious?! I'm shocked! Shocked I say!!!

And more of Anne's past and passions will come to light. I'm always very worried about OCs. I don't want marry sues and I want them to feel like they could have come out of the numb3rs writers room. so please keep me posted as to what you think of her.

And yeah Charlie and Colby did parts of their relationship kinda backwards and now they're onto thing like 'who gets power of atturney?' should we have a joint bank account? normal shit.
(no subject) - mikes_grrl on November 24th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
DarkEly: Familyelysium1996 on November 24th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
I picked this up on a lark and find that I am enjoying it.

I haven't read the series before but so far I am not confused.

I read one of your other comments and I totaly get that Don should have a woman who is equal in many ways.. and I do agree that TPB have not given it to us, Robin may be close but with the writing on some aspects of the show it is soon to say.

ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Well I'm glad you're enjoying it. You might want to go back and pick up the other stories when you have a chance just 'cause I'm going to be referencing some bits more hevealy.
Sabrinahoneycakehorse on November 24th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC)
I'm another one of those who doesn't really like OCs as love interests, because it usually is just so obvious that they'll be perfect for that person right from the second we meet them. Anne flew completely under my radar (okay, I didn't read the A/N :)). Brilliant.

I'm completely loving all the different relationships in this, no matter if it's between Don and Charlie, Charlie and Colby or Colby and David. Very insightful.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 08:04 am (UTC)
Well I don't know if Anne is meant for Don. I don't know if Anne is meant for anyone. I don't know if Don is really meant for anyone either but maybe there reaches a point when you stop looking and stop trying to construct your perfect mate from bits and pieces and instead just take a good look at what's in front of you.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Hey. glad you like it. I'm a sucker for domestic and just sweet family moments so I'm glad these work.
Erinstarlettmalfoy on November 24th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
“We’ll nick some TAC gear and Don’s thigh holsters on the way out. Set him up in an interrogation room and people will pay 500 an hour to lick his boots.”

::drools::

Seriously, where do I sign up? ::grins::

Another brilliant chapter. <3 Surprisingly, I like the girl. The bit with Icarus-and-Charlie was my favourite, I think. I like that Don was startled enough to visibly react. Woo hoo! Lol.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
:-) glad I gave you a laugh.
twins_m0m on November 24th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
David's wake-up call to Colby was interesting. Colby's holding up a lot of weight for the Eppes clan right now. And no one wants to talk about the inevitable, even when they should. Anne is intriguing. Smart, obviously well educated, and with a strong personality (but not overbearing). And not in law enforcement!! I can see why she has sparked Don's interest. Charlie's brothel idea was great. I think he might actually get it to work.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 24th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Charlie's brothel is a long AU fic that's a N3/CSI/Bones crossover that might get written some day. I like the idea of Don/David/Cathrin Willows.

And that little talk with Charlie is going to be bugging Colby for the rest of the fic. Who is going to take care of Charlie should something happen to him? hummmmmmmmm?
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 16th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
Glad to see Don feeling better about life and reconnecting with Charlie in a more fun and boyish way- all about the laughing instead of the protective big brother way. I had to laugh at Charlie's grand plan to open the brothel and employ all their friends, and I loved that he and Colby phoned Don to cheer him up with the plan *vbg*.

Anne seems interesting and nice. I think it would do Don good to find someone out of the job, so that he's not living some aspect of work 24 hours a day. I also think they seem to have personalities that suit each other. Anne's bouts of intense painting are a lot like Charlie's bouts with the numbers, so Don's got experience of dealing with that complete focus. Yet that very focus Anne has would also help her to understand Don's own workaholic streak. I guess we'll see...

Laura.
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 16th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Oh, and again with the forgetting an important comment I wanted to make! ::headdesk::

I really loved the scene between Colby and David in the car. What David said about it all hinging on Colby was, well, disturbing on one level, because I could clearly see it exactly as David described. And let's face it, that's a lot of pressure for Colby to bear and still do the job he does. It was also moving, speaking of the depth of love Charlie has for Colby and that Don and Alan have for Charlie.
(no subject) - ladygray99 on January 16th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on January 16th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
mass_hipgnosis on December 22nd, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Charlie's 'retirement plan' makes me think of the 'Brothelers' series by dsudis. LOL.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 23rd, 2009 11:18 am (UTC)
I've heard of it. Never read it.