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26 November 2008 @ 07:31 am
(fic) A Woman Waits for Me 6/39  
Title: A Woman Waits for Me
Chapter
: 6/39
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. – What does it take to make Don smile?
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,431
Warning: Performance Art, smooch
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 4 5
Authors Notes: Feedback please. I want to know what you all think of Anne.
Betas: swingandswirl   and riverotter1951 

 

Part 6
The Look of a Smile

Don checked his watch and grabbed his coat, making a beeline for the door.

“Hey, Don,” David said. “We just got in that fax from the IRS.”

Don winced. “Any chance it can wait ‘till morning?”

“Sure, I guess.”

“Great.” Don started to the door.

“You got a hot date or something?”

“None of your business.” Don hit the security gate before David could reply.

~

Don shivered a bit in the parking lot.

“So, what did I miss?” He whispered to Anne.

“Well the block of ice on wheels is the polar caps, the cage on the ice is our dependency on fossil fuel, naked guy on the ice is us, and it’s all being dragged by a rusted out Beetle ‘cause no one would loan them a Hummer.”

Don nodded. “What does the bird represent?”

“I have no idea. Penguins or something.”

“Okay.”

Anne looked at Don. “Don’t worry, once this bit is over Phill and Joy will strip almost naked and juggle fire for twenty minutes.”

“Cool.”

Anne nudged Don with her elbow. “You know you didn’t have to come?”

“No, no. I’m interested.”

“In really half-rate performance art?”

Don eased his arm around Anne waist. “Well, as long as I have someone of fine quality to explain it to me...”

Anne laughed and Don felt himself smile.

~

Don was going over papers when David sat on one side of his desk, Colby sat on the other, Megan came down the middle.

“Okay, Don. Who is she?” David asked.

“Excuse me?”

“You’ve been sneaking around for six weeks. We know it’s no one in the office ‘cause you’re not that good.”

“I object.”

“Tell us who she is, Don.” Megan said.

“What makes you think there’s anyone?”

“Alan made rib-eye last night and you missed it.” Colby said. “You have a preternatural talent for sniffing out your father’s rib-eye and you either ignored it or were too distracted to notice.”

“Plus you’ve been smiling. You only smile if you’re getting some, or get an excuse to bounce a perp’s head off something.” David said.

“My social life is no one’s business but mine, now if you’ll excuse me I have some place to be.” Don stood and grabbed his coat. “And if I have a tail tonight I’ll bust the lot of you right back to Quantico.” Don made his way to the door, well aware that he had more or less just challenged his three best agents to find out his secret.

~

Don rang the buzzer. He could hear music coming from an open window.

‘Hello.’ A male voice answered.

“Um...Is Anne there?”

‘Yeah, come on up.’

The door opened and Don climbed the steps with some trepidation. He knocked on the door. A woman in a long purple dress with equally purple hair opened.

“Yes?” She asked, giving Don a suspicious look.

“Um...Is Anne in?”

“Yes.” The woman turned around. “Anne. I think there’s a policeman here to see you?” she called out, then eyed Don with suspicion again. Don tried to look around the woman but she had only opened the door half way. The door opened the rest of the way and Anne stood there, all smiles, and the woman in purple retreated. Don looked into the loft. The little social area had about a dozen people lounging around.

“Hi, Don.” She said brightly.

“Hi. Sorry. I just got off. I didn’t know you were having a thing, I’ll go.” Don turned around only to have his wrist grabbed.

“It’s not a thing, it’s just one of those spontaneous everyone gets together thing, you know, meet a few friends for lunch and end up with twice as many rooting around your wine collection by seven.”

“Still, I should just...”

Anne gave a tug. “Come on in, I’ve been talking about you anyways.”

Don followed where led and was dragged over to the group. He sized them up almost as quickly as they sized him up. Most of the hair was not a natural color; there were large quantities of piercings, tattoos and slightly glazed expressions. He was sure a strip search would net him at least one felony and several misdemeanors. Don sized himself up, brown suit, white shirt, boring tie, plus badge, shoulder holster, and gun.

‘Oh god, Dad was right, I am The Man.

“Everyone, this is Don Eppes, who I’ve been seeing.”

“Hi.” Don said with a little wave. The looks he got back could have lowered the ambient temperature of the earth.

A woman in jeans and a bright pink peasant shirt stood and approached Don.

Orange, with green streaks.” The woman said.

“What?”

“Your aura.” Anne whispered.

“Oh.”

“Darkness, here.” The woman jabbed a finger into Don’s solar plexus causing him to jump back. “And something is missing. I wonder where it is?”

Don shook his head. “I’m always losing stuff in the couch.”

The woman giggled. “Perhaps.” She held out here hand. “Mary.”

“Don.”

“Well I’m going to make pasta.” Anne announced. “Who wants some?” Half the hands went up. “Great.”

“I’ll help.” Don said quickly and followed Anne into the half-built kitchen.

“Don, relax.” Anne said as she pulled out some pots.

“I’m relaxed.”

“Bullshit. Don’t worry. They like you.”

Don looked at the group that was still giving him frosty looks. “How can you tell?”

“Because I like you, and Mary didn’t run screaming the first time she looked at you, and believe me she’s done it before.”

“Good to know.” Don held the large pot as it filled with water. Anne gave him a kiss on the cheek.

“Go take off your jacket and relax.”

“I am relaxed.”

“And get rid of the tie.”

“What’s wrong with the tie?”

“It’s boring.”

“Well, I’m a boring guy.”

Anne laughed. “No you’re not. Go.” Don put the pot on the stove and Anne nudged him out of the kitchen.

Don peeled off his suit jacket and with a little wiggling managed to get his shoulder holster off at the same time so he could hang them both up with no one seeing the gun. The badge went from his belt to the pocket of the jacket as well. Don contemplated his tie for a moment. It was a faded rust red and brown. Don looked over at the group gathered around laughing and smiling. They looked like someone had taken all of Anne’s brightest paints and smeared them around. Don took off the tie and kicked off the shoes for good measure.

He headed back to the kitchen where the woman in purple was helping Anne cut some tomatoes.

“Am I more presentable now?” Don asked.

Anne looked him up and down. “Well, if I can’t get you in Kevlar, that’ll have to do.”

Don grinned. The woman in purple looked at him. “Oh, I get it. He smiles.”

~

Don leaned back on the couch in Bradford’s office and folded his hands behind his head.

“You’re smiling.” Bradford stated with more than a little trepidation in his voice.

“I know. I kinda can’t stop.”

“Really?”

“It’s sorta freaking out my team.”

“It’s sorta freaking me out. Why are you smiling?”

Don let out a long happy sigh. “Because I think I’ve had my shoelaces tied together.”

“Excuse me?”

“You once said one day someone would swoon at my feet and tie my shoelaces together while she’s down there. I think they’ve been tied.”

Bradford nodded. “So it’s a girl?”

“Oh yes.”

“And how long has this been going on?”

Don chuckled. “The smile or the girl?”

“The girl.”

Don shrugged. “About two months.”

“And it’s going well I take it?”

“Yeah. It’s going kinda scary well.”

Bradford nodded. “Okay. Tell me about her.”

Don sat up a bit. “She’s...ah...not my usual type.”

“Meaning?”

“Well my usual type looks good in Kevlar and can outshoot me.”

“I see. And this girl?”

“Anne, pretty sure she’s never touched a gun in her life. She’s...she’s a painter.”

“Like house painter?” Bradford asked.

“No. Um...she’s an artist. She makes her living as an artist, pretty good one in fact.”

Bradford tired to hide his surprise. “Well that is a bit of a divergence from type.”

Don chuckled. “Yeah. She’s got really amazing talent, just genius.” Don rubbed his hand over his face. “And she’s fun, I have so much fun when I’m out with her. Even when it’s weird performance art shit I don’t get, she just makes it fun. Even her friends. I mean they all look at me like I’m a narc and a shake down would probably get me at least two felonies. But...um...” Don giggled a little “Apparently I have an orange and green aura and some darkness in my third charka that I need to work on.”

“Well, who doesn’t?”

Don gave a laugh. “Don’t read anything weird into this, please, but she kinda reminds me of Charlie in a way.” Bradford leveled a gaze at Don that clearly said he was reading all kinds of weird into that statement. “I mean when she’s painting, she lets me watch sometimes, I’ll just work on paperwork and she’ll paint and she’ll get this focus, it’s like watching Charlie at his blackboards, she has to paint what’s in her head, has to finish the thought and interruption can lead to dodging flying tubes of burnt sienna.”

Bradford nodded, getting it. “Like Charlie tossing chalk at people.”

“Yeah, you would have heard about that.”

“At length. So when did this smile start?”

Don’s smile got even bigger. “Two nights ago.”

“What happened two nights ago?”

“A movie. Late night Mel Brooks marathon at a theatre downtown. Um...we were watching Blazing Saddles and she laughed at a joke and just something in the way she laughed, I smiled and she took my hand and...I don’t know. Just can’t get this stupid grin off my face. I keep trying...”

“What part of the movie did she laugh at?” Bradford asked.

“Stampeding Cattle, That’s not much of a crime, through the Vatican?, kinky. She laughed on kinky.”

“It’s a funny bit.”

“Yeah. Can I tell you something, Doc?”

“That’s what I’m here for.”

Don leaned in. “We haven’t had sex. Two months. No sex. And I don’t mind. Closest we’ve gotten has been making out in the car like teenagers.”

“And this is unusual?”

Don shrugged. “I’ve been known to put out on a second date. Or a first. Or sometimes just skip the date.”

“Really?”

Don cringed a bit at the tone in Bradford’s voice, which clearly said he was trying to think up the male word for slut. “Well, most of my exes have been other agents, there’s this sort of ‘tomorrow we may die’ feeling about sex. You know?”

“Oh I know, I’ve heard. At length, from many agents.”

Don laughed. “You know, I’ve spent nights at her place. Slept in the same bed. No sex, just held her and slept so well.” Don closed his eyes for a moment as if he might just drift off from the thought. “Oh, Doc, I do not want to fuck this up.”

“Then don’t.”

“Okay, easier said than done. I’ve always been from the ‘make the best of it until it all falls apart then move on’ school of relationships. Except I don’t want this one to fall apart, I mean really. Two months, no sex, and I can close my eyes and picture us ten, twenty years from now. My god, I can picture kids. Cute little kids with gray eyes and curly hair.” Bradford gave a quick chuckle. “I know. It’s weird. It is so weird, I don’t want to fuck this up and I don’t want the dark things that are still in my head to fuck her up.”

“Can you tell me about the dark things in your head?” Bradford asked seriously.

Don shrugged his smile fading a little. “They’re what they’ve always been, maybe not so loud anymore. Mainly it’s just if I’m alone in my apartment after work or something, lately I’ve just been calling Anne, seeing if she wants to go out. Or going over to Charlie’s place and hanging out with him if he’s around.”

“And that’s been working?”

“Yeah.” Don said softly. “You know Charlie and I never really properly talked until a couple months ago. There’s a million things I never knew about him. Lot of stuff I wish I didn’t know or didn’t exist to be known but...” Don shook his head. “He has such...strength I didn’t know was there. He was the last person I thought could catch me but...It’s like he’s gone from being my little brother to being my brother. Does that make sense?”

Bradford nodded. “Yeah, it does.” Don gave a little chuckle and raked his finger through his hair. “Has she met your family yet?”

“No.” Don said quickly. “Oh no. Avoidance of my family until...oh I don’t know...the tenth wedding anniversary is part of my plan for not fucking this up.”

“I’ve met your family, Don, they’re not that bad.”

“Well it’s not just them is the thing. Okay, there’s my Dad who’s going to be thinking grandkids. Okay that’s fine, then there’s Charlie, who is weird and intimidating on his best days, where goes Charlie so goes Colby and Larry, and Larry needs a disclaimer attached to him before any meeting, with Larry comes Megan at which point we kinda got to drag David along out of politeness, at which point it goes from meet my family to meet my family and a team of highly trained federal agents and a weird little physicist.”

“Maybe if you just tried one at a time or something?”

Don shook his head. “We’ll see but it’s not anything I’m in any rush to do. I like it being me and her. I like no one knowing.”

Bradford leveled a gaze at Don. “You really think know one knows?”

“Oh I’m sure my team tailed me and has a full background check on Anne by now, but I figure if they haven’t told me then there’s no major felonies or security alerts, and they won’t tell me for any other reason ‘cause I’ll bust them all back to Quantico.”

“I guess that’s fair enough.”

“And if I didn’t catch their tail it’s my own damn fault.”

“True.”

Don spread his arms and let the full smile creep back onto his face. “So that’s the current life and times of Don Eppes.”

“If nothing else Don, you keep this job interesting.”

“Glad I could help.”

Previous Next

 

 
 
 
Erinstarlettmalfoy on November 25th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad Don's so happy. I just hope his keeping-her-from-meeting-the-family thing isn't going to be what upsets everything. I mean, personally, I know a lot of women who'd be feeling rather anxious if it looked like they were in a serious relationship and the guy didn't bring up his family sooner or later.

Thanks for posting this! It kept the boredom at bay while I'm at work today. ^_^

Oh, and my friendslist *so* wouldn't mind if there were more updates more often. :P Say, maybe, perhaps, two a day? ::puppy dog eyes:: XP
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 25th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you for commenting. This has been up for an hour and I've been going 'no body loves me' :(

And don't worry. Anne will meet the family. It just wont be as easy a meeting as Don would like. And I'll think about posting more than one a day. maybe.
(no subject) - starlettmalfoy on November 25th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on November 25th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ninou1ninou1 on November 25th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
Last lines are killers.

I was smiling with Don all trough this. I'm not that bad, I like happy Don too... And happy Don in love is great...
I'm just anxious for the fall, because knowing, there's gonna be some twist in this... But I will take the ride happily...
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 25th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
yeah. Don with a smile is a good thing.
idle_devilidle_devil on November 25th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Oooooh! I'm so happy for Don! Anne sounds wonderful and he deserves that! XD
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 25th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Now lets just hope he doesn't screw this up.
twins_m0m on November 25th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Love Don's Smile!
I'm glad to see Don happy again. But this is part 6 of 39 parts. That makes me ask - oh-oh, what's going to happen to screw this up? You write angst way to well for me to believe that the rest of this is happy-go-lucky Don. He should have Anne meet the family and team. I don't think he'd get away with leaving Charlie last though. And yes, we all love you. RL sometimes just gets in the way of reading my favorite author.
(Anonymous) on November 25th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Love Don's Smile!
What? You don't think I could write 33 chapters of pure fluff? From here on out it's nothing but everybody being happy! (and if you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you.)
Re: Love Don's Smile! - ladygray99 on November 25th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 25th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
Sounds like what you should be doing is writing of your own. :)
riverotter1951: north American river otterriverotter1951 on November 25th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
I am really enjoying the story. The chapter titles are perfect. Anne is a fascinating woman and her friends interesting as well.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 25th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
I had a hard time deciding where to make the cuts. I'm glad the flow seems to be working. Glad you're liking it.
Jestana: #s: Donjestana on November 26th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
*giggles madly* LOVELY!

“Oh, I get it. He smiles.”

YES! Oh, yes! *claps* Hammer, meet nail. *cheesy grin*

I love how worried he is that he's going to screw it up. *pets him*

“Well it’s not just them is the thing. Okay, there’s my Dad who’s going to be thinking grandkids. Okay that’s fine, then there’s Charlie, who is weird and intimidating on his best days, where goes Charlie so goes Colby and Larry, and Larry needs a disclaimer attached to him before any meeting, with Larry comes Megan at which point we kinda got to drag David along out of politeness, at which point it goes from meet my family to meet my family and a team of highly trained federal agents and a weird little physicist.”

*snicker* Very good point.

Oh, this amused me so much. Thank you for writing this!
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 26th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading this. :)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on November 26th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tonisimone on November 26th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on November 26th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
autumnwritingautumnwriting on November 26th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
ahhhhhhhhhhhh. good stuff. its past midnight here, so that's all i got for ya. haha.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 26th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC)
It's enough :)
mikes_grrl on November 26th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
I read this yesterday but things are kind of wonky at work, so I did not comment. Sorry! Anyway I love this as a set up -- Don's happy, Anne is wonderful with interesting friends, Don's team is having fun taunting him....awww! Just so sweet!

*waits for other 100 ton shoe to drop*

I don't know about Don screwing this up, he might of course, but...first, Anne is bothering me. No normal woman, especially one in a "liberal" environment such as the arts, is not going to date someone for two months without at least addressing the sex issue. If only to tell her beaux the reasons why she's holding off. ESPECIALLY if they have been making out and snuggling together. Okay she might be following his lead, but in that case, she probably thinks he's gay by now. So I'm sure something is up with Anne on the sex issue.

As for meeting the family, it has only been two months. Six months, and I'd be eyeing Don suspiciously if I were Anne. But things are still new and fresh so...

I loved how you described Don describing meeting the "family", that was hysterical! And with that idea in mind, I can understand why he's putting it off. ha! I would too!

You've got all these balls up in the air right now, one or two of them are going to have to fall soon here. After all there are 33 chapters to go... *wrings hands nervously*
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 26th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
One of my OCs have issues!? What in the world would give you that idea? Yeah, Anne's got a couple of issues. Some will come out, some wont. Don is playing the gentleman for once and waiting for Anne to make the first move. Anne's kinda waiting for Don to just jump her 'cause that's what guys do, right?
Devo79devo79 on November 26th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
But I like the weird little physicist!

=)
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 26th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Well who doesn't? :)
boymommytotwo: don smileyboymommytotwo on November 27th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
oh, don's smile...
= the best.

and you captured it perfectly.

now i can't _wait_ for her to meet the family --- i think they're rather wonderful and she seems normal enough to fit in with a group of well-mannered, well-intentioned, thoughtful people.

and this new smily happy don? love him...
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 27th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
Re: oh, don's smile...
I don't know if the Eppes count as normal but Anne meeting them will be interesting.
fredbassettfredbassett on November 28th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
This is lovely :) I'm a huge fan of the Bradford eps and this captures their flavour beautifully.
ladygray99ladygray99 on November 28th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Don's going to have a bit more time on the couch before the end.
Mia: don/meganmia_dcwut_09 on December 25th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC)
lol i loved don's session it was so funny and cute
the ending had me laughing
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 25th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
:-) I do like it when Don smiles.
(no subject) - mia_dcwut_09 on December 25th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 16th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see Don smiling, even if it is scaring his agents ;).

I loved this bit: “Well it’s not just them is the thing. Okay, there’s my Dad who’s going to be thinking grandkids. Okay that’s fine, then there’s Charlie, who is weird and intimidating on his best days, where goes Charlie so goes Colby and Larry, and Larry needs a disclaimer attached to him before any meeting, with Larry comes Megan at which point we kinda got to drag David along out of politeness, at which point it goes from meet my family to meet my family and a team of highly trained federal agents and a weird little physicist.” I loved it for many reasons- it's funny, it's *true*, and it's kinda nice that it's true and also illustrates that family isn't only what you get born into.

I can see why Don would be wary of introducing Anne to the mad house, but at the same time, he did okay with her friends and it would just be such fun to watch Don squirm while everyone else just got on with it.

Laura.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 17th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Don will get there eventually. He's just taking things slow. He's really trying not to screw things up.
mass_hipgnosis on December 22nd, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)

ladygray99: DonSmileladygray99 on December 23rd, 2009 09:43 am (UTC)
:-)