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02 December 2008 @ 08:36 am
A Woman Waits for Me - 12/39  
Title: A Woman Waits for Me
Chapter
: 12/39
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. – Who though art shows could be so exciting?
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3,008
Warning: none really
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 6 7 8 9 10 11
Authors Notes: Feedback please.
Betas:swingandswirl  and riverotter1951 

 


Part 12
The Taste of Cheep Champagne
 

Don stood outside the gallery bathroom, bouncing on the balls of his feet.

“Hon? Sweetie? Are you okay?” he called gently. There was the sound of a toilet flushing and water running. Anne stumbled out.

“I’m fine. I’m down to dry heaves.”

“If you want to go home...”

Anne shook her head. “I have yet to do a show opening where I haven’t heaved my guts out.”

“It’ll be fine, the series is brilliant.”

“Oh what do you know, Don?” She groused.

“I know that anyone who tries to give you a bad review is going to get a surprise audit by the IRS.”

Anne laughed. “I knew there was a good reason to keep you around.”

“Come on. Let’s go meet your adoring fans.”

Don followed Anne out on to the gallery floor. Icarus Flew was hung about the room and bored-looking waiters wandered around with trays of midrange champagne and nibbles. Don looked around and quickly realized that these weren’t his people. He got the impression they weren’t really Anne’s either. The crowd looked to be mostly camp young men with more money than taste and bored-looking middle-aged women with real diamond earrings that probably listed volunteer work as their career.

“Well, here they are, Don.” Anne said softly. “The mindless gray masses that pay the bills.”

“I’ve never been in a crowd like this where I wasn’t about to arrest someone.” Don said softly. Anne chuckled. “Here comes the cavalry.”

The gallery door swung open and a group of people who didn’t quite fit the scene came in. Even though Don had made it very clear that no one was in any way shape or form required to attend the showing, everyone, even David, had agreed to come as back up. Though David had insisted on knowing first if there would be a risk of any nudes of Don. Don had assured him no.

Only Charlie and Megan really looked like they fit in. Charlie looked youngish, hip, and wealthy and Megan had just shimmied into a little black dress and that was all that was needed.

“Hey guys, thanks for coming.” Anne greeted approaching the group.

“You think we’d miss this?” Alan replied giving her a warm hug.

“I would if I could.” Anne said.

“In my experience all truly good painters want to avoid their own openings.” Said Larry. “That being said, my father loved his.”

“Well thank you all for being here as is. Grab some champagne before the art students steal it all.”

The group broke up and wandered around the gallery. Anne and Charlie quickly fell into conversation. That was something Don had consistently found odd over the last couple of months. Anne and Charlie had known each other at probably the lowest points of their lives, moments most people would do anything to forget and try to avoid any reminder of, and yet the two were able to chat pleasantly as if they had gone to college together or something.

Don looked around. Colby was standing in front of a particular painting. His hands were clasped politely behind his back but his shoulders were stiff. Don joined him. In the painting blood dripped down the arms of Icarus onto half built wings.

“I damn near had a heart attack first time I saw that one.” Don said quietly.

“It’s…well done.” Colby said tightly.

“I was supposed to be questioning her about a suspect, asked to see the art instead. When she pulled the cover off this one…”

“Yeah.” Both looked over their shoulder to where Anne and Charlie were now chatting with Larry. “Do you think somewhere in her head..?” Colby left the question hanging.

“I don’t know. Rather not know.”

Colby squinted at the little card next to the painting “$20,000!” he exclaimed quietly.

“Yeah. Well, the way it was explained to me the gallery only expects to sell two or three of them right off, then the rest go into their back catalog and they try to sell off maybe one a year. Then the gallery takes a cut, the agent gets a cut, Anne gets what’s left and ‘cause they’re oils it takes her maybe two years to put together a showing like this.”

“So not rolling in it?”

“Well no worse off than us. Just more of a feast or famine thing.”

There was a little jingle as the gallery door opened again. Four men in cheap suits came in. They weren’t FBI agent cheap or even plainclothes cop cheap, they were criminal cheap and Don could see the bulges they were trying to hide under the cheap jackets.

“Oh, you have got to be kidding me.” Don sighed.

Colby looked over and shook his head. Both of them casually walked towards Megan and David.

“You guys seein’ what I’m seein’?” David asked casually.

“Oh yeah.” Said Colby.

“Who’s packing?” Asked Don.

“I am,” said Colby to no one’s surprise.

“Same here.” said Megan. The three men looked at Megan with the obvious question of ‘where?’ on their minds.

“Stand back to back with me, Don. Look casual.”

Don maneuvered so he could take the gun from the small of Colby’s back without anyone seeing. Colby then dropped his gallery brochure and while he was picking it up slipped the small gun from his ankle and managed to palm it to David.

“So who’s got who?” David asked.

“I’ll take the bruiser.” Said Colby.

“I got the blond.” Said Don.

“I guess that leaves David and I with the brunets.” Megan said with a smile.

The four agents broke up tailing their prey. On his way across the gallery Don paused to whisper into Charlie’s ear. “Take Anne and Dad out front for a smoke. Don’t draw attention.”

Charlie gave a quick nod but said nothing. Don couldn’t help be a little proud that Charlie had finally learned to follow orders. Or perhaps he’d seen the same thing Don had.

Don kept moving, following his target towards the cheese plate.

Charlie stepped out into the warm night air. He had slipped his arm around Anne’s elbow to make sure she made it out and a few choice words to his Dad had made sure he followed. He wanted to grab Larry but had seen Megan send him off to the bathroom.

“What are we doing out here, Charlie?” Anne asked.

“Waiting for your show to get robbed.”

“What?” Alan said.

“Four guys walked in in really bad suits, were all packing, and they weren’t feds or cops. One guy it’s maybe a hired hit, four it’s a robbery.”

“We should call the cops.” Anne said.

“There are four very good, highly trained, FBI agents inside and I saw David sending a message so I’m willing to bet the cops are already on their way. Odds are in favor of Don and company.”

“I just hope no one starts shooting.” Alan said.

There was a loud pop and a scream and Charlie hit the cement dragging Anne and his father down with him.

“You had to jinx it, Alan?” Anne gasped out.

Don had his knee between the blond guy’s shoulder blades, Colby’s big ass gun pointed at the guys head. David, Megan, and Colby had their guys in similar positions.

“You so picked the wrong opening.” Don said with more than a little amusement. “Anyone bring cuffs?” He asked his fellow agents. Everyone shook their head.

“Sorry, Don.” Said Colby.

“You wore three guns to an art show and didn’t bring cuffs?”

“You didn’t even bring your gun.” Colby said as some sort of defense.

“I don’t want to draw down on a critic.”

A well dressed lady in her 60’s opened her purse and pulled out what appeared to be a set of police standard cuffs. “Will these help?” She asked sweetly.

Don took them, trying not to think to hard about things. “Yes, thank you.” He heard Megan snicker from the other side of the room.

“Um…we have some of those plastic cable ties, we sometime use them to hang heavy pieces?” The gallery manager provided.

“That would be great, thank you.”

By the time the cops arrived, the four suspects were more or less tied up. Don poked his head outside to wave Anne, Charlie and his Dad back in.

“Everything okay?” Alan asked.

“Yeah. One guy got trigger happy, a bit of drywall took the worst of it.”

“The paintings..?” Anne began.

“Are fine. Not a scratch.” Anne let out a long breath.

Charlie shook his head. “Really, Don, we dress you up and we can’t take you anywhere. Just have to arrest someone.”

“Hey, it wasn’t my date that was packing tonight.”

“Just ‘cause you’re paranoid, Don.” Charlie said with a smile.

Inside David was giving a quick rundown to LAPD.

“You sure the feds don’t want this one?” The cop asked.

“Yeah. We’re just here on a social thing.” The cop raised an eyebrow. “Boss’s girlfriend is the artist.”

“I get it. Here under orders?”

“Nah, he’s cool. So’s she. But happy boss’s girlfriend means happy boss means work weeks less than a hundred hours.”

“I hear you,” said the cop. “We’ll book them on attempted robbery, attempted aggravated assault, weapons charges, smelling bad, and we’ll probably be able to link them to some unsolved.”

“Seemed a pretty amateur crew.” David said with a shake of the head. “Pros aren’t that twitchy.”

Anne was taking deep breaths in-between swings of champagne. “Take it easy. You’ll make yourself sick.” Don advised.

Anne shook her head. “Little too much adrenaline for one night, Don.”

Don chuckled. “Ah, that wasn’t even a blip.”

“Don,” Anne said softly just within Don’s hearing range. “As soon as we can get out of here I’m going to need you to drive me home and fuck my brains out for the next 48 hours.”

Don gave a smile. “Well I’m not as young as I used to be but I’ll see what I can manage for my favorite neo-Pre-Raphaelite.”

~

Don let the warm steam of the coffee curl around his face as he hunched over his cup. His body was still sending highly conflicting signals and it was making his brain twitch. On the one hand 48 hours of raw, kinky, uninhibited, animalistic, acrobatic, non-stop sex was something he could get behind, in theory, in practice every inch of his body was telling him he was no longer twenty-two and a large part of his brain just wanted to curl into a fetal position in a dark room and whimper for a while.

And it’s not like he hadn’t been warned. Anne had warned him, Anne’s best friend Sasha had warned him, Anne’s agent had warned him, not one but two of Anne’s exes had warned him. Oh yes he had been thoroughly warned and given just about every opportunity to back out. The extra adrenaline of gunfire at the show only seemed to have added to the aftermath of months of pre-show stress and panic.

“Holy shit, what happened to you, Don?” David asked entering the break room with Megan and Colby behind.

Don closed his eyes and tried to crawl into his coffee. “Don’t ask.”

“You look shattered, man.”

“I said don’t ask.”

“I think rode hard and put away wet is the definition you’re looking for.” Don gave Megan his look of death. He must have been tired because it didn’t seem to be working. He felt Megan pull down the back of his collar. “What I want to know is how you got a hicky there?” She said looking down his back. Don waved Megan away like a fly.

“I’m wondering more about those bruises.” David said prompting Don to yank down the cuffs of his shirt a little further.

“Now Don, you did have the safe word discussion first, right?” Colby asked.

“You all want a week on your desks?” Don finally snapped. David and Megan put up their hands in surrender and left. Colby hung around. After a minute he sat down across from Don and carefully rolled up his sleeve.

“What are you doing, Granger?” Don asked, too tired to really fight.

“Just checking to see what kind of bruises they are.”

“Granger.”

“Hush.”

“I’m not my brother.”

“Yep, he’s cuter and has almost learned to say when.” Don tried his look of death again. Again it didn’t work. “Come down to the locker room I’ve got some stuff that’ll fix you up.”

“I’m fine.”

“Did she break skin?”

Don blinked a few times. “I’m not sure, it’s kinda one big…”

“Right, locker room or a doctor’s office, your choice?” Don looked at Colby and realized that, boss or not, he wasn’t really being given an option. Don stood up, wincing as every muscle protested. “First word of advice, Don, if you’re going to make a habit out of this, yoga.”

~

Don sat hard on the end of the long bench in the locker room, which was thankfully empty. He really wished he had his cup of coffee back to try to crawl into.

“Come on Don, strip.” Colby said.

“This is sexual harassment.”

“Only if one of us gets off on it and it’s not going to be me.”

Don though for a moment. “I think I should be insulted.”

“Shirt. Off.” Colby ordered.

Don peeled off his shirt wincing at every move and bypassing the argument his jeans as well. The loosest pair he owned.

“Shit, Don.” Colby sighed. “Did at any point you consider the words ‘no’ or ‘stop’?”

“No.”

Colby shook his head. “Maybe it’s genetic.”

“Well, I was warned.”

“You were?” Colby said, not sounding like he believed it.

“Yep, by…five people. Including two of her exes.”

Colby shook his head again, looking Don over. “No cuffs, bands or ligature marks. Shit, that’s all teeth and fingers and rug burn.”

“Oh, you’re one to talk.” Don groused.

“Looks like she broke skin on your back.” Don tried to look over his shoulder but his neck was unfortunately stiff. “I’ll get them.” Colby took the top off a tube of antibiotic cream and started dabbing it on Don’s back. Don hissed. “Can you feel where she got you now?”

“Oh yeah.” Don said through clenched teeth.

“Really, Don, voice of experience here. You really need to have conversations before nights like that.”

“Didn’t know what I was getting into.”

“Well, she should have warned you.”

“She did. Didn’t believe it. Thought I could handle it.” Don said tightly.

Colby finished applying to wound cream without comment before opening up a large jar of green liquid. The smell of high proof alcohol and something weird hit his nose.

“Granger, what the hell is that stuff?”

“No idea.” He said dipping a cotton ball in it. Don shifted away. “Charlie has some witch doctor brew the stuff up, no clue what’s in it but it’ll make those bruises heal twice as fast.” Don looked at Colby and shifted further away. “You can ask David, I gave him some last time he caught a slug in the vest, swears the bruise was gone in a week and the pain was seriously lessened.”

Don tried for his look of death one more time then gave in. “Fine, whatever.”

Colby started rubbing the stuff in where ever he could find a bruise or a hickie starting from the neck down. The stuff soaked in quickly and Don had to admit that he was starting to feel better.

“Why do you keep that stuff in your locker?” Don asked. Colby paused and pushed up a sleeve reviling an impressive collection of finger bruises. “Huh. For some reason I thought things went the other way around.”

Colby gave a chuckle. “Charlie’s a masochist, not a submissive, not really. One gets him the other but he can flip around on a dime.”

“Really?” Don said. Not that he’d never seen Charlie act dominate ‘You’re my brother and I love you. Do you consent?’ He really just couldn’t picture Charlie being the aggressor with Colby. Then again… Don looked at himself in the mirror.

“We were out dancing a month back…” Colby said.

“You dance?” Don said cutting in.

“No, Charlie dances. He was taking a break and this kid followed him off the dance floor back to our booth. And I mean kid, no way he was old enough to be in there. Anyways he tries to proposition Charlie, with me sitting right there and Charlie just shifts around and gives this kid a look and the kid drops right to his knees right there and it wasn’t that kind of club, Don really. Charlie looks this kid over like a side of meat, shakes his head, the kid gets up and wanders off and by the end of the night I looked like you.”

“And the word ‘no’ never crossed your mind?”

Colby gave a bit of a grin. “I’m used to it.”

Don looked himself in the mirror again. He raised his arms so Colby could get to the finger bruises on his sides. “Why do I feel like I have the words ‘property of Anne Finnegan’ written across my chest?” Don asked.

“‘Cause you do,” Colby said with a chuckle. “In great big letters for anyone who knows how to read them.”

Don gave a snort. “On some odd level I don’t think I mind.”

“Yeah, I know.” Don looked at Colby and kinda got something but was too tired for a full blown revelation. “How long before her next show?” Colby asked.

“Two years. I should be recovered by then.”

“I don’t know.” Colby said with a shake of his head. “You’ll be two years older.”

“Yeah, but so will she.”

Colby gave another chuckle. “At least tell me you got breakfast out of all this.”

Don smiled. “Yep, pancakes. I love pancakes. And she makes them so well.”

Colby gave a full out laugh. “Ask her if she’s willing to give lessons, I’m always burning mine.”

Previous Next

 
 
 
Erin: zNumb3rs CharliePrettystarlettmalfoy on December 1st, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
::melts::

As soon as LJ notified me you had made a post, I set aside my work and came a-runnin'. Heh.

There are so many wonderful lines in this chapter, I can't even choose. I was going to highlight one or two, but I found myself with 7 or so. <3

I love that Don's being possessed by someone and doesn't seem to mind. It seems to be just what he needs. I've always thought so of his character though. He just has to be too 'in control' in every other aspect of his life.

Hooray for nursemaid!Colby! And badass!Meghan (I love badass!Meghan, lol). I think I loved that scene most, where Colby's taking care of Don. Yup, perusing through it again, I can definitely say I liked it most. And I finally found my favorite line:

“Come on Don, strip.” Colby said.

“This is sexual harassment.”

“Only if one of us gets off on it and it’s not going to be me.”

Don though for a moment. “I think I should be insulted.”

“Shirt. Off.” Colby ordered.


Thanks for the post. The only bad thing about me knowing approx. when they're coming is that I have to wait another full day for the next one. ::sighs dramatically:: Life is just so hard that way. :P

Edited at 2008-12-01 08:06 pm (UTC)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 1st, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you for writing. Almost no one commented on yesterdays post and it was smut and everything. I think you'll like tomorrow. Alan gets a date *eg* And I'll try to get it up earlyish.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 1st, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Yuck. Airports. Glad you're reading now. Good to hear from you.
ninou1ninou1 on December 1st, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
So much difference and so much common side in Don/Anne and Charlie/Colby relationship.

I love the closeness between Don and Colby, they both have "high maintenance" partners.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 1st, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
I think Anne and Don are kinda equally high maintenance in their own ways. Anne just gets really, really stressed about show openings.
Devo79devo79 on December 1st, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me.” Don sighed.

That was what I thought *bg*

Loved the look of death!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 1st, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Don Look Of Death patent pending. :-)
wcpjfditdov on December 1st, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Loving this
I love your work and has come back to reading your Whitman verse. I am sorry if I can't comment regularly right now, but I will go back and comment properly as soon as I find some time and catch up on some sleep. But yes, you are definitely on my fav list, and in case I didn't state this with enough emphasis: I love your work :) and thank you so much for writing!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 2nd, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Re: Loving this
Thank you so much for responding. I figure what with the holdiday and all people are a little backlogged.
tonisimonetonisimone on December 1st, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
He was taking a break and this kid followed him off the dance floor back to our booth. And I mean kid, no way he was old enough to be in there. Anyways he tries to proposition Charlie, with me sitting right there and Charlie just shifts around and gives this kid a look and the kid drops right to his knees right there and it wasn’t that kind of club, Don really. Charlie looks this kid over like a side of meat, shakes his head, the kid gets up and wanders off and by the end of the night I looked like you.

LOL


toni
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 2nd, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 2nd, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
You'll get a little bottom!colby before the end. promise.
mikes_grrl on December 2nd, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
“First word of advice, Don, if you’re going to make a habit out of this, yoga.”

Bwwwahahahaaa! I loved that line!

This was nice, setting up something about Anne and her ways. And I really liked how you had Colby explaining how Charlie is masochistic, but not necessarily submissive. I love that particular combination (helllloooo, kink!) and it was great to see it explained so clearly. Even if I suspect it will take Don a while to understand it full. heh.

As usual, though, I'm highly suspicious. This time of the attempted robbery; nothing particularly twigs me about it, other than the timing. But I do wonder...Anne is in many ways a blank slate and we simply do not know much about the people she was wrapped up with before, other than Charlie and dead Dom.

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 2nd, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
sorry hun, some times a robbery is just a robbery. It's honestly a set up for a joke in chapter 30 something. Oh and Charlie's less than submissive nature will be touched on at some point.
fredbassettfredbassett on December 3rd, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
The scene in the gallery with them all and the guns had me weeping laughing. And no cuffs, oh dear, guys!

Great chapter.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 3rd, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
The sad thing is it's basically a giant set up for a one line joke in chapter 35 or something. Glad it gave you a laugh though.
twins_m0m on December 3rd, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
A bunch of feds stop a robbery and they had to get cuffs from a 60ish lady! LOL! Hang your head in shame, guys.

Poor Don. I think next time, Don will consider using a stop word. Anne seems to be a dom. I guess Don has a subtle sub streak he wasn't completely aware of. The juxtaposition of Colby/Charlie and Don/Anne relationships continues to intrigue me. There are similarities there, but for seemingly different reasons.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 3rd, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
Anne's not much of a dom she just gets a little stressed about show openings, needs to blow off a bit of steam. And I think Don's in a place where he's willing to just go with the flow. Stop fighting for a bit.
Mia: don charlie colbymia_dcwut_09 on December 25th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
lol
colby and don are just to funny
poor don he should have listen to colby
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 25th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
yes he should have. :)
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 17th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
Well, that certainly livened up the dreaded gallery opening! But it looks like Don got the aftermath. I hope he and Anne talk about it- he obviously didn't particularly mind, but it might be worth mentioning to Anne that if he needs to be out in the field the next day, he needs to be able to move fluidly enough to avoid getting shot and they should save that sort of thing for when he's got a few days off ;). At least it got more Colby & Don time, which is always interesting.

Laura.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 17th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Well Don was warned. Next time he'll listen.
fractalmoonfractalmoon on November 27th, 2012 11:18 am (UTC)
"A well dressed lady in her 60’s opened her purse and pulled out what appeared to be a set of police standard cuffs. “Will these help?” She asked sweetly.
Don took them, trying not to think too hard about things."

bwahahah!

Totally get Charlie as a non-submissive maso. He has been dominating Colby all the way, except for the bedroom role-playing.

ladygray99ladygray99 on November 27th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC)
Charlie has his reasons for toping from the bottom but Colby is one of the few people where he is occasionally comfortable to just submit.