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05 December 2008 @ 07:15 am
A Woman Waits for Me 15/39  
Title: A Woman Waits for Me
Chapter
: 15/39
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. – Don has a secret and needs a favor.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,212
Warning: none
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 12 13 14
Authors Notes: That shoe everyone’s been worrying about. It’s here. Rants, raves and feedback please.
Betas:swingandswirl  and riverotter1951 

 


Part 15
The Feel of Hope



“Don?”

Don looked up from the table. Anne had something clutched in her hand.

“Don, can we talk?”

~

“Charlie, can we talk? I mean, are you at a place where we can really talk?” Charlie turned around from the board.

“Sure, I’m basically doodling.” Charlie finished off an equation, peered at it, then put his chalk down. “What is it, Don?”

Don paced around for a moment, then sat down, jumped back up and ran his hands along his jeans, wiping away sweat.

“I...ah.” Don paced some more. Charlie rolled his eyes and grabbed Don by the arms, forcing him to hold still.

“Don?”

“I need...I need to tell you something and I need you to keep it secret, I mean big secret, not even Colby, I need you to be willing to spill NSA shit before this.”

“Okay.” Charlie said carefully.

“And...and I’m going to need a favor.” Don stuttered out.

“Don, if you’re in trouble...”

Don shook his head. “No, no...I mean, there’s a thing, but...”

“What is it, Don?”

“Anne’s pregnant.” Don said softly, then felt himself yanked to Charlie in a bone-crushing hug.

“Do you need the house?” Charlie asked.

“What?”

“It’s a family house, it should have a family in it, I just bought it ‘cause I’m bad with change, but I can get a condo or something.”

“No, no, Charlie...it’s not...we might not...” Don felt a knot in his throat trying to cut off his air. He pulled himself away from his brother. “There are problems.”

“What kind of problems?” Charlie asked quickly.

“The doctors say, they say there’s damage, Anne has damage. They’re not sure how long she’ll be able to carry. We just passed 12 weeks but the doctors say...the odds are...they’re telling us don’t bother telling anyone unless we make it past five months and not to bother making any plans unless we get to seven and the odds aren’t good, and...”

Charlie put his hands to Don’s face. “Don, look at me.” Don looked up into his brothers eyes, dark and serious “I want you to understand that this is me saying this. Screw the odds, screw the math, whatever numbers the doctors give you, screw ‘em, what the fuck do they know? Anne is one of the strongest women I know. She is a survivor and you, my stubborn, bullheaded, never-say-die brother, are easily the strongest man I know. Between the two of you that child will have no choice but to be strong, to be a survivor, to hang on for dear life until it’s time. You understand me?” Don bit his lip and nodded. “You want this baby?” Charlie asked.

Don nodded and sucked in a deep breath. “I want this baby so bad. The second I saw that little stick it was like it was like it was already in my arms. I could see it. A little girl, I think, and she had Anne’s eyes and your curls and…” Don wrapped his arms around himself. “Oh god, Charlie, I’m dying at the thought that I might not see her.” Don felt himself pulled into another hug, Charlie rubbing circles around his back.

“It’ll be okay, it’ll be okay.” Charlie held him for a long minute, giving Don time to pull his thoughts back together. “Okay. That’s the secret. What’s the favor?”

“I need...” Don closed his eyes. “God this is hard to ask and say no if you need to...”

“What is it Don?”

“I need money.”

“How much?” Charlie asked without blinking.

“I don’t know. A few thousand. I can pay you back, it’s just this stuff...”

Charlie shook his head. “Don’t worry about it.”

“You’re not going to ask why?” Charlie shrugged. “It’s just...it’s the doctor is recommending specialists and Anne doesn’t have insurance, and the FBI coverage for spouses is crap, and...”

“Wait, wait, wait. Spouse?”

Don winced. “Well, I had to get her on my insurance, and we just went down to the court house and we don’t even have rings or anything.”

“You know Dad’s going to kill you for cheating him out of a big white wedding.”

Don sighed. “I’ll make it up to him.”

“So you’ve got a government policy doc looking after Anne?” Charlie asked.

Don shrugged. “It’s what I could get.”

Charlie shook his head. “No good. I know people who know people, I’ll get her the best specialists in LA.”

“Charlie.” Don said starting to object.

“Hush.” Charlie put his hands to his brother’s face. “You might not realize it, and might not believe it, but you did more than you think looking out for me, keeping me in the here and now, and guiding a lot of the better choices in my life. It’s my turn to look out for you, balancing the equation. I’ve got a doctor who’s experienced with the type of damage Anne probably sustained.”

“Charlie.”

“Hey, I was in the room.” Charlie said darkly. “My doctor can get me access to all the best specialists she might need. You sure you don’t want the house?”

Don nodded. “Yes, Charlie, it’s your house.”

“Okay, but consider it an open offer, wait here.” Charlie rushed out of the room and came back with a checkbook. Don felt himself being scrutinized before Charlie scribbled out a check and handed it to Don. His jaw dropped.

“Charlie, I can’t take this.”

“Yes, you can.”

“I can’t pay this back.”

“It’s a gift.”

“You can’t possibly afford this.”

“Don. I’m on the payroll of damn near every government agency in this country. The same government that pays you dick for risking your life every day pays me absurd amounts for doing their math homework, plus I bring home my CalSci salary, plus my publisher just gave me a major signing bonus for my next book, plus I just got a huge check for getting smacked by a dumb socialite. I’m not paying mortgage or rent or electricity, I drive a Prius, my biggest monthly expenditures are chalk and lube. I can afford it.”

Don shook his head. “The doctors shouldn’t cost this much.”

“It’ll take care of the doctors, and finish the remodel on Anne’s place if you’re not going to take the house. I’ll give you the number of one of Dad’s old contracting friends, he’ll cut you a deal, put in a proper bathroom, finish the kitchen, a couple of real bedrooms.”

Don looked at the check again and carefully counted the zeros. “You’ll have to write a letter to go with this, they’ll think I’m on the take.”

“Whatever you need, Don,” Charlie said slowly, as if talking to a dumb child. “I’m serious, the house, money, a kidney, a couple pints of blood. Don, you’re going to be a father. Whatever I have is yours, whatever I can get is yours.” Don found himself biting his lip again. The last six weeks had been nothing but mind-numbing swings between joy and terror and the person he had wanted to tell most was Charlie and at the same time he’d been terrified that Charlie would just give him more numbers, telling him how pointless it was to hope.

Charlie must have seen him begin to crack because Charlie sat him down on the couch and held him. “I’d say congratulations but...”

“Don’t. Not yet. I can’t afford...”

“I know. I’ll hold on to hope for you until you’re ready.”

~

Don sat next to Anne on the exam table holding her hand. She fidgeted with her clothes as Charlie’s doctor made some notes. Don had thought Charlie was joking when he had introduced them to Dr. Goldman. The man looked like he’d never treated anything more complicated than a cold.

“You okay?” Don asked softly into Anne’s ear. She nodded and gave his hand a quick squeeze.

Dr. Goldman placed the folder on the small table and gave a gentle smile. “Well now, Miss Finnegan, Mr. Eppes I know you came hoping for a second opinion but I’m afraid I can’t change the original recommendation your other doctor provided…” Don’s heart sank. “However, I can’t say it isn’t worth trying if you’re willing to fight the fight. It will be a difficult pregnancy, however, honestly, I don’t see why this shouldn’t be a viable one. You’ve already made it to your second trimester, you are on full bed rest, correct?”

“Yes.” Anne replied with a nod.

“There is extensive damage and after the completion of this pregnancy I would recommend reconstructive surgery, especially if you’re planning to make a second go of it.”

Don and Anne looked at each other. Charlie who had been sitting in the corner snickered at what could only be the combined looks of panic on their faces. “Uh…we haven’t though that far ahead.”

“Still, it never hurts to plan for the future. I can recommend a very good surgeon with experience.” Dr. Goldman picked up a pad. “I’m going to write you a prescription for a couple of things that should help prevent early labor at least up until five months. After that, we’ll see.”

Don took the slip of paper. “Thank you.”

Dr. Goldman took off his glasses and peered at Anne. “I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but in my practice I had to throw out the text book a long time ago. I have seen damage like this before and far worse and it will be difficult but it’s not a reason to give up hope. The fetus is healthy and developing well right on schedule. It’ll just be a matter of giving it as much time as possible.”

Anne bit her lip, tears welling up. Don wrapped an arm around her, determined not to cry himself. He’d found himself doing it a lot lately and was determined to blame it completely on sympathetic hormones.

“I’m going to refer you to an OB/GYN I’ve worked with many times before. My receptionist can help you make any appointment. He’ll take good care of you and I want to be kept posted on your progress.”

Don nodded. “Thank you, Doctor.”

Dr. Goldman smiled. “Well, have a good day you two. And get plenty of rest,” he said before leaving.

Everyone left in the room let out a breath. Don gave Anne a long hug.

“See?” said Charlie. “Quick and painless.”

Don gave a little chuckle. “Where’d you find him, Charlie?”

“No idea. Colby dug him up for me a few years ago.”

Anne nodded. “I like him.”

Charlie laughed “You’ve never had to have his fingers up your ass while getting lectured on cholesterol.”

“No, I got his fingers up somewhere else.”

“Ah, but you avoided the cholesterol lecture.”

Anne smiled. “True.”

Don gave Anne’s back a quick rub, glad to see her smiling. It was his favorite look for her, one that had been sadly lacking the last few weeks.

“Come on, hun, let’s get you home.”

~

“Hey, Colby?” Don said, coming into the break room where Colby was committing crimes against coffee.

“Hey, Don, what can I do for you?”

Don scratched the back of his head and looked over his shoulder. “Um, yeah...so I met Charlie’s doctor yesterday.”

“Okay.” Colby replied carefully.

“I mean it was a thing and...”

Colby put his hands in the air. “None of my business.”

“Yeah, um...I was just wondering, where in the hell did you find that guy?”

Colby laughed. “Law library.”

“Say what?”

“Goldman vs. HUAC. I was doing some research into...stuff and...back in the day someone ratted on him to HUAC for discreetly treating homos, commies, and sexual deviants, when they subpoenaed his records he claimed doctor/patient confidentiality and when it looked like they were going to get them anyway, he torched his own office. State court held up doctor/patient confidentiality and threw out the case but he did time for the arson.”

Don’s eyebrows hit his hairline. “Really?”

“Yep, and when he got out he went right back to discreetly treating very grateful patients. I read all this, went looking for the guy, turned out he was still in LA and when I went poking around some message boards I found he’s still known for treating… well, homos, commies and sexual deviants.”

“Wow.”

Colby chuckled. “He looks like he walked out of central casting, doesn’t he?”

“Yep.”

“Hey, Don whatever’s going on, none of my business but he’s a good guy, been taking good care of Charlie, anything you’re not willing to do or can’t do he’ll work his way around it. Did you know Charlie can’t go under general anesthesia without an NSA officer present?”

“Really?”

“Yeah. He’s got a little card in his wallet with a number to call in case of emergency surgery. Charlie needed some stuff done a few years back, Goldman did it with a major local and let me hold Charlie’s hand the whole time.”

Don knew that little bit of information probably meant a lot more than he was up for processing now. “That’s good to know.”

“He’ll take care of you, Don, but he’s got a thing about cholesterol, do not walk into that office with a cheeseburger on your breath. You will never hear the end of it.”

Don nodded. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

 
 
 
Current Mood: soresore
 
 
 
Erinstarlettmalfoy on December 4th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
BABY?!

MARRIED?!?!

::dies::

BEST. CHAPTER. EV-AR.

:) I mean, I know the suspense involved, and the baby might not make it, but just the chance makes me squee. Don would be such a great father. I've always thought so, and have multiple times wished that the show would knock up one of his girls, lol. :P

Oh, and my favourite line:

"...my biggest monthly expenditures are chalk and lube."

Priceless.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
I was going for something no one would see coming. hope it worked.
(no subject) - tonisimone on December 4th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Devo79devo79 on December 4th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Homos, commies and sexual deviants are probably some of the nicest people I've ever met =)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
ditto :-) Every gay bar in the city had a little jar for the Doctors legal fund for a few months there.
mikes_grrl on December 4th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
CURVE BALL! Gahhh!!!

So I'm laying odds on who dies: Anne, or the baby. 50/50.

And WHAT will Don do then? Arrrggghhh.

I like this, how it was sprung on us, and especially because of the diametrically opposed emotions it involves: joy, for the baby and the marriage (and Alan WILL eviscerate Don, which should be amusing); vs. fear and worry about the pregnancy, and Anne, and the future.

Great plot twist! And where does Ian fit in here? What? *taps foot impatiently*

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
Ian fits, everyone fits.
(no subject) - paksenarrion2 on December 4th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
fredbassettfredbassett on December 4th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
OMG, baby??? Wow. Love the descriptions of the doctor.

Loving this series more and more.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
yes. baby.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Forget kindergarten, how about just taking the kid home from the hospital.
chocolate is not meant to be ice cream.ickysheep on December 4th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Finally I write you a review to your absolutely great work here. I'm LadyGray addicted for some weeks now and after posting my first review ever yesterday I decided to continue this new habit on your site.

ok, first of all I love your verse, especially the charlie/colby relationship, but also don and anne. Anne is a great character, even though she seems a bit like a female charlie to me. But I love charlie, so she's cool, too, and a compensation for all the Feds :)
I admire your charlie/colby writing, it's just amazing how colby just gets charlie in your fic. I really loved the chap when both of them were so insecure and angsty about why the adorable other one choose them...

While I love the vignettes verse with all its fluff and charlie/colby lovingness, this verse has another kind of deepness. you show charlie from a absolutely unknown side and yet it could be canon... very well done, really.

and this chap was just great, really surprising twist in the plot, even though I think there will be lots of don, anne and charlie in the next chaps and that's pretty hard for my charlie/colby addicted brain, but I guess, when I get withdrawal symptoms I just reread your other fics.

thank you for beautifying my day, I'm looking forward to your post tomorrow (just like I every day :))

Ickysheep

mistakes are not mine and even though I'm no native speaker so I'm aloud to write shit :P
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
Well thank you for the review and I'm glad you're liking this. Don't worry I'll keep up as much Charlie/Colby as I can. I know what my fans like.
ninou1ninou1 on December 4th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad for Don and Anne, but I'm depressed at the mere thought of this baby being the human living ending up dead...
If this is the case I might just go crawl in a hole and never get out...
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
Do you really think I'd kill Don's baby?
(no subject) - ninou1 on December 4th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
idle_devilidle_devil on December 4th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
HOMG! This chapter totally blew me out of the water, in the best possible way!!! *wanders off smiling crazily*
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Good to know.
riverotter1951: lily of the valleyriverotter1951 on December 4th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
This is so sweet with Charlie offering Don the house and then a check to remodel Anne's loft as well as the name of the man to do the remodeling. Excellent with Doctor Goldman who is determined to help Don and Anne have this baby despite the long odds.

The last section between Don and Colby is perfect. Don learns more about Doctor Goldman: anything you’re not willing to do or can’t do he’ll work his way around it. and Charlie as well.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 4th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
I could always picture those being the first words out of Charlie's mouth. 'do you want the house?' if for no other reason Don having a kid is a huge pressure off Charlie.
DarkEly: Familyelysium1996 on December 4th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
enjoyable chapter as always and lots of good lines

the one that I think make me laugh the hardest.. is

"Don said, coming into the break room where Colby was committing crimes against coffee."

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 5th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
I'm rather fond of that line myself. Thanks.
PenguinGoddessclonus7 on December 5th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
I am so addicted to this story... and I just came across it the other day. I'm a big fan of Don and Colby and never really thought about the Charlie/Colby ship... but now, I'm hooked. I've been reading your other works, and all I can say is Thank you. Thank you for thinking and writing and sharing. You have a way with words.

"...my biggest monthly expenditures are chalk and
lube." - LMAO!

Loved it! And I would love to read Alan's reaction to Don's marriage... and everyone's elses too!



Edited at 2008-12-05 03:34 am (UTC)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 5th, 2008 06:46 am (UTC)
Well welcome and thank you. It's always good to see someone new around. From here on out the whitman stories are probubly going to bounce back and forth from Don focous to Charlie/Colby focous. 5 is a Charlie/colby piece, six is Don, seven is more Colby and Don, eight Charlie and nine is Ian/Martin. Yes I have 5 more stories planned out. :)
twins_m0m on December 5th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
I'm proud of Charlie for stepping up and offering to take care of Don and Anne. It shows he's matured a bit. I'll be biting my nails, hoping the baby will be okay. I spent three weeks in a NICU watching over one of my girls. They were born at 34 weeks, underweight (one very underweight), but thankfully healthy. The hardest thing was to go home to sleep, having to leave her there. I'll also never forget the sights of the babies born barely alive, struggling to survive. With all the warning buzzers going off, an NICU is one of the noisiest places I've ever been.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 5th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
*Hugs* I'm glad your girls are okay. Don's going to be spending a bit of time in a NICU ward before all is said and done.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 6th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
Don needs lots of hugs right now. He's just a little too proud to ask for them.
Mia: don charlie colbymia_dcwut_09 on December 25th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
alan is goin to kill don for not telling him that
a) hes married
and
b) grandchild is on the way lol
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 26th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Yeah. Alan's not going to be too happy at Don when he finds out.
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 17th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Hugs Anne and Don :(. I loved that Don told Charlie and that Charlie was so supportive. It was a lovely brotherly moment. It's one of those moments where you want to say congratulations, but don't want to jinx it. Alan will be upset that Don married Anne that way, but I think he'll understand why when they finally tell him, and it's not like they can't do it 'properly' with the white dress, the church and the big party once circumstances are more suitable.

It's not the sort of bombshell I was expecting, but it's full of impact nonetheless.

Laura.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 17th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
Well I was going for a surprise twist. And yes the can certainly have a proper wedding when the timing is better.