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09 December 2008 @ 07:19 am
A Woman Waits for Me 19/39  

Title: A Woman Waits for Me
Chapter: 19/39
Author: ladygray99
Pairing: Charlie/Colby
Summary: When Don’s life slides into the darkness only family will help him find his way out. – Charlie puts pen to paper and Colby and Martin have a talk.
Rating: R
Word Count: 2,277
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 Part 4 of Whitman ‘verse. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Authors Notes: Sorry if I’ve been a little late responding to feedback. I’ve been a little unwell but I do love to hear any feelings you have about my writing.
Betas:swingandswirl and riverotter1951



Part 19

The Logic of War



Alan let himself into the house, nudging the door open with a hip, arms filled with groceries. It was a trick he’d mastered years ago. He idly wondered if he could still do it with a screaming baby in one arm. With any luck, he’d be able to find out. He and Anne had talked until Don came by at two to take her to the doctor’s.

It was after three. The house was quiet of everything but the sound of computer keys and the soft rustle of paper. In the dining room Charlie was typing frantically away on his laptop while Colby sorted through stacks of papers and maps. Sherwood was hunched over a stack of printouts in the living room, looking more like an English teacher marking them with one of Charlie’s red pens.

“Is the world still here?” Alan asked the house at large.

“For the time being.” Charlie answered, not looking up from his computer.

“Good, I’m doing a baked fish for dinner. You know, brain food.”

“Sounds great.” Charlie’s voice still sounded brittle.

Alan shook his head and went into the kitchen to unload the groceries. The store had had a deal on propane tanks. Alan had resisted the urge to buy several. Not for the grill out back, but for the stove at the little one room fishing cabin in the Sierras, remote enough to possibly be out of the path of fallout or war.

He’d walked by the tanks in the end, telling himself that if it ever came to that, Charlie would tell him when it was closer to a good time to run.

Alan finished putting away the groceries, made a sandwich and headed to the living room.

He sat across from Sherwood who, despite removing his jacket and tie, still managed to look immaculate.

“How goes the great work?” Alan asked.

“It’s a first draft.”

“That good?”

“Well Charlie needs to realize that committee is spelled with two e’s and two t’s and two m’s.” Alan gave a snort. “He also needs to realize that inbred congenital idiots is not the best way to describe the Joint Chiefs.”

Alan sighed. “Well, at least he has respect for authority.”

Sherwood finished editing the page in his hand and picked up the next. “Once you get past the ranting what Charlie is writing could effect the most profound change on how we see ourselves as a nation in relation to other nations since Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense.”

Alan reached over and picked up a pile of marked papers covered in red spelling corrections. “The Logic, Theory, and Practice of War and Its Relation to and Effects on the United States of America by Doctor Charles Edward Eppes.” Alan read.

“It’s brilliant, unfortunately no one is going to read it.”

“Then what’s the point?”

“The half-dozen people who need to read it to get us out of this mess will read it, then it will be stamped classified and dumped into the same dark hole as Hoover’s dresses and the Roswell aliens.”

Alan’s eyebrows shot up. “There are really Roswell aliens?”

Sherwood shrugged. “Who knows?” He shook a piece of paper. “This needs to be published in every American newspaper and magazine, splattered across the internet. If we’re lucky, in a decade someone might leak it.”

“Well, that’s reassuring.” Alan said with a sigh.

“Mr. Eppes, I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing that you tried to raise your sons to be men of peace.”

“I don’t see how it could be a bad thing.”

Sherwood shrugged. “Agent Eppes was the youngest tactics instructor Quantico ever had. He rewrote the book and every time he hits the field he rewrites it again. He takes losing an agent so badly because he doesn’t lose agents. Granger has said more than once in his cups that he’d give his left nut to have had Don as a CO in Afghanistan.” Alan shivered at the thought. “And Charlie. Well, you taught Charlie how to play chess.”

“Lots of people play chess, Agent Sherwood.”

“Chess was designed to turn young princes into warrior kings, how to think strategically, laterally, cruelly on occasion. Charlie is a crown prince of the Ivory Tower with an ability to learn like few others. The military gave him a stack of data and he just turned it into chess without a second thought.” Sherwood sighed. “If Don and Charlie ever put their heads together they could probably take over the world. And sadly enough, the world would probably be better off for it.”

Alan flipped a few pages into Charlie’s writing. It was a little hard to read between the ranting and bad spelling but Alan got the gist and like everything Charlie did, it was brilliant.

“Charlie,” Alan called out. “Committee has two e’s.”

~

Don entered his family’s home carefully, more than a little wary of what he could find. He took the fact that he couldn’t hear hysterical screams or sobs as a good sign.

Colby waved him in from the dining room.

“Hey, Don.”

“Hey.” Charlie didn’t look up from his computer.

Don gave a quick nod to the other man at the table. “Agent Sherwood.”

“Agent Eppes.”

Alan came out from the kitchen. “Donnie. How was Anne’s check up?”

Charlie’s head shot up. “Shit. Sorry Don, I forgot, I...”

“It’s okay.” Don said quickly. “It went fine. In fact, I’ve got something for you.” Don took a couple of pictures out of an envelope and put them next to Charlie’s laptop. He pointed to a black and white blur. “Look. Little feet.” Everyone quickly gathered around. “And little hands, and look at the size of that head. Head that size, I’m not sure if he got your brains or your ego, Chuck.” Charlie gave a tired chuckle and gently touched the photo. Don felt his father’s hand on his shoulder.

“A son?” Alan asked.

“Yep.” Don pointed to another blur. “No question on that front.” Everyone tilted their head to the side a bit and did a little mental upscaling.

“Well he won’t have any worries in gym class.” Charlie said. Everyone chuckled. Charlie picked up the photo and gazed at it for a long moment before handing it to Don.

“Keep it.”

Charlie nodded. “I’m sorry, Don,” he said quietly.

Don gave his brother’s shoulder a squeeze. “Hey, you keep trying, I’ll keep trying. Deal?”

Charlie nodded. “Deal.”

Don looked over Charlie’s shoulder to the laptop screen. “Committee has two e’s.”

~

Colby finished off his cup of coffee as he paced about the dinning room, not really tasting it. He knew he should be in bed and Charlie should be in bed as well, but that was not going to happen any time soon. Charlie had wandered back off to the garage to try to sort out a few numbers while Martin did a final edit on the first draft of the Logic of War.

“Is there any more coffee?” Martin asked.

“I think we emptied the pot.”

Martin finished off the last page and stood, stretching his arms over his head, bending back like a cat.

As much as Colby hated to admit it he could see this man with Charlie. Only a hair taller than Charlie, he had plain brown hair, average brown eyes, and a face that could morph between instantly forgettable and seriously intimidating. Even in situations verging on being national emergencies, Colby had never heard him even attempt to give Charlie a direct order. Everything was phrased as a question or, at most, a polite suggestion. Colby had learned over the years that that really was the best way to get Charlie to do anything and Martin had, apparently, over years of being Charlie’s handler, learned it as well.

The thing that really gave Colby the slight twist of jealousy was the fact that Charlie had simply been able to ask this man for the pain he craved whereas Colby had been more or less conned and coerced into it. Of course, Colby knew he would not have reacted well to a direct request, not having any real understanding of what Charlie would have been asking for, whereas Charlie swore up and down that Martin had ‘sub’ written all over his face. Colby kept looking but didn’t see it.

“Do I have something on my face, Agent Granger?” Martin asked.

“Huh? Oh.” Colby shook his head. “Sorry, just staring into space.”

“And my face happened to be between you and space?”

“I guess.”

“You should get some rest.” Martin advised.

Colby shook his head. “I’ll crash when Charlie does.”

“So devoted.” Martin said coolly. Colby peered at him, not quite liking the tone.

“Something to say, Agent Sherwood?”

“Not at all. Just commenting that Charlie is lucky to have someone so purely devoted. It’s a rare thing.” he answered with a slight smile.

“I suppose it is.”

“And it’s good to have a place, isn’t it, where things fit together neatly?”

Colby squinted at the agent. “I don’t know if Charlie and I have ever fit neatly.”

“Of course you do. It may have taken time for you both to realize it but in your natural forms, in your moments of pure instinct, you two slide right into place beside each other.”

“Is that why you didn’t stay with Charlie? You didn’t slide into place with each other?”

“Oh we slid quite nicely into place, but I fear what we brought out in each other was not something...survivable in the long term if we had let it solidify.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Charlie is fluid, he shifts and evolves, his desires are broad and far reaching, he makes a place for himself anywhere, with anyone, as naturally as we breathe. He needs to be able to do that, it’s part of what makes him remarkable. I only have one place that is truly natural for me and that would have locked Charlie into something he did not want.”

“And what place is natural for you?”

Colby watched as Martin’s face shifted, became soft, young, submissive. He closed his eyes and sank as gracefully to his knees as any dancer, back straight, head bowed, hands clasped behind it. Colby’s breath caught in his throat as something primal swelled in his chest.

“You will never have anything to fear from me.” Martin said softly. “I would never be more than a sad burden to Dr. Eppes, unable to truly fulfill his desires.” Colby felt his hand begin to reach out against the will of his higher brain. “I am meant, perhaps, to be claimed by a man more like yourself, a man who acknowledges my place.”

Colby felt his pulse spike as his hand hovered over Martin’s head, the desire to grasp a handful of perfectly placed hair, yank that head back, savagely claim the body that was being so willingly offered. Martin opened his eyes. Colby snatched his hand back as if burned. Martin stood. His face morphed back into that of Agent Sherwood, NSA.

“Amazing, isn’t it, how easy it is just to give in to our natural states?”

Colby swallowed hard and took a half step back. “I’m...I’m going to go make more coffee.” he stuttered out.

Sherwood gave a cold smile. “Of course.”

Colby beat a hasty retreat to the kitchen.

~

Alan bounced nervously outside the LAX security gates. Charlie had been putting final touches to his master work until the last minute and everyone was running late. Charlie and Martin were doing one last double-check of everything before they hit security and there was no turning back.

“Now, you sure you got everything you need, buddy?” Don asked.

“Yeah.” Charlie said with a nod.

“Try to get some sleep on the plane.” Colby said, running his hand over Charlie’s tired face.

“I’ll be fine.” Charlie looked at his brother. “Keep me posted?” he asked.

“Anything happens you’ll be the first to know.”

“Good.”

“Hey, Charlie, I’ve got something for you.” Colby said, handing over a small black box.

Charlie looked confused and carefully opened it. “Your purple heart?”

“Remind you what you’re out there for.” Charlie nodded and slipped the box in his pocket.

Colby leaned in and kissed Charlie gently. A woman passing by stopped and made an affronted noise and opened her mouth to begin to say something. Alan prepared himself to shout this woman down. Without breaking off the kiss Colby brushed back his suit jacket, showing off his badge and gun. The woman turned, her nose in the air, and walked off. Colby broke off the kiss and gave Charlie a peck on the forehead.

“Go save the world.”

Charlie turned and looked at the retreating back of the woman. He sighed. “For all good, God-fearing Americans.”

Colby shrugged. Charlie gave him a peck on the cheek and got into the security line.

Once Charlie was in line, Sherwood pulled a thick envelope out of a shoulder bag and handed it to Alan.

“If you would be kind enough to keep this for posterity, Mr. Eppes?”

Alan weighed it in his hand. “What is it?”

“The first draft of The Logic of War by Dr. Charles Eppes, complete with spectacular spelling errors and half mad ravings.”

Alan nodded. “Something for the history books.”

“Perhaps one day, yes.”

Sherwood gave a slight nod to Don and Colby and went to join Charlie in line.

Alan looked to Don and Colby who both seemed lost in their own thoughts. “There they go to save us from ourselves.”

“Yeah,” said Don slowly “but who’s going to save them from them?”

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Current Mood: sicksick
 
 
 
Erinstarlettmalfoy on December 8th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
I really love that Sherwood just gave Alan a draft. The whole time that they were talking about how it needed to be seen by everyone, I was thinking of Alan and his involvement in the peace movements years ago, and how if anyone had the guts to leak it, it would be him.

Sherwood on his knees in front of Colby was one of the most disturbing yet fitting things ever. I think my emotions were just as tangled as Colby's during that scene.

I'm sorry you're not feeling well, love! ::sends some chicken soup over to you:: I hope you get better soon!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 8th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm feeling a little better but a bit spacy right now.
I don't know if Alan would leek that draft. The spellings pretty bad but maybe draft two.
And yes Martin on his knees kinda screwed with Colby's head.
ninou1ninou1 on December 8th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Really nice chapter.

Yeah for "the little feet" and Charlie going to save the world.

I suppose Colby can't be mad about Charlie flirting with Ian now that he knows that "it's esay to give in to our natural states"

Get well soon and take care
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 8th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yeah for little feet. :-)
And thank you. I'm starting to feel better.
Lizardlazar_grrl on December 8th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Colby watched as Martin’s face shifted, became soft, young, submissive. He closed his eyes and sank as gracefully to his knees as any dancer, back straight, head bowed, hands clasped behind it. Colby’s breath caught in his throat as something primal swelled in his chest.

You and me both, man. Whoa.

As noted above, I think eventually Alan's going to be the one to leak it. At the very least, I think that a number of trusted media outlets, academics, and whichever of his old comrades are still around when he passes will be getting some...interesting packages.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 8th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
Maybe. Maybe not. Alan does have some other priorities right now. We'll just have to wait and see.
(no subject) - lazar_grrl on December 8th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pakspaksenarrion2 on December 8th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
I loved how casually everyone kept telling Charlie that committee has two e's.

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 8th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
As someone who can't spell I can tell you that after a while it just starts to happen like that.
(no subject) - paksenarrion2 on December 9th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ame: Bare Trees Ame byamejisuto on December 8th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Wow.

Okay so I've finally managed to go through and catch up on this entire verse and I've got to say ... BRAVO! Really great story, probably one of the best BDSM stories I've read in any fandom, up there with Broken Beautiful. Up there with that story on the angst too!

Charlie is just so fractured but Colby is the glue that keeps him together. Everyone is just so messed up but it makes them real and I hurt for them and it's just so damn good.

This bit of storyline has me on the edge of my seat. It's not Charlie's fault, not really, but the angst and the guilt and the fucked-upedness, not that that's a word, had me in tears. I really hope that Charlie is able to knock some sense into people. GAH! I can't wait for tomorrow!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 8th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
Well congratulations and thank you. That's a lot to catch up on. I'm glad you're enjoying this. I haven't read Broken Beautiful but I've heard the name dropped a couple of times.
(no subject) - starlettmalfoy on December 8th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nighean_isis on December 9th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nighean_isis on December 9th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 07:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - starlettmalfoy on December 9th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 07:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nighean_isis on December 9th, 2008 10:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amejisuto on December 9th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
fredbassettfredbassett on December 8th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
Oh god, that moment between Martin and Colby was just perfect.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

This series is so fabulous that words fail me. Can I just yell LOVE IT and bounce up and down a lot waggling my floppy ears?
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
Thank you. :-)
I'm starting to feel better. Actually got out of the house today instead of laying in bed and trying to die. Glad you're enjoying this. Fair warning tomorrow is a long chapter but very important.
tonisimonetonisimone on December 8th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
liitle feet

*giggle*

Here ye, Here ye!
the long awaited heir to the Eppes name is a boy!!!!!!!!


toni
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
Yep! It's a boy!
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on December 9th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
This is excellent.: “You will never have anything to fear from me.” Martin said softly. “I would never be more than a sad burden to Dr. Eppes, unable to truly fulfill his desires.” Colby felt his hand begin to reach out against the will of his higher brain. “I am meant, perhaps, to be claimed by a man more like yourself, a man who acknowledges my place.”" Hopefully Martin will find a man like Colby.

Wonderful with Alan getting the first draft of 'The Logic of War.' Hopefully it can eventually be published or circulated.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
hummmm. Well Ian's single ;-)
mikes_grrl on December 9th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
Everyone tilted their head to the side a bit and did a little mental upscaling.

Amidst the worry about Armageddon, that made me laugh! heheh...

So of course the big thing is MARTIN!!! I love him now, I truly do. I adore how self-aware and self-confidant he is about his identity and what/who he wants (a nice change of pace from the Eppes drama...lol!). I'm sure he has his own foibles but I love him here, just putting everything on the table because he CAN, because it is no threat to him. *loves on Martin*

Most interesting to me here? Colby. He's so in love with Charlie, he's so bound by his need for penance, he's so INTO the relationship, he seems to have missed the fact that he is a natural Dom. I go back to that scene where Don was beating his head on the wall and Colby was just THERE, stopping him, taking charge. Funny, because he is not a top on the job -- but maybe this is how he deals with so much of the powerless he feels in his work. I don't know but I think it is fascinating. It's part of who he is and yet he barely even recognizes it, outside of "what I need to do for Charlie's sake."

Like everyone else I love the touch of Martin giving Alan the first draft -- that will be an important historical document, indeed. Nice.

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Yeah. colby really has yet to accept his Dom side as being a natural part of him. In a lot of ways he still considers it something dark and bad that needs to be controlled and only let out in small bits when Charlie needs it. He very seldom lets it out when he needs it. The fact that a lot of what Charlie does is topping from the bottom doesn't help. Martin's the first complete sub he's really been in contact with and it's throwing him for a bit of a loop.

As for Martin's foibles, he was custum made for Whitman 'verse. that means he's more screwed up than Charlie in a lot of ways but you'll have to wait for Whitman 5 for that. he also has more than one motive for doing what he did with Colby. and I'm glad the little laugh worked.
(no subject) - mikes_grrl on December 9th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - starlettmalfoy on December 9th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 09:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Yep, Don's getting a mini me and don't worry Colby would never cheat on Charlie.
wcpjfditdov on December 9th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
Yay! Subby Martin. I love how his tone of voice changes - it sounds like a cat purring. I want to mess up his perfectly placed hair as well :) even though he will probably kill me the next instant or make sure I disappear forever.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he's a little touchy about the hair. Don't mess with the hair but he's been well trained and knows how to bring just the right kind of reaction out of a person with just a look or tone of voice.
twins_m0m on December 11th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
It's interesting that Martin picked a profession so far from his inner sub. Still, he seems a bit more in tune with who he is than Colby does at the moment. Colby still seems to believe he's just helping Charlie, not that he's getting anything in return.

Loved everyone correcting Charlie's spelling. Also loved how Colby didn't care what that lady thought about his goodbye kiss to Charlie. Good for him. And yeah for Martin leaving the first draft with Alan. Nice touch.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 11th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
The NSA more picked Martin than the other way around. Martin's been trained to follow orders, be loyal, and take care of people. It's actually a pretty good fit.
Mia: charlie/colbymia_dcwut_09 on December 26th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
hmmm...wonder if charlie would have walked in during their conversation someone would have been in trouble.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 26th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
Charlie's going to find out in Whitman 5.
(no subject) - mia_dcwut_09 on December 26th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 17th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
This was a chapter of little things, little details that individually aren't much, but together they build a bigger picture. There were lots of little moments in conversations and observations. Things like Alan deciding not to buy gas tanks for the cabin, the constantly having to remind Charlie that there are two 'e's in committee, Don bringing his scan pictures home for everyone to see. I liked that Martin gave Alan Charlie's first draft for future posterity.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the Sherwood-Colby scene. I don't quite know why Sherwood was cool towards Colby, or why he went to his knees like that. What was he trying to say or prove? It seemed like more than putting Colby at ease about the lack of competition Martin was. And poor Colby's now got some thoughts and feelings to work out...which could be interesting ;).

I've got my fingers crossed that the President and the Joint Chiefs listen to Charlie.

Laura.
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 17th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
Sherwood's a little messed up himself and honestly a little jealous. As for what he wants? Well you'll have to wait for the next story for a good answer to that one.
kdoriankdorian on February 24th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
Heh. OK, now I'm pretty sure that my original though on what living person dies was completely wrong. Which is excellent, in that I now have a new and completely different theory. I love having to keep guessing!

Also, committee has 2 Es, Charlie! :D
ladygray99ladygray99 on February 24th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're having fun. You're probubly going to be horribly disappointed when the moment comes because it really is a pretty big mislead but please keep reading. And yes committee has two Es