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10 December 2008 @ 04:34 am
A Woman Waits for Me 20/39  
Title: A Woman Waits for Me
Chapter: 20/39
Author: ladygray99
Pairing: Charlie/Colby
Summary: When Don’s life slides into the darkness only family will help him find his way out. – Charlie’s in DC and Alan wants a heart to heart.
Rating: NC17
Word Count: 5,400
Warning: BDSM
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 19
Authors Notes: This is a long one folks but important. I’d like feedback, especially on Alan and Colby’s conversation.
Betas: swingandswirl and riverotter1951

Part 20

The Taste of Tequila

Lots of Tequila

Colby worked diligently over a back log of paperwork. A day with the ‘flu’ and the paperwork fairies had gone into overtime. Charlie had promised to call when he landed in DC. Colby checked his watch. It would be another hour, easy.

“Hey, Colby,” Don said, flopping down into an empty chair. “How much math have you picked up from Charlie?”

“A little, but mostly on the conceptual level. Why?”

Don handed over a map with dots all over it.

Random daylight robberies.”

Colby looked at the map. “They’re too even, random isn’t.”

“I know. I need hot zones.”

Colby shook his head and put his hands in the air. “Don’t look at me. That involves calculus in its easiest forms and that I haven’t picked up.”

“Know anyone who has?”



“Oh, that’s right.” Colby went through his mental Rolodex of people Charlie associated with and realized that a disturbingly small number of them were actually other mathematicians.

“What about Charlie’s assistant,” Don asked. “Bonnie, Betty?”

Colby shook his head. “She quit a month ago, during the Macintyre case. Took one look at the crime scene photos and resigned.”

“How many assistants does that make?” Don asked.

“I don’t know. Too many.”

“Nothing personal, man, but there are days I miss Amita. She at least had a strong stomach.”

Colby snapped his fingers. “Ask Matt Li. He and Amita usually worked on about the same level, I know he’s still using some of her software. Maybe he’s got something.”

Don pointed at Colby. “Now that’s an idea.”


Charlie’s shoes echoed on the marble floor as he passed easily through security. He checked his watch. He was twenty minutes early for his Oval meeting but the odds that the President was behind schedule were pretty good. No one got in his way as he made his way to the Oval Office. Not even the staff he recognized tried to stop him or even greet him. Charlie knew he and Martin probably looked like two of the Four Horsemen stalking down the hall. Charlie had to admit he sort of felt like it.

John Murphy stopped him right outside the foyer to the Oval Office.

“Dr. Eppes.” the Chief of Staff greeted. Charlie was in no mood for pleasantries.

“I blame you, Murphy. You should have known. You should have taken one look and known it wasn’t my work.” Murphy gave a little cough and looked away. “You have my number, you could have at least called.”

Murphy gave a snort. “You sound like my ex.”

“I sound like my ex.”

Murphy sighed. “The President is worried about his legacy.”

“Better to be forgotten than remembered for this.”

“I wouldn’t use that argument going in there.”

Charlie tilted his head back grasping at his own hair in raw frustration. “I was trained in the rigors of logical argument and thought when I was four. I have LAPD thinking in terms of game theory now and every time I come out here it’s like going down the rabbit hole. I say things that make 100% perfect sense and no one listens.”

“Welcome to politics, Dr. Eppes.”


Don watched as math crawled slowly across the white board. Very slowly. Matt froze and stared at the ceiling.

“Matt.” Don snapped.

“Don, I haven’t done raw calculus since college. Charlie showed me how to do this once, quickly, five years ago. Cut me a little slack.”

“Its squiggles on a map, it can’t be that hard. I mean, you’re a smart guy.”

Matt put down the whiteboard marker with some force. “Yes, Don, I am a smart guy, and in case you haven’t noticed your brother redefines genius every time he opens his mouth. Most people don’t even try to keep up with him when he’s on a roll.”

“You always managed to keep up with Amita and she kept up with Charlie.”

Don got hit with a ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ look. “Amita never managed to keep up with Charlie, I mean, yeah, she was majorly smart and did his programming because he finds it tedious, but believe me, he was slowing down his pace so she could keep up and ‘cause when he did run ahead she’d get pissed and he was trying to get laid. That’s why no one could believe it when she decided to stay with CalSci, she was signing up to be permanently second fiddle to the guy she was sleeping with. And for as much as Charlie slowed down stuff for her, I couldn’t have developed her image enhancement algorithms on the best of days.”

Don sighed and dropped his head into his hands. “Matt, just do the math.”

Matt looked at the board. “Can’t we call Charlie?”

“He’s in a closed-door meeting with the President of the United States. No, this once, we can’t call Charlie.”


Charlie leaned heavily on the President’s desk. He took a moment to calculate the growth rate of the tree from the wood grain beneath his fingers. Behind him, generals and military advisers argued amongst themselves about the validity of Charlie’s calculations, calculations they didn’t even understand. Charlie raised his head and looked at the President.

“Mr. President, if you continue on this course of action, it will be the stupidest decision in the history of the human species.”

The room went quiet.

“Our strategists assured us...” Charlie whipped around to the general that was speaking. “...with a few minor alterations...”

“Tell me, General,” Charlie cut in. “From which university did your strategists pick up their doctorates in applied mathematics?”

“Well, they...” the general stuttered.

“What gives them or you the gall to think you have even a fraction of the intelligence needed to make ‘minor alterations’ to my work? There are twenty people on earth who have the ability to do what I do and half of them are insane and none of the rest work for you. I...”

The President stood. The room got quiet again.

“I have another meeting to attend. I will read what you have written tonight, Dr. Eppes, and take it under advisement. We’ll discuss this again after morning briefing tomorrow.”

“Yes, Mr. President.” Was the reply given by the room as everyone shuffled out.


Colby watched as Don paced about the war room, Matt still working diligently through half-remembered equations.

“How’s Anne?” Colby asked as Don paced into his space.

Don sighed. “Do you know where to find cashew nut butter in this town at two in the morning?”

“No...” Colby answered slowly.

“All-night Middle Eastern food specialty store. Right between the brined chickpeas and the pickled eggplant. Aisle 5.”

Colby nodded. “Good to know.”


Charlie leaned against the wall outside the Oval Office. He pulled the picture Don had given him out of a pocket. A lieutenant who was in the meeting but hadn’t said anything paused as he walked by.

“What’s that?” he asked.

Charlie held up the little sonogram picture. “My nephew. First new Eppes since me.”

“Congratulations.” The lieutenant said.

Charlie shrugged. “We’ll see. The doctors still aren’t holding out lots of hope but…” Charlie held out the photo. “He looks strong. He… he looks like a fighter already.”


Matt drew a line carefully around an eight square block section of the Silverlake district. He slowly raised his arms in victory.

“I think I’ve got it.”


Colby felt weird entering the house with Charlie out of town. He knew he shouldn’t, he practically lived there, he had a key, and had personally cleaned out the gutters the previous December when it became very obvious the Charlie would never get around to it. Still…

Alan came out of the kitchen and looked at him.

“Hi, Alan, I just need to grab some paperwork, I’ll be out of your way.”

“Stay, Colby, I was about to have a drink. You should join me.”

Colby froze. The tone of Alan’s voice made it clear that this was an order and not a request.

Colby smiled. “Sure.”

He cringed internally when Alan pulled out a bottle and two glasses. It was tequila, not even really high-end tequila, and the bottle was full. Colby told himself that as long as he stayed to one or two he’d be fine.

Alan sat down at the table, put the other shot glass in front of the seat across from him and the tequila bottle between them.

Shit.’ Colby thought and sat down. Alan poured the first piss yellow shot. Something must have shown on Colby’s face.

“Don’t like tequila?” Alan asked.

“I’m more of a bourbon guy.”

“Are you registered to vote in California?”

“Yes.” Colby answered with confusion.

“Fine, then you can drink tequila like the rest of us.” Alan threw back his first shot without so much as a blink. Colby ignored the desire to ask for at least salt and threw back his. It landed in his stomach like a rock and he suddenly wished he’d had more than a tuna sandwich for dinner. Alan poured another shot for each of them.

Alan tipped his back and Colby followed suit. Well, at least he now knew where Charlie got his taste for the vile stuff from. Not to mention the ability for guys as small as Charlie and Don to hold way more liquor than one would guess.

“What’s wrong with Charlie?” Alan suddenly asked.

Colby shook his head. “Neither of us are drunk enough for that question, Alan.”

“Fine.” Alan poured them both another shot. “Keep drinking.”

Colby tipped back his third shot, then his forth. By the fifth the stuff was actually starting to taste okay. He looked across the table at Alan who didn’t even have flushed cheeks yet where as Colby could feel his already going red.

Colby shook his head as Alan poured a sixth shot.

“I shouldn’t,” he said but his lips were feeling funny, like they weren’t quite connected to his mouth. He half wondered if Alan had somehow spiked his drink but Alan was drinking from the same bottle.

Alan threw back his shot and Colby followed, the tuna sandwich already starting to voice an objection to its new company.

Alan poured a seventh but he just sipped at that one, giving Colby permission to do the same.

“What’s wrong with Donnie?” Alan asked.

Colby blinked a few times. His eyelids felt like his lips. He’d been thinking about what to tell Alan about Charlie, classic interrogation technique. Ask a question then pull a 180 on the next one.

“He’s too fucking good at his job.” Colby said without pausing to think. “He should be an AD in Washington or running an entire field office somewhere but he’s too damn good at what he does. The Bureau’s not going to let him out unless he threatens to quit or gets crippled or something.” Colby sipped at his drink. “He’s like Charlie, he thinks he can change the world through force of will. Like if he catches every bad guy the world won’t make new ones. He burned out years ago and everyone knows it and no one can figure out how he’s even still standing.”

“He put his gun to his head in front of me.”

Colby tossed back the rest of his drink and poured himself another. “Yep.” Colby drank another shot, having now officially lost count. “Ghosts, Alan. They whisper in your ear, keep you up at night, don’t let you sleep, make it cold, tell you you’re a worthless shit, a disgrace to the uniform, and it would be so easy to join them, one shot and you can do the haunting instead.” He chuckled darkly. “I’m from five generations of American soldiers, I grew up with the ghosts of all the men my father killed in combat. I knew my own would be waiting for me. They don’t tell you about ghosts at Quantico. They should. There are agents who go their entire careers, never pull their gun once, Don’s got all the ghosts of the ones he’s killed but those aren’t the worst ones, those guys are assholes, you ignore them. The ghosts of the ones you didn’t save, the victims you weren’t fast enough, or smart enough to save, innocent bystanders, the agents he’s lost, the ghosts blame him, he blames himself. Living ghosts, the ones he’s sent to the row, their lawyers asking over and over, are you sure, are you sure, are you sure until you’re not sure anymore.”

Alan tossed back two shots in quick succession as Colby talked.

“When Don started getting bitchy a few months back everyone though it was the beginning of the end, whatever was holding him up was finally crumbling.” Colby poured another drink for himself and another one for Alan. “If Anne loses that baby it’ll be one ghost too many. He’ll either quit and take some dead-end job somewhere, drink himself into a coma, do something spectacularly stupid in the field, or just eat his gun.”

Alan looked quietly at his drink before sipping at it. Colby did the same but found he missed his lips on the first try.

‘Oh, shit,’ was the very simple thought.

“What’s wrong with Charlie, what broke him?” Alan asked.

Colby was still together enough to shake his head. “Not my secrets to tell, Alan, and there’s no amount of fermented cactus juice that’s going to get it out of me.”

Alan poured a half shot into Colby’s glass, finishing off the bottle. Colby looked at the empty bottle in horror, then looked at his watch. They’d cleaned out a bottle of low-end Jose Cuervo in under 20 minutes and Colby could feel it hit his head like a brick.

“Are you trying to kill me, Alan?” Colby slurred. “‘Cause if you are my spare Glock is in a case under Charlie’s bed and it’ll be a lot quicker and if you empty out a plastic soda bottle and stick it over the end you can even have a silencer so the neighbors don’t call the cops.”

“Thank you for that bit of information but no, I’m not trying to kill you. Drink your drink.”

Colby took the half shot and swallowed it. Alan got up on bizarrely steady legs, went to the liquor cabinet and pulled out a second bottle.

Colby frowned. “How much tequila have you got in there?” he asked.

“Charlie bought them for a margarita night that got blown off for a case.”


Alan twisted the cap off a second bottle and poured. A little sloshed onto the table, which Alan quickly mopped up with a sleeve. For some reason Colby found this funny and began to giggle.

“Why’s Charlie on medication?”

“Mood swings.” Colby answered before downing his drink.

“What mood swings?”

Colby tried for his best ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ face. “He stays awake for three days in a row living off coffee and math then crashes down, binges on lemon meringue, then won’t get out of bed for a week, mood swings.”

“So?” Alan said sharply, “His mother did the same thing. Some weeks it was up at 4 in the morning organizing the PTA and Little League, other weeks the only thing that got her up were the boys begging for breakfast and she’d be in bed by six. It didn’t kill her.”

Colby put his face in his hands. “Oh, that explains so much,” he said softly to himself and desperately prayed that he’d be able to remember that bit of information once he sobered up. Colby sat up straight a little too quickly, the blood rushed out of his head and the tequila rushed in. The room spun and Colby grabbed the table. “They almost killed Charlie ‘cause after three days at the boards he was sneaking out of the house and going to all the wrong kinds of bars and clubs to get picked up by all the wrong kinds of people and getting himself in stupid, dangerous situations then dragging his bloody beaten ass home and sitting in the kitchen eating an entire pie while seriously considering putting one of the kitchen knives through his own wrist and then not getting out of bed for a week so no one could see the worst of whatever injury he’d gotten. That’s why he’s medicated. The drugs take off the sharp tips. He still stays awake for days on end but doesn’t try to sneak out when he’s done and he still binges on pie but he’s not completely suicidal while he’s doing it anymore and unless he agrees to electro shock therapy, which ain’t gonna happen, he’s going to be taking something for the rest of his life.”

Alan looked at Colby and blinked a couple of times. He went to pour himself a drink then aborted the motion in favor of taking a swig right out of the bottle. He slid it across to Colby who did the same thing himself.

“Alan, I know you’d probably do anything to have Amita sitting here rather than me but trust me, if you think I’m bad, you should have seen the guy Charlie was trying to pick up before me. I mean, we’re talking ugly on all levels, Neolithic, and LAPD to boot.”

Alan took the bottle back and took a long drink off it.

“Well, you’re easier to cook for than Amita.” Alan said, voice still annoyingly clear. Colby laughed and laid his head on the table.

“Please don’t tell Charlie I told you anything.” Colby said, the laugh turning into half sobs. “He just wants to be the perfect son for you and knows he can’t. He hates to disappoint you.”

Alan reached across the table and put the bottle in Colby’s hand. “Don was supposed to play pro ball and Charlie was supposed to help me start a planning firm.”

Colby took a long drink. “I was supposed to die.”

“You were?”

“Yep, valiantly in combat and if I didn’t I was supposed to come home and marry my high school sweetheart and have a dozen kids so that maybe one of them would die valiantly in combat.”

“That’s what your father wanted?”

Colby shook his head slowly. “No.” he said softly. “That’s what the rest of the family wanted. I was Dad’s favorite, I’m the only one he took fishing.” Colby took another drink and started to giggle. “The funny thing is I think he would have liked Charlie.” Colby felt hot tears suddenly squeeze from his eyes.

Alan took back the bottle and took several quick sips. “Oh, where did I fuck up?” he asked quietly.

“You didn’t.” Colby said laying his head on the table top. “If you’d fucked up they’d both be dead by now. Okay, maybe they’re not all joy and light but they’re alive and trying to save the world. Like super heroes, the brothers Eppes, no case to dangerous, no problem too convoluted. Wow, I actually managed to say that word.”

Alan and Colby both cracked up.

“Explain to me string theory in your state and I’ll be really impressed.”

Colby shook his head. “I’ll do you one better.” He fumbled inside his pocket and pulled out a small notepad and pen. It took a moment for his eyes to focus but once they did he quickly scribbled down a series of symbols and tossed the pad to Alan while taking back the bottle.

“What’s this?”

“The first three parts of Cognitive Emergence.” Colby said and took a long swallow off the bottle.


“I have no idea what it means but I’ve had it written across my body in enough interesting fluids that I can recognize it upside down and backwards.”

“Charlie does math while you’re having sex?” Alan asked, his words finally starting to slur together, sounding more than a little horrified.

“You don’t want to know what’s involved in getting Charlie to stop thinking about math for five minutes and no, just sex, even damn good sex, ain’t enough.” Colby took another drink and really prayed he wouldn’t remember this in the morning.

“Some parents want their kids to be remarkable; I just wanted mine to be normal and happy.”

“They are as god made them.”

Alan blinked. “What a schmuck.”


Charlie sat quietly outside the Oval Office. A four star general sat two chairs down. Charlie thought the guys name was Higgens or Huggies or something.

“I read your piece, Dr. Eppes.” The general said suddenly.

“Which one? I publish a lot.”

“The Logic of War.”

Charlie gave a snort. “True logic would simply be to not have war. Did you understand it?”

“I was a little fuzzy on some of the math.”

“Do you play chess, General?”


“Any good?”

“I have my moments.”

“Well if you can play chess your mind is logical enough to learn math.”

The General nodded. “Is that why you think you can tell seasoned generals how to run a war, you play chess?”

“I think I can tell them how to run a war because math is everything, the movement of every particle in the universe can be predicted as long as you have enough data and the math is good enough and quite frankly no one’s been running this war or any other war for a very long time. We’ve let petty ancient grudges smolder unintended like a fire in a peat bog until it erupts out of control a good distance from where it started. Cassia was a game, General. I gave you boys a game and you treated it like it was real. Now, ask nicely and I’ll give you something real, but what you have now is nothing more than a toy that’s going to burn down the whole neighborhood and I’m taking it back.”


Colby pressed his face to the cool metal of his desk.

“What the fuck happened to you Granger?” Don’s voice sounded from somewhere above him. Colby winced and looked up at Don, David and Megan.

“I’m not going into the field today, Don.”

“No shit. You look like crap, what happened?”

“Your father deciding to have a manly heart to heart is what happened.”

“Was tequila involved?” Don asked.

Colby squeezed his eyes shut, his stomach turning over at just the word. “Maybe a bottle or three.”

Megan gave a low whistle.

“Is Dad okay?” Don asked, eyes going wide with worry.

“He’s fucking fine.” Colby groaned out. “I woke up to him whistling in the kitchen.”

“Where were you?” David asked.

“Under the table.”

Don gave a bark of laughter that forced Colby to squeeze his hands to his ears.

“Alan Eppes drank you under the table.” David said with a chuckle.

“It’s not funny.” Colby moaned. “The man’s a mutant. We were on the second bottle before his speech even slurred. That’s not normal.”

“What did you talk about?” Don asked still looking a little horrified.

“Your mother.”

“Watch it.” Don said darkly.

“No, really, after the second bottle we talked about your mother.” Colby closed his eyes his head pounding in time to his pulse. “He still misses her. Totally has the hots for Kathryn but really misses her.” Colby said in a whisper hoping the others would take the hint.

“Yeah, well.” Don said flatly. “Why don’t you just stay there and try to do paperwork today.” Colby nodded.

“At least he didn’t threaten to kill me this time.”

“When did he threaten to kill you?” Don asked.

“Oh, the last time we had a heart to heart. If I ever hurt Charlie I will find myself bound and gagged at some abandoned construction site, courtesy of some teamsters who owe him, whereupon my nuts will be severed slowly with a cheese grater until I bleed out, at which point I will be hacked into small pieces, run through a food processor, dried out and fed to the koi.”

Colby cracked open an eye. Don’s jaw was on the floor, along with David and Megan’s.

“Seriously?” Don asked.

“He had the cheese grater in his hand when he said it.”

“Whoa. Remind me never to piss off Alan.” David said.

“It’s a good thing you don’t have sisters, Don.” Colby said closing his eyes again. “They’d be bitter, bitter, forty-year-old virgins by now.”


Charlie stood on the other side of the Oval Office from the Joint Chiefs. He knew most of them, a few of them even sort of liked him, at least when they were drunk.

“Gentleman, operation Cassia will cease immediately.” The President said.

Charlie let out a breath and bowed low from the waist. “Thank you, Mr. President.”

“Don’t thank me yet. You seem to fancy yourself quite the strategist these days.”

Charlie shook his head. “I am now and have only ever been a humble mathematician.”

One of the generals actually snorted.

“Oh I doubt you’ve been humble a day in your life, Dr. Eppes,” the President said. “You’ve made a compelling and logical argument. Now you get to back it up in practice. Are you able to stay in DC for a while?”

Charlie shook his head. “I’m sorry Mr. President. I have family obligations that really must take priority the next few months.”

“Priority over a presidential request?”

Charlie pulled out the sonogram picture and handed it over to the President. “My first nephew. First Eppes in a long time. Um...there are complications, we’re not sure if he’ll make it. I’m handling all the specialists for my brother because the FBI really needs to improve its medical coverage for dependents.” The President looked at the picture and turned it around a bit. “They say he’s big for his gestational age. If he can make it another eight weeks… Well, we’re hoping for another eight weeks.”

The President nodded. “Of course.” He handed back the picture. “That doesn’t mean you’re getting to drop The Logic of War on us then walk away. The digital age is a marvelous thing. They call it telecommuting.”

Charlie nodded. “Of course, Mr. President.”

“I’ll have Murphy be in touch.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

“Okay, folks, what’s next?”


Don’s feet pounded the pavement as he careened around a corner, the suspect only a few feet out of reach. David stepped out from behind a dumpster and clotheslined the guy. Don slowed down and stopped while David snapped cuffs on.

“You’re under arrest… for making me run.” Don said between breaths.

David yanked the guy to his feet. “And smelling bad.”


Charlie leaned his forehead against Martin’s shoulder, not really caring that they were in a main corridor of the White House.

“Is the world coming to an end?” Martin asked.

“Maybe, but not through any action or inaction of mine.”

“Good, let’s go home.”


Colby had come back from a coffee run to find his Purple Heart sitting on his desk and a B- on the white board next to Matt’s equation with some notes in Charlie’s hand about the proper weighting of variables and a message to come see him at office hours for remedial calculus.

According to Don, Charlie had only come in long enough to grade Matt’s work and mention the world wasn’t coming to an end.

Now Colby stood in the doorway of his bedroom and watched Charlie sleep. He had Colby’s pillow clutched to his chest and his face looked drawn. Charlie’s eyes fluttered open.

“Shhhh. Go back to sleep.”

Charlie closed his eyes but reached out a hand to Colby.

Colby sat on the edge of the bed and took Charlie’s hand.

“We did it.” Charlie said softly.

“So I gathered.” Colby stroked Charlie’s hair. “How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Tired. I didn’t sleep well. I don’t sleep well without you any more.”

“Me too.”

Charlie brought Colby’s hand to his lips. “Take a nap with me.”

Colby smiled. “Okay.”

He striped down quickly and climbed into bed behind Charlie. Charlie rolled over, pressing his face to Colby’s chest. Colby felt his whole body relax in a way it hadn’t in days. His body knew that this was how sleep was meant to be had, with Charlie’s body pressed against his, the soft sound of his breathing and his scent in his nose. Colby’s eyes fluttered shut and he slept.


Charlie woke up slowly to the feel of Colby’s fingers sliding up and down his bare hip. Charlie sighed and blinked into Colby’s chest. The touch was so gentle. Charlie squirmed a little feeling himself begin to slowly harden. He’d been on edge since before the Cassia mess. D.C. had been an exercise in pure self-control, fighting back the chatter of dark numbers that always hovered around the edge of his mind. In the past it would have been an easy fix. A pen jabbed hard into the thigh, a slight cut to the palm of his hand, something that would look like a paper cut but hurt like hell, a simple misstep off a curb if he could risk it, but all those were against the rules now, not allowed. Pain only came from the hand of the man who had claimed him before knowing what it would mean.

Charlie twitched again. He didn’t need gentle touches right now. His mind was scrambled and in a fit of despair he had broken hard-fought for rules, had clawed and cut at his flesh, slammed his body into the hockey table to feel his ribs snap, imagining it was the fists of those he would have killed pounding into him, taking their revenge.

“Please.” Charlie heard himself whisper.

The blanket was pushed aside and with quick, economical movements Charlie found himself spread across Colby’s lap, a couple of pillows pushed under his chest so as not to strain the still-cracked ribs.

There was no preamble, no warm up. The first blow landed on the soft flesh just above his knee with the full force of Colby’s strength. The crack echoed around the room and the flash of pain spiked through Charlie’s body, blinding his mind to all other things. Before the flash could fade Colby landed another blow and another.

Charlie made no effort to control the sounds that bubbled from his mouth. Cries and screams, babbled curses and apologies as Colby worked methodically up one leg, across Charlie’s ass and down the other, each blow overlapping the one before. Even as the pain gleefully blinded Charlie to his own mind, his body fell into rhythm, rising up to meet Colby’s methodical blows, then grinding down into Colby’s thigh.

Then the blows stopped. Charlie took a deep breath, squeezing hot tears from his eyes. Before Charlie could even consider thoughts more coherent than ‘breathe’ Colby’s nails scraped along the burning flesh. Charlie screamed even as he felt his hips buck wildly into Colby’s leg.

The crack of flesh hitting flesh resumed, Colby’s hand landing randomly on already tender skin, and with a particularly hard blow to the thigh Charlie felt himself launched from his own mind. All was sensation now, all was pleasure. Each strike sent waves rushing from his too hard cock to his furthest extremities, the screams becoming pornographic moans and pleas.

Colby stopped and slid himself out from under Charlie. There was the squik of the lube bottle and Charlie scrambled to get on his knees. The bed sank beneath him and he felt Colby get his cock into position.

“Mine,” he heard Colby growl out before thrusting in with no warning. The pain, pleasure was blinding, perfect. With that first thrust Charlie came, burning the numbers from his mind, the world blurring around the edges.

Colby continued, his hips snapping against the hot, raw skin, for long minutes, each thrust sending aftershocks through Charlie’s body until Colby came with a growl, sinking his teeth into Charlie’s shoulder, sending him over the edge for a second time with a desperate scream.

Colby managed to collapse next to Charlie instead of on top of him. Charlie managed to pull the blanket over them as they both shivered through recovery, breath slowing, hearts rates returning to normal. They blinked at each other, knowing words could wait. Colby reached out a hand and took Charlie’s and they both closed their eyes and drifted back into sleep.

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Devo79devo79 on December 9th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
I just knew this chapter would end with Charlie needing pain.

And a great chapter it was!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I was going to cut it in two but I just couldn't find a point where it cut well.
PenguinGoddessclonus7 on December 9th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
You have got the whole dark and beautiful thing down. As dark and at times demented as the relationship bewteen Colby and Charlie is... it's also one of the most beautiful things I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

So the worlds not coming to an end... right now. Good! Although if it's continually left in the hands of idiots...

The talk... I personally loved it. I think both men got some things out that needed to be said and I'm glad they had it. This talk should definitely lead to a much better understanding and relationship between the two of them. Go you :-)

I also loved the scene after at the office, I laughed my ass off. Thank you.

I got a question though... where in the hell did you come up with the idea for what Alan would do to Colby? You scared me!

as always, patiently waiting for more and I hope you're feeling all better :-)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
I'm not scary, I just have a very pretty little sister who doesn't always have the best taste in men. Glad you liked the rest of it. Drunk isn't always easy to write.
fredbassettfredbassett on December 9th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
I honestly think that this is one of the most compelling chapters of fic that I've ever read. Your characterisation and dialogue is just so damned astounding. This is a truly remarkable achievement!
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *bg*
chocolate is not meant to be ice cream.ickysheep on December 9th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
wow, that really was kinda long... but the more the better.

I personally really liked the alan/colby conversation with colby explaining everything. even though we already knew about it, it was just a perfect summary for don's behavior and everything...

“Please don’t tell Charlie I told you anything.” Colby said, the laugh turning into half sobs. “He just wants to be the perfect son for you and knows he can’t. He hates to disappoint you.”
I especially loved this one...

and the whole colby/charlie interaction... well, what can I say, I'm a whore for charlie/colby...

oh and your mocking about politics really made me laugh.. really not logical at all...

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
I know mocking politics is kinda easy but it was too easy to resist.
(Deleted comment)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
They even scare themselves sometimes. Glad you liked the drunk scene. It was tricky to write.
mikes_grrl on December 9th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
What a wonderfully complex chapter! Honestly, for how long it is, I don't have much to say about it other than: WODNERFUL!

I adored the interaction between Alan and Colby, and Alan's thorough interrogation techniques (so THAT'S where Don gets it! hahaha!). I thought Colby did a fair decent job of vetting the questions despite his utterly blotto condition, and WIN for him waking up under the table. heh. I agree, hungover!Colby is something we need to see more of. Poor guy!

Happy that Charlie saved the world, and even happier for the lovely hard core shagging there at the end. NICE! So now Charlie has the President on speed dial? Not sure that bodes well for his future peace of mind...I have to admit, that scene with the generals reminded me of Hunt for Red October, which, believe me, is a HUGE compliment!

Hope you got some needed rest. <3

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 9th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
At the time I wrote this I had no clue who the president was going to be. I'd actually, I must confess, just voted for Hillary in the primaries, I didn't write Madam President though 'cause I though that might be jinxing it. And no being at the presidents beck and call is not going to be go for Charlie's stress levels but he has Colby around to help him keep his head together and as long as no one else tries to end the world he should be fine.
riverotter1951: red valentineriverotter1951 on December 9th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
This is excellent with Charlie saving the world. Alan is protective of his sons and uses whatever he needs to to get the answers he wants. Poor Colby - under the table with Alan whistling. The last section is poignant with Colby taking care of Charlie's needs before they sleep. The world can wait.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
Damn strait the world can wait when my boys need love. :-)
tonisimonetonisimone on December 9th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
Colby had come back from a coffee run to find his Purple Heart sitting on his desk and a B- on the white board next to Matt’s equation with some notes in Charlie’s hand about the proper weighting of variables and a message to come see him at office hours for remedial calculus.

A B- is still pretty good

If I ever hurt Charlie I will find myself bound and gagged at some abandoned construction site, courtesy of some teamsters who owe him, whereupon my nuts will be severed slowly with a cheese grater until I bleed out, at which point I will be hacked into small pieces, run through a food processor, dried out and fed to the koi....... He had the cheese grater in his hand when he said it.

so glad you fleshed out the death threat, cause you know.. a vague disclaimers nobody's friend

ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
That is very true.
Erinstarlettmalfoy on December 10th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
I loved it, of course. I'm still hoping to see more of Martin. He is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.

With all this talk of how Don won't be able to cope if something happens.... Gosh, it has me on edge. I'm so excited. And nervous. Oh, and I thought the part where Charlie showed the sonogram to the President was nice. It puts a little humanity into all those cutthroat politics.

And as usual, the Colby/Charlie bit at the end there was my favourite. ::shrugs:: There is definitely something to be said about being able to have that much trust in a person. You write it extremely well, and it's believable and doesn't seem contrived.

As always, I'm looking forward to tomorrow wholeheartedly. :)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Martin's still got a bit to do in this story and a lot to do in the next. the next couple of days are going to be 'take a breath' days because after that I'm cranking the tensions back up.
ninou1ninou1 on December 10th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
So I'm wondering if I missed something again, is the first heart to heart between Alan and Colby written somewhere ?

Anyway, I love the interaction between this two, just hope Charlie gonna have a talk with his father soon, I'm not sure Charlie needs it, but Alan maybe.

I'm not sure I got it all right, I'm pretty in the same state as Colby right now, minus the tequila before... Some of this chapter is still a little obscur, I will come back later and try again :)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
Their first talk was just mentioned in passing at the end of the last story so you didn't really miss it.
wcpjfditdov on December 10th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Colby still sounded pretty coherent despite the alchohol, and I don't think he really said anything Alan couldn't imagine, so I guess he has thought this through beforehand. That is good. I am glad Colby finally decided to lay things out in the open, even if he needed the aid of some alchohol. He needed to get things off his chest and Alan deserved to know.</br>
It is sad to see him stilling feeling guilty about being with Charlie though, feeling that he could only be a disappointment to Alan. Major self-esteem issues, a lot of guilt, and some post-traumatic stress... Nobody said life is easy... </br>
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 10th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
No life isn't easy but every day he's with Charlie it gets a little better.
twins_m0m on December 11th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
Charlie's brave to tell the president that he'd be stupid for continuing the plan. Wish we had more people like him. Lately, I think holding office requires a lobotomy.

Alan and Colby's talk was nicely written. Alan must feel frustrated that he can't fix his sons' problems the way he use to fix their scuffed knees. Colby shows so much insight into the Eppes men. It's sad the his family felt valor was more important than lives. And now Colby knows that there may be a genetic reason for Charlies bipolar issues.

As devo79 stated, I also knew that Charlie would need a release from the pressure through pain. Charlie trusts in Colby to care for him. And I think Colby trusts Charlie as well.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 11th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
I think Charlie and Colby's trust is nearly cannon by now. We just need TPTB to get them into bed.
twins_m0m on December 15th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
Good luck on that happening. I think TPTB decided from day one that Charlie is going to marry Amita. I don't dislike her character, I just don't always like to way she treats Charlie. I always seem to enjoy the episodes she's not on more than when she is on. I'm not sure if it's the character or the actress.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 16th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
I'm not sure if it was day one. If you go back and look at the pilot and the first couple of eps there's serious Don/Amita flirting going on.
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 17th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Very devious of Alan to get Colby drunk before asking the tough questions. I think David was right that it wouldn't be healthy to upset Alan, not after hearing what awaited Colby!

I was glad to see Charlie win out with the President and go home victorious. It wasn't really surprising that he needed some pain to help deal with the drama, tension and rule breaking.

ladygray99ladygray99 on January 18th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Alan can be very sneaky when he wants.
fractalmoonfractalmoon on November 27th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
A side of Alan I haven't seen before. He's not just that sweet old pottering guy. ;-)

By the time POTUS says “Oh I doubt you’ve been humble a day in your life, Dr. Eppes," you provided so much evidence of his/her pov. I thought Charlie was going to shoot himself in the foot with his raps about how much smarter he was than the professional strategists, ie, his attitude would piss them off so much they wouldn't listen to his message.

Still, it's hard to feel sorry for the joint chiefs of staff. I did feel like the way he treated Matt's whiteboard work was contemptuous. Was he still in the mindset he felt like he had to adopt to stand up to the joint chiefs, or would he have done this anyway?

The spanking and sex at the end was perfect.
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 3rd, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
In my Whitman canon Matt dropped out of a Ph.D in Computer Science to join the FBI for reasons that he doesn't talk about. Charlie has been trying to talk him into starting it up again for ages and is always a little annoyed that Matt isn't living up to his full potential (by Charlie's standards),