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30 May 2010 @ 11:58 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Weary and Worn  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge May 2010 Rewind – Travel, Road Trip, Sightseeing, Stop


Title: Weary and Worn
Pairing/Characters: Don, Billy
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 400
Spoilers: Man Hunt
Summary: Don starts out fresh as an agent but leaves Fugitive Recovery a jaded man
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


010. Travel

Northern Minnesota's bitter cold; even Don's Detroit winter parka's not enough here.

Billy huffs his disapproval, buys him a wool hat at the next town, jams it on his head as a kind of gruff big brotherly admonition.

Guns are harder to handle with gloves on; impossible without.

Icicles glisten, hang prettily from eaves. They all fall at once when Billy breaks down the door.

Empty. No fugitive.

A new tip. A sighting in South Dakota. A reliable one this time.

Don scuffs at the motel porch boards, slush falling off his boots.

He always said he wanted to travel.



110. Road Trip

Don's wrong; it can be hotter than summer in the Arizona desert.

All it takes is adding a spitting sputtering overheated radiator.

Billy's got the hood up, his cell phone out and is wandering the empty highway in search of a signal.

The engine's radiating heat so palpable it forces Don back a step, sure as a shove.

A trickle of sweat makes its way down from his temple into the already soaked collar of his t-shirt.

The brutal sun beats down; even his new aviator sunglasses can't ban the blaring brightness sneaking in around the edges.

Some road trip.



070. Sightseeing

Don doesn't think the Big Easy deserves its moniker.

He gazes at block after block of ragged prostitutes in the seedy part of town; hard lives poorly camouflaged with too much makeup.

Billy drives slow, trying to spy a little speakeasy where an informant waits for get out of town fast cash.

Everything's too tight, too close here; Don can't breathe.

So much desperation, so little hope, vacant eyes hovering over well framed cleavage.

He looks away, nauseous, when a boy not more than sixteen preens for his approval.

These are the kinds of sights he never wanted to see.



227. Stop

They can make it back to home base at Quantico if they drive all night; with the buzz Billy's riding after their last catch he could do it solo.

Anonymous cities flash anonymous lights outside Don's passenger window, every few miles another freeway exit, another forgettable place name.

He used to like to navigate, at first.

It's oh-dark-something when Billy puts the question to him.

Do we keep going or do we stop?

New Jersey flashes past, or is it Delaware now? Don's lost track.

Stop, he says, and in that moment a decision is made.

It's time to stop.

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 09:29 am (UTC)
Confession
Title from the Yeats poem, The Falling of the Leaves, excerpted below.

The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
Let us part, ere the season of passion forget us,
With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.


Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 09:59 am (UTC)
Thanks! Feel was really important in this one.
Candi: Don - Resting and Smilingmustangcandi on May 31st, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
This was absolutely brilliant. Each drabble with a different feel for each of the seasons, watching Don slip further and further away from hopeful aspirations until he's ready to just... stop. Loved this.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I rarely go primarily for feel, but this time I really wanted it. It made me sad to see Don slip away like that - knowing how great he was with Billy - that it kind of hit me hard when I wrote the stop part. /wibble/
rubynyerubynye on May 31st, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, Don. This is atmospheric and gorgeous.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you, hon! My writing almost never gets called gorgeous and I really was trying for atmospheric this time. /feels proud/
julietm: Don - angstjulietm on May 31st, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
wow...this is great. You captured the way Don was feeling splendidly. Even the reader feels weary and worn after reading -- the way it should be. Great stuff! *hugs
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hon! /hugs back/ I'm just so delighted that everyone is echoing back the feel I was trying for. /hugely pleased/
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on May 31st, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
i have no words. there is so much i love about this piece. you did so much with so little words. /heart eyes/

Billy huffs his disapproval, buys him a wool hat at the next town, jams it on his head as a kind of gruff big brotherly admonition. in one sentence, i had this perfect picture of Don the rookie and Billy the mentor and how truly well they got along and liked each other for Billy to take care and for Don to accept it all so easily.

He always said he wanted to travel. so optimistic, so wry.

The engine's radiating heat so palpable it forces Don back a step, sure as a shove. guh. seriously. i feel like i am there. who hasn't been stuck on the side of the road with a steaming almost dry radiator on a blastingly hot day, the heat actually traveling up from the tarmac through the soles of your tennies, like hell is trying to suck you down? it's like the 9th circle of hell. at least down here, it is. (I have totally been there, can u tell?) I adore how you used the heat and the glare as a personification for Don's frustration, pushing him back and creeping into the edges of his calm despite his best fbi trained shield. just whoa. so good.

Everything's too tight, too close here; Don can't breathe.

So much desperation, so little hope, vacant eyes hovering over well framed cleavage.

He looks away, nauseous, when a boy not more than sixteen preens for his approval.


That was my favorite part, i think. not favorite exactly but i don't know a better word. my stomach clenched. the claustrophobia of those bad neighborhoods, like the 9th ward, is real, living thing. seriously, you almost feel like you're being smothered, so much freaking poverty piled on top of so much freaking poverty. it's hard to stomach. part of me wonders if your muse has been there or if she is just this talented at getting things right. well, i already know she is talented for getting things goldilocks just right.

Do we keep going or do we stop?

New Jersey flashes past, or is it Delaware now? Don's lost track.

Stop, he says, and in that moment a decision is made.

It's time to stop.


I just love u. His defeat and road fatigue just drips off the page. He has no reserves left. His empty and done. It reminds me a little of how I have here soldiers describe mission fatigue. Where you want nothing more than for every thing to just stop. Sort of apropos for Memorial Day.

/standing ovation/ loved loved loved it, sweets. /offers delectable chocolates to your muse/ you simply amaze me. <3
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
i have no words

Oh, hon. If there's one thing I have faith in with you, it's that you're never going to be truly without words. They are your companions. They will never desert you. ♥

in one sentence, i had this perfect picture of Don the rookie and Billy the mentor and how truly well they got along and liked each other for Billy to take care and for Don to accept it all so easily.

I SO wanted to fit in something about how someone being big brotherly to Don - when he's used to being the big brother - brought up a reaction in him, but a) there was no room in a 100 word drabble and b) that's not what this fic was about. So c) I left it to happen in the mind of the audience without me.

guh. seriously. i feel like i am there. who hasn't been stuck on the side of the road with a steaming almost dry radiator on a blastingly hot day, the heat actually traveling up from the tarmac through the soles of your tennies, like hell is trying to suck you down? it's like the 9th circle of hell. at least down here, it is. (I have totally been there, can u tell?) I adore how you used the heat and the glare as a personification for Don's frustration, pushing him back and creeping into the edges of his calm despite his best fbi trained shield. just whoa. so good.

I'm insanely proud of 'sure as a shove' because I rarely nail such visceral phrasing in a way that pleases me that much, but having grown up in a mostly semi-arid desert region, hell yeah. That heat when you open the hood on a sputtering near dry radiator? It really does force you back with an almost invisible hand. If you're giving me credit for the personification, it's only partially earned because it wasn't on purpose. But then again, after a month of hard studying I'm pretty sure most of this fic writing was on autopilot. LOL

That was my favorite part, i think. not favorite exactly but i don't know a better word. my stomach clenched. the claustrophobia of those bad neighborhoods, like the 9th ward, is real, living thing. seriously, you almost feel like you're being smothered, so much freaking poverty piled on top of so much freaking poverty. it's hard to stomach. part of me wonders if your muse has been there or if she is just this talented at getting things right. well, i already know she is talented for getting things goldilocks just right.

I had to just hope that NO, like most big cities, has that part of the city where buildings are jammed in to keep rents cheap, everything is decrepit including the people and the hopelessness is so vast you could travel the entire span of that area and not see one face look up with anything resembling hope or joy on it. I didn't feel like I captured the sense of how broken and scarred and just, I don't know, cracked like the sun bakes the unprotected earth comes to mind, these prostitutes were and how it showed even through makeup applied so liberally it's like with a putty knife. The women were de rigueur, but I knew Don would lose his stomach for it once he spotted an underage boy turning tricks to survive. Such horror...

I just love u. His defeat and road fatigue just drips off the page. He has no reserves left. His empty and done. It reminds me a little of how I have here soldiers describe mission fatigue. Where you want nothing more than for every thing to just stop. Sort of apropos for Memorial Day.

Fatigue was easy to write after this last month! LOL But yeah, that hopelessness has seeped into him and he begins to see each day as much of the same and he wasn't raised with parents who would let him just accept that so he has just enough escape velocity to get out.

I hadn't thought about it in terms of Memorial Day, but yeah. The worse things are that you see, the daily horrors your day dishes up as Don might say, the better the chance where what you want boils down to just one very simple wish: for it to be done.

And yeah, I think we'd all like war and atrocities to be just done too.

loved loved loved it, sweets. /offers delectable chocolates to your muse/ you simply amaze me.

Aww, thanks hon. I shall pass on the chocolates to the sweets, grab some breakfast and go hit my NBB. Your MANNA is like, well, MANNA to me, so I'm all fueled up now! Wish me luck!

Edited at 2010-05-31 10:12 pm (UTC)
melissima: Don and Billy at the door...melissima on May 31st, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Squeeeeeeeeeeeee I love this so very much. Each drabble shines like a perfect crystal, each rich, sensory experience concentrated into so few words.

This Billy with his rough big-brotherly concern is adorable, and this beset, road-weary Don makes me want to...I don't know, make him a cup of tea or something. /pets him./

Brava, my dear, it's beautiful.

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
/curtsies/

I feel that way about Don too. I think T would say Don needs a woobie. ;-) It seemed like FR got into Billy's blood so much he no longer sees what Don still can so he didn't have to leave. Don did.

/smishes you/
devon99 on May 31st, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
A lovely piece of writing my dear, really lovely...
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie. That means a lot to me.
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you!