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10 August 2011 @ 06:30 pm
Numb3rs Fic: A Dozen Homecomings  
Posted to numb3rs_slash


Title: A Dozen Homecomings
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/Billy, Don, Alan, Ian, David
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Sniper Zero, Man Hunt, Judgment Call, The O.G., Chinese Box
Summary: Twelve times Billy comes home to Charlie
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ



Billy had barely pulled his SUV into the driveway at the Craftsman when he spotted Charlie barreling out of the house, dishtowel still in hand. He had to have been drying the dishes and keeping an ear out for him in the kitchen even though Billy had said he might be later than expected.

Fresh out of the car he was greeted with an armful of mathematician.

"I missed you," Charlie murmured into his chest, holding him tight.

Billy had worried that Charlie wouldn't be able to handle the long absences his work in Fugitive Recovery required and this overwhelming homecoming made him a bit concerned. He didn't want to lose Charlie, but if he was this happy to see him it only meant he was equally sad while he was gone.

Billy squeezed him close and pressed a kiss on top of the mop of curls beneath his chin.

"I'm home," he said, using his most reassuring voice.

"For now," came back the little squeak of a response.

+

Charlie was easy to sneak up on in the garage. He'd either have headphones on or be so lost in his equations it wasn't hard to stand and watch him before he got a clue he had an audience.

After hours on the road, Billy wasn't wanting to wait forever so he crossed the room and tugged the headphones off, startling Charlie in the process.

"Billy!" Their hug was warm as it always was and Billy sank into it, the best part about his return always the greeting. He'd gone so long without anyone in his life, he'd forgotten how it felt to have someone happy to see him when he returned from the road. "I didn't think you were coming back tonight!"

"I missed you," Billy murmured. "So I drove straight through."

Charlie wrapped his arms around Billy's neck. "Good. I hate all the nights I have to sleep without you. One less is a very good thing."

+

Charlie's teaching schedule was on a much folded post-it note in a corner of Billy's wallet with a hastily sketched map to the math building on the back - one he no longer needed. It was a treat to get home early enough to catch Charlie teaching and he'd done a good job of mingling with the kids coming in, enough so that he was able to hide in the back slouched behind some particularly tall boys.

It was always a joy watching Charlie teach: he was brilliant, inventive, engaged and so passionate about his subject Billy had started taking math for laymen books on the road so he could better understand it. He even found he really liked the idea of topology so while he couldn't understand the math he liked discussing the theoretical shapes and their inherent challenges with Charlie. Charlie was delighted and kept plying him with books, always picking ones with interesting topics like Chaos Theory and Game Theory yet accessible to non-mathematicians.

As class was wrapping up, Billy finally shifted, leaning to the side so Charlie could spot him.

When he did, Charlie faltered in surprise - a huge grin blooming on his face - and then mumbled his way through their homework assignments and dismissed them in record time.

As the rest of the class stumbled down the sloped lecture hall steps, Charlie fought the tide to make his way up to where Billy stood waiting at the back. It was almost amusing, how Charlie was almost engulfed by his much larger students, and Billy was smirking by the time Charlie made it through to him.

"Hey, Professor! Got some office hours free?" he tossed out, pulling Charlie into a kiss that made some of the lingering girls titter.

"For my best student?" Charlie beamed, his arms circled contentedly around Billy's waist. "Always."

+

"Hey, you made it!"

Charlie's hands were filled with a platter of ribs from the grill so he could only lean over to offer Billy a quick kiss hello to welcome him home.

"I tried. I'm sorry I'm late." Billy turned to find Alan approaching and opened his mouth to apologize to him only to have him cut him off with a tsking noise.

"No apologies," Alan told him, wagging his finger. "I knew when you and Charlie got together it meant you'd miss some family functions because of your job. God knows Don missed enough when he was in FR back in the day. So don't apologize for doing your job. Just grab yourself some ribs and save some room for cake later."

Billy shook Alan's hand warmly, clapping him on the shoulder with the other hand.

"Happy Birthday, Alan."

Alan returned his greeting warmly.

"You know we're all glad when you come home safely, not just Charlie."

He gestured across the backyard and caught the eye of Don who raised his beer bottle in greeting. "Hey Billy! You made it!"

Billy nodded a greeting in response, feeling a little overwhelmed at just how much he'd come to fit into this family in such a short time.

"Everything okay, babe?" Charlie asked, hands now free to slip around his waist.

Billy offered them all a wide contented smile.

"Everything's great. I'm just really glad to be home."

+

It was Don's voice he heard first; he always could yell louder than anyone who taught at Quantico.

Charlie wasn't backing down in the apparently heated argument either. Billy could hear them from the street and they weren't even in the open garage.

As he opened the front door the loud noise of shouting became almost unbearable.

"What the hell's going on?" he shouted above the din.

Apparently that was the break Don needed to walk away.

"Tell your boyfriend to use that genius brain of his once in a while," Don spat out as he walked past Billy to leave. "Because if he keeps being an idiot..." He shouted that last word back to where Charlie was standing fuming in the living room. "He's going to get himself killed!"

In a huff Don slammed the door behind him, the squeal of tires signaling his abrupt departure. In the uncomfortable silence that followed, where Billy just stood and stared and Charlie let off waves of rage so palpable even Billy didn't dare approach.

Billy waited a couple of minutes then pulled out his cell phone, dialing without breaking his view of Charlie.

"Don? Pull the car over. Now." He paused for the length of time Don needed to comply. "Now tell me what the hell happened in 25 words or less."

He listened, trying to keep his face impassive as Charlie watched.

"Good. Now slow the hell down and call me when you get home so I know you got home all right - no arguments."

Next he turned to Charlie.

"I wasn't going to tell you, but on this job? I got hurt."

All of Charlie's animosity melted away and he rushed towards Billy, full of concern.

"Oh my god, what happened?"

Billy gestured to the nape of his neck. "Three stitches and a minor concussion.'

Charlie drew in a quick breath in shock as Billy continued.

"It was supposed to be just a witness interview at a bar where our fugitive had been sighted. There were some Montana survivalists there though didn't take kindly to the Bureau looking for one of their own in a bar when he'd already left town the day earlier. Seems one of them was his cousin. We didn't know that. He got pissed off enough to enact revenge on his cousin's behalf. He put the other agent in the hospital with multiple lacerations and broke a bottle across the back of my head just to discourage us from going after target - like it would stop us."

Charlie made a pained noise, his fingertips delicately grazing the area beneath the nape of Billy's neck. "Are you sure you're okay?" he breathed.

"I'll be fine, but listen to me." He took Charlie by the biceps and forced his gaze. "When Don tells you a crime scene hasn't been secured yet? That's the kind of danger you could be in. So please? For me? In the future, just wait for the all clear, no matter how impatient you are go get moving with the case." He lowered his forehead to touch Charlie's. "You almost lost me on a simple canvas. Don't let me lose you over something equally senseless. Please..."

Charlie melted against him, head pressed against his chest.

"I promise. I'll wait. As long as you promise to be careful too."

"Always am, in every way I can," Billy responded, letting out a long breath - glad the worst was over and he could finally enjoy being home again.

+

"Charlie?" Billy had been in such a rush to get home he hadn't stopped to check if Charlie's car was outside.

"Billy!" It was Don's voice that greeted him from the kitchen, emerging with two beer bottles in hand, offering one to Billy. "Sorry, Charlie's not here."

"Thanks, man." Billy dropped his gear and accepted the beer gratefully, following Don to the living room where he collapsed in his favorite chair. "Where's he off to? I thought he'd be here waiting."

"My fault," Don admitted. "I asked him to go on an interview with David. There was a scientist involved in a fraud case that turned to murder and I wanted Charlie's take on the patents involved. Unfortunately the guy's based in Santa Barbara." He made a little grimace. "You know Charlie. He got to gabbing with the guy and they ended up getting caught in rush hour traffic on the way back. He called twenty minutes ago and he's still in Ventura County."

"Ouch." Billy took a swig of his beer. "That's an ugly drive. So he'll be awhile then. I can deal. I'm just glad to be off the road myself." He tipped his bottle towards Don. "So what brings you here then?"

"Me? Um, let's see. Raiding your stash of decent beer?"

"Ha! No," Billy said with a laugh. "You make better money than I do so I know you can afford your own beer."

"Charlie makes more money than both of us combined," Don countered.

"I hear that!" They clinked bottles with a shared chuckle. "No, seriously. Why are you here?"

Don shrugged, peeling at the corner of the label with his short fingernails.

"I just didn't want you to come home to an empty house."

A flood of warmth and friendship filled Billy all at once and for Don's sake he fought back a show of emotion, knowing it would make him uncomfortable.

"Thanks, man. I appreciate it."

"No problem," Don said, seemingly avoiding his gaze as he looked around for the remote control. "Hey, there's a game on! We should watch until Chuck gets home..."

+

Billy dragged himself out of the SUV, each footstep feeling like lead. He couldn't remember being this exhausted and was really hoping he wasn't coming down with something on top of it all. Last time he was sick he was in bed for a week and a half with Charlie fussing over him almost nonstop. While having Charlie be at his beck and call - and the time off from work - had been nice, being sick had sucked so he wasn't quite up for a repeat performance.

He didn't even make it to the front door before Charlie came barreling out, arms loaded with satchel, folders, books and the anti-spill travel mug Billy had gotten him last Hanukkah.

"Billy! You're home!"

"And you're leaving!" Billy furrowed his brow. "You don't have class this early."

"No, but I totally forgot I told Professor Jiang I'd cover her graduate seminar this morning. I prepped it the first time I covered for her six months ago, but I couldn't find my notes until five minutes ago and I'm running super late."

"Then go, don't let me keep you."

Charlie came up, going up on his toes for a quick kiss goodbye only to have Billy push him away.

"What's wrong?" he asked, looking confused.

"I think I might be coming down with something and I don't want to get you sick," Billy explained.

"Screw it," Charlie said, claiming his kiss. "If I get sick it just means we get to spend time in bed together. I'll take my chances."

+

Billy had never gotten home so fast, but then he'd never had Ian Edgerton arrange his transportation.

The text message had been brief: 'Charlie needs you. Chopper on roof in five.' True to his word a helicopter was waiting on the helipad of the San Diego Bureau offices where he'd been processing a fugitive who didn't quite make it to the Mexican border.

As he watched the Southern California coastline blur beneath him, Billy kept trying to reach someone - anyone on his cell phone. No one was picking up and no one was responding to his texts, not even Ian and scarily not Charlie.

By the time the landed he was close to a full blown panic: the helipad was on the top of Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Ian was there waiting for him, beckoning him down the stairs from the roof automatically.

"It's Don," he explained briskly. "High speed chase. I'd have sent the chopper for you sooner, but I had to have them pick up Alan first." Two flights down he turned into a waiting room where Charlie sat with his head in his hands looking bereft.

"Charlie!" Billy rushed forward and gathered his lover into his arms, holding him tight. "Is Don... Is he..."

"He's going to be okay," Charlie said. As he looked up Billy could see the tears of relief on his face. "We wound up with a broken leg, a concussion and some lacerations from the broken glass, but they say he'll make a full recovery." He buried his face in Billy's neck. "I was so scared of losing him and I wanted you here with me but I knew you were too far away." He looked up at Billy, bewildered. "How did you get here so fast?"

Billy glanced over to the doorway, but Ian was already gone.

"Someone who cares a great deal about you and your brother made it happen."

+

The war room was a flurry of activity when Billy stepped off the elevator and headed for where Don and his team sat. Charlie's voicemail had been brief, but let Billy know they were working on a case and to meet him there instead of at home when he got back into town.

Following the dry erase boards he found Charlie at the far end of the room writing frantically, clearly in the throes of important work.

As if he felt Billy's presence, Charlie looked up and spotted him, his face brightening despite the intensity of expression there showing his brilliant mind was still working despite it all.

"Hey!" Charlie met him halfway for a quick kiss then scurried back to his board. "I'm really sorry, but Don needs this equation done fast and I'm so close..."

"Go ahead," Billy said, gesturing even though Charlie's attention was already on the board again. "Just give me a yell when you're ready to call it a night."

He withdrew and scoped the area looking for Don, who ended up appearing in tac gear fresh out of the locker room.

"Going on a raid without me?" Billy teased, eyebrow raised.

"Hey! Coop!" Don gave him a half hug in greeting. "Actually I'm a man down - David's out sick - so if you want to suit up?"

A rush of adrenaline made him smile widely. "You bet. Have gun will travel."

Don gestured over his shoulder back to the locker room. "See Miller for some gear. We leave in five."

Billy nodded and headed in search of kevlar. With any luck by the time Charlie came out of his math trance he'd be back and safe and ready to drive them both home.

+

Shell casings littered the plaza, the acrid smoke from a car fire laid heavy in the air and Billy couldn't get close enough in his car to the scene of the crime to find Charlie.

He finally parked up on a sidewalk out of the way and hit the ground running, flashing his badge at anyone who tried to stop him, which was quite a few people considering that they might be classifying this as a domestic terror attack. Few other than rabid militants had the hubris to try to shoot up a police station, especially in LA, but apparently these men had all planned on suicide by cop rather than surrender once the damage was done.

Few other than terrorists were smart enough to plan a second attack to get to first responders. The car bomb had been a complete surprise, taking everyone aback and forcing them to clear the area until they'd done a proper sweep.

He hadn't been able to get through to Charlie, but Don - who was the one who told them they'd been at LAPD working a case with Gary Walker when it all went down - swore that he was fine, just being kept in the building as a security precaution.

That had been a hour ago when Billy was still speeding down the highway from San Bernardino, lights and sirens flashing, so if they were still stuck in the building that just made Billy even more worried.

He finally spotted a group of FBI issue SUVs near the side of the building and headed over there. David saw him and waved him over.

"Where's Charlie? Where's Don?" His words came out so fast they tumbled over each other.

"Over there."

He pointed to the back of an ambulance where Colby was getting his hand wrapped up as Don kept a brotherly arm around a clearly distraught Charlie.

"Charlie!" he called out and they raced towards each other, something about the devastation surrounding them making their reunion more desperate, more needful. "God, I'm glad you didn't get caught up in this mess," he murmured.

"I was scared," came the small voice smushed against his chest. "But Don kept me safe."

Billy looked up, over Charlie's head, and met Don's eyes.

He mouthed 'thank you' and Don just nodded in understanding. He'd have done the same and they both knew it.

+

It was well after two in the morning when Billy locked the front door of the Craftsman behind him and slipped out of his shoes so as to not wake Charlie.

Avoiding the fifth creaky stair, he made it to the second floor and washed up in the bathroom before heading into the bedroom they shared. With practiced hands he opened his gun safe in the dark room and put away the accoutrements of his job, closing the safe with a relieved sigh that rendered him simply a civilian again.

As if it could ever be that simple. Even Charlie wasn't technically a civilian at this point. The Bureau ate up so much of their time - sending Billy on the road and stealing Charlie from the classroom - it seemed like nights like this where they didn't get to enjoy falling asleep together were more the norm than normal was.

Gazing down at his sleeping lover, Billy knew he wanted more than this: more than fleeting kisses and rushed sex and postponed plans whenever he got called away. He'd never found any problem with working FR before, but now he was starting to wonder why he thought staying in one place was a bad thing.

"Billy?"

Charlie's sleepy voice was like a beacon calling him into a soft bed and he followed it, sliding between the sheets and entangling himself with the small warm body waiting there.

"Go back to sleep," Billy soothed. "We can talk in the morning."

"Sleep good..." Charlie murmured. "Love you..."

He curled up into Billy's chest as Billy put his arms around him, feeling a deep contentedness leading him away to sleep as well.

"Love you too."

+

"You're home in time for dinner!" Charlie blinked at Billy as kissed him on the cheek in greeting. "Were there pigs flying when you were out front parking? Because it's too hot for hell to be freezing over."

Billy just tugged him by the hand to bring him closer as he sat on the edge of an armchair.

"What would you say if I told you I could be home every night? Maybe not for dinner, but no more going out on the road?"

Charlie eyed him suspiciously. "Did you get in trouble for something? You're not worried about getting fired are you? Because with Don and I both vouching for you..."

"I'm not in trouble at work," he told him. "I've just been thinking that maybe it's time to transfer out of FR." He met Charlie's eyes, all seriousness. "I met with the head of SWAT today. Tim King's going to be dividing up his alpha team into two separate teams and he needs someone to lead the beta team. They want me to do it. I'll have to work as regular SWAT for about six months to learn their specific procedures, but both Tim and the boss want me for the position. So if I say yes, it's a done deal and I'm based in LA just like that."

"If?" Charlie threw his arms around Billy's neck. "No ifs. I want you home with me every night!" His voice was muffled against Billy's skin, but he could hear the heartfelt plea in it. "Please... Do this for me? Don't leave me anymore."

Billy held him tight, love and affection filling him from deep inside, knowing he'd made the right decision. No amount of adrenaline could compare to the love Charlie gave him in return for his own. No thrill was better than their moments together. And while SWAT was dangerous, he had an incentive to stay alive now: a life with someone he loved.

"I'm home now," he whispered into Charlie's curls. "For good."

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 11th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
Confession
This fic was written for my very dear friend t_vo0810 for her birthday. Happy Birthday, T! /smishes/

Thanks,

Emma DeMaraisc
melissima: Agent Cooper <lj user=red-tanger>melissima on August 11th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
Omg awesome. I love this fic so much! /happy sigh./

I can't pick a favorite, but I have to say-the bit with Charlie and Billy running toward each other near the ambulance? I can see and hear that in my mind. Yum.

Brava, Emma, Brava! /tosses roses at your feet/
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on August 11th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
oh emma. just. oh. you are so so good to me. this was a slice of heaven. i loved every word. every time charlie had to go up on his tiptoes to kiss billy, i tittered like one of those college co-eds in his class. i just adore that image. so sweet and lovely and every vignette was tastier than the last.

thank you thank you thank you so much for this. it's definitely gonna be one of my all time favorites now. the only thing that would improve it is if you read to to me yourself. :D

you are just the loveliest person. i can see your heart when ever you write for me and it's just one of the world's best wonders. <3<3<3<3<3 i am a lucky lucky girl.
One Part Exuberance; Two Parts Obsession: billypenguingal on August 11th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
Ah, some good old fashioned Charlie/Billy fic.

*happy sigh*

I would love to be wrapped up in Billy's strong arms...
ladygray99ladygray99 on August 11th, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwwww. You do fluffy domestic so well. And this had so many layers to it. It felt like there were some unrequited Don/Ian or Ian/Charlie overtones that made me make little squeaking noises. :)
lilacs_roseslilacs_roses on August 18th, 2011 05:02 am (UTC)
A Dozen Homecomings
I can't say anything that hasn't already been voiced so.... this was wonderful :)

cat_13145cat_13145 on September 14th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Yay for implied Don/Ian (sticks fingers in ear and ignores all attempts to tell her it wasnt)
(Anonymous) on October 11th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
I agree
It SO was!

Allover just great.

Rita Salmon
angelface_36 on April 5th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
So cute. Please write more