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07 September 2007 @ 06:43 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Question  
Posted to numb3rs_slash

Title: Question (Sequel to Admission)
Series/Universe: Epiphany
Pairing/Characters: Don/Billy
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Man Hunt
Summary: Once the trauma has passed reality sets in for Don and for the FBI
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"Don, I..."

"Mr. Cooper?"

A doctor entered the room consulting Billy's chart, interrupting him.

"Agent Cooper," Don corrected him. "He's an FBI agent."

The doctor took in Don's sidearm and the Kevlar vest that lay on a nearby chair and nodded his understanding. "I see, so you were shot in the line of duty then?"

"I guess you could call it that," Billy joshed, trying to lighten up the tension in the room as Don cast him unreadable glances.

"I'm Dr. Allende. I'm a neurologist. Your surgeon asked me to do a follow up consult to check to see if any nerve damage occurred due to your injury. I'll need to do an examination, so if you'll excuse us?" The doctor addressed Don as he started to pull the curtain around Billy's bed closed.

"Yeah, sure," Don stammered. "I have to check in with the office anyway."

"Don..." Billy called after him, but he was halfway down the hall and not looking back.


Billy woke from a fitful nap and heard the rustle of magazine pages being turned on the other side of the curtain.


"Agent Cooper. You're awake. May I?" An unfamiliar hand moved to open the curtain, pausing as if waiting for permission.

"Yeah, sure," Billy replied, seeing the government issue sidearm on the man's barely visible hip.

The curtain opened to admit an older man, graying at the temples with stern eyes and a set jaw. "I'm Agent Arthur Halloway. I'm from Internal Affairs. I need to ask you some questions about the shoot."

"Where's Don?" Billy asked.

"Agent Eppes turned in his badge and gun and has been sent home. He's on administrative leave until we finish our investigation."

"What!" Billy's hand flew to his side as his outburst aggravated his injury. "It was a good shoot! What's IA's problem?"

"Our problem," Arthur said, showing no empathy for Billy's pain, "is that one agent shot another one. That's just not done."

"If he hadn't we'd both be dead," Billy told him through gritted teeth.

"Then let's get the facts down," the older man said, pulling out a tape recorder and a notepad. "The sooner we get done here, the sooner he'll be back on the job."


Don sat in the hospital parking lot, bereft at the loss of his badge and gun and even more lost at the thought of Billy almost leaving him forever.

But having him back created a whole new set of problems. It had been easy to be with Billy when their life was on the road, far from the suspicious eyes of coworkers. Some of them might have suspected, but no one ever knew - they were careful that way.

Don thought perhaps his father suspected, which would explain his inherent dislike of Billy and the life he thought he was leading his son into. But Don had never told anyone, save Charlie, who'd been quietly understanding and supportive even if he hadn't agreed with Don's decision to stay closeted.

If Billy was serious - if - then that meant a bigger decision than just choosing to try again with him. Trying meant it might work out. If it did, no more hiding.

Don checked the backup gun in his ankle holster for the third time since he'd turned in his Glock to the Assistant Director.

He was armed, but still felt more vulnerable than he had in years.


Billy finished his third circuit of all the channels on his hospital room TV and turned off the set, throwing the remote aside with a disgusted grunt.

His eye flitted to movement at the doorway and he saw Don come lean against the wall, looking at him.

A comic retort almost slipped from his lips, but he bit it back when he saw Don's expression.

"They took your badge," Billy said solemnly. "I'm sorry."

Don shrugged. "It's just a formality. I'll get it back."

Billy nodded, unsure what to say. After an awkward moment of silence, he gestured to a chair. "Why don't you take a load off?" he suggested, trying for cavalier and failing.

Instead Don walked to his bedside, fingers trailing along the bedclothes cascading over the edge, eyes following fingers instead of meeting Billy's uncertain gaze.

"I have a question for you and I need to know..." Don started. He paused, picking at an errant thread in the blanket. "What I saw, what you said, what I said... It's not real because we thought you were going to die, that we both might die."


"Let me finish," Don interrupted, finally looking at him, the gravity of his words clear in his sober expression. "You had years to ask me for a second chance and you didn't, so I guess the question is are you serious about this? Is this what you really want?" He lowered his voice, his tone tentative and his eyes searching. "Am I what you want?"

An involuntary gasp of heartbreak and pain escaped Billy's lips as he grabbed hold of Don's hand.

"I wanted you back from the day you left me, but I knew... I knew I wasn't any good for you! I was fucked up and in no condition to be part of any kind of relationship." He grimaced, the regret aching in his chest. "I let you go hoping you'd find someone good, the kind of person you deserved to be with. But that didn't mean I ever stopped wanting to be with you myself." He gripped Don's hand, strengthened by the answering tightness as Don squeezed back. "I never stopped, so the real question is..." He searched Don's eyes, beseeching. "Do you want me?"

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 8th, 2007 01:40 am (UTC)
This one goes out to my lovely slashwife Mel for taking such good care of me during a bad time this week. What says I adore you better than Don/Billy for a Max lover like her? /smiles/

Like the last title in the series, there are multiple references - the FBI's questioning of Billy (and the greater question of Don being fit to continue being an FBI agent), the neurologist questioning if Billy had nerve damage, Don's question to Billy and Billy's question back to Don which is indeed the titular question. I suppose you can add in Don questioning himself, but that's just angsting to me. Hehehe

I probably should have titled this Questions, but the next fic in the series is called Statement (at least that's what the muse tells me) so singular goes better with Admission, Truth and Epiphany. Speaking of plurals, I've reserved the title Consequences for later, but no clue when that will be. I just know that now that I have this universe I don't see an end for it.

/waves to aslin/ Look! You got another one! ;-)

Very special thanks to beta melissima for her assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
One Part Exuberance; Two Parts Obsession: billypenguingal on September 8th, 2007 02:46 am (UTC)
*sigh* I love my screwed up, emotionally unavailable but trying oh so hard boys.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 8th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
'Tis painful to watch them go through all this, but God love 'em for trying. Hehehe

How can you not love them?
cpwatcher on September 8th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
Some really good questions here, I'll say. And Billy begging for one more chance...wonderful.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 9th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)
Thanks! Not hard to guess what the upcoming statement is though. ;-)
fredbassettfredbassett on September 8th, 2007 11:13 am (UTC)
Poor boys, lovely fic. Liked the reference to Don having kept a gun but still feeling vulnerable. Looking forward to more of this.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 9th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
Thanks. That was my favorite part too.

So have you seen Man Hunt yet? Very good Don and Billy in tac gear. Yum.
fredbassettfredbassett on September 10th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, very hot!! I'm ow up to episode 6 of season 2 and still loving it! Just seen Edgerton again in Toxic!!!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
Wow! You're moving along at a brisk pace.

Sadly, Billy Cooper never returns to the show (Max Martini is on The Unit now where he gets to play with even bigger guns) but we get Ian like twice a year now. Yay!

The Don/Billy pairing has been a staple of the fandom since Man Hunt because of the stupendous chemistry Max and Rob had in their scenes together. It's made him the most popular guest star to fic bar none. To us he's an integral part of the fandom - not a one off stunt cast.

Glad you enjoyed this!
fredbassettfredbassett on September 10th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
We've been watching a couple a night, about 4 times a week! Fortunately for me, Mr fb likes it as well :)

I was surprised when I discovered Coop only appeared once, but I can certainly see why the fandom took him to its collective heart and made him a staple character. I feel the same way!
munchkinofdoom: manhunt - coop 6munchkinofdoom on September 9th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
I probably should have titled this Questions, but the next fic in the series is called Statement

*reads that line and heaves a great sigh of relief*

I can't believe how late I am to give feedback! Still trying to catch up on my flist... *sigh* Blame the Primeval lot. *nods*

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 9th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
Sigh of relief as in there will be another installment? Am I that unreliable? /blinks/

You're not first this time! /marvels/ /winks/

I still appreciate you coming and commenting though so thank you!
munchkinofdoom: Don - Amusedmunchkinofdoom on September 9th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
Nope. You're not unreliable at all. The promise of a continuation just saves me the effort of a five minute panic before I start nagging you... *veg*
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 9th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC)
Oddly, nagging is what turned Epiphany into a series in the first place so evidently my muse likes to be wooed and asked for sequels and such. She won't listen to me though! /grumbles/
fredbassettfredbassett on September 10th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
Oi, are you trying to blame us, woman? *points finger* I'm sure you brought it all on yourself by stirring up our buried desires for tac!vest porn ......, which naturally none of us would have thought of without your influence ......*veg*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
You know, I have to say it cracks me up to see you two say '*veg*' since other than 'very evil grin' it also stands for the verb veg as in short for vegetate (colloquially to lay about and do bugger all for hours on end). Veg seems to be used a lot in California (no surprise), but I'm not sure how much it's used elsewhere.

/is amused/
fredbassettfredbassett on September 10th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
When I first started hanging out on LJ, it confused me a lot, since in the UK, "to veg out" is used the way you use it, ie vegetate. It was via munchkin that I worked out it was very evil grin, and if you hang around with munchkin there are loads of things to have very evil grins about!!

It took me months to work out "lol" when I was a newbie too! I suspect there are others that I still haven't worked out yet ..... but I'm getting less shy about asking now!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool. I bet a lot of slang has jumped borders in the last ten years thanks to the Internet. I no longer get people asking me to explain what chuffed means all the time. Hehehe

Urban Dictionary is a great place to look up slanguage. It's totally unreliable, but that's part of the appeal. ;-)

I do recall some people taking the plunge and asking what certain sexual terms and such were and I had to hand it to them for being brave enough to ask in public.
fredbassettfredbassett on September 10th, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC)
And guess what, Mr fb got the laughing your ass off one immediately, when I read it out to him after you explained! He knows way more of this stuff than me, by the look of it!!

Chuffed is definitely one we use a lot in the UK, or at least I do :)
DarkEly: Sniff Sniffelysium1996 on September 10th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
I meant to leave feedback sooner for this and all I have to say is my heart broke just a bit at the end.

you have earned the official 'you made me cry icon'
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
\o/ Yes!

I mean, ahem, sorry I made you cry.

Great icon, btw. That reminds me I need to change mine temporarily.

Thanks for reading!
DarkEly: I need a breakelysium1996 on September 10th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
</q>Great icon, btw

thank you!

I mean, ahem, sorry I made you cry.

and be careful I could pupll out the Angry Don icon.. and that is just scary!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 02:19 am (UTC)
LOL! Fear the Angry!Don!Icon!

I'm trying to think if I have any fic coming up where Don gets angry. If not I might just have to write some. LOL
DarkEly: Angry Donelysium1996 on September 10th, 2007 02:22 am (UTC)
see that is pretty angry

someone drank all the coffee or something that is why he is all mad..

....maybe that will inspire the muse...
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
Oh, that's like "I trusted him!" mad. Eep!

Right now Don's straddling Billy and shaving off his beard with a straight razor so not a good time to get him mad. Hehehe
DarkElyelysium1996 on September 10th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
Right now Don's straddling Billy and shaving off his beard with a straight razor so not a good time to get him mad. Hehehe

OMG WHAT ARE you trying to killz me ded!!!

1st you make me cry than you killz me, what kind of Lj friend are you......

so when does this straddling take place cause you know how I love Billy/Don straddling...*shifty eyes*.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 10th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
An evil one? Hehehe

Picture this: They've been out on a long hunt, it's over and now they have to go back to the office. Billy lets his beard grow when he's out in the field and now he has to shave it all off so he doesn't look like a mess at the Bureau. He's using a straight razor and it's hard to do his neck. So Don sits him down, straddles him facing him and shaves his neck for him.

You'll have to imagine what happens after the shaving since that's where the fic is stalled right now. /glares at muse/

It's another yummy Mel related fic. She really does have great ideas.
DarkEly: Handcuff Donelysium1996 on September 11th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
You'll have to imagine what happens after the shaving since that's where the fic is stalled right now

oh I am sure I can come up with something..... purely G rated of course.... *shifty eyes*

It's another yummy Mel related fic. She really does have great ideas

We really need to get her a pay raise.
Elorienlorientad on October 24th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
i love it. it's so painful to see them going through that. i really feel bed for coop, it nearly made me cry.
damn! more!