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29 September 2007 @ 11:50 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Remembrance of Friends Passed  
Written for numb3rsflashfic Challenge #40 - Memory

Title: Remembrance of Friends Passed
Pairing/Characters: Colby, Megan
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Judgment Call, The Janus List, Trust Metric
Summary: Colby manages to make it out in time for the funeral
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Other comments are housed at numb3rsflashfic.

The funeral was simple - no Arlington burial for this former military man. He'd given up that right when he turned his back on his duty to country.

Dwayne's ex-wife hadn't wanted to come, but Colby had convinced her it would be the best closure for their son so she'd consented. She only stayed long enough for the poor boy to say a brief tearful goodbye to the father he never really knew before hastily ushering him into her car and driving away, tires almost squealing in her rush to put her former husband's life in her rear view mirror.

Megan had come - hovering over him like a mother hen, fussing over him in penance for her doubts - claiming she was worried about him being out of the hospital so soon after almost dying. He'd told her he was fine, but she countered with a reminder of how long David had given him CPR. They didn't bring it up after that, but she stayed close to him throughout the whole service - a constant and comforting presence at his side - until the end when she tactfully stepped away as the others left to give him some time alone to say his final farewell.

Alone at the gravesite he struggled, caught between the whirlwind of the last few weeks and the lingering remembrances from their early years together. Words never came fast and easy to Colby Granger. He was more about action, but even he knew there was a time to act and a time to reflect on events past, on memories of friends, on regrets and gratitude.

"You're a real son of a bitch, you know that?"

He spoke more to the ground than to the coffin before him. An errant stone by his foot wanted for throwing, but his body none too subtly reminded him that standing up was enough of a challenge and throwing rocks was far too optional.

"I meant what I said. I wish it was somebody else who pulled me out of that Humvee in Afghanistan. I wish I'd never owed you my life. I wish I'd never gotten caught up in all this counterintelligence bullshit. If it wasn't you I wouldn't owe you my life, I wouldn't have gotten sucked into this mess and..." He stepped away for a second, clenching and unclenching his hands into fists in a futile attempt to dissipate the restless energy of helplessness. "And you wouldn't be dead!" he said angrily. "And you wouldn't have died saving my life again. Why the hell did you have to go and do that, you bastard! As if this wasn't hard enough..."

He fought back angry tears for a moment, hands itching to hit but lacking any foe to retaliate against.

"I hate owing you," he said softly, his voice strained with tension and grief. "And I hate more than anything that I'll always owe you now..."

After a moment of silence he felt a slender arm loop in his own, a foreign gesture, yet completely natural and familiar in that moment. Megan tugged gently, tentatively, at him as she cocked her head towards the car.

"We really should get you back in bed, Granger." She ducked her head down to catch his eye as he hung his head. "You finished?"

"No," he said wistfully, taking one last look at the coffin, his reflection in the polished wood showing an older, sadly wiser and more worn man than he'd been only weeks earlier. "But you're right. It's time to go..."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 30th, 2007 10:53 am (UTC)
I confess I wrote this fic just to make a pretty pattern in my LJ. (Look!) Oh and because iolsai said to write Colby fic and would not be daunted by the fact I just published Colby fic in Faith Shaken.

Forgive the short and absent Confession posts as of late, but at this hour of the night morning I'm not exactly feeling talkative. Just chalk it up to Vice eating my brain like Sylar. ;-)

Apologies to Proust for stealing the title idea and making a very bad version of it.

The following Colby lines are from Trust Metric and were partially used in this fic.

I really wish somebody else had pulled me out of that fire.

'Cause I hate owing you.

Very special thanks to betas melissima and iolsai for their assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
munchkinofdoommunchkinofdoom on September 30th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC)
You're going to mine this for all it's worth, aren't you. As if Between Trust and Doubt wasn't bad enough, you need to then go and twist the knife with Colby's feelings on his unresolved debt to Dwayne.

What I love about this is that you've captured Colby's mindset here. There have been a few fics I've read today on Colby's thoughts during and after his rescue, and what has read wrong in each of them is that Colby was too wordy. I really like the starkness here, both of his thoughts and his words. They ring true.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 7th, 2007 08:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for such a thoughtful review and your kind words.

After I read this I went out looking for post-ep Colby fic and it was interesting to see how others viewed the same show I saw. To me Colby is about actions - not brawn per se, but *doing* over speaking. He's not the most erudite guy by far, but he's smart enough to put what he needs to say in few words and smarter still to leave it at that.

Unresolved debts - especially to the dead - suck. I look forward to seeing if TPTB tap this issue in the rest of the season for him.

Oddly, I've already written a fic where Colby attends the funeral of an old Army buddy, but the circumstances in JL and TM make this one a very different event. I figured after 100 plus drabbles people would either have forgotten the previous one or would forgive me for writing two.
fredbassettfredbassett on September 30th, 2007 11:37 am (UTC)
I agree with munchkin, very stark and very well captured. Thanks.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 7th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC)
Thank *you*! Munchkin may have dragged you into the fandom, but you're recruiting even more people so that's even better.

I'm still hopeful one day you'll write fic for numb3rs100, but I'm patient enough to wait for you to be ready.

ROFL! What a crock! I want fic now! Hee!
fredbassettfredbassett on October 7th, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
I will, I will, I just need the right plot bunny. I know I should be able to manage 100 words, but taking the first, faltering steps into a new fandom is sooooooooo scary, and you lot are just so bloody good!

*grins* I'm scared! But I will try, honest, Miss, I will do my homework! I now need to watch more Numb3rs.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 17th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
Just wanted to say again I'm dead chuffed at you finally writing the fandom. Yay! And you're bringing in a ton of new readers too! It's like my birthday! Oh wait, not just yet... /grins/