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15 December 2007 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Duty and Honor  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #137 – Black Sheep

Title: Duty and Honor
Pairing/Characters: Colby
Rating: PG
Word Count: 200
Spoilers: The Janus List, Trust Metric, Velocity
Summary: Colby has always gone home to Idaho for Christmas
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

It's the first week of December by the time it hits him.

He has nowhere to go for Christmas.

He'd filed his vacation paperwork and gotten his plane tickets well in advance like every year.

But now?

Some things can never be unsaid.

He knew it would be hard not telling anyone, even his family, that he wasn't really a traitor. But he thought that once he was cleared it would all be erased, wiped clean. Over.

But some words cut too deep to heal and some painful truths can get caught by a web of lies. Things said in anger, out of shame, aren't forgotten - aren't forgiven - with mere apologies.

He misses his father now more than any of the family he won't see this Christmas. At least he can hold on to the belief that his father loved him, trusted him, was proud of him.

Five weeks of hell.

A lifetime of regret.

He decides to cancel his vacation, just work through it instead. The agents who have loving families deserve the time off and crime doesn't take vacations.

Duty and honor.

At least he still has that.

Even if no one else believed he did.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 16th, 2007 08:00 am (UTC)
One (tiny) downside of being one of the people who chooses the prompts for N100 is having to hold on to fic sometimes for weeks before I can share it - unable to post it until the prompts are made public each Monday.

(Okay so I don't always publish the first day I can - sometimes I have longer fic I want out before drabbles. So shoot me...)

One (not so tiny) upside is that I get longer to plan my fic. I knew I wanted to write more emotional drabbles for this month and when I got the idea to write about Colby's family I knew it was a juicy premise and made myself sit on it for a while before writing it. (Plus I sat on it after I wrote it, letting it stew before the final edits. That's so not like me - you have no idea.)

It occurred to me that - like Colby's coworkers - his family would likely believe his guilt because, well, he'd *confessed*! I imagined his relatives venting their anger and shame at him, accusing him of tainting their long family history of decorated service to the country. (Poor Colby for having to sit through that, unable to break cover even for them!)

The thing about rants? Other stuff tends to come up. If say a mother was disowning her son, I'm sure she'd let loose with both barrels and tell him every hurtful thing she'd choked down in his lifetime. Maybe even throw his father's death in his face.

Now I don't want to think that of Colby's mother, but how many generations of duty and honor did Colby say he was from? Yeah. It runs deep and a traitor to one's country is a traitor to family for them, I'm sure.

So Colby hoped, with the naivety of a boy who assumed his mother would always love him no matter what and that family would always be a safe haven, that once he was exonerated and the truth of his heroism was out all would be forgiven.

And it's likely his family has forgiven him.

But maybe now, what he didn't anticipate, is that he can't forgive them...


Emma DeMarais
DarkElyelysium1996 on December 16th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
very bitter but a good point...
irena_adler: Colby if I had toirena_adler on December 18th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
Please don't take this wrong, but sometimes your confessions are the best part of a fic. :) This confession is like a drabble, with the killer last line.
shanachie13shanachie13 on February 8th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
You did an awesome job with this fic. I so feel for Colby. And yeah, I'll take him home for Christmas!

I think that's why I took the other side. His sister believed in him. Didn't want to believe that he had done it and he did break cover enough to tell her not to believe everything she heard. And she basically stood by him. I never wrote one for after "Trust Metric", but I can totally see Jo going "Na, na, na" when Colby is proven innocent.

She does threaten David in a later fic though for making her brother suffer.
Valerie Vancollievaleriev84 on December 16th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
Ouch! Poor Colby :(

Very nice, I really like this. But then, I'm a sucker for good angst. I hope that you continue this as I would love to know the reactions of Colby's family to the face that, now that he's considered a hero, he is no coming home for Christmas. It serves them right. His mother should have known him better than to believe it.

Five generations of duty and honor and none of them have heard of undercover? I think not.

Poor Colby. I hope Don and the family invite him over.
fredbassettfredbassett on December 16th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
Painful, poor Colby.
Candi: Colby Hoodiemustangcandi on December 16th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)

My poor baby. He can come have Christmas with me. I'll take GOOD care of him. :)

Very lovely (and painful)...
melissimamelissima on December 16th, 2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
Ow ow ow. You do pain so very well. It shocked me that I hadn't considered this before you mentioned it, in all the contemplation of Janus List.

I'm so glad you did think of it, because this is a lovely piece. :)
CeriseRevecerisereve on December 16th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh! I liked all the Colby angst in this drabble…then again I’m a sucker for Colby and Janus List related fic. Thanks for stewing over this even though it’s not in your nature.

p.s. Yes I can use livejournal. :)
ladygray99ladygray99 on December 16th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
Poor boy :( Christmas without the family.
Cynthia: Colby Biting Fingers by lady_devon1trackmind on December 16th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Very nice. Bittersweet. Poor Colby.
muiting on December 17th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
Ooooh! Poor Colby!

Nice, angsty drabble!

Right now, Colby is one of my most favorite characters.

Hope you will write some more!
rubynye on October 7th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, Colby. Ow. *OW*.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on October 7th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
/winces on reread/

Yeah, that one even hurt me.
Tamanna: colbywhumpswingandswirl on December 9th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Ow. *cries* This was just as painful on reread. *wraps Colby up in a nice warm blankie and feeds him cookies* Poor baby, I can't imagine how horrible those weeks must have been for him. Hopefully he'll have someone in L.A. to make Christmas easier...

The agents who have loving families deserve the time off
Yeowch. Way to punch your reader in the gut, Emma. I could feel Colby's pain there, his sense of loss with regard to his family.

I'm going to echo valeriev84- any chance of a sequel? I would love to hear Ma Granger's side of the story...
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 9th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear this made an impact! My December drabbles last year were all designed to hit the reader hard (compare this to say Without Warning or A Passing Resemblance) and I'm thinking of doing something similar with some of the prompts this month as well.

I don't think I'd do a sequel per se, but I think I'd like to explore the effect of Colby's charges and imprisonment on his mother and the rest of the family.

So I'll pass along the request to the muse and hope she bites. ;-)

Damerel: Colby leandamerel on November 19th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
This really, really hurts. It's the things we don't anticipate that have the most power to destroy, isn't it?

It's terribly difficult to read, yet so powerful and so beautifully done that I know I will pull it out often to re-read.