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13 January 2008 @ 06:15 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Not the Only One  
Posted to numb3rs_slash

Title: Not the Only One
Series/Universe: Not the Only One
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/Colby
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Judgment Call, The Mole, Janus List, Trust Metric, Breaking Point
Summary: After the case is over Charlie goes to see Colby (Breaking Point Post-Ep)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"It's open!"

Charlie opened Colby's apartment door tentatively and peered inside.

"Colby?" he called into the seemingly empty living room.

"In here."

Charlie followed the voice into the kitchen and found Colby sitting hunched over a barstool at his kitchen counter facing away from him. He didn't turn to greet Charlie, just filled his glass from the liquor bottle sitting next to his gun.

"Surprised you leave the door unlocked like that," Charlie tried to josh, his light tone falling flat in the dead silence of the room. "Anyone could just walk..." His voice trailed off when Colby gestured to a surveillance monitor in easy view showing the exterior of the apartment and the living room. "Oh."

"I'm not as dumb as people think I am," Colby intoned, swirling the liquid in the glass as he stared into it.

Charlie bristled slightly. "I never said that."

"No one ever does. It's all in the way they treat you. You wouldn't know, Charlie. You've been treated like a genius your whole life. No one would underestimate you."

Charlie let his head hang down. "You'd be surprised," he said, almost under his breath. An empty pause settled over them and Charlie shifted his weight from foot to foot before he spoke. "I heard." When he got no response, Charlie continued. "The second man you shot died too. That put you over the level for fatal shootings..."

"I know." Colby lifted up a sheaf of paperwork, still not turning to face Charlie. "Administrative leave pending psychological evaluation."

"Ironic since you're the one who seems to be handling all this better than anyone." Charlie ducked his head down. "You certainly helped me."

Colby shrugged slightly, the muscles in his shoulders barely able to tense more than they already were. "Combat forces you to deal. It's either that or lose it and if you lose it on the battlefield there's more at stake than losing your mind."

"Still, I wanted to thank you. And to see how you were doing. I know it was rough when Don crossed that line with his shootings. All that death..."

"I'm used to death," Colby interrupted. "It's my job, remember?"

"Your job is to protect, Colby," Charlie said gently. "Not to kill."

"Well, sometimes it is," Colby drawled.

"Sometimes it happens and it's unfortunate, but you're not in the business of killing. You save lives." Charlie paused for a moment. "Those two men died because they tried to kill me. Don't think I don't realize that."

"No Charlie, they died because they shot at me. Self defense."

"It's highly probable that you wouldn't have been at that place at that time if I hadn't identified the truck."

"Doesn't matter," Colby argued. "They're still dead and I still killed them."

"What matters," Charlie said, moving closer. "Is that you're alive - we're alive. We should be happy about that..." He moved the bottle away from Colby on the counter. "I don't want you to beat yourself up over what you had to do."

Colby held up the glass for Charlie to see.

"Do you know that I haven't had hard liquor since before I became an FBI agent? As soon as Dwayne approached me and I reported it I knew I couldn't risk losing control for even a moment. So a rare beer here and there, but nothing else. I figured now what do I have to lose?" He set the glass aside. "But I don't want it anymore. It won't give me what I'm looking for."

"Which is?"

"Doesn't matter," Colby said, shaking his head. "I'm not going to find it, not in a bottle, not anywhere." He let out a long breath. "Anyway, thanks for stopping by."

"Colby..." Charlie moved closer until he was standing right behind Colby, tension rolling off the agent in waves. "I had something I wanted to say."

"Not stopping you." Colby sat, just staring at his hands on the counter, still avoiding looking at Charlie.

Charlie swallowed hard. "I've known, for a while now actually, that Don would kill to protect me. That's difficult for me since I'm not hardened to death like agents and military personnel are. It took me a while to see past the horror of a life ending prematurely to the good in it - that protecting someone is a noble act and it deserves my respect and gratitude regardless of the circumstances." He laid a hand on Colby's back, feeling him start then subtly relax under the warm weight of his palm. "I used to think Don was my protector, the one who'd do anything to keep me safe. Now I know he's not the only one."

Spontaneously, Charlie slipped his arms around Colby's barrel chest and hugged him from behind. Unexpectedly Colby melted back into the embrace, laying his hands on Charlie's arms to encourage the contact. As Charlie breathed against Colby's broad back, he felt each breath slow and deepen as the tension began to leave the taut body in his arms.

They sat like that in silence for a moment, their breathing shifting until they were unconsciously in sync.

"You shouldn't be the one comforting me," Colby protested quietly. "I should be comforting you."

"Well then maybe..." Charlie's body shifted to increase the contact between them, his hands moving across Colby's chest in a subtle suggestion of a caress. "We could comfort each other..."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 14th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
Quite the shippers' slashers' delight this episode, wasn't it? Something for almost everyone: Don/Charlie, Charlie/David and Charlie/Colby. Hell, even a bit of Don/David and Don/Colby.

I wasn't sure what to write after watching the episode, but I woke up with this bunny so there you go. It was almost a gen fic, but there are enough ChaCo fans out there that I've not been feeding so I hoped they'd like this intimate little moment between the two of them.

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


Emma DeMarais
riverotter1951: red valentineriverotter1951 on January 14th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
I have always wondered what happened after the cameras stopped rolling. You have this question beautifully showing Charlie and Colby in a tender moment.
Re: Confession - emmademarais on January 16th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rachaeldancinbutterfly on January 14th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
Hurray! This was lovely. I love the detail about hard liquor. That makes so much sense!

I adore this pairing (i'm not big cester) so its always good to see Charlie with someone other than Don. Also...Hate to ask, but is the Charlie/Colby story still being written or is it done? It was fantastic.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 16th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for coming to read and comment!

Actually if you look at my Memories I have Charlie paired with a dozen people other than Don. /grins/ This is only my second Charlie/Colby though. It went over so well I'm toying with the idea of either making this a series or starting one. So I'm not sure if that answers your question as I didn't really understand what you meant by still being written.
(no subject) - dancinbutterfly on January 16th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on January 16th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
melissima: Charlie' shy smile  <lj user=darkangel41melissima on January 14th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Such a pretty, quiet story. I love Charlie even more when he's soft like this. :) He could melt anybody!

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
Soft!Charlie is lovely.

As are you.

Dani: Tigger squee *bounce*umbralillium on January 14th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
So much glee when I saw you wrote a tag for this ep. ^_________^ And what a lovely tag it is, too! I loved Charlie returning the favor of comforting.

I didn't think I'd ever say this about Charlie/Colby fic, but I'm glad you ended this fic where you did. Porn really wouldn't have fit the mood of this fic, despite the hint at the end. I can more easily see them stripping down to their underwear and curling up together under a heavy comforter and just...being there for each other, y'know?

Anyhow, lovely work, Emma! : )
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the wonderful comment, Dani!

I was compelled to write a tag for this episode, only I was a bit surprised it was Colby oriented. I know tons of people like him way more than I do, but since Janus he's been far easier to write. I think I was just waited for enough canon on him to sink my teeth into.

Don uses sex for comfort after a bad case, thus his entire relationship with Liz, but Colby's not like that. He avoided dating for two years since he felt it would be IMHO unsafe to bring someone he cared about into the danger of his world. But there's a price for going without and now he's starved for basic human contact. I love that ever tactile Charlie understands this and is willing to give it without any sort of insinuations or assumptions.

So no porn, definitely. That's miles from where I was going with this. But I guess you knew that somehow because you read my mind. /grins/ I had 'bed, still no porn' in my head as natural progression when I wrote this and you called it. :-)

Only they don't wind up *under* the comforter. Hehehe
(no subject) - umbralillium on January 17th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
shara50 on January 14th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)

So's your icon!

Just posted more, FYI.
mercilynn: colby call memercilynn on January 14th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
This was gorgeous, Emma! You know I love Charlie/Colby and this was a perfect snapshot of them.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, hon! I'm still not a huge fan of the pairing, but this fic feels comfortable enough I could settle in for a while with a series.
autumnwritingautumnwriting on January 14th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC)
*covers mouth with hands to suppress a squee*

There really is something for everyone in this! Angsty!Colby and Geeky!Charlie, then Worried!Charlie and Cuddly!Charlie, and...my personal favorite: Cuddly!Colby. =D *pets them*

Very sweet. Charlie/Colby just sort of never gets old.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
No squee suppressing allowed! This is not a no squee area! /points to sign/ Hehehe

Something for everyone? Then I guess everyone just got more. /points to sequel/

Thanks for your delightful comment.
Devo79devo79 on January 14th, 2008 07:33 am (UTC)
Oh no you don't!
You can't stop there!
Gimme me more....Please!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
Oh yes I did!
Apparently not.
Ok. It's posted.
You're welcome. ;-)
merle_p: Colbymerle_p on January 14th, 2008 09:41 am (UTC)
I thought there was something missing after watching the episode - now I know it was your coda :-)

Great work, wouldn't mind to read more about them!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
Hee! Yeah, I wish we could add our own codas on to canon. /sigh/

More written and posted!

fredbassettfredbassett on January 14th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Lovely, tender, thoughtful fic :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Thank you.

/offers iced oatmeal cookies/
telperion_15: Thinkingtelperion_15 on January 14th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
You're not wrong about the ep! And Charlie/Colby was the pairing that stood out, I think (despite my total addiction to D/C!). This is lovely coda to Colby helping Charlie out in the ep.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
Well, I hope you forgive me because I took my D/C bunny and mixed it with this ChaCo bunny to make a new series. I wrote so much D/C last summer I think I burned out a little on it and am enjoying indulging my inner pairings whore for a while.

If you read Don and Charlie gen with slash goggles I have a super long fic coming out soon that you might like. :-)
gokuma: Travel by soylent_iconsgokuma on January 14th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)

You know, I had lots of things to do today, and I kept thinking "Okay, I'll do this and then I'll be able to read Emma's fic, come on, come on..." Finally, I started reading after 8 - 10 hours of thinking about it and it was really worth the wait.

I love the way you describe interaction between Colby and Charlie, all this subtle tenderness-tension between them. I'd love to read a sequel... :)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
Yay! I love being someone's end of day treat. :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed it and thank you for supporting a sequel. It's posted now. You don't even have to wait for it. Unless you make yourself. Hehehe
Heatheraslin on January 15th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
As always, this story was a delight. I think that Charlie/Colby has to be one on by favourite pairings, right under Charlie/Ian and your Don/Diego ^_^ I didn't get to watch this episode and now I even sadder that I missed it. Oh well...
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Don/Diego! /swoons/

You *must* see this episode. *cough*download*cough*

I'm not a big ChaCo fan, but I enjoyed writing this fic and the sequel so I guess I'll hang out with them for a while and explore the pairing, trying to see why so many people enjoy it.

sabelle67sabelle67 on January 15th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
Well done.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 17th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Thank you. Hope you enjoy the sequel as well.
Miamia_dcwut_09 on June 1st, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
I so love charlie/colby
you wrote charlie beautifully
I love how he wanted to comfort colby no matter what it took
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on June 1st, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you and thank you for reading the series. It's going to be a really long one (I think I have close to twenty fic mapped out for it so far) and it might not ever end.

Now if I can just get it jumpstarted again...
(no subject) - mia_dcwut_09 on June 1st, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on June 1st, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)