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21 July 2008 @ 06:00 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Just Don't Know  
Posted to numb3rs_slash

Title: Just Don't Know (Sequel to Used to be a Victim)
Series/Universe: Not the Only One
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/Colby
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Judgment Call, Breaking Point, Trust Metric
Summary: Colby doesn't know how he feels about Charlie anymore
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"Oh! And another military strategy falls to the superior logic of math!"

Charlie beamed as Colby shook his head at the chessboard.

"I shouldn't have been that easy to checkmate," he complained, his tone good-natured. "Best of five?"

Charlie got out of his chair and came around the dining room table, pausing to lean over Colby's shoulder, giving him a playful nudge. Colby's heart raced at the unexpected nearness, fighting down a little thrill at Charlie's affectionate touch.

"Col, we're at best of seven already." With a chuckle he headed into the kitchen. "But if you want me to keep beating you, I'd be happy..." Charlie was barely into the kitchen when the loud clang of something falling made Colby bolt from his chair and race into the room.

"Charlie!" A large stockpot and metal colander lay on the floor and Charlie - pale and weak - stood holding himself up by leaning hard against the counter. Colby rushed to him, putting his arms around him enough to hold him up should he fall. "Are you okay? Should I call an ambulance?"

"No, no..." Charlie tried shaking his head, but aborted that effort right off. "I just... I just got a little dizzy, that's all. I'm okay."

Colby eyed him warily. "Are you sure? Maybe you should sit down." Keeping one hand on Charlie he leaned over and grabbed a barstool and pulled it over for him. "Here." He helped Charlie sit down, keeping his arms loosely around him just in case. "That's the third dizzy spell you've had since I moved in," he said, worried.

"Well, not the third," Charlie admitted reluctantly. "Just the third you saw."

"Charlie!" Colby crouched down until his eyes were even with Charlie's, grabbing him by the shoulders to make him look at him. "You need to tell us when stuff like this happens!" Straightening up, he put on his most determined face. "That's it. I'm taking you to the doctor."

"Come on, Col. It's not that bad," Charlie cajoled. "Besides, I've got an appointment tomorrow anyway. There's no need to rush to the ER just for a little dizziness."

"It might be a sign of something more," Colby cautioned. "I just don't want anything to happen to you and I'm not just saying that because Don and your dad will have my hide if anything happens to you on my watch."

Charlie put on his best placating face. "I'm fine. Totally fine. No worries."

Colby pulled up another barstool and sat in front of Charlie. "Then why do you look like you don't even believe what you're saying?" he asked, eyebrow raised.

Charlie let out a long breath and the facade fell. "Okay, so maybe I'm a little worried."

"A little?" Colby prompted, scooting closer.

"A lot?" Charlie amended, looking up at Colby from beneath the curls that hung down over his ducked head. "Like maybe freaking out kind of?"

Colby slid his hands down Charlie's arms until he reached his hands, taking them in his much larger ones. "Talk to me," he said gently. "Tell me what's going on in that genius head of yours."

Charlie squeezed Colby's hands, tightening their connection. "I keep thinking... Imagining that a seizure is waiting to happen all the time, like any second it could hit. Do you have any idea what it's like not to be able to trust your own body?" Colby fought back the flashback that question brought up in him - the freighter, Mason Lancer, the syringes - and kept his focus on Charlie, who just kept talking. "All the things I took for granted: bicycling, driving, hell even just walking around! I can't trust myself to do them anymore!"

"Charlie, it's not like this is a life sentence," Colby assured him. "The doctor thinks you'll recover in time."

"He thinks!" Charlie cried. "A guess!"

"An educated guess based on a whole hell of a lot of years of medical school," Colby offered, trying to sound confident. "You just have to hang in there for now. Be patient. You'll get better, I know you will."

Charlie sat looking forlorn. "I wish I believed that." His voice was small, drained of its normal bravado. "I'm just afraid I'll be stuck this way for the rest of my life."

Colby spontaneously enfolded Charlie in his arms, feeling him sink into the comfort there.

"Don't think that," he said, holding Charlie tightly. "You're going to get through this."

"I can't stop being scared," Charlie murmured into Colby's shirt. "I tried, but I can't."

Colby felt a pang in his chest at the pain in Charlie's voice; what hurt Charlie hurt him too.

He pulled back and took Charlie's face in his hands, their gaze locking instantly. Colby went to open his mouth, to spout some platitude of reassurance, but the open and trusting look on Charlie's face just hit him so hard he was too stunned to speak.

Still holding Charlie's face he unconsciously began to lean in then stopped himself abruptly when it hit him what he was doing. He thought he knew how he felt about Charlie, about their burgeoning friendship, and suddenly his brain was filled with a whole different picture of Charlie. Dropping his hands he could do no more than blink for a few seconds. Suddenly he felt like he didn't know anything for sure anymore.

"Colby?" Charlie looked at him, confused.

"I was going to say..." Colby sat gaping for a few more seconds, eyes unconsciously attracted to the pinkness of Charlie's parted lips. "I just don't know anymore."

"Neither do I," Charlie said mournfully.

Colby shook himself. "No, that's not what I mean. Damn it," he swore. "I'm screwing this all up."

"Was there something you wanted to tell me?" Charlie looked at him so expectantly - his trust so plain on his face - that Colby for a moment almost wanted to confess what was really going through his mind, perhaps in the dim hope they could laugh it off together and move on without any of the awkwardness that had suddenly invaded their domestic bliss.

"Um, just that if you have another dizzy spell tonight I'm taking you to the ER. Otherwise we can wait until the morning when I drive you in for your regular follow up."

Charlie looked at him, head cocked to the side, as if he was a particularly perplexing math problem. "Is there something going on I don't know about?" he asked. "Oh god," he said, suddenly aghast. "You don't want to be here and you're afraid to tell me because I was such a jerk about making you stay here in the first place! I never even asked you! And it's not like you were going to say no in front of your boss..."

Colby cut off Charlie's panicked ramble with a hand over his mouth.

"I am here because I want to be here," he said plainly. "Do not even think otherwise."

He took his hand off Charlie's mouth, but the flood of words had been dammed. Charlie's only acknowledgment was a brief nod, his expression thoughtful while his body language just seemed weary.

"I'm tired," he said quietly. "I think I should go lay down."

Colby helped him stand, his hand at his elbow - guiding and monitoring him. "Do you want me to stay with you?"

Charlie leaned into Colby ever so slightly, turning towards him like a sunflower.

"Yes, I'd like that..."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Yes! More NOO!

This begins a four fic arc that will result in this fic *finally* getting slashy at the end. Not that it will be very slashy past that, because the next arc is also very gen, but things will have *changed* for our oh so patient couple thus crossing the border from pre-slash into, well, I guess gen topics with a slash pairing? LOL This whole fic has so much about Charlie's injury in it there's a ton of gen (and technically some het because until the break up Charlie/Amita was in force) so I'm trying not to think about what category it falls in and just letting the story go where it's supposed to.

And apparently, there's going to be a dog.

Yes, I said a dog.

/glares at muse/

She's a good dog though. :-)

That's the next arc though. For now, we need to get working towards a first kiss...


Emma DeMarais
boymommytotwo: colby charlie hazyboymommytotwo on July 22nd, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
i love their intimacy and the painfully-slow pace they are moving toward their slashiness...

and a dog.

as in "bow-wow" dog...

emma, you crack me up.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Yes, a dog. Even I went 'huh?' But the muse gave me an excellent reason for the dog, so I just shrugged and kept on going. I just have to trust that what I get is what the story is supposed to be, you know?

Thanks for reading!
ladygray99ladygray99 on July 22nd, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
this had nice warmth and even a little almost hotness in it. Is Charlie going to get one of those dogs that can smell when a seizure is going to happen?
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
In a word?

Things are starting to warm up a bit, but there's more overthinking before one of them finally gets brave enough to *do* anything. LOL

Thanks for reading!
cyndilccyndilc on July 22nd, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
Ya! I love it. So sweet. Can't wait for more and I think a dog is a good idea. I little Colby/Charlie love with a little puppy love. Perfection.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Thank you and welcome to my LJ!

I'm writing more NOO as we speak (so to speak LOL) so more is coming!
Mia: why cant youseemia_dcwut_09 on July 22nd, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
More I totally love this
man you're such a tease
Y didnt colby just kiss him
y o y didnt he
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
Colby is busy angsting at the moment (I'm writing the next installment right now) so he's being a doofus. At least now he realizes he *wants* to. /shakes head at him/

Thanks for reading!
Mia: kiss memia_dcwut_09 on July 22nd, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
lol I totally love an insecure Colby he makes my smile
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Flawed heroes are my favorite. :-)
harknessgirlharknessgirl on July 22nd, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
This is really good!
I like the steady build up to their eventual romantic relationship, its perfect and I think very realistic.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
Thank you! I just wrote the next three installments (the rest of the current arc this fic starts) tonight so I can assure you your patience will be rewarded soon!
harknessgirlharknessgirl on July 22nd, 2008 08:42 am (UTC)
WOW that was a quick reply :-D
ooo more *claps hands*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 08:46 am (UTC)

I'm trying to come down after writing three whole fic in one sitting so email was the perfect distraction. Lo and behold I got a comment while I was doing it so yay!
harknessgirlharknessgirl on July 22nd, 2008 08:50 am (UTC)
Glad I could be of service *grin*

May I ask here in the world do you live? I'm in England :-D
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)
I'm on the West Coast of the USA.

But I'll wave in your direction when I'm in Europe next. ;-)
harknessgirlharknessgirl on July 22nd, 2008 09:06 am (UTC)
I will wave in your direction, if I ever come to the USA. :D
fredbassettfredbassett on July 22nd, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
Nice. It was iinteresting t see the strength of both of their insecurities in this.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 22nd, 2008 09:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! I just wrote the next three so I can guarantee more insecurity to come. /grins/
Tamanna: colby beautifulswingandswirl on July 22nd, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)
More NOO! Yay!

I have an exam tomorrow that I really should be studying for but then I saw this and couldn't resist. *g*

Hee, the clue bus finally made it to Colby's stop! *hugs the poor insecure farmboy* He really is cute when he's overthinking things. Much like a certain mathematician...

A dog, eh? *tilts head* Strange as it sounds at first, it actually fits. Charlie, Colby, big house in the suburbs, dog. All they need is the commitment ceremony and the 2.4 Cambodian orphans... *g*

I really love how you've chosen to keep this series gen, yet give it a slash twist that's real and believable. I've read so many stories where the most grevious of injuries are cured instantly with the Magical Healing Cock (TM) that to see one that deals so deftly with relationships in the context of an injury is really refreshing. Brava!

*waits eagerly for the next installment*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
Hey! Hope you did well on the exam, because there's more NOO! I'm posting the four part arc in order one a day this week so not much waiting required. ;-)

I ♥ your hilarious comment! Clue bus! 2.4 orphans! Magical Healing Cock! And don't forget (TM)! ROFL

I'm glad people are so forgiving of me posting so much gen under a slash banner, but I just consider is *super* pre-slash. ;-) Hey, I wrote two fic with actual kisses in them so there *is* a payoff soon, I promise!

Finally, if you want to be spoiled about the dog you can read the comments on this fic to find out more. Otherwise it will be introduced in the next story arc which will likely happen next month.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 23rd, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
Gah! I pressed submit too soon and forgot to say THANK YOU! :-)
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 28th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
Poor Colby, all confused. Hopefully he won't be confused for long.

harakimi on April 10th, 2009 09:50 am (UTC)
Yieks! What a great development! When Colby leans closer, I came closer to the monitor, too, thinking "now, now, now" and he didn't. But, aww, so cute! Poor Colby, though... Sigh, so much tension between those two. Beautiful.

And you bring in a dog! I love dogs! Favourite animals! I will read on right away! Yay!

P.S.: Thanks, I did dream well XD
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 10th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
I'm working on the dog arc - or trying to anyway. /gives muse a pleading look/

And for all the waiting, all the tension, they do eventually kiss, I promise. /crosses heart/

Thanks for reading! (And yay for good dreams!)