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16 October 2008 @ 03:20 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #181 – Demands

Title: Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone
Pairing/Characters: Charlie, Don
Rating: PG
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Pilot, When Worlds Collide
Summary: Charlie's life during and after he stops consulting for the FBI
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Don doesn't get it.

Charlie's got a life, a career, responsibilities. He can't just drop everything when the FBI calls.

And yet he does.

It's 10:30PM and he's massaging his temples, pencil hovering uncertain over the disaster that is his day planner. Too many tasks he didn't get done today and not enough empty timeslots to move them to. He scrubs his face with his hand, weary, shoulders hunched against the pressure of deadlines. This is fruitless. His phone will ring tomorrow - kidnapped child, serial rapist, spree killer - and Charlie will just have to reschedule them yet again.

He wants to sit his brother down and explain that there are demands on his time; that Don needs to respect that, respect him.

But he won't. It's moot anyway. Charlie can't say no to Don.


He flips through the project folders with a frustrated grumble, mentally ticking off the ones that require clearance - most of them, certainly all of the good ones. He's in his prime; he should be making a difference in the world not locked out because of one well-intentioned mistake.

He aimlessly taps a pencil on the desk. Don doesn't call.

This is harder than he imagined it would be.

He hears the clock tick across the silent office; he never really noticed it before. At 5:30PM he yawns, stretches as he rises, stiff from inactivity. He scratches the scruff of his beard as he shoulders his too light satchel. Ketchup and orange juice, he thinks, trying to remember if his father asked him to pick up a third item at the market on his way home for dinner.

Over brisket Don remarks offhand that Charlie should be happy, he's got plenty of time to work on his beloved math now.

Don doesn't get it.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 16th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
There's a story behind this, oh yes, there's a story behind this.

And I'm only telling part of it here. (More on that later.)

First off, my friend the lovely cerisereve wrote me a Don/Leah fic (Naked) for my birthday and posted it early. /squishes her/ It's in her Garden of Eden inspired universe, which I adore, so it was a great gift. But the bonus gift? As an author intrigued by writing process she decided to document the entire life of the fic in an LJ post. Go read the post! It's humorous and interesting and enlightening all at once.

So of course that made *me* want to write up my drabble writing process. I didn't think it would be much, given how fast I write. I was kind of shocked at the fact that it took six hours total start to finish to complete the drabble.

But when my write up was done? It took seven hours. /facepalm/ To be fair writing the first draft of the drabble took seven *minutes*. It just took me seven hours from start to finish to get to a final draft I could be happy with. And to title it because holy shit this had to have been the worst titling experience of my fic career. /shakes head in dismay/

So I have documented the entire process I went through (including the lazing about and playing Freecell when I wasn't wrestling with the muse) on Sunday to get this from inception to final draft. I made it into a meme so if anyone else wants to take it on? It would be interesting to see the variety of responses.

Drabble Writing Process - Demands at mlleemma, my personal LJ.

Title comes from the lyrics for the song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell.

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


Emma DeMarais
Cynthia: AD It's Okay by frostedmagnolia1trackmind on October 16th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
I really like this, particularly the symmetry of the opening and closing lines. Poor Charlie. The grass is always greener, isn't it?
browngirl on October 17th, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC)
They put in a parking lot, huh, Charlie honey?

I love this, not least the bookending repeat of "Don doesn't get it."
CeriseRevecerisereve on October 18th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Ohhhh! *claps*

I'm liking the Charlie can't help Don story on the show and the fact you wrote fic for it makes it all the better!