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18 November 2008 @ 03:36 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Depression  
Posted to numb3rs_slash
Crossposted to eppescest

Title: Depression (Sequel to Devolution)
Series/Universe: Devolution
Pairing/Characters: Don/Charlie
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Pilot, UP, Identity Crisis, Sacrifice
Summary: 1989 - Don gets a chilling phone call from New Jersey
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"I know the real reason you didn't come visit for Hanukkah."

Don kicked his dorm room door shut and held his ear closer to the phone to hear over the din of the residence hall.

"Huh? Charlie?"

"There was no ski trip. You just didn't want to see me."

Don sat down on his bed, his pause too long to be anything other than admission.

"I did go skiing," he protested lamely, going for only a partial lie. "We only got back yesterday."

"It doesn't matter," Charlie said, his voice almost drowned out by city traffic. It sounded like he was at a payphone downtown based on the noise. "I just wanted you to know you won't have to spend another holiday with me. Just... Just tell Mom and Dad I love them, okay?"

"What are you talking about?" Don said, apprehension rising as Charlie failed to respond. A sound he could only interpret as the receiver being dropped was all he heard. A primal emotion he hadn't felt since that day just after his birthday rose up, flooding him with fear. "Charlie? Charlie!"

There was no reply, just the bracing squeal of tires and a sickening thud.


Charlie spent four days in the hospital recovering from his suicide attempt at thirteen.

Then he spent 72 hours in the psych ward.

"It's for your own good, honey," his mother had cooed. "We need to make sure you won't try to hurt yourself again."

Don hadn't said anything and didn't visit the whole time he was in that part of the hospital.

By the time Charlie came home, his already frosty relations with his brother were positively glacial. Don wouldn't meet his eyes and found more excuses than ever to be away from home - to study, to work out, to practice...

They became strangers in their own home, but to Charlie that worked out fine. At least when Don wasn't around he had a tiny chance of feeling normal.

Most of his time was spent acting: acting upbeat, feigning interest in what his parents were doing, pretending he was looking forward to college.

He had only a matter of weeks to convince them he was fine before a decision had to be made to let him go away to Princeton or hold him back.

To Charlie there was no worse punishment they could give him than a year without any schoolwork at all, at home, with nothing to do but watch Don revel in his college experience.

Watching Don fully enjoy being a senior in high school had been torture enough. Not only would Don be more untouchable, more attractive as a college man, he'd rub it in Charlie's face that he wasn't - whether he intended to or not.

He couldn't take it. If the definition of insanity was doing the same thing and expecting different results then Charlie knew another year with Don like their senior year would truly destroy any shreds of sanity he had left.

His experience - his survival - had taught him one thing: if he wanted to go on living, it had to be away from Don.

Plus he figured Don would want him far away as well after all that had happened. For that, he couldn't blame him.

They never spoke of the tape or that day, he and his brother, which wasn't hard seeing as how they barely spoke at all past 'pass the mashed potatoes' or 'are you eating that last pancake?'

Apparently he passed muster, because their parents announced at dinner one night that Charlie was indeed going back east to attend Princeton and their mother would be going with him.

Charlie put up the required amount of protest about how he could take care of himself, but in the end let them win the argument.

At least he was going. Don's college would be three thousand miles away.

Charlie just hoped that was far enough.

The move kept him busy enough so that they were in New Jersey before he knew it. Between unpacking, learning the campus grounds and getting his classes settled he didn't have any free time at all at first.

Then classes began and he settled into his new life.

The first few months went fine. School kept him busy enough he was able to shunt thoughts of Don aside.

At least during the daylight hours.

Inside he was counting the days until Hanukkah when the family would be reunited. Since half of them were back east anyway the plan was to spend the holidays with his paternal grandmother at her place in New York.

And then word came through his father that Don had made other plans: skiing with Marisa's family. He'd dropped hints about things getting serious between them and his parents talked excitedly about the possibility of a New Years engagement.

Charlie was disappointed, but tried to think positive about it. Perhaps an engaged or married Don might be less appealing, easier to resist. It would at least up the guilt, although Charlie was pretty sure it was hard to feel more guilt than he already did.

Then he talked to a friend of Marisa's little sister just after the first of January. In casual conversation, he discovered Don had broken up with her months ago.

The truth behind the lie hit him all at once.

There was no ski trip. There was no relationship.

So that was the reality: Don despised him so much he'd rather lie and avoid his family than spend any time with him.

Charlie sank into depression, hiding his morose thoughts behind a veneer of stress over his course load, which amazingly his mother bought.

His brother hated him. It was his fault. There was no fixing this.

He just wanted to die.

Only this time he needed a better method.


Don was still on the line when the sirens started. He could hear horns honking, car doors slamming, people yelling...

And then the phone went dead.

He called his mother, frantic, but got no answer.

He called his father, making no sense in his panic and offering no real helpful information, but at least getting across that Charlie had been hit by a car.

His father just told him to come home.

By the time he rush packed a bag and drove over from campus his father had heard from his mother, who was at the hospital. They'd called her when Charlie was brought in. His leg was broken in two places plus he had a concussion.

His parents just thought he'd been distracted by an argument with Don before crossing the street.

Lucky, they called him. He could have been killed.

Only Don and Charlie knew that it had nothing to do with luck.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on November 18th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
I promise Charlie doesn't try to kill himself in every installment. /crosses heart/

Trust me, the third is different even if Charlie does continue to act out to the extreme.

And no, the whole series isn't this melodramatic. Sure, it's not the most subtly nuanced series I've ever done (Ha! No.) but I wrote this because I was in the mood for old school shame fic with angsty melodrama and H/C. Call me old fashioned, but I miss 2005 Don/Charlie.

Is it weird to long for the 'innocent' days of cestfic? ;-)


Emma DeMarais
Devo79devo79 on November 19th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
That first time Charlie jumps in front of a car is really...it hurts cause I can just imagine what it must be like for Don, having to listen to that.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 19th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Thanks. It was actually harder (for me) in the first draft when that part was Charlie's POV, but I think it works better as a story with Don listening helpless 3000 miles away. Lots of us have known such helplessness and it really resonates in the way a kick to the chest resonates in your rib cage. Which is to say, ouch.
rubynye on November 19th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession

Is it weird to long for the 'innocent' days of cestfic? ;-)

*falls off chair, giggling hysterically, because otherwise I'd be crying*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 19th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
LOL at this being the reaction to a fic called Depression!

Ladies and gentlemen, we've run the gamut!
One Part Exuberance; Two Parts Obsession: charliepenguingal on November 19th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Ouch. This keeps getting hurty-er. *wibbles*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 19th, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)
What can I say? I've been in the mood for ouch fic all year. And I think it kept getting hurty-er because I wasn't satisfied. I guess I really need to destroy these boys to make myself happy, huh?

(And what does that say about how twisted *my* brain is? LOL)
andi: Don/Charlieadmiralandrea on November 19th, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear Charlie isn't going to be trying to kill himself every installment. Don't think I could take it if he did! And some old skool Don/Charlie angst and HC sounds good to me!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 19th, 2008 08:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, it would get boring if this was 50 Ways to Leave your Brother (The Perennial Suicide Attempt Mix). ;-)

I feel ancient craving old school cestfic, but damn! Those were good days! I miss the fandom being fresh and new and cest being all wrong and shameful and hot. /sigh/
Tori Lovelostandalone22 on November 19th, 2008 08:03 am (UTC)
I promise Charlie doesn't try to kill himself in every installment.
But... but... I like that.

I'm really loving these stories, and can't wait to read more.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 19th, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)
I didn't say he doesn't do *other* dramatic (and dangerous) things each installment. ;-)

Glad you're enjoying them. Two more and then a hiatus, but at least I'm posting one a day each day of these first four so not much waiting there.
devon99 on November 19th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
I'm glad Charlie doesn't try to kill himself in each chapter!! I don't think I could take it.

Am completely loving it. Angst, secrets, lies, guilt - wonderful.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 19th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I think you summed up just what I was looking for when I wrote this: angst, secrets, lies, guilt. :-) Oh and H/C. My fave. /beams/
boymommytotwo: eppes brosboymommytotwo on May 30th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
i'm going to hold you to your word charlie isn't forever suicidal. i don't know how many more attempts _i_ can take...
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 31st, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
No, no... It's just this. He grows up and eventually gets strong enough to get pissy with Don instead of being so weak.