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13 December 2008 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: 7,000 Feet  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #189 – Ice

Title: 7,000 Feet
Pairing/Characters: Don, Megan
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Sabotage, Judgment Call, Hardball
Summary: 7,000 feet, 28 degrees, 2 vehicles, 1 fatality
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

4,000... 5,000... 6,000 feet...

The dry chaparral of the Southern California foothills gave way to lush evergreens, but Don saw only his grim task ahead.

Megan kept glancing over as she drove, no solace to offer save companionship. She'd turned up the heat in the SUV, but the chill would not be chased away.

Sooty remains of snowdrifts lined the asphalt's edge as they followed the police escort on the wrong side of the icy road, passing the line of halted cars before stopping where the jackknifed truck lay diagonal across both lanes of traffic.

They exited the SUV, breath coming in wispy clouds at 7,000 feet, and approached the twisted wreckage.

"FBI." Megan flashed her badge as Don was drawn, dazed, to the driver's side of the crumpled car still partially wedged beneath the truck. "We're here to identify the body."

Broken glass crunched and snapped beneath his boots. The dying rays of the sun glinted along the shredded blue metal of the Prius.

Dark curls matted with blood...

A genius brain exposed in a shattered skull...

One remaining brown eye staring sightless though the shards of the windshield.

A beautiful mind would do math no more, now just a mere statistic.

Don reached in and closed the eye for the last time, hot tears threatening, stinging. He hid his reaction by walking to the side of the road, his gaze unfocused, blurring the bright colors of the cars waiting to begin their weekend getaways.

Megan laid a consoling hand on his back as he bit his lip, grief tightening his chest, stealing his breath.

"Don't look," he warned her.

"Is it?" she asked gently.

"Yeah..." Don's voice cracked, broke. "It's Amita."

A car drove up to the end of the line: a familiar classic convertible.

"Oh god... Charlie..."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 09:19 am (UTC)
I confess I couldn't decide between writing this grim misdirection bunny or Ian and Brady meeting in a bar for N100's Ice prompt.

I bet at least a couple of you will wish I didn't write this one.


Emma DeMarais
tkdbbelt on December 14th, 2008 11:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm one of those that wish this wasn't written. But it's not your fault that it almost exactly describes a loved one's death... And it was my fault that I had to read on to the grizzly end. Now I feel guilty that I'm relieved it was Amita. I had to remind myself that they are fictional characters! Really well done!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry if this fic caused you pain.

I'm one of those rare authors who pretty much refuses to put warnings on fic. Real literature doesn't have them and I hate the idea of having the planned impact of a story dulled because headers gave it away. Part of what I like about fic is it makes us *feel*. So much of life numbs us. Reading helps bring emotion back into our lives.

And yes, all fictional, no humans were harmed in the making of this story.

Well, just me...

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Again, my apologies.
clwilson2006clwilson2006 on December 14th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
jesus woman, will you please stop doing his to us. I nearly crapped my pants!

it's good job you're a bloody good writer or I wouldn't read half your stuff.

grim, but fantastic
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry! I'm not sorry! Bwuahahaha!

I firmly believe in the power of fiction to shake people out of the complacency of their everyday lives and make them *feel* something - anything!

So yes, sometimes I am evil. But it's for your own good. /cackles/

But thank you for that lovely compliment. I do try to make it worthwhile. After all, it would suck if I made you feel awful and there was no payoff. I do pay for my hubris in fewer readers than the easy authors, but someone called me 'challenging' as an author once and I liked that. I don't want to be the easy one. I want to be the challenging one.
riverotter1951: Qiriverotter1951 on December 14th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Brilliant. The twist when the body is identified reminds me of an O, Henry story. This is excellent and poignant.

I would have preferred 'Ian and Brady meeting in a bar.'
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love a good twist and misdirection is fun to write.

I may still write Ian and Brady, but I have a secret hope Brady will come back and we'll get a tiny bit of canon to work with on him.
hear me roarmagisterequitum on December 14th, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
Amita... =(

Awww. But I like the twist, because I was thnking Charlie. Not Amita. Good job.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I had this thought about their relationship being close enough now that they'd feel comfortable trading cars. I don't know whose idea it was, but the idea that the newer Prius might take the mountain roads better than the old car ergo Amita should take the so called safer car? Ouch. I didn't make it clear that Don knew he was going up to ID a female body, but Amita's been close to the family so long he'd still feel it - more so on his brother's behalf.
Tamanna: colbywhumpswingandswirl on December 14th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)

Damn, woman. That was good. *is blown away*

Poor Charlie, though. Hopefully Colby will be around to comfort him...
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

You know, I *almost* put Colby in the car with Don, but I decided Megan would be more of a comfort to him in this grim errand. Nothing like bending canon to meet your needs. ;-)
devon99 on December 14th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Jeez, don't do that to me girl!!


Nice sleight of hand:)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry! Did you not get the memo about me being EVIL? Bwuahahaha! ;-)
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 14th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! My work here is done! /dusts off hands/

(Nice pun BTW.)
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 15th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Ah, well. Either way it works.
Cynthia: CD Don't Leave Us Again by blue_eyes_cry1trackmind on December 15th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
Very nice misdirection indeed! So glad it was Amita instead of Charlie.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 15th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
Thanks! I think people would have been *seriously* peeved with me had I killed off Charlie! (Not that they weren't mad already. Hehehe)
Tori Lovelostandalone22 on December 15th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
Great story!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 15th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC)
Thank you!
rubynye on December 20th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
I'm going to concentrate on your skillful bait-and-switch there, on how this story unfolds with perfect timing, because otherwise I'm going to CRY GREAT BIG TEARS.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 20th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
AWW! /pets/ I'm sorry hon! I'm evol and a verra bad woman. I'll go back to writing happy stuff, okay? /dangles porn/ Shiny!