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21 January 2009 @ 11:46 am
Numb3rs Fic: Without  
Posted to numb3rs_slash

Title: Without (Sequel to Check Up On)
Series/Universe: Not the Only One
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/Colby, Alan
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Judgment Call, Breaking Point
Summary: Charlie gets ready to leave for a week of service dog training
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"It's only for a week."

Charlie kept packing his suitcase as Colby stood by the door to Charlie's bedroom, bulky arms crossed over his chest - the very picture of displeasure.

"It's too soon." His voice was stern, but the note of concern was clear. "You shouldn't be going out and about away from home when you're still having seizures this frequently."

Charlie pulled a sweatshirt out of a drawer and carried it over to his suitcase, tossing it in before heading over to Colby and tugging on his arms to get him to loosen them up. Colby did, albeit reluctantly, and Charlie wrapped his arms around Colby's waist loosely, making Colby do the same.

"I'm going because of the seizures - Penny can't help me with them unless I train with her beforehand. She's been a service dog for years, but with someone else, not me, and Lin-dai says it's important to train human and dog combined so they can work in concert."

"So this is more about training you than training the dog?" Colby said, giving Charlie a little shake, trying to lighten up.

"Yes, because we've all seen how trainable I am," Charlie snarked, pulling away to finish packing. "Hey, normally it's a two week training, for like paraplegics who have the dogs do a ton of stuff for them, but since Penny's experienced and I just need her for seizure alerts and for fetching help, they said we can get by with just a week."

"I'm not happy about you going by yourself," Colby said, repeating himself.

"I won't be by myself," Charlie said quietly. "And if anyone knows how to deal with people with health issues? It's people who deal with service dogs. All their clients have some sort of health issue. Trust me, I'll be in good hands."

"Okay!" Alan came up the stairs and popped his head in the open doorway. "I've dog-proofed the house, well as much as I think I can, so other than picking up a dog bed, grooming supplies, some food and water bowls and a bag of dog food, we're ready."

"Thanks, Pop," Charlie said. "You know, it's not too late to back out. If you don't want a dog in the house..."

"Nah." Alan made a dismissive wave of his hand. "I put away the good rugs. I'm ready. Besides, a dog will be good company once you're back to your old self again and I'm left sitting here hoping my sons will spare a few minutes to visit their old man." At Charlie's glare, Alan just chuckled. "Hey, I bet she likes brisket!"

"Dad..." Charlie started to scold, only to have Alan jauntily take off down the stairs again.

"I'm off to the pet store! I'll be back in time to make dinner..."

Charlie sat down on the bed, shaking his head in amusement. "My Dad has no grandchildren; I think he's going to wind up buying toys for the dog to make up for it."

Colby came and sat down beside him. "Lucky dog." When Charlie laid his head on Colby's shoulder, leaning into him, Colby put his arm around him. "You okay?" he asked, looking at him with concern.

"Just tired. Always tired... Whenever I start to get some energy back I have another seizure and I'm drained all over again."

Colby pulled away just long enough to take the suitcase off the bed and then draw Charlie down to lie with him. Once they got settled, Charlie pillowed his head on Colby's barrel chest, letting out a little contented sigh once they were enveloped in each other's arms.

"Just rest," Colby urged, carding his fingers through Charlie's curls. "You have a big day tomorrow and I don't want you to overtax yourself and risk a seizure."

"You take such good care of me," Charlie mused, curling up happily in Colby's arms. "It's going to be weird to not have you looking out for me for a whole week."

"It's going to be weird to be sleeping at my apartment," Colby said. "Wow, it feels strange to even say that."

"Things changed kind of fast, didn't they?" Charlie propped himself up to look down at Colby. "Do you regret any of it?"

"Yes." When Charlie stared at him, perplexed, Colby continued. "Charlie, what brought us together was an attempt on your life! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that I'm not stuck mooning over you from afar anymore, but for you to almost get killed? For you to be injured that badly? For you to be so afraid over these seizures? Yes, I regret that you had to go through all that. I wish this - we - could have happened some other way. I really do."

"But we didn't."

Colby reached up and brushed his fingers along Charlie's jawline, gazing at the face that had become so familiar, that he'd become so fond of.

"No, we didn't." He pulled Charlie down for a kiss, fingers threading naturally through his curls, still feeling that little jolt of excitement deep inside when they kissed anew. "You know..." He withdrew enough to look at Charlie. "I told David today at lunch -about us I mean."


"No drama. No jokes. No teasing. He just nodded and said he hoped we were happy together."

"I like David," Charlie said, settling back down on Colby's chest. "He's a good guy."

"He's a good partner," Colby agreed. "It's funny, for all the razzing we've done over the years I didn't expect him to be so understanding. I mean, I'm not out at work and not only do I tell him I'm dating a guy, I tell him I'm dating the boss's little brother!"

"Speaking of..." Charlie propped himself up again. "We should. Date, I mean. We kind of jumped over that step by having you practically move in when I got hurt, but we should - you know - go out. Like a proper couple and everything."

"Charlie, I'm not even comfortable with you having seizures at home. Going out..."

Charlie quieted him with a finger on his lips. "Once I have the dog, we'll be able to go places with confidence. I have faith in what Lin-dai told me, that Penny helped her previous owner live his life with more independence. She can do that for me too."

Colby pulled Charlie's hand away from his mouth after pressing a kiss to it. "It just hurts me to see you hurt."

"I know," Charlie said softly. "And I firmly believe this will pass. But for now, patience. You've got work and I've got a week's worth of training to get through."

Colby pulled Charlie close, holding him tight. "I'm going to miss you," he murmured into Charlie's hair, the strain in his voice betraying the depth of his emotion. "It's already hard having to work and going without you all day, worrying about how you're doing, if you're feeling okay..." When Charlie pulled back to look at him in surprise, Colby added. "I know, I was upset with being off work, on administrative leave because of the shooting, but once I went back to work? I just missed being with you. I guess I never realized how much I'd enjoy just hanging around the house with you, becoming part of your everyday life."

"I like you as part of my everyday life," Charlie said contentedly. "And we'll have that again once I get back. You, me and Penny."

"Sounds wonderfully domestic if you ask me," Colby said, a pleased smile gracing his face. "Almost white picket fence."

Charlie looked pensive for a few seconds, then wiped away Colby's questioning gaze with a kiss. "I never dreamed of the white picket fence thing like other people did," he explained, lips lingering over Colby's. "But I think I could really come to like it..."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 21st, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
I didn't plan on this fic at first, but I felt like I needed something between Check Up On and Champion (where Charlie comes home with Penny the service dog). I wasn't sure what though, so I asked Dani aka umbralillium for input and got the confirmation I needed as to whether to have this fic and an idea of what to put in it. We agreed that some sort of acknowledgment from Alan on both the relationship and the dog would be helpful. I know we already got his tacit approval in previous fic (the turning off of the lamp while they were sleeping together on the bed and the note calling them 'sleepyheads' the morning after were good signs), but some reaction to the dog was important since Alan lives there and arguably owns much of what's in the house.

But once I had the fic to write I knew it had to be mostly about how Colby has gotten so used to being with Charlie the idea of sending Charlie away alone, especially since he's still having seizures, would make him a) worried and b) miss Charlie badly. He's kind of adorable like that. /grins/

Very special thanks to umbralillium for her assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
Tori Lovelostandalone22 on January 21st, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Great story!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 21st, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)

/enjoys your icon again/

Speaking of brothers... I had an AU idea where Colby Granger and Riley Finn of Buffy were half-brothers. LOL (Iowa/Idaho... Close enough! ROFL)
Tori Lovelostandalone22 on January 21st, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
That would be awesome, and I could so see them as brothers.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 21st, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
I know!

(Of course this was *after* I'd already slashed them in my head. ROFL)
Drewkiscico on January 21st, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
"Sounds wonderfully domestic if you ask me," Colby said, a pleased smile gracing his face. "Almost white picket fence."

I don't really like the "white picket fence" thing in this fandom, but with ChaCo it works. In fact ChaCo almost demands "white picket fence" adorable-ness.

Can't wait to meet Penny!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 22nd, 2009 08:44 am (UTC)
There's a white picket fence thing in this fandom? (The things you miss out on when you don't really read fic. LOL)

I don't write much ChaCo, but I can see a lot of people *wanting* them to be sweet and cozy and all that. I just can't go pure fluff. I like the layer of angst that Charlie's injury adds to the mix. Besides, the best comfort comes after hurt. ;-)

Working on the Penny fic! I promise!

devon99 on January 21st, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I so needed that today.

Lovely and sweet and completely made of squee.

I actually dropped in to find Flurries or Honey and Roses. Actually that makes me smile. I think of you as unpredictable and slightly edgy yet you are my go to Numb3rs author for fluffy fic when I need cheering up!!

*goes off in search of Don/Charlie and back rubs*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 22nd, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I'd been meaning to reread Flurries since winter hit and I kept putting it off, so I went and enjoyed it today because you reminded me. :-)

I'm endlessly amused at the idea that I'm your fluff dealer. /big grin/ I may not do schmoop, but I'm not all angst either. I suppose since I write some of (just about) everything, there's sweet fluffy goodness to be found in some of my fic. *cough*8millionDon/Robinproposalfic*cough*

BTW, I told myself this year I'd focus on finishing the sequel to Honey and Roses. It's looooong and OMG if you like happy loving Don/Charlie you'll go into a diabetic coma for Time Away. Gah! It's so freaking romantic I almost can't stand it! Hee!

And FWIW, I'm very happy that you think of me as unpredictable and edgy - that's what I aim for. /beams/

So thanks, I needed squee validation as an author that today too. /smiles/
devon99 on January 22nd, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
I have insulin on standby - happy, romantic fic makes me squee.

And I never had an LJ account back when you wrote Flurries, so I never commented, but I adore that fic, I really do ♥
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 22nd, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Hee! Insulin! /grins/

You know it feels weird to think I wrote Flurries over a year ago. /marvels at how long time flies since certain fic/

And wow, this month it's a year since I started my Ian/Colby love with Air...
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 21st, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
Awwww. They're being so sweet an domestic and just smoochie. :-)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 22nd, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)
Aren't they just? I kind of want to pinch their cheeks sometimes. Hehehe
ladygray99ladygray99 on January 22nd, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
Exactly which set of cheeks? ;-)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 22nd, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
You are so naughty!
Mia: charlie/colbymia_dcwut_09 on January 22nd, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
aww i do love a concerned colby so cute
cant wait for pennie to come home
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 22nd, 2009 08:50 am (UTC)
Colby as a worry wart is rather adorable. It's a good thing Charlie likes that about him.
Mia: inlawsmia_dcwut_09 on January 23rd, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
so true
Devo79devo79 on January 22nd, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
Awww :)

I like how you didn't make a BIG thing out of Colby coming out to David, somehow it seemed more real that way.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on January 22nd, 2009 08:51 am (UTC)
I figure all the FBI agents are trained observers. David *had* to have suspected already, so it wasn't out of left field - just a confirmation of what he already surmised.

That and I bet Colby wasn't so subtle during his pining from afar with Charlie around. LOL

Thanks for reading!
laura_trekkielaura_trekkie on January 28th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
Yep, I think Charlie's right- Alan's going to spoil the dog rotten, because she's the nearest thing to a grandchild he's going to have for a good while *g*.

Nice heart-to-heart between the boys as they face up to the idea of being apart for a whole week. Hopefully the days will fly by, rather than drag on endlessly.

angel_kitsune7 on February 10th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
so cute, so adorable, so iLike!!! i keep getting flashback of colby in wifebeater he wore in that 1 episode which i cant recall the title...sheshh
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on February 10th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
He wears it in Trust Metric! I've seen many an icon of Colby in that white tank top. Very nice arms that man has!
Le Chat Noiruld_ases on July 27th, 2009 05:42 am (UTC)
I love!

I've read yesterday all the chapters of "not the only one" and let just say I'm glad my boyfriend wasn't here for hear me squeeing.

Charlie & Colby are great together.

Bisous :3
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 27th, 2009 06:40 am (UTC)
Re: I love!

And welcome to my LJ! /puts out a platter of cookies for you/

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm looking at picking this series up soon so there could be a new arc of it as early as August. I like to do three to five stories each time I start the series back up so plenty more soon!

Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment!