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04 May 2009 @ 05:44 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Written on the Wall  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #209 – Write

Title: Written on the Wall
Pairing/Characters: Charlie, Don, Colby, David, Liz, Nikki
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Judgment Call, Spree, Longshot, High Exposure
Summary: Charlie can still be affected by certain kinds of crime scene photos
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Don kept the children away from him - he was good about that - but in the past five years Charlie had seen enough crime scene photos that he'd hardened himself against the sight: women raped and beaten, men shot in the head at point blank range, faked suicides with shotguns hanging out of what remained of their mouths.

These he pushed away; he couldn't look at them anymore.

"What is it?" Colby asked.

"I can't." Charlie shook his head, hand still covering his mouth in shock. "I can't look at those."

"It's okay, Charlie," Liz told him as she and Nikki gathered them up silently, turning them face down before leaving the room.

"It's different when it's a hate crime like this," David said, nodding in empathy.

"I... Excuse me." Charlie hastened towards the door as David tried to put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"Charlie, wait..."


Don walked into the conference room that a minute ago had held his entire team and now had only Colby in it.

"What's up with Charlie?" Don asked. "While I was on the phone I saw him bolt out and David go after him."

"The pictures got to him," Colby explained. "I'm not sure why. I took out the ones with the bodies."

"You showed him crime scene photos?"

Colby shrugged. "He's seen far worse than this in the past."

Don turned over the photos and shoved a few at Colby, the ones with epithets written in the victims' blood on the wall.

"He may be white like these Neo-Nazi perps," Don's voice was terse, "but as a Jewish man with a 'Chink' girlfriend?" He tapped his finger on that word on the wall above where he knew an Asian woman's body had been mutilated. "This hits too close to home."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
I admit I was afraid affected!vulnerable!Charlie had gone the way of the dinosaur when his grad student friend got killed and he was too jaded to feel anything about it.

Thankfully TPTB brought back a Charlie who can feel in Season 5. Let's hope he sticks around.

I'm late posting this week's drabble because I couldn't decide what to write until it was almost too late to get it in on time. I had a ton of bunnies, but none so compelling I could feel inspired to write them. So that left me with having to write *something* this afternoon.

I confess this is kind of self-plagiarizing, but I stole a concept from a drabble I thought was really good and turned it into a different story all together, so I hope I can be forgiven.

Just Words was a pretty intense drabble, but I don't think it got read much. Here's hoping it gets a few more reads based on this shoutout because I felt it was worth it. Yes, it's on the PSA side, but it's still a worthy fic.

FWIW I feel bad making Colby the clueless one, but Liz, Nikki and David - and even Don - would get it because of who they are, but Colby's our token WASP and had to take the brunt of it. Sorry Colby!


Emma DeMarais
jlm110108jlm110108 on May 5th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Re: Confession

Both stories are wonderful! I don't recall reading the first one. I don't think I'd discovered Numb3rs fanfic waaaayyyy back then.

Re: Confession - emmademarais on May 5th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Confession - rodlox on May 5th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Confession - emmademarais on May 5th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Confession - rubynye on May 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Confession - emmademarais on May 9th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I felt kind of bad recycling, but I found myself doing it anyway.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - emmademarais on May 5th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Tori Lovelostandalone22 on May 5th, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Great story!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
hear me roar: Cereal stealermagisterequitum on May 5th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
Nicely done. And I agree that I like this S5 Charlie better with the emotions.

This reminds me of a scene in a CSI episode where one of them was asked if they ever got used to the job and the pictures. The reply was: No. And when you do, it's time to leave.

A very nice piece and I especially love the title.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Thank you. :-)

I think I've heard that on a few crime shows - that you never truly get used to it, but I think they learn how to steel themselves against it else perish, you know? But everyone has a hot button. Charlie's clearly was kids (not that they don't affect everyone) but I figured if he knew an Asian woman - like Amita - had been butchered for merely having a slightly different color skin by someone following the same philosophy behind the slaughter of millions of Jews? Yeah, no amount of steeling yourself makes you immune to that level of abhorrent hateful violence. /shudder/
(no subject) - magisterequitum on May 5th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on May 5th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - magisterequitum on May 5th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
ladygray99ladygray99 on May 5th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
Very nice. I'm very impressed. Hit the prompt, hit the emotion, and I think even our season 4 Charlie would have had problems with those. Even if Charlie's not practicing Jewish he still has family history and more recently Don's return to temple. In a way for Charlie that could be one more thing that makes Don a target. It does bring up an interesting point. There aren't many prime time TV cop shows where there's really only one WASP in the cast now that Megan's gone. Might be why I like the show.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks! After all I moaned about not having a drabble idea I'm glad you liked what I finally decided on, even if it is a recycle. ;-)

It didn't hit me until Diane left and Sophina joined the cast, but Numb3rs started out as a show with a token black guy (Alimi) and an exoticized white girl (Navi, who is half white) then turned into a show that has loads of lovely colors - Alimi, Sophina, Aya, Navi - and overtly canon Jewish leads (as opposed to assumed from the early days or just verbalized but not shown).

So yeah, my show became my kind of show, full of characters of color and differing religions.

Okay, TPTB! Could you please make SOMEONE gay for Hanukkah? We're not asking for much! Just a representation of real life. :-)

Too bad Millie's gone. She'd have been ideal.

FWIW now I want to write Don made a target because he's Jewish. /glares/ Look what you've done - you've gone and given me a bunny!

/tries to shoo it away/
(no subject) - ladygray99 on May 6th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
she studied. she climbed. she wrote.: numb3rs- flatloozy on May 5th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)

My heart just broke...

This was so beautiful in its short intensity... And also true to the character because it is something that might be happening... Oh Boy...

This was wonderful... Thanks so much for sharing :)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading it!

I prefer the original, but I think that Charlie wasn't really with Amita back then so writing this one where they are a couple made the intensity feel different, like there was more at stake. Plus there's the nightmare he had about her being at risk. /doesn't mention the promos/

I can see them being particularly aggressive in solving hate crime cases, but I can also see them being really hard to deal with. Then again, most everyone would find them hard to stomach.
(no subject) - loozy on May 5th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on May 5th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loozy on May 5th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on May 5th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loozy on May 5th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on May 5th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loozy on May 5th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on May 6th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
msgrahamcrackermsgrahamcracker on May 5th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
Very powerful. I agree with you, Colby had to be the clueless one. Charlie is becoming more jaded about crimes, but anything that would affect his family or someone he loves would still be hard for him to handle.

Once again, you gave us an insightful, concise and emotional story. Thank you.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The stories only gain meaning when they are read so you're a vital part of this equation!

I hated Charlie being so jaded. It removed him so far from the S1 Charlie I fell in love with. I'm glad they're bringing him back to life this season, even if they had to hurt Don to do it. And yeah, anything touching those he loves is going to tap that P vs NP part of him that can't deal and break through any of his jaded defenses.

And now I can't wait to see how he reacts to this week's trauma! /bounces/
(no subject) - rodlox on May 6th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
devon99 on May 5th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
I went and read Just Words. I hadn't read it, I don't even think I knew LJ existed back then.

As much as I liked this one, and I did like it a lot, Just Words was a powerful piece of writing. In just 100 words it makes an awful lot of impact on the reader. Great use of language, nice structure and as I said, a real hard hitting, thought provoking drabble.

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 5th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It almost felt worth it to write this one if only to give Just Words a second chance at getting read. It's one of my favorite drabbles ever - very powerful, even to me.
Tamanna: charlie equationsswingandswirl on May 12th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Aww, poor Colby. *whacks him, then pets his adorkably clueless self*

Great work, hon, as always! A kick in the gut in all the right places.

(And I just noticed how diverse N3 has become. All they need is some LGBT representation... *cough*RosencrantzandGuildenstern*cough*

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 12th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we were talking about N3 became a show where characters of color and differing religions were nicely represented.

I voted for Matt to be gay, but I'd certainly be fine with David coming out as well. Not sure if they'd make him bi or gay (people seem oddly more comfortable with gay than bi - as if bisexuals are some sort of spies from the other side that might fool them into thinking they're safe with someone het. /rolls eyes/) but since we've kind of seen him with Claudia there is a bit of canon on him being het. Colby's too much to wish for. They've put him in bed with a woman and he's the big damn hero, former military, brawny guy so he must stay het in their world. /sigh/

Hey, it's not too late for Nikki though!

Glad you liked this though!