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26 May 2009 @ 03:38 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Truth and Consequences  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #213 – Overpower


Title: Truth and Consequences
Series/Universe: Bait and Switch
Pairing/Characters: Don, Charlie, David, Liz, Colby
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Judgment Call, Longshot, Scan Man
Summary: There was no way Don could have escaped the blast
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


“Police! Drop your weapons!”

A blitz of LAPD uniforms rushed in, overpowering the gunmen as David fought his way through the smoky haze towards the courtyard.

“Don? Don!”

His cries melded with Liz and Colby's as they waved the acrid smoke aside, coughing, trying to find him.

The bench was in splinters. Flowers and hedges in the immediate area were flattened, charred.

“Think like Charlie,” David muttered to himself. “Trajectories...” He looked at where the bench had been, where the van was, considered the direction of the blast...

A shoe came into sight under a bush.

“Get a medic! Now!”

+

Charlie sat curled in on himself, watching his brother breathe. The lacerations from shrapnel were superficial, the doctors promised, and his eyes and eardrums would heal. Head injuries were tricky though; the first 24 hours crucial.

Six hours, twelve minutes, Charlie ticked off in his head. 5,580 breaths. 5,581...

It was easy keeping track of how long it had been since the explosion - easier than facing what he almost lost.

Charlie held Don's hand, struggling against a fresh assault of bitter tears.

All that violence for a religion Don hadn't even claimed as his own until a few months ago.

+

Don woke to confusion then a flood of fear when he realized he couldn't see anything. He panicked as he sensed bandages on his face, covering his eyes.

“Don?”

A familiar voice came out of the darkness: Charlie.

"Did we get them?" he rasped, heart racing.

“God, Don...” Charlie's hand tightened on his, voice broken with grief. "Yes, all of them. And you're going to be okay."

Don sank back into the pillows. "I thought you were going to tell me I almost died or something."

Charlie didn't respond, but the drops falling on their joined hands revealed the truth.

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on May 26th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Confession
I confess wanted to call this Truth and Justice, but I already used that title for the Mississippi 1964 Series. (And I used Truth for the Epiphany Series. Hi there redundancy, hello!) Hell, I even have a fic called Death and Consequences (although that's in the Miracles fandom).

FWIW Truth or Consequences is a game show and a town named after a game show and a movie named after the town named after the game show. Truth & Consequences is apparently the title of a Heroes episode. (But it was part of the horrible Season 2 and best forgotten.)

Cliffies over! Thanks everyone who was patient with me as this series unfolded. I hope you liked the ending.

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

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
hear me roarmagisterequitum on May 26th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh hell, I was afraid you were going to kill him for a second there.


Whew... Anyway, this was a fantastic series. Thank you for it!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Moi? /bats eyelashes innocently/ Not kill, just maim. ;-) But yeah, that unpredictableness, the fear, was the point. I like that people aren't sure with me. Keeps things tense. /is evol/

Thanks for all the lovely comments as always, my dear!
jlm110108jlm110108 on May 26th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)
OMG, Emma, what an explosive conclusion! This series was wonderful, and the ending brought tears to my eyes.

Jo
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was so glad to finally be able to finish posting it! I knew I wasn't going to kill him or let him off without injury, but I couldn't let anyone know what I had planned. /finally gets to unzip lips/ LOL
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Thanks! That was my goal! Glad it worked! :-)
Zubeneschamali: hellotherezubeneschamali on May 27th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
I love it when one of the FBI team thinks like Charlie. I'm amazed at how much you can pack into so few words; this would probably be around 25,000 words if I were writing it. Great job as always!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
I love it when one of the FBI team thinks like Charlie.

Isn't that great? I love it too. I was happy to see David doing it in canon so I really wanted him to do it here in the series as well.

I'm amazed at how much you can pack into so few words; this would probably be around 25,000 words if I were writing it.

I've really learned at lot about storytelling and minimalism during my years writing for N100. It's amazing how you can make every word work so hard in a limited format. It's become a useful skill even when I write longer pieces; it gets me to be more thoughtful about my word choices and phrasing.

And FWIW I'd love to see you write 25,000 words of a plot like this! You'd be able to pack in all the wonderful hurt/comfort I had to just hint at and skate over!

Thanks for coming to read!
rubynye: Back to Back (Numb3rs)rubynye on May 27th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
Oh, EEEEEEEEE. You should have heard the noises I made. David thinking like Charlie! Charlie sitting with Don! Don's waking POV! Oh, this whole thing is compact and awesome.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
Hee! We need audio comments on LJ so we can hear the squeeage we elicit! That would be awesome!

I thought you might like the David bit and the rest is just me wallowing in H/C goodness, just how I like it. :-)

Thanks for the wonderful comment, hon. It made me smile big time. :-)
msgrahamcrackermsgrahamcracker on May 27th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Wow. I loved this series. Every single installment. David trying to think like Charlie was inspiring and Charlie counting minutes and breaths was heartbreaking and Don asking if they got the bad guys before he even asked about his injuries was...just so...Don.

Congratulations on a job well done.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Thank you! Gah! I'm so glad it's finally all published! It was hard to hold it back so long!

Amusingly Don's first words were a point of contention with my beta Mel. She doubted Don would ask that before saying anything else, but I felt that Don would know he was hurt and more than anything want to know his sacrifice was worth it, if he'd successfully prevented more deaths by risking his own. He'd ask if everyone else was okay as well, but I only had 100 words so I figure that will have to be understood to happen later. But hey, I had to take some liberties - like pretending Alan was out of town and on his way back which was his excuse for not being there with Charlie at Don's bedside.

Thanks so much for reading! I'm so glad you enjoyed it (and didn't want to hit me with rocks for making you wait through all those horrible cliffhangers! LOL)
ladygray99ladygray99 on May 27th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
I loved David 'thinking like Charlie'. The whole series was really fun. Action packed and evil cliff hangers. I knew (hoped) you wouldn't kill Don, it was still A bit of a nail biter though.
I shall attempt to feed your bunnies more often.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
Nooooo! Nooooo! Noooooo!

Well, okay if you must. Hehehe

It's funny that David thinking like Charlie came from *me* thinking like Charlie. I was trying to figure out where to land Don and I figured the trajectory if he had been headed from bench to van and then gotten blown on a tangent by the blast. Since I had the courtyard and plaza kind of mapped out in my head that put him in a raised bed planter (because his trajectory also went up, not just out) which made sense as I wanted it to not be obvious where he was at first.

I've killed Don before and done plenty of evil things to him (e.g. my Birthday fic) so that's enough to keep a level of doubt in people's heads. That and I don't warn for character death on my fic. (I figure real fiction doesn't come with spoiling content warnings, why should fan fic?)

Glad you liked it though! (Sorry about the nails!)
kelpietreekelpietree on May 27th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC)
just read your colby/ian fics. Thankyou for writing. i just came back to the fandom and kind of latched onto that pairing and there is so very very little of it. (is annoyed). Thanks for writing. and if a bunny hops in your direction, you will surely have another reader.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
Oh excellent! Thank you! Wilderness Bound and Air are some of my favorite fic from last year. I do wish there was more Colby/Ian out there. I have thoughts for sequels to both those universes, but they haven't materialized yet. /frowns/

Have you considered trying Colby/Billy? I had someone else recently like my Colby/Ian and I pointed them to Clean Slate/A Hearty Breakfast and they liked them as well once they gave them a try. It's a nice pairing - still not a super popular one, but nice.

I'm actually working on a Rewind Series that I might publish this afternoon (if all goes well). It's (brace yourself) Colby/Ian and Ian/Nikki with hints of Colby/Tim. /big grin/ Yeah a lot of stuff going on in 1200 words. Hehehe

Welcome back to the fandom and I hope you enjoy the fic! I hope you'll check out numb3rs100 as it's become a really great comm for fresh short fic in the last couple of years. (Disclaimer: I'm one of the mods who took it over a while back.)

You might also want to consider posting at numb3rsficfind asking for Colby/Ian fic. I know there's more out there, but I can't recall who else has written them other than me. jestana maybe? It's been a while.

/gives you chocolate chip cookies/

Anyway, welcome and hope you enjoy the fic!
devon99 on May 27th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
So good sweetie. A really tense and action packed little drabble series.

Loved David trying to think like Charlie and you know the final section made me squee, right? I mean come on. Charlie, keeping a bed side vigil, holding his brother's hand and TEARS!!

Fab stuff, as always ♥
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
Hey there! How are you doing?

I'm glad you got a squee out of it. I'm such a H/C girl I had to have tearful hospital handholding. Bedside vigils FTW! /sigh/ Why couldn't we have that in canon?

/♥s you back/
devon99 on May 27th, 2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not too bad, thank you for asking, Emma x

It's been a pretty sucky day. Have been working with the liquidator all day:(

My leaving date has been bought forward to June 23rd now. I signed with one agency on Tuesday and have an appointment with another on Friday. Have applied for a few jobs and it's just a case of waiting to hear.

Three other agencies wouldn't even see me, said their books were full and just took my CV for future reference. I have registered with various online companies and sites and have daily updates so at least I'm on the ball, if nothing else.

It's just an unfortunate time to be made redundant. Our economy is shot to pieces and there just isn't that much work available, plus at this time of year the market is flooded with school leavers and graduates.

But I will keep hopeful and keep pestering people and companies and will cross my fingers that something will come along ♥
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Well, all I can say is network like mad. Try sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, make as many in person connections as you can and let everyone know you're looking for a new position. So many jobs are word of mouth/referrals that it's the best way to get an in and not be just another resume at a firm.

I hope it works out for you. It really does suck to suffer as a result of the bad economy. /frowns/

/sends you cookies to keep your spirits up/
devon99 on May 27th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks sweetie.

Takes a cookie and happily munches:)
she studied. she climbed. she wrote.: numb3rs- wrinkleloozy on May 27th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
*awakes from the spell you put her under last week*

*reads fic*

*takes the fic to bed with her*

Oh, this series was lovely... So lovely... And such a good conclusion, still keeping with the tension, just flowing in the right way...

*cuddles fic*

*feeds fic and you popcorn*

*is a bit silly*
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on May 27th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Yay! Popcorn! Thanks!

Nom nom nom

I'm glad you liked it. I'm just so happy to finally have the last of it out there! It was almost painful to have to hold on to it!
she studied. she climbed. she wrote.: gc- white shirtloozy on May 27th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
If you had not put me in the trance, I might have died :P

*butters up more popcorn to share*