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23 August 2009 @ 07:26 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Same Rat Race Not the Same Rat  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #225 – Run

Title: Same Rat Race Not the Same Rat
Series/Universe: Learning to Crawl
Pairing/Characters: Colby, David, Don
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Judgment Call
Summary: After months of rehab Colby finally has his first day back at work
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Two hours into Colby's first day back on the job, a warrant came in.

Slipping into his kevlar and holsters felt familiar as did the rush of pre-raid adrenaline. What was new was the nagging voice of doubt whispering that his body couldn't handle it.

"You good to go?"

David's innocuous question echoed Colby's doubts: could David trust him to have his back?

"I'm good. Let's do it."

David clapped him on the shoulder. "Welcome back to the rat race, partner. Let's go catch us a rat."

They fell into step like old times, covering the back as Don led SWAT in the front. "FBI!" Almost immediately a man burst from a side door.

"We've got a runner!"

David and Colby bolted after the man as he took off through his neighbor's yard.

Hurdling a low fence, Colby's foot clipped the top and he faltered - jabs of pain in his legs as he landed hard in dress shoes on concrete. Ignoring his body's complaints, he poured all his strength into catching up to David and the perp. He'd always been faster than David only now he saw the lead David had on him increase instead of lessen.

David tackled the suspect and Colby held his weapon on him as David handcuffed him.

"You all right, man?" David asked. "Thought you were going to take a header on that fence."

"I shouldn't have come back," Colby muttered, every possible way his shortcomings could have endangered David flooding his mind, gutwrenching flashes of worst case scenarios.

"Good job, you two!" Don said, jogging over.

"No, not us two. David." Colby pulled out his badge and pressed it into Don's hand as his boss and partner stared at him, stunned. "I shouldn't be here."

He wasn't ready. He needed to work harder.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 24th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
I bet some of you were expecting I'd spend more of the five installments in this series with Colby in the hospital facing his injuries. FWIW I was actually more interested in Colby from a psychological angle - how he dealt with his injuries sure, but also how he dealt with his body's changed abilities on the job, how he dealt with the fears of not being good enough to protect his teammates and innocent civilians and how he faced the new limits in his life. He's been pretty bulletproof up until now so it's going to hit him hard that he can't just be super!Colby like he used to be and expect his body to respond when he makes those demands of it.

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


Emma DeMarais
rubynye on August 24th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
Briefly put -- I LOVE this take on it. You've surprised and delighted and enlightened me.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 24th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
Yay! Surprise is all too rare in fic IMHO. Not sure how it was enlightening, but delight is always welcome. Glad to hear it.

/gives you cookies/
ladygray99: Alanladygray99 on August 24th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
*hugs Colby*
Poor boy. I do like that you're taking this from the inside of Colby's head. Even if his body was up to spec if he doesn't think he can do it yet it's not going to happen. The last image of Colby handing over his badge is very strong and the last line just makes me hurt for the poor boy.
t_vo0810: eppes brost_vo0810 on August 24th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
awww./hugs Colby/ you are doing such a great job with this series. I worked in a hospital for over 8 years, and spent a lot of time up on the physical rehab units- both inpatient and outpatient. Helping the injured person transistion to a modified skill set, to a new self-image, to different expectations of themselves and their lives can be the hardest part of recovery. A lot harder than the physical mechanics of it all. Brava- your sensitivity and insightfulness continues to amaze me :)
devon99 on August 24th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Oh Colby!! He's being too hard on himself, expecting too much. Poor baby:(

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 24th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, no one is expecting him to still be the fastest runner (I'm sure he totally outran *Don* before the accident and might still) but he's going to feel like he's insufficient to do the job because he's not exactly where he was when he left. /sigh/
sky_blue2sky_blue2 on August 26th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
Awwww poor Colby. The only bad comment I have is a very selfish one - I want longer LOL. Nah brilliant work as always. You know a story is good if it makes your eyes get moist.
she studied. she climbed. she wrote.: ncis- interrogationloozy on August 28th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)

I like that you paint Colby as a human, not as Superman who is up to the top in a sec, but that he needs time to adjust...

Thanks for sharing :)