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29 August 2009 @ 03:52 pm
Numb3rs Fic: For Love of Country  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge August 2009 Rewind – Washington DC, Humanity, Ethics, Oath

Title: For Love of Country
Series/Universe: For Love of Country
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/Colby, Don
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 1200
Spoilers: Judgment Call, The Mole, The Janus List, Trust Metric
Summary: Senator Colby Granger calls a televised press conference to make an announcement (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

167. Washington DC

Colby stepped up to the podium, the camera flashes at the D.C. press conference near blinding, and began to speak.

"I was born into a family with a long history of service. Five generations of duty and honor. I followed my family's model, devoting my life to my country. I joined the Army, serving in Afghanistan where I was nearly killed in an attack, trapped in a burning Humvee. I joined the FBI, spending years getting shot at. I became a spy, at the request of our government, in an effort to root out a mole within our ranks. When I was captured, the guilty party killed me, stopped my heart. It was only through the heroic actions of my FBI teammates that I was revived and stand before you today.

"When Senator Vanderhoff passed away unexpectedly, I was asked to serve again - to fill her seat until the next election. As always, I stepped up and served my country without question. Even when the party asked me to run for the seat, to enter into politics - a field I'd never sought out - for the good of the country? I did what was asked of me and by some miracle, I won and became a Senator in my own right.

"For three years now I've served in the Senate. Now the rumor's out that I'm being looked at as a possible candidate for Vice President. I am honored that my distinguished colleague would even consider me as a running mate, given that I'm just a junior Senator and I'm grateful to the American people for coming out in force to support me and the issues I've brought to Congress.

"But for once in my life, I am no longer willing to put everything aside in order to serve without question."

003. Humanity

A collective gasp went through the crowd followed by hushed whispers. Every microphone was nudged closer as Colby drew a breath, steadying himself.

"Some of my detractors have said one of the reasons I'd make an unsuitable running mate is my unmarried status - that two families on the dais is what America needs to feel comfortable. Ironically, I gave up my chance for a family when I agreed to leave the FBI and come to Washington. There was... There was someone in my life I left behind. I knew there was no way I could continue the relationship and be Senator so I asked that person to wait for me. They did. And then when the party asked me to run for the seat, I had to make a choice: be with the person I loved, or serve my country. I chose my country, as I always had.

"I've never forgiven myself for that decision and while I'm proud of the good work I've done on behalf of my country, I'm now finally asking the question 'at what cost?' I know I'm luckier than most. Thousands of men and women lost their lives in Afghanistan, while I came home. Many spies die in the course of their covert efforts to keep our country safe and, for the safety of their families, can never be given the appropriate hero's burial with all the fanfare they deserve. Every year the FBI loses agents in the line of duty, protecting our home from criminals, gangs and terrorists. I should have no complaints: I'm alive and well and exist in a privileged world here in the nation's capitol.

"But it's not enough. I've been so busy being a soldier, a spy, an agent and a politician, that I forgot one thing: to be human."

194. Ethics

"Like any human being, I long for another soul to complete me, to share my joy and ease my pain, to love and cherish and grow old with. I thought that I didn't need those things. I was mistaken.

"I've done the party and the American people a disservice by not being fully honest with them. To all, you have my apologies for my ethical failure to disclose this information earlier. I can only say in my defense that I sought to serve my country as best I could and that has been, in the decades since I joined the Army, to do so in silence. I can be silent no longer.

"There is a man in California, who I hope is watching this broadcast. A man to whom I owe the biggest apology. I don't deserve his forgiveness or anything from him really."

Colby's hands clutched the podium as he struggled to get control of himself.

"But I wanted to say I'm sorry to him. There are no words that suffice for this kind of apology, but I'm sorry for all the hurt I've caused him.

"If you're listening? I want you to know I chose wrong. I should have chosen you. I was blinded by those five generations of duty and honor and forgot what made those generations possible - something stronger than the military: family. You were the family I wanted, the one I'd waited for, the man I loved."

The room erupted, every reporter shouting questions at once.

"I know you might not take me back, but I couldn't go on living a lie. So if the country wants a gay Vice President? That's great. But I would only do it if I could be the second family on the dais - with you standing by my side."

158. Oath

Charlie felt Don's hand on his shoulder, a firm and supportive presence as they watched Colby leave the podium at the end of the press conference. Don muted the TV, but left the machine recording.

"You swore you were done with him," Don reminded him gently.

"I also vowed I'd love him until I died," Charlie forced out, voice rough with emotion. "And that oath came first."

Don squeezed his shoulder and Charlie looked up at him, trails of tears still streaming down his face.

"He clearly loves you," Don stressed. "He just sent his entire political career up in flames - his chance at the White House even - on live TV no less."

Charlie nodded, overwhelmed. "Get him on the phone," he said, a serene smile finally gracing his face.

Don pulled out his phone and dialed the Capitol switchboard.

"Assistant Director Don Eppes of the FBI, urgent for Senator Colby Granger." There was a pause. "I know, but he'll want to take this call." After another pause, Don got through to Colby's aide. "Lydia, it's Don Eppes. Put Colby on. I know, but tell him it's the call he's expecting." After another pause, Don handed the phone to Charlie.

"Charlie?" Colby's voice was so plaintive, so desperate, it was heartbreaking to hear.

"Senator Granger..." Charlie put every ounce of strength he had into each word, drawing on all he had inside, all that had been hidden for years. "Will you marry me?"

In all their time together, Charlie had never seen Colby cry, but he knew that sound even across three thousand miles. But the weeping wasn't for loss, it was for something found.

"Yes, oh god yes," Colby breathed.

"Then hurry home." Charlie's voice was warm, long denied love finally given voice. "We've got some campaigning to do."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 29th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
You know, if the Charlie/Colby fans don't like this fic? Then I give up. I have no idea what people like. Colby basically immolates his career on live TV by coming out and professing his love to Charlie just when he's poised to have a chance to be President. But hey, if we can have a black president now then I think we could manage a gay Vice President in my lifetime. Here's hoping...

As far as the title goes, Colby's sacrificed his happiness his whole life out of love of country, that's clear, but the fact that Charlie's willing to give up some of his life to campaign for Colby in the hopes of making him the first gay Vice President? That's out of love for country as well - not just his love for Colby. It takes a pretty selfless soul to allow their life to be swallowed up by politics so if Charlie's willing to do that for Colby? That's him showing his love too.

I confess I adore proposal fic. And for once, it's not Don/Robin. ;-)

ETA: I totally forgot to give credit to ladygray99 for inspiring the bunny. She shared one for the same prompts about Colby as President at the beginning of the month and even though I had planned to write something totally different for these prompts somehow Colby as Senator came out instead when I sat down to write today. So all credit to her for putting AU!Colby in D.C. before me.


Emma DeMarais

Edited at 2009-08-30 06:39 am (UTC)
tayla36tayla36 on August 29th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
And why the heck would we not like this fic?

I am a die hard Charlie/Colby fangirl. And I love this fic. I would love to see this expanded from a drabble series into a full fledged story. It's fantastic
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 29th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
I don't know, I just have a lousy track record for guessing what people will like. Go figure.

I liked this and I'm not even a Charlie/Colby shipper!

It does kind of scream for fill in the blanks prequel, doesn't it? And a sequel. And an election. /hides/

Thanks for reading!
Dani: Charby fancyumbralillium on August 29th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
*squees and claps* You've got this Charlie/Colby fan's vote! LMAO That's...I have no words. I really want to see what happens next *laughs* Bravo, m'dear!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 30th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
Oh my. That's two votes for more. I'm sunk!

(Personally I want to see what happens before it more, but then I'm an angst fan. LOL)

(no subject) - umbralillium on August 30th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on August 30th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
pakspaksenarrion2 on August 29th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
I second umbralulluim's comment about wanting to see what happens next.

I love Charlie/Colby fic and I think you have stayed very true to Colby's character even under cannon contrainsts.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 30th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Hey! Nice to see you again! Thanks for popping in to read this.

This did feel a lot like how Colby could be to me - sacrificing himself for his country to no end, but just one day waking up and realizing what it's really all about.

That's three votes for more. I fear I shall have to go back to the muse and ask for this to be something more than a drabble series. :-)
riverotter1951: lily of the valleyriverotter1951 on August 30th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)

I can easily see this as Colby's future.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 30th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Thank you! I see my future as writing more in this universe. LOL
melissima: Charlie smiles by <lj user=lady-devon>melissima on August 30th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
Yay the Chaco fangirls approve! (I knew they would. How could they help it?) This is so beautifully drawn. You know how much I love Colby's pause at the podium, and I also adore Don supporting Charlie while he watches, miles away....:sigh.: So romantic.

Brava! ♥

Edited at 2009-08-30 12:30 am (UTC)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 30th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
The part I was very sad about cutting, for whatever reason, was that Don was sitting on the arm of the chair Charlie was in. It's that odd sort of protective hovering that defines Don - to be over Charlie but in such a way to be more able to shield him. But it had to go for me to make word count. /sigh/

/♥s you back/
ladygray99ladygray99 on August 30th, 2009 04:13 am (UTC)
Glad to see you grabbed this bunny. I had a feeling I wasn't going to get around to writing it myself. Colby's voice was right and yet there was still something wonderfully smoochie about it.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 30th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
I actually had no intention of writing this bunny! I had total plans, written notes and everything, for a different story with Charlie and Colby for these Rewind prompts. But then I sat down to write today and this came out instead.

/scratches head/

I should have credited you with the bunny in the Confession, but I slammed this all out so fast I didn't think of it. Mea culpa. /does a Wayne's World/ I actually almost didn't write a Confession at all. I've been so focused on getting my long numb3rs_het fic done (6K and growing still ZOMG) by the 8/31 deadline, I just slammed this out in like an hour and posted it to get it done before the month's end.

FWIW I almost wish I hadn't. Now I'm going to be stuck writing prequels and sequels and all sorts of stuff because my muse likes this universe now. /headdesk/

Can I just give it back now please? FWIW I would like to see your version of Colby as President because mine's never going to be in the top spot and I would like to see what you do with Colby in the Oval Office.

/offers huge platter of cookies and brownies/
(no subject) - ladygray99 on August 30th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on August 30th, 2009 06:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on August 30th, 2009 07:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on August 30th, 2009 07:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on August 30th, 2009 07:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on August 30th, 2009 07:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on August 30th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on August 30th, 2009 07:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on August 30th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emmademarais on August 30th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - swingandswirl on September 1st, 2009 11:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on September 1st, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - swingandswirl on September 5th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladygray99 on September 5th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - swingandswirl on September 5th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
devon99 on August 30th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
Lol, that did make me smile:) Declarations of love on TV? A marriage proposal? Wonderfully romantic my dear. I liked your Colby too, his choices, his reasoning, and his decision felt very true to canon Colby. *happy sigh* Now we just need to see some campaigning and wedding planning ::grins::
lillyglillyg on August 30th, 2009 10:40 am (UTC)
Why wouldn't we like this fic? It's beautiful... I think a tear even fell... Now the only thing I can say is... MORE? :p
Tamanna: love never wrongswingandswirl on September 1st, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
*shrieks with unmitigated glee*

As a dyed-in-the-wool ChaCo fan? This is brilliant! *hands you a big bouquet of roses*

Oh, Emma, I love this! It's beautiful and perfect and so, so Colby. I could see this happening in canon- he's just the kind of man to put duty and honour above everything else, and I'm so glad he got a wake-up call in this universe.

I'm seconding ladygray99 and everyone else who wanted more- this is just too amazing a verse to be left at just 1200 words.

*standing ovation* Brava, seriously.

Edited at 2009-09-01 11:32 am (UTC)
lilacs_roseslilacs_roses on November 17th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
I just came across this from some search for something else. And I am so glad that I did.

While Charlie/Colby isn't one of my favorite pairings, if written well, I enjoy it. And this, Emma, was written very well, indeed.

I loved the entire thing!!! And... it's said to think that, if this actually happened -- and face it, at some point in time, it WILL happen -- that the person, Colby in this instance, would be met with shock and uproar.

At any rate, well done!!!!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on November 17th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

I confess it was a bunny spawned by ladygray99, so I hope she writes her idea as well since it was even better than this one and she had it first.

I didn't think I'd see a black president or a woman president anytime soon, so I'm glad the world is moving forward despite my cynicism. I would love to see more openly gay politicians and their mates and would be grateful to live in a world where it wasn't met with shock and uproar.

I'm glad you enjoyed the fic. I really only do one ChaCo series I really like (NOO which is mostly pre-slash/gen) since I'm not a huge fan of the pairing either, but sometimes they can be sweet together, which is what I had hoped to capture here.
Polaris Aphroditefree_anam_girl on February 18th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
I love it the speech put me in tears
it was an amazing story and I´m a Don/Charlie fan but even I can see the amazing job you did here
brainwane.dreamwidth.orgbrainwane.dreamwidth.org on March 21st, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
I don't even know anything about Numb3rs, never watched it, yet got teary over this fic. Thanks for writing and sharing it!
esromjk on December 22nd, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
This was f***ing great, how did I miss this the first time around?????
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on December 22nd, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
Hi there and thank you!

You probably missed it because it was posted to numb3rs100. It seems a lot of people in the fandom dismiss the comm as being only for 100 word long fic, but we not only have tons of 300 word fic we've got lots of flash length and even novel length stories that are written as drabble series!

Many of the best authors in the fandom got their start drabbling with us so there's plenty of great fic to discover there. Come on over!