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22 March 2010 @ 11:50 pm
Numb3rs Fic: The First and Last Straw  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #255 – Punch

Title: The First and Last Straw (Companion to The First and Last Standoff)
Pairing/Characters: Billy, Don
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Man Hunt
Summary: The untold reason why Don stopped working Fugitive Recovery with Billy (Don POV)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

A lamp sailed past, smashing into the motel room wall, showering Don with debris.

They'd argued before and Billy had certainly shown he wasn't entirely joking about his Irish temper, but this? Don had never seen him in such a state: his rock solid partner, the man entrusted with his life out in the field, frighteningly out of control.

Adamant that he would save Billy from ruining his career or even getting himself killed, Don planted himself between the raging man and the door.

He'd expected Billy would try to move him forcibly, but Don's ability to stand his ground was seriously tested against an anger-fueled Billy, determined to self-destruct and take Tolles down with him.

The first punch was over before Don even fully registered the blow. He was still reeling when Billy grabbed his shirt, tearing it as he yanked it, then Billy's fist came at him again.

He found himself on the floor a split second later, a foreign coppery tang in his mouth.

Don rubbed at his split lip, staring stunned at the blood on his hand as if he still couldn't believe the evidence that Billy had really hit him.

He gazed up at Billy, bewildered, desperately needing Billy to snap out of it, to apologize, to offer a hand to help him up - needing this to not be really happening.

But the man he trusted, the one he shared his life with, was gone.


His hand shook as he made the call; he'd never reported anyone before.

Don slumped after he hung up, feeling the weight of the job as a physical burden for the first time, then forced himself to sluggishly rise.

Stuffing his grief away, he started shoving his clothes into his duffle bag to go.

There would be no goodbyes.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on March 23rd, 2010 07:51 am (UTC)
In last week's N100 drabble's Confession I confessed I abused my privilege as co-mod for that fic and for that night's mod post.

This week I did it again - even *worse* than last time.

(Maybe it's time to start thinking about a new mod to take over for me.)

Apparently, as I'm being told from multiple parties, the bump on the head I kept trying to write off is a concussion. Not fun. Can I be done now?

FWIW I didn't really want to write a companion fic for last week's drabble since it gave me such a hard time, but a) this story didn't require any work to just shift POV on b) I had so little attention span time/energy to write it seemed easier to just take what was readily available and c) it already had the prompt punch in it in an integral fashion. Still, I struggled with it and don't like how it turned out. It doesn't do a good job of hitting the right emotional note. It lacks the impact it needs to make me feel it's worthy. Ironically? It lacks punch.

/headdesk/ Ow. /headdesks more gently this time/

I confess I really don't like last week's drabble title so I really don't like this one as well. I should have named last week's something like The First and Last Punch. Ah well, once this is published I can set about forgetting I ever wrote it.


Emma DeMarais
Tamanna: Colby smileswingandswirl on March 23rd, 2010 11:35 am (UTC)
Oh Donnie. *pets him gently* Poor baby. I love the hint of Don/Coop, it just makes the whole thing more heart-wrenching. Brava. *sniffles and reaches for tissues*

*pets you and offers aspirin* Take care, hon! And shoo about abusing your mod privileges. Your health is important! *scolds* And eek about a concussion- take care of yourself!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 23rd, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hon. You're a doll. /takes aspirin and snuggles/

I know it's gen, but yeah both of these were written with a slash goggle slant for those who really didn't need me to write the slash slant. ;-) I just feel like we all know that Don and Billy were closer than most partners normally are, thus making this so much more painful.

Yay angst? LOL
ladygray99ladygray99 on March 23rd, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
Piffle! We do not need a new mod. however you are the second person on my flist with a concussion. They can leave your brain fuzzy for a month or more so just be aware and be careful not to hit it again anytime soon. As for the fic I rather liked seeing it from Don's pov.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 23rd, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
/hugs/ Thanks L. You're a good friend. @>----

I think I was dismissive because I was seriously useless after my first concussion and this one wasn't quite as bad. My brain was most definitely fuzzy for like a month after when I first got hurt, so it was that symptom that got me to finally buy Mel's (et al) assertion that this time around was also a concussion.

Thankfully my professors have been cool about letting me turn in some of my homework late because I can't seem to read for any reasonable period of time.

Which, understandably, is making ficcing a challenge too. Ugh.
ladygray99ladygray99 on March 24th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
There is a condition where you can have a concussion, it starts to feel better then two months later all the symptoms come back. There's also a thing where you can get a pretty minor bump on the head but if you've had a major concussion before a lot of the old symptoms will come back. My first year in grad school my flatmate got a little tap on the head wrestling at the gym. Her doctor told her that reading and writing would actually stress her brain more than just about anything and she was better off sitting in front of the tv and finding books on tape.
Glass_Gemglass_gem on March 23rd, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
I love that you wrote another story from Don's point of view.
Seeing everything from Don's view is just so heartbreaking and sad. Don trusted Billy and for Billy to do what he did and then turn around and walk away, to not try to make it all better the way that Don desperately wanted him to, like i said in my review for the other story; ouch. :'(

Also, I'm so sorry that you have a concussion. Take care of yourself, and if you want, I can relieve you of having to beta those two drabbles for me.

t_vo0810t_vo0810 on March 24th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
I am glad to see I am not the only one that scoffs at your suggestion of that you 'abused' ur mod post or that n100 needs a new mod. /scoffs again for good measure/ don't be silly. i told you your peeps would understand and i am glad to see they told u the same.

and this isn't your first concussion which means that any subsequent concussions will have more adverse or longer-lasting effects than the first time. that's the nature of head injuries unfortunately. so please, take this as not only our permission but our loving prodding to take it easy or even take a break. we heart your fic but we adore YOU more. so take care of you <3 Thus ends my lecture.

anyway, i don't think this drabble is near as substandard as you think. But the man he trusted, the one he shared his life with, was gone. that line kind of hit me in the gut. there was something about it that just made me ache for poor Don and that horrible sinking feeling you get when you realize nothing between you and someone you love will ever be the same again. And no goodbyes?! Gah! my heart really broke then. /sniff/
draoichtanghra on March 24th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)
You have a CONCUSSION? OMG! - take care of yourself and don't worry about anything - we'll survive (somehow) without your wonderful stories for a few weeks.

"It doesn't do a good job of hitting the right emotional note. It lacks the impact it needs to make me feel it's worthy. Ironically? It lacks punch." - Emma, that's just the concussion talking - I really like this - so much in so few words. I can actually see the whole thing playing out, and the shocked/ wounded expression on Don's face.