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29 March 2010 @ 09:20 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Five Years Gone  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge March 2010 Rewind – Spring, Thaw, Nature, Metamorphosis

Title: Five Years Gone
Pairing/Characters: David, Colby
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 800
Spoilers: Seasons 1-6
Summary: Five years of partnering with Colby passes and then it's gone
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

041. Spring

He's green, but then it hasn't been that long since David was the new guy so he cuts this Colby Granger dude some slack despite the fact he has to bite his lip half the time to not snicker at his name. What kind of parents name their all-American farm boy Colby? David figures if he ever finds out Colby's clan back in Idaho are dairy farmers - and you know one has to be named Jack if there's a Colby - he won't be able to stop himself from cracking up. For now, David tries to be professional and friendly, but he watches this newbie with a little envy; he's still got that spring in his step, that joie de vivre born from the initial gusto of signing on to stop the bad guys. Colby hasn't lost that yet. David? He lost that blissful innocence in a bombing in Tel Aviv. Still, sometimes in the locker room after a raid he catches a glimpse of Colby in the corner of his eye and the youthful exuberance isn't there. What remains is a mature wariness married to a world weariness that reminds David that while he has Tel Aviv, Colby has Afghanistan.

147. Thaw

David's only human; he can't just forget what happened and pretend Colby was never a spy, never going behind his back, never lying - damn the reason why. It's hard at the office after Colby returns to work post-hospital, but it's worse once Don announces Colby is staying with the team. Their interactions are brief and almost formal, any last vestiges of their camaraderie long gone. They work side by side as strangers because that's how David sees Colby. He doesn't know him and doesn't want to know him, but Don won't let them keep up the icy relations. The winter of David's discontent must thaw so he finally decides he's tired of trudging through the snow he's been shoveling between them. He brings Colby a hot coffee when he relieves him on stakeout. It's not quite peace, but detente's a decent start. The next morning Colby brings in David's favorite donuts. It should feel like a bribe, trying to buy back his affections, but the look on Colby's face is like a puppy begging to be let back into the house after making a mess. So he lets him back in. David always did have a soft spot for strays.

045. Nature

David's comfortable and that's usually when things change on him. He's not surprised when they do, just how they do. He goes from Colby by his side as his partner being second nature to stepping into Don's shoes as boss after he's stabbed and having to give Colby orders he doesn't want to follow. Slipping into a management role feels right, feels earned, but every time he has to deal with Colby he falters. Colby is trying, David can tell, but he seems resentful deep down. David's not sure whether it's because Colby can already feel David leaving him behind or if it's David's near immediate betrayal of Don's way of doing things, which Colby apparently considers their way too. He's almost grateful when Don comes back to work full time and takes up the mantle of responsibility from him. David relished that experience, but he knows now he's got a lot of work to do on his skills before he can manage people he cares about as unemotionally as it at least seems Don is doing. He'd often heard people complain about Don acting disaffected, acting like he didn't care, but David realizes that's how it has to be.

032. Metamorphosis

And just like that, he's the boss. David's initial thrill over the promotion eventually gives way to the reality of it all: he's leaving. Moving back east doesn't phase him; he's a New Yorker - inured to blizzards and humid heat waves. It's starting over that's daunting. He won't have Don to advise him or a team he knows like the back of his hand and he won't have Colby as his partner. It feels almost like cutting away a part of himself, but post-spy ordeal Colby's had more than enough excitement for two careers so he's more interested in rebuilding his personal life than advancing his career. Besides Colby already turned down a choice DC assignment to stay partners with him. It meant a lot to him then, but David's changed. His metamorphosis is complete and he's ready to become the agent - the leader - he always knew he could be. He's just going to miss being part of something really amazing in LA. And while he may eventually be assigned other partners, like Don was, it won't be the same. He can already feel the empty space where Colby used to be, knowing no one will ever fill it again.

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 30th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Okay, so it's not quite as ouchy as my recent ventures, but it's still on the angst tip so I can't claim I've recovered quite yet. Mea culpa.

I confess Five Years Gone is the title of a Heroes episode (from back when I watched Heroes /sighs/). Also, I have a fic in my back catalogue called Ten Years Gone. Clearly I need some fresh inspiration in the title department.

BTW, if anyone wondered if I was too addicted to blank lines/my enter key to write a whole drabble without any carriage returns in it? Voila! Four at one blow! Proof I'm not allergic to paragraphs with more than three lines in them. ;-)

Very special thanks to beta melissima and to isabeau for their assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 30th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Actually Don says it himself in Season 1 - something like "Detached? Yeah, I'm detached. It's how I function." Then there's Don keeping a clear head during Primacy and when Amita was kidnapped - a rare feat given that this is a) one of his consultants b) a longtime friend and c) his future sister-in-law. He even kept himself in check fairly well during the Janus List debacle - a time when David had to be physically restrained because of his emotional outburst.

I suppose it could be arguing semantics, but the fact that Don only very rarely lets his emotions interfere with the work *cough*Buck and Ian*cough* means that he's doing a better job of it than David, who pretty much clashed with Colby almost immediately after he stepped into the boss' shoes.

In short, it was just a way to show that Don has become the benchmark by which David will measure his future success as a leader and he wants to do the best job he can. That, in itself, is very David.

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
ladygray99ladygray99 on March 30th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
This was great. You summed up five years of television in 800 words without losing any feeling.

"...the look on Colby's face is like a puppy begging to be let back into the house after making a mess."

And that was just a great line especially since we all know Colby's kicked puppy face.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 30th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Hee! Who could resist a Colby kicked puppy face?

I adore you my dear, but you give me too much credit. I can only hope to kick my own ass, work harder and try to start earning a fraction of your praise.

(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 30th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (And yay iconnage!)
Candi: Colby and Davidmustangcandi on March 30th, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
David always did have a soft spot for strays.

HAHAHA! This made me laugh right out loud... before the last drabble broke my heart. OUCH.

*hopes David comes back if we get a Season 7. *sighs*

Nicely done.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 30th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hon. /smishes you/

And if there is a S7 you know they will find a way to bring David back. Alimi wouldn't let them start back up without him after being there from the start. :-)
lillyglillyg on March 30th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Beautiful and sad at the mean time... I'll miss them (yeah, I'm desillusional)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 30th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I can't believe they broke up David and Colby for no good reason at the end. Still, I'm sure if the show does come back they'll find a reason for David to return.
rubynye: David & Colby (seraphina_snape)rubynye on March 31st, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
And then Colby shows up on David's doorstep, right? *makes hopeful puppydog eyes*

Seriously, this is wonderful. The Ballad of David And Colby!