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15 April 2010 @ 05:21 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Fish in the Sea  
Posted to numb3rs_slash


Title: Fish in the Sea (Sequel to Champion)
Series/Universe: Not the Only One
Pairing/Characters: Charlie/Colby, Don, Alan
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Judgment Call, Breaking Point, Chinese Box
Summary: Charlie and Colby go out on their first official date with service dog Penny
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


"Right over there... Perfect! Thank you!"

Colby lowered the extra tank of propane onto the patio beside the grill where Alan had directed him and stood up in time to hear the distinctive engine of Don's SUV pulling up in front of the house.

"Happy to help," he said, dusting his hands off.

"Sounds like the boys are home," Alan said, cocking his head towards the house as he removed his gardening gloves and set aside the pruning shears to head indoors, Colby in tow. Don opened up the front door and held it open for Charlie who entered with Penny on a leash, her service dog vest on to show she was still working. "So! How did it go?"

Charlie pulled his jacket aside to reveal a device about the size of a pager clipped to his waistband and then pulled up his jacket sleeve to show a second similar device the size of a large watch strapped to his wrist.

"I'm all wired up!" he told both Alan and Colby. "At the press of a button a whole alert system goes into effect plus I get connected with a live operator who checks in with me to see if I am okay or if I need medical attention."

"Sounds pretty high tech," Alan mused.

"The university doing the study is a private college and they're pretty well funded," Charlie explained. "But Don got them to accept me as an add on to their trials."

"I don't get that," Colby admitted. "If they're a bunch of academics shouldn't they have wanted a big name like you involved?"

"Contrary to what you might think," Charlie coughed a little into his hand, "not all academics are cowed by the Great and Powerful Dr. Charles Eppes. Or interested in donations in return for services."

Don bumped shoulders with his brother affectionately. "But thankfully they're scared to death of federal agents with real guns bearing classified messages regarding national security."

"Don got you in?" Colby blinked at them.

"Yup. He told them the FBI's most valuable consultant was an asset they couldn't risk, so they needed their cooperation." Charlie crossed to the couch and sat down, hand almost automatically going to pet Penny's head as she settled next to him. "I'll still donate money to the program and I can also offer them a detailed analysis of their product - without credit of course - that they can use to improve it."

"So how does it work?" Alan asked, settling into a Stickley chair across from Charlie.

"Well, I can push one of the buttons - or someone I'm with can," Charlie clarified. "But Penny's actually been trained to push them when she's in alert mode. We didn't have the prototypes in time for training so we made fakes ones just so she could learn to push one of the buttons with her nose or her paw whether I'm standing or laying down."

"So I'll get a call if something happens to you?" Alan took Charlie's wrist to get a better look. "Oh, and you've got one of those health alert bracelets now."

"Yeah," Charlie told them. "My doctor says I should still wear one from now on just in case. And yes, you'll get a message as will Don and," he gestured and smiled at Colby, "Colby as well. The units have GPS chips as well so the message will tell you where I am and which of you is closest based on what cell tower it finds your cell number on."

"Definitely high tech," Don agreed. "We got to tour the tracking facility. Pretty impressive."

"Well, I for one can't wait to try it out!" Charlie rose and shifted his focus to Colby. "So... How about we go out to a movie tonight? Give this thing - and Penny - a field test?"

"I suppose." Colby glanced at the clock. "If we leave now we can catch an early showing and be home in time for dinner."

"Or go out," Charlie countered. "I mean, you guys could survive a night without me, right?" Charlie looked between his father and brother.

"We'll find some way to manage," Don replied drolly. "So go. And don't be feeding the dog too much popcorn."

Charlie turned his face expectantly to Colby for his reaction and Penny did the same - twin gazes waiting for his reply.

"Okay. Dinner and a movie it is! Just give me a a minute to grab my jacket and keys."

"I'll meet you at your car," Charlie said. "I'm going to take Penny out for a bathroom break."

"Already thinking like a dog person," Colby remarked as he headed up the stairs. It only took a minute to wash up after helping Alan in the backyard. It had been nice, at least once they got past the obligatory 'be good to my son' speech Colby had been expecting for a while. The whole gardening and weekend barbecue prep had felt comfortable, homey, in a way he hadn't felt since he left Winchester Idaho to join the Army.

Grabbing his keys and coat he jogged down the stairs, hearing Don and Alan in the kitchen debate ordering Chinese versus eating leftover pot roast. A chuckle and he was out the door, jogging to where Charlie and Penny waited at his SUV.

"Ready to go?" he asked.

"Yup. All set!" Colby opened the passenger door and Charlie directed Penny up into the car then followed her in once she leaped into the back seat. The drive to Old Town Pasadena took less time than finding parking and by the time they got to the movie theatre they still had time to spare for the concession stand.

Stray bits of popcorn littered the floor, more of it falling nearby as the line shortened in front of them and moviegoers juggled their overflowing popcorn containers unsuccessfully.

"I can't believe she doesn't eat any of it," Colby marveled as Penny went past a particularly fresh pile of popcorn.

"Part of the dogs' final exam?" Charlie told him. "Is to go through a mall food court that has been strewn with french fries. They have to navigate their human through the area without eating any of the fries."

"That's good training!"

"It is," Charlie agreed. "But don't tell Don if I let her have a little later. I can't help myself! She's so sweet I keep wanting to give her treats!" He reached down to pat her head and she leaned affectionately into his hand.

"Careful, she'll treat you out of house and home," Colby warned playfully.

"What's that? You'll eat me out of house and home?" Charlie teased. "Come on! It's not like Don's the only one making 'growing boy' jokes about your appetite."

"I work off a lot of calories!" Colby protested, more for show than anything.

"Yes, FBI work is hard, thus Don skimping on egg whites on toast while you get the Lumberjack Special with extra pancakes." As Colby mock grumbled, Charlie went up on his tiptoes and gave him a brief yet sweet kiss. "I like feeding you. It feels kind of, I don't know, domestic - in a good way though." He made a point of looking all around them. "Southern California is overflowing with good looking, smart and well off people. And I know what you said about it being hard to meet new people here, but with all the fish in the sea..." He smiled shyly. "I guess it makes me happy to see you all comfortable and stuff at my house. To me it means out of all the people you could be with, you chose me."

"Charlie..." Colby drew him into his arms, ignoring the people around them in line. "You're the special one here. I'm just the Joe Schmo from Idaho. I'm the lucky guy."

"Can I help you?" the girl behind the counter asked as they found themselves next in line.

"Just a second," Charlie told her before turning to Colby. "Let's table what will clearly be a long and involved discussion on just who is lucky and say for now we're both lucky. And we're sharing a popcorn." He turned to the concessionaire. "One popcorn and two cokes."

"What size would you like?" she asked.

Charlie looked at the choices. "Jumbo," he replied, winking back at Colby. "I've got a growing boy to feed."

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 16th, 2010 12:22 am (UTC)
Confession
More NOO!

Apparently it's back with a vengeance after the year off. ;-)

This wasn't a planned installment, but I wasn't able to smush all the info about the technology into Champion plus I really wanted to follow up on Charlie saying he and Colby should actually go on proper dates.

In regards to the content of the story: the technology behind the devices is partially real and the french fry story is definitely real. There are companies (like LifeAlert - known for their 'I've fallen and I can't get up' commercials) who provide push button emergency medical services for wearers of their devices, but I decided to use existing technology (GPS, SMS and cell tower tracking) to provide a more detailed service. The technology to do all that exists today, but AFAIK no one is doing it though I wouldn't put it past some university to have a trial going somewhere. My former roommate likes to tell the story about the french fry test for service dogs so that definitely happened and might well still. IMHO it's a great test and a great testament to how devoted these dogs are.

BTW, so many people wanted to hear the census taker and Jake story that now I feel compelled to come up with one! I do want to ask the person I know who works for the census first for some good material to base it on so watch future Confessions for the tale since it's kind of too late to put it in a NOO story.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
lilacs_roseslilacs_roses on April 16th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
1) LOL loved it.
2) I like the tech idea and hope someone puts it into play soon
3) I, too, think the fry test is great!
4) You could always add the 'census and Jake' story as a 'missing scene.'

/huggs :)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on April 16th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
1) Thanks!
2) I think only money is the obstacle here.
3) The fry test is awesome. I know humans who'd fail it (if you put the fries on the tables not the floor that is.)
4) I have this weird quirk where every NOO story must be 3 pages long - no more, no less. Plus it doesn't fit in with the story arc I have planned. But I don't mind writing it as an extra for those interested in the story. Plus I don't know when I'll see my census person again, thus kind of missing my window of opportunity. ;-)

Glad you enjoyed it!
lilacs_roseslilacs_roses on April 16th, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
Save it for another story then :)

And yes, thoroughly!
lillyglillyg on April 16th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
Awesome! (sorry, after this crazy week at work, my brain is too dead to come up with something wittier...)
ladygray99ladygray99 on April 16th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
\o/ still not at a real computer. Will get back to you :-)
winky3018winky3018 on April 16th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Yipee!! I sooo love you for adding to my addiction of this verse :D *sighs* I just adore Colby and Charlie, and you write them well!

*hugs*
Mia: cholbymia_dcwut_09 on April 16th, 2010 04:19 am (UTC)
aww the end was so adorable
ive missed reading cholby
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on April 16th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
yay!! i didn't expect another installment so soon! glad to see the muse treating so well!! YAY for dating! i love how u do slow building romances. so sweet and understated and just lovely. can't wait to see where else you take this wonderful story. :)
devon99 on April 16th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
He smiled shyly. "I guess it makes me happy to see you all comfortable and stuff at my house. To me it means out of all the people you could be with, you chose me."

Oh Charlie, you total girl. Loved this line sweetie, I could so clearly see him saying it, see his face duck and do that little shy grin thing that he used to do in the early days.

Squee for a quick update!

More?
ladygray99ladygray99 on April 18th, 2010 09:13 am (UTC)
\o/
A proper date.
I have to say an oddly morbid part of me wants to see how Penny holds up at a busy messy crime scene. French Fries are one thing, bloody dead people are another.
If someone isn't working on that monitoring idea I think you need to get your ass down to the patent office.
And I do like the idea of Don threatening them to get Charlie onto the trial.

"Charlie turned his face expectantly to Colby for his reaction and Penny did the same - twin gazes waiting for his reply."

And is it just me or does Penny have Colby whipped already?

And as a thank you for getting this back up and running I have 500 words of Billy/Charlie about to go up for you.
phuntimephredphuntimephred on April 20th, 2010 04:47 am (UTC)
Yo.
De-Lurking.
Just want to say I like this series.
It’s a nice change from the guys just jumping into bed and screwing like bunnies.
(Not that there is anything wrong with screwing like bunnies).
aHostileRainbowahostilerainbow on June 22nd, 2010 07:56 am (UTC)
♥_♥
This whole series is just so hopelessly adorable I want to make a plushie of it to sleep with. Absolutely fantastic work from start to this-point-presumably-near-the-finish. I love Charlie and Colby and I love the way you write them. Please keep up the lovely work! ^_^ ♥
Andreadizzydrea on August 4th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
Okay, I confess I've been lurking for about a week...it's amazing how much fic you can burn through when you've got nothing better to do. And, I'm posting this under my "real" ID, just to show how much I love your writing. You are truly talented, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I'm a writer, too, and you've even inspired me to try my hand at drabbles (since you do them so well).

I love all your fic (that I've read so far), but this Charlie/Colby series is among my favorites. Don't know why I didn't see this pair before, but I'm totally digging it. Loved SHH, too. I guess I just love Charlie with an alpha male type (and yes, I'm reading and loving the Eppescest, too).

Okay, enough about everything else, back to NOO. What I love about this is the unhurried pacing. And the PG-13. It's not necessary to include all the graphic bits to make a fic memorable (though I must say, there's something to be said for H-O-Tness). And I'm not a dog person--I've had cats all my life--but I love the addition of Penny. It's like they're starting their own family.

I hope you have plans to revisit this 'verse at some point in 2011, because I crave more. Please?
la_mariane: numb3rs brothersla_mariane on October 27th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
I've just found this arc :) Any chance of more? I really enjoyed it.
Laina: CarTrickj2jsquared on September 6th, 2012 10:25 pm (UTC)
This series is completely awesome. Hope for more soon.