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28 June 2010 @ 09:17 pm
Numb3rs Fic: The Hardest Battle  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge June 2010 Rewind – Adversary, Attack, Overpower, Rescue

Title: The Hardest Battle
Pairing/Characters: Colby, Don, David, OFC
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 400
Spoilers: Judgment Call
Summary: Colby fights against a whole different kind of adversary
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

060. Adversary

Colby held the paperwork in his hand, just staring at it. He'd asked for a copy, as if it wasn't real until he had the facts in his possession. Until then it felt more like a rumor he couldn't combat until it was brought out into the open.

Only now he had proof of his adversary and the fight in him evaporated.

The words swam before his eyes: biopsy, malignant, carcinoma, surgery...

He texted Don to let him know he'd need another day off then stared at the phone wondering how to tell his mother her baby boy had cancer.

162. Attack

Lucinda Granger - ever the sergeant, if not drill - flew in and took over her son's treatment plan like it was a well coordinated invasion.

Only the invasion had already happened.

She sat with Colby's doctors and they agreed upon a plan of attack: surgery with follow up chemotherapy and radiation to ensure eradication.

As grateful as he was for her support, they only disagreed on one front: Colby refused to tell any of his friends he was sick.

His mother was sure they'd understand. Colby agreed, but knew what that understanding would mean when they looked in his eyes: pity.

213. Overpower

Surgery took more out of him than he imagined it would, then chemotherapy on top of that left him almost helpless. Sullen at needing his mother to do so much for him, he rebelled in small ways: monosyllabic answers, refusing to eat, staying up late despite being exhausted.

Only he was fighting the wrong war.

When it finally overpowered him, leaving him so weak he had to be readmitted to the hospital, he broke down.

He'd been brave in life or death firefights, but radiation reduced him to body wracking sobs and heartfelt pleas for it all to just stop.

183. Rescue

Remission should have felt like a triumph, but like all soldiers at the end of a long war Colby just felt tired and relieved to come out of it alive.

He excused himself from his mother's teary gratitude and went to sit on the beach alone.

Out of nowhere Don sat down on his right, David on his left.

They nodded in greeting and sat in silence with him. They didn't know what happened, but were there anyway in a show of support that felt like a lifeline - one that led back to the old world he'd missed so badly.

Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on June 29th, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, yeah. I already gave Megan cancer and now I'm giving it to Colby. (FWIW I was kind of thinking stomach cancer.) I may have to resign myself to recycling story ideas until I finish the summer math course that's eating my brain. /sigh/


Emma DeMarais
ladygray99ladygray99 on June 29th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)

Hey, I gave Charlie cancer.

I like the idea of Colby's mom being a sergeant. It fits in a lot of ways.

I was actually thinking skin cancer with Colby. White boy spending all that time surfing or at high altitudes there's got to be some nasty sunburns on his record.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on June 29th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, but only Charlie right? I mean, I really enjoyed giving Megan cancer (that sounds awful doesn't it? LOL) and had planned to give Colby some dread disease in a House crossover that was Charlie/Colby, but I really needed this fic done before end of month and this is what I had in my head.

I considered skin cancer, but people in SoCal don't treat it with the same kind of dread, you know? It's usually caught early and rarely fatal like stomach cancer is. Hell, two members of my own family have had run ins with it and I still go out in the sun unprotected at times!

FWIW I know a lot of surfers go super early in the morning and wear wetsuits so if he's a prework surfer and wears his gear he's a lot better off than the sun loving afternoon worshipper. ;-)

And I kind of wanted Colby's mother to have a higher rank, but I liked the nudge about drill sergeant given how she was about to take over his life. /grins/
Tamanna: Colby smileswingandswirl on June 29th, 2010 08:19 am (UTC)

As someone who's verging on dyscalculic you have my sympathies regarding the math course eating your brain. *offers cookies*

This was lovely- in particular, I liked how unreal it felt to Colby, as well as how difficult he found it to call his Mom- how do you tell someone you love you might be dying? And yay for Lucinda marching right in and taking over, even if Colby did deserve to be whacked for not telling his team. Although it is wonderfully in character for him, as is Don and David's show of support in the end. *applauds*

And don't feel bad about reusing a concept- the merit of any story is in the telling and you've done a brilliant job of it here. (As well as causing a Colby/Andy bunny along similar lines to perk up a little. Ugh. *headdesk*)

As always, hon, wonderful job. Brava.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on June 29th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, hon!

And yay for Andy bunnies! Just file it away for when the time is right. You've got whole worlds of them - like I do of Viceworld - so there's no rush.

Unreal is the perfect word for it. I'm glad that came across. It was hard to fit in Don and David at the end, but I can see Lucinda calling Don and telling him whatever it was, it was over, and Colby was down at the beach. She wouldn't betray his confidence, but she'd want him to have the support of his friends the instant he was ready for it. I agree he was thwapable for keeping it to himself, but it was what felt very Colby to me, especially post-Janus when his whole life had been under a microscope.

I know there's nothing new under the sun and I shouldn't feel so bad about recycling on Numb3rs Fic #637, but I like to pride myself in having good fic ideas not just decent writing, but I guess I just liked this idea too much not to revisit it. /shrugs/
tkdbbelt on June 29th, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
Okay, cancer stories I don't really enjoy but well written as always.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on June 29th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
I don't go there often, mea culpa, but I appreciate you reading and commenting on it. Thank you.
SamuelJames: Numb3rs-Colby Grangersamueljames on June 29th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
Oh poor Colby, you're really putting him through the wringer at the moment. I'm glad he had the support of the team even if they didn't know exactly why they were needed. Very emotonal.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on June 29th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
I don't know why I picked on Colby, but he won the cancer lottery this round. /shrugs/ I guess he's all about soldiering on no matter how bad things get and that suited someone facing cancer because everyone has a breaking point - even someone that strong.

rubynye on June 29th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
Holy moly, Emma?! HOW DID YOU FIT THAT IN 4 DRABBLES?! I've read novels that didn't do this struggle such human, complex justice!
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on June 29th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think I was a little bit crazy trying to tackle this in 400 words, but I really wanted a snapshot view only focusing on the moments that mattered: when he found out, when he was broken by it and when his friends showed their support in a sign it was over.

So the answer is either a) because I got practice giving Megan cancer in drabbles or b) family experience. Maybe both. /shrugs/

/♥s you/