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28 June 2011 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: To Sleep Perchance to Die  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge June 2011 Rewind – Dream, Interpret, Pattern, Manipulation

Title:To Sleep Perchance to Die
Pairing/Characters: Don, Charlie, William Bradford, OCs
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 800
Spoilers: Take Out
Summary: Recurring dreams worry and distract Don on the job
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

291. Dream

"I know..." Don began haltingly, "that you're not that kind of shrink..."

"What kind of shrink?" William looked at Don over his notepad, an eyebrow raised in question.

"One of those 'lie down on the couch and tell me about your dreams' kind of shrink." Don's hands wrung in front of him of their own accord until he stopped them.

"Not normally, but when dreams start interfering with our waking hours, then it's a good idea to give them some consideration, at least so they'll stop trying to get your attention."

Don huffed. "They've been doing that all right. I've had the same dream a half dozen times in the last two weeks. If I see it another time I'll probably have it memorized."

"And it's cropping up during the day?" William asked.

"Yeah and at the worst times," Don complained. "I mean I have it under control. I can do my job," he hastily amended, "but I don't like that it's a stupid dream poking at me, distracting me."

"Then lets try to exorcise that demon." William gestured to his sofa with a bemused grin. "So why don't you lay down on my couch and tell me your dreams?"

265. Interpret


Don had to laugh at that.

"300 bucks an hour? Or whatever outrageous hourly fees you guys get paid," Don said, shaking his head. "And all you can say about my dreams is 'hmm'?"

"If you'd given me time to get more than one syllable out..." William countered, his tone good-natured, "I'd have earned my paycheck today." He leaned forward, still smirking. "But now we're going to have to book another session just to talk about your lack of patience with results."

Don threw his hands up in the air and laughed again. "Fine, you got me. I'm Mr. Results Yesterday. I'll shut up now so you can ponder the Freudian significance of my dreams."

William waved a hand dismissively. "Freud's been discredited, but Jung still has his merits." His expression turned serious. "My interpretation of your dreams? You're not going to like it." He fixed Don in his gaze. "You live in fear that one day you're not going to be able to protect Charlie - that he's going to get hurt or worse and you won't be able to do a damn thing about it but watch it happen."

The air left Don's lungs all at once.

261. Pattern

"You seem quiet tonight. Something on your mind?"

Alan added butter to his second baked potato as Don sat, pensive.

"Apparently," he admitted. "I told my therapist this afternoon that I've been having recurring dreams."

"Dream theory, huh?" Alan nodded as if weighing over the concept. "Was he able to help?"

"He identified the pattern of the dreams, what was behind them, so yeah I guess... I can't guarantee I won't stop having them though, now that I understand them."

"Well, if you can't stop having them," Alan offered, "change them."

Don sat back in his chair. "Dad, it's not that easy."

"Maybe not at first, but with practice... I bet Charlie's got some journals around here that cover lucid dreaming." He paused, looking intently at Don. "Look at how in control you are during the day. You think you can't get in control of your dreams with a little know-how and a bit of practice?"

"I'm not sure how to change the dream to make it not turn out that way."

"Maybe you don't need to know what to change it to," Alan suggested. "Just ask for a different ending and see what solution your brain comes up with."

043. Manipulation

Manipulating his dream wasn't working.

When the killers broke into the house, Don couldn't keep them out.

When they mounted the stairs of the Craftsman, he couldn't bar their way.

Now they were poised over Charlie's bed, knives drawn and ready.

"Stop, stop, stop!" Don yelled. No effect.

His little brother was just an innocent lump under the covers, completely unaware of the danger he was in.

"Please," Don pleaded softly. "Change the ending."

The knives were raised and then brought down with cruel efficiency: six hands all stabbing away.


Charlie sauntered up to stand beside him and watch the proceedings.

"What the hell?"

Charlie turned away from his supposed death, looking unconcerned. "I knew they were coming so I just dumped my dirty laundry in the bed to make it look like I was in there. I called 911 as they started to break in; the police just pulled up outside and are on their way in to arrest these idiots."

"But..." Don shook his head in disbelief.

Charlie just bumped shoulders with him in casual camaraderie.

"You can take off if you want. I've got this handled."

Don blinked, suddenly awake.

He never had the dream again..

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 29th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Title based on the Shakespeare quote "to sleep perchance to dream."

The following quote is (I think) verbatim from a Criminal Minds episode, spoken by Dr. Spencer Reid. I liked it so much I felt it deserved another outing.

"Freud's been discredited, but Jung still has his merits."


Emma DeMarais
t_vo0810t_vo0810 on June 30th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
mmm, i love the use of dreams as a storytelling device (both in real life and in fic!)

very nice job, doll. don exposes a lot about the evolution of his relationship with Charlie in how he handles his own inner mind's workings.
lilacs_roseslilacs_roses on June 29th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
... /nods... Dreams can be really intense and keep us on the edge... I'm glad that Don came up with a way of changing, and changing it in such a way that he never had it again.

Nicely done, Em :)
cat_13145cat_13145 on June 30th, 2011 06:59 am (UTC)
The worrying thing is, I'm not sure Don is going to be any less freaked out by this ending. Hugs him,
Amy DentonAmy Denton on June 30th, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
NICE. I enjoyed this story. It's something I can see happening on the show. Thank you for sharing.
rubynye on June 30th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, this made me cheer! *waves hands delightedly*
draoichtanghra on June 30th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)

I haven't commented for ages on what you've been doing for a variety of reasons (lately I admit just laziness) but I had to tell you I think this wonderful - especially the ending. I love it! Well done.

Candi: Don and Dad Chessmustangcandi on July 1st, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
This was just wonderful! You really do have a wonderful Bradford voice and I loved the part about the air leaving Don's lungs all at once... I felt like mine did too!

Great, great, GREAT job.
Jelsemiumjelsemium on July 1st, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Great job on these! I particularly liked how you portrayed Bradford. "So why don't you lay down on my couch and tell me your dreams?" Ha ha ha!

LOVED the way that dream Charlie sauntered in and took over. "You can take off if you want. I've got this handled."

ladygray99: Charlieladygray99 on July 2nd, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
What the bugger? I was sure I comment on this. Oh well. Loved it, it was great. Some part of me likes to think that Charlie somehow got into Don's dream and fixed it for him.