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10 February 2012 @ 11:59 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Some Comfort Here  
Posted to numb3rs_fic

Title: Some Comfort Here
Pairing/Characters: Charlie, Don
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Series
Summary: Amita may be his ex-wife but her passing still hurts Charlie deeply
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Charlie's in Florida of all places when he gets the news about Amita's death.

They were only married a short while, but still the grief sets the floor beneath him spinning, gravity increasing as the weight of sadness drags him from his feet to collapse into the nearest chair. The stunned silence is interrupted only by the buzzing in his ears, crowding out all coherent thought past his initial denial of the truth.

He focuses on each breath. They bring needed oxygen and clarity in time. His head clears and he remembers the phone in his hand. It takes only a few seconds to sign off and thank the hospital for contacting him. Apparently Amita had never removed him as an emergency contact. Blinking, he realizes he never changed his either.

They'd parted as they began - as friends - yet she's a piece of his history that's so integral to him he feels the void where she used to be almost immediately.

He'd been happy for her when she accepted the job at MIT; she'd always wanted to teach there. He didn't know then that she'd lose her life there, one of a dozen victims in a horrific winter pile-up on the turnpike.

It's easy enough to blow off the rest of the conference; he can't stand the idea of how many people will crowd around him for a chance to offer their condolences. The math community is small. Everyone will know soon enough.

He could change his flight, go home early, but that would require effort and right now his genius brain refuses to function for even something as simple as arranging a flight.

So he puts the do not disturb sign up and climbs into bed, eager for escape from all of reality.

He curls into a ball without thinking, the pain already a hand gripping his lungs tight, making it hard to breath. Tears join in, choking off the last of his breath as the sobs wrack his small frame - the depth of his loss finally given voice.


It must be day again because a sliver of light pierces Charlie's eye through the slender gap in the draperies. He rolls over to ignore it, but finds he can't sleep again. His memory's stolen whatever peace he found in slumber, replacing it with the dull edged shards of anguish that attacked him so violently the night before.

The wallpaper becomes his sole focus, following the pattern with senseless concentration - breath in, breath out - just something he can do other than think about how Amita might have suffered, how her parents are taking the news, if anyone's gotten around to contacting her friends yet. He knows he should probably contact some of them, but that requires a higher processing power than he can manage right now.

The sheets are cool, almost cold, and he feels like he might never feel warm again, loss chilling him with its empty caverns of nothingness.

There's a sound - the door opening - and he wants to call out that he doesn't want housekeeping, but he can't bring himself to speak.

It's not a maid.

It's Don.

One look at his brother's face and Charlie understands: he knows. Don knows so he came.

He watches Don wave off whatever hotel employee let him and pocket his badge.

Don holds his gaze for a moment, asking with his eyes everything it would hurt too much to say aloud. Charlie's struck by what he sees there. Don's never been one to show how he feels, but his concern for his brother and his former sister-in-law is plain to see. In his sorrow he'd all but forgotten the years Don worked side by side with Amita at the FBI before they got married and left for England. She was friend and family to him too.

Charlie's not the only one hit hard by her passing.

Charlie hopes his expression answers for him, willing his brother to see all he cannot say.

It must work because Don puts aside his bag and gets into the bed with him, opening his arms and self to be the vessel of Charlie's loss and grief and to share his own sadness.

Charlie buries his face in Don's warm chest and lets it all go. He thought he was all cried out, but fresh sobs wrack his body as he envisions all the wonderful times he and Amita shared and mourns the loss of a fellow brilliant mind that will no longer enrich the world with its innovative ideas.

Don's arms are strong around him, holding him close, grounding him. He feels his brother press a consoling kiss to his forehead.

"It'll be okay," Don whispers. "I'll stay with you. You won't be alone."

It's always been Don there for him: after their mother, after their father and now after his ex-wife's passing.

He sinks into Don's love like a blanket, wrapping himself up in it until he's surrounded by love and support and quiet promises that this too will pass.

Charlie will never know her touch again, never hear the sound of that lovely voice calling his name, never gaze upon her smiling face or run his fingers through her hair.

But here, now, with Don...

Perhaps he can find some comfort here.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 12th, 2012 07:04 am (UTC)
Just a little something I wrote because I'm tired of only getting to write drabbles to prompts. /sigh/

Title taken from the lyrics to the song Angel by Sarah McLachlan.


Emma DeMarais
Andreadizzydrea on February 12th, 2012 07:42 am (UTC)
Oh, that hurts!

It's lovely, though. Living inside that grief is just heartbreaking, as anyone who's lost a loved one knows. But seeing that one person that can anchor you to the here and now and just let you breathe is priceless.

I'm so glad you wrote this. It's nice to see you take the muse out for a Sunday drive (or Saturday night date, as it were).

Can't help but notice that you've killed off both the boys' wives (or in Don's case, his almost-wife) on the same night. Feeling a little maudlin, are we?
msgrahamcrackermsgrahamcracker on February 12th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
As comforting as it is heartbreaking. Fantastic job.