Log in

No account? Create an account
07 December 2006 @ 01:49 am
Numb3rs Fic: Birthday  
Posted to numb3rs_fic

Title: Birthday
Pairing/Characters: Don, Charlie, Alan
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: None
Summary: Don's thoughts on his fortieth birthday
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

It's my birthday.

I'm forty today.

I'm sure this birthday will be like the last few.

My dad will wish me a happy birthday in that gruff voice of his and give me a kiss on the forehead. I may be all grown up, but somehow deep down I'm still his little boy to him.

Charlie will make a big production out of it, even though I've never been much for birthdays. Last year he brought cupcakes and offered one to everyone who came by.

At some point he'll give me a long winded speech about being brothers and how important I am to him. I used to roll my eyes when we were younger, but now that speech means a lot to me, though he'll never know that.

I'm forty today.

I used to think that I'd have a wife and kids by this point.

But I guess life just doesn't turn out the way you expect it...


"Can you get the door, Dad?"

"Cupcakes again?"

"Yeah, well they went over really well last year so why not?" Charlie laid the box of cupcakes on the table. "It took a while to find strawberry ones, but I know Megan really likes them." Charlie put down his bag and slipped out of his coat. "Anyone come by yet?"

His father shook his head. "No, it's just been me and your brother."

Charlie took a moment to check the monitors, like he always did when he first showed up, and then his brother's IV and feeding tube. The soft rush of the respirator was the only sound in the room as both men stood beside Don's bed.

Charlie managed to push aside the wires and tubes enough to wrap his arms around his brother's limp form and hug him.

"Happy birthday, bro," he whispered in his ear. "I miss you..."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 09:53 am (UTC)
I confess that I cried pretty much the whole time I was writing this fic for reasons people who know me well will understand.

The Sugarcubes song Birthday ran through my head briefly when I first started writing and decided on the title, but that was quickly eclipsed by the emotion of this fic.

Sorry for the angst, but since my muse kept me awake with this fic last night it had to be written.


Emma DeMarais
DarkElyelysium1996 on December 7th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
aww man. you just had to make me cry.

beautifully, haunting sad.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
At least you know I endured the crying too...


(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
With me or Don? Surprised you were expecting depressing from a fic named after a celebration.

One assumes Don got shot in the line and is on life support - has been for several years. No prequels, no sequels - just a tragic moment in time.

andi: Winnie Hugsadmiralandrea on December 7th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, that's sad! Not really what I wanted today, as I heard about a friend's dad dying, so this kinda resonated, even if Don isn't dead...

Very powerful, emotive writing.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
Don might not be dead, but in a way he's gone, thus Charlie missing him.

I wasn't really up for this either, but the muse doesn't exactly take orders from me. /sigh/

Sorry to hear about your friend's father...


dance_the_codedance_the_code on December 7th, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Oh wow...*is in awe*

::Stares in silent wonder::
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how to respond to that.

I will tell you that I decided that part of my goal for next year is to write stories that are more intense, creative and compelling. If you think this is like that then I'm on the right path.

I'm glad you felt this. That's what I was hoping for.


dance_the_codedance_the_code on December 7th, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
You are right on the money.

Emma - this was an amazing fic and if it is a sign of things to come, I truly await the next one with wondrous anticipation.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
As do I. I've had a few words with the muse. I hope she decides this is the direction she's willing to take me in 2007. So far 2005 and 2006's goals have been successful beyond my wildest imaginings, so this could be something pretty amazing...
A Special Kind Of Crazy: Remember Words by Bearangelskuuipo on December 7th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
Crimeanitaly woman. This needs a tissue warning. That's so incredibly sad, but beautiful at the same time. Just...wow.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
That's a great icon. Really...

I don't do warnings in advance. I'm sure that pisses off a lot of readers, but honestly *real* fiction doesn't come with warnings and I believe telling people what to expect robs them of a portion of the effect of the story. I want it to be visceral, unexpected. This fic relied on subterfuge - you couldn't know Don's situation while you were reading his thoughts. The reveal was everything and once the reveal was made one could go back and reread for an additional layer of understanding.

So no apologies for this, but if it helps I needed a fair amount of tissue myself.


A Special Kind Of Crazy: winter by lonnerzangelskuuipo on December 7th, 2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks, my friend Claire made it a couple of years ago.

I agree with you for the most part about the warnings. I use them because some of my subject matter can cause problems for some of my friends and I don't want to hurt them.

This was an incredibly powerful piece.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
I put a pretty strongly worded warning in my disclaimer which is linked in every fic, so if people don't heed it I can't help them. Even my entire LJ is marked 'No Minors Allowed' so I would hope people would anticipate some potential unpleasantness.

I do have one fic that I've been sitting on for like a year. I will put special warnings on that when it's published because it's possibly the most disturbing Numb3rs fic that anyone has written, IMO. I've noticed some pretty disturbing fic hit the fandom this year, but I feel strongly that of all I've written this one really does deserve a heads up beforehand.

Thanks for your kind words.

irena_adler: Don Eppesirena_adler on December 7th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
I reread the first half after the second half and like how you set things up so well so that their meaning changed when you know the situation. Very sad. :(
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 7th, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, the wording in part one (and actually everything before the reveal) had to be handled very delicately. Rereading once you knew had to add another dimension to your understanding.

I'm very pleased with how this turned out, just not thrilled with what I had to endure to get it out.


(Deleted comment)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 8th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
It's an amazing song and to hear it live was breathtaking. Yes, that tiny woman had that huge voice for real. Wow...

This fic is kind of a sucker punch, but good stories should be compelling. I think it hit me that I should be trying to impact people with my storytelling the same way whether it's singing or writing. This feels more like singing to me. People got it. I'm glad.


markyfic on December 8th, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
"At some point he'll give me a long winded speech about being brothers and how important I am to him. I used to roll my eyes when we were younger, but now that speech means a lot to me, though he'll never know that."

I reread that bit after reading the second part and it was just. Just Wow. Oh. This got to me.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on December 8th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it. It should have.

I don't think I've ever written a fic before that was *designed* to be read twice, but I'm rather chuffed at how well this one turned out. It really does have the impact on the first level and then more depth as you reread. I collect great twists in movies (which are rare) so I was happy to pull off something unexpected like this myself.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

fairysparklzfairysparklz on January 16th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
thank you for writing this, and for giving me the means to cry the tears i had denied myself too long.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 16th, 2007 07:20 am (UTC)
This one was designed to slam right into your chest. If you didn't feel this, you can't feel.

Tears are healthy. Science backs me up on that. That doesn't always make them easy though...

I'm glad it helped.

shaan_lienshaan_lien on January 20th, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
oh, wow. warn a girl please so i can grab the tissue box. it was good though. very poignant.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on April 4th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
Sorry I missed replying to this comment earlier. I've been offline most of the year.

If it helps, this fic makes *me* teary and I wrote it! I just reread it again now and got teary all over again. There's a fundamental tragedy to it that you can't escape.

I should warn you though. I am *evil*. I don't give warnings in advance and I do spring things on people. I feel that real media like TV, movies and even books don't let you in on things like character deaths and surprise endings in advance, so I don't want to deaden the experience for readers with warnings, especially since I purposefully wrote what I did to hit people hard. I do mark my fic with pairings so people can avoid het, slash or incest if they want, but past that my disclaimer basically say that anything goes.

Because life is like that.

Thank you so much for coming to read and comment.

shaan_lienshaan_lien on April 13th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, I never used to warn people either, but that was on ff.net (no need to say more).

I was joking about the warning. It is important for suspense purposes and the right emotional impact that people not know what's coming. That, I can appreciate.
iawenbemerryiawenbemerry on September 15th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
My jaw dropped for a moment. I was not expecting that! That was very sad and extremely well written. :)
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on September 15th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was rather a sneak attack, but one I fully enjoyed perpetrating. /grins/