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27 June 2007 @ 05:39 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Worst Case Scenario  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #113 – Garage


Title: Worst Case Scenario
Pairing/Characters: Don, Alan
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Pilot, UP
Summary: After certain kinds of cases Don has a bad time sleeping
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


"It wasn't his fault!"

"Donnie, seven kids died!"

"You think I don't know that?" Don snapped at his father. "My team should have found them in time, but we didn't! We failed. I failed."

"You were relying on Charlie's equations, so he feels responsible." Alan tried to put a hand on Don's shoulder, but he brushed it off, pacing angrily. "At least go tell him you don't blame him," Alan pleaded. "Your brother's in a really dark place right now. He needs you to help him through this."

"Fine. Where is he?" Don growled.

"The garage." Alan gestured to the door. "I just wish your mother was still here. She was the only one who could reach him."

+

Don stood outside the garage door for a few seconds and took a deep breath. He gathered the last of his patience in the hopes he'd keep his cool long enough to apologize for the argument they had at the office and hopefully not start another one.

He opened the door and found the lights were off. Frowning, he hit the light switch and glanced in the room to confirm it was empty.

Charlie's body hung from a noose above a knocked over chair.

"No!"

Don ran to him, righting the chair and climbing atop it to lift Charlie up.

"No, no, no..."

His fingers pulled at the taut noose, but couldn't get it to come off. He pulled his pocket knife from his jeans and sawed at the rope.

"Don't be dead... Please don't be dead..."

The rope finally severed and Don quickly laid Charlie down on the floor, tearing at the noose cutting into his neck.

Once it was off the unnatural angle of his neck was apparent.

Snapped.

+

When he woke in tears, it was Don that was broken.

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 28th, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
Confession
You did get that this was a *nightmare*, right?

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
Cynthia: Don Cuffs Color by angeliksmall1trackmind on June 28th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
Not so sweet this time. But very well done. Poor Don!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 28th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
Well, if I did sweet every time people would get sick of it!

Nothing like gruesome death and a panic attack worthy nightmare to bust out of *that* saccharin rut! Hee!

Thanks...
andi: Don & Charlie hugadmiralandrea on June 28th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
Woah! I was about to scroll back up frantically for the missed character death warning, then I remembered what I had read about sleeping and calmed down! Way to give a girl a heart attack! I shouldn't try and read fic first thing in the morning pre-caffeine, I miss the details!

Very powerful, strong writing...
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 28th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a little shock treatment there, just to make sure you were *fully* awake. /grins/ I know, I'm evil. (Though I did write the summary to soften the blow for those who paid attention to it.)

I would probably have more readers if I put story specific warnings in my headers, but I really don't want to. Novels don't come with character death warnings and such. I mean, what if you knew about the end of The Sixth Sense via a warning? It would have ruined the movie. Pay it Forward would not have had the same impact. I think the ability of literature to kick us hard in the chest is an asset. Art is supposed to make us feel the full range of human emotion. It's how we confirm we are alive and can feel.

But in this case, no actual characters were harmed. Hehehe

I love loopholes. Hee!

Thanks...
mistergalenmistergalen on June 28th, 2007 06:17 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed how you were able to create such vivid images in such a short fic--really impressive! It has me wondering what Don did when he woke up...;)
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 28th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I like to pack a lot of drama into 100-300 words. It's an enjoyable challenge.

What Don did... Hmm...

I think might have tried not to cry - being the macho jock/FBI agent he is - but the emotion would have been too raw and too immediate for him to try to fight it off.

I think he would have wrapped his arms round himself and just sobbed it out, curling up in his bed alone. Then when he was done he would have taken a shower and put the stoic mask back on and gone to work.

I also think he'd go to the house that night and find some way to tell Charlie he loved him - with or without the actual words.
mistergalenmistergalen on June 29th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC)
The mental image of Don crying is really poignant somehow...poor Don!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 29th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
Don's so stoic any emotional moments for him are a big deal. Him crying? That would be heartbreaking to see on screen.
Karen: numb3rs donbyrons_brain on June 28th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
::sniffles:: no Charlie, no!
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 28th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, hon. /pets/

The real Charlie isn't as weak as Don's Nightmare!Charlie. He's much more capable of handling reality than Don gives him credit for.

What was it he said in therapy? "I'm not as helpless as people think I am."

/smiles/
narcasse: N3-3x02-Donnarcasse on June 28th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
The first part made me want to hug Charlie. But the second part...oh my god, you scared me half to death! I have read the summary, but I re-checked it after reading this story to make sure that I didn't misunderstand anything.

I don't dare to imagine Don's response that if it isn't not a nightmare but is reality...Poor Don for having such a terrible dream. The last line made me feel sorry for Don. Dear Charlie, where are you? Your big brother needs you!

By the way, I am curious whether the first part is reality in this story or not?
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 28th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
The first part made me want to hug Charlie. But the second part...oh my god, you scared me half to death!

Mission accomplished then. Hehehe My goal was to shock people and to make them want to hug the boys.

It's all dream except for the last line, but it's open to interpretation if the case making him have the nightmare is the same or similar.

One might assume the worst case scenario for Don is to have a bunch of kids he can't save. It's not. It's not being able to save Charlie.

Thanks for commenting!
gyen_gaoltosing: EMO: Dreamgyen_gaoltosing on June 30th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, that was shocking. It felt very much like a nightmare! Wow. Great job, yo.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on June 30th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks...

I like to throw a good unexpected left hook into the mix here and there, especially with drabbles.

I know that that's not how most hanging deaths occur, but I figured with Charlie's advanced physics knowledge he'd know what it took to snap versus strangle...
PhilLeeGirlphilleegirl on July 8th, 2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
Gah!! I know it is a nightmare, but... Yeah, just Gah!
rubynye on October 6th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
And then Charlie blinked sleepily, rolled over, and hugged Don, right? Right?
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on October 6th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
I was thinking more Don mauled him with kisses and then they had passionate Reassurance!sex. Hehehe
rubynye on October 7th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
We can combine these! Charlie wakes up and hugs him, Don mauls him with kisses and fucks him through the bed. \o/
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on October 7th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
I'm on board with that plan.