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Numb3rs: Connect the dots 4/13 (Fanfiction)

CONNECT THE DOTS 4/13

Word Count: 28.450
Summary: While helping Don out with a case against the drug lord JM, Charlie gets hit by a car. When it’s becoming clear that the accident was in fact an attack, Don worries for Charlie’s life. A race against the clock begins, loyalties are questioned and Charlie has to fight his very own demons.
Pairing: Charlie/Amita (but only hints – canon pre-relationship)
Rating: PG
Spoiler: Sniper Zero, For better or worse
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Numb3rs and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Connect The Dots Masterlist
Chapter 3


4.



It was noon before Larry finally arrived in the office. Don got Charlie’s rucksack out from under his desk and went with the professor into the conference room. Ballpoint pens, pencils, memo pads, car keys, exams ... Don spread the contents of Charlie’s rucksack on the conference table and looked at Larry who was immediately targeting the memo pads.

Don switched on Charlie’s laptop. The device was slightly damaged, the screen was a little crooked and there was a crack showing in it, however, it was still working.

“Cognitive Emergence Theory,“ Larry said, putting two of the memo pads aside before taking the third.

“Amita’s checking Charlie’s office?“ Don asked.

Larry nodded. “Yes, at the moment, she’s taking over his office hours. After that, she will look for his notes. If she finds something, she’ll bring it here.“

“Great. Charlie was working on a link analysis for us to find dirty cops in the LAPD who get paid by JM.“

Larry nodded. “I know.“

“If Charlie had a lead, we have to know,“ Don answered, “Dad’s at the hospital. The tests got delayed and it will take a while. I was thinking about giving you and Amita a ride when I’m heading over later today.“

Larry nodded. He thumbed through the notes. “I think I got something,“ he said, “But these calculations are pretty rough. The refined versions should be in his office.“

Don pushed the laptop in his direction. “Check the laptop.“

***

A phone call with his father confirmed to Don that Charlie was still undergoing the series of tests which should make sure that his brain was okay. A short time later, Amita arrived with her rucksack and a bag in which she was carrying notes and files from Charlie’s office. “I wrote everything down I found on his blackboards,“ she explained, sitting down next to Larry. She seemed much more determined and calm than the evening before and Don suspected that it had something to do with being useful. “Looks as if he was close to find the dirty cops.“

“How close?“ Don asked.

“I’ll have to go through the notes. Give me half an hour,“ Amita said and Don nodded. He left the two scientists to their devices and returned to his and Agent Hitchcock’s team who were gathered around Colby and David’s cubicle.

“Looks as if Charlie may have found something before his accident,“ Don explained. Tom Hitchcock raised his eyebrows, sceptical.

“How is Dr. Eppes?“ Tanja asked and Don nodded.

“He’s conscious. He’s having some tests done at the moment, but it looks like he might have been lucky.“

Colby sighed. Relief was plainly to see on his face. “His head’s harder than I thought,“ he smiled, “Must have to do something with the size of the brain.“

David laughed. “Really? Remind me to buy you a helmet, Colby.“

The young agent rolled his eyes. “Funny, man.“

Megan laughed.

“Could we return to topic?“ Hitchcock asked.

“Sure,“ Don answered, glaring at Colby in warning who was looking darkly in Hitchcock’s direction.

Tom looked at his youngest agent. “Mirren.“

The young man nodded. “So far, nothing from the rest areas Dr. Eppes found for us.“

“That doesn’t surprise me,“ Tom said. Colby’s eyes narrowed.

Don, who had spend almost his whole life defending Charlie, just sighed. “We should keep the observation for now.“

“I think so, too,“ Mirren said. “Boss,“ he then addressed Hitchcock, “even if Dr. Eppes hadn’t found those rest areas we would keep an eye on them. We all know how perfect those places are for dealing.“

Tanja and Sandra nodded in affirmation.

“We should at least try, sir,“ Sandra said.

“Eppes is the leading investigator,“ Hitchcock said, raising an eyebrow, “He decides.“

Don ignored the challenging tone, instead focusing on the case file in his hands. “We keep the observation,“ he nodded, “Okay. Get back to work.“

***

Alan had always felt a little helpless concerning Charlie. His youngest had always been more attached to Margaret when he was a child and even as a teenager - when Don spent as much time as possible outside the house – he’d adored his mother.

Alan had always blamed Charlie’s genius. His youngest had always had difficulties in adapting and finding friends.

Mostly because the people around him were much older than him. The time Margaret had spent with Charlie in Princeton had denied Alan to bond with his son and it had been that time, that the relationship with Charlie had suffered the most.

And although, meanwhile, Charlie and he could got along much better, he was still unsure whenever Charlie had a problem or didn’t feel good.

“Dad,“ Charlie said softly.

Alan looked up from his crossword puzzle. “Hello. You’re awake,“ he said.

Charlie had fallen asleep half an hour ago, completely drained by the tests performed in the morning.

“Did Don leave?“ Charlie asked.

Alan nodded and Charlie bit his lower lip, turning his head away. Alan noticed a hint of sadness in Charlie’s expression before he turned away. The oldest Eppes frowned. “What’s wrong?“

Charlie shook his head. “Nothing.“

In moments like this, Alan wanted Margaret back more then anything. Charlie had always opened up to her.

He closed his eyes. “I’m going to sleep for a little while.“

“Okay,“ Alan answered. He took Charlie’s hand.

“Dad?“ Charlie asked softly.

“Hm?“ Alan answered.

“How long will it take?“

Alan brushed his thumb over Charlie’s eyebrow. “What do you mean?“

Charlie didn’t answer. He was asleep.

***

David sighed, spinning his chair around to face Colby’s back. “Let it go, man.“

Colby turned around, too, and now they were able to look at each other. “Hitchcock’s been doing nothing but criticizing and ridiculing Charlie since we started working the case together. Sometimes even when Charlie’s with us. I don’t like it.“

“I don’t like it, either,“ David answered, raising his hands in defence, “But there’s nothing we can do, Colby.“ He turned back around to his computer. “Besides … do I have to remind you of your behaviour when you joined the team?“

“I was never like that,“ Colby disputed. David looked over his shoulder and raised his eyebrows sceptically. Colby ducked his head, spinning around to his desk. It was true that he hadn’t believed that Charlie could help them at the beginning. But he’d changed.

And the thought that somebody didn’t respect Charlie was irritating him. He wasn’t just a member of the team but Colby’s friend - somebody, in whose house they’d eaten together, with whom they’d played basketball and for whose wellbeing Colby had been responsible in the field whenever it hadn’t been possible for Don to look out for his brother.

Colby glanced darkly across the bullpen towards Hitchcock’s cubicle. Nobody talked badly about Charlie. Not as long as Colby was in the room.

***

Amita massaged her temples and looked up at Larry who was concentrating on Charlie’s laptop. Alan had called to let them know that the tests had been finished and that Charlie would be up for visitors after he would have gotten some sleep. Don, Larry and her had decided to drive to the hospital together as soon as Don was back from a briefing with the AD.

Amita only noticed that Larry was looking questioningly at her when he cleared his throat. She shrugged his concern off and concentrated on Charlie’s handwritten notes again but Larry had to have seen that she was having a problem because he asked, “What’s the matter?“

“What?“ Amita shook her head. “Everything’s fine.“ She pasted on a smile.

“I can see that you are disturbed,“ Larry answered.

Amita sighed deeply. “I just think that it’s weird.“

“What in particular?“ Larry asked.

“The accident.“ Amita leant forwards as if she wanted to tell Larry a secret. “I know the road Charlie took last night. It’s pretty big. Charlie got hit on the right lane.“

She looked at Larry with meaning and he folded his hands.

“So, you think that cause and effect are not fitting together?“

“He got hit on the right lane,“ Amita repeated, “Why did they find him next to the left?“

***

Don left the elevator on the neurological ward, Larry and Amita following him, and frowned. “The file on the accident? Why would you want the file on the accident?“

“Cause and effect,“ Larry replied and because of the rather cryptic answer, Amita explained, “Something’s not right, Don. We just want to check something.“

He glanced at her questioningly before he continued to search for the right room.

“We want to run some numbers.“

He shrugged. “Sure. I’ll get the file for you first thing tomorrow.“

“Thanks,“ Amita answered.

“And you are sure that Charlie didn’t find the dirty cops?“ Don asked, stopping in front of Charlie’s room.

Amita shook her head. “He ran into walls. His calculations are a bit of a mess.“

Larry explained, “It’s as if he wasn’t sure that the data you gave him was correct. He didn’t come to a solution.“

“But you could continue looking for it?“

“As soon as we know where his problem was, yeah,“ Amita answered, “But maybe he can even do it himself.“

Don shook his head. “He needs rest. Doctor Cummings doesn’t want him to do math in the next few days. Besides, he’s still on medication so his concentration should be a mess and doing the calculations in this state would frustrate him. But I think you could ask him where his problem was and take it from there.“ He opened the door to Charlie’s room and entered.

He immediately saw that Charlie was awake when his brother turned his head and looked at him. His eyes were tired and dark rings were under them but they lit up with joy when he saw him. “Don,“ he muttered, “you’re back.“

Don nodded, slightly confused. “Sure,“ he answered, stepping aside to show Amita and Larry in, “And I brought visitors.“

“Larry,“ Charlie smiled before he looked at Amita, “Hi.“

She smiled. “Hey! It’s good to see you awake.“

He nodded hesitantly, confusion marring his face. “Uh … thank you.“ He looked at his blanket and Amita crossed her arms. She and Charlie had only spoken on a professional level since their unsuccessful date a couple of days ago. Both of them had been disappointed about the evening and it seemed as if Charlie was reacting with a retreat, now. Amita feared that he wanted to ignore their private relationship. She knew from her own experience that Charlie had difficulties with social contacts. It was easy to make him uncertain and he distanced himself whenever it happened.

Charlie was tracing the stripe pattern on the blanket with his fingers. “Dad … I …“

Don felt as if he’d been slapped when Charlie whispered, “When will mom be here?“

Chapter 5
Connect The Dots Masterlist