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Numb3rs: Connect the dots 7/13 (Fanfiction)

CONNECT THE DOTS 7/13

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 6


7.



“How nice,“ Colby said, leaning against the hood of his car. The metal was hot and he grimaced. He and David had been waiting here at the Fairdrive rest area for an hour now.

While David had disappeared in the gas station a couple of minutes ago to fetch water, a sports car had gone past Colby and had stopped under the tree.

Two young men were sitting in it, the radio blasting music.

A third man, a little older than Colby, had got out of a car on the opposite side of the street only a short time later and had welcomed the two men in the sports car. Now, they were standing in the shade of the tree, talking. Colby’s instincts told him that they were the men they were looking for. JM’s dealers.

He accepted the water-bottle David handed him. David unfolded the map of Los Angeles he’d bought in the gas station and studied it while Colby was taking a couple of sips. Then, he indicated the plan before pointing in the direction of the men standing at the edge of the rest area. “The two guys with the sunglasses belong together – JM’s guys. The one with the jean jacket got out of the car over there – he’s the buyer. One of JM’s guys is carrying a gun, I think he’s the bodyguard of the other one.“

David frowned. “Brave.“

Colby nodded. “They are.“

“Let’s keep an eye on them,“ David said, handing Colby the map, “Can you see the plate?“

Colby tried to see the license plate of the sports car beside which the men were standing, but he couldn’t. “Too far away.“

“Are we sure that it’s them?“ David asked, crossing his arms nonchalantly.

Colby was still acting as if he was reading the map. “The guy on the right wearing the glasses and the bandana … that’s Freddy Tyson.“

Freddy was one of JM’s dealers.

“Well, aren’t we lucky?“ David nodded, “We’re looking for him for weeks now.“

Colby nodded, watching Freddy handing the buyer a rucksack.

“Drugs.“

In return, he was handed an envelope whose content he checked before pocketing it.

“Money.“

“Brave,“ Colby repeated, folding the map, “In plain sight.“ He got into the car. David dropped himself into the passenger seat. They observed the buyer crossing the road and getting into his car. Freddy and his companion climbed into the sports car.

“Let’s see where they’re going to lead us,“ Colby said, driving slowly towards the exit. He wanted the sports car to get a lead.

“Let’s,“ David answered.

***

Tom Hitchcock was glaring at Don with a mixture of disbelieve and indignation. “You did what?“

Don put his hands in his hips, standing his ground. “I let Amita calculate the rest areas from scratch. She told me that she found something and Colby and David are currently tailing a suspect.“

Megan bit her lower lip when Tom’s eyes narrowed dangerously. Sandra and Tanja looked at each other and Simon Mirren massaged his forehead.

“Why?“ Tom asked, crossing his arms.

“I think that JM got a warning. I asked Amita to take that into account.“

“So, the rest areas your brother calculated for us are wrong. And instead of assuming that maybe he made a mistake you play the lone ranger?“

“I’m the lead agent.“

“We’re a team,“ Hitchcock answered, clearly upset, “What, did you think that one of us warned JM?“

Don shook his head. “I was just being careful. Megan, David and Colby didn’t know of my plan, either, until Amita called me.“

“So you did think that one of us warned him,“ Hitchcock nodded. Megan, Sandra, Tanja and Simon were watching the argument silently. Megan knew that it wouldn’t help to try and stop the two men.

“Why would you even think that? Did your baby brother tell you not to trust us? Did he use some wacky equation that told him that we’re the bad guys?“

Don narrowed his eyes. “What is this about? Is it about me not telling you or you not wanting civilian consultants in this?“

“It’s about you leading the investigation how you see fit instead of working with a team. It was pure luck that the AD gave you the lead.“

“But I’m leading the investigation,“ Don answered, “No matter what you think about it. And instead of fighting, we should be glad that Colby and David are tailing Freddy Tyson.“

Tom glared at Don, shaking his head. “You’re going to be sorry, Eppes. I promise you that.“ He left the conference room.

Don stared after him, then he relaxed a little, turning to Megan. He brushed through his hair. “Be honest.“

She shrugged. “Well, he has a point.“

Don sighed. “Yeah, I thought you would say that.“

***

Charlie entered his parental home in a hurry. “Dad? I left a blue folder here this morning. Did you …“ He stopped in surprise when Don came from the kitchen, a beer in his hand. Charlie could see his father neither in the living room nor in the adjacent dining room. He brushed his hair out of his forehead with an insecure gesture. “Hey, Donnie!“

“I’m not seven years old anymore, Charlie.“ Don sat down at the head of the dining table and concentrated on the newspaper lying open in front of him. Charlie nodded, clenching his hands in the belt of his bag, his shoulders pulled up. He’d forgotten what he’d wanted here. Forgotten that he had to give a class in half an hour. Forgotten that he’d wanted to fetch his notes for it. Everything he saw was Don, after seven long weeks, simply sitting there as if it had never happened.

“You …“

He didn’t react to Charlie’s voice.

“… have a day off?“

Don sipped at his beer. “Yeah,“ he answered, turning the page. Charlie came towards the dining table slowly, stopping next to Don’s chair. And he missed their mother so bad right now it hurt.

“I erased the chalkboards,“ Charlie said, not knowing why, “Did dad tell you that?“

Don let see a nod. Nothing else. Charlie sat down on the edge of the chair next to Don’s. “I’m back to work.“

Don shrugged. Charlie felt his hands tremble and supported his head in both of them, digging them into his hair to hide them. “Donnie-“

“I actually wanted to meet dad and get lunch with him. When is he coming home?“ Don asked, staring at the newspaper as if there was nothing more interesting than the opening of the city’s new swimming pool.

Charlie put a hand on the newspaper. “I’m really trying here. Didn’t you get my messages?“

Don pulled the newspaper away and turned the page. “You want me to give you a golden star for that, Charlie?“

“No, I just want …“ Charlie reached for the newspaper once more to take it away, but Don grabbed his hand, really looking at him for the first time – his face full of repressed anger.

“Don’t,“ he said softly.

“Then talk to me,“ Charlie pleaded desperately, “We didn’t talk since … the funeral.“

Don’s grip tightened and Charlie grimaced in pain. “Donnie …“

His brother let him go and got up. The newspaper fell to the ground.

“When is dad coming home?“

Charlie ducked his head to look at the table top. “I don’t know. Maybe he’s meeting Stan.“

“Tell him I was here,“ Don said.

“We could eat together,“ Charlie said. He could cancel the class.

“I don’t want to,“ Don answered, heading for the door.

“Don, please!“

His brother turned around to face Charlie, his expression one of anger. “We needed you and you weren’t there, Charlie. I don’t care that Mom said she would understand. Dad can act like it never happened for all I care.“

“It happened two months ago,“ Charlie said, “And I’m sorry.“

“You know what, Charlie?“ Don opened the door. “I don’t care.“


Charlie opened his eyes and Alan smiled at him. “Hello there!“

“Hey!“ he answered, shaken. He looked around his hospital room. The after-midday sun was shining through the window. “Don?“

“At work,“ Alan answered. He frowned. “You okay?“

Charlie shook his head. “I don’t know.“

“Are you in pain?“ Alan reached for the call button but Charlie shook his head.

“Don’t. I’m fine.“ Charlie massaged his temple. Had it been a dream or a memory?

Alan was looking at Charlie attentively, trying to read him. Charlie closed his eyes. He’d done something bad. Something that was connected to the death of his mother. But what? A hand found its way into his curls and a thumb brushed his eyebrow, calming him. And he remembered that Alan had always done this when Charlie had been ill or hurt. Sometimes even when he hadn’t known what was wrong with Charlie. Whenever he saw that his youngest one was in despair or sad.

“It’s okay, Charlie,“ Alan said softly.

And suddenly, they were sitting on the ratty couch in the garage and Charlie was staring at chalkboards filled with calculations. And he recognized P versus NP at first sight. Alan’s hand brushed through his hair, coming to rest on the back of his neck. “You know Donnie,“ Alan said in a soothing voice, “He’ll come around.“ He sighed. “I’m gone for one afternoon …,“ he muttered.

Charlie nodded sadly. “Sorry. I know I promised not to do it again.“

Alan got up. “Well, you managed to stop yourself,“ he answered, grabbing the eraser lying on one of the boards. He started to erase the numbers. “You gonna help me?“ he asked.


Charlie looked at Alan, undecided.

“You okay?“ Alan asked.

Charlie nodded. “Yeah.“ He forced a smile. “Nightmare.“

Chapter 8
Connect The Dots Masterlist