Numb3rs Colby Lost wedding ring
“You Do remember who the grooms are, right?”
“Ah Man. Don is going to kill me.”
”Kill us, remember? I’m the best man. You’re just the idiot who I let hold it.”
“You weren’t saying that last night.”
“I thought we’d agreed_ Charlie!”
“Hey David. Don wants to know if you’re ready.”
“Ah Well, the thing is_”
“I lost the ring.”
“The wedding ring.”
” the gold band or the Sapphires?”
“The one with blue stones.”
“That’s O.K. then.”
”Charlie on what planet is me losing your grandmother’s ring on your brother’s wedding day O.K.?”
“That’s why Don’s looking for you. Dad got weirdly sentimental last night and dug out his and Mom’s engagement ring. He wants Don to use that one, not the one he brought.”
“And Ian’s O.K. with that?”
“Colby, if it gets the next two hours over with, I think Ian would be O.K. about being branded with a hot poker!”
“O.K. If Don has the ring, then we’re ready.”
“And Charlie has a lifetime of blackmail material on both of us.”
He’s known for weeks, just waiting for Don to get up the guts to say it.
That happens one evening, as they’re lying in bed together.
“I’ve got a new job.” Don can’t even look at him, he stares at the ceiling. “New Mexico. Closer to home.”
Ian shifted. “This about your mum?” he hears the pillows rustle.
“The cancer’s back.” Don’s voice is ridiculous quiet. “They think they can force it into remission again, but if they can’t_”
“You need to go home.” Ian shifted. This was really not a conversation he wanted to be having. “So where does that leave…us?”
He knows Don isn’t out to his family. Isn’t out to anyone, really, except maybe Coop, his old partner.
“I don’t know.” Ian pulled himself up on one arm to look at Don, squalled out in the moonlight. He can see the torture playing it’s self out across that pale face, while Don is convinced the darkness hides him. The oldest son who knows he has to go home to help his family, and the man who knows he’s in love. Ian tries to be grateful he can’t also see the self disgusted, linked to Don’s family’s expectations of what should happen in his life. Sometimes he thinks people having plans for you is worse than them having no real expectations of you.
He knows what will happen. Don will go to New Mexico. The distance involved won’t work, Don will meet some nice girl he can take home to his family, probably even get engaged to her. Except, unless she’s very stupid and Don doesn’t normally fall for that type, she’ll figure out something’s wrong and break it off, leaving Don more screwed up than he was when Ian first met him, and that’s saying something. Don will be Don and not talk about it to anyone, including his family. He’ll go on shouldering his burdens, even though they’re too heavy for anyone to carry alone, go on sacrificing himself to protect his family.
And Ian will go on loving him. He can see this future written out, as though it’s an elephant stomping though the grass, but he knows something else.
That he’ll let Don go, because it’s what Don needs.
Maybe one day Don will have the guts to say what’s really on his mind to his family, to tell them he likes men, maybe one day a bullet will ease some of this nagging pain in Ian’s heart, maybe Don’s mom will get better and he’ll come back here to the city of secrets. But Ian doesn’t really believe that.
Doesn’t really want it, either, Don’s not wired for living a lie. Sighing, he stroked Don’s arms.
“It’ll be O.K.” He mutters, though he’s not sure either of them believes it.
Helena Chester glanced at her list of appointments and tried not to groan. Her next appointment, her last one of the day, was Ian Edgerton, her least favorite patient.
She was fairly sure she was Edgerton’s least favorite person, though it was hard to tell as the sniper seemed to treat everyone with the same quiet contempt.
But it was policy of the bureau to insist on consoling for any agents involved with more than four deaths a year, and Ian’s death toll was always in the fifties. So she plastered a fake smile and opened the door.
She could tell something was wrong, as Ian wasn’t lounging in the chair, smiling at her. In fact he was sitting straight in the chair, frowning. He grunted into response to her greeting.
“I hear you just got back from LA.” She said, sitting down opposite him. “Well the weather must be better there.”
“I understand the case was a sniper epidemic. “She continued. “It must have been hard for you to see your skills use in that way?”
“You call in a sniper in a case, you except to see that.”
Helena sighed. Time to go direct. “Ian you wanna tell what it is about this case that’s affect you?”
“Come on!” She continued as Ian pulled himself up, wandering over to the window. “Your supervisor has expressed concern you’ve been distracted, and several students are backing him up. Even I can tell you’re exhausted!” she glared. “Ian, I know you don’t believe it will help, but I can keep you in this room until you tell me!”
It was a cheap shot, and a wrong one, but it worked.
Ian sighed, his eyes still fixed on the view of a brick wall from her office. “I did something stupid in LA.”
It wasn’t what she expected, but she couldn’t say she was surprised. No one could do what Ian did day in day out and see what he did on a regular basis and stay sane.
“O.K. why don’t we talk about that?” she said.
“Not that.” She had forgotten the almost scary power the sniper seemed to have to read her thoughts. “I ran into someone I used to know.”
Helena smiled. “It’s good to meet old friends.”
Ian snorted. “More than a friend.”
A grunt. She supposed that meant yes.
“That can be good too, a chance to get some closure on a relationship’s end.” She took a glance at him. “I’m guessing, not this time.” She paused. “They’re in another relationship?”
“You slept with them?” she was surprised, though she wasn’t sure why. Everyone needed human contact, even the bastard son of Eastwood and Yoda.
Silence. A guilty silence.
“o.k.” she paused. “So what happened?”
A shrug. “Case ended.”
Her head was starting to hurt. “Ian, forgive me, but how long since you’d seen this person?”
A shrug. “3 years.”
And she was prepared to bet from his expression he could tell her the date and time the relationship ended. “What happened?”
A shrug, again. “He transferred to New Mexico.”
Ian Edgerton was gay. She wondered why she wasn’t more surprised. Partly because she was certain only another man would jump into bed with to a man having not seen him for 3 years. Mostly, she supposed it was because Edgerton always seemed like the perfect sniper. This made him more…human somehow.
“I meant,” she said softly. “What happened this time?” she paused a horrible feeling coming over her. “Did you two have a fight?”
The head shook. “Just left.”
“O.K.” She sighed. “Ian, I hate to say this, but I’m not the person you should be talking to. You need to talk to…” she waited. Ian didn’t give her a name. “The man you slept with. It’s obvious he had quite an effect and you care about him. Even if nothing can happen, then at least you know and you know to stay away in future.” She recognized the expression on Ian’s face. The one that meant what she suggested didn’t have a hope in hell of happening.
“O.K. I’ll make a deal.” She fixed the sniper with her eyes. “You call this guy here, from my office, and I sign the bit of paper that clears you for duty unconditionally. You wouldn’t have to see me till next year.” She knew she’d won, before Ian even dug his cell out of his pocket.
She listened as the phone rang and heard “Eppes.” As it was answered.
It was quite scary to witness the softening of the sniper’s expression as she heard that.
“Hey. It’s Ian. Just checking what’s going on.”
As she listened, feeling angry for not including in the promise that Ian actually had to discuss what happened before he made the call, she had to admit she enjoyed watching the sniper’s face soften.
“It was nothing.” A pause. “Look Don, either that night was a mistake or…” he grinned. “No I don’t it was.”
Sensing the conversation was about to take a personal tone, Helena silently slipped out.
Edgerton was still her least favorite patient, but she had a feeling she was no longer his least favorite person.
Don doesn’t say anything, when Billy meets him. Just throws his carry all into the trunk and jumps up into the truck.
Billy doesn’t either because they have a fugitive to catch, and this is so much like old times he’s reluctant to break the spell.
When the fugitive’s caught, and they’re back at the motel, he gets some of the story out of Don. Not much, Don’s too loyal to say anything against his family, but he gets enough to hold Don extra tight that night, when the other man finally collapses.
Billy’s smart enough to know Don’s running. Everyone in fugitive is, but normally their reasons aren’t so obvious.
Don just wants to get away from his father and brother. He’s mad at them for making him be the strong one, to handle things when his world was falling apart.
More than once he considers calling Alan, telling him just to leave thing be. That he just left Don to his own devices then he’d come home. He knows Alan. That he’d do the exact opposite of what Billy advised and drive Don further away.
But he doesn’t, cause he knows Don is hurting and driving him from his family will hurt him even more. And he could never hurt Don.
So he holds Don close and tries to enjoy however long they have together.
Something’s changing, but he’s not sure what.
Don’s…calming down is the only phrase he can come up with. He’s willing to talk to Billy, rather than just be fucked. It’s obvious on the hunts too, when Don is more focused on bringing the guy in and less on letting out his rage.
Billy tries his best to be happy for Don, even though he can tell that this is the moment he’s dreading, when Don will leave again.
Since he got Don back, he’s tended to avoid hunts that take them into California.
It’s selfish, he knows, but he’s dreading the day Don will leave him. He’s back on top now, attracting real attention for the high ups. Billy couldn’t care. They could be chasing bail jumpers in Princeton and he wouldn’t care providing he had Don.
But then they get a message. Prison Break. Billy is miserable the entire drive to LA and barely say two words either in the office or to Sinclair on the stakeout.
Don isn’t at the office when he gets there, but Terri Lake tells him he went home.
Billy grunts and mutters about checking in, leaving Terri looking confused. He considers explaining that Don’s a local, actually worked here for a couple of months, but decides against it.
Instead he just drives off.
Don comes back to the motel room late and collapses on the other bed, not even making the effort to come into Billy’s. Billy stares at the wall and doesn’t sleep at all.
They found the guys, and thanks to Don’s instincts, they picked up the guy who actually arranged for them to get lose. Billy wishes he could be surprised it’s a prison guard, but after so many years on this job, he’s stopped being surprised by what people do.
He figures he’ll hit the road. Be back in Phoenix by the time Don’s request for a transfer comes in. He expects Don to take some leave, except Don asks for a favor.
Before they head off, can they go to Cal Sci?
Billy shrugs. It’s no skin off his nose, and he wants to enjoy every second he’s got with Don, because he knows there won’t be that many of them soon.
They pull up in the parking lot, and Don leads them quietly around to a lecture hall. There’s a guy with curly hair, talking about something to do with Pie for some reason.
Don stands there, smiling, before dragging Billy out of there.
They don’t speak as they throw their gear into the trunk and jump up. Billy keeps glancing at Don, wishing he had the guts to ask.
He knows curly hair was Don’s brother; he’s seen photos of him. He doesn’t get why they went there though.
“Told Charlie I wouldn’t leave this time without saying goodbye.” He’s not sure if Don’s speaking to him or to himself. “Think that counts.”