Title: Faith in your Partner
Author: Alice I
Betas: Serialgal, dHALL
Rating: G
Spoilers: Janius List, Trust Metric
Disclaimer: I wish I owned them!

A/N - I loved the season opener but David's attitude really bothered me and I felt the need to explore this a little further than the show did in this first episode.
What I am unsure of is whether or not I should continue with a part two and show a resolution of sorts between the two. If that is something you would like to see please let me know. I actually do have something in mind, but this felt like a good stopping point. Reviews are always welcome along with constructive comments. Please feel free to leave either.
A/N at the end directed toward readers of 2headsRbetter

Faith in your Partner

David watched as Megan went into the ICU room to see Colby, his heart filled with anger and confusion. It had actually been harder for him to reconcile the fact that Colby was working deep under cover than to believe him a traitor to his country. The fact that Colby wasn't a traitor meant that David's vicious accusations, screamed in Colby's face, had been more than wrong. And, he knew that they must have made a difficult assignment nearly unbearable for the triple agent. But, it also meant that the friendship that they shared was nothing more than Colby's cover.

Their partnership had not been real, their friendship - false, and that fact fed David's personal feelings of betrayal and anger. The thought heavily weighed on his heart; he felt stifled, until he suddenly couldn't stand to look at him anymore. Turning on his heel, David left Colby lying there, with Megan at his side.

The bright California sun did nothing to lighten his thoughts as he walked away from the hospital toward the city. He had told Megan that right up until he saw that needle sticking out of Colby's chest he believed that the man was a traitor. He began to wonder if that was really true, or was it just easier to think that, than to think that the man who had become, for all intents and purposes, his best friend was something else all together. Something other than his friend.

David walked for hours not really knowing where he was going, nor caring. His thoughts were a jumble of fractured images, and a volatile mixture of emotions. They had, all of them, been investigated right after Colby's arrest. The fact that he was brought under suspicion because of Colby both angered and incensed him. He could clearly remember the accusing questions shouted at him by the Internal Affairs investigator.

"He was your partnerSinclair!
You're telling me that you had no idea that Granger was selling classified secrets to the Chinese?
What kind of partner was he... what kind of partner were you?
Two years, Sinclair - Two years and this man pulled the wool over your eyes so completely that you never even suspected him? And you call yourself an FBI Agent? Federal Bureau of Idiots, maybe?"

Without even realizing it, David found himself back at the hospital. It was nearly six in the evening and he was sure that Megan and Don would have long since left, yet he still walked to the elevators and punched the button for the second floor. He didn't plan on talking to Colby, he wouldn't have the first idea what to say to the man, but that didn't stop him from walking down the long corridor that led to his former partner. As he past the hospital personnel on his way to the ICU he felt as though he were walking in a dream; that none of this could possibly be real. It was a feeling that had persisted ever since Colby had first been arrested. He desperately wanted to wake up, but he knew he couldn't; he was trapped, held captive in a nightmare.

Stepping around the nursing station he approached the door to Colby's room just as a man in his late thirties or early forties was stepping out. His name badge read Doctor Michael Banwar. The doctor looked a little startled to see David approaching but didn't miss the fact that his eyes were riveted on the man lying in the bed just beyond the opened door.

"Excuse me, do you realize that the ICU visiting hours end in the next half an hour Mr...?"

David turned his attention back to the doctor addressing him. "Agent... David Sinclair. How's he doing?"

"We have his heart rhythm stabilized but the drugs used to paralyze and depresses his respiratory functions are still effecting him. Unfortunately that drug, Tubocurare, is interacting with another drug, Conucledynal Benzylate, which causes akathisia. This is putting a strain on his pulmonary and cardio vascular systems."

"What does that mean, doctor?"

"It means his heart doesn't like it. His body wants to move but it can't do that effectively. It is also still difficult for him to breathe so we have continued to give him oxygen. We are using a mask because a nasal cannula would be too painful for him at the moment."

David frowned at the doctor not really understanding why that would be. Dr. Banwar noticed his confusion which piqued his curiosity. "Are you Agent Granger's partner, Agent Sinclair?"

That question caught David completely off guard and he looked over at Colby with more pain and confusion in his heart than he thought possible. He answered the doctor's question but seemed to be addressing his answer to the man lying in the bed a few feet away rather than to the doctor standing directly in front of him.

"We used to be."

"Oh... I see, well Conucledynal Benzylate causes extreme sensitivity in the pain receptors as well as akathisia. When we have to do a blood test, for instance, the needle would feel more like an icepick to him and at this level of sensation, the nasal cannula would be simply unbearable. The mask is far less irritating. Coupled with the hallucinations that he has been intermittently experiencing we want to avoid any action that will cause further strain on his overtaxed cardiovascular system."

As David listened to the details of the effects of the chemical torture that Colby had endured he felt his stomach turn.

"How long will he be in this kind of pain?"

"Luckily these drugs will bleed out of his system in the next twenty four to thirty six hours. We just need to keep him stable until then. Go ahead and visit with him but keep it brief."

"Thank you, Doctor." David said as he slipped past the man and stepped into the room.

Colby was lying there with his eyes closed but David knew that he wasn't asleep. His hands were twitching and his feet kept shifting under the covers; their constant movement was a macabre contrast to the rest of his body, which was utterly still, like a marionette with oddly used strings. The effect was unnerving. Taking a deep breath, David stepped up to the side of the bed and waited. After a moment, with a resigned sigh, Colby slowly opened his eyes and looked up at David. He was able to move his head easily enough, so David assumed the the muscle paralysis was confined to the major muscle groups.

"They said you did CPR on me."

David didn't know what to say to this. He assumed that the 'they' Colby referred to was Don and Megan. Yes, he had preformed CPR, but what was Colby doing; thanking him? He hoped not. He didn't think he could take that.

"Yeah," he answered quietly.


David looked into Colby's eyes searching for some reason for him to say such a thing. "What?"

"Why save the life of a traitor?"

David stared at him, stunned. That was not what he had expected at all. He didn't know what he thought Colby might say to him, but that sure wasn't it.

"I know that you weren't... that you aren't a traitor. I know that you were undercover."

Another resigned sigh followed David's rather stiff remark. Yeah, his name had been or was in the process of being cleared, but that wasn't what mattered to Colby at that moment.

"That's not what I meant."

David's mouth formed a thin line as if he were trying to hold back some sort of retort. All of the feelings of anger and betrayal roiled inside of him and fought for dominance over the horror and sympathy that he felt for a man who had very nearly sacrificed his life for his country. The anger, a feeling that he had become very familiar with over the last five weeks, won the battle.

"I trusted you. I thought you were my friend; my partner. It was all just a lie, just a part of your cover. You pretended to be my partner, an FBI Agent and my best friend." David said with an air of defiance that even sounded hollow in his own ears.

Colby could clearly see the anger flashing in David's eyes, but he also saw regret and sympathy. It didn't matter; he didn't want pity from David or anyone else for that matter. When Don and Megan had come by to see him their visits had been stiff and awkward, they didn't seem to know what to say other than to get better soon. This open display of hostility from David was at least honest, but it served to make Colby realize how much this had hurt the other man. Colby knew there was nothing he could do to change the pain he caused David and of all the regrets he had associated with this assignment, that was one of the biggest.

"I didn't pretend to be an FBI agent, David. And I didn't pretend to be your friend."

"You lied to me, Colby! Friends don't lie to each other." David didn't realize that he had began shouting, but the nurse at the desk was not pleased and picked up the phone, dialing a number while looking at David crossly.

"You know that I couldn't tell you what I was doing. I never wanted this, David. This whole mess got dropped in my lap when I reported Dwayne to my superiors. I was following orders. I wasn't given much choice in the matter, but I also believed in what I was doing, that it was the right thing to do. David, it was my duty to see this thing through. I'm sorry for everything, I really am. It doesn't matter that you don't believe in me, because I still believe in you."

As he spoke the heart monitor had begun beeping faster and the rhythm sounded almost syncopated. Colby tried to take a deep breath when he finished speaking but it looked difficult for him and his face had broken out in a sweat, but before David could say anything or turn to call for help, Dr. Banwar stormed into the room with the charge nurse hot on his heels.

"Agent Sinclair, you need to leave now!"

And before David could even say a word, Dr. Banwar physically escorted him from the room. As soon as the door closed behind them the doctor lit into David with a vengeance.

"You come into the ICU, start an argument with my patient after I explained to you how tenuous his condition is and now his heart is racing and his rhythm is off again. I am giving orders that Agent Granger is not to have any more visitors, period. Now please leave this hospital."

David threw a worried look over the doctor's shoulder at Colby who seemed to be having difficulty breathing. "I didn't mean to..."

"Yes and neither did the other Agents who were here. I'll tell you, with friends like the lot this fellow has, he surely doesn't need enemies. Now please go so that I can attend to my patient."

David bowed his head in defeat. He wouldn't have thought it possible, but he left the ICU feeling worse than before he had arrived. He knew intellectually that his anger at Colby was wrong, he knew that the man had been acting on orders which came from high up in the government and his continued anger was making it harder on his partner. The problem, he had to admit, was the fact that over the last month or so he had become so accustomed to being angry that he wasn't sure how to turn it off.

As he stepped out into the parking garage a thought suddenly occurred to David. He had just thought of Colby Granger as his partner. The revelation stopped him dead in his tracks. Everything that he had said to Colby or about Colby over the last five weeks ran through his mind, making him feel sick to his stomach. What kind of partner was he? That's what the Internal Affairs investigator wanted to know, now it was also what he asked himself.

Colby had said that he still believed in him and how had he reacted? The man had come precariously close to making the ultimate sacrifice for his country and David had spat in his face, labeling him a traitor. He had accused him of deceit and treachery and hadn't given him an inch, not the smallest iota of trust. Colby said that he still believed in David but was that belief warranted? The question repeated itself in David's mind - 'What kind of partner were you?'; what kind of friend was he for that matter? All of his righteous indignation over being betrayed by his best friend fell down when faced with the fact that he had never even thought that Colby was innocent. He never believed in Colby as a friend would have, he hadn't shown faith in him, either as his friend or as his partner.

David slid into the driver's seat of his car but he didn't turn the key in the ignition. The anger that he had been feeling dissipated under the onslaught of guilt that crashed over him. Dropping his forehead to the steering wheel he felt tears, long overdue, sting his eyes, and he wept.