A/N: Well you asked for a part two so here it is. No real fluffy happy endings however. This is not an issue that will be easily resolved.
I would also like to say another special thanks to both Serialgal and dHALL who are wonderful beta's and great friends. They were very helpful in helping me wind up the end of this. Thanks girls!
Note - Kay Linne pointed out to me that the spelling on two items was incorrect. I got my information from someone else on the Numb3rs Crunching list and had no real way to verify her spelling so I do appreciate the heads up. The two words misspelled in the first part were akathisia (the sensation of wanting to move) and tubocurare (the name of the first drug that was given to Colby). If there are further misspellings of the drugs that were mentioned in Trust Metric and you know (for certain) the correct spellings please let me know and I will adjust the copy again. Thank you.
Faith in your Partner - Part Two
Family First When they showed up the next morning to see Colby, Don and Megan were none too pleased to find out that visitation had been revoked and that David had been practically thrown out of the hospital the previous evening. Heading straight to the office, Don was ready to give David a serious dressing down, but held off as soon as he saw him. David looked as though he hadn't slept in days; his eyes were bloodshot and his voice sounded deeper than usual. Megan did not show the same reserve as her team lead, however, and rounded on him before Don could say anything.
"What the hell did you do to Colby last night?" She didn't even give
the man a chance to answer before she fired another round at him.
"Look, this has been hard on all of us, David. And your attitude is starting to piss me off just a little. I don't like the fact that Colby lied to us for the last two years, but what exactly did he lie about? He had a job to do; he was working undercover trying to ferret out the mole and had to protect that cover. But that doesn't mean that every moment of every day was a lie or that his friendship was a lie. Maybe you just need to get over yourself long enough to see the big picture!"
Don held up his hands to try to calm Megan down saying, "Whoa, Megan, Now just hold on a minute..."
Megan turned on him with fire in her eyes.
"No, you hold on! Neither one of you was willing to talk about this or how it made us all feel. Maybe if we had discussed what this case really meant to us, we could have gotten to him sooner. Maybe we would have Lancer in custody instead of in a body bag! Maybe we would have been able to find out who else Lancer was working with inside of the DOJ. So no, Don, don't tell me to hold on a minute. I have held my tongue long enough!"
Megan turned on her heel and stalked off to the break room with both Don and David looking after her. This thing was getting out of control and it was tearing the team apart. Don had to make sure that didn't happen but with emotions running so high he knew that was going to be a tall order. It was time for some leadership and with that thought firmly in mind he turned to David.
"Meeting in the conference room; five minutes."
Without waiting for a reply, he walked away to the break room to tell Megan the same thing. Moving off to the conference room ahead of the others, Don stood staring at the large screen against the far wall trying to gather his thoughts when he looked down and saw something sitting on the table. David waited for Megan to leave the break room before going in to get a cup of coffee for himself as well; then they both made their way to the conference room separately. When they were all there and the door was closed, Don turned toward them clutching the pages he had picked up.
Both Megan and David were looking at what Don was holding in his hand and he brought the papers up to their eye level before slowly dropping them to the table.
"Charlie's 'Trust Metric'." He looked up into the eyes of each of his team members before continuing. "Charlie said these pages didn't contain anything we don't already know in our hearts, but I wonder now if he was right. Have we all forgotten that we are a team - a family? Have we decided that 'family first' no longer applies? Oddly enough, it is something Colby said to me before all of this happened that comes to mind. He said 'The way I see it, if you have a team you need to trust them.' I'm just as guilty of failing our Trust Metric as anyone. I stopped trusting Colby after the first time we met Dwayne Carter and the team has suffered for that. Colby was... Colby is a member of this team and it's time we started acting like a team again."
Don turned his attention to his profiler and said, "Megan I know that you have been upset, even a little jaded ever since your assignment with the DOJ..." Megan opened her mouth to voice an objection but Don cut her off. "Hey I'm just calling it like I see it; pretty much like you just did out there - in a more public manner."
His words made her close her mouth and look somewhat contrite. "I don't want to know the details of your assignment unless I have to, or unless you want to talk about it. What I'm saying, is that you need to put that experience behind you. You are home now and among family, so let your guard down a little."
Then Don turned to David. "David, you have been so... angry since all of this began. I understand, I really do. But it has changed the type of agent you are. You are not the same man who joined this team three years ago. You have lost your objectivity because you are allowing that anger to consume you. This team needs to have that David back; the guy who could look at a situation calmly and find an answer that doesn't break any rules. You need to see someone to get this worked out so, I'm telling you to make an appointment with one of the department psychologists."
At the sharp look he received from David, Don said, "Hey, I have an appointment with Bradford myself, and don't think for a minute that I won't be talking about this and how it is affecting my work. Just do it, David."
After a pause to let his words sink in Don continued. "I spoke with AD Wright early this morning. Colby's name is cleared of all charges and his mother was notified last night of what has happened with him. That was one of the things I was going to tell him this morning when I went to the hospital. I'll go back later and speak with his doctor to explain the situation so that he will allow me to talk to Colby."
David interrupted him, "Don, I want to go with you. I want to... I need to talk to him. I have to try and clear the air between us. You're right, I do need to see someone and that's why I have already contacted a department shrink and made an appointment; you'll find the notice in your e-mail. This is something I need to do, Don."
Don looked at David critically for a moment, and he could see the fact that the man was torn, but he also understood why. He caught the earnestness in David's eyes, and decided it was time to extend the sense of trust to him, also.
"All right, if you haven't totally pissed off this doctor and he allows you to see Colby, I'll back you up. Also, you may want to tell him that his mom is flying into LA sometime tomorrow morning. It's the first flight out that she could get."
The first hint of a real smile that Don had seen on David's face in nearly six weeks was like a ray of hope for his team and he began to feel like they were going to come out of this experience whole and intact. Megan was also smiling and for just a moment, everything seemed right in the world.
It took Don some slick talking and not a small amount of diplomacy to get Dr. Banwar to allow David anywhere near Colby again. The team leader was very pleased to hear that most of the drugs had bled out of Colby's system, and his heart rhythms were now stable enough that the doctor was considering moving him to a private room on the subacute floor. If he maintained his heart rhythm after David's visit and his labs and EKG came back normal, then the move to the subacute floor would take place immediately afterward.
David felt an odd mixture of tension and trepidation as he approached Colby's room. He could see that his partner was awake and reading something. He stood hovering uncertainly in the doorway for a moment trying to figure out what he was going to say and failing miserably. He was relieved of the necessity of finding an opening statement when Colby called out to him.
"You just gonna stand there, or are ya gonna come in?"
David took a step into the room but seemed hesitant to come any closer. Colby shook his head slightly and sighed. It seemed like not much had changed since the previous evening.
"Why're you here, David?"
Resolutely stepping forward to the bed David placed a small white bag on the table within Colby's reach. Colby looked at the bag for a moment, his eyes a mixture of emotions; then a small smile curved the corners of his mouth.
"Raspberry jelly donut?"
David bowed his head to hide his own feelings but looked up again when Colby spoke.
"You know that I couldn't tell you. You do know that, don't you?"
David took a seat next to the bed and sighed deeply. "I'll be honest with you..." He stopped and grinned at the unintentional barb. "Honestly, I'm having some problems with all of this. I know that you did what you had to do; I know that here." he said, pointing to his head. "Where I'm having some problems with it, is here." This time David pointed to his chest. "Don told us that you said to him that you have to trust the members of your team, but it's more than trust, it's faith - faith in your partner. I didn't have that faith and I'm not sure why. We were tight, we were friends, man. And now... I just don't know how much of that was real and how much of it was your cover."
Colby had been thinking about this a lot. He knew that David had a problem with this; he knew that Don and Megan had accepted everything, but they still felt awkward around him, and he knew that it would take time to heal these wounds. He also knew that he probably wouldn't be here much longer. Once he was medically released he would have to await re-assignment, but he wasn't sure how he viewed that. It might be easier to go somewhere else and start over fresh with no history. The problem was that over the last two years he had come to feel like LA was home and these people were like his family. What he wanted most was to have that back again, but he knew that wasn't likely to happen. It wasn't David's fault that he was working as a triple agent, nor was it David's fault that he had been lied to for the last two years. It was Colby's fault for getting so close to David, for getting so comfortable here with this team in this place.
He knew going in that he should have remained objective and not become too attached. That part of this was on him, and he had come to recognize that. Still, he felt some measure of anger that his former teammates seemed to be dwelling on his deception over the last two years rather than focusing on the fact that he was following orders or recognizing his sacrifice in this. He had given up his life for this mission; he had almost died in accomplishing it. And now, he was feeling guilty about the awkwardness that these other people were experiencing because of his
"No more duty can be urged upon those who are entering the great theater of life than simple loyalty to their best convictions."
Colby looked up at David and sighed. "It's a quote by Edwin Hubbel Chapin and it's something that I believe in. I did what I knew was right, David. I won't apologize for that. I don't regret doing my duty, but I do regret hurting you. What I shared with you, as your friend, was as real as anything I have ever done or believed in. I told you yesterday that I didn't pretend to be your friend or your partner. Yes, I lied to you, but not about the things that really matter."
David sat quietly for a moment not willing to respond or not knowing what to say, Colby wasn't sure which. Finally, David shook his head slightly and began speaking while looking off into the corner of the room.
"As an agent and a law enforcement officer I can respect what you did and I do understand why you had to lie to me."
"Why do I hear a 'but' comin'?"
David looked over at the man lying before him and for a moment all he saw was Colby's lifeless body lying on the floor of that freighter and he had to shake his head to dispel the image.
"I've been so angry for so long. I told you things... private things... things I wouldn't have shared with you if I had known who you really were. That feeling of betrayal is still with me because of that, Colby. I really am glad that you're gonna be okay, but this is gonna take me some time to work through. I don't know what else I can say."
Colby had hoped for more; he missed David, but he couldn't blame him either. "Well, I suppose that's all there is to say other than I'm sorry, David. I never wanted to hurt anyone, especially you. I really did consider you my best friend... and I still do."
David looked on incredulously. How could Colby consider him his 'best friend' and still have lied to him for two years? There was no point in getting into another argument with the man so he simply stood and said, "Take care of yourself, man." and he turned to leave. When he got to the door he turned back. "Your mom is flying in and should be here by tomorrow morning."
Colby had a sad sort of smile and said, "Yeah, I know, she called last night when she found out where I was." He paused for a moment and looked at the white bag that David had brought for him, no longer even remotely interested in his favorite confection. "Thanks for the donut."
David knew that this hadn't gone the way either of them really wanted, but he didn't know how else to feel or what else he could say. He had told Colby the truth about what he was feeling but it didn't seem to help fill the void that still existed in his heart. He tapped the door frame with his fist and bowed his head as he repeated, "Take care of yourself, Colby."
In a moment he was gone and Colby felt as if he had lost something precious - just one more sacrifice for God and Country. He was working out his own anger over this assignment and what it had cost him. Five generations of honor, duty and following orders; that's what he had told Megan that fateful day nearly six weeks ago.
Looking back now, he couldn't help but wonder if he had really known the consequences of following these orders… of doing his duty… and would he do it again if he were given a choice? Shaking his head, Colby picked up the white bag that David had brought him. He held it for a moment, and then tossed it forcefully into the garbage can next to the bed. No. Some prices were just too high. And there were some things, valuable, irreplaceable things…that once broken, could never be fully restored. But a small piece of his heart hoped that somehow, his friendship with David wasn't; that some how, some day, they would rekindle that friendship again.