Title: Only One
Disclaimers: Sadly, Numb3rs is not my property nor will it ever be.
Summary: Don has car troubles and Charlie comes to pick him up: a seemingly normal situation. Until a criminal Don and his team thought they put behind bars seeks revenge by playing dirty. 'How much damage could one do?' CWDA.
Warnings: Mild language and violence.
There seemed to be no end to the ever-lasting pain. There was no relief as the whip crashed down on his body time after time after time. It rained down on his back, his chest, his arms, his legs. He didn't know that his body could even hold as much blood as was seeping onto the floor. He didn't know that the human body was capable of handling this much pain. He didn't know this was happening to him, a mild-mannered mathematician.
Chance or Anthony or whoever held the whip finally ceased the oncoming pain to Charlie. The only noises in the room were that of Charlie's captors' heavy panting and Charlie's harsh, ragged breath. A moan escaped Charlie's lips as pain coursed freshly throughout his body. He didn't know how much longer he would last. He knew that the time was coming, that he would leave this world forever soon. It didn't really bother him much; anything was better than the horrible pain he had to endure every time he was conscious. He was only sorry he could not say goodbye to his friends and family.
Within moments, Charlie heard the door slam as Chance and Anthony exited. Charlie was left hanging on the hook, blood literally dripping from his body. It ran in tiny rivulets down his torso, then soaking his fresh pants and sliding down his bare feet to the cold, metal floor, puddling like water.
Please just kill me now. Charlie found himself wishing to no one really. There had to be a way to just end it, to just kill himself. It was suicide. It was freedom; freedom from the taunting, intense pain that plagued him endlessly.
Without warning, Charlie heard the creak of the door once more and felt the vibrations of more than one pair of feet echo through the floor. They were back. Was Adam with him? Charlie didn't know if he hoped so or not. Perhaps Adam would deliver the final blow and end his suffering?
Don worked feverishly with his team. Colby and David were examining Adam's house at the moment while Don and Megan worked at the office. Don had gladly let Megan take the photo of Charlie and go over for any clues. He couldn't bear to look at the thing any longer than he had to.
Don turned back to the file in front of him. It was useless information, all over Adam and his life. The FBI didn't have anything on him, all they had to work with was the files from the court suit. There was only one place, or person, rather, that he could get any more useful info from...
'Megan,' Don began, choosing his words carefully. 'I think that we should talk to Richard Doyle again.'
Megan looked up from her work, her hair swooping down onto her desk. She peered over her glasses for a second before removing them altogether. She chewed on the end of them.
'Why do you say that?' She asked cautiously. 'He said that's all he knew.'
Don sighed. 'I can't help feeling that he would know what his own brother would do. I mean, if I...' Don stopped, choking up on his words. He cleared his throat. 'Well, it's just that they're family, you'd think that Doyle would know more than he's letting on.'
'Ya, I can see that, Don, but there's no chance he'll tell you anything. He wants a deal, and we just can't cut someone like him a break.'
Don leaned his head back, wracking his brain for an answer. 'I don't know. I just feel like we should go talk to him, again. We're not getting any leads here.'
Megan scowled, but could find no retort. She didn't even know why Don bothered to get her permission in the first place; he was the lead agent in this team.
Twenty minutes later, Megan and Don arrived at the penitentiary. As he flashed his credentials at the gate, Don couldn't help but get a little jittery. He didn't know what he would say to Doyle, or how he would convince him to give them the info they needed. There had to be a pinpoint, a weakness, something they could break down in the killer's tough attitude. The thing was, people like Doyle never had weaknesses like that.
Before Don knew it, they were standing outside Doyle's cell once more. It was too soon, Don still didn't have a plan.
'Eppes...' Doyle called out, rising form his bunk. A too-happy grin filled his face. 'What a surprise. Found your baby brother yet?'
Don's blood boiled at Doyle's light, playful words. He knew that Doyle wasn't responsible for anything, but his attitude was enough to set off anyone as stressed as Don.
Don tried to clench his teeth through the anger as he motioned for the guard to take Doyle out. The guard opened the door with an automatic clatter and cuffed Doyle. He then led the way to the interrogation room.
Megan was about to enter the room with Don when he put his arm across the doorway. 'Please, Megan,' he pleaded. 'Just let me have a minute with him.'
Megan didn't look pleased, her scowl said it all, but she nodded slightly and let Don shut the door as she took up position in the viewing room where a camera showed Don's actions.
Don walked slowly to the other side of the table where Doyle sat, cuffed hands on the tabletop.
'To what do I owe the pleasure, Don?' Doyle asked cheerfully, his eerie aqua eyes boring into Don's.
Don paused for a moment before taking a seat. He reached into his jacket and pulled out the photo. Rather than answer Doyle verbally, he slapped the photo down on the table and slid it to the serial killer across from Don.
Doyle tilted his head, a strange silence filling the room. 'I take it you haven't found him, yet?' he asked, looking up with a smile.
Don clenched his fists under the table, trying to control his overwhelming want to smash Doyle in the face. 'No.' he answered simply.
Doyle sat back up in his seat and looked Don in the eyes once more. Doyle seemed to be searching, going through the contents of Don's heart in the few seconds their eyes locked.
Don looked behind Doyle, not meeting his gaze. 'Where would Adam take him?' Don asked, trying to make his voice as commanding and intimidating as possible.
Doyle leaned back in his metal seat. He laughed suddenly. 'Your guess is as good as mine.' said Doyle, but his eyes spoke otherwise.
Don leaned forward, countering Doyle's actions. 'What do you know, Doyle?' he asked sincerely, trying to find a way through the man's armor.
Doyle again roved over Don's face, studying him for a moment before smiling slightly. 'What's in it for me?'
How 'bout if you don't tell me, I bust your head open, you bastard?
'Doyle, you raped and killed eleven young women. Do you really think that anything can get you out of here? In fact, aren't you scheduled for another trial, for something like- death row?' said Don, his voice elevating in anger.
The grin slid off Doyle's face as his emotions registered anger. 'Now don't play like that, Donnie, or you might not ever see little Charlie again.'
Don jumped across the table, reaching for Doyle's neck. Instantly the door swung open and Megan and the guard reached for Don. Megan grabbed his arms, forcing him back.
'Don! Calm down! Don't do this!' She yelled, pulling her boss back from Doyle, who glared into Don with an unprecedented anger.
'Tell me where he is, Doyle!' Don screamed, trying to break free from the grip of Megan and the prison guard.
'Help me, Agent Eppes, and I just might help you find your brother.' replied Doyle calmly. Don settled down, wrenching his arms from Megan before exiting the room with a slam of the door. Within moments, Megan turned and ran after him.
Out in the hall, Don rested his head on the wall, his fists balled beside his head. Megan slowed and approached Don.
'Don,' she said softly, laying a hand on his shoulder. He didn't look up.
'I don't know what to do.' He admitted. 'I can't save Charlie.'
Megan turned Don's face to hers and Don saw raw determination and will in her eyes. 'Donald Eppes, you will not give up. And you will certainly not give up on Charlie. We will find him, Don.'
Don looked back at the interrogation room. 'We don't have anything to offer him.'
Megan bit her lip. 'We can stop him from getting the death penalty. God knows he'll have a worse life living in a prison like this than getting the needle.' Megan stared into Don's eyes.
Don nodded. 'Ya, that sounds good, but somehow I get the feeling it won't be enough for Doyle.'
'What are you gonna do?' Megan asked.
'I don't know.' Don answered honestly. He would handle things how they came to him.
He turned back and opened the door. Before he entered he turned his head. 'Thanks, Megan.' he said softly. Megan smiled sadly and nodded.
They both entered the room confidently and Don sat across from Doyle, wearing his no-nonsense face.
'Alright, tell us what you've got.'
Charlie felt hands pull him down from the hook. The hands slipped in his blood, they couldn't get a good grip on his bloody body, but they laid him down on the metal table nonetheless.
Charlie knew it was time. He was as certain now than he had ever been before. He knew this, he knew this was the answer to his problems, just as he had known that his algorithm had picked up the right guy in Richard Doyle's case. It had all started then. Now it would with Richard's brother. It didn't matter, everything was about to be cut short. The sooner, the better.
'Charles,' came Adam's drawl. 'I'm going to conduct another experiment.'
Charlie didn't know why Adam bothered to announce these things, it wasn't as if he could fight back or prevent them. But maybe that was why Adam did them, to make Charlie feel helpless. If so, he had succeeded.
Charlie shuddered in fear as the restraints were placed on his body. God, please let it be quick. Charlie recoiled when he felt hands on his bleeding chest. Intense and horrific memories came of Chance's assault. He tried to wriggle away from the hands, but he could not move in the restraints.
'Tsk, tsk, Charles. Calm down. This is the last one, I assure you.'
Charlie felt something cold and sticky on his chest, right above his heart. It felt like jelly or something of the like. He then felt it on his right side as well. He was as confused as he was afraid.
'Is it ready, Anthony?' asked Adam in his calm and steady voice. Charlie did not hear an answer; he didn't know it was because of Anthony simply didn't answer verbally, or if it was the humming he suddenly heard.
Charlie suddenly felt something else cold and smooth on the gel-like material. He was about to open his mouth and say something when he heard a familiar buzz. It was the same buzz that the... electricity had made before.
Before Charlie could react to this revelation and try and stop the impending pain, he felt the electricity surge through his body from the areas that had the gel. An inhuman scream erupted from his mouth as the power shocked his body. It felt like his heart had just done a back flip and then just as suddenly as the pain came, it went. Charlie realized his chest had arced upward as he felt it return to the cold metal of the table. His heart was beating quickly, too quickly, Charlie knew, he didn't have to be a doctor to know that.
Charlie breathed heavily as he willed the sharp tingling in his body away. His death would not be quick, but he did not except anything less form a monster like Adam. It must run in the family...
'Again,' Adam called.
No. No. Please, not again.
Charlie felt the familiar electricity rip through his body once more. His heart did a three-sixty as a scream that was almost feral escaped him once more.
'PLEASE!' He yelled, thrashing about in his bindings. Again, his chest rose up in the air, almost as if... no. But I'm not dead. You don't defibrillate living people.
Again, the pain released its hold on Charlie as his chest hit the table. Charlie's heartbeat was now erratic and irregular even to his own ears. He didn't know how much more of this he could take, literally. The shocks before were different, they weren't aimed at his heart. Charlie didn't know if he could live much longer with the shocks.
'What's wrong Charles?' Adam asked sarcastically, cheerfully. Charlie could almost see his smiling face.
Charlie huffed out in pain, his breath constricting in his throat. He had nothing to lose now. He was going to die, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Somehow, this information did not bother him. It was just time, that was all.
'I...' Charlie struggled to get a breath. 'I hate you.' He said angrily, his voice dripping with cold fury. 'I hate you!'
He didn't know why he said it.
Adam did not reply at first. Then Charlie heard the electrical buzz once again. 'That's okay.' Adam answered as he brought the paddles back to Charlie's body.
Charlie screamed again as the electricity rushed back through his body with a vengeance, it seemed. Suddenly, the power was switched off, but this time Charlie did not feel anything. No pain. No lingering electricity. Nothing.
He could see.
He could see, and all that surrounded him was a white atmosphere of nothingness. He realized he wasn't even standing on anything, he was just floating lazily along in some sort of limbo. He held his hands out in front of his face. He could see that his flesh was untouched, pearly white and perfect. He heard the his name being called. He could hear someone calling out to him. It was a loving voice. Charlie turned to find the owner of the voice, but felt a horrible slam.
Suddenly he could not see again. All that engulfed him was the terrible darkness of the blindfold. He did not hear that voice, whose voice had it been?
And he could feel again, all right. Instead of the quickened beating of his heart from before, it was now sluggishly slow, just like he felt. His brain felt like it had been removed then returned back to his head. Everything was muffled and his reflexes were stuck in quicksand.
'Glad to see you join us again, Dr. Eppes.' Adam said. 'It seems that we lost you for a bit. No matter, time to continue. Anthony...'
'I hate you... I hate you.' Charlie reiterated. His voice was losing the anger now. It was becoming harder to respond, to move his mouth and speak, to use the will to remember why he was here.
Charlie felt the jar of electricity return to him. He screamed weakly in pain as his chest lifted into the air. He could feel his heart speeding up, could feel it losing power, could feel it shutting down. Suddenly Charlie was in limbo again, in the sea of white once more. But before he even had a chance to hear the voice this time, he was slammed into reality again.
'I.. hate... you.' Charlie uttered breathlessly, weakly. His voice had degenerated into a whine by now.
'I hate you too, Charles.' Adam said, and for once, his voice was not mocking and cheerful. It was venomous and full of hatred. 'I hate you too, and I want you to suffer forever. I want you and your brother to suffer forever just I have.'
Just let me die, Charlie thought desperately.
Don rushed out of the interrogation room with Megan hot on his heels. As they neared Don's black SUV, Megan yelled to Don.
'Do you want me to-' she received an answer as Don hopped in the driver's seat and started the engine. She sighed momentarily then jumped in the passenger seat, buckling herself in.
'I'm calling David and Colby.' she announced, flipping open her cell phone.
Don buckled the seatbelt and put the pedal to the metal.
David was sifting through some meaningless bills of Adam Doyle's as his cell rang. Colby looked over at his partner as David answered.
'David,' was all Megan said, but David could hear it in her voice.
'What is it, Megan?' he asked urgently. Colby picked up on the tone and stood from where he had been examining Adam's computer.
'We know where Charlie is.' That was all David needed to hear. He turned a relieved and eager face to Colby and mouthed 'They know where he is'. Colby immediately gathered his stuff and walked with David out to the SUV.
'It's a warehouse in the industrial area of Brown and Valley. Fletcher Street, just off the ten. It's number 1140. Can you call backup?'
'Yeah,' David answered as Colby started the vehicle. 'Should I...' David hated saying it. 'Should I call a bus, too?'
'Yeah...' Megan answered softly.
It was over. Well, it would be over, any time now.
Charlie counted the seconds of his scream. One... Two... Three... Four.
Only four seconds of hell, but Charlie was sure that he had already... died twice. It was hard to say it. He had died. Twice.
Charlie felt the electricity leave his body abruptly. His heavy and labored breaths filled the silent room. The pain filled his body like none before. Charlie knew that it was coming soon. He could feel his body start to give up. His heart was tiring from the constant shocks. It would not be long.
'I think that's enough, don't you Dr. Eppes?' Adam asked, the rage still evident in his voice.
'You're- You're a monster. You're a sick son of a bitch, just like your worthless brother. You both deserve to rot in Hell.' Charlie stated, his voice equally as angry as Adam's, if not more.'You're a monster.'
Charlie felt a sharp slap to his face that cleared his fuzzy mind somewhat.
'Shut up. You're the monster, you're the worthless piece of shit, Charles.' Adam replied furiously. 'You disgust me. You're filth beneath my feet. I don't know why your brother ever loved you, and I don't know why he would want you back in his life.'
Charlie's grip on consciousness was quickly being relinquished. He had to focus with and use his what time he had left. Without warning, he felt a horrible pain in his right collarbone as something was driven into his skin. It must be a knife, Charlie figured. The knife slowly inched its way down his chest and stomach diagonally. Charlie screamed with new, fresh pain. Finally Adam pulled the blade up when it reached Charlie's left side. Charlie groaned as he felt Adam jab the knife into his left collarbone and repeat the process.
Charlie whimpered in pain as he felt the blade lifted out of his skin. He bit his lip in utter pain, trying to convince himself it would be over soon, very soon. Just then, he felt the restraints being released.
Adam lifted Charlie up with ease and let him fall to the floor in a heap. Charlie's back rested on the cool, concrete wall and he felt his life ebbing away like a tide. Yes, it was almost time.
Suddenly there was a clatter above them, and Charlie heard silence in his prison room. He could feel the sudden tension in the room as unseen to his blindfolded eyes, Adam looked to the ceiling in surprise.
'Well, well...' Adam spoke softly. He turned back to Charlie. 'Well, Charles, I guess this is goodbye.'
Finally, Charlie thought, resting his head on the wall behind him.
Charlie felt his free hands lifted up to the wall behind him there was a noise of metal on metal. Before he was aware of what the sound meant, Charlie felt a blade driven through his right hand, straight into the wall. Charlie screamed in excruciating pain. This was different, this was not laceration, this was stabbing. God, please kill me now! Charlie was in so much pain he barely noticed his left hand being pulled up to the wall again. He realized what was happening too late though; Adam slammed another blade through clean through Charlie's flesh and into the wall. Again, a scream erupted in the room as the pain tore through Charlie's hands and went seemed to resonate through his whole body.
'I was saving these for later, Charles, but time is of the essence now, I suppose. It was a pleasure knowing you, Charles.' Adam said mockingly. Charlie felt Adam's hands on his arms and then two needles being slid into his veins simultaneously. Charlie could to nothing to fight Adam off. The pain was too consuming for him to even think about resistance. With all the agony he was enduring anyway, the prick of a needle seemed insignificant compared to the rest of his pains.
Charlie dazedly felt the vibrations echo through the floor and wall; he heard blurred banging, vague yelling and the tell-tale swinging of the door being opened and closed. Adam had left him. Chance and Anthony were gone.
Charlie was all alone. He began panting as the chest constrictions began. Charlie knew that it truly was time now. The drugs Adam had injected him with were surely not painkillers, they were other drugs like the ones he had 'experimented' with before. It's finally over, Charlie thought. His brain was becoming jumbled as his thoughts turned to irrational and irrelevant matters. He hoped he hadn't left his laptop on. He hoped that someone was filling his classes. He hoped that Don got home, because Charlie never had picked him up.
Random synapses began firing in his head and memories that had no bearing on his situation played in his mind like a fast-forward projector. The thing was, none of his movies had video, they were all just audio. He could hear bits and pieces of Don's first minor league baseball game. Charlie could hear himself whooping for his brother, he could hear his father shouting at the ump in anger. He heard, dear God, his mother, shouting in happiness. He heard the pouring rain. He heard Don pat him on the back and say, 'Thanks, buddy, you did a good job today.' He heard his father laugh and ruffle his hair. He heard the hooting of an owl and Amita whispering goodnight in his ear. He heard Larry explaining the quantum forces of black holes. He heard Colby laugh and call him 'The Whiz Kid'. He heard Don. Charlie felt the blindfold soak up his tears. He heard Don say something to him, 'Buddy? It's okay. I've got you now. You're going to be alright.'
Then he heard, then he felt, then he knew, nothing.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A/N: Oh, I'm sorry for the cliffie... And would you look at that, a post in two days! It's a miracle!
Anyway, this chapter was a beast, and took a while to write. I hope you enjoyed it. Well, maybe not enjoy... poor poor Charlie. Well, at least he won't feel any pain anymore! Leave a comment if you liked it, or leave a comment if you hated it. I'll try to post soon.