Title: Brutal Attack

Author: Mooncat

Summary: Charlie's brutally attacked. But why? Will they be able to find the culprits?

Rating: K

Warnings: Obviously, some physical brutality, some curse words.

Disclaimer: I do not own 'Numb3rs'.

Copyright: Sarah Diaz, 200772008

Brutal Attack

Prologue

He never saw it coming. One moment he was busy balancing his back bag, his laptop bag and a stash of paper he needed to drop off while he locked the door to his office, the next he was pushed forward and his back exploded with pain under the hard hit it took. Instantly, a kick into the back of his knees followed and he went down with a strangled yelp. The moment he hit the floor, the blows kept raining down on him, kicks trying to mutilate even more of his body.

Already too dazed to stand any chance in fighting back, he did the only thing he could do. He fell back on the hard lessons he had learned during his teenager years and drew up his knees to roll himself into a tight ball, covered his head with his arms and made himself as small as possible, protecting the vital body parts. His sides were aflame after another vicious kick and though he hadn't heard a crack, he suspected that at least some of his ribs were broken.

The blows kept raining, voices hissed words he was too dazed to decipher and he started to fear that they wouldn't stop before he was dead.

Jeez, his brother would be so pissed.

It was the last thought he had as in that second, a hard kick was delivered to the back of his head and everything went black.


He wasn't dead, but he felt like dying might have been more merciful, as he digested upon waking up, disoriented, needing a moment to remember how it came that he was lying on the cold floor and everything was hurting.

The corridor was dark, the building silent.

Right. He had been the last one left in the building, once again, having been lost in the equation he was working on for Don.

Don.

His brother would be pissed, definitely. Pissed at Charlie for being caught by surprise like that. Probably also pissed at the ones attacking him but mostly, Don would be pissed at him. He didn't like to be scared.

But perhaps, Don didn't need to know?

Charlie tried to move and was blinded by the pain that exploded all over his body. With a groan, he stilled again.

Think again, he saw little chance that Don wouldn't get wind of this. Sometimes it was really annoying to have a big brother who on top of that also happened to be a FBI agent. There were various possibilities of how Don would learn of this incident, the more plausible ones that either, their father would get worried when Charlie wouldn't show up within an hour as he had promised his dad when he had called to remind Charlie to call it a day and come home - or, if his father had given up on him, as soon as morning would come and the cleaning crew would go through the building at five am.

Uh, if tomorrow was Thursday or Tuesday. What day was it again? Charlie tried to remember, but he honestly couldn't remember, which increased his worry into a slight panic. While temporary memory loss wasn't unusual for a concussion, which was a likely injury after the beating he had suffered, it also was a sign for brain damage, the one thing Charlie probably feared the most.

It wasn't always easy, living with his brain - but it sure also gave him a world full of wonders and he wasn't ready to lose that yet.

Wednesday!

Charlie had had the math for dummies lecture that afternoon, he was sure of that and that meant, it was Wednesday.

Relieved, Charlie closed his eyes. Or had he had them closed already?

Didn't matter. All he wanted was to lie there, unmoving and rest, escape the pain into sleep.

Of course, if the cleaning crew found him like this, they'd probably get a shock. Then they would call security. They in turn would call the police. Who would no doubt call Don. But just what would they tell his brother? Besides, he for sure wasn't keen on being found like this. Or have word of this get out, at least not with visuals. Actually, the less people knew about what had happened, the better.

Right.

Gritting his teeth, Charlie tried to push himself up from the floor, determined to move now.

Bad idea. Stifling a cry, Charlie sank back down, trying to catch his breath and get over the spell of sudden dizziness.

'Come on, Eppes. You can do it. Not like you've never done it before,' Charlie quietly cheered himself on once he was ready to try to get up again.

'Yeah, but it's been a while. And I've been younger,' his more logical part reminded him.

Charlie ignored it. He wasn't going to let someone find him like that, chance that this someone would then call Don. Or worse, his dad.

Shit, his dad...

Grimly, he pushed up again - and stayed up until the worst of the world spinning was over. Grimacing at the pain the movement caused, Charlie somehow managed to prop up against the door to his office.

So far, so good.

He'd just need a little moment of rest before he worked his way up to his feet.


TBC!

(Author's Note: This is the first of 6 parts (yeah, this story is actually already finished, waiting to be posted). Hope you enjoyed it and more soon!)