Title: Third Loop, part 1/3
Author: Lily G
Characters/Pairings: Charlie/Colby, Don, Megan, David
Word Count: 3249 words
Warnings: language, mention of non-con (just mention), slash
Spoilers: The Janus List, Trust Metric
Summary: When it's time to deal with the aftermath of the Chinese fiasco, it's time for Colby to cope, and maybe to have a new beginning.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own anything, that including my fantasies about Colby and Charlie.
Betas: By the lovely paranoid woman
Author's notes: Feedback is really appreciated, as much as constructive reviews, no need to flame!
"Oh hey, buddy!" Don greeted Charlie when his kid brother entered the bullpen.
"Hi, Don! Here is the result you asked me this morning. I have discovered a pattern in his M.O. and probabilities show that your killer will choose his next target in Orange County. And according to that," he continued, showing the file in Don's hands. "He's going to dump the body in West Hollywood. I'm sorry I can't be more precise," he apologized.
"That's okay, Chuck. You gave us some material to work on. Thank you," Don said when they were walking towards his office.
"All right. I have also heard that Colby was back. Where is he?" He looked at the cubicles and just saw Megan sending death glare to Don and David harassing his keyboard violently.
"He was useless. I told him to go home," Don said flatly. "You're returning to CalSci? Can you drop these papers by him? It's on your way."
Charlie stared at his brother in disbelief.
"What?" Don asked.
"Did you really tell a guy that almost died two weeks ago after being accused of treason that he was useless?" Charlie asked appalled by the stupidity of his own brother.
"Uh, I don't rememb…"
"Oh trust me, he said exactly that," Megan snapped, interrupting him.
"Geez, Don! You were running out of chewing gum so you couldn't shut your big mouth or what? That was really tactful and subtle! When did you become a black-hearted asshole?" Charlie hissed. "You should definitely consider a heart transplant." Then Charlie stormed out of the room. On his way to the elevator, David caught him.
"I have the spare keys of the traitor. Take it and give it back to that spying bastard." He angrily threw the keys at Charlie and left without adding a word. Charlie was so stunned by what he had just witnessed that he barely noticed the elevator doors closing on him.
Charlie left the building and drove to Colby's address. When he reached the door, he noticed that some smart-ass had written "TRAITOR" on it with what seemed to be a black paint spray. So funny and clever, Charlie thought, rolling his eyes.
He knocked on the door but there was no answer. He could see a ray of light filtering under the door, so he knew that Colby was there. Moreover, his car was in the parking lot. He knocked again but louder this time. When five minutes later there was still no answer, he began to worry. He decided that the best way to remedy his worries was to use the spare keys David "had given" him earlier. Well, threw me should be the correct word, he thought.
He was shocked beyond belief when he stepped into the main room. The flat looked like a hurricane had gone through it. Everything was destroyed into pieces. All the books were on the floor, pages ripped out. CD's and DVD's were busted or scratched to be unreadable. What did they think? That he was hiding information in Brokeback Mountain? Charlie was trying to wonder. He suddenly wanted to kill the people who had doggedly done that. What he saw was going from bad to worse at each room. Even the mattress had been torn apart. He also noticed empty alcohol bottles on the floor.
Suddenly he heard a slight noise. He walked in that direction. He guessed that he was in front of the bathroom when he heard water running. He felt that he was intruding, so he almost left when he noticed faint sobbing. He finally decided to stay and check if Colby was injured or worse.
"Colby? It's Charlie! Do you hear me?" No answer. He was now hoping that the door wasn't locked. "Okay! I'm coming in!" he yelled, terrified by what he could find behind this door. What he discovered was totally heartbreaking. The room was in same condition than the others. Broken glass was spilled, bloody footprints leading to the shower where a shivering, still fully-clothed and sobbing Colby was. Charlie ran toward him and turned off the icy water. Colby was rocking back and forth and endlessly repeating the same sentence "I'm a useless traitor… I don't deserve to live… I'm a useless traitor… I don't deserve to live…"
Charlie was trying to catch Colby's attention. He put an arm on Colby's shoulder. The man flinched under the touch and tried to go away like a caged animal. "No, please. Don't touch me. No, please…" Colby was pleading like a little boy. He didn't seem to recognize Charlie.
"Colby, hey! Colby! Colby, focus on my voice. It's Charlie."
"Charlie?" He said weakly.
"Yeah buddy, it's me, Charlie. Come with me. We need to dry you or you're going to be sick," Charlie said gently.
"Who cares anyway?" He asked defeated.
"I do care, okay?" Charlie affirmed.
"Why do you care?"
"First, step out of the shower. We need to warm you up, you're freezing. Then we will talk as much as you want. Okay?" Colby nodded. He got up and winced at the shards of glass under his feet.
Charlie led him to the bedroom. He found some clothes that seemed still in one piece and dry bath towels on their way. Then he helped him to strip out of his soaked clothes and to get into a pair of sweat pants. He also took the shards of glass out of his soles.
"Keep the comforter on you. I don't want you to go into shock because of hypothermia. I'm going to try to make some coffee if the coffee maker hasn't been destroyed," Charlie said before leaving Colby alone in the room.
"I'm impressed, Colb, It's probably the only thing that wasn't broken," Charlie said five minutes later, bringing back two mugs.
"Thanks," Colby said taking a few sips of the steaming beverage. "How did you enter? I thought I had locked the door."
"Yes, sorry, David gave me the keys. I had to drop some papers from Don," Charlie said, looking away.
"Gave you or threw them at you?"
"Umm, Ithinkthatwasthesecondoption," He said very quickly.
"What? I didn't catch what you were saying. So I guess it was the second possibility." Charlie only nodded.
"So, now, will you explain to me what happened to your apartment? I'm still trying to determine if it was a hurricane, an earthquake or the Third World War," Charlie said, trying to make Colby smile. He almost succeeded when he saw a twitch on the corner of Colby's blue-iced mouth.
"Hmmm, probably some of my dear co-workers, or not… G-Men probably did that during the house-search," he said looking around.
"You kidding, right? I can't believe Don could have done that!"
"Even if Don was very angry at me and would have loved to do it, I don't think he did."
"Search-house? C'mon! They are pretty careful in general. Why did they break everything?"
"Government is not very fond of spies and traitors. Too bad for me. I just regret that they also reaped my father's photos. It's not like I can see him again."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Colby. Anyways, you're not a spy or a traitor."
"Face it Charlie. I was. I still am."
"No, you're not!" Charlie said forcefully.
"Yes, I am. I could see it when I came to the office the last few days. Everyone was speaking and the second I arrived, they stopped. They looked at me like I had something disgusting on my face. Call me paranoid, but I even went to the bathroom to check that I didn't have 'traitor' written on my forehead. For weeks I have been looked at like I was crap. I'm tired of that."
"I thought you were with your family last week, resting."
"Yeah, I was. But at first they were avoiding me, and then they treated me like a plague. My mother told me that I'd brought dishonor on the family. So I left and ended in a shitty motel which was way much comfy than that place. I drank myself to sleep with booze."
"And watching your flat, you still don't get rid of that habit."
"No," Colby said looking away.
"You have to stop that, Colby, or one day you'll drink yourself until alcohol-induced coma." Colby just shrugged. "Does your mother know that you didn't have a choice? That it was an undercover mission?"
"I don't know. She said that it broke her heart when I was caught and sent to jail, and that it was worse when I escaped. She is so disappointed. I think it's beyond repair." Colby was trying to beat back tears. "She didn't even come to see me at the hospital. She told me that she couldn't trust me anymore and that she didn't want me to have a bad influence on my nephews and nieces. She thinks that I still lie to everyone, even after what happened on the freighter, after that I was tortured. She's just like the others. She would rather see me dead. I wish I were. That would solve everyone's problems."
"Colby!" Charlie cried so loudly that he made Colby jump. "Don't you dare say that! I do trust you, I do believe in you, and I'm glad the hero you are survived. You don't deserve all the shit people are putting you through. You're worth way much better than that. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And I don't consider you as an untrustworthy man."
"Maybe you'll change your mind when you realize that I was in the same room as you, naked and gay. See, I also lied about my sexuality. I'm not trustworthy. I'm just a filthy sinner. You can leave if you feel uncomfortable. See? One more reason to disappoint everyone. And how people will react when they will know that you are here?" Tears were still threatening to fall.
"Stop. It. Now. Stop taking pity on yourself. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't give a fly fuck to what other people think. Anyways, you're not thinking straight, no pun intends, you're still shivering from the icy shower and you are into shock. And if even you're gay or het, no one has the right to judge you. It's your private life. You've got the right to love whoever you want, and I precise that it's the polite version… I'm sure that, being the fifth generation of soldiers, you've been told the contrary. I can't even think about what would have happened if you had been discovered."
Realization crept in Charlie. "Oh, my God! Your reaction in the shower! You were terrified that I would touch you. Did something happen to you in the army or in jail?" Charlie asked horrified by the potential answer.
"No! Well, in the army some people busted me. They gave me a lot of shit. But I just ended beaten to a pulp," Colby said casually.
"Colby, how can you say that you have 'just' been beaten up like you would ask coffee in the morning? It's not normal to beat people up because they are not like you. You should know that. Your mind is seriously messed up. Did you, at least, press charges?" Charlie was sure he already knew the answer.
"No. You know in the army it's 'Don't ask, don't tell.' I should have been discharged and brought dishonor on my family. Well, I guess that if I'd done that, I would have spared everyone's torments."
"Colby!" Charlie warned exasperated. "And in jail? What happened?" he added more friendly, not wanting to make his friend feeling aggressed.
"I can't deny that it wasn't a close call, a very close call. Some neo-Nazis who proclaimed themselves as patriots decided that, quote, I needed to be taught how to respect our country and the people who live here. One day they cornered me in the shower and held me against the wall. I tried to fight but they were five, bigger than me. They kept me from struggling and that hurt a lot. I had marks on my ankles and wrists for days. I closed my eyes so tightly when I felt the guy behind me that they hurt." Tears were falling freely now and Charlie was looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
"The guards didn't do anything?" That was more a statement than a question.
"They didn't tell those guys to do it but they probably knew what was going to happen. They didn't do anything to discourage them. They just turned a blind eye on that, on me, on them. You know, when you are in a high-security jail, you're already nothing. I was considered less than nothing, not even a human being by some people."
"So, how came you didn't end…" Charlie couldn't convince himself to say the word. He felt a shiver running along his spine.
"Raped?" Colby finished with tremor in his voice. "Kirkland needed to talk to me so jailors had to stop them from raping me. Kirkland – it's kinda ironic, isn't it?" Colby asked bitterly. "I can still feel their hands on me. I can still hear them call me their bitch. I can still feel this guy behind me every time I close my eyes, or when someone is too close. And I still remember the other things they did to humiliate me and break me."
Now Charlie was desperately trying not to think about what Colby meant.
"Did you tell Kirkland?"
"Hell, no! I was too ashamed, and I didn't want to blow up my cover. So I kept my mouth shut. I can't believe I'm telling you that. I think that if I wasn't a complete mess right now, I wouldn't have told you. I wouldn't have told anyone. I barely slept during these five weeks. I was too afraid of what they could do to me. I don't even want to tell you how terrified I was when I had to go in the shower. For five weeks, I probably took the quickest shower in jail history." Colby gave a forced laugh. "So, still thinking that I'm not a dirty Nazi's bitch, a dishonor and a filthy fag?" he asked with any hint of hope in the voice, voice rough with emotion.
"Yep! Still thinking you're not any of that! Sorry to disappoint you," Charlie answered, hoping that he would eventually convince his friend. Then he grabbed Colby into a tight, breaking-bones hug.
"How can you still touch me after everything I said and done?" Charlie heard from Colby's muffled voice.
"Look at me, Colby." He forced the young man to look at him in the eyes. "I can touch you because you're still you. I'm proud of what you did for our country and more than that, I'm proud of you." He put a hand on Colby's jaw to prevent him from looking away. "I trust you with all my heart. To me, you still are the strong man I met two years ago. To me, you are brave. To me, you are beautiful." Then he lightly kissed Colby on the lips as the other man was staring at him in complete disbelief.
The last words and actions finally broke the last barrier Colby had tried to build the last couple of years. He gripped Charlie's body for dear life and sobbed uncontrollably repeating, "Don't leave me, please…" over and over again. Charlie was soothing him by telling him that he was sorry for what had happened to him. He whispered sweet nothings into Colby's ear until the crying man was asleep. Charlie felt like he had spent the whole afternoon in a roller-coaster. He quickly followed his friend in sleep.
Charlie woke up one hour later, aching from his sleep in a completely uncomfortable position. He disentangled himself from the sleeping agent and made his way through the apartment to bring Colby's unbroken belongings together. He also took some pictures with the camera of his cell phone to show his father the damages.
About another hour later, Colby woke up alone. He immediately began to panic at the thought that either everything had been a dream, or Charlie had left afraid by the kiss, his nervous breakdown and the whole situation. He was desperate to see that he was alone, again. Lost in his thoughts, he didn't hear Charlie coming.
"Good evening, sleeping beauty!" he said with a grin. The whole thing seemed very awkward to Colby who didn't know how to react until Charlie came closer to him to kiss him on the lips. "Feel better?"
"Depends," Colby answered, confused. "I feel a little better now that I told the tale, even if I made a fool of myself by crying like a baby. But physically I'm still freezing and I must have caught a nasty thing." He couldn't see any light through the curtains so he asked, "What time is it?" rubbing his tired eyes.
"6 p.m. Dad should almost be ready for dinner so it's time to go home." Charlie saw Colby's eyes widen.
"Oh. So you're going home?" He asked, trying to hide the sadness in his voice.
Charlie decided that it would be cruel to torture him any longer. "Yeah, and you're coming with me, dumbass. I won't let you in that… Wait! I'm trying to find a word. Apartment? No. Battlefield? Much better. So I was saying that I won't let you stay in this battlefield."
"Really?" Colby was looking like a shy little boy.
"Yes, really!" Charlie assured him. "Now pack the stuff I found earlier. You're not coming back here for a while. We will come back later to tidy up."
"Umm, before we leave, I have to confess that I'll kinda be homeless in 3 days."
"Kinda?" Charlie asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Well, my landlord sorta kicked me out. He told me that I brought up too many issues and that people were afraid of me. He also used against me the fact that I haven't been able to pay the rent for two months. Now, seeing my apartment and the door, there's no way he'll give me back the deposit. So I could just leave it like that. It's not like it would change anything."
Charlie could see Colby's depressed mood coming back with vengeance. "Damn! When will this nightmare end?" he cursed. "You can stay in my house as long as you need."
"But your father, are you sure he doesn't mind?"
"First of all, it's my house, so I can invite whoever I want. And my father likes you, so I think he won't mind."
"You really sure?"
"Yes, Colby. How many times do I have to repeat it?"
"Okay." Then Colby suddenly stopped. "To a certain extend, I'm glad you drove here with your own car 'cause there's no way I can take my SUV."
Charlie turned to see the four tires punctured. He sighed deeply thinking, if I catch the guy who did that, I'm going to kick his ass into next year. He was now angry at Colby's neighborhood, the landlord, the jail guards, the neo-Nazis, the government, his brother and his team, and probably a lot of other people. He was thinking about building his own jail to lock everyone there and throw the key very far away. He could probably ask Larry to send them on another planet…