Disclaimer: Don't own Numb3rs or it's characters. Shame, but tis true.

A/N: So there were certain aspects of Primacy which I wanted to address in my own way. Loved the episode but a few scratches from that water?! Really?! Guess that's why it's TV! Here's the first of a couple of chapters on my take!

Flushed.

The siren sounded and Colby's heart lodged in his mouth. He turned to Charlie and Amita. "Get back up the ladder, NOW!" He ran over and managed to get hold of the ladder about halfway up before the wall of water hit him, as he saw it heading towards him, he barely had time to think, this is gonna hurt, before he was washed into the spillway, just about able to hear Charlie calling his name. He was trying his hardest not to swallow any water, but really it wasn't something he was able to control that easily. He was being spun round like he was in a washing machine, or maybe being flushed down a toilet. His body struck concrete on numerous occasions. He caught a brief sight of blue sky before being turned upside down again. If he didn't get himself up to the surface soon then he was going to drown. The thought no sooner crossed his mind than it gave him the kick up the ass he needed. He noticed that the water was lighter if he looked one way, and darker the other. He used every ounce of his fitness to push himself to what he hoped was the surface, through the lighter water. His head broke the surface, but he was still being washed along with the water, he needed to do something, and fast.

Ahead he caught sight of what appeared to be a bridge going across part of the spillway. The water was quite high and there was thick steel cabling underneath the bridge. If he could just make it over, he kicked his legs hoping beyond hope he could manage to reach the bridge, suddenly he found himself below it, he wasn't sure how, but he'd take the chance that had been offered to him. Reaching out as the water washed him at some speed passed the bridge, he managed to grab onto the steel cable with one hand, the water continued to rush underneath him, if he let go now, he'd go back in and there'd be no coming back up. He got his other hand on the cable, he could feel the muscles in his shoulders pulling as all his weight hung on both his hands, the cable shredding them. Now all he had to do was figure out how to get himself up onto the bridge.

Suddenly there was hope as he saw Charlie and Amita on the bridge above him. He had no idea how the professor was going to get him out of this one, somehow he doubted math was going to be the answer, and not to be rude, but Colby knew he was considerably more muscular than Charlie and weighed a good deal more. Nevertheless when Charlie laid down and reached his hand out he tried to grab it, but missed. He placed his hand back on the cable, he was running out of energy, the next time he tried to reach up he needed to be successful or it was over. Taking a deep breath he once again reached up for the young mathematicians hand, and managed to grab on to it. Charlie's grip was amazingly strong and firm, taking the risk Colby swung his other hand up onto one of the bars at the side of the bridge and between him nearly pulling his arm out of its socket to pull himself up and Charlie nearly wrenching his other arm out he found himself laying, exhausted, on the bridge.

"He tried to kill us." Stated Amita, her voice wobbly.

"Yeah, he did." Responded an out of breath, out of energy and almost out of luck Colby. Thinking to himself, he very nearly succeeded in getting me. The thought was a sobering one.

"We need to get you to a hospital." Charlie, also out of breath, spoke to him.

"No, I'm… I'm fine." He laid his head on the bridge. At least I would be if my arms didn't feel like they're twice as long as they should be.

Charlie hugged Amita to him and they both watched Colby carefully as he briefly rested. They both knew how close they'd come to losing him. It was only the legendary stubbornness of Agent Granger and the determination of Professor Eppes that had saved him. Suddenly Amita realised that she could hear a voice.

"Oh my god, I forgot about Don!" She lifted her phone and passed it to Charlie, too shaken to deal with what sounded like a very angry FBI Agent.

"WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER ME. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??? CHARLIE? AMITA?" Even Colby lifted his head at the sound, despite the fact the phone was nowhere near his ear, he could hear his Supervisor as clearly as if he was standing next to him.

"Don, calm down its….." Charlie said.

"Calm down?! Calm down he says?! I get a phone call from Amita telling me that Colby's been washed into the spillway and then nothing! All I could hear was you calling his name, god Charlie, tell me he's OK?"

Colby motioned for Charlie to give him the phone, the Professor was shaking and as white as a sheet, he really didn't need Don going off on him now, this was his responsibility so he'd speak to his boss. "Don, I'm fine." Croaked Colby.

"Damnit Colby, you nearly scared me half to death!"

"Sorry man." He was about to explain what had happened when he was overtaken by coughing. He handed the phone back to Charlie as he coughed up some of the water he'd swallowed.

"What happened Colb?"

"It's me Don, er, Colby is indisposed at the moment." He watched his friend carefully, he still thought they should take him to the hospital, but knew if Colby had made up his mind not to go there wasn't anything he could do about it. "We didn't know that the dam released into the spillway, we were down looking at something that looked like a clue, an alarm sounded, he ordered us back up the ladder, we made it, but he didn't. We managed to get him out, but he was washed a good half a mile before we did." Charlie paused, calculating the amount of time it had taken Colby to travel that distance, the time he had been in the water.

"Stop trying to work out how much water I've swallowed." Colby croaked, having finished coughing up dam water.

"How did you know?" Charlie asked.

"Because you always fall back on math when you're upset or stressed." Responded the agent knowingly.

"Hello? Still on the phone!" Don's voice bought the 2 men back to the present.

Once again taking the phone from Charlie. "I'm back. We'll get back to the car and head back to the office."

"You should probably go to the hospital and get checked out."

"Nah, I'm fine, just a few scrapes." Colby ignored the disbelieving looks and raised eyebrows that Amita and Charlie exchanged.

"Alright, get back here, get into some dry clothes and have one of our medics check you out. I mean it Colby."

"Yeah, OK."

"And Colby, you are not to drive."

"Er, Don, it's an FBI vehicle, neither Charlie or Amita can drive it."

"One of them can drive it, if anything happens I'll take responsibility. You are not to drive, that's an order!"

"Alright, alright! See you soon." Colby turned to Amita. "You're driving."

"Erm, OK. Where are the keys?"

"Good question." He slowly sat himself up and checked his pockets, by some miracle the keys were still in his jacket pocket. He pulled them out with a shaking hand. "Bit wet! Wonder if they'll work."

"Only one way to find out. Can you get up?" She asked.

He nodded and using the bars pulled himself up, once standing he found that his legs were a bit rubbery. Charlie stood by his side and held out a hand to steady him. The three took a long time to get back to the car, Amita hurried ahead to move the car as close to the top of the path as she could, luckily the keys still worked. Charlie helped the exhausted man settle into the front seat, before climbing into the back of the SUV. They headed back to FBI headquarters in silence.


Don's cell rang, he had only just made it into the office. There were quite a few other agents in this early in the morning, including Megan.

"Hey Megan, what on earth are you doing here at 06:00?"

"Hi Don, well I could ask you the same thing!"

"Wanted to be here when Colby checked in."

"Yeah same here…" That was the moment his cell rang and his day became a nightmare. "Eppes." His standard response, never one to check who was calling.

"Don, Don." Came the frantic voice of Amita. "Colby's been washed into the Northgate Dam spillway."

"Amita, calm down!" Don tried to soothe the clearly agitated Amita. "What do you mean Colby's been washed into the Dam's spillway?" His question had Megan on her feet standing next to him in a split second. "Amita? AMITA?" All he could hear was what sounded like someone running, and he could make out his brother's voice yelling Colby's name. Barely holding it together he kept repeating himself, hoping someone would respond. The longer it went without someone answering the louder his voice got, until the whole of the 7th floor had stopped what they were doing and were watching the scene unfold before them. After what Don felt was an unbearable length of time he finally lost it. "WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER ME. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??? CHARLIE? AMITA?" Finally getting a response from Charlie and being told to calm down wasn't really what he wanted to hear. He finally got to hear it when Colby's voice came over the line telling him he was fine. Don suddenly found himself in need of a chair and sat down heavily at his desk, closely followed by Megan sitting in her chair and pulling it closer. After establishing that he wasn't going to go to the hospital and telling him to get checked by an FBI medic and giving him orders that Amita or Charlie were to drive Don hung up the phone with a shaking hand.

"He just can't stay outta trouble, can he?" Asked Megan, stunned that once again Granger had ended up in such peril.

Rubbing a hand over his face Don shook his head. "Just be grateful that David's on his days off and we haven't got to deal with him hovering over Colby! You know what the pair of them are like if something is wrong with the other one, especially now they've found their friendship again."

"Have you noticed how Colby always seems to end up in worse trouble when David is off? Seriously Don, you gotta start giving them the same days off, I'm getting too old for this!"

"Tell me about it, I think he just aged me by at least 10 years!"

The pair sat back in their chairs. All comments aside, they were extremely relieved to hear that Colby had survived his rollercoaster ride in the spillway waters. Don quickly sent Charlie a text asking him to let them know when they arrived at the FBI offices. He planned to be waiting for Colby, he needed to assure himself that the agent was really OK. While he did that Megan placed a call down to the HRT unit, speaking to Tim King she asked him to ensure that one of his medics checked Agent Granger over thoroughly and if they had even the slightest thought that he needed to get checked at the hospital and he refused then to call her and Don, they'd sort it. When she hung up she could hear Tim laughing and telling his medic that Colby had been up to mischief again!


Amita pulled into the FBI parking lot and nudged Colby gently to wake him up. He had fallen into an exhausted sleep almost immediately. The agent went to rub his hands over his face only to be greeted by the sight of his shredded palms.

"Come on man, Don said you need to get checked out by the medic." Charlie encouraged as he opened Colby's door.

Easing himself out of the SUV was easier said than done without aggravating his aching body, by the time he'd got out Amita was round ready to help if needed. This is so humiliating, thought the large man as he slowly made his way to the building with Amita on one side and Charlie on the other, the two were constantly exchanging looks of concern. Once in the elevator the professor pressed 5, the floor which housed the HRT medic and some of the team. On arriving at the floor Colby turned to his two bodyguards. "Hey guys, thanks, but why don't you head upstairs and assure Don that we're all in one piece, I'll be up as soon as I've been checked over."

"You promise you won't just wait 10 minutes and then head up without getting checked?" Asked Amita.

Charlie spotting the look on Colby's face decided he had best intervene before the large, and normally soft hearted, FBI Agent lost his temper. "Come on Amita, he'll be fine from here." He was rewarded by a look of gratitude from the bruised and battered man. It was going to be bad enough having the HRT medic laughing at him, without having those 2 hovering as well. He walked slowly down the hallway, taking a hesitant breath before knocking on the door that was where the medics normally resided. He wasn't surprised when he opened the door to find the room completely empty. Sighing he knew he was going to be forced to walk into the HRT bullpen area, something he had a feeling they'd done on purpose. Pulling himself up, carefully, to his full height he walked down the corridor to the bullpen. Walking round the corner he was met with a loud cheer from the dozen HRT Agents milling about, just waiting for their opportunity. "Uh huh, yeah, thanks guys! I'm here most days, purely to entertain all of you!"

"Granger, you do know that if you wanna wash you should just use a shower doncha?" Called one smartass across the bullpen. Not particularly funny, thought Colby.

"What's the matter Special Agent Granger, you needed some excitement in your life? If Violent Crimes isn't exciting enough, apply for a position in HRT!" Came another voice.

"I'd laugh but not one of you is funny." Replied Colby, grouchily.

Looking at him carefully Tim King decided that now really wasn't the time for teasing the man, he looked like, well actually, exactly how he should look considering he'd been thrown around the spillway. "Alright guys, that's enough. Brian, take him and check him over. Let me know if he requires a hospital trip." Tim held up his hand as he saw Colby about to protest. "Your Supervisor's orders Granger, suck it up!" He motioned with his hand for him to follow his medic.

Brian laid a gentle hand on Colby's arm and guided him out of the bullpen, he had already been assessing the man from the moment he walked into the office and he continued to do so as they walked back to the room the medics used to treat minor injuries. He was going to be sure to check his mobility and judging by the cough, he'd be listening to those lungs too. There were plenty of cuts to be checked as well. Brian opened the door to the treatment room and ushered Colby in. "Right, take your top and jacket off."

"Brian, you're a great guy, but I like women." Colby tried to jest.

"Granger, this is how it's gonna go, you're taking off your jacket and top, I'm going to listen to your lungs and chest, if I'm happy that they're clear, you'll go take a shower, I'll check your cuts and abrasions, bandage those hands and, unless I think you need hospital treatment you may be able to return to duty. Now lets get on with it, I haven't got all day."

Sighing in resignation and defeat Colby gingerly eased off his jacket and top. His shoulder muscles protesting with every movement. He sat on the examination bed against the wall as indicated by the medic and allowed the man to do whatever he needed to. He took deep breaths as instructed, shook his head when asked if taking deep breaths caused him any pain, after a good five minutes of being poked and prodded, Brian declared he was happy that Colby had coughed up any water he had swallowed, he could hear no fluid in the lungs. Agent Granger was one very lucky man. "Go take a shower, there's towels on a shelf in there." Brian indicated a door at the back of the room. "I'll get a change of clothes sorted for you."

A very subdued Colby did as instructed without comment, he couldn't wait to get out of the wet clothes. Closing the door behind him he stripped and turned on the shower, he allowed the hot water to run over his tired and aching body. He would have stood there longer but his legs weren't going to support his weight much longer, so he quickly washed and dried himself off as best he could, leaving spots of blood on the towel from his hands. Wrapping the towel round his waist he went back to the door and opened it to find Brian leaning against the wall. "Let me get a look at those cuts and then you can get dressed." He indicated that Colby should sit back on the bed. Brian took out some sterile gauze, antiseptic and butterfly strips and set about treating the multiple cuts over Colby's back, chest, arms and legs, the large Agent was silent throughout, but the medic could feel him tense every time he cleaned a cut. He then turned his attention to the cuts on his face. He used antiseptic and then applied the butterfly strips to 2 of the cuts, then looking at Colby's hands he winced, the skin was shredded from the braided cable he had hung from. There were no deep cuts, so he wouldn't need sutures at least. "This is gonna hurt man, sorry." He received a nod of acknowledgement in response and taking another sterile gauze pad out he soaked it with antiseptic and gently placed it on the palm of one of the other man's hands. Colby released a hiss of pain and closed his eyes, which is how he remained until the cleaning process had been completed. "Just gonna bandage those hands now. You're gonna have to be careful, make sure you keep the bandages on and keep the wounds clean otherwise you could end up with an infection, alright?"

"Yeah, thanks man." Colby gave Brian a small smile as he wrapped a bandage round each hand.

"I don't suppose telling you to go home and get some rest rather than going back to work will do any good, will it?" Brian raised an eyebrow, ever hopeful that one day an Agent that he treated would listen to his advice.

"Right in the middle of a case."

"Aren't you always?" Brian's question was rhetorical. "OK, well there are some things you need to look out for. If you start coughing, have trouble breathing, get any pain in your lungs or chest especially when taking a deep breath, if you feel dizzy or nauseous you need to come and see me, another medic or go to the hospital. You need to be aware of these symptoms for the next 72 hours."

"Alright."

"I mean it Granger. Any signs, anything unusual and you seek advice, secondary drowning is rare but it happens." Brian's tone told Colby that he was, indeed, serious.

"I get it. I promise, anything that's out of the ordinary get it checked."

"OK, get dressed, I'll sign you back to duty." Brian left the room to fill out the paperwork, hell use a band aid in this office and there was a stack of paperwork.

Colby noticed a pile of clothes on the chair, he recognised them as being the spare clothes he kept in his locker, one of the team must have dropped them in whilst he was having a shower. He eased himself into the FBI issue fleecy jumper, glad of the warmth, this may be LA, but that water had been cold and though the shower had warmed him some, sitting around in a towel whilst Brian administered treatment had dropped his body temperature again. He had just finished putting on his trainers, with some difficulty being that his mobility was a little limited in comparison to normal, when Brian knocked on the door and re-entered. "Here you go, the paperwork you need to sign agreeing that I recommended you leave work to rest but you declined."

Colby knew Brian had to cover himself, if something now happened to him whilst he was on duty the medic could be held responsible if he didn't sign the waiver. He signed his name in triplicate and thanked Brian again and reiterated his promise to get checked if he felt at all unwell and returned to work.


Don and Megan stood talking in one of the corridors on the 7th floor, waiting for Colby. They'd just received a call from Brian to let them know he was, reluctantly, allowing their colleague to return to work and he didn't require hospital treatment, he also made sure they knew that he had given Colby signs to watch out for that should have him seeking medical assistance immediately.

Colby rounded the corner and Megan pushed herself off the wall. "Hey Granger, what's with you and the water?"

"Hey!" Said Don reaching out to put a hand on his back, to register his concern, as much as Colby appreciated the gesture he dipped away from the movement, any pat, no matter how light, was gonna hurt right now.

"Yeah, I'm fine, thanks for asking Megan!" Responded Colby. He knew that the snarky comment covered the concern she had likely been feeling, and he was sorry to have put her and the others through that. "It was a set up."

"Yeah definitely, that dam releases overflow every morning." Responded Don.

Well wouldn't that have been nice to know before going and getting flushed?! Thought Colby.

"How you doing, you really OK?" Asked Megan, this time allowing her concern to creep into her voice.

"Yeah I'm fine." Replied Colby, looking at his hands. If he looked her in the eye she wouldn't buy his tough guy act for a second. They continued their conversation whilst walking to the bullpen. They were discussing about how to stop Spectre when Charlie rushed in, breathless, with an idea on how to stop the guy.

"Yeah, does it involve your deceptive upper body strength?" Asked Colby, he still hadn't thanked the mathematician for saving his life, but there'd be time enough for that after the case.

"That was pure adrenaline." Charlie waved the comment off and launched into an explanation of how to create a mirror site to throw Spectre off. Everyone agreed it was a great plan and later that evening everyone, including Amita, Charlie and Larry were set up with a laptop in the conference room, all they had to do was hit keys. Don had tried to send Colby home, it was going to be a long night and the man had already had a long day. Predictably he wasn't going anywhere and Don didn't have time to argue as he had been asked by another team to help them out with some surveillance overnight. It was a long night, a very long night. Colby's body already tired he just rested his head on the back of his bandaged hand and repeatedly hit the keys on the laptop, after hours of this Spectre turned up, only for Amita to get carried away and kill him. Not part of the plan. Charlie left to do his TV interview and Megan, Larry, Colby and Amita waited for Spectre to make contact, when he did they were all stunned by the amount of information he'd managed to get together on Amita. Colby left Megan to sort out the mess they found themselves in, whilst he went to report in to Don, who had finished his surveillance stint and was back in the bullpen.

The meeting was set for MacArthur Park at 7am. Don tried again to get Colby to go home, but he was having none of it.

"Don, this guy nearly killed me, I want to see this through."

"Alright, understood, but I want you taking it easy and when the case is through so are you for a couple days rest, you hear?"

"Yes boss."

That settled they both went to get kitted out. Colby changed into a hoodie and baseball cap which he could pull low over his injured face to hide the cuts. He discreetly removed the bandages around his hands, he knew Brian would be livid if he knew, but what the man didn't know wouldn't hurt him, and since the others would be busy with their roles in protecting Amita they weren't likely to notice. He couldn't handle his gun properly with the bandages and they were a dead give away to Spectre if he was watching. Throughout the operation in MacArthur Park he stuck close to Amita, desperate to protect anyone else from getting hurt. He took great delight in slapping the cuffs on Spectre, despite the pain it caused in his hands.

Stepping into the light of the LA morning Colby was relieved to see that despite shouting at Don, Amita was held safely and lovingly in Charlie's arms. It hadn't gone as planned, but the outcome was a good one. Escorting the latest FBI prisoner to a nearby waiting vehicle Colby deposited him in the back seat and slammed the door on the case. He turned and then realised that he still had the paperwork to do and groaned. Megan spotted him and walked over. "How ya doing Colb?"

"I'm good, you?" He asked, taking off his baseball cap and going to run a hand through his hair. Two things stopped him, the fact the movement hurt his shoulder and would, no doubt, hurt his hand and the look on Megan's face.

"Damnit Colby!" She started raising her voice, he realised his mistake, she hadn't known he had removed his bandages, moving his hand to take off the cap had drawn her attention to his hand and things were about to get worse when Don heard her and joined them.

"Problem?"

"Ask Mr Invincible here?" She flapped her hand in Colby's direction.

The SAC raised his eyebrows questioningly and the younger agent shrugged as if he had no idea what Megan was talking about. She glared at him and he just looked passed her refusing to make eye contact. Tired, Don wasn't in the mood. "Alright kids, someone better tell me what the hell is going on here 'cos I'm not up for guessing games right now!"

Megan, too fast for Colby in his moderately impeded mobility grabbed his arm and waved his hand in front of Don's face. It took him a moment before realisation sunk in. "Fucking hell Colby!" He said, exasperated, knowing full well that Brian had told him to keep the bandages on. "Get in the car, now!" He ordered. "Now Agent Granger!" He repeated when Colby paused.

Deciding not to argue with his boss, after all they were right, he had removed the bandages against medical advice, he got into the back of the SUV that Megan had driven to the park. He rested his head back and closed his eyes.

"Seatbelt!" Barked Don, getting into the driver's seat as Megan got into the front passenger seat.

Not even bothering to open his eyes Colby reached back and grabbed hold of the belt, wincing at the discomfort even that caused, fastened it and remained silent. They had only been driving for 5 minutes before he was fast asleep. Megan turned round to check on him, relieved to see his breathing was normal. "What are you gonna do with him?"

"March him up to Brian, get his hands re-bandaged, allow the medic to give him the lecture he deserves, request he signs him unfit for duty, march him back to the car and take him home!"

"With a lecture of your own?!"

"Hell yes!" He replied, glancing in the rear view mirror at his now sleeping agent. He pulled into the FBI lot and got out, he opened the door to find Colby still asleep. "Colby, out!" He got no response, the man was clearly exhausted, he should have sent him home instead of letting him carry on, but he understood the desire to get the man that had caused his dip in the dam water. "Colb." He shook the sleeping man gently.

"Huh?"

"Out!" Repeated Don, shaking his head.

Colby carefully unfastened his belt and eased himself out, sitting down had probably not been the wisest thing to do as he was sorer than ever. He quietly followed Don into the building with Megan. The elevator stopped on the 5th floor and Don gave him a gentle shove, Megan chuckled and waved as the doors closed and she carried on up to the 7th floor. Don had called ahead to let Brian know they were on their way and the medic was waiting for them in the treatment room, door open. Both Agents walked in and Don closed the door, nodding a greeting to Brian.

"Special Agent Granger, what did I tell you about the bandages on those hands?" When he got no response he tried again. "That was not a rhetorical question!"

"Keep the bandages on and keep the wounds clean."

"Well done, and why was that?"

"In case of infection."

"Right again. So, that begs the question, why the hell did you remove the bandages?! Again, not a rhetorical question!"

"Couldn't handle my gun properly and the guy we were going after would have noticed the bandages and may have realised who I was since it was clear he had been watching us." Colby shrugged.

Shaking his head in disbelief Brian spoke again. "Sit on that bed, and don't move!" He went to some shelves and got more sterile gauze, a bowl of warm water, antiseptic and more bandages. He was probably a little rougher than he should have been, but he was fed up with macho Agents ignoring him. He had dealt with Agent Eppes' team on more than one occasion and Agent Granger was one of the worst, independent, stubborn, brave and deaf when it came to instructions on caring for an injury. Ten minutes later his hands were freshly bandaged and he had been told, in no uncertain terms, that he was to leave them on and change them again in 24 hours. This time Brian filled out the pile of paperwork which included a form stating that Granger was unfit for duty and was not to return to work for a period of 48 hours at which time he was to be reassessed. Don nodded in satisfaction and Colby pouted. Had Brian and Don been women, or inclined towards male partners, the pout may have worked, but since they weren't it was met with stony stares.

"Thanks Brian, I'm gonna take this reprobate home."

"Might wanna take away his car keys and lock him in his own apartment, confiscating those keys as well!" Remarked Brian, chuckling at the roll of the eyes he received from Don. "And you." He pointed to Colby. "My instructions from earlier about symptoms to look out for still stand! I'm serious as a heart attack Granger, if something happens to you, I'll revive you myself just to kill you, got it?!" He received a compliant nod in response.

"Come on Colby, lets get you home before you drop right here in front of us." Ordered Don. He was surprised when there was no argument but was also glad that it was unnecessary to put his boss hat on again.

Pulling up outside Colby's apartment complex Don got out and walked up to his first floor apartment with him. He made sure that he was inside safely and that he didn't need anything. "Get some rest and I don't want to see you back in the office for 2 days, someone will pick you up and then you report straight to the medics for another check up on arrival at the office, clear?"

"Yes boss."

"Rest!" Don left pulling the door closed behind him.

Colby, for his part headed straight to his bedroom, stripped and collapsed on to his bed, barely having time to cover himself before he was asleep.


Back at the FBI offices Don went to the 7th floor to find Megan and found that she wasn't alone.

"David? What are you doing here?" He asked sitting at his desk and pulling the paperwork from this latest case towards him.

"Megan called me to tell me Colby had been ordered off duty for 2 days, I popped by to see if there was anything you needed."

"Uh huh, course you did." Don wasn't fooled for a minute. David knew he had dropped Colby at his apartment and was wondering if he should go check on his partner, but not wanting to disturb him dropped by to speak to Don before going over or calling him. "He's fine David, he was heading for bed when I left, and judging by the looks of him that's where he's gonna remain for at least 24 hours!"

"So he was really OK?"

"David, I would have taken him to the ER if he hadn't been man. He's been given information of symptoms to look out for over the next 72 hours and if he presents with any of them he has promised to seek medical advice."

"Really?" David asked, clearly unconvinced.

"Yeah, I wasn't convinced either, but Brian put the fear of God into him earlier!" Chuckled Don.

"Alright, well I guess I'll check on him tomorrow afternoon then. In the meantime need anything?"

"I would love to say yes, help with the paperwork, but since you weren't working the case it's not much use, so I'd get outta here before a new case comes in and enjoy the rest of your time off!" Replied Don.

"See you tomorrow then." David quickly headed for the elevator.

"You had to call him eh?"

"Do you have any idea how much trouble we'd have been in tomorrow if he came in and found Colby off because he's unfit for duty?!" Megan asked.

"Point taken." Don turned back to his pile of paperwork. It was all very well being a good boss and friend but it left him with Colby's share of the paperwork as well.


David reached the office and kept staring over at his partner's desk in between checking through files that Don had asked him to review. As lunch time grew nearer he kept checking his watch. By the time it got to around 1pm both Don and Megan were ready to take the watch off him to prevent him glancing at it.

"Get outta here would ya." Don said gruffly.

"Boss?"

"Go check on him. You've been checking your watch for over an hour and it's driving me mad."

"Now you know how we feel when you do it!" Mumbled Megan.

"I heard that Reeves."

"You sure it's alright for me to go now? I mean, I'd like to check on him, but…"

"Seriously man, go. You're no good to us when you're checking your watch every 5 minutes, perhaps if you take a couple of hours to check on Colby we can all get some work done. I'd like to know how he's doing too." Don said.

Not needing to be told again David grabbed his jacket and virtually ran out the door, much to the amusement of Don and Megan. Anybody meeting Colby and David for the first time would think they were a couple to listen to them, this wasn't the case but their friendship, their bond, was closer than most FBI Agent partnerships. They were as much brothers as Don and Charlie. That meant they argued, supported each other, cared about each other and would ultimately die for each other if it were necessary. The fact that David had been on a couple of days off during this case had not been his fault, but he would still want to see Colby for himself, Don's reassurances would only go so far to ease his mind.

Reaching Colby's apartment block he buzzed to get in, but there was no answer. He pulled out his cell and called the apartment and then Colby's cell, still getting no answer. He tried the buzzer, the apartment phone and his cell phone repeatedly. He stood outside for 10 minutes hoping to get his partner's attention. He decided to try a different number.

"Eppes."

"Don, he's not answering his door, his apartment phone or his cell."

"He's probably just sleeping bud." Don tried to reassure a clearly fractious David.

"I dunno, I would have thought he would have heard something by now, I've been trying for 10 minutes."

"Use your key." Don replied. He was met with silence. "David, why can't you use your key?"

"I don't have one." David responded softly.

"Huh? Thought you guys had keys to each others places, same as Charlie and me?"

"Well after the whole, er, Lancer thing, and all I kind of gave him his key back and took mine back, haven't got round to exchanging keys again." David kicked at the ground in front of him annoyed with himself for not swallowing his pride sooner and bringing up the subject of swapping keys again with his partner.

Don couldn't believe that they still kept coming back to bloody Mason Lancer. The consequences of that man's actions had been far reaching, wreaking havoc and even after all these months he was still capable of causing problems.

"Alright, Megan and I are on our way. He keeps a spare key in his drawer." Don got up from his chair determined that this would be the last thing that Lancer would influence in regards to his team. He turned to Megan and indicated they were heading out after going through Colby's desk to find his key, he explained the reason on route to the garage.

They were about half way to Colby's apartment when Don's cell rang again. He had switched to hands free and answered. "Eppes."

"Don, it's bad, he's bad…" David babbled.

"David, calm down. What's happened?" Megan spoke, never had she heard David babble, so it had to be Colby and it had to be serious.

"One of his neighbours let me in as she was entering after I showed my badge…."