Pairing: Charlie/Ian Edgerton
Rating: NC-17
Spoiler: Sniper Zero, Toxin, Two daughters, Spree, Hot Shot
Setting: Season one to Season three
Warnings: Slash, sex, bad words
Author's note: Written for the Numb3rs New Year Challenge. I'm answering the prompts of Truthwritaslies: 1. How they got together and 2. A fight bad enough that they're on the verge of breaking up, but something happens and they get back together (though that's only minor)

Beta:cpwatcher, thank you!

Disclaimer: I'm not making money with this fanfic. The TV-show Numb3rs and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Thank you for all the reviews and alerts. I really appreciate it. This is the last chapter.

6.

"Charlie," Ian panted, when he buried himself deep in him.

Charlie moaned, clutching his sheets. Ian kissed him deeply and passionately. Charlie's legs slipped from his shoulders to wind around his chest. "Please, please," he begged, peppering fevered kisses on Ian's face. Ian buried a hand in Charlie's hair, pressing their lips together before he kissed down Charlie's neck and placed a tender bite on his collarbone. He rolled his hips, starting to move within Charlie's body, and Charlie cried out softly. Ian gripped one of Charlie's legs and spread them further apart to be able to penetrate deeper. Sweat dripped into his eyes and he wiped his forehead on Charlie's shoulder, tightening his grip in the dark, damp curls on Charlie's head. The sex was always best when they hadn't seen each other for a long time. Charlie took hold of his cock between their bodies. Ian let Charlie's leg go and followed his hand, tangling their fingers around Charlie's cock. He kissed him again, speeding up his movements, and swallowed Charlie's cry when the younger man came. Charlie's orgasm triggered his own. Ian panted in exhaustion, placing tender kisses on Charlie's lips, his chin and his cheeks. Charlie stroked Ian's back with a hand. "Hmm," he purred when Ian fell onto the bed beside him and disposed of the condom. He let it disappear in the drugstore's plastic bag in which he'd brought the condoms and lube. Charlie turned on his side and stroked Ian's cheek. "I love you," he whispered and Ian felt as if he'd just had the wind knocked out of him.

"What?" he asked.

"I love you," Charlie repeated.

It was the last thing Ian heard before he hastily left the house five minutes later.

***

Ian knew that Don was watching him. Even Don's team noticed the looks which weren't hidden quite as well as Don wanted. Charlie completed his explanation with a long formula drawn on the whiteboard. He turned around to face Don's team and Ian sitting behind him in the conference room.

"I need more data," he said to Don, even as his eyes locked on Ian. When the agent returned the look, Charlie turned away and underlined the result as if he'd forgotten it.

Don nodded. "I just don't know if there's much more for you, buddy."

Charlie shrugged. "I could try to modify the algorithm but the result would be just an educated guess."

"Try it," Don answered, getting up, "Megan, you call whoever you think could know something. David, you and Colby drive over to Jennings' wife again and check if he's there. Maybe she's hiding him."

Megan frowned. "What woman would hide a rapist?" she asked. Don left the question unanswered and exited the conference room. Ian saw Charlie concentrating on running the numbers and also got up to leave the room.

"What, no goodbye?" Charlie suddenly asked and Ian turned back around to face him. Charlie stared at the whiteboard as if he hadn't spoken with Ian at all. The door to the conference room closed behind Colby.

Ian put his hands on his hips. "We should stop this thing between us, Charlie."

Charlie turned around. "This thing," he echoed with a sad nod.

"Charlie, I …" Ian stopped, running a frustrated hand through his short hair. "I don't do things like that, okay? Red roses, Valentine's Day and matching robes."

"Nobody asked you to," Charlie answered.

"We should break up."

Charlie ducked his head, swallowing. Ian saw his hands trembling. "Don't," Charlie asked.

"It's better that way," Ian answered.

Charlie looked up now. His eyes were wet with tears, but they didn't fall. Charlie was apparently too proud to cry - or at least too proud to do it in the FBI's head office. "Please, don't."

"Charlie …" Ian swallowed deeply, not wanting to admit that this step was hard on him, too.

He didn't want to be without Charlie but he couldn't say those three words and that had to mean that they weren't meant for each other. Charlie was gripping his pen like a lifeline. "I love you," he said softly.

Ian raised his hands. "No. Don't. I don't want to know."

The door to the conference room opened. "Jennings was seen. He has a gun and is trying to rob a gas station," Megan said.

"I'm coming," Ian answered. He turned away from Charlie and left him.

***

The bullet which hit Ian was red-hot and sent the pain of the wound in his shoulder directly through his chest. He didn't remember hitting the asphalt of the parking lot in front of the gas station. But he saw Jennings shooting wildly with his weapon, watched one policemen get hit and then Jennings. The next thing he became aware of were hands cupping his face. They held on tight. Another couple of hands pressed down on his shoulder.

"Come on, come on, come on!" someone yelled and Ian recognized Colby's voice. A hand let go of his cheek and brushed through his hair.

"Charlie?" he asked softly.

"Shh!" someone answered, "The ambulance's on its way." It was Megan.

When the darkness overwhelmed him, Ian remembered being with Charlie in his bed a few hours earlier.

"I love you."

***

Ian knew what was beeping away beside him. He'd heard it more often than he could count. A deep pain in his shoulder was the next thing of which he was aware. Then the hand which kept his fingers enclosed in a warm palm. Voices, he couldn't understand. He opened his eyes when a door closed. Charlie stared at him - insecure, anxious and tired. "Hey," he said softly, "You've been shot. You were unconscious for twenty-three hours. Well, really only for twenty minutes, but they sedated you and put you on strong medication. I think that counts."

Ian interrupted Charlie's words with a trembling hand which he weakly buried in Charlie's dark curls. And it felt so safe, so comfortable. "Charlie," he whispered.

Charlie smiled shortly, and then he became serious. He got up, letting go of Ian's hand. "You'll be okay," he said. Ian couldn't even describe how much it hurt to see him leave.

***

Ian recovered from his injuries at Charlie's place at Alan's invitation. He didn't see Charlie for the three days which he spent in the hospital. Alan and Don, who seemed to know that something was off between the couple, seemed to think that Ian was too weak to explain, and so didn't ask. Now, Ian was out of the hospital for more than twenty-four hours and since he'd arrived at the house, Charlie had hidden in the garage. Ian was leaning against the door frame and watched him. Charlie was standing in front of his blackboards, writing. Ian knew that he wasn't working on any cases at the moment and therefore assumed that he was doing calculations for the Cognitive Emergence Theory.

"Charlie," he said and the professor stopped.

"I'm working," he answered.

"No," Ian said, "we have to talk."

"It's over," Charlie answered stubbornly.

"I overreacted," Ian started in explanation. Charlie started writing on the board but Ian ignored the defiant action. He knew that Charlie could hear him. "The truth is that I don't want to break up."

Charlie stopped. "You don't?" he asked.

"No." Ian sighed. "You expect too much, Charlie." He stepped behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. Charlie turned around away from him and Ian let him go. "I'm not used to this," Ian said softly, "You can't expect me to say it just because you do."

"That's not it. You don't have to say it. It's a big step." Charlie wrote a couple of numbers and Ian wrapped his arms around his hip, clasping his hands on Charlie's stomach. Charlie didn't fend him off and Ian took this as a sign to tighten his grip.

"Why?", he asked.

"You ran away." Charlie turned around and put his hands on Ian's shoulders. "You know, it's not easy for me, either. I could count the number of my relationships on one hand – I could even count the number of the people I had sex with on one hand and I'd still have fingers to spare." He clenched his hands into tight fists in Ian's sweater. "It was hard to tell you. And you ran away."

"Sorry," Ian answered. Charlie focused on a point above Ian's shoulder and the agent pressed his forehead to Charlie's, forcing him to look at him. "I made a mistake." He kissed Charlie's lips. They stood there for some minutes, not moving. Ian caught Charlie's eyes whenever the younger man looked up at him.

"Charlie," he whispered finally, "Say yes, cutie."

Charlie laughed softly at the nickname and shook his head. "I love you," he answered. Ian grinned and pulled Charlie closer before he pressed him against one of the beams.

Ian wasn't the kind of guy who said the words.

He was the kind of guy who believed that he would some day.

END

JJ 12/09