Author: RHHP Freak
Disclaimer: Numb3rs do3sn't b3long to m3.
Trailer: One of my friends made a trailer for this fic. Check it out at: youtube dot com /watch?v = uYXTduOw778 (if the link doesn't work, please write to me!)
Author's Notes: First Num3rs fic. This idea has been brewing in my head for a long time, and I just had to get it out. Enjoy, and please R&R.
If you had walked into the room, there were certain things you would observed straight away. First there was the steady and reassuring but at the same time annoying beeping from one of the monitors in the room. The next thing might have been the IV and the many tubes going in and out, to the right and to the left. It might seem as though they were everywhere. And those tubes would lead you to the man lying in the bed, the dark, curly hair making a strong contrast to his pale face. A bandage around his shoulder was nearly out of sight, the rest covered by a sterile looking sheet. But if you followed the arm attached to that shoulder there would be a second hand, neatly entwined with the other. From there, you might notice the beautiful ring that had been on that particular finger for about a month. And that finger would lead you to the woman sitting on a chair next to the bed. Her dark hair was lifeless, and her eyes half-closed as though she was about to collapse.
But Amita Ramanujan was not going to collapse let alone move from the hard chair she had been sitting at for the last three days. Nurses had tried to make her, doctors had tried, the concerned father and brother of her fiancée had tried and a few friends too. She had not backed down, and it was because of her stubbornness she was here, not in the waiting room, waiting for the doctor to tell her that her fiancée had woken up. She wanted to be there with him when he opened his eyes for the first time since the incident.
She barely noticed when the door opened and the elder man entered. She didn't notice the worry, the weariness and the haunted look in his eyes as he slowly, carefully walked over to her and sat down heavily on the spare chair. He looked at her, studied her, trying to look into her thoughts. But deep down he knew that her thoughts were the same as his. They were all about his son, and they were all filled with worry.
"You should get some sleep," Alan Eppes finally said. He knew how it felt, being awake for days watching the love of your life. He had been going through the exact same thing when it had been Margaret lying in a hospital bed, when tubes had been running from her body. But unlike Margaret, Charlie would come out of here alive. Sure he had a long way before he would make a complete recovery, but his heart would be beating and his brain functioning.
"I'm not tired," Amita said, but the weariness in her voice and in her eyes not to mention the slumped way she was sitting in the chair gave her away. Alan wished he could make her leave, but he had already tried, and he knew she wasn't going leave Charlie alone in the small hospital room. So he just sat there and watched her, wishing he could make his son better.
He knew what had happened that day, Don knew what had happened, Larry knew, Liz, Nikki, Colby and David, they all knew what had happened. Except Amita. She didn't want to hear the unfeeling version from some FBI agent. She wanted to hear it from Charlie, wanted to know what he had felt, what he had thought. Had he known he would end up here, being unconscious for three days? Did he know she was there with him, holding his hand tightly? Did he know her eyes hadn't left his face for since she had sat down on the chair? Or was he was he appeared to be; dead to the world?
Alan decided he would try to get her away from Charlie's bed one last time, for her own sake. He had dealt with this behaviour from his son a couple of times. When he had been too caught up in the numbers he would go on for days and days with not enough sleep or food. When that had happened it was Alan who kept him from collapsing by making sure he always got something to eat, even though he sometimes nearly had to force it down his throat. "You know, you really should get some sleep. And the moment Charlie wakes up, I can..."
"No, I am not leaving until Charlie is awake!" she said with a strength in her voice that completely contradicted the weariness which had been present before. Alan looked at her for a second before he opened his mouth, his mind already brimming with thousands of reasons why she should lie down, have something to eat, but then there was a weak sound, but it echoed through the room as though it was a bomb.
"'Mita..." the voice had never sounded weaker, but it was the best thing Amita had ever heard. Quickly she jumped up from the hard plastic chair and sat down on the edge of the bed. Inside she was begging him to open those brown eyes she loved so much. She wanted to hear his voice again, telling her how much she loved him.
"Amita..." there it was again, still weak, but it was getting stronger. Amita wanted to scream of happiness. He was so close to consciousness; she could feel how he struggled to hang on. Behind her, completely forgotten, stood Alan, watching his son carefully, he too waiting for him to finally wake up. He thought about getting Don up here, but he had to be there, had to see for himself that his youngest son was okay.
"I'm here Charlie," Amita said softly and stroked his curly hair away from his forehead. "I'm here, and I will never leave you." She felt Charlie's brow tense beneath her hand. Glancing down she watched his features twitch, and then relax. A barely audible moan sounded from him, as he struggled to open his eyes. "Please, open your eyes Charlie. Follow the sound of my voice, and you'll be fine."
A few more seconds passed by, before she could see his eyes opening slightly. Amita felt tears of happiness roll down her cheeks as she laughed. It released all of the tension she had held in for the last week, and once she began she could barely stop again. It felt so good to laugh, to be happy again after the hell she had just gone through. A hell she hoped she would never visit again.
Charlie and Alan stared at her, but it wasn't long before Alan joined in. He had the same feeling as Amita, and while they were both laughing, Charlie observed them. He looked at his dad unshaved face, with the bags under his eyes. He noticed how lifeless Amita's hair looked, like it hadn't been washed for some time, and how she too had bags under her eyes. He noticed the unfamiliar surroundings, and was just about to open his mouth and asked where he was, Amita and Alan's laughter stilled.
"You have no idea how much you scared me, Charlie," she said, her voice suddenly sounded choked up. She looked deeply into his eyes, assuring herself everything would be fine. And it was then Charlie noticed a depth in the emotions which were so clear in her eyes. A depth he had never seen before.
"I'm sorry," he said, his voice a little hoarse. He had never meant to hurt her, and he had sworn he would never do so, yet here she was, on the verge of tears, all because of him.
"You have nothing to be sorry about" she said with a soft smile. "It wasn't your fault, there was nothing you could have done."
"Maybe... if I had listened to Don... and stayed at home... instead of following him... to the crime scene," he said. He felt a bit fuzzy, and he had to struggle a bit with those words. Maybe it was just the medication. He could see all the tubes and he had to resist the urge to not pull all of them out of him.
"Don knew you weren't going to quit the case," Alan said from behind. "He knows you too well... speaking of Don, maybe I should go and tell him you're awake." He slowly walked over to the bed and grabbed his son's other hand. "I'm glad that you're back, Charlie."
Charlie gave his father a small, reassuring smile, and with a weak smile on his own face, Alan left the room, leaving Amita and his son alone.
"How long... have you been here?" Charlie asked his fiancée after a moment of silence. "You look like... you're about to... keel over."
"Not too long," she said, but as she looked into his eyes, she knew she couldn't lie. She had come too close to losing him, and now within the first fifteen minutes of him being conscious was she about to tell a lie. "I've been here since I came to the hospital, which is three days ago."
"Then maybe... you should get some sleep? I would like to take a nap too." Suddenly Amita's stomach growled loudly, and she blushed. Charlie chuckled and added: "And maybe... get something to eat too."
There it was again. That emotion which seemed so much deeper than love. What was that? He understood why it was there, she did not want to leave him now, but he knew she needed it. And she realised that too, because she started to stand up. But then she hesitated and looked at him. "Are you sure it's okay I leave you here? You'll be okay?"
"Yeah Amita," he said. "I think I'll be fine." She gently kissed him before she slowly left the room. Charlie looked at the rising sun and smiled. For once, his life seemed good.
And as the sun rose, the beeping from the monitor was suddenly not annoying, it was wonderful music, the tubes going in and out, left and right suddenly didn't seem to fill the room. And the dark curls suddenly fit the face perfectly. The bandage was completely out of sight, and out of mind, but the hand was still there, but there were no other hand entwined with it, but Charlie knew she would be there with him again, and he hoped he would make the same observations as before. He had observed the power of true love.