Numb3rs: Shock

Disclaimer: I don't own them, I just borrowed them. Numb3rs and its characters are the property of those that created them. No copyright infringement intended. No financial reward gained. All real places and organisations are used in a fictional sense. Original characters and the storyline are mine however.


It was not until after Don had managed to speak with Bradford that he felt ready to give his full statement to Agent Sullivan. He'd been reassured that his reactions to the close calls the day before were perfectly reasonable. Bradford actually thought he was doing better than the average person considering. Having been exposed to more than his fair share of critical incidents Don could agree that was quite possible even if he still felt somewhat embarrassed by showing what he considered a weakness. Bradford thought otherwise, but that was Bradford. It would take Don a little longer to be able to accept that.

"Hey, Don." David said getting up from his seat as Don appeared. "That looks impressive."

Reaching up Don touched the side of his face, the shiner had garnered him more than a few looks on the way up. The doctor had determined nothing was broken which was a relief but it was going to take a while before the deep bruising would start to fade. Equally impressive was the bruising to his knee accounting for his present limp but David couldn't see that under his jeans. Technically on medical leave Don hadn't bothered dressing up for the office, just comfortable jeans and t-shirt.

"Feels impressive."

"I bet." David agreed. "Colby and Nikki have had to go interview a witness and probably won't be back in time, but they say hi."

Whilst his team weren't involved in any part of the investigation to eliminate any claims of bias Don wasn't surprised that they were up to date on what was happening. They would know he was due in for his statement.

"Say 'Hi' for me."

"Sure." David followed Don's gaze over to a closed door. "I saw Kate go into the conference room a few minutes ago. I guess she's waiting for you."

"I guess." Despite already going over things with Bradford Don wasn't looking forward to doing it all again to the level of detail required for court. At least he would be able to leave out most of the emotional roller coaster he'd laid out to the psychiatrist.

"You going to be okay?" David asked in concern at his hesitation.

He had a flash of memory, David leaping off a balcony to save him. "Not the first time."

"True, but twice in one day?" At the wry grin David felt safe to add the rest in order to make light. "Must be some sort of a record."

"So Charlie told me."

"How did they take it?"

Now Don made a grimace. "Not well."

His father had been concerned when he arrived at the hospital after hearing his son had been hurt but after one look at his son's face he'd seen much more than Don had wanted him to see. By the time Charlie had arrived Alan had worked himself into enough of a flap that Don had to spill enough details that they understood the level of danger he'd been in and why he seemed a little out of it. The relatively clean bill of health had helped only a little and he'd been whisked home. Unable to eat due to the stress induced cramps in his stomach he'd been virtually tucked into bed despite his objection to the fuss.

Making a show of peering around his boss to see no one following, David said, "They let you out of their sight."

"Wasn't easy. I think maybe they're getting a bit more used to it." Being able to eat the breakfast his father had cooked had helped to go some way to convincing them he would be okay.

"Yeah, well let's hope they don't get too used to it." David saw Kate Sullivan appear at the door to the conference room. "You better go, she's waiting. I'll buy you a coffee when you're done."

It took a few hours. Normally he'd be allowed to type up his own statement but under the circumstances Sullivan had insisted that she take his as she would any other victim's. He didn't like to think of himself as a victim but as his name was going to be listed as the complainant on a fair few of the charges pending against Crowd the description was accurate enough. His talk with Bradford enabled him to go over the details without stumbling or getting caught up in flashbacks. He would still have them but he'd been assured they would fade soon enough to join all of his other unpleasant memories.

"Thank-you, sir. I know that was hard." Sullivan said as he signed the last copy.

"Has to be done." He pushed the stack of papers back over. "How is it going with Crowd?"

"Difficult. He doesn't really see the issue we're having with what he did, feeling it was all justified under the circumstances. I think he figured the bust would wash the rest away."

Don knew all too well that the end didn't always justify the means and said as much.

"Exactly. We expect to charge him later today so we're pretty much done until court comes around."

There was a knock at the door and the forensic photographer arrived. His injuries had already been photographed at the hospital the previous afternoon but bruises always looked better a day or so later, hence a second round. Finally they were done and he was more than ready for the coffee David had offered.

Seeing him come out of the conference room David had already shut his terminal down by the time Don reached him. Closing up some open files on his desk and placing them in their respective trays he was ready and they headed out. Waiting at the elevators Don relaxed, thinking it was all over. About to ask David about a current case they were working on he suddenly froze.

"Poor scared little feebee." An all too familiar voice taunted from behind.

Spinning around both Don and David saw Crowd standing behind them being escorted by two agents. Realising they'd just brought an offender in contact with a victim the two agents had already started pulling him back.

"Sorry, sir. We didn't know you were here." One of the two apologised.

Crowd planted himself, resisting their efforts to drag him away. "Thought you'd be tougher than that."

Crowd was now the one in handcuffs and Don had the advantage. Without conscious thought Don charged, breaking the escorting agents' hold and shoving the other man back against the wall, a forearm braced across his chest. He shoved his weight against the man a second time before snarling into his face. "You're going to jail. See how tough you are there."

"Don!" David got an arm between them and managed to separate them. "Easy."

Shaking himself loose Don stood still as the agents on Crowd grabbed their charge and started to pull him away again. He kept his attention locked on the man the whole time. "I'm cool, David."

"Perhaps I should press charges too, what do you think of that Feebee?"

"Get him out of here, now." David ordered.

This time the two agents were able to hustle their charge away but Crowd twisted and raised his voice as the distance increased. Heads turned across the bullpen. "Nah, I won't be pressing charges. Guess I'm not as soft as you. See ya round, Feebee. Count on it."

"You okay?" David asked as Crowd was shoved back into an interview room out of sight.

"Fine, David." While he shouldn't have attacked the man he felt better for it. He really did feel fine.

"I'll be surprised if his lawyer doesn't send him for a psych eval claiming he was affected by his undercover work." David said as they stepped into the elevator that just arrived. The doors closed and they headed down.

"Good luck to them. He knew what he was doing." He remembered Crowd's brief moments of indecision as he contemplated his options before taking the wrong path every time.

Several floors passed in silence.

"How about we get that coffee?"

Don managed a grin. "Best idea I've heard all day."