Disclaimer: I don't own Numb3rs, (I wish I did.) I don't make money off this. (But that would be nice.) I don't own any of the characters, (except of Jay Colby Epppes, Don's son.)
Here's the sequal to my first story Hall of Mirrors. Go read that one before you read this one. It takes place 3 years after that, so 4 or 5 years post-series.
I'm sorry I killed Colby last time (and he's still dead in this one), but don't worry, Colby is in this one.
This won't have as much CalSci and FBI stuff, it's rather Don's family fluff and team memories.
So I present to you: Closing Doors, pt1 of 2.
Don parked his SUV in front of his house. It had been a frustrating day. Liz, Nikki and Don were stuck on a case leading nowhere. The house was light warmly and was welcoming.
Don smiled to himself, Robin knew how it felt to be stuck on a case, and she never failed to lighten his mood.
He got out of his car, oblivious to the eyes that followed him into the house.
"Hello." Don called.
"Hello Don, we're in the kitchen." Robin called. Don walked into the kitchen. As soon as he saw Robin his mood considerably.
"Daddyyyyyyy!" Don's son Jay ran towards Don.
"Hi Jay!" Don scooped Jay up. "Have fun today?"
"Yep." Jay said. "Lot's of fun."
Don laughed and walked over to Robin and kissed her on the cheek. "How's your case today?" Don asked.
"Not good." Don sighed. "Everything looks to a dead end."
Jay wiggled in Don's arms. "Down daddy." He said.
Don let him down. Jay ran off and came back with his teddy bear in tow.
"Me and Colby are ready for bedtime." He said cheerfully.
Don smiled. His heart ached as he remembered where he had got it.
A few weeks after Colby died, Nikki, Liz and Don went to his apartment to clean up. Nikki unlocked the door with trembling fingers.
The apartment was a bit messy. A few FBI files lay on the table, a newspaper lay neatly on the counter waiting for Colby to come home and read it in the evening.
On top of the fireplace pictures of his team, both FBI and Afghanistan stood with the honors he had got.
Don, Nikki and Liz stood looking at the apartment for a few moments.
Slowly over the next few hours they began to pack up Colby's stuff.
A few hours later Don went into Colby's bedroom with boxes. The room was cleaner than the rest of the apartment.
On the desk Colby had left a gift bag. Don looked through it. The only thing in it was a teddy bear with a blue ribbon around its neck. A tag was attached to the ribbon. Don titled his head to read it.
To Jay, with love Colby Granger.
"Come on Jay." Robin said. "Daddy will come later and kiss you goodnight."
"Okay." Jay said. He bounced off down the hall. Robin followed him down the hall. Don's smile widened. He turned to the fridge still smiling. He settled on some left over chicken and sat down at the table.
The door creaked; Don ignored it, his mistake. A sharp pain hit him in the back of his neck. A TASER. He fell out of his chair, muscles cramping.
His hand automatically hit his belt where his holster should be. A small irrational shock of panic hit him when he realized that he didn't have his glock on him.
A hand slammed down on his mouth. A knee pinned him don between the shoulder blades. Don threw his weight back trying to throw off his attacker.
A piece of tape was forced over his mouth and a rope tied his hands behind his back. Don was flipped onto his back.
Don felt the knife before he saw it. It drove down in his right shoulder.
Don screamed against the gag. The knife pulled out from his shoulder. Don struggled. The pain made everything fuzzy.
The knife slashed his chest three times.
Don's feet scrambled on the ground trying to get a grip on something.
A fist connected on Don's stomach, sending more pain up and down his chest. A rough hand pulled his head back. Don didn't feel the needle only the distant prick of pain.
A calming dug entered his system. The fight was leaving his body.
The gag was ripped off his mouth. Don couldn't summon enough energy to call for help. The attacker whispered four word in Don's ear.
"Don?" Robin called from down the hall.
"Don't." Don whispered. "Don't hurt her."
The weight lifted Don's body.
"Don?" Robin called again. She entered the kitchen again. "Don!"
Robin ran to Don's side and pulled off the rope on his wrists.
"Honey are you okay?" she asked, pressing down on his wounds.
Don groaned. He pushed away Robin's hands.
"Sorry." Don muttered, knowing that she was trying to help him. He let Robin to press down on his wounds again. He saw the knife descending again. "Look out."
The butt of the knife came down Robin's head. She fell down beside Don out cold.
The knife was coming down again.
"No." Don rasped. He threw himself over Robin's still body. The knife cut him on the shoulder blade.
Don got up unsteadily. He caught the hand with the knife before it hit him again. His blood on the knife dripped down onto his face. Grabbing the knife with one hand he punched the attacker with the other. He stabbed the man once.
"Go away." Don rasped unsteadily. "Never hurt my family again."
The attacker threw one more punch at Don. The door creaked as he left the house.
Don collapsed sliding down the wall. His numb fingers fumbled with his phone. His fingers slipped as it hit speed dial.
"Warner." Liz said cheerfully.
"Liz." Don mumbled. "Attack. Home. Robin…"
"What?" Liz asked. "Don, are you okay?"
"Attacker. Male… Mid twenties… 6…2'… Knife wounds…" Don mumbled.
"Okay Don, hang on. Nikki and I are coming." Liz said.
"Jay…he's home…" Don mumbled thickly. "Robin… flying away…"
"Don!" Liz yelled. "Don!"
Don's arm fell down to his side. His phone bounced out of his hand and into the steadily growing puddle of blood forming around him.
Jay sat on his bed waiting for his mother to come back.
"Mommy?" He called. He hopped off his bed dragging his teddy bear with him. "Mommy? Daddy?"
He returned to the kitchen. His mother and father lay very still on the kitchen floor.
"Daddy?" Jay wailed. He shook Don's shoulder. "Wake up daddy." He ran to his mother. "Mommy? Daddy won't wake up. Mommy?"
Don slowly surfaced again. His son's worried face floated in front of him.
"It's okay." Don murmured trying to comfort his son. "It'll be okay…" Don's head fell onto his chest.
Liz and Nikki parked in front of Don's house.
"Check the perimeter." Liz yelled at Nikki as she ran to the front door. She tried the door. Locked. Hoping that Don would forgive her for knocking down his front door she kicked in down the door. She ran into the kitchen. Don was slumped against one wall and Robin lay on the floor.
"Don!" Liz yelled. The blood still trickled down out of his wounds. She pulled off his shirt and inspected his wounds. She pushed down applying pressure.
"Clear." Nikki yelled from the hall. She entered the kitchen. She paled. "Oh no."
"Check Robin." Liz yelled. Nikki ran to Robin checking her pulse.
"She's okay." Nikki said.
Liz nodded, concentrating on Don. Suddenly her head flew up. "Jay!" she said. "Where is he?"
Nikki looked at the ground little footprints lead away from the kitchen.
"Dammit." Nikki said. "He must have seen Don and Robin."
"Go find him." Liz said. Nikki nodded and ran off following the footprints down hall.
She found Jay under his bed.
"Hi Jay." Nikki said. "Are you okay?"
Jay looked at her with wide eyes. "Daddy and Mommy won't wake up."
"I know." Nikki said. "Liz is helping them. Let's go and help Liz." Jay took Nikki's hand.
Liz checked Don's pulse.
His face was pale. Sweat covered his forehead. She checked her watch.
3 minutes until back up arrived, but how much time did Don have?
Don moaned and shifted his weight. The pain was becoming unbearable.
"Don!" someone called. "Don open your eyes."
"Go away." Don mumbled.
"Don." A voice said sharply. "Open your eyes."
"Colby?" Don asked without bothering to open his eyes.
"Don't let go." Colby said. "There is so much for you to hang onto."
"And you didn't have anything?" Don asked.
"I did." Colby said. "But it was time. And if you go, who will keep Nikki and Liz in check?"
Don gave a small smile.
"Hang in there Don." Colby said.
"Wait Colby." Don said. He opened his eyes a crack. He became slightly confused when he didn't see Colby. "Where are you Colb?"
"I know you want to see me." Colby said. "But it's not me you want to see. Who is it?"
"Robin." Don said, "And Jay."
"You live for your family Don. Your family lives for you." Colby said. "Remember that." His voice faded away.
"Colby?" Don said. "Robin?"
"Don." A different voice said. Don had a little trouble focusing on it. "Don."
"Hang on. There is an ambulance coming." Liz said.
"Robin?" Don asked.
"She's fine." Liz reassured.
Don managed to turn his head to see Robin. She lay on the floor motionless.
"Robin." Don rasped. He reached out for her. His hand dropped halfway there. "Robin…" Don fell back into darkness.
Jay and Nikki returned to the kitchen.
"Will daddy be okay?" Jay asked.
"Don't worry." Liz said. "Your daddy will be fine. He's a super agent. He can do anything."
Outside the sirens were getting closer and closer.
"I'll go meet them," Nikki said. She put Jay down beside Liz and ran to the front door.
The EMTs ran through the door.
"Thank you ma'am." One of them said. "We can take it from here."
Liz hesitated before moving away not wanting to leave Don's side. Liz, Nikki and Jay watched as the EMTs put new bandages on Don's chest and put him on a stretcher.
Robin was waking up.
"Robin." Liz said relived.
"Mommyyyyy!" Jay ran into Robin's lap. "You're okay!"
She blinked a few times as if trying to clear her head. "What happened?"
"A home invader came in and he hit you on the head with a butt of a knife." Nikki said.
Robin raised her hand to her head. "Oh no. Don!"
"He's okay." Liz said. "He's over there." Liz nodded to the EMTs.
One medic turned to Liz. "We're ready to take Agent Eppes to the hospital." She said.
"Okay. Could you take Ms. Brooks too?" Liz gently took Jay from Robin's lap. "She has a possible concussion."
The medic nodded. "Come with us Ms. Brooks." She quickly gave Liz the hospital information and they took off quickly.
Liz, Nikki and Jay watched the ambulance go from the porch.
"I can't believe this is happening." Nikki said, "First Colby, now Don."
Liz nodded sadly. "We can't lose Don, we just can't."
It was a cloudy day the day of Colby's funeral. Nikki, Liz, Don, Alan, the CalSci professors, Robin, Jay, Laura and some of his friends from Afghanistan attended his funeral. Some how Edgerton made it too. Even David and Megan flew in from Washington.
As Colby's casket was lowered into the ground, a salute fired. The clouds parted, a single shaft of light shone down on the team.
A soft breeze swept through the graveyard. A voice whispered in the wind.
"Thank you. I'll see you later."
Don surfaced slowly. His mind was murky.
"Robin?" He mumbled.
A hand touched his. Don smiled. Robin was okay.
Unable to stay awake he let his eyes close and his mind wander away.
Robin sat in the ambulance her eyes fixed on Don's face. His eyes twitched.
"Robin?" he mumbled quietly.
"I'm here honey." She put her hand on his. He smiled. His shoulders relaxed. The steady beeping sound suddenly quickened and let out one long beep.
The medics in the ambulance sprang into action.
Robin covered her mouth, choking back a sob.
I can't lose Don.
A/N: Do you think I would kill Don too? (I might...)