A/N: Hello all, I hope there are still some Numb3rs fanfiction fans still out there somewhere. If you're out there, here's one for you. It was supposed to be just a drabble, a couple hundred words or so, but I am quite clearly not capable of writing anything that short. So, here ya go! I literally came up with the idea for this this morning and wrote it in about 2 hours, so it may be a little rough, editing-wise. Please read and review!
What Awaits at Home
By the time Robin returned to her office, she'd be pretty disheveled and probably a little sweaty. How professional. Oh well, she figured. It would only fit in with the unorganized and frustrated theme her day already seemed to be developing. A quick glance at her watch told her it was nearly ten; she only had half an hour to grab the file and race back to her office.
She'd never been more embarrassed or had a worse day during her entire professional career, at least not one that she could remember. After forgetting to set her alarm, oversleeping, and running all around her small house getting ready in a rushed flurry and barely managing to leave on time (without her morning coffee, too, which of course didn't make anything better), things had gotten worse. She hadn't been paying attention as she backed hurriedly out of the driveway, resulting in a minor fender-bender with her neighbor's car. The small saving grace there was that it was her neighbor, whom Robin knew fairly well, so after she apologized profusely a dozen times and explained that she was running late the neighbor had expressed his understanding. Robin had asked him to call her that night so that they could work out car insurance details and arrange for her to pay the damages, and the neighbor had agreed.
After that incident, Robin figured that at least her day couldn't get much worse. Boy, was she wrong. She was supposed to have a deposition at 9:30 that morning, but in her frenzied rush that morning, she'd forgotten to pack the file in her briefcase. She'd gone over it again and again the night before and had prided herself on how well-prepared she was for this deposition. She had been extremely confident that the deposition would run smooth as silk. Now, as Robin turned her already-dented car around the corner perhaps a little too fast, she laughed bitterly at herself. Turns out she wasn't so prepared after all.
She didn't discover the missing file until 9:25 or so, when she was seated at the long table in the conference room and opened her briefcase. The opposing attorney and the witness she was to depose were just entering the room, and she could immediately feel herself turning a bright shade of crimson.
She'd never been more embarrassed. How could she, being a successful US attorney for over a decade, be so careless and unprofessional? She could not believe she had been so stupid.
The witness had been nervous, being just an average Joe off the street who had never been involved in legal matters such as these, and as such had clearly been less than pleased that this proceeding was to be delayed. Opposing counsel, however, was a man Robin had gone up against several times over the years and knew fairly well. Robin had always thought he was a decent human being, a feeling that was solidly reaffirmed when he had led her out of the conference room, laughed a little, and reassured her that he'd embarrassed himself more than just by forgetting one little file during his career. Everyone makes mistakes, he'd said. He'd told her to go home, get the file, and they'd try again in an hour. Grateful for his understanding yet still mortified, she'd left quickly and assured him she'd be back as fast as she could.
She whipped her car onto her street. At least Don was home today, she thought. Maybe he'd give her some sympathy and a kiss before she flew back out the door. And maybe she could get a little smile out of their six-month-old daughter Sophie. That would make her day better.
Poor Don, she mused. After being injured in a raid last week, he'd been forced to take a couple weeks off from work. Of course, if Robin had her way, he'd take more off than that. After all, he'd sustained a mild concussion, some deeply bruised ribs, and a sprained ankle. Not exactly injuries to take lightly, especially the first two. At least Don had grown a little more reasonable about these things as he'd gotten older. He really hadn't complained much about the forced time off, even though Robin knew her husband was essentially bored to tears.
And how Don sustained those three injuries at once all in completely different areas of his body, Robin had at first been flabbergasted. She wasn't sure she wanted to know how Don managed to injure his leg, torso, and head all at once. However, she eventually found out anyway. Now she wished she didn't know about the perp that had kicked Don in the chest hard enough to bruise his ribs and send him flying off a second-story fire escape causing him to fall and land awkwardly enough that he twisted his ankle and hit his head on the ground below. At least he smacked his head after landing and didn't land directly on his head. Robin shuddered.
He was healing though, so although Alan had stayed with Don while Robin was at work for the first few days after he'd been released from the hospital, Don could now take care of himself and Sophie during the day. Which today, was so great, because Robin was having a terrible morning and having the two of them at home when she got there might make her feel better.
However, Alan had insisted that he drop by during the early afternoons to make sure that everything was okay. Robin had agreed before Don could even have the chance to protest. Even though Don was basically okay now. His concussion had been mild enough that most of the effects had dissipated, and the bruises on his ribs were fading. Mostly it was his ankle that was bothering him now.
She laughed again to herself, with no real humor in her chuckle. Ironically, if Don hadn't been injured, everything today could have been avoided. It's not like she'd never forgotten to set her alarm before - but usually Don had an alarm too and she'd wake up with his. But Don didn't have anywhere to be today, so no alarm for him.
As she pulled into her driveway, she noticed that there was a small piece of her back bumper still laying near the curb. She sighed. The damage to her car from the morning's misadventures were apparently greater than she'd thought. Great. Icing on the cake. Of course.
She braked to a stop and put the car in park. For a moment she thought it might be faster to leave the car running, but with her luck today, she was half-afraid that she'd come back outside to find her car rolling back out of the driveway and into the street without her in it. Better to take the extra half a second and turn the thing off.
She fumbled around with her keys for a moment when she arrived at the front door, even dropping them on the ground once. She cursed softly to herself. Of course, she thought, when you're in a huge hurry you can never do anything right and you end up moving even slower than normal. Finally, she got the house key into the lock and pushed it open with more force than necessary.
The house was quiet as she walked through the small foyer. Ten o'clock. Sophie usually wasn't napping at that point, not until after lunch. She spent about a quarter of a second wondering what her husband and daughter could be up to. They couldn't have really gone anywhere, because Don's car was in the driveway. She belatedly thought maybe Don could have loaded Sophie into the stroller and gone out for some fresh air, but she knew his ankle had been especially sore that morning.
She was still in the middle of that thought when she arrived in the living room. The sight on the couch immediately caused her heart to melt so fast that she nearly burst into tears right there.
Don lay sprawled on the couch, his right arm hanging off the edge. His leg lay propped up on a pillow. He was fast asleep, snoring a little the way he always did. Of course, he denied it every time Robin pointed it out, but she knew the truth. Half the time, if Robin didn't fall asleep before her husband, she'd lay awake for most of the night. She'd never tell Don that, though. It had been that way since she'd first started sleeping with him, years ago.
That in itself would have been sweet enough to witness, but what really melted Robin into a gooey puddle was the small form laying on Don's chest. There was a blanket covering them, but Robin could she her daughter's small head poking out from underneath. Her tiny arm snaked out from under the blanket as well as she clutched a mini-fistful of Don's t-shirt. Don's left arm was curled protectively around the bundle on his chest.
Robin would fall to her death, right now, if someone could prove to her that she'd ever witnessed a more adorable scene than this. She grinned as she watched the two of them sleep for a moment, realizing that Sophie seemed to have inherited the snoring gene from her father. Those soft little baby snores, combined with Don's more manly snores, made for the most beautiful symphony Robin had ever heard.
She wasn't sure if this made her day better or worse, because she realized she had to grab the file and run instead of staying to watch this forever. Quickly, she left the living room and made her way down the hall to the bedroom. She found the file on the floor near the foot of the bed. In fact, it was halfway under the bed, which could be why she'd missed it that morning. And Don would likely not have seen it there either, otherwise she was sure he'd have called her. He knew what she'd been working on the previous evening, and he'd have known that she really needed this file.
Whatever. She picked it up and quickly went back to the living room to watch her husband and daughter sleep for a few more seconds before she really had to be out the door.
What she couldn't get over, Robin realized, was the sheer love she could see radiating from her small family as they slumbered on. Don was protective by nature, Robin knew, and he obviously was very protective of their little girl. And little Sophie was clearly relaxed in her daddy's embrace; the trust she had for him was obvious. She couldn't help but smile.
She shook her head, amused, when she realized how sore Don was going to be when he woke up. It couldn't be all that comfortable to have a six-month-old baby sound asleep on top of his bruised ribs. She wondered briefly if she should wake him, but they just looked so peaceful and cozy there. Nah, she decided, it would be a crime to wake them now. Don would either be sore now, or he'd be sore later.
Upon further inspection, Robin noticed the ice pack on top of his ankle. She'd suggested to him this morning before she flew out the door that he ice it, because it looked a little more swollen today then it had yesterday. He obviously had taken her advice, and Robin was once again amazed her her husband's new-found ability to take advice from someone regarding his personal health. That was not something he'd been good at in the past.
They'd obviously been there for a little while, because Don's ice pack was mostly melted, and was dripping water off the edge of the sofa and onto the floor. Robin glanced at her watch; it was ten after ten. The only way she'd be on time to take two of her deposition was to leave right now and push every speed limit and hope for the best when it came to traffic.
Screw it, she told herself. Her day at the office was already a disaster. She might as well take two minutes of her time and do something to make herself feel better. She carefully picked up the ice-pack-turned-water off of Don's leg and gently pulled up his pant leg. It was still swollen, she noted. And obviously, since the ice was melted, it hadn't actually been iced for a short while. It could probably do with a fresh one. She cupped her hand around the bottom of the bag full of water, trying to keep it from dripping a tell-tale trail between the living room and the kitchen.
She peered into the living room as she made up a new ice pack, watching as Don shifted in his sleep, bringing his right hand back up to curl around Sophie and turning his face to his left into the back of the couch. Robin grinned again. Damn, how that man's . . . well, manly adorableness could make her heart flutter, even when he was asleep. He didn't even have to try.
She tiptoed back out into the living room, fresh ice pack in hand. She carefully wrapped it around Don's ankle, taking great care not to disturb him. He stirred a little as she worked, but never awoke.
When she finished, she remembered with dismay that now she really had to get back to the office. She wished she could just stay here with these two forever. She grabbed her file off the coffee table, taking one last look at her dozing family before turning towards the front door.
She was almost to the foyer when she heard a soft, mumbled "thanks, sweetheart" coming from the couch.
"You're welcome," she told him, smiling as his dark brown eyes pulled open halfway. He smiled back at her sleepily. "Go back to sleep, Don. I'll see you later."
"See ya," he mumbled again. She stood there watching him as he fell back asleep within seconds.
And with that, she left, knowing that the two of them would be waiting for her when she got home that night, probably well-rested. Next time she came home, she'd stay there and they'd continue being their new little family that Robin had come to live for. In the end, all the stupid little annoyances like oversleeping, forgotten files, and fender-benders didn't matter. Those two human beings on her couch were all that mattered in the whole world.
She was feeling pretty cheerful as she got back into her car, ready to go retry her deposition. She'd been right, she realized. Having Don and Sophie there during her brief pit stop home hand made her day infinitely better.