Acknowledgments: Many wonderful thanks to Katrina aka Ryan Wolfe of Sylum Clan for the wonderful help with beta reading, and also for idea bouncing and inspiration *smirks* You're just as evil as I am, if not more so. Love you.
Disclaimers: I don't own them, I'm just borrowing them to play with. I'll return them in better shape than they started out
Author's Notes: Spoilers for all of the current season of Numb3rs. Specifically for the episode 'Ultimatum'
Sitting in the SUV, Colby waited patiently as the idiots at the jail finished proccessing and releasing Ian. Being here was definitely not on his top ten list of favorite places to be. After the fiasco of his being exposed as a 'spy' and the fact that the person he'd been reporting to had been killed. He shivered as the memories of that time in prison were readily recalled. Yeah, it had been hell on earth. It wasn't bad enough that he'd been an FBI agent in a federal penitentary, a max security one no less, but labeled a traitor and spy.
Even with his solid build and hand to hand skills, there were limits to how many people he could protect himself against. And the guards....well now he had a much deeper appreciation of how bad the system could be. The guards had deliberately let slip information about him and then turned a blind eye to anything that happened to him.
Staring off into the distance as the memories washed over him, Colby was lost in thought until a familliar voice interrupted his train of thoughts.
"So stranger, couldn't get enough of this place," Ian said with a lop sided grin. Catching Colby's expression Ian realized how poor his choice of words had been.
"Colby...I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way."
Colby let out a soft, humorless chuckle at that. "Not a problem, just lost in my memories, you knowhow it goes, I'm sure."
Ian let out a snort at that. "Yeah, been there and done that before. So why are you here?"
"Figured you'd need a ride, and hey, since the case is now closed, I'm free," Colby offered with a smile. "So any objections about spending the night in, instead of going out?"
"I'm definitely up for that, provided it's not going to leave any awkward questions asked or explanations needed by the rest of the team," Ian said. "Not that it matters to me, but it's your call if and when we tell them about us."
Colby let out a soft sigh at that gentle reminder. Ever since things had finally settled down and it was proven that he was truly innocent, he and Ian had been building a solid, yet comfortable relationship beyond the friendship that they had shared. Neither had really needed to say anything after the first time it had happened, as it had just felt so right. But, up until now, they'd never told anyone about it either.
"I don't think it'll be an issue, and if it is, then we'll just deal with it as it comes. I know I have to tell them sometime, as Charlie's been giving me the occassional look and left me wondering if he knew or not."
"Well he is a lot sharper than most people give him credit for, even if he does get lost in his math at times," Ian offered. "So shall we grab a six pack and some pizza and see where things go?"
"Yeah, I think that would suit me just fine."
Sitting on the couch curled up againt Colby, Ian let out a contented sigh. "I do have to admit this is one of my favorite things to do, just spending time with you."
Colby let out a low throaty chuckle at that. "I know that feeling Ian. Sometimes it's just what you need, the chance to relax with your lover and know that for the moment everythings right with the world."
"Yeah, but I do have a question, you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I would like to honestly know the truth," Ian said. "What was worrying you so much earlier when you were waiting for me?"
Heaving a sigh at that question Colby considered it carefully. "The past....or more specifically my own past, when I was in the pen."
"Ah," Ian said softly, that one word speaking volumes all on it's own.
"It....it wasn't the most pleasant time of my life. I know that we haven't talked about it, and I'd rather not now, but I think....I think I have to, if I'm ever going to move beyond it."
Ian said nothing, content to let Colby tell this story in his own time and his own way, knowing full well how bad it had to be, from some of his lovers past nightmares.
After several minutes had passed in silence save for the sounds of their breathing Colby finally spoke again. "The guards.....they weren't corrupt, like here, but it still wasn't pretty. As far as they were concerned I was the lowest of the low, worse than a rapist or a pedophile...."
Propping himself up on one elbow, Ian watched his lover as he slept. They'd ended up talking for hours. At times the silence had stretched on forever, and other times Colby had just spoken, almost like he was reciting some dry report or other. The pain in his voice though, the shame and sorrow had made him want to scream. The fact that he could even stand to be touched by any one, let alone to have a male lover like him self was amazing. The rage he'd felt towards the guards....well Ian had to be honest the system wasn't the best. There were times when people simply didn't care, or they acted without concern for what was 'right' or 'wrong'.
By the time Colby had finally finished telling his story, he was too wrung out mentally and emotionally to do much more than to head to bed, while he himself was too enraged to do much more than just hold his lover close, and promise that he'd never leave him. Finally Colby had fallen asleep in his arms, leaving him here to watch over him in silence as he slept, hoping that for tonight at least, he might sleep without those nightmares waking him up.
Brushing his fingers through his lover's hair, Ian smiled as he saw him relax further, the gentle touch reassuring him that he was safe, even when he was asleep.
Yawning, Ian shifted ever so slightly so that he could rest his head on Colby's chest, and listen to his heartbeat as he fell asleep, knowing that if any nightmares troubled his lover this night, he'd know of it instantly.