rillalicious: (Caroline/Colby - Wherever I'm With You)
[personal profile] rillalicious


"Hey, David. It's me."

"Time zones, Colby."

"Oh, hell. Sorry. Forgot."


"Yeah. You sleepin'?"

"It's three a.m."

"Right. You're sleeping."

"Look, Colby, I know you're used to calling me every time a thought pops into your head, but it's been two months. Three hours difference. How hard is that to remember?"

"Pretty hard, apparently. This'll only take a minute. Are you up now?"

"Yeah, I'm up. Some jackass keeps calling me in the middle of the night."

"You're cranky at three in the morning."

"You're just lucky I can't reach through this phone."

"I heard there's an app for that."

"Pushing your luck, Granger."

"All right. Sorry. Anyway, I've got this box of Hamburger Helper--"

"Hanging up now, Colby."

"No, seriously. David. Wait. All I have to go with it is a can of tuna."

"They took you in the army. Seriously."

"I just need to know if tuna is specific to Tuna Helper."

"It's what, midnight there? I can't imagine tuna is good for anybody at this hour."

"It's a simple question, David."

"No, Colby. It's not gonna work with tuna. How's that?"

"That's what I thought."

"This is seriously what you called about?"

"Yeah. Or, maybe, not really."

"You didn't have a reason for calling, did you?"

"I just caught the end of Point Break."

"You need a girlfriend, Granger."

"Yeah. I've got all the time in the world for that."

"You've got enough time to call me at three a.m."

"All I'm sayin' is that if you're on Twitter, it's not gonna wake you up when I tweet that Point Break was on."

"So you'll let me sleep through the night as long as I sign up for Twitter?"

"At least you'll have a better shot at sleeping through the night."

"You know that's extortion, right?"

"I'd rather say 'incentive'."

"I'm not getting on Twitter, Colby."

"You keep saying that, but I think I'm wearing you down."

"Goodnight, Colby."

"'Night, David."


Colby stepped out of his car, rolling his head back and cracking his neck as he yawned. He'd managed about forty-five minutes of uncomfortable sleep at his desk after wrapping up a kidnapping case in the small hours of the morning. When he woke, after an incident of nearly tipping out of his chair which would have been embarrassing if anyone who had stuck around the office hadn't also been asleep or otherwise occupied, he'd stayed on for a couple of hours, tying up some paperwork he'd been neglecting for days now.

Anything to clear his head, give him some distance from the image of a little girl with duct tape strapped over her mouth, barely breathing when they found her. She would be all right, and so would Colby after a decent amount of sleep, but he didn't want her face to be the last thing on his mind before he started dreaming. He'd learned that lesson in Afghanistan.

He started to remove his shades, but the sun beat down like a spotlight, and Colby--fucking Southern California--slipped them back on. He headed toward his building, glancing at the pool out of the corner of his eye. Jumping in fully clothed sounded really good right about now, if he hadn't been afraid he'd fall asleep and drown as soon as he hit the water.

"You look like you've had a rough night, Agent Granger."

Colby looked away from the pool, grinning crookedly when he saw Caroline Williams leaning against the wall beside his front door.


"Hi, Colby." She smiled her usual easy smile (the one that had come back about a year after Phil was killed), and pushed off the wall.

Colby rubbed his chin, rough stubble scraping his fingers, and wished that he'd bothered to do more than brush his teeth and scrub a hand through his hair before leaving. Company was the last thing he'd been expecting.

"It's not August yet, right?" he said through another yawn. "I know I was just working a long case, but it wasn't that long."

Caroline laughed. "It's still May," she said. "But we won't be meeting up on the mountain in August."

"We won't?"

"I moved," she said. "To the city."

"You... what?" Obviously it was the lack of sleep that made him hear that. There was no way Caroline would have left her mountain.

"I moved," she said again. "Three weeks ago."

"You, uh, didn't want any help with that?" He fumbled his key into the lock, unsure if this was the sort of conversation he'd be able to manage without his higher brain functions.

"I'm not helpless, Colby."

"Never said you were," he said.

"How long have you been up?" she asked, and he realized he was slurring a bit.

"Long time."

She smiled again. "Have you eaten anything?"

Colby concentrated on forcing the door open before answering. Multi-tasking was obviously out of the question.

"Somebody left a box of donuts in the break room," he said.

"Uh huh." She followed him inside, headed for the kitchen.

Colby walked straight to the bedroom, dropped himself onto the quilt. She poked her head inside, the apartment small enough that she'd only had to take a few steps to reach him.

"Eggs sound good?" she said. "It looks like you have eggs. And not much else, really."

He tried to tell her that he didn't have time to shop lately, but his lips didn't seem to want to part anymore.

"Right. Okay. I'll just make something that'll keep in the fridge for when you get up. Nice quilt, by the way."

"Mom made it," Colby managed, with minimal effort.

"She sew a lot?" Caroline asked, and he heard the question, but he was already gone.

Three hours later, he woke to a post-it note on the counter and an omelet in the fridge. She'd gone shopping for him, because there was orange juice, too, and coffee in the coffee pot. All he had to do was turn it on.

He opened the cupboard, taking a minute to realize that the dirty coffee cups and cereal bowls had been washed and put away. He snorted and reached for the coffee pot.

"What are you up to, Caroline?"

Chapter 2


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January 2012

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