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Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 12:46 am
So, many moons ago (okay, early May), I wrote a story about Colby Granger coming out without really meaning to. And a couple of weeks after that, [livejournal.com profile] 10pmpacifictime wrote a remix from David's point of view, in which she mentioned five people who Colby had mentioned to David at some point, all of them from other shows. I asked for permission to write these five crossovers, which she very graciously gave.

And then I spent three months meaning to write it and not, until last night.

Title: 5 crossovers Colby Granger was never in
Fandom: Numb3rs; SG1, NCIS, SGA, Criminal Minds, JAG
Pairings: Colby/Daniel Jackson; Colby+Tony DiNozzo; Colby+John Sheppard, Sheppard/Holland; Colby/Derek Morgan; Colby+Harmon Rabb
Rating: PG-13
Words: 2155
Disclaimer: No, I don’t own them. To my profound disappointment; section headings taken from[livejournal.com profile] 10pmpacifictime's fic.

Summary: I used to know this guy...



5 crossovers Colby Granger was never in

1. The super-genius friend (now dead):

The letter’s three weeks old when it finally reaches Colby in Afghanistan, post-marked Colorado where he can’t remember ever knowing anyone. He’s coming off thirty-four hours without sleep, barely coordinated enough to open the envelope and walk in a straight line. He kicks off his boots when he gets inside the broom closet masquerading as his quarters, and sits down on the edge of the bed to read the letter, the words blurring until he rubs his eyes:

Lieutenant Granger,

You don’t know me, but I’m a close friend and colleague of Daniel Jackson’s. I’m sorry to do this in writing instead of over the phone, but he seemed to think it would be best. You should know that he talks about you sometimes, your time at college together, and always regretted that he didn’t keep in closer touch after you left.

I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but Daniel was killed two days ago in an accident. Due to the nature of the work he was doing, I can’t tell you more than that, but he wanted you to be informed. If you need someone to talk to, my address is below.

Major Samantha Carter


Colby reads it twice, but it doesn’t make any more sense the second time round. He knows Daniel is – was – working for the Air Force on something highly classified, but Daniel’s a civilian, an academic. What kind of accident gets a civilian killed?

He remembers Daniel as a geeky guy with glasses, as the guy who helped him navigate the library, who shouldn’t ever have been his friend but was. As the guy who said, “It’s okay,” when Colby stumbled over words he’d never said to anyone before, then took him to bed and didn’t care that Colby had no idea what he was doing and came in less than a minute.

As the guy who’d curl round him in bed and whisper reassurance when Colby woke up from nightmares of all the things he worries might happen: his father’s disapproval at the son he left behind, his mother’s voice saying, ‘thank God your dad isn’t alive to hear this,’ mumbled words about love and family, and nothing at all about how hard it would be in the army.

When Colby runs his hand over his face, it comes away wet, streaked with sand, and he wishes he’d listened a bit better.

***

2. The frat-buddy-basketball-star who’d gone into law enforcement:

“You, my friend,” Tony says, yanking Colby back up to what Tony insists is upright and Colby doesn’t quite believe isn’t twenty degrees off vertical, “are drunk.”

“Yes,” Colby agrees. There’s no point arguing. It’s true, he’s drunk. Very drunk. Legally drunk, though. Absolutely, definitely, legally drunk. “Today’s my birthday,” he tells Tony, as a tree root tries to trip him up.

“Actually, today’s very early on the day after your birthday,” Tony says. He sounds very patient, and like he’s trying very hard. He tugs on Colby’s arm, which sends Colby stumbling into him. He’s solid and warm, and Colby doesn’t want to move all that much. He definitely doesn’t want to go back to his empty room and the hangover that’s waiting.

“Yeah, let’s not do that,” Tony says. He puts both hands on Colby’s shoulders, moving him back so Colby can look at Tony’s face. He looks kind of sad, and Colby doesn’t like it. Colby likes happy, friendly, buy-a-guy-a-drink-for-his-birthday Tony.

“What?”

Tony shakes his head. “These are expensive shoes,” he says, pointing down to his feet. When Colby looks down as well, Tony’s feet look very far away. Maybe that’s why walking is so hard tonight, because his feet are too far away. “And I’m not going to ruin them stumbling through the mud with you.”

“Mud?” Colby asks. The path doesn’t look muddy to him.

Tony sighs and wraps one arm round Colby’s waist, pulling him close. He’s still warm, and Colby can’t help leaning in to it. It’s supposed to be a warm night, but he’s so cold. “Let’s just do it this way and hope like hell that no-one sees me and gets the wrong impression.”

Colby’s not going to argue; walking is much easier like this, though he’s still not convinced he’s really upright.

Waiting for the elevator, when they finally make it back, Colby leans against Tony, too tired to stand up under his own power. The lights are dim and the elevator’s taking forever, and Colby is very drunk, and very tired, and very cold. And Tony is warm, Tony is taking care of him, and Colby’s too tired to keep his mouth shut. “I miss my dad,” he says, not really caring that he sounds five years old and on the verge of tears.

Tony squeezes the shoulder under his hand, and his voice is very soft when he says, “I know, kid.”

***

3. The Air Force pilot from Afghanistan who’d disappeared into special ops:

Captain Sheppard is not like the other pilots on the base. Actually, Captain Sheppard isn’t like *anyone* on the base. He’s friendly to everyone – more than friendly, Colby decides, watching him flirt with the guys serving watery eggs and soggy toast. Except it’s not quite flirting; the kind of not-flirting that Colby’s tried a few times and never managed. No-one’s going to suspect Sheppard of anything, because that’s just Sheppard, charming and friendly, and the guys who’d know what to read in the way he leans in open doorways aren’t the guys who’d say anything.

Besides, Sheppard’s friends with the best examples of a typical soldier on the base, Mitchner and Dexter with their loud Hawaiian shirts and loud discussions of their conquests. Loud enough to drown out Sheppard’s silence, because Sheppard says nothing with a knowing smile, and everyone hears what they think they should. And they’re so busy hearing that, they don’t hear the way he and Holland talk in silence and low voices, the thing between them that draws Holland in where he shouldn’t fit but does.

*

Colby doesn’t think that Sheppard really knows who he is – too many gaps, between age, between service, between rank and role and a dozen other things. Doesn’t change the fact that he knows who Sheppard is, and he knows that Sheppard went back for Holland, lost his own chopper and had to be rescued. He’s heard the rumors, the ones that say Sheppard wouldn’t let go of Holland the whole flight back, holding onto the man he couldn’t save.

So he finds Sheppard, hunched into himself in the back of the mess tent, completely alone like Colby’s never seen him. His eyes flick up when Colby stops opposite him, and he says, “Granger,” without any inflection at all.

“I just –“ Colby starts, and realizes he should have rehearsed this. He does not want to be the person who causes Sheppard to crack. Doesn’t want to be there when it happens. “I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry about Captain Holland.”

Sheppard looks up again, a quick flicker of his eyes, and Colby takes a deep breath, and lets his secrets show, just for a second.

It’s long enough for Sheppard to get it.

The captain’s eyes go back to the table top, and the nod he gives Colby is jerky and stiff. And Colby wishes, for a moment, that they knew each other well enough for him to offer the kind of physical comfort that he gets from his own team, hands on shoulders and brief, hard hugs, and Sheppard, who used to be surrounded by noise and movement and touch, doesn’t have any of it.

***

4. The FBI agent who’d first gotten Colby interested in the FBI:

“So what do you do when you’re not picking up strange men in local bars?” Derek asks, tilting his head just far enough for Colby to watch the glare from the streetlight outside bounce off his eyes. Derek’s sprawled out across the covers, still naked, one arm behind his head. He looks like he should be smoking a cigarette, but his other hand is lying empty against his ribs.

Colby’s finding it harder to relax; had to get up and find his boxers, even when Derek laughed at him, but he doesn’t want to leave just yet, so he’s making a good faith effort at lying back, watching the occasional car headlight trace across Derek’s smooth white ceiling.

Or at least, he was, until Derek asked. He kind of hates the way people react when he answers that question. “I’m in the army.”

“The –“ Derek actually turns his head all the way to look at Colby; his mouth is twitching in something that might become a smile. “That wasn’t what I was expecting.”

Colby waits: for the comment about sleeping with men, for the comment about him being too stupid to do something else; for the comment about the war, how it’s wrong, or the questions about danger and how many people he’s shot.

“Doing what?” Derek asks, and Colby blinks back his surprise.

“Shipping back out to Afghanistan with CID next week.”

“Huh.” Derek looks up at the ceiling for a moment, then back, grinning. He’s got a really nice smile, lights his whole face up until Colby wants to grin back, share the joke. “Derek Morgan, FBI. Guess now we know why you picked me.”

“Sure,” Colby agrees easily, and doesn’t say that actually it was watching the way Derek moved when he was dancing, comfortable in his body in a way Colby can’t remember ever being. “You like it?”

Derek shrugs. “Don’t usually get shot at in the middle of my investigations,” he says. “And never by some guy with anti-tank missiles.”

Colby grins. “S’why I like it. Excitement, adrenaline…” Derek’s hand shifts from his own ribs to Colby’s upper thigh, and Colby loses the train of thought.

Derek’s grin now is all anticipation. “Got plenty of that right here,” he says.

***

5. The JAG lawyer that Colby’d worked with while he was still CID:

“Ah, the joys of inter-agency cooperation,” Major Saunders says, peering over Colby’s shoulder into the hallway behind him.

“Ma’am?” Colby asks. He’s only been back in the states a couple of weeks, and the novelty of offices with windows looking out onto grass and trees hasn’t quite worn off yet.

Saunders shakes her head; thankfully, she hasn’t been back long either, so she gets it. Colby’s actually a little worried that she thinks it’s cute, but cute’s better than bordering on insubordination, so he’ll take it. “All right, not quite inter-agency, but really, as if it’s not bad enough that they’re Navy, they have to be *lawyers* as well.”

“Ma’am?” Colby asks again, then turns when she nods to the doorway. Private Robinson is standing behind his desk, his back radiating his bizarre combination of guard dog and very frustrated person, and he’s talking to two officers in dress whites. The dark-haired guy is smiling, charming, and the woman looks a little like she wouldn’t mind disappearing into the carpet.

“JAG lawyers,” Saunders sighs, standing up. “Hope you weren’t too attached to this case.”

Colby was, actually, a little bit; enough that he’s grateful when Rabb agrees to Colby and Saunders staying on the case, though Saunders is very politely pissed at getting permission, like it was ever Rabb’s decision, when the case has as many army personnel as it does navy.

Colby actually kind of likes working with the guy, even if he does flirt with every woman on the base. Not many of them fall for it – they’re the kind of women who roll their eyes behind the guy’s back instead, so Colby’s suddenly on the inside and finds he likes it there.

He likes it in the office, late at night, as well, with Rabb and his stories of running away to Vietnam to find his father, and if Colby’s not quite ready to say that he knows what wanting that feels like, it’s okay. Turns out he is ready to say that he’s not sure he’s in the right place – easier to confess to a stranger, maybe. It’s a little weird to know that, after all the friends, or not-quite-friends but kindred spirits, who pushed him without knowing it, a JAG lawyer is the one who finally nudges him into making the leap.

They keep in touch when Colby goes home, then to the FBI Academy, but that budding friendship is just one more thing sacrificed in the face of Dwayne Carter’s stupidity, and Colby’s never quite brave enough to pick it up again, after. He’s still got the gratitude, though, for a whole lot of things that he went looking for in the army, and ends up finding in the FBI instead.




Now, having read this, go pester [livejournal.com profile] 10pmpacifictime to write/post her version, because, if her remix is anything to go on, it'll be fab.
Tags:
Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, Colby. And oh, everyone else. I love the Tony and Colby one especially. Both of them missing their dads, but Tony not being able to talk about it.

And I love him trying to comfort John and not really feeling comfortable with doing anything other than say he's sorry.

Poor Colby.
Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
I've been meaning to ask, do you mind if I post my fic in a couple of communities?
Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
It's your fic, you don't need my permission :) Though if you want my permission, absolutely - I loved reading it, so I definitely think more people should get to!

Are you going to write/post your 5 crossovers fic, since you said you wanted to do it? I'm really curious to see what background you imagined for them all.
Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad the Tony one worked for you, because he is *not* someone I feel I have a good handle on to write.

And I love him trying to comfort John and not really feeling comfortable with doing anything other than say he's sorry.

Really, is there something you can *say* to someone you don't know, who's lost someone they really care about but who you're not really supposed to know about, while trying to convey that you know this thing you aren't supposed to know, and that there's a reason you know and... And all of this to *John Sheppard*, least approachable man in two galaxies.
Monday, August 4th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
I loved them all but I think the Tony one was my favourite. That was just pitch perfect with both of them. And also really, really funny with a bittersweet end for them both.

And trying to comfort Sheppard. That's pretty much the most impossible thing ever. But so sweet that he tried.

And it was Morgan who got him into the FBI *loves*

I wonder how Colby would react if he found out that a) Daniel is still alive (or, back alive to be more accurate) and b) Sheppard and Daniel knew each other *ponders*
Monday, August 4th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked the Tony one, because I don't think I really get him.

And trying to comfort Sheppard. That's pretty much the most impossible thing ever. But so sweet that he tried.

Yeah, Sheppard is not a person you can offer comfort to, unless you've watched him die at least a couple of times. But Colby's exactly the kind of person who'd try anyway - witness the ranger's wife from the plane crash.

I wonder how Colby would react if he found out that a) Daniel is still alive (or, back alive to be more accurate) and b) Sheppard and Daniel knew each other *ponders*

No. Do not put ideas for more in this universe into my head. Because I do not need to be trying to figure out how the three of them could wind up in the same place... and now I am!
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 10:56 am (UTC)
Well, you definitely got Tony in this one, in my humble opinion. I can totally see a younger Tony holding up a drunk, younger, Colby.

Sheppard is not a person you can offer comfort to, unless you've watched him die at least a couple of times
*snort* so very true.

And Colby is definitely the kind of guy who tries to comfort.

... and now I am!
*rubs hands with glee* Can't say I'd be overly disappointed if you came up with a way to get them all together *g*
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Can't say I'd be overly disappointed if you came up with a way to get them all together

God, but poor Colby. Talk about blowing his mind. As if the reapperance of your dead friend isn't bad enough, parts of your life are just *not supposed* to collide like that. Especially if it's while he's working.
Monday, June 1st, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed those, especially the one with Sheppard, and the last line, He’s still got the gratitude, though, for a whole lot of things that he went looking for in the army, and ends up finding in the FBI instead.