AN – unbetaed and written by someone who hasn't been to sleep yet. Keep in mind. Please review. I don't own numb3rs.
Colby was surprised at how many visitors he got.
David was there when he woke up. He looked at the man muzzily while he helped him eat some ice – chips. Telling him, ""Surgery went fine man. Doctor said you shoulder's gonna be just fine. They're gonna keep you 'till Saturday, just to watch you. We caught a live one, so we're gonna be kind of crazy, but someone will always be here, all right?"
David and Don had figured out that he didn't like hospitals, hated them, in fact, so he always had visitors now. He should be embarrassed, but he was usually just grateful.
Prison had spoiled him on solitude.
He slept again, and when he woke up, Alan Eppes was there and his shoulder hurt. After the nurse had given him the pain medication, he'd dozed off to the man's comforting patter. He should tell Alan how much he appreciated the man's presence, both him and his sons, in his life recently. Now that he'd been cut loose by the NSA, he felt horribly lost, rudderless.
Charlie, Larry and Amita visited next, involving him in some argument that he had no understanding of and very little opinion either way, but it was nice to have people around, and he fell asleep again to them chattering.
Robin and Don both stopped by with lunch, something other than the hospital food. Robin even brought him cookies. Don smiled indulgently while she fussed over him.
They'd been seeing a lot of each other lately, since she'd been dating Don and since the Eppes clan had practically adopted him.
After they'd eaten, Robin had given him a sort of hug, and Don had touched him on the shoulder, told him, "Rest up man."
Ian came late at night, interrupting one of his frequent nightmares with a, "Granger. Wake up."
The man hadn't commented, not on the nightmare, or his frantic grasp for the emesis basin on the nightstand, just poured him a cup of water and took it when he was done, told him, "Lancer's lucky to be dead."
He meant it to, and as much as it might have made others flinch, he just felt a warm little spot inside.
Ian only mauled because he cared.
Jake would have flown out, but Colby wouldn't let him, saying that it was routine, and that he'd see him soon enough in August. He called every night, talking about work and the family. The kids all took a turn talking to Uncle Colby. It made him smile and kind of cry all at once.
He'd missed this, this family experience. He'd been lonely for so long, now he couldn't manage to be left alone.
Gary stopped by one afternoon with a pack of cards and a strawberry milkshake, told Colby he'd better be back at work soon because, "I don't wanna face that tiger of a boss of yours when you're not around."
That had made him smile, and they'd ended up playing Gin Rummy for the rest of the evening, until Gary had to go on shift.
Liz had replaced him, had sat up with him all night watching old sitcoms when he confided that he didn't want to go to sleep. She seemed rather understanding about the whole deal, and he figures maybe she's the one that this affected least, because she didn't know him before Lancer and therefore has nothing to compare him to. Maybe that makes it easier to be around her. As it is, things with the rest of the team are still a little strained.
He spikes a fever Friday, and sleeps most of the day, waking up from disjointed nightmares. Afganistan and Chinese freighters wreak havoc with his mind, making him shaky and agitated. David's there in the morning and Alan in the afternoon, but surprisingly Don seems to know what to do, standing by the bed with his hand on Colby's head and talking to him about the Beatles, and New Mexico, and did you know the state birds a roadrunner, Colb?
He didn't know, but he kept his eyes open anyway, blinking at Don dopily and trying to track him as he told him all about baseball teams and fugitives, and ex-partners who used to have nightmares just like his.
He finds it comforting, but doesn't say so. Too many words make Don gunshy.
Che Lobo even stops by, on his way to and from meetings, handing him a homemade card from his son and a doughnut from the bakery down the street. He eats it, because he knows that Che Lobo is one of the few people in this world who probably actively doesn't wish him harm.
Saturday dawns bright and clear, and he's dressed and getting ready to leave when David shows up, carrying a bag of takeout and asking, "You ready man?"
David looks as though he has not slept, and when he asks, he is told that they'd wrapped their case today, man shot his wife. David was going to take him home and then get some sleep himself.
He's confused when they head uptown instead of down, but David tells him, "You need some help with that shoulder man. Figured you'd stay with me for a couple a days."
In David speak, that means, "I'm not angry at you anymore" and he squeezes his eyes shut tight, before he manages to say, "That sounds great man."
David nods and smiles and turns the radio up, lets Colby turn the station to the softer stuff he likes, and right before he falls asleep, tells him, "I don't want to have to visit you in the hospital anytime soon brother."
"Seriously man, just about stopped my heart last time."
"Did stop mine."
He forces bleary eyes open, asks, "Hmm?"
"Are there other … affects?"
He sighs, says, "Shoulder'll never heal right. I tore somethin' somewhere. They say the drugs lowered my immune system, I'll get sick easier, and I keep gettin' migraines. It could be worse though."
"You could have been late."
David laughs at that, then says, "You're somethin' else man. C'mon, lets get you back. Lots of people want to see you."