Disclaimer: Don't own Numb3rs or the characters.

A/N: Your reviews and story alerts have kept me going, so thank you so much. 2 more chapters after this one. Enjoy.

Chapter Twenty Seven – 9 Days

Colby had been in a coma for 9 days now, he was never alone, someone sat with him round the clock, the team were splitting their time between the hospital and the office, there had been no sign of Jasmine, it was like she had completely vanished. The doctors still weren't able to say when or if he would wake up. The longer he remained in the coma, the more unlikely it was.

Alan gave the young agent a good talking to that first night. Urging him to wake up and put everyone's minds at rest.

"Colby, son, if you can hear me you have to wake up, and soon. The team need you to be OK. I need you to be OK. I still remember the first time I met you, I found you to be such a quiet man, serious and polite. As we got to know each other you became someone I respected and cared for as a son. I was so relieved when that whole spy thing turned out to be nothing more than you doing your job. I was happy to welcome you back into the house, so bashful over the brave thing you had done, so dismissive of your accomplishments. It was good to see you back with the team and see you laughing and relaxing with them. Colby, I want that man back now, it's not your time to go, come back to us."

Megan sat quietly watching the ventilator breathe for Colby, the gentle rise and fall of his chest, wishing it wasn't a machine doing it for him. She leant forward and rested her hand gently on his arm.

"Come on Colby, you have to wake up. Who am I gonna find dates for if you don't? Who is going to tease me about my fancy car? It's funny, we started the same day and at first I didn't think much of you, I found you were so intolerant of my skills. Over time though you came to understand the importance of behavioural analysis and you became more like the annoying little brother who just had to ridicule whatever his sister was doing. Watching you in your hospital bed again is so wrong, I would give anything to take away all the things that have happened to you, but I can't, Larry says that it's all part of the cosmic order, but I don't care right now, I just want you to be well again. We are not complete without you, come back to us."

Charlie put down the book he was reading and glanced over at the hospital bed. Amita had just left to go to work, he didn't have any classes so was staying until Don arrived.

"I still need to speak to Don about getting you micro-chipped when you come out of this man. I think back to when you first started with the team and how I thought you were just a bit of a meat head, you soon proved me wrong. You were so respectful of my work, despite the jokes you made and the fact you didn't always understand. I have come to see you as a member of my family, I can turn to you in times when I am struggling and you always manage to put things in perspective when Don can't. You're like Don in so many ways, you've just got a different take on the world, but you have the same strength and sense of loyalty that he displays. I need you to listen to me now Colby, the team and I need you, come back to us."

Liz was at a loss. She had always teased Colby but she had a lot of time for him, he was going to have a fantastic career in the FBI, he just needed to wake up.

"Granger what ya playing at, laying around when there are bad guys to chase eh? Don, Megan and David are worried about you, no work is getting done. I, of course, don't give two hoots if you lay here doing nothing…. OK, that isn't true, I was bluffing, but you would see right through that. You are stubborn, now prove it, show these doctors what Colby Granger is made of, wake up and get better. Come back to us."

Don stood up and paced the floor, sitting watching over Colby was hard. He hated to see him so still, he was full of perpetual motion normally.

"Brother, you have to wake up now. Enough rest, time to get back on your feet and back to work, we need our resident clown back. You may be a pain in the ass, but you're our pain in the ass. When you first joined the team you had such an army mentality, still do sometimes, everything was so black and white with you. Now you see things in shades of grey along with the rest of us. Out of all my rookies you've given me the biggest headache, but you also make me proud to be your Supervisor, I don't think I've ever told you that before so let me repeat it. I'm proud to be your Supervisor and to work with you. If you tell anyone I said that though I'll deny it! We need you Colby, come back to us."

David stood in the doorway looking out into the hallway, he needed a moment before sitting and staring at his best friend's still form, taking a deep breath he turned back into the room and walked over to the bedside. He laid his hand on Colby's arm.

"Wake the hell up Granger. I can't watch you lay here like this, I need a partner to boss around. We're brothers and I feel like part of me is missing when I'm out in the field without you. You were such a hothead when we first met, jumping into situations without thinking through the consequences. I haven't totally knocked that out of you yet, but I want the opportunity to try, that isn't going to happen if you're laying in here. If, no, when, I get my own team I want an agent on my team who is just like you though, loyal, determined and fast on their feet, of course if I can have you that would be perfect, why break up a winning combo eh? I need you Colby, come back to us."

David closed his eyes and took a deep breath, the last 9 days had been the longest of his life. His hand was still resting on Colby's arm, he felt a movement and opened his eyes, looking down he thought he'd imagined it, his friend's eyes were closed and he was still, then he felt it again.

"Colby? Come on man." He urged as he noticed the slightest flicker of his eyelids. He hurried out into the hallway and called to a nurse. "I think he's coming round." The nurse's eyes widened in surprise, but she picked up the phone and called for a doctor then followed David back into the room.

"He moved his arm and his eyes flickered."
"That could be involuntary Agent Sinclair." The nurse didn't want the man to get his hopes up.

"Look, there." David pointed and the nurse turned back to look at the man in the bed, sure enough she could see movement as well.

"Agent Granger, can you hear me? Open your eyes for me."

Colby could hear murmuring, it was beginning to annoy him, that and the constant beeping. Couldn't a man get some sleep in peace and quiet. Now someone was telling him to open his eyes, and what the hell did he have stuck in his throat, what was going on? He felt the pressure of someone squeezing his arm and then he heard a familiar and welcome voice.

"Colby, you have a tube in to help you breathe, stay calm and the doctor will be here soon."

Who the hell was David kidding, he should try staying calm with a tube stuck down his throat, he didn't like the feeling of not being able to breathe for himself, he made this clear by reaching up to pull the damn thing out himself only to discover his right arm was heavy, what was going on here?

"Whoa, no you don't. Lay still Agent Granger."

He still hadn't opened his eyes, but at the sound of a new voice he opened them slightly to find a lady he didn't know standing over him. Who was she to tell him to lay still.

"You're in hospital, you are safe, just lay still and the doctor will be here any moment to take the tube out."

No sooner were the words out than another familiar, and not so welcome, face appeared. He recognised Doctor Vassen, yeah he was back in hospital alright, either that or he was having one realistic nightmare.

"Agent Granger, we've been here before, I am going to take that tube out, give me a cough when I tell you, alright?"

He simply nodded, he just wanted the tube out. He coughed when instructed and gasped when it was finally removed, it was like his body had forgotten how to breathe for itself for a moment. The nurse quickly slipped an oxygen mask over his face. "Slow, deep breaths Colby. It's alright, there you go." Her voice was soothing and he immediately did as she instructed and started feeling better, that was until he tried to move. Man that hurt, what had they done to him in here.

"No, lay still Colby." Doctor Vassen came back into his view. "You've got some broken bones and we've got one of your lower legs in traction. I know it's probably uncomfortable, but you need to stay still."

He was confused, he didn't really understand fully what was going on, he did know he was tired and closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

"Is he OK?" Asked a worried David.

"He's just fallen asleep, that's all. We won't be able to fully assess him until he's a bit more awake. It will probably be a few days for that."

"I need to call everyone and let them know that he's awake."

Doctor Vassen didn't want to dampen the agent's mood but she needed to caution him. "He's not out of the woods yet, we don't know if there is any brain damage from lack of oxygen. Only time will tell."

"I understand Doctor, but to us his just being awake for that brief time is fantastic."

Doctor Vassen smiled, the closeness of this team never ceased to amaze her, who was she to dampen their spirits any further.

A few hours later Colby woke up again, this time to a room full of people. This was all a bit surreal as far as he was concerned, the last thing he remembered was standing in Sammy's house, how had he ended up in hospital again.

"Hey man. How ya feeling?" David came into view.

He tried to talk but his throat was dry, he tried clearing it which didn't help. Megan appeared, removed his mask and popped an ice chip into his mouth, he'd have preferred a beer, but he'd take this right now, it felt like heaven. She popped another in before placing his mask back on his face.

"Better?" She asked.

He nodded. "What happened?" He croaked.

"Don't you remember?" Asked Don.

Colby shook his head. "Last thing I remember I was standing in Sammy's kitchen."

The team exchanged looks, then he heard another voice. "Doctor Vassen did say you may not be able to remember what had happened, it's possible the memory loss isn't permanent." He glanced over and saw Alan standing behind Don.

"How long have I been here?"

"You've been in the hospital for 9 days Granger. Slacker." Said Liz.

"Right, that's enough, you're going to tire him out and I need to examine him, everybody out, you can come back later." The imperious voice of Doctor Vassen came from the doorway. "No arguments, out."

Everyone reluctantly said goodbye and left as instructed.