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Title: Hanging
Author: [livejournal.com profile] munchkinofdoom
Characters: Don, Nikki, Colby
Rating/Category: PG-13 Gen
Word-count 560
Spoilers: Very vague spoilers for late season 6
Summary: Hanging off the edge of a precipice can cause epiphanies
Warnings: mention of OC death, some blood, some swearing.
Disclaimer: Numb3rs and its characters are the property of CBS. No money is being made from this fanfic.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] n3teamchallenge's Hot vs Cold Challenge: Team Hot. The Prompt: Iron. This has not been betaed because I only just remembered the deadline was today!! *headdesk*



Hanging

Don's hand burned where it gripped hot metal, the old, rusted iron cutting into the calloused pads of his tortured fingers. His glock hung uselessly from his other hand, absolutely no help now that the chase was over and his quarry beyond all human reach.

He spared a glance down, fighting dizziness as the slight movement put added pressure on his already stressed lungs. Far below his hanging body, lying still and bloody, was the man he'd been chasing. Well, he wasn't going anywhere now.

The big problem, Don figured as he made an executive decision and dropped his gun, was how not to join the poor bastard.

"Don! Hold on, we're coming!'

Nikki's voice. She better bring reinforements if she was coming to his rescue, because he sure as hell wasn't going to trust to her light frame to pull him back up onto the rooftop.

He looked up, blinking as the bright sunlight that made the iron roofing shimmer with a dirty haze almost blinded him. He fought an instinctive need to rub the grit and haze out of his eyes and locked his gaze on the pitted, rusted metal. He tried to take a deep breath and then threw his free hand up over his head, scrabbling for extra purchase, fighting the pull of his heavy kevlar vest.

He felt the skin on his hand tear and grimaced as hot blood ran down his fingers and over his palm. It congealed almost instantly in the heat, adding a sticky pull to the sharp pain.

"Don?" Nikki yelled from somewhere above him.

"Here," he called breathlessly. He could only hope that they heard him. Heavy footfalls sounded sharply against hot metal and then Nikki's face appeared above him. Her face was shadowed, the sun bright behind her, and Don felt his eyes tear up. Blearily, he saw a slim hand reach down through the haze.

Don breath caught in his chest, utterly unable to unlock his fingers even as he felt Nikki's hands wrap around one blood-slicked wrist. He blinked again, trying to clear his vision. He gripped the scorching roof as tightly as he could and tried to loosen his grip with the other – the hand that Nikki held. But his fingers wouldn't let go. He just couldn't do it...

Then another form appeared beside Nikki's. Big, solid. Colby.

Don's head dropped heavily to his chest as large fingers wrapped around his other hand. His body began to rise, his fingers forced to let go of the iron roofing. He closed his eyes tiredly. Then he heard the scratching sound of metal scraping over the front of his protective vest and his upward momentum halted as the twin holsters caught. One of the strong hands let go of his wrist and grasped his vest, using pure force to get him beyond the obstacle.

Then Don found himself lying face up on the roof, looking up blearily as the air around him shimmered and the hot metal began to burn through his curls. Nikki's smiling face came into range, her curls creating a curtain above him, blocking out the worst of the heat and light.

Don tried to smile back at her and failed. He was getting too old for this, he thought tiredly. Maybe it was time to look at that SAC job after all...

The End
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