Author: DAnNSfreak PM
Title says it all. Post Child's Play One Shot. Danny thinks back on Ruben, his death and what he had done.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy - Danny M. - Words: 1,394 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 8 - Published: 12-14-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3945193
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Danny and Ruben belong to the creators of CSI NY, not me.
Won't be getting this episode on TV til' next year. That's why I've seen it already. XD
Leave a review and tell me what you think of this one shot. Thanks in advance. :-)
"Come on, Danny... you promised!" the dark haired boy demanded while biting into the peanut butter sandwich Danny had made for him.
"Alright, alright..." Danny muttered, sifting through the files in his mind for a case that was interesting (not to mention 'safe') enough to tell a 10 year old.
This proved to be difficult as most of the cases he worked were filled with drugs, sex, money and sometimes all of the above. What a world...
"Ok. Here's one..." he started, finishing off his own sandwich in one swallow and brushing off the crumbs, "You know about hibernation, right? Many animals do that during winter time... but I worked a case once where these three guys experimented with human hibernation,"
Ruben's eyes were wide with rapt attention as Danny told him all about the human ear growing on a rat, the goat producing web-like milk and the guy coming alive after being fished out of the river.
"When I grow up, I wanna be a cop, just like you." Ruben stated confidently, "It sounds like a lot of fun."
Danny smiled, "I'm glad you think so..."
"Danny, there's gonna be a bike blessing ceremony in the church next Friday. But mum's got to go to work..." Ruben looked straight at Danny, lightly hinting, "Every kid in my school is going to be there... and grampa got me this really cool licence plate with my name on it!"
Danny smiled, "Say no more, buddy. I'll take you,"
Ruben's eyes lit up with glee, "Yes! Thanks, Danny!"
Danny sighed, feeling amused. How Ruben got him wrapped around his little finger so easily, Danny may never know.
"Thanks for the snack, Danny. I gotta go." Ruben slapped his neighbour their customary high-five before leaving for his home down the hall.
Danny felt like screaming.
Guilt gnawed at his insides... no... Guilt savagely chewed up his insides. Like a pride of lions ripping apart their prey, not even leaving anything behind for the vultures.
It's been a week, but Danny's misery showed no signs of abating. He was exhausted, both physically and mentally. He had not been sleeping well at all.
From the early hours of the morning til' late at night, he'd drowned himself in work, hoping to tire himself out in order to be able to sleep.
But it didn't work. Instead, he lay awake until the wee hours of the morning, thinking of Ruben.
Rikki had come up to him after Ruben's body had been laid to rest in the cemetery. Eyes blood shot with tears, she had taken his hand, gave it a light squeeze and said, "I don't blame you, Danny. Really, I don't."
That was too much for Danny. He had broken down, saying, "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..." over and over again.
He didn't care what Rikki said. He knew she blamed him. It showed in the way she avoided his eyes when they passed each other in the hall. It showed in the way she never spoke more than a sentence to him since her son's death.
Rikki's anger didn't bother him. He knew he deserved it.
When he wasn't having restless dreams about Ruben at night, he was staring up at the dark ceiling, replaying the whole scene in his head. He was haunted by the same words over and over again... I should have... I should have... I should have...
He remembered Mac's words. That there was someone else, on the floor, bleeding, needing his help and that he had acted on instinct.
His instinct killed a little boy. His instinct killed his friend.
Danny turned from his front door and saw a small, dark haired boy looking up at him. He couldn't be more than six years old. He looked familiar. Then, Danny remembered, "You live over there, right?" he asked, pointing at the door opposite his.
"Yeah." the kid flashed a gap-tooth grin, "Are you a cop?" he asked, eyeing the badge clipped onto Danny's belt, "My mum says you're a cop."
"Um... sort of... I'm a crime scene investigator." Danny said, unlocking his front door.
"Cool... what does a crime scene investigator do?" the boy asked.
A voice suddenly called out from the kid's apartment, "Ruben! Where are you?"
The boy turned, "Here, mum..."
An attractive brown haired woman came out and sighed in relief, "There you are. Don't go wandering out like that. It's not safe."
"Mum... I'm not five anymore..." he moaned.
"That's right. You're six... a real big difference," she smiled, "C'mon. Let's go to the store..."
"Don't want to..."
His mum frowned, "Ruben... come on."
"Don't want to... it's boring..."
"Well, I can't leave you here, who's going to take care of you? You have to come," she ordered.
"I can stay with him..." Ruben muttered, holding to Danny's coat.
"Are you crazy, Ruben? You are not going to be disturbing him," said his mother.
Danny piped up, "Hey, uh, it's fine, really. It's not a problem. He can watch TV here or something..."
The woman looked up at him, "I couldn't do that..." she said, shaking her head, "I don't want to trouble you."
"Don't worry 'bout it. What are neighbours for?" Danny said, flashing his trademark grin.
The woman hesitated. 'Why not,' she thought, 'He's a cop after all...'
She nodded, "Ok. Thanks so much. I'll be back soon."
"Yes!!" shouted Ruben with glee, slapping Danny a high-five, much to the amusement of his mother. He followed Danny into his apartment, "My name's Ruben. What's yours?"
Danny smiled, "I'm Danny..."
"Wait til' the other kids hear I've got a friend who's a cop!" Ruben said excitedly.
Danny could only laugh.
Sometimes a tiny voice in his head told him that his actions weren't wrong. That it was the right thing to do when he chose to take care of the bleeding guy at the bodega... Didn't he see Ruben cycling off down the street and the perp running in the opposite direction?
But what did it matter if he was right or wrong. Nothing would have changed. His best friend's dead... under his care.
Danny sighed. The sun was beating down on his neck, but he still sat there on the grass, staring at the tombstone that marked Ruben's grave. He slowly traced Ruben's name with his fingers.
"I'm sorry buddy," he muttered. He placed his open palm on the tombstone, almost like a make shift high-five they always greeted and said good bye to each other with.
Danny walked out of the quiet cemetery. Somehow, he sensed... he knew... that Ruben had forgiven him.
He'll have to check with Rikki. Maybe she'll let him keep Ruben's bike.
The bright red bike with Ruben's name on the fake license plate his grandfather gave him.
The bright red bike that made Ruben wake Danny up oh so early in the morning just to get it blessed.
The bright red bike that signified the friendship between Ruben and Danny.
This Danny and Ruben storyline got me thinking. Just like everyone else, I'm wondering whether Danny is to blame for what had happened. Like someone had once told me, life isn't black and white, there are lots of grey in between. What would we have done, as Danny.
Would we have been the cop and have a responsibility to the bleeding victim of the crime and the woman screaming for help, seeing that Ruben was no more than half a block away from home or would we have been the friend, and made sure Ruben got home safe and sound no matter what?
I'm still wondering.
Thanks for reading.