Spoilers:Clare de Lune
Feedback:Makes my day
Disclaimer:If it was in the show, it's not mine.
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Summary:Samantha reminds Danny what counts
Notes:For the LiveJournal Writer's Choice "Falling" challenge. It takes me a while to get there, but I think I do. Just about.
She goes to his apartment, because she's worried about him, has been since they found Jane Hanson's body, since before that. He left that night before she could talk to him, and she went home, did her best to forget about the case, the look in his eyes, failing utterly.
So she drags herself out into the night, goes to his place, knocks on the door. She saw lights from the street, so she knows he's there, can hear movement inside, but when no-one comes to the door, she knocks again, more worried now.
When there's still no answer, she calls his name, adding an order. "I know you're there… let me in."
For a long time, there's more silence, and she calls him again before she hears his voice, slow and careful. "Go away Samantha."
There's something different about the voice that she can't quite place, but she doesn't stop to think about it. "Danny Taylor, let me in this minute," she continues. "I'm just going to stay here until you do, and if you don't, I'll get the super and tell him I think you hurt yourself… you know I'll do it Danny…"
There's the sound of a tumbler turning, a deadbolt being slid back, and when there's the merest sliver of the door ajar, she pushes through it, so impatient that she actually pushes Danny back. He staggers, but she didn't jar him that much.
She's in the living room before she realises how off-balance he was, and when she turns, she notices his red eyes, his oh-so-careful walk, too-perfect posture. Combine that with a familiar sweet fragrance and the half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the coffee table, and there's only one conclusion.
Danny is drunk.
She looks at him and he looks down as she says, "I thought you didn't drink." Because she's never seen him with as much as a beer in his hand.
"I don't," he mutters, and when he looks up again, defiance burns in his eyes. "What are you doing here?"
His tone puts her on the defensive. "I was worried about you…"
"What, you think I can't take care of myself? That I need you following me around? Are you mixing me up with Jack or something?" She feels like he's slapped her, but he doesn't stop there. "Don't tell me, you really were going to go after him, but he was spending the evening with his wife?"
She tells herself it's the whiskey, not Danny, talking, but it hurts all the same. "You don't mean that…"
"You think we didn't know Samantha?" He steps closer to her, maniacal, mocking light in his eyes. "You think we didn't see what was happening between you?"
This close, the whiskey on his breath is overpowering, and disgusted, she pushes him away, is even more disgusted by the way he lurches, collapses on his couch. "I'm not listening to this," she decides, heading for the door, trying not to notice his derisive, chuckling "Finally," as she leaves.
She goes back home, but she doesn't sleep, and when her doorbell rings at nine the next morning, she knows who it is. She's greeted by a bunch of flowers which lowers to reveal his face, his red-rimmed, dark shadowed eyes. He looks like ten miles of bad road as she steps aside telling him, "I should slam the door in your face."
"I wouldn't blame you," he says simply, and he's her Danny again, not the stranger she saw last night, especially when he follows it up with, "I owe you an explanation…"
She's still just angry enough to laugh harshly, mutter, "You worked that out huh?" but she tilts her head, lets him know that she's listening, and nodding, he begins to talk.
What she hears shocks her; the reason why Jane Hanson, who ran away from a foster home after being the lone survivor of a car crash in which her family were killed, haunted him so, pushed all his buttons. She listens as he tells her every detail of how his parents were killed, how he still dreams about it, even now. How guilty he felt, feels, how he ran wild as a teenager, how alcohol numbed the pain, how he turned him into someone he didn't even recognise.
"I haven't had a drink in a long time Samantha," he tells her. "Years… and I shouldn't have, last night, but I couldn't… I just…" He breaks off, shaking his head. "I never wanted anyone to see me like that… certainly not you." He steps towards her, stops, runs a hand over his face. "If I could take it back…"
He's near tears; she's past that, brushes them away. "Forget about it," she forces out, and he turns away from her.
"I don't deserve that," he says quietly. "What I said…"
"That wasn't you," she tells him, and she believes that now, in a way she couldn't last night, but he's not buying it.
"And what about the next time Samantha? What happens then?"
She swallows hard. "Are you drunk now?"
"No." He chuckles mirthlessly. "But God, I wish I were."
She shrugs, tries to be strong. "Then we'll worry about it when it happens."
He turns slowly, pain etched on his face. "It doesn't work like that…" he tries, but she's not having that.
"It does today." He looks doubtful, and she crosses to him, lays a hand on his arm, looks into his eyes. "You think you're a lesser person because you fell off the wagon?" she demands, and she sees acknowledgement flicker in his eyes. "Danny, we all fall… it's the getting back up that counts."
A lone tear falls from his eye. "What happens if I'm not strong enough…" he begins, but she doesn't let him finish, takes him in her arms instead.
"Then you hold on to me," she tells him and, as his tears break free, that's exactly what he does.