When Xander gained consciousness he found himself hanging above the floor of a warehouse by his wrists. They were tied together and lashed to a beam.
Déjà vu. He thought, but somehow he knew he wasn't in Columbia. His vision coming into focus he saw a man standing in front of him.
"He's awake." He said.
"Where's Danica?" Xander asked and the man smiled.
"She's on her way."
"Where am I?"
"Am I still in Dublin?"
"No, White Rabbit covers her tracks well." He said and Xander remembered that White Rabbit was Danica. He could only remember bits and pieces, that whole incident was a blur to him probably because of the drug she gave him. "Have you ever seen Lethal Weapon, Mr. Cage? I can't remember if it was the first or second one, I think it was the first. Where they tied up Mel Brooks under a dripping pipe then touched electrical clamps to his wet skin. You can get so many good torture ideas from movies." He said and picked up a bucket of water. "There is no dripping pipe in this warehouse so we'll just have to make due with what we have." He threw the water on him and Xander shook his head to get it out of his eyes. He wheeled over a car battery with wire and clamps attached to it. "Go ahead and scream if you want to, no one will hear you." picking up the clamps he touched them and they sparked. He touched them to Xander's skin and Xander roared.
Back in Dublin, Danica was sitting at the desk talking to Gibbons on her vid-phone.
"No I don't know where he is! He went out, he said he had a suspicion, and that was five hours ago! I tried his vid-phone but it's turned off. I'm starting to get worried Gibbons." She said tearing up for effect.
"We tried to contact him, but got no response. We'll find him Danica."
"White Rabbit's got him I know it. I can't explain it I just do. He must have found out we were here and why and went after Xander." Danica said and Gibbons sighed.
"How would he have found out?"
"I don't know. White Rabbit has spies all over, probably that way." She said and he perked an eyebrow at her. "No I didn't tell him. Why the hell would I do that?"
"You did work for him at one time."
"Fuck you Gibbons!" she said and slammed down the screen.
Gibbons ended the transmission and turned to his team that was standing by.
"Agent Triple X has gone missing, I talked to Agent Razor Wings she said that he left five hours ago and hasn't made contact since. His vid- phone is turned off." Gibbons said. "You!" he pointed to an Agent. "Can we still track the GPS even if the phone has been turned off?"
"No sir we can't." he said.
"Is there any way we can find him at all?"
He took the clamps away from Xander's skin and he sagged breathing heavily, bright red welts on his skin.
"What's the point of this?" Xander asked, his voice hoarse from roaring.
"My own enjoyment I guess, now I'm going to leave, I'll be back in a couple of hours. Hang in there." He said and Xander listened to his laughter as he walked away, he is definitely going to hate that movie now.
Danica lay on her bed, looking over at Xander's. He's gone, she should be happy. But she wasn't, why wasn't she? She finally dropped off to sleep only to be plagued by nightmares.
She was in a warehouse. Xander hanging from a beam in front of her, deep cuts decorated his chest. His eyes were closed so she went closer; she touched a hand to his chest and his eyes opened.
"Xander?" she asked starting to cry and he just kept looking at her. She suddenly had a knife in her hand and she was cutting the ropes holding his wrists. He fell to the floor and she knelt beside him, he didn't say a word, he just kept looking at her. "Come on lets get you out of here and cleaned up" she said and tried to pick him up, she was receiving no help from him. "Xander you gotta help me, I can't do this by myself." She put her hand to his neck but felt no pulse. He was dead. She scrambled away from him until her back hit a wall; he just kept looking at her with those beautiful chocolate brown eyes. He was dead because of her.
Danica woke with a small scream and half-expected Xander to ask her what was wrong. But he was gone. She got up and got dressed, leaving her vid-phone behind. She hopped in the car and drove off into the night.
"Yes?" Gibbons asked.
"We've received no word from Agent Razor Wings. Her vid-phone has been turned off."
"What? Get an agent over there pronto! No actually I'm going over there." Gibbons said and made a call to get a sonic jet prepped and ready.
Danica drove through countryside and countryside. She knew exactly where they took him; she's used that warehouse several times before. Her tears came back as she remembered the dream over and over again.
Three hours later Gibbons opened the door to the apartment and stepped in.
"Danica! Danica are you here?" he asked but received no answer. He walked through the apartment, Agents following him. He stopped at the bedroom door. A sheet was on the floor, along with clothes and other personal belongings. It looked like a tornado had ran through.
Or there had been a struggle. He thought grimly and saw Danica's vid- phone by her bed. But he also saw Xander's vid-phone too, that didn't make sense, unless they were taken at the same time, which they weren't. He kicked the sheet aside and saw a pair of handcuffs in the folds, the keys attached. Shoes were still by the bed so they were probably taken during the night. But it still didn't add up, Danica had said that Xander had left and not come back, so his shoes would be gone. Unless Danica had lied to him, in that case where was she? Where was Xander?
Danica pulled up to the warehouse and got to the door just as a roar ripped through the air. She started to run through the hall until she got to the large open area.
He took the clamps away from Xander's skin and through pain glazed eyes Xander thought he saw Danica enter the room. The man turned and saw her.
"White Rabbit. I wasn't expecting to see you here so soon."
"Cut him down." She said.
"Cut...him...down." She snarled and advanced on him. "Did you do this to him?"
"Yes." the man said and Danica drew a gun and fired, it hit the man between the eyes.
"I don't need psychopaths working for me." She said and got a knife out of her boot. Getting a stepladder she cut the ropes binding Xander's wrists and he fell to the floor. She knelt by him and he looked at her. "Xander?"
"Danica..." he muttered through cracked and dry lips. "You're...here."
"Try not to talk." She said and she put his head in her lap. "Xander I'm so sorry."
"Yes, but I don't deserve your forgiveness."
"Yes, yes I did."
"You should, I hate myself for what I've done to you."
"I don't know, but you should. When you get better you should put a gun to my head and pull the trigger, if I haven't beaten you to it. But why wait?" Danica put her gun to her temple, finger tensed on the trigger. He gathered his strength to knock it out of her hand.
"No!" he said fiercely, Xander tried to sit up but the burns flared and he was forced to lie down again. "Don't...you...dare!"
"You do, and I'll be going after you." he stressed to get the words out. "Is there...any water?" he asked and she nodded, she dragged over one of the many water bucket. "Is it cold?"
"Put it...on the...burns." He said and she cupped her hand putting them into the water, getting water she dribbled it over the many burns and he roared, when the pain died he lay there panting, his mouth hanging open. She got more water only this time held her hands over his mouth letting water slowly flow from her fingers and into his mouth. He coughed but drank the water she gave him, the water coating his dry and sore throat. Danica kept giving him water until he signaled her to stop. "Thank you."
"I can't do enough to make up for what I did to you..." She said but he put a finger to her lips stopping her from going any further.
"Shh...you saved my life, you've done enough."
"Yes I saved your life, only after I set you up to die in the first place."
"Forget about it. I've had so many people try to kill me since I became an agent, I lost count." He said trying to smile, but his lips cracked open and bled.
"Trust you to try to joke this all away."
"I need...more water." Xander said and she gave it to him.
"I have to go get help, you're in pretty bad shape."
"I have to...be unconscious now...anyways. Just be here when I wake up, with the fucking cavalry." He said and laughed weakly. She kissed his forehead and tried to move away but he grabbed her shirt and pulled her back to him, their lips collided and he winced as the cuts on his lips broke open again but continued to kiss her. She pulled away and hovering on the brink of consciousness he watched as she left, he allowed him self to fall into numb oblivion when she saw gone.
Danica got back into her car and drove to the nearest payphone. The petrol station attendant wrinkled his nose as she entered and she couldn't blame him. She smelled of sweat, pain, and fear. She picked up the phone and slipped a coin into it dialing in Gibbons's cell phone. He picked up on the first ring.
"Gibbons." He said and she mentally sighed. "Hello?"
"Gibbons it's Danica, I found Xander, he's in pretty bad shape."
"Where are you?"
"At a gas station, he's in an abandoned warehouse, he's been tortured. But he's alive."
"Where is this warehouse?" he asked and she gave him directions to it. When she hung up she got back into the car and hauled ass back to the warehouse; he was exactly where she left him. He wasn't moving and fear gripped her heart, she ran to him and pressed her fingers to his neck feeling the pulse. Sighing with relief she gathered his torso into her lap and stroked his forehead.
The agents found her, leaned over him, her head on his chest, sound asleep.
When Danica woke up she was in a hospital, tubes hooked into her arms. Looking over she saw Xander in a hospital bed next to her, asleep. She tried to sit up but a hand on her shoulder stopped her. She looked over and saw Gibbons sitting there.
"Gibbons..." she said hoarsely.
"Welcome back White Rabbit." He said and she relaxed against the bed.
"How did you find out?"
"Certain things didn't add up, crucial things. And when we found and brought in Red Dragon for questioning, all the pieces fell into place. I'm sorry to have to do this, but you gave me no choice." He said and got up drawing his gun; he held it to her forehead. "You really were an exceptional agent Danica." He said and his finger tensed on the trigger.
"Gibbons, don't you dare." They looked over to see Xander awake and struggling to sit up. "You kill her, you'll have to kill me too."
"She tried to kill you Xander."
"I never knew you were such a sexist Gibbons."
"What do you mean?"
"You once told me that you believed that under the right circumstances a man can change. Are you saying that you don't believe the same about women? By killing her you're saying that you don't. She could've left me to die, but she didn't she came for me. She called you so you would come and get me to a hospital. I stopped her when she tried to kill herself because she felt so bad for what she had done. I owe my life to her Gibbons." Xander said and Gibbons put the gun away. "Nothing will happen to her, nothing at all." He slipped back into unconsciousness.
"I'm very tired Gibbons, now that he's out if you're going to kill me then do it already, I really don't care anymore." Danica said.
"Get some sleep Danica, I'll see you when you wake up." Gibbons said and left the room. Danica closed her eyes and soon fell asleep.
Xander came awake a few hours later and looked over seeing Danica sound asleep. Very carefully he wheeled his bed closer to hers, his machines in tow, and placed his hand in hers, lacing their fingers together. He loved her, he didn't know why but he did. She tried to kill him but he loved her and he didn't think anything could make him not love her. He watched over her as she slept and after an hour or so she woke up, she squeezed his hand and looked at him.
"Hey, how ya feeling?" she asked.
"Like shit. You?"
"I'm feeling okay, can't seem to get enough sleep though." Danica said yawning widely.
"You know where we should go when we get out?"
"Bora Bora, it's beautiful there."
"Tell me about it." She said closing her eyes.
"White sandy beaches, turquoise blue water, mountains in the distance. The sun shining brightly."
"And where will we be?"
"In a cabin, supported on poles over the water."
"What will we be wearing?"
"You're going to be in a bikini of course, maybe a white one to go with the lightness of your eyes. And I'll be wearing white swim trunks, sunbathing on the deck. You'll come out and put suntan oil on me, then maybe we'll go swimming." Xander looked over and saw her asleep. He closed his own eyes and let the mental image he made spill over into his dreams.
"Xander...Xander wake up." he opened his eyes to see Danica standing over him in a white bikini. "If you sleep out here you'll get all kinds of burned." She said and he got up stretching.
"You have a point." He said and stared wistfully at her, the way the natural gold highlights in her hair glittered in the sun. Her skin already a golden brown, making her light gray eyes seem luminous. Two tattoos imprinted on her right wrist, Chinese symbols meaning love and forgiveness. He had similar ones his right wrist, only his meant happiness and understanding. She touched his healed over burns, faded scars the only evidence, and her eyes tear up a little. She still felt bad for what she had done, and he suspected she always would. "Hey." She looked at him as a tear spills down her cheek; he wipes it away with his thumb. "It's the past, don't worry about it anymore."
"I still can't believe you forgave me." She said looking down and he put his finger under her chin pushing her head back up.
"Forget about it. It'll only eat you up inside until there's nothing left." Xander said and kissed her gently on the lips. "Come on let's go inside." He wrapped a brightly tattooed arm around her shoulders and led her into the cabin. When they got inside they kissed and pulled away grinning, they were just about to go into the bedroom to consummate their relationship, again, when Xander's vid-phone rang.
"Shouldn't you answer that?" Danica asked but he shook his head.
"Nah. Let it ring." he said and a tiny image of Gibbons's face appeared on the upturned screen.
"I know you're there Xander, I got you both on thermal scan. Listen Xander; there's been a development. We found Yelena, and she's gotten herself into some trouble." Gibbons said and the smile that was on Xander's face left leaving him looking shocked.
(A/N: Mwahaha! Cliff hanger!)