A huge, huge thanks to anmodo for betaing this fanfic. Thanks to everyone that has reviewed, I honestly can't believe the amount of reviews I have got for this fic. Anyway there are more angst ridden Danny fics in the pipeline.
Sinking down the wall, Danny drew his knees up to his chest and rested his head on his knees. The girl he loved, the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with – hated him. But he had expected this reaction because their relationship was based on lies. Did he really expect the reaction that happened in his dreams? Quickly looking around, hoping no one had seen his breakdown, he used the wall for support as he stood up. He and Lucia may not be together but he wasn't going to let those bastards separate Lucia and Chris. He would help them if it was the last thing he did. Now with a clear goal, he turned and started to walk towards the parking lot.
Sensing it was a private moment, Martin hung back and watched his friend break down against the wall. He hated to see his friend look so dejected, but he knew Danny wouldn't want anyone see him like this. He would see it as a weakness. But he couldn't hold back when he saw Danny stand up and start to determinedly walk towards the parking lot. In Danny's present state of mind, there was no telling what he would do. Martin didn't want Danny to throw away his life needlessly.
"Danny," Martin called after the retreating figure. "Hey man, wait up."
Hearing Martin, Danny carried on walking. He had already involved Martin in this before, and he didn't want to involve Martin again. He didn't want to involve the team and endanger them again. This was something he had to do – alone. He carried on walking ignoring Martin hoping he would go away and leave him to deal with this alone.
Grabbing his arm, Martin caught up with Danny and spun him around. "Hey didn't you hear me calling?" Martin asked but as he saw the lost look in Danny's eyes, he knew that he had to be there more than ever before as Danny's backup. "Where are you going?"
"No where," Danny replied sharply.
Martin ignored Danny's sharp comment, knowing it was probably due to fear more than anything else. "That's why you are damn near running out of here?"
"Maybe its because I need to get away from you," Danny yelled but at the same time he winced. He didn't mean to be so harsh, but he needed Martin to leave him alone. What he was about to do was incredibly dangerous and he didn't want to involve the team. He didn't want them to lose their lives because he wanted to make things right with his girlfriend.
"I don't want you do anything stupid. I don't want you to throw your life away," Martin replied trying to remain calm.
"You think trying to save a 5 year old kid's life is stupid?" Danny yelled. "If saving Chris results in my death, then so be it." He started to walk away from Martin again.
Martin grabbed Danny's arm and spun him around again. "Dying for that kid would be brave and honourable. But going in there without back up would be stupid and throwing away your life and endangering Chris's," Martin stopped for moment and looked at Danny. He noticed how lost Danny looked. He knew Danny wasn't thinking logically. "Look, man, we are friends, we are partners, we started this shit together over a year ago and we are going to end it together. In other words, there is no way in hell I'm going to let you go without backup."
Sinking to the ground again, Danny responded, "It's so screwed up, why is my life one big mess? T-that night, god, that night, man I can't stop thinking about it. When I was with Lucia, I didn't think about it, but now every time I close my eyes I see the gunfire… I hear the gunfire," Danny said as he raked his hands through his spiky hair.
Martin sat down next to Danny. "You think I don't see that gunfire... you don't think I don't hear that gunfire. Every time I close my eyes, I see you being executed in front of me. I still find myself scrubbing my hands as I try to remove your blood from them. Dr. Harris, Jack, Viv and Sam try to help… they try to understand – but I don't think they do."
"I understand," Danny said softly.
"I know and I understand what you're going through," Martin said. He was saddened but at the same time he felt slightly relieved that Danny was going through the same emotions that he was going through. Standing up, he pulled Danny up with him. "So how about we go and get Chris and end this hell?"
"Are you serious?" Danny asked.
"Yes," Martin replied.
Giving Martin an appreciative smile, Danny said, "Hey—when all of this is over—you and I should probably talk."
"Yeah, we probably should," Martin agreed. "But first let's get you, Lucia and Chris reunited. Right-" Martin said as he looked Danny up and down. "Ok I don't think we are going to have a problem with firepower."
"What? Oh," Danny said as he remembered the rifle that was slung across his back. "Let's go."
Viv watched as Danny and Martin talked. Glad the boys were talking, they needed to rest the demons of the past, which still scarred both of them. But she frowned as they stood and checked their guns before heading towards the parking lot. "Danny…Martin," Viv called after them.
Hearing Viv calling them, they turned around, knowing they were busted. If it was any other woman apart from Viv and Sam, they could have charmed their way out of it. But this was Viv and she wouldn't be fooled by their smiles that made so many women weak at the knees. "We are going after Chris."
"There is no way in hell, that Jack… that I… that Sam… that any of us are going to let you two out hunting down the people, that you," Viv said patting Danny's shoulder, "were just in a fire-fight with."
"Viv-" Danny started.
"Don't Viv me, you two," Viv said as she put her arms around the boys' shoulders and pushed them towards Jack's office. "I found these two going out to take on the Cali drug cartel."
"What!" Jack exclaimed, but his voice softened when he saw the lost look in Danny's eyes. "We'll get him back Danny," Jack said as they walked over to the whiteboard, which Sam had wiped clean since Curtis's case was closed. "Do you have a picture of him?"
Danny dug his hand into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. He took out the slightly worned photo and handed it to Jack. "I know it's not a very good one, but it's all I have – Lucia probably has a better one."
"This will do, but if we can get a better one…Danny do want to ask Lucia if she has a better photo?" Jack asked.
"I can't. She knows… she knows I am not the person she thought I was. She knows I lied to her," Danny said looking down. "I really don't think I would be the right person."
Sam stepped forward and squeezed Danny's shoulder. "I will do it," Sam turned and walked over to the room where Lucia was sitting. "Lucia I was wondering if you had a clear photograph of your son," Sam said as she sat down next to Lucia.
"I think so. Why?" Lucia asked s she began to look through her bag. She closed her eyes and bit back a tear that threatened to fall as she saw the photograph of Chris in AJ's arms; she quickly put the photograph at the bottom of her bag. She didn't know that man that held her son in his arms. She didn't even know his name. She pushed these thoughts to the back of her mind and concentrated on the task in hand. "This is the clearest photograph I have of him," Lucia said as she handed Sam one of the photographs.
"Chris is officially missing, and it's our job to find him," Sam replied answering Lucia's question. "We will get him back."
Lucia produced a weak smile, "Thanks but don't make promises that you can't keep," Lucia said sadly. She had lost the man she loved and probably her son in the same day. She took a deep breath and tried to hold back the tears that stung her eyes. She wouldn't cry. She wouldn't let them see her weakness.
Sam nodded and walked towards the door knowing there was nothing she could say that would comfort Lucia. There was nothing she wouldn't do to help Danny, but now wasn't the time to put her plan into action. Deep in thought, she approached the whiteboard and handed Jack the new photograph.
"Christopher Vega, age 5. Grandfather is Carlos Vega, who is head of the Cali drug cartel. His mother, Lucia, last saw him two days ago when they left the plane, but she has had phone contact," Jack said as she started to brief the team. "Danny, can you think of anywhere the cartel would hold Chris?"
Danny sat down and continued to rake his hands through his now wildly untamed hair. "I don't know Jack, I don't know. I don't know what they are doing to him. He's 5 years old for Christ's sake."
"It's alright, Danny. We will get him back," Viv reassured as she rubbed his back soothingly. Anyone could see how much Lucia and Chris meant to Danny. Out of all of them, she knew Danny really deserved to be happy, after everything he had been through… could life just once deal Danny what he deserved… happiness.
"These guys won't use credit cards and they probably came in on fake passports. So I think the best place to start is to find out any bank that has had large withdrawals of cash," Martin said. But he paused briefly as he considered his thoughts. "That is if Danny thinks the first part of my theory is right."
Danny looked up at Martin. "Yeah, you're right. They will have fake passports, ID's, names etc. They won't use credit cards and when they withdraw cash they won't request any type of denominations," Danny said raking his thoughts for more information that could help them save Chris. "They would have to have an ID to pick up the money. Jack, those files I gave you… they have the cartels bank details – if we can trace the money, it's a start," Danny said excitedly.
Jack stood up and walked to his office, coming out a few moments later with a file in his hand.
"Danny, I thought it was a CIA op – so why does Jack have a copy of the file?" Viv asked.
"I never trusted the CIA so made copies of everything – anyway that file isn't a copy; it's the original," Danny said.
Jack flicked through the file until he came to the relevant page. "Ok they have one bank account and it's in the name of Maria Vega – who is Carlos's late wife. Is with the Bank of Colombia, the account name is 678920854, the sort code is 01-87-42. Martin do think you can get a trace on any of their recent transactions?"
Before Jack had finished his sentence Martin had swung around and was now furiously typing away. "Got it. $500,000 was transferred to the Bank of America on 29th street 5 days ago. It was picked up 2 days ago."
"Sam, you're with me. Danny, Martin, Viv I want you to go through that file, go through Carlo's FBI file if he has one. We need to know exactly who this guy is," Jack said as he turned to walk towards the elevator.
Danny slammed his fist on the table in frustration. "Why is he like this? Why the hell can't he let me out in to the field?"
Viv gave the frustrated agent's shoulder a squeeze. "Do you know long it was before Jack let me out into the field again? Do you know long it was before he let Martin out in the field again?" Viv asked the frustrated looking Danny. "It was weeks after we had been given medical clearance. We thought you were dead, then when you come back you get shot and damn near die. But the main reason Jack wants you here is because someone has to translate your writing and shorthand," Viv said smiling hoping it would defuse the situation.
Danny looked up and smiled sheepishly. "Sorry," he said and started to read through the file that he had started to write all those months ago.
Martin picked up one of the sheets of paper and frowned, he held it up side down and it still didn't make any sense. "What the hell is this?" Martin said shaking the piece of paper in front of his friend, "mean… is it some weird ass code or what?"
"Yes it's a code. The cartel was breathing down my neck, so I couldn't risk writing it normally in any language," Danny sighed. "Anyway its observations of Carlos's political views bearing in mind this was written one month into the op. So it is fairly superficial," Danny said as he went on to explain the report.
An hour later, Jack and Sam arrived back from the bank. They scattered a couple of the CCTV footage photos on the table. "He goes by the name of David Pringle. He picked up the money on Wednesday, it was in fairly small denotations," Sam said as she relayed the information to the rest of the team.
"Danny, who is this guy?" Jack asked.
Danny glanced at the photograph, but he didn't have to – he knew who it was. He close his eyes briefly as he remembered his time undercover, the time were he was one of them. "This is Miguel Rodriguez. He's Carlos's right hand man. He carries a .50 Desert Eagle and is not afraid to use it. He doesn't care who he kills and causing pain is his passion. It's what drives him… it's what keeps him alive."
"So basically he's one of the most sadist guys in the world. Well apart from the lovely Michael Clarke," Martin said sarcastically.
"Michael Clarke?" Sam asked she found three sets of eyes staring at her. "Colombia right? And you aren't/cannot say."
"I've been reading though this report and there is one thing that stands out each time and I think that's were we might find him," Viv suggested. She looked up to find four pairs of eyes staring at her. "Oh sorry, I think he's at the docks."
"Viv we already checked that out and he wasn't there," Jack replied.
"No you were at Manhattan docks; I think he will be at the abandoned docks in New Jersey," Viv stopped and started to explain her theory.
Jack nodded agreeing. "Sam, Viv continue to background check, interview Lucia again. Danny, Martin you're with me," Jack said as he stood up grimacing as he did.
"Jack are you sure you are alright?" Sam asked in concern.
"I'm fine," Jack said brushing off Sam's concern, as he clutched his hand against his ribs. "Danny we need to get some more ammunition," Jack said as he walked towards the elevator.
Danny and Martin got up and followed Jack to the elevator, glancing back to see Sam and Viv's worried expressions.
"We'll look after him," Danny said.
"I know you will Danny, but that's not what I was going to say," Viv replied as she looked at Danny's slightly confused expression. "We want all of you to come back alive and unharmed, so look after each other."
"Of course we will," Martin said as he stood next to Danny. He glanced back to an irritable Jack who was kicking the elevator button. "Hey we better go."
Viv and Sam watched as the boys hurried towards Jack, they both felt apprehensive but at the same time they felt happy – it was great to see the boys working together again.
"They will be alright," Viv said answering Sam's thoughts.
"I hope so Viv, I really do."
Martin concentrated on the road as he drove out to the abandoned New Jersey docks. The tension in the car was unbearable. It wasn't tension between each other but the tension as they each dealt with their own personal hell. He looked in the rear view mirror and saw Danny leaning against the window looking lost. He couldn't imagine the hell that Danny was going through – the hell that he had been through in the last year. He looked across at Jack who was still clutching his ribs. He silently wondered if Jack was up to it. But if this op could let Danny move on then no one could stop him from doing it. He pulled into the dock; he took a deep breath and leant his head on the headrest. He could feel the tension rising in the car.
Danny checked his guns before he grabbed the door handle but found it was locked. He glared at the front of the car, to see Jack remove his hand from the lock. "Jack what the hell are you doing? There's a 5 year old kid in the hands of psychos," Danny yelled.
Jack spun around to face the hotheaded agent, "I did that so we can have a minute to think things through," Jack replied as he tried to slightly calm the younger agent. "Danny I know you are personally involved and you want to get that kid out as soon as possible and that's understandable. But if we think about it for a minute, we will have a better chance of this to have a successful outcome."
"Fine," Danny said quickly. "Can we go now?"
Jack reluctantly unlocked the door. He watched as Danny jumped out of the car and dropped down behind it, methodically scanning the buildings around him. Before he joined Danny, he quickly spoke to Martin.
"Danny's not thinking logically at the moment. The whole protection plan doesn't include himself so we are going to have to do that for him. Look after him Martin and make sure he doesn't get himself killed."
Danny heard Martin and Jack drop down beside him and he started to relay off the information. "So far I have seen five hostiles no visible weapons, I haven't located Chris yet," Danny took a breath. "I think our best route, is through the window on the west side of the building. It is the least exposed and I haven't seen any of the hostiles in that area of the building," Danny explained.
"Ok," Jack said as he digested the information.
"You two go first and I will cover you, once you're at the building I will follow," Danny said slightly taking charge.
"Hey, Danny I'm the boss, I make the decisions."
"Sorry," Danny replied now slightly subdued.
"It's alright. I think your plan is a good one but I am going to add to it," Jack said as crouched down trying to ignore the pain in his ribs. "Once we get to the building we will cover you, and that part is non negotiable."
"Fine," Danny replied slightly reluctantly. It wasn't that he wanted to die – he loved his life – but he didn't want the team to be distracted while looking out for him. But they were, they were helping out so he could try and make it up to Lucia, they were risking their lives because of him. Now that Chris was their case officially and Jack was taking command, he knew he had very little choice in the matter. He pulled out the rifle and looked down the scope checking for any possible threat to them. Once he was sure there was no immediately danger, he nodded. He watched apprehensively as Jack and Martin crossed the short distance from the car to the building and relative safety. He watched as Martin and Jack gave him the all clear, he quickly scanned the area again, not that he didn't the trust team - it was purely instinct. Slinging the rifle across his back he quickly moved towards, fear drove him. But it wasn't fear for his own safety he knew the team would protect him – he feared for Chris's safety.
Jack eyed the window with suspicion; he knew it would give away his age. Danny and Martin were young and agile and would climb up the wall and through the window without a blink of an eye. But as Danny said, it was the least exposed and therefore the best entrance – he would just have grin and bare it. "Are you two going to stand there all day or are we get on with it."
Danny and Martin looked at each other; they both knew what each other was thinking as they glanced up at the window. As in some form of telepathic connection, Danny quickly scaled the wall, knowing that Martin would cover Jack as he climbed through the window.
Jack found himself struggling through the window, on the other said he was met by a grinning Taylor. "What are you grinning at?" Jack said in mock anger.
"Nothing, Jack nothing," Danny said as he eyed the window waiting for Martin to appear. Only when all of this was over then and only then would be relax. As Martin appeared beside them, Danny started to move through the room. He felt the adrenaline surge through his body as he started to clear the building, with every step moving him closer to Chris… to what he hoped to be his new life. They moved together knowing it would take longer, but they were always conscious of the dangers that lay within.
Jack watched as his young team moved through the building. They moved so fluidly while Jack found himself so feeling so stiff with tension that he felt that he wasn't moving as fluidly as the boys. He felt himself tense up as he heard movement on the floor above. He watched and followed as Danny started to move up the stairs. Since Danny had come back from Colombia, Jack had noticed several changes in Danny, especially how Danny moved through a building, clearing it. He moved as though he was floating on air, his reactions where ten times faster than they were previously. He heard a couple shots before two shots in close succession, he quickly moved so he was at Danny's side. He saw the younger agent did not falter, but checked the shooter before moving on. He quickly caught up with his agent and tapped him on the shoulder. "Danny, are you alright?" Jack asked in concern.
Jack frowned at Danny's choice of words; he wondered how many times he had heard them in his life, especially in the last year. But the way Danny said those words, and way he looked as he said them he knew that Danny was telling the truth. He was just about to open the next door when he heard Danny yell something at him and watched as Danny and Martin dove behind a wall. The next thing he knew he had hit the ground hard. He turned his head painfully to see Danny in a shooting position. "You know you can quit saving my life, there are easier ways to stay out of the dog house," Jack joked.
"I would if you quit standing in front of hails of bullets," Danny replied. "Jack-"
"I know, kill or be killed," Jack said. He just hoped that Martin would do the same. He hoped that they would all walk out of this alive. He hoped that they would find Chris, not just because their missing person was an innocent 5-year-old kid. But also for Danny's sake – he didn't know what his hotheaded agent would do if anything happened to that kid. When second hail of gunfire was fired over their heads he was ready and by the way his team moved they were also ready.
Danny moved quickly through the solely focusing on finding Chris. He didn't really notice the bullets that were being fired around him, as he danced around them. He kicked down the door that lead out of the room, but what he found none of his training would prepare himself for what lay within that room. Carlos had his arm wrapped around Chris's neck while he in the other hand he held a gun to Chris's head. He knew Carlos's psychological make up; he knew he wouldn't think twice about killing Chris or himself. Pausing briefly to take aim, he fired two shots at Carlos's head. He knew from the moment he had squeezed the trigger that the bullets had hit their mark. He quickly crossed the room, kicking up the gun as he went. Slowly and carefully, he bent down and looked into Chris's eyes – he was relived to see that the kid was unharmed.
"Chris," Danny said as he gently laid his hands on his small shoulders. He tried to ignore the sound of gunfire around them, but it was impossible – he need to get Chris to safety. "Hey there little man, see that cupboard over there," Danny said pointing to an old but substantial cupboard in the far corner of the room. He felt his heart break as he watched the terrified kid bravely nod before he began he scurry off towards the cupboard. "Hey I will come back from you I promise, don't come out of the cupboard unless my friends Jack Malone or Martin Fitzgerald or myself say so, understand?" Danny said as gently and as calmly as he could so not to frighten Chris any more than he already was.
"AJ, I'm scared," Chris whimpered.
Danny winced as Chris used the name that he was known by in Colombia, the name that associated him as a hit man. He drew breath and tried to ignore that fact he was associated as cold-blooded killer. "I know buddy, I know. But I will make sure no one hurts you I promise," Danny said as he gently carried Chris to the cupboard. "Now stay here and don't move until-"
"You or your friends, Martin and Jack say it's safe," Chris replied with a small smile.
Despite the situation, Danny couldn't help but smile back at Chris. "That's right buddy."Danny gentle hugged Chris as he reluctantly closed the cupboard. He leaned back and briefly closed his eyes as psyched himself up. He quickly crossed the room and patted Carlos down, taking the extras that Carlos was armed with. Not just for more protection but also so the cartel couldn't use them against them. He swung around the door calculating the highest risks as he moved. After what felt like an hour-long gunfight- although it was probably only a few minutes. Danny stood up and looking around, he knew that Jack and Martin where still alive, he had known where there during the whole gunfight, but he didn't know if they were unharmed.
"Jack, Martin are you alright?" Danny called out into the silence building. Waiting, hoping that he would hear the signal that they were ok.
"I'm good Danny, so is Jack," Martin called out as he emerged from the busted up crate. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," Danny said as he ran next door, hoping that no harm had come to that sweet, innocent child. He didn't deserve this, just because he had been born into a drug-ridden culture. Danny knew what it was like; he knew what a hard life it was yet how difficult it was escape that culture. But at least Chris had a beautiful, strong, independent woman as his mother. If Chris could escape that culture he would have a chance and with his mother he wouldn't end up like him. He wouldn't have the destroyed childhood that he had; he wouldn't get into the wrong crowd as he did.
"Chris, Chris… are you ok," Danny called out trying to sound as gentle as possible. "Chris it's ok, it's safe now, you can come out now. I promise that no one is going to hurt you now."
Chris slowly and apprehensive opened the door, when he was AJ crouched down outside, he knew that he was going to be ok. He knew he was safe, he knew that AJ wouldn't let anyone hurt him or his mother. He jumped out of the cupboard into AJ's arms.
Danny didn't know if Chris was unharmed but he did know one thing, he had to get Chris out of here. He didn't want Chris to have the horrific images that lay within the building burned into his memories. He didn't want Chris to live with nightmares that plagued him. He didn't want Chris to end up like him. "Hey buddy how about we get you out of here," Danny said as scooped Chris up in his arms and started to walk out of the building. He felt Jack's hand on his shoulder stopping him.
"Danny, wait up a second. We need to check if this area is secure," Jack said as he made Danny wait in the building while he and Martin secured the area.
Danny watched as Jack and Martin moved out into the open, clearing the area. He felt useless that he wasn't out there helping them, but right now he had a far more important task – he had to protect Chris. He saw Martin give the area the all clear and moved quickly to the safety of the car. It was over – it was over for Chris and Lucia, they could now live the lives that they dreamed of – unfortunately that life wouldn't involve him.
Lucia sat in the Federal building nervously wrapping her hands around the coffee that had long since gone cold. But it was something to do, it was a distraction from the waiting, from the news that these agents might bring. Her father had been wrong about the FBI, they weren't cold and heartless. The two female agents, Viv and Sam, had sat with her and talked. They had tried to put her at ease. They seemed to know and understand that she wouldn't be at ease until Chris walked through that door unharmed.
Viv was a mother so should understand. But they both seemed to understand what she was going through. Viv had told her that they had nearly lost someone that they loved twice, how the waiting had been unbearable – but seeing that person again, there weren't an enough words to explain how she felt were she knew that person was going to be ok. She wondered what it was like to care about someone that wasn't your family, so much. But she knew or thought she knew. AJ or whoever he was had been person. AJ had always cared about her, but how could she know him when their relationship had been based on lies.
She was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn't notice Sam enter until she was in front of her.
"Hey Lucia," Sam said
"Sam," Lucia said startled, trying to read her body language.
Sam sat down next to her. "We have Chris he's fine, my colleagues are bring in as we speak."
"T-thank you, t-thank you," Lucia repeated, allowing the tears to finally fall. "Not that I really care, but what about my father."
Sam paused briefly as she thought of away to break the news that her father was dead. "When our agents entered the building where they believed Chris was they were fired upon. Your father posed a direct threat to your son-"
"So one of your agents shot him," Lucia finished.
"Yes, but you have to understand-" Sam started again.
"Sam," Lucia said finally allowing herself to smile. "I can now live my life without fear, b-but I d-don't t-think I can go back to Colombia. You see the cartels run the government, I would probably be shot on the airport tarmac."
"Its ok, we can arrange for a new identity," Sam said as she looked up and saw Jack knock on the glass carrying Chris on his hip, she nodded for Jack to enter.
Lucia looked up as soon as she heard the door open. Before she knew it she had crossed the room and had taken Chris from agent Malone. Viv was right; there were not enough words that could describe how she was feeling right now. "Thank you, thank you," Lucia said as she found herself repeating herself again.
Jack and Sam backed out of the room to give Lucia and Chris their space. Sam looked around, "Where's Danny?"
"He's gone home," Jack replied. "It's been a tough day for him and he didn't feel that Lucia would want to see him."
"Sam, agent Malone," a voice called out from behind them.
Sam and Jack turned to see, Lucia standing behind them with Chris on her hip. "How can we help," Jack asked.
"U-mm, I don't know if you can help, but u-mm there's guy I think he's a FBI agent. Well anyway I saw him talking to you early," Lucia said to Jack. "Well he spent sometime in Colombia where he went by the name of Alejandro Rios. I-It's just I've made a huge mistake and –"
"Is this 'Alejandro Rios' about 6'2", Cuban with a wild, untamed hair?" Sam asked smiling.
"Yes, do you know him?" Lucia asked apprehensively.
"His name is Danny Taylor," Jack replied. "You know the only reason he went to Colombia was to protect us and the only reason he left was to protect you and us. If he could have gone to Colombia before he would've but he couldn't."
"Danny Taylor," Lucia repeated. "H-he was the person that was like your brother that you lost twice, why twice?"
"Because of me," Jack said as he stepped forward. "Someone shot at us and he took a bullet for me, he saved my life."
"Oh," Lucia said, suddenly feeling incredibility guilty for the way she had treated Danny. He was the guy that protected her in Colombia. He went to Colombia to protect his co-workers, he left Colombia to protect her and Chris and his co-workers, he saved his boss's life and he probably saved Chris's life. "Look I have made a huge mistake and I-I just want to apologise to him. do you know were he is?"
Sam stepped forward knowing this was her chance to beginning to repay the debt that she felt she owe Danny. "He's gone home, but I can give you his address if you want," Sam said as she scribbled down Danny's address on a scrap of paper.
Lucia took the paper and scanned quickly before repeating thanking the agents for everything that they had done before she found herself sprinting towards the elevator. She hoped that she wasn't too late to right the biggest mistake in her life.
Lucia mentally urged the cab forward, why was it going so slowly? She hoped she wasn't too late to correct her mistakes. Why had she been so judgemental? Danny was the first in her life to give a damn about her and Chris. The first person to protect them, he was the first that could make her feel safe, make her laugh and she had thrown it back in his face. He had risked his life for them. He had risked his life for his team. He was a good person and she didn't deserve him. Throughout her life she had convinced herself that she didn't need anyone, but she did. She needed Danny, she loved Danny, she hoped that Danny would forgive her.
Danny paced up and down his apartment. He didn't believe he would ever need a drink as much as he did now, but he felt his world was crashing down around him. He had never understood love before; he had never understood the pain that love brought. But as he stood in his apartment, he had never felt so alone again. He couldn't stop himself as he grabbed his wallet and keys and started to walk towards the door. He couldn't face a bar, he had pride now, he didn't want people see him crying over his drink. He didn't want people to take pity on him.
Lucia quickly paid for the cab and scooped Chris up into her arms as she ran towards the apartment building. In frustration, she hit the elevator button but it wasn't coming fast enough, so she took to the stairs taking two at time – not feeling Chris's weight. When she reached Danny's apartment, she took a breath and tried to collect herself. She nervously knocked on the door hoping that he would forgive her, not knowing what she would do if he didn't.
Danny frowned as he heard someone knocking on his door. Curiously he walked over and opened the door, wondering who wanted to visit him; maybe they could stop him from drinking. He doubted it; right now one of the only people that would stop him hated him. He opened the door and felt his heart skip a beat, he couldn't believe, it couldn't true. He was too shocked to say or do anything, but stand and stare open mouthed.
"Danny?" Lucia asked nervously
"Y-yeah," Danny stammered as he tried to put a sentence together. "Sorry please come in."
"Danny, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Lucia said as she tried to gain control of her emotions. "I'm sorry the way I treated you especially after everything you have done for me."
"Hey," Danny said as he nervously ran is fingers through her hair. "Hey Lucia, I understand. I never wanted to hurt you. When I was with you out there I was being myself."
"I know, just the way your co-workers described you, the reasons that you did the op in the first place, the fact that you saved your boss's life that you saved Chris's life, I don't think I will ever be able to repay you," Lucia said stumbling over her words.
"Lucia there is something I need to tell, it going to hard I have to tell you," Danny apprehensively. Lucia may well walk out on him again, but he had to tell her the truth about her father's death. He had to tell her that he killed her father. "Your father was holding a gun to Chris's head, t-there was nothing I could do, so I-I."
"So you saved Chris's life and brought us our freedom," Lucia said as she leant front and kissed Danny's cheek. It was then, when she felt her lips brush his stubbled cheek and felt his strong, protective arms around her hips, she realised how much she missed him. "I love you, Danny Taylor."
Danny pulled Lucia closer. "Babes you don't know how much I miss you," Danny looked to one side and saw Chris looking through his car magazines. "How much I have missed both you. You don't how bad I felt when I couldn't come and get you as I promised."
"It's not your fault I know if you had a chance you would've come and got us," Lucia said as she bit her lip. "Danny I nothing but Chris and the clothes we stand up in, I don't know what to do."
"Well you can stay with me tonight, or as long as you want," Danny said as he gently kissed her head. Please stay with me for the rest of my life, Danny thought.
"Are sure?" Lucia asked trying to hide her smile.
"Yes I'm sure, I-I love you Lucia," Danny stuttered.
Lucia felt tears brimming in her eyes, but they were not tears of fear or sadness they were tears of joy. She would have to live a life of fear anymore. Her dreams had come true. As she sank into Danny's chest, she had never felt so safe or at home in her life. This was the end of her nightmare.
Danny wrapped his arms around Lucia tightly. He never thought this moment would happen. He never thought his childhood dream would come true – but it had. It was the end of coming home to an empty apartment; it was the end of feeling lonely. It was end of the string of meanness relationships. His nightmare was finally over, Danny thought as he gently kissed Lucia's head again. It was over.