Title: Shallow Hal

Fandom: Without a Trace

Rating: PG-13

Category: Angst, UST, Post-ep

Summary: Danny gets a guilt-trip about all his one-night stands.

Disclaimer: I only own them in my dreams

AN: I've just watched 'American Goddess' and I fell in love with Danny even more (I didn't think it was possible, but there you go!) I like Sam. I like Martin. I just don't like them TOGETHER. Martin belongs with Danny and it's painful to see him with Sam. Who does Martin think he's fooling? breaks down into tears

Shallow Hal

"Er, hi Sarah. I'm just phoning you to say… I'm sorry I didn't phone you months ago. Or answer your calls. It was a great night and I'm a jerk for ignoring you afterwards. You deserve somebody better than me anyway. I just… I just hope you get this message. I'm sorry." Danny had almost put the phone down before rapidly bringing it closer to add "Oh, it's Danny by the way. And I'm sorry."

Danny collapsed on the couch, all his energy gone. He was still determined though, driven by guilt and other such emotions. He fought the exhaustion, picked up the phone again and dialled the next number in his little black book.

"Hi Kathy. It's Danny." Danny paused as screaming could be heard on the other side of the line. "I know. I know." Danny accepted all the shouts, insults and names. "You're right. I lied to you. I made you think I was serious and I'm sorry." Danny was cut off by the screams once again. He just absorbed them before simply replying, "I'm sorry." He listened to Kathy and accepted all the accusations without a word, even the ones that weren't true. By the time she had hung up, he was in tears.

He let the phone drop to the floor and curled up into the tiniest ball he could. He clutched the phonebook closely to his chest, trying to calm his sobs. Soon they were silent, but the tears were still rolling down his cheeks.

Then, his doorbell rang.

Danny just curled up even tighter, trying to ignore the noise, which had now turned into a heavy persistent knocking. He didn't want any company; he didn't want to let ANYONE see him crying. He just wanted to cry himself to sleep.

He was just drifting off when he heard a key turn in his lock, and the door open.

"Danny?" the familiar voice asked with concern. Danny tried to ignore it; really hoping it would go away. He really didn't want anyone to see him in that state. Especially not Martin.

"Danny?" It wasn't until he felt Martin's hand on his shoulder that Danny turned slightly. He tried wiping his tears away first though.

"Martin, what are you doing here?" Danny had tried to sound rude but failed as he sounded like a frightened child instead. Martin could see the tears that glistened off of Danny's cheeks, even running down his neck. Martin froze, realising he didn't really have an answer to Danny's question.

"Sam was worried about you."

"Sam..." Danny repeated softly to himself. It didn't sound right but Danny wasn't quite ready to dismiss the idea that perhaps somebody cared for him. Danny was lost in his own world, in his own thought and they weren't pretty. Martin felt helpless. All he could do was watch as silence surrounded them.

"You're not like him." Martin eventually said.

"He used that woman. Broke her heart and he expected me to understand. To know because I am EXACTLY like him."

"No. No Danny! You care—"

"Since when! Since when have I ever cared about anybody apart from myself? I USE peopleto make ME feel better!"

"That's not true." Martin whispered, fighting the tears that were prickling his eyes.

"Call any number." Danny shoved a black phonebook into Martin's hands. "Call any number in this book and I'm sure she'll be happy to tell you what scum I am. How cruel I am. Evil, in fact. I HURT them Martin. I hurt them because I wasn't serious. I wasn't thinking. I was only thinking about ME." Danny's voice was so full of pain and misplaced anger about himself that it was agony for Martin to listen.

"You're my friend." Martin's voice cracked with emotion, and he cut himself off before he could say more.

"Hell knows I'm a lousy friend Martin. You should know that from personal experience." Danny curled up tighter and tried to bury himself in the sofa. When he spoke next his voice was so weak, yet still bitter. "Just ignore me Martin. I'm being self-obsessed. I can't drown myself in drink so I'll drown myself in self-pity instead. Just go. Please?" Danny was pleading.

"You've saved my life before. You HELP people Danny. You make people feel safe. You just smile and–"

"I'm not smiling now." Danny interrupted, looking Martin straight in the eye. Allowing Martin to see his pain freely for the first time. Martin had to look away.

"No. You're not." He whispered, staring at the floor and gathering his thoughts. "But you're a good man Danny. Don't doubt it because of some scumbag suspect. You're not like him. You could never be like him. You're too good." Danny snorted at that. "What?" Martin asked.

"You have a lot of confidence in me."

"You usually have confidence in yourself."

"Yeah, but that's only because I belittle all those around me."

"Danny." Martin growled

"I don't know why you're objecting, seeing as you're the one I tease most." Danny smirked and Martin smiled, grateful to see Danny happy again but biting his tongue so he wouldn't actually say so out loud.

"I'm glad you came around Martin." Danny stood up so he could better address Martin. God, the look in Danny's eye was so sincere, so honest that Martin froze.

"I've got to go." Martin made his excuses, that he was meeting Sam, and hurriedly exited. Leaving Danny alone.

Finish