Massive thanks to anmodo for betaing this fic and thanks to everyone that has reviewed it really helps.
A shot rang out.
Danny watched in confusion as his father fell to the ground. Twisting around to aim his gun at whoever shot his father – not knowing who the target was, his grip on his gun relaxed when he realized who the shooters were. It was over. Dropping his gun, he collapsed and closed his eyes. It was really over.
"Have you got me covered?" Jack yelled to Megan as they quickly jogged over to Danny and his father.
"Yeah," Megan replied quickly. Her finger hovering over the trigger, ready for the slightest indication that Jorge would go for his gun. Quickly, she glanced across at Danny, biting her lip as she took note of his bloodied, battered appearance. "You all right?" she called out as she returned her glaze back to Jorge.
"Fine," Danny grimaced as he put pressure on the wound. "Just split the stitches, that's all."
"Ok," Megan replied as she forced herself to concentrate on the scumbag in front of her. "Jack are you done with that shit?"
"Done? No," Jack replied, looking up with an evil grin. "But he's secure. Check Danny out," he finished casting a worried glance at his bloodied and battered agent.
"You sure?" Megan asked not moving her aim from Jorge's head.
"Yes," Jack said as he pulled Jorge's arms up showing the handcuffs. "Me and Jorge here are going to have a little chat."
Megan smirked. In her opinion Jorge deserved everything he was about to get and more. But right now her concern was Danny. Slinging her gun over her shoulders, she raced towards Danny. "Are you sure you're all right, baby," Megan asked again, her voice thick with concern.
"I'm fine. I promise you," Danny replied, trying not show the pain. But as he looked into her eyes, he knew he couldn't lie to her. "Well not totally fine – but I will be."
"Oh, Danny," Megan exclaimed as she gently ran her hand down his face. Pulling off her hoodie, she pressed it against the chest wound. "You're going to be okay, baby. I promise you."
"Megs, relax. I know," Danny reassured as he pressed against the chest wound. He closed his eyes as he felt her gentle hands start to wipe away the blood from his face. He felt pain flare down his wrist and nearly choked as he remembered the dead man switch in his hand. "Baby, you and Jack need to get the hell away from here – there's a bomb."
Wiping the last of the blood off Danny's face, Megan sharply inhaled as she digested what he had just told her. With trembling fingers, she handed the water bottle to Danny. "What?" she managed to ask.
"You and Jack have to get everyone the hell away from here," Danny started. He closed his eyes as he tried to draw slow, deep breaths, but it was so hard. Moving his hand, he showed Megan the dead man switch. "There is a bomb in that apartment," he stated as he pointed. "It's a dead man switch, but also has a range. I've got to stay here. If I don't, the bomb will detonate."
Swallowing, Megan digested the information. Leaning forward, she gently stroked his cheek. She picked up the radio, gently entwining her hand with his. "Jack," Megan said tonelessly to the radio.
Jack looked down at his radio in annoyance and concern. Danny had looked fine, but what did he know? He wasn't a medic. All he wanted to do was beat the crap out of Jorge for what he had done to Danny, past and present. A man that was supposed to protect his son had done quite the opposite. Nervously and reluctantly, he reached down to his radio.
"Megan," he asked tensely.
"Jack, we need the bomb squad," Megan said wincing as she waited for Jack's reaction.
"What!" Jack yelled as he glared at Jorge.
"Whoa, Jack. We need to stay calm. All right?" Megan replied quickly.
"I will bloody yell, if I want to, especially since you have just told me about a goddamn bomb," Jack yelled back. He glared again at the now chuckling Jorge. "Get hold of NYPD, then get Danny and yourself the hell away from there."
"Jack… we can't," Megan started.
"What? Why?" Jack said cutting Megan off, panic and concern evident in his voice.
"Because of the way the bomb is wired," Megan paused. "If Danny moves farther away from the apartment, the bomb will detonate. It's also set up with a dead man switch."
Clenching his jaw, Jack took a moment to digest the latest piece of information that Megan had given her. He couldn't understand how this animal, this man of pure evil was Danny's father. He sent a death glare at Jorge before answering the radio again. "Get the bomb squad and NYPD," he said as he started to issue commands.
"Got it. What are you going to do?" Megan asked as she gently squeezed Danny's shoulder.
"I will be with you in a few minutes, but first, I have stop Jorge here bleeding to death," Jack said with an evil grin.
"Oh," Megan started, smirking slightly as she knew what Jack meant by his last comment. "Well we can't have that, can we? I'll contact the bomb squad."
Megan barely heard Jack's reply before she started making the phone calls. After contacting the bomb squad and NYPD, she put down her phone and rested her head on Danny's.
"You have to get out of here, baby," Danny stated.
"I'm not going anywhere," Megan said cutting him off.
"There is no way in hell that I am leaving you here," Megan replied.
"You have to go Megs, please," Danny pleaded. "I love you and that's the reason you have to go. I don't want you to die, in this shit hole, you deserve much better than this. You deserve more that I can give you."
"Don't say that. You have given me so much. And what? You think you do deserve to die here?" Megan asked as she waved her arms around. "You don't deserve to die here any more than anyone else does, and whatever happens, I am not going to let you die alone."
Gently, she pressed her lips against Danny's and passionately kissed him - silencing him. "I am staying here with you and there is nothing you can do to stop me."
Danny sighed; he knew he was fighting a losing battle. He was relieved but at the same time anxious that she was staying. He didn't want to die alone, he had been terrified of that all of his life. But he didn't want Megan to die because of him. She was beautiful, intelligent, funny and, in his opinion, way out his league. Yet she still wanted to be with him and when facing imminent death, she didn't want to leave him. She had stood by him and supported him through the aftermath of the shooting, everything with his brother and father. What has he done for her? He didn't realise he had voiced his thoughts until Megan replied.
"What have you done for me?" Megan asked in slight shock. "You have supported me. You have been there for me after really shitty cases. You make me laugh, you make me feel safe, I can relax with you. I love you Special Agent Danny Taylor and at the end of the day, I know everything is going to be all right because I have you to come home to. It's going to be all right Danny."
"I hope so," Danny started. "I-It's just…I don't like the idea of being here when there is a bomb that could go off any moment and you don't have to be here."
"There is no way in hell I am leaving you and I doubt Jack will either. Anyway, it doesn't matter. The bomb squad will arrive soon and before we know it, we will be going home," Megan said with a small smile. "Quit worrying about Jack, me and everyone else and think about yourself for a moment."
"Ok," Danny said slowly. He found a small smile for Megan, despite the situation. He closed his eyes as another wave of pain rode through his body. He knew he had to keep holding the switch, but he didn't know how much longer he could as the pain in his wrist was constant now.
"Lean back," Megan ordered as she eased him back so his head was resting in her lap. As she began to gently run her hands through his hair, she felt him begin to relax slightly.
"Are you pissed with me, like Jack is?" Danny asked tiredly as he closed his eyes again.
"A bit," Megan started. "But we both know why you wanted to do it this way. You still could've done it this way, but Jack and I could have been your backup. In the distance – but there in case you needed us."
"So Jack's really pissed?" Danny asked.
"No, just overly concerned about you right now," Megan replied as she continued to run her hands through his hair. Where the hell was the bomb squad? What was taking so long? Megan asked herself. She closed her eyes and sighed before continuing. "But right now he's making sure that bastard of a father isn't going to bleed to death. You know how it sometimes hurts when you put pressure on a wound." Smirking, she hoped Danny would understand.
Danny smirked. "Can't have him bleeding to death, can we now?" Danny started. "And of course, Jack is providing life saving treatment."
"Something like that," Megan replied as she leaned down and kissed his forehead, "Are you really ok?"
"I'm fine," Danny responded again. He saw Megan roll her eyes. "Really. I'm fine, baby."
"Really?" Megan said tension and concern evident in her voice. "That's why you are bleeding all over. That's why your jaw is tense as hell and you keep wincing in pain – you are not 'fine'."
"Then why did you ask the question if you already knew the answer?" Danny snapped regretting it the moment he said it.
"I was just checking how un-fine you were," Megan explained ignoring his snappiness. "If you had said that you weren't fine – then I would have been really worried."
"Sorry," Danny said sheepishly. "It's just-"
""Scared, pissed, in pain?" Megan suggested. "And you think I'm not? I'm terrified at the moment."
"Yeah," Danny said agreeing to Megan's suggestions. He looked at her and didn't see the fear that she was talking about. But as he looked closer, as he looked in her eyes – he saw glimpses of it. "You don't look as though you're terrified."
"Well that's because I'm like you, I don't really show my emotions - but I am really scared," she revealed.
Reaching up with his free hand, he gently stroked her face. "It's going to be fine, baby" Danny reassured wincing as his wrist continued to protest. He didn't know how much longer he could press the dead man switch. He didn't want Megan and Jack to get killed because of him. He knew it wasn't his fault – but the fault of a cold-blooded killer that was his father. The only person that he didn't care if lived or died was his father.
Looking up, Megan sighed in relief as she saw the cavalry arriving. Leaning down, she gently kissed his cheek before taking a deep purposeful breath – as she tried to act business like. "Do you know where the bomb is?" she asked gently.
"Yeah it's in the apartment block on the 3rd floor by the stairwell," Danny replied instantly.
Megan frowned. "How did you know that?"
"'Because the bastard that is my father is also an arrogant son of a bitch and thought he was going to kill me, so he told me," Danny replied with a smirk.
Megan smiled. "The bomb is in the apartment block on the 3rd floor by the stairwell," she started in a business-like tone. "Around the corner is Special Agent Jack Malone with the bomber." She watched as commands were given and followed.
"Ma-am, you need to come with me. We have it from here," the commander of the bomb squad started.
"No I am staying here. You do your job, okay? The bomb has a dead man switch and a range sensor. I am not leaving him – that part is non-negotiable."
"I'm not going anywhere. I'm not leaving Danny and that is final," Megan replied sharply.
"Maybe you should, baby. It's going to be fine, you might as well-" Danny said as he slowly sat up, closing his eyes as his world began to spin.
"As you said, once again, it's going to be fine. So there is no problem with me staying here with my favourite FBI agent," Megan said with a smile as she wrapped her arms around him. "I love you, Danny Taylor and there is no way I am going to leave you now."
"I just don't want to see hurt or killed, that's all," Danny replied.
"Nor do I, Danny, nor do I," Megan replied quietly as she gently hugged him. She looked up and vaguely watched the flurry of activity around them. She found her attention focused on one figure arguing with one of the cops.
"I'm Special Agent Jack Malone," Jack said as he fought to remain calm. He shoved his ID at the cop's face to re-enforce the matter.
"I'm sorry sir, but only essential personnel are allowed in the restricted area-"
"That is my agent," Jack said pointing towards Danny and Megan. He took a breath as he tried to calm himself – he really didn't need this. "And I am going over there whether you like it or not." With that, Jack roughly pushed passed the ring of cops that had started to encircle him.
After his little 'chat' with Danny's father he felt his anger swell as he approached his bloodied and battered agent. Although he wanted to beat the crap out of Jorge for what he had done to the team and Danny – he some how restrained himself. Megan had told him on the way over that Jorge was wanted in several different countries – that the case against him was very strong. But as he stared into those cold, dark eyes and listened to how this animal beat Danny as a child, he felt his grip on humanity slipping. He was relieved when some cops showed up and he could finally hand that animal over to them. How could two people that share DNA be so different, Jack thought as he sat down next to Danny. His father was a cold, heartless killer who would take great pleasure in taking a child's life. Whilst Danny was a warm, caring soul who would probably give his life to save another's.
"How are you?" Jack asked as he squeezed Danny's shoulder.
"Ok," Danny replied with a small smile.
"Don't worry about it – it will soon be over," Jack reassured.
'Over' Danny thought, what was 'over'? He found himself producing a nod and a smile. He closed his eyes and bit back the tears that threatened to fall as his wrist reminded him why he was here. He didn't want Megan and Jack to be here but he knew it was pointless arguing. He didn't want them to get hurt or killed because of him. But at the same time, he was glad that they were here – he didn't want to be alone.
After what felt like hours, Danny saw someone from the bomb squad approaching them. He hoped to god the bomb was defused as it was becoming near impossible to hold the dead man switch.
"Sir, the bomb has been defused. You can let go of that now," the bomb squad commander said.
Blinking his eyes several times, he stared down at the dead man switch. He slowly un-tensed—his eyes closing his eyes as he did – as though he was waiting for the bomb to explode. But it didn't. It was really over. He vaguely heard Jack issuing commands and him gently squeezing his shoulder. His senses dulled as the adrenaline worn off and the pain rode through his body. Leaning into Megan's touch, he knew it was over.
Jack sighed a sigh of relief. He glanced over at Danny's tense, pain-ridden expression and frowned. Hadn't the poor kid been through enough in his life without this? He looked over at Megan. "Take him to the hospital and make sure he gets probably checked out."
"Sure," Megan replied as she gently stroked Danny's arm. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to deal with Jorge, and then I am heading over to Danny's apartment to pick some stuff up for him," Jack replied. He gave Danny's shoulder a gentle squeeze before leaving them.
Danny struggled on the jacket that Jack had brought over with the rest of his clothes. He sighed and ran a hand through his wild, untamed hair. The injuries had looked worse than they were actually were. The cut on his head and the stab had been reopened. His wrist had been painfully re-broken but the doctors didn't expect any ill affects – as long as he took it easy for while. Danny smiled slightly. At least he didn't have to stay overnight. He looked up as he heard someone enter the room, expecting to see Megan return with the completed paperwork.
"Hey," Jack said as he wandered into Danny's room. "How are you feeling?"
"Ok," Danny said with a small smile. "Look, I'm really sorry about earlier. I thought I could handle it. In fact, I don't think I was really thinking," he confessed.
"Don't worry about," Jack reassured as he sat down next to the younger agent. "As far as my report is concerned – you were there minding your own business and then a suspicious man walks by who you confront."
"Thanks Jack," Danny replied. "U-mm, Jack, I don't know if this is possible but I would like some time off – it will only take a couple of days."
"No problem. I will just put it down as sick leave," Jack said eyeing Danny's injuries. "Can I ask why?"
"I need to go to Florida to pay my respects to my mom," Danny said quietly.
Several months later
Putting down the phone, Jack sighed. Today had been tedious – no cases just mountains of overdue paperwork, but now the day had taken dramatic turn. He rubbed his hand over his face and looked across the office. Viv, Sam and Martin had headed home long ago, but Danny – mentioning something about finishing paperwork so he could enjoy the weekend with Megan – remained. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed again. He was glad that everyone else had headed home; he wanted to tell Danny what he just heard in private without everyone else around. Taking a calming breath, he stood up and started to walk over to Danny's desk. Danny had been lucky – he was showing no ill affects from his 'meetings' with his father. And after his trip to Florida, he had returned visibly relaxed.
"I thought I had sent everyone home," Jack started.
"You did, but I'm just going to be a few more minutes then I'm out of here," Danny replied not looking up from his paperwork.
"I need to talk you about something," Jack continued. Noticing Danny hadn't looked up from his paperwork, he re-enforced the matter. "I need to talk to you in my office."
Frowning at his boss's tense and nervous appearance, he replied, "Sure Jack." And then he quickly stood and followed Jack into his office.
"What's up?" Danny asked breaking the silence as he watched Jack just standing staring at his desk.
"What, u-mm," Jack stuttered as Danny's question brought him deep out of his thoughts. "Take a seat." Jack waved his hand towards the couch.
Danny sat down and looked at Jack curiously. "Jack," he asked nervously. "What's going on? Has something happened to Megan?"
"No sorry, Megan's fine as far as I know," Jack replied. "Look Danny the reason I brought you in here, is well I know the outcome of Jorge's trial."
"Oh right, ok," Danny said not knowing what else to say.
"He was found guilty," Jack continued gently.
"Ok," Danny stuttered looking down at his feet. "U-mm w-what was his sentence?"
"He was, Danny there is no easy way to tell this," Jack continued as he tried to read Danny's reaction.
"Jack I need to know, I don't want to hear about this from some third hand source. Please tell me," Danny pleaded.
"He was sentenced to death," Jack said quickly.
"What?" Danny said looking up. It wasn't as though he wasn't expecting this outcome. It was just now it had happened; now Jack had told him it was real. His whole family was dead – not that he thought of his father as his family anymore. Suddenly, he stood and looked around. He needed fresh air. "Thanks Jack. I've gotta go."
"Danny," Jack called after the retracting figure. "Where are you going?"
"I don't know, Jack. I've just gotta get out of here," Danny said as he started to almost run out of the office.
"Are you going to a meeting?" Jack asked his concern rising by the second.
"I don't know. Maybe. I've just gotta get out of here," Danny yelled as he stumbled out of the office and into the elevator.
Shaking his head, Jack knew there was nothing he could do when Danny got like this. He didn't want Danny throw away nine years of sobriety. Picking up his cell phone, he called Megan. If anyone could help, it was her.
Leaning against the elevator wall, Danny rubbed his face. He had heard Jack calling after him but he had to just get out of there. He didn't want to them to see how he was going too react as he didn't know himself. He had heard Jack mentioning that maybe he should go to a meeting – but right now he didn't feel like a drink – not in a bar anyway. He just needed to be alone.
This weekend was supposed to have been perfect but once again his father had seen to ruining that. He dug his hands into his pockets and felt the small box that had set his nerves on edge, since he brought it. Sighing, he had hoped that this weekend would've been perfect but he didn't think it could be now. The elevator doors dinging startled him as it pulled him out of his thoughts. Stumbling across the parking lot, he collapsed into his car resting his head against the steering wheel. He started driving not knowing or caring where he ended up. He just knew that he had to get away from there.
Megan sighed as she ended the call. She yawned. It had been a bitch of a case, but after what Jack had told her, sleep would have to wait. Taking a long slug of coffee, she started the car and drove towards Rockaway – where she thought Danny might be. She didn't know why she thought Danny would be there; she just had a feeling that he would be. Walking down the beach, she found a lone figure sitting leaning against the wall
"Danny," she said softly as she crouched down next to him.
"This was where we met a year ago," Danny started in a quiet lost tone.
"I remember," Megan replied as she sat down and waited for Danny to continue.
"I'm just thinking how different my life was then compared to what is now," Danny continued in the same lost tone.
"Danny-" Megan started.
"I'm fine, Megs. I promise you," Danny said looking up with a genuine Danny Taylor smile. "It's not as if I haven't been preparing myself for this outcome – I have been doing that since you arrested him. Anyway, he was never really my father; even Jack has been more a father to me than that bastard ever was."
"So you're really are all right then?" Megan asked feeling relieved.
"Yeah, I'm good. Finally, my mom and Rafi can rest in peace," Danny said as he wrapped his arms around her.
"You know what? I know they would be damn proud of you."
"You think?" Danny said brightly.
"I don't think. I know they would be proud of you," Megan said as she pulled herself out of Danny's arms. "How about we continue this somewhere warm, it's freezing out here."
Danny shivered slightly noticing the ice-cold wind for the first time. Nervously, he rummaged in his pockets again. Today was the start of a new beginning and Megan was the perfect person to start his new beginning with.
Biting his lip he draw a deep shaky breath. "Megan," he started, as he tried to control his racing heart. "Will you marry me?"
Stopping in her tracks, Megan felt her heart skip a beat. Spinning around, her breath caught when she saw Danny down on one knee. Looking into his soft brown eyes, she felt herself melt into them. She knew the answer to his question yet she could barely speak.
"Yes," Megan said in a shaky voice as she felts the tears streaming down her face.