Hey a huge thank you to Ukeleleboy for the translations, and to all my loyal reviewers and readers, I hope you've enjoyed the fic.
Here it is, the final chapter…
Chapter 14: Loose Ends
This will not end well; in fact this will probably end terribly and there's nothing he can do to change that, but what he can do is change the targets these negative effects could hit. He can do two things, one, ignore Garcia and in turn piss him off further, or two, confront him and get whatever is to come over and done with. Without giving it too much thought Danny choose option number two, and now he stands, silent nerves stinging through him, waiting for Garcia to make his next move.
Ignoring the weapons aimed at him, the gang leader glances down to the body at Danny's feet and his face immediately twists into an evil grin. "What a pity," he mutters, shaking his head in mock sympathy, "she was such a great leader."
Danny clenches his fists, anger rinsing over him, but he bites his tongue, not wanting to give Garcia the pleasure of seeing his reaction.
At Danny's silence, Garcia continues. "It's her own fault really, she's the one who insisted on bringing you here, and that's what led to her death." He stares the agent sharply in the eyes, "so if it wasn't for you, she'd still be with us."
Danny knows what he's trying to do, and it's clearly working as he feels the guilt within him rising to the surface, but he holds it back, not willing for it to show.
Garcia takes a few steps forward, and in the corner of his eye, Danny notices Jack moving closer towards him, preparing himself for anything the gang leader may try.
Still Danny stays quiet; he knows all too well that when it comes to Garcia silence is better for your heath. Unfortunately, Jack doesn't know this.
"Stay where you are, you're under arrest," Jack yells, and for some reason expects Garcia to obey.
The gang leader's stare moves from Danny and comes to a stop on the senior agent, irritation radiating clearly from his features. "I suggest you stay out of this," he mutters, his tone almost daring Jack to continue.
He holds his ground. "You're under arrest as an accessary to the abduction of a federal agent," he moves closer, "freeze and put your hands where I can see them," he demands, clearly less than happy with the results he's received so far.
"Abduction?" He laughs, "you could have me for a lot worse," he turns back to Danny, a wicked smile playing on his lips, "but somehow I don't think you'll get the proof."
Danny squirms under his intense gaze, knowing that sadly Garcia's right, there's no way he'll stand up I a courtroom to testify, not when it will mean putting all those he cares about in serious danger…again.
Now completely ignoring Jack, Garcia returns his full attention back to Danny. "What I'd like to know is how the hell you managed to escape from your cell."
Danny smirks, and is momentarily filled with confidence at the thought of his earlier break out. "Your guys aren't as tough as they think," he replies, thinking back to how he easily knocked the guy out, who was transferring him from the cell.
Garcia grins, though is clearly unhappy with Danny's reveal. His hand sinks slowly into his pocket, and holding it there, Danny feels his fear once again begin to take control, but still thinking rationally, he calmly shallows it back.
"Vas a matarme?" Danny asks, enquiring about his own death and changing to Spanish in an attempt not to alarm his co-workers.
Garcia replies in English, not giving Danny the luxury to hide behind the language. "No," he smirks, "not right now, but the next time we meet I won't hesitate to kill you. Mejor será que cubras tus espaldas, Alvarez," and with those last words he departs.
Danny's standing stunned, he expected this confrontation to end terribly, to at least end in someone's death, but strangely enough, there's nothing. Garcia walked away with merely a threat. A gut wrenching horror settles inside the agent. It wasn't just a threat, Garcia has every intention of finishing this, on making sure he sees Danny dead, he just wasn't willing to do it with two other F.B.I agents standing right there, and a SWAT team around the corner. He probably would have gotten away with it though, so maybe there's more to it, he doesn't want Danny to just die, he wants him to suffer.
Jack has a huge urge to shoot this guy. It would probably solve some future problems and make him feel a hell of a lot better in the process, but Danny hasn't reacted, he's given no sign that he wants Jack or Sam to shoot the gang leader, so maybe the senior agent should be thankful that Garcia turned around and left, and continue with the rest of the situation at hand. Letting a man that just threatened one of his agent walk away feels extremely unnatural to Jack, it feels wrong, but the odds are that Garcia would end up shooting him or his agent, so that's not the kind of risk he's willing to take.
Turning to Danny, Jack notices that his eyes haven't left the spot in which the gang leader departed. This means two things, 1 the threat has really gotten to Danny, and he knows he hasn't seen the last of that man, and 2 he's forgotten all about the body laying at his feet. Jack sees his window of opportunity and instantly leaps at it, hoping it won't close before they're home free. Gently grabbing Danny's arm he begins to guide the younger agent from the hall. For a brief moment his eyes meet Jack's, a follow emptiness searing within, before they drop to the floor, unseeing and lost in thought.
Finally after what felt like far too much time, they break out of the building and into the cold night's air. Jack breathes it in hungrily, enjoying the sensation of a large weight being lifted from his shoulders, the fear disappearing, leaving only the lingering nerves for what the future may hold, something that right now the agent has no intention of focusing on. People rush up to them and the paramedics take Danny from his grasp, immediately snapping him from his state of wonderment.
"He's got a reopened gunshot wound to the shoulder, and he's suffered a hit to the head, " Jack reads off, hoping he hasn't forgotten anything. As they move towards the awaiting ambulance, Jack's worry begins to rise again, 'what if something happens on the way to the hospital, what if he missed something and they can't fix it,' the agent's paranoid thoughts shout at him. He knows it's stupid, but after getting though everything else, something happening now, well it just… Jack doesn't want to think about it, and luckily he doesn't have to.
"Will you be riding with us sir?" the paramedic asks.
Not missing a beat Jack replies, "yes, I definitely will."
About to jump into the vehicle, he turns and spots Sam, silently watching them as they inspect Danny. Concern for her quickly rises once again. "Are you ok?" Jack asks, already knowing the answer, truth or lie.
She snaps her gaze from Danny. "Um, yeah I'm fine. I'll, I'll follow behind and meet you at the hospital."
Jack nods. "Alright, I'll see you there." He climbs in and closes the doors, already planning on having a long chat with her as soon as he can find the time.
Everything has been happening so fast, it's like he can barely breathe, he feels completely suffocated by his own life. He wants to climb out of this boggy mess, to carry on with life how it was before his past caught up, but now he doesn't think that will ever happen. He can see her, her expressionless body carved deeply into his mind, he can't forget, he can't rid himself of the images that now haunt him, the unexplainable guilt flooding his senses.
He's vaguely aware that Jack's speaking to him, but his mind is so far away the words aren't audible. He can't concentrate on anything; he's not even sure how he's able to put one foot in front of the other to walk. He can feel it, a growing shadow, getting closer and closer as though at any moment it will engulf him.
Light invades his eyes, but somehow the darkness still lurks, perhaps now stronger since it has the cover of the deceiving light.
Noticing that he's stopped walking he begins to become a bit more aware of his surrounds, he glances around, spotting the SWAT guys running though…the hall. A deep fear of the unknown stings though him, but there is a small part of him willing him forward, a desperate need to find out what is causing this strange reaction.
Jack speaks again, but he still can't understand the words, or find the will to answer. His mind goes blank, not a single thought running though it as he stares out into the open space.
"Come on, let's go." Jack's words ring though his ears, and on instinct his feet begin to follow the order. As he moves into the hall his mind starts working full force once more, as the terror reforms in his thoughts. His breathing immediately quickens, and he becomes strangely alert to the silence that surrounds him.
Suddenly gunfire erupts up ahead, and in a dazed panic, Danny's steps halt. A shiver racks though his body, and a cold sickly sensation overcomes him, the noise around him instantly mutes, and he becomes all too aware that something is watching him. He slowly turns around, and marching, having no real control of his body, he makes his way to the source of his paranoia.
Upon getting closer he's easily able to distinguish a body, and with the gut wrenching feeling growing intensely inside him, it takes all of his will power not to turn around and go back. The body comes into focus, the features are clearly recognisable and instantly, Danny feels as though an arrow has struck him. Grief takes over, as he falls to his knees, he's unable to doing anything but stare into his sister's eyes, the absolute horror physically unable to surface on his face. Instead, as automatic as he's been lately, he self-consciously reaches for her cold hand, and tightly grips it within his own.
Jack glances over at Danny, he looks so lost, but the senior agent realises that it's probably completely useless to try and talk to him; he appears to be in his own little world. As much as Jack would like to pull him back to reality, and out of his terrifying, guilt filled head, he quite honestly doesn't see the point. Danny won't acknowledge him, and maybe the sooner he can work though all of this, the sooner he'll be back to normal, or so Jack hopes. Normal is beginning to slip further and further away, but with everything that Danny's been though he's going to need some time to readjust, and until then, no one can really judge the situation.
Martin paces down the corridor for what feels like the hundred time, and probably is. He'd been in to check on Viv a few times, before the doctor finally told him that she needed her rest so it was better that he didn't disturb her. She'd obtained a concussion, and it was recommended that she stay over night at the least, and Viv, not being conscious at the time didn't get the opportunity to argue, something that Martin was quite thankful for. But now he's playing the waiting game once again, as the ambulance carrying his co-worker is soon to arrive. Jack had called some minutes earlier with the great news, that they were all out, and he and Danny were on their way to the hospital. He didn't give any further information on Danny's condition, and Martin didn't get the chance to ask, but by the sound of Jack's tone it can't be too serious. It's hard to believe that this nightmare is over, that Danny had been found and is going to receive the medical care that he needs. It was undoubtedly the toughest, most stressful and emotive case the team has ever had, and Martin prays that they will never have another one like it, he actually doesn't know if they'd all cope.
A few minutes later, much to his relief, Martin glances up to see Danny being wheeled in on a gurney, followed closely by an exhausted looking Jack. He quickly approaches, but before he can reach them, Danny's wheeled off in the other direction.
"Hey," Martin greets Jack once he's in earshot, "is he ok?"
Upon closer examination Jack appears even more worn out, the stress and worry written over his features.
"I hope so," the senior agent replies, his tone seeming distant.
"What is that suppose to mean?" Martin nervously enquires. He didn't think Danny was that bad, he knows he's been shot, but he has been to a hospital since then, even if it was only briefly, oh god, surely it's not that bad.
Realising his words Jack quickly explains, affectively removing some of the agent's worry. "I mean, well physically he should be fine, it's just mentally he might take a bit longer."
Martin nods in understanding, he'd never actually took the time to think about it, but after a lot of the bad cases, when the mp is found, they probably aren't the same for a very long time, maybe even never. The team never sees the after affects of their cases on the families or the mp themselves, they're usually just happy to find the person alive. Unfortunately they're all going to get to experience that now, he only hopes the outcome will be positive, and that Danny will return to his old self –with the exception of being able to open up and talk to someone when something's wrong, of course.
Samantha stands there silently watching the ambulance depart and after a few moments she begins to head back to her car, figuring she'll keep her word and go to the hospital.
During her drive Sam's thoughts begin to once again haunt her with a terrible guilt, she killed Erica, she's responsible for the death of Danny's sister. No matter how she tries to phase it, that it was self-defence, that she did it to protect Danny, it doesn't change the cold harsh fact, that if it weren't for her Erica would still be alive. She can't face Danny, she can't stand there pretending to be supportive, all the while hiding her dark secret, but she can't bear to tell him. She doesn't want him to hate her, but really what choice does she have, if she ever wants to move on from this incident she has got to come forward. Suddenly changing her mind about her destination, Sam turns the car around and decides to head to the office, there's plenty of paper work to get done, and there's no way she's ready to see Danny yet, she can put it off, at least for another day.
Vivian had woken only moments ago to find herself in an empty hospital room. It took her a few moments for her to realise what had happened, and when everything clicked back into place she was on her feet, and now makes her way down the hospital corridors in search of Danny. She'd woken briefly during the night and asked the nurse about her co-worker, she was extremely happy to find out he was here and doing well, but the nurse had told her she had to wait until morning to visit him, and being morning, she's on her way to do just that. She doesn't remember much about what happened surrounding the attack, but she does remember finding Danny, and how terrified he was, she needs to see him, and make sure that he's ok with her own two eyes.
After asking for directions Viv soon arrives outside Danny's room, and opening the door she steps inside. She's slightly taken aback by the pale figure lying peacefully in the bed. Approaching quietly, she takes a seat next to him and examines him carefully. Other than being extremely pale, his face appears worn with exhaustion, which considering everything that's happened it's very understandable. Like herself, he hadn't come into the hospital unconscious, but the doctors had drugged him up, and with the added exhaustion of the day, he'd fallen quickly into a deep slumber. Suddenly he moves in his sleep, Viv holds her breath, hoping he'll wake up, and sure enough, slowly but surely his eyes begin to open. "Danny?" Viv calls, letting him know that there's someone there.
His eyes sluggishly turn towards her, confusion written over his features. "Am I dead?" He asks, his voice croaky and strangely casual.
Viv smiles, somewhat amused by the question. "No honey you're not dead, you're in hospital, everything's going to be ok now," she coaxes.
"Oh, so you're dead," he mutters, a hint of guilt in his tone.
This remark can't help but surprise Viv. "No sweetie, I'm not dead either."
At this the sleepiness is instantly removed from Danny's face, he stares at her in shock, and despite his lack of strength, attempts to sit up. "You're alive!" He all but shouts, completely astonished by the revolution.
"Y-yes I-I am," Viv stutters with confusion, while trying to push Danny back down on the bed.
Eventually he relents and lies back down, but remains staring up at her with the same happiness sparkling in his eyes. "I thought they'd killed you," he whispers.
Finally Viv understands, he'd seen her being knocked unconscious and must have assumed the worst. "It's ok sweetie, I'm fine, you're going to be fine and everything can go back to normal," she happily replies, though she's almost sure Danny's not listening, smiling up at her too content in seeing her alive.
Martin makes his way slowly back to Danny's room. Since he'd arrived at the hospital, him and Jack have been taking shifts to keep an eye on him. Jack is extremely paranoid that this Garcia guy will come and for fill his threat and after being briefed on everything, Martin's inclined to agree with his boss. He had just been down the hall at the coffee machine, Danny's room in plain view, when he had seen Viv enter and he wanted to give her a moment. After a few minutes he decides to intrude and is met with the comforting sight of Viv and Danny chatting happily away, well Viv seems to be doing most of the talking.
"Hey, you're awake," Martin greets, causing two pairs of eyes to turn to him.
"He woke up just after I came in," Viv gleefully explains.
Martin opens his mouth to say something more, but is interrupted by another person storming in. "Viv! There you are," Viv's husband Marcus exclaims with relief, "please tell me next time you decide to go walkabouts."
Viv gives him a slight glare, clearly annoyed with the request. "You weren't there to tell," she simply states.
Marcus features soften. "I know, I'm sorry, but how about we get you back to your room, and see if you can get checked out, I know Reggie will want to see you."
At the mention of her son Viv relents. "Alright," she turns towards Danny, "I'll see you later then," she says, while affectionately squeezing his hand. Following Marcus out she gives Martin a small smile before departing, leaving the boys alone.
"So," Martin starts, being a bit uncomfortable with the situation, "how are you feeling?"
Danny doesn't answer; instead he seems to have blanked out, staring aimlessly at the wall in front of him.
"Danny?" Martin tries again to gain his friends attention.
"Huh?" Danny replies breaking out of his trance.
He wonders just what is going through Danny's head, probably nothing good, his sister's death, Garcia's threat, or a million other things that only Danny knows, so again Martin can't help but worry. For now he's happy that he broke the other agents train of thought, and he repeats his question. "How are you feeling?"
"Um, alright," Danny gives him a grin, "better than yesterday anyway."
Silence soon falls upon them, and Martin can't work out why he's finding it so difficult to talk to his friend. He now knows why Danny avoided him while he was in hospital, what can you say to someone in these situations, 'glad you didn't die.' That may have been relevant for him, but Danny had more riding on the situation than just his life. He has lost his sister, and no matter what kind of person she was, she was still family and its still going to hurt. Knowing Danny he's probably come up with a million reasons as to why it's his fault. Maybe that's where he should begin, trying to convince Danny that's he's not to blame.
"Hey man, you know it's not your fault, right?"
Danny remains silent for a while, already giving Martin his answer. "What part? For dragging you guys into this or getting Viv hurt?" He mumbles, his voice full of guilt.
"It was our decision to get involved, we wanted to help you, no one blames you for anything, least of all Viv," Martin explains, hoping his words will get through, but Danny gives no sign that they have. Realising that Erica hasn't been brought up, Martin decides to leave it, he doesn't want to put his foot in his mouth, Danny may not be ready to talk about her. He turns to other pressing matters.
"You worried about Garcia?"
"Not really," Danny replies, his tone casual, leaving Martin a little shocked. Either he's lying or there's more to this than he's willing to say.
Martin decides to try his luck. "Why not?"
Danny sits further up in the bed, so he's able to properly face Martin. "He's been threatening to kill me for years." Martin feels very unconvinced and it must show in his features, as his co-worker elaborates. "As long as the gang doesn't try to contact me, he has no reason to, he'd be happier to just stick a knife in me every time we meet."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" Martin asks, dumbfounded by the calmness of the other agent's tone.
Danny shrugs, "makes me feel better."
Martin laughs nervously, "alright, if you're sure."
Danny nods and Martin drops the subject, but not before making a mental note to mention this to Jack. Thankfully with the ice broken, they don't fall back into the uncomfortable silence, but instead into a more natural conversation.
"So, you back with Sam yet?"
Jack is quite happy that this day has finally come. Danny had the all clear from his doctor to come back to work. Of course it would only be desk work for a long time, well as long as Jack can hold him there, but it will also mean the senior agent can keep a better eye on him. After being released from hospital, a process that took longer than needed thanks to Jack's constant begging for just a few more days, Danny had been staying alone in his apartment, despite the team's argues. While the hospital was much safer, due to the amount of people bustling around, an empty apartment was not, but Danny had managed to convince them that he'd be fine, and that he was sure Garcia wouldn't come after him. Jack had agreed under certain conditions, such as he was not aloud to leave the building by himself, and someone from the team would pop around every few hours to make sure he was ok. Needless to say these conditions hadn't gone down very well, but Jack wasn't planning on giving him a choice. There's no way he's given Garcia any chance of getting close to his agent.
Samantha pulls up to the parking lot and slowly climbs out of her car, she has not been looking forward to this day. It's Danny's first day back at work and he's going to want to why she's been avoiding him, and there's' no way she can lie to him. She can't put it off again, it's time to face her demons and maybe she'll be relieved from some of the guilt she carries.
Walking towards the elevator, she suddenly catches sight of Danny. Dread fills her, as she was not expecting the confrontation so soon. Slowing down her pace, she waits for him to get out of his car, but it doesn't take long for her to realise that he's not going to, as he starts the car ready to leave. It's now or never, swallowing her nerves, Sam jogs quickly over to the vehicle.
Danny takes another deep breath as he prepares himself to get out of his car. He's in the same car park where all this mess begun, and is understandably hesitant to get out. He'd been doing a really good job of pretending everything's alright, acting like he remains unaffected by everything that has happened. But in truth he is far from alright, every time he closes his eyes, he can see the body of his sister staring back at him, haunting his every dream. The guilt over Erica is constantly with him, he's unable to shake it, and if it weren't for Jack's 'no leaving the apartment' rule, his years of being sober would be a thing of the past. He's done a lot of things in the past that he's not proud of, things that will always linger in his mind with a deep shame or self-hate, he knows that he'll never be rid of them, but he really wishes that he'll someday find a way to stop adding to them.
In the days of depression he's been having lately, there has been one light. As annoyed as he was with Jack insisting someone stop by every few hours, in the end he'd actually been quite grateful. The team's visits provided a break from the darkness lurking in his soul, an escape from the scarring images, and a reminder that he's not alone. He has missed working with them, but there's one thing really bothering him. Sam, she's been coming over the least and her visits are always short, kind of like she's angry with him. He should probably talk to her about it, actually he should talk to someone about everything, let them know that he's not ok, because after all, avoiding the truth was how this whole mess first started. But right now he doesn't feel ready to walk through those doors, he doesn't want to get out of the car, maybe he should call Jack and say he'll be in tomorrow instead, putting it off one more day couldn't hurt.
Putting the vehicle into reverse, Danny about to pull out, when suddenly the passenger door opens, and someone plonks down onto the seat next to him. He jumps, and upon reflex, his hand travels to his weapon. "Sam, you gave me a fright," he exclaims with relief, once he notices who it is.
"Sorry, but we… we need to talk."
At the serious of her tone Danny turns to look at her, and taking in her nervous appearance, he instantly feels his own. This is his chance to get everything off his chest, to ask for help, to admit to his well-buried emotions, for once in his life be completely honest to one of his friends, and hopefully, in return she'll be honest with him.
Danny nods and turns off the car's engine. "I think we do."
So that's it, finally finished and it only took me over a year and a half. Sorry if you wanted to read the Sam telling Danny scene, but for some reason I can't explain I think it's better not having it. Besides you all know how it'll turn out. And my longest chapter ever, hope it was worth the wait.
Well I've decided to go back to a long abandoned ff under my other pen name so I'm not sure when I'll update Silent as the Night, or if I'll post a sequel to this one, but you never know it could be soon. Thanks for reading, and it would be great to hear what everyone thought overall.
Bye for now