TITLE: The Ring
AUTHOR: Mnemosyne

Disclaimer: Not mine!
SUMMARY: Danny wears a ruby ring on his right hand. Why?
CHARACTERS: Danny Love(machine)
SPOILERS: I don't think so
I entirely blame Alia, Kash and Bug for this. This is all their fault. I can't blame Adam Baldwin because I lust after him and want to have his love children (HAH! "Love" children? That needs to be a Danny fic – RIGHT NOW). So if blame must rest anywhere, it rests with the Three Stooges up there. wink You know I love you guys! Now write me Danny/Rebecca fic!

This is just a short little Danny character piece. Hopefully none of the exposition in here deviates from known canon; I've seen a lot of the episodes, but not all of them, and some of them I've plumb forgotten. Please just roll with it!

He wears the ring because he likes the color red. Power, vitality, strength; good things for a lawman to have on his side.

He wears the ring because it's a ruby, like the name of his first girlfriend in junior high: Ruby McNichols. She was small and skinny and kind of needy, and they broke up after a couple of weeks. Danny found out a few years later that she'd had a sneaky uncle who molested her for all of two years before her mother found out and beat the guy half to death with a fire iron. The ring helps remind him, because it's the kind of thing no one should forget.

He wears the ring because it's heavy, and makes a rich, golden clunking sound when he taps it on the table in rhythm with the radio.

He wears the ring because it's almost an exact duplicate of the one that left the scar on his cheek. It was dumb; a bar fight in Bucharest when he was an undergrad. He doesn't remember what it was about, or even who he was fighting with, but he remembers seeing that red ruby coming at him like a little glittering dewdrop of blood on the other guy's ring finger before it made contact with his jaw: BAM! He spent the rest of the evening spitting out blood and bits of tooth and waiting in the emergency room for someone to stitch up his face. He hasn't gotten that drunk since.

He wears the ring because it's flashy and makes the ladies look.

He wears the ring because it helps him stay awake during morning briefings, and keeps him occupied during the slow part of the day when he's stuck in the office, waiting for the phone to ring. Spin, spin, spin. Tap tap. Spin. He's worn down the band by twirling it around his finger for hours on end. It's a special kind of mindless tedium that helps put things in perspective and keeps the scary monsters away, otherwise they crowd in when his mind goes blank. In his line of work, there are a lot of scary monsters.

He wears the ring because it leaves a dent in every bad guy's face, and Danny's always loved to make an impression. Ba dum bum! Cymbal clash.

He wears the ring because it gives his gun hand gravitas.

He wears the ring because it makes him look debonair and classy. Paul is wiry and Web is creepy, Mel is the sass and Rebecca's the dainty, which makes him the muscle by reason of default. That's fine; he knows he's big. But he's not a dumb gorilla; he graduated from the Academy, too, you know, and Web doesn't hire idiots.

He wears the ring because he doesn't have a wife at home worrying about his welfare, and sometimes he wonders what that would be like.

He wears the ring because one of these days he's not going to make it out in time. He's going to go up in a ball of flame when some dickhead decides he wants to blow up a building, or torch a hotel, or plant a car bomb in his Lexus. There won't be much of a body left, but his ring will still be there; a twisted, melted lump of metal, but solid. Something left to bury. A little reminder of him.

He wears the ring because he believes in omens, and the one time he took it off, he got shot. He gets shot anyway, but that's not the point; the point is the one time he took it off, he got shot.

He wears the ring because he likes pretty things. He does. He's enough of a man to admit it and not really care what the others think. It's the same reason he likes partnering with Mel, or teaming up with Rebecca. He has to be careful with the latter woman, though; she's skinny and waiflike, and sometimes he has the uncontrollable urge to call her Becky. He doesn't want to know what would happen if he ever did that.

He wears the ring because it hides the scar from the time he burned himself on a candle flame to find out how it feels.

He wears the ring because he's worn it for years now and can't imagine his hand without it. He only takes it off when he takes a shower, and it leaves him feeling naked as a newborn babe.

He wears the ring so when things get too much and he needs a little distance, he can let the ring take over. Cold and rigid, blunt and hard; they aren't in his natural character, but sometimes they're what he needs to be. He'd be dead if he didn't have that ring; he'd be six feet underground. So sometimes Danny stops wearing the ring.

And lets the ring wear him.