Musings on My Partner: A meet gone wrong, from Deaq's point of view

Deaq woke, startled to find himself in the hospital. He looked down when his right hand wouldn't move, only to find his partner's head, asleep, on top of it. He gently tugged it out and placed it on the shaggy chestnut mane.

He settled himself back on the bed and let his eyes close. What a day – or had it been more, he wasn't sure - no wonder Van had fallen asleep. They'd been chasing Jimmy Kane for three months and finally gotten far enough along with the case to have a deal in the works. Kane hadn't wanted to part with his guns – at least not till he met them – and then he spent the meet ogling – that was the only word that fit in Deaq's mind – ogling his partner. His good hand fisted as that memory returned.

Seems there was something about Van that caught Kane's attention. Yeah, something alright – maybe it was those big green eyes or those tight leather pants or…okay, alright, Van was a 'pretty boy' as Billie liked to say. But both she and Deaq knew that there was so much more to Van than his looks.

Kane clearly was interested in only one thing, though, Van, and Deaq had never seen his partner so rattled before. Granted he, himself, wasn't entirely happy about the way Kane was watching his partner. Deaq had to stifle the urge to grab Van and leave. He wasn't used to a scared Van – now that he thought about it - that was the reason it had worried him. His partner was scared of Kane, and Van was never scared, ever. A wound up uptight Van maybe but downright scared – no – that wasn't his partner.

Kane had taken them to a back table and had dinner served at the Club he used as a meeting place, and made sure he was sitting next to Van. Deaq knew every time Kane 'accidentally' touched his partner because he could see Van flinch. By the end of the dinner, Van had pulled so far into himself that Deaq wasn't sure he was even in the building. He had to tug gently on his arm to get him to leave the table and had been hurt – yeah that was the right word – when his partner flinched at his touch.

They had gotten out of the Club without a problem, and he remembered Van screaming his name just before they got to the car. He had been surprised when Van turned back toward the club, his gun already out as he yelled at him to get down. He had moved, although if the pain in his shoulder was any indication, not quickly enough.

He had heard Van's gun barking and knew there had been a scuffle because he could recall a hazy vision of Kane with his hands around Van's throat as he pinned the smaller man up against a car. He heard Van threaten to kill if he touched him again. He had tried to get up and get Kane off his partner because Van still sounded scared. But he couldn't find the strength to get off the ground. He remembered hearing bones break, but he had been pretty much out of it by then.

He did know that Van had tried to stop the bleeding, so obviously Kane hadn't gotten the best of him, and he wondered vaguely when it had started to rain because he felt something wet on his face as his partner had worked on him. Van had been beside him in the ambulance talking, murmuring words of encouragement and…

Deaq's eyes popped open and he turned to look again at his partner, who was still asleep. His hand moved down and traced a tender finger around a bruise on the cheek that lay facing him. Apparently Kane had hurt his boy; well there were at least a dozen ways to deal with scum like that. And make no mistake, Deaqon Hayes would see to it that Kane paid for that bruise and anything else he had done to hurt Donovan Ray. Why his partner brought out this fierce protective streak was beyond him, but he did.

He smiled when he realized the cat green eyes were open and watching him. "Hey partner, sleep well?"

Van remained still, the eyes carefully assessing the man in front of him. "You alright?" he asked in a husky whisper tinged with fatigue.

"Thanks to you," he nodded. Van sat up slowly and that's when the patient saw the hand shaped black and blue imprint on the pale neck, and he lost his smile. "He hurt you baby," he growled.

"He won't do it again." The voice was strained and soft. Deaq nodded in agreement with the sentiment in the green eyes, which made it quite clear that Kane had been dealt with.

"You hurt anywhere else?" Okay so the fact that Kane had clearly tried to strangle him was pushing all his protective buttons.

"I'm okay Deaq." The green eyes had shuttered briefly.

"Not an answer partner."

"A couple of broken ribs and a broken wrist. Happy now?"

"Hey, hey," Deaq said softly as his partner stood and made for the door, "just worried about you, and in case you forgot, that's part of what I get paid for…"

"Yeah, it's just your job." And Van was gone.