Danny Messer perched easily on top of the Chrysler Building, keeping his small, lean form hidden behind one of the gargoyles. He peered out from behind the gargoyle, lips curling into a soft smile as he watched the sun set over New York City. This was home. Glancing down at the gargoyle, Danny sighed, shifting his weight slightly to push his glasses further up his nose. As the sun sank slowly beneath the New York skyline, a breeze rippled across Danny's bare arms, raising goosebumps. He smiled serenely, a sight never seen on the normally conflicted CSI's face. Tilting his face into the breeze, Danny closed his eyes, still smiling, waiting for the dark of night.
Night fell over New York City. Danny smiled. This was what he was made for. Pulling off the wife-beater he normally wore when shooting hoops with Flack, revealing two vertical scars under his shoulder blades, Danny grinned. If they could only see him now. Staring into the darkness, Danny slid effortlessly across the ledge until he was flush against the gargoyle's back, one arm curled around its neck, one leg pressed against the underside of its belly. Bare-chested, he shivered lightly, before rolling his shoulders back and spreading the silvery-white wings that rested just under his shoulder blades. He stretched them out, working out the kinks, before tucking them against his back.
Looking down on his hometown, Danny frowned slightly, catching sight of his prey. He let go of the gargoyle, tucking his legs underneath him, totally unconcerned that he was plummeting towards the pavement below. With barely twenty feet between him and imminent death, Danny spread his wings, uncurling his legs and using them to steer himself effortlessly through the air. He swooped back up, pausing in mid-air, wingtips shifting from side-to-side, keeping him steady in the soft breeze. There. Danny reached down and pulled his short-sword from its sheath strapped to his calf. Dipping the edge of one wing he flew down, landing gently on the pavement below.
Tucking his wings against his back, Danny moved down the empty street, narrowing his eyes in contempt as his prey caught sight of him, let out an inhuman wail and darted into a subway station. Danny rolled his eyes and broke into a jog, following his prey down the stairs, sword in hand. He paused at the bottom of the stairs, suddenly uneasy. He snorted inelegantly, shook out his wings and carried on stalking his prey. He moved slowly and gracefully up and down the platform, listening and watching for signs that his prey was nearby. A muffled thump came from his left. His head snapped towards the sound and he grinned, the smile battle-hungry and terrifying.
Walking over to the edge of the platform, he jumped down onto the tracks. Cornered, the creature he was hunting threw caution to the wind and hurled itself at him. Danny jumped backwards, stumbling over the subway tracks, quickly righting himself. He pulled his sword around in front of him, growling low in his throat as his prey maneuvered itself into another attack. It howled, flinging itself at him. Danny twisted sharply, his body bowing in a graceful arc, his sword arm swinging round, burying the blade in the creature's neck. The creature screeched, the sound almost deafening in the subway tunnel. Muscles straining, Danny gave the sword one final twist before the creature collapsed into a pile of ash before him. He pulled a face, making a disgusted sound as he shook the ash off his sword before sliding it back into its sheath. He spread his wings, and with a gentle push, was back on the platform again. He climbed the stairs and walked back out onto the empty street. His head tilted as he heard a clock chime one. He sighed in relief, spread his wings and took off into the night sky, angling himself towards his apartment. At least this time he'd be getting some sleep.
Danny carefully played his flashlight over the crime scene, kit by his feet. Something glinted fleetingly in the light. Switching the flashlight off, Danny crouched down to pick it up. No, not it. Them. Lots of pieces of blue glass. Putting each one in a different evidence bag, he barely noticed Don Flack walking up to him until the tall, handsome homicide detective nearly stood on his evidence.
"Flack! Pay attention, man!" he yelped, curling his hands protectively over his evidence bags.
"Sorry, buddy," Flack said, giving Danny an apologetic shrug and a sheepish smile.
Danny was confused. Flack always paid attention to his surroundings, even when he didn't have to. It was something the hunter in Danny had always admired. Something was wrong. Flack looked exhausted. It felt off. Danny resisted the urge to ruffle his wings uneasily. He turned his head back up to Flack, grinning as the homicide detective carefully moved his foot.
"No problems," he threw back, "You missed. Hey man, what's with you today? You look like hell."
He grinned as Flack shot him a dirty look, "Don't you say the nicest things. I'm good, didn't sleep much last night, that's all."
Danny carried on picking up the blue glass, not minding Flack's presence. He looked up when Don's pager beeped suddenly in the silence. His head tilted to the side and he pushed his glasses back up his nose as the taller man read the display and groaned, running his hands over his face, looking haggard. Danny raised a questioning eyebrow at Don.
"Mac," he answered, "Triple homicide in Central Park."
Danny bowed his head, wincing in sympathy. He felt his wing scars rippling under his shoulder blades and stomped on them ruthlessly. Regardless of how bad it was, he did not need to be exposed. He turned his face back up, forcing it into the cheeky grin he knew the homicide detective expected to see.
"Get some coffee in ya, you'll be fine," he inwardly winced at his callousness, "You better pull your head 'fore you work any of Mac's scenes though. Serve and Protect an' all."
Danny smiled softly as his friend simply shot him a grin and flipped him the bird, before heading off to his next crime scene. Serve and Protect? He smiled grimly. Don had no idea. The Messer name may be crooked, but Danny was as far from that as Satan was from God. He snickered wickedly at his mental analogy. Winged hunters should not use Satan and God in the same sentence. He snickered again. Turning back to the pieces of blue glass he labeled each and every bag, before putting them carefully into his kit, ducking under the yellow scene tape and heading back to the lab.
His day finished, his perp caught, his cases closed, Danny was content. He walked back to his apartment, feeling his wing scars ripple, almost with anticipation. He smiled, letting himself into his apartment. Waiting for the sun to go down, Danny showered and changed, ate dinner, fed his cat and paced his apartment, bouncing impatiently on the balls of his feet. Glancing out the window for what seemed like the hundredth time, Danny finally decided it was time to go. He walked over to his closet, slid out the back panel, pulled out his sword and its sheath, strapped them both to his leg and walked over to his kitchen window.
Opening it wide, he stuck his head out, glancing side-to-side and up-and-down, until he was satisfied that there was no-one watching that could expose him. He climbed onto his sink, then out onto the window ledge, relishing the feel of nothing but air between him and the ground below. Closing his eyes, Danny spread his arms and let himself topple forward. He twisted and tumbled in the air, eyes still closed, before snapping his wings out, halting himself in mid-fall. He grinned slightly. That never got old. With two strong beats of his wings he was away, heading towards his watchtower.
As Danny perched on the Chrysler Building, his arm curled around the gargoyle's neck, he thought about his family. He frowned slightly. Even now the Messer name was hard to work against. Even after he'd proven himself as a CSI. He sighed. Without warning, one of Batman's clichéd lines flitted through his head. It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me. He thought about that, before nodding sagely. It was true. He may be a Messer, but he was not corrupt. He worked for the city, as a CSI by day and a hunter by night. He snorted. Now he was quoting Batman. An evil grin spread across his face. He turned to the gargoyle next to him and spoke, totally deadpan.
"I could so kick Batman's ass..."