This is just a little piece of fluff I wrote in response to a challenge on the Danny/Mary forum All That I Want. It was to be based around a song that Danny and Mary were dancing to and take place entirely during that song. I chose to write mine within the Masquerade universe so this takes place sometime in the year after the end of Masquerade.

As for the show--while I enjoy conflict and mixing things up a bit I'm really disappointed that it doesn't look like we're going to get any kind of Mary/Danny reunion. I used to like Delinda, but she's changed somehow and I really don't like her with Danny. I think they're too much alike. Another thing that's completely turned me off from her character is the Danny/Delinda fans I've encountered on the internet. They are so mean and hateful towards the character of Mary that it makes me want to root for her even more. Oh well, regardless of whether I continue to watch the show or not I'm going to continue to write stories about the Danny and Mary characters I fell in love with and who I think could have developed if the writers had given them a chance.

To those of you who have followed my stories I'm currently writing another one and will post it here as soon as all the chapters are complete. I've been really busy at work, but I promise I'm working on it every chance I get. Thanks for all the support and reviews.

Emmy

Try A Little Tenderness

She may be weary

Women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress

And when she's weary

Try a little tenderness

Danny could hear the soft sound of Michael Buble wafting from the kitchen as he silently entered the house. It was well past 2AM, but he still wasn't prepared for the stillness and the quiet that greeted him. The last few days had been filled with crying which had escalated into screaming that occasionally gave way to pitiful little sobs. Evie had come down with what they thought was a case of the sniffles, but had quickly developed into a full blown ear infection. Despite the doctor's and their own best efforts they'd been unable to alleviate her discomfort and she'd let them know in no uncertain terms just how unhappy and miserable she was. Not being able to give their baby girl even the slightest bit of comfort had worn heavily on both of them and only added to their terrible week.

She may be waiting

Just anticipating

The things she may never possess

And while she's waiting

Try a little tenderness

He tiptoed through the dining room, finally catching sight of his wife's silhouette bathed in the moonlight as she stood in the dark of the kitchen. She was eating what sounded suspiciously like Rice Krispies and Danny figured it was probably the first thing she'd eaten since he'd seen her yesterday morning.

Evie wasn't the only one who'd been sick that week. It was flu season at the Montecito and more than 1/3 of the staff was out. Danny had been forced to accompany one of Sam's whales to Tahoe yesterday for what was supposed to be a quick trip, but had turned into a 24 hour nightmare. Weather had grounded their flight and the roads had been closed due to ice leaving Danny stranded while Mary tended to a sick baby by herself on little to no sleep. The only good thing that had come of the trip was that Danny had been able to catch up on his rest so now that he was home he could take the next shift with Evie.

It's not just sentimental

She's has her grief and her care

But a word so soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear

"Hey," he said softly, laying his hands on her shoulders and tenderly kneading the knots he encountered.

"Hey," she replied in an equally quiet voice. The fact that she hadn't startled showed that she'd known he was there and he slowly wrapped his arms around her waist—both of them unconsciously swaying to the music.

You won't regret it

Women don't forget it.

Love is their whole happiness

And it's all so easy

Try a little tenderness

"She finally asleep?"

"Yeah."

Neither one of them said a word beyond that simple exchange. Danny could feel the weight of Mary's weariness and he slowly turned her in his arms so he could see her face. Her hair was piled in a tangled knot on top of her head and her t-shirt was covered in stains—most of which looked like that pink goo they'd been trying to force down Evie's throat. As he pulled her closer--their bodies moving in perfect rhythm--he brought his forehead to hers and took in her familiar scent eventhough it was currently tinged with diaper cream and Vicks VapORub.

"You are so beautiful," he whispered.

Mary had to chuckle considering what she probably looked like, but soon she was sighing contentedly as Danny's thumbs traced soothing circles on her back and she brought her own hands up to his neck, toying absently with the soft hair at the base of his skull.

But a word –soft and gentle

Makes it easier to bear.

You won't regret it.

Cause women don't forget it

Love is their whole happiness

And it's all so easy

Just try a little tenderness

He knew she was tired—that they should both be taking this opportunity to sleep, but they'd had such precious little time together since Evie had been born that he wasn't quite ready to abandon this stolen moment. Evie had brought a new joy to their life that neither one of them could have ever imagined, but she'd also introduced them to a whole new world that sometimes they weren't quite prepared for. They needed these times with each other—to recharge or to reconnect or just to remember how good it felt to simply be held.

You've got to try

You've got to hold her

You've got to squeeze her

You've got to try and always please her

As he heard the music crescendo, Danny tenderly kissed the tip of her nose, running his hands up into her hair so he could cradle her head. Mary's eyelids drooped as she tried to meet his gaze and he smiled softly before leaning down and touching his lips to hers. Despite her exhaustion she responded in kind, deepening the kiss with a sudden burst of desire. Danny faltered a bit in surprise, but quickly recovered. He lifted her into his arms and made his way towards their bedroom. His heart began to race a bit in anticipation, but it quickly slowed as he felt Mary's body surrender to fatigue, her head falling heavily to his shoulder.

You won't regret it

You won't regret it

Try a little tenderness

He stopped in the middle of the living room to look at her for just a moment before carrying her the rest of the way to bed. As he laid her gently down he made a mental note to schedule some time for just the two of them once things settled at home and at work. He figured after this week they could both use a little tenderness.