This sounded better in my head and lost something in digital translation. Meh, still like it.
The title 'Sardi's at Sullivan's', relates to a restaurant in Broadway, NYC where characatures of famous stage stars are put on the wall when they've 'made it'. Same kind of thing in my favourite restaurant where I go to College. Need to go to Sardi's though, next time I'm in NYC. Ahem, anyhoo...Enjoy!
A/N I realise I should have maybe made this clearer. The dates on the plate are supposed to be when Aiden joined the force, so how long people knew her at Sullivan's. Mac mentioned in 'Heroes' that he knew her 5 years ago as a detective, so I figure she must have been there for a while, so overall I made it seven years. Sorry if it confused people :)
Sullivan's was particularly crowded tonight. Various police, fire and paramedics from the local districts had piled into the bar, along with the CSI's and a select few lab-techs. The small establishment had become the Law-Enforcement version of the popular high-school lunch table of late.
The reason it was particularly crowded this night was that they were unveiling yet another lost comrade. Joey Sullivan, the owner, had taken it upon himself to honour the friends and customers he'd lost during 9/11, and since, anyone who had died in the line of duty. The Wall was unfortunately filling up quite fast.
Tonight's unveiling was for Aiden Burn.
Joey signalled his bartender to ring the bell to gather the attention of the congregation. "Hey, guys, quiet! Steve! Button it!" Steve quietened down and turned to the ring leader. "Alright, thanks for all coming down tonight. Last week we lost another. She was a cop, a CSI and a friend-"
"-And hot!" someone shouted from the back.
"Thanks for that, Steve," he chuckled, "So, in true Sullivan style, she's going on The Wall." He secured a photo-frame to a hook already in place, and picked up his beer from the table. "To Aiden Burn."
"Aiden Burn!" The crowd cheered, raising their glasses.
"Drink on the house!" Joey called. "That was singular!" he corrected as another cheer had sounded and a rush to the bar.
Danny wandered up to Joey, giving him a handshake-hug, "Thanks, man."
"Hey, she was good gal. Gonna miss her."
"Yeah, me too."
Joey returned to the bar while Danny stared at the picture. One side of the frame had her professional shot in uniform, the other a candid from a night in the bar sat in one of the booths with Danny, smiling to the camera. A small golden plate on the base said:
Det. Aiden Burn.
1999 – 2006.
One of America's Finest.
She was joining some of her own friends from the force, lost in the September tragedies or just lost. It was starting to sink in that she was gone to Danny, seeing her picture on the prophetic wall.
"Hey, Danny," a voice said behind him. He turned to see Aiden's three older brothers before him, all with black blazers over coloured shirts. He repeated a handshake-hug with all three. Dylan was the oldest at 36, and looked to be taking it the hardest. He was Aiden's protector, refusing to acknowledge that she could have probably beaten the crap out of him with a hand tied behind her back. Robbie, known to all as Scot after his name resembled that of a Scottish poet, handed Danny a beer, while Leon, the youngest of the men, stared at the photograph. "How you taking it?"
"Had better days. You?"
"Same. Listen, Pops is by the door, wants a word," Scot said, gesturing to the sullen gentleman.
Danny nodded and patted Leon's arm as he made his way through the crowd, downing the neck of the bottle at his went. "Hey, Mr.Burn, thanks for comin'."
"Hey, Danny," he said with a sad smile. He had prominent dark bags under his eyes but was otherwise pale, all expected when he'd lost his youngest child and only daughter. "I got something for you. Aiden gave me this to keep 'just in case'," she shook his head as he brought an envelope from the inside pocket of his duffel coat. "Told me that if anything happened, I had to give this to you. I think she knew…"
"Yeah, I think she did too," he dropped his head, taking the letter from him. "Can I… get you a drink?"
"Scot's on the case."
Danny nodded, at a loss for words.
"Don't be a stranger, alright son?"
"I won't. Thanks, Mr. Burn." Danny meandered through the people to a quiet corner, ironically the same booth from the photograph. He set his beer down before sliding a finger underneath the seal and ripping across.
He pulled out a letter, recognising Aiden's script:
I guess I bit the bullet if you're reading this. Whatever happened was meant too, don't go jeopardising your career or life over me, alright?
Without going all sentimental, and even though you could be an ass, I want to thank you for everything. I'm glad that we still hung out even after what happened at work.
I've been trying to think of what you're going to miss most about me, my sparking and addictive personality, or my recipe for chicken parm…I'm hoping it'll be the former, but either way, the recipe is on the back. Go and secure yourself a missus with that, eh? Remember, first born: Aiden.
Behave, I'm not gonna be there to reign you in.
Love, Aiden x
P.S. I was always gonna be out of your league, so don't be all "What if…" alright? Ha x
Danny flipped the letter over with a chuckle, to find she'd done exactly what she'd promised and included the recipe. He was really going to miss her.
Stella slid across the seat to him, "You alright?"