Title: Meeting Lindsay.

Author: Sonya

Rating: FRT

Pairing: Danny/Lindsay, one-sided Danny/Aiden, Mac/Stella.

Genre: Angst, Romance

Spoiler: General through Season 2 but Aiden wasn't killed by DJ Pratt and CotP didn't happen.

Summary: Aiden meets the woman who stole Danny's heart before she knew she wanted it for herself.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I don't know if The Jukebox actually exists. If it does, I don't own it, if it doesn't it's mine. I also don't own RENT or Grotto. The song is 'You Had Me From Hello' is by Kenny Chesney and I don't own that either.

Aiden Burn desperately wanted to hate Lindsay Monroe. Wanted to hate everything about her, from the roots of her pretty light brown hair and the tips of the long eyelashes that framed her beautiful bright brown eyes, to the perfect white teeth that always flashed when she smiled that smile of hers. Aiden was comfortable enough with herself to know that she was what most people would consider exotically beautiful, but Lindsay had those sweet All-American girl-next-door type features that Aiden had always secretly admired. And she wanted to hate her for it.

She'd known about the Montana native that Mac had hired after she'd been fired. She and Danny talked to each other at least once a week so she'd heard all about the young woman from Bozo, or wherever she was from.

But then she started noticing a change each time she and Danny talked. When Lindsay first came to New York, Danny only mentioned her a couple of times, then Aiden noticed that every time they talked, Lindsay Monroe was almost all Danny talked about. And he always referred to her as Montana. At first, he told her that it was just something he did to irritate the new girl, but slowly Aiden noticed that he would talk about 'Montana' with great affection.

That's when Aiden started feeling this weird feeling of animosity towards the young woman she'd only heard about. She couldn't even explain why. She wasn't the kind of person to hold a grudge against a total stranger, but everytime she and Danny talked and he mentioned Lindsay, Aiden could feel her blood pressure beginning to rise and her teeth grind together. She tried to understand her feelings, but the more she tried, the more confused and frustrated. Then it hit her, she was JEALOUS. Jealous that she was no longer the beneficiary of Danny Messer's flirtation, that some girl from The-Middle-of-Nowhere Montana was with Danny everyday and was enjoying the attention that Aiden herself used to enjoy and wanted to enjoy again.

Then it happened, Aiden called Danny one day to see if he wanted to go out with her. She'd just closed her first case as a licensed P.I. and was eager to share her victory with her friend since Danny had really encouraged her after the DJ Pratt case that had cost her the job she loved. Plus, she wanted to talk to him and hopefully tell him about these feelings she had for him and maybe get Danny to tell her what, if anything, was going on between him and Lindsay Monroe and if they had a chance. But when Danny answered the phone, Aiden's extremely good hearing picked up the sound of a woman laughing in the background, and the voice did not sound like Stella Bonasera's, the accent sounded like something from the Midwest, like from Montana.

It hadn't helped that Danny had told her that he really didn't have time to talk because he and Lindsay had made plans to go see RENT on Broadway. Aiden had been stunned, Danny didn't even like musicals. When she'd mentioned that to him, Danny had laughed and said that Lindsay had never seen a true Broadway musical and since she liked RENT the movie so much, he was taking her to see the Broadway production for her birthday.

That was the moment that confirmed Aiden's worst fears, Danny Messer and Lindsay Monroe were dating each other and whatever interest Danny'd had in her outside of co-worker was gone. He'd always remembered her birthday, but had never taken her out to see a play or a movie, especially if it was about something he had no interest in; they'd always gone for drinks. And Danny had never given her a cute little nickname; he'd always called her Aiden or Burn, never a cutesy thing like Montana.

She couldn't help but wonder if anyone at the lab knew about this. She could call Stella and ask her; Stella was a romantic at heart, not to mention a born shadchen, so she'd probably known before anyone what was going on. Aiden knew that she could call the Greek detective and ask her, but the trick was catching her outside of work. Calling Mac would be a waste of time since he rarely involved himself in his employees' personal lives. Flack was usually out with his girlfriend of the week, and Sheldon was the same way, so she really didn't know what to do.

Besides, what would she say? 'Hey Stella, it's Aiden. Listen, I've got some serious feelings for Danny but all he talks about is the new girl, are they shackin' up?' No, that wouldn't go well. And she couldn't think of a good excuse to call any of them now. They lived in separate worlds now. So she was stuck lusting for her friend while he was more than likely shackin' up with someone else.

Losing Danny, even if she'd never really had him to begin with, hurt and it hurt bad. She'd always liked Danny, but had never really considered him boyfriend material until shortly before she'd gotten embroiled in the DJ Pratt case. Then she'd gotten fired and she and Danny hardly saw each other. And now some cowgirl from Montana had swooped in and stolen her chance.

Then came the call Aiden had been waiting for, Mac called her and told her that DJ Pratt was a suspect in another rape case and that he'd like for her to come in and help as an unofficial consultant, she wouldn't be allowed to handle any evidence, just give them information on her previous experience with Pratt. Aiden had jumped at the chance to finally nail Pratt and meet the woman that had stolen Danny Messer's heart.

She wasn't sure what to expect, but everyone seemed happy to see her, including Danny. Then Mac had told her that Lindsay and Danny were working the case and Aiden felt her heart stop. She was working with the object of her affection and the woman who'd stolen him away? God that was cruel, but she'd smiled and followed Danny over to the break room where a pretty brunette was drinking some coffee. Aiden briefly wondered where the infamous Montana was when Danny called out to the brunette.

"Hey Montana, c'mere. There's someone I want you to meet." The brunette looked up and flashed a pretty white smile before coming over to them. "Aiden, this is Lindsay Monroe. Montana, this is Aiden Burn." Aiden had been stunned; THIS was the infamous Lindsay 'Montana' Monroe? She'd been expecting someone tall and muscular with a strong accent. Lindsay was petite and slender with a little bit of an accent but not much. She was the exact opposite of what Aiden had expected and it just made the other woman want to hate her more, but she'd extended her hand and got a strong, hearty handshake from the brunette that had inadvertently broken her heart.

As the day wore on, Aiden found herself forming an unlikely partnership with her rival. Lindsay Monroe was more than just a pretty face, she was whip smart and not afraid to show it. She was also had a lack of fear that Aiden had to admire. Working together, they were able to find conclusive, hard evidence that DJ Pratt had brutally raped their latest victim. Aiden could barely contain her excitement, they'd finally nailed DJ Pratt. They'd all been excited and Mac had suggested that they all go to Sullivan's to celebrate, but Danny had suggested a place called The Jukebox that had music and dancing. They'd all agreed since Stella hadn't gone out since her late boyfriend attacked her in her apartment so this would be a nice way to celebrate.

The Jukebox turned out to better than anyone suspected, the owner turned out to be an old friend of Lindsay's from Montana so none of them had to pay a cover charge. The DJ played a nice mix of just about any kind of music there was and also took requests and dedications and the drinks were decent. But Aiden still felt a little jealous as she watched Danny and Lindsay interact. To the casual observer their touching each other on the arm or the shoulder wouldn't seem like much, just two people who were obviously very good friends; but Aiden was a trained detective and she noticed how Danny's hand would cover Lindsay's when they didn't know anyone was looking. Or how Lindsay's small hands seemed to linger on Danny's arm a little longer than necessary. Or how close together they sat. And when it was Danny's turn to get drinks, Lindsay had run to the ladies room, but Danny had known without even asking what kind of drink she'd liked. She noticed a look passing between the other occupants of the table and so decided to take a gamble.

"Is there something goin' on between those two?" She asked and the whole group exchanged a glance as if she was saying something they'd all suspected, finally Stella spoke.

"Well, they've never come out and said that they were dating, but it's pretty obvious that something's going on."

Sheldon nodded, "Yeah, if you watch them, they're almost always touching each other. And the other day, Lindsay and I were investigating a bodega robbery when the suspect snuck back in and tried to use Lindsay as a hostage, except he didn't realize that Lindsay can and has taken down men twice her size and to make a long story short, he won't be siring children anytime soon if the noise he made when Lindsay racked him was anything to go by. Well, Lindsay wasn't hurt and after we got everything squared away we went back to the lab and Danny was practically wearing a rut in the floor until he saw Lindsay.

Stella rolled her eyes, "Tell me about it. I thought Mac and I were going to have to sedate him when the call came in. And besides that, Danny's undergone a real personality change since she arrived. He doesn't hardly ever lose his temper, and a few times I knew that he would have but he didn't and I wouldn't have blamed him if he had."

Flack nodded, "No kiddin'. And he's turnin' to a real homebody. He actually canceled a basketball game with me this past weekend saying that his girlfriend was really sick and he was taking her to a doctor. And the funny thing was that I remembered that Lindsay had called in sick with the flu the day before."

Mac gave a rare smile as his team discussed the unconfirmed relationship between their colleagues. "Well, I guess we can safely assume that either they are together or they are in serious denial about the whole thing." He turned to Aiden, "I bet you could see what was going on better than any of us. What tipped you off?"

Aiden thought for a second then decided to tell them.

"Well, Danny and I talk to each other on the phone at least once a week and when Lindsay first arrived, he only mentioned her a couple of times; and then as time went on, I noticed that he was talking about her more and more. Then after I'd closed my first case as a licensed P.I. and I was wantin' to know if he'd liked to go out and celebrate with me. Well when I called him, I could hear a woman laughing in the background and didn't recognize the voice and Danny told me that he couldn't talk because he was taking Lindsay to see RENT on Broadway."

Flack burst out laughing, "Get out! Danny Messer willingly took a woman to a Broadway show? He doesn't even LIKE musicals."

Aiden laughed too, "That's what I said. He just laughed and said that Lindsay had never seen a Broadway show and since it was her birthday and she seemed to like the movie RENT so much, he thought she'd like to see the actual Broadway production. Plus, I've noticed, like Sheldon, that they're always touching each other. Something's goin' on."

Stella nodded, "Okay, we're agreed; they are definitely together. Now we just have to get them to admit it."

By that time, Danny was returning with their drinks and froze when he saw the scheming looks on his friends' faces. Then he noticed that Lindsay still hadn't come back. "Where's Lindsay?"

Suddenly, they all realized that Lindsay hadn't returned from the bathroom. "Damn, she must've felt sick again." Danny mumbled.

Stella frowned, "She seemed fine earlier. She still not totally kicked that bug from last week?"

Danny's blue eyes shifted away for a minute before he said, " Yeah, somethin' like that."

Aiden shared a look with the other occupants. Danny shifting his eyes like that meant that he was hiding something, and considering what they'd just been discussing, she was pretty sure that everyone had the same suspicions she did as to what was causing Lindsay to get sick.

"A'right, Messer," Flack said a smile forming on his face, "what's goin' on?"

Danny tried to feign innocence, "Don't know what you're talkin' 'bout Flack."

Stella made a tsking sound with her tongue, "C'mon Danny. You two are hiding something. Now what is it?"

Danny bit his lip and everyone could see that he really wanted to tell them but Lindsay saved him by walking up behind him with a tired smile on her face, "What's going on?" She paused as well when she saw that everyone was staring at her.

Suddenly, a huge smile lit Sheldon's face, "How far along are you Lindsay?"

Lindsay's eyes widened when she saw everyone staring at her with identical smiles, then shared a glance with Danny as if asking what she should do. Danny shrugged, stating that it was up to her. She turned to the group with a big smile, "About six weeks."

Stella squealed and leapt out of her seat, hugging both Danny and Lindsay at the same time. "Congratulations!" Sheldon and Flack joined her, shaking Danny's hand and hugging Lindsay, all three threatening Danny with bodily harm if he hurt Lindsay. Mac was next, he hugged Lindsay and shook Danny's hand, but Aiden noticed that Mac didn't make any threats, but he didn't need to. Mac was a Marine through and through and Danny knew that Mac had a thousand ways of killing someone and hiding the body, so threats weren't needed.

Knowing that everyone was expecting her to at least congratulate Danny since they'd been friends, she walked up and hugged him tightly and then hugged Lindsay, saying something that she was sure was some form congratulations. After the congratulations and thank yous had been exchanged, Danny turned to Lindsay, "Well Montana, now that they know, I guess you can put the ring on." Everyone looked at each other, all thinking the same thing. Ring, what ring?

As if to answer their question, Lindsay gently lifted a fine gold chain out from under her sweater, on that chain was a diamond ring. Aiden couldn't help a small pang of envy; damn, Danny must've nearly put himself in the poorhouse to get her that ring. It wasn't big or ostentatious, but it was obvious that the ring had been selected with great care.

Lindsay unfastened the chain and was about to put the ring on when Stella slapped Danny's arm. "Danny! You get on one knee and ask her properly!"

Danny rubbed his upper arm, "Jesus Stella! I already asked her, got on one knee and everything! This is just the first time she's been able to wear the ring in public!"

"When'd you ask her?" Sheldon asked.

"He asked me on my birthday. We went to this really nice place called Grotto, and he asked me over dessert. And yes Stella, he got on one knee." Lindsay said, brushing some of her hair behind her ear.

A sick feeling began stirring in Aiden's stomach. God, she'd been planning on asking Danny out the night he'd asked Lindsay to marry him. No wonder he hadn't wanted to talk, he was probably nervous about popping the question.

Stella held firm, "I still want to see you ask her properly."

Danny sighed, probably realizing that he wasn't going to win this argument. He took the ring from Lindsay and knelt on the floor in front of her. "Lindsay, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

Lindsay's eyes were bright with tears as she smiled. "Yes, Danny, I will marry you." The smile that spread across Danny's face could only be described as ecstatic. He slipped the diamond ring onto Lindsay's small finger while everyone at their table and the surrounding tables applauded.

"Hey lovebirds," the DJ called out from his table, "Mr. St. John has told me to tell you to get your butts on the dance floor to celebrate." Danny grabbed Lindsay's hand and led her out onto the floor. A slow, twang filled piano solo began. Danny pulled Lindsay into his arms, both their bodies swaying to the slow country song.

One word, that's all you said

Something in your voice cause me to turn my head

Your smile, just captured me

And you were in my future, as far as I could see

And I don't know how it happened,

But it happened still

You ask me if I love you

If I always will

Well, you had me from hello

I felt love start to grow

The moment that I looked into your eyes

You won me

It was over from the start

You completely stole my heart

And now you won't let go

I never even had a chance y'know

You had me from hello

Inside, I built the walls

So high around my heart

I thought I'd never fall

With one touch,

You brought them down

The bricks of my defenses scattered on the ground

And I swore to me I wasn't gonna love again

The last time was the last time

I'd let someone in

But, you had me from hello

I felt love start to grow

The moment that I looked into your eyes

You won me

It was over from the start

You completely stole my heart

And now you won't let go

I never even had a chance you know

You had me from hello

That's all you said

Something in your voice caused me to turn my head

You had me from hello

You had me from hello

Girl, I've loved you from hello.

As she watched them dance, oblivious to the world around them, Aiden felt her heart lighten. As much as she thought that she and Danny could have been happy together, seeing the sheer happiness on her friend's face as he held his fiancée in his arms told her that Danny had found the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and it was the petite Montana native with her slender arms wrapped around his neck. And as much as it hurt her to admit that she had no chance with Danny, she couldn't help but be happy for her friend as she watched him with the woman he loved, dancing to a song that a few years ago, she knew he'd never listen to. That alone told her that Danny was right where he wanted to be. And as much as her heart hurt, she was happy for him and for the Montana cowgirl who'd finally roped him.