Tittle: Smiling Back (9 chapters)
By Rogueangel rogueangel1998@yahoo.com
Rated PG
Summary: Alternate ending. How Danny ends up surviving after crashing in China.
Pairing: Danny/other - kinda, eventually, I'm getting there. There is a sequel in the works already.
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. I am doing this for fun and not making any money. Fair enough?
Archive: Sure, but please let me know. I'd like to visit it.

Author's note: I've taken some liberties with the movie timeline, history, and reality. Nothing too drastic, I've just bent it all a little to fit into my universe. I hope you will forgive me, I am not claiming historical accuracy!

Chapter 1

Danny looked up at the woman hovering above him. An angel? A nurse? Evelyn?

The pain in his chest was excruciating, each breath causing lightening bolts of pain to course through him. He was so cold. He could tell that he was dying. Rafe had told him over and over that he couldn't die. That Evelyn needed him now. And he wanted to live, to see her again, but the pain was too intense he didn't think he could hold out much longer. If he could just see her one more time, then he could let go. And if the woman taking care of him was Evelyn, then he could let go that much sooner. Living right now just hurt too much, no matter what Rafe said.

"Evelyn," he tried to call to the woman who was leaning over him. If he could just get his eyes to focus....just to see her one more time....

"Sh," a soft hand smoothed back his sweat soaked hair. "Rest."

Another spasm of pain ripped through his body, much worse than the last one. "Evelyn!" he gasped, reaching his hand out blindly.

A small hand gripped his, offering him what comfort it could. Once the pain had subsided, Danny made a final effort to look up at the woman. It didn't take more than a glance to see that the woman wasn't Evelyn. Not even close. Where Evelyn was dark and quiet, this woman seemed to glow, all blonde hair and emerald eyes.

"Where am I?" he managed to ask through clenched teeth as his body began to tremble with cold.

Another blanket was smoothed over his chest, though it gave no warmth.

"You're safe, don't worry."

"Where's Rafe?" he had to ask. Safe didn't mean anything to him. The last thing he could remember was Rafe untying him from the yoke the Japs had tied him too. He could remember the pain of bullets as they ripped through him and the numbness as he fell to the ground. He could see Rafe's face as he ordered him to live, to fight, to not die....because Evelyn needed him. There was an urgency to Rafe's words. But why? His mind was foggy as the scene played back.

The baby. He was going to be a father.

Oh God. And now he was dying. He knew it and he couldn't fight it even if he wanted to. Through the pain and coldness the only thing he knew for certain was that Rafe had to get home. He had to get to Evelyn. And the baby.

"Where am I? Where's Rafe?" He tried to sit up, but again the soft hands soothed him, pushing him gently back onto the bed.

"Sh, sh,"the woman said softly. "Calm down. Captain McCawley's in the other room. Okay? You're still in China."

Still not totally satisfied, Danny tried again. "How...?" he began, but this times the woman placed her fingers over his lips, silencing him.

"Calm down, Flyboy," she said, her voice soft, but firm. "I saw your planes come up the coast," she told him. "I heard the crash and I went out to find you. Somehow we managed to get back here without running into one of the Japanese patrols and now we're waiting for someone from the Chinese army. I'm guessing they will try to sneak you guys out of here."

There was a commotion in another room. The woman wiped his brow again. "I'll be right back," she said. And then he was alone. Luckily she had left the door slightly ajar so that if he concentrated hard Danny could hear what was being said. He could hear three distinct voices. One was oddly accented and hard to understand, another was the woman. The third voice, a deep bass, had to be Rafe's. It took a few moments for Danny to realize that they were arguing about him. The Chinese officer wanted to leave immediately, but Rafe was against this. Rafe wanted to stay until Danny was well enough to go. It was the woman's words that made Danny realize what he had to do.

"Don't be a fool, Captain," she argued. "If you wait around until he's stable then you're all as good as dead! And if you take him with you, you will kill him for sure and risk the lives of the rest of your men!"

The Chinese officer obviously agreed because he began barking orders, while Rafe continued to argue with him.

Danny's head was swimming with pain, but he knew what he had to do. Rafe was stubborn enough to risk his life to stay here and Danny couldn't allow that. He couldn't live much longer anyway. The pain was intense, but fading, and he was so cold. He had to think of Evelyn. Evelyn and the baby. Rafe had to get home to take care of them.

Another searing pain ripped through Danny that had nothing to do with bullet wounds or blood loss. The moment that Rafe had told him that he was going to be a father Danny had known why Evelyn had chosen him. It wasn't because she loved him more, but because she was pregnant. That one night in the hanger had changed everything. She loved him, he knew, but not as much as she loved Rafe. He could feel it in her kiss good-bye and in her letters to him since. Rafe had always been the common factor in their relationship. Danny had to face the fact that if she hadn't have been pregnant Evelyn would have gone back to Rafe eventually.

But now, Danny thought darkly, everything was working out as it should. He would die over here and Rafe would live to go back to Evelyn. He couldn't even say that he would have acted differently had he known the truth of Evelyn's situation. He couldn't leave Rafe to the Japanese. Surprisingly, Danny felt no bitterness towards Rafe or Evelyn, only a deep sadnes for the child he would never see.

A hand gently wiped away the tears that were silently falling. "How are you doing?" the woman asked softly.

Danny looked up at her. "Rafe has to leave now."

She nodded, a sad smile on her face, knowing that Danny realized his friends would be leaving him behind. "I know, but he's being very stubborn. He doesn't want to leave without you."

Shaking his head slightly, Danny grimaced as he reached for her hand, trying to convey how important this was too him. "I'd never survive. I'm as good as dead now." The woman frowned at this, but Danny just offered her a faint smile. "It's okay. This is how it should be." He took a deep breath, trying to focus. "I want you to tell him that I died, okay?" She nodded, her hand giving his a small squeeze of reassurance. She understood what he was doing, if not exactly why. "And tell him," Danny finished, though the words were hard to say, "tell him to take care of Evelyn for me."

The woman nodded in understanding, then she leaned down and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "You're a good man," she whispered to him.

Danny shook his head. "I'm a dead man. I just want my friend to get home."

The woman frowned again at this, but said nothing as she slowly raised a sheet over his face. "I'm not going to let you die that easily, Flyboy," she whispered, but Danny had already faded away.