Disclaimer: I don't own CSI:Miami or Ny. No profit is being made from this.

The Next Generation

Chapter 2

The school halls were devoid of students as he made his way toward the end classroom. He knew there would be no one in sight; teachers were in classes trying to impart some wisdom upon students who were too bored or ignorant to care less.

Mr Allen's tenth grade History class was at the end of the hall and he paused to observe the teacher and his class as they were informed about the finer details of the American Civil War, it the writing on the chalkboard was anything to go by.

As with most of the classes in his school, he noted that the students were barely awake and those who were clearly weren't paying attention to their teacher. The forty-strong class appeared to be divided into two sections. Those who didn't want to be there and those who figured that since they were at school, they were going to have a good time until they were let loose in the world.

With a shake of his head, he continued down the corridor, leaving the school in the same way he entered.

xx

Danny yawned widely and slid further down in his seat. He had no idea what his teacher was talking about, only that it had something to do with the Civil War, which was making it very hard for the blond teenager to concentrate.

He glanced at his watch and internally groaned when he realised how much of the lesson was left. He could feel his eyes beginning to close and he had to shake himself to make sure he stayed awake. As he continued doodling in the margin of his notebook he calculated that he had managed to get maybe three hours sleep the previous night, before his alarm clock rudely woke him for school.

When the clock eventually struck four o'clock, Danny jumped up and was the first person out of the door. He was desperate to get home and grab a couple of hours sleep before he and Dave headed out again.

It had been less than twenty-four hours since he had met Tim and already the teenager couldn't get him out of his mind. The way his dark eyes stared directly into his, seemingly penetrating his mind and staring deep into his soul.

The snow predicted for the weekend was beginning to fall earlier than expected and Danny shivered, pulling his thick jacket around his frame as he placed his headphones on and pressed play on his cassette player as he began the ten block walk to his house.

Halfway down the block he sensed the presence of someone walking extremely close behind him. He swallowed deeply and increased the speed of his steps, hoping he was imagining things and that the other person wasn't as close as he originally appeared.

The stranger placed a hand on Danny's hand, making the blond jump as he wildly turned around to face his attacker.

A sigh of relief escaped when he saw Sonny standing behind him with an amused expression on his face.

"Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" Danny demanded, ripping his headphones off and glaring at the older man.

Sonny smirked and fell into step next to Danny as they continued down the street. "Sorry, kid," he replied, thrusting his hands in his pockets. "I've been trying to get your attention since you left the school. Where's your friend? Dave, wasn't it?"

"He's in detention; something about falling asleep in Math." Danny shrugged his shoulders. "How did you know where to find me?" he demanded when he realised he hadn't told anyone his real age the previous night.

The other man laughed lightly and shook his head, his shoulder length hair falling into his eyes. "Do you have any idea how many underage kids we get in the club each night?" Danny his shoulders. "At least fifty. None of them make a lasting impression but after you left this morning, the boss couldn't stop talking about you."

Danny blushed and lowered his head, staring at the sidewalk as he tried to think of something to say. "You dropped this last night." Sonny raised his hand, holding Danny's fake ID between his middle and index fingers. "I figured since you were underage, I'd start with the most local High School and work my way up from there."

"Does Tim know?" Danny asked quietly, taking the ID from Sonny and sliding it into his wallet as they turned onto Danny's street.

Sonny chuckled. "Of course he does. He runs the club; he knows everything goin' on in it. But he's not mad at you for sneaking in and lyin'."

"He's not?" His blue eyes went wide with relief when Sonny shook his head.

"Matter of fact, he told me to put your name on the V.I.P list and tell you that if you come to the club tonight you'll get an offer you can't refuse."

xx

For the second consecutive night Danny lied to his mom, telling her he was spending the night at Dave's house, while Dave told his parents the exact same thing. That way no one would come looking for them when they didn't arrive back at curfew.

Sonny hadn't specifically said Dave was on the list along with Danny, but the last thing the blond wanted was to go into such a strange environment without something familiar there with him.

As with the previous night, the queue was almost around the corner when they arrived, making Dave groan with frustration at having to wait for such a long time.

To his confusion, Danny stalked down the line, past the many partygoers who glared at him as he passed.

"What was that about?" Dave demanded as he and Danny made their way down the dark stairs into the club.

Danny didn't answer immediately, instead he made his way to the bar and ordered them drinks. "What? You mean at the door?" Dave nodded. "Sonny told me he put our names on the list. We can just walk straight in now. No waiting and no ID checks."

The drinks were still on the house, Danny noticed as they accepted their drinks of the bartender and turned to survey the people dancing against each other in time to the baseline. Dave couldn't figure out how Danny had not only managed to get them in free of charge, but managed to score them free drinks all night as well.

Danny smirked to himself as he drank; he hadn't told Dave was that Sonny had only put the blond's name down. Dave wasn't anywhere on the list and Danny had to voucher for him. He knew it was wrong but deep inside he was glad someone seemed to prefer him over his friend.

Sonny found them by the bar a few hours later and he greeted them in the same way he had done earlier. Danny jumped a little when he felt a hand on his shoulder before he turned around to face the other man. "Didn't I tell you not to do that?" he demanded.

He laughed. "Sorry," he commented. "I see you took the boss up on his offer."

"I haven't seen him yet so I haven't technically taken him up on it, have I?" Danny retorted, drinking his beer as he ignored Dave's confused look.

"That's very true," Sonny conceded. "He's just arrived in the back." He nodded toward the door Bruno was still guarding. "Wants to see you."

Danny nodded his head, finishing his drink before heading across the club. Dave made to follow his friend, only to be stopped when Sonny placed a hand in the centre of his chest. "Sorry, kid. This is a private and confidential matter."

xx

Tim groaned and leant back in his chair, the seat reclining as far back as possible. His feet were perched on the corner of the desk and his suit jacket had been slung haphazardly onto the back of the couch that lined one wall.

"Do I sound like I care? You signed a contract, binding you to ten years of service to me and because you got cold feet you're expecting to get out of that contract after a measly two months?"

In his left hand he held a telephone receiver while the other hand nursed a glass of bourbon on the rocks. He grinned when he noticed Danny standing in the doorway. "Do I need to remind you about what happened to Calia?" Tim continued his conversation, waving Danny into the room and indicating that he should sit down.

The brunet was silent for a long moment before he sighed and lowered his head. "Get the job done. I want Roberts dealt with as soon as possible. If you can manage to do that, I'll consider terminating your employment after all."

He slammed the phone down; almost hard enough to break it and making Danny jump in the process. Tim noticed the violent movement and smiled apologetically. "Sorry," he whispered, getting to his feet and stretching his hands high above his head. "Just business. Some people need to learn the true meaning of loyalty."

Danny remained silent as his blue eyes followed Tim around the desk to the couch where he sat next to the younger man, his long legs stretching out in front of him.

"Did Sonny return your identification?"

A blush rose on his cheeks and he lowered his head. "I'm sorry I lied. It's just…"

Tim placed a finger over Danny's lips, silencing him immediately. "I understand. My club's reputation is far greater than I had ever imaged it could be. I'm flattered people of all ages want to experience it. How old are you? Fifteen?" Danny nodded solemnly. "Tenth grade."

As Tim mused his brown eyes seemed to drift away, focusing on something invisible for a moment before returning to Danny. "How is your Math?" he eventually asked.

Danny blinked in confusion; of all the questions he had been expecting, his mathematics skills had not been on the list at all. "Erm… I… Okay, I suppose," he stammered. "I get, B's, most of the time."

The older man bit his lip, nodding his head as Danny answered. "And you have a job already?"

"At the batting cages, cleaning the baseballs two days a week. Why? What's…?"

Tim continued as though Danny wasn't speaking. "And you earn?"

"Five dollars an hour. But…"

He got to his feet and looked down at Danny, suddenly grinning from ear to ear. "How would you like to work for me?" he asked, putting his hands on his hips.

Danny's eyes widened as he also got to his feet. "Work for you?" he repeated. "Doing what?"

Tim pointed to the phone. "I'll be without an accountant shortly," he commented and Danny immediately knew he was referring to the phone all he had been on. "It'll be a good chance for you to improve your Math skills and earn more money. I'll pay you triple what you get at the batting cages?"

"T-Triple?" Danny gasped, staring at Tim with his mouth open. "As in three times as much?"

The brunet laughed and nodded his head. "And all you have to do is make sure two columns balance out at the end of the day. Of course, we'll get Davidson to train you properly before I… reassign him." He smiled widely and held his hand out to Danny. "What do you, Mr. Messer? Do you accept my offer?"

Danny looked down at Tim's outstretched hand before turning his gaze back to his eyes. The instant their gazes locked, the blond couldn't look away. He was captivated by the sincerity shining back at him. "Okay."

He placed his hand in Tim's, sealing his employment and future with the man who had been a complete stranger to him two days ago.

TBC