Flack sat at his desk his head in his hands thinking about everything that happened that day
Flack stood up and strode towards him, "Do you have any idea how worried we were? What you put me and Lindsay through? Damn it Danny!"
"I had to," Danny agonized. "You don't understand!"
"You didn't have to," Flack argued back. He knew Danny was blaming himself for Ruben's death but he also knew it was a conversation for the two of them to have afterwards. For now he fought to keep them on track. "You should have called Mac or any number of people including me."
"I didn't want anyone involved!" Danny flung back. "I told you, you should have stayed out of it! It wasn't any of your business!"
"When it involves you, little brother, it is my business whether you like it or not." Flack's voice was low and dangerous.
"I had everything under control, I didn't need your help," Danny replied, his voice just as low and dangerous as his 'brother's'.
"You call stepping in front of a loaded gun having things under control?" The question came out in an undignified, uncontrollable squeak.
"She wasn't going to shoot me!" Danny defended his actions.
"You don't know that!" Flack shouted back, the feeling of fear once again entering his chest. "You don't know what she would have done."
"She was just upset," Danny again tried to defend his actions. "I was just trying to help."
Flack closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He needed to be calm when he said his part. When he opened his eyes a moment later Danny had backed up further and was staring at him suspiciously.
"I know you wanted to help Danny but you could have made things worse." Seeing the look of confusion on the younger man's face Flack continued. "If she had killed that man a jury could have been understanding. If she had killed you…no matter how understanding the jury she would have been labeled a cop killer. Do you know what that would have been like for her?"
Danny's eyes went wide, "I never….I didn't…it wasn't going to happen. She wouldn't have shot me."
Flack took Danny's chin in his hand, looking the younger man directly in the eyes, "You should have never put yourself in the position to see what Ricky would have done."
Danny cast his eyes towards the floor. He knew Flack was right but still didn't want to admit it. After a couple of minutes Danny finally looked back at his brother. Flack looked back at him with such understanding that Danny had to fight back the tears that wanted to fall.
Flack released Danny's chin and dropped his hand to Danny's arm and began to walk him back to the couch. Danny allowed himself to be led but couldn't stop his heart from pounding in his ears.
He had known he was going to be in trouble…he hadn't counted on Flack being the one to deal with him though. He wondered briefly if he shouldn't fight what was going to happen. Before he could react he found himself, face down, over his big brother's lap.
'This can't be happening', Danny thought wildly to himself as he felt his sweat pants being lowered to his knees. His breathing slowed as he realized Flack was going to leave his boxers up.
Flack himself was amazed he got as far as he had. In truth he'd expected himself to not be able to go through with punishing his younger brother.
Not wanting to give himself time to back out or Danny time to fight the position he raised his hand and brought it down with a resound swat.
Danny yelped though it was more from surprise then pain. He too hadn't expected Flack to be able to go through with spanking him. He definitely didn't expect Flack to put so much force behind the swats.
Flack knew that Mac lectured when dealing with Danny but for him it was too unnatural; then again the whole thing felt unnatural. Besides, with the amount of emotional distress Danny was feeling Flack wanted to make sure his younger brother understood why he was being punished.
"Tell me why we're here," Flack ordered, not slowing down the swats.
Danny kept his eyes shut tight but hearing the question he opened them. He wondered briefly if Flack was serious or trying to be funny but a particularly hard swat let him know it was not a joke.
"I didn't…ow…call someone to help me," Danny got out quickly.
"We care" SWAT "about you." SWAT "If you" SWAT "don't tell us" SWAT "what's going on" SWAT "we can't" SWAT "protect you." SWAT "What else?" SWAT
Danny winced knowing full well what else he'd done wrong. Some how thinking about it and being forced to admit it seemed worse. Another hard swat landed causing Danny to let out a yelp.
"OW! I didn't follow…ow….through with a promise."
SWAT "If you can't" SWAT "keep your word" SWAT "then how," SWAT "do we know" SWAT "to trust you?" SWAT
The thought of losing his dad or brother's trust was enough to allow Danny to let his tears run freely. At that moment during the day he had only thought of saving Ricky.
"And…" Flack ventured.
"I lost my temper, AH!" Danny rushed.
SWAT "You do" SWAT "not" SWAT "throw" SWAT "the first" SWAT "punch;" SWAT "especially when" SWAT "the person" SWAT "is a suspect" SWAT "in a crime." SWAT
"I'm sorry," Danny protested through his tears.
Flack sighed softly; it was almost over. The last part was not something the older man wanted to do but Flack had watched Danny put himself in danger to many times. He'd been glad when Danny had skipped to losing his temper but now it was time to deal with the last of Danny's wrong choices for the day…he picked up the brush that was sitting right next to him.
Feeling the flat of the brush on his backside, Danny tried to buck off his older brother's lap. Thankfully (depending on how you look at it) Flack had tightened his hold knowing what Danny's reaction would be and didn't want his brother to hurt himself.
"Enough," Flack ordered when Danny continued to try and get up. "You know better then to do something like stand in front of a loaded gun; especially when said gun is being held by an emotionally unstable woman."
Flack brought the hairbrush down with a loud smack.
"She…ow…wouldn't have…ah…shot me!" Danny got out between smacks.
"You" SMACK "do" SMACK "not" SMACK "take" SMACK "that chance" SMACK "with" SMACK "your life." SMACK "I do" SMACK "not" SMACK "care about" SMACK "the circumstance." SMACK "Got it?" SMACK
"Yes," Danny sobbed.
Two smacks of the brush later, Flack ended the spanking. Danny lay, crying over his lap. Doing as Mac did, Flack began to rub soothing circles on his brother's back.
When Danny's sobs quieted, Flack gently put his sweats back into place before helping him stand. Flack stood with him and hugged him tightly.
"You scared me Danny." Flack admitted quietly.
"I'm sorry," Danny cried, clinging to his big brother. "I had to stop her."
"Why?" Flack inquired.
"It was my fault," Danny answered.
Flack pushed Danny away so he could look him in the eyes. "What do you mean?"
Danny looked up at him, shame etched deeply in his face, "I told him to go home. He was my responsibility and I didn't follow through. He's dead because of me!"
Flack quickly embraced Danny as the younger man began to panic. He held him tightly.
"It's not your fault Danny; not even Ricky blames you."
"I didn't check up on him!" Danny started to shout and try to pull away. "I told him to go home! I knew a shot had been taken! I didn't even look him over!"
"It is not your fault!" Flack gave him a little shake. Seeing Danny still shaking his head he continued. "Since it's your fault then its Ricky's fault cuz she should have realized something was wrong when he didn't come home in time."
"NO!" Danny yelled again trying to get away.
Flack wasn't fazed. "If you're both at fault then its Lindsay's fault for not saying anything cuz I know she knew. If that's the case then its Mac's fault because he knew too which case it's my fault cuz I know I knew."
Danny didn't have the strength to fight back instead he collapsed against his big brother.
Flack held him close until Danny's tears started to quiet. The older man helped the younger into the spare bedroom and into bed.
Flack stared down at the sleeping figure and couldn't leave. He got dressed into something more comfortable before pulling up a chair by Danny's bed content to watch over his younger brother through the night.
He knew that Danny wasn't fully healed from Ruben's death. He never would be. All he could do for the younger man was be with him and help him understand he wasn't too blame.
Flack smiled sadly down at the younger man. Come morning the two would talk some more. Among things they'd talk about would be the two week grounding. Of course, Flack would lift the restriction against Danny's girlfriend coming over which would allow Lindsay to come over to his apartment so she and Danny could talk.
For now though…Flack was content to let Danny sleep and not worry. Tomorrow would, after all, come soon enough.
A/N2: For anyone wondering Mac did talk to Linsday the next day and for the next two weeks the two were not allowed to have contact unless someone was around much like Mac had done the time Adam had lied to him.