Summary: What if Martin didn't get comforted by Sam at the end of S02E20 but by someone else?
S02E20 was when Martin's aunt Bonnie went missing.
Pairing/s: None. Extremely close friendship between Martin and Danny.
Disclaimers: I don't own Without a Trace.
"Are you okay?"
Martin looked up at Sam, who was hovering nervously just a bit away. She bit her lip at seeing his naked eyes, seeing his pain and knowing she could not really do anything to help.
"I'm fine," he whispered. "Just need to think… thanks for the help, Sam."
"You're welcome," she replied. "Sure you'll be fine?"
"Yeah. I'll be fine; go home."
She looked at him once more but Martin had already turned and was walking away already. With a sigh she went to go home.
Danny tore his eyes from the TV when he heard his phone ring. He shut the sound off and flipped the phone open with a sigh. He put it next to his ear and said:
"Danny?" came the weak answer.
The quiet voice made him sit up straight in his couch, his blood freezing. There was no freaking way that weak voice belonged to Martin Fitzgerald. He did not sound weak or defeated, never.
"Martin?" he asked.
"Yeah, it's me," Martin replied, his voice getting a bit stronger as if to make up for the scare he did. "Are… Are you busy or something?"
"Except for watching an extremely boring comedy? No, I'm pretty free. Why?" Martin did not stammer either. Something was very wrong.
"I just…" The man's voice broke and it made Danny even more nervous than when he had stammered. "I just need to talk with someone."
"Martin, what's wrong?"
"Can I come over?" Martin asked, seating himself in his car. "I won't come if you don't want me to."
"Come on, Fitzie, you can come anytime," Danny said, using the nickname to lighten things up. "If you want to talk, I'll play therapist for you. Just come."
Martin was silent in the other end; Danny waited. Finally he heard something that sounded like a small, relieved sigh and then the same weak voice he heard in the start of this bizarre conversation:
"Okay. I should be there in twenty minutes."
Danny stared at the phone after Martin had hung up. What the hell had happened to make him sound like that??
"You kidding? That cake was delicious."
Bonnie looked over at Martin with a smile and then shook her head, her red-brown hair flying. Martin grinned back at her and said:
"It looked like a bomb had hit it but it tasted good."
"Really? Your mother didn't seem to like it that much," Bonnie replied.
"Ignore her," the man said. "She's been in a bad mood all since I said I wanted to be a FBI-agent."
"She still gives you a hard time about that?" the woman asked. "You have to tell her it's your life, not hers."
"Bonnie, she hasn't listened to me in the last three years; I don't think she will listen this time."
"Then I'll talk to her."
"You don't have to," Martin said and looked away. "I don't care what she thinks."
Bonnie looked at him, and then at said woman they were talking about. Her mouth was set in a thin line and nothing Roger was talking about made her cheer up. Victor was talking in his phone as he had done for the last 45 minutes and showed no indication he would stop anytime soon.
"Marty, you feeling okay?" Bonnie asked.
"I'm okay," he said and did not mean it.
Martin gulped down the lump in his throat as he stopped for a red light. His thoughts were spinning, and his tight grip on the steering wheel made his hands white. The red changed to green and he began driving again.
His aunt was dying. His aunt was dying. Dying. She was going to die. The thoughts repeated themselves in his head, making it pound and making him choke on his breath.
"Alright Martin, this is your aunt Bonnie and your uncle Roger. You will stay with them until we get back, okay?"
Martin felt strange holding his mother's hand, since she had never allowed it before, and pulled it away. His father frowned in disapproval but he was beyond caring. Martin was only nine years old but he was already used being a disappointment in his father's eyes.
"Take care son," Victor said nonetheless. "Don't cause any troubles."
His mother patted him on the shoulder and he flinched away from the touch. His mother retreated and moved away without saying goodbye. Martin did not care.
Suddenly the woman in front of him crunched down and said:
"I know your father already introduced us, but I want to hear it myself. Hello, nice to meet you. My name's Bonnie."
"I'm Martin," he said quietly.
"Good, you do know how to speak," Bonnie said with a smile. "Got worried you couldn't speak. Alright, nice to meet you Martin. This is my husband Roger. Roger here is taking our two daughters to a friend of theirs, so would you mind helping me out in the kitchen?"
He let her take his hand, since it felt much better than with his own mother, and followed the woman into the kitchen.
"I'm going to make a cake since Victor mentioned it's your birthday tomorrow," she said.
"A cake for me?" Martin asked.
"Of course! You're going to be ten years; that's an important birthday."
"Not for mother or father," Martin mumbled.
Bonnie turned to look at him as he sat by the kitchen table. His eyes were downcast and his hands tightly clasped together.
"What flavour do you like the most?" she suddenly asked.
"I like strawberries," Martin said shyly.
"Do you want a strawberry-cake for your birthday?" she asked with a smile.
He nodded vigorously.
"Then we will go shopping for your strawberry-cake," she said and held out her hand. "We can't make a cake unless we got the right things!"
He took her hand, and decided he liked Aunt Bonnie more than his mother.
Martin parked the car outside of Danny's apartment building and took a few gulps of breath. They did not help. He got out from the car and locked it, his movements carried out automatically and without him really noticing. He went up the stairs, trying to remember which number Danny had.
He came to the third floor and remembered his friend's apartment was on the third floor. Sure enough, the door to his left was Danny's. He knocked.
Danny jumped as he heard the knock. He knew it was Martin. Who else? But what would he say, what would he do? Would Martin tell him what had happened? Or would he walk around in blind, as usual when it came to Martin?
He opened the door and looked at his friend. The man looked like crap, his eyes filled with tears and his breath slightly laboured. He had dark rings under his eyes and he looked like he had been to hell and back.
"Come in," Danny said and almost pulled the man inside. "Shoes off, coat off. Want something to drink?"
"Water," Martin mumbled absently as he shrugged his coat off.
"Water, okay," Danny said. "Go to the living room and sit down on the couch. Everything's alright, Fitzie."
Nothing is alright anymore.
But he went to the couch anyway after he had kicked his shoes off. He sat down numbly, staring right ahead. He slowly relaxed in the comfy couch and almost sagged against it. His head tipped to the side and suddenly he heard Danny's voice:
"Marty, I swear if you had anything to drink before you came here and you drove I'm going to kill you."
"I didn't have anything to drink," Martin replied and accepted the glass of water. "Just… tired."
"Wanna tell me what's going on?" Danny asked as he sat down next to the man. "Come on, spill it."
Martin studied the glass tiredly.
"Martin? What shipped you off to dreamland?"
Martin snapped his head up and looked at his aunt. Bonnie smiled and said:
"Come on, you promised you would help me with the cookies."
Fifteen-year old Martin rose up with a sheepish smile and took over to mix the ingredients while she rushed over to the fridge and retrieved the chocolate bars she had bought.
"Why did you buy them?"
"Well, since we are alone for the weekend," Bonnie said, "I thought you and I were going to indulge ourselves a bit. It's your favourite."
Martin's eyes lit up when he saw the chocolate. His mother did not know what he liked, but Bonnie knew. She always knew.
Martin snapped his head up and looked at Danny. The man put the glass away and said:
"Fitzie, you're freaking me out. What's going on?"
"Did I ever tell you about my aunt, Bonnie?" Martin asked. His head was pounding so badly he wanted to put a bullet through it just to make it stop. Anything to make it stop, anything to wake him up from this nightmare.
"Yeah, you mentioned her and her wonderful cookies," Danny said, recalling his friend's conversation about the elder woman. "What about her? She in trouble?"
"She's… she's going to die."
Danny's eyes widened. The other man just staring ahead of him.
"Die?" he repeated.
Martin nodded, his eyes empty. His head was cracking open and he could no longer keep his eyes open. Just a bad dream. Just a bad dream. Wake up. Wake up and find this was all a bad dream.
Danny saw Martin's head loll to the side and caught the man as the rest of the body followed.
"Marty?" he said, alarmed. He did not really notice when he changed from Martin to Marty.
A slight shaking was the only response he got. Martin pressed his head against Danny's shoulder and mumbled:
"Make it stop…"
"Make what stop? Marty, make what stop?"
"My head… it hurts so much… make it stop."
His voice was so quiet, so broken, so heart-wrenching. Danny closed his eyes, and tightened his arms around his friend and colleague.
"Let it out," he said. "Let it all out."
Martin sniffed, tried to breathe only to find out his breaths ended up in sobs. He heard his father's voice in his head now; a Fitzgerald does not weep. They do not cry, or show any weakness at all. They do not weep. He smiled bitterly.
Fuck you. She's going to die, and I'm going to weep.
Martin clutched Danny's shirt and screamed.
Danny looked at the sleeping man for a long time before looking at the watch. It was around midnight but he could always leave a message if he did not pick up. He dialled the number and luckily the person answered:
"Jack Malone speaking."
"Jack, it's me," Danny said.
"Danny? What's wrong?" His boss sounded like he had been asleep, and Danny felt sorry for a moment. But only for a moment and then he continued:
"Do you think I and Martin can get a day off tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow? Shouldn't be a problem as long as you have a reason."
"Well, he's not in his best spirits. His aunt is dying; pretty shook up over it. He made me go deaf with his screaming."
"Bonnie is dying?" Suddenly Jack did not sound sleepy anymore.
"Yeah. You knew her?"
"Not that much. Martin invited me in for a couple of dinners over at them," Jack replied. "I knew she had cancer but dying… damn, it has to be tuff on Martin."
"Why's that?" Danny asked, rubbing Martin's arm as the man stirred.
"Martin considers Bonnie as his mother sometimes," Jack said. "She's his aunt, mother and one of his best friends. He's not going to take her death lightly. Just take the day off tomorrow; I won't call unless it's important."
"Thanks Jack. I owe you one."
Danny looked at Martin again before slowly laying down next to the man. Martin stirred again and clutched the pillow closer to his chest. The other man smiled sadly. He looked at the tear-stricken face and felt his own heart wrench violently in his chest. If he felt like this and did not even know Bonnie, it would be nothing else but pure torture for Martin.
"Don't worry Fitzie," he whispered, gently stroking the short hair and cradling the skull in his palm. "I'll be stay at your side."
He hoped that would be enough.
Some Martin-angst and my first go with Without a Trace. I was just watching the episode when the scene of Martin clutching to Danny while crying his heart out popped up in my head. I got so excited that I wrote it down on a piece of paper so I wouldn't forget it while I finished the episode.
Until another time,