A/N: I'm still trying to work my way around 5.07 and the muse is demanding I do something about 5.09 (which I've yet to see!) Story is based solely on spoilers, so if you don't know by now what's going to happen, please don't read until you've seen the episode. Thanks

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Don Flack found him sitting at the bar of their favorite waterhole, the one they went to when things went south, the one where beer kept coming and questions were left unasked until you started talking.

He sat down next to Messer, who seemed to be looking for the answers of the universe on the label of the bottle settled in front of him. He raised an eyebrow to Mike, the bartender, who discreetly shook his head. Don took the bottle away from Danny, who seemed not to notice, and took a swig. Grimacing, he put the bottle down again, as far away from them as his arm would allow it.

"Last time I checked, Messer, I was the Irish one. Didn't peg you as a warm beer drinker…"

Danny's confused blinking (damned idea to start wearing contacts!) told Flack that the joke… the whole comment, actually… had gone unheard. Sighing, he ordered two bourbons. When they arrived, he clanked his against Danny's.

"I hear congratulations are in order…"

Danny's head snapped faster than what Flack had expected.

"Who told you?"

"You ought to know better than to have private conversations in the locker room, Danno… everything you say there is bound to be public domain before the end of the next shift…"

"Does Mac know?"

"Unless the Morales case got dismissed early, no. Can't be sure about tomorrow, though…"

"Shit…"

They drank in silence. When the first tumblers were void of amber liquid, another round followed, also drank in silence. By the third, Danny Messer was ready to talk.

"I'm scared shitless, Don"

"Figures"

"I mean, when you think of the future you always think kids, right? They're like part of the whole package, know what I mean?"

"Along with the mini-van, the white picket fence and the golden lab? Yeah. I get it..."

"But they're like… future… not quite yet… I mean… Papa was 22 when Louie was born, but he was working class, no college… old country thinking, right? Me here, I'm 32 and still thinking of settling… not that I don't love Montana, but…"

Silence again, broken only by the clinking of the ice cubes against the tumblers' walls.

"What would you do?"

"Whatcha mean?"

"What would you do if you were in my shoes?"

"How the hell should I know, Messer? I make a point of keeping it in my trousers cause I don't want to think about stuff like that just yet…"

"Aww come on, man! What would ya do if Angell dropped that one on you?"

"What does Jenn have to do with this all?"

"Spare me the "I'm-shocked" number, Flack, I know you two have a thing going on for a while now. Just help me out here, what if it was you and her? What would ya do?"

Flack took a moment to reflect.

"Abortion is out of the question. Shotgun wedding, probably, if she'd have me, that is. Maybe just a judge for the time being, and give our mothers time to plan the whole huge church wedding thing until after the baby is born. Find a bigger place, maybe look into mortgage to get a small house in one of the boroughs... and there's also the should you/shouldn't you continue working stuff…"

Danny scoffed.

"Thought you said you hadn't considered it…"

Flack stood his ground.

"Well… after a while… you kinda mention it, you know? The type of conversations you have while stuck in the car in traffic or late at night in bed… it comes with knowing who you're with, Danny. Jenn and I, we're both from Catholic families, so we both feel the same about abortion… and I know she loves her work almost as much as I do, so her safety would also be a consideration… I mean, didn't you and Lindsay ever talked about this?"

"Actually…"

"Shit, Messer, can't believe you're still doing it! I really thought you were having a relationship and not just a fling!"

"I fell in love with her, okay? Not in the "I want you to marry me and have my kids" fashion, more along the lines the "I can't live without you, you've become my obsession". But I love Lindsay. I just wasn't ready to have a kid now…"

"But you're planning on having the baby, aren't you?"

"Not an option anymore; Linds is close to 13 weeks now…"

Flack was momentarily at a loss of words.

"But you wouldn't…"

"Honestly? The thought did cross my mind. But it's her choice, not mine, not really…"

"Danny…"

"It's not like things are fine between us. I know I love her, but I'm not sure if I want to marry her. And the kid… how can I be trusted with a kid? Look what happened to Reuben!"

"That was an accident, and you know it…"

"Yeah, right. An accident."

"It was, so stop using that as an excuse. Whatever it is between you and Monroe, you'll patch it up and work it out and that's it. How bad can it be?"

"I slept with Rikki"

Flack choke on the swig he'd just taken.

"Fuck Messer, are you out of your friggin' mind? What the hell were you thinking???"

"I wasn't thinking, okay? I was grieving and feeling guilty and all I wanted was to know that she forgave me! I killed her son, the only thing she had in the world, can't you understand? It had nothing to do with love…"

They both felt silent and finished their drinks, lost in their individual thoughts. Flack could understand guilt. He could understand having sex out of need to feel alive, to feel all right again. God knew he'd walked both paths and more than once. But he couldn't understand letting it fuck up the rest of your life.

"So…"

"So?"

"Your Ma is gonna be over the moon"

"Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. A bambino Messer to keep her busy… who knows? She might get back to her needle work…"

"And there's bound to be a ton of lasagna at the Christening…"

Danny scoffed. He looked at Flack and then laughed out loud. He clicked his glass to the detective's one last time.

"Only you, Flack, only you. I swear, one of these days…"

Flack just shrugged.

"Well… I hear congratulations are in order…"

"Yeah…" Danny looked down at the floor; looked up and smiled, "Yeah. I'm gonna be a Dad, Flack. Congratulations are in order…"

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A/N: I have no idea if TPTB plan to have something like this scripted, but I'd sure love to be the fly on the wall when Messer tells Flack!