All Your Weight
Notes: For Jess and kismeteve who wanted Dani and Ted. Spoilers for "Trapdoor".
Summary: Transitions in the interim.
Dani's pretty much exhausted and in no mood by the time Crews is out of surgery.
The list of things she's in no mood for is fairly long, starting with Tidwell – is it wrong that she can still only think of him with his last name? Was that a compliment? – and ending with bitchy hospital staff that seem to be really dedicated to holding up the whole 'privacy' legislation thing and don't realize that she is Crews' partner.
The nurse had actually tried to stare her down. Probably it was a good idea that Tidwell had distracted her or she'd be downtown sitting next to Crews' actual next of kin.
It hadn't surprised her to find out that Crews had named Ted Earley for that role. It made sense because, usually, wherever Crews went on the job, Dani was likely to be right next to him, and honestly that's about as deep into self-reflection as she's willing to get.
She'd seen him fall. Watched as Crews had tilted his head just so, and crumpled.
She doesn't remember calling 911. Maybe she didn't. Maybe Crews' father had done it. She actually doesn't remember much of anything other than pushing fabric down, trying to stop the blood that just kept seeping out of the hole.
Absently, she flexes her fingers, still dry from the antiseptic soap in the bathrooms. She's got bloodstains on her shirt and pants and she knows whatever's left of her jacket is on the ER floor, ready to hit the biohazard bin.
She has a headache, but that's not important. Nothing seems important right now.
And she hates herself more than a little bit because the first thoughts in her brain after Crews had fallen, after the 911 response and the God, no, was that this was what it must have felt like for Crews. To have the truth, a truth, in your sights and then suddenly have it twist away, just out of reach.
She wants to know about her father and for that, she feels like the shittiest form of human being.
She blinks and stares because the person calling her name, the man looking awkward and freaked out, should not be standing in front of her. Later, she blames her headache and the stress of the day – Jesus, he'd been calling her name in the ambulance – for her reaction.
"Aren't you supposed to be in jail?"
That earns her a hard look and a frown, and she feels worse.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. That, didn't come out right. How are you here?" She keeps blinking at him, certain that she's actually asleep, and this has all been a bad dream brought on by alcohol poisoning. And then she notices the prison-issue jumpsuit and the guard with his hand on his weapon.
"Family emergency release. I didn't think it was a real thing, but paperwork and my presence seems to prove me wrong there." Ted Earley shrugs and glances at the guard before gesturing at the chair. The guard nods, and Ted Early sits. Falls, really.
She wonders if Tidwell had anything to do with this. Strangely, hopes he doesn't.
"He's out of surgery."
"They told you that?" He sounds surprised, if glad. She can't look at him right now. If she had any energy, she'd probably be too hurt to be. But she doesn't so that isn't true.
"No." She points sideways towards the windowed door that looks into a hallway. "The nurse I nearly punched walked out that way and glared at me. I'm making an assumption."
"Oh, okay. They told me I had to wait here. For the doctor."
They stare at the wall for awhile.
"This is weird," he finally says. She feels him shift next to her, crossing his ankles. "Do you think the doctor will be long?"
"I don't know."
"This is weird."
Surprisingly, she's the next one to say something. What she says is more surprising. "I'm sorry." Her voice is low, and as soon as the words leave her mouth, she's picking at the hangnail on her thumb and looking everywhere but at the man next to her.
She can't look, but she should. She doesn't know why she said that. She shouldn't be sorry. She didn't shoot Crews. She didn't chamber the bullet or pull the trigger or do anything other than watch him hit the tile.
She didn't do anything else.
"I..." She shakes her head, locks her fingers and finally looks at Ted Earley. Looks him in the eye because this is the only person she can tell this to. The only person who will probably understand because he knows Crews, and if he knows Crews, he knows how important this is. "I don't know who did this. I was there and I didn't try to see who did it. I..."
Ted Earley just watches her, face impassive. It breaks her heart, or whatever's left of it these days. Finally, he nods and drops his stare. "You'll find out who did it. It's what you do."
It's what we do, she wants to say. But he's not wrong. If she has to end up in the bed next to Crews, or wherever he ends up – don't think about it – that's what she's going to do. She owes it to him.
And so help her god, she won't be doing it alone.
She better not have to.
Angrily, she kicks her feet out and drops her head into her hands. She grinds the heels of her hands into her eyes. "This has been a shit week."
She starts at the hand on her shoulder, but the touch is light and careful and she knows this man knows what fire he's playing with and lets it go. Just drops her hands and looks at him. His eyes are just as tired as hers, highlighted by the brilliant orange of his jumpsuit.
"Yeah." He says. Purses his lips and stares at the peeling wallpaper across from them. "Yeah, it has."
"It should be easier by now." Her voice breaks in the middle of it and she'd care if she were less... anything other than what she is right now. "This shouldn't be happening."
Next to her, Ted Earley just nods. His hand doesn't move.
They settle down to wait.