Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. I would like to own them but my cat would be jealous. So I'll just play with them and send them back home, maybe a little worse for wear.

A/N: I am a long time lurker. I read other people's stuff. I write but don't post because I fear rejection. If you like this, let me know. If you don't like it, lie and tell me you like it anyway.

Chapter One

The alarm went off at its usual 5:30 am. He sat up, bracing himself for the pain that had become a permanent fixture in his life. Before getting out of bed, he dry swallowed the pain meds that he would need just to make it through his shower (even though he had a seat – a fucking seat – in his shower like some old man.)

Grimacing, he used his hands to lift his ruined left leg to the side of the bed. Sometimes he almost wished that he had allowed them to amputate the damned thing – at least the pain that ate away at his soul day and night would be gone. Of course, with his luck he would probably be saddled with phantom pains in his missing limb. He shook his head. No. At least his leg was still there. Sighing, he reached for the forearm crutches that he now required and slowly, painfully made his way into the bathroom.

He was going to be late for work but it was okay. His boss knew and so did his boss's boss. Today was the day his orthopedic surgeon would tell him whether or not he would ever be able to go back into the field. He smiled without humor. He didn't need the doc to tell him what he already knew. It had been nine months – nine months of surgery, rehab and physical therapy and on a good day he could barely walk with a cane (and the good days were still few and far between.) Most days he used the forearm crutches but at least he wasn't in the wheelchair anymore.

He could still drive as long as the vehicle had an automatic transmission. There was no way that his shattered knee could handle a clutch. Thank God he didn't have to rely on someone else to drive him anymore. He hated it when he had to depend on his teammates to take him to doctor's appointments, therapy sessions and more recently to work.

Work. They let him go back after five months, half days at first then full days after six weeks. He had riding a desk full time for two and a half months, his boss swearing that his place on the team was secure. But he was a field agent, damn it, not a desk jockey. Who was he kidding? After his doctor's appointment today he would be off the team. The MCRT was made up of field agents and he no longer fit that description.

His phone rang several times on the way back to the Navy Yard but he didn't answer. Couldn't answer. He would wait until he got there to tell them what they already knew. The phone rang again. Glancing at the caller ID, he decided to answer this time – it wasn't smart to ignore the director. He told Vance that he would be there in a few minutes and was instructed to come straight to the Director's office.

He parked in the handicapped space (at least there was one perk to his injury) and made his way inside. As usual the metal detector went wild. He had enough metal in his leg to set the thing off even without the brace and crutches. He made his way to the elevator and bypassed the bullpen, going to the Director's office as ordered. Smiling at Cynthia, he knocked and went inside.


A/N: Should I continue?