Author's Notes: Okay, still processing what I thought about last night's episode. Of course I like that it was Danny-centric and we did have a few great DL moments but there are some things that felt a little off to me. While on one hand, I'm glad to get Danny back in the lab where we all know he belongs, I'm also disappointed to see him give up something he worked hard for, although I am glad they made it his decision and it wasn't a demotion of sorts.. There were moments I really liked though, Adam rambling on about the case and Lindsay looking uncomfortable and having to tell him she can't help him with the case because of conflict of interest (and then subtly providing him the help anyway). I also knew from the moment she talked to Mac that she would end up talking to Lauren. So this is what came to my mind during the episode. This first part of this story takes place between the IAB interview when Danny is accused of having an affair and when Lindsay goes to Mac for help. The second part is after Lindsay has her talk with Lauren.
Disclaimer: CBS, Anthony E. Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, and Ann Donahue own all rights to the characters and premise of the show. I am making no money off this story and it is for entertainment purposes only. However, this particular story is my creation and should not be used without my express written permission.
"So you discovered your husband was having an affair." Lindsay Messer stared at the woman sitting across from her in the interrogation room. The officer standing watch in the corner suddenly snickered and Lindsay shot him a glare before returning her attention to her suspect. She wasn't sure what was so funny about the comment but knew it wasn't the right time to make an issue of it. "Instead of packing his suitcase or calling a divorce lawyer, you thought it would be a good idea to wait in your car until your husband and his mistress left the restaurant they were having dinner in and then run them down with your car."
The woman shrugged. "Never mess with a woman scorned."
Lindsay shook her head. "Your husband is dead and you are going to go to jail for at least twenty five years. Your kids are probably going to become wards of the state. Everyone suffers here and nobody wins. Is that what you really wanted?"
"No, what I wanted was for my husband to honor the vows he took on our wedding day and be the husband he should have been. It's his fault that it all ended up like this." The suspect narrowed her eyes on Lindsay. "I see a ring on your finger. Are you saying you wouldn't be tempted to do the same thing if your husband cheated on you?"
For just a couple of minutes Lindsay just stared at the woman as if trying to figure out if she was seriously asking that question. It didn't help that the other office kept snickering every couple of seconds. "No, I think I can honestly say murder wouldn't cross my mind. But fortunately, my husband would never cheat on me so it's not something I have to worry about."
Now the officer lost any hint of composure. Both women turned to look at him until he finally reigned in his laughter. Lindsay frowned. "What is your problem?"
"Maybe he knows the truth. The only man incapable of cheating is a dead one. Trust me, if your husband has a pair and the right piece of ass comes along, he's capable of cheating."
Lindsay stood, closing the file in front of her. It had been a long couple of days, from the moment she'd gotten the call that Danny had been injured during his night out with his officers. He hadn't wanted to go; wanting to stay home and spend the time with her and Lucy. Lindsay had insisted that he join them saying it would be good for him to bond with his people. She couldn't help but feel a smidgeon of blame when she found out he was hurt. After making sure he got to the hospital to get the cut on his head looked at, she'd gone to work, but felt absolutely useless there since she couldn't work the case. Then she'd been forced to step aside on the other case she pulled because it ended up being connected to Danny's. She guessed Mac felt like it was safe assigning her the hit and run case that had happened the night before. The case hadn't been all that difficult but it still helped distract her from the trouble Danny was going through. He was good at his job and didn't deserve the hell he was going through at the hands of IAB.
"Officer Davis, please escort the prisoner to her holding cell. That is if you can stop laughing long enough to do your job."
She made her way out of the interrogation rooms toward the bullpen. Her thoughts drifted back to the problems her husband was going through. She wondered how the IAB interview was going. She worried about him. Not that she thought for a moment that he did anything wrong but she also knew he had a history with IAB from before she ever knew him and that his experiences there automatically put him on the defensive when it came to talking to them. He was a very skilled interrogator; sometimes if she was in the building while he was interrogating a suspect, she would sneak into the observation room just to watch him work. But she also knew he didn't always do quite as well when he was on the other side of the table.
She was so busy in her thoughts that the she didn't notice at first that she was being stared at by officers sitting at their desk, a look of pity or maybe judgment on their faces. When the feeling of eyes on her reached through her thoughts, she looked around noticing just how many people were looking at her. She glanced down at her clothes, double checking to make sure everything matched and that she hadn't spilled something on herself. Then she double checked to make sure her shoes matched - a mistake she'd made once while pregnant with Lucy and unable to see her feet due to her extremely round baby bump. Everything seemed in place so why were they looking at her? Then she heard the whispering, not loud enough for her to hear the words but her paranoia suggested that they were talking about her.
She tried to shrug it off; her husband, a sergeant in this precinct was under IAB investigation. It wouldn't be unusual for people to stare at her wondering how she was taking the stress that automatically when with it. She crossed to the water cooler hoping a drink of the cool clear liquid would ease her paranoia just a little. Let people talk; Danny didn't do anything wrong and his rookie would be cleared of wrong doing. It was just a matter of time and the skill of her friends at the lab who were investigating the evidence.
She stood at the cooler for a couple of minutes, drinking a small cup and then replenishing its contents. Voices from an office drifted out to her and now she could make out the words.
"I always knew it was a matter of time. We're talking about Danny Messer here. How many times does someone have to screw around before it goes too far?"
"I thought marriage would have settled down. I know that CSI he married wasn't his usual type but he seemed happy with her."
The first voice snorted. "He only married her because he got her knocked up and felt like he had to do the right thing. A leopard doesn't change his spots. Then again, maybe he just has a thing for co-workers. I used to see the way he was with that Burns chick he worked with for years in the lab. I always thought there might be a little something-something going on with them. Then her replacement replaces her in extracurricular activities as well. It was only a matter of time when riding around with Cooper all the time would lead to something more. His new little plaything gets herself in trouble and its up to the super-sergeant to ride in to rescue her."
Their words hit Lindsay like a ton of bricks and she turned from the water cooler and headed toward the exit, desperate to be away from their horrible words and accusations. How could they think that Danny had been in that bar on a date with Lauren? Didn't they remember that there were two other rookies there with them? She was so intent on getting out of the building that she didn't see Don Flack until she bumped straight into him.
Flack took the young woman by the arms to steady her. He looked down at her face and knew something was wrong. Her skin was a little shocky-cold and white and he was pretty sure there were unshed tears in her eyes. He owed it to her and to Danny to make sure she was okay but he also noticed the way the officers were looking at her and didn't think that this was the best place to hold such a conversation. Without a word he steered her out of the building and down the street toward his car. He deposited her in the passenger side before going around the driver's side.
Once in the safety and semi-privacy of his car, Flack just sat there, giving Lindsay time to sort out her thoughts in her head. He didn't really need to ask what was wrong. He'd heard the rumors and knew what people were saying about Danny and realized she must have heard them as well. After the silence stretched into a couple of minutes, Flack turned to her.
"Lindsay, I know things have been crazy for the two of you since the promotion and job change. It can't be easy with the two of you working completely different and totally crazy schedules, but no matter how little time the two have you have had together…."
"Don't. Flack. Don't sit there and try to tell me that my husband wasn't finding comfort in the arms of another woman." Lindsay wouldn't even look at him, her expression unreadable.
Flack swallowed hard. Lindsay had heard the rumors and apparently believed they might be true. Was it even his place to try to convince her otherwise? "Linds, Danny loves you and Lucy…"
"Stop, Flack. I don't need to hear it. I don't need to hear that he wasn't having an affair or that he loves me. I don't need to hear it because I already know it. Danny was at that bar the other night because I made him go. I thought it would be good for him to bond with his rookies. I just can't believe that his co-workers would think something so bad of him. Why? Why would they jump to those conclusions?"
Flack sighed. He was relieved to hear no trace of doubt in Lindsay's voice of her husband's innocence but she apparently hadn't heard the whole story. "I talked to Danny a few minutes ago when he finished his interview. That sick prick at the IAB thought it would be better if I read Danny his rights in the matter; I don't know, I guess he thought it wouldn't hurt so much. Bastard. IAB thinks Danny was having an affair with Cooper. Seems they have video from the bar showing her hugged up on him and then the images of him showing the guy the door seemed a little over the top for just a sergeant protecting a rookie. They think he told her to lie to the investigators about what happened in order to further protect her. It's bad, Linds. I won't lie to you. IAB is putting him on modified assignment and there's going to be a hearing and maybe even criminal charges filed against Danny in all this."
Lindsay shook her head. "That's so stupid. She was hugging up on him, not the other way around. Besides, they were at a bar, people do crazy things when they've had a few drinks in them. Hell, I've even seen Adam invade people's personal space a time or two when we've all gone for drinks after work and I don't think he's having an affair with my husband either. And you know how Danny is; he can't stand to see any drunk make unwanted advances at any woman in those places. How many times has he shown a drunk the door for getting too friendly to girls Danny didn't even know. That's just who he is."
She sat there for a couple more minutes trying to process everything Flack had told her. Just when she thought this whole mess couldn't get any worse; it does just that. She was worn out from worrying about Danny, trying to investigate what could happen to him depending on what IAB decided, working in the lab being very careful to stay away from the cases that involved Danny, and then going home and keeping up a happy face so Lucy didn't suspect anything was wrong. She was usually much better at schooling her emotions but the fact that she was sitting there in Flack's car about to burst into tears told her just how tired she really was.
Flack reached out and gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "How are you holding up, Linds?"
She'd gotten so use to people asking about Danny in the last couple of days, she missed the pronoun use in his sentence. "I thought he was doing okay but after this latest twist, I don't know. You talked to him."
Flack wanted to pull her closer to him for a comforting hug but refrained. Anyone walking past the car could look in and see them and the last thing the couple needed was more rumors. Instead he settled from moving his hand from her shoulder to gently bump the bottom of her chin, making her look over at him. "I didn't ask about Danny, Kiddo. How are you holding up?" He emphasized the word you.
She swiped at her eyes impatiently, not really wanting to break down in front of anyone. "I'm okay as long as Danny's okay. I'm sure this will all work out. Danny didn't do anything wrong no matter what IAB thinks. Mac and the others are going to find a way to prove that. It just hurts to see him go through all this; I know he still has bad feelings about what happened after the subway shooting. All of this has brought all that back up for him. I want to do more to help him but it seems all I can do is offer him my support and love."
Flack shook his head. "Don't sell yourself short. Your support and love is probably the only thing getting Danny through this. But you got to take care of yourself as well. How about I treat you to some lunch."
Lindsay smiled at him, grateful for his friendly support. "Thanks, but I should get back to the lab. I need to talk to Mac about some things."
Flack nodded. "I'll give you a lift then."
Again she stopped him. "I appreciate the offer but I think I need the walk, kind of clear my head a little. Do you mind?"
Now he did pull her over for a one-armed hugged, onlookers be damned. "Not at all. We're all here for the both of you. Don't forget that."
- CSI: NY - CSI: NY - CSI: NY -
Several hours later she let herself into the apartment once more completely drained. She'd hoped that the rumors flying would be limited to the precinct but even after making it back to the lab she heard several of the lab techs talking about it as well. None of their friends but still techs who were commenting on poor Lindsay being the last to know she'd been made a fool of. After her talk with Mac, she'd headed off to find Lauren. Mac had agreed that maybe a little woman to woman chat could help the rookie make a better decision. It hadn't taken long to find her but she wasn't sure how productive the conversation had been.
They had glossed over the whole possible affair thing, with Lauren admitting nothing like that had happened and Lindsay dismissing her admission with her own staunch admission that she never believed anything had happened. She was glad they had dismissed it so quickly; the wife in her wanted to scratch the other woman's eyes out for doing anything that might even give the illusion of impropriety but she knew it wasn't any more Lauren's fault than it was Danny's. They were both victims of a flawed society that wanted to immediately believe the worst about a situation.
Getting Lauren to admit that Danny hadn't forced her to lie wasn't as easy. Lindsay could immediately tell Lauren was hiding something and she'd pressed her hard to get her to admit Danny's innocence. In the end, Lauren had stalked off without admitting her deceit. Lindsay could only hope that the more Lauren thought about what she was doing to Danny, the more likely it would be she would do the right thing.
Now, stepping into the apartment, the sight that greeted her once more brought tears to her eyes. Danny was sitting in the comfortable overstuffed chair with his feet propped up on the coffee table. Almost three year old Lucy was snuggled into his arms fast asleep, her thumb firmly in her mouth. Danny's eyes were closed as well, but the tension and worry was still evident in his expression. Her heart went out to her husband as she realized just how hard this was on him. Usually they put Lucy in her bed for naps, not wanting her to get used to sleeping in their arms. Only on rare occasions, when someone was really upset and needed the extra cuddles, did they continue to hold her while she slept.
She set her bag next to the couch and went to the chair the two most important people in her life were occupying. She brushed a kiss on Danny's forehead and his eyes fluttered open, his arms instinctively tightening around Lucy's small body. He started to speak but she silenced him with a kiss to the lips, when she pulled back she put a finger over his lips. "We'll talk in a minute, let me put Lucy in her bed to finish her nap."
He nodded and let her gather their daughter in her arms. The little girl whimpered a slight protest but didn't wake up. Lindsay carried Lucy to the child's bedroom and gently deposited her in the princess bed she loved so much. She covered her up and kissed her cheek lightly before rising. She checked to make sure the night light was on and then quietly left the bedroom closing the door behind her.
Returning to the living room, she found that Danny had left the chair and was retrieving a bottle of water from the fridge. It was on the tip of her tongue to suggest a beer instead but then she saw his shield and gun sitting on the counter. Her heart fell. For it to be sitting out instead of put away in the gun safe, the news couldn't be good. She crossed the room and wrapped her arms around him. It took a moment or two but finally his arms wrapped around her as well, the water bottle in his hand cool on her back. Danny buried his head in the crook between her neck and shoulder. His body was shaking and she could feel the tears wetting her shirt. She tightened her hold on him and let him expend the emotion until he finally looked up. Looking into her eyes he knew she'd heard the stories that had been circulating.
"Linds, I swear to you that there was nothing going on between Cooper and me."
"Never crossed my mind otherwise." She assured him softly but he continued as if he hadn't heard her.
"I know it looks bad but…" He stopped for a moment, searching her eyes for any hint of blame. "Did you just say…? But, everyone thinks I did and I know they are talking about it"
She rose up slightly to kiss him once again. "I know they tried to make something innocent look bad but I never for once believed it could be true. And yeah, it hurt to hear people we work saying you cheated on me but only because I thought they knew you better than that. But you know what, if they want to think the worst about you then screw them; what do they matter?"
Still keeping his arms around her, he led her back to the chair and sat down, pulling her into his lap much the way Lucy had been moments earlier. "I was sitting there in that interview room expecting to answer the same damn questions about that night that I'd already answered a million times before. Then he puts this video up from the bar. Cooper was hanging on me, telling me about the guy who'd been giving her a hard time. I guess she was a little too close but the bar was loud and it was the only way I could hear her. It was completely innocent but he starts accusing me having an affair. It took every ounce of self control not to smash my fist into the mouth that spewing all those accusations at me. I had to walk away which only made him think I was guilty. I sat back down at him and I wanted to tell him why would I have something going on with Cooper when I had you to come home to. But I didn't. You knew why I was there and even encourage me to get to know my rookies better; I shouldn't have to explain my actions to him, not on that. If he wanted to question me about the shooting that was one thing but if I owe anyone any explanations about my actions in that bar it's you and you only."
Lindsay ran her hand up and down his arm comfortingly. "You don't owe me any explanations, Danny. I'm not mad at you and I don't suspect you of anything. As furious as I am at Lauren for lying about you telling her to lie; I'm not mad at her about the accusations. I've been in her position before, Danny. When I was first starting out as a rookie, I had co-workers whose wives wouldn't let them go out after work if I was going to be there. Those women would look at me like I took the job just to steal their husbands from them. I had to watch every reaction I had if I didn't want to fuel their insecurities; it even got to the point that I avoided any type of social interaction with them just so I didn't cause trouble for them."
Danny kissed her again. "So you really never thought it could be true? I haven't been around that much lately…"
"Because you've been working and getting use to a new job not to a new bed partner. Danny, when I first heard the rumor I flashed back to our wedding day. You were standing there telling me we made sense and you could be that man you knew I wanted; that you were that man. I told you then and I'll tell you again. You are that man. I had no doubts that day and I have no doubts today."
"I've made mistakes before…" Before Danny could finish, she kissed him silent. When she pulled back his eyes twinkled a little with amusement at her tactics.
"You made mistakes, past tense and you've more than made up for them. I love you, Danny and more importantly I know you love me. So you and I know the truth and since what IAB thinks or doesn't think you've done to your marriage vows doesn't matter, let's put that behind us. What is going on with IAB? Flack said there might be criminal charges."
Danny sighed and pulled her tighter against him. "If they think I forced my officers to lie I could be charged with obstructing justice who knows what other charges. It could mean a trial but before that I would lose my job - not just my stripes but my shield completely. Since Cooper testified to IAB that I forced her to lie, it doesn't look good for me. I have to meet Adler at his office in a couple of hours to turn in my shield and gun until the investigation is complete. After that I guess I start exploring my options."
She knew how much this was hurting Danny and wished she could do more. "Want me to go with you? I can call Jo and see if Ellie could watch Lucy for a little bit."
Danny shook his head. "Your support means everything to me, Linds. But I gotta do this alone. I won't lie, it's going to be harder this time than any of the other times I've been on modified assignment. I'm going to need both my girls waiting for me here when I get back."
"We'll be here then. Danny, don't give up hope. Maybe things will work out and even if they don't; we'll be okay. We'll figure something out."
Danny nodded relishing the feel of her warm body against his. "Yeah, I guess if nothing else, there's an opening at Piper Laboratories since Mac left there."
Lindsay kissed him once again. "That's right, Mac is back at the lab now and he's not going to sit back and let one of his own go down for something they didn't do."
Danny frowned. "I'm not one of his own anymore, remember? I gave that up when I took the promotion."
"You'll always be one of his own, Danny. No matter what happens. No doubts about that either."