A/N: I guess I should warn you again: contains pretty dark imagery and some swearing. Right from the very first chapter

Disclaimer: I don't own them, of course.

Chapter 1

They were just investigating. Danny had expected this case to be something potentially exciting, but in reality it narrowed down to just looking through things, which, in his opinion, was quite boring.

They had received a call from London that morning, warning them that a group of people who had stayed at a local hotel the day before was, in fact, a criminal organization. Danny could barely keep up with Nicholas, who ran out of the newly rebuilt station, shouting out orders as he moved. The Sergeant's heart was racing – he had been released from hospital not that long ago, and yet some action was awaiting. Nicholas' slightly worried looks didn't go past him though, and he managed his best "I'm okay" nod as they settled in the cars, along with other officers.

Despite focusing hard enough on the road as he was driving, Danny couldn't help but notice the stern determination in Nicholas' eyes. Danny smirked – looked like Inspector Angel was off the fucking chain again.

However, they arrived at the hotel only to discover the gang was gone. The criminals seemed to have fled in a hurry though. As the Andes went to ask whether anyone had seen them go, the others returned to the station, leaving only the Inspector and the Sergeant behind.

"Do you think they could have left something important?" Danny whined, searching through another pile of old and not really clean clothes.

"If they left anything at all… they were in a rush," Nicholas answered thoughtfully. "But why did they leave? What scared them?..."

Danny sighed. All he had seen so far was just some trash – empty bottles, clothes, and just garbage like ice cream wrappers. Nicholas' phone rang, startling both of the officers a bit.

"Inspector Angel," Danny didn't know what the person on the other side was saying but his friend's eyes went wide, and his face became slightly pale. "What?" Angel hissed. "And you're telling me now?"

Nicholas disconnected almost immediately and turned to his partner.

"Danny, there might be a bomb in the building," he uttered as fast as he could. "Go downstairs and make sure there's no-one there. I'll check the upper floors".

The Sergeant could practically hear his own heartbeat in his ears as the two of them rushed out of the room and separated. He was pretty sure nobody was in the building, but Nicholas just had to double-check everything. To his great surprise, there was an old couple in one of the rooms. It took him quite a while to explain them what was going on.

Just as Danny escorted the couple out of the building, all hell broke lose. There was a deafening sound somewhere above him, everything started shaking, bits of the ceiling falling down. The Sergeant's first thought was "run away". His second thought, however, was "Nicholas", and it instantly beat the first one. Feeling his stomach twirl, he ran upstairs. Several bits of the ceiling fell on his head, making his vision blur. As he made his way up, Danny could tell it was becoming hotter, and the smell of smoke was tickling his nostrils.

"Nicholas!" he yelled despite the lump in his throat that was forming both because of the smoke and sheer panic. The same two things made his eyes fill with tears.

He didn't know how long he had been searching around (it felt like hours to him), until he spotted some movement. Storming towards its source, he started digging through bits of furniture and God knows what else. Then he finally saw his friend.

Nicholas looked like a vision from an exceptionally scary nightmare. He was shaking, his eyes were wide open, but Danny doubted Nicholas could see him, since his gaze was unfocused. Blood was flowing from the Inspector's temple. Danny tried to wipe it automatically but ended up only spreading it across his friend's face, which became even worse as more and more of the precious red liquid came out.

"Nicholas, it's me," he finally yelled, swallowing a sob. "I'll get you out of here!"

Oddly enough, it seemed to work. Nicholas stopped shaking. In fact, he went completely still. Frighteningly still. Danny felt his insides freeze. He leaned down to listen for any heartbeat, when some particularly big bit of the ceiling fell on his head, and everything went black.