Disclaimer: I do not own Party Animals. That privilege belongs to the BBC and creators Robert Jones and Ben Richards.
Knight in Shining Armour
Summary: Alternate/Missing scene in episode 6 where Kristy's stalker finds Danny to be a bit more of an obstacle than he wanted, Danny is very stubborn and very hurt, Jo is worried, and Kristy sees him in a less dim light. Shameless Danny!Whump.
'Oh my God.' Jo Porter was not usually one to show such blatant shock on her face. 'Danny, what the hell happened?' But this was an exception.
Her researcher looked horrible. Absolutely, completely, and utterly horrible.
His normally floppy, fluffy hair was greasier than normal. Which wouldn't be a huge deal with a busy man such as himself, but Danny wasn't just some ordinary busy man. He wouldn't let his physical appearance deteriorate in fear of making the party look bad.
That wasn't the most shocking, though.
But...neither was the sickening black eye and split lip.
No. It was the huge, ugly scrape marring the side of his young face. Glistening pink and red, not quite scabbed over just yet.
'I'm fine, Jo,' Danny assured with a grimacing half-smile, collapsing in his chair with a small groan. 'Just a little roughed up.'
She grabbed his chin and turned his head to inspect the wound. 'That's not bloody nothing. Who did this?' She demanded, kind and firm at the same time. Putting her mothering instincts to use and revealing her soft side for him just a little bit more.
He pulled away, a half-heart scowl pulling at his lips painfully. 'No one, just some random guy.'
Jo didn't believe him, not for one second. He was a horrible liar, especially to her. His eyes had shifted over to Kristy's desk before flickering back to her in an instant.
Kristy's desk. Kristy with a stalker.
Her eyes widened. 'Danny,' she said quietly, with a little warning in her tone. 'Tell me what happened.'
He avoided meeting her eyes, choosing to pick at his nails and fiddle with his glasses awkwardly. 'He told me to stop protecting Kristy,' he muttered. 'Or else he'd do worse.'
Kristy walked in at that moment, a wide smile on her face. 'A free morning! I think he gave...up.' She trailed off and her smile faded at the sight of her co-workers. 'What happened?'
Danny flashed her a smile, this one a bit more steady than the one he gave Jo. 'Just got roughed up by some random guy. I'll be fine, no big deal.'
Jo pulled off her coat and grabbed her cellphone. 'I'm calling the police,' she announced. 'This is the last straw. They aren't doing their job.'
'Don't!' He exclaimed, shooting up from his seat.
Much to the women's alarm he swayed and fell back with a tight moan. Danny grabbed his chest and muttered a quiet 'ow.'
His boss snorted. 'There is something seriously wrong with you if you don't want the police called.' She rolled her eyes. 'But I'm calling them anyway...maybe an ambulance too,' she added when she took another look at his washed out face.
He shook his head mutely, knowing anything he said wouldn't do a thing to keep her from calling. She punched in the numbers and took the call into her office.
Danny squeezed his eyes shut and let his head fall back against the chair, hissing when he hit a bruise. Some type of extreme stubbornness was making him protest so much, he wasn't normally this stubborn. There was no reason to keep this bastard from getting arrest...except, maybe, fear.
Fear that if the man didn't get caught he would find out Danny reported the attack and go after Kristy, or him again. But he was mostly afraid for Kristy.
The source of his crush and heroic semi-sacrifice kneeled next to him and hesitantly push his fringe from his face. 'Danny,' she said in a tone that could be considered soft. 'Who did this to you?'
'Just some guy.' he repeated.
Her sharp but worried voice made him open his eyes and meet hers nervously. There was a second were they just stared at each other before Kristy was the first to look away. She glanced at his monitor then fixed her gaze determinedly at the knot of his tie.
'I saw that email yesterday.'
Danny did the impossible and turned even whiter, blanching. 'Y-You what?'
'Saw your email,' she said firmly. 'The one that said if you didn't stop walking me to my door you were going to be sorry...it was from him, wasn't it? Why did you walk me home last night?'
'Because if I didn't,' he whispered. 'You'd be in the hospital right now. This,' he gestured at his face, 'was just a warning. With you he would've gone all out.' He bit his cheek at the thought.
Kristy's hand hovered over his uninjured cheek, the pads of her fingers brushing the skin under his black eye. 'You're a really nice guy, you know that?' She asked with a small smile.
He stopped biting the inside of his cheek and smiled back. 'So I've been told.' His heart pounded, he was so close.
'The police are on their way.' Jo didn't even realize the interrupted a moment. Or, if she did, she didn't let it show on her face. 'And also a paramedic.'
Danny groaned. 'Jo!'
She shook her head firmly, scowling. 'No, Danny, you need to be checked over. You could be seriously hurt. If it's not too bad then you can stay...maybe head home. But if the paramedic says so you're going to the hospital.'
He didn't reply, making Kristy worried. She looked away from her boss to see Danny's face twisted up in pain. 'Jo, can we lay him on your couch?'
The older woman nodded and helped half-carry him to her office. The injured man hissed though gritted teeth as his bruises hit the leather in just the right places to send fire through his nerves. He resisted the urge to curl into the back of the couch and let it swallow him whole.
'What am I going to do with you, Danny?' Jo asked fondly, moving his fringe from his face.
He smiled slightly. 'Keep rehiring me whenever I quit?'
She chuckled. 'I guess so.'
It someone had told her years ago that she was going to hire a too young, straight out of school researcher she would've laughed in their face. If they had told her that same too young researcher became her too old researcher who she kept rehiring and who came too work even when he looked as if to be on death's door she would've died of laughing so hard.
Yet, here they were. She was pretty sure this was called irony.
When the police arrived she gave her side of the story as the paramedic looked over Danny. Jo kept shooting glanced towards her employees and the woman who could tell her how bad off her researcher was. Ten minutes later the officer left, making claims that this case was now a priority when, in reality, it should've been before Danny was even hurt.
Five minutes after that first ten the paramedic informed her that Danny was going to be find. A few bruised ribs, a sore stomach...a whole bunch of sore everything really. The paramedic was more worried about his face wound and the state of his knuckles, apparently her research got a few good punches in.
Whoever said he was a weakling was, well, wrong.
'It shouldn't scar,' the paramedic assured. 'And it shouldn't get infected, considering how clean he's keeping it already. I would just feel better if he came down to the hospital in a few days to get it looked at, just in case.'
Jo nodded. Sounded perfectly reasonable to her. 'What about his hands?'
'Not broken, just severely bruised. He's going to have a bit of a hard time holding a pen, let alone write. I would, actually, suggest for him to stay home today.' She glanced back at the splayed out man. 'Madam, do you think you can let him go today?'
'Of course,' Jo said, having made up her mind quite some time ago.
The woman nodded and left. Leaving the three of them alone again.
Danny groaned softly. 'Just go ahead and call him. He's back at the flat. Didn't want me coming anyway,' he mumbled.
'And you should've listened to him,' Kristy chastised him.
Scott was in faster than legally allowed, glaring and brother instinct turned on full dial. He was gentle, though, with his brother when he helped him up, despite his hard look. His glare was directed towards Kristy, much to his little brother's annoyance.
'It's not her fault, Scott.'
'Might as well be,' Scott said. 'It's her stalker that got you in the first place. I told you not to come today!'
'Yes, and now you're prove right.' He groaned and put a hand to his stomach, the sores and bruises were beginning to protest all this standing. It was straining everything. 'Can we go now...please?'
Cue three different hearts stuttering. Danny always looked young, but combined with his injuries and his pleading look he looked like a child. Jo couldn't decide if it was adorable or just plain heartbreaking.
Scott's gaze softened just the slightest. 'Yeah, alright. Let's go.'
'I don't want to see you until tomorrow at the soonest,' Jo called to their retreating backs. 'Day after would be better.'
Danny raised a hand and waved it dismissively. Something told her he was going to show up tomorrow whether Jo, Scott, or Kristy liked it or not.
And she was pretty sure this was going to be his very first sick day...ever.
Episode continues on normal from here, just a few days longer, new guy in charge of the case, and Danny supporting a few marks and heading to a hospital for a check up in a missing scene. Michael still sets that fire and gets caught and Kristy and Danny still have their little bonding moments.