Rosen in Peace

An alternative ending to S2E9.

Disclaimer: As usual, own nothing connected to the show. Alternative ending is mine. Really should know better than to try and write/post a story just before work.

"Run!" Danielle Rosen held her hand out as a means to stop the others from advancing. She knew as she talked with Stanton that there was a 50-50 chance of getting out of this alive. And like her father's daughter, she leaned towards the side of optimism.

Cameron turned back, to forward the warning to the others. Maybe if he hadn't, he would have seen, should have known – after all, he was a father.

Danielle Sophia Rosen leapt out of the van, horrified and relieved to see her father rushing towards her. A brief memory of a similar action in a church came to mind. She could almost see the stained colored glass instead of the smoke from the crash.

Their fingers touched for only a moment - and then the blast tore them apart.

Lee Rosen's heart defied logic as he ran towards his only child. Cameron Hicks held him back once, Lee wasn't about to let that happen again.

If only he could pull her out of harm's way, he thought foolishly. He might have focused on psychology, but he also knew the basics of physics. And he didn't care. He touched Dani's fingers, ready to grab hold until the explosion pushed him back, an image of his daughter falling forward seared in his mind forever.

He turned to one side, painfully aware of the bile that prepared to choke him. Lee won that fight, forcing it down as his head pounded. It was similar to how he felt after Cameron shoved him towards the wall in the lobby (better him than Bill, Lee foolishly thought). It was similar to his being ripped away from Jason Miller's neuro-link.

Bill Harken took the lead, a natural one at that, Lee thought, as he wiped away the blood from the cut caused by his broken glasses. The others would be taken care of, better than he had done so since his return. So blinded to so many obvious things…

Lee rolled to his side, in the opposite direction and saw his child, motionless, injured. "Danielle," his voice croaked. He crawled towards her, ignoring the agony of his body. He had just enough strength to reach her, to lie beside her and try to assess the extent of her injuries.

"Somebody! Help!" He thought he screamed the words, hollered to whoever had the means to save his child. He thought that anyone, at least Rachel, could hear his plea. Then again, he could have imagined it as his trembling hand tried to feel for a heartbeat.

Sliding an arm under her, shredding his skin on the shrapnel underneath, Lee pulled her towards him before he collapsed.

Danielle felt her father's arm support her before she rested her head upon his chest.

She remembered how, as a child, she loved to take naps with him on the couch while her mother sang in the kitchen. She remembered how she loved to listen to her father's heartbeat, determined to find out why her mother called it an 'odd beater.'

Danielle found her father's hand and gripped it as hard as she could. Maybe if she held on, he would, too.

"I think your visits are the only thing keeping me sane," he told her.

No, Dad, she thought, it was the other way around. Reaching out to him helped pull her from the brink, helped give her a chance to enjoy a healthy relationship for once in her life. Her one regret – well, one among many – was never having confided in her father sooner, in not taking steps into a silly girl's dream of a 'happily ever after' with her charming prince.

The words she had spoken to Stanton weren't taught to her by him. No, she had listened to those words spoken many times between her parents, when things were better, before her gift (she had finally come to terms with it, dismissing the previous label of 'curse) was discovered.

Danielle tried to impart upon her father what she felt for him. In the process, she felt what he could never say – well, almost never.

"I love you, Daddy," she whispered.

Lee didn't want to focus through the haze of smoke, cacophony and collapse. He only wanted to push his daughter towards the side of the living. If she made it, then he could rest.

There were those around him now that would never grant him that.

"Lee! Lee, look at me!"

"I'm tired of hurting people," Nina Theroux said, standing precariously at the edge.

No, Nina, he thought, I've been the one hurting people – everyone around me. And now, I'm tired.

"Deep breaths, doc! Deep breaths."

Funny, how those were the first words Lee had spoken to Bill since both men's release. No, he was tired; he wanted deep sleep.

"C'mon, Dani! Doc! Damn it!"

Lee marveled at Cameron's skills of accuracy. He marveled at how Cameron had brought a light to Danielle's eyes that Lee thought he'd never see.

"You are like a daughter to me. You always have been and you always will be."

He didn't have Rachel's sensory strengths, but he felt her love and concern. He failed her, all of them. He had promised Bill that he wanted to try and make it up to all of them and he failed miserably.

If Stanton Parish wanted a Rosen dead, Lee wanted that spot, so his child could live, so the others could go on safely – if that was even a possibility now.

Danielle let herself to be lifted up by Nina, letting her hand be taken in the process.

"You will not die!"

Danielle smiled inwardly. Mind over matter, wishful thinking, defying… She transferred both hers and her father's feels to Nina, hoping the heart of the team could pass them on. In turn, Danielle felt some of Nina's emotions as well, before her hand slipped from Nina's grasp.

Along the way, Danielle's hand brushed Cam's. No, she couldn't do this, couldn't take in his pain, anger and everything else that was for her and aimed at her father, credited to Cam. She forced herself one last time past those barriers, the ones she had fun breaking down during her father's absence (A fun, joyful time of flirting that had become something more), and showed Cam that she loved him.

Her head resting once more on her father's chest, a childhood, a lifetime passing before her eyes, she breathed the words, "La, la, Daddy," as she heard her father's heart give one last beat.