Danny gave Grace a good night hug and then hurriedly wiped away the moisture from his eyes before she could notice.
Danny cleared his throat. "Yes, monkey?"
"Thank you for being my date." The ten year old paused before slipping her smaller hand into her father's bigger one. "And thank you for being my daddy."
That nearly did the detective in; he squeezed the little hand and managed to squeak out, "Thank you for being my saving Grace." When his little girl looked up at him with confusion in her brown eyes he smiled slightly and said, "One day I'll tell you about it."
Ten minutes later he found himself driving with shaking arms back toward headquarters…it came before his apartment and in his current state he doubted he would make it that far. His head was spinning and his heart pounding by the time he managed to stumble into Steve's office and collapse on the couch.
Steve…another partner that almost died because of him. But Steve was alive…and so was he…but it was close. Too close.
A day that started and ended so wonderfully with his daughter was muddled in between with memories of the past and horrors of the present.
He hadn't thought about that day over a decade ago in a long time; and he had never told anybody the entire story as he had done today. It had brought it all back…and it felt so real…the hurt so fresh.
His muscles ached from the tension of standing still for so long and he couldn't remember the last time he ate or drank anything substantial. But he wasn't hungry or thirsty…he was just numb. But not the kind of numb that took away the pain…the kind of numb that consumed ones whole body and made it shut down and be completely unable to function…