Acknowledgments: Many wonderful thanks to Katrina aka Ryan Wolfe of Sylum Clan for the wonderful help with beta reading, and also for idea bouncing and inspiration *smirks* You're just as evil as I am, if not more so. Love you.
Disclaimers: I don't own them, I'm just borrowing them to play with. I'll return them in better shape than they started out
Author's Notes: Spoilers for all of the current season of CSI: New York, Specifically the episodes: 'Epilogue' and 'Cuckoo's Nest'. AU NOTE/Warning. There is one aspect to this fic that is AU from canon. Fair warning, there is no Danny and Lindsey and they didn't have a kid together *shudders in horror* That was so wrong and evil. So I'm just leaving her off to one side and mostly ignoring her. That said, the rest is going to be kept as close to canon as possible.
Standing at the door to Don's apartment Danny rapped on it impatiently. The expression on his face gave enough warning, for any who happened to see it. "Come on Flack, open the damn door already."
Waiting impatiently, Danny silently counted to thirty before rapping at the door once again, muttering silently under his breath about idiots who didn't even have the intelligence of donkeys.
Counting silently to thirty once more, Danny dug out his keys and found the one for Flack's apartment that he'd been given way back when he had been a recent addition to Mac's team. Leting himself in, he closed the door and locked it behind him once again. Glancing around the apartment he silently swore as he saw that it was still just as much of a mess as it had been earlier when he'd been by a few days back.
Letting out a weary sigh Danny just shook his head as he hunted Don down, finding him passed out on the sofa with a couple of bottles of beer sitting on the coffee table in front of him. Leaning in he slapped Don across the face a couple times. "Come on, time to get your ass up Flack, I'm taking time out of my day to make sure you're at work and on time."
"Danny....what..." Don said in a slurred voice from both the beer and sleep.
"Time to get your sorry ass up Don, I deliberately left earlier than usual to side track over here and make sure you were up and moving. Now come on, time to get up, grab a shower while I clean this crap up. After shift, we're going to be having a serious talk about your sorry ass."
Sighing Don nodded slowly, his head still screaming and warning him not to move too fast. "Sure...whatever Danny."
Grabbing a good grip on Don's jaw Danny stared down into his eyes. "Not whatever, you're going to have a sit down talk with me and you're going to get your head out of your ass, or I'm going to make you wish that you had. Hear me?"
"Yeah, I hear you Danny," Don mumbled barely resisting the impulse to roll his eyes. "Let go and I'll get cleaned up."
"Make it fast, traffic's a bitch today," Danny said heading out to the kitchen to hunt down a garbage can to start cleaning up the pig sty apartment, muttering under his breath the whole way.
Rolling his neck to ease the stiff muscles Danny let out a sigh. It had been a crappy shift, but at last it was done and all that was left was to collect Don.
"Yo Flack," Danny said as he answered his cell. "You finally ready to go?"
Nodding at his reply of five more minutes, Danny nodded. "Yeah...that's fine, I'll meet you out front and we'll head back to my place....yeah, I am going to insist on that."
Letting out a snort at Don's reply that he didn't need a baby sitter, Danny shook his head. "I didn't say that, I said we're going to finish that conversation from earlier and, unless you want a bigger headache than you had earlier, you're going to listen to me."
Smiling at that, Danny chuckled mentally. "Yeah well, it's rather obvious you got issues, so we'll deal with both yours and mine tonight. Five minutes, or I'm going to hunt your ass down and drag you back to my place."
Popping the lasagna in the oven to warm up, Danny grabbed two cans of soda from the fridge and set them down on the table, saying nothing while Don sat there in silence.
"Fine, you said we needed to talk," Don said at last, the silence weighing hard upon him. "So what is it that we have to talk about and why did we have to have the discussion here?"
Sitting down, Danny stared Don dead in the eyes before finally speaking after a minute of silence had passed by. "We're here to talk about you and how big of a fuck up you've been pulling of late. We're friends, we've always been there for one another Don. Then after Angel died, you pulled away and shut everyone out. No one else mattered, no matter who they were. Now you almost lost your damn badge on top of it Don, what the hell is going on?"
Sighing Don closed his eyes, before finally putting his head in his hands and letting the tears flow. "I lost it....after she died, I just lost it Danny. All I wanted was to make things right. And then....ah hell, I crossd the line. Since then....I don't....I just...."
Letting out a soft sigh of his own, Danny shook his head, before getting up. Moving over so that he was standing behind Don he gently laid his hands on Don's shoulders. "So you got your revenge, and it wasn't nearly what you thought it was going to be. Now you have to deal with it and move on. Killing yourself like this isn't the answer Don."
"Then what is Danny? I killed the son of a bitch in cold blood and didn't even flinch. Not even when he....." Don said trailing off as he couldn't face the rest of what he'd done.
"You did what you had to do, now you need to let go and move on Don, you can't keep beating yourself up over this, or you'll end up dead when you second guess yourself one of these times."
"With out Angel...." Don started to say.
"You're still alive. I can almost guarantee that if she was here, she'd beat your sorry ass her self over this stupidity. You're human Don, that means you screw up occassionally. It doesn't make you evil or a monster. Especially since you regret it."
"I....Danny....I....can't..." Don said stuttering as the guilt and pain washed over him again.
"Yes you can. You can survive this, you can heal and you will move on eventually Don, time heals all wounds," Danny said gently. Rubbing Don's shoulders he forced himself to stay friendly and not push things. Ever since Don had hooked up with Angel, their occassional sessions of mutual stress relief had dried up. He'd accepted that, but it had been a long while since he'd been with anyone.
Focusing on just gently massaging Don's shoulders and nothing more, Danny forced his own libido down and focused on what his friend needed. After a few more minutes had passed the buzzer sounded indicating the food should be ready.
"All right, enough of that, we'll eat and then finish the rest of this conversation after dinner." Danny said firmly, not willing to let Don think this was over as it definitely wasn't.
As the two of them cleaned up the dishes after dinner, Don slowly felt himself start to relax, finally. "I see you're finally getting about a bit better now Danny."
"Yeah well, Sheldon was a lot of help with that. He kicked my ass, just like I'm having to kick yours, in order to get me over feeling sorry for myself. If he hadn't...." Danny said trailing off with a sigh. "It was so damn close Don, and there are still times when it hurts, but hey life is full of pain, but there's also joy at times. So I make the best of it."
"Yeah..." Don said softly, "yeah, I guess you're right. Maybe I should try and face it and move on."
"Yeah, but don't just throw yourself back into life, take it a step at a time Don, there's no rush," Danny said gently. "It took me a long while to get here, and it'll take you a while to get where you need as well."
"I know, maybe it's just that I had to finally hit rock bottom. And Mac....well it's going to take a lot before he forgives me, if he does at all."
Danny let out a laugh at that. "Mac....well Mac doesn't forget. He may eventually give a degree of forgiveness, but it's conditional and based on you not screwing up the same way again. So just focus on what you have to do and take it from there."
Don let out a somewhat forced laugh at that. "Yeah...he can be a hard ass at times....still, could be worse."
Danny chuckled at that. "Yeah, it could be Stella in charge, not even Mac could compare to that."
Don cracked a small smile at that. "I....Danny....could I...."
Danny smiled at Don's hesitant question, knowing what it was. "Yeah, you're more than welcome to spend the night Don. Not that anything is going to happen, but you're more than welcome to spend the night."
"Thanks....I know what we had was good...."
"Yeah it was, and it still could be Don," Danny offered gently. "But for now, you need to finish healing up emotionally and mentally. Once that's done, well we'll see what happens then Don, I'm not going to make any promises, as neither of us is ready for that just yet."
Don offered a wry smile at that. "Maybe we can make a real go of it though....just something to think about, right?"
Danny hesitated a few seconds before smiling and hesitantly nodding. "I think I could enjoy making a go of it Don. I'm not making any promises right now though. Just going to have to wait and see where it goes."
Don nodded, knowing that this was more than he could hope for. At least Danny wasn't rejecting it out of hand. He'd even agreed that they both needed time to heal, something that he hadn't been willing to admit himself.
"Come on, I'm beat and if I'm going to be up early enough to make sure we're both ready for shift tomorrow, including you getting a change of clothes at your place, we need to hit the sack," Danny said with a grin. "And yes, I'm willing to share the bed, but nothing beyond cuddling is going to happen."
Don gave a brilliant smile at that, knowing how much it cost Danny to make that offer. "I think a nice cuddle would be just right for me...if you're sure?"
"Keep it up Flack, and I'll make you sleep on the couch," Danny offered with a smirk. "Or maybe, I'll just make you sleep on the floor, if you can't behave."
Yeah, yeah, sappy sweetness. Some hurt and comfort, and it's going to have a sequel at some point in time. *sighs* This season has been horrible for my favorite boys, but hey, it can only get better right?