Title: Second Chances
Author: Jaxson K.
Pairing: Don/Adam, Mac/Danny
Rating: PG
Summary: Don regains something he thought he had lost forever.


Don sat on his barstool working his way through another beer. Deep down he knew that this wasn't the answer to his problems, but it sure seemed like a good idea at the time. He was about to order another beer when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to find Danny standing there with a grim look on his face.....

"What's up, Messer?"

"Don, I need you to come with me....."

"What the hell, Danny? I was just starting to have a little fun here!"

"Don, this is serious. It's about Adam....."

Don felt his heart drop into the pit of his stomach at the mention of his ex-lover's name. He was scared to ask, but had to know.....

"Dan, what's happened?"

"There was a robbery at the bodega near Adam's apartment. Two dead and three wounded."

"Oh, God.....Danny, is he??....."

"No! He's one of the wounded. It's pretty bad, though. They were taking him to surgery when I left to come find you. Don, he was asking for you....."

Danny's words shook Don to the core. He felt like he couldn't breathe, but at the same time, he wondered why Adam asked for him. Without another word, the two men left the bar.

Mac was waiting for them when they arrived at the hospital. Danny rushed into Mac's arms and asked if there had been any word. Mac told them there had been no word yet, just that Adam was still in surgery. The three men sat and made small talk to pass the time. Mac had gotten word that one of the dead men had been the robber, and the other dead man was the bodega owner. The bodega owner's wife identified them both.

Don decided to go out for a smoke. He told Mac and Danny where he would be and to come get him if there was any change. Don made his way outside and sat down on a bench. He lit his cigarette and was wondering why Adam had asked for him. They'd been split up for nearly a year, and Don thought Adam had moved on. Don certainly hadn't. He still longed for Adam and wanted a chance to try and make things right between them again. Don realized that his inability to open up about his feelings is what split he and Adam up in the first place, but with some discreetly done counseling, Don had gotten a handle on his problem.

Don was deep in thought about Adam when Mac walked up and sat down next to him. Mac placed a hand on Don's shoulder and Don turned to look at him. Mac immediately told Don that Adam was out of surgery and that they were settling him into a room. Mac could see the relief on Don's face immediately. Don went to get up and go inside, but Mac told him to wait because he wanted to talk to him.....

"Don, I know you are anxious to see Adam, but I wanted to talk to you first....."

"Sure, Mac, what's up?"

"Well...it's about Adam."

"What about Adam, Mac?"

"We met for coffee after work a couple of days ago, and he told me that he was considering getting in touch with you about getting back together. He asked for my advice on the matter, and I gave him my honest opinion. I asked him if he thought you two could work past whatever it was that drove you apart before, and he told me that he thought it was possible. He told me why you two broke up, and I sat there remembering that the same thing almost cost me Danny. We had the same problem you guys had. I was afraid to tell Danny how I felt, and I almost lost him. Don, we've know each other a long time, and I'm telling you, if Adam does want to give you a second chance, try to tell him how you feel. Don't make him guess....."

"After Adam left, I started seeing a shrink about the whole communication thing. I was finally able to get it together, but it didn't matter then. Adam was gone and the few times I tried to contact him, he wouldn't take my calls. Mac, I never stopped loving Adam. I just didn't know how to tell him how much I did love him....."

"Don, if you do get the chance, tell him. No matter how hard it may be, just do it....."

About that time, Danny came running out of the building looking around frantically. He spotted Mac and came running over.....

"He's awake! He's awake, guys! Don, you need to get in there. He's asking for you! Hurry!"

With that, Danny ran up and grabbed Don's hand and started running back toward the hospital. When they reached Adam's room, Danny stopped outside the door and turned to look at Don.....

"Are you ready?"

"About as ready as I can be....."

Danny pushed Don toward the door and went back to find Mac. Don walked into Adam's room and was immediately rewarded with a big smile from Adam. Don made his way over to the chair beside the bed and sat down.....

"Hey Adam....."

"I'm so glad you came, Don."

"Danny told me you were asking for me....."

"I was, Don. There's something I need to talk to you about, but I can't right now. I'm so sleepy, but I want you to promise me that we can talk as soon as I start feeling better....."

"Anytime you say, Adam. That's a promise!"

"Thank you, Don...that really means a lot. If you don't mind, I think I want to take a nap....."

Before Don could reply, Adam closed his eyes and fell asleep. Don quietly left the room and went to find Mac and Danny. He found them in the coffee shop and Danny asked about Adam. Don explained that they had spoken very briefly and that Adam was asleep. Mac went to get Don a coffee and when he came back, he asked if Adam said why he was asking for Don. Don explained that Adam mentioned wanting to talk to him, but that he wanted to do it when he was feeling better. Don went on to say that he promised Adam that he would be available whenever Adam was ready. The three men sat and talked for a few more minutes and then Danny asked Mac if they could go home. Don said he would be staying the night there at the hospital, and Mac promised to send one of the team to give him a break later that day.

Don woke up to the sound of voices in the hallway outside Adam's room. He looked around to see Stella and Lindsay sitting outside the room. He walked to the door and greeted the two women who were full of questions. Don filled them in on Adam's condition and asked if they would sit with Adam for a few hours while he went home to shower and run a few errands. The women agreed and Don left them with explicit instructions to call him if anything changed with Adam.

When Don arrived back at the hospital, he found Adam sleeping with Stella and Lindsay nowhere in sight. There was a note on the table near Adam's bed that said Stella and Lindsay had been called back to the lab. Don sat down near Adam's bed and watched the young man sleep. When they were together, Don had always enjoyed watching Adam sleep, and now was no different. Adam looked so peaceful lying there, and it was all Don could do to keep from reaching up and touching Adam's cheek. Adam opened his eyes and smiled at Don. Don smiled back and winked.....

"Hey, Don...."

"Hey, buddy...how are you feeling?"

"Sore as hell, but I'm fine otherwise. Don, have you been here all night?"

"I left a few hours ago to shower and change. Stella and Lindsay were here. When I got back I found a note saying that they had to go back to the lab....."

"So, Don, how are you doing?"

"I guess I'm alright. Just working and trying to stay out of trouble......"

"That's not quite what I meant....."

Dammit, Don knew he would screw this up. Adam was asking about how Don was emotionally, and he had to go and fuck it up by falling back into his old habit. The one that caused Adam to leave......

"Actually, Adam, I have to be honest. I'm a bit confused, scared, and a bit unsure of myself right now....."

Adam was stunned! Don had just spoken about his true feelings. Adam wondered if it was because Don was tired, or what.

"I've been trying to get up the nerve to call you, and then I find out that you've been wanting to talk to me. I wanted to tell you that I finally took your advice and contacted Mary Ann Hughes. And I have to say that I wish I had done it much sooner. She says I have made excellent progress, and I wanted you to know."

"Don, I'm proud of you. Knowing this makes what I have to say so much easier. I've thought about us a lot lately, and I was considering getting in touch so we could talk. I didn't know if it would do any good, but I was hoping that maybe some of what I said had sunk in....."

"Adam, I blame myself for your leaving. Baby, I wanted you to know how I really felt, but was so afraid to say so because I was afraid to show any weakness, any fear......"

"I knew something was wrong, but wasn't sure what. All I knew was that we were drifting apart and I was afraid it would get ugly. All those times where you thought I was being a nag were times I was trying to get you to open up and let me try to ease some the pain you were in. Holding everything in and trying to be Superman wasn't working....."

Before the two could continue their conversation, Mac, Danny and Sheldon showed up. Adam was happy to see everyone, and it showed. Danny asked when Adam would get to go home, and Adam replied that the doctor told him he would be able to leave the next day. Stella offered to take him home, but Adam told her that Don had already offered. Don glanced at Adam but Adam ignored him. Stella caught the glance and smiled to herself. The visit wound down when Adam announced he was getting tired. Don got up to leave with the others, but Adam grabbed his arm.....

"What is it, Adam?"

"Please stay a bit longer....."

"Sure....are you okay?"

"Yeah, just didn't want to be alone right away....."

"I understand....."

The two sat in companionable silence for a while. Don glanced at his watch and told Adam he really did need to go so he could go to work early enough to arrange for someone to cover for him so he could pick Adam up. He told Adam to call as soon as the doctor said he could leave. Adam said he would and Don headed home.

Don thought about Adam all the way home. He was hoping that he was reading the signals right, and that Adam really wanted to get back together with him. He also knew that if that was indeed the case, he was going to have to do right by Adam this time. No more of this hiding his feelings and being a smart-ass all the time. It was time to be a responsible lover. Don hurried to get dressed so he could get to the squad room in time to talk to the chief.

Adam called Don right after lunch to tell him that the doctor had released him and that he was ready to go. Don arrived at the hospital and found a smiling Adam waiting for him in the front lobby. They stopped at the drug store to have Adam's prescriptions filled and Adam mentioned that he was hungry. Don went to Adam's favorite deli and got two of Adam's favorite sandwiches. Adam asked if they could go to Strawberry Fields to have lunch. Don was a bit surprised by this request, but went along with it anyway. Once they finished eating, Adam looked over at Don saying that it was time they finished their talk.....

"Don, I want you to know that I regret leaving you. I was selfish, and didn't want to try to understand. In the year we've been apart, I've had time to put some things in perspective, and I want you to know that I get it now."

"What is it that you get, Adam?"

"I know now that just because you didn't tell me you loved me all the time and gave me constant reassurance and stroked my ego didn't mean that you didn't love me. I didn't realize that just because the words aren't there, that doesn't mean the feeling isn't....."

"Adam, I always loved you, and I know now that people have to hear it ever so often. I realize now that it's not going to hurt me to say the things I need to say....."

"You were afraid to tell me how you felt?"

"Yes. I told you about seeing the lady you mentioned to me, and she says I've made excellent progress about opening up....."

"Don, let me ask you something.....what would you say if I told you that I want to see if we can make this work gain?"

"I'd tell you that I've been waiting a long time to hear you say that....."

"Do you really want to try, Don?"

"Yes, Adam, I really do....."

As they made their way to Don's apartment, Don said a silent prayer thanking God for second chances.....