Title: Bringing In The Night
Author: Jaxson K.
Summary: Don is haunted by some childhood memories.....
***Jackson came awake to the sound of someone in distress. He opened his eyes and realized that the sounds were coming from Don. He reached over and shook Don's arm while softly calling his name. It took a few moments but Jackson was finally able to get through to Don and he began to calm down. He rolled over toward Jackson and clung to him like a second skin. Jackson gently rubbed Don's back and whispered soothing words in his ear. He could feel his husband start to relax and he wondered what could have upset Don so much.
Morning found Jackson feeling tired. He got out of bed and headed to the kitchen to get breakfast ready for the guys. When the food was ready, he set the table and called the guys to come eat. Danny noticed that Jackson looked tired and mentioned it. Jackson replied that he was indeed tired, and it was because Don had another nightmare during the night.....
"Babe, I'm sorry....."
"It's alright..... I'm almost used to it by now....."
"What do you mean by that, Jax?"
"Just what I said, Danny. There have been five in the last two weeks, so I'm almost used to getting woke up at three in the morning to comfort someone who has no idea they're having a nightmare, and then laying awake the rest of the night in case they have another one!"
Jackson turned and walked out of the kitchen and both men jumped when they heard the bedroom door slam. Danny made the comment to Don that he wasn't trying to piss Jackson off. Don replied that he knew Danny didn't mean anything by it, and went on to remind Danny how moody Jackson could be at times. They finished eating and before they left, Don went to check on Jackson only to find the bedroom door locked. He called Jackson's name, but only got snores in response.
Later that day, Jackson went in to his shop. Lisa asked if he was okay, and he replied that he was just tired. She waited a while and asked him why he was so tired. He explained about Don's nightmare and about being snappish with the guys at breakfast. He went on to say that the night before had been the fifth in almost two weeks, and that it was starting to wear him down. Lisa asked if Don remembered having the nightmares and Jackson said that Don didn't know until the next morning when he told him. She went on to ask if Don was ever violent and Jackson replied that usually all it took was a soft touch and repeating his name until he stopped trembling. He went on to say that Don usually turned over and clung to him like a second skin for the rest of the night.
Lisa wanted to find out more, but they got busy with customers. Before she left for the day, Lisa asked if it would be okay if she and Duncan stopped by the apartment the following night because she had some ideas about helping Don with the nightmares. Jackson said that would be fine and he would let her know what time. After Lisa left, Jackson locked the door to the shop and started preparing things for the next day. He was just about done when he heard someone knocking at the front door. He poked his head out from the office and saw Don standing there. He unlocked the door so Don could come in.....
"Yeah, I was just finishing up so I could go home....."
"Babe, are you still mad?"
"I really am sorry about....."
"Donnie, I do realize that this isn't your fault. I guess I overreacted this morning. Will you forgive me?"
"I already have....."
Don leaned down and gave Jackson a kiss, swatted him on the ass and told him to hurry up so they could get home. He told Jackson not to worry about dinner because Danny had that covered. Jackson asked what Don had on his mind, and all Don said was; "Hurry up and you'll find out!"
When they arrived home, Jackson's mouth began to water. Danny was making lasagna which happened to be one of Jackson's favorites. They guys washed up and Danny got everything ready in the kitchen. After dinner, the guys were in the living room playing cards when Don suggested they call it an early night. He winked at Jackson as he said this, and Danny couldn't deny the tingle that went directly to his crotch. Don led the way to the bedroom and a good time was had by everyone involved!
The next morning found the guys much more relaxed and in a better mood. Jackson mentioned that Lisa and Duncan would be coming by that night because Lisa had some ideas about helping Don with the nightmares. Danny asked what she had in mind and Jackson replied that he didn't know for sure. Don said that he was open to listening to what Lisa had to say, and with that the subject was closed. The guys lingered a bit over kisses and then Jackson sent them on their way.
When Jackson arrived at the shop, Lisa asked how the night before had gone. He replied that last night was a good night because Don slept through the night. Jackson went on to say that he had mentioned that she and Duncan would be coming by that evening and the Don had said he was open to hearing her thoughts on the subject. She replied that Don's willingness to listen was a very good thing because what she had in mind required an open mind. Curious, Jackson asked her what she was talking about and she told him that she thought hypnosis might help Don. Jackson told her that with the way things had been going, they would be willing to try almost anything. When they were getting ready to leave for the day, Lisa told Jackson to expect them around 8 p.m.
When the guys arrived home, Jackson had supper waiting and informed them that Lisa and Duncan would be there around 8. They finished eating and Danny helped Jackson clean up the kitchen. Don went to change into his sweats and t-shirt and got comfortable in the living room. Jackson and Danny had joined Don in the living room to get comfortable while waiting for Lisa and her husband. The guys talked about what Lisa might have in mind, and Jackson mentioned that she wanted to try hypnosis. Don replied that he'd heard of people actually being able to recall things that had been buried so deep that they had almost been forgotten.
Before they could finish their discussion the doorbell rang. Jackson went to the door and invited Lisa and Duncan in. Everyone took a seat and Danny offered refreshments. Duncan and Don asked for a beer while Jackson and Lisa opted for a glass of wine. In the course of the conversation, Lisa broached the subject of Don's nightmares. She asked if he remembered anything about them and he told her that the details were always fuzzy. He went on to say that he always felt like there was something he was supposed to remember but couldn't. Duncan spoke up and asked if Don's nightmares were stress-related. Don told him that they came no matter if he was stressed or not.
Lisa explained to Don that she wanted to try and hypnotize him to see if they could get to the root of what was causing his nightmares. Don asked if Jackson and Danny could be present and Lisa said that it was best if they were there in case went wrong. She went on to explain that Duncan would be recording the session if Don gave his permission. Don replied it was fine with him and Lisa asked Danny to turn the lights down a bit so they could get started. She had Don lay down on the sofa and get comfortable. She talked him through some breathing and relaxation exercises and within a matter of just a few minutes they were ready to begin.....
"Don, I want you to listen to the sound of my voice. Do you understand?"
"Good..... Jackson and Danny are here, and you are completely safe. Remember that....."
"Safe..... my baby and Doodle are close by....."
"That's right.... there's nothing that can hurt you...."
"No hurt..... safe....."
"Don, I want you to go deeper now..... go all the back to when you were a child and tell me what you find there....
Silence blanketed the room and Jackson could feel Danny link his arm with his which was a sure sign that Danny was nervous. Jackson rubbed his arm lightly and kissed the top of his head. Danny was about to whisper something to Jackson when Lisa began to speak.....
"Don, what do you see?"
"I see the pumpkin me and Timmy helped make.... we gave it a funny face and Mommy says if we're good, we can see his face light up when it gets night outside....."
"Who is Timmy?"
"Timmy is my friend. His mommy is friends with my mommy and sometimes we go to where they live in the country..... lots of trees to climb and lots of room to run and play. I like it there....."
"Tell me everything you can, Don...."
"Mommy comes out and lights the candle in the pumpkin and his face lights up. He sure looks funny.... Mrs. Patterson comes out and says we made a funny pumpkin and she laughs. Mommy says to stay by the pumpkin so she can see me in the window cause she wants to drink coffee with Mrs. Patterson. Me and Timmy are laughing about the pumpkin and I can hear Mommy call from the window saying we need to get ready to come in cause it's almost dark. Timmy and me are watching the pumpkin man, but there is a funny noise in the background...... The sun is almost down and then I see the man!!!!!"
Don started to cry when he mentioned the man. Danny wanted to bring him out, but Lisa told him it was too dangerous. She said that Don had to finish this.....
"What about the man, Don?"
"He's riding a horse really fast, and he's scary because he's bringin' in the night! He reaches down to grab me and Timmy but I fall down. Timmy's screaming and reaching his arms for me......"Doooonniiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee"...
.. I try to chase the man but I can't keep up. I fall down by the road and start to cry for my Mommy. Mommy comes and Mrs. Patterson too. They ask me what happened and I tell them the man brought in the night and took Timmy. I start crying again because I'm afraid I'm in trouble. Mommy hugs me really tight and tell me I didn't to nothin' wrong. The man with the uniform like Daddy's comes to talk to me. He was nice to me but I was sooooo scared. I told him all I could remember and he said I did good. Mrs. Patterson was so sad cause she was crying and I gave her a hug and said I was sorry. She hugged me back and said I was a good boy. Mommy and Mrs. Patterson said up all night hoping for news about Timmy. I cried and cried cause he was my bestest friend and he was gone and I couldn't help him....."
Don dissolved in tears, and Lisa decided it was time to try and pull him out. She told Jackson and Danny to prepare themselves for anything.....
"Don, can you hear me?"
"It's time to wake up now. I'm going to bring you back to us now, okay?"
"Good..... I'm going to count from 10 to 1, and when I reach 1, you will wake up feeling calm. Danny and Jackson are waiting for you....."
"Doodle and my baby....."
"That's right..... here we go.....10 - 9 - 8- 7- 6- 5- 4 - 3 -2 -and 1....Don, open your eyes...."
Don opened his eyes and stretched. He immediately looked for Jackson and Danny who were standing behind the couch. Danny took one of his hands, and Jackson took the other one. They smiled through their tears and Don knew something must have happened.....
"Don, how do you feel?"
"I feel okay, Lisa....."
"Are you sure?"
"Of course..... I feel a bit tired, but fine otherwise. What's with all the questions?"
"Donnie, you recalled a very intense event....."
"What was it, babe?"
"Duncan, will you please play the tape?"
Duncan walked over to the stereo and started playing the tape. Everyone sat quietly until the tape had finished and Jackson looked over at Don and saw tears rolling silently his cheeks. Jackson moved closer to his man and took his hand. Danny sat down on the other side of Don and took his other hand. The three sat quietly until Don regained his composure and then he began to speak.....
"That was Halloween, 1974. Mom and I had gone to visit Timmy and his mother Rose. She and my mom were good friends and when they moved to the country, they stayed in touch. Timmy was my best buddy..... we used to have lots of fun....."
"Did they ever find out what happened?"
"Duncan, I don't know.... I was pretty messed up after that, and my mom wouldn't talk much about it. She kept in touch with Mrs. Patterson for a while, and then they stopped talking and just drifted apart."
"So what Duncan got on tape is what you remember?"
"Pretty much, Danny. I guess I blocked it out because I was so young, and it scared the hell out of me when it happened....."
"How old were you, Donnie?"
"Halloween of '74..... I would have been five."
"Sweet Jesus! You were just a baby!"
"Don, now that you've heard the tape, does it fit with the nightmares?"
"It explains some of them. Now I know why in my nightmares when the man comes on the horse, I'm rooted to the spot and can't seem to move, and it also explains why I thought the man was bringing in the night. See, we carved a jack-o-lantern and my mom said she would light the candle right before dark so we could see it glow. We were so involved that we didn't see or hear the man before he tried to grab us....Listen, I'm tired and I want to go to bed now. Lisa, Duncan, thank you for doing this for me...."
Don stood up and shook hands with the MacLoeds and headed for the bedroom. Jackson told Danny to go check on Don, and walked Lisa and Duncan to the elevator......
"Lisa, thank you for coming by....."
"Don't mention it.... I just hope it helped."
"I'll let you know tomorrow....."
Jackson went back to the apartment and locked the door. He turned out the lights in the living room and headed for bed. When he got to the bedroom, the sight that greeted him broke his heart. Danny was holding Don as he cried. Jackson sat down on the bed with his guys and tried to help Danny comfort their man. Don finally regained his composure and tried to apologize for acting like a hormonal teenage girl. Danny laughed and said the he knew first-hand that Don definitely was not a girl. Don laughed and Jackson silently thanked Danny for having the good sense to inject a bit of humor into the situation.
Later, when the guys were getting ready for bed, Don asked Jackson if he would mind if they traded places in the bed for the night. Danny looked at Jackson as if to say; "what the hell???" Jackson told Don that was fine with him. When Danny turned the light out, the three lay there talking when Jackson had an idea. He didn't mention it right then, but wanted to keep it in mind for when the time was right. Soon Danny began to wind down, and Don followed shortly after. Jackson stayed awake a while longer thinking about his idea, and how to present it to Don. He was wondering if Don would go for the idea of going out to the Patterson place to see if it would jog anything else loose in his memory. Even though Don was only five, seeing the place where the incident happened might help the man put it to rest forever.
The rest of the night passed without incident, and Don woke refreshed and in a fairly good mood for a change. He laughed and joked with Danny and lingered over kisses with Jackson before he and Danny left for work. When Jackson arrived a the shop, Lisa inquired how things went after she and Duncan left the night before. Jackson explained that Don had a good cry, and that he had asked to switch places with Jackson in the bed. He went on to say that he thought that Don just wanted to feel protected in case the nightmare returned. Lisa asked if it had, and he replied that Don slept all the way through the night, and that he had been in a rather good mood when he got up.
Lisa said that sounded like progress had been made, but she noticed the look on Jackson's face. Knowing him for as long as she had, she knew he had something on his mind.....
"I know that look..... you've got something on your mind, don't you?"
"I do indeed..... do you think it would help Don if he went back to where it all happened?"
"I'm not so sure about that....."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, it could help, but then again it could make things worse....."
"How could it make things worse?"
"I'm afraid it might bring up all the negative feelings and thoughts he might have had after the attack, and it just might bring the nightmares back....."
"I never thought about that....."
"I'm not telling you what to do, all I'm saying is that with something like this you might want to go slow....."
The discussion was dropped because the phone started ringing and customers started coming in. Jackson went to answer the phone while Lisa tended customers.
Before lunch time, Danny called the shop to ask if Jackson could join he and Don for lunch. He told him they would be at Pressman's Deli around noon. Jackson said he would be there, and went on to say that he had something he wanted to talk to Don about. When Danny asked what it was, Jackson told him he would have to wait. The two ended their call and Jackson went back to work. Jackson sat at his desk thinking about what he wanted to ask Don and how his man might feel about it. He wondered if it would help or hurt, just like Lisa had said. He really didn't think it would hurt to at least ask.
As he was leaving the shop, he told Lisa where he was going and stated that he might be a bit late getting back. As he made his way to the restaurant, he thought more and more about the situation with Don. Maybe, just maybe it could help Don put this thing to rest once and for all. When he arrived at Pressman's, Danny called his name and was waving his arm around so he would see him. Jackson arrived at the table giggling and bent down to kiss Danny. Don slid over in the booth so Jackson could sit beside him. Don leaned in for a kiss, and was handsomely rewarded.
After they had finished eating, the trio sat talking when Jackson said he had something to ask Don......
"What is it, babe?"
"I've been thinking about what we found out about the nightmares, and I was wondering if going back to where this happened would help you put this to rest once and for all....."
"You mean go back to Timmy's house?"
"Yeah.... it's just a thought...."
"I don't know, babe.... I was only five, and my memory about all that is sketchy at best....."
"But it may help if you saw the place as an adult. It may trigger something else....."
"Jax, what if it makes things worse?"
"Well, Danny, there is that possibility, but....."
"Babe, that was all a long time ago...."
"You know what, just forget I said anything....."
Jackson stood up and made his way to the exit. He heard Don calling to him but he kept walking. Once he got to the shop, he told Lisa that he didn't want to be disturbed, went to his office, and closed the door. He sat there thinking about how Don and Danny more or less shot his idea down, and how that pissed him off. All he was doing was trying to help Don try to put all this to rest because baby-sitting Don through the nightmares was starting to get old. All the nights of missed sleep, being tired and trying to work, the toll it was taking on Don (who would never admit to something bothering him). Jackson was getting dangerously close to his breaking point. He left the office and told Lisa he was going home. She asked if everything was okay, and he replied that he honestly didn't know.
Don sat at his desk thinking about what Jackson had suggested. He honestly didn't know if it would help because, as he'd told Jackson, he was so young. He and Danny had talked about it briefly on the way back to work, and Danny made the statement that it might be best if Don just let it go. Don replied that he wasn't sure what to do. Danny said he'd best figure something out because of what had happened at the restaurant. Don had been taken aback at Jackson's abrupt departure and wondered what had caused it. He knew he wouldn't be in the dark much longer because he was sure he'd be reminded when he got home.
When Jackson arrived home he changed into something comfortable and started cleaning the apartment. He dusted, scrubbed, vacuumed the floors, started a load of laundry, all in the name of trying to get over being upset. When that didn't work, he went into the kitchen and started dinner. Once that was all finished, he sat down with a glass of wine and put some of his favorite albums on the stereo. When the albums finished, he put them back in their sleeves and lay down on the couch. He drifted in and out of sleep for a while but gave up because the thing with Don was still weighing heavy on his mind. He got up and went to the bedroom and was asleep in minutes.
Don and Danny arrived home at the usual time, and Don made Danny stop just inside the front door.....
"What is it, Don?"
"Baby's still upset...."
"You haven't even talked to him yet..... how the hell can you tell?"
"Look around, smart ass! The house has been cleaned top to bottom, there's been a meal cooked in the kitchen, and the dryer is running....."
Don walked down the hall to their bedroom and found Jackson fast asleep. He started to wake him but thought better of it. He went back to the living room and told Danny that Jackson was asleep. The two men tried to be as quiet as possible as they changed out of their work clothes and washed up for dinner. Danny served the two and they ate in near silence. Right before they were finished eating Jackson emerged from the bedroom and got a water bottle from the fridge. Before either man could say anything, Jackson turned on his heel and headed back to the bedroom.
Danny said something to Don about Jackson's demeanor and his silence. Don looked at Danny as if he had taken completely taken leave of his senses......
"He's still upset, Danny...."
"But there's no reason for him to be....."
Don got up from the table and headed for the bedroom shaking his head. He knew that he needed to talk to Jackson because to ignore him, and this, would just make matters worse. He knocked on the bedroom door and waited to hear a response from Jackson. He knocked again, and Jackson opened the door. Don leaned in to kiss him, but Jackson moved away. Don entered and made the statement; "We need to talk, babe....."
"So talk, Don....."
"Babe, I honestly don't know why you got mad and left the restaurant, and I don't know why you're mad now, but I'd like to know so you'll feel better....."
Jackson could see Danny standing in the doorway of the bedroom, and decided to go ahead and get this over with.....
"You hurt my feelings by dismissing what I had to say without a second thought, coupled with the fact that you don't seem too excited about getting as many facts as you can so you can put this to rest......"
"But, babe, I don't know how going out there would help. Remember I was only five, and had pretty much blocked it out until Lisa helped me remember...."
"Don, I'm begging you, please....."
"Jackson, why is this so important to you?"
"Danny, it's important because all the nights of lost sleep, trying to go to work tired, and trying to keep everything together is really starting to get to me....."
"It's not that big of a deal....."
"Maybe for you it's not you son of a bitch! You're not the one that gets woke up in the middle of the night, you're not the one who had to try and work a full shift while you're so tired from the night before. No, all you do is sleep through everything and carry on business as usual!"
"Leave it alone, Danny!"
"Babe, I didn't realize...."
"That right, Don, you didn't realize..... that's why it's so important to me that you do this. So you can get some closure, and I can get some peace....."
"I don't know, babe...."
"BUT YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS IF YOUR PRECIOUS FUCKING DANNY ASKED YOU, YOU'LD JUMP THROUGH YOUR ASS TO DO IT!!!!!!!"
With that, Jackson stormed out of the bedroom. When they heard the front door slam, Don and Danny looked at each other as if to say "Uh-oh!" While Don and Danny were trying to make sense of Jackson's behavior, Jackson was at the bodega at the corner of their block. He bought a soda, a pack of smokes, and a newspaper. He was nearing his building when Don and Danny came out the front door. Don saw Jackson first and walked down the sidewalk to where he was. He asked if Jackson was alright, and got silence in return. Danny asked if he was okay and got the same response. Jackson walked into the building with Don and Danny following close behind. When they got upstairs, Jackson surprised everyone by going into the guest room, closing and locking the door behind him.
The next morning found the situation basically the same. The guest room was still locked, and that saddened Don. He didn't say much about it to Danny, and the two men got ready for work and left the apartment. Jackson heard his men leave, and he went to use the restroom and call the shop to let Lisa know he wasn't coming in. Danny called the apartment mid-morning, and talked with Jackson who apologized for being ugly to him the night before. Danny said no apology was needed, but Jackson insisted.
When Don and Danny met for lunch, Danny told Don that maybe he should reconsider what Jackson had suggested. Don said he'd think about it and let Jackson know what he'd decided. The two spent the rest of their time comparing notes on cases they were working. When Don got back to the precinct, he gave some serious thought to Jackson's idea. He decided that it couldn't hurt anything, and would kill two birds with one stone. He could put this thing to rest, and try to make up for hurting Jackson's feelings. On the way home Don and Danny were excited because it was the weekend and they didn't have to deal with the lab or the precinct until Monday. Don told Danny that he'd decided to do what Jackson had asked because he wanted to get this over with and get back on Jackson's good side. Danny told him he was a smart man after all!
When the two men arrived home, they found Jackson getting dinner ready. Danny went into the kitchen, kissed Jackson, and grabbed he and Don a beer. Don came in after he'd changed his clothes and told Jackson that he wanted to go ahead and make the trip to the Patterson place, and that he was sorry for hurting Jackson's feelings. Jackson accepted his apology and told Don that he really was just trying to help. After dinner, the three men sat in the living room watching TV when Jackson asked if Don could remember how to get to the Patterson place. Don said he wasn't sure, but had a general idea. The three men soon got ready for bed because Don wanted to get an early start.
The next morning found the guys up, dressed, and ready to go. They all piled into Jackson's car and headed out of the city. Don told Jackson to take Highway 27 and look for sign with a big deer on it. When they found the sign, Don told Jackson to turn left at the sign and follow the road to a 4-way intersection. Once they found that, Don told Jackson to turn right and look for an oyster-shell road on the left. Jackson found the road and Don said it was the fifth house on the right. When Jackson got out of the car, he noticed a pick-up truck coming up the road. The truck stopped behind Jackson's car, and the driver got out and walked over to the fence.....
"You guys lost?"
"We were looking for the Patterson place...."
"You found it, or what's left of it..... it sure went to hell after Mrs. Patterson died...."
"We were told it was for sale......"
"It is..... contact Fred Miller at First National Bank...."
"Ya'll have a good day now...."
The driver backed up and went on down the road. Jackson turned back to Don and Danny and saw Don standing in the middle of the front yard. Danny was making his way through the weed-choked yard to the front of the house. Jackson walked over to Don, and asked if he was okay.....
"I'm alright, babe...."
"Don, just remember if it starts bothering you, we can leave...."
"Right here was where it happened.... we were standing right here, the table with the jack-o-lantern was right there, and my mom and Mrs. Patterson were sitting right by that window where Danny's standing. It was almost dark, and the man on the horse came from the west. His cape was billowing, and since it was almost dark, I thought he was bringing in the night. Then he reached down and tried to grab both of us. My shirt tore, and I fell. The one thing that I do remember was Timmy's arms stretched toward me and him screaming my name..... I fell on the crushed oyster shells in the road and I remember that I cut my hands. That's it, babe."
Jackson reached for Don and held him. Danny came up on the other side of Don and put his arm around both of his guys. They stood there for a time, and then Danny suggested they head back to the city. No one said much on the ride home, and when they arrived, Don broke his silence.....
"Babe, I'm glad you took me out there today....."
"I hope I didn't do more harm than good...."
"No, it was a good thing. Remembering what happened and seeing where it happened helped tremendously. I think what happened to Timmy is part of why I became a cop....."
"How so, Don?"
"Well, Danny, it gave me a chance to help people that need it, and I get to put the bad guys away....."
Don spent the rest of the day and evening enjoying time with his guys. For the first time in quite a while he didn't dread going to sleep, and to this day, he doesn't dream about the man who was bringing in the night.
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