Title: I'm Not Going Anywhere
Author: Jaxson K.
Pairing(s): Danny/Jackson, Don/Jackson/Danny (past)
Summary: The guys try to find a way to move on after losing one side of the triangle.
Warning(s): major character death, angst, sadness, etc.
***The last thought that went through Don's mind before he passed out was of his guys. The paramedics finally got to him and determined that he was in shock from blood loss and they rushed him to the waiting ambulance. Once they reached the hospital, Don was rushed into surgery. Mac tried to reach Danny but only got voice mail. He was able to reach Jackson and gave him the news about Don. Jackson thanked him and left his shop to try and find Danny.
Danny was sitting in the window seat at home watching the traffic below. He'd just finished cleaning the apartment and was taking a break when he saw Jackson's car pull in. He saw Jackson running toward their building and wondered what the hell was going. A very short time later Jackson burst into the room yelling for Danny. He could see that Jackson was crying and went to him to find out what was wrong.....
"Hey hey hey..... what's going on, Little Bit?"
"Danny, we gotta go..... Donnie's been shot....."
"Mac called me and said that Donnie was at Mercy General and that he'd been shot. He said that it was pretty bad because when the medics found him, he's passed out from blood loss....."
Danny ran to the bedroom to get his wallet and some shoes. He grabbed Jackson by the arm and the two headed downstairs to Jackson's car.....
When they got to the hospital, Danny flashed his badge to find out where Don was. They stopped at the nurses' station and were told that Don was still in surgery and that the doctor would come talk to them as soon as possible. They sat down in the waiting area and Danny reached over and took Jackson's hand. He looked over and saw that Jackson was silently weeping. Danny gathered him up in a hug and whispered that everything was going to be alright. The two were talking quietly when Mac and Jo showed up asking if there had been any news.....
"Any word yet, Danny?"
"Not yet, Mac. We're still waiting for the doctor to come out. Don was in surgery when we got here. What happened, Mac?"
"We had a lead on a suspect, and we tracked him to the shipyard down by the docks. Don went one way and I went another. Somehow the guy got the jump on Don and had him cornered. I could hear Don yelling for the guy to drop his weapon, and then I heard gunshots. When I finally found them, Don had passed out and the suspect had shot himself. I called it in, and tried to revive Don but I couldn't....."
"The most important thing is that you got help to him....."
Just then, the door opened and a Dr. Phillips came in. He asked for the Flack party and all three men stood up. Introductions were quickly made and Jackson asked about Don.....
"Mr. Flack lost quite a lot of blood, but he came through the surgery well. He's very weak right and needs rest....."
"Doc, can we see him?"
"Not yet, Danny..... he's still not out of the woods yet..... in cases like this, the body could still go into shock."
"Dr. Phillips, what were the extent of Don's injuries?"
"We recovered five shell casings. He was shot twice in the shoulder, once on the right side, and twice in his right leg. The gunshot to his side did the most serious damage because it shattered three ribs and the rib fragments punctured his right lung. We were able to repair the lung and removed as many of the rib fragments as possible."
"I'll need those casings as evidence....."
"Of course. Come with me and I'll get them for you...."
"Danny, stay here with Jackson. I'll be right back....."
After Mac left, Danny went over and sat down next to Jackson. He reached over and took Jackson's hand to let him know he was there. Jackson turned to him, kissed him on the cheek and with tears in his eyes said; "Doodle, I can't lose him....."
"You're not going to, Little Bit....."
"But we don't know for sure....."
"I trust Dr. Phillips, and so should you. He got him through surgery, right?"
"No "but", babe.... it's gonna be okay..... you'll see."
Danny pulled Jackson to him while the smaller man cried. He hated to see Jackson tore up about anything, but sure understood why he was tore up now. Danny was just as afraid of losing Don as Jackson, he was just hiding it well. As much as he loved his two guys, the thought of losing one of them terrified him.
Mac came back to the waiting room to find Danny holding Jackson while he slept after crying himself to sleep. Mac sat next to Danny and quietly asked how the two were. Danny replied that Jackson was scared to death, and he admitted that he was too. Mac told Danny that he knew what that was like. Danny knew Mac was referring to Claire, but didn't mention that. Mac told him that he was going back to the lab, and that Danny or Jackson were to call if they needed anything, or to update him on Don's condition.
After Mac left, Danny woke Jackson to see if he wanted anything from the cafeteria. Jackson said he'd rather have a smoke so they went out to the parking lot to Jackson's car. On the way back they found some vending machines and grabbed some snacks and a soda for each of them. As they were headed down the hall, they saw Dr. Phillips coming from the opposite direction. He followed them into the waiting room and said he had news regarding Don.....
"What is it, Doc?"
"Mr. Messer, Don's condition has worsened a bit, but he is awake. However, he is having trouble breathing, and we need to operate again because we've determined that the breathing problems are from his right lung....."
"Isn't that the lung that was damaged in the shooting?"
"Yes, Jackson, it is....."
"Doctor, could we see him?"
"I'll allow it very briefly. Please try to stay calm if you can because your being upset may worsen his condition. There is one more thing....."
"He may not make it through this surgery because his condition was bad enough when we operated, and now we've found that the lung damage was worse than we thought. I'll send the nurse in when you can see him....."
Danny sat there staring at the door. This just couldn't be happening. He turned to Jackson and saw that he was staring into space, tears rolling down his cheeks. Before he could say anything, the nurse showed up and asked them to follow her. They arrived at Don's room and Jackson told Danny to go first. The nurse said that they needed to go together because they were taking Don into surgery as soon as the two men saw Don.
Danny opened the door and entered the room with Jackson right behind him. Don looked so small with all the bandaging and sheets around him. Danny took a step forward and Don opened his eyes.....
"I'm right here, Big Man....."
"I'm sorry about all of this....."
"Donnie, it's not your fault. You need to think about getting well and coming home....."
"Baby, I will..... I promise....."
"Don, we can't stay because you're going back into surgery. We just wanted to say that we love you so much, and that we'll be right here rooting for you."
Danny walked to the bed and kissed Don, and Jackson did the same. Jackson couldn't help crying over the fact that Don was in such bad shape. As they walked to the door, Jackson turned back and winked at Don. Don smiled and tried to wink back.
As soon as they left the room, two nurses appeared to get Don ready for surgery. Danny and Jackson walked outside for a smoke, and Danny called Mac to let him know about Don. As they sat on the bench having their smokes, Danny noticed that his friend and lover was preoccupied and just chalked it up to what was going on with Don. As Danny was getting ready to go back inside, Jackson grabbed Danny's arm.....
"Danny, please wait....."
"What is it, babe?"
"What I'm about to say is just between us, okay?"
"Sure.... what is it?"
"I don't think Donnie's gonna make it through this second surgery."
"What??? Of course he will! How can you say that?"
"My "gut feeling" is working overtime on this, and you know how that never steers me wrong..."
"Yes, Doodle..... when they let us in to see Don, that feeling came over me."
"Babe, for all our sakes, I hope your gut is wrong....."
"Me, too, Dan, me too....."
Danny kissed Jackson and the two headed back to the waiting room. They sat and talked for a while, and Danny had gone to get them something to eat. Mac, Jo, Adam, and Sheldon showed up while he was gone and were keeping Jackson company when he returned. The first thing Danny wanted to know was if the doctor had been in. Jackson said he hadn't, and that seemed to worry Danny a bit. He offered to share their food, but the others declined. Jackson and Danny had just finished eating when Dr. Phillips came into the waiting room.
Danny reached over and took Jackson's hand as the doctor made his way toward them. He squatted in front of Jackson and Danny and said; "Don didn't make it through the surgery. I did everything I could..... I'm so sorry." Before anyone could say anything, he rose and headed for the door.....
"Yes, Det. Taylor?"
"Don started having trouble breathing, and we determined that there was more damage than we thought so we went in to repair it. Don's lung was beyond repair. We tried to save it, but we failed....."
With that, Dr, Phillips left the room. Mac turned back toward Jackson and Danny and saw that Jo and Adam were comforting the two men. Mac could see the two clinging to each other, and his heart hurt. He felt so badly for them because he knew first-hand what it was like to lose someone you loved. He walked over to the two men and asked the others for a moment with them alone.....
"I know exactly how you and Jackson feel right now, and I want you to know that if there is anything at all I can do then don't hesitate to get in touch with me any time, night or day....."
"That means so much, Mac. Thank you....."
"Don't mention it....."
"Mac, I want you to know I appreciate everything you've done....."
"It's no problem, Jackson....."
Jackson and Danny stood up and Mac hugged them both. They all headed out into the hall and Jackson told Danny that he needed to get the arrangements started. Danny agreed and the two went to get started on that particularly sad errand......
Once they left the mortuary, Danny suggested that they go home and try to rest. Jackson was a bit apprehensive about going home, but didn't say anything to Danny. When they arrived, Jackson checked the mail while Danny rang for the elevator. They got inside and Danny pushed the button for their floor. The ride up was made in silence because each man was lost in his own thoughts. The elevator opened at their floor and Danny dug his keys out of his pocket. When they entered their apartment Jackson stopped just inside the front door. Danny turned and saw the tears begin to fall. He went over to Jackson and took him in his arms and held him while he cried.
Once Jackson had composed himself, Danny began to lose it. Jackson held him and comforted him knowing that it was only fair because Danny loved Don too. When he was finished, Danny went and washed his face and asked Jackson if he was hungry. Jackson said no and Danny decided he really wasn't either. He grabbed a beer for each of them and headed for the living room where Jackson had gotten their photo albums down and was looking at the photos of them in happier times when Don was still with them. They laughed and told stories about Don well into the night, and each man confessed to the other how much Don meant to them, not just in the group setting, but individually. When Danny realized how late it was, he suggested that they get some sleep. Jackson asked Danny if he minded sleeping in the guest room with him because he just couldn't face going into their bedroom. Danny said he thought that was a good idea and told Jackson he would meet him there. Jackson went to get the bed ready, and Danny made sure everything was locked up tight.
Danny put off joining Jackson as long as he could because he was afraid. Not of Jackson, but of what his dreams might bring to him. He knew he would dream of Don, and the thought of that hurt. He not only lost a lover, but a best friend as well. Danny knew he could talk to Jackson, but the man was going through his own special kind of hell at the moment. Danny headed down the hall to the guest room and found Jackson fast asleep. He undressed, turned out the light, and slid into bed gathering Jackson and holding him close. He vowed then and there to do his very best to keep Jackson safe and to see this thing through together.
The next morning dawned cool and rainy. Danny slipped out onto the fire escape for a smoke and shivered a bit. When he finished his smoke, he started water for a pot of tea for he and Jackson and went to wake his lover. He found that Jackson was in the bathroom taking a shower and he stepped into the bathroom, slipped off his clothes, and stepped into the shower. Jackson was startled when the curtain opened but smile when he realized it was Danny. He took Jackson into his arms and the two stood there drawing strength for a moment drawing strength from each other for the day that lay ahead of them.
After their shower, the two sat at the kitchen table trying to get a memorial service planned. Don was to be cremated as was his wish, but the guys knew that they needed a service so all of Don's associates and friends could pay their final respects. Just as they were about to wrap things up, the doorbell rang. Danny opened the door to find Mac standing there.....
"Mac! Come in....."
"Hey, Danny..... how are you holding up?"
"I'm hangin' in there....."
Mac nodded toward Jackson and looked at Danny questioningly.....
"He's doing better than I expected. We were trying to get a memorial service together....."
"I don't want to intrude..."
"Forget about it! Little Bit, Mac's here to see us....."
Jackson came into the living room and greeted Mac with a hug and an offer of a cup of tea. Mac accepted and Danny went to get it. Mac and Jackson sat on the sofa making small talk, and when Danny brought tea for everyone, Mac revealed the real reason he came by.....
"I came by to check on the two of you, and to find out if you all had finalized anything as far as a service for Don....."
"Danny and I were working on that when you came by. Don wanted to be cremated, but Danny and I agreed that we needed to have a service for everyone he worked with and various friends."
"That's a very good idea..... do you need any help?"
"Quite possibly because I want to have a small gathering after, and I'd really like it to be just close friends only. Maybe Jo and Lindsay could help get the food set up, and some of the others could help, too."
"I don't think they would mind at all....."
"I want them to know that even though Don is gone, I still consider them my friends and want them to take part in helping Danny and I say good-bye to Donnie..."
Jackson had to stop talking because the tears had started again. He tried to apologize to Mac but the words wouldn't come. Mac held Jackson as he cried it out, and vowed in his mind to do everything he could to help the guys if at all possible. Danny took over holding Jackson because Mac need to leave. He told Danny not to hesitate if they needed anything at all. He thanked Mac and said he would call him later. Mac showed himself out and Danny went back to tending to Jackson.
Later that afternoon, the mortuary called to let them know Don's ashes were ready. Jackson asked that they be delivered to St. Michael's for the memorial service the following day. Danny called Mac to let him know when, where, and to let folks know. Mac told him that Jo, Lindsay, and some of the wives of the men Don worked with would be delivering food early the next morning. Danny thanked him and told Jackson. The two men spent a quiet evening alone with Danny keeping a close eye on Jackson. He'd lost one man he loved, and he'd be damned if he was going to lose the other one.
The next day was very hectic. Jo, Lindsay, Lisa (Jackson's shop manager), and a few other women whose husbands had worked with Don showed up to start getting the food ready for after the service. After that was done, the women left to get dressed for the service. Danny thanked them, and Lindsay asked how Jackson was. Just as Danny was about to answer, Jackson came into the living room in his bathrobe. When Jackson had seen everything they had done, he thanked them for their kindness. Lindsay had a chance to talk to Jackson and surmised that he was holding up well. Lisa, on the other hand, could see the cracks in the facade but decided not to comment. After the women left, Jackson commented that they really had done a wonderful job and Danny agreed. He went on to say that they needed to start getting ready for the service.
The church was overflowing with mourners and friends alike. Even officers who'd had a beef with Don in the past came to pay their respects. The service was kept simple, just like Don would have wanted, and it was all over in about an hour. After the people started filing out of the church, the priest presented Jackson with the urn. He, Danny, and Mac left by the side entrance and headed for home. Once there, they guys changed their clothes and prepared to meet the visitors that were coming. When Danny asked where Jackson wanted the urn placed, Jackson opted for placing it on the credenza with a photo of Don that Danny had taken one weekend in Strawberry Fields. Jackson went to the bedroom for a minute or two to collect himself and Mac asked the one question that had been bothering him.....
"Danny, how is Jackson?"
"Mac, I wish I knew. Other than a few crying jags last night and this morning, that's been about it....."
"It's going to hit him sooner or later, and when it does....."
"I know what you mean..... all I can do is be there to try and catch him when he falls....."
"On that note, how are you holding up?"
"Ahh, you know me, Mac.... I can fake my way through anything....."
"Danny, if you ever need to talk, you know where to find me....."
Mac hugged Danny tightly, and kissed his cheek. The move surprised Danny and he pulled away confused. Neither man saw Jackson standing in the hallway.....
People began to arrive and Mac helped Danny greet everyone while Jackson sat alone on the sofa. He was polite to everyone who offered their condolences, but there was a cold undertone. People began to notice and not wanting to upset Jackson more than he already was, they started talking amongst themselves. Of course the talk got around to Danny and he went over to check on Jackson.....
"How ya holding up, babe?"
"Are you sure?"
"Is there anything you need?"
"We will discuss that later, Daniel....."
Danny knew for sure something was wrong. Jackson never called him Daniel unless he was angry. He decided to try to start winding things down because he really wanted to know why Jackson was so angry. Eventually the crowd started thinning and Danny overheard Jackson telling Lisa that he was ready for this to be over because he had a massive headache and wanted to lay down. Danny took that as he cue to hustle the rest of the people out as politely and quickly as possible.
Everyone but Mac, Jo, Lindsay, and Lisa had gone. The women were cleaning the kitchen and tending the food. Jo popped into the living room and asked Jackson about all the cakes and casseroles that were left. Jackson replied that everyone was welcome to take some food with them because there was more than he and Danny could possibly eat. He also told her that if she knew of a homeless shelter or soup kitchen that could use the food that it would be okay to donate it to them. When the kitchen was tidy again, Danny thanked everyone and told them that he and Jackson wanted to lay down and rest for a while. Everyone took their leave and Jackson and Danny were finally alone. Danny was about to ask Jackson about his behavior earlier when Jackson announced that he was going to bed.
Danny went out onto the fire escape and lit a smoke. He was tired , sad, and more than a bit puzzled. He thought of Don for a while, remembering things about when they worked together, and other more intimate things. He turned his thoughts to Jackson. God only knew what was on his partner's mind. The man could be moody and temperamental, but he could be loving and caring at the same time. Don always said that was part of Jackson's appeal. Danny finished his smoke and went inside. He made sure everything was locked up tight and headed for bed. As he approached the bedroom door, he could hear Jackson sobbing. He opened the bedroom door and the sight that greeted him nearly broke his heart. Jackson had Don's pillow, clutching it for dear life, while crying his eyes out. Danny sat down on the bed and drew Jackson to him, murmuring words of love and comfort. The tears he'd been holding in finally started to flow and he gave himself over to them without hesitation.
The next morning found they guys trying to find the courage to face the day. Danny found Jackson cold like he'd been the day before. He tried to address the situation, but Jackson side-stepped him and said he needed to go to the shop. He dressed and left without saying another word, leaving Danny more confused than ever. Danny called Mac and asked if he could come by because he really needed someone to talk to. Mac told him that he would stop by on his lunch break and they could talk then. Danny said he would be there and thanked Mac for taking the time to come by.
Meanwhile, Jackson was at his desk at the shop trying to get some work done. Instead of making progress, he seemed to be falling behind. He couldn't seem to concentrate and when Lisa knocked on the door, he asked her to come in and sit with him for a moment.....
"Are you busy out front?"
"Nah, what's up , boss man?"
"I saw something yesterday, and I'm having trouble putting it in perspective....."
"What was is?"
"When we arrived home to change before the guests arrived, Mac was there, and I had gone to the bedroom to change and when I came out, I saw Mac hugging Danny, and I saw him kiss him on the cheek....."
"Yeah..... that's why I was so quiet yesterday....."
"Surely it was meant as a friendly gesture....."
"Well it looked a bit too friendly to me!"
"Jackson, listen to me..... I think you may be jumping the gun on this one. Just think about all the strain you've been under the past few days....."
"Lisa, I am well aware of the what I have been through..... I ought to because I've lived it....."
"Have you tried to talk to Danny about this?"
"He tried to bring it up this morning, but I told him I had to get to the shop. I wanted to say something about it right then, but didn't trust myself to do so....."
"Maybe talking to him will help, and maybe he can explain what you saw....."
"I hope there's a good explanation, Lisa. I've already lost Donnie, I don't want to lose Danny too."
Shortly after their conversation, Jackson decided to call it a day and left for home. He was thinking about the situation with Danny, and how to address it. He decided to leave it be for a while because his emotions were still raw from Don's death. When he arrived at his building, he saw Mac's truck parked across the street. Curious, he rang for the elevator and went to his apartment, all the time wondering why Mac was there in the middle of the day.
He unlocked the door and went inside. Mac and Danny were sitting on the sofa. Danny looked a bit surprised to see Jackson, and Mac smiled and said hello. Jackson got right down to business.....
"What are you doing here, Mac?"
"Danny called and asked me to stop....."
"Is that true, Danny?"
"Jackson, what's going on?"
"That's what I was hoping to find out, Mac."
"I don't understand....."
"Babe, what the hell?"
"For the last few days Mac has hardly left your side. I get the concept of wanting to comfort a friend who has suffered a loss like we did, I really do. What I don't get is why I saw the two of you in an embrace while Mac kissed your cheek and whispered in your ear. Now I find him here in the middle of the day, and it makes me wonder, Danny. It really makes me wonder....."
"Jackson, I apologize for what you saw. Danny was trying to pull away from me when I kissed his cheek. I shouldn't have done it, and I regret it. Especially since it has caused you to doubt Danny and my intentions toward him. Please know that I do realize that Danny is right where he needs to be and that is here with you....."
Jackson looked deep into Mac's eyes, and he could tell the man was sincere. He felt foolish for doubting him and knew deep down that he was wrong. He took Mac's hand and said.....
"Mac, I apologize for doubting you. It was wrong of me to assume the worst about the situation. I hope you can forgive me."
"It's not a problem, Jackson. I know both of you have been through a lot in the past week or so, and maybe I should have thought about what I was doing before I acted."
"No harm done, Mac. Let's just put it behind us and move on....."
Mac shook Jackson's hand and Danny's also. He told the two he would call and check in with them in the next few days. Jackson said that would be fine, and Mac let himself out. Jackson and Danny were both quiet after Mac left, and after a while Danny decided to break the silence.....
"Jax, I think we need to talk....."
"What's on your mind, Dan?"
"Where do we go from here?"
"What do you mean, Danny?"
"I mean us, you and I..... what happens now?"
Jackson walked over to the sofa and squatted in front of Danny. Seeing the tears in his Doolebug's eyes tore him to pieces and he began to speak.....
"Babe, please listen to me...... to answer your your question, we carry on. I still love you, and still want you desperately. I've already lost Donnie, and that's killing me. I couldn't bare it if I lost you too. You still mean everything to me, just like you always have. I couldn't keep going without you....."
Jackson's tears prevented him from going any further. Danny pulled Jackson into an embrace and wiped the tears from his face. He looked his Little Bit in the eye and said; "I'm not going anywhere....."
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