Author: Kuroi Neko-kun
Pairings: Implied Speed/Danny
Disclaimer: I do not own the CSI franchise. Sucks, doesn't it? Speed would be alive and Danny would be Mac's.
Warning: Slash. As usual. But it's not Mac/Danny. Spoilers to 'Outside Man' (CSI: NY Episode 106) and 'Lost Son' (CSI: Miami Episode 301).
A/N: After re-watching 'Outside Man', I felt that this line had a lot of unexplained bits.
Summary: "I can't wrap my head around it, Mac. You get up, you go to work, you see the people that you know, you talk, you laugh, you're living your life, then suddenly, boom, it's just over. Just like that. You never even saw it coming."
"I can't wrap my head around it, Mac. You get up, you go to work, you see the people that you know, you talk, you laugh, you're living your life, then suddenly, boom, it's just over. Just like that. You never even saw it coming."
He could only stare at the bespectacled man as those words poured out of him. They worked with death everyday, so understanding it on a living point of view was something that Danny never could understand, or so he thought. Those words, however, weighed heavy with unspoken emotion. He did notice that Danny hadn't been himself for the past few days. Something felt different about him and Mac wanted to know what. He tried to know what but he couldn't pass the cocoon that Danny had built up within himself. Tonight, Mac only saw a crack of that armor. He first thought was that Danny was stressed with the promotion but then he saw that wavering look in his eyes. It was for a second or less, but he caught it. The eyes of someone who was lost and just lost. It didn't make sense because, to Mac, lost didn't describe Danny and Mac knew that this only meant that something was wrong. At that moment, Danny just got up and looked at him before giving him a strained smile.
"Sorry about that," he said as he touched Mac's shoulder, "I'm just a bit confused, that's all." Mac acted like it meant nothing, for the sake of Danny.
"You've got nothing to apologize for, Danny," Mac said, "It's understandable when one ponders about it after the case."
"Yeah, thanks." It was Danny's code for 'whatever. I don't want to talk right now.' Mac understood that and watched him leave the room. Once he was alone, he only sighed.
"Danny, what's wrong?" he said, knowing that it came too late.
It bothered him as he drove his way home. It ticked him that it bothered him. He turned the intersection before sighing again. Danny meant a lot to him. When he first hired Danny three years back, it meant to him that he was raising a little boy and grooming him to a CSI. Danny was his pride and joy. He knew that Aiden might be a little jealous of the extra attention but she had to deal because Danny was obviously teacher's pet. Danny played the part well during the time but now he was growing up. Stella had called it his 'teenager' stage. She joked that Mac had to let him go and be a man. Mac didn't think much about it but he did miss the times when Danny ran to Mac when he had problems. Now he doesn't when he should. Then, Mac stopped himself. Why does Danny have to run to me? Why can't I offer the hand of help? Instead of going straight towards his apartment, Mac made a u-turn and headed to Danny's.
Mac marched to Danny's apartment, rapping at the door and shouting Danny's full name with worry in his voice. The door was thrown open moments later, revealing Danny, shirtless and looking like he threw himself into a whirlwind. Mac only stared at him, taking notes. Danny's eyes were now tinged red. Water was evident on his face. He washed up. Danny was crying moments ago.
"Okay, I'm not going to play charades anymore," Mac said as he passed Danny and went into the house.
"What?" Danny asked, slightly confused. Mac turned to him.
"I notice Danny. You haven't been yourself a few days ago. You're hiding something and I want to know what."
"And you decide to barge into my apartment and cause a ruckus?" Danny was skeptical and Mac knew that he would be.
"No, I decided to stop ignoring like the others. They want you to run to them but you won't. Well, I'm not giving you a chance."
"What the hell are you talking about Mac?"
"I'm talking about you hiding something that is definitely wrong, Danny. I'm not blind. How do you explain your eyes?" Danny stood wide-eyed for a moment, realizing that Mac wasn't pulling anything. He was generally concerned. He took a breath before crossing his arms across his bare chest.
"I lost someone… recently," he said in a morose tone. Mac listened, knowing that he shouldn't interrupt. "Killed by a gunshot wound. We were supposed to go out for the weekend, see the sights." There was a smile on Danny's face for a moment. "But… I got the call from a friend." Danny sighed.
"A lover, Danny?" Mac asked. Danny nodded.
"In law enforcement."
"A cop?" Another nod before it was followed by a sigh.
"How did you meet?"
"We were working on a case together over the phone," Danny said.
"She's a CSI?" Mac asked.
"He," Danny corrected before regretting it. Mac raised an eyebrow in question. "Look, it's nothing. You're bound to find out about this sooner or later." Like all fathers, finding out the truth about your son can be a bit troubling. Mac found himself sitting down on one of Danny's plush chairs with his hand positioned under his chin.
"Do you want me to explain?" Danny asked and Mac shook his head. It didn't matter to him that much but it seemed to matter to Danny because he did anyway.
"I'm not really into guys, Mac. I just like them both."
"Danny, it doesn't matter," Mac said as he looked at him, "Did you love him?"
"More than anything in the world," he said before giving out a dry laugh, "And it's strange because they usually leave me in the first week and this one stayed until he… he…" Mac lowered his eyes as Danny buried his face into his hands.
"Danny," he said, "It's not easy if you keep it pent up."
"He hated New York, Mac, even though he's from here," Danny said. Mac couldn't bring himself to correct the terms. "But he wanted to come and see me but he got called up from his vacation. He apologized and told me that he was going to make it up to me." Danny shook his head as the bitter truth slammed at him. There was an odd silence. Mac let him collect himself.
"Remember when I was bragging to Aiden that you gave me the week off?" he spoke as he looked at Mac, "I went to see him in Miami. He was surprised because he didn't expect me there at all. He showed me around to his friends before he took me home. I wanted to do the same thing when he came here…" Mac sat up.
"He was from Miami?"
"Under Horatio Caine, Mac," Danny pointed out, "We met over the phone."
"Wait, you're telling me that you met him over the case that brought Horatio Caine here?" Danny nodded.
"Well, we chatted after the fingerprint thing and…" Danny trailed off, "I don't want to get in trouble, Mac."
"You're not," Mac said, "Danny, you should've told me sooner."
"There are times when I can't burden you with my personal problems especially when you obviously have your own." And at that moment, Mac knew that Danny noticed him too. It was a comforting thought, to say the least.
"Let's make a deal, if you notice that I have a problem, once everything is done, you can break down my door and talk to me. I'll do the same for you." Danny smiled appreciating the gesture and the fact that Mac was asking him, not Stella, to talk to him.
"Deal," he said. Once again there was a silence as Mac watched him. There were a lot of things he didn't know about Danny because he didn't take the time to actually understand Danny. He valued Danny for a CSI and nothing more. He should've tried becoming a friend. And now was one of the better chances, albeit it being a bitter one as well.
"What's his name?" Mac asked. Danny looked up blinking, as he was lost in thought for the moment.
"Uh… Tim," he said, "Timothy Speedle from Miami-Dade PD." Mac had heard about Speedle. Horatio mentioned the name during his calls and praised him when it came to trace work.
"Do you have a face to match the name?" At that moment, Danny walked to a side table and picked up a framed picture from a few frames. Danny had placed it among pictures of friends and family. This guy really meant something. He passed the frame to Mac who examined the face. Somehow, he couldn't disapprove of the choice.
"I like him," he said.
"Judging a book by its cover, Mac?" Danny asked.
"No, I was judging him from you," he answered. Danny could only stand there and stare at his boss who had just became his confidant and had always been a father.
Mac couldn't find it to himself to leave just yet. They talked for a bit about books and movies, giving Danny some diversion. One can take so much angst in a day. Danny went to shower as Mac decided to make some coffee. He thought about lecturing Danny about the mess in his bedroom but maybe he should leave it to Stella when she popped by. As he waited by the coffee machine, Mac took out his cell phone and searched for a number. Once it was dialed, he waited patiently.
"Caine," said the person on the other line.
"Horatio, why didn't you tell me?"
"I've gathered you found out about it, Mac," Horatio said.
"I figured that you knew about Tim and my Danny but why didn't you tell me?"
"Because it was up to Danny, not me." The answer was the truth, of course. He expected no less from Horatio Caine.
"It left him in a wreck," Mac said.
"Speed meant a lot to him. I could see it in his eyes when he came over," Horatio said.
"Yeah, now I know," Mac replied, "Hey, Horatio. I'm giving Danny the weekend off and sending him straight to Miami so that he could… you know…" He sighed, "I need you to pick him up from the airport. I need someone who would take care of him for me."
"You sound like a worried father," Horatio said.
"Danny's my boy," Mac said in dry humor.
"Don't worry, Mac. I'll take him under my wing."
"Good," Mac said, "Horatio… I'm sorry for your loss. I have a feeling that Tim to you was like Danny to me." He heard Horatio let out a deep sigh.
"You're right and I feel like a father who lost his favorite son," Horatio replied. And Mac knew that it must have been the worse feeling in the world.
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