By: Jaxson K.
Pairing: Don/ Jackson, Don/Jamie, Danny/ Jackson
Summary: The life Jackson built with Don comes crashing down when Jamie Lavato enters the picture.
***Jackson knew there was something going on with Don. He first noticed when Don started talking about the new detective named Jamie Lavato. At first, Jackson chalked it up to the fact that she was new to the precinct, and he figured the "new" would soon wear off and things would go back to normal.
This wasn't to be. If anything, it got worse. Don seemed to talk about Lavato all the time. He went so far as to invite her to dinner so Jackson could meet her. Jackson hated the woman on sight. She had a predatory air about her that didn't sit well. Once the introductions were made and dinner was started it was as if Jackson ceased to exist. When dinner was finally finished, Don and Jamie retired to the living room while Jackson cleaned the kitchen.
When Jackson finished with the kitchen, he looked into the living room and didn't really like what he saw. Don seemed to hang on Jamie's every word, and he didn't even notice that Jackson didn't join them. When Jamie finally left, Don went looking for Jackson. He found him in bed reading. Don got ready for bed and climbed in to snuggle up next to Jackson like he always did, never realizing he was making a big mistake. Jackson was pissed, and a pissed Jackson was NEVER a good thing......
"Are you okay, babe?"
"Why do you ask, Don?"
"Well, you didn't have much to say after dinner, and you didn't join us in the living room....."
"I'm surprised you even noticed......"
"What do you mean?"
"Just what I said, Don.....you were too busy hanging on Lavato's every word to notice anything or anybody for that matter!"
"Come on, babe.....it wasn't like that at all....."
"Bull Shit! Don Flack, you can lay there and lie to yourself all you want......I know what I saw!"
With that, Jackson turned away from Don and turned off the bedside lamp. Don scooted toward Jackson to kiss him good night, but Jackson waved him away and told him to go to sleep.
Morning found the two men preparing for their day. Everything proceeded as usual except for the fact that everything was done in silence. Don tried several times to engage Jackson in conversation but nothing happened. Don quickly realized it was useless, so he stopped. He knew how Jackson could be when he was angry, and he knew his best bet was to keep from making it worse.
Jackson was in his office thinking about last night and all that had taken place. He thought maybe he was reading more into this whole thing than what was really there. Who knew? Jackson figured he would surprise Don by making a reservation at his favorite restaurant as a way of trying to make peace. He decided to call and leave a message for Don to pick him up after work.
Meanwhile, Don sat at his desk filling out paperwork. Jamie Lavato walked over and thanked Don for dinner the night before. Don nodded and got back to work, but not before Jamie caught him looking at her in that special way that told her he was not thinking about dinner. She knew it was just a matter of time until he came to her, and when he did, she would be ready.
Jackson got the feeling something was bothering Don when he picked him up from work. Don was rather quiet and Jackson did his best to keep the conversation going. When they arrived at the restaurant, Don's mood began to improve a bit. He became more talkative and Jackson was relieved that Don seemed to have come out of his funk. When the two finished eating, Jackson suggested that they make it an early evening so he could give Don an 'apology he could truly appreciate.' Don explained that no apology was necessary and that he wanted to get to bed early since he was giving testimony on two cases in court the next day. Jackson was disappointed, but didn't say a word about it because he didn't want a repeat of the night before.....
The next morning as Don was getting ready for court, Jackson asked if they could possibly have lunch together. Don replied that he didn't know when or if he would get a chance to take a lunch break. Biting back even more disappointment, Jackson told Don not to worry about it. He said he might call Danny to see if he was free. Don made a half-assed attempt at apologizing and headed out the door. Jackson called Danny, and Danny said he would definitely make himself available for lunch. The two made plans to meet at Rosie's Diner around noon-ish. Jackson ended the call and went to take a shower.
Jackson ran some errands and checked in at Groovy Gold to see how things were going. He talked with his manager for a while and took care of some paperwork. By the time all this was done, it was nearly time to meet with Danny. While the two were having lunch, Jackson explained to Danny what had been going on between he and Don ever since Lavato had come on the scene. Danny told Jackson to be careful because he had heard that Levato was bad news. Danny promised to keep an eye on the situation as much as he could and was about to say something else when his eyes got wide and he said. "Oh, shit!"
"What is it, Dan?"
"Don't turn around! Don just walked in with Lavato....."
"You gotta be kidding me!"
"I swear I'm not, kiddo......Listen, Don's headed for the john so now would be the time for you to hit the side door and get gone. I'll go pay the check and keep them occupied so they don't see you. I'll call you when I get back to the lab. Now, go!"
Jackson did what Danny said. He sneaked a glance back through the window just as Don came back from the restroom and sat down at the table with Lavato. He could see Danny talking to the both of them and he headed down the side walk more confused than ever. As he walked, Jackson could hear the fragile sounds of glass cracking all round him, and knew he world was about to come crashing down around him. The one thing he couldn't figure out was why.....
Jackson was taking a nap when Danny called. Dan apologized for waking him, but made up for it by telling Jackson all the dirt that happened after he left. Danny said that Jamie stopped him as he was going up to pay the check and started talking to him about a case they had worked recently. Don had come back to the table and was a bit surprised to see Danny. Danny said to Don that he thought he was lunching with Jackson, and Don blushed and mumbled something about not knowing when court would break for lunch. Danny said that Jamie chimed in at that point saying that Don would have a much better time lunching with her anyway. Danny looked at her and said,"I doubt that....."
Don told Danny to apologize to Jamie, but Danny said he refused. Don tried to insist, but Danny said he told Don that he was entitled to his opinion, and didn't care what Don thought. Danny went on to say that Don needed to get his head out of his ass and start paying attention to what he had at home instead of chasing a piece of ass he might not even get. Danny told Jackson that he made his exit after that and went back to the lab. Danny stated that he fully expected a visit from Don at just any moment. Jackson told Danny to tread lightly and not to get into it with Don and that he appreciated Dan sticking up for him in front of Lavato. The two ended the call and Jackson wondered what he had to look forward to when Don came home.....
Jackson heard the front door close and knew Don was home. Jackson checked on the food he was cooking and headed to the living room to greet Don. He started to kiss Don but changed his mind when he saw the angry look on Don's face.....
"How did court go, Don?"
"It went fine..... both men were convicted....."
"What's wrong, Don? You seem angry....."
"That's because I am......have you been running your head to Messer about what's been going on here at home?"
"I might have mentioned a thing or two....why?"
"We had words at the lab today, and he told me I needed to take care of things at home, and it made me wonder what you had been telling him....."
"He's referring to the Levato incident from the other night....."
"I should have known! You aren't going to let that go, are you?"
"I'll let it go when you've proven to me that I don't have a damned thing to worry about....."
Jackson stormed back to the kitchen and finished getting dinner ready. He went back and told Don dinner was ready, got his jacket and keys, and opened the front door. Don asked where he was going, and all Jackson said was, "Out!" As the front door slammed, Don sighed. He couldn't seem to do anything right anymore. He tried to eat , but he was still too angry. He put the food away and went to get his jacket. He decided to go get a beer at Sullivan's and maybe shoot a game or two of pool. He was sitting at the bar when a familiar voice said,"What's a girl gotta do to get a beer around here?" Don turned toward the voice to find Jamie Levato standing there. Don invited her to sit, and ordered her a beer. The two talked about work and other things an Jamie finally asked what Don was doing out alone. Don was rather vague and told her that he and Jackson had argued and that he was blowing off some steam. Sensing her chance had finally come, Jamie invited Don to her place for a nightcap. Whether it was the beer buzz Don had going, or pure lust on his part, he found himself accepting her invitation eagerly.....
When Don got home, Jackson was asleep. He was glad of that because he didn't want to face questions and accusations. Don lay down on the couch and tried to sleep, but sleep was elusive. He kept thinking about Jamie and what had happened between them. He wanted more, and was determined to get it just as soon as he could. The next morning, Don was up and gone to work before Jackson got up. He found Jamie at the precinct and asked if they could get together soon. She teased him about being so eager but said that they could get together whenever he wanted.
While Don was setting up his next date with Jamie, Jackson was trying to maintain and keep his cool. He knew Don had been out late last night, and he had a sneaking suspicion that he knew who Don was with. This coupled with the fact that Don had lied about where he had talked to Danny made Jackson even madder. He knew that accusing Don outright would only make him lie more or start an argument. Jackson was tired of guessing and wondering about where he stood with Don and decided to find out that night when Don came home.....
That evening Jackson sat waiting for Don. It was nearly 11pm when Don finally came in. He was a bit surprised to find Jackson waiting for him, and he knew this wasn't going to end well.....
"What are you doing still up?"
"Waiting for you, Don....."
"What's the matter?"
"We need to talk....."
"What do we need to talk about?"
"Goddammit, Don, quit being so fucking dense and quit treating me like I am! You know damn good and well what we need to talk about!"
"I really wish I knew what you're referring to, but there's nothing to talk about....."
"That's where you're wrong, Don....."
"Look, Jackson, you keep thinking there's something going on, but you're wrong. Now all I'm gonna say is that this shit needs to stop because it's getting' old real quick!"
Jackson was pissed because he knew Don was lying. He didn't respond to what Don said because the beginnings of a plan were beginning to form in his mind, and he wanted to think about what his next move was going to be. The two men got ready for bed, each lying on opposite sides of their king-sized bed each lost in his own thoughts. The next morning, Don mentioned that he would most likely be late that night because he wanted to try and pick up some overtime. Jackson held his tongue and merely nodded. As soon as Don left the apartment Jackson got on the phone to Danny. Since Danny knew what was going on he agreed to help Jackson with his plan. All Danny had to do was keep an eye on Don in the late afternoon and find out if he was meeting Jamie. If so, he was to call Jackson and let him know where they were going. Jackson told Danny that he would take care of the rest.
Don sat at his desk thinking about the mess he'd gotten himself into. He felt guilty as hell for lying to Jackson, but Jamie made up for that in so many ways. Don knew he needed to get his head out of his ass and do something about the situation. He didn't want Jackson hurt, but knew he would be anyway. That simply couldn't be helped because he wanted Jamie Lavato more than he'd ever wanted anyone in his life, and he wasn't letting anything or anybody stop him from having her.
Jamie was at the lab with Jo going over some information on a case they were working together. Danny kept watch and sure enough, Don showed up looking for her. Jamie excused herself from talking to Jo and walked with Don to the break room so they could have a bit of privacy. Danny walked in on the pretense of getting a juice out of the fridge and heard just enough to find out that they were planning on meeting that evening. He heard Don say that he couldn't wait to see her. Danny went back to his workstation and called Jackson to tell him what he had learned. Jackson thanked him and told him to be available just in case he needed him.
Jackson sat at his desk thinking about his plan. It was really very simple. He wanted to know where they would be so he could confront them and see it for himself. He had a pretty good idea what he was in for, but still wanted to see it through to the end. Jackson called Don's cell and left a message saying that he would be late that night, and he would try to call him later.
Jackson met Danny after work at Sullivan's to tell him about the message he left for Don. He went on to explain that he was hoping Don would take Jamie to their place so he could catch them together. Danny asked if he needed back-up, and Jackson told him it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a witness in case things got crazy. Danny had the idea to call and see if Don wanted to hang out. This was just to confirm where Don might be. Since Jackson thought it was a good idea, Danny made the call. Don told him that he wasn't feeling well and that he wanted to go to bed early. Danny asked if Jackson was home, and Don told him that he got a message from him saying he was going to be late. Danny told him that he would call Jackson later and told Don that he hoped he felt better.
After Don finished talking to Danny, he called Jamie to let her know that Jackson wouldn't be home until later, and that he wanted her to come over. She told him she would see him in an hour. Don got off the phone and tidied up the apartment. He settled in to wait for Jamie and was surprised when the doorbell rang earlier than she said she would be there. Don opened to door to find Jamie standing there looking extremely sexy. He felt himself get hard at the sight of her. She smiled, placed her hand on the middle of his chest and pushed him backward into the apartment.......
Jackson knew it was time to head home. God knows what he was going to find when he got there, but he knew he had to go. He and Danny left the bar and headed to the apartment. The closer they got to home, the more nervous Jackson got. Danny could sense his nervousness and pulled Jackson into his arms. He calmed his friend and told him that he would be there with him every step of the way. Jackson thanked him and called for the elevator.
When they got to the door, Jackson looked over at Danny one more time. Danny simply nodded his head and winked. Jackson sipped the key into the lock and quietly opened the door.....
Don and Jamie were entwined on the floor on the fur blanket Don had bought Jackson the previous Christmas. Jamie saw Jackson first, and she smiled the most evil smile Jackson had ever seen. She whispered something in Don's ear, and Don turned to look up into Jackson's face.....
"Don, get up and get dressed now. Get your whore out of here while you're at it......"
"There's no need to go there, Jackson. I'm not a whore, and besides, it's not my fault he wants me more than he wants you....."
"Stop trying to bait me, Jamie. It won't work. I want you out of here now!"
"Jamie, just go.....I'll call you later."
"If that's what you want, Don. Just please don't make me wait too long....."
Jamie made her exit, and Jackson began to prepare himself mentally for the battle with Don that was coming.....
"Are you satisfied now?"
"What do you mean, Don?"
"You know damn well what I mean......you caught me."
"I knew something was going on, Don......and if you ever knew me at all you would know that I was going to get to the bottom of it. What I really want to know is why....."
"It's simple.....I've been dissatisfied for a while now, but I didn't know why. When I met Jamie, things started to become more clear to me, and it dawned on me that she was what was missing in my life.....I didn't realize it before, but you could never give me the things I really want ....."
"What is it that I can't give you, Don?"
"You can't give me kids, you can't give me a home, respectability, you know.....normal things...."
"You son of a bitch! I loved you with all my heart and soul and did everything I could to be respectable and not cause you any embarrassment, and you're saying I'm not what you really wanted? Is that it? It's awful funny you should say that because you sure seemed to want me every time you stuck your cock up my ass or took mine down your throat! But I guess I was just nothing more to you than a convenient receptacle....."
Before Don realized it, he had slapped Jackson hard enough to bust his lip. Danny, who up to that point, had been standing by quietly, stepped between Don and Jackson and said, "Don, that's enough!"
"Messer, stay out of this....it has nothing to do with you....."
"I'm sure as hell not gonna sit by and watch you slap Jackson around because he spoke the truth!"
"Danny, leave it be. He's only doing this because he's a coward and can't face the truth about himself....."
"I'm not a coward!"
"Like hell you're not, Don.....you went behind my back and cheated, you lied about our life together, and you've done your level best to blame me for your shortcomings.....hell, you even made me think you loved me! You promised there would never be anyone else but me.....now I know the truth! Go pack enough to last about a week. It will take me that long to pack the rest of your things. I'll call when I have everything is ready......"
"You're absolutely sure?"
"I wouldn't have said so if I wasn't. I don't want you anywhere near me anymore. You've got 15 minutes. When you go, leave your key in the bowl by the door....."
While Don was packing, Jackson and Danny went into the kitchen for a beer. They were sitting at the table when Jackson heard Don's key hit the glass bowl and his heart shattered when he hear the front door slam. The tears came fast and furiously, and Danny gently held Jackson as he cried it out. When Jackson had calmed down some, Danny asked him how he was feeling.....
"It's kinda hard to say, Dan.....I feel numb, hurt, pissed. I'm sitting here in the ruins of what was once my life, and what I feel most is shattered....."
Epilogue: 1 year later.....
Danny Messer was a nervous wreck. He'd been looking forward to this day for what seemed like forever, and now that it was here, he just wanted to get it over with. As he stood there with Mac Taylor waiting for Jackson to join him, his mind went back to the events of the past year.....
In the aftermath of Don and Jackson breaking up, Danny was there for Jackson in every way he possibly could be. He was a shoulder to cry on, a friend, a confidant.....whatever Jackson needed. Danny wanted to be all these things, but he wanted to be more to Jackson. He'd had feelings for Jackson for quite a while, but he never said anything because of Don. After Don left, Danny's feelings blossomed into something more. He kept quiet because he knew it was too soon for Jackson, plus he knew that he was going to have one hell of a time proving to Jackson that what he felt was real, and that he would never do to him the things Don had.
Jackson caught on pretty soon, and called Danny on it one evening. Danny admitted everything, and Jackson had a confession to make of his own. He admitted his feelings for Danny, and they started a round of talks that lasted nearly a month. They started dating and moved in together. After living together for a few months, Danny asked Jackson to marry him. Jackson asked for some time to think about it, and while Danny was disappointed, he agreed to give Jackson all the time he needed. It didn't take Jackson as long Danny thought it would. He came to Danny one night and told him that he would marry him, and wanted to do so as soon as possible.
Those events had led to Danny waiting for Jackson with Mac standing up as his best man. Jackson made his way down the aisle and took his place beside Danny. The minister started the ceremony and when it was over, the two men headed back down the aisle and into the sunlight. Jackson looked at Danny with tears in his eyes. Danny became concerned and asked; "Baby, what's the matter?"
"Nothing's wrong, Dan....I just wanted to say thank you for helping me pick up the pieces, and for showing me I could love again....."
"No thanks necessary....."
"Danny, I love you....."
"I love you too, baby.....
No one saw the tall dark-haired man watching the newlywed couple, nor did they see his eyes mist over at the thought of what he had thrown away. If anyone had been close enough they would have seen him kicking at the shattered dreams that blocked his path as he walked down the sidewalk.....
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