So next week is the last week of school and I'm currently unemployed. I quit my job. It was a hard decision because I've been there so long and it was comfortable, but it was demanding just way too much from me. So now I must find a new one.
The roommate wants to go on what he calls 'The Binge to End All Binges Before He Becomes A Slave to Medicine.' He's going into his third year of med school next fall and that means... internship. He dreads it for some reason. He's got all these plans to do awesome things during the summer.
I have the classifieds and fan fiction. Oh how our lives differ.
On a different note, Stanley Cup playoffs... oh I have a feeling this is going to be exciting.
Now for the fic. This is not a no plot thing. This is not Glitter and Gold. This is something that came out of left field. Entirely Danny-centric and I think it may fit for a number of challenges I've got going. Pretty angst stuff here and some implied Sam/Martin, but come on I can't have that. Totally ends Danny/Martin.
Danny remembers the first time he ever felt safe.
He was wrapped up in his mom’s arms, his wrist bandaged so tightly he almost couldn’t feel his hand. He hadn’t been taken to the hospital, they really couldn’t afford it and the wound wasn’t that deep anyway.
Danny had cried. He’d cried so hard he couldn’t ever remember crying that hard. His father had yelled at him to stop crying before realizing that Danny was bleeding a lot and it wasn’t stopping. He’d called for Danny’s mother who came running and turned to scream at his dad.
She beat her fists against his chest a few times before he grabbed her and told her to calm down and do something for their son. Her eyes grew wide and she turned to Danny, scooping him up in her arms as she hurried him to her room.
He watched through his tears as she slammed the door in his face after getting everything she needed from the bathroom. She gently patched up his wrists, looking a little frantic for a minute before realizing it wasn’t deep enough to kill him or anything.
She held him all night, whispering quiet words to him to get him to calm down. She sang to him and rocked him and locked the door to her room to keep his father from coming in. She only opened it when she heard the front door slam shut and there was Rafi, eyes wide and filled with anger.
Danny had been put down on the bed, tears still running from his eyes and he looked over at them as they started to argue. ‘He did it, didn’t he. You just let him…’
‘I didn’t. He cut himself on the window.’
‘Don’t you talk to me like that, Raphael. Just… just go back to sleep.’
Rafi glared at her, before leaving back to his room.
She picked him up again and Danny curled into her. She whispered sorry to him. She said she was sorry for everything and Danny couldn’t really understand what she was saying at the time, but it seemed important. ‘Some day, mijo, some day you’re going to grow up and you’re going to be better than this. Some day.’
Danny remembers the first time he lost his parents.
He’d been rushed to the hospital. He hadn’t even seen if his parents were okay. They didn’t answer his questions either. Apparently he was cut and bruised and his leg may or may not have been broken. They weren’t sure.
When he woke up, Rafi was at his bedside, eyes wide with tears and his face stained with them. He held onto Danny’s hand tightly and didn’t let it go once. ‘Where’s mom and dad?’ Danny asked.
Rafi started crying again, talking in broken Spanish and Danny knew it was bad if Rafi was talking in Spanish.
‘They didn’t make it, Danny. They’re dead.’
Danny remembers the funeral too. It was small, barely even a funeral and it had been pretty expensive too, but Rafi insisted on one. There were a few people Danny knew, grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, but Danny didn’t feel like talking to them.
His mother’s sister felt like talking to him thought. She tried to convince him to stay with her and her husband and their daughter. ‘I can take care of him.’ Rafi had said.
‘Rafi, you can barely take care of yourself. How the hell are you going to take care of that little boy.’
‘I can take care of him.’
‘You’re going to ruin his life. just watch. You’re going to make him exactly like you.’ She spat at him.
‘I can take care of him.’ Rafi repeated.
Danny remembers the first time he was ever questioned by the police.
He cried, they were loud and obnoxious and Danny didn’t know what they wanted him to say. He’d been in trouble with the law a few times before, primarily because of stealing, but he hadn’t stolen anything in awhile and since he moved to New York, he’d gotten rid of those friends.
They never questioned him though and Danny felt stupid for crying but he was hungry and tired and he had to go to the bathroom and he wanted to know where his brother was.
He hadn’t seen Rafi in days. He’d been trying to take care of himself for those days, cooking and cleaning and walking himself to school instead of getting a ride from Rafi. Then the police showed up at his door and whisked him away.
‘I don’t know anything. I swear.’
‘Well we’d believe you if you didn’t have a record for being a liar. Now, did you know what your brother was doing.’ One of the officers asked.
‘No.’ Danny said in a small tone.
‘He was dealing drugs. Do you know what that means? That means he’s going to jail for a long time.’
Danny had been taken into child services and he hadn’t heard anything from his brother. Didn’t know what was going on and one lady said that was probably for the best.
Danny didn’t think so.
Danny remembers the first time he got another family.
He’d been living in the group home and various other foster places for almost a year now and each time the experience was the same. Rotten kids with rotten guardians and never enough food or clothes or time to go around.
Danny almost preferred the group home over foster homes, despite all the tough kids that lived in the group home.
But then, one day while he was working on his math homework, something that made his eyes bleed and his throat tighten, Social Worker Ann, as Danny liked to call her, came walking up to him, to very smiley and eager people trailing behind her. They were a bit older, but not grandparents old. They smiled warmly at Danny and Social Worker Ann just looked uneasy. ‘Now are you sure about this? We could start you off with a smaller child. Someone who isn’t so much of a problem.’ Social Worker Ann said.
Danny was standing outside of the room, the door cracked open so he could hear what they were saying.
‘No, we’re sure.’ The woman, Cindy was her name, said.
‘But, I just thought…’
‘My wife said we’re sure. Danny seems like a nice boy. He’s friendly enough.’
Social Worker Ann just rolled her eyes.
Danny went home with them and they showed him his room. It was a bit plain, but it was more than he had living with his parents or Rafi so he pretty much loved it. They ate meals together as a family and Mark, that was the man, helped Danny with his math. He was an accountant and the way he dealt with numbers… Danny had never been able to do that.
And everything was perfect.
Danny remembers the first time he fell in love.
Remembers it as though it were yesterday. The girl was beautiful. Long brown wavy hair and dark tan skin. She was curvy in all the right place and she had a smile that made Danny weak at the knees. And her eyes. Danny thought she had the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen. They were a rich brown, big and wide and when she stared at Danny, he’d do anything for her.
And he did… repeatedly. He did anything she wanted because Danny may have been in New York since his parents died, he didn’t have very many people how loved him. Rafi was away in jail and the latest foster family was much nicer than the previous ones, but they didn’t love him. And his friends were in short supply despite Father Orlando’s help in that department. Danny never really fit in with most of them.
Whenever he tried to deny her something, which really wasn’t very often, she’d stick her nose up at him and glare. ‘You know no other girls will like you right. You know they all think your some kind of juvie criminal. And they all think you’re ugly anyway. You’re too tall and skin and those ears. Can’t you see that I’m just trying to help you? That I’m the only one trying to help you?’
Danny fell for it every time. What did he know about love and the way that worked? He could vaguely recall the way his father treated his mother and he didn’t want to be like that. So maybe this way was better. Maybe this was how people really treated each other when they were in love.
Of course that lasted until he caught her and one of his teammates on the Dragons making out against one of the walls at church. Danny just stared at them for the longest time watched as they kissed so passionately. He wondered if they talked about him, laughed at his pathetic state.
Danny ran away. Ran to Father Orlando and told him that he was down with the team. He’d been able to leave for some time now, but he liked the feeling that came with being apart of something.
Father Orlando tried to stop him, but Danny was dead set on it and there really wasn’t anything he could do. He let Danny go, telling him to come to church on Sunday and they could talk some more.
Danny never did.
Danny remembers the first time he lost another set of parents.
He was moved away from the nice foster, the one with the mother who made cookies and the father who taught him how to change car oil. Danny hadn’t had the heart to tell him that his brother had taught him how to do that already.
It was he’d been out of control, according to a couple of social workers, but the real reason was they wanted to place another kid in that family. A smaller kid, one less jaded by the world because Mark and Cindy Taylor were good people and they deserved a good kid.
Danny had left, their promises to always visit him and he was welcome in their home anytime, ringing loudly in his ears. They made the effort too. They went to the group home that Danny was at, with their good kid who smiled widely at Danny. Cindy brought him cookies and Mark asked him about school and the Mets games.
He was going to be eighteen soon and they were both weirdly excited about that. They asked him what colleges he was thinking about applying to and Danny would shrug his shoulders. ‘I don’t know.’ He’d say.
‘Well, you must have some idea.’ They’d prompt.
‘No, not really’
They’d come every Sunday, till one day, excited flushes tingeing their faces, they announced Cindy was pregnant. They didn’t know how, but she was. Danny smiled at them and wished them luck.
That was the last Sunday he ever saw them.
Danny remembers the first time he really started living on his own.
He was a poor college student struggling to keep up with his workload and keep a place to stay. Rafi wasn’t there to back him up and the state had basically washed their hands of him. He literally had nothing.
His books were secondhand and he never looked like he belonged in the college scene. He thought about dropping out a few times, the only thing keeping him going was the fact that it was a free education. Someone said he was smart and enough people agreed that he had a scholarship to an actual college.
It was a new experience. He had to keep up with school and get a job and friends started coming a lot easier.
Especially the ones that liked to party.
Danny remembers the first time he took a drink again.
It was easier than the first time. It didn’t mean much really. He’d done this so many times before and it only hurt when you got caught. Only Danny was just a few days shy of his 21st birthday anyway.
And really he’d been working so hard at school and work trying to make sure he didn’t end up like his parents or Rafi that he thought he deserved a drink. He’d been doing so well with everything. What was one drink going to do?
It wasn’t like he went out and partied. It wasn’t even liked he drank that much. A glass a day, maybe two if he was having a particularly bad day, but nothing more than that. He always got to school on time for his classes and the same went for work.
Alcohol didn’t control him. He could stop at any time. He had the ability to do it. He wasn’t like his dad who drank and drank until he couldn’t stand up straight or contain himself from hitting his wife and children. He wasn’t like his brother Rafi who stole to feed his habit. Danny had everything under control.
Or so he thought.
Danny remembers the first time he changed his entire life.
He was sitting in a police precinct, a hooker on his right promising him and good time and hell he was cute enough that she was almost tempted to do it for free, and a guy that looked just a little on the wrong side of sane. He had blood on his hands and that was all Danny really wanted to know.
The police were booking him, his breath test results showing he was driving under the influence. To think all he wanted to do was get to the community college on time so he could be a lawyer. So he could be one of the guys who was currently joking around with the cops all nonchalantly.
His lawyer was talking with them. She was good even if she was a bit new to the law game. Danny had known her from school. She was a year ahead of him and had passed the bar, on the first time no less, and when Danny had called her she immediately agreed.
She was smart and resourceful. She made it looks easy, sweet talking the judge as she got him to agree to it being a misdemeanor despite Danny’s past record. All that was expunged because it was from his teenage years.
Danny remembers her smiling at him when they walked out of the courthouse, like everything was going to be okay now. ‘So you do a little community service, take a few classes and voila. Everything will go back to normal.’
‘Why are you so sulky? It’s going to be fine. I mean you’re hardly the first lawyer to get busted drinking.’
‘I’m not a lawyer.’
She rolled her eyes at him at that point.
‘You know what I mean. With this gone, now you can be.’
She had sounded so cheery and upbeat about the whole thing. Like it would be that easy, but Danny didn’t think it would be. He was an alcoholic. Maybe it had taken some harsh lights to see that, but he could see it now.
And he didn’t like it. Everyone knew. How could he be a serious lawyer with this behind him? Everyone would know.
Danny just smiled at her.
Danny remembers the first time anyone called him Taylor.
He’d been in the FBI training program for a week. The classes not entirely easy, but still enjoyable. He’d been doing his work, taking notes and being a good student when one of his teachers called on him.
Said his name in a harsh tone, barked it almost. Taylor
. It took Danny a second to realize that the man was talking to him, his face going beat red with the realization and he hurriedly answered the question before bowing his head.
It got easier after that. He was Danny Taylor and being Danny Taylor was just too easy. Danny Taylor was a quiet guy during his free time and pretty charming around everyone else though. Danny Taylor was smart and knew how to wear a suit and just what kind of suit to where. He knew how to impress people and how to say the right thing.
No one knew Danny Taylor and that was probably the most exciting that about Danny Taylor.
He was an enigma.
Danny remembers the first time he felt his new life was being threatened.
It wasn’t that Martin Fitzgerald was a bad guy. He was probably a great guy. He’d only wanted to please Jack and show he didn’t need Daddy to back him up, but damn it if he wasn’t encroaching on Danny’s territory.
Danny was supposed to be the one with the answers that no one thought of. Danny was supposed to be the one who came up with the wild theories that almost always turned out to be true. Danny was supposed to be the one who put his ass on the line when the trail got hot.
He was almost relieved when Martin’s theories hadn’t panned out and he’d gotten a shiny cut on his head for his efforts.
Danny liked being the wild card.
Danny remembers the first time he really made a friend.
Martin stood before him, awkward and pissed all that the same time. Danny hadn’t trusted him and yeah okay that turned out to be Danny being paranoid, but it wasn’t like Martin had been part of the team as long as they all had. They were just looking out for each other.
Except, somehow, Martin had made himself part of the team and Danny kind of liked him. He was good with numbers and he could be funny when he wanted to be. He had this weird habit of wearing ugly ties but other than that he was a pretty decent guy. ‘So, we’re cool right?’ Danny asked.
‘Yeah, I said we were.’
‘Good, cause only… you’re looking at me kind of weird, Martin.’
‘It’s nothing.’ Martin said quickly.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yeah… it’s just.’
‘I thought we were friends.’
Danny stared at him for a moment. Friends. He’s not entirely sure what friends are or how to be a friend.
‘I… I guess we are.’
‘I’ve… I’ve never really had friends.’ Danny said.
Martin seemed taken aback by that if the frown on his face is an indication.
‘Well… I guess I can forgive your behavior than. Seeing as how you don’t know how to be a friend, but… you owe me dinner.’
They’d gotten dinner, Chinese on Martin’s say so and they just talked. Not about anything important or life altering, just chitchat and it’s the first time Danny’s ever chitchatted in his life.
That seems important.
Danny remembers the first time her realized he was in love with Martin.
It’s after a hard case, a case involving dead kids and cut off ears and Martin goes a little off the deep end because of it. And Danny has to keep reminding himself that Martin got his background in White Collar Crime and probably never had to shoot anybody before, much less kill.
The look, Danny knows it’s the look in Martin’s eyes that did him in and how bad is it that after almost twenty years Danny’s still a sucker for a pair of pretty eyes. Doesn’t really matter who they’re attached too.
Martin looks lost and sad and angry and hurt and just devastated that it’s hard for Danny to not reach out and try to make it better. He reaches out, but really what can he say to make it better. There’s nothing he can really do to erase the memories from Martin’s head. ‘We got the bad guy. The kid’s safe.’
‘Yeah, but… it’s just… it’s not enough.’
‘It’s what we can do.’
‘We should be able to do more. God damn it if we can save kids, who can we save?’
Danny remembers shrugging at the point because really he can’t answer that for Martin. Only Martin can and it doesn’t matter how much Danny loves him.
He can’t make that go away.
Danny remembers the first time he’s ever been jealous.
It’s because of Sam of all people. Sam, who he likes and respects and even considers a friend. It’s Sam who tosses her pretty blonde hair and smiles engagingly at Martin all the while staring at Jack’s office and is Martin stupid or is he just blinded by lust. Anyone can see she’s just using him to get to Jack.
Martin doesn’t see that. Can’t see it because he’s blinded by a warm smile and pretty eyes too and Danny never thought his biggest competition in the relationship department would be Sam. Sam, who dates unavailable guys and sucks so badly at relationships she’s never really had a boyfriend.
But then again, Danny’s track recorded isn’t that smooth either and he can’t really compare them. Because Sam’s had a tough life and Danny’s had a tough life, but they were no where near similar.
So Danny watches. Watches as Sam flirts with Martin and Martin gives her that smile that makes his eyes twinkle. Watches as Sam brushes up against him, breast touching Martin’s arm or back, when she thinks no ones looking, but really Sam may be a woman, but she’s no where near as smooth as Danny is when it comes to the flirting.
Not that it really matters. Martin’s staring at her with interest heavy in his eyes and he’ll continue to stare at her that way.
And Danny will just be forced to watch.
Danny remembers the first time he fell in love with Martin… again.
He’s gotten really good at pretending he doesn’t see it until it’s so glaringly obvious that he can’t pretend anymore, but really did they think he couldn’t see a little office romance that was right under his nose.
So he makes jokes. Talks about their future and injects himself in there somewhere just so he can make himself seem more pathetic. And each time Martin gives him a smile, each more strained than the last until he’s just not even smiling anymore and he rolls his eyes when Danny even mentions Sam.
But then, Danny gets caught up in his brother and that drama and he has no time for the Sam and Martin happy American 2.5 kids couple jokes and he just has to find Rafi. And Martin’s there. Every step of the way Martin has his back and he looks at Danny with those big blue eyes and Danny feels like he can find Rafi. Find him before it’s too late.
And when he does, Martin’s still there, soft comfort just right there for Danny to reach out for, but he never does. He just let’s Martin stand there, strong and tall for him. It’s what Martin really wants to do anyway and who is Danny to decide that isn’t good enough.
It’s not like Danny would turn it down.
Danny remembers the first time he’s ever been scared.
It wasn’t when he was little and his dad beat Rafi. It wasn’t during those months that he tried to get off alcohol. No, the first time Danny feels gut wrenching can feel his heart pounding in his chest is when he and Martin get shot at.
Danny remembers it being cold and rainy and they were happy for a second before those van doors flew open and bullets sprayed through the air. Remembers the fast action and quick thinking and guns going off around him.
He remembers pulling out his own gun and firing off a bunch of shots into the air to and then there’s nothing. Van’s speeding off and Danny’s left with a bleeding Martin and really there’s not much he can do in those circumstances.
Doesn’t remember being trained for this and suddenly he isn’t as cool and smooth and charming as Danny Taylor demands him to be. No, he’s panicking and clumsy and awkward he doesn’t remember who that person is, but he knows it’s part of himself.
A part he’d rather keep hidden.
Danny remembers the first time he was at a loss for words.
It’s Martin’s first day back and Danny doesn’t know what to say to him. Everything he rehearsed sounds rehearsed and everything he wants to say would be too much, so he doesn’t say much of anything at all. Just apologizes for not being around and Martin just excepts it, eyes a little sad and wondering, but he doesn’t ask.
And Danny doesn’t tell him because there are a million things he could say to Martin each of them more sappy then the one before and Danny’s just not ready to let Martin see that most of Danny Taylor is fake. Doesn’t know how Martin would react to that.
So he goes home and stares at a bottle again because he’s gotten into that habit ever since the shooting and maybe he’ll disconnect his phone this time and just sit down and watch mindless sports.
What he doesn’t count on is Martin, and that throws him off because Danny usually knows all his variables, showing up at his doorstep at one in the morning, knuckles white because he’s clutching that cane so tight like it was a life line or something. Or maybe he just feels warn out from the climb up to Danny’s place.
Martin just stares at him, eyes wide and he looks a little angry, but that’s not anything new to Danny.
‘Why?’ Martin asked.
‘Why didn’t you show up? Why didn’t you ever come to see me?’
‘You what, Danny?’
‘I… I thought I already answered this question?’
‘That was a lame ass answer. You didn’t think I was really going to let you off with that bullshit did you?’
‘I thought maybe you would.’
‘You thought wrong.’
‘Look, I can’t… I don’t really know why I didn’t come and see you I just… I felt… I was scared.’
‘Aren’t you tired of being scared?’
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
‘I think you do.’
‘I think I really don’t. And I also think it’s too early or late depending on how you look at it, to have this conversation. It can wait.’
‘Aren’t you tired of waiting?’ Martin asked.
Danny swallowed and looked at him closely, Martin who’s standing in front of him leaning heavily on the doorway because he can’t stand up on his own.
So Danny leaned in closely too and watched as Martin licked his lips, mouth opening slightly to pant.
‘Yes, I’m tired of waiting.’ Danny said as he realized how very close he is to Martin.
He just has to lean in a little more and his lips would be on Martin’s.
‘So why are you?’ Martin asked.
Danny decided not to answer it. Show is better than tell anyway.
Danny remembers the first time he didn’t have to be Danny Taylor anymore.
It’s right around the time that he realizes that Martin isn’t the Martin Fitzgerald he presents to the world and Danny knew that, on some level he knew that, but there’s nothing like finding it out when Martin’s laying in his arms, warm and sleepy and sated. And he’s make little noises that drive Danny crazy as they cuddle close together.
They’re not Danny Taylor or Martin Fitzgerald when they’re like this. They just are and Danny doesn’t ever remember just being able to be without people looking at him or judging him.
And Danny thinks… no he knows… it’s the best feeling in the world.