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CSI: New York
Set post-S2 Finale. Un-betaed cos no one I know plays in this fandom and I didn't feel like introducing myself to the people I do know play in it by saying 'Hi, wanna beta my fic?'. Probably, god help me, going to be a series. PG-13.
"Danny nods and grins. He knows what a goofball it makes him look like but he can't help it because Mac, Mac freaking Taylor, has just had a genuine Sharing Moment with him."

Danny's hands smell of leather. This isn't new, he owns plenty of leather, jackets, mostly, and he likes the smell of well cared for leather, smooth and buttery. But this leather is musty and cracked, different handprint voids in the dust but even in those there is dust still buried in the cracks. Not cared for, not properly. It was just a case.

The clarinet gleams in his hands, polished and beautiful, as clearly cared for as its case wasn't. He's not sure what the hell he's going to do with a clarinet. He played the band scene awhile when he was going to college after baseball wasn't an option anymore. But a clarinet?

Clarine Kanik gave it to him. Left it to him, really. He's not sure why. Sure, her will says "to Daniel Messer, the man who saved my music, I leave my Selmer clarinet," but that doesn't really explain it. He knew her for about a week, working her case--her husband murdered by his ex, his dying message written in blood on her latest unfinished work--Clarine was a performing musician and composer. He'd solved the case and saved the music to boot. He saw the first performance of it, heard her dedicate it to Jonathan Kanik, her husband. It was a sweeping violin concerto, classically styled, but he could hear a few lines in the ending crescendo that somehow sounded like him, New York accent and New York attitude.

She'd kissed him on the cheek at the party after the concert, and thanked him. Said she didn't think she could ever properly repay him. He'd shrugged and given her his most charming smile, said it was the job. Apparently she'd decided, when she discovered her breast cancer a few months later and written her will, that she hadn't thanked him properly.

But Danny still isn't sure what the hell he's going to do with a clarinet and it strikes him as slightly absurd and maybe poetic that he's sitting in the lab he solved her case in, contemplating this. Probably safer here than at his crappy apartment, anyway, but he brought it here because he got called to a scene at the divestment itself. Hadn't ingratiated himself any to the lawyer running through all that crap by forcing the issue saying that it was right now, or much later, if he wanted to get done with Danny.

Mac raises an eyebrow as he comes into the lab bearing bags of evidence from the Rochetter girl's case to process. He clears his throat. "That's a nice clarinet."

"Yeah. Not sure what I'm s'posed to do with it, though," Danny says, rubbing at his eyes. "'member that case I worked, about six months ago? Musician lady, dead husband, music manuscript?"

"I do," Mac says.

"Turns out she had breast cancer. Really far along, apparently, by the time they found it a few months ago. It killed her, and she... left this thing t'me in her will," Danny says, gesturing slightly. "What am I s'posed to do with a clarinet?"

Mac shrugs. "Well, you can always sell it--it's quite a valuable instrument. May I... see it?" His fingers twitch slightly as he arranges the evidence bags neatly on his work surface.

His hands are slightly cool to the touch as Danny hands it over. He lays his fingers over the keys readily, and a small tense smile teases his mouth. He brings the clarinet up and plays a haunting little melody that Danny doesn't recognise.

"Pretty good," Danny says, grinning. "Didn't know you played."

"My embrochure is terrible," Mac says, his voice tinged with an emotion that Danny can't identify. "I haven't played a single reed instrument in years."

"Musta been really good, if that's 'terrible'," Danny says, and watches Mac take the headpiece off of the clarinet and thread a cloth through thin bar of metal from the case.

"I suppose I was," Mac says as he carefully cleans out the instrument. "I showed promise, so my parents made me take lessons for years."

"Ah," Danny says, wondering at this level of sharing on Mac's part. "Only lessons my parents ever made me take were Sunday school lessons and that was mostly cos it got me outta their hair durin' church."

Mac finishes up with the cloth and leaves it out even as he gently places the instrument back in its case.

"Why not put the cloth back in?" he wonders.

"It's still damp with the condensation. A clarinet like that, I'm not going to risk it getting back into the wood."

"Makes sense," Danny says. "So, any idea what the hell to do with that thing? Like I said, I ain't gonna be able to do anything with it myself and I got no idea where one goes about sellin' some old clarinet. Pretty sure this ain't somethin' I want to take down to the local pawn shop, you know?"

Mac does that thing with his eyebrow, the one that makes you feel like you maybe should check your shirt, see if you've drooled onto it or something. "Well, Danny, I suspect you'll have people knocking on your door when they hear that Mrs. Kanik left it to you, but you might consider going to a good repair shop. I'm sure they'll be able to point you in the right direction of an appraiser and you can go from there. In my opinion, that clarinet," he nods, "is easily worth more than $5,000."

Danny blinks. "Damn. I knew it was a nice instrument, you can see that, but that is... damn. Great, now I don't want to take it home, it'll make my crappy little apartment feel even crappier," he says, with a grin. "So, hey," he asks, forcing a casual tone. "Why'd you stop playin'?"

And, well, apparently not casual enough. He can see Mac shutting down, what little ease he had gone, and his fingers twitch again as he neatly slices open the side of one of the bags, pulling out the evidence inside. So he's pretty damn surprised when Mac says anything at all, much less, "When I left for the Corps, I left my clarinet at my parent's house," he says, and uses a pair of tweezers to pull some fibers off of wadded up gaffer's tape.

Danny holds his breath, praying that maybe whatever magic spell that has Mac talking won't be broken if he doesn't speak.

Mac slides them into a little envelope, marks it for Trace to analyse. "When I started playing again, I didn't want to pick the clarinet back up. I considered the saxophone, but it was too similar and too... personal, to play. So, bass guitar it was."

Danny is mesmerised, this being more he's heard about Mac's past at one time from the man in... ever, actually. "Did you start by playin' jazz or end up there?" he hears himself asking, almost distant, like it's not him saying it. He wonders if this will clam Mac up or keep the spell going.

Mac looks up and smiles slightly. "A little of A, a little of B. I started playing again when a few friends started a jazz group. It reminded me that while I might not have liked my parents for making me take those lessons, I did love music. Eventually they talked me into joining them for a few jam sessions. I've played a little here and a little there ever since."

Danny nods and grins. He knows what a goofball it makes him look like but he can't help it because Mac, Mac freaking Taylor, has just had a genuine Sharing Moment with him. Considering how rocky their relationship was for a good while there, this is major.

Mac sighs and looks down at his work. The bags under his eyes look even bigger than usual. He's had a string of rough cases and Danny knows he doesn't sleep properly in the first place and sleeps even worse when work is rough. He'd be willing to bet, in fact, that Mac hasn't slept in 40 hours and probably only for an hour or so then. Probably be pressing his luck to ask about that and he should just call this conversation a victory and leave it be.

But Danny's always sucked at knowing when to fold 'em, does terrible at poker, and has gotten himself into a whole lot of trouble because of it. So he presses his luck a little, since it's been with him this far. "Y'look tired, Mac. When did you last sleep?"

"Sleep? What's that?"

"S'what I thought," Danny says. "Look, I can process the rest of that stuff, go lie down for a bit. I know, I know, you won't sleep. But a little rest can't hurt, okay? And no coffee, man, that shit you drink don't help your insomnia any."

"You sound like Stella," Mac says. It's not a compliment, but Danny takes it as one anyway.

"Yeah, well, I don't got her curvy figure and most of the time I don't got her good sense, but occasionally I manage. Take a break, Mac, 'fore you fall over."

And this is just a day of surprises, because Mac scrubs at his face and agrees without further arguing. "Fine. But let me know if you find anything, all right?" he says pulling off his glove and signing off on all the paperwork on the chain of custody.

Danny lets his grin spill out because he is pleased as punch and figures the whole world should get a share of his good mood. He should probably tamp down on it some, before Stella or, god forbid, Montana shows up and smart remarks are made, but he doesn't.

He still has no idea what he's going to do with the clarinet but he has a notion that he can con Mac into coming along with for the ride. He doesn't examine too closely why that idea pleases him as much as it does because he knows that if he does he'll have to think about a lot of other things that can wait.

Right now, he's going bask in his good mood and help Mac put away the son of a bitch who'd tied up sixteen year old Reyna Rochetter with gaffer's tape, raped and beat her, and left her to die at her high school's theatre.
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