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CSI: New York
Post-S1 Finale. I finally got around to catching up the rest of the way on season 1. Danny has lots of issues; in fact, he has a subscription, they come twice a month in the mail. For the [ profile] fanfic100 prompt Family. PG-13.
"It's like he doesn't know what affection is, no strings attached and no reason for it other than a friend caring."

Aiden can smell the gunpowder. It's not surprising, she's down on the range, it'd be weird if she didn't smell it. But it's a little sharper than she was expecting--someone's been practicing.

Danny, apparently. And he's been down here awhile judging by stack of used targets he's got next to him.

She waits patiently for him to finish emptying his gun this time. "So, that eval went well, huh," she says, prodding carefully. Danny's a hard one to handle, you gotta get just the right balance of being careful of his sore spots and whacking the beehive to get his attention.

"Eval went fine, don't you worry about that," he says, starting to reload.

"Hey, hold up with that," Aiden says, putting a hand on his. GSR transfer, the back of her brain that never stops observing notes clinically. "Pretty sure you've made your point on the nasty, mean, old targets."

Danny just looks at her. Snorts. "'We'll see,'" he says, sounding like he's repeating someone else. Aiden's getting the feeling he's only about half in the room with her.

"Danny," she says sharply. "Yo, Danny, anyone in there?"

"Nobody but us birds," he says, darkly amused. "Hey, I got a question, maybe you can answer it for me. Do we got disappearing bullets now?"

"What?" Aiden asks. This is outta left field and she's starting to get pissed. Not just with Danny but with Mac because god fucking damn, can the bossman not see how badly he's fucked up handling Danny lately? This is all part of Danny's massive issues, she can tell that, it's got that certain flavour to it. And god knows, Aiden's not perfect; Danny-handling is a delicate art and no one knocks out a masterpiece every time, but damn.

Danny shrugs. "Yeah, well, Mac says I shot wild. These targets," he shakes them, "say I didn't. I shot half these with my eyes fucking closed and I got good groupings. So where the fuck did my second bullet go?"

Aiden blinks. Well, figures that this all comes back to that damn shooting. Everything does lately. "I dunno, Danny. I looked, I really did," she says.

"Yeah, yeah I know you did. I ain't saying it's your fault. Just sayin', what the fuck. I nail him in the shoulder and then my second shot goes wild? And I ain't been to the range 'til now, haven't practiced in weeks, and I get targets like these."

Aiden's gotta admit it is pretty fucked up. Before the shooting, she knows Danny came down to the range once a week, because he wanted to stay sharp, wanted to be the top of his class, wanted to be a good cop for Mac. He's got scary good aim, and for all that he's a firecracker, under pressure he's cold as ice. Sometimes she thinks he lets everything bubble up on the surface where everyone can see because he hates the idea of turning icy like that all the time.

"So, yeah," Danny says. "That's why I'm wondering if we got disappearing bullets. Poof!" he gestures. "Disappears mid-air. Makes as much sense as anything else. I fucking followed my training, y'know? I did. And... I know, the recording says the cop identified himself but I swear I didn't hear him."

Aiden lays a hand back on his arm. "Danny, I know. Believe me I get it. Eyewitness testimony is our last resort, you know that, because even trained people miss things."

Danny wrenches his arm out of her grasp. "Yeah, but you know what gets me? What really fucking hits me in the gut? For all that I fucked up, and all right, I did, shouldn't have gone to IAB, though, you know, it felt like I was already hung, and when Mac gave me that lawyer's card it felt like he was saying 'we know you did it, but we're going to get you the best lawyer to get you off' instead of 'I'm actually behind you, I got your back Danny'. But for alla that? What hits me in the heart is that my eyewitness testimony meant shit and Mac's is gold."

Aiden's eyes widen as she starts to get the picture. No fucking wonder Danny's been down here shredding targets. "Danny..."

"Look, I know, different cases. Mine, we had an undercover cop dead and a shootout that I was in, in Mac's no such. It still stings like hell. And he still don't fucking trust me. Makes me wonder if he ever did," Danny says, and finishes reloading his gun. He puts up a new target, sends it to the back with a whirr, and slides on his ear protection. He empties the clip into the new one as neat a set of groupings as you could ask.

Maybe she could get Stella to help her track Mac down and deliver a beating or two. Jesusfuck. And she'd thought Danny was screwed up before.

When his gun falls silent, he holsters his gun, and looks down at the stack of targets. Crumples a couple into a ball and throws it hard. For a moment, Aiden thinks he gonna punch the wall or something stupid and she's pretty sure his wrist is still killing him from that baseball case--she's seen him sneaking painkiller with his coffee.

He doesn't, though. He just sort... goes still. Not calm, he hasn't been calm, or remotely approaching it, in weeks, but still. There's a lot of despair and a lot of anger and she watches it flash across his face and then just go away. Like he shoved it in a box, or it just... disappeared mid-air.

"Gonna go hit the gym," he says quietly. "Do some conditioning. Maybe some yoga," he laughs. "That whole zen shit. Clear my head 'fore I go home."

Aiden watches him for a moment, and decides her shooting practice can wait 'til tomorrow. She catches up to him and hugs him hard.

Danny turns around startled. "What's that for?" he asks, genuinely bewildered. It's like he doesn't know what affection is, no strings attached and no reason for it other than a friend caring. Aiden shakes her head. No wonder he and Mac have issues.

"It's cos I like you, you dummy," she smacks him on the head, "and you looked like you needed a hug."

Danny awkwardly returns the hug, and Aiden wants to laugh but doesn't dare. She cocks her head. "Hey, asshole, you want to grope the goods like that, you gotta pay full-price," and does laugh when he lets go muttering something about not offering up a free sample if she feels that way. She bumps his shoulder with hers, glad to see the Danny she knows and loves showing his face again.

It's not fixed, not by any means, but maybe there's hope for them. Maybe there's hope for them all.
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