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Like the wind...

Chapter Text

The otherwise dark and empty street thrummed with a disturbance tantamount to the violence and chaos that took place less than an hour ago. Spinning lights of blues and reds, headlights of yellows and whites, flashlights into the ground tracing smears of blood, taking pictures and collecting evidence. Continuous chatter on police radios and in between different personnel on scene. 

The ongoing aftermath gave the illusion that the main incident had never ended, which wasn't too far from the truth.

There, in the middle of it all, on the back step of one of the many ambulances, sat Dani. Her eyes were glazed over, looking at something so far away, something that might've very well been non-existent. For her, not only did the main incident not end, it was only just beginning.

Attached to the back of her hand was an IV line with saline to replenish her blood volume, and a heavy duty pain killer. A medic was stitching the through-and-through wound on her side.

Meanwhile, far back at the end of the street, behind the yellow tape line and the officers standing guard, Gil stepped out of his erratically parked car, badge in hand ready to cross the barricade.

His steps were the kind of hurried that alerted anyone in his way to clear a path.

The lieutenant's eyes picked the scene apart with the hard earned experience of his years on the force. A grizzly picture formed in his mind. He disregarded it in favor of searching for Dani. He spotted the side profile of her wild curls, legs dangling over the ground, slumped on her right as her left side was tended to. He made a direct cut towards her and schooled his features to erase all traces of the anguish tearing him apart.

"Powell," he called gently as he reached her. It took her more time to turn her gaze towards him than was normal. Her eyes were glassy, confused. It reminded him of the numerous times he witnessed Bright in a dissociative episode in the years Gil had spent with the kid.

She didn't reply, so he waited for the medic to finish taping the stitches. When he was done, the young man left with a nod; giving them a moment.

"Dani," Gil called again.

She didn't register his presence. He took the medic's place, grabbed the shock blanket hanging over one of her shoulders to wrap her in. He tried to draw her attention with a sympathetic tug to her arm.

Gil hadn't known Dani as long as he'd known Malcolm, but that didn't mean she didn't hold the same position in his heart as the kid. And just like Malcolm, she'd felt like she'd needed to put up walls and keep people at an arm's length to protect herself. It made her harder, and the moments when she allowed her vulnerability to show –even to the ones she trusted most– were so few and far between.

It was safe to say he was more than a little perplexed when she leaned all the way into him and hid her face in his chest. A few moments of being still as statues, she started crying silently. Her shuddering shoulders were his only cue.

"I'm sorry, Gil. I'm so sorry," she whispered in between hitching breaths.

"It's not your fault, Dani. You didn't know this would happen." Mindful of her injuries, Gil hugged her gently. "You could've died. It is not your fault. "

 


..earlier..

 

The case Dani was lent to Cyber Crimes Unit for, was busting the unit's collective ass. Creeping on a week, only today they made a huge break. She wanted to reward herself with a real treat. 

Call her soft, but the one thing that came to mind was Malcolm. She hadn't seen him in the past week except fleetingly in elevator rides in the precinct. 

Dani had a suspicion he timed himself with her punctual arrival just to catch her riding upstairs. They'd exchanged the shortest small talks in the history of small talks. These talks helped put a smile on her face at the beginning of the work day. And anytime she had a spare moment to think outside of the dreary case to recall his smile. 

His smile… God, she missed him.

She stretched her arms and cracked her spine then sagged in her comfy chair, which was by far the only good thing about being in CCU.

Dani grabbed her phone. It was almost 9 pm. Malcolm could still be in the precinct, finishing paperwork for the last case Major Crimes had solved yesterday. One way to find out, she texted him.

His reply was instantaneous. I'll meet you in the garage.

 


 

The garage was deserted except for a couple of cars other than her own. She found Malcolm leaning on the back bumper, hands in his pockets, looking at her approach.

His smile was such a sight for her sore eyes, and her lips stretched on their own accord, reciprocating. His arms opened, inviting her in.

She walked right into him and snaked her arms inside his suit, around his chest. Her hands soaked up his radiating warmth trapped between his soft shirt and jacket. She felt his muscles involuntarily shiver under her cold palms. No protest left his lips; he'd gotten used to the way she was by now, she made sure of it. Dani put a light kiss on the corner of his mouth then rested her head on his shoulder. She let the crook of his neck hug her cheek and basked in his warmth for a few moments longer than strictly acceptable for the precinct garage. 

His arms around her waist and his breath in her hair were heavenly, so screw the rules.


"You're exhausted," he whispered while nuzzling her hair.

Dani groaned. "Very much so."

"I missed you this week," he said with a chaste kiss to her temple.

"Was it only a week? Felt like a damned month," she grumbled heartily. A week without any down time with him was bound to be more stressful than it already was.

His response was a soft chuckle that tickled her skin and she couldn't help but join him. At least they had tonight and the rest of the weekend to spend together, since the biggest part of the case had been over and done earlier today.

"Let's rectify that with a month's worth of staying over, yeah?" He toyed with her hair and tugged a looping lock.

She swatted his hand away and pinched him in playful retaliation. "Let me think real hard about it," she reveled in his groan and inhaled a lungful of his warm scent. Foreplay has officially begun.

Dani wanted to speed through the streets and reach the loft to begin catching up on lost time. The journey had to begin at some point, so she regretfully pulled away from him and unlocked the car.

Hopefully there wouldn't be too much traffic to derail them.