Danny walked into his apartment and found someone waiting on him. "How in the hell did you get in?"
"You don't lock the door very well?" Don suggested with a smirk. "Mac said, and I quote, Danny is not to be left alone. Even if you have to sleep with him, he's not to be left alone where he can go after Sonny again. So get your ass in here before I have to handcuff you to me tonight. Not that I'm not cuddly or anything but I doubt you'd like it."
Danny shut the door, looking at him. "I'm not exactly a cuddlesome sort, Don." He hung up his jacket and headed into his bedroom to change. "Get dinner yet?"
"No. What do you want since your fridge is bare?"
"I don't care. Not Chinese."
"Deli, pizza, yak?" he called back, sitting on the couch in the good tv watching area. Danny only kept the front part of the apartment for show.
"I've had yak, it was tough and chewy," he complained as he walked in wearing sweats and a t-shirt. "Don't really wanna do it again." He flopped down, looking at him. "When did Mac give this order and did Gibbs end up going home or not?"
"He headed back to DC to coordinate the arrest. Tony and Kelly are back there with him. Speed's already called to say they're gone, he's on tonight, and it only took Eric ten minutes to hit on her." Danny smirked at that. "I told him what Mac had said. He said you may be able to pick locks if you had your wand so you don't have it at the moment." He held up the wand he had summoned with a bright grin. "I'm not allowed to give it back until you go to work tomorrow, even if Speed and Gibbs show up."
"Give me," he said, trying to snatch it, but Don wasn't there. "Oh, fuck, please don't splinch yourself," he moaned, getting up to find him. He was in the kitchen, looking at himself. "At least you didn't leave part of yourself back there. Give me my damn wand." He snatched it and ran a check over Don. "Fine. You're good. Now, the charm is apparatum. Do it now, picture yourself back in there." Don beamed and did it, making the little pop follow the cuteness of his happy grin. Danny moaned and swished his wand. "Now, we do target practice. Hop from there to the doorway, inside the open doorway." Don nodded and did that, landing just where he wanted. "Good boy. Now, back to the kitchen, facing the fridge." Don did that. Danny disappeared, heading to a wizarding bar he knew. Let's see how well Don had learned how to track. He nodded at the bartender. "I still got credit, right?"
"You do, Messer. What's up?"
"Students are driving me nuts," he complained, sitting down at the bar. "Flack just figured out how to apparate. I snuck off." He pulled the old phone over, calling Mac. "I don't need a sitter, I'm having a beer." Then he hung up and took his beer to sip, smiling at the bartender. "I'm not here."
"That's fine. You sure?" he asked, giving a pointed look over his shoulder.
Danny looked then snorted and nodded. "Especially not for him or his boss." He took another drink, hearing the popping noise of someone coming in.
"Felix," Speed said smoothly, then someone yelped in pain. "What are you doing back in New York? Last I knew there was a federal warrant out for your arrest, my man." He glared at him. "Since I'm a cop, Tony's a Fed now, and Danny's a cop?" The man got up and ran out. "Good." He slapped Danny on the back of the head. "You worried Flack. That's not nice. He's trying to be good and behave." He watched Danny grin sweetly and take another drink. "He'll be back some other time." He took Danny's wand and pulled out his handcuffs, cuffing Danny's hands behind his back. Then he turned the handcuffs into portkeys, waving as he took off. Danny would be in a bit of pain in his wrists and he'd definitely land on his butt on the floor when he arrived. "Bastard." He finished his beer for him, then headed back to Danny's place. Flack had him laying on his side on the couch with the tv on. "Nice job."
"Thanks. Where was he?"
"An old wizarding bar he used to frequent. The last time we all went was our post- graduation party and we paid about five hundred bucks and only drank three. Oh, wizards and tequila are bad. Repeat that. The last time we had tequila, Tony ended up in Africa with a native tribe somehow. I ended up in Miami on the beach, being drowned if I remember right. Danny....it took us about three weeks to find Danny. He was on a beach in Mexico soaking up some girl's twat and humming about how natural tequila was so much better." Don laughed at that. "There is something about the magic that means tequila is always a very bad idea. By the way, the tracking charm," he said, handing over Danny's wand and moving Don off to the side to teach it to him. "Cast it and the last syllable is the apparating charm. Got it?" Don nodded. "Good. Practice your apparation. Most of us popped around the house for weeks. I popped into the bathroom and scared the crap out of my mother while she was in the shower once."
"I got my sister," Danny said pitifully. "Can't I please be unhandcuffed?"
"Switch out, I'm still on tonight." Don nodded and went to switch them out, flipping Danny onto his stomach and kneeling just over his kidneys to produce just enough pain to make sure he wouldn't struggle during it. Then he got his handcuffs on him and tossed Speed his. "Thank you. Call again if you need more help. I'm off at ten." He waved and disappeared.
"Can I at least be cuffed in a way that means I can sit up?"
"Nope. You were bad and you ran. No way in hell I'm facing Mac down and telling him I lost you twice." He swatted him on the head. "Behave." He sat down beside him and flipped through the stations. "Why don't they televise quidditch matches?"
"Because most traditional wizarding households only have radios. It's on the WWN all the time. Besides, if we did that, muggles would find out. All we've got is our own home shopping channel."
"We do. Turn the crystal on top of the tv until it's blue. Then change the tv to channel 36." Don got up to do that, changing the channel, flipping down to make sure nothing else came in. One radio station was playing something but he grimaced and moved on. "Weird Sisters. All the rage in Britain."
"Not my sort of music." He found the home shopping channel, finding it on the potions ingredients hour. "You think Greg watches this?"
"No, he's got to go out and check everything by hand," Danny complained, wiggling until he could sit up. "What're you gonna do when I I have to use the john?"
"Either I'll handcuff you to me or if you give me too much shit, I'll make you sit down. Not like I'm holding it for you, Messer."
Don grinned at him. "Me?" he asked sweetly. "Run into Sonny?"
"His third-in-command was in the bar. He came up to me then Speed made him take a run before I could hit him."
"Pity, but Mac said...."
"Bite me," he complained.
"Danny, it'll taint the case," Don said firmly. "Sonny will soon be taking it up the ass in prison every day for the rest of his life. Leave it there for now, okay?"
"Fine. You tell Gibbs anything?"
"Enough. He thought Tony might've went to face Sonny down to get you back."
"He and Speed ambushed them. Set up a totally fake trap and got everyone in a body bind, then called the cops as they carried me off. Still bound but off. Sonny *hates* Speed, but thinks Tony should understand where he's coming from."
"I doubt Tony's father is a Godfather."
"No, but he's a business guy and Sonny insists he is too. To him, I'm profitable."
"My Ma went through the same thing with the local gossip hogs about my career but nothing else like that. If you want, you can borrow her."
"No thanks. She still nagging you?"
"Yup. Supposedly this means she can have grandbabies sooner since I'm around some very nice witches. Expands my dating pool."
"Yeah," Danny snorted. "Talk Stella into coming home with you. Or maybe Luna. It'd stop that."
"Luna might have her eaten and I like my mother, Danny!" he complained.
"She wouldn't have her eaten but she'd never beg for grandkids again."
"Maybe not but I don't want her traumatized that much. I do love my mother, most of the time." They shared a look. "So, why aren't you living it up at the old home place?"
"Can't stand it. It's ugly and nasty."
"Yeah, but it sold well." He tried to shrug and wince. "Can't you just handcuff me to something?"
"Fine." He got one cuff undone and handcuffed himself to Danny. "There, better?"
"Some. Does this mean I'm using you as a pillow tonight? And why are we watching them go on and on about the uses of newt's eyes when they're full of crap? You can't use it as a substitute for that!"
"Potions isn't like cooking. There's no easy substitutions. Maybe someone like Greggy or Snape can, but I can follow the recipes. I don't make substitutions because it can explode or do other funny stuff to you. I don't need to turn into a green sludge monster this week."
"Has that happened before?"
"You or them?"
"Oh, come on, I need *something* embarrassing to make sure they treat my buddy right."
Danny looked at him. "No comment and drop it."
"Fine," he said, starting to pout.
"That look only works on girls and I only top, even when I tried guys."
"I don't pout."
"You do pout, I can hang shit off your lower lip. No puppy eyes either." He looked at the tv again, taking the remote and flipping the station before using it to knock the crystal off the top of the tv. "There, better." He settled in to watch it. His free hand was playing with his stomach, teasing the little hairs there as he watched the current episode of Angel. "Ya know, vampires aren't that nice and they usually don't dress that well," he said finally.
"You mean they don't use hair gel and brood?"
"Nope. Not that I've seen."
"Do they date blonde chicks, lust after cheerleaders, and little whiny boys like Xander? Plus, do you think Alex knows about this? He's gotta be shitting himself laughing at them."
"Not that I've noticed. I haven't seen one in a few years though." He looked at him. "Ask Sheldon, he's seen one since I have."
"Well, they do die."
"Point." He considered that for a moment. "So, ME's know all about this shit, all the cool stuff and the wands and the vampires and all that stuff?"
"They have to deal with it. I guess they take a special class when they become an ME. Or maybe they pull each other aside and whisper it in the locker room. Who knows, but a lot of ME's implant wood. Sheldon did, he said so. He also pointed out he's seen a few wands in his day thanks to personal effects."
"I hadn't thought about that." He let it drop there, he'd think about it some night when he couldn't sleep. "So, can I get any sort of blackmail out of you on Speed and Tony?"
Danny just smirked at him. "Don, they were there when my familiar had kittens and kept me from panicking. They were there for me after my first time with sex, and Speed was in the next inch of bed if I want to get technical about it. Tony was against the wall but he's always liked it a bit rough with the cuter girls. They know shit on me and I know enough shit on them that we can take polyjuice and convincingly play each other, to the last moment of our lives. I know shit on them that would make them freak if they knew I thought about it. I know a few things they thought they could hide. Unfortunately for you, I'm not going to tell you any of it. I don't trash that relationship."
"Speed said you had a teddybear," he taunted.
"First, my grandmother sent it. Second, not like I slept with it. I used to use it to hold pens and other contraband."
"Pens were contraband? You guys used quills?"
"Until my fourth year, yeah. Then I figured out how to write it with a real pen and have the quill copy it. Or I used a fountain pen. Not the point. I'm not trashing my relationship with them to give you blackmail to give to Gibbs or Mac, who'd pass it onto Horatio. No way in hell. Little things like how I made one of Tony's zits talk one night and we took pictures. Nothing else."
"Oh. Okay." He pouted a bit more. "Anything cutesy? Like making them pay bets by wearing girls' clothes?"
"We turned Speed into a girl once but you already heard that."
"Nothing else cutesy that can make Tony and Speed blush? They told me shit on you."
Danny grabbed the phone and dialed Speed. "Who told him about the contraband hiding spots?" he demanded. He got a laugh and hung up on so he called Tony. "Did you two really want me to spill stuff to Don?" He listened to the more reasonable voice of teasing. "Yeah, sure, make me mention Maria?" Tony quit chuckling. "Or what's-her-name in Mexico?" He smirked. "Now, you guys told him what?" They got a rundown. "Oh, I'm so telling him about Cynthia then." He hung up and glared at him. "Tony once nearly ended up kissing someone with lepersy. Admittedly Speed tricked him into it, and we were heavily drunk, but he was so shitfaced he couldn't see anything. I ended up saving him at that time by screaming like a little girl at some unknown rat-like thing. It made her run off so he was safe. Never take three drunken kids to the carnival on Coney Island. It gets bad." Don was still gaping. "Oh, and we did get Tony into a dress, in male form."
Don giggled. "Why?"
"He was trying to woo this really pretty girl who said she'd only date someone in a skirt so he dressed up and went to hit on her again. He looked pretty good in drag. If I knew where the rest of my stuff from school was, I probably still have the picture. As long as it wasn't destroyed. Can I have my wand back?" It was handed over and Danny grinned, standing up and taking Don with him to the old home place. He looked up, hearing people moving. "You had better be the cleaning crew I hired!" he bellowed. "NYPD otherwise!" Someone came to the top of the staircase and looked at him. "You are?"
"Your father hired us to come pack some of his personal effects, sir."
"Yay. Nothing of mine goes. I don't care what they ordered and I check everything." That got a quick nod and he disappeared. Danny looked at the cuffs, then at Don. "I'll be good." Don pulled out the keys and released him, putting the handcuffs in his pocket. "Let's see." He said a quick tracking charm, finding his stuff. It still resonated of his and Speed's touch since Speed had helped him pack it. He headed for his old room, seeing it cold and empty. "Did you guys pack this one?"
"No, sir, it was like that. The shielding charm is on the closet and the attic."
"Thank you." He broke the charm in there and looked at the boxes. "Yes!" He got down to look inside, smiling at what there was. "My former crap."
"Alex taught me how to make portkeys for things," Don offered, moving forward to do that for the whole stack of boxes, sending them to Danny's place. They scoured the rest of the house, Danny taking a few other things, then they headed into the attic. Up there he found some more stuff he wanted and sent it home as well. They came back down and Danny checked all the suitcases. "Danny, what about the information on what your father used ta do?"
"That'd either be in the stuff he had hidden in my room or his office but the shield on it's set to his blood."
"Then we can break that with yours," Don assured him, leading him down that way. He looked at the guys. "Were you supposed to be in there?"
"No, sir. The Vinese said to leave that room alone and anything else pertaining to it was to be sent to you to either cover up if it included magic, or to be destroyed."
"I'm a cop, I don't destroy evidence," Danny assured him. "You can tell her I said that. Cover up magic yes, destroying evidence no." He let Don take his hand and prick his finger, watching as the shield warped around his finger. Don spread his blood around in a pattern and it pulled back totally from the door. He checked and broke the other shield, then they went inside, leaving the door open. "Will it come back?"
"Yeah. It might even self-destruct if we don't get shit outta here." He looked around, sucking on his top lip for a moment. "Call Mac?"
"I doubt he wants to deal with this."
"It's his night off."
"So?" He shrugged. "Find anything dealing with yourself, Danny, I'll call Mac and see what he wants ta do." Danny nodded and went to scour the office for anything on himself while Don leaned against the wall to call. "Don't forget the computer," he ordered as the line connected. "No, he's staying out of trouble. We came to his old place to pick up anything he had stored here and broke into his father's office since someone was packing up their stuff. Yeah, well, I'm not sure it won't be destroyed, Mac. The shields were pretty fierce and blood related. I had to break one and warp the other. Sure, know where it is?" He looked at Danny. "We're near Battery Park?"
"Nope. We're at home. Battery Park was his mistress. When she died, he took over her place for work things. Last I heard it had burned last year."
"Okay." He listened and nodded. "Yeah, that's probably the home address." He tossed the phone to Danny then went to look in all the filing cabinets. He found a few with Danny's name on them and glanced at them, then tossed them at him. "I don't want to know that stuff, Messer."
"I was forced to be there and I didn't partake. Thank you." He looked in there and snorted. "Totally made up shit." He read farther. "I was two when this one happened, Don. This isn't me. It must've been one of his guys." He put it back.
"Here's one with your birth certificate. So that's when your birthday is," he said dryly looking at him. "And your complete file from your teenage years. Including grades." Danny snatched that to look through, smiling at something. "What?"
"The only time I ever got rewarded. I passed Defense as tops in my year. Usually that was Tony." He put it in front of him and got to work on the computer. His password was right next to it. Someone pounded on the door. "Who is it?" he yelled, leaning out of the office but not leaving just in case.
"Me!" Timmy yelled.
"S'open." He walked in. "I came to get some of my school stuff and found them packing my parent's shit. We're cleaning out his office."
"You could be risking....."
"That's why we called Mac," Don interrupted. "Quit throwing a hissy."
"Fine. Anything that's overtly noting magic?"
"Nope." He went back to his search, then back to the doorway. "What?"
"He said if we ran into you to please ask you politely for the three pictures on his desk," he said respectfully. "Plus the big one in the dining room."
"Timmy, check that one for contraband, I'll do the ones in here." He checked all the pictures on the desk, finding some had money, some had diskettes, and one had something he wasn't sure he wanted to know about. But the pictures were handed over to him, getting a nod. "Anything else?"
"He did say not to inhale the powder, sir."
"Point taken. Thank you."
"No, sir, thank you." He left with the stuff, heading back to the Vinese's house so she could check it as well.
Danny got back to work cleaning any signs of magic out of the office. Mac and Stella got there a bit later with another officer. Danny looked at him and he pulled his wand. "Cool. My father's office. Don thinks it'll burn if and when I leave."
"We searched the other place but I can't break the hidden spot charm there."
"Get me on my day off," Don agreed from his corner reading Danny's life file. Danny came over and took it back. "Hey, Stella, did you know when his birthday was?" He snatched it back with a triumphant smirk.
"No, he never told me." She came over to sit down next to him and look through it, then at him. "Got stuck?"
"Like I wanted ta be there," he said, taking it from her. He sat down on top of the file this time, glaring at them. "You've got evidence of multiple crimes all around the office, guys. Oh, Mac, don't inhale the powder. It's probably poisonous."
"Fine." He put on some gloves and bagged that first, then got to work confiscating everything they could. This was going to be very helpful to someone and gathering this wouldn't take that much time.
Mac faced down Timmy two days later, just staring at him for a moment before he put a file in front of him. "Do I have to tell you where that came from?"
"He knew about us, Mac. He paid well and we're paid shit."
"So? You're still a cop and working for Messer Sr. isn't what I'd say was on the approved second job list." He leaned forward. "Tim, we've got to hand this over too. I don't hide evidence."
"You let Messer have his file!"
"Danny's file had things like his birth certificate and his grades. Don got it first. Danny made sure he got it first and Don doesn't cover stuff up for anyone either." He stood up. "You've got about two choices at the moment, Tim, and neither one is very good. With a couple of exceptions it said you were doing subcontracting work for him. Those few exceptions are what's going to bite you on the ass. One says that you fixed a case for him."
"The was no evidence anyway."
"Then I want you to call your boss and meet him somewhere. Maybe they can help you. Maybe not. The OCB detective went through this first...." He saw him relax. "He's already put a call out to IAB, Tim. Yours wasn't the only one we found. Yours was probably the only wizarding cop we found, but still."
"You'd do this to my career?"
"If I found things like this on Danny I'd be kicking him then firing him," he noted. Timmy swore and stomped out. "If you talk to your boss and he agrees, then that's up to you, but I'm not hiding it," he called quietly. He got flipped off. "I'm sorry, but you knew the risks." He sat down again, looking at the file. Then at Danny's file. There was a sheet missing. His father had numbered them on the back. He called Danny in, watching as he shut the door. "There's a sheet missing in your file."
"Yeah, there is." He pulled it out of his jacket pocket and handed it over. "The stuff I witnessed. Notice I said witnessed, not participated in." Mac nodded, looking up at him. "The rest of the file said Sonny was to do what he hadn't been able to do, to mold me into his spitting image. That was Sonny's training regimen." He licked his lips. "I was juvie at the time, I didn't do anything during it but be forced to watch, a lot of the times by force. If you want me to I'll explain that to whoever."
"Danny, this is uncomfortable for both of us."
"No, ya think?" he asked sarcastically. He calmed himself. "I didn't do anything wrong and I had ta be saved from Sonny, Mac. Not like I wanted to be there, I just couldn't get free when I wasn't in school. He even tried to keep me out of the school once but Tony's dad got me there when he called to see why his son was moping about me going to another academy. So it's your call."
"They'll realize the page is gone, Danny."
"You've got it. I remember what I saw." He turned and walked out, going to find the IAB guy coming in. Well, female in this case. He nodded. "My father and them fled the country," he told her. She smiled at that. "He left me in charge of his shit at the house. So I raided the office."
"Is there a file with your name on it?"
"There is. There's also mention of how he wanted someone to mold me in his image so he got me into a street gang as a mascot and they made me watch shit. By force. Mac's having one of those flinching when he sees me moments."
"I see." She walked out, following him back to the office. "He came to me about the file his father kept on his training?" she said delicately. Mac groaned. "Please. Before I have to get mean." It was handed over. "Those notes are in there?" Danny picked them up off the desk and handed them to her. "No wonder." She looked it over. "It said you were forced to watch. He kept notes on this?"
"He kept notes on what his people did to track stuff," Danny admitted. "That's what most of the boxes are. I got saved because two of my friends faced down Sonny." She looked at him. "Up to you, lady."
"Well. You were how old when you got saved?"
"I see." She sat down in one of the desk chairs, looking over the list again. "It says you participated in a heist?"
"No, I was in the van tied up. That was Sonny's version of participating for me. The only incident they drug me in during was this one," he said, pointing at one. "Then I was forced to cooperate or they were going to hurt me and my sister. One of the guys was dating her so she was waiting at his house."
She nodded, making notes of that. She looked at him. "It doesn't look the best but you're being honest and the notes back you up. We'll see what the others say." Mac coughed and handed her a file. "Who's this?"
"A union rep to a smaller, speciality union," he offered quietly. "I advised him personally to call his boss about this since it looked like he hadn't done very much for him and I'm part of that union, as is Danny."
"All right. Where is he?" She looked. "Oh, Tim." She nodded and stood up. "He always took a lot of joy coming down to deal with Hillborne over one of you guys." She looked at Danny, then at Mac. "I'll see what I can do since it doesn't say he helped, he was a juvenile, and he's cooperating this way. Danny, stay in the city?"
"I've got plans to visit a friend in DC later this weekend. Just an overnight thing. I can be reached and found. He's a Fed."
"That might not look very good on him."
"He's one of the guys who saved me."
"Oh. Then he knew?" Danny nodded. "All right. Let me look over this information. I should have something figured out by this weekend." She walked off, files clutched to her chest.
Danny leaned out. "I need the rest of mine back please. It's got my birth certificate and stuff."
"If I can, Detective."
"Thank you." He looked at Mac again. "I didn't expect you to cover for me, Mac. I don't expect it outta anyone in this department." He walked off, going back to work. He still had cases to work on.
Mac put his head down with a moan of complaint. This day couldn't get much worse really.
Stella found Danny later that night in the lab, tapping on the wall before she walked in. "Danny?" she asked quietly when he stiffened. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be fine?"
"You're missing your buddies?" She walked in and gave him a gentle hug but he shrugged her off. "I know it's hard," she said gently. "The lady from IAB was saying that your file lists you as being forced. Hillborne snorted but read it over very carefully. Then he stomped off looking pissed. He and Mac are talking." Danny looked at her. "You can go lurk."
"I can cast an eavesdropping spell too. Right now, I don't care." He shrugged and got back to work. "I need to clear this one no matter what, Stell. Thanks."
"Can I help?"
"They might say I tainted you, Stella."
"I doubt anyone could even think that," she said more firmly, moving to the table to help him look at the evidence. "Are you sure it's a homicide?"
"Yeah, slug to the brain," he said, shoving over a picture. "Twenty-two. It's kibble so we can't get a ballistics match. Bullet composition said it was hand-packed but that doesn't help us much until we figure out who did it." He went back to studying lab reports. "Apparently he was into teas for his health. He's got a few of them in his system. Sheldon said they couldn't produce anything harmful." He handed that one over. "Also, he had sex before he died but for some reason it doesn't seem right that she did it. The neighbors who heard the shot said they saw a guy running and it's definitely vaginal contributions that they found on him. Along with the condom." He looked at her. "The neighbors said he wasn't dating anyone that they knew. He was a bar pickeruper. So it could be jealous boyfriend or husband, maybe even brother protecting a reputation, but that doesn't feel right either."
"Gut instinct is good but we've got to back it up with evidence," Mac said from the doorway. "Anything solid?"
"The bullet was kibble but hand-packed. There's so few of those in the city, ya know?" He gave him a look. "He drank tea, he picked up in the bars. Nothing at the moment."
"That's fine. Go home and rest, then come back and start again, Danny. Hillborne said he wants to talk to you tomorrow so you'll have to be here in the labs, but you're not suspended." He walked inside. "Practice?"
"Is at eight."
"Fine." He clapped him on the back, looking over the pictures. "Was the bullet post- mortem?"
"No, COD," Danny admitted. "The choking and that stuff happened as he died. So they tapped him in the back of the head and it wasn't good enough, so they tried again."
Mac nodded. "Not the first time. What did the bruises tell you about the hand?"
"Overlapping," he said, mimicking it. "Smaller hands. Again, I'm thinking woman, probably the one he had sex with, but the people saw a man running."
"Could it have been a big woman?"
"Mac, he was naked, it was a guy."
"Oh. Never mind." He looked at the lube composition. "That's not natural." Danny looked. "That's a preservative, right?"
"Yeah, consistent with KY. I already checked that."
"No, I know what he's thinking, I'm going psychic again," she teased at Danny's odd look. "There's a new lube out that's part female vaginal fluid. It's for the trannies who aren't open about it but are letting their men think they're female."
"It's a specialty item down in the Village. I remember hearing about a rape case that had a sample of it last year."
"Would the store be open this late?"
"Yeah, probably, but I don't remember which store it was. Let me call my source over in SVU and see if they remember, I'll pop by in the morning to get some since I live off that way. That way it won't piss Internal Affairs off any more than necessary by you not being in here." She pinched him on the cheek and smiled. "Okay?" He nodded. "Good. Don's staying at your place again tonight. That way you can't do something more stupid."
"I didn't do anything stupid."
"You went out for a drink and ran into one of Sonny's guys, Danny, yes you did," she assured him.
"Speed warned me," she offered with a small shrug. "He was only gone for about ten minutes." She pinched him again. "I'm getting apparation lessons this weekend, Danny." She walked off, going to change and go home.
Danny looked at him. "Are you doing them for her?"
"I can. How did Don learn it?"
"Accidentally before I got him last night. I slipped off while he was practicing. I only went to a wizard's bar for a beer."
"Fine. Don't do it tonight. I want you in the house, with someone who can verify you were there and not out destroying Sonny or any evidence. Oh, Sonny got arrested today on his fifty outstanding speeding tickets?" Danny just gave him the most smug look. "Good job on the misfortune hex," he said quietly. He left, heading back to his office to call Don and make sure he could handle another night with Danny.
Don opened the door, looking at the stacks of boxes. "You know, we could go through them tonight," he offered as he walked in. No answer. "Danny?" He headed for where he usually sat, in the corner in the library. That's where he found him, looking through a photo album. He walked around to look at it over his shoulder. "You were so young," he offered quietly. Danny started and glared at him, closing it. "You want help cleaning up the boxes?" Danny shrugged. "Can I see?"
"You were a cute kid."
"I'm cuter now. Drop it, Don."
Don made Danny look at him. "We're buddies and I just wanna see if I can spot the scrapes and bruises. Besides, I like watching wizarding photos move." He gave him a gentle smile. "You can see my baby pictures if I can steal 'em from Ma if you want. I don't mind."
"Fine. Be protective of your past. Not like I don't know some of it. It hasn't mattered to me yet, Danny." He sat down on the arm of his chair, tapping the album. "What years was that?"
"Baby through sixth grade, right before I started the academy."
"Did you get to go to a normal school?"
"Catholic. So a lot of pictures of me in ugly uniforms." He handed it over. "Fine. You're not getting into the later ones."
"Okay." He switched places with him, looking at the younger Danny, the one who grinned that silly, slightly insane grin in almost every picture. "Baseball?"
"I played it at the catholic school," he admitted quietly. "I went back to it after I fell and killed my wrist that way. I pitched with my other hand."
"I noticed that it was your off hand for batting." He flipped the page, smiling at the scruffy little guy with the fish in his hand. "Where was that?"
"Lake Tahoe. A business trip I got to go on." He pointed in the background. "That was Tony's dad's cabin. I saw another kid on the beach that day but I could never be sure if it was him or not since he was a blond at the time." He flipped forward a few pages. "That's one of my favorites. That's my Ma and my sister."
Don smiled at the happy girls hugging Danny and his bike with a bow on it. "First real bike?" Danny nodded. He tapped the sister's face. "I've seen her somewhere."
"You have. She managed to marry an absolute shitbag but he wasn't in the life. So I see her now and then for lunch. She nagged me for years about taking my wand back up. She thought I could stand against my dad and Sonny both with it. I'm a badass, but not that bad." His cell rang and he answered it. "Yeah?" He listened, frowning a bit. "I don't know, Stan. Would it help? If not, go ahead and use me for cover. Sure." He grinned. "Tony's got a few if you need one." He smirked. "Not a problem, Stan. Be safe." He hung up. "He's getting hit on and Tony's not playing the proper boyfriend role."
"You're probably a very attentive and spoiling boyfriend," Don teased, going back to the book. He found one last picture, and it was an older Danny. He was stretched out on a couch reading then looked up at him. "When was this one?"
"I don't know." He looked at the book. "That was the junior year Creatures' book. Could've been anytime that year or the next two." He handed it back. "It was probably taken by Ma. She used to sneak around and catch me reading and stuff. The only one she didn't take was when she found me in my room with a girl." He shrugged and stood up. "I should unpack and move the other boxes. At the very least I've got books and clothes in there. Maybe something'll fit me." They went out to heft the boxes into the proper rooms to go through them. Someone had marked what was inside them. They each took a box and sat beside it to sort through it on the floor.
Don came up with an envelope and looked inside. "Whoa." He held up the cash. "It says emergency fund?"
"Yeah, my running away to live with Tony or Speed fund. I thought I took that with me when I went to college." He shrugged it off.
Don did a quick count. "Danny, there's fifty large in here," he said, handing it over. "I doubt that was *your* emergency fund." He dug further into the box. "Cute plaid skirt too," he offered, holding up the plaid miniskirt.
"That's my sister's crap," he said, taking it and putting it back into the box. Then he called his sister. "I cleaned the stored stuff in my room out of the old place and came across some of your stuff. You want it? Oh, I don't know, your emergency fund maybe?" He listened, frowning. "What do mean it's mine? It was in a box with a skirt." He groaned and held his head. "What did he take from me?" he asked quietly, sounding impatient, but oh well! He listened and nodded. "Who was she?" He took the phone into the library and found his yearbook, finding her picture. "Who was she?" He went stiff. "That mother fucker," he muttered. "Thank you, dear." He hung up and called the number he had been given in Venice. "May I please speak with the Vinese?" he asked politely. "I am calm!" he snapped. "My fucking father removed memories from my head!" He calmed himself again. "Vinese, this is Daniel Messer. Yes, there's a small issue. When I was cleaning my stored possessions out of their house, I came across things that pointed to him having removed memories from my head. Oh, I don't know, women's clothes, fifty thousand dollars, a few pictures. My sister said he did. Thank you." He hung up and turned, hitting the wall.
"Who was she?" Don asked from the doorway, handing over a picture. "I can call Greg to see if he knows how to break memory charms."
"It won't do any good. He removed the memories. They're in a pensieve somewhere else." He looked at him. "Apparently I had a girlfriend right before I graduated. We were serious, she got knocked up. I have no idea where she is. That's what my sister said." Don swallowed and nodded. "I've got her name but she's from a pureblood family as well. She could be anywhere."
"There's no way to search something like alumni rolls at the school?"
"I don't know if they keep them." He found the number for the school in the yearbook and dialed it, smiling when it went through. "I'm a graduate a few years back and I just found out I've been made to forget someone very important in my life, like my near-wife. Do we keep alumni rolls so I can see if I can find her?" He nodded a few times. "I understand. I can give you her name? Daphne Balliston?" He sat down. "Yes, this is he. No, I just found some of her stuff. Do you know anything?" He held his forehead, listening. "Did he get anyone else, like my buddies?" He nodded. "Thank you." He hung up and held the phone out. "Call your sister and ask her?" he pleaded. "He got Tony and Speed too."
Don walked in and took the phone, dialing her house. "I know it's late," he said at her snapping. "Sit." She said something smart. "Danny just found out about someone named Daphne Balliston?" She moaned. "You wanna give it to me or him?" he asked patiently. "So? You can come see me, and probably him, play quidditch next weekend on the PD team. Oh, you haven't spoken to Ma. They missed me on purpose, Ma said so." He grimaced. "Yeah, well, they still dit it." He nodded, going to find some paper and make notes. "Would anyone know what happened? His parents got their asses kicked by the Vinese." He listened to that explanation and nodded once. "Okay. What do I tell him? He's just now found out." He nodded. "Thanks." He hung up and looked back in the library. Then he called Speed. "It's me. No, not escaped. What do you remember about a Daphne Ballliston?" He winced at the shouting. "He cleaned out his assorted stored stuff at the old house." He nodded, looking over as Danny padded out and took the phone.
"Who was she to me? Dad admitted he got all of us and the school backed it up." He listened. "How do you know? Oh, they do? Wonderful." He listened to the story. "So how did she die, Speed?" He slumped and nodded. "No hope of it being a false report?" He nodded. "Thank you. Yeah, Don found some of her stuff and an envelope marked emergency fund." He smiled at that explanation. "Thank you." He hung up. "Fucking death eaters." He stomped back in there to go through the box.
Don calmed himself down and followed. "You okay?"
"Okay. You want a beer?"
"No. Not right now." He finished going through the box, finding a few pictures between some outfits. He looked at them, not even a tingle of familiarity. He looked at Don. "That was her." He handed it over. "That was my senior year." He got back to the box, putting the rest of it aside, re-sealed as well. Don handed him the cash once it was sealed. "Don...."
"It's money, Danny, and it's something that you can put away somewhere safer. Let me guess, that was your elopement and ring money?" Danny nodded. "I'm sorry."
"Me too. I don't remember her. At all. I remember her being there, but nothing about her."
"Maybe he didn't want you to suffer," Don offered quietly, patting him on the back. He sat beside him, handing the picture back. "Mourn and then move on. It was a long time ago, even though it's a new hurt. My sister said your father told the whole house why he was doing it and to not prompt the memories. That it was kinder since you were about to marry and you were suicidal according to him. She said Speed disagreed, but your mother made him see it her way." Danny sniffled and nodded, looking at the money. "Would she want you to suffer?"
"No, probably not. Not if it was love." He looked at him. "If I could remember her, I'd be so much happier."
"She said it was right after you fell, Danny, that it was too much for you to take." Danny nodded, looking down at his lap again. "If we could stop the bad things from happening, we would. At least no one else will ever be suffering at the hands of the Death Eaters." Danny nodded at that. "You want me to push the boxes out of the way so you can go ta bed?"
"No, I'll be okay. I need to go through this stuff." Don nodded at that, pulling his box over to help him work on it. "Think that's the only one of her stuff?"
"I don't know. We'll have to wait and see," he offered. "Only one way to find out." Danny nodded, digging back into his clothes and effects from college and high school.
Don stopped in Mac's office. "We opened the boxes of his stuff last night. So he's wearing clothes he used ta wear in college."
"Good. He could use a few new outfits." He looked at him. "Did he have a bad night?"
"Yeah, but not too terrible. He'll be fine." He straightened up. "We've still got practice tonight. Should I warn the coach about this stuff?"
"I've already called him and told him what's going on and who's on his ass, but that he's not in trouble so far. He's called the other team members, who agreed that he'd get looked at funny for his last name alone. Much less when he turned over information on his family. A woman named Magdaline called and said to watch out for him if he was going through his old stuff. Any idea why?"
"Memories of his past and the fall and stuff I guess," Don offered. It wasn't his place to tell Mac anything about Daphne. "He seems okay. A bit tired and snappy but okay."
Stella whistled. "Look at you, Danny. New clothes?"
"Stuff I had stored," he offered with a small smirk. "Since I'm in the lab I can do a bit nicer today." He held out his arms and turned around. "Like it? I wore it on my college interview."
"You look nice. Is that silk?" She fingered the blue shirt's sleeve. "Ooh, it is. Very nice. Pants?"
"Silk too," he offered smugly. "Gotta love it when you can still fit into your old clothes." He looked at Don. "What's up?"
"I asked if the coach knew about your interview problem later today. Mac said he told him and that Magdaline called and asked him to make sure you were okay. Most of the team had a 'well, duh' moment about this stuff."
"Makes sense ta me too," he admitted dryly. "I handed over the information; of course they want to talk to me. We still on for practice tonight?"
"Yup. Call if you're going to be late and I'll drive?" Danny nodded, accepting that. "Then I'm off to face down my boss, who wants me to be a typing slave." He walked off smiling and happier. Danny would be okay.
"Danny, are you all right?" Mac asked, coming out to join them.
"I'm fine, Mac. Just some bad memories and partial memories." He raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, of that sort. Apparently my ex died right after I fell thank to some idiots in robes and hoods. It got taken from me by my parents."
"I'm sure it was a thoughtful move on their part," he offered quietly. "You can talk to me if you want. You know that right?" Danny nodded. "Then my office is open. Stella, any luck on that lube?"
"Yup. I dropped a small sample pack off with the tech so they can compare it." She smiled at Danny. "He looks really good. I can't fit into some of my college stuff."
"Me either. I gained a last inch and a lot of muscle since then." He smiled at Danny. "You do look nice today."
"Thanks." He walked off, going to work on his case until someone came to get him. It's not like they wouldn't keep him waiting as long as they could. It was their feeble attempt at intimidation. He found his lab coat from yesterday in the same spot and put it on so he wouldn't get anything on his clothes. He looked good in this outfit.
Danny walked into practice an hour late, giving the coach a helpless look. "Hillborne is dumb," he noted quietly as he walked past him. His broom was handed over. "Thanks. Was it safe?"
"Very. You good?"
"Yeah. When I was younger my father got me into a gang and made me watch 'em to learn the family business. I got out and he didn't like it, hence me being disinherited. Since I turned over information they wanted to talk about that stuff for hours on end. I've been with him since lunch." He mounted up and flew up there, then swooped down and tossed his shirt onto the bleachers. Don tossed him his set of wrist guards. "Thanks."
"They finally done?"
"They said for today. Hey, coach, any word on Tim?"
"No, not yet. Why?"
"My dad hired him as a guard for something and they were hounding him too."
"I'll call to check, Messer. Just warm up and we'll go again." That got a nod and he moved off to call Timmy. "What the hell is going on?" he hissed. He got the full story and winced, then nodded. "Thank you. Are you safe? No, Mac doesn't let anyone off. Not even Messer. He's spent all afternoon with IA." He smiled and relaxed, nodding. "Thanks, man. Be safe. Let us know where you're moving." He hung up. "He's fine, Messer, but he's switching cities on advice of his boss." Messer nodded at that. "You warmed up?"
"Enough. I did my wrist stretches on the subway over." He shifted on his broom, flexing his fingers and taking the bat Don tossed him. "Thank you. Let's go!" The bludgers were released and he swooped down, taking his irritation with the PD out on them. They soaked it up just like they had when he had been frustrated before a test.
Don grinned at him. He knew Danny would be okay with some wearing out of his temper. "Hey, coach, uniforms?" he called.
"After we're done," he called back. "Get back to work, Flack!" They got to work, working together to save everyone else from the psychotic balls. He smirked, proud of his team. He saw Stella give Danny a few looks but that was fine. She'd baby him later.