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Once Upon a Time in Virginia

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His stomach lurching has nothing to do with the plane touching down.

Nothing to do with the six hour flight, or the turbulence that came with flying through several thunderstorms and low pressure systems. Nothing to do with the job waiting for him when he lands and everything to do with the one person Martin's tried, and failed, to forget.

He hasn't told Danny's he's coming. Hasn't spoken to Danny in well over six months, their calls and visits become less and less frequent until they eventually vanished all together.

Two years and Martin still can't let go.

Can't move on, despite trying to. Can't forget, despite wanting to.

In the end it took seeing Danny's picture in a Bureau publication, a small boy of four in Danny's arms and within two weeks Martin's transfer had gone through.

He knows he owes that to his father, but even that doesn't matter, because in the past two years he's seen Danny all of six times. Not nearly enough and even the phone calls and emails in between couldn't sustain him. Not when they ended, anyway.

He's dreading Danny's reaction. Dreading looking Danny in the eye and finding that Danny has moved on. That he has forgotten. That he has let go.

For all Martin knows he's married now, involved with someone that isn't Martin and this could be the worst decision Martin's ever made.

Two years, after all, is a long time apart.

It was easy at first, the first few weeks in Seattle slipping by faster than he could imagine. Before he knew it he was flying to New York, meeting Danny at the airport and together they drove up to Martin's Aunt's.

They each had three days leave at the time, the two of them checking into a hotel despite Bonnie's disappointment. Martin could tell she understood, though, smiling at them even as she protested and Martin still remembers every detail of those three days.

There were weekends after that. Sometimes a full week or the occasional conference they just happened to attend at the same time. In between they spoke over the phone, despite the time difference and sometimes that meant Danny staying up entirely too late just to be able to say goodnight.

He's kept all of Danny's emails. Filed them away in a folder called 'Taylor' and, more often than he'd like to admit, he opens the file just to reread them.

They were never anything substantial, mostly Danny complaining about lack of sleep or Martin venting about the bad guy getting away. They were something, though, contact and Martin's still not certain why they stopped communicating.

He suspects it's his fault, Danny's last email forgotten during the heat of a case and by the time Martin remembered it was too late to email back. He told himself he would just wait for Danny's next email, but it never came.

He tried calling, once leaving a message after three days without sleep and he can only imagine how distant he sounded. It was probably enough for Danny to make the assumption that Martin was done with them and after that Martin couldn't bring himself to try again.

The weeks bled into months, months becoming half a year and it took seeing Danny's picture to realize just how much he missed Danny. Just how much he needed Danny and Martin called his father on the spot, demanded a transfer to Missing Persons in New York without really thinking over what that might mean.

He's thinking about it now, every possible scenario he can imagine drifting in and out of his consciousness as he shuffles forward with the rest of the passengers, wanting nothing more than to get into the terminal and over to Federal Plaza so that he can know for sure.


He knows he should probably say something.

Do something besides stare, only dimly aware of Agent Malone's introductions as Jack makes his way around the room, the names of Martin's future coworkers barely registering as Martin tries to absorb Danny's shock.

It's hard to notice anything but Danny, though; Danny's expression disbelieving and Martin can't decide if that's a good thing. It's hard to read, anyway, Danny staring back just as intently and Martin's starting to wish that he'd come a day earlier, contacted Danny before this meeting because he knows he likely won't get the chance to get Danny alone any time soon.

"Okay, the clock's ticking. Let's get out there," Jack says, finishing his introductions and when he gestures for Martin to follow him, Martin forces himself to tear his eyes away from Danny's gaze.

He can feel Danny watching him go, uncertainty welling in his stomach because he still can't decide if he's made the right decision.

He doesn't have time to contemplate it, Jack starting off on the case and Martin nods to let him know that he's listening.

Danny aside, this is still his job.


If he's honest with himself, he knows that he was looking for Danny. Has been since he got back to the office and discovered Danny was here, actually.

That's not what he tells himself, though. He tells himself that it's just chance that allowed him to catch Danny alone in the break room, Danny bent over the coffee maker and Martin clears his throat before letting the door close behind him.

Danny glances up the second Martin announces his presence, looking somewhat wary, but Martin doesn't miss the slight question in his eyes.

"Hey," Martin says, wishing he'd thought of something better, because it's quite possibly the weakest thing he could have come up with.

Danny doesn't seem to mind, instantly relaxing and it surprises Martin that he can still read Danny so well.

"Hey," Danny echoes, putting down his cup before crossing the room, stopping a few feet in front of Martin and Martin's suddenly lost for words.

Obviously he's not the only one, Danny fidgeting, absently straightening his tie and Martin says the first thing that comes to mind.

"You look good."

It's probably the most cliché thing that's ever come out of his mouth, but when Danny smiles at the compliment, Martin doesn't care.

"You too," Danny answers, the beginnings of a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips and Danny cocks his head, examining Martin in earnest.

It's enough that Martin has to fight not to squirm, the room feeling entirely too small and the last time they saw each other they were pulling at each other's clothes and trying to make it into Martin's bed.

"So, what brings you to New York?" Danny asks suddenly, still staring, eyebrow quirking like he's dying to know Martin's answer.

"You don't know?" Martin asks, the words weighted and Danny's eyes widen in surprise.

His surprise fades a moment later, something close to hope flashing in his eyes and it's not until Martin sees it that he relaxes.

"I… um…" he gets out, tongue tied and Danny's expression shifts, becoming affection, so familiar that Martin's breath actually catches.

He feels himself flush as soon as he realizes what he's doing, Danny's smirk becoming full blown and when Danny steps forward, inching into Martin's space, Martin's heart skips a beat.

"I knew you couldn't live without me," Danny says, still smirking, reaching out and Martin closes his eyes before realizing that Danny's merely straightening his tie.

When he opens his eyes, Danny's already moved past him, Martin turning in time to see Danny pause by the door.

"Coffee, after work, my place. We should… catch up," Danny says, letting his eyes drift down Martin's form, back up again to make eye contact and when Martin nods, Danny smiles.

He doesn't say anything else, shaking his head like he should have known Martin would show up before pushing through the door, heading back to work and for the first time since arriving, Martin silently thanks his father.


This isn't exactly how he planned on ending the evening.

There's coffee, except he's not drinking any, the IV in his arm forbidding him from doing that. Danny has one, though, one of the small blue cups that they sell on street corners everywhere in Manhattan. He hasn't touched it, the cup clenched in his hand and Martin feels the sudden urge to apologize.

His first night in the city and he's already landed himself in the hospital. And granted, it's just a minor head wound, something he knows he'll recover fully from. There's the threat of concussion, though, which is why they haven't released him and Martin sighs, bringing a hand up to his temple, wincing as his fingers make contact with the bandage around his head.

"Will you stop that," Danny says, practically jumping out of his chair, grabbing Martin's wrist and drawing his hand back down to his lap.

"Sorry… God, this isn't how I wanted to spend our first night…" Martin trails off, instantly realizing what he was going to say and, technically, he's still not sure there is an our.

"Me either," Danny answers, smiling softly to let Martin know that he's pleased with Martin's assumption.

Martin can't help but return the smile, despite the fact that his head's throbbing and smiling makes it worse.

His smile lingers just until Danny reclaims his seat, pulling his chair closer to Martin's bed before setting his coffee down on the windowsill behind Martin's bed. For a moment, Martin thinks he might say something, but instead he falls into silence, watching Martin like he doesn't quite believe what he's seeing.

"I'm sorry I didn't do this sooner," Martin confesses, mostly to displace the silence before it can become awkward, but also because he truly means it. He should have put in for a transfer the second his probation period was over.

He knows wishing it won't change anything, but when Danny nods, Martin can't help but think that maybe it's enough. A second chance, anyway, because in the two years they've been apart, he hasn't come anywhere near falling out of love and, if Danny's expression is any indication, Martin's not the only one.



"We're going to be late," Martin says, not the first time he's used those words, but regardless of how many times he says them Danny hasn't been able to master the whole getting out of the door on time thing.

Martin suspects the day Danny's early for anything will be the day Martin dies from shock.

"Pushy, pushy," Danny says, but he makes no move to turn away from the closet, still sorting through clothes like deciding what to bring is the toughest decision he's ever made.

Martin suspects a lot of that has to do with how many clothes Danny owns.

They actually had to move, their first apartment lacking the closet space for both their wardrobes --all Danny's fault, of course-- and they ended up compromising on a small living room and dingy bathroom just for the walk in closet.

"We're going to miss our flight," Martin reminds him, but his tone's joking, a smile flittering onto his face as he watches Danny discount several shirts before finally pulling out something he's happy with.

Danny doesn't acknowledge Martin's comment, instead smirking before heading back across the room, tossing the shirt into the open suitcase on their bed before heading back to the closet.

Martin tries not to roll his eyes.

Besides, he knows convincing Danny to hurry is like convincing rain to stop falling, or traffic in the city to disappear. An impossible task that hasn't become easier with time. Granted, he's only had three years of living with Danny to work on it, so perhaps all is not lost.

Amazingly, after finding the perfect jacket --leather that looks oddly familiar and it takes Martin a moment to realize it's his, not Danny's-- Danny announces that he's ready, looking at Martin like Martin was the one holding them up and all Martin can do is shake his head.


Being back here is surreal, to say the least.

It's not the first time that he's been back --there have been several conferences held in the main lecture hall over the years-- but it's the first time he's set foot in the dining hall since he was a recruit and Martin almost feels like he never left.

There are still so many memories here, so many things he associates with this place. And granted, most of those things involve Danny, but it's still strange to think back to that time, remember how young and naïve he was, even when he was trying not to be.

He can tell Danny's having the same reaction, Danny frozen by his side, eyes drifting across the dining hall like he's seeing it for the first time and on impulse Martin reaches down and grabs Danny's hand.

It's something he never would have done while they were actually training here, but things have changed, he's changed and it's nice to finally be able to acknowledge what everyone suspected anyway.

"God, I think I'm having flashbacks," Danny says next to him, still staring and Martin chuckles.

"Good ones, I hope. You think they'll let us borrow our old room for a night?" Martin asks, earning a laugh and the feel of Danny's thumb brushing against Martin's knuckles.

"We should definitely ask," Danny tells him, glancing over to grin and Martin's so caught up in smiling back that he almost misses the throat clearing next to him.

When he does glance over, he's met with John's knowing smirk, an infant hanging off his hip and Martin flushes before dropping Danny's hand to accept John's.

"Glad you guys could make it," John says, shaking first Martin's, then Danny's hand before introducing them to the newest member of his family.

He points out his wife and son across the room, promising proper introductions after dinner. Seeing John again makes Martin instantly glad he let Danny drag him to his reunion, something he hadn't wanted to attend before now.

"Good to see you again," Martin says when John excuses himself, John smiling his agreement before drifting away, stopping at nearly every person he encounters, making the rounds as surely as he did back when they were training, still holding his role as second as close as he's holding the child in his arms.

He's not the first to make his way over to where Danny and Martin are standing, several faces Martin hasn't seen in five years suddenly filling his vision, each introducing those with them, be it a wife or a husband, a son or a daughter. So many faces that Martin once again finds himself grabbing Danny's hand, dragging him out into the hall just to escape and catch his breath.

"You okay?" Danny asks as soon as they're not surrounded by people, looking almost concerned and Martin nods before answering.

"Just a little overwhelming, you know?" Martin answers, Danny smiling in response before stepping into Martin's space, letting his hands settle on Martin's hips, pulling Martin forward to press their lips together.

When he pulls back, Martin notices that they have an audience, Martin flushing slightly before stepping out of Danny's embrace.

"Matt," he says, Danny stiffening for a moment before relaxing, turning around with a smug grin on his face and Martin can't help but laugh at that.

Danny never seems to change.

"Hey, guys," Matt begins, looking slightly uncomfortable and it's only then that Martin notices the person standing behind him.

He glances over, Matt noticing and clearing his throat before making introductions.

"This is my boyfriend, Terrence," he tells them, smiling almost apologetically and Martin resists the urge to shout out I knew it.

Instead he settles on extending his hand, smiling as Matt introduces them.

"It's a pleasure to meet you," Martin says, making eye contact with Matt, silently forgiving him for everything that Matt ever did to them.

After all, Martin knows exactly what it's like to live in the closet. Exactly how hard coming out of said closet can be. He's still working on it himself, his parents next on what was once a never-ending list.

Their meeting doesn't last long, Matt excusing himself before heading into the dining hall, hesitating for half a second before reaching for Terrence's hand, gripping it like it's the only thing keeping him moving forward. Martin watches them go with a smile, waiting until they've vanished around the corner before turning back to Danny.

"Now where were we?" he asks, stepping back into Danny's space, smiling at Danny's laugh before letting Danny draw him back into a kiss.

Someone once told him that you could never go home, but standing here, in a place he only really recalls as nostalgia, Martin's starting to suspect that's not true. After all, Danny is home, and Martin's starting to think that maybe home is what follows you throughout your life, not simply a place.