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In the Company of Unicorns

Chapter Text

The weeks following their interview with Abramova passed quickly.

The tail end of an investigation is always hurried, everything coming together at the last minute, the pace not quite frantic, but hectic enough to consume their days. All they're waiting on now is a phone call.

They have boxes of evidence --each carefully labelled-- stacked neatly in an empty office across from Harold's. Abramova and Baut are in protective custody, still intent on testifying, Baut to earn his lesser sentence, Abramova to earn his transfer, and his retribution.

The New York offices are scouring the city, searching for Sergei and they've promised to call as soon as they find him. It's only a matter of time, now.

It feels strange, knowing that the end is near. Stranger still knowing that Tyler isn't around to see it. Martin knows that closing the case won't banish Tyler's ghost; it won't stop the dreams or vanquish the memories, but Martin's starting to realize that that's not necessarily a bad thing.

He doesn't want to forget Tyler, after all, Tyler's presence welcome now, like an old friend too long between visits.

It's not all good, though. Martin still wakes in the middle of the night to sweat soaked sheets and lingering nightmares and, sometimes, the weight of it all will settle in his chest and he'll find himself unable to breathe. He's getting better at fighting it, though, not quite as willing to give up as he once was.

He still attends weekly, mandatory sessions with Dr. Mitchell. He hasn't opened up completely, but he's stopped lying to her --stopped lying to himself, too, and that, Martin thinks, is what's important. What he doesn't tell Dr. Mitchell, he tells Laura, Martin visiting her weekly too and Laura seems to enjoy Martin's company almost as much as Martin needs hers.

He still hasn't figured out what to do about Danny, but things between them are... better.

Not perfect, but they've started working well together again, becoming a functioning unit and, occasionally, Martin can see the first hints of what is fast becoming a tentative friendship. It's not what he wants, but he's more than willing to wait, knowing patience will pay off in the long run.

They still have their own issues to work out, after all, Danny seeming closer to doing that than Martin is. Every day Danny seems just a little more settled, a little more comfortable. He hasn't mentioned New York in days, something that he used to do almost hourly when they first met and Martin's taking that as a good sign.

They haven't talked about New York, or the night that passed between them, but Martin still thinks about it --all the time, in fact, and he's fairly certain Danny can say the same. The memory is no longer awkward, though, and Martin credits that to Laura, Danny one of the many things they talk about. Still, Martin knows that eventually he'll have to bring it all up with Danny.

It's hard to know where to start, though, especially when Danny's rambling on non-stop beside him, Danny recounting a story that Martin's heard before. It's still funny, even hearing it the second time, so Martin finds himself laughing, nodding his agreement because only Mike would think to propose to Maureen without first checking to see if she was interested.

"Right there in front of me. I swear, I thought she was going to kill him," Danny finishes, pausing then to take a bite out of his sandwich, eyes brighter than Martin can ever remember seeing and maybe he does know where to start.

"Danny," Martin finds himself saying, tone only slightly hesitant, Danny glancing over and he swallows before gesturing for Martin to continue.

Martin doesn't get the chance, though, the words on the tip of his tongue when his cell rings and Martin sighs before pulling it out, disappointment vanishing the second he registers the number.

"Fitzgerald," Martin says into the receiver, listening to the confirmation he was waiting for.

Hanging up, Martin doesn't realize that he's grinning until he glances over to find Danny doing the same.

"We got him," Martin still says, Danny reaching into the space between them to clap Martin on the shoulder and Martin once again finds himself without words.

~~~

Harold congratulates him on a job well done.

Martin tries not to blush, fails miserably and gives his thanks.

This isn't how this should have ended, Martin knows, because there are still more questions than answers, nothing quite as resolved as he wants it to be. He's starting to accept that, though, knowing that, regardless of how things worked out, he'd never truly feel like this was over.

Still, he feels lighter than he has in a while, Harold promising to draw up the necessary paperwork for Sergei's transfer, telling Martin to call it an early night and Martin agrees before heading back to his desk.

Danny's waiting for him, leaning against Martin's desk, seeming almost nervous and Martin smiles, the gesture more shy than he intended.

"So that's it?" Danny asks as soon as Martin makes it to his side, tilting his head to make eye contact and Martin's not quite sure how to answer that.

Because it's not, really, but it's close enough; closer than he ever expected to get, anyway. They still have an entire cabinet full of unsolved cases, though, this merely one in a never-ending pile that will likely last them their entire careers.

"Yeah, I guess so," Martin still says, Danny nodding, clearing his throat and Martin remembers Harold's words. "Harold wants us to take the rest of the day off."

Danny nods a second time, but this time he seems almost hesitant, disappointed even, like this wasn't what he was expecting and Martin knows how he feels.

He's never closed a case with fanfare, but for some reason he was hoping maybe this one would be different.

"Yeah, okay," Danny eventually answers, pushing himself off Martin's desk, heading around to his own desk, slipping into his coat, pulling out a pair of gloves and Martin's suddenly very much aware of everything they don't talk about.

"Danny?" he finds himself asking, his earlier words coming back to him then and Martin's suddenly glad that he didn't say them. They aren't the words he was looking for, their meaning entirely too complicated for what is really a simple situation.

Martin waits for Danny to glance over, expression curious as he waits for Martin to continue. Martin still has to force himself to speak, throat tight with nerves.

"You want to grab something to eat, celebrate, maybe?" Martin asks, momentarily flashing back to their first case, to the first time he asked and it seems almost fitting that this is what brought them full circle.

Danny's expression shifts, becoming almost searching and a second later it falls, so much like the first time that Martin doesn't need to see the slight shake of Danny's head to know his response.

"I should probably head..."

"Danny," Martin interrupts, knowing exactly what Danny was going to say, not quite willing to let Danny say it and Danny glances up a second time, this time his expression slightly hopeful and Martin doesn't think before speaking.

"Just say yes."

For a moment, he doesn't think Danny's going to answer, Danny staring at him, confusion and something that Martin thinks might be doubt reflected in his eyes. Seconds seem to bleed into minutes before Danny glances away, laughing softly to himself, the sound short and punctuated, but he nods, Martin releasing the breath he was holding.

"Yes," Danny still says, grinning then, glancing up and Martin finds himself smiling.

He glances away only long enough to reach for his coat, Danny already waiting by the time Martin has it on and the second Martin glances back over, Danny nods, gesturing for Martin to lead the way.

Martin smiles a second time before leading them toward the elevators.

~~~

Epilogue

Danny drives, something that he thinks Martin might find amusing, because it's the first time Danny's offered in the eight months he's been in Seattle.

He knows the city now, almost as well as he knew New York and Danny's not quite certain when that happened, but he finds himself oddly okay with it.

He finds himself okay with a lot of things, actually, like the fact that he hasn't been back to New York since Christmas, and the fact that he only just got his apartment the way he wanted it and now he's in the process of moving again.

It's okay, though, because this time he likes the destination, their new place reminiscent of Danny's apartment in New York and Danny's still surprised that he managed to talk Martin into buying it.

If he's lucky, it might not even rain the day they're set to move, spring in Seattle occasionally sunny and Danny's hoping the weather holds until the weekend.

"Wait, stop here," Martin says beside him, distracting Danny from the thought, Danny slowing down, but not stopping and Martin glances over long enough to glare.

"Danny."

"We have to be in court in twenty-minutes," Danny says, but he stops, double parking, ignoring the blare of horns behind him and Seattle really is nothing like New York.

"This will only take a minute," Martin says, gesturing for Danny to stay with the car and Danny watches him go, Martin climbing out of the car, jogging down the street and he disappears into one of the stores.

Danny waits until Martin's inside to glance over at the car's clock, mentally counting down how much time they'll need to make it to the courthouse. Sergei's trial doesn't start for another hour, but they need to be there early, their appointment with the DA scheduled for ten and it's now quarter to.

He's tempted to head inside, drag Martin out by force if necessary, but he doesn't get the chance, Danny halfway to reaching for his seat belt when Martin slides back into the car, Bed Bath and Beyond bag in hand and Danny raises an eyebrow.

"What? We needed a shower curtain," Martin tells him, Danny sighing, because Martin picked out Danny's last shower curtain and Danny knows this one is likely just as bad.

He doesn't get the chance to find out, Martin tossing the bag into the backseat, Danny not quite missing the slight hint of orange and Danny winces, knowing exactly what curtain Martin decided on. It's the one he circled in the catalogue, sliced oranges and lemons spread across a canvas of white and Danny's already plotting how to destroy the thing without raising Martin's suspicion.

It took him four months to destroy all of Martin's ties, Danny replacing them with ones of his choosing, and so far Martin hasn't noticed, so Danny figures his chances are pretty good. Besides, he has time, Danny perfectly confident that, eventually, Martin will come to understand the difference between tacky and tasteful.

"Don't even think about it, Taylor. I still haven't forgiven you for the ties," Martin says as Danny merges back into traffic, Danny glancing over to find Martin watching him, glare not quite touching his eyes and when Martin started being able to read Danny's mind, Danny doesn't know.

"What ties?" Danny still asks, schooling his face to innocence and Martin shakes his head, laughing a second later, so Danny knows he's not really mad.

He won't be mad about the shower curtain either, and even if he is, Danny will find a way to make it up to him. He always does.

Fin.