Flack stepped away from the dining room when his phone rang. “What have you got Mac?”
“There was a shooting,” Mac said.
“What the hell happened?” Flack demanded.
“Calm down. You’re still with Lindsay?”
“Yeah,” Don said softly, stepping further into the living room. “Did something happen to Danny?”
“No, no, Danny’s fine.”
“Then tell me what happened, dammit.”
Mac sighed. “Stella’s been shot.”
“What?” Flack breathed.
“I need Lindsay in the lab. You have to go to the hospital.”
Lindsay glanced up, watching him, standing up when he paled.
“What happened?” she demanded. “What is it?”
“There was…there was a shooting,” he explained.
“Danny,” she whispered.
“He’s fine,” Flack said quickly, taking Lindsay’s arm and pulling her into a tight hug. “He’s still on the scene, he wasn’t even there when it happened.”
Lindsay closed her eyes, breathing again. “What happened?” she repeated.
“Stella was shot.”
“What?” Lindsay asked, pulling back and staring at him.
“We have to go.”
“Why?” Chloe demanded. “What’s going on?”
“Stella’s been shot.”
“Jack,” Chloe said. “What happened, is he okay?”
“He’s fine,” Flack said. “Lindsay’s taking you back to the lab, I assume he’ll be there.” Flack shook his head. “I don’t know, I have to go, I have to go to the hospital.”
Lindsay reached out, grabbing Don’s arm. “Give her my love.”
He nodded, hugging Lindsay again. “Go find the bastard who did this.”
Flack paced back and forth, his chest so tight that it hurt. The doctor hadn't come out to talk to him yet, and all he knew was that Stella had been shot. That knowledge alone sent him reeling, sucking all the air out of his lungs even as he tried to breathe.
It should have been me. That one thought echoed in his head, making it impossible for him to think clearly. He replayed the events over and over again, looking for ways he could have saved her. In the end, he could only come to one conclusion – he should have sent her back to the vic's apartment with Lindsay. If he had done that, he wouldn't be pacing in a hospital waiting room right now.
"You know, wearing a hole in the floor isn't going to heal the hole in her chest."
Flack stopped his pacing and looked up sharply. Tony leaned against the wall, a curious sympathy in his eyes.
Don shook his head. "What would you know about it?" he growled.
Tony shrugged and pushed off of the wall. "More than you think."
He moved across the room, taking a seat in one of the chairs. Don watched him for a minute, before flopping down next to him.
"How did you know I was here?" he asked.
"Jack called me. Told me what happened." He looked uncomfortable. "I'm sorry about your friend."
Tears sprang to Flack's eyes, but he fought them back. "How's Buchanan?"
“He's gonna be alright," Tony answered. "The bullet didn't hit anything major."
"Did he give you anything useful?"
They sat in silence for a few minutes, having run out of things to say. But Don could feel his restless energy building again, and he figured he'd rather talk than pace.
"What did you mean earlier?" he finally asked. "When you said you know more than I think?"
Tony pressed his thumb into his palm, his eyes locked on the floor. "My wife was killed in the line of duty," he said quietly.
Don closed his eyes. "Hey, man, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…"
"It was a few years ago," the former agent continued. "Jack had gone on the run, and someone was killing everyone who knew. Bill saved me, but…Michelle was already dead."
"I'm sorry," Flack repeated.
Tony shook his head. "Does she know?"
Don frowned in confusion. "What?"
“Stella. Does she know how you feel about her?" When the other man's gaze dropped to the floor, Tony laughed. "It's not hard to see, Don. You look at her the way I used to look at Michelle."
Before Flack could answer, an old man in a while doctor's coat came into the room.
Don practically jumped up. "Yeah?"
The man smiled. "Detective Bonasera's going to be just fine. The bullet nicked an artery, but we were able to stop the bleeding. You can go see her if you'd like."
Flack almost cried in relief.
Danny watched the way Lindsay moved around the lab, her back to him, her movements stiff and robotic.
“Montana,” he said softly, sighing when she ignored him. “Lindsay.”
“What?” she muttered.
“Talk to me.”
“I can’t. I’m busy.”
“Do you have something to say other than my name?”
“Take a break. Take a walk with me.”
“You need to.”
Lindsay sighed, frowning when Danny stepping in behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “We’re at work,” she protested weakly. “We’re supposed to be professional.”
“Look around. You see anybody who cares?”
Lindsay closed her eyes, resting against him. “I saw the pictures from the scene. There was a lot of blood.”
“She’s my best friend.” Lindsay sniffled, rubbing her eyes. “I sound like I’m in the third grade.”
“No you don’t,” Danny said, pressing his lips tenderly to her hair. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Lindsay whispered, pulling away when the receptionist knocked on the door.
“You have visitors,” the girl explained. “Detective Taylor said they could wait in his office for you.”
Lindsay frowned, glancing at Danny before slowly walking across the lab. Danny was at her heels, reaching around her to open the door to Mac’s office, smiling when he saw his mother holding Mackenzie.
“Hi ma,” he murmured.
“Mackenzie missed you,” his mother explained. “I thought it might be okay to bring her by to see you before she has to go to bed.”
Danny nodded. “Could you give us a few minutes?” he asked, reaching and lifting the baby from her arms.
Lindsay was silent as she watched the woman leave the room, wordlessly reaching for her daughter and cradling her to her chest.
“Hi baby,” she whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks. “Hello my sweet, beautiful girl.”
Danny slipped into position behind Lindsay, resting his head on her shoulder and reaching over to stroke the baby’s cheek. Mackenzie turned to him, giving him a sleepy smile, reaching for Lindsay hair and tugging softly.
“That little girl is out there somewhere,” Lindsay said. “God, she must be terrified.”
“We’ll find her,” Danny assured her. “Everything’s gonna be okay, Lindsay.”
They stood there together, swaying slightly, until Mackenzie was asleep and Lindsay’s tears were dry.
Chloe sat in front of the laptop, clicking away at the keys. Her nose crinkled and her scowl deepened as she started at the screen, scrolling through the information.
Jack stood in the doorway and watched. It had been so long since he had seen her, and now they were thrown together again. As he stared at the long dark hair falling down her back, he realized with an ache just how much he had missed her. L.A. felt empty and unstable without her, and Jack was hit with the sudden knowledge that he didn't want to go back to that.
"Are you just going to stand there and stare at me?" Chloe asked without turning around. "'Cause it's kinda creepy."
Jack chuckled and walked into the room, stopping when he was next ot her. "How did you know I was there?"
She shrugged uncomfortably. "I always know when you're around, Jack."
He let that sink in, feeling the undertones in her words. He wanted to follow it, to see where it went, but he could tell from the hunch of her shoulders that she was shutting down again.
"What are you looking for?" he asked instead, nodding at the computer screen.
"Anything at this point," she sighed. "But I can't find any trace of somebody hunting Chase. No unusual phone calls, no visits…everything looks normal."
Jack heard the catch in her voice when she said Chase's name. Hesitantly, he rested a gentle hand on her shoulder. Chloe stiffened at the contact, but he kept his hand there.
"I'm sorry," he said quietly. "I know how much he meant to you."
Tears stung her eyes, but Chloe did everything she could to hold them back. "How's Kim holding up?"
"Better now that they don't suspect her of murder. Chloe, I…"
"Don't," she said, her voice wavering. "I know you mean well, Jack, but I can't do this right now. I don't have time to mourn him. I have to find who killed him. I have to find Angela."
He moved his hand from her shoulder, tucking her hair behind her ear and then touching her face. "I understand. But I'm here, Chloe. You aren't alone anymore…"
A tear slid down her cheek, and she opened her mouth to speak. But before she could say anything, something popped up on the computer screen, capturing her attention. Frowning, she pulled away from the man beside her so that she could read the new information.
"Chloe?" Jack asked, seeing the color drain from her face. "What is it?"
She turned to look at him, her eyes wide. "We were wrong, Jack. They were never after Chase."