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29 September 2007 @ 08:52 pm
"Shot Down" Pt. 4  
Title: Shot Down, Part Four
Fandom: Hot Fuzz
Character/s: NA/DB/Liz
Word Count: 28,000 total (part four, 5,900)
Rating: NC-17+
Summary: The beginning of the Ring Cycle.

Background (Links go to my LJ):
Part One
Part Two
Part Three



Shot Down, Part Four


Anyone who could be spared was at the hospital, which consisted mostly of Nicholas and one of the Turners. Everyone else was back at the station working on damage control, as the story of the incident spread like wildfire throughout the village and naturally the assumption was that another large scale shoot-out was still in progress.

Liz cleaned herself up when they made it to the hospital, trailing the ambulance. There was still blood on her clothes in spots, and she stared at those spots with a laser-like concentration. Nicholas sat down next to her but did not say anything. Danny went straight into surgery and that was over two hours ago. He took only one shot, but it apparently ripped through a major artery and some bone, and the surgeons were taking their own sweet time about patching him up. Nicholas appreciated that, of course, but his stomach was so knotted that he just wanted to scream at the whole hospital staff to hurry the fuck up.

Liz got up and stood by the soda machine. Turner, who had been looking intently at his hands, looked from her to Nicholas, the expression on his face plain as he raised his eyebrows questioningly. Nicholas nodded, and Turner got up and left. Nicholas still wondered how that man seemed to know everything about everyone, and not for the first time, decided that the twins were not just psychically linked with each other, but everyone else too.

Nicholas got up and stood next to her. It felt as if the only safe place in the whole hospital right now was next to her.

“I’m sorry, Nicholas.”

“For what, Liz? You caught the gunman.”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to talk about that.”

Nicholas nodded, not really understanding why she was so upset about what was, in the main, a very heroic deed. He wanted to say something wise and ‘police officer-like’, such as “bad men get what they deserve” but he did not think it would be received well. He nodded again, wondering if it would be okay to touch her. He really wanted her to hold him. He really wanted to feel like everything was going to be okay.

“...You know why Danny was in the store?” She switched the topic and turned to face him, tears forming in her eyes. Nicholas just shook his head, with no idea of where she was going with this.

“To buy a cornetto?” He offered.

“To talk to me. He wanted…wants me to talk to you about Chuck Norris.” She started to cry.

Nicholas reached out and gently tried to pull her into him, but she resisted, and he was crushed. Danny was hurt and Liz did not want him, even now as she cried in front of him she did not want him to touch her, and Nicholas turned to rest his head against the soda machine. It was solid, and while it might not hold him up, it was cold plastic and metal and it felt right to fall down next to it and cry.

-------

It never occurred to her that Danny might die, that any of them might be gone forever, and the shock of it wrung her out like a towel. She talked to Danny nearly every day in her mind, shared jokes with him, watched movies with him, and sometimes even made love to him. As distant as she made herself from the actual person, it felt to her as if he was integral to her survival in Sandford. She needed Danny, and she did not want to need anyone.

Nicholas was on the ground as she thought this, as she cried, and he was clutching himself in misery. He was crying, and he had not even looked broken until she shoved him off, and it occurred to her that he had not reached out to comfort her, but to find comfort from her. She pushed him back, not wanting his sympathy or his body, but really needing both and that was what annoyed her enough to reject him. Now he was on the floor, alone, and she knew exactly how that felt; only now she was doing to someone else, and she was the monster, but she could not live with that and accept that it was what she had become.

She sat down and wrapped her arms around his torso. She moved her hands to rest on his chest, and felt through her hands his heaving sobs, and tightened her hold just enough to bring her body in next to his, completely flush together. As many fantasies as she had about Nicholas too, this did not feel sexual at all to her, just natural, like any hug with Geo or…she couldn’t think of anyone else. Two people who needed each other, two people wracked with grief and worry for Danny, and it was all normal and right and so very, very foreign to her. She was scared of what she was feeling, scared it would all go wrong, but she wanted to be here so badly that she could not bring herself to let go.

Eventually Nicholas’ breathing evened out and she stopped crying too, and he rolled over so that they were sitting together in silence, wrapped around each other, frozen in worry and love for Danny. Waiting.

“Inspector?”

They both pulled apart and stood up, wordlessly, and faced the doctor.

“Yes?”

--------

Nicholas sat her down on his couch. Their relief at Danny’s successful operation was offset by the absolute, crushing exhaustion they felt. He went to put some water for tea on and then came back. She had not moved.

“He’s stable, so we’re in the clear. He’ll be in the hospital for a few days.”

“Just a few days?”

“This really isn’t anywhere near as serious as his last gunshot wound. He was in the hospital for three weeks that time, and off duty for nearly three months.”

“Yes, he told me about that…once.” She put her head in her hands.

Nicholas sat down next to her. “I know how you feel.” He said it softly and began rubbing her neck and shoulders.

“How do I feel?” She asked blankly, automatically.

“Actually, I don’t know, Liz. You always shut me out.”

She nodded, not bothering to argue. “How do you feel, then?”

“I love him. And life would be…meaningless without him.” Nicholas looked off towards the back of the house, not really looking at anything, and missed her pulling her head up.

“Nicholas…” She nearly choked on his name. Instinctively, without thinking, he leaned over and kissed her gently on the lips, then sat back, rubbing her shoulders again. She never moved.

“I think we both need sleep more than tea.” He got up and went to turn the water off. When he came back, she was shifting around on the couch.

“D’you mind if I stay here? In case…you know, they call…” She picked up a pillow to place against the armrest.

“I don’t mind at all, Liz. But I do mind you sleeping on the couch.”

“Oh?” She sat up abruptly, confused. “Oh, right. You have a guest room?”

“No, I have a bedroom.”

She froze, and looked angry. “I don’t think that this is really the time…”

“You’re right. It’s not the time. But I don’t want to sleep alone, and I don’t think you do either.” Nicholas spoke very casually, and very honestly. He meant it, because he was just too tired to make any moves on her anyway. He only wanted her next to him, and damnit, he was going to get what he wanted today.

He took her hand and gently pulled her up and along. She did not argue or resist, but he did feel her hesitate with nearly every step, and she stopped cold at the bedroom door. He thought he was going to have to coax her every inch of the way, and turned to face her.

“That his?” She pointed to a jacket draped over a small chair in the corner of the room. Nicholas did a double take.

“Yes, it is.”

She pulled away from him and went to over to the chair, gently picking up the jacket and holding it to her face. “It smells like him.”

“I suppose it would.”

She sat down on the edge of the bed and slipped off her shoes. Nicholas got her to stand up long enough for him to pull the covers back, and they crawled in together, fully dressed, facing each other, with Danny’s jacket between them. And Nicholas’ was pleased when that was how they woke up in the morning.

--------

Nothing was normal to Liz any more. Nicholas’ admission of his love for Danny undid part of her, because it was honest and she knew how deep it ran between them. Maybe Nicholas kissed her because he thought she felt the same way, but she did not. She said his name without thinking about it, because it hurt so badly to think of how much they loved each other, and how no one loved her. His kiss was kind but meaningless, and only made her feel worse, and she was incredibly relieved when he did not make a pass at her later in bed. She might have fucked him then, just for the stress relief of it, but it would have only rubbed salt in the wound, reminding her of everything that was not hers.

That morning, when they woke together, he ran his hand over the side of her face, cupping her cheek and running his thumb over her lips. She braced herself, but the invitation never arrived. He leaned over, kissed her on the forehead, and got out of bed to call the hospital and check on Danny.

She got up and laid Danny’s jacket back on the chair, where he left it, and where she wanted him to find it again when he came back. The thought flashed in her mind that when he did, the guys would be whole again, and she would be alone again, this brief respite from her damnation over, and everything back to normal. The prospect filled her with despair, but she shook herself and went into the bathroom to rinse off her face.

They went to the hospital together. Danny was out of ICU and asleep, tubes and bags hanging off him. Liz felt it was completely inappropriate to see him like that, naked and ill, but Nicholas simply rested against the bed’s restraint bars, gazing down with a kind but inscrutable expression.

“So does he look…?”

“No where near as bad as the last time, Liz.” Nicholas never looked away from Danny’s sleeping form and his attention drifted away from her. She looked back at Danny and ran her hand through his hair. It was oily and slick but she did not care. She rubbed her thumb against his cheek and over his lips and he mumbled something known only to himself; she pulled back in surprise and worry. She looked between the two men for a moment, and walked out.

Later she sat in her office, determined to write something, and obstinately doing no such thing. The day crawled; many people called her office in lieu of the police station, which was not accepting social calls, in order to find out Danny’s condition. She spent most of her time reassuring half the village that Danny was in recovery, doing fine, and yes, of course Inspector Angel was at the hospital with him. She was amazed at how many people took that for granted, and it dawned on her that Danny and Nicholas’ relationship was undoubtedly the worst kept secret in the village. Realizing that she must have been the last to know, she sighed at her obvious lack of finely honed investigative skills and finally poured herself a drink. It was almost noon, anyway, close enough. She slugged it and quickly poured another. A few more, she thought, and she would not remember the feel of Nicholas in her arms, or the feel of Danny’s lips against her thumb, or the feel of all the blood on her hands.

Eventually, she sat down at the computer in order to start writing the story. I must to be in the next issue, or the paper lost all credibility. She determined that 2500 words would have to suffice for a lead story, and settled on “Botched Robby Leads to Shooting” for a headline. She made room for it by bumping two smaller clips about cow breeding and moving the former lead story about the new AmDram director to the second page. Now all that was left was to actually write the 2500 words. She was saved by the bell.

--------

When Nicholas left the hospital that afternoon, somehow losing his whole morning and Liz as well in his reverie by Danny’s bedside, he headed straight to the station. The perpetrator was in isolation and lock down and the Andes were standing guard, apparently hoping that the bastard would make a break for it so they could beat him to death. Tony was madly writing a book’s worth of documentation about the event, and Doris was up with both the Turners keeping people at bay at the front desk, answering questions. That Danny would get shot twice in as many years had the whole village in hysterics, and several times Nicholas himself went to the front to calm down someone going off the deep end in grief or fear. Danny was nothing if not beloved by Sandford, and while it was touching, it was just damned inconvenient for Nicholas right now.

Finally evening arrived and they locked the doors, over 24 hours later from the time of the incident. They were all exhausted to the point of speechlessness. Tony submitted his report, all nineteen pages, and Walker magically produced a case of hard cider from Nicholas-did-not-know-where. They all knew they could not possibly go to the pub without being mobbed, so they changed clothes in the locker rooms and then came back to sit down in the main room and drink. The Andes even joined in, and Nicholas was glad they were somewhat subdued for once. He had one can of cider, called the hospital to check on Danny (stable, and still asleep) and with a strong and sincere complement to his team, left them to their own business.

He walked into Liz’ office and found her bent over her desk, her head resting on her arms. For a brief moment he thought she was asleep but the bell above the door brought her head up on the second ring as the door closed.

“Liz.” He nodded to her as he pulled up a chair next to the desk. “How are you?”

“Too tired for all the work I’ve done.” She motioned around her bare desk, then reached out to align the post notes pad with the tape dispenser, but her motions were sloppy. She was drunk. He looked over at where she kept the bottle of vodka on the filing cabinet, and realized that it was nearly empty.

“Not that drunk. Bugger. I’ve been pacing.” She snorted and leaned back, and for a second Nicholas was disturbingly reminded of Andrew.

“You unplugged the phone.” Nicholas reached down and picked up the end of the line, shaking it ruefully.

“It was off the chain.” She smiled, then looked down. “How is he?”

“About the same as we…I left him. You snuck out on me at the hospital. I intended to drive you in.”

She shrugged. “That’s what taxis are for.”

“Why did you leave us, Liz?”

Startled by the way he put the question, she just shook her head at first, then sighed. “I didn’t belong there…with you, next to him. I…needed to come in to work anyway. He’s alright, that’s all I need to know.” She pushed the tape dispenser into the middle of desk, leaving it cockeyed, glaring at it.

Nicholas nodded absently, tapping his fingers on the desk. This was exactly what he did not want to happen, for her to think that, somehow, she was not wanted. That she was not needed. She seemed to know he was not pleased.

“Look, Nicholas, thank you for taking care of me last night. I was a wreck. You were a gentleman. And…a friend.”

Nicholas moved out of the chair so that he was on his knees next to her. She looked startled and nervous, and he wondered if there was anything at all that he could do right in the situation. Probably not. With that in mind, he stuck to his original plan, reached a hand up behind her neck, and pulled her lips to his.

It was as electric and scary as he dreamed it would be. Her lips were softer than anything he ever remembered about women. She did not respond, just sat still, which under the circumstances Nicholas counted as a triumph. He drew her in a bit more, making the kiss firmer and harder, and parted his lips just enough to run the tip of his tongue over her mouth, which opened just a little for him. He felt rather than heard her low moan, then suddenly felt her hands on his chest, pushing him back.

“Damnit, Liz!” He slapped his hands on his thighs and screwed his eyes shut in frustration. When he opened them, he saw she was sitting facing forward, her arms crossed, and visibly shaking. “What is it? Why don’t you want…this?”

She took a deep breath before answering. “It’s not the sex, it’s you.”

He ran a hand over his face, perplexed. He possessed the barest idea of what this was about, based on the fight he overheard her having with Geo so long ago, but really, he did not understand. If she really did not care, if he really was not wanted, she would not have knelt on the floor at the hospital and held on to him. She was crying too, then, and he remembered the feel of her against him, open and raw and loving. He wanted that, and he simply could not understand why she did not want that too.

“You’re scared? Of me? Danny? I know we carried things a bit too far, That Night, but don’t think…”

“It was beautiful.”

He stopped, utterly confused. “What was?”

“You. Danny. Here. It was just amazing. It was more than I can ever give. You two love each other so much…trust each other. I know, it was rough, and Danny…well he was upset. But he was so driven because he needed you so much, and you trusted him the whole way down. I can’t do that, Nicholas. I…can’t.”

“You can’t trust me?” He was completely taken aback by that, because he considered himself one of the most trustworthy people he knew.

“Don’t take it personally.” She laughed, but was a malicious sound.

“I do.”

“Oh for fuck’s sake, Nicholas, leave me alone.”

“No. Why should I?”

“Because I asked you to? Seems like a good reason.”

He remained on his knees next to her, but he was confused. Her signals were so mixed, so wrong, that he simply did not know what to do. He thought she would know, but even if she did, she was purposefully pushing him away, yet again.

“You keep pushing me away, Liz, and someday I won’t come back.” He said it quietly, staring at the ground, unused to this type of rejection and emotionally whipped by the events of the last day.

“I don’t want to be alone.” She said it defensively, and he looked at her. She was staring straight ahead. “I don’t want to feel like this. I never wanted that, or any of this. It wasn’t my fault…it just happened…”

“Nothing’s your fault, Liz.”

She looked at him, surprised. “Right…right.” She stopped and shifted. “What do you want from me?”

“I just want you.” He said it simply, because beyond that, he was not sure.

“And Danny?”

“I’m pretty sure he wants you too.” He smiled.

“Nice to be wanted.”

“…I want you, Liz.”

She did not retreat when he took hold of her upper arms. He drew her out of the chair and as she moved he reached up to kiss her neck. He wrapped his arms around her and lowered her to the floor. He was not going to give her a chance to back out this time, and moved his mouth over hers to still any objections.

He rolled on top of her and felt her hands on his back, her kiss growing stronger in answer to his. Something of his worry and fear of the last two days welled up inside him and he pushed his body onto hers, feeling himself start to shake from nerves and anxiety. He had not, at first, intended to make this any more than a long make-out session, a gentle introduction for her to his love and passion. But his emotions about Danny and his fear of losing him again collided with his long suppressed desire for her and his fear of losing her too. It was a dangerous moment, and he knew that if she accepted this from him, it would be a bond neither of them could break easily.

He felt her legs part slightly and he rested his left leg in between them. His arms were propping himself up just a little, but his hands were able to roam over her face and through her hair. He rolled his hip lightly into her and she groaned into their kiss. She tasted of mint and he sent his tongue deeper into the sweetness of her. That, he thought distantly, was just like Danny.

Once again, they did not get undressed. But he felt her hands searching his body, pushing and pulling and testing. His hard on was pressed into the crevice of her thigh, his hip planted firmly against her sex. He rolled his hip again and this time, her body answered back, pushing into his rhythm. The fabric of their clothes burned a little from the friction, but it was warm and exciting. Keeping his lips on hers, Nicholas arched his back and pulled himself up so that he was rubbing both of them with a long, hard stroke. She cried out and he did it again, and then again, and then lost count as they moved against each other in a steadily frantic rhythm.

Finally he had to breathe, to moan, and broke the kiss. He looked at her but her eyes were closed, and she was breathing heavily through her mouth.

“Nick…”

“Liz?” He breathed into her ear.

“Ghod, Nick, do you do this to Danny?”

He was caught off guard by the question and nearly stopped. Her eyes flicked onto his and he pushed himself against her again. “Sometimes.”

“Like this?”

“Yes.”

“Harder than this?”

He held off answering for a second. “Usually, yes.”

She reached up to put her lips against his ear, and he felt the warmth radiating off her. “Like Danny, Nicholas. I want to feel like Danny.”

It was more than he needed to send him on. He changed his position so he could hold her upper arms – he always had to brace Danny as much as he could, because damnit the man could buck – and then used his leg to get her to hook hers over his, so they were entwined. It was his classic dry fuck position with Danny, and it was familiar, but it was a new smell and a new weight working against him. Still, he knew what to do, and he did it: he ground himself into her, working his strokes so that cock rubbed into her sex. It was different to feel the area give against him, instead of feeling an answering, hard erection, but that fact itself turned him on. It was the same; it was completely different. He began hammering against her and discovered that she, too, could put up a fight and they were grinding each other into oblivion. He really wanted her to come first, he wanted to give her that, but it did not happen as his moment snuck up on him and took him down.

“Liz! Ghod Liz, yes yes yesyesyes!” He cried out, pressing his mouth into her shoulder. And just as it began to fade for him he felt her tense, and cry out, a nameless word on her lips as she gasped for air and her hips rammed him painfully.

They lay together in silence, hands gently running over each other’s bodies, but Nicholas still felt like she held out something from him, that for all this and how he felt and what he knew she desperately wanted, she was closed to him. He knew he made a mistake, and now he did not know how to fix it, and he knew she was not going to let him even if he did.

---------

He tried to get her to leave with him, but she refused. It was genuine truth that she needed to write the story that night so it could be fact-checked in the morning and the paper put to bed by 2pm, the absolute latest she could FTP the files to the printer.

She also needed time to figure out how to stop this. Her experience with Nicholas was fantastic fully-dressed-sex, and she could not fault his technique. But it was not lost on her that she really liked him. Loved him? No, she was not ready to think like that, if ever.

Worse, she could have stopped it, but she did not want to at the time. She wanted it to be real, not just fucking on the floor, but that required an emotional leap she was unable to make. He would never know, and in fact he probably would not believe, that in the moment she said that she wanted to feel like Danny, she was not talking about sex. She wanted to needed like that, she wanted to trust like that, and she was as close as she had been in years to actually allowing herself to believe it was possible. She could not really say that, though, and the sex took over, and when she pushed him off afterwards she simply wanted to be alone again, and he knew it. He asked her to leave with him, and she heard the desperation in his voice, but she shut him out, because in the end that was the only safe thing she could do.

Working on the story took all of her attention, and it was a familiar, blissful oblivion. She would deal with Nicholas…no, Inspector Angel…later.

-------

Danny sat in the hospital bed, confused and annoyed. He still felt a little hazy but he was well enough to be discharged the next day, and he was excited about that more than anything. He told Nicholas that he really looked forward to watching Chuck Norris movies with him and Liz when they got home, and that’s when Nicholas got very uptight.

“You scared her off?”

“That wasn’t my plan.”

“But y’did.”

“Yes. I did.” Nicholas sighed and slapped bed’s restraining bars.

“Whot y’do, then?”

Nicholas pursed his lips and Danny laughed. “Y’kissed her!”

“What? How?...” Nicky’s look of horror was pure amusement to Danny.

“C’mon, Nickyyyy. That’s what we been planning all along, in‘nit?”

“Is it?”

“I thought so.” Danny frowned.

“Maybe…maybe it’s wrong, Danny. We…shouldn’t need anyone else.” Nicholas spoke, but did not look at him.

“Don’ see why not.”

Startled, Nicholas looked at him. “Well, because…because…”

“She’s interesting an’ fun. We both like her. Soooo…”

“I think she’s bit more complicated than that.”

“An’ that’s why you like her.”

Nicholas stared at him. “Yes.” He felt himself change in that answer, a deep disconnection like a small seismic shift that answered a desperate need but rattled him. He kept his face clear and it was not something he could explain to anyone, much less Danny, but it was the breaking of the shield inside him that protected himself, protected everyone, from desire. It was dangerous to want anything too much, he learned that a long time ago, and he channeled his life into wanting to be a the best police officer alive because he did not have to rely on anyone but himself to make it happen, but now that was not enough. Not for Danny, not for Liz, and not for himself. He did not know what would be enough, in fact, and that is what really scared the hell out of him, because he desperately wanted Danny to be enough for him, even as he knew that he was not.

--------

“I’m afraid you have to.”

“Inspector Angel, I understand that Danny wants to see me. I even visited him the hospital several times, didn’t I?”

“Always with great care to ensure that I was not present at the time, yes.”

Angel stood formally in the middle of her office with his hat under his arm. He had been back a few times since their encounter, but after enough cold shoulders, he stopped. Now, nearly a month later, Danny had been home for over a week and Liz was purposefully not visiting him there. She frowned.

“No.”

“You want me to beg?”

“As sexy as that sounds, no. I don’t want you to do anything other than leave.”

Angel remained stiff and severe looking, but took one step closer. “He wants to see you.”

“I don’t care. Piss off.”

“You’re lying.”

“Not your problem.”

“He almost died. We were crying on the floor of the hospital for him. You slept with his jacket that night. So you’re lying, and yes, that is my problem.”

She leaned back. “Why are you pushing me?”

“Because I care about you.”

She stared him. Nice words, it always started with nice words, and a feeling of deep and utter disgust roiled inside of her, but at the same moment she was gripped by a flush of desperate need. She wanted those words to be true.

“Why do you find that so hard to believe? For ghod’s sake, Liz, what happened that was so terrible that you can’t even allow yourself to care about us?”

She wanted him, she wanted him to care, and he said he did, and she wanted to believe that Danny did too. There was no bar high enough for them to pass, though, nothing they could do to prove what she needed to believe, and it came down to taking a risk. Now, or later, or never, but a choice had to be made, and it was only hers to make. She swore she would never live in fear again but was the fear of being alone forever any different than the fear of being hurt? Was it fair to punish herself for what someone else did to her years ago? Was it even right to live in self-imposed punishment for an act of justice?

“Tell Danny I’ll visit. For dinner. But I won’t stay late.”

“I won’t be there, so you know.”

“Why not? He’s your boyfriend.”

“He’s your friend.” Nicholas nodded, put his hat back on and left.

---------------

Danny made sure not to mess up things the way Nicholas did. It was a shame that someone as smart as Nicholas always got people wrong, but he supposed that was why they were such good partners, so they could help each other with their bad spots. Sometimes he just wanted to shove Nicholas around, make him do things the right way, because as perfect as Nicholas was on the job, he really had a brilliant way of screwing the rest of his life up. Danny felt he was mostly catching the runoff and not stopping the downpour but he did what he could.

In this case, it meant trying to crack Liz. Not in a bad way, of course, but she was a beautiful mystery and like Nicholas she had a hard, weathered exterior to her soul. Danny loved that, even if he did not understand the kind of life that led to it. Nicholas pushed everyone away because he was scared of himself; Liz pushed everyone away because she was scared of god only knows what. Danny could barely imagine doing either and found it unbearably romantic, kind of like Chow Yun Fat’s character in The Replacement Killers. Or Leon. Or even like Wolverine….

Danny loved Nicholas and he suspected he could fall in love with Liz; it would be so wonderful if Liz and Nicholas found some common ground with each other. They had before, for a while, and there was the physical attraction, but Liz wielded that like a machete and Nicholas was bad at emotional intimacy so they collided and crashed. Nicholas told him everything of what happened between him and Liz at her office, when Danny was in the hospital, and Danny was not happy that Nicholas did anything without asking first but he did not feel it was right for him to say anything about it. Nicholas was already paying the price of being completely shut out of Liz’ world anyway.

Danny planned nothing more than Chinese (delivered), cider, and a good movie, something girly like Long Kiss Goodnight. He was not planning on talking about things much, and certainly not hitting on her. No, what was needed was some good old fashioned ‘turning off’ action, relaxing and comfortable and friendly.

“I love this movie. She gets beat to shit.”

“She’s the hero, you aren’t supposed to like that, Liz.”

“No, I mean, she takes a beating and keeps on fighting and actually looks like she’s been in a fight. Not like those stupid Charlie’s Angels who never smear their lipstick.”

“Never thought of it that way. I guess it’s easy to smear lipstick in a fight.”

“It’s easy to smear lipstick any time of the day or night. It’s a nightmare.”

“Looks good, though.”

“Harumph.”

Danny leaned back thoughtfully, considering the problems of being an action hero wearing lipstick. Did seem kind of too much trouble.

“Danny?”

“Hm? Oh, lipstick…”

“No, no, just….”

“What?”

“You and Inspector Angel do seem rather…insistent.”

“We like you. Any reason why we shouldn’t?”

“I can think of a few, yes.”

“Like?”

“I’m a slut?”

Danny was not used to having put to him quite that honestly, and he blinked his eyes. “So you, you know, fool around?”

“Something like that.” Liz smiled.

“On your boyfriend?”

“No. Not in a relationship. I mean…I’m not in a relationship, and haven’t been in one for…a long time. So instead I just, you know, get around.”

“Makes sense.”

“Uh huh.”

“But if you were in a relationship…”

“You are not very subtle, are you?”

“I wasn’ saying with me…”

“I don’t know. I’d try to be, well, faithful. I mean if it was worth it to me. It’s all about trust, Danny.”

“You trust me?”

“I’m here. You have no idea the level of trust that entails.”

“What?”

“….Yes, I trust you.”

>-------------

Cont. (Links go to my LJ):
Part Five
 
 
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