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H50 Drabble: Piece by Piece (1/1)

December 18th, 2010 (01:03 pm)

Title:  Piece by Piece

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  This is another one for hawaii_5_0_100  with the word “betrayal.”  This, however, is NOT related to my other drabbles and stands alone.  Thanks to geminigrl11  and sendintheklowns , for betaing and helping me pare this WAY down to meet the 500 word guideline :)

Summary:  If Rachel doesn’t walk away, she’ll have nothing left for Danny, nothing left for Grace, nothing left at all.


Some couples mix like peanut butter and chocolate, smooth and easy, but when Rachel collides with Danny it’s oil on a hot pan.  Sometimes she gets burned, but it’s always worth it in the end.

He rants; she raves.  He diffuses her with sarcasm; she plies him with mockery.  They fight; they kiss.  It’s electric.

Danny works bad hours and always brings his job home.  Their house is small and the neighborhood, mediocre.  Rachel wants to eat out; Danny likes nights in.  Rachel wants a beach getaway, maybe Hawaii; Danny craves weekends in the city, ball games and hot dogs. 

But Rachel is a woman who does anything for the results she wants, and Danny’s the kind of guy who keeps his commitments, no matter what.  Rachel decided years ago she wanted Danny, and he’s never wavered from her since.

So she deals with the hours, the questionable pillow talk.  She endures his complaints, makes do with the house.  Because this is who Danny is; loving him means accepting that.  They’re as happy as they let themselves be, and Rachel believes it until the day her phone rings.

It’s the hospital; they want her to come right away.

Her hands shake so she can hardly drive.  She understands it’s a dangerous job, but she’s never really known it until the dread in her stomach is so heavy, she thinks she might be sick.

Danny’s fine, a bullet in his leg.  When he’s released, they take that vacation -- South Carolina, as a compromise.  For a week, they’re like newlyweds.

But Rachel can’t forget.  Her chest tightens with every phone call; she freezes when the doorbell rings.  She can’t sleep when Danny pulls the nightshift.  When he’s there, she dreams of doctors telling her how sorry they are.

Danny smiles, tells her cops are more likely to die in the shower than on duty.  The statistics are very clear.

He’s trying too hard; she’s not trying hard enough.  The little moments are less.  The fights are angrier.  The ribbing, exasperated.

Rachel doesn’t know the cop, but Danny does.  She wears black to the funeral, and clutches Danny’s hand at the open casket.  When the widow breaks down, two pale-faced children at her sides, Rachel excuses herself.

She can live with the house.  She can endure his rants.  She can take anything but this: to be a grieving widow, to live in fear.  Rachel can endure a thousand small hurts, but losing Danny like that -- would shatter her.

It’s already shattering her, piece by piece.  If she doesn’t walk away, she’ll have nothing left for Danny, nothing left for Grace, nothing left at all.

The next day, she draws up the paperwork.  When she tells Danny, he’s angrier than she’s ever seen him.  He storms out, door slamming, and she lets herself breathe for the first time in years.  She tells herself that this betrayal is worth it -- worth the pain in his eyes, the emptiness in her heart -- worth it all.


Posted by: Kare (kare)
Posted at: December 19th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
H50 Slasher for Rachel

Really love this, beautiful work.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: December 22nd, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
danny steve walk

I'm so glad you liked it :) Thanks!

Posted by: purple_spock (purple_spock)
Posted at: December 19th, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)

This is so heartbreaking, and I really love that not only is it from rachel's point of view, but that it gives a reason for their divorce that doesn't make her seem like a complete bitch, and gives her a really human side. Great job. : D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: December 22nd, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
danny and steve work together

I really liked that the show allowed her to be human, so even if we understand Danny's anger at her, we understand her POV as well. Thanks!

Posted by: shadynaiad (shadynaiad)
Posted at: February 11th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
mod hat

Thought you might like to know your fic "Piece by Piece" has been recced HERE at h50_rec_room.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 14th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
danny doesn't get fired

Thanks for the heads up :)

Posted by: jessnick05 (jessnick05)
Posted at: February 13th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)

Oh, Rachel! <3 She's wonderful here, so real, loving Danny & trying & hurting. This was lovely if awfully bittersweet.

(here from a rec at h50_rec_room.)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 14th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
hawaii family

I do like the direction the show has taken with Rachel very much. There's part of me that wants to resent her on Danny's behalf, but her POV is still compelling and justified in its own right. I do hope we see more of her.


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