A/N: Okay, let me warn you: this is going to be a CRUEL story. So… violence is the warning here.

I don't own them!

Chapter 1

Blurry. Everything was a blur to Nicholas Angel. His head felt like he had been in one more sea mine explosion, and consciousness just wouldn't come back to him at once. He couldn't see much since t was dark in… whatever this place was. He tried to remember what had happened before he had been knocked out. He and Danny had been investigating… Oh.

They had gotten a report about some group of crack-heads making a lair in a cellar of an abandoned house. Just a bunch of young people thinking they were immensely cool taking drugs and then doing whatever they pleased. Nicholas knew the type. They would run away at merely hearing the word "police", let alone facing actual officers. They should have run. It shouldn't have been hard. It shouldn't have turned out… like this. The last thing he remembered was walking through an arch and then… nothing but pain in his head as everything began to fade out. Knocked out with a hit in the head, so clichéd, he thought with a frown. Much like in one of Danny's movies. His heartbeat peaked. What had happened to Danny?

Suddenly Nicholas sensed movement to his left and instinctively jumped and moved away, which didn't go well with his apparent concussion, making his world spin dizzyingly.

"Danny?" he whispered cautiously and yet with a hint of concern.

"Mmmm…" the groan was drowsy but it was recognisably Sergeant Butterman's.

"Danny, are you alright?" Nicholas spoke a bit louder this time, trying to keep his worry under control.

"Yeah…" Danny's voice was a pitch higher than normally – a clear sign that he was scared. "Where are we?"

"I don't know," the Inspector replied honestly. He really couldn't be sure. Were they still in that cellar? It was quite cold there, too. He sensed Danny move a bit closer to him instinctively.

It wasn't long before the door opened and the light suddenly bursting into the room blinded the two officers for a moment. Soon enough the shapes began to get clearer and they saw three men standing in front of them. Two of those men had guns aimed at Nicholas and Danny, preventing them from any actions.

"So… There you are. Nicholas Angel," the third main spoke, and the inspector looked up sharply, trying to study the man's features as carefully as he could. Had they met before? It didn't look like they had…

"Who are you?" Nicholas demanded, his voice low and growly.

"Don't bother, you don't know me. Although I believe you've met a friend of mine. Dwayne Dexter, remember him?"

Nicholas shut his eyes tightly and suppressed a gasp. That name had been burned into his subconscious for a few years now. The guilt had never left him, even though he knew he hadn't had a choice. He had told the guy to drop the weapon first. But he hadn't obeyed. Why hadn't he obeyed?...

"Who-who's that?" Danny asked timidly, shifting slightly, forgetting about the gun pointed at him for a second.

"Oh, so you don't know?" the capturer turned to the sergeant. "He was a good friend of mine. And Nicholas here just turned up at his flat one day and killed him".

Danny turned a confused gaze at his friend.

"He was the crack-head with the Kalashnikov I shot," Nicholas' voice was close to whisper.

"But he had it coming, didn't he," Danny reasoned. Right now it didn't seem as amazing as it had when he had first heard the story. At that very moment he felt the barrel of the gun press harder into his temple.

"You better shut the fuck up," the capturer hissed.

"Leave him alone," Nicholas spoke up, drilling holes in the man's head with his glare. "There's nothing you need from him. It's me you need," he could feel Danny's panicked watery gaze falling on him but didn't react.

"You know, you might be right," the captor smirked. "We don't need him. So we can just get rid of him…"

The man holding the gun to Danny's head tightened his grip on the weapon but before he could do anything, he was interrupted.

"No!" Nicholas' yell was louder than his concussion would appreciate it but he didn't care. The leader of the three lifted his hand up, looking at Nicholas with some mix of malice and concentration.

"I see you don't want anything happening to your friend here, do you?" he spoke calmly, every word putting ice under the inspector's skin. "What if I put you through what I've been through?" He nodded his head at one of his men. "Let's take this guy upstairs and have a nice chat to get to know him".

Nicholas caught a glimpse of Danny's terrified glance and it shook him more than any of the car chases and gunfights he had ever been in. He couldn't let it happen. Whatever the cost.

"What, so you are that afraid of talking to me then?" he tried to sound as cocky as he could. "You are just a coward on crack. Like all of you are!"

What happened next happened very fast. The man turned to Nicholas swiftly, pulling a gun from behind his belt. The inspector didn't have the time the react as he heard a gunshot. There were a few milliseconds of terror… and then there was pain.

"Nicholas!" Danny yelped, watching his friend gasping for air and trying to recover, as a red patch on his shoulder, where the bullet went in, was growing larger and larger within seconds. The Sergeant felt something wet on his own face, and it took him a while to realise that it was, in fact, blood. Nicholas' blood that had splattered from his shoulder. He could feel tears forming in his eyes but he couldn't let them out. They had to be tough cops. "Nicholas…" Danny called out again, and the older officer looked up but avoided his gaze, locking his eyes on the captor instead.

"And this is all you can do?" he snarled through pain. Danny's eyes widened. This was not like Nicholas at all. It looked like he was trying out some tactics they often saw in movies they watched together. He was trying to make these people angry at him. The thought hit Danny really hard, and he looked at his friend again, trying to think of something to do but failing.

"What, are you going to keep hiding behind guns?" Nicholas went on, his voice still unsteady and breathy. "Or shall we have a nice talk?"

Their captor stopped, pondering those words.

"I knew you lot were just chickens," Nicholas only hoped his true intentions weren't too obvious. Hopefully, these idiots were stupid enough to fall for it.

"Alright, that's it," the captor launched at the police officer and put his hand onto his shoulder, squeezing it and digging his thumb into the wound, causing a loud yelp from the inspector. Danny could feel that something inside him was burning. He would do anything to make them stop hurting Nicholas but he knew there was nothing he could do. His throat felt like it was being squeezed and he made heroic efforts to prevent himself from sobbing.

"You want to play a tough guy, don't you?" the captor spoke calmly, looking Nicholas right in the eyes, breaking his personal space. He then turned to his helpers. "Okay, guys, let's take him upstairs!"

Danny could only watch as Nicholas was lifted up to his feet roughly and led out of the room. He couldn't take his eyes off his friend, and when their glances finally met for a second, he could swear he saw him mouth "it's alright" before turning away. The door shut loudly and Danny was left alone in the dark.