A/N: Thank you to anyone who is still following this story. I am sorry it's taking so long – there are a lot of things happening around me. The story is almost over. As always, I would appreciate your feedback.

Disclaimer: I do not own either of the movies.

Chapter 21

Danny glanced at the clock on the wall for what felt like the thousandth time. Not long after Brandt had received that phone call, Jane had been brought in, and he had to run out of the room to ask the doctors about her condition. She hadn't looked that good, as far as Danny could tell. However, his main concern remained to be Nicholas.

A few pointless time checks later the door opened, letting in a stone-faced Brandt.

"Is everything okay?" Danny asked on instinct and regretted it at once. Things were obviously very far from okay.

"She'll be fine," Brandt was obviously trying to take comfort in that; however he still had one more question that remained unanswered.

Danny's eyes went a bit wide. However distracted he was, he noticed the lack of focus in the other man's gaze. He swallowed.

Time passed, going endlessly and slowly. Brandt kept running out and into the room, his expression growing increasingly worn and concerned as the clock ticked.

It had to have been at least a few hours before the American finally settled down in the chair he had been sitting in earlier. He sighed and took his phone out again. Still no news from Luther and the sweepers. Or maybe there were some news but Luther was too busy to call? Taking a deep breath, he got his phone out again. Just as he was about to dial the number, the door opened again, and the room was suddenly full of movement. A doctor came in, and Danny rushed to him at a speed he hadn't thought he was capable of.

"How is he? Is he alright? Is he gonna be okay?" Danny suddenly found he was talking too much and too fast, but it was so hard to stop. Those questions had been tearing him apart from inside for way too long.

The doctor gently led Danny back to the chair he had been sitting in before.

"We did all we could for your friend, now it's all up to him," the doctor began, sitting down in a chair next to Danny's. "But there is hope for recovery," he rushed to add, seeing the man in front of him get agitated.

"His injuries though are very severe," the doctor proceeded, his expression hardening. "Normally I would have to ask how he had received them, but I've been informed on your case…" his glance met with Brandt's, and the American nodded ever so slightly. "He has gunshot wounds through both hands and in the thigh, a concussion, five broken ribs, several internal bleedings and cuts and bruises all over his body," the doctor took a pause to let that information sink in. He swallowed before continuing. "Our main concern, however, is the water in his lungs".

Danny had been feeling sick all the way during the doctor's speech, but the last sentence made his stomach twist even more. He suddenly remembered Benjamin's voice when he had said "They've been drowning him". Even though he barely knew that man, he found himself wondering where he was for a split second. From William's story it wasn't clear if he was even alive at all. The split second was over, quite soon, and Danny focused his attention on the doctor again.

"We're working our best to help him with that," the medic said as soothingly as he could. "As I've already said, he has chances to make a recovery. But it will take time".

Danny nodded.

"Can I go to him?" he hadn't expected his voice to sound so weak and hoarse. He blinked in slight surprise.

"In a while, yes," was the reply. "He'll be transferred into another room soon, and you can go and sit with him".

That got another nod from the sergeant. Danny looked down, so deep in thought that he didn't notice the doctor standing up and leaving the room. It was William's murmured cursing upon pocketing his phone that brought the officer out of his trance.

"Any news?" Danny asked, just to break the suffocating silence. The American just shook his head, an unreadable expression decorating his features.

"I'll go check on Jane," he finally uttered before standing up and leaving Danny alone with the clock again.

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

Danny couldn't find a word to say as he stared down at his partner's battered face. He knew he had to say something, he needed to say something. To reassure Nick. Or maybe himself. And yet he had nothing. His mind was empty and overloaded at the same time, leaving him with not a single coherent thought to cling to.

It had been about two hours after Brandt had left that Danny had been called to this room. He wondered if William was sitting with his friend Jane just like Danny was with Nicholas at the moment. He also wondered if Benjamin and Ethan were okay. He supposed Nicholas would want to know about his brother as well. He swallowed, taking in the sight of his friend, so unusually fragile and weak. He wondered how on earth it could have happened. Not so long ago he had been just a village police officer, Danny Butterman, far away from all this spy movie-ish mess. He hadn't even known… hadn't known so many things.

"He's gonna be okay," Danny suddenly heard a voice from next to him. Turning round sharply, he came to face Brandt. Despite the optimistic words, his face was full of sorrow.

"What about his brother? And…" the police officer didn't get to finish the question, as Brandt looked down and shook his head slowly. Danny felt his mouth go dry. How was he supposed to tell Nicholas that his brother…

"As Benji's friend," Brandt finally spoke again, not letting the sergeant finish his agonising thought, "I feel the need to give something to… Nicholas". He took out an envelope from his chest pocket and fondled it in his hand. "It's just a little letter. So that he will know how great and brave a man his brother… was".

His voice cracked during the last sentence and he visibly had to swallow a lump in his throat as he passed the envelope to Danny.

"I have to ask you to pass it straight to… Mr. Angel here when he wakes up though," he warned. "We're breaking enough rules already. Promise me that you won't read it. For your own safety".

Danny nodded, taking the envelope. He looked up at the other man's face again.

"I am sorry," he croaked, trying to imagine how it must feel for William to lose two of his friends at once.

"I'm sorry, too," Brandt answered, letting out a humourless laugh. "I think we've made things bad enough for you guys. We should go our ways now. Take care, you two".

Danny tried to think of something to answer but wasn't fast enough as the agent turned around and left quickly. The sergeant took a deep breath and looked at Nicholas again. He'd have a lot to take in after waking up…