Dani flung herself into my arms. I held her tightly and gave her a fatherly kiss. I think I was getting the whole 'Dad' thing a bit more down now. It wasn't a second before she started jabbering at me.
"Oh my God, where have you been? It took you so long to get back and you missed us all getting shot at and bombed! Why weren't you here? You should have been here! Why did you have to take off all of a sudden and leave us? You're so stupid Dad!"
She wittered angrily in a very indignant daughterish way and hit me in the chest a few times. Thankfully she was just slapping in irritation rather than full on incapacitating me.
"I missed you too Dani," was all I said.
I enjoyed the reunion a moment longer before scanning the room. Crow's apartment was a bit of a mess right now. Like it hadn't been lived in in too long and an investigation team had turned it upside down for intel in the meantime. Yeah, that sounded about right. The team all seemed to be okay though. Jagan and Beth seemed healthy and strong, just a bit grubby and tired. Crow's clothes were covered in bloodstains and he had abrasions and more dried blood on his face and in his hair. His knuckles were blackened and bruised too. He looked like he'd been in a warzone. He'd probably won the war barehanded too. Dani was grimy and I could smell the gunshot residue on her clothes but she was shining. I hadn't missed her kissing Crow. I guess she enjoyed it. She'd have some light bruising on her ribs from that bullet impact but we could check that out later. Then I saw the other guy. He was blond, with a fairly handsome face and sharp eyes. His posture showed confidence and in his hand he held a gun. I pushed Dani behind me and whipped out my Glock training it on his upper torso. He reacted fast, dropping into a combat stance and raising his own weapon.
"Lower your weapon and identify yourself!"
A lot of shouts and calls were coming from the rest of the team. I wasn't listening. There was a threat in the room and my job was to eliminate it first.
"I said lower your weapon! Safety on, slowly down."
His eyes darted from my face around the room. He seemed confused or uncertain. He did as he was told though. He clicked the safety catch on the weapon and lowered it to the floor.
"Kick the weapon over here. Then sit on your hands."
Again he complied. The rest of the team watched silently.
"Name, rank, station."
"Drake Bradens. SCIT supervising officer. Appointed by the Department of Justice."
I blinked. This kid was... my replacement?
The rest of the team burst out laughing.
"We tried to tell you Dad but you were kinda in the zone and we didn't want anyone to be shot," Dani informed me kindly.
"Oh, Sherlock, your face. When he told you who he was. Priceless." Steve was cracking up, almost crying from laughter. He slapped my back and clutched his sides as he giggled to himself.
"When you made him sit on his hands. Absolutely hilarious. He looked like such a clown. I'll never forget that image Foster. You're the best boss in the world." Jagan was just pissing himself at Bradens. He did look kinda funny. He was still sitting there on his hands. I looked back at him and when he realised that I wasn't about to shoot him anymore he got back to his feet, a little abashed.
"Hi. Um, sorry I didn't introduce myself sooner."
I shook his hand a little tighter than I normally would. I wasn't sure I trusted this guy just yet. Besides, no DoJ sends some random to replace me without my consent. Period.