|Into the Ocean
Author: LoquitorLatinae PM
Steve and Danny get kidnapped by a vicious gang and find themselves at sea with the gang's dangerous leader. Can they hold out until help comes or do they have what it takes to rescue themselves? Danny!whump, worried!Steve Steve/DannyRated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Steve M. & Danny W. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 16,557 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 102 - Follows: 48 - Updated: 04-08-11 - Published: 03-31-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6861950
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So, this is my first Hawaii 5-0 fanfic. I've been enjoying this show for a while and just finally got this out! Ah, you can maybe say that I'm a big fan of Danny!whump? I just really like the idea of an injured!Danno and a worried/helpless!Steve. There needs to be more worried!Steve in the show. In any case, I hope you all enjoy! (I had to split the story in two because it was so long, so consider this the first part of a rather long one shot).
Detective Daniel Williams clutched at the dash in desperation, other hand locked against the side passenger window as his Camaro was forced through another body-jolting swerve that just barely sent them careening over the edge of the cliff.
Sure, it was a scenic, beautiful Hawaiian cliff, but a precipice nonetheless.
"Slow down, Jeff Gorden! Remember, this isn't your car! We aren't even chasing anyone so what's with the speed?"
Commander Steve McGarrett didn't even bother to glance at him, dark blue eyes focused entirely on the road ahead, which might have actually been for the best with the speed he was driving. "If we don't cut our suspect off at the next intersection, they'll get into the city and we might lose them. We need to intercept and take them down early."
"Still, whatever road they're on, they can't be going this fast. It's not sane. Just slow down a little, okay? Remember, I've got a daughter who needs-"
"-who needs her Danno, I know. Just shut up and let me drive."
Their team had been after a small but vicious gang of drug runners for days. The guys they were chasing now were some of the lower grunts, the boys who actually did the drug transports. Five-0 had just confirmed their route half an hour ago which was how Danny now found himself clutching onto his car for dear life as they tried to intercept the drug run. If they could catch the perps with a van full of drugs – before they made it into the city and had a chance to distribute – they would be able to make arrests and start questioning them about their bosses. And as much as Danny was complaining about the driving he was at least happy that they were finally going about something a little more by the books. Making official arrests the right way, through search and seizure and possession charges made him feel a whole lot more at ease than the Rambo way his partner usually did things.
Despite his appreciation of Steve's attempt to go by the book though, Danny couldn't help but explode with anxious rebuke as they careened around another corner. "Why, why do we always have to take roads like this? It isn't even a road really, more like a dirt path placed so close to the edge it's like it was designed for disaster."
As usual, he and Steve had been paired up, taking his car for the chase. After so many months of working with Steve and the Five-0, Danny had gotten used to it though. In fact, at this point he might just feel bereft if he didn't have a death-defying experience at least once a week – not that he'd ever tell that to Steve. Steve, his hard-headed, psychotic, wonderful partner. Yes, wonderful, along with all the accompanying positives: handsome, brilliant, strong, loyal. Jesus, he was so far gone – heads over heels with this guy. It was worse than how it had been with Rachael, more mind consuming, this growing obsession only exasperated by the fact that they worked all day together in relatively close contact.
It was something Danny knew that he couldn't put off for much longer. He knew that both of them were beginning to feel the relationship between them changing but honestly between work and their own stubbornness, they had yet to address the issue head on. They would eventually, but Danny suspected that once they did face it, it'd keep them occupied for a good while – hopefully in Steve's house – and he wanted to wait until they actually had the time to spare.
"Danny, just read me what we've got on these guys." Danny snapped out his thoughts when he heard the irritation in his partner's voice. That's right, he had been on a rant before he lost himself to his thoughts.
"Alright, alright." Danny risked letting go of the dash to grab at the file tucked between their chairs. "Kono's got that we're looking for three meat-heads here, all of them judging by their mug shots twice as tall as I am and two times your weight. Real big boys with big rap sheets, everything from petty theft to manslaughter."
"We can take them."
Danny blinked at Steve's obvious confidence then scowled. "No way. Though I appreciate your optimism and apparent belief in your personal prowess, we're getting back-up for this, Rambo."
"Fine, we'll call when we've got eyes on them."
Danny cursed as they tore around another corner and suddenly there was a screech of tires as their front end slammed into the very van that they had been pursuing. "Shit!" He cried out as both cars spun from the impact, hand flying to grasp for Steve's sleeve as the other man spun the wheel to get back in control.
When the car stopped spinning, Danny wanted nothing else than to fall back in his seat and gather his wits but years of police training forced him to kick open the door and jump out with his gun drawn. Steve was one step ahead of him, already stalking toward the busted-up van, his soldier voice curt and stiff as he called out, "Hands up! I want to see your hands up and off of that steering wheel!
The front window shield of the van had cracked into a spider web but Danny could see two figures inside obeying, hands lifting into the air. As Steve went to the driver's side, Danny curved around to the passenger. He ripped the door open and pulled a man at least two heads taller than him out as his partner did the same on the other side of the car. Despite his intimidating height and breadth of his shoulders however, the man was blessedly compliant. Danny never appreciated it more as he rolled his right shoulder with a wince. The car crash had definitely thrown it out of whack. "What the hell was that all about, McGarrett?" he called out as he clicked handcuffs onto his perp, the action difficult since his hands were waving frantically with irritation. "We could have gotten seriously hurt with that idiotic stunt and, by the way, you're paying for that damage to my car!"
"Because I meant to jack-knife into the van? Obviously, if I had known that it was coming I wouldn't have made that turn the time that I did."
"Somehow, I don't think you're telling the truth. But you know what, I'll drop it if you can find the evidence we're looking for in the back of the truck. It'd be just our luck if you crashed us into the wrong frickin' van."
Steve rolled his eyes, obviously on the brink of exasperation. "It's not the wrong van. Call in for a black and white. I'll check out the back and get you your evidence."
Danny rolled his eyes but bit back a retort in exchange for pulling out his cell phone and quickly calling HPD. "Detective Williams here from 5-0. We're going to need a pick up. Location? Yeah, hang on a sec." Lifting his head away from the phone, he called out. "Steve? Where are we?" When he heard only silence in response, Danny frowned and took a few steps around the vehicle. "Hey, Steve, a little help with directions here, babe."
He was sure that the term of endearment would rouse a little bit of a response but when he didn't hear anything afterward, an anxious feeling pricked the back of his mind. "Hold on," he told the dispatcher, "I'll get back to you in a moment."
His instincts told him to reach for his gun, but he didn't hear the crunch of footsteps behind him. All he felt was an explosion of pain on the back of his head before everything instantly went black.
When he came to, before his vision could even return, Danny could feel that his wrists hurt and that he was definitely in an uncomfortable position. Needing to know what the situation was, he forced his eyes only to have a muffled curse rumble past his lips when the sun's glare hit him full force, not helping his throbbing headache.
He was tied to something, loosely anyway, but a tug proved that he was stuck, with rope probably, wrapped around his wrists. His legs were sprawled out in front of him. For a moment he thought that he was on some weird giant chair, no, it was a deck. He was on a boat. On the top deck, sweating in the late afternoon sun. God, he was probably sunburned by now, though he had put on sunscreen this morning. Frowning, trying to make sense of things while his head felt like it was split open, Danny tugged against his bonds, gasping in surprise when he heard a groan from beside him. He hadn't even realized he had company, but he had immediately recognized voice, even through his haze of pain. "…Steve?"
"Shit…" Danny moaned when Steve bumped him as he shifted, aggravating his aches all the more. They were tied to the railing of the deck, just two rungs away from each other so they were knocking against each other in every move they made. "Hey, do you mind?"
"What happened?" Steve's voice was rougher and lower than usual but he stopped his movements and attempt to try and take stock of their situation.
"Well I don't know what happened to you but I was knocked upside the head and blacked out." Danny grimaced when he sensed cold dampness on the back of his hair, contrasting to the hot sun on his face. "Shit. I hope I'm not still bleeding. What about you?"
"Three men were in the back. One of them got me with a stun gun."
Danny closed his eyes—they were definitely in trouble. The yacht was a large one. Even though they were out in the open, there was a covered superstructure further aft, probably led below deck to some sort of living quarters. The deck was made of teak planks, good, expensive wood. The walls were painted white, accented with darker woods and brass. Which was casting one hell of a glare. God, his head hurt. Maybe if he just closed his eyes for a few seconds…
He hadn't even realized that he had been drifting off until he felt a shoulder bump against his. Steve was looking at him as if he'd just found out a puppy had been kicked. "Danno, you okay?"
Danny scowled, Steve's concern irritating him and he felt himself stiffen and prepare for a rant. His anger was fueled further when he realized that even while they were sprawled out on a deck awkwardly propped up against the railing Steve was still taller than him. "I'm peachy. Just perfect. This is exactly how I wanted to start my week, with extensive head trauma and tied to you like a freakin' fish heading to market. And you know what? I'm blaming you."
"You're blaming me?" Steve had the nerve to sound amused.
"Yes, I'm blaming you. Somehow this is going to be your fault. It's always your fault. And guess who gets the short end of the stick. Me. Are you bleeding from the head? No? Just me? Aren't I lucky. You, McGarrett, have to be the worst karma magnet in existence. Seriously, you're like a lighthouse for disaster, but you're such a freaking army ninja you manage to dodge it and leave me to get hit with the brunt of it instead."
"Navy, not army."
"Really? You're going to do that now? Do I need to remind you that I'm bleeding here?"
"Are you really still bleeding?" The question stopped Danny's rant, his blue eyes widening when Steve bumped his shoulder again. "Here, let me see." Danny did so, twisting his head around, admiring the front bit of the ship as Steve stared at the back of his head. He could feel the dampness of the blood, but was anything still coming out? After a moment, Steve spoke up again. "It's hard to tell without being able to feel it out. I see dried blood but nothing fresh but it might be hiding beneath your hair."
Danny grimaced. "All I know is that my head hurts like a bitch and I'm still dizzy."
Steve's breath ghosted over the back of his neck, comforting and warm. "Just try to stay awake, alright?"
"No shit, Sherlock." Danny twisted back around. "I don't plan on napping any time soon, despite this fantastic heat beating down on us."
"Come on, haole, we can stand a bit of heat."
"Easy for you to say. I happen to be in an actual shirt and tie over here. Something presentable albeit not particularly meant for long exposure underneath the sun. And don't even get me started on all the UV rays we're soaking up right now. You're probably already well on your way to skin cancer. I was actually hoping to live into old age."
Steve opened his mouth to retort but before he could even get a word out, both heard the unique sound of a metal door opening and slamming shut. They heard footsteps before they actually saw anyone, but soon a man walked around the corner of the yacht's superstructure. It was a large man, probably a little over six feet tall, well above Danny's height. He was Asian, Danny couldn't discern any more than that but Steve had probably already determined the specific province the guy's family was from and was thinking up a good insult in his native language – because Steve was definitely like that. He was wearing a suit despite the heat and Danny held himself back from asking how he could stand it; he knew the sweat stains growing under his arms and along his collar were never going to come out.
As the man came closer, Steve tensed as if waiting to be attacked. Danny was just curious to know what kind of guy would go through all the trouble just to kidnap the two of them. Seemed a bit extreme for a gang. Yeah, the gang was known for being rough and ruthless, but this was a bit over the top.
"I see the two of you are finally awake." The voice was thick with an accent but luckily still understandable. "Better for you – I was just starting to think that I would have to wake you up myself. I was actually starting to enjoy thinking of ways to do so."
"Sorry to burst your bubble then." Danny spat, as usual unable to keep his mouth shut. His hands would be flying to punctuate his words if they weren't lashed behind him. "By the way, what the hell are you thinking? You're gonna have the entire Hawaiian police department on your ass so fast you won't know what hit you. How stupid are you?"
The man only smiled. He was far too happy to have captured two cops. "Detective Williams, Commander McGarrett," great he knew who they were, "I am Yuan, and I will be your host for the next few days."
His tone and expression were so annoyingly arrogant that Danny couldn't help but speak up. "I think you're seriously overestimating the speed of this boat. Our team is going to find you so you might as well just let us go now-"
He was cut off with a backhand to his face. Wincing, Danny shook his head to clear his head while Steve scowled angrily, looking murderous until Danny pressed his shoulder against him. He was fine. The hit had stunned him but it would take a lot more than that to take down this Jersey boy.
Yuan continued as if he hadn't even been interrupted. "This yacht is an entirely legitimate private vessel spending a few days in the ocean. There is nothing suspicious about it. Even your top team will take a while to find you. In the meantime, I have a proposition for you, Commander McGarrett." As he spoke, he stepped to the side to confront Steve.
Steve remained stubbornly silent, trying to level the man with his SEAL "don't fuck with me stare" but Yuan continued.
"I have heard about your special unit. Word is that you have access to just about everything on these islands and very little restrictions. I would like to borrow some of your resources."
"Sorry. Not interested."
Yuan was silent for a moment and when he spoke next his voice was tighter and his snake-like smile had died somewhat. "I don't think that you quite understand your situation, Commander. You are going to give me what I want – safe passage to China for me, my crew, and our cargo, one million dollars, and two of my men in your prison set free."
There was no way that Steve would agree to those conditions, Danny wouldn't let him. Sure they had gotten the ransom money for Chin, but that's because Chin had a bomb strapped to his throat. Besides, it would be almost impossible to get two guys out from jail – it would involve way too much paperwork and someone was bound to notice Yuan's attempt to get them free.
"I can't do that."
Good job, Steve. Tell it to him straight.
"I thought that might be your first answer. I also think you might change your mind."
Before Danny knew what had happened, a foot rammed into his stomach, instantly knocking the air out of him and slamming him back against the railing. The damn guy had landed a roundhouse kick right into him. Coughing, Danny desperately tried to get his breath back but before he could, Yuan grabbed his collar and punched him twice hard across the face. He hit hard enough that Danny was seeing so many black spots he might as well have gone blind but the blows had somehow kept from breaking his nose or any other bones. When he felt something damp run down his face though, he knew that there was some broken skin he was going to have to deal with.
"Hey! Get away from him!" Danny thought he felt Steve kicking out, the man's leg moving in front of him but his head was spinning just a little too much to tell for sure. Whether he was jostled or not, a whimper still escaped his throat. Danny figured he was lucky that Yuan hadn't kicked hard at his still-healing knee; that would have sent him into months of physical therapy.
Danny tried to reorganize his thoughts as he heard Yuan chuckle. "Are you going to give me what I have requested, Commander?"
"…No." The word came out much more strangled than before.
"Very well. I will allow you some time to think things over. But when I come back, I expect a more compliant answer."
Danny heard Yuan walk away but he must have blacked out for a few moments because the next thing he knew, Steve was calling his name, the SEAL's breath warm and almost frantic against his cheek. "Danny! Danny?"
"Ugh…" Danny pursed his lips tight, head rolling to nestle further against Steve's shoulder. "Shit. I hate you, I really, really hate you…Not only are you fixing my car but you're buying me dinner too."
"Shit, yeah, sure. Danny, you okay?"
"One of those expensive places too. Where I can buy that Kobe steak or whatever for over a hundred dollars. And am I okay? Are you serious? My chest is on frickin' fire, I'm surprised I'm not coughing up blood from that kick, and, judging by the amount of red now on your shirt, my face is going to look like some sort of Halloween mask after it starts swelling. And let's not forget the back of my head, which has taken a bit of a back seat, but still hurts."
"And don't you dare give that guy what he wants."
"Wasn't planning on it but I didn't know that he was going to go after you like that." He chuckled darkly, "At least you're well enough to rant like usual."
Danny grimaced. "What? I look that bad?"
"Wounds to the face bleed a lot. It probably looks worse than it actually is but still…"
"Wonderful. Lucky there's no beauty competition going on right now or else you'd have me beat for sure." His dry tone caused some semblance of a smile to flicker across his partner's face. Shifting, Danny winced as the ropes tying him to the boat's railing rubbed painfully against his skin. That and his head still hurt, on top of everything else, the direct sun doing nothing to help it. "Shit." He closed his eyes. "Well, since we're stuck here, I'm going to take a nap, get a bit of peace maybe before that guy comes back to beat the crap out of me again."
Since Danny's head injury had not proven to be too debilitating – and therefore wasn't too big of a medical emergency that would leave Danny dead as soon as he closed his eyes - Steve nodded and encouraged the idea by lowering his shoulder a bit. When Danny was settled, the shorter man's head tucked securely against his neck, Steve finally allowed himself to relax just a little. Danny's face really was a mess – one of the punches had nicked enough skin to cause a cascade of red to wash over the right side of his face, the side now pressed against his shirt. Yuan had to have been wearing a ring or something. Maybe the contact with his shirt's fabric would help clean it off, but what Steve really wanted was the use of his hands and some water.
As it turned out, when Yuan said he was going to give them time to think things over, he meant it. They were left alone for the whole night. Steve considered himself good at keeping track of time, it came from his time as a SEAL, and it was around midnight when a light rain fell over the deck. Though Hawaiian nights never got very cold – it was probably only in the low sixties tonight – the rain was not welcome, soaking their clothes thoroughly within a few minutes. The clinging fabric was uncomfortable and Danny had begun to squirm in his sleep. Pursing his lips, Steve could only watch as the gel from the blond man's hair was washed away, laying it flat against his face. Luckily, the rain was cleaning his face somewhat and Steve was relieved to see that all of the blood did indeed seem to be coming from a single cut on his forehead. That was one less thing he had to worry about.
As if sensing Steve's intense gaze, Danny shifted. A soft groan escaped his throat as his eyes opened, "Nn, crap…Why am I wet?"
"It's raining, Danno."
"On the upside, your face looks better."
"Fantastic. At least I'm good looking while I'm tied up on a boat next to you for God-knows-how-long."
They lapsed into a sort of silence after that, neither knowing quite what to say in this situation. It wasn't until a few minutes later that Danny let out a long sigh, feeling the rain drip off of his nose and soaking through layer after layer of his clothes. "How long do you think we're going to be stuck here?"
"I don't know, Danny. We'll manage though. We'll get out of this mess like we always do, you'll see."
As it turned out, their isolation continued well into the morning after the rain had abated. By then the sun was blaring down at them full-force again, quickly drying them off and leaving their clothes stiff and crinkled. Their skin wasn't all that better - already creacking and uncomfortably tight from the salt air, rain, and sun - and Steve could feel the beginnings of dehydration creeping up on him, not to mention hunger.
Danny kind of found himself in a daze in the day-time hours. Steve tried to engage him in conversations every so often. He knew the SEAL was trying to rile him up on purpose, to make him a little livelier; but honestly, he just didn't have the energy. He spent most of the hours just kind of leaning against his partner which was good enough for him – he didn't know why Steve was so worried.
Despite how lethargic he was feeling though, he still tensed as much as Steve when the door to the yacht's superstructure opened again. "Just keep quiet," Steve commanded hurriedly, "I'm going to see if I can talk to him."
"I'm so getting my ass kicked again if you're going to be acting as the negotiator," Danny groused. He nudged Steve's shoulder to show that he didn't mean it but even so, he had the sinking suspicion that no matter how hard Steve tried to protect him (and wasn't that a God-awful damsel-in-distress moment) that he was still going to get hurt again. Because Steve was Steve, and he didn't negotiate with these sorts of people. He kicked their asses. That's what Danny loved so much about him.
As Yuan walked across the deck toward them, Danny had to wonder if there was even anyone else on the boat. It was probable, after all, the motor was always running – someone had to be at the wheel, but there hadn't been a sign of any other life. Maybe that was part of the whole kidnapped and isolated punishment thing. If nothing else, not knowing who else was below deck put a hamper on any planned escapes because they had no idea what they were up against.
When Yuan smiled at the sight of them, Danny knew that they had to look a mess. Maybe something similar to two drowned rats. "I hope you two had a good sleep last night?" Yeah, by that smug tone they had to look like shit.
Steve was being silent again and, remembering Steve's terse order, Danny pursed his own lips together to hold in a retort. Yuan was not perturbed though. "Commander, have you reconsidered my offer?"
"Go to hell." Steve spat. It was a little fiercer than what Danny had expected. He was more ready for a steady, monotone 'The United States government does not negotiate with terrorists.' But then again, his SEAL always did have a flair for the dramatic.
"You do not want me to hurt poor Detective Williams again, do you, Commander? All I am asking for is transport, a little bit of funds, and for my friends to be returned to me. Is that too much to ask?"
Steve's dark blue eyes narrowed. "I can't do that for you. If you're angry about it, hit me instead. Maybe you can convince me if you try really hard."
Tilting his head, Yuan sighed, "Perhaps, but unlikely. There'd be no point if I beat you, Commander. You would take it without making a noise. But if I hurt him," he kicked Danny, just hard enough to get a grunt of muffled discomfort from him and make Steve snarl, "you react, and I will eventually get what I want. Besides, I like the sounds your partner makes."
Words flowed out of Danny's lips before he even knew what was happening. "You know, those are the kinds of things I feel more comfortable hearing from a more intimate acquaintance. You're going to have to take me out to a dinner and movie first before you try that agai-!"
Danny was cut off mid-word when Yuan kicked him again, the man's expensive loafer hammered square into his chest. This was a harder kick than before and as Danny slammed back against the railing he heard a series of cracks as white hot pain shot through him.
Something bad had happened this time. It was all Danny could do to slump breathlessly against Steve's shoulder, coughing between desperate, quick, little breaths. He couldn't even hear what the other two were saying – the ringing in his ears was completely overwhelming.
Coughing again, feeling something damp and warm drip onto his chin, blood, Danny flinched when he saw the shadow of a person coming at him only to grunt in relief when he felt Steve's stubble-rough chin rub against his forehead. The SEAL was undoubtedly trying to maneuver his head to get a better look at what was going on. "Danno, don't go under on me, baby. It's okay, he's gone. Come on, let me know you're with me."
"Mn'here." Danny sucked in a breath, wincing when the inhale caused his chest to twinge painfully.
"Okay. Good." Steve's relief was tangible by the deep sigh over the bridge of Danny's nose. "You're going to have to tell me what hurts and how it hurts though. I need to know what we're dealing with here."
"Shit." Talking hurt worse than breathing, but Steve sounded too pathetically worried to ignore. He settled on whispering, hoping to discourage any further shifting. "Well, I can almost hear my ribcage crackling at the slightest movement, I honestly can't breathe and – shit – everything hurts." Even his wrists were hurting worse than ever. Damn, it felt like someone was jabbing needles into his skin.
"Your ribs are probably broken but what I'm worried about is the possibility of a pierced lung. You're coughing up blood so that's the likeliest source. I need to get a better look at it but if your lung is punctured, we'll need to find some way to stabilize it." Steve's voice had turned soldier-like, sharp and detached. Even Danny could hear the building panic behind it though, and the fact that Steve felt the need to get into his Rambo mode to stay focused scared him more than the idea of his partner having a panic attack.
Despite the situation, Danny chuckled, though the sound came out more as a choked gurgle. "Too bad …you don't, don't have any bamboo around, huh?" He had heard about Steve's recent exploit in the forest with Chin and that girl who needed to get to the courthouse to testify. According to Chin, Steve had pretty much gone over the deep end, including stabbing a guy through the chest with a hollow piece of bamboo – though that had apparently been in order to help the guy.
"Shut up, Danny. This is serious."
"Shit, you think I… I don't know that?" Danny wheezed then paused. His hands had jerked up in their usual attempt to gesticulate along with his words but this time the movement had felt different. Through his dazed pained-filled mind, he realized that he was feeling something actually digging against his arms. They were wood splinters. Though it hurt to move, Danny shifted again and found that the rung behind him, the one that he had been tied to, was broken. That last kick that Yuan had delivered had slammed him so hard against the railing that it had actually snapped.
Realizing that this was very important, Danny rested his cheek against his Steve's shoulder, trying to find the strength to get the right words out even when the world was starting to spin in front of him. "Steve."
"Behind me." He sucked in a rattling breath, able to speak only after he wet his cracked and dry lips, wincing as he caught the taste of blood on his tongue. "Railing's broken."
Steve huffed a breath against his skin, maybe in a sort of muffled laugh of relief even when his dark brows were furrowed with concern. "Good. Good work, Danny. Do you think you can get free?"
Danny grimaced but leaned back against the splinters. He bent his wrists up, shifting his hands back and forth in an attempt to wiggle himself off of the broken rung. Slowly but surely he moved his arms up, trying to get the knot up and over the splintering. Just when his arms were bent at a bridging-on-painful angle he reached the break and he lurched forward, now separated from the railing.
Even just rocking that extra foot forward felt amazing after nearly twenty-four hours of very limited mobility. Rasping out a chuckle, Danny wiggled his wrists around and a second later he was slipping out of the rope and then his hands were free. Thank God!
When he drew his hands in front of him, to look at the damage done, the wide movement exacerbated his wounded chest. Air rushed from his lungs in a gasp of agony but he muffled it by biting his lower lip hard and turned to Steve. Now was not the time to focus on the pain, or on the fact that he wasn't sure he could stand up because he was already dizzy, or that swallowing hurt his parched throat, or he was feeling every single bruise tenfold now that he had been able to move and get his blood circulating properly again.
With shaking fingers, Danny reached around Steve, leaning on the other's shoulder as if it was the only thing keeping him upright, and fumbled with the SEAL's bindings. His fingers felt thick and clumsy, so it took a minute longer than it should have but as soon as Danny had the ropes loosened Steve was pulling himself free and explaining a plan to him – one so thought out that Danny knew Steve must have had it all worked out within minutes of their original capture.
Danny couldn't hear it though, couldn't hear anything beyond the sound of blood pumping through his head. That's it, he was done. No more, everything hurt. He just wanted to go sleep for a few days – maybe when he woke up next it would be Saturday and he could spend the day with Grace and pretend like none of this had ever happened.
"Danny!" The Jersey cop hissed when pressure suddenly wrapped around his chest, sending another stab of pain down his torso. Immediately, the pressure switched to his shoulders. "Jesus, sorry! You with me, Danno?"
Danny forced his eyes to focus. He found himself looking down at the deck, which was strange because his head was spinning so much he hadn't even been able to tell, and at Steve's shoes. He tried to speak but his tongue was annoyingly thick. "Wha' hap'nd?"
"You almost hit the deck. I had to catch you to keep you from hitting the wood. Come on, we've got to move. Come on, Danny."
Danny felt his arm lifted over Steve's shoulder. He tried to focus and get his act together, he really did. But every step made his body shift and bones ache and whenever Steve breathed his expanded chest pressed painfully against his ribs. A pained whimper escaped his lips embarrassingly enough only after two steps and he was already panting like they had just gone on a ten mile sprint down the beach. "St-Steve…I," he swallowed, tasting blood after another cough, "I can't…"
"You can and you will." Steve's tone left no room for argument.
Danny wasn't feeling so optimistic and tried to express his growing concern but all that came out was his partner's name in a desperate gasp.
"I know, Danno, I know. Just a few more steps. I promise."
"I'm not. Just a few more steps. You can do it, Danny."
Steve cursed as he watched Danny's face pale even more under the red sunburn across his cheeks. They were both dehydrated but Danny wasn't as used to the sun and heat and with the blood loss he was definitely feeling it much worse. He also didn't have Steve's SEAL training, hadn't been taught how to go without and compartmentalize the headache and fatigue. Add the beatings on top of that in the internal bleeding he certainly had – judging by the fresh droplets of blood on the other man's lips – and it was a miracle his partner was still conscious, much less hold his weight upright.
But Danny was a trooper, actually tottering alongside him. His steps were as shaky as a drunk's but he was still helping Steve out a lot. He could carry his haole if it came to that, but with an extra arm he could hopefully pick up some essential items on their way off the boat. While Danny had been sleeping that morning, Steve had come up with a plan.
He had seen a life boat tucked over the opposite side of the yacht – that was the key to their escape. The second thing they would need would be some supplies, who knew how long they were going to be at sea for? Moving both of them as quickly and quietly as he could to the superstructure, Steve carefully lowered Danny down onto the bench along its exterior bulkhead. He caught the other man's attention, motioned for him to be silent, then crept around the corner where he knew the door was.
There was a small port window embedded in the door and Steve took the risk to glance inside. The space beyond the door looked like a compact room, taken up mainly by a ladder that led down to another door – the watertight entrance to the below deck living space – and a shelving unit stocked with different items. It was thankfully free of any life and Steve immediately slid the door open and slipped inside, knowing that as soon as he had opened that door he had a very limited time span to get everything they could need and get out.
The shelf was coupled by a stool leaning up against it and looked as though it had been stocked to function as a sort of temporary post, a place where someone could stay comfortable for a few hours with the items tucked away there. Immediately, Steve snatched up the water bottle there along with the hand-held two-way radio. Undoubtedly it was now set to the channel the gang used to talk to one another but he could make it useful. As he tucked the radio and water into his cargo pockets, his eyes scanned the rest of the items: a pad of paper, a few pens, a small alarm clock, and a map. He briefly considered the map before he realized that he had no idea about their coordinates and would have no way of determining them without the proper equipment, rendering the map of the Hawaiian islands effectively useless. It would have been nice if someone had left their gun or a knife at least on the shelf as well, but he'd have to work with what he had. He briefly contemplated taking a pen, it was a hollow tube after all, similar in practice to a bamboo shoot, before he realized that he had nothing sharp enough to cut into Danny with. He could only hope that Danny's lung hadn't collapsed yet, and could wait until he found the proper supplies.
His had just turned to leave when it happened. The sound of the door at the base of the stairs opening.
Steve darted down to the other door while his hand wrapped around the stool, having all intent and purposes to block the door and trap the men inside but before he got down to the last step a man was already coming out, a gun in his hand. Gritting his teeth, Steve swung the stool at the other's arm, rewarded with a yelp and a clatter of metal as the gun hit the stairs. They both scrambled for it but Steve wrapped his hand around it first. The sensation of a firearm against his palm soothed anxieties he hadn't even known he had and with renewed strength he rammed the man back into the door and slammed it shut, finally barricading it with the stool as per his original plan.
It wouldn't last long, but hopefully long enough.
Shouts in Chinese erupted muffled behind the door as he scrambled out of the superstructure. He had just managed to slam the door on the top deck shut behind him when a bullet broke through the glass port – it flew over his shoulder, so close that he felt a breath of wind through his shirt.
Danny was right where he had left him, sprawled out on the bench. "Come on, Danny, time to go." Without waiting for the other man to respond, Steve swung his partner's arm over his shoulder and all but sprinted to the life boat. Danny was hissing and gasping beside him but instead of begging that they stop so that he could breathe he was instead trying to get his feet moving underneath him. He was trying to help, bless him.
From behind, Steve heard the door open and, knowing that they only had seconds to spare now, the SEAL all but threw Danny against the yacht's railing when they finally reached the side of the boat and began tearing at the line holding the life boat secure.
As he was untying the last line form the rail, Danny let out a wheeze of alarm, his hand fumbling to latch onto Steve's arm. "G-Guns!"
"Don't worry, I've got one too."
Steve sensed rather than heard the mechanic click of a safety coming off behind them. It was one gun against an unknown number and Danny was injured and defenseless. In one rapid motion, Steve stooped down, grabbing Danny's legs and lifting the man into his arms. Danny grunted in surprise as he was deposited on top of the small life boat – not able to actually fall into it because of the thick canvas cover but it would have to do. At least he was somewhat out of the line of fire.
Steve didn't wait for his partner to realize what had happened but dove for the line running through the winch, the last thing holding the life boat to the yacht. The first gunshot ricocheted off of the wooden railing an inch from Steve's forehead. The second grazed over his thigh, cutting across fabric and skin. Whipping around, sparing only a second, Steve fired at the two men approaching. It was hard because he had to be frugal with his bullets – he had six at the most left in the cartridge – but he had to be sparing for their survival. He fired off only two shots, one hit one of their hands, the other found the second gang member's knee, sending him to the ground.
With both men incapacitated, Steve didn't wait for reinforcements to arrive but instead jerked the line free from the winch. The boat immediately plummeted toward the ocean and Steve jumped after it. More gunshots fired as he leapt and he felt one punch into his left arm. As soon as he was steady on the boat, Steve used one hand to dig under the cover for the motor while he fired two more shots at the yacht. They gave him the cover he needed to get the tiny dingy roaring into action and cutting through the waves, away from the larger boat.
Steve kept the motor roaring until they could no longer see the other boat on the horizon, meaning they had at least five miles between them and Yuan. He just hoped that those five miles were closer and not further away from the islands because all he could see right now was water.
He had managed to pull the rest of the cover away from the boat though, and Danny was currently sprawled out across the bottom, his shorter stature touching both bow and stern of the dingy. His breathing had stabilized somewhat, thankfully, now that he could lie down in a calmer environment. His eyes were shut but he had managed to drag himself around so that his upper torso and face was shaded by Steve's body. At least he wasn't getting beaten any more so all his body had to worry about now was healing.
Even though they were well enough away from Yuan's boat, Steve didn't kill the motor. They needed to keep moving. Instead, he rested the rudder against his thigh to keep the boat pointed in the right direction then leaned down over his partner. "Hey, you haven't gotten any of that water down yet."
Danny managed to blink his light blue eyes open though they were glazed over. The bottle of water was still clasped in his hands as it had been for the last half hour, undoubtedly much warmer than it had originally been when Steve had stolen it from the yacht's shelf.
"Come on, Danno. You gotta drink the water for me." Steve took the water from Danny's limp grasp and unscrewed the cap, "You're dehydrated, you need to get some liquid into you. Now drink before I force you."
"Al'rdy 're." Danny's voice was heavily slurred but he accepted a few sips. Despite his heat, the blond was looking disturbingly pale. The cut on his forehead had clotted a while ago, but now the cut was dark and the bruises on his face were beginning to swell and turn a sickening purple-green. After one more swallow of water, Danny turned his head away from the bottle, showing he was done. Steve knew that at this point the other man would usually say something snarky but right now all that came out was another too-thick swallow, "How much longer…?"
"I don't know, Danno. It still hurts to breathe?"
Danny nodded in one jerking motion.
"Okay," Steve sighed. "I'm need to see how bad the damage is."
When he received a nod from Danny, Steve leaned over and unbuttoned his shirt. In any other situation, the SEAL might have felt his heart speed up a bit – after all, it wasn't every day that he had the opportunity to see Danny's bare skin – but any potential arousal died when the bruising came into view. The entire front of his chest was a canvas of colors, a spectrum of pain laid out before him. Tentatively, with careful fingertips, Steve began to feel out the other man's ribcage. After only a few touches, Danny released a strangled hiss. Steve frowned in concentration, the bone wasn't broken, it was probably fractured or cracked though. Continuing his examination, he concluded that nothing was severely broken, which was good because it meant his lungs weren't in immediate danger. Danny had coughed up blood though, so there was some definite internal damage somewhere. Steve just hoped that they could find land before his partner bled out.
"So? M'I dying any time soon?"
Steve blinked up at Danny, startled from his thoughts. Danny had obviously been trying to joke, but Steve could see the concern in his eyes. Steve quickly soothed his fears. "Nah, you're good, Danno." When Danny snorted, Steve couldn't help but smile. "Alright, so you look like crap, but there's a good chance you're not in immediate danger. It's going to be alright. At least we're out of there, right?"
"Terrific…But now we're stuck out here. Not…not a fantastic improvement." At least Danny was getting some of his personality back.
Smirking, relieved, Steve pulled the radio he had stolen from his pocket. "We're not completely stuck." He turned the radio on, nearly ready to cheer when he heard the beep signaling at least some battery power left. "If I can get a signal, we might be able to contact someone from the islands, as long as we're not too far off. This is a military grade radio so it should give us a few extra miles of range."
"Ah." That grunt seemed to be all the strength Danny had left and, as Steve started to scan the channels on the radio for any signs of life – careful to avoid the channel the radio had originally been set to – the Jersey boy settled against him, shoulder nestling against his shin. Resting really was the best thing Danny could be doing right now. As long as Steve paid attention to the other man's vitals, make sure he didn't fall into a coma, he should hopefully be fine for a while.
Switching to yet another channel after continued radio silence, Steve lifted the radio to his mouth again. The good news was that even if the yacht did pick up the signal, there was nothing they could gain from listening to any conversation they might have. After all, he couldn't relay a position he didn't know. "This is Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett. Does anyone read me? I'm currently in an emergency situation. I repeat, does anyone read me?"
There was long moment of silence before crackling static echoed out through the speaker. "….nder…pt name….know...position…?"
Steve's eyes closed with relief, a weight lifting from his shoulders. They had a connection. His hand found Danny's shoulder and he gave it a reassuring squeeze. "We're going to get you some help, Danno. Hold on a little longer." Returning to the radio, he pushed down the talk button. "This is Lt. Commander McGarrett from the Hawaii Five-0 task force. My partner and I are stranded at sea, being pursued by armed and dangerous suspects. Both of us are injured, request immediate assistance."
"…almost….t of range…angulating your position…" They were working to triangulate their position. With any luck a rescue chopper would be on its way within a few more hours.
"Both of us are injured?" The incredulous croak from below caused Steve to look down and he saw Danny blinking blearily up at him with a shadow of his usual fierce focus. "What happened to you?"
Steve shook his head, "It's nothing, Danny, just got scraped by a bullet or two on the way off the boat."
"Come down here." Danny's concern for Steve seemed to have given him a sort of second wind. Not enough to peel off from the bottom of the dinghy, but still, enough to speak in full sentences. "Let me see."
Keeping the rudder locked in place with his knee, Steve settled down next to his partner, pressing their shoulders together as he motioned to his left arm. The bullet had shot clean through skin and muscle, thankfully avoiding his bones. It hurt, but through all the adrenaline, Steve had so far been able to ignore the pain. The most he had done for it was bind it with a torn strip of his sleeve to stop the bleeding. The small scuff on his thigh had only stopped bleeding half an hour ago but it would be fine. Still, Danny didn't look happy about what he was seeing – if Steve had an aneurysm face then Danny had an over-protective father scowl. "Steve…"
"I know, I should have told you, but it's not like we could have done anything about it other than binding it. Come here."
Danny grunted but shifted a little closer to Steve, letting the other man tuck his head against his collar bone, that small space shaded by the bulky motor. Steve ran his fingers through Danny's deceptively soft hair as the shorter man's breathing evened out. Before the last twenty-four hours, Steve had never seen Danny with his hair unstyled. It was different, the hair falling in front of his face and over his ears. The thick blond strands would have taken years off of his appearance if not for the thick covering of stubble on his chin.
An hour after they had gotten radio contact had passed and Danny's injuries were beginning to take their toll. He was having a harder and harder time staying awake and Steve was starting to grow concerned. Steve had used the lifeboat's cover and had pulled it over Danny, draping it over the top of motor. It was a little warmer underneath but it at least provided shade, which was what Danny really needed now that their water bottle was empty. "Come on, Danny, stay awake. You can't go under on me now, not when someone's coming to get us."
"Sorry…" Danny slurred, his dry lips scraping against Steve's cheek. The SEAL could feel Danny's breathing slow even further, the other's man's body loosening to the point of nearly being completely limp.
"Danny." Steve straightened up, patting Danny's cheek. When he received no reaction, he smacked Danny a little harder. "Come on, Danno. Don't do this to me, baby. Don't make me tell Gracie that her Danno got killed in action."
Finally, a quiet groan but a noise nonetheless. Still, Danny barely had the strength to force his eyes open, those blue slits showing fatigue and bone-deep aches.
In a rare show of intimacy, Steve leaned over his partner and pressed his lips to his forehead. "It's going to be alright, Danno. I'll watch out for you. Just try and stay awake." As Danny settled back down, Steve let his hand drift down to press against the other's neck. He wasn't going to be able to keep Danny from falling asleep again – both of them were exhausted from the sleepless night before and Danny's bruises and cuts were undoubtedly exhausting – but with his fingers brushing against his neck, he could at least feel his pulse and make sure it remained steady.