Because You're Always Right
Chapter 19: Electric Twist
Takada Saiko & Gabrielle Day
A/N: More updating from the great beyond. Sorry about the crazy huge gap, for those of you who are following this crazyness! We still don't own them. Trigger warnings for this chapter of electrocution. Enjoy!
Danny stirred, groaning as he became aware of the various aches and pains bouncing around his body. Guerrillas, he recalled. Gorillas, too, the massive ugly brutes that had kidnapped his partner and then waylaid his rescue attempt. As rescue attempts had gone, it had failed epically. Danny didn't have much experience in the rescue-crazy-ass-shoot-first-ask-questions-later-idiot-partners department; however, he figured he should not have also wound up at the mercy of the captors. It couldn't be said that he hadn't gone down without a fight. Kicking was involved, as was hitting and shouting and cursing in Jersey-ian and throwing himself against iron bars demanding to know what they'd done with his crazy-ass-shoot-first-ask-questions-later-idiot-partner only to hear Steve laugh softly behind him.
Danny had not been so amused at the time and was not amused now. He blinked and frowned at the sight in front of him. A black leather square was laying on the floor. He sat up slowly and reached for it, unfolding it like a billfold. Steve's identification and smug picture stared up at him. Fear knotted in his stomach as he realized Steve was no longer in the cell with him.
He turned to look for him in the room and almost wished he'd stayed asleep.
The sight that met his eyes was one that he'd never wish on anyone. His partner was well beyond his reach but certainly not out of his line of sight. Steve was strapped to a chair that looked like it could have been used for shock treatments back in the 1920's. His head was lulled forward, shoulders slack, and eyes closed. There was no sign of life other than the barest movement that came from his breathing. Danny pushed down the panic that rose in him, threatening him, and he was on his feet in an instant, all pain in his own body pushed aside.
Wires were hooked to the chair, ready and willing to feed it the electric currents for which it hungered. Switches and buttons of all menacing sorts were set off just beyond the unconscious Seal.
"Steve! Damn it!" The blond all but threw himself against the bars. "Wake up!"
Steve groaned and shook his head. He was definitely not where remembered being when he'd fallen asleep with the help of a hard object connecting with his skull. He heard Danny calling to him and Steve forced his head up. He was restrained to a wooden frame chair and he jerked against the straps.
"Danno?" he asked, confusion coloring his voice.
"Steve! Can you get out?"
Steve pulled against the straps binding his arms to the chair arms and his chest to the back. He shook his head. "No. It's too tight." He could see the panic in his partner's eyes.
"You've got to try harder," Danny growled out, looking as if he thought he might be able to take the bars apart with his bare hands. The way he was shaking at them he might have come close.
"Now, now," a voice echoed through the large room, bouncing off the broken tile floors.
"You boys should save your strength. It's going to be a long night."
"You sonava bitch! Let him go!" Danny shook again at the bars, the warning given by their captor completely ignored.
"Or what, detective?"
"I swear to God if you lay one hand on him I will crush every bone in your body and break your face until it's so flat you could fry an egg on it!" Danny snarled.
"An interesting image. I shall keep that in mind, although, might I ask what you'll do if I don't plan to lay a hand on him?" He moved casually towards the controls.
Danny looked at Steve, eyes wide. "No, no, no, no. Don't you dare. Tell us what you want."
"I want to send a message."
"Get a cell phone!" Danny growled. "Crowley, you can't kill him. You'll bring down the full force of the Hawaii Police Department, the Governor's office, the Navy…your little operation will be finished, you hear me? You'll be done."
Crowley turned away from the controls and circled Steve, who was carefully controlling his breathing and keeping his eyes on his partner. "Such a shame, really. The next in line of the McGarrett dynasty to fall."
"Don't talk about my father." Steve said through gritted teeth.
Crowley patted his cheek and grinned at Danny. "Oops. I laid a hand on him."
Danny cursed at him and shoved at the bars separating him and his partner again. Crowley walked back to the controls and Steve took a deep breath through his nose.
"Steve, Steve," Danny said desperately.
"It's okay, Danno." Steve whispered.
"No! No, this is not okay. This is so not okay!"
"Danno," he whispered again.
They looked at each other, neither knowing what else to say.
"Touching," Crowley announced, fingers lingering over the switch. He seemed to be getting some sick joy from watching Steve's controlled expression that seemed to be the polar opposite of the countless emotions sprawled across his blond partner's face as he struggled with the unmoving bars. "Truly. Maybe if more people cared about each other like the two of you do, we wouldn't be necessary."
"You're insane, Crowley," Steve hissed. "You'll still go down, no matter what happens here. You'll just go down that much harder if you kill us."
"Really only one way to find out."
Danny could feel his eyes burning as Steve looked back at him. Steve managed a half smile for his partner. "This is going to suck."
"You crazy bastard." Danny rasped.
"Hate me later."
Crowley flipped the switch.
Buzzing filled the air as the current went live. Steve's body went rigid and his eyes widened at how badly it actually hurt. He screamed. His body shook, rattling the chair frame. Danny screamed too, still desperately fighting the prison keeping him from saving his partner. He collapsed to his knees, tears spilling down his face.
Crowley flipped the switch off.
Steve's eyes fluttered once before closing. He spasmed and slumped forward, head lulling.
"No!" Danny moaned softly. Any care that he might have had at keeping his composure was gone as he leaned against the bars, tears streaming and shoulders shaking. His eyes were trained on his partner, unable to tear his gaze away. Steve twitched slightly every few seconds, but it gave the blond detective no real hope that he'd survived. He didn't know what the human body could take in voltage levels. He'd never thought he'd need to. He closed his eyes against the painful sight, but was only rewarded with the mental image of Steve jerking in the monstrous machinery. His eyes flashed back open and he stared horror stricken at the floor of his prison. No matter where he looked there was no escaping the images or the grief. He could hear Crowley unstrapping the former Seal and moving him, but still he couldn't look. Not until he heard one of Crowley's men begin to unlock the cage door did he glance at what was happening.
Rage flooded his senses as he watched Crowley drag Steve's body towards the cell. Between Crowley and his helper they hoisted Steve up. Danny stumbled from his knees to his feet and moved towards the door just in time to catch Steve's body as they shoved him away.
Danny's arms tightened around him and he sank to the floor, cradling Steve to him. There were burns on his arms and his chest from the entry and exit points of the current. Crowley locked the door again.
"I'm afraid you won't be able to bury him, Detective, but at least you can say goodbye." Crowley said. He and his man left, leaving Danny alone with the body of his partner.
As soon as the door had shut Danny pressed his face against Steve's hair and sobbed.
"Steve," he gasped. "Steve, you can't…you just…you bastard."
In a wave of denial and determination, Danny decided wasn't done fighting. Not yet. He lowered Steve the rest of the way to the ground, carefully resting his partner's head against the concrete. His fingers skimmed over his neck, looking for any sign of a pulse. Nothing. There was nothing. He lowered his ear. No breath. No heart beat. His lips had even begun to turn blue.
Danny fought back his rage and forced himself to think. He was trained; he knew what steps to take, what steps Steve would take if their positions were reversed. He pushed hard on the taller man's chest over and over again to circulate the blood; tilted Steve's head back and breathed into him, forcing air into unresponsive lungs. He alternated again and again, praying fiercely that it would work.
After what seemed like an eternity, Steve's body gave a twitch and he coughed harshly as he sucked in his first breath in what Danny worried might have been too long. Steve jerked up, one fist swinging at air and if Danny hadn't been so terrified he might have smiled. Leave it to his partner to return from the dead fighting. The sudden burst didn't last and Steve began to collapse back. Danny caught him against his chest, wrapping one arm around him and cradling his head with his other hand. Steve was drenched with sweat but he shivered against Danny as his body tried to reboot itself.
"Shh, shh, it's okay, partner. I'm right here. You're gonna be okay." Danny whispered. He could feel Steve's heartbeat skittering against his ribcage and held him closer. If he was crying now, he wouldn't acknowledge it. "I know it's hard, but you've got to stay calm, okay? I'm here, babe. You're okay, Steve."
"Danno," Steve rasped. He brought a hand up and curled his fingers around Danny's arm. Danny could feel the heat of the burn on his palm against his skin.
Danny clung to him like his life depended on it and maybe Steve's did. The other man was shaking so badly that Danny worried that he might send himself back into cardiac arrest.
Steve shifted after several minutes, curling as closely as possible to his partner. Slowly, sluggishly, he tried to look up. "You're crying." he rasped.
Danny frowned. "Am not."
Steve almost chuckled. "What are you? Five?"
"What the hell do you expect?" Danny grumbled. "I thought they'd killed you. They did kill you, you crazy bastard!"
Steve's breathing hitched a bit as he struggled to sit up more and then slouched, finally giving into the fact that he was going to have to be held up. "You... worried?"
"Yeah." Danny admitted softly.
Steve didn't know what he'd expected, but the breath of the honest word had not been it. He also didn't expect the swift press of lips against the side of his head, a split second benediction. Steve closed his eyes, the sound of his partner's heartbeat so much steadier than his own. "Knew you'd be here." He mumbled.
"Oh, sure. Just passing through. You at least owe me a drink, sailor." Danny said.
A small thread in his knot of worry loosened when he felt Steve smile. "Listen, since I'm doing all the work here, when Crowley comes back in, you're going to need to play dead. I know that'll be a stretch for you at this junction, but do your best."
"Aye, aye, captain." Steve said drowsily. Every part of his body hurt, and his burns stung badly which was the only thing keeping him awake.
Danny could feel his partner slacken against him, but quelled his own panic over it. Crowley was fast approaching and it wasn't too much of an act as the blond clung desperately to his partner, telling the terrorist that it'd be over his dead body if he thought he'd get a hold of Steve's.
"Oh good. You get the general idea." Crowley murmured.
After a quick survey of the darkened holding area, Danny saw only Crowley, a guard that followed him in, and one that stood at the door. He obviously didn't seem much of a threat to the man. He knew Crowley would be armed, one gun in a holster under his suit jacket. He'd use that to take out the two lower men. He had a promise to keep with Crowley himself. Danny took comfort in the soft huffs of air he could feel from his partner, but allowed his mind to go back to that moment when Crowley flipped the switch. For the rest of his life he would carry the image of Steve being murdered in front of him and the sound of his partner screaming. Crowley took Danny's dead expression as submission.
The criminal didn't even have time to react as Danny moved from behind his partner to close his hands around Crowley's neck. He slammed his captor against the bars, causing the two guards to stir in surprise. He reached for the gun, finding the safety latch not hooked, and they were dead before the furthest had time to draw. A bullet had hit just shy of Danny's head, but he didn't even seem to notice as he slammed the struggling Crowley against the bars with such a force that he was half surprised his head didn't go through them.
"You're lucky, you know. I don't have time-" slam - "to deal with you the way I'd like to."
Crowley opened his mouth, a response dancing on his lips, but Danny slammed him back again. He could feel his blood boiling and all he saw was red. After what could have only been a moment or even a bit of forever, he felt a hand latch around his ankle. He looked down to see Steve struggling.
"No," he rasped. "Not like this. You'll regret it."
Danny realized he was gasping for breath and he looked back at Crowley who was barely conscious. The detective made a face and with a last frustrated sound bounced the man's skull off the bars one last time. He let go of the man's suit jacket and Crowley collapsed to the floor.
Danny knelt and carefully pulled Steve to him again. He leaned close to his ear. "I wouldn't." he whispered fiercely.
"Because, you know, you're not a hothead or anything," Steve murmured with a smile tugging the edge of his lips. "Come on. They'll have heard the gunshots."
Danny gave a quick glance back towards the door, the dead men, and their mostly unconscious leader. With a stiff nod he swung Steve's arm around his shoulders, hoisting him up.
Steve didn't complain once, the entire way through the compound or when Danny got him in the passenger side of a Jeep he hot-wired for their getaway. His breathing was labored and his color was bad. As Danny drove the Jeep like a madman towards the nearest hospital, he spoke in calm, even tones and reached over and grabbed his partner's hand when Steve lost his fight to stay awake. Steve didn't stir again until Danny was pulling him out of the Jeep and into the hospital where he swore he'd have Chin and Kono after the bastards but that he wouldn't be leaving. Not until he knew for sure Steve would be okay, he wasn't leaving.
Dr. Parker withheld her usual sarcastic remarks at the look on the blond's face. Instead her eyes held a bit of sympathy and she laid a hesitant hand on his shoulder.
"He'll be okay," she promised quietly and then Danny was left alone in the waiting room, the hour late, and his own thoughts his only company.
Police brutality. Of the two of them, Danny would have thought that Steve would get that pegged on him first. He knew it wouldn't stick. The governor had promised them immunity and means, but he wasn't happy that the claim had been made. He wanted to show Crowley brutality, he thought as he leaned against the wall next to the hospital's entrance.
"Thought you weren't coming."
Danny spun around, blue eyes coming to land on his smiling partner, being wheeled down by an exceptionally beautiful nurse that winked at him before she left.
"Well, actually, they thought you weren't coming. I never questioned it."
Danny couldn't help but grin. "I'm just about tired of seeing the inside of hospitals, you know?"
"Yeah. I know. We should go on vacation." Steve suggested as he snuck a look around before ditching the wheelchair to make it the last ten feet to freedom on his own volition. Or at least his own volition and his partner's arm.
Danny rolled his eyes. "Us. On vacation."
"Sure. We could make a team thing. Maybe Grace could come. They have this really interesting adventure package in the Rockies. Or skiing. Has Grace been skiing?"
"You have got to still be on some serious pain medications if you think I'm going to let you haul my baby up and down a mountain on ropes or on skis. And as if you aren't dangerous enough running around on your own two feet you think it's a good idea to strap skinny fiberglass boards to yourself and slide down a mountain?"
Steve squinted as they made it safely into the parking lot where the Camaro was waiting for them. He was quiet, which meant he was thinking, which meant Danny worried. As he opened the door for Steve, his partner grinned.
Danny pictured a nice, relaxing week in a hotel, hanging out with the team, taking Grace on the rides. Then he pictured what it would really be like. A seven day marathon careening around four parks and would probably wind up on beach, which he had enough of every day of his life now. He sighed.
"I'll think about it."
"C'mon," Steve grinned, starting around to the driver's side, but only rolling his eyes a bit when his partner redirected him to the passenger's. "It wouldn't be all bad."
"Until you told a child that one of the Disney villains would eat them." He paused, glancing over and noting the strange look on Steve's face that consisted of a cocked eyebrow and thoughtful look combo.
"You would too." Danny insisted.
"That was a one time thing. She's was obnoxious."
"She was eight."
"You're right, you're right. You would find new ways to scar children and give them nightmares for the rest of their lives. I'd love explaining that one to Rachel." Danny turned the keys and the engine purred to life as he mocked Rachel's accent. "How did it go? Oh great, just great. Steve got us kicked out of Disney World. What? You never get to see Gracie again!" Danny paused. "Don't give me that look. You know that's how it'd happen."
Steve grinned. "Maybe. But we'd have fun until they kicked us out."
Danny stared at him. "You read Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson as a kid, didn't you? All those boys adventure books."
Steve nodded. "Yeah. Why?"
"Because I think you think you're still in one."
"Why not? I live on a tropical island, I protect said tropical island with my friends and family, I have a trusty side-kick..."
"Sidekick?" Danny exclaimed. "And who would that be, might I ask?"
"You, of course."
"I'm not your sidekick."
"Then what would you call yourself?"
"I'm your partner," Danny answered, sounding somewhat hurt.
"What's the difference?"
"The sidekick's always getting kidnapped and beaten up and crap. I think we're pretty equal on that front."
"So we're partners?"
Steve gave him a lopsided smile and leaned back against the seat, letting his eyes drift shut. "That means it's your turn to take the beating next." He laughed as Danny sputtered to answer the whole way home.