A/N Okay, so this has obviously become AU - Danny does indeed have a brother, Hesse was arrested, etc - so this chapter takes place as an alternative to what Hesse did to Chin, which is explained in the first couple paragraphs. I hope you enjoy.
Hesse eyed the injured McGarrett with curiosity. He waved a hand in front of his face but Steve, recognizing the ploy for what it was, forced his eyes to remain still.
"Yeah," Hesse laughed, "I heard about your current condition, McGarrett. Couldn't believe it, really. But, I have to tell you, it couldn't have happened at a more opportune time. I thought I was going to have to target one of your team in order to get you alone like this, had the explosive device picked out and everything, but you saved me the time and trouble. Thank you for that, by the way."
"You won't be thanking me for long, Victor."
"Big words for a handicapped person like yourself."
"The correct term is 'challenged' and, you know me, I'm always up for a challenge."
"Yes, I suppose you are," Hesse admitted, moving to his duffel bag and rummaging through it.
With Victor's back to him, Steve risked following the man with his eyes but his vision was still too blurred to be able to make out what he pulled out of the duffel. Sensing that he was turning back around, Steve averted his gaze straight ahead once again. Hating the fact that he was in this vulnerable position to begin with. True, he hated being vulnerable around anyone, even Danny, but at least he could trust Danny not to take advantage of his helplessness. Victor Hesse? Not so much. A fact that Victor was more than likely going to prove to him over the next few minutes.
"You have to admit, though, this is a fairly insurmountable challenge, yeah? For one, you are handcuffed to a large meat hook in a fish packing plant. Your feet don't even touch the floor, for pity sake. Two, your team has no idea where you are. I'm sure that one will change soon enough but it'll be too late. And, three, and this is my personal favourite... you're as blind as a bloody bat!"
Before Hesse got the last word out... WHACK!... Steve felt a searing agony across his ribcage. The unexpectedness of the sudden onslaught left the SEAL with no way to prepare himself and he was barely able to bite off the cry of pain. As it was, he only managed to grit his teeth, allowing not much more than a grunt to pass through his lips.
"You know," Hesse continued, his voice just a little too relaxed, "I watched an episode of Cops once where a suspect managed to free himself from the officer that was holding him down, grab the man's billy club, and beat him with it. I was quite impressed. The guy was a just a tiny snippet of a thing but he got quite a few hits in before the other cops managed to get him down."
Again, McGarrett refused to give Hesse the satisfaction of more than a grunt of pain in response.
"Not bad, Steve. Not bad at all. SEAL school taught you well, I see. High pain tolerance. I guess, I should go higher than high, then, yeah?" Without another word, Hesse reached up to Steve's cuffed hands, grabbed the right index finger and SNAPPED IT!
This time, Steve was unable to hold back the cry but it didn't last nearly long enough to satisfy Hesse. He did step back for a bit, though. Certainly, more to use the element of surprise again, than to give Steve time to compose himself.
"I will break you, McGarrett," Hesse declared, chuckling at his own choice of words. "No pun intended, of course."
Danny sat at his desk, going through the files of every low life he could think of that may have a connection to Victor Hesse. Some had even turned their lives around, opening legitimate businesses, morphing into well respected citizens seemingly overnight. Yeah, right. Maybe some ex-cons were able to do this. Maybe some even made a valiant effort but, due to circumstances out of their control, fell back into the life of crime. Maybe. But not the likes of which he was researching right now. These guys were the scum of the scum. They had no interest whatsoever in going straight. Too much money and control to be had on the wrong side of the law.
Frustrated, he ran a hand through his hair, then tried to wipe the weariness from his face. Unfortunately, there was no way to wipe that same weariness from his soul. The thought of what Hesse was probably doing to Steve, right now, while Danny was sitting nice and comfy in his cozy office...
His door opened and Chin poked his head in. "We got something," was all he had to say and Danny, exhaustion forgotten, was leaping out of his chair and following his friend out to the view screen.
"Okay," Kono began, "you gave us a bunch of files for known associates of Victor Hesse who are currently not incarcerated."
"Yeah, and?" Danny felt bad for his impatience but knew his team not only understood but even shared his edginess. They all wanted Steve back, sooner rather than later.
Kono whipped three photos and profiles from the console up to the view screen. "These three seem to be our best candidates."
"One," Chin supplied, "owns an old fish packing plant just outside of Kaaawa."
"And the other two," Kono added, "put their so-called legitimate funds together and purchased a goat farm up near Waianae. Both very isolated, leaving Hesse with the freedom to..." Kono couldn't bring herself to continue that thought, even bit her lip to stop the tears that threatened to fall.
"Okay," Danny decided, "we split up. You two take the goat farm. I'll take the fish packing plant... ugh. I hate the smell of fish."
"We can take that one, if you want," Chin offered.
"No, no, because I hate the smell of live stock even more."
Hesse found preference in his use of the Billy club again - he hit Steve's thighs, knees, arms, stomach, chest, back. Each time, Steve grunted or arched, at one point he even growled, but not once did he cry out, whimper, or beg for mercy. Stubborn to the very end, he refused to give Victor Hesse what he wanted more than anything else... submission. The man had said it himself, he wanted to break McGarrett. And McGarrett, for his part, was not going to let that happen.
"You know, after this, I think I may head up to good ol' Los Angeles," Hesse taunted.
Steve's head whipped up at this and he made the mistake of directing his gaze straight at Hesse.
"Oh, well, maybe your sight is returning to you after all, yeah? No matter. It's not like you'll have the time to use it to save your precious little sister, anyway."
"You stay the hell away from her, you son of a - "
"Now, now, Steve. Did your mother teach you language like that? Oh, wait, that's right. She wasn't around long enough to teach you much of anything, now, was she?"
"Victor, I swear - "
Hesse simply gave Steve a condescending smile before adding, "I believe the exact address is 447 Central Boulevard in Santa Monica, right? Apartment 227?"
Victor's cell phone interrupted the joyous good time they were having. Steve strained to hear what was being said on the other end of the line but either Victor was standing too far away or the pain in the rest of his body was screaming too loudly for him to hear anything else. After a moment, Victor ended the call and placed the phone back into his pocket.
"Apparently, we're going to have to call an end to this little party, McGarrett. I have other, more important things to attend to before my trip to sunny Los Angeles." He picked up a water hose and aimed it at McGarrett. "However, I think you'll do better in your new accommodations if you're a little more wet."
Steve grit his teeth against the pain radiating through his right index finger as fear for his sister gave him renewed strength. He gripped the chain above the hook he was hanging from, swung his legs up and kicked the hose out of Victor's hands. This move elicited a mocking laugh from Hesse.
"Getting feisty now, are we," he asked, leaning down to pick up the hose again. "Well, your sight clearly is not a hundred percent because you completely missed me, you dumb fool!"
Steve waited for Hesse to stand and turn his back to him again, then grabbed the chain with his hands again, snaked his legs around Victor's neck and squeezed with all the strength he had left. Without wasting another minute, he used the leverage of Victor's shoulders to lift himself off the hook and wrapped the chain of the cuffs beneath Hesse's chin instead, pulling backward in the same movement, bringing them both to the floor. Still with a solid grip of Victor's throat, Steve leaned forward and said, his voice rich with venom, "I wasn't aiming for you!"
Hesse brought his elbow back and slammed it into Steve's ribs, mimicking the act of the billy club only moments before. Steve didn't release him but his grip loosened, enabling Victor to bring his head crashing back into Steve's face. The SEAL saw stars long enough for Victor to surge back to his feet.
After a brief moment, Steve did the same, though with more stumble and less surge. They circled around each other, each waiting for the other to make a move.
"Or, maybe," Hesse taunted, "maybe I'll go after that sweet thing you've been bangin' every chance you get, eh? Catherine, right? You're more like your father than I would have guessed."
His taunts pushed Steve past the point of logic and the SEAL rushed forward, plowing his shoulder into the other man's mid-section. Anticipating this move, Hesse quickly brought the billy club up and hammered it down across Steve's skull and shoulders.
McGarrett collapsed to the floor in a heap.
Why did it have to be a fish plant? I mean, really. Couldn't McGarrett have himself taken to a nice, un-smelly abandoned warehouse, or something? Danny sighed inwardly, thankful that at least he wasn't headed to the goat farm. He shivered at the mere thought of it.
As he pulled up to the plant, his spidey-senses started tingling again. Something was just not right about this place. He drove past the large roll up doors, got out of his vehicle and stepped cautiously toward the man door a few feet away. The fact that it was unlocked did nothing to calm his adrenalized nerves.
Danny slipped inside, feeling much like he had at Steve's place yesterday afternoon except he had at least known his surroundings there. Here it was dark and dingy and he had no idea where the possible criminal hidey-holes were. Not to mention the smell. One thing he was able to say about Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett, he kept his house spic 'n span. It might not smell lemon fresh but it certainly didn't test the gag reflex.
Reaching out blindly, Danny found a switch on a nearby wall and was more than a little surprised when it worked and the room was flooded with light. Keeping his gun at the ready, he searched the main level of the warehouse until he came upon a large puddle of water. Odd. Stranger still were the rivulets of red swimming through the water... Danny grit his teeth at the realization of what those streams of red indicated.
He followed the splotches of water - and that's exactly what they were, splotches, like someone was drowned and then dragged across the floor. His heart clenched when the trail ended at a large walk in freezer. And the door was (of course!) wedged shut with a large wrench.
With his heart now hammering in his chest, he tore the wrench out of the handle and ripped the door open, revealing a way-too-still-SEAL huddled on the floor and handcuffed to a support bar near the back of the freezer.
"McGarrett?" Danny asked, rushing to his partner's side. "Steve, can you hear me?" He cringed at the blue tinge of Steve's lips as he reached out to check for a pulse. As soon as he touched him though, Steve became a live-wire, morphing from victim to Super Seal in zero point one seconds. "Whoa! Steve," Danny exclaimed. But his partner didn't seem to hear him. He just thrashed and pulled at the cuffs, trying to free himself. Judging from the rawness of his wrists, this was not the first time, either. When his thrashing resulted in Steve's right index finger coming into contact with the support bar, which, in turn, elicited a brief whimper, Danny had had enough. He grabbed his partner's upper arms in a firm grip, only to let go when Steve grunted in pain. Not wanting to hurt him again, Danny simply framed Steve's face with his hands and forced his head up toward him. "McGarrett! Steve, look at me!" Finally, the SEAL made eye contact with his partner. The contact wasn't completely focussed but it was there.
"Yeah, partner. You with me, man?"
"H-H-H-He's g-g-g-goin' after M-M-Mary, Danny! He's goin' after M-M-Mary!" Steve began to struggle against the cuffs again but Danny gripped his arms just above the wrists, careful to avoid the raw skin beneath the cuffs, praying there was no injury that he couldn't see.
"Steve, stop it! Hesse is not going to hurt Mary, okay! He's not!"
Steve looked back up at him, pleadingly. "H-H-How d-d-do you kn-kn-know?"
"Because you, my friend, are Super Seal and I am from New Jersey, and that's just an unbeatable combination. Add to that the Dynamic Hawaiian Cousins, and Hesse doesn't stand a chance!" This earned a slight smile from Steve and he calmed a bit. "Now, what say we get you outta here? Cuz, I don't know about you, but I'm finding it a little chilly in here. And I'm from a state where it actually snows in the winter!" He turned his attention to the cuffs and tried to unlock them but the key hole was filled with ice. Come to think of it, Steve was sitting on a sheet of ice that looked a little out of place, freezer or no.
Noticing Danny's attention to the sheet of ice below him, Steve said, "H-H-Hosed me d-d-down after he p-put me in h-h-here."
"Wow. Hesse never just goes half way with this torture and murder stuff, does he? Hang in there, partner. I'll be right back, okay?"
As soon as Danny was rewarded with a quick nod, he darted back to the car, grabbed a set of bolt cutters and a blanket from the trunk, then pulled out his cell to call for the EMT's. About 20 minutes out? Seriously?
Tossing his cell onto the front seat of the car so that they could locate the warehouse easily with his GPS signal, he rushed back into the warehouse and his injured partner.
First, he snapped the chain of the cuffs with the bolt cutters. Next, he wrapped the blanket around Steve's shoulders. Then, he helped his partner to his feet and offered his support as they stumbled out of the freezer, then the plant and, finally, out into the sun warmed air.
When Steve's legs gave out on him just outside the door, Danny sank to the pavement with him and bundled his partner against his chest. Steve shivered and trembled in Danny's arms. Even his hair was frozen over! Suddenly remembering the pain in Steve's index finger, Danny pulled his right hand out from under the blanket. Steve hissed in pain when Danny manipulated the appendage to check for damage. He grit his teeth for what seemed like the millionth time that day and said, "Next time you get a good shot at this guy, shoot him in the face, okay?" He needed to set the finger, which meant he needed the medical kit, which meant he needed to get to the trunk of his car. He started to get up but Steve gripped his shirt with his good hand. "It's okay. I'm not goin' far. I need to get the med kit out of the trunk. I'll just be a second, okay?"
After a brief moment, Steve released his grip on Danny's shirt. He was embarrassed by his need to have his partner close, but his body needed the warmth and... the comfort? The sense of being safe? Nope. Not goin' there.
True to his word, Danny returned a second later, maybe two, but who was counting? Not Steve McGarrett. No way. Uh-uh. He also didn't sigh with relief when Danny sat behind him once again and pulled him back against his chest.
Danny took three thick bandages out of the kit and wrapped them around Steve's index finger and middle finger, using the latter as a bit of a brace for the broken appendage. He felt Steve tense in his arms and knew what he was doing had to be hurting his partner but not a single sound emanated from the injured SEAL and Danny shook his head in wonder at the conditioning that kind of pain tolerance must require. When he finished with the third bandage, he was shocked to find himself shoved roughly away but quickly understood when Steve lunged to the side and heaved whatever was left in his stomach onto the pavement. For a moment, Danny gave his partner the space he needed but when he saw Steve's arms shaking with fatigue, he wrapped his arm around the knotted stomach and braced the forehead with his palm, half expecting the frozen flesh to fuse to his otherwise warm hand, much the way a frozen pole sticks to an overly curious child's tongue.
Once Steve was done, Danny bundled him against his chest again and half carried, half dragged his incoherent partner away from the mess on the pavement. "Help is on the way, Steve. Help is on the way. Just hang on for me, partner." Another moment passed, while Danny listened to the chattering of teeth and felt the blessed, if cold, puffs of air coming out of his partner's mouth. Then: "Man, McGarrett! Only you could manage to get hypothermia in friggin' Hawaii!"
But, as they waited for the paramedics, Steve's continued stillness unnerved Danny. "You okay," he asked quietly. Steve refused to look at him. In fact, the SEAL's eyes were squeezed shut, probably against the mortification of his current circumstances. "Steve, don't worry about it, okay? This is just what partners do for each other... it's what friends do for each other."
The silence that followed was so long that Danny was sure his partner had fallen asleep, then he heard something mumbled against his shirt. "What was that?" He leaned down a bit, hoping to hear what was said.
"Ohana," Steve whispered, a thick weariness coating his voice. "Not just friends... Ohana."
Danny couldn't help but smile as he rearranged the blanket over his partner's shoulders. "That's right, Steve," he said, cinching the SEAL that much closer, placing his chin on the iced-over hair and framing the frozen jaw with one hand. "Ohana."
A/N Yes, this chapter brings an end to this story, however, I am writing a sequel. So, it will reflect happenings in 'Phobia' but will take a totally different turn. Keep an eye out for 'Ohana'... coming soon to a fan fic near you! LoL Seriously, I already have the first chapter mapped out, and I seem to be on a Five-0 roll, so it shouldn't be too long. Onward and upward. Don't know why I said that. Anyway. I hope you enjoyed my latest multi-chapter fic. ~Kelcor
A/N2 You've all stuck with me during the long and sometimes arduous process of writing this story, the least I could do is play genie and do a bit of editing. So, for those of you who wanted more h/c in this chapter, I hope your wish was granted...? ~Kelcor