A/N: For those of you who were waiting for it, here's one Danny and Steve encounter - the next big one will be in the next few chapters. LOL, I gotta admit, I'm kind of enjoying how back-and-forth everyone feels about Briella. Once again, thanks everyone for your feedback and support! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: H50 isn't mine.
After hearing about what had transpired when Steve had awoken, Danny understood immediately why Briella was also sitting in the hospital room with him. He had listened patiently, propping his feet up against the bedrail as Briella spoke with him. He crossed his arms over his chest, giving his unconscious partner a speculative look. "Okay, so do you think he'll be waking up again anytime soon?" he asked the psychiatrist, who shook her head and raised her hands in a shrug.
"The last time we tried to sedate him, it only took a few hours for the effects to wear off. He needs to remain calm, before he does himself worse injury," she returned.
"Yeah, I got it."
Briella studied him as he watched Steve sleep. When he glanced over at her, he raised both brows in silent query. "How are you, Detective?" Briella asked.
"How am I?" he echoed. "I'm not the one riddled with holes and bruises, Doc."
"Oh, I know, I know," Briella said with that same disarming smile, waving one hand flippantly. "That's not what I'm asking. I mean, how are you?"
"How many times can you ask me the same question?" Danny asked, his hands waving about as he spoke. "I mean, my partner's lying in ICU; he apparently didn't have time to call me and warn me that he was in trouble; he managed to piss off this August with an accent and some suit; we don't know anything about this guy and I've got no…what?" Danny said when he noticed Briella staring at him.
"August?" Briella repeated skeptically. "Who did you hear that name from?"
"A small-time crook who knew one of the hitmen," Danny supplied. "Why?"
Briella leaned forward. "Tell me exactly what happened." Something about the fire that burned in her eyes reminded Danny of Steve when he figured something out on a case.
So he did as she said, illustrating the few details they'd extracted from the investigation so far. As he spoke, he watched Briella's expression take on a full range of emotions—from surprise, to shock, to horror, to anger. When he finished recapping Kono's little session with Harlan, a silence passed over them both, and he waited for a moment to allow Briella to digest the information.
"Well…" she said at last. "I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised."
"I take it you know August with an accent?" Danny assumed.
"I think I do. You're probably more familiar with his cousin…Victor."
Danny's face went blank, then grew skeptical. "Victor…Victor Hesse?" Briella gave a slow nod. "Aw, for crying out loud! We just locked that asshole up, and now he's got a cousin?"
"That would be correct." Briella sat back and crossed her arms, her fingers steepling against her arm. "But I have no idea who the 'suit' could be…"
He left her to her thoughts for a few minutes, and went to the hall to call Chin. The Hawaiian detective answered on the second ring, "Any news?"
"Briella knows August."
"Oh?" Chin's curiosity was obviously piqued, and Danny heard the echo of the phone change as he was put on speaker.
"Apparently August is the cousin of one Victor Hesse," Danny supplied.
Kono and Chin both made noises of aggravation and intense displeasure. "Hesse's cousin has something to do with the attack on the boss?" Kono sounded like she wanted to hit something. "Want us to pay Hesse a visit?"
"No…not yet. I want to find out more about August first. How are things on your end?"
"Following up with a couple of Harlan's buddies who tried to make things difficult, then we're headed over your way," Chin informed him.
"Okay. So far, Sleeping Beauty's staying calm, so I'll see you when you get here."
"Sure thing, brah."
Danny disconnected the call and returned to Steve's room. Briella remained in the same stated he'd left her in, so Danny let his gaze wander worriedly back to Steve. With one sweep of his gaze, he caught sight of the measure of Steve's pulse, steady and even, and watched the machines feeding him oxygen through the cannula—Steve had once told Danny he hated the feel of tubes being shoved down his throat, and Danny had agreed wholeheartedly. Waking up to a feeling that someone stuck a straw down your throat was equally strange and unpleasant.
He wondered, for a moment, if Steve would remember that conversation the next time he awoke.
He frowned. When Steve was better, Danny decided he might kick his ass for all the worry he was putting the team through. Danny didn't like seeing Steve go down. He especially didn't like waiting until the big guy picked himself back up—the moments he had to hold his breath until Steve pushed up off the ground, dusted off his hands, and smirked that lopsided smirk of his. Not that he'd ever admit that out loud. Ever.
He became aware of a pair of sky blue eyes fixed upon him, and swiveled a look at Briella, who smiled at him. There was something different in this smile, something not unlike knowingness. He glared at her. "And what's that look, Dr. Engel?"
She rested her cheek against her curled knuckles, chin in palm. "Just observing."
"Observing what?" demanded Danny.
"You're a very unfiltered man, Detective," Briella stated conversationally. "Very expressive. You like to be heard, and it's easier for you to learn and to express yourself by using your hands. You were probably very handy when you were married, but now you're feeling idle. You've been itching to get your hands around someone's neck for what happed to your partner." She tilted her head slightly. "And as angry as you'd like to be at him for worrying you, you really aren't angry at Steve at all."
"Maybe you should focus some of that psychoanalyzing power on Steve," Danny suggested uncomfortably.
"You're feeling intruded upon," Briella remarked, holding up a soothing hand. "Forgive me." Her smile then became somewhat amused. "Although I hope you don't mind my saying, you're very adorable when you're flustered."
Danny felt his cheeks warm and looked pointedly away, ignoring Briella's quiet giggle as he checked again on his partner, hearing something out-of-place amongst the machines. It took him a moment to realize that he could hear Steve murmuring quietly. With a glance aside at Briella, he rose and moved to Steve's bedside. Briella joined him.
He couldn't quite make out what Steve was saying, his speech garbled and thick, but it didn't take him long to realize that his partner was in the throes of a very bad dream. Steve's hands were fisted in the sheets, and his heart rate began to escalate. Briella took Steve's hand, and nodded to Danny to take the other one as she placed a hand on his forehead. "Steve, shhhh," Briella said.
Steve's muscles began to tense, his body coiling to strike.
"Damn." Briella shot Danny a glance. "Talk to him, Danny. Let him know you're here."
Danny glanced at her quickly, then back to Steve. He leaned close, his grip on Steve's hand tightening. "Steve, hey, it's me. I'm here, buddy," he said awkwardly. There was a pause, Steve relaxing for a mere instant, then Danny heard something that brought pinpricks of heat to the back of his eyes.
Danny breathed a sigh of relief, and lifted a hand to Steve's uninjured shoulder. "Yeah, Steve. I'm here." Steve's muscles relaxed. "Danno's here, buddy."
Briella tensed at once across from him, and Danny spared her a look before Steve suddenly bucked up from the bed, knocking them both back with an inhuman strength he could only compare to a wild animal, wounded and cornered.
"DANNY!" Steve howled, the sound making something in Danny's chest pinch uncomfortably. "DANNY! LET HIM GO! DANNY!"
"Steve!" Danny and Briella scrambled to their feet, Briella keeping calm long enough to hit the call button for the nurse before they both dove for Steve. Danny's hand brushed against the wound in Steve's shoulder, and he cursed as Steve gave a hiss of pain. "Briella, what do I do?" he shouted across the bed.
"Keep talking to him! Try to get through to him…and so will I." Danny didn't know what she meant, but he watched her hand as she pressed it to Steve's forehead, and then he bent to his task, murmuring to Steve as quickly as he could to try and calm the man.
At first, it's just dark. He can't see. He murmurs to himself, trying to find his way through the pitch black. There's a voice, a woman's voice, yelling into the darkness.
You never cared about me! You're just like Dad!
He tries to respond to her, tries to reassure her that he does care, just wants what's best for her. She doesn't listen. And then the first gunshots start.
A woman cries out for him, screaming his name. A light comes on, illuminating the blonde girl who he protectively ushers into the safest part of the house, the cubby hole beneath the stairwell. He rushes toward the scream. The dark-haired woman, despite felling one of the intruders, is bleeding. He kneels, scoops her up into his arms, holds her as she whispers unintelligible words to him, and tries to say goodbye to him.
"No, no, no, no…"
He doesn't listen, just stares at the blood on his hands as he lowers the dark-haired woman whose name continues to elude him to the floor, to the red carpet. He hears movement, and tenses.
"Steve, hey, it's me. I'm here, buddy."
He relaxes—he knows that voice. He can place the blue eyes and the blonde hair, and sees the tie, but the name eludes him. He can remember a nickname, something he calls the man out of affection—covered by attempts to get a rise out of his partner.
There is an exhale of air, and he searches through the dark for his partner. "Yeah, Steve. I'm here. Danno's here, buddy."
Danno. Danny. His partner. The relief barely lasts a moment before he can see the face of his enemies grinning as they hold the blonde detective down, gun to his head. He tries to break free of the bonds that hold him, tries to reach his partner.
"DANNY! DANNY! LET HIM GO! DANNY!"
He can't reach his partner in time. Can't reach Danny. Can't save him. The gun goes off, and suddenly rage fills him as his partner's eyes grow blank.
He fights, struggles against the darkness that holds him. Two voices are speaking to him, intermingled from the dark.
The first, his partner's. "Steve, c'mon man, stop struggling…calm down. I've got you. You're safe."
"Do you hear Steve? Your partner's all right. He's here. You're all right. You're together." Gabby. He focuses on her words, trusts them, listens to his partner.
"Steve…hey, you're okay…you're okay. It's all going to be okay."
I hear you.
Then the numbness begins to spread in his arm, and he releases his mind to the comfort.
Danny was exhausted by the time Chin and Kono arrived. He didn't realize just how much fight Steve had in him, even when injured. The night terrors seemed to be exacerbated by the meds Steve was on, and Briella had administered morphine in place of the other medications they'd been using—hoping the morphine would alleviate Steve's pain and keep him calm, and perhaps decrease the symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
Kono and Chin Ho found Danny in Steve's room, tie loosened and expression vacant as he watched over Steve. "Hey, brah," Chin said, settling a hand on Danny's shoulder. "You okay?"
Danny shook himself free of his thoughts, and blinked up at the cousins. "Oh. Hey," he said blearily, then stood and stretched. Several vertebrae realigned with popping sounds, and Danny winced.
"You look like crap," Kono said plainly.
"Thanks." Danny shot her a look. "You guys find anything?"
"Nothing much." Chin handed him a file. "We looked up August's jacket. Not much on him, though. Looks like he kept a low profile, unlike his cousins."
"Asked around on the streets, no news." Kono gave a slight shrug. "Whoever this guy was, he didn't have a lot of connections in Oahu. The suit Harlan talked about seems to have everyone too scared to talk."
"There is one positive lead." Briella entered the room, her hair wound into a loose bun though she looked strangely energized. "Mary Ann is waking up. I'll be able to speak with her in a few hours."
Danny almost deflated with relief. "That's great."
"Keep in mind…" Briella lifted one finger in a gesture for patience. "This may take a few sessions before Mary can fully remember what happened."
"Yeah, we understand, Doc." Briella turned her attention onto Chin, then Kono, her blue eyes warm. Danny leaned toward the Hawaiians, muttering, "Watch it—that's her Jedi mind powers at work."
"So nothing new about August Hesse came up?" Briella surmised. "The three of you look exhausted. Perhaps you should take some time to sleep while I wait for Mary Ann."
"Can't," Danny responded, scrubbing at his eyes with his palms. "Who'd stay with Steve?"
"I'll watch over Steve. Mary won't be ready for awhile. One of you can stay here, if you like, to take over once I talk to Mary."
"I'll stay," three voices chorused, then the members of the team studied one another in bemusement.
Briella smiled warmly at them. "Danny, you've already taken your shift," she said. "Go home, get some sleep. Visit Grace. You've already called her but I'm sure she'll want to see you and to hear how Steve is doing. Chin, Kono, you've already worked out a schedule."
"I'm next," Kono said, lifting a hand. "I'll sleep here."
"All right. Chin, Danny, go on home. We'll see you in a few hours," Briella said, the same smile still intact.
Chin exchanged a few quiet words with his cousin and Danny, then smiled at Briella before the detectives departed. Briella watched Kono settle into the reclining chair by Steve's bed, and took her own seat on the other side of the bed while the youngest member of the team curled into a ball and to try to sleep. Briella smiled upon the sight, and relaxed into her own chair, keeping a watchful eye on both the commander and the rookie.
She wasn't sure if the morphine would work. She hoped it would, but in all honesty, she had no way of being certain. She checked her phone to see if she'd gotten any news from Michael, but there was none.
She settled back in her seat, and breathed a heavy sigh. She hoped her conversation with Mary Ann would go smoothly so she could provide the team with more information. Somehow, she knew that that was a lot to ask of the McGarrett Family.