Warnings/Spoilers: Don't look for a plot – you'll hurt yourself. Spoilers for aired episodes.
Disclaimer: Not ours, no profit being made, etc. This is just for fun.
Don't tread, don't kick.
Any movement in the water would cause heat loss over thirty percent faster than to remain motionless. Motionless wasn't an option, but he could back float. And his head was clearing of the drugs enough to know he was in trouble.
Shivering had started a little while ago.
That's all he had to do until his team found him. They were good at finding things.
They'd find him.
Kono had the guy in a headlock. The fact that the Neanderthal was twice her size was a moot point – said Neanderthal was figuring that out.
"Where did you take McGarrett?" Chin asked nice enough.
Kono let up enough to let their person of interest breathe easier, but did said person thank them with an answer? No.
In the stubborn silence, Danny reached over, clamped one of the idiot's ears between his first two knuckles and twisted. Hard.
Squealing ensued. Kono smiled.
"Ritchie, we know you drove the boat. We know you were involved. We have you on camera." Danny leaned over so their eyes met. "Why are you persisting with this story when we all know it's fiction?" He gave the ear another turn.
Ritchie squealed some more, and Chin placed his phone in Ritchie's view with a tap on the screen. "See, there you are. Hard to miss."
Ritchie groaned. "I owed money; they needed a job done. I didn't know it involved some cop!"
"But it's all right to dump any other unconscious person in the ocean?" Danny let go of Ritchie's ear and gave him a sharp thwack to the side of his head. "Where?"
"We went straight out for half an hour and dumped him."
"Was he conscious?"
"He was starting to come around. They wanted him to know what was happening, but not enough for him to fight it."
Chin stepped away, phone to his ear.
Kono gave him a shake. "Who's 'they'?"
"Don't know. Never saw 'em before. I was told to take some guys out, no questions asked, and my debt would be paid."
Sirens coming closer: Back up. Danny grabbed the available ear again. "Is your boat fueled up?"
"Yeah, yeah." Ritchie's voice pitched higher. "Stop doin' that!"
"Coast Guard's been alerted. They're on their way out." Chin frowned. "But we won't have any eyes in the sky for another half hour. Chopper is on another run."
Police cars tore into the Kewalo Basin's parking.
"Drop him, Kono." Danny turned and waved their backup down to their position.
Kono released Ritchie, who dropped to his knees, gulping air. She spoke into his reddened ear. "Don't move."
Chin settled behind the wheel in Ritchie's boat, a small craft for taking out sightseers for short jaunts. It would fit a party of six and was enough for their needs. Climbing into the boat, Danny shouted instructions to the Honolulu police sprinting down the pier. With one last tap on Ritchie's head, Kono leapt in after him. Engine running, Chin didn't wait for them to brace themselves. Danny wind-milled his arms to maintain his balance; Kono latched onto the side.
Danny looked down at his watch. Four hours since McGarrett was taken. Over an hour in the ocean with whatever tranq drugs they shot into him.
Steve's a former SEAL. SEAL, ocean. No problem, right?
Steve forced his eyes open. The drugs were wearing off, and numbness was creeping over him: Hypothermia gaining ground.
No, no, don't move too much. It'll only make it worse.
Kono dug out binoculars from the seat cushions. Ritchie was a low life, but he had a first class little set-up with his boat. Chin was on the radio coordinating with the Coast Guard. His eyes never stopped moving over the horizon.
Danny glanced down at his watch. Twenty-three minutes out and they were nearing twilight. He brought the binoculars back up to his eyes both cursing and grateful for the setting sun. The glare wasn't so brutal.
McGarrett, you better be floating around here.
"Hey, Boss, we found something." Kono lead the way to the computer, where Chin pulled up a flurry of photos.
Chin did his magic, sharpening an image. "This is Terrence Colbert."
Danny tilted his head to the side. "Uh…male, female… unknown species…."
Steve sputtered and spit out a mouthful of salty water. Dreaming. Couldn't sleep yet. Tipping his chin back further to level himself out, he spread his arms out to the side.
Danny nearly jumped out of his skin when Kono yelled. He grabbed the seat when Chin swung the boat in a sharp turn. Identifying anything at this distance was impossible; nevertheless Danny could make out a speck of white bobbing in the waves.
McGarrett had been wearing a white t-shirt when he was taken. Danny remembered it clearly. Steve heading to his truck, a hand clamping over his shoulder, an uncharacteristic stumble, and down he went like a felled tree. All caught in a black and white image of a traffic camera. A second later a tan van pulled up alongside him. Two figures bolted out the back, gathered him up and shoved him inside.
A frantic few hours later they had tracked the van to the Kewalo Basin and one Ritchie Moran of Moran's Oceanside Tours.
Now there was a speck of white and Kono was yanking blankets out of the seat compartments.
The shivering was uncontrollable and it was more and more difficult to stay above the waves. Thinking was hard to the point only one thought remained. Stay afloat.
There was sound, then splashing nearby. Voices too. Maybe. He couldn't be sure if it was real or not.
"McGarret, snap the hell of it and let them help!"
Danny yelling. He wouldn't dream that. Reality supplied enough.
"Hey, Boss, hang on and we'll get you on the boat." Kono on his right and there were arms supporting him. The relief that swept through him was almost painful.
"We'll do the work, all right?" Chin on the other side. "He's hypothermic."
"Hypothermia?" Danny sounded from above them. "In Hawaii? You're an over achiever, McGarrett."
That's right. Danny didn't swim.
Danny leaned over the side and Steve latched onto his tie. As uncoordinated as he had ever seen McGarret and he gets a hold of the tie with a slurred, "It does have a use."
He hooked his arms under Steve's while Chin and Kono heaved him up. "You give me grief when I'm about to pull you from a watery death?"
"Free pass." The mumble wasn't much, but at least Steve was talking. Wet, cold seeped through his clothing as they hauled Steve into the boat. Given their height, difference, Danny did his best to control their fall, lessening the impact to Steve.
Chin was pulling him off before it got too hard to breathe, moving Steve onto the blanket Kono spread out.
"Go, we've got this." Kono waved off Chin with a small knife in hand, then put it to use slicing off Steve's shirt. Tossing the scraps aside, Danny would ask where she kept it later.
Chin wheeled the boat around, barking orders into the radio.
Kono stripped Steve like she knew what she was doing. Steve's pants were shed next – Kono taking off every stitch of clothing, grabbing from the pile of blankets to replace wet with dry in a fraction of a second. Danny placed a folded blanket under Steve's head and followed her lead, tucking blankets around as much of Steve as he could reach. She set the knife aside and started drying Steve's hair.
Steve's head lolled to the side, giving Danny a bleary look. "This is so sodden."
Danny almost stopped. "Is this what happens when your brain freezes? You make bad puns?"
"Keep him talking." Kono pulled her wet hair from her face with one hand. "Cuz, how long?"
"Twenty-minutes. Ambulance will meet us at the pier."
Confusion registered on Steve's face; he tried to sit up. Danny didn't let him.
"Hey, hey, Steve, it's all good. Stay down and tell me what were you doing swimming out in the middle of the ocean? Steve?"
A little focus came back. "Not swimming … floating."
"Okay, floating. Why were you floating out in the middle of the ocean?"
Danny. "Which there is too much of."
"Island…" Steve's teeth chattered.
"My point exactly." He stuffed the blankets in tighter around Steve. Kono snaked her hand under the coverings and gave a relieved smile.
"Way to go, Boss. You're warming up."
"Kono, what are you …why are … here?"
Keeping her wet hair away from him, Kono leaned in closer. "You were late."
Danny pushed the shredded, soaked cargo pants to the side with one hand. "Fifteen minutes of lateness in a history of never being late."
"Chin spotted your truck and we found the broken dart."
Chin looked over his shoulder. "We tracked you through traffic cams, gas station cams and finally to Moran's Oceanside Tours"
Steve grimaced. "Whiny voice."
"You've met Ritchie." Danny grinned. "Peach of a guy. He and Kono became close."
Kono batted her eyelashes while gesturing to Danny for more blankets. The effort Steve was putting in to focus was painful to witness.
"Don't know who they were … my dad."
"We'll figure it out."
"It's a good boat."
Dammit, Steve was drifting again. "Steve! The SEAL stuff – that helped you out, right?"
"What? The Boy Scouts a prep school for SEALs?"
Danny peeled up one of Steve's eyelids to the view of a dilated pupil. "You feel like you're still floating-in-the-ocean floating or you're drugged-to-the-eyeballs floating?"
Steve wanted to swipe away the fingers prying his eye open, but hands pinned him down. Voices warped and harsh. Drugged. Someone drugged him. He twisted his head away, but a blow to his temple sent what remained of his senses reeling. Eyelids forced open again. Did they plan to blind him?
"Steve, Steve, Steve, man, are you with us?"
Danny. Not them. Not them.
"Boss, come on. It's us. Stop fighting."
He wasn't fighting. He could barely move.
"You need me back there?" Chin?
"No, he's coming back." Steve blinked, weight pressing him down. Danny and Kono peered back at him.
"Why're you laying on me?"
"You wanted to leave." Danny exhaled. "Not a good time for it."
"You're here." Not a dream then? Real? And Danny's tie tickled his face. Couldn't get away from the damn tie.
Not a dream. They pulled him out.
"Pulse is picking up." Kono leaned back. Danny did the same, heard Steve mumble something like 'tie' and figured it didn't bear repeating.
Danny unclenched the hand gripping Steve's shoulder. "Hallucination?"
Kono looked freaked, but steady. "Think so."
"Wanted me to know."
Danny looked down at the muttered words. Steve's eyes were half-lidded, but they were focusing on him.
"Wanted you to know what?"
"Why what? Why they threw you in the ocean?"
Danny had to right himself after the boat gave a jerk. Looking over his shoulder Chin wore an expression that Danny hadn't seen even when Chin had Hess' explosives around his neck.
Chin shook his head and steered the boat into the harbor.
"Hang on, we're almost there. Just focus on us." Danny, demanding his attention to the here and now.
"Paramedics are coming, Boss." Kono, her hand on his chest.
"He's hypothermic and he's been drugged. He's hallucinated." Chin, delivering info.
"Steve, they're going to put you on the stretcher." Danny, leaning in close. "It's okay. We got you home."
Home. Not floating. Didn't need to anymore. His team found him.
They were good at that.