The end is here, the end is here, the end. is. here.
Thank you for all your support, reviews, alerts, and just plain reading. I was going to keep writing, but I really didn't want to keep dragging this story out. And even though I am sad to see it over, I had a blast writing it.
So, enjoy this chapter, let me know how it went, and I'll see you in the next story.
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He was standing in a pitch black tunnel. At the end, he could just make out a tiny pinprick of light. He had to get to that light, escape the darkness. So, he started running, sprinting as fast as his five-five frame would go.
He was closing in on the light, nearly blinded by the white, glowing orb, when impossibly the tunnel lengthened. The light retreated from him, he was in the dark once more. He tried reaching it a second time, but it just kept getting further and further away, the blackness enveloping him.
"No," he said trying not to panic. "No, no, no, no. I have to get out. I have to get out."
"Danny wake up..."
"Help me! Help me!"
"Danno it's Steve..." someone was shaking him, dragging him back from the darkness. His eyes snapped open, his breath coming in short, quick gasps. "Hey, you're okay. You're okay." a voice said above him, Steve's face appearing in his line of sight.
"S...Steve?" Danny stammered shakily.
"Yeah," McGarrett replied quietly, stepping back to allow Williams to sit up. "Are you okay?"
Danny sniffed, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "Yeah, I'm good... fine. What time is it?" he glanced around his and Steve's hospital room (so not happy about that, by the way) trying to avoid his partner's worried gaze.
"A quarter to three," Steve answered lowering himself into the chair Kono had occupied hours before, eyeing Danny warily. "Are you sure you're...?"
"I'm fine, Steve," Williams snapped crossing his arms in case his hands were shaking.
"Okay, you're fine," McGarrett muttered skeptically, raising his hands.
They fell into an uncomfortable silence. Danny pulled his left leg up, his right bandaged from the bullet, and began tapping his fingers against his knee. Steve chewed on the inside of his cheek, obviously wanting to say something but deciding against it.
"Why are you out of bed, anyway?" Williams asked his fingers stopping in mid-tap. "I thought the nurse threatened to sedate you if you got up again."
"Well, you were screaming..." Steve trailed off when Danny glared at him. "Was it a nightmare?"
Williams sighed in frustration, wishing more than anything that McGarrett would let it go. He didn't want to talk about it with his partner, it was bad enough he was going to be forced to tell the story to a complete stranger. The shrink was going to pick apart his story and analyze each detail. He didn't need Steve to do the same thing.
"Look, Steve. I don't want to talk about it. So please don't make me talk about it."
"Okay, I won't. But are you going to tell that to your shrink Saturday? That you can't talk about it. Because she won't accept..."
"The shrink is a he. Doctor Li is going out of town, to The Virgin Islands, for a wedding. I'm stuck with her replacement, Doctor Bates."
"As in Norman?" Steve asked with a barely restrained smile.
"Nikolas actually," Danny muttered with a small smile. "And I'll just... I'll just..."
"In order to get Bates to sign off on you returning to Five-0 you need to prove you're not a risk," Steve started calmly. "Lying and covering up how you're doing is not going to convince him you're sane enough to go back to work. And I know you, if you're stuck at home it's gonna drive you crazy."
McGarrett had a point, Williams had never been able to sit around and do nothing. It was the sole reason he hated being grounded as a kid. It was why he became a cop, tried to make a difference. And, if he were being honest, it was one of a hundred or so reasons he agreed to become a part of Five-0.
And in the months since joining Five-0, the team had become the second most important thing to him (Grace forever being the first.) He couldn't see himself doing any other job, no matter how many times he threatened to quit because of Steve McGarrett's actions. So, he started to speak:
"You know I haven't been afraid of the dark since I was four. My father... My father told me that I had nothing to be scared of, that the dark wouldn't hurt me..." Danny chuckled darkly. "I guess he didn't expect me to get... buried alive..."
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2 Days Later...
Bates listened as Danny recounted his story, taking careful notes. The Jersey native didn't pay much attention, too busy staring out the window behind the doctor's shoulders. When he finished, Bates was silent, calculating, and then he asked, "Am I the first person you've told?"
"No I..." Danny cleared his throat. "I told Steve."
"And do you tell him everything?" Bates asked curiously after making a note.
Not everything... What does this have to do with what O'Riley did to me?"
Bates didn't answer, his eyes landing on his watch. "That's all the time for today."
"Great, I'll..." Danny froze half-way from getting out of his chair. "Wait, for today?"
"Yes, for today."
"But Jameson said..."
"Detective Williams I still think you have a few things to work out." Danny opened his mouth to protest. "I am going to clear you for active duty, but I still want you in my office, next Saturday at two."
"Things to work out? What things...?"
"It's either you agree or I don't sign that paper." he was referring to the paper in Williams' pocket, the one that gave him permission to continue to be a part of Five-0. So, there was only one thing he could say...
Danny was still irked over Bates' proposition when he pulled into his parking lot. He still couldn't believe he was stuck in therapy. Figures, McGarrett is the crazy one, yet I'm the one who needs a shrink.
As he got out of his Camaro, he noticed Steve's truck a few spaces from his. Eyebrows raised, Danny trekked across the lot, stopping next to the truck. The engine felt cool, or as cool as it could feel in the Hawaiian sunshine. So, the SEAL had been there a while. Danny rolled his eyes, heading toward his building.
He let himself into his apartment, noticing a plastic bag sitting on his coffee table. He headed toward it, ready to peek inside, but a familiar voice stopped him. "Don't touch that. It's a surprise." Danny turned, Steve approaching him. McGarrett took the bag, moving across the room. "So, did you get cleared?"
"Sorta," Danny replied wondering how far he could get if he snatched the bag from Steve and ran for it.
"What does 'sorta' mean?" McGarrett asked setting the bag down, leaning against the counter so his body blocked it.
"I can work, but I have to go back every Saturday until I 'work out' a 'few things.'" Danny said annoyed. "Translation: he wants my money."
"Bummer," Steve muttered fighting a smile.
"It's not funny," Danny snapped running a hand through his hair. "Oh, and I wanted to ask you..."
"...if I'd watch Grace while you're with 'Norman?'"
"Yeah," Williams replied liking the nickname McGarrett gave his shrink.
"No problem partner."
They fell silent, Steve glancing down at the floor while Danny crossed his arms. The latter searched around for something to talk about, eyes landing on the bag again. "You know," he started slowly, meeting McGarrett's eyes, "breaking and entering is a felony."
"I didn't break anything. I did enter with a key, though." Danny was taken aback for a second. "I mean, hiding the spare above the door is so unoriginal."
"Shut up," Danny replied with a shake of his head. He glanced at the bag again, needing to know what was inside. "What's in the bag?"
"Oh, uh, here." Steve snatched the bag off the counter, stepping away so he could hand it over. Danny took it between his hands, glancing inside. He rolled his eyes at the contents, laughing.
"It's better than keeping your lights on all night. Besides, I already plugged them in, they're all over the place." and they were, Danny having missed them the first time. There was one underneath his table, by his TV, next to his microwave, and probably a couple in his bedroom and bathroom. It was a small gesture from such a large man.
Danny was quiet for a second, studying the extra bulbs and lights, then he quietly said, "Thank you."
"Don't mention it," Steve muttered, obviously wishing Williams would let it go. He then ruined the moment by saying, "Besides, I thought recording my voice would be a little tacky."
Danny glared, grumbling, "I shouldn't have told you about that."
"No, don't be sorry. I was touched it was me you thought about," Steve replied wiping away a fake tear, fighting a laugh.
"Go home, McGarrett," Williams growled walking past his partner, throwing the plastic bag on the kitchen table.
"No, not without a hug."
"I would like that hug now," Steve said spreading his arms wide. Danny flashed back to the morning O'Riley died, shaking his head.
"Get out of my apartment." Williams snapped pointing at the door.
"Have a heart, Danno," McGarrett cried stepping toward his partner. Danny managed to dodge him, racing toward the door. He pulled it open, gesturing for Steve to get out.
"Fine," the taller man said dropping his arms, "and you think I wasn't held as a child." he headed toward the open door. "Oh," he stopped, turning to look at his partner, "the receipts are in the bag. So, you can pay me..." Danny slammed the door in his face. "Okay, pay me later then." the SEAL called through the door.
"Good bye, Steve," Danny called back.
"See ya Monday, Danno." and the taller man was gone, leaving the Jersey native alone for the first time since he was released from the hospital.
Williams had had Kono, Chin, and Steve over, without inviting them, almost every hour. They all wanted to keep an eye on him as subtly as possible... or not so subtly. Especially when each one conveniently stayed so late they had to camp out in his living room. Just because he had only told McGarrett and Bates everything didn't mean Kono and Chin didn't know enough to want to help.
Danny was grateful for his team, something he wouldn't admit willingly (especially to Steve and his ego), and couldn't help smiling. He looked around his apartment again, taking in all the small lights plugged into his walls. He might as well keep them in, it'd be rude to let them go to waste... or that was what he'd tell Steve when he came back over.
He knew he had some issues to work through, that Bates was only trying to help (despite his craptastic ultimatum), but he also knew he was going to be okay... eventually.
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That's it for now, but I am willing to write a sequel if enough of you want one. I've got an idea already in mind, and the warped imagination to write it. So, just let me know...