A/N: This is what my mind thought should happen while watching 1.09, "Po'ipu." AKA, an excuse to add whump. This really won't make any sense if you haven't seen that episode, as the action picks up when the team is holed up in Steve's house. Mega thanks to Faye Dartmouth for prodding my plot bunny, for betaing this madness, and giving me an idea for the title.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to Hawaii Five-0, and if you recognize it, I don't own it; this includes action and dialogue in this particular piece. Title comes from the song "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas And The Papas.
Monday, Monday (Can't Trust That Day)
The thing is, Danny should have known better.
Danny never should have assumed this would be a nice, relaxing Monday when he woke up this morning. In fact, he should have learned by now that he should never assume such things no matter the day, as there is no such thing as a relaxing day at work with Five-0.
See, back in New Jersey, chasing down an assassin, protecting a mass murderer, surviving a gunfight, patching up a bleeding woman, and hiding out while waiting for reinforcements to protect a bad guy from someone who used to be a good guy would have happened over a series of months, not hours.
By normal people's standards, Danny has fulfilled his mayhem quota for the next several months. And in any other department, he'd be entitled to a few days off — at least — as well the chance of a nice long spell of what Steve likes to call "small time" criminals, like drunk drivers, bank robbers, drug lords, and maybe a corrupt politician or six.
But this is Hawaii, and his partner is Steve McGarrett, the crazy wanna-be superhero who not only goes through all of this within a matter of hours right alongside Danny, but conducts two separate raids on top of it, just to add a little variety to life. (Because apparently Steve's day is not complete unless he's charging blindly into a potentially lethal situation without any back-up.)
And then General Pak announces his true purpose in the States and tells Five-0 that if they pull this off — if they stop the ruthless madman hunting the other ruthless madman — then they'll help bring a long and bloody war to an end and potentially save the lives of thousands of people.
So there's no pressure. Really.
Danny's more than ready to call it a day. It's Monday, after all, and if this is what the rest of the week is supposed to be like, he'd like to pace himself. He does have aspirations to live long enough to walk Grace down the aisle someday. And since she's not allowed to date until she's married, that's going to be a good long time.
However, the chances of Danny being able to go home in the near future are looking slimmer and slimmer, and he's pretty sure this is going to go down on record as one of the longest days of his life. Normally, this would be enough to make him understandably frustrated, but when added to the fact he's forced to do this for someone he despises, it's enough to tip him over the edge from understandably frustrated to borderline apoplectic. If he didn't love Grandma Louie and Uncle Jack so much, he'd be a little ticked at them for constantly reminding him of the importance of honor and devotion to duty, no matter the cost. If it weren't for them, he might've been able to walk away from this assignment as soon as he'd been assigned to it.
Of course, if it weren't for them he'd probably be in prison or at the bottom of the Hudson or — God forbid — a cubicle by now, so he supposes it all evens out in the end.
The flash of blue lights is a welcome relief, as is the familiar silhouette of police cruisers. They've been holed up in Steve's house for more than an hour — long enough for the sun to nearly set — and Danny's had a bad feeling the entire time. Danny doesn't know the island's roads as well as the rest of his team, but he's pretty sure it shouldn't have taken this long for backup to arrive.
It makes him wonder what Taylor's up to, since he doubts Taylor is going to give up just because Five-0 gave him the slip. Taylor's a military man through and through, even if he's gone rogue since his tours with Steve in 'Stan. He's not about to give up after a little setback, especially if he's anything like Steve, who doesn't understand the meaning of the terms "common sense" and "moderation" when faced with a mission he deems fit to complete.
Danny shoves the couch aside to open the front door, already contemplating what their next move is going to be. Get Pak and his family to a secure location, obviously — preferably one with a doctor so Mrs. Pak can get more medical attention than Danny's rudimentary skills and Kono's patch attempt with a basic first-aid kit. Next step will be trying to track that bastard Taylor down — which, if it ends up like their manhunt did this morning, will lead to more bodies and another chase and probably gunfire and explosions. (This is why he's now wearing Kevlar; it pays to be prepared, even if the thing is annoying and constricting and doesn't always let him take a full breath when he's running.)
There is not enough caffeine in the world for days like this, Danny thinks as he opens the door.
And then Steve's yelling at him to get away from the door, but before he can even think to move, there's a flash of light and a sharp crack, and suddenly a tremendous force slams into him and knocks him away from the door and onto his ass at General Pak's feet. The world grays out as his head connects with the floor. Hard.
Between the pain in his chest and in his head and his general inability to breathe, the only thing Danny can think about is the fact that he's really starting to hate Mondays in Hawaii.
— 5-0 — 5-0 —
The thing is, Steve really should have known better.
If there's one thing Steve's learned over the past few months, it's that Danny Williams is an extremely good judge of character. Danny doesn't declare point-blank he doesn't like someone without good reason, so the moment he had said that about Nick Taylor, Steve should have known something wasn't right.
And if he were honest with himself, for a moment he had known something wasn't right. As soon as Danny had mentioned it, there was a split second where some instinct deep down had agreed with him. But Steve's loyalty to Taylor — someone he'd known for years, someone he'd considered an ally, a comrade, a friend — had overridden that, and he'd pushed the emotion aside, defending a traitor instead of believing his partner.
Now, with the recent memories of gunfire and a smoldering wreck of a car bomb behind him and General Pak and his family currently holed up in his house with the rest of his team, Steve's pushing emotions aside again, focusing on getting the job at hand done.
But as soon as this is over, Steve knows he's got some serious self-recriminations coming his way.
Blue lights flash and cars pull up, and Steve lets his shoulders slump for a moment as Danny announces HPD's arrival, relieved this can finally be over. It's been a long day, even for him, and HPD's lag in response time only has only put him even more on edge.
The thought makes Steve frown, and he takes another look through the blinds. The lag time is too suspicious — something isn't right. It's been at least an hour since he called for back-up. Unless every officer had been out on call — and the odds of that happening are extremely low — it should have taken less than thirty minutes for HPD to get here.
Steve's suspicions are confirmed when he sees a half-dozen men dressed in black ops gear spill out of the cars. This isn't the cavalry, he realizes; this is merely the next phase of the assault.
He turns as the door opens and sees Danny standing there, exposed to the threat, and something clenches in his gut. "Danny, get away from the door! Get away — "
There's a sharp crack, and suddenly Danny's falling backwards, arms flailing as he slams into the floor in front of General Pak, skull smashing into the hardwood with a sick thud.
For one heart-stopping moment, no one moves or breathes, all eyes locked on the body on the floor.
The next moment, Pak's wife is shrieking, Chin's cursing as he slams the door shut and drags the sofa back, and Kono's barking orders at the Paks, hustling them away from the windows and door and telling them that help's not coming, that they're on their own.
But all Steve understands is that Danny's on the floor, motionless, brought down by a shot fired from someone Steve had once thought of as a brother. And all he can think of is the conversation he and Danny had at the start of the case, when Danny said he was sick at the thought of taking a bullet for Pak. Steve had said it wouldn't come to that.
He's never been more wrong in his life.
Then Danny stirs with a groan and Steve's moving, kneeling next to his partner to assess the damage. "Easy, Danny, just take it easy," he orders, ripping the Velcro holding Danny's Kevlar vest in place — the vest that's only there because Danny insisted that everyone on the team should wear one after the initial gunfight with Taylor on the road. Steve hadn't even thought of it until Danny mentioned it; hell, if he had been considering his team's safety before, he would have made sure they were all wearing Kevlar from the moment they picked up Pak at the landing strip. Instead, he'd let his guard down because he'd assumed they were safe, that Taylor had them covered —
The slug lodged in Danny's vest glints in the light, drawing Steve's attention back to the moment at hand. It also highlights the direct placement over Danny's heart, and Steve breathes a silent prayer of thanks that the round wasn't armor piercing.
Danny's lungs expand as soon as the restrictive vest is loosened, and then he's coughing violently, one hand reaching up to grasp at his chest as he curls in on himself. "Holy hell," he gasps, collapsing back to the floor. He winces as Steve nudges the vest aside and presses lightly on his chest. Steve hates to cause more pain, but he needs to assess the injuries. His shoulders relax a little when he doesn't feel the slide of bone on bone. No broken ribs — just severely bruised, perhaps cracked. They'll need an x-ray to know for sure, but it looks like Danny lucked out this time.
No thanks to Steve, of course.
"How you doing, Danny?" Steve demands, needing reassurance that someone else isn't going to die in this house because of his blind determination to complete a mission without considering the ramifications.
Danny cracks an eye open to glare at him, and Steve's pretty sure he's never felt so relieved in his life. Which is weird, because generally when people glare at him like that, they're usually about to shoot him. Of course, this is Danny, so Steve generally sees that look at least twice a day. It's a sign that things are normal between them, that Danny's alive and breathing and not bleeding out just a few yards from where Steve's dad died.
"I just took a bullet to the chest, you moron," Danny rasps. "The hell you think I'm doing?"
"Can't be that bad if he's complaining," Chin calls, laughing when Danny flips him the bird.
Steve frowns as Danny winces and rubs his forehead. "How's the head?" he inquires, hands hovering in the air because now he's lost and doesn't know quite what to do. There's no blood, nothing to bandage, and Danny's always been very vocal about his personal space. Steve's already caused enough problems for his partner today; he doesn't want to aggravate him even more.
"Pounding," Danny says. He latches onto Steve's right hand with his left. The grip is warm, solid, steady. "Help me up."
Steve opens his mouth to shoot down that plan — Danny did just take a bullet to the chest, after all, he should probably take a breather for a minute — but swallows his words when Danny shoots him another glare. Steve pulls his partner to his feet instead; Danny winces, sways, but stays upright.
"You're gonna be fine," Steve says, as if stating the fact is going to make it true, even though the odds are against them all making it out of this unscathed. There's still a squad of men outside set on killing Pak and anyone who gets in the way of their goal, and Steve knows the next shots will be meant for skulls.
Danny nods, rubbing his chest one last time before securing his vest again. "Don't have much choice, do I?" he replies, prying the bullet out of his vest. His face is inscrutable as he stares at the chunk of lead before pocketing it and looking at Steve. "For the record, if this is what Tuesday's going to be like, I quit."
Steve smiles a little. "Me, too."
"Boss, we got a problem," Kono says, stepping forward. "My phone's completely dead."
"Mine, too," Chin adds, holding up his darkened phone but not turning from where he's keeping watch through the blinds. "And they're surrounding the perimeter. I count eight, but there could be more."
Danny and Steve pull out their phones. "I got nothing," Danny says. "Everything's dead."
"I have full bars." Steve holds up his phone, staring at the lit-up screen and trying to figure out just what happened. He can think of a half-dozen gadgets that can wipe out communications within a dozen miles, and two gadgets that can narrow that range to just a couple feet, but he's never —
And then the realization hits, and it's like someone dropped a chunk of lead in his stomach. "Taylor killed your signals and cloned mine," he says, looking at the others. His hand is clenched around his phone so tightly it just might break. "I was never on the line with dispatch — it was Taylor's team the whole time. HPD has no idea where we are."
They all stare at him, waiting for instructions. In moments like this, Steve hates being in charge. It's his fault they're here in the first place — he trusted Taylor, and because of that, Taylor's six steps ahead, and there's a strong chance someone on Steve's team's going to pay for it.
Hell, Danny nearly has already. Steve knows the shot had been a warning; he knows Taylor would have hired the best, so all of them could have made the kill shot as soon as Danny opened the door. Hell, if Danny hadn't suggested they all put on their vests after the initial shoot-out with Taylor's team, the shot would have been a kill shot.
Danny could have been killed, and it would have been Steve's fault. That doesn't sit well, not at all.
Steve blinks, then blinks again when he sees Danny's standing right in front of him. "Worry about the could-have-beens later," Danny says, his voice firm but not angry. "What's the plan now?"
It's enough to get his brain going again. "Right. Danny, go upstairs to the spare bedroom, second door on the right. It's got the best vantage point. Kono, there's a can of gas and some empty Longboard bottles in the garage."
Danny and Kono nod and run off, and Steve turns his attention to the Paks. The mother and son are clinging to each other, and the General looks like he's seen a ghost; his face is pale as he watches Danny disappear up the stairs. "Why?" General Pak breathes, turning to look at Steve. "Even after all this, after taking a bullet for someone he clearly despises, he still tries to protect me and my family. You all do. Why?"
Steve's mouth twitches a little. "Because it's our job." He ushers them toward the cellar entrance under the stairs. "In here. And stay here, no matter what you hear. Understand?" The General nods, allowing his family to go first before hunkering down after them.
Steve swings the door shut, then moves to stand with Chin at the window. They both glance up when they hear the floor above them creak as Danny settles into position. Chin looks at Steve, face hard and eyes dark with anger. "He'd be dead if they'd really wanted to kill him," he says.
Steve's grip on his gun tightens. "I know."
The floor creaks again. Steve remembers Danny's bum knee, all of the running they've had to do today; it's probably killing him right now, but he hasn't said a thing.
"I'll go help him," Chin murmurs, rushing up the stairs when Steve nods. Kono returns as he leaves, a can of gas and some rags in one hand and a few empty bottles in the other. Steve helps her make a couple Molotov cocktails; the tension in Kono's shoulders is the only thing giving away her fear.
As he's putting the finishing touches on one of the Molotovs, Steve turns his attention back to the window, hands moving automatically while he scans the yard. He sees two of Taylor's men settling into place behind the bushes on the far side of the yard. Through a gap in the leaves, Steve sees one move a hand to his ear, presumably to relay his position to Taylor.
Overhead, the floor creaks again. Steve knows both the layout of the room and his team well enough to know Chin's taken up the spot by the bay windows — the spot that's got a great view but is an easy entrance point to the enemy team outside — and that Danny's near the smaller window over the dresser — the spot that's the perfect place to provide backup to someone standing by the bay windows. And Steve knows it all without the need for his team to relay the info to him.
Steve's always been impressed and more than a little amazed at how fast his team clicked. He's led some of the best black ops teams in the world, each with members trained by the best of the best; none of them worked so well as this rag-tag task force. The members of 5-0 have been working together for only a few months, but they act as if they've known each other for years. Steve trusts his team implicitly.
Except that apparently he doesn't; otherwise, he would have trusted Danny and not relied on Taylor so much throughout this investigation.
Then his phone rings, and he tenses when he sees Taylor's nickname pop up on the caller I.D. It's a final reminder to get his head in the game. He needs to protect Pak and save his team. It's his job, his responsibility, his duty. Because if he saves them all now, then he'll be able to dwell on his guilt later.
The only thing that matters now is making sure his friends survive the night.
— 5-0 — 5-0 —
The thing is, Danny realizes after the gunfire has died down and Taylor's team has come out on the losing end, is that he should have known better.
He's been partners with Steve long enough to know that of course Steve is going to off after the bad guy. Of course he's not going to tell anyone where he's run off to. And of course he's going to do it alone.
Danny will bet his next paycheck that Steve was the Lone Ranger for at least one Halloween as a child.
To be fair, there had been a lot going on around the house, what with the black ops team closing in, the family they were protecting, and the insane amount of gunfire being exchanged. And while he'll never admit it to anyone, there were a few moments when Danny's headache caused him to lose track of what was going on, to the point where Chin and his shotgun had to come to the rescue once (or twice, if he's feeling particularly honest). His chest is also killing him, and judging from the pain in his bad knee, he's two steps away from needing to dig out his cane again.
Perhaps that's why he's a bit surprised when he hobbles down to the first floor, Chin on his heels, to find Kono there alone, securing zip ties around the wrists of an unconscious (or possibly dead) guy.
"Where's Steve?" Chin asks.
Kono's head snaps up, and she glances around once before standing straight. "I think he went after Nick."
Danny barely suppresses an eye roll, opting instead for an eyebrow raise. "Of course he did," he growls, striding for the door; he's got to make sure his partner's still around to lead 5-0 headfirst into future cases that leave him sore and crabby.
There's a series of sharp noises that echo over the water — three gunshots down at the beach. That's all the incentive Danny needs to forget his throbbing head and his aching chest and his sore knee and break into a run, with Kono and Chin right behind him. Gunfire and a missing Steve usually don't turn out well, Danny knows, but he pushes aside the thought and focuses on running instead. Running on sand with an already sore knee (and a throbbing head and aching chest) is no picnic, but that doesn't matter at this point.
Because up ahead, he can see the silhouette of someone standing at the water's edge, shoulders slumped in defeat. Danny doesn't need the aid of the headlights that suddenly shine down from the house to know it's Steve; somehow he doubts Taylor would be that upset about shooting a former friend.
The silhouette steps back, turns as Danny and the others approach. Danny can see Steve's face now; he's bleeding again, as usual, but it looks like the most serious injury is a cut on the former SEAL's bicep. It's bleeding but not spurting, so Danny figures it's safe to assume it didn't hit an artery, which is good. Steve may be psychotic and have complete disregard for a little thing known as due process, but he's a pretty good partner, and Danny would hate to have to replace him.
Plus, Grace seems to like Steve for some reason, which means Danny should do his best to keep Steve around to avoid upsetting her.
Behind them, they hear sirens approaching. "HPD's here," Danny says.
Steve nods once. "Chin, go let them know what's going on. Kono, check on General Pak and his family."
Chin and Kono nod their agreement, satisfied to see Steve upright and moving, and head off without another word. Danny figures it's probably a good call. Steve's always on edge after a big fight, and the fact that it was with a former friend isn't going to help matters.
Danny knows he should probably back off, too, especially when Steve's got that look — the one that says he's not sure if he should fight or flee. Danny's not sure what's running through his partner's head, but he'd lay good odds it has something to do with Steve's knack for blaming himself when things go to Hell in a hand basket.
Which, okay, on some level this was Steve's fault. He's the one who dragged them into the case and he's the one who trusted Taylor, no questions asked, but that was as far as Danny could cast blame. After all, Danny had trusted Meka, even though to everyone else it looked like he was a dirty cop. If there's one thing Danny's learned over the years, it's that sometimes you don't second guess your friends. That's why he could trust Meka and Steve could trust Taylor — because they were good friends and good people.
In reality, this whole thing was Nick Taylor's fault. Danny knows that Taylor had been a good man back when Steve had served with him because Danny knows Steve, and he knows Steve would have seen through Taylor back then. It isn't Steve's fault for trusting someone who had changed; it was Nick Taylor's fault for choosing money over duty and loyalty to one's country and morals.
So yes, Danny knows he should probably give Steve his space. But then, he's never pulled punches around Steve before. He's not about to start when he's tired and achy because he's been shot. Again.
He eyes the body floating in the water before looking back at his partner. "You have got to start doing a better job of picking your friends."
Steve stares at him for a long minute before his face softens and he smirks a little. "Tell me about it — I picked you, didn't I?"
Danny chuffs a laugh despite himself. The action's enough to send a fresh spike of pain through his chest, which subsequently sends a spike of pain through his head, which makes the world fade out a bit. The adrenaline's wearing off quick; he thought he was tired before, but that's nothing compared to this.
He registers movement and a firm voice shouting his name, and the next thing he knows, he's sitting on the sand, propped up against someone's shoulder and there's a familiar voice yelling in his ear. "...His pupils aren't equal but they're responding... looks like a minor concussion, probably from when he hit the floor."
Okay, yeah, a concussion would probably explain the headache and the dizziness and the momentary lapses in concentration he's been having. Of course, Steve yelling in his ear doesn't make things any less painful.
"Thought you army guys were all about silence and stealth," he says, forcing his eyes open. He closes them a moment later; the world's spinning too much.
Then the shoulder propping him up shifts. "Danny? You with me?"
He plans to say something flippant like "Unfortunately," but apparently he's more concussed than he thought because what comes out instead is, "Always."
Steve tenses, and even with his pounding headache, Danny knows Steve's feeling guilty again. The thought is enough to make the world stop spinning, at least for a moment. "Don't make that face."
"You can't even see my face! How do you know I have a face?"
Danny summons up enough energy to open his eyes and shift away from Steve. Steve masks his expression, but not before Danny confirms his suspicions. "Because I know you. And the whole 'Damn This Is My Fault' face should really just go away."
There's a long pause as Steve raises an eyebrow, which Danny decides to interpret as an invitation to keep talking. "Okay, yes, you trusted a douche bag, but it's not your fault we got into this mess, alright? He was your friend; you had every right to trust him."
"But you didn't."
Danny shrugs his shoulder that isn't aching from being shot. "I'm also a jackass with trust issues, if you ask my ex-wife."
Nothing. Not even a smirk. Steve just stares at him with that self-deprecating look. "You're also my partner, Danno. Aren't you always the one who's telling me partners should trust each other?"
"Yeah, well, I know how hard it can be for you to listen to reason," Danny replies. He spots a movement out of the corner of his eye, sees a couple paramedics hustling down to the beach. "Tell you what. You let them patch you up without a fuss and I'll save the rant for the next case. Deal?"
Steve stares at him for a moment longer before finally smirking a little. "Your head hurts too much to yell at me, doesn't it?" His tone of voice makes the question come out more as a smug statement.
Danny splutters for a moment. "What? What on earth would ever give you such a ridiculous notion?"
It's obvious Steve sees through the pathetic attempt at a rant, judging by the glint in his eye that looks both amused and concerned at once. Danny's not sure if he's relieved or pissed — he's achieved his goal of getting Steve to end his pity party, but it also means he's easy to read.
"Look, I'm feeling generous, since it's getting pretty close to Christmas and all, so I'll humor you," Steve says.
"Humor me? You'll humor me?" Danny rubs his temple to try and press the headache away. "Need I remind you of the stab wound on your arm that's already leaked copious amounts of blood into the sand?"
Steve rolls his eyes. "It's a scratch, Danny."
Danny scoffs as the medics surround them. The petite brunette one — Maria, if he remembers right, she's patched them up before — kneels in front of him. Danny shoots her his best exasperated look and declares, "'It's a scratch,' he says."
Maria just smiles and pulls out a flashlight. "I understand you might have a concussion."
Danny points his thumb at Steve. "If I do, it's because this nut job makes me want to bash my head into every nearby surface out of frustration."
Steve snorts, and Maria smiles sympathetically as she shines the light in Danny's eyes, and Danny curses in response. But even with all that, Danny feels more relaxed than he has all day.
"And why's that, Danny?" Steve asks, and Danny realizes he actually said that last thought out loud.
"I'm relaxed because back in New Jersey, it's Tuesday," Danny says. "Which means soon enough, it'll be Tuesday here and that means this damn day will be over. But I'm warning you right now, McGarrett, if there is even a hint of mayhem tomorrow, I'm taking the next flight to the mainland, and I'll make you pay for it."
Steve chuckles. "Alright. I'll hold off on the mayhem until Wednesday. Happy?"
Danny grins despite himself as he glances at his friend — his bleeding but still very much alive friend. "Ecstatic."