A/N - This little one-shot wouldn't leave me alone after I saw last week's episode which was, in my opinion, the best episode yet. I wrote this out tonight so that I could get back to my other two WIPs. This work is completely un-beta read. I literally just finished writing it so any mistakes belong solely to me. This is my first published Five-0 story, although I am currently writing a multi chapter story for this fandom. I also have a Merlin WIP that has not been forgotten about (promise). It's just that my muse went to Hawaii on vacation and I am having a little trouble convincing her that she really needs to come home now.
Disclaimer: If I owned them I wouldn't be living here!
It had been a brutal day, and Danny was paying a price for the anxiety he had felt all day long. He sat and listened to the tape that Stan had handed over to him feeling both frustrated with the man while a little sorry for him at the same time.
Bruce Hoffman, the housing commissioner, at least for the time being, was squeezing Stan who stupidly tried to play ball with the corrupt official. The moment Hoffman made it clear that he was going to expect a certain amount of 'cooperation' from Stan in order to get access to the resources and permits he needed to finish construction on his properties things went wrong.
The entire day was giving Danny indigestion, which was saying something since he hadn't had anything to eat all day, save for the treats that Chin brought early that morning.
Danny transferred the taped conversation to his computer making a digital copy that he could put on a flash drive as back up storage. If Hoffman was willing to use highly illegal methods to get the recording from Stan, Danny wasn't going to take any chances. There would not be only one copy of the damning evidence. The flash drive would makes its way into the hands of the DA in the morning with everything else that Danny had dug up on the crooked city official.
Danny leaned forward over his desk for a moment as a rolling wave of discomfort ran through his chest. The sensation intensified until it felt like a stabbing pain that went straight through to his spine. Breathing quickly and shallowly he waited for the pain to pass before he could check on the second search he had running on Hoffman's financial records.
Danny didn't notice that anyone was in the office besides himself until he heard his office door open. He looked up to see Steve McGarrett stepping through the threshold looking about as ridiculous as Danny had ever seen him look.
"Danny? You okay, man? You don't look so good."
Danny sat up straight and looked at his partner just shaking his head. Steve was dressed in full camouflage gear and sullied with enough mud and debris that it looked as though the Lt. Commander had gone wrestling around on the jungle floor for the last several hours.
The Jersey native stood up from his desk and came around to walk up to his partner eyeing him critically. "I don't look so good? You have got to be kidding me. I'm going to guess that you haven't walked past any reflective surfaces in the last hour."
McGarrett stood up straighter and crossed his arms over his chest. "Excuse me?"
Danny let out a short bark that sounded like a cross between snort and a laugh. "Well, look at you. Honestly, McGarrett, you look like a life sized fully articulating GI Joe action figure, and is that mud on your neck? Really? I bet you covered your face in it to camouflage yourself out there, and missed that spot when you cleaned up."
Steve looked a bit put out by that comment. "What's your point? It's a standard operating procedure when engaging in covert ops in the jungle."
Danny's hands flew up in the air in a slight wave. "Not to mention it would complete the look. Seriously, listen to you. You even sound like a GI Joe action figure. Turn around, I want to see the pull string."
Steve raised one eyebrow in that infuriating way that told Danny he wasn't biting. "What ever. So what happened with Stan? Can I assume that he is still in one piece?"
Danny sighed heavily dropping his hands to his sides for a moment. God, he was tired. His hands didn't stay idle for long though as they came back up in a flurry of motion punctuating his words. "Stan is an idiot! He's innocent, well basically, but never the less he's an idiot."
Steve stepped fully into the office and sat on the edge of Danny's desk. "So he didn't have anything to do with what happened to Grace and Rachel?"
"I didn't say that. It was because of his stupidity that they were put at risk. He had a meeting with Bruce Hoffman, the housing commissioner, about some property he is developing. What Stan didn't realize, at least at first, was that he was dealing with a corrupt public official who tried to squeeze him for money."
Steve looked genuinely interested now. "How so?"
"Hoffman wanted certain amounts of money for each permit, or resource that Stan was requesting. Stan, being the idiot he is, decided that he was going to record the meeting."
"That seems like a smart idea to me." Steve countered.
Danny's hands became highly animated in conjunction with the increased volume of his voice. "It would have been if Stan hadn't then turned around and told Hoffman that he had recorded the meeting as was planning to expose him!"
Steve nodded, understanding now why Danny was so agitated. "So Hoffman hired a couple of thugs to get the tape back?"
"Bingo. I mean Stan pulls this bone head stunt and then takes off on a business trip leaving Rachel and Grace behind having no idea what kind of mess he's gotten them all into. Hoffman had no intention of being exposed and after seeing some of his financials, I can see why. He has been embezzling money from the government coffers for a long time, to a tune of over a million of dollars."
Steve whistled at the number. "This may not be an official case, but it looks like you have everything well in hand. Do you need my help on anything?"
Danny shrugged. "Nah, this is pretty cut and dry. Hoffman tried to hide his embezzling, but I'm particularly good and ferreting out this sort of thing. Before I worked homicide, back in Jersey I dealt with a few high profile financial cases and learned a few tricks from some really sharp FIU officers. I'm running another type of search to find everything the sleazy bastard has been up to."
"FIU?" Steve asked, clearly having no idea what the acronym stood for.
"Financial Crimes Investigative Unit. It runs under the Casino Gaming Bureau." Danny clarified as he walked over and tapped a few keys on his computer checking on the status of his second search.
As he leaned over, the pain in his chest ratcheted up a notch and he had to swallow hard to keep from letting it show. Steve didn't seem to notice which Danny was thankful for. The last thing he needed was a Rambo look-a-like trying to play mother hen to him.
Steve leaned back a little to try and see what was on the screen. "Are you going to be here a lot longer?"
"Probably not. This program looks like it is just about done. I already have full printouts of the financials I've already run on Hoffman and the flash drive is ready to go, why?"
"I need a lift home." Steve stood up, and stretched and Danny felt slightly queazy as he heard McGarrett's shoulder pop, much the same way cracking one's knuckles would sound only louder and deeper.
Danny glanced up at his partner to see if any pain was registering on his face, but it was obvious that the SEAL was perfectly content. He stretched in the other direction popping the other shoulder.
"That is what you get for running around the jungle like Arnold Swarzenegger in a commando movie. So why do you need a lift, where's your truck?"
Steve grinned a little. "It's still up at the safe house in Kubuku."
Danny raised his eyebrows. "How did you get your witness back to the courthouse?"
Steve seemed to consider his answer before shaking his head. "That's kind of a long story."
Danny was feeling even more uncomfortable and was fairly sure he didn't want to listen to that particular story right then. "Well, I have a little more paperwork to do, so you should take this time to go down to the locker room and shower. You are not getting in my car like that."
Steve looked genuinely taken aback by Danny's admonishment. He looked down at himself and back up at his partner. "Why not?"
"You are covered in mud, leaves, twigs, and is that blood I see on your hand?"
Steve looked at the dried blood covering the last two fingers of his right hand and shrugged. "It's not mine."
Danny stared incredulously at him. "I'm shocked! Just go shower already, will ya?"
Smiling broadly Steve headed toward the door. "Yes, mother."
As he stepped out into the common area between the four Five-0 detective's offices Danny called after him, "And don't forget to wash behind your ears!"
As soon as Steve had stepped through the double glass doors leading from HQ and rounded the corner, Danny leaned back against his desk and grabbed his chest. The pain he was having was starting to scare him. He had dealt with indigestion and heart burn for years but this was, by far, worse than anything he had ever experienced.
He slowed his breathing down and willed the pain to abate. He instinctively reached up and loosened his tie and undid the top two buttons on his shirt. After a few minutes of concentrated slow breathing the pain began to subside to a manageable level.
Danny had just finished putting all of the dirt he had found on Hoffman in a file as well as the flash drive. Everything went into a large manilla envelope ready to be delivered to the DA in the morning when Steve walked in clean and wearing his standard black tee and cargo pants.
Danny locked the DA's package up in his desk as his partner walked into the office. Unfortunately that was the precise moment that an intense wave of pain washed through the Jersey native's chest taking his breath away.
Much to Danny's displeasure, he was unable to effectively hide his discomfort and the next thing he knew, Steve was at his side grabbing his elbow.
"Hey Danny, what's going on with you?"
Danny knew he couldn't respond for a moment and held up a finger to forestall Steve.
"You'd better sit down." Steve insisted, as he tried to guide Danny toward his chair.
Danny shook his head and refused to move. Movement made the bad spasms worse. "Just give me a sec." he whispered, harshly.
Thankfully after only a moment more, the pain receded enough for Danny to straighten up. "I'm okay, just a little heartburn."
Steve was looking intently at him which served to make Danny even more uncomfortable under the SEAL's scrutiny. "Danny when you said you were sick, earlier on the phone, I didn't know you meant literally."
"Don't worry about me. Really I'm fine. I'm also finished up here for the night."
"You know, that's the second time today you've told me not to worry about you, but I am. You've broken out in a cold sweat and your pale as a ghost."
Danny knew that Steve was only reacting the way anyone would given his position, but he didn't want to acknowledge that something serious might be happening. He stood straight and glared at McGarrett. "What I really need is a hot shower and a good night's sleep, so let's go."
Steve frowned at him, but mercifully held his tongue. Danny looked at his partner and noticed that Steve looked about as tired as he had ever seen him. "Besides look who's talking. Even after a shower, you look like you could fall asleep standing up."
Steve shrugged off the comment, but seemed to understand the point Danny was making. "I have been running around in a 110 degree rain forest all day playing commando. I'm supposed to be tired."
Danny smirked at that and turned off the light on his desk. "Yeah, well come on Rambo. It looks like both of us could use a decent night's sleep."
Danny led the way out of the office and through the bullpen toward front door. Steve followed quietly, but Danny could feel his eyes on him from behind. As they approached the silver Camaro, Steve used his long legs to pull ahead of Danny headed straight for the driver's side.
Danny didn't have the wear-with-all to argue with him so he simply grabbed his keys and tossed them over to Steve, sliding into the passenger side. Danny kept telling himself that he was just having a bad heart burn day, but he couldn't quite convince himself.
'It's just the stress of what happened today, Williams. Grace and Rachel were carjacked by goons with guns. Of course you're having heart burn. You ended up helping Stan to possibly resolve problems in his marriage to your ex-wife. Your daughter had a gun pointed in her face.'
As Danny ran this litany through his head he envisioned his daughter's terrified eyes and the shutter in her tiny body when she ran up to him at HPD that morning. This he discovered was a wholly terrible idea as another wave of searing pain engulfed his chest piercing through to his back.
Danny was scared. Maybe this actually was a heart attack. Grace couldn't lose him now. She would be raised by Stan, and that thought made the pain intensify. Danny leaned forward panting and clutching his chest.
"Danny, hey Danny."
Steve's voice cut through the pain and Danny found himself moaning softly between pants. 'Okay, Williams, what has to happen for you to admit you need help?'
"Steve... hospital, now." he croaked, out as he closed his eyes against the pain.
Danny heard the engine rev up higher as Steve increased their speed. He felt a hand on his arm.
"Hang in there, okay? You're gonna be okay."
Steve sounded worried, no scratch that, he sounded scared. Leaning forward wasn't helping anymore. Danny tried leaning back with his head against the seat. He knew he was sweating because the air conditioning began to dry the cold moisture on his forehead. 'Please don't let me be having a heart attack.'
It didn't take them long to arrive at the hospital and by the time they did, Danny was feeling marginally better. At least he wasn't panting anymore and the pain had subsided once again to a manageable level.
Steve jumped out and was around to the passenger side before Danny even got the door all the way open. The taller man reached down and grabbed Danny by the arm helping him up out of the car, which made Danny feel like a goof.
He swatted the hand away weakly as he stood. "I've got it."
Steve seemed to understand and took his hand away but hovered closely as they walked into the ER. "Danny, go sit down over there. I can deal with checking you in okay?"
Danny didn't really want to continue standing anyway, so he decided that Steve was perfectly capable of checking him in. He reached back to his pocket and pulled out his wallet handing it over to Steve. The pain was still there and had moved upward into his neck as well as across his shoulders.
Danny sat down and briefly considered throwing up, but the sensation passed quickly. He hadn't been siting for more than a few minutes when a nurse showed up next to him pushing a wheel chair.
"Mr. Williams, I need to you sit here for me. I'm going to take you back to an examination room."
Danny looked up at the young woman. She seemed nice, but she had a very concerned frown on her face which served to heighten Danny's anxiety. Could you tell just by looking at someone that they are having a heart attack?
He was whisked away through a set of automatic double doors and taken to a curtained off cubicle. The activity surrounding him was a little bit of a blur as this young woman helped him to get undressed and into a hospital gown.
A small voice in the back of Danny's mind wanted to know why all hospital gowns were made to open up in the back and generally make you feel like you were completely naked even though you obviously weren't.
He had to lay down on a stretcher which caused the pain to skyrocket and him to nearly throw up. He bolted upright almost immediately. "No, I can't lie down."
The nurse reached back behind the head of the bed and the top of the stretcher raised up so that he could lay back at an angle that was half way upright. This was far more comfortable than lying flat so Danny did his best to comply.
There were leads and wires hooked up all over his chest, arms and legs. Someone else came in a jabbed him with a needle and took at least a dozen little glass vials of his blood. A blood pressure cuff was strapped to one arm while an IV line was started in the other and all of this activity served to scare the piss out of him.
Finally after what seemed like every employee in the entire hospital had come in to take some kind of test or preform some sort of service a doctor stepped into the room to speak with him.
"Detective Williams? I am Doctor Dailey. Tell me what was happening with you today."
Danny's normal habit of using his hands to talk turned out to be a little distracting for the doctor, but Danny didn't really care. Once he had relayed all of his symptoms and how they kept coming in waves he looked up with genuine fear wondering what this doctor was going to tell him.
Steve had checked Danny in and while waiting to have the ER registrar process the paperwork, he called Chin and Kono to let them know what was happening. The cousins came to the hospital and the three of them intermittently paced or sat waiting for news on Danny.
After what seemed like hours, although in reality it had only been about 90 minutes, a doctor came out to the waiting area asking for McGarrett. Steve, who had been pacing a raw spot in the rug, turned and in three long strides came face to face with the ER doctor.
"How's Danny?" Steve asked without preamble. Kono and Chin were only a pace behind their boss eager to hear what was going on.
"He's doing quite well now." The doctor replied, but before he could say anything else Steve kept up with his questions.
"Was it his heart? Did he have a heart attack?" The genuine concern in Steve's voice was clear, and the doctor placed a hand on the SEAL's shoulder.
"No, Detective Williams did not have a heart attack. He does however have an ulcer and had a bad bout of acid reflux. I have given him some medication to ease his immediate symptoms, and gave him a referral to a good gastroenterologist. Part of the problem that made today's episode so bad was that he hadn't eaten anything all day and the acid reflux was quite literally burning his esophagus."
Steve was surprised by that statement. "That will give him heart attack symptoms? He was having chest pain."
"It is very common to have acid reflux feel like heart symptoms. As he explained it to me he had an unusually stressful day which increased the acid production in his stomach. Couple that with not eating and the acid will eat away at the lining of the stomach causing an ulcer. Now this doesn't happen in just a few hours. He has been developing this ulcer for months. The acid reflux is what caused the chest pain symptoms."
Kono didn't really understand and asked, "What exactly is acid reflux?"
That is when stomach acid moves up the esophagus. It is not uncommon to have that as a complication secondary to a gastric ulcer. Detective Williams will need to adjust his diet to accommodate the ulcer, as well as going on a medication regime to heal the damage. Trying to avoid stress would be a good, start, but seeing that he is a member of the Governor's Five-0 task force, I can see where that might be a bit of a problem."
Steve felt relief flood through him. He had been terrified that Danny was having a heart attack. He had visions of having to tell Rachel and Grace that Danny was in the hospital after suffering a coronary. An ulcer he could deal with.
"Can we see him?" Steve asked.
"Certainly. He is getting dressed right now and I'll have discharge instructions for him shortly, but the ER does have a single visitor policy."
"No worries, Brah, Kono and I'll wait out here."
Danny had just finished tucking in his shirt when he heard Steve's voice outside the curtain. "Knock Knock"
"Come on in." Danny tossed the hospital gown over to the top of the stretcher and perched on the edge of the narrow bed. He was feeling one hundred percent better after being given an amber liquid and some sort of drug through the IV.
"I guess it really was just heart burn after all. Sorry to have gotten you all worried over nothing." Danny didn't feel completely bad about it, since what ever medication he had been given had dealt with the worst of the searing pain in his chest.
"Danny, I'm really glad you weren't having a heart attack, but, really, an ulcer isn't nothing."
"A heart attack might have been kinder." Danny said, miserably.
Steve frowned in confusion. "How's that?"
Danny reached over to the small rolling table that was up against the wall and handed a sheet of paper to Steve. It was entitled the GERD diet. It was a list of things that Danny couldn't eat for a while.
"I can't have fatty foods like lasagna, or proper pizza, butter, cream, citrus... Well that isn't so much of a problem, but coffee, beer, tomatoes, and chocolate! I mean those fabulous what-see-whose-its that Chin brought in this morning are completely out! This is so totally unfair. Those are my new favorite food and now I can't have them!" Danny wailed.
Seeing Steve grin at him like a fool only served to irritate him further. "Hey it would be like telling you that you couldn't use weapons anymore."
Steve laughed out loud at that. "Never gonna happen, my friend."
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment.