This is a tag for the pilot, as Steve was shot and so beat up I didn't think he would just waltz into the office the next day!
Disclaimer:- Hawaii 5 0 is not mine, otherwise I would be living there!
I want to dedicate this fic to my fabulous beta Sherry57 who not only did a great job, but also encouraged me to watch H50 in the first place.
A/N:- This is my first H50 story, but to my loyal SGA readers, please know that I will never give up writing for my main passion, Stargate Atlantis, for whom I am currently penning a new story.
He hurt all over.
The fire in his shoulder getting hotter with every step, his back throbbing as each and every bruise started to ache, and his head pounding. It was official…the adrenaline which had carried him through the last few days was fading fast. Steve knew he was beat, but the job was done - the bastard who'd killed his father was dead, or at least he hoped so.
Steve knew he needed help even though all he wanted was to head home, but to where? The house he'd grown up in hadn't been home for a long time now, as most of his adult life home had been in whatever billet he'd been assigned to. Some had been okay, some not so great, but in any case those days were finished as his glittering military career was gone…years of decorated service over. His need for revenge had seen to that. One flash of searing rage later and now he was stuck in a job he didn't know he even wanted, back in a place which while pretty, was almost as strange to him as it was to Danno. His visits so infrequent since Mom died he'd lost touch with the Island, old friends - his dad.
The memory of his dad's blood splattered over the room haunted him. The great Steve McGarrett decorated navy seal and ex-special forces, hadn't been able to save his own father, and he felt the ache gnaw away at him. It was raw, deeper and more intense than any of his other wounds, a pain no drug could dull, a guilt he'd carry for the rest of his life. No matter how he looked at it Steve knew he should have been there for his old man but he'd gotten careless, he'd failed – and now his dad was dead. Over the years he'd convinced himself there would be time to deal with his past later, and there had always been a good reason for not returning – fighting terrorism or saving lives in some far flung part of the globe. But the truth was, he'd deliberately put off trying to reconnect with his dad, and now it was too late.
His father had once told him revenge was a dish best served cold, but he'd wanted it hot, steaming like a freaking cappuccino with chocolate sprinkles on top. The result, sure he'd gotten the job done, but he'd been so consumed with rage he'd taken too many risks, hadn't thought of anybody and got careless, nearly getting Danny killed and making his kid an orphan in the process
As for Kono, what the hell had he been thinking sending in a rookie? The answer – he hadn't been. Steve realised with shame, that in a heartbeat he'd sent a cadet into a situation where she'd been humiliated and worse still, she could've been killed. All of his common sense, his training ignored, cast aside in order to satisfy his blood lust, his desperate all consuming need for revenge. No thanks to him, she'd got lucky. They all had. But Steve knew he would need to get his head straight 'cause that kind of thinking would need to change.
There were people now, who to an ex-seal like him, were no more than civilians with badges. While they had the makings of a good team, they weren't military and followed a more conventional way of thinking. All of his previous squads were armed forces personnel who followed orders without question, prepared to put themselves in the line of fire every day. But cops – they had a different mind set. They asked questions first, and would even give the bastards a warning before they took that shot. They definitely wouldn't take risks unless they had to. Bottom line, he'd need to be more careful, as he wasn't on the front line anymore, at least not one with a clear enemy.
Steve was so out of it, he didn't realise that Danny was now in front of him shaking his head in disbelief, looking at him as if he was road kill, and he had to admit he sure felt like it.
"Look Rambo…you might be an asshole, but don't you think it's time you got some help?" Danny said as he put a steadying hand on his arm. Steve saw Danny staring at him, trying not to appear concerned.
"Yeah, Danny – thanks," The words had just left his mouth as he felt himself listing to the side, only his new partner's arm stopping him from eating dirt.
Danny looked exasperated as he turned over and called to someone out of his eye line. "Right, that's it, tough guy – Medic, over here!"
He was shaking, his muscles trembling from pain and exhaustion. Steve fell to his knees just as the gurney approached, his feeble protests ignored as Danny and the medic loaded him on, then pushed him into the cart. He wanted to stay, finish what he'd started and make sure Hesse was actually dead, but his body had other ideas and melted bonelessly into the gurney. In any case, he knew Danny had it under control, because although he hadn't known the guy long, somehow Steve knew he could trust him.
It was only a diet of grief and anger that had carried him through the last few days but now his body ached, his mind was numb and he was tired as hell. Worse still, he realised that his dad had been right - avenging his death didn't make him feel any better – his old man was gone, and nothing would ever bring him back.
In the quiet of the ward with his shoulder strapped and his aches muted by good drugs, Steve wondered what the hell he'd done. In uniform for most of his life he was now suddenly a civilian. Well maybe not quite, he was a cop – sort of, but still only a shirt wearing a badge, and a long way from the military, where its rules had made sense of his life. Just like a bad fitting suit, it didn't feel right - none of it did, and he knew he shouldn't be there, didn't want to be - not in this hospital bed, not in Hawaii and not in his new role, but he'd taken it on and he wasn't a quitter. Besides, he owed it to his dad to find out more about the mole…
A nurse walked by, picked up his chart, and looked at him in that way. He wasn't a vain guy, but he knew that look and even though she was cute, pretty even, it wasn't something he welcomed right now, so he squeezed his eyes shut and pretended not to see. Steve knew that sounded crazy, but even without the drugs messing up his head, he wasn't ready to deal with his grief, his plans for the future, or even the flirtation of a pretty girl. The fact was, as soon as he'd been patched up he'd wanted to bolt, leave, find some hole to crawl into and lick his wounds, but the doc had insisted and now he was glad – the peace and quiet just what he needed to process everything that had happened, and at the very least decide what the hell he was going to do next.
His head was pounding just thinking about all the stuff he needed to do, things he didn't feel able to tackle, like where would he base his team, and what to do about the house. Steve could no longer think of it as home after the carnage left after his father's murder and had found himself staying away from the main house, spending each night holed up in the garage ever since his return. Up until then, he'd thought that nothing would shock him. Death, murder and destruction were the norm in most of the war zones he'd been to, but seeing the dried blood and knowing it belonged to someone he cared for – nothing he'd been taught in all his years of service prepared him for that. Yet he would have to go back, face his demons, and return to the place where it all went down. It was his family home after all, so he owed it to his dad to try and make it his home once more, or at the very least a place to lay his head…for the moment anyway.
Steve knew his superiors, the brass who held him in such high regard – the Governor's words , not his - would be surprised at his indecision, but out of uniform, he felt like a fish out of water. He'd always considered himself a career grunt and never envisioned a civilian life. The stark truth was he just wasn't prepared for life out of uniform, the decision having been made on the spur of the moment, and now…he felt lost. Almost as if he was one of those whales that got caught in low tide then ended up helpless, after it was grounded on the beach. In the background, Steve could hear the heart monitor that had been beeping softly now wailing to a crescendo, and he willed it to stop. But his heart was racing out of control, he was drenched as rivulets of sweat broke out saturating his body, and he was struggling to breathe…
"Mr McGarrett, are you alright?" His eyes sprang open to see the same pretty nurse looking at him, worried.
"Fine…just a bad dream." he stammered, the answer sounding hollow even to him. But he forced a weak smile to reassure her, and was relieved when it seemed to satisfy, as she smiled and nodded before walking away.
Steve didn't think he could sleep after that, but a restless slumber soon followed, leaving him bleary eyed and feeling like crap when he awoke the next day. He was bushed and his body was just one big ache, but he didn't want to spend another minute let alone another night in the sterile prison. So when the doc squinted at the dark hollows under his eyes, he was ready to argue for his release. The livid bruises smattering his face did him an unlikely favour though, as despite hurting like hell, they disguised his exhaustion. Finally the medic didn't pay too much attention and let him go.
In the short time it took for the cab to reach the house he was in agony. His last enforced meds had worn off long ago, and although there were happy pills burning a hole in his pocket, Steve didn't want to take them. He wasn't a masochist but knew he needed to be lucid to deal with all the decisions vying for his attention, and he wouldn't be able to deal through a drug induced haze, no matter how tempting it was. However, as the cab pulled up outside the house he felt his resolve vanish, as all of the horrific memories came flooding back. His hand trembling so much, the keys fell out his grasp and tumbled to the ground.
"What the hell? Why didn't you call? You're a stupid, stubborn SOB – you know that? I was going to come and get you." He looked up stunned to see Danny standing there, behind the open door, his door, waiting for him to come in.
For a second Steve stood there speechless, as Danny reached down and grabbed his keys then placed them in his hand. The relief at not having to enter the empty crime scene alone - he couldn't think of it as home yet - felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. "You do know this is trespassing, don't you?" He replied, suppressing a smile, "but as you're already here, I could do with a cup of coffee."
"So…what am I now, your housekeeper?" Danny shook his head, but Steve noticed the guy hid his concern as he moved well back to give him plenty of room, so Steve wouldn't knock his shoulder when he came in.
His insides were churning as he walked inside, but Steve let out a silent sigh of relief when he found the lounge had been cleaned, and instead of the stench of death he could smell the rich aroma of his dad's favorite blend wafting from the coffee maker. He went to give Danny a grateful look, but the soft hearted bigmouth had already moved away, quickly heading for the kitchen.
"Hey, McGarrett - did that bullet take out your hearing as well as your shoulder?" Steve looked to see Danny standing there with two cups in his hand, gesturing for him to take one.
Exhausted, Steve realised he'd zoned out again as he eased himself carefully into a chair and gratefully sipped the hot brew. "Thanks…Danno. How did you get in here anyway? You never said."
"No, I didn't, did I?" Danny smirked, then gave him a sour look. "By the way, is this going to be a thing of yours? I told you not to use that name."
"That's right, so you did…but it suits you." Steve felt the corners of his mouth lift, and realised he couldn't remember the last time he'd smiled.
Danny rolled his eyes, then letting the gibe pass continued. "Anyway, I've heard from the Governor. She's arranged for some cool digs for the unit. Oh and I'd better warn you now, Kono is trying to decide on a name for us, and she's coming up with some pretty weird and wacky suggestions." he said, as he headed back into the kitchen again, re-appearing this time with a pizza.
"She has…great. I mean the digs, not the name thing, but you knew that…right?" Steve replied, realising he sounded like a moron. Then as another problem was taken off his hands and he started to relax, all of the aches he'd held in check made a sudden reappearance.
Danny stopped mid bite and gave him a sharp look. "You're a mess, McGarrett. Why don't you take a couple of those pills I know you have hiding in your pocket and get some rest – I'll let myself out." He watched as Danny rose to his feet, then extended a hand to help Steve to his. Steve took it gratefully.
"Ok buddy, I think I will - and thanks." he said, as their eyes locked for a moment, before an embarrassed looking Danny turned away. Yet before he could sleep there was one last thing he had to know. "Have they found the body?"
Danny eyes clouded over. "No…not yet, but the coastguard is still looking. He's dead, Steve, he has to be. No one could have survived that."
All of a sudden, Steve felt the chill that had just started to thaw seep back in into his bones, and he shivered. He knew Danny was right, Hesse shouldn't be alive, couldn't be, but the sick, churning, feeling deep in his gut told him something wasn't right…
"Are you going to be okay?" Steve had zoned out yet again, and hadn't realised that Danny was speaking to him, looking worried.
"Yeah…I'll be fine. I'll see you tomorrow." He saw Danny's dubious expression, and thought he was about to say something, but then seemed to think better of it as he headed for the door.
Alone at last, Steve roamed around the room trying to remember the last time he'd been happy there, then realised it had been when mom was alive. Dad was never around when he was growing up, but mom, she had been the glue which had kept the family together, and it was her warmth that helped make up for his old man's detachment. When she'd died, the vacuum left behind a gaping hole in his life, Mary's too, as Dad had been too busy dealing with his own grief, his own crusades, to see that he and his sis were suffering. Deep down, Steve knew his dad had tried, but the fact was the quiet man hadn't known how to deal with kids who were no more than strangers to him, so as soon as he'd been old enough, Steve had left the house and the Island, to pursue a career in the military.
The irony didn't escape him that he was now pursing his old man's dream, as Jack McGarrett in their infrequent exchanges, had made it clear that he had hoped Steve would follow in his footsteps and become a cop. Steve was honest enough to admit that that was probably why he had chosen a different route, as like most kids he wasn't above the old cliché. Although at the time he honestly believed, and still did, that a life in the military was what he wanted.
Fate though had made the decision for him, and now he was back in Hawaii, back in the old house and about to embark on a new career, and Steve could just imagine his dad grinning at the turn his life had taken. Still, regardless of how it came about, he decided then and there he would try to make the old man proud, or at the very least he wouldn't give up until he'd made sure his killer was finally dead once and for all.
His shoulder was throbbing and the dull headache which had started in the cab was now really starting to get him down, so he grabbed the pills and before he could change his mind dry swallowed, too beat even to bother getting a drink. With his body demanding rest, Steve opened the door to his old room and was surprised to find it unchanged from when he'd left. The high school banners still adorned the walls, a stuffed mascot, given by an ex-girlfriend sitting on the shelf beside his trophies for track and field.
As he drew the curtains and climbed into bed he pushed back feelings of déjà vu and wondered what the hell this new life of his would hold. Most of his buddies were in uniform, and he'd been away from the Island so long, he was like the new kid in school, trying to find his feet and make new friends. Then he realised he already had some. Chin, he remembered from the old days and Danny, well Steve had a feeling whether he wanted it or not the tie wearing outsider would be in his face for a long time to come. As for Kono, he wondered what names she'd come up with for the team…
Well, I hope you enjoyed my extra whump version of the episode, and please let me know what you thought.