A/N: Welcome back to another round of shameless Steve whumpage. I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed- you guys are fantastic, and really helpful. I received a note about chapters, and I'd like to apologize in advance and say that, if I had chapters, I would never finish any of my stories.
Anyway, hope you enjoy- I've tried to add a little more team comfort this time. Still shameless Steve whumpage though. Its an addiction- what can I say?
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, plots, and snappy catch phrases belong to CBS studio, and no profit is being made with the posting of this story.
Back and Forth. Swaying gently in the breeze, eyes closed, back and forth he swung. Hammock. He was on a hammock, swinging as the wind lulled him to sleep. Sleep.
Sleep was uncomfortable. Maybe he fell asleep in the hammock. It was peaceful here, so he didn't mind really.
Shoulders. Feet. Should a hammock be that constricting? Maybe he had company. Maybe someone was trying to shake him awake as he swung back and forth in the breeze.
Was he moving? Funny, he didn't think hammocks could walk. Walk? No, no, hammocks definitely could not get up and walk away. Maybe they should. Perhaps he should invent the first walking hammock, and quit Five-0.
Five-0? No, he was not a number; he was just a guy in a hammock. He used to be five-0 when he played football, but that was in high school. That was a long time ago.
Definitely moving. Uh-oh. The hammock was gone. It must have walked away from him, leaving him on the cold ground. The sand wasn't nearly as inviting as the cloth had been; it was much too cold and hard. He'd fallen asleep in the sand before, and this was just not right at all. Sand should be soft enough to sleep on- soft enough to build sand castles in.
Castle? Could he be in a castle? He doubted it, there weren't very many castles where he lived, he didn't think. Only the sand, and his hammock.
Perhaps he should chance opening his eyes…
Guess not. He must be really tired. His eyes just didn't want to gift him with sight. Oh well; he was perfectly happy taking a quick nap in the sand. If it wasn't so damn uncomfortable…
The day was old, and the sun was just beginning to set over Waikiki beach, turning the sea fiery orange as the water clung to the last dredges of warmth before the cool Hawaiian night set in.
Danny had to admit, the place was growing on him. It may be a pineapple infested hellhole, but Oahu was beginning to feel just a little bit like home. Of course, part of that was definitely due to the excited child who sat on his shoulders, pointing and laughing with obvious delight at the Hula dancers swinging their hips back and forth and naives eating fire. Grace shifted slightly on his shoulders to readjust and then she leaned down as far as she could go to speak in Danny's ear.
"Can we get a snow cone?"
"Do you promise not to get snow cone juice in Danno's car?"
She giggled. "Duh!" She said, sensing that she had won the battle with her father.
"Then of course we can get a snow cone!" Danny swung his daughter down from his shoulders, pretending to grunt with effort as he placed her gently on the ground. "You been eating rock, monkey?"
"No!" She cried indignantly, and hit her father's arm for good measure. Danny laughed and put both hands on Grace's head to direct her to the nearest snow cone stand.
The night wore on, and Danny saw Grace begin to droop as the day caught up with her. It was only Friday, and they still had tomorrow morning before Danny had to being Grace home (Rachel and Step-Stan were on an overnight trip on Maui) so Danny had no qualms about his daughter falling asleep on their outing to the Aloha Clock Tower.
Danny led Grace back to the car, and gently buckled her into the back seat before returning to the front and starting them on their way back to the hotel room he had booked for the evening, given his ex- wife's irritating insistence that he not bring Grace back to his matchbox sized place.
By the time they got the the Hilton, Grace was sleeping soundly, her head leaning against the window of the car. Danny had to carry her to bed, and he was surprised when she didn't wake up once. Opening the door with one hand- the other holding onto Grace- he entered the hotel room that was bigger than his place was and laid his daughter down to sleep. She rolled slightly, but made no more movement after that.
And now Danny faced a predicament; the night was young- it was barely nine thirty- and he could hardly do as his daughter was and sleep for twelve hours soundly. He was cop- it was ridiculous to even think that could happen.
Maybe… no. Definitely not…
Danny though for a minute before sighing to himself and dialing the fourth number on his speed dial. How sad… First Gracie, then Rachel, Mark, and then Steve. Rambo's going to take over my entire life.
"This is McGarrett… talk."
No answer. How odd. Normally Steve answered automatically. In fact the SEAL's ability to always available was almost infuriating because he never failed to answer a call, and then subsequently assumed that there was a case… or a murder… or a raid… or a chase through the forest… or a bare- fisted fight with a polar bear-
Reigning in his wild imagination, Danny accepted that he was going to spend the rest of the night with bad television and lukewarm overpriced beer from the minifridge.
Goddamn useless partner.
He couldn't possibly sleep now. The sand was much too cold and stiff. Like steel. Steel Sand. Was that a rock band? Was he in a rock band?
No, he was the inventor of the walking hammock. That's right. That's why he was sleeping in the sand. Right?
Maybe. That was a safe answer; maybe. With maybe, he didn't have to be sure either way. He knew everything in the world now. Maybe.
The steel sand was making his back sore and his head ache. Head ache. Headache. Why did he have a headache? He was just sleeping in a walking hammock- quite a comfortable one. He shouldn't have a headache.
No. Not a headache. It was dizzy. He was dizzy. The ground was rotating. His hammock may move, but it certainly did not rotate. Was he doing cartwheels? He didn't think he was in the circus, but he supposed anything was possible. The beauty of 'maybe'.
Maybe sleep wasn't such a good idea. After all, his hammock did get up and walk away. That meant something made it uncomfortable enough to get up and leave. He was definitely in danger. Danger zone! Uh- oh. He had to get up and leave. He was in Danger. Was that the name of the island? Was he 'on' Danger then?
What a strange name for an island. Maybe he bought it. he had to make some money in the circus. Perhaps he had an act with walking hammocks. Yes, that was definitely it.
Time to get up. He had to find the hammock that walked away from him. Uh… guess not. He really wanted to take a nap.
Nap! What a great idea. That's what he would do. But why was his cartwheeling hammock so uncomfortable? You'd think the circus would be more accommodating. Or was he in a castle? Perhaps the circus was in the castle. It must have been a royal circus, then.
Why did his chest feel heavy? Like a straight jacket? He must be in an asylum. Or maybe he was a magician, and they had him tied up. He had to escape! The show would be ruined if he didn't escape!
Escape? Why would he want to escape the beach? Oh, that's right- the sand was uncomfortable.
How was he supposed to sleep when the sand was so damn uncomfortable?
Finally, with a six pack of lousy beer and crappy television, Danny managed to drift into a listless sleep. He awoke at the crack of dawn- his body not requiring a wink more rest- and began to prepare a hearty pancake breakfast for himself and his daughter for when she awoke.
Today, they would get breakfast together and maybe a quick swim at the hotel pool before Danny had to bring her back to Step- Stan and Rachel by noon. Afterwards, he supposed he would go find his partner and grouch about the man's unavailability the night before. Seriously, the one night Danny needed a friend, Steve was MIA. Of course, given his track record, he would show up the minute Danny wanted him around the least.
The beauty of the room was the well stocked and well sized kitchen available for his use. It made breakfast that much easier.
By the time the pancakes sat, hot and sizzling, in the pan, Grace was up and smiling sleepily at her father.
"Morning, kiddo! How many?" He asked. She pretended to ponder the question very seriously.
"You sure, monkey? Last time you only ate one…"
"Course, Danno. I can eat two!" She assured him. He handed her a plate and she expertly maneuvered the kitchen to find the butter, whipped cream, and chocolate chips that Danny had bought and stored earlier the previous day.
To his immense surprise, Grace ate every morsel of her flapjacks and even downed two glasses of orange juice before the clock struck eleven, and Danny knew it was time to say goodbye.
He dallied as much as possible, but knew Rachel would bitch if he was late, and so it was with a heavy heart that he buckled his daughter in and drove her home- or, her second home. He liked to believe Grace was always home with him whenever he was with her- even if they did stay at a hotel half the time.
He began the drive back home, feeling a little put out that he only got to see the most important person in his life once a week. He seriously needed a distraction.
His phone rang.
Hoping beyond hope that it was Steve- Danny needed an outlet for his irritation- he answered on the second ring.
"Hey Danny!" While it wasn't Steve, Kono's voice was just as much of a relief, as it promised some kind of entertainment for the rest of his dull weekend.
"Hey Kono! Thank god you called- I was close to ritual suicide over here."
"That bad brah?"
"I had to bring Gracie back to Rachel's this morning."
"Aah. Well, Chin and I were just about to hit up some old friends for a barbeque. You in?"
"Do you promise not to make me swim?" Danny hoped she couldn't hear the apprehension in his voice.
She laughed. "Cross my heart and hope to die. We'll be by in an hour."
"Did you call Steve?" Danny questioned, curious as to whether or not he had answered when Kono had called. "I mean, I know the man only eats raw meat and testosterone Wheaties, but human contact would probably do him some good."
She laughed again, and Danny couldn't help but be ensnared by the infectious sound.
"So true. But no luck brah- Chin called just before I called you, and he didn't answer."
"I called him last night. I don't think the man has ever missed a call, let alone two in less than a day."
"He's probably working. I don't think he knows how to… you know… not. Do you want to stop by the office and see if he's there before we go?"
"Depends, is it on the way?"
"Not at all."
"Then Rambo can take care of himself."
The irritating weight on his chest was making it hard to breathe. He felt as though an elf was using his body as a trampoline, and had sat down to rest on his lungs.
Plus, the sand in his castle circus was becoming excruciating. No wonder he named the island Danger. This place sucked.
Uh- oh. Why was it so hard to breathe? He didn't remember it being hard to breathe when he was in his hammock. God how he missed that thing. Maybe he should go and find it before it got too mad at him.
But first, he had to finish his act. He was a magician after all. He had to close his eyes tight and try and escape his bonds. The crowd would go nuts, but not if he didn't get a chance to complete his act.
Just close your eyes tight… close them… close…
Two men. One six foot two, white, dark hair. At least two hundred pounds. Older- probably forties. The other was five ten, Asian, and was slighter; he looked less than one hundred eighty pounds and was also quite young- twenties.
The older one had two guns, one in his left hand and the other strapped to his waste, hidden by his shirt. His stance suggested no military- too relaxed- but he was vigilant. Gangbanger.
The younger one was shifty, and he too had a gun in tucked into his belt and another shifting from hand to hand listlessly. The boy was agitated.
They men were arguing, and the larger one was gaining the upper hand. His aggressive stance suggested he dominated the slighter male and was the clear leader.
They were saying something, but the words made little sense, as though they spoke a different language entirely. A few were in English, but those were hardly heartening.
He caught a few words of each side of the conversation.
…Says we need to keep…Too risky, we should…No, the boss says…Killed so many of ours…we have to wait for the…
All else was drowned out by the rushing in the ears and the sudden need to go back to sleep…
What an odd dream to have. Still, it was nice to finally be able to sleep, even if he dreamed he was on the floor, watching two random people argue in what he assumed was Portuguese. Or French.
They must be part of his act! Or, maybe they bought a walking hammock from him, and were disappointed with the product. He hoped not- he didn't want to let his customers down. Or his fans.
Oh! He still had to finish his magic act! The straight jacket was getting tighter. Did they usually do that? Did Houdini's jacket tighten when he did his act? That would have been impressive.
Not as impressive as an act with strolling hammocks, but still impressive.
Kono and Chin dropped by around one to pick up Danny for the barbeque, and to that point no one had heard from Steve.
It was beginning to grate on Danny's nerves a little.
"Hey brah." Chin said as Danny slid into the back seat behind him, "You ready for some real Hawaiian cooking?"
"As long as you don't grill pineapple and then put it on anything with meat. Or bread. Or- actually, you know what? No pineapple."
Kono laughed. "Keep an open mind, Danny." She said, but added, "No pineapple," for good measure.
Danny nodded, placated.
"You hear from Steve?" Chin asked from the front seat as they sped around the coast, headed up north to the Kalakaua matriarch's home.
"Not a peep."
"Damn. Where could he be? Guy's always around here somewhere."
"He's probably boxing Samoans. Or taking a leisurely run through the jungle."
Chin turned around too look at Danny, eyebrows raised. Danny didn't say anything.
"Kono," Chin turned back to his cousin, "Drop by HQ and see if he's around. I left yesterday at six and he was still in his office. Could have fallen asleep there last night."
Kono nodded, made a hair point turn, and headed up the next street to get back on the highway and back to HQ.
By the time they arrived, Chin had called Steve again and received the same answering machine. It was beginning to sound painfully repetitive.
Danny hurried up the steps behind Chin and Kono, and as a unit the three of them entered the building and made a beeline for Steve's office.
"Shit." Danny breathed. Steve's office was a mess. The desk was overturned, and drawers were rifled through. Steve's framed flag lay in a heap on the floor. Bullet holes were evident everywhere, as though someone tried to turn the office into Swiss cheese.
And there was blood.
"What the hell?" Questioned Kono, taking in the scene with wide eyes. "What happened here?"
"Looks like someone came in looking for something." Chin said, simply.
"Whatever it was, they didn't find it," Danny said with confidence.
"What makes you say that?" Chin questioned.
Danny pointed to the ground where, behind the overturned desk, there lay two things that proved his statement true. One was Steve cell phone, lying innocently on the floor, showing the missed calls from his team.
The other was a body.
Ah, so that explains the blood. The man was unidentified, and dead. A dime shaped hole sat between his eyes. He was packing heat, but it seemed as though his gun was never drawn. Why he was in Steve's office was a mystery, but Danny assumed the Commander was the one to pull the trigger; only Steve could make a bullet wound look that perfect.
"Look!" Kono said, pointing outside the office now, to something only she could see.
"What is it cuz?" Asked Chin, his face lined with worry. Danny didn't feel much better.
"I think it's another body."
Danny, beside himself with anxiety and irritation at his partner for making a mess of his office, couldn't help but snicker.
"Rambo's leaving us a breadcrumb trail."
Chin and Kono Stared at Danny like he had grown a second head.
"Come on!" Danny said authoritatively. "Follow the decaying flesh."
He wasn't Houdini, and he definitely wasn't cut out to be a magician. He probably should have stuck to the circus. The straight jacket was proving impossible to manipulate. The weight on his chest was growing hard to ignore, like Danny on one of his irritating days.
He was probably a member of his band Steel Sand. He definitely had what it took to be a rocker. No doubt.
Maybe the weight on his chest came from smoking too many cigarettes. Rockers always smoked cigarettes.
But SEALS didn't. No, of course seals didn't smoke cigarettes. They were animals. They didn't have opposable thumbs.
He needed to get this weight off of his chest… this damn weight…
The older larger man and his young counterpart lay dead on the ground, one from a snapped neck and the other from a GSW to the chest.
The room was empty now- the people all dead but for one. The most important one. The door was just a few feet away, and he could see the daylight beyond. He had to move. Now. Freedom was just a few feet away. He staggered to the door, and threw it open. He didn't know where to go, but he moved anyways. Down, down, down he moved…
The people from the first dream were dead. How strange that he would meet people in one dream, only to kill them in another. He didn't think rockstars were murderers, but then again he was no expert on murder.
Rockstar. Rock star. Rocks tar. What an odd word. But who was he to question?
Oh! The weight on his chest became more significant. The elf on the trampoline must have invited over a few friends for a trampoline party.
Party. Did he party last night? He was a rockstar after all. They did party. Maybe that's why his chest hurt. Maybe.
That's why he was so sleepy! It all made sense.
It must have been one hell of a party.
Danny was irritated. Irritated at Steve for leaving them a freaking trail of bodies. Irritated at Steve for being missing. Irritated at Steve in general.
"What did we get on the first victims?" He asked curtly.
"The one from the office was Aaron Samuels, a mainlander who skipped parole in New York and made his way here. He was incarcerated for arson but- get this- the guy was rumored to be buddies with a man named Seeley Gatchis."
"He's the guy we found next- poking out of the storage closet with the door shot to shit." Kono finished.
"The perp in a stolen HPD uniform?"
"The very same."
"And the third? What about the one from the parking garage?" Chin asked, dark eyes swimming with thoughtfulness, for the third victim was also dressed like an HPD officer, and it had given HQ quite a scare when they first discovered the body.
"Terrence Quinn, another mainlander who was- big surprise- friends with the first two."
"So a bunch of pissed of criminals meet up in Hawaii and stake out McGarrett? That doesn't make sense." Danny huffed, still annoyed at his partner for not being there when they actually needed them. "Explain the connection."
"Well, as far as I can tell none of the men had any connection to Steve, but I did find out that each man came here sometime within the last week, and every one of them was looking for the same person."
"Who?" Danny asked.
Kono hesitated. "You." She said finally.
Danny stayed silent. Not out of fear, but rather out of confusion. "But Kono," he said, "I don't know any of these men. I've never seen any one of them in my life."
"So why would they be looking for you?"
"I'll look into it," Chin said with authority, and he hurried to his office and sat down at the computer, typing furiously.
Danny looked back at Kono. "It doesn't make sense." He told her, "I have no idea who these men are. Why the hell would they show up half a world away, and why did Steve feel the need to kill them?"
" I have no idea, Danny," She replied, placing an arm comfortingly on his shoulder. He unconsciously leaned into the touch.
"Got it!" Chin yelled, and Danny and Kono broke contact to make their way to the office.
"Danny, all three men Steve killed where member of a gang out of Jersey. Do you know a man named Francis Cinzia?"
"Cinzia? Yeah. He was a big Italian boss back way back. I helped Organized Crimes put him away on two counts of insurance fraud… that's all Jersey P.D. could pin him with."
He paused, dreading the next words out of Chin's mouth, and asked, "Why?"
Another pause. "Because he was just released on parole a month ago."
Danny hesitated. He was still confused. "But why come after me?" He asked. "I never met the man personally. I'm sure he doesn't even know what I look like, and there were twenty other people on that case."
"But were there twenty other names published in the paper?"
Shit. God damnit. Holy hell.
"Find out who else Cinzia could have brought with him to the island!" He barked, his irritation melting into worry in an instant. "I want to know who else they had contact with, and I want to know now! And someone find McGarrett!"
… If you like pina coladas, and gettin' caught in the rain…
Did he write that song? No, no, the Beach Boys did, obviously. Steel Sand's greatest rivals- the Beach Boys. Beach? No, he was in a castle. Was it a sand castle? No, no, no, it was a castle with a royal circus.
That was probably where he partied last night. With his band.
Plus, he hated fruity drinks. He much preferred cold beer. What he wouldn't give for an ice cold drink right now. And getting caught in rain on the island was never fun.
Wait. Did it rain on Danger Island? Of course it did. He needed to move; his island clearly wasn't working out.
Why was the ground so uncomfortable? Wasn't he sleeping in a hammock. And why did his chest hurt?...
A new man. Dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin. Older, but strong still. Inked. Probably Italian.
"I'm going to kill you, Detective Williams, but not before I make you suffer for what you did to me."
Seemed serious. Threat assessment: intent on killing. Remorseless. Had leverage to make threats. Experience. Possible time in prison.
Phone call. Two men arrive. Inconsequential. Under orders from Italian. Submissive, obedient. Inked the same.
"These men have a date with your ex- wife and little girl, detective."
Serious. Men begin to leave.
He needed Ambien; sleep was never going to come if he kept having recurrent dreams about Italian men. Maybe his mind was trying to tell him something…
He didn't think Italian men were his type. He much preferred a dark haired beauty- a girl with a little spunk. Plus, there was his ex- wife and little girl to think about…
Wife and kid? No way. He was a magician; he didn't have time to be married.
Reminder: he had to finish his magic act. He had to get out of this constricting jacket like Houdini, or he'd never be free of the terrible weight in his chest.
But that was okay; because he was Danny Williams, and he could do anything.
Danny was back to being irritated. They had figured out as much as they could about Cinzia and his men, and were staggered to find that there were seven in total. All seven men had asked around the island, and all received the same answer; Danny Williams? He works for Five-0.
The security tapes from HQ- though it appeared as though someone had tried to use a jamming signal to stop the video feed- were dissected in short order. Friday night showed mostly mundane activities- namely Steve wandering about the office (although it was more of an assured gait) finishing up the mundane activities of a case as only the commander could.
Finally, however, at quarter to midnight, the video feed showed three men enter the HQ. Two were dressed as HPD, and the third as a suspect. Steve could not see, but it was clear to whoever viewed the tapes that the suspect has on no cuffs, and instead held a gun behind his back.
The three men approached Steve's office, who looked up tense and did not relax, despite the fact that the assailants looked like cops. The tape showed only the backs of the other men, but it showed Steve's face clearly through the window into his office and the team could see that their commander looked suspicious, even calculating.
Leave it to Steve to be suspicious of HPD.
Steve and the criminals spoke for another several seconds before chaos ensued.
Steve jumped up, overturning the desk as he went, and pulled his gun. The man dressed like a suspect went down, landing in the exact place Five- 0 found him the next morning.
Steve took one to the leg and went down, still firing his gun. Danny winced. The bullet wound would hurt like a bitch- though Steve would never admit it. Chin did the same, and Kono hissed sympathetically.
The other suspects began a strategic retreat at Steve's still firing gun. He took a moment to reload- of course, only McGarrett had loaded clips on his person just in case- and began firing anew.
He stood up, and limped out of the office and off the tape. Danny turned back to the real- time office, and his eyes found periodic drops of blood on the floor, almost imperceptible on the dark tile.
"So…" He began, following the blood. "Steve forces the other suspects to retreat. He follows them, and takes down the next perp who tried to use the supply closet and surprise him. Useless criminal- don't they know not to try and surprise a SEAL? Anyway, he takes down number two and then number three in the parking garage."
"And then what?" Kono asked. She had followed him out of Chin's office.
"I Don't know, and I still don't know why they attacked him and not me."
"I think I may have the answer to that!" Chin called, still on his computer. Danny and Kono hurried back. Chin rewinded the security footage to just before the bullets started flying.
"Look closely," he said, and zoomed in on Steve's face.
There was no sound, but Danny was adequate at reading lips, and Steve's words- which surely caused the gunfight- were unmistakable.
I'm Detective Williams.
It may have been time to open his eyes. It was entirely too difficult to sleep when the ground was so damn uncomfortable. Yes, it was definitely time to get up. Else he might dream crazy things again. No good crazy things.
Why was his hammock spinning? Was he doing cartwheels? He didn't think he was in the circus, but anything was possible.
He wouldn't be on the ground at the circus. He would be doing his act. The one with the amazing walking hammocks!
Why did his leg hurt?
Was that part of the act? No, no, that didn't make sense at all.
Unless he was a magician! Yes, they probably locked up his leg. Like they did with the straight jacket. Definitely!
But then why would he be at the circus? He needed to go back to HQ and sort this out.
HQ? That's right- he was a number… fifteen? Six- 1?
No, no, no. He wasn't a number. He was a detective! That's right- Detective Danno Williams…
Three dead at HQ. In pursuit of fourth. Headed north. Left. Right. Left. No cell phone- no contact with HQ. Left leg incapacitated. Suspect in large black sedan- old model. Stopped at Kalalua Apartment Complex. Suspect running inside. In pursuit.
Front room secure. Signs of forced entry- from suspect four. No sign of suspect. Possible civilian hostages. Headed to back room.
Quick steps. Approach from doorway.
That was odd. The dream went backwards. Those men were dead.
Dead? In his apartment. But… he was in his hammock- on the beach.
No, he was in his apartment.
Danny Williams' apartment…
But he was Danny Williams, right?
Danny was feeling less irritated now. In fact, he couldn't place his feelings- specifically those about his partner.
Steve McGarrett was painfully trigger- happy, thoughtless about Danny's safety, a freaking ninja (in the words of Mary Ann), wound up, and way too macho.
But he was also the archetypal hero; he had lied to armed suspects to protect Danny- the man with whom he constantly bickered. Steve had quite possibly saved Danny's life.
It was harder to be irritated at the man after that.
They checked the McGarrett house- and found nothing whatsoever. Danny was growing more and more worried every minute that passed without his irritatingly heroic partner. It had been almost twenty four hours since they knew Steve's location- when he had been in HQ- and they had exhausted every lead and every piece of forensic evidence they could squeeze out of the bodies McGarrett left behind.
And now they'd resorted to hitting the streets. Chin was scouring north shore with a slew of HPD officers- looking for any one of the possible suspects. He'd gotten the short end of the deal; it would be impossible to find anyone specific on the north shore during surfing season.
Kono and her police squad hit Waikiki to talk to C.I's and anyone suspected of harboring fugitives.
And Danny went to find Mamo. Of course, he never actually got to see Mamo, because two miles from the shop he got a phone call.
"Danny!" It was Rachel.
"Rachel," he said, trying not to sound painfully irritated, "I really can't talk right now-"
"Danny!" She interrupted, and Danny shut up at the distraught tone in her voice.
"I'm so sorry Danny!" She cried, her voice thick through her tears, "I'm so sorry!"
"Rachel, Rachel calm down," he cried, "What happened?"
"I- I tried to call you at work, b-but the police said that you were away and some men had threatened you and Steve, and not to trust any officers who spoke to me. I called you right away. I'm so s-sorry!"
"Rachel! Tell me what happened."
"I spoke to a man this morning who looked like the police, and he asked if I could please give him your address. He said he had a case file for you but he didn't know where to drop it. I- I told him where to g-go." Her voice was cut off by the sound of her ragged breathing.
Danny's heart froze. They knew where he lived. They would have waited, maybe set a trap- like send three of their men to HQ to lure him away- and they would have met Steve.
"Rachel, listen to me," He said commandingly, his voice hiding his panic, "This is not your fault, okay? This is not your fault. I have to go, Rachel. Tell Gracie Danno loves her."
"Be careful, Danny," she said, and they hung up.
Danny turned around, tired screeching, and turned on the lights. He raced as fast as he could back up the highway, toward Kalalua Apartments. He hadn't been home since before he and Gracie had their outing to the clock tower. He should have gone home. Damnit! Why the hell didn't I go home?
He drove faster.
Those men were dead. Way dead. Too dead. So dead, in fact, they were not going to come back. Like, ever.
Such an odd dream to have.
And the Italian? Was the Italian dead? And why did it matter?
It matter to Danno. So it mattered to him.
But… he was Danno. No, Danno was Danno. He was… a rockstar. No, a magician. A circus act? Or an inventor?
No, he was just a guy in a hammock. Sleeping. Swaying back and forth with the breeze.
Why did his chest hurt?
And why couldn't he move his legs? Was this part of his act?
Act? What act?
The hammock was spinning. Uh- oh. There was the steel sand the rock band.
It was just so damn uncomfortable here…
"Detective Williams, how nice of you to join us."
Inked Italian. Two others in the room. Two bodies in the adjacent room. One with a snapped neck and the other with a GSW to the head.
Hard to breathe. Left leg incapacitated. On floor.
"I'm going to kill you, Detective Williams, but not before I make you suffer for what you did to me."
"These men have a date with your ex- wife and little girl detective."
Two men dead on the floor, GSW to the head.
Goddamn useless, meaningless dreams. Why dream of killing people? He was just a guy in a hammock. He had no business killing people…
Yes he did. He was Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett.
He needed to open his eyes. Open… Open god damn it!
Italian had returned. Angry. All men dead.
No fucking way.
Hand to wrist. Bat gone. Right foot to diaphragm. Italian forced back.
Get up, damnit, get up!
Left foot shaking. Italian charging. No weapon. Italian had a gun strapped to his belt. He was pulling it.
Right foot to chest. OUCH! Stay upright!
Gun forced out of Italian's hand. On the floor. Bend over!
Italian charging. Italian falling. GSW to the head. Can't risk a shot to the chest…
Why think that?
Left foot shaking. Can't breathe. Room spinning.
Danny's door was kicked in. That was his first clue. The second was the four dead men in the tiny front room of his house. They barely fit between his sofa and kitchen, and they were bleeding all over his floor.
The third clue was the obvious sound of fighting coming from the only other room in the tiny place.
And then there was a gunshot.
Danny ran the three steps it took to get into his room, and charged through, gun drawn and aimed.
It was an unexpected sight to say the least.
Cinzia lay dead on the floor of his bedroom, eyes wide open and mouth agape.
Steve McGarrett stood over him, motionless, his gun pointed towards the fallen man as though he was toying with the idea of shooting the obviously dead man again just for the hell of it.
"Steve?" Danny breathed, completely perplexed that the man they has spent 24 hours looking for was right there, standing over the criminal who was bleeding onto the carpet.
Danny was going to make Steve pay for the carpet.
No, the whole goddamn place.
Steve whipped around at the sound of the whisper, his gun still drawn and pointed at Danny.
"Wow! Rambo, stand down. It's me, Danno."
Steve seemed to hesitate. And Danny finally got a good look at his partner. Steve was leaning to the right, leaving almost no weight on his left leg. His free hand was held to his chest, almost like he was trying to keep himself from falling to pieces.
And his pupils were dilated to the point where, had he been a suspect, Danny would have guessed he was on something strong. He was bleeding from the ear. And from the right temple. And possibly onto the side of his neck as well, if the red shadow was any indication.
Steve slowly lowered the gun. And started to sway.
Danny hurried over to catch his partner before he hit the deck, and lowered the man onto the bed. Danny stood over him. Steve's eyes were closed, but they moved beneath the lids which, given the situation, was a good sign.
"Steve?" Danny gently shook his partner. Panicking, he shook a little harder. Steve groaned, his hand moving to hold his stomach again.
His eyes opened. They seemed entirely out of focus, as if Steve was looking right through him.
"Steve?" Danny was so relieved to see his eyes open, he almost forgot how bad of shape his partner was in. "Hey Rambo. Can you hear me?"
"Danno?" Steve breathed, his voice almost imperceptible.
"Yeah, Rambo. I'm here." Danny tried to smile down at the man who had protected him, but couldn't seem to move past the grimace that presented itself at the sight of his partner's mangled body.
"The paramedics are on the way, Steve. You're going to be okay. They're going to be here in less than fifteen minutes. You can stay away for fifteen minutes, right SuperSEAL?"
Steve seemed confused. Danny's heart wrenched.
"you're at my apartment, Steve. You told Cinzia's men that you were me. Do you remember?" Steve shook his head almost imperceptibly. Damn.
Steve definitely had a major head injury, because it was clear he was completely gone.
"Where's… where's the hammock?"
"Hammock? Where the hell are you, Rambo?"
"Hammock… on the beach… It walked away." Steve seemed genuinely concerned about the moving hammock. Danny panicked a little more, if that was possible, and prayed that the medics would hurry the hell up.
Steve made to get up, but suddenly he collapsed on the bed. His breath came in ragged gasps. His eye's started to droop.
Danny's hand moved to his partner's t- shirt. In his desperation, he grabbed his pocked knife and cut open Steve's shirt.
He audibly gasped. Steve's chest was a mass of angry red and purple bruised.
Fuck Cinzia. Danny would have killed him right then and there if the man wasn't already bleeding onto the floor.
The phone rang. It was the medics. The goddamn useless, stupid fucking medics. The ones who were more than twenty minutes away. A flat tire? Of all the gods in heaven, I get the one who dishes out flat tired. Who the hell did Steve piss off?
Danny shook Steve, his hands shaking as he tried to wake his fallen comrade.
You saved my life, McGarrett. I'll be damned if I don't get to save yours!
"Rambo! Steve! Damnit wake the hell up, McGarrett!" His voice cracked.
Steve opened his eyes. "Danno?" He whispered.
"Yeah, Rambo. It's me." The déjà vu actually hurt.
"Listen, Rambo. You have a collapsed lung, and the medics are a few minutes out." He paused. "I have to inflate the lung, Steve."
Shit. He was completely gone.
"Focus, Rambo! I need to inflate your lung, and I have to cut an incision into your chest to do it."
Steve seemed, thank the high heavens, to come into focus at that very moment.
Danny wanted to cry. His maddeningly heroic, self- sacrificing partner was barely in reality, as his mind was wallowed in whatever peace he could find.
"Yeah buddy, its me."
He coughed. "Lung…?"
"Yeah. I have to inflate it, Steve. Are you with me?"
He nodded in understanding, and seemed to brace himself.
Danny's heart broke for his partner, but his hand was steady as he placed his pocketknife on Steve's chest.
And he cut.
Steve, ever the stoic one, did nothing more than hiss as Danny cut deeper and deeper to relieve the pressure, but he could see Steve was losing focus again.
Danny felt the lung, and Steve breathed a sigh of relief before his eyes rolled in the back of his head.
Danny shook him frantically. Steve had to wake up. He had to.
"Damnit, Rambo. Don't you die on me now!"
He almost cried when Steve once more opened his eyes. Even with a knife sticking out of his chest, and a bleeding leg, and god knows how many head traumas, Steve remained strong, not once complaining of the pain in his body. Of course, that may have been because the man was so far gone that he didn't even register pain.
Another round of excruciating déjà vu. Danny put a hand on his partner's shoulder.
"Yeah Rambo, it's me."
"You're in my apartment Steve."
He shook his head. "I though… the beach?"
"No, Steve. Not the beach."
Steve coughed weakly. As tempting as it may have been in the future, Danny promised himself he would tell know one of Steve's vulnerability. He owed the man that.
"Hey Rambo, can you tell me what island we're on?" He prayed that Steve at least knew where he was in the world.
"No, there's no danger-"
"No," he cut him off, silencing Danny, "Danger. Danger… island."
"Close enough Steve. Do you know what year it is?"
"Is my… leg locked?"
What? Where the hell was Steve's head?
"No. It's shot to shit, but free as a bird."
Steve was genuinely concerned. "I have… Have to finish my act."
"Act? What act, Steve?"
"For the circus." Steve made it sound painfully obvious that this was the answer. Danny's worry grew. Where the hell were the damn medics?
"Just hang on, Steve. You can finish in a minute."
Steve seemed perfectly content with that answer.
Danny hated waiting. Hated it so much. Lines, traffic, all of it. Call him impatient if you will, but he preferred to think of himself as simply time efficient.
Which was why waiting for a goddamn doctor to tell him something- anything- was hardest thing he'd ever had to do.
Chin and Kono showed up after hour one, and were caught up by hour two. By hour three, they were just as impatient as he was.
Hour four brought some semblance of an answer.
The doctor was curt, and she did nothing to but relay facts before leaving Five-0 to return to her patient.
Steve suffered a GWS to the calf- just below the knee- and the bullet, which had been lodged in there for almost 24 hours, infecting the wound, had to be surgically removed. Beyond that, he had three cracked ribs- one of which punctured a lung- and massive, concerning head trauma. The doctor said Steve suffered multiple hits to the head with a blunt object, consistent with the baseball bat in Danny's apartment, and had a skull fracture extending from the temple to behind the ear canal.
She did tell Danny that he saved his partner's life by inflating the lung, and Danny was pleased that he did something for Steve to make up a tiny fraction of what his partner did for him.
The skull fracture, while missing the part of the brain affecting long- term memory, did damage- temporarily, she'd assured them- Steve's short term memory. In short- he would know who he was, where he lived, and so on, but wouldn't be able to remember the date.
He was going to bitch loudly when he woke up.
Finally out of surgery, the doctor let Five-0 go see him. Danny was sickened. And pissed off. He wished, for more than the first time, that Steve hadn't killed Cinzia.
His partner was pale and drawn, with his left leg bandaged and sitting atop a pillow, and his chest similarly wrapped. His head remained bare- the Doc said they could do nothing for a skull fracture but let it heal and keep McGarrett from doing anything.. SEAL- like. Danny could see none of the physical damage, but knew that Steve's brain was the problem.
Danny also knew that the SEAL would be very, very frustrated by his inability to play superman for a while. Danny was sure the man would bend every rule he could to get himself back into action as quick as possible. Danny would put him on house arrest if he had to to keep the man healthy.
Kono sighed, partly with relief and partly out of sympathy. Chin touched Steve's uninjured leg calmingly.
Danny did nothing but stare at the man, think back to a day ago- secretly amazed it had only been that long- and to the words Steve had said to save Danny's life.
Two weeks later
"Remind me again how you got out of the hospital?" Danny closed the fridge, carrying with him a beer and a bottle of water back to the den.
"The hospital. You got out, like, six days early. How?" Danny sat his beer down on Steve's coffee table and handed him the open bottle of water so that Steve didn't have to get up from the recliner he was in and put pressure on his leg. True to the McGarrett fashion, Steve refused a cast and managed to haggle the doctors down to a molded plastic knee brace, which allowed him to walk with nothing more than a limp.
"I think I just walked out…" Steve seemed concerned. Danny frowned. His partner's memory was still having issues, and Danny was sure he had never heard- and would never again hear- his partner sound so unsure of himself.
"You just got up from the hospital, and walked out the front door?"
Steve frowned. "Isn't that how everybody gets out of a hospital?"
"They usually have to be discharged."
"And I wasn't?"
"I don't know, Rambo, that's why I was asking." Danny couldn't help but find the whole thing a little funny, especially since his partner sounded almost childlike at points. It made Danny want to laugh- he was saddened too- but it still seemed quite amusing.
Steve was still frowning. "I cant remember how I left the hospital."
Danny placed a hand on the man's knee placatingly. "Hey, don't worry about it. The memory will get better. Can you remember anything more from the fight?"
"Only bits and pieces."
"That reminds me, Rambo, what the hell is Danger Island?"
"In my apartment, you told me you were on danger island."
Steve paused. "I have no idea," he said, and seemed to contemplate what Danny was telling him.
His eyes lit up, and Danny hoped he was remembering something.
Steve rolled his eyes, "Yes, Stevo?"
Steve paused. "My name doesn't end with an "o"," he said, and seemed to genuinely seemed to doubt himself.
"What were you going to ask me, Steve?" Danny asked, finding it entirely unfair that Steve could call him Danno, but the joke was entirely lost on him. He supposed Rambo would do.
"OH!" Steve seemed to remember his train of though before the name interruption.
"Do you think I would have been a good magician?"
A/N: Thanks for sticking around- I know it was slow- and thanks for the amazing reviews of my last story. I kind of love you guys. Un- creepily. Whatever. It's fine.