A/N: Seriously, what the hell is wrong with me. I am SOOO sorry. There were, though not in this order, complications including a car accident, uni being the most annoying thing in the world x 17, a holiday interlude, writers block, exams (blergh), a computer malfunction, the flu that morphed into the plague, and a host of other frustrations. Still, I have no real excuse for the shear amount of time that it has taken for me to post this, pretty mediocre, chapter. So, SORRY about the wait for the update, only two chapters to go now (I think) and, though I am now afraid to make promises, I am hopefully not going to take too long with them.
If you are still reading this even after all the wait, thanks for your support, would love to know what you thought of this chapter! Thanks for all the reviews on the last chapter, and for all the people who kept nudging me to keep writing me, it was the gnawing guilt that eventually got me moving!
Danny wanted to watch Grace and Kono walk away until they were out of sight, because in his mind the further back into the woods they were, and the closer to the car, the more air that his lungs could start to take in. Part of the great weight on his shoulders was lifting, but not knowing what was happening with Steve meant that it couldn't lift completely. The ex-SEAL might think that he was Rambo, but that didn't mean that he was invincible.
Danny tore his mind away from Grace, and forced himself to focus on the present task. It was a time for concentration, and Steve deserved nothing less than his full attention.
Chin was moving swiftly and silently ahead of Danny through the undergrowth. It was almost completely dark now, and Williams hoped that the back up that must be almost there to help them was bringing night-vision goggles, because otherwise it was going to get pretty difficult to see, and that was always fairly important when attempting rescue missions from long-lost psychopathic enemies.
An ancient looking cottage appeared through the trees, and Chin held up his hand to signal that they should stop. They ducked behind a tree, and then it was time to make the decision of whether or not they should proceed any closer and commit themselves to a rescue right now. Danny was torn. He knew that back-up was on the way, and that though they had now found the place where Steve was the best option would be to wait patiently for some help to arrive. After all this was what he constantly berated his partner for, rushing into situations without enough planning beforehand, and Danny was not really a fan of being a hypocrite.
The decision was basically made for him when the deathly silence of the forest was abruptly broken by the echo of a gunshot. Danny was momentarily paralysed by a cold rush of fear grabbing at his heart, and then he was running towards the house before he even realised what he was doing, keeping to the shadows and then pressing himself to the side of the house so that he was practically invisible. He didn't even need to look beside him to know that Chin was there too.
He wasn't prepared to believe that the gunshot had been Watson shooting his partner. And he certainly wasn't prepared to let McGarrett die while they stood outside waiting for the HPD to arrive. It was time to move now, even if the HPD officers weren't there yet.
Danny leant against the building, edging closer to the window, where a slit of light could be seen leaking out through a hole in the drawn curtains. The walls of the house were thin and old, and leaning up against them it was possible to hear what was going on inside. Both Danny and Chin moved as close as they could to the wall, hoping to be able to get some sense of what was going on inside before bursting in. It was almost impossible to breathe as they waited desperately to hear Steve's voice, confirming that they had not been too late to help him.
Watson was sounding increasingly frustrated as he demanded again and again that he be given information on where Grace would have run to hide. Danny felt memories rushing back to him as the sound of Watson's frantic anger transported him into the past, but he fought them off. He wasn't in New Jersey, he was in Hawaii. He was pressed up what must have been the most ramshackle house in Hawaii, not crouched behind crates in a freezing warehouse. He could relive the past once he had protected his present partner. It was clear from the way that he was demanding answers that Watson was talking to Steve, and it was an enormous relief to know that McGarrett was still alive and pissing people off the way that he did best. Danny exchanged a glance with Chin, it was clear that they were both still waiting to actually hear their friend's voice before either was prepared to fully accept that he was alive.
Finally, after it seemed like Watson had been berating and shouting for ages with no response there was a rasping sound, and Danny heard his partner gasp something that sounded rude and unhelpful. McGarrett didn't sound well, but he was alive, and that was definitely enough for Danny.
The change in Watson's tone was what pushed them to finally move into the house without bothering about backup. It was clear that he had recognised that McGarrett was not planning to say anything else, and was about to do something that was going to be quite irreparable. Danny exchanged a glance with Chin, who nodded and held out his weapon, ready to race into the building.
There wasn't time to come up with much of a plan, but neither of the men were prepared to wait any longer than they already had, and so they slipped around to the nearest door, and Chin stepped up, bashing it in with his foot and stepping through while Danny raced in after him, finding Watson and covering him with his weapon before the man had a chance to react.
There was a moment of stunned confusion for everyone involved. Watson apparently had thought his hiding place invisible, from the look on his face it seemed that he had never considered the possibility that the police would discover them before he had carried out his plan. He stood in the middle of the room, mouth open mid-rant, staring at Danny. There was only one other man in the room, and Chin was covering him with his weapon. Neither Chin or Danny had time to consider how lucky they were that only one other man was in there to assist Watson, because they were too busy trying to absorb the shock of just how bad Steve looked. He was tied in a chair, and was an ashen grey colour more often associated with dead bodies than live and vigorous ex-SEALs. Blood dripped from his shoulder, and the same arm was twisted and swollen, clearly broken. His face was bruised and swollen as well, and blood was dripping from a number of cuts all over his body. Danny could hear that his breathing was raspy, clearly pointing to troubles with his ribs hidden under his rather tattered shirt.
After a second everyone managed to shake off their confusion, Watson shut his mouth with a tight snap only to open it again so that he could start yelling abuse at Danny, and the detective was able to pull his attention away from Steve so that he could fully focus on the man who had tried to kill both his daughter and his partner.
"Drop the gun Watson!" Danny shouted. He gestured to the other man in the room, who had turned to point his gun back at Chin, and was looking nervously at Watson for instructions. "You too!"
It was only at a nod from his employer that the man dropped his gun and kicked it towards Chin, while Watson leant down to place his weapon on the ground, before carelessly kicking it away from all the men in the room so that it came to rest abandoned in the far corner. Satisfied that they weren't in any immediate danger Danny began to shuffle forward towards Steve, taking care to watch the room and make sure that there were no other surprises waiting for them. He didn't trust the look on his enemy's face.
"You made a terrible mistake today Watson." He said, trying to ignore Steve's gasping breaths, or the fact that he was clearly having trouble understanding what the hell was going on because his eyes kept slipping close, and cursing the fact that their backup had not arrived yet with an ambulance in tow, "You're going away for a really long, long time. You're never going to be able to hurt my family or my friends ever again."
Watson glared at him, managing to convey more hate that Danny had ever felt in a single look. It was not, as he had been expecting, the look of a man facing overwhelming and crushing defeat, though there was an undertone of desperation in it.
Apparently, though both he and his unarmed soldier-for-hire were clearly being covered by the armed Chin and Danny, Watson had another trick up his sleeve.