The boat explosion was completely unexpected, to both H50 and the criminals they had been sent to catch. The same criminals who had taken over a cruise ship had clearly not counted on their boss taking the ransom money and leaving them, quite literally, to flounder. Steve could see the confusion and fear in their eyes, tried to find Danny, tried to cover him from what he knew was coming, but the flames shot up before he could get there.
The boat shot up into pieces, sending Steve flying into the water. He felt his arm scrape along a jagged piece of metal, his left slide slam into a piece of siding, and his head crash into a piece of machinery before his entire body plunged into the frigid water.
He resurfaced quickly, carefully coming up close to the boat, but through as clean a patch of water as possible. Whereas it had been quiet below the surface, bodies thrashing but making no sounds, above was pure auditory chaos, screams and wails and splashes. Blinking the blood out of his eyes, he just saw more blood spread across the water, people clinging on to pieces of broken boat, trying to tread water, sirens already wailing from shore as the smoke and flames quickly drew attention.
The one thing he didn't see, the one thing he wanted to see more than anything but couldn't, was Danny.
A frantic splashing to his left caught his attention, and he spotted one of the men who had been on the boat, gun pointed at innocent passengers. Steve dove back underwater, swimming quickly, ignoring the sting in his arm, the pain in his side, and the headache that was quickly coming on.
The hardest thing to ignore was how badly he wanted to just take the chance on Kono and Chin getting there in time to corral the criminals, or frankly to just let the masked man and his compatriots drown, because they were keeping him from finding Danny, they might be keeping him from saving Danny, from getting to him in time…
Steve knew what Danny would want him to do, and it was that voice in his head, Danny's Jersey-twanged, exasperated, fond voice in his head, that made him come up under the man and tackle him onto the board he had been holding on to. His handcuffs had been lost somewhere in the water, so Steve improvised, tearing off his belt and twisting it tightly around the man's wrists, heaving his whole body onto the board.
It became automatic for him, no thinking, because he couldn't think, because if he thought he would think about Danny, and he would drown in it. One masked man, then another, then the last one, borrowed belts and scarves from others used to secure them to various boards. And by the time the last one was looped onto a board, the medic boats had arrived.
Steve felt his arms grabbed, felt himself being lifted onto a boat by EMTs. As soon as they had him on the boat, he was off again, diving down into the water, surfacing and diving again, searching frantically for Danny. As he surfaced again, he felt himself grabbed again, pulled halfway up onto the boat as he struggled against them.
"Sir, you need to let us take a look at you, please," an EMT practically begged, as three of them attempted to drag Steve up the rest of the way. "You're bleeding."
Steve continued to thrash, adrenaline warring with muscle exhaustion. "Sir, I'm going to have to sedate you," the EMT said resignedly, and Steve felt a needle slide into his shoulder. He could feel the sedation slide through his veins, but he kept fighting, not even realizing he was screaming "Danny!", screaming himself hoarse. He managed to dive in one more time, but as soon as he resurfaced, the EMTS grabbed him again, and another needle slid into his other shoulder.
He went limp, unaware of being pulled fully on the boat this time.
"What the hell did you do to him?" Danny ranted, his hands waving in the EMT's faces. He knelt by an unconscious Steve, limbs sprawled askew across the rescue boat's boards. A group of Coast Guards had gathered as well, and were assessing the site of the explosion.
"Sir, he had injuries he wouldn't let us treat," one of the EMTs protested, his voice growing softer as he saw the fury in Danny's eyes. "He kept thrashing and trying to dive off the boat, screaming "Danny!" . He wouldn't stop, so we had to sedate him. And he's a really big guy," the EMT added quietly.
Danny was too busy running his hands over Steve's face to yell anymore. "You giant goof," he murmured affectionately. "I'm fine. But of course you have to be the hero, take two major hits of sedatives just to stop swimming, Super Seal."
Steve's eyes slowly blinked awake, and as his blurred gaze fell on Danny, he half-lunged, half-fell on top of him, pinning Danny to the deck of the ship. "Danno!" he slurred, lips pressing against Danny's lips, cheeks, chin, nose. "Danno, was so worried."
"Steve, you Neanderthal, you're crushing me here," Danny said, laughing, shaking his head as he helped Steve up to a sitting position. Steve curled up around Danny, Danny somehow ending up cuddled in his lap, Steve petting his hair.
"Sir, can we take a look at your injuries again?" the same EMT asked, face red with embarrassment as he watched Steve plant sloppy, loose kisses all along Danny's jawline. Danny noticed a few Coast Guards looking the other way, cheeks also tinged red.
Steve actually growled as the EMT moved closer, clutching Danny tightly to his chest. "Steven, I am not your pet kitten here," Danny sighed, biting his lip to keep from laughing as Steve pouted, looking deeply hurt. "And they meant you, babe, not me. You're the one with the scraped arm and the banged up head."
"And my side hurts, Danno," Steve added petulantly, not even wincing as the EMT prodded gently along the stitches. "Kiss and make it better?"
"At home, babe, I promise," Danny sighed, eyes twinkling. "First you need to sleep this off. And yes, I will be in the bed with you," he added, raising his hand to still Steve's slurred protests. "Can I take my epically large boyfriend home now?" Danny asked, eyes blazing as he rounded on the EMTs. "Or would you like to dope him up some more? Cause I can get the governor on the phone so she can tell you what she thinks about you sedating the shit out of the leader of her task force."
"Just keep an eye on him," the EMT offered up, shrinking back from Danny's glare.
"I'll make sure my eyes are on him while I'm fucking him senseless," Danny said, taking great pleasure in the way the EMT's blush grew even deeper. "C'mon big guy, let's go home." Slinging Steve's arm around his shoulder, he helped him walk.
Steve woke up in their bed, head pounding, mouth dry. He reached over, only to find the space next to him empty. "Danny!" he called frantically, swinging his legs over the side of the bed, ignoring the dizziness that quickly spread.
"Right here, babe," Danny said reassuringly, hurrying back into the bedroom. "Just needed a glass of water."
"God, Danny," Steve breathed out, taking two giant steps from the bed and throwing his arms around Danny, the force staggering Danny back a few steps.
"You're Commander Forceful today, huh," Danny said with a laugh, but quickly grew serious as he saw the tears growing in Steve's eyes. "Babe…" He held Steve tightly, kissed his temple as he circled reassuring hands up and down his back.
"I thought I'd lost you," Steve choked out, breathing still ragged, as he rested his cheek in Danny's hair, his hands unable to stay still, running over Danny's body, catching at his shirt, clutching at his hands, halting over his heart.
"I may hate water, but I'm a good swimmer," Danny assured him, voice muffled as his face was pressed against Steve's broad chest. "I wanted to look for you, god Steve, I wanted to find you, but I knew you'd want me to help the people who needed it, so I got everyone I could to the rescue boats, and then I came back, I came right back for you, babe."
Steve laughed softly, and Danny tilted his head to look up at him. "I kept hearing your voice in my head, telling me I had to go stop the guys who blew up the boat, and you wouldn't stop talking until I did." Danny lightly slapped him on the chest, and Steve laughed again, but then buried his face in Danny's shoulder. "I was so scared, I kept trying to find you and I couldn't find you."
"I gotta say babe, I'm flattered it took two massive doses of sedative to stop you from diving in after me," Danny said softly, cupping Steve's face in his hands and raising it from his shoulder, kissing him tenderly. "My giant insane Neanderthal. Who likes to pull me into his lap and pet my hair in front of an entire fleet of Coast Guards."
"You're never going to let me live that down, are you?" Steve asked sheepishly, dropping his head.
"Oh no babe, I love you far too much to keep this from being a story we tell the grandkids," Danny said, eyes twinkling as he leaned up to kiss Steve again.
"Why don't I remind you what else I can pet?" Steve grinned wickedly, pulling Danny's shirt off and flipping him onto the bed in one smooth motion.
"Guess those sedatives really have worn off," Danny said with a pleased laugh, which quickly turned into a moan as Steve kissed his way down Danny's bare chest.
Steve grinned, and reached over to pet Danny's hair, before reaching for the buttons on Danny's pants.