Hey, everyone! So, this is the second part of my long Hawaii 5-0 oneshot! I hope you enjoy it, I definitely had fun writing it! Much thanks to everyone who reviewed the first part of this story: amblue36, Maudlin Mush, Dixie, RaeTucker, ChaosGarden, Live4StarWars, LIGHTNSHADOWS, Magpie1600, parallelpandora, SupernaturalFlames, jacquelin825! Thanks, guys, your reviews and comments really make my day and encourage me to come up with new stories as quick as I can! :D
Steve was startled awake by a low, oscillating thrum. Squinting into the setting sun, he quickly looked for the source of the sound. A helicopter, military grade, was coming their way. As it came closer, he could see white paint spelling out NAVY on the dark blue background. Search and rescue had found them. Steve straightened up before his situation snapped back to him and his fingers flew down to Danny's pulse point.
There was still a pulse, but Danny was now deathly still, thoroughly unconscious. With a soft curse, Steve ran his fingers through Danny's hair then straightened up, waving to the helicopter. Within moments, the aircraft was hovering over them, the downward wind from its blades cutting ripples into the ocean's waves. Steve shaded his eyes to watch as the side of the helicopter was thrown open and a rope fell down.
As a man started to repel down toward them, harness thrown over one of his arms, Steve grabbed Danny under the arms and heaved him up. Danny's head fell uselessly against his own, still dead to the world. Steve couldn't help but whisper into the man's ear, for his own comfort if nothing else. "Don't worry, Danno. I've got you. You're okay now, we've got help."
When the search and rescue member was within hearing range, the man called down. "Lt. Commander McGarrett?"
"That's me. Bring my partner up first." The man was now right on top of them, hovering a mere foot above the lifeboat in an extraordinary show of control on the part of the helicopter's pilot. When the man unfurled the harness, Steve immediately went to help wrap it around Danny, cautioning the other, "Be careful bringing him up. His ribs are fractured and shouldn't be aggravated anymore."
"Understood." The soldier tightened the strap that connected Danny's harness to his own then, with a curt word into his headset, was shooting back up to the helicopter.
Five minutes later and it was Steve's turn to be airlifted out, leaving the lifeboat and the first part of their nightmare behind.
On the way to the hospital, Steve had learned that the signal he had sent had managed to be picked up by one of the radio rooms on a NAVY carrier. The sailors had been surprised but had reacted quickly, contacting the Hawaii Police Department before beginning their search and rescue based on what little tracking information they had managed to fix during the transmission. Steve had never been so thankful of NAVY-strength technology.
The helicopter immediately took them both to the hospital on land. An emergency team was waiting for them along with Chin and Kono, the cousins' relief palpable as both men were loaded off of the chopper and onto gurneys. Steve was trying to convince the medic that he could walk into the building on his own when Chin clapped a hand onto his shoulder, his voice light with only a slight edge betraying his concern. "Chill, brah, and let them look you over."
"I'm fine. It's Danny that needs the attention."
"And he's getting it, don't worry." Now Kono was beside him. She was trying to put on a relaxed face like her older cousin but having a harder time with it. "There are more than enough doctors to take care of both of you at the same time."
"But," Steve paused, head lifting off of his gurney to watch as Danny was wheeled toward ICU. The man had remained unconscious throughout the flight back. As close as Steve felt toward his brothers-in-arms, he hadn't trusted them not to jostle his partner, and had kept Danny cradled against him the whole trip. If nothing else than to card his fingers through the other man's hair every few minutes and to keep track of his weak but steady pulse.
"Hey, brah, the better you behave the better the system works and the more the docs can concentrate on Danny. Be a good patient and let them do their jobs, okay?"
Kono smiled with relief at the curt response and tapped his arm with her knuckles. "After they're done working on you, you can tell us everything that happened. Chin and I will catch the bastards who did this to you guys before they even finish stitching you up. No one messes with our ohana and gets away with it, right, cuz?"
"That's right." Chin's smile was almost feral and Steve couldn't help but smirk. Yuan was going to pay for hurting Danny, their family would make sure of it.
Once Steve had allowed the doctors to take him into the hospital and examine him, he was, as he had expected, stitched up at the shoulder and thigh where the bullets had grazed him. He had also been put on an IV for fluids because he had been without for over twenty-four hours. Steve knew that the fluids weren't necessary; he was a SEAL, he could handle it, but he allowed it, if only to get out of his bed faster.
His good behavior paid off. Within a few minutes after he had been transferred from surgery to his room, Chin and Kono had come in and he had told them everything that had happened. After the briefing he had all but ordered them out to begin their research. He didn't need them hovering when they could be doing something useful back at HQ.
In fact, if he had his way, he'd be back at headquarters too, digging into any information he could find. As it was, connected to the IV, he was stuck at the hospital. And since he couldn't leave, he might as well go see Danny. His cot creaked as he sat up and wrapped one hand around the IV stand, thankful that it was on wheels, and he carefully inched out of the room. Feeling like a kid sneaking downstairs after hours, Steve crept down the hall. If he was caught up and about the nurses wouldn't let him hear the end of it. There was only one person he took long-winded ranting from and he was in unknown condition somewhere in this building.
After some snooping through the hospital's database, he saw that Danny had been moved from surgery in the ICU to a room not far from where he was. The good news was that he was no longer in the ICU – he was going to be okay if the doctors thought he didn't require intensive care anymore.
Finding Danny's room had taken a little more time than Steve had anticipated, mainly because the damn IV he was wheeling around attracted a lot of attention, that and his hospital gown. He was just thankful that he was fit enough so that the gown wrapped all the way around his body. He was also becoming tired faster than he wanted. But when he finally reached the room he straightened his back and pulled himself together. He wanted to look strong for his partner, and he had to steel himself for what he might find.
When he opened the door, he was relieved to see that Danny didn't look too incapacitated. He was still asleep, and Steve could see bandages peeking out from underneath his blanket that undoubtedly wrapped around his entire torso and his head injury had been wrapped as well, but he was only hooked up to a heart monitor and an IV.
Pursing his lips, Steve wheeled his own IV tower over to his partner's side, grabbing the chair that had been left against the wall and dragging that with him as well. He dropped down into the seat and leaned forward over Danny's prone form. Though Danny slept on, Steve took the other's hand in his own and squeezed it lightly. "Hey, Danno. Told you I'd get us help. You're going to be okay and we're going to catch the bastards who did this to you."
His free hand slipped forward to rub at the scar on Danny's cheek. The bruises were still swollen and dark around his face but Danny seemed peaceful now. A sudden wave of relief washed across Steve and it was all he could do to lean down and press his lips against Danny's forehead to combat the tears pricking his eyes. Thank God his partner had made it. He had been trained to expect that not everyone would come back from missions – he had to experience that loss first hand. But losing Danny was something that he knew would destroy him. It was stupid and unprofessional but it was true and there was nothing Steve could do to buffer himself against it.
Danny's death was going to be the end of him, and he was going to spend his life fighting against that future.
A low groan pulled Steve back from his darkening thoughts and his gaze shot up to see Danny's face scrunching up. When his blue eyes opened they met his, dazed and confused, and Steve gripped his hand tighter and lifted their clasped hands into his line of sight. "Danny, it's okay, I'm here."
Danny's eyes narrowed as they settled on their joined hands, trying to ground himself. Then, a small grunt escaped him and he pursed his lips. "…Where are we?"
His voice was raspy and thick, but it was still was one of the best things Steve had ever heard. "Hospital. You just came back from the intensive care unit. How are you feeling?"
"Awesome." The sarcasm was back full-force. "How do you think I feel, Steven? I was beat up by an irate gang-banger, left out in the sun way too long, and had to be in close proximity to you and your insanity for longer than twelve hours. Of course I feel crappy. In fact, this is up there in the top ten of worst that I've ever felt." Then, Danny blinked, taking in his partner's appearance for the first time. "And what the hell's wrong with you?"
Steve shrugged. He had already explained this to his partner but Danny had been pretty out of it in the lifeboat so it was no wonder that he might not remember. "Superficial bullet wounds. Nothing too bad."
"Nothing too bad, he says." Danny's hands flew up into the air, fingers splaying in agitation. "What the hell are you doing out of bed?"
Steve couldn't take the sight of Danny's gesticulations with a straight face – not after thinking he'd might never see them again. Without even waiting for Danny to halt in his rant, he lurched forward and sealed his lips over the other man's.
Underneath him, Danny froze in shock. Then a shudder rippled through his body and he relaxed. He began to respond to the kiss, tilting his head to the side to get that just-right angle where their mouths locked perfectly together. When they finally broke for air, Steve gently butted his forehead down against Danny's. "I thought I was going to lose you."
Danny's eyes met his with that soul-searching depth he reserved for when he was really trying hard to understand. After a moment, he lifted his arm and traced Steve's jaw with his fingertips. "Hey, it's going be okay. I'm fine, alright? You made sure of it, you always do."
Steve gave him a feeble attempt at a smile then kissed his forehead again, lips pressing against the edge of the bandage there as if to soothe the pain.
"Are we going to talk about this uh, this kissing thing, anytime soon? I'm kind of hoping here that it's not just some kind of post-traumatic stress flare up or something."
"No, it's not. It's…" Steve paused, trying to find the right words. "It's something I've been meaning to do for a while."
"So you figured now was a good time? When I am completely incapacitated?" At Steve's blank look, Danny rolled his eyes even while his palm tenderly scrapped over the SEAL's stubble. "You've got the worst timing, you know?"
A grin flickered across Steve's face and he straightened up though he stubbornly latched their fingers back together. Danny had his old spark back and it made him undeniably lighter. "I'll make it up to you."
"You'd better. Not only do you owe me a complete vehicle overhaul and a fantastic dinner, but now I'm thinking of demanding reparations for emotional and physical trauma after you dragged me through this hellish nightmare." With a huff, Danny pulled himself up into more of a sitting position, only the slightest wince crossing his face as he jostled his ribs before he continued on his rampage. "You owe me, Steven. You owe me innumerable favors. In fact, you owe me even more than that because I was actually the one who got free first and in fact facilitated getting both of us off of that boat so yeah, I deserve something big for that.'
Sitting at his side, Steve put on a mock-thoughtful face. "Alright. Let's say I bring you malsadas for the rest of the week and keep the paperwork that comes to your desk at a bare minimum. Oh yeah, and how about if you move your things into my place so I can finally get you out of that shit-hole apartment of yours. Honestly, Danny, that place is a wreck and barely habitable for you not to mention Grace when she comes to visit."
"Did you just ask me to move in with you?" Steve nodded and Danny threw his hands in the air. "He's trying to be nice and yet he still can't stop with the insults. I'll consider it. But the malsadas and light paper load are both non-negotiable now that you put them on the table."
"What? What is it now?"
Steve dipped down to kiss his partner again. "I'm just really glad that you're okay."
Danny blinked then looked up at him with a shy and exasperated smile, "Yeah, me too, you goof. Now, has anyone called Rachel yet? I need to know what kind of situation I'm dealing with."
"I'm not sure. It's possible they called once we had been located. I'll find out for you, okay? Just go ahead and get more sleep."
Danny blinked at him then seemed to decide to take Steve's advice and for once settled back into the hospital bed without much fuss. He must have been more tired than he was letting on but that's why Steve was going to make sure he got all the rest he needed.
When Danny woke up for the second time, he could hear a murmured conversation just outside his room. Grunting, he tried to get himself into more dignified position. He had no idea how long he had been out for, but he wasn't a man who liked coddling. As he sat up, his ribs protested the movement but it was that healing sort of pain so Danny figured that he was doing better.
Now upright, he finally took the opportunity to scan his surroundings. He was hooked up to an IV drip and a few monitors but the room in general was rather machine-free, which Danny was thankful for – he had never liked hospitals much.
At least, last time he had been awake, Super SEAL Steve had distracted him from the clinical setting. Danny felt a hint of a flush on his cheeks and licked his dry lips. Maybe this step forward would finally end some of the unresolved sexual tension between the two of them. He wasn't planning on jumping into the sack with his partner as soon as possible, but both of them finally admitting that they were attracted to each other was a definite step forward. Maybe now they could finally focus a little more on their job instead of each other. Then again, the kisses they had shared were so good that he might end up paying more attention to his partner's mouth than the road.
Danny shook his head at the thought. Any relationship they had would not affect their work; neither of them would allow that.
Speaking of Steve, one of the voices out in the hallway was obviously his and after another second he realized that the second was Kono. Danny strained to hear what they were saying.
"-you've identified the yacht?"
"Yeah, boss. It belongs to someone named Feng Smith. I'm taking a guess that the last name is fake since he didn't show up in any system. We were able to get in contact with the boat dealer and they were able to give us a possible address out on Ferngrove Street. It might be a false lead but at least it's something. Do you want me and Chin to check it out or…?"
"No, I'll join you. If this does turn out to be something, you might need the extra backup."
From his bed, Danny could only narrow his eyes. He might have been out of it last time he woke up, but he was dead sure that Steve had been in a hospital get-up too. Unless he had been in a coma for a week there was no way that his partner was okay for duty so soon. He crossed his arms over his chest when he heard the door to his room start to open, his face set to full-force disapproval by the time that Steve actually poked his head in.
The SEAL's steel-blue eyes widened. "You're awake."
"Yeah, and funny enough, my hearings just fine too." Danny motioned to the other's jeans and t-shirt. "And last I heard that was not acceptable patient attire."
"Don't start with me. You're going out when you know that you're not in the right shape for it. You're so stupid, what are you trying to do, kill yourself just to show Yuan how to do it right?" He was punctuating every few works with a jerk of his hands, indignation rising to its highest levels. "What the hell is wrong with you? Do you have some sort of common-sense mental defect or something?"
As he was speaking, Steve had moved closer and closer to his bed. As he took a breath, Steve jumped forward, cutting him off before he could continue by slapping a hand over his mouth. "Danny, come on. I wasn't as beat up as you, plus I'm trained to recover faster. I'll be fine."
Danny felt red-flushed anger storm his face. "Chin and Kono could handle this on their own."
Tilting his head to the side, Steve let out an impatient sigh – what gave him the right to be impatient? – and said, "It was two against them when we were captured, I'm not about to let our team make the same mistake twice. Now, I'm leaving with Kono. I'll come back as soon as we're done checking the residence out. Chances are it won't be anything. Be back soon, okay?"
Danny sputtered as Steve kissed the top of his head and then left the room – a strategic retreat. How dare he just cut out like that? Danny was in no way done yelling at him, and he thought he could just leave with a 'be back soon'?
"Screw that," Danny muttered. With a wince and a soft curse, he heaved himself up from his cot and removed the IV and heart monitor and everything else connected to him. Pressing a finger over the pinprick of blood left by the IV, he stumbled across the room toward the door.
There was no way that he was going to let Steve go without him. After all, if Steve could pretend that a bullet wounds meant nothing than Danny could certainly say that a few cracked ribs were not enough to keep him in bed.
Danny hadn't initially considered it when he had signed himself out of the hospital, but his Camaro was not in the parking lot. That's right; it had been trashed in the collision. The accident that seemed so incredibly long ago. He was lucky enough that the hospital staff had kept his clothing – sure his shirt was a mess and smelled like day-old funk but at least he wasn't walking out in that hospital gown. He was just thankful that the rain that night had washed all the blood away, that would have been a hard one to explain to the public.
Once he realized that his car wasn't there though, it hit him that he didn't really have much of a plan. He wanted to help Steve, Kono, and Chin, but really, he didn't even have a gun. Hell, he didn't even have his badge. Everything had been stripped off of him sometime between the car crash and Yuan's boat. But still, it felt too strange to be the only odd-man out, and amongst their team, only he knew the full extent of Steve's injuries ( since the SEAL was unlikely going to give any sign of pain away to Chin and Kono). The idiot was probably going to get himself killed in a firefight when his injured thigh gave an inopportune twinge or something.
With new resolution strong in his chest, Danny marched to the main road. His initial instinct was to flag down one of the many taxis passing by. After all, this close to tourist destinations, they were a sort of constant presence. Until he remembered that he didn't have any money. Because he had been previously kidnapped and everything had been taken. It was like his mind was on some sort of terrible loop. Closing his eyes, Danny took a deep breath, regretting it only slightly when the expansion of his lungs caused his ribs to twinge. Yeah, still not one hundred percent.
His eyes flashed open when he heard the rumble of a familiar type of engine and grinned when a police car tuned a corner and came into view. It was his lucky day. With a quick wave, he flagged the cop down, poking his head inside as the officer rolled down his passenger window. Good, he recognized the man but wasn't closely acquainted with him – hopefully that would be enough familiarity to get a ride but not so much that the man had any negative opinion of him from his time as the force's resident haole. "Officer Kalani, right?"
The man nodded, his handsome native features furrowing as if he was trying to work something out. "That's right. You're Detective Williams?" When Danny nodded Kalani's head tilted to the side, "I heard you were still a recovering in-patient." His dark eyes scanned up and down what he could see of Danny, expecting to see blood or broken bones maybe?
Danny wasn't sure, but he tried to stand a little straighter, thankful that his shirt covered his tightly bandaged torso. "I checked myself out a little early. Look, do you think you could give me a ride? I need to check out a residence real quick. Just for a fast conversation," he added quickly when Officer Kalani raised an eyebrow. He had a sneaking suspicion that the other man wouldn't willingly take him to what, knowing Steve's luck, was probably going to turn into an explosive fire fight.
He tried to look innocent as the officer studied him, giving a quiet sigh of relief when the other man finally nodded. "Sure, hop in, brah. I've got nothing going on right now."
"Terrific. Thanks so much." Danny slid into the passenger's seat. "Alright, so we're looking for a Ferngrove Street. I don't suppose you happen to know where that is?"
Officer Kalani put the car in drive, both hands on the wheel. "Ferngrove? Yeah, I know it. It's not exactly the best area but it's not too far from here. Ten minutes, maybe, tops."
Nodding, Danny allowed himself to relax as much as he could as the scenery passed by. He had no idea what he was heading toward but he knew that he had to be there. Chin and Kono might have Steve for back-up but without him there the SEAL wouldn't be able to restrain himself from whatever stupid stuff was always turning around in that crazy head of his. For all Danny knew, the man could have stowed another grenade somewhere – or a bazooka maybe, Danny wouldn't put it past his partner.
Danny had Officer Kalani drop him off across the street from where Kono's car and Chin's bike were parked. He could only assume that was the house; it wasn't on fire yet but Danny knew that it could never hurt to be too careful. "Hey," he glanced across the car to the other man, "Do you have a back-up revolver?"
Kalani nodded, "Yeah, in my glove compartment. You can borrow it if you think you'll need it but I'll need it back by tomorrow. Gotta keep track of it, you know?"
"Yeah, thanks." Pulling the weapon out, Danny checked and saw a full cartridge and clicked it back into place. A Jersey cop would have never let someone else borrow his gun. One stray bullet could get him in a lot of trouble since the gun was his responsibility. But, for the moment, long live Hawaiian relaxation.
As he stepped out of the car, Officer Kalani's voice drew his face back to the open window. "Hey, Detective, you want back-up?"
"Hey, what are you talking about," Danny offered a relaxed smile, "I am the back-up. Hang around out front though, will you? God knows what's going to come out of that house, not to mention that if something does happen we might need to use that back seat of yours."
"I thought you said this was just going to be a conversation?"
Danny pretended not to hear the question but instead gave a friendly wave and started across the street. His ribs were twinging every few steps but it was at a level of pain that he could handle, one that he could push into the back of his mind until he knew that the rest of his team was alright.
Gun in hand, he crept up to the residence that Chin and Kono's vehicles were parked in front of. Sucking in his breath, he pressed his back against the siding and tilted his head up to peer through the dirty window and see if he could get a handle on what was going on.
The room he first looked into was a living room of sorts, and it was empty. Frowning, Danny shuffled around the house, keeping close to the walls, peeking into any window he could find. Most of the rooms were suspiciously barren of any sort of furniture or décor, further raising Danny's suspicions that this place could be a mere front for the gang that had kidnapped him and Steve. No one lived in this house, at least, no family did.
Suddenly hearing a series of scuffles from around the corner, from the side of the house that faced the back yard, Danny pressed his lips together and edged toward the corner. After a second's pause, he realized that the sounds were not just coming from outside but inside as well. Something was being banged around, and when he took a look into the window just over his shoulder he immediately pinpointed the source of the noise.
It was Chin and Kono, both of their expressions dark with rage and fear. They weren't tied up yet but there was one goon with a gun on the two of them, three other men behind him looking threatening. Another gang-banger was in the room as well but his gun wasn't pointed at the cousins. No, it was pointed toward the backyard, through what must be an open door because the man's mouth was moving and Danny could hear his voice slightly muffled from around the corner.
"Get on your knees, hands on your head! Try anything funny and we'll kill the other two! But you, you're already dead! Yuan gave you your chance and you ran off so you know what? We've got orders now to fill you full of lead. Maybe someone else in your unit will become a little more cooperative because of it."
Shit. A peek around the corner showed that Steve was down on his knees, execution style, on the back patio. The man's expression appeared unafraid but Danny could tell by his slightly wide eyes that Steve knew that he was in trouble.
Shit. This was a bad situation. Closing his eyes, Danny knocked his head against the houses' paneling, trying to pull a plan from his mind despite the fact that his thoughts were a whirlwind of panic. From around the corner, the gang with his gun pointed at Steve's forehead spoke up again, "You should have taken Yuan's offer when he gave it."
At the click of the safety being pulled back, Danny's mind went white from terror and he tore out from his hiding place, sprinting three long strides and side-tackling Steve to the ground just as the gun went off.
The pain was instantaneous. Not from a bullet wound but from the agony of his ribs slamming against the concrete patio. Danny had to swallow back the instant nausea as he felt his healing ribs crack and break, his cry of pain drowned out only by the sound of gunfire. Steve had grabbed Kalani's revolver and had shot his would-be executioner three times in the chest. Chaos had erupted inside the house as well as Kono had lunged for the second man's gun, Chin taking out another of the gang members.
Within minutes, the fight was over and Steve was kneeling down beside Danny, his hand on his collarbone grounding the shorter man as pain continued to lace through him with every breath. "Danny! Danny, talk to me!"
Danny opened his mouth but all that came out was a sudden cough and a trickle of blood. Cursing, Steve tightened his grip around his shoulder and called out over his head, "Someone call an ambulance!"
The next few hours was a bit of a blur for Danny but he was sorry to stay that he remained conscious for the better part of it. He was awake when he was loaded into the ambulance, Steve forcing his way into the vehicle to sit with him on the ride back to the hospital. He was awake as he tried to breathe while feeling as if he was drowning under ten feet of water, every exhale bringing blood and fear assuaged only by Steve's presence and the paramedic's constant movements to keep him alive. He was awake when he was rushed into the ICU – again – and was awake until the moment they stuck a mask over his mouth and nose, feeling them cut his shirt and the bandages off of his torso to get at his ribs.
He woke up to see Steve, Kono, and Chin standing over his bedside, the concern melting off of their features as he forced his eyes open. As he let out a grunt, trying to show that he was aware, Kono grinned and leaned down, "Hey, welcome back to the world of the living!"
Pressing his lips together, grimacing when he tasted leftover hints of blood, Danny rasped out, "How long…was I out for…?"
This time it was Chin who answered. "Just over three hours, brah. You gave us a scare there."
"Yeah, but you also saved the boss' ass, jumping him when you did." Kono tossed her grin back toward Steve. "Who'd have thought you'd need an invalid to rescue you, huh?"
Steve didn't smile at her joke. In fact, if Danny had to assign him with an emotion, he would have said that the SEAL looked downright pissed-off. In an attempt to stall just a little bit longer against Steve's wrath, Danny turned to Chin and Kono. "Hey, so did we get the guys?"
Kono nodded, her smile positively gleeful now. "Oh, we got them. That officer you came with really came in handy. For a second I had almost been afraid that we would run out of cuffs. We got six at the house all together and found a small stash of drugs. At first it didn't look like they knew anything concerning the higher-ups of the gang but then Chin and the boss gave them a good old fashioned beat down and they squealed pretty good."
"We've got a location for the gang headquarters and the warehouse where they've got a good stash of their drugs." Chin added, barely blinking at the accusation that he had just beaten one of their suspects. "Apparently a drop is going down tonight and the majority of the bosses are going to be at the warehouse to see it through, including Yuan. We'll stake it out then bust them once we have them pinned for the new shipment – hopefully that added with the assault charges against you and Steve will put them behind bars for a long time."
"Tonight?" Danny tried to push himself up into a sitting position but failed, doing nothing but making his aches hurt even more. A hand was immediately on his shoulder and he looked up to see Steve at his side.
"Yeah, tonight. You'll be able to go home by then but there's no way in hell you're up for a bust."
Danny put his hands up, "Hey, did I ever say anything about going? Unlike some people in this room, I know my limits."
"It didn't seem that way when you followed us and nearly got yourself killed a few hours ago." Danny scowled, ready to retort but Steve just continued talking, never giving him the chance. "Which is why I'm taking you home to recover."
Now Danny was thrown for a loop. "You're what?" he asked.
"I'm taking you home, back to my place." Steve crossed his arms over his chest, looking imperious. "Since I know I can't trust you to stay by yourself, someone's got to look after you and my house is the best option."
"You don't have to babysit me-"
"Apparently, I do. I can't even trust you to stay at the hospital."
"Hey, don't forget I saved your life!"
"And almost got yourself killed! I'm taking you home with me, Danny, and that's final!"
Danny paused for a moment, then a small, sly smirk crossed over his face. "Well I didn't expect that invitation to come with that tone of voice, but fine, have it your way."
Steve paused, reviewing what he had just said before a faint pink appeared on his cheeks and he sputtered, "That, that's not what I meant."
His steel blue eyes, now sheepish, darted over to Chin and Kono. The older cousin only rolled his eyes while Kono giggled. "Boss, you don't have to pretend around us, we saw this coming a long time ago."
"Although I wish you two could have held off for another week. I had money riding this."
"Money I just won. Pay up, cuz."
Danny shook his head incredulously as Chin passed Kono a wad of bills. "I can't believe you two were taking bets on this."
"It gives us some entertainment between cases." Kono said, tucking her newly-won money into her back pocket. "Now, should Chin and I start putting things together for the sting or…?"
Steve nodded. "Go to the police station and get a group ready to head down to the warehouse. I want everything set up down there as soon as possible so we don't raise any suspicions later on. Call my cell if you need any help but I'm taking Danny home."
An hour and a half later and Steve was lowering Danny down onto his couch. The hospital had let him go into Steve's care for the sole reason that there was nothing more they could offer which Steve couldn't provide. Danny didn't have to be hooked up to any machine, he just had to get lots of supervised rest. As Danny shifted slightly on the couch, he could say that the only thing he missed was the morphine drip. His chest was aching.
He hissed low as the couch shifted slightly when Steve sat down beside him a few minutes later, the larger man balancing two bowls of soup in his hands. Steve passed one bowl to Danny with a nod. "This will have to do for now. Doctors said to hold off on the real heavy food for a few days and to give you something that'd go down easy."
Danny blinked down at the soup then over at Steve. He picked up the spoon but grumbled, "This is weird."
"You gave up going to a bust, an honest-to-God, full-scale drug bust. I'm just sitting here wondering if you've gone crazy or what?"
Steve didn't have anything to say about that, so Danny turned back to his sad excuse for a meal – why couldn't it have been deep-dish pizza? – but when he felt a gaze boring into him, glanced over to see Steve staring at him with an eerie intensity.
"You're freaking me out here," he mumbled into his bowl, "What'd I say?"
Steve frowned, though the expression was more thoughtful than angry as he reached up to stroke his thumb down his partner's jawline. "Danny, you know that you're more important to me than a drug bust, right?"
Danny stared at him for a moment then laughed. The movement twinged his ribs but he couldn't help it and he punched Steve on the shoulder, "You goof, I was joking. But thanks for clearing that up for me. Now, where's your remote? There might be a baseball game on or something."
Half an hour later and Steve found himself watching a ball game with a sleepy Detective Williams resting on his shoulder. He was finding himself drifting off as well, without any stress or adrenaline holding him up he was beginning to feel the strain of the last few days. Steve had just allowed his eyes to close when he felt a tremor against his thigh followed by his ringtone. Resting against him, Danny murmured something in his sleep, twisting a little to press his nose into Steve's sleeve. It was actually pretty adorable and Steve couldn't help but smile and bury his fingers into Danny's hair as he flipped his phone open.
"Steve, it's Chin. The bust was a success. I'll send you pics of the guys we caught but we managed to pull in a full warehouse of drugs and about a dozen members of the gang. How's it going with our haole?"
Steve smiled, looking down at the blond head on his shoulder. "He's doing fine. Just needed a little time to rest. Anyway, send me the pictures. I'll take a look at them and see if you got Yuan."
Thirty seconds after he had hung up, his phone chirped with the incoming pictures of the people Chin and Kono had rounded up at the warehouse. Frowning, Steve wrapped an arm around Danny's shoulders, pulling him closer at the thought of seeing Yuan again, even just his face. He knew that the man's image wouldn't be able to hurt Danny but that didn't stop his grip from tightening protectively when he opened the attachment.
He didn't expect Yuan to be the first face looking at him. He should have expected that Chin would try and match his description first but for some reason he wasn't ready for it. He felt his lip curl up – the bastard dared to look smug in his mug shot.
"Mph…what is it?"
Hearing the gravely murmur at his shoulder, Steve looked down to see that Danny's blue eyes were open, gaze slightly glazed but more aware than it had been for a while. "You're awake?" he asked.
"Who could sleep when you've got a death grip around my neck?"
Steve apologized, loosening his grip, realizing that at some point it had tightened his hold around his partner's shoulders to the point where his arm had indeed slipped up to around the other's neck. "Sorry about that."
"Nothing's wrong. Chin called. The bust was a success." Steve ran his fingers down Danny's arm, "They caught Yuan."
Danny grunted at the news, carefully straightening as he woke up a little more, trying hard not to shift his ribs any more than necessary. "You okay with that?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"I would have thought that you'd have wanted to be the one to take him down with a flying kick or whatever the hell it is you do."
Steve snorted then shrugged. "I don't know. It might have been better that I wasn't there."
"Yeah? Why's that?"
"I would have shot him on sight."
Danny grinned but shook his head. "Yeah, I could see that. Come here." When Steve leaned down, Danny pressed his lips to the SEAL's, "I guess I should thank you for being sane for once. And for letting me stay at your place. Still can't believe you made a conscious choice to stay away from some action though…"
"I guess you're just worth it."
"Don't try for sappy, you goof. We were having a moment."
Steve smiled and settled back against the couch, Danny at his side. There was no way he was going to skip out on many busts or chances to go out in the field, but neither would Danny. For now though, this – the two of them just relaxing and recovering – was alright.