Summary: The team is worried when Steve disappears for an entire weekend.
Disclaimer: Hawaii Five-0 is not mine. I'm just borrowing the concepts and characters for a little while.
Spoilers: References to the Pilot episode.
A/N: This one was inspired by one image from the intro to the show Burn Notice. I saw it and thought 'Steve'…
Danny was starting to get really worried – not that he'd admit that to anyone.
Usually when the team had that rare weekend off, they'd check in with each other at least once – or rather, Steve would check in with each of them at least once – but it was Sunday night and he'd yet to hear from his partner.
On Friday morning, Steve had announced to the team that he'd be taking off early that day to meet up with some friends who were visiting the Islands. Then, he'd said something pretty unusual for him. He'd said that he'd cleared his time off with the Governor and that if any cases were to come up that Danny was in charge until he got back no later than noon on Monday.
While it was highly unusual for Steve to book any time off, it was more the way he had acted and the tone of his voice that was paired with a 'face' he couldn't quite place, that had sent faint warning bells off in Danny's head. When any of the team tried to wheedle any details out of Steve, he'd just deflected their questions or gave then annoyingly vague answers. The cagier he was about his weekend, the louder the warning bells got in Danny's head.
But, at 1 PM, he'd not listened to those warnings and let his partner go. And now, a little after 8 PM on Sunday, he was in a near panic because he and Chin and Kono had all tried multiple times to reach Steve, and his phone had, without fail, gone straight to voicemail and their texts had remained unanswered.
They all knew Steve could take care of himself, but his behavior on Friday morning and his failure to do his usual check-in was causing them all to worry more and more as each hour went by – especially Danny. Chin and Kono seemingly had a more relaxed stance about the situation, but they didn't spend nearly as much time with Steve as he did.
You could practically set your watch by the predictability of some of his partner's actions – and checking in with his team was one of those actions. If he wasn't checking in, then something had happened – Danny was sure of it.
When he hadn't heard from Steve on Saturday during the day, he'd gone by the man's house to check up on his partner, fully expecting to be mocked for unnecessarily worrying. Arriving there though, he'd found that the place was dark and empty and Steve's truck wasn't in the driveway.
Now it was Sunday night, and he was checking once more to see if Steve was home after getting his voicemail yet again. Pulling onto the property, the same sight as Saturday afternoon greeted him – a dark house and no truck. Where the hell was his partner and why hadn't he checked in?
He was more than half tempted to check the SEAL's location via the GPS in his partner's cell phone, but decided against it for rational concern over how Steve would take the action. Danny knew that how his friend had been tracked down the day his father had been murdered was still a major sore point for the guy.
Trying and failing to tramp down his worry, he headed home to have dinner and a beer (or two) alone in front of the crappy TV in his crappy apartment since it was not his weekend with Grace. As he was driving home, he realized that this was the first non-Grace weekend since he'd first been shanghaied onto the task force that he'd not met up at least once with the giant freak he called a partner for a meal or a beer or at the very least a teasing, non-check-in phone call asking if he wanted to go surfing or swimming or if he had or wanted pineapple on his pizza.
He'd never realized it before, but those times had made the days, the weekends without Grace go by a little faster, and he'd have to remember to thank his partner for that – right after shooting Steve for making him and the team, well mostly him, worry all weekend.
Danny decided, as he eventually went to sleep that night that his partner better have a really good excuse for missing his check-ins the last couple of days or he really would shoot the giant freak.
The next morning, after calling and getting Steve's voicemail for the umpteenth time, Danny was just barely able to restrain himself from going over to his partner's house to check once more to see if his friend was home yet. Steve had said noon and until then, he would try not to worry – or at least try not to worry so much.
Catching up on paperwork was even less fun when he didn't have Steve there to complain to about the various non-procedural things his partner kept doing that he had to smooth over in his reports.
At 10 AM, he'd started expecting Steve to walk into the office, but by the time high noon had struck the clocks, his parnter had still not shown up. Steve was never late if he could help it. If he said he'd be in no later than noon, then he'd be in by 11:59 AM ready for action.
Just when he, Kono, and Chin had decided that they didn't care how Steve would take the invasion into his privacy and were going to track his cell phone and bank accounts, Governor Jameson called.
They had heard Steve's office phone ringing off and on the last 15minutes or so, but had ignored it. Then Danny's phone began ringing not long after Steve's had finally stopped. The caller ID was flashing the governor's name and definitely could not be ignored. Danny answered and put the call on speakerphone, he had a feeling that this was about their boss, and he didn't want to waste time later recounting the call.
She had requested that Steve check in with her by 12:15 PM at the latest and since he was never late if he could help it, she was getting worried. She ordered the team to run the traces and find Steve, muttering something that sounded like 'must have gone wrong'.
"Wrong? Did you just say something 'must have gone wrong'? What the hell is going on Governor?" Danny nearly yelled, his worry for his friend now reaching beyond 'blind panic' levels.
"That was a poor choice of words, Detective Williams." Jameson calmly replied. "I should not have phrased it like that. I'm just concerned about Commander McGarrett."
"I'm sorry Governor, but I just don't buy it. What's going on with Steve?"
"Detective Williams, I can't –"
"Governor," Chin interrupts, "McGarrett missed his check-in with us this weekend and his house has been empty every time one of us has gone to check up on him." Danny smirked. He should've known Chin and Kono weren't quite so relaxed about Steve's unusual behavior this weekend. "Please, Ma'am, we're worried about Steve."
Jameson's sigh was clearly audible over Danny's speakerphone. "I actually don't know that much. Steve told me that it was classified, but that he'd been given special permission to inform me that he'd be off the Islands for the weekend, and that he'd be back in the office on Monday by noon. That's when I asked him to call me by 12:15 PM by the latest. He'd said no problem and thanked me for my understanding. He then reminded me that I was not to tell anyone of our conversation due to his trip's classified status. I'd promised and hung up."
"When did he call?" Kono asked.
"About 8 AM on Friday, but I suspect he'd known several hours before that and had waited until a more decent time to inform me."
Chin started working his magic on the computer table.
"Governor," Danny said, "we'll keep you updated."
"Thank you, Detective," she replied and hung up.
"No joy on tracking his cell phone," Chin regretfully announced.
Danny starts backing towards his office. "I'm going to check Steve's house again. You guys keep at it." He disappears inside for a minute and when he comes back out he's got his weapon on his hip and his keys in hand. "Let me know if you find any traces. I'll do the same."
"Sure thing, brah," Chin replies as he leans back over the console.
Kono's walking towards her office as she replies, "You got it."
Danny tried to obey the traffic laws, but about half-way there he couldn't take it anymore and turned his lights on – sometimes being a cop had its advantages.
Turning into Steve's driveway, he had to step on his breaks because the big blue behemoth was suddenly right in front of him, right where he'd never seen Steve park his truck before. The Camaro's breaks proved up to the task once again as he narrowly missed hitting the truck's rear end.
Throwing the car into park, he quickly exited the car, and jogged up to the door. Seeing that Steve's alarm was unarmed and his front door not completely latched sent Danny's stomach on a high-velocity plummet to the ground. He took a calming breath, drew his weapon and carefully entered the house.
It was still and quiet and yet it put Danny even more on edge. He stopped himself from calling out Steve's name when he noticed that his partner's normally neat house was slightly off in several places. Having been to Steve's house numerous times, it was easy for him to notice that some of the furniture heading towards the upstairs was slightly askew.
He cleared the ground floor and having seen that the doors leading to the beach were still locked, he finally headed upstairs. Right away he noticed that the master bedroom's door was closed. He quickly and quietly bypassed it and checked the other bedrooms, but nothing was amiss.
Positioning himself next to Steve's closed bedroom door, he cautiously turned the knob giving it a push to open it. Gun ready, he entered the bedroom ready for anything, but the sight that greeted him was one he wasn't quite prepared for.
Steve was lying in his bed dead to the world. And, for one terrifying split second, Danny actually thought his partner was dead until he'd seen his friend take a breath. Somewhat relieved, the detective lowered his weapon and holstered it. His partner must be extremely exhausted if he hadn't even twitched at the sounds Danny had been making around the house the last five minutes or so.
Danny contemplated what to do next. Did he leave and let his partner sleep or did he get revenge for all the worry Steve had caused everyone the last couple of days? While trying to decide, he watched Steve shift slightly and take a hitched breath.
That's when Danny really took a good look at Steve. Moving into the room, he could see that his partner was lying on his side on top of the covers facing away from the door. His right arm was curled under his head which was turned into the pillow. His left arm was lying along his side and curled around his shirtless waist in an almost protective way. And to complete the picture of wrongness, Steve was still wearing the cargos he'd last seen him in and his friend's legs were bent almost as if he was protecting the core of his body.
Based on the cat naps he'd seen Steve take at the office, his partner was a light sleeper and the SEAL had yet to wake at Danny's presence even though he'd been in the room more than a minute now. Everything pointed to the fact that something had happened to the man on the bed, that he'd been injured in some way.
Giving into his worry, but still aware of what could happen when forcefully waking someone with Steve's training, he rounded the bed and nearly tripped on a camouflage-colored backpack. Danny could see, even in the dimly lit room, just how spectacular the bruising on Steve's face and torso were. He was torn between calling an ambulance and trying to wake his injured partner, but his need to know what had happened and to see his friend awake won for the moment.
Danny backed up a step in case Steve came up fighting and then lifted his foot up to kick the bed. The movement didn't even faze the sleeping (unconscious?) man on the bed except for him taking another hitched breath. It forced Danny to take a more drastic action which could quite possibly put his life in jeopardy if he wasn't careful.
The Jersey-born detective leaned down and smacked Steve's bare foot as hard as he could. That definitely got a reaction out the SEAL, but not quite the one he'd been expecting.
In the same instant that his partner's eyes popped wide open, he tried to fling himself into a ready-to-fight position. But, he didn't get very far before his face scrunched up in pain and he let out a low groan as he fell back in a heap to the mattress. This elicited another groan as Steve buried his face into his mattress and his body instinctively curled up.
Horrified at the idea of causing his friend so much pain, he began apologizing while trying to help Steve get somewhat comfortable again. "O God, Steve!" Danny puts a hand on Steve's shoulder, which immediately tenses at the touch. "It's me. It's Danny – Danno…" He can feel the moment Steve recognizes his voice when some of the tension leaves his friend's shoulder. "Man, I'm so sorry! Didn't think you'd react so strongly… Just– Just breathe… In… Out…"
With Danny's help, Steve eventually gains some semblance of control over the unexpected spike of pain and is helped back into his original position on his side. After a minute or two, he finally is able to open his eyes and send a 'what the hell?' glare Danny's way. Then he rasps out a "Where am I?"
Danny almost dials 9-1-1 right on the spot. "You're at your house," he replies instead and sees Steve take a look at his surroundings. "Don't you remember coming home?" he gestures vaguely towards the downstairs, "Whenever it was that you got home?"
Steve shakes his head in the negative.
"Please tell me you didn't drive home in this condition? You're not normally this irrespon—"
"Danny!" Steve interrupts, his face scrunching up in pain. "I didn't drive."
"Your truck is out there. If you didn't drive, then how did you get home?"
Steve mumbles a curse word and something else Danny just manages to catch.
"Who are you talking about? What bastards?"
"Never mind. Just let it go," he requests as he starts moving.
"You want to sit up?"
Steve nods. Danny, with some pained grunts and help from multiple pillows, eventually gets him into a semi-upright position against the headboard.
"Should I be calling a doctor?"
"No. Already been checked by a doctor. Besides the bruising you can see, I have three cracked ribs. I'm supposed to take it easy for the next week or so."
Danny scoffs at that and says, "Yeah, right," which earns him another glare from Steve. "Don't lie to me Steven. What else?" Steve sighs and mumbles something Danny can't quite hear. "What was that? I didn't quite—"
"I have a minor concussion too, OK?"
"No, that's actually pretty far from OK…"
Steve can tell his friend is gearing up for a long rant when a thought occurs to him. He lifts his arm to check his watch and realizes it's not there. He slaps the empty place on his wrist with his other hand and interrupts, "What time is it?"
Danny mumbles "I'm not done with you yet," and then digs into his pocket to check the time on his cell. At the same time, Steve impatiently cranes his head to see the clock on his bedside table.
"Damn it!" they both say at the same time.
Steve recovers from their moment of synchronicity first by saying, "It's Monday, right? I was supposed to call the Governor hours ago!"
"Yes, it is, and yes, you were, but she called us instead." Danny points an accusing finger towards his pathetic-looking partner and scolds, "And, you missed your usual OCD check-in with us making us all worry."
Steve lifts a hand and rubs his eyes and when he speaks, it's obvious he's frustrated. "Couldn't be avoided. I tried requesting a secure phone line, but was denied. I told them why that was a mistake, but was ordered to stay on mission."
"I take it the mission didn't go as planned," Danny throws out gesturing towards the SEAL's torso as he sits on the bed by Steve's feet.
Predictably Steve answers, "It's classified Danny, but FUBAR is a pretty apt description."
"Anyone killed?" he asks, not really expecting an answer, but hoping for insight into what Steve's mood will be like the next few days.
"Other than the bad guys, I'm not sure," is the tired reply he eventually receives. "There was this one teammate…" he continues, then trails off afraid of giving out classified information.
Danny lifts his hands in a fending off gesture. "I get it." He then points towards Steve's head, "Nausea?"
"Thankfully, no. Only a mother of a headache and double vision at times."
A stern look comes over Danny's face. "You are staying home today," he declares, pointing towards the bed. "No ifs, ands, or buts even if case comes in. And, I'm sure the governor will back me up on this."
"But—" Steve tries anyway.
"What did I just tell you? No buts!" he interrupts with a tone that sounds like he's talking to a petulant child, and then smiles. "You, my friend, look like crap and I'm willing to bet lots of money that you feel like crap too. Just take the day to recover a bit. We need you at 100% to function at our best. So please, do me a favor, and stay here today."
Steve had to admit, if only to himself, that Danny was right. He did feel like crap, but he also thought that the 'need you at 100%' comment was a bit over the top. Ultimately though, he understood where his friend was coming from.
"I promise to stay home today. OK, Danno?"
"Yes. Thank you." The relieved expression on Danny's face only confirmed to Steve that he'd made the right decision.
Danny waves a hand towards Steve as he stands. "Do you need anything before I go down?"
"Two acetaminophen and two ibuprofen."
"Why can't you just say Tylenol and Advil like any other normal person would?"
Steve attempts to smile and shrug, but the bruising on his face and side make him abort the action pretty quickly.
At that sign of discomfort, Danny asks, "Didn't the doctor give you any pain meds?"
"Yeah," he pauses and his expression morphs into what Danny would call a 'face', "but I hate the way they make me feel."
"How? Pain free?" is the incredulous reply. "That idea sounds pretty good to me."
"Never mind," Steve sighs and starts to carefully sit up.
"Hey! No. Lie back. I'm sorry. I'll go get them right—"
"Danny! Stop. I said 'never mind' because now I have to…" he stops and gestures towards the bathroom.
Getting the idea, Danny leans in and grabs Steve's arm. "Let me help."
They get Steve up off the bed and once he proves he can walk and in a reasonably straight line, Danny heads downstairs. He calls Chin first and gives him and Kono an abbreviated version via speakerphone of recent events before calling the governor. Everyone was relieved and determined to come over, but Danny dissuaded them with the argument that Steve needed rest so he could better recover. And he knew his partner well enough to know that Steve would prefer to not be fussed over.
Danny had heard the toilet flush and the sink run, so he was reasonably sure Steve was doing fine unsupervised upstairs. He set about making Steve a meal figuring it had been quite a while since his injured friend had last had something to eat.
He ended up making oatmeal with some fresh blueberries he'd found in the refrigerator plus a glass of orange juice. He figured the meal was mild enough just in case his partner's stomach decided to join in on the concussion party.
Breakfast in hand, he headed back upstairs and found Steve, who had changed into comfortable-looking shorts, sitting up slightly and his head leaning against the headboard with his eyes closed. Assuming Steve was asleep, Danny started to back out of the room.
"I'm awake," Steve says as he slowly opens his eyes. "I could smell the oatmeal and figured I should stay awake long enough to take advantage of my friend's generosity."
Smiling a little, Danny retorts, "Well, don't get used to it. You looked so pathetic lying there that I'd have to practically charge myself with animal cruelty if I didn't feed the SEAL." As he finishes, he hands the bowl to Steve and sets the juice on the nightstand, catching the eye roll from his partner.
"Thanks, Danno," Steve sincerely says.
Danny dips his heading acknowledgement, but stills says, "You're welcome. Did you take something for pain while you were in there?" He asks jerking his thumb towards the bathroom. When Steve nods his head in the affirmative, he sits on the bed by his friend's feet again in order to keep the bed from moving too much and causing the man in the bed discomfort. "Good. I spoke to Governor Jameson. She said if you leave the house today, you're fired."
"I already promised you I wouldn't leave," Steve testily says.
"Chill, babe. I'm just repeating what she said. No need to shoot the messenger."
"Couldn't if I wanted to," Steve admits around a bite of oatmeal. "I have no idea where my stuff is right now."
"I saw this backpack," he begins and reaches over the end of Steve's bed, "at the foot of your bed." He lifts the pack up and sets it in his lap. "May I?" he asks gesturing towards it.
Steve swallows another bite and lifting his right shoulder, says, "Sure."
Danny unzips the largest section and peers inside. "Gun with safety on, extra clips with no ammo, wallet, but…no badge. At the office?" he questions as he looks up. Steve nods an affirmative.
He continues his inventory. "Extra shirts, socks, and underwear that seem untouched... Not going to ask… No keys or watch." Unzipping the smaller pocket, he triumphantly says, "Here we go! Keys and watch!" The latter of which, he hands to Steve who immediately resets it and puts it on.
"And, "Danny pauses, reaches in again and announces, "Phone," which he also hands to Steve who turns it on and sets it beside him.
Steve finishes the last bit of oatmeal and sets the bowl in his lap before reaching for the glass of orange juice. He downs it in three huge gulps and says, "Thanks, Bud. I really appreciate—"
"That's what partners are for," the detective interrupts as he gathers the dirty dishes.
Steve captures his eye and says, "Mahalo."
"He mea iki." Danny figures the look of surprised glee on his friend's face was worth holding back the little bit of Hawaiian that Grace had insisted he learn with her. He shrugs his shoulders and explains, "Grace made me learn that a while ago."
"Yes, Grace. Don't even get it into your Neanderthal mind that I'm beginning to like it here, because I'm not! OK?"
He gets up, dishes in hand, just as Steve simply says, "OK."
"No arguments, no sarcastic remarks just… 'OK'?" he questions not quite believing the obviously tired man in the bed.
"Yeah," Steve nods. "You'd do anything for Grace," he smirks, "including help her to learn the native language for school."
"Exactly," Danny replies with a pleased smile on his face. "I'm going to head out. We'll be by later with dinner."
"I'm fine. You don't need to—"
Danny holds up a hand in Steve's face. "You really don't get it, do you?" Seeing the confusion on his partner's face, he continues slowly, enunciating every word, "That's what partners and teams do for each other."
Steve's still getting used to relying on others for anything, but dips his head in acknowledgment of what his partner's trying to say.
Dishes in hand, the detective senses the smallest of victories. "One thing before I go…" Steve lifts an eyebrow. "How did you get home?"
"It doesn't matter," Steve flatly replies.
"See right there… Your face," Danny gestures towards him, "says different."
"Let it go."
"I can't. Your house not secured, your reaction earlier, and now…" He trails off.
"Why can't you just drop it? I'm home. How I got here is not relevant anymore," Steve grinds out wishing that, for once, Danny would just do as he asked.
"Not going to happen. You might as well just tell me so we can skip me annoying you for the next couple of hours and you can get some proper rest."
Steve sighs, bows his head, and reluctantly admits, "I don't know how I got home. The last thing I remember before your wake-up call was the Doc explaining how to take care of my injuries. I either fell asleep, passed out, or was drugged out for the trip home. My teammates must have dropped me off before going back to base."
"Dropped off!" Danny starts to flail his arms having forgotten the items he's holding. The spoon from Steve's finished bowl of oatmeal threatens to jump ship before Danny realizes what he has in his hands and sets the bowl and glass on the dresser. "And, what? No one thought to stay to make sure you were OK?"
"It's alright, Danno."
"No. No, it's not. It's so very far from alright that you can't even see alright with one of those fancy, high-tech satellites your friend Catherine gets to play with." He starts using his hands to tick items off. "They didn't properly close or lock the door or even arm the alarm. Which come to think of it – how did they disarm it in the first place? Never mind," he says holding his hands up, "I don't want to know… My point is – they basically left you defenseless with Wo Fat out there practically gunning for you!"
"Danny," Steve tiredly interrupts, "They didn't know. And nothing happened. I'm fine."
"Nothing happened this time. There's no excuse for being this careless, negligent, whatever with an injured teammate's life!"
"You are absolutely right," Steve calmly agrees. "Most of them were pretty green – not that that's an excuse, but I will take care of it. Satisfied?"
"I guess," Danny deflates a little and they are silent for a few moments. Finally the Jersey transplant gestures towards his partner and then vaguely towards the outside. "Is this going to happen again?"
"What? Getting injured?"
He can't decide if Steve's being deliberately obtuse or not. "No, you idiot! You attract minor injuries like a moth to flame. What I meant was – are you going to suddenly leave again for the weekend on one of your field trips?"
"I'm in the Reserves. Technically I owe the Navy one weekend a month."
"Great," Danny mumbles.
"But," he holds up a hand, "due to the Governor's taskforce, I'm only called up when they need my particular skill set."
"OK. So, how often is that going to be?"
"There's no way to know."
"Spectacular!" He throws his hands up in frustration. "You're just going to disappear on us every once in a while?"
Steve nods, "It's my duty."
"Your duty," he repeats sarcastically. Then, with a smidge of disappointment in his voice, he continues, "Right. What about us? Don't you have a duty to us?"
The SEAL shrugs and winces a little as he replies, "Of course I have a duty to you. We're ohana."
"Next time, find a way to tell us it's one of those trips."
"I was ordered—"
"I don't care. Find a way," is the reply in a tone of voice that would brook no argument.
Steve lowers his eyes and appears to struggle with his thoughts for several long moments. Eventually, just as Danny was about to argue his point some more, his partner lifts his eyes and says, "Fine. What do you suggest?"
Danny is honestly shocked that Steve would relent. Disobeying an order goes against everything he's been taught in the Navy, against how he's lived nearly half his life. This willingness to acquiesce shows Danny just how much Five-0 has come to mean to his friend.
Mentally pulling himself back together after this revelation, Danny suggests, "How about a code word or phrase? Something that—"
"How about if I mention something along the lines of 'it's an oatmeal with blueberries kind of day'? It will mean that I've been called up. Sound good?"
"Uh, yeah," Danny smiles and turns to grab the bowl and glass. "Yeah. That will work. Thanks. I know what diso—"
"It's fine," Steve interrupts with a weird tone to his voice. His face then brightens a bit and he smiles, "That's what partners are for, right?"
"Right," Danny agrees and watches as a yawn splits Steve's face in half. "Need anything before I go?"
"No, brah," he answers as he carefully lowers himself further down on the bed, grimacing occasionally from the pain in his ribs. "Thanks."
"See you later Super SEAL," he says and turns to walk out the door. He then stops abruptly and turns back towards Steve. "Now, remember… No leaving the house. And that includes going out for a swim!"
As his friend leaves the room, Steve sleepily retorts, "I don't think I could even dog paddle right now."
Danny can't help the goofy grin that breaks out at the response.
A/N: I know I probably am playing fast and loose with what it means to be a Reservist in the armed forces, so I hope those in the know will forgive the inaccuracies.
Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day!