TITLE: Somewhere, Over the Rainbow
FANDOM: Hawaii 5-0
CHARACTERS: Steve, Danny, Chin, and Kono
WARNING: language, hurt!Steve, iffy medical knowledge, could be interpreted as Steve/Danny pre-slash
DISCLAIMER: I own no rights to the show or the characters. I also do not have a medical degree so some descriptions and accounts may not be entirely factual. I do not own the rights to the lyrics used in this work. This is a work of fiction and is not intended for anything other than entertainment purposes.
WORD COUNT: 8,400+ (total); 4,082 for part one
PROMPT: #8-Unconscious for the Injuries Prompt Table for 10_hurt_comfort
SUMMARY: After everything, this was not how Steve McGarrett thought it would end.
After everything, this was not how Steve thought it would end. Bleeding out from a gunshot wound in the middle of the jungle? Yeah, it was likely. Tortured to death in some dark cave in the middle of the desert? Definitely a possibility. But his life slowly draining out of him while an unknown poison tore its way through his body as he lay on the strip of beach outside his childhood home? That never made the list.
He'd only decided to burn off some energy and post-case aggression with a later afternoon swim. Long, powerful strokes cut through the water as he swam toward the horizon, until his house was barely visible, and then returned again toward shore. Back and forth he went, never resting, until he was too exhausted for another lap. He was slowly trudging his way through the shallows, muscles loose with fatigue, when a person broke through the vegetation in the yard, flying right for him. Steve had been so relaxed, mind so peaceful and quiet, he'd never sensed the danger until it was coming at him. His training had kicked in, allowing his body to move out of the direct path of the attacker before his mind could comprehend it all.
Though he'd moved, his assailant still hit him knocking them both back into the water. It was only a foot or so deep where he'd landed, so Steve had no problem rolling out of the breaking waves onto the sand. He recovered first, allowing himself a split second to eye up his assailant. Female, Asian, light complexion, dark hair in a ponytail, slender build, average height, clothed in all black, a tattoo winding its way up the side of her neck. Before he could mentally catalog any more details, she was standing up in front of him grinning from ear to ear. She had both of her arms out at her sides, hands clenched, as she lunged at him again, both of her fist flying at him. Her attacks were wild, coming at him from both sides with aggression, but Steve managed to duck, dodging her second round of assaults. He struck out at her, one his landing to her ribs but hissed when she grabbed at his arm, something piercing his bicep.
Looking down, Steve saw the syringe in her hand and lashed out with his free hand, grabbing her wrist and twisting it hard. The needle broke off in her hand before all the liquid could be dispensed, but none of it seemed to faze her. She tried to slip out of his grip but Steve bent her wrist more, hearing a distinct snap before her knees gave out, her face twisting up in pain. Steve's fist caught her hard across the left cheek knocking her into the sand.
He staggered back a step, his heart beating wildly in his chest, nausea curling in his belly as adrenaline rushed through his system. Shaking his head once, Steve fought to focus on the his next step. He needed to call for back up to secure the house and the scene. He needed to call the team and have them book the girl. He needed to get to a hospital and find out what she tried to inject him with. It wouldn't be that hard, especially with his attacker knocked out cold in the sand, but his legs were feeling funny suddenly. They felt rubbery and numb, like they wouldn't hold his weight much longer. Steve tried to move, tried to take those few steps to the house, but he stumbled and ended up face first in the sand, legs in a tangle.
He pushed himself into a sitting position and caught a glimpse of his attacker pushing herself up out of the sand and running down the beach without a backward glance, but that wasn't his main problem anymore. It was the growing feeling, or lack thereof, in his legs that was stealing all his attention. He couldn't move them. He tried to move his toes, his foot, his knee, but they weren't cooperating.
For the first time Steve was starting to grasp the seriousness of the situation he was in. His attacker may not have succeeded in dosing him with all the poison in the syringe but it was becoming quite clear that some had entered his bloodstream. And whatever it was, it was potent. Already he was feeling the effects and it was only minutes after being injected. He needed help. Now. Farther up the beach, about 15 yards or so, where the Adirondack chairs he normally kept in the sand. He'd moved them back this morning before high tide and had yet to move them back to their normal places closer to the water. And on one of those chairs sat his cell phone. If he could make it to those chairs, one call would be all it took to get what he needed.
With legs no longer working, Steve used his arms to try to crawl his way back up the beach, but he only made it a few feet before another effect made its presence known. He barely had a warning before he was vomiting into the sand in front of himself. His body shook with the force of the heaves, the nausea gripped his stomach hard and refused to abate. When the heaves finally slowed to a stop, Steve rested his head against his forearms, ignoring the mess, and gulped in a few breaths, trying to collect himself enough to move again.
Once he started moving, he planted his forearms in front of himself and pulled the rest of his body along. It wasn't easy and was tiring him out quickly, but he was moving and that was all that counted. He'd barely made it to the chairs back before his arms gave out leaving him face down in the sand, heaving and vomiting once again.
This time though, the muscles in his body seized up painfully before he started to convulse. His jaw clenched and his breath seized in his chest as his limbs jerked around in the sand. It lasted only a few seconds, but when it stopped Steve was completely exhausted. He didn't think his body would make it any further no matter how much his mind screamed to keep moving. It was getting harder to draw in the next breath and already his fingers were slow to cooperate. Whatever he was dosed with, it was working fast, slowing his body down though he'd yet to lose consciousness.
With one last effort, Steve hauled his body the last foot to the chair and clawed his way up until his upper body was resting against the chair. His heart was beating wildly in his chest, more from the drug than any physical exertion, as he leaned his head back. He needed to stay focused. His phone was only an arm's length away, resting on his folded up towel lying in the other chair. He just needed to reach out and grab it and then help would be on the way. His right arm was now dead weight and his left was well on its way, the band across his chest tightened with each shallow gulp of air he choked on. Just grab the phone, he told himself, just grab it. But as he reached out for it, his body locked up in another seizure.
Pulling into the driveway, Danny was so caught up in his own thoughts that it took him a moment to realize that there were no lights on in the McGarrett house. It didn't mean trouble, exactly, but was a bit out of the normal for Steve. There was always a light on somewhere in the house whether it was in the kitchen or the office or on the back porch. Danny cast a look around. Steve's truck was in the driveway and nothing appeared to be disturbed around the front part of the house so he shrugged and got out of the car.
He was just pulling the pizza from the passenger seat when he caught a glimpse of Kono's car pulling into the drive, Chin occupying the passenger seat. Danny waved to them as he juggled the boxes and made his way to the front door. Out of courtesy, he knocked once before fumbling with the knob and letting himself in.
The inside of the house was darkening with shadows as the sunset and it took his eyes a minute to adjust as he made his way through the house.
"Steve!" Danny called out, alerting his partner to their presence. "What, you forget to pay the light bill again, babe? What's with all the lights out?"
Danny's only answer was silence broken by Kono hissing out a curse as they bumbled through the maze of furniture and Chin's quiet chuckle. Smirking to himself, Danny dropped the food on the counter and flicked on the kitchen light, casting another glance around. Kono emerged a moment later with a grocery bag followed by Chin carrying a case of Longboards.
"Where's the boss?" Chin asked, completely ignoring Kono's grumbled retort.
"I don't know," Danny replied, honestly confused. "Steve!" he called out again. Silence. "Steven!" He called louder. No reply of any kind. "Chin, check upstairs. I'll take the back."
Danny watched as Chin moved off towards the stairs, this time turning on lights as he passed them before he moved to the back door. He opened the sliding door letting the warm breeze filter in the sound of the waves breaking. The light outside was dim by now, the sun casting everything in fading orange, so Danny turned on the porch light and stepped out onto the lanai. Once his eyes adjusted, he could make out the outline of his partner sitting on the beach.
"What the hell, Steve? Didn't you hear us calling you?" Danny called out. Shaking his head, he motioned to Kono that he'd found Steve and started out towards his partner. "Steve?" he tried again when he realized he'd yet to hear anything from the man in question.
As he got closer, a sinking feeling crept into Danny's stomach. Something wasn't right. Steve looked uncomfortable with only his shoulders and head leaned awkwardly against one of the chairs, and his limbs spread akimbo in the sand. That's when he saw that Steve's entire body was rigid, his limbs jerking sporadically. And Steve's face … he looked terrified.
"Oh my god, Steve," Danny whispered as he dropped to his knees next to his partner. "Chin, Kono!" he cried out as his hands hovered over Steve, not knowing where to touch or what to do, but needing to do something.
Steve's body relaxed then, looking like dead weight and Danny, if possible, was even more freaked.
"Steve, can you hear me?" Danny settled his hands on either side of Steve's face easing his head up just slightly so Danny could look into his eyes.
Steve blinked heavily for a moment, his breathing ragged and shallow. His lips started to move and Danny leaned down closer in time to catch one breathy word: "Help".
Danny's heart flipped in his chest, his panic renewed at his partner's one simple statement. He was about to call for Chin and Kono again when he heard them approaching. "We're here, buddy. We got ya, okay?" Danny looked straight into Steve's eyes as he spoke, trying his hardest to remain calm and keep his wits about him.
Before either of the cousins could start asking questions, Danny started barking out orders. "Chin, go grab some blankets from the house. Kono, go call an ambulance and HPD. Now!" Then without another glance at them, Danny turned his attention back to Steve.
It wasn't until now that he took in the full appearance of his partner. Steve was covered in a fine layer of sand, from head to toe it seemed, and there was what appeared to be vomit on his chin and chest. His breathing was shallow and irregular, he wasn't moving any part of his body, and there was a fine trickle of blood running down his right arm. It wasn't until he gently probed the wound that he saw the broken end of the needle sticking out of the skin.
"Someone drugged you," Danny whispered as realization dawned. "Shit!"
"Can't … move … Danny" Steve's words were slurred and breathy.
Even though there was panic creeping up his spine at the confession, Danny's first priority was keeping Steve awake and alive until the medics arrived. He had no idea what was substance was pumping through his partner's veins right now and no idea where to start. Start with the basics, Danny told himself. Airway, breathing, circulation.
Danny rested his fingers on the pulse point on Steve's neck and counted out the slow irregular beats. Circulation, check. The way his Steve was laying, Danny was sure his airway was not stable and his breathing was rough, shallow breaths gasped in and wheezed out at uneven intervals. That was his place to start, Danny decided.
He slid his hands behind his partner's back and hauled his body up against his own. It took a fair bit of maneuvering before Danny had Steve's back leaning against his chest, Steve's head resting against Danny's shoulder to ease his breathing. Steve's body was limp as Danny moved him, showed no signs of responding or trying to move. The only thing Steve did was groan as his body was moved, the lines on his face creasing. Whether it was from pain or from something else, Danny couldn't tell.
"How're you doing? You hanging in there for me?" Danny looked down to where Steve's head was cradled in the crook of his shoulder. He read the exhaustion and fear in Steve's eyes and it instinctively tightened Danny's hold on his partner.
"Hard … to breath," Steve whispered as he tried to suck in another breath. "Can't stop … shaking."
Danny's thoughts were interrupted by Kono reappearing in front of them, phone clutched tightly in her hand. Her eyes drifted over Steve before they snapped back to Danny's face. He could see in her eyes the same overwhelming fear and panic he could feel in his own chest. She swallowed hard, before putting on a brave face.
"Notified HPD, they're sending out squad cars and a medic team. ETA is 10 minutes," she didn't take her eyes off Danny as she spoke, but then her gaze broke away and landed on Steve once again. Her face softened with worry as she knelt in the sand, one of her hands running lightly over Steve's arm. "How ya doing, boss?"
Steve didn't respond. His eyes widened the slightest bit before he made an awful choking sound deep in his throat. Danny and Kono both froze up at the sound, terrified, as Steve continued to choke and cough, his eyes moving around wildly, begging for help.
"Steve?" Danny eased both of their bodies forward, Steve's head rolled sickeningly on his neck as they moved. Steve's head came to a rest with his chin on his chest and the bile that had been choking him streamed from his mouth. He coughed wetly and tried desperately to draw in a breath.
"Oh god," Kono gasped.
Danny's thoughts were much the same but he didn't speak them aloud. Instead, he ran one hand over Steve's back, pounding lightly to help him clear his airway and kept up a whispered litany of "I'm sorry" and "its okay" and "Just breathe". Once Danny was sure Steve's airway was clear, he eased Steve's body back against his own, one hand resting over Steve's fluttering heart.
While Danny had been occupied, Chin had come out of the house and kneeled in the sand next to his cousin. Once Steve was settled against Danny, Chin picked up one of the blankets and draped it over Steve, tucking it in around his chilled body. Steve's eyes flickered open slowly, his eyes drifting over each of their faces before slipping closed again.
"Thank … you," Steve breathed out, but his eyes didn't open again.
"Hey! No sleeping," Danny whispered, gently jostling his partner's body. Steve grudgingly replied, opening his eyes again, though they stayed half-mast. Danny doubted Steve could open them more if he tried, whether it was an effect of the drug, exhaustion, or both, he didn't know.
"Tell … Mary-"
"Hey! None of that!" Danny said, tone sharp. "There will be no deathbed confession because this here," he gestured to the sand around them, "this is not a deathbed and you are not dying. Do you hear me, McGarrett? Youwill not die on me! Do you understand me?"
A tear leaked out of Steve's eye as he struggled to pull in another breath. His eyes stared up at Danny as he tried to speak. "Sorry … not my … choice."
"Steven! Stay awake!" Danny grunted as he hauled Steve up farther. He watched as Chin grabbed Steve's leg hard and gave it a good shake, Kono following suite with Steve's arm. Both of their plaintive voices calling out for Steve to fight, to keep his eyes open. "Stay with me, buddy. Come on. Just stay with me, Steven."
Steve wanted to stay awake. He tried to fight, it was his natural instinct, everything in his head screaming at him to move, to battle against the fatigue weighing his body down, but he just couldn't anymore. Every breath he struggled to draw in sapped more of his energy, sent knives of pain stabbing through his chest. It was too little air, required too much energy.
His gaze drifted lazily from Danny, out to the water where the last of the sun was sinking into the water. The water was ablaze with colors, the last of the sky a beautiful red, melting into the velvety black. There were thousands of stars shining brightly overhead and just like that, Steve could hear his mother's voice in his head. Each and every star in the night sky is a piece of a soul left behind on earth as it rose to heaven, Steven. They watch over us, protect us, and guide us through the night. He remembered that night, how he and his mother had sat in the sand and watched the stars for hours, his mother humming a lullaby under her breath as she held him in her arms.
Peace washed over his mind, even as his body seized again in Danny's arms. He was barely aware of his team's voices calling out for him, panicked and begging for him to stay awake. Danny's face moved into his vision and the naked fear he saw on his partner's face pulled Steve back to himself, the faint strains of his mother's voice drifting softly in the back of his mind. Steve coughed and gasped, his body rigid as he tried to draw in another breath. He tried to stay focused, to keep his eyes open, but his lungs were burning from lack of oxygen and blackness was creeping into the edges of his vision.
"T-tired," Steve panted. His eyes locked on Danny's, trying to convey all he felt even though he could feel himself slipping away. It was impossible to draw air in now, his lungs refused to inflate no matter how hard he tried to inhale. His mind was getting fuzzy, thoughts flitting in and out of his head, but the one constant was his mother's voice, growing louder and stronger as the rest of the world faded out.
"When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane.
When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There's a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain"
"Steve! Come on, focus. Look at me, Steve! Just hang in, helps almost here. Come on, stay with me." Danny was near frantic, watching as Steve's eyes grew listless, his focus drifting in and out, his life slipping away as his breaths grew more shallow and infrequent. He cursed whatever drug was incapacitating his partner, slowly killing him, he cursed the bastard who injected Steve, he cursed the medic team for taking so long to respond. Steve was dying in his arms and there was nothing he could do about it. Bands of fear squeezed around his heart, tears burned tracks down his face as he shook Steve again trying desperately to keep him alert, to keep him alive. When Steve's head rolled to face him again though, Danny's breath caught in his throat. Whereas Steve had looked completely terrified when they had found him, Steve now looked … strangely at peace. The lines of pain and strain on his face were smoothed out and his lips were upturned into a slight smile. Danny had never seen Steve look so tranquil and it scared him. Steve was giving up.
"No! Damn it, McGarrett!" he growled. He could feel the heart beat under his palm slowing, Steve's chest barely rising with each breath. "Do not give up! Do you hear me? Do not give up! Breathe, Steve! Please, just keep breathing!" His voice trailed off into a whispered plea as he pressed his face close to Steve's, whispering in his ear.
"M'sorry," Steve breathed out. He wanted to say more to Danny, wanted to tell him he was sorry for giving up, that he couldn't breathe anymore no matter how he tried, he wanted to tell him about his mother's voice and how it made everything all right. But he couldn't, he no longer had the energy. A heavy weight settled over his chest, the blackness completely overtaking his vision as the strains of his mother's voice rang in his ears.
"Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow,
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me."
Danny knew the moment Steve let go, could feel it in the stilling of Steve's lungs under his hand, saw it in the way Steve's eyes stopped tracking, stopped focusing. And that's when Danny lost it. He screamed Steve's name, shaking him hard, but there was no response. In the distance he could hear sirens and prayed they would hurry up, prayed Steve would take one more breath. Just one more breathe, please! But Steve's chest didn't rise.
"Chin, Kono! Help me!" Danny pleaded as he struggled under Steve's weight. They laid him out flat in the sand and Danny was instantly by his head. He leaned down, cheek brushing Steve's lips trying in vain to feel a rush of air against his skin, but it was absent. He tilted Steve's head back, pinched off his nose and sealed his lips around Steve's, forcing all the air in his lungs into Steve trying to breathe him back to life. He sucked in another lungful and tried again, watching out of the corner of his eye as Steve's chest rose and fell with Danny's efforts, but never regained the rhythm on his own.
Danny kept breathing for Steve even after he was lightheaded, even after he could hear Kono's sobs and Chin's quiet voice, "He's gone Danny". He used all his strength to do compressions, beating Steve's heart for him, no matter how tired and shaky his arms felt. 15 compressions, 2 breaths, check for pulse and breath, repeat. Danny couldn't give up, even if Steve did. Danny would never give up on Steve.
The red and blue lights of the squad cars bounced off surfaces as they screeched to a halt outside Steve's house, the sirens from the ambulance wailed through the night as it sped down the lane. Even with the arrival of help, Danny still breathed, still pumped Steve's heart, and prayed to whatever deity that would listen to keep Steve with them.
"Someday I'll wake and rub my eyes
And in that land beyond the skies,
You'll find me
I'll be a laughing daffodil
And leave the silly cares that fill
My mind behind me"
END PART ONE
To Be Continued Shortly
Lyrics used are from the original version of "Over the Rainbow" by E.Y. Harburg