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: 8,600+ (total); 4,082 for part one; 4,460 for part two
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.
It all happened so fast. One minute Danny was kneeling in the sand, hands pushing furiously against his partner's chest trying to restart his heart, and the next he was being hauled backward by two strong arms. HPD officers had come running around the side of the house guns drawn as they assessed the situation. Two medics pushing a stretcher loaded with equipment rushed over to them and immediately started to assess Steve, short clipped phrases tossed between them.
"Please," Danny begged, struggling against the arms holding him. "He's not breathing. Please, you have to-" His words were choked off by a sob. He leaned forward as far as he could, wrapping both of his hands around Steve's chilled one, latching on and anchoring them both. "Come on, Steve. Stay with me." He whispered as he watched the medics take up CPR.
Danny watched as they hooked a cardiac monitor to Steve's chest; the machine wailed in protest as it produced a flat line. He heard Kono sob behind him, heard Chin whisper a soft prayer as his arms tightened their grip on Danny. But Danny was focused on what the medics were saying, what they were doing.
"Full cardiac arrest, get the defibrillator," one medic barked out as he resumed the compressions.
The second medic grabbed the machine, flipping switches, then grabbing the paddles. "Clear!" he cried out.
Danny dropped Steve's hand and watched in horror as his partner's back arched sharply with the force of the shock. His body flopped limply to the ground and all held their breath as the green line on the monitor jumped then settled back to its flat line. Danny picked Steve's hand back up, squeezing it tight as the medic recharged the machine and resumed CPR.
It took two more shocks before the lines on the monitor kept up a rhythm on their own, before Steve's heart started beating by itself again. It was a slow, irregular rhythm that made them all nervous, but it meant that Steve was still alive, still with them, and that was be enough. But still Steve's chest refused to rise with breath on its own. The one medic kept up a constant squeezing pattern on the ambu bag while the other ripped open packets of tubes. Steve was intubated quickly and an IV bag of fluids started in his left arm before any the medics turned their attention to Danny.
"Sir, do you know what happened to your friend?"
Silence seemed to settle over the bustling yard as everyone paused to hear what had happened to the Commander. Danny glanced around, voice stuck in his throat as he wiped a hand across his face, trying desperately to compose himself. That last few minutes had been terrifying, Steve's life slipping through their fingers so fast, the arrival of help, and the confirmation that, at least for the moment, Steve was alive. He wasn't stable by any means, or out of the woods, but his heart was beating and there was breath filling his lungs. Danny took a deep breath, pulled away from Chin's bruising grip and picked up Steve's hand again, needed the reassurance.
"I don't really know" he confessed. "We found him out here about, I don't know, maybe 15 minutes ago. He was having a hard time breathing and was convulsing on the ground." Danny's voice grew tight with emotion as images swept through his mind. Steve's terrified eyes, his body jerking in the sand, the broken needle sticking out of his skin. "He was attacked, don't know how long before we arrived. He was injected with an unknown substance. Part of the needle is still in his arm, the right one."
The medic moved Steve's arm the slightest, catching sight of the needle and scribbling it down on the clipboard. "Okay, what else can you tell me? What symptoms was he exhibiting when you found him?" The medic watched the three people in front of him, pen poised over paper to take down any useful information.
"He said he couldn't move," Danny murmured, eyes fixed on what he could see of Steve's face. "He was slumped here in the sand. He was having trouble breathing and he was seizing, full body convulsions that lasted a minute or so."
"He was vomiting too" Kono added, voice hoarse with tears and grief.
The medic was about to speak again when a wail from the monitor had him spinning around and assessing the situation. "BP and heart rate are starting to drop," he murmured to the other medic. "We need to move him. Now."
It was all a rush after that. Countless hands moved then, helping secure Steve to the stretcher, hauling the stretcher through the sand and the grass, loading it into the ambulance. And through it all, Danny stayed next to Steve's side, grasping his hand and refusing to let go. Without even asking, Danny climbed up into the ambulance after the medic, only pausing to look out at the numerous officers huddled there, Chin and Kono's worried faces at the forefront of the group. Danny barely had his mouth open to speak when Chin was cutting him off.
"We'll stay here with the crime scene unit, see what evidence we can collect. Stay with Steve. Keep us updated, okay?" Chin closed one of the ambulance doors, hovering in the opening of the second one. His eyes bounced between their unconscious leader on the stretcher and Danny with his frayed nerves and strong grip on his partner.
"Yeah, I will. Let me know what you find, we may need it." Danny croaked out.
With that, the doors were slammed closed and the ambulance sped off toward the hospital.
The worrying, wandering, and waiting was the hardest part of having a loved one in the ER, Danny realized. Up to that point, he'd done everything he could, he'd held Steve and tried to keep him awake, he'd cleared his airway, and started CPR. He'd held Steve's hand in the ambulance, kept up a continuous stream of words the entire ride to the hospital, and ran with the medics alongside the stretcher when they'd arrived. He'd rattled off every useful piece of information his devastated mind could come up with to the doctor in hopes that something in there would save his partner.
"No he's not allergic to any medication that I know of. Yes, he's been treated in this ER multiple times this year already, nothing more serious than broken bones and concussions though. NO! He does not have a drug or alcohol problem! Who the hell are you to ask that? He's a Navy SEAL of fuck's sake! I don't know what he was given or how long ago, I just know that 15 minutes ago he stopped breathing in my arms and I worked him until the paramedics got there. You need to save him!"
And after all of that, Steve's fate was handed over to a room full of doctors and nurses. He heard orders barked out for blood tests and equipment and drugs, watched the chaos of it all as they transferred Steve, and all the equipment attached to him, over to the hospital gurney. Through it all, Steve never moved; Steve's right hand that Danny had been holding only moments ago hung limply off the side of the bed. Danny ached to reach out and grab it, to ground himself and let Steve know he was still there, that he wasn't giving up on him. Ever. But there was a nurse pushing lightly at Danny's chest. Her lips were moving, her face a soft mask of sympathy, as she guided him out of the room. The door to the treatment room slammed closed with such finality, cut off all sights and sounds of his partner.
"Please Detective Williams, there is nothing more you can do for your partner. You need to let the doctors work. I'll come and get you the minute we know anything, okay?" The nurse's quiet voice urged as she guided him to sit in a chair in the waiting room.
Three hours, going on four, later and Danny was still there, hands locked into a fist between his knees, back bowed slightly as he stared at the doors separating him from Steve. Three hours of radio silence from the doctors, of no news from the team, of listening to moans of pain and wails of distress and the frequent swish of the automatic doors as they opened and closed. He was anxious and ready to start hounding anyone he found for answers. The only thing that kept him still and silent was the fact that he had to hold on to the belief that no news was good news at this point. He'd run through every possible scenario his mind could come up with, Steve dying, Steve with permanent brain damage, Steve walking out of the room in the next five minutes with a shit-eat grin on his face perfectly healthy. But whatever his mind came up with, it all came down to one thing. As long as the doctors were back there, it meant Steve was still alive, it meant they hadn't given up hope and still had something to work on.
It was the near the middle of hour four when the automatic doors swished open revealing Chin and Kono. They looked exhausted and worried, but they both had an air of calmness about them as they walked up to Danny.
"Any news?" Kono asked as she pulled Danny into a hug.
"No, nothing yet." Danny replied, squeezing her back before turning to face Chin, giving him a once over and a quick shoulder squeeze. "They kicked me out of the room but I know they were working on identifying the drug he was given. No word on if they were successful or how Steve's doing though."
"We might be able to help with that," Chin allowed his mouth to curve into a small smile as he held up an evidence bag and a small stack of papers. "We found this down by the water. Kono rushed it to the lab and they determined the liquid inside is Potassium Chloride." At Danny's frown, Chin continued. "It's used medicinally in small doses, but it is also one of three drugs used for lethal injection."
"Oh, shit," Danny whispered. He quickly spun on his heels, headed for the doors to the treatment area, Chin and Kono following close behind. "What have to let the doctor know." His voice trailed off as the door opened abruptly in front of him and a doctor appeared, one Danny recognized from Steve's room. His heart clenched tight, his breath seized in his throat as he met the doctor's gaze.
"Detective Williams?" The woman asked, her voice hesitant.
Danny nodded quietly, frozen in place, afraid that the next words out of her mouth would be platitudes and a death notification. Instead, the tension eased out of her face and she smiled lightly at him.
"I'm Doctor Stone, I've been working on Commander McGarrett since he came in this evening." She held out her hand to the three of them, shaking each one. "I apologize for the delay in informing you about the Commander's well-being, but there wasn't much to report until recently. Come with me and we can discuss this more privately."
She started to usher them through the labyrinth of halls, to where Danny didn't know, but he moved off on his own, headed straight for the treatment room where Steve had been. He nudged open the door and slipped inside, watching as a nurse checked Steve's vitals, recording them in the chart. When she saw him, she gave him a smile and nodded towards the chair next to the bed before she left the room.
Danny looked over his partner, at all the machines, wires, and tubes around him. He was pale under the fluorescent lighting, a hint of bruising on his face and arm, around the injection site. He was clean, free of all the sand, sweat, and vomit from before, a gown and blankets covering his form as he lay there peacefully. He was still intubated, his chest rising and falling with each whoosh of the ventilator. The cardiac monitor on the screen seemed more stable than the last time he'd seen it, the lines moving up and down at a faster pace, steadier than before. It was a lot to take in, but it all meant Steve was alive.
Danny sighed in relief, sitting down on the edge of the mattress to take it all in. He heard the door open and soft footfalls enter the room a minute later, but didn't look up at them, he knew who it would be anyway.
"I'm sorry," he murmured. "I just needed to see him, to see that he was alive still." Danny looked over his shoulder then at Dr. Stone, eyes begging her not to make a fuss.
"I understand completely, Detective. You've all been through a very rough night." She smiled at him and closed the door behind her. "The Commander will be unconscious for a while yet so we can stay here and discuss his care if you would like."
Danny nodded, watching as Chin and Kono came up on the other side of the bed, their gazes running over their leader, taking it all in. Kono picked up Steve's hand, squeezing it lightly while Chin's hand came to rest on Steve's calf. Danny followed Kono's lead, let his fingers curl around Steve's wrist and holding on lightly, just enough to feel the thrum of a pulse under his fingertips.
"As I was saying," the doctor spoke softly again. "We just recently identified the substance in his system."
"Potassium Chloride," Danny provided, his initial rush of urgency to inform them coming back to him. "Kono recovered the syringe and our lab just identified it not long ago."
The doctor nodded. "Yes. It was quite a large dose as well. We had been treating the Commander's symptoms as they cropped up, but once we identified the substance we were able to start on treatment. Currently we have him on a calcium chloride infusion as well as sodium bicarbonate and a dextrose, insulin, and saline drip. Once the meds were administered, we saw an improvement in his vitals, as you can see." She motioned to the monitor above the bed, to Steve's steady heart rate and stable blood pressure. "These unfortunately will not remove the excess potassium in his system. Once he is a little more stable, we will start him on hemodialysis."
"Is he breathing on his own?" Danny asked quietly, eyes locked on the tube helping Steve breath.
"No, not yet." The doctor's voice was apologetic. "We aren't worried about that just yet though. One of the effects of Potassium Chloride poisoning is ascending paralysis. Basically, he's temporarily paralyzed. That's why he stopped breathing and why he's not breathing on his own yet, his respiratory muscles are still paralyzed. That should abate completely within the next 12 to 24 hours.
"We're admitting him to ICU for the next 48 hours so we can keep an eye on his vitals and watch for any secondary problems related to the poisoning. We need to keep an eye on his electrolyte balance and any gastrointestinal problems that may arise. The Commander is an extremely healthy individual so I expect his recovery to go well. It's just a precaution though." The doctor trailed off, gaze moving from her patient to the three officers standing guard over his bed. "I'll give you some time alone while we wait for a bed. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask."
The door swung closed behind the doctor but no one in the room moved from their vigil of their leader.
It was just after midnight when a nurse came in and told them they needed to clear out. They all grumbled but bade Steve a quiet goodbye as they moved out of the way.
"We're moving him up to ICU now. Visiting hours don't start until 8am. You can come back then. Go home and get some rest," she chastised them lightly as she unhooked monitors and got Steve ready to be transferred.
Grudgingly, they complied. Danny hailed a cab and waved a goodbye to Chin and Kono as they made their way through the parking lot. Halfway to his apartment, Danny realized that was the last place he wanted to be and redirected the cab driver to HQ. Danny left him a generous tip as he crawled out of the back of the cab and stumbled his way into the offices.
He rubbed his eyes tiredly as he scanned all the evidence that had been recovered, which wasn't all that much considering. He flicked through the documents on the main computer, checking for any new information that he hoped may have come in while they were at the hospital. Danny was sorely disappointed to find that wasn't the case; no new information arrived yet. The lab had recovered some prints, mostly partials and smudges, from the syringe. They were being run through the system but nothing had been identified yet. There were a few eye witness accounts of a person fleeing down the beach, one neighbor remembered seeing a young woman loitering around Steve's an hour before the attack, but none of them gave a good enough description for a sketch. Nothing had been touched in the house or out on the lanai it seemed. The only other piece of usable evidence recovered was a few shoe impressions too small to be Steve's found near the bushes on the property line.
Danny yawned as he closed the file on the computer and made his way into his office. He stretched out on the couch, with the intent of catching a few hours of sleep until something new about the case came in. He pulled out his cell phone intending to set his alarm, but fell fast asleep before he could.
The sun was shining bright in through his office window when Danny opened his eyes again. He groaned, stretching his body out and rubbing his tired eyes. It took quite a bit of effort to haul himself upright, but when he did, he glanced around and caught sight of Chin and Kono out by the computers. Danny stood, body protesting, and glanced at the clock. 8:16 am.
"What the hell?" Danny hissed as he headed out of his office, fully intending to give the two cousins and earful for not waking him up. But before he could, Chin held out a placating hand, effectively cutting off the stream of words.
"Before you ask, we already stopped by the hospital. Dr. Stone told us to come back a little later. Steve had a bit of a rough night. Plus, they have some tests planned for this morning." Chin looked tired, a bit haggard around the edges, as he spoke, but his voice was calm and steady.
"What do you mean 'rough night'?" Danny asked, worry creeping into his voice.
It was Kono who answered this time, sparing her cousin from another round with the Williams glare. "His vitals were a little unstable, his heart rate and blood pressure fluctuating, but they are more stable now. It wasn't unexpected; Dr. Stone did say they would need to keep an eye on him for the next few hours for any other problems. She's not worried though and the tests are just precautionary." Kono laid a hand on Danny's arm then slid a cup of coffee and a bag towards him. "Eat some breakfast, Danny. Then go get changed. We have a few new leads on the case." She said with renewed vigor.
For once, Danny did as he was told.
"Her name is Mei Ch'ang. Her prints were recovered from the syringe, along with a few partials belonging to Steve." Kono informed Danny over the phone. "She's in the system for breaking and entering, and aggravated assault last year. HPD just picked her up at a free clinic downtown. She was there having her broken wrist attended to."
Danny could hear her smirk through the phone as he paced the small hospital room. "She talking yet?" he asked, anger burning deep in his gut.
"No, won't say a word." Chin replied. "We can't find any connection to Steve, but we're pulling up her financials now."
"You think she was hired?" Danny asked, finger nails biting into his palm as he squeezed his fist tighter in an effort not to lash out at the wall.
"Could be. It might take a while to unravel, but we'll get to the bottom of it." Chin answered, pausing slightly. Danny could almost picture him glancing over at Kono, speaking without saying a word.
"How's the boss doing?" Kono's voice asked a moment later. Yep, definitely doing the family telepathy then, Danny smirked to himself.
He glanced over at the bed where Steve was lying. An hour ago a nurse had come in and hooked Steve up to the dialysis machine. He now had two more large tubes that were running out of his right arm, moving his blood in and out. They had ex-tubated him earlier and only a nasal cannula remained in place to support his breathing. Given everything that had happened less than 24 hours ago, Steve looked to be doing pretty damn well. He still hadn't woken up fully, but he had started to open his eyes and make purposeful movements. Dr. Stone told him it wouldn't be long before Steve regained full consciousness, but for now he was still and quiet.
"He's doing good. They started him on dialysis an hour ago. It'll take a few hours, but they said he's already turning a corner." Danny answered, voice soft as he resumed his place in the chair next to Steve's bed.
"That's good news!" Kono's voice was chipper as it came across the line again.
"Definitely good to hear," Chin's voice was more sober than his cousin's, but Danny could detect a hint of a smile there. "We're taking Ch'ang over for booking and then we'll be up. Do you need anything?"
"No, I'm good," Danny replied. "Thanks though."
"No problem, we'll see you soon."
Danny ended the call and slipped the phone back in his pocket before turning his eyes back to McGarrett. This time though, instead of seeing Steve's eyes closed, he was looking into half-lidded blue eyes. A smile automatically broke out on his face as he leaned forward, hand coming to rest lightly on Steve's left arm.
"Hey, Steve. How're you feeling?" Danny asked quietly, eyes searching every inch of his friend's face for pain or discomfort but thankfully found none.
"Danny," he breathed out, voice rough from the abuse his throat had taken over the last day. He grimaced as the words came out, frowning in confusion at his partner.
Danny eased Steve's head up slightly, bringing a cup of water to his lips. Steve sipped gingerly at the lukewarm liquid, managing only a small amount before he sank back into the pillows.
"What happened?" Steve asked, words managing to come out a little smoother this time.
"What do you remember?" Danny urged, wanting to know how much recall his partner had of his ordeal. There was still a lot they didn't know about the attack and he was curious to see if Steve would be able to recollect enough to identify his attacker.
Steve's brow furrowed for a moment before he looked down at his right arm, to the red and swollen injection site. "I was attacked. Drugged." He breathed out. His eyes moved back to Danny's face. "I couldn't move my body, was feeling so sick and was so tired. Then you were there."
Danny nodded along, internally grimacing at how worn out Steve sounded, how unlike their Super SEAL leader he'd come to expect. He guessed he shouldn't have been surprised though, Steve was still recovering after all.
"Yeah, Chin, Kono, and I found you out back in the sand and called for backup." Danny supplied.
Steve nodded his head, face creasing in thought as he tried to speak again. "Did you find 'em?"
Danny smiled at his partner, nodding his head in affirmation. "Yeah, we did. The lab pulled prints off the syringe and got a match. Mei Ch'ang. She was in the system with some priors. Chin and Kono booked her but she's not talking." Danny watched as Steve's face grew even more pensive, mind trying to pull together a clear picture of what had happened. He'd done much the same earlier that afternoon and was frustrated with the holes they still had, and he was thinking clearly. He couldn't imagine how Steve must be feeling, mind still hazy from the drugs and trauma.
"Don't worry, we're on it," he placated. Danny cast a gentle smile in Steve's direction and tried to steer the conversation a different direction. "Is there anything else you can remember?"
Steve's face curved down into a frown again as he searched his murky thoughts for more information. "I remember … the stars, looking up at them and … a lullaby?" He looked at Danny for help, but Danny just shrugged his shoulders, not knowing what his partner was talking about. "Yeah, it was a lullaby my mom used to sing to me when I was little. 'Over The Rainbow'. I remember hearing her voice singing it," he breathed, the tension easing out of his face again at the thoughts of his mother. "I felt so … peaceful." He murmured, eyes closing.
"Yeah, we thought we lost you," Danny whispered to himself, but Steve heard it and snapped his eyes back open. Danny swallowed thickly, keeping his gaze steady on Steve as he spoke again. "You stopped breathing before the medics got there. I-" Danny's voice cracked. He cleared his throat and tried again, "I performed CPR for a few minutes until the medics got there and took over." His voice was barely a whisper but it carried through the otherwise silent room.
"He saved your life, boss." Kono's voice sounded from the doorway startling both men. Chin and Kono moved into the room, coming closer to Steve, squeezing his hand and smiling down at him in relief.
Steve nodded at the cousins, then moved his attention back to Danny. He could read all the emotions there in the man's eyes, all the things Danny was not saying. I was terrified, it was too much, I couldn't bear the thought of losing you, don't ever do that to me again. Steve moved his hand just the slightest so he could capture Danny's hand in his own, giving it a small squeeze as he tried to convey his own thoughts. Thank you for saving my life. I'm sorry I put you through that, I never wanted to hurt you.
Danny's eyes looked suspiciously red, but Steve was sure his looked the same when their gazes broke apart. Danny cleared his throat, a sarcastic smirk drifting over his features as he leaned back in the chair. "Yeah well, I wasn't ready to transfer back to HPD just yet anyway."
Chin and Kono laughed along with him, not mentioning how his chuckle sounded slightly strained. Steve's face morphed into a soft smile even as exhaustion took over once again and lulled him quietly into the darkness. He knew his team would be there when he awoke. They always were.
Author's Note: First, a HUGE thank you again to my beta extraordinaire jamiesdream, whose comments and advice always push me to improve my writing. Love you darling! *hugs*
Secondly, I am not a doctor, nurse, or a chemist. And while I have done a great deal of research on this particular poison, its effects on the body, treatments, etc. some of this information may not be entirely factual. I took some liberties with the information and twisted them to my own liking, but it should still be fairly true to life.
Thank you call for reading and for your wonderful comments. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it so far and hope this last part lives up to your expectations. Please feel free to leave a comment; they are the light of my day reading them. Thanks again!