I've been writing SGA/Sheppard fic for a while now, but I've recently become obsessed with…er fallen in love with Hawaii 5-O and this is my first foray into H5O fic writing…hopefully I've done justice to these wonderful characters.
Being of the opinion there can never be too much Danny whump, this is a couple of missing scenes from Episode 1X23 "Ua Hiki Mai Kapalena Pau," or how Danny ended up in a T-shirt instead of a hospital gown.
A huge thank you to JoaniexJony for the beta on this one: You truly helped make this a much stronger piece of writing. Thank you so much for your insightful comments.
Reviews/critiques always welcome and appreciated.
The Trick is to Keep Breathing
One look at Detective Danny Williams' sickly gray pallor, despite the oxygen being supplied by mask, told Dr. Richard Kim everything he needed to know about his patient's condition: he was running out of time and until they learned exactly what toxin the 5-O detective had been unlucky enough to be exposed to, his treatment options were limited. The doctor hoped to hell the 5-O task force was as good as the Governor said it was or they'd be burying one of their own.
"Okay people," Dr. Kim called as his team swiftly transferred their patient from the EMT's stretcher to the trauma room's gurney, "let's get him stabilized and then we'll worry about decontamination."
"His SAT's are bottoming out." Layla, one of the nurses, warned even as she and another nurse stripped their patient of his clothes, efficiently slapped cardiac monitor leads to his chest and wrapped a blood pressure cuff around his left upper arm. The heart monitor shrilled to life, announcing a warning. "He's bradycardic. BP's sixty palp," Layla called out.
"Layla, get 2mgs of Atropine and 10mgs of Diazepam on board then call Respiratory. Lou, prepare to intubate. Keiko, insert a Foley, please," Dr. Kim directed his staff. He nearly ground his teeth in frustration. He was banking on the likelihood that Detective Williams had been exposed to some kind of nerve agent, but in the absence of a diagnosis, he was left treating symptoms, and that would only work for so long. His patient's heart rate had slowed to below fifty beats per minute and his blood pressure was dropping rapidly. Without the right antidote, Detective Williams was simply circling the drain.
Dr. Kim watched with satisfaction as the Diazepam worked its magic and the muscular contractions started to abate. Lou slipped the oxygen mask from his patient's face and guided his chin back with his thumb, forcing his lips open. Efficiently he slipped in the laryngoscope and guided the endotracheal tube down his throat. Within seconds he had the tubing hooked up to the ventilator.
"We've got good breath sounds," Layla confirmed, her stethoscope on Danny's chest.
Lou nodded, completing the procedure by securing the ET tube to his patient's mouth with tape.
"We're ready to decontaminate, Dr. Kim." Keiko said as she finished inserting the Foley. She hung the bag from the catheter on the bottom rail of the gurney.
The isolation room had been designed with a water pressure system and floor drains and it didn't take the staff long to wash any part of Detective Williams' body that might have been the source of the contamination. Quickly they toweled him dry and threw a gown over his midsection in an attempt to preserve some of their patient's modesty.
Dr. Kim eyed his patient, running the symptoms down one by one: convulsions, bradycardia, low blood pressure, respiratory failure, excessive sweating, increased urination. He approached the bed and peeled open Williams' eyelids: both his pupils were like pinpricks. All classic signs of exposure to a nerve agent. The problem was the symptoms fit a number of different agents and the treatment was not the same for all of them.
At that moment, Steve McGarrett, Williams' partner, burst into the room.
"Sarin!" He shouted. "Danny was exposed to sarin. You have to get him on atropine…"
"And pralidoxime chloride," Dr. Kim finished. His team leapt into action, grabbing the medication and injecting it through the I.V. line.
"Is he going to be okay, Doc?" Steve asked, his gaze never leaving Danny's face.
"Time will tell, Detective." Dr. Kim said quietly.
The man barked a laugh, drifting slowly to his partner's side. He swallowed convulsively, his face slightly paling as he took in all the tubes and monitors attached to his friend. "I'm not a detective."
"I'm sorry?" Dr. Kim looked at him in confusion.
"I'm a Navy Seal, not a cop." Steve clarified. "The Governor put me in charge of the Five-O task force and Danny…" he gently placed a hand on Danny's bare shoulder. "Danny always likes to remind me I know nothing about police procedure."
Dr. Kim nodded. "It's early, but we know what we're dealing with now. He has a chance."
"When…when will you know?" Steve glanced up at the doctor, his blue eyes pleading for some kind of reassurance.
"He has a long way to go," Dr. Kim responded softly. He sighed and caught Steve's gaze. "He absorbed the sarin through skin contact, which makes it hard to determine his level of exposure. We'll monitor him closely and continue our course of treatment. He has to hang in there long enough to give the medication time to work."
Steve's gaze returned to his unconscious partner. "He's a fighter. He'll hang on." He squeezed Danny's shoulder. "You hear me Danno? You hold on. You have Grace to think about. She needs her father. If nothing else, you hang on to that."
"We're going to move him up to an intensive care unit, Commander." Dr. Kim lightly touched Steve's arm to direct him out of the room. "Once we get him settled, I'll let you know."
"Take care of him, Doc." Steve said.
"We will," Dr. Kim nodded.
The intensity of the Commander's gaze made Dr. Kim feel sorry for anyone who got on the former SEAL's bad side. As Steve left the room, Dr. Kim slipped his fingers around his patient's wrist, nodding with satisfaction as the pulse felt quicker and stronger than when the detective was brought in.
"That's it, Detective Williams," Dr. Kim said encouragingly to his patient. "Listen to your partner and do what he says, okay?"
Danny's fingers twitched on the bed, although whether it was a residual effect of the muscle spasms or in response to his words, Dr. Kim couldn't tell.
H5O H5O H5O H5O H5O H5O
Danny was choking. He couldn't breathe. He tried to reach up and grab his chest but his arms felt leaden. He tried to talk but nothing came out. He had to warn Steve. Something wasn't right in that house. Body. Dead body. He remembered leaning over it, feeling for a pulse. His fingers had touched something wet and sticky on the man's cheek. And then his nose had started to run, his chest had felt like steel bands had closed over it and he couldn't breathe. His legs had given out and he'd collapsed to the ground. His heart began to race. He remembered now. Before he could stop him, that idiot partner of his ran straight into the house. Completely unprotected. What if he'd been exposed? What if Steve was dead right now?
A noise in the background beat out a staccato pace. A high pitched squeal soon followed. Tactile sensations came back in a rush. His head pounded. Every muscle in his body ached. His stomach roiled as he gagged on something hard and plastic stuck down his throat. His eyes flew open in panic just as he felt fingers slip around his wrist and, eyes blurry, he saw a man he didn't recognize worriedly peering down at him.
"Detective Williams, my name is Dr. Kim. I need you to calm down, okay?" The man said soothingly.
Danny thrashed weakly, tossing his head from side to side as he tried again to speak and failed. He needed to know if Steve was all right. And Grace. Oh shit. What time was it? He was supposed to pick Grace up from school. Where was Grace?
"Detective Williams," Dr. Kim's voice rose warningly as he pressed both hands against Danny's shoulders to keep him still. "Don't try to talk. You have a tube down your throat to help you breathe."
Danny looked desperately at his doctor. He clutched the man's hands, trying to find some way to communicate that he needed something to write on. Someone had to go get Gracie. She had to be scared out of her mind.
Finally the doctor seemed to understand. "Okay, hold on Detective."
Suddenly Danny found a pad of paper under his hand and a pen thrust into his fingers. Shakily he wrote the word Grace on the paper.
Realization dawned in the doctor's eyes. He squeezed Danny's shoulder reassuringly. "Your daughter is fine, Detective Williams. She's waiting outside with your partner Lt. Commander McGarrett. As soon as we get you settled, you can see them both."
Gracie's okay. Steve's okay. Relief flooded through Danny, and he relaxed, closing his eyes against a sudden dizziness that made the room feel like it was spinning. He felt air whoosh into his lungs. It was an odd sensation, he decided, having a machine breathe for him. But after several moments of giving in to it, the dizziness began to subside and he opened his eyes again.
"That's better," Dr. Kim nodded as the monitor readings evened out. "I think we can take that breathing tube out now. Your BP and heart rate have stabilized, your lungs sound better and before you woke up you'd started to exhibit spontaneous breaths. What do you think?" The doctor smiled down at him.
Danny nodded, even as he thought what an idiotic question that was. What did he think? What did he think about having the long plastic tube nearly strangling him pulled inch by inch from his throat? He thought it was barbaric. And just his luck he hadn't remained unconscious long enough to have missed this part.
The doctor patted Danny's shoulder and smiled. "It's a simple procedure, Detective Williams. It'll be over before you know it."
Danny's fingers dug into the mattress. Easy for you to say, he wanted to scream at the far too chipper doctor-he wasn't the one who'd ended up on the wrong end of a Roto-Rooter.
A nurse moved to the other side of his bed.
"My lovely assistant over there is Sarah. We're going to sit you up, okay?" Dr. Kim nodded at the nurse and she began to raise the head of the bed.
When Danny had reached a sitting position, she stopped. Carefully she removed the tape holding the tube to his mouth. "Just sit back and relax Detective Williams," Sarah said warmly. "When we tell you to, we'll need you to breathe deeply and then cough, understand?"
Danny nodded, closing his eyes, content to try and ignore what they were doing.
"Okay Detective Williams, take some deep breaths now," Sarah instructed.
Danny complied, breathing as deeply as he could. It wasn't a struggle like it had been just before he'd collapsed, but he didn't feel completely right yet, either.
"Okay, Detective," Dr. Kim ordered, "cough for me."
As Danny coughed, he felt the doctor pulling the tube out. Again he fought the urge to gag and then it was over. He felt the tube pull clear and suddenly Sarah was fitting something under his nose and around his ears. She secured the tubing under his chin and he felt oxygen begin to flow. He let his head rest against the pillows and was content to just suck in air.
Finally he opened his eyes and croaked. "Wha' happened?" He winced at the pain lancing his throat.
"It's going to hurt for a bit," Sarah smiled sympathetically. "Hold on a sec." She turned away, coming back with a cup and a spoon in her hands. "This will help."
Gratefully Danny opened his mouth and accepted the ice chips. As the ice slowly melted, soothing his aching throat, he looked over at his doctor.
"You were exposed to sarin gas," Dr. Kim explained. "We've been treating you with atropine and pralidoxime, and they seem to be doing the trick. Your vitals have stabilized. You're breathing on your own. We'll continue to monitor you for a while, but it looks like you're through the worst of it."
"Sarin gas?" Danny looked at his doctor in disbelief. "As in biological terrorism sarin gas?" He struggled to sit up. "What whackjob uses sarin gas as his weapon of choice? Over ten years on the job and I don't suffer so much as a hangnail; eight months with McGarrett and I get shot through a window and dosed with a wmd. This never would have happened to me in Jersey."
Danny doubled over, coughing. The movement set off an explosion in his head and had every muscle in his body sparking in pain. He collapsed against the pillows, curling his arms protectively around his chest as he tried to catch his breath.
"Easy Detective," Sarah soothed. "Take slow, deep breaths, okay? You probably want to keep talking to a minimum right now."
Danny rolled his eyes in aggravation. Talking made him feel better. Made him feel like he had some semblance of control. Steve liked to drive. He liked to talk.
As Sarah spooned another ice chip into his mouth, Danny shifted in bed, suddenly becoming aware of another tube located in a most uncomfortable place. Immediately he stilled. He could feel his face flushing red. This was just not fair.
"Uh…Doc?" Danny plaintively waved in the direction of his midsection.
"Sorry Detective, not quite yet," Dr. Kim said sympathetically. "We're keeping you closely monitored for the next several hours. The good news, though, is that I can let your partner and daughter in to see you for a few minutes."
"No," Danny shook his head, almost instantly regretting it as his head began to pound. "I don't want Gracie to see me like this. It'll scare her half to death."
"Are you sure?" Dr. Kim asked. "Sometimes it's scarier to be out there just sitting and waiting."
"I'm sure," Danny was adamant. He closed his eyes and massaged his aching forehead with his fingers. "Please tell her I'm doing fine, but I'm not allowed to have visitors yet."
"Okay, Detective," Dr. Kim sighed. "It's your call. How bad is the headache?"
"Like someone's drilling spikes into my brain," Danny murmured.
"I'll get you something. It'll probably make you a little drowsy," Dr. Kim warned.
"Now you put me out," Danny grumped, glaring weakly at his doctor.
Dr. Kim shrugged an apology, chuckling slightly as he left to retrieve the medication.
Danny slumped tiredly against the pillows and squeezed his eyes shut. The next thing he knew something warm flushed into the crook of his arm, sweeping away the pain and leaving the world in darkness.
H5O H5O H5O H5O H5O H5O H5O
Steve McGarrett hooked his leg around a rolling stool and sat down. His partner was still sleeping. The heart monitor next to Danny's bed beat a steady rhythm. His BP and heart rate were all within acceptable parameters. His SAT's were still a little on the low side, which would explain the nasal cannula resting under Danny's nose. Steve crossed his arms over his chest and sighed. Truth be told, Danny had scared the shit out of him. It was not an experience he ever wanted to repeat.
"Would you stop staring at me already?" Danny's voice was weak and reedy. "I'm not an animal in a zoo."
"Hey partner," Steve smiled.
"Steven." Danny responded, his lips quirking into a smile despite himself. "Wait a second." Worry replaced the drowsiness in Danny's eyes. "If you're in here with me, who's with Grace right now? You didn't let her in here while I was sleeping did you?" Danny's eyes suspiciously darted around the room.
"It's okay, Danny," Steve reached over and touched Danny's wrist. "She's with a nurse's aid getting some food in the cafeteria. You told the doc you wanted her to wait until you felt better. I respect that. But…I needed to see you."
"You needed to see me?" Danny's eyebrow lifted in amusement.
"I needed to see you," Steve repeated, shrugging his shoulders and adjusting his position on the stool. "Last time I saw you, you weren't looking so good. I just needed to make sure that…you know…you were okay."
"And are you…reassured?" Danny swung his head towards his partner. "Because if how I look right now…" Danny arced a hand towards the machines surrounding his bed, "makes you feel better, then I'm a little concerned at how close I just came to dying."
"It was close, Danny," Steve shifted uncomfortably on the stool. "If Jenna hadn't figured out that it was sarin…well let's just say we all owe her a thank you."
"Knew I liked that girl," Danny closed his eyes, letting his head fall back against the pillow. The whistling in his chest had kicked up a notch and breathing was becoming more of an effort.
"You're wheezing again, Danny," Steve noted worriedly. He leaned forward and peered at the display on the pulse oxymeter. "Just breathe for a second, okay? Nice deep breaths."
"Thank you for the definition, Steven, but I know how to breathe," Danny waved a hand at his partner in irritation. He dragged deeply on his oxygen, falling silent until his breath stopped catching in his throat. "You didn't call my folks, did you? Or Rachel?"
"No," Steve said quietly. "I didn't want to call them until we knew..."
"Good," Danny nodded. The tightness in his chest eased and the dizziness began to recede. He breathed deeply and opened his eyes. His relief was short lived. Searing pain lanced his calf, the muscles spasming uncontrollably. He yelped in pain, feebly attempting to reach down and massage his leg.
Steve stood up, moving quickly to his partner's side. "Cramp?" he asked. At Danny's pinched nod, Steve moved the bedcovers aside, careful to avoid the tubing snaking from under Danny's gown down to the receptacle attached to the bedframe. He saw Danny's face go red with embarrassment, but he was in too much pain to resist. "Here?" he asked, digging his fingers into the knot in Danny's leg.
"Yeah," Danny grit out, sighing in relief as Steve's strong fingers worked the muscle until the cramp finally let up. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it," Steve said softly. Carefully he replaced the sheet and blanket. "You were convulsing by the time we got you here. You can expect some residual muscle pain for a while."
"You a doctor now?" Danny groused lightly. He lifted his hand and readjusted the tubing rubbing uncomfortably against his cheek, sorely tempted to pull the damn thing off.
"Hey, don't touch that," Steve chided him. "Sarin does a number on your lungs. And medical training, by the way, is a requirement for Navy Seals."
"Of course it is," Danny irritably let his hand drop down to the mattress. "Any leads on the yutz responsible for ruining my weekend? 'Cause I'm gonna do a number on him if I ever get my hands on him." Danny lifted his hand up, swinging it back and forth in timed rhythm with his words. "Rachel and Stan go to Maui; I finally get a little extra time with my daughter, which I have been looking forward to, by the way, all week, and now, instead of having a tea party with Dolphin Annie or teaching Grace how to properly throw a ball, or barbecuing some wieners while we watch the Yankees, I am stuck in the hospital, with tubes in places where there should be no tubes, Steven, ever."
"Wait a second, go back. Did you just say tea party?" Steve broke into a wide grin. "I thought you didn't like tea."
"Shut up, you" Danny stabbed a finger at his partner. "She's a little girl. She likes frilly dresses and dolls and has tea parties. I'll make sure she's able to kick a boy in the balls if necessary but in the meantime..." Anything else Danny might have said was lost in a spate of fresh coughing. He clutched at his chest and stared helplessly at his partner, his eyes streaming tears.
"Danny!" Steve's eyes widened in alarm. He leaned forward, grabbing his partner's arm. "Jesus. Breathe, okay? Listen to me, for once in your life stop talking and just breathe."
One of the alarms started to bleat just as Dr. Kim rushed into the room.
"I'm okay," Danny wheezed, the coughing finally beginning to subside. He closed his eyes and rested his head against the pillow.
"We were just talking and then he started coughing and couldn't stop," Steve quickly explained to the doctor.
"What did we say earlier about talking Detective Williams?" Dr. Kim asked sternly, silencing the alarm and studying the readouts on the monitors.
"You said not to," Danny scowled, cracking one eye open to look at his doctor.
"Danny, why are your lips moving?" Steve crossed his arms over his chest and smirked. "Uh uh." Steve wagged his finger at Danny when his partner opened his mouth again to speak. "I think I could get used to this. Doc? Could you write a scrip to shut him up for a while? I'm enjoying having the last word for a change."
Danny rolled his eyes and flipped his partner the bird even as he attempted to smother his own grin. "Don't quote me to me," he whispered.
"Commander McGarrett," Dr. Kim said, "can you give me a few minutes to examine Detective Williams?"
"Sure," Steve nodded. "I have to get back to Grace anyway." He placed his hand on Danny's shoulder. "When you're ready, I'll bring her in. You can at least spend the rest of today with her. And…I brought something for you, too." Steve reached behind him, retrieving a package from the bedside table. He placed it on the bed.
"What's that?" Danny whispered.
"A t-shirt," Steve answered. "I thought it might make you feel a little more normal…when you're ready to see Grace."
"Thanks," Danny said softly. He fingered the package and glanced up at his partner. "That was…thanks."
Steve nodded, slowly inching his way towards the door. "Be good. Listen to the doctor. And don't make Grace wait too much longer to see you."
"Steven," Danny stopped his partner before he got to the door.
"Daniel," Steve replied.
"Thank you for taking care of Grace for me," Danny caught and held his partner's eye.
"She's family," Steve said softly.
"I'll make sure you get an invitation to her next tea party," Danny smiled, falling silent at his doctor's steady glare.
Steve chuckled. "I'll hold you to that." He watched for a moment as Danny surrendered to the doctor's examination and then quietly let himself out the door.