The next time Danny woke up he felt cold and numb. He figured he must be in the hospital and wondered how the hell Steve had managed to get him out of the preserve, until he realized he couldn't possibly be in the hospital because he was soaking wet. And only his nose and mouth felt anything close to resembling air.
Fight or flight kicked in and he flailed around until he felt his body being manhandled from horizontal to vertical. A hand came over his mouth and a voice whispered in his ear, "Shh, it's Steve."
"Where...?" Danny tried, but gasped in pain.
"Shhh." Steve's breath was hot in his ear. "We're in the reservoir."
In the reservoir? Danny's brain stuttered on that one for a moment until he was able to open his eyes and realize that everything from his neck down was definitely in the reservoir. He could see a bit better now and realized they were somewhere near the middle of the body of water and slowly floating backwards.
"'S goin' on?" Danny slurred like his tongue was way too big for his mouth all of a sudden. He could feel Steve's arm around his shoulder, palm holding his tee shirt, and where had his jacket gone?
"Keep your mouth above water, just breathe," Steve whispered. "I'm getting you out of here."
That seemed odd to Danny, why they were swimming across the water rather than just going down Power Line Road? He realized he must've asked at least some part of the question aloud when Steve grunted and replied, "Wo Fat's there with two dozen men."
"Perfect odds for you," Danny managed to say with a groggy smile.
Steve's hand flexed over Danny's pectoral muscle and Danny leaned his head back against Steve's. His body was sending him confusing signals and he just couldn't get them to make sense in his brain. Some things seemed to hurt like hell, yet somehow he felt calm and like maybe he wasn't going to die after all. Half of him felt like giving Steve a piece of his mind for moving him when he didn't know the extent of his injuries. The other half of him was grateful as hell that he at least had a fighting chance not to leave Grace fatherless.
All Danny knew for sure in the midst of it all was that he was in the water with Steve towing him to safety rather than Steve off doing what he would normally have done, which was hit Wo Fat and his men with all ordnance available to him. He found himself wondering in a muzzy sort of way what had happened to Steve's vendetta.
He must have drifted off again, because he awoke to bone-jarring movement that instantly had him gritting his teeth. A sharp pain shot from his head down to his tailbone. It took a few minutes for him to realize he was somehow strapped to Steve's back, and that Steve was doing a fairly swift jog along what appeared in the lightening sky to be a dirt road.
Danny grunted and Steve turned his head slightly to where his partner's chin was resting on his left shoulder. "Hey," Steve puffed, before turning his eyes back to the road.
"Mmhhh," Danny countered, voice trembling in time to Steve's footfalls, but sure he'd gotten his point across.
He thought Steve huffed out a laugh.
"This isn't...a road...Danny," Steve puffed back. "A road...is two lanes...with asphalt."
Danny barked out a laugh at the memory, but instantly regretted it as it led to a coughing fit that made his entire body seize. More liquid splatter came out of his mouth.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Danno!" Steve said, coming to a full stop and twisting his face around to look at Danny. "Come on, man, they'll be in for us soon, okay?"
"Shit," Danny breathed. "Mobied me!"
Steve barked out a laugh. "Yeah, actually, that's exactly what I did."
Danny's head was swimming. "To your back?"
"Well, you're short, but you're still a bit big to strap to my front."
There were a thousand things Danny thought of to say, but he just couldn't muster up the energy to get the words out.
"Come on, Danny, I gave you that one," Steve said, shrugging the fabric from his right shoulder and turning quickly to catch Danny as he fell from Steve's body.
"Too easy," Danny mumbled as his partner laid him out flat on the dirt. He was vaguely aware that Steve's hands were roaming over his head and chest and then he felt nothing at all until Steve's face was right in his. "Ugh," Danny groaned.
"Stay with me, Danny, Evac is four minutes out."
Danny could see well enough through his blurred vision, as the sun popped just above the horizon, to tell Steve's face was set in a way Danny didn't like at all.
"He'll keep," was all Steve would say.
"You could've..." Danny coughed and this time for some reason the twist of pain in his torso wasn't quite as sharp. "...killed him."
"Couldn't risk it," Steve replied, smoothing a hand over Danny's hair.
"Odds too great?" Danny whispered, feeling suddenly like he was floating above himself.
"No, I could've taken them. But I wasn't about to gamble with you."
Steve's face bore the only once-before-seen Scared Shitless look, so Danny tried to smile. "Sweet talker," he whispered.
When next he awoke, it was to find himself in an unfortunately all-too-familiar place. The hum of the monitors, the steady beep that told him his heart was still beating. He felt like shit, and as he finally got up the nerve to try and open his eyes, his left leg twitched. That was the moment he realized he could feel his legs again, and he groaned in relief.
Then a concerned pair of eyes were in his line of sight and damn if Steve didn't look like he was wearing Boyhood Christmas Morning Face all of a sudden.
"Hi," Steve said, his voice a low rumble that seemed to vibrate through Danny's body. Every inch of which hurt like hell.
"Hi," Danny croaked.
He was treated to a rare Happy Steve smile, and then an ice chip was between his lips and he sucked at it greedily, barely registering that Steve's index finger and thumb kept popping into his mouth along with it.
At last the ice chip was thoroughly melted and Danny felt like his voice might actually cooperate. "Babies?" he asked.
"Danno," Steve exclaimed, laughter echoing inside his words, "we haven't even kissed yet!"
Danny managed to roll his eyes.
"They're fine, safe and sound with their parents," Steve grinned.
"We're back in business for good," Steve said proudly. "So hurry up and get better, huh?"
"Working on it," Danny sighed as Steve squeezed his hand.
There was silence as Steve lowered himself down to the chair he'd pulled up to the side of Danny's bed. Danny knew it wouldn't be long before the massive doses of painkillers he just knew were dripping in that IV up there put him back under.
"No man left behind, huh?" he whispered.
"Not on my watch," Steve said, and Danny felt his partner squeeze his hand again as sleep tugged him back to its peaceful darkness.