Disclaimer: I do not own Hawaii Five-0 or any of its characters.
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Danny wakes to the unmistakable smell of hospital. Pale blue walls come into focus. The tug of an IV in his forearm. A nurse standing near his bed, wearing a bright green blouse, checking his vitals. Steve's face suddenly looms over him, his face taut with concern.
"Danny, can you hear me?"
Danny blinks his eyes. Steve sounds muffled. Distant.
Is there cotton in my ears?
"Danny," Steve says more forcefully. "Danny, open your eyes."
Did I close them?
What's going on?
Why am I here?
Danny tries to jog his memory and attempts to move his arms, but has little success in doing either. He can't remember what landed him here in the hospital, with his brain refusing him access to his memories. He feels like he doesn't have control over his body.
"I'll go get the doctor," he hears a feminine voice say quietly, and he opens his eyes to see a bright green blurry blob exit the room, closing the door behind it.
Is my vision getting worse?
What's going on?
A hand grips his arm.
Is Steve still here?
Danny turns his head. Steve's face is still alarmingly close to his. Danny wants to ask Steve what the hell is going on, but he can't get his mouth to work. His body feels heavy, making Danny feel trapped in the bed with its scratchy sheets and stiff mattress.
Steve looks impatiently at the door, and then back to Danny. Danny waits for Steve's facial expression to soften, but it never does. The same impatience is there, as if he is waiting for Danny to do something.
What, am I not recovering fast enough for you? Tell me what's going on, dammit!
"Danny," Steve says again, some urgency lacing his voice. He leans in even closer to Danny's face.
Steve looks like he hasn't shaved in over a day, the five o'clock shadow turning into more of a late-evening gloom. He looks like he hasn't slept, either. His eyes are red and raw. Creases on his forehead rival those of his trademark 'aneurysm face.'
"Danny, where's Kono?"
Steve's question rattles around in Danny's head as his tired mind tries to make sense of the unexpected query. How is Danny supposed to know where Kono is? Danny is just barely beginning to register where he is, and now he is expected to keep track of the rookie? Where is Chin Ho? Is Steve going to ask Danny where he is too?
"Danny, please focus. Where is Kono?"
Annoyance begins to seep in. Why all this concern about Kono? It isn't Kono who is in a hospital bed. It isn't Kono whose head feels like it was run over by a steam roller. Where is Steve's concern for his partner's well-being?
"How the hell… should I… know?" Danny's voice comes out like a groan.
The door to the hospital room flies open, a loud bang piercing Danny's ears as the door slams against the wall. Another blurry figure makes its way over to Danny's bed. Whispering voices. Worried tones. Getting louder now.
"…says he doesn't know."
"What are we…"
Danny shuts his eyes, sleep calling out softly to him, luring him away from the land of the conscious. The allure of slumber is all too welcoming. He wants to get away from the loud voices. Away from Steve's aggravated glare.
Danny's eyes pop back open without him telling them to.
Chin's face now hovers over him. He looks tired. Troubled.
"Danny, do you know where Kono is?"
Now Danny is impatient.
Clearly I am supposed to know where she is.
He tries to remember. Nothing immediate comes to mind. He summons images of her. Kono surfing. Kono in her office. None of these memories seem recent. Or even real. He tries something simpler. What did he have for breakfast this morning? Eggs? Cereal? Cold pizza? He can't remember that either.
Impatience turns into worry. Worry begins to turn into panic.
He can't remember anything. Nothing!
A hand squeezes his. He yanks it away. Another hand clasps his shoulder. He shouts out. An alarm begins to sound. A flurry of activity around him. Blurry shapes moving in and out. Calming voices telling him to relax.
Why am I here?
Where is Kono?
Now he's infected with everyone's worry surrounding Kono's whereabouts, and he doesn't even know why.
His arm feels warm and a tingling sensation spreads across his entire body. His panic recedes and a new feeling washes over him.
Danny begins to drift away, sleep's jealous nature demanding his full attention now. He gladly gives in, his consciousness ebbing away, succumbing to blissful obscurity.
And Danny begins to dream….
He's standing in Five-0 headquarters, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and his weapon in the other. Laughter is emanating from Steve's office, and Danny suddenly finds himself sitting behind Steve's desk. Chin and Steve are laughing at him. It's not a malicious laugh, but Danny is annoyed nonetheless.
The coffee and weapon are gone. So is the desk. Now he's standing on the side of a random road. His feet are wet. He is hot and sweating. He senses Kono's presence behind him, but he doesn't turn to look at her. He just continues to stare at the motorcycle sitting idly in front of him.
Kono's voice calls out to him, but still he doesn't turn.
"I am not getting on that speeding death trap."
The sound of his own voice surprises him.
More laughter from Steve and Chin.
Kono's yelling out to Danny now. He turns around, but before he sees her face, the motorcycle's engine roars to life and Danny startles awake.
Same hospital room. Same pale blue walls. But this time he is alone.
He brings up his hands to rub his face, surprised when he feels material instead of skin. He carefully moves his fingers around, discovering that his head is wrapped in gauze. He takes stock of the rest of his body. Under his unflattering hospital gown, he finds dozens of scrapes and bruises.
What happened to me?
The simple fact that Danny cannot remember what landed him in the hospital disturbs him more than the myriad of injuries he seems to have sustained. Perhaps he shouldn't be surprised. Ever since he'd become a cop, he'd found himself in the hospital on numerous occasions. But he'd always remembered what had happened to get him there.
This time is entirely different.
He feels his palms begin to sweat. Heat creeps up the back of his neck. Not wanting a repeat performance of last night…
Was it last night? Earlier today? How long had he been asleep?
…Danny takes several deep breaths, forcing his nerves to take a backseat to his logical reasoning. There has to be a rational explanation. Gauze on the head. He has a head injury. Probably a concussion, too, considering the memory loss. Scrapes and bruises. He obviously had been involved in some kind of confrontation. Caught in an explosion, perhaps? He looks down again at the lashes on his arms and legs.
A run-in with the Whomping Willow?
The last time Danny was awake, Steve and Chin had frustrated him with their odd interrogation. But now the taxing silence makes his hospital room feel small, and he begins to wish he had some company. Someone who could possibly shed some light on why he is in the hospital and what all the concern is surrounding Kono's whereabouts.
And so he waits. He wonders if he should call Steve. Is he supposed to be with Grace today? Or is she still in Maui with Rachel?
Danny perks up. Finally! Something he can remember! Rachel took Grace with her to Maui yesterday for a mini-vacation. At least he thinks it was yesterday. In any case, he's comforted by the fact that he remembers something. And though it's one small detail, it's at least a start.
He isn't alone for long before the door to his private room opens and there is Steve, standing in all of his haggard glory. This time there is no impatience. No irritation. But the stress is still there. The tension. And when Steve's eyes meet his, Danny can see the emotions run their course until the mask is put back in place.
It's a simple statement, yet it conveys Steve's feelings that he's trying so hard to hide. Fear. Anxiety. Relief.
Steve makes his way over to the side of Danny's bed, pulling the visitor's chair over and taking a seat. Danny takes note of how Steve's shoulders slump. How his eyes are hollow and preoccupied.
"I'm awake," Danny says, only because he can't think of what else to say.
Steve has at least shaved and is sporting a clean shirt and a pair of cargo pants. He leans in closer, putting his hands on the silver railing on Danny's bed, and he hangs his head, letting out a drawn-out sigh. When he looks back up, a small smile flickers across his face, and for a moment, Danny sees Steve's tired eyes light up. But then it's gone.
"Don't ever do that to me again, Danny."
"Okay," Danny comments. "But it would be helpful to know what it is I'm not supposed to be doing."
"Yesterday," Steve explains, letting go of the railing and leaning back in the chair. "You had a panic attack. Scared the shit out of me. We finally get you back, and then…"
Steve shakes his head then rapidly rubs his face with the palms of his hands, as if he is trying to physically wash away a painful memory.
"What do you mean, 'get me back'? Where was I?"
Steve's hands fall away from his face, and he leans forward again, resting his arms on his knees.
"What do you remember?"
Danny shrugs and then looks away, feeling slightly ashamed. Danny has always prided himself on having a good memory. On being able to remember even the smallest details of crime scenes or testimonies... even flashbacks to his childhood. Right now he can vividly recall every little detail about the first time he met Rachel. What she was wearing. The smell of her perfume. The softness of her skin when they awkwardly shook hands.
And now he can't remember anything about what happened to him or why he is here. And it really bothers him.
"I can't…" he stumbles over his words. "I don't remember anything."
He looks back to Steve to see his partner nodding sympathetically.
Steve looks down at his hands and then back to Danny.
"The doctors say it would be best if you remember on your own. That it's an important process for you to…"
"Screw the doctors, Steven!" Danny shouts, cutting across what was sure to be a very logical explanation on why it's important for the brain to fire its own neurons and other medical jargon crap. Danny closes his eyes against the pain in his head that his little outburst created.
"Please," he says, keeping his eyes shut, his voice pleading, his hands gripping the sheets. "Tell me what happened."
He hears Steve sigh. Then he hears the chair scraping a few inches across the floor. When Danny opens his eyes again, Steve is there, right next to the head of the bed. His jaw is set. His eyes are hard. But he smiles.
"Okay, Danny," he says in a hoarse whisper. "But there is only so much I can tell you. Because up to a certain point, I just don't know anymore. Maybe this will help jog your memory. I hope so…"
He trails off, and then fixes Danny with a small frown.
"Because if you can't remember…. then I'm not sure we'll ever find Kono."
Danny doesn't understand, but before he can ask, Steve begins to tell his story. And Danny hangs on every word, hoping Steve is right…. hoping this will help him remember.