A/N: Written for the Hawaii 5-0 h/c meme on livejournal and also fills the 'surgery' square on my h/c bingo card. Also, this is the first time I've ever written a lengthy Hawaii 5-0 fic, and the first time I've ever written anything pre-slash, so sorry if it's not the best!

xxxx

Danny wakes up with a throbbing ache in his stomach and the shivery hot-cold feeling that comes with a fever. Swearing softly, he fumbles for the phone at his bedside table and brings it up to his face, squinting against the blaring backlight that informs him it's five in the morning then lets his hand drop back down to his side, bringing the other up to scrub at his eyes.

Piss-poor way to start the week off.

He tries to go back to sleep, gingerly rolls onto his stomach in the vain hope that pressure will help ease the pain, but his gut is apparently on the warpath and refuses to settle. Danny finally resigns himself to slowly sitting up, one hand pressed against his stomach, and shuffling to the couch that sits only a few yards away. He's suddenly grateful for how cramped and tiny his apartment is as he eases himself down onto the couch and flips the TV on.

Danny flips through the channels for a while before settling on Little House on the Prairie. If anything will put him to sleep, it'll be Laura Ingalls and her perfect family. Two hours (and two horrible, horrible episodes) later, Danny hasn't gotten a wink more sleep and it's time to get ready for work. He levers himself to his feet with a grunt, knuckles kneading at the persistent ache of his belly, and pulls on his shirt, fumbling with the buttons. He picks out his brightest orange tie, knowing it'll annoy McGarrett, then pulls on his slacks and quickly gels his hair.

He gets to work earlier than usual; earlier, today, than even Steve. Surprisingly though, Kono's already there, head bent over some kind of paperwork.

"Hey Danny," she says, glancing quickly up at him before turning back to the papers scattered haphazardly in front of her.

"Hey," Danny answers, sitting at his desk. He starts looking at the stack of papers in front of him, realizes that it's been a bit longer than usual since he's last done his own paperwork, and blushes in chagrin. He's usually the one grilling everyone else about doing theirs.

"You okay, Danny? You kinda look like crap," Kono says. Danny can hear the concern in her tone and sighs.

"I'm fine, Kono. Thanks for asking," he says, to be polite.

"Mm-hmm," Kono says. "I'm sure. You're holding your side and you look feverish from here."

Danny drops the hand he didn't even realize was still pressed to his stomach and shakes his head.

"I'm good. My stomach's just bothering me a little this morning."

Kono narrows her eyes.

"Could be appendicitis, Danny," she says, her voice grave. Danny rolls his eyes.

"Because I might be running a fever and my stomach hurts? Appendicitis is the go-to solution for any kind of stomach problem the doctors can't figure out. Do you know how many people get their perfectly good appendixes taken out for no reason, Kono?"

Kono shakes her head. "Do you know how many people die because they ignore their appendixes until they explode?" She counters.

Danny rubs at his temple then points threateningly at Kono.

"I'm fine, okay? I don't need you telling everybody my appendix is about to explode."

"You mean you don't need me to tell Steve."

Danny sighs and grits his teeth. "Yes, that's what I mean. I am fine and I don't need you making a big deal out of nothing. I don't want some crazy SEAL coming down on my ass over something I ate."

"Fine," Kono says. "But if I see you start puking, the deal's off."

"Fair enough," Danny says. He isn't nauseous and he hasn't vomited in years. Piece of cake.

xxxx

They're called out to a crime scene, one that Danny can tell straight off is getting to Steve. Hell, it's getting to him too. The body of a former Marine who had apparently gone skydiving was found dangling from a tree, parachute straps the only thing preventing it from plunging to the ground. Of course, the man wasn't reported missing and Steve already suspects someone tampered with the chute, so they're looking at a likely murder. Steve's pissed about it, as he always is when the victim is related to the military; Danny's just trying to keep his shit together and hold down the nausea that has welled up suddenly.

He's irrationally relieved that Chin and Kono are down talking to the local skydiving companies. This situation would be ten times worse with Kono breathing down his neck.

"Hey Danny, can you see when the CSI team is gonna get here?" Steve asks, looking up at the tree.

"What, you aren't gonna climb up there and cut him down?" Danny jibes even as he pulls out his phone. McGarrett glares at him.

"I know better than that, Danny. That could ruin any evidence remaining on the body. I could totally do it, though."

Danny shakes his head. "I have no doubt," he says.

"What does that mean?" Steve demands, shooting a look at Danny.

"It means I'm not surprised you love climbing trees," Danny answers. "You being so monkey-like and all."

"I never said I love climbing trees, just that I could," Steve counters. "And if anyone here looks like a monkey, it's you."

"You keep telling yourself that, McGarrett," Danny says. "I'm going to go do my job and call the CSI guys."

"Yeah, you do that!" Steve yells after him. Danny chuckles at the pathetic comeback and winces as it increases the ache in his stomach. He walks away from the crime scene to get a bit of quiet and has just dialed when the nausea increases dramatically. He hangs up quickly then bends over, retching into the bushes.

Damn it. So much for his record.

xxxx

By the time the team is headed back to 5-0, it's time for lunch and Danny's stomach is aching even worse than before.

"Hey, I already ordered a couple pizzas for lunch," Steve says as they walk into the boardroom. Chin and Kono are there, and both look up at his announcement.

"Okay," Danny says, sinking into a chair with a sigh. After a second he realizes that Chin and Kono are both looking at him curiously, Kono a touch suspiciously. Danny bites back a curse at his fumble; normally, he'd be complaining about the low pizza standard on Hawaii and how much better Jersey is.

Luckily, Steve doesn't seem to notice, launching right into getting details of Chin and Kono's interviews. Kono shoots Danny one more glare before chiming in to Chin's explanation of their trip.

Danny, for his part, finds himself to be surprisingly drowsy, and his eyelids start drooping before Chin even finishes speaking.

"Danno! Pizza!"

Danny startles awake at McGarrett's bellow, blinking rapidly and hissing in pain for a second.

"You have a late night, Danny?" Steve asks with a grin. "You finally get laid?"

"Ha ha," Danny says humorlessly. "You have no idea."

Steve rolls his eyes and hands him a piece of pizza before digging in to his own, eyes glued to the computer screens in front of him. Danny accepts the piece and looks at it, feeling his stomach roll at the mere thought of eating. He can feel Kono's stare drilling into the back of his skull, though, so he takes a small bite, chewing it until it's practically disintegrated before swallowing.

The rest of the day seems to take ages; Danny struggles to stay productive around what he thinks must be a rising fever, not to mention the growing pain in his belly. Steve is focused like a laser on solving the case and doesn't seem to notice anything different. Kono, for her part, helps by volunteering to partner with Steve, leaving Danny to work with the much more mild-mannered (not to mention less crazy) Chin, dealing with the more mundane side of the case.

When he finally goes home at 6:00, he stops in the bathroom to vomit, then collapses into bed with his clothes still on and falls asleep (or maybe passes out, he can't really tell) immediately.

xxxx

McGarrett is annoyed. And frustrated. Danny has yet to show up for work, and this case is an important one, and much as Steve hates to admit it, he could really use Williams' point of view.

"Chin, you heard from Danny this morning?"

Chin shakes his head, frowning, as Kono looks up.

"He wasn't feeling well yesterday, boss," she says. The alarm in her voice startles Steve.

"What?" He asks, a bit more harshly than he meant to.

"His stomach was bothering him. I thought it might be his appendix, but he said he was fine."

Steve is already moving at the word 'appendix,' standing and snatching his car keys off the table and calling Danny. He swears when the phone rings before finally going to voicemail.

"Chin, I want you to have an ambulance on standby," he orders as he heads out of the room. Chin nods curtly, already moving to do as Steve ordered as Steve jogs to his car.

He gets in and pulls out of the parking lot quickly, cursing at any stoplights that dare to remain red in the face of his hurry. He contemplates just running them before deciding that he should probably be at least mildly careful, just because he doesn't want to die before he can get Danny help.

When he finally pulls in to Danny's driveway, he yanks the keys out of the ignition and barrels up to the door, banging it loudly.

"Danny! Danny, open the door!"

He's about to kick the door in when he hears someone fumbling with the lock, and then the door swings open.

"Danny, what's going on?" Steve demands, barging into the apartment. Danny's collapsed on the couch, face red and eyes bright.

"Dunno," he slurs. Steve feels his heartrate skyrocket as he sits next to Danny and presses a palm to his forehead.

"Shit Danno, you're burning up," he says, fumbling for his phone. "Hang on, I'll get the ambulance over here."

"N-no," Danny says, pawing at Steve's hand. "Better now."

"What?" Steve asks, panic dropping his stomach like a stone.

"Was gonna call you. For help," Danny explains. "But stopped hurting."

"What stopped? Your stomach?" Steve asks, tugging Danny's still tucked-in shirt from his waistband. Danny nods.

"Aw, Danno," Steve breathes, looking at Danny's visibly swollen abdomen. "You let it burst, you idiot."

Danny doesn't seem to comprehend what Steve's telling him, because he cries out in pain and curls over his belly again.

"Danny!" Steve barks, pressing his phone to his ear and quickly giving Chin the rundown.

"Hurts again," Danny moans. "Hurts bad!"

"Shit, shit shit shit," Steve mutters, running to Danny's kitchen and getting a washcloth damp. "Hang on, Danny, you're fine."

Danny keeps moaning, shaking his head back and forth and trembling with fever and pain. McGarrett gets back to his side and gently wipes the cloth over his friend's forehead and face before moving down to his chest and stomach.

"Danny, stay with me, okay? You're fine. You're going to be fine. And after you're fine, we're going to have a very serious chat about when you do and do not seek medical help, got it?"

Danny groans again, then blinks blearily up at Steve.

"-can't tell me what t' do," he murmurs. McGarrett grins.

"I sure as hell can," he says. He's dismayed that the washcloth already feels warm and prays for the ambulance to get there quickly.

"Steve!" Danny cries out suddenly, lurching over the side of the couch and vomiting, tears dripping down his face. Steve holds him up and rubs his back and tries to ignore the heat of the body beneath his hands.

Once Danny stops retching, Steve hauls him back up, supporting the smaller man and allowing Danny to squeeze his hand as he rides out the pain.

"You're doing great," McGarrett says as he hears the sound of sirens. "They'll take you in to surgery and fix you right up, good as new."

"…Grace?" Danny murmurs.

"I'll make sure she knows," Steve says.

"Good," Danny says, and goes completely boneless, head lolling onto Steve's shoulder.

"Danny? Danny! Damn it!" Steve shouts, yelling for the EMTs he hears coming up the front walkway.

"You're going to be okay, Danny," Steve mutters, smoothing a thumb over Danno's heated forehead. "Damn it, you're going to be fine or I'll kill you myself."

xxxx

Steve's pacing the waiting room like a lion, his whole body tensed. He's already sent a few nurses scurrying away, and he's about to snarl at another when Kono puts a hand on his shoulder.

"What!" McGarrett barks, whirling around.

"You're going to get us kicked out," Kono says softly. "He's in surgery. They're taking care of him. You need to sit your ass down and let them do their jobs."

"I amletting them do their jobs," Steve grunts. "But someone needs to tell us what the fuck is going on up there!"

"I know you're worried," Kono says. "I'm worried too. But you're going to get kicked out and then you won't get to see Danny, and he'll be all alone."

Steve nods and runs a hand through his hair. "You're right," he murmurs. "I just- I feel so helpless-"

He hesitates a second and Kono thinks there might be tears in his eyes, but they're gone in a flash.

"The doctor said it'll be awhile?"

Kono nods. "They're going to have to irrigate his abdomen and make sure the infection's all out. It'll be a few hours."

"Okay. I'm going to hit the gym. You or Chin will call me if anything changes?"

"Of course."

"Okay. I'll be back in an hour."

xxxx

McGarrett decimates the punching bag for an hour straight, punches it until he's sweaty and achy and exhausted, then heads back to the waiting room.

xxxx

Danno's finally out of surgery, but he looks like absolute shit, and the doctor fully expects him to develop an infection over the next few days. Steve argues (loudly) that if they expect an infection they should be able to stop that infection, but the doctor patiently explains that it doesn't work like that and they'll just have to play it by ear. Steve wishes he could punch the doctor in the face.

Rachel and Grace have already stopped by, Grace with a card in tow and tears on her face, Rachel with the pinched look of someone trying to stay strong for someone else. Steve knows that look well and suspects it might be plastered on his own face.

"Is Danno going to be okay?" Grace whispers. She's tucked up onto his lap, head half-buried in Steve's chest, and Steve can feel her trembling.

"Course he is," he answers with far more confidence than he has. "Your Danno's a tough guy."

"Yeah," Grace whispers. "I bet he could maybe even beat you up."

Steve chuckles and presses a kiss to her hair. "He just maybe could," he says.

xxxx

Two days later, Danny's got a raging fever and cooling blankets and ice packs, including a couple placed over his groin. Steve winces in sympathy when those are placed and chuckles at what Danny would be saying if he were conscious.

"You know, Danny, I actually wouldn't mind a rant from you right about now," Steve murmurs, thumbing one of Danny's heated knuckles. "You just wake up and I'll take it. Won't even interrupt. Once in a lifetime deal, Danny."

Danny doesn't even twitch.

xxxx

Four days after being rushed into surgery, Danny's fever finally breaks. Steve figures he's gotten maybe eight hours of sleep total since Danny's little misadventure started, but he is at full attention the second Danny's eyelids start fluttering.

"Hey Danno," he whispers.

Danny's eyes pry open, then slam back shut, and he groans.

"Bright," he says.

"Yeah, well," Steve says, "that's what happens when you're unconscious for four days."

"Four?" Danny echoes, easing his eyelids open again. Steve shields them for a second to give his eyes time to adjust.

"Yeah, dumbass. You let your appendix burst."

"No kidding?" Danny says, which wasn't the reaction McGarrett was expecting. "Guess Kono was right."

"Yeah, she said she told you your appendix was going to explode. You should've listened to her."

Danny squirms a bit, then winces in pain. "I guess."

"Oh, there's no guessing about it. Since you clearly can't be trusted with your own health, Chin and Kono have both been instructed to come straight to me if they even suspect something might be wrong with you."

Danny groans. "Seriously? You can't do that. Isn't that a violation of my rights?"

"What rights?" Steve says, grinning. "You gave those up, Danny-Boy."

"Damn crazy overprotective SEAL," Danny mutters, glaring up at Steve in a look long since perfected.

"Damn stupid stubborn cop," McGarrett counters. He hesitates a second, then tentatively grips Danny's hand.

"You almost died," he whispers, rubbing his thumb over the back of Danny's hand. "I thought you were actually going to die."

Danny squeezes his hand back and grins.

"Yeah, well, I didn't." He raises his eyebrows suggestively. "Are you going to have to teach me a lesson?"

Steve barks out a laugh and shakes his head.

"Oh yeah," he says huskily. "Soon as we bust out of this place."

Danny smiles and closes his eyes.

"Looking forward to it," he says, falling asleep.

"Me too," McGarrett whispers.