It Never Ends
Disclaimer: See chapter one
A/N: Alas, we have come to the end of our journey. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you guys have been AMAZING with all the reviews, favorites and alerts. You gave me the push to take this just a little further than orginally was envisioned. This last chapter is all Steve and Danny. I'm leaving Joe and Jenna to the Five-0 Gods to see how their parts will play out. This was only meant to play out between the end of the premiere and the second episode, though I may have extended that little time line a bit with all I put Steve through. In my world it's another week before Steve meets with the new Governor (per episode two), because really could Steve ride and look that good on a horse if he was still healing from a stab wound? I don't know if my Steve and Danny are OC in this chapter, but I felt that as thier relationship on the show has progressed a conversation of this sort really isn't out of the realm of possibility. Anyway, Thanks again for everything and hopefully catch ya on the next wave!-Montez
The sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore, the smell of the salty air, the feel of the warm Hawaiian breeze blowing against his face. Never in his life had Steve McGarrett ever thought he'd miss it so much. Yes, he'd missed it dearly when his father sent him away all those years ago, but as with anything that reminded him of his home, of the heartbreak that was there, he'd pushed it aside, locked it so far away that he'd literally lost a piece of himself because of it's absence. His years in the Navy gave him another focus as he continued to perfect the barriers he'd place around himself. That's why he'd joined the SEAL's, then Naval Intelligence, so he could be constantly on the move, never really stationed in one place too long, to never again put down roots, because then that tied you to something, gave you something that could be ripped away from you and he had refused to ever have that happen to him again.
Then he returned home to bury his father and these islands ensnared him again, but he had a mission and tried to not allow himself to 'settle'. But then he met Chin, Kono, Danny and Grace and despite everything he'd done over the years to keep people at arms length those four people had worked their way into his life. So much so he couldn't begin to fathom not having them around him, in his life. He'd inadvertently allowed roots to form again, began to feel that maybe, just maybe there was a place he really did belong and surprisingly enough it had been the very place he'd been sent from so many years ago.
Yet again, in an instant, all that was nearly ripped away because of his own fears, fears that even though he knew he could trust the people he worked with, that he completely trusted Danny, he wasn't about to bring them down with him. He knew he was spiraling, hitting the bottom when he confronted Jameson, well he'd thought that was the bottom until he heard that sliding metallic door slam shut behind him. As the days passed he felt any hope he'd clung to slipping away, Danny was working to find something, anything that would clear him, but Steve knew it would be almost impossible since Danny had been stripped of his badge when Five-0 fell apart.
A ray of hope reappeared when Danny again visited him, bringing the last person Steve ever thought he'd see, Lt. Commander Joe White, probably the only man, besides Danny, that McGarrett trusted completely. But then, less than an hour later, when he was allowed outside the one hour of his day, the fear he'd had since stepping within the wall of the prison came true as Victor Hesse was allowed in the yard with him and stabbed him. Steve's hand drifted to the spot on his abdomen, lightly brushing against the bandages that still covered the area where surgeons had to go in and clean out the potentially deadly infection that he'd ignored that day.
But today was his first day out of the hospital after four very rough days. He'd been told by the doctor's just how close he'd come to death, about his fever, about his heart stopping from blood loss. Yet what had made the last couple of days he'd been awake so much more difficult was the unusual quietness from his partner. Through the haze and darkness of his unconscious state he'd clearly recalled Danny's voice being the one that had chased away the other voices that had tormented him in the darkness he feared so much. It was Danny's voice that had given a hint of light in that darkness that allowed Steve to work his way back to the land of the living, because he knew he could have easily given in to those voices, to the darkness, but his partner's voice, his partner's presence kept him afloat, had saved his life.
"Aren't you supposed to be resting?" Steve couldn't help the small smile that crossed his face as that voice again sounded from behind him.
"Shouldn't you?" Steve had been told how Danny hadn't left the hospital until he'd woken up; he'd seen the lines of fatigue and worry on his best friend's face when he'd finally woken up with a clear head.
"I wasn't the one the nearly died from an untreated infection that he thought he had to hide from everyone." Danny countered as he stayed back a few feet since Steve was standing knee deep in the waters of the Pacific. "You know you really shouldn't go swimming for a while, at least until the stitches are out."
"I know, I just…" Steve's voice trailed off, it was almost a minute before he realized Danny had made his way next to him.
"You just what?" Williams tone quieter than usual, the last weeks had been rough on everyone, but honestly Steve knew it had been the roughest on Danny. Gaining then again losing his family, all the crap Steve himself had dumped into his best friends lap. He almost felt he was letting the other man down by wanting, needing someone to talk to.
Steve glanced at his friend, then back toward the horizon, the waves coming in, surrounding him, shifting the sand under his feet. "I didn't know if I'd ever see this again." He knew Danny really didn't like the beach, the ocean, but to Steve it had become as much of a necessity as air itself. McGarrett looked down at the water that rolled around his legs, "I was beginning to think there was no way I was gonna get out from under those charges. The morning you brought Commander White to the prison I had actually woken up that morning all but resolved to the fact those four walls were going to be my life and I knew deep inside I wasn't going to make it very long, whether by someone getting to me or by my own means, I knew I wasn't going to spend the rest of my life like that."
Steve's voice had been so low Danny had barely heard it over the waves. The admission he heard from the man beside him nearly shook Danny's soul. His partner, his best friend had given up hope and only dumb luck, by a thought that had hit Williams, literally in the middle of the night one night, had given them the help they needed to finally clear McGarrett. But Danny still couldn't wrap his mind around the confession he'd just heard. "What is that suppose to mean? Did you think I was going to give up? I knew damn good and well you didn't kill the governor, Chin knew you didn't, anyone who really knew you knew you didn't do it and we were following every scrap of hear-say evidence we could and you're standing here telling me that you were willing to give up, just like that?"
McGarrett looked at his partner, could see the pain and anger his statement had caused and he knew he needed to try and explain it to Danny. He turned and made his way the few feet out of the water, to the two chairs that sat at the ocean's edge. Easing into one of them, the pain in his side subdued by the pain medication, but still there, Steve waited for his partner to take the chair next to him. "You know, one time you made the comment that my head must be a scary place." McGarrett glanced at Danny, then again toward the ocean. "You have no idea…Danny, the things I've done, I've seen…I know I was only locked up for a week, but everyday felt like a hundred years. Everything that had ever happened to me came back full force, why do you think I stay so active. With me it's a survival instinct, if I am confined for any amount of time; my mind does become a scary place, a very scary place."
Blowing out a deep-breath Steve continued, "I've lost everyone I've ever cared about, yeah Mary's still alive but once we were separated I lost that connection to her. I love her more than anything, but I really don't know her anymore. All I could see sitting in that cell for twenty-three hours a day was how I was pulling the people around me down with me and I couldn't deal with that, didn't want to deal with that. Kono was losing her career before she really had one because of me; Chin had to return to a department that would only ever look at him as a dirty cop and you…" McGarrett's voice trailed off. Yes there had been days in that seven day stretch that Steve had wished Wo Fat had put a bullet in him as he had the governor, it would have saved the people he cared about so much grief.
"What about me? You think that some how things' not working out this time with me and Rachel is somehow your fault? I was living a pipe-dream; I was looking for something that wasn't really there because I can't let it go, trust me that has nothing to do with you." Danny wanted to reach over and knock some sense into his friend, what the hell was Steve thinking.
"If I hadn't done what I did that night, you'd have been on a plane back home, that could have made a difference. Because of me you lost that shot at being happy again." The dark-haired man countered.
"Look, it just means Rachel would have had to tell me the baby wasn't mine to my face instead of over the phone. But honestly do really think I would have, could have walked away from my partner when he needed me the most, or better yet do you think I could have left this damn island and not looked back if you were dead? Did that deal with Mecca teach you nothing? I never, ever give up on my partner. I would go to the ends of the earth to protect the person that I expect to protect me, I would never stop trying to clear your name and I would never stop searching every square inch of this state, hell this damn planet if I had to to track down Wo Fat if you hadn't made it out of that prison alive…God Steven…" Danny stood again; the images and feelings of that day came flooding back again, that image of the doctor trying to restart Steve heart jumped to the forefront of everything else.
Anger flooded Danny at that moment, anger at everything that had happened, "Do you know I watched your heart stop? I had to watch as a doctor climbed up on that damn stretcher and pressed down on your chest with all his strength…ninety minutes Steve…for ninety minutes I didn't know if my partner, my best friend was still alive…do you know what that's like?"
Again Steve's voice was quiet, "Yeah, I do."
That response caught Danny off guard as he watched Steve stand up, covering the few feet between them. "I had to watch as you nearly suffocated to death, remember? I was in the room when those doctors gave you the antidote to counter your Sarin exposure, you had a tube down your throat pushing air into your lungs at the time Danny, so yeah I know what it's like to watch my partner, my best friend nearly die." Williams was silenced, he'd completely forgotten that just weeks ago he, himself had nearly died and that Steve had been right there.
"Okay…" Danny whispered, running his hand over his face, turning toward the ocean.
"Okay…" Steve countered, mirroring his friend's stance next to him.
"We just need to make a deal to never do that to each other again, everything else we can deal with as it comes. Do you think we could do that?" Danny knew he could happily live the rest of his life if he never, ever saw Steve near death again.
"You know I can't promise that, remember I did get you shot the first day I met you. How about we do our best to avoid those situations as much as possible? And if some how we can't we'll always know we'll have each others back, no matter what." It was that aggravating, mischievous smirk that infuriated Danny so much that Steve shot him.
Shaking his head, Danny couldn't help but laugh slightly, "Well I guess that's the best we can do."
Another moment of silence settled, before McGarrett turned and faced Danny, "Thank you."
"Thank you?" Danny faced Steve, crossing his arms, not sure what to expect next. "What are you thanking me for; I thought we just covered everything?"
A seriousness fell over Steve's features that Danny couldn't ever recall seeing and he'd learned nearly all of McGarrett's 'faces' over the near year they'd known each other. "For being there, for pulling me back." Steve glanced at his sand covered feet, emotions and feeling were never something he could easily talk about, but he knew without a doubt it had been Danny's presence that had pulled him from the abyss he was slipping away in while he was unconscious, "Your voice chased away the others." McGarrett wasn't sure exactly how to put it into words. "When I was in the hospital, unconscious, some how I heard you when you'd come into the room. I remember you saying something about me being the death of you…" Steve chuckled at the shocked expression on Williams' face. "I take that look to mean you did say something like that."
"The first time I got to see you after surgery, God you looked so bad…" Images he wished he didn't have streamed into Danny's mind again. "But how?"
"I don't know how, but before I heard your voice I could hear all these others, Anton's, my father's when Victor had him, Hesse's voice, even Wo Fat's and Jameson's. It was like they were taunting me, reminding me of everything I had done wrong, all my failures; I was surrounded by them and darkness. But then I heard your voice and I just knew everything was going to be okay, that I was safe, that you had my back, so…thank you." McGarrett finished, meeting his friend's gaze.
Wow, Danny thought, which was honestly the only thing he could think at that moment. He knew his talkativeness could get annoying, hell Rachel had made that point quiet clearly near the end of their marriage. There had even been a time or two Steve had said he'd pay him money to shut up, but Danny had learned the verbal sparing the two of them did was their way of telling the other they cared, that they were there for each other no matter what. And now, for Steve to say it was his voice that may have saved his friend from slipping away in those early hours of his illness, there really wasn't anything Williams could say. So with all the certainty he had, with all the unspoken 'I'll always have your back' comments, Danny said the only thing that was appropriate.