Title: Against the Wall
Word Count: 2,500
Warnings/Rating T for language and scenes of violence.
Genre: Gen. H/C
Summary:There's no plan. Adrenaline and anger dictate his actions. Danny reaches the door. The fact that it's unlocked, that he's deemed not a threat, fuels his rage.
A/N: I don't know where this came from. Written based on a prompt by desertport
Thank you to ga_unicornfor her wonderful beta.
The pipe juts out of the floor, forcing Danny to sit on the cold cement. He yanks and pulls, trying to rip the damn thing out of the wall. But it doesn't budge and he drags the chain to his handcuffs across the surface.
He curses, rests his weary head against the wall behind him. His ass is numb, both wrists chafed and sore from trying to free himself. He scans the tiny boiler room, a scant ten by ten room covered in mold and layers of dust.
A light bulb above the door is his only source of illumination.
It flickers again, creating bouts of darkness.
Steve cries out in the next room.
Danny vibrates with suppressed rage, buries his fingernails into his palms until they bleed.
The light blinks several more times-then the screaming ends.
A door slams closed, followed by several pairs of footfalls. He presses his ear against the thin plastered wall, listening intently.
"Steve?" He raps on the wall. "Steve!" he repeats more desperately.
"Yeah, you are," Danny breathes, swallowing in emotion. "You hanging in there?"
Dumb question, so dumb, but that's the first thing that pops in his mind.
Translation, I'm really bad off, but won't tell you.
"We're going to get out of here. Chin and Kono have probably activated SWAT teams and HPD. They're probably fighting over who gets to save our asses first and get on the news."
Steve laughs, the sound a tiny boost of morale. Of course Steve can brush this stuff off. He's been highly trained and probably has the manual on the most persuasive forms of torture as bedside reading material.
Then the chuckle turns into a cough and Danny closes his eyes, presses his forehead against the wall. Does whatever he can to keep from yelling in frustration.
He waits until the cough sputters into silence.
Danny's voice sounds so tiny to his ears.
"Tell me...tell me about your plans for Grace's birthday," Steve asks.
Danny nearly falls asleep, head lolling against the wall when the door swings open, startling him awake. He blinks into view the man responsible for their imprisonment.
Boris, that's what Danny has nicknamed the asshole, stands there dressed head to toe in black, taking a drag from his cigarette. He's part of the Russian mob. Muscle sent from the east coast. Squat and heavy set. Hands of a mason builder.
"Detective Williams, have you had enough time to think about things?"
"Plenty. But your accommodations suck and I've been too preoccupied with whether or not I'm going to wake up to find a rat gnawing on my ankle."
Boris blows smoke into the air. "Why waste time, hmm? I am ex-military police. I know all the games. Tell me the location of the safe house and maybe we leave you and McGarrett for your friends to find."
"Alive?" Danny asks.
Boris shrugs. "No, but I promise to make both your deaths quick. A bullet to the head. Merciful."
The brute honesty is like a bucket of ice water.
"I have a comrade, Aton. He is also ex-military," Boris says. "He is not what do you call, easy going? He cannot wait to get back to work. Find out how long it takes to break a big time SEAL, yes?"
"Why not torture me?" Danny snarls, pushed to his feet as far as his low-hanging restraints will allow. "Ask your buddy to see how tough a Jersey detective can be?"
Boris crushes the cigarette with his heel. "You were the one assigned protection duty by the governor."
"Exactly! McGarrett's been in court all week!"
"But you will not tell us what we want to know." Boris pulls out a flask, puts his fingers to his lips. "Sssh" he whispers, taking a swig. "We hurt you. Maybe you talk." He swirls the flask before taking another gulp. "We hurt your friend. The pain inside here is much worse," he says, tapping his heart.
Danny lurches at Boris, the cuffs pulling him up short. "I will kill you," he seethes from a crouch.
"The walls are thin, yes?" Boris taps out another cigarette and pulls out a Zippo. "Is much harder not seeing. Not knowing what is being done?" He takes another puff from his smoke. "Maybe we make the lights flicker more? See if we blow all fuses next time."
"Forget what I said about killing you," Danny growls. "I will hunt you down and-"
"You do not give the orders," Boris hisses. "Tell me what I want to know."
He can't. Sandra Hoffman and her son are innocent victims. Sandra did her duty, gave testimony, and was whisked away into witness protection until a fluke blew her cover.
"I admire your honor, Detective. For whatever it means," Boris says before exiting the room.
Danny can stop things with a sentence, yell the address loud enough to be heard through the wall. He won't though. Won't betray his oath, or betray Steve's sacrifice.
He counts to a hundred and ignores the noise emanating from the room beside him. The basement is old. Built to last a hundred years, the pipe and foundation will remain years after the rest wears away. Danny kicks out awkwardly with his feet, bashing the pipe with his shoes.
He yells in frustration, yanks against the unforgiving thing. Sweat drips down his lips and chin while the last of his energy bleeds into the floor.
The light bulb flashes in a quick sputter and he doesn't hear Steve scream; the horrible silence even worse.
The door to the other room slams close again, laughter echoing in the halls as the men leave.
Danny stares at the wall, rubs the pads of his fingers against the painted surface. "Steve?"
He imagines Steve locked to another pipe, acting all stoic.
"Steve!" Danny yells.
"Just...keep holding on, Danny."
"Holding on? Are you kidding me? I'm not the one..." but he can't say it. Not out loud. And what's with Steve giving Danny encouragement?
"They'll find us...I know they will."
"That's my line," Danny reminds him.
Then it occurs to him that in the hours...had it been a day? Two days? Since being carjacked, Steve hasn't pulled a Houdini, or rattled off any crazy plans about an escape.
Which means Steve's predicament is even beyond his ninja skills.
"If you see a way out...you take it," Steve tells him.
"If I see a way out, I'm taking it, and grabbing your ass on my way out. Don't you start with this falling on your sword crap. We are partners. You hear me? If I go, you go? Capisce?"
"You go; we go? Is...that from Backdraft?"
"Do you really think I'd be quoting movies at a time like this?"
"I...I don't know. It's a good way...to pass the time."
Pass the time. Not escape.
Danny flattens his hand against the wall, tries not to imagine what's on the other side. "Movie quotes, huh? Okay, go ahead. Hit me."
If he listens close enough, Danny can hear Steve breathe. Actually feel the effort it takes to talk.
"Are ya...are you lookin' at me?"
It's a horrible De Niro impersonation.
"Seriously, Taxi Driver, Steven?" Danny mocks.
Boris bangs open the door, crosses the room in two seconds and grabs Danny by the shirt collar. "We grow tired of this, Detective. Give us the address now!"
Danny's responds by headbutting him.
"Chyort voz'mi!" Boris yelps and staggers back. Breathing heavily, he pulls out a Glock, and aims it point blank at Danny. "I should put a hole in your belly. Watch you bleed like a stuck pig."
"Yeah? You're such a tough guy, why don't you take off these cuffs? Settle this Jersey style. Or, are you all bark and no bite?"
It almost works. Boris gets a glint in his eyes, like he wouldn't mind pummeling Danny. Except Danny's no schmoe. He spent half his adolescence at the YMCA gym, learning to box from Tommy 'The Hammer' Hakias.
"No, you sit tight. Aton got his toolbox from his truck. Was very eager to use these." Boris smiles, pulling out a pair of pliers from his pocket. "Maybe we fix the commander's teeth, yes?"
All the blood drains from Danny's face. "I swear to God. If you schmucks use that on him. I will- "
"Will what?" Boris snaps the pliers. Clack. Clack. "Now who is making idle threats?"
Squeezing his eyes closed doesn't block out the noise, doesn't relive Danny of the swell of anger boiling in his gut. The thrum of the blood pounding in his ears.
After the next scream, he can't control it anymore. Danny sucks in a breath, pushes his fingers at the base of his left thumb until it dislocates.
Oh God, it hurts. His eyes water, nausea assails him, but it doesn't matter. Because he pushes the misaligned bones in his thumb, manipulates them until the handcuff slides off his hand.
He finally frees his arms.
There's no plan. Danny reaches the door. The fact that it's unlocked, that he's deemed not a threat, fuels his rage.
Stepping into the hallway, he stops in his tracks as Steve yells out a string of profanities. His pained filled voice harsh and broken.
Danny doesn't think, only runs on pure adrenaline and anger. He kicks open the door and three men turn around at the commotion. Danny smashes Thug One in the face using the handcuffs as brass knuckles. There's a sickening crack and the guy drops, unconscious.
Danny steamrolls toward the second thug, clips him on the jaw with the cuffs, and knocks the gun out of his hand on the downswing.
Diving for the weapon saves his life as bullets strike the wall where Danny's head had been seconds before. His fingers wrap around the Glock and he rolls onto his back, firing at the blob running toward him.
Thug Two's eye go wide as the front of his shirt stains red, his knees smacking the floor. Danny squeezes the trigger at the same time as the remaining thug.
His shots hit home, the force knocking the last guy to the floor.
Danny's heart slams against his ribs as he kicks the gun away from the final body. He's punch drunk on endorphins, the Glock trembling in his hand.
Boris stares up at him in shock, blood dribbles down his lips as he bleeds out from the holes to his fat belly.
Danny sweeps the room. All the bad guys are dead or dying. His gaze lands on Steve and Danny remembers to breathe again.
Steve stares at him through swollen eyes. "Hey."
"Hey," Danny answers, too dumbstruck for complete sentences yet.
"That was...impressive," Steve says. "I would've helped, but..."
"Shit, hold on," Danny stutters, his brain working again.
Steve's literally been chained against the wall. Someone cut away his shirt. His arms are stretched above his head, each wrist tied to the rafter above him. His ankles have been bound together with duck tape to keep from kicking out. It's not until Danny's in front of Steve does he realize that his parnter's been forced to stand on his tip toes, because the beams are too high.
"What did they do to you?" Danny growls.
It's obvious Steve was beaten, his face bruised and bloody. His eyes don't track Danny very well, probably from too many blows to the head. But what has Danny's blood pressure at stroke levels are the fresh burn marks that mar his friend's chest and abdomen.
Instinctively Danny knows why the light bulb had flickered off and on, what could have caused Steve to scream so loudly. But seeing the evidence first hand is a punch to the gut. The pink blotches of skin, the spray hose coiling on the floor, the generator and some jerryrigged torture device on the table next to it.
Then he notices Steve's swollen left hand, all five fingers fat as sausages.
"What the hell is that?"
"That's not nothing, Steven!"
"They broke my fingers. But bones heal, Danny."
It's almost too much. Then Danny remembers Boris and threats of toolboxes and medieval dentistry. "Did they...I mean...God, they had pliers..."
"No, I'm good. I mean, they worked me over, but no, no pliers. I promise."
Danny's lightheaded all of a sudden, his breaths short and raspy, his hands squeezing Steve's shoulders for support instead of getting him the hell free. The room spins out of control, Danny's arms and legs shake so hard, he might just fall apart.
"Danny...Danny, it's alright man. I'm alright. Breathe, brother. In and out. In and out."
Steve's voice cuts through the buzzing in Danny's head, leads him to the here and now. To the rank smell of sweat and blood.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Danny," Steve breathes.
"Sorry?" Danny whispers, raising his head to meet Steve's bruised eyes. "What do you have to be sorry for?"
"Because I've been where you have. And believe me, the pain you're feeling is far worse than mine. I'm sorry I couldn't prevent it."
Danny doesn't have a witty comeback, he wets his lips and takes a deep breath. "That's the job, right?" Because a mother and her son are safe now. Then he realizes that Steve is still tied to a damn rafter. "Hang on."
He finds a knife on one of the thugs and makes quick work of the tape and then the ropes, careful of Steve's mangled left hand. He catches Steve as he slumps against him, taking his weight.
"I...I don't think I can stand," Steve admits.
"Ya think?" Danny chastises, because mocking Steve is easier than thinking too much right now. "Come on, I've got ya."
"Danny, what happened to your thumb?"
"I pulled a page from the McGarrett Handbook," he answers, without elaborating.
He doesn't have time to think about how much that's going to hurt when he hears the faint sounds of sirens outside. They're music to Danny's ears.
He drapes Steve's arm over his shoulder, knowing all of his friend's muscles are probably as useless as jello. Danny doesn't look at the bodies sprawled across the room, ignoring the wall that was both a lifeline and a weapon.
"You know," Steve breathes in Danny's ear. "That handbook you were talkin' about?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
"I might know a thing or two about what to do...when it doesn't cover everything you need to know."
There are shouts of the SWAT team entering the hallway, several 'all clears' echoing in the corridors. Danny recognizes Chin's and Kono's voices above all the chaos.
Now the rescue comes.
Danny doesn't want to remember any of this, but he'll relish being able to sit in the same room where here he can hear and see Steve.
"I think I might like to hear more about that," Danny says, limping them toward the rest of the team.
Written for the hawaii_50_hccomment meme.
Normally, I don't write something so flat out dark, but after this week, I had this need. We've seen this Danny on the show and I wanted to write more of him.