Rating: PG (Gen)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I profit from nothing. Although if I had my way Steve would be bare-chested even more than he is, we would actually 'see' Danny trying to surf and Kono would be a secret Cylon. That is all.
Summary: Prompt fill for Hawaii_50_hc commentfic meme – kristen999's prompt. After the adrenaline rush is over, even will power can't keep Steve from crashing.
Prompt: After the adrenaline rush is over, even will power can't keep Steve from crashing.
Any type of aftermath situation. Steve working non-stop for seventy hours, or his vest stopped some bullets, had a tough hand to hand fight, involved in a car crash and still went after the bad guy. Just any situation where the shock or pain catches up after the case is over. Any member of the team or the whole team are there, expecting him to collapse and take care of him. Emphasis on comfort please.
They were looking at him. Waiting for him to fall. Fail. He wasn't going to fall. Failure wasn't an option.
'Freeze! Five-0. Drop your gun! I said, drop it! Now!'
Combat left his ears ringing, every single damn time. Even when there weren't explosions, or even gunfire, the moment everything went still and the danger was past, his ears would start ringing. Continue ringing – whatever.
"Let her go! Let her go, now!"
Adrenalin is your friend. Fear is your nitro. Duty, honor and country, your fuel. Every time. All the time. Physical limits can be broken, pushed beyond endurance. The price you pay afterwards is far easier, cheaper than the price of failure. Of giving up.
'Steve! No... shit!'
Pain is in the mind. Nerves firing in the brain. You are your brain. You control the pain. The pain does not control you. Adrenalin is your friend. Pain is your ally. Push through it.
'I swear to God, Steven – I am going to kill you!'
Focus on your goal. Nothing else matters. The goal. The target. Nothing. Else. Matters.
'Do it – please. I really want to shoot you.'
One last explosion of effort. One last push, digging deep into reserves established just for moments like this. So you can look at yourself in the mirror. Meet your teams' eyes. Walk away proud. Certain you did 'everything' possible. Hold nothing back so you have no regrets.
Too many regrets already.
Time snapped back, no longer stretched and elongated, lost in arterial spray-like moments.
Kono. Kono was staring at him, her eyes wide, worried. Pupils wide. Chest heaving. Shirt wet with perspiration. Hands trembling.
"You ok, Boss? You took two..."
"I'm fine. Where's PD?"
"Just pulling in, as are the paramedics. You really need to..."
Steve waved her off, focused on Danny's aggressive handling of the suspects. Well... as aggressive as Danny ever got with a perp when Steve was watching and he'd want the case to stick. Chin was with the kid. Kids. Turning back to Kono, Steve snapped, "Get CPS down here as well. Not immigration, CPS."
Kono blinked, nodded and walked off talking into her phone.
"No regrets," Steve muttered to himself.
They were talking about him. Waiting for him to fall. He wasn't going to fall. He was fine.
Danny was occupied with the kids, keeping them calm while they waited for CPS. Chin was liaising with HPD. Kono? Kono was watching him. Again. It was a little hot, and he was feeling light-headed. A little woozy. Probably needed some water, or something. Why was his hand trembling?
The world tilted momentarily, a snap shot of crazy and then righted itself. It was brighter too, or grayer, maybe darker. No, everything was fine. Right? Kono was closer, a ghost flickering in and out, closer, closer. "Boss?"
Steve licked his lip, tasted blood, waved her off. "CPS?"
"On their way."
Kono flickered again, face changing from smile to frown, smile to frown. Steve blinked and the world did as well. When light returned and the sky was blue again, and the earth back under his feet, someone was touching him, holding his elbow.
"Boss, it's over. The param..."
"Over?" Steve stared at Kono. Someone's hand was on him, touching his skin. Touching him. Kono's lips were moving, the words delayed, nonsensical. "... check you out..." There was a hand on his arm, long thin fingers gently holding him together. The ringing was loud, louder than Kono. "... Boss? ...nny!" It wasn't the explosion that killed you – it was the concussive force of the moving air. A knife didn't murder, it cut a vein and you lost blood until your heart stopped. A pillow didn't suffocate, the force behind it prevented air entering your lungs. Was that right? Why was someone touching him when it was so hard to breathe? Where they making it hard to breathe?
"Oh, for heaven's sake! Sit down already, moron."
Danny. Danny was here. Time snapped again, an elastic band constricting his chest, and warmer, rougher hands guiding him down, onto a box. "Haven't got the sense God gave to a gnat in a heatwave... Steve, Steven... you with us?"
Danny's eyes were really blue. Like glass. He had that crease right between the eyes, the worried crease. The 'I am about to lose it and rant like a fishwife' crease. Steve smiled.
"Go and get an EMT already, Kono. He's smiling." Kono was there, then she was gone. Just Danny – peering into his eyes, poking and prodding, grumbling under his breath. Someone tugged at his shirt, right where the pant line met the vest, sharp, hard.
Steve hissed in protest mixed with pain. "I don't need..."
Danny ignored him, as usual and something tore and a flood of oxygen fuelled pain rushed through McGarrett. Over the pounding and ringing, Steve heard Danny mutter firmly, "You are going to sit here and think happy thoughts, got it. Guns and ammo if you want, but happy, non stressful thoughts."
"I..." The pain wasn't going away, it was now throbbing, alive. But Danny's hands were on his shoulders, his nose inches away. "And you're going to shut up," Danny hissed.
"You're not shouting."
"This is my inside voice, some of us have them, jockstrap." Danny's eye crinkled in humour... or maybe it was annoyance. Annoyed humour.
"You got shot. Twice." The hands, Danny's, clenched hard on his shoulders, anchoring him, tying him down.
"Not forgiven. And don't give me that look!"
The sound of pounding feet on the tarmac roused Steve to his surrounds again. Seagulls overhead, the smell of the docks, hot metal in the sun, spilled oil, whiff of cordite in the air. "Two hits, both centre mass. Knocked him flat on his ass but he got up straight away." Danny.
But Danny wasn't talking to him. Instead there was a flash of white and blue. EMT. "Might have hit his head. Or just finally lost it."
If Kono hit Danny, Steve missed it in the press of pain and smooth, clinical efficient vital checks. The EMT was also quiet, no shouting. Danny was quiet. Maybe there was a sign. 'No ranting by order. Offenders will be spaced.'
"See, he's smiling again. I'm telling you, he hit his head."
"They can't hear you rant in space, Danny."
Danny didn't move the EMT, but somehow loomed closer, face serious. "That's because there's no air, Steven. You were doing a pretty damn fine impersonation of white paint, by the way."
"Wet or dry?"
"Peeling and fading."
There was a shout from Chin. They had found another container of illegals, crammed into a hellhole for weeks, the air thick with fear and death. The need of many outweighed his paint impression, so Steve nodded when the EMT stood. "Go."
The EMT though looked at Danny and said, "No liquids, yet. There might be internal bleeding. Just get him to sit still and wait, ok. The bruising is wicked bad, but I want to check those ribs in five, kay?"
Danny didn't look ok, but there was only one bus and two EMTs, and lots of people in dire need of medical assessment. As the EMT ran off, Steve made an aborted attempt to stand and help. He had field medical training afterall.
"Oh, no no, no... no! You heard him. Sit! Stay. No speak!"
In the end, Danny did the checking himself. Kono helped him get the vest off, wincing in tune with Steve as muscles protested. But instantly, Steve felt better, lighter, more human once the vest was off. Danny was surprisingly gentle as he wrapped the ribs, even though it hurt like an SOB.
"First responder training?" Steve wheezed and Danny rolled his eyes. "Yeah, moron. And I have a kid, so this pretty face is fully certified. Did ride alongs regularly. Now shut up."
At some point, reality returned to well... normal. It still hurt to breath, and something with codeine would be fantastic right about now, but McGarrett was definitely feeling ... better?
"Back with us?"
Danny was sitting next to him on the handy box, shoulder pressed into his, a warm weight of solid 'there'. "I went somewhere?"
The shrug moved them both, a dual 'who the hell knows with you' and Danny sighed, "You and I are going to have a long, long conversation about taking bullets and not staying down."
Steve wasn't looking at Danny, instead he was watching the now crowd of EMTs helping the dozens and dozens of dehydrated, malnourished and sick people, taking them from the desperate dark into the welcoming light. "Will it involve ranting?"
Danny humphed but mumbled instead, "Chin reckons we'll be able to crack this trafficking ring right open. We collared a couple of senior guys."
"Good," Steve sighed. "About damn time."
Nodding, Danny leant back and ran his hand through his hair, messing it even more. The yawn that followed was contagious and Steve fought back the massive one that threatened to swallow him whole and crack his jaw. Abruptly, Danny stood and said quietly, "I'm going to go grab an EMT so you can head to the ER. No arguments!"
Danny ambled off, only a few feet away, still more than close enough to leap on Steve if he bolted, no doubt. But Steve was happy to go with the flow. He was tired, he hurt something fierce and he could seriously use a drink. Alcoholic or not. Maybe something with an umbrella for Danny – something blue or pink. Make that worried look go away.
"You ready, babe?"
Steve reached up and caught the offered hand and let Danny help him up. "Born ready."
"Born stupid, maybe."
"Love you too."
AN: Usually I research medical stuff, but this fic was written during work avoidance and in between answering emails, so I didn't do that. If it's a wee bit off on post-catching two bullets to the vest reality, I apologise but recommend enjoying it anyway.