Catch Me When I Fall
By Montez
Disclaimer: Still wishing, sending my letter to Santa early, I've been a really good girl this year-keeping my fingers crossed J

A/N: Got the prompt idea from Tari_Roo, who used it in her story Dug Deep. Hope this follows what the prompt meant, again the images came to me before the actual words, so had to work around that, hope it comes across as the prompt requires. Anyway couldn't pass up a h/c fic idea when it's presented. Oh and please forgive any errors (if really really bad let me know though) anyway get excited when something like this pops in my head and have a hard time waiting to post, forgive me-enjoy reguardless.-Montez

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.

To say it was unusual for them to not be in the same vehicle was an understatement. Danny and Steve were nearly always together inside Danny's silver Camaro. Williams could count on one hand the number of times he'd been in Steve's Silverado, so for the silver car to be flying down the street trailing behind the blue truck was almost as surreal as the call Danny had gotten as he headed for work that morning.

He'd dropped Grace off at school, hence the reason Steve had to find his own way to work that day. They'd been looking for a suspect responsible for the death of an innocent bystander during a drug deal gone wrong and with McGarrett's knack of finding trouble even when he wasn't looking the SEAL had spotted said suspect on his way into work and in true 'running in without back-up' fashion had started a pursuit.

Finally catching up with his partner, having called Chin for additional backup, Danny watched Steve expertly maneuvered the larger vehicle in and around the early morning traffic. For a moment Williams wondered if it really looked that dangerous when Steve drove his car like a maniac. Hell he knew from the passenger seat he'd been scared for his life more times than he'd admit even under fear of a painful death. Yet Danny couldn't help being in awh of his partners driving ability in keeping the much larger truck from hitting any of the cars he was passing, or taking out the numerous items that littered the sidewalk's of Oahu.

The chase finally opened up once they'd reached the warehouse district of the city, speeds increased as less traffic was prevalent. Danny knew Steve was not going to let up until he caught the suspect, so he did his best to keep up while continuously radioing in their positions, since Steve had been quiet on the radio since calling him nearly thirty minutes ago.

Then everything changed in a heartbeat as Danny slammed both his feet onto his break pedal, the Camaro throwing up smoke in protest. Williams watched as the suspect's car made a turn down and slammed sideways into one of the warehouses, the driver jumping out, turning and firing several shots toward the blue Silverado closing in on it, that is when things when into slow motion. Danny watched as Steve jerked the truck, trying to make the turn and avoid the shots fired at him, but then something unreal happened, the truck flipped onto it's side and slide several feet before coming to a rest about twenty feet behind the wrecked suspect's car.

For several seconds it was like ever sound in the world had been turned off as the Camaro came to a screeching halt, in those seconds Danny had grabbed his phone, called again for assistance and an ambulance. All worst-case scenario's played out in Danny's mind as he watched the suspect turn and takeoff down another alley. Jumping from the car, phone still to his ear, he pulled his weapon and took off running. He caught movement near Steve's truck as he got closer and realized quickly it was Steve himself, pulling himself out of the driver's window, dropping to the ground, then after a quick, staggered step Danny watched as Super SEAL took off running after the suspect.

It just added to his theory that McGarrett was superhuman as it seemed the accident didn't even slow him down. Even with possible injuries Steve managed to pull way ahead of Danny, the Jersey natives pace bolted into overdrive, the sound of gunshots throwing an extra shot of adrenaline through his veins. Rounding the corner he saw Steve standing over the now downed suspect, his foot firmly planted in the middle of the guys back. "About time." McGarrett breathlessly said as Danny approached.

"What did you expect? You call me, yell the suspects name and direction before hanging up, hoping I could figure out exactly what you were saying before I had a chance to get a decent cup of coffee this morning. Then I have to follow your crazy-ass driving, hoping the whole time you don't take out a bus load of tourist with that behemoth of a truck you drive. Then I had to watch you flip side truck, before you took off without so much as a word, so excuse me if I'm still trying to process everything that just happened. But I'm here now; get your foot off him so I can cuff him." Danny knelt down, pulling the injured man's arms behind him. Williams was impressed that his partner had only shot the guy in the leg, it was a step in the right direction from his previous, leave no one alive game play.

Danny glanced toward his partner once the cuffs were secured and the sound of back-up finally showing up reached them, "You okay?" His concern going up another notch as he watched Steve try to take a couple of deep breaths, which he seemed to be having some difficulty doing.

"I'm good" Steve said as he turned, making his way back up the alley while HPD flooded the area.

Chin and Kono came running in behind the other officers, seeing a slightly breathless McGarrett and a worried looking Williams coming toward them. "Is that your truck back there on its side?" Chin asked as he watched Steve pass, catching Danny's wordless nod confirming it was.

"Tire blew when he shot at it just as I turned, couldn't stop it." Steve stayed focused on the way ahead. His head was pounding, somehow he knew he'd hit at least the steering wheel when the truck jerked, not sure if he'd hit the side window, he pushed past the pain, vowing to take something once he got back to the office.

Danny's voice pulled his thoughts from working past the pain to his partner, "Then, instead of being like most people who are in car accidents he jumps out and takes off after the suspect."

Anger flashed through McGarrett for a moment as he whirled around, the world spinning just a little further then he did, but he shook it off as he confronted Danny, "What was I suppose to do? Let him get away? I didn't know how far back you were and this was our best chance. Was I just supposed to sit in the truck and wait for someone else to do my job? Sorry if I didn't do what Danny Williams thinks I should have done, but I had a job to do so give it a rest!"

Kono, Chin and Danny just looked at Steve, shocked for a second that he'd become confrontational, he normally didn't let Danny's worry and comments effect him like this, normally he brushed it off with a roll of his eyes. It was then Williams noticed something, "Steve?"

McGarrett knew the moment the words left his mouth he shouldn't be taking the pain he was feeling out on his friends, but his mind couldn't filter what came out as well as it normally did, it was clouding, graying around the edges as the pain in his head and shoulder started to override nearly everything. 'when did my shoulder start hurting?' he wondered to himself as he watched concern flash in Danny's eyes, the blond man taking a step toward him. Steve saw Danny say his name but he didn't hear it, taking a step back, out of his partner's reach. McGarrett knew something was wrong, he just didn't know what.

Danny watched the uncharacteristic response come from his partner, could read the lines of pain that played across his friend's face. He'd known when he saw that truck flip that Steve wasn't going to walk away unscathed, but having seen him take off after the suspect, he'd expected nothing less from the dark-haired man, but now, now Williams noticed something that made his gut twist. Calling Steve's name he'd stepped forward, only for Steve to move back. He could read the expression clearly on his best friend's face, he could tell Steve really hadn't heard him and was now pulling within himself, he watched as McGarrett paled, his eyes taking on a wounded animal look as Danny's suspicions were confirmed when Steve looked from him to his shoulder.

The dark material concealing what Danny had only just saw when the sunlight between the warehouses caught Steve's shirt. They all watched as McGarrett reached a shaking hand toward the now aching body part, then watched when disbelief crossed the commander's face when that same hand came away covered in crimson before he turned his gaze back toward them, locking eyes with Williams, "Danny?"

Williams rushed forward when Steve's eyes locked with his, the barely whispered 'Danny?' being heard as Steve's legs gave out, Danny catching him as he pitched forward. "Damn it…" Danny grumbled as Chin rushed in to help lower Steve to the ground. "Steve?" Williams shook his partner's arm as he reached to check his pulse. He vaguely heard Kono shouting for EMT's over his shoulder.

"What?" Chin glanced at Danny as he watched the younger man pull at Steve's shirtsleeve. It was then Kelly noticed the blood soaked shirt. "What the hell?"

"Steve? Come on man, open your eyes for me." Danny pushed his hand against Steve's wound, surprisingly garnering no reaction from his unconscious friend, which just added to the fear and worry coursing through his body. "I don't know if it happened when the guy shot toward the truck or here in the alley, he ran ahead and before I caught up I heard shots, when I rounded the corner I just figured they were Steve's taking out the suspect, didn't even think that he'd get a shot off. I was more worried about Steve being hurt for wrecking the truck; I only noticed when the sun hit his shirt a certain way." Danny explained as paramedics finally fell in beside him, taking over, Williams reluctantly moving back.

The remaining members of Five-0 were silent as they watched the medics work, "I'm coming with him." Danny stepped forward as the EMTs started to move toward the ambulance that was backed into the alleyway. Taking his keys Danny tossed them toward Kono, "Bring my car."

"We'll meet you there." Chin replied, watching Danny climb into the back, the doors slamming shut as lights and sirens were activated.

Thirty minutes later found Chin and Kono jogging down the hallway toward the surgerical waiting room. "How is he?" Chin asked as he stopped next to Danny, who was sitting forward, head in his hands looking at the generic tiles of the floor.

Looking up Williams looked tired even though it wasn't even noon yet. "Mild concussion from the accident, bullets lodged in his shoulder, they're working on getting it out, he lost a good amount of blood so his blood pressure wasn't good, but they tried to stabilize that in the ER before sending him up here."

"Is he gonna be okay?" Kono asked as she took a seat across from Danny, Chin sitting next to her.

"I guess…probably…hell they really don't know, you know they always try to stay positive, I just…" Danny stood, running his hand through his hair. "I should have known…he never does anything the easy way…why the hell would I have thought today would be any different?" Nervous pacing started, "I knew when I watched his truck flip it wasn't going to be good, but he took off like always, like nothing happened. I didn't even think about him getting shot, hell I rounded that corner and all he said was 'about time', like I'd stopped for malasada's and coffee or something."

Chin rose to try and calm Danny down some, "He did like he always does, that laser focus he gets when he's after someone doesn't let him register anything else. It wasn't your fault, you know that right?"

"I should have seen something was off, I took his 'I'm good' like I always do, because he usually is, but something told me he wasn't, I should have noticed sooner." Running his hand, again, through his already disheveled hair Danny looked at Chin, "I'm suppose to have his back, he got hurt because I hesitated for just a second when I saw his truck roll, it was like I couldn't process what I saw, that put me a few seconds off his reaction time and caused him to enter that alley without me right there."

Chin shook his head, damned if Danny wasn't just as stubborn as Steve when something didn't go like they planned or wanted, "You know what, that's enough." Kelly's sharp tone shocked Danny a moment as a worried smile crossed Kono's face, she'd seen this side of her cousin before, she knew Steve and Danny looked at Chin as the voice of calm and reason of the group and that was because he was, but even Chin could only take so much self-pity.

"Okay, I know you won't stop blaming yourself and even when Steve tells you it wasn't your fault you won't believe him. Just like with him and something happens with you, not everything that happens to you two is the other's fault for not being there, sometimes things just happen. But right now we need to focus on getting Steve better, because you know yourself he is not going to like being cooped up in here so we need to figure out how to keep him down long enough for him to heal. It's not like when he broke his arm, it wasn't much of a hindrance to him, this will be and he's not going to like it. So why don't you take some of that self-pity you have going and help us figure out just how we're gonna take care of his cranky ass once he gets out of here." Chin was almost in Danny's personal space, he'd never seen this side of Chin, honestly didn't know there was a 'this side' of Kelly and a part of Danny was just a little afraid of the older man at the moment.

"Okay." Danny replied, not really sure what else to say, not wanting to provoke the waiting tiger again.

"Good, now I'm going for some coffee." Chin turned and made his way down the hallway, Kono giving a slight chuckle once her cousin was out of earshot.

"Who was that and what did he do with Chin?" Danny said, exasperated by what had just happened.

"It was kind of nice seeing that directed toward someone else." Kono smiled, then her face turned serious, "But he's right you know, if you two keep up with this I hate to see what will happen if something really bad goes down. Like you've told me before, you do your best and that's the best you can do. Steve knows that and we all know he tries to hide it when he's hurt, it's not your fault, it just happened, but you reacted first, you saw it coming so that counts for something."

"I just don't like this, I don't like…" Danny ran his hand over his face as he looked toward the youngest member of the team.

"You don't like being not being in control." She commented quietly.

Danny nodded, "And I've accused Steve of having control issues, guess it works both ways."

"'fraid so brah." Kono replied. Silence settling as they waited for word on Steve.

A few hours later found the team encamped in Steve's private room, perks of being on the Governor's Task Force. The surgery was successful, the bullet only did muscle damage and though he'd lost a lot of blood, with some therapy McGarrett was going to make a full recovery. But the team was still nervous, he'd yet to wake up and even though they'd been reassured that the concussion was mild, they wouldn't be happy until Steve opened his eyes and recognized them.

Kono and Chin had stepped out to make a food run, it was getting late in the day and none of them had had anything to eat; they'd been planning on meeting for breakfast that morning before everything went down. Now Danny found himself watching the little green line blip up and down, thankful for the strong heartbeat it reflected. Williams had tried his best to not get close to anyone once he'd come to Hawaii, he didn't want to be there, didn't want to fit in, the only reason he was there was for his daughter, everything else was a distant second. All that changed once he met Steve, not since his old partner in New Jersey had Danny found anyone who could hold their own against his verbal sparing, or 'rants' as Steve had so often called them, but McGarrett did. Even in those first few hours of their partnership after Danny had been grazed by that bullet, Steve didn't back down once Danny launched into his tirade about apologizing when you get someone shot. McGarrett had thrown in his own brand of snark and a friendship had reluctantly been born. And now, it was a friendship Danny knew he couldn't live without.

"You know you joke about the way I eat going to be the death of me, but you my friend will probably give he a heart attack long before the malasada's do." Danny watched his friend for any reaction. "Do you know what it was like to watch your truck flip like that? Knowing you were inside? Damn it Steve, when are you going to learn you don't have to hide everything?" Williams stared at his hands as he purposely tried to stop them from fidgeting.

"I'm sorry…" It was a quiet, raspy voice that had Danny's eyes searching out his partners.

"What are you sorry for?" Williams was relieved beyond words that Steve's eyes were finally open, watching him.

"When you get someone…shot, you apologize…" McGarrett tried to take a deep breath, wincing when his shoulder pulled as he shifted in the bed.

Danny stood, making his way closer to his friend, resting his hand on Steve's arm, "You didn't get anyone shot this time." Williams was worried that somehow Steve was getting confused about what happened.

"Got myself shot…suspect won't say sorry, so…" Steve grinned a little, pain still plain on his face.

Williams chuckled, "So you're apologizing to yourself?" McGarrett never ceased to amaze Danny.

Steve closed his eye, tiredness caused by the blood loss and concussion trying to pull him under again. "Sorry…scared you." he whispered.

"Didn't scare me." Though Danny knew it was a lie, he'd never admit it to Steve.

"Saw it on your face…just before…" Steve clearly remembered the fear mixed with worry on Danny's face when he hadn't been able to respond, knowing his partner had called his name just before Steve's world went dark. "Thank you," McGarrett's weary voice fading slowly.

Danny leaned over the bed, squeezing Steve's arm gently, "For what?"

"Catching me when I fell." Steve's eyes struggled open, the full weight of the proclamation hitting Danny as he looked into his partner's tired, pain-filled eyes. In those five words Danny knew Steve was telling him, thanking him for more than just what had happened in the alley, it was McGarrett's way of letting his friend know he understood and knew now he had someone that was there for him, would be there when he needed them, would catch him when he fell.

"That's what I'm here for. Now you rest, I'll be here when you wake up." Another gentle squeeze accompanied the reassurance that Steve wasn't alone.

A slight nod the only response as Steve let go and fell back into a peaceful sleep, knowing he was safe, that Danny had his back, that he'd be there no matter what.