Danny was a generous man. Generous with his time and generous with his love. He was the type of guy that no matter what time of day or night you called him, if you needed him, he would come. Sure he might complain about it, do his usual rant, but in the end right by your side is where he would be. He would drop everything he was doing for a friend in need, except of course for Grace. Even then he would still find a way to help you out.
Danny had been this way his whole life. Countless times he had sacrificed his own well being and happiness to help friends and family. Growing up he proved to be a loyal and true friend, someone his family could count on. He never felt taken advantage of. He simply liked being someone that a loved one could turn to for help.
One day Grace would understand just what her father had given up to be close to her. Leaving behind everything that he knew and loved to follow her across the country and out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And although he bitched nonstop about all the horrors Hawaii had to offer, every single person that knew him knew that he would make that move again in a heartbeat.
Now on the island, his new family had quickly found out what having Danny Williams in their lives meant.
Kono realized early on when she had found herself drunk off her ass in the middle of the night without a ride home. Drunk dialing a co-worker was not her best night, but Danny never rubbed it in her face. Although it was 3am and any normal person would flip their shit at being woken up out of a dead sleep, Danny had simply gone to the bar and picked her up. Not only had he gotten her home safely, but he had made sure she passed out in bed and not on the floor, set her alarm for 11 and not 6, made her his famous hangover shake and had come up with a great excuse for her not coming in until early afternoon. No one had been none the wiser about her escapades the night before. Hell, Danny didn't even know the details but he never asked. He simply gave her a small grin and a wink as she strolled into work. She smiled back, nodded her thanks and he never brought it up again.
And then there was Steve. The man who Danny had sacrificed his chance at having his family back again for. Steve knew, he knew what Danny had given up to help him. Unfortunately he hadn't known until it was too late, because true to form Danny hadn't mentioned any of it. Not intentionally anyway. During one of his first visits to Steve in prison, Danny had let it slip that Rachel was pissed at him. Well that was all that Steve needed, throw a dog a bone and all that jazz. He had pestered relentlessly, threatened to cut off Danny's visitation, until Danny finally caved and told Steve what had transpired the night he had broken into the Governors mansion. Steve had asked him why he would make such a stupid move, that he should be with Rachel and Grace. Danny merely shrugged it off, not wanting to get into the emotional turmoil he had gone through when Steve looked at him pleadingly as he was shoved into the back of a police car. There was no way Danny would have left Steve like that, no chance in hell, even if it did mean he was risking losing his family all over again. And he did. He lost them, and it quietly destroyed him.
But that was the enigma that was Danny Williams. His personal happiness always put last, gladly accepting the weight of the world on his shoulders but at the same time never wanting to ask for help himself.
That's why, at this very moment, he was sitting on the back of an ambulance at 2 in the morning, oxygen mask strapped firmly around his face while watching the last of the flames that destroyed his apartment, and several others in his complex, being extinguished...alone. He hadn't made any phone calls, not so much because he didn't think anyone would be there for him, but because he just didn't want to be a bother.
What would he say?
'Hey Kono, I know life has pretty much sucked after you lost your badge and got blackmailed into working undercover for a sleazy IA officer but do you mind taking pity on me and help me sort through the ashes of my life?'
or how 'bout
'Steve, yeah, I know it's the middle of the night and you have a fucking anvil of unsolved mysteries hanging over your head after finding out your father was in cahoots with WoFat but ya think you could take me shopping for some new clothes since mine have disintegrated?'
Bottom line, the people in his life at the moment have enough of their own shit going on, they don't need Danny to pile his fucked up life on top of it.
So he refuses to go the hospital, not needing to add the misery of the emergency room to this cluster-fuck of a night. He waves off the cries of gratitude from his elderly neighbor whom he had rescued from the blazing inferno, for which he earned a nasty case of smoke inhalation. A fire in which he was willing to bet she started with her candle fetish, and heads for what is left of his smoldering apartment. He is in basketball shorts and no shirt, as he was sleeping when his fire alarm began blaring. He gives the fire chief his badge number and insists that he is aware of the risks of entering the remnants of his apartment in order salvage whatever he can.
The smoke has thinned out but still causes him to have a coughing fit. He goes to where he knows his badge, gun, and car keys are, thrilled to find that they are still there, a little worse for wear but there, then tries to scrounge whatever is left of his wardrobe. What is not burnt up is either sopping wet or covered in ashes and soot and he decides it's a lost cause.
It isn't until he sees the crispy remains of a framed picture of Grace that the severity of what has happened dawns on him. He's lost everything. That's when he finally feels defeated. He's standing in the middle of his tiny apartment looking at how his life has literally and figuratively gone up in smoke. It's suddenly hard to breathe. He feels like someone just dropped a cinderblock on his chest. He's not even aware that he's lying on the sodden floor of his living room until a firefighter is standing over him with an oxygen tank. Closing his eyes he greedily breathes in the clean air, when he opens them he's no longer staring up at the charred black ceiling of his apartment, but the clean white ceiling of what he assumes is the hospital.
Danny's told he has a bad case of smoke inhalation (well duh) and that they want to take him for chest x-rays. He opts out, insisting he's fine, that he was simply overwhelmed by the situation which is what caused his collapse. They don't buy it but can't do anything about it when he signs himself out, instead asking if there is anyone they can call for him. He quickly declines and thanks them for the set of scrubs they have so graciously provided for his half naked body, and heads out to catch a cab back to where he assumed his Camaro is still parked.
It's nearly 6 am by the time he has checked himself out of the hospital, rescued the Camaro from his former apartment complex, stopped at the only store open at this godforsaken hour (Walmart of course) to get some clothes and other essentials to hold him over, and arrived at HQ to grab a shower to wash the stink off.
With an exhausted sigh, Danny falls into his computer chair. He's been coughing nonstop since he left the hospital and has already hacked up some nasty black tar from his lungs. He can't really bring himself to care, his life has gone to shit and he has nobody to blame but himself. He's not really sure where he'll go tonight, it's not something he even wants to think about. He rests his head back against the seat and closes his eyes.
"Rise and shine sleeping beauty"
Danny, though startled by Steve's voice, slowly opens his eyes. When had he even fallen asleep?
"What, no wake up kiss?" Danny's throat felt raw and he grimaced at the sound of his own raspy voice.
"Sorry princess, this prince is fresh out of magical smooches"
"What a gyp" Danny croaked.
An attempt to clear his throat sent Danny in to a fit of coughing. A bottle of water suddenly appeared in his line of sight. With a grateful nod he accepted the bottle and downed half of it in one gulp. Steve stood in front of his desk, arms crossed tightly across his chest.
"What's with you? Rough night?"
Danny couldn't help but let out a chuckle at the understatement.
"Somethin' like that"
"Well you sound like shit, and while we're on the subject you look like shit too"
"Flattery will get you nowhere Steven" Danny rolled his eyes and sighed. "What's with aneurysm face?"
It was such a loaded was Danny's chance, his chance to finally do what he could never bring himself to do; ask for help. His throat burned, his eyes felt dry and enflamed and then there was the issue of sudden homelessness. It would be so easy to lay it all on the line, but the more he thought about it the more he really didn't want a pity party. He was a big boy and he would figure it all out.
Steve looked hopeful, like he was eager for Danny to share. It was the same look he had received in Kamekona's car after Steve had broken out of prison and was calling Danny to the carpet for being unhappy. Danny never wanted to see that look again, so he painfully swallowed all the words that threatened to spill and shot down Steves hopes with one word.
Steve opened his mouth to protest but was quickly cut off by Lori bouncing into the office.
"Hey guys, we got a case"
Danny was thrilled for the distraction, noting that Steve was already hot on her trail towards the war room. He let out a sigh of relief and stifled a cough as he followed behind.
How it was humanly possible that Danny got through this day is completely beyond him. He supposes adrenaline played the biggest role for most of it. After being shot at (because what else is new) and engaging in a mile long foot chase which left him vomiting in a dirty alleyway and almost hacking up a lung, Danny could feel exhaustion creeping into his veins. His breathing had become increasingly worse as the day had progressed. But now that the paperwork was just about done and he could begin putting this case behind him, reality set in. He had been so distracted throughout the day that he hadn't given much thought to where he would be sleeping tonight.
There was so much to be done and it was overwhelming. He would need to search for an apartment while finding a way to replace everything he had lost in the fire. There was a few problems with all of this. For starters, when the hell would he find time to go apartment hunting? Working on the governors task force left very little time in your schedule for doing laundry let alone putting back together the pieces of your life. Then there was the money issue. His father always told him 'Son, don't be like me. Set yourself up so you're not living from paycheck to paycheck'. He may have followed that advice if he hadn't used his entire savings to move across the country to a place where the cost of living is utterly ridiculous, factor into that what he pays for child support and Danny is left following in the footsteps of his father.
He could stay at a cheap motel but even the cost of doing that would begin to add up. He would much rather spend the money on a decent hotel when Grace came back. His eyes fell upon the couch in his office. He had caught a few zzz's on it here and there and was always pretty comfortable. No reason he couldn't crash on it for a few days while he came up with a better plan. It was actually pretty darn convenient. He had a locker room with showers, a state of the art coffee machine and he didn't have to make the drive every morning to work. He considered patting himself on the back but it kind of hurt to move.
Pulling himself together he quickly put on his game face as Steve came towards his office. He silently prayed to all that was good and holy that Steve was coming to say goodnight and he could be left in peace, because that couch was seriously calling his name.
"Hey, we're all heading to Side-streets for a few beers...come on, that can wait until tomorrow"
Steve took in Danny's appearance, red eyes, his skin a few shades off and the same cough in place that Danny thought he had been so good at hiding all day.
"Nah, I'm good, you guys go on ahead" Danny was fully aware of how hoarse his voice sounded, he just hoped Steve wasn't.
No such luck. Steve stepped further into the office.
"You really sound terrible Danny, and all kidding aside you look it too. Forget this for now..." He waved a hand at the paperwork "...you really should go take care of yourself. Get some rest"
Steve said it so gently that Danny felt a sharp pang in his chest. He hated anyone worrying or feeling sorry for him.
"Steve I'm fine..." Danny didn't miss the glare of disbelief from Steve. "...seriously, I'm good. I'm gonna head out as soon as I'm finished here. I won't be long."
"Danny, you and I both know that this paperwork could take hours. You need to..."
"You coming boss?" Once again Lori's head popped in. Danny had never been so grateful for the interruption. "We're waiting."
"Yeah, give me a minute" Steve turned back to Danny but before he could start in on him, he raised a hand.
"Go, I swear I won't stay long to work on this" It wasn't entirely a lie. He would be staying but he wouldn't be doing paperwork. He fully planned on passing out the moment Steve left.
"Steve please, the longer you stand there and argue with me the longer it's going to take for me to finish up and go home" He inwardly cringed at the word 'home'. Now he was straight up lying to his partner.
Steve looked like he wanted to protest again but somehow Danny's prayers were answered when Steve nodded in defeat.
"Alright, well you get some rest and I'll see you tomorrow?"
"Where else would I possibly be?" Danny offered a small smile which seemed to placate Steve.
"Go, imbibe" Danny shooed him off. "Have one for me while you're at it"
"Will do" Steve headed for the door, shouting over his shoulder as he went. "Night Danno"
Danny rolled his eyes at the use of his daughters nickname and went back to the paperwork laid out on his desk, but it was mostly for show. He was so incredibly grateful when the shadows of his teammates finally disappeared. He threw down the pen and rubbed at his burning eyes. As badly as he wanted to collapse onto the couch he knew he should go wash up first, his mother never let him go to bed without brushing his teeth first, a policy he had held on tightly to throughout the years. Technically he wasn't going to 'bed' but it was close enough. He pulled a small bag from his desk drawer and rose unsteadily to his feet. The tightness in his chest increased as he swayed in place. Swallowing hard when a wave of nausea hit, he winced at the pain he felt. It was like the worst case of strep throat ever. Once that and the dizziness passed he headed towards the bathroom.
Steve only half listened to Lori as she bragged, yet again, about cases she had worked on prior to joining Five-0. His mind kept wandering to Danny. It wasn't the same without him here. The team was finally back together but with him missing from tonights gathering Steve felt incomplete. He couldn't help but feel guilty for not taking better care of his partner today. He knew from the moment he walked into the office this morning that Danny was feeling pretty shitty. He could see the lines of exhaustion on his face and could hear the strain in his voice. He assumed Danny had come own with some kind of a bug.
He played absentmindedly with the drops of condensation on his beer and nodded at all the right moments of Lori's story as if on auto-pilot. Chin and Kono kept shooting him questioning glances. They knew him well enough to know that he was there in body but not in spirit. Lori didn't seem to notice.
He suddenly had an overwhelming urge to go check on his partner. He knew he had been distracted lately with the new mystery involving his father and WoFat and that he hadn't given Danny the attention he deserved. The past month had been hard on him, Steve knew, and he hadn't been a very good friend. Danny had given up so much to stay and help clear his name after being accused of killing the Governor and Steve had not let Danny know how much that meant to him. He had a flash of telling Danny that he wasn't as alone as he thought he was on this island and felt guilt stir in his gut when he realized that all this time he had gone back on what he had said. And now, tonight, knowing Danny he would have gone home and collapsed in that crappy pullout bed without having even taken so much as an aspirin.
He turned to Kono to quietly excuse himself without interrupting Lori, but before he could speak Kono did.
"Go, make sure he's okay" And she smiled one of her sly smiles. "I'll tell them you had to go"
In that moment he had never been so grateful to have Kono back.
After stopping for several different types of cold/flu/cough medication and some chicken soup Steve turned the corner onto the street where Danny's apartment complex was. As he got closer he could see caution tape blocking the footpath into the complex. A sense of dread came over him. He was even more horrified when he got out of his truck and ducked under the tape.
He couldn't believe what he was seeing. He ran towards the charred remains of Danny's apartment with a moment of fleeting panic until he realized that the fire hadn't just happened, Danny wasn't in there. The building was dark and quiet.
Steve carefully stepped over the threshold of his partners apartment and noted the lingering smell of smoke. The fire couldn't have been that long ago if the scent was still that strong.
"Oh my God" Steve ran a hand over his face as he looked around the remains. It was completely destroyed, the entire contents of Danny's life ashes on the floor. When the fuck did did this happen and why didn't Danny tell him? He grew angry then felt his heart speed up as he had a flash of Danny's face earlier today, could hear the hoarseness in his voice and the hacking cough that had persisted throughout.
"Sir you can't be in here" Steve spun at the voice, finding the fire inspector right outside the doorway.
"Oh, Commander McGarrett, what are you...? I hope the governor didn't call you in on this, no arson suspected. From what I can tell the fire was started by several unattended candles." The inspector shook his head. "Unbelievable right? Crazy old bat in the apartment next door fell asleep with them lit. Good thing for her she had a good samaritan as a neighbor, look what the poor guy got in return for his good deed" He looked around the apartment with pity. "Shame isn't it? Commander?"
Steve was desperately trying to process everything he had just heard.
"When did this happen?" Steve managed to croak out.
"Very early this morning, around 1am"
What the ever loving fuck? Why, why would Danny keep this from him? The better question that popped into Steve's mind was if Danny's apartment had all but burnt to the ground then where the hell was he staying?
"Commander?" The inspector questioned, pulling Steve from his thoughts. Without a word he brushed past him and jogged to his truck.
Without even realizing it, Steve was driving in the direction of HQ. Since he had no other inkling as to where Danny could be, HQ was his first stop. Hopefully Danny was still doing paperwork so he could rip him a new one for not telling Steve about this.
Steve pressed down on the gas, weaving in and out of traffic. He was tempted to turn his sirens on just to get there faster. He was so angry, Danny had spent the entire day with him, even lying to him when Steve asked what was wrong. Did Danny not trust him enough to tell him what had happened? That didn't even make sense. Danny was usually an open book, ranted about everything under the sun. The more Steve thought about it the more he began to realize that whenever something serious was going on Danny usually kept quiet about, deflecting whenever Steve would ask about it. He recalled the whole Rachel fiasco and how he practically had to threaten Danny in order for him to spill his guts. Even then he waved it off as no big deal.
Well this was a big deal and Steve wanted answers.
He felt a wave of relief wash over him when he spotted the Camaro still parked in the lot of HQ. He let his anger carry him out of the truck and up the stairs as fast as he could manage. Pushing open the doors to Five-0 Steve went straight for Danny's office. The light was still on but when he got closer he realized that Danny was nowhere in sight. Doing a quick scan of the other offices Steve went towards the only other place Danny could be.
He heard the sound of water running as he grew nearer to the bathroom but that didn't stop him form slamming open the door and barging in, ready to lay into Danny. Only for the life of him he wasn't expecting to find his partner sprawled out, unconscious, on the cold tile floor.
"Danny?" Steve was by his side in a nanosecond, checking for a pulse. Relieved at finding one, he bent his head down, placing his ear next to Danny's mouth and watched his chest. Panic set in when Steve could only hear a shallow wheezing breath, his partners chest barely rising. He had a flash of the wheezing and convulsing Danny had experienced not too long ago with the Sarin scare and something twisted painfully in his chest. He couldn't do this, not again.
Steve quickly pulled his cell phone out and dialed 911, giving them his badge number and location. He paid no mind to the questions they asked and dropped the phone on the floor, his attention going back to his friend.
"Danny, c'mon man" Steve placed a hand on each side of Danny's head, running his fingers over the back of his scalp making sure he hadn't hit his head when he had fallen. He felt a small bump, no blood, probably not serious.
"Goddammit Danny, what did you do? You gotta wake up buddy, please don't do this"
An hour or so later, Steve sat at Danny's side. He watched the now steady rise and fall of his chest as the ventilator pushed air into it. He had found out, upon arrival to the ER, that Danny had been brought by ambulance to the hospital after the fire. He couldn't believe that Danny had refused medical treatment, asshole. What was he taking a page from the Steve McGarrett handbook? Danny's father was a firefighter for christ's sake. Didn't he know the dangers and ramifications from smoke inhalation?
The doctors had assured Steve that Danny would be just fine in a day or two. They had to intubate because his lungs had become so enflamed that there was barely any room for air to get through. It was extremely tricky just getting the tubing through. If Steve hadn't found him when he did Danny could have stopped breathing all together.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Danny's hand twitch. He immediately looked to Danny's face to see his eyes blinking open.
Danny felt completely last thing he remembered was washing his face in the bathroom at HQ. Where the hell was he and why did he feel like something had crawled down his throat and died? Recalling how difficult it had been to breath earlier, he began to panic when he felt like his entire throat had closed up, stopping his air flow all together. Instinctively he reached a hand up to grab at his neck when he felt it gently being pushed back down.
"Take it easy Danno, it's there to help you. Just relax." Steve's voice was soft but firm. Danny turned his gaze towards his partner, eyebrows knitted together, clearly still in a panic at the unpleasant feeling that he was suffocating. He attempted to lift his hand again but found it was securely held in place on the bed beside him by Steve's solid grip.
"Danny, just let the machine do it's job, it's ok...you're ok. You can breathe, the machine is just helping you do it easier" Danny trusted Steve implicitly, so if Steve said he was ok then he believed him. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to relax. As he did, he found that he could feel the clean air flowing directly into his lungs. It was an odd feeling, but he focused on Steve's voice and finally the tension eased. Steve's grip on his hand loosened but remained wrapped around his own.
Once again Danny opened his eyes, searching out the only other pair in the room. When his gaze landed on Steve, he quickly realized that his partner was just a little pissed. And when he spoke he knew he was in trouble.
"You're an idiot" Steve stated matter of factly. Without the use of his vocal chords, Danny relied on his facial expressions to do the talking for him. He furrowed his eyebrows as if to say 'fuck you'.
"Well you are..." Steve responded, apparently Danny's message had been quite clear. "...And when that thing is removed we are going to have a long conversation about all the ways that you are an idiot, starting with why you failed to mention over the course of the entire fucking day that you're apartment is now a pile of ashes and oh let's not forget about your little rescue mission to save the old lady who caused the fire that ultimately landed you unconscious on a filthy bathroom floor."
He knew it! He knew that crazy lady and her candle fetish was the cause. That's because he was a Detective. He would have smiled proudly at himself if his mouth wasn't otherwise occupied by a rather uncomfortable tube. Wait, unconscious? Bathroom floor? So that's what happened.
"Danny, are you listening to me?" Danny rolled his eyes tiredly, now Steve knew how he felt on a daily basis when he ranted at him about crazy shit he had done. Steve could see as Danny's eyes drooped that his friend wasn't up for the kind lashing he really wanted to dish out. There would be time for that, thankfully, when Danny was better.
"Fine, I'll shut up for now." Danny slowly blinked his eyes in thanks as Steve settled back in his chair.
"Ya know, I'm really blowing an incredible opportunity here" Danny's looked at him in question, he could see Steve trying to hide a smirk.
"I have the chance, right now, to show you exactly what it feels like to be scolded relentlessly and not be able to get a word in edgewise" Danny's eyes turned into small slits as if to say 'you wouldn't dare' causing Steve to chuckle.
"Consider yourself lucky that my concern for your health and well being trumps my want to torture you like you do me" Danny closed his eyes and turned his head away, there was that word that sent a spike of pain into his gut; concern. Now he remembered one of the reasons why he hadn't gone to Steve, or anyone else, after the fire. He didn't want this pity.
"Danny" Steve could see he was pulling away, except he wasn't sure why. When Danny opened his eyes but didn't turn his head back in Steve's direction, Steve knew not to push it. He would get his answers.
"It's ok, just get some rest. We'll talk later"
Midmorning, the next day, Danny sat on the edge of the hospital bed, feet dangling above the floor. Steve was nowhere to be found when he woke up and considered for a moment that he had been delirious and imagined Steve being there the night before. Doctors had come and removed the breathing tube, satisfied that the medicine they had given him had brought down the swelling of his trachea. Danny had proven them right when he had passed several tests to ensure he wasn't in danger of relapsing. He still wasn't feeling 100% but there was no more they could do for him here. The cough would linger for several days and he was told that he should come right back in if his breathing was compromised again. So now he waited for his discharge papers, once again wearing a set of scrubs and wondering where the hell he would go once released. Before he could dwell anymore on the matter a familiar voice echoed in the room. So much for him imagining things.
"Are you supposed to be up?" Steve asked sternly, placing a duffel bag on the chair as he moved to stand in front of Danny.
"Yes mom, I've been given the all clear, they're getting my papers ready for discharge" Steve looked at him disapprovingly as he crossed his arms across his chest. Danny's voice was still raspy and his coloring was still off.
"Are you lying?" Danny tilted his head and sighed.
"No, really, are you? Because you've done quite a bit of that over the last 24 hours"
"I didn't lie" Danny scoffed in indignation.
"No, perhaps I omitted certain things but I didn't..."
"Omitted? Seriously, going with that huh?"
Danny hung his head in defeat. He knew it was a poor excuse, he had lied. Even if It was a lie by omission.
"What do you want me to say?"
"I want to know why"
"Why didn't you come to me?"
Danny dared a glance at Steve's face when the tone of his voice screamed 'hurt' and not angry. His face revealed the same emotion. Danny swallowed hard and lowered his gaze to the floor.
"Did you think I wouldn't be there for you, that I wouldn't drop every single thing I was doing to help you?"
"No, Steve I..."
"I went to your apartment last night" Danny's eyes shot up to Steve's.
"I went to your apartment because I realized what a shitty friend I had been to you lately and I wanted to make sure you were ok..."
Steve thought he had been a bad friend? Why would he think that? Danny was so confused.
"...only instead of finding you passed out on your horrible pull out with a raging fever I find your place burnt to shit!" Steve was yelling now, pacing back and forth in front of Danny.
"Do you have any idea how that felt? Huh? To find out that not only had my partner, who I had just spent the whole day with mind you, had not only been IN a fire but played firefighter and rushed back in to rescue someone? The inspector Danny, I had to hear it from the Goddamn fire inspector!"
Danny opened his mouth to respond but apparently Steve was on a roll.
"So of course I go looking for you, because a) I was going to rip you a new one for not telling me and b) I had a vision of you coughing all day, looking a lot like something the cat drug in. So I go to headquarters, since you had obviously LIED to me all fucking day about what was wrong with you and you obviously had nowhere else to go, and you know what I find?"
This time Danny didn't bother trying to respond although he knew the answer.
"I find my partner, passed out in the fucking bathroom barely breathing" Steve's voice was softer now but filled with emotion.
"And I have this horrible image in my head of that same scenario not too long ago. Twice Danny, twice I had to watch you struggle to get air into your lungs. Two times in less than a month that you were this close to dying" Steve held his pointer and middle finger closely together in Danny's face.
"The only difference is that this time it would have been your own stupid fault"
"My fault? I didn't start that fire Steve. What was I supposed to do, let that lady die?"
"I'm not talking about that, I wouldn't expect anything less from you. I'm talking about you not bothering to mention the fact that you had been in it in the first place, or that you collapsed in the middle of your own dilapidated living room from smoke inhalation. Instead you ran, literally, around the island all day making yourself sicker than you already were. I mean Danny, why? Why didn't you tell me? Better yet, why didn't you call me right after the fire? I would have been there. I would have been here, with you, at the hospital. Don't you know that?" Steve settled into a chair behind him and ran a hand over his face.
"Steve...please don't give me the 'my puppy got kicked' face" Danny tried for levity but was only met with an even more pathetic glare.
"Look, I know you would have been there, okay? I do, but it was not your problem..."
"Not my problem? Are you fucking kidding me? You are one of the few people on this island, hell in the whole world, that I consider family. It is my problem when something happens to you"
"Steve you've had so much shit piled on your shoulders lately, there was no way I was going to add my ridiculous problems to the list..."
Steve shot up out of the chair and pointed a finger in Danny's face.
"Stop doing that. Stop acting like this isn't a big deal. Stop pretending that having your entire life go up in smoke and landing yourself in the hospital isn't a big deal. It is a big fucking deal! And I'm not just talking about yesterday. You pulled the same shit when I was in prison and Rachel left you..again." He knew it was a low blow but if he was doing this he was laying it all on the line.
"You were incarcerated for a crime you didn't commit, my issues with Rachel kind of paled in comparison"
"Don't you dare pretend that losing Rachel again didn't destroy you Danny, don't lie to me. You pushed all of us away, refused to talk to me about it"
"So what, you're my therapist now?"
"No, I'm your friend"
And it was that simple. Those few words left Danny feeling like a complete scumbag.
"Or at least I thought I was. I mean I understand if you didn't confide in Kono or Chin, but I thought we were closer than that"
"We are, it's not about that"
"What's it about then? Why are you allowed to be there for everyone else, and God forbid any of us try to hide something from you, but you can't ask for help? How is that fair to us Danny, to me? Talk to me, please?"
"It's just...I...I don't know Steve okay? I don't know. I don't ever want to be anyones charity case. I don't want people feeling sorry for me, I'm a big boy and I can sort shit out on my own"
"But you don't have to"
"Let me ask you something. When I was arrested, and you let Rachel and Grace go to Jersey alone to stay and help me, was is because you pitied me? Felt sorry for me?"
"Then why? Why did you stay and risk your chance at happiness?"
"Because you're my partner and friend and you were in trouble. I couldn't leave you like that, I had to do what I could to help you"
Steve didn't say a word, he simply stared at Danny waiting for his own words to sink in. When they did Danny finally got it.
"I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry I didn't tell you"
"I'm sorry too..."
"Why the hell are you apologizing? I'm the one that fucked up here"
"I'm sorry because I know I've been preoccupied lately and I'm sorry if I ever made you feel like I was too busy to be your friend..."
"You never made me feel like that Steve. I..."
"Let me finish"
Danny snapped his mouth shut.
"I told you, a long time ago, that you weren't alone on this island" Danny smiled small, remembering how much it meant to him to hear Steve say that back when he was feeling so alone.
"I'm sorry if I ever made you feel like that wasn't true. Danny, you bend over backwards to help all of us, no matter how big or small the problem is. You gotta give us the chance to do the same for you"
Danny mulled over his words. He never thought that he was denying his friends anything by not allowing them to be there for him. In his mind he was saving them the trouble. It would be hard for him to change, but he never wanted Steve to look at him again the way he had today.
"I'll work on it" That seemed to placate Steve, who finally smiled and nodded his head.
"Fair enough" Steve stood and clapped a hand on Danny's arm. "Now, you sure you're okay to get out of here?"
Danny rolled his eyes.
"I'm fine..." Danny immediately stopped speaking at Steve's glare.
"Okay, I still kinda feel like crap and could use another few hours of sleep"
It was now or never.
"Do you think maybe I could stay with you for a few days while I...we...figure out what the hell I'm gonna do?"
Steve's smile was so huge and bright that Danny wanted to laugh out loud. He watched Danny with the same goofy grin for several moments. Steve was pushing it now.
"Steve, speak, before I change my mind and call a cab to a motel" Steve ducked his head and laughed.
"Nah, no need, we got it all sorted out" Steve moved to grab the duffel bag he had carried in earlier.
"What do you mean 'we'? And what exactly did you sort out?"
Steve dropped the bag next to Danny on the bed.
"You got me clothes?"
"Yeah, well, Kono did because I certainly didn't need to be the one picking out your underwear"
"Oh my God" Danny huffed and covered his face. Steve promptly ignored his embarrassment.
"In fact there is a whole new wardrobe waiting for you"
"I'm afraid" Danny grumbled behind his hands. Steve laughed.
"And what may I ask were you doing while Kono was playing personal shopper?"
"Chin and I were very busy getting your room ready"
"At your house I am to assume?"
"You are very presumptuous"
"Yeah well, I knew you'd cave and ask me anyway so.."
"You did huh?"
"Because I know just what the 'kicked puppy' face does to you" Steve smiled proudly at himself.
"Whatever, don't flatter yourself princess. It wasn't because of that, just so you know" Danny grabbed the duffel bag, hopped off the bed and head for the bathroom
"Yeah yeah, you keep telling yourself that"
"Don't go thinking this is permanent, I'm only staying until I find a new place" Danny shouts from behind the closed door.
"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that too. I have many more tricks up my sleeve my friend" Steve shouted back as he began counting down the fingers on one hand.
In the bathroom Danny unzipped the bag and began pulling out clothes. His eyes bulged when he saw boxer shorts with kisses all over them, tan cargo shorts, and a very 'loud' Hawaiian print button down shirt.
Just as Steve got to his final finger...
Steve settled back onto the bed and rested his hands behind his head and smiled as he listened to Danny's muffled rant. He let out a loud chuckle as a stream of curses flowed from his partners mouth. It all meant that Danny was okay. And Steve would make sure he always would be.