DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own H5-0 or the characters. I should be that lucky.
A/N: Yes, I know, I suck! I didn't respond to the reviews for the last chapter and I've taken WEEKS to put this up. I am so very sorry for letting you down. The procedure I had in February took longer to recover from than I expected, I had a friend staying for a week and I've found a new job. There wasn't a whole lot of time for writing.
That said, when I did get the time to write this chapter just grew and grew. I wanted to give you quality as well as quantity. There's certainly a lot here and though I debated about splitting it I decided to leave it as one very long chapter. I hope that this final chapter in the A to Z doesn't disappoint.
Z is for Zoothapsis
The four members of 5-0 were on their way to the house of a suspect who had allegedly tried to fill in the gap left in the arms trade when Shane Warner had disappeared. Despite months of searching and false leads the team had been unable to locate Warner and Danny had given up living his life wondering when the man was going to reappear and try, once again, to finish him off.
The man they were about to visit had been low down in Warner's gang of dealers but had somehow managed to escape their raid on Warner's warehouse and then stay below the radar until recently. There was a slim hope that the man might also have an idea where his old boss had vanished to.
"Kono, Chin, go round the back," Steve instructed as they met up just down the road from their suspect's house, "Danny and I'll take the front."
Nodding, the cousins disappeared behind the row of single storey houses and radioed their teammates once they were in place. Steve led the way towards the house and Danny fell into step just to the side of him and slightly behind. The detective would never know if that was why he was the only one to regain consciousness quickly after the house they were approaching exploded.
Danny hadn't been out more than a few seconds and that was probably more from the shock of the impact of his body hitting the ground. It took a few more seconds for him to register what had happened; when he did he quickly pulled out his cell and called for backup, ambulances and fire department. Once that was done he crawled to Steve's side and checked his brother's pulse, holding his breath as he did. He let it out with a whoosh as he felt the strong beat beneath his fingers. Steve had a gash on his forehead but nothing worse. Trying the radio Danny called for Chin and Kono but got no response. He cursed before turning back to Steve, he didn't want to leave him lying there, vulnerable, but the cousins could be badly hurt.
Staggering to his less than steady feet he glanced one last time at Steve before going round to the back of the house, giving the building, which was burning hot, a wide berth. As he rounded the corner he saw both Kono and Chin lying prone on the ground and not moving. His heart shifted from his chest into his throat as he forced his wobbly legs to move faster. Dropping between them he pressed his fingers to their necks searching for a sign that they were both still with him. Another whoosh of air escaped at the relief of feeling both of their hearts were still beating strong.
Having established they were alive he started to look for injuries. Kono had a piece of debris embedded in her upper left arm but it didn't look too bad, though if she was conscious he was sure it would be painful. Chin was lying on his front and the back of his hair was shiny with blood. Danny quickly parted the hair and saw the cut that was causing the bleeding, it wasn't deep and it just followed the standard rule that head wounds bleed like a bitch.
Resting back on his haunches Danny breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, this visit to a suspect's house had gone to hell in a hand basket and they'd need to figure out the how and why, but his ohana were alive and, although injured, would be fine with a little bit of care which he would be happy to provide.
The detective could hear the faint sound of sirens in the distance and knew he needed to get back to the front of the house so he could direct the EMTs to his friends. Pushing to his feet he started to make his way passed the still burning house, the smoke making his eyes water. Perhaps that's why he didn't see the man as he came up behind him, in fact he had no clue there was anyone else there until a hand came round and a cloth was pressed over his mouth. Danny fought for all he was worth knowing that the cloth had chloroform on it from the smell. He held his breath as he struggled but a well-placed elbow to his side caused an involuntary intake of air and before he could do anything else he was out cold and under the cover of the chaos, smoke and flames Detective Danny Williams vanished.
Officers Kai Kealoha and Ani Kale were first to arrive on the scene. They exchanged concerned glances when there was no sign of Danny but hurried to the side of the prone form lying in front of the house. Steve was just starting to come round, groaning as he did.
"Ani, stay here with Steve, I'm going to check round the back," Kai instructed his partner before disappearing, hoping that perhaps Danny was round there as well.
Kai was disappointed to see only Chin and Kono. The older detective was sitting up with his hand on the back of his head with the other resting on his cousin's shoulder trying to keep her from moving.
"EMTs are on the way," Kai informed them as he helped Kono sit up, seeing that there was no way she would stay down.
"Where are Steve and Danny?" asked Chin.
"Steve's out the front, he has a gash on his forehead but looked fine apart from that. He was just coming round as we arrived, Ani's with him."
"Danny?" prompted Kono as she realised that Kai was trying to avoid answering.
"He's not here, but he called for backup so I'm sure he's around somewhere."
The EMT's arrived; once again it was Jake and Andy. They quickly assessed their patients and then gathered the three at the front of the still burning house which the fire department were now trying to deal with.
"Alright, Steve you're lucky. No concussion and the cut doesn't need stitching," said Jake as he put a few butterfly strips over the wound.
"Chin you have a mild concussion and will need to have a few stitches," advised Andy, "Kono you'll need to come to the hospital and get that piece of wood removed and stitches as well."
Steve was relieved that his two team members hadn't been badly injured but he was worried about Danny. He'd been calling him on the radio for the last ten minutes but there had been no response. Kai had arranged a search of the nearby area in case Danny had actually been hurt and collapsed somewhere.
Chin and Kono protested going to the hospital, but Steve ordered them into the ambulance and told them he'd let them know when he had news on Danny so they reluctantly climbed in with Jake.
Steve stood and surveyed the area looking for any signs of his partner. Kai had already told him that nothing had been found nearby but there was something bothering the SEAL about this whole situation, other than the fact that his partner was MIA.
"Steve, I found something," Kai stood next to the man he had come to respect and admire.
"What?" asked Steve, a little distracted.
"This," Kai held up a cloth that he'd slipped into an evidence bag and a cell in another, "The cloths got chloroform on it and its Danny's cell."
"Get it to the lab. Tell them to test for any DNA and fingerprints. Put out a BOLO on Danny."
"You got it," Kai turned away and quickly spoke to Ani. She jumped into their unit and drove away with the evidence, lights and sirens sounding. Technically this wasn't an emergency but time was of the essence. They didn't have any proof that the chloroform soaked cloth was linked to Danny's vanishing act, but none of them believed in coincidences. Kai issued the BOLO hoping that they'd get a hit quickly.
Once the scene had been cleared and no further signs of Danny had been found Steve got into the Camaro and headed for Queens. He needed to see how Chin and Kono were doing and then he could concentrate on finding his brother.
Danny woke up with a headache that rivalled any hangover that he'd ever had. Groaning and keeping his eyes closed so as not to incur more pain from any light he tried to lift his hands to his head in the hope he could massage the pain away, that's when he discovered that he couldn't move.
'What the hell?' he thought as he tried desperately to move his hands and legs he realised it wasn't possible, opening his eyes he found he couldn't see anything either. Moving his head to see if he could find even a sliver of light he felt material moving and that's when it dawned on him he was blindfolded.
"Detective Williams, as much as it amuses me to watch you struggle against your bonds I really must insist that you stop before you hurt yourself," a deep voice nearby stated.
"Seriously? I'm strapped down and you're worried about me hurting myself?" Danny asked incredulously, "'Cos I would think if you were worried about that you wouldn't have me strapped down in the first place, in fact I wouldn't be here with you at all!" The moment the voice had sounded Danny recalled the hand coming round and using chloroform to knock him out. At least that explained the headache.
"Of course I'm worried; I don't get paid if the merchandise should arrive damaged."
"Merchandise?" spluttered Danny, "I am not merchandise I am a Detective with the Governor's taskforce and a human being!"
"That may be but you're also worth quite a bit of money. Now you're just going to feel a sharp scratch and the next time you wake up you'll be with the person who has wanted to get their hands on you for some time."
"What…?" Danny couldn't finish the sentence as the sharp scratch of a needle piercing his skin was followed by the overwhelming desire to sleep.
"Let's get him loaded," instructed the man.
Danny was untied, the blindfold removed, and the doors to the unmarked van opened revealing a parking lot at a marina. He was then lifted into a wheelchair, a blanket thrown over his lap as one of the men pushed the chair along the jetty to one of the yachts moored there. The chair easily made it up the smooth gangplank and then once out of sight of any potential onlookers Danny was hoisted over the man's shoulder and carried into one of the staterooms and unceremoniously dumped on the bed there and his hands and feet were tied once again.
Steve arrived at Queens to be greeted by Doctor Jensen who quickly showed him through to a room where both Chin and Kono were being seen.
"Chin has a mild concussion and I've stitched up the wound on the back of his head. Kono had a piece of wood embedded in her arm which I've removed. The wound has been cleaned and stitched. Both of them should rest for the next twenty four hours," Henry told Steve has he walked him through the ER.
"Danny's missing; I don't think they're going to want to rest Henry."
"Yeah, we all went to a suspect's house, the house blew up and when we came round Danny was gone. HPD found a cloth with chloroform on it."
"Damn. I'm sorry Steve."
"Any news Boss?" asked Kono the moment he entered the room.
"No. Henry says you two need to rest for twenty four hours."
"That's not gonna happen brah!"
Steve looked at Henry and shrugged. He wanted what was best for all his team but he knew that he would still want to help in the search for their lost team mate even if a doctor told him to rest.
"Alright, fine, but you have to promise that if you experience any dizziness or problems with your vision or nausea you'll come back in Chin. Kono, if you start running a temperature you need to come back and don't do anything that will pull those stitches," Henry knew this team and there was no point arguing with them. The two injured members of 5-0 agreed and then signed themselves out.
"We'll go back to the Palace…" Steve was interrupted by his cell ringing, "McGarrett."
"Steve, we've had a hit on the BOLO," Kai's voice told him.
"La Mariana Sailing Club, about an hour ago. Ani and I are near there and we'll go and speak to the witness."
"OK, we're on our way," Steve closed his cell and hurried in the direction of the Camaro, Kono and Chin following him, he filled them in as they went.
They arrived at the marina within five minutes, half the time that it should have taken but with Steve driving and Danny missing nobody was surprised.
"What have you got Kai?" he asked as he got out of the Camaro and saw the police officer approaching.
"One of the security guards that patrols the parking lot saw some men pull in driving that black van," he pointed, "He didn't think much of it and carried on but when he glanced back he noticed that they had just put a man in a wheelchair and were pushing him towards one of the moored yachts."
"How does he know it was Danny?"
"He wasn't particularly close but did say that the man in the chair was blonde but what really caught his attention was the dress shirt and tie."
"I never thought I'd be grateful that Danny still wears his tie occasionally! Did he see which yacht they took him to?" Chin asked.
"Yes, she was called Moana 'Anela. She set sail not long afterwards. I've already contacted the Coastguard and CSU."
"Good work Kai, thanks."
"Do you think they're taking him to one of the other islands?" Kono asked Steve as they walked back to the Camaro. There was nothing else they could do at the marina.
"No, it doesn't feel right," Steve's instincts were telling him that they were perhaps supposed to believe that Danny had been taken somewhere other than Oahu so that they'd waste time searching other islands for him.
Getting behind the wheel he pulled out his cell and made a call to the one person he knew that might be able to help him find the Moana 'Anela somewhere in the Pacific ocean. Putting the cell on speaker he quickly pulled out of the parking lot and headed back to the Palace.
"I hope you're calling to arrange for that dinner you owe me McGarrett!"
"Cath, Danny's missing, I need your help."
Immediately Catherine Rollins demeanour changed, she could hear the edge to Steve's voice, "What do you need?"
"A yacht called Moana 'Anela left the La Mariana Sailing Club pier about ninety minutes ago, can you pull up satellite imaging from that time and track it for me?"
"Absolutely," she didn't care if it could potentially get her court martialled. She had met Danny and she couldn't help but love the guy, not in the same way she loved Steve but the New Jersey man just somehow managed to find his way into her heart. Maybe it was because of what he did for Steve. The detective had managed to pull the SEAL out of his vendetta with Wo Fat long enough to give him a family, something he desperately needed, even if he would never admit it. "I'll send anything I find to your email."
"You'll find him Steve," she replied with all the confidence she could muster. She couldn't be there to support her man right now and she was finding that hard, "Call me if you need anything else and definitely call me when you find him!"
"I will, bye Cath," he hung up allowing himself a small smile at the concern he had heard in her voice. He knew it wasn't just for him but for the man that had managed to get under all their skins since Steve had returned to Oahu.
Danny was transferred from the yacht to another boat in the middle of the ocean far away from prying eyes. He didn't even realise as he was still in a sedated sleep. Cash exchanged hands and the yacht headed for the horizon in the direction of one of the other islands. The other slightly smaller boat went in a different direction, back towards Oahu.
The men on board brought the boat into a tiny private cove on the North Shore and removed their captive and placed him in the back of a four by four. Two of the men climbed in the front and drove off; the other two returned to the boat and sailed back out into the ocean.
Danny came round to find himself no longer wearing a blindfold but now tied to a chair. There were a few new things about his current situation, the location being one; the second was that he was dressed in nothing but his boxers. The temperature outside might be in the seventies but in this room it was chilly. The room was brick with no windows and a concrete floor which was cold underneath his bare feet. There was a metal door which he was facing.
Sounds came from outside the door and just a few moments later it swung open revealing the bane of his life.
"Ah, Detective Williams, so good to know that you remember me!"
"How did you get back on to the island without 5-0 finding out?"
"Well Danny, I can call you Danny right," the smile he gave was feral, "I can't reveal such secrets under normal circumstances, but since you're not going to survive this little encounter I suppose I could take pity on you. I paid the right people the right amount of money and they smuggled me on to Oahu and set me up in this wonderful remote location. Simple really."
"There is nowhere on Oahu that is safe for you right now, you know that right? McGarrett will come after your sorry ass and then I'll take great pleasure in watching as he dumps you in the ocean with the sharks!"
"As far as Commander McGarrett is concerned you left the island on a yacht. He won't even know you're still on Oahu."
"You underestimate him, my team and me!"
"I don't think I've underestimated you, but I have a few ways to put that theory to the test."
Danny really didn't like the sound of that. The glee in his voice combined with the manic look on his face all spelled pain as far as the detective was concerned but he couldn't and wouldn't let the other man see any fear, "Bring it on!"
Shane clicked his fingers and one of the men walked over behind Danny cutting the ropes around his wrists and ankles, the moment he was free he did the only thing he could and fought back. Unfortunately the combination of the chloroform and sedative made him less than stable on his feet and it didn't take the man long to bring him under control.
"Oh Danny, such a futile waste of effort my friend."
"I'm no friend of yours!" panted Danny.
"That we can agree on! Bring him!" instructed Shane to the man who had Danny's arms pinned, "If he struggles further then feel free to subdue him!"
It wasn't in Danny's nature to just roll over and let someone do what they wanted with him so naturally he struggled; the result was the butt of a gun to his temple which left him out cold with a gash that had blood running down his face. The man picked him up and threw him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and there wasn't a thing Danny could do about it.
The next time he returned to consciousness he found his arms stretched above his head and held in metal restraints that hung on a chain from the ceiling. The pain already in his wrists and shoulders was enough to cause him to try to find his feet, despite the headache and nausea he was now suffering following the blow to his temple. Danny discovered that he couldn't put his feet flat on the floor, the best he could manage was standing on the balls of his feet but that did at least help to alleviate some of the strain on his wrists.
The room that he was in was different. There were steel beams running overhead, which was what the chain he was hanging from was attached to. The walls were still brick and the floor concrete. Using his feet he turned slightly so he could see what was behind him. There was another solid looking metal door, which he was sure even if he could get out of his chains was probably locked, but what really caught his eye was a small table to the left of the door. There wasn't much on it, a car battery and a couple of other items that he'd never seen before. Next to the table was a bucket which sat directly under a tap that came out of the wall. Danny had a feeling that at some point in the future he was going to be getting wet.
Footsteps sounded outside and the heavy metal door swung open to reveal Shane Warner with two of his heavies. Danny didn't like the look on any of their faces.
"Oh good you're awake. You must forgive Darren," he indicated the tall thick set African American to his right, "But he does take pleasure in his job. I see you've been looking at our table."
"Well the room lacks anything else to look at," Danny rolled his eyes but no longer able to maintain his position facing the door he allowed his body to turn back the way he was facing when he first woke up.
"I don't think that will be of much concern to you shortly," there was a definite note of glee in the tone, "Let me tell you about the car battery. You see I have this new toy to try out, it's called a picana. Do you know what that is Danny?"
"Can't say I've ever heard of it," replied Danny. He was pretty sure he didn't want to know what it was either.
"I guess you would compare it to a cattle prod…"
'Yup, definitely could have gone my whole life without knowing about a picana then!'
"It connects up to the car battery and there's a control connected that can raise or reduce the voltage. The wonderful thing about this little device is that it delivers a high voltage but low current electrical shock. Basically it hurts but won't kill you. Shall we demonstrate?"
"No, that's OK thanks."
"It really was a rhetorical question," Shane told his captive, "Darren…"
Danny couldn't see what was going on but he could hear the noises of something being taken from the table. He couldn't decide if it was better to see them as they approached or not. At least if he could see it then he might be able to prepare himself a little… A yell was pulled from him involuntarily as the device touched his back. His eyes automatically slamming shut.
There was the sound of movement and when Danny opened his eyes Warner was standing in front of him. The man's eyes were full of malice and he wore the most evil grin that Danny thought he'd ever seen as he slowly moved the picana towards the detective's abdomen. He forced his eyes to remain open, staring at Warner and bit his bottom lip to stop the yell that wanted to escape as the torture device touched his skin again. There was no way he was going to give his tormentor the satisfaction of hearing him shout.
Warner wasn't too thrilled that his nemesis wasn't cooperating so he touched the picana all over Danny's torso half a dozen times in quick succession, barely giving the man time to breathe in between. Still he didn't cry out.
"Water," barked Warner to his men.
Danny heard the water running and then the movement as it was carried over to where he was chained. He held his breath knowing what was coming; he wasn't disappointed. A full bucket of ice cold water was dumped over his head causing him to gasp at the chill.
"Just a little something to make it more uncomfortable for you."
"Fuck you!" snarled Danny.
Warner growled and proceeded to touch the picana all over Danny's body. His body jerked with each shock but he refused to cry out, drawing blood as he bit down on his bottom lip to prevent it.
"That was only the start," Warner advised Danny as he handed the picana back to Darren, "Your team won't be able to find you so I can keep this up as long as I see fit and then I will kill you and I promise it will be a slow painful death."
"They will… find me," Danny said breathlessly, "Then they'll… kill… you!"
"How refreshing to see a member of law enforcement have such trust in his colleagues," Warner responded sarcastically, "They won't find you. They're going to think that you've been taken off Oahu and they won't know where to. They'll waste precious hours searching the other islands."
If Warner thought he was going to convince Danny that the team wouldn't find him then he was sadly mistaken. The only question in Danny's mind was if they'd find him in time.
"They'll find you… and kill you!"
"Well as much as I've enjoyed this little chat it's time for dinner. I'll leave you to, er, rest but I will be back later to continue our session."
The sound of the door closing meant that finally Danny could drop the façade. His whole body felt like it was on fire where the picana had touched. The torture session had left him in pain and tired but there would be no rest for him given he was still strung up. If it was dinner time then he'd already been missing all day and it would be getting dark soon or it was already dark, with no windows he couldn't be sure. They couldn't search for him in the dark.
'Come on Super SEAL I know you can find me.'
Steve, Chin and Kono arrived back at the Palace to footage supplied by Cath. Chin put it up on one of the plasmas and they watched as the Moana 'Anela met with a smaller boat and the limp body of Danny was transferred.
The SEAL growled. Chin placed a comforting arm round his cousin's shoulders as he heard her gasp.
"There's another file here," Chin stated before putting that up on the plasma. Cath had managed to track the smaller unmarked vessel until it disappeared under some overhanging trees. The image zoomed out again so that they could see where the boat had gone in relation to the rest of the area. It wasn't until the image settled that Steve's suspicion was confirmed, Danny had been brought back to Oahu.
"Where do we start looking?" asked Kono.
"We've got the longitude and latitude provided by the satellite so we take some HPD and start our search there."
"The highway runs along that stretch so the cove must be well hidden. It's not likely anyone witnessed where they went."
"We're going to need help to search the area."
"I'll call HPD," Steve pulled out his cell and put in the necessary call. When he'd finished he turned to Chin and Kono, "We're going to meet HPD at Pupukea in ninety minutes so let's grab our gear and go."
Just under ninety minutes later they were waiting at Pupukea Beach Park for HPD. The Captain had told Steve he could spare four people and would provide a boat to take them to the location of the cove and they could search from there. The radios the search team would carry were linked into HPD HQ so if further manpower was needed it could be sent, but only if the teams were successful in finding evidence as to where Danny was being kept.
A car pulled into a space near the Camaro and four people he recognised exited the vehicle. The driver popped the trunk and each of them grabbed a large back pack before the car was locked up and the four approached the three members of 5-0. Kai Kealoha, Ani Kale, Troy Davis and James Wong all greeted Steve, Chin and Kono. All four had worked with Danny and respected the man so had volunteered to be the four to go on the search when the Captain had put out the request.
The team of seven walked to where an HPD boat was waiting for them and climbed aboard, within twenty minutes they were standing in a hidden cove. If they hadn't known the coordinates they would have missed it. There was clear evidence that a four by four had been there recently, they followed the tracks until they met with the Kamehameha Highway.
"What now? We've got no clue which direction they went in!" exclaimed Kono.
Steve's eyes squinted as he inspected the trees opposite them, "Wait here," he ordered. Pausing to wait for a gap in the traffic he ran across to the other side and walked down the road slightly. Smiling when he found what he was looking for. Turning towards the six people waiting patiently he waved them over and pointed at the tire treads showing in the dirt.
"How do you know it's the same vehicle?" asked Ani. There must be a lot of four by fours on Oahu.
"See here," Steve knelt down and pointed out a void in the pattern, "That is exactly the same void as in the tire treads we saw at the cove."
"We need a vehicle," Chin mused. They hadn't really expected to find that Danny had been carted off in another vehicle, the thought being that he was being taken to a house that was hidden by the trees in the same way the cove was. Chin pulled out his cell and made a quick call, once he'd finished he turned to the group, "Two four by fours will be here in fifteen minutes."
"Cousin?" asked Steve a small grin on his face.
"Yup!" supplied Chin, returning the grin. Both men soon remembered why they were there and became serious again. The promised four by fours arrived and Steve expressed his thanks to Chin's cousin who dismissed it.
"I owe Chin. I allowed the family to sway my decision when he was dismissed from HPD and I didn't speak to him. Something I regret now."
"Its old news brah," Chin assured his cousin. They embraced before the team climbed into the vehicles and followed the track which ran along the edge of some fields. Over an hour later they came to a stop at a line of trees.
Steve got out and inspected the area carefully, Chin close by his side. When they reached the tree line each man went a different way looking for signs of disturbances.
"Looks like they entered the trees here," Chin indicated an area where there was broken foliage and several footprints.
"Where's the four by four?" asked Kono looking around, "Could they have left the track earlier than this?"
"No, there was nowhere for them to leave the track, ditches on both sides. Plus we stopped several times to check the track and the tire treads carried on," reminded Steve.
"Over here!" called out Kai.
The three team mates hurried over to where he was calling from and found him uncovering a black SUV. Whoever had hidden it had used a camouflage tarp and then some of the branches to disguise it, though it hadn't fooled Kai's sharp eyes for long.
"Radio HQ and get a team out here to process and tow it," ordered Steve.
"How did you find it?" asked Ani stunned that her partner had seen it, "There's no tracks leading over here."
"No but there are signs that someone tried to hide the tracks," Kai pointed to a long branch with lots of leaves and the marks on the ground that would indicate someone had tried to remove any signs that the SUV was there.
"Why though? The tracks are clear up to this point. Whoever took Danny has done their best to convince us that he's not even on Oahu."
"It's probably just a precaution," replied Kono, "The SUV is the only way they have out of here so they hide it and disguise where it's gone. Anyone who might stumble across the tire tracks might just assume they'd turned round and headed back to the highway."
"Alright, Troy, James, I want you two to stay here with the SUV, once the team have been out to remove it then stay here. I need someone here in case the owners of it come back and I don't want them trying to take one of ours!"
Both nodded as the others removed their back packs from the vehicles. Once the rest disappeared into the trees the two men moved the two four by fours and hid them in much the same way then settled in to keep watch.
Steve and Chin led the other three into the trees, the going was slow as they had to look for signs of which way their quarry had travelled.
"They can't have taken him far," stated Ani.
"That depends on whether he was conscious or not," replied Kai. When he received a quizzical look from his partner he elaborated, "A conscious Danny would cause them problems so they wouldn't be able to go far. An unconscious Danny wouldn't be any issue and they could find a way to carry him to their destination if they had to."
"I think Danny was probably unconscious," supplied Chin.
"Why?" asked Ani. This was the first time she'd really been out with the team and she was intrigued and she wanted to learn as long as it wasn't delaying them.
"Danny is vertically challenged," stated Steve with a little bit of a smile. If the man was here no way would he have got away with that comment, "The footprints we're seeing are a similar size to mine, because of Danny's height his feet are smaller."
"Meaning Danny couldn't have been walking," Ani nodded her understanding.
"Correct. If you look at the prints they're slightly different and one set are deeper than the other…" Chin carried on.
"So that person was likely carrying something or someone that made their imprints go deeper into the ground because of the extra weight," suddenly Ani could see what Chin was getting at.
"You're catching on," the older detective smiled at her briefly before turning his attention back to the trail they were following.
The group fell into silence as they each thought about what Danny being unconscious and not walking could mean. Either he was actually unconscious or he was too badly injured to walk by himself. Silently the group prayed that it was because the kidnappers had kept him out with chloroform.
"Damn, it's getting too dark to carry on!" exclaimed Steve as he once again missed the direction the people they were following had gone and had to go back, "Even with flashlights we could miss something."
"Then we stay here for the night and carry on again in the morning," Chin stated, not liking the idea any more than Steve. The trail wouldn't be as fresh the next day but there was little choice. Stumbling around in the dark wouldn't do Danny any good.
Steve wanted to hit something he was so frustrated that they hadn't found where Danny was yet. His fists clenched at his side in an effort to not do anything stupid. Injuring his hand by punching a tree, which were the only things other than the people with him to punch, was not a great idea.
"Alright, let's stop for the night. We start out again at dawn," instructed Steve.
The five men and women all dropped their heads in disappointment that they hadn't found Danny and then silently went about getting ready to get some rest. Hopefully they would be able to move faster tomorrow with more light. Tomorrow they would find Danny.
Danny was beyond exhausted. He didn't have any idea what the time was, all he knew was that it seemed like he'd been hanging in this room for days. Falling asleep was uncomfortable at best, extremely painful at worst. Every time he managed to sleep he was pulled out of it either by the pain being caused in his wrists and shoulders as his full body weight hung from them or by Warner and his goon squad coming in, throwing water over him and torturing him with the picana. He had lost count of the number of times they'd left him only to return an undetermined amount of time later to start again.
The door opened again and Danny bit his now very sore bottom lip as he schooled his features and bit back the pain as he turned to face his tormentor. This time Warner was alone.
"Just thought I'd come and say goodnight Danny and let you know what fun I have planned for when I wake up from my nice long nap on a nice soft bed," grinned Warner, his voice laced with malice.
"Screw you," Danny's voice was raspy from lack of use, water and the effort of holding back the screams that he had fought back every time they stuck him with that electric wand.
"You have no manners! When I return I am going to introduce you to Heretic's fork. It's rather medieval but I like it. I won't tell you what it does just yet, I'll leave it to your imagination. Sleep well Danny!" and with those words the door closed again leaving Danny with nothing but the deafening silence and the sound of his own laboured breathing and racing heart whooshing in his ears.
Danny had never heard of Heretic's fork but he knew he didn't like the sound of it. Given the torture he had endured with the picana he could only imagine it was worse in some way. The fork part of the name had his mind whirling with possibilities, none of them particularly pleasant.
A noise pulled Danny out of a very unsatisfactory doze causing him to jerk on his already throbbing wrists and opening up the gouges that his struggles caused. He could feel the warm blood running down his arms again. His fuzzy mind registered that the noise was the door opening and he turned to glare at the man who was the bane of his life.
"Good morning Danny. I'm very well rested and looking forward to continuing your education today!" Warner informed his captive with glee.
Danny just glared at the man balefully. If he could get his hands on Warner or either of his goons right now he'd rip them limb from limb. Yes he was weak from exhaustion but there was no doubt he was also highly motivated.
"Darren, bring me the fork," ordered Warner. Danny watched as the large man handed over a rather primitive looking metal object, "Danny, this is Heretic's fork."
Danny saw a bar of metal with a two pronged fork at either end, a leather strap passing through the center. He still didn't know what it did but he was sure he wasn't going to like it.
"Josh, come here," ordered Warner. The other goon now had a name, not that it really helped, "I'm going to show you what this does."
Warner turned to Josh and placed one end of the fork under his chin and the other in the dip just above his breastbone and then passed the leather strap behind his neck where Darren secured it. Josh just stood there meekly allowing it with his head arched back. Once the men were done they turned him so that Danny could see exactly what the device meant.
"If Josh puts his head forward the skin underneath his chin will be pierced, the weight of his head will cause the other prong to press into the skin above his breastbone. It would be quite painful, I'm sure you'd agree," Warner barely spared Danny a glance as he turned back to his man, "Thank you Josh," he waited for Darren to undo the strap before taking it away. "A little bit of trivia for you on this wonderful device. It was actually used during the Inquisition to hasten confessions."
"Thanks for the history lesson," Danny replied sarcastically. Talking did nothing to help the dry feeling in his throat or the knot in his stomach.
"I do believe that it's time to put this to use," Warner stepped in front of Danny and placed the fork in the same manner he had with Josh. Darren disappeared behind their captive and Danny felt the leather strap being tightened and secured against the back of his neck. He knew there was no point struggling as it would make the device dig in, so he did the only thing he could and extended his neck dropping his head back slightly to ease any pressure, "Perfect. Do you know one of the things that frustrated me the most after our first meeting at the warehouse with the grenade Danny?"
The pause indicated that it hadn't been a rhetorical question so Danny mumbled, "No."
"Sleep deprivation. I couldn't sleep for any length of time because I feared that I might be found if I did. When I finally made it off the island I slept solidly for about twenty hours. You're going to get to know what sleep deprivation feels like Danny. If you fall asleep with that at your neck it will pierce your skin."
The detective could hear the delight in Warner's voice again as well as see the evil glint in his eye. The malicious smile didn't help any and Danny had a feeling Warner wasn't done yet.
"Now Boss?" asked Darren.
"Yes, I think so Darren, but be careful, don't want to injure him further just yet."
A noise behind Danny caused him to hold his breath but suddenly he felt the easing of the stretch of his arms as for some inexplicable reason Darren disconnected him from the chain on the ceiling, leaving just the cuffs around his wrist. Josh was next to Danny supporting his weight as he was far too weak to stay upright.
The two goons were either side of Danny as they moved out of the room and then out of the building, the sudden bright light of the Hawaiian morning pierced Danny's eyes painfully given that he'd been in a room with only just enough light to see by for hours. Warner trailed behind humming to himself. Danny tried to struggle but his only reward was being jabbed by the prongs of the fork. They crossed an open space and stopped just before the tree line. It was probably a good thing that Danny couldn't look down to see what was in front of him.
"Lower him in," instructed Warner.
The order caused Danny's breath to catch in his throat as the two men stretched his arms over his head again and grabbed him by his wrists. The solid ground disappeared and Danny found himself hanging by his wrists over nothing. He felt the movement as he was lowered and suddenly his eyes were level with the ground. They were lowering him into a hole in the ground! The fork prevented him from seeing the size of the space but he was sure it wasn't large.
"No!" he couldn't help crying out, the idea of being lowered into a hole in the ground finally freaking him out enough to react. Unfortunately the movement caused the fork to pierce his chin slightly and he quickly clamped his teeth into his bottom lip and pushed his head further back.
"Oh yes Danny!" Warner's voice came from above him, "Let me explain what we're going to do. There's a bar that Darren will secure to the top of the box you are now in, your wrists will then be chained to that bar. A lid will be placed on the box and then earth will be thrown in to cover the box up. Now you'll be uncovered and removed later if you survive. Of course it's really a question of whether you suffocate, pierce your skin with the forks and bleed to death or whether you can survive this until we return. Goodbye Danny!"
Once his wrists were secured above his head again the little light that was penetrating the box vanished and he was plunged into complete darkness. The sound of dirt hitting the lid of the box barely heard over his own erratic breathing as he panicked at the idea of being buried alive!
Steve, Chin, Kono, Ani and Kai were all awake just before the sun started to filter through the trees. Their sleeping bags were packed away and they quickly ate and drank before setting off to follow the trail again.
If yesterday had been slow going then today was even slower. The trail now not as fresh meant that they needed to look harder for clues as to the direction the people who had Danny had gone.
The silence between them was oppressive. None of the group wanted to think or talk about what would happen if they didn't find where Danny had been taken soon. Each person was lost in their own thoughts but the one thought they all shared was that failure was not an option.
Nearly three hours later Steve held up his hand and stopped everyone in their tracks. He had noticed the trees were thinning out and he wanted to check it out. Using his hands he signalled to Kono, Ani and Kai to stay where they were while he and Chin moved further forward.
The two men quietly moved through the trees and after a few minutes came to a clearing. There was a building in the middle. It wasn't very large and they found it odd to find a brick built building in the middle of a forest but it looked like it had been there a while. The walls were covered with vines that had grown up the side and to the right side part of the roof was missing. As Chin and Steve lowered their bodies to the ground so they could watch without being seen they waited quietly. Twenty three agonising minutes later, Steve had been checking his watch regularly; a man appeared round the side of the building. Steve exchanged glances with Chin and indicated with his head that they should return to the others and the two men quietly slipped back into the trees.
Kono, Ani and Kai had been waiting impatiently for the two most senior members of their group to return. Kono had actually taken to pacing. They were all relieved when the two men materialised and they began a whispered conversation.
"There's a building in a clearing about a five minute walk that way," Chin told the others, indicating with his hand the direction they'd come from.
"A building in the middle of a forest?" Ani asked incredulously.
"Yeah, from the condition of it looks like it's been there a while."
"Danny's there," Steve said confidently.
"Did you see him?" asked Kono hopefully.
"No," replied Steve causing her shoulders to slump, "But we did see Josh Campbell."
"The guy whose house blew up this morning?"
"What are we going to do?" asked Kai practically.
"We're going to go and get Danny back," stated Steve in a tone that could suggest he thought the question was stupid.
"What I meant was how. We don't know how many people are in that building. You've seen Campbell but we don't know where in the building Danny is being kept," Kai replied, not doubting for a moment that the Lieutenant Commander was right and that the detective was there.
"I'm going to go back and see if I can grab Campbell and we'll ask him," if there was an evil glint in Steve's eye as he made the statement nobody commented.
"I'll come with you," Chin told him. The SEAL opened his mouth to protest but the look he received caused him to change his mind. The older man may be the calmer and quieter member of 5-0 but he could be just as stubborn as any of the others, "Alright. You three wait here."
Once again Steve and Chin returned to the clearing hoping that Campbell was still outside, preferably alone. For once luck was on their side and he was at the side of the building having a smoke by the looks of things. The SEAL crept round the wooded area with Chin following until they were just behind where Campbell was standing. Steve instructed Chin to stay put and he crept silently out of the trees and crossed the clearing. His hand was over Josh's mouth with his arm up behind his back before the other man had any clue there was even anyone else there.
"Move," growled Steve quietly in his ear and he pushed him in the direction of Chin and the shelter of the trees. To ensure that there was less chance of anyone else spotting or hearing them they took the few minutes to return to the group with their captive.
"Nice brah!" exclaimed Kono with a grin on their return.
Steve pushed Josh to his knees, keeping his hand over his mouth and controlling him with the arm he had bent up behind the other man's back. Chin moved to point his weapon at Josh's head.
"I'm going to take my hand away from your mouth; you even attempt to shout my friend here will shoot you between the eyes before you get the chance. Understand?"
Josh looked at Chin's gun with wide eyes before he nodded. The hand dropped away but his arm was kept up behind his back. He gulped as he realised exactly who he was dealing with. The minute Warner had said he wanted to trap 5-0 and capture Williams Josh knew it was going to be trouble.
"Is Detective Williams here?"
"Yes," Josh's voice came out in a nervous squeak which didn't match his physique at all.
"Is he alive?"
"Last time I saw him, yes."
"Yes," this time Josh gulped. He wasn't going to give away more than he was asked but he also wasn't going to lie. Something told him that this man had a bullshit meter that he couldn't fool and if he tried he wouldn't appreciate the consequences of the damage to his own wellbeing.
"How many men are here with you?"
"Only two?" asked Steve doubtfully, pulling up on Josh's arm slightly.
"Yes," the word came out on a groan at the pain the movement caused.
"Shane Warner and Darren Carne."
"How many entrances into the building?"
"Where in the building is Danny?"
"Er…" Josh hesitated not sure how the man he knew was a SEAL would react to finding that his partner was buried in a box.
"Where in the building is Danny? Don't make me ask again!" he pulled Josh's arm even higher causing a yelp of pain before he dropped it down.
"He's not in the building."
"You said he was here," Chin growled.
"He is, just not in the building."
"You know what? I'm getting fed up with these games. Either you tell me everything, including where Danny is or I will rip your shoulder out of its socket!" Steve was at the end of his rope, which was short enough at the best of times but without Danny by his side it was miniscule in comparison to normal.
"I have rights!" Josh cried out.
"Yes, you do, which is why my report will say you resisted arrest and as I tried to subdue you your shoulder was dislocated."
"I have witnesses!"
"Didn't see anything, did you Cuz?"
"Nope can't say I did, I was kind of busy searching for Danny. How about you Kai, Ani?"
"I saw Josh Campbell resist Commander McGarrett's efforts to arrest him and he used appropriate force to secure the suspect," Kai responded to Kono's question.
"I like that," responded Steve with a slight chuckle.
"I was with Kono, didn't see a thing," Ani agreed.
Steve put further pressure on the arm he was holding getting ready to do exactly what he'd threatened, because it wasn't just a threat as far as he was concerned, it was a promise. He could almost hear Danny in his head yelling at him about procedure and suspect's rights which just made him more determined to find his brother.
"Alright, alright! Ease up," moaned Josh. Once Steve had dropped his arm slightly he sighed in relief and then spilled his guts, "Warner had Darren chain Williams up by his wrists and then used a rod thing to give him electric shocks, making it worse by pouring water over him. They kept it up most of the night. Then this morning Warner strapped this thing to his neck, it keeps his head back and if he drops it trying to sleep or get comfortable there's a forked prong that pierces his chin and base of his neck," he used his free hand to point to the area, "Then he got Darren and me to lower him into a box in the ground and hang him from his wrists again, put a lid on and cover it with dirt," he said the last in a rush and gulped at the look of pure rage on the faces he could see.
"You're telling me that Detective Williams is buried, alive, in a box with a torture device strapped to him?" the growl in the SEAL's voice would have turned the strongest man's blood to ice.
"Yes," the response was more of a whisper.
"Steve," Chin's voice gave a warning. Campbell had done what he'd been asked to and as Danny wasn't here it was now his job to stop his friend from carrying out his original threat.
"Kai, cuff this son of a bitch!"
Kai stepped over to them and quickly relieved Steve of Campbell's arm and yanked the other one behind his back and snapped the cuffs around his wrists nice and tight.
"What now?" asked Kono.
"Now we go and get Danny!" Steve stated, "Kai, Ani stay here with him," he indicated Campbell who was still on his knees, "If he so much as twitches, shoot him! Chin, Kono, with me."
Steve noted with satisfaction that both Kai and Ani pulled their service weapons and stood with them held directly at their prisoner. Steve, Chin and Kono vanished into the trees again to find their friend and finally bring him home.
Arriving back at the clearing they circled until they could see the entrance, ensuring that they remained out of sight. They wanted nothing more than to find out where Danny had been buried but their first priority had to be securing the scene. They'd be no good to him if they were dead because they allowed someone to get the drop on them.
"Kono, stay here and if anyone tries to leave…"
"Shoot 'em, got it Boss!"
Chin just shook his head at his cousin, she was getting more and more like McGarrett every day. He wasn't sure whether he should be worried or proud! The detective left the trees and followed Steve to the door. The SEAL counted on his fingers and when the third finger raised Chin grabbed the door handle and opened it.
Steve swung inside sweeping the area, Chin followed close behind. Silently they moved to the left given that the roof to the right was missing they figured anyone in the building would be in the covered area though Chin still walked sideways so he could cover that area to make sure nobody could sneak up behind them.
The corridor they were in was wide but there were only rooms to their right and it looked like there were only three. Stepping up to the first door Steve quietly opened it and cleared the room while Chin stayed in the corridor.
This had clearly been used for Warner and his pair of henchmen as there were three beds in the room and a small kitchen area with a gas camping stove so that they could heat food and water. There was another door towards the back of the room so he carried on into the room and checked it. It was the bathroom and it was also clear.
Steve nodded as he stepped back into the corridor and the two men moved towards the second door. Once again Steve entered but this room had no other doors off it and contained very little, apart from a chair which had the remnants of ropes tied to it. He had a feeling that his friend had been kept in here tied to that chair at one point. Turning to exit the room he noticed a pile in the corner and bent down to check it out. If he had needed any more proof that Danny was here then he had it. The pile consisted of his partner's once neat and clean clothes. Now they were just a pile of filthy rags where they'd been cut from his body and dumped on the floor. The sight caused a low growl to be torn from Steve. Mentally shaking himself he re-joined Chin in the corridor.
The fact that they hadn't heard any noise from outside and the other rooms were clear there was a high probability that the people they were looking for were in this last room. Chin quickly moved to the other side of the door, this way he could see down the corridor and also back up Steve. Again on the count of three the door was opened, this time though before Steve could get into the room they were forced back by gunfire.
Chin glanced at Steve who pushed the door open again as it had swung shut, another volley of gunfire and then silence again. The SEAL assessed the situation, took note of where the shots were all aimed and hoped to god that he wasn't misjudging this. He indicated to Chin that he should push the door again and when he did Steve went in low, the man shooting at them hadn't expected that and ended up with a bullet in his shoulder, his gun on the floor.
Chin quickly entered the room and cleared it before turning his attention to Steve and making sure he was alright.
"It's Carne, no sign of Warner!" Steve leaned over the man moaning on the floor with his hand clutching his shoulder and pressed his foot against the hand, "Where the hell is Warner?"
"I dunno. I noticed Josh was missing, told the boss and he told me to wait in here then disappeared. There's a trail out the back so he probably went that way."
"There's only one entrance."
"A tunnel runs from under the right of the building into the trees."
"Why didn't Campbell tell us that?" Steve asked almost to himself.
"He didn't know about it!"
"On it!" the older man disappeared from the room as Steve cuffed Carne.
Steve pulled the man on to his feet and looked round the room taking in what it held for the first time. There was a steel beam with a chain and given what Campbell had told them he figured this was where Danny was initially tortured. The thought made him growl again and he gripped his prisoner's arm tighter causing him to yelp. He pushed Carne out of the room ahead of him but pulled him to a halt at the doorway noticing the table. A car battery and a device that he recognised as similar to a cattle prod remained on top of it. Steve closed his eyes and took a deep breath, he needed to find Danny not let the sights in this room cloud his judgement.
"Kono," he called over his radio.
"Bring Campbell to the clearing."
"You got it."
Steve carried on pushing Darren out in front of him. The man was lucky he hadn't spotted the cruel device on the table before he entered the room, because the chances of him making it out alive would have dropped to zero. As they stepped back out into the clearing he saw Kono returning at a jog.
"Kai and Ani are bringing Campbell."
Chin joined them, "Warner's gone. The trail isn't particularly well defined but if you know it's there…"
"Damn it! He could circle back…" interrupted Steve.
"I don't think so Steve. I followed the trail to another small clearing and it looks like he'd been keeping an ATV or something there and there's another track wide enough for it too. I've already radioed HQ and they're getting a chopper in the air and units to the area. Once the chopper has traced where the track ends hopefully HPD can track him down."
Steve strode across the area to meet Kai and Ani, dragging Carne with him. The two men were pushed to their knees.
"Which one of you is going to show me where you buried Danny?"
Darren shot Josh a dirty look, the man shrugged in response, "He was gonna rip my shoulder out of its socket, what did you expect me to do? Let him?"
"He wouldn't have done that, he can't, he's a cop!"
"Actually he's a Lieutenant Commander and a Navy SEAL," corrected Kai.
"Navy SEAL?" they could all see Carne gulp at the news as he looked at the steely eyed Commander.
"That's right," Kai confirmed again, "He could hurt you in ways that probably wouldn't even leave a mark." He'd never seen the other man employ such methods but he was sure he could.
Steve stood with his arms crossed over his broad chest, his tattoos peeking out from under the sleeves of his t-shirt. The grin he wore backed up Kai's statement.
"I'll show you!" volunteered Josh.
"Let's go," Kai hauled Josh to his feet and the group, including Darren followed him round to the side of the building and crossed to an area near the tree line, he pointed at the area of freshly disturbed earth.
"He's under there."
"Kai, un-cuff him, he's going to help us dig Danny back out. You and Ani watch him and Carne…"
"If either of them makes a wrong move, shoot 'em!" finished Kai.
Steve nodded and turned as Chin jogged over with two shovels that had been left by the side of the building. He handed one to Josh and one to Steve. Kono had already dropped to her knees and was pulling the surface dirt away, he joined her. It didn't take long for Chin and Kono to have to step back as they were just getting in the way. Steve dug with a purpose that of rescuing Danny, while Josh dug to keep from being shot.
The moment they struck wood Steve ordered for Josh to be cuffed again.
"Danny, if you can hear me, we're nearly there, just a few more minutes…" Steve called then he and Chin leaned into the hole and pried off the lid. The sight that met them had both men cursing a blue streak and Kono covering her mouth in shock.
Danny tried desperately to calm his breathing. He knew that he would be using more oxygen if he allowed his panic to continue which would mean he'd die that much quicker. Steve was out there somewhere looking for him with Chin and Kono, all he needed to do was survive long enough for them to find him.
He started mentally coaching himself to breathe slower, concentrating only on maintaining a rhythm. It took a few minutes but eventually he calmed enough to breathe normally. Unfortunately now he no longer needed to concentrate on calming down it allowed his mind to register the discomfort and pain he was experiencing. Danny catalogued everything to try to establish if he had incurred any further injuries.
His wrists were burning and he could still feel the blood running down his arms from the open wounds, no longer able to get any relief from his full body weight hanging on them as his feet no longer touched a solid surface; his shoulders felt like they were being pulled out of their sockets and were also burning with pain; his body was still on fire and tingling from the burns inflicted by the picana; his head was throbbing, probably from the stress as well as the blow he'd received from the butt of Darren's gun the previous day. God, was it only yesterday?
The only new injury he could find was caused by the device strapped to his neck. The prongs had pierced the skin under his chin and at his breastbone, the resultant trickle of blood tickling his skin. He didn't think that it had gone in too far since the feeling wasn't of a river of blood more like a drizzle, not to mention although painful it was more a paper cut kind of pain than a stabbing pain, which is how he imagined it would feel if the prongs had gone deeper. Given Warner had already stabbed him he knew exactly how much that hurt.
The lack of light in his current accommodation was off putting. It meant he couldn't tell how long he'd been hanging there or see anything that would show how much damage had been done to any part of his body. At least hanging in the room in the building he could see enough to make out the things around him. Not that he could look anywhere but up right now without pushing the metal prongs deeper into his body.
The thought caused him to realise just how much his neck was aching from being forced to arch back. Every time he tried to drop it slightly to relieve some of the pressure the prongs reminded him he couldn't.
There was certainly a long list of woes as far as Danny was concerned right now but his biggest complaint, had there been anyone to listen, would be that he was tired. Not just a little bit, not even bone weary but on the cusp of passing out, tired. If that happened then his head would drop and the prongs against his chin would pierce deep into his chin and probably through into his mouth. The thought made him shudder. Surely there was nothing in his lower jaw or at the base of his neck that would cause instantaneous death. That would mean he would likely bleed out very slowly as he was pretty sure there were no arteries in the areas. He really wished that he'd paid closer attention in school when they covered human anatomy in his biology classes, although maybe it was better not to know.
Time seemed to drag for the detective as he fought against the urge to sleep every second. There were times that he failed and his head dropped of its own volition only for him to be brought back into wakefulness as the pain of the prongs piercing his skin again dragged him back to the here and now. After the sixth time he lost count of how often it happened, all he knew was each time he felt the blood trickling down his skin. There was no way he could be sure if the blood was stopping in between these occasions given that he wasn't aware of how long it was between each episode or if he was continually losing blood.
Right now there were several ways he could die, none of which appealed to him. He could suffocate through lack of oxygen; he could die of blood loss and shock; or the infection he knew was starting to set in could cause septicaemia. Personally he wanted to die when he was old and grey, surrounded by his children, grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren. Yes, he hoped to meet someone else and have more kids. Realistically he knew he probably wouldn't have to wait until he was old to go grey since working with Super SEAL was enough to give him new grey hairs on a daily basis. Not to mention he'd probably go bald prematurely from pulling his hair out in frustration at the man's antics. What he wouldn't give to be ranting at Steve right about now about proper police procedure and filling out paperwork explaining how the SEAL had yet again caused an explosion in such a way that they wouldn't be hauled over the coals for it.
Thoughts of Steve led to thoughts of Chin and Kono, then on to thoughts of Grace and even Rachel. If he died in this box buried in the earth of this godforsaken forest on this pineapple infested hellhole he wouldn't get to scare the bejesus out of Grace's boyfriends or walk her down the aisle when a man he, and no doubt the rest of 5-0, finally approved of won her heart. He wouldn't get to hold his grandchildren and spoil them rotten. Then of course there was the fact he wouldn't get to see Steve finally come to his senses and propose to the gorgeous Cath and have kids of their own.
The thought of Steve with kids brought a smile to his face. When they first met he could never have thought of the SEAL having children. He scared that poor kid in the elevator half to death in their first few weeks together. Then he saw him with Grace and knew that she had somehow, in her own unique way, burrowed her way through the walls and into the Navy SEAL's heart. His brother was so gentle with the little girl he considered his niece. After Danny had been poisoned with the sarin it had been Steve who had collected Grace from school and kept her calm. Whenever Danny saw the two of them together he knew that Steve would make a great Dad when the time came.
Danny also had no doubt that Steve would be there for Grace if this whole fiasco turned into the worst case scenario and ended with his demise. He would probably be the one to frighten the boyfriends; walk her down the aisle and hold his grandchildren. Danny couldn't think of anyone, other than himself, that he'd rather have look out for his precious daughter but the fact still remained that he wanted to be the one to be there and he was damn well going to fight to do it. Steve would expect nothing less and neither would Grace and the rest of his ohana.
A shiver ran through his body as sweat dripped down his face. The temperature that came with the infection he knew was setting in was sending his body mixed signals. Again his head dropped and the prongs pierced the skin, more blood ran down his chest and neck. Groaning he forced his head back, feeling the muscles spasm with the strain. How much longer would he be able to keep this up? Fighting to live was one thing; mentally he wanted to keep fighting; physically he wasn't sure his body was up to it anymore.
Danny felt his eyes closing again and he was truly frightened that this was going to be the last time. He didn't want to go out like this… His head dropped and the prongs pierced his skin deeper, the pain just wasn't enough to enable him to lift his head again which now felt like a ton of rock. The heavier his head got the further the prongs pierced, Danny was just at the point where he was ready to pass out from pain and exhaustion when he heard the sound of something scraping across the top of the box he was in and he was sure he heard a familiar voice.
"Danny, if you can hear me, we're nearly there, just a few more minutes…"
That was definitely Steve's voice and it was the impetus Danny needed to pull his head back one final time. He could hang on another few minutes when he knew that rescue was so close. The sound of the lid being pried off echoed in the small space and moments later Danny was blinded by the light that filtered into the box and slammed his eyes shut. It may not have been direct light and was probably not as bright as if he had been on the surface but it still hurt his eyes given he'd been in the dark for some time now. He heard both Chin and Steve swearing loudly and in a way that would have most men blush; with Steve that was kind of a given as he was a sailor and he knew swear words in many different languages but Danny had never heard Chin swear quite so vehemently before. He figured he must look really bad, he certainly felt it.
Steve took a deep breath as he finished swearing and looked down on his partner and brother. He was hanging from a bar, by a chain that connected to metal bands wrapped tightly round his wrists; blood seeped from under the metal and could be seen running down Danny's arms. There was dried blood down the side of his face which looked to come from a gash on his temple. All of that was bad enough but when Steve spotted the device strapped to Danny's neck he thought he was going to be sick. It was clear from the blood still trickling down his neck and chest that the prongs had pierced Danny's skin at least once. Steve had seen many things as a SEAL, most of it classified, but he could honestly say he'd never seen a device like this one. The cattle prod like device he had seen on far too many occasions, or at least variations of it. This one was new to him.
"How the hell are we going to get him out without injuring him further?" whispered Chin.
"I don't think we can, or at least not without at least causing him pain," replied Steve regretfully. He rubbed a hand over his sweat soaked hair and prayed for the strength to be able to get Danny out of this hole, literally, no matter what pain it caused, "Danno, can you hear me?"
"Yeah," the response was barely audible, the voice croaky and hardly distinguishable as Danny's.
"We're going to get you out but it's probably going to hurt," Steve told him as gently as he could.
"No shit!" Danny paused to take a breath, willing himself to remain conscious just a little longer, "Get me out of here… Super SEAL!"
"Chin, see if you can hook your arm under his left armpit, I'll take his right. Kono, once Chin and I have Danny's weight you'll need to remove the bar so we can pull him out. Kai, we're going to need your help."
"Got it," Kono knelt between the two men and watched as each of them settled on their stomachs and reached in, sliding their own arms under Danny's armpits.
Kai stood just to the side, waiting for the moment that the two men would need help getting the detective out of the box.
"On three," Steve instructed, "One, two, three!"
The two men took all of Danny's weight and Kono quickly removed the bar and threw it to one side then dashed to Steve's side as Kai dropped next to Chin.
Steve and Chin continued to support Danny's weight while Kono and Kai helped the two men get to their knees, not an easy feat with the extra weight. Once the two men were kneeling Kai and Kono reached round and grabbed one of Danny's thighs each to help lift him the rest of the way out of the box. The four of them gently laid him on the ground.
"Stay still Danno," Steve spoke quietly and rested his hand on Danny's forehead to reinforce his instructions before reaching round and finally being able to release the strap holding the Heretics fork in place.
Chin was on the radio requesting an immediate medevac. He had felt the heat rolling from his friend and knew that they couldn't waste any time. The gouges in his wrists from the metal bands were red not just from the pressure but from the infection that had clearly started to set in.
Steve removed the metal bands from his brother's wrists all the while mentally listing all the ways in which he was going to make sure Shane Warner met a grizzly end for what he'd done.
Kai had grabbed the first aid kit out of Steve's kit and put it on the ground next to the SEAL, earning a grateful smile as he tried his best to clean and cover the wounds with the limited supplies.
All of them were worried by the quiet, still form. He had yet to open his eyes and Kono knelt beside him using her body to shelter him from the bright sunlight even as she soaked a cloth with some water and wiped his face. The ocean blue eyes fluttered open and met her chocolate brown ones.
"Hey," the word came out as a whisper.
"Hey yourself," she smiled in relief at seeing his eyes open and hearing his voice, no matter how weak it sounded and how full of pain his eyes were. He was alive.
"Everyone OK?" he croaked. He remembered how they'd all been unconscious at the house before he'd been taken and all had various injuries.
"We're better now we've found you," she assured him, "Now you just concentrate on you!"
"How you doing Danno?" Steve's face came into view.
"Chopper will be here in five minutes," Chin told them as he too knelt down and made sure Danny could see him, "Then we'll get you to Queens. Henry is waiting for you."
"Joy," the injured man managed to sound none too thrilled at the prospect. He turned his head, now that he could, a movement he soon regretted as pain shot through both his neck and shoulders causing a cry of pain and his hands to try to find purchase on something solid to help him through the waves of agony.
Steve's hand grabbed one of Danny's at the same time Kono took his other one, giving the detective an anchor to the here and now as he fought through the spasms wracking his body. Both were surprised at the strength with which he clung to their hands given his weakened state. The spasm passed and his hands loosened and then his whole body seemed to collapse in on itself, his head lolled to the side.
"Shit!" Steve reached out and placed his fingers on Danny's neck but found no pulse. His own heart stuttered in his chest at the thought they'd found their friend only to lose him. Moving closer he leant over and checked to see if Danny was breathing; he wasn't.
Steve knelt next to his brother and did something he had hoped he would never have to; he placed his hands on his chest and started doing compressions. The others watched in silence, their faces frozen in horror.
The noise of a chopper overhead pulled Chin out of his state of shock and he was on the radio speaking to the pilot. The clearing wasn't big enough to enable the chopper to land so a paramedic was winched down with a stokes basket.
"What do you have?" he asked dropping down beside Steve.
"Danny Williams, been missing approximately thirty hours. He's been tortured with a cattle prod," Steve started to reel off even as he continued chest compressions, "and that," he pointed to the fork which still lay nearby, "When we found him he was hanging from his wrists in that box," his head indicated the hole in the ground just a few feet away, "Danny was breathing and spoke to us then his body seemed to spasm, when the spasm was over his heart had stopped."
As the medic had listened to the rundown of what had happened he felt sick. Yes, he was an army trained medic, but he couldn't ever recall having dealt with a situation like this that involved a civilian police officer. Lucas wasted no time in unpacking his equipment, which included a small field defibrillator. He hooked Danny up to the device and watched the screen to allow him to assess his patient's condition. He set the dial.
"He's in V-Fib, clear!" he pressed the paddles to Danny's chest and shocked him. He waited a moment to see if there was any change, there wasn't. He adjusted the dial again, "Clear," the paddles once again connected with Danny's chest, again there was no change and Lucas adjusted the dial once more and tried a third time, "Clear," no change. "Start compressions again."
Steve was almost as pale as Danny but did as Lucas had asked. The medic quickly inserted a cannula into Danny's hand and pulled out a vial and syringe, "I'm giving him Amiodarone," he told Steve as he caught him glancing over. Once he had administered the drug he again turned to the defibrillator and adjusted the dial, "Clear!"
Steve sat on his heels as he watched the medic try to revive Danny, his own heart stuttering every time the shock was administered. It was only after the fifth attempt and the change in the beeping sound coming from the machine to which Danny had been connected that Steve's own heart settled back into something resembling a normal rhythm.
"Alright, he's back," Lucas didn't waste any time with Danny's other injuries as he started prepping him for transport, "If anyone is coming with then you better get ready as once he's in the basket he's going up and we're out of here!"
"All of you go," Kai told the three other members of 5-0, "Ani and I can handle things here. Troy and James are heading here via the other track and should arrive soon." The officer had not been idle while Steve and the medic fought to bring Danny back. Troy and James were already on their way to meet units at the bottom of the track the earlier chopper had identified when Kai's call had come over the radio for back up.
"Commander McGarrett," Lucas spoke to Steve who looked surprised that the medic knew his name given they hadn't spoken except about Danny, "No need to look surprised Sir, yours and your team's reputations precede you. I take it you know how to use one of these harnesses?" he pointed to the one strapped to his own waist.
"Here," he handed over a spare one, "Get your team into the chopper, by the time you're settled I should have Danny stable enough to transport."
"Thanks Lucas," Steve ushered Kono and Chin to an area where the chopper could lower the steel reinforced rope and before Lucas had finished settling Danny in the stokes basket with Kai's assistance all three were on board the chopper and waiting.
Doctor Henry Jensen was waiting anxiously at the helipad for the chopper carrying Danny Williams to arrive. He had been receiving regular updates since the chopper had arrived on scene and knew that the man was in a bad way. The trauma room had been prepared and his team were there waiting for their patient, ready to respond to any instruction that was given to them.
Given the reports he had received from Lucas, both when he arrived and as he was en route to the hospital, Henry had already requested an ICU bed be made available. The last report stated that Danny's heart was having a hard time but he was breathing on his own, however his temperature was currently registering at 104 Fahrenheit or 40 Celsius. Henry was concerned that Danny may not be able to maintain his own airway given the amount of stress his body had been under and was still under.
The chopper landed and he ducked as he and Eve, one of his nurses, ran towards it to meet them with a gurney. The medic, with the help of the rest of 5-0, pulled the basket from the chopper and met the doctor and nurse halfway. The basket was lowered on to the gurney and they all rushed into the ER. Henry, Lucas and Eve continued into the trauma room while the three remaining members of 5-0 were stopped and sent to a private waiting room.
Kono stood in the middle of the room like a statue, unable to go any further. Her eyes were filled with unshed tears; her whole body trembled.
"Cuz?" asked Chin softly. That was all it took and the tears spilled down her cheeks. She quickly found her cousin's arms wrapped tightly around her and she rested her head on his shoulder as she finally let go of her emotions.
"Oh god Chin… His wrists… his…"
"Hey, it's gonna be OK," he ran his hand up and down her back as he held the other on the back of her head, "He's getting the best care."
"But his heart…"
"Is beating again," Steve spoke quietly as he approached the pair and wrapped his arms around both of them in a rare display of emotion, "Danny's stronger than any of us give him credit for. He survived what Warner did to him until we got there and he'll continue to fight. He's got Grace and us. There's no way he'll leave us if he has a choice!"
"Warner's still out there though!" pointed out Kono, lifting her head off Chin's shoulder and looking into the eyes of her boss. Those eyes were steely with determination and she knew that Warner wasn't going to survive a confrontation with the Navy SEAL if he was dumb enough to show his face again.
"HPD have officers all over the island looking for him and there are officers stationed throughout the hospital. Warner isn't getting near Danny again!" growled Steve, "If he tries…" the rest of the words were left unsaid but they all knew what he meant and were in agreement.
Doctor Henry Jensen stood back from his patient's bed once he was settled in ICU and sighed, running a hand over his mussed black hair. There was nothing more they could do, the rest was up to Danny and for the first time Henry wasn't sure if the detective he'd become so fond of, even if he would never tell him that, would win this particular fight.
A throat cleared and he looked into the equally concerned eyes of the male nurse charged with Danny's care. Akela had also formed a bond with Danny and his team. As frustrating as it was to keep having one or the other of them appearing in the hospital it was really hard not to like them and to maintain the professional distance that they could with most of their patients.
"I'll go and speak to his family now," Henry told Akela, "I'm sure they'll want to be with him."
"Oh yeah," Akela allowed a small smile to grace his lips at the thought of even trying to keep the rest of this man's team and family out of ICU. All the staff had long ago given up the fight to make them stick to visiting hours.
Henry glanced back at Danny a final time before slipping quietly out of the ICU, passed the HPD officers that the Captain had ordered as protection for the injured detective and headed for the room that he knew held his patient's ohana. He put his hand on the door knob, took a deep breath and opened it. Once in the room he closed the door behind him and sat in a chair opposite the group he'd come to know so well.
Steve locked eyes with the doctor who glanced quickly at Grace. She and Rachel had arrived not long after Danny had been whisked off to the trauma room. Immediately the little girl had pulled her hand out of her Mom's and run to her Uncle, throwing her arms around the SEAL's waist as he'd stood up to greet them. He'd done all he could to reassure her but that had been very little given Danny's condition; he didn't want to tell her how bad her Dad was and he didn't want to lie so he'd just dropped to his knees and held her in his embrace until she fell against him, exhausted from the tears she had shed. Now looking at the doctor and seeing the weariness in his eyes Steve could tell that Danny's little girl did not need to hear whatever was about to be said.
"Rachel," he turned to his brother's ex and spoke softly but before he could suggest she take Grace from the room Kono spoke.
"Why don't I take Grace to get a drink and something to eat?" she suggested, "Chin can fill me in when we get back."
"I want to stay here," Danny's daughter didn't tend to whine but she was on the verge of doing so now and none of the adults could really blame her, "Uncle Steve?"
"Gracie, Doctor Jensen needs to speak to us about Danno but he's going to use a lot of big words that you won't understand and I don't want you to be frightened…"
"I won't be. I'll be brave," interrupted his niece her brown eyes huge and glistening with more tears as she sat on her mother's lap.
"Sweetheart," Steve pulled her onto his own lap, "I promise that once I've spoken to Henry I will tell you what is happening but I think Danno would want you to hear it from me and your Mom, not a doctor."
"But Doctor Henry is practically family!" insisted Grace.
Steve would have smiled at that if the situation hadn't been so serious. He knew that whatever Henry had to say was bad, just by looking in the doctor's eyes and if there was bad news to be given about Danny to this child that was so precious to all of them then it would come from him and nobody else, "That's true, but right now he's a doctor and he has a job to do. The same as I have a job to do at the moment, do you know what that job is Gracie?"
"It's head of 5-0."
"Well yes, but I have an even more important job."
"You do?" the brown eyes widened.
"Yes and that's to look after you. I promised Danno. You wouldn't want me to break that promise would you Gracie?"
"No," her response was quiet and she dropped her head to stare at the floor.
"Hey," Steve lifted her chin so he could look in her eyes and she would hopefully be as perceptive as her father and would see the truth in his words, "I know Danno doesn't lie to you and neither will I. I promise once I've spoken to Henry I will tell you what's happening with your Dad, alright?" when he received a nod he kissed her forehead, "Good girl. Now go with Auntie Kono."
Grace left the room with her hand wrapped tightly in Kono's. Glancing back as she closed the door behind her Kono saw the gratitude in both Steve's and Rachel's eyes.
"It's bad," stated Steve before Henry could even open his mouth.
"I won't lie to you," Henry looked at the three people opposite him, "Right now it's not looking good. Danny's heart has been weakened by the electric shocks he received…"
Rachel gasped and put her hand over her mouth and Steve wondered if he should have sent her with Grace instead of Kono. He hadn't had a chance to tell her everything that Danny had gone through. It was too late to do anything about it now and he quickly wrapped her in a comforting embrace.
"Rachel, I'm sorry. Danny was tortured by Warner and the treatment he received doesn't get any better. Do you want to step out of the room…?"
"No," she shook her head, tears running down her cheeks. She scrubbed at them and tried to get her emotions under control. Yes, she divorced Danny and was now married to Stan, a man she loved, but she still cared about the father of her child and to know that someone had tortured him was horrific, still, she needed to hear about his condition so that she could help Grace understand what was going on. Gratefully she leaned into Steve's embrace and drew strength from him as she took a deep breath, "Carry on," she said to Henry.
"OK. He has burns all over his body which we've treated. We've cleaned the wounds under his chin and on his breast bone, they each required a few stitches but the…" he struggled to find a word that wouldn't upset Rachel further, "implement that created them was rusty so we're concerned about that area getting infected. That said Danny is already suffering from an infection from the gouges on his wrists. We had to debride the wounds and have treated them as best as we can but they're deep and he may require surgery, we won't know any more until he regains consciousness but there is a chance of nerve damage."
"What about head trauma?" asked Steve, remembering the dried blood on Danny's face.
"There are no signs of any bleeding or brain trauma. At worst he has a minor concussion but we will continue to monitor it."
"What aren't you telling us Henry?"
"Steve, given the torture, dehydration, exhaustion, infection, Danny's extremely weak. I've put him on a ventilator as he's having difficulty breathing on his own. We're giving him IV antibiotics for the infection but with his system being so weak… look, honestly, I'm not sure if Danny will survive," there he'd said it out loud and it made him feel sick, "Medically we're doing all we can, the rest is up to Danny."
It wasn't unexpected given the condition the man had been in when they'd found him, but it still felt like a punch to the gut hearing Henry say he might not make it. The silence in the room dragged on for a few minutes as they all took in what had been said.
"Can we see him?" asked Rachel.
"Of course, he's in the ICU. Akela is expecting you," Henry felt a sense of de ja vu.
"Chin, call Kono and ask her to bring Grace back then you both head up there. Rachel and I need to speak to Grace before we see Danny."
The older detective knew that Steve desperately wanted to get up to the ICU and see their brother, but knew he would put his duty to his niece above what he wanted. Leaving the room he called Kono and did as he'd been asked. Once she returned Grace was ushered into the room with her Mom and Uncle while Chin and Kono went with Henry to the ICU. Chin used the time to tell his cousin about Danny's condition and comfort her as she broke down again, tears falling from his own eyes at the thought they might lose one of their ohana.
Steve stood outside Danny's room in ICU with Grace in his arms and Rachel by his side. He had done his best to explain to Grace how sick Danno was without scaring her but he had promised he wouldn't lie so when she'd asked if Danno was going to die he'd had no choice but to tell her that it was a possibility.
"Uncle Steve?" Grace looked from the room to the man who she loved and trusted almost as much as her Daddy.
"I don't want Danno to die," her voice quivered.
"I know Gracie, neither do I. Why don't we get in there and tell him that?" he suggested, not knowing what else to say to comfort the nine year old. Glancing at Rachel she nodded her approval. It never failed to amaze her how good this man was with her daughter. Her ex called him a Neanderthal but he was anything but when it came to their little girl.
Henry came out and explained about the machines and what they each did, hoping that it would be a little less scary for Grace if she understood that each item was there to help her father. She asked questions that surprised the doctor but not Steve or Rachel; they both knew she had her father's inquisitiveness. Once he was sure that Grace was as comfortable as she was ever likely going to be with seeing her father in this situation he slid the glass door open for them and let them join Chin and Kono.
Steve approached the bed, glancing at Grace as he did. The only sign of any distress was a quiver in her bottom lip. He gave her a gentle squeeze before sitting in a chair next to the bed and settling her on his lap. Together they put their hands through the bars of the bed rail that prevented Danny from falling out of the bed and rested them on his arm, side by side.
"We're here Danno," Steve spoke firmly. No matter how uncomfortable he felt talking to his unconscious partner he needed to do it if there was even a chance that the other man could hear him, "Grace and me, we need you to fight. Rachel, Chin, Kono, we all need you to fight."
"I love you Danno," Grace's soft voice joined her Uncle in urging her father to stay with them, "I don't want you to die!" she sobbed and then buried her face into her Uncle's neck.
"Well Danny, you can't disappoint your daughter. I know you're not ready to wake up right now, but you keep fighting to live. That's an order from your boss!" Steve carried on talking even as he rubbed his hand in soothing circles over Grace's back.
It had been a week since they'd pulled Danny out of that box in the ground and still he remained unconscious and in critical condition. There had been one improvement, somehow his weakened body had managed to fight off the worst of the infection and although he was still on antibiotics Henry was hopeful that they'd beaten it into submission, one hurdle down another dozen to go.
There had been no sign of Warner but all the intel they had pointed to him still being on the islands. HPD officers were assigned to protect not only Danny but Rachel and Grace too. Nobody was taking any chances where Warner was concerned. Even Steve, Chin and Kono didn't go anywhere alone, though the Governor and HPD Captain had to fight tooth and nail with McGarrett to get him to agree that the rest of 5-0 were in danger if Warner couldn't get to his preferred target of Williams. The compromise had been that they would watch out for each other, not go anywhere alone, including home.
Kai Kealoha, Ani Kale, Troy Davis and James Wong had all been assigned to 5-0 to help with not only the investigation but keeping an eye on the three mobile members of 5-0, a task that all four took very seriously and led to more than one argument between them and the Commander.
"Kai, I keep telling you I'm perfectly capable of going to the hospital by myself!" growled Steve as the young officer followed him out of the 5-0 offices.
"And I keep telling you that I am going with you, as per the agreement with the Governor and Captain! If I let you go off by yourself and something happens then I'll be left dealing with the guilt, not to mention I'd lose my job!" Kai used the same argument that he used every single time they had this conversation, which was every time Steve left to go anywhere.
"I'm a goddamn Navy SEAL!"
"That does not mean that you should just go off by yourself Steve! Do we really have to have this argument every single time? What the hell would Danny say if I let something happen to you? How do I explain to him, when he wakes up," he emphasised the when as nobody believed any differently, there was no if about Danny's survival despite his critical condition, "That his Neanderthal Super SEAL partner wouldn't follow orders and went off alone, getting himself killed? Tell me how do I tell him that? Or Grace for that matter? Oh, sorry Gracie, Uncle Steve thought he was immortal…!"
"Alright! Jesus, I'm going to ban you from hanging around Danny when he wakes up, you've clearly spent too much time with him in the past since you're even ranting like him now!"
Kai allowed himself a small grin. He had learned that if he used the ranting and Grace cards together during these arguments he would always win eventually. Satisfied he carefully checked the surrounding area as they headed for Steve's truck. The SEAL hadn't driven the Camaro all week; it just didn't feel right without Danny with him.
The two men arrived at the hospital and entered the ICU area as they had done every day for the past week, the only difference this time was that Kono and Troy were standing outside the sliding glass door to Danny's room and the blinds were closed obscuring their view inside.
"What's wrong?" demanded Steve as he reached them.
"I'm not sure," Kono replied, brown eyes glancing from the door to Steve, "His breathing changed and his heart started to beat really fast and set off the alarm and then we were thrown out of the room!"
"Let me through!" the voice of Henry Jensen stopped anything Steve was going to say.
"Henry? What's happening?"
"How the hell can I tell you that if I'm out here Steve? Let me through and I'll go and find out!" Steve stepped aside allowing the doctor through and then tried to follow him into the room, "No, you need to stay out here. I'll come back out and let you know what's going on as soon as I can," that said he pulled the glass door closed and let the blind drop back into place.
The Navy SEAL started to pace back and forth until Akela entered the ICU and told him to quit it or he'd throw him out. Steve had been tempted to tell him he could try but the nurse was about five inches taller and broad with it. There was no doubt in the SEAL's mind he could take the guy but he then heard Danny in his head asking him what the hell he was thinking and calling him a Neanderthal and a goof! He shrugged and leaned up against the wall beside the door to Danny's room. Akela rolled his eyes as he opened the sliding door and went in, Steve managed to peek into the room before the door closed and the blinds dropped but his view was obscured by the amount of medical personnel surrounding the bed. He wasn't sure if that was a good or bad sign.
It was another fifteen minutes before the doors opened again and Henry stepped out. The moment he was outside he found himself surrounded, not only by Kono and Steve but Troy and Kai as well. The two HPD officers on protection detail also hovered close by wanting to hear what the doctor had to say.
"What's going on Henry? Is Danny alright?"
"He started to fight the ventilator. We ran some tests and we've removed it. Danny is now breathing on his own though he does have a mask to supplement his oxygen intake."
"That's good news, right?" asked Steve hesitantly. Although he'd been urging his partner to fight and he spoke in terms of when and not if Danny woke up, he still needed reassurance.
"Yes, Steve, it's good news!" Henry smiled for the first time since Danny had been brought into the ER, "He's not out of the woods yet as he's still weak, but the fact that he's strong enough to breathe on his own is a very positive sign. I'm downgrading his status to stable."
"Is he awake?" Kono wanted to know.
"No. Like I said, he's still weak. His body knows it needs to rest to heal. You can go in and see him now, but don't try to wake him up," he glanced at Steve as he said it, knowing that the man's desire to see his brother awake might overrule common sense, "You wake him up instead of letting him do it in his own time and I'll kick your ass out of this hospital faster than you can blink. Got it?"
"Got it!" replied Steve. He meant it too. Danny needed to get strong again and rest would be the best thing for him.
"Good," Henry smiled at the group before taking his leave and allowing them to enter the room.
The two officers standing guard outside peeked quickly into the room before turning their attention back to their surroundings, glad that the man they'd been guarding every day for the last week was improving.
"When is Danno going to wake up?"
Steve scratched his head. She asked him this question every day and had been even more persistent since the ventilator had been removed two days ago. It was hard to explain to a nine year old, even one as smart as Grace, that he would wake up in his own time. Rachel was asked the question at least twice a day as well.
Nine year olds weren't known for their patience, then again neither was Steve. Each of the team, including their temporary additions, had witnessed the conversation and all had to hide a smirk as the man explained to the little girl that they just needed to be patient. Steve had caught Chin grinning as he used the word patient and he knew exactly what the older man was thinking and had to consciously stop himself from poking his tongue out.
"I dunno Grace. Henry said he's getting stronger every day but his body is still healing. Sleep really is the best thing for him right now."
Grace sighed and dropped her chin onto her hand; her elbow was currently resting on the bed rail and stared at her father. Suddenly she sat up straight on Steve's lap, "Can I sit on the bed next to him please?"
Steve nodded as she climbed off his lap so that he could take the bed rail down. Since the ventilator had been removed Grace was allowed on the bed next to her injured father as long as she was careful of all the other wires and tubes. Steve lifted Grace onto the bed.
Grace got comfortable and took her Dad's fingers in her hand. She was very conscious of the still heavily bandaged wrists. Slowly she rubbed her thumb over his fingers as much as her small hand would allow. "Danno, I know you're probably still hurting and Uncle Steve, Doctor Henry and Mommy all say that you need the sleep to get better. It's OK if you still want to sleep Daddy. I'm just going to wait patiently like Uncle Steve said." If Danny had been able to he'd probably have laughed out loud at that. The idea of his brother suggesting to his daughter that she needed to be patient would have tickled him.
Grace did exactly that for two more days. She sat on the bed and talked to her Dad about her day and all the things they could do once he got better. Most of those things involved her Aunts and Uncles, which now included Ani, Kai, Troy and James. The beach at Steve's featured heavily as well.
On the twelfth day since Danny had been brought to the hospital something in the little girl seemed to snap. She marched into the room, followed by Steve and Kai who had picked her up from school; she stood beside the bed, hands on her hips and glared at her father.
Steve looked at Kai, who shrugged, completely out of his depth with this situation. He had siblings but he was young, single and didn't spend much time around other people's kids.
"Grace…" Steve hesitantly stepped forward.
"No Uncle Steve!" her hands left her hips and started to wave around in a manner reminiscent of her Dad, something Steve actually missed and never thought he would, "This has gone on long enough!"
"Grace…" Kai tried this time.
She ignored him, "Danno, I want you," she pointed both her hands at him, "to wake up! Right this minute!" she followed that with a stamp of her foot. That was something Steve had never seen Danny do, but was sure that he'd wanted to on more than one occasion.
"Sweetie, that's not…"
"I," she pointed at herself, ignoring Steve completely, "am fed up of coming to visit you," she waved her hands back in her Dad's direction, "in this hospital," the hand motion took in the whole of the room this time, "WAKE UP!"
Steve and Kai knelt either side of the little girl, desperate to get her attention. Akela had come into the room to find out what the commotion was about. He stopped short when he saw Grace standing between the two men, tears running down her face.
"I just want him to wake up Uncle Steve! Why won't he wake up?" she sobbed and threw her arms round his neck.
"I don't know Grace," he brought his own arms round her back and gave her a squeeze. He mouthed an apology to Akela who waved his hand in dismissal and checked on his patient. Glancing back at the three other occupants he motioned to Steve to join him.
Kai saw and reached out for Grace, who turned to him for comfort without hesitation as Steve got up to join Akela by the bed, "Doesn't he love me anymore Uncle Kai?"
"Oh Gracie, he loves you very much."
"Then why doesn't he wake up?" the words were plaintive and tore at Kai's heart. In the months he'd known 5-0 each of them had become family to him and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that this little girl before him was one of the reasons that Danny had survived thus far against all the odds.
Steve watched as Kai comforted Grace as best he could. None of them, not even Rachel, would be able to fully console her at this point. She'd reached the end of her endurance. He turned his attention back to Akela.
"Sorry about that," he nodded back at Grace.
"Don't be. I think it might have done the trick," Akela replied. Steve glanced at him questioningly, "I didn't come into the room just because I heard Grace shouting. There was a change in Danny's vitals. I don't want to get her hopes up, but I'm pretty sure he heard her and the increased heart rate I'm still seeing is in response to her distress."
Steve leaned forward and spoke to Danny, his hand resting over his brother's, "Danny, if you can hear me squeeze my hand." There was no response.
"Let Grace try," suggested Akela. Although he didn't want to get her hopes up, Danny's increased heartbeat hadn't dropped off and he was still convinced it was linked to the fact that the injured man's daughter was in the room and he could hear that she was upset.
"Grace," Steve called softly as he lowered the bed railing, "Come here." She looked up at her Uncle with big watering eyes but went to him unquestioningly, allowing him to lift her onto the bed next to her Dad, "Take Danno's hand Gracie," once he saw that she had his hand Steve put his own on Danny's arm, "Grace his here, holding your hand. Can you squeeze her hand?"
There was a pause and then Grace's eyes grew even wider, "He moved his fingers Uncle Steve!"
Resting his hand over Grace's now he spoke again, "Danny, do it again," he instructed and he too felt the slight movement, "That's good. Can you open your eyes for me?" the question was soft, he didn't want to upset Grace or Danny but if they could just see those baby blues opening…
Danny ached and he was tired. He knew there were people nearby but he just didn't have the energy to acknowledge anyone. The idea of opening his eyes or moving any part of his body seemed like an overwhelming task right now.
The last clear memory he had was of Steve and Chin pulling him out of that box that Warner had put him in, everything after that was hazy and pain filled. Voices had come and gone, encouraging him to keep fighting. Two distinctive voices prevented him from giving up completely even as his body was screaming at him to just give up and allow the darkness to envelope him forever. Steve and Grace's voices had stuck in his mind and kept him going.
He had no idea how long he'd been fighting this internal battle but he really didn't know if he had the strength to carry on. Then he heard it, the voice of his own little angel asking him, no demanding, that he wake up, his heart started to race. The demand was quickly followed by the sound of her sobbing. This was his fault, she was crying because of him. He heard other voices he recognised but hers was the one that he clung to even as it broke his heart to hear her words. 'Doesn't he love me anymore?' He needed to tell her, let her know that he was still here and he hadn't, wouldn't give up!
He felt pressure on his hand and a voice, Steve's, asking him to squeeze his hand and as much as he wanted to he couldn't make his hand move. Then he felt the bed move, felt another hand, smaller, softer. Steve's voice once again asked him to squeeze a hand, but this time Grace's. He heard the hitch of breathing over the sound of the heart monitor, it was the sound of a child's breathing after they'd finished crying, but not just any child, his child.
It was almost instinctual as he felt his hand flex around those fingers, the same fingers he had marvelled over when he first held her after she was born. A larger hand joined Grace's, the skin more calloused and again the desire to move his hand was instinctual.
"Can you open your eyes for me?"
There was nothing he wanted more than to see the two most important people on this island. The effort it took to force his eyes open was phenomenal, something he had always taken for granted now taking much more concentration than anything else he'd ever done but he was determined to do it.
Finally there was a glimmer of light as he pried his eyes open, holding back the desire to allow the lids to close again against the harshness of that light. Someone must have realised because that light suddenly dimmed and he was able to open his eyes further. The sight that met him was worth every ounce of effort.
Grace was sitting by his side leaning against Steve, his arm wrapped around her back to prevent her tumbling off the bed. He knew there were other people in the room but he only had eyes for the precious child and her SEAL protector.
He wanted to tell Grace that he loved her but when he opened his mouth no words would come. His throat was dry and sore. The frustration that crossed his tired face must have been evident as Steve leaned forward and rested a hand on his forehead.
"Hey, don't try to talk. We're just glad to see you open your eyes," the smile Steve gave was one that Danny hadn't seen before and he could only describe it as overjoyed, the SEAL's eyes reflected nothing but relief.
"Here, this will help your throat," Akela made his presence known and slipped an ice chip between Danny's dry lips, earning him a tiny smile of gratitude.
Danny was as stubborn as ever and was determined to say one thing before the exhaustion dragged him back into oblivion again, "Danno… loves you… Monkey."
Steve would deny that he actually cried when he heard that sentence, if anyone dared to ask, but both Kai and Danny spotted the tell-tale tracks on his face but neither would ever share that fact with another soul. He squeezed his brother's hand where Grace was still clinging to her Dad as if her life depended on it, as opposed to his.
Grace knelt up on the bed and looked at Steve, who immediately understood what she needed and pulled her up into his arms holding her until she was hanging over Danny's head and then he lowered her so she could plant a kiss on his cheek.
"I love you too Danno."
A small smile graced the detective's lips as he slid back into sleep, satisfied that Grace knew, without a doubt, that she was loved.
"Danny?" Steve asked softly and looked at Akela.
"He's gone back to sleep," the nurse assured the man and the child in his arms. He checked Danny's vital signs which had settled down but were stronger than before, "I think he's turned a corner."
The atmosphere in the room changed immediately and Kai left to make the necessary phone calls to enable Steve to stay at his brother's bedside with his niece. The response he got when he made those calls nearly left him with hearing problems! Even the ever stoic and placid Chin shouted with joy at the news.
"Danny, you've only been out of the ICU for a day! Would you please give yourself some time to recover?" Kono was exasperated by her older brother and team mate. Two weeks after finding him he was finally out of ICU and on recovering from his ordeal as well as could be expected. Unfortunately that recovery was going to be slow and painful but the injured man lacked the patience to just lie still doing nothing.
"I'm bored Kono. B.O.R.E.D!" Danny whined, totally seeing the irony in the fact that he was being so impatient and if it were Steve in the bed he would be lecturing him.
"How the hell can you be bored? You're only awake three or four times a day for about an hour!"
"But when I'm awake I'm not allowed to do anything!"
"That's because you can't yet!"
"Of course I can!"
"No, you can't!"
"I'm perfectly capable of sitting up!"
"No you're not!"
Neither of the combatants noticed when Ani slipped out the room; too busy trying to convince the other of their argument.
"Really you're not!"
"How hard can sitting up actually be?" exclaimed Danny. Yes, he was only awake for short periods a few times a day, but he'd been staring at a ceiling since he'd started to come round and it was a boring view.
"Danny!" growled Kono, reaching the end of her tether. Chin would be much better suited to dealing with Danny when he's in this kind of mood.
The door to the room swung open and in the doorway stood a clearly unhappy Steve, arms folded across his chest, feet hip distance apart and standing tall, Ani could be seen standing just off to the side and behind him.
"What the HELL is going on in here?" he demanded.
"He's driving me mad; he won't do as he's told!" Kono responded.
"She won't even let me sit up!" Danny replied at the exact same time.
Steve pinched the bridge of his nose, wondering when he'd become the more responsible sibling of the three of them as opposed to their damn it all to hell, blow everything up boss. If he stopped to think about it he'd realise it was right around the time Grace had thrown herself at him when she first arrived at the hospital, stepping into the metaphorically large shoes that were Danno's, where his daughter was concerned at least.
"How old are you two?" he waved a hand to cut them off before they could say anything, "You should know better than to argue with him," he pointed at Kono who's mouth dropped open while Danny grinned, "You should have just got Akela or Henry to sort him out!" That wiped the smile off Danny's face and put it back on Kono's, "You," he turned his attention back to Danny, "Need to do as you're told! Kono, go with Ani and take a break. I'll stay with Danny."
"Don't worry, I won't go anywhere on my own Ani," Steve assured the young HPD officer. He'd left Kai with Chin downstairs in the hospital cafeteria when Ani had appeared looking rather flustered and unsure. Danny's protection detail was still outside the door so he was perfectly safe to be left with his partner without another member of the team.
"OK then," Ani nodded, "See you later Danny." She received a wave in response. Kono got a glare as she left, her response to that was merely to roll her eyes.
Steve threw himself down in the chair next to the bed and rested his elbows on his knees as he leaned forward and stared at his partner, fingers of his hands intertwined. Danny shifted uncomfortably under the steely glare.
"What is your problem?" Steve asked.
"My problem? You're really going to ask what my problem is?" Danny was fed up. Fed up of being so tired he slept for twenty hours a day; fed up that most of his sleep was plagued by nightmares, ones that he hadn't told anyone about. He was angry that his body was too weak to even manage sitting up on his own. Most of all he was fed up of being scared. Scared that Warner would come back; scared that the damage to his wrists was going to be bad enough to prevent him returning to the job that he still loved, despite everything that had happened. Given all of this he finally let out some of the emotions that he had been keeping locked up, "I was held, against my will and stuck with a damn cattle prod! I was hung like a side of meat from a hook! Then, just because that wasn't enough shit, I had some medieval torture device strapped to my neck. Of course that still wasn't enough so I was then lowered into a god damn box Steven, not just any box, but one in the ground and strung up by my wrists again! I do nothing but sleep and when I do the drugs I'm on prevent me from waking up from the nightmares that plague me every damn minute. I might never be able to do my job again," Danny took a deep breath before continuing, "What if Grace never recovers from seeing me like this? She'll never look at me the same way again!"
Steve sat and let Danny say whatever he felt he needed to, in fact he'd been waiting for him to finally crack and let it out. Pretending he was fine wouldn't get him through this; he needed to admit what was bothering him.
"I am so weak that I wouldn't be able to protect myself from a fly right now! That bastard is still out there and I'm a prisoner of my own body all because of what he did to me! So, my problem, Steven, is that I'm angry! I'm resentful! I'm FED UP!" the last was said with as much of a yell as the now emotionally, as well as physically, exhausted man could manage.
"You forgot something Danno," Steve said softly meeting the questioning gaze of his injured friend, "You forgot to say that you're scared. It's alright to be scared Danny," the SEAL got up from his chair and perched on the side of the bed, resting his hand on Danny's.
"Yeah, I'm scared, but not for me."
"What if he comes back and goes for Grace, Rachel, Chin, Kono or you? Or even Ani, Kai, Troy and James?"
"He won't, but if he is stupid enough to reappear and go after one of us, and this includes you, then he'll find he's out of luck! Nobody goes anywhere alone; we all have protection and each other. I will not let Warner," he spat the man's name as if it was a swear word; "Hurt you or anyone else in our ohana again."
"I'm so tired of fighting Steve."
"I know Danno, I know, but we all need you to keep fighting a little longer. Once we've got Warner we can start to heal, all of us," he pulled Danny into an embrace somehow hoping that some of his own strength would seep into the other man. "As for Grace, she will recover and she loves you no matter what!"
When he felt Danny's breathing change he knew he'd fallen asleep and gently lowered him back onto the bed, sighing as he watched him sleep.
The situation with Warner had had a profound effect on the entire original team, as well as the new temporary members. The Governor had already told Steve that he would be ordering mandatory psych evals for everyone involved.
Henry had told Danny and his extended family that he could expect a long recovery period. He would be in the hospital for at least another week as his body received additional nutrients and medication. There were scans and x-rays scheduled for his wrists to find out the extent of the damage to them. Henry had called in a specialist who would see Danny in a couple of days. There was a very good chance Danny was going to need physical therapy, both for his wrists and his shoulders, as well as to build his general stamina back up. Steve had spoken to one of the physical therapists at the hospital and was sure he would be able to help Danny with that.
After Danny's mini-meltdown with Steve two days ago Henry had spoken with him about the ways they could manage his pain. Not only did Henry think it would help Danny feel more in control of a situation that arose because he had no control of it but they would be better able to assess his condition if he wasn't on such strong medication all of the time.
When Steve arrived to relieve Kono the day of the specialists visit it was a happier Danny that waited. It wasn't like there had been a miraculous cure for all his pains; woes and fears, but talking had always helped the New Jersey native in the past and getting over that first hurdle of admitting the issues had been a great help in his recovery.
The nightmares were still present, but had lessened once Danny had started to talk about things and not just with his ohana but with a therapist that Henry had recommended. The fact that he wasn't sleeping as much also meant he had fewer nightmares of course.
"Hey," Steve sat next to Danny's bed, "How are you feeling?"
"Danny?" he sensed the hesitancy in the other man's voice.
"I'm kind of nervous about seeing this specialist, that's all."
"Henry says your wrists have been healing really well."
"Yeah, but I still haven't regained all the feeling in my fingers. What if the damage is permanent?"
"There's a good chance it's not, you know that."
"Yeah, but…" Danny sighed.
"It's still something you're going to worry about."
"Well let's see if we can put those worries to rest shall we?" both men looked up to see Henry standing in the door with another man. He was about six foot tall and kind of wiry in build with little hair but the greenest eyes that Danny thought he'd ever seen. The man smiled and the eyes crinkled. He reached out and shook both Danny's and Steve's hands as he was introduced.
"Doctor Harris, what happens now?" asked Danny of this new doctor who he instinctively liked.
"Doctor Jensen has already given me your most recent x-rays and scans. From what I've been told I think you may have some damage to the radial nerve," the doctor stepped forward, "May I?" he indicated Danny's hands with his own.
Doctor Harris examined Danny's hands, wrists and arms, "I think we need to do a nerve conduction test."
"What does that involve?" asked Steve.
"I'll place electrodes, very similar to those used for an ECG, on the skin over the nerve at different locations. Each patch will give a very mild electrical impulse to stimulate the nerve. The resultant activity of the nerve is recorded by other electrodes and then I'll use the time it takes for the electrical impulses to travel between electrodes to determine the speed of the nerve signals. An abnormal result will indicate nerve damage, whether that's because there is a blockage or there has been damage to the insulation surrounding the nerve cell."
"What can you do if there is nerve damage?" asked Danny, ignoring the mention of an electrical impulse, though he had felt Steve draw closer to him when Doctor Harris had mentioned it.
"It will depend on the cause. Let me run the tests Danny and then we can discuss options and prognosis. I don't like to guess."
"Alright," Danny sighed, "When can you do the tests?"
"How about now?"
"Sounds good to me!"
Danny still wasn't strong enough to be up and about for long periods of time so he was helped into a wheelchair, taken to the treatment room where Doctor Harris would carry out the tests and helped on to another bed.
"I am soooo sick of hospital beds!" moaned Danny.
"I know Danno, but a few more days and you'll be out of here!" Steve replied, smiling at his friend who already looked wiped out from just getting in and out of bed.
"Alright Danny, a member of my team, Alex, will be coming in shortly to prepare you for the procedure. I'll be back in about ten minutes to get started."
"Thanks Doctor Harris."
"Er," he hesitated to put into words what he wanted to ask, "Are you, you know, going to be alright with this procedure?"
"What do you mean?" asked Danny, knowing full well but wanting to string Steve along for just a little bit longer.
"You know, considering what you've been through…" Steve trailed off and glared at Danny as he spotted the twitch of his lips, "You know exactly what I mean don't you?"
Danny allowed the smile to break through, "Yeah, I do. Sorry. Yes, I'm going to be fine. You're here, plus it's a small electrical impulse not a cattle prod," the smile dropped and he shuddered slightly.
"Yeah," sighed Danny, something he'd been doing a lot of lately, "Just one minute I'm fine and the next I can almost feel it happening. Doesn't matter that I know I'm not back there."
"It'll take time."
"At least I've got the time to take, right?"
Before Steve could answer the door opened and a man stepped in. He was about six foot four and well built. Danny thought something about him looked familiar, but he couldn't put his finger on it.
"Are you Alex?" asked Steve, also seemingly a little tense at this new person suddenly appearing, even if they had been warned. He knew that Doctor Harris' team had been vetted in advance by Chin and Kono but strange people he'd never met still made him nervous at the moment.
The only response they got was a nod as the man paused at the door with his back to them before he crossed the room to the machines. Danny and Steve shared a glance, either this guy was a mute or there was something very wrong. Not only wasn't he speaking but he was purposefully avoiding looking at them.
Steve got up and moved until he was standing between Danny and Alex. The man turned around and even though the hair colour was wrong and he was wearing thick glasses Danny immediately recognised the piercing blue eyes of Shane Warner as he pulled a gun from under the lab coat he was wearing.
Steve launched himself at the other man before he could bring the weapon fully up and knocked it out of his hand. The two men fought for dominance for a few moments before somehow Warner managed to get the upper hand and Steve went down, striking his head on the corner of one of the metal trolleys.
Warner reached for the gun that had fallen nearby and pointed it at Steve's still form. Danny had watched in dismay as his friend went down and the other man quickly went for the gun. Clearly Warner had discounted Danny knowing that he was still suffering the after effects of the treatment he'd received at his hands, his plan was to kill anyone who got in his way quickly and then take his time strangling the life out of the detective who had managed to get away.
That was his mistake; Danny was off the bed and grabbed the gun in Warner's hand again before the man could even take a breath. Warner was incensed and turned his full attention on to the man he considered a thorn in his side. The injured man drew on strength he didn't even know he possessed as he struggled with Warner, praying that someone would realise something was wrong before he could kill both Danny and Steve.
Warner was driven by a rage that was white hot, while Danny was driven by the need to protect a member of his family, both were extremely motivating factors which led to quite a struggle over the weapon. After only a minute or so the struggle took its toll on Danny's weakened body and Warner saw his opportunity, released one hand from the fight for the weapon and punched Danny so hard in the jaw that the wounds under his chin that had been caused by the fork reopened and he landed so that he was lying across Steve's legs.
Danny felt the air leave his lungs as Steve's knees met with his ribs but the SEAL didn't move.
Angry that Steve had been injured by Warner and knowing that his time was up as he saw Warner aim his weapon at him, obviously having given up the idea of slowly killing him, he made a grab for the gun in Steve's ankle holster and in one smooth movement pulled it free and pulled the trigger. Warner's own weapon fired, the shot going wide and instead of imbedding itself in the intended target of Danny's brain it grazed his arm.
Danny was done, all his energy had been expended in that effort and he allowed his body to flop back and cover Steve's lower half as he breathed heavily from the exertion. He was startled as the door crashed open to reveal the two HPD Officers that had been outside on protection detail.
"Shit!" the first Officer through the door hurried to the man he didn't recognise and kicked the gun away while he checked for a pulse.
"Detective Williams? Commander McGarrett?" the second HPD Officer dropped down beside them.
"Check Steve," Danny's words were barely audible.
The Officer leaned forward and pressed his fingertip into Steve's neck to check for a pulse, the move dragged the SEAL out of his unconscious state and he sat up in full fight mode. The Officer stumbled back out of reach as Steve's eyes came fully into focus and he registered that the man wasn't a threat, it was then he realised that Danny was lying in his lap.
"Steve, you OK?" he murmured.
"Me? I'm fine. What about you? Oh god you're bleeding!" he turned to the Officer, "Get a medical team in here!"
"Already on their way Sir, along with back up."
"Fine? You're bleeding!" Danny vaguely waved a hand towards Steve's head but had no energy to move any further.
Steve reached up and held his hand against the gash on his head, "It's nothing and I'm more worried about you!"
Glancing up Steve looked at the HPD Officer that was standing by Warner and raised an eyebrow in question. The Officer shook his head and there was a just a glint of unprofessional glee that was gone in a second.
"Good," Danny closed his eyes.
"No, no Danny, come on man, stay with me."
"Just let the doctor take a look at you before you faint!" Steve braced himself for the reaction he was hoping he'd get. He wasn't disappointed.
"Faint?" Danny's eyes popped open and he managed a pathetic version of his normal glare, "Williams' don't faint!"
"Well it sure looked like that's what you were about to do!"
"No Steven, I was about to pass out!"
"Well can you hold off on that for a little while Danny?" asked Henry as he hurried in the room, "What on earth happened? You know what, never mind. Let's get the two of you to the ER and assessed."
There was a minimum amount of fuss from Danny as he was lifted from the floor onto a gurney and wheeled from the room. Steve, however, caused the maximum amount of fuss as Doctor Jensen insisted that he at least go to the ER in the wheelchair they had in the room, given that he was a little unsteady on his feet and liable to cause himself further injury. The threat of an overnight stay settled him down and in no time he was settled in an ER cubicle being assessed.
Two hours later the whole of 5-0 were assembled in Danny's room, Kai, Ani, Troy and James included.
"Brah, I can't leave you two alone for a minute can I?" chastised Kono glaring at Steve sitting in a chair, a dressing over the gash on his forehead under which there were five neat stitches. Danny hadn't long woken up and was still too sleepy to comment.
"How did Warner manage it?" asked Ani, "He stayed on the island undiscovered and got into the hospital passed all the security and HPD presence."
"He knew Danny had survived and he just waited, biding his time. We found that a nurse in the ICU had dated him at one time and she told him about Doctor Harris. While Harris was up meeting Danny, Warner managed to grab Alex. He held her at gunpoint until Doctor Harris called to tell her where Danny would be, then Warner knocked her out. He'd changed his appearance enough that he wasn't recognised by any of the security or HPD."
"Wait, her?" asked Danny, still groggy and a little confused.
"Yes, Danny, her! Alex is a unisex name which he used to his advantage. When he found out where Danny was going to be he simply appeared in her place and since nobody in the hospital knew Doctor Harris' assistant he got away with it."
"Didn't change his eyes though," Danny shuddered at the memory of how he'd felt as he recognised the piercing eyes, full of an indescribable hatred.
"I guess he wanted you to know it was him," Steve shrugged.
"I'm glad he's dead," stated Kono emphatically. A round of agreement echoed in the room.
The door opened and Doctor Jensen stepped in, "Steve, Danny, how are you both feeling?" he asked as he picked up Danny's chart.
"I'm fine," replied Steve.
"Of course you are," commented Danny, raising an eyebrow in eloquent disbelief, "Except of course for the headache you have!"
"I don't have a headache," insisted the SEAL.
"Uh huh, so if I were to say, bang on something loudly, it wouldn't bother you?"
"You don't have the energy to bang on anything…"
"I don't know about Steve having a headache, but I'm getting one," grumbled Chin with a wink at his cousin.
"Steve, you need to go home and get some rest, you have a concussion and no, it doesn't make any difference that it's a minor one!"
"Is fine Steven!" cut in Danny.
"Will recover from the graze the bullet left on his arm," Henry interrupted as Steve went to respond, "however his body wasn't ready for the exertion and he needs to rest as well! Doctor Harris will be back tomorrow to do the tests but only if you do as you're told Danny."
"Ha, as if!" snorted Steve.
"Pot!" retorted Danny.
"I'll sedate the pair of you!" threatened Henry, wiping a hand over his face in frustration.
"Enough!" Chin decided to step in and save the Doctor the trouble of having to admit Steve for sedation, "Kono is going to take you home Steve, where you will stay for at least twelve hours!"
"No arguments Steve!" Chin turned to a smirking Danny, "And you will rest as Henry has instructed, I'll be staying here to make sure you do."
Danny simply wiped the smirk of his face and nodded. Honestly he was too tired to even want to put up a fight. He'd only been arguing with Steve because he had hoped to remove the look of guilt he'd seen in his eyes. Glancing again at his brother he realised that it hadn't worked.
"Chin, can I speak to Steve in private before Kono whisks him away, please?"
The older detective thought about denying the request but he'd seen the look in Danny's eyes and knew it was important. "We'll be back in five minutes!"
The others wished the two men goodnight and left the hospital. Chin and Kono followed Henry to the nearby doctor's lounge to wait.
"It wasn't your fault Steve."
"Don't play ignorant with me Steven! Warner getting into the hospital and trying to kill me, well us actually, wasn't your fault."
"I promised I wouldn't let him hurt you again."
"You didn't let him hurt me Steve. You were knocked unconscious trying to protect me!"
"Yet here you are with a gunshot wound…"
"It's a graze Steven, a graze! Look, we both survived and he didn't. I refuse to let anything that happened with Warner affect my life any further than it has already. That includes not letting you beat yourself up over something you had no control over!"
"I just wish I could have prevented it, all of it."
"I'm not gonna lie, I wish you could have too but you couldn't and, god forbid, if our roles were reversed I'm sure I'd feel the same way you do. I know that you did everything you could and you always will. Look tomorrow I have my appointment with Doctor Harris, I'd really appreciate it if you were here for that," Danny changed the subject knowing he'd given Steve something to think about.
"You can count on it," the door opened to reveal Chin and Kono, "Get some rest Danno, you look like shit!" he grinned as he rested a hand on Danny's and squeezed.
"Take a look in a mirror you goof!"
Steve followed Kono out still grinning. Chin shook his head and watched as Danny settled down, trying to get comfortable and dimmed the light as he drifted off to sleep.
Nearly four weeks after being admitted to Queens Danny was finally being released. Doctor Harris had managed to find a blockage that had been causing pressure on his radial nerve in both wrists and had carried out a procedure under local anaesthetic to remove it. Both his wrists were currently in braces but with physical therapy he'd be back to his original functionality in time.
Unsurprisingly he was off to Steve's to recuperate given that he was still not up to full strength. The team had continued to ensure he wasn't left alone despite Warner no longer being a threat. Danny would have normally fought them but he found it comforting for the time being. The fact of the matter was it would take time for him to recover from both the physical and emotional damage caused by his experiences. It wasn't lost on him that although he was the one that went through the torture the others went through it with him in their own way, so helping him also helped them. It would take time but they would all recover, eventually.
Name of the yacht: Moana 'Anela – Ocean Angel
A/N: So, that's it. The alphabet has been completed. *sniffle*
There were several ideas I had for this final chapter, one of which was suggested by Angellpoint that I didn't use as I just couldn't get it to work out. It was longer than the rest as I felt I owed the people reading closure on the Shane Warner character as I had featured him several times through the A to Z.
I want to thank each and every reader, reviewer and alerter for their time. This has been a labour of love and I have enjoyed every moment of it. I intend to carry on some of the chapters in separate stories eventually. If there is a specific chapter you'd like to see a continuation of then please let me know either in your review or a PM and I'll see what I can do. Thank you again and I hope to see you when I publish my next 5-0 story in the future. x