Steve and Grace
Disclaimer: See chapter one
A/N:Well, this is it, the final chapter. This story started as an image of Steve having to jump off a cliff with Grace in his arms and went from there. This has been another amazing ride and it has all been because of you guys, the alerts, favorites and record breaking reviews have left me humbled and amazed that I could write something so many would take interest in, that so many would feel the emotions that I felt writing it. I know, we all need stock in Kleenex, I keep a box right next to my computer because I never know when I'll read or possibly write something that starts the waterworks. I hope you all enjoyed the ride and that this last chapter brings it together as you invisioned. This one only includes Steve, Danny and Grace. I know some will wonder about Chin and Kono, since they were such a big part of the early chapters, but ultimately this was Steve's and Grace's story and I felt it needed to end with the two of them (and of course we know Danny needed to get his two cents in). So here is the final chapter, I hope you enjoy and again THANK YOU all so very, very much!-Montez
"Thought I'd find you here." Danny's voice was unusually quiet. "Is this your way of getting back in the saddle?"
Steve turned slightly, glancing at his best friend over his shoulder, "Getting back in the saddle?"
Moving closer Danny sat down next to Steve, "Yeah, the old saying…meaning you don't give up when something bad happens, you face your fear."
Steve sat for a second, he had faced many fears in his life. It was the nature of the life he led, fear really had no place in it, so had always channeled that emotion into determination. But this time, this time fear was trying to bury its talons deep into his flesh, trying to take root in his soul. He'd been home from the hospital for five days, it had been two weeks since the attacks that had rattled Steve to his core and nearly claimed not only his life, but Grace's as well.
When he had finally woken up in the hospital and saw Grace sitting next to him on the bed, for an instant he had felt himself let go of the fear that had gripped him the moment those first bullets had been fired at him that day. However, over the course of the following days the fear slowly returned, it was the fear of what could have happened, of what he had done, what Grace had gone through, what she'd witnessed. It was a fear that caused him to withdraw into himself again, he had smiled every time he watched Grace walk into his hospital room, but the little voice in his head kept whispering that it wasn't safe for her to be around him, that because of him she could have been killed. So once he was released from the hospital he had come up with excuses anytime Danny said Grace wanted to visit, in his mind it was better to keep her at a distance, so she would be safe.
Steve had been sitting silent for several minutes, so long that it started to worry Danny, who reached out and touched his friend's arm, "Steve?"
"I was afraid…" Steve's voice was so quiet, barely above a whisper. The fear and sorrow Danny saw in his partner's eyes when McGarrett looked at him nearly took Danny's breath. "I had never been so terrified in my life. She could have died Danny." Williams noticed his best friend's, his brother's eyes fill with unshed tears. "Because of me you almost lost Grace."
"It's because of you I still have Grace!" Danny's voice became harsh, why didn't Steve see that he had saved Grace's life that day, at nearly the cost of his own.
"She could have died from this jump." Steve didn't want Danny's forgiveness; he wanted the Jersey native to yell at him, to hate him for putting his daughter in such danger.
"She WOULD have died from a bullet if you didn't make the jump!" Danny stood now, he was really getting angry. "My God Steve…" Williams ran his hand through his hair then turned back to face his friend, who was still seated. "Five men Steven, five men were sent after you and my daughter, she may not have been the target but she would have been collateral damage but she wasn't. You both are alive because she was with you. I know you, if you had been alone you would have thought you could take all five men and probably ended up dead. Now God knows Grace should have never have been in that situation, but she could have just as easily been with me, they could have came at me when we were leaving my place or Rachel's or hell the damn grocery store. It was their mistake to try and take you out in your element." Danny waved his hand around, his arm encompassing the area around them. "You noticed something was off, that crazy SEAL sixth-sense thing you have started flashing danger and you reacted, protecting my daughter. You used that superhero training I'm always on you about to save her life."
Danny was on a roll, he'd had nightmare's ever night about what could have happened that day, what he could have lost but didn't because the man before him. "Look at that…" Danny pointed in the direction of the ocean laid out before them from Kahala Lookout. "Do you even think I would have done what you did? No because my mind would not have worked like yours, I don't have the skills you have to have pulled off what you did. I would have tried to find a way through those damn woods and probably ended up dead and despite my best efforts Grace would have probably been lost too. To me there would not have been another way out, but you saw what more rational people wouldn't have seen. You didn't see this cliff as a no way out situation; you saw it as a much safer escape route than the one that was in front of you. You stayed calm just like you always do, you talked my daughter through what was going to happen and kept her calm and you saved her life, don't you understand that? YOU SAVED GRACE'S LIFE!"
Again Danny took a step away, he needed to collect his thoughts. Steve had remained quiet and Williams didn't know whether to be worried or grateful for the silence. Danny had one more thing to tell his partner, something that he hoped made the man realize that what he had done was the right thing to do, "Do you know what Grace told me in the hospital?"
Steve looked at Danny, who was again knelling next to him, "She told me she knew you were scared even though you didn't show it." The blond man could see the slight look of shock in McGarrett's face, "Do you know how she knew?"
"How?" Steve had tried so hard to hide the fear he had about Grace's safety that day, he believed he had done a good job of it until this moment.
"She said that when she laid her head against your chest, like you had told her to, that your heart was beating as fast as hers was and she knew you were just as scared as she was." Danny again saw his partner's eyes fill as Steve took a deep breath, trying to push the emotions away, "But you know what she said that you told her to make her not so afraid?"
Again it was an emotion-filled gaze that met Danny's, "She said you told her how brave she was and you told her that no matter what happened you wanted her to always remember that her Danno loved her and that you loved her too." Danny pulled an object from his pocket and switched it on.
It was Steve's cell phone that he had dropped that day when a bullet connected with the edge of the picnic table, throwing a large splinter at his face. HPD had collected Grace's discarded backpack and camera, as well as, Steve's things, including his phone. McGarrett watched as Danny pushed a few buttons, then flipped through a few screens before turning the palm-size item toward him, his voice quieter. "This is what you saved that day."
The image on the screen was the picture Steve had totally forgotten he had taken that day, it had been just moments before all hell broke loose. Of that instant when Grace had first taken in the view from the lookout, it was a picture that revealed the wonderment of the moment on a child's face. "You saved her so she could have more moments like this, moments where her innocents and awe will shine through and make everything we do worth it."
Steve reached a slightly shaking hand up and took his phone from his partner, looking closer at the photo, a moment captured in time forever. "Danny?" Steve's voice broke as he looked back to his partner. Danny smiled at Steve when he saw that his friend finally understood his choices that day were all the right ones. Without another word Williams pointed behind Steve, who turned from his spot sitting on the edge of the cliff he had jumped off that day, to see the little girl he had made that jump to save. "Gracie?"
McGarrett stood as quickly as his healing body would allow, taking a few steps forward before his arms were filled with the child that had clung so tight to him that day, whom he'd held equally as tight, "God Gracie…" It seemed to be the first time he had actually allowed himself to really feel her in his arms, to feel her alive and safe.
"You saved me that day Uncle Steve…now it's my turn to save you." Grace whispered into his ear as she squeezed him tight.
Closing his eye's, feeling the love from the little girl in his arms Steve remembered her voice in that darkness he had been in before he woke up in the hospital. It was her voice that gave him hope, gave him direction out of those dark waters that had surrounded him, that had been stealing his strength, his hope. He remembered seeing her presence on the shore as those cold, dark waters became the warm blue of home. It had been Grace that saved him and led him back home.
Hugging her tight again he whispered, "You already did Gracie, you already did."