Summary: Danny's life almost got turned upside down by an ex-partner bent on revenge. What happens after? Episode tag to 2.15: Mai Ka Wa Kahiko. If you haven't seen the episode and don't want to be spoiled, don't read this, obviously. Rated T for some naughty language.
Author's notes: So, my prediction didn't come true – but I couldn't have asked for a better episode. But I couldn't let it sit where it did.
Danny Williams' world had shrunk to about three feet – the space it took for him and Rachel to stand, with Grace now in his ex-wife's arms and Danny's arms wrapped around them. Nothing else mattered, now that he could feel his daughter safe in his grasp, and Rachel as well.
Alive. Thank you, God.
The sirens, the acrid smell of burnt rubber from the tires peeling to a stop, none of it mattered. Sights, sounds, smells – they were nothing compared to the sensation of touch, the overwhelming relief pulsing through Danny's veins at the mere feel of warm skin wrapped tightly in a hug.
How long Danny stood there, he wouldn't even be able to tell. Moments may have melted into minutes - or it could've been seconds only, stretched into eternity awash in emotions. Finally, though, a hand was gently rested on his shoulder, and Danny knew even before the person spoke who would intrude.
"Danny, we need to get them out of here, get them checked out." Steve pitched his voice low, and gentle – for Danny's sake or for Grace and Rachel's, he wasn't sure. But he was grateful, and Danny nodded as he pulled away. As he did, though, Grace started to sniffle again, and Danny's hand went almost of its own accord to her back, rubbing it softly.
"Hey, Uncle Steve's right, Gracie. You and your mom, you need to go to the hospital, check on Step-Stan, OK?" Danny was under no illusions. He doubted he would see the inside of a jail cell tonight, but HPD would want its statements – and so would Governor Denning when he found out what happened, if he hadn't already.
Time to pay the piper, I guess.Danny put his arm around Rachel's shoulders, and guided her over to the ambulance that had followed the police cars in, his legs wobbly as the adrenaline finally started to wear off. Once there, a paramedic wrapped a blanket around them both and guided them up onto the ambulance bench. Danny resisted the urge to climb in after them.
"Not going to leave without me, right?" Kono's voice came up behind Danny's suddenly, and the detective turned to see the young officer giving him a smile of her own. She then pitched her voice so only Danny could hear.
"Someone's gotta take Grace's statement, and Steve wants it to be one of us." Kono's voice was steady, reassuring - CALM. "Chin's staying here to work the scene, and Steve's gonna take you back to headquarters. We've got your back, brah, all right?"
Ohana. Family. Danny was reminded again of how lucky he was to have not just his flesh and blood here on the island, but his team. He shivered slightly when he realized how all of them had been right there, right when he needed them earlier – been there without asking any questions. How hard had they worked to save his Gracie – to keep this day from turning into a complete clusterfuck?
He didn't want to know. Danny shivered as Kono clenched his shoulder in support, and then climbed into the ambulance. Before the paramedic could close the door though, Grace peeked out from her mother's embrace, and gave Danny as good a grin as she could manage.
"Love you, Danno." The voice barely climbed above a whisper, but Danny heard it clear as day, the sound music to his ears. His own voice, in answer, came out low and gruff.
"Love you too, monkey." Then the door slammed shut, and Danny stepped back so the ambulance could pull out. His steps, hesitant and unsure, carried him slowly to the Camaro, his vision narrowing to gray in the sudden darkness.
Oh, God, how close did we come and what if Steve hadn't shown up...God, Gracie, what if...Danny stumbled, his feet suddenly unsure. As he did, though, an arm wrapped itself around his waist, catching him before he fell. The same set of hands guided him to the open passenger door of the Camaro, and then maneuvered him into the seat. A hand came up up to the back of his neck, pushing down.
"Adrenaline dump, Danno. You know the drill." Steve.Danny didn't have the strength left to answer, or to fight. He did as he was told, putting his hands against the dashboard and letting his head drop to his knees. The gray in his vision lessened, but as it did, a breath hitched in Danny's lungs, and released as a low sob. He tried to draw in another deep breath, tried to fight back the emotion, but as he did, the hand on his back clasped his shoulder.
"It's OK, Danno, let it out." Steve's voice, calm but husky with emotion, undid Danny completely. The tears, the emotion, the sheer, utter insanity of the day reached a crescendo with those simple words and the touch of a friend, and then overwhelmed him.
And as Danny Williams cried – for his daughter, for an ex-partner he had once called a friend, for his ex-wife and her husband and everything in between – that touch grounded him and shrunk his world to another embrace, another small space, another three feet.
And it was enough.