Hugs and kisses to my wonderful and lovely friend and beta JoaniexJony. Your encouragement and support is always so appreciated!
This story plays out sometime between Season 2 ep 9 and Season 2 ep 13. There are no real spoilers for the second season so far, though.
Rage Against the Dying of the Light
Bobby Linton slumped in his seat. The sandwich he'd ordered was still in its wrapping. He'd come into the deli because he didn't know what else to do and he'd ordered the sandwich so he would have an excuse to sit at the table, not because he was hungry.
He fingered the newspaper article. It was from last year. He'd copied it off of the internet. The pages were creased and worn from repeated folding. It had been languishing in his backpack since he'd first discovered it the week before.
The girl at the counter was watching him. She was pretty, and Bobby guessed she was about his age. He was the only customer and the place was quiet. He figured he was making her nervous.
He unwrapped the sandwich, forced himself to eat a bite. The food turned in his stomach, but the girl dropped her eyes and went back to whatever she was doing.
His eyes strayed to his backpack. His stomach twisted again. It had been so easy to get. Easier than he'd ever thought possible.
He jumped when the door to the deli flew open. The little bells on the handle jangled loudly on his nerves and the girl behind the counter looked up.
A short blonde man and a tall fair haired woman walked inside, arguing loudly. Bobby knew who they were. He'd seen them in the offices the other day. The blonde man had been arguing then too. That time it had been with a taller Asian man.
Bobby's stomach flipped and for a second he thought he might puke. His hands began to shake. Should he do it? It had worked for Graham Wilson. The Navy SEAL had been accused of murder and then took a boat full of tourists hostage, but Steve McGarrett had cleared his name. Bobby might never get another chance to make them listen. He might never have another chance to free his brother and save their mother's life.
He fingered the backpack. He didn't even realize he'd unzipped it until his fingers suddenly touched cold steel. He wrapped his fingers around the handle of the gun. The choice had been made.
The loud bang shocked him, he hadn't meant to fire the gun. He'd only wanted to make them listen.
He hadn't meant to kill anyone.
Least of all a cop named Danny Williams.
"Are you insane?" Danny drew up short on the sidewalk outside of Wong's Deli, his hands slicing upwards. "Are you actually saying that the best meatball sandwich you've ever had was at a Port of Subs? A Port of Subs? Were you raised in a cave?"
"No, Danny," Lori glared in annoyance at her teammate, stiffly bracing her hands on her hips. "I was not raised in a cave. I was raised in the suburbs. In Indiana."
"Well that's obvious," Danny snorted in derision. "If you'd ever actually been to New York or Jersey, you would realize the blasphemy of what you just said. Next you're gonna tell me you like Nickelback."
"I've been to New York," Lori said lamely. She bit her lip, shoulders slumping, chin falling slightly forward. Turning her back on Danny, she resumed walking towards the deli, pushing the door open.
"Oh my God," Danny chortled, understanding dawning in his blue eyes. "You like Nickelback. How can you like Nickelback?" The blonde detective chased after the taller woman, ducking in front of her and bringing her to another halt with a raise of his hands. "They only know, like, three chords! And they're Canadian!"
"Shut up, Danny," Lori finally snapped. She raised her fist and punched him in the arm.
"Violence is the refuge of those who know their position is indefensible," Danny continued to tease her. "My sisters resorted to it all the time."
"So you're saying they beat you up a lot," Lori smirked.
"I suppose that's one way to look at it," Danny grinned.
The girl behind the counter looked up from the sandwich she was making and smiled.
"Hi Alana," Danny waved.
"Your order will be right up, Detective Williams," she called. "I'm sorry we couldn't deliver it today, but Dad had to run out to the bank and I'm here alone."
"No problem," Danny smiled. "Feels good to get out of the office for a few minutes."
They were between cases. Which meant they were getting caught up on paperwork. Which meant Danny was finding inventive ways to rationalize searches and seizures and interrogations. Which in turn meant that Steve was more grouchy and antsy than usual.
"In fact, take your time," Danny waved and smiled. "Take all afternoon."
Beside him Lori snorted. "You're not getting out of the paperwork that easy. I get the feeling Steve would hunt you down."
"Not if we thoroughly cover our tracks," Danny whispered conspiratorially.
At first Danny thought Lori had punched him again. Hard. He stumbled. He meant to ask her what the hell he'd done to deserve that one, but all that came out was a startled yelp.
And as he tumbled into his teammate, she looked as surprised as he was. Then the pain bloomed in his shoulder, hot and searing. It took his breath away.
He heard Alana scream, but it wasn't until Lori urgently hissed the word gun that Danny muzzily understood the sound he'd heard wasn't a car backfiring. It had been a gunshot and he'd been hit.
He blinked hard, tried to focus. Tried to figure out where the threat was. Other than Alana, the only person in the deli was a scrawny teenage boy. He was positive no one had followed him and Lori inside.
His body was tangled up in Lori's gangly arms. His limbs felt like lead, clumsy and slow to respond. The fire in his shoulder was spreading. His ears were buzzing. His vision tunneling.
Danny tried to clamp down on the pain and the shock. He had to help Lori. Had to get to his gun. He felt Lori's fingers slide down his side and instinctively he understood his gun was the only one within her reach. He was also aware Lori was the only thing keeping him vertical.
He caught her eye and nodded slightly, letting her know it was okay. Once she got her hands on the gun, she was going to have to drop him.
"No no no!" A high reedy voice full of panic screamed. "Put your guns down. Both of you! Now!"
Danny's knees buckled. He dropped like a dead weight, bringing Lori down to her knees along with him. His breath hitched in his chest. Sweat popped out on his forehead. And suddenly he was freezing. As he shivered and swayed he felt Lori's arms tighten around him.
Danny swung his head and looked with pain glazed eyes at the teenager who'd shot him. The kid was holding his weapon with both hands, his knuckles nearly white with the strain of holding the gun steady. The boy was nervous as hell. If the teen so much as startled, he could take them both out.
Unable to hold his head up, Danny let it collapse against Lori's shoulder.
"Okay," Lori said calmly. "Okay. I'm going to pull the guns out of our holsters and place them on the floor. Just stay calm, all right?"
"Don't try anything stupid," the teen blustered. "I'll shoot you. I swear I will. I don't have anything to lose."
"What's your name?" Lori asked, carefully un-holstering the guns and placing them gently on the floor. She shoved them towards the teenager.
"Bobby," the kid sniffled, snatching up both guns and shoving them into his backpack. Diving towards the windows he turned the blinds and then ran to the door and threw the lock.
"Hi Bobby," Lori said, sliding her hand around Danny's back and gently easing him to the floor. She cushioned his head against her thigh. "I'm Lori. My friend here is Danny. He's hurt pretty bad. Will you let me get him some help?"
"Uh," Bobby rubbed at his forehead with his hand. "No. He can't leave. No one can leave." He suddenly turned towards Alana, swinging his gun at her in the process. The girl stood frozen in shock behind the counter. "Is there another way in?"
A small sob was his only response.
"Hey—are you listening to me?" the boy shouted, his voice tinged with desperation. "Is there another way in?" His fingers tightened on the gun.
"Easy, babe," Danny said weakly, catching the boy's eye. "You're scaring her. Give her a minute. Alana," he called softly, never taking his eye from the teenager with the gun. "It's okay sweetheart. No one else is going to get hurt today. Isn't that right, Bobby?"
The boy swallowed hard and nodded jerkily.
"Is there a back door Alana?" Danny asked, his brow pinching with pain.
Slowly the girl stood up. She nodded, pointing with one trembling finger towards the door that led to the back room. Hesitatingly she said, "It's locked. It doesn't open from the outside."
The boy backed up, crossed his arms over his chest and began nibbling on his thumbnail. He nodded.
A wave of pain crashed over Danny's shoulder. He groaned, gritting his teeth.
"Bobby," Lori said urgently. "I have to try and stop this bleeding. He's going to die if I don't. Is that what you want?"
Dumbly, Bobby shook his head.
"Do you have any towels?" Lori asked Alana.
"I have some in the back," Alana looked fearfully at the teenager.
"Will you let her go in the back room and get some towels?" Lori asked the boy.
He shrugged and nodded, never taking his thumb from his mouth. He backed up, taking a seat on top of a table. One leg began swinging convulsively.
"Go on," Lori urged the girl gently.
As Alana disappeared into the back room, Lori smiled softly down at Danny.
"How you doing, Danny?" she asked, slipping her fingers around his wrist and pressing on the pulse point.
"Been better," he gasped, wincing.
Alana ran out of the back room, her arms full of towels. She dropped them on the floor next to Danny. She swallowed hard, staring mesmerized at Danny's chest. His shirt was soaked with blood, spreading downwards from his upper left shoulder. It was dripping on the tile floor in a growing pool.
"Thank you Alana," Lori said, grabbing one of the towels and pressing it firmly against Danny's shoulder.
Danny's face paled and he moaned. His fingers twitched.
The air was tinged with the metallic smell of blood. Nauseated, the girl stumbled backwards, her slight figure collapsing into a chair several feet away.
"Easy," Lori soothed. As the towel became saturated, she grabbed another and pressed it on top of the existing towel.
"'M' cold," Danny whispered, shivering. "Man it hurts."
"I know," Lori pressed harder, eliciting another groan from her teammate. She snagged another towel, her mouth a thin line as she pressed it over the wound. She glanced up at Bobby. "Tell me what you want."
"I want Steve McGarrett to prove my brother Charlie didn't kill Kai Kamaka, just like he proved Graham Wilson didn't kill his wife," Bobby said.
"I proved that," Danny muttered, his blue eyes stormy. "The papers always get it wrong."
Maintaining the pressure on Danny's wound with the palm of one hand Lori briefly squeezed his good shoulder with the other before reaching into her back pocket.
"What are you doing?" Bobby leaned forward nervously.
Lori pulled out her cell phone and held it up. "I'm calling Steve McGarrett just like you want, Bobby. But it's not too late to stop this. Let me call an ambulance and get Danny the help he needs."
"No," Bobby shook his head. "Maybe this will make Commander McGarrett work faster."
"You better hope he works fast enough, Bobby," Lori warned, swiping the phone's touch screen with her thumb and pulling up her contacts list. "Because at the rate he's bleeding, Danny doesn't have a lot of time." She stared stonily at the boy as Steve's phone began to ring. "And if Danny dies, I can tell you right now…neither do you."
A/N 1: I know Lori isn't a favorite around here, but I hope you'll give her a chance...
A/N 2: I want to let the tension in this story play out without a lot of disclaimers getting in the way. If you are desperate to know Danny's fate and that impacts your ability to enjoy the story, I will respond privately...
A/N 3: Thank you for reading! I always love to hear your reactions, so please review and let me know what you think!