Chapter one
By Montez
Disclaimer: Still don't own but a person can dream

A/N: Me again, been busy with life or what passes as my life at the moment. I've had this story floating since the episode where Joe was taken by Adam and Steve had to come rescue him. Steve's emotions in the truck just before Joe got out really stuck with me, so I actually wrote two and a half chapters that night, but it stalled. Honestly at the time that episode aired my head wasn't in a good place and I channeled that through Steve. A few days later I found my light at the end of the dark tunnel I was in and the 'feelings' of this story were chased away by the light. However life really loves to keep screwing with me and those feelings are returning, but if there is a possitive side to thier return it gets me back to this story. This story touches on the possibility of suicide, so if you have a problem with the topic you may want to skip this story-I don't mind. Just remember that if you are ever worried or have a 'feeling' about a friend don't dismiss it and think they will come to you, they may be like Steve in this story and me in real life and not want to burden thier friends with thier problems and that can be a dangerous thing. And on a personal note I wish I had a Danny, Chin and Kono in my life, but sometimes you guys are those for me and I thank you.-Montez

There have been many times in my life where I was standing on the edge. The edge of darkness, the edge of nothingness, the edge of death. I have seen so much senseless waste of human life and I think of how much I've contributed to that waste. Yes it's my job, has been my job since I was eighteen years old, it became more specialized with my specialized training, making me more efficient in taking a life.

From the age of sixteen my life has been shaped by loss, first my mother, then my father, though physically there after my mother he was lost to me too. Then my sister when my father sent us so far away from our home to separate new homes with relatives on the mainland. I never forgave him for that, I never dealt with it either. I channeled my anger, my heartbreak into unwavering focus, it was then my workouts became more intense, almost obsessive. Because of football I was in pretty good shape, but I knew I needed to be in top shape if I wanted to reach my personal goal. I would show my father, I would show everyone, I would become the best, my goal, the elite Navy SEAL's.

The Navy was in my blood, my grandfather and father both served, but I was determined to go further and did. I became one of the best, most efficient, I was always on the move, never stopping, never thinking, just doing what needed to be done the most effective way possible.

All that changed with the sound of a gun-shot across a sat-phone in the middle of nowhere Korea. I had only spoken to my father a few times over the years, never very long conversations, never very personal, but to hear his voice over that line, to know someone was standing over him, holding a gun to his head, in that moment I wanted nothing more than to be home, to see my father, to hug my father, then he was gone and my world crashed down on me.

I shoved the emotions away as I awaited extraction from our ambushed convoy, I was the only man to come away uninjured, all the other men with me were either dead or wounded. I came home days later, home…this place had not been home in almost twenty years, not since the day our father put Mary and me on those planes to the mainland.

It's been over a year now since I returned home, so much has happened, so much loss and pain. My father's death brought me back here, I soon learned that my mother's death was no accident, but murder. Then Mary got kidnapped and I nearly went crazy before we found her, alive thank God, but I knew then as my father did all those years ago, because of me she needed to be sent away to be kept safe.

The more I thought about things I started to feel the world close in, the man who had my father killed was using her to get to me, my sister had been kidnapped because I had started going through my father's things, looking into the last case he'd been working on and my little sister had snooped as well. If I had buried my father and left the island none of this would have happened. Everyone around me would be safe.

Because of me in those first few days I got a man, a police officer I didn't know, shot. He had a daughter and I recklessly got him shot. I then forced him into being my partner, which set him in more danger because of my single-mindedness to find those responsible for the losses in my life. A rookie, I pulled a rookie who hadn't even graduated yet into a life-threatening situation because of my obsession. Then there was Chin Ho Kelly, I knew that name from high school, one of the best quarterbacks in the schools history until I came along. Before my father sent me away all those years ago I had heard he became a cop, like my father, but I never saw him again until that day on the dock next to the USS Missouri, the day that changed everything. I learned his story, pulled him into my 'task force' that's only focus, my only focus, was to bring down Victor Hesse, the man who'd fired the shot that echoed halfway across the world.

But then Christmas arrived, my first Christmas on the islands since I was a kid, Danny worried about making it a good one for Grace. Watching my friend with his daughter made me long for the father I could have had had my mother not died, no…been murdered.

Then that call came and another person I'd come to care about was at the mercy of the man who'd killed my father. Looking at the darkness of the ocean crashing against the shore I remember the horror of running toward Chin that day, knelling in front of our headquarters with that bomb strapped around his neck. God I knew in that moment I was going to loss someone else and their death was going to be my fault because it was me Hesse was after, it was me Hesse was trying to destroy and he knew taking away the people that meant the most to me would do that.

But we were granted a Christmas miracle and with Kono's help I was able to bring Victor down, saving a life I had put in danger. Why my team stayed with me after that I'll never know, especially once we figured out Hesse really wasn't behind everything, a man named Wo Fat was and now my team was in his cross-hairs because of me.

God it all comes back to me, My father's death, Danny getting shot, Mary getting kidnapped, Kono being put in danger, Chin nearly being blown up it was all because of me. Then there was the Sarin. Danny, my partner, my best friend had nearly suffocated in front of me because of my obsession to find Wo Fat. No the Sarin wasn't Wo Fat's doing, but if we hadn't been raiding that safe house, we wouldn't have been chasing Sang Min and Danny would have never entered that house and been exposed.

Danny told me that very first day we met, the very first time my single-mindedness nearly got him killed that he didn't want to die for my vendetta and with that Sarin he had been within minutes of doing just that and I knew then I couldn't live with myself if I lost another person.

My life is falling apart, some days the guilt is so strong that I feel like I'm drowning. But I push it aside, I can't let people see that weakness and for the most part it works, but Danny sees it sometimes but I brush off his concern. I have to or I wouldn't be able to function, but sitting here now, the relentless pounding of surf echoing through my head I can't brush it off anymore, can't push it aside to be ignored, because of me I've nearly lost everyone.

Now Joe. I've known Joe since Annapolis, out of the blue one day this Naval Officer approached me, introduced himself, said he knew my father and if I ever needed anything to give him a call. I never really talked to the man after that though I would occasionally see him over the years during my training. Then one time a mission went sideways and just when I thought it was all over Joe led the team that came in and saved our asses. He stayed close during my recovery, we talked and it was then I finally felt I had someone I could trust, someone to fill that void my father had left, but now I just don't know.

I can't keep dealing with the secrets, the lies. Shelburne has become a larger nightmare than even Wo Fat, even though it all ties to him and I know Joe knows more than he's saying, but I can't understand why he just won't tell me. God I was tortured over this, I was tortured and watched Jenna die right in front of me, because of me another person died. I'm going to loss Joe too, I can feel it and in all honesty I can't handle this anymore. I want it all to stop. Joe said he wanted the deaths to stop, no one wants that more than me. I can't have anyone else die because of me, Kono's just coming into her own as a cop, Chin's just started a new life with Malia and Danny…God Danny has had to deal with so much crap because of me I don't know why he stays. I just want it to end.

Standing I look out across the black expanse of the ocean, even the moonlight can't chase away the darkness I feel inside, the darkness I can't contain anymore, pushing me closer to the edge I've danced along for so many years. Turning my back on the ebony water, making my way to the darkened house I know, this time the darkness is winning.


Danny was sitting in his office, Kono and Chin had left a short time ago, this case had been so brutal and senseless that he just couldn't wrap his head around it, they murdered an innocent girl to fix a jury, it just…God there were days he hated this job and today was one of them.

Then there's his worry about Steve, again fate decided to rain shit on him as he had to watch Sutherland fall to his death. He know Steve tried his damnedest to pull that man up, but in the end it wasn't enough, it seems liked lately nothing is ever enough. Throw in the continued drama with Joe and Shelburne and he's surprised Steve isn't blowing more things up in frustration. Danny had started to notice a bit of the Steve he had first met starting to show up again, the man who was always guarded, but what was more worrisome was the withdrawal. It took a while before Steve ever really started talking to him about anything other than work, but the last few months he's noticed Steve starting to shutdown again.

And now, with Jenna and Korea, Joe's seemingly endless stonewalling, Danny had a sick feeling that he was somehow losing his friend. Williams had noticed the near constant shadows under Steve's eyes, the hollowness his cheeks had started to take on, the unnatural paleness of his normally tanned skin was starting to show. But more than anything it was the tension that literally rolled off him in waves, Steve was wound so tight that Danny didn't know how much more his partner could take before something snapped.

Glancing at the clock Danny noticed it was nearly eleven o'clock. Steve had left a couple hours ago to meet up with Joe, since the disappearance of Hiro Noshimuri the Yakuza and Hiro's son, Adam, had made it clear they blame Joe and again it was another riddle that the older man was refusing to share with Steve. Turning off the desk lamp, Danny grabbed a couple folders and decided to head home, it had been a bitch of a day and all he wanted to do was sleep it off, to wake up tomorrow and deal with nothing more complicated than good ole fashion drug runner or arms dealer. If he ever saw the body of a murdered child again it would be too soon.

Just as he stepped into the main room his cell rang, it was Steve. "Hey, you get anything more out of Joe about Hiro?"

There was silence for a few seconds, causing Danny to actually pull his phone back, checking to make sure there was still a connection. "Steve?"

Listening carefully Danny could hear his friend breathing, but it seemed off somehow, it wasn't obvious but Williams felt his gut twist when Steve still hadn't answered. Without thought Danny rushed over to the computer table and started to trace Steve's call, "Hey man answer me, you okay? Steve?" The silence was unnerving.

The voice that came through the phone was barely a whisper, "I can't…I can't do this anymore…"

Danny literally froze a moment, his mind trying to put together the sound of his friend's voice, the words he was speaking, it wasn't making any sense, "What? Steve what can't you do? Where are you? Are you okay?" The screen popped up and showed Steve was at his house.

A hollow chuckle filled the phone that sent a shiver up Danny's spine, "God Danny…I haven't been okay for a long time now…you know that…" Again the words were breathless, empty. "Too many…it's too much…it's not worth it anymore…" Danny moved across the room, rushing out the office doors heading toward his Camaro, he needed to get to Steve, the sound of his voice, the words…unfortunately Danny had dealt with this before, a friend back in Jersey, things had gotten bad and he…No Danny couldn't, wouldn't let his mind go there.

"Listen to me Steve, tell me what's going on in that head of yours." Danny needed to keep his partner on the phone, he needed to get to him. Williams wished he had a way to call Chin, he felt this was something he might not be able to handle alone, but there was no way he was going to disconnect the fragile link to his friend.

"You said once my head must be a scary place…you have no idea…it has to stop…it has to stop…" Those last words barely whispered as Danny listened to his partner, no his brother, the man was more of a brother to him than his own brother. He listened to Steve take a resigning breath, "I'm sorry Danny…" With those three words the phone line went dead.