Disclaimer: Hawaii Five-0, and it's characters belong to CBS. I make no profit off of this.
Author's Note: A coda fic to 2.10. Cross-posted from A03
Steve wakes on a gunshot, his mindscape riddled with bullets, and silence; Jenna's face as she falls backwards, dead and alone on the cold cement floor. She never deserved to die like that, saving Steve, and he closes his eyes against the burn of tears he won't -can't- shed.
The grief is mostly muted, blocked away by a dark, coiling mass of hate, and rage; a need for vengeance so strong it burns, but Steve can't seek it out. He'll get Wo Fat, he knows it the way he knows his own name, and there won't be any mercy, or 'proper procedure;' no stint in prison that will never last. He's done letting that bastard hurt the people he loves, but that doesn't mean he's going to do it himself by being stupid.
He has reasons, now, and one of them is downstairs, watching infomercials from his couch, and trying to pretend he's fine. Steve knows better; he saw the shadows in Danny's eyes before he could, and it hurts knowing he put them there. They haven't been too great at holding each other's gazes these days.
They're both too tangled up in the things between them; in the 'you came for me,' and 'of course I did, you goof,' and the 'I'm here, alive,' and 'I love you.' All the words they don't know how to say to each other, after everything. The words they aren't sure they're allowed to say to each other.
Steve groans, scrubbing a hand tiredly over his face. There won't be anymore sleep up here tonight, and he's so tired. He hasn't slept the night through since he got out; doesn't know if he ever will again.
Danny's already pulled him out of one nightmare, and Steve can't help thinking he'll be able to pull him out of the others, too. He always seems to be saving Steve, has been since they met, and maybe it's time Steve offered a lifeline of his own; a way for Danny to pull himself back to shore.
He swings out of bed, gingerly pulling on a shirt because Danny hates the reminder written in the mess of Steve's body. He's still sore, has to take it easy down the stairs, and he stops at the couch, breathes through the pain. It isn't as bad as it was, and he's healing a little each day; physically, anyway. He wishes he could say the same for his partner.
"Danny?" he asks, but there's no answer, and Danny isn't on the couch. The rest of the house is quiet, and there's a moment, a brief, terrifying moment where Steve thinks the worst; wonders if Wo Fat got in, and has Danny. It passes, though, and he makes himself breathe through it, hands clenched white on the back of couch. This too, will pass, he knows, but it seems a long way off, and Danny isn't on the couch.
Wo Fat isn't here, and Danny's safe. He keeps repeating it to himself in his head, over and over, as he heads out onto the lanai. Danny's there, standing at the rail, and staring out at the waves. He steps closer, nudges Danny's shoulder with his own, and then doesn't move away. He likes having Danny right here, so close; a warmth all along his side.
"Hey," he says, quiet, and winces at the hoarseness of his own voice. He hasn't been talking much; he should do something about that.
"What are you doing up, huh? I think you're supposed to be resting, babe." Danny scolds, but he's too quiet about it, and his eyes are still too far away. Neither of them are dealing well.
"Danno…," he sighs, turns to look out across the waves, lets the sounds of the ocean pull him closer towards peace. Danny turns to stare at him; Steve can feel the way his eyes rake over every inch, taking him in. Something flips inside him. "I'm right here; not going anywhere," he says finally, wonders who he's trying to convince, and then lets himself believe the words. He's here. They got him out; his team. Danny.
Danny breathes in, sharp and noisy like he hadn't been expecting that, and Steve's tired of pretending.
"I thought you were dead, Steven," Danny says finally, too much emotion making his voice ragged. "Jenna," and his voice breaks a little while two gunshots echo in Steve's head. "She called me, said Wo Fat had you, but didn't tell us anything else." He stops, shakes his head, and tugs at Steve until they're facing each other.
"Look, okay. I know you're a SEAL, that you're trained for this kind of shit, or whatever. But that sick bastard had you, and I saw the room, Steve," he rants, wild-eyed, and gesturing. "I saw the goddamned room with those chains, and Jenna, and- I thought you were dead; I thought I was gonna have to bring your body back, and explain to my little girl that-" He stops there, taking deep breaths, and clearly trying to get himself back under control.
Sometimes, a lot of times, Steve doesn't know what to do with Danny, and his feelings; his infinite capacity for loving Steve despite his issues. This time, though, he knows what he wants to do.
It isn't a step he's ever taken, full of words, and feelings he doesn't know what to do with, or how to handle. He's willing to learn, though; Danny is worth it. He'd do a lot of things for his partner.
"Danny. Hey, look at me, babe," he coaxes, using one of Danny's words, catching his attention with it. He has no idea what he's doing, but something is fluttering all through his stomach, and there's heat low in his belly; anticipation, and need, and want tangled up together. He doesn't hide any of hit, lets it out in the open for Danny to see. His eyes go wide, and dark, and Steve can't help the almost-grin as he leans in, catching Danny's lips in a kiss that's meant to be gentle; tender, but Danny meets him half-way, turns it heated, and they're both breathing hard when they pull apart.
His lips sting, a little; the cuts, and bruises on his face haven't healed completely, but Steve couldn't care less right now.
"I'm right here, Danno," he says, his mindscape full of waves crashing against the shore, and Danny's hand tangled in his hair, and home all around him.
"Babe," Danny breathes, tugging him down again, "don't ever do that again." He kisses Steve fiercely, but sweet, and their breaths mingle in the space between them. "Stay with me," he adds, finally meeting Steve's eyes. Like Steve could ever do anything else, now.