After a week in the hospital, Steve was finally allowed to come home. He and Danny sat in the back of Chin's car while the older man sat in the passenger seat, and Kono maneuvered the streets of Hawaii. McGarrett had mixed feelings about going home. A part of him was glad to get back to somewhere familiar, back to normal; while the other part didn't want to step foot in the place where his pain started.
Bates had taken him from his home, the one place he was supposed to feel safe. If a common doctor could grab him, who's to say someone like Wo Fat couldn't do the same thing? Bates had very little resources. Who knew who Wo Fat had on his pay roll?
"You okay?" Danny asked and Steve turned to look at him, nodding, but he knew his partner knew he was lying. "You don't have to worry anymore, Steve. He's gone."
He may be gone physically, but he was still in his head. He was going to get his team killed one day, no matter how hard he tried to protect them. Wherever he went, death followed. How could he be around people he cared about when he knew he was going to be responsible for their deaths?
"Hey, stop thinking about him," Danny said softly, looking Steve in the eyes. "He is gone," the shorter man repeated slowly. "He can't hurt you."
"But what if…?"
"'What if' what? You get us killed?" Danny had it right on the money. It was scary, the way the Jersey native knew exactly where McGarrett's head had gone. "Steve, out of all the dumb moves you've made over the past half a dozen months, how many times have you gotten us killed?"
"I was responsible for you getting buried alive," Steve pointed out stubbornly.
"Chin ended up getting hurt in an explosion because of me," McGarrett pressed on, noticing Chin stiffen up front.
"But I'm fine," Kelly replied trying to keep his voice even.
"Hey, let's not forget whose shrink pumped you full of PCP," Danny pointed out quietly and Steve looked over at his partner, his eyebrows furrowing.
"Danny, I would never blame you for what Bates did to me," McGarrett said softly. "That wasn't your fault. We didn't know he was a psycho."
"And did you know O'Riley had a psycho older brother?" Danny asked slowly.
"Or that cabin was going to blow up?" Chin supplied.
"Or any of the other crap that has happened since we met you?"
"Look, you're trying to heal, Steve," Danny stated, turning to face his friend, wincing when he pulled on his stitches. "And that's not going to happen if you keep worrying about us."
"Yeah, Steve, we are grown adults," Kono commented looking back at him in the rearview mirror. "We took care of ourselves years before meeting you. Besides, constantly worrying about us isn't exactly healthy."
"And I think it's time you let us worry about you for a change," Chin supplied giving Steve a 'don't try to argue' stare.
"You don't have to…" A stare that McGarrett blatantly ignored.
"Steve, honestly, we want to be there for you. When I was buried alive, you guys sticking by me was the only thing that really got me through the aftermath. And you went through hell man; you're going to need us even if you won't admit it."
"Yeah, bradda. We're O'hana. You can't get rid of us that easily," Kono responded smiling back at him.
"Yeah, what she said," Danny replied gesturing towards Kono. She stuck her tongue out at him, and then let her eyes travel back to the road.
"We're not going anywhere, either," Chin told him.
Steve glanced out the window, relishing in the support his team was giving him. He knew, with time, he'd heal and become the old Steve again. Until then, he'd stick with his O'hana.
"Besides, working for Danny would have been the pits," Kono muttered turning the corner.
"What, may I ask, would have been wrong with working under me?" Danny asked in a hurt tone.
"You always follow procedures," she replied shrugging. "Sometimes it's more fun to kick a door in than to wait for a warrant."
"Yes, but a warrant would mean we could use the evidence."
"Unless we had probable cause," Chin pointed out fighting a smirk.
"Probable cause? Tell that to Mr. Probable Cause sitting next to me. Mr. 'I thought we were doing a bit.'"
"Well, I did," Steve defended himself, smiling for the first time in, what felt like, a while. "I can't read your mind, Danno."
"Well, I'm sorry I assumed you'd make the logical choice and not kick a door in."
"Maybe you should kick a few doors in, Danny. It might help you with that anger problem," Kono joked and he threw her a glare.
"Animals, I work with animals," Danny muttered and Steve's smile widened while Kono and Chin laughed.
Oh yeah, Steve could tell running away was never going to be an option again. He had to learn to trust his family. It was the only way he was going to get any better and fight off Bates for good.
"So, are you seriously all right?" Danny asked after a few moments of silence, the joking atmosphere dwindling down some.
Steve took a deep breath and said, "No, but I'm going to be." And that was all that mattered.
5-0 5-0 5-0
Yeah, that is the final story in the Confined series. I swear, when I wrote Confined back in December of 2010, I never thought I'd be sitting here (typing here) a year and a half later with four stories and a one shot. It was my first series and I'm very proud of it.
So, yeah, thank you to every single one of you (and doubly/triply/quadruply to those who read, reviewed, and favorited every single story). You guys are amazing, and I really hope to catch you in the next Five-0 story I write. Maybe it'll be another series. Maybe it'll just be a bunch of one shots. I don't know.
Anyway, thanks for reading, I own nothing, and drop a comment if you want.