Disclaimer: I don't own Hawaii Five-0 or the characters. I own nothing of value so if CBS decides to sue all they'll get are the dust rhinos under my bed.
Author's Notes: This story came to me when listening to a Jamie Grace song which is where the title comes from. Hope you enjoy it.
The bright, Hawaiian midday sun shone down on Oahu as it did most days. The beaches were full, tourists were happily spending money on souvenirs, and all agreed that this was paradise. Or as close to it as you could get in this earthly life. It was a perfect day.
But in a dark, dismal warehouse far from the sun-loving tourists, four teammates stood shoulder to shoulder in a circle. They shifted slightly, warily watching the seven people who approached with menacing looks and evil intent in their eyes. A dozen bodies were scattered around the perimeter. Ammunition had run out several minutes ago, and the Five-0 task force was short on other options.
"Try to stick together," Commander Steve McGarrett instructed quietly. "They can't all attack at once if we stick together."
"I hate this," Detective Danny Williams groused. "I so hate this."
Chin Ho Kelly took a deep breath and hefted his trusty shotgun. Even without ammunition, it was a formidable weapon. "Kono, how ya doin'?"
Kono Kalakaua smiled grimly but didn't look at her cousin, "I'm good, Cuz. Let's do this."
"You've been hanging out with Steve too much," Danny sighed. "You sound just like him now. We should have waited for backup."
It was Steve's turn to sigh, "You've already made that very clear."
"Obviously not clear enough since we're in this mess."
"It's too late to argue about it now," Steve pointed out. "Besides, backup is on the way."
"We should have waited until they were here to come in."
"It's too late to argue about it now," Chin broke in, sensing that the argument was going to become more heated than was good for the situation. "What's done is done. There's no going back now."
"Here they come," Steve noted. "Stay together."
All seven of the thugs came forward, choosing their target. And then the fight was on.
Steve's opponent was the largest of the group. And ugliest, Steve noted. He was wielding a knife, but didn't seem to really know how to use it. Steve pulled his military issue knife from the sheath on his back and grinned at his adversary, giving him a come hither gesture. One of the others came to join in facing off with the commander.
Even as Steve engaged his two opponents, he could hear his friends begin their own battles. He could only hope that the others were faring at least as well as he was. He sidestepped one assailant, driving an elbow into the man's side as he passed. He parried a knife thrust from the second one and felled him with a blow to the back of his head with the hilt of his knife just as he felt a punch on the back of his vest from the first man. He spun to deal with him again.
Kono's opponent licked his lips in anticipation and Kono just smiled at him, letting him get closer. He was also wielding a knife, but he held it at his side like she wasn't a threat. Her smile widened and let him come ever closer before introducing him to her roundhouse kick.
Chin gripped his shotgun and used it like a fighting stick, swinging it at one man's face. The man twisted and Chin shifted his strike to take the man in the stomach. He felt a sting on his arm and turned to find an attacker with a knife who had just slashed his left bicep. The attacker grinned, pleased with himself for drawing blood. Chin took advantage of his smugness to go on the offensive. He stepped forward and drove the butt of the shotgun into the man's face, breaking his nose and dropping him with a thud to the concrete floor. He didn't move. Chin brought the shotgun down on the first man's head as he was starting to recover from the first blow. He also collapsed to the concrete floor and didn't move.
Danny's two attackers may have been the smartest of the bunch though that wasn't saying much. They came at him together, forcing him to choose which one to strike at which allowed the other to come at the detective. Danny was holding his own though and starting to get the better of them thanks to his ferociousness though he was taking some hard hits. He hit one man in the jaw, knocking him to his knees. He was pretty sure he saw a tooth go flying. All of a sudden the second man was at his side and Danny felt a sharp sting in his side before the man collapsed in a heap revealing Chin and his trusty shotgun/bludgeon. Danny nodded at his friend, trying to catch his breath.
Steve suddenly became aware of the sound of sirens. He assumed they were pulling up outside the warehouse considering how loud they were. The assumption was confirmed as he heard car doors slamming and voices yelling to secure the scene. Steve turned to assess his team.
Kono was kneeling on her attacker's back, securing flexicuffs around his wrists. She saw her lean down and whisper in his ear before patting him on the back and standing up. She looked up at him and grinned. He grinned back.
Steve looked at Chin to find him securing the other prisoners. All but one seemed to be unconscious. Chin smiled at him and shrugged while he continued to secure the prisoners.
Steve's smile faded as he found his partner. Danny had his back to him and was slowly walking towards the warehouse doors, and he wondered if his friend was still mad at him. He figured he better go find out before Danny was able to work up more of a rant than he already expected, "Hey, Danny, wait up."
Danny stopped but didn't turn, allowing Steve to catch up. Steve came up alongside and placed a tentative hand on his partner's shoulder, "Listen, Buddy, I'm sorry about not waiting for backup. I thought it was going to be a simple op, but it wasn't. I should have listened to you. I'm sorry."
Danny just stood there though Steve was waiting for the arms to start flailing and gesturing wildly as his partner chewed him out for what just transpired. Steve figured he deserved it. As the silence stretched on and on, Steve became worried. If his partner was having that much trouble finding the words to yell at him, he must really be ticked. Steve moved to stand in front of his partner, "Danny? C'mon, man, I said I was sorry... Danny? You okay?"
Danny looked up at his partner and opened his mouth to respond, but all that came out was a gasp as he struggled to get enough air. He grabbed the front of Steve's vest with his right hand and watched as his partner's face went from pleading to panic in a heartbeat. He didn't think Steve could look any more worried, but he was wrong. Danny coughed and noticed his partner's panic increase. It may have had something to do with the fact that Danny had just coughed up blood.
Steve gently lowered Danny to the ground while yelling for Kono to get the paramedics. He knelt by his partner, keeping his hands on him trying to get him to focus, "Danny? Stay with me, Danny. You hear me? Stay with me. Where are you hurt?"
Danny tried to respond but couldn't get any words out. Everything was starting to seem far away. He heard Steve's anxious voice and tried to focus on that, but it was getting harder and harder to concentrate. He just wanted to close his eyes.
"Danny! No, Danny! Stay with me!" Steve shook Danny's shoulder and was rewarded by two blue eyes looking at him. "That's it, Buddy, just stay awake and stay with me."
Chin ran up as Steve was starting to run his hands over Danny's body looking for injuries. "Oh, God," he exclaimed as Steve's hand came away bloody from Danny's left side.
Steve quickly unfastened Danny's kevlar and tossed it aside before removing Danny's button up shirt. The white t-shirt underneath was soaked in blood on the left. Danny squirmed and moaned in pain as Steve explored his side and found a knife wound, "Damn, he's been stabbed. Where are those paramedics?"
"Here they come," Chin reassured him.
Steve reluctantly moved aside so the paramedics could work. They had Danny hooked up to oxygen and an IV in no time. Shortly thereafter he was loaded on board the ambulance which took off with lights, sirens, and a worried task force leader keeping an eye on his partner.
Danny was rushed into surgery as soon as they had arrived at the hospital. Danny had lost a lot of blood and wasn't looking good when Steve watched him get whisked away.
The team spent several hours pacing in the waiting room. When they first arrived, hospital personnel insisted that they all get checked out since they were all sporting bruises and various injuries due to their recent altercation. Chin's arm had required ten stitches to close the wound caused by the knife slash. Steve and Kono were able to get by with a couple of butterfly bandages for some minor cuts.
As the sun set on Hawaii and darkness descended on paradise, Steve was about to cause a scene. He had drunk too many cups of bad hospital coffee and had no word on his partner. Just when Chin thought he would have to restrain his friend, a weary looking doctor entered the room, "Five-0 I assume?"
Steve nodded, "How's Danny?"
"Lucky," was the doctor's succinct answer. "Detective Williams suffered a penetrating stab wound which nicked his left lung, and he lost a lot of blood. We've repaired the damage and given him two units of blood. He'll be headed to his own room shortly."
"Can we see him?" Kono asked.
"Yes, but he's going to sleep for a while," the doctor cautioned. "I would suggest you all get some rest at some point, too. A nurse will come in to get you when he's settled in."
"Mahalo," Chin thanked the doctor and then turned to Steve. "He's going to be okay, Brah."
"Yeah, Boss, he's going to be fine." Kono chimed in. They had been watching the guilt build in Steve in the hours they waited for news on their friend.
Steve scrubbed a hand over his face, "Yeah."
Ten minutes later a nurse came to take them to their wounded teammate. As she left them at his room she cautioned them to let him rest and reminded them that he would probably sleep for a while yet.
Chin and Kono left after a couple hours so they could go home and rest. They encouraged Steve to do the same but knew that the man wouldn't budge until Danny was awake.
Steve sat next to Danny's bed alternating between watching his friend's chest rise and fall in a reassuringly steady rhythm and watching the vitals displayed on the monitor. He rubbed his hands on the side of his cargo pants, remembering the sticky feel of Danny's blood coating his hands while he watched helplessly in the ambulance as Danny's vitals crashed. He really thought he was going to lose his partner. His best friend. His brother. And it would have been his fault.
Steve had never been a patient person and though he was getting better at following proper police procedure, he had still chafed when Danny advised waiting for backup at the warehouse. He was so sure that it would be a simple matter to apprehend their suspects and take care of it themselves. And they had, but at what cost?
Steve's thoughts threatened to overwhelm him so he sprang from the chair and paced as best he could in the small hospital room. Danny joked about Steve getting him killed some day, and but for the surgeon's skill, today could have been that day. He wouldn't be surprised if Danny didn't want to be his partner any more and wanted to go back to HPD and find a partner that would follow procedure. A noise from the bed startled him. He turned to find Danny staring at him.
"Danny?" Steve leaned over and looked into his partner's eyes, afraid of what he'd see there. Instead of the hatred he half-expected, he saw determination and loyalty.
"It's not your fault, you know," Danny's voice was quiet but forceful. "I knew what I was getting into."
"But if I'd have listened to you and waited for backup, you wouldn't be here," Steve pointed out.
Danny tiredly waved a hand at him, dismissing that line of reasoning, "Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it would have been a whole lot worse. No way to know."
"It's my fault you got hurt... again." Steve looked down. "I should have listened to you."
"Hey," Danny tapped his partner's hand, waiting until Steve would meet his gaze again. "You lead, I'll follow."
And Steve realized that it was as simple as that. Steve had told his team from the beginning that they were ohana and would take care of each other. Since that time, Danny had become the brother Steve never had, and Steve had become closer to Danny than his own biological brother. Even after two years, Steve was still trying to understand the concept of partners sometimes. Danny had just summed it up for him as best he could and told him all he'd ever need to know about where his partner smiled and nodded.
Danny smiled back and let his eyes drift closed again.
Steve continued to sit with his partner and think about what Danny said. Knowing that Danny would follow him wherever he led meant he would have to be aware of where he was leading his friend. Steve's eyes drifted closed and he fell asleep with Danny's words echoing in his head, "You lead, I'll follow."
Thank you for reading. Reviews are appreciated (hint, hint)