A/N: I wrote this ages ago and forgot to post it here. This one's also a prompt fill - prompt by Ilmare-Ilse. :)
It had been a long ass day of extreme heat, humidity and idiots. Steve sneaked a glance at his partner and frowned at what he saw. Danny looked wilted, exhausted beyond belief in the heat that was oppressive still at ten PM. Even Steve had to admit he wanted nothing more than to toss Mr. I-Can-Outrun-A-Navy-SEAL-Hurr-Hurr-Twenty-Pounds-Overweight Smith limping between them into lockup and deal with the official booking and questioning tomorrow. If the world were a fair place, he and his team would be drinking cold beer at Side Streets in twenty minutes instead of working.
The world wasn't a fair place. Steve had no idea how it happened, though a betting man would put money on their own exhaustion and the unerring stupidity of criminals. One minute he and Danny were loosely escorting their moron du jour down the pier and the next Smith was moving far faster than he looked like he should be able. Steve felt an elbow connect with his gut and rocked back a few steps. He caught out of the corner of his eye Danny's arms flailing as he flew over the edge of the wharf. Moments later, a splash. Lucky bastard, Steve thought, a dip in the water would feel amazing right about now.
"Oh, fantastic," Steve muttered as Smith scuttled away at what was, for him, breakneck speed. Into his comm, he said, "We got another runner, Kono, heading your way."
"On it," Kono chirped happily, apparently the only one unaffected by the heat. "We'll box him in for you."
He spared a moment to get a visual on Danny, squinting into the dark water. Lights on the piers were for shit. It was a few seconds of nothing, and then Danny came up silently, a good ten feet out. That was a bit surprising. He looked to be in one piece and in no hurry to get out, was probably enjoying the relative cool. Steve sighed and took off after Smith, loping along rather than running at full speed. He just didn't care enough to put that much effort into the chase; even his casual pace would have him catch the guy in a few minutes. Turned out he wouldn't had to have put any effort at all into it. He jogged for about thirty feet, when ahead of him he saw Kono launch herself out of nowhere, landing a perfect, if perhaps overzealous, tackle on Smith. Steve approved.
"Valiant effort, brah, A for effort," Kono sing-songed at Smith. She tossed Steve a look. "Where's Danny?"
"Took a quick swim."
Steve thumbed over his shoulder, then frowned and turned around. Danny should have been back up on the pier by now. He squinted at the water where he'd last seen his partner. Vague alarm started pinging in his head. Danny was in almost the exact same spot, and even from this distance his movements looked off, clumsy. Steve stood dumbly and watched Danny sink below the surface; he didn't come back up. That jolted through him like electricity.
"Shit, Danny. Danny!" Steve took off at a run, none of his earlier lethargy holding him back, and frantically tore at the Velcro straps of his vest. He shouted to Kono, "Call for a bus."
The same kind of vest Steve wrestled out of now, Danny hadn't had the time to strip off before tumbling into the water. Steve knew for a fact the vests were constrictive and heavy as fuck when waterlogged. He dove into the water as near to the point Danny had gone under as he could figure, and once below the surface he could barely see, water murky in the nighttime. It took him precious seconds to spot blond hair, wavering like seaweed and sinking deeper and deeper, and precious seconds after that to kick to a too-still Danny. He didn't think, just grabbed his partner around the chest and heaved up, mechanically and awkwardly swam toward the pier once he broke the surface. In the periphery, he was aware of shouts of concern, Chin and Kono, but those shouts didn't matter.
All that mattered was that Danny wasn't moving, wasn't trying to help or fight Steve and that was a very, very bad thing. It felt like it took him forever to reach a ladder, but logically he knew it hadn't been more than half a minute. Hands pulled Danny away from him, and he wanted to protest – Danny was his responsibility. He'd left his partner, assumed he was fine, and now….
By the time Steve hefted himself onto the pier, Danny was sprawled on his back, Kono frantically tugging to get his vest off and Chin with two fingers at the wrist pulse point of Danny's left wrist. Steve collapsed at Danny's shoulders, tilted his head back and cleared the airway, just in case. It was only then he noticed the bleeding gash at Danny's right temple. Shit, no wonder Danny'd had so much trouble.
"Pulse is good," Chin said.
"Boss, he's not…" Kono started.
Steve didn't need to hear the rest. He leaned down and breathed for his partner.
Smith hit Steve in the gut, sent him reeling back in surprise. Danny watched it, had more warning than McGarrett had had, but was still unable to make a move before the guy's shoulders rammed into him and sent him flying. This is fucking stupid, he thought, and then his head smacked into the edge of the pier and everything went grey for a few seconds. The grey dissipated, but his vision was hazy, watery, hell, it was because he actually was under water. He kicked his legs with the slightest of hopes he was facing up. He broke the surface, disoriented, heard muffled shouts and thumping footfalls somewhere above, behind. He turned and saw the pier, knew he had to get to it.
Danny also knew he was in trouble when he couldn't get his arms to cooperate. Something unyielding wrapped around his chest, heavy and getting heavier. Danny went under, tried to kick his legs. Couldn't, but he broke the surface somehow. Help. He needed. He opened his mouth to shout. He slipped under again, breathed, wrong, no. He had a vague sensation of calm, floating, a burst of confused panic, and then the kind of nothing that wasn't really so bad at all. It was relaxing, in fact, the best he'd felt all day.
So it sucked hardcore that the next thing Danny knew he was on his side on a hard wood surface, expelling copious amounts of water from his stomach and lungs and, oh, he was sure everywhere. His whole body was pins and needles at first, but settled rapidly into a dull ache. He heard some poor bastard making pitiable distressed moans, far away. It took him a second to realize he was that poor bastard and immediately tried to knock it off. The effort was too great, but thankfully the whimpering trailed off on its own at about the same time the water and other stuff stopped projecting out of him.
"You're okay." Warm voice, warm breath, close to his ear. "It's all right now, just take it easy."
Steve. Despite a muddy feeling that Steve was one of the last people he should relax around, the man was a menace, Danny felt the tension he'd worked up to in vomiting water ebb slowly away. A strong hand rubbed up and down his left arm, across his shoulders. He didn't even care when he was bodily shifted onto his back, something soft yet hard beneath him. Warmth surrounded him. It was nice. He twisted his torso to look up, and wasn't surprised to see Steve's face staring back at him. He was surprised that Steve looked totally shattered. For a Navy SEAL, the guy was an open book.
"Whu…?" Danny said, but was wracked with coughs.
EMTs arrived, had to force Steve away and Danny was poked and examined and talked about but not to (he hated that) for a few minutes. He confusedly glanced around, saw Kono and Chin and Steve all hovering around as he was plopped onto a stretcher and covered with a thin blanket that was not nearly warm enough. He lifted his pounding head only when he heard an argument coming from the back of the ambulance he had no idea how he'd been loaded into. He heard the words "full immunity" and "Five-0" and "partner" and then Steve elbowed his way to sit next to his head, jaw set stubbornly.
"Hey, babe, makin' friends and influencin' people?" Danny rasped. God, he felt like shit.
Whoops, that last bit came out when he hadn't meant it to. Steve's face went from irritated at the ribbing to wide-eyed and … guilty? Danny's memory was fuzzy at best. He found he didn't give two shits of a damn how he'd ended up wheezing and puking on a pier. It'd come to him eventually, whether he wanted it to or not. He squirmed his right hand out from under the blanket, startled a little as the siren blared to life and the ambulance moved. He clapped his hand on Steve's knee.
"Don't be a goof," Danny said.
"Danny, I left you back there," Steve said, stared down at the hand on his leg, steadfastly did not look up. "You could have died."
Danny wiggled that stupid knee, tried to get Steve to look at him.
"You thought I was okay." Danny knew reasoning with Steve was like reasoning with … himself, he thought with a mental chuckle. He knew he'd feel exactly the way Steve did right now, if the situations were reversed. "You know I can swim."
"You could have died," Steve said, like a man who'd had too many people die on him.
"But I didn't. I didn't and you came and rescued me like a big damned hero. Now, please, I beg of you so I can get some rest, don't be a goof, huh? Am I going to have to say it more than twice? Tell me I won't have to. I'm too tired."
The barest of smiles tilted at the corners of Steve's mouth.
"No more night swimming for you," Steve said at last. "I mean it, Danny."
"Because I jumped into the water voluntarily," Danny snorted. "Don't try to foist your misplaced guilt onto me."
Steve huffed out a brief laugh, reluctantly looked him in the eye, then put his own gigantic hand on top of Danny's and squeezed. That settled, Danny decided it was time for a nap. It had been a long ass day of extreme heat, humidity, idiots and near death experiences. He was entitled. The steady pressure of Steve's hand on top of his, as small a gesture as it was, gave him a ridiculous amount of comfort as he faded into sleep. Everything was going to be just fine.