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Danny becomes deeply depressed when he learns Rachel's baby likely isn't his child. He then is there to deliver another man's child. He up and leaves for some private/alone time. The problem is - he's in a dark place and he didn't tell anyone where he might go or for how long. Loosely based around Season 1 Ep 24 Oia'I'o and Season 2, Ep 14 Pu'Olo.

Breaking Point – Chapter 8

As he started his shuffle walk back towards the motel, Danny stumbled once and accidentally dropped his cell phone. His little excursion had physically exhausted him and while listening to Grace's voice certainly revived part of his soul, he was still emotionally drained.

He slowly bent to pick up the cell phone and froze as he stared at the screen. He had expected to see Grace's smiling face on a swing set. But in either the actual fall or when he had picked it up, the last picture taken with the phone's camera was now showing – and it was the picture of baby Charlie in the maternity ward bassinet.

Zoning out, the ominous emotional flood came back full force and he felt his vision graying. "Rachel. He should be mine …"

He started to dangerously list to one side as his knees weakened. Chin arrived just in time to halt his descent to the sand. Hair still wet from his shower, his clothes were also damp proving that he had simply thrown them on his body. He had heard the door, but had assumed Steve was back. And so, he hadn't immediately rushed out of the bathroom to check on Danny. But then he had heard Sam banging on the door to the small motel room – yelling for help. He was breathless and wide-eyed and looked about ready to have a heart attack.

"Danny. What are you dong? Where were you going?" Chin asked as he willed his heart to stop its hammering in his chest. Holding him at arm's length, he gave Danny a once over to ensure there was no physical harm to his friend. "You okay? What are you doing outside, brah?"

But Danny wasn't answering and Chin needed Sam to take up Danny's weight on the other side as his knees buckled again.

"Okay, Danny. It's okay." Chin tried to draw him back out fearing the black look on Danny's face and the new tremble in his body. He pulled Danny's arm over his shoulder in an effort to guide him bodily back towards the room.

"Hey. Why don't you give me that and we'll go sit down." Chin attempted to take the phone with his free hand. But Danny firmly wrestled it back to study the image on the screen, "No. No. It's mine."

Looking briefly at Sam, Chin indicated that they needed to get Danny back to the room, and quickly. Working together, the two men virtually dragged Danny through the parking lot and got him seated on the bed.

Wondering what to do to help, Sam watched Danny with sympathy and concern, "Should I go? More broth maybe?" With all his attention focused on his friend, Chin nodded without looking up, "Yeah. Thanks Sam. He needs that or even something more solid to eat."

Sam left, closing the door firmly to the room. Danny was seated on the bed staring at the baby's image on the cell phone. His mind was in turmoil and he wasn't even aware of Chin's presence. "He should be mine …he should be. It's not right."

Running his hand through his wet hair, Chin knelt in front of Danny and tried to get his attention by closing his hand over Danny's left one on the cell phone. As Danny tried to jerk away, Chin doggedly refused to let go. Frowning with frustration, Danny finally looked up and realized that he was with Chin and that Chin was speaking to him. "What?"

Eventually, he began to actually hear the softly murmured words. "Okay, Danny. It's okay. Why did you go outside? Did you call Grace?" Was it Grace, Danny?" Confused, he tried to remember what had happened just a few minutes ago.

"Gracie." Very slowly, he relaxed his hand and allowed Chin to take the phone. Chin quickly defaulted to the screensaver and handed the phone back to Danny. "Was it Grace, Danny? Did you call her?"

Now seeing Grace's picture, Danny closed his eyes and, still frowning, he finally responded to Chin's urgent questions and nodded briefly. "Yes, it was Grace. I didn't forget her."

"Grace." He paused, before continuing. "She called and I missed her. All this time, I missed her messages." Finally more aware of his surroundings, Danny's voice strengthened and he became more certain. "I woke up and saw my phone. I went outside and I listened to her voice, Chin. I listened to all of her messages." He trailed off and tried to make sense of his feelings. With his eyes still closed, he could feel his head pounding and the constant fatigue. "I need to call her. I need to call her today."

Giving Danny a small shake, Chin smiled and said, "That's easy enough to do. She'll understand that you've been a little out of pocket. No worries." And then getting more serious, Chin took advantage of Danny's seemingly responsive mood.

"Hey, Danny. You do know that we're all here to help, right? That you can talk to anyone of us? We're really worried about you and this whole situation with Rachel and the new baby."

Sighing heavily, Danny declared defeat. "I thought I could handle it. But it just kept coming and coming." Looking directly at Chin, he admitted, "And you know, I'd take her back still. Right now. I love her Chin. Plain and simple." - "God, I feel like crap and I'm such a fool." With hunched shoulders, he placed his phone on the bed and covered his face in his hands.

Sitting next to Danny on the bed, Chin threw a friendly arm over his friend's shoulders and drew him into a light hug. He could feel the weakness and fatigue. One mug of chicken broth and only seven hours of sleep wasn't going to cut it. Add in an impromptu walk and an emotional twist, and Danny was nearly back to where he was the previous night. So Chin made a choice to keep pushing in an attempt to kick-start Danny's healing process.

"You know what? And that's okay. It's perfectly okay to love Rachel. But Danny – and I speak from experience. Never at the expense of who you are – this whole thing is messing with your head. It's consumed you in a bad way." Chin continued quickly. He felt that he had Danny's attention and needed to make an impact on the man.

"When you're ready – and you will get to that point - you're going to have to just let it all go. All of it, my friend. Focus on Grace. No matter what happens between you and Rachel, that child deserves and needs you."

For some time there was absolutely no response from Danny. Chin could feel his breaths rise and fall. He could feel the constant tension in Danny's body and he began to doubt himself. "Maybe I was wrong about this."

But as Danny simply sat next to Chin, he had truly listened to every word and he was coming to a decision. He decided that Chin was right in so many ways. He decided that he wouldn't risk any part of his life or his relationship with Gracie.

Apprehensive that his words had the wrong effect, Chin quietly said, "I'm sorry." He slowly got up and stood in front of Danny's unmoving and hunched body. "Headache, Danny? Would you be able to eat something?"

Becoming more disturbed by the sheer lack of reaction, Chin knelt down and placed his hands on Danny's shoulders. "Please, Danny. Say something. Anything."

Finally and in a small, choked voice Danny was able to verbalize his thoughts to a relieved Chin, "Yes. Yeah, you're right." He vaguely noted that the tiniest of weights had lifted from his shoulders. And as he looked up at Chin, he gave a slight smile and nodded.

Exhaling with utter relief, Chin affectionately slapped Danny's shoulder and beamed a huge smile of his own.

And then five seconds later, the door to the motel room flew open and Steve burst in nearly beside himself with worry. Sam was on his heels carrying a tray laden with food.

"What the hell happened!" he demanded looking from Chin to Danny.

Almost too calmly, Danny replied first, "You just had to do it. You just had to steal my car …"

Shocked, Steve had no immediate reply for the unexpected allegation. Meekly, he tried to explain. "I just got gas Danny."

Finding it hysterical, Chin couldn't conceal his unexpected mirth. It started with an amused snort and then Chin dissolved on the bed into a ball of uncontrollable laughter.

Shaking his head in denial, Danny was also unable to hold back and as the sounds of laughter filled the room, Steve was left standing totally baffled and bewildered in the doorway.

"And now what the hell is THIS all about? What?"

~ fin ~

And there we have it! I hope you all like it. I for one can't get over all the wonderful feedback, great advice and comments.

Thank you ALL for your continued kind words and support. I truly am humbled and appreciate it.