Disclaimer: The guys aren't mine although I wish they were. I am just playing with them for a while before I return them to their rightful owners slightly damaged and used.

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Sitting like a sentinel in the dimly lit hospital room, Steve McGarrett watched the motionless figure on the bed. Despite Doc's reassurances that Danno was on the road to a full recovery and that the prolonged state of unconsciousness was due to his depleted condition from the shock, extreme blood loss and septicemia that had set in, they had almost lost Danno several times in the last two days. This time it had been close, far too close.

He had watched his Second-In-Command fall far too many times in front of him, and each time he had been completely powerless to stop it from happening. The sense of coldness that had spread out to all of his limbs became an overwhelming numbness as he looked at the younger man's deceptively peaceful face. Steve forced himself to admit that if Danno hadn't received help when he did then there was a very real possibility that he would have died. The knife had been plunged into Danny's side right to the hilt before it was twisted, tearing into the young man's kidney and bowels. Only the quick response of the ambulance and the incredible skill of the medical staff had saved his best friend's life. Even when Danno's heart had stopped on the operating table, they had not given up on him, had not allowed him to stop fighting. The soft whispers Steve had overheard of the nurse's conversations told him just how hard Doc had worked to keep Danny alive in O.R and he had witnessed himself Bergman's refusal to surrender when Danno's heart had stopped in the ICU.

Exhaling a shuddering breath, he leaned over to grasp Danny's limp hand in his, feeling for a pulse. It was sluggish and weak, but the main thing was that it was still there. Dan was still not out of the woods yet, but Steve promised himself that he would be there for the young detective when he opened his eyes and came back into the realm of the living. Until then, the lead detective would remain by his side.

Rubbing a hand tiredly over his face, he was unsurprised to find it trembling slightly as the memory of what had happened two days…or was it three days ago, washed over him like a tsunami to leave him shaking in a cold sheen of sweat as the images slammed into his mind like the wild waves of Waimea Bay.

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Steve and Danny were cutting across the large vast field of overgrown grass on the side of the Likelike Highway. Their target Gen was running as fast as his agile legs would let him, slicing across the grass like a deadly sword. The Chinese man scampered down the embankment before tripping and falling down hard on the ground with a muted thud and a huff of breath. Unfazed, he jumped up and continued pursuing his escape, because if Five-O got to him then that was the end of the line. The fugitive was wanted for the murder of three-year-old Chen Ho. He knew that the State of Hawaii would never give him a chance; a small boy had been killed and "justice" had to be served, no matter what the cost.

Honestly he hadn't meant to kill the small boy; and he wouldn't have been caught but for the word of a stool pigeon who had been in the right place at the right time. Betrayal stabbed at his heart at how his long time friend has so readily cut a deal against him for a few measly Cs. Pushing all thoughts aside, he diverted all his focus on finding a way to lose the cops hot on his tail. The sky was beginning to darken and in the distance he could hear the sounds of police sirens as they cut through the air. There was every indication that the net was closing over him, fast. He listened for the telltale signs of the cops behind him, keenly straining his ears for any voices or the crunching of leaves and branches. When satisfied that there were none, he slowed his pace for a few moments to catch his breath.

He needed to find a place to hide and he needed to find it fast. The soft murmuring of voices in the wind got louder with each passing second and the sirens had stopped, indicating that the police cars had reached their destination. Walking deeper into the rugged bush, he stumbled upon an old abandoned hut. Its windows were broken and most of the roof was gone, but he wasn't here for the 5-star service. Deciding that it will do, the Chinese man climbed up onto the front lanai and was surprised to find the front door locked. Growling under his breath, Gen kicked it aside and coughed as dust plumes rose into the air. The mangled screen door fell to the ground with a thud and he stepped inside the darkness. He would hide here until the police search was called off, then he would make his escape. It wasn't much of a plan, but it was all he had left.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

The two Five-O detectives had just come down from the embankment and scanned the scene around them for any sign of disturbance. HPD backup was already on the way to search the terrain with a fine tooth comb until the suspect was captured. They were losing the light of day; the man had to be found as soon as possible because under the cover of darkness it would be very easy for him to escape.

"He just came down here." Danny gasped between breaths as he struggled to catch his breath, "Gen can't have gone very far."

"Yeah." The lead detective agreed, "But he still has a knife on him and we know he is very adept at wielding them. Careful, Danno, he could be anywhere."

Together, Steve and Danny ventured deeper into the bush. As the light grew thinner Danny kept an ear out for Chin and Kono, who were last seen behind them. A small smile broke out over his face at the mental image of the two portly detectives moving slowly through the field, yards behind them. They made their way forward slowly, scrutinizing the scene in front of them carefully for any shadow of movement, any sounds of stirring. The reduction in speed allowed Chin and Kono to catch up to them, heavily out of breath and flustered.

The men ventured forward slowly, keeping their eyes peeled for any sign of the Chinese man. They tried to keep their footsteps as quiet as possible as the detectives continued down the winding path, which ultimately brought them to an abandoned hut in the middle of the forest.

Chin noted how the front door had been kicked down and indicated to Steve as much. The dark blue eyes flicked over the long rusted screen mesh to scan the depths of the darkened windows for any sign of Gen. Upon finding none, Steve formed a plan and began to relay it to the others. "Proceed with caution gentlemen, you each know who we are dealing with here." He paused to look at the Oriental detective, "Chin, you and Kono cover the back. Make sure that you keep him locked up nice and tight. Don't let yourselves be seen and as soon as he comes out, book him." McGarrett ordered.

With a nod of acceptance, the two detectives dashed around the hut to the back. When satisfied that they were in position, the lead detective turned his attention to the man next to him. "Danno, we're going to approach from the front. I'll cover you." He raised his gun and flicked the safety switch off.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Gen made sure that he was completely obscured by shadow before he raised his head to peak outside. A dead weight bloomed in his stomach at the sight of the four men sequestered behind a covering of trees. This feeling only intensified when the Chinese man and the Hawaiian had scattered in opposite directions at the brown haired man's directive. He scrunched his eyes shut and shook his head in disbelief as he fought off the urge to hyperventilate. Things were not supposed to end up this way; it was over, all over and there was nothing he could do about it. He choked down on the sob that almost tore out of his chest as everything came crashing down. He opened his eyes and turned around to see shadows hovering behind the glazed windows at the back; in that moment he was thankful for the curtain of darkness that had begun to fall over them.

The man looked down at the long knife in his hands, wracking his mind for any semblance of a plan to get him out of there. After a few moments of tense silence except for the sounds of his own rushed breathing, the aged wood of the front lanai creaked and groaned as someone stepped closer to the front door. The footsteps were thunderously loud and he was surprised that they hadn't heard the wild thumping of his heart against his ribcage; it was so loud that they must have heard it. Forced into a proverbial corner, he slowly edged along the wall to stop just to the right of the gap where the front door would be. If he was lucky maybe he could gain some leverage to barter with for his life. Raising the knife, he swallowed the panic that had bloomed up rapidly as the footsteps ceased.

Gen prayed to God asking for mercy before he pounced, using the element of surprise to slam the man against the wall to try and knock his gun out of his hands. He wrapped a thick arm around the detective's neck in a grip tight enough to choke before holding the knife near Dan's abdomen, keeping a firm and unyielding pressure that spoke of just how easy it would be for him to carve the young man up. The Second-In-Command groaned and struggled violently but Gen let the knife dig a little more insistently into his captive's abdomen before growling into his ear, "Try anything funny, and I'll gut you like a fish."

The detective's struggling stopped but the gun was still in his hand. "Okay cop, carefully drop your gun onto the floor in front of you. Don't even think of being a hero because if you try - you know where this knife is going to go!" Gen growled as he pressed the large knife threateningly against Dan's side.

Danny winced in pain as the tip of the blade cut through his shirt and pierced his skin as he carefully dropped his weapon on the floor with a loud thump. Gen then used his right foot to kick it across the floor.

At the sound of commotion from within, the lead detective rushed towards the open doorway with his gun raised but before he could climb onto the porch Danny appeared in the doorway. Horror wormed its way into Steve's consciousness as his eyes traveled down Danny's restrained body to see the sliver of silver peeking out from under his shirt. He could only watch as Danny's fingers lightly clawed at the forearm dangerously tight around his neck, and the detective gasped for air. "Drop it!" McGarrett yelled, "You're already facing murder one for killing Chen Hong, don't make things any worse for yourself!" The shout had caused both Chin and Kono to come running around to the front again. McGarrett flicked his eyes to Kono and nodded imperceptibly as the Hawaiian raised his gun.

"Don't think I didn't see that," Gen smirked. "I know you guys have the joint surrounded, but try anything funny and he gets it! Now, tell your friends to come out." To prove his point the Asian man used the knife to lift the edge off Danny's shirt and press the weapon against the detective's side firmly enough to make his intention clear.

With a sigh, McGarrett issued the directive. "Chin, Kono! Come out from where you are." The detective gritted his teeth as he watched the two other members of Five-O come out, their hands in the air. Gen's eyes darted between the three detectives in front of him. Cautiously, Steve began to move closer to the captor and his captive, making sure to never break eye contact and that his hands remained visible at all times. "Come on Gen, no point in any of this. Turn yourself in now, don't make things any worse than they are," he repeated more gently, but firmly. He managed to step on the front porch and was closing the gap between them when Gen shook his head and his grip on Danny got tighter.

"Now, drop your guns." Gen commanded, nodding towards the three weapons they still held in their hands.

"There's nowhere for you to go, Gen, we have you surrounded." McGarrett answered softly, ignoring the frightened man's order, "You are already responsible for the death of a young child. Give it up and let my detective go before anyone else is hurt."

"It wasn't my fault, you know." The scared man whispered as he pressed the knife harder against Danny's side. "It was an accident. The kid was never supposed to get hurt. All I wanted was the money. I warned his parents not to get you cops involved. I warned them what would happen. But did they listen? No! I warned them. This was their fault, not mine. They should have listened! They are the reason that kid is dead, not me. They should have just given me the money and kept you pigs out of this." Looking sideways at the cop he held closely to his chest, Gen continued to try and explain what happened, "I was all ready to give the kid back, but when I went to collect the money I knew that you cops had been told; the park where the swap was supposed to occur was full of people. They were all cops waiting to pounce as soon as I picked up the dirty. Then the kid started to cry and I tried to get him to shut up while I figured out what I should do next." The Chinese man was babbling rapidly by now, "So I placed my hand over his mouth. I never meant to kill him. I only wanted to shut him up for a few minutes so I could think...that's all. He wouldn't be dead if they had done what I told them. It's their fault, not mine. They are the ones who murdered their kid, not me!"

"You are the one who murdered him, not his parents." Danny growled in disgust as he renewed his struggles against the arm that pressed against his throat, ignoring McGarrett's silent warning look to keep his cool as he continued. "You were the one who smothered a three year old baby just to save your own neck, not his parents!"

"It was an accident!" Gen yelled, pressing the knife deeper into his hostage's side until the young detective gasped in pain from the sting as the knife penetrated deeper into his skin.

Stepping forward to gain the desperate man's attention, Steve repeated softly, "Come on Gen, we both know you have nowhere to go. Give it up and let my detective go before anyone else is hurt."

"If you don't drop your weapons Cop, the only one who is gunna be hurting is your boy!" The Chinese man shouted, pressing the knife harder into his hostage's side until the young cop groaned aloud. McGarrett's eyes widened in alarm at the slow stream of red that was trickling down his detective's leg and he roared, "Now either you drop your knife now or I drop a dead body. I mean it. Now drop it!"

Casting a quick glance towards their boss and seeing his slight nod, Chin and Kono reluctantly placed their guns on the floor and took a step backwards as McGarrett did the same.

"Now we are going to take a little walk backwards to the door." The Chinese man growled as he began to back away, dragging Danny with him.

The young detective stumbled and choked, unable to draw his breath as he attempted to regain his feet, causing his captor to also stumble.

Panicking, Gen stabbed the knife deep into the side of his hostage, and Steve could only watch in horror as the young Chinese man twisted the knife viciously as Danny screamed in agony and tried to pull away. Instinct took over as Danny gasped in surprise and pain and he rushed forward to catch his detective in his arms just as Danny was shoved roughly towards him. In the frenzy both Kono and Chin dove to the ground and grabbed their guns before aiming them at the man running towards the back door. Several shots rang out and Gen was slammed backwards, crashing heavily into the wall before sliding bonelessly to the floor. The smaller man's wide open, sightless eyes were all the lead detective needed to see to tell him that Gen was no longer a threat as Kono flicked on the overhead light and illuminated the room. Ignoring the shouts and movement around them, he gently lowered Danno to the floor.

"Oh God Steve, it hurts!" Danny moaned as his hand reached for his side. Tears were welling up in his eyes as his breath came out in ragged gasps. He was fighting a losing battle to remain conscious as darkness began to edge into the corners of his periphery vision. Forget the blood loss, he might very well die from the excruciating agony. It felt like he was on fire, and he had to remove the knife or he might burst into flames.

"Easy Danno, easy." Steve soothed as he grabbed Danny's hand and moved it away from the bloody handle that protruded from the young detective's side. "The ambulance is on its way, Aikane." He whispered. He glanced anxiously up towards Chin, who nodded in confirmation.

"Ohhh God…" Danny cried out as he arched his back in agony and made another desperate attempt to reach for the knife, his fingertips brushing the handle before Steve was able to stop him."Please Steve, take it out. TAKE IT OUT!"

Reaching Danny's hand, Steve quickly pulled it away, blinking away the wetness in his eyes as he stared down at the bloodied handle and the large pool of blood forming beneath his closest friend. He fought every instinct which told him to remove the deadly weapon because it would cause more harm, and there was a very real chance that Danno could bleed to death before the ambulance arrived. "I know it hurts Danno, but we can have to leave it for the docs to remove. But I promise you that you are going to be fine, Aikane." He whispered softly to his young friend as he squeezed the younger man's hand, uncertain if the soft reassurances were to comfort his friend or to alleviate his own fear. He glanced worriedly down at the spreading pool of blood, unable to do anything to stop it. "Just hang on Danno," he murmured as he watched the blue eyes slowly drift close and he heard the sound of approaching sirens grew closer. The young man had lost his fight to remain conscious, and McGarrett leaned closer to his closest friend's ear and ordered fiercely, "Don't you dare give up on me now!"

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A soft moan from the man in the bed snapped the dark haired detective back to the present. Rising to his feet, he smiled as he watched Danny's eyes blinked slowly open to scan the room in confusion before they settled onto his face.

"S…steve…"

The younger man's breathy whisper was like a soothing balm on his over taut nerves; the dark haired detective grinned in delight as he placed his hand lightly on Danny's arm and gently squeezed. "Yeah, Danno, it's me. How are you feeling, Aikane?"

As he drew a deeper breath and closed his eyes, the young detective's hand instinctively reached for the thick dressing that now covered his right side before he opened his eyes again and answered, "Sore…tired…"

Steve nodded in understanding as his hand rubbed the still too warm skin beneath it, "That's to be expected, Aikane; you had us all worried the last few days but Doc said that you are looking good for a full recovery."

"What about…Gen…Steve... Did we get him?" Danny asked breathlessly as he struggled to stay awake.

"He's pau!" Steve confessed, "We had no choice but to shoot him after he stabbed you."

"I'm sorry… Steve." Danny whispered weakly as he turned his head away despondently and scrunched his eyes shut in an attempt to block out the anger that he knew he would see in his boss's eyes. "I blew it... and now…our… main suspect… is dead."
The lead detective frowned at the apology and his detective's dejected behavior. Danny's tendency to blame himself when things went wrong was clearly the driving force behind this apology, which made no sense at all. "I don't understand Danno, you have nothing to be sorry for."

Shaking his head, Danny turned back towards his boss, and McGarrett could see that the young man's eyes were bright with unshed tears as he whispered, "I let my emotions...take control...I allowed...myself to bleed...instead of acting like a cop...when Gen...blamed Chen's...parents...for his death. He…he was just a boy, Steve...a baby...there was no...reason for his death. He had...so much...going for him...and now he's dead. All...because of...one man's greed!" Danny's breath hitched as he struggled to control the tears that began to slowly trickle down the sides of his face. He clutched his side in pain and looked away, unable to look his closest friend in the face as he continued dejectedly, "And...now he...will never have...the justice...that he ...deserves. Oh God!"

"Danno!" Steve interjected, aghast. He had to stop this self-recrimination before it crushed the younger man completely, but found himself unable to interrupt as Danny opened up even more in front of him.

"I...I just...couldn't...believe his...excuse Steve,...he...murdered...a baby...just for money!" Danny continued breathlessly, "That's never an...excuse... to take...anyone's life, especially...a child's."

"You're right, Aikane. There is never any justification for taking another human life. It's especially horrible when there are young children involved; it makes the crime all the more senseless. The loss of innocence…but at least we gave the family some sense of justice and maybe some small measure of peace by catching the person responsible. They can take solace in that." Steve agreed softly and looked at Dan. "Danno, there are cases which can never be remembered without us bleeding a little at their tragic nature. There's nothing wrong with that. It's alright." Danny could only stare wide eyed at his closest friend as Steve laid his hand on his shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze before the lead detective added, "it shows that all the years on the force haven't beaten the humanity out of you, haven't gotten to you. Beneath that tough exterior you are still human, and still capable of empathizing with other people's suffering. It's what makes a great cop and helps us keep our sanity with this job. You have nothing to apologize for, nothing at all."

"Mahalo Steve..." Danny breathed as he lost his battle to remain awake.

McGarrett stood motionless, his hand still resting on the too warm arm of his friend as he stared down at the sleeping man. The tragic loss of Chen Hong's life was something that could not be forgotten; the murder made all the more senseless by the fact that he was an innocent little boy. It showed that a cop was only human, and there was only so much compartmentalization that could be done, before human empathy clawed its way past the mask of cool detachment. Stab at a cop's heart and it will bleed bright crimson, just like anyone else's.

This case had definitely made them all bleed a little, and he knew when they all looked back on it in the future the bleeding would have merely slowed down, but could never stop completely.

Pau