Thank you all so much for your patience. I know I was very late with the last two chapters. But I promise that is not gonna happen again.
Again I would like to thank all of you for reading, commenting and alerting this story. You have no idea what a thrill it is to get a review. Thank you all so much.
This is the final chapter of the story, but not the end of it. Huh? There will be an epilogue that has now turned into a multi chapter story. I will start posting it this Thursday. It's called Purple Heart and is mostly about Steve Pre-Five-0. But I promise the whole team is in it. Give it a try, you might like it.
Now about a completely different matter, Cokie and I wrote a story (P.I.T.A.) a while back, and many of you asked us to collaborate again. Well, we did. There will be another story from the two of us later this week. It's a coda to 3.17, and we hope you will enjoy it.
Before the chapter starts let me please say one more thing, because this is really important. Thank you Cokie. For everything.
Treason – Chapter 16
Steve has been listening to the voices arguing for a while now, and hopes that they both would leave soon. He tries to stay as still as possible and to keep his breathing even. The pain has been increasing in the last minutes, and he's not sure how much longer he can pretend to be asleep. But at the moment he doesn't think he can face anyone. First he needs to come to terms with what was going on.
He is kind of fuzzy about what had happened. He still remembers very vividly how Danny had left him at the brig, and the disappointment and astonishment on Danny's face is burned into Steve's memory. And he very clearly remembers what Danny had said to Chin. Hearing that had really hurt, and he was not ready to face his partner, or as he is already thinking of him, his former partner and friend.
He thinks that he had heard Danny a while ago, but wonders how that could be since Danny doesn't want anything to do with him anymore.
Now he can hear Kono and Chin quietly arguing about something he can't quite make out. He hopes they will leave soon, so that he can call the nurse to ask for some pain relief. His shoulder and leg are really hurting and he wouldn't say no to some nice drugs to help with the pain coursing through his body.
The drugs might even help alleviate the hammering in his head. That pain is really annoying and what is even worse, it is making him feel sick. If the pain doesn't stop soon he is sure he will upchuck whatever he might have in his stomach, and that for sure will not go unnoticed.
At the moment he is sure no one realized yet that he's been awake for the past few minutes now.
"Commander McGarrett, are you awake?"
How the heck did the nurse sneak up like that?
Steve can't help but react to her softly spoken words, and hopes she will send the others out of the room.
"That's it, Commander. Can you open your eyes for me?"
Steve had turned his head towards her when she first addressed him, but he still keeps his eyes stubbornly closed. Clenched shut is more like it. The pain in his leg is getting to him, and he can't keep the groan from slipping out.
"I'll give you something for the pain in a minute, but first you need to look at me."
Steve struggles to open his eyes, which also causes pain. This time it is his head when the light burns into his brain like a laser. But he is able to get the 'nurse' in front of him into focus rather quickly, and has to realize that a female doctor, a major, is standing in front of him. She looks at him with a frown on her face.
"Hi," Steve croaks out and wonders whose voice that was. Surely not his.
"Good to see you awake, Commander. Can you tell me your full name and rank?"
Steve looks at the major like she has lost her mind, but realized that she is just checking if he still has his marbles. "Lieutenant Commander Steven J. McGarrett, ma'am," Steve tells her with a low voice and tries to ignore his two team mates who had stepped a little closer to his bed.
"Very good. Tell me your birthday."
"March, 10, 1977."
"Good. Do you know where you are?"
Steve looks around the room and comes to the conclusion that he is still at the Army Medical Center. Like he was the last time he woke up.
"Commander, do you remember how you got here?"
"Uh… not sure," Steve closes his eyes when another wave of pain slams into him. His shoulder just reminded him that he had been shot not that long ago. It had probably not been his best idea trying to move into a more comfortable position. But at least it showed him that he was no longer cuffed to the bed. That thought made his eyes snap open again.
"Rodgers. Wha' happen' to 'im?" Wow, what the heck did she give me?
"Try to relax, Commander. We will talk a bit more in a little while. Don't fight the drugs."
Steve tries to focus on her voice, but soon has to realize that he won't be able to stay awake for more than a few seconds. And his assessment is right, he falls back to sleep in a matter of seconds when the pain medication spreads through his body.
H50 – H50 – H50
Next time Steve comes to it is dark outside and the lights in the room are dimmed. He blinks his eyes open and looks at the ceiling, listening for any sounds. The only thing he can hear is someone softly snoring. Steve gets tired of listening to the snoring without seeing who it is, so he searches for the control of his bed and brings the headrest into a more upright position.
He couldn't have been more surprised to see who is lying in the bed across from him. What the heck? Steve looks wide eyed at Danny, who is peacefully sleeping. Steve can clearly see that Danny's right leg is elevated just like his own left one. It is heavily bandaged and Steve wonders what had happened to him. Danny is almost sitting up and has an open book on his chest; he obviously fell asleep while reading.
"It's not nice to stare at people while they are sleeping," Danny's words startle Steve who had obviously dozed for a few minutes without even realizing it. "Took you long enough to wake up. Aren't you at least gonna say something?"
Steve can only watch as Danny moves into an even more upright position and stares right back at him. "I thought you…" Steve whispers.
"What happened to you?" Steve deflects Danny's question for now.
"Oh, you mean the leg? One of your damn Navy buddies shot me," Danny tells him without even thinking.
"I'm sorry," Steve mumbles and avoids looking at Danny.
"What are you sorry, for? You didn't shoot me, you moron. Look at me. Steve, look at me!"
Steve looks up at hearing his friend almost commanding him to do so. What he sees almost takes his breath away; he has never seen his friend looking so guilty. "Danny?"
"Steve, I'm the one who's sorry."
Steve's face scrunches up in confusion. "What? I don't…"
"I am so sorry, Steve. For walking out on you, and doubting you. For being angry at you. But most of all, for shooting you."
"You shot me?" Steve asks baffled.
"You don't remember?"
"No. No, I don't," Steve whispers. "You shot me?" Steve asks again in wonder.
"Well, technically you stepped in the line of fire. But yeah, my bullet tore into your shoulder," Danny confesses. "Steve, I'm so sorry."
"How… I mean… Danny, you were so mad, you said you didn't want to see me again…"
"What? What are you talking about?" Danny pushes himself up a little higher in bed, and Steve has to smile seeing him becoming so animated.
"Please tell me how you got hurt," Steve deflects Danny's question for a later time. He doesn't want to talk about that right now. First he needs to know what happened to his friend.
"You remember that Rodgers came to your room?"
"Yeah, kind of." Steve remembers Rodgers hitting him and the unbearable pain that had exploded, "he hit my shoulder." Steve unconsciously touches his injured shoulder.
"Yeah, he did quite a bit of damage to it. Doris and I were coming back from the cafeteria when I saw Rodgers coming out of your room…"
Steve looks at his friend and listens to him recount what had led to Danny ending up in a hospital bed.
H50 – H50 – H50
Lt. Denver can't believe his eyes when he enters Commander McGarrett's hospital room. Captain Rodgers, his CO for the past two years, who is now, of course on the most wanted list, is looming over the injured SEAL.
He has him almost out of the bed, and it is obvious that Steve is only semi-conscious.
"Rodgers! Let him go!" Denver calls out.
Of course he didn't expect Rodgers to pull Steve completely off the bed. Denver is shocked to see the commander drop bonelessly to the floor. He doesn't drop down completely, but is stopped by the cuff around his ankle.
Steve has the sheet tangled around his hip, and even with danger looming, Denver can't help but think about the similarities to the situation just two days ago as he walked in on a naked Steve being pinned to the floor.
Now the commander is also almost naked, the difference today is that tubes are sticking in him, some of which are already ripped out or are in danger of being pulled out. There is no telling what injuries that would add to the already long list.
Denver doesn't have time to think about what he is seeing. He is faced with a very angry and desperate captain who just realized that his plan to disappear went out the window.
Lt. Denver is torn about what he should do. Steve is now almost completely on the floor with only his cuffed ankle suspended in the air; the cuff painfully digging into the already swollen ankle. His left leg had slipped out from under this right one, and is now hanging in an odd angle. The sheet is still tangled around his hips, dangerously close to slipping down.
Denver is very concerned seeing the bandage on his shoulder turning completely red. He realizes that Steve must be bleeding heavily and blood loss will soon be a critical issue again. For a second he wonders why no one has come rushing into the room yet, various monitors are wailing and beeping loudly.
They need to end this soon, so Steve can get help.
He looks up at Rodgers. "Please let me help him," Denver says and moves closer to the bed.
"Stop," Rodgers calls out and underlines his order with a motion of his gun.
Denver hasn't even realized that Rodgers had a gun. He does as he's told and looks at his former CO. "Just leave," he says to Rodgers and hopes that he will not suddenly snap and shoot his way out of the hospital. Denver hopes that the captain will realize that his best hope right now is to slip out of the hospital and disappear.
"Turn around and put your hands on your head."
"I'm not armed, Captain," Denver says as he turns and that is the last thought he has before he crumbles to the ground.
H50 – H50 – H50
Danny Williams looks at Doris and wonders if he had misjudged her in the beginning. Right now she was nothing but a concerned mother who feared for her son. They are on their way back to said son's hospital room, and Danny has still to find the courage to tell her that Steve is actually cuffed to the bed. Which will hopefully change in the next hour.
He was finally able to get a competent person in D.C. on the line and the Captain he talked to promised to notify JAG and that Steve would be cleared as quickly as possible. The Captain told him that the SECNAV has confirmed Steve's story, and that the papers will be on their way shortly. Now all they have to do is wait for the orders releasing Steve from custody to reach the people responsible here in Honolulu. Which, unfortunately might still take a while.
Danny prepares himself to tell Doris about the cuff around Steve's ankle as they exit the elevator. He was spared when they round the corner to the intermediate care unit. "What the heck?" Danny calls out.
"What?" Doris looks in alarm at Danny.
"Go to Steve's room," he orders Doris, already on the run. "Rodgers was here," he calls over his shoulder as he draws his gun and pushes open the door to the hallway. He can just make out her startled cry for help when the door closes behind him.
He hopes that his friend is okay, but right now he can't think of that and needs to concentrate on the task at hand. He sweeps his gun up and carefully listens for any sounds. It's not hard to hear Rodgers running downstairs.
Danny follows him as quickly as he can, always keeping close to the wall. He has no desire to catch a bullet if Rodgers decided to shoot at him.
It takes them only a few moments to reach the ground floor, and Danny is worried that Rodgers is desperate enough to take innocent bystanders as hostages. He needs to end this without any bloodshed.
"Rodgers! You can't escape," Danny calls out to him when the Navy man reaches the door that leads directly to the parking lot. A place, Danny knows, will be full of people at this time of day.
Instead of an answer, Danny has to dodge a bullet that ricochets off the handrail and embeds only a few inches next to where he was just standing. Damn. He can already hear sirens in the background and MPs storming down the stairs. At least he has back up, but that is not helping right now.
Rodgers just pushed out the door and Danny hurries to go after him. He pushes open the door and instantly ducks to the right, running for cover to the nearest row of parked cars. Danny looks around for Rodgers, but he is nowhere to be seen.
The detective stays low and tries to use every cover that presents itself, but he has a very bad feeling about the outcome. Danny moves swiftly along the parked cars, and suddenly spots Rodgers.
He is kneeling next to a van and is just about to climb in when Danny spots him. "Rodgers! Five‑0! Freeze!"
But Rodgers does anything but freeze; he swirls around and aims his gun at Danny. Their shots are heard as one. Rodgers falls down, hit in the chest, and Danny cries out as his leg gives out on him. He falls to the ground and looks in astonishment at the growing pool of blood. His lower leg is a bloody mess.
"Danny!" He hears Chin calling him, and a moment later Chin kneels next to him. "Ah, damn."
"Chin, what about Steve? Rodgers was in his room," Danny pants out as the pain suddenly hits him.
"I don't know, Danny. Kono went up there," Chin tells him as he cuts open the pant leg.
Danny's shin is a mess. Part of the bone is sticking out; the bullet clearly shattered at least one bone. The bleeding has almost stopped, which is good, at least there is no ripped artery. But the leg doesn't look good, and one doesn't need to be a doctor to know that this is a serious injury.
The next few minutes are just a blur for Danny. At some point he is placed on a gurney and before he even knows it he is in the ER, his clothes are cut off him, he is stuck with needles and IVs and is rushed to the OR. He barely registers that someone is talking to him, he tries to ask about Steve, but before he can form a coherent sentence his surroundings are fading out.
H50 – H50 – H50
Doris McGarrett silently opens the door to the hospital room where the two injured men are laying. She doesn't want to disturb Danny in case he's sleeping. But peeking around the door she can see that he's awake and sitting up in bed.
"Hi, Danny," she greets him as she enters the room.
Doris smiles at the detective and walks over to her son's bed, "Steve, good morning," she says as she strokes his hair back and gently gives him a kiss on the forehead; careful of his bruises.
Of course there is no answer from the unconscious person in the bed. For two days now she is waiting for a response to her ministrations, but so far no reaction has come from Steve.
"His doctor said Steve should wake up any time now," Danny tries to reassure Doris after seeing her looking a bit disappointed.
"I know. I talked to him just a few minutes ago. He said that Steve was doing well, and they expect him to come fully awake in the next few hours." Doris looks at Danny and frowns at what she sees. "Danny, are you feeling alright?" She asks as she settles down in the chair next to his bed.
"Yeah, I'm good."
"Then why do you look like you're ready to murder someone?" Doris asks him and musters him with a critical eye, like only a mother can.
"Danny, you're shooting daggers out of your eyes. I'm just not sure in what direction." She watches him closely and is kind of shocked to see that he can't help but look at Steve. Still with that murderous look in his eyes. "You've got to be kidding me, Danny. You are still mad at Steve?"
"Uh… I…," completely uncharacteristically Danny isn't sure what to say. Isn't sure how to explain what he is feeling.
"Now you listen to me, Danny. I don't know what your problem is, and frankly I don't really care. Steve did nothing wrong, he did his job. He is an officer of the Navy; he took an oath to follow orders. He cannot choose which to obey," Doris takes a deep breath to calm down. "Danny, when Steve was little I could always tell when he was making things up. Telling a lie, even little boy lies, made him almost physically sick. He was really not good at it," Doris says and has to smile thinking about her little Stevie trying to cover up something he did and didn't want his mother to find out.
"Steve would never lie to his friends; he is just too honest for that. Don't mistake what he did to keep his cover for telling a lie to his friends. If it is necessary for his job or for his friends, he can lie with the best of them. But that is not something that is easy for him. He hates it. But he learned to lie in your face; it's a survival skill in his line of work."
"I never suspected anything," Danny whispers, and is still not sure if he is mad for being lied to or for not detecting the lie. Some detective he is. That really bugs him.
"Danny, I know it is hard to keep these two things separate. Look at it this way. Imagine an actor having a passionate love scene with a girl he barely knows. And at home sits his wife with three kids. She is in the same position as you are. She knows that her husband is not cheating on her, but still she watches him making out with another woman."
"Are you saying I'm Steve's wife?"
"This is what you take out of this?" Doris cries out.
Doris shakes her head at her son's partner; they can be both so stubborn. "Think about what I told you, Danny. I will be back later." She takes another look at Steve and leaves the two men alone again.
H50 – H50 – H50
Danny looks over at his still sleeping partner. Unconscious partner is more like it, Danny thinks. He thinks back to what Doris had said to him a little while ago. He just can't get her words out of his head. She really made an impact.
Danny had believed her when she said that Steve hated to lie to his friends, and he could even picture Steve feeling almost physically sick by telling those lies. He had always said that Steve was too honest for his own good.
He had realized that he was mostly mad because he thought he knew his friend inside and out, but still he hadn't suspected anything about Steve working on a side project. He was even beginning to doubt his detective skills, but Doris had told him that he'd be ridiculous. Danny is not so sure about that, but at the moment he takes her word for it. Otherwise he would go nuts.
Danny thinks back to the moment that was still heavily sitting on his conscience, the moment his bullet tore through Steve. The moment his friend fell back, hit by his bullet. Danny thinks about how easily Steve could have died by his hand. He shudders at the thought. Friendly fire was always a nightmare, but shooting your best friend really takes the cake.
Danny still has no idea how he will ever be able to make that right. In his defense he can argue that he hadn't aimed at Steve and that his friend had stepped into the line of fire, but that knowledge doesn't really help to ease the guilt. Seeing Steve in so much pain on the video feed and then later live on the ship, was propelling his guilt into new dimensions.
The longer Steve stayed unconscious the less mad he was at him. Danny only wants him to wake up now, so they can work out the issues that might be between them. He knows that Steve is disappointed in him. He could hear it in his voice when they talked on the phone. And Danny is sure that Steve has it in his head that none of his team would trust him after his work with Naval Intelligence. Danny even fears that their leader has some stupid idea of quitting his job.
When Danny first thought of that, he actually got really angry. And he had wished his friend would wake up already, so that he could give him a piece of his mind about any stupid ideas. But Steve didn't do him the favor of waking up; he slept on and left Danny to stew in his anger and confusion.
It needed Doris to set his head straight, at least on the anger issue. His anger at Steve is fading slowly but surely.
"Really, Steve, you can wake up. I'm not mad at you anymore. Just wake up, okay?" Danny feels a little silly talking to his deeply sleeping friend, but he secretly hopes that he might hear him.
He looks again at his friend, but just like the last 48 hours there is no movement or any kind of reaction from Steve. He sleeps on, oblivious to Danny's struggle.
H50 – H50 – H50
"Three days," Danny calls out in frustration. "It's been three days now. Why the hell isn't he waking up?"
"Detective, please calm down. You have to lie still." Major Hardy looks at his very agitated patient, and tries to stop him from moving. "You will only aggravate your injury."
Danny takes a few deep breaths and tries to calm down, not because he was told to, but because every little movement sent daggers of pain up his leg. His right leg is still hanging in the air, supported by a sling similar to the one Steve's leg is hanging in. Only difference is that Steve's femur is only partially broken, and Danny's shin had been shattered by the bullet Rodgers managed to fire three days ago. It is now being held together by a plate and a lot of screws.
Danny looks at his doctor and repeats his question, "Why isn't he waking up?" That is a question he has asked a dozen times in the last three days, ever since he woke up after having surgery on his shattered leg and finding himself in a bed right next to Steve.
"As I told you before," Major Hardy explains, "Commander McGarrett suffered severe head trauma. Hitting the floor caused a small bleed inside his skull, which caused pressure on the brain. It is really very simple; since the added blood needs space, and the skull isn't giving any, the pressure of the added volume is pressing toward the inside… on the brain."
"But you said the pressure was down, and that he should wake up."
"He should," the doctor agrees. "But head injuries are tricky. Some people are even conscious the whole time; others are almost comatose for days, or even weeks. Steve will wake up when he is ready," Major Hardy explains to Danny. He is slowly getting tired of this conversation; this is not the first time he has told Williams about his partner's condition. "If it is any consolation, Commander McGarrett is not deeply unconscious. He reacts very well to pain stimuli, and shows signs of waking. He is just not quite there yet. But he is healing nicely; his infection is almost completely gone. We took the drainage out of his shoulder, and the therapist already performed the first movements to the joint. His kidneys are working almost at a hundred percent. His leg and ankle will heal in time. So, relax and just give him the time he needs. There is no reason to believe that he won't wake up soon."
"You said that yesterday…"
"Yes, Danny. And if I have to, I will tell you again tomorrow. You have to be patient," Hardy tells him as he turns to attend to his other patient in the room. The one they were talking about.
Steve looks like he is simply sleeping. He looks completely relaxed, and his breathing is deep and even. But he is not just sleeping. He almost died. Again. When Doris had stormed into his room, she had been shocked at what she found.
Steve had been rushed into surgery where they had repaired the damage to the shoulder. He had lost a dangerously large amount of blood. His right ankle that had been cuffed to the bed and had held almost his full body weight was badly sprained and bruised. His left femur had a partial crack in it that had been made worse due to the abuse he had suffered. But the worst was that he had hit his head again. There had been an increased pressure on the brain and they had feared for a time that they needed to surgically relieve the pressure. Luckily it hadn't come to that.
H50 – H50 – H50
"Rodgers shot you?"
"Yeah. He's dead, by the way. He died on the operating table," Danny tells his friend. Looking over at him he can see that Steve has gone pale and has closed his eyes. "Hey, Steve. You okay?"
"I'm sorry, Danny." Steve opens his eyes and looks at Danny, "I'm sorry that you got hurt. That is what I tried to avoid. I didn't want any of you involved. I'm sorry." Steve lays his head back, and tries to get past the hammering pain in his head. It had gotten worse in the last few minutes.
The pain is pounding to the rhythm of his heart, in unison with the stabbing pain in his shoulder and leg. Even breathing started to hurt a few minutes ago. He tries to lift his head again to tell Danny that he's okay, but it's hard to concentrate on that task. The sounds and sights are kind of fading out again. He realizes that Danny is still calling out to him, but he simply can't open his eyes again or lift his head. Steve can feel that someone is prodding him, probably the doctor again, and when she lifts his eyelid the pain in his head multiplies and he's out like the proverbial light.
H50 – H50 – H50
Steve wakes up to an empty room. He looks around and wonders if he dreamed the episode from earlier. He wonders why he is alone, why neither his mother, any of his team, nor Catherine are sitting next to his bed. Where the heck is Cath anyway?
He was never left alone like this when he was in the hospital. Not even back when he was still an active SEAL. Someone had always been there when he woke up. Yeah, but back then the people weren't mad as hell at you. That voice in the back of his head is back.
Steve looks around for the call button, but before he can actually press it the door opens and reveals the major from earlier. She smiles when she sees that he's awake, "Commander, I didn't expect you to be awake. How do you feel?" She had stepped closer to his bed and is now holding his chart in her hands.
"Um, not too bad," Steve answers truthfully. He is really not feeling too bad. His head still hurts, but his shoulder is bearable, just as his leg.
"That's good. I switched you to a different pain medication, they are not narcotic anymore. Let me know if they are not strong enough."
"Your partner will be back soon, he is getting some tests right now," Major Khan informs him. "I hope you don't mind sharing the room with him?" She doesn't look at Steve, for her it was more a rhetorical question.
Steve tries to move into a more upright position, but has to stop when pain flares up in his shoulder. He abandons his intention and looks up at the major. "We are not on the best terms right now, and I would appreciate it if you could place him into another room." There, he said it. Steve feels like a prick trying to get out of the confrontation like this, but right now he doesn't feel like facing his accusing friends. "In fact, I would greatly appreciate it if you could keep all of Five-0 out of here."
"The Governor's Task—"
"I know who they are, who you are. Commander, why don't you want to see your team?" Major Khan looks at him strangely. "But if you insist I will keep them out of your room."
"Thank you. Can you please get me a phone?"
"Yes, of course," the major tells him with a smile. She might not be happy about his decision, but she can't risk him being upset right now. His head injury is still worrying her; that is the only reason she agreed with his plea. "Now, let me check your wound."
Fifteen minutes later Steve is sporting new bandages on his shoulder. It is no longer completely wrapped and his arm is lying loosely on his chest. Which is a huge improvement to before when his arm had been completely immobilized. "Remember not to move your arm before your therapist talks to you."
"Okay," is Steve's short answer. It had hurt like hell when the major moved his shoulder to get the bandages off. The pain is only slowly returning to the bearable throbbing from when he woke up.
"Try to sleep some more, Commander. I will check on you again in a little while." Major Khan packs her supplies and makes her way out of the room.
Steve watches her leave and hopes that she will keep her word. He moves his arm into a more comfortable position, and understands immediately what she meant with not moving his arm. Pain shoots all the way down to his fingers and leaves him wanting the narcotic drugs back.
"Fuck, don't do that again," Steve whispers and closes his eyes to ride out the pain. It only takes a few minutes for him to fall back to sleep. While doing so he misses seeing his mother entering his room.
H50 – H50 – H50
Doris looks down at her sleeping son; frowning at the obvious pain lines on his face. She had talked to his doctor and learned about his wish not to see any of his team. She came here to set his head straight, but now seeing him being in pain even in his sleep, her resolve melts a little.
She remembers how scared she had been when she had entered the hospital room, seeing Lieutenant Denver unconscious on the floor. And Steve… just thinking about it makes her tear up. She can't help it, but seeing her son hanging unconscious from a cuff around a bruised and battered ankle… it was just a picture she couldn't get out of her head. She still sees the bloody bandages and the small pool of blood under his head.
Doris had seen quite a lot in her life, and she had done brutal and merciless acts to other human beings. But none of them were her son. It didn't matter that he was a grown man, a SEAL and the leader of a special task force. He was still just her Stevie. She had missed twenty years of his life, many people not understanding her reasons, her son included. But she was not willing to miss another minute.
She had been furious at Captain Rodgers, and it was his 'luck' that he was already dead. That way he didn't have to face Doris McGarrett's wrath. She had to chuckle a little at her almost hysterical behavior after finding Steve on the floor. Forgotten was all her training, in that moment she was just a mother losing her only son.
Speaking of son, Doris thinks as Steve struggles to open his eyes, emerging from his short nap.
"Steve?" She softly calls out to him.
She watches as he finally manages to open his eyes, and she is happy to see them bright and clear as he looks at her. "How do you feel?"
"Ugh. Remind me not to move my arm, or shoulder. Or leg for that matter," Steve tells her with a grin. He is obviously feeling better.
"Steven, we need to talk."
"Yes, we do. I still have no idea what happened after you climbed the ladder," Steve says and is happy to remember most of what happened on the ship. A lot of what happened in the last few days is still hazy, but he remembers that he sent his mother and the kids up the ladder, and he remembers his fight with Assante.
"Nothing much, really. The Coast Guard was practically waiting for us. They took us off the ship and then went in to look for you and assist in the raid."
"Are the kids alright?"
"Yeah, they are absolutely fine. The Navy provided a youth therapist for them, I'm sure they will be okay. Gloria would like for them to stay here, I promised her you would talk to the Governor and—"
"What? She saved your life, Steven. The least you could do is asking Denning for help."
"She is nuts, mom. You have no idea what she did to me… I… She…"
"I know," Doris softly says. "I have seen the videos. And I'm so sorry for what you had to go through. For what those people did to you. And I was sitting right across from you when you were tortured, in case you have forgotten." Doris pauses when she sees him flinch at the mention. "I know all that, Steve. But still I want to help her, and you can do that. She only did all that for her two young children. Please understand that."
"I do," Steve answers and he already knows that he will try to help her. But he hates to be manipulated like this. "I'll see what I can do."
"That's all we're asking."
"Gloria and I had a long talk, we were in similar situations. You know?"
"Huh." Steve closes his eyes when the guy in his head starts to beat in a faster rhythm again.
"Steve, you okay?"
"Headache," Steve says without bothering to open his eyes.
"Do you want me to call a nurse?"
"No, it will lessen in a minute or so. It comes and goes." Steve hates concussions. He knows that he suffered more than a mild one; that he was lucky to have no brain damage. Instead he got away with minimal damage. The headache is a small price to pay.
"Good. Now listen to me," she waits until she is sure that he is able to concentrate on her again. "Dr. Khan told me that you don't want to see any—"
"Mom, I'm not going to talk to you about that," he interrupts her little speech.
"We are not going to talk about it, you are just going to listen," Doris almost laughs at the face he is making. This is a voice he hasn't heard in a long time, but still knows that his mother has something to say to him.
"Okay," Steve answers. He simply doesn't have the energy to fight her about this. So he will just listen and get it over with.
"I know what your problem is," Doris starts.
"Yes, Steven, really. Now shut up and listen," she says with a smile. She completely ignores his grumbling and continues. "You think that your team and especially Danny are mad at you. That they don't trust you anymore, and that they don't want to work with you anymore. Am I close?"
Not hearing an answer is answer enough for her. "Steve let me ask you something. Do you think you did something wrong?"
"No. I did my job, nothing more. But they don't see it like that. Mom, I lied to them. For seven months. I lied to them for seven months. I hated every second of it, but I had no choice."
"I know that. And they do too."
"NO. Danny said he can't work with me anymore, that he doesn't trust me, that he doesn't even want to see me anymore," it was hard for Steve to say that.
"What on earth gives you that idea?"
"I heard him talking to Chin," Steve starts to tell her what he remembered of that night.
"Steve, Danny was not here that night. And neither was Chin," Doris assures him after she listened to his tale.
"But… I heard them," Steve remembers Danny's exact words, and how they had hurt.
"Steve, you must have been dreaming. I swear to you they were not here, and Danny never said such a thing. I grant you, Danny was mad. But he saw reason and realized that he was not really mad at you, but moreso that he didn't realize what was going on. He's mad at himself as much as he was with you."
"He's not mad anymore?"
"No. Actually, he is devastated because he shot you."
"I know, he told me that he shot me, but I can't remember that. There is a lot I can't remember," Steve tells her. "Mom, where is Cath? Is she mad at me?"
"What? NO, will you stop that. No one is mad at you; they are all just really worried. What the hell is the matter with you? This must be the concussion talking," Doris says under her breath.
"Then where is she?"
"She is still in San Diego. She will be back in the morning. She has called every few hours to ask how you were. That woman really loves you," Doris has to grin seeing the smile on her son's face. "So, can I tell Khan that you are willing to share your room with Danny?"
"Yeah, guess so."
"Good. I will tell her. I'll go and see Gloria for a while, but I will be back later." Doris stands up and kisses her son good-bye.
"I'll be here," Steve grumbles, and watches her leave. "Guess I'm not going anywhere anytime soon." Steve looks at his hurting legs and wonders how serious the injuries are. He hasn't learned about his various injuries yet, the bullet to the shoulder is obvious, but he has no idea how his leg or more importantly his ankle fared. He can't remember injuring his ankle. He can still feel the impact of the bat on his leg again and again, but was pretty sure that he didn't hurt his ankle. But looking at his elevated legs and the bandages on the right ankle, not even to mention the pain every movement causes, there must be something seriously wrong with it.
And he needs to call the Governor, who will probably already have his resignation on his desk. If his team is still willing to work with him there is no reason to resign his post. Which he didn't really want to do in the first place, but he thought it was the right thing to do.
Now he realizes that it was a pretty stupid move on his part. His thoughts are interrupted by two orderlies wheeling Danny's bed into the room. Steve looks at his friend and tentatively smiles at him, hoping that his mother's words were true, that Danny really isn't mad anymore.
"Hey, yourself. Nice to see you awake. How do you feel?" Danny asks when the orderlies left.
"Not too bad. How is your leg?"
"Danny, I'm sorry—"
"Stop it. Don't start with that again. Listen, Steve, I was really mad at you, and I'm sorry for that. But I realized that I have no right to be angry with you. You did your job, and I hate to admit it, but your mom explained a lot to me. I know that you only lied to me because the job dictated it, but that you would never deceive or betray me. I'm sorry I thought otherwise. That was stupid and misguided."
Steve can only look open mouthed at Danny. "Did you just say you were stupid and misguided?"
"What? No, you moron. I said my actions were stupid and… you know what, I think I like being mad at you better," Danny tells his friend, but he does so with laughter in his voice and a smile on his face.
They both know that they will have to talk about this again in length, but not now. Now they need to enjoy friendly banter and their usual verbal insults. And when they will leave the hospital in a week or so, it will be together and with their friendship intact.
H50 – H50 – H50
Thanks again, and check back on Thursday, for the first chapter of a new story.