Keeping a Promise
Discliamer: See chapter one
A/N: Well I'm 'Keeping a Promise' by giving you guys the final chapter tonight. I want to thank all of you for your support and your wonderful reviews, my mood slipped some over the last week or so and when that happens I either write a lot or I lose focus. This was one of the 'lose focus' slips, but your reviews and favorites kept me going until my focus came back. Chapter five was my mood slipping into my writing, this chapter was a bit of a struggle to get together, but I made it. I hope it is what you all expected and hoped for and again thank you all for your wonderful support!-Montez
Two weeks…it had been two weeks since that fateful camping trip that had turned into a real-life horror story. Danny ran his hands over his face and through his hair as he looked out at the vast Pacific Ocean from the lanai of Steve's house. It had been a week since that horrible night when a doctor had pulled him and Lucy's father, Michael, into the hallway and told him his best friend was dying and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it, the medicine wasn't working, the cooling blankets weren't helping, they had been left to wait.
Closing his eye's his mind drifted back to that night, his heart still aching at the memory as the two fathers, along with Lucy's mother, Karen, brought the girls out into the hallway and did their best to explain what was happening to two very scared ten-year old girls. Grace had known something bad was happening when she had first looked at her father's face when he came back into the room, the sound of the door opening having woken her up from her chair next to Steve's bed, Lucy had been curled up in another chair on the opposite side, both girl's hands had stayed in contact with the unconscious man's hands since they had first entered the room.
"Daddy?", again the unfamiliar name that only came out when Grace was well and truly scared of something.
Lucy had followed her friend into the hallway with her parents, watching as Grace's father knelt in front of her, taking her hands in his, Lucy's heart clinched when her father did the very same thing. Silent communication between husband and wife let Lucy's mother know what was happening and she placed her hand on her daughter's shoulder, pulling her closer to her side.
"Grace, Lucy…we," Danny looked from the girls to Michael and Karen, then back, "We think it is best if you both tell Steve goodbye now and go home." Williams just could not seem to form the words to tell these to girls what was happening, even thought he'd told Michael that he never lied to Grace, this was so much harder than he ever imagined.
"What? We have to stay, I have to stay, I promised I'd stay until he came back." Lucy pleaded, not completely understanding why their parents wanted to send them home after saying they could stay.
Danny was always amazed at how quickly his daughter's mind worked, she was a lot like him in that way, she could figure out what was going on before she was actually told. "Uncle Steve's dying isn't he?" Her voice cracked, tears welled in her big brown eyes, in that moment Danny nearly broke.
Pulling her now trembling body into a tight hug, Danny whispered the answer, "Yes Monkey, he is." His own throat clogged as a sob escaped his little girl.
"No…" Lucy looked at her parents, at Grace in her father's arms. She'd heard what Grace asked, heard her father's reply, but it wasn't true, it couldn't be true. "No, I promised to wait for him to come back, he promised he'd come back and he did before, he told me he would see me here at the hospital…no you're lying…" Lucy jerked from her parent's hold, tears streaming down her face, forcefully pushing the heavy wooden door leading back to Steve's room open with more force than a ten-year old should possess.
"Lucy!" Michael called after his daughter, following her back into the room, Karen a step behind.
Danny pulled Grace up with him as he stood, her legs encircling his waist, her arms tightening around his neck, her head still buried in the crook of his shoulder as they quickly followed the others. The scene that greeted him was worse than he imagined, he saw the little blonde girl becoming nearly hysterical, she had raced back to Steve's side, her small hands grabbing his much larger one, "You came back for me! Why can't you come back now! I promised I'd stay, just like you promised me…you have to come back…you came back before, you have to come back now…it's not fair…I can't break my promise…don't make me break my promise…" Lucy's voice cracked at the end, her head leaning down on her hands, which held Steve's.
"Lucy, I'm sorry sweetheart, I'm so sorry…I know he doesn't want to let you down, but sometimes a person's body just can't fight anymore." Michael knelt next to his baby girl, his arms encircling her as she cried, understanding, but not why the man before her, the man who had saved her, who had come back for her, wasn't coming back now after she had promised to not leave him, how could he possible leave her.
"They have to make him better," she choked out as she turned into her father's arms, "they have to…" sobs finally overtaking her body.
"I'm sorry baby, I'm sorry." Michael lifted his daughter as her grip tightened, Lucy's mother moving closer, encircling her daughter as well, a heavy silence settling over the room as broken sobs from two little girls filled the stillness.
After a few minutes Lucy's family left the room, Danny didn't think they would leave without letting him know, but it gave him and Grace a moment alone with his partner, his best friend. Williams could never recall seeing someone look as bad as Steve looked at that moment, the flushed cheeks, the fever induced shivers that wracked his body. Danny had seen people die, but it was usually immediate, not since his grandfather had he watched someone he cared about succumb to their bodies' inability to fight an invading threat.
Danny hated to think he was giving up on his friend, but his heart ached as the weight of his distressed daughter still held close, her quiet sobs, her hitched breath reminded him this was really happening. Danny felt a lone tear slip past his defenses and didn't know what to do in this moment, but a part of him resolved to not completely give up fighting for his friend until Steve drew his last breath, so reaching over and taking his friends hand he looked at the slack face and said, "Time to prove these people wrong Steven, time to come back to us don't you think?"
A couple moments later Lucy and her parents returned to the room, Michael looking at Danny, silently letting him know that they were letting Lucy say her goodbyes before sending her home, Danny sat Grace down to do the same, he needed to call Rachael, but the girls needed their moment. Both girls stepped toward Steve's bed, retaking their spots on either side, both retaking the hand they had help onto throughout the night. However, the moment their small hands touched his, alarms started to sound from the machines surrounding Steve, medical personal flooded in as the parents pulled the screaming girls from the room.
A gentle squeeze on his shoulder brought Danny out of those dark thoughts of that night, looking up he met Michael's eyes, "You okay?" The two men had become friends over the last two weeks, not best buddies like Danny and …, but friends nonetheless.
"Yeah." Williams cleared his throat as his emotions were warring within him again, "Thanks for coming."
"Thanks for having us; Karen always wanted a place on the beach like this." Michael looked out across the small yard to the vastness that opened up just off the shore.
"Lucy doing okay?" Danny asked, looking out across the beach where he could see Lucy and Grace playing in the surf.
"A few nightmares, but that's expected I guess. Her pediatrician suggested having her talk to someone, her mother and I are seriously considering it, at least until the nightmares stop." Lucy's dad watched his little girl as she giggled, her and Grace racing up the beach away from the waves. "How's Grace?"
"She's doing better, being here is helping her a lot, it's good you could bring Lucy today, I think they both needed this." Danny said, taking a drink from the tea he had fixed earlier, alcohol wasn't on the menu today.
Both men were interrupted by a yell followed by a bellowing laugh that came from one of the chairs that sat at the sands edge, quickly followed by the squeals of the two girls who ran back toward the water, Grace with a pink bucket in hand, "That's not fair Gracie, you know I can't chase you right now!" Steve's voice sounded over the surf.
"I think that's why they did it." Danny said as he and Michael came to stand next to Steve's chair, the blonde man handing his best friend a fresh bottle of water and his medicine, "The doctor said you shouldn't be in the sun much while you're still on the antibiotics." Williams watched as Steve swallowed the pill, taking half the bottle of water with it.
"Yes, mom." Steve smirked.
"That's not funny, I've met your mother, remember…" Danny gave a mock shiver.
Steve just laughed before turning his attention toward Lucy's father, "Lucy doing okay? She told me she was having nightmares, I wish I could have done more to have kept her from getting taken." Steve was still carrying the guilt of not being able to stop Ron from taking them both.
"I think the fact she's getting to visit you here is what is helping her and I can't think of anything else you could have possible done, you kept my little girl alive, safe and brought her back to us despite your own injuries, I know I can never repay that." Michael held out his hand, McGarrett shaking it.
"Well you guys are welcome here anytime, it's good to see both of the girls smiling and laughing, though I think I'll owe them both a dunk in the ocean once I'm better after that little bucket incident." The last part was louder so the girls heard him, both just giggled again. "So when are the rest of them showing up?" Steve looked back at Danny, the entire troop had been invited over for a cookout now that Steve was on the mend and finally home.
The sound of car doors slamming heralded the arrival of the others, "Sounds like them." Michael said, making his way back across the yard and up the side of the house to help Madeline with the extras the other girls were providing.
Danny took a set in the chair next to Steve, "You scared the hell out of us, out of me, you know that right?"
"I'm sorry Danny; believe me the only thing that went as planned in that whole damn mess was getting Lucy home safe." Steve fell silent a moment, "I thought you were dead."
Williams was a little taken back by that statement, "What? I was up and walking just fine when that asshole had you lock us in that shed, you knew I was okay."
"I had a dream or something, I found you all in the shed, Grace was devastated and you…" Steve's voice cracked, it was rare for his emotions to be so close to the surface, but if pressed he'd blame it on the meds.
Danny reached over and gripped his friends arm tight, "I'm right here, I'm fine, you're getting there, all the girls are safe, you did good partner." Steve met Danny's eyes, giving him a slight smile as he tried to reign in his emotions, hearing the approach of the rest of Grace's friends.
It was a flash of colorfully dressed little girls that ran past the two men, joining Grace and Lucy in the shallow surf, loud laughing filling the air, neither man could help but laugh themselves as the girls splashed one another.
"So Commander how are you feeling?" Madeline came around from behind the chairs, wearing yellow Capri's with a matching floral shirt, hat and sunglasses.
"I'm doing much better, how are you Madeline?" The troop leader had visit Steve a couple times once his fever broke in the dramatic fashion it had done that night.
"I'm doing good, thank you for having the girls over today. After everything I think they all needed this, this is the first they've all been back together since that day." Madeline watched the girls playing, knowing it would be a long time before they had another campout, so this was a good distraction for the girls.
"Not a problem, I think I needed to see them all safe and together as much as they needed to be together." Steve replied as more squealing came from the water.
"Yeah, and you never got that chance to explain to them exactly how to field dress a wild boar." Madeline said with a smirk.
Laughing McGarrett replied, "No I didn't did I, but I think it's best to wait, I think today we should focus on fortifying sand castles against enemy attack." Madeline laughed a little harder.
"Don't laugh Madeline, he's not kidding" Danny dead-panned before bursting into laughter himself, grateful to have his friend on the mend and his daughter and her friends safe and sound.