Sunshine, Rainbows and Happily Ever After.
The situation was about as bad as it could get. Steve McGarrett sighed heavily. Tommy Ewa, a good cop, badly hurt. His partner, Ryder, dead. Big Paul, who had come in on his vacation, had been shot and it didn't look good for him, either. Shem's psychiatrist had been unable to talk him down from the bunker on Diamondhead where he was holed up. Shem's wife, who seemed barely old enough to be married, refused to speak to him and Shem's mother – well, she was a piece of work!
There wasn't much daylight left and if they didn't get Shem down from there soon… There was only one option, Steve knew and he had to take it. "Danno," he signalled and his young second nodded. He knew what Steve wanted; he had been the one to suggest it after all. Danny stripped off his suit jacket, donned the cumbersome flak vest, which he thought privately was almost useless, and slid the camouflage jacket over the top. Picking up his rifle, he nodded to Steve, hoping he looked confident and not scared.
"There's a rise about 200 yards to the west of him," Steve explained, as though Danny hadn't been the one in the chopper scoping out the lay of the land. "Don't miss," he added. "Or he'll have you dead to rights." At once, Steve wished he had never said those words, but he couldn't recall them.
"I know," Danny replied, as calmly as he could. Steve patted his shoulder and then Danny ran across the road and started to scramble up the hill. Steve signalled to the officers around and they started to lay down fire to give Danny some cover.
It took him several minutes to climb to the rise and then he paused for a second to catch his breath. Getting into position, he lifted the radio and told Steve he was ready. The covering fire stopped and as Danny looked through his scope, he saw movement. Shem was creeping forward. Danny's finger tightened on the trigger and he fired.
Unbelievably, his shot missed! Shem turned, aimed and fired all in a single movement and Danny felt the thump deep in his shoulder as the round caught him and the next moment, he was tumbling down the hill!
Reaching for the walkie-talkie with his left hand, Danny raised it to his lips. "Steve – I missed," he confessed miserably.
Down on the highway, Steve felt his heart skip a beat. He knew from the sound of Danny's voice that his man was hurt. "Hold on, Danno, hold on!" he urged. "We're coming after you!"
"You'll be cut to pieces," Danny objected, but Steve did not reply. Danny winced. He knew that Steve would not hesitate to come for him, but Shem was a good shot and Danny could not have anyone's death on his conscience. He had to try and take Shem out again.
Getting the rifle was the easy bit, and even that hurt beyond belief. Danny blinked as he forced his leaden right arm to function. He fumbled with the shells and for a moment, he thought he wasn't going to be able to load the gun. Sweat beaded his forehead as he hauled himself back to his position on the rise. He could barely hold the rifle and resorted to propping it on the ground in front of him. He had only one shot and he could not afford to miss this time. He sighted through the scope.
There! Without conscious thought, he pulled the trigger and through the scope he saw Shem's arms fly up in the air, his back arching and then the sniper dropped out of sight. Danny slid down the slope once more, unable to catch himself. He winced and reached for the radio. "I got him." The radio slid from his fingers and Danny made no attempt to stop it. He closed his eyes.
Far sooner than he expected, Danny heard Steve's voice calling his name. "Danno! Danno!" McGarrett, dishevelled and dusty, leapt up the side of the rise and scrambled to his friend's side. "How's it, Danno?" he asked.
"I'll live," Danny replied, although he felt dreadful. The throbbing pain in his shoulder was intensifying and he wondered if the bullet had broken his collarbone. Using the arm had not been a good idea.
Quickly assessing Danny, Steve tugged down the zipper on his jacket and unbuttoned Danny's shirt. He looked at the bullet wound and nodded. "Yeah, I think you will," he agreed. He snatched up the radio. "Duke? Duke! Get a doctor up here for Danno." He didn't wait for an acknowledgment. "I'll be right back," he promised and headed over towards the bunker. Danny closed his eyes and waited for rescue to come.
When Steve returned to Danny's position a few minutes later, Duke was there, crouching by the wounded man and they appeared to be involved in an argument. "By the time a doctor gets here, I could be at the bottom of the hill," Danny argued.
"Danno," Steve started, his face darkening.
"Steve, it's not as if a doctor can do anything for me here that you can't," Danny pointed out. "The slope is too steep for me to be carried down," he added, "and I can walk."
"Can you?" Steve fixed his second with a stern look.
"I'm not sliding down there on my backside if I can help it," sighed the injured man. In truth, he wasn't sure if he could walk. He was feeling rather peculiar and the pain was coming in waves. He blinked and realised that he had missed some kind of communication between Duke and Steve.
"Danno, did you hit your head?" Steve asked.
"Um… no," Danny replied uncertainly. He knew that some time had passed between him being shot and radioing Steve, but he had no idea how long. He had thought less than a minute – was it longer? He frowned. His head did ache, but he assumed that was because his right shoulder was an agonising dead weight. Cautiously, he straightened his head. The world was wavering slightly. "Why?"
A slight smile crossed Steve's face. "We need to know how badly you're hurt, aikane," he replied. He unzipped Danny's camouflage jacket and carefully lifted the injured limb and tucked it inside. Danny couldn't bite back a cry of pain. The world lost its colour for several moments as he tried to adjust to the new position. "Give me your belt, Duke," Steve ordered and while Duke supported the injured officer, Steve used the belt to further immobilise Danny's arm. "Just rest now for a minute," he ordered, taking Danny's weight from Duke. Danny's face was grey with pain. "Duke, get the men back down the hill. Get someone to remove Shem's body and let's get the traffic moving again as soon as we can."
"Right, Steve." Duke turned away, waving the men out of sight and leaving Steve and Danny with some illusory privacy. They wouldn't be left entirely alone; there was no way Steve could get Danny down the hillside by himself.
"Shem's dead?" Danny asked, trying to focus on the case, not on himself. He wasn't entirely successful.
"Yeah." Steve thought of the heart made from bullets with the word 'mom' inside it. Shem's mother was a strange woman and Steve wondered how she would react when she saw her son's body. For the young widow, perhaps this was for the best. She could start her life over again without being shackled to a boy she barely knew who had abandoned her on their honeymoon. "Yeah, he's dead."
"I'm sorry… I missed," Danny mumbled. He replayed the scene in his mind. He knew he had been on target when he squeezed the trigger, but in that scant second between the bullet leaving his gun and reaching Shem, the sniper had moved; stumbled perhaps, or maybe the wind had picked up in intensity for a second. There was no way to know. The pointed fact was that he, Danny, had missed.
Instantly, Steve's thoughts returned to those words he had said on the road. "Don't miss, or he'll have you dead to rights." Steve could not believe that he had said that. Had he put the idea of missing into Danny's head? Had those words added extra, unnecessary pressure to an already high-tension situation? "I ill-wished you," Steve confessed.
"What?" Danny's eyes opened wide and he snapped his head round to look at McGarrett. It wasn't a good move and he swallowed hard to keep the nausea at bay.
"When I sent you up here," Steve explained. "I put the idea of missing into your head. I'm sorry."
"I didn't think about it again," Danny assured him truthfully, but he did wonder as well. Had those words somehow influenced his shot? He blinked, aware that he was feeling slightly light-headed and his thought processes were somehow slightly askew.
Now was not the time for recriminations, Steve knew. "Are you ready to get out of here?" he asked.
"Yeah," Danny replied, trying to sound healthy. He braced himself for moving, but the pain, despite Steve's rudimentary first aid, was devastating. Steve's strong arm kept him on his feet as the world whirled in a nauseating kaleidoscope of colours and smells before finally settling back into place.
"Easy," Steve soothed quietly. "Take it easy. Take your time." Time was something they didn't have a lot of. Darkness was not far away and the chopper could no longer come close to the hill because of the failing light. It was too dangerous. Getting Danny into the chopper would have been extremely difficult at best. Steve was glad that Duke had talked him out of it.
"I'm okay," Danny lied, panting heavily. He could feel cold sweat trickling down his back.
It was a very slow trek. Danny needed to rest frequently and the unstable footing caused an inordinate amount of jarring to his injured shoulder. After a particularly vicious stumble, Danny threw up, curling up on the ground and groaning in pain. Steve hovered over him anxiously, but there was nothing he could do to help. They simply had to get Danny down to the highway and into the chopper waiting below before it became too dark.
"Come on, Danno," he urged, helping the young man to his feet with some assistance from the loyal Duke, who shadowed them every step of the way, his hand always ready to steady McGarrett. Duke knew Steve needed some rest, but would refuse every offer of help. Danny was his man and he had sent him into danger and now he would bring Danny back down safely.
"Don't think… I can," Danny breathed. The pain was incredible. "Is the… bullet still in… me?" he gasped.
"As far as I can tell," Steve replied. There was no blood on the back of the camouflage jacket. There was more than enough to be getting on with on the front. "You've got to keep going, Danno. I can't leave you on the hill all night."
"All right," Danny panted. He groaned as he came to his feet once more, aware that he was leaning more and more heavily against the chief of Five-O, but unable to bear his own weight. Dimly, he knew that Duke was there helping Steve, but sweat drizzled into his eyes and raising his hand to wipe it away would use energy that he couldn't afford to squander. His sight was narrowing down to tunnel vision and he just hoped that he could make it to the bottom without fainting.
Somehow he did, with Steve encouraging him, supporting him, all the way. As they reached the shoulder of the highway, Danny's knees buckled and he felt hands on his body and legs, lifting him up. The change of position from upright to horizontal was too much for him to bear and he fell willingly into the waiting darkness.
A/N Apologies, I meant to add this before and completely forgot! This dialogue in this chapter is taken from the episode 'I Want Some Candy and a Gun that Shoots'. No infringement is intended.