Steve was still for a moment as the shockwave from the explosions echoed around the area. He had been this close to explosions before and had always been surprised that they had been mostly heat and noise, rather than any real force – the demon had absorbed most of the blast power from the grenades. They had done it though, their combined actions had destroyed the demon, there was nothing left of him apart from a crater and some small, smoking remains. He quickly looked up to make sure the rest of his team were okay, only to find them both running from their respective positions towards him.
Chin got to them first and he knelt beside them and looked up at Steve, his expression stricken. "Shouldn't he have changed back?" he asked, worried. "I don't even know where to take him."
Steve shook his head and did the only thing he could – placed his hand over Danny's muzzle to check. It took a few moments of rising panic before he could feel some air moving over his hand and he relaxed a bit. "He's breathing at least," he told the others.
Kono, also arrived, gently lifted one of Danny's legs and stared at it. It was white rather than the dun green colour of the rest of him, and the odd colouration reached up half the limb. "It looks like freezer burn," she said grimly. "What..?"
Steve shook his head and bit his lip. "The demon touched him," he told them and laid a hand on the creature's shoulder. He shook it, hard and leant close to him. "Danny, can you hear me? Danny?"
No response, and the three of them looked at each other worriedly. "We can't take him to a vet," Chin commented. "How can we explain this?"
Then Steve suddenly remembered something and pulled out his phone, pleased they had added each other's contacts. "But we can call his private doctor," he told them and thumbed on his contacts.
Bobbi answered on the third ring. "Afternoon, who is this?" she asked.
"Bob, it's Steve McGarrett, can you talk?" he asked quickly.
She must have heard something in his tone. "Of course," she agreed. "Where's Danny? Is he alright?"
"He's unconscious, we got in a fight, I think he's hurt." Steve told her quickly. "He seems to be stuck in form. Is there anywhere we can take him?"
"Shit," she said eloquently. "What form? Is he bleeding?"
"Dinosaur," Steve explained and checked as much of his partner over as he could. "I can't see any bleeding."
"Okay," she said to him, all business. "Take him to your place, but be careful with him. If he comes too in the same form he may forget himself and act like the … dinosaur?" Her tone queried the form, but she shook herself and carried on anyway. "Don't get bitten, he'll never forgive himself. I'll meet you there in twenty minutes, okay?"
"Okay," he agreed, pleased at her speed and forthrightness. "We'll be there." With that they both hung up, Bob to rush around her house, gathering the stuff she needed and grumbling to herself, and Steve to muster his teammates.
"We need to get him back to my house," he told the attentive cousins. "Kono, can you get one of the vehicles as close to hear as possible?" he asked and she nodded and scampered off. "Chin, damage control. We need to keep as many people away from here as possible. I don't know how many people Danny's told."
The other detective nodded and stood, looking around him for some officers. They needed to cordon off this area and get a clean up crew in as well. So he headed off to find Duke, knowing full well the Sergeant would be involved in this as well, however much he liked to complain about their tactics.
Steve watched them go and looked down at his partner again, worried that he still hadn't made a move. "Danny," he said again in the vague area of his ear. "You're scaring me. How am I going to explain a…a dinosaur to Denning, huh? And Grace?" He paused for a moment in thought. "She might think it cool to drag you around on a leash as a pet for a while, but only for a while. And me…." he added grimly after another pause. "I need you D. You're the only person who hasn't left me. Please don't l… leave me now."
No response, and he sighed, leant forward and hovered his forehead over Danny's feathery back. He had heard Bob's warning but didn't believe it – he was in no doubt at all that whatever form he took Danno would never hurt him. Except if he left him now. He knew what the burn was on his leg and he was worried. The demon had laid a hand on his partner and tried to force himself into his body and Danny out of it, which would have killed the Jersey detective. One you were out there was nowhere to go – the demon's previous form would dissolve and what had been the person's … soul for want of a better word would simply fade away. He would have lost Danny and would have had to destroy his body lest the demon run wild with it as he had done for centuries. But – the only good sign was Danny's continued silence and unmoving form perversely. Estaban would have recovered from the transition almost immediately; he wouldn't be unconscious like this, which meant it was highly likely Steve was still talking to his Danny.
Kono returned with Chin's SUV a few moments later and Steve looked up, where she had parked it at the head of the alley, cutting off the view from the officers Chin was corralling even now. Once he had got the cordon sorted and pointed out the clean up for Fong Chin then headed back to the rest of his team. He was dismayed to still see the dinosaur on the ground but at least he could see the creature was breathing.
"We need to get him in the car," Steve told him, and Chin nodded.
Between them they managed to dino-handle Danny into the back of the SUV, all three of them carefully arranging limbs and feathers so they could shut the door behind him without catching anything. With a rueful smile Kono handed Steve the keys and took his spare set for the Camaro as a swap. "We'll clean up," she told him. "Let us know any change, okay?"
Steve nodded gratefully and didn't hand around. He got into the car, shut himself in and was off, sirens and lights blasting, towards his own house in moments.
Chin sighed and turned back to Kono. "I guess we need to find all of that demon," he grumbled.
Kono pulled a gobbet of something out of her hair and handed it over. "Present," she told him and smiled at him as he took it with a grimace.
Danny was still unconscious when Steve got back to his house, he didn't make a noise when he was carried from the car into the living room. He only made a noise like a squeak when Steve laid him on the sofa, and if the SEAL weren't so panicked he would have chuckled at that. As it was he ended up a spending the few minutes it took for Bobbi to get there pacing between his unresponsive dinosaur to the front of the house to look out of the windows.
Eventually, although only about 5 minutes later, a black Volvo was driven slowly into the driveway. Steve frowned as the driver parked it, but then relaxed in relief when Bob got out of it. He quickly opened the front door for her as she hurried over, her bag in hand, and she smiled at him in greeting.
"Steve, you okay?" she asked, running her medical eye over him.
"Fine," he said quickly. "It's Danny."
She nodded. "Where is he?' she asked, and followed him into the house. She ended up looking down at a mini dinosaur and had to smile. "Cute," she commented as she put her bag down. "How long has he been out? And what happened?"
Steve quickly explained and watched as she sat down beside his partner and got to work. The only problem seemed to be the odd mark on Danny's leg, which didn't explain why he wasn't changing back. Which was what the Commander asked.
"Normally if he's injured," Bob explained as she looked closely at the burn. "He told me he got shot once in form and it took about twelve hours for him to change back. He can force it, but he needs to be awake for that to happen."
Steve nodded. "How do we get him to wake up?" he asked, looming over them both.
Bob grinned at him. "Annoy the living hell out of him until he tells us to stop."
The pair of them spent the next two hours poking the dinosaur without a stick, talking to him – well, Steve snapping at him, giving him grief about his procedures, driving skills, his reports. Both of them flicked at spots, played with feathers, tapped his beak, and Bob cleaned under her nails with one of his cleaned, long claws.
Danny finally made moves to wake up when Steve threatened to throw him into the sea. The little dino started to move, a couple of twitches at first, and then a chirrup, and finally a full body shudder. Bobbi sighed in relief, stood and pulled, or tried to pull Steve away. "Give him some room," she cautioned him when he glared at her. "It's like anaesthetic; he went in cranky, he'll come out cranky."
Steve declined to mention that his partner was cranky most of the time; he thought Bob probably knew that. Instead he stood back and watched as his partner slowly emerged from the feathered creature on the sofa. It wasn't the usual seamless transition from one form to another, it took a while longer and Steve winced at some of the bone-crunching noises. There was nothing he could do for him but wait, but he did move past Bob's arm when Danny emerged fully and groaned.
The Commander knelt down beside him and wanted to touch him, to make his partner know he was there, but he didn't really know what sort of reaction he would get – he certainly didn't want to hurt him. He studied Danny's proper form as his lover struggled to open his eyes, and worried on his lip when he saw the white patch on his arm. "Danny?" he called and couldn't help it. He laid a hand in Danny's soft, unruly hair and gently rubbed his scalp, watching him closely. "Danny? Are you back with us?"
Danny forced his eyes open and blinked up at him. "…Steve…?" he croaked, and tried to sit up. "What..? Are you okay? The others? What about Estaban?"
Steve helped him sit up and then grabbed an Afghan from the back of the sofa for him and draped it over his lap. "Everyone's okay," he assured him. "Estaban's gone. Are you okay? What do you remember?"
Danny looked at him for a moment, checking he was really okay before he answered. "We were fighting Estaban," he said with a frown. Which morphed into horror when he remembered. "Oh my Gods," he said in a panic and say up properly, checking both of his arms. "He touched me! The demon touched me! Jesus, Steve, what are you doing here? I could…" He rubbed his arm and spotted the weird white patch. Stared at it, then back up at Steve. "No, no, no, nononono …" he murmured and tried to scramble away. "Get away! I might hurt you! He was going to use me to kill you. You and Grace!" He ended up in a miserable huddle in the corner of the sofa, hugging his knees.
Steve wasn't going to leave him like that, instead he scrambled after him, kneeling next to him so he could reach him. Danny tried to pull away when he felt his lover's strong arms surround him and pull him back.
"Danny, hush, it's all right," Steve tried to soothe him, holding him as tight as he could. "He didn't get you, you wouldn't be like this if he did. It's okay, we're safe, it's over."
It took a few moments but Danny looked up from his shoulder eventually. "You sure?" he queried quietly. "I'm not gonna turn all demon on you in the middle of the night?"
Steve shook his head, not trying to hide his smile. "You're not going to turn all demon on me. Except if I wake you up before seven on a Sunday," he added fondly.
"Anyone would react badly to that," Bob rejoined with a relieved smile. "Let me check you over, Danny," she added when he looked up at her.
He stared at her for a moment but eventually nodded before he turned to Steve. "Stay, please," he said to him, not a question, and Steve nodded – he wasn't going to let him go.
It didn't take long – once Steve had moved out of the way – Bob checked her friend over thoroughly but the only wound she could find was the odd mark on his arm. It was cold to the touch, and Danny didn't feel anything from if apart from cold.
"We'll keep an eye on it," she told him, and used a marker to put a few dots on the edges to mark the extent of it. "Don't wash that off, okay?" she told him with a fond smile.
When he nodded she stood up, grabbed her bag and looked over at Steve. "Keep him warm, keep an eye on him and call me if that mark gets bigger or doesn't start to fade in a few days. Okay?"
He nodded and walked her out to the door. "Thanks," he said to her gratefully. "Really. He didn't change back and I didn't know what to do…" He looked away from her, back to the sofa where they had left D under his blanket.
Bob laid a hand on his arm and smiled slightly at him. He looked uncertain, worried which was completely the opposite from how Danny had described him to her. "He came back to you," she assured him. "He'll be tired for a day or two, maybe a bit more cranky (they both winced at that one), a bit clingy. He should be fine in a couple of days."
He nodded again, and she patted his arm and left him to it, chucking her bag in the trunk of her car. He watched her while she left, then shut the door and went back to Danny.
Kono took his call after she had managed to head back to HQ for a well-deserved shower, and her smile of relief told Chin, at the tech table with their 2 Feds, enough that he could stop worrying himself. "All of Estaban's people are either dead or in custody, Boss," she told him as she walked back over to the other three. "It's over."
Steve, despite everything his thirst for revenge was demanding, nodded. "Pass the rest over to the feds," he told her and looked down at his armful. He and Danny were still on the sofa, Danny curled up against him, sleeping off the effects of the morning. He'd woken briefly, let Bob check him over and Steve calm him, then, once he was reassured, buried himself in Steve's shoulder and fell asleep again.
Steve was surprised at how much he enjoyed cuddling with Danny. He hadn't been relied on so much before; even Mare didn't settle like this on him, trust him this much to provide comfort and safety. So he held his phone in one hand and Danny close against him with the other, and watched him sleep.
"Okay, Boss, will do." Kono agreed. "Is he really all right?" she asked after a few moments.
"He will be," Steve replied. "He's asleep. His doctor has checked him over, tells me he'll be fine in a couple of days."
"That's good," Kono agreed, relief evident in her voice. "Chin and I'll be over when we're done here. Okay?"
"Okay," Steve agreed. "Later." With that he hung up and settled down again, his partner tucked up under his chin.
Kono wasn't upset at the abrupt end of the conversation, Danny had been the Bossman's priority for a long time, longer than he probably realised. And they still had work to do to clear up this mess before either she or Chin could get away.
It took a few days for Danny to get back to his normal self. He was tired, snappish, but after his first bitchy comment to his partner after something or another he'd shut up, only replying when he had to. Steve hated it, despite joking about it he never liked Danny when he was silent, it seemed so unnatural.
Danny wasn't sleeping well either, he seemed to be having nightmares, waking up with a start or forcing himself to sat awake as long as he could, making himself feel worse. After about forty hours of this Steve had had enough.
The detective was slouched at the kitchen table, hunched over, elbows on the table, staring at a cooling mug of coffee in front of him. He was exhausted, it showed, and the Commander stood in front of him, arms folded across his chest. "Danny, what is wrong with you?" he demanded and stepped forward when his partner just huffed at him. "You need to sleep. You heard what Bob said."
When his partner said nothing, again, Steve walked over to him and sat down in the chair next to him. "Danny, please just talk to me." He leant closer and laid a hand on Danny's knee. "What's going on in that brain of yours?"
Danny blinked down at his knee and Steve's hand before he finally looked up at his partner. "Scared," he murmured finally, the first word he'd said in hours. And, looking in his eyes, Steve knew how much that had cost him.
"What of?" Steve asked him with a frown. "I'll protect you, I promise. Just tell me what from."
"Him," Danny replied and looked away. "I keep hearing him, I can still feel him on my arm." He looked down at the fading white mark on his arm and then up at his lover again. "Are you sure he's dead?" he asked, and if Steve wasn't so worried he'd class his partner's tone as plaintive. "That he's not going to…. to….?"
"Snatch you?" the SEAL finished when Danny faded, not knowing the right words. "He's dead," he assured him firmly. "Gone back to hell or whatever you want to call it. He can't come back, he has no physical form. He can't come back, Danny." He shifted closer and pulled his partner close against him to reassure them both, and pressed a kiss to his temple. "It's not possible for him to sit in you, it's not. Is that why you don't want to sleep?"
When Danny nodded Steve hugged him tighter as he thought about it. His partner had been panicked when he had first come round that he was going to be taken over by that demon, mainly because of what Estaban had said to him when he was goading him. But he was worried about nothing, there had never been any examples of demons ever hiding 'in' a victim before, ever, throughout all of Steve's knowledge and the lore he'd been taught by family and others with his particular skill set. "Danny, Babe," he said firmly and waited for him to look up at him. "I will protect you," he told him firmly. "You need to sleep. I will watch over you while you sleep, okay?" he told him.
It took a few moments for that to sink in to the exhausted brain of Danny's but he nodded eventually. "Promise?"
Steve nodded. "I promise." He waited for his partner to compute that and smiled at him when he nodded.
"'Kay," Danny murmured and then simply laid his head on his hands on the table in front of him.
Steve chuckled and shook his head. "In bed, Danno," he told him. He stood, wrapped his arms around his shorter partner and pulled him up again. "Do you need me to carry you to bed?" he asked him as he hefted the other man to his feet. "Really?"
Danny huffed in reply but made his feet work enough to walk, with Steve taking most of his weight and supporting him. They made it up the stairs and Danny was surprisingly compliant when he let Steve put him to bed. Literally. But the Detective did give him a baleful one-eyed stare until he sat down on his side of the bed with him. "I promised," Steve assured him and picked up a book from the nightstand next to him. "Go to sleep Danno."
Danny, seemingly satisfied, turned over towards his protector, pushed his forehead against his partner's thigh for reassurance, and was asleep in moments.
He slept for hours, Steve always by his side. He woke briefly a couple of times when Steve had to go to the bathroom or shifted to get another book, but only enough to make sure the SEAL was still with him before he settled back down again.
When he woke again, properly, it was well into tomorrow and he blinked a couple of times before he looked around. He felt so much better than he did, a hell of a lot more reassured, and he stretched with a sigh.
Which alerted his partner to his wakeful state. Steve woke from his doze wrapped around his partner in their bed when the main moved. He smiled, pressed a kiss to the nape of his lover's neck and hugged him a bit closer. "Morning Danno," he greeted him, his voice a bit gravelly with sleep and disuse.
"Morning, Babe," Danny replied, his voice even more gravelly. "You okay?"
Typical Danny. "I'm fine," Steve replied fondly. "What about you? You slept better?"
Danny rubbed his eyes and nodded. "Much," he agreed and blinked a few times in an effort to wake up. "And I'll thank you properly after I've used the bathroom. Hang on."
Steve found himself laughing as he had to let him go when his lover, partner, wriggled out of his arms and scrambled out of the bed to the ensuite bathroom, shutting the door behind him.
After using the toilet and cleaning his teeth Danny was back and he stood in front of the bed, suddenly feeling a bit … uncertain. "I could, er … have a shower now if you want to swim. Or something."
Steve knew exactly what he wanted and he shook his head and held up the sheet invitingly. "We can shower later," he told him. "And I can swim any time. What's got you so nervous?" he asked as Danno slid back in bed with him. "Are you okay? Really?"
Danny stretched out beside him and faced him. "I've been an asshole for the last couple of days," he admitted quietly. "And after everything you did for me too. I wouldn't be surprised if you wanted me out of here."
Steve shook his head and moved closer so he could touch him – laying a hand on his firm abs. "Danno," he replied fondly. "If I was going to walk the moment you were an asshole I'd have run back to sea a long time ago."
He laughed again when Danny frowned at him and retaliated by flicking his exposed ear. "Carry on if you don't want to get laid any time soon, sailor-boy," he retorted, but he started to smile at his partner's continuing mirth. "Alright, I get it," he added after a few moments and shuffled closer. "But still, thanks."
Steve smiled one of those wide, goofy grins. "My instructors always said my fortitude was amazing." Then he yelped as Danno sprung on him, shoving him onto his back and laying his hands on one of Steve's closely guarded secrets: his ticklish spots.
But Steve was a stubborn SOB and he wasn't going to end up giggling like Grace without a fight. He quickly sat up and flipped them over, using his greater mass to pin Danny down beneath him. "You're gonna try that one again, D-Dog?" he asked from his vantage point – sprawled over his partner.
Danny laughed. "D-Dog?" he queried, amused. "Really?" As Steve nodded Danny bent his knees, used his hips and twisted, and laughed again when Steve found himself in a heap in the side of the bed. The SEAL looked up to see his partner virtually curled up beside him in laughter. He looked happy, stress-free and Steve found himself just watching him laugh for a few moments. When Danny noticed he was being watched he looked up and frowned a little. "I didn't hurt you, did I?" he asked him and sat up quickly. "Steve?"
The Commander smiled and leaned in for a kiss. "No," he assured him. "You just look…." Never good with words he let his actions take over. This wasn't the playful lay he had planned; he wanted Danny to know exactly how he felt about him. So he moved forward, cupped Danny's face in one hand and kissed him deeply, pressing into his mouth to taste him, explore and using their momentum to move his lover back down onto the bed. "I love you," he murmured as he covered Danny's willing body with his own again. He chased the other man's jugular down his throat with his mouth while Danny opened his legs to let him settle on top of his properly and used his own hands to explore that delectable tattooed body.
"Then show me," the detective encouraged him. So he did.
2 weeks later….
"Steve!" Danny shouted and ducked out of his cover to pop off a couple of shots at their bad guys-du-jour. "Wolves!"
"Shit," Steve replied quietly down their radio link from where he was also stuck behind cover. "Chin? Kono? You get that?" he queried as he ducked a close volley.
"Copy," Chin replied, and Steve could hear the heavy retort of his shotgun nearby.
"Copy," Kono added, and even as Steve ducked out to try and hit the guy pinning him down, he was shown again the skill of their rookie.
The shot she took from the top of another building was perfect and the guy was shoved backwards out of the way by the force of the shot. He wasn't getting up again. "Thanks Kono," he replied and checked out the area again before he made his move.
Danny's own cover was rapidly being shot away by two more shooters, and even as the Commander got close enough to see him one of them got in a lucky shot. Danny jerked back and clutched at his left shoulder, but he was still with it enough to swear. "Son of a…. That's it," he grumbled over the radio and looked over at Steve. "They're Wolves, Steven," he told him in a conversational tone. "You know what that means."
Steve sighed and nodded, eventually. "I know," he replied. "I don't like it, but I know. What are you thinking? Wolf as well?"
Danny shook his head and gave him a feral grin. "Nah," he told him as he started stripping off his clothes. "Dogs drool."
The change was quick, as usual, the form taken in front of Steve was large, feline, with two huge front incisors that curved downwards and looked wickedly sharp. The golden fur shimmered in the sunlight and Steve found himself grinning at his partner. "Ready?" the SEAL asked as the large cat stretched, flexed claws, muscles, sinews. Then looked at him and nodded. "Chin, Kono, don't shoot the kitty!" he ordered down the radio. "Everyone else, feel free."
"Copy," from Chin with his Zen-like laconic smile.
"Hell, yes," from Kono, eager, as bad as Steve. She started shooting at the bad guys swarming around their ubiquitous warehouse.
Even from a few feet apart the SEAL could feel the eye roll he was getting from Smilodon-Danny near by, but as soon as Kono started shooting he took that as his cue and moved forward, leaping over the wooden crate Danny had hidden behind when the shooting had first started.
As soon he appeared the Wolves started shouting in surprise, and then the howling at him as they changed in response to his appearance. Danny took them, leaping over, around and under obstacles to get to them.
Steve moved out as well, using the distraction the big sabre tooth cat's sudden appearance caused to take on the humans around them. He was not alone, Chin and Kono backing him up. The Commander, as always, kept an eye on his partner as he streaked away, and winced when the cat took out the throat of one of the wolves with his claws and teeth (and no, Steve was trying ever so hard not to think about how long it was going to take for Danny to get the fur out of his teeth), and then took out one of the humans in the same sort of manner with his K-bar when the man tried to leap out on him from cover.
The four of them advanced, as one and in tandem, dropping their foes as they did so, one step at a time.
Not particularly happy with the lame ending, sorry! I've gone off McDanno at the moment, big time, which is one reason this took so long too. Season 4 starts tonight in the UK so I'll have to see where that gets me. Thanks very much for sticking with this though!