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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

H50 fic: Complementary

October 14th, 2013 (09:45 pm)
awake
Tags: , ,

feeling: awake

Title: Complementary

Disclaimer: I do not own H50.

A/N: Also for sockie1000. Again, with beta work by lena7142.

Summary: It’s about trusting the other person with everything you have, whether you’re weak or strong and knowing they’ll do whatever they can to make up the difference.



-o-

It’s not like this has been a good case. So when things go from bad to worse, Danny probably shouldn’t be surprised. Hell, he’s really not surprised, but it’s still something of a dreaded disappointment. The inevitability of it doesn’t actually make it any easier to take or any more pleasant to endure.

Because one second they’re chasing drug dealers through the forest.

The next they’re getting shot at and Steve disappears over the crest of a hill. Danny scrambles to stop himself, glancing down at the sharp incline, before looking back just in time to see one of the bad guys fire his gun.

Something burns in his side and he loses his balance, and Danny goes down.

Surprising, no. Pleasant, definitely not. Something to rant about, most definitely.

But none of that matters when he hits the bottom and everything goes dark.

-o-

If falling is unavoidable, waking up is even more so.

“Danny?”

Danny groans, starting to move and immediately regretting it. Things are hazy and dark, but every small movement sends pangs of fire through his skull before settling uncomfortably in his side.

“Danny!”

Danny knows that voice. He knows every lilt and cadence as it issues absurd orders and makes counterintuitive commands an unpleasant reality.

“Come on, Danny. You’re starting to freak me out.”

Danny hisses, cracking his eyes open. The light assaults him, and he grimaces, even as he makes out a hint of Steve’s worried expression above him. “And you’re starting to piss me off,” he mumbles, turning his head away and squeezing his eyes shut.

There’s a faint chuckle. “Well, good to know you haven’t hit your head that hard,” Steve comments.

Danny winces, cradling his arm against his tender ribs as he lifts a single finger.

“Nice,” Steve says. “But I am going to have to have you open your eyes.”

“What for?” Danny mutters, squinting again. “I think I just feel down a hill, right? It’s pretty safe to assume I’ve got a head injury.”

“I’d still like to know how bad,” Steve says.

Danny grunts, trying to lever himself up. Fresh pain flares in his side, and he collapses back with a strangled cry.

“Easy,” Steve coaches, putting a gentle hand on Danny’s shoulder. “You got shot, too.”

Danny’s eyes pop open, and he looks down. “I got shot and you’re worried about a head injury?” he asks in abject horror. “For a Super Seal, I’m questioning your priorities.”

Steve is perched on his heels. “I already cleaned and bandaged the wound while you were out,” he says. “It’s a through and through. Nothing vital.”

Danny laughs humorlessly. “That’s pretty convenient when it’s not through your side.”

“Well, I didn’t say it wouldn’t hurt,” Steve says.

“Oh, that’s big of you,” Danny says, making a face as he looks at the bloodied tatters of his shirt. He can’t see much beyond the makeshift bandage, but he can feel it. And it feels pretty much horrible. “What did we talk about with getting people shot?”

“Hey, this isn’t my fault,” Steve says.

“You were the one who insisted we run after the drug dealers through the trees,” Danny says.

“It was the only option,” Steve counters.

“I can think of a lot of options,” Danny says. “Most of which don’t involve me getting shot.”

Steve sighs. “You know this really isn’t my fault.”

Danny glares at him, but he can’t quite keep his anger. “Not totally, maybe,” he says. “But you are a convenient target.”

Steve nods good naturedly, looking a bit relieved. “How about I get you out of here and we’ll call it even.”

Danny makes a face of indignation. “How does acting like a human being absolve you from reckless police work?”

“Well, if you’d rather I leave you here…”

Danny grunts, pushing himself into a sitting position. “Just help me up.”

Wordlessly, Steve complies, moving into position to help Danny up. The upward momentum doesn’t seem so bad at first, but when he’s upright, Danny feels his head spin. The edges of his vision go gray again, and he falters as the pain ratchets up and his stomach twists. His knees go weak, but Steve’s grip is steady and unyielding.

“You okay?” Steve asks.

Danny swallows hard, ignoring the way his pulse thrums in his ears. “What do you think?”

“You want to stop?” Steve asks.

Danny shakes his head, forcing the nausea back down. “No,” he says. “I’d very much like to get out of here and to a place where there is medical treatment available. Preferably with narcotics.” He hisses as they take a tentative step. “Strong narcotics.”

Steve gives him a lopsided smile. “Let’s get going on that, then.”

-o-

It’s a slow, cumbersome walk. Danny’s head hurts and his side throbs. Every part of his body aches, and every now and then he has an overwhelming surge of vertigo that nearly has him on his knees. Steve is steady, though, and he doesn’t comment when Danny misses a step and leans heavily into his side.

Steve’s not great a lot of things in this world of partnership, but maybe he’s not bad at everything, Danny thinks. Because he’s there when it counts. He’s a strong shoulder when Danny feels weak, even when Danny doesn’t want to admit it.

Steve asks a lot of his team. He has them put their lives on the line, more than Danny would like. But for all that Steve asks, he risks even more. And for all that Steve is willing to risk, he’s never willing to give up.

“This isn’t your fault,” Danny huffs finally. They’re both sweating and exhausted, limping back the way they came.

“I’m still sorry it happened,” Steve says, as he eases Danny over a rough spot in the path.

Danny bites back a cry. “This is what partners are all about, isn’t it?”

“Almost dying together?” Steve asks coyly.

“Being strong for each other,” Danny says. “Complementary parts. That’s how it works.”

Steve laughs, holding Danny slightly closer. “So now you’re thanking me?”

Danny wrinkles his brow. “Let’s not get carried away or anything. I did get shot.”

“Sure, Danno,” Steve says.

Danny glowers. “Just keep walking.”

-o-

When they reach the top of one of the hills, Danny thinks he might cry. Or pass out. Possibly both. He’s ready to collapse at any rate, his knees like jelly as Steve all but hauls him the rest of the distance.

“I just need a minute,” Danny says haltingly as he gasps for air. His side is almost numb now; his vision starting to double more often than not. “Just a minute.”

Steve eases him to the ground. “We might have cell coverage at the next hill,” he says. “I could hike on--”

“I just need a minute,” Danny huffs in exasperation. “Just one damn minute--”

Steve is about to acquiesce when there’s a movement in front of them. Dazed as Danny is, he doesn’t make sense of it until Steve steps in front of him, gun at the ready. He catches a glimpse of one of the drug dealers, frantic and angry, gun drawn and aimed.

“Don’t do it--” Steve says, which is a pretty damn stupid thing to say as he moves further in front of Danny. Because these idiots have already shot one cop and they will do it again.

Danny is going to point out of the obvious, when two gunshots fill the air.

And two bodies hit the ground.

-o-

For a second, Danny can’t think. The air has gone uncomfortably still, and while he knows it’s proper procedure to check the perp, he doesn’t think he can actually move that far.

More than that, Steve.

His partner is on the ground in front of him, and as Danny staggers and crawls over to him, he sees the blood.

It’s everywhere, all over the foliage and down Steve’s arm. There’s blood and there’s too much blood and Steve.

“Hey,” Danny says stupid, using his good arm to take Steve by the shoulder. “Hey!”

Steve shifts with a groan, and Danny almost cries in total relief. He takes Steve by the shoulder, trying to roll him on his back. He only gets part way when his own strength gives out and he falls back with a sob of pain while Steve’s eyes flutter open. “What happened?” Steve asks.

Danny’s face is red as he tries to catch his breath. “You got shot, that’s what happened, you idiot.”

Steve makes a face, maneuvering into a sitting position as he looks down at his arm. He curses, using his good hand to palpate the wound. “It’s a flesh wound.”

“Non-vital, then,” Danny concludes.

Steve takes off his shirt, hastily ripping it into a bandage with his teeth. He spits out the one end, promptly tying it off around the seeping wound. “Looks like.”

“Bet it still feels pretty vital to you, huh?” Danny quips.

Steve snorts a small laugh before gritting his teeth to finish working his wound. “I’ll be fine,” he says. “Just like you.”

Danny nods. “That was stupid, you know.”

Steve raises his eyebrows.

“Getting shot,” Danny says. “That was stupid.”

“There wasn’t much choice,” Steve says.

“You stepped right in front of me,” Danny objects.

“That’s what partners do, right?” Steve asks. “Be strong when they have to be?”

Danny makes a face. “Now you choose to start listening to me.”

“Well, you would have been mad if I’d let you get shot again,” Steve points out.

“Well, yes, but you getting shot is not the solution,” Danny says. “Generally, I’m in favor of less shooting.

“You’re sort of picky,” Steve says.

Danny rolls his eyes. “You think you’re ready to keep moving? Before we both bleed to death?”

Steve gathers a heavy breath before getting to his feet. He stops, steadies himself, then reaches down to help Danny to his feet. He smiles. “After you.”

Danny grunts, taking a lumbering step. “I hate you.”

-o-

After a bit, Danny’s strength is flagging again. The adrenaline is wearing off, and the weariness of his injuries is settling deep into his bones.

It’s not just him, though.

Steve is, too. His pace is slower; his steps guarded. He tries to take Danny’s weight, but each step is harder than the last -- for both of them.

Danny almost trips, starting to go down when Steve catches him. He breathes in sharply, almost crying as he holds Danny upright and that’s when enough is finally enough.

“Stop,” Danny says, pulling away.

Steve looks up in surprise and concern. “You okay?”

“I’m shot and exhausted,” Danny says. “Of course I’m not okay.”

“If you need to rest, I can try to hike ahead,” Steve offers.

“Absolutely not,” Danny says. “Because I’m not okay, but you’re not okay either.”

“I’m fine,” Steve says.

“You’ve been shot!” Danny objects.

“A flesh wound--”

“You’ve still been shot!” Danny insists, and he wants to flail but it hurts too damn much to move.

“I’ve had worse--”

“I don’t care if you’ve had worse,” Danny says. “Because partners aren’t just strong. They’re also weak. It’s about trusting the other person with everything you have, whether you’re weak or strong and knowing they’ll do whatever they can to make up the difference.”

Steve stares at him for a moment.

Danny’s cheeks redden. “So thank you for being strong,” he says. “But now, for the love of all that is good, just let yourself be weak. If you value this partnership at all, let’s be weak together.”

Steve is guarded. “Then how are we going to get back?”

“Slowly and painfully,” Danny says, lips twitching in a smile. “But together.”

Steve takes a breath. Then he nods. “Together,” he repeats, as if the word is new and the concept foreign. He nods his head again. “Okay.”

They straighten side by side, and Danny moves in close as Steve adjusts his grip. It’s awkward and uncomfortable, and taking some of Steve’s weight is easier said than done. But if it leaves him a little spent, it reminds him how important this is. They’ll earn each step; they’ll make this work.

Because that’s just what partners do.

Comments

Posted by: sockie1000 (sockie1000)
Posted at: October 15th, 2013 02:33 pm (UTC)
yay!! more fic!! :)
partners

two whump fics in one day? it must be my (belated) birthday! ;D

and this one was wonderful, too!! (not that I would expect anything different coming from you.) I'm always amazed how you can take a simple h/c idea and turn it into so much more. I was grinning throughout but this line made me lol--

Danny makes a face of indignation. “How does acting like a human being absolve you from reckless police work?”

so perfectly Danny.

Thank you so much for this. You really made my day. :D

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: November 25th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: yay!! more fic!! :)
danny ready

Well since I was late, I figured you deserved two :)

Also I wrote the H50 one first and then figured I should write another in a fandom more of your current interests.

I'm glad you had a nice birthday!

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