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H50 Fic: The Eleventh Hour 3/13

January 31st, 2011 (09:19 am)

A/N: Continued thanks to all who have reviewed and read :)

Previous parts here.

 

HOUR THREE

This was all Steve's fault.

Most things in Danny's life these days were Steve's fault. When they weren't, it was Rachel's or her lawyer's or the infamous Step Stan's and his latest exploits. They all caused Danny a serious pain in the ass, though usually Steve didn't seem as bad as the rest since he was the only one among them who hadn't tried to rip his heart out and stomp on it repeatedly.

Steve just tried to get him killed on a regular basis. In the bigger picture, at least that wasn't personal.

It still kind of sucked, though.

And this one took the whole damned cake and it really was entirely Steve's fault. Hands down, no questions asked, Steve's fault.

The entire case had been Steve's idea, after all. The entire approach had been laid out with Steve's distinctive brand of insanity.

And now, here they were. Handcuffed to chairs, back to back, in a deserted warehouse, in the Middle of Nowhere, Hawaii, with two idiots holding guns threatening them.

To top it all off, Danny's head was now officially killing him, and he was actually not only handcuffed, but handcuffed to Steve, who refused to sit still and fidgeted in his cuffs nonstop, leaving hellish abrasions on Danny's wrists. Just in case he hadn't already been convinced that this was the worst case in his entire career.

It hadn't started out that way, of course, because these things never did. Steve always thought that cases would be easy and no big deal. He'd even had the audacity to promise Danny that this one would be a quick. They'd be done in plenty of time for Danny to pick up Grace from school.

Though, to be fair, if Danny had actually believed that, then some of this was his fault, too. Fool me once and fool me twice and all that crap, but still. This was mostly Steve's fault.

It had been Steve's case and Steve's lead and these morons were after Steve, not Danny, which meant that he didn't even have to be here. He wasn't supposed to be here. He was a happy accident for these two idiots and now Danny was cuffed to a chair and to his partner playing the worst damn role in any bust ever. He was leverage. Human leverage. And if Danny hated playing back up to Steve's insane tactics, he hated playing human leverage to Steve's insane history even more.

And what was even more insane, just in case this wasn't insane enough, was that Steve didn't seem to mind. Sure, he was pissed and all, but freaked out? Concerned? Apologetic?

Of course not.

The guy was just sitting there, wriggling in his cuffs as though this was completely normal. Part of the plan.

"You're quiet," Steve noted, fingers flexing in the cuffs.

Danny snorted. "I thought you liked it when I shut up."

Steve jerked a little, yanking at the cuffs ineffectually and jostling Danny in the process. "It is less annoying," Steve said.

Danny rolled his eyes. "You get me knocked out and cuffed up and still insult me. Good to know that your winning personality shines in all situations."

"I'm just saying that you're quiet when something's bothering you," Steve clarified.

At that, Danny laughed in complete incredulity. He tried to crane his neck to get a better look at his so-called partner. "You think something's bothering me? I wonder what could possibly be bothering right now. Maybe the bleeding head wound or the bad guys who took our guns or the fact that we're handcuffed together in a warehouse with no one who is even aware that we're here."

"Chin and Kono have both been briefed on the case," Steve replied.

Danny shook his head again. "Did you tell them that this case was personal?"

"No, because it's not personal."

Of course it wasn't. At least Steve was consistent in his utter and blind stupidity. "Right, and the guy didn't set us up to get information out of you. Did you even tell them we were coming here?"

"They'll put it together."

"Right, when they start looking," Danny said with a nod of his head. "Which they probably won't do for awhile yet because they don't even know we're missing."

"We're not missing," Steve said, stubbornly now, and he tugged again. "We know exactly where we are."

Danny had the urge to throw his hands up, but the cuffs made that decidedly more difficult. "We're being held against our will by a pair of criminals with guns."

"Yeah, but it's not at an unknown location. We're not missing, just being held hostage. This place is in the paperwork. They'll find us."

It was hard to pinpoint which was more frustrating: the simplistic logic or the complete lack of urgency in his tone. "But only when they think we're missing!" Danny exploded finally. "Why can't you just admit that!"

From the office, Malcolm jumped, gun twitching at his side. Blaine took the outburst without much expression, merely looking at them carefully. Danny watched as Malcolm seemed to raise the gun, then drop it, taking his cue from Blaine. There was a pane of glass and a good fifty yards between them, but Danny knew with the right aim, it was still a pretty easy shot.

Danny's self-righteous anger simmered. He wanted to prove a point, but he had no strong desire to get himself killed in the process.

Behind him, Steve's fidgeting lessened a bit. "Admit what?" he asked, his voice lower than before.

"That we're in trouble," Danny hissed at him, glancing furtively at their captors again. "I want you to admit that we're up to our eyeballs in total crap right now and that we should be probably be doing something useful to fix that."

"What do you think I'm trying to do?" Steve asked.

"You mean fiddling with your handcuffs? Who are you now, Houdini?"

"No, but this is the most productive thing we can do," Steve said. "Negotiation in these situations is useless. They have all the power: they know it; we know it. We need to get out."

Danny had to laugh bitterly. "These are handcuffs, genius. They're designed to keep people restrained. That's why cops are so fond of them all over the country. All you're doing is chafing the hell out of my wrists."

"All handcuffs have an inherent weakness," Steve reported. "A design flaw that can be manipulated. I just have to find it."

The way Steve said it made it sound so simple. All handcuffs had an inherent weakness. Steve just had to find it. As if Steve could yank twice, twist once, rotate his thumb, and the whole damned thing would just pop loose.

Danny, however, knew better. Steve had the annoying habit of thinking everything was simple, even when it wasn't remotely simple. If given the choice, Steve would think taking down an armed bad guy with a fork was simple, so the fact that Steve wanted to believe that he could get out of his cuffs by twisting his wrists a few times was really to be expected. The trick, of course, was getting Steve to see how completely and totally ridiculous it all was. "And that's your plan?" Danny asked plainly, hoping his partner would see the ridiculousness of his efforts.

"You wanted something useful."

"Yeah, something useful, not ripped off from a MacGyver rerun," Danny returned.

"Oh, and you think your ranting is useful?"

"Better than acting like there's no problem at all," Danny said primly, squaring his shoulders a little.

Steve was silent for a moment, and Danny could feel the tension in his back. His fingers twitched again in the cuffs. Finally, he said, "Okay, you're right. This situation is less than ideal."

Danny made a face. "Less than ideal?"

"Bad. This situation is bad," Steve said in frustration. "There, are you happy?"

Danny had no choice but to be somewhat mollified. "Relatively speaking-"

Steve swore. "Seriously, what do you want? I told you what you wanted to hear and you're still not happy?"

"Okay, okay," Danny returned in exasperation. "Thank you for acknowledging our predicament."

"Great," Steve said. "Now that we've got that squared away, maybe we can talk about how to get out of here."

"I can't wait to hear it," Danny muttered.

Steve twisted again, and Danny controlled a grimace as the cuffs bit into his skin again. "Well," Steve said, jerking a little harder now. "If we can get out of the cuffs-"

"Which is a big if at this point," Danny interjected.

"If we can get out of the cuffs," Steve said again, more vehemently this time, jarring the cuffs with another good yank. "We'll have to play dumb for a little bit and look for the right exit."

Danny nodded, giving the notion the smallest notion of consideration. "The right exit, huh," he said, his eyes skimming the room. He stiffened a little under the narrowed gaze of their captors.

"When they're distracted, maybe," Steve said. "Or separated. If we can get them separated, one of us can be a distraction while the other escapes and gets the upper hand."

Danny nodded again, eyes not leaving their captors. The kid kept shifting the gun from one hand to another, while Blaine seemed to regard them coldly. If pushed, Danny would swear the man didn't even blink.

Swallowing uneasily, Danny tilted his head back toward Steve. "So you want to get out of the cuffs without them noticing. Act like we're still in the cuffs for some undisclosed amount of time. And then you want to separate this two jackasses and then have one of us distract them so the other can turn the tables and get the upper hand."

Steve paused in his work and then nodded. "Yeah, that's about right."

Danny snorted. "You do realize that that plan can fail at like fifteen different points."

"It can," Steve agreed. "But it doesn't have to."

Danny groaned, letting his head drop back to look at the ceiling. "You know, being kidnapped is one thing, but being handcuffed to a total lunatic is almost cruel and unusual."

"You could try being helpful, you know," Steve shot at him.

Danny made a face. "I am being helpful."

"Sitting there being argumentative is helpful?"

Danny shrugged in an attempt to move his arms. "I'm offering you critical feedback to help you refine this so-called plan."

"Critical feedback," Steve repeated with skepticism.

"Yeah, you know, so we don't end up getting ourselves blown to hell in the process."

Steve pulled upward, and Danny had to shift uncomfortably in response. "Remind me to thank you later."

"Don't worry, I will," Danny promised through gritted teeth. Then his stomach flipped, his movements stilling when he saw the door to the office open. He kept his eyes steady but inclined his head ever so slightly back toward Steve. "We've got company at our three o'clock."

Steve stilled immediately, his body stiffening behind Danny. "Let me do the talking."

"Since you're stellar at hostage negotiations."

"I know Blaine."

"Possibly more reason why you shouldn't handle this."

"Trust me," Steve hissed.

Danny wanted to reply - he did - because he trusted Steve, but this was a delicate situation and Steve had the decorum of a bull in a damn china shop. Danny didn't think he could afford that bill, especially since both of their lives were on the line.

But what could he do? Steve was asking for trust and Steve was his partner and Blaine was already there, his little lackey in tow.

Danny shifted, swallowing hard as he readied himself for what was likely to be a very unpleasant altercation.

For his part, Blaine stopped a few feet short and gave them a cold and magnanimous smile. "I hope you've used your time well, gentlemen," he said.

Danny swallowed a retort while Malcolm's gun twitched.

At his back, he could feel Steve lift his head and didn't need to look to know what defiant look was there. It took all of Danny's willpower not to wince in anticipation.

"You're wasting your time and ours," Steve said definitively. "I don't know anything."

Blaine's smile was bemused. "Do not test me, Lieutenant Commander," he said. "I know this ploy. Your denials are designed to give you more time. The longer you can keep yourself useful, the more time you think you have to mount some kind of escape or find some kind of rescue. Your time is even more limited than mine. Don't overestimate your position."

Danny had to give the guy credit: he knew what he was doing. And he knew Steve's plan pretty much inside and out. Of course, he hadn't delineated Steve's ridiculous desire to break out of the handcuffs, but the idea was implicit. For as much as Steve thought he was in control, it was clear that Blaine was just as confident from the other side.

Which meant Danny was stuck between two ex-Navy SEALs who were doggedly confident in their own abilities and plans.

While Danny couldn't be sure what that would mean for him, he was pretty certain that he didn't want to find out.

And he was even more certain that he wouldn't have a choice. At all. About any of this. And Danny couldn't decide what he resented more: that he was being held against his will for something he knew nothing about or that his partner's utter lack of common sense would probably get them killed and would most certainly lead to prolonged pain and suffering.

"I just don't you to pin your hopes on something that's not going to pan out," Steve said. "Since that hasn't worked so well for you in the past."

Danny stifled a groan. Of course Steve would antagonize the bad guy with a vengeance. Of course.

Blaine's eyes gleamed viciously. "Trust me, I've learned from my mistakes," he said, stepping closer. "No loose ends this time around. Which is why you will tell me what I want to know."

"Or what?" Steve snapped back. "You'll kill me?"

Blaine's stance shifted so quickly that Danny barely saw it change. The man surged forward, his fist swinging out. Danny didn't see it connect, but he heard the meaty thud against Steve's jaw and the force rocked them both to the side.

Danny swore, twisting frantically to get a look at his partner. "Steve," he called. "Steve!"

Blaine stepped back proudly, his hand still loosely gathered in a fist.

Behind him, Steve stirred, shaking his head and spitting briefly. "You know, it's not really impressive to hit a bound man."

Blaine inclined his head. "I'm not looking to impress you," he said.

Danny was still straining to get a glimpse of his partner because the guy was a moron, but he was still his partner, and if Danny was going to play backup to him, he was going to back him up, no matter what.

With a sudden movement, Blaine lashed out again, and the force of the hit to Steve's face rocked them both backward.

"I just want the name," Blaine said, voice like iron now as he stared down at them.

Danny cursed again, catching only a glimpse of Steve's head as it pitched forward and rolled drunkenly back before falling forward again. "Did you fail negotiation 101?" he said. He looked at Blaine again with incredulity. "You can't beat the crap out of your hostage if you want them to talk. I mean, sure, maybe take a few gut shots, kick a shin or something, but hitting people across the face with a closed fist is a surefire way to knock someone out. You knock them out, they can't answer your questions, even if they wanted to."

Blaine sneered.

Steve shifted behind him, not a lot, but enough to let Danny know his partner was still alive and probably even conscious.

Which made sense. Steve wouldn't have the common sense to pass out like a normal person, especially when it might benefit his health in the long run.

"It's not a negotiation," Steve said, his head lifting and lolling back ever so slightly against Danny's. "He knows he has to up the stakes for me to talk."

Blaine nodded with a measure of satisfaction. "Glad to see you understand where I'm coming from," he said, then he flung another fist which connected so hard that Danny could practical feel the bruise on his own skin.

Steve's weight sagged a little bit and Danny worked to get a glimpse, but could see nothing behind the bobbing of Steve's dark hair as he tried to pull himself upright again.

"So if you know the game and he knows the game and both of you are stubborn sons of bitches, what good are we exactly accomplishing from this?" he asked. He turned his eyes, imploring with as much common sense as he could muster. "You know even if Steve's hard head keeps him from passing out, he won't talk."

"Because there was no source," Steve panted, sounding ever so slightly slurred. "I can't tell you what I don't know."

Blaine's eyes narrowed. "I do believe Detective Williams is correct," he mused. "You will not be frightened into submission by physical force."

Danny sighed, feeling relief sweep over him. "See, exactly what I'm saying-"

But then a new spark gleamed in Blaine's eyes as he turned his gaze to Danny. "Steve McGarrett is a tried and true American hero. He won't give me what I want for his own life. But for someone else's..."

Someone else's. Danny was pretty sure that Blaine wasn't talking about the jumpy kid behind him.

He tried to smile, disarmingly if possible. He could be charming when he needed to, and even if it had been a few years since he'd really tried, he could always hope that it was a skill that didn't go away. Just like riding a bike. "There's no need to get hasty-"

Blaine apparently disagreed, and Danny barely had time to brace himself when Blaine's fist powered across his jaw.

His head jarred hard, his vision going black for a moment and his equilibrium failing him. When he realized his eyes were open and that he was looking at drops of blood falling on his pants, he wasn't sure how much time had passed.

However, he was pretty sure that that damn punch had just knocked loose a filling. Which meant that now Steve owed him for a dental bill.

"I told you, I don't know," Steve said, and his voice sounded strained now, an added touch of vigor in his denial.

"Funny, but I just don't believe you," Blaine said.

Danny blinked his eyes just in time to have his face bashed again. This time, the punch got him hard across the nose and pain exploded across his face, digging deep into his eye sockets and radiating through the back of his skull.

He sucked in a breath and gagged on it, fresh blood clogging his nose and running down the back of his throat.

Hacking, he worked through it, and found himself wishing that the maniac had gone for the ACL after all. At this rate, he'd be lucky to escape without permanent damage to his face. He'd always been sort of glad that for as much as Steve's antics led to his peril, they hadn't yet disfigured him.

Spitting, Danny swore again, shaking his head in a vain attempt to quell the ringing in his ears.

"That was your solution?" he asked with an incredulous gasp as he looked up at Blaine with hazy vision. "That? How did we go from Steve's a stubborn asshole to beat the hell out of his partner?"

Blaine shrugged with mock apology. "It was an inspired revelation," he said. "I do thank you."

Feeling a little hysterical, Danny laughed. "Thank me," he said. "Thank me. You think beating me will help get him to talk? Then you're even stupider than I thought. This is the man who dragged me from my job after meeting me for five minutes and then proceeded to get me shot. And as if that wasn't enough, he then decided to yell at me while I was still bleeding because I saved his life all before he drove onto a boat with me inside."

"Do you have a point, Detective Williams?" Blaine asked, sounding a little bored.

Danny laughed again, looking at the ceiling with the tiniest sense of desperation. "Steve's not going to tell you anything," he said. He looked at Blaine, his smile fading as he heaved for air through his mouth. "My safety has always meant very little to him."

There was a lot of truth to that, but Danny knew it wasn't quite the full picture. Steve was stupid and reckless in his blind Navy SEAL kind of way, but he would never wish this kind of thing on anyone - especially not Danny.

At least, he hoped so.

Still, if it made this idiot stop pounding his face, he'd take it and run with it. Hell, he'd sprint a freakin' marathon with it at this point.

Blaine's eyes went from Danny to Steve.

Steve shook his head. "He has nothing to do with this, Blaine," he said, his voice low and deadly.

It was protective, which might have made Danny feel better if it hadn't just told Blaine everything he needed to know about their partnership.

Blaine smiled. "But he has everything to do with you," he said, almost cheerfully.

Happy bad guys usually meant unhappy good guys. It was the universe's attempt at balance, not that there was anything balanced about it at this particular moment. Because while Blaine had found his entry point, Danny had just remembered his relevance in this situation: the leverage.

AKA, the human punching bag.

The question was just who would break first: Steve, Blaine, or Danny himself?

The one thing Danny did know was that this was going to go from bad to worse to downright miserable pretty damn fast.

Still. Somehow, there was consolation in the fact that this time, Danny saw the fist coming a second before it smashed across his jaw and dropped him into oblivion.

HOUR FOUR

 

Comments

Posted by: ratherastory (ratherastory)
Posted at: January 31st, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
Danno *hands*

Oh, poor Danny. I kind of saw that bit coming. Danny is the perfect leverage when it comes to Steve: he doesn't let anybody come between him and those he considers his own.

This? "My safety has always meant very little to him." made something clench unpleasantly in my chest, because I am quite sure that Danny inadvertently stabbed Steve metaphorically to the gut with that one.

I can't wait to see how this plays out!

Loved the chafing handcuffs, incidentally.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 2nd, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
danny steve bust

I would be a liar if I said that the idea of Danny being leverage wasn't a huge motivating factor in writing this fic.

And I do think it's interesting how Steve can lead his team into so much danger that seems marginally reckless and yet he really is grounded in protecting them. Those two parts of him are almost disparate, but really seem to make sense with his character.

Thanks :)

Posted by: sans_souci2 (sans_souci2)
Posted at: January 31st, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
skeptic icon

Just caught up with this- very suspenseful
great peeks into Danny's head too!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 2nd, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
hawaii family

I'm glad you've liked it so far :) Thanks!

Posted by: Flute (sgflutegirl)
Posted at: January 31st, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
H50 - Danny serious

Yikes! Poor Danny!

I can't wait for more.

Oh, and I wanted to tell you that I just finished watching the Ocean's movies!! \o/

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 2nd, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
danny doesn't get fired

More should be up in the next few days :)

And the Oceans movies are totally worth watching! I think I've rewatched 13 the most, but I find them all very enjoyable.

Thanks!

Posted by: Flute (sgflutegirl)
Posted at: February 2nd, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
H50 - Danny serious

Yay!

They definitely are. I have 11 and 13 on DVD. I had to find 12 online. They are a lot of fun.

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