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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

H50 fic: Out of Control (1/1)

August 1st, 2013 (06:14 am)
content

feeling: content

Title: Out of Control

Disclaimer: I do not own H50.

A/N: Written for and beta’ed by sockie1000. Probably set in the S1-S2 range (with possibly a reference to information from S3. Honestly it's all blurring together for me!).

Summary: Danny had been sure. Danny had been so damn sure.



-o-

This isn’t what Danny wanted.

On his back, bleeding out in a dingy warehouse. He’s shivering -- the floor is so damn cold -- but he can feel the hot blood welling up between his fingers and he clutches uselessly at the wound. It doesn’t hurt as much anymore, the throbbing pain receding back into his fading consciousness. There’s a numbness that replaces it, starting in his extremities and wrapping his head with cotton, settling deep within his chest until his heart starts to slow, each beat slower, more tentative than the last.

He’s dying. He’s actually dying, bleeding to death. All the precautions he takes, all the worrying he does, and this.

This isn’t what Danny wanted.

He rolls his head to the side, and he can still see Steve, lying on his side, eye closed. There’s a pool of blood by his head, growing steadily. Danny can’t see if he’s breathing. Hell, Steve hasn’t even moved since the sons of bitches shot him in the head.

Danny’s eyes start to drift and his awareness slips some more. He can’t even feel the blood anymore, can’t hear the sound of his heart pounding in his ears as everything starts to buzz and slowly dissipates into the dark.

This isn’t what Danny wanted at all.

-o-

What Danny wanted to do was stop a particularly violent arms dealer. Such things were pretty much par for the course when it came to 5-0, so when he pitched the case, he hadn’t expected Steve’s reaction.

Of all things, Steve McGarrett expressed caution.

“Are you sure we should move on these guys now?” he asked, brow wrinkled as he looked over Danny’s impeccable and comprehensive report.

Danny found himself gaping. “Did you not read the report,” he said, gesturing toward the thick file spread across Steve’s desk. “These guys are the very definition of bad. We’re good guys; we take out bad guys. We take out them.

“I know,” Steve said. “But HPD already has an investigation going--”

“Yeah, I know,” Danny said. “Ongoing for the last five years. Do you know what these guys did last week? They shot up a playground. With children on it. Actual children, who were playing. No one got killed this time, but I think I’m done waiting for HPD to play politics and ready to take these bastards down.”

“But do we have cause?”

Danny balked. “Do we have cause? What?” he asked, flailing his arms. “When has that ever been a concern of ours?”

“We can’t just make up a case out of nothing,” Steve said. “Usually we have to be invited in.”

It was just like Steve to care about protocol now. Right when Danny wanted to disregard it.

“They shot at children,” Danny said, jabbing his finger at the open page. “And plus -- we’ve got a fresh lead about a warehouse they used to use. We can poke around, maybe find some fresh evidence, start building our own trail.” He sat back, shrugging. “We’ve made cases on less.”

Behind his desk, Steve chewed his lip thoughtfully for a moment. Finally, he nodded. “Okay,” he said. “But only if I get clearance from the governor.”

Danny jolted upright, clapping his hands together. “That’s a slam dunk, then,” he said, making his way to the door. “I’ll start working on the warrant--”

“Yeah, but Danny,” Steve said.

Danny paused at the door, turning back.

“You’re really sure this one’s a good idea?”

Danny rolled his eyes. “The role reversal here would be amusing if it wasn’t so poorly timed,” he said.

Steve’s expression remained expectant.

Danny sighed, rolling his eyes. “Yes, yes,” he said. “We’ve got really bad bad guys and a potential new lead. I definitely think this one is a good idea. No, scratch that, I think this is an absolute must. Now any other questions?”

Steve shook his head, chuckling. “Why can’t you get this excited on most of our cases?”

“Because on most of our cases, you’re looking for new and unusual ways to put my life in danger,” Danny said.

“And you think this one is safe?” Steve asked with his eyebrows raised.

Danny grinned. “I just know on this one, we’ll do it right,” he said. “Which is why you’re talking to the governor. And I’m getting a warrant. It’ll be a fun experiment: police work, done right.”

Steven shook his head with a small laugh. “Whatever you say, Danno.”

Danny turned and headed out, calling over his shoulder. “You’ll see!”

-o-

Danny drove.

Granted, it was his car, but it was also his case. It only seemed fitting if he drove. When he parked it outside, he ducked down, squinting out the windshield. “This is it,” he announced.

Steve made a face. “You sure it’s abandoned?”

“Utilities have been dead for over four months,” Danny said. “It got a foreclosure notice two months ago, and when the bank did its walkthrough last week, everything was clear.”

“So maybe it never was part of the operation?” Steve suggested.

“It’s owned by one of their front operations,” Danny argued. “I mean, sure, maybe this one place was legitimate, but surely it’s worth checking out.”

“Why hasn’t HPD been here?” Steve asked.

“Because HPD is twiddling their thumbs and giving these guys a blind eye until they get the right incentive,” Danny said. “Look, let’s just get out, go in there, look around. Maybe there’s nothing. Maybe there’s something. It might not do us any good, but it sure as hell can’t hurt us.”

Steve looked at him, smirking.

“What?” Danny asked, incredulous.

“Nothing,” Steve said cheekily.

Danny shook his head. “No, no, no,” he said. “It’s something.”

Steve shrugged. “It’s just sort of funny,” he said. “Seeing you all worked up about a case. Usually I have to drag you to these things and you accuse me of trying to kill you.”

“That’s because you do try to kill me,” Danny replied, opening up his door. “And usually you don’t tell me what we’re looking for until we’re already breaking into a place without a warrant.”

Steve followed him, opening his door and joining Danny as they approached the entrance. “It’s almost cute,” he said. “Really.”

Danny rolled his eyes. “Just shut up and try not to shoot something.”

Steve grinned at him. “Yes, sir.”

-o-

On the inside, Danny was starting to have second thoughts. The place was almost entirely vacant, and the mismatched items that were left were broken and useless. He highly doubted a half functional swivel chair was going to be the break in the case that he was hoping for.

Frustrated, he crouched down, starting to go through one of the overflowing trash bins that had been left. After picking his way past the crumpled napkins and empty coffee cups, he flipped through stained file. At first the numbers were gibberish, but when he scanned it again, it looked suspiciously like a bank tracking number. Which could be nothing, sure. Or it could be something...

Standing up, he glanced across toward Steve, who was already working his way through the offices.

“Hey,” Danny called. “I think I’ve got something...”

Steve didn’t answer, though. In fact, through the broken blinds, Steve was standing perfectly still.

Glaring, Danny started over, papers in hand. “I know you don’t think this is worth much, but surely you have a better way to use your time than...”

His words trailed off.

Because Steve came back out of the office.

And he wasn’t alone. There were three men, each with guns, all pointed directly at Steve.

-o-

For a split second, Danny was dumbfounded. The place was abandoned; it had been cleared out. The bank had been here; everything had checked out. Danny had been sure. Danny had been so damn sure.

So much for that.

Then, Danny’s instincts kicked in and he reached for his gun--

But one of the men turned his gun toward Danny. “Hey, hey,” he said. “None of that, now.”

Danny was a decent shot; he was also a pretty good draw. He might be able to get his gun before the bastard shot him.

He glanced toward Steve. The SEAL was standing stiffly, the muzzle of one of the guns jammed directly at the back of his head.

No matter how fast was, Danny would never be that fast.

Stomach sinking, he lifted his hands up. “Okay,” he said. “There’s no reason why this has to get messy.”

The first man smirked. “I’m sure you think so,” he said. Then he nodded toward Danny. “Very slowly, I want you to take out your gun and push it over here.”

Heart pounding, Danny moved to comply.

The man jerked the gun up further. “And any wrong moves, and your friend here will have his brains all over this place.”

Danny grimaced, eyes on Steve as he carefully undid the strap on his holster, freeing his gun. The man tensed and Steve staggered slightly as the man jabbed the gun against his head, and Danny slowly lifted his gun, holding it by the barrel in a show of deference.

“Okay,” the man said. “Now, over here.”

His fingers were sweating now as he leaned over, frantically thinking of some way out. Of any way out.

There was nothing, though.

He put the gun down, standing back up with his hands in the air.

“Now, kick it,” the man ordered.

Sighing, Danny obeyed, sending the gun skittering uselessly across the floor. “Okay,” he said, gesturing and starting to move forward slightly. “No guns now, so there’s really no need--”

The man responded by undoing the safety on his gun. “I’ll decide what needs we have,” he said.

Danny stopped abruptly, pressing his lips together in frustration. His eyes darted to Steve, who gave him a minute shake of his head. In everything, Danny hadn’t quite realized how much he counted on Steve to shoot their way out of a problem. He often lamented Steve’s happy trigger finger, but he had to admit, it had its time and place.

Like now, in this warehouse. Danny’s supposedly abandoned warehouse on a case Steve hadn’t even been convinced they should tackle. And now Danny was disarmed and Steve had a gun to his head and it was all Danny’s fault.

Taking a breath, Danny tried not to panic. He couldn’t panic. Just because this was a warehouse and his partner was at gunpoint and things looked pretty damn bad, didn’t mean he could panic. He wanted to panic; he was probably justified in panicking.

But he couldn’t.

Because this was Danny’s case. When Steve dragged them into to situations half-assed, he got them out half-assed. Now it was Danny’s turn.

He just hoped to hell this time he didn’t screw it up.

“Okay,” he said again, looking back at the first man again. “Look, this is a misunderstanding--”

The man snorted. The other two tittered, exchanging uncomfortable glances. “It’s not a misunderstanding,” the first said. “You’re a cop. You’re here looking for what we left behind.”

“To be fair, I don’t even know who you are,” Danny said. “And we can keep it that way if you just walk away--”

“And let you put out an APB on us?” he asked. “And let you bring the city down on us? No, man, I’m afraid there’s only one way we can walk away...”

The man with a gun pointed at Steve seemed jumpy, and the third man seemed to be shifting his aim from Steve to Danny intermittently. That was something, anyway. Steve was at gunpoint, but he wasn’t being forcibly restrained. If there was enough of a distraction, if Steve could drop down, if they just had a break...

Danny laughed. He sounded a little hysterical; he felt a lot hysterical. “Look, I don’t know if you know about the cops in this city, but our can-do attitude only gets us so far,” he said, the words coming from nowhere and spilling out of his mouth almost without conscious thought. “I’m more than happy to let you walk out of here, no questions or follow-ups required. I mean, sure, I like getting the job done, but all things considered, I like getting out of here alive--”

“There’s no guarantee--”

Danny’s hands flailed, his stomach starting to twist wildly as he broke out in a sweat. “You have the gun, and here,” Danny said, gesturing with the papers still in his hand. “Take this, too. I mean, this is why you’re here, right? No loose ends? Let me tie this one up for you.”

He knelt, shoving the file folder across the floor. It didn’t make it all the way, the top fluttering open, as the man looked at it with distrust. Steve’s gaze was pointedly on him, and Danny wasn’t sure if his partner was telling him to keep talking or to shut the hell up, but at this point, Danny had no choice.

“Hell, you can put us in our car and torch the place,” Danny said, rambling in earnest now. He had to keep talking; he had to change this. He had to find an opening; he needed an out. Something. “Better yet, lock us in the trunk and light it up. By the time anyone gets here, you’ll be long gone.”

The man’s aim wavered, just slightly, his forehead starting to wrinkle. The other two exchanged uncertain glances. Steve’s posture eased even as the muscles in his arms started to tense.

“Hell, if it makes you feel better, you can take me as a hostage,” he offered, the words flying now, desperately coming out of his mouth unabated. “Knock me out, drive around, and then let me go by the side of the road. I won’t know any difference.”

The man’s eyes narrowed. “Seems like a lot of work.”

“And you think cleaning up after a dead body is so much easier?” Danny said with a short bark of laughter. “They’ll be all over a murder scene and then you will have cops on your ass. Killing us would be a huge mistake. You want to get away with no loose ends, killing us is exactly the last thing you want to do.” His eyes settled on Steve’s. “Trust me.”

The man hesitated, dropping his aim. The other two wavered uncertainly, the gun against Steve’s head slipping back, just a fraction of an inch. Maybe this was it. It could be different this time; it could still be okay.

Danny’s heart hammered, his palms were slick. He looked at Steve, then the men, and opened his mouth--

But the words were drowned out by an unexpected and deafening roar of a gunshot before Steve hit the ground.

-o-

Danny knew Steve wasn’t invincible. He’d seen Steve in all stages of duress. Hell, the man had fallen off a cliff while Danny watched on helplessly, so he knew Steve was just as capable of bleeding as the rest of them.

But still.

The sight of Steve on the ground, sprawled on his side, unmoving.

And the blood, already pooling.

From a shot in the head.

It didn’t even compute. It couldn’t compute. This was Danny’s case; he’d been so sure; he’d been so confident.

And now his partner had been shot in the head right in front of him.

Danny’s breathing staggered, and he started to move--

But the sight of a gun being jabbed in his face made him stop. “Not so fast,” the man hissed, casting a perturbed glance back at his cohorts. The one who’d had his gun trained on Steve looked pale; the other had his gun up, trained decidedly on Danny with no further hesitations.

Danny’s shoulders fell. “I’ve got to check him,” he said, looking at Steve again. He still didn’t move; there was still so much blood. “Please.”

“You really think you’ll have time to care?” the man said pointedly. “One dead cop is just as complicated as two.”

Danny let out a half-sob. “Just take whatever the hell you want, and let me check him,” he said, and he was begging now. He had his pride, but that had been shot to hell. Literally. “Please.”

“Man, we need to get out of here,” one of the guys said.

“Let’s just finish this,” the other recommended.

Danny fixed his eyes on the man in front of him. “Just let me help him,” he said. “Or you should just shoot me now.”

For a moment, there was no reply.

For a moment, Danny hoped.

Then, a second gunshot ripped through the air.

Danny flinched, tilting his head. The man was still standing, so were the other two. Steve was still unmoving on the ground.

Which meant...

He looked down, seeing the blood spreading across his shirt, spilling down his front.

“Okay,” the man said, finally putting his gun away. “Just remember, though. It was your idea.”

He was right, of course. This had been Danny’s idea. The whole damn case had been Danny’s idea, and Danny’s lead, and now Steve was shot -- Steve was probably dead -- and Danny was bleeding and his legs felt weak, his head going light before he dropped unceremoniously to the ground.

-o-

Everything went black for a long, ominous moment. When he opened his eyes, he sucked in a sharp breath, abruptly choking with the effort. The small movement was enough to reinvigorate his senses, and he came to full awareness with searing pain that ripped through his abdomen and permeated his senses. It was fire; it was ice; it was everything and a yawning nothing all at once.

For all his harping on Steve, he’d only been shot the one time, and that had been nothing more than a scrape. This...

This was a gutshot. He could practically still feel the bullet, sitting in the shredded remains of his intestines. It was a slow and painful death.

It was mostly death.

He squeezed his eyes shut, feeling hot tears spilling down. He was dying; he wasn’t supposed to be dying. He had to pick up Grace from school; he had to take her shopping for a new dress; he had to learn how to surf with her; he had to...

Above him, he heard voices, and he opened his eyes again in time to see the three men move toward the door. They still had their guns, and the mess of papers Danny had thought would justify all of this. They didn’t look back as they shut the door.

They didn’t need to look back; the only thing to see were a couple of dead cops.

Then Danny remembered. This was worse than him being shot. This was him being shot and Steve...

Rolling his head to the side, he struggled to focus his eyes, but Steve wasn’t hard to see. His partner was still stretched out on his side, body unmoving, head tilted against the ground. The pool of blood was larger; too large.

Danny took another shuddering breath, choking again. He spluttered this time, struggling to catch his breath as he blinked away more tears. Steve had been shot; Steve had been shot in the head; Steve was...

Steve was dead.

It was a simple, cold revelation, so plain that he almost couldn’t make sense of it. Because this was Danny’s case; this was Danny’s lead. He’d promised, he’d given Steve such a hard time, and he was the one who screwed up.

This was Danny’s fault.

The guilt hit him with the intensity of a bullet in the gut.

Danny ranted about police procedure and common sense and staying safe, because what else did he have? How else did he control the fear that niggled in the back of his mind every time they went on a routine call? How else did he express the doubt that settled like a ball in his chest every time something unexpected came up?

Danny had been here before, after all. He’d been here in Jersey; he’d been here when Mekka showed up in a damn barbecue pit. Good cops died for pisspoor reasons, and the idea that it was all a crapshoot would be too much. He could never get up and don a badge if that was all it was.

So Danny ranted. So Danny complained. So Danny threw his little hissy fits and made his little jokes because he didn’t want to live it again. He would take anything -- hell, he’d take the bullet in his own gut -- as long as it wasn’t Steve lying there across from him.

“I’m sorry,” he said, voice weak and strained. He convulsed a little, struggling for air as hot bile puddled in the back of his throat. He coughed. “I’m so, so sorry.”

The apology was all he had -- and honest to God, he meant it.

But the words resounded hollowly, echoing through the empty warehouse while blood steady spread across the floor.

His eyelids started to fall; his breathing turned harsh. The edges of his vision dimmed and his fingers went lax around the hole in his stomach.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured again, eyes still fixed on Steve.

It wasn’t enough, though.

It had never been enough.

The last thing Danny saw was Steve’s still body as the darkness inevitably won again.

-o-

Danny didn’t put much thought into the afterlife. He was too busy worrying about this world to put much credence in the next, and he always found it hard to believe in some sort of benevolent greater good when bad people ran around with guns killing children and whatnot.

Still, this wasn’t what he expected.

At first, it was only movement, a bouncing and a rolling before he went inexplicably cold and bright lights shone behind his eyes. Squinting his eyes open, the light was hardly a welcoming beacon.

It was more like a blinding force.

Danny tried to shy away, but found himself immobilized. Being held in place, Danny felt himself starting to panic, trying to flail but finding himself unable.

Then, voices -- rapid and above his head. He blinked again, slitting his eyes until he could make out the distorted figures above him, wide eyes and covered mouths and--

Pain.

It burst in his stomach, exploding through him with a ferocity that left him breathless. His heart started hammering wildly--

Breathless; his heart hammering.

Danny wasn’t dead.

For a moment, the power of that revelation eclipsed the pain. There was a surge of giddiness in his system that dragged him back to consciousness, eyes open and looking intently at the doctors and nurses above him, apparently trying to keep him alive.

On one level, Danny was grateful.

On another, he was terrified.

Because there were a lot of people there, and while they were all talking about him, none of them seemed to even know he was there, and he was pretty sure that all the red stained on their gloves and gowns was not a fashion statement.

And the pain.

It spiked again, and Danny whimpered, twisting in futility as he tried to breathe. It took him another few minutes to regain control, but then he remembered the most disconcerting fact of all.

“Steve,” he said, or tried to say. The word was garbled and he tasted blood. He winced, swallowing it back, searching the faces above him, looking for someone who would listen. “Steve...”

One of the faces looked at him, and Danny had reason to hope. But as he opened his mouth to ask again, the gloved hand reached up, pressing a mask over his mouth and nose.

And Danny couldn’t.

He was scared and he was hurt and Steve was...

Dead?

Was Steve really dead?

He’d seen him get shot -- he’d been shot in the head -- which meant--

He shook his head, trying to lift himself up and doing his best to push the mask away. He rocked harder, and someone grabbed him as the voices rose, a panicked gibberish that descended upon him until he was flat on his back.

But this time, the face above him met his gaze, dark eyes filled with worry.

“Danny, they need you to be still,” Kono said. Her eyes flickered away, before settling on him again. “Can you do that for me?”

It was hard to say no to Kono. But he had to know. Wrinkling his brow, he asked, “Steve?”

She hesitated, chewing her lip for just a moment before her mouth opened.

But then, an alarm wailed. A monitor started beeping and Kono looked up startled. The masked faces descended, and Danny’s heartbeat quickened before everything went distant.

He opened his mouth, the word still on his lips. But Kono was wrenched away and this time, when the mask was pressed down, he had no power to fight it.

-o-

When Danny woke again, the light was gone and the pain had receded.

Instead, everything was soft and hazy, like the world had been padded with gauze. In some respects, it actually felt pretty good, considering he’d just been shot and probably survived major surgery.

He startled, eyes opening wider as he looked around.

It was a hospital room. He looked down at himself -- alive and presumably whole -- and almost laughed with relief.

“Hey,” a calm voice said.

Danny rolled his head, grinning at Chin. “I’m not dead,” he said, trying not to wince at the scratchiness in his throat.

Chin smiled back, but he looked exhausted. “No, but you gave it your best shot,” he said tiredly.

Danny’s gaze drifted, and the moment of euphoria faded. There was something missing, though. Something he was forgetting.

His eyes popped open again, fixed on Chin. “Steve,” he said, earnest and insistent. The memories flooded back and the weight settled in his chest again. “Is he...?”

Chin was on his feet this time, moving closer and putting a steady hand on Danny’s shoulder. “He’s nothing you need to be worrying about right now,” the other man said soothingly.

Danny shook his head, feeling the inevitable prick of tears behind his eyes. Because that was what Danny did; he worried. He worried about Grace; he worried about his job. He worried about world peace and the inhuman price of real estate on the island.

He worried.

Not that it had done him any good.

He wanted to protest; he wanted to know. But this time, he was just too tired to fight.

He was just too tired.

“Easy,” Chin said, squeezing again. “You’ve just come through major surgery. We’ll talk about the rest when you’re out of the ICU.”

Danny let the darkness surround him, but as it all faded, he still found himself murmuring the same thing. “I’m sorry,” he said, as if it mattered now. His eyes fluttered shut as Chin’s touch disappeared. “So sorry...”

-o-

Danny didn’t want to open his eyes.

Honestly, he didn’t know what the point was. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know what the world held for him anymore. He didn’t want to face it; he didn’t want to face anything.

But he was awake; he was cognizant. He was vaguely aware that he had been in and out of consciousness before, but this time, his cognizance was a stable and decided thing.

Danny was healing; he was getting better.

He couldn’t avoid it any longer.

Opening his eyes, he sighed and looked right at Steve.

It was maybe the sight he’d been hoping for all along, so for a second, he didn’t think anything of it.

But then he remembered: Steve was dead.

Which meant--

He frowned. “Did I die?”

Steve looked up from his magazine, clearly startled. He fumbled for a second. “Danny, what -- hey!” he said, grinning.

Danny blinked; Steve was still there. “Seriously,” he said. “Because if I’m not dead, then I think they need to check the dosage on these things.”

Steve’s smile fell and he cocked his head. “I don’t think I--”

“You’re dead!” Danny finally blurted, lifting his hand as best he could. “You were shot in the head!”

Steve’s mouth opened, but he seemed at a loss for words.

That was okay, though. Danny had enough for both of them. “You didn’t move and you were bleeding and no one would tell me anything and why the hell aren’t you dead, you stupid bastard?”

He was angry and he was confused and he was scared and he was so damned relieved that he wanted to cry.

He was crying, his chest tight as he took small stilted breaths and his heart racing.

“Whoa, Danny,” Steve said scooting forward and putting a hand on his arm. “You’re just barely off the critical list. Much more of this, and they’re going to put you back up there.”

It took a long moment for Danny to control his breathing, and even then, he felt small and spent. But still, he couldn’t his eyes off Steve. “I saw you get shot in the head,” he said again.

Steve settled back in his chair, offering a small, wry smile. “Yeah, you did,” he agreed, using his hand to motion up to the bandage wrapped around his hairline. “Luckily, the bastards had bad aim. It grazed me -- close enough for a nasty concussion, but no other serious damage done.”

No other serious damage.

Danny stared.

“I would have been here sooner, man,” Steve continued, sounding apologetic, “but they wanted to keep me for observation for a few days to make sure there were no complications. I came by to visit, but Chin and Kono said I’d missed you being conscious.”

That made sense. It all made a lot of sense. And it was good news.

But Danny didn’t even know what any of it meant anymore.

At Danny’s prolonged silence, Steve frowned. “You sure you’re okay?”

“You’re alive,” Danny replied, knowing it wasn’t the answer Steve wanted but it was the only thing he could think of. The only thing that mattered. Hell, it was just the only thing.

“Yeah,” Steve said, a little uncertain now. “You’re the one we’ve been worried about. You’ve been in and out of consciousness with a high fever for five days now.”

Danny shook his head. Because he’d deal with that later. He’d have no choice, but there was one thing he did have a choice about. One thing that he had to say more than any of the rest. Because Steve was alive -- but no thanks to Danny.

“I’m sorry,” he blurted, feeling his cheeks flush.

Steve’s brow wrinkled in earnest now, his concern evident. “Danno, you feeling okay? Maybe I should call the nurse--”

Danny made a face. “No, I mean it,” he said. “I’m sorry.

Steve shook his head. “I don’t think I--”

Danny groaned, rolling his eyes. “I told you, if you get someone shot, you apologize,” he said, the words heavy on his tongue, the weight unfurling in his chest with each one. “So this is me -- apologizing.”

It wasn’t everything he wanted to say -- it didn’t tell Steve how scared he was or how much he wished he could go back and make a different choice. It didn’t tell Steve that he was sorry for the entire case, for all his whining and complaining, for all the times he’d dragged up Steve’s lack of discipline like it was an actual factor that inhibited Danny’s safety.

It didn’t tell Steve that all the times he ranted about his own safety, he was really worried about Steve’s. Because he hadn’t saved Mekka; he hadn’t saved Grace.

And he hadn’t even saved Steve.

It was all sheer luck, and Danny would take it, but God -- he was just so sorry.

Steve’s face was serious, his voice quiet. “It wasn’t your fault.”

“It was my lead,” Danny countered.

“I agreed with you,” Steve said.

“I asked for this case,” Danny insisted.

“And if you’d been wrong, I would have told you,” Steve said. “This wasn’t your fault.”

“I planned a case; I executed the case; you got shot,” Danny said, his emotions tipping toward frustration now. “Just accept the damn apology.”

Steve regarded him carefully, but finally he nodded. “Fine,” he assented. “Apology accepted.”

Danny let out a breath, the tension easing through his body. “Good.”

Then Steve shrugged. “I guess this finally makes us even.”

Danny was relieved -- and in many ways, Danny was still guilty. He wouldn’t forget the image of Steve’s unconscious body any time soon. And he was hurt and he was weak but he wasn’t stupid.

He wrinkled his nose. “Are you serious?”

Steve nodded resolutely. “Sure,” he said. “I got you shot; you got me shot. Seems like we’ve settled the score.”

Concern aside; pain notwithstanding: Danny gaped. “Do you not remember the things you’ve put me through over the last year?”

Steve shrugged. “It hasn’t been so bad--”

“It hasn’t been so bad?” Danny asked. “Not only did you get me shot on our very first outing together, but you’ve spent the last year running around Hawaii trying to piss off every bad guy you can. You’ve gotten us shot at, blown up, kidnapped, poisoned--

“Hey, most of that wasn’t my fault,” Steve protested.

Danny rolled his eyes. “Before meeting you, the closest I came to death on a regular basis was eating an extra doughnut in the morning,” he said.

“You are risking a heart attack with that--”

“And you’re actually being obtuse!” Danny objected in indignation. “I’m lying here with a hole in my stomach and you’re being purposefully obtuse!”

Sitting back, Steve crossed his arms over his chest and grinned smugly. “Nice to have you back, Danno.”

Danny huffed, shaking his head. “Yeah, well,” he muttered. “I’m glad you’re not dead.”

There was more to it than that, but Danny figured that was probably enough. Because in truth, none of this -- starting with his unfortunate move to Hawaii -- had been anything that Danny wanted. And he ranted about it a hell of a lot, but he was starting to realize that really, he wouldn’t change a thing.

Comments

Posted by: harrigan (harrigan)
Posted at: August 1st, 2013 12:20 pm (UTC)

I told you, if you get someone shot, you apologize”

*Thoroughly* enjoyable!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 20th, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
danny ready

Thank you so much :)

Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: August 1st, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
No Back Up

I absolutely love your Danny-voice.

And I also really like the kind of role reversal you got going here. (Besides shooting your way out of a situation is always a good solution :))

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 20th, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
danny steve bust

I won't lie, writing Danny POV is always a ton of fun.

Thanks :)

Posted by: mcparrot (mcparrot)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2013 08:15 am (UTC)

You had me a little worried there for a bit.
Nice story.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 20th, 2013 12:51 am (UTC)
danny thoughtful

I couldn't actually kill Steve :) Not this time anyway...

Thanks!

Posted by: sophie_deangirl (sophie_deangirl)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, a lovely change of h/c scenery

I think you generously shared this story with me when you were developing it so it was nice to see it fully finalized.

I love that you "revisited" Danny h/c because I hadn't written or read any H50 or Danny in a really long time and this was a refreshing revisit. All h/c is welcome, of course, especially at your deft hand, but it was nice to hear Danny's "voice" again, complaining and of course, suffering tremendous guilt over Steve's "death".

Lovely, indeed!


Fave Parts:

On his back, bleeding out in a dingy warehouse. He’s shivering -- the floor is so damn cold -- but he can feel the hot blood welling up between his fingers and he clutches uselessly at the wound. It doesn’t hurt as much anymore, the throbbing pain receding back into his fading consciousness. There’s a numbness that replaces it, starting in his extremities and wrapping his head with cotton, settling deep within his chest until his heart starts to slow, each beat slower, more tentative than the last.

--You know why. Hee!


“Yeah, I know,” Danny said. “Ongoing for the last five years. Do you know what these guys did last week? They shot up a playground. With children on it. Actual children, who were playing. No one got killed this time, but I think I’m done waiting for HPD to play politics and ready to take these bastards down.”

“But do we have cause?”

Danny balked. “Do we have cause? What?” he asked, flailing his arms. “When has that ever been a concern of ours?”

“We can’t just make up a case out of nothing,” Steve said. “Usually we have to be invited in.”

It was just like Steve to care about protocol now. Right when Danny wanted to disregard it.

--HILARIOUS moment


Danny rolled his eyes. “The role reversal here would be amusing if it wasn’t so poorly timed,” he said.

--I can hear Danny's voice here.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 20th, 2013 12:52 am (UTC)
Re: Ah, a lovely change of h/c scenery
danny steve walk

H50 certainly isn't my favorite anymore, but I can always tolerate a little bit of Danny whump. He is pretty fun to hurt, after all :) I'm sure you can appreciate that!

Thanks!

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