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H50 Fic: The Eleventh Hour 4/13

February 3rd, 2011 (09:13 am)

A/N: Those who have reviewed - you're awesome :) And you truly make my day!  Previous parts are here.



Steve didn't pass out.

He came close, but didn't quite get there. After Danny had been rendered unconscious again, Blaine had turned his attention back to Steve with short and violent passion. Getting slapped around didn't do much to him, but Blaine knew how to throw a punch to knock a man out, and when it came at him, there had been nothing Steve could do to dodge it.

Vision dimmed and ears ringing, he did drift for a while, making out the fuzzy confines of the warehouse with distant focus. He was aware enough to know what had happened but not quite aware enough to do much about it.

To the point, he'd been clocked pretty good. By itself, it might have only rung his bell, but compounded by the earlier blows to the head, it left him woozy and unsteady. Falling over would have been a likelihood were he not secured to a chair.

These simple thoughts ran through his head for a period of time, and he considered fleetingly if he had made some kind of tactical error to this point. If perhaps he should have seen the ambush coming or if he should have predicted Blaine's tenacious betrayal.

Still, regardless of whether or not he should have had more foresight, he had to deal with the plight now. Blaine wanted information. Steve had the information Blaine wanted but his motivation to negotiate with convicts, especially those who betrayed their country, was not high on his list of things to do. The key was to draw this out. Make it last. Keep himself a viable option until backup could discern his location and mount some kind of rescue.

Endurance was paramount. He had been in worse situations before. Failure was never an option, but a few blows to the head were collateral damage he would willingly suffer for the greater good. For now, Blaine knew the limitations of beating a hostage. A little bit could be convincing. Too much and you no longer had a hostage, but a coma patient. Blaine wanted a hostage. He would keep it in check.

But there were other uncontrolled variables. The kid - Malcolm. McGarrett didn't know anything about him other than the fact that he owned the building and paid way too much for it. From watching him interact with Blaine, it was clear he was barely along for the ride. He didn't have the stomach for this kind of thing, which meant he was in it for the paycheck or, more likely, coerced into participating out of greedy naivete. That could be useful. A kid without a record could always swing either way.

And Danny.

It was unclear whether or not Blaine had expected Steve to come alone, but either way, Danny was unnecessary baggage. Blaine didn't need Danny but he could use him.

Would use him.

But he was expendable.

Steve's stomach churned at the thought and for a second he felt like retching.

Then, his clarity shifted, coming into focus, and he blinked wildly at the realization of the fact that while he was drifting somewhere just within consciousness, Danny hadn't said a word.

Most days, Steve would consider that a blessing.

Today? It scared the hell out of him.

Because this was bad for Steve, and even though he didn't want to dwell on that point, he was at least aware of it. But it wasn't just bad for Danny. It could get him killed - and far sooner than Steve. With his own life on the line, Steve was willing to play his cards as needed, but with Danny's on the line, there was more to consider.

Contrary to what Danny liked to believe, safety was important to Steve. He took calculated risks because they made sense. The ends always had to justify the means in Steve's world, and he wasn't cavalier with safety but rather confident with his approach.

Half-conscious and handcuffed in a warehouse, however, did give his confidence reason to falter.

Squeezing his eyes, Steve fought off an encroaching headache and rallied his strength. He wasn't sure how much time had passed - no more than thirty or forty minutes, if he had to guess - but it had been more than enough. Steve wasn't one to wallow in his situation; he was a man of action.

Grimacing, he braced himself, pulling against the handcuffs once again. They clattered against the chair and the subsequent jostling made him open his eyes.

He squinted, trying to keep his headache at bay. For a moment, he reassessed their situation. The warehouse was large, but the exits were plentiful. If rescue was mounted, there would be ample routes in, which would also serve them well if Steve managed to get them out of the handcuffs.

The handcuffs, however, were something of a problem. Though he didn't want to admit it to Danny, getting out of handcuffs was no easy trick, at least not without the proper equipment. He'd even settle for a paperclip at this point, but with his hands behind his back, he didn't exactly have the luxury of looking for something to pick the lock. Repeated pressure on the stress points of the handcuffs might be effective, but that would take time, something Steve was not sure he had enough of.

Worse was that it wasn't just one pair of handcuffs, but two - one for Danny, one for himself. To help keep them in check, the links were tightly twined, giving Steve virtually no leverage to work with at all.

His legs were free, though, which was something. If he and Danny worked together, they might be able to get to their feet. Of course, the cuffs were locked below the backs of the chairs, so they'd have to walk with their chairs between them, but some mobility was better than none.

Looking around warily, he met the kid's eyes. While Blaine had retired to the office, reclined in a comfortable leather chair, feet up on the desk to make a phone call, he'd left the kid in his stead.

The kid didn't look much like well-trained enforcement, but Steve knew that anything resembling an escape would have to be made without the kid watching. But overpowering the kid would be difficult, especially with Blaine still close by.

In short, he had limited options. Getting out of the handcuffs was his best bet at escape, because then he could feign submission until the prime opportunity arose.

Of course, it was all kind of a moot point if Danny didn't wake up soon. Steve wasn't going to escape without his partner, but at the moment, escaping with him would be more than a little difficult.

Furrowing his brow, Steve focused on the cuffs again. Popping the lock would be impossible without some kind of pressure on the locking mechanism. Breaking the chains would be too noisy to accomplish, even if it were possible. Some well-placed hits might weaken the latch, but he had yet to feel any real give at all.

His lack of progress was more than a little frustrating. He probably should have just passed out and spared himself the anxiety.

His stomach churned at the thought. He couldn't help Danny if he passed out. Even if he wasn't in a position of power just yet, he knew that being awake and alert was his best chance of finding his way out and of making sure that no more harm came to Danny.

No more harm.

There was a twinge of guilt - and more than that, fear. It was like the first day he'd met Danny, when he'd dragged him to the gunrunner's house. Steve had been so focused on the goal - so intent on finding out how Hesse had gotten into the country - that little else had hardly registered. But when the gun fire had started, when he'd seen Danny go through the window - there'd been a moment.

He sometimes thought of himself as a man with nothing to lose. He sought justice with no reservations. He was willing to put his team into harm's way because he believed he could get them out safely.

But that moment of uncertainty when he couldn't see Danny-

That unknown fear now of not being able to assess his partner-

Made him question everything.

Looking over his shoulder, he strained to get a glimpse. Danny's head was still rolled forward, his blonde hair falling loosely out of place. Steve could make out a drop of blood on the end of Danny's nose and there was a bright red scrape along his cheek.

Probably superficial. Blaine didn't want Danny dead - yet.

But head wounds were funny things and Steve could dismiss his fears if he could just get a better look.

As he finagled, Malcolm shifted his position.

Steve glanced at him, noticing the frown on the kid's face.

"You shouldn't be trying anything," Malcolm warned, although his voice sounded far from menacing.

Steve considered his options. He needed to toe the line just a bit, but more so with Blaine than Malcolm.

In fact, he wasn't sure how much give and take he might have with the kid at all. It was worth trying to figure out - especially if it meant he could know more about how Danny was doing.

All things considered, it seemed like it might be a risk worth taking.

Steve shifted, clearing his throat.

Malcolm looked to him, eyes wide, but he made a clear effort to harden his face. "What?" he asked.

Steve swallowed and did his best to make himself look approachable. Malcolm was getting intimidated heavily by Blaine, and if Steve wanted to gain any access with the kid, it would have to be through alternative methods. "It's been awhile since Blaine left," Steve said.

Malcolm shrugged. "So? You ready to talk?"

Steve shook his head. "No, it's just..." He let his voice trail off and he chanced a glance over his shoulder. "My partner. He's been out for a while."

Malcolm looked cautiously from Steve to Danny's recumbent form. "He just got knocked out is all," he said, but his words weren't exactly full of confidence.

"I know a little bit about these things," Steve said, and that much was true. "He's been unconscious for more than ten minutes and has received multiple blows to the head within only a few hours."

Malcolm's frowned deepened and he lifted his gun higher reflexively. "What do you want me to do about it?" he asked defensively.

"Just tell me if he's okay," Steve said.

Malcolm's face screwed up and he shook his head. "Unless you want to talk about who set up Blaine, just shut up."

"I just want to know how he is, that's all," Steve reiterated.

"I'm your kidnapper," Malcolm shot back. "Not some medic."

"And he has nothing to do with this," Steve reasoned. "He doesn't know anything."

That seemed to cut Malcolm a little bit, and his expression wavered.

"I'm just asking you to check on him," Steve said, and he tried to look as innocent as possible. He didn't have ulterior motives in this request, but creating an air of vulnerability was likely to play on Malcolm's obvious uncertainty about the job.

Malcolm hesitated, glancing over toward the office. He chewed his lip, looking back at Steve with a furrowed brow.

"Just take his pulse," Steve said, doing his best to sound imploring. Even if he could feel Danny's breathing, playing the life or death card would be the quickest way to check the kid's true colors. "Tell me if he's alive."

Malcolm nodded a little convulsively, his gun dipping down as he stepped forward. Steve turned to see, and made out the kid fumbling with one hand, pressing fingers awkwardly to Danny's throat.

The kid's face was pale and he shifted, pressing his fingers in harder, as he tried to come up with some sign of life. Danny's blonde head rolled a little, but he still didn't stir.

Finally, Malcolm stepped away, blinking rapidly. "He's got a pulse," he confirmed. "Just, you know, knocked out. Like I said earlier."

Steve faked a sigh of relief. The information was scant - not nearly as much as he would have liked to know. If he had his way, he'd check breathing and respiration, gauge pupil response and pain reflexivity.

But Danny was alive. That was a relief, and even if Steve wasn't prone to showing it, showing some appreciation to Malcolm could be another critical piece of the puzzle. When employees felt taken for granted, a little gratitude from an outside source could be a powerful thing. "Thanks," Steve said, smiling a little. "It's been one hell of a day, huh?"

Malcolm frowned a little, his grip tightening on the gun. "I'm really not supposed to be talking to you," he said.

It was said as a defense, but it did little to hide the kid's growing vulnerabilities. "So Blaine calls all the shots?"

Malcolm stiffened a little. "Blaine is very persuasive," he confirmed. His eyes skittered away. "You should just tell him what he wants to know."

"What if I don't know?" Steve asked.

Malcolm looked at him, wide-eyed and serious. "Blaine doesn't accept no as an answer."

It was clear that Malcolm knew this from experience. Steve swallowed, then decided to press his luck. "Is that why you're here?"

Malcolm startled, face going blank for a moment.

"Did Blaine force you into this?"

Promptly, Malcolm's face darkened and he shook his head, lifting the gun a little in a meager attempt to be menacing. "You don't know what you're talking about," he said. He looked toward the office and lifted his chin in a vain attempt to appear intimidating. "So unless you want to tell me who your informant was, I suggest you shut the hell up."

Steve attempted to shrug. "I'm just saying that you don't have to be anyone's enemy right now," he said. "I ran your name when it came up on the warehouse. You don't have a record, Malcolm. Nothing has happened here that you can't come back from. As long as Danny and I walk out of here in one piece, this can still end right for you."

There was a brief moment of indecision on the kid's face, but he shook his head promptly. "We'll be long gone before any of it matters," Malcolm said, but his confidence was shaky.

"Do you believe that?" Steve prodded. He glanced at the office. "Blaine went down once for this thing. He's not going to go down again and by kidnapping us, he's proven that he'll do anything to get what he wants. Even throwing his partner under the bus."

Malcolm's expression tightened, but he shook his head. "I've got too much of an investment in this," he said. "Blaine needs me."

Steve shrugged a little. "You think he'll have any problems disposing of three bodies instead of two?"

Malcolm blanched, but recovered quickly, his expression dark with anger. "No one has to die here," he said. "Just tell us what we need to know, and it's over. Just like that."

Just like that. There was some truth to it. The minute Blaine got the information he wanted, Steve knew he'd have a bullet between his eyes and that Danny probably would, too. He had no way of knowing for sure if Malcolm would be another casualty or not, but Blaine was seasoned enough as a criminal that Steve wouldn't put it past him. It was clear Malcolm was nervous and new. It made him useful and expendable all at once.

Still. Steve knew he couldn't push it that far just yet. If he did, he risked Malcolm losing his tenuous control or, just as bad, alerting Blaine that he was up to something.

He cast a glance toward the office. Blaine was still on the phone, but his eyes were steady on Steve.

Swallowing, Steve adjusted in his seat. He looked to Malcolm again and offered a semblance of a smile. "Just like that, huh?"

Malcolm nodded tightly.

Steve didn't disagree. He didn't even have time to, because there was a soft movement behind him.

Attention shifted, Steve looked over his shoulder. "Danny?" he asked.

Malcolm tensed, lifting his gun ever so slightly as if preparing for a threat.

Steve ignored him and focused his attention on Danny.

Danny groaned, his head bobbing a little.

"Danny, you awake?"

Danny moaned, louder this time, and he lifted his head. Even from his obscured position, Steve could tell the other man winced at the movement.

"Danny, are you alright?" he tried again, louder and more persistent.

"I'd be a whole let better if you stopped yelling in my ear," Danny said petulantly.

Steve smiled, this time in genuine relief. "Well, if you'd stop napping on the job, I wouldn't have to," he said.

Danny shook his head a little, as if to clear it. "Napping," he repeated wryly. "Only you would called getting bludgeoned multiple times napping."

Steve shrugged. "I call it like I see it," he replied airily. Then he hesitated. "How are you feeling? Really."

"Really?" Danny asked. "You mean besides the throbbing headache that you made worse by yelling in my ear?"

Steve's mouth tweaked into a smile. "Yeah, besides that."

"Oh, besides that," Danny said. "Besides that, I'm just awesome, thanks so much for asking."

"No double vision? Nausea?"

Danny seemed to balk a little at that. "Who are you now, my doctor?"

"No, I'm your partner, and I just need to know if you're concussed."

"I just got bashed in the head about fifteen times," Danny snapped. "Of course I'm a little concussed, but I don't think my head is going to explode or fall off any time soon, if that's what you're asking."

"That's not exactly what I'm asking."

"Well that's not exactly what I mean!"

"Are you sure you're feeling okay?"

Danny went rigid and Steve heard him suck in a breath and hold it. When he spoke again, his voice was measured and low. "I feel as well as can be expected, given the circumstances."

Steve pursed his lips. It wasn't exactly the answer he wanted, but it was pretty clear that it was the only one he was going to get for now. He glanced at Malcolm, who was eyeing them warily, before looking over his shoulder at Danny again. "Well then, under the circumstances, I guess that's pretty good."

"Fantastic," Danny said, his voice taut with pain. He shifted a little, turning to squint at Steve. "So anything exciting happen while I was unconscious?"

Steve subtly worked in his cuffs again, ignoring the feeling of the metal cutting into the soft skin of his wrists. "Malcolm and I were just having a little chat," Steve said. He offered something of a smile at the kid. "Weren't we, Malcolm?"

The kid grimaced.

Steve felt Danny cock his head. "I see he's been charmed by your winning personality," he said.

"What can I say?" Steve said with a shrug. "I naturally have that effect on people."

"Yeah, you make us all naturally want to run screaming in the opposite direction," Danny said. Then he turned his attention to Malcolm. "Don't worry, it's normal. I punched him in the face after knowing him for a day and I didn't even have anything I wanted from him."

Malcolm did not look overly reassured.

He looked even less so when the office door opened with a bang. Steve looked over and saw Blaine taking large strides as he crossed the warehouse floor. He paused first by Malcolm, giving the kid an appraising look, before lifting his chin toward Steve and Danny. "Did you have a nice rest, gentlemen?" he asked.

"Actually, my neck's a little stiff," Danny snarked. "It's a little hard to tell if it's because of the blunt force trauma or the lack of pillows, but I still think you should reconsider your accommodations for future kidnappings."

Blaine gave him a patiently bemused smile. "Noted," he said. Then his eyes shifted to Steve. "Did you get some thinking done? Perhaps some memories got triggered?"

Steve frowned a little, feigning thought. "As a matter of fact, I did remember something," he said. "I think I left the light on at the office. Seems pretty wasteful in these days of environmental awareness." He glanced over his shoulder to Danny. "You think they'll turn it off for me?"

Danny didn't even get a chance to mount a sarcastic reply.

Blaine's gaze narrowed and a muscle twitched in his jaw. "Are you under the impression that this is somehow a game to me, McGarrett?"

Steve lifted his chin. "You're the one making the rules here, Blaine," he said coolly.

Blaine put his hands on his hips, tapping one finger on the holster at his waist. "Just one rule," he said. "Tell me what I want to know."

Danny made a noise behind him. "You shouldn't bother with any rules," he recommended. "Steve has a tendency to ignore them."

"Not when it counts," Blaine countered easily. He took a step forward, with a hint of menace in his posture. "There is a hard way and an easy way to do this."

Danny chuckled a little. "Do they teach that kind of rhetoric at Navy school or something? Because, besides the fact that one of you is a psycho criminal and the other is just psycho, you sound a lot alike."

Blaine's eyes flickered to Danny, but not for long. He was focused on Steve.

Shifting, Steve kept himself as still as possible. "He's right," he said. "Easy way or hard way, this still ends the same."

Blaine shook his head. "I don't want this to just be about revenge," he said. "There's no shame in confessing under duress. You know that. I know that. All I want is a name. The person who gave you your information. You can tell me what I need to know, and no one in the governor's office is going to think less of you."

Steve didn't try to hide his disgust. "This isn't a POW camp. I wouldn't break there, and I'm not breaking here. Hard way, easy way. The end is the same."

Blaine paused, and cocked his head. "Are you sure about that?"

Steve kept his gaze firm. "Pretty damn."

Blaine looked thoughtful, then his eyes went to Danny again. "So seeing your partner suffer," he said slowly and he took a step in Danny's direction. "It doesn't mean anything to you."

Steve tensed, but tried not to let it show.

At his back, Danny's nerves were obvious and he shook his head. "If Steve's not going to talk for fear of his own death, then you better believe he won't talk for mine," he said quickly, but there was a small waver in his voice. Whether from uncertainty that it was true or just apprehension at what was coming, Steve wasn't sure.

Blaine stepped closer to Steve, eyeing him again with purpose. "Just tell me the name," he said. "You know all the ways I have to hurt people, and I haven't even gotten started yet."

Steve swallowed. "I won't tell you," he insisted.

Blaine lashed out with a fist, this time aiming low and Steve didn't to see it land to hear the muted thud as it connected with Danny's torso. His partner jarred with a strangled gasp.

Steve clenched his teeth but refused to let expression show on his face.

Blaine straightened and met Steve's gaze expectantly. "Let's start simpler, then," Blaine suggested with an air of farcical diplomacy. "Was the person military or civilian?"

Steve pressed his lips together, his mind ticking through the memories. Blaine made it sound like a simple question, but Steve knew that much information would give too much away. It was likely that Blaine had a shortlist of possible leaks, and Steve didn't have any desire to put anyone else in harm's way. Besides, he still knew that giving up the name wouldn't save Danny's life. If it saved him any pain, it would only be because it got him killed that much sooner.

He had to stall. Figure a way out. Hope to Malcolm continued to break. Count on Chin and Kono to put the pieces together.

More than that, he had to hope that Blaine wanted the intel bad enough that he was willing to drag it out.

And most of all, he was banking a lot on the fact that Danny would come out alive. Not unscathed at this point, but still breathing.

Whether or not he forgave Steve, he'd deal with later. Times of combat required him to play by different rules. If ever there was a time to break with the convention of the world, it was now.

For Danny's life. Steve could handle taking Grace to see her father in a hospital, but he wasn't quite ready to take her to a funeral.

He swallowed, decision made, and shook his head. "It doesn't matter," he said. "It's done now, Blaine. All of it. Even if you get the name, there's no way you're going to elude authorities long enough to get what you're looking for. And if you find the money, what makes you think you'll have any chance of using it without getting caught?"

Blaine looked intrigued by that. The expression of interest was laced with morbid glee as he lifted his fist again, burying it with real force into Danny's midsection yet again.

Danny oofed louder this time, and in the wheezing that followed, Steve could literally hear his pain, felt it throb in his own gut as if the punch had hit him instead.

It took everything he had to steel himself and keep his eyes fixed on Blaine. "You're in a corner," Steve continued. "You're in a corner and if you think any of this will change that, then you're stupider than I thought you were."

Blaine's expression twisted, a gleam of rage sparking in his eye. "I'm stupid?" he asked. Then he laughed a little. "You think I'm stupid?"

The retraction caught in Steve's throat as Blaine lashed out with new fury. This time the blows came in a rapid volley, punches to the midsection and face, one right after another with a force that sent them reeling, chairs skittering haphazardly over the warehouse floor. They didn't fall over, but they came close, and Steve had to work to keep himself upright. The cuffs bit into Steve's wrist with fresh cuts.

As Danny's body slammed backward, his head whipping hard against Steve's own, he didn't know how much more he could endure. He didn't know how much more Danny's body could take, how much more Steve could let him take. He had his ideals and he knew his strategy, but those were cold comforts in the face of hearing his partner being beaten.

Because he didn't know for sure. Blaine might kill Danny now and all Steve's posturing might be for nothing. Blaine might kill Danny later and all this in between was just a waste of time. He was pinning his partner's life on this and it made sense in theory, but having it played out like this-

Was more than Steve could take.

Heart lurching and stomach tight, Steve braced himself against the onslaught and struggled to look at his partner and Blaine. He caught a glimpse of Malcolm in the background, white as a sheet, and the ghost of movement at the edges of his vision as Blaine moved with decisive blows.

"Blaine!" he yelled

Blaine didn't seem to hear him, his eyes intent. He launched another strike to Danny's stomach.

"Damn it, Blaine," Steve hissed, jerking wildly and using his legs to get some leverage. He pulled hard at the chair clattering it away and Blaine's next blow was only a glancing one.

Wildly, Blaine pulled up, turning his gaze to Steve with an intensity that made Steve want to flinch. But he didn't allow himself that kind of weakness. He couldn't let Blaine see it, either. This was part of the negotiation, and if Steve gave here, then everything Danny was enduring would be for nothing.

Instead, Steve forced himself to stick with the plan. Determined, he kept his chin up, his eyes steady. "You hurt him anymore, and you're getting nothing from me," Steve said, voice low and deadly. Blaine had his terms; Steve had his own. It was going to be a tug of war to see who gave in first.

The malice turned to humor. "So does that mean you're ready to talk?" he surmised.

Steve's bluster faded and he shifted, trying not to let it show, but knowing it was too late. At his back, Danny was moving slightly, his chest heaving and head rolling loosely on his neck. For once, Steve's partner was quiet, save for the grating breaths he was still sucking in desperately.

Blaine smirked knowingly. "That's what I thought," he said. He stood up a little, straightening his shirt. He brushed his hands on his pants before patting his hair. With a quick crack of his neck, he rolled his shoulders. "You have your information as leverage to decide which way this goes. For my end, while your own life means little to you, I have Detective Williams here. The only way to spare him anything is to tell me what I want to know."

It was true, and they both knew it. There was no need to try to deny the facts. This was why Steve had refused to say anything.

But he could feel Danny still trying to curl up at his back. The ragged pants of his partner's labored breathing were a difficult reminder that there was more than principle involved with this. It was more than just strategy. It was Danny's life.

Steve swallowed hard and he kept his face impassive. If they were going to lay out terms, then they had to lay out the terms, and there was only one thing Blaine could tell him that would make any difference to him at all. "If I tell you, will you let him go?" he asked plainly. It was the one question that mattered, and if he believed that the answer might be affirmative, it was the only thing that would change his tactics.

Blaine's face registered something of surprise, before turning into grim humor. "If you have to ask," he said with a smirk. "Then maybe you're the stupid one."

The words were cold, and settled like blocks of ice in Steve's consciousness.

With that, he reared back, delivering another hard punch deep into Danny's gut. Danny's gasp of pain was breathless and harsh, his entire body taut as he strained against the cuffs. Steve could feel fresh blood trickle from the cuffs.

But there was nothing Steve could do about it. There was nothing Steve could do about any of it. It was everything he could do just to stay upright, because the force of the blow made them clatter backward, almost tipping them and Steve had to flail his legs to regain any kind of equilibrium.

Blaine was upright again, tucking in the tail of his shirt for good measure. "Consider your lack of options, please," he said. He moved away, nodding to Malcolm as he examined a smear of blood on his shirt. He glanced back, meeting Steve's eyes. "I'm not in this for blood. Just money. In the end, my priorities will be right."

Steve watched him go for a second, and watched all his own best laid plans go with him. Because Danny was still wheezing at his back, Malcolm still had the gun, Blaine still had his endgame, and Steve still had nothing but a name and a desperate hope that he could stall it all long enough to avoid the inevitable.

Because it was inevitable. If Blaine had his way, the ending of this story was written the second Steve took this case. Blaine wasn't a murderer, that much was true, but he was in it for the money. Blaine wasn't about to kill Danny for sheer spite, but to get what he wanted, Blaine would do what was necessary. And, no matter what Blaine said, Steve wouldn't be just giving him a name. He would be giving him an exit strategy and another loose end to easily tie up.

Blaine had his priorities. And he wasn't in it for blood, but he was in it for money. He didn't just want the money - no one just wanted the money. Blaine wanted to spend the money, and if he had any hesitations about killing Danny and Steve, it would be easily forgotten with the wealth.

Steve never operated under the idea that failure was an acceptable option. But over time, he'd been forced to learn the hard way, that sometimes it was a decision made without him entirely. He could still feel the pit in his stomach when the phone rang in the prison transport. He could still feel the desperate rush of adrenaline when the blasts started going off.

And he could still hear his voice begging for Hesse's brother to put the gun down. The cold certainty in his stomach when Hesse's brother was dead.

He hadn't told Hesse what happened. He didn't have to.

None of it had been Steve's fault.

And his father had died anyway.

Steve took an unsteady breath, fighting the impending emotions. He turned his head, staring hard at the office where Blaine was talking to Malcolm.

This wasn't out of his hands yet. Not yet.

Looking over his shoulder at his partner's still-hunched form, he shimmied in his bonds, trying to get a better look.

He could save Danny.

He had to.

Sighing, he dropped his head back to look at the ceiling. No matter what, he had to.






Posted by: ratherastory (ratherastory)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
Book 'em Danno

Eep. Poor Steve. Seriously caught between a rock and a hard place.

I am on tenterhooks to know just how badly Blaine has messed up poor Danno. That really cannot be good for his health. I also note that the minute he's conscious he starts mouthing off again. *shakes head* Oh, Danny.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
danny ready

Heh, yeah--Danny's ability to rant knows no bounds. At least, in my head he's that way :)


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
hawaii five-0

I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! One of the things I love about Steve is that while he's very confident in his own abilities, he's also very willing to listen and learn (even if he doesn't always change).

And yeah, something weird happened with my post. It looked fine on my computer, but when I went into edit the post I had weird linking issues going on. It should be fixed now :) Thanks!

Posted by: Flute (sgflutegirl)
Posted at: February 3rd, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
H50 - Steve serious


I love the fact that no matter what the situation, Danny is still as mouthy as ever.

Can't wait for more.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 7th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
danny thoughtful

Heh. Yeah, I do like that about Danny. Thanks!

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