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H50 Fic: The Eleventh Hour 5/13

February 7th, 2011 (09:22 am)

A/N:  Previous parts are still here.

 

HOUR FIVE

By the time Danny could breathe again, Blaine had already left the room.

It wasn't until he was upright and seeing straight that he realized that he'd taken the kid with him this time.

At least this way when he cried, there would be no witnesses.

And no, he wasn't counting Steve.

Steve didn't count for anything. Ever.

Getting shot in Steve's endless, no-holds-barred pursuit of justice had been bad enough, but a sucker punch to the gut?

It felt like he'd been disemboweled with a dull blade and left open for the freakin' buzzards to pick dry.

Worse yet, he couldn't even double over to alleviate the worst of it. The best he could manage was a feeble curl, which did nothing but aggravate the throbbing of his head and increase the pounding of his blood in his ears.

The pain abated as his ability to breathe increased, and he found himself open mouthed and wide eyed as he worked to regain anything resembling composure.

At his back, he could feel Steve shifting restlessly. It really did figure that Blaine would take the potshot at Danny's expense while Steve got to sit around and twiddle his thumbs.

At this point, Danny resented just about everything in this situation. From Malcolm and his ridiculously big gun, to Blaine and his cordial interrogation crap, to Steve's incessant attempts to escape by making Danny's wrists bleed, to the wind that had just be knocked out of him.

Danny wheezed again, scrunching his nose a little. The small movement made his swollen eye ache with new vigor. "You know," he said with a gasp, which made his bruised ribs protest. "I get why you want to piss him off-" He paused to breathe harshly, wincing as he tried to sit up a little straighter. "But come on."

"Gut punch this time?" Steve asked, and though he had the decency to at least sound vaguely apologetic, Danny did not appreciate his cavalier attitude.

"Like that's a lot better," Danny said, his voice thin. He managed to get a bit more upright, wincing through the soreness in his midsection. "As if it's not uncomfortable enough to sit here chained up, now the muscles in my abdomen are bruised."

"It was just a show of force," Steve commented, pulling the bonds again.

This time, Danny managed to sit all the way up, the searing pain be damned. The room seemed a little off kilter to him, but he could only figure that the fact that one of his eyes was almost swollen shut was probably not helping matter any. Persistent on his goal, he looked over his shoulder, glaring as best he could as his partner. "Just a show of force?" he asked. "He punched me. I don't care if it's a show of force, it hurt!"

"I think that's the point," Steve said.

"No, the point is that you're my partner and, the last time I checked, we were still supposed to be concerned for each other's well being."

"I'm concerned," Steve said.

"Oh, really?" Danny asked, mustering up his strength to give Steve a real piece of his mind. There were some things that simply mattered more than pain, and explaining to Steve why his logic was fundamentally flawed ranked right up there with breathing and getting the hell out of there. "So that's why your only comment about my latest injury in this escapade is it was just a show of force?"

Steve had the audacity to sound truly perplexed. "Well, what do you want me to say?"

Danny's mouth opened wide and he tried to flail his hands ineffectually against the handcuffs. It was a toss up whether or not his limited movement was more annoying than the aching in his ribs and the throbbing in his face. "How about I'm sorry?"

"I didn't hit you," Steve said, matter of fact.

"No, but your smart ass comments motivated him to do it," Danny pointed out. "Not to mention the fact that this is your lead on your case with your old friend-"

"I told you he's not my friend."

Danny had the strong urge to strangle Steve, which meant that for once in this, it was good that they were handcuffed, because Danny doubted that killing his partner was really worth going to jail.

Still. Danny wasn't sold on that one. "I don't care if he's your friend!" Danny exploded. "I've got a headache, my stomach hurts, my wrists are bleeding, and all I'm asking for right now is an apology."

Steve shifted again, and a short moment passed. "I'm sorry," he said.

All things considered, it was a bit anticlimactic. Danny adjusted primly. "See, was that so hard?" he asked.

Steve did not seem overly eager to respond. "Are you good now?"

Danny shrugged stiffly. "My head hurts and I still can't catch my breath."

"Maybe if you'd stop talking so much-"

"Maybe if you'd shut up-"

"Okay, okay," Steve said, and Danny could hear the surrender in his voice.

Mollified, Danny turned his attention back to breathing, which really did still hurt but was significantly better. As he gathered himself, he became aware again that his problems extended beyond his partner's lack of common sense. Looking over at the office, he could see Blaine and Malcolm.

Blaine was standing, shoulders straight and one hand out, finger jabbing repeatedly at the kid. The kid, for his part, was looking at the ground, nodding.

"Any idea what they're talking about?" Danny ventured.

Steve paused to look at the office as well. "I get the feeling that Blaine's calling all the shots."

"Malcolm had no involvement with the prior case?" Danny asked, his cop-mind coming online without even hesitating.

"Not even as a distant connection," Steve said. "The first time I ever heard of him was as the buyer of the warehouse."

Danny frowned. "He's the guy who bought this place?" he asked, his mind searching for the details of the case. "Didn't he way overpay?"

Steve nodded. "By a whole lot," he confirmed.

Danny's eyes narrowed, taking in Malcolm's hunched frame. "By the looks of it, buying it probably wasn't his idea," he said.

"Probably not," Steve agreed. "So the question is why did he do it?"

"Better yet, who backed him to do it?" Danny said. "I mean, kid like that - he probably doesn't have that kind of start up capital to go buying warehouses from convicted felons."

"Hard to say," Steve said. "But I think the good news is that we can work on him."

"Since he seems so friendly with his large gun," Danny pointed out. Because it was clear that the kid was the weak link of whatever partnership Blaine had established, but it was also clear that Blaine was keenly aware of that fact. Moreover, given the talk-down the kid was getting in the office, Blaine seemed pretty intent on keeping Malcolm on a short leash.

"It's a place to start," Steve countered.

Danny's attention shifted, and he looked back over his shoulder at his partner. "Maybe a better place to start would be how to tell them something to prevent us from getting our faces smashed in."

"It's not going to get that bad," Steve said simply, his fingers working in the cuffs yet again.

Danny rolled his eyes. "What, you want to have a broken nose?" he asked. "Oh, wait, that's right. They're not punching you. They're punching me."

"They punched me, too," Steve said, a little defensively.

Danny had the urge to throw his arms out. "Is that supposed to make me feel better?"

Steve's response was infuriatingly simplistic. "Maybe."

Maybe. Of course maybe. Why not maybe. Danny clenched his jaw and shook his head. "All I'm saying is that you have to tell them something."

At that, Steve seemed to get serious, taking a careful breath. "What if I don't know anything?"

"I don't even buy that and I'm the one person here who's on your side."

He could sense the displeasure on Steve's face.

"I don't have anything I can tell them," Steve said, and he sounded as irked as Danny had figured.

"I'm not asking you to give anyone up," Danny said. "But give them something. A clue or a hint. It can even be off base as long as it sends them looking. We need to buy time here. Give ourselves the chance to breathe without getting socked in the stomach."

"I thought you were worried about your face."

"Both," Danny replied in frustration. "It's an either/or. I don't really like getting punched, period."

"So what is it you want me to do exactly?"

"Tell them something!" Danny said. Then he remembered to drop his voice, turning his head the other direction, away from the office. "Give them a little bit, and maybe they'll give us a little bit back."

"I don't negotiate with criminals," Steve said tersely.

Danny rolled his eyes because it was only natural for Steve to see things that way. "Of course not. You just get kidnapped by them and the beaten to a pulp."

"It's not that bad," Steve insisted.

"Even if it's not that bad, it's certainly not good," Danny countered.

"We can't give them what they want," Steve said, even more adamantly.

Danny sighed, long suffering and he let his head drop back, looking out of the ceiling with his good eye. "We also can't not give them what they want," he said.

For a moment, Steve was silent. "We tell them, they'll kill us," he said quietly.

Looking forward again, Danny swallowed hard. "We don't tell them, they'll kill us," he pointed out.

"So we need to drag it out," Steve concluded.

"Which means not pissing them off," Danny agreed. "That's what I'm saying. A little diplomacy will go a long way."

Steve was quiet for another moment.

"You need to tell me the name," Danny said quietly.

Steve shook his head. "No. No way."

"I can't have your back unless I have all the information," Danny said. "I mean, if Blaine goes after you, I need some kind of leverage. We've got to be equal in this, or one of us is going to get killed, and I don't know about you, but I had dinner plans tonight that I really wanted to keep."

"Hot date?" There was amusement in Steve's voice.

"Not quite," Danny shot back. "I've got Gracie for the night, so I swear to you, if I don't get out of here in time to pick her up from school, I'm holding you responsible."

Steve's fingers worked in the cuffs again. "I'll do the best I can," he said, his tone solemn now.

"I know," Danny said. Then he sighed, shaking his head. "But this isn't all on you. I mean, yes, this is entirely your fault, but we can get out of this together. You need to tell me what you know, and then we need to figure out how much we can tell him without giving him everything all at once."

Steve was quiet, and Danny could almost see the tight line between his eyebrows.

"You know I'm right," Danny added.

Steve still didn't answer.

Danny wet his lips, sighing dramatically. "What?"

"What?" Steve countered.

"What are you thinking about?" he said.

"I'm not sure you want to know."

Danny snorted. "I'm sure I don't, but since we've both handcuffed here, it's not like I've got anything better to do."

"It'll make you mad," Steve said.

Danny's exasperation ratcheted up another notch. Of course Steve would pick now to be worried about that. "I can only see out of one eye," he said icily. "I don't think my anger is really a relevant issue anymore."

"You always overreact when you're mad."

Danny's jaw dropped and he scoffed. "I overreact?" he asked. "I overreact? When do I overreact?"

Steve shrugged. "What about now?"

"Oh, you think this is overreacting?" Danny asked pointedly. "See, I don't think a little incredulity is out of the realm of possibility at all right now, not when I've been knocked over the head, handcuffed, and then beaten. All things considered, I think I'm doing remarkably well."

"Which is why I don't want to piss you off!" Steve said.

Danny had the strong urge to hit something. Or someone. Repeatedly and hard.

Unfortunately, the handcuffs made that inconvenient.

Instead, he ground his teeth. "You think you're going to piss me off?" he asked. "Well, you're pissing me off right now by not telling me because I think I'll be pissed off!"

"You really need to work on your clarity when you're emotional," Steve said, a little thoughtful.

This time, Danny jerked in his bonds, skidding them back an inch on the floor for effect. "Just tell me what you're thinking!"

"Okay!" Steve said in obvious surrender.

He paused and Danny forced himself to be patient.

Steve took a decisive breath. "I'm not going to tell you what I know."

Danny's first instinct was to roll his eyes and start in on a tirade about Steve's total lack of clarity on this issue.

However, a good tirade felt inadequate without full use of his hands. Moreover, he didn't want to prove Steve's point.

Instead, Danny worked his jaw, nodding stiffly. "And may I ask why the hell not?" he questioned evenly, trying to keep the malice in his voice to a minimum.

Steve collected another breath. "You're only valuable as leverage if you don't know anything," he said. "Blaine doesn't want to kill you because you're the only thing keeping me in line."

"He may not want to kill me, but he's more than happy roughing me up," Danny pointed out.

"Better a broken nose than a body bag," Steve said.

Danny glowered. "It's not your nose," he said. Then he shook his head. "And even if it protects me for a little bit, it's not going to do anything for you."

"If we both know, one of us is expendable," Steve insisted.

"We're both expendable now," Danny argued. "Blaine hasn't kept any secrets. He hasn't exactly been discreet here. He knows he's on a timeline and if he doesn't get what he wants from us, he'll kill us both, no questions asked."

"Which is why we have to push the timeline," Steve said.

"Yeah, by telling him a little of what he wants to know."

"It won't work," Steve said, shaking his head. "I know Blaine. I know how he operates. He's got this set up just right. One phone call, and he's going to know if we're telling the truth or not, and if he catches us in a lie - even a small one - he's going to have to up the ante. And last I checked, you were against enduring more physical pain."

"I am against physical pain," Danny agreed. "But you can finesse it. Tell him a hint."

"It's a name or nothing," Steve said decidedly. "Blaine's not going to play twenty questions. I trained with him. I know him."

"Oh, which is why you saw this ambush coming so well?" Danny asked, and he knew it was a low blow, but he needed Steve to see reason. Even just a little bit of it. They were in over their heads here - and Danny was man enough to admit it. They were walking a dangerous line, and if they both wanted to get out of there alive, they needed to pool their assets and start working this thing from all angles.

"I didn't know what he wanted then," Steve said after a moment.

"Well, and now that we do know, how does that change things?" Danny pressed.

Steve sighed. "I know he wants this information more than he lets on," Steve said. He nodded, and seemed to resolve himself. "We play this out when he's questioning us."

Danny made a face. "And that's your final answer?"

"Final answer," Steve confirmed.

Danny pressed his lips together. "And I don't get a say?"

"I let you have plenty of say," Steve said. "I just didn't agree with you."

This time, Danny did roll his eyes. "Great. Awesome. You know, partnership means equals. We're supposed to have an equal say."

"Who runs this task force?" Steve asked.

"But I'm your partner," Danny said, his voice cutting with frustration. "There has to be give and take in this or it doesn't work."

"There's plenty of give and take," Steve said.

"Mostly I'm giving, giving, giving, and you seem to keep taking," Danny argued.

"You want more to do?" Steve asked, and he almost sounded genuine.

Danny was desperate enough. "Yes!" he said. "Yes, I want something to do other than to sit here and use my face as a punching bag!"

"Okay," Steve said readily.

Danny felt himself cringe. He'd just walked into something. Another ambush. Only this time, with Steve the one throwing it, it could end up far worse than a bump on the head and a pair of handcuffs.

"Let's see how far we can get," Steve concluded.

Danny waited for more, because surely, there had to be more. "How far we can get?" he asked, and then resigned himself to pointing out the obvious. "We're handcuffed to a chair."

"But our legs are free," Steve pointed out, as if that somehow made their predicament less daunting.

However, Danny considered that - briefly, because that was what partners did - and then promptly shook his head. "And have you forgotten that the guys with guns can still see us?" he asked, giving the office window a thorough look for good measure.

"No, which is why we need to be discreet."

As if Steve McGarrett knew a lot about how to not attract attention to himself. "Right, discreet," Danny said, trying not to sound too sarcastic. It was hard to help it, though, all things considered. "We need to be discreet while we flop around while handcuffed to chairs making our grand escape."

To his partner's credit, Steve didn't seem to mind. "We don't need to escape like this," he said.

"Well, that's good, because I'm pretty sure if they gave chase, they'd win."

Maybe it was less a question of minding and more a question of Steve not being able to focus on anything else. Chin was right about Steve - his mind was one tracked, all the way, regardless of how precarious their health and overall well-being may be.

"We just need to get far enough to see if we can find something to pick the lock," Steve continued.

Danny nodded, as if he should have known. Because clearly, Steve figured he should know, because Steve existed on an entirely different plane of reality. "Right, just to get far enough to find something to pick the lock," he repeated sarcastically. "And what did you have in mind exactly?"

Steve pulled a little at the cuffs. "Well, a paperclip would be nice."

"Sadly, I'm fresh out," Danny said in fake lament.

Steve, in typical Steve fashion, did not seem bothered by Danny's lack of effort. "Anything small enough and sturdy enough," he countered. "A bobby pin, maybe."

Danny shook his head. "I don't think Blaine or Malcolm seem much like the type to care about their hair," he snarked, letting his eyes scan the surrounding area. "And unless those boxes have beauty supplies, I'm not sure you're going to find what you're looking for."

And the boxes were too far away, anyway, but Danny didn't bother to say it. If Steve had it in his mind, Danny knew he wouldn't have much choice in the matter. But the boxes didn't look promising. If they really wanted to be successful, they needed something closer, something more practical, something...

Danny's eyes settled on a table, pushed up against the wall. Malcolm's bottle of water was there, along with an empty can of soda. There was a small notepad and a pen.

Not just any pen, but a nice one.

"What about a pen?" he asked.

Steve paused what he was doing, looking over his shoulder. "A pen?"

"Yes," Danny said emphatically. He nodded toward the table. "A metal pen. Clicky, from the looks of it. Usually meant for writing, but if you're thinking all MacGyver-like, you might have some use for it."

Steve was straining to see. "Do you think it'd come apart?"

"I think it's a better shot than finding a bobby pin in this place," Danny replied.

"Good enough for me," Steve said.

"Well, yeah, maybe it's good enough, but we still have to get over there," Danny reminded him, glancing with restrained uncertainty at the office. Blaine was looking at them, before he turned his attention back to Malcolm.

Steve, frustratingly, did not seem concerned. "We just need to coordinate our movements," he said. "It shouldn't be so bad."

Danny snorted. "Yeah, right, it shouldn't be so bad," he muttered. Since everything else that had happened today had gone so well. "But how are we going to avoid getting seen?"

"We move in small bursts. A step at a time," Steve explained, almost too patiently.

Danny frowned. "I still think they're going to see us."

"They're going to see us struggle, which is what we've been doing all morning. We've already moved around several inches in any direction since we first woke up here."

Danny looked at the ground, brow furrowed. "How do you know that?"

"How do I know what?"

"That we've moved several inches?" Because it really did look all the same to Danny.

Steve shrugged. "Simple observational skills," he reported. "They knocked us back nearly half a foot when Blaine punched you the first time you passed out."

Danny scowled at the memory. "So that's how come I don't remember," he said. "I was too busy being the method of movement to fully appreciate how much mobility we had."

Steve sighed. "Are you done now?"

Looking over his shoulder, Danny glared. "Done with what?"

"Complaining," Steve said.

Danny's mouth opened. "Complaining?" He drew an indignant breath. "I'm not complaining!"

"Fine, are you done talking?"

"Are you done being an insensitive asshole?"

This time, it was Steve's turn to frown. "I'm just trying to get us out of here."

Danny bristled, looking forward again. "Yeah, since insulting me is really the way to go about it."

"I'm not insulting you."

"Do we have to go over how this is all your fault again?" Danny shot back.

Steve sighed, breathing deeply for a moment. "Fine," he said. "I'm sorry."

Danny sniffled a little, only marginally mollified. "I wasn't complaining."

"I said I'm sorry," Steve snapped.

"I'm just saying," Danny said with a stiff shrug.

"You're always just saying," Steve muttered.

Danny turned to look at his partner with a pointed glare as best he could.

"Okay, okay," Steve said in apologetic surrender. "Do you think maybe you can help me try to get over to the table or are your feelings too hurt?"

The barb was not one Danny appreciated, but he was not quite that petty.

At least not when he was handcuffed and being held hostage. When they got out, then he'd be sure to read Steve the riot act. And he would be sure to take the time to be excessively petty, just because his face was swollen and his eye hurt and his fingers were going numb.

The fact that the only sensation he could consistently count on from his fingers was touching Steve's ass really didn't help matters.

"We can do it," Danny snapped. "But I still think it's a stupid idea. They're going to see us and come out and beat the crap out of us for it.'

Steve shrugged. "Maybe," he conceded with noncommittal flare. "On the count of three, I want to push off and move an inch toward the table."

Scowling, Danny obeyed, with a wary eye to the office. Malcolm had his head down and Blaine was pacing, clearly on the phone once more.

"One, two...," Steve began.

Danny tensed, working to get his footing.

"Three," Steve concluded, and together they lifted the chair, scooting it unceremoniously across the cement floor.

"Maybe?" Danny challenged belatedly, because just because he was willing to follow Steve's idiotic plans didn't mean he thought they were any less idiotic. "You're betting an awful lot on that maybe."

Steve shook his head. "Blaine has enough on his plate. He's so busy making a show of watching us that he's not really watching us that well at all," he explained. "You ready?"

Danny glanced at the office again. Blaine was making a sweeping gesture with one hand. He cast a furtive glance at his captives, but continued talking.

Nodding brusquely, Danny worked his feet on the ground, levering them up. With Steve's help, they clattered another inch or so.

"The problem with bluffs is that sometimes people really have the cards to back them," Danny commented ruefully.

"Well, then it's not really a bluff now, is it?" Steve countered.

Danny sucked in a breath as they lifted themselves again, maneuvering again with great effort. "No, it's just a smart bet," Danny said. "But the other players can never be sure until all the cards are on the table."

Steve grunted as they lifted again, and the work had Danny's legs burning with exertion. He looked again over at the office, stilling as Malcolm eyed them curiously.

Steve paused as well. "That's a chance I'm willing to take," he said heavily.

Danny smiled miserably. "Normally, I'd say no big deal," he said. "But they've got guns. Big guns and lots of them and I would say it's a safe bet that they know how to use them. If we call their bluff and find out they're not playing around, we're going to end up with a couple of bullet holes for our trouble."

Malcolm's attention shifted briefly, back to Blaine, who was talking to him again. As Malcolm nodded intently, Danny prepared himself for another lift, this time taking them a good two inches across the ground before they came to a halt, both of them panting.

Steve shook his head, clearly adamant. "If Blaine wanted to kill us, he'd have killed us," he said simply. "Whether or not we try to escape isn't going to make much difference."

Danny bared down and they lifted again, clattering noisily across the floor.

When they came to a stop, Danny felt his frustrations rise. "You think that Blaine doesn't intend to kill us?"

Steve strained, and Danny joined him, and they effectively advanced themselves another inch or two. "No, I think he's going to kill us," Steve replied plaintively. "Just not until he has what he wants. We can try to escape, and that's not going to lessen or increase our chances of survival."

Only Steve could talk about their probability of being murdered as though it wasn't a big deal. Just another day in the office for Hawaii Five-0.

Danny frowned and pushed to his feet again, letting his aggravation be channeled into the futile efforts to move the chair not-so-discreetly across the floor. When they came to a stop again, he sucked in a hasty breath and set his scowl deeper. "You really do have issues, you know that?"

Steve had the audacity to laugh. "You repeat yourself a lot, did you know that?"

Danny glowered, but joined Steve in another effort to move the chair. "That's your comeback? That I repeat myself?"

They came to a stop. Steve shrugged. "You do."

Danny rolled his eyes, his entire body trying to flail with the effort. "Have you ever considered that maybe - just maybe - I have to keep saying the same things because you never listen?"

Steve lifted again, and they scooted farther before coming to a stop. "No, I'm pretty sure that's not it," he said.

Danny gaped. "Then what on earth could it possibly be?"

Steve grunted, and they moved again. "Maybe just that you have issues."

Danny could hear the humor in Steve's voice, and while he knew that he should probably let it go, he was not feeling inclined to do so. After all, they were handcuffed together. Danny's eye was swollen. His head hurt. And they were moving pointlessly across the floor to get a pen that may or may not work to pick the lock, which they would never be able to do since they were being continually guarded by two idiots with guns who could see them plainly.

And Steve thought Danny had issues.

Danny didn't have issues. He had an issue. Just one.

Steve McGarrett, the partner from hell.

The literal bane of his mundane existence. Not only was Steve completely set on getting him killed and maimed - not necessarily in that order, even - but he was also apparently intent on driving Danny slowly, but very surely, insane.

The sheer ridiculousness of it all left Danny speechless.

Almost.

As it was, he found himself spluttering. "I have issues? I have issues?" he repeated, his voice growing uncontrollably. "You drag me all over this damn island, get me shot, knocked out, punched, and handcuffed, and I have issues?"

"You're the one freaking out here," Steve said with a shrug.

"You know, you're lucky we're handcuffed," Danny said, shaking his head.

Steve turned to look at him. "Why's that?"

Danny's jaw worked. "Because if my hands weren't tied down, I would punch that smug grin off your face."

"I'm not grinning."

"But you are smug," Danny countered.

There was a pause. Danny lifted his chin in defiant victory.

"You know," Steve said, after a moment. "We've made good progress."

"At defining your issues?"

"No, at getting across the floor."

At that, Danny remembered why they were working so hard in the first place. Steve was wrong about many things, but he was right about this much: they had gotten significantly farther than Danny would have suspected. "We may just have a chance at this after all," Danny said, and he didn't bother to hide the surprise in his voice.

Steve went a little rigid at his back. "Maybe not," he said, voice hushed.

Danny gave him a perturbed look. "Now you're the Debbie Downer all of a sudden? What happened to the Mission Impossible mentality you had going on back there?"

"We've got company," Steve whispered.

Danny straightened, eyes going to the office. Malcolm was on his feet again, shifting his gun from hand to hand while Blaine moved swiftly past him and opened the door.

"Wonderful," Danny muttered. "And just in time since the throbbing in my face had dulled to a distant ache."

Steve, however, was either ignoring him or trying to put on some kind of brave or defiant face for their captors.

Danny didn't much see the point. He was handcuffed to a chair and probably sporting an impressive shiner. He was used to not making much of an impression on people on normal days, and he could only imagine that his current bedraggled appearance was even less imposing. He liked to think of himself as a man's man, but ultimately, he was practical. He wasn't going to intimidate Blaine by sneering, and he was fairly certain that any kind of scowling would just make his head hurt more than it already did.

Blaine approached, rubbing his hands together as he did. Malcolm brought up the rear, falling short behind him, gnawing his lip and his gun pointed down but still in his hands. For his part, Blaine was smiling, and his face had the appearance of warmth, but Danny could still see the sadistic gleam in his eyes.

Psycho criminals just all had that way about them. Whether they were born with it or developed it after committing their first major crime, Danny couldn't be sure, but after this many years as a detective, he could see it a mile away, even with one eye swollen shut.

"So," Blaine said, his expression turning wry. "Did our last session knock any sense into you two?"

Danny looked over his shoulder with a banal smile. "Now he's a kidnapper and a comedian," he said. Then he looked back at Blaine. "You should consider taking that act on the road. I'm not sure that stand up pays that well, but since you've got financing under the table, you could just do it for kicks."

Blaine looked vaguely amused. "That's cute," he said. "I'd invite you to my first show-"

Danny nodded knowingly. "It's never much fun to see the act a second time," he agreed.

"Which brings us to the salient question," Blaine continued. He looked at Steve. "Are you ready to tell me your source?"

Steve was rigid at Danny's back, and he didn't need to see Steve to know his expression was a solid screw you. "You're not going to get anything from me," he said.

Blaine sighed a little, but he didn't truly look surprised. "I will get something," he said. He shrugged. "A little blood, your partner's life. It's a small trade for one name."

Danny sighed, shaking his head. "You really think the answer will be any different?"

Blaine eyed him, more than a hint of disdain in his eye now. "I understand better than you do where McGarrett comes from," he said. "Trust me. I know what I'm doing."

It wasn't funny - not really - except that it was. It just was. This moron had kidnapped them, beat them up, and said he knew what he was doing.

Of course, the smart thing would be to shut up about it. But Steve was already playing the strong and silent type, so that left Danny to pick up the frank and comedic slack. Especially since it was funny - in that way in which life and death hostage situations could be funny, anyway.

"Really? You know what you're doing? Because if kidnapping two officers recruited by the governor wasn't stupid enough, you're trying to leverage Steve McGarrett for information," Danny said with a knowing dip of his head. "Steve McGarrett. I mean, think about that one, just for a minute. On a scale of one to stupid, that one ranks pretty well near idiotic."

Blaine stared him, anger growing on his face.

Danny shrugged a little, and let the jest stand for what it was. He wasn't in the habit of holding his tongue, not even on a good day when talking to someone he mostly liked. This was not a good day and he certainly didn't like Blaine.

Besides, it was a good comeback. Witty. Smart. Annoying. Perfect for the situation, all things considered. If Steve wanted to play it this way, then Danny could definitely play it this way, and with gusto, too. Danny was nothing if not committed to the job, even if he fundamentally disagreed with the entire process.

But if witty and smart and annoying were good for pissing Blaine off, then they were also good for getting him punched. Probably hard.

Truthfully, if Danny had thought it all through a little more, he might have chosen his words more carefully. Though, at this point, he was already screwed in Steve's genius master plan, so it seemed only right to get his digs in while he could.

Before Blaine popped him once and for all.

Fortunately, despite the fact that Danny was essentially nothing more than a useless smart ass at the moment, Blaine was still keeping his temper precariously in check.

Unfortunately, while Blaine had the restraint not to kill Danny, the detective was keenly aware that getting shot was not the only form of injury he could endure in Steve's manic propensity to get them both into trouble.

For a second, looking at the unabashed rage on Blaine's face, Danny thought he should apologize. This whole taking hostages thing was probably pretty stressful, after all, and needing Steve McGarrett for information was sort of a worst case scenario, so Danny could feel for him there.

But Blaine was also a convicted felon who had knocked him out and handcuffed him.

Besides, there wasn't time to say anything. There wasn't even time to properly brace himself as the punch came in hard and fast, landing neatly across his face.

Danny's head snapped to the side, his vision dimming immediately. Stars exploded behind his eyes and the pain radiated from his cheek and jaw all along his neck and head.

Coughing, he hacked a little, trying to catch his breath and tasting blood in his mouth. He ran his tongue along his mouth, making sure all his teeth were still in place as his head rolled on his neck and he tried to look up again.

HOUR SIX

 

Comments

Posted by: ratherastory (ratherastory)
Posted at: February 7th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
Look babe

Oh, Danny, babe, shut up. You will be the healthier for it, and maybe Steve won't have an aneurysm.

*headdesk*

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 10th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
danny makes a point

Yeah, but he wouldn't be Danny if he took the easy way out and kept quiet :)

Posted by: Flute (sgflutegirl)
Posted at: February 7th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
H50 - Danny serious

Oh Danny.

I don't think I'll start getting really worried until he stops talking though. Yeah, that would not be good.

Love this. Can't wait for more!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 10th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
danny gun bw

Ranting is part of Danny's status quo, and I think both he and Steve know it. I'm so glad you're still liking it :)

Posted by: Cassie (musicofyourname)
Posted at: February 8th, 2011 02:52 am (UTC)

I love this! The anticipation for what's to come is killing me...

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 10th, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
hawaii five-0

Thanks! I'm glad you're into it!

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