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H50 Fic: The Eleventh Hour 11/13

February 28th, 2011 (07:16 am)

A/N: This is a bit on the short side, but it has some key turning points, so hopefully you'll forgive that. After this, just two chapters to go :) Thanks!  Previous parts are here.



Blaine pulled the trigger.

Steve saw it, almost couldn't look away. Saw the perfect aim, the malice-twisted face, the slight jerk of the gun as the trigger was moved back.

Steve saw it - just for a second. The image was emblazoned in his mind, and he held it there, let it burn with the intensity he needed to fuel his adrenaline.

Because it was easy to hit a sitting target.

It was much harder to hit one when it pulled out suddenly, going wide and charging from the side.

The handcuffs were already loose, and it only took one last decisive pull and Steve was free and surging. As he sprung to the left, the gun went off, and Steve could feel the bullet as it breezed behind him. It clinked with a muted thump, and Steve could only hope that the trajectory was exactly what he had anticipated. Blaine had never bothered to look Steve in the eye for this, and his lack of manhood could only work to Steve's advantage. A full frontal shot at Steve's head would hit Danny, but from the side, it nicked the cement floor.

Not that Steve had time to worry about that, though. Instead, he kept his focus, turning quickly on his heel. He didn't have time to build up much momentum either, but the sheer adrenaline was more than enough to make up for it as he launched himself at Blaine. True, Blaine was armed, but Steve had the element of surprise going for him.

Not to mention that Steve was pissed off. And when he was pissed off, there really wasn't much he couldn't do. At least nothing that he would let himself believe he couldn't do.

Blaine had shot Danny, killed Malcolm, and fired a gun aimed at Steve's head. And none of that even got him started on the whole beating and kidnapping that had gone on for the better part of the day.

At this point, all of that made breaking out of prison and betraying his country seem like petty crimes to begin with.

Any way Steve thought about it, Blaine was done. This was done. Steve had endured more than his lot and if he was ever ready to deliver justice, this was the time. This was the place.

Blaine went down hard, landing with a grunt beneath Steve's weight. The gun hit the ground, skittering away. Steve didn't bother to look for it; he didn't need to. He didn't need a gun to subdue Blaine. Not anymore.

Instead, he got into position, sitting up but keeping his weight on Blaine. As Blaine scrambled to get his bearings, Steve landed a hard right across his face, taking pleasure in the crack of bone beneath his hand, even as the skin on his knuckles split painfully.

He reared back again with another satisfying punch, but this time Blaine saw it coming. He couldn't do much to dodge, but turning his head at the last minute made it nothing more than a glancing blow. It was a small move, but it gave Blaine a much needed second to recover, and Steve felt the tension in the body beneath him mount.

Bearing down hard, Steve kept his focus on retaining position. He moved for another punch, but Blaine's training was good and he bucked hard and Steve rocked perilously to the side.

Blaine followed up with another jarring motion, sending them both tumbling to the side. Steve felt his back hit the ground and refused to stay still, forcing the roll again. He came up on his haunches, but he lost his position. Blaine pulled away, nose bleeding, but hands up in defense.

Steve didn't hesitate. He'd played it safe for hours, and now that it had come to this, he wasn't about to hold back. Blaine didn't have a gun anymore and Steve wasn't tied up to make things easy. This was how it should have been all along and Steve was more than ready to end this.

He wasn't the only one. Blaine stance went from defensive to offensive, just that fast and by the time they met in the middle, it was a clash of fists and legs. The back and forth was rapid - a blocked arm, a dodged kick. Absorbing a blow to the shoulder, taking a kick to the stomach. Another ripped into his ribs, hard enough that Steve almost felt a crack. Blaine went hard for the body, which was easier to land, but slower to incapacitate.

With a head shot, Steve just needed one good punch.

One good opening.

He tucked hard to the left, taking another powerful blow to his ribcage. He curled in, ignoring the sharp pain in his chest, letting Blaine think he was retreating to a defensive tactic.

Blaine took the bait and followed up hard, a kick to the knee that almost sent Steve falling. He gritted his teeth and kept his footing, but not before Blaine landed another punch, this time to the ribs again.

It hurt, but not enough for Steve to worry about. Still, he let it register on his face, and he saw Blaine's eyes spark with the idea of victory.

Overconfidence was a bitch. It was time Blaine learned that once and for all.

Blaine kicked again with more force now, but this time Steve didn't let it land. Instead, he skirted it, and it the missed impact made Blaine teeter.

Not much, but enough.

It left him open, arms out to retain his balance.

And Steve had a perfect opening. One punch, uppercut to the chin, hard enough to rattle Blaine's teeth and send him sprawling.

It was probably enough, that single punch. Steve had perfected it. Enough to knock him out, anyway.

Not enough to make Steve want this to be over. Because Blaine had kidnapped him, beat his partner and left him for dead. Blaine had intended on murdering them both, and Steve liked to think that he could be a forgiving guy, but there were some lines that just could not be crossed in his book.

Killing his father - definitely not, and Hesse would find that out the hard way by spending the rest of his life in jail.

Shooting his partner - also a definitive no. Steve hadn't even been aware of that one, but when he saw the blood, heard Danny's voice fade out, could still hear him asking him to tell Grace...

Well, nothing would be enough to teach this son of a bitch a lesson he deserved.

Steve was on him in an instant, pounding hard on the face. Blaine tried to move away, somehow still conscious, but Steve didn't let him. He followed up, harder than before, using both hands hard and fast and relentless.

For the kidnapping. For the beating. For Malcolm. For Danny.

The thought stopped him cold. Pulling back, he looked down, and Blaine made no attempt to move away. He was limp now, face bloodied and turned to the side. His chest rose and fell raggedly, but there was no sign of consciousness.

Still, Steve couldn't be too safe.

He got up, staggering a little, retrieving his handcuffs, rolling Blaine roughly on his stomach before slapping the cuffs together.

Getting to his feet, Steve was panting, his body starting to feel the ache. The heat of the fight was waning now, and the reality of what he'd endured could not be as easily dispatched as Blaine. His wrists were still bleeding, his hands throbbing. There was still a dull ache in his head, and the punches to his torso had been real. All things considered, Steve needed to sit down and rest.

But not yet.

With a tight breath, Steve turned back to the chairs, where Danny was still slumped in his seat, head forward. From this view, Steve could see everything his partner had endured. The rumpled clothes hid much of the earlier beating, but the stark bruises were evident on his face. There were smudges of blood on his features, a trickle running from his hairline to the collar of his shirt. One eye was swollen badly, and there was a mess of blood from his nose, smeared along Danny's upper lip.

And then there was the gunshot wound.

Steve couldn't see the bullet hole, but he could see the blood. It would be impossible not to see the blood. It soaked the entire side of Danny's dress shirt, saturating his tie as well. Danny's pants were also wet, the black fabric shiny in the dim light. The seeping wound had created a pool of blood on the chair, which had already begun to overflow with a disturbingly consistent drip to the growing puddle on the floor.

He'd seen guys lose less and die.

The thought made his stomach churn, but Steve didn't let himself cave to that. He'd conquered too much to get here, and he was not about to let Danny down now, not when he finally had a chance to come through on all the promises he'd made.

Quickly, he scaled the distance back to his partner's side, going to a knee to fumble with the handcuffs. Desperate, he looked across the floor, looking for anything to get the lock undone - and fast.

He spared another look in Danny's pale face and willed himself to go faster.

Fortunately, in the hustle, his lock pick was still on the ground from where he'd dropped it earlier. With numb fingers, he picked it up, sliding it into the lock and fiddling it hard. It was surprisingly easy, and the cuffs popped open and Steve hastily took them off.

Danny's hands fell free and without the restraint of the cuffs, Danny's body slipped forward. It was all Steve could do to catch him, propping up the dead weight while he scrambled for better position. Danny's breath was shallow against him, and the blood was warm.

Steve swallowed hard, getting his footing and rotating so he could guide Danny's body gently to the floor. He eased him away from the puddle of blood, stretching Danny out on his back so he could get a better look at his partner and start basic triage.

The first of which was to control the bleeding. The beating had undoubtedly been painful and while there was a chance of internal damage, the pressing concern was the blood still seeping from the bullet wound. Danny had lost enough as it was that he was probably borderline hypovolemic, and if Steve wanted his partner to survive until help arrived, he needed to start controlling the bleeding - now.

Of course, without a proper first aid kit, that was all easier said than done. But Steve was nothing if not resourceful. He just needed something to serve as a bandage, something to absorb the blood. Steve's eyes scanned the area, looking at the boxes, Blaine's cuffed body. Steve needed gauze, a towel...

He rolled his eyes at himself. Or a shirt.

Sitting back on his haunches, he peeled off his shirt, quickly ripping it into two pieces. As he wadded one into a ball and positioned at Danny's side, he afforded his friend a small smile. "Don't worry," he said, almost able to hear the indignant protests he partner would have made were he conscious enough to do so. "You know me. I've stripped for far less."

Finding a good spot over the bullet hole, Steve took the other strip of his shirt, and maneuvering it under Danny. He lifted his partner's body gently, threading the strip around, easing Danny back down before picking up the two ends and tying them tightly together.

Adjusting the positioning one last time, he wiped his nose, his heart still pounding in his ears.

Then, from outside, he heard a noise. Steve's attention shifted, eyes going from Danny's prone form to Blaine's trussed up figure to the light streaming through one of the windows. He hadn't called for backup yet, and there was still a chance that Blakely would be stupid enough to show.

And that would really be his luck.

Glancing around, he could probably hide, but there was no way he was going to leave Danny out in the open like this. Malcolm either. Steve had been so preoccupied with Danny that he hadn't even given the kid another thought. Not for a lack of sympathy, but Steve had his priorities.

Eyes settling on Malcolm, there was still no clear sign of life - but next to Malcolm's sprawled form was his gun.

Steve looked again toward the door, hearing another small scuffle. He looked at Danny, face pale, mouth parted as he strained for breath.

It was an easy decision to make.

Standing, Steve scaled the distance to Malcolm, not pausing to check the kid's vitals. Instead, he snagged the gun, hurrying back to Danny's side. He took up position in front of his partner's body, pulling the gun up and cocking it, taking careful aim at the door.

There was an eerie silence. Steve could hear his heart, feel his blood rushing. He could feel Danny's body working to stay alive, Blaine's body working on dying. For a second, that was everything. After everything Steve had been through today, this was his last stand. He and Danny would leave here together - one way or another.

Steve steadied his gun, taking a steadying breath, willing Danny to hold on, just a moment longer.

And then the door burst open - both from the front and from the back. Steve couldn't cover both angles - and didn't even try. He kept his sights narrowed on the front door, catching the target easily in his eye line.

Bronze skin, slick dark hair. Pronounced cheekbones and a police-grade bulletproof vest over a simple white shirt and stone washed jeans. And the shotgun.

Steve would always recognize the shotgun.

"Chin," he said, letting his gun drop. "Thank God."

The footsteps from behind were approaching fast, light and staccato. "Easy, ambulance is on its way," Kono's said.

Steve didn't look at her, couldn't look at her. It was all too much now, the adrenaline raging, the relief peaking.

Help was here.

Steve had promised Danny for hours and now help was here.

Chin was checking Malcolm and Blaine and Kono was on her knees next to Danny. Steve still held the gun in his numb hands, trying to remember how to breathe.

"Boss," Kono was saying. "Boss."

Steve blinked, looking at her with a watery smile.

Her face was screwed up in concern, her hands already pressing hard on Danny's side.

"I told him you'd come," Steve said.

Kono's head cocked. "Of course," she said. "When you didn't show up and stopped answering your calls, we went through the paperwork. Called a few leads and then found this address." She paused, looking over toward Chin then back down at Danny before lifting her eyes back up to meet Steve's. "What happened?"

It was a simple question, but there was no simple answer. So much had happened. Too much. From getting kidnapped to getting beaten to getting shot. To telling Danny he had it under control to promising Danny he'd do the right thing the end. And promising Danny they'd get out of here.

What happened? What happened to Steve's control? What happened to Steve's promises? What happened to Steve's ability to do anything? What happened to being partners, to making the right choices? What happened to finding a best friend just to lose him in such a stupid, stupid way?

What happened?

Steve heaved, desperately drawing in air.

What happened to the throbbing in his head or the aching in his ribs? What happened to Danny's blood on his hands or the sound of his partner's breath as it strained through bruised ribs?

Kono was looking at him. Chin was talking to him. But all Steve could see was Danny. Unconscious on the warehouse floor, his partner had trusted him until the very end. Trusted him now. And what happened?

His ears went deaf, his vision tunneled. His chest was on fire, his lungs laboring in vain. He could feel the gun slipping to the floor, the blood all over the place, too much, too far.

What happened?

Steve really wanted to know, but this time it wasn't in his control as his vision blinked out entirely and he fell hard to the floor.




Posted by: Kathy (kitmerlot1213)
Posted at: February 28th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)

This such an awesomely action-packed update!

Steve's beatdown of Blaine was perfect and this line: He didn't need a gun to subdue Blaine. Not anymore. made me absolutely cheer. Steve was not going to let that psycho get away with what he did to Danny and I think Danny would be proud.

I also liked that Steve got so teary-eyed when the calvary arrived.

Keep up the great work on this fic :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
danny steve bust

It was pretty satisfying to write Steve's fight, I must admit :)


Posted by: ratherastory (ratherastory)
Posted at: February 28th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
Danno *hands*

Oh, no worries on it being short. It's action-packed and full of drama and oh, Steve.

And when he took off his shirt I grinned because I knew what Danny would have to say, and then I just about died laughing because apparently Steve agrees with me!

Man, it's been a long day for Steve too, hasn't it?

Danny is going to bitch and bitch and bitch about this. He's never going to let Steve forget it, not until the end of days.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
danny thoughtful

I'm glad the length wasn't a detraction--and having Steve take his shirt off made sense in the plot, but it still warranted comment all things considered :)

And it HAS been a long day, poor guy. Both of them, really.


Posted by: waltzmatildah (waltzmatildah)
Posted at: March 1st, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
greys: alex and izzie at joes

Oh, I read all the previous chapters of this fic yesterday and was very excited to see chapter 11 up today.

You've done an amazing job with it!!!

Really, very good! Whump that is not at all gratuitious and that fits with a well constructed plot is my most favourite kind of whump. Awesome, awesome job.

Thank you for sharing and I look forward to the rest.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
danny doesn't get fired

Wow, that's a lot of reading at once! I am guilty of gratuitous whump from time to time, but I try to give it purpose in the overall story :)


Posted by: Flute (sgflutegirl)
Posted at: March 1st, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)

Wow! This chapter was amazing!

I was wondering how Steve would react once they were rescued. He's been through hell too. Poor guys.

Can't wait for more.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
danny explanation

Steve's been through quite a bit today, so it seemed appropriate to make him a little shellshocked.


Posted by: hbfan26 (hbfan26)
Posted at: March 1st, 2011 08:52 am (UTC)

Loved Steve's reactions at the end, i could absolutely picture him sitting beside Danny protecting him and i could feel his relief when Chin came through the door. And of course he had to pass out!! He's only human after all!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
Re: Wow!
danny steve partners

Poor Steve may like to think he's superhuman, but he's just a man after all :)


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