Fandom: Hawaii Five-0
Characters: Primarily Danny and Steve - GEN
Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize is mine.
Summary: Tag for Episode 5.07, Ina Paha. He'd seen him battered, he'd seen him bloody, but until this moment, he'd never seen him broken.
They reached the hospital sooner than Danny had expected and he called out to Steve that he would be okay when his partner darted panicked eyes around once more at the flurry of activity. Left in the ER waiting room with little to occupy himself except pacing and worrying, Danny indulged in just that. He kept his hands busy, re-stacking magazines, scrolling through his phone list, texting Grace, Rachel, checking in with Kono, Chin.
Hours passed. Grover came by, dropping off food and collecting Danny's Kevlar and piece. He hadn't even realized he'd holstered it back at the dry cleaners. They needed it for the report. After all, he'd killed people today.
Grover reassured Danny that Kono and Chin would be by later, then left to finish the job.
Danny stood at the picture window and stared out at the dingy grey buildings he could see framing the downtown Honolulu street, then the palm trees beyond. The sky had turned brassy, like a filter had been placed over the sun, sending the light down through wax paper. There was something too still about the view.
As though the world was suffocating.
He flinched, startled, at the sound of his name. Turning he met a man in blue scrubs holding a manila folder, searching the nearly empty waiting room. He approached.
"I'm Danny Williams. This about Steve?"
"You came in with Commander McGarrett?" the man asked.
"Yeah, I'm his partner. What's the matter? He okay?"
"Come with me, Detective."
Danny frowned, the grip around his throat that had relaxed when Steve had been next to him curling tighter once more. He put a hand out, needing a beat before following Mr. Scrubs back through those ER doors.
"Wait a minute, hang on. Just…lemme…is he okay?"
The man looked at the waiting room once more, then back at Danny. "He should recover," he reassured. "But I think we should talk in a more private setting."
Contrite, Danny followed the man back through the secured doors and into what looked like a small exam room. Danny found a chair to sit on rather than the short, paper-covered table. The man set Steve's file down on the desk and leaned against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Detective, I'm Dr. Yablonski."
Danny brought his chin up, tilting his head in acceptance. Yablonski offered Danny a small, tired smile which he probably meant to be sincere, but only had Danny's worry arching into the red zone.
"Commander McGarrett has suffered some extensive injuries; however none of them are immediately life-threatening. The lacerations and bruising will heal in time, though he'll be pretty sore for a while. He sustained a concussion due to what appears to be a bullet graze, and he has four cracked ribs, three of the fractures along his back."
Danny rolled his bottom lip against his teeth, listening. There was more, that much was clear. He was bracing himself for the real news.
"What has us concerned are the drugs he was administered as well as the effect the electrical shock has had on his heart. We counted three different taser burns on his chest." Danny nodded, his eyes burning as he listened. "We tested his blood, and your department called in with a matching report. It seems Commander McGarrett was given high doses of a psychotropic drug called phencyclidine."
"Yes, however," Yablonski continued, "it was apparently laced with another psychotropic drug and an anesthetic."
"Jesus," Danny exhaled, dragging a hand down his face.
"We have him on an EKG to monitor his heart rhythm. With rest and fluid, we should see his heart rate level out, but until then the erratic rhythm could cause some side effects such as nausea and sweating."
"Can you give him anything for that?"
"That's what I wanted to talk with you about," Yablonski said, pulling away from the wall and resting his hands on his hips. "Until the drugs have been flushed from his system, it's dangerous to his heart for us to give him anything more than…Tylenol." He shrugged helplessly.
"Wait, you're saying that's it? For the pain, the side effects, all of that?" Danny was on his feet once more, his hands pressed together as if in prayer, fingers gesturing toward Yablonski. He felt a bit like a caged tiger, coiled and ready to spring.
"Unfortunately, yes. We have him on an IV drip infusing his system with fluids, but the lingering effects of the drugs could be a bit painful, especially considering his other injuries." Yablonski sighed. "Intense muscle cramps, shortness of breath…." He leveled his eyes on Danny's. "The next twelve to twenty-four hours are going to be extremely difficult for Commander McGarrett."
"You don't say."
"Is there someone who can stay with him?"
Danny gave the doctor an incredulous look. "You're letting him go home?"
"No," Yablonski shook his head. "Stay with him here. A familiar face will be extremely helpful as the drugs are flushed from his system."
Danny waved his arms from his side, his hands coming down to clap against the sides of his legs.
"A familiar face. That's what modern medicine has come down to."
Yablonski frowned in sympathy. "The person who did this to him was knowledgeable—"
"If by knowledgeable you mean he was a psychotic bastard, then I agree with you."
"What I mean is, the taser weakened the Commander's heart and make it impossible for us to treat him for the drugs. Using both," he shook his head. "It was inhumane."
"You can say that again, doc," Danny sighed. "Can I go see him now?"
"Yes," Yablonski nodded. "We will be in to check on him soon. Right this way."
They'd moved Steve to a room with a door rather than the typical curtain of the ER stalls. Danny stepped inside, holding the handle down so that the latched caught without clicking. Ambient light spilled from a covered bulb fixed the wall above Steve's bed.
Danny moved closer to the bed, his eyes on Steve's face. He appeared asleep, but Danny could tell from the tense set of his friend's jaw that he was far from peaceful. The taser burns had been bandaged and Steve was wearing a loose white shirt, the leads to the EKG fed in through the V-neck and fixed to hidden places on his chest. His forehead had been bandaged as well, and an IV with several different bags of clear fluids was attached to his left arm, his right having too many puncture marks already.
If Danny hadn't seen his friend lying still and bloody in the chaos of that room, he might think that Steve wasn't too bad off. He'd seen him walk away from situations with much more damage than this. He'd seen him battered, he'd seen him bloody, but when Steve opened his eyes and briefly met Danny's searching gaze, he realized that he'd never seen him broken until this moment.
"Hey," he whispered.
"Hey," Steve replied, matching Danny's tone.
"Doc talk to you?"
Steve nodded, his eyes once more sliding away as if he couldn't bring himself to truly focus. Danny frowned and stepped closer, grabbing one of the cushioned chairs as he did so. He swung the chair around so that the back was facing Steve's bed, then straddled it. Folding his arms across the back, he rested his chin on his wrists and waited until Steve looked back at him.
"You walked away, Steven."
"I know." It was too quick, to rote. It was Steve trying to quiet any doubt in his mind.
"He can't hurt anyone anymore."
Steve glanced at him then and Danny realized that wasn't entirely true. Whatever Wo Fat had said to him, done to him, in that room…it was a hurt that was going to last for some time. Danny reached out and gently grasped Steve's wrist.
"How 'bout you get some rest?"
Steve took a slow breath. "Don't wanna close m'eyes," he mumbled, licking his lips.
Danny spied a plastic cup with a straw on the table near the bed and guided it to Steve's mouth, holding it while he friend sated his thirst.
"Doc said the drugs might take a bit to get out of your system," Danny acknowledged. "Figured I'd stay close for a bit."
Steve nodded, his only concession to not wanting to be alone while he rode out the effects of the hallucinogens.
"Kono and Chin'll be by later," Danny continued, thinking to distract Steve from whatever thoughts were feeding that haunted look in his eyes. "Grover came by while they were fixing you up and said they were wrapping things up at the dry cleaners."
"What'd they do with him?"
Danny frowned, knowing exactly who Steve was talking about. "Max's got him. Pretty open and shut, self-defense."
"My mom," Steve started to say and then frowned, closing his eyes and pressing his head back into the pillow. His free hand snaked up to press against his chest and Danny watched as a muscle rippled across his bruised jaw.
"Steve?" Danny instinctively tightened his grip on Steve's wrist.
A low moan seemed to build in the back of Steve's throat and he bit the inside of his bottom lip, working to keep the sound inside, but Danny felt it shudder through his friend's body.
"Hey, it's okay. You're okay, just…breathe through it, babe." Danny had to work to keep his own voice steady. "Easy, I gotcha, okay? I'm right here."
"Fuck," Steve exhaled, blinking his eyes open, searching blearily until they landed briefly on Danny.
"You can say that again," Danny nodded, easing his grip and patting Steve's wrist as the pain seemed to pass. "Want to rest now?"
Steve shook his head. "Don't wanna sleep, man. Can't…can't see that again."
Frowning, Danny covered his mouth with his closed fist, resting his chin on his hand. "You saw your dad, didn't you?"
Steve's face folded. It was the only word Danny could think of that would describe the way the edges of his friend's blue eyes seemed to bend and curl in, the lines around them tucking up and retreating in an instinctive protection from emotion.
"My mom needs to know," he said. "About…what I did."
"What you did?" Danny bleated, dropping his hand from his mouth. "You mean, the fact that you survived being tortured – again – by that nut job?"
He released Steve's wrist and stood up, unable to keep the emotions suddenly raging through him at a manageable tempo. He had to move. Pacing the end of the room at the foot of Steve's bed, Danny shoved his hands through his hair, lacing his fingers at the back of his head in an effort to maintain control.
"What's your mom got to do with this, Steven?"
Steve groaned slightly and Danny looked over quickly to see his friends eyes clenched shut, his neck arching slightly, and sweat breaking out across his bruised face.
"What? What is it?" Danny moved to the foot of the bed.
"Goddamn son of a bitch." Steve's voice was breathless, the curses streaming out through clenched teeth.
Sweat began to run down the side of Steve's face and Danny could see it gathering in patches on the white shirt. The steady beep of the heart monitor spiked to a shrill scream, and just as Danny was about to hit the call button, two nurses and Doctor Yablonski entered the room. Stepping back out of the way, Danny watched as machines were checked, and Steve was calmed, water provided and a cool rag laid gently across his forehead, slanted to avoid the bandage.
After what seemed like only a few minutes, the nurses left and Yablonski paused, eyeing Danny carefully.
"Are you going to be okay with this?" he asked.
"Is it going to be this rough for him the whole time?"
"It'll fluctuate. As he flushes out the drugs, the pain will be less. Sleep would help."
Danny huffed. "You try getting some sleep with a hallucinogen crashing your system, Doc."
Yablonski nodded somberly. "We'll be just outside."
Sighing, Danny moved back to his chair, turning it so that he sat forward next to Steve. He leaned his elbows on his knees and let his head hang low.
Danny brought his head up at that. "Sorry? For what?"
"Putting you through this. Again."
"This one's not on you, babe," Danny replied, sitting up. "No kamikaze trip to Korea this go-round."
"You don't have to stay," Steve tried, looking away from Danny.
"I'm not going anywhere, Steve," Danny sighed. "You tellin' me you'd let me lie here all night? Ohana, right?"
"Right." Steve rolled his bottom lip against his teeth and Danny watched as he curled the blanket into a knot with his right fist.
"Talk to me." Danny practically whispered it, afraid to demand too much, too soon.
Steve closed his eyes and Danny saw a tremor sweep through him. He waited, holding as still as he could. Steve exhaled slowly.
"It was like a dream…but…it wasn't," Steve began. "Everything was like…inside out. Backwards. And, my dad," his voice cracked, trembling over the word, "my dad was there." He rolled his head on the pillow to look briefly at Danny before glancing away once more. "You saved him. Hess, he…," he swallowed hard, shaking his head. "He never killed him."
Danny's brows nearly met across the bridge of his nose as he listened, his throat closing, his breath trapped beneath the threshold. He felt his eyes burn as Steve's words slipped between them, thinking how much his friend wanted that scenario to be true. How much he missed his father, every day.
He thought of Matt, of the hole that had been drilled into his heart in that basement and how he knew that no matter how much time passed, that hole would never be filled.
"I'm sorry, Steve," he said quietly, sincerely.
Steve kept his gaze on the middle distance. "It worked, what he was doing. Interrogation tactics meant to disorient. I've seen it done before. Never did it myself, but…I've seen it work."
"Interrogation tactics?" Danny frowned. "What, like waterboarding?"
Steve nodded, distracted, completely missing Danny's reactive snarl and the angry thrust of his chin when he realized the extent of his friend's torture.
"There was this room. A white room. And he played movies. Of me and Mary as kids."
"How the hell did he get his hands on those?" Danny growled.
Steve continued, oblivious of Danny's question, his voice ragged and distant. "The drugs just…they fed on those images and I couldn't…I couldn't keep reminding myself…. I couldn't remember…which was real."
Danny leaned forward, this time both hands on Steve's arm, shaking it a little. "This is real, Steven. I'm real."
"You were real there, too." Steve closed his eyes, brows furrowing. "In a Hawaiian shirt."
Danny drew his head back. "What, like Magnum? Babe, right there. That's gotta tell you."
"You were happy, man."
Danny flinched a bit at that. In Steve's dream, he'd been happy. It was so like Steve to create an alternate reality where those he loved had happiness as well as himself. Steve was reckless and took chances, sure. But always with himself. Never with the people he loved. He'd forever be the shield protecting his ohana, taking the bullets, taking the hits.
This time, though, Steve needed someone to shield him.
"What did he want?" Danny asked.
"Information about his father," Steve sighed.
"You don't know anything about his father," Danny protested.
"I tried to tell him that," Steve replied, wincing and curling up slightly, his voice strained as he continued, "just like Shelburn. He wouldn't—ah, dammit—wouldn't believe me."
"Take it easy, Steve," Danny soothed as Steve's muscles slowly uncoiled. "You don't have to talk now, okay? Just rest."
"God dammit, Danny! I don't want to rest!" Steve barked, shaking off Danny's hand. He tried to roll to his side, but was tethered by the EKG leads and the IV tubing. "Get me—I need…."
"What? What are you doing? Just lie still."
"I need to get up." He glanced at the IV bags, then sighed. "Need to take a leak. Untie me," he sank back into the bed, his face lined with pain.
It took a little bit of coordination with the nurses and a mobile EKG monitor, but soon Steve was free to move about as long as he kept the IV pole and pump close. He refused to get up while the nurses were in the room, so as soon as they were alone again, Danny stood next to the bed, watching his friend breathe through an obvious wave of pain.
"You ready?" Danny asked.
"Just help me up; I got it from there," Steve grunted.
"Whatever you say, Superman."
Steve rolled to his side and slowly, slowly moved his legs off the side of the bed, pausing a moment to steady himself. His feet were bare, and Danny had a flash of memory from when they found him in Korea: his feet had been sliced up pretty bad and they'd been forced to run anyway. The loose-fitting scrub pants caught at the edge of the bed and Danny saw the bruises on Steve's ankles from where he'd broken free of the leg restraints.
He reached up his free hand and Danny gripped it tightly, putting his other hand under Steve's arm. Heaving upwards he managed to get Steve to his feet, but was shocked at the weight Steve immediately transferred his way as his body shook.
The low moan that seemed to echo directly from Steve's chest cracked something inside Danny's heart.
There was no reason this man should ever utter such a sound of misery and pain. Danny wanted to collect his friend against him and somehow transfer the strength Steve needed to get through the next few hours, but he knew Steve's pride would force him to fight through this on his own. Just as he always had.
As they rotated toward the bathroom, it struck Danny how alone Steve had been. All of his life, really.
His mother's faked death had shattered any sense of safety and family that Steve had ever known. The Navy offered him a brotherhood, but even that was fleeting. He'd gathered people around him in the wake of his father's death that he felt a tentative trust with, called them family, and fought to protect it with every breath.
But even his ohana wasn't enough to fill in the holes. If Matt's death had impacted Danny to such a degree he felt a piece of him was missing, Danny couldn't begin to imagine how Steve coped.
It must feel like constantly breathing through a sieve, he thought.
Even though Mary was alive, she was less family and more obligation. And his mother…. Danny shook his head. He didn't think he could ever be honest with Steve about how he felt regarding Doris McGarrett.
"I got this," Steve said, weakly pushing away from Danny and heading into the bathroom.
Danny waited outside, listening while trying not to listen. After several long minutes, the door pushed open a crack and Danny pulled it the rest of the way. Steve was leaning against the door frame, pale and sweaty, his breath rasping roughly through parted lips.
"You okay?" Danny asked.
"Just…." Steve closed his eyes, shaking his head. "Hate this."
"I know." Danny stepped up close, carefully wrapping an arm around Steve's side and slipping his friend's arm across his shoulder.
They'd no sooner stepped clear of the bathroom, though, when Steve suddenly pulled up short. Danny looked over, worried that he'd hit a bruise or a cracked rib when he realized that Steve was staring in horror at the corner of the room. Just as Danny checked to make sure they were indeed alone, he felt Steve begin to shake.
"What…? How is he here?"
Danny looked from Steve to the corner of the room and back.
"Hey, easy, Steve, okay?"
Steve was still staring, sweat gathering at his lashes. "He's dead, right?" He looked at Danny and the terror caught in his gaze stabbed into Danny's gut. Steve should not look like this. Should not. "You said he was dead."
Danny rotated until he was standing in front of Steve, one hand on his friend's waist, balancing him, the other against Steve's face, dragging his eyes down.
"Listen to me, okay? Listen," he pressed his thumb on Steve's cheek to grab his attention. "Whatever you're seeing over there, it isn't real, okay? It's not. It's the drugs. I'm real, Steve. Me. You feel me? You feel this? Huh?"
Steve blinked, nodding shakily. He looked over Danny's shoulder to the corner again and Danny shook his head, patting Steve's cheek.
"Uh-huh, not there. You look at me, Steven. Look at my eyes. Hey," he caught Steve a bit tighter at the waist as his friend staggered back, legs too shaky to hold him up much longer. Before Danny realized it, Steve's back was at the wall, his sweaty grip on the IV pole turning his knuckles white. "You're okay, all right? I'm not going anywhere. And I swear to God I'm real."
Steve's eyes folded again and his chin quivered, his body shuddering with pain and emotion.
His partner said Danny's name a thousand times a day, but never with that note of helplessness. Never with that plea.
Danny dropped his hand from Steve's face and caught him under the shoulder as Steve's knees buckled and they both slid to the floor, Danny crouched at Steve's side. The tears that Steve had swallowed earlier in the dry cleaner's returned and this time, his defenses were too weak to hold back the storm.
Danny shifted to his knees as Steve curled inward, his IV-tethered arm wrapping around his middle, his head dropping low. A keening sound slipped from him and Danny caught his breath. It was the same sound his heart had made when he knew Matt was gone, that he was too late. It was suffering that only those who've felt death stand in the room with them could truly know.
"It's okay, Steve," Danny whispered, wrapping his arms around Steve's shoulders, tucking the dark head against his shoulder and covering the side of Steve's bruised face with his other hand. "I gotcha."
"She knew," Steve whispered.
"Doris. She knew…she fuckin' knew."
Steve didn't pull away, didn't move in any way except to shake in a failed attempt at suppressing his emotions. Danny didn't press him; he simply waited. After everything he'd seen Steve absorb over the last four years – the physical pain, the mental battering, the emotional flaying – there had never been a time when the man had allowed it to penetrate his protective walls.
But the drugs, the torture, the mind games…they'd wrecked something in Steve and Danny would be damned if he sat back and forced the man to rebuild alone. Steve may have been abandoned – in one way or another – by every person who was supposed to love him, but he was not going to be let down by his ohana.
Danny tightened his grip, keeping Steve close.
"She raised him," Steve continued in that same broken voice. "Out of guilt. She killed his mother, so she raised him. And then she left him, too."
Danny closed his eyes, not quite able to process what Steve was telling him. But it didn't matter. Questions could come later. Right now, he didn't need to understand; he just needed to listen.
"She knew he tortured me in Korea, Danny. She knew and she…never said…not once, not one word…."
Danny nodded against the top of Steve's head. Joe had known. Doris had known. These people who claimed to love Steve. These people who were supposed to be his friends. How Steve trusted anyone anymore was a miracle.
Pulling in a breath, Steve pushed weakly against Danny, leaning against the wall, his head back, eyes on nothing. Danny waited, his hands now in his lap. He wanted Steve to look at him, to pin him with that infuriating McGarrett gaze that said he knew Danny wasn't going to like what he had to say but he was going to say it anyway.
When Steve finally spoke, his words were like a slap of cold on Danny's heated skin.
"He said we were brothers."
Steve blinked slowly, dazedly. "Raised by the same mother."
"And I killed him."
"Steven." Danny grabbed his shoulder and gripped it tightly, shaking Steve slightly until the other man finally looked in his direction, while not directly at him. "That is bull shit. And you know it. I know you know it."
"No, don't you Danny me." He was angry, and Steve was about to know it. "That bastard was nothing to you. You get me? Nothing. He was a bad guy, Steve, and we put the bad guys away. You did exactly what you were supposed to do. You survived."
"She treated him like a son," Steve protested.
"Yeah, well, that's not saying much," Danny growled. "Look what she did to you, huh? Look what she did. She faked her death and destroyed your life." Steve looked away and Danny reached up to grab his chin, forcing his eyes front once more. "She is not your family, Steven. Wo Fat is not your family. We are. Your ohana."
Steve flinched, frowning slightly and Danny saw something flicker to life in his friend's dazed eyes.
"I know you miss your dad, babe. I know. I know that has dug a hole in you so deep you could fall inside." Danny winced, forcing himself to say the next words. "I didn't really know what that meant until Matt…." He felt his lips press tight of their own accord, his body working instinctively to keep the tears at bay.
"You aren't alone, Steve."
Steve kept his eyes on Danny, holding his gaze for the first time since they found him. Danny pressed on.
"You're not. Family isn't just…blood. Not for us. It's something you choose, something you create." He gripped Steve's shoulder tightly. "You taught me that." Steve's eyes filled with tears and Danny worked to keep his voice steady. "Wo Fat is nothing 'cept a piece of history to you. I am your brother, okay? Me."
Steve huffed out a weak chuckle, his split lips tilting up in the shaky beginnings of a smile. "You're my brother," he repeated softly.
"You bet your ass, I am."
Steve's smile slipped, but his eyes stayed steady. "You're my brother," he repeated, his voice wavering with emotion.
Danny nodded, unable to speak, and gripped the back of Steve's neck, bringing his face closer so that their foreheads touched. Steve reached up to grab Danny's forearm, his eyes closing. They sat like that for several minutes until Danny cleared his throat.
"Think you can get back up on your bed? My knee's killing me."
Steve chuckled weakly at that and nodded. It took a few tries, but Danny got him to his feet, helping him back to bed. Once the IV pump had been repositioned, Danny dropped back onto the cushioned chair, leaning back and propping his feet up on the edge of Steve's bed. Glancing over, he saw that Steve was watching him, the bruising around his eyes turning their shade a brilliant blue.
"Thank you," Steve said softly.
"I would say anytime," Danny shrugged, "but I gotta be honest. I never want to do this again."
"Me neither." Steve's tired smile was a balm to Danny's heart. He wanted to see that smile again.
"You know I need you, Steve," Danny said in a soft, serious voice. "I complain a lot, I do. But…if it wasn't for you, there's so much I wouldn't…." He let his voice die off, not sure how to say what he was feeling. He looked over at Steve and saw his friend's eyes were on him once more. "And after Matt, I don't think…."
"You got me, man," Steve replied.
"I mean it."
"You got me."
"Okay." Danny nodded, dropping his head back against the chair's edge. "Okay, then."
The next several hours passed slowly, marred by Steve's occasional groans or flinches as pain wracked him and the drugs worked themselves out of his system. He didn't say much more, outside of a string of colorfully coordinated swear words as his body rebelled against his need for control. Danny watched with a tense frown as Steve's neck arched, his hands twisting in the sheets covering his legs, shook with residual chills or sweated through a spike in temperature.
Danny helped him soothe his dry lips and parched throat, kept up a steady stream of unimportant chatter to distract him, and gripped his hand when a particularly hard spasm shook through him. The medical staff checked in at regular intervals, adjusting the wraps keeping his cracked ribs supported, checked the bandages on his taser burns, but mostly left him alone to ride it out in relative quiet.
After roughly twelve hours, the read-outs on the EKG machine balanced and Doctor Yablonski administered a strong pain reliever. Danny watched as Steve's blue eyes grew dim, his lids blinking slower, slower, until they closed and the lines on his face finally eased into something that resembled peace.
"Thank God," Danny sighed, running a hand through his hair as he regarded his friend's relaxed form.
"Detective, it's important that you understand," Yablonski said, pausing in the doorway, "just getting those drugs out of his system isn't going to heal the damage they left behind."
"If you're saying he's going to still need help after this, Doc, don't worry," Danny rested his hands on his hips, looking at Steve. "I know."
"It's clear your friend is strong – stronger than most to have come through what he did," Yablonski continued. "But sometimes there are some wounds that run too deep for me to help."
Danny nodded tiredly. He knew that when Steve woke up, he'd have his walls back up and be ready to get out, get back to work. He could easily see how it would play out with Steve claiming to need the job to just feel normal. He knew Steve would want to push the whole experience aside, not spend too much time looking at it, not wanting any attention.
Danny planned on blowing that whole scenario right out of the water.
"He'll sleep for a while," Yablonski told him. "You can head out; it's okay to leave him alone now."
"He's not alone," Danny said softly, then glanced up at Yablonski. "I'll stay."
The door clicked behind Yablonski's exit. Danny sat back in the chair, propping his feet on the edge of the bed, and waited. It wasn't too much longer before the door opened again and Danny grinned without looking away from Steve's sleeping form.
"Hope you brought chairs," he said quietly. "'Cause you ain't getting this one."
"What do you take us for, brah?"
Kono's amused lilt hit his ears and he looked over his shoulder to see Chin following her with another chair and a container of three coffees. The cousins sat, Chin handing Danny his coffee. Lifting the cups in a silent toast, they settled in to wait until their boss, their friend, woke. The first thing Steve saw when he opened his eyes was his ohana; the smile that greeted them was pure Steve - their Steve, their friend.
And Danny finally took a breath.
a/n: Thanks for reading. I hope that it entertained you. Cookies are waiting if you recognized the name of the doctor.
Next up is a Musketeers fic, so if you're a fan, I would love to see you there.