Conversations with the Unconscious
Kono stood in shock as she watched Danny cuff his brother and read him his rights. Although she knew that Matt deserved it, her heart broke for Danny.
Chin watched the scene unfold in front of him and then walked over to Danny.
"You want me to take him down to the station?"
Danny looked over at Chin, grateful for the offer; he hadn't really thought past arresting Matt.
"Thanks Chin, can you just wait a few minutes though?"
"Yeah, of course Danny." Chin thought that Danny had wanted to talk to his brother but when Danny brushed past him with Matt, he knew why Danny needed a few minutes.
"Danny, where are we going?"
Danny ignored Matt as he opened the door to Steve's room.
Danny's heart sank as he walked Matt to the side of Steve's bed. He would never, ever, get used to seeing partner like this.
The minute Matt saw the condition Steve was in he looked away, Danny didn't miss this.
"Look at him…"
Matt kept staring at the ground.
" Look at him!" Danny all but growled out, quietly but filled with anger, as he looked at Matt.
Matt took his gaze off the floor and looked at Steve. He cringed at all the swelling and bruises that covered Steve's body. Matt choked up.
"Danny ...why are we here? I didn't think you would want me anywhere near Steve"
Danny swallowed the lump in his throat.
"I don't. But I wanted you to see what you had done, you are just as much to blame for Steve being in this bed, being in a coma, as Wo Fat is," Danny choked up.
"He has a ruptured spleen, broken ribs, a punctured lung, internal bleeding, infections from the gashes that were opened up on his back after he was... " Danny almost couldn't finish. "...after he was whipped"
"Oh my god...Danny," tears started to well up in Matt's eyes.
"This is what you did for money, and that's something you're going to have to live with...something Steve's going to have to live with…and something I'm going to have to live with..."
Danny grabbed Matt's arm and took him out of the room, not wanting Matt to spend another second in the same room as Steve.
As they walked out of the room, Chin and Kono still standing a few feet away, Matt turned around to face Danny, a tear falling down his face.
"Danny, I'm so sorry, if I had known that Wo Fat was going to do that to him, I – "
"You what Matt?" Danny interrupted raising his voice a little. "You wouldn't have set a trap for him, you wouldn't have betrayed him?"
Matt looked down at the ground, he knew no matter what he said, Danny was not going to believe him, hell he didn't even know if he believed himself.
"I don't believe that for one second. If I hadn't been there with Steve in that warehouse you would have never told us where he was or what happened, he would've gone missing and that would've been the last I ever saw of him. You're the reason my best friend is in that room fighting for his life," Danny was pointing at Steve's room with a shaky hand. "And that's something that I will never be able to forgive you for."
With that Danny walked away and headed towards the waiting room, with Kono right behind him, as Chin grabbed a hold of Matt's arm and escorted him out of the hospital.
Kono caught up with Danny and took a seat beside him.
"You okay?" Kono looked worriedly at Danny.
After a few seconds Danny looked up at her.
"No...but I will be when Steve wakes up," he gave Kono a forced smile. "Why don't you go see him, I'll wait out here."
"Okay," Kono smiled and gave Danny a quick shoulder squeeze and headed towards Steve's room.
Kono opened the door, and just like Danny had, she froze the minute she saw Steve. Her eyes welled up with tears as a few escaped and fell down her face.
She sat down and held his hand in hers.
"Hey Boss...you really scared us you know." It felt wrong not hearing Steve say anything back to her.
"We're all really worried about you, we need you to fight okay, you need to come back to us, who are we without our bad-ass leader?" She smiled.
"Besides, with you not in action you know Danny is going to drive his car...you don't want that do you?" Kono's laugh quickly wiped off her face as she looked up at Steve's bruised face. She went silent for a few seconds.
"I know what Wo Fat did to you was beyond horrible, but you need to fight your way back to us, if not for yourself then for the rest of us, especially Danny," Kono wasn't sure if Steve could even here her, but on the off chance that he could, she knew what to say to make Steve fight to live.
"I'm worried about Danny... I'm afraid that if you go, a part of Danny is going to go with you and we'll lose you both," Kono started to cry finally releasing the stress and anxiety of the last few days.
For the next ten minutes she sat in his room quietly, just holding his hand reassuring him that she was there for him, that they were all there for him.
Danny was sitting in one of the waiting room chairs, leaning back with his head against the wall. How did everything get so messed up?
He thought back to a few months ago when Matt was fleeing the country on a private jet. Matt had gotten away that time because Danny had let him. If only he had shot him in the shoulder or the leg, nowhere vital but just enough to keep him from boarding that plane, all of this could have been prevented.
At the time, shooting his brother was not an option, the thought of hurting Matt was never an option, but now, looking at Steve, he would give anything to go back in time. He would take Matt having a superficial gunshot wound over Steve's current condition any day.
He thought back to that night, how Steve had lied to the feds so that he could go find his brother before the feds did. Steve had lied for Danny, lied for Matt. That was Steve; there was nothing he wouldn't do for the people he loved. Danny had never in his life met anyone as loyal as Steve, and the fact that people used that to their advantage created a deep seeded fury within Danny.
There were seven times in Danny's life that he could remember being completely and utterly terrified, and Steve claimed three of those spots. There was the time when he was a kid and his childhood best friend drowned, when his partner was killed, when Grace was kidnapped, and when Rachel threatened to fight for full custody of Grace. Then there was the time when Steve was set up by Jenna and captured by Wo Fat in North Korea, when Steve was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and their current situation with Steve, Matt, and Wo Fat.
It terrified him that he had come so close to losing Steve three times in the four years that he had known him, almost losing someone three times throughout their life was terrifying enough, but three times in four years...Danny was scared to think of how high that number would go in the years to come...if Steve even makes it past this one.
Danny immediately cursed himself; he knew he had to stay positive.
As Danny was deep in thought he felt his phone vibrating. He took his phone out of his pocket and checked the caller ID, Grace.
"Hey monkey," Danny tried to steady his voice.
"Hi Danno! Danno, Amber and I were watching the news and they said that you found Uncle Steve, is that true?"
Danny smiled, of course Grace would call him the minute she heard anything about her Uncle Steve, the kid worshipped him.
"Yeah monkey, we found him."
Grace went quiet for a few seconds.
"Is Uncle Steve going to be okay Danno?"
Grace's voice broke Danny's heart, there was so much worry, so much love, laced in that question.
"I hope so monkey, we don't know yet, but I hope so." Danny didn't want to promise her something that may not be true.
"I told you you would find him Danno, didn't I?" You could almost hear the smile on Grace's face.
"You sure did monkey."
Grace paused as if considering whether she should ask her next question.
"Can I come see Uncle Steve? I want to let him know that I'm there, I want to tell him that I want him to wake up,"
Danny's heart broke. He wanted to say yes, he wanted to let her come but he didn't want her to see Steve like this, hooked up to all these machines.
"Maybe in a few days Monkey, Uncle Steve is really sick right now and the doctors need to keep an eye on him so not a lot of people can come see him right now."
Grace seemed to be contemplating this as she was quiet on the other end.
"Okay Danno, I'm glad that you're there with Uncle Steve. I don't want him to be alone, he'll get lonely," Danny choked up as tears sprung to his eyes. His heart melted whenever he thought about how attached Grace was to Steve, and how much she loved him.
When Steve and Danny had first become partners, it shocked Danny how comfortable Grace was around Steve and how he instantly became an important part of her life. But the more he got to know Steve, the more he understood why Grace got so attached to Steve so quickly.
"Of course monkey, I would never think of leaving Uncle Steve alone in the hospital," Danny assured Grace.
"I know Danno, Uncle Steve is our family, and you never leave family," a tear fell down Danny's cheek; he prayed that when Steve finally woke up he would know that everything Grace was saying was true. Danny wanted to say something back but he couldn't find the words.
"Okay Danno, Amber says I have to sleep now, she wants to talk to you."
"I love you monkey, sweet dreams," Danny said trying to steady his voice again.
"Love you too Danno!" Danny heard Grace passing the phone to Amber.
"Hey Jersey, how you holding up?"
It was nice to hear her voice.
Danny took a deep breath.
"He's stable, they have him in a medically induced coma to reduce the swelling in his brain, and he has a laundry list of injuries; doc said the next 48 hours are critical,"
"You have to stay positive Danny, I know everything seems unbearable right now, but Steve needs you to stay positive, he's going to pull through!"
Danny was quiet for a few seconds, he knew Amber was right but it was easier said than done.
"Yeah...hey so I'm not going to be home for a few days, I can't leave Steve. I know you've already done more than I could ever repay you for, but do you think you could stay with Grace for the next few days?"
"You don't need to ask Danny, I was already planning on it,"
"Of course you were," he smiled into the phone. She truly was an angel.
Danny looked up and saw Kono walking towards him.
"Hey babe, I'm going to get going, I'll call you tomorrow okay?"
"Sure thing Jersey, take care of yourself, and Steve"
"I will, goodnight."
Danny hung up the phone just as Kono came up beside him.
"Hey Danny, I'm going to head back to headquarters and start on the paperwork, are you going to be okay here by yourself?"
"Yeah, thanks Kono, I'm just going to go sit with Steve"
"Okay," Kono smiled at Danny. "Call me if there's any change okay?"
And with that Kono turned around and headed out the hospital.
Danny slowly opened the door to Steve's room and took a seat next to Steve once again. He looked at the slow rise and fall of Steve's chest and he remembered the doctor saying that Steve had flat-lined twice on the table.
Danny's eyes filled with tears. Steve had died...twice.
He grabbed a hold of Steve's hand and held it tight, needing the touch.
Danny thought back to when he and Steve first met and how he couldn't stand Steve. He remembered their first, and only, physical altercation when he punched Steve and told him he didn't like him.
Danny laughed thinking about it. How times had changed.
Steve had quickly grown on Danny. He had learned early on that Steve was the way he was because of the cards life had dealt him. He suffered through tragedies that no kid should ever have to endure and by the time he had met Danny he had already experienced more pain and loss than most people go through in a lifetime.
Despite any differences in opinions on policing, love, and life in general, Danny had known within days of meeting Steve that Steve had one of the biggest hearts he had ever seen, and that his generosity and love had no bounds.
He also knew all the pain Steve was harboring inside. He could see through the stoic calm demeanor, and saw Steve for who he was outside of a Navy SEAL, a man who had lost his childhood and innocence way too early on in life.
Danny took a shaky breath and looked at the ground. He didn't really know what to do, he felt silly just sitting in the room doing nothing so he decided to just talk to Steve. He had a lot of things that he'd always wanted to tell Steve but never did because he never thought there was a rush. As he looked at Steve he figured now was as good a time as any.
"You know, I've never really had a best friend before you. I had friends of course, close friends even, but never one like you, never one who meant as much as you do. Do you remember when you came into my office and gave me a room card to the Kahala hotel. You knew that I had Grace for the weekend so you paid for two nights there for her and I. We had only known each other a few days at that point. I think that was when I realized who you really were, underneath the crazy super ninja cape, you were a big softy, with a massively ginormous heart," Danny smiled as he looked up at Steve.
"You have been the BEST uncle I could have ever asked for for Grace, she worships the ground you walk on. You know if anything ever happened to Rachel and me, I would want Grace to stay with you, I don't think there is anyone I would trust more with my daughter's life than you," Danny paused for a second. "She really wants to see you; she asked me just a few minutes ago if she could come see her Uncle Steve. As much as I want to let her, I don't want her seeing you like this; I'm worried that it will upset her. You're practically invincible to her, and I want to keep it that way."
Danny stood up and walked over the window and looked out at the streets below. He then turned around and sat on the window ledge as he looked at Steve.
"I would give anything to trade places with you, to have you be okay and not have had to go through what you went through," Danny's eyes welled up with tears again. Danny started to look up to the ceiling to keep the tears from falling when the machines in Steve's room started to beep.
In a matter of seconds doctors and nurses were racing into the room. Danny pushed himself off the window ledge….Steve…
No one seemed to notice Danny standing by the window.
"His BP is dropping!" One of nurses yelled.
"WE NEED A CRASH CART IN HERE!" Steve's doctor was in the room now and noticed Danny.
"Detective Williams, we need you to leave."
Danny couldn't move, he felt like his feet were glued to the floor.
"Now Detective Williams!"
The doctor's harsh voice finally broke through to Danny as he took the painstaking walk towards the door as nurses and doctors whizzed past him.
Danny stood at the door as he watched the chaotic and heartbreaking scene unfold right in front of him.
Steve was flat-lining…again.