The next morning Chin showed up alone and Steve actually found himself feeling a little disappointed that Danny wasn't there.
"Hey Chin, where's Kono and Danny?"
"They had to go meet up with Max for a case, so just me this morning, hope you're not too disappointed," Chin joked.
"Of course not," Steve smiled.
"How you feeling brah," Chin sat down in the chair beside Steve's bed.
"I'm good, feeling better each day, how's work been?"
"It's been good, a little busy, we have a few cases right now but nothing we can't handle," Chin smiled and then went quiet as if he was thinking about something. Steve didn't miss this.
"Something on your mind Chin?" Steve looked intently at Chin knowing there was something he wanted to talk about.
Chin took a moment and then looked up at Steve.
"Uh...yeah...Steve what's going on with you and Danny?" Chin knew but he wanted to hear it in Steve's own words.
Steve went quiet, and Chin waited patiently knowing that Steve was trying to collect his thoughts.
"I don't know Chin, some stuff happened in that cellar when Wo Fat had drugged me, well at least I thought certain things happened and even though I know now that they didn't, that Danny wasn't actually there, I just..." Steve didn't know how to explain this to Chin, how do you explain a feeling that you can't quite understand yourself? How was he supposed to explain that he was pushing Danny away for something Danny didn't even do?
"And you just can't understand why you're still hurting over something you hallucinated," Chin finished his sentence for him.
Steve looked at Chin, thankful that he seemed to understand.
"Yeah...I've heard what mescaline can do to someone, that's some nasty stuff," Chin paused and then looked at Steve.
"I can't tell you how sorry I am for everything that you had to go through, from being set up again to what Wo Fat did to you...I can't even imagine what that must have been like," Chin shook his head and then continued.
"I also don't know what it is that you hallucinated down in that cellar, what you thought "Danny" had said to you, but Steve, man Danny was a mess the entire time you were missing. The only other time we had seen him like that was when Gracie was kidnapped."
Steve was listening intently.
"Leaving you in that warehouse killed him. He wasn't sleeping at all, he practically lived at the office, working around the clock. We had a lot of leads but none of them ever panned out, except the last one of course. And every time one of those leads fell through, Danny spiralled. I was honestly worried that if we didn't find you, we would've lost him too. He had changed while you were gone, he was so different, it was almost like he was a robot." Chin cringed as he thought about Danny's state of mind a few days ago.
"And when we found you, and you were alive, I could almost see the weight being lifted off of Danny. And at the hospital he wouldn't leave your side the entire time you were in a coma."
"Yeah, Dr. Connor had mentioned that yesterday," Steve gave Chin a small smile.
"Yeah, he practically lived here, sleeping in this chair every night, talking to you all day, hoping he could get through to you somehow. I think the staff here were scared to even suggest to him that he go home and sleep," Chin laughed and Steve followed suit. He could imagine a worried Danny; you can't tell a worried Danny what to do. Steve then looked up at the ceiling, letting everything that Chin was saying sink in. Steve then realized that he never really got the details on how they had found him.
"Chin, how did you guys find me? I mean I know the tip was from Matt's friend in prison but what happened when you got to the house?"
Chin smiled knowing his answer to this question would further prove to Steve how connected him and Danny were, how strong their friendship was.
Chin started by explaining to Steve how Danny was the reason that they actually found him.
"We were all ready to leave, we were sure that you weren't there. We had checked every room, every inch of that house, or so we thought. Danny wouldn't leave though, he was so sure that you were there. At first we all thought that he was just grabbing onto straws because that was the first solid lead we had received, but we soon realized how wrong we were. I don't know how he knew Steve, it was like he felt you there, it was the strangest thing man, I can't even explain it. We were all telling Danny that it was time to go, hell even I was getting a little frustrated at his stubbornness and his refusal to not leave that place. But man is it a good thing your partner is as stubborn as he is. Danny realized that one of the floor board he was stepping on was hollow. When we lifted it up and the other boards around it, we found the pathway leading to the room where you were being held. If it wasn't for Danny, we would've left that house and they could've moved you and we would've never found you."
Steve sat there, his heart racing; Danny was the reason he was alive.
Steve had no idea that what he had just heard would be nothing compared to the next few things Chin was about to tell him.
"He arrested Matt you know..." Chin looked at Steve and smiled at Steve's reaction, it was the reaction he was hoping to see.
Steve's eyes went big.
"Yeah, Danny, Lou, and I got here while you were still in surgery. Once you were out Danny was the first to see you and since you were only allowed one visitor at the time Kono and I went to grab coffee. When we got back he was putting Matt in handcuffs and reading him his rights."
Steve was speechless; never in a million years would he have thought that Danny would arrest his own brother. He couldn't imagine how painful that must have felt.
Chin could see that Steve was at a loss for words and decided to continue.
"Danny was stone cold, he felt no remorse for Matt, didn't care what Matt had to say, all he cared about was you. He had just come out of your room and I guess seeing you hooked up to all those machines, bruised and battered just pushed him over the edge. After that I took Matt to the precinct and Danny stayed here with you...I never thought I would say this, didn't think I would ever believe it, but I actually think Danny hates Matt, I don't think he's ever going to be able to forgive him for what he did to you."
Chin looked at Steve hoping that all of this was sinking in, that all of this information would make Steve see that those hallucinations had meant nothing, that they were just cruel effects of the drug that in no way reflected his and Danny's relationship. Chin smiled as he could see that he was getting through to Steve.
"I can't believe he arrested him, that's his baby brother," Steve was still shocked.
"You're his brother too Steve, don't ever forget that," Chin smiled, and then decided to tell Steve the biggest news of all.
"There's more Steve..."
Steve looked at Chin and was sure that whatever Chin was about to say couldn't top what he just heard.
He was about to find out how very wrong he was.
"Danny was the one who killed Wo Fat..."
Steve was sure his heart was about to beat out of his chest. He looked away from Chin trying to calm his racing heart, his mind spinning. He wanted to say something, anything, but nothing came out. Chin continued.
"As the paramedics were taking you away Danny saw Wo Fat near the house, we went back in to look for him and Danny found him in the cellar...well actually he found Danny."
Steve's heart stopped for a second.
"Is that how Danny got that nasty black eye?"
"Yeah, from what I heard the two of them exchanged blows back and forth and then Wo Fat managed to get Danny on his back and had his gun aimed at his head."
That's not what Steve wanted to hear, the thought of Wo Fat coming even close to killing Danny...
Chin could see the worry on Steve's face and decided he should finish his story quickly.
"But Danny managed to grab his gun in time and put two bullets in Wo Fat's head. By the time I ran down I saw Wo Fat on the ground with a pool of blood around him," Chin smiled as he remembered the scene.
Steve was speechless yet again. Danny had killed Wo Fat. Danny had made sure that Wo Fat would never torture him again, never hurt him or anyone he loved, ever again. Steve felt numb; he couldn't think straight and suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired.
Chin seemed to pick up on this.
"I know it's a lot to process Steve, and I'm sorry to lay it all on you at once. You just really needed to know what this last week has been like for Danny, I know it was hell for you and like I said I can't imagine what you went through, but I know what Danny went through. Kono and I witnessed it firsthand. He needs you just as much as you need him, you both need to heal from this, and you need each other to do it." Chin stood up off the chair.
"Rest up brah, I'll come by after shift okay. And Steve...just think about what I said okay."
Steve just looked up at Chin, still unable to speak.
As he watched Chin walk away, Steve was suddenly overcome by an overwhelming sense of guilt.
Danny had been to hell and back since Steve had been kidnapped. Danny had had to make the heart wrenching choice between saving his baby brother and saving Steve and deal with the aftermath of that choice, he had arrested his own brother, killed Wo Fat, saved Steve, watched Steve flat-line, watched him be revived, and then finally when everything was said and done, Steve had put the nail in his coffin by rejecting him for something he didn't even do.
Steve shook his head, what had he done...
It was around 6:30pm, Steve had just finished eating his dinner and was waiting for his team to come by after shift like they normally did.
Steve's conversation with Chin earlier on in the day was still playing through his mind. He was so angry at himself for allowing Wo Fat to continue ruining his life, even after he was dead. He was sick of it and had decided right when Chin left that he needed to talk to Danny, he needed to apologize and fix things. He would work through his hallucinations but he would do it with his best friend by his side.
Steve leaned his head back on the pillow, for the first time since he woke up he was truly and honestly excited to see Danny. The waiting was killing him so he thought he would take a nap until they came.
As Steve began to close his eyes a sudden onslaught of memories hit him. Steve was back in the cellar as "Danny" was saying those horrible things to him. Steve cringed; he was really hoping that now that he had accepted that it wasn't Danny, that these memories wouldn't affect him as much. The words cut deep, just like the first time he heard them, but as the memories kept coming and as "Danny" kept talking, Steve started to notice something; "Danny" wasn't Danny after all. His face started to change and after a few seconds Steve realized that he was staring at Wo Fat, not Danny.
Steve's eyes snapped open and he was breathing heavy.
It was Wo Fat.
Bit by bit that entire memory was being pieced back together and Steve was now staring at Wo Fat saying all those horrible things to him, not Danny. He couldn't believe that he had never thought of that before. Of course Wo Fat would pretend to be Danny, it all made sense now.
As much as Steve hated Wo Fat for pretending to be Danny, he was filled with a sudden sense of overflowing joy; he wasn't completely losing it, he didn't have to try and get over the fact that he heard "Danny" say all those terrible things to him, he didn't have to try and figure out why he hallucinated Danny betraying him and saying the things he said, he knew why now.
He had wanted Danny there, had wanted Danny to save him so he imagined him in that cellar. Wo Fat took advantage of that and turned something good into something horrible. The minute he heard Steve say Danny's name he knew how to use the situation to his advantage, he knew the best way to hurt Steve.
Steve's heart was racing, he needed to call Danny, he needed to hear his voice, needed to apologize for everything.
As Steve reached over to the table to pick up his phone, he heard the door to his room open, and sure enough there he was; his partner, his best friend, his brother.
"Danny..." Steve had so much to say right before Danny had walked in but in that moment with Danny standing right in front of him, words seemed to fail him.
Danny saw Steve's shocked expression and assumed that Steve was unhappy to see him, so he rushed to give him an explanation.
"Hey, sorry for just showing up without letting you know, I wasn't going to come but there's someone here who really wants to see you," Danny stepped aside as Grace went running towards Steve.
Steve had never seen the little girl run so fast and he couldn't help the smile that crept onto his face.
"Hey Gracie, boy is it good to see you!"
Grace carefully climbed up onto Steve's bed as Steve scooched over.
"Monkey be careful, Uncle Steve has a lot of wires and..."
"It's okay Danno, I'm good" Steve smiled at him.
Danny was taken aback by that endearing nickname, that was solely meant to be used by Steve and Grace, that he didn't know what to say. Steve had clearly just slipped up and said it without thinking. Yeah...that must have been it.
"Uh, I'm going to go grab some food, I'll come get Grace in a little bit," Danny was out the door before Steve could tell him to stay.
Steve sighed but figured when Danny came back he could talk to him then. He turned all his attention to the beautiful little girl sitting cross legged beside him.
"How do you feel Uncle Steve?"
"A lot better Gracie, especially now that you're here."
"You know Grace, the doctors told me that I woke up a few minutes after you spoke to me on the phone, they said that hearing your voice got through to me and made me wake up."
Steve smiled as the little girl's eyes went wide.
"I helped you get better Uncle Steve?"
"You sure did baby, you helped me wake up, and I'll find a way to re-pay you for that," he smiled as he took Grace's hand in his.
"Can we go to the aquarium and get ice cream?"
"We can do anything you want Gracie"
Grace smiled and then looked at her Uncle Steve's hand, her face suddenly going solemn.
"I was really scared Uncle Steve," she looked up at Steve with tears in her eyes and so much pain that it took Steve's breath away.
"First you went missing, and I kept telling Danno that it would be okay, that he was going to find you because Danno always finds you."
Steve smiled, Danny did always manage to find him.
"And then Danno found you but you were hurt really bad and Danno said you were in a coma. I didn't know what that meant and I didn't want to ask Danno because he seemed so sad so I googled it."
Steve smiled again. "You googled it huh?"
"Yeap! And it was scary, but I kept telling Danno that you would wake up because I just knew you would Uncle Steve, I knew you wouldn't leave me or Danno, because we're you're family and you knew how sad we would be if you didn't wake up."
Steve's eyes instantly filled with tears. They were his family; Danny and Grace were everything to him. As he looked at Grace he saw how much she truly loved him and he knew without a shadow of a doubt that he loved Grace as much as he would if she were his own.
Grace spent the next few minutes talking to Steve about how worried she was but how she tried to be brave. She then filled him in on school and everything that had been happening for the last week. Finally, she had one last thing to talk to her Uncle Steve about.
"Can I tell you a secret Uncle Steve, but you have to promise not to tell Danno," this got Steve's attention.
"Of course Gracie, you can tell me anything."
Grace looked at her hands and then looked at Steve.
"When you went missing, Danno didn't come home for a few days, but then finally he did come home one day and when he fell asleep I heard him screaming in the living room, he was having a nightmare about you Uncle Steve."
Steve swallowed the lump in his throat.
"I woke up and went to talk to him and let him know that you were going to be okay and that Danno would find you. And then Danno told me I should go to bed so I told him I would but I didn't."
"How come Gracie?"
Grace's eyes filled with tears and Steve knew this was going to be bad.
"After I closed my bedroom door I heard the bathroom door closing and knew that Danno had gone in there so I came back out."
Grace paused, almost as if she was composing herself to tell Steve the next part.
"I tip-toed over to the bathroom and I heard Danno crying and not just a little cry, it was the loud really sad kind. I had only heard him cry once before and that was when him and mommy got a divorce, but he didn't cry as much then as he did this time around. It made me really sad Uncle Steve, Danno was really really sad, he couldn't stop crying."
Steve felt numb, he knew he should say something to make Grace feel better but he couldn't speak. It broke his heart to think of Danny like that, and the guilt he felt at avoiding Danny the last few days multiplied tenfold. He couldn't believe that, drugged or not, he would ever doubt how much Danny loved him. He felt like the biggest ass in the world for making Danny feel like he had done something wrong when he had done everything right. No one had ever loved him or cared about him the way that Danny did, outside of his immediate family (but even they were questionable at times). And despite everything he had gone through, Danny had gone through much worse over the last week and Steve was piling on more hurt and more pain, when he should have been helping Danny get through it all.
Steve zoned back in when he heard Grace speaking.
"I didn't want him to know I was listening, I didn't want him to feel embarrassed, so I went back into my bedroom before Danno came out. I looked at the clock though and I stayed awake until I heard Danno open the bathroom door, he was in there for an hour Uncle Steve."
Steve's heart broke for Danny and Grace.
"Gracie, I'm so sorry that you and Danno had to go through that," he pulled her close to him and hugged her against his chest. She snuggled in, wanting to be consoled by her Uncle Steve.
"And I'm sorry for everything that happened to you Uncle Steve; it must have been really scary."
Steve smiled. For a little girl Grace was mature beyond her years and the size of her heart took his breath away, she had so much love inside of her.
"It was scary Gracie, but you were right, Danno found me and he brought me back home to you and him; my family," he kissed the top of Grace's head.
"I love you so much Uncle Steve, just like I love Danno."
Steve's eyes filled with tears.
"I love you too Gracie, so much."
As the two of them stayed snuggled in Steve's bed, neither of them had realized that Danny had been standing outside the room the entire time. Danny never had to get food; he just didn't want to make Steve feel uncomfortable by staying in the room.
Danny had tears in his eyes from everything Grace had said. She loved Steve so much. He also couldn't believe that she had been awake the entire time he was crying, worried about him. When had his little girl grown up so much. He felt horrible that she had to witness that and even more horrible that she had to be the strong one; that was Danny's job. He also couldn't believe what a big heart she had; Grace definitely was his greatest accomplishment in life.
Danny had heard everything that Steve had said too, how him and Grace were his family. As much as he wanted to believe it he was sure that Steve was only saying that to make Grace happy, to not break Grace's heart.
Danny took a deep breath and walked into the room.
"Hey..." he saw that both of them had their eyes closed, and if he hadn't been standing outside the door this entire time he would've thought for sure that they were sleeping.
"Hey Danny..." Steve opened his eyes first.
"Monkey we should probably get going, Uncle Steve needs to rest okay."
Grace pouted but agreed.
"Okay Danno," she then turned to Steve, "can I come see you tomorrow Uncle Steve?"
"You better!" Steve hugged her tightly.
Danny tried to control the tightness in his chest.
Grace got off the bed slowly and walked towards Danny. Danny looked at Steve.
"I'll bring her by tomorrow then," Danny forced a smile as he turned towards the door. He hated how formal things had gotten between him and Steve.
Steve didn't want Danny to leave.
Danny turned around confused as to why Steve was even talking to him.
"Uh...is Amber at your place?"
Danny looked at Steve, not knowing where this was going.
"Good...uh, maybe you could drop Grace off and come back? It gets pretty lonely here at night and I heard you were great at keeping me company when I first got here," Steve smiled, not knowing what kind of reaction he would get out of Danny.
Danny just stood there and stared at Steve. He couldn't be hearing correctly, was he hallucinating too?
"Danno, you have to stay, remember we said we never leave family, and Uncle Steve is our family."
Danny looked down at Grace and smiled still confused as to what Steve was asking him. It was a pretty simple question but why was Steve asking him to stay when he had not wanted anything to do with Danny for the last few days, what had changed?
"So this is what that moment must feel like when you propose to someone and you're waiting for their answer," Steve joked.
Why is he joking around, what the hell is going on?
Steve could see that he wasn't getting through to Danny and he couldn't blame him, after everything that had happened and after Steve had kept pushing him away. But he had to get through to him; he needed to talk to Danny.
That did it. That snapped Danny out of his trance. Steve was asking him to come back, to spend time with him.
"Yeah, of course Steve...uh...I'll drop Gracie off, grab a change of clothes and head back here,"
"Great," Steve smiled at him.
"Yeah...uh...i'll see you in a little bit,"
"Sounds good Danno, see you soon,"
With that Danny turned around and headed out of Steve's room. For the first time in a week, Danny was able to breathe and he felt the vice grip around his heart begin to loosen.
Maybe finding their way back to each other wasn't going to take as long as Danny had thought.