Every ounce of Danny wanted to turn around and walk back to Steve, each step he took towards the doors of the warehouse felt like a punch in the gut. Danny barely even noticed Matt dragging him outside, barely noticed the two armed guards who were standing right outside the doors waiting to escort them to their car, barely noticed that his own feet were even moving, everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, until he heard Steve's screams from inside the warehouse.
Danny's entire body froze in horror, the sound of Steve's pain ringing in his ear, even after it had stopped. What are they doing to him. His heart had dropped down to his stomach.
Danny hadn't realized he stopped until he felt one of Wo Fat's men nudge him in the back with his machine gun.
"Try anything and you'll get a bullet in the head so fast, and then your brother's next." Wo Fat's goon shoved Danny a little harder towards the car.
But how could he walk away, how could he be a mere few metres away from Steve and not be able to help him, how could he let Wo Fat torture him.
"Danny c'mon, these guys will kill us if we don't go."
His brother, his stupid, idiotic, selfish, poor excuse for a man, brother.
Matt literally had to drag Danny all the way to the car as the two men stood a few feet behind with their guns aimed at the brothers. Matt was right, if they didn't leave now Wo Fat's men would shoot them right then and there, which would defeat the whole purpose of abandoning Steve in the first place. Cause that's what Danny had done, abandoned Steve to save Matt.
Next, Danny did the hardest thing he had to do, he got in his car and started driving away, away from Steve – his partner, his best friend.
Danny immediately pulled out his cell phone and called HPD. The few seconds it took for the dispatcher to pick up the phone felt like an eternity, finally someone answered.
"I need all available units at the abandoned warehouse off the dirt road off Kalahana road, Commander McGarrett of the Five-O task force is being held captive and tortured, hurry!" Danny's voice was in a panic.
Once he got the confirmation that HPD was on the way, he made the hard call to Chin and Kono.
"Hey Danny, what's going on?" Chin picked up.
"Chin, you and Kono need to get to the abandoned warehouse off the dirt road off Kalahana road, Wo Fat has Steve."
Danny knew that was all he had to say to get the cousins here in a heartbeat no questions asked.
"We're on our way Danny!"
Danny hung up the phone and pulled over to the side of the road. It would take HPD at least 10 minutes to get there and as much as he wanted to turn around and go back to that warehouse he knew he was out-manned and out-gunned. Him going back alone would only get himself and Steve killed, he needed back up. He knew this was going to be the longest 10 minutes of his life, and he prayed that by the time HPD came, Steve was still breathing.
Danny felt numb, he knew he was in shock and the only thing keeping him going was adrenaline. His hands were wrapped so tightly around the steering wheel that his knuckles were turning white, he closed his eyes tight as he clenched his teeth. Everything that had just happened in the warehouse was playing through his head, he kept replaying that moment where Wo Fat told them that Matt had lured Steve there.
Danny didn't notice Matt looking at him, he actually forgot that Matt was even in the car until...
"Danny... I need you to know how sorry I am"
How sorry he is. How sorry he is?!
Danny had a fuse, everyone knew it, and it usually only ever blew when a case involved a child. He now realized it blew when it involved his best friend as well.
Danny didn't want to open his mouth; he didn't want to look at Matt, not because he didn't have anything to say, but because he was worried about what he would say. His hatred for his little brother was consuming every fiber of his being at the moment, and he really hoped Matt would get the hint and not say another word.
"DON'T" Danny's voice was cold and angry.
"I know you're mad at me but – " Matt gets cut off mid sentence as Danny's head snaps towards him.
If looks could kill...
"Mad Matt...you think I'm mad...you think you know how I feel?" Danny's voice is chilling, Matt has never, ever, seen Danny like this, never heard Danny like this.
Matt wished he had kept his mouth shut.
"MAD DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO CUT IT!" Danny slammed his hand on the steering wheel. "YOU JUST WALKED MY PARTNER INTO A TRAP, YOU MADE ME LEAVE HIM THERE...ALONE...IN THE HANDS OF A KILLER, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT HE WILL DO TO STEVE...DO YOU EVEN CARE!"
Danny felt like he could barely breathe, he had never been this angry in his life.
"Danny I didn't know..." Matt looked at the ground, what had he done.
"What did you just say?" Danny must have heard him wrong. "You didn't know what Matt? Huh? You didn't know that you were setting a trap for Steve? Cause it sure seems like you knew!"
"No...I mean...I just...I didn't know that he wanted Steve dead"
Danny's eyes went wide.
"What the hell did you think he wanted from Steve?" Be very careful what you say here Matt.
Matt was scared to speak, he was scared to say another word to Danny, but he knew he had to explain himself.
"I just thought that...I don't know...maybe he wanted to talk to Steve privately," Matt knew how stupid that sounded, and the look on Danny's face told him that that was the wrong thing to say.
"Talk...talk," Danny let out a depressing laugh as he shook his head. "So let me get this straight, you thought that Wo Fat gave you $5 MILLION DOLLARS so that you could arrange a little meeting between him and Steve so that they could talk..."
Danny was livid, how dumb did Matt think he was.
"You expect me to believe that Matt? Huh? Do you honest to god think I am that STUPID to believe that? Don't you dare sit there and lie to my face. You knew Wo Fat wanted more with Steve, you knew and you didn't care as long as you got your money. That's why you told Steve to meet you there alone isn't it? So no one would find him, so I wouldn't know where to even start looking for him? You would've just stood by and let me lose my mind trying to find him, wouldn't you?" Danny's voice had gone almost monotone.
Matt looked to his feet as he clasped his trembling hands together.
"WOULDN'T YOU!" Danny was losing control, he could feel it.
"Yeah..." A tear slipped down Matt's face.
Danny shook his head, trying to keep his own tears at bay.
"And all of this for money..." Danny started to deflate. His anger started to turn to heart break.
"You know what the saddest part about all this is, if you had just told Steve the truth, told him how badly you needed the money, he would've done anything, and I mean anything to help you. He would've just called in his contacts, called anybody and everybody to make sure you were taken care of and your debts were paid, cause that's the kind of guy Steve is."
Danny just sat there and let that thought sink in. He had never in his life met anyone as selfless and generous as Steve. He thought back to when he and Steve first met and Steve paid for 3 nights at the Kahala hotel so that Danny could take grace there and she could swim with the Dolphins. He knew that day that Steve was special, that he wasn't like anyone that Danny had ever met before, and Steve had proved his capacity to love, and show love, over and over again. Sadly that same love was what people took advantage of, people like Jenny Kay, people like his brother.
Danny and Matt didn't speak for the remainder of the time they were waiting for HPD to arrive. Danny had nothing left to say to Matt and Matt was too scared to say anything more to Danny. He truly honestly was sorry and if he could do it over again he would've gone to Steve and Danny for help, but it was too late for that now, he had done what he had done and Steve was paying the price. He knew Danny was never going to forgive him for this, and in a way that was worse than the possibility of being killed for not paying his debts. But Danny didn't need to hear any of this right now, not that he would listen even if Matt wanted to tell him.
As soon as Danny saw the HPD cars approaching, he started his car up and led them straight to the warehouse.
HPD had brought in Grover and his team and as they approached the warehouse the SWAT team, along with HPD officers, Danny, Chin, and Kono, took their positions. Danny took a deep breath as he tried to prepare himself for what he might see once they breached those doors.
They followed Grover's signals and barged into the warehouse ready to take out anyone and everyone in their way.
As they made their way into the warehouse, Danny's heart sank...the warehouse was empty.
Steve was gone.
SWAT took the normal precautions and checked every door and room in the warehouse but Danny knew it was no use. Next to finding Steve dead, this was his biggest fear, that by the time he came with back up Wo Fat would have moved Steve somewhere else.
Seeing the distraught look on the young detective's face Grover walked over to Danny and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"We'll find him Danny, we will!"
Danny said nothing back, just kept starring at the last place he saw Steve, kneeling before Wo Fat.
The ride back to headquarters was a blur for Danny, he couldn't remember who drove or how he even got there, he didn't even remember agreeing to go back to headquarters to figure out how this all happened in the first place.
As they walked into the precinct, Chin was the first to speak.
"How did this happen, what the hell was McGarrett even doing at that warehouse?" Chin closed the distance between him and Danny.
Danny couldn't find the words, how could he tell them what had happened to Steve, what Matt had done to Steve.
Matt could see that Danny was having a hard time coming up with the words, and to be quite honest he made this mess so he should be the one to tell them what he did. He knew they'd hate him too, and he deserved it.
"I messed up..."Matt looked at the cousins with tears in his eyes.
"Whoa, hey, Matt, what's going on, its okay you can talk to us," Kono walked up and placed a comforting hand on Matt's shoulder.
"Don't," Danny started. "Don't try to make him feel better, he doesn't deserve it."
Kono and Chin both locked eyes with Danny and the sheer pain they saw in those blue eyes took their breath away.
"Matt...what did you mean you messed up?" Kono moved her gaze to Matt.
Matt spent the next few minutes trying to explain everything to Kono and Chin.
By the end of it all Kono had tears in her eyes and Chin could barely speak. The thought of Steve being set up again was bad enough but Danny having to make the choice to leave Steve there, that was almost too much to bear.
"I know you all probably hate me, I deserve it...I am so so sorry, I'm never going to forgive myself for what I've done," Matt fell into a chair, he was completely wiped, emotionally and physically.
"Matt...how did Wo Fat even find you? How did the whole "money in exchange for Steve" start?" Chin had to know, he couldn't wrap his mind around any of this.
Matt took a deep breath.
"He just called me one day out of the blue. I was having a rough time, the guys who I owed money to were breathing down my neck, I was watching my back 24/7, I was sure I would be dead in a few days, and then I got the phone call." Matt looked up at Chin with desperation in his eyes. "It was a blocked number and he just said that he used to know Danny and Steve and that he knew about my current situation. He said that if I arranged a meeting with him and Steve without Steve knowing that he would give me $5 million cash."
"And you believed him when he said he just wanted to have a meeting with Steve? You must've known that he wanted more than that," Chin's voice began to raise.
"He knew," Danny's cold voice was back as he was starring daggers at his little brother. "He just didn't care."
"I thought that Steve would be okay, that he would find a way out of it. Danny's always talking about how invincible Steve seems and all the stories I've ever heard about him told me that he could get himself out of any situation."
"You son of a bitch," Danny jumped at Matt only to be held back by Chin. "He was ambushed Matt! You walked him straight into a trap, he was outnumbered 5 to 1, no one, not even Steve, can walk away from that!"
"I know...I was desperate, I needed the money and I thought if anyone could get out of a trap it was Steve...I'm so sorry Danny," Matt looked pleadingly at his older brother.
Danny couldn't stand to look at Matt any longer. He was sure if he spent another minute with him he would beat him to a pulp.
Danny stormed off into his office, slamming the door behind him.
Kono ran after him and Chin stayed with Matt.
"Danny...I can't even imagine what you're going through right now...I'm so sorry," Kono walked over and hugged Danny.
"You have nothing to be sorry for, this is all Matt's fault," Danny returned Kono's hug but felt like he could barely move his arms.
"I don't even know what to say right now, I can't believe this is happening...again," Kono let a tear fall as she leaned against Danny's desk.
"I just don't get it," Danny leaned next to Kono and shook his head.
"Why everyone thinks its okay to use his life as a bargaining chip," Danny choked up. "He's the best person I know...it's not fair."
It broke Kono's heart to hear how deflated and vulnerable Danny sounded. She could only imagine what Danny went through, having to leave Steve behind in the hands of Wo Fat. They were all family but Danny and Steve were especially close, always had been. There was a special bond between the two of them that no one could describe. It was the kind of bond that was rare, a bond that formed the kind of friendship that everyone wishes they had, but very few are able to attain.
Kono knew this was tearing Danny apart, and the worst part was that it was his own brother who betrayed them. She knew that nothing she could say or do would make Danny feel better, nothing in the world would make Danny feel better right now besides having Steve beside him safe and sound, but she had to say something.
"Danny, we're going to find him, it's Steve, he survived North Korea, he'll survive this."
Danny wanted to believe that, he wanted to believe that Steve would be back with them soon enough, but Danny couldn't bear to look up at Kono, he didn't want her to see the negativity in his eyes, the doubt, the fear. How many times can a person be set up and tortured and make it out whole and okay?
"He has to," was all Danny could manage to say as he emotionally shut down.