Storm Ravaged

Chapter 14

MONDAY, JUNE 24TH - HAWAII (MORNING)

"Leave me alone! It's him." Upset and now completely out of breath from his efforts, Danny had his right hand fisted in Steve's shirt as he pushed hard. He may have been a bit easier on the nurse, but he was not holding back on his partner. Steve was getting more of the same treatment as the first HPD officer who still lingered nearby. Steve had insisted that he leave the room, but he stood near the foot of the bed in case his help might still be needed. In a way, Steve was impressed with Danny's unexpected outburst and maybe just a tiny bit relieved since Danny had been so restrained and almost subdued since the abduction. But getting worked up in his much too perilous condition would not have a healthy outcome and Steve could feel the crash beginning through the shaky muscles and spasming, awkward motions.

"Take it easy, Danno." Sounding initially reasonable, Steve's own tone was rapidly changing as he too, got nowhere with the ill man. The nurse had instantly fled upon his arrival with the excuse of finding the doctor. So now, Steve was tasked with keeping Danny in the bed and trying to calm him until Ramirez could be found. He had thought things would settle down, but his automatic words only worsened the situation. At first relieved to see Steve arrive, Danny's eyes darkened within seconds because now time was being wasted and still, no one was listening to him.

"You really need to calm down. You have to try to relax." For some reason, he had expected something more and not a much too aggravating, 'take it easy, Danno.'

The puzzled and injured look on his face was fleeting, but Steve caught it all the same as Danny's fight finally started to leave him of its own accord. He was slick with sweat and his muscles were rebelling. Though his body was quitting, he was stubbornly insisting that he be allowed to leave as his voice cracked and then fell to a whisper.

"Steve. Get out of my way. You don't understand."

"Danny, you need to calm down. Then we can talk about whatever's wrong. I can't help you if you don't tell me what happened." Steve had his hands full of 'distressed, sick Danny' as he tried to fight past him to get out on his feet. Something he had nearly succeeded in doing before Steve had arrived in the doorway and then rushed over to help keep him in place.

Steve's words seemed to make a small dent even though there was still some argument left. Danny still had a strangling hold on Steve's shirt as he pushed him again to try and make his point. "I saw him. He's here."

"What are you talking about? You know what .,. it doesn't matter. You cannot get out of this bed. You can't even walk!" He groaned in frustration as Danny persisted and then winced as he banged his casted wrist on the edge of the bed and hissed in pain. There wasn't any doubt in Steve's mind either that the rib was also a painful proposition as Danny coughed and then wheezed in a short panted breath of air.

"Danny, come on. You're going to hurt yourself."

"I don't care. It's him." The two appointed police officers paced worriedly just inside the doorway, but stayed out of the fray since they were unsure how to best help. Danny's fever was still high and he had been hooked up to heart monitors, oxygen and no less than three intravenous lines that dispensed fluids, antibiotics and pain medication. Weak, sometimes confused and quite moody, he was now combative as he struggled against Steve's hands.

The pained ow coincided with Danny drawing his legs weakly up to his chest because he'd pulled on his broken rib. It left Steve no choice as he practically bellowed at him to relax. "Daniel! Calm down! Knock it off!"

The disconnected heart monitor was shrilling dangerously as Danny reluctantly gave up most of his fight. Looking around the room, Steve shook his head at the demolition; it looked as if a small tornado had passed through the room. The oxygen mask was on the floor, as was the large remote that not only paged the nurse's station but also controlled the television. Danny's eyes were still glued to the screen which had long ago switched from the interviews and report on the mobster's trial to a car commercial. He continued breathing erratically and was definitely hypervigilant from whatever or whoever it was he thought he had seen. But the first thing Steve did was to retrieve the oxygen mask to refasten firmly to Danny's face.

"Leave it on!" Steve snapped angrily as he stood with his hands on his hips before running an aggravated hand through his hair. "What are you doing, Danny? You're too sick to get this worked up. Who put the damned TV on in the first place?"

Steve had walked in on his partner just as the news report was nearing its end and he'd missed what had so upset him. All he could see was that Danny was half out of bed and close to taking what would have been a rather serious header to the tile floor. Only the nurse and the HPD officer were vainly holding him back but both were close to losing their end of the disagreement. The pillows that had elevated Danny's bandaged feet were now strewn on the floor, as were all the heavier blankets. The light sheet was wrapped around his right leg and one IV port was pulled dangerously tight. His badge, which had been on the small side table, was now under the bed where it had fallen in the messy altercation.

"Steve, it was him. I swear it was." Steve groaned and barely stopped himself from rolling his eyes in frustration. He sat back down on the side of the bed and placed his hand firmly on Danny's chest since it almost felt as if things could blow up for a second time.

"Who?" He took his eyes off Danny's face to look up to the broadcast. The sports segment had rolled into another series of never-ending commercials but Danny was once again fixated on the screen. "Danny, you need to speak to me in complete sentences. What's wrong ... who is it?"

"Steve, it was him." He almost laughed in exasperation at the sheer comedy of hearing the same words which were now only muffled by the oxygen mask. Only it definitely wasn't funny and Steve rubbed the palms of his hands into his eyes. When he looked at Danny again, it was with a serious expression and with a quiet demand that he explain himself fully.

"Alright, I believe you. It was him. Just lean back and don't move. Tell me what happened. Who was it?" He sighed when he realized all the pillows were on the floor and he rocked off the bed to retrieve the first two. He raised the head of the bed and then worked them behind Danny's head and shoulders, followed next by fixing the badly tangled thin white sheet.

"Sneakers. The second one. He was on the news about Darien's trial." Steve stopped from where he was bent over trying to get the heavier blankets collected from the floor. He was incredulous as he looked from Danny to the television but the ridiculously long commercials were still humming along.

"That guy - Mac?"

"Sneakers. Mac. Whatever you want to call him!" Danny continued to be very upset and his hand was shaking badly when he rubbed his forehead. "I saw him. It was him."

Steve made a face as he looked into Danny's still very glassy eyes. Infection had taken a firm hold and he was still sporting a high temperature. Since waking the prior day, he'd become more coherent with each passing hour but remained just as jumpy, generally confused and insecure. For the most part, he did accept that he was at least safe - and even home - though he hadn't yet asked to see anyone else. And for that major gaffe, Steve remained very concerned.

However, the very last thing he had anticipated was Danny having access to any type of news. The trial was slated to begin that afternoon with opening remarks presented by the prosecution. There were many telecasts in progress that were reporting on one aspect or another of the highly sensationalized trial. With the damage done, Steve was about to question him more when Danny's face completely changed from defiance to one of abject mistrust.

"I don't want that." Danny's voice suddenly dropped as Ponch quickly strode in with a syringe and the same very flustered nurse. He watched almost in fear as the doctor went to the IV pole and then made sure the lines and ports were still in place. At the same time, the nurse unplugged the screaming machines to stop their wild noises.

"Doc," Danny wisely guessed that what Ponch held might be a sedative and his struggles began anew as soon as Steve saw his legs start to move. "No, I don't want that ... please."

Holding his hand up to forestall the doctor, Steve sat on the edge of the bed and pushed Danny back into the pillows. He was feverish and shaking badly with his one good hand bundled defensively in what remained of the bedding.

"You really have to calm down. Ponch only wants to help and you're all over the place."

Working around them, the nurse studiously fixed the heart monitor, pushed the pulse oximeter onto Danny's finger and made sure the oxygen was working properly. Once back in place, the pinging of the heart monitor increased two-fold, as did the erratic breathing but Danny allowed Steve's hand to hold him in place. Then he took a huge deep breath of oxygen before trying to speak again.

"I don't need it though. I'm fine."

"I beg to differ," Ponch sighed noisily as he shoved the slender syringe into his pocket. The heart monitor quite easily proved that fact as the doctor grimaced over the too high readings. The pulse oximeter showed that his oxygen levels were equally lower than desired even though the oxygen mask was back in place.

"What happened in here? It looks like a bomb went off." The doctor glanced over to his frazzled nurse who needed a morale boost after the incident. "My nurse says that you had quite the meltdown, Detective."

They had obviously tested the vial found in Frank Madison's knapsack and a strong sedative had been routinely used to keep Danny under control for the many days he'd been missing. Whatever had him so badly worked up at that moment though was wreaking havoc on his blood pressure and heart rate and by rights, he needed a mild sedative.

"It's a mild medication. Just so you can rest and get some sleep; we need to bring your heart rate down." The look on his face was more than enough answer as to his continued dislike of the idea. Ponch had his own compromise as he raised his finger sternly and the tapped the pocket where the drugs lay hidden.

"You get only one free pass, Detective. You've come a long way in a few short days and even if you don't care, I'm obligated to keep you moving in that positive direction."

"He'll behave, Doc. Right?" Steve glared warningly at his friend who finally nodded again to agree. "Tell me slowly ... you saw this guy Mac on TV?"

His question brought the doctor closer who was now as interested in the conversation as he was in caring for his patient's escalating blood pressure and heart rate. The name explained a great deal about Danny's reaction and mood swing. "The third man? The one Channing mentioned?"

"Sneakers." The whisper was low and Steve patiently waited. Danny was still reluctant to speak and evidently a bit muddled about many things, but certain other things had definitely returned. His knowledge of the trial being one of those and he had committed every conscious aspect of his abductors to memory.

"It's him. He's here and was on a segment with a bunch of suits going into the courthouse. He's involved with the trial."

"We have a composite sketch getting worked up right now. Kono is with Pete Channing and the artist here in the hospital." Steve looked over to the TV again to note the channel that was being broadcast and then the current time.

"We'll get this station's footage too and rerun it, Danny. It will be easier than channel-hopping and driving ourselves crazy trying to find the same interview." With that, Steve determinedly shut the offending device off so that his partner would not do exactly that for hours on end.

"How do you know it's Mac though?"

"He's memorable." The doctor's raised eyebrows agreed to the shrewd humor behind the short statement. But Steve couldn't stop the automatic retort which practically fell out of his mouth.

"What? And I'm not?"

Danny did a stunned double-take as Steve chuffed a half-smile at his not so accidental joke. He shrugged and then tried smiling since Danny just sat there staring at him. Then there was a soft barked laugh from Ponch and if possible, the doctor's eyebrows nearly disappeared into his receding hairline. But Danny's teeth clacked together as his jaw clenched, there was another moment of silence, and then he simply continued talking.

"Stocky, muscular ... he has this way of walking and I'd know him anywhere. His walk, his hands ... it's him." Danny heaved in a shuddering breath as he closed his eyes. There were times he could still feel the hard meticulous punches. Seeing him now on TV reminded him of his broken rib, the argument the criminal had with Boots, and the last few very special one-sided boxing sessions that had left him nearly unconscious.

"No it was Madison he had the fight with." Danny suddenly whispered to correct himself from the bad habit of using the nickname. "Madison. Not Boots."

Steve glanced to Ponch as Danny zoned out and went somewhere else entirely. He never moved when Steve took his hand to get his attention or when the doctor hurriedly checked his blood pressure. He was remembering that Sneakers Two was the reason he'd nearly forgotten ... he had forgotten ... no, that was wrong ... he'd only protected IT and so many other precious memories like it so he wouldn't forget.

Yet, he had done just that. "Danno." The voice was in his head and he was sure he heard her clear as a bell. "I know what I want for my birthday."

"Danno? Hey ... are you alright?" Steve saw the change immediately in the new flood of tension that crossed Danny's face. His hand began to shake and then Danny's eyes snapped open as a warm feeling rushed in and he stared wide-eyed at Steve and then Ramirez.

"What?" He coughed over an unexpected dryness in his throat. He had completely forgotten what he was saying as a soft, voice said "Danno" in the back of his mind again. His mouth gaped open, slammed shut once until he found the right words to use.

"Grace? It was Grace. Is she here?"

Steve jolted to his feet as Danny muttered his daughter's name for the first time in days. "What did you say?"

Then it was almost gone just like on Samoa when Madison interrupted them. The expression was closing off as suspicion loomed much too closely. However, this time, Steve wouldn't allow it as he got in Danny's face and insisted that he repeat himself.

"What happened just now? Why did you say her name?" He wanted to shake Danny as he sat there in a wide-eyed silence just staring mutely at him. Before he could make that demand, Danny gasped and tried to take in a deep breath but the hitch in his throat nearly made him stutter.

"I heard her ... I heard her ... she was ... I almost forgot Grace. I was afraid ... that I'd forget her." Danny swallowed hard, stammered badly and this time, Ramirez pulled the syringe out of his pocket and dispensed into the IV line as his patient began to breathe much more erratically. If he had expected another argument, the doctor was sorely disappointed as Danny continued in a broken ramble.

"I didn't though ... I only thought I did ... everything ..." His eyes closed a few minutes later as he clung to Steve's hand but he continued to talk and mumble to himself until his voice faded and he fell asleep. "I think I know ... I think ... I ... remember."

"What was that?" Steve turned to the doctor, surprised to find him smiling and bouncing on his toes. Pleased and perhaps more accepting of what was going on where he was completely in the dark. "Do you plan on filling me in on why you just sedated him?"

"His blood pressure is sky-high and he absolutely needs to rest. I can't put a name to what he's done either. Not exactly." The doctor grinned in understanding and then tapped his own head.

"The closest I can come is that he has compartmentalized everything good in his world so he wouldn't forget; it's a type of survival tactic. You know that yourself. It's a defense mechanism so to speak." Ponch continued to smile as he tried to explain what he thought had happened. The doctor didn't add that what Danny had been put through must have been seriously demoralizing, as well as both mentally and physically painful.

"He did it so well, he actually forgot that he'd done it. But his memory is coming back. I would think he did it on a base level to keep all that is good protected from what he was going through. It allowed him to focus on his current state and what he needed to do in order to simply survive."

"I get compartmentalizing. It's a sound tactic." Deep in thought, Steve nodded and then slowly began fixing the rest of the blankets. The blood tests had come back negative for any foreign substances and the MRI had found no contusions or brain injuries. There was no evidence of any of Madison's sedatives in his blood stream.

Steve had never considered a type of repression or compartment method though and was both impressed and slightly skeptical to some degree. There would have to be a reason for the move to be so complete and utterly thorough.

Mac. Peter Channing. Frank Madison. The brutality of the kidnapping, inhospitable environments, and utter lack of communication. Added drugs and mistreatment ... and Danny had almost given up. Steve paled as he watched Danny fall into a deeper sleep.

"Oh my god." He could see that Ponch was coming to the same conclusion, or at least to something very similar to his own. There was a sad truth to it because if certain events hadn't happened that allowed Danny to escape, they might not have ever brought him home. Danny might have been right in the worst possible sense.

"He didn't think he was going to make it. He didn't think we were coming."


MONDAY, JUNE 24TH - HAWAII (AFTERNOON)

Kono tapped the information up on the smart table and then pushed it to the big screen so they could all see. Steve was shocked when he saw the man's photograph.

"He's talking about Brian McNamara. He's one step above a grunt-lawyer and is part of the prosecution team against Darien."

"It sure is him." Steve had met the man once and only briefly as part of the prosecution team initial meetings and interviews. In fact, Steve was the only one in Five-0 that had the brief introduction during pre-trial interviews. None of the other members of his team had the need to cross paths with the man. From what Steve recalled, he was arrogant as some lawyers might be, but very well-built as Danny described. They had received the footage from the station too, and Channing's description for the sketch artist yielded a startling resemblance.

Steve was with Kono and Chin at Five-0 headquarters reviewing the evidence that pointed a new finger at a mid-level member of the State's prosecution team. They were all inordinately proud that Danny could provide the further proof that identified the man so well.

"I can run background on this guy and get a handle on what we might be dealing with," Kono shared as she pulled out her tablet while standing near the smart table.

"Prosecution though? Sort of an odd association if the guy is working for Darien?"

"Know thine enemy," Chin shrugged in disgust. "He's in the perfect position actually. Involved, but part of the mix where he might not draw too much personal attention. I'd love to see his bank account."

"Well, he has now," Steve said as he downloaded the data to his device. "I need to get back to the hospital. I want to show this to Danny. He needs to be involved and he needs to know that we're getting places already."

Hours had now passed since the morning episode. Long hours during which Ramirez vowed that Danny would sleep soundly. During that time, the team had confirmed a great deal of information and they owed it to Danny to keep him in the loop. As part of a reverse psychology, Steve also hoped it would keep him calmer as he got well.

"Hey, Boss?" Kono was frowning heavily as she tapped the smart table. "If McNamara is the guy, he may not know Danny is still alive. He also may not know that we have Channing in custody. He sure doesn't know that Madison is dead. We can really play this out if we keep all of those facts under wraps."

Chin chuckled happily as he looked from Steve to his cousin. "Smart lady, cuz! We can take this as far as we want or need to."

They all shared a smile at the luck of that which kept control in their own house, but then Steve's face fell. He was scheduled to be in court Wednesday morning but had planned to meet privately with Rachel .. and then Grace. The situation was weighing more heavily on his mind with every passing second.

"What's wrong?" Chin asked when he saw the change in expression. "This is all good ... and Danny's slowly recovering his memory."

"I may not be able to speak to Rachel yet." With Brian McNamara now identified as the third man, he was too close and much too dangerous. It threw the wrench firmly into the mix and Steve completely hesitated with the plans he had scheduled for the remainder of the day.

"I can't have them going to the hospital or acting differently. It will be a tip-off if someone sees or notices; and then it puts them in danger, too. We need more on McNamara; we need to know what this guy is all about." He was staring at Kono and she smiled since she was already well down that very train of thought.

"I want his best associates. I don't care if you tell me what he eats for breakfast; everything is going to be helpful."

"On it. I'll actually run background on every person on the prosecution," Chin almost laughed because he was sure Kono had a file on each person already growing by each passing millisecond. "I'll swing by to see Danny later, too."

With that Steve gestured to Chin. With what they were learning, they could inadvertently end the trial themselves with an accidental misstep. "Let's go see the Governor. We need to fill him in on what we've found. It's much too big."


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