"Danny! Oh god, Danny…hang on, babe!" Clambering out from under his partner and kneeling by his side, Steve ran shaky hands up and over his head, fingers digging into his scalp as he tried to make sense of the scene around him, make sense of what he was seeing, the bang of the single gun shot still resonating in his ears.
He managed to grip the Velcro of Danny's flak jacket, ripping it open and lifting the whole thing over Danny's head, despite the moans and pants of protest. "Oh god, Danno, I'm so sorry," he eased Danny as gently as he could on to his back, "You're gonna be fine. They're almost here, just hold on."
Please hold on.
"It's not even that bad, Danno," he lied, pressing down with both hands hard, watching the blooming red stain on the once white dress shirt, and Danny pulling his legs up, curling in against the pain.
The gun shot had hit Danny low and to the side of his belly, below were his vest was, but Steve couldn't tell if there was an exit wound, knowing he shouldn't roll his partner to check.
What the hell just happened?
One minute Steve was holding his gun steady on Davis and the next? The next he was laid out flat on the ground with Danny bleeding all over him.
Steve kept up the brutal pressure, blood leaking between his entwined fingers, looking into his partner's terrified face.
Danny's eyes were blown wide with panic and he struggled for each and every breath, making short, aborted, choking noises as blood filled the back of his throat, seeping out and trickling down and over the corner of his mouth, over his chin and on to the collar of the white dress shirt.
Kono appeared beside him, putting something into his hands and he took it, balling it up and pressing it back into Danny, trying to stem the flow of blood.
He didn't spare her a look, but he knew she was just as worried as he was.
They all were.
This was bad.
He wanted to ask her what had happened to Davis, where the shot had come from, what they had…what ihe/i had missed? But damnit, Danny was bleeding out in front of him, and that was all he could think about right now.
So he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, held it. The flashing red and blue lights beat behind his eye lids and he could hear Chin hollering from somewhere in the distance, his voice short and clipped and Steve knew he was directing the others, fanning out and searching for their fleeing suspect and his crew, taking charge so that Steve could concentrate on Danny.
Finally he blew out a steadying breath, pressing down harder, determined now to quell his own panic and to keep as much of Danny's blood, as he could, on the inside.
Minutes later Steve could finally hear the sirens in the distance.
The bus rolled up outside the perimeter, and two medics jumped out, running with their gear and gurney toward them.
"What do we got," one asked.
Steve managed, "he was shot," letting go with the wad of blood soaked material and letting the paramedics take over.
The two men worked frantically, but in sync, cutting Danny's shirt from his body, putting pressure on the bleeding wound with some kind of bandage. One listened to Danny's chest, while the other wrapped a blood pressure cuff round Danny's bicep and started pumping, counting the beats. Then the other wrapped a tourniquet around Danny's other arm and inserted a large bore needle, hastily taping it down and asking Steve to hold the bag of fluids.
An oxygen mask and leads were placed and Danny's heart beat jumped on the small monitor and when they rolled Danny to his side, his back was smooth and clear. Steve could only see one hole on Danny's right flank and his heart sank, because that meant that the small caliber bullet was still somewhere in Danny's gut.
Danny's voice was weak and cracking, "Steve?" and the inside of the breathing mask speckled with blood.
A beat or two later and Danny was lowered back to the ground and he managed to raise his hand, reaching toward Steve and he grabbed it like the life line it was, squeezing gently, "you're going to be fine," he said again, hoping, praying it was true.
The medic, the younger of the two, adjusted the mask over Danny's face, and then they worked together to get him on to the back board, buckling him in and lifting. Steve grabbed a side, holding the bag of saline higher, helping them gently lower the board to the gurney, and then they were running full out toward the ambulance.
One man ran to the driver's seat, picking up the radio and firing off Danny's vitals and the other, along with Steve's help, guided the gurney into the bay. Steve handed off the bag and jumped in.
He caught sight of Kono and Chin's worried faces before the doors were slammed shut and then they were moving fast. The ride was bumpy, but Danny barely flinched as they hit a pretty deep pot hole on the back road they traveled. A little bit later the road smoothed out as they merged onto the highway.
Steve sat back on the bench, watching Danny's face as the medic in the back with them, the older one, took another set of vitals and called them to the front to be relayed to the trauma team.
Danny's eyes drifted closed but popped back open and his hand reflexively reached out again.
Steve took it, squeezing a little harder so that Danny knew he was there. "I got you, babe." He had smeared drying blood on Danny's hands and he felt a little sick at the sight of it.
The driver cursed and slowed, taking a corner a little too quickly, the wailing siren blaring at a slower moving vehicle. They turned again, which meant they were back in town and closing in on the hospital.
"See, we're almost there, Danno," he soothed, rubbing the hand he held. "I got you."