LucyMB prompted me to try this genre. Hope it's not too OOC!
Ok, so he wasn't the best driver on the islands. But still he blamed the sharpness of the curve more than his erratic skills. Centrifugal force, such as it was, caused the heavy-bodied car to sail off the dirt road into the dense tropical foliage.
At least Danno hadn't been hurt.
The 'not much hurt' man had dragged his sorry carcass out of the destroyed vehicle, (radio included), taking care not to jostle the injured leg the driver had suffered.
"I don't think it's broken, Steve," Danny said as he ran his hands along the bruised leg. "But I'll splint it just in case."
The younger man was off searching for splinting material. Steve could see blood oozing from scrapes and cuts on his second's face and arms. He carried himself stiffly; must have hurt his back.
Stupid steering wheel. He didn't get a solid grip for the turn. That was it.
Dan was back pulling off his tie then reached over and carefully removed Steve's. As he began assembling his splint, the older man sighed.
"I wonder how far behind Chin and Kono are," he grumbled as he watched the proceedings.
"We were right on Hampstead's bumper," Danno replied. "We lost them a while back. Of course the foliage is so thick no one can see us down here!"
"Some road," growled McGarrett. "Barely wide enough for a couple of hikers, much less a car!"
"Specially the way you drive," Danno muttered, cinching the splint into place. Their attention was captured by the sound of breaking foliage. The calvary had arrived.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" a sneering voice commented. The sound of a bolt action being clicked into place accompanied it. Danno leaned over his fallen friend.
"Hampstead," he growled. He turned around to shield his boss.
"I would have thought you'd keep running," Steve commented. The felon chuckled.
"And pass up this opportunity?" he grinned evilly. "You know I love to… hunt." The two 5-0 men glanced at one another.
"I'm afraid we're not much sport," Steve said levelly. "Our backup will be here shortly, give yourself up!" This caused the man to laugh harder.
"No, I don't think so. I think you're going to toss your guns over here," Hampstead directed. "Including your backup piece, Williams." Guns were tossed towards him.
"We have time to play a little game," he decided. "Why don't we cuff Mr. McGarrett? Then I'll outline the rules." With a muttered apology Steve was carefully cuffed, hands behind back as directed.
"Up, Williams," the hunting rifle followed him as he rose.
"Here's the plan," Hampstead grinned. "You get a five minute head start, into the jungle." He pointed away from the road and deeper into the trees. "Then I'll track you. If you can avoid me, and get back to your boss, you win."
"If not?" Steve asked through clenched teeth.
"I'll shoot him, then come back to shoot you," Hampstead replied. "Simple enough." He looked appraisingly over his quarry.
"I have always wanted to hunt a man," he smiled. "Much more interesting than a deer or a lion."
"You can't do that!" Steve exclaimed.
"How can you stop me? Better start moving, Danny boy, your time starts… now." He pressed a button on his watch, activating the timer. With barely a glance at his mentor Danno took off into the foliage. His mind raced ahead of his feet.
There was no way Hampstead was going to allow him or Steve to live. He wasn't even sure the hunter would let Steve live now. He made a lot of noise, breaking sticks and leaves purposely to leave a trail. Heading a little farther he came to a thready trail leading at an angle from his route. He turned onto this and continued on. Every once in a while he'd break off the trail leaving obvious tracks to throw Hampstead off.
"How far do you think he'll go before he circles back?" Hampstead asked conversationally. "I plan to find a nice tree and wait him out."
"You're not going to get away with this!" Steve fumed helplessly.
"Oh, I think I am. And to be sporting I won't shoot you until I get your man." With a grin the man picked up the guns and went to study trees.
Williams did not go as far as the hunter expected, circling back quickly. Just in time to see Hampstead pull himself up a densely foliaged tree. Fifteen minutes, if that, had passed.
Studying his friend, Danny knew Steve was in some pain but the injury was not life-threatening. The gun up the tree, on the other hand, was. Carefully tucking himself under some brush, he stripped off his white shirt, certain to be spotted, and rubbed muddy soil on himself.
*Yuck!* he thought to himself as he made sure even his hair was smudged up. His shirt was folded up and stuck under him for safe keeping. Now all he had to do was wait.
Hampstead was pleased with himself. He figured a man as young as Danny Williams had no practical training in hunting or tracking. Especially the surfer-boy he was reputed to be. Even if he managed to circle back, the man knew nothing about keeping hidden, he was certain. He settled down on a strong limb and took a sighting on McGarrett.
McGarrett also had his worries about his young officer. Impetuous and prone to risk taking, especially when there was a hostage involved, he could only hope Chin and Kono found Danny first. The three of them could easily take Hampstead.
Unfortunately for the 5-0 head, his other officers had met an obstacle. The car they were driving had become mired in a muddy ditch when Chin had been overly cautious in navigating through it. Whereas Steve had hit the water at a very unsafe speed, thus careening through without a problem, Chin had gone slowly, sinking into the muck. A tow truck and back up were over an hour out.
The next hour passed slowly. Steve shifted uneasily, stretching out his legs. He was sure the splinted limb wasn't broken but with the cuffs on he couldn't move well.
Hampstead sat quietly, shooing away the flies and gnats that pestered him. He couldn't believe Williams hadn't circled back yet and he continued to scan the surrounding foliage for him.
Danno had drifted off, lack of sleep coupled with his boss's capable driving, or lack thereof, had left him exhausted. He was woken by a loud clattering sound as something dropped from the treetops.
He shook himself, then reassured himself that Steve was still alive. Finally he looked over to the hunter. It seemed he'd dropped his rifle! Danno contemplated moving before realizing it was simply a ploy. He could see the glint of a handgun in Hampstead's hand.
Moving carefully the younger man wondered if he could turn this to his advantage. A rifle would more than even the playing field. He mused the possibilities as the hunter tore apart the area with his eyes.
Williams had to be somewhere!
Steve also was searching for Williams. He wondered where his second had gotten off to. He looked up at the hunter, who certainly hadn't sighted his quarry either.
Finally Danno decided he should attempt to get the gun. First, a diversion. He carefully pulled out his shirt and waited until Hampstead had turned his head away. He laid the shirt out so that it would just be visible. Then he silently moved across the forest floor towards the hunter's tree.
Still, neither the cuffed man nor the treed man saw his stealthy creeping figure. As he got close Danny picked up a small rock, waited a moment, then tossed it towards his shirt. The noise, as slight as it was, immediately caught Hampstead's attention and he turned his gun towards it, saw the flash of white shirt, and opened fire, emptying the entire clip.
"DANNO!" Steve cried out in horror.
That was all Danno needed as he darted under the tree, snatched up the rifle, and rolled into position. Sliding the bolt, loading the shell, he pointed it directly at Hampstead.
"Drop all the guns, and come down slowly," Danny said firmly. Hampstead jerked around, lost his balance and fell.
Both detectives watched as the hunter's body bounced off a couple branches then landed in a heap at the bottom of the tree. Taking no chances the younger man searched for and retrieved the guns. Only then did he check for a pulse.
"Ohhh," the fallen man groaned. Without sympathy Danny rolled him onto his stomach and cuffed him. No way he'd let that snake escape! Then he turned and headed to Steve.
"Danno!" McGarrett carefully swept his eyes over his friend. He was filthy! He knew that the younger man had camouflaged the best he could, but smearing dirt and goop all over open wounds was not the best thing for his health.
Unless you counted a bullet through the brain 'good' for his health.
With a tight grin Williams unlocked the handcuffs and rubbed his friend's stiff shoulders. He was exhausted, but the drama was far from over. Somehow he had to get help to carry Steve out and pick up Hampstead.
All he wanted to do was lie down and sleep. Right there in the leaves and dirt.
"If I move you closer to Hampstead can you cover him while I hike out for help?" Danny asked. As much as Steve wanted to let his friend rest, he knew the young man had to try.
"Yeah, Danno, no problem," he replied with his own tight smile. He was carefully hauled up on his feet and brought over to the downed hunter. Steve could feel the fine tremors in his friend's body but didn't comment. It was not a good situation at all!
Danno arranged two guns and the rifle next to his boss before sliding his small gun into his pocket. He didn't expect any trouble, but one never knew.
"I'll get up to the road and head back towards civilization. Maybe catch up with Kono and Chin or someone else," Williams said.
Steve watched as Danno first retrieved his shot-up shirt then trudged up the slope towards the roadway. He heard the obvious sounds of the tired man slipping and falling a few times but refrained from calling out. Instead, he finally focussed his attention on the inert form of Hampstead.
Williams pressed on and after some toil made it to the rutted track his boss, and Hampstead, thought was a serviceable road. From his perspective the muddy lane was hardly good enough for cows. But it was the only road available. Before he started the hike back he took the torn and muddy white shirt and strategically placed it where he'd emerged from the shrubs and vines.
Exhaustion was only half of his concern. The very real debilitating pain from the crash reared up. His back continued to spasm as he lurched along hoping to find someone to help.
Less than a half hour later he sighted several patrol cars coming up the road as well as a very muddy 5-0 vehicle. He sank down to wait for them.
"Danny!" Kono was out of the car before it stopped. The patrol cars also stopped and their occupants hurried over to the downed man.
"Bruddah, you are filthy!" Chin exclaimed as he knelt by his friend, a supportive hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah," he managed.
"Where's Mr. McGarret?" Duke asked. Another officer offered a blanket and a canteen of water. Chin wasted no time in holding the water up to drink.
"Thanks," Danny said appreciatively. He went on to explain where Steve and Hampstead were, the need for an ambulance for the felon and help in carrying the boss up the slope.
"You need some looking after, too, bruddah!" Kono stated as he wet his handkerchief and began cleaning off some of the mud and dirt from his friend's face.
"Just a little busted up," Williams shrugged. "No big!" The 5-0 men rolled their eyes. Then they helped him to the car and gently put him in the front seat. Another blanket was bundled around him as the trembling intensified.
As the caravan started up again Chin glanced over.
"So, where's the boss's car?" he asked.
"Uh, Steve sent it over the edge of the road into the jungle," Danny hedged.
"He did what?" Kono started. "Man, the boss is one pupule driver but he's never sent hisself over the edge before."
"Lucky me," Williams sighed as his eyes began to close.
"Stay with me, Danny," Chin gently shook his leg. The gasp of pain immediately caused the older man to pull back his hand. "What's wrong?"
"Just hurt," Williams mumbled. But his eyes stayed open. He pointed out his shirt and soon the caravan prepared to descend the slope. It was telling just how bad off the younger detective was as he didn't even try to get out of the car to help. Duke picked up the shirt and immediately saw the bullet holes. Eyes widened as all the officers realized there was a much more complicated story than they'd been told.
Kono led the way down the slope calling out to his boss.
"Hey, Steve!" he called. Very quickly he was rewarded by a strong voice.
"Kono! Down here!" Soon the head of 5-0 had his mostly trusty friends (when they didn't get stuck in the mud) helping him up and the HPD was checking on the fallen Hampstead.
"We'd best wait for the medics," Duke decided. "Need a stretcher to get him up to the road." Then Steve realized they were one man down.
"Where's Danno?" he asked as he looked around.
"We left him up in the car, Steve," Chin replied. "He's pretty bad off between the crash and not getting to sleep last night."
"And whatever happened here," Kono said, more of a question.
"Hampstead thought he'd enjoy hunting down Danno," Steve said with a grimace. "Why didn't he sleep last night?"
"You left him with the files to look through to try to find Hampstead," Chin pointed out.
"I didn't mean for him to stay all night," McGarrett grumbled as he motioned they should go up the slope.
"Boss, you told him to do a thorough job, not to let one lead go," Kono muttered back. "Sounded like you meant him to. He had just cross referenced the last of the files when I got in at 6." Steve felt the guilt pile on.
"And then I had him run down contacts before taking him on the car ride from hell," he groaned. He leaned on Kono as they made their way up the steep slope to the road. He was now positive his leg was merely bruised, not broken.
When they made it back up to the road they moved over to the car. Steve immediately reached through the window and shook his sleeping detective.
"Danno!" he called. Then shook a little harder and was rewarded by a low groan. "Danno! Wake up!"
"s-Steve?" the hurt man managed, his eyes barely slit open. From what all three men could see they were bloodshot.
"Danno, come on, wake up!" Steve was getting a little frantic. Wincing in pain he attempted to sit up straighter, but his back refused to cooperate. He settled for opening his eyes wider and looking up at his boss.
"w-What do you need, Steve?" he asked.
"Steve, let him rest!" Chin declared. There was no reason to make the man move much less wake up.
"It's ok," Williams replied, his voice barely above a whisper. "What do you need?" McGarrett looked at his second and realized he was being selfish, forcing the man to answer to him just to relieve his guilt. Knew that Danno would not hold Steve responsible for his current physical shape. He leaned against the door and sighed, running his hand over the dirty curly hair.
"Just wanted to make sure you're ok, Danno," he said gently.
"I'm a little tired, Steve, gonna sleep," the man replied. " 'k?"
"Yeah, sleep, Danno," he reassured. "Chin and Kono will take good care of us." A slight nod and eyes closed, the young man slipped right back into sleep. Steve allowed Kono to get him into the back seat while Chin moved around to drive.
The oldest detective contacted dispatch and requested Dr. Bergman be available for them at the hospital. He knew that Danny would require some special care and did not want to leave it up to whatever doctor might be available. Within ten minutes the speaker squawked for attention and Bergman was on the line asking for specifics.
"I'll let you talk with Steve," Chin said as he handed the mike back to the boss.
"Steve? What's going on?" the ME asked.
"Uh, well, we had a car accident," the head of 5-0 actually hedged.
"Car accident? How badly was Danny hurt?" Bergman rushed back. "And you? Were you hurt?"
"I seem to have banged up my leg, but otherwise I'm fine," Steve explained. "Danno has a lot of scraps and cuts, but I don't know if he hurt anything else."
"He's favoring his back, Doc," Kono chimed in.
"Can I speak with him?" Bergman asked.
"Uh, no, he's uh, asleep," Steve stumbled.
"Asleep or unconscious?" Bergman wanted clarification.
"I think asleep," came the answer.
"He didn't get any sleep last night, Doc," Kono once more added his two cents worth.
"Ok, let me get this right, Danny didn't sleep last night, he's been in a car accident and he's all scraped up? Was he thrown from the car?"
Details! He needed details!
"No, he got scraped up on the brush when he pulled me from the car," Steve clarified. "I think the cuts may be from some of the glass. Then he got scraped up more when he went into the bush to get away from Hampstead."
Bergman was getting a headache.
"Who's Hampstead? What does he have to do with all this?" Bergman pulled a pad of paper towards him and began jotting down notes.
"Hampstead is the felon we were chasing when the car went off the road and down into the forest," Steve explained. "He got the drop on us and decided he'd hunt Danno down. Danno went into the forest and then backtracked. He seems to have rubbed dirt and stuff on his skin to hide in the brush. It's kind of complicated, Doc."
"Let me get this straight," Niles was about to explode. "Danny hasn't slept in over 30 hours, he's been in a car crash, he's dragged your sorry carcass out of said car crash cutting himself on broken glass. He was forced to flee a gun-wielding maniac and rubbed dirt and god knows what onto his skin and into the aforementioned scrapes and cuts. At some point he's wretched his back and appears to be in pain."
"And now he's sleeping," Steve said guiltily.
"Or passed out, not going to exclude that possibility," Kono chimed in once more. Bergman rubbed his eyes.
"Tell me you're coming into the ER," he groaned.
"We're coming into the ER," Steve meekly replied.
"I'll be waiting," Bergman growled. The head of 5-0 knew it was going to be a long night.
Chin drove right up to the receiving doors. Bergman was standing there, arm crossed joined by Dr. Hansen, who also didn't look very happy. Two gurneys, a nurse and two orderlies waited on the side. Kono was out of the car first and gently lifted his fallen friend off the seat. Bergman was at Danny's side immediately giving him a quick once-over.
Steve was helped up next. He didn't complain as he was put on the other gurney. Hansen glanced at him before waving the orderlies on to a treatment room. He stayed with Bergman for a quick look over Danny.
"Doris, we'll have to get him washed off first," the ME decided. "We can manage him with an orderly." The movement somewhat woke the sleeping man.
"Hmmm, Steve?" he tried to look out of dirt-crusted eyes.
"Steve's fine, Danny," Bergman explained. "You're at Queens ER; Doris and I are going to take care of you."
"Sorry, Doc, I'm kind of dirty," Williams was actually upset.
"Sshh, Danny," Doris stepped in. "It's ok, you've had a rough time. Just let me and Niles care for you, ok?"
"Mmmhmm," he murmured.
A few minutes later the husband-wife team had the injured man in a treatment room. An orderly was secured and the rest of the torn, dirty clothes were stripped off the lax body. Next he was settled on a sturdy shower seat in the open stall in the corner of the room.
"Wh... what?" he struggled once more to open his eyes. His back hurt, his head hurt and all the jostling made his joints hurt.
"It's ok, Danny," Doris soothed. Warm water began flowing over him, causing the scrapes and cuts sting, but helped his muscles relax a bit. He finally just sat there allowing the busy hands to support and clean him off.
"I think he has half the jungle floor on him," Bergman groused as he massaged soap into filthy hair.
"If he were trying to hide he must have been successful," the orderly commented as he continued to support the patient, getting a bit wet in the process. "Looks more like a mud puddle than a person."
"I'm just hoping no critters took up residence," Doris said as she worked on her part.
The door opened and Dr. Hansen appeared. He came over to the washing crew.
"I've sent Mr. McGarrett up to x-ray," he said. "I'm inclined to agree with him the leg isn't broken, but I wanted to be sure."
"Keep him busy for awhile, James," Bergman directed. "I want to give Danny a good once-over before he stands guard duty.
"No problem," he said. "I think blood panels and an urinalysis is also needed. We'll keep him entertained for you." The doctors shared a conspiratorial grin.
"He's really scraped up good," the orderly commented as he looked over the newly-cleaned skin. "Some pretty deep cuts on his fore arms."
"We'll need a suture kit," Bergman decided. As the dirt sluiced off bruises became apparent on the younger man's torso. Hansen leaned closer.
"He'll need x-ray, as well," the doctor said.
"We'll bring the tech in here," Bergman said. "Don't want to jostle him too much. No bumps on his head so pain meds can be given when he needs them."
As they finished they toweled him gently dry then between the four of them he was placed back up on the gurney with a warmed blanket tucked around him. With a sigh his eyes slipped open.
"Hi, Danny, how do you feel?" the ME placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. At first all the patient did was glance around the room.
"Steve?" he asked finally.
"Up in x-ray to check out his leg," Hansen reported. "He should be just fine."
"Mmm, good," Danny said.
"Now, young man, how do you feel?" Bergman pressed.
"Tired, sore, a lot cleaner," he responded tersely.
"What hurts?" the doctor pressed.
"Uhm, my back, a lot," Danny decided. "And the cuts on my arm sting. And I have this headache, but that's from not sleeping, I think."
"Possibly," Hansen said. "You also had dirt in your wounds so we're going to draw some blood and see if you picked up any bugs."
"Yeah, guess I might have," he agreed. "But with Hampstead after me I couldn't take any chances. He'd have seen my white skin right away."
"What exactly was he doing?" Niles had to ask.
"He, uh, he wanted to hunt a man," Danny tried to move to a more comfortable position, wincing as he shifted. "I had to double back and wait him out."
"Doris, get me some morphine," Hansen said. "And a bag of D5W."
"Lidocaine and a suture kit," the ME added. "And call x-ray down."
Soon the exhausted patient was drifting relatively pain-free as his wounds were tended. A series of x-rays ruled out broken ribs and his torso was wrapped for support. He was too tired to complain about the foley that was inserted as another bag of fluid was piggy-backed onto the first bag.
After the blood draws and stitches put into place soft gauze cushioned his arms and he was allowed to sleep until he could be placed in a room.
Which left Hansen to deal with an irritable McGarrett. The senior detective had no desire to play the waiting game wanting nothing more than to get to his friend. Chaffing at the delays Hansen retaliated by moving slower and slower. They were certain to come to blows when Bergman came into the room.
"So, is he behaving himself?" Niles asked.
"NO! He's being totally unreasonable!" Steve snarled out.
"No, he's fighting me all the way," James countered. The two men glared at one another.
"Are the tests run?" Bergman asked the doctor and received a nod. "And are you keeping him overnight?" Again the affirmative. A low, simmering growl arose from the exam table. "Then I have a bed ready for him," he finished.
"I am in the room, you know," Steve muttered.
"Yes, you are," Niles agreed. "But the bed I am putting you in is next to another 5-0 detective." Now McGarrett looked much more pleasant with a smile forming on his lips.
"Great! Let's go!" he sounded enthused. Hansen rolled his eyes and motioned to the orderly.
"Go ahead and take this...impatient patient... to his room," he declared. "The IV stays overnight at the minimum!" But Steve was so happy at the thought of seeing his friend he didn't care about the medical paraphernalia that was attached to him.
"You could have done a lot more than just the IV, James," Bergman said as the impatient patient disappeared.
"Yeah, I know," he said. "I put an order in for a sedative. He'll love that."
"Smart man," the ME grinned.
Chin and Kono were already in the room relaxing in chairs and talking softly. They were much relieved that their young colleague was looking a lot better even though he was out for the count.
"Hey boss," Kono greeted him.
"Steve, how are you doing?" Chin added.
"Fine," he replied, eyes on his second. "Leg is just bruised. They want to keep me overnight for observation. Has Danno woken up?"
"Naw, the kaikaina's out," Kono said. "Doc said he'd be asleep 'til tomorrow morning at least."
"They gave him a sedative and something for the pain," Chin added. "He bruised his ribs on top of all the cuts."
"I figured Doc would knock him out," Steve said. He pushed himself up as the orderly started to transfer him into the other bed. "I want to sit in a chair for a little while," he declared. With a shrug he was assisted over to the lounge by Danny's bed.
"Dr. Hansen wants you in bed, Mr. McGarrett," the orderly reminded him.
"Yeah, I'll get in bed soon," Steve said. He leaned over to look closely at the sleeping man's face. "He looks absolutely beat."
"No sleep and that wild ride boss," Kono reminded him.
"Yeah, being hunted didn't help him either," he agreed.
"Having a stubborn boss doesn't do a thing for him, either," Bergman said as he entered the room. "Just be sure you don't wake him up with your prodding, Steve!"
"I haven't touched him!" McGarrett retorted, although he pulled his hand back from jostling Danno's arm. Niles just rolled his eyes as he proceeded to do a quick check on the younger patient.
"I don't expect the cultures back until this time tomorrow," Bergman said as he gently pulled the light blanket up under the sleeping man's chin. "I've started him on a general antibiotic just to be on the safe side." Steve settled back in his chair, being sure he had no contact with his sleeping detective.
At least until Bergman left.
After jotting some notes on the clip board he glanced over McGarrett. Then he walked over to give him the once over.
"I thought Dr. Hansen said you were to stay in bed," the man observed as he started to count a pulse.
"He said rest," Steve growled. "You said there was a bed available." Bergman rolled his eyes.
"Ok, thirty minutes," he relented. "Then in the bed! Kono will pick you up and put you in it if you refuse!" Kono grinned. He liked the idea.
"Ok, ok, thirty minutes," Steve grumbled, "after you walk out the door!" Raising his hands in a placating manner the good doctor left. Steve move closer to Danny and then put his hand on his akaine's head, gently stroking his hair. Soothing himself.