A/N: You guys are amazing! Thanks loads for the awesome review- they make me very happy. And actually fuel me to write faster cause I can't stand to keep y'all waiting.
And yes, party on is right. I think I may secretly be Dexter… but hey, whatever. I claim the rights to creative control. So THERE! Ha.
Anyway, I hope you find the next installment to your liking… I'm hoping not to drag it out like I did with the TOS arc, so I'm trying to jam pack all the action and witty banter into a small number of words.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, plotlines, and snappy catchphrases belong to CBS studios. No profit is being made in the publication of this story.
"Hello… Steve? McGarrett! Damnit!" Danny cried, pulling his phone from his ear and glaring at it, hoping it would reproduce the sound of his partner's tired and raspy voice. He got nothing but deep silence in return, followed by the telltale dial tone that screamed THIS PERSON IS GONE! GONE I TELL YOU! HANG UP!
Danny hung up with an angry jab of his thumb and stashed the useless device away. Turning back to Chin and Kono, he found them huddled together, speaking quietly and with more than just their words. He caught the look that passed between the two.
"We have to go. Now." Danny said, leaving no room for argument. Kono nodded. Chin looked apprehensive.
"What?" Danny barked, turning on him and glaring. Kono laid a hand on his arm placatingly.
"Relax, brah," Chin returned calmly, hands raised defensively, "we all want him back. But there's a good chance the boat is sinking. We need divers. Equipment."
"We need a miracle."
"So what the hell do you want us to do, Chin? Sit back and let him drown?"
"Of course not, Danny!" Chin cried, his perpetually stoic eyes flashing. Danny could tell he hit a nerve. He backed off, noting his unrequited anger toward the native man.
"Sorry, Chin," he sighed, bringing a shaking hand to the bridge of his nose, "I'm… stressed."
"Us, too. But hot headed anger won't do anyone any good. We need a plan."
"We need a boat," Kono chimed in.
"We need to do whatever we're going to do right now. We don't have time to waste!" Danny bit back. He couldn't stand still, and found himself pacing around and around the damp dock, turning only when he had no more wood to walk on. The water lapped lazily at the structure, looking far more innocent than it was. Danny scowled.
"Kono!" A young voice cried, and Danny could hear pounding footsteps as the owner of that voice reached the dock.
"Sami K!" Kono called back, waving. A small smile graced her lips, but it didn't stay long. Danny tuned out the conversation between the cousins and turned back to glare at the sea beneath his feet. His hands shook as he stood, twitching with frustration and terror at the thought that Steve sunk closer and closer to his death- SEAL or not, the water was cold that far out and he wasn't a fucking fish- while the team stood idly by, unable to do anything to help. Chin was right; they had no rescue helicopter, no boat, no nothing.
That didn't last long.
"Danny," Kono breathed, sounding strangely relieved. Danny turned. Both she and Chin were smiling slightly, looking determined.
"Our cousin is a rockstar," Kono continued, "and he found us a boat."
Danny couldn't help but smile just a little, too.
The water was cold.
Sure, Steve was used to far worse; he once did cold water conditioning for four hours in the middle of the night. In Maryland. In December. He knew cold.
But home was always warm. Hawaii was the epitome of beautiful waters and sunshine and general comfort. Hawaiian water shouldn't be cold. Hypothermia should be just another medical term that didn't apply here.
But it was. And Steve was feeling the telltale stiffening of his limbs and shortness of breath as his body tried to conserve heat as much as possible.
Damn, he thought, I don't have time to be hypothermic. The water was up to his waist at that point, and he had let go of the railing of the vertical and still sinking ship and let himself float lazily, inching closer to the window and his salvation, still holding onto his metal instrument so tightly he was sure he was about to draw blood. He couldn't risk loosing it; it was the best was to increment the water that would rush in from the window he would crack. If he used a fist, he risked a torrent of water so great that he would surely be knocked back into the boat, unable to escape.
It was going to be close. Steve knew if he cracked the window too early and it was submerged, the water would rush in too quickly for him to counteract it. If he was too late, the boat would be very deep, and the swim would be almost impossible, given the cold permeating through him and the stiffness in his body. He knew his limits, and that was one of them.
So the timing had to be perfect.
Trying to kick his legs, and finding them almost too stiff to move, Steve didn't fight the shivering. He knew it was the best option he had of producing heat in his body. So he continued to float and to try and kick and to let the tremors in his body continue unabated.
The water rose steadily, and Steve rose with it.
A loud creak sounded throughout the hollow room. And then another. And another. The foreboding symphony could only mean one thing; the boat was completely submerged and sinking fast. Steve shiver's reached epic proportions as his chattering teeth entered the mix.
He was tired of waiting. Tired of being helpless. Tired of being tired. He was itching to be progressive- to help himself.
Lucky for him the water was pouring in fast. He was still rising toward the window that sat high above him.
Ten feet. And then seven. And five. Three. Just an arm's length. And then he was there. The water pushed him up to the window, and Steve looked out into the deep blue waters. It was dark. Very dark. Steve knew he was deep below the surface, and getting deeper every second.
The water lapped at the window. And then submerged it, forcing Steve toward the top of the vertical boat.
Steve braced himself. The room was almost full of freezing water, leaving nothing but a pocket of air.
He was getting colder. Stiffer. He tilted his head to catch a final gulp of air. And then the water tickled his nose. He breathed deeply a last time, knowing he would have no more air for several minutes.
It was time.
The pressure was equalized, and he was out of air. Wasting no time, he swam toward the window, feeling as much as he was seeing since the salty water blurred his vision.
There it was. The window. Steve blew out a few bubbles and sunk to the level of the glass, poising his metal instrument as he went. Reaching out with his hand and feeling the smooth surface, he jabbed the metal quickly into it, seeing the blurred outline of a hole formed and feeling a slight change in the water. Satisfied, he made another and a third until he was sure water would not rush in and force him back.
He was running out of both time and air. Dropping the metal rod, he struck out with his fist and pounded away until the glass cracked against his fingers and ultimately broke. Water did rush in; it was minimal and didn't force Steve deeper into the boat, but it was enough to slice his hand as it passed, glass gouging out the flesh as the water turned red.
Blackness started to creep at the edges of his vision. His limbs grew stiffer and his head pounded. Still, he forced himself to grab the edges of the newly formed hole in the sunken vessel and propel himself through it and out into the open sea.
He wanted to twist toward the surface above him. Wanted to feel the sun on his face. He wanted to kick his legs and move his arms like he learned at the Academy. He wanted to breathe again.
But he was tired. And his body seemed unwilling to do what his mind commanded.
He was a good swimmer. A great swimmer. In fact, he was so confident of his ability to swim that he had never before questioned himself in any situation involving the water. Five years as a SEAL and he had never succumb to the sea. Never been overcome. Even when he jumped after a fallen comrade in Russia and had been forced to bring him back to the surface of the frozen lake and through the one small opening. He didn't falter when he had to hold is breath for several minutes as he hid beneath Anton Hesse's cargo ship, waiting to board. He had never let the water get the best of him. Ever.
Today it did, because had not done those things devoid of any proper gear, sporting a head injury and cracked ribs. And so his body was growing wearier with each passing second. He was cold and stiff and losing blood rapidly through his sliced hand and the front of his head. His chest was constricting, his aching ribs protesting loudly to the lack of oxygen.
Steve pushed forward, still swimming desperately toward the surface, his sluggish body struggling to keep up with his unprecedented determination.
Blackness threatened to engulf him. It danced at the corners of his eyes, creeping in and out as he strained to overlook it. His head thudded with the ragged beat of his heart. His lungs screamed for oxygen.
And then he broke the surface.
Gasping and sputtering, he attempted a single gulp of clean, dry air. What he got instead was the salty taste of water once more as small but relentless waves lapped over his barely surfaced head. It snaked down his throat, making him want to cough but unable to. Once again devoid of oxygen, Steve felt himself slip under the surface of the water. His vision went dark as he sank deeper and deeper, his desperate lungs and pounding head giving way to a comfortable nothingness that he embraced without question.
"How far out is the yacht supposed to be?" Kono asked, not looking at the other tow men in the boat, and instead pouring over a GPS.
"No one is sure," Danny replied, looking urgently out over the water and grasping the railing tightly- partly out of fear of the sea and partly out of fear of what he would find. "Since HPD didn't actually call it in, no one bothered to check." He hated himself for that. "It can't be more than fifteen minutes away, given what your cousin said.
"Then we reached the end of the line…" Kono trailed away, looking up at Danny fearfully. Danny felt the panic that he saw in her eyes, knowing the implication of a general lack of exploded yacht anywhere in the vicinity.
"Do we have any sonar equipment?" He asked desperately, hoping they had some kind of answer. Some kind of miracle. Kono shook her head.
"So we go in old fashioned," Chin piped up. Kono and Danny looked down; he was sitting on the floor of the small and sleek vessel they had obtained, putting a wetsuit on his chest and oxygen on his back.
Standing, he grabbed the rest of his gear and prepared to jump at a moment's notice.
Danny, unable to watch someone gear up to save his partner (Chin was the best diver, but it didn't make it any less frustrating to see), turned out again to look over the gently lapping water.
He had never considered himself a particularly lucky man; after all, he had gone through a divorce, a major move, a career change, the loss of a brother, and more than one near death experience, and he wasn't even middle aged yet. He was fully prepared to be struck by lightning at any time.
And yet, today, he was a very lucky man. Maybe it was fate apologizing for being such a bitch. Maybe not. All Danny knew was that he was counting his blessings and thanking the high heavens that he was granted this one small bit of luck, because- as luck would have it- he was facing southwest as Chin continued to prepare behind him. And southwest, less than twenty yards away, was where Danny saw- if only for a moment- a pale peachy speck break the surface. It stayed for a second or two before a small wave broke over it, and then the speck was gone.
But Danny wasn't a detective for nothing. And today he was a lucky man.
"Chin," he said urgently, catching the man's attention. "There." He pointed. "Southwest. Twenty yards."
Chin gave him a brief, very scrutinizing look. And then he nodded once, took two steps, and jumped off the side of the boat into the water.
Danny's heart beat faster, and his breathing accelerated. He has to find him. He has to. I can't do this… not again.
Kono clasped his hand reassuringly, and Danny squeezed back unconsciously.
Together, they waited.
Chin didn't let the cold, deep waters faze him when. He acknowledged that the sea was unseasonably chilly, especially on this side of the island. He noted the blackness beneath him and the faint outline of what was surely the sunken yacht. But he didn't let it faze him.
Because if he did, he didn't think he'd be able to continue as the sheer weight of his task would paralyze him.
So instead Chin pressed on, swimming deeper and deeper, flashlight out and searching frantically for his boss. He moved the light surely, but not too quickly so as to not miss anything. It took less than ten seconds for the beam to fall across a shadow. A Steve McGarrett shaped shadow.
Chin didn't bother to hold on to the light any longer; he had Steve in his sights- sort of- and the man was sinking fast. So he dropped the device and kicked. Hard. Pulling with his hands, moving water faster than he'd ever done before, he cut through the dense liquid. The shadow grew larger.
Chin's eyed widened when he finally descended on Steve's still sinking form. McGarrett was exceedingly pale, eyes closed, lips tinged blue. There were no bubbles escaping his mouth or nose. Water in his lungs, Chin thought fleetingly.
That was all he could discern, however, because the moment Chin snaked an arm around Steve's waist, he was off again, kicking with all his might toward the surface. It seemed miles away. Light-years. This was impossible. They would never make it. They were too far. Much too far.
A shadow appeared slightly to his right. A boat. Their boat.
Chin pushed harder, his lungs grateful for the oxygen they were receiving and well aware that Steve's had none. It would come down to mere seconds.
Chin broke the surface.
Immediately bringing Steve up with him, he splashed as much as possible and waved his arms to catch Danny's attention. Turns out he didn't need to; the minute he found dry air the boat was descending on the pair of them, Kono behind the wheel and Danny clinging to the railing with a hand out, prepared to haul Steve onto the vessel.
Chin pulled his boss's still unconscious and unmoving form forward and lifted with all his might. Together, he and Danny managed to push and pull him onto the boat. Danny immediately moved him over to the other side and laid him down, leaving Chin to climb aboard.
Dropping his oxygen tank and mask, he dropped down next to the mainlander as Kono spun the boat around and sped back to shore, the bullet- like vessel cutting through the water effortlessly.
Danny almost cried with relief when he hauled Steve onto the small speedboat. He was there. Tangible. Real.
His relief was sort- lived, however, because Steve was there all right, but his pulse and breathing were not. Blind panic surged through him once more as he laid Steve on the deck with enough room for Chin to climb aboard and finally got a good look at his partner. Steve was still, bluish- while, and bleeding sluggishly from his forehead and right hand.
Danny's inspection of his partner lasted exactly a half second before he put two hands on Steve's chest and pushed. Hard. He did it once more before bending down, clamping a hand over Steve's nose and breathing for him.
One, two, breathe. One, two, breathe. He did this twice before Chin dropped down next to him, poising to take over the breathing part so that Danny could focus solely on trying to pump blood into Steve's still heart.
"How's he doing?" Kono yelled from the front, her voice cracking.
"No pulse and no breathing. He needs to get to a hospital. Now!" Danny cried back, not looking up from his task. Steve remained blue and motionless, moving only with the pounding his chest took.
"He has water in his lungs," Chin muttered urgently between breaths. "He needs to cough it up."
"Yeah," Danny bit back, gritting his teeth, "just as soon as he has a pulse."
"How long has he been under?" Kono asked, eyes never straying from the endless expanse of ocean in front of her. The general lack of land made Danny's hands shake.
"Too long," he replied.
One, two, breathe. One, two, breathe. It had been thirty seconds. And when every second counted, it was thirty too many.
Danny pushed again and again. Chin kept breathing. Kono kept driving. And Steve did nothing. No movement. No heartbeat. Nothing. Danny's eyes misted as he pounded away, hands cramping with effort. He couldn't do it again. Couldn't lose another partner. Another brother.
"Damnit, Steve," he growled, "breathe! Get off your lazy ass and breathe!"
And he did.
After forty five seconds of unsuccessful breathing and chest compressions, Steve arched his back and coughed. Water spilled out of his mouth and he turned instinctively to the side to dispel the liquid. It poured onto the deck as he continued to cough violently and suck in great, shuddering, ragged breaths.
"That's good, Rambo, spit it out," Danny said, sitting back slightly and giving just a small smile.
Chin didn't respond the same way. The minute Steve began to breathe on his own, the native man sprung into action, moving quickly to cut Steve's soaked shirt away. Danny frowned at the sudden motion, but his eyes widened a second later as he understood. Steve was blue for a reason.
Standing up and digging around for a stash of blankets that had made it onto the boat along with a small stash of other medical gear, Danny and Chin quickly removed the rest of Steve's soaking and freezing garments. They both gaped a little at the purple and blue bruising all along the left side of his chest, but then noted the injury and moved on. Warmth was the most important thing now.
"How far, Kono?" Chin asked, eyes never straying from his task.
"Ten," was the helpless answer. "Will he make it?"
"I don't know."
Tucking the blankets around Steve's breathing but still form, Danny caught Chin's eyes. They both knew the unspoken answer to the question. He won't unless we can get him warm.
"Chin," Danny said, noting the tremor, "He's still too cold."
"The shivering is good," the other man replied. He didn't sound hopeful.
Steve turned his head slightly, and then cracked his eyes open.
"Steve?" Danny asked, leaning toward the blanketed man. "Can you hear me? You're safe, you crazy- ass SOB. No thanks to you." Steve didn't respond. His eyes had opened more, and his blue- tinged lips parted, but no words were formed.
"Danny…" Chin began, looking down at Steve's unresponsive form, "we don't know how long he went without oxygen. We don't know the brain function yet-"
"Don't sat that, Chin!" Danny hissed, glaring. "He's going to be fine. He practically lived in the water for five years as a SEAL. He'd going to be okay. He has to be." He dismissed Chin and his statement and turned back to his partner.
"Steve?" He questioned again, peering closely into the man's open eyes.
They looked right past him.
A/N: Yeah, I know. It resembles Grey's Anatomy. Not my fault I just watched that episode. But I do need a question answered: Full recovery and the end of the story? Or should Steve have to relearn something he was really good at? Like talking. Or killing people. Or generally being a badass. I'd like to keep him as a badass, so preferably not that one. Let me know!