Danny’s hate for Hawaii was growing. He was continually adding to the list of reasons, the latest being the fact that the criminals liked to run out into the jungle. This led to them having to chase said criminals through said jungle.
Steve assured him that he knew his way around this area and that he would be able to track the guy rather easily. Danny was finding that hard to believe. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust that Steve could in fact find the guy, it was the fact that they were currently running through a damn jungle and it was getting dark.
“Steve, you can’t be serious. It’s getting dark and everything looks the same.”
“We can’t let him get too far away. We’ll never find him if we wait.”
Danny sighed. “Fine. I’m calling Chin to let him know where we are.”
“Okay, just hurry. We’re losing daylight.”
After hanging up the phone, Danny stepped back over to where Steve was standing.
“Chin and Kono are back at HQ with the other suspect. Told him we’d call when we were headed back.”
“Let’s get going. Follow me, and whatever you do, don’t wander off. It’s easy to get lost out here.” They both pulled their guns and headed out.
There were no trails through this part of the jungle, but Danny realized that Grace could probably track this guy. He was making no efforts to hide his path, and Danny was beginning to feel much better about their odds of catching the guy sooner than later.
They came upon what appeared to be a clearing, when they heard gun shots. They both ducked behind some trees and tried to figure out where the gunfire was coming from.
Steve stepped out from behind his tree and the gunfire started again. He ducked back and then turned to Danny. “He’s over there,” he said as he pointed off to the other side of the clearing. “We need to try and get around to the other side of the clearing. Our best bet is to head that way.” He pointed to their right. The foliage was thicker in that direction and it would be easier for them to make their way unnoticed.
They both ducked down, trying to stay out of view of the gunman. Shots were exchanged, but they still weren’t sure where exactly the guy was.
They finally got to the tree line that lined the right edge of the clearing. Danny was slightly ahead of Steve as they made their way around. There was a gap in the trees that not only opened up into the clearing, but it also revealed a sheer cliff overlooking a river. The gap wasn’t big, but it was enough for the gunman and he took a shot. The bullet hit Danny in the left shoulder. Steve had seen the glint of the man’s gun and had taken a shot at almost the same moment.
He had no idea if the shot had hit home though, as Danny was propelled into him from the force of the bullet. They both stumbled back toward the cliff and over the edge.
Danny landed on an outcropping; the breath knocked out of him both from the bullet and the landing. He was laying on his stomach his left arm hanging over the edge. Once he had come back to himself, he could hear his name being called. He blinked a few times to clear his vision and he saw a hand holding onto the edge of the outcropping. He tried to move but his left shoulder was screaming pain at him. He winced, but shifted over to where he could see over the edge.
Steve looked up at him. “Danny, you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Don’t lie to me.”
“Okay, fine, I’ve been shot and it hurts like hell.” He winced again.
Steve didn’t say anything. He just looked up at Danny with a determined look on his face. He then looked down toward the river below him.
It didn’t take Danny long to figure out what was going through Steve’s mind. Even though it hurt, he moved his left arm and grabbed on to Steve’s arm, just as he let go of the edge.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“I was just going to go for a swim.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Danny managed through gritted teeth. “Don’t pull that ‘I’m invincible’ crap right now. Just hang on, okay. I think I can reach my phone.”
“Danny, do you trust me?”
Danny didn’t like where this was going. “Yeah, Steve, with my life.”
“Then trust me now. There’s no way you can pull me up, and there’s no way I’m going to be able to leverage my way up there. I’ll be okay. Just let me go.”
“No, I will not just let you go. That’s got to be at least 30 feet, and no telling how deep that water is...”
“Trust me. I’ll be fine. I’ve been trained for this kind of thing…”
“Damnit, Steven, you don’t know for sure, and I… I can’t lose you.”
Steve hesitated, and then said, “You won’t. You have to get up and call for help. You can’t do that while you’re holding on to me. I’ll be fine. You have to trust me.”
Danny closed his eyes. The pain in his arm was getting worse. He knew Steve was right. “Don’t you dare die. Grace will never forgive you.”
“I won’t, Danno.”
Danny loosened his grip on Steve’s arm. Steve let go of Danny’s arm and slipped free. Danny couldn’t watch him fall. He closed his eyes as the pain threatened to overwhelm him.
Steve straightened his body and hit the water. The current threatened to keep him under, but he was able to escape it and surface with relative ease. The current was a little stronger than he expected though, and he had to fight against it to try and get to the shore.
Danny laid there for a couple of minutes, trying to regain some sense of composure. He then pushed himself up using his right arm. He managed to get into a seated position and leaned against the cliff face. He pulled his phone from his pocket.
“Hey, brah, ya headed back?”
“Danny? What’s going on?”
“Steve… he… I… let him go…”
“Danny? I’m tracing your phone. Can you tell me what happened?”
“The guy shot me… we fell… I let him go…”
“Danny, we’re on our way. We’ve also got search and rescue and the paramedics with us.”
Danny didn’t have any energy left, and the pain was becoming too much. He didn’t hear when both Chin and Kono tried to get him to continue talking.
Danny slowly came to awareness. He couldn’t feel anything, but he could tell he was in a bed. He tentatively opened his eyes. The light caused him to close them again, but he blinked a few times and was able to open them fully.
“Danny, hey, you’re finally back with us.”
“I told you I’d be fine.”
“I landed and then swam to shore. Piece of cake.”
“Piece of cake he says.”
Steve grinned. “Thank you.”
Danny didn’t answer. He had already fallen back asleep.
Steve sat back down in the chair. There was no reason to tell him how close he had actually come to losing him. Some things were just better off being left unsaid.