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Everything had spiraled out of control, and no matter how hard he tried, Steve couldn’t stop it. He realized too late that he had been wrong to go it alone. None of that mattered anymore. So, there he was, sitting in a holding cell, waiting.

He was sitting on a hard metal bench that was bolted to the back wall of the cell. He sat with his elbows on his knees, and he was holding his head in his hands. He didn’t hear the footsteps walking up to the cell.

“Steve?”

He looked up to see Danny standing there. He didn’t say anything.

“Steve… hey… talk to me, babe.”

“Wha… what do you want me to say?”

Danny didn’t know how to respond. He was quiet for about a minute before finally saying something.

“Look, we’re working to get you out of here. I just need to know that you’re going to be alright.”

Steve scoffed and then lifted his head again.

“Alright? Am I alright? Do I look alright to you?”

Danny was taken aback, but he knew Steve was just trying to deal with what was going on. He wasn’t doing a very good job. He put his hands on the bars.

“Just… hang in there, okay? We’ll get you out of this.”

Steve just put his head back into his hands, and remained quiet.

Danny walked back down the hallway and out of the holding area. Chin was waiting at the door.

“Chin, he’s shutting down. We need to get him out of here, as soon as possible.”

“I know. I’m doing what I can from in here.”

“I wish you hadn’t gone off without telling us what you were doing, and I’m sorry I thought you had betrayed him.”

“It’s alright.” He hesitated before he continued. “Danny, they’re transferring him to Halawa first thing in the morning. I’m trying to get him put in protective custody there, but it’s not looking good.”

Danny ran his hand through his hair. “Look, I have to go. I’ve got some phone calls to make. Things to take care of. I’ll call you.”

“Don’t do anything stupid, Danny.”

“Come on, who are you talking to?”

“Exactly.”

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Chin was there when they took Steve from the holding cell. Chin placed his hand on Steve’s shoulder and squeezed, hopefully an assuring sign that Chin was on his side. Steve looked into his eyes and they exchanged a look. Steve hadn’t said a word since Danny had been there the night before.

Upon arrival at Halawa, he had been processed, and then given a private cell. That had been the only concession. He would be in general population, and not under protective custody.

Steve had shut down almost completely by the time he was locked into his cell that night. He hadn’t said a word to anyone, much less interacted in any meaningful way. He went about the motions, and did what he was told. He ate when it was time, went to the bathroom when his body told him to, and he went to bed when the lights went out.

He had continued like that for four days; until he got his first visitor.

“Inmate, you have a visitor.”

Steve just looked up at the guard, stood up from his cot, and followed him. He was guided to a chair behind a glass wall. He didn’t look up until he had sat down. Danny was sitting there; he looked exhausted. Steve looked rough, unshaven, except for the buzz cut he had received when he had arrived. Danny couldn’t believe he was looking at Steve McGarrett.

Danny motioned to Steve to pick up the phone. He waited until Steve had grabbed his and put it up to his ear.

“Steve?”

He didn’t say anything.

“Babe, talk to me… please.”

“I… don’t know… what to say.”

Danny had never seen Steve this broken before. Not even when he had first met him, after his father was murdered. This was new, and it was terrifying.

“Then… just listen. Okay?”

Steve shook his head slightly, just enough for Danny to see.

“We’re pretty sure that there is someone else within the department that is on Wo Fat’s payroll. Chin keeps getting shot down at every turn. Five-0 has been disbanded and shut down. Everything’s gone. They are one step ahead of us, and…”

“What about the copies?”

“The copies? Ah yes, the copies of all the evidence that Kaye and you made. We’ve set up our own office, and are working with what we were able to get from HQ before they shut us down. Chin and Kono are the only other people that know where it is and what we’re doing.”

“Oh God, Kono. Is she okay?”

“She’s been suspended pending investigation. It’s not looking good.”

Steve squeezed his eyes shut. “Damnit.”

“Let us worry about everything okay. You just work on staying in one piece. Chin tried to get you put in the protective custody wing, but again, he was shut down. Just keep your eyes open and watch your six.”

“I will.”

Danny put his hand up on the glass and waited. Steve hesitated before putting his hand up on the glass as well.

“One of us will be by in a couple of days. We’re close to something. I can’t say anything yet, but hopefully, you’ll be out of here soon.”

“Thank you,” Steve said quietly into the phone, before hanging it up.

The guard came and took Steve away, leaving Danny staring after him.

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The next day, Victor Hesse was released from solitary.

In the state of mind Steve was in, it hadn’t even registered that Hesse would be in the same place as him. He had reverted back to the state he had been in before Danny’s visit, and didn’t even notice at first when Hesse sat across from him in the lunch hall.

“Well, how the mighty have fallen.”

Steve froze. He slowly looked up from his plate and into the eyes of the man who had killed his father. He didn’t say anything, but all the feelings that he had pushed far away came bubbling to the surface. He did his best to hide it, but it was too late.

“I’d watch yourself. A lot can happen when the guards aren’t looking.”

He stood up and walked away. It took all of Steve’s willpower to keep him from going after him. He took a look around the room and noticed that many of the other inmates were now staring at him. At that moment, he dug into that part of himself that had kept him alive for some many years in the SEALs. All that mattered was survival.

Steve didn’t see Hesse for the rest of the day. That didn’t mean he would let his guard down though. It made him extremely paranoid, but he knew that he didn’t have any backup in here. He was all alone. As the lights went out, all he could think about was his team, his ohana, and hoped that he’d survive long enough for them to get him out.

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The day started like all the rest, with lights on and roll call. Usually, once the inmates had been accounted for, the guards would herd them to wherever they were scheduled to go. The guard came to get him from his cell, and led him toward the common area. Before they reached it though, the guard stepped aside, and several large inmates approached Steve. He stopped and began to back away, but his way was blocked. He realized too late that he was completely surrounded.

He tired to fight them off, but there were too many and they quickly had him subdued. They took him into what looked like a large storage room and threw him to the floor. There waiting was Victor Hesse.

“Nice of you to join me, Commander.”

Again, Steve was silent, but the words he wanted to say might as well have been written all over his face.

“Cat got your tongue? No matter. By the time anyone finds you, it won’t make any difference.”

Steve knew exactly what that meant. Hesse had nothing to lose. He got to his feet and launched himself at Hesse. He got one good shot, knocking Hesse off his feet. Steve didn’t see the look Hesse gave the other men in the room. He never saw the hit that took him down. He didn’t feel the kicks that came after.

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“Williams.”

“Detective Williams, this is Doctor Jones at Halawa Correctional.”

“What’s wrong? What happened to McGarrett?”

“He’s being transported to Queens. We’re still trying to figure out what happened.”

“You don’t know what happened? How the hell can you not know what happened?”

“Detective, please. He was found around ten o’clock in a storage room. He had been beaten pretty severely. He has a severe concussion, and we don’t have the equipment here to take proper care of him.”

Danny was uncharacteristically quiet. It took him a few moments to compose himself.

“Thank you. I’m headed to the hospital. Please, call me if you find out anything.”

Danny hung up and immediately dialed Chin.

“Danny?”

“Chin, its Steve. He was just transported to Queens. They say he was beaten. I’m headed there now.”

“What the hell? Okay, call me when you find out how he is. I’m headed to Halawa.”

“Can you call Kono and Jenna? They need to know.”

“I will.”

“Chin, we’re so close. He would have been out of there tomorrow.”

“He’s going to be okay, brah.”

“Yeah. He has to be.”

Danny hung up the phone, started the car, and headed toward the hospital.

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Steve could hear voices. They were coming from several places in the room. That couldn’t be right though. His cot was in the corner of the cell. As more of his senses kicked in, he realized that there was no way that he was in his cot. The bed was too soft. He tried opening his eyes, but as soon as the light hit them, he slammed them shut. The pain was agonizing. He must have moaned because the voices he had heard earlier stopped, and then one in particular started talking.

“Steve? Hey, babe. You with us?”

“Dan…?”

“Yeah, it’s Danny. Chin and Kono are here too.”

“What? Where?”

Kono had alerted the doctor as soon as Steve had begun to rouse. He walked into the room.

“Steve, can you open your eyes?”

“Hurts. What happened?”

“You’ve been here at the hospital for almost eight hours. You were found beaten in a storage room at the prison. Do you remember what happened?”

“The last thing I remember is Hesse sitting at my table at lunch.”

“Hesse? Are you kidding me? How the hell? Damnit!”

“Danno, can you keep it down a bit?”

“Oh shit, sorry.”

Chin turned and headed toward the door.

“Guys, keep me updated. I’ve got someone I need to talk to.” He was out of the room before anyone could question him.

“Kono?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

Steve had closed his eyes again, but he had one more question to ask.

“What’s…damage?”

“You’ve got a severe concussion, a few cracked ribs, and quite a bit of bruising. Amnesia is quite normal with concussions of this type. You’ll be sore for awhile. We want to keep you here for another day, to make sure there aren’t any complications from the head injury, but after that, you’re free to go.”

“Free?”

“Yeah, babe. You’re out. Well, you will be as of tomorrow.”

“How?”

“Don’t worry about that now. Just get some sleep while you can. You know how they are with concussions. They’ll be waking you up ever two seconds until they let you out of here. I’ll fill you in tomorrow.”

“’K, Danno.”

It wasn’t long before Steve was asleep again. Danny and Kono sat vigil in the chairs on either side of the bed.

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At four o’clock on the following day, the doctor came into Steve’s room with his discharge papers. He also brought a prescription for pain medicine and instructions for things to watch for with a concussion.

Danny had agreed to stay with him for a few days, just to make sure he didn’t reinjure himself, or fall into a coma, or whatever. Steve would have rolled his eyes at that, if it didn’t make him dizzy. The nurse wheeled him out to the parking lot where Danny had parked the Camaro. Danny helped him into the car and then got in and they drove toward Steve’s house.

“So, how did you get me out?”

“Well, everything had been rushed through when they found the Governor dead. It took a couple of days before all the evidence had been properly analyzed. Remember when I told you that we figured out there was someone in the department on Wo Fat’s payroll. Well, we were right. Sergeant Kane, in IA. He was also behind what happened with Kono. He rushed everything through, got you transferred right away, and apparently had someone on the inside at Halawa. That’s where Chin ran off to last night. It was all a very elaborate set up.”

“What about Wo Fat?”

“We haven’t gotten him yet. We’ve got enough evidence on him now, though, to bring him in and have the charges stick.”

Steve squeezed his eyes shut. “We’ve got to get him Danny. As long as he’s out there…”

“I know, and we will.”

“So, now what?”

Danny laughed. “Now, you go home and get some rest, and don’t worry about anything for a little while.”

Steve laughed, and then winced when the motion hurt his sore ribs and his head.

“How are you doing, Danny? You look really tired.”

“I’m okay, I guess. A lot happened while you were… gone.”

They pulled up in Steve’s driveway. Steve gave Danny a look, letting him know that he was going to get off not answering him completely and truthfully.

“Let’s get you in the house, and I’ll tell you everything.”

Danny got Steve to the sofa and gave him a pain pill before he sat down and continued.

“The day that everything went down, I was supposed to be on a plane with Rachel and Gracie headed back to New Jersey.”

“What? Why?”

“Rachel left Stan, and we were going to start over. I was going to go back with them, get settled, and then come back here and finish up, say goodbye, whatever. Then everything happened and there was no way I could leave. I had to get you out, there was no question. I realized then that I could never leave. This is where I’m supposed to be.”

“I can’t believe you were going to just leave us like that.”

“I can’t either. Love does that to you. Makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do. It wasn’t just that though. Rachel told me she was pregnant, with my baby.”

“What? How does she know?”

“That’s the thing. She didn’t know for sure. She was just trying to get me to come with her. It could be mine or Stan’s.”

“So, what are you going to do? Where are they now?”

“They’re still in New Jersey. I called her after I missed the plane. I told her what was happening, and she wanted to come back. I told her to stay there until we got this all figured out. It’s not safe for them here as long as Wo Fat is still out there.”

“Danny, it could be awhile before we are able to bring him in.”

“I know, but I would rather Grace be thousands of miles away and safe, than right here and in constant danger. I wouldn’t be able to live knowing it was my fault that she was hurt.”

“Well, we are going to get that son of a bitch, if it’s the last thing I do.”

“Just no going in alone. That didn’t work out so hot for you last time.”

Steve didn’t answer. He had fallen asleep, his medicine having kicked in. Danny stood and pulled a blanket over his sleeping form. He then sat back down in the chair and sat vigil over his friend. He knew he’d made the right decision, and he knew he’d never regret it.