The day had finally come. After nearly a month in the hospital, Steve was finally going home. He’d probably never say it out loud, but it had been the most pain he’d ever felt in his life. He’d had burns before, but nothing so extensive. They’d had to wait to give him heavy painkillers because of the concussion. That first day had been almost too much.
He’d developed an infection the day after Danny had been released. They kept him sedated while they treated him for it, because of the amount of pain he was in and his agitation. It took three days for his fever to break. It had been uphill from then on. That first week and a half had been absolute hell.
Danny had been there every day. Unfortunately, he hadn’t been allowed to stay with him all the time, no matter how often they both threatened to call the governor. It just wasn’t safe, especially after the infection had set in. They tried to make the best of the time they did have.
At the two week mark, they started him on some exercises to keep the skin from healing too tightly, especially around his shoulder. At three weeks, he was begging to leave. Dr. Marcus had been amazed by his progress, especially after the early setback. He wanted to keep an eye on the area around the skin graft for a couple of more days, but agreed that he would release Steve before the end of the week.
Those last few days in the hospital had been very long, and very boring. He couldn’t wait to leave.
Steve sat on the edge of his bed and waited for Danny to get there. He was still stiff, but the exercises had helped with mobility and he was regaining some of the strength he had lost while being laid up for so long.
Danny had gone back to work the week before, so Steve had to wait for him to get done for the day. Chin and Kono had dropped by at lunch and brought him some clothes to change into. They’d also brought him some real food. When asked where Danny was, they had both just shrugged. Steve could tell they knew something.
At 4:30, Danny walked in, pushing a wheelchair.
“Your chariot awaits,” he said; a smile lighting up his face.
“Are you serious? I’m fine. I don’t…”
He hadn’t noticed the nurse that followed Danny into the room.
“Hospital policy,” she said.
“Fine,” he snapped.
“Come on, Steven. It’s really not that bad. They’re letting me push.”
Steve moved to sit in the chair, but stopped short.
“Are you sure you should be…”
Danny held up his hands for Steve to see. Except for a scar on his palm, you could hardly tell he had been burned. He then opened and closed them several times.
“See, Steven, my hands are fine. Full mobility, minimal scarring. I’m good.”
Steve reached out and grabbed Danny’s hands and just held them for a few moments. He then nodded and sat down in the chair.
The nurse handed Danny some instructions for home care, and exercises. She then turned to Steve and said, “If you have any problems, no matter how minor they may seem, come back immediately. Burns are nothing to joke about.”
“Believe me, I know. This was no walk in the park.”
“Hold the presses! Did Steve McGarrett just admit weakness? Oh my God, I think he did!”
Danny just laughed. Steve joined in. It was the first time in awhile he’d been able to without pain.
They stayed relatively quiet as Danny wheeled him out to the car. It was just nice to be in each other’s presence, finally outside the hospital walls after so long. The car ride was quiet.
Danny pulled into the driveway and shut off the engine. Steve barely waited for him to stop the car before he was out the door. He was so relieved to be home. He had to wait for Danny to unlock the door though, as he didn’t have his keys with him.
When Danny pushed the door open, it was dark inside.
“Oh, sorry, I forgot to leave a light on.”
He moved to turn on the switch, and when the light came on, just about everyone they knew seemed to appear all around. They all yelled, “Welcome home!”
Grace came running up to him and hugged him around his waist. “Steve!”
“Hey Gracie,” he said as he bent down to hug her.
“I’m so glad you’re home.”
“Me too, sweetie. Me too.”
Steve stood back up and looked around the room, and then his eyes landed on Danny. It took all of his self control to keep him from losing his composure in front of the whole room of people. Danny could read it all over Steve’s face, so he grabbed him in a hug and just held on. Steve melted into it. That had been another first since the fire.
After about a minute, they heard someone clear their throat. It was Kono.
“Sorry, bosses, but we’ve got food and stuff here that’s going to go bad if we don’t get this party started. What do ya say?”
Steve and Danny pulled apart and looked at her and then at the others in the room. They both started to laugh, and everyone else joined in.
As they walked toward the lanai and out into the backyard where most of the food and stuff had been set, Steve turned to Danny.
“Thank you for this.”
“It was nothin’, babe.”
In that moment, Steve was truly happy. A new beginning in a day full of firsts.