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try to remember calmness

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He is controlled lighting, body quaking and face set in pure rage. Reaching for the door handle after skidding to a stop, Steve sees the danger and quickly intervenes.

“Danny,” he says, and their hands touch on the handle, a hint of a nudge. It’s a small thing, but Danny’s entire body moves with the contact like he’s been burned. Hands flying up, he turns, spitting angry.

“Not now,” he yells too loudly, and Steve’s own hands come up, a plea for calm.

“Danny, I know you’re upset,” he says very quickly, because they both know they don’t have time for this, “but you’re gonna wrap yourself around a pole like this, man, please.” He knows Danny has lost control, had it taken from him numerous times today in the worst way. Steve knows that the last thing he should be doing is wrestling away what little control Danny has. But he also knows that Danny’s close to breaking down, body shaking like a leaf, and Steve needs him to understand.

“Danny, please,” he repeats, and Danny’s just staring at him, eyes too bright and shoulders hitched like he wants to either fight or cry. But he does neither, merely sags and nods, a sharp thing, and Steve breathes again. Danny runs around the hood as Steve’s climbing into the Camaro, and they’re gunning it before the passenger side door is shut.

The drive is annunciated by only sirens and heavy breathing. Steve risks glances every few seconds over at Danny, whose face is currently covered by a hand. He’s still shaking, knees jumping and shoulders shifting constantly. He’s all motion, which isn’t weird for him, but this is too much. Steve wants to reach over and hold him down, hands pressing him into the seat until he stops, because it’s only making the anxious pit in his own stomach grow.

“Steve, watch the road, or you’ll be the one wrapping us around a pole.” It’s a mumble and he sounds so tired, but Steve feels a little better for it.

“I am,” he says, even though they both know it’s a lie. Danny’s hand moves from the side of his face down to his mouth, then through his hair, then settles on his brow. Steve hears a honk and swerves sharply, Danny barely managing to keep from smacking his head into the window.

Steve presses his own hand to his mouth and he exhales hard through his nose. This isn’t his daughter, there’s no blood in that girl or in this car, yet Steve can barely breathe past his anxiety. No father should have to worry about their daughter this way, and no daughter should have to go through something like this.

“Steve,” Danny says, one hand gripping the dash now, “drive faster please, for the love of God, Steve,” and he sounds so lost, Steve wants to slam on the breaks and hold him together, catch the pieces before they fall. But he can’t, because they have a job to do, so he urges the Camaro forward hard, cutting a corner too close and feeling the tires slide as they struggle for traction.

The seconds tick by and Steve can’t not think of the blood spotting Danny’s shirt, of the set of his shoulders as he shoots Stan, of the look in his eyes as he silently pleaded with Steve for forgiveness. He sees Grace, little Gracie, lying on the ground in a pool of blood. He runs a red light and cuts sharply around a sedan, jaw clenched tight.

They’re going to find her. For both Grace and her father, she has to be okay.