Steve brings beer and orange juice with him and shakes his head with a smile when Danny asks if he brought some vodka too.
“Vitamin C, Danno, “ Steve answers, putting his shit on Danny’s tiny counter and pouring him a generous glass. “Keep your strength up.”
Danny smiles, looking more tired than usual, but over-all not really that bad. “Don’t you worry about my strength, Steven. Could run a freaking marathon right now. I could chase down whatever low life you can scare up. I just—“
Steve interrupts him, “Don’t want Grace catching the evil disease you’ve so successfully conquered?”
“Yes,” he replies, taking the juice from the counter and walking into his not-quite other room.
Steve opens a bottle and follows him.
Danny doesn’t have cable, or a TV anyway, so they shoot the shit for a while, talking about nothing important. Steve watches Danny drink his OJ and slump further and further into the couch. He doesn’t tell him to grab a tissue when it’s obvious he needs one and is pretending otherwise, and he doesn’t demand to know what kind of meds Danny has taken either, even though he wants to.
Steve knows Danny’s a grown man and can take care of himself. It’s just that he sounds so pathetic sucking that shit back up his nose and his color is looking worse by the second.
Steve goes to get a second bottle from the fridge and when he returns Danny asks him about the craziest chase he’d ever been on. “And don’t say it was the one when we met, or the shit with those cyclists. I know you did crazy stuff when you were off island for so long.” He smiles, like he knows Steve was going to do just that. “Spill, babe.”
“Why you wanna know, Danny?”
Before, they had been talking about College Football and the possibility of rain later in the week. The chatter had been going steadily, Danny just about yelling about how much he hates Notre Dame, and then complaining about Hawaii’s stupid weather along with its apparent abundance of pineapple and crazy Navy SEALS. But slowly, the conversation had kind of petered out. Danny was silent for long stretches, looking out the window or back at Steve as he fished for more subjects.
He shrugs, “Something to talk about.”
His OJ is gone and he’s tucked his feet up on the couch, cramming his body close into the corner of its lumpy cushions. Steve guesses it’s better than seeing him slip slowly to the floor trying to sit up straight, like his body’s not battling the 2nd grade plague.
Steve knows Danny doesn’t want Grace to get whatever it is he’s got, but he’s also pretty sure it’s some mutated form of something she already brought home. He also has a hunch Danny just doesn’t want his little girl seeing her Danno anything other than ship shape.
He smiles and launches into an amusing story about running down one of Hess’ less enterprising associates a few years back through the Akihabara area of Tokyo. The guy, an electronics wiz, had no sense whatsoever when it came to dealing with the criminal elements he’d let into his life, or with the various law enforcement agencies that were pursuing him. He actually thought that no one would think to look for him in the geek’s paradise when he’d been sighted at Narita airport.
“We found him in one of those, ah, maid restaurants. Like, the ones where the girls dress up in short skirts and aprons and what-have-you.”
Danny laughs, “No shit. He have his pants down already when you burst in?”
“Naw,” Steve shakes his head. “That one seemed pretty respectable. Not like the other four or five we chased him through. But man, those poor girls were so scared. Gun laws in Japan are real strict. Only police really carry them, licenses are hard to get, so seeing three big foreigners in camo brandishing hand guns and sniper rifles, chasing this little dude through hallways and windows and shit must have been terrifying.”
Danny shifts on the couch, more lying than sitting now, so he can get a better look at Steve’s face. “I’m sure you didn’t mind seeing all those pretty girls in the scenery.” Steve doesn’t say anything. He knows by now when Danny’s trying to set him up. Danny just grins like there’s always a next time and asks, “So how’d you get him?”
“He ran down a rabbit hole. Pretty literally too.” Steve smirks and Danny raises an eyebrow. “It was an Alice in Wonderland themed place. He got stuck in the part where Alice eats the mushroom that makes her big. You can’t fit through windows in a tiny room.”
Danny smiles, but it’s not the reaction Steve thought he’d get with that punch line. And he looks closer and finds that Danny’s eyes are looking a little bit droopy, his color still not good, real pale and clammy. He wants to ask him when he last took meds, what they were. He wants to touch his forehead and feel for the abnormal heat he’s thinking must be there, shiny with a little film of sweat though it is.
Instead he asks, “What about you?”
Danny blinks at Steve for a minute and then starts talking, kind of slowly, like he’s having trouble remembering. Which is weird, but Steve just watches him and doesn’t say anything. “It was bank robbers. Like, a bunch of them got away in a van or whatever, but they left one behind. I was closest so I ran after him. They had Halloween masks on or something, so I couldn’t see his face. He took me through like, this narrow alley and some backyards and shit. Then through this fucking bitch’s house, I had to break through the sliding door cuz the bastard locked it behind him and then, he threw a fucking dog at me.”
Steve has to break in here. “A dog?”
Danny looks up then, straight at him. “Yes, Steven, a dog,” he deadpans. “A boxer or something. A big one. It was crazy.”
“Okay,” Steve replies evenly.
“Yeah,” Danny continues, like he has to get back on track. “So after the dog thing, he took me down some more alley ways and then down into this like steep hill, to an irrigation canal. Like this wide open space, but I hurt my knee, going down the slope. I had a shot, a good one… but I couldn’t take it. I don’t know why. It’s not like I knew the guy.” At this he stops, like he’s confused and Steve can’t believe he almost fell for it.
He laughs and Danny looks at him. “What’s so funny?”
Steve cocks a smile. “You sure it wasn’t Patrick Swayze in a Reagan mask?”
“Um, what?” He’s looking at Steve like he’s the one who’s crazy, or lying, or both.
“Danny,” Steve replies, baffled. “Did you or did you not just describe to me the chase scene from Point Break?”
“Did I?” He asks vaguely. “That’s how I remember it anyway.”
“You remember it like it happened to you?”
Now Danny looks affronted. “It did,” he insists.
Steve is dumbfounded. He’s frozen for just a second, before he even thinks to cross the room and clamp his hand on Danny’s forehead. “Jesus Christ, Danno,” he cries and Danny jerks away from him. Steve lets his hand fall to his side. “Did you take any meds? At all?”
Danny’s looking at him like he has no idea why Steve would be touching him and says, “What?”
“You’re sick, Danno. Did you take medication for your illness?”
His expression changes to one of helpless bafflement. “You brought orange juice.”
“You think I laced it with Tylenol?” The words are coming through his teeth and he doesn’t really know why he’s so mad. Maybe it has something to do with how he thought Danny could freaking take care of himself. Steve hates being proven wrong.
“No,” Danny replies in a small voice.
“Then it’s not fucking medication, Danny. What is wrong with you?” Steve practically yells then winces at Danny’s face.
“Nothing,” he says petulantly.
“Danny,” Steve says slowly, sitting down at the edge of the couch and feeling really bad when he receives a glare that quite effectively communicates Danny’s desire for him to get the fuck away. “You just described the chase scene from Point Break to me like it happened to you. I think something’s wrong, and I think that’s it’s the fairly severe fever you’re currently spiking. You need to take some medication. Do you have any?”
Danny looks at him like the words have finally gotten though, a bit shame-faced and a lot embarrassed. “It’s probably expired. There’s the corner store though. I can—“
“Shut up,” Steve says and pushes Danny back into the couch when he makes to get up. “You’re not doing anything, okay? I’ll get it. I don’t know what frightens me more, the height of your temperature right now or the fact that you secretly identify with Keanu Reeves. Just stay here and try not to delude yourself into the Matrix, okay?”
“Oh my God, McGarrett,” Danny groans burying his face in his hands and Steve figures he’ll be fine. Eventually.