The bust had gone down as planned. There was very little resistance and no casualties. Steve was searching for one of the thugs, Eddie Lono, who had run deeper into the warehouse. Danny was right behind him, watching his back as he always did.
Steve came upon a locked door, and signaled to Danny that he was going to kick it open. Danny nodded back, neither making a sound. They both readied their guns and then Steve kicked the door open.
He pointed his gun into the room and slowly walked through the open door. As soon as he was through the door, it slammed shut behind him, leaving Danny stuck on the other side. Steve was slammed up against the door, making it impossible for Danny to open it.
Lono held Steve up against the door with his arm across Steve’s throat. Steve tried to kick out, but he was quickly running out of air. He could hear Danny trying to get the door open on the other side. Just as his vision was beginning to gray, Lono head-butted him, hitting him in the middle of the forehead. The force of the hit threw Steve’s head back into the door. Lono then dropped him. He was unconscious before he hit the floor. Lono picked up Steve’s gun from the floor where he’d dropped it and aimed it at the door.
Danny had tried several times to get the door open with no luck. He stood back and was going to try kicking it in again when he heard a loud thump against it and then what sounded like a body hitting the floor.
He got ready to kick the door when the first bullet tore through the door. Danny was lucky he hadn’t been right up against the door. He was able to move out of the way as four more bullets ripped through the door and imbedded in the opposite wall. He would have fired back, but he had no idea where Steve was. Danny couldn’t risk hitting him.
He was soon joined by Chin and Kono and several members of HPD.
“Come out with your hands up!” Danny yelled.
Another shot ripped through the door. It was close to another one and caused a large hole to form.
Danny cautiously ducked down to where he could see through the hole in the door. He got a clear view of Lono, but was worried when he couldn’t see Steve anywhere. He held his gun up so it was pointing through the hole in the door and yelled back, “Gladly!” He pulled the trigger, hitting Lono center mass. He fell to the ground, dead.
As soon as Lono hit the ground, Danny was using his entire body weight to push the door open. It finally budged, but he could only get it open a few inches. That’s when he saw Steve’s body lying on the ground just on the other side.
“Shit! He’s right behind the door, and he’s unconscious.”
“I’ll go in. Just push it a little more,” Kono said.
Chin and Danny pushed it a little bit more and Kono squeezed through. She did her best to move Steve out of the way without moving him around too much. Danny and Chin then joined her in the room.
“He’s breathing, but it sounds like he’s struggling. Looks like Lono had him by the throat.”
Steve’s throat looked red and purple bruising was starting to show itself. He also had bruising on his forehead.
“Steve, buddy, open your eyes.” Danny was worried.
There was no response.
The paramedics showed up within five minutes of them finally busting into the room. They quickly got Steve onto a gurney, placing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose, and wheeled him out of the warehouse and into the ambulance. Danny walked alongside the gurney and climbed into the ambulance with them.
As the ambulance made its way to the hospital, Danny couldn’t help but stare at Steve’s closed eyes. He was too still. Danny had never seen Steve so still. It scared him.
Half an hour later, Danny, Chin, and Kono were seated in the waiting room, waiting to hear about Steve’s condition. Dr. Swanson came into the room and headed straight to where they were seated.
“Danny, Chin, Kono… I’m sure you are all anxious to hear about Steve. He’s going to be fine.”
The three Five-0 members audibly exhaled, relief showing on each of their faces.
“He’s just been moved to a room, but before we head there, I want to let you know what’s going on. He has quite a bit of bruising on his neck, and his throat is a little swollen. There’s no sign of any permanent damage, but the swelling has us concerned. If it doesn’t go down soon or it gets any worse, we may have to put him on a ventilator to assist with his breathing until such time that it does go down. We’ve got him on steroids to try to prevent that from happening. So far so good.”
He waited briefly before continuing.
“He also has a moderate concussion. It appears that he was hit on the forehead and then the back of his head made contact with something hard.”
“From what we have been able to figure out, Steve was being held up against the door, and… the guy hit him, and the force of it slammed his head into the door.”
“Okay… we took him for x-rays and a CAT scan. Fortunately, there are no fractures, and no signs of damage. When he wakes up, he’ll probably have quite the headache.”
“He hasn’t regained consciousness?” Kono asked, worry evident in her voice.
“No he hasn’t, but that’s to be expected with this type of injury. He took hits to both the front and back of the head. I’m actually surprised there wasn’t anything on the scan.”
“You know him, Doc. He’s got a hard head.”
“That he does, Danny. Well, we’ve got him under close supervision, to make sure that no complications occur. Everything looks good right now. So, if you would like to follow me, I’ll take you to his room.”
“Thanks, Doc,” each of them said.
They followed the doctor to Steve’s room and then walked inside. The doctor left them alone, stating that he’d be back in an hour to check on him.
Danny took a seat on the right side of his bed, Kono sat to the left. Chin stood at the foot of the bed. They all looked down at their fallen leader and friend. He still had an oxygen mask over his nose and mouth. The bruising on his neck was an ugly purple. The bruise on his forehead had spread out from the point of origin and his right eye was slightly bruised as well.
Danny couldn’t help but stare at Steve’s closed eyes again. If not for the bruises, he looked almost peaceful. Even though he knew Steve would be okay, he wouldn’t believe it until he opened his eyes.
Six hours later, Chin had fallen asleep on a chair by the window, Kono was dozing in her chair, and Danny was still sitting, watching Steve sleep. He was startled by a quiet moan.
“Steve? You awake?”
“Can you open your eyes?”
Slowly, Steve’s eyes opened.
“Wha?” It was so quiet that Danny barely heard it.
“Don’t talk. Your throat is swollen. You also have a concussion. I guess Lono decided to use your head as a battering ram.”
“What did I just say? No talking. To answer your question, he’s dead.”
“’K.” His eyes closed.
Danny sat back in his chair. He looked around the room, noticing that the cousins hadn’t stirred. He looked back at Steve. He didn’t mind looking at Steve’s closed eyes again. Danny knew he’d be okay.