A day at the office was never just that when the office in question was the Hawaii Five-0 Task Force Headquarters.
They had some quiet and calm days but those were the exception for the rule, happening like once in a lifetime. For the most part, they had to work their asses of to make sure that criminals of all sorts — they were democratic — behind bars for as long as they could, keeping the aina safe.
But doing so is a bit more complicated than saying and one of the things that the Fantastic Four learned is that, going after the bad guys might come with a cost sometimes. Injuries of all sorts were sort of part of the job description. They were all used to scratches, cuts, bruises, sprains, strains even dislocated joints; basically everything and anything that would come as a result of catching the perps. And those minor things were easy to handle — a piece of cake.
And then, there are bullets.
Even though they hardly ever got shot, it happened every now and then. They all tried to avoid it but it still happened eventually.
Today was eventually.
"I can't escape this hell
so many times I've tried
but I'm still caged inside
somebody get me through this nightmare"
The silver Camaro was once again flying through the streets of O'ahu. Traffic laws were a very high second priority for the man behind the steering wheel; his foot was keeping the gas pedal close to the car's floor. He was a man with a mission and nothing would keep him from achieving it — not even the laws that he was supposed to make prevail.
What are laws when someone is fighting for its life? Was it really still the same or personal connection clouded the judgment, making once very well defined lines became blurry?
Blurry it was, he decided as he made a sharp turn, not really understanding how the car didn't flip over. He didn't have time to think about that; the only thing he had in mind was to get to the goddamned hospital where his partner was being rushed to with a bullet hole in his chest.
He cursed the shooter — who, lucky his, was already dead because, if he wasn't, then he'd pretty soon —, cursed his partner, cursed the vest that he wasn't wearing, cursed the entire universe for dragging them into that nightmare.
It really was a nightmare. And he had reached the very center of it.
He saw the ambulance with its back doors open and no one inside it. At least he's already receiving medical treatment was the only thought that crossed his mind as he killed the engine of the Camaro next to the Queen's Medical Center — not exactly bothering to park it in a decent way — and rushed out of the car and into the hospital.
As he barged inside the building, he felt like the air was too thick for him to breathe as he took in the scene. He saw the paramedics. He saw the gurney. He saw nurses and doctors. But the fact that he was seeing a small group of nurses and doctors gathered around his wounded partner didn't cheer him as it should, after all, there's only so much that can make someone feel less worried when you literally felt someone's life extinguish right beneath your touch.
He felt a hand landing on his shoulders as he struggled to breathe in a decent rhythm. Are you alright? Am I alright? What the hell kind of thought is this? Am I alright? He's dying! Who cares about me? Talk to me. I don't want to talk! Enough with the talking! I don't have time for this! Are you alright? Hell, I already said—
"Sir, I need you to talk to me!" There was a shake and he finally snapped out of his trance. There was a nurse talking to him. Actually talking to him, but he wasn't processing that... At least not until now. "Is this your blood?"
"Blood?" The nurse’s eyes went down his body and he followed. What he saw made him want to vomit — he didn't do it though. His clothes were covered in blood. Red ominous blood. And his hands... My God, that was an awful lot of blood. Could he— No, he interrupted his own thoughts immediately. He could. He would.
"I need help here!" The nurse yelled as her grip around his arm tightened.
She didn't need help. "This... This is not my blood." His voice was weak and he wouldn't blame the woman if she didn't believe him. He didn't believe what was happening. "This is not my blood," he repeated his words and, this time, he sounded more confident.
The nurse also noticed he wasn't as pale, compared to when he ran though the sliding glass doors, into the hospital. But she didn't take back the call for help.
"It's my partners... It's..." His voice faded. The rest of his sentence died in his throat. It was his partner’s blood. His friend’s.
The woman suddenly recognized the man who was standing in front of her, and when her eyes landed on the badge on his right side, she knew she was right. He was from the Governor's Task Force. Five-0. Now she understood how he was managing to keep it together. Barely, but still...
"Alright, sir. I'm gonna ask you to si—"
"DON’T! Do not tell me to sit down. I am not going to sit down until I know how he is."
Of course you won't, the nurse thought to herself. And it wasn't because he was a cop that she knew he wouldn't listen to what she was saying, which was basically sit and wait. It was because someone he knew was being rushed to the OR and, due to personal experience, she knew that it was too much to ask for a relative or friend to stay calm when someone they care about is being cut open.
"Okay," she said, giving up the fight before it even started. She would lose it anyways. "Why don't you wait here and I'll go see how is he?" He just nodded. "Good. In the mean time, why don't you go clean yourself a bit?"
Clean. That was a lousy yet good suggestion. He muttered an alright and allowed the second nurse to escort him to a bathroom where he could get rid of the blood that was starting to dry in his hands...
As the water turned red, washing the blood of his partner from his hands, he remembered the two cousins. They still didn't know about the shooting.
With a tired sigh, he pulled his phone out of his pocket, found a number and pressed dial. One ring and Chin Ho Kelly's voice came through the speakers. Even though he was the picture of calmness, he sounded pretty stressed out after hearing the news.
He hung up and let his phone rest on the sink; he also had his both hands, spread flat open on the cold marble.
Cold. Even though the weather in Hawaii was warm, he was shivering. And as he looked up, he saw the man in the mirror shaking.
Why? How the fuck could this happen? WHY?!
There were no answers for those questions. He didn't want no answers. Because the truth was, whatever was the motivation that drove someone to commit an act of violence against someone else, in his opinion, was dismissible. And when the violence escalated and/or rebounded and hit someone close to him...
He couldn't tell how long he stayed in there, leaning against that sink and just trying to calm his nerves that, not minutes ago were frayed. He just stood there, completely unaware to the universe surrounding him and he didn't even notice when the door behind him opened and someone walked inside the tiny WC.
The man who had been staring at his own pale, blonde figure on the mirror, turned to face who had called his name. Not that he needed to look at him to know who it was; he had recognized the voice. It was Chin Ho Kelly.
Danny looked behind the Asian man but he didn't see anyone else. But then again, he was in a man's WC — not that it would stop Kono from getting in there...
"Are you okay, brah?" Chin asked slightly worriedly.
He knew about the shooting already and he knew it should be Steve's blood that was covering Danny's once gray shirt and tailored trousers but still, he couldn't be too careful.
Once again, Danny sighed. That question. He managed to avoid that the first two times he was asked but he didn't think he'd be able to deliver silence and get away with it.
"Yes," he finally answered with a tired sigh. He was being honest to an extent. Yes, he was fine... but at the same time, he wasn't. He wasn't hurt but he was. It was complicated.
Chin Ho just glanced at Danny. The detective seemed to be completely worn out and Chin didn't even need to ask why. Even though he learned what happened to Steve from a phone call, he was also feeling weary.
"C'mon... Let's get out of here," he said putting a hand on Danny's shoulder. Danny nodded and, with a deep breath, he let go of the sink and walked out of the WC, with Chin Ho Kelly right behind him.