It happens as it always does — quickly, and without warning.
They're in a warehouse, finishing up a bust. Drugs again, though Danny's pretty certain some of the crates he caught sight of in the back room are filled with stuff that has considerably more firepower than cocaine. HPD has moved in, securing the relatively uninjured criminals who surrendered, and EMTs are taking care of those that went down fighting. There are four bodies on the ground that won't be getting up again, and though Danny's never wanted to kill anyone, he's grateful that none of the bodies belong to his friends.
Surprisingly, it went better than anticipated. It's only their third bust since they got Kono back, and it's been an adjustment getting used to having five full-time members instead of four (not to mention Joe, who ends up tagging along more often than not these days). Lori is competent, good at her job it seems, but it's still a huge change. And that's only on the surface level — things are still off, have been since the day a car bomb began the chain of events that nearly destroyed their team for good, even if they never really talk about it.
But the takedown's over, finished, a success, and as the team reconvenes near the main entrance, Danny knows he should be feeling good about it all right now.
Instead, he's on edge with an odd sense of deja vu that he can't really explain or shake off.
Clearly, the others aren't having the same misgivings — not even Steve, who's usually the most paranoid about these sorts of things.
"Another one bites the dust, eh, boss?" Kono asks with a grin. It's a little forced, but still more genuine than some of the other grins she's flashed over the past few weeks. It's refreshing, a sign that maybe, despite everything that's happened, they can get back to a sense of normal.
Or it would be refreshing, if Danny didn't have a sick sense of dread forming in his stomach. "Guys—"
"Somehow I don't think this is the scenario that Queen had in mind when they recorded that song," Lori says, ignoring Danny.
"I don't know — the song does start with the name Steve, after all," Chin points out.
"It does?" Steve asks, surprised. "I didn't know that."
Danny frowns. "Guys, I don't think—"
But no one seems to take notice of him as Kono and Chin nod firmly. "Steve walks warily down the street, his brim pulled way down low," Chin sings with a laugh.
"Ain't no sound but the sound of his feet, machine guns ready to go," Lori chimes in, grinning widely.
Then they're all singing — all except for Danny, who's looking around and trying to figure out just what the heck is making him so antsy and jumpy. "Seriously, guys, quit screwing around, something's not right," he says.
Still, no one responds, which is infuriating and confusing all at once; his team's never ignored him before, not like this. Especially not for singing Queen songs, of all things. "Out of the doorway, the bullets rip—"
And suddenly there's the sickeningly familiar pop-pffft of a silenced rifle and an instant later, Kono's pitching forward, a large hole in the front of her vest, just below her heart.
As sudden and shocking as the shot was, Kono's fall happens in agonizing slow motion. People are shouting, Steve's cursing, and Chin's practically screaming, but Danny just stares as Kono collapses, like a puppet whose strings have been cut.
He catches a glimpse of her face before she hits the ground; her eyes are wide open, dull and dark with death.
And then Danny wakes up.
There's a legend that's been passed down in Danny's family for at least four generations now: if a member of the Williams family is in mortal danger, someone will be warned about it in dreams beforehand to try to prevent the outcome.
Its origins are fairly straightforward, as far as legends go. As a thanks for some good deed or another, a gypsy blessed (or cursed, depending on the point of view) Michael Williams, Danny's great-great-grandfather, with this "limited foresight" and it's been passed down through the generations.
Growing up, Danny had never seriously believed the stories. His father had never experienced such a vision, either, which made Danny all the more skeptical. Grandpa Joe swore that these types of things sometimes skipped a generation; plus, there'd never been an instance where any of Danny's aunts or uncles had been in mortal peril, thus eliminating the need for a vision. Or so Grandpa Joe said.
Okay, yes, Grandpa Joe had a story about how he'd saved his sister from drowning because he'd been dreaming of it for weeks beforehand. But Grandpa Joe also spent several Easters leading Danny and his siblings on fruitless hunts for the Easter Bunny at the park, regaled them with stories about flying through space that Danny later discovered were plot lines for Star Trek episodes, and once convinced Matty that a dinosaur had walked through their backyard.
Needless to say, even if Danny were inclined to believe in mysterious supernatural things like gypsy blessings, he would still have a hard time believing it from his Grandpa Joe.
But then, when Danny was fourteen, Matty started having terrifying nightmares of Danny disappearing into a white panel van on a walk home from school, never to reappear again. And Matty had the same dream for weeks on end. It had freaked his little brother out so much that Danny convinced their parents to let him take a different, more roundabout way home from school just to calm Matty down.
A week after he started doing that, a boy had been kidnapped from the same spot that Matty had been seeing in his dreams. The kid turned up three days later, raped and murdered, in a back alley in Hoboken, the first victim in a year-long string of kidnappings that ended with the killer getting shot in a police standoff.
Danny had become more of a believer, after that.
Still, it doesn't make having these visions any easier, Danny reflects as he splashes his face with lukewarm tap water from the tiny bathroom sink and flushes the toilet. After the fourth time he'd had the dream, he'd learned to avoid eating anything before going to bed; odds are he'll be throwing it all up after waking from the nightmare anyway.
Because he's been having the same dream off and on for weeks now. He can't always remember what happens in it when he wakes up, but there are certain details he doesn't forget. The warehouse. The sudden sniper shot. The dead look in Kono's eyes.
That's the worst part. Danny's seen death plenty of times — it comes with the job, being a detective and all — but he's been fortunate in that most everyone he knows who has died did so because of natural causes. Meka had been the first close friend — the first partner — to fall in the line of duty; that was part of what made that particular case so difficult.
Still, this is worse. Because it's Kono. It's someone on his team, one of the few people he can really trust on this island.
Or at least, one of the people that he could trust. Things have been... strained for Five-0, as of late.
It's not that they don't work well together — Danny can't say that because it isn't true. Even after everything, they still solve cases like there's no tomorrow; they follow orders; they divvy up the work. Basically, they do everything like they did before, and they do it well.
But it's harder than it used to be. Before, Five-0 had come together almost seamlessly — so seamlessly, in fact, that to outsiders it looked as if they'd all been working together for years. They justclicked, and when his guard was down, Danny would admit he actually had fun at work — something he'd never have imagined just a few months before.
We care for each other like a family, Steve had said when they swore Kono in as an official member of the HPD. They'd only been working together for a few weeks, barely even knew each other at that point, but no one had disagreed with Steve then. They all knew it was true.
Things feel different now. There's a cloud of guilt, hurt, and anger that lingers over the original four because of the way they all handled the fallout of Kono supposedly losing her badge, and even though it's been more than a month since everything came to light, they haven't had a real chance to talk about it yet. They've been swamped with case after case, and though the load isn't that much different from when they served under Jameson, they don't spend time hanging out after work like they used to.
And that's what makes these nightmares, or visions, or whatever the hell they are, particularly disturbing. Kono is still family, despite everything; why else would Danny be having visions warning about her death when the blessing was meant only for members of the Williams family?
But as it is, he can hardly look Kono in the eye without feeling guilty about the fact that he didn't check on her or make sure she was okay after her badge was taken away. The idea that a sniper's bullet could cut her down before Danny has the chance to make things right? Does not sit well at all. And it makes it difficult to look Kono in the face without superimposing the look of her deadened eyes.
The problem, though, is that Kono is the top student at Steve McGarret's Academy of Learning to Kick Ass and Repress Your Emotions, so the handful of attempts Danny's made at starting a conversation to address the underlying tension have fizzled out practically before they even had the chance to take shape.
It's not like Danny can bring up these dream-vision things in a typical conversation, either. He's well aware that like most native Hawaiians, Kono and Chin have a respect for the supernatural forces supposedly guarding the islands, but even so, any conversation that starts with So I've been having these recurring visions about you getting shot by a sniper will never be not awkward.
And, if Danny's honest with himself, there's more than a small part of him that wants to believe that if he doesn't actually acknowledge the visions in the light of day, they won't come to pass.
That's pretty much the plan Danny's been operating from over the past few weeks. But it hasn't lessened his dreams; if anything, they've gotten worse over the last few days. Case in point: it's only 3 a.m., but Danny knows he won't be able to get back to sleep again tonight.
The plan isn't working. And Danny doesn't know what to do anymore.
And that could cost Kono her life.
After a few hours of tossing and turning, Danny decides that if he's awake, he might as well do something useful. Which is how he ends up at headquarters at 6:30 on a Friday morning.
There are other people around when he walks in — Five-0 isn't the only group with offices here, after all — but compared to its normal hustle and bustle, the Palace feels more like a ghost town.
On one level, Danny appreciates the quiet. Some days, when it's been a long week and the criminal element has been particularly busy and phones are going nonstop with people constantly walking in and out of the offices, Danny can hardly hear himself think, which makes finishing paperwork even more of a headache than normal. With the quiet, he can finish everything in record time.
But on mornings like this, Danny hates the quiet. This is the third time this week he's been in before his typical 8:30 arrival; he's already caught up on all the things he was behind in, and the leftover work from yesterday takes less than half an hour to finish.
Which means he has nothing to think about but the visions, his problems with Rachel (who hasn't said more than a dozen complete sentences to him since she came back to the islands), and the ongoing puzzle of the Wo Fat case. The first two are things he doesn't want to think about if he can help it, and the third is something that's really only effective if Steve's there to bounce ideas back and forth with him.
Feeling restless, Danny gets up from his desk and makes a fresh pot of coffee. As it brews, he wanders around their workspace. The worktable and screens are all dark, and most of the lights are off, casting everything in eerie shadows. Danny thinks about turning some of the screens on, but given his knack with technology, he'd probably end up breaking something.
For lack of something more productive to do, Danny snags a dirty mug from Lori's desk and meanders over to the sink to wash it, trying his damnedest to force his mind to not think of anything at all.
Danny starts at the unexpected noise, and the mug slips from his hands, shattering on the floor. "Sorry, sorry, hold on," Kono apologizes as Danny curses loudly. "I'll clean it up, just stay put."
"It's fine, it's not your fault," Danny calls, picking up some of the larger shards and tossing them into the nearby trashcan. Luckily, it's one of the office mugs; nothing Lori is particularly attached to. "It's my fault, I should have been paying more attention," he continues as Kono returns with a brush and dustpan from the janitor's closet.
"Yeah, well, I shouldn't have startled you like that," Kono replies, sweeping up the remaining pieces with ease. "It's not like you were expecting company this early in the morning. What are you doing here, anyway?"
Danny grabs a mug from the cupboard and pours her a fresh cup of coffee. "I could ask you the same thing," he says, handing it to her. When she continues to stare expectantly at him, he caves. "I couldn't sleep. So I figured I might as well—"
"—be productive?" Kono finishes. "Yeah, same."
"I figured you'd spend your sleepless mornings at the beach," Danny replies, leaning against the counter.
Kono shrugs, taking a long draw of coffee. "Water's too quiet right now — not great surfing," she says. "Plus..." She trails off, chewing her lip. "Never mind."
"No, no, don't you 'never mind' me," Danny shoots back. "Plus what?"
There's a long pause. Danny's not generally a patient person, but for this, he can be. "It's just... nice to be able to come back here now, is all," Kono says finally. She looks everywhere but at his face. "I missed it."
"Yeah, I can only imagine how awful it must be to have a normal sleep schedule and not get shot at every other day," Danny says without thinking. It's the wrong thing to say, he knows that before he even finishes the sentence, and he scrambles to think of something to cover it, to fix it—
Kono laughs. It's short, but it's genuine. "No, brah, I just missed your chipper personality," she says with a grin. "I was lost without your everlasting optimism."
Danny makes a face. "This blatant mockery, it cuts, babe, right here," he says, tapping a finger on his chest, just over his heart, "but I'm going to let it slide because I'm gracious, I'm nice like that." He grins when it causes Kono to laugh even more, and for a moment it's like things are normal again, like they haven't been walking on eggshells around each other when they're not up to their eyeballs in the latest case.
Then Danny's mind betrays him; it thinks of the gunshot, the life fleeing Kono's eyes, and just like that his good mood evaporates.
Kono catches the change immediately. "Danny? What is it — what's wrong?"
Danny stares at her. She's genuinely concerned, staring back at him, and Danny has a flash of another time when she had that look, when he was slumped against a wall, trying to breathe and failing.
And it's on the tip of his tongue to tell her everything — the visions, his regret at not fighting harder to keep her around, all of it. It's been long enough, and awkward or not, Danny needs to tell her the truth.
And then both their phones chime with text alerts. "It's Steve," Kono says, glancing at her own phone.
"Same," Danny says as he scrolls through the text. HPD needs backup on a bust ASAP, it says, followed by an address, and Danny would laugh at Steve's neurotic need to spell everything out that doesn't already have an abbreviation, except that he's got that bad feeling in his gut again. He's pretty sure he knows exactly where the address leads.
"Hey, I gotta pick up Chin," Kono says as her phone chimes again. "Meet you there?"
Danny swallows hard, eyes still locked on the address.
Danny looks up. Kono's looking at him, even more concerned and confused than before. "Yeah, yeah, go," he says with a wave. "Make sure you wear your vest."
Kono looks even more confused at that, but nods. "We'll pick up this conversation later, alright?"
She's jogging out the door before Danny can reply. "I hope so," Danny murmurs anyway. "I really, really hope so."
It's the warehouse.
Danny's grip on the wheel is white-knuckled as he stares up at it. They're parked a quarter mile out in order to have the advantage of a surprise attack, but it's still easily visible at this distance. Danny's never been here before in real life, but he knows the facade almost like the back of his hand at this point, from the wide loading bay doors, to the toppled palm tree leaning against the west wall, to the patches of rust that are starting to eat through the metal siding.
"Danny? What is it?" Steve asks from the passenger seat as he finishes strapping his vest in place. He's been on the phone with Duke Lukela at the HPD, coordinating the bust, giving Danny the perfect excuse to stay silent in the twenty minutes it's taken them to get here from Steve's house.
"Nothing." Danny's voice is sharp as he unbuckles his seatbelt. "It's nothing, Steve, don't worry about it," he says, cutting Steve off before he can comment. He wants to do nothing more than slam the door shut for emphasis, but he closes it softly for the sake of the mission.
Kono's Cruze pulls up a moment later, kicking up a cloud of dust as she parks it next to the Camaro. Lori's out before the car's even come to a complete stop, and Chin and Kono are right on her tail. "What's got you so upset?" Lori asks, seeing the expression on Steve's face.
Steve sends Danny a long look, which Danny pointedly ignores. "Nothing," Steve replies, settling into Commander Mode even as the rest of the team eyes each other. "Alright, here's the plan."
As much as Danny doesn't want to be here, he forces himself to listen. He won't be able to stop the worst from happening if he gets killed before the bust even goes down. For a moment, he thinks about telling Kono to hang back, away from the action, but he knows there's no way that's going to happen. Kono's too much like Steve — too much like the rest of them, really. Rocky relationships or not, she's not going to let her team go into battle without her if she can help it.
Danny's going to have to figure out a plan B, he decides as they start jogging toward the warehouse to get into position.
He just hopes he can before it's too late.
The bust goes down almost exactly as Danny dreamed it. There are five bodies that won't get up instead of four, and one of HPD's guys takes a bullet in the calf, but when it's all said and done, the bust is a success. Just like in Danny's vision.
And just like in Danny's vision, the team gathers near the main entrance, standing in the shaft of sunlight let in by the open loading dock doors. Danny feels like he's about to be sick as he scans the area for some sign of what's about to go down.
"Another one bites the dust, eh, boss?" Kono asks with a grin. It's a little forced, but still more genuine than some of the other grins she's flashed over the past few weeks. It's refreshing, a sign that maybe, despite everything that's happened, they can get back to a sense of normal.
It's the exact same thing she said in every vision Danny's had.
"Danny?" Chin asks as Lori starts to say something.
Danny starts at the unexpected attention, and he looks back at his team to see them all staring at him in concern. This is different — they're actually paying attention to him here, which makes sense, even if it isn't something Danny had been planning on.
But it's a sign. A sign that maybe he can change things. If he can only figure out how.
"Seriously, Danny, are you okay?" Kono asks. "You've been acting strange all morning."
Danny stares at her; actually, he's staring at her vest, thinking. In the dream, the hole had been in the front. But Kono had been knocked forward, which meant the shot came from the back — a through-and-through, probably at an angle. From the second floor?
Danny's eyes automatically shoot up to a darkened doorway on the second floor. It might be his paranoid mind, but it looks like there's something moving in the shadows. Out of the doorway the bullets rip—
He doesn't even think about his next move. "Down!" he bellows, lurching forward with all the energy and adrenaline he can muster, hoping, praying he can get to Kono before it's too late.
There's a brief moment of contact. And then there's the sickeningly familiar pop-pffft that Danny's heard so many times in his dreams, and then there's absolutely nothing.
The day after the news aired the story about the boy who went missing from the same place where Danny used to walk home from school every day, Matty retreated into his room.
After a few hours, Danny went in after him. Matty just sat there, curled up on his bed, legs folded up to his chest, eyes locked on the newspaper clipping he'd ripped out earlier that morning. There was a photo of the boy — blond hair, blue eyes, wide grin. He went to the same high school as Danny, a year ahead. Danny didn't recognize him, but his mother couldn't stop crying over how much the boy looked like Danny; about how close it was to that actually being Danny.
"You okay?" Danny asked, shoving the newspaper aside and sitting in its place.
Matty didn't move or shift his eyes. "It's my fault," he murmured into his knees. "It's my fault, and I'm glad about it." He finally raised his gaze to look at Danny. Matty's eyes were bloodshot but dry; he still had dark circles from all the sleep he'd lost over the nightmares. "Does that make me a bad person?"
Danny swallowed hard. This was outside his normal experience in dealing with his brother; visions aside, Matty was rarely this serious. After all, he was the jokester of the family, the one who usually went out of his way to make everyone happy. "Matt, the only bad person is the guy who took this kid," Danny declared, tapping the photo in the clipping. "You have nothing to be sorry for."
"But it is technically my fault," Matty protested. "Grandpa always told us there would be a trade-off for the visions, right? That makes this my fault."
"No, it just means you changed the picture that showed up in the paper," Danny replied patiently. He suppressed a shiver as he glanced at the photo. "The only reason you had those dreams in the first place is because of the fact that some psycho decided to kidnap kids. That isn't your fault. Trust me on this. I always know what I'm talking about, don't I?"
Danny grunted in surprise as he suddenly found himself with a lap full of little brother, apparently determined to hug the life out of him. "Thank you," Matty whispered, hugging Danny tighter. "For walking home a different way. I'm so, so glad it isn't you."
Danny swallowed again as he returned the hug. "Me, too, Matty," he choked out. "Me, too."
The moment Danny wakes up, he knows something's off.
For one, his head is killing him. Waking up with headaches is always the worst; it's usually a sign that he's going to have a migraine by the end of the day, especially if he has to go into work and deal with Steve McGarrett's special brand of crazy.
This is worse than a typical headache, though. This feels like someone cracked his skull open, took a beater to his brain, and threw a marching band inside it before closing it back up again.
Also, he's nauseous. If he moves a centimeter, he might throw up. Even thinking about moving makes him want to throw up.
He refuses to give in, though. May 18, 1996. That's the last time Danny threw up, and it's a record he intends to keep, if he has anything to say about it.
Still, the horrible nausea is a miserable, miserable feeling.
But through the pain and nausea and the general wanting to die, Danny also notices that he's not in his own bed. This mattress is way too firm to be any of the sagging mattresses Danny has used over the last eighteen months, and it's not lumpy enough to be the couch at the office.
The antiseptic smell and the sound of someone paging a Doctor Maori over the intercom clue him in to the fact that he's at the hospital.
Which, Danny has no idea why he's in a hospital. The killer headache probably has something to do with it, but he can't think of any reason why he'd have a headache this spectacular.
And really, Danny can't think of any reason why he wants to be awake right now, either. Unconsciousness would be a welcome relief, though his limbs feel leaden, like he hasn't moved them in ages, which is maybe something he should fix. But that would require moving, and moving would almost certainly result in throwing up, and throwing up would break his streak and make his headache worse, and it would all collapse into a vicious, never ending cycle.
So. Unconsciousness it is then.
But of course, Steve's there, like always, to butt in at the most inconvenient moment and throw a wrench in Danny's plans.
Because Danny's not prone to listening to anything Steve says if he doesn't want to, but there's something off about Steve's voice. It's croaky, like he hasn't used it much; or maybe that he's used it too much. Danny's not sure; the marching band in his head won't let him think.
"Danny? Come on, Danny, please, open your eyes if you can hear me."
But there is definitely a pleading note in Steve's voice, one that Danny doesn't hear very often. And since Steve took the time to say "please," Danny should probably reward him. Steve doesn't always understand the whole politeness thing.
It takes a couple false starts before Danny manages to open his eyes wide enough to see his surroundings. His head is pounding worse than ever, and everything's a bit blurry, but he can see Steve and the others huddled in around his bed. They all look exhausted and immensely relieved. Steve looks like he hasn't shaved in a week.
"Hey, Danny, welcome back," Lori says with a wide smile. It's a nice smile, Danny decides, but it does little to hide the dark circles under her eyes.
Danny swallows a couple times, noticing for the first time how dry his throat is. "Where'd I go?" he croaks — or tries to, anyway. What comes out is more of a jarbled mess than anything representing actual human speech.
Luckily Steve is there and seems to know exactly what Danny's trying to say. As usual. He is good to have around occasionally, Danny thinks. "You've been unconscious for awhile," he says. His face darkens as a thought crosses his mind. "Do you know where you are?"
Danny narrows his eyes. "Hospital," he rasps. That sounds like an actual word; short phrases it is, then. "In Hawaii."
Their relieved grins widen, though Danny still can't figure out why. "Do you remember why you're here?" Kono asks. Her voice sounds off, for reasons Danny doesn't understand.
Actually, Danny can't quite place anything at the moment, and the more he tries to think, the more his head hurts, and he really wants to do nothing but slip back into painless unconsciousness.
Some of his distress must appear on his face because Steve reaches over and does something outside Danny's range of vision. "Take it easy, it's okay," he says as warmth suddenly flows through Danny's veins. "Get some rest; you can try and remember next time you wake up."
Danny would try to reply to that — Steve almost sounds uncertain, like he's not sure Danny will wake up, which doesn't really make sense — but he's already out before he can even think of something to say.
He floats for awhile, half aware of noises and conversations going on around him. His head still hurts, but it's a dull ache, like the pain's not quite attached to his body.
Or maybe it's his head that isn't attached. He's really not sure.
Still, the fight for awareness feels like too much work right now. So he lets go again.
The next time Danny wakes up fully, he remembers his visions, mostly because he realizes he hasn't been having them.
That's a good thing. He's pretty sure. He remembers seeing Kono last time he woke up, anyway, so unless it was a figment of his imagination, then Kono's safe and the threat from the vision is past.
Which, actually, that explains why he's in the hospital, now that he thinks about it. It's the give-and-take Grandpa Joe had talked about — the visions prevent bad things from happening to the Williams family, but there's always a cost.
This time around, the cost appears to be an excruciating headache and a stint in the hospital for Danny. He figures he must've gotten shot or something; his head definitely hurts the worst, but his whole body feels pretty stiff, too.
Considering what could have happened otherwise, though, Danny's okay with it.
The lights are noticeably dimmer this time around when he opens his eyes. It seems the sun has set, too, because the sky outside the tiny window in his room is dark. And while Danny's pretty positive that the entire team was here last time he woke up, this time only Chin and Kono are in the room with him. Kono's asleep, head and shoulders propped on the foot of Danny's bed, and Chin's leaning back in one of the chairs, watching TV with the sound off and the captions on.
Danny stays still, trying to gather his bearings. His head hurts, though not as much as before, and things are still a little fuzzy; he's not sure if that's from the concussion he likely has or the good drugs he must be on. The fact that Chin's watching that show about the plane crash victims stranded on a deserted island doesn't help; Danny would have a hard time following what's going on there even with a normal amount of sleep and a clear head and the sound on.
"Why don't they just build a signal fire?" he asks finally. Chin jumps in his seat as Danny flicks a hand at the television. "They have enough wood."
"Hey, Danny," Chin says, turning the television off and scooting closer to Danny's bed. He keeps his voice low; Kono shifts a little but stays asleep. "How are you feeling?"
Danny shrugs a shoulder. "Not stellar, but better than before," he replies. He glances at the doorway, half expecting Steve to burst through like he's got a sixth sense about Danny's state of consciousness. "Where's Steve? And Lori?"
"At headquarters, working on filing the last of the reports for the judge," Chin says. "They're planning on having preliminary hearings next week for the guy who shot you, so the paperwork needs to be in ASAP."
Danny frowns at that — it confirms the fact that he's been shot, but it sounds awful rushed for a bust that just happened. Then his frown deepens as he studies Chin, who looks tired and worn out from more than just a day or two of lost sleep. He thinks of the scruff on Steve's face earlier, the circles under Lori's eyes, the fact that Kono still hasn't woken up from her less-than-comfortable position. "How long have I been out?" he asks slowly, already dreading the answer.
Chin's face darkens for an instant before he forces a neutral expression. "Tomorrow will be day nine."
Danny gapes. His headache kicks up a notch as he tries to wrap his mind around that. "Why — how — what happened?" he splutters finally, reaching up to rub his temple, only to find a large bandage there. "Chin?"
"Hey, hey, calm down before you give yourself another migraine," Chin says, grabbing Danny's wrist. He holds Danny's gaze until Danny calms down a little. "What do you remember?"
Danny blinks a couple times, trying to straighten out his chaotic thoughts. He glances over at Kono and is surprised to see her staring back at him. The look on her face jogs his memory. "There was a bust," he says. "Cocaine. And — and weapons, too, in the back."
Kono nods once. "What else?" she asks.
Chin glances sharply at her but stays quiet as Danny continues. "It was done, but there was — it wasn't right. Someone was going to shoot you," he says to Kono. "In the back. Armor piercing bullet. I had to — I couldn't let that happen."
Chin looks confused; Kono looks devastated. "How?" she demands, sounding almost as if she's angry. "How did you know?"
Danny swallows at the emotion in her voice. "You're not going to believe me."
"Don't tell us what we'll believe," Chin says before Kono can reply. "Let us decide that."
Danny stares at them. On the one hand, he doesn't want to have this conversation — he's been unconscious for over a week now for some reason, after all, so it would be easy to pass off the visions as figments of his imagination. On the other hand, who can really say no to a statement like that?
"There's a... a tradition in my family," Danny says finally. "A legend. If someone in the Williams family is in danger — like, going to die, danger — another family member will be warned about it. In dreams. To try and stop it from happening."
They're silent for a long, long time as they study him. "This has happened before? In your family?" Chin asks. His voice is completely neutral; Danny has no idea what he's thinking.
"Yeah," Danny replies. "When we were kids, Matty started having dreams. About me, in danger walking home from school. I started taking a different way home, and a week later, another kid got snatched from the same spot Matty saw me disappear from."
"And so you had dreams about Kono dying?" Chin presses.
Danny nods, wincing as it aggravates his headache. "For weeks now. It was always the same thing — the bust in that warehouse." He pauses, clearing his throat as he remembers. "The drugs, the guns, the layout, everything. And every time, Kono made a Queen reference. And every time, a sniper shot her in the back with an armor-piercing round."
"And so, what, you just decided that when it came time, you'd shove me out of the way?" Kono exclaims, jumping up out of her chair and pacing in the small space between Danny's bed and the wall. "You'd save me from getting shot in the back and take one in the head instead?"
"I got shot in the head?" Danny asks, reaching up to touch the bandage near his temple. That actually explains a lot. Sort of. "How the hell am I still alive?"
"It was a graze," Chin says, shooting Kono a sharp glare. "A deep one — split your skin open for several inches, but it didn't fracture your skull."
Kono laughs hollowly as she continues her pacing. "No, it just caused your brain to swell up and sent you into a coma," she replies, waving a hand around. "And that's not even mentioning all the blood—" She cuts herself off, wiping her hand across her face as if to brush away tears.
Or to scrub away blood spatter, Danny realizes a moment later. He remembers that moment of impact just before everything went black; he must have knocked Kono away, maybe fallen on top of her after he got shot, after he started bleeding everywhere.
That explains her behavior. It's never easy seeing a teammate take a hit for you; Danny can't imagine what it would be like to have a dead weight like that on top of you, dealing with the realization of what had just happened.
"I'm not going to apologize," he says, keeping his voice calm. "I'm sorry I scared you, I really am, but I'm not going to apologize for what I did."
Chin looks half exasperated, half grateful, but Kono just looks furious. "What gives you the right, huh?" she asks, voice rising. "Why would you do that? What about Grace? Your family?"
"You are family!" Danny exclaims. Kono's mouth snaps shut as she looks at him, stunned, and Danny's head is killing him again, but he ignores it; it doesn't matter because this moment is important. "Why else would I have these dreams, huh? We're not supposed to have them for just anyone, you know, okay, and it's not like I asked to have them, because really, seeing you die every night is not something I'd ever ask for, but if I have the ability to change something, then I'd say that gives me the right!"
Kono remains frozen at the foot of the bed, her eyes large and watery. It makes her look young, like the rookie she still technically is, even if Danny forgets because of how capable she is at doing her job.
He lowers his voice. "Look, I know I've been a jerk through this whole... Wo Fat fallout... thing," Danny says, waving a hand, "and I'm sorry about that, but like it or not, you and the rest of Five-0 are pretty much the only family I've got on this island, alright? And I —"
"Shut up," Kono interrupts, punching his calf. Danny yelps in surprise more than anything, but he's glad to see a bit of a smile pulling at the corners of her mouth.
And he's glad that he doesn't have to keep going. He realizes it's a little hypocritical, given how much he rails on Steve for acting like a brick wall sometimes, but sharing emotions is hard, and he really doesn't want to do it any more than he has to. Especially when it seems they've already gotten the message.
"You could have just apologized, you know," Kono adds. "You didn't have to go and get yourself shot to prove a point."
Danny shrugs, grinning a little. "That's what I get for hanging out with you and McGarrett for so long," he replies. "The only meaningful things are said with explosions and acts of retaliatory violence. E-cards just don't cut it."
"Ass," Kono says fondly, sniffling and wiping her face again as she grins. Her eyes are red, but Danny's not about to call her out on it. "At least that thick skull of yours came in good for something, then."
"Again with the insults," Danny complains, looking at Chin, who's sitting with his arms folded and looking much more relaxed than he was before. "Where's the respect, I ask you. Aren't you her mentor? Shouldn't you be curbing this kind of behavior?"
Chin holds his hands up. "I can't be held responsible for everything, brah," he says. "Need I remind you, she's also spent her fair share of time around Kamekona and Steve."
"Speaking of, wait till he finds out you're a psychic now," Kono teases, squeezing Danny's foot. "How come you haven't been using that talent to catch bad guys?"
"That's not how it works," Danny says. "I can't turn it on and off. I don't even know if it's real, or just some random fluke."
"It worked out this time," Chin points out, more than a little gratitude in his voice as he smiles at Danny.
Danny grins back, looking at Kono. She stares back, exhausted but genuinely happy, and Danny finally feels like things might start getting back to normal now. Or at least as close to normal as it can get with Five-0. "Yeah," he says with a relieved sigh. "Yeah, it did."