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You Can't Carry it with You (If You Want to Survive)

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Steve refuses to go to the hospital (Danny wonders, not for the first time, whether it might be prudent to have a full-time medic—or maybe a trauma surgeon—on their team), but he doesn't protest when Danny heads for the driver's side of the car, which Danny figures is probable cause for him to follow Steve inside his house when they get there.

Steve's definitely moving awkwardly, holding his shirt out away from his body, and the way he just stops in the middle of the room, like he's not quite sure what to do next, is enough to galvanize Danny into action.

"All right, just this once, I'm going to encourage you to take off your shirt. Come on." Danny reaches to help him get it over his head, and when he pulls the t-shirt away, Steve has that little wrinkle of consternation between his eyebrows. "I'm not going to break," he says, stubborn and, frankly, stupid.

"Excuse me? You know, I'm starting to think the problem is not that you weren't held—it's that you were held and then dropped on your head. I have news for you—you're already broken. Remember when you dislocated your elbow because you tackled someone on an escalator? That was broken."

"Kono did it, too," Steve mutters.

"Kono did it—of course she did, but she is also lithe and graceful and doesn't have freaking size 11 clodhoppers. Getting shot, or stabbed, or both? IS BROKEN. This"—he presses a finger into Steve's sore side, gently, but Steve still grunts and shies away—"this is broken!"

"Nice bedside manner."

"I have such a great bedside manner, you have no idea. Give me a skinned knee and a Barbie bandaid and a kiss-it-better-Danno and I have an amazing bedside manner."

It's an easy one, the kind of lob that normally Steve would knock out of the park with a smirk and a slight about Danny's manhood, but Steve's busy staring down at the floor, shivering a little even though it has to be 80 degrees. "Whoa, whoa, tough guy, are you going to fall over when we do this?"

Steve huffs a sulky "No," but he lets Danny herd him into the kitchen and prop him up against the counter, and Danny finally gets a good look.

His whole left side is scraped raw, skin abraded and dirty with sand and grit, bruises already blooming up to the surface. Danny tsks and finds a clean, soft dish towel, runs the water until it's lukewarm, and Steve's muscles are twitching and rippling under his skin before Danny even touches him.

"Now who's sensitive," Danny says under his breath, but he's also careful, so careful as he presses the cloth to Steve's flank. He knows it has to hurt, but Steve's still as a statue now, eyes closed, one hand gripping the counter, either because of the pain or because he's holding himself up.

"A whole Kevlar suit, what do you think? You have to admit it would come in handy."

Steve opens one eye and peers down at him, hint of a smile lifting one side of his mouth. "Chain mail, maybe."

"Chain mail would be good, yes! Probably gets hot, though, and you end up in the water too much for it to really make sense."

Danny cleans out the worst of the road and the beach and whatever else Steve was dragged over that ended up embedded in his skin, says, "Sorry, jeez, I'm really sorry" when he sees how pale Steve's face has gotten. "Okay, I think we're good—I mean, you look terrible, really bad, don't get me wrong, but I've pretty much reached the limits of my medical expertise, here. I hope you have, like, a tub of bacitracin stashed away somewhere."

"Medicine cabinet," Steve says, but he snags Danny's arm before he can head for the bathroom. "You're a really good guy, Danno."

It startles a laugh out of Danny. "I think your brain got rattled," he says, "but thank you for noticing." And that should be the end of it, except that Steve's staring at him like he can see right through him, and a sudden flush of heat climbs up the back of Danny's neck, making his scalp prickle. He has a second to think oh, a hundred different puzzle pieces all slotting into place at once, and then Steve's leaning down and kissing him, so gently that it knocks Danny's breath out of him, makes his knees go funny, and he's the one who has to grab for the counter.

"Why do you have to be so crazy all the time, that's what I want to know," Danny says against his mouth.

Steve pulls back enough to grin at him, like Danny just gave him a compliment, like he thinks Danny likes that he's a crazy person, before he eases back in to kiss Danny deep and wet and hot enough to make them both groan. And Danny gets his other hand on Steve's good shoulder and holds on, because he can see exactly where this is going—they're driving right off the edge of a cliff, Steve McGarrett at the wheel, and Danny, god help him, doesn't even want to try to get out of the car.