When you worked for Five-O, having one day off was great enough, especially if you, actually, got to go the entire day without ever being called into work. So, getting three days off was very rare—about as rare as a zebra with no stripes—which is why three days at Hilton Hawaiian Village and Kailua Beach was the best way Steve and Danny could think to spend them.
Unfortunately, time really does fly when you’re having fun. And all of a sudden the three whole days of Williams-McGarrett family fun, all too quickly, became one.
“Ah, what the hell was that for?” Danny laughed, wiping the water off his face as he rose up from the waves.
“You said you wanted to catch a wave, I was only trying to help,” Steve chuckled, treading water beside Danny.
Danny rolled his eyes and smirked. “I meant with the kids, not by drowning under one, Steven,” he said, scooping up water and throwing it into Steve’s face. The water hit his face and Steve clenched his eyes, jerking his head back away from Danny. He shook his head and reached up to wipe his face but then, Danny bit his bottom lip, scooped up more water into his hands and tossed another round into Steve’s face. “You animal,” Danny chuckled, watching Steve frantically shake off the second hit.
“An-I’m the animal?” Steve coughed. “I only dunked you once. You splashed me twice.”
“Actually…” Danny corrected, smugly, scooping up another round of water and throwing it at Steve, “…make that three.”
“Danny!” Steve scolded, playfully, shaking his face dry.
“Yes, Steven?” Danny chuckled, softly, flashing a bemused smile.
Steve rubbed his eyes and opened them to find Danny had strode over to him and was lightly splashing water at his chest. Danny’s eyes that lit up with a twinkle of mischief sent an overwhelming warmth through Steve’s whole body. Steve smirked, playfully, and shook his head then, wrapped his arms around Danny’s neck. He leaned in, as if to kiss his partner’s forehead but, instead, gave a smug smile and leaned into Danny’s ear, sensually whispering, “You’re going to pay for that,” before looping his arms under Danny’s butt and flipping backwards into the water.
“No, Steve!” Danny called out, before disappearing under the waves.
Steve treaded water, for a moment, watching and waiting until the moment Danny’s ears had returned just above the water. Once they had, “I love you,” he called out, teasingly, over the crash of the ocean.
When Danny’s whole body fully cleared waves, he brushed the water from his face, with his hands, and shook the water from his ears. Then, he turned and scowled, playfully, at Steve, who was floating nearby and splashing water back at him, just as Danny had done before. Recognizing the mischief in Steve’s eyes, Danny smirked. “Oh, it’s on now,” he informed, using the whole of both his arms to splash a massive wave at Steve.
Seeing it coming, Steve dove under the water, just as Danny’s wave crossed where his head would have been. Then, he reached out, under the water, and grabbed Danny’s treading ankles and yanked him under water. Danny gasped and went to smack Steve for pulling such a move in the ocean but was immediately stopped when Steve locked their fingers together and pulled him in for an unexpected yet, warm, weightless, and euphoric kiss.
Meanwhile, on the beach, Auntie Kono was able to stop by to give the Twins some private surfing lessons. Lesson 1: The Basics.
“And then, once you think you’ve found a wave…” Kono instructed, lying on her surfboard and treading her arms through the sand, “…you count; One, two, three…” She, quickly, gripped the edges of her board and jumped up to a standing position, “…and jump up. But remember, always keep your legs firm. E hoʻopaʻa paʻa mau i kou mau wāwae.” She paused and peered over her shoulder to Bailey and Colton, who were watching her, intently, and asked, “So, who wants to try?”
Together, the Twins shot their hands up and spoke as one, “Me, me, I want to try!”
Kono chuckled, “Alright, alright. Bailey, why don’t you hop on first?”
Back in the water, things had calmed down between the husbands and now, they were on the shore, with only soaking their feet in the water. Steve leaned back on his arms, watching the Twins practice their surfing with Kono, with Danny laying, half-asleep, on his chest, while, slowly, caressing the edges of his ribs with his thumbs. “Hey Steve?” Danny said, drowsily, muffled into his partner’s chest. Steve turned, resting his chin against the top of Danny’s still-damp hair in response. “That thing you said before…you know I feel it too even if I don’t always say it back, right?”
“Can you be more specific?” Steve asked, teasingly. He knew exactly what Danny meant, he just wanted to hear him say it.
Danny lifted his head from Steve’s chest, squinting his eyes from the sun. “Seriously? You’re gonna make me say it?”
“Say what?” Steve teased, again, shaking his head, “I said a lot of things before so, you’ve got narrow it down for me, Partner.”
“I’m serious, Steven” Danny sighed, completely sitting up. He turned and caved away from Steve, “I know that you think I’m an open book and am not afraid to get in touch with my feelings and, you’re right, normally, I wouldn’t be afraid to. But, sometimes, this…thing…between us, our relationship, it still feels new to me and I don’t know why. But, deep down, I do know how I feel about you…” He paused and turned towards the Twins; Colton was trying his turn at surfing now. That made Danny smile. “…How I feel about them,” he continued, nodding his head toward the Twins. “And even though I may not always verbally express it, you do know how I truly feel about you, right?”
“No…” Steve teased, further, dusting the sand from his forearms as he sat up. “How do you truly feel about me?”
Danny glared at him and rolled his eyes because he knew this was Steve’s way at getting back at him for all the splashing. Then, “I love you,” he said, bringing a smirk to the corner of his mouth.
“Was that so hard?” Steve asked, coyly, leaning over to press a kiss to Danny’s waiting lips. Danny closed his eyes and chuckled from his nose as their lips met.
“Okay…One, two, three and up!” Kono instructed, helping guide Colton to a standing position on his surfboard. Colton, briefly, stumbled for balance then, looked down to check his feet. “Uh, uh, Colt, do you remember what I said before?” Kono scolded, gently, gesturing for Colton to look at her. Colton shook his head, so Kono asked, “Bailey, do you remember?”
Bailey nodded and reenacted Kono’s instructions with her hands, “When you stand up on your board, don’t look down at your feet because it will throw you off balance.”
“And what happens when you’re off balance on your board?”
Bailey wiggled her hands and crashed them down, making a ‘splash’ sound as they hit the sand. Kono nodded, “Exactly, right, Bailey. You’ll fall off your board.” She turned back to Colton and straightened out his feet and waist then, smiled, “So, remember, when you stand up on ‘three,’ no looking at your feet.”
Colton pondered this a moment. Then, twisted his foot around in the sand, shyly, and asked, “But, Auntie Kono, how can I know where my feet go if I don’t look?”
“You know…” Danny chuckled, as he and Steve returned to the beach, “…I asked her that same question my first year on this island, Bud. And guess what…” He paused, knelt down to Colton’s eye level, and softened his tone, “…I still can’t figure out how to stand on this thing in the water.”
Colton looked to his feet, shyly, and kicked the sand. “I feel silly.”
“Are you sure he’s adopted, Danny?” Kono chuckled, “He sounds just like you the day I gave you lessons.”
“Actually, I believe what I said was ‘I felt like a goof,’” Danny corrected, playfully, over his shoulder. Then, he scooped Colton up, sitting him onto his hip, and turned around to Kono. “And, anyway, what is it I always tell you, Buddy?”
“Takes a goof to know a goof,” Colton said, wrapping his arms around Danny’s neck.
Kono chuckled. Steve picked up Bailey into his arms then, too, joined in on the laughter.
TWO HOURS LATER
As the day came to an end, Steve and Danny piled a sleeping pair of twins into the back of the Camaro.
On the left, Steve peeled Bailey’s arms from around his neck and slid her into her car seat then, cautiously, snapped in each of her buckles. He squinted and held a breath in his chest, as he gently reached for the metal buckles under her thighs, as to not wake her, then, ever-so-slowly clicking each one into place. To Steve, each one sounded like a grenade and he clenched his eyes tight, sure their explosions had woken Bailey. But the whistle of air from her nose as she snored, having not even flinched from their sound, made Steve smile, for he was sure he was looking at tiny, Navy SEAL in the making. And, after giving a gentle kiss to the side of her temple, Steve glanced across, to the right side of the car.
There, Danny had, of course, beaten Steve in the race of Who Can Buckle Their Twin in The Fastest (but since Danny already had two other children as practice and Steve had none, it wasn’t really a fair game)—which included tucking Colton in with his camo blanket—and was, now, frantically, searching for something around the seats. “Danny,” Steve whispered, loudly, placing a Disney Princess blanket over Bailey and tucking into the sides of her car seat, “What are you doing?”
“I can’t find my badge,” Danny whispered, loudly, back. He threw his body over Colton, to check under his car seat then, bent down and looked under the front passenger seat (since that’s where he sat the most).
Steve knelt down and looked under the driver’s seat too (just in case), “Did you take it with you into the changing rooms?”
Danny shook his head and shut Colton’s door. Then, he opened the front, passenger door and started to search through the glove box. “No, I always leave it in the car when we swim so I don’t loose it,” he reminded, shuffling through a pile of papers. After coming up empty handed, he slammed the glove box shut then, slumped into the front seat and sighed, “A lot of good that does, huh?”
Steve watched his frustrated partner for a moment. Then, closed Bailey’s door, opened the driver’s door, and knelt on the driver’s seat. “Did you even check the changing rooms?” he asked, teasingly.
Danny sighed and threw his head back. “I already told you: I did not bring it in the changing rooms. So, why would I waste time checking a place that I already know it will not be, since I did not bring it in there, Steven?”
Steve chuckle in his throat. Then, leaned across the seat and rested his chin on Danny’s shoulder, “You want to bet bath night on that?”
Danny looked over his shoulder and glared at Steve then, looked back at the Twins, then back to Steve and smiled. “I’d rather not disrupt nap time,” Danny said, humorously, leaning in to kiss Steve.
But, just as he was about to seal the deal, Steve bit his bottom lip, playfully, and pulled away. “Have Kono watch them a minute,” he said, backing out of the car, “cos I have a feeling you’re doing baths tonight.” Danny watched, as Steve found Kono and secured his wager then, shared a silent chuckle with her as she made her way towards the Camaro.
“Fifty bucks says you left it inside the changing rooms,” Kono taunted Danny, as she climbed into the driver’s side of the car.
Danny shook his head, “I hope you didn’t sign any contracts for that money because you’re going to lose.”
Steve hurried into the changing rooms and rounded the corner to the last room on the left. When he reached the door, Steve, lightly, pushed it open and peeked inside to sweep the area but, thankfully, it had remained untouched since they last used it. He smirked at his findings—because he knew there was no way Danny was winning this one—and leaned against the frame of the door, just as Danny was making his way inside. As he neared the end of the row, Danny, proudly, threw his hands up and said, “See, it’s empty, right? What did I tell you? So, you, my love, are going to be subjected to a night of soapy bubbles and footie pajamas because, as I said, I did not bring my badge into this—” Danny stopped when he saw his badge resting on the edge of the changing room bench. And before Steve could harass him about it, Danny raised a finger to his husband and, sternly, said, “—I swear to God, do not say anything, Steven. Not a word.”
Steve flashed a smug smile.
Then, just before anyone could say anything further, there came a very loud, distant, cry, “Somebody, please help me! Help, we need help!” Immediately, Danny swiped up his badge then, he and Steve bolted toward the call. The pair exited the changing rooms and scanned the beach, trying to find the danger—Was it a shark attack? Had someone been shot? Had someone been abducted? —only to realize the screams were coming from just next door; the women’s changing room. Together, Danny and Steve snapped into rescue mode and pushed through the gathering crowd, trying to find the answers, when they, eventually, stumbled upon (what looked like) a murder scene, along the floor, leading to the bathroom stalls. As they moved in closer, they noticed a smaller group of women had separated from the larger crowd and had gathered around the center stall.
From a distance, the body of a young black woman could be seen lying unconscious, in a pile of blood and mucus, on the floor of the stall. Standing over her, was a middle age Local, who was frantically fanning the young woman with her hands. Just outside the stall, a young, 20-something, brunette had cradled in her arms a baby, who was wrapped in a bloody beach towel, and was gently but urgently, rubbing circles around its chest. “Ladies, everything’s going to be okay, we’re Five-O,” Steve announced, finally getting to the front of the onlooking crowd. “Can anybody tell me what happened? Is this your baby?”
“No,” the brunette replied, in tears, still rubbing on the infant’s chest. “It’s my roommates. She started complaining about being really exhausted and having bad cramps, so we came in here just to freshen up and get out of the sun a minute. But then, she goes into the stall and starts throwing up…” The brunette’s hands start to tremble the more she speaks, so Steve reaches out for the baby, “…then, she just starts screaming, crying, and saying ‘The baby’s coming, get help.’ Next thing I know, I’m catching her baby in my towel and she’s passed out on the floor.”
Steve, carefully, took the palm-sized baby in his arms and, immediately noticed that not only is she—well, a ‘she’—unresponsive was also very blue. “Danny…” Steve breathed, his tone calm but his eyes completely panicked, “…call EMS, right now.”
Danny nodded, his eyes also panicking, and called for an ambulance, while pushing out the crowd of onlookers. “Yes, this is Detective Danny Williams, Five-O. I need EMS and HPD expedited to Kailua Beach…”
As Danny finished calling for help, Steve continued to try and resuscitate the baby, while also trying to keep the brunette calm. “Uh, can you tell me your name? What’s your friends name?” Steve’s hand had gone numb but, with still no signs from Baby, he wasn’t going to stop rubbing, even for a second.
“I’m Allie, that’s Jackie,” the brunette stuttered, gasping for breaths between her cries. “We go to school at U of H.”
“Oh yeah, what are you studying?”
“Childhood education and nursing,” Allie replied. “We’re almost—”
“Steve!” Danny interjected, returning to the scene, “ETA on EMS is about 15 minutes.”
“What?!” Steve looked down to the tiny, grey, (maybe) 1-pound baby in his palms and felt his chest grow tight. He glanced over to Jackie, back to the baby then, up to Danny and quickly, commanded him to, “Check on the mother.”
Danny stepped around Steve and into the stall, excusing the Local from her fanning duties. He knelt beside Jackie and pressed his fingers to her neck. After a moment, that felt like twenty, he informed, “I’ve got a pulse but it’s weak and fading. And she’s lost a lot of blood, Steve.”
Still no response from Baby, it was time for quick decisions. “Think you can carry her?”
Danny pondered this for a moment then, peered around the stall to Steve. “If I have to. But EMS is going to be here in 15 minutes.”
“They don’t have 15 minutes, Danny,” Steve informed, jumping to his feet then, turning to Allie he said, “We have a friend outside. Her name is Kono, she’s also Five-O. She’s in a silver Camaro with a set of twins in the back seat. Find her and tell her to go meet McGarrett and Williams at Hawaiian Medical.”
“Yes but please, try not to wake the twins,” Danny added, readying to pick up Jackie. “Nap time doesn’t come easy in our house.”
Allie nodded, hesitantly, then, fled the bathroom. As the door shut behind her, Steve turned to Danny—who now had Jackie in his arms and was making his way out of the stall—and glared at him. “Don’t wake the Twins?” Steve quizzed, “Seriously?”
“Hey, if you want to deal with grumpy five-year-olds begging for story time at three in the morning because we had to disrupt their naptime now, be my guest,” Danny shrugged, hurrying out of the bathroom. “But I only agreed on bath time,” he continued, over his shoulder, disappearing outside.
The sirens of Kono’s car whistled and shrilled, as Danny weaved in and out of traffic, racing his way to HMC medical. In the backseat, Steve worked quickly to resuscitate the baby. 1…2…3 rubs to her chest then, a soft blow into her mouth. No response. 1…2…3 rubs to her chest, another blow into her mouth. Still no response. 1…2…3…blow. “Come on, babe,” Steve begged, softly, massaging the infant’s chest.
Danny darted his eyes to the rearview mirror. The reflection of the frozen and quiet baby made his insides tighten and his voice quiver, “Steve?”
“Just drive, Danny,” Steve breathed, hastily, before giving another breath to the baby. Still nothing. Steve shook his head, desperately, and pushed his hands harder into Baby’s chest. He rubbed all his fingers, in a circle, around her torso and belly and bounced her on his knee. “Come on, Baby Girl, come back to me,” he muttered through clenched teeth. Steve cupped his hand and slapped it against the baby’s back. Danny’s eyes called his to the mirror and begged for some good news; Steve’s eyes had none.
Jackie stirred against Steve’s lap. Eyes still closed, she, softly, slurred, “Mmhm, my baby—please, help—baby…” before falling unconscious again.
“Steven?” Danny voiced, wringing his hands on the wheel.
“I know, Danny! I know!” Steve thrashed out, a sweat breaking out on his skin, “Just keep driving, just…drive…” His heart raced, squeezing his chest and causing him to hyperventilate. And even though his arms were growing weak, and he could no longer feel his fingers, he refused to give up. With the road signs outside telling him HMC was just seconds away, Steve rubbed another 1…2…3…on Baby’s chest then, as he went to lean in for a breath, he stopped. For in that moment Baby had become Bailey, Colton, Grace and Charlie, all wrapped into her tiny, colorless body. Just like that, the instinct of needing to save all their lives, no matter the cost, overwhelmed Steve. And, without further hesitation, he drew in every bit of breath he could—and then some—then, leaned into the infant’s tiny, cold lips, emptied the entirety of his lungs into Baby’s chest and closed his eyes, as he listened to her lungs inflate.
Then, he waited.
Blocking out all other sounds around him, Steve held the emptiness in his chest, refusing to waste another breath on himself, and starred, intently, at Baby. Paralyzed by angst, his arms tensed up and his body turned cold, as he watched, waited, and prayed—no begged, begged—for someone, some…thing to save this baby. And just as Danny turned the corner, following signs to ‘Emergency,’ Baby’s chest expanded on its own and, suddenly, a tiny, innocent, and powerful wail resonated throughout the car. And Steve closed his eyes, smiling, allowing himself to finally breathe again.
Danny skidded the car to a stop, out front of HMC’s ER, and darted his eyes to the rearview mirror. “Steve, is that—?” he asked, through a mix of apprehension and excitement.
“Yeah,” Steve nodded, baring his teeth. He gave Baby a few more rubs to the chest and rocked her in his arms. “Hey, Baby, that’s it, that’s it. Deep breaths,” he said, gently, unable to escape this sudden euphoria, “Yeah, that a girl. It’s gonna be okay, you’re gonna be just fine. Yeah, you’ve got some big cries. But that’s what we want, isn’t it? Yeah.” Steve could feel Danny’s eyes calling him to the mirror again but, this time, they’re concern had been replaced with infatuation and awe. Steve chuckled, softly, his cheeks reddening, and asked, “What’s that look for?”
“Do you know how much I love you?” Danny breathed, his lips parting, unconsciously, into a silly grin.
Steve face beamed. “I do,” he said, turning his attention back to Baby, “But maybe you could refresh my memory after we’ve gotten Baby and Mom inside?”
Danny nodded then, hurried to the backseat to grab Jackie. Then, he and Steve both cradled Mom and Baby close to their chests, as they hurried through the sliding glass double-doors and into Emergency. A team of doctors and nurses—who Steve had made sure to call ahead for—met them on the other side and, immediately, took Jackie and the baby from them, passed them to their own individual teams—mom on a stretcher, baby in an incubator—began shouting for a million medical things at once and then, disappeared, through another set of double doors.
HAWAIIAN MEDICAL CENTER – TWO HOURS LATER
Steve glanced up at the clock and sighed, heavily. What was taking so long? He tilted his head, slightly, folded his hands over his lap and glanced around for a distraction. In the farthest, darkest corner of the room, Kono had fallen asleep, with the twins on each of her shoulders and Steve left out a soft chuckle, in his chest; he just couldn’t believe that they were still asleep, after all this. Outside, Danny was taking a phone call and, based on his clenched jaw, stiff posture and restlessness as he paced, back and forth, along the window, Steve guessed this was more of that “Rachel stuff” Danny hated talking about. As he watched Danny’s inaudible yet, somehow, loud conversation, his eyes found Allie, wearing Kono’s spare HPD hoodie over her bikini, sitting on the windowsill, with her legs to her chest. She had her chin rested against the top of her knees, and was staring at her feet, while tugging at the palm of her blood-stained hands. Steve frowned, being all too familiar with the look in her eyes and crossed over to the window. “Hey, you doing okay?” he asked, softly, gently rubbing her shoulder, before taking a seat on the windowsill.
Allie shook her head against her knees. “I feel like I can’t breathe,” she replied, softly, her voice thick from tears.
Steve nodded. It still kinda hurt for him to breathe too. “They’re doing everything they can,” he reassured. “All the doctors here have saved Five-O’s lives more times than you can count. Between here and Kings, I don’t know where we have more of a track record but, I trust every single person out there with my life and with my teams lives. So, believe me when I say, that Jackie and her baby girl are in good hands.”
A smile flickered onto Allie’s face. “I know,” she whispered, as the smile faded away.
As he, gently, caressed her leg to try and calm her, Steve’s heart shrunk with disappointment. He felt defeated, unable to do more to help the scared young, girl. But, after seeing the glow in her soft, tear-filled eyes, Steve knew he’d, at least, helped for a moment. So, since Danny was on his way back inside anyway, Steve gave one last pat to Allie’s leg—just to let her know he was still there if she needed him—then, crossed back to his chair and sat beside Danny. “More ‘Rachel stuff?’” he asked, through a heavy sigh, linking their arms together.
Danny accepted Steve’s gesture, but his arm remained limp, unable to meet his partner’s eyes. “Uh, yeah, I guess you could call it that,” he muttered, sagging into his seat.
Steve read Danny like a book and sat up on alert. “Hey, Danny, what’s the matter? What’s wrong? Something happen to Rachel?” he asked, turning all his attention to his partner’s aid. He moved in a bit closer and ran his free hand along the top of Danny’s thigh, his heart pounding from his chest as Danny’s silence caused him to fear for something even worse, “Wait, did something happen to Charlie or Gracie?”
Danny shook his head ‘no’ and sunk back into his seat. “Not exactly,” he breathed, biting his nails.
“Not ‘exactly?’” Steve quizzed, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Danny shifted in his seat, pulling his arm away from Steve and cleared his throat. Then, after a long and heavy sigh, he turned his head to face Steve though his eyes were still to heavy to pick up from the floor. “That was Rachel, calling about Grace,” he confirmed, slowly, then, stopped, again.
Steve raised his brow. “Okay,” he probed, cautiously. “What’s wrong with Grace?”
Danny nodded. “That’s what I said: ‘Nothing.’ Grace is fine, just perfect…” He raised his hands to gesture to the air along with his words, “…so perfect, in fact, that it has been decided by four different institutions, based on her level of perfectness, that they would each love for her to further her education in pediatric nursing and nutrition, should she wish to do so.”
“Wait a minute…” Steve smiled, brightly, “…did Grace her acceptance letter?”
“Uh, no,” Danny sighed. “She got four. Four acceptance letters.”
“Four?!” Steve exclaimed, proudly, “That’s amazing, Danny.”
Danny shrugged, “Yeah, well, as ‘amazing’ as it is, I’m still miserable—no, sick. I’m completely sick to my stomach—at the thought of her being on some drug-infested campus, 4,000 miles away, where I am no longer able to keep her safe.” He sunk further into his seat and spun his phone between his fingers.
Steve frowned. He hated seeing his partner hurting, physically or mentally—though mental pain was worse because gunshots were gunshots, but emotions felt different for everyone—but it suffocated him to see Danny broken—completely shattered—over the thought of Grace moving away. And though he felt much pride, as an uncle and stepfather, that Grace would be able to start working towards a real promising future, those feelings were eclipsed by the amount of torment he felt watching his partner trying to put on a brave face. “Danny…” he said softly, returning his hand to Danny’s thigh, “…you’ll always keep her safe, no matter how far apart you are. You know why? Because you’re her ‘Danno’.” Danny finally lifted his eyes; they were swollen from suppressing tears. Steve looked to their hands, to avoid breaking himself. “Whether she’s only 4 miles away or 4,000 miles away, nothing’s ever going to change that,” he continued, slowly, linking his fingers with Danny’s. “You’ll always keep her safe, you’re always going to protect her. I know that; you know that; she knows that. Sure, it’s going to hurt like hell the minute she gets on that plane and flies into the unknown but there will always be someone protecting her. Even if you’re not right by her side, nothing can ever happen to Gracie because the world knows that, if something does, it’s going to feel the wrath of Danno Williams.”
Danny chuckled, softly, “It’s true,” and leaned against Steve’s shoulder, caressing his thumb along the side of Steve’s hand.
“I know it’s true,” Steve smiled, resting his lips into Danny’s blonde locks. “You know how I know? Because I know that ‘Danno loves her, always.” And absolutely nothing, not even some drug-infested campus on the mainland, is going to change that.” Danny pondered this while spinning Steve’s ring around his partner’s finger. Then, he lifted his head, starred, yearningly, into Steve’s eyes then, leaned in for a hypnotic kiss, stopping time in a collision of senses the moment their lips touched. After a moment, when they finally parted, Steve ran his tongue along his teeth and raised a brow at Danny. “Not that I’m complaining,” he said, shrugging off the kiss contentedly, “but what was that for?”
“Just refreshing your memory,” Danny reminded, through a bright smile.
Steve blushed. And before he could return the favor, a doctor arrived in the doorway. “Commander McGarrett? Detective Williams?” she greeted, pulling all the attention in the room (except that of Kono’s and the still sleeping Twins). As they rose to their feet, Doc continued, “Miss Edwards lost a lot of blood during delivery, but we gave her some transfusions and her vitals are looking better. She’s going to be very weak while her body recovers from the loss of blood but, we believe that she’ll be just fine in a few days.” Allie came to Steve’s side and wrapped her arms around his bicep. Steve glanced to her, flashed a corner smile then, casually, freed his arm and took her by the hand, squeezing her tight. Allie took notice and smiled then, leaned against Steve's shoulder, her other hand still on his bicep. “As for Baby Edwards,” Doc continued, “we estimate that she’s only about five, maybe five and a half months gestation, which means that she’s going to be spending the next few months in the NICU so we can monitor her growth. But, thanks to your efforts and quick thinking, Commander, we believe that there should be very little to no damage to her brain, at all. And, we believe that, since her brain still has lots of time to recover from this trauma, should any damage arise, it will be so minimal that it can be treated and eventually she wont even know it's there."
“That’s great news,” Steve grinned. “Can we, uh…Can we see them?”
“Of course,” Doc nodded. “Follow me.”
Because she had to get back to her night classes, Steve and Danny let Allie visit Jackie on her own after which, in order to not wake up Kono and the Twins downstairs, they called in a favor with Duke to give her an HPD transport back to U of H. And after sharing hugs and promises to stay in touch, Duke and Allie waved them off, disappearing into the elevators then, Steve and Danny made their way inside the room.
Jackie was up and alert now. Still a bit shaky, she was definitely much more vibrant than the last time they’d seen her. Sitting on the edge of the bed, with her feet tucked at her side under her blanket, Jackie had both hands stuck through the holes of an incubator, gingerly, stroking Baby Edward’s hair with her left hand and caressing the infant’s belly with her right. Her head was rested against the glass box, quietly humming a soft tune against it. Between Jackie’s lullaby and the metronome of double heart monitors—every two beeps for the baby, every third for Jackie—Steve and Danny were afraid to disturb the peacefulness. Thankfully, Jackie did it for them. “Ooh, are you the two gentlemen Allie said came to my rescue?” she greeted, pulling her hands out from the incubator.
Steve and Danny shared a smile. “We are,” Steve greeted first, leaning into hug Jackie. “I’m Steve, this is my partner Danny. We’re with the Five-O task force.”
Danny grinned, leaning in for his hug. “Glad to see you two are doing so well. You had us really worried there for a while.”
Jackie nodded, shamefully, and returned her hands into the incubator, “I’m not really sure what happened, the last few hours are like a blur to me.” She stroked the baby’s hair between her fingers and frowned, “They’re telling me I suffered heat stroke. That I got too dehydrated and went into early labor but I…” Jackie shook her head and swallowed back the thickness in throat, “…I just can’t help feeling I did something wrong. Like I…” her voice shattered, and she fell against the glass, “…like I hurt my own baby.”
Danny sat at Jackie’s feet and rubbed her back, “Hey, this isn’t your fault. Sometimes these horrible things happen, and we have absolutely no control over what happens. All we can do, is be thankful she’s alive.”
Jackie shook her head against the glass, “Do you two have kids?”
Steve smiled, “We do actually. We have, uh…”
“…four,” Danny finished for him. “Two girls, two boys. And something we always tell them is that we will protect them, always. Whether they’re on this island or 4,000 miles away on the mainland…” he locked eyes with Steve, “…we will always protect them. Always.”
“And I always will,” Jackie nodded, leaning against Danny’s shoulder. “Thanks to you two. I don’t know how I can ever thank you enough for saving us. For saving her.”
Steve stepped closer to the incubator. There were so many wires it was hard to see where they stopped and Baby started. The oxygen cannula was so long it was tapped behind her head to keep it in place. And her diaper was three sizes too big, almost drowning her inside it. But none of that mattered because her chest was moving and her eyes—her big, bright, beautiful, eyes—were open and staring right back up at him. “Knowing she’s okay is the only thanks I need,” Steve smiled, feeling a rush of warmth wash over him.
“Really? That’s too bad,” Jackie said, regrettably. “Because I thought about naming her Stephanie Danielle. You know, after the two men who worked so hard to save her life? But, if you don’t want me to I can just go—”
“Now hang on a second,” Steve interjected, placing his hands on his hips. His face was beaming, “You were really thinking of naming her that?”
“Of course,” Jackie nodded. “She wouldn’t be here if you two hadn’t been so responsive and determined to save her life. And I just always want her to know who to thank for giving her life and that they will always be out to protect her, no matter what.”
“It would be an honor to have her named Stephanie Danielle,” Steve said.
Jackie sat up on the bed. “Well good. Then I can start filling out all the papers they gave me in my—”
“Question,” Danny interjected, raising a hand in the air. Steve raised a brow at Danny, Jackie turned to him. Danny lowered his arm and gestured to the baby, “Why Stephanie, first?”
Steve flashed his teeth, smugly, “I’m sorry, are you jealous?”
“No,” Danny said, shaking his head. “I’m just asking if there is any particular reason that your name has to come before my name. Is there some way we could intermingle the two? Or maybe, here’s an idea, why not put my name before yours, instead. That could work, right? I mean, this kid has to grow up with this name for the rest of her life so let's not rush into any rash decisions and really think about this for a second.” He was too jealous.
Steve crossed his arms. “I gave her life, Danny,” he reminded. “All you did is drive the car.”
“Which is important too,” Danny also reminded, “because without the car you would’ve had to wait 15 minutes for the ambulance, which you said she could not do, were those not your words, Steven?”
“I’m sorry, maybe this was a bad idea,” Jackie interjected, awkwardly. “I think I’ll just—”
“No, no,” Steve pleaded, softly. “Don’t let him change your mind, Jackie. It was you who decided on Stephanie Danielle and, since she is your baby, that is the name we’re going with…” Steve stopped and scowled at Danny, “…right, Danny?”
Danny let his partner’s eyes burn him for a moment. Then, he caved, dejectedly, “I think Stephanie is a beautiful name and definitely should be put as her first name, Jackie.”
Jackie nodded, hesitantly, an amused smile spreading across her face. She reached for the blue folder, sitting on her bedside table, opened it, and pulled out the papers inside. Searching for a pen, Steve pulled one out from one of the many pockets of his cargo pants and handed it to Jackie before taking a seat on the bed, beside Danny. Steve rested his chin on the Jersey boy’s shoulder then, wrapped his arms around Danny’s waist, and linked their finger’s together, setting them in Danny’s lap. Together, they watched, in awe, as Jackie signed the birth certificate application:
Edwards, Stephanie Danielle
September 18th, 2lbs, 1oz.