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In the Ambulance

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Because, Danny is a doomsdayer.  Danny is this anxiety riddled, panic driven, fretful person.  He is used to worst case scenarios playing in his head, and the thing is… The thing is, it’s fine.   When the shit almost hits the fan he’s got Steve to talk him down from his too active imagination and his paralyzing fears, but when the shit really, really, actually hits, he finds that he himself is actually able to control it.  Long enough anyway.  Long enough to do the thing, to do the job, to do what needs to be done.  

To grip his hands on the yolk, his blood covered hands, the hands covered in Steve’s fucking God damned blood, and fly that fucking plane onto the beach.  The beach, God damnit, the beach not the ocean, not the ocean where Steve will drown and Danny will waste precious seconds of Steve’s last moments dragging him through the ocean and the tides and the currents because maybe, maybe Danny gets less of a broken rib by landing in the ocean than the beach, maybe Danny’s got a 30% chance of being less busted up by landing in the ocean. But no, no, no, it’s not happening, it’s not an option, because Steve.  Steve.  And he can do this, he is doing this, he did this, he got them here, he landed them there, and he’s got at least one broken rib he can feel it and he can only take a half a breath at a time, but Steve is….

“Gray.”

The paramedic looks up at him, barreling down the freeway to Tripler, siren going on full blast, Danny jostling from side to side as the driver weaves in and out of traffic.  “You say something?”

“He’s gray,” Danny says, and he blinks as a tear falls because.  Because he’s still not panicked.  He’s still not panicking, he’s not being crippled by fear, his heart’s not in his throat, he’s not hyperventilating, he’s fine.  Danny’s fine.  “He’s dying.”

“Not if we can help it,” the paramedic says with determination, and Danny appreciates that, he does, but Steve’s face is swimming before his eyes as the tears cloud up his sight because, well.  “He’s lost a lot of blood.”

“He’s gray,” Danny croaks out, and is that his voice? It doesn’t sound like his voice, it doesn’t feel like his voice.  He doesn’t feel like he’s even in his body anymore, he’s floating there somewhere, unable to feel a God damn thing except for the tears falling down his face.   “He said. He said he was dying.  They say they know.  That you know.  When you’re dying.  They say you know.  That you don’t feel it.  That it doesn’t hurt and you know.  He knew.  He.  He said it.”

“Not if we can help it,” the paramedic says, and he sounds so determined, and Danny appreciates that.  But he’s looking at Steve, and he’s gray. He’s gray, and not moving, and not breathing, and he’s so so so incredibly gray.  “How long Deitrich!  We gotta get him in surgery!”

“ETA 1:20,” the driver calls back and Danny knows, he knows that htat means.  That means he’s got one more minute, plus twenty seconds, to stand here and watch his friend die.  He’s got one minute and twenty seconds until he’s gotta face Kono and Lou and Chin, one minute and twenty seconds to make these tears stop.

But how does he do that, because Steve is dying, and he’s gray, and he’s never gonna make it.  Danny took too long to land them, he took too long to fly them back, he took too long to get him out of there.  Danny didn’t do good enough, he didn’t do it fast enough, he didn’t do it hard enough, he didn’t.  Because Steve is gray, he’s fucking gray, he’s God damned gray.

And there is no panic. Danny wants the panic back.  Panic means it’ll be okay, because panic means it’s not over yet.  Panic means there’s still time, panic means Danny’s not too late, Danny didn’t fail Steve, panic means Danny can still fix this.

But the panic stays away and Danny is stuck here in this ambulance, jostling into the wall with every car they pass, numb, with two broken ribs, tears falling down his face, and Steve is gray, and there’s nothing Danny can do.

“Imma get ‘em babe,” he says as they pull into the hospital bay, grabbing Steve’s cold lifeless hand in his, “I swear to God, Imma make ‘em pay, we’ll get ‘em for you, if it’s the last fucking thing I do I’ll fucking get ‘em.”