Steve swallowed, everything inside him aching. "I'm sick."
The raw agony on Danny's face hurt far worse than anything the radiation was doing to him. Anger flooded in an instant later, but it wasn't enough to chase out the agony. "The fucking radiation." Steve nodded, not trusting himself to speak, and Danny shoved himself to his feet and immediately stalked off. Steve could hear him pacing a few feet away, breathing strained and ragged.
Steve squeezed his eyes shut.
It was Danny who finally broke the silence. "How long?" The words shattered as he tried to say them.
Steve made himself breathe, opening his eyes and swiping a hand across his wet cheeks. His voice was a rasp. "Not long enough."
The sound Danny made, even quickly muffled, hurt like all the pain in the world. Steve wanted so badly to stand up, to go to him, but he couldn't make himself move. Did he even have the right to try and comfort Danny, when he was the one who'd hurt him in the first place?
He squeezed his eyes shut even more tightly, but there was no blocking this out. "I'm sorry, Danno." His voice broke. "I'm so—"
"Shut up." The words were torn out of his throat, and there was a flurry of footsteps as Danny came around to crouch down in front of him. He opened his eyes when he felt Danny's hands against the sides of his face, holding on as if death was already trying to pull him away. "I don't give a shit what the doctor says," he said fiercely, "We are going to fight this thing, you and—"
"Steve." Danny's worried voice, reaching out like a lifeline. "I don't know where the hell you are right now, babe, but you need to get back here now."
Compelled by the order, Steve finally kicked himself free of the nightmare and opened his eyes to the safety of their darkened bedroom. Danny was staring down at him, the worry on his face visible even in the moonlight. "Want to tell me what happened?" he asked quietly, wiping away the tears on Steve's cheeks with his thumb. "They don't usually hit you this hard."
Steve pulled Danny down into his arms, holding on as hard as he could. "They used the missing uranium to make a dirty bomb, here on the island," he breathed, voice rough. "We were in the jungle with it, and I had to diffuse it before it killed us both. I did, but it gave me radiation poisoning. Slow radiation poisoning, which isn't even how something like that would actually happen. But it got worse, and—" His voice cracked, and he swallowed. "And I had to tell you, and—"
"Shhhh." Danny rolled them both so that he was the one on the bottom, arms tightening around Steve as far as they could go. "That sounds like one of my nightmares."
Steve closed his eyes, focusing on the feeling of being held. "Knowing what I was doing to you was the worst part of it." He let out a shaky breath. "I don't even think we were a couple in the nightmare, but—"
"Doesn't matter." Danny's voice was rough, and he tightened his arms around Steve even more. "It'd still kill me."
Steve tightened his own grip as well, pressing his face against Danny's neck. "The worst part is, if it ever really happens I don't know what I'll be able to do differently." He murmured the words like the apology they were, his heart aching. "By the time anyone realized it was on the island we were the only people who could have found it. Maybe I shouldn't have dragged you out there with me—"
"Shut up." Danny's voice was raw now. "You try to go anywhere without me, I will follow you just to kick your ass."
Steve's throat caught. "Okay." He pulled back only enough to look down into Danny's eyes, knowing he deserved to have to witness every ounce of the pain he saw there. "You know I would do almost anything for you, Danny, but if something like this actually happens it's going to come down to me or both of us. Or me or everyone else, including you and the kids. No matter how much I hate it, there's only one choice I'm going to be able to make."
Danny closed his eyes. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to choose both of us?"
Steve leaned his forehead against Danny's, eyes wet. He'd never been loved like Danny loved him. "The kids," he said softly.
Danny squeezed his eyes shut more tightly. "I don't suppose retirement's an option."
"I couldn't." He gently kissed both of Danny's cheeks, chest aching. "What if there's a dirty bomb on the island and I didn't know about it? You and the kids could get hurt, and there wouldn't be anything I could do about it."
Instead of responding, Danny just pulled him close again. Steve let himself be moved, knowing there was nothing he could do to make it better. "I'm sorry, Danno," he whispered. "I wish there was something I could do to make it different."
Danny didn't say anything for a long moment, slowly and methodically petting Steve's hair. Then he let out a long breath. "So we make damn sure they don't get that far."
Steve went still, then pushed himself back up to see his husband's face. "What?"
Danny stared up at him, determined. "We tighten the damn grid on that uranium. Make it priority number one for all the various agencies out there and actually get them working together for once. Slap them around if they won't play nice." He slid a hand up around the back of Steve's neck. "And hell, let's do the same thing and figure out how to tighten the damn net around these islands. These assholes want to bring in their toys, we take them out before they even get them out of the wrapper."
Steve blinked, stunned. "We don't even know if our special jurisdiction works like that."
Danny gave him an exasperated look, the familiar expression chasing some of the strain off his face. "You know damn well everyone will be thrilled we're using it to do something that doesn't involve explosions."
Steve could see the possibilities in his head, already familiar with that kind of coordination from his time with Naval Intelligence. "If we can pull it off, we'll be able to solve at least a few problems before they start."
"Which is the point." Danny swallowed. "The only way to protect Superman from bombs is to make sure they don't come anywhere near him in the first place."
Steve's heart was so full he was amazed there was room for it to fit into his chest. "My hero," he whispered.
Danny slid his hand down to cradle the side of Steve's face. "Any time I can be," he whispered back.
Their lips met, and for a moment every shadow was forgotten.