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That Hazy In Between

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He wakes to empty.  

Muted.  Hazy.  Fuzzy.

He flexes his fingers and feels a hand in his.  

Smiles.

“... thought you were a gonner partner,” says Lou’s voice and Steve frowns.  “You awake?”

“Danny,” he says, or tries to. It’s a croak, it’s two syllables of nothing, but Lou’s face changes and Steve passes back out before he hears the answer.

+

He wakes again, to Kono.

Again, to Chin.

Again, to Duke.

To Nahele, who’s crying so much Steve wants to reach up and drag him down on the bed with him but he can’t move so instead he grunts and squeezes Nahele’s hand as hard as he can until he drifts off again.

He wakes to Mamo and Mamo kisses his forehead.

He wakes to darkness, and blinks, tries to see and can’t, just little green dots on wall sockets, light shining through the space between the door and the floor.  His heart monitor blinking.

“Hey,” he says, to the empty room, voice scratchy, making him cough.  Hurts, hurts so bad to cough, hurts his back, his lungs, his stomach.

He feels bandages all over his torso.

“Hey,” he says again, because God damnit, what the hell is going on?

The door opens to a nurse but again he passes back out before he gets anything like an answer.

+

He wakes to hair in his face, an arm thrown over him.  He blinks and blows the hair out of his face, watches the dark tendrils float up and over, Grace pulling back to look at him as tears fall down her face.

“Grace,” he chokes out.  Doesn’t go into a coughing fit this time but it’s a very near thing.  “Hey sweetie.”

“I’m glad you’re gonna be okay, Uncle Steve,” she says, and then lays back down next to him, her face buried in his neck.  

Steve swallows and wants to ask.  It’s on the tip of his tongue.  He can’t though, because what if.  

He can’t be the one to make Grace say that.  He can’t make her have to be the one to tell him.  Instead he reaches over and strokes her hair back from her face.

“Love you kiddo.”

“Love you.”

+

“Your vitals are good, you’re recovering nicely.  You just keep resting and we’ll have you up and at ‘em in no time, Commander McGarrett,” the doctor says, rousing him from drifting off yet again.  Three times during the doctor’s check up he’s tried to pass out.

“Cut it,” he says finally, raising a hand.  “The medicine.  Groggy. Can’t.”  He swallows and the doctor holds out a cup of water for him. He sucks it sloppily through the straw, dribbles some of it down the side of his mouth.  “Concentrate, take it down.”

“You’re recovering from major surgery, Commander--”

“Cut it in half,” he orders, squeezing his eyes shut.  “I’ve been shot before, I’ve lost blood before.  Cut it.”

“Well be that as it may, you’ve had major surgery, and the recovering period for a liver transplant is--”

“What?”

“--significantly longer than… sir?”

Steve struggles to sit, pain shoots in fiery sparks over every single inch of him, starting in his stomach.  “Transplant.”

The doctor frowns.  “Yes sir, your liver was--”

“I had a liver transplant,” Steve asks, blinking and trying to shake the fog from his mind.  “How did I… where did--”

“Detective Williams was luckily a match--”

“Wait,” Steve says holding up a hand and shutting his eyes.  “Wait, hold up, hold on, wait a minute.  Danny?”

“Ah,” the doctor says, and consults his chart.  “Yes, yes, Danny Williams.  He was a match and you’re both recovering nicely.”

“Holy,” Steve says, falling back, sagging back and down into his bed, reaching up to cover his face.  “He’s… he’s okay then, he’s alive.”

“Yes, he’s recovering nicely as well.”  The doctor looks at him.  “I’m sorry sir, we have been over this with you several times, I know the drugs are confusing you but it’s better for them to than the amount of pain you’d be in otherwise.”

“Just, just, shut up, Danny’s okay,” Steve says, hand darting out to grab the doctors coat.  “Danny’s alive?”

The doctor consults his chart.  “A few broken ribs but by and large the surgery is the biggest recovery.”

“Hey doc, why don’t you let me,” Chin says, walking in the room.  “Steve, why don’t you let go of the nice doctors lab coat huh?”

Steve blinks down at the coat clenched tightly in his hand, his knuckles white, nails digging into his palm.  “Oh.”

The doctor leaves and Chin sits down, grabbing Steve’s hand in his own.  “Good to see you awake and articulating Steve.  Longest 72 hours of my life.”

Steve blinks, frowning.  “72?”

Chin nods.  “You’ve been pretty well in and out of it for the past three days.”

“How,” Steve says, meeting Chin’s eyes.  “How am I alive?  The blood loss… I was dead, Chin.  I know I was dead.  I… I died.”

“Well you know how hard headed Danny is,” Chin says with a soft smile, squeezing Steve’s hand.  “Danny says no and damn it all, he’ll get his way.”

Steve takes a breath.  “Danny’s….”

“He’s okay, he’s recovering,” Chin says.  “He wasn’t out of it as long as you, but he didn’t have the preexisting, ya know… cannon ball sized holes in his gut to begin with.”

Steve squeezes his eyes shut.  “I don’t understand.”

“Get some sleep,” Chin says, and covers his hand with his other.  “We’ll pick this up again later.”

“No,” Steve says, and struggles to try and sit, cringes through the pain.  “I need to see… I need to see Danny, Chin, take me to see--”

“No,” Chin says, and Steve’s worst snarl doesn’t phase the smile on Chin’s face in the slightest.  “Sorry.  But no.  I’d rather your insides stayed inside where they belong.   You’ll see him when you can, but for now just trust me okay? He’s okay.”

Steve tries to argue but the drugs take him under again.

+

“Knock knock,” Eric says, strolling in with a big goofy smile on his face.  “Single white male seeking single white male to share hospital food with?”

Steve smiles, confused.  “Huh?”

“We decided that since you both were driving all the doctors and nurses fucking nuts trying to defy orders to rest and not get out of bed to come see each other,” Lou says, coming in and holding the door open as Danny’s bed is rolled in, “that it would be in everyone’s best interest to just go ahead and put you two knuckleheads in the same room.”

“I liked my room, ya know, it had a nice view,” Danny grouses, bitching at his regular level best Danny tone, and relief washes over Steve like it’s the best sound he’s ever heard.  “Why I gotta be the one to move, huh? Why can’t you move Commander McSuperSeal?”

Steve’s eyes track Danny’s from across the room.  “Hey,” he says finally, barely above a whisper.

“Hey,” Danny says back, his tone softening.  “It’s really fucking good to see some color back in you man. Jesus.”

The nurses kick everyone out and get to plugging things in and setting things up and adjusting Danny’s bed to a half sitting up position and Steve hungrily drinks in every single inch of it.

“You’re okay,” he asks finally when the last nurse leaves the room.

“Me, I’m fine, Steven, how are you,” Danny asks, eyes burning a trail as he looks over Steve’s face.  “Seriously, you were… you were like blue or grey or something when I last saw you.”

Steve waves a hand.  “M’fine, what did you do,” he says in a rush, brow furrowing together.  “Danny, you gave me your liver?”

“Half,” Danny corrects, holding up a finger.  “I gave you half of my liver.”

“Danny.”

“It’s not a big deal, we split burgers all the time, what’s one little internal organ,” Danny says, shrugging and looking away.

Steve sucks in a breath.  “Danny.”

“I would have given you my lungs, Steve,” Danny says quietly.  “I would have given you all of the blood in my body.  You were gonna die.”

Steve shakes his head.  “You gave me your liver.”

Danny looks over at him.  “Half.”

Steve laughs.  “Danny.”

“I thought you were dead, man,” Danny says, mouth twisting up.

“So did I,” Steve answers, and his fingers ache to reach over and grab Danny’s hand but he’s too far, and he can’t get out of bed.  Instead he just catches Danny’s eyes with his, holds them with his own.  “Thanks, man.”

“Course,” Danny says.

Steve drifts off moments later, the sounds of Danny breathing in the bed four feet from him like a lullaby.

+

He wakes up to moonlight pouring through the windows, the hospital quiet in a low hush.

“You awake?”

“Mm,” Danny answers.

“Hey Danny?”

“Yeah babe,” Danny says, and he can’t see him, can just see a dark lump a few feet away, but he knows exactly what his face looks like.

“I love you.”

“Love you.”

Steve blinks and a tear falls and he’s thankful for the darkness, thankful that his voice doesn’t tremble when he speaks next.  “You know I’d give you my liver too, right?  My lungs.  Blood.  My fucking heart, right?”

“Yeah,” Danny says quietly.  “I know buddy.”

“Okay.”

“Okay.”

“We get out of here I owe you so many beers.”

Danny laughs.  “Oh, buddy, we may be taking a moratorium on beers for a bit.”

“Oh right,” Steve says, and then snorts.  “Shit, had to be the liver huh?”