melissas_corner: (Steve/Danny)
[personal profile] melissas_corner
I barely rouse when hands assist me from the car and into a wheelchair. Moving while not looking is making me nauseous, something I've never had issue with before, but my lids are too heavy. Someone asks me questions and I'm not sure if I answer them or if Danny does.

Something's not right. I'm being taken somewhere but Danny's presence isn't coming along. Panic flares slightly but I find it's just too much effort to open my eyes and see why he's suddenly abandoned me here. The darkness is so inviting so I stop resisting its pull and slip even further under.

With a start I come to, disoriented as to where I am and how I got here. I lie on the bed for a moment with my eyes closed, stretching out my senses to see what they can tell me about where I am. The first things that register are the antiseptic smell and the sounds of people talking softly. So, another hospital. Funny, I don't recall being injured.

The one thing I don't sense, and really should, is Danny's presence. There is someone in the room, I can hear them moving around, but it's not Danny, or any of my team. I don't, thankfully, get a sense of danger from them so I slowly open my eyes until I can see a man in white scrubs arranging a dinner tray on the rolling table next to the bed.

"Oh! You're awake." His smile stretches his cheeks wide. "I'll just get your doctor." He starts to leave then turns back. "I brought you some dinner. Turkey club, potato chips, apple juice, pineapple juice and for dessert-" He removes the lid from the plate and picks up a little cup with green slime in it, shaking it a bit. "-green jello!" He smiles again and all but bounces from the room.

Left alone, I look around the room. This is not like any hospital room I've ever been in, and I've been in my share of them. The walls are a dull grey, there aren't any monitoring equipment and the bed is more like the cot I slept on at Pendleton than an actual hospital bed. I push myself into a sitting position, propped against the headboard and begin nibbling on the chips. I find I have no appetite but know I need to eat.

Julie enters the room just as I remove the lid on the pineapple juice. "Good to see you awake, Steve." Her smile is nearly as big as the orderly's was. "Do you know where you are?"

"The hospital."

"That's right. Do you remember anything about how you got here?"

"No." I take a sip of my juice. "But I know I wasn't injured if you're here."

"So, you remember me?"

I frown at her. "Of course. You're my therapist. We had our first appointment…" I stop talking as I realize I have no idea what day it is. "What day is it?"

"Don't worry. It's still Wednesday. It's just after 10pm. You've been asleep for about four hours."

The fist around my heart eases and I breathe a sigh of relief. "Where's Danny and Grace?"

Julie tilts her head. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"Uh…" I chew my bottom lip as I try and recall what happened after I left her office this morning. "I left your office…and met Danny and Grace at Kamekona's shrimp truck…Holding Grace while kneeling on the beach…hurting Danny-" My voice cracks and I clear my throat. "Then nothing until I woke up." I shake my head as I recall something else. "I do remember you being at my house and someone, Danny most like, kissing my forehead." I gently rub the spot I think he kissed.

"Well!" She looks surprised at my remembrance of the day. "I'm impressed your remember so much." She steps closer and lays one hand on my shoulder. "I want you to rest tonight. And eat. You need it. Tomorrow we'll talk about what happened and where I think we need to go from here. Okay?"

"Yeah, sure. Will I be allowed to see Danny and Grace? Or at least talk to them on the phone?"

"That's something we'll discuss tomorrow. Rest. And eat. That's all you need to be concerned with right now. Okay?"

I nod. "Okay." I try and give her a smile but my lips barely twitch.

"Night, Steve." And with that she walks out of my room, the door clicking softly closed behind her.

With her instructions ringing in my ears, I force myself to eat every bite. I don't know if my eating habits are being monitored or not and besides, the quickest way to get better and back home to Danny and Grace is to do as she says.

After I eat, I turn out the lights and lay down but sleep doesn't come. I never sleep well in the hospital and the light from the hall shining through the tiny window in the door isn't helping. I toss and turn for several minutes before forcing myself to settle on my right side with my back to the door and eventually I fall asleep.

I wake in the morning to the smell of coffee and a strange presence in my room. I come up swinging and manage to pull my punch at the last minute when I see the other person is a woman about my age. "Sorry," I mutter sitting back on the bed.

"No worries, Commander." When she smiles, twin dimples appear. "I should have announced myself and made sure you were awake. I'm Marie. I'll be your nurse during the day. Dr. Anderson said to eat up then for me to walk you to her office." I nod, still embarrassed at almost punching her. She pats my shoulder and pushes the rolling table over to be before turning to exit the room. "Oh!" She pops her head back in the door. "Just push the call button when you're done."

Breakfast consists of scrambled eggs, two pieces of soggy bacon, two pieces of almost burnt toast, coffee and orange and pineapple juice. Despite still not being the least little bit hungry, I know I have to eat so I force myself to take careful bites of everything until it's all gone, including the beverages.

Swallowing the last of the coffee, I notice that nearly twenty minutes have passed. I can't remember the last time I lingered over a solo meal. I must say that it feels nice to be able to actually taste what I put in my mouth.

Before calling Marie back, I decide to hit the head and find all my preferred products lining the shelves in the miniscule bathroom. That task taken care of, I hunt through the few drawers in the room for a change of clothes; only to discover that Danny only packed underwear, socks, sweats and t-shirts. But sweats are better than the scrubs I'm currently wearing, so I change then press the button to alert Marie that I'm ready.

The walk to Julie's office is done in silence. After two years with Danny, I find silence awkward and search my brain for something to talk about. I still haven't found a good topic by the time we arrive at the door to the waiting area of Julie's office.

Marie pushes the button to alert Julie we're here and the door to the interoffice opens almost immediately. "Steve." Julie smiles at me. "Thank you, Nurse. Please." She steps back to allow me to enter the office.

"I'll be waiting in the hall outside the other door in an hour, Steve," Marie tells me before exiting the office.

"How are you this morning?" Julie closes the door and follows me to the seating area by the windows.

"Tired."

"That's to be expected. You had a pretty big break yesterday." She takes the same chair as before and flips open a notepad. "I know you told me what you remember but what I need to know is if you know what triggered it."

I settle back in my chair and try to pinpoint the exact moment I began to feel out of control. Shaking my head, I say, "I'm not sure. I don't recall feeling anything was wrong until I was almost at the beach."

She nods. "What were you feeling at that point?"

"Trapped; like the walls of the cab of my truck were closing in on me. I started having trouble breathing but was able to mostly control it until later. My heart began to pound. Danny noticed right away but it wasn't until Gracie touched me that I realized it was bad."

"What happened when she touched you?"

I shake my head again. "I can't explain it. It's like her touch broke the dam and all my emotions came flooding down." I run my fingers through my hair, sighing deeply. "It was weird. She was the reason I was losing it so fast but also at the same time she was the reason I kept it together until we were home."

"On one of your old missions a little boy about the age Grace is now was killed, correct?"

I don't even know how to respond. I had never occurred to me that that could be part of the reason. "Yeah. He got caught in the crossfire. We never did determine whose bullet actually killed him."

"But there's a chance it was yours, right?"

"Why are you doing this? I've managed to forget that day and now… now…" Suddenly I can't breathe. I feel like Kamekona's sitting on my chest. "And Grace… dead… fault…"

"Steve?" Julie's right there in my face. "Can you hear me?" I force my gaze to lock with hers and nod. "Good. I need you to try and get control. Deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Follow me." She inhales deeply through her nose, then slowly releases it through her mouth, angling her head down so she doesn't breathe directly in my face. I try to copy her but my breath hitches numerous times on the way in and out. "That's a good try. Again." And again we breathe in and out together, my breath still hitching. She has me do it until my breathing has returned to normal.

"Good. Try to remember to do that anytime you begin to feel overwhelmed, okay?" I nod. "Now, about your trigger." She looks at me like I'm a particularly fascinating puzzle. "I think it all ties back to your mother's death. Was she the first person you knew who died?"

"Not really." I rub my sweaty palms on my pants. I don't want to talk about this but figure now will be infinitely better than later. "My mom's mom died when I was ten and my dad's mom died a year later. I knew my dad's mom better because she lived on the island, too. Mom's parents live on the mainland. Her dad died before Mary was born so I have no memory of him. Nana, however, is someone I vaguely remember. Nona, even more so, of course."

"So, your mom was the first person you knew well and had a close personal relationship with who died."

"Yeah." I lower my head and stare blindly down at my fingers.

"What aren't you telling me, Steve?" I glance up sharply at her, my brows furrowed over my nose. "I've been a therapist for a long time and most of my career has been here at Tripler so I know when a military man is keeping something from me. I can't help you if you don't tell me everything."

To give myself time to gather my thoughts and find the words, I stand and wander over to the window. "When Mary was here two years ago she snooped in the toolbox Dad kept some…things in. I had just begun looking into the items and was beginning to suspect they were evidence of a crime. Just wasn't sure what." I rub one hand over my head. A headache's building behind my eyes but I refuse to submit to it. "After Mary was kidnapped, and the box stolen, we discovered most of the evidence was about Mom's 'accident'. She didn't die the way Dad had always said. She was murdered. By a car bomb. One that was meant for Dad since she was driving his car."

"I'm sorry, Steve."

"Yeah. Dad apologized for lying just before he was killed."

"Were those his last words to you?"

I shake my head, feeling tears gathering, again. "No. His very last words were, 'Don't you give it to 'em.' See, the man who killed him thought he could bargain his brother's release with Dad's life. I guess you could say that I killed him by refusing to let Anton Hesse go free."

"That couldn't be further from the truth, Steve. No one should have to choose between doing what's right and saving a loved one."

"If I had caught Anton and Victor earlier… If I had caught Victor instead of Anton…"

"You can't think like that, Steve. All that kind of thinking will do is trigger another attack. And make life hell. You were doing your job. It's not your fault Victor used your father against you."

"I was using his brother against him!" I spin to glare at her. "I was using Anton as bait for Victor."

"Was Anton an innocent?"

"No. He was his brother's partner in their gun running." She lifts her brows and tilts her head. "Yeah, okay. I get it. What I was doing doesn't compare to what Victor did." She grins at me, causing me to roll my eyes.

"You military types are so easy."

"Teasing, Doc? Really?"

"Would you rather I be stern and unfeeling?"

"No."

"Okay, then." She flips a page in her notebook. "Tell me about what happened after your mother's death."

I return to my chair, slouching down enough to rest my head on the back. "A Week after the funeral, Dad shipped Mary to Mom's family in Southern California. His old Navy buddy, Joe, came and got me. I was at Joe's for less than twenty-four hours before he drove me to a local military academy. They just so happened to have Navy ROTC and I discovered quickly that I thrived on the military structure.

"Their football team sucked until I arrived. We made State my senior year. I thought about playing football at Annapolis but changed my mind."

"That must have been some feat, taking their team to State in only one season of playing. Didn't you transfer in you junior year?"

"Yeah, well, their main problem was their quarterback. He shouldn't have even been starting but he was the only one not injured. All I had to do was make sure the right receivers got their hands on the ball and we started losing by less and less until finally we won."

"When your dad sent you and Mary away, did you at least leave on the same plane."

I shake my head. "No. Mary left the day before I did. I didn't even get to say bye to her. When I got home from practice, she was gone."

"Did you know ahead of time you were being sent away?"

"Yeah but I thought we had more time."

"I'm surprised that I don't hear much lingering resentment toward your father."

I shrug. "I can understand better now. He had just lost his wife and was scared of losing his kids too. I'm sure I'd do the same with Grace if anything was to happen to Danny and Rachel. The next safest place for her, after with her parents and me, is with Danny's family in New Jersey." There's a momentary silence, broken only by the scratch of her pen across the paper while I try and get my emotions under control. "Can I ask you something?"

She glances up at me over the rim of her glasses and smiles. "Questions are highly encouraged."

"Is it normal for me to cry like this?" I swipe my cheeks with the backs of my hands.

"Yes, it is. As you learn to control the PTSD that should lessen. Or I could put you on mood stabilizers to make it happen quicker."

"No. No unnecessary drugs."

"Okay, but just be warned that as things progress, I may have to put you on something."

"Like what?" Last thing I want is to have to pop a pill every day. Not to mention I've heard stories of people on the drugs she's talking about feeling like they're walking under water. I can't afford to have my reflexes dulled like that.

"Like an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant. Or maybe even both."

I frown at her. "You said the depression and panic attacks are part of the PTSD."

"And they are. But as you learn to control that the other two may not go away which would mean that they are independent of the PTSD and therefore need to be treated as such. Believe me, drugs are a very last resort with me. I only suggested them now because you seem distressed by how emotional you are."

Not liking the direction the conversation has taken I not so subtly change the subject. "How long will I have to be here?"

"I put you on a voluntary seventy-two hour psych eval."

"Okay." Tipping my head back, I stare up at the ceiling for a moment. "Can Danny and Grace come visit?"

"Do you want them to come visit?"

"Danny for sure but I don't think he'll be able to without Grace wanting to as well."

"I think it would be good for Grace, and you, if she was to visit. I spoke at length with Danny yesterday. He says Grace is more than able to understand what's going on with you."

I shake my head, blinking up at the ceiling, doing my best to stop crying. "She's ten."

"Yes, exactly, Steve, she's ten. More than old enough to grasp the situation. Danny said he's never really treated her like a child. He has not told her about this only because he knows you don't want him to." I feel her hand on my knee and glance down to see her leaning forward, a beseeching look on her face. "Try to remember how you felt after your mother's death when your father made decisions that affected you and Mary without discussing it with you first. Or at least explaining things. Sometimes not telling children things is worse than letting them know that the world is a scary place." She glances at her watch. "Sorry to cut this short but I had to fit you in before my appointments for the day. Marie will bring you back at your scheduled time. Please think about letting Grace come visit. I'm sure the three of us can explain things in a way she'll understand."

"Yeah, okay." I push myself out of the chair. "What am I supposed to do for the rest of the day? I mean, do I just sit in my room? Or in some public area staring at some inane daytime programming on a crappy TV?"

She chuckles. "You can do whatever you want. You can visit the library or go for a walk outside. Just so long as you have Marie or one of the other nurses with you."

"Why? If I'm here voluntarily why can't I go alone?"

"It's for your protection. In case you have another attack."

"Oh." That makes sense. I'm surprised I didn't realize it. "Thanks, Doc." I step out into the hall and find Marie waiting just like she said she would.

"You're welcome, Steve. I'll see you at 10." She shuts the door.

Marie smiles and falls into step with me. "What would you like to do until your next appointment?"

"See my boyfriend and his daughter. But since I don't want her to see me here, how about a walk?"

"Good choice. We have a lovely garden right this way." She leads the way outside. She's right, the garden is very nice. Honey bees flit from flower to flower, birds sing to each other from the trees and the air is heavy with the scent of Mother Nature after a big rain storm. I must have slept through it because there is still evidence of its passing in the puddles on the sidewalks.

I set a leisurely pace; I have nowhere I need to be anytime soon. And besides, it's very relaxing being out here. I can almost forget I'm accompanied by a psychiatric nurse. We've walked a fair distance when I spy an empty bench and head for it, having decided I'm tired of walking, but before I get close someone gets there first. My brows lower in a frown but before I can even begin to get angry, I recognize Danny.

"Danny!" I pick up my pace until I can wrap my arms around his sturdy frame and bury my nose in his hair.

"Doc got you on the good stuff, huh?" He squeezes me back before stepping out of my embrace and sitting on the bench.

"No drugs. Just happy to see you."

He squints up at me. "No drugs, huh? Is that wise? I mean, you had me terrified, Steve."

I sit down next to him, totally ignoring Marie's presence. "I know. It scared me, too. But Julie said she doesn't want to put me on meds unless it becomes absolutely necessary."

He nods. "She seems to know her stuff." I nod my agreement and we fall silent, just enjoying being in each other's presence. "Oh, Grace sent you something." He reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a folded piece of construction paper.

"Yeah? She made me something?" I take the paper from him and carefully open it. And find myself staring at Grace's rendering of me and her and Danny on the beach. A rainbow provides shelter for us and perched on top of the rainbow is what appears to be an angel with heart shaped wings. On the rainbow are the words 'My love will fly to you each night on angel's wings'. My vision blurs as tears fill my eyes. Swiping the back of one hand across my eyes, I turn to face him. "Does Julie know you're here?"

"She does. She wants me to sit in on your next appointment, if that's okay with you."

"Yeah, it is." I lean over until I can rest my head on his shoulder. "I'm still very scared, Danny."

"I am too. But we'll get through this together. Okay?"

I nod and with a sigh, close my eyes. I didn't sleep well last night and I'm still feeling the effects of the sedative. "Julie seems to think Grace needs to visit me here."

"I happen to agree but if you don't feel right about it, then she won't."

With another sigh, I turn my head to rest my forehead on his shoulder. "If you think she should, then she should."

"You sure, Steve?"

"No." He chuckles at my honest answer. "But I miss her and if seeing her here will help me, then I won't refuse."

"Okay. I'll bring her by tonight. How's that?"

I nod. "Danny?"

"Yeah, Babe?"

"I'm sorry I hurt you."

"I know. I forgive you."

"Doesn't make my guilt go away. You have no idea what I wanted to do."

"I do, actually."

I sit up and frown at him. "How?"

"I could see it in your eyes. You wanted to hurt me more than you did. I have a feeling you would have forced me if you hadn't stopped when you did."

"I have no idea what stopped me. Something in your face or voice, maybe." I shake my head and look away. "You have to know, the last thing I want to do is hurt you or Grace."

"I do know that, Steve. Look at me, please." He smiles when I comply. "I know you love us. Just like I know you know we love you. We are both on your side here and are willing to do whatever it takes to get you better." Just then his phone rings. He pulls it from his pocket with a muttered curse which turns into a string of what I'm guessing is Italian curses when he sees the caller ID. "I will be back at 10 for your session. Okay?" I nod, fighting the feeling of being abandoned again. He presses a kiss to my forehead. "You are so very much loved." And then he's gone, striding off across the lawn, ranting into his phone at whoever called.

"He seems nice." Marie brings her presence back to my attention.

Blinking back the tears, I stand from the bench and begin walking back toward the hospital. "He is. And a great father, too."

"You two been together long?"

"Almost a year."

"Oh? That's nice." I hear what she doesn't say: How sad that you've been gone for most of that year. How sad that you're now stuck in here. The part of me that doesn't think its worthy of Danny's love even hears: How sad for you that he's out there fucking other people. I try to ignore that last part but it just won't leave me alone.

When we get back inside, Marie turns toward the rec room. "I'm not feeling up to being around people. I want to go to my room."

"Okay. Want me to keep you company?"

Annoyance flashes through me at her question. Why would she ask that when I just said I want to be alone? "No, thanks. I would like something to read, though."

"Okay. The library's through here." She goes through a set of double doors on her right.

I follow and find myself in a nice sized room lined with shelf after shelf full of books. "I'm in the mood for a good detective story. Do you think they have any Sherlock Holmes?" I don't let her answer, just begin searching the shelves. "Never mind." I locate the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle section and begin searching the titles for one that looks interesting, and that I don't recall ever reading in school. I settle on two: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Checking out consists of the 'librarian' writing my name and room number down on a piece of paper and then we're off back to my room.

Once alone in my room, I find I can't settle down and concentrate on the words. Feeling the need to being moving, but refusing to have to force myself to be polite to complete strangers, I decide to do some light exercises. It's nearly time for Marie to come take me to my next session with Julie by the time I've built up a nice sweat. Not wanting to see Danny, or Julie, all sweaty and smelly, I jump in the shower.

And instantly regret it.

Part five

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-10 01:32 am (UTC)
simplyn2deep: (Hawaii Five-0::Steve::uniform)
From: [personal profile] simplyn2deep
I was wondering how the doctor was going to tie Steve's mom's death into his breaking the day before.

I hope Danny's going to be at his session.

Oh no! What happened in the shower? Did he have a flashback?!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-10 06:32 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm going to spend the day wondering what happened to Steve in the shower! (not that bad after all, I like to think about Steve in the shower : )!)
Thanks for the update!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-10 06:33 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
By the way, last comment was me, antivol (on lj) - sorry to spam!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-10 04:10 pm (UTC)
rungirl60: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rungirl60
This just gets better and better. But an evil cliffhanger!!

Profile

melissas_corner: (Default)
melissas_corner

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
89101112 1314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit