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17 December 2011 @ 09:37 pm
Bulletproof Baby Blankets Chapter 22 - silence  
Title: silence
22nd in Bulletproof Baby Blanket Series
Paring: Steve/Danny
Word Count: ~2000
Genre: Established relationship, h/c, angst
Rating: This part, R for language
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Summary: Stories of Steve and Danny and their life together. Including their children. (Not mpreg - not that there's anything wrong with that.) No particular order to the stories. I'll write and post them as my muses allow.

Danny gets hurt and is angry. Steve tries to makes amends.
This chapter is different from most of the BPBB chapters. There is angst and h/c and... well. No relationship is perfect. Not even Steve and Danny's.

It crackled between them, the oppressive silence that could swallow them both. Danny stared out the passenger window. Steve’s hands, white-knuckled, clung to the steering wheel. He wanted to bridge that silence, the thunderous quiet that had engulfed the Camaro before both doors were closed.
I’m sorry. He could say it again. To what ends? Would the next time be the one that made an impression? That would ease Danny’s clinched jaw, his narrowed eyes? Would saying it stop Danny from holding his words at bay from Steve who wanted them now more than ever before?
I’m sorry. How many times had he already said it? The last time had been met with silence. No acknowledgement, no sign that Danny had heard.
He stopped the car in front of the house, undoing Danny’s seatbelt before dealing with his own. He quickly rounded the car to open Danny’s door. Danny refused to meet his eyes, made no sound as he awkwardly left the car. Steve attempted to put a steadying hand on Danny’s back but withdrew it when Danny hunched away. All Steve could do was follow silently, opening the door and allowing Danny to enter.
After a detour to the kitchen for some cold water, Steve went up the stairs. Danny was in the bathroom, looking down at the toilet. Staring at it as though it was to blame.
“I can’t even take a fucking piss by myself,” Danny said, his voice quiet and unfamiliar. No ranting, no bombast. Very little anger in the tone for all the anger in the words themselves.
Steve bit off the apology before it fully formed. Instead, he reached around Danny’s unnaturally still body and unzipped his trousers. Not touching him any more than absolutely necessary, Steve aimed, waiting as Danny emptied his bladder.
“Don’t,” Danny said when Steve began to zip them up. Steve nodded and took a small step back. Danny left the bathroom for their bedroom while Steve washed up.
“You need to take your medication,” Steve said in an even tone.
Danny’s icy blue eyes stared at Steve, looked at him over the silence. “I can’t be here with you right now.”
Steve blinked at the words, slowing his breathing and calming his racing thoughts. “What do you want?”
“Grace’s room,” Danny said. He turned on his heel to go out and down the hall. Steve had to follow. With both of Danny’s hands heavily bandaged, he would not be able to undress himself.
Steve waited in the doorway. Danny would acknowledge him when he was ready. At the moment, he was staring down at the picture of the three of them that always sat beside Grace’s bed. Grace’s 9th birthday. They had spent it surfing and eating shaved ice and being goofy.
“Help me undress,” Danny finally requested, not turning to face Steve. He tensed at Steve’s approach, remaining motionless until Steve turned him by the shoulders. Danny stared down at Steve’s hands as they unbuttoned his shirt, easing it off his arms. He was vigilant with Danny’s hands, not knocking against them.
Danny sat on the edge of the bed so that Steve could untie and remove his shoes. Next came his socks and pants.
Danny shook his head silently, standing by the bed to look down at the covers. Handling them was impossible. He stepped aside without glancing at Steve.
Steve turned the bed back, moving so that Danny could climb in. His movements were awkward without the use of his hands.
Steve silently opened the two medicine bottles, shaking out the pills. Danny glared at them before closing his eyes and opening his mouth. He accepted the pills onto his tongue before taking in enough water to wash them down.
“Do you want me to stay?” Steve asked. He knew the answer but he wanted to be wrong.
Danny opened his eyes to glare up at him. Withholding his words.
“I am sorry,” Steve said. He didn’t think he had planned to apologize. But there it was.
Still Danny did not speak to him. Maybe his angry expression and pained eyes were all Steve was going to get. More than he deserved.
“You’ll let me know if you need anything,” Steve said. Everything in him told him to stay. Show Danny his sincerity with his presence. His concern. But truthfully he could not remain when Danny wanted him gone.
Danny lay down. His hands were outside the covers, the white bandages covering his fingers and wrists a beacon of reprimand to Steve. The emergency room surgeon said the cuts were deep and serious but Danny had escaped permanent damage. Once the combined 17 stitches were out of his palms and fingers, he would require physical therapy.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” Danny said as Steve reached the door. His voice was subdued, his tone defeated. If Steve hadn’t been listening he would have never heard the words.
“I know,” Steve said, guilt weighing on the words.
“Back-up was 7 minutes out.”
“I know,” Steve repeated.
“Seven minutes.”
“She is six, Danno.”
Danny sat up. The fire in his eyes would have torched a lesser man. “I fucking know how old she is. Seven minutes wouldn’t have changed the outcome.”
“You don’t know that,” Steve retorted. They had already done this. Apparently they were doing it again. “They were going to kill her. In 90 seconds.”
“They said that four times. Do you think you are the only one who was scared shitless that she was going to die at their hands?” Danny demanded.
“Of course not. I saw an opportunity and I took it,” Steve said.
“And then they were going to kill you. I had to climb over a barbed wire fence. Because your adrenaline crazed brain couldn’t wait 7 fucking minutes,” Danny said. His face was a mask of frozen anger. This was not the Danny that Steve had fallen in love with. This was not the Danny he had married. This was a fury, an apparition come to indict Steve for all the wrongs he’d committed. All the sins he had buried in classified and can’t discuss it and it’s over no point talking about it.
“I know I fucked up.” Steve didn’t know whose anger was emitting from his mouth. It couldn’t be his. He didn’t yell. He had no right to use that tone with Danny. “All I could think was getting to Ma'aula before they killed her.”
“What you did left fucked-up behind miles ago. And who paid the price? Who always pays the price when you decide you are Superhero Steve who is only slowed down by us mere mortals?”
“I don’t think…”
“No you don’t think. I am feeling some sort of way about you right now, Steven. I got to be honest.”
“What do you want me to say, Danny?” Steve demanded, his anger filling the space between them. Anger he had no right to feel but there it was, exploding without his permission. “I can’t undo what’s happened. If I could, I would. If I could be the one that needed stitches, I’d gladly take them. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I did what I thought had to be done. I’m sorry you are hurt. I’m sorry I’m such a fucking burden to you.” Steve was breathless when he finished, his face an unfamiliar blank slate.
“Do you even know….? No. You know what? Never mind. I’m going to sleep.” With that, Danny lay down and rolled onto his side, his back to Steve who stood rooted to the same spot. Danny blocking him out was infinitely worse than Danny yelling at him. Steve knew he was wrong. He knew he was to blame. But he couldn’t fix this. He couldn’t promise it would never happen again. Because they both knew it would. If he could prevent a death, even at the cost of his own life, he would. He was hard-wired that way and he thought Danny had accepted that.
Steve silently left Grace’s room, leaving the door open. If Danny needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, Steve would have to help him. For the next few weeks, Danny wouldn’t be able to do much of anything by himself. And that was Steve’s fault.
“Hey,” a voice said some indeterminate time later. It sounded like Danny’s voice but since Steve was persona non-grata, he was only dreaming that Danny was talking to him. “Babe. Are you awake?”
Steve rolled onto his back at the broken sound of Danny’s voice, sitting up to look over at him. “What’s wrong? Do you need to go to the bathroom?”
Danny shook his head, making shooing motions with his bandaged ghost hands. “Scoot over.”
Steve wiggled over enough to allow Danny to sit next to his hip. “You need pain meds?”
“I do. But before they make me woozy again, I want to talk to you,” Danny said.
Steve glanced at the clock. 3:21. Well, neither of them were going to work the next day. It hardly mattered what time it was. “I’m really sorry about….” Danny reached toward Steve with one of his bandaged hands, shaking his head.
“I know, Babe. What you did was stupid. Beyond stupid. But I understand why you did it. Ma'aula is probably alive only because of what you did.”
“You really think that?” Steve asked, wishing he didn’t sound so broken to his own ears.
“Yes. Which is why I shouldn’t be so angry. Shouldn’t have been. But you know what?”
“What?” Steve asked quietly.
“I am madly and desperately in love with you. Sometimes that makes it harder to be your partner on the job. Because if something happens to you, I don’t know how I would survive it. I knew back-up was 7 minutes away. I didn’t have to climb a barbed-wire fence. I could have waited. But when he held that gun to your head and….” Danny stopped with a tiny gasp, seeing it all again in stark reality. The crazed man ready to blow Steve’s head off. Danny had to stop that from happening. It didn’t matter that there was a razor sharp fence between them.
“I know, Danno. I was prepared to die to let Ma’aula live. I didn’t want you to witness it.”
Danny shook his head, leaning closer to Steve and kissing him gently. “What I do know is that you would have sacrificed yourself for her. If she had been my daughter, I’d want to know you were out there keeping her safe. Even if I die a little inside each time you take such awful risks.”
“So you’re in love with me?” Steve asked in his teasing tone that said that things were going to be okay. Maybe they weren’t just yet. But what he had done wasn’t going to ruin things.
“Maybe a little in love, you big goof. Do you think you could help me pee and then put me back to bed? In here?”
“It would be my privilege,” Steve assured him, kissing him. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Forgiving me.”
Danny looked away from Steve before turning to meet his eyes again. “I shouldn’t have been angry. It was the fear and the pain speaking.”
“All right.”
“I guess if I asked you not to do it again, it would be useless, huh?”
Steve just gazed back, love and understanding passing between them in the silence.
“That’s what I thought,” Danny conceded. He slowly stood, looking down at Steve. “How long before I can pee by myself?”
“Ten days,” Steve said, Danny sighing loudly.
“Fabulous. I’m not sure I believe you. I think it’s just a ploy for you to get your hands on me.”
“Could be, Danno. Could be,” Steve said, kissing the back of Danny’s neck as they stood together in front of the toilet. 
schnuffie: Weihnachtem Schneemann Elchschnuffie on December 18th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Wooohooo! Great story!!!
Are 6 dogs too many?: steve wreathtkeylasunset on December 19th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!!

LOVE your icon!!!