"This is nice…"



Catherine gave him a glittering smile across the table, the candlelight illuminating her tanned skin and dark eyes.

Steve grinned at her through the small candelabra, his hands on the table, her elbows on the edge, hands clasped just under her chin.

"You look beautiful." He told her, eyes raking over her appreciatively.

"Thank you." She laughed quietly, their voices soft in the restaurant, as waiters moved around with silver platters, wearing tuxedos but looking far less like James Bond than Steve did.

"But I should hope you notice some improvement…" She toyed with the ends of her curled hair, "Grace spent hours helping me get ready today…"
"That may be but there is no room for improvement on you lieutenant, you know that." He winked at her, lifting his glass of wine.

At his words she gave a small snort and laughed, hanging her head as she grinned.
"What?" He gasped in mock surprise.

"'What?'" She mimicked his words with poor imitation, "You are drunk, sailor… giving out compliments like that…"

He gasped as she giggled, "Either that or you have hit your head…"

"Clearly I have no idea what you are talking about?" He lifted his eyebrows.

"Okay okay I'm sorry…" She laughed, reaching across the table to take his hand in hers. He placed their fingers together atop the gleaming white lace table cloth, as a waiter leant across them at a safe distance to pour more wine.

"So is this romantic enough a setting for you?" Steve teased his girl once the young waiter had gone.

"It is wonderful, thank you." She smiled, her other hand tracing the base of her wine glass, "although for the record I don't mind eating take out in the truck, or going to Kamekono's…"

"I know you don't, and I don't mind this…" He looked around, drinking some more of the wine he had ordered, "Danny gave me a long speech on how important it is to choose good wine…"

"It is good." She agreed, "What is it?"

"The most expensive one."

She nearly spat out her wine and coughed hard, covering her mouth half with her hand, "Steve!"

"What?" His eyes lit up at her laugh, seeing her so happy and carefree.

His phone started to buzz in his pocket and she heard it.

Her laughter turned into a sigh and she moved her hands from his, sitting back in her chair as Steve closed his eyes for a moment.

"I'm sorry Cat, just… just one minute…" He checked the caller ID and put it to his ear, "McGarret."

She knew what their job meant, she knew how important it was to both go them, but also he knew her so well that Cath knew she saw the disappointment in her eyes.

"Alright…" Steve rubbed his forehead and spoke down the phone, as a waiter approached with menus.

"We were just leaving actually." Catherine could hear the regret in her voice as the waiter took a step back from the table, her partner still talking urgently on the phone, "can we have our bill please?"

"You may pick it up at the front Madame. I will get your wrap." The waiter nodded, almost shot an accusing at Steve before walking away through the packed restaurant.

"We will be right there." Steve hung up and looked back to Catherine across the table as he pocketed his phone, "I'm sorry Catherine…"

"It's fine, honestly." She stroked the back of his hand and stood as the waiter returned, placing her wrap around her shoulders.

"Come on." She looped her arm through Steve's, "I am used to us not making it to dinner…"

He gave a half smile before bending to kiss her once, "we will do this again. I promise."

She smiled and nodded, letting him lead her out of the restaurant.


Steve had his bow tie hanging open, his jacket undone. Catherine had discarded her wrap, bag, and was walking purposefully beside her boyfriend, still in heels and a black evening dress, as they approached the crime scene.

The dark alley was illuminated with go-lamps and the flashing blue lights of patrol cars and the Camero. They could see Max crouched over a body a few meters away, and they ducked under the police tape to meet Kono, Chin and Danny.

"Wow… wow you look fantastic." Danny gestured to them both.


"Not you." Danny held up a hand to Steve's grin, "I was talking about your girlfriend. Doll you look great."

"Thank you."

"Where were you guys, the Blue Palm?" Danny folded his hands.

"No we were at 21 degrees north…" Steve put his hands in his pockets.

"Wow…" Chin blew air out of her cheeks, "impressive…"

"What is that like over one hundred dollars a bottle of wine right?" Danny's eyes went up.

Catherine flushed and looked down.

"Yeh so if we could focus, that would be great?" Steve pushed his lips together and smirked at Danny.

"Okay then…" Kono led them down the alley towards Max and the forensic team.

"Our victim is aged twenty three, male, ID on him says he is Carl Perkins, and he is a lieutenant on the Enterprise."

"He's navy?" Catherine asked as they stopped beside the body.

"Yeh, you know him?" Kono and everyone else looked at her.

Catherine stared down at the pale face of the man laid out before her, "We served in Kabul together on my last tour… he was a friend… to me and many others, a real team player." She drew in a breath and folded her arms, "was he robbed?"

"Yeh his wallets empty, and it had been discarded beside him." Chin mentioned.

"How did he die?" Steve looked to Max.

"The initial cause of death was a bullet through his skull from quite far range. He would have been killed instantly." Max shifted down the body on his knees, "although there is something more interesting…" "He yanked the man's camouflage sleeve up.

They all stared at the blood that glared out at them.

"What is that?" Danny looked to Max.
"That is a precise incision to the victim's arm, possibly with a kitchen knife, to show the number five." Max pointed to carving on the man's arm, "Judging by the blood and discoloration, it was done after the victim was shot and killed."

"So our killer is branding his victims, with numbers…" Danny rubbed the back of his head.

Steve looked up and down the alley, almost as though he was expecting to see bodies littering the pavement.

"Well if this is number five… where are the other four?"


"You said that you had served with Carl on the Enterprise?" Carl Perkin's wife Nora almost sobbed as she looked up a Catherine, who was sat on the soda across the low coffee table from her.

Both had their badges on their hip, gun on the other. Catherine's Five O badge was clasped rather crudely on crease of material that was embroidered on her hip.

"Yes. I served with him a few years ago in Kabul." Catherine smiled, "He was a good lieutenant, and he always looked out for me and our tea, and made sure that we were all looking out for one another."

"Mrs Perkins," Steve leant forwards, "do you have any idea why anyone would want to kill your husband?"

"No?" She sniffed, pushing hair out of her eyes, "He was supposed to be on shore leave from tonight until Wednesday… I haven't seen him in months, as far as I can tell he was looking forward to coming home…" she choked out, smiling and looking down at her glittering wedding ring, "He said he was going to take me to Maui for a couple of days… he always liked to spoil me, said he wanted to make the most of the time we had together…"

At her words Steve looked at Catherine, who leant around the table to gently stroke Mrs Perkins' hand. He felt his gut twist at the woman's previous words.

"He always liked to spoil me, said he wanted to make the most of the time we had together…"

"The navy was his life… He loved it…" Mrs Perkins cried quietly.

"Can you think of any significance your husband had with the number five?" Steve asked.

Nora cleared her throat and wiped her eyes, "No… his military record number had no fives in it… nor his birthday or our anniversary…"

"OK." Steve said quietly, "Thank you."

"Did he suffer?" Nora cried, eyes flashing between Catherine and Steve.

"No…" Catherine soothed her, rubbing her arm and back.

"It was very quick." Steve assured her gently.

Catherine gently stroked her shoulder, "We will find out who did this Nora, I promise."

Nora smiled as best she could before she dissolved into sobs again.


"Well if the number five has no relevance to Carl Perkins then I think that you were right, the number 5 brand cut on his arm is a count up of bodies, most likely." Catherine told Steve as they walked into the palace concourse.

The others were waiting for them around the Smart Table.

"Hey so," Kono flicked Carl Perkin's profile up on the screen, "Fong could only pull partial prints from the ropes found on our victim, so no lead there. There's no gun at the crime scene so no lead there, and the shooters face was covered by the hoodie and a scarf, so no further leads there either."
"Wow. Nothing?" Danny lifted his eyebrows.
"Our victim was walking to his car from the car compound which serves those who work on the enterprise," Chin brought up footage, "so he wasn't meeting the shooter, and his phone calls were all to different people, his wife, his daughter, and a holiday rep for Maui cruises."

"Mrs Perkins confirmed that he was planning to take her to Maui for the weekend." Catherine responded.

"So we have got nothing to go on… no CCTV no datable finger prints… and this number five brand…" Danny fisted his hands on the smart table.

"Pretty much yeh…" Kono admitted.

"But background is still running…" Chin attempted.

It was that moment Steve's phone buzzed.

He lifted it to his ear, "McGarret."

Danny tapped on the table with Chin through background as Kono lifted the paper photos of the victim off of the table.
"On our way…" He hung up.

"We have got another body."

"Hey you got changed?" Kono noted as she fell into step beside Catherine, Steve and Danny.

"Yeh I got changed in the truck on the way over." Catherine felt much more comfortable in her jeans, boots and red tank top.

"You got changed in the back of the truck with him driving?" Danny pushed his cheeks out, "that's either really brave or really stupid… hey you got changed too."

Steve grinned, "Yeh we weren't driving at the time…"

Kono burst out laughing and Danny stopped with Steve, grabbing his arm and looking aghast.

"You pulled over to make out, on the way to a crime scene?" He hissed, "There is something seriously wrong with you…"

"Relax Danny we didn't do anything…" Steve pushed him away and marched up to where the victim was.

"Busy night Max huh?" Steve folded his arms and stood in a ring with his friends around a straightening Max.
"Second victim is also military, named Luke Wood and worked on the Enterprise, judging by his ID." Kono explained.

"And he was killed by the same calibre bullet as the first one," Max pointed to the victim, "his money is also gone, and he has a carving on his arm."
"Number six?" Steve narrowed his eyes.
"Number four." Max stared them all out.
"So our killer isn't counting up, he is counting down."
"To what?" Catherine looked to her left.
"I don't know." Steve pursed his lips and shook his head, before turning to his team, "In the meantime I'll phone the CO and Admiral at pearl and the enterprise and get them to recall all people on shore leave, if this shooter is targeting military they are all at risk…" Steve banged out instructions on his hand, "No CCTV images usable. No phone calls. Cash gone. Military man dead. It's all the same except for the number. This is a countdown, but without a print we have no idea how or why."

"I'll do background." Chin stated.

"And I will go to speak to his family to see what his relationship was like with our first victim…" Catherine explained, "If I recognise him too them it could be Carl Perkins would have done."

Steve nodded and his team moved off with their orders, and Steve's phone buzzed on cue, as did Danny's a few feet away.
"We are on our way."
"Yeh we are there."
"We have got a body." Steve turned back to his partner as Danny said in sync, "there's been another one."
"Guys!" Chin waved them across the parking lot, "Duke called, there's another one!"


"So we have four victims…" Steve sighed down the phone to Catherine, "How did you get on talking to victim number two's family?"

"They said he was friends with Perkins, victim number one, but apart from their time on the enterprise there isn't much to link them together…"

"Alright…" Steve couldn't help but sound tired and disappointed at the lack of anything but bodies in the investigation.

"I'll see you back at HQ in a few minutes okay?"


He hung up and walked back into the main concourse as Chin, Kono, and Danny looked up at him.

"Catherine talking to the family didn't bring anything new up." Steve admitted before tossing his phone on the smart table, watching as Kono pulled up the photos of all four victims.

"So our victims are, in order of death and appearance," Kono pointed to the screen, "are number 5 Carl Perkins. Number 4 Luke wood, number 3 Oliver best and number 2 Zayne Perrin. All these men were killed over the course of the night, around one hour in between, that's ample time for the same killer to move between the sites and kill them all, and it's enough to use only one round of fire to do it all. They were all military men, served on the enterprise, all on shore leave while it's docked this weekend... All shot and branded in descending order by the same man... One of these guys."

Three images of ID's were brought up before them, all three looking entirely different, different names, races, eye colour, hair colour…

Steve rubbed his eyes.
"I don't get it!" Danny held his hands up, "How can our killer have the fingerprints of three men?"
"He can't." Chin explained, "But Fong couldn't pull up any full prints on the victims, only partial ones. He patched me together but that isn't a watertight idea, even with our database, true to form, anomalies as they are patched together have pulled up more than one suspect on our databases."
"Great." Steve muttered
"So it's one of these three..." Danny narrowed his eyes.
Kono shook her head with a sigh, "Only possibly. There could be a crucial part of the print we are missing."
Danny blew air out of his cheeks and rubbed the back of his head, "Fantastic."


Catherine cruised down the straight, empty lanes of traffic before her and behind her.

She sighed, blinking fatigue from her eyes and forcing herself to concentrate as she changed gears.

There was the bang of a gun and her car swerved to the left, its blown tyre along with its speed making the car jump up and rolling three times to the right.

It slowed; hit the central verge with a crunch on its roof.

Catherine groaned feeling the blood from her forehead in her nose and mouth as she hung upside down in her seat, one shoulder crushed between the window and her body.

As she lost consciousness she felt someone yank her from the car wreckage with a curse.

"Fong got a hit!" Kono sprinted into the central concourse, "There was a print across one of our Vic's hips, possibly where the shooter pulled the wallet out of number two's pocket, and it matches key parts of the partial prints on all the other bodies."
"So it's the full print which is comprised of all the other partial prints. It's of the shooter?" Danny clarified, "I just want to make sure we have got the right guy…"
"Yes, and it's a Chris Parker." Kono swiped up the middle licence plate, "He was put in Texas state penitentiary three years ago for death by dangerous driving, expect what he was driving was a navy combat tank while on a tour in Kabul. He crashed it off a roadside and injured five of his patrol crew, they all survived, but they stood in prosecution when Larker was dismissed from the navy."

Steve sighed heavily and nodded, "And let me guess, these five comrades he nearly killed who stood witness when he was thrown out of the navy, they are the victims lying in Max's morgue, who he shot when he was released from prison."

Kono nodded, pushing her lips together, "He was released four weeks ago and flew into the island yesterday morning "
"So he arrived on the island, knowing that the enterprise with these five former comrades was back on the island, five former comrades who he blames for having been thrown out of the navy." Danny pointed to the image.
"Four." Chin reminded him.
"We only have four victims."
"Yeh but Parker is counting down," Steve continued, "He still has one left. It's like a military operation... Who was the number one witness on the navy report of his dismissal?"
"That is probably our next victim." Chin commented as Kono tapped on the screen.

She swiped up the report on the dismissal case and the five photos of the witnesses.

Four were their current victims, each having been branded with the number of whoever witness they had been.
"Oh my god." Danny gasped as they stared at the last witness on the report, the number on witness, who they assumed would be the next victim…
"Catherine Rollins." Kono whispered.
Steve's heart stopped beating.


The first thing Catherine was aware of was her arms and legs screaming in protest.

It hurt to breathe, and her head throbbed. She could smell dust and blood, and she came around and started coughing she thought that her lungs would burst with the pain of it all.

Gingerly she managed to prize her eyes open, blurry vision fist focussing on her hands being bound in front of her in her lap, thankfully not to the steel desk chair as was sat in.

Similarly her ankles were bound, but not to the legs of the chair.

It was sweltering in the 'room' she was sat in. The walls were dark grey steel, and boxes loomed high and stacked in front of her, between her and the front of the storage container.

There was only one light bulb providing thing grey light.

The next thing she saw, and felt, was a deep long craved gash on her forearm, with a hooked top.

"Sorry about that…" footsteps approached, "for the others I did that after I killed them, but with you I couldn't help myself…"

He stepped before her, a dark man wearing grey clothes with a manic look in his eyes and gun in his hand.

Even through her hazed brain Catherine knew it was the calibre of gun which had been used to kill the four servicemen she had known from the Enterprise, who had been killed throughout the night.

She swallowed, "Who are you?"

Her voice was rough and the inside of her mouth tasted like blood.

If the situation had not been so dangerous, the way in which the man before her threw off his hoodie would have been laughable.

But the pit of Catherine's stomach turned to ice and she gasped.


Parker narrowed his eyes and sneered, lifting a bottle of whiskey to his lips with his un-gun-holding hand.

"Ready for the show?"

"Catherine was the main witness as she had been riding in the front when Parker lost control of the armoured vehicle whilst on tour in Kabul carrying her and our four other victims… Parker's drinking caused the accident and all six of them were lucky to be alive." Chin was reading as Steve paced up and down the concourse, muscles rippling, teeth bared, praying with all he had that she would answer her phone.

"According to the report her report was the most conclusive, and therefore the most damning..." Kono finished as Steve let out a shout.
"She's not answering!"
"Have we got an address for Parker?" Danny asked Chin who peered at the screen.
"No he isn't local." He regrettably informed, "But we can run background on his transactions to tell us where he get be staying…"

Steve's phone rang and he had it to his ear without checking.


The desperation in his voice didn't fade when who answered wasn't her.

"Duke, what's wrong?"

The team watched as his face paled, and Danny closed his eyes and prayed to the saints his grandmother believed in that this was not news of another branded body.

Steve's mouth was open, eyes wide, like it had been when Catherine had been taken by the terrorist El Condor, when Grover had first arrived on the island.

"Alright, we are on our way…" Steve swallowed and hung up, turning almost shakily back to his team, "they found Catherine's car with a blown out tire… rolled over and crashed on the central reservation of Honolulu Straight Freeway about half an hour ago… someone shot the tyre to get her to crash and they have taken her…"

"It's got to be Parker." Chin said gravely.

"I need to…" Steve was already walking towards the door, Danny hot on his heels, "Kono you stay and find out where he might be, Chin I want every HPD officer, ATS, and coastguard, to have a picture of him and Catherine…" He checked his SIG for Ammo, "Danny and I will go to the beach to see what Fong and Duke have after processing her car... Keep ringing her and keep tabs on one another!"


"We pulled a print from the seatbelt Catherine was wearing," Fong explained to a panicked Steve, "It matches Parkers."

"So the guy who killed those other four people has taken Catherine because they were witness to something, and gave testimony to something, that got him kicked out of the Navy and in prison for three years." Danny confirmed.

"It's revenge…" Steve's eyes were casting up and down the empty highway, "V for Vendetta…"

"How long had the car been here?" Danny asked.

"On examination only ten minutes before Duke's patrol came across it," the man looked between them, "Not long…"

"But long enough to drag Catherine away across any part of the Island." Steve started to pace, gasping for a breath.

"Hey… hey…" Danny walked after him, "don't have a panic attack? Are you going to? Calm down okay?"

"I am not going to have a panic attack." Steve kicked out hard at the bonnet of Catherine's crushed corvette and cursed, limping slightly for a moment.

"Did that help?"


"Did that hurt?"

"Yes…" Steve hissed and fisted his hands, breathing through his teeth and shaking his head, "this is my fault…"

"What? No it isn't, hey…" Danny held out a hand, "what are you talking about?"

"I shouldn't have responded to the case. You and Chin were on call tonight I should have sent you out ahead and dealt with it…" Steve pounded his fist against his palm, "I should've stayed at Dinner with her, then right now we would be home and I would there with her and Parker wouldn't have been able to snatch her…"

"When Grace was taken I went through exactly the same thing okay..." Danny put a hand on his partners arm, "but blaming yourself isn't going to help get her back Steve…" He looked his friend over, "and more than that she wouldn't want you too…"


Nearly an hour had gone by when Danny and Steve re-approached the Camero.
Chin had found nothing, and HPD hadn't seen Parker or Catherine, pulled them over, or even spotted a suspicious car in hours.
Steve's patience was wearing glass thin. He was not explaining anything, was badly blinking...
His phone rang and it's as at his ear in half a second as he sunk down in the Camero, Danny at his side.
"Kono." Steve's voice was thin.
"So we put Parker on the no fly list like you said," they could hear her tapping on the smart table, "and found he had booked a ticket out of here two hours ago, but he hadn't boarded. Whatever he was doing on the island for the night he hasn't finished."
"He thought he would've had all five of them killed by now, but he hasn't," Steve rubbed his eyes with the heel of his hand, striving on his own will, determination and adrenaline alone, "As far as we know Catherine is still alive."

"We will find her boss… don't worry." Kono tried to smile down the phone.

Steve nodded and hung up.
The conversation went dead and he put his phone on the dashboard. Pushing his hands to the steering wheel and clutching at straws, "we could go to..."
Steve's phone buzzed once on the dashboard, illuminating with Catherine's photo, before disappearing into the background as the call ended.
"It's Catherine." Danny reached out to dial back but Steve shot one hand out hovering it between his partner and the screen.
"No wait... It only rang once..."
When Steve offered no further explanation Danny began to lose patience quickly, "so what is that huh? Some kind of Navy Code?"
"Something like that..."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Will you shut up I'm counting!"


Catherine pressed her fingers tightly to her phone, eyes locked on Parker's back in the dark damp space. Her head throbbed repeatedly in sync with her heartbeat, and the sound of Parker gulping down whiskey.
Her bleary eyes looked through the thin light at him and counted. She grew perfectly still, her only movements her shallow breathing and the curve of her lips as she mouthed the counting she was doing.
One... Two... Three... Four... Five... Six... Seven...


"Eight..." Steve was muttering, his hand hovering over his phone, thumb an inch above the call sign next to Catherine's photo and phone contact, "nine..."
Danny suddenly found he was holding his breath, "what happens at ten?"
Steve pressed the dial tone and for what seemed like a stupid amount of time nothing happened, "I ring but I don't speak." His throat was tight and his words low and rough, forced from his body by his owns adrenalin to keep going for her.
Then there was a clicking sound and it began to ring.


Catherine had answered the call almost as soon as it had first buzzed in her hand. Her palms around the device made the vibrate almost inaudibly as she had guessed, and on similar prediction, she knew due to the heavy alcohol in his system worker wouldn't hear it, as he staggered about in front of her muttering and drinking, waving his gun around.


"She's answered she's alive..." Upon her answer and Steve short words Danny sunk back in his seat in relief, pushing his hands together in prayer.
Yet Steve didn't move. He sat frozen, listening to the sound of pacing, shuffling, he's by breathing, and the sound of dripping. His eyes turned red with rage, hissing through his teeth as he started to fight his own panic, "Why hasn't he killed her?"
"Where is this place?" Catherine's voice spoke out of the speaker and Steve immediately became silent, hands clutching at the steering wheel, eyes locked on the phone.


Catherine coughed slightly and shifted herself so it was maybe less obvious she was holding her phone under her leg, where Steve and Danny could still hear what was being said.
The position meant sitting straighter, and therefore that she had to stifle a grain against the pain in end spine, forced into a strange curve after being thrown in the chair for hours.
Parker let out a short unbelieving laugh, swinging his gun and scotch bottle in both bands.
"The trailer where all my folks out my stuff when your little confession landed me in jail." He nodded, pushing his kips together when he looked around as though he might hysterically start crying, "They practically disowned me!" He shouted, his voice suddenly so loud in the stifling container that Catherine just only stopped herself flinching.
Her head throbbed, and she was fighting to ignore the gushing pain in her arm.
"There's as no welcome rehabilitation brothers of the community eating for me outside Texas penitentiary," Parker cried, "just a key to this dumb from my parents in nan envelope they had sealed they say you and those four out me there."
She couldn't help but curl her lip up over her teeth and smirk at him, "They literally threw away the key huh?"
"Shut up!"


Steve and Danny heard the sound of the crash of a fist against cheekbone, and then Catherine cry out in pain before she started to Cough heavily.
Steve nearly snapped the steering wheel between his hands and Danny out one palm out to try and calm him, "She is keeping him taking, you know that's what she is doing, trust her."
Steve drew in a long stuttering breath that came out as a hiss but said nothing. He just listened.
"They packed my entire life in these boxes and left them here to rot, like I did in prison, on some private pitch on Waikiki storage lot, overlooking the ocean and that stupid pier we used to drink needs on when the enterprise docked and I was home on leave. Like they were locking me in here, staring out at my old life after they washed their hands on me..."
The line went dead.
It hurt more than he had been prepared for, losing the knowledge that she was okay and breathing every second. But she had given them a lead on her whereabouts, more than that a location... And keeping the phone line open put her in danger, great danger, if Parker discovered it.
Steve grappled with the task in hand, pushing his foot on the accelerator and signing across three landed of traffic to face the right way.
Danny offered no wisecracks, just gripped at his phone and the window frame as Steve turned on the stipend and past traffic on the left and the right.
"Chin!" Steve shouted over the noise of the engine to his answered call, "We have got an address, it's combing through now! Let's go! Call SWAT and I want a full HPD and medical team!"
"You got it boss."

"I killed them all you know."
Parker spoke through the darkness, a gloating, haunting voice that she had to narrow her eyes to focus to find the source of. The towering boxes between where she was sat and the one bulb hanging at the front for he closed trailer offered only thin grey light. Coupled with the thick dust in the air, her injuries, and the smell of Parker's whiskey, she was finding it harder to concentrate than she was used to.
"I'm beginning to get that impression yeh?" She whispered.
He let out one small mocking laugh as he laced, "killed them in descending order of their witness statements against me..."
"It was never about you Parker." She insisted as firmly as she could, "you put us all in danger because you couldn't get a handle not our drinking. You wouldn't take responsibility for yourself and you nearly got us all killed that day on patrol."
Parker turned on her fury, "it was you who got me discharged and thrown in that dump while my parents disowned me..."
"No..." She coughed.
"It's your fault!"
"I was a lieutenant like you…" She snapped, "The navy board would not have listened to my word alone, even with the others, if there had been no evidence." She insisted, "Parker you were five times over the limit when driving that heavy duty vehicle... That crash could've been fatal."
"You all betrayed me, ganged up on me!"
"We did what's as right..." She hissed, "stood together to do what was right because you couldn't look after yourself and the navy was t the place to babysit someone with a. Drinking habit!"
"How dare you!" His palm gripped her neck and pushed it upward, choking her, eliciting grunts and coughs from her as he struggled to breathe, half lifting off of the seat she was bound on, "It gave me pleasure killing them you know... The other four witnesses... More pleasure than I thought."
He shoved her back down in her seat and she coughed hard, retching against the feeling of blood in her mouth. She slumped sideways in her chair, thankful he had not bound her too it rather just her ankles, and wrists, together.
"It gave us no pleasure to see you discharged Parker..." She coughed, "but it was the right thing to do..."
"Not for me!" He bellowed, hurling his whiskey against the wall. It shattered and glass cut at her face.
"The navy board approached us to make statements we didn't go to them Parker..."
"They would've dismissed you for it with or without our statements; they had your test results..." She tried to say in a strong and calm voice but it wavered, "your dismissals as your own fault not ours... We weren't out to get you..."
There was the sound of loud voices outside the container, sound of car doors slamming, guns being loaded, and sirens behind turned off. The thing racks around the contained shooed the blue light of patrol car flashes coming periodically inside, making the air seem stale and cold.
Parker turned on her in frenzy, "what is that? Who is that…"

Catherine could stop the smile from touching her split lip as she answered him.

"Five O."


The Silver Camero screeched to a halt on the parking lot.

Steve was out of it before it had stopped moving, slamming the door and working his way through the SWAT team. Vans were parked, sirens were going, there was an ambulance and a forensics team, armoured cars in a circle perimeter around the lone container on a thin scrap of lamp in front of the beach, separated by a few meters from the other lines of containers.

Steve strode over to where Grover, in full gear, was peering at laptop open on the bonnet of one of the cars which faced the front of the container.

"What have we got?" Steve pushed in between Grover and the young cop who was fiddling with the laptop.

Chin and Kono appeared, having been instructing officers on their positions around the container.

"SWAT and HPD have it covered on all sides," Chin informed them, "He isn't getting out."

"We don't have a visual," Grover pointed to the red figures on the screen, "But we have a heat thermal image…"

"He's got a gun." Steve's words ground out as he stared at the red glaring image, of a woman sat hunched over in a chair, her arms and legs bound, and a man pacing in front of her, wielding a cooler weapon.


"How did they find out where we were?" Parker cried, kicking the boxes which held his abandoned possessions towards the front of the container, barricading them in, with a series of crashes.

"Police work has moved on while you have been inside…" Catherine was gasping for breath, a fresh cut on her cheek stinging with every word, "Five O has been picking up the bodies all evening as you wanted… they will have no doubt found print of yours on one of them, pieced it together, figured out that I was the one witness left standing…" She coughed hard for a moment, "they will have tracked my phone and found us here together…"

"No… no… no!" Parkers words rose to a bellow and he kicked a tower of box over with a deadening crash. They produced a cloud of smoke in the air and Catherine coughed hard, pressing her face into her bruised shoulder to try and breathe in cleaner air…

Her head was spinning and her throat burned.

"You didn't do your research on this mission very well Parker…" Catherine was gasping for breath, a fresh cut on her cheek stinging with every word, "I retired from the Navy a couple of months ago… I'm not on the Enterprise anymore…I work for Five O…"

Parker spun to glare at her, eyes wide, breathing furious.

"By now…" Catherine was hissing at him, "There will be a full SWAT team outside, the whole of Five O," Her voice caught for a moment and she swallowed, "An ambulance, HPS unit… and probably a helicopter… they may even have thermal imagine cameras…" She made a choking noise as she cleared her throat, "they will be able to see us… have eyes on us… you aren't getting away Parker…"

She watched as the man started to panic. His hands shook, eyes grew wide, "But I have a hostage... I have you!"

Catherine drew in a breath, "Yes you do… and you need to keep me alive…" Her voice cracked, "or you won't take another out of this container before they shoot you…"

Parker grabbed his phone, "Who do I ring?" He shouted, pushing his gun towards her and waving it in her bleeding face, "What do I do?" He was panicking hard, "You are a cop who do I call? I have a hostage…"

"You need to phone HPD…" Catherine was barely conscious, "and you need to tell them who you are, and you need to ask to speak to Steve McGarret."

"Steve!" Parker let out a loud indignant laugh, "are you serious?"

"He runs Five O…" Catherine coughed hard, hunching forwards, fighting to stop herself falling from her seat, "he has full immunity and means on the island… it's him running that operation out there… he's the one you need to speak to…"

She let out a long gasp of breath and her head lolled back, her eyes fluttering closed, blinded by her sweat and blood on her cheeks.

Parker glared down at her, pressed his gun barrel to her head and pushed her temple so her head lolled to the other side, her cut cheek pressing into her shoulder.

She coughed and grunted but said nothing more.

He pressed the keys firmly on his phone and lifted it to his ear.

"I want to speak to Steve McGarret."



Duke's voice cut through the sound of sirens and commotion as he rushed over to where Steve was leant over the bonnet of a SWAT van, peering at the thermal image, talking intently to his team and Grover.

"Duke?" Steve immediately looked up., his eyes burning through his fatigue and worry.

The officer handed over a phone, "Its Parker, he phoned HPD wanting to speak to you."

Danny, Kono and Chin all straightened and Grover's eyes went down to the thermal image, which saw Parker pacing, the phone to his ear, gun in hand.

Catherine wasn't moving in her chair.

Steve had the phone to his ear in half a second, eyes glaring forwards at the container as he spoke, "

"This is commander McGarret."


The long drawn out voice made Steve straighten, "Parker. Where is Catherine?"

"Oh she is fine…" the man's breathing was heavy as he paced quickly, waving his arms around periodically, "She's asleep…"

"Let her go." Steve insisted, "I mean it…"

"She's my hostage, why would I let her go?"

At this question Steve's throat closed up and he felt every muscle in his body tense.

"Come on McGarret, you know how this goes…" Parker was goading him, "I am phoning to discuss my terms…"
"You don't get terms," Steve growled, "You are a serial killer! You kill four people…"

"I was going to kill five." Parker reminded him, "I was going to shoot your pretty girl in the head, for her part in me being dismissed…"

"You put the nails in that coffin with your drinking." Steve snapped, "Now you let her go…"

"She's my hostage!" Parker cried again, "Keep up Steve…"

Steve's breathing was coming heavy and hard, his eyes flashing around repeatedly at all sides of the container.

"Here are my terms." Parker stated firmly, "I want you to back a car, preferably a fast one, up against the container within the next ten minutes… I will them come out and get in it, with Catherine, and drive away, unfollowed, no tricks…" He was hissing.

Steve drew in a long breath and barely let it out as his chest screamed painfully.

"Then when I am satisfied that you aren't following me," Parker drawled out, "I will drop her off and you can come and pick her up…"

"I don't trust you won't kill her." Steve snarled, "Now you let her go now and I won't shoot you…"

"Ten minutes Commander. Cath and I will be waiting."

The phone line went dead.


When she heard Parker disconnect the line Cath sagged back in her seat.

Her lungs ached and her whole body was bleeding and sore.

She gritted her teeth as her head lolled.

The action caused her phone to slip out from under her leg, and the clattering noise alerted an on-edge Parker immediately.

He spun, picked up her fallen phone and glared in frenzy at her, "What did you do…"

"You spoke to him… not me…" She hissed, eyes falling shut.

She only managed a strangled cry when his fist hit her ribs and she hunched over in the seat coughing hard.

Gripping the phone with such force she heard it crack, Parker spun and flung it across the container.

It crashed into the steel wall of the container and hit the floor with a crack, the glass screen smashing on impact.

Yet the force of the fall made the phone turn on, and her background of her and Steve that Grace had taken one night at the Hilton, their arms around one another, dressed in their finery, him smiling the way he only did for her and his niece, when he was completely at ease…

That was the image in the darkness that burned in Catherine's head when she felt Parker strike her again in the face, and she slumped over in her chair.

It was the last thing her brain registered before she lost consciousness again.


"He gave us ten minutes to get that cop car up there! Five of which we have wasted talking about what is going to happen at the end of ten minutes," Steve snapped, pacing up and down, "We need to think of a plan…"

"We are not hanging you underneath the cop car we give him." Danny smacked his hands together, pointing at him firmly, "I know that's your plan…"

"We did it when Kono was held hostage!" Steve almost shouted.

"Yeh, but you were hanging under a SWAT van!" Danny snapped, "There is no room for you to dangle yourself under the base of a cop car while it moves, and before you even say it may I remind you that you cannot hide in the trunk of said car because you can't open it from the inside!" Danny held up a hand to stop Steve's opened mouthed explanation.

The commander groaned and paced away.

"Steve, Catherine is going to look for you when Parker drags her out here…" Chin reasoned, "And he will probably be using her as a human shield…"

"So there goes plan C to shoot him on site." Danny shot at Steve.

"He will have Cath in front of him, and both of them will look for you…" Kono reasoned, "And when he can't see you, and she can't, he will know something is up… he will do something rash, and Cath will be in danger…"

Steve was drawing in shallow breaths, lifting his palms to push the heel of his hands to his eyes as he groaned. The tension cracked on him and his shoulders sagged.

"We will put a tracker on the base of the car… we will get a chopper in the air, and HPD units following with a few blocks of distance… then we wait until he drops Cat off, when we book him." Danny tapped the side of his hand to his palm.

Steve looked around, eyes watching as a Cop car was pushed up to the container.

"We only have three minutes…" he muttered, "get that tracker on there."


Catherine was brought back to conscious by the sharp jolt of her own body as she was slapped across the face hard.

She cursed and hunched forward, coughing and spitting blood away from her lip.

"Get up…" Parker's voice was harsh and close to her ear.

She groaned, feeling his hands under her elbows as he dragged her forwards.

She couldn't see, couldn't hear properly, as Parker pressed the barrel of his gun to her bleeding and throbbing temple, jabbing her forwards with his other hand on her hip.

"Show time."

They moved through the dusty grey air, in between the boxes which Parker kicked out of the way with a crash.

She cried out when first she head a cool bang, then felt her body smack into the heavy steel frame of the front of the container.

Her hands hit it first and she felt her wrists scream in protest, still bound together as they were.

Parker wrenched her backwards and kicked open the container door.

The sweltering air of the container was replaced by the warm night breeze and the sound of the water hitting the shore.


Steve was sure his heart stopped beating the second Parker pushed her out of that container in front of him.

Catherine felt her own heart hurting with possibly broken ribs, and could barely open her eyes through dehydration, probably concussion, and pained fatigue.

There were voices, the cocking of guns, and the hum of engines.

More than that, for Catherine, all she could see was the flashing of sirens and blue lights.

Her eyes hurt, her head, body and hands were sore, and she was struggling to stumble forwards because her hands and ankles were still bound.

She lifted her hands to try and shield her eyes, but she staggered and stumbled, crashing into the cop car that was parked there.

She cried out again and Danny had to grab Steve arms, holding him back, as Parker, gun to Catherine, eyes darting around in panic, pulled her back past his chest. He didn't support her and she fell, gripping at her head as she sunk to the floor.

Her head bounced off of the concrete and tears started to fall from her eyes as she quivered and shook on the floor.

"Get up!" Parker bellowed, pointing the gun down at her, "Get up!"

He let a shot off into the ground three inches beside Catherine and Steve snapped.

It all happened in the five heartbeats Danny counted.


Steve drew his Sig and vaulted over the front of the Swat Car.


Parker spun and lifted his gun up at Steve, letting a shot off.


The bullet cut through Steve's arm, blood spattering up his armoured vest.


Steve fell to the floor, his gun skidding from his hand.


Grover shouted "Fire!"

It seemed as though the night sky was torn apart with gunfire.

Steve struggled with his dead weight arm to rest himself protectively over Catherine, cradling her head to his chest, laying over her, shielding her body with his own.

Her limp, bruised fingers, clutched to his shirt, her body quivering and shaking, blind in his shadow, as the gunfire ceased.

She didn't see Parker sink to the pavement, but she heard the rounds stop, and something hard slump to the floor.

"Cease fire, cease fire!" Grover's voice met Steve's ears and he lifted himself up onto his forearms, ignoring the pulsing blood just blow his shoulder.

Catherine was curled on her side, coughing and crying quietly, looking dazed, dehydrated and confused.



The voices of his team fell on semi deaf ears, and Steve could find no part of him willing to even glance at Parkers body.

"Catherine!" He put a hand on her shoulder, not wanting to shake her but failing because of the tremor in his fingers, "Catherine it's over, look at me…"

"I'm okay..." She coughed through the thick dust in the air, grunting as she struggled to get up on her side, wobbling as her arms hooked blindly around his back and neck, "I'm alright..."
Her arm was bleeding heavily, she had a cut on her forehead, her cheek, and blood spatter on her shirt from Parker being pumped full of blood only two metres beside them...
She tripped over her own feet as she tried to kneel. Steve set her to sit up facing him on that tarmac as SWAT and HPD moved around, his team stood a little way away, watching and conducting with relief.
A particularly hard throat cough, sounding how she had done when kidnapped by El Condor, meant she shivered and was immediately caught in strong arms.
She leant back in Steve's grip as he all but ripped the bonds off of her wrists and cradled her face, where she was sat facing him, him on his knees, "you okay?" He demanded, both of them fighting the tears in their eyes.
"I'm okay." She murmured, "I'm fine..."
Her words were cut off by a small sob and Steve wrapped his arms around her tight, clasping her hair and pressing his face to her temple as she cried quietly into his neck.
The team moved in and were dealing with Parker's body, the debris and the boxes which had spilled out of the container, onto the cop car, and onto the tarmac around them.
"You're shaking..." Steve kissed her temple firmly, pulling back to look her over again.

They were clinging to each other sat in that container parking lot.

Although Five O were more than relieved, they were not going to intrude on a rare moment of public affection, born of utter relief, as Catherine and Steve clung to one another.
She was tired, blood drained, sore, and relieved, "I just want to go to bed..."
He chuckled in exhausted relief, "stand down lieutenant... Let's get you looked at first..."

"And you…" Her fluttering fingers touched the bullet graze on his arm as he lifted her into his strong arms, gently rising to his knees, easing her upright s she cursed as her body stretched.
"Okay." She whispered to herself and forced herself take a step trudging forward, but her bondage cut ankles throbbed and she hissed in pain, blinking blindly into the light of the search lamps, trucks and police cars.
She held a hand up to her face, shielding her eyes as her head spun.
She coughed again, and Steve gently steered her through the parking lot away from SWAT.
"Good to see you in one piece ma'am." Grover hugged her gently, before clapping Steve on the back and barking orders at his men.
Catherine barely saw Kono before she was hugging her, "thank god you're alright..."
"You are looking good sistah." Chin gently rubbed her back as Kono released her.
Catherine smiled wearily, ignoring the throb in her arm as Danny walked forwards and enveloped her in a tight hug. Tears spring to Catherine's eyes anew as he rocked them gently.
"Thank you for keeping him sane." She whispered.
Danny chuckled and rubbed her back, "well after today is over you can go back to making that your full time job because I am beat. Doll you don't ever put him or me through that again you understand?" His relief wade evident in his words.
"I promise Danno" she whispered, kissing his cheek before standing down.
Steve gently wrapped an arm around her waist and she leant against his chest tiredly breathing in his strong and save familiar scent, not the dank dusty space in that trailer she was so sure she was as going to be shot in.
Steve gently steered her around them, "let's get your arm looked at then get you in bed..."
"A shower." She mumbled as she trudged blindly forwards, "a beer..."
"That's my girl."


"It is just a flesh wound commander, you will be absolutely fine." The young medic assured him.

"Thank you." He nodded tiredly, pulling his shirt sleeve down over the bandage that nearly reached his elbow, and crossing the lot to where Catherine was sat on the back step of an ambulance, being patched up and complaining about it.

"I don't have a concussion I am just tired…" She wrapped the blanket they had given her tighter around her, "I just want to sleep."

The young doctor had treated them both many times, and when he saw Steve approaching he sighed shortly and handed her water and a packet of pills.

"You need to take these every two hours to combat the infection in your arm; you need to intake a lot of fluids and rest, no heavy lifting or work with those two cracked ribs." He said firmly.

She nodded and thanked him, and started to struggle to her feet.

Steve took the pills and water from her and held them in one hand, his other stroking her side as she had to grip onto his shirt to keep her balance.

"I must look a mess…" She muttered whilst blinking her eyes as her dirty, bloody hair fell into her face.

He smiled slightly and gently tucked it behind her ear, mindful of her painfully swollen cheek, "Never." He whispered.

Two tears slipped down her cheeks when she couldn't help but smile back. They burned her cut face in time with his sincerely soft words but she didn't care.

With what little strength she had left she stretched up on her toes and kissed him softly.

It hurt her split lip and Steve knew it did, so he gently pulled away to kiss her temple instead.

With deliberate slowness he half crouched to gently lift her, blanket and all, into his arms.

She smiled tiredly and rested her head on his shoulder, curling against his chest as he walked them to the truck.

"You know what?" She mumbled.


"I am really glad I changed out of that black dress I was wearing earlier…" She yawned, "Blood would not have come out of that silk."

The sound of his laughter deep in his chest was comforting against her cheek, and it was the last thing she was aware of before she fell into much needed slumber.