Twenty minutes later, a handcuffed Julio sat with a uniformed police officer standing on either side of him. Across the coffee table from that high-backed chair sat Liz with Magnum and Lieutenant Tanaka on either side of her. In between them on the couch was TC, while Higgins stood behind Liz at his desk with The Lads at the ready, just in case.
Liz took a deep breath and raised her eyes to look at Julio. "Mr. Magnum tells me you want to explain something to me."
Her voice was even and steady as she said. "I'm listening."
"When I was in jail, I kept thinking about what he" – his eyes went to Magnum and back – "said about hurting you with lotion and what you said about shooting at you. I would never do that!"
"Then who did?"
"I think it's Roberta."
"And who is Roberta, Julio?" Liz asked without wavering from the even tone she'd been using.
"My boyfriend. He was a Marine. He got kicked out of the Marine Corps for being gay back in '96. We got together last year and he's insanely jealous." Julio wrung his hands. "He knows about guns and owns a rifle with one of those spyglass things and a handgun."
"He has a rifle with a scope?" Magnum clarified. "Was he a sniper in the Marines?"
Julio shook his head. "No, but he wanted to be."
"Wait, have I ever met your boyfriend?" Liz asked.
Julio shook his head. "But he didn't like my obsession with you. But I need to protect you!"
Liz looked up at Magnum, who put his hand on her shoulder and read her face for distress. She nodded at him, then continued with Julio.
"If you know that your behavior is upsetting Roberta, then why continue? I told you that I don't need protection from my friends."
Julio looked down at his legs for a second. "You said it yourself. You adopted me when I was in your class. I never had anyone who wanted to 'adopt' me."
Liz frowned. "You do understand that I said that to the entire class, right? And I said it to every class, every year?"
Julio nodded, looking back at her. "Yes, of course. But you don't understand! I never had a mother and you…"
Liz nodded. "I understand. But why would Roberta shoot at me? Have you explained this to him?"
"Yes. He thinks it's something else, I guess."
Liz leaned forward. "You do understand that what you did was wrong, right? And that you killed a man?" Julio nodded, each time, contrite. "You understand that if you hadn't followed me to Hawaii, Roberta wouldn't be in trouble for," she looked at Tanaka. "Attempted murder?"
Tanaka nodded. "Five counts."
"Five?!" Julio croaked.
"He shot Rick, that's one." TC furnished.
"He shot at Ms. Bolling and Magnum at the tidal pool," Tanaka added.
"And then again when we were in the car yesterday," Magnum said frowning, squeezing Liz's shoulder and she placed her hand on his.
"Not to mention the damage to Mr. Masters' Ferrari," Higgins added.
Julio dropped his head. "I'm so sorry."
"You need to give us a description of Roberta," Tanaka said. "And I will let the DA know you cooperated."
"He's about six-foot-tall, brown skin, brown eyes, blonde hair – "
"Wearing women's clothes?!" Magnum exclaimed. He looked down at Liz who looked up at him, alarmed.
"Long nails and a deep voice?" Liz's eyes were wide.
"You've seen him?!" Julio asked.
"At the supermarket!" Liz and Magnum said in unison.
"Julio," Magnum addressed the man in front of him. "Does Roberta drive a black Camaro?"
Julio nodded, miserably.
Magnum looked at Tanaka, who nodded. "I've got it." He stepped away to use the phone.
"I've told him that there's no competition. I can love him and you."
Liz shook her head. "What you feel for me isn't love, Julio. You don't terrify someone you love. I was terrified enough to leave Miami and ask Mr. Magnum for his help. Do you understand, Julio?"
"But I never meant to scare you!"
"I know you said that. But you do not have the right to endanger my friends. Even if they were potentially more than that, you do not have the right. Even if you were my son, you wouldn't have that right."
Magnum marveled at the way her voice stayed low and level as she spoke to the man who'd caused her so much mental and emotional anguish.
Julio had, at least, the good graces to look miserable.
Liz looked up at Magnum. "I need to go." She stood.
Nodding, he glanced at TC, who leaned forward with a grim nod, and took her arm. As he walked out with her, he watched her. She kept her gaze pointed straight ahead.
He took her into the mansion's sitting room next door to the study. Midway through the room, not quite to the settee, she turned and wrapped her arms around his waist, burying her face in his chest. He held her, stroking her hair. She wasn't trembling or crying, just quietly holding on to him.
"Hey," he murmured. "You did great."
She didn't respond, just stood there for another moment.
"Hey," he repeated and waited for her to look up at him. "You did great," he said, again. "Understand? And don't worry about Roberta. We'll get him…or… her?"
Swallowing, she nodded.
Higgins appeared then. "Magnum, Elizabeth, I'm sorry to interrupt."
She turned and looked at him with a shaky smile and nodded. "Jonathan?"
"TC has asked me to let you know that he is going to go get his helicopter to do an aerial assessment."
Magnum turned to Liz and tilted her head up. "I'm going to leave you here with Higgins. The police will take Julio –"
"They've already departed, in fact," Higgins furnished.
"Great," Magnum nodded. "Even better. I'm going to go with TC, see if we can end this once and for all. Tanaka's men will stay on the estate until it's over." He looked down at her again. "You'll be safe here with Higgins."
She nodded. "Please be careful," she whispered to him.
He stroked her cheek, then kissed her forehead. Then his long legs carried him out of the room.
She moved across the room to where Higgins turned to watch Magnum join TC at the front door. As they walked out, she wrapped her arm around his. He looked down and nodded.
"Come, my dear. I'll make us a pot of tea."
She nodded, somberly attempting a small smile of appreciation.
In less than an hour, the Island Hoppers helicopter was making circles around the estate, looking for any indication of where Roberta might be laying in wait. After a close fly-over of the beach that enabled Magnum to see under through and under many of the treetops with TC's binoculars, he looked at TC and shook his head. "Let's check out the mountain."
On the other side of the estate, across the road that led to the entry was the steep incline that led up to the Koolau Mountain range. An access road to from the main road led some work buildings at a higher elevation than the beach side estate but not quite ascending the cliffs of the mountains themselves. In a large lot north of the building closest to the estate was parked a black Camaro. Magnum pointed to TC and TC nodded. The access road ended at the lot but Magnum could see a footpath leading further into the thick brush where a small shed was.
"Land at the lot!"
"Are you sure? He could be anywhere!"
"He's going to be where he can get a clear view of the house," Magnum nodded. "Probably in one of the trees closest to the cliff."
"So we're going to land and walk right into his line of sight?"
"Come on, TC! We can't just wait for him to start shooting at the house!"
"We can wait until Tanaka's men get here!"
"Great idea. Let me out here and you go back to get them." Magnum smiled a closed-mouthed smile.
TC saw determination in his friend's face, despite the cheeky demeanor. "Fine. We'll land. I'll call Higgins on the radio to tell the police to send back up." He sighed. "Then we'll go. But it's not like we're in camo gear or properly equipped or anything."
Magnum nodded, grimly, pulling his Colt 1911 out and dropping the magazine into his hand to check it for rounds. As TC landed, he returned the clip to the gun and nodded to his friend. TC grabbed his own .45mm and stepped down from the chopper.
They approached the car from opposite sides, carefully, and looked inside for any sign of life. The car was empty, as Magnum suspected it would be, even as he hoped it wouldn't. He and TC exchanged looks and looked toward the foot trail with dense trees on either side.
Magnum looked from where they stood toward the ocean and couldn't see the estate from their vantage point. He motioned to TC and, instead of moving down the footpath, they moved up into the tree line toward the base of the cliff. When they got up to the highest point they could go on the ground, they followed the base to a point where Magnum paused, peering through the trees toward the ocean. He looked back at TC.
From their altitude, they could see the main house of the estate and the trees surrounding the courtyard.
Magnum and TC split up at that point and started looking up into the trees as well as on the ground for any indications that the ground had been disturbed.
A loud crack caused both men to drop to the ground into the thick brush.
"Where'd it come from?"
"I don't know!"
Magnum raised his head and another crack rang out. This time the bullet struck to tree nearest him. That was all he needed to be able to estimate where the shots were coming from, but he still couldn't see clearly through the canopy to make out a target. Using the low crawl he'd been taught in the military, he inched through the brush, keeping his head only a couple inches off the ground.
"Thomas!" TC hissed.
Magnum didn't answer in case Roberta could hear him and locate him in the brush. As it was, he knew he wasn't exactly camouflaged against the green grass and bushes in his blue Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts and navy-blue Tigers hat. He continued to inch across the ground in the direction he believed the shooter to be.
Finally, he reached a point where he could see someone in a tree. He debated he should call out and try to reason with Roberta. Turning to his back, he pushed himself closer to the tree to look up.
Roberta was no longer targeting the ground. Instead, he was stretched out on the branch with a rifle, complete with a scope, trained toward the ocean.
Magnum lifted his head to try to see if he could see the target but his angle was wrong.
"Roberta!" he called, lifting his gun at the same time.
Roberta turned in the tree and moved the gun to fire in Magnum's general direction, but another gunshot echoed off the cliff walls and Roberta ducked and looked out in a different direction, swinging his gun back.
Magnum pulled the trigger.
Magnum rose to his feet and walked over to where Roberta lay, bleeding and unconscious. "Here," he frowned.
TC jogged to him and looked down at the unconscious assailant. "Is he…?"
"Dead? No," Magnum said, grimly. "I don't think so."
"Magnum!" Tanaka's voice called out with the sound of a herd of people surrounding him.
TC called out to Tanaka. "Over here!"
Tanaka and five officers emerged from the trees and looked down at Roberta. "Magnum?"
Magnum looked at him, then moved up into the tree. From Roberta's "nest", he could see clearly onto Robin's Nest between the trees into the courtyard. He climbed back down as the officers were pulling Roberta to his feet, after applying a field bandage to his shoulder.
Magnum looked grimly at Tanaka and nodded, walking with TC back to the chopper.
Rather than fly back to TC's hanger, TC landed on the estate grounds.
"Thanks, TC," Magnum said, solemnly. He jumped out of the chopper as TC shut it down and jogged into the courtyard and moved to the patio door to the study, turning around to look up at the mountain before opening it. Inside, he called out. "Higgins! Liz!"
"In the kitchen!" Higgins called in reply.
When Magnum appeared in the kitchen, he saw first relief, then uncertainty on Liz's face. His long legs carried him to where she stood and pulled her into his arms, pressing her head to his chest and his lips to her hair. "It's over," he said simply, his breath warming the top of her head.
"Thank God," Higgins pronounced, clearly.
Her arms went around his waist and hugged tight as she turned her face into his chest. After a moment, she whispered. "Are you sure?"
He put his hands on her forearms and gently pushed her back. Then he used one hand to tilt her head up, looking into her eyes. "They've arrested Roberta. It's over."
Tears came to her eyes. "Oh, Thomas!" she whispered and went back into his chest, hugging him tight.
Magnum looked at Higgins over her head. The majordomo nodded and walked out of the kitchen leaving Liz wrapped in Magnum's arms.
Six months later:
Thomas Magnum leaned against the hood of the Ferrari outside the District Criminal Courthouse. Dressed white slacks, a blue denim shirt and dark blue tie, he had his hands shoved into his pockets with his ankles crossed. He watched Liz shake hands with Carol and walked down the steps. He waved when Carol caught his eye and waved at him with a smile.
When Liz saw him, she tilted her head with a question and altered her direction to meet him. "Hey, there, stranger."
He smiled at her, standing. "Hi."
She neared him. "Why didn't you come in?"
He shrugged. "I was going to, but then I saw you coming out."
"Yeah," she looked back at the building. "The jury came back with a verdict quickly." She turned with a smile. "Guilty on all five counts. If he gets the maximum, it's a hundred years in prison with a chance of parole in forty."
Magnum smiled. "Good," he stepped toward her, putting his hand on her upper arm. "So it's really over now."
Liz nodded. "Julio's conviction in Florida and Roberta's conviction here, ends it, finally."
He looked down at her in his gentle way and she pinked slightly, as she usually did when he looked at her like that.
Glancing downward, she placed her fingertips on his abdomen, touching the button of his shirt. When she looked up, she said. "I wanted to th-"
Magnum put his index finger across her lips. "Now, we talked about this. No more."
She looked up and him, serious, with her eyebrows knitted together. "But I -"
"No!" He nearly shouted, pulling back in frustration. "No more! Enough! You agreed!"
She chuckled and smiled. "You're right. I did. Enough."
Gentling, he touched her face. "Good." He kissed her forehead, then smiled down at her. "Wearing heels again."
She laughed and looked down, tilting her foot in a way to show him that, under her long skirt were platform wedges that gave her a good five additional inches on her height. "Great detective work, sir. You figured it out because you didn't have to reach down as far to reach me." She poked his rib with a well-manicured finger.
"You got me!" He grinned, hugging her lightly. Then, looking down at her with a grin, he asked. "See you later?"
She nodded with an easy smiled and watched him turn away. Then with a frown, she called out after him. "Hey, sailor!"
Opening the driver's side door, he looked back at her.
"Going my way?" she smiled with raised eyebrows.
"Where are you going?"
"The club. I promised Rick I'd let him know the verdict."
"And your car?"
She shrugged and chuckled. "In the shop again. I was going to take a cab…"
He smiled. "Come on." He took a couple of long-legged strides around the car and opened the door for her, took her hand to help her in, closed the door and jogged back to the driver's side.
As he turned on the ignition, she reached for his radio with a smile. He nodded and she began to turn the dial, looking for a song she liked. She paused briefly when the Destiny's Child announced "I'm a Survivor!" with a smile that made Magnum laugh but then turned the dial again, finally settling on Travis Tritt's triumphant "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" and, as Magnum pulled away from downtown Honolulu area and entered the highway, her hand found his on the stick shift and his thumb caught her fingers to hold them there.
A/N: I truly hope you enjoyed this, my first effort at writing "Magnum, P.I." fanfiction. While I have been a fan since the early '80s, I never thought to write for the show until recently - even though I started writing fanfiction in the mid '80s. I appreciate constructive comments as I believe they help me grow as an author. Thank you for you time.