Disclaimer: I do not own Hawaii Five 0, or any of the characters, places, or events contained therein. And, as always, the world is a better place for it!
Note: I have to admit: I've been absolutely loving this fandom (and by "loving" I mean stalking it obsessively since it's beginning) and I finally couldn't resist making a humble contribution of my own. This random ficlet is not set at any specific time in the series and may or may not connect to other fictional events that I may or may not write. It was inspired by moments written by several other authors, so if this feels very familiar, arigatougozaimasu (thank you very much) for the idea. Yoroshikuonegaishimasu!
The three sat side by side on the uncomfortable bench in uncomfortable silence.
There had been tears when Rachel had shown up with Grace, but that had been some time ago and the waiting game was a somber affair, not a tearful one, even for the eight-year-old. Her hands were clasped tightly together and her round eyes stared unblinking at the door leading to the ICU.
Rachel's phone thrummed and she had it at her ear in less than a second.
"Stan!" she exclaimed, standing up and turning away from the other two, "I've been trying to get a hold of you!" She listened for a moment, "More like inevitable!" Her tone was accusatory, "I mean, really, the things this family has been put through..." She glanced down at the other two, who were no doubt hearing but wishing to ignore her conversation.
She pointed at McGarrett, who looked up at her blankly, "Can you keep an eye on her?" she asked in a harsh whisper, pointing over at Grace sitting next to him. He nodded automatically and she moved off down the hall to a different lounge area.
McGarrett stared straight ahead and his eyes widened slightly as he was hit with the realization that he had been left fully in charge of a kid, an understandably distressed kid, and he had no idea what to do about it. He hadn't had charge of an eight-year-old since...well since his sister was eight, and that was a very long time ago. Sure he'd hit it off just fine with Grace in the past, but then he'd always been with the kid-whisperer Kono and the charming "Uncle Chin," not flying solo and certainly not partially responsible for the life-and-death battle her father was fighting behind the closed doors in front of them.
He turned slowly, just fractionally, to look at her.
Red-rimmed eyes, white knuckles, pristine school outfit. Gah, what could he say to her?
He turned back to the door.
Then his peripheral vision picked up a small movement next to him.
She, in turn, had moved to look him over.
Then she too returned to her silent vigil.
"You're worried about your dad, huh." He said to the door. Arg! What was that? Calling attention to her grief? He wanted to punch himself in the face.
Grace took a beat. "Mom is," she said coolly, though the pain in her voice gave it a bit of an edge, "She always talks a lot when she's worried."
The commander nodded thoughtfully. That made sense. "You know, I don't think you need to worry- Your dad is a really tough guy. The doctors said he's got a fighting chance and, you know him, he never backs down from a fight." He genuinely hoped that sounded more encouraging to her than it did to him.
Grace turned toward him this time with a frown and their eyes locked. "Danno says that sometimes bad things happen to good people, even the ones who are tough. And he says that he doesn't want me to worry when bad things happen, 'cause when I get worried it makes him really sad."
McGarrett couldn't help but smile at the strength of her conviction, and at the memory it brought back.
"You know," he said, "My dad was a cop too, just like your Danno."
She cocked her head at him, clearly not expecting this.
"He used to say almost the same thing. 'Stevie' he'd say," and McGarrett imitated his father's gruff voice, "'Don't you worry son, even if something happens to me. Worrying never did you any good, and it never did me any good.'" He chuckled at the memory.
"Did that help?" She asked.
He frowned, not sure what she meant.
"Did it help you stop worrying?"
He gave a short laugh and shook his head. "No, not really." He answered truthfully.
She nodded, apparently satisfied with the answer she expected, and he looked away, willing her not to ask the next question.
"What happened to your dad?" She said.
His stomach tightened.
There it was.
He didn't want to tell her, both for her sake, and for his. But she was every bit her father's child: she would know it if he lied.
He turned to face her fully. "He died." McGarrett confessed.
He saw the little girl's eyebrows draw together in concern.
"But," he pointed a finger up to interject,"He didn't die because of his job, and he lived a very long, full life, just like your dad will."
She scrutinized his face for a moment, as if trying to weigh the truth of his words. "Do you miss him?" she asked carefully.
McGarrett let out a breath, closed his eyes with a frown and leaned back against the wall. "Yeah..." his voice broke just a little bit. "Yeah, I really do."
He could feel her eyes still on him.
"You know what?" She asked in a strange tone.
He felt little fingers worming their way into the tight fist of his hand.
"What?" He asked, taking the tiny hand in his.
"I think I am a little worried about Danno." She admitted, and then slowly leaned to the side until she was pressed against him, head against his shoulder.
He slouched down a bit so he could lean his head gently on hers.
"Yeah, kiddo," he said quietly. "Me too."