OK- some of you aren't going to like this. But, I wasn't sure where it should go and I think this is probably the way it SHOULD end – the team intact. Thanks for the feedback!

Chapter 7

It had been a long, quiet day. Now Kono was changing her mind, wishing that they'd had a case to work on – to divert her attention. She glanced at her watch, let out a long sigh and shut down her computer. Danny had left about an hour ago – it was his turn to pick up Grace from school. Chin was running down some loose ends on another case that they'd finished up. Steve and Kono had been left alone in the office, but Steve had been tied up with the Navy higher-ups in and out of his office all afternoon going over the downfall of Nick Taylor and his team.

Now, she picked up her coffee mug and headed down the hallway to the kitchen area to clean it before she left for the day. She glanced over to Steve's office, but his seat was empty. With a mixture of relief and disappointment, she assumed he'd left for the day. She was wrong.

She turned the corner to go into the kitchen and saw Steve going through the cabinets. He heard her footsteps behind him and froze momentarily. You could almost feel the tension in the room. Kono stopped in her tracks at the doorway – should she turn and go back, wash her mug in the morning, or say something. "Hell," she thought to herself. "He already knows I'm here. If he heard that guy at his place, then he sure as hell heard me."

"Hey," she said, trying to sound casual as she went to the sink and started her task.

"Hey, yourself," he answered, grabbing a package of undoubtedly stale crackers and closing the cabinet. He turned around and leaned against the counter, slowly opening the package. He was looking at her back, her hands busily washing what must have been an extremely filthy cup with all the scrubbing she was doing.

"I think its probably clean enough," he said to her, and watched her hands stop moving.

She rinsed the mug, turned off the water and grabbed a towel. Turning around toward him, "Yeah, I shouldn't have let it sit all day." This was the first she'd seen him up close all day. He looked tired, but, more than tired. He looked sad.

"You okay?" she asked him. "You look wiped. Hard day talking about everything?" she said, meeting his gaze.

He shrugged and just said, "Yeah, a little. You look tired yourself." He frowned and held up the crackers, "We really need to restock in here I guess," he said, throwing the stale crackers into the trash, a loud grumble coming from his stomach. He hadn't had a chance to eat anything all day.

"I can stop in the morning before I come in," she offered.

"That's okay, I'll take care of it tonight," he said. "Any special requests?"

"I'll go with you if you want," she offered. "We can grab some real food at The Noodle House first if you want. It's not good to shop on an empty stomach…, and should we talk?" she said, putting the towel down and her mug over by the coffee pot. She grabbed the pot, rinsed it out and got it ready for the next morning so whoever came in first would only have to push the brew button.

"Uh, yeah, sounds good," Steve answered with that little boy smile that always got to her. "Let me go square away my office. I'll be a minute," he said walking out of the kitchen.

He met her at her office and they both walked toward the door, switching off the lights as they exited and locked up behind them. Out in the parking lot, theirs were the only two vehicles left sitting under the lights.

"We can take mine," Kono offered. "I have the trunk for the groceries," she said.

"Sure," he said, holding out his hand for the keys.

"I'm not Danny," she teased. "I'll drive," she finished, smiling to herself and walking over to her car, leaving him standing there, stunned at his loss of control. He chuckled to himself and followed her to her car.

/

At the restaurant, they looked over the menu and ordered their food.

"So, what was the seats thing all about?" Kono asked him. When they had entered the restaurant, Steve followed her to a table but, just before they sat, he had asked if she minded switching seats with him. She didn't care, so they switched and Steve sat with his back to the wall and facing the front of the place. Kono sat across from him, facing the back.

"What? Oh… I don't know, I just don't like having my back to things. Years of looking out for the bad guys I guess," he shrugged as the waitress brought over their drinks.

She just nodded and their eyes held for just a moment. "Did you finish surveying the damage to your place?" she asked him, trying to bring the conversation around to last night. "It didn't look so bad last night, but I imagine with the light of day, it was much worse."

"Yeah – well, I sure have my work cut out for me. I have the insurance guy coming over tomorrow, but I'm not real sure my Dad thought to get a "damage from gunfire and explosions" clause in his policy," he joked.

"Just tell him it was a random bolt of lightning, or a truck went off the road and through the place," she kidded him back.

Their food came out next and they sat and ate quietly for a few moments. Kono picked at her food, while she watched Steve devour his almost immediately. Somewhere off to the side, someone dropped a tray of dishes and the crash brought Kono's attention in that direction.

"So, about what happened last night," Steve said, bringing her attention back while he watched the restaurant owner and the waitress try to clean up the mess. He looked back at her and held her gaze for a minute. "I'm not sure what that really was…," he said. "I mean, don't get me wrong, it was nice," he added quickly.

"But…,"she started the next sentence for him.

"But, I'm not sure its…, well, what do YOU think" he decided to see what she was thinking and feeling.

"I'm not sure either, but if we're being honest, I've kind of had a feeling about you since about the first week of working together. I'm not really sure what the feeling is; either its awe - and there's certainly a lot to be awed about when I watch you work – or more than that," she said, blushing. "But, I do know that I liked the kiss last night."

"Yeah, the kiss was definitely nice," he said. "But, while I'm flattered, I'm not sure it's what you think," he added. Kono had a confused look on her face. "Look, the last couple of days have been crazy. A lot of stuff all going down at once. All kinds of adrenaline flying around. I think that's what it was – just coming down from the adrenaline rush," he said, hoping he wasn't hurting her feelings.

He reached across and took her hand. She started to pull her hand away, but he held it tight. "Kono," he said quietly, waiting for her to look up at him. "I'm sorry if I led you on differently. I shouldn't have let it happen. It was a…."

"A mistake?" she answered somewhat angrily.

"Yes," he agreed. "A mistake - - on MY part," he said. "Look, you are a great cop, we would be lost without all the things you are good at. But, we're like a family and it would be wrong to mess that up," he said. "You're like my lit…," he said, pausing. "You're like a sister. I'm too old for you anyway – you should be hanging out with your friends when you're not working, not with me and all my hang-ups," he said.

"Okay?" he said, ducking his head down, trying to get her to look at him. "Kono?"

"Yeah," she said finally. "It's just…, I guess you're right. I got caught up in it all. You saving me and all," she said. "I'm sorry."

"No! No, Kono – nothing to be sorry about. Please tell me that this won't affect our team, our family," he said hopefully.

"No – we're good, Brah," she answered.

"Okay," he said, putting money on the table for the food. "Let's get some groceries," he said as they both stood up. Walking out the door, he put his arm around her shoulder and gave her a brotherly semi-hug.

The End.