Grace ran into Rachel's arms. One feel of her daughter's forehead and she was pulling her up onto her hip and hugging her tightly.
"When did she start getting sick?"
Danny took offence to the accusatory tone of her voice, as if somehow it was his fault. "This morning. Don't worry, I took her to the doctors and it's just a virus."
"You should have brought her home."
"And why would I do that, Rachel? She's been sick before, you know, when we were living together in that time we were married. You do remember that, right?"
"I try to forget, Daniel," she said with a smile.
"I know you want to find a reason to blame me for everything that happens; day turning to night, the rain, that kind of thing, but it's a virus. Some rest and she'll be fine."
"Danno gave me ice cream," Grace said, raising her head tiredly.
"Her throat was sore. My parents used to give me ice cream when I was sick. Never harmed me."
Danny rolled his eyes. His cell rang and he was momentarily glad for the distraction. He gave a two fingered wave as Rachel took Grace into the house, and started walking back towards his car.
"Hey, Chin. What's up? What do you mean they were caught in an explosion? Was he messing around with those grenades again? I'll be right there."
Kono opened her eyes. The first thing that hit her was the smell. It was acrid and clawed at the back of her throat, causing her to cough. She couldn't quite catch her breath. Something warm and heavy was pressing down onto her chest.
She couldn't see anything, but she could hear voices, coughing; someone was crying in the distance. Rubble shifted to her right .She tried to recall what had happened. She remembered music playing, people dancing and laughter. A club! She was in a club. Why was she in the club? Had she come here dancing? She didn't think so. No, definitely not. She had been jogging along the shoreline when she had received a call from work. She'd been annoyed because she hadn't completed her workout. They'd had a lead on a case they were working. Michael Hailing had been murdered at the Hilton Hotel and they were in the middle of an investigation. Peter Farrell, their only suspect in the case, had been spotted at this club. He was scheduled for a business trip the following morning and they didn't want him to leave before they could speak to him. They had driven to the club, Steve had instructed them to lie low and-
She managed to move her hand and it connected with an arm.
Her cell phone started ringing and it startled her. She managed to move the arm and reach into her pocket. As soon as her cell phone was out, the screen illuminated the small space. There were chunks of concrete and a metal strut so close to her eye that if she had moved upright suddenly she would have been blinded for sure. The heavy object that was pinning her to the ground turned out to be Steve.
She breathed a sigh of relief. She could only see one side of his face, but that was covered in blood and he was unconscious. He was alive though; she could see the dust that covered her shift with every reassuring breath.
Remembering the call, she tapped the speakerphone button.
"Kono? Answer me. Are you okay?"
She smiled. "It's okay, Cuz. I'm here."
The relief in his voice was palpable. "Are you hurt?"
"No. I don't think so."
"What about the boss?"
"He's unconscious and putting my leg to sleep."
Chin was silent on the other end of the phone.
"Where are you?"
"We're trapped in a small pocket of debris. But I think we're okay. What happened?"
"All we know at this time that it was an explosion."
"We're not ruling it out. We're not ruling out gas leaks either."
"I can't smell gas. You were outside. Are you-"
"I was in the truck. Saw the front of the club blow out."
"Well, feel free to come and get us anytime."
"The exits blocked. It's going to take a while before we can get to you. Best not to move until the rescue team can assess the damage."
"They're here and working on getting you out of there. Just sit tight."
"I can do that."
"Did you see anything while you were in there?"
"I don't know. I can't remember. "
"I've got to brief Danny. He just got here. Keep your cell within reach and I'll phone with an update in a minute."
When the call ended, the screen dimmed and Kono was left in darkness again. She didn't want to illuminate the screen too many times in case it drained the battery. So she kept it in her hand, a reassuring tie to the outside world that was working on getting them out of there.
Her other hand was trapped, but she managed to snake it out from under whatever had her caught and reached around to check Steve's pulse. It was strong and steady, but he still wasn't showing any signs of coming to anytime soon.
She licked her lips. "Boss?"
Something clanged down behind her. She could hear the scuffing of shoes on the hard floor and voices filtering through the debris. She knew it wouldn't be the rescue crew just yet. But at least someone else was alive.
"Hey!" she called out. "We're in here!"
Somebody replied; the voice was muffled, but by the tone she could tell they understood and rocks moved behind her head with a little more urgency.
"Wake up, Boss. Don't want people to find us like this. They might get the wrong idea."
Whether he was reacting to the implication of being found in a compromising position or by the rubble pinging down on them she didn't know, but thankfully she heard Steve groan, cough and then his hand smacked her in the face.
"Sorry," he mumbled, shifting on top of her and using his arm to relieve some of the weight on her chest. "That you, Kono?"
She smiled as she illuminated the screen on her cell. Steve was much closer than she realised. His nose was inches from her chin and he was staring straight at her. Only one side of his face was cut and there was a bruise on his jaw, but he looked intact. He turned the phone to light up her face and, satisfied that she was okay, he let her hold it upright so that they could see the space they were stuck in.
"Cozy," he said, shifting his leg and catching her in the knee.
Ow! Now that was tender.
"I spoke to Chin. They've got a rescue crew outside."
"Yeah, we're stuck in here. The exit is blocked by rubble."
"What the hell happened?"
"Chin said it was an explosion."
"They don't know. "
"He's going to be pissed."
Kono realised what he was referring to. "He had Grace."
Steve closed his eyes and she noticed that he swallowed thickly.
"Are you okay?"
"You were unconscious. Any blurred vision or nausea?"
He turned his head to the right and coughed. "No. Just the headache."
The air was dry and filled with dust. Kono resisted the urge to cough, too.
Steve moved again. She could tell that he was itching to get them out of there, but thankfully he knew better. She guessed if Danny were here, he might have made some joke about Steve standing up and pushing the debris aside like the Incredible Hulk.
"Why are you smiling?"
"No reasonI think they're trying to get us out."
Steve looked past her head.
"The rescue crew?"
They were pitched into darkness again and she pushed one of the buttons on her cell. Steve was wincing; it was obvious he was in pain.
"You sure you're okay?"
"Got a cramp in my leg and my arm's gone to sleep."
Kono wasn't sure if he was telling the truth. She couldn't read his expressions. Hell, none of them could. They rarely shared unguarded moments. So far, she could count them on one hand. It wasn't that he was deliberately being evasive; if they asked him a personal question he would answer it. After all, he had told them about the Champ box. But still, his expression never gave anything away in between those moments.
A phone started ringing. Only it wasn't hers this time. Steve apologised while he reached around into his pants for his phone.
When he saw who was ringing him, he grimaced and put it on speakerphone.
"Tell me you didn't set off that bomb."
"Your concern for us is overwhelming, Danno."
"Chin told me you were all right. So, back to the bomb. What did you do?"
"Nothing. And for the record, if I'd gotten my hands on the bomb it wouldn't have gone off."
"They teach you that in Boy Scouts, too?"
"Along with sewing and baking. And we don't know that it was a bomb."
"Looks like a bomb."
" Let me speak to Chin."
"I called you. What, you don't want to talk to me?"
"That's real nice. Hang on."
"Put the phone on speakerphone."
They could hear the dial tone as buttons were pressed. Danny's cell phone was antique. It didn't take pictures and it didn't have a touch pad. His doggedness not to get it updated was infuriating.
Steve sighed. "You have to select options and-"
"Go to menu," Kono said.
"Is that it?" They heard him say and then there was the sounds of a scuffle and Chin had obviously taken over.
"There," Chin said. "You select menu, options, call options and speakerphone."
"You need to get familiar with your cell phone."
"What do you mean familiar? I'll take it on a date right after we get you outta there. It's working. And before you suggest it again, I'm not getting one of those iPhones. What did you want to ask Chin?"
"Chin, did you see anyone leave before the explosion?"
"No-one went in or out after you entered the club."
"Why were you out here anyway?"
"We got a lead on the Hallings' case."
"And what, it was invitation only? Last I checked I'm part of the team."
"You were busy."
"Fine. Whatever. Anything we can do out here?"
A piece of concrete moved and Kono could see someone's legs and finally hear the voices clearly. Steve looked up and switched off the speakerphone.
"You guys keep us updated with the efforts out there."
Steve dropped his hand and braced himself on his elbows.
A man, who was barely distinguishable in the darkness, leaned forward. "You guys okay?"
"We're fine," Kono said.
"Wait there and we'll clear more of this rubble," the man said, standing and disappearing from view.
With some of the debris cleared, Steve climbed out and then helped Kono to her feet. He arched his back; his t-shirt was soaked through with sweat. It wouldn't take long for it to become uncomfortably hot in here.
The room was dark and he couldn't see the full extent of the damage. He figured it wouldn't be pretty. Club Maholo was cut into the Princeville cliffs. The front of the club would no doubt be blocked by heavy shingle and rock. He used his cell's flashlight application and could see that there were distinct areas of collapsed ceiling where there would no doubt be others trapped. Those who had survived were standing close together, using their phones as he was to throw out some light.
Thankfully, the club had been closing down for the night and had been quieter than usual. Most of the tourists tended to stay away from this area, mostly because they didn't realise it was here. There were some villas at the top of the cliffs, but Steve didn't think they'd have been in danger at this range. They probably thought there was an earthquake.
"You have any flashlights?" Steve asked the bar owner.
He was a short, fat man with a bald forehead and long hair swept into a pony tail. He hooked his thumb towards the bar. "Yeah, did have. Out back. But that's gone, Brah. Whole place is a mess."
"Candles?" Kono asked.
"Not in here. Not safe."
Steve couldn't smell any gas, but it wasn't wise to light candles and tiki torches until they knew for sure.
This club hadn't exactly been safety checked to start with. It operated on the edge of town; it was supposed to conform to health and safety but because of the lowlifes that came here, it wasn't a priority for the authorities. This had been an accident waiting to happen for a long time.
The front of the club was glass fronted with steel bars that held up the rock above. There was no other way out.
Steve usually had a mag light on him attached to his keys, but they were with Chin. All he had on him was his weapon, a Swiss army knife and a stick of gum. They'd have water and snacks behind what was left of the bar. He could use the flashlight application on his cell, but it would drain the battery more quickly.
He headed over to where Kono was kneeling by a young woman.
"She said she can't breathe."
Steve nodded and took her place. He assessed her condition and realised what was wrong immediately. He'd seen this kind of crushing injury before. He'd probably inflicted it on a few people before, too.
"Ma'am, you're gonna be fine." He looked up at the frightened men and women staring down at him. Of the ones he could see, they were all covered in cuts and bruises. "I'm gonna need some more light."
"What are you gonna do?" one of the men asked. Steve couldn't see where he was; he was stood in the shadows. And that made Steve uncomfortable.
"I'm going to help her." He turned to the bar owner. "I need vodka. One with a bottle pourer."
"What are you doing, Boss?" Kono asked, taking his phone to shine it onto the woman. A few others were doing the same.
It wasn't much light, but it was enough.
Steve took the vodka that was passed to him and removed the pourer. "She has a pneumothorax. Air's escaping into the cavity around the lungs and the pressure needs relieving." He reached for his knife and doused it with vodka. "It's okay."
"Have you done this before?"
"Yeah, Kono. A few times."
With his knife sterilized he leaned forward and felt for the third intercostal space. He sucked in a deep breath to keep his hand steady and pressed the tip of the knife against the space between the ribs. He pushed the knife in and watched as blood dribbled down her side.
"I need the pourer."
He was aware that his phone was ringing and then Kono was pressing it to his ear and his light was gone He gestured for a man beside him to come closer so he could see.
"Rescue crew say they'll be an hour or two."
"Danny, I'm kind of in the middle of something right now. I'll call you back."
He inserted the pourer and felt resistance.
"Oh, you'll call me back. What's going on? I can tell you have aneurysm face."
"I do not have aneurysm face."
Steve used some force and pushed the pourer into the woman's chest until the rim was flush with her skin. There was a whistling sound and then she took a deep breath. Steve reached for his cell. "Danny, make sure we've got medics on standby. I've got a woman here that's gonna need to head straight to the hospital when we get out."
Kono didn't realise just how dark it was until she turned away from the group to stare at where the entrance had once been. She knew the rock and rubble was there, but she couldn't pick it out from the other black spots in the room. The problem with using their cell phones for light was that it was intermittent and some of the others had already drained their batteries. The light didn't extend very far so although she could see, she couldn't really tell if she was going to trip over something on the floor or bump into another person.
She'd never admit it, but she didn't like the dark. It hid too much.
Kono knew that Steve would be assessing their situation, working out the right way to proceed. So when one of the younger guys started to freak out about being trapped and needing air, she knew that Steve would step in.
Steve moved out of her cell light, but by the sound of a body hitting the bar with force she could tell that Steve wasn't exactly being gentle. She heard his words, clear and careful, telling the boy to calm down. She shone light on them just in time to see the boy lash out at Steve. He was slow to duck a punch. He reeled back, but then delivered a sharp kick to the back of the kid's knee. He pulled him down onto his front and restrained his arms behind his back in a matter of seconds.
Kono was surprised the boy managed to get in a punch.
Some of the people were gasping; other voices sounded like a collection of angry bees. One woman was crying.
"My name is Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett, and I'm a member of the Five-0 task force. I know this is a frightening situation, but I need everyone to remain calm. There's a rescue crew on the outside and they're working on getting us out of here. We need to just sit tight for now."
He eased off the kid's back. "You gonna calm down?"
The boy nodded. Steve stood and helped the kid to his feet. The boy winced when he was upright, reaching for his wrist and massaging it.
"There could be other people trapped," Kono said.
"We can start searching, but leave the heavy lifting to the rescue crew."
Kono nodded and, flanked by a couple of the locals, started to toe rubble aside, their cell phones the only source of light. It would be slow going but at least it would keep them occupied.
Steve knelt down by the injured girl. "Are you okay?"
She nodded, but didn't say anything. A woman was looking after her, smoothing back the hair on her forehead and telling her that she would be okay.
The rescue crew would be outside trying to get to them. By Steve's calculation they had plenty of oxygen, and as long as the ceiling didn't fall down around them they would be all right.
He looked up into the darkness and watched lights bob up and down as people searched. Some were talking on their cell phones to loved ones, reassuring them that they were okay. It was a miracle that their cells worked in here at all given the amount of rock surrounding them.
The explosion looked like it had come from the washrooms. He stood up and winced when his back ached. He was dripping with sweat; with the power down and no air circulating, he figured it was probably dribbling into open cuts.
He left the others behind and headed for the rear of the club. He shone his light around the room. The washrooms were completely destroyed. Stall doors had been blown off their hinges, the mirrors and sinks had shattered and the floor was jet black. All around him lay blocks of concrete and rock. If anyone had been in here they were dead. It didn't stop him from checking.
He could tell this wasn't the result of a gas leak.
The explosion had been small with a limited blast radius. But it had triggered a wave that had literally shaken the club apart. He backed out and his foot connected with something on the floor.
Kono felt her way over to Steve. She moved with her hands outstretched and shuffled across the floor to make sure she didn't fall. This had been a big club, but the area they were all confined to was pretty small. It didn't take her long to reach him. He was standing by the washrooms and looking at something in his hand. His cell illuminated an object that looked like a cheap remote for a kid's toy.
"Found anyone?" Steve asked.
"No. There might be some deeper pockets of debris where people are trapped like we were. We've found a few bodies. You?"
"Nothing. Anyone in there couldn't have survived."
"A remote detonator," he said, passing it to her carefully.
Kono looked at it. "You sure?"
"Someone obviously left in a hurry."
"I don't think they left."
"If you were going to detonate a bomb then why would you be this close?"
"The bomb could have prematurely detonated. You smell those chemicals? Phenol. I think it was the explosive picric acid. It's like TNT. Either way, anyone intending to blow up that bomb would need this detonator."
"I've seen these homemade devices before."
Steve looked past her and then pocketed the detonator
"How do you wanna play this?"
"I think we need to ask a few questions. "
He walked away and she followed him over to the bar where the owner was leaning heavily.
"You know why anyone would want to blow up your bar?"
Kono felt his arm brush her. "No."
"Is there anyone here tonight that you don't recognise?"
"Most people are locals. There's a few I've not seen before."
"The young guy that you restrained. There're a couple of howlies. Think they're here on their honeymoon.. Big money."
Steve nodded and pulled Kono aside. "Get pictures of everyone here."
Danny was watching the rescue teams moving some of the bigger chunks of rock aside when his phone rang.
"I need you to run a check on a Victor Lahura. He's the owner of the bar."
"Hang on." Danny slipped into the passenger seat of Steve's Chevrolet truck and opened the laptop.
"I'm on it. Give me a minute."
"How's it looking out there?"
"There are cranes, people with hard hats. They're making progress. You'll be out soon. Okay, Victor Lahura- searching now. How you doing in there?"
"Let me re-phrase. How's everyone else doing in there?"
"They're holding up."
"Yeah, holding up."
"I'd be freaking out about now. I hate enclosed spaces."
"Count yourself lucky you're not in here then."
"Oh I do. I once got stuck in an elevator when I was a kid. Never forgot it."
"Evidently. Are you searching the database or do you want to tell me more about your childhood?"
"Okay, Victor Lahura, got a rap sheet as long as my arm. Armed robbery, fraud, some gang-related offences."
"The Ohanu gang."
Steve was silent.
"I know you've got the face. What are you thinking?"
"I found a remote detonator"
"I told you it was a bomb."
" Looks like whoever set off the bomb might still be in here."
"You think they're in there with you right now? Why wouldn't they have, you know, run away like most normal people? Well, most normal people who don't set bombs to kill innocent people."
"Looks like it was an amateur job."
"I got that from the not-running-away-from-a-bomb part."
He heard Steve talking to someone and then, "Kono's got pictures of everyone in here. I want you to run them through the computer. See if any red flags pop up."
"My partner says you're a member of the Ohanu Gang. Wanna talk about that?"
"I was a member. I got out last year."
"Those guys just let you out?"
"Yeah. I'm clean now, Brah. This is a legit business."
"I get that. What I don't get is why someone would plant a bomb here."
Victor ran a hand over his face. He was dripping with sweat. "A bomb?"
"You knew that already. So talk."
Steve leaned against the bar. His back was throbbing and his legs had started shaking a few minutes ago. But he didn't have time to dwell on it.
He didn't realise that Kono was standing beside him until she pressed her hand against his arm. "Are you okay?"
He thought she was asking him at first, but when he went to answer, he realised she was asking Victor.
"I got caught on the back of my head by falling rock. Got the headache from hell."
"You should sit," Kono told him, helping him to sit and prop up against the bar.
Steve held his cell over the guy's head while Kono checked him over. It was a deep cut and there was a lot of blood that had collected in his hair, but he seemed alert and his eyes were clear. Head wounds tended to bleed a lot. Steve's own head wound was throbbing and he could feel blood drying on his chin.
When Kono was satisfied that the man's head wound wasn't anything serious and it was mostly blood in his hair that made it look worse, she stood up and turned to Steve.
Something creaked to their left and when he looked, a slither of light cut the darkness and illuminated the far corner of the club. Everyone was drawn to it like moths and for the first time he caught a proper glimpse of one of the survivors. It was a howlie alright. He had the bright Hawaiian shirt to prove it.
"Looks like they're making progress."
Steve nodded and reached up to rub his neck. The move had twinged something and he felt pain creep down into his back again. He rolled his shoulders and caught Kono watching him.
His cell rang.
"So, we ran the photos through the database. We got a hit."
"Yeah," Chin said. "Victor Lahura is about a week away from testifying against the Ohanu. We ran his name against the database and it bought up a hit on a Daryl Hoff. He's a member of a rival gang, the Haru."
"What's that got to do with the case?"
"Victor's testimony against the Ohanu is going to implicate the Haru. Seems they've been running a few jobs together. I'm sending his photo to you now."
"This guy got any priors?"
"Assault, DUIs, nothing like this."
"Okay. What's it looking like out there?"
"Rescue crews are about to open this place up. They're just shoring up the front with more scaffolding."
Steve walked towards the rubble and stared up at it. He heard a grinding noise and reacted on instinct when debris started to fall in front of him. He jumped back, turning to push Kono and Victor out of the way just as a metal strut slammed into the ground where he had been standing just a second ago.
"What was that?"
"Nothing. Just tell them to be careful out there."
Chin said, "Stay back as they come in."
"I'll remember that next time," Steve said, waving everyone to the back of the club.
"We've got HPD out here. We'll come in-"
"No," Steve said, lowering his voice. "We don't know that this guy isn't armed and last thing we need is to go to guns in here. I'll bring him out myself."
"You sure, Boss?"
"I'm sure," he said, switching off his cell.
"What's up, Boss?"
He walked over to the far corner of the room where the damage was at its worst and Kono, as predicted, followed. He lowered his voice, unsure who was standing close by. "They got a hit," he said, showing her the photo on his phone.
"That was the guy who freaked out earlier. What do you want to do?"
"We wait until everyone's out. I don't want to encourage him to do something stupid.
The club had become insufferably hot and Kono could feel sweat dripping from her forehead. It had been an hour since the first pinprick of light had appeared. Everyone had calmed down a little and had taken to sitting on the floor in a circle. Steve had advised they sit knee to knee and try to conserve their cell batteries in the event that they weren't out of there in the next few hours. Kono had identified Daryl Hoff. He was agitated and twitchy. Whereas most of the survivors had started to bond and were talking conversationally, he didn't say anything and remained at the back wall, hidden by the shadows.
Steve had said he was certain he hadn't felt a weapon on him when he had pinned him to the ground, but it didn't mean he didn't have one. Who knew how panicked he would get when they actually got out there. There would be cops everywhere. It was only a matter of time before he realised he'd been made.
A hole suddenly opened up in the base of the debris. Sunlight streamed in, showcasing the full extent of the damage that the bomb had inflicted. It was a wonder that none of them had been hurt further. There were exposed electrical wires lying across the floor, and shards of rock in the ceiling seemed to move with every breath she took.
Everyone started to move towards the exit, but Steve and the rescuers stopped them. They needed to make sure the rocks were sufficiently held up before anyone ventured through. Daryl Hoff sprinted forward and Steve grabbed him by his arm.
Daryl turned on his heel and shoved Steve away. "I need to get out here. I can get out through there. We all can."
"You need to wait. You saw what happened before."
"Why should we listen to you? I can get out." Daryl turned to the others. "Come on. We don't have to wait."
People were beginning to stir restlessly as Daryl's hysteria became infectious.
"Look," Steve said. "You all need to be patient. You get struck by falling rock before they can make it safe, you're not going to get out of here."
One woman shouted. "But if we wait, more of the ceiling could come down on us!"
Kono approached the woman and squeezed her arm. "Trust us. We know what we're doing. Just remain calm."
"You've been trapped like this before?"
"No," Kono admitted.
"I have," Steve said. "And trust me. You want to stay back until it's safe."
Right on cue, rock at the top of the rubble pile fell and smashed into the bar. Daryl cried out and hunched over. Some debris had struck him in the face.
He pushed Kono away when she tried to look at the injury.
An hour later Steve headed for the gap again and crouched down. His discomfort was unmistakable and she wondered again if he was hurt more than he was letting on. He had shielded her from the debris. That had to have done some damage.
She noticed Daryl Hoff emerge from the shadows and he crossed the distance towards Steve who stood and firmly held him back. She didn't hear what was said, but Daryl steppedaway and continued to wring his hands together and bob up and down on his heels.
The hole was only big enough for one person to go through at a time. A backboard was squeezed through first and once the injured woman was secured and passed through, Kono helped the others out. Daryl Hoff waited eagerly to get out.
One of the rescue crew reached for her hand and she could see Chin and Danny waiting on the other side with their weapons drawn.
"You ready to come out?" Danny asked.
Steve nodded for her to go and then she headed through, knowing that Daryl Hoff was going to get the surprise of his life.
Chin gave her a hug and walked her away from the hole as everyone else emerged one by one. Danny stayed behind, bent over and trying to get a better view inside.
"I've had better evenings."
"I'm sure you have."
"We need to get Victor Lahura into protective custody," she said, wiping some of the dirt off her hands. "Are HPD here?"
"They're here. Don't worry about-"
She heard Danny suddenly shout and the rescue crew started waving their arms and back away from the cliffs. She was shoved aside roughly just as some of the rock toppled from the top and dropped where she had been standing. Chin helped her up to her feet.
"What the hell happened?" Danny asked one of the crew.
"This whole area is unstable. We need to shore it up again."
"And how long is that going to take?"
"Should be able to do it within the hour," the rescue man said, readjusting his hard hat. "You all need to step back. This area isn't safe."
"Give me a hard hat. I'll stick around."
"We can't have civilians here. Step back."
"I'm not a civilian," Danny moaned as he was escorted over to Chin and Kono. "I'm a detective."
"We've still got people in there," Kono said realising that not everyone had come out yet
"We'll get them out, but you all need to stay at a safe distance" the man said, before returned to the cliff face.
"He'll be okay," Danny said. "It's the other guy I'm worried about and—" He paused and was staring at her.
Before she knew what was happening, Danny was grabbing her wrist and pulling her towards one of the ambulances. "We need help here!"
Two paramedics rushed over to her, but Kono pulled back. "I'm fine."
"That is not fine," Danny said, pointing at her white t-shirt.
Chin placed his arm around her to support her and she looked down. Her top was coated with bright red blood. But she didn't feel any pain Still she allowed them to guide her to an awaiting ambulance.
"I feel fine," she told the paramedics as they helped her into the back of the ambulance. She shirked off her cousin's arm as the EMT pulled the hem of her t-shirt up to reveal just her midriff. The skin was smooth underneath. "I'm not hurt."
Danny looked confused. "So, where'd that come from?"
Steve wiped the sweat off his forehead and blinked to clear his vision. It was lighter than it had been in the cave and yet the edges of his vision kept greying out. His stomach kept lurching and he swallowed thickly.
"What happened?" Daryl Hoff asked. "I need to get out of here."
"They'll get us out," Steve told him.
There was no sense in alerting the guy just yet to the fact that he knew it was him. There were still five others trapped in the room with them. The best he could do was keep the guy calm until they could get out.
Daryl stopped in the shadows. "I need to get out of here."
"What's the hurry?" Steve asked, feeling out for some support. His hand connected with the bar and he leaned against it. He winced and straightened when pain shot through his back.
"No hurry," Daryl snapped.
Steve sat down on a chunk of rock and pushed the heels of his hands into his eyes. His headache had been made worse by the harsh light. He was kinda glad it was dark again.
"Why don't you sit down? We might be here a while."
"You held me back. I could have been outta here by now, Brah."
Steve suddenly realised that Daryl was standing over him, and his hand instinctively went for his weapon. That was sloppy. He blinked to clear his vision and forced clarity into his addled brain.
"No," Daryl told him. His voice further away now. "That girl was hurt. The one you had to cut open. Will she be okay?"
Steve wondered why he cared. He'd set a bomb purposefully. "She'll live."
"Where'd you learn how to do that?"
"Saw it on TV once."
"Yeah, right," Daryl said, laughing.
Steve breathed deeply in through his mouth. His stomach was churning again and he was feeling really sick. He refused to get sick. So he dipped his head and concentrated on holding onto his stomach contents. And he was hot. His back was soaking.
Steve zoned back in and realised that Daryl had asked him a question.
"I said, you're military. You said you were a Lieutenant Commander."
"Yeah," Steve said, finding it hard to concentrate.
He stood up and decided that moving around would probably make him feel better. He'd probably pulled a few muscles and now that his adrenaline levels were dipping he was starting to feel the aches and pains that came with it. As a SEAL he knew he couldn't do that. He had to use that adrenaline to keep him going. He re-focused and pinpointed Daryl's position by his voice. Confident he knew where he was he headed over to the group of survivors stood at the back of the club. One man had his cell phone out and Steve snatched it out of his hand and dimmed the light.
"You and that lady cop were talking a lot. I heard you asking Victor questions."
"You know Victor?" Steve asked. He lowered his voice to a whisper. "I need you to all head into the washrooms. Don't come out."
"Everyone knows Victor."
"What's going on?" one of the men asked in a hushed voice.
"Just do it." Steve hissed, pushing them on. "And don't come out. No matter what you hear."
There was some sort of pneumatic drill that started up outside. The rocks were creaking. One from the top fell and a pinprick of light picked out the far wall like a sniper shot.
Daryl stepped forward and his silhouette was illuminated in the darkness as the others disappeared to hide.
"It wasn't me." He shouted over the drill.
"I found your detonator, Daryl."
The machinery stopped, but the drill continued in Steve's head.
"Your wrist. Noticed you grip it earlier. You've got chemical burns from where it came over the top of your gloves while you were mixing the ingredients. And my guys ran you through the database. You're a member of the Haru. You know Victor Lahura is going to implicate your gang and from your actions pick you out of a line up. "
Daryl was silent.
"You're going to Kulani Correctional Facility when you get out of here."
Daryl moved out of the light and to the left.
"It wasn't supposed to go off. I don't know what happened."
"You shouldn't be messing around with explosives. That's what happened."
"I didn't want anyone else to get hurt. He was closing. It was supposed to go off when everyone left. That's why I was here. I was waiting for them to leave."
"You just wanted Victor to get hurt."
"I wasn't going to hurt the others."
"You play with explosives and someone will always get hurt."
Another rock fell. This one was to Steve's right. Distracted, he lost Daryl's position. He needed to get him talking again.
Daryl suddenly burst forward and Steve was too slow to react. He felt a fist connect with his stomach and it had him doubling over in pain. He managed to catch his breath and kick out. His foot connected with flesh and when he was sure Daryl was away from him, he launched away from the bar and tackled him onto the floor.
His shoulder hit the ground awkwardly, but he ignored the discomfort and rolled away from Daryl. The kid was persistent. He caught Steve on his way back up to his feet. Steve swung his elbow back in an arc and struck Daryl in the chin. He cried out. Steve stepped forward to finish him.
He heard the distinct click of a safety being unlatched, stopped and reached for his own weapon. It was sitting snugly in his holster.
"Got it from the rookie," Daryl said. "Had it for the past hour and she didn't notice."
Steve pulled his own weapon out and backed up slowly, ensuring he stayed low and out of the traitorous light. "There are cops out there. The minute you step out, they're gonna take you down."The rock that had trapped them was moving. Not enough for either of them to get out, but an effort was being made to free them. It was only a matter of time before the rescue team and the survivors got caught in the crossfire.
"I thought you didn't want to hurt anyone."
"I already have. There's no going back now."
"Put the gun down. You fire in here, in this enclosed space, and you're going to injure yourself."
Steve moved to his right. The light caught the barrel of Daryl's gun. He was still pointing in the other direction. He couldn't see Steve. He lowered down to a crouch and started shifting closer. Daryl flinched and waved the gun around in the air.
"Where are you, man?"
Steve remained silent. Speaking would only reveal his location and at the moment he had the upper hand.
"Maybe I'll just fire this weapon. There's nowhere to hide. I'll hit you eventually."
Steve held his breath and waited. Daryl wasn't making any moves. All he had to do was creep close enough to-
His cell phone started to ring and he cursed. He rolled to the side just as a bullet split the ground where he had been. He took the phone and slid it across the floor into the centre of the room. Daryl followed it, firing into the darkness repeatedly until the clip was expended.
"Where are you?"
When Daryl turned his back, Steve dropped onto his stomach and fired twice. He listened and heard a dull thud as Daryl dropped to the ground. A second later and something clattered to the ground.
Staying low and approaching from the side, he reached Daryl just as there was blinding light.
Danny watched as Daryl Hoff was stretchered out. It was a further minute before Steve was crawling through the gap that had been created and was shielding his eyes from the sun. He waited until the rest of the survivors were out before leaving the rescue teams.
He spotted them and smiled, wavering slightly on his legs when they approached.
"Hey," he said. "We got-"
Danny cut him off and grabbed his wrist. Chin took his other and they hauled him towards the ambulance.
"What's going on?" he asked, allowing them to guide him.
"You're hurt," Danny told him.
Steve finally tugged free and Chin looked surprised at his strength. "I'm okay," Steve said, wobbling backwards.
"Don't be the tough guy," Danny said.
"Where's Kono? Changing her shirt. It was covered in your blood."
"Yes, blood. The red stuff we humans have. Wouldn't be surprised if yours was green though."
Steve rolled his eyes. "I'm not hurt."
"Right," Danny told him, crossing his arms. "Show us then."
"Yes, show us."
Steve looked to Chin for support, but he'd taken the same stance. Steve grabbed the hem of his t-shirt, hauled it up as far as it would go and turned in a lazy circle. There were mottled bruises and a collection of minor cuts. Nothing more.
When he lowered it, Chin shot Danny a matching embarrassed expression.
"You have a tattoo by your nipple."
Steve pushed Danny's arm. "But I'm not injured."
"Then where did all that blood come from?"
Steve pointed at his head. There were two distinct cuts; one in the hairline and one above his eyebrow.
"Danny. I'm okay. I'm touched that you were worried about me."
Danny rolled his eyes at him.
"You're still going to the hospital to get that head wound checked out."
Steve nodded and walked over to the ambulance. The paramedics weren't there and when they located them, they were attending to one of the survivors of the collapse. He was rushed over on a gurney.
"What happened?" Steve asked.
"Suspected heart attack," the paramedic said as a woman, presumably the man's wife, reached them and stepped into the ambulance.
Danny waved them off and pointed to one of the volunteer medics that was checking everyone over.
Half an hour later after Daryl Hoff was being driven to the hospital escorted by HPD and the scene was secured and cordoned off, Danny headed over to his car. Steve was asleep in the passenger seat, arms crossed over his chest and his head resting against the window.
He was covered in dirt and grime. His arms were cut open and bloodied. This was not good for his interior. Steve had asked him to consult him about any additions to the inside of the car; he'd never said anything about adding blood and dust.
Man! He'd trampled it into the floor board!
He slammed his door extra hard and Steve, startled, opened his eyes and reached for his head. The overstretched paramedic had checked Steve's responses and said they were a little sluggish, but that it was probably a minor concussion. He advised that Steve should still go to the hospital to be checked out.
"Chin and Kono are going to tail us to the hospital in your truck."
Steve nodded and leaned back against the headrest.
"You're taking me home?"
Danny started the ignition and rolled his eyes. "No, the hospital. You got dirt in your ears?"
Steve stared at him; his eyes narrowed. He did a double take and then closed his eyes again.
Danny pulled out onto the highway, Chin close behind in Steve's black monstrosity of a vehicle. Danny yawned. When he had dropped Grace off it had already been late. He'd stubbornly waited to take her home because contrary to what his ex thought, he could take care of his daughter. Now the sun was beginning to rise; they had been there all night getting them out.
He turned to Steve who was still sleeping .He was understandable exhausted. But, he did have a head injury and he should probably stay awake.
"Hey buddy, open your eyes," he said, slapping Steve's arm without looking. "Wake up, Sunshine."
Steve stretched beside him and leaned forward into his hands. "I was sleeping."
"You might have a concussion."
Steve opened the window and leaned towards it. "Where we heading?"
Danny sighed. "The hospital. You know, maybe you hit your head harder than you thought."
"The hospital?" Steve said. "I'm fine, Danno."
He looked into the mirror above the passenger seat and probed his head wound.
"Do you have to do that?"
"It's a superficial cut."
A minute later when Danny looked over, Steve's eyes were closed again and his face was pinched in an expression of pain.
"Steve. I told you to stay awake."
"Open your eyes."
Danny was beginning to get the feeling that something wasn't quite right. He'd never seen Steve act this way before; he had an annoying ability to stay alert and remember everything that happened. Now he couldn't keep his eyes open and he couldn't remember where they were going. Something was off.
Steve opened his eyes. Danny risked a sideways glance to see that he was staring at him, but he looked out of it. His eyes were glassy and unfocused.
Steve turned to him and smiled. "You're like a mother hen."
"I am not-"
But Steve was suddenly reaching for the steering wheel and jarring the car off the highway and down a dirt track.
"What are you doing?"
Steve pointed at the car in front. "That's Peter Farrell's car."
"I don't care if it's Jesus' car. You scared the crap outta me," Danny snapped, checking the rear-view mirror for Chin and Kono. "Hang on. Peter Farrrell? Our suspect in the Hailing case?"
Steve nodded and was already checking his weapon.
"Oh no. I'm taking you to the hospital. We can catch him later."
"There won't be a later," Steve said. "He's leaving on a business trip today. We need to get him now."
"Chin and Kono can deal with it."
"We're already following him."
"Are you feeling okay?"
"I'm feeling fine." Steve said, waving him away. "Take the next dirt track. We'll come out in front of him and we can cut him off."
Danny's cell rang and he shoved it into the crook of his neck. Knowing it would be Chin he said," Stay on the tail of the car in front of us. We're going to cut him off from the front."
He let the phone drop into his lap and watched Steve check his gun again.
The dirt track was uneven and the car bobbed up and down. Danny risked a glance at Steve who seemed to be paling.
"Are you going to be sick?"
Steve ignored him and gestured for him to go right. As predicted they came out just in front of Peter Farrell's blue camero. Danny slammed on the brakes and the car's rear end jack knifed. At the same time Chin braked hard and they had the car trapped.
Before Danny could say anything, Steve was jumping out. Danny followed. Peter Farrell was out of his car and starting to run. Steve seemed to build up more speed and then rammed his body weight into Farrell's mid-section. They both toppled to the ground in a heap.
"You couldn't just ask him to stay like a normal person?" Danny said.
Steve stood up slowly. "Book him Danno," he said and headed back to the Chevrolet.
Danny sighed and wondered when that would get old. He leaned down to attend to Farrell, but Chin stopped him and nodded in Steve's direction. "I'll take over here."
Danny turned and saw that Steve was leaning out of the car throwing up.
"Okay. This isn't-"
He reached Steve as he flopped forward ; his head resting on the dashboard. He pushed Steve back and reached to check his pulse. He had to stop him from nearly spilling out of the car.
His pulse was weak and thready under his fingertips.
"What's going on?" Kono asked, running over to him.
"He's regretting that tackle back there."
Steve was semi-alert, pushing away his hand and trying to move away from the light. When he turned his head, Danny noticed the blood in his ear canal.
"Is that right?"
Kono shook her head. She looked pale and shocked.
"Come on, wake up," Danny said, grabbing Steve's face between his hands.
Danny was trying to figure out where the speakerphone function was on his cell when Steve opened his eyes. He didn't wake up like a normal person. He shot up in bed and held his arms out.
Danny uncrossed his legs from the bed and nudged Steve in the side. "You're fine."
Steve blinked a few times, turned to face Danny and then sagged back into the pillow.
"What happened?" he asked, reaching up to touch his head.
"Something called a subdural haematoma. Bleeding on the brain Apparently you really did have aneurysm face."
"You didn't know?"
"No." He sighed. "Don't look at me like that. I'm not an idiot."
"Evidently you are."
"First thing they teach you out in the field. Deal with your injuries straight away."
"Yeah, yeah, a torn fingernail could kill you."
Steve nodded and scowled again.
"You want some more drugs?"
"What are you doing here?"
"You know what. I will get you more drugs. You were less grouchy on them."
"She's okay. Couple of bruises. Nothing serious."
Steve nodded slowly. His eyes widened. "Daryl?"
"You busted his knee cap. He'll be having surgery and then heading straight to lock up. I heard he had Kono's gun."
"You tell her that?"
"Aw, come on. But then we'll miss constipation face."
"Constipation face? You really have to stop with the whole face thing."
"Fine." Danny stood and stretched out his back.
"He admitted to the murder of Hailing. "
"That was easy."
"You're kidding me right?"
"He nearly got away."
"You nearly died." Danny said. "Before I go is there anyone else you want to know about? The president? The pope?"
"Where you going?"
"I've got to check on Grace."
"Yeah. Virus. You know, Rachel blames me." He started for the door. "Now rest."
"You were worried."
Danny stopped and didn't turn around. "I was not."
"You've got the tone, Danno."
"I don't have a tone."
"We agreed. I have face and you have tone."