Title: "Take My Breath Away"

Author: Michelle Heath

Rating: MA for adult situations and language

Summary: Continuation of the "Salvation" series by popular demand

Disclaimer: I so do not own Hawaii Five-0; unfortunately! All original characters are the property of the author!

Date Written: May 16, 2011

(After her initial reaction, Sam gets a grip and bids everyone a quiet "good night", and she and Steve head home. She is silent on the way to Lana's to pick up her car and stares listlessly out the window of Steve's truck into the night. He sends looks of concern in her direction at every opportunity, but remains silent knowing he needs to wait until they get home before trying to talk to her about what happened to Ens. Todd. The stricken look on her face as she gets into her car tears Steve up inside and he curses retired Adm. Harrison Todd the entire way to their house. Sam is slightly ahead of him and has already disappeared into the house when he pulls into the driveway. When Steve gets into the house, he hears the shower running in their bathroom, but doesn't join Sam knowing she would not appreciate his presence at this particular moment in time. Sam takes her time, dries her hair, and slips into a pale green lacy nightgown before coming out of the bathroom. Steve is leaning in the door to their bedroom when she enters the room and his heart twists when Sam wordlessly slips into bed and turns on her side. Knowing that she's suffering in silence, and probably blaming herself for not trying harder to get Todd's orders changed, Steve quickly rids himself of his dirty, bloody clothes, takes a very quick shower, and slips into bed beside Sam pulling her slender body against his and kissing the side of her neck. Sam immediately turns to face him and gets as close to him as possible before her tears come in earnest. All Steve can do right now is hold her tightly. Finally, her tears slow and Steve knows she is ready to talk.)

"This is not your fault, Sam."

"I should have tried harder to get Ens. Todd assigned to the Pentagon."

"You did, Sweetheart, and then his father had his orders changed. Even Capt. Henderson was warned off. What more do you think you could have done?"

"I don't know, but I should have done something, Steve! A brilliant, young officer is dead!"

"You didn't kill him, Sam!"

"I didn't save him, either, Steve!"

"You can't save the world, Sam. You did everything you could possibly do for Ens. Todd. It was out of your hands, Sweetheart."

"At least you were able to solve your case. I'm sorry, Steve."

"For what, Sam?"

"That you had to kill Jake Anderson. I know that he didn't give you any choice, but I also know it still wasn't easy; it never is."

"At least he won't be terrorizing Lana or Holly Kalama or anyone else any longer."

"No . . . I love you, Steve."

"I love you, too, Sam. Try to get some sleep, Sweetheart, it's been a rough few weeks."

(The next morning, Steve is in his office working on reports on the case when Kono sticks her head in his door.)

"Max just called; he completed the autopsy on Jake Anderson. Anderson had an inoperable brain tumor, Steve. Max said he had four maybe five weeks left. He also said that the last couple of weeks, Anderson wouldn't have been able to move, would've probably been blind and unable to speak. He took Sam and Lana to lure you into a fight with him. He never intended to hurt either of them, but he didn't want to just waste away and die."

"He wanted to die like a soldier."

"Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. Max also thinks the tumor may have had something to do with Anderson's behavior, as well. We have BOLOs out on his four former teammates, but I don't think we'll find them."

"I don't we will either, Kono, but leave them in place, anyway."

"Is Sam okay? I know it really upset her when she found out about Ens. Todd."

"She'll be fine. It's just going to take her a little while to get over this."

(A few days pass in which everyone involved in the Anderson case and with Ens. Todd have a chance to come to terms with everything that's happened. A bright, sunny day with blue skies and white, fluffy clouds is the backdrop a week later for a special ceremony at the Naval base.)

"I, Samantha Murdock McGarrett, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

"Congratulations, Commander McGarrett."

"Thank you, Sir."

"And now it is my honor and privilege to formally present to the assembly, the Commander, Air Group, Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Cmdr. Samantha McGarrett."

(And as Sam takes the podium for her remarks, she looks out to the front two rows of the audience and smiles. Her husband, father, and sister, dressed in the dress blue uniforms, are smiling back at her with pride, especially Steve, who Sam thinks looks particularly "hot" in his uniform. Her mother is teary-eyed, and Kono, Chin, Tony, Lana, Danny, and Gracie are all smiling her way, as well. Even Gov. Jameson is present, and Sam, after some brief remarks to the assembled personnel, is more than glad to adjourn to the Officer's Club for a reception hosted by the new Base Commander, Adm. Henderson.

After they've been there about two hours, Sam locates Steve talking with her parents, Caroline, Danny, Kono, Tony, Lana, Chin, and Grace. Joining them, Sam wipes the small grin off her face and uses her best "Commanding Officer's" voice.)

"Lt. Cmdr. McGarrett, please be so kind as to say your farewells, retrieve our covers, and meet me at the entry door in ten minutes."

(Everyone except the Naval personnel present look at Sam as if she's lost her mind with her somewhat formal speech, but Steve just grins and snaps to attention.)

"Aye, aye, Commander."

(And Sam, glancing at him perfectly straight-faced and raising one eyebrow, excuses herself and walks toward Adm. Henderson. Caroline and Tony are doing their best to keep from laughing out loud, and Mike isn't far behind them. Steve also excuses himself and goes to get his and Sam's covers as she asked. When he walks away, Danny voices his confusion out loud.)

"What just happened? I mean, did Sam just give Steve an order and Steve is actually obeying it?"

(And Caroline, Tony, and Mike are unable to contain their laughter any longer and all they can do now is keep their volumes down. Libby sends the three a look that promises serious scolding if they keep it up. It is Gracie, however, who answers her father's question,)

"Uncle Steve has to do what Aunt Sam says now, Daddy, she outranks him.

A/N: This story is now complete. I sincerely hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I could almost cry! Silly, I know, but every time I complete a story, I feel like one of my children is leaving home! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your interest, for reading and reviewing, and for the awesome private messages! I hope to start another story in the Salvation series soon! Thank you all so, so much! Michelle