This is the end, guys! Thank you so much for sticking with this story and for continuing to write reviews. Your reviews give me the incentive to want to write as best as i can. Once again, I don't own any of this with the exception of a few characters I manufactured in my own little brain.
And once again I need to thank Sockie for her excellent beta skills, in addition to a little badgering on the side. She is very good at that, too. So, thanks again. Here goes...
Steve felt almost like his old self. Just as long as he didn't have to pass a mirror. Most of his bruises had faded to yellow and green, his muscles had finally quit aching and cramping and he no longer felt cold.
He was wearing what they called a 'boot' on his foot and leg, which he thought was just a silly-ass contraption designed to make him limp, but he hadn't complained when the doctor said wear it 'at least four weeks'. Well, he hadn't complained too much.
Maybe loudly, but not much.
OK, loudly and much, but it didn't help because his foot was stuck in the stupid thing.
With great satisfaction, he walked up the steps of their headquarters, Danny at his side. He had spent almost a week in the hospital and then another at home doing pretty much nothing but going crazy. No swimming and no running made him a bit cranky. Finally on this sunny Monday morning, he was back. A little worse for wear, but back where he belonged. And even if he wasn't quite 100%, he needed any kind of action he could find.
McGarrett smiled when he opened the glass doors to 5-0's office space. Both Chin and Kono were at the smart board but turned around at his "Aloha!" Danny went straight to his office when Steve moved into the tech area of the office.
"Hey, Boss." Kono had a wide grin on her face. "Welcome back."
"Likewise," Chin added. "Glad to have you back."
"Good to be here," he assured them, stopping by the board. "Anything major going on?"
"Not yet," Chin replied. "But we may have a major uprising soon."
"Like what?" McGarrett asked a puzzled expression on his face.
"Hey!" Kono got his attention. "In honor of your return, I brought breakfast. Coco Puffs for us," she stated, then turned around to pick up a plastic cup, "and a strawberry ginseng smoothie for you. We missed you."
"Thanks, Kono." He took a swallow from the straw, saluted her with the drink and turned to head to his office. "Anything in here I should focus on first?" he asked over his shoulder.
Danny came into the bull pen area. "Not just yet, Steve. We need to speak with you."
"What's up?" He had his hand on his door, but turned to look at Williams, then to his other team members who suddenly refused to look him in the eye.
Steve's radar started blipping.
Danny moved to the table and pulled out a chair, patting it on the back. "Have a seat, please."
"Why?" Steve glanced once more toward Kono who was busy inspecting her shoes.
Danny pointed again to the chair. "Sit. Down. Now. We are going to have a little talk."
"Danny, we can—"
"Steven, shut up and sit down. Like I said, we need to talk."
McGarrett sat in the chair so forcefully that it rolled away from the table. He pushed it back, set down his drink, crossed his arms and waited. "I'm sitting."
Danny waved one arm in the air. "Thank you. This," his arm swept to encompass the room. "This is an intervention, if you will."
Steve snorted. "OK, this is really crazy." He put his hand on the table and prepared to stand.
"Uh unh. Not so fast."
His partner slumped back in his seat and crossed his arms in a defiant pose.
"I have even prepared a PowerPoint presentation for your viewing pleasure."
"Geez, Danny." He swiveled the chair to look at Chin Ho. "You're going along with this?"
"It's something you need to think about Steve. Listen up."
Looks like you're on your own, McGarrett. There's definite mutiny in the ranks.
"Chin, lets run it." Danny nodded at his "technical advisor" before turning his attention back to Steve. "Maybe by the time this is over, we can drill some proper police procedure into your head."
Steve turned the chair back around. "You're kidding, right?"
"Listen and Learn. And by the way, you should be proud. I did this PowerPoint all by myself."
A picture of McGarrett appeared on the screen.
"What the hell?"
"This, my friend, is you. A solid, Rambo type figure that is hell bent on truth, justice and the American Way."
"Hey! That's my military ID. You broke into my desk!"
"Guilty as charged. And, I digress, but were you really trying to make that face? Really? Because that face would scare small children and their pets."
"Do you have a point here?"
"Of course I have a point. I always have a point. You see, we are going to discuss the concept of 'back-up'. Once again, I might add. I distinctly remember that we have had this discussion before."
"No-no-no. Shut it, because I have the floor." He ignored the glare from his partner and continued. "So, on the left you see a photo…not a very flattering one…of you. We shall title our first slide the 'back-uppee'."
Thanks to Chin's computer wizardry, the word magically appeared on the screen below the photo, one letter at a time.
"That's not a word," McGarrett breathed quietly.
"My slide, my word. Next slide, Chin."
A picture of Danny, Chin and Kono filled the right hand side of the screen. Danny circled their pictures with a laser pointer that had magically appeared in his hand. "On the right, we have what I like to call the 'backer-uppers'." He paused as those words appeared small on the screen, and then grew in size, flashing and turning backwards before finally settling under the photo.
"Really?" Steve glared at him. "Into overkill much?"
"LISTEN UP! Now, how can we, the backer-uppers," he pointed to their pictures by shining a red dot on their faces, "help you, the wayward, often lost, back-uppee, when we can't find your sorry ass?" The red dot circled McGarrett's face on the left of the screen.
Danny began to pace. "Once again, you went off by yourself, half-cocked, just to 'drive by' and check something out." He stopped and turned, pointing to McGarrett. "Do you not realize just how wrong that is?"
"Hey, come on, I got the guys, didn't I? Besides, I distinctly remember that I did call you for back-up."
"Back-up is readily available, you moron." He used the laser light once again, highlighting Steve's face on the screen. "See that picture up there? Capital M-O-R-O-N is what it should say. You can't call me from the other side of this rock and yell in the phone, 'I need help'. That's not the way it works. Back-up is someone at your back. How difficult is that to understand?"
"I still managed to find and neutralize the bad guys. And I'm OK."
"You're OK? Unbelievable." Danny blew out his breath, then muttered, "Next slide, Chin."
A picture of Spitting Cave appeared on the screen. "This is where you ended up, Steven." He pointed to the screen. "We searched for you for hours. Long hours. In the dark. And finally found you stuck in that hole right there." The red dot highlighted the cave's opening. "And then they pulled you out of that cave…and from what the doctors said, pretty much at the last minute."
"OK, OK, I get that you were scar—"
Danny suddenly had had enough.
He shoved aside another chair and swung Steve's chair around, holding on to both chair arms so that McGarrett had to lean back to get away from him. "Don't you dare tell me how scared I was. When they pulled you out of there, you could have passed for SuperSEAL SMURF. Dammit, Steve, you were blue. And that was before all the bruises. And then I watched on the chopper-"
He pushed back from the chair and stood, turning his back on his partner. Danny ran both hands through his hair as he blew out another breath in an attempt to calm down. In a quiet voice, he added, "Never mind, you can go to your office. If you're not willing to listen, I guess the lesson is over."
Steve took a deep breath of his own. His voice was low and earnest when he spoke. "Danny, I get it. I'm sorry, I know you were scared. Hell…I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life. I…I uh,—" he turned around and made eye contact with Kelly. "Before Chin came in, I knew I couldn't hang on much more. I was under water longer and longer with every wave and it wasn't going to be long before my air would be gone. I had come to grips that I wasn't going to make it out of there."
"Thank God you didn't give up," Kono said.
McGarrett glanced at her, and then looked down, running his finger along the table. "I knew you guys were out there. Somewhere." He shook his head, the memory still too close for comfort. "But I really didn't think you would find me." Steve stopped and took a deep breath. "OK, Danny, I'll admit it, my judgment was a little - off. I should have waited."
"Off, you say?" Danny shook his head in amazement, then waved his hands at his partner. "Only you can take off down the road on a warm Hawaiian night, driving along this peaceful highway, breeze blowing, radio playing some totally pathetic song, take a turn into an awesome neighborhood, and come upon someone shooting someone else." Each phrase was emphasized by melodramatic hand gestures.
"How do you do it? How do you take a totally innocent night and turn it into twelve hours of pure hell? Care to answer that one, Rambo?"
Steve gave him an embarrassed, half grin and shrugged. "Guess I'm lucky like that. Are we done?"
"Yes. No…almost. Chin, throw up the last slide."
On the monitors above them, words appeared and Danny read, his pointer punctuating each word.
I, Steven J. McGarrett, do solemnly swear, that, in the future, I will not willingly go off half-crazed anywhere on this piece of volcanic rock without my much-needed and extremely talented backup, namely Danny, Chin and Kono.
"You need to practice reading that every day, Steven. A copy will be in your office and I will also make a laminated card for your wallet. You can thank me later."
Steve rolled his eyes and huffed. "Wouldn't hold my breath for that thank you. I said I got your point. I understand. Now can I go?"
"In just a minute." Danny reached into his pocket, and retrieved a bell hanging from a red cord. He held it up to show them. "Do you know what this is?"
"Well, since I'm not one of the extremely talented detectives here, I can't say for certain, but I think it's an ugly green bell hanging on a red string," Steve shot back. "Why?"
"Very astute. Maybe a tad sarcastic though. Grace left it in my office after Christmas. Here on the island, one might call it a 'Mele Cowabunga' bell, or however you say it."
Three voices chimed in, "Mele Kalikimaka!"
"Yeah, that." He rang the bell. "See, it makes a nice little ringy-dingy. Anyway, said bell is going to hang on your office door to remind you that you need to remember your back-up."
"And just how's that ugly thing going to make it happen?"
"If…and this is a big IF…you are sitting in your office and decide to take off on your own, you will hear the bell when you open your door. That's your cue. And remember that if you do not call me, Chin or Kono, I will personally tie this thing around your neck so that you can't make a move without one of us hearing it. Kind of like a cow bell."
McGarrett rested his elbow on the table, chin in hand, a grin on his face. "I've gotta ask. You and whose army will get that thing around my neck?"
"An Army of One, Mr. Navy SEAL. You have my word."
Steve chuckled. "Would almost be worth it," he mumbled, standing up and retrieving his drink.
"Nothing, Danny. Do you think we can get some work done now?"
"Of course." He followed Steve to his office, pointing to the two doors. "Where do you want me to put this bell?"
Steve moved behind his desk and looked at his partner. "Danny, really? Are you sure you want me to answer that question?"
Steve settled back into his chair and smiled at the expression on Danny's face.
Yes, it was good to be back.