Disclaimer: I do not own Hawaii 5-0. But I sure like playing with their characters.

I could not resist jumping on the "whump Steve" bandwagon. And I have been dying to take a shot at writing a Danny rant. I hope that I can deliver on both counts.

Please know that I have never visited Hawaii and any information on the Wa'ahila Ridge Trail is only from a Google search. Any errors are strictly unintentional and I hope will be forgiven. I was only hoping to add a touch of realism to my story.

Ambush on Wa'ahila Ridge

Chapter 1

The late day sun was filtering through the trees and shone down on the figure moving briskly along the trail. The Saturday sunlight got more intense as the trees thinned out while Steve McGarrett made his way up the steep trail. The ex-SEAL enjoyed pushing himself against the challenge of the Wa'ahila Ridge Trail and he was happy that it appeared he had the trail to himself this late in the day. There had been one other car in the parking area when he arrived but so far he had not met any other hikers.

Pausing for a moment, Steve adjusted the straps on the small backpack he carried for this short hike. He was travelling light, carrying only water, some power bars and a few other items, knowing he didn't plan to be out long. Increasing his pace, he knew he wasn't far from one of the high points on the ridge and he wanted to reach that spot before taking a water break. Steve was enjoying the feel of his body's response to the demands of the trail.

Ten minutes later he reached the predetermined stopping spot higher up on the trail. He paused with hands on his hips to look out over the view that stretched out before him. Up here with fewer trees, the sun was warmer and he thought about shedding the khaki shirt he wore over his body hugging white T-shirt but changed his mind as a brisk breeze picked up.

Looking out over the landscape, Steve felt a sense of peace settle over his soul. As he took a few deep breaths he recognized why the sense of well being hit him here at this moment. He was finally home. His Navy career had bounced him all over the world and he had little trouble adapting to the changing environments he had found himself in. There had been no trouble in finding success in the commitment he had made to the service but now that his father's murder had brought him back to Hawaii and the Governor had offered him this task force, he knew he was finally back where he really belonged. The 5-0 task force was a perfect fit for him and he was feeling a personal satisfaction with the team that he had handpicked. Danny, Chin and Kono were now his family and he was comfortable with the way the team fit together.

If Steve had been aware of the eyes on him he might not have felt so relaxed. He didn't see the binoculars the followed his every move from a higher ridge. The unknown man had been shadowing McGarrett for the last month, tracking every move and becoming accustomed to the Lt. Commander's routine. It had been thanks to sophisticated eavesdropping equipment that he had been able to overhear McGarrett inform Chin Ho Kelly that he planned a late day run on the Wa'ahila Ridge today while they arranged a fishing outing for the next morning.

This gave the man a perfect opportunity to fulfill the contract he had been offered to kill Steve McGarrett. He knew that sooner or later the Lt. Commander would go beyond his daily swims and put himself in a more remote location where he could be eliminated. This spot was absolutely the right place to claim the large bounty that had been placed on McGarrett's head.

As Steve looked out over the inspiring view before him, a smile tugged at his lips as he heard Danny Williams's voice ring in his head. His partner's rant was all ready playing in his mind as he imagined Danny's response to a suggestion that he might enjoy a hike on the trail.

"Why on earth would anyone in their right mind….and you do not qualify as that Steven ….want to go off into the wilderness where there is the chance of encountering dangerous animals and possibly fall off a cliff?" He could hear it clearly along with the hand gestures that would accompany the rant as if Danny were standing beside him.

A sly smile stole across Steve's face as he began to formulate plans to lure Danny out on the trail with him soon. He was going to turn his partner into an islander yet, in spite of the man's protests. He brought his phone out and activated the camera option to snap a few shots of the surrounding scenery.

From his vantage point, the gunman lifted his rifle to center on a spot just above the small pack hanging on Steve's back. This was just going to be too easy, the man thought happily. He was all ready spending the generous paycheck that this kill was going to bring him. Carefully he sighted the weapon, savoring the moment before he pulled the trigger, the moment that always brought him great satisfaction.

The bird that chose that moment to launch itself into the air had no idea that it would save Steve McGarrett's life. As Steve pivoted to catch a picture of the bird in flight, his movement changed the target that the man had just as he fired. The bullet buried itself in Steve's right shoulder instead of his heart and spun him around in the direction of his shooter. Out of instinct, Steve dropped low as a second shot rang out, the bullet striking the cell phone in his hand and sending it flying off into the brush along the trail. As Steve tried to find where the attack was coming from, a third shot came quickly, grazing his right temple as he tried to move away. Steve was knocked backward, off the trail and down the steep incline behind him.

Steve's body bounced and rolled down the slope, until he finally struck a tree in his path, halting his fall. The unconscious form of the ex-SEAL curled around the trunk, landing on his left side. Blood steeped steadily from his shoulder and head while his lower left leg was twisted in a very unnatural position. McGarrett lay still, exposed to the threat above, with no way to protect himself.

Taking his time, the gunman made his way down the trail from where he had been after breaking down his weapon and concealing it in a duffel bag. He carefully moved to the edge of the trail to look down and confirm his kill after being sure that no one else was around. Several yards below he could see the body of Steve McGarrett wrapped around a tree trunk. He could see the blood staining the man's back and head. There was no movement from the figure and he noticed the twisted leg that was clearly broken. Having no desire to risk going down the hillside to be positive, he took out his own cell phone and took a picture of the figure below him. He was confident that even if there was any life in McGarrett at the moment, with the way he was bleeding and with night falling there was little likelihood of Steve McGarrett surviving until morning. With a satisfied nod, he headed back down the trail to his car, sure that his job had been successful.

End chapter.

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