Hawaii Five-0 Fanfic with the third meanest cliffhanger I can think of. This was written before the sarin poisoning episode.
I don't own the characters. I'd be nicer to them if I did.
By Karen E. Weber
"Time to go, monkey."
Detective Danny Williams of the governor's Hawaii Five-0 task force straightened the paperwork on his desk. Sitting on the opposite side of his desk, his daughter Grace mimicked him, making a neat pile of her homework and then filing it in her backpack at the same moment Danny put his into his desk drawer.
They gave each other simultaneous nods of accomplishment; and then grinned.
"Weekend!" Grace said gleefully, as she slung her bulky backpack over her shoulder.
Danny extended his hand and walked his daughter out of his office.
"We're going now," he announced to his teammates, who were studying photos on the Surface Table's built-in computer screen.
"Have fun." Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett smiled at the little girl.
"We will," she answered pertly.
Chin Ho Kelly and his cousin Kono Kalakaua watched the father and daughter leave.
"Are we almost done?" Kono asked. "My mother's expecting me for dinner tonight."
Chin sighed, wishing he was still welcome at the family table. Kono's mother was a great cook.
Steve promised they were almost finished. He just had one more set of photos he wanted to go over.
They were bent over the table again, when Chin's cell phone rang. The caller's voice was obscured by noise, as if someone was rubbing sandpaper over the microphone. But his words were plain and frightening.
"Warn Detective Williams that there's a bomb in his car."
Chin covered the phone. "Steve, there's a bomb in Danny's car!"
Already running out the door, Steve snatched out his phone and speed-dialed his partner.
"Who is this?" Chin demanded, as Kono called the Honolulu Police department to trace the call on Chin's phone. "Why would someone plant a bomb in Danny's car?"
"Because they thought it belonged to McGarrett," the caller answered. This made chilling sense, because Steve drove the silver Camaro almost as much as Danny did. "If it was McGarrett, I would not have worried. But Detective Williams and I have a bond of trust."
The call ended, too soon for a trace. Chin and Kono ran for the door.
Danny opened the passenger door for his daughter and walked round to open the driver's door while she took off her backpack. Before he could get in, his phone rang.
"What? You couldn't live without me for five minutes?" he demanded, seeing Steve's name on the caller ID.
"Don't get in your car! There's a bomb in your car!"
"Grace!" Danny barked, stopping his daughter before she could climb in the car. "Don't get in the car! Don't touch the door! Come here, quick!"
Obedient to the snap of command, Grace ran to her father, but as she passed the driver's door, her awkward backpack bumped it. It slowly began to swing shut.
Danny grabbed his daughter's arm, yanking her off her feet and making her drop her backpack. Cradling her against his chest, he dove for cover behind a sturdy pickup — Steve's Silverado, he realized.
The Camaro's door clicked shut.
— H50 —
Halfway down the stairs, Steve heard the roar and felt the building shake.
He burst into the garage. "Danny! Grace!"
The once silver Camaro was a blackened, smoking ruin. The windows were blown out and the driver's door was missing entirely.
"Danny!" Steve called desperately.
"Steve, help." The thin, strained voice belonged to Danny's daughter.
Behind his own sturdy Silverado, now decorated with new dents and scratches, Steve found his partner on top of Grace, beneath the missing door of the Camaro. Blown off its hinges, the door had pinwheeled over the bed of the truck and dropped on Danny.
Steve could only see Danny's unmoving legs and one small foot peeking out from under him.
"Steve, daddy's hurt."
The commander swallowed hard. "Are you OK?" he asked the girl.
"I can't breathe," she answered.
Of course not, she had 200-plus pounds on her chest.
"Hang on, honey, we'll get this door off you."
Chin and Kono had caught up. She called for help while Chin edged around the Silverado. He and Steve lifted the door straight up; then tilted it into the bed of the pickup out of the way.
Now they could see Danny sprawled protectively on top of his daughter. His right hand still cradled her head and neck, protecting her in the plunge to the concrete. His other hand looked bruised where it lay slack by his head. Steve guessed he'd futilely raised his hand to protect his head from the falling door.
"Grace, are you sure you're all right?" Chin asked. "You're bleeding."
Grace rubbed at her forehead, smearing the blood. "I'm not bleeding. Daddy's bleeding," she said sadly.
Chin reached to check Danny's carotid pulse.
"Daddy's still alive. He's breathing in my ear," Grace said, almost angry that they could think otherwise.
Chin stroked her hair.
Steve rubbed his chin. He knew Danny's first main concern would be to get his daughter out of there, now! But the Five-0 commander had different priorities.
"Grace, can you breathe now?" he asked. "Can you stay there for a few more minutes? I'd rather not move your father until the paramedics get here."
"I'm OK," she said stoutly. "I can wait."
"Brave. Like your father," Steve said.
Kono guided the Emergency Medical Services ambulance as it backed into the garage.
Paramedic Ab Riley vaulted out of the driver's seat. The EMT had the exuberance of a Labrador puppy, which sat oddly with his linebacker's build, but he was a highly skilled professional. His searching gaze swept across the three visible Five-0 members and he knew that Danny Williams must be the victim. He didn't expect the little girl.
"Hello!" he exclaimed as he knelt beside them.
"Ab, this is Danny's daughter Grace," Steve said. "Grace, this is Ab Riley, the best paramedic I know."
"What happened?" Riley asked as his partner, Margrette Chandler, handed him equipment. A tall, lean, quiet woman, Chandler showed her Viking heritage in her blonde hair and her square jaw. "I mean, obviously the car exploded," Riley continued.
"The door flew off and fell on Danny," Chin said succinctly.
"But he protected his little girl, didn't he?" Riley said in admiration. "Margie, check Grace, please."
Riley's rookie partner replaced Chin beside Grace's head. She checked the girl's vital signs while Riley delicately felt around Danny's head, neck and spine. The unconscious man moaned when Riley touched his shoulder. Reacting to pain was actually a good sign.
"Collar bone's broken. I don't feel any other breaks or displacement," Riley murmured. He thought best when he talked aloud, but he'd stick to technical jargon if he thought he'd frighten the spectators. "There's a sizeable lump on his head. Two, in fact. One on the back and one opposite on his forehead. I can't detect any depression or damage in the skull. That's all good," he said, winking at Grace. "Vitals look pretty good, but I can't check his eyes from this angle."
"Can we get Grace out?" Kono asked.
Rile looked at his partner who rattled off the girl's vital signs — all normal. Well, respiration was a little labored, but that was to be expected with her father on top of her.
"I want to put a neck brace and a backboard on Danny, just in case," he reassured Grace. "Then we can move him."
With quick, precise movements, he immobilized Danny's injuries and all the time he kept up a chatty conversation with Grace.
"I know you. You're the one who helped Daddy …" Grace hesitated, not knowing how to phrase it.
"I helped him the last time he was blown up," Riley said cheerfully. "See, you shouldn't worry. Your dad has experience in this."
That actually drew a giggle from the girl. "What's Ab short for?" she asked.
A doleful expression crossed Riley's face. "My parents named me Absalom. I don't like it much."
"Maybe you should use your middle name," the girl suggested.
Riley winced and shook his head. "It's even worse. It's Hezekiah."
"I'm sorry," Grace said.
"If my parents wanted to give me a Biblical name, I wish they'd picked something more common. Like Daniel," he said, patting his patient's shoulder.
"Daddy doesn't like Daniel," Grace said.
"He says people only call him Daniel when he's in trouble."
"I guess I'll have to call him Daniel, then," Riley confided. "He's always in trouble when I see him."
When Riley had Danny fastened to the backboard, the paramedics and the Five-0 officers lifted him off his daughter and turned him face up. Chandler took Grace to the ambulance out of earshot, while Riley checked the reaction of Danny's pupils.
"Deep concussion, but no sign of a skull fracture," he told Steve. "I'd say the door caught him a glancing blow and bounced his head off the concrete."
"Will he be all right?"
"Head injuries are tricky," the paramedic said cautiously. Then he shrugged and added with optimism, "He's Danny, Of course he'll be all right."
"Why don't we get him to the hospital and find out?" Chandler suggested.
"Good point." The EMTs fastened the backboard on the stretcher and lifted it into the back of the ambulance. Riley joined Danny and Grace in the back and let his partner take the wheel.
"You'd better go, boss. Grace needs someone with her and you need to call her mother. Kono and I will organize the crime scene, then we'll catch up to you at the hospital."
"Right," Steve agreed. He pulled out his keys. He looked left at Danny's smoking Camaro and right at his shrapnel-peppered Silverado that was now part of the crime scene. He threw up his hands in a gesture he must have picked up from his partner, Chin thought with a grin. "I can't go anywhere. I've got no car!"
Chin sobered abruptly, as he realized that Steve didn't know everything the caller had said. Hesitantly, the investigator said, "Boss, the caller said the bomb was meant for you. The bomber thought the Camaro was your car."
The ex-Navy SEAL felt his knees go weak and had to lean on a concrete pillar for support. Danny — and Grace! — had almost been killed because of him? Because, as Danny had said, he was a control freak and hated to let anyone else drive?
Chin read his mind like a book (a simple book, with big pictures). "Steve, it's not your fault. It's the bomber's fault."
"Here, boss, take my car." Kono offered her keys, demonstrating her faith in McGarrett. It was a touching display because she loved her little red compact.
"Are you sure you want to?" Steve asked.
"I'm not afraid of bombers," she answered. "Just don't go driving on the sidewalk again."
"That was once," Steve protested, but he felt better. With a pang he realized that, thanks to Danny, he didn't feel right if he didn't get his daily dose of argument.
— H50 —
Reunited with uninjured Grace at the hospital, Steve tried to call Rachel Edwards, but had to leave a message on her voicemail. He made it as mild as possible, but "pick up your daughter at the hospital" was pretty alarming.
"She probably turned her phone off," Grace said. "She and Stan were going out to dinner with important investors."
Steve wanted to pace as he waited to hear about Danny, but Grace clung to him for comfort, so he sat and worried. When they arrived, Chin and Kono did the pacing for him. Kono kept walking to the water fountain at the end of the hall, taking a sip of water, and walking back. She didn't want the water; the fountain was just a destination. Chin patrolled the hall, stopping to peruse each picture and read every posted notice. When he finished a circuit, he could start over, because he hadn't taken in anything he'd seen.
When the doctor came out, the waiting foursome leaped to their feet.
"The tests are negative," the young black man reassured them instantly. "There's no fracture and no sign of intercranial bleeding. However, he's deeply unconscious. I want to keep him overnight for observation."
"Can we stay with him?" Steve asked, ready to wave "immunity and means" at the doctor if he had to.
"Yes, you may," Dr. Sampson answered, without having to be threatened. "As long as you stay out of the nurse's way. But only one at a time."
— H50 —
Rachel rushed in, dressed to the nines. Tears streaked her perfect makeup.
"Mommy!" the girl ran to her.
Rachel hugged her. "Oh, Grace, I'm so sorry. I had my phone off in the restaurant. Are you all right?"
"I'm OK but daddy's hurt," Grace said, her voice muffled by her mother's skirt.
"Danny?" she questioned her ex's friends.
"Concussion," Steve said. "He'll be OK?" That was a question directed at the doctor, as much as an answer to Rachel.
"I think so," Sampson reassured them.
"What happened? An accident?"
Steve might have prevaricated, but Grace was an honest child.
"Daddy got hit in the head when the car exploded," she said.
"Exploded?" Steve winced at Rachel's "I knew this would happen" expression.
"Someone put a bomb in Daddy's Camaro," Grace continued.
"A bomb?" Now Rachel was beginning to look angry.
Steve grabbed her arm and urged her down the hall and around a corner out of sight.
"Stay with Kono, Grace. I need to talk to your mother for a minute."
"You're hurting me!" Rachel said indignantly.
Steve released her, but when she got a look at his cold, furious eyes, Rachel shut her mouth and backed away. Without touching her again, by his mere looming presence, Steve backed her into a corner. He planted his hands on either side so she couldn't' escape and leaned close.
Rachel was afraid. She had seen Steve sipping tea, eating lobster, being charming. This was the hardened combat veteran she had only heard rumors about — rumors she had discounted as Danny's exaggerations. Now she remembered uneasily that Danny was renowned as a good judge of character.
"If I hear one word from you about trying to take away Danny's visitation privileges because of this, I am going to tell the judge how you and Grace got carjacked because of Stan's shady business dealings," Steve said with no emphasis at all, which made it all the more frightening.
"Stan didn't do anything wrong," she protested.
"He made payoffs to a government official," Steve said.
"Danny is a danger to our daughter," Rachel counterattacked. "Trouble follows him."
"Not him," Steve said bleakly. "I'm the trouble magnet."
Both his parents were murdered, his sister was kidnapped and, yes, Danny was shot within hours of their first meeting.
"The bomb wasn't meant for Danny, Rachel. It was meant for me."
Steve's self-loathing dissolved Rachel's anger and fear. "Steve."
"Rachel, you're married to a rich man. Kidnap, ransom …" A smile flickered. "… fortune hunters, gigolos — Grace faces dangers most girls don't."
"Now you sound like Danny," Rachel complained.
"Must be where I heard it. Rachel, Danny threw himself on top of Grace to protect her from the explosion. He would die to protect her, and he would die if you took her away. And it would devastate Grace, too. You know it would."
Steve's vehemence had calmed her. Vehemence was familiar to Rachel, almost comforting.
"You're right. You're right." Now she sounded like Danny. "I won't take Danny to court. I swear."
Steve smiled at her. She blinked. Could this sweet smile be on the same face that looked so scary a moment ago? "We'd better get back to the others."
Was it Rachel's imagination, or did Kono and Chin look relieved when she returned unscathed. No, must be her imagination.
Grace looked worried, too. She'd forgotten something important. She'd already been a bad girl and disobeyed her father with tragic results. Now she had to deliver his message, even if it did seem kind of mean.
"Steve," she said hesitantly. "Daddy wanted me to tell you something, if he got hurt, but I forgot."
"You've had a lot on your mind," Steve said kindly. "What is it?"
"Daddy said to tell you, it's probably not your fault."
Probably! Steve barked a laugh at the same moment tears burst from his eyes. He had to turn away to regain his composure. He leaned against the wall, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.
"Grace!" Rachel exclaimed.
Grace was appalled. She didn't know her message would make Steve cry!
"It's OK, Rachel. It's not Grace's fault. It's just Danny getting the last word." Steve wiped his eyes. But Steve hoped it wasn't his partner's last word.
Rachel's phone beeped. She glanced at the text message. "Stan's downstairs. He had to take our guests home," she explained.
"You two had better go. I'll call you tomorrow," Steve promised.
— H50 —
About an hour after they left, the nurse came out. "Detective Williams is waking up. Dr. Sampson said you may come, if you don't say anything.
They were all waiting when Danny opened his eyes. His gaze swept past his Five-0 friends, took in the room, and finally focused on the doctor.
"I know it's a cliché," he said weakly. "But where am I?"
"Honolulu General Hospital," the doctor said.
"Honolulu?" His incredulous voice was faint, but the pitch rose decidedly even as the volume fell. As he faded into unconscious again, Danny said, "Hawaii? How the hell did I get to Hawaii?"
— H50 —
I said it was mean, didn't I? To be continued? You bet!