This must be one of those situations people mean when they say the operation was a success but the patient died, Kono thought tiredly. Except the patients didn't die, thank God.
Chin trudged along next to her, looking like he wasn't sure if he wanted to go to sleep right then, or wait until they reached something he could sit on first.
"Hey," Steve McGarrett, head of Five-O had said cheerfully. "Finally got a tip on the smugglers. The seeds and cuttings are going out late this afternoon."
"I still don't get it," Danno had complained. "Who smuggles gardens? Don't they have enough wherever this stuff is going? And what kind of report will I, yes I," pointing a finger at his own chest, "have to invent to cover this? 'Yes, Ma'am, Governor, we have successfully protected Kansas from invasion by Hawaiian petunias. The gnomes were unfortunately a complete loss.'"
"Yes. Gnomes. Those creepy little guys with the red pointed hats?…Nevermind."
"We've explained this before, Danny," Chin had said, making sure he had extra shells for his shotgun. He picked up a reload clip and tossed it to Kono, who caught it out of the air, checked it, and tucked it into her pocket.
"Yeah, yeah. Invasive species. Eco something-or-other. Quarantines. Who would have thought petunias were that deadly." Williams checked his own gun and made sure his Kevlar vest was on securely.
Only it wasn't the cuttings that were dangerous, it was the people trying to get them off the island. Noticing Chin was starting to lag, Kono reached back and grabbed her cousin's sleeve, hauling him forward again.
One gun fight, one small explosion, two foot chases, one mangled car, a medium sized fire, two fire stations, seven squad cars, an inspector from Agriculture, a pair of paramedics, two ambulances, a news helicopter, and a street full of people clapping like they were watching a fireworks show, and Kono was ready to shoot the next idiot who asked her what had happened. Chin Ho, seeing her get that look she got just before she kicked someone, generously offered to deal with the Agriculture agent and the vehicle clean-up if she'd deal with the fire personnel and keep the crowd back until the Hawaiian Police Department could get officers out to post Do Not Cross tape. They dealt with the HPD, arrests and booking charges together, and by silent, mutual agreement, ignored the press.
Once HPD had gotten things straight and the situation looked nominally under control, Kono and Chin had raced to the hospital to see how their teammates were doing. They were informed Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams were still being evaluated, and the doctors would let the cousins know as soon as possible.
"Well, how long is 'as soon as possible?'" Kono had asked sharply.
"Shortly after they've finished the evaluations," the nurse had replied, not looking up from her computer screen.
"And they'll be done with the evaluations…when?" Chin had added.
The nurse looked up. "As soon as possible." She took another chart from the stack next to her and turned back to her computer.
Chin put a hand on Kono's arm. "No kicking," he said firmly.
Another hour drinking bad coffee in the hospital waiting area, and a doctor finally appeared. "Five-O?" he asked, and took a surprised step back when Kono and Chin jumped up. "I'm Doctor Penton. While your teammates were originally evaluated separately, Doctor Ibrahaim and I decided it was easier to treat them together."
"Penton got the short straw," Chin whispered to Kono.
"Commander McGarrett and Detective Williams have been settled in their room. I'm sorry it took longer than expected. We, ah, had some trouble keeping the Commander and the Detective in their own evaluation areas long enough to run the tests we needed to do. If you come with me, I'll fill you in on their status and take you to them."
So they were trudging after the doctor, down a long hallway towards a nursing station. Once they had been assured neither man was in serious condition, the adrenaline had started to drain and the evening's—morning's?—activities were starting to press on them.
"First off, let me assure you both men are in relatively good shape, considering what they went through." The three stopped at the nurse's station and Chin leaned up against the counter. "They both have mild concussions…that will keep them here until at least tomorrow, or actually today's, afternoon."
"Good luck with that," Chin muttered.
"Ah, yes, Officer. We are well aware of the…shall we say reputation…of Commander McGarrett." He cleared his throat and continued. "As I said, the Commander has a mild concussion. He cracked two ribs on his left side, but didn't break any. He does have two badly sprained wrists and a sprained left knee. We have them wrapped and splinted to keep them from moving too much, and ice is being used to help bring down the swelling."
From down the hall, a buzz of increasing volume resolved into occasionally discernable words. The doctor looked over his shoulder, sighed, and said, "Would you mind, Abigail?"
One of the nurses slipped from behind the counter, walked down to the offending room, opened the door and stated, "Separate rooms." There was instant silence. She shut the door and started back to the nurse's station.
"Thank you. Now, Detective Williams also has a mild concussion, but has significant bruising on his back and shoulders. We thought at first he might have a broken elbow, but fortunately it was only bruised, as well. The ribs on his right side are tender, but x-rays say nothing is cracked. Both of them have numerous cuts and scrapes, but nothing that required stitches." He motioned to Chin and Kono, and they dutifully trailed after him. "They both have had some pain relief and should be comfortable for the rest of the night. We decided to put them both in the same room, as they each had a great deal of anxiety about the status of the other and were impeding their caregivers." He stopped at a door. "Try not to stay too long. I'd really like them to rest."
"Impeding," Kono giggled.
"Must be the polite way to say 'driving everyone crazy'," Chin commented.
Kono opened the door and the two of them slipped into the darkened room. Low lighting over each bed was the only illumination. Both men appeared to be sleeping, Steve on his back, Danny on his left side.
Kono stepped over to Danny and put her hand gently on his arm. "Hey," she breathed.
"Lady, if you've come back with that penlight, I'm gonna stick it where the sun don't shine and use your eyeballs for nightlights."
Kono slapped him on the arm. "What?"
Danny opened his eyes and squinted. "Oh. Kono? Um, sorry."
Snickering from the other side of the room proved Steve was awake, as well. Chin smiled as McGarrett's eyes opened.
"Laugh all you want, Commander Let's-Just-Go-Straight-In. This is all your fault."
"Good to see you, too, Danny," Chin said.
"It's not my fault," Steve argued in what appeared to be an ongoing fight. "They weren't where they were supposed to be."
"Uh huh. How rude of them to not stick to your invisible plan." Danny waved one hand around airily. "Because it wasn't like we knew what you were doing, either. So where am I…again? I, my friend, am right here, in the hospital, suffering from an overabundance of help."
"How are you feeling, brah?" Chin asked, hoping to distract his boss.
"Fine," all four of them chorused. Steve blinked and Kono laughed.
"And why am I here?" continued Danny, ignoring Chin. "I'm glad you asked. I am here because Commander Flying Fish decided it was easier to tackle me than just warn me, because hey! Why use words when you can just hit people!"
"I'm a SEAL. Not a flying fish."
Danny paused. "Seals don't fly."
Steve thought a moment. "No, but they can jump. I think."
"That makes sense," Danny agreed. "Being as you jumped on me, flattened me to the ground and bounced my head off the pavement."
Chin and Kono looked at each other.
"You know, guys, maybe we should let you get some rest," offered Kono.
There was silence for a moment, and then the confusion on Danny's face seemed to clear and he continued from where he left off. "Words, Steven. Words. Have you thought of using them? Handy things, words. You can tell people all kinds of things and maybe avoid the whole physical part of a typical conversation with you."
"I didn't think there was time. As soon as I saw the fertilizer I knew we had to get out of there," Steve sulked.
"I was already out of there!" Danny's voice rose and Kono tried to shush him.
"I was afraid it was going to blow!" Steve snapped back, his voice getting louder, as well.
Danny opened his mouth, one hand pointing in Steve's direction, and then froze. There were footsteps in the hallway.
"Shhh," McGarrett warned. "Frankenurse."
The door opened and the nurse from the nurse's station stepped in. "Separate. Rooms," she said, giving individual emphasis to each word. "They are supposed to be resting," she added to Kono and Chin.
"Yes, ma'am," Chin replied.
The door closed and Steve let out a breath.
"Words, Steven," Danny repeated, more softly. "Good, declarative verbs like 'run,' or 'duck,' or 'drop,' or 'get the hell out of here'." Each word was punctuated with an illustrative hand motion.
"You've been helping Grace with her homework, again, haven't you," Steve snarked. "Besides, I don't think 'get the hell out of here' is a verb."
"Grace?" Danny asked. "Is Grace here?"
"No, Danny," Chin soothed. "Grace is at home with Rachel."
"Grace is here?" Steve looked around in confusion.
"No Grace," Kono repeated.
Danny tried to sit up. "Where the hell is Grace?"
"Grace has homework," Steve declared.
"Grace is at home, Danny," Chin tried again. Danny continued to struggle to sit up.
"Grace is safe, Danny. She's home." Kono patted Danny on the shoulder, trying to help him settle back down.
"Doing her homework," Steve said reassuringly.
There were a few moments of silence, and the cousins took advantage of it to pull up a couple of chairs so one of them could sit closer to each of the injured men. Chin sighed at being able to sit back down, and Kono tucked Danny back under his blanket.
"Head hurts," Danny said wearily.
"I'm sure. Go to sleep." Kono pulled the blanket up a little higher and gently rubbed his arm. Danny sighed and settled down a little.
On the other side of the room, Chin wasn't having as much success. Steve kept wiggling around, wincing when he hit the railings of his bed, irritably trying to push himself up higher as his feet threatened to slip off the end.
"Relax," Chin said, straightening out the sheet and blanket that had gotten caught and tangled. "Cooperate and you might get out in the morning."
"I can't," Steve said in frustration. "Danny got the bigger bed, and won't give it to me."
Danny's eyes popped open. "I did not!"
"Yes, you did! Look at this!" Steve folded his arms across his chest and pushed out his elbows. He had barely an inch before coming in contact with the bed railings.
"If you weren't so freakishly muscle bound you wouldn't have that problem!"
"If you'd just give me the bigger bed I wouldn't have this problem!"
"I'm pretty sure all the beds are the same size," Chin offered.
"No, they aren't. If they were, mine wouldn't be so small and Danny's wouldn't be so big."
"How about the both of you just calm down and we'll sort this out in the morning." Kono tried tucking Danny in again, but he just pulled out the blanket and tried to prop himself up on an elbow.
"Oh, no, no, no. My bed," he said, pointing at the pillow and sounding like he was lecturing a three year old, "is a right sized bed. It is not a big bed. How do I know this? I know this because I am in this bed. If it was a big bed I wouldn't be able to reach the pillow. If it was a small bed, my feet would be hanging out because you have obviously never tried to sleep in a junior bed with a squirming kid. That is a small bed. Therefore, this is an average bed."
"You've slept with Grace in a junior bed?" Steve was temporarily derailed.
"Not like that, you moron! You make it sound like I should arrest myself! When your kid has a nightmare, you lay down in bed with her until she goes back to sleep."
"Grace is in bed with you?" Steve pushed himself up with his forearms, trying to see into Danny's bed.
"Grace is here?" Danny said. "Where?"
"No," Kono said firmly. "Grace is not here. Grace is at home. Sleeping. In her own bed. The two of you need to stop bickering and go to sleep before that nurse comes back." She narrowed her eyes at Chin, who gave her a what do you think I can do about it shrug. She motioned to Chin to stand up, and switched seats with him. Maybe her cousin would have better luck with Danny.
"Frankenurse," Danny whispered, eying the door suspiciously. "She keeps threatening to put us in separate rooms."
"I can't imagine why," Chin said, deadpan.
"Not. Helping!" Kono glared at her cousin, then turned back to try and settle Steve down. "Come on, boss. How about laying back and I'll help you get comfortable."
"I can't get comfortable because Danny won't give me the bigger bed!"
"Because I don't have the bigger bed! You obviously have the bigger bed because you're in it!" Danny said, pointing in Steve's direction. "You wouldn't fit in an average bed!" he declared, pointing at his own bed.
"Really, guys. The beds are the same size." Chin offered Danny a drink of water. "You'll see so in the morning."
"Right. After I spend all night squashed into the smaller bed."
"Okay, Steve," Kono said. "Danny's right. You're already in the bigger bed. You wouldn't fit at all in the smaller bed. Look, you barely fit in the big bed. They probably didn't have time to get you an extra big bed because they didn't know you were coming. Tomorrow we'll track down an extra big bed for you."
"Hah! I was right all along!"
"Lay down, Danny," Chin ordered.
"Not gonna be here tomorrow," Steve muttered.
"Close your eyes," Kono said. "And your mouth."
"Me, either," Danny agreed. "No kicking, Kono," he said warily when she slowly turned to him.
"Shut up," Chin said.
Affronted, the two patients made a great show of getting comfortable. Peace reigned. Chin propped his feet up on the railing under Danny's bed, and Kono stretched her legs out in front of her.
"Danny may have gotten the bigger bed, but I got the window," Steve said smugly.
Danny's head popped up over his bed railing. "You got the window? Why didn't I get the window?"
Kono squeezed her eyes shut and then opened them. In a deadly quiet tone she announced, "Separate. Rooms."
The room was silent for a moment.
"Frankenkono," Danny said, trying to smother his laugh in his pillow.
"Frankenchin," Steve answered, snickering through the fist held to his mouth. "Ow."
A few more poorly covered snorts of humor and the two patients seemed to finally wear each other out. Deep breaths and sighs and murmured requests for water faded into relaxed bodies and sleep.
Kono looked fondly at her two teammates. Really, she wouldn't trade them for anything. "Next time," she whispered, "how about we just hire a babysitter and hide at the office until it's safe to visit."
Chin nodded. "Deal," he said, holding out his hand.
"Deal," she confirmed, and they shook on it.