Obligatory Disclaimer: Not mine. Wish they were. Guess I'll have to settle for a nice condo on Diamondhead with a view of the beach. Oh, wait; can't afford that, either.
There was a lot more that Steve McGarrett wanted to say, things that ranged from Kono, get your ass out of there to why the hell did I let her talk me into this and all the way through language that his mother would have been ashamed to learn that he knew, let alone used.
It wasn't just Kono, either. It was Danny Williams, playing his role to the hilt as the Mafioso from Jersey with Kono, the rookie cop, the cupcake on his arm. It was the two of them, on an undercover high, convinced that they could take down Peter Hanolo who was only the top rung on the ladder of a group that had already demonstrated the ability to separate tourists from their money in a not so pleasant fashion. Money? Hell. Steve snorted. There were a few separated fingers, too, that the tourists left behind on the islands as they fled home. Not a nice guy, Hanolo. Not too good for the tourist industry, either.
Chin Ho Kelly, seated in the van next to him, fiddled with the bank of controls sitting in his lap, adjusting the volume. "So far, so good, boss," he said, the tension clear in his voice.
You believe that as much as I do. One wrong word from inside, one hint of the code they'd established for letting the team outside know that trouble was on the move, and Chin would be flinging that bank of controls to the floor of the van in his haste to get inside the nightclub, and Steve McGarrett wouldn't be behind him. No, Lt. Commander Steven McGarrett, ex-Navy SEAL and recently appointed all-around good guy and leader of Hawaii Five-O, would be leading the way to bail out those two babes in the woods.
Babes in the woods? Steve wrestled down another snort. Kono, sure. Chin's cousin had graduated from the Academy less than a year ago and the rookie edge was still there. Kono had what it took to make it big in her chosen profession: smarts, guts, and a spinning back kick that could down a three hundred pound gang member in his tracks, clutching pieces of himself that made Steve cringe just to think about it. And she was drop dead beautiful, which was one of the reasons that they'd put her into play as Danny's arm candy. "You clean up nice, cuz," had been Chin's comment when Kono finally emerged from the back room, dressed in something form-fitting that left nothing to the imagination, ready for the sting operation. "You just make sure that Hanolo doesn't corner you in a back room. Wouldn't want to blow your cover before he says something convictable."
The look that Kono returned had an offer to detach more fingers—this time not from tourists.
No, the real reason that Kono was here, playing with the big boys, was because it had been the newest member of the team who had picked up the lead. It had been on the team's day off—time off? What's that? Not when the governor has your cell phone number programmed into her speed dial—day off, putting in a few hours on the beach making certain that her surfing skills weren't getting dull, that she'd come across a lucky tourist who'd lost only money to Peter Hanolo's people rather than fingers. A few drinks, a few questions, and Kono had the long sought after location of where Hanolo liked to hang when he wasn't busy harassing tourists and throwing his weight around the black market community.
Steve still remembered the short discussion.
"Boss, we know where he spends his time. We can take him down."
"Yeah? On what planet, Kono? You got any proof that he's dirty?"
The look that Danny had tossed in his direction was mostly disbelief. Yeah, Danno, I occasionally think about the legalities of crime-stopping. Not often, I grant you, but it comes in handy when I'm trying to prevent Kono from committing suicide through sheer stupidity.
"I can get proof, Steve," Kono had insisted. "Nobody knows me in that community. I'm just another local girl out to score a good time. I waltz in, make nice with Hanolo, and bring him out with a pair of shiny new bracelets. I can do this, boss."
Chin had come to Steve's rescue. "What makes you think that he's going to spill his dirty little secrets to you, cuz? We've got to make a case, you know."
"I…" Kono didn't have an answer.
Danny did. "Because I'm going to offer him a chance at the Big Time," he announced. He bowed to the other three. "Meet Danny Amatullo, from Joisey." The accent was more pronounced, and the bow that Danny offered managed to swagger like a cock in a hen house. "I have just flown in for a little R & R and an opportunity to scope out new territory, because my old one is gettin' a little cramped for my taste."
Which was how Danny Williams, AKA Danny Amatullo, tie around his neck and attitude in his step, had arrived at The Night's Pleasure with a local girl giggling at his side, ready to try out all the Hawaiian delights that he could find.
There was also a microphone in his belt buckle.
Steve listened to his partner talk his way through the sting. Not that he'd ever admit it to the man's face, but Danny was good at this. Even over the airwaves, Steve could all but see the arms waving, the grandiose gestures, taking drink after drink—hope you're pouring them somewhere other than down your throat. You aren't going to be able to shoot straight if you're not—and Danny steadily wormed his way into Hanolo's good graces.
"You got it," Danny assured Hanolo, and Steve heard two glasses clinking over the mike. "You got the people, you got the connections. I got the bankroll and the know how. But, listen, guy; I want seventy-thirty, hear me?"
Don't piss him off, Williams!
"Seventy-thirty?" Hanolo said in disgust. "You crazy, brudder? I'm the one with the people on this island. You give me sixty, I give you forty."
Danny snorted. "You got nothing but a bunch of penny-ante pissant pickpockets. Without me, you're going nowhere, brudder." He gave the slang just the right haole sneer, devoid of anything remotely resembling island living and Steve could imagine his partner leaning over the table, drink in hand, dragging the little paper umbrella out of the liquid and dumping it onto the napkin. "But I'm a nice guy, and I like to see my people happy. Listen, I'm gonna give you a break. I'll give you thirty five, 'cause I'm such a nice guy," he repeated.
Back in the van, Chin held up his hand, cell phone to his ear. "I've got Kono," he offered tersely, pulling the phone away and tapping it onto speaker. "What's the word, cuz?"
Kono kept her voice down, and they heard the slight echo bouncing off the cinderblock walls of the ladies room. "There's Hanolo, and five of his people, and like three more in back. They're all carrying hardware but nothing big, just handguns, although Hanolo's got a knife in his pocket that he likes to play with. One guy, the small haole mainlander hanging out at the bar and watching, he's got a blade strapped to his calf. I think he's the only one who really knows what he's doing. The rest are local muscle. Can we take him out now?"
"Not yet," was Chin's response. "With what we got, they'll walk before the ink is dry on the D.A.'s paperwork. We've got talk, we've got conspiracy, but no confessions. You see anything in there that we can nail him on? Drugs, anything like that?"
"I wish," Kono groaned. "Listen, I'd better get back out there before Danny decides to adopt all the Sopranos as relatives."
"Be careful," Chin warned her. "Hanolo's not big enough to be a major player on the mainland, but he's still plenty dangerous."
"I will. What do we do if he doesn't give us enough for a conviction?"
Steve leaned over to speak into the cell. "Then we set up another meet. If we're patient, he'll give us what we want."
Kono exited the ladies room, having tucked her cell phone back into the slender purse she'd hung over her shoulder, wishing that the bag was large enough to hide a handgun of her own. Not in this lifetime, she thought sadly. Besides, Hanolo's people searched it when Danny made contact. The Five-O people had expected that, had prepared for it. No guns to raise suspicions; a local girl with more hormones than brains wouldn't be carrying a gun in her purse.
Flash of irritation, at the situation and at herself. Kono didn't need a handgun. All she needed was a free hand or foot and a moment's surprise to use them. Handguns tended not to work all that well unless someone was actually pulling the trigger. Okay, so maybe wanting a gun in a Gucci wasn't so bright. Kono would make it up to herself by bringing down—
Hanolo was there in the hall, outside of the restrooms. He wasn't alone.
No, actually, Hanolo was alone, because the man bleeding on the floor at Hanolo's feet couldn't actually be called a man any more. 'Corpse' was the more accurate term. Eyes wide open, mouth in an agonized 'o' of shock and disbelief; yeah, 'corpse' fit, never mind waiting for the coroner. The blood on the knife in Hanolo's hand told the story more clearly than anything. He looked up first in surprise, then outright anger at the unexpected witness.
I'm a local girl, looking to score a nice evening, and I've just come up with a heavy load of reality. What do I do now? Kono opened her mouth to shriek in not-so-simulated shock.
"Bitch!" Hanolo slapped her across the face before the sound could emerge, and Kono's shriek turned into a much smaller whimper. She staggered back against the wall, half-stunned more by the sudden turn of events than the blow. You wanted something to nail this guy, Steve. Murder good enough for you?
Hanolo recognized immediately what had happened. "Sonnuva—" he swore, grabbing her by the arm. "What the hell are you doing here, bitch?"
Kono tried to shrink away, tried to act like a scared chick in over her head—and found that it didn't take much acting, not with the bloody dripping knife held in front of her. She had no doubt that Peter Hanolo would use it again if she gave him half an excuse.
Hanolo dragged her back into the main room of the bar. "Amatullo!" he shouted. "Look at this! Look at what your bitch has done!" He threw Kono to the floor in front of everyone, chairs sliding and falling as she connected with them. A spilled beer puddled in front of her.
"She ain't my bitch," Danny immediately shot back, jumping to his feet. "I just picked her up in a bar, paid for a couple of drinks. What's she done?"
Hanolo held up his knife, still covered in blood, his bulk huge with menace. "What do you think she did? She saw this!"
Danny went on the offensive. "You stupid, or what, killing somebody in your own place? What kind of moron are you?"
"Me? You're the big mainland haole who brought her here. You get rid of her, and she better not be around to say anything. You hear me, brudder? You do your woman right now, right here."
Could it get any worse? Hanolo wanted Danny to kill her, in front of everyone, and if he didn't they'd both be dead. The handguns that were now firmly held by every one of Hanolo's men said that there wasn't a chance for either of them to walk out of here alive if that didn't happen.
Save yourself, Danny. Bring the bastard down. Get out of here, and testify that Hanolo just killed that poor slob in the back hall, and me in this bar.
Danny, however, wasn't finished.
"You can go to hell," Danny told Hanolo indignantly, chest stuck out. "I paid for her! I bought her drinks! This bitch owes me!" He shoved his face forward. "I'm gonna take this little pineapple back to my room, and I'm gonna get my money's worth out of her, then I'll do her. You hear me?"
"Code word!" Steve McGarrett was out of the van and running before Danny could finish saying 'pineapple', Chin right behind him.
Points for the mainland cop: they had it on tape. Danny had just nailed the bastard, telling the world that Hanolo—or someone in his gang—had just committed murder. Not quite enough for an airtight case but Lt. Commander McGarrett didn't intend for that to be the only piece of evidence. No, he expected that two fine and upstanding members of Hawaii Five-O would be appearing in a courtroom, addressing a judge, jury, and a couple of attorneys, telling them that the world would be better off without the presence of one Peter Hanolo on the streets of Honolulu.
That meant, however, that at least one of those two fine upstanding Five-O members would have to be alive to testify.
Steve burst in through the door, shoulder-rolling to the side. "Five-O! Hands in the air!" he barked, sensing more than seeing Chin taking up a similar position to the other side of the door, handgun clenched in two fists.
Bang! That was the signal for gunfire to erupt, and Steve dodged to avoid the stream of bullets headed in his direction. He hastily pulled down a table, using the solid surface as cover, hoping that none of the guns possessed enough power to put a piece of lead through the dense particleboard. Out of the corner of his eye he saw both Danny and Kono dart out of the line of fire, and inwardly cheered. Neither one was armed, and he couldn't afford to lose either of them.
He needed to end this fast. Jump up; fire.
A body slumped down behind a table, groaning. Four more to go. The sound of a slamming door suggested that the few of Hanolo's men in the back room had just escaped into the night. That was okay with Five-O; they were after the Big Kahuna himself.
Kono wasn't cowering in the corner. She snuck up on Hanolo, the man's attention on Steve and Chin. She grabbed his wrist—the one with the gun—and yanked.
Hanolo yelped, and whipped around at this new threat, amazed when the gun dropped out of his hand without his ordering the action. "Bitch—"
Palm-strike to the face, cutting the word off. Blood sprang out of his nose.
Hanolo roared in pain and fury, swinging his own fist, putting his not inconsiderable weight behind it. If it had landed, one rookie cop would have been doing rehab time for the next several months. Instead, Kono blocked the clumsy move and almost nonchalantly put a knee where it would do the most good. Hanolo's roar turned into an agonized whimper, and his suddenly weakened knees dumped him to the beer-stained floor. His bloody knife clattered onto the wooden planks beside him.
No time to admire Kono's handiwork. Steve's attention was focused on the haole that Kono had talked about earlier, the one who looked halfway intelligent. The man was small but deadly fast, and the knife in his hand gave him a reach equal to Steve's. Steve moved in; he had to take this man down fast before he escaped.
A shout; Danny had one of Hanolo's men in his grasp and even as Steve watched, delivered one to the gut and followed it up with a haymaker to the jaw. The man's eyes rolled back in his head, and he sagged. Another one down; score one for the mainlander.
"Look out!" Chin yelled.
There he was, a local by the looks of him, with a handgun pointed straight at Steve himself. No chance to defend himself; the man was hidden behind his own table, the heavy wood shielding his body. Steve threw himself to one side, knowing that he wouldn't be fast enough—
Chin's shout alerted the man to his own danger: Chin was moving into position for a shot—but out in the open. The man shifted his aim to focus on this new threat. He fired.
Chin firing back. Chin's bullet burying itself in the table. Chin crumpling to the floor.
Danny launching himself from across the room. Hitting the table-shield. Bowling over the gunman. Grabbing his gun. Taking him down.
Choices: go after the haole with the knife, escaping through the back, or stay with his team? Steve snarled, wanting to clone himself on the spot.
"I'm…okay, Steve…" Chin grabbed his arm, pain etched over his features. "Go after him."
Too late. The man was gone, into the night.
But they had Hanolo and most of his men, and it was a righteous bust. The other guy could wait.
"Danny, go with Kono," Steve ordered harshly, dividing his attention between the man on the stretcher and the crowd of blue-uniformed HPD officers who had arrived in the nick of time to help with the clean up.
"Steve—" Kono objected.
Chin himself did the interrupting, not bothering to pick up his head from the stretcher to address her. He could have done it, but it would have been a waste of precious energy. "It's your bust, cuz; enjoy it. You earned it. I'm okay, and Bossman here is gonna make sure I stay that way."
"He's right, Kono. One of us has to do this, and you and I have formal statements to prepare." Danny took her arm, gently urging the rookie cop along.
"Go," Steve ordered once more. "I'll make sure Chin gets what he needs. You two handle the scene here. Make sure that Hanolo doesn't wiggle out of this one." He sent a baleful glare off into the streetlamp-lighted night toward the group of men who were being towed, arms cuffed behind them, into sturdy black and whites.
"Besides, my arm's not bad, cuz." Chin tried to comfort Kono. "I'll be in and out of the ER before you know. Before the ink is dry on the charges," he amended. "A couple of antibiotic pills, and I'll be as good as new."
"The ink is dry as soon as it comes out of the printer." Kono was unimpressed with his analogy—and still worried.
Chin waved his good arm and, wincing, put it back down so that it didn't jostle the bad. "Whatever. Just make sure that he doesn't walk. Okay, cuz?"
"Yeah." It was not okay, but Kono was allowing herself to be talked into the right course of action.
"Let's get you out of here, Chin." Steve helped the two paramedics to slide the stretcher into the ambulance, hauling himself inside to sit on the bench beside his team member. "I'll call you two from the hospital."