Here it be - the final chapter. Thank you so much for the many nice reviews and comments I have received of the last few weeks. I truly appreciate each and every one and if I have not replied back to you, I am sorry. That was an oversight and definitely not intentional.
I need to say thanks once again to two of the best betas a person could have. Sockie1000 and Rogue Tomato are two of the most patient gals there are when I asked them to read and re-read parts of this thing. But they are great! I happen to think we make a pretty good team, ladies!
Several of you mentioned 'Danny's Rules' from the last chapter. In the near future, there just may be a fanfic outlining his "Rules for Take Downs", so be on the look out for it.
And again, thanks! Cokie
Monday evening, 2115 GYT
Dinner was a celebration that evening, held in President and Mrs. Sanchez' home where they would remain until renovations could be made to the presidential mansion. In addition to refusing to spend one night in that house until all remnants of Ochoa were removed, they were in need of a nursery suite, for both Aliyana and the new baby.
But, for this night, politics and talk of enemies were set aside and the hosts and their guests were partaking of good food and drink, lively music and much laughter. President Sanchez had returned to Guyana in late morning and televised a speech to the people explaining the events over the past week. With his cabinet once again in place, Ochoa's followers had either been arrested or had retreated.
McGarrett and his teams, both SEAL and 5-0, had taken charge of Chavez and Ochoa, overseeing their return to Guyana, and ensuring they were well guarded in their prison cells to await trial. Admiral Farris and Captain Anderson had procured a plane and rode with the Sanchez family back to their homeland.
After Sanchez had been re-established as president, he felt it was his responsibility to once again thank the people who had saved his daughter's life. Unfortunately, Boomer and Vega were still in the hospital in Trinidad, but everyone else was there, along with the members of the president's new cabinet.
Farris and his team were leaving later that evening. Buck planned to hitch a ride back with them, leaving Boomer, who would be in the hospital in Trinidad for another couple days. The doctor was planning to release Vega the following morning, so Grayson and Jackson were returning to Trinidad to fly back home with him.
The SEAL team and 5-0 were seated on the veranda, enjoying drinks when the discussion turned toward their trip through the jungle with Ali. Grayson was explaining the look of extreme fear on McGarrett's face when he realized he needed to take her to the bathroom. Steve was saved some embarrassment when the president pulled him aside. "I am sorry to interrupt," Sanchez began.
"Please. Save me, Alejandro. I don't need this abuse."
The president smiled, placing one hand on the commander's arm, pointing to the second floor of the house with his other. "Aliyana saw you out her window and is adamant that she can't go to sleep until she tells you goodnight."
Steve looked to where Sanchez was pointing and they both waved to the little girl who was staring at them.
"Would you mind?" the president asked.
"Of course not," Steve assured him. "I didn't want to leave without telling her goodbye."
They walked into the house as Sanchez spoke once again. "I know I have said it before, but I can't begin to thank you for giving my daughter back to me."
"Thanks are not needed, Alejandro. I was doing the job I was sent to do."
"I can tell by the way you held my daughter that this was more than a job," Sanchez replied with a grin as they walked up the stairway. "And that is what I am thanking you for."
Steve nodded as they reached the top of the stairway. At that moment, a bundle of energy dressed in pajamas launched herself at him. "Uncle Steve! Come see Elena. She's going to stay with me."
He reached down and scooped her up into his arms, twirling her around as Sanchez explained, "Elena is my sister's daughter. She has agreed to stay while we search for another nanny." He smiled and added, "That is, unless you would like the position?"
"Very funny," Steve replied, making a face. "I was like a duck without water."
"That is not the rumor I have heard," Sanchez replied.
Ali wriggled from his arms. "Come on," she said, grabbing hold of his hand. "Here's my room."
"Can I help tuck you into bed?"
"No," she immediately stopped moving, looking down at her feet.
"Aliyana, it is past your bedtime," her father reminded her. "You promised to go to bed after you told Steve goodnight."
"I know. But I don't want to go to bed," she whispered, glancing up at them between her lashes.
"Nonsense," Sanchez told her, turning her around to enter the bedroom.
She immediately latched onto McGarrett's leg, holding on with both hands.
"Hey, Ali, what's wrong?" he asked, reaching down to pick her up.
She looked into her room then turned back to him and whispered, "I like my room, but I don't want to sleep here anymore. The bad men might come back." She had his shirt in her fist, her other arm wrapped around his neck.
Steve looked to Sanchez for guidance, but only saw a look of panic there.
The father placed his hand on Ali's back. "Aliyana, I'm going to go find Momma if you can stay with Steve for just a minute." He looked at McGarrett, his eyes pleading.
"We'll be fine," Steve assured him with a nod. He moved further into the room sat down in the rocker, placing her on his lap. "How about we read something?" he asked.
Her hand was still holding his shirt in a death grip and she repeatedly glanced into the corners of her room. "If you want to," she finally said.
"Not unless you want to read," he replied. "Hey! There's something I need you to do for me."
"What?" she asked.
He put his head next to hers and whispered, "You need to talk mommy and daddy into coming to Hawaii to visit."
Both parents entered her room at that time and she looked up at them, with a grin.
"OK, I will. Daddy, we need to go visit Steve and Gracie."
"Soon, Ali," he told her with a smile. "After our baby is born. Momma shouldn't be traveling a lot right now."
She nodded, and then turned to Steve. "We'll have to wait."
"That's OK. We can wait. And I expect to see Flopsy, too."
"Flopsy's in the bathroom because Momma says he stinks and needs a bath. And she said it was going to take a week to get me clean. Do you need another bath, too, Uncle Steve?"
"I'm sure I do," he replied grinning at her. He gave her a hug and got ready to stand up, but she clung to him in fear, her head hidden in his neck.
"I don't want to stay here," she began to whimper.
Steve looked to her parents, needing their guidance before saying anything.
Marisol leaned down and rubbed her back. "Ali, your father and I had a talk. How would you and Elena like to sleep in the spare room down the hall tonight. You could have your own party. Would that make you feel better?"
She raised her head. "Really? Can Uncle Steve stay there, too?"
"No, Ali, I'll stay somewhere else," he told her. "But would you like me to take you to the new bedroom? We'll check it out together and make sure it is safe. Can you help me do that?"
She nodded and looked to her mother. "But I want Mr. Flopsy with me. He can get a bath tomorrow."
They went down the hall and together, Steve and Ali examined the room, under the bed, in the corners, in the closet and the adjoining bath before declaring it safe. Aliyana hugged Steve once more as he stood, and she planted a sloppy kiss on his cheek. "I love you."
"Love you, too, Ali." He hesitated, then told the girl, "You know, I have to leave tonight, so I need to tell you goodbye."
"But you can live here," she immediately assured him, and then turned to her father for confirmation. "Daddy, can Uncle Steve live with us?"
"Aliyana, Steve has a very important job in Hawaii. He needs to get back to it."
"But I'm going to miss you," she told him, turning back around and holding his face between her two small hands.
"I'll miss you, too," he assured her, kissing her on the forehead. "But I'm going to make sure that Daddy brings you to Hawaii to visit me, all right?"
"OK," she agreed, wrapping her arms around his neck. "But I'm still going to miss you."
"Ali, you need to thank Steve for keeping you safe," her father prompted.
"Thank you," she told him, looking at him once again. "For keeping me safe and for carrying me and for showing me how to go potty in the woods—Daddy, did you know you can potty without a bathroom? Uncle Steve showed me how."
"Yes, Ali," he laughed at McGarrett's look of horror. "You should thank Steve for all those things… and more. He took great care of you."
"Yep," she agreed. "You did," she nodded her head. "And tell Kono thank you for my dress and tell her bye-bye and Danny and Chin and—"
"OK, OK," Steve laughed. "I will tell everyone bye for you. You be safe, little girl. And I'll see you soon."
"OK," she replied. "I want to come to your house."
"It's a date," he promised, giving her one more hug and passing her off to Sanchez. He then shook his head, offering her father an embarrassed smile and admitting, "OK, so maybe it was more than a job."
"So, how'd it go? Did you hold out for visitation rights?" Danny asked Steve when he rejoined their group on the patio.
"That's not funny, Danno."
"But Uncle Steve, you two are so sweet together," Kono chimed in, grinning at him.
"Do you people have nothing better to do?" McGarrett grumbled, his growl offset by the grin on his face.
"Well, 5-0 is still on vacation." Chin Ho pointed out, his long legs stretched out in front of him as he leaned back in his chair.
"Yes, until next Monday," Kono told him.
"The admiral released me from active duty, effective at 2400," McGarrett told them. "So, since I'm a part of 5-0, I'm going to assume I'm also on vacation." He stretched, getting the kinks out of his back. "And the first thing I plan to do is sleep for the next several hours. But after that, I'm open for suggestions."
"Cool," Kono said.
"That's great," Danny agreed. "So, do we stay here in Guyana? Go someplace else?"
"Hey Boss," Chin said. "How about we go fishing for sea bob?"
"That works," McGarrett nodded.
"And I hear the diving down here is awesome," Kono said with excitement.
"Wait a minute," Danny said. "If you say they also have excellent hiking trails, I will hurt you. Can we do something that maybe 'normal' people do on vacation? You know…something that doesn't involve the sun, sand and surf?"
His three teammates laughed. "Brah, what else is there?" Chin asked.
"Give me a break," Danny replied, shaking his head.
"Well, there is the famous Cher-Ae Casino," McGarrett offered. "I don't know if you're interested—"
"Now you're talking," Danny replied. "Finally a sport worthy of Jersey!"
Approximately three months later
Steve had just returned from his Saturday swim, running a towel over his head and chest to catch some of the water before it dripped onto his kitchen floor. He heard the buzz of his cell phone and picked it up from the counter, seeing Ali's face smiling back at him.
"Good morning, Mr. President!" he spoke into the phone.
"Well, it is a good evening from here," the president of Guyana replied. "And stop with the Mr. President title. I have told you to call me Alejandro."
"All right, Alejandro. How's Ali?"
"Aliyana is just fine. In fact, she is dancing here at my side. She is most adamant to speak with you. Here you go."
"Hi, Ali. How are you and Mr. Flopsy doing?"
"We're good. Flopsy got another bath 'cause momma said he still stinks. But guess what?"
"What, Kiddo? You're awfully excited."
"Momma had me a baby brother today. And he's all red and wrinkly and he is asleep. But I got to hold him."
"Wow! That's great news. You'll be a good big sister."
"I know. Momma says I can bring her diapers and I can talk to him when he's fussy. But the bestest news is that momma and daddy let me name him, so I named him Steve."
There was shocked silence from the phone in Hawaii.
"Uncle Steve, where did you go?"
"I'm here, Ali." He swallowed before continuing. "You named your brother after me?"
"Uh huh. His big name is Steven Alejandro, like Daddy. I named him Steve 'cause I want him to be like you and save people when he gets growed up."
"Thank you, Ali. I don't know what to say."
"Here's my daddy. My Steve is crying so I have to go help him."
"Steve? I hope this decision is OK with you."
"Well, yeah. I mean, sure, but are you sure? I'm guessing that isn't the name you had chosen for your son."
"It was Ali's decision. But when Marisol and I gave her the choice to pick a name, we knew exactly what name she would choose. You have certainly become her hero. No, you are our hero. So, once again, I thank you. And I will send you pictures of your namesake by the end of the day."
"Alejandro, I really don't know what to say."
"There is nothing you need to say," the man assured him. "But I do have one question."
"My son is not quite a day old. Can you explain to me why his nickname is 'Doggie'?"