Danny called the house phone as Steve was turning onto Piikoi Street. Danny had no idea who answered but the man on the other end said he would tell those on patrol that they would be arriving shortly.
"Who was that?" Steve asked when Danny had hung up.
"I have absolutely no idea," Danny said. "Maybe I've met him. Maybe I haven't."
"Yeah," Steve said, pulling the truck onto the side of the road. There was no space left in their driveway or yard.
"Howzit," a heavily tattooed Hawaiian asked as they entered through the front gates. He was holding the leash of a large dog that looked as though it would enjoy having Steve and Danny for lunch. A whistle from the man settled him down. "Told us you were on the way."
"Thanks for coming," Steve said. "Kawika around?"
"Out back," the man said, nodding that way.
"Mahalo," Steve said, going with Danny up to the house. The door was still wide open, the living room filled with people on the couch, the chairs, the floor, every available space. The TV was playing a movie Danny recognized as belonging to Grace but didn't pay it enough attention to figure out which one it was.
Those gathered in the living room asked what they had learned, concerned when Steve and Danny said there was no sign of the Governor and nothing to explain her disappearance. She was not on the tape leaving the residence. A worried hush fell over the room at that news.
"What are we going to do?" "How are we going to find Wo Fat?" "Something has to be done."
Steve held up one hand, a silence descending. "We aren't going to hunt Wo Fat. We're going to wait for him." This led to some quiet but intense discussion among those gathered. Their voices drew people from the kitchen and the dining room, all the voices talking about what this could mean.
"We know there are inherent risks," Danny finally said. Everyone focused on him and Steve. Kawika and Naolkupa had joined them on the steps, in support and in consultation. "But we also know he's coming. He has to be stopped. This will ensure that he is."
"The haole makes sense," Kawika said. "The ultimate outcome will be his defeat. We will protect the Moiety. No harm will come to you."
"It's still a risk," a worried voice said from near the front door.
"We know it is," Steve confirmed. "If we thought we had a better chance of finding Wo Fat, we'd do that. But I've been chasing him for three years. This is the closest I've come. He wants our noumenons. We're going to put an end to him when he comes to try collect them."
His words caused more discussion, the consensus finally being that the idea was risky but sound. "The basement is reinforced," Steve said. "The mortals and children will go down there." This caused the mortals to argue, Steve not surprised. "All right. I disagree but mortals who wish to fight will be armed."
There was additional discussion about strategy, the Moiety finally deciding that it would work and they would all remain safe. There was tension in the air but most everyone felt confident about the fight to come.
"Where's Grace?" Steve asked Jenna when everyone had gone back to what passed for normal while waiting for their own version of war.
"In the basement. Asleep. She needed a nap but didn't want Mick to sleep by himself," Jenna explained.
"Ah," Danny said. "How long has she been down there? Making sure Mick is okay?"
"I took her right after you left," Jenna said.
"Okay. We'll go down and check on her," Steve said, Danny following him to the basement.
"Hey," Danny said when they reached the bottom of the steps. Grace was sitting up on her Princess sleeping bag, coloring. Charlie was on the edge of Steve's old GI Joe sleeping bag, playing with Legos, building what looked like a fort. Michelle and Garry were at an old table, quietly playing cards and keeping an eye on the two little ones.
"Danno. Daddy," Grace said quietly, springing out of her sleeping bag to race over to them. "I missed you."
"We missed you too, baby. Did you nap?" Steve asked. Danny was holding her in his arms like he had no intention of ever letting her go.
"Uh huh. We came down to make sure Mick wasn't lonely," Grace explained.
"That was an excellent plan, baby," Danny said, kissing her head. "Thank you," he said to Michelle and Garry when Grace started chatting with Steve.
They smiled and nodded, returning to their cards.
"I colored you a picture," she said, going over to her sleeping bag when Danny had put her down. She retrieved a picture of the princesses in all their spectacular colors.
"This is perfect, Grace," Steve told her, squatting down to admire it. "What do you say we put it on the side of the freezer so Mick will see it first thing when he wakes up?"
"Can we?" she asked with a smile.
"If you would like to, we sure can," Danny told her.
"I want to do that," Grace agreed with a lot of nodding.
"It's settled then," Steve said, getting some tape from one of the shelves set up next to the couch. He was once again glad that his adopted grandfather had had the foresight to reinforce the basement and make it as cozy as a basement possibly could be.
"That's quite a complex fort, Charlie," Danny said when he was crouched down next to him.
"It's to keep the Moiety safe," Charlie explained seriously.
"That will certainly do it," Steve confirmed. "Excellent job."
"Did you have lunch, Daddies?" Grace asked.
"Not yet. Did you eat?" Danny asked her.
"No. Can we go up now? Will Mick be okay?"
"I think he'll be fine by himself for a little while," Steve agreed. "We'll have lunch. Then if you want to come down to make sure, I know he'd appreciate it."
"'Kay. Charlie will come back down too, right?" Grace asked.
"Uh huh. Will you?" Charlie asked Michelle and Garry.
"We'll be here, Charlie," Garry promised.
"We have that old TV we can bring down here. If we don't turn it up too loud, it won't bother Mick," Danny offered.
"Could we, Danno?" Grace asked. "And watch movies?"
"Yes, baby. And watch movies," Danny agreed with a kiss. "Right now we all need to go up and eat." He herded the kids up, Steve right behind him.
"He has on his briefs, right?" Steve whispered to Danny as they entered the kitchen.
"Roger that," Danny said before greeting Kamekona with cheers and insults, as always. "And no spam."
"Brah. You're Hawaiian now. You gots to learn to eat like it," Kamekona said, shaking his head in continued dismay.
"Excuse me, Commander, Detective," Max said as he entered the kitchen. He had on his most confused expression, looking like he might bolt from the house at any second. He was carrying an enormous red tool-box with EMS printed on it. With his left hand, he was pulling a cooler on wheels, the top secured with bungee cords. "I apologize for the delay. I had to gather the necessary items."
"You aren't late," Steve assured him. "We just got back. And Mick is still asleep. He won't wake for another few hours."
"I see," Max said, glancing over his shoulder at all the people in the house. "These are all immortals?"
"No," Steve said. "There are 13 of us. Counting Grace. And Naolkupa. Do you know her?"
"I am not familiar with her," Max said with a considering tone. "Is she a medical professional?"
"She's a mundunugu. I've asked if she'll help you," Steve said.
"Yes. That is a logical assignment," Max agreed. "I was greeted by a rather large dog upon my arrival."
"Yeah. Sorry," Danny said. "We should have warned you to call ahead."
"The preparations seem…thorough. I managed to procure six pints of blood. I would suggest you place them in the refrigerator but I suspect that will not be possible."
"Not really," Danny said. "It should be okay in the cooler until the frig has room. By which time we may not need it any longer."
"Indeed," Max said. "If Naolkupa and I are to be responsible for providing first aid, may we be designated an area where we can prepare?"
"Naolkupa recommended we set you up in the garage," Danny said. "We can reinforce it. There's water. We can move a couple of cots out there."
"While it is not ideal, the proximity to water is crucial. Having the washing machine close at hand could also prove valuable," Max said.
"Good. As soon as we have lunch, we'll take care of preparing the garage," Steve agreed.
"We have plenty of plastic drop-clothes from when we painted the bedrooms," Danny said. "That will help."
"I'll call some cousins for sandbags," Kamekona said, taking out his phone.
"Sandbags," Danny said with a sigh.
"It's going to be fine, Danno," Steve assured him. "Come eat. Then we'll start preparations."
"Yeah. All right," Danny said, taking Grace's hand to go with her into the dining room.
While they were eating, they discussed the strategy for the coming siege. Kawika and Naolkupa joined them, listening, offering advice, agreeing to their roles. They introduced Naolkupa to Max, who immediately began to discuss what they needed to do to be well prepared for the upcoming situation.
"And around sundown, we need to start turning off our cell phones," Steve said.
"Turning them off?" Danny asked as he gave Grace more salad.
"We don't need him to know how many of us are still in the house. We'll need to move the cars. And he'll cut the electricity."
"How can you be sure?" Danny asked.
"Because it's what I'd do," Steve admitted. He pretended he didn't see Danny's frown. What was there to say?
"The hurricane lamps are mostly in the garage. Some are in the basement but we'll need to leave those," Danny said, concentrating on not thinking about what Steve's strategy would be if he were the one about to lead the attack rather than defend against it.
"The vampires won't need flashlights for patrol. That will help," Steve said.
"Will the dogs respond to the commands of the vampires?" Max asked. He wasn't eating but he was enjoying a gigantic glass of fresh squeezed lemonade as he talked with Naolkupa, a kindred spirit. Except her years of living had made her far less socially awkward than was her natural inclination.
"We'll introduce them," Kawika said. "When we give them the commands, they will work with anyone."
"Good. Oh – the Lieutenant Governor will be here shortly," Danny said to the surprise of everyone gathered. That led to them explaining the circumstances, the Moiety not pleased that Denning would doubt Steve.
"But like Danno said, if we were hearing it for the first time, we'd have our doubts," Steve pointed out.
"Hey Boss," Kono said as she and Chin entered the dining room. "No news."
"I didn't expect there would be," Steve said reluctantly. "Come and eat."
Chin and Kono joined those at the table, accepting a portion of the items Kamekona had prepared.
Once they had finished their lunch, Steve and Danny left Grace with Jenna and went into the garage with several others to begin securing the hurricane shutters. They dispatched some of the Kapu to help attach them to all the windows. Steve explained to Danny that it would protect those inside as well as disguise their movements and their number.
"I hate this," Danny whispered as they hunted for more screws.
"I know. I do too," Steve said, wiping his forehead with his sleeve. "But if we're lucky, life will be back to semi-normal tomorrow."
"I hope you're right," Danny said, reaching up for a small jar filled with screws. "Paol. More screws."
"Thanks, brah," he said, accepting them and leaving the garage. He passed Chin on his way in. "Chin Ho."
"Hey," Danny said, turning to greet Chin.
"The Lieutenant Governor is here," Chin informed them.
"All right," Steve said, taking down the last bin of screws. "Max, Naolkupa, can you handle directing the Kapu? The sandbags should be here in the next half an hour."
"Certainly," Max agreed, Naolkupa also nodding in agreement before they both returned to giving directions to those assigned to assist them.
Knowing Max and Naolkupa had it under control, Steve and Danny went into the living room to find the Lieutenant Governor in the middle of a circle of angry immortals. He looked out of place with his impeccable grey suit, his starched white shirt and subtle yellow paisley tie.
"Why would he lie?" "When did you begin to doubt his word?" "Do you know the same Steve McGarrett that the rest of us know?"
"We discussed this," Steve reminded them, making his way to the center of the group. "You would have had a hard time comprehending it."
Some of the immortals still shook their heads but backed away.
"Commander. Detective," Denning said to them. "This is quite a crowd."
"It is," Steve agreed, reaching down to pick up Grace. "Gracey, you remember Lieutenant Governor Denning, don't you?"
"Uh huh," she said, her wide brown eyes studying him. "Daddy doesn't lie."
"I know that, sweetie," Denning said. "But it's a little hard to take in the first time you hear it."
Grace shrugged, looping one arm around Steve's neck. "Are you showing him the old pictures?"
"I was planning to," Steve agreed. He nodded when Danny left Steve's side to go and find them. "We are putting up the hurricane shutters. Max and Naolkupa are preparing the garage to administer first aid. Kamekona is cooking."
Denning nodded at the list of preparations, seemingly in agreement with their plans. If he didn't know the identity of all those Steve had named, he did not comment. He accepted the photos from Danny when he returned, looking down at them before looking back at Steve. "While it doesn't seem possible, this is clearly you."
"It is," Steve confirmed. "I've died 10 times. I was born in 1477. Grace was born in 1332, she thinks. Records weren't really important back then."
"I was born in 1733," Stan said, the Lieutenant Governor turning to look at him. "Charlie was born in 1674."
The other Amaranthines told Denning when they were born, Grace the oldest among them, although she was also the youngest currently living in Hawaii. Denning shook his head but not in doubt as much in amazement.
"And your friend, the vampire?" Denning asked.
"He's sleepin'," Grace told him. "In the freezer."
"Will it disturb him if I go down to see?" Denning asked.
"No," Danny said, waving toward the basement door. "Kawika is down there hooking up the TV."
"I'll show you," Grace said, taking Denning's hand and going with him to the basement. Denning said hello to Kawika who was connecting the TV with the help of one of his friends. They nodded at the greetings but turned right back to their project. "Here he is," Grace said when they were standing next to the freezer.
"Is this your picture?" he asked, squatting next to her.
"Uh huh. It's the princesses."
"It sure is," Denning said. "You did an excellent job."
"Thank you," she said with a shy smile. "Daddies said I should leave it here so Mick would see it when he first woke up."
"That's an excellent idea," Denning agreed. "Have you known him for a long time?"
"This life and the one before. Maybe the one before that?" Grace said. "Mick hasn't been a vampire very long."
"I see," Denning said.
"I've been keeping him company down here. So he won't be lonely," Grace explained.
"I think that is an excellent idea," Denning agreed. "Have you been by yourself?"
"No. Charlie comes down. And Michelle and Garry."
"Sounds like fun," Denning said. "I should go back up. Are you staying here?"
"I'll come with," Grace said, taking his hand to lead him upstairs. "Daddies," she announced when they were back up.
"Hey baby," Danny said. "Mick still asleep?"
"Uh huh. Kawika's putting in the TV."
"Good," Danny said with a nod, picking her up.
"What can I do to help?" Denning asked, surprising Danny.
"You'll need to ask Steve," Danny said. "He's the one giving the orders."
"I'll check in with him," Denning agreed. It wasn't hard to find Steve in the middle of the front yard, directing traffic.
"Sir," Steve said in acknowledgment.
"What can I do to help?" Denning asked, surprising Steve just as his question had surprised Danny.
"Are you sure? I understood you were leaving right away," Steve said.
"There is still some time before sunset. I will remain until the vampires arrive," the Lieutenant Governor said. "Anything I can do to help retrieve the Governor is my priority."
"Of course," Steve said. "I have some tee shirts upstairs."
"Right," Denning said, looking down at his suit. "I am a little overdressed for stacking sandbags."
"Grace will show where to find them, if you want," Steve said.
"Very good," Denning agreed, retuning into the house. It was only a moment later that Danny came out and over to Steve.
"Well," Danny said. "Passed Denning on his way up to find a shirt."
"I'm surprised," Steve agreed. "But it's another set of hands."
"True. Although I think he wants to stay to see the vampires," Danny said.
"Maybe. Doesn't really matter," Steve pointed out. "Did someone get the extra supplies out of the attic?"
"Chin and Kono are on it. Max and Naolkupa are covering every inch of the garage with plastic. The sandbags will be here in 15 minutes. Kamekona is cooking enough food for all of Oahu."
"How much bottled water do we have?" Steve asked as another car left the front yard.
"At least 100 bottles. That's plenty, surely."
"Yeah," Steve agreed. "You got all the ammo out of the gun safe?"
"I did. There's some in every room. Stan is making sure that the guns they brought match the ammo we have," Danny said, trying not to sound as overwhelmed as the whole idea made him.
"Good," Steve said. "I got the grenades out of the Camaro. You need to get the hemlock out of the truck. Put it in the safe so the immortals can't touch it by accident."
"Got it," Danny agreed, turning back for the house. He stopped when Steve grasped his wrist and reeled him back in for a kiss. "What's that for?"
"Nothing special," Steve said. The others in the front yard pretended they didn't see the private moment between the two of them, continuing to organize and remove the cars.
"I love you too," Danny said.
Steve nodded, watching as Danny went to the truck before disappearing into the house with the bota.
The last streaks of yellow were fading out of the sky when the front door opened to admit five unnaturally pale newcomers.
"Steve. Danny. Vampires are here," someone called.
Steve and Danny left the garage to greet the five arrivals, thanking them for coming. Elise introduced herself before introducing the other four vampires. They were almost indistinguishable from those already gathered in the house except for their nearly translucent white skin and very dark hair.
"Where is Mick?" one of the vampires named Jimmy asked in curiosity.
"I'm right here," Mick said as he emerged from the vicinity of the garage, swiping the back of his hand across his very red mouth. "I was having dinner."
The vampires laughed at that for reasons the others could not fathom before greeting Mick with hugs and questions about mutual acquaintances, in particular Josef.
"This is Lieutenant Governor Denning," Steve said when Denning come into the living room from the basement. The Lieutenant Governor stopped, staring at Mick before turning to stare at Steve.
"Surprising, isn't it?" Kono said with a laugh.
"I'm not sure that's the word I would use," Denning said, still staring between them. "It's unbelievable."
"It is," Danny confirmed. "What were the chances, right?"
"Exactly," Denning said, glancing at the other vampires. "Hello."
"Lieutenant Governor," the vampire named Fran said. She was smiling, showing off slightly sharper canine teeth than the other vampires were displaying. Danny thought he might ask Steve about the difference later, not that it mattered.
"Now that reinforcements have arrived, I should probably take my leave," the Lieutenant Governor said to Steve.
"Thank you for your…" Anything else Steve would have said was cut off by the sounds of gunfire. Everyone in the living room automatically crouched down, Danny crawling over to Steve.
"Is Grace in the basement?" Danny asked urgently, his expression conveying his fears for her.
"She is," Denning said. "With Charlie, Michelle, and Garry."
"All right," Steve said loudly enough for everyone to hear over the continued gunshots. "You know your jobs."
They quickly scattered, some going upstairs, some approaching the front of the house, several going toward the back.
"We're outside," Mick said, distributing the guns to the vampires.
"Be careful," Danny said, a hand on Mick's arm.
"We'll be fine. Immortal, remember," Mick said with a smile that was so eerily familiar.
"The gunshots are coming from the house," Steve told Danny. "Upstairs."
"I'm on it," Danny agreed, keeping low and going up the steps. He found Kawika in Grace's room, peering out through one of the shotgun gaps in the shutter. "What's up?"
"They are approaching from the northwest," Kawika said. "A dozen of them."
"All right," Danny said. "You copy that?" he asked Steve via comm link.
"Got it," Steve confirmed, contacting Mick to make sure he'd also heard over comm link. Steve told Mick to have the vampires to track down Wo Fat's advance team, Mick acknowledging. Mick's orders to his friends echoed in the six earsets they had been able to procure.
"Let me know if there is anything you need from us," Danny told Kawika before going back downstairs to find Steve. He was still watching out through the shotgun gaps in the front windows, his intense focus shifting to Danny when he touched his shoulder.
Steve turned to look over at the Lieutenant Governor with a concerned expression and the words on the tip of his tongue to tell him to go downstairs with the children.
"Don't bother, Steve," Denning said. "I'm going to the garage to help Max and Naolkupa. It's been a while but I had some advanced first aid training. Enough to help bandage and dress the less serious injuries."
"The basement is really a better option," Steve tried.
"It is. But not for me," Denning said, accepting a gun from Danny and putting in the back of his trousers. With that, he carefully made his way to the garage.
"If he gets killed, I'm in so much trouble," Steve whispered to Danny.
"He'll be fine. He knows enough to keep his head down," Danny assured him. "Hey," he said to Kono, Chin, and Jenna when they had come to join them at the front of the house. Chin had one of the earsets but there weren't enough to equip Kono and Jenna.
"Two of the vampires saw movement on the beach," Chin reported. "We're going up to your bedroom to see if we can spot them."
"Copy that," Steve said. Kono and Chin both had their sniper rifles, Jenna wearing extra ammo across her chest like a badge of honor. "Be careful."
"You know it," Kono said, leaving with the other two.
"I'm going to check on the kids," Danny said to Steve's nods. That left Steve to concentrate on trying to catch a glimpse of movement outside the window.
The four kids in the basement were watching the steps breathlessly as Danny made his way down. He easily caught Grace when she flung herself into his arms, squeezing him tight.
"We heard…we heard guns," Grace said in a rush.
"I know, baby. That's why you need to stay down here. I'll come check on you as often as I can."
"Will you be okay, Daddy?" Grace asked, her brown eyes filled with tears.
"Of course I will. Daddy and I are used to catching the bad guys," Danny assured her before turning to Garry. "Go ahead and light the lanterns. That way if the electricity is cut, you'll already be prepared."
Garry nodded, lighting them with Charlie's help.
"Do you need anything?" Danny asked Michelle who shook her head.
"We're fine. We have snacks. We brought down puppets in case the TV stops working," she assured him.
"Good thinking. All right. Steve still has his phone on if you need us," Danny said, reluctantly putting Grace down and squatting next to her. "I'll be back down as soon as I can."
"Okay," Grace said, holding him tight. "Take care of Daddy."
"I will," Danny agreed, going back up the steps before his heart broke into even smaller pieces at the lost expression on her face.
The gunshots had multiplied while Danny was in the basement, the barrage of sound constant, coming from inside and out. There were a few visible holes in the front wall, those defending it crouched as low as they could be. Steve rose up periodically to return fire, Stan next to him firing into the dark.
"What's the situation?" Danny asked Steve when he was crouched low next to him.
"A dozen hostiles in front. Six on the beach. Elise thinks she spotted Wo Fat and is checking," Steve reported.
"Injuries?" Danny asked, reflectively sinking lower at the new round of bullets echoing off the shutters.
"Not sure," Steve said, rising up to return fire. "You'll check?"
"Right," Danny confirmed, keeping low as he made his way to the garage. He passed seven mortals and Amaranthines shooting out the shotgun gaps, their focus firm and unwavering.
"Hello," Danny said when he entered the garage. There was a vampire at the garage door, looking out the gap in the shutter, two Kapu at the door that accessed the beach. None of the cots were occupied although the Lieutenant Governor was at the sink with Naolkupa helping a young woman Danny couldn't remember meeting. Naolkupa was washing her arm and explaining the process to Denning. Some blood was staining the sink but it didn't appear serious so Danny left them to it.
"Detective," Max said, pushing his glasses up his nose. He was sitting on a low stool with a slightly shell-shocked expression.
"You okay there, buddy?" Danny asked, sitting next to him.
"I am fine," Max said, sounding doubtful about the veracity of his own statement.
"I know you aren't used to being in the thick of the action," Danny said, ducking when a new round of shoots sounded. Max also grimaced, lowering his body. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Thank you, no. Naolkupa and I have it under control with Sam's assistance," Max finally said.
Danny nodded and left, returning to find Steve. "So Max won't call us by our names but now he's getting help from Sam," Danny said, shaking his head in wonder at it all.
"Huh," Steve said, firing several rounds out the window before focusing on Danny. "They need anything?"
"No," Danny said, taking up one of the sniper rifles and peering into the darkness surrounding the house. He'd been listening halfway to the conversations in his ear, registering that Mick and his friends were tracking Wo Fat with the help of the Kapu's dog.
"We think he's still in the vicinity," Mick was saying as Danny strained to see movement out the window. As he was trying to find something worth shooting at, the lights in the house went out but failed to plunge them into darkness. The strategically placed hurricane lamps provided enough light that those inside the house could navigate and continue to take care of their responsibilities with no interruption.
"Any sign of Governor Jameson?" Steve asked.
"Not that we've seen. We think we've spotted their vehicles. Are going to investigate," Mick informed them.
"Copy that,"Steve said, shooting out the window. Return fire erupted, bullets pinging off the shutters. There was a loud grunt from their left, Danny glancing over in time to see one of the Amaranthines cover a bullet wound with his hand. "Get to the garage," Steve ordered.
The Amaranthine nodded, making his way with the help of his mortal wife.
"What's his name?" Danny asked quietly, staring out the window.
"I've told you six times," Steve said.
"So tell me one more time," Danny said, shooting at the movement he could see. "What does it cost you?"
"His name in this life is He'kaip. His wife's name is Pe'mle," Steve said. "How can you not remember?"
"Shut up," Danny said.
"You two done?"Chin asked in a familiar, fondly scolding voice.
"They always like this?"Mick's voice asked.
"Always,"a chorus of voices responded.
"Enough with the chatter," Steve said, trying for stern. The returning soft laughter confirmed he had not entirely succeeded.
Danny completely lost track of time, what with the continual the rounds of gunfire sounding inside and outside the house. Steve lobbed a few grenades out onto the beach but Danny thought that was as much for show as in an effort to take out Wo Fat's forces. Although the explosions did put a momentary halt to the gunfire rattling the back of the house.
He eventually made his way downstairs to find Michelle and Garry talking quietly, Garry's hand on Charlie's back, Michelle on Grace's as the younger children slept fitfully. The older two assured him they would be in contact if any of them needed him.
In a quick stop by the garage, he found two mortals with minor gunshot wounds, one Amaranthine that had burned her hand on a lantern, and one Vampire who had come in to have his arm looked at. There was a large, angry gash on his forearm, which Danny did not stay to watch Naolkupa to sew up. The vampire was drinking from a glass, a substance Danny was certain was blood.
He reported all of his findings to Steve who had returned to the front of the house, listening to Mick.
"We think we found the Governor," Mick said quietly."At least what's left of her."
"C.O.D?"Steve asked as neutrally as he could.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say one of us had done it. She seems to be drained of all blood,"Mick said.
"He probably did it to make it look like your responsibility," Steve said. "Where did you discover her?"
"She apparently washed up on your beach. But I'm skeptical," Mick said.
"Could explain why someone planted the pictures of me in her office. Add to the suspension that I was involved in killing her. With the help of the Vampires," Steve said.
"Yeah. We'd know if she was there before the attack started," Danny said. "I'll go tell Denning."
"Copy that," Steve said with a sharp nod.
Danny made his way back through the house, keeping as low as possible. As he reached the door to the garage, a sharp, piercing pain in his side made him stumble, Naolkupa catching him.
"Danny," she said quietly, her eyes wide and frightened. He looked down at where her hand was covering his, both of them bathed in blood.
"Oh," he breathed. "Didn't know it was bad."
"Come here, come here," she urged, helping him over to one of the cots. Max was there immediately, applying pressure to the gunshot wound, making Danny squirm from the pain.
"You need to lay still, Detective. Sam," he called.
Danny allowed his head to turn enough to see the Lieutenant Governor immediately come over. Everything was turning muddy as he watched and he wondered if he had sustained a head injury. Was there blood dripping in his eyes? Was that why it was getting so hard to see?
"Stay with us, Danny," Denning's voice said. He had a firm hold of Danny's hand, Danny thinking that the Lieutenant Governor's hands were huge, bigger than Steve's. But then he was taller so that made sense. But why was Max yelling? Max never yelled. Was he mad at Danny for something? Well. It was all too much to figure out. And he was so tired. So, so tired. He'd just fall asleep for a minute and then he'd get up and….
"No," Steve said as he entered the garage, not keeping as low as he should. Naolkupa had brought him to the garage, her expression grim.
"I'm sorry, Commander. There is nothing we can do," Max said sadly, stepping back away from the cot where Danny was laying too still and too pale.
"No," Steve repeated, kneeling next to Danny. "Open your eyes, babe. You can't leave me." Steve was pleading with him but there was not response. Danny's breathing was almost non-existent. His eyes did not move, his hands laying unnaturally still by his sides. "Danno. I can't do this without you," Steve whispered, leaning down to kiss Danny's forehead. "Please, babe. For me. For Gracey. Stay with us."
"Commander," Max said gently, a hand on Steve's shoulder.
Steve looked up at him in desperation. "There's got to be something you can do."
"There's not. I'm sorry," Max said, shaking his head sadly.
"No, no, no," Steve said, holding tight to Danny. He could feel the life drain away from him, Danny's last remaining warmth soaking into Steve's skin. "Danno," Steve said, kissing him for what he knew in his heart was the last time. "I'm so sorry. This is my fault. I should have protected you."
There was nothing to be done. Those in the garage could only turn away from the grief blanketing Steve as he whispered to Danny.
Steve felt completely numb as he finally released Danny, sitting back on his haunches, ignoring the tears staining his face. "I'm so sorry," he mumbled down to his bloody hands clasped tightly in his lap.
"What have you done now?" Danny asked, turning to stare at Steve with his bright blue eyes.
"Danny? Danny, are you all right?" Steve asked, excitement and fear and grief all fighting for supremacy.
"My side hurts like hell. Why? What's happened? Who died? Is Grace okay?" Danny asked, starting to sit up before realizing that was out of the question.
"Grace is fine. You died….oh," Steve said in realization. "I was crying." He reinforced his words by wiping tears from his chin.
"You cried," Danny said, licking his lips. "You have gone and made me immortal, haven't you?"
"You died," Steve repeated, eyes wide.
"So you're answer was naturally to turn me into an Amaranthine," Danny said in exhausted exasperation.
"I could have turned you into a Vampire," Mick said, looking down at him, expression amused.
"Are you bringing us good news?" Danny asked.
"Indeed. We found Wo Fat. He's badly wounded on your front lawn. I'll be glad to give him the hemlock," Mick said.
Steve looked grimly satisfied with the news. "That explains the decrease in gunfire."
"Go," Danny said, waving his hand weakly. "Go get rid of the garbage. I'm apparently not evergoing to die now, thanks to you."
"Some people would consider it a gift," Steve said.
Danny shook his head, looking up at Max. "Can you fix me up so Grace can come?"
"I can," Max agreed. "Naolkupa and I will see to him, Commander. You needn't worry."
"Right," Steve said, kissing Danny in promise before going out with Mick.
"Welcome to the Moiety," Naolkupa said as she sat on the edge of the cot away from the blood.
"What happens now?" Danny asked Naolkupa as Max gave him a shot of morphine.
"You live a very long and happy life with Steve and Grace. Eventually you are relocated," Naolkupa said, helping Max tend Danny's wound.
"Yeah," Danny sighed. "He'll come back 14 and I'll be 35. Not too creepy."
Naolkupa laughed, shaking her head. "You'll find a way, my friend. Love always finds a way."