This story was inspired by "Why the Navy SEALs Are Men's Sexual Heroes" by TB's LMC. The blurb for that story said: This is why Steve McGarrett drives Danny Williams insane. Well, this is one way Danny drives Steve crazy.
"Jason Pahukula?" The man's head snapped up when Detective Danny Williams said his name. "Five-0. We want to talk to you about Mantu," Danny continued, showing his badge.
Pahukula saw Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett's laser gaze home in on him. The bartender — not unreasonably — panicked.
He fled toward the open end of the bar. Steve jumped to cut him off. Pahukula dodged into the back room. Steve charged after him, calling at him to halt. The back room was full of wine racks and beer kegs.
Pahukula dodged left. Steve leaped over a keg. The two dodged in and out of the wine racks, rattling bottles as they jostled the racks, sending a few unlucky vintages crashing to the floor. The bartender ran behind a wine rack with Steve paralleling him on the other side. Bottles tumbled and smashed when Steve grabbed for the slippery suspect, who reversed course and ran back toward the door. The suspect zigged right, missing Steve's outstretched fingers by a quarter of an inch and ran out of the storage room, past the bar.
Steve veered behind the bar and vaulted over the polished wood, scattering beer mugs on the floor but cutting the fugitive off from the exit.
The panicked Pahukula ran for a window standing open to the balmy breezes. His hands reached for the sill and the Venetian blinds dropped, rattling to a halt right in front of his face.
Moving too quickly to stop in time, Pahukula tangled his hands in the cords and smashed his face against the pliable aluminum slats.
"Stop. Police," Danny said in his ear, as Steve galloped up.
Danny untangled the subdued suspect from the blinds and cuffed him. Pahukula was panting like a dog on the beach. Steve wasn't even breathing hard, but the expression on his face was daunting.
Danny thought he looked like a mountain lion who'd seen his dinner snatched away by a hawk. The Pissed Off Puma Face worked very well in interrogations.
"Look!" Danny hauled on Pahukula's collar, forcing the man to look at Steve. The commander transferred his glowering expression to the bartender, who cringed back against Danny's shoulder.
"By running, you just made my partner angry," Danny said, but he knew, and Steve knew he knew, that it wasn't the running that drove Steve crazy.
While Steve drove to the bar, Danny had time to daydream about New Jersey. He considered the high arrest record he'd had with his partner Samantha Podolski. The two of them had blown away bigger, tougher looking detectives, simply because they weren't big. Suspects would see the short man and the well-tailored woman approaching and think, "I'm not afraid of them." But they should have been. They'd find themselves in handcuffs before they knew what hit them. And then Sam would check her makeup — which made Danny laugh because she was only primping for effect — and Danny would straighten his tie, and they'd march the suspect back to headquarters.
With Steve, Danny had been forced to develop a different approach. Super SEAL was big and his focus made him scary looking, particularly when he was out to make an arrest. Suspects would take one look at him and run out of a natural, animal instinct to avoid being eaten by the McGarrett monster.
Steve had become the beater driving the prey into Danny's net.
And it pissed Steve off.
As Steve parked Danny's Camaro, the Jerseyan studied the bar, automatically noting there were no exits at the rear.
When they went in, both men scanned the room, Danny checking for exits and accomplices and Steve possibly looking for gun emplacements and sniper posts. Danny was never sure, though he was sure Steve could spot a setup a mile away.
But this was no setup. The detective recognized Pahukula was a runner as soon as he saw the bartender's nervous movements and the sweat stain on the back of his shirt, despite the deliciously cool breeze coming in the window. Danny knew that when the already agitated suspect ran, McGarrett would pursue like a greyhound after a mechanical rabbit.
So before he ID'd himself, Danny visualized the scene to come and planned his intercept strategy. If Danny was wrong, he wouldn't need the plan. If Pahukula was slow, Steve would catch him. Either way, no harm done.
But the experienced detective with the talent for reading people wasn't often wrong.
As soon as Danny spoke Pahukula's name, the man ran and Steve leaped after him.
Danny threw his hands up. "Again with the running!" he said, unconsciously mimicking Mr. Schwartz, his childhood neighbor.
Danny had faith that his partner would prevent the bartender from getting out the front door, so the detective went to the obvious secondary exit — the open window. He took the cord in hand and tested it. Seeing the blinds slipped easily down, Danny nodded and stood off to one side, cord taut.
Banging, rattling and a crash of wine bottles heralded Pahukula's emergence from the back room with Steve on his six. Cut off from the door, Pahukula aimed for the window, not even seeing Danny standing to one side.
As the bartender reached for freedom, Danny let the blinds fall.
As they walked Pahukula out to a just-arriving patrol car, Danny consoled the suspect, "Consider yourself lucky. If we'd been Mantu's men, it would have been curtains for you. With me, it's just window blinds."
After the officers drove off, taking Pahukula to interrogation, Steve confronted his partner.
"How do you do that?" the commander demanded in frustration.
Danny patted his friend's chest in consolation. "Work smarter, not harder, babe," he said.