Disclaimer: The guys aren't mine although I wish they were. I am just playing with them for a while before I return them to their rightful owners slightly damaged and used.
A/N: Thank you heaps to my wonderful beta Jenthetrulysly.
Holding an armful of paper plates, Styrofoam cups and plastic cutlery from their romantic early breakfast by the ocean, Kiki Kalani struggled to lift the heavy lid of the dumpster at the end of the deserted parking lot. 'Yes.' She decided quietly to herself, 'This time their marriage would work.' Humming softly, she glanced back across the empty beach and smiled. He had promised her that he was a reformed man and that all of the affairs were now a thing of the past. She was now the only one he ever wanted, and the rest had been terrible mistakes. They all had meant nothing to him.
Holding the bin open with one hand, she began to drop the rubbish into it. "This time will be for..." She whispered before her whisper died away and a scream of disbelieving horror tore from her throat as she stared at a lax hand and the bruised and bloody face of a young man barely visible beneath the rubbish in the bin. "Oh God, Robert!" She screamed as the lid dropped with a loud clang that reverberated around the parking lot. As she backed away, she slapped her hand to her mouth in a futile attempt to stop her breakfast from coming back up.
Staring at the cell phone that he still held in his hand, Steve McGarrett frowned; he had just received a very angry phone call from Rachel demanding to know where his partner was. Danny was supposed to have picked up Grace last night; he had promised to take his daughter to see the latest Disney movie, but had not shown up. It had ruined a planned romantic evening out for Rachel and Grace's step-dad Stan. A sickening lump of fear settled in Steve's stomach. Something was wrong; Danny would never forget a promise he had made to Gracie.
He jumped as the phone in his hand rang again. Glancing down at it, he sighed as he read the caller's I.D- HPD before he pressed it against his ear and snapped, "McGarrett!"
His face lost its color as he listened to the caller. Before the phone call had ended he was already on his feet and reaching for his coat as he snapped. "When?... Which hospital?... No, I will meet the ambulance at the hospital... I want the whole beach gone over with a fine tooth comb. Tell the lab boys I want every little piece of evidence they can find."
"What's happening, Steve?" Chin asked as he looked up from the file he was reading as McGarrett slid the phone back into his pocket.
"Danny was found dumped unconscious in a bin." Steve announced tersely as he headed towards the door.
"Oh, no!" Kono gasped as she pushed away the keyboard that she had been typing her report on and jumped to her feet, following Steve's and Chin's egress from the office.
"Chin, I want you to get up to that little cove next to the Pipe, take over the investigation. HPD will fill you in when you get there. Kono, I need you to find out what Danny's movements were last night. He was supposed to have picked Grace up after he left here but he never made it. Check the flea infested hole he calls his apartment, see if he even made it home." Steve ordered as they ran down the internal Koa staircase that led down to the lobby.
"On it, Steve!"
"I'm on my way."
The two acknowledgments of his orders were almost lost to McGarrett as he ran through the ornate Palace doors down the cement stairs towards his car.
Killing the siren as he swerved into the hospital grounds, Steve McGarrett slammed on the brakes hard, bringing his car rocking to a stop inches from the front of the parked HPD patrol car that had escorted the ambulance from the North Shore. Opening the car door, he climbed out and noticed that the back doors of the ambulance were already open. Without a moment's hesistation, he ran into the Emergency Rooms. He paused near the admission desk, his heart beating wildly as he glanced around. Steve ignored the startled nurse sitting behind the desk as she asked if she could be of any assistance. Spotting a small crowd of medical staff and HPD officers surrounding a gurney as it disappeared into one of the examination rooms, he waved her away and hurried across to join them.
Pushing open the door, he was shocked at the sight he found in front of him. Danny was filthy; his face and hair were covered with grime and blood as he was carefully lifted from the gurney and lowered onto the examination bed. Stepping a little closer, Steve watched a nurse took Danny's pulse and blood pressure as the doctor began his examination by cautiously checking both of Danny's ears for blood or fluid.
"Pulse - 102 and thready, resps are 30 and shallow and BP is 65/40." The nurse murmured as she removed the BP cuff from around the patient's arm.
The doctor nodded as he gently lifted Danny's eyelids and shone a light briefly into both eyes, shaking his head at what he saw. "Let's get him started on a saline drip, then I want x-rays - full neck and skull series. Let's also get a CAT scan." He murmured as he lowered the sheet that covered Danny to reveal prominent dark bruises that stood out on his skin despite the thick layer of dirt that coated him. The physician ran his hands gently across his patient's chest before he added, "He's going to need chest x-rays as well. I can feel several broken ribs."
"Doc?" Steve asked softly, taking a step towards the bed.
"What the hell is he doing in here?" The doctor growled as he looked over his shoulder to recognize the man standing near the door. McGarrett was in charge of the Governor's newly formed elite police Unit of Hawaii Five-0 and the man lying on the examination table was one of his detectives. Returning his full attention back to the injured man on the bed, he ordered the young student nurse who was attempting to wash away some of the grime, "Nurse, I want you to escort Mr. McGarrett to the waiting room please."
"But Doc..." Steve began to object.
"Now!" Doc dismissed as he turned back to the lead detective, "And I want you to go with her without any arguments McGarrett. Williams needs my full attention and I can't give that to him if I have you standing behind me asking questions." Softening his voice, the doctor added gently, "I promise that as soon as I finish my examination, I will come and update you but please go."
Nodding silently, McGarrett allowed the young nurse to grab his arm and guide him out of the room. He managed to catch one last glimpse of Danny lying motionless on the bed as the doctor leaned over the injured man, snapping soft sharp orders to the attending nursing staff as the Examination room door drifted closed. Steve had been unable to hear the doctor's tense orders, but the doctor's tone left McGarrett with an uneasy feeling that Danny's condition was far more precarious then he had let on initially. He hesitated outside the closed door, torn between obeying the doctor's orders to go to the waiting room and his own overwhelming urge to return to the room and be by Danny's side in case...
He couldn't allow himself to even think the words as he reluctantly turned and headed towards the small waiting room.
Ignoring the hostile glares from the two officers assigned to keep the curious throng of tourists and surfers away from the crime scene, Chin Ho Kelly quickly ducked under the police tape and walked across to where a HPD sergeant standing beside the large metal dumpster. The sergeant was watching the Forensic Scientist dust the lid for fingerprints but as Chin approached him he turned and glared at the Asian detective in disgust.
"Holloman." Chin nodded with a forced tone of civility.
"Kelly." The older man growled as he looked the detective up and down, his contempt for the younger man evident on his face as he sneered, "I heard that McGarrett assigned you to the Governor's new Special Task force. I guess he didn't do his homework or doesn't he care that he has a dirty cop on the team?"
Curling his hands into tight fists, Chin forced himself to ignore the snarky remark as he demanded, "What have we got?"
"Other than a good cop who was almost beaten to death and dumped like a piece of unwanted garbage in a bin…" The HPD sergeant sighed as he looked around the scene before he returned his attention to the man he despised more than any other man in the world; a man who should not be wearing a police badge or standing beside him. He answered sullenly, nodding his head towards a couple speaking with a young patrolman. "All we have so far is a couple whose romantic sunrise breakfast was interrupted by finding Danny Williams' unconscious body in the dumpster and several hundred fingerprints, one of which could have come from our perp or from any one of hundreds of tourists and surfers who come to this beach each day. We also have a set of tire tracks that stop just a few feet away from the dumpster, also two sets of shoe prints that lead from where the car stopped." The Sergeant nodded towards the fresh tire impressions and foot prints that were marked by a set of orange cones. "It could be from the perps and the car they used to dump Williams here or it could be from someone who was just getting rid of some rubbish but was too lazy to walk all the way to the dumpster."
Leaning down to take several photos of the tire tracks and the shoe prints with his cell phone camera, Chin asked. "So no evidence that this was where Williams was attacked?"
"No... No evidence of a struggle, no blood splatters or blood trails that would be indicative of such a violent attack. We did find some blood smears on the rim of the dumpster, probably caused when they dropped Williams' body into the bin. " Holloman answered as he pointed out three large smears of dried blood. "After they dumped him in the bin, they covered him with garbage."
Rising back to his feet, Chin glanced towards the Forensic Scientist as he ordered, "I want the garbage collected and fingerprinted." Seeing the small grimace of distaste at the order, Chin sighed, "Maybe we will get lucky..." Turning back to the gray haired HPD sergeant, the Asian detective waved his hand towards the curious crowd of on-lookers. "I want everyone questioned, especially the surfers. Maybe one of them saw something suspicious yesterday or early this morning."
"What about the Kalani's?" Holloman tilted his head impatiently in the direction of the couple who were still talking with the patrolman.
Glancing at middle-aged couple, Chin ordered. "Take them back to HPD for their statements. I'm sure McGarrett is going to want to talk to them after he gets back from the hospital."
The hostility momentarily vanished from the HPD sergeant's face and was replaced with concern as he asked. "Any word on Danny's condition? I worked with him on a few cases just after he got here from the mainland. Only came here because of his kid. Good cop…nice guy."
Chin shook his head. "The last update I got from McGarrett was the doctors were examining him."
"I'm surprised he even made it to the hospital. When I first saw him I thought he was dead. But that's what he gets when he trusts you to cover his back. I tried to warn him." Holloman muttered as he turned and walked away.
Battling the desire to pull his gun and shoot the HPD sergeant as the older man walked away, Chin turned back towards the Forensic Specialist. "McGarrett's going to want your report ASAP." He growled before he slapped the smaller man's shoulder in a silent token of apology as he forced a small smile, "The sooner the better, Brah."
"Will do." The Hawaiian specialist agreed. With a dismissive shake of his hand he turned back towards the steel dumpster to focus on the task in front of him.
Checking his watch, McGarrett ran his hand over his chin nervously. It had been almost an hour since he had been escorted unceremoniously from the Examination Room. So far there had been no word on Danny's condition. Turning towards the window, McGarrett stared out over the hospital's well manicured lawns and gardens. "What happened last night Danny? Who did this to you and why?" He whispered to the cool glass before he leaned his head against it.
"Boss?" Kono's soft voice startled the Commander and he turned in surprise as the rookie cop entered the small waiting room as she asked worriedly, "Any word on Danny?"
"The doc's still examining him. It doesn't look good." Steve sighed.
"Does Grace and his ex know yet?" Kono asked hesitantly.
"Not yet, I thought I would wait until we know more about Danny's condition before I contacted them." Steve answered as he briefly turned back towards the window. He glanced back to the female officer and demanded, "What have we got?"
"Danny's room looked like someone had ransacked it Boss; the sheets and blankets were pulled from the bed, his cloths had all been pulled from the closet and were thrown across the bed and floor, his bedside drawer was open and it looked like someone had rummaged around in it as if someone was searching for something," Kono reported softly, "but there were no obvious signs of forced entry. I have the lab guys and HPD checking it out."
"I meant to warn you … Danny's room always looks like that. It should have been declared a natural disaster zone months ago!" McGarrett allowed a small smile to tug at his lips before it quickly disappeared, "Any sign of Danny's Camaro?"
"No, I have an APB out on it." Kono answered as she walked across to where McGarrett was standing near the window, "I've also pulled the records on all the cases Danny had been involved with while working with HPD. He was involved in several cases ranging from extortion to robbery to murder. He also did a stint undercover on a drug investigation."
"Any problems with the investigations or the arrests?" Steve asked.
"Most of the cases went by the book Steve; the crims were caught, convicted and are serving their time in Oahu prison."
"Most went by the book, what about the ones that didn't?" Steve queried.
Kono seriously considered the question for a few moments before nodding slowly. "Yeah, there was one arrest where the perp threatened Danny. Two death threats that were serious enough that Detective Kalili insisted Danny include them in his reports." Passing the file to McGarrett to peruse, Kono continued. "The case involved a drug trafficker named Ronald Hill about four months ago. He was arrested and convicted of trying to import cocaine to the islands. Danny was working undercover and managed to win Hill's trust as a drug buyer before breaking the case wide open when he tipped off HPD about the shipment coming in. Hill threatened Danny both at HPD during his initial interview and later during his trail."
"What were the threats?" Steve asked anxiously as he studied the photo of the drug runner.
"He threatened that one day soon Danny would be fish food for the sharks off the North Shore." Kono answered, unsurprised when her boss looked up sharply.
"The North Shore?" Steve snapped. "Where is he now?"
"In solitary." Kono pulled out her notebook and opened it, quickly checking her notes before she looked back up at her boss, "He got into a fight during the very first day of his sentence and was put in solitary. The warden assured me that he has had no visitors nor has he contacted anyone."
"Check out his family, friends and acquaintances. Just because he landed in solitary doesn't mean that he hadn't already organized a hit beforehand. Solitary confinement can sometimes make a very good alibi." Kono nodded as McGarrett demanded, "What about any threats that Danny might have received in New Jersey?"
"I have already contacted the New Jersey police department. They are going to check Danny's old case files and let us know ASAP."
"What about Danny's ex and Gracie's new step dad Stan?" The dark haired Commander asked.
"You don't think…?" Kono gasped, stunned.
McGarrett shook his head, "No I don't, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be checked out and eliminated as suspects. After all, Rachel is fighting Danny tooth and nail over visitation rights to Grace. We can't leave any rock unturned."
"Commander McGarrett." McGarrett turned and watched warily as the doctor entered the room. "I understand that you are listed as Detective Williams' Next-Of-Kin."
Steve nodded as the doctor tilted his head sideways towards the hard plastic chairs that lined the wall in a silent invitation to sit down.
"How is he Doc?" McGarrett asked as he and Kono sat down.
"Critical." The doctor answered succinctly as he grabbed one of the chairs and sat down in front of the two Five-0 detectives. Looking down at his hands the doctor drew in a deep breath before he flicked his gaze back at the two anxious faces watching him, "His injuries are consistent with being beaten both by fists and a blunt instrument- probably a baseball bat. His right arm has been broken and he has suffered a skull fracture resulting in some sub-dural bleeding that we are hoping will resolve itself without the need for surgical intervention, although we will be keeping a close eye on it. Several ribs on the right side of his chest have been also been fractured but what concerns us most of all is the internal bleeding. His spleen has been ruptured and we suspect that his liver may be also be lacerated causing him to hemorrhage internally. We have started him on a blood transfusion but we need to go in immediately and stop the bleeding. There was no signs of sexual assault," The doctor shook his head in amazement, "I have seen guys who have lost a lot less blood than he has who have failed to make it to the hospital. I don't know what is giving him the will to fight but whatever it is I hope it keeps him fighting."
"It's his daughter."
"Excuse me?" The doctor asked in confusion.
"It's his daughter, Grace, keeping him fighting. He's not going to give up without a fight, not when he still has her. " McGarrett answered quietly, "Can we see him?"
The doctor nodded as he rose to his feet, "Only for a few minutes, the OR is waiting for him."
"Mahalo Doc." Steve murmured as he and Kono followed the doctor out of the small waiting room.
Following the doctor into the Examination Room, Steve was unable to stop the gasp of shock that slipped from between his lips as he stopped and stared at the motionless figure lying on the bed. It was only the soft beeps of the heart monitor and the small rise and fall of Danno's chest that reassured them that Danny was still in the land of the living.
Steve could only nod in agreement of Kono's soft expression of shock and surprise as he continued to stare at his partner. The dark bruises that marred Danny's face and chest stood out starkly against the thin white sheet that covered him as the lower half of his face was hidden beneath an oxygen mask. The arm resting on top of a soft pillow looked swollen and strangely bent where it should have been straight. A bag of blood hung above the bed, the I.V. tubing snaked down from the bag before disappearing beneath a small bandage on the back of Danny's left hand.
Stepping closer to the bed, Kono removed a small necklace that she carried in her pocket before she shyly placed the small silver medallion into the palm of Danny's limp hand. She gently curled his fingers around before leaning down close to his ear and whispered, "You need this more than I do at the moment Danny. It's the medallion that you gave me for my graduation; St. Michael will watch over you and keep you safe brah."
Moving away from Danny's side, the young woman brushed away the tears that were slowly trickling down the sides of her face as she watched Steve lean over the motionless detective.
"I know I told you to stop talking at times Danny, but this isn't quite what I had in mind! See what happens when I let you out of my sight for a few minutes." Steve mock scolded as he squeezed his partner's arm. "But you're safe now Danno, there will be two HPD officers guarding your door until we catch the bastard who did this. And don't worry about Gracie. I will make sure she knows that Danno didn't forget her to pick her up to take her to the movies yesterday. As soon as you are strong enough I will make sure she is able to come and see you." Steve promised solemnly.
"I'm sorry Commander McGarrett but the O.R. is ready for him." The nurse interrupted softly.
Looking towards the waiting medical staff, Steve returned his attention back to his partner and gave the cool arm beneath his hand another gentle reassuring squeeze, "The Doc wants to take you up to the operating room now, Partner… but I will be waiting in your room for you. Just remember Danno you are not alone. We're here… I'm here… and I'm not going anywhere." He promised as he stepped away from the bed, his hazel gaze locked on the hurt detective the entire time before Danny was wheeled from the room.
Following the gurney carrying his partner out of the examination room, McGarrett watched as Danny was whisked down the corridor and into the elevator that would take him up to the operating room. Pulling his cell phone from his pocket, he quickly entered a number that Danny had insisted he place on speed dial shortly after they had become partners. This number was to be used only in emergencies, and then only if it was a matter of life and death. He waited for several long moments before his call was finally answered. "Rachel. It's Steve McGarrett," he began.
Kono put a bit of distance between herself and her boss in an attempt to give him at least the illusion of privacy while he spoke to Danny's ex, before discreetly attempting to brush away the tears that still clung to her cheeks as she looked around the emergency room. She had been pre-warned by the doctor of the seriousness of Danny's injuries but she hadn't been fully prepared to see just how seriously her friend and colleague was injured. Her vision blurred momentarily as she felt the hot sting of tears as they threatened to fall again. She struggled to blink them away; she was a cop and cops didn't cry. Despite this, the tears still ran freely down the sides of her cheeks.
"Hey Cuz, are you alright? Has something happened to Danny?"
Chin's soft question made her jump as she looked into her cousin's worried face. "They've just taken him up to surgery. It doesn't look good Chin. He's bleeding internally and the doc said he's critical. Steve's telling Rachel now." She looked back at McGarrett who was rubbing his hand in frustration through his dark hair as he tried to interrupt Rachel's very obviously angry and loud tirade.
"Wait! Wait! …Hold on…" Steve's own voice rose in irritation at Rachel's never-ending rant about Dan's dangerous profession and the danger he could have placed Grace in the night before. Ignoring the belittling and snarky remarks about his partner, Steve finally broke through the verbal wall, "Did you just say that Danny contacted you last night and told you he would be late because he was meeting with someone about a case he was working on?" Frowning in confusion at their boss' question, Chin and Kono turned to eavesdrop into his conversation. They listened as Steve asked, "Did he tell you anything else- like where he was going to meet this person?" McGarrett shook his head as Danny's ex-wife answered before she launched off into another heated diatribe.
The Commander allowed an angry sigh to escape from his lips as he interrupted Rachel again, asking if Grace needed someone to pick her up to bring her to see her father in the hospital or if they would be making their own way. He waited only for a moment for her reply, his face reflecting the anger he felt towards this woman before he added firmly, "I will keep you informed about Danny's condition and please…please tell Grace that Danno loves her." He disconnected the call before Rachel could utter another word and slid the phone back into his pocket before muttering, "No wonder Danny has her ringtone set to Psycho!"
"Steve?" Chin asked as he stepped closer to his boss.
McGarrett turned and frowned as he faced his two colleagues. "Rachel claims Danny rang her last night about ten minutes before he was due to pick up Grace and told her that he would be about an hour late because he had to meet someone about a case he was working on. She said that was the last time she heard from him- he never showed up to pick up Grace or rang back to explain why he didn't come."
"But what case was he talking about?" Kono asked in confusion as she looked between Steve and Chin, "The only cases we are working on at the moment are the Lomand's extortion case and the Hemman murder."
"Maybe Danny is working on something on his own - an old case from HPD. Something personal maybe?" Chin speculated.
"Rachel said Danny rang about ten minutes before he was supposed to pick up Grace. We know he left the office about ten minutes before that and he was heading straight over to Rachel's. So whoever he was meeting must have rung his cell phone." Steve answered as he began to move towards the nurse's desk with Chin and Kono following closely behind. "So the number or the name of who ever arranged to meet with him should be listed in his incoming phone log." Stopping in front of the nurse's desk, he requested Danny's personal effects before turning back to Chin as the nurse hurried across to the emergency examination room to retrieve the items. "What did you find out at the scene?"
"Not much, Steve," Chin answered honestly. "No signs of a struggle or any type of foul play. Looks like Danny was grabbed and attacked somewhere else before he was dumped in the bin on the North Shore. They probably thought he was dead and were just getting rid of the body. HPD found some tire tracks and shoe prints close to the bin and there were several blood smears on the bin, probably Danny's, from when whoever it was dumped him inside the bin." Chin told his boss as he pulled out his cell phone and showed Steve and Kono the photos he had taken at the scene. "I had the lab boys collect the contents of the bin as well for examination."
Thanking the nurse for the plastic bag that contained Danny's clothes and personal belongings, Steve studied the bag, frowning at its contents as he asked. "What about the couple who found him?"
"They were just having a romantic breakfast on the beach, watching the sun rise. They are both down at HPD giving their written statements."
McGarrett nodded as he leaned over the nurse's station and grabbed a pair of latex gloves from the box behind the counter and slipped them on his hands before he opened the bag and quickly searched its contents. "Did HPD give you Danny's gun, wallet and I.D.?" He asked as he pulled out the empty hip holster and briefly studied it before placing it back into the bag.
Kono glanced at her cousin as Chin shook his head, aware of that many of the HPD officers continued to distrust him and were not afraid to show their hostility. "Maybe they forgot to give Danny's belongings to Chin," she volunteered. "I can ask for them when I take Danny's belongings to the lab to be checked out."
McGarrett's jaw tensed in anger at the poor treatment Chin received from the HPD officers as he searched for Danny's cell phone. "His phone and car keys are also missing." Steve confirmed as he pulled his hand free from the bag and passed it to Kono. "Tell the lab we want the full treatment."
"Done, Boss!" Kono answered before she hurried out of the emergency room, glad to have something to do rather than just waiting around, not knowing.
Steve turned back to Chin. "We also need the phone records for Danny's cell phone for last night. I want to know what calls he made and received and what time they were made."
"On it, Steve." The Asian detective replied, pausing for a moment as he looked at the worried man standing in front of him. "You going to stay here?"
Torn between the desire to rush out and turn over every rock and grain on this island to find the scum who had done this to his partner and the promise that he had made to Danny only a few short minutes before that he was not alone, Steve looked towards the closed elevator doors and slowly nodded, "I promised Danno that I wasn't going anywhere. I want to be here when he gets out of surgery so he's not alone."
"Keep us updated." Chin asked.
McGarrett nodded as Chin turned and followed Kono out of the hospital.