Authors note: Don't kill me. That's all I have to say, and you'll know why. And, uh… enjoy your reading. *Cough*.
I thought I should write this. Why, don't ask me. I'm serious, don't ask me. Because while I know the answer, I can't give you one. Each and every one of you will get a letter. If no one messed up, you should all be reading this in HQ. You know I'm not good with words (yes, Danny, laugh away) so I'll make this quick. This letter, at least. The others will be kind of long (sorry guys). Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know it's been a privilege working with you. I don't even know if I've ever said it, but I'm saying it now. I don't know if it's because I'm in the middle of a war or something, but I needed to let you know you are truly the best team anyone could ask for. Danny, Chin, Kono…
Thank you. I mean it.
Danny's the first one to get a letter. It's delivered to him and only him in the middle of the afternoon, by the mail man who claimed to have forgotten to deliver it in the morning. Danny stares after him with a blank face as he turns away and walks out the door. His hands are shaking slightly, his mind in another place. With brusque movements, he opens the envelope, takes the letter, and goes to his office.
Yes, I'm gonna keep calling you that, whether you want it or not. I know it's a Grace thing but she'll understand. How is she, by the way? How's Rach? They doing good? Look, I didn't wanna tell you this when you just started moving on from her, but man… go. Go to Rachel. It literally annoys me how much you just stare off into nowhere, thinking about her. She loves you, jackass, in case you haven't figured it out yet. So please, go to her. Just imagine how excited Grace will be.
I'm really sorry I couldn't call you guys. We couldn't a safe line here so I'm stuck to writing. I uh… you know you're like a brother to me, right? Like the brother I never had, despite the times you bite my head off about doing something stupid. But that's just me.
Take care of my sis, alright? She's getting a letter too, and you should be getting a phone call from her by the end of the day. If everything goes wrong. Which it probably will. I'm sorry I had to put this on you, but I didn't know what else to ask.
They'll explain it all to you. I just wanted to write this to let you know.
I love you man, ok? Stay safe.
(PS: The brother kind of love, just so we're clear)
Chin's the next. He's home with Malia, having asked to take the day off work to go to her. Danny and Kono don't say a word. Because at least Malia's home.
Thank you. I'm gonna start off with this because you're the one I've been meaning to thank for a long time. For teaching me, since I was a kid. My father had the honor to work with you, and so did I, and for that, I am forever grateful.
You're probably the one who's gonna understand this the most. I'm sorry, ok? Just remind everyone of that in the following weeks. Specially your cousin.
She'll let you know. When she comes to your door tonight, don't ask any questions. She doesn't like it when people insist on something she doesn't want to talk about.
I'm getting off topic, sorry. I don't really know what else to say. You've all been a family for me, a family I actually fit in, and I can't thank you enough for that. Sorry for being too bossy sometimes (even though I was your boss), too crazy, too much of a jackass. I'm leaving the leadership of this team up to you. It would take days to tell you all you need to know, but I'm sure you'll learn it quick.
So I'll just leave you one tip. My desk, bottom drawer. Bottle of scotch.
Believe me, you're gonna need it.
And I'm gonna tell you this because you're probably gonna be the only one to understand. Don't take it for granted. You hearing me? Do not, for one moment, take them for granted.
Look what happened to me when I did exactly that.
Apologize to everyone. In my name, of course. And when you all want to kill me… well…
I'm uh… I couldn't be more honored. You know?
Bye man. And thank you.
He looks at Malia, who's watching him with a worried look. He realizes he hasn't explained anything to her, and that he must look like shit. Probably. He musters a smile and envelopes her in his arms, kissing her hair and putting the letter down.
He prays that everyone always gets home from now on.
Kono's already panting. She fumbles for the keys, turns the knob and gets in, rushing into the house, looking around.
She feels her legs tremble beneath her, a knot in her throat that she tries to repress with all her strength. She frowns, looking, searching, but… nothing's different.
He said they would all get a letter.
She leans against the wall, slipping down until she hits the ground, and runs a hand over her hair. She shakes her head, her eyes not allowing her to see anymore as they start to water up.
Where is it? Where's her goodbye?
She hears the wood crack under her weight as she shifts, and her heart skips a beat. She looks down immediately, and for just a second, just a small, tiny second, she feels relief. It's there. The letter, stuck between the wooden boards, white contrasting with the dark brown, almost black, and…
Oh my God.
No. No. No, please. No.
She brings her hand to her mouth, the tears escaping down her face, burning her cheeks and hurting, her whole body trembling uncontrollably now as she picks up the letter.
It's our spot, remember? Where I found your note, asking if I wanted to go surf. Of course you remember. I'm the one always forgetting about the dates. And, by the way… yes, I'm scratching my neck awkwardly right now, because this is probably gonna arrive late, so… happy 7 months birthday, Kono. You have… absolutely no idea how much these months have meant to me. How much it's paining me to write this. There are no words for what I want to tell you. I think I've already told you everything I had to say.
I'm so sorry. I am so, so sorry. You wanted me to come home. I wanted to come home. I really hope you all wanted me to come home.
I'm sorry I broke my promise. I didn't come home. If I had, then you wouldn't be getting this.
No, please, Kono, don't cry. Please. I hate seeing you cry, you know that. Come on. Get up from the floor. Go to Chin. Danny's probably on the phone with Mary. And that's gonna be a long conversation.
I don't know if I can tell you all the details, but I can tell you that I'm not counting on coming back, even as I'm writing this. I'm going in a mission tomorrow. It's dangerous, it's suicidal. Just our kind of thing, right, babe?
Ok, sorry, wrong thing to say. You know I've never been good with this.
I wake up here, every day, hoping I can be there instead of here. Hoping I can be with you. I wanna spend this last day with you. But I can't, and God, it kills me, Kono, it really fucking does.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm not home. I am… I don't even know. So many things. I have regrets, Kono, lots , but us was not part of them. I will always remember, cherish, and relieve the time we spent together.
K…will you ever be able to forgive me?
I hope so. Because I love you, like I've never loved anyone, and I'll be watching you. Always.
You're still crying, aren't you? Don't. Wipe your tears away, go to Chin. He's expecting you. He won't ask too many questions, I promise. And I'm planning on keeping this promise.
I'm there. I'm there.
Just… look around. Look at the picture, on our bedroom. The one that old lady took us? Where I'm actually smiling? I'll always be there.
Danny talks with Mary Ann for hours, on the phone, after the phone call he got from the Governor, saying Steve… no, ok, let's not go there. He's already trying hard enough not to cry.
Chin finds the bottle, a day later, on Steve's desk. It has a note, just a simple Chin, but it makes the man feel like maybe their fearless leader wasn't as fearless or feeling less as they all thought.
And Kono… after leaving Chin's, the next morning, with her eyes red and a pale face, she goes to their bedroom, just to see the picture. She feels like crawling on the bed and never leaving when she looks behind the photo. There's a ring.
The bed smells like him. Maybe that won't be such a bad idea, after all.
They can't believe the amount of people that came to his funeral. Marines, friends, family, God, all those people who will forever remind her of what she's lost.
After they all leave, and she's the only one left… after she's comforted Danny, Chin, and a bunch of other people she doesn't even remember, she comes close to his grave, and whispers, as the wind touches her cheek gently and as the sun disappears behind the ocean…
Authors note: Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry! You know how inspiration goes! Don't kill me… drop a review, please? I'm not really sure about this, so it would be greatly appreciated. Love you guys!