Disclaimer: Still don't own, but a girl can dream.
A/N: Been wanting to write something like this for a while now. It's from the Christmas episode from season one. The one with the bomb around Chin's neck. With all the worry and angst that episode had I felt it needed just a little bit more. The hours Chin had to deal with that stress could not have been good for him, for him to just walk away, well you know me, I just couldn't let that pass. I needed just a little more worry thrown at our team. I hope you enjoy and I promise I didn't hurt anyone too much. Oh and I put my little story on Dec. 23rd instead of the 24th. just to give me that few extra hours I needed. Thanks in advance-Montez
He always considered himself a very patient man, always calm, always collected. But to have barely moved a muscle in nearly sixteen hours had tested even his resolve. Thinking about it now it seemed almost a rookie mistake, something that he'd heard Danny go on and on about while ranting at Steve, going in without back-up.
Seeing Sang Min's electronic tracking anklet lying on the bed should have screamed something's wrong. He never saw, nor heard whoever had hit him on the back of the head. But when he came to he knew in the depths of his soul that his day was not going to end well. There was a black hood over his head and he felt an unusual weight around his neck, could feel the cool metal that touched his skin.
He heard the sound of a van door opening, felt his arm grabbed roughly as he was pulled from the back. "On your knees." The harsh, accented voice ordered him. When he first refused the voice came closer, "I can blow your head off right now or we can give McGarrett time to try and get you out of this, your decision." Something screamed in Chin's mind that it was Victor Hesse that was with him, but he couldn't be sure, he'd only seen pictures and had never heard the man speak, but knew he was foreign. They had just found out the day before that the man they had all hoped was fish-food had indeed survived those seemingly fatal shots from McGarrett all those months ago.
Chin trusted Steve, knew if there was any possible way he could walk away from this encounter, Steve would find it. Yet Kelly also knew the man beside him was beyond ruthless, he had killed John McGarrett while Steve listened over a phone from thousands of miles away. So against ever instinct to fight, Chin pulled in his fear, his anger and tried his best to calm himself, if it only bought him a few hours, it would be a few more hours than he would have if he refused the order. Maybe it would give him the chance to say goodbye to his friends, to his cousin, to make sure they understood that what was happening wasn't their fault, so reluctantly he lowered his weight to his knees, feeling them touch the cool pavement.
"Now, you are going to stay very, very still or your new fashion accessory will leave a very unpleasant mess for Steve to find before this little game is played out. You tell him I will contact him, you tell him that he is to follow my instructions or I will literally blow your head off your shoulders, do you understand me?" Hesse's voice whispered into Chin's ear from behind.
"Yes." Chin's voice calm, hiding the terror he was feeling inside.
"Good." Kelly felt the hood removed and dropped next to him, he blinked at the slowly dawning day. Just moving his eyes around he was able to see the Palace to his left, he was in the parking lot just in front of the headquarters for Five-0, leave it to Hesse to bring this virtually to Steve's doorstep. Chin saw a hand appear from behind him, felt the pocket of his shirt pulled open, the weight of a cell phone pulling gently on the material. "I'll be in touch." Victor patted Chin's shoulder as a remote device was held in front of him. He watched Victor touch his thumb to the small screen, heard a clicking sound from the collar around his neck as the full implications of just what the device was that he was wearing hit him; it was a bomb. "Now don't move or…" Hesse knelt in front of Chin this time, using his hands he gave the motion of something blowing up, smiling sadistically he moved back to the van, then Kelly heard the vehicle pull away as the first hints of sun shined across the statue of King Kamehameha.
Now all these hours later, his legs were numb, his back was screaming to be straightened, his head was pounding from stress, fear, exhaustion and dehydration. Steve and Danny had come and gone several times, he had tried with each approach to sound up beat, to try and show this was not terrifying him, but he could see it each and every time they knelt in front of him. They were scared, terrified for their friend, Chin could see it in their eyes that they didn't really know if they could get him out of this alive. However it was Kono's voice, her face that nearly broke him. God he had wanted to pull her into his arms, comfort his cousin, remove the fear he saw in her eyes. His baby cousin, whom he'd tried to protect all her life, was near tears and that more than anything hurt Chin, he did not want her to see him die.
When he had told her 'Aloha', he honestly thought he'd never see her again. She was leaving with Steve to meet Hesse. He had hoped in that one word, in the look he gave her, that she could see how proud he was of her, how much he loved her. Hearing her walk away finally allowed him the peace he hadn't felt since this ordeal had began, he had told her goodbye and now knew she would not have to witness his death. Closing his eyes he blocked out everything but his breathing and a few final prayers that no one else would be hurt when the end came.
Chin didn't know how long Steve and Kono had been gone, time had become irrelevant, he knew evening was approaching by the shadows cast across the courtyard. He had survived the heat of the day, knelling in the middle of a parking lot, without water or shade until just a while ago, but he knew he would not see the sunset.
His breath hitched in his throat when a click came from the bomb around his neck, he closed his eyes, praying he wouldn't feel much pain as he knew what was coming, but it never happened. Instead he heard the rapid approach of footsteps, slowing when they neared, then a slight pressure on his shoulder, a gentle squeeze. It was Danny's voice, softer than he'd ever heard it, "It's over now." Chin felt Danny's hands come around his neck, taking the nightmarish device between his hands as he pushed a button, the collar opening.
The moment he felt the item removed from his neck, Chin Ho Kelly fell forward, his right arm catching his weight as he tried to drag in the first deep breath he had taken in what seemed like forever. He could feel his body trembling, the sweat rolling down his face, barely noticeable as it was caught by his already soaked shirt. Danny's arm came into view and he reached for it like a life-line. The strong grip pulling him to his feet as he felt the younger man's arm come around his shoulders, trying to give a reassuring smile he looked at Williams and saw a relieved smile in place of the fear from before.
Basking in the feeling of having survived, Chin tried to ignore the flutter in his chest, tried to ignore the fact he couldn't quit catch his breath, tried to ignore the fog that was filling his mind, his vision. It had to be the adrenaline dump, his body reacting to the hours of inaction, that was until the moment his legs gave out and his vision faded, "CHIN!" he heard Danny's voice yelling his name, but it seemed like it was from a distance.
He knew the younger man was right beside him, had felt Danny's arms tighten around him, when his step wavered. Chin could feel his body being lowered into the cooling grass, again Danny's voice called out from a seemingly vast distance, "I NEED SOME HELP HERE!" Then Kelly felt fingers pressed against his neck, "Come on Chin, open your eyes for me buddy." This time Williams' voice was closer. "Chin?"
Kelly could feel Danny's hands take his face, fighting the darkness that he felt himself being pulled into he forced his eyes open. "Danny?"
"Hey, you stay with me, you hear. We got that damn thing off you and I'm afraid of what Kono will do to me for not taking care of you." Danny tried to smile, it falling flat as the worry returned to his eyes.
Chin felt a weight in his chest; closing his eyes again he tried to take a deep breath, but couldn't draw in enough air. However, he had to say something, tell Danny something as he heard the approach of more feet. Reaching his hand out, feeling Danny take it in a firm grip he forced his eyes open again, Williams still hovering over him. "Maholo Danny…tell Kono…everything's okay…" Kelly whispered as Danny was pulled back by EMT's and Chin's world went dark.
Steve and Kono were on their way back to the Palace, they'd had a couple HPD cruisers stationed about a mile from the meeting place with Hesse in case the man tried to run again. McGarrett had handed off a barely conscious Victor to the officers and was about to call Danny when his phone rang in his hand. Kono was sitting in the passenger side of the Silverado while Steve took the call near the back, watching the officer's drive away. "Danny, we got him. Did you get that thing off Chin?" It took a second or two for Steve to realize Danny wasn't answering him, "Danny?"
"Steve…" McGarrett's blood froze at the tone of his partner, something was wrong. No, he shook his head slightly, he had gotten to Hesse in time, the man hadn't activated the bomb, it wasn't possible.
"Danny, where's Chin?" Steve glanced toward the truck, could see Kono's form silhouetted through the back glass, the young woman lost in thought of having a bomb strapped to her cousin and just watching ten million dollars literally go up in smoke.
"You need to meet us at Queens, Chin collapsed." Danny's voice made the knot in Steve's stomach twist even more.
"Danny?" Steve needed to know, he needed to tell Kono something.
"Shock maybe, they're worried about his heart…look just get here, ambulance is just pulling in, I've got to go." Danny didn't wait for a response as he disconnected the call.
Looking at his phone a minute, still trying to process the fact they kept the bomb from going off, but Chin still wasn't out of the woods yet. He pocketed the device, took a deep-breath and made his way toward the driver's side. "Did they get that damn thing off Chin?" Kono's curse caught Steve by surprise, but noticed the young woman was holding it together better that most, which made what he was going to have to tell her that much harder.
Steve put the truck in gear, hitting the lights and sirens before he glanced at the rookie, "They got it off…" His voice sounded like he wasn't finished and Kono noticed.
"What's wrong? Chin's okay right?" Kono felt that terror climbing again within her, that fear she was losing her favorite cousin, his heartfelt 'Aloha' echoing in her ears.
"We're meeting Danny at Queens…" Steve reached across in an unusual move and took Kono's hand that rested on the seat next her, "Kono, Chin collapsed." He felt her hand grip his tightly, grounding her, her eye's meeting his glance and she knew he was serious, hell Steve was nothing but serious most of the time, but this was different.
She felt the tears form again, the ones she had been trying to not let show, to not let fall since she had first approached Chin that morning, seeing that garish device around her cousin's neck. But now they fell, silently slipping free as her mind tried to process that she could still lose her cousin today.
The silence was heartbreaking as Steve gave her hand one last squeeze before pulling it back, placing both hands on the wheel, they sped toward the hospital, toward their friends, their family.
Danny was hovering at the doorway of the hospital. They had rushed Chin back as soon as he hit the entrance, a nurse stopping Williams from following. He paced, checking his watch then looking back outside, waiting to see the blue truck that belonged to his partner. Seeing it pull in he ran outside to meet it as Kono pushed the passenger door open, trying to run toward the hospital, Danny grabbing her arm first. "Kono wait…"
The young woman tried to pull away, "Let me go, I need to see him…"
Danny's grip was stronger, "The doctor's are with him, Kono they won't let you back yet…"
She turned and shoved against Williams, "I need to see him, he needs me…" Her voice hitched as her emotions took over, "I'm the only one that cared…he needs…" She felt her resolve crumble, she hated that she was losing it in front of her co-workers, but all she could think about was Chin and how she had been the only one who never left him during everything he had been through, they were each other's rock and now. "Please, Danny…" Her pleading voice tapered off.
Steve watched as Danny tried to calm Kono, he had to admit his partner was far better at this type of thing than he was and was amazed that he had been able to withstand the struggle Kono tried to throw at him until he saw the young woman sag slightly in Danny's arms, her composure shattering. McGarrett watched as Danny lead Kono to a bench near the door, needing to get her calmed some before they went in. Danny's eyes met his and Steve nodded toward the doors, letting the blond man know he was heading inside to see if they knew anything yet.
"Sit down a minute." Danny whispered softly, his arms still around Kono as she seemed to cling to him now.
"Please, Danny, he's alright, he's got to be…what happened?" Kono pleaded.
Danny only knew what the EMT's had speculated, "They think it's shock, but they were worried about his blood pressure and in all that was happening, we all seemed to forget he took a hard hit to the head last night." Kono pulled back some, trying to get herself together, "Listen Kono, Chin told me to tell you everything would be okay, so we have to believe that. I know they'll check him out completely and let us know something as soon as possible, now let's get inside and find us a nice, extremely uncomfortable chair and I'll send Super SEAL for some God-awful coffee and I'm sure Chin will be trying to reassure us soon. And hey, we can't forget you all promised to help make Grace's first Christmas here special, so I'm holding him to that."
Kono couldn't help the small smile at Danny's attempt to lighten the situation, but she knew it was his own way of dealing with what was going on. Giving him a nod, they both stood, making their way into the hospital to await word.
The first thing that returned was sound, the faint noise of muffled voices in the distance. Next came smell, it wasn't the hot, humid Hawaiian air permeated by the smell of heated oil and grease from the parking lot he had spent an entire day knelling it. No this was the too clean smell of antiseptic over the cool flow that he felt just below his nose. Sensations returned next, his arms, legs and back felt heavy, stiff. Then there was the dull ache in his head, it was then he remembered the hit he had taken that originally knocked him unconscious. The feeling beneath him was soft, but not as soft as his own bed, but so much better than the unforgiving concrete that had been his resting place for so many hours.
His mind was still a little foggy, but he recalled everything. The fear of realizing it was a bomb strapped around his neck, that if he moved he would die. The look of despair on Steve's and Danny's faces as they tried to hold onto the hope they could get him out of the situation. Then it was Kono's face that filled his mind. The fear he remembered filling his little cousin's face made him fight the rest of the way to consciousness. He needed to see her, reassure her he was okay, at least he hoped he was okay, right now he didn't know what had happened other than he'd felt his legs give out, darkness pulling at him, then waking up here, in the hospital.
Opening his eyes the room was dimly lit, he could just make out a form sitting in the chair next to the bed; Chin could feel a slight pressure lying on top of his hand, "Kono?" His voice rough, barely a whisper.
The person came into focus more as she moved, he watched her open her eyes, looking around at what might have waken her before they finally met his, "Chin?"
Kono stood quickly, her breath catching as she saw her cousin's eyes watching her. Squeezing his hand Kono laid her other one on top of his head, "Hey, cuz, can you hear me?"
Giving the hand holding his a gentle squeeze he tried to smile, "You okay?" he whispered.
Kono nearly lost it at those two words, for all he had been through and he wanted to know if she was okay. Her face finally lighting up as tears slipped from her eyes, "I'm fine, it's you I'm worried about. How do you feel?"
Kelly shifted a little, his body felt more stiff than anything, but his headache shifted up a notch. "Head hurts a little, other than that, just stiff I think. What happened?"
"We got Hesse, Steve used the remote to deactivate the…" She chocked on the word 'bomb', "Then Danny called, said to meet you all hear. You collapsed."
Chin reached up and brushed one of his hands across her cheek, he had always hated to see her cry. Even when she was a child he would be the first to comfort her, even before her mother could reach her. During her rehabilitation after her career-ending surfing accident he'd hold her as she cried through the pain of the physical therapy. Now, to think that he was the cause of that pain in her face tore at his heart. "I'm sorry."
Taking a deep breath, Kono ran a hand over her face, "You scared me…just when I thought it was over…the doctor's said it was a combination of shock, exhaustion, dehydration and a concussion. They were surprised you were able to go through what you did before you collapsed…you've been out nearly eighteen hours." Kono reached over and hit the call button, "Doctor wanted to know when you woke up, they said if everything looks okay, we might get you out of here by tomorrow morning. Our own Christmas miracle."
Before either of them could say anymore the door opened, letting in the nurse, followed by Steve and Danny. "Hey buddy, look who's finally awake." Danny smiled as he neared the bed, reaching out to shake the hand Chin extended toward him.
Steve stopped at the foot of the bed, "How you feeling?" He asked, his expression closed off, but Kelly could clearly see the worry in his eyes.
"Stiff and my head hurts, but all things considered." Chin replied as the nurse silently started to take his vitals.
"The doctor will be in shortly, I can bring you something for your headache, but you should still rest some Officer Kelly." The young woman said.
"Maholo." Chin smiled sleepily, feeling tired again. Looking up at his teammates the relief in their faces finally replacing the fear and worry they had worn for so many hours. He wanted to convey so much but could only think of one word. "I just want to say Maholo, you all saved my life, I'll never forget that."
"You'd have done the same cuz." Kono squeezed his hand again, Danny and Steve nodding in agreement.
"But still…" Chin started, but Steve's hand on his leg stopped him.
"It's over now, you need to rest." McGarrett's gaze pleading with him. Dealing with Hesse had raised too many emotions in the younger man and Chin knew Steve was desperately trying to regain the fracturing composure the case was chipping away at. A subtle nod let Steve know Kelly understood. Danny and Steve moved back to take seats along the wall, near the window. Kono retook her seat next to her cousin's bed, their hands still intertwined. Chin leaned back into the pillow, feeling a few more hours of sleep wouldn't hurt anything.
Kelly looked around at the three people in the room with him. He had feared he would never get to see these people again, people who made up his new Ohana. His little cousin, who wasn't so little anymore. She was a full-fledged police officer, member of the Five-0 task force. But he would always see her as the little surfer girl who didn't let the allure of that world take over who she really was. Someone who strongly cared about those around her, cared about her family. Kono had remained the one person that never doubted him when HPD came after him. There had been times during that dark period in his life where she was the only thing that kept him going, kept him fighting and he was forever grateful to have her with him, beside him.
He then looked at Danny; those first few days were trying for everyone. Chin had never met anyone as vocal and animated as Detective Danny Williams. When Chin had initially learned that the 'haole' had been put in charge of his friend and one time mentor's murder case, he had worried that it wouldn't be taken serious, since Danny didn't understand the workings of the Island's he would not do John McGarrett justice. But upon working with him, Chin realized he couldn't have been more wrong. Danny was as solid of a cop as they come, committed to finding the truth, unwavering in his drive for justice. Chin had wished he'd had a 'Danny Williams' in his corner when IA had come after him after seeing the way Danny stood up for Mecca, it made Kelly realize how lucky he was to be working with someone like that. It didn't escape Chin that it was Danny that was with him when he collapsed, that he had caught him as he fell, tried to keep him alert, had been there and he wouldn't ever forget that.
Then Chin looked at Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett. He remembered meeting Steve once when he was still a teenager and Chin was a rookie out of the academy, John McGarrett had been his training officer. Steve had been your typical, overconfident high school jock. Kelly had been a record setting quarterback in the day and Steve McGarrett had been well on his way to shattering Chin's records. Things changed once Steve's mother died, it was only a week later when John sent his children to the mainland, and Kelly didn't see Steve again until that day at the pier, next to the USS Missouri. Little did he know that would be the day the Five-0 Task Force would be formed, the next day would find Chin Ho Kelly being offered a badge again, by the son of his training officer and friend based solely on the fact that John McGarrett had trusted Chin, so too did Steve.
Chin could see the guilt in Steve's eyes when they realized it was Victor Hesse that was responsible for the threat on his life. He had tried to convey to Steve it wasn't his fault, but having worked with the younger man Kelly knew McGarrett wouldn't accept that and he knew Steve would do anything to get him out of the mess Hesse had put him in, proving that by stealing ten million dollars for the secret HPD asset forfeiture locker, to pay the ransom that Victor was demanding.
Kelly would have to get the full story later, when his mind was clearer. He hoped Victor was behind bars now, if not dead. He hoped his friend's wouldn't be pulled down for foolishly taking that money, but inside he would be forever grateful that the risk had paid off and he was indeed alive to see another day, another Christmas and to spend it with his friend's, his ohana.