"Forgive me" is my version of the "Steve is kidnapped and his Team have to find him" scenario and came about amid fan demands that we should see more of Steve's Navy Seal history. The writers were good and suppiled that in the guise of Joe White in Season 2. Although my story is set sometime in Season 1, it still refers to Joe White.
I just had to do this. My tribute to Hawaii-Five-O. Though I have to admit to feeling nervous. There are so many good H5O writers in fanfic.
Been too long writing though – since the Summer hiatus in fact. You've no idea how many personal deadlines have come and gone. So apologies if writing gets a little shaky in places and for some resemblance to Episode 2.10, Ki'ilua/Deceiver. I decided to carry on regardless.
Advice to other would-be fanfic writers out there – do not attempt to write stories while seeing off sons and daughters to Uni and emigrating!
"Forgive Me" left me with a word-count of 71,000. Fanfic has a curious habit of thinking up a figure and then adding some...
Disclaimer: I do not own H5O – if I did, they'd be some major changes! (But I just love AOL ;-) )
I'm dedicating this story to my husband - who spent many long hours washing-up so I could update undisturbed. Bless him.
E kala mai (Forgive me)
The door's open so he walks straight in.
Ok. So it's 'unlocked-open' as opposed to 'open-open.'
And Danny knows that Steve thinks there is this subtle difference.
A subtle difference that Danny, by now, should have gotten to grips with, but Danny just loves to hear his... boss... partner... boss-partner – more definitions that are unclear – explaining that difference with that pissed-off tone of his.
He knows that Steve loves him really and doesn't really mean it.
He waits for the expected: 'Don't you ever knock?'
And he intends to respond with: 'Don't you ever use the alarm system that Chin has installed for you?'
Though, really, the arrival of the Camaro on the McGarrett drive in this sleepy neighbourhood ought to be the doorbell equivalent of ten atom bombs sounding off.
The question doesn't come, however, and Danny finds himself retort-less.
The living quarters are deserted and devoid of all Steve-human-kind.
And yes, he has heard Steve call his own lounge and kitchen area, living quarters. Just like military.
But not for long is Danny without Steve jibe-ammunition.
The shower is running upstairs and he picks up a discarded black brassiere from the back of the couch with a finger and thumb. And being a detective, there is only one conclusion he can come to.
"Yo ho, the Navy's in town."
It's Catherine upstairs, showering. And possibly, judging by the open doors leading out to the beach, where curtains catch and move in the morning breeze, while Steve has gone out for one of those early morning masochistic swims of his.
The swim – or Catherine - would also explain why Steve didn't pick up Chin's call of twenty minutes earlier.
This is going to be good. And Danny's fairly relishing the prospect of listening to Steve's attempts to come up with excuses for the presence of his house guest. Oh... and watch the inevitable blush.
'I do not blush!'
'Oh, yes you do, Mr. Inscrutable Navy Seal.'
He drops his 'evidence', his smile turning abruptly to a brief frown. He could be anyone. Anyone could have just walked in. A house-breaker could have walked in. A crazed killer could have walked in. The local yakuza could have walked in. However much Steve is enjoying his down-time, he should be more careful.
Danny sighs. He supposes he has to go into full lecture mode again when the wayward Commander returns. Danny's going to grey prematurely if he remains in Hawaii-Five-O.
He also supposes that Catherine is well able to take care of herself in the event of an intruder and therefore - and clever deduction here, Danny - he should vacate the living quarters so as not to spook the lady and earn himself a well-aimed karate chop to an arterial.
Or a kwon do kick to the nether regions.
With his hands firmly in his pockets, he steps outside. And already at this ungodly hour, the sun is glaring viciously off the sea beyond the tiny piece of beach to the front of the McGarrett house. He squints to protect his eyes and sure enough, he picks out Steve – he's the only one stupid enough to be out there - swimming parallel to the shore, some three-quarter of a mile out. Danny waves hoping to catch his Boss-Partner's eye. Steve doesn't miss a thing and spots him, stopping to tread water and to wave back. He then changes direction and heads to shore.
Danny sighs again. Even with those good strong strokes of Steve's, it'll be a while before he makes it back. And they were supposed to be meeting Chin and Kono at HQ ten minutes ago. Danny makes his way to one of Steve's beach chairs. Solid wood. Peeling paint. Dependable but old. And he guesses Steve won't ever change any of this stuff out of respect for his father.
He drops down on the closest. Steve's towel is thrown on the other. Along with his phone. It has three unanswered messages. All from Chin.
'You'll have to wait, Chin, like the rest of us,' Danny murmurs as he eases himself back, one hand behind his head and the other resting across his stomach. He might as well make the best of it. He listens for Catherine to finish showering – the upstairs balcony window must be open and he can still hear the rush of water. He tries his hardest not to picture her naked – that just would not be tactful and was Steve's business - while keeping an eye out for Steve.
He wonders if he might be able to squeeze in a coffee before Steve gets dried, showered and dressed. And promptly, gives that idea up. Steve will be all navy ship-shape, eyes front, sitting to attention, in the driving seat of the Camaro before Danny can even say 'black with two sugars'.
Despite the early hour, there's a surprising amount of white craft flecking the big briny blue. Fishing boats. Graceful yachts. Cruisers. A speed boat or two. All out of the Honolulu marinas. And in the distance, a majestic liner ploughs its way effortlessly to Kauai.
He doesn't envy any of the passengers. His preference is always for solid ground. Sidewalks. And... if God had wanted men to live on islands, he wouldn't have invented Continents.
He remembers a conversation with Steve.
'Admit it, you can't swim,' says Steve.
'Swim? Me? Oh, I can swim. Who says I can't swim? I just choose not to swim. Swimming is for preservation purposes only. To preserve life of person or persons from drowning when suddenly brought into close contact with deep water. Swimming is not for pleasure. And if swimming is for pleasure, it is certainly not to be carried out in a cold ocean, thank you very much.'
He shuts his eyes but almost immediately, cracks them open again. One speedboat is coming in close, fast and very noisy, engines on full throttle, hitting waves with a loud thump and thwack. God, did the drivers – pilots – whatever - never read basic safety instructions when they set out in these things? Must be some tourist, or some spoilt brat who's never done an honest day's graft in his life, who has more money than sense.
He sits up. Attentive.
Weird. He knows that none of Steve's neighbours have private moorings, yet the boat seems to be heading this way.
The same direction as Steve.
And he's thinking... they might not see Steve in the water. And he's thinking... collision.
And he can see the pilot now. All in black. Balaclava. Balaclava? In Hawaii?
He's on his feet in an instant, sprinting to the water's edge, arms waving like some lunatic, bawling Steve's name at the top of his voice to be heard above the roar of the boat's engine.
"Steve! Steve! Steve!"
Steve, still some distance for the shore, is treading water again. Doesn't need Danny's yelling. He's realized the boat is bearing down on his space. Fast. He can't exactly back track. But he's up and swimming again, away from land to avoid the boat.
Danny draws his P30 out of its holster, hoping to fire off at least a warning shot across the bow but the range, beyond fifty yards, is hopeless. His rounds hit and plunk uselessly into the sea as the boat swerves sharply, etching a deep trough into the water, coming round to Steve's left side and sending up plumes of white spray.
In all the churning of the water, Danny can see Steve trying to outrace the boat.
'You're good, but you're not that good,' he thinks but he's truly willing Steve on to get himself to safety. Seconds pass, and Steve's forced to stop swimming again as the boat veers once more to block him off.
It's coming round to complete a circle, bringing it close to the shore again and Danny, wanting to actually hit something this time, runs into the sea –
'Custom made designer shoes Rachel bought. Wet. You owe me, Steve...'
The water laps at his thighs as he aims with both hands. This time he'll get the guy. But the boat is too fast, and his shots simply take out fibre glass chips from the tail end. Sparks fly from the guard rail. If he's not careful, a ricochet shot could hit Steve. Nothing reaches as the boat begins another, tighter circle of Steve, the din of the turn echoing along the whole deserted beach.
Danny feels like Balaclava Guy is doing the proverbial one finger sign.
And there's nothing Danny can do but hope that the boat doesn't eventually hit Steve, that this teasing and toying will come to an end. He's forced to watch as Steve is caught, trapped in a maelstrom of engine revving, diesel fumes and churning white water and spray. The noise must be horrendous. The confusion... it's bad enough for Danny looking on. He hasn't the time to leave Steve in this position and get something more substantial than his handgun from the Camaro. And he hasn't a clue where Steve stashes the key to his gun cabinet. He whips out his phone and he's onto Chin to call in the troops
"Back up needed! Steve's house! Send choppers. Coast guard. He's in the sea under attack by boat!"
But his gut drops - he's too late - when he spots Balaclava man pick up a submachine gun from the passenger seat.
Steve has spotted it too. He visibly hesitates. Danny is even sure he glances at the shoreline to check Danny's safe. Still the boat is circling Steve. Threatening. Threatening. Danny sees Steve take a deep breath and then... he dives down and disappears beneath the surface. A place of safety but Danny can't begin to imagine what it must be like for Steve below water...
Danny swerves round at the sudden sound of a female voice yelling. And Catherine comes running out the house, catapulting through the water behind him, dressed in jeans and one of Steve's T –shirts, brandishing Steve's Sig.
"No!" he shouts, spotting the movement of Balaclava Man's gun hand and he grabs her by the waist as she passes, drawing her in tight and close, flinching as a spray of pellets pucker the water in front of them. He pulls her back to shallower water where he hopes they're out of range, but she's struggling in his grip.
"Steve! It's Steve! I've got to help him!"
"No, No, keep back, you can't do anything!" He has her firmly by the wrists. "Sorry, babe! Sorry, babe, but Steve doesn't want you dead. Are you going to keep quiet?"
She nods and he lets her go and tries to guide her back to the beach, legs heavy with the pull of wet pants and shoes. Catherine's cold and shivering. He thinks he might be too. The both of them are unable to take their eyes off the scene in the sea, counting desperate seconds, knowing that Steve will have to resurface again soon.
A Navy Seal can hold his breath underwater for how long? Five minutes? But is it enough to swim to safety?
Balaclava Man is screaming at the water. At Steve. The boat engine kills his words. But it's not tough to figure out his meaning. Balaclava Man aims his gun from the hip, still keeping one hand on the wheel. He's pulled back on the speed of the boat to concentrate on drawing a circle of fire in the sea at the place where Steve was last seen.
Abruptly, he sharp turns the boat to bring it closer to the shore, and Danny takes Catherine by the shoulder – it's like he can read this guy's mind – he's threatening them to get at Steve - the expected ratta-tat-tat of the gun sends up an arc of splattering spray and already Danny is throwing Catherine down – and suddenly he's fighting for breath - all he can see and hear is the gurgling of water as he scrabbles for air again, aware of Catherine beside him, trying to find her feet too.
'You can drown in only five inches,' his inner voice is shrieking.
They both surface, and he's gasping for air, crawling forward on all fours, hauling Catherine along with him, hoping upon hope that they're making enough of a splash to stop a well-aimed round from the gun.
He can hardly see. The taste of brine. Sand and salt and water clogging his mouth and his nostrils. Eyes. Clothes, hair soaked. And – there go their guns.
And through all this, Catherine is still yelling for Steve, still wanting to go after him, demanding Danny lets her go - and he admires her for that - but she's going to get herself killed. He's wrapping his arms around her body, trapping and restricting her by the elbows and he lifts her back to the beach, kicking and shouting.
They fall clumsily on the beach, unable to make it any further though Danny doubts they're out of range yet. He rolls over to his back, pushing himself up on his elbows to see Steve's situation and - it's not good.
Steve has re-surfaced. He must have seen everything that's just happened. Balaclava Man is again hollering at Steve and waving that machine gun. He wants Steve to climb up onto the boat.
Steve shouts back at Balaclava Man and is promptly swimming to and hauling himself onto the back swimming platform, body glistening in the sunshine and wet.
"No, Danny, no..." murmurs Catherine. He can feel her shuddering beside him. "He's giving himself up for us..."
Steve seems to curl over as if he's hurt his leg while climbing on board.
The two on the boat are facing each other.
The boat hits a wave and it throws Steve forward.
The guy pistol-whips Steve across the jaw before he's even properly standing again, sending Steve sprawling down into the cockpit.
"No. No. No," moans Catherine, resting her head on Danny's shoulder. And he can't find words to console her. All he can do is lean over and help clear her wet hair from her face.
The boat takes off at speed, heading towards the city. It's all over in minutes. Boat and McGarrett gone. Leaving the two of them, breathless. Shocked.
Leaving a strange silence as the sea stills.
The sounds of distant police sirens close in.
It's all too late.
He remembers things. Takes note. Always. Vividly. Detail. It's how he's wired. Long before Seal training.
The white white of boat. Made sleek by red and blue paint work. A Baja Outlaw. Not new. Possibly five years or older. Engine capacity. 425 h.p. Easily. The noise and churn tells him it can reach speeds of 70 m.p.h.
Registration number – he notices this while hauling himself up the back swimmer's platform, hissing as a roughness in the metal-work, scrapes a gouge in his thigh – Danny had probably caught it with a stray bullet – all this he assesses - he hopes Danny got to see it though the script is small and tucked under the deck – HA 4889 H. A shark motif's been added. Personalised. Easy to trace.
A mind compiling notes for later.
Emotions. No. Cut those. Irrelevant.
But there's dread. There's fear for Catherine and Danny way back to the shoreline.
Fear for himself? Some. Cut that too. Irrelevant. It's how he's wired. It's how he's trained.
He shivers, dripping on the aft of the boat. Legs apart for balance. It's slippery. Feels the vibration of power engine. His legs weakened, shaking even from the long swim. He looks down and sees his blood from the cut to his thigh joining rivulets of water on the deck.
Mouth is dry. He's needs re-hydrating. Glucose. After the swim. These are body details that are important. How much he'll have to compensate for when he takes this guy on. His body is his tool. This all takes seconds and he's counting his rapid heart-beat against his rib cage. The detail that adrenalin is pumping. Fuelling him for his next move.
Salt water in his eyes. His tongue also finds salt on his lips. Detail that's irrelevant. Anticipation. Trying to slow down breaths after nearly drowning in churning white, bubbling water. Shark. Apt. The way it'd circled him, nearly drowning him in wash.
And there's the pilot. Black. Black against the white of the boat.
Irrelevant that the morning sunlight sparkles from sea and white fibreglass and steel, blinding him. The distant shore is so green green. The sky so blue blue. A childhood memory stirs. Put it away. Irrelevant.
Emotion, feelings, leak in.
He's in wide open space but he's prisoner all the same, held in by an invisible cage - the man has a gun and Steve doesn't.
He needs to take the pilot on. Slow down breaths. Wipes the water from his face. Swipes his nose. The pilot allows it even though he's still holding the Heckler and Koch. MP55DS. Navy Seal make. 26" Stock extended to increase its range to 660 metres. This detail he assimilated when in the water. It meant the guy could hit the house, let alone Danny and Catherine.
The pilot rests it on a hip. One handed. The other on the wheel. Steve could take his chance.
The noise from the engine is still deafening. He drives the distraction out. He has to concentrate.
The guy all in black says nothing. Has said nothing. But there's menace directed at Steve. Sometimes you have to read things that aren't there. He beckons Steve forward off the aft of the boat to the front seats. He takes a step or two, hesitant before jumping down but the boat lunges on a wave as the boat takes a tight curve west, sending him unwilling and unprepared towards the guy – The H and K comes up in an arc... and blue blue sea and sky go grey, dropping him in black vastness...
Then... detail... dark dark black night... no... the dark is the suffocating blanket that wraps him.
Prickling of rough wool fabric against bare skin. He's still dressed in rash vest and swimming shorts. No other detail is coming at him. Nothing he can use to escape this thing. And he needs to escape. He's bound by zip ties at the wrists and ankles. He struggles. Stops when there's movement close-by and the blanket is lifted at his right side. He struggles again.
At the pinprick at his arm. And he lists two possible drugs before the grey drifts him away on waves...
Dark dark black night... And then... blurred shimmering lights that won't stay still.
Nausea. Irrelevant detail.
He's no longer tied but his legs, arms are weak, heavy, and his head is too woozy to object to the guy – he assumes it's his abductor - hauling him along on one shoulder. His feet drag on wooden planks of... a jetty? There's a breeze that he feels even through the blanket. It's draped loosely over his head. Voices come at him like down a spiralling tunnel. And laughter.
"Too much partaying, bruddah?"
"Yeah. Bed time. Didn't know a sailor who couldn't hold his drink till I met this one."
Detail. In the files of his memory. His abductor's voice. An accent he knows. Southern. His abductor is talking, lying, to someone they've met near the boat? Steve wants to free his head of the restrictive blanket, but it won't budge. He wants to get a look at the guy's face – to get that detail.
And... he mouths the words, "help."
He's sure he did. A reflex action. A human reaction. Because he's in no condition to help himself. His limbs won't propel themselves into the action that his brain urges.
His slurred plea for help is met with more laughter.
More detail comes at him. The jingling of mooring ropes. The slap of waves. Receding as his abductor half-carries him. Panic. As his chance of help recedes too. He tries to fall, making himself heavy. A stalling tactic, but his abductor tightens his grip. This detail. His abductor is strong, muscular.
But... Steve's abductor is alone. He's sure of it. An army of only one to go up against.
Detail. The roughness of tarmac cuts at his bare feet. And he's dumped, slumped on the back seat of... but his useless brain cuts him out again...
It's green green green when he comes round. Vegetation. The smell humid and of damp earth, invades his nostrils. His cheeks press close to leaves. He's lying on his side and is soon uncomfortable with the weight of his body entirely on his left arm. But he can't shift. Memories of sunlight on the sea and of the boat quickly have him checking - the zip ties are back again. At his ankles. At his wrists secured behind his back.
His vision fully clears. The sun's filtering down, shimmering through overhead trees... He glances up... Branches arch to blue blue sky and sunlight make his eye muscles ache. He listens. The buzz drone of insects. Bird song. A slight breeze rattles the larger leaves of near-by foliage. Perhaps the sounds of a distant waterfall? He can't be sure.
But he's certain his abductor has left him.
A forest. Therefore well away from buildings and civilization. From help. But no building confines him. Easier to escape then.
He twists round to fully take in his surroundings. Detail. A clearing, some fifty yards in diameter. Limp, broad flattened ferns, grasses and stems scatter the floor. Leaves that have been cut. Recent. A clearing made in the last day or so.
Trees of koa and 'ohia'lehua, draped with vines. A couple of large palms. Trees that grow at higher elevations. He's well up in the mountains. But which island? By boat, it could be any. Though it's tricky by speed boat to cross the shipping channels. Unless you know the currents. Oahu, still. Possibly.
Trees that border the clearing provide cover for a small tent sited directly ahead of him. Even so, a large camouflage netting is slung between trees providing even more cover. This place is not meant to be found from the air. And he finds himself thinking yet again that his abductor is military.
But with all the camping equipment here, his abductor had to have brought a vehicle close to. Had to have accessed the area by some dirt trail - no way could he have hiked here on foot and certainly not carrying Steve.
That meant... there was a way out if he escaped, without getting lost in dense forest – and a way in to be found by others if... he didn't.
A movement makes him look up again quickly – there's little wrong with his reflexes. He squints, and sees a hawk. Black silhouette against the sky – and flying free... Irrelevant. Put the emotion down.
Concentrate. Detail. His own physical checks. Nausea again but not as bad as before. But lightheaded. Headache. His jaw throbs where took the brunt of the blow on the boat. It's made worse now by the way he's trussed up. But it's not broken. Or... the guy knew how to deliver a blow with just enough force to put him out. Again that question. Is Steve's abductor, trained military?
He knows there's a gash on his thigh. Could feel the dry stiff scab split when he'd fidgeted to take in the clearing. He has no energy. Hasn't eaten. Gone too long without fluids. His tongue sticks uncomfortable and dry to the roof of his mouth. Detail. The humidity and warmth of the forest makes him wet with perspiration. The tall trees obscure the sun, but only just. Time of day, therefore, must be nearing noon? He's been captive for over twenty four hours? His stubble pretty much confirms it.
He still wears only his swim shorts and rash vest...
This is going to get dangerous. He might have more to fear yet than dehydration. Detail that his brain quickly assimilates. Needs to escape. This has gone on for far too long. He has no broken bones. Nothing majorly wrong. There is nothing here he can't handle.
He's made a mistake by surrendering? No. None. Had to give himself up to protect Danny and Catherine. Detail of their faces in his memory. Good that they're safe. Good. Good.
Footsteps, suddenly. Booted. That crack and snap at the foliage as they approach from behind. Detail. He's ready. He's ready. He stills. Plays dead. He's ready. The guy would have a weapon.
Though the flesh at the back of his neck crawls.
He's ready. He's ready to twist over, jerk up his knees and launch a kick at his abductor's groin.
He has scarcely seconds to react before one boot, aided by a strong hand on his wrist ties, shoves him over to his face and stomach, zapping out all breathe. And the boot, firm between his shoulder blades, pins him to the forest floor.
He gets his breathing controlled again. He's got to do better than this if he wants to survive. Detail. Hears his abductor breathing. It's not even either.
His mind is racing to assess, even while he can feel rope brushing against the skin on his biceps. His abductor collected rope from his vehicle? Therefore it's parked behind him?
A curl of rope drops near his head. He struggles... believing the worse - that it's a noose to hang him. But his abductor could have killed him on the boat.
There's additional tightness at the ties at his wrists - the rope is being knotted at wrists. Expertly. With practice. With purpose. A pause. The boot doesn't shift though. Steve feels this is his last chance to retaliate. He's panting. His breathing isn't controlled at all. He letting his only miserable chance slip on by.
Rope swishes high over his head hitting leaves and branches.
The boot shifts –
- and abruptly Steve is swept off the forest floor. Trees spin, waltz around him as he's hoisted a couple yards off the forest floor, suspended by the rope.
He yells. He can't hold that in check. His eyes squeeze shut and stream with the pain that slices at his head – at his shoulders – at his arms – at his wrists, twisted, stretched behind his back and made to support his whole body. Breath is gone and comes only in gasps. Lungs, chest, are too tight to move. Shoulders... arms feel like they're going to be wrenched from their sockets. His head lolls forward - fire of pain crucifying him.
Information from training floods in that he has no wish to recognize. He's not been brought here to be killed.
He's been brought here to be tortured.