A/N Hello. I didn't think I was going to be back so soon, but this story idea has been nagging at me ever since the episode when Joe was kidnapped by Noshimuri's men. I thought it strange that head of the Yakuza wouldn't retaliate after something as daring as what Steve did - i.e., breaking into the man's home, knocking out his people and pulling a gun on him. I felt like there had to be more to this story. Plus, I was left very unsatisfied by the whole quote-unquote "resolution" of the Shellbourne thing. After all the tension and the build-up, I felt it was way too rushed and too ... unextraordinary, for lack of a better term.

Not saying that my idea is better. It's just a different take on the whole thing. A bit of an AU, but something that I think could have happened (in my humble opinion ;). I'll be waiting to hear your comments on this idea as the story unfolds. And, as always, reviews are more than welcomed and greatly appreciated!

A/N2 The title of the story comes from an old Russian folk song about a young mortally wounded soldier who lays in the field, watching a black raven circle above him in anticipation of an easy prey (depressing, I know). Well, onward with the story. I promise, it's not a death fic :)

Chapter 1

O Black Raven, do not circle

In the sky above my head,

You'll not have me as your quarry

O Black Raven, I'm not yours

(from a Russian folk song)

"You know, McGarrett, when a person goes to the trouble of getting himself a phone, the expectation is that said person would actually use the device as intended and pick up when his partner is trying to get a hold of him..."

Danny's voice, muffled and distorted by background noise filtered into his consciousness, and Steve blinked sluggishly, as the misshapen blob above him morphed into the contours of a familiar chandelier. Home? He was home. Lying on his back, from the looks of it, staring up at his own ceiling. Why?

He struggled to remember against the incessant pounding in his head; struggled to put the broken, jagged flashes of memories into some semblance of order. He remembered Adam Noshimuri's face twisted with helpless rage as the latter stared down the barrel of Steve's own gun. He remembered Joe, bruised and bloody, refusing once again to respond to his pleas to tell him the truth. He remembered the car door slamming, and his mentor walking away. And he remembered himself, sitting alone in his car, his chest swelling with bitterness and despair that gradually turned into the numbness of defeat.

Maybe that was why he was distracted. Maybe that was why he didn't notice that anything was amiss until he pushed open the door to his house.

Regardless of the reason, that lapse in attention must have been what landed him in his current predicament. Just what exactly that predicament was, however, he had yet to figure out.

"Pick up, Steve!"

Danny again. Where was he? Why couldn't he see him?

He tried turning his head toward the sound, but the explosion of pain that followed that simple movement had him quickly abandon the idea. Eyes slammed shut against the merciless onslaught, he lay rigid, listening in confusion as his partner's agitated voice crackled through the air.

"If you don't pick up your goddamn phone in the next five seconds, I'm coming over. And if you're not there, I swear to God, I'm gonna LoJack your ass!"

"Well, we can't have the good detective coming here just yet, can we?" another vaguely familiar voice permeated into his scrambled consciousness, and he peeled his eyes open, waiting for the newly appeared blurry shape above him to take form.

Adam Noshimuri?

His confusion must have shown clearly on his face, for the new head of the Yakuza smiled coldly down at him, nodding in predatory satisfaction.

"Surprised, Commander? You didn't really expect to break into my home and pull a gun on me without there being any kind of repercussions for your own well-being, did you? Tsk-tsk-tsk," he shook his head mockingly. "I would have thought a man like you would know better."

Noshimuri squatted down next to him, his dark face filling up Steve's entire field of vision.

"You chose to protect the man who murdered my father. Now I choose to punish you in his stead."

He motioned to someone off to his left. "Get him up. Let's leave a little memento for Commander McGarrett's friends."

Hands reached down toward him, and Steve tried to remember what it was that Joe had told him before he left. Hiro. Joe didn't murder him. Adam's father was alive. He needed to tell him. He...

His thoughts were brought to an abrupt end, as two strong hands pulled him roughly up off the floor, and his world spun dangerously, a wave of dizziness engulfing him, squeezing a tight vise against his throat. He choked on his words, swallowing convulsively against the overwhelming nausea.

"Open your eyes, Commander," Noshimuri's voice hissed above his ear, and he frowned in confusion - he hadn't realized that they were closed.

Groggily he tried to obey, but nausea threatened anew, and he hesitated, forcing harsh deep breaths through his nose, waiting for the episode to subside. A few minutes. He just needed a few minutes.

Unfortunately, Adam Noshimuri was not a patient man. Another hand grabbed a fistful of his hair, jerking his head upward. Lightning, harsh and blinding, exploded in his brain, and he threw up harshly, violently and very accurately, if angry shouts of disgust were anything to go by.

"Son of a bitch!"

A retaliatory blow to the head wasn't unexpected. A sharp exclamation putting a stop to any further abuse was not.

He risked a cautious glance at his unlikely benefactor, relieved to note that Noshimuri's face no longer swam before him in nauseating circles, and was nearly blinded by a bright flash of a cell phone camera. What the hell?

"Perfect," Noshimuri smiled at the image on his screen, putting the cell phone, Steve's own cell phone, away. "Now let's hustle boys. The Commander's buyer is meeting us in half an hour. Let's not keep him waiting, shall we?"

And Steve was dragged out of his home and into the back of a black SUV, Adam Noshimuri's disconcerting words ringing in his ears.


Well, what do you think? Shall I keep going with this?