Title: Locus of Control

Summary: Danny screws up and has to learn the hard way that he isn't the only one who would risk everything to keep Grace safe. This time, he has no one but himself to blame for the fallout.

Disclaimer: I do not own Hawaii Five-0 or its characters.

A/N: This is a friendship/family-themed story about the Five-0 ohana. It's a bit fluffy at times, but with a good amount of drama, angst, and hurt/comfort on the side. There's also some humor and a tiny bit of romance… so I'm basically doing ALL the genres in this one.

Anyway, I started writing this during the hiatus between seasons one and two (yes, I've been working on this for almost a year now…), and since I didn't want to speculate on what was going to happen in season two, this story is set in late season one (after episode 21, but before 23).

The story is essentially finished and just needs a little tweaking here and there, so I hope I'll be to update on a somewhat regular basis.

Locus of Control

Chapter 1

Special Agent Edith Lake came awake with a start as the door of her tiny, windowless office on the third floor of the FBI field office in Honolulu slammed forcefully into a rattly metal shelf behind it. Her partner, Conrad Bixler, stormed into the dark room, waving a manila folder at her and ginning like someone had stapled the corners of his mouth to his ears.

"Hey Edie, you're gonna love this," he drawled.

Edith squinted up at her partner, her vision still blurry, before she ran a hand over her mouth to check for leftover drool from the nap she had just taken on the keyboard of her computer. She blinked a couple of times, waiting for Bixler to say something, but he just stood there, tapping his fingers on the folder in his hands, wiggling his eyebrows.

"What?" Edith finally asked mid-yawn.

"Guess." Her partner's grin – even though physically impossible – grew wider and wider.

Edith ran a hand over her cheek, tracing the little square-shaped impressions the keyboard had left there. Her brain was not awake enough for this shit. "Just . . . tell me. Please."

Bixler rolled his eyes, disappointed. He threw the folder onto her already abused computer keyboard, shrugged and then dropped heavily into the chair in front of his own desk. He pouted like a gigantic six-foot-three, two hundred and fifty pound, five-year-old.

Edith grabbed the folder and opened it. A familiar face stared back at her from a black and white photograph that was clipped to a few pages of notes, printed in the smallest font possible. She squinted at the text while her left hand started patting across her desk, searching for her reading glasses. "What is this?"

"Our ticket out of this broom closet."

"Don't tell me we got a lead on him?"

"Are you illiterate or something?" Bixler asked, frowning.

"Just tell me what it says in here. It's dark and I can't find my glasses and . . . please?" Naps always made Edith a little whiny. She gave her partner her best puppy eyes look, even though it probably wasn't necessary to make him talk. He was practically bouncing up and down in his chair, ready to burst with excitement. Just like a child.

"He is back," Bixler announced exuberantly.




"He's back in the States, Edie. Back in Hawai'i."

"No way."


Edith was wide awake now. She hastily rummaged around her desk, knocking over a couple empty paper cups in the process, until she finally found a pair of glasses underneath an overturned copy of 'Outlook for Dummies'. She put them on and quickly scanned the pages of the folder in front of her.

"Is this legit?" she asked after a minute.

"You bet it is."

"Then why are you still sitting here, grinning like an idiot?" She stood up and holstered her sidearm. "Let's go get a warrant for a wiretap on Danny Williams and get this son of a bitch." Edith tossed the folder back at Bixler and stormed out of the office.

"But I wanna go with you."

Gracie looked at him with huge sad brown eyes and Danny almost gave in at that moment. He sighed and knelt down in front of his little girl, who was sitting on the edge of his bed, legs dangling belligerently against the frame. His bad knee protested the movement but Danny ignored the dull throbbing pain. He patted Grace's head and tugged on one of her pigtails, before he rested both hands firmly on her shoulders, looking at her with his serious face.

"We've talked about this, Monkey. Danno's gotta go back to Jersey to see grandma for a few days."

When Grace just pouted, Danny decided it would be better for his knee to sit down, seeing that this might take a little longer than he had hoped. He dropped down to sit cross-legged in front of the bed.

"Why can't I go see grandma?"

"Not this time, babe. You got school on Monday, remember?"

She kicked her leg against the bed a little harder than before. "But you have to work on Monday, too."

"The Governor was nice enough to give me a couple of days off."

"Maybe you could call the school and ask if it's okay if I don't go for a few days." A small, hopeful smile appeared on her face.

This was not fair. At all.

"Look, Monkey, we'll go see grandma in the summer, I promise, okay?"

"Why can't I go now?"

Danny ran a hand over his mouth. He was slowly growing frustrated. "Look, when I booked my flight, I was really lucky to still get a seat on that plane. I asked if there was room for one more, but they said no. Don't tell me you wanna ride with the luggage. Huh?"

She shook her head no. After a moment, her legs finally stopped banging against the bed frame, and Danny decided to take that as a good sign. He patted her knee softly and tried to make eye contact.

"You're gonna have so much fun staying with Uncle Steve tonight," he said, smiling encouragingly at her. "And mommy will come by and pick you up tomorrow, as soon as she gets back here from Manchester."

"But we were gonna go to the water park this weekend."

Danny would never admit it in front of his daughter, but he was actually happy to get out of that one. Grace had been on him about a trip to the water park for months now. Two weeks ago, he had finally caved and agreed to take her on their next weekend together. However, that was before he had checked the park's website. After doing some shocking investigative work and finding out what water parks looked like these days, he had offered Kono a hundred bucks to come with them and entertain Grace, because he was definitely not suicidal enough to go anywhere near all those slides and water world playgrounds.

"I'm so sorry about that, Monkey," he lied. "Maybe you can ask mommy if she'll let us go next weekend. We could bring Auntie Kono, too. What do ya think?" One more week to bully the rookie into coming with them was all the time he would need. "Sounds fun, right?"

"Hmmmm . . ." Grace took a moment to consider his offer and then nodded. "Okay."

"Okay?" he asked, smiling at her again.

She was still pouting a little, but Danny could see a small smile tugging on her lips now, too. "Yeah."

He patted her knee again and stood up. "You ready to go?"

She nodded and slid off the bed, dragging her enormous pink backpack along with her.

"Come here, gimme that," Danny said, reaching for her bag. He flung the backpack over his shoulder and guided Grace with a hand on the back of her head towards the door of his tiny apartment.

Once Gracie was properly seat-belted into the passenger seat of the Camaro, Danny walked around to the driver's side of the car, leaned against the closed door, and pulled his cell from his pants pocket. Steve picked up on the second ring.

"Okay, this is officially your last chance to get out of this," Danny said, staring up into the bright blue Hawaiian sky.

"Don't be ridiculous, Danny. Just get over here."

"You sure you don't mind?"

"Yes, I'm sure." Danny could practically hear his partner rolling his eyes at him.

"Listen, I really appreciate this. I know it was all very last minute and –"

"Stop worrying about it, Danny. The guest bedroom is all made up and ready . . . it'll be fine. Besides, you got more important things to worry about right now."

Danny sighed heavily. "Yeah, I know. Listen, I don't know when I'll be back, so –"

"Hey, family comes first, right?"

"Yeah," Danny agreed softly. He had been telling himself that for the past six hours, but somehow, it didn't make him feel the least bit better about what he was doing.

And what he was doing, was lying to his partner. Betraying his friend.

"Okay. See you in a bit," Steve said and hung up.

Danny kept the phone pressed to his ear a little longer. There were so many things he wanted to say, but he couldn't drag anyone any further into this. Especially not his partner. Not after everything Steve had already done for him.

With a sigh, Danny stuffed his phone back into his pocket. He took a deep breath and forced a smile when he opened the car's door and looked at Gracie, who was patiently waiting for him. "You ready to go?"

Steve stood in the front door and watched patiently as Danny and Grace made their way across the front law towards him. The little girl's tiny hand was firmly gripping her father's bigger one. She was chewing her bottom lip and had an overall grouchy expression on her face – it didn't look like she was going to let Danny's hand go anytime soon.

The smile on Steve's face disappeared. Gracie loved him, and he had expected her to be super excited about spending the night at his place. But now the little girl looked like her father was walking her to school on a Sunday. Steve swallowed and began to knead his right hand in his left, trying to work out the panic that was rapidly building up inside him. He could deal with a happy, giggly Gracie. Not with a sad, pouty Gracie, who wanted her Danno and no one else.

Danny had called him around seven that morning, telling him that his mother was in the hospital with a bad case of pneumonia and that he needed to go back to Jersey for a few days to make sure she was going to be okay. Steve had told him to go and not worry about work – he, Chin, and Kono would manage just fine without him for a few days. When Danny had told him that he had Grace that weekend, and that he was still looking for someone to watch her until the next day – when Rachel would be back from her trip to Manchester – Steve had offered to watch her without even thinking about it. He had been sure that Grace would love the idea. But now that she looked as if someone had told her that Christmas got canceled this year, he wasn't so sure anymore.

"Hey, Grace," Steve said, forcing the smile back on his lips, as the two came walking up to him.

"Hey, Uncle Steve." Her voice sounded oddly resigned. Steve looked nervously up at Danny and then back down at the little girl. He crouched down next to her and held his arms open expectantly. "What, no hug?"

With a little push from Danny, she leaned forward and wrapped her tiny arms around his neck.

"Hey, Danny told me you guys were gonna go to the water park this weekend," Steve said.

Grace nodded silently.

"I know it's not half as much fun, but do you wanna go swimming out back?" Steve asked, jerking a thumb in the direction of the small bay behind the house.

Grace just shrugged.

"I could teach you how to snorkel."

She raised her eyebrows at that.

"Sound good?" he asked, feeling a little less nervous at the somewhat positive reaction from Grace.

She nodded and then looked up at her dad. "Can I?"

"Sure, Monkey," Danny said with a loving smile. He looked just as relieved as Steve felt. "Who could better teach you how to snorkel properly than Super-SEAL McGarrett here?"

Finally, Grace smiled.

"Hey, why don't you run inside and get changed?" Steve suggested, getting back up.

She nodded. Danny carefully put the big backpack on her tiny shoulders. It almost looked like he was afraid she would fall over backwards the minute he let go of it. Grace, however, somehow managed to stay upright. Danny took a moment to look at his daughter and then ran a hand gently over her head. "You keep an eye on him, okay? Make sure he doesn't get into any trouble," he said, winking at her. When Grace nodded, Danny crouched down beside her, gave her a huge hug and a kiss and tightly grabbed her shoulders with both hands. "I'm gonna call you as soon as I can, okay?"

Grace nodded again. "Okay." She gave her dad a kiss. "Love you, Danno."

"I love you too, Monkey," Danny said as he stood back up. "Now go."

When Grace walked past Steve inside the house, he patted her on the head. "I'll be right in."

Danny waited until Grace was out of earshot before he spoke. "I'm sorry," he started, shaking his head slightly. "When I told her, she wanted to come with me but I can't take her, my mom –"

"Danny," Steve said, holding up both hands in front of him. "It's fine. We'll be fine," he tried to reassure his partner, who looked less than happy about leaving his precious little daughter alone with him for the night.

"Yeah," Danny said with a sigh, giving Steve a somewhat grateful look. "Thank you."

"Don't mention it", Steve said, slapping his shoulder. "Hey, how is your mother doing? Have you heard anything new?"

Danny looked at him confused for a moment. Then realization seemed to hit him. He shook his head. "No, nothing yet. Still the same."

"She'll be okay."

"Hmhm." Danny looked like his mind was miles away.

Steve frowned when he noticed how his partner's hands were nervously fidgeting with his tie. He had sounded so much calmer on the phone. Worried, yes, but right now he was just a mess.

Danny suddenly cleared his throat a little awkwardly. He seemed to have noticed that Steve was studying his body language. He started smoothing out his tie and glanced at his watch. "My flight leaves in about an hour so I better get going."


"Rachel will come by and pick Grace up around noon tomorrow."

Steve nodded. "Don't worry about Grace, Danny," he tried to reassure his partner again. "See you in a few days." He slapped his back and watched as Danny slowly made his way back to the Camaro.

He didn't look back again, just got into the car and drove off.

"Play that back again."

Edith pressed the headphones firmly to her ears, hoping to be able to better understand what was being said. She and Bixler were sitting in front of a wall of computer equipment in a room that was even tinier than their office. Edith had no clue how, but her partner had somehow managed to clean up the recording of a phone call Detective Danny Williams had made about half an hour ago. The warrant had come through only minutes earlier, and she couldn't believe that they already seemed to have something tangible on the man they were looking for.

Bixler pressed a few buttons and the recording played again.

"Okay, this is officially your last chance to get out of this."

"Don't be ridiculous, Danny. Just get over here."

"You sure you don't mind?"

"Yes, I'm sure."

"Listen, I really appreciate this. I know it was all very last minute and –"

"Stop worrying about it, Danny. The guest bedroom is all made up and ready . . . it'll be fine. Besides, you got more important things to worry about right now."

"Yeah, I know. Listen, I don't know when I'll be back, so –"

"Hey, family comes first, right?"


"Okay. See you in a bit."

Edith blew out a long breath, as she set the headphones down in her lap. She leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "What do you think?"

Bixler shrugged. "It's not much."

"You think it's enough for Judge Foster to sign off on another warrant?"

Her partner snorted and shook his head. "Not a chance, Edie. He didn't even want to sign off on the wiretap. There's no way he'll let us search McGarrett's house on this alone," he said, gesturing towards the equipment in front of them.

Edith rolled her eyes, knowing he was right. It had taken them half an hour to convince the judge that a wiretap on Danny Williams would be their best shot in finding the man's brother.

They had been tracking Matt Williams through half of Asia for months now. Cambodia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Qatar and so forth. But he had yet to make the mistake of either entering a country that had an extradition treaty with the United States in the first place, or one that was actually willing to act upon such an agreement. Why Matt Williams would just come back to the States after all this time was a mystery to Edith, but the intel they had gotten from a source at Langley seemed legitimate enough – even though she didn't really trust anyone in the CIA. It was a matter of principle.

However, Judge Foster had not wanted to hear any of it at first, afraid that authorizing a wiretap on one of the officers on the Governor's task force could ruin his career. He had finally caved, though, when Edith had mentioned her father, who was a well-known judge at the Federal Tax Court. Foster didn't need to know that she hadn't spoken to the man in years.

"But come on," Edith said, pulling herself upright. "I mean, why would Williams need to put someone up at McGarrett's house? He doesn't have any family here, except maybe for his daughter and the ex-wife."

"You usually don't need to find a place to stay for people who already live near you," Bixler pointed out, speaking slowly, as if she would have a hard time following his logic.

"I know that, thank you," Edith snapped sarcastically. "But that's exactly what I'm saying. I mean . . . woah, what a coincidence." Her hands were flailing the air in huge circles. "Matt Williams boards a plane to Hawaii and the next day a desperate sounding Danny Williams is asking is partner in crime McGarrett to let someone stay at his place. Come on!" She was almost shouting now. "Family comes first. You heard McGarrett. If this was not about Matt Williams then . . . I don't know. I'll quit or something."

"Okay," Bixler said, holding up both hands defensively in front of him. "But, I still don't think we should push our luck with Foster."

"Okay. So what are we gonna do?"

Bixler grinned and wiggled his eyebrows at her. "Stakeout time."

The sun had already begun setting when Steve and Grace finally made their way back up to the house. They had been in the water for a good two hours, and Steve was starting to seriously doubt that the little polliwog was actually his partner's daughter at all. If he had ever seen a hydrophobic, it was Danny Williams. Grace, however, was the complete opposite. She had gotten the hang of things pretty quickly, and soon enough the two of them were more underwater than over it, trying to find little fishes that had accidentally made their way into the more shallow waters.

"You hungry yet?" Steve had eventually asked and Grace had nodded emphatically.

She quickly ran back up to the house and disappeared inside. Steve picked up the diving mask and snorkel she had left on one of the deck chairs by the shore, and followed her inside the house. He couldn't help but smile when he spotted the little puddles of water on the floor – shrinking in size along the way – leading upstairs and towards the guest bedroom.

"Hey Grace," he called as he made his way towards his own bedroom. "I'll grab a quick shower, okay?"

"Okay!" Steve heard her yell from the room across the hallway.

"You feel like ordering pizza?"


"Okay, well there are a couple of menus downstairs in the kitchen next to the fridge. Why don't you go ahead and pick out your favorite when you're all done, okay?"


When Steve came back downstairs ten minutes later, he found Grace sitting cross-legged on the kitchen floor. She was already wearing her pajamas, but her hair was still dripping wet, forming another small puddle all around her. Two pizza menus lay spread out in front of her, while she held a third one in her hands, reading it with such concentration that she didn't even notice him walking in.

Steve grabbed the towel Grace had left on one of the kitchen chairs and tossed it at her, making the little girl jump and look at him with huge, confused eyes.

"You need to dry your hair a little. Danno's gonna kill me if you catch a cold," he said, trying sound all serious, but failing miserably.

Grace picked up the towel that had bounced off her head and made a face. "I already tried," she said, but nevertheless wrapped the towel around a few strands of hair and started squeezing.

Steve snorted and shook his head. "Come here," he said, waving her over as he sat down on the chair. He took the towel from her and started to gently rub it across her head, trying not to pull any hairs out. "There, all done." He looked at the mess on the kitchen floor and then back up to Grace. "Now, did you find anything you like?"

She smiled and went to grab one of the menus off the floor and handed it to him. "Can we get one with pineapple and ham?" she asked, still smiling, pointing at a picture of the pizza she had picked out. "Danno doesn't like it so we always get something else, and mommy and Stan never order pizza."

"Well, that's not fair," Steve said with a mock pout. "Of course we can get pineapple and ham." Again, he wondered if the little girl was even related to Danny.

Grace smiled satisfied at him and then disappeared into the living room while Steve called to order the pizza. She came back, dragging her gigantic backpack behind her, announcing that she would do some homework while they were waiting for the delivery guy. Steve left her alone in the kitchen to start mopping up the little puddles she had left all over the house.

Operation 'clean up' was progressing nicely and barely five minutes later, Steve was already halfway up the stairs. When he suddenly heard the French doors leading to the lanai close with a soft click, he frowned.

Steve craned his neck to see what was going on in the living room, expecting to find Grace wandering about. Instead of the little girl, however, he found two men in the room downstairs, both clad in black, complete with leather gloves and ski masks. One of them seemed moved towards the front door, while the other one made his way slowly towards the kitchen. Towards Grace.

Without wasting a second on thinking things through, Steve practically flew down the stairs and threw himself on the second guy before he could reach the kitchen door. He tackled the man hard, slamming him into a wall and destroying a little side table in the process. The guy slid down to the floor, dazed and confused, and Steve took a few quick steps back to peek inside the kitchen, looking for Grace.

And there she was, sitting at the table in the center of the kitchen, a legal pad and a textbook in front of her. Pale pink headphones were covering her ears while her head bounced from side to side in a quick rhythm. She was completely oblivious to the world around her.

Out of the corner of his eye, Steve saw the other guy launching himself at him. A gloved fist came flying in the direction of his head, and he managed to duck away just in time. As the knuckles hit nothing but air, the guy attached to the hand started stumbling forward. Steve grabbed his still outstretched arm and used the guy's momentum to push his face into the side of a nearby shelf. That guy also went down.

"Don't move!"

Steve spun around, ready to fight, and found a third man standing across the room, pointing a gun at him. The angle, in which he was holding the gun confirmed Steve's initial assessment that these guys were complete amateurs. He held what looked like a fifty caliber handgun – big bullets but limited accuracy – sideways, like you saw people hold guns in movies. It was unlikely that the guy would be able to hit his aim (which currently seemed to be the center of Steve's forehead) from that angle. Aside from that, the force of the recoil would definitely blow his wrist to hell, effectively preventing him from getting another shot off.

Still, Steve couldn't take the risk of the guy firing the weapon just once. He was afraid that the stray bullet might hit Grace in the kitchen behind him.

So he put up both hands and started to move slowly away from the kitchen door. "What do you want?" Steve asked, sneaking another glance at Grace who still had no clue about what was going on in the next room.

"Where's Williams?" the guy with the gun asked, sounding like he was on the verge of a panic attack. So definitely not a pro.

Steve just blinked at him, perplexed. Who is the trouble magnet now, Danny, huh? Seems like Rachel had this one right all along. Danny was the one being followed by violence. It just accidentally (usually) seemed to find its way to the people around him. Preferably Steve.

"You deaf or somethin'? Where the fuck is Williams."

"I don't know who you're talking about," Steve lied, shrugging and taking another small step away from the kitchen door and hoped it would seem like an all natural and self-evident movement.

"Don't you fuckin' lie to me," the guy yelled, waving the gun around in front of him. "And don't you fuckin' move or I'll blow ya brains out right now."

How old was this punk, seventeen?

Out of the corner of his eye, Steve saw the guy he had tackled into the wall get back up, wincing in pain. The other one was still out for the count, snoring away on his living room floor and staining the carpet with blood oozing from his nose.

"Ey, I'm not gonna ask again. Where the fuck is Williams?" The kid with the gun was yelling now, causing Steve to chance another glance in Gracie's direction to make sure she still hadn't heard anything. As soon as she would come running to the living room to see what was going on, things could take a turn for the worse really, really fast. But to Steve's relief, she was still completely engrossed in her homework, making him wonder just how high she had turned up the volume on her iPod.

"I already told you, I don't know who you're talking about."

"And I already told you to not fucking lie to me!"

"What do you want from him anyway?"

"None of your fuckin' business."

"You get the beeeeest of both worlds! Chill it out take it slow, then you rock out the show! You get the beeeeest of both worlds!"

Three pairs of eyes and one gun whirled in the direction of the kitchen, as Gracie suddenly started singing along to whatever song she was listening to. There was a moment of general confusion and Steve realized that, if he was gonna make a move on the kid with the gun, it needed to be right now.

-to be continued-