Disclaimer: I don't own Hawaii Five-O or any of its characters.
Thanks to Tanith2011 for her beta-reading and for encouraging me to write this.
This is an ATC to "Engaged to be Buried" from Season 5.
Alia's whole world had completely caved in and she could hardly move or even breathe. It was all too much. It had taken strength and courage for her to turn her back on her family and marry Rono Vidalgo. Now the curtain had been drawn aside revealing all. Her husband of only a few hours had lied to her. He was still working for his father and he had arranged the bombing at the bowling alley that had killed Pam. Just minutes ago, he had murdered Father Jack in cold blood. He could have, probably would have murdered her father when he had stood up to him at gunpoint. Rono was everything that her father had claimed. The blatant contradictions had her mind spinning out of control. All she could do was cling to her father as she drowned in her own tears.
Chin Ho sat on the plane with his arms around his eldest daughter, oblivious to the sympathetic glances from his fellow detectives. Her pain and brokenness blotted out everything else. How could she understand that the anger and embarrassment she had caused him had vanished in the blink of an eye? That her lies to him and betrayal of their family no longer mattered? Did she know how his heart ached and how he longed to wipe away her pain?
By the time they arrived in Honolulu, it was late afternoon. There was more case work to be done, but the head of Five-O knew that one of his detectives needed to be elsewhere.
"Chin, you take care of Alia; we'll finish up here," Steve said gently after pulling the man to the side, out of earshot of the others.
Chin phoned his wife and told her that he and Alia were okay, but they would be home late. Then he drove his daughter to a quiet restaurant where they could talk. Alia hadn't spoken since Rono had died, and Chin was concerned that she was in shock. He prayed for the wisdom to find the right words that would heal rather than hurt.
"Alia, you've been through a lot in the past two days," Chin began in a quiet and serious tone. "You watched your best friend die. You left your family and got married. You were betrayed. You looked on as men were shot and killed then you watched your husband die." Chin almost choked on the word husband.
Several minutes passed before Alia was able to respond.
"I didn't know…I didn't know!" she finally cried out. "Rono promised me that he had cut ties with his father, that he wanted a different life. And I believed him!" she sobbed. "I loved him, Dad! We were going to have such a beautiful life together! I wish I could go back and change everything."
"I know, Sweetheart, but you can't. Some choices we make change our lives permanently and we have to live with the consequences and learn from our mistakes," Chin explained, trying to remain strong as his heart was breaking.
"Daddy, how can you even stand to look at me after what I did?" she whispered with tears in her eyes.
Chin sighed and grinned briefly through his own tears as he took Alia's small hands in his. This answer was easy.
"Alia, you are my child and I love you. Nothing will ever change that. You have some very hard days ahead of you, but your mother and I will be there for you, no matter what."
The relief in his daughter's eyes was as the sunrise of a new day.
"I love you, too, Dad, and I'm so, so sorry."
Steve stood alone on the lanai outside his office gazing out at the city lights and breathing in the night air. It had been a long, hard day. For him, it was just another day of performing his duty to bring criminals to justice. But for Chin…Steve couldn't imagine what his eldest detective had endured…was still enduring that day. He shook his head and lowered his eyes. He knew that Chin loved his family more than anything. What would this do to him? To them? He was distracted by the evening trade winds and the rustling palm trees, then by the phone ringing on his desk. He returned to his office and picked up the receiver.
"Steve, Chin. Just wanted to tell you that we're home now…and to apologize for losing my cool."
"Forget it, Chin. You had more than enough reason. How's Alia?
"She's in a bad place right now, Steve, but she's going to be okay. We will all get through this."
"Good. Yeah, I'll see you in the morning."
Steve hung up the phone and sat down at his desk. Having no children of his own, he knew that he could never understand the depth of Chin's torment. His mind drifted back to the times that he had disappointed his own father. To his surprise, those memories were hazy and no longer caused him any sorrow. The sorrow had been replaced by love.
Steve took a sip of his now cold coffee, stretched his back and loosened his tie. He smiled, confident that with time, the Kellys would heal from the events of the past week. Then he closed his eyes, contemplating the miracles of forgiveness and second chances.