Relief

"Is there anything else we can do?" the tall dark-haired detective asked as he finished the last of his lo mein before setting the empty take-out carton on the coffee table.

"Well…um…if you wouldn't mind," the grey-haired officer replied a bit self-consciously, nodding toward the big box on his living room floor that contained his new air conditioner. "I was going to install it this weekend. It's supposed to be hot next week."

Steve McGarrett glanced over at his second-in-command, who was working on the last of his Hunan chicken, and broke into a rare smile. His voice caught a little as he responded: "We'd be glad to help."

Duke Lukela lay on his sofa, his right leg bandaged from mid-thigh to calf and propped up on two bed pillows. If it hadn't been for his keen eye and quick reflexes, Danny Williams might not be alive to share the simple meal. Three days earlier, Duke had thrown himself in the path of a bullet meant for Danny, pushing the young man clear to safety. There hadn't been time to draw his revolver or even to yell out a warning. This kind of sacrifice of self for brother wasn't uncommon among those serving in HPD or Five-O, but each incidence seemed to leave those involved awed and at a loss for words.

Working together, Steve and Danny unpacked the new appliance, pulled the step ladder out of the closet and heaved the unit into the window. Danny tightened the screws on the brackets to stabilize the heavy machine then taped the cord to the window frame so it wouldn't block the view. Steve plugged it in and pushed the power button. After a few minutes, cool dry comfortable air was circulating through the modest apartment.

"Thanks, Steve, Danny," Duke said, a smile lighting his weary face. "That feels great!"

"Anytime, Duke!" Danny responded enthusiastically, putting away the tools.

Steve walked over to the sofa and gave the injured officer's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "I owe you a lot more than that, Duke, a whole lot more."