Author's Note: I've been looking forward to writing this chapter for such a long time. When I wrote this chapter, the song I used to describe Price and Kono's entire relationship would be Life after You by Daughtry, it really works!
The taxi slowly drove through the area by the North shore, it was around noon, and Price found what he was looking to.
"Pull over right at that curb." Price asked
The cab pulled over and Price slowly stepped out, he looked in the driver seat, next to the driver was a small computer with the amount of money he owed, it amazed him and Price never realized how much money he spent over the last eight years paying for cab services, of course, with New York, it was common, one had to go to one place or another usually by cab, but walking was also common.
He quickly paid the cab driver, though it was a bit more than what the driver was asking and quickly proceeded onto the beach.
The sand was just as he remembered; white beaches and clear blue ocean views leading for miles on end with no end. When Ryan first arrived at Oahu eight years ago, it was a great view for thinking, just sit on the beach and think, when the case against Osman was taking a toll for a worse, he would sit on the beach and think.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out the newspaper clipping from Kono's accident, he frowned as he read the text; he looked out at the ocean and placed the article in his coat pocket, as he looked around where he could see and he found he wasn't alone.
Beside him, about a few feet away was a woman about two years younger than he was, she was wearing a black sleeveless top, a pair of blue jeans and boots that ended at her ankles, looking at her belt, she carried a gun and a badge, she was sitting on the sand and looked out at the ocean.
A cop then? Price smirked
Her dark brown locks fluttered with the breeze, Price's eyes narrowed, he thought that maybe he remembered her, but it was definitely not who he thought it was, it couldn't be, she was a surfer, not a cop.
The woman looked over at him "Can I help you with something?"
Price looked back and then back at her "Yeah, maybe," he approached where she was sitting "I was supposed to be meeting someone here. Lieutenant Kelly told me she would be here by now."
"Lieutenant Kelly? Chin Ho Kelly from Five-0?"
Price nodded "Yeah, you know him?"
"Of course," The woman smiled "he's my cousin."
He thought for a moment, and then caught what she said, Chin was her cousin, and there was no way that could happen.
"Wait," Price shook his head "Chin Ho Kelly is your cousin. Then you're…." He was almost speechless, and his face was getting red
"Everything okay?" She asked
"Kono…please tell me that's you. Kono Kalakaua right?"
She smiled and nodded "That's right, and you would be?"
Price straightened out his posture a bit "Lieutenant Price, Task Force One-Forty-Five."
Kono's eyes grew wide as she remembered that day they met.
Eight years prior…
"Alright, you win Osman." Price nodded at Chin, who lowered his gun
"Good, on the ground now!" He demanded
Chin lowered his gun first, followed by Price, this had been a month long case, a month long case of chasing him all over the state and eventually, tracked him back to Oahu, and all it took was simply taking one of his comrades and questioning him.
Price lowered his pistol next, and then tossed his knife into the space between the young woman and Yusuf's legs.
"What the hell?"
Price drew his pistol and fired into a small opening Yusuf left, his left shoulder blade was exposed, the bullet made impact and Yusuf slammed into the wall, dropping the blade and releasing the young woman, Price ran to her as Chin slapped a pair of cuffs on Osman's wrists.
"Are you okay….?"
"Ryan Price? Is that you?"
Price looked at himself "Jeeze, I didn't think I aged that much, let alone changed that much."
Kono smiled and the pair embraced, Price lowered his head so she took in her scent, definitely smelled like the ocean.
"I can't believe you're here!"
"Chin didn't tell you?"
"No…no he didn't." Kono looked away toward the ocean
They were in their favorite spot, where the palm trees formed a canopy, and if one looked out at the ocean just right, they could see the ocean sparkling, Price took her there right before Kono's contest that allowed her to attempt at going pro, that same one caused her knee to shatter.
"Something wrong?" Ryan folded his arms over his chest
"It's been eight years Ryan…" Kono didn't face him
"I know," He released his stance and tried to place a hand on her shoulder "and believe me, I've felt terrible about how badly I acted back then…I…there's no excuse."
"You didn't even bother to call me after the accident." Kono's head snapped toward him, anger and pain were in her brown eyes
Price frowned, that one hurt "I know, and believe me when I tell you that I wanted to call you, I wanted to be here, I wanted to stand by your side every second of the time you were in the hospital….and I did know about it. I even had the transfer orders ready to go."
"But…?" Kono guessed there was more to what her old friend was saying
"Chief Bennett wouldn't let me, he said 'you need to be focused and you need to move on, she was just another case.'" Price remarked, a frown on his face, he felt disgraced
Kono looked at him, and she could tell one thing, he was being honest, but she wasn't convinced, not just yet.
Price looked at her and fished into his pockets "Damn it, I carry that with me. Must be in my briefcase…" he sighed "in Chin's car."
"Well, is Chin still at headquarters?"
"Nope." Price shook his head "He's at a crime scene."
"What? Is that why Dan told me they didn't need me?"
"I think so, but I can't be sure." Price replied
Half an hour before…
"One thing we need to do before we go." McGarrett looked at Chin "Pull up Price's file on the data base."
Chin walked to the computer, tapped a few keys and slid his fingers forward on the touch screen toward the TVs.
On the screen showed Ryan Price's picture from his Task Force One-Forty-Five I.D. card, his hair was cut, but not as long as he currently had it, his face was freshly shaved and he was wearing a white shirt, black tie, black sport jacket and his posture was very straight.
"Alright, so Detective Price, his honorary title is Lieutenant from his days with the military, had no police training aside from some private training."
"Can you tell us anything about it?" Danno looked at the screen
"No," Chin tapped a few buttons "Apparently his file has as much red tape as someone from Intelligence."
McGarrett thought for a moment "Bring up his military file."
Chin tapped a few keys and another file was brought up, a list of successful missions, medals and ranking successions by year.
"Alright…" Chin took a breath "So Price served in several campaigns in his time with the US army, he served with the two hundred and twelfth front line division."
"So that means he saw more battle then most soldiers did right?" Danno asked McGarrett
"Exactly, the two hundred and twelfth was a good unit, I heard about them. A lot of squads of Al-Qaida were taken out by his unit, civilian escorts to refugee camps, let alone stopping bombings from Syria." McGarrett explained "So how did he join this task force?"
"Well, Joseph Bennett is the team leader, he is also their financer, but here's something you may not have known before." Chin tapped a few keys "Bennett is actually the Price's godfather."
Bennett's picture appeared "He served in the Cold War, Vietnam and has a lot of connections with the Pentagon."
"So is that how Price is here?"
"No, he was discharged from his previous assignment right before."
"What was the previous assignment?" McGarrett crossed his arms over his chest
"This is the catch." Chin replied "You two need to see this."
Chin pressed a few keys and Price's military file came back up, with another key, the file changed. The screen went black and a symbol appeared on the screen, a rotating circle showing a combat knife in the center of the blue badge, on the top of the blade was a triangle which looped around the knife, the leftover part of the triangle showed a lighting symbol.
"So what's this?" Danno asked
"He's Delta Force." McGarrett replied
"So basically….he's you."
"In a way, Delta Force is a special operations and anti-terrorism task force designed by the army," McGarrett's face was stone cold as he looked at the screen "Chin, does anything say about the operations he participated in?"
"Nope," Chin tapped a key "His file has so much red tape around it, if I tried to break into it, we'd be arrested on the spot."
"Why would this one soldier have so much of his file covered up?"
"Probably because he's trying to protect himself, from what…" McGarrett pondered "it might be related to this case."
Price sat down next to Kono on the beach, they were just talking, it was nice, after the hostility he had endured, Price was glad Kono did not change at all.
He told her a bit about his case, though he couldn't tell her much about it, mostly cause Bennett didn't give him the approval, he did manage to tell her about a few of his other cases while she told him about her accident, her training as a cop and even some of her cases she worked with Five-0, going into North Korea to rescue McGarrett, a Halloween case of two people being buried in an ancient Hawaiian burial ground, Price laughed when she told him Danno had a rock thrown into his back and front windshields, a bus load of kids that were taken by some members of a drug gang, though he growled when she told him about losing her badge for going under investigation and ended up working for I.A. under a man named Vincent Fryer, he was even known in New York, though not in the best of ways.
He had a smile on his face the entire time as she talked, she was incredibly beautiful and every time she talked, Ryan took notice of the dimples that formed on her face.
Price took a breath "You know, this is probably the most peaceful beginning to a case I think I've ever had." He looked out at the ocean, the waves crashing along the shore, retracting and repeating
"Really? I thought any case you were involved in were easy." Kono teased
"Funny." Price didn't realize it, but his hand had covered hers
They both looked into each other's eyes, Price couldn't believe the fire that had sparked in him again, but he knew it wasn't gone, it was just coming back to life.
Kono smiled at him, and they leaned in close, as they got close, he could feel her lips brush against his, one of her hands went to his leg as they were about to kiss, when Kono's phone went off.
She smiled and quietly answered it "Chin…now is not a good time."
Price smiled and rubbed the back of his neck, his face was beat red.
"Right, we'll be right there." Kono looked at Price "They need your opinion on the case."
Kono parked her car, yellow police tape sealed off the area, almost a dozen cop cars were in the area, people were gathering on the other side of the tape, members of the Hawaii Police Department and their Crime Scene Investigators were on the scene, two cars that Price guessed belonged to McGarrett, Danno and Chin.
As they proceeded into the crime scene, they approached a medium two story house, the pair of cops walked up the stairs and into a lightly carpeted area, they proceeded forward to Chin and Danno looking over a dead body while McGarrett was speaking to a few HPD officers, dark hard wood flooring stood under them.
"Chin, what's going on?" Kono asked, placing a hand on her hip as Price got a bit closer
"So HPD got a call this morning around six in the morning of screaming coming from the ground floor, when they got on the scene, they found the victim like this." Chin motioned to the victim
The victim was on the ground, blood stained the hard wood floor under his body, his shirt was gone, his arms were folded over his chest almost like he was being prepped for a funeral, the more unique thing was that his face was wrapped up in bandages, his eyes and lips were the only things exposed.
Price bent down "Can someone get me a pair of gloves?"
Chin walked over and handed Price his gloves, he slipped them on and looked at the body, noticing there were swollen marks around his throat, and there was blood staining the bandages.
"Has anyone tried to unwrap him?" Price asked
"No, we're going to have the doctors do it." Chin looked at the body "Who do you think would do this?"
"I don't know, but I do know one thing, it more than likely involves my case in some way." Price looked down at the body and lowered his head in disgust "You did not deserve this at all."
Kono looked at him, Ryan had changed a lot, and she could see that now.
Price walked out of the room and back to Kono's car, he stood outside, deep in thought, he couldn't figure this out.
"Hey, you okay?"
Price looked up to see Kono walking over to him. He shook his head and rubbed his temples.
"I'm trying to figure this out, and I think I got a scenario."
"Okay." Kono smiled "Run it by me."
"Did anyone see anyone leave the house this morning?"
"No." Kono shook her head "He wore a mask and he was wearing all black, no distinguishing features."
"No, at least…nothing we can get our hands on. Not even any finger prints."
"Alright…" Price bounces off the side of the car and starts to slowly pace "So, our victim was getting ready for work, he opens the door, the attacker grabs him by the throat and starts to strangle him to the point his vocal cords were strained or until he passed out. The victim's face was then cut off and killed from a combination of trauma and blood loss."
"Sounds good Price, you'll have to run it by McGarrett and the others when we get back to headquarters."
"Right…" Price thought for a while
"Something on your mind?"
"I do know one thing…whoever did that, must be precise, someone who has some sort of a medical field like a surgeon. I mean, if the cuts are precise for it to be an armature's job."
"Do you really think so?"
"We may want to cross reference doctors who have either arrived on the island recently or who have opened up a practice."
"We can do that." Kono smiled, she was impressed by how well Price was working
"Now just one thing Kono." Price looked at her as he leaned back "I was hoping that I could take you out for dinner when things start to calm down with this case."
"I'd love to." She smiled at him "Where are you going to stay?"
Price frowned "I don't know yet, I'm still debating. I think there are a few hotel rooms nearby I could stay at."
"No! Why waste your money when you could come stay with me for free?" Kono offered
"No no, I couldn't. I mean…I don't want to impose."
Kono placed an arm around his shoulders "I want you to Ryan, I insist. Everyone's family here."
Price's head shot up at that part, he forgot how close Hawaiians get to each other "Well, if you insist, I need to get my bags from Chin's car."
"Go on ahead, I'll get things ready." She climbed into the driver's seat and started the car
Price ran over to her window "Kono, I don't want you to go over and above for me, the couch will be fine for me."
"You'll see what I'll do Ryan." She leaned up and pecked him on the cheek and drove off and onto the road
Price touched the cheek she kissed, he couldn't believe it, but things were moving forward and he and Kono were together again, and now, he had to end this case, once and for all.