"So ya still gunna to come as da Devil to da party tonight?"
Danny Williams smiled at his Hawaiian friend's excitement as he stopped writing the report he was working on and looked towards the large detective who stood in the doorway to his cubicle. "Yep, Sally picked up the costume from the shop yesterday."
"It's gunna be a great night, bruddah," Kono enthused. "The beach, ono food, good music and lots of girls. What more can a guy ask for?"
"A chance to get this report written and on Steve's desk before he changes his mind about us having the night off, bruddah." Danny lightly teased his colleague as he turned his attention back to the unfinished report, aware that it had to be completed before he could leave.
"I bettah let you finish it." Kono grinned, "Don't wanna give da boss any extra time to change his mind."
Hanging up the phone, McGarrett reached for the intercom button and pressed it. He waited for a moment before he heard Danno's disembodied voice respond.
"Danno, can you come in here for a minute?" He asked before releasing the button and leaning back in his chair; smiling as he planned his next few hours.
A soft rap preceded the entrance of his Second-in-Command and he waited until the young sandy-haired detective had closed the door and sat down before he quietly informed him. "I just received word from Maui P.D that Cohen has been sighted at Kipahulu near the Pipiwai Trail."
"That's a pretty rugged area, Steve; I've hiked there a couple of times." Danny told him, "Thick rainforest, easy enough for someone to get lost if they don't know the trails."
"And you do?" McGarrett asked. Danny nodded, not liking where the conversation was going as his boss softly said, "I'm afraid that you are going to have cancel your Halloween plans for tonight, Danno. We can't allow Cohen to slip through our fingers again."
Danny grimaced before swallowing his disappointment and nodding his silent acceptance of McGarrett's order. He knew how important apprehending Cohen had become for Steve. It had almost become an obsession for the lead detective and his closest friend and he knew McGarrett would not be able to relax until they had the criminal behind bars. Cohen had been the mastermind behind several vicious armed robberies across Oahu that had left four men dead. Never one to dirty his own hands with the actual deed; the heartless criminal had surrounded himself with thugs and bullies and had planned every robbery right down to the smallest detail, always adding the instruction - kill anybody who resisted or got in the way.
It had taken Five O almost six months of investigation before they were able to obtain enough strong evidence to bring charges against him but he had been tipped off about the pending arrest and had disappeared before one could be made. McGarrett had taken the escape personally and had sworn to his men that they would bring the slimy criminal to justice.
Drawing a deep breath to ensure his disappointment didn't show, Danny forced a small smile and asked, "What time does our plane leave?"
"We're booked on the midday flight to Maui that gives you an hour to go home and pack some hiking gear." Steve smiled as he rose from his desk and walked around to the chair where Danno sat. "Mahalo, Danno, I promise I'll make missing your Halloween party up to you. You know how important capturing Cohen is to me, aikane."
"The Halloween party ain't no big thing, bruddah - always another one next year." Danny smiled; no longer concerned about missing the party as he focused on what equipment he needed to pack for the afternoon hike.
Ben Kubota glanced across at the lead detective sitting beside him; McGarrett looked tense and edgy and in fact had been almost totally silent since he had picked up the pair at the Hana airport. Glancing into the rear vision mirror at the younger detective who sat in the passenger seat behind him, the Maui Police chief began a quick but concise report, "I sent the APB of Cohen onto the Park Rangers and outlying ranches just in case he tried to hide out on the island and this morning we hit pay dirt. One of the ranchers spotted a man fitting Cohen's description hiking near the Pipiwai Trail this morning. Unfortunately when the Ranger spotted Cohen, he was leading a group of inexperienced hikers along the Trail and wasn't able to follow him when he disappeared into the rainforest. The ranger was able to tell us the precise location where he last saw Cohen and in which direction he had disappeared."
"Bettah than nothing bruddah!" Danny smiled as he looked at McGarrett to gauge Steve's reaction to the report but McGarrett remained silent, his jaw clenched tight as he stared ahead. Returning his attention to the Maui officer Danny continued, "We knew from the coconut wire in Honolulu that Cohen had a small hideaway somewhere on the islands where he could hide until the heat cooled off enough for him to escape to the mainland but we weren't able to locate where his cabin was. We suspected that he escaped to Honolulu in a boat but we had no clue which island he would head to."
"Couldn't think of a better spot to have a small hideout cabin than Kipahulu." Ben observed.
"Yeah." Danny agreed. "Not many people wander off the main hiking trails, too easy to get lost. Someone could easily hole up in one of the small cabins for weeks without ever being spotted."
"Also a great area for growing marijuana, bruddah." Ben warned the two detectives. "We've found a few small plantations in that area over the last couple of months. Most of the plantations have belonged to local kids wanting to make a quick buck but we've heard rumours of a bigger plantation further off the trail. We haven't been able to locate just where that is yet "
"Hard to find in all of this rainforest." Danny sighed as Ben turned into the Haleakala National Park parking lot and coasted the car to a gentle stop.
"There have also been unconfirmed rumours that hikers who have wandered off the main trail have been threatened or shot at by two young men supposedly guarding the crop but so far no one has made an official, or unofficial, complaint." Ben continued as the three officers alighted from the car and began to unpack the two backpacks, radios and canteens of water from the trunk. "Not the safest place to be hiking at the moment, are you sure that you don't want some more men to help you search?"
"Be better if it's just the two of us, Ben." Steve spoke for the first time since the ride from the airport as the two Five O detectives shrugged into their packs. "I don't want Cohen being tipped off that we are searching for him by having too many people trouping around the rainforest."
Ben nodded unhappily as he handed McGarrett the radio . "How long do you think you will be?"
Danny glanced at his watch before he looked back at Kubota, "We should arrive back here about noon tomorrow Ben, we want to check out a couple of cabins I know of just off the main trail where Cohen could be hiding."
"Just be careful, bruddahs, don't take any unnecessary chances; not only with Cohen but with the trail itself. The weather bureau is predicting storms tonight and the trail can become dangerous and tricky and most of the streams in this area are prone to flash floods." Ben warned. "Also radio reception here is almost non-existent. If you two ain't back by lunchtime tomorrow, I'm sending in a search party whether it tips your guy off or not."
"Mahalo, Ben." Steve smiled, touched by the Police Chief's concern and lightly patted him on the shoulder before he turned back to his Second-In-Command and asked, "Ready, Danno?"
"Ready, Steve." Danny grinned as he adjusted his backpack into a more comfortable position on his shoulders and waved his farewell to Ben as he turned and led his boss towards the small signpost near the edge of the rainforest that marked the start of the trail.
"Looks like the weather bureau was right, we're in for a storm." Danny observed as he stared up at the dark clouds rolling across the sky between the branches of the trees then he stopped to remove his back pack to reach the canteen. They had been hiking at a steady pace for the last two hours after leaving the main Pipiwai Trail just after passing the Makahiku Overlook. The trail they now followed was narrow, rough and steep in parts and in some places almost non-existent but the young Five O detective knew this hidden path well.
Glancing upwards, McGarrett nodded as a flash of lightning lit up the sky, "You're right, Danno, we had better find some shelter and sit the storm out."
"There's a cabin up ahead that we can shelter in. It's not the Ilikai but at least it's warm and dry." Danny told his boss as he slung the backpack over one shoulder before adding with a grin, "And since it is Halloween maybe we can spend the time telling ghosts stories around the fire."
"Ghosts stories eh?" Steve laughed, slapping the younger man on the shoulder as a clap of thunder echoed through the trees. "Ok aikane, I'll think about it but how first about you lead the way to the cabin so we can get out of the rain? I doubt we will find any trace of Cohen in this rain."
Acknowledging the request with a nod, the young detective began the arduous walk through the rugged terrain as he followed the small, rarely used, trail that he knew led past the tiny one roomed cabin ahead.
Danny felt the twigs beneath his foot break a moment before something snapped around his ankle and his leg erupted in fiery pain. Unable to stop the scream of agony that tore from his throat, Danny collapsed as the bones in his leg snapped under the unexpected pressure. Instinctively he reached for his leg as he desperately attempted to free himself from the cruel metal teeth that now held him firmly.
Concentrating on where he stepped, McGarrett was startled by his companion's agonized scream of pain. Snapping his head up, Steve watched as Danny collapsed to the ground and clutched desperately at his leg., McGarrett stared in disbelief at the bear trap that was tearing into the tender flesh of his young friend's ankle.
Dropping to the ground next to the trapped young man, Steve quickly grabbed hold of Dan and pinned him gently to the ground, aware that the more Danny struggled to get free the more damage the trap inflicted. "Easy Danno, easy." He whispered shakily, "I need you to try and stay still, aikane."
"Oh God, it hurts!" Danny cried as he struggled against Steve's firm hold attempting to reach again for the reason of his agony, "Get it off, Steve! ... Oh God, please… get it off!"
Blinking away the tears that threatened to blur his vision, Steve glanced back at the rusty metal trap before he returned his attention back to his friend. Danny was pale and shaking, already showing the first symptoms of shock. He knew that he had to release Danny quickly from the trap. "Danno, listen to me aikane! You have to calm down and stop moving so I can get a good look at the trap." Steve told the injured man firmly as Danny continued to thresh under his hands, causing the trap to tighten its relentless grip around his ankle and tearing deeper into the vulnerable muscles and skin. "Danno, stop fighting me!" Steve growled as he tightened his grip on Danny's shoulders and pressed the young man onto the ground, crushing the backpack Danny still wore.
Instinctively obeying his boss's growled order; Danny forced himself to stop struggling as Steve cautiously released his shoulders. Relieved that Danny had obeyed his order and had calmed down, Steve patted Danny's arm, "Good Danno, good. Just take it easy, I'm going to have a look at the trap and see just how we can get it off your leg."
Danny swallowed hard and nodded as he watched Steve move down and study the steel trap that had trapped his leg.
"Its spring triggered." Steve murmured relieved as he carefully examined the trap being careful not to touch it in fear of causing Dan more pain.
"Can you …get …it off?" Danny panted in pain as he watched his boss' examination.
Steve forced a small smile and nodded, "I can release the spring if I place a counter weight on either side of the trap."
"Do it!" Danny moaned as he tried unsuccessfully tried to stop the tears that were now running freely down his face and intermingling with the rain. "Just get it …off me!"
"It's going to hurt aikane," Steve warned, "Before I can remove the trap, we have to place your foot flat on the ground so that I can place my weight on both sides of it to release the locking mechanism."
"Just …do it!" Danny begged.
Steve nodded, not trusting his voice as he patted his friend's shoulder in a silent show of support before moving down and gently grabbing Dan's leg. Swallowing hard, he steeled himself for the pain he knew he was about to inflict as he looked up into Danny's pain filled face and croaked out between dry lips, "Ready?"
Drawing a deep breath as he tried to prepare for what was to come, Danny bit down hard on his bottom lip and silently nodded.
Carefully lifting Dan's leg, Steve desperately tried to ignore the younger man's sobs as he bent the leg at the knee and placed the injured foot flat on the ground. Aware of the suffering Danno was enduring; he swiftly placed both hands on either side of the trap and pressed down with all his weight. His chest tightened with guilt as Danny's screams changed into heart-wrenching sobs as his weight slowly forced the steel jaws open releasing their victim from its iron grip. Feeling his arms tremble under the strain, he shouted, "Danno, listen to me, the trap's open. Your foot is free. I need you to lift your foot out of the trap… Danno, I know it hurts but I need you to lift your foot!"
Hearing his boss' order, Danny closed his eyes and gritted his teeth before choking back a sob of agony as he lifted his injured leg into the air. The pain was excruciating and he was unable to contain the scream that erupted from his very soul as he mercifully slipped into blessed darkness.
Releasing his grip on the deadly hunting implement as soon as Danny had lifted his leg free, Steve caught and gently eased the wounded limb onto the ground. He glanced at Danny's pale face, grateful that the young man had passed out and would hopefully be spared the pain of having his leg bandaged.
Hurriedly shrugging out of his back pack, Steve quickly searched its contents, pulling out the small first aid kit before opening and placing it close to Danny's leg. Reaching for the injured limb, Steve gently pushed up the bloodied remnants of the leg of Danny's jeans, exposing the jagged and heavily bleeding puncture wounds that encircled Danny's ankle just above the edge of his hiking boot. He knew he had to remove the boot before he could bandage the wounds but Steve hesitated a moment as he noticed the strange angle of Danny's foot. The trap had broken the bones in Danny's leg and Steve was acutely aware that by removing the boot, he could cause even more damage but he also knew that he really had no choice. Danny was bleeding heavily, although he could see no evidence of arterial damage he was not certain if any veins had been nicked by the sharp steel teeth. If he did not remove the boot and stop the bleeding there was a real possibility that Danny could bleed to death.
Quickly unlacing the boot, Steve drew in a deep breath and steeled himself as he carefully slid the boot free, slipping the woollen hiking sock Danny wore off a moment later. He heard Danny moan softly but tried hard to ignore the sound as he grabbed several thick dressings from the first aid box and pressed them firmly around Danny's ankle. He held them in place as he fumbled for a bandage before securing them tightly a few seconds later. Steve eased the leg back on the ground, satisfied that he had managed to slow the bleeding as he looked around the area searching for something to help splint and stabilize Danno's leg before he attempted to move him.
A loud clap of thunder echoed through the trees that surrounded them; shaking the ground as the first heavy drops of rain began to pelt through the protective canopy and stinging McGarrett with their ferocity. Aware that any more first aid measures were now going to have to wait until they reached the protection and dryness of shelter; Steve stood and quickly repacked the first aid kit, placing the pack back onto his shoulders before slinging Danno's over his shoulder. Reaching down, he slipped his arms under his injured detective and lifted him off the ground. Staggering a little under Danny's dead weight he studied the rugged trail ahead. "I hope you're right about the cabin, aikane," he whispered to the unconscious man in his arms as he started along the narrow track, watching carefully for any more hidden traps or snares. "We need to get you somewhere warm and dry and then treat your leg."
Creeping closer to the cabin, Cohen took cover behind a tree as he drew his gun and silently watched for any sign of movement around the small clearing and the surrounding undergrowth. He knew that this was probably overkill but he could not take the chance of being seen again.
He shook his head and cursed himself silently for his own foolishness that had almost got him caught. Bored of looking at the four walls inside his cabin, he had decided this morning to take a little trek but the ranger had seen him and by the startled look on the ranger's face, he knew the man had recognized him - probably from the media reports.
He had managed to slip back into the safety of the rainforest before the ranger could react and had spent the day creating false trails that lead away from the safety of his cabin for anyone who decided to try and track him; the afternoon storm however had caught him by surprise a mile from his hide away. The storm was intensifying and the torrential rain made the small streams between here and his cabin too dangerous to cross leaving him with no other option than to shelter in the abandoned hut.
He waited a few minutes more until he was satisfied that he was alone before he silently stepped out of his hiding spot and hurried across to the small cabin. Reaching for the door, he carefully reached for the handle and turned it, expecting it to be locked. He was surprised when the handle turned and the door swung open. He hesitated a moment as he heard something move in the underbrush. He turned and squinted, peering through the sheets of heavy rain as a figure carrying something emerged from the trees. He turned and quickly stepped into the cabin pulling the door silently closed behind him before he pressed himself against the wall and his finger tightened on the trigger of his gun as he held his breath and waited.
"Easy, Danno, easy. Almost there." Steve murmured distractedly in response to the soft moan from the man in his arms as he concentrated on keeping his balance on the muddy trail.
He carefully traversed the last several yards in the pelting rain to the small cabin that had been built partially into a small grotto hidden by the trees. Reaching the cabin, McGarrett lightly kicked the door with his foot, sending a silent prayer of thanks as the door swung open and he staggered inside with his precious cargo held tightly in his arms. He paused a moment, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dim light as he looked around the one room structure. It was obvious that the cabin had long been abandoned; a thick layer of dust covered the floor and the old wooden table and chair that sat in the middle of the room, even the old bed against the far wall seemed to have a covering of dust that coloured the thin blanket that covered the mattress grey.
Spotting the bed, he began to carry Danny across the room but he had only taken a few steps before he felt the barrel of a gun press against his back as a familiar voice growled, "Hold it right there!"
"Easy, easy." He said softly as he came to a complete stop and tried to reassure whoever held the gun to his back, "I don't know who you are but I promise we mean no harm. My friend stepped into a trap. He's hurt and I needed to get him somewhere dry to treat his leg. Please just let me put him down on the bed and then we can talk."
"Okay but no tricks! Then turn around with your arms up in the air" Cohen warned as he allowed the injured man to be carried to the bed, watching closely as the dark headed man lowered the younger man to the bed before he turned back slowly, his arms raised in the air
"McGarrett!" Cohen gasped in surprise as he recognized the man who turned towards him. "How did you...?"
"Cohen!" The name exploded from McGarrett's lips like a curse as he found himself staring into the eyes of the man they had been hunting as he instinctively reached for his gun.
"Don't even think about it, McGarrett, You'll be dead before your gun even leaves the holster!" Cohen warned as he pointed his gun towards the detective's chest, "Now I want you to drop the backpacks and then take your gun out slow and easy and place it on the ground then kick it over to me." He ordered, the gun never wavering as he watched McGarrett unholster his weapon and lower it to the floor before kicking it across to where Cohen stood. "Good, McGarrett, good. Now your boy's weapon!" he ordered pointing towards Danny with his gun.
McGarrett sighed as he turned and slowly reached for Dan's weapon, carefully removing it from Dan's waist band holster. He hesitated a moment as he felt the weight of the weapon in his hand and he consider the odds that were against him if he turned and fired. A soft moan caught his attention and he realized that he was the only chance that Danno had.
"Come on, McGarrett!" Cohen growled impatiently.
"I'm doing it." McGarrett answered as he turned around and placed it gently on the ground before kicking it across to their captor.
Keeping his gun trained on McGarrett's chest, Cohen knelt down and picked up both guns, slipping them both into his waistband as he stood up again. "So how did you manage to track me here, Supercop?" He asked watching McGarrett closely.
"I promised you that if you tried to flee that I would track you down." McGarrett told Cohen softly, "And I always keep my promises!"
The criminal stared at the lead detective in disbelief for a moment before he began to laugh, "You did too, McGarrett!" he chuckled, "But I never really thought that you would track me down personally – I thought that you would have sent one of your boys or a flatfoot. I guess the local coconut wireless was right when they said that the great Mr. Five O always got his man - eh?"
"I try." McGarrett answered before the soft call of his name from the man on the bed caught his attention and he turned quickly towards it, ignoring the gun that was still pointed at him as he crouched down beside his injured friend. He gently placed a hand on the young man's shoulder and whispered softly, "I'm here Danno."
"Steve…it hurts…" Danny moaned as his eyes fluttered open and he reached weakly towards his leg.
"I know it does aikane." Steve told him quietly as he gently pushed Danny back down onto the bed and glanced down at the wet bloody bandages that encircled Danny's leg. "I'm going to re-dress and splint your leg and then make you a little more comfortable my friend."
"McGarrett!" Cohen roared as he rushed across the room and grabbed the detective attempting to pull him away from the side of the bed.
Pivoting around on his toes, Steve jumped to his feet and slapped Cohen's hand off his shoulder. "If you're going to use that gun then use it! If not then get the Hell away! I told you my officer was injured and I am going help him whether you want me to or not!" Steve hissed before he turned his attention back to his detective, ignoring the criminal.
Cohen stared in disbelief as McGarrett turned his back, the detective's total disregard for the gun he held left him shocked and more than a little startled. He was unsure of what he should do; he had never met anyone that ignored his orders before.
Ignoring the man behind him, Steve knelt back down beside the shivering man on the bed as he pulled some dry clothes from the backpack and began to remove Danny's wet ones. Using his own spare clothing to dry Danny he redressed him in clean clothes and wrapped him tightly in the dusty blanket in an attempt to slow the young detective's decline into shock. He hesitated, uncertain as to whether he should attempt to remove Danny's soaked jeans, fearful that by doing so he might damage Danny's leg further.
"You're going to have to cut the leg of the jeans open, it will make it easier when we redress and splint his leg." Cohen advised as he stepped closer to the bed. McGarrett glanced up as Cohen asked. "You said something about him being caught in some type of a trap? "
"A boar trap, covered by dirt and leaves on the trail." McGarrett answered, surprised at the other man's offer to help.
"Nasty! Knew it was only a matter of time before those idiots really hurt someone protecting their damn crop!" Cohen muttered before he ordered. "We're going to need some hot water to clean out the wounds, if the blood loss and shock don't get him first then any infection will if we're not careful. Have you got something to use to cut his jeans?"
McGarrett nodded and reached into his jacket pocket, regretting having to show the pocket knife that might have proved invaluable later as a weapon against their captor. No, treating Danno's leg was far more important than hiding any potential weapon.
"That might do the job." Cohen murmured as he glanced at the small knife, "I'll get the fire going and start heating the water while you cut away his jeans. It's easier if you cut along the seams." He added as he turned away and headed outside in search of wood.
McGarrett frowned and turned towards the criminal; bewildered at the man's actions, "Why are you doing this, Cohen? Now's your chance to escape."
Cohen stopped and half turned back toward the lead detective. "I might rob banks for a living McGarrett but I'm not a murdering man! I was a medic in the army before I came to the islands and I have no intention of watching a man suffer whether he's a cop or not; not when I am able to help." He answered before he turned and walked out of the cabin.
McGarrett stared at the empty doorway before a soft moan caught his attention and he turned back to Dan. Danny was watching him closely, his pain filled eyes more coherent than before. "Was that Cohen?" He asked in confusion, "Did we catch him?"
Squeezing Danno's shoulder, McGarrett nodded, "That's Cohen, Danno and we didn't exactly catch him." He cryptically answered, "But he has some medical background and is going to help me treat your leg." Moving down to the bottom of the bed, Steve released the blade from the handle of his knife, "But first aikane, I have to cut your jeans so we can clean and bandage your leg." He saw Danny nod and bite his bottom lip as he slipped the blade against the inside seam of Danny's jeans and began to cut the material, being careful not to jostle the injured limb any more than necessary.
Biting hard on his bottom lip, Danny tried hard not to cry out as every tear the knife made pulled the material and moved his ankle, sending fiery bolts of white hot agony shooting up his leg. Unable to stop the tears, he choked on the swallowed sobs as Steve lightly squeezed his uninjured leg and whispered, "I'm sorry aikane, I know it hurts but we have to get your jeans off."
Drawing a deep breath to calm his shaking hands, Steve waited a minute for Danny to relax a little and gain some control over the pain before he started cutting the material again, slicing through the thick material until he had cut it up to Danny's thigh he folded it back and exposed Danny's leg.
Something shiny around the ankle of Dan's other leg caught the lead detective's attention and he felt his heart beat faster as he realized what it was. He grinned with relief at his injured partner, gently rubbing Danny's arm as he whispered "You brought your back up piece with you. Good thinking Danno. I think you just turned the tables on Cohen, my friend." Glancing towards the cabin door, he was relieved to find it still open and Cohen nowhere in sight. Returning his attention to Dan, he carefully tugged up the uncut pants leg as he quickly removed the small ankle holster and the small.22 it held. Sliding them into his own waistband he pulled his shirt over it, hiding the small bulge that it made.
"I have some dry wood to start a fire." Cohen announced a moment later as he re-entered the hut. "And there's an old saucepan in the corner I can use to heat up some water. Have you got more bandages and supplies in your packs?'
"I have a first aid kit that has clean sterile dressings and bandages." McGarrett replied as he reached for Danny's backpack and removed the small red box before opening it and removing the needed items as Cohen lit the fire.
Satisfied the fire was burning well, Cohen rose and closed the door before he filled the small pot with water from one of the detective's canteens and set it on the flames to heat. He waited until the water reached the temperature that he wanted before he lifted it from the flames and carefully carried it across to the bed. Settling it on the small rickety bedside table he turned his attention to Dan's leg.
He grimaced at sight of the bloody bandages and nodded silently for Steve to lift Dan's leg. Leaning close to the injured man, Cohen whispered a quiet apology for the pain he was about to cause. Danny nodded his understanding and acceptance that any treatment to his leg was going to hurt.
Moving down to the end of the bed, the bank robber glanced towards the two detectives and asked. "Ready?" With nods from both men he carefully unwound the bandage, exposing the jagged, swollen wounds underneath. The puncture wounds encircled the ankle unevenly, bleeding freely as the pressure was removed. Grabbing a clean handkerchief from his pocket, Cohen dipped the material into the water and with a quick nod to McGarrett to hold the leg tighter to prevent Danny from moving it; the ex-medic began to clear away the dirt and the blood, exposing the tendons and white bone beneath the torn skin.
The pain was excruciating and unable to stop the sobs that tore from his throat, the young detective begged them to stop as he struggled to pull his leg free.
His own heart breaking with every heart-wrenching sob, Steve grabbed Danny's leg tighter as he whispered soft words of comfort, promising that they would be finished soon.
Satisfied that he had cleaned the wounds as well as he could, Cohen reached for the dressings and pressed them around the limb before tightly wrapping a bandage around the damaged ankle, preventing both the dressings or joint from moving. "Almost finished, just need to splint the ankle" He assured both men as he rose from the bed and hurried over to the wood pile. Searching through the roughly chopped pieces of wood he found two suitable for his needs. Returning to the bed he carefully placed both pieces on either side of Danny's ankle before securing them into position with a second bandage he then nodded to McGarrett to lower the injured limb back onto the bed.
Blinking away the moisture that blurred his vision, Steve murmured, "Mahalo!" as Cohen silently began to clear away used, bloodied bandage.
Cohen nodded and moved away, giving the two detectives some privacy as Steve stepped towards the head of the bed and crouched down, studying his pale and shaking friend. He lightly placed his hand against Dan's cheek, gently rubbing the back of his finger against the now hot and flushed skin as Danny's sobs began to fade. "I know that hurt aikane and we had to clean the wounds. The pain should ease a little now. Try and get some rest."
The order was easy to follow as Danny allowed himself to slip into the darkness that offered him a release from the pain.
McGarrett lingered near the bed for several minutes his fingers lightly caressing Danny's cool cheek until the soft hitched sobs faded and Danny's breathing settled into the deep, even rhythm of sleep.
Standing near the table, Cohen watched in amazement as he saw the iron façade of Hawaii's toughest cop slip away as McGarrett whispered comforting words to Williams. He quickly turned his head, embarrassed at witnessing the almost intimate moment between the two detectives as McGarrett straightened up and walked back to the table.
""He's lucky, there must have been a few missing teeth in the trap. I don't think that any veins have been damaged." Cohen informed the lead detective quietly as McGarrett reached the table.
"Thank God." Steve whispered, closing his eyes in relief.
"He's not out of the woods yet, McGarrett, not by a long shot. He is suffering from blood loss and shock" The bank robber continued, "His leg is severely broken and there was a lot of dirt and rust in the wounds. I cleaned the wounds as well as I could but I doubt it was enough. He is already showing symptoms of infection. If the infection takes hold in his weakened condition, then there is a great possibility that he may not survive the night. He needs to be in a hospital."
"I know he does." Steve hissed as he ran his hand over the five o'clock shadow on his face. "But that's not going to be possible with the storm and the darkness. Even if I radio for help, the chances of a rescue team finding us in stormy conditions at night are slim even if they did decide to try and find us. "
"The radio is useless, there's no reception here." Cohen stated quietly.
Steve nodded,"All we can do is wait until morning and then hike out!"
"What do you mean we, McGarrett? I have no plans of hiking out anywhere with you or have you forgotten just who has the gun here?" Cohen growled as he pulled his gun from his waistband and aimed it at the detective. "Tonight we might all be stuck in this lousy little cabin and I will help you keep your boy alive if I can but in the morning we part company. You and Williams will go one way and I am going another. I have no intentions of returning to Honolulu to spend the rest of my life locked in a cage and there is no way that you are going to be able to drag me back there!"
"You are responsible for the deaths of four men and at least six armed robberies. If you think that I am going to let you walk out of this cabin a free man in the morning then you're sadly mistaken."
"I don't know how you intend to stop me, McGarrett, but I do know that you probably won't believe me when I tell you, that I never ordered anyone to be killed in the bank heists. In fact I told the guys there was to be no gunplay."
"That's not what your partners told us and the jury." Steve challenged.
"Yeah, Davidson would tell you that," Cohen laughed ruefully, "He'd have said his own Grandmother instructed him to shoot anyone if they resisted if he thought it would safe his hide."
"Hendie backed up his story." Steve reminded the bank robber.
"You've spoken with Hendie, McGarrett; you must have realized that he's not too bright. He would repeat anything Davidson told him to. He's terrified of the man!"
"And he's not terrified of you?" Steve lifted his eyebrow questioningly.
"Why would he be? He knows that I would never do anything to hurt him." Cohen shouted, "My God, I hate violence! Okay, Supercop, I admit to being greedy! I saw an opportunity to relieve the banks of a little cash, so I took it BUT I never gave the orders for anyone to be hurt. There was no need if Davidson and Hendie had done exactly as I told them! It was Davidson who got the thrill out of killing!"
"It was you who planned the robberies and gave the orders, Cohen. You knew that there was a possibility that someone could be killed but you still went through with your plans. You're as guilty of those four murders as Davidson and Hendie." McGarrett growled angrily stabbing his finger in the air at the criminal. "So don't you try that 'I didn't pull the trigger so I'm not guilty' act with me Mister because you are as guilty if not more so than Davidson and Hendie. You were the brains behind the robberies. You gave them the guns!"
"And I gave them the orders that there was to be no shooting!" Cohen yelled frustrated that McGarrett did not seem to realize that he had no blood on his hands, it wasn't him that pulled the trigger, Davidson was the man wholly responsible for the murders. "I've had enough of having to defend myself, McGarrett; nothing I can say is going to convince you that I am innocent of those men's murders. Just sit right there and keep your mouth shut, Supercop or so help me –I will use this gun and to Hell with the consequences. What's one more murder when I've been accused of being responsible for four I haven't committed?"
McGarrett sat silently waiting for his chance as Cohen's eyes began to drift shut as the warmth and the soft flickering light lulled him off into an exhausted sleep. The grip on gun Cohen held in his hand relaxed and McGarrett seized his opportunity as the gun slid free and cluttered to the floor. Pulling the small .22 he had tucked in his waistband, McGarrett smiled as Cohen's eyes flew open and focused on the gun now held in the detective's hand. "I guess the shoe is on the other foot, Cohen. I want you to ease the two guns out of your waistband and drop them on the ground, nice and easy! Then slide them across to me."
Shaking his head at the way the tables had turned, Cohen did as he was told, as he sighed, "I guess this means I'm going back to Honolulu."
"You'll get a fair trial, Cohen and I promise you, I intend to tell the D.A, about the medical help you have given Williams tonight. It might help you get a lesser sentence."
"I told you McGarrett, I'm not a murderer. No matter whether or not you tell the DA about the medical help I've given Williams, it makes no difference to me. I did it because he needs help not because I thought it would get me out of trouble."
"No! No! Get away from me!"
The terrified scream from behind them caused both men to jump and they hurried across the room to the terrified man on the bed. Danny cried out again as he hit out at some invisible terror that only he could see. McGarrett reached his side and tried to grab his arms in an attempt to stop him from hurting himself as the young man struggled wildly, his eyes wide in fear. "My God he's burning up." McGarrett gasped, alarmed at the heat radiating from his friend.
"Oh God Steve, help me! Don't let them get me! No, stay away!" Danny cried as he tried to break free of Steve's firm hold.
Placing a hand on the young detective's cheek, Cohen turned and grabbed the wet cloth in the bowl of water beside the bed before he turned and started wiping Danny down as he quickly explained. "He's delirious; we have to get the fever down."
Grabbing the second cloth, McGarrett began to sponge his friend down as he whispered, "I'm here, Danno, I'm here. Nothing's going to hurt you, aikane, I promise."
"They're here. Can you see them? They're ghosts, Steve, I can see right through them!" Danny whispered fearfully as he stared at a spot somewhere behind Steve's shoulder.
"There are no ghosts, Danno," Steve tried to reassure the terrified young man as he re-wet the cloth and continued to sponge Danny down, "You're sick at the moment and it's making you see things that aren't real."
Danny shook his head, "They're real Steve! They want me to go with them."
Danny's whispered words sent a cold chill through McGarrett's soul and he dropped the cloth as he grabbed Danny's shoulders. "They're not real, Danny, You are not to go anywhere, understand, aikane! You can't give up on me now! That's an order, Officer!" He told his detective firmly.
"They want me to go with them, Steve!" Danny murmured as his eyes slowly slid closed and his body began to relax. "They're calling m …" The words trailed off as Danny's head rolled to the side.
"Danno!" Steve called urgently as he pressed his fingers into the side of his officer's neck, releasing his breath as he felt the weak, rapid beat of a pulse beneath his fingertips.
"He's getting worse." Cohen said softly, "The infection is starting to spread through his body. All we can do is try and keep him comfortable and his temperature down. If he doesn't get some medical attention soon McGarrett, he's going to lose more than just his leg."
"He's a fighter." Steve growled as he picked up the cloth and continued to his ministrations on Dan. "He's not going to give up without a fight. He's going to make it!" Steve insisted.
Cohen shook his head as he stopped wiping Danny down and stared at the dark haired man, "He might not have any choice in the matter. He's already weak from shock and the blood loss; his body isn't going to cope with the extra stress of an infection. He's not going to be able to wait until your rescue team arrives." He told the stubborn detective. "He needs one of us to radio for help."
McGarrett's head snapped up and he glared at the bank robber. "And I gather this 'one of us' is you?"
"I know the area, McGarrett. I know the spots where I am most likely to get the best radio reception. If you let me go, I could call for help, tell them the situation and then tell them exactly where you and Williams are!"
"And then disappear into the night?" Steve asked sarcastically, "Is that the deal?"
Cohen shrugged, "Sounds like a fair deal to me. His life for my freedom, what do you say?"
"NO! No way, Mister! You are going to stand trial for what you did!" McGarrett roared. "So don't you dare try and use Danny Williams's injury as your excuse to escape! You're the reason why he is lying on this bed. If you hadn't fled before your trial then Williams would have been safe in Honolulu enjoying a Halloween party not here in the middle of the rainforest in agony. I know for a fact that Danny Williams would never agree to letting you go either, he wants to bring you to justice just as badly as I do!"
The lead detective's passion for justice took the criminal's breath away. Shaking his head he glanced towards the ill man in the bed before he looked back at McGarrett. "I just hope you feel as strongly about bringing me in when Williams dies, McGarrett." He said softly as he re-wet the cloth and began to sponge Danny again. "Because I think you are going to realize that it wasn't just the burning desire to see me convicted for my crimes that's motivating you now but it's become personal. I don't think you want to see anyone slip through your fingers."
Rubbing the back of his neck tiredly, Steve walked to the small window and stared out at the rainforest as the trees became more distinct with the diffused light of the rising sun. Danny had finally fallen into an exhausted, but restless, sleep after being tormented all night by fever induced ghosts and monsters that only he could see. Steve swallowed hard and blinked back the tears that were threatening to fall; Danny's condition was getting worse, his leg now swollen, red and inflamed with tell-tale red lines of blood poisoning streaking the entire way up his leg. The infection now out of control, his fever raging and the simple first aid measures that he and Cohen could offer did little to stop the deterioration. They had to get out of there. He heard Cohen's footsteps as the criminal walked over to his side but did not turn around and acknowledge him as Cohen nervously cleared his throat.
"We both know that Williams's condition is deteriorating, McGarrett, if he doesn't get some medical help soon he's not going to make it out of this rainforest alive." Cohen whispered anxiously as he glanced across the room towards the ill man on the bed before returning his attention to McGarrett to plead his case again, "As I told you last night, you have a choice to make - let me go with one of your radios and when I get somewhere with some reception I can radio for help for Williams or you can force me to stay here in the cabin and hope that your search party finds us in time to save your boy's life. And the chances of them finding you in time are almost next to nothing. Are you willing to risk his life just so you can say that justice was served?"
Steve turned and stared at Danny. He knew in his heart that Cohen was right; Danno would not survive if they waited until Ben Kubota sent out the rescue party. Danny had told the Maui Police Chief that they did not expect to return until midday. He glanced at his watch and sighed, it was a little after six. Rescue was still many hours away, maybe even longer if the rain had washed all traces of their trail away. Danny needed medical attention now. He turned back to Cohen. "Okay Cohen, I'll give you one of the radios and let you go for now but this doesn't mean that I'm not going to bring you to justice later, understand?"
A small smile crept over Cohen's face as he nodded and answered, "Expected nothing less, McGarrett."
"But be warned, if you don't radio for help like you promised and anything happens to Danny Williams I will hunt you down and then the courts can have what's left!" Steve warned as he nodded towards the radio sitting on the table.
"I told you McGarrett, no matter what you believe I am - I'm no murderer!" Cohen said softly as he picked up the radio. "You won't regret letting me go. I'll radio a message to the rangers as soon as I have reception. Hopefully Williams should have medical help within the next two or three hours." He promised as he walked to the door and opened it, calling over his shoulder. "Aloha, Supercop!"
McGarrett glanced at his watch as he paced the room. 10 am. Cohen had been gone for almost four hours. He sighed and turned back to watch the motionless man on the bed. Danno had drifted into a deep state of unconsciousness almost an hour ago. Time was running out.
He ran a hand over his face as he tried to decide just what he should do - it was obvious that Cohen had played him like a fool and used his fear for Danno's life as the excuse to let him escape, now he faced the hard decision of whether to leave Danno alone and try to find somewhere with radio reception and call for help or to stay with the dying man and pray the search party would find them in time.
Staring at his closest friend, he knew that just waiting was not an option. Danny deserved every chance he could give him. Picking up the radio, he walked to the side of the bed and lightly touched his insensible friend's shoulder as he promised, "I'm going to get some help, aikane, I promise I won't be long. I need you to fight a little longer, Danno, just hang on a little longer."
"Danny? Steve, where are you?"
The muffled shouts from outside the cabin caught him by surprised and he grinned and squeezed Dan's shoulder. "It's okay Danno, everything's going to be okay! Cohen kept his promise. The rescue party is here!"
Leaning against the cool white wall, McGarrett tiredly stared out of the window. It had been touch and go for the last forty-eight hours as the infection raged through Danno's weakened body but now the doctors were confident that the worse was behind them. The antibiotics were working and Danny's condition was improving, Danno would make a full recovery. McGarrett shook his head; it had been close this time, too close.
A soft groan from the bed caught his attention and he hurried across to the side of the bed and placed his hand on the patient's arm, lightly shaking it as he softly encouraged the young man to open his eyes. His gentle persistence was finally rewarded as Danny moaned softly and slowly opened his eyes staring up at the familiar figure that hovered above him.
"Hey Danno." Steve smiled.
"Steve." Danny breathed as his eyes slowly focused on the face just above him. "Where?" He asked as he panned the room in confusion, his eyes settling a moment on the IV Bags that hung above the bed before he looked back at McGarrett , his fear evident in his face as broken memories returned. "The trap… my leg?" He gasped as he attempted to rise in the bed.
""Easy, Danno, easy. " Steve soothed as he grabbed the young man's shoulders and gently, but firmly, pushed him back against the bed. "You're in the Maui Medical Center. You were admitted to the hospital two days ago. Your leg's going to be fine. There was some muscle damage and they had to reset the broken bones but the Doc said with some rest and physical therapy - you're good for a full recovery."
"I thought…," Danny whispered as he relaxed into the pillow.
McGarrett smiled reassuringly, "I know, aikane, but we were extremely lucky."
Danny frowned in confusion, "How?"
"Maui police found the trap and sent it to Che. He reported back last night and confirmed what the doctors here suspected. The trap was old and faulty, with several teeth missing - luckily for us. When you stepped into the trap, it wasn't able to snap closed with its full force because of the rust and dirt in the hinges but it did have enough force to break the bones above your ankle, the teeth damaged some of the muscles in your leg and ankle but missed the arteries. We were extremely lucky, my friend, it could have been a lot worse." Steve answered before falling silent as he reflected on just how lucky they were. He shook his head and pushed down the thoughts of what could have happened before he continued. "Maui P.D. found a large marijuana plantation a few yards away from where the trap was. They have it staked out in case anyone returns to tend the crop."
Danny nodded tiredly. "A large crop? Someone is sure to walk into the stakeout."
"Then they are in for a surprise!" McGarrett growled, "Assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder and then all the cultivation, selling and distribution charges of a prohibited drug and that's just for starters."
"What about Cohen?" Danny asked as he fought to stay awake. "I seem to remember him being in the cabin or was I just dreaming?"
"No Danno, you weren't dreaming he was there." Steve told him, unwilling to go into further details as he firmly suggested, "You need to rest, Danno, we can talk about this later."
"So we got him?" Danny pushed doggedly, refusing to give in to exhaustion until Steve answered his questions.
"I let him go." Steve answered honestly.
Danny's eyes opened wide in surprise at the admission, "Why, Steve? What happened?"
"There are some things in this life that are too important to risk my aikane and your life is the most important thing I can think of. You were dying and both Cohen and I knew that to stay in the cabin and wait for rescue meant a death sentence for you. Cohen wanted his freedom and was willing to make a deal - if I let him go he promised to radio for help and send the rescue team to the hut. It was a deal that I couldn't refuse - your life means so much more to me than apprehending a criminal. I knew it was a risk trusting him but it was a risk that I was willing to take."
"I'm sorry, Steve." Danny whispered softly as he dropped his eyes, unable to look his boss and closest friend in the face for fear that he would see the disappointment in McGarrett's face at having to let Cohen escape to safe his life.
McGarrett frowned, "Sorry, what for?"
"I know how important catching Cohen was for you Steve and if it wasn't for me …" Danny began but was cut off abruptly.
"Danno, it was NOT your fault that you were injured aikane! And as for my decision to let Cohen go, If I had to make that decision again I would! I would have made a deal with the Devil, Danno, if it meant saving your life!" Steve admitted, ignoring the tears that trickled down his face as he lightly squeezed the arm beneath his hand.
A little over-awed and shocked at Steve's confession, Danny wiped the moisture from his own eyes as he whispered, "Mahalo, Steve."
"No thanks necessary, Kaikaina ." Steve whispered as he watched Danny's eyes slid closed as the detective lost his battle to stay awake, "I'm just glad that you made it through that Halloween nightmare."