Always on My Mind
"You're not going surfing?" Steve McGarrett looked at his second in command with concern. "Are you ill?" he asked and he was only half-joking.
"Relax, Steve," Danny Williams responded with a grin. "I do other things besides surf, you know." He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "I'm going hiking instead."
"With whom?" Steve asked. He knew Danny enjoyed hiking, but he was slightly surprised that his friend was going pass what was supposed to be a great weekend for waves.
"By myself," Danny replied. "Is there a problem?" He wondered if his rare weekend off was suddenly going to vanish before his eyes. It wouldn't be the first time and he didn't suppose it would be the last. He resigned himself to the loss of his free time.
"No problem," the boss assured him. "I'm just surprised you aren't going surfing. Even I know this weekend is meant to be really good."
For a moment, Williams' smile faltered. "I'm not up to surfing the big waves and I'd rather not show myself up in front of some of the guys who are going to be competing this weekend," he confessed. He had had a minor tumble a few days before and had a slightly sore back. It wasn't all that bad, but enough that he knew it would affect his balance and daring on the board.
"Oh, I see." McGarrett didn't pursue the matter any further, to the younger man's relief. "Have a good time," he offered. "Are you planning on camping out?"
"No, I don't think so," Dan replied vaguely. "I don't think I want to do that this time."
"Then get out of here and go and get ready," Steve scolded. "Go on; shoo!" He flapped his hands at Dan and smiled.
It was rare for him to knock off early, but with the boss's approval, Danny was not going to turn down the opportunity. "See you on Monday," he smiled and headed out of the door before the phone could ring or Steve could change his mind. Two whole days to do as he pleased lay in front of him and he could hardly wait.
"Forecast for perfect weather, with maybe a shower this evening," Danny mused aloud to himself the next morning as he packed some food into his rucksack. "What a surprise." The weather was seldom anything but perfect in Hawaii. He zipped the pack closed and hefted it onto his back. With a last glance around his tidy apartment, he headed for the door.
The trip up to the Wa'ahila Ridge State park car park at the trail head didn't take too long. It was still early and there were only a few other vehicles parked there. Danny once again checked he had food and enough water. This trail was considered moderate to difficult, but Danny wasn't in any hurry. He was here for relaxation, not to win medals for speed.
The trail was one that Danny really enjoyed. It provided spectacular views into the Monoa Valley, Palolo Valley as well as Honolulu and Ko'olau Ridge. Danny had brought his camera, hoping to maybe catch some good shots, depending on how the weather played out. When he reached as far as he could go on this trail, he planned to go down the Kolowalu trail, which lead steeply down into the Monoa Valley, from where he thought he would view the falls before retracing his steps back to the car. With his objective firmly in mind, he set off.
It was a beautiful morning and Dan found himself relaxing as the fresh air and sunshine drained the stresses of the working week away. It had been a busy time for Five-O lately and he hadn't realised how much he needed to get away and enjoy himself.
There were a few other hikers on the trail, mostly tourists, but Dan set his own pace and was soon alone again. Once or twice his sore back twinged and he eased off the pace until it settled again. By mid-morning, he was well up the trail and completely alone. He stopped and eased the pack from his back, sitting down on a rock. The ground was still a bit wet from the heavy rain that had swept over his island home the previous night and he didn't really fancy a wet backside from sitting on the grass! Retrieving a candy bar and a bottle of water, he settled down to eat the snack.
He was well on the way down into the Monoa Valley, branching towards the falls, when he heard a cry. Pausing, he stopped, listening intently, suddenly not sure he had heard it at all. "Hello?" he shouted.
"Help me!" cried the voice and he hurried in the direction the voice – the female voice – had come from.
It was not ground upon which to hurry too quickly. Danny called repeatedly to the woman and after about 10 minutes of hunting, he realised that she was at the side of the trail in some underbrush. Pushing the foliage aside, he paused.
A young woman in her early twenties was lying on the ground, her foot awkwardly twisted and trapped under a large fallen tree branch. The branch had obviously been there quite a long time, for there was moss and flowers growing on it. Quite how the young lady had managed to get trapped there Danny couldn't see, but he knew that almost anything was possible, having been in a few unusual scrapes himself over the years.
"Hi," he offered, smiling in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. He also hoped he wasn't drooling, for this young lady was a stunningly beautiful Hawaiian girl with long silky black hair and large, expressive brown eyes. "My name's Danny. What happened?"
"I slipped back there," she replied, pointing vaguely upwards. "I couldn't catch myself and I got stuck under this tree!" Tears of rage slipped from her eyes and she wiped them away with an impatient gesture that had a hint of vulnerability in it. "I'm Kamea," she added, remembering his introduction. "I don't suppose you can help me?"
"I'll do what I can," Danny promised. He looked around, instinctively looking for her backpack. It was very hot and humid and Danny suspected there was probably a shower of rain on the way. "Where's your stuff?" he asked.
"What stuff?" Kamea asked.
"Food, water, insect repellent," he amplified.
"I was only out for a short walk," she retorted. "I didn't know I was going to fall, did I?" She looked so utterly woebegone and so incredibly beautiful that Danny decided that now was not the time for a lecture. He handed her a bottle of water and advised her to sip it slowly while he got her foot free.
It was not going to be an easy task. If he did not get the angle just right, he risked injuring her, but he couldn't leave her sitting there alone. It could take long enough to bring help back here and finding the exact spot would not be easy. Besides, he admitted to himself, it wasn't every day that you got to play at being a knight in shining armour for a beautiful young lady. He set to work scraping the dirt out from around her foot.
It was hot, hard work. Danny wiped the sweat from his brow often, aware that he was probably wiping dirt onto his face in place of the sweat. His hands were muddy to the elbows and he didn't seem to be making much progress. The sky overhead – what they could see of it – was now black with rain clouds and Danny knew that this wouldn't just be a shower of rain. It would be a downpour. He tried to hurry.
The first few drops were falling when Kamea suddenly was able to pull her foot free. Danny, startled by the sudden movement, fell onto his butt. He smiled as he rested there for a moment. Kamea cradled her ankle as best she could, moaning in a mixture of pain and relief. "Thank you, Danny!" she cried. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he replied. "Let me see it." He carried a rudimentary first aid kit with him, but he could see at once that he didn't have anything to help the bruised and swollen ankle. "Where do you live?" he asked and was relieved that the answer was not too far away. She clearly could not walk on her own, but he could help her and then he would walk or get a cab back to retrieve his car. "Come on," he urged and pulled her to her feet.
As they emerged onto the trail, the heavens opened and within seconds they were soaked to the skin. They exchanged rueful grins before they headed off down the trail towards Kamea's home and safety.
A/N Huge thanks to my dear sister for the idea - which will show up in later chapters - that gave this story heart and legs.