A.N. Hawaii Five-O belongs to CBS. No copyright infringement is intended.

Thanks to "Tanith2011" for beta reading this.

Title was inspired by Steve's lines:

"You think it's any easier to kill a grown man? You think the next one will be easier than this one? God help you if you do. It had better hurt every time. It better tear your guts out every time you pull that gun whether you use it or not. You learn to live with it, but don't get used to it."

Learning to Live with It

Chapter 1

Final scene from "And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin"

Steve McGarrett couldn't remember the last time he had felt this relieved. Had the gun not been found, had the girl not confessed what had happened, well…his young second-in-command was fortunate that he now had his life and career back, his good name cleared. Dan Williams gratefully accepted his previously confiscated possessions from the duty officer at HPD lockup. He strapped on his wrist watch, pocketed his wallet and pen knife, tied his tie and shouldered into his suit jacket. Placing his badge case in his pocket and slipping his gun into his belt holster made him feel whole again. The two detectives exited the building and walked out of the parking lot into the morning sunshine, a visible symbol of a new day and a second chance.

"Glad that's over" was Danny's single comment to his boss.

Steve clapped the younger man on the shoulder and the two fell in step together as they made their way to the black Mercury parked on the side of the street.

End of Scene


It wasn't long after they were on the road that Danny realized his mentor was not headed to the Palace; in fact, it was obvious that they were en route to Danny's apartment.

"Steve…" Danny began, ready to list the reasons why he needed to go back to work. The dark-haired detective shook his head as if he could read his protégé's thoughts.

"I want you to take the day off, Danno. You've been through a lot the past couple days. You need to unwind; get some rest," Steve stated in a matter-of-fact tone.

Danny started to protest, only to be cut off again by his boss.

"That's an order."

The younger man relented, and the remainder of the trip was spent in silence.


By the time Steve returned to the Five-O office suite, Chin Ho and Kono were already busy with paperwork and May was organizing his agenda, mail and phone messages. The attractive brunette secretary looked up from her work and smiled at the tall detective as he walked past her desk.

"Morning, Boss," she greeted. Still feeling victorious and grateful after Williams' release, Steve returned the smile and greeting on his way into his private office. May rose from her desk and drew a mug of hot coffee from the urn then followed the senior detective into his office with her hands full. She set the steaming mug on the large desk and placed the stack of papers in his inbox.

"Thanks, love," Steve said, taking a sip of the hot aromatic brew as he scanned his agenda for the day.

"You just missed a call from Dr. Bergman, Boss. He needs to speak with you right away," May reported before she retrieved the papers from his outbox and returned to her own desk.

McGarrett settled into his high-backed leather chair, took another sip of coffee then dialed the number for the county morgue. After a few rings, he heard the coroner's voice.


"Morning, Doc. May said that you needed to speak with me."

"Steve, we have a second set of prints that match this boy in the morgue."

"A second set? What do you mean, Doc? I thought we already had a positive ID."

"We do, I mean we did. Steve, maybe you'd better come down here."

"Okay, Doc, I'm on my way."

Steve hung up the phone and sighed, glancing at his barely touched coffee. Then he grabbed his jacket and headed out the door.

"I'll be at the morgue," Steve informed May as he walked briskly past her desk. Then he tapped the wall of the second cubicle, getting the attention of its occupant. "Chin, mind the store."