A Big Mahalo to BH who let me play in her world.
And to annsan for the fantastic edit.
Steve McGarrett opened the lanai doors; walking out into the bright, Hawaiian sunshine as he planned what Christmas gifts he still needed to buy. Christmas was only three days away and he still had not completed the task. Leaning against the railings, the dark-haired lead detective of Hawaii Five O stared out unseeing across the Palace grounds as his mind wandered back to his first Christmas on the islands. He smiled as he remembered how strange it had seemed to spend a Christmas in warm sunshine and not icy cold snow.
A light rap on his office door that preceded the entry of his closest friend and second-in-command interrupted his thoughts. He watched as the sandy-haired detective opened the door and casually strode inside, pausing a moment at the sight of the empty desk before calling, "Steve?"
"Out here, Danno." McGarrett answered as he affectionately watched the man who had become as close to him as a younger brother cross the room and step out onto the lanai.
"Everything alright?" Danny asked his brow crinkled in mild concern.
"Just catching some fresh air." Steve smiled as the younger detective approached, the remnants of tinsel was in his hair and sprinkled over his coat from the Christmas decorations that he had helped Jenny hang around the office earlier. Unable to resist the urge, McGarrett grinned as he reached up and snagged several pine needles that had entangled in Dan's curls, handing them silently to his friend before reaching for the file in Danno's hands. "I think Jenny wants some of these left on the tree, Danno."
"There's plenty of them on the tree, the floor, the desks, the carpet…" Danny laughed. "We're thinking about leaving them there as a reminder to you that we are having the Christmas party in two days."
McGarrett's eyes opened wide in surprise. "But it's not Christmas yet; we only had Thanksgiving a few days ago. Isn't it a bit early for a party?"
With a sigh of exasperation, Danny admonished. "Thanksgiving was weeks ago, Steve!"
Unable to contain his laughter, McGarrett slapped his friend on the shoulder. "I remembered that the Christmas party is on Christmas Eve, Danno. In fact I have already arranged for Ben to pick up the gifts from Santa for Chin's and Duke's kids."
"You chose the gifts for the kids?" Danny asked dubiously. "Ummm, Steve just what did we get them from Santa?'
"Don't you trust my judgment when it comes to toys?" Steve asked as he feigned a hurt expression.
"Of course I do, Steve." Danny blushed as he attempted to reassure his friend that he trusted him. "It's just…just…"
"Just what, Danno?" McGarrett teased, enjoying his friend's discomfort.
"Well…" Danny began, uncertain of how to explain.
"Mmmm?" Steve asked again, grinning as Danny shifted uncomfortably under his watchful eyes.
McGarrett jumped in surprise as a rifle shot shattered the peaceful calm and Danny gasped in pain. "Danno?"
Danny slowly looked down, blinking in amazement at the red stain spreading quickly across the front of his white shirt. Looking back at McGarrett, his lips moved wordlessly before his eyes rolled back in his head and his legs gave out from under him, toppling him heavily to the ground.
Several more shots rang out as Steve instinctively dropped to the ground and crawled over to the prone man ready to shield him with his own body if he needed to. With a shaking hand, he carefully palpated the side of his friend's neck, giving a silent prayer of thanks as he felt a weak pulse drum under his fingertips. Gently rolling Danny onto his back, he whispered soft reassurances as he tore the blood soaked shirt exposing the jagged bullet wound beneath. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of the damage caused by the bullet. He reached into his coat pocket withdrawing his handkerchief and pressing it firmly on the wound. He could feel the warm blood as it soaked through the thin material and began to seep between his fingers. The sound of more bullets made him flinch and he threw himself over Dan, shielding the wounded man's body with his own as more bullets ricocheted off the railings.
The door to his office slammed open as his two other detectives raced in. "Steve?"
"Get down! Sniper!" He yelled back in warning, relieved that both officers immediately heeded his warning, dropping to the floor.
"You okay, Steve?" Chin called as he tried to inch his way across the floor to get closer to the lead detective but he was forced to retreat as gunfire raked the floor a few feet in front of him.
"I'm fine, but Danno's hit! The sniper has us pinned down!" Steve called as he again shielded Danny with his own body. "Danno's taken a round in the chest. We need to get him out of here!"
"Any idea where the shots are coming from?" Ben asked trying to work out a possible spot where the sniper was hiding.
"The roof of the courthouse." Steve called back.
"We'll check it out, Steve. Just stay safe! We'll get you out as soon as we can." Chin assured his boss as he crawled out of the room, closely followed by Ben. Crawling swiftly backwards, Chin felt himself being grabbed and rolled out of the open doorway as he reached the safety of the outer office.
"What have we got, Chin?" Duke asked anxiously, helping the older detective to his feet.
"Sniper on the roof of the courthouse. He has Steve and Danny pinned down against the lanai railing. Danny's been hit – chest wound. Don't know how serious but Steve sounds worried!" Chin replied, darting a glance back into Steve's office. He could just see the legs of the two men trapped in no-man's land before turning back to the HPD Sergeant. "We need all the streets surrounding the Palace and courthouse blocked off. Try and evacuate everyone out of the area, get them to leave by back entrances. Tell everyone in the courthouse to stay in the courtrooms and offices and to lock their doors until they get an all clear from us. We don't want this guy to take any hostages!" Chin instructed.
"I'll send our HPD sharpshooters to some of the surrounding buildings. Maybe one of them can get a bead on the sniper." Duke stated waiting for the senior detective's approval.
"Maybe we can cause some type of diversion, Chin, get the sharpshooters to fire a couple of times in the air, distract the guy." Ben suggested glancing into the office. "While he is distracted, we could move in and get Danny and Steve out."
Chin nodded, liking Ben's idea. "Could work! Duke, get the sharpshooters into position than clear the area as fast as possible. When it's clear, contact me. I'll move in and help Steve get Danny out of danger while the HPD guys are pinning the sniper down with gunfire." He turned to the younger detective. "Ben contact Doc, tell him what's happening and ask him to meet us at the hospital when we get Danny and Steve out. Also have the ambulances on standby near the roadblocks. I want to get them here as fast as we can after we secure the area. Then give Duke a hand."
Chin held up a hand forestalling the Samoan detective's objections. "I need someone downstairs overseeing the action, Bruddah. That's the only way we are going to get Steve and Danny out." At Ben's reluctant nod, Chin patted him on the shoulder. "Now get going; I'll let Steve know what we are up to." He watched the two men hurry out of the office before he turned his attention back to his two trapped colleagues on the lanai.
Ignoring the distant sounds of frightened shouts from people on the Palace grounds intermingled with the almost continual wail of sirens; Steve McGarrett concentrated on keeping the young man with him alive until they could be rescued. Simple pressure to the bullet wound seemed to have little effect in slowing the bleeding and Steve could hear a soft gurgle in each shallow breath Danny drew. Blood trickled out of the corner of Danny's mouth and snaked its way in a steady stream down the side of his face. "Hang on, Danno, hang on!" Steve whispered to the unconscious man. "Don't you dare give up on us!"
"Steve!" Steve turned towards Chin's shout. "How's Danny?"
"We've got to get him out of here, Chin! He's going to bleed to death if we don't get him help soon!"
"We're going to try and get you out. Duke's just making sure the area is clear then the HPD guys are going to try and create a diversion with gunfire. While they have the sniper pinned down, we'll move in and get you both to safety."
"Make it as fast as you can, Chin, we're running out of time!" Steve called back as he glanced back down at the ashen face of his young friend. Danny's breathing was becoming more labored; his skin was becoming cool and clammy. He was going into shock. "It won't be much longer, Aikane. Just hang on a little longer." Steve pleaded as he continued to apply pressure to the wound in a desperate attempt to slow the bleeding enough to buy them some more time.
"Come on. Come on!" Ben muttered anxiously as he waited for the radio call that would inform him that innocent civilians were safe and the HPD officers and snipers were in position. He glanced up towards the lanai outside Steve's office, imagining that he could see the two men trapped there; Steve huddled protectively over Dan, trying to protect the wounded man from the sniper's bullets with his own body.
Duke snapped his attention away from the lanai as the radio crackled to life, informing him the area had been cleared of civilians and everyone was in position awaiting his command. Rubbing a hand nervously over his face, he again glanced up at the lanai before he pulled the radio to his mouth and said. "Everything is set down here. Chin, are you ready to move?"
"We're all set here, Duke." Chin's calm voice filtered through the radio's static.
"It's a go! We're moving!" Duke ordered swiftly.
"Okay everyone, lets do it!" Ben ordered, tightening the bulletproof vest and pulling his gun from his holster as he prepared to follow the SWAT team up to the roof during the distraction. The deafening sounds of intense gunfire began to echo through the air as Ben and the SWAT team entered the lower floor of the courthouse and headed up the narrow stairwell leading to the roof.
Placing the radio back on the desk, Chin nodded to the three HPD officers to take up their positions in preparation to move in for the rescue before he turned his attention back to the two men trapped in no-man's land. "Steve," he called. "HPD is in position. We'll be coming for you as soon as the diversion starts."
Steve flinched as the first shots rang out and instinctively covered his friend's body with his own. "Hang on, Danno!" Steve murmured softly. " Just hang on for a few more minutes; help's coming, my friend!"
The sudden abrupt sound of continuous gunfire reverberated through the grounds of the courthouse and the Palace - the signal Chin had waited anxiously for. Crouching low, he ran to where his two colleagues were trapped, the HPD officers close on his heels. Reaching for the two men, Chin grabbed his boss quickly pulling him to his feet but keeping him low to the ground. "Steve, let's get Danny out of here." He ordered his boss, pushing the lead detective towards the young HPD officer. "Paul, get him out of here! We'll be right behind you."
McGarrett found himself being quickly maneuvered through his office to the outer offices of Five O, the young officer shielding him with his body, much in the same way that he had protected Danny only minutes before, as they raced to safety.
Reaching the confines of the anteroom, the officer released his firm hold on the detective and McGarrett spun around reaching to assist Chin and the other officers as they reached the safety of the room and carefully lowered Danny to the ground. Paul Numuru quickly slammed McGarrett's office door closed, taking them from the sniper's sights.
Placing a hand firmly over Danny's bleeding wound, Chin grabbed the radio. "We have them!" He announced tersely. "We are secured;, send up the doc and the ambulance attendants."
"I'm sending them in now. SWAT is moving in on the sniper. Ben is with them." Duke's voice echoed through the room. "How are Steve and Danny?" He asked in a softer tone.
Chin glanced down at Danny's pale face; his lips were tinged with blue as he struggled to breathe. Chin could feel the blood as it slowly seeped between his fingers despite the firm pressure he was placing on the wound. "Danny needs medical attention now, Duke." He quietly informed the HPD sergeant as he watched McGarrett lean close to Dan's ear, urging him to continue fighting. "Steve has several cuts to his arm and face. He's pretty shaken up."
A commotion at the outer office door announced the arrival of medical assistance and Chin gratefully moved out of their way as they took charge of Danny's treatment. Crouching down beside his boss, he gently grabbed him by the shoulders. "Come on Steve, let's move back a little and give them some room to work." He ordered as he firmly pulled McGarrett to his feet and moved them back a few feet out of the way, ignoring Steve's resistance as he did. "You did everything you could, Steve. You kept him alive while waiting for help;, now let the doc do his part!"
Steve nodded numbly as he watched the frantic efforts of the ambulance staff and intern to stabilize Danny enough to allow them to transport him to the hospital. He shook his head, trying to shake off the strange sensation he was experiencing. He felt trapped in some horrible nightmare from which he was unable to wake. The whole incident had a surreal sensation and he fervently wished that someone would wake him.
A light touch startled him and he found himself staring into the worried eyes of his Chinese detective. "Steve, they are ready to transport Danny to the hospital. I think you need to be checked out and I know that you want to stay with Danny. I'll take care of things here."
At Steve's small nod of agreement, Chin turned and nodded to the ambulance attendants who approached with a gurney to transport the detective.
"I don't need that!" Steve objected.
"I think you do, Mr. McGarrett." The doctor stated firmly. "You have lost a lot of blood from that piece of shrapnel in your arm.
McGarrett glanced down, surprised to find his right arm covered in blood from a jagged cut above his elbow. He knew it should be hurting but he felt no pain. He swayed unsteadily and Chin grabbed him, easing him down onto the gurney.
"I'll be at the hospital as soon as I can, Boss." Chin informed the wounded detective as the doctor wrapped his boss' arm and inserted an IV line. He watched as his two injured colleagues were carried down the stairs before returning his attention back to the radio and asking for an update.
The SWAT team could hear the muffled sounds of gunfire as they prepared to storm the roof of the courthouse. They knew that they had to be fast and hoped that the element of surprise would slow the sniper down enough for them to take control over the situation before he was able to turn his deadly attention onto them.
At Charley Takahashi's silent nod, the team burst through the small door, each member heading in designated direction as they scanned the area for the sniper, their rifles at the ready to down the gunman if necessary. A quick visual check revealed no sign of the gunman and the officers began a careful but thorough search of the area.
"Damn!" Ben muttered in frustration. "He managed to give us the slip!"
Charley nodded slowly, still carefully eyeing the general area. "He must have slipped away as we entered the building, probably managed to enter one of the offices before the shutdown took effect."
"Over here!" The excited call from the youngest member of the SWAT team startled both men and they turned, hurrying across to where the officer was crouched.
"Looks like our sniper was in a bit of a rush!" Charley commented as he glanced down at the deadly Browning sniper rifle that had been dropped by its owner.
Nodding in agreement, Ben knelt down and visually checked the abandoned rifle. "Get Che to dust it for prints." He ordered as he glanced around looking for more evidence. The glint of metal near the edge caught his attention. Rising to his feet, he walked closer to the edge of the building and bent down, carefully picking up one of the scattered shell casings with the end of his pen, lifting it up for the SWAT leader to see.
"Ejected from the Browning." Charlie commented as he carefully examined the spent shell before he looked up and studied the distance across to the lanai at the Palace. "Had a perfect view across to the Palace. This guy has to be a sharpshooter. Hard to hit anyone that accurately from this distance with such a strong breeze blowing." He observed quietly.
Ben nodded distractedly as he noticed Chin step out from the rooftop doorway and head towards him. He desperately tried to read the expression on Chin's face as his colleague approached. " Danny and Steve?" he asked anxiously when Chin reached his side.
"Danny's in bad shape." Chin answered softly as he glanced around the scene, before turning his attention to Ben. "Bullet hit him in the chest; he's lost a lot of blood. Steve has several deep cuts on his arm and face, looks like he was hit with shards of concrete. They are both on their way to the hospital. I want to talk to Steve as soon as I can; find out if there is anything he can tells us about the shooting or if he or Danny has had any threats made against them recently that we are not aware of."
Ben nodded and quickly gave Chin a full update. He then insisted on taking over the investigation scene. This allowed Chin to head to the hospital, but not before Ben elicited a promise from the Chinese detective to radio him with an update on both wounded colleagues as soon as one was available.
Chin nodded his agreement and moved to leave but was halted as Ben lightly grabbed his shoulder. He turned back towards Ben as the younger man asked. "Do you think Danny was the target or do you think it may have been Steve?"
Chin shook his head slowly. "I don't know, Bruddah, hard to tell. But until we do know for certain, I'm placing guards on them both."
Ben silently nodded his approval and watched as Chin turned again to leave. "I'll come to the hospital as soon as we wrap things up here." He called as the older detective disappeared from sight.
The medical personnel waited anxiously in the ambulance receiving area of Queens Hospital for the arrival of the critically wounded detective. Radioed reports from the young doctor attending the patient indicated that Williams' condition was deteriorating fast - the uncontrollable blood loss indicative of some type of arterial damage. The group stepped forward as the ambulance raced around the corner and braked to a controlled stop in front of them.
Bergman pulled open the rear door, stepping quickly up to the ambulance. He barely glanced at McGarrett as the detective was pulled from the second ambulance that had just arrived as he turned his full attention to the detective struggling to breathe and the doctor monitoring him. "How's he doing?" Doc demanded as he reached for the gurney and began to pull it out of the ambulance.
"BP's dropping. The IVs are wide open …not making any difference. Breathing - shallow …labored. Heavy Blood loss." The young man answered as he rose quickly to help guide the gurney's exit.
Doc nodded grimly. "The OR's ready for him. No time for x-rays. Lets get moving!"
Steve grabbed Bergman's sleeve as he rushed past. "Doc?" he whispered, desperate to be reassured about Danny's condition.
"Not now, Steve! We could lose him this time!" Bergman snapped gruffly as he pulled free from the lead detective's light hold and rushed inside the building alongside Danny's gurney.
McGarrett watched his friend and the medical staff disappear through the open doorway of the ER before dropping his head despondently back against the pillow, closing his eyes in an attempt to close off the world around him. He was vaguely aware of his own gurney began to move as he was also escorted into the hospital. He ignored the voices around him and the hands that carefully lifted him across to the examination gurney. The physical pain of his injured arm faded into nothingness compared with the emotional pain and fear of not knowing if Danny was still alive.
He was remotely aware of someone talking to him, saying something about x-rays and surgery to remove the shrapnel from his arm. Yet the only words that he could hear clearly were a version of Doc's anxious words, echoing over and over in his mind. `If we don't get him into the OR now, we are going to lose him.' A small, sharp sting to the back of his hand startled him and he opened his eyes, surprised to find he now wore a hospital gown and surgical cap. Glancing up he saw that a drip hung above the gurney, the tubing snaking down to the back of his hand. He had no conscious memory of his clothes being removed and looked up to find the doctor and nurse both staring worriedly down at him.
"Mr. McGarrett, did you understand what I explained to you about the surgery we are about to perform on your arm?" the doctor questioned.
McGarrett nodded, ignoring the fact that he had not heard the explanation before he asked the only question that dominated his thoughts. "Do you know how Danny Williams is?"
The doctor glanced at the nurse before returning his attention back to his patient. " I'm sorry," he said softly. "But there has been no word sent down from the OR on his condition."
Steve nodded, closing his eyes in anguish as he felt the gurney begin to move.
Swirling the cold coffee in the bottom of the mug, Chin glanced anxiously up as the door to the small waiting room opened. He watched silently as Ben entered before quietly admitting. "I was hoping that you were Doc."
Ben nodded as he sat down on the chair beside his colleague. "So I guess there isn't any word yet on their conditions."
"Steve has been taken to recovery; they removed shards of iron and concrete from his right arm. The doctor said he'd make a full recovery. They'll let us see him when they settle him into his room."
Chin dropped his eyes back to the black dregs of coffee in the bottom of the mug he held. "The nurse said that Danny wasn't even brought into the ER on arrival. He was taken straight to surgery. All she was able to tell me was that his condition was extremely critical when he arrived." Glancing up at the younger detective, Chin added softly. "I think we might lose him, Ben. He was losing so much blood and I just couldn't slow the bleeding!"
Ben turned and stared out the window, his eyes burning with unshed tears. He swallowed hard in an attempt to get rid of the lump that was suddenly threatening to choke him before turning back to the older man. "Danny's a fighter, Chin. He'll be okay. He'll be fine!"
Chin nodded as he attempted to smile weakly in agreement. "You're right, Ben. Danny will get through this. He'll beat all the odds against him!" Placing the mug of cold coffee onto the small table beside his chair, Chin tried to concentrate on the police investigation of the shooting. "Any luck with witnesses?"
Relieved to have something else to focus on, Ben began to give Chin a report. " We had a woman come forward. She saw a man in the stairwell heading towards the roof a few minutes before the first shots were fired. She noticed he was carrying something long and thin wrapped in a blanket. She was able to give our police artist a good description of the shooter. I've had copies made of the sketch and distributed to every department on the island. Duke has her going through the mug books now but so far no luck."
"What do we know about the witness? Is she reliable?" Chin asked.
"I have one of the guys running a quick background check on her now, Chin." Ben answered, pausing before he continued. "Her story seems plausible and she is solid on her description …"
Ben shrugged, unable to put his gut feelings into words as he tried to explain. "I'm not sure, Chin…I mean she seems legit. It's just a feeling I got when I spoke to her that something is… I don't know…I guess the best way to describe it is 'not' right."
Chin nodded as Ben continued. "The lab boys are going over the roof of the courthouse with a fine toothcomb. If there is any evidence there, they'll find it!"
"Is anyone checking through Steve's and Danny's recent cases for anyone who might be holding a grudge?"
Ben nodded. "I have a couple of guys from HPD checking that and recent parolees, anyone who has made any threats against them in the last five years but the list is long."
"We make a lot of enemies with this job, Bruddah." Chin said solemnly.
Both men looked up as the door opened and a nurse entered. "Excuse me," she said softly. "But you wanted to know when Mr. McGarrett could have visitors. The doctor said you can go in now but to keep the visit short and quiet. I'll take you to his room."
"Thank you, Nurse." Chin replied as both men rose and followed her from the room.
The two men hesitated near the doorway after entering the room where their boss now resided. Both silently studied the pale figure in the bed. Propped up with strategically placed pillows, McGarrett rested with his eyes closed, his right arm heavily bandaged and an IV inserted in the back of his left hand, several small bandages covered the cuts upon his cheeks and forehead.
"I'm awake." The soft voice startled the two men and they sheepishly glanced at each other before walking to the side of the hospital bed.
"The nurse told us we could only stay for a few minutes, Steve." Chin quietly informed his boss. "I spoke to the doc; he said your operation went well and you are good for a full recovery."
Steve nodded. "So he tells me. Is there any word on Danno yet? The doc claims that he hasn't heard anything."
Chin shook his head. "Danny's still in surgery. He was listed as critical on admission. That's all the information anyone has been able to give us so far, Steve."
Steve shifted slightly, wincing and holding his injured arm as he tried to get more comfortable. "So what have we got so far, gentlemen?" he asked softly.
"We have a description of the sniper, Steve. A witness came forward - a Miss Julie Knobs. She believes she may have seen him in the stairwell a few minutes before the shooting. We have an APB out on him now. No one that we recognized but it may have been a professional hit." Ben told the lead detective silently deciding not to tell the lead detective of his own unexplained uneasiness with the witness.
"Have you or Danny received any threats lately that we are not aware of, Steve?" Chin asked.
Steve shook his head, "I haven't and Danno hasn't reported any. This could have been an attempt to stop Danny from testifying in the Alato case. Alato knows without Danny's testimony we haven't got enough for a conviction. Has anyone checked out whom Alato has been in contact with?
"HPD is checking now. So you think Danny may have been the target?"
McGarrett closed his eyes, reliving the horrific shooting. "I was standing on the lanai for several minutes before Danno came into the office. If I was the target Ben, the sniper could have taken me out then. He didn't shoot until after Danno came out and we stood talking. I presented him with the perfect target, Chin, by keeping Danny on the lanai talking."
"Steve, I don't agree!" Chin stated firmly. "There's no way the sniper could have counted on Danny going out on the lanai. There is a distinct possibility that you were the target and that Danny may have been shot accidentally. There was a strong breeze blowing that could have caused the bullet to miss its mark. I'm placing a guard on both you and Danny until this is over, Steve. If he is after either one of you, he may decide to make another attempt."
Any argument McGarrett was about to make was forgotten when Doc entered
the room looking extremely exhausted. Steve sat upright in the bed, ignoring the pain that flared through his injured arm in protest at the movement as he watched Bergman approach. Stopping at the end of the bed, Doc removed his glasses from his face and tiredly rubbed his eyes before replacing them back and looking at the three men waiting anxiously for him to talk.
"Danny's critical but stable, " he began. "The bullet tore through his right lung, collapsing it and nicking the pulmonary artery, which caused the massive hemorrhaging.
When Danny arrived, Steve, he was literally drowning in his own blood, that's why he was rushed directly to the operating room and not taken into the ER. He gave us a few scary moments and, to be honest, there was one moment when I thought that we had lost him but Danny's a fighter. We managed to control the bleeding and repair both the lung and the artery." Doc paused a moment as a tired grin lit up his face. "He's weak but I believe he'll make it."
Steve released the breath that he had been nervously holding as he rubbed his face with his hand, wiping away the moisture that was filling his eyes as he whispered. "Thank God!" Looking back up at the crusty doctor, he asked, " When can I see him?"
"He's still in recovery but they should be admitting him into ICU soon. I'll find you a wheelchair and take you up as soon as they have him settled." Doc answered. "Don't expect him to regain consciousness tonight. He is still extremely weak and needs some time to recover. I doubt that he will even wake up before tomorrow afternoon and don't think that I am going to allow you to camp out in his room tonight either. You have just undergone surgery yourself."
"I'll behave, Doc." McGarrett quietly agreed to the Coroner's order aware that if he didn't then Doc would not allow him to go to the ICU.
"You better!" Doc growled, "I'll allow the three of you to stay with Danny for a little while but when I say it's time to go, I don't want any arguments. Is that clear?"
The three men nodded their agreement.
Entering the tiny ICU room where his second-in-command now rested, McGarrett gasped at the sight of the young detective. Danny was almost as white as the thin sheet that covered him. Three IV bottles hung above the bed, two bottles containing clear fluids had tubes that snaked down to a bandaged area on the back of Danny's left hand, the third IV bottle, containing blood, had its tube inserted into Dan's right hand. As McGarrett was wheeled closer to the bed, he could see a plastic tube that emerged from beneath the bandages encircling the wounded man's chest and disappeared out of sight beside the bed. The lower half of Danny's face was covered by an oxygen mask and a heart monitor beeped quietly above the bed.
"He's holding his own at the moment, Steve." Doc quietly reassured the upset man as he pushed the wheelchair to the edge of the bed, close enough for McGarrett to reach out and touch the unconscious patient.
McGarrett nodded as he swallowed down a sob that threatened to escape. His chest ached with fear at the sight of his closest friend hovering so close to death. Gently and carefully he placed his hand on Danny's upper arm, shocked at how cold the young man felt to his touch. "I'm here, Danno." He whispered ignoring everyone else in the room. "You're going to be fine, Aikane. You're going to be alright!"
Staring at their critically ill friend, Chin and Ben allowed Steve a few private and undisturbed moments with the youngest member of their team, vowing silently to catch the man responsible before they also spent a few moments with the wounded detective before being ushered from the room.
Picking up part of the disassembled rifle, Che Fong double-checked his findings, uncertain that he hadn't been mistaken. He shook his head. No, there was no mistake, what he had discovered was correct. He picked up the phone and dialed the Five O offices listening to it ring only a couple of times before a familiar voice answered. "Hawaii Five O, Sergeant Lukela speaking."
"Duke, its Che. Any word on Steve and Danny yet?"
"Chin just called. Both are out of surgery. Steve is going to be fine, probably released tomorrow. Danny is still listed as critical. The bullet punctured his lung and nicked an artery. He's lost a lot of blood and is extremely weak, but Doc is guardedly optimistic that he will make it."
"Thank God." Che breathed quietly.
"You can say that again, Bruddah!" Duke agreed. "I'm about to close up here and head to the hospital. I thought I would visit Steve and then sit with Danny for a little while, so Steve can get some rest."
"Before you go, I have some evidence from the rifle that I think Chin and Ben would like to know about tonight."
"Did you manage to lift a print?" Duke asked, his excitement at a possible break through in the case evident in his voice.
Che's voice dropped. "I'm sorry. Duke, but the gun was wiped clean. No prints on or in the gun or on any of the casings. All the serial numbers have been grounded off, I tried to see if I could raise a partial number but no luck."
"I know you are doing your best, Che! So what have you got for us?"
"The rifle mechanism has been altered, Duke, adjusted to fire with a light touch. This means your sniper is either small or not strong enough to fire the gun at the normal strength."
Duke frowned in confusion, remembering the description that was circling the Island. "Our sniper is big, Che."
"Maybe the gun isn't his, "Che suggested. "But the good news is the alterations would have had to be made by a professional gunsmith or else there would be the risk of the gun misfiring or even exploding when used."
A slow grin spread over the face of the HPD sergeant's face. "Thanks Che, at least that gives us a lead."
"I guess you have had no luck with the description of the sniper?"
"It's like the island has swallowed him whole, Bruddah. Not even a whisper on the coconut wireless! The witness had no luck with the mug books."
"Tell Chin I'll have the forensic report ready for him tomorrow. " Che said softly.
"I will." Duke assured him. "And Che, mahalo." Hanging up the phone, Duke checked that the office was secure. His eyes drifted to the lanai and the bullet marks that were evident on McGarrett's office floor. It was close today, too close to even think about! With a sigh, he closed the lanai doors and locked them before turning and walking out of the Five O offices, securely locking the door behind him. His thoughts turned to the two men he was about to visit in the hospital as he walked slowly down the Koa staircase. Yes, it was close, definitely too close today!
After speaking softly to the HPD officer on guard outside McGarrett's hospital room and satisfying himself that the officer was aware of the importance of guarding the man inside, Duke pushed the door open and entered the room. Although already updated by Chin on Steve's condition, Duke was relieved to find the detective healthy enough to be sitting up in bed discussing the case with his two detectives. The three detectives watched the HPD sergeant approach with hopeful expressions as they anticipated his report. Duke inwardly cringed at the thought of reporting the investigation had slowed to a painful crawl with little clues or evidence to go on. He stalled a moment, asking the lead detective about his condition and the condition of the youngest member of the team.
McGarrett minimized his own injuries and repeated Doc's hopeful prognosis for Danny before turning the conversation back to the investigation. "Any luck with the witness, Duke?"
"No, she couldn't find anyone in the mug books that remotely resembled him." Duke informed the lead detective. "Nothing on the APB either."
Nodding in acknowledgement, McGarrett snapped, "Any word on Alato yet?"
"Warden Hayden has confirmed that Alato has had no visitors or made any phone calls since arriving at the prison, Steve." Ben quietly informed him.
McGarrett turned and glared at the younger detective. "That does not mean that he couldn't have made arrangements through one of the other prisoners!"
"I already suggested that to the warden. He doesn't believe that that is very likely. Alato managed to get into a fight on his first day in prison and has been in solitary ever since but the warden said he will check if Alato has managed to have any contact with any other prisoner since being in solitary and then get back to us."
McGarrett nodded, "Any luck with the sketch?"
The three officers glanced at each other before Chin answered. "Not yet, Steve, but give it a little time. He has probably gone into hiding until the heat dies down."
"Che phoned just before I left the Palace," Duke informed the three detectives. "He found the rifle has been modified to make it easier to fire. He believes that a professional gunsmith would have had to have made the modifications." He turned to Chin and added. "He'll drop off the full report in the morning."
Chin nodded, "We'll check out the gunsmiths tomorrow. I wonder why it was adjusted – maybe to increase the firing speed?" he pondered aloud.
"Good question, Chin!" Steve answered sitting higher in the bed, feeling revitalized with the fresh information that could lead them closer to the sniper. "Ben, in the morning get with Charley Takahashi and find out the reasons why a sniper rifle's fire mechanism might be altered. Ask him if it would make the gun shoot faster rounds."
The door to the room opened, halting any more discussion about the case as a stern, matronly looking nurse entered and glared angrily at the three visitors. "Visiting hours ended hours ago, Gentlemen, so I do strongly suggest that you all leave. Mr. McGarrett needs his rest!"
"It's all right, Nurse, these men are my officers and we are discussing the investigation. They can stay." McGarrett said, dismissing her command for the three men to leave.
The nurse bristled visibly at the patient. "Mr. McGarrett, this is a hospital room and not a police station. You may be the head police officer in the state but while you are a patient in MY ward I am in charge! Is that understood? Dr Bergman warned me not to take any nonsense from you and while you are under my care, you will follow the doctor's orders. He has instructed that you be given a light sedative to help you sleep, so please take your medication."
She handed two small white pills to the stunned detective before turning to the three grinning officers watching the normally stern boss being sidelined by the small woman. "And what are you men still doing here?" she snapped. "I thought I had asked you to leave!"
"We're just going, Nurse. See you later, Boss." Chin grinned, giving McGarrett a wave before hurrying out of the room.
"See you in the morning, Steve." The other two men called before the also fled from the angry glare of the nurse.
McGarrett watched the three men flee before settling back against the pillows. "Excuse me, Nurse," He asked softly. "Is there any word on my detective, Danny Williams, in Intensive Care?"
The nurse finished adjusting his pillows and straightened up. "Dr. Bergman informed me that you were to be kept informed on Detective Williams' condition so I checked before I came in. He is still unconscious and there has been no significant change in his condition." Seeing the flicker of disappointment and worry across her patient's face, she quickly tried to reassure him. "But that is to be expected, he will need a little time to regain some strength. The good news is that he has not deteriorated or is showing any signs of infection."
Steve nodded slowly, wanting to be sitting by his young friend's side instead of trying to fight of the first effects of the sedative he had been given. "If there is any change…"
The nurse smiled, "I'll make sure you are informed immediately! Now get some rest or you will be in no condition to see him in the morning. Good night." She said quietly as she walked to the door and turned off the overhead light before she left the room.
McGarrett stared at the darkened ceiling as the drug slowly carried him into a troubled sleep. The memories of hearing the crack of the gunfire and seeing the look of shock and pain on Danno's face just before he tumbled to the ground replayed over and over in his mind.
The sound of the rifle shot echoed through Steve's mind. He heard Danny's soft gasp of pain and looked into Danny's shocked and pained expression as Danny slowly looked down at the red stain that was quickly spreading across his white shirt before he looked questioningly back at him. `Steve?' The wordless plea, wanting reassurance and understanding at what had happened, tore at Steve's heart as he watched helplessly as Danny silently collapsed to the ground.
Dropping to the ground, he quickly crawled over to his wounded friend, pressing his fingers against Danny's cool neck, releasing his breath as he felt the weak heartbeat drum under his fingertips. Tearing open blood soaked shirt, he gasped as he saw the jagged bullet wound beneath. Grabbing his handkerchief, he pressed it hard against the wound trying to slow the blood that sprayed with every heartbeat. He could hear Danny gurgle with every shallow breath and could feel the warm stickiness as Danny's blood began to trickle through his fingers. `Don't you dare give up on me!' he demanded.
Aware of Chin's and Ben's dash into the office after the first shots, he warned them of the sniper. More bullets zinged closely above his head as he covered Dan's body with his own, trying to protect him from any more hits.
He heard Chin call to him, saying something about a diversion and rescue but Chin's words were distant as he heard Danny's labored breathing growing weaker. `Hang on. Danno, just a little longer!' he pleaded but his words were met with a strange deep silence. He was aware of the deafening echo of gunfire but the silence he heard was far louder. He felt his heart tighten in anguish as he raised himself enough to look into the still face of his closest friend. `NO! NO! Come on Danno; don't give up now, Aikane! Don't you dare!'
Snapping his eyes open, Steve McGarrett stared up at the ceiling of his hospital room, ignoring the scalding tears that flowed down the sides of his face as he tried to slow his racing heart. It was a dream! That dream was so real, too real! He swallowed down the bile that burned the back of his throat before rubbing his hand over his face, wiping away the tears, reassuring himself that Danno was still alive and in a bed just two floors above.
An irrational fear that he could not shake forced him into action. He needed to see Danno. He needed to make sure that the dream was not real! Slowly sitting up in the bed, he turned and swung his legs over the edge. He waited a moment for the dizziness to pass before he carefully stood, clutching his injured arm. He felt the IV in his arm pull tightly as he slowly stepped away from the bed. He stared at it for a moment before grabbing the plastic tubing and pulling it from the back of his hand. Unsteadily he walked to the door and yanked it open.
Officer Pahano was startled when the door he was guarding opened and an unsteady McGarrett emerged. "Sir, is everything alright? Do you need a nurse?"
McGarrett slowly shook his head. "No." He said softly, "I want to go to the ICU."
Uncertain of how to react to the strange request, the young officer felt he should try to remind the detective of the inappropriateness of the order. " But Sir, It's 2 a.m. I'm not sure that's a good idea."
Anymore unspoken objections were silenced by the volcanic stare that he received from McGarrett and he silently helped the detective past the small ward Christmas tree to the elevator.
Moving silently towards the bed, McGarrett found himself staring at the small green line that danced across the heart monitor above the patient's bed. It's soft, reassuring beep helping to soothe some of the lingering residual fear still fresh in his mind from the nightmare.
Reaching the bedside, he hesitated a moment, watching the slow rise and fall of the bandaged chest and listening to the quiet breaths beneath the mask that covered the too pale face of his closest friend. He closed his eyes remembering the horror of the nightmare, the deafening sound of silence when he had lost Danno in his dreams. A cold shiver of fear raced through his soul and he snapped his eyes open to reassure himself that Danno was really here.
An undeniable need to see Dan awake and to look into his eyes to reassure himself of Doc's hopeful prognosis was true caused the older detective to reach over and gently shake the patient's shoulder. "Danno? Danno? Come on Aikane, open your eyes for me!" Danny remained motionless, showing no reaction to his friend's distressed plea, causing McGarrett to shake him more firmly. "Danno, open your eyes! I know that you can hear me! Open your eyes and talk to me!"
A soft groan and slightly deeper breath being taken by the patient rewarded his desperate actions and McGarrett sighed in relief. "That's it, Danno. Open your eyes for me, Aikane."
He watched as the heavy eyelids fluttered for a moment before he saw the small slits of blue eyes beneath them. Gently squeezing the shoulder beneath his hand, McGarrett grinned. "You're going to be fine, Danno, you're going to be okay!" He was unsure if the words of comfort were for his friend or himself but Steve felt calmer just by being able to say them to a conscious and alive Danno, something he had feared he would not be able to do.
Danny blinked before his eyes slid closed again as his breathing settled back into the pattern of sleep. Still grinning with relief, Steve gently patted the still arm on the bed as he murmured. "Just rest Danno, I'll be right here when you wake."
He turned and pulled the only chair in the room to the side of the bed before settling down on it. He ignored the pain in his arm as he allowed himself to drift into a light sleep, his other hand still resting on Danny's arm in an attempt to allow Danny to know he was still there.
Shaking his head and sighing, Bergman stood at the open door of the Intensive Care room and watched McGarrett doze in the chair, a hand resting on Williams' arm. He knew where the absent detective would be when he had received the worried phone call from the nursing staff of the surgical ward about the detective's disappearance from his room.
"Steve, just what do you think you are doing here?" Bergman's soft question startled the sleeping man awake.
Steve winced, pain flaring through his arm as he jostled it in his attempt to sit straighter in the chair. His actions were more reactive in nature as he desperately tried to pull himself up from the recesses of sleep. He wiped his face roughly with his hand before glancing up into the worried eyes of the Coroner/ Five O physician. "I wanted to be here in case he woke." He answered, not wanting to reveal the real answer for his early morning sojourn from his hospital room.
Bergman sighed in exasperation; "Steve, I told you last night that Danny would not regain consciousness during the night. He may not even regain consciousness today! He's still extremely weak from shock and blood loss, his body needs time to rest and regain some strength before it can begin to heal. Your body needs the same. I see that you have decided that you no longer require the IV that was inserted yesterday!"
Steve grimaced, remembering pulling out the IV in his desperation to see Danno after the nightmare but remained silent under the doctor's annoyed glare.
Bergman shook his head. "Since you clearly are going to make camp here until Danny wakes up, I see no use tying up a hospital bed that you are not going to use! I'll discharge you but that DOESN'T mean that I am clearing you as fit for duty. You need to take a few days off, Steve, and rest!"
Doc ignored the loud sigh of unspoken displeasure at his medical order from McGarrett as he stepped past him and glanced at the heart monitor before carefully examining Dan. Removing the oxygen mask, he quickly replaced it with a nasal cannula, aware of Steve's anxious scrutiny of his every move. Finishing, he turned and smiled before the detective could speak. "Danny's condition has improved a little overnight Steve. His blood pressure is stabilizing and his lung is showing signs of re inflating. He is definitely stronger than he was last night after surgery."
McGarrett nodded wordlessly as he felt tears of relief from the fear the fear that this time he would lose his closest friend begin to sting his eyes before trickling slowly down his face. Quickly brushing them away with the back of his hand, he felt the last fingers of fear that still clung to him from the nightmare slowly release their grip. He leaned closer to the young detective in the bed and gently squeezed his arm not trusting his voice to speak.
Jenny glanced up as Ben entered the office. The Samoan detective looked exhausted and Jenny silently wondered if he had managed to get any sleep at all. She stood and crossed over to the coffee pot, pouring him a steaming mug of coffee. Handing him the mug, she said. "Chin and Duke are in Steve's office. They are waiting for you."
Accepting the hot beverage, Ben murmured, "Thanks Jenny." Before he turned and slowly started towards McGarrett's office.
Reaching out, Jenny grabbed his arm, forcing him to turn back towards her. "Are you okay?" She questioned him softly. "Did you manage to get any sleep last night at all?"
Ben shrugged. "Not much," He admitted to the short brunette secretary. "Every time I closed my eyes, I kept seeing Steve and Danny trapped on the lanai and there was nothing I could do to help them!"
"Oh Ben," Jenny whispered, gently squeezing his arm. "It must have been terrible. But remember you were able to get them out. Chin told me it was your idea to create the diversion that enabled Steve and Danny to be rescued and then how you lead the SWAT team during the diversion. You saved their lives, Ben, and I know that they will both thank you when they are able to." Standing on tiptoes, the small woman placed a light kiss on the detective's cheek. "I just want to say thank you as well."
Ben blushed slightly at the unexpected praise before quietly asking. "Any word on Danny and Steve?"
Jenny smiled, "I just phoned the hospital. Steve's condition is listed as satisfactory; they expect him to be discharged him later today. Danny is still unconscious and listed as critical. The nurse said he is stable and has shown some improvement during the night."
Ben released a breath of relief and smiled. "Thanks Jenny!" he said before he turned and walked more energetically into McGarrett's office.
Jenny remained standing a moment, watching him before returning to her desk. Slowly she sat down and brushed away the tears that threatened to fall. She had only heard a few details of the dramatic shooting and rescue that had happened here the previous night before but it frightened her of how close they had come to losing two of their own in their own offices. She hated it when one of her boys was hurt. She knew that they were all grown men but that did not stop her mothering instincts from rising to the surface. She was fond of each of the detectives but Steve and Danny held a special spot in her heart.
Moving her attention from the depressing thoughts of what might have happened, Jenny concentrated on the fact that both men had survived their ordeal. Placing a sheet of paper into the typewriter, she forced herself to concentrate on her duties as the head secretary of the small elite police unit although her mind drifted back often to both men in the hospital.
Chin and Duke glanced up from the files they were studying as the office door opened and Ben entered. Both men greeted the detective as he entered but neither commented on his exhausted appearance.
"We've been checking everyone who has a grudge against Danny and Steve. The list is long but so far everyone checks out with airtight alibis." Chin told the younger detective as Ben reached for the files that the two other men had been studying.
"The forensic report from Che held no surprises either." Duke sighed. "I have a few of the HPD guys checking the gunsmiths for anyone who has had any work carried out on a Browning rifle in the last year but so far we have drawn a blank. I have also passed out the word to law enforcement on the other islands to check."
"Any luck with the APB?" Ben asked hopefully.
Both men shook their heads. "Not a whisper on the coconut wire." Duke answered. "It's like this guy is a ghost or something. No one has seen him or anyone that even remotely looks like him. If they have than nobody is talking!"
Ben sighed and began to flick through the file he had just picked up before placing it back down onto the table. "There is something about this whole thing that has been bugging me all night." he started tentatively. "I can't help wondering why the sniper left the gun behind. He had enough time to escape before we stormed the roof, so why drop the gun?"
"Maybe he just panicked, Bruddah, dropped the gun and ran." Chin suggested.
Ben shook his head, unconvinced by the suggestion. "No Chin, I don't think so." He said, trying to explain his thoughts, "It's something about the witness. She claims she saw the sniper as he headed up the stairs to the roof, right?"
The two other men nodded silently as they waited for the younger man to voice his concern about what was disturbing him.
"The sniper was on the roof for at least what - 10-15 minutes – why didn't she say something sooner? At least approached an officer with a description of the man she had seen?" Ben frowned.
"Maybe she was scared Bruddah," Duke suggested. "Remember there was a lot of confusion and a lot of gunfire going on. "
Ben shook his head unconvinced that was the reason as he answered. "No I don't think that's it, Duke. Something tells me she is not telling us everything she knows. Have the guys managed to come up with anything about her background?"
"Not yet, Ben." Duke answered, frowning at the younger detective's line of thought. "So far all we have been able to confirm is that she has lived at her apartment for the last five months. She claims that she was in the courthouse to support a friend who was appearing over unpaid fines. We are checking out her story now. I'll let you know when we have anything else."
"I think I'll go and have another chat with Miss Knobs and see if she can remember anything that she might have 'forgotten' to tell me yesterday." Ben announced as he suddenly turned and hurried out of the office, leaving his colleagues staring after him.
Turning his attention back to the Oriental detective, Duke asked. "Do you think Ben might be on to something?"
Chin shrugged as he continued to stare at the open doorway. "I think Ben is finding it hard not making any progress in this case. It wouldn't hurt having him re-interview the witness." He answered softly as he returned his attention back to the file.
"You shot the wrong man! You hit Williams - not McGarrett! Everything we have planned and worked for has been thrown away because you messed up big time and missed your mark!" Julie hissed angrily at the face that wavered in the mirror
"That wasn't my fault. I warned you that the wind would make the shot difficult!" The voice growled hotly in her head. "We can still make this work!"
"How? The cops will be guarding McGarrett like he is Fort Knox! There's no way that we can get near him without the cops swarming all over us!" Julie complained.
"You're pathetic! Stop whining and listen!" Julie jumped terrified by the anger and disgust in the voice close to her ear. "We can use Williams being hit to our advantage!"
"How?" Julie asked confused.
The soft laughter echo in her head, as the face seemed to lean closer and began to whisper. "We can use Williams to bring McGarrett to us! You heard the cops talking last night when you were at the police station giving your 'eye witness' statement. Williams is critical- he'll be in Intensive Care. The cops are looking for a man not a woman. All we have to do is get into Williams' room and I bet we can get McGarrett to come to us."
"What if they recognize it's me?" Julie asked suddenly frightened about the possibility of being caught.
"Easy, we just plan a little distraction…" The figure in the mirror answered softly as Julie leaned even closer to listen to the plan.
"I'm starting to see double." Chin mumbled as he reread the alibi statements of the potential suspects that had threatened the two injured Five-O officers, searching for anything that may warrant a second interview.
Duke glanced up. "We need a break and we need it now. I don't want to be the one to face Steve and tell him all our leads are drawing blanks."
Chin nodded unhappily, knowing he would be the one drawing the Boss' wrath. "He's not going to be happy!" He agreed as he reached for the phone as it began to ring. "Kelly."
Staring out at the buildings outside the hospital, Steve tried to stop his thoughts from wandering back to the previous evening. He was still unable to completely shake the remnants of his nightmare and the dream images that continued to plague his thoughts.
A soft groan and slight movement from the man in the bed instantly snapped his attention back to the present and he hurried back to the bed's side, leaning over into Danny's line of sight. The tightness in his chest that had been present since the shooting lessened a little as he watched Danny's eyes slowly open and search the room in confusion before settling back onto his face.
"Hi!" Steve smiled as Danny slowly focused on his face. "About time you woke up." He whispered affectionately as he placed his hand on top of Danny's head.
Danny blinked a moment before he licked his dry lips. "Wh-where?
"You're at Queens, Danno. Everything is going to be okay, my Aikane. You're safe."
"You…okay?" Danny panted as he weakly pointed towards McGarrett's bandaged arm.
Steve nodded, swallowing hard to push down the lump that had formed in his throat at his friend's unselfish concern. He gently squeezed Danny's arm. "I'm fine, Danno. Just a scratch. You are the one lying in a hospital bed! How are you feeling?"
"Like…I was… kicked…in chest…by an…elephant." Danny whispered. "Hurts…to… breathe."
Steve patted his arm in a show of sympathy. "I know Aikane, you took around in the chest. Doc says with a little recovery time you are going to be fine."
Gasping in pain as he drew a slightly deeper breath, Danny felt the light touch of Steve's hand tighten in sympathy as he fought to ignore the pain, struggling to remember what had happened.
"Do you want me to get the nurse to give you something for the pain?"
Danny gave a small shake of his head as he struggled to keep his eyes open. He was so tired and even talking was exhausting. "What…hap…pened?"
"Sniper on the roof of the courthouse. You were hit after you came out on the lanai to talk to me." Steve answered softly. "After I leaned down and presented him with the perfect target!'
Dan blinked, trying desperately to stay awake, lethargically looked back towards Steve's bandaged arm. "You…get…hit too?"
Steve blinked back the tears that threatened to fall; He SHOULD have been the one hit, not Danno! "No," he whispered. "Just cut by some flying debris. Nothing serious."
The injured detective seemed to accept the answer before asking. "Did …we…get him?"
"Not yet, Danno, but we will. We have a witness who has given us a good description," Steve told him quietly. "You have a guard outside the door. You're safe, my friend."
Danny slowly shook his head as he weakly tried to grab Steve's hand to ensure that he had his friend's full, undivided attention. Steve leaned closer as the young man struggled to speak as exhaustion threatened to rob him of consciousness. "Not… worried…'bout me… Worried…'bout…you!" he breathed as his eyes slid closed and he lost his fight against the darkness.
McGarrett straightened and stood watching the young detective sleep before whispering. "I don't believe that I was the target my friend but you're safe. That I promise you!"
Reaching the ICU room where he knew his boss would be, Chin spoke quietly to the guard before Bergman joined him. Both men entered the room, hesitating a moment as they watched the normally aloof lead detective of Five O talking softly to the critical man in the bed. Steve straightened a moment later, whispering something else to the patient before he turned around towards them.
Doc walked to the bed and picked up the chart, reading the latest nurse's updates. "How's our boy doing Steve?" He asked as he moved around the side of the bed, carefully injecting the next dose of sedation into Danny's IV line before starting his examination.
McGarrett gave a small grin. "He was awake briefly, Doc."
"Steve." Chin interrupted softly, glancing towards the sleeping man in the bed as he lightly touched his boss' arm and led him away towards the door. "We have big pilikia! HPD just received a disturbance complaint at the address of our witness. When the first officers arrived at Julie Knobs' apartment, they found the front door open and the apartment in complete disarray. Julie Knobs is missing, Boss, Ben is on the scene."
Nodding his head, McGarrett turned back to the physician. "I'll be back soon, Doc. If Danno wakes, let him know that I wont be long."
"Doc looked up from his examination with a scowl. "Steve, you are suppose to be taking it easy."
"I will, Doc. But this case is more important than a scratch on my arm. This is a missing witness and Danno's safety we are talking about!" Steve answered as he turned and left the door, leaving the coroner shaking his head in disapproval as the door gently closed behind the detectives.
Sitting in the small brightly decorated ICU waiting room outside the ward, the young woman lowered her face and pretended to read the magazine as the two men exited through the ICU doors, followed closely by a HPD officer, and hurried towards the elevator. She glared over the pages at the man she hated with a vengeance, knowing that now was not the time to make her move. She waited patiently for the men to enter the elevator and the doors to close before she placed the magazine down and stood, smoothing the wrinkles from the nurse's uniform she wore before she entered the ICU unit.
Entering the unit, Julie immediately spotted the HPD officer standing guard outside a room. Quickly walking across to the empty nurse's desk, she casually sat down as she checked patients' names and room numbers, confirming that the guarded room was the room that Detective Danny Williams occupied.
Glancing back down the festively adorned corridor towards the HPD officer guarding the door, Julie hesitated a moment, no longer confident that her plan would work. "That's right, Julie, when the going gets a little tough you run and hide!" The soft voice whispered accusingly. "Go ahead, run and hide! I don't need you here! I've waited too long and no cop guarding a door is going to stop me getting what I want!"
"You're not the only one who wants to see McGarrett suffer for what he did! I want to see him dead at my feet as well!" Julie hissed back. "I can do this! Just give me a second. I just need to work out how to get into the room with Williams. I wasn't expecting him to be guarded."
"Then what were you expecting? To be able to waltz straight in with no questions asked?" The voice screamed in her head causing the young woman to flinch. "Now you better start acting like a nurse or you are going to get us both caught!"
"Okay, okay!" Julie muttered as she grabbed a patient chart from the small stack in front of her. Standing up, she reached for the stethoscope that had been left on the desk and headed down the corridor towards Williams' room, the chart pressed against her chest so the name on it would not been seen.
"I'm sorry, Nurse, but this room is restricted." Officer Frank Cohen announced as he stepped in front of the dark haired nurse, who was about to enter the room he was guarding, preventing her from entering. "Only authorized medical staff is allowed to enter."
Julie smiled shyly as she stepped back and looked the taller man in the eye. "I know I'm not assigned to Detective Williams' room," She explained quietly. "But Betty, the nurse who is assigned, is extremely busy with another patient and asked me to check Detective Williams' IV lines and change his surgical dressings."
Frank frowned at the information, uncertain of what he should do. He hesitated as the young nurse confidentially whispered. "We are not suppose to do this but Betty will be in serious trouble if she gets behind in her duties. I promised her that I would cover for her. I promise I'm not some mad woman carrying a gun or anything. Please, it will only take me a minute."
Frank nodded and stepped aside, aware that the doctor was still in the room with Danny. He could see no harm in allowing the nurse to cover for the other nurse.
"Thank you." Julie whispered as she slipped passed him and into the room.
Hearing the door open behind him, Doc glanced over his shoulder, frowning in confusion at the unfamiliar nurse. Stopping the examination, he straightened and turned towards her. "I'm sorry but this room is restricted. Only certain medical personnel are allowed to enter."
The nurse hesitated a moment, apparently surprised that he was in the room. She smiled and continued towards the bed, her hand slipping into the pocket of her gown. "Oh, but Doctor I have all the authorization that I need to be in here." She assured the physician as she drew the gun and pointed it towards him and used it to direct him away from the patient as she stepped closer to the opposite side of the bed.
Doc stepped back a foot as he warily watched her every move, deciding the best option for the moment was not to upset her. "What do you want? If it's drugs or something then you wont find any…"
The young woman smiled more widely as she glanced down at the sleeping man in the bed before turning her attention back to the older man on whom she had the gun trained. "Oh but Doctor, I have everything I need in this room to get me what I really want. " She answered softly, "Both Williams and you are going to be the ones to help me kill McGarrett!"
Bergman's eyes grew large in horror and disbelief at her quiet words but any thoughts of protest were quickly silenced as he watched her lower the gun to touch the side of Danny's head, studying his reaction with icy cold eyes. He swallowed hard and slowly raised his hands in a show of surrender. "Please let Detective Williams go. He is in no condition to be of any use to you." He pleaded.
"Oh, but that's where you are mistaken, Doctor." She answered sweetly as she looked down at Danny and used the gun barrel to lightly caress the side of his face. "You see, I have watched McGarrett and Williams together for a long time now and I KNOW McGarrett will do whatever it will take to keep Williams safe. I'm willing to bet that if it came down to the wire, then McGarrett would not hesitate to die if it meant that Williams would live!" She laughed, her eyes now bright with excitement as she continued. "And that's precisely what I intend to make happen. So you see, Doctor, Williams' condition is extremely useful!"
Looking back up into the doctor's eyes, Julie pointed the gun back at his chest as she tilted her head towards the door. "I want you to go to the door and tell the cop outside that you and Williams are my hostages. Tell him to tell McGarrett if he is not in this room in half an hour, he is going to have two dead bodies in here to collect!" She warned as she lowered the gun and pressed it firmly to the sleeping man's head. "Any funny stuff and I will kill Williams. I'm sure McGarrett will negotiate to save you as well!"
The soft click of the gun being cocked seemed to echo through the room, sending a cold ripple of fear down the coroner's back as he turned and slowly moved towards the door. Reaching for the door with a trembling hand, Doc turned to momentarily to reassure the woman. "No tricks, I promise. Please just take it easy!" He saw her nod before he turned back and slowly opened the door, speaking loud enough to the police officer guarding the door for Julie to hear, explaining the situation and repeating her demands.
He watched the young officer hurry down the corridor before he closed the door and turned, slowly walking to the side of the bed where Julie motioned with the gun to where she wanted him to stand.
"Now we wait!" She announced softly as she lowered the gun and settled onto the chair, nodding at the chair near Doc in a silent demand for him to sit.
McGarrett stood for a moment, frowning as he walked slowly through the apartment, unconsciously clutching his injured arm as he studied the upturned furniture that was tossed around. Something about the scene disturbed him but before he could analyze what it was, his thoughts were interrupted as Chin rushed breathlessly into the room. "Steve, dispatch just radioed. There's a siege at the hospital - ICU. A woman has taken both Danny and Doc Bergman hostage. She is refusing to negotiate with anyone else but you."
"Danno and Doc are being held hostage in the ICU?" Steve asked in confusion uncertain if he had heard correctly. "How? The door was guarded!" McGarrett demanded as he turned and hurried out of the apartment after shouting to Duke to take over the scene. Both Chin and Ben were close behind and all three swiftly left the building.
Forced to push his way through the crowd of shouting reporters and their cameras and microphones, McGarrett ignored every shout for a confirmation of the situation as he entered the hospital lobby, closely followed by Ben and Chin, to where George Kealoha waited anxiously for them.
"What's happening, George?" McGarrett demanded as he reached the HPD Lieutenant. "Do we know who she is? Did she give any reasons as to why she is doing this?"
"The girl is holding both Danny and Doctor Bergman hostage in Danny's room, Steve. We believe that she is armed with a gun but don't know what other weapons she may have." The Hawaiian HPD officer answered quickly as the small group entered the elevator and began the ascent to the third floor. "She has just one demand and that is for you! She is threatening to kill both men if you are not in the room within the next twenty minutes. I have the SWAT team on standby but there is only one way into that room and that's by the door, Steve, the nurses have told me there are no windows."
"How the Hell did she get in there? The room was guarded!" McGarrett exploded as he pinned the HPD detective in a volcanically heated stare.
"She was dressed as a nurse, Steve." George began to nervously explain as the four men stepped out of the elevator and hurried through the small festively decorated waiting area near the doors that led into the ICU. "She managed to convince Frank Cohen that she was working in the ICU and that the nurse assigned to Danny's room was busy with another patient and had asked her to do the medical observations that were due to be done on Danny. He knew that Bergman was still in the room and did not think there was any risk. It wasn't until Bergman came to the door a few minutes later and told him what was happening and the girl's demand did he even realize that something was amiss. Bergman told him that she had given you half an hour to get here or else she would kill them both."
"So he ignored my specific orders that only medical staff approved by myself or Bergman is allowed to enter!" Steve growled, his anger evident on his face as he snapped. "Did he even manage to get a description of the girl?"
Kealoha nodded unhappily, not accustomed to being the recipient of the infamous McGarrett temper. "Hawaiian girl, black hair about shoulder length, brown eyes, about 5'7-5'8, slim build with a small scar on her right cheek. I've sent Frank back to HPD to go through the mug books."
Ben frowned as he interrupted. "Did you say a Hawaiian girl, dark shoulder length hair about 5'7 with a small scar on her right cheek?" He asked. At the brief nod, the Samoan detective announced. "That's our missing witness, Steve!"
Turning to his Chinese colleague, Ben added softly., "I had the feeling that something was not right with what she said."
"The missing witness - Julie Knobs?" McGarrett asked as he paused in front of the nurses' desk seemingly oblivious to the activity of both the medical staff and the HPD officers around him. At Ben's nod, he continued. "So maybe her disappearance was just a ploy to get to Danno. Just how is she involved in all of this? Does she know the shooter?"
"Che said that the firing mechanism on the rifle had been adjusted Steve, enabling a weak person or a woman to pull the trigger without much strength." Chin reminded the lead detective.
"So maybe our sniper was not a man!" McGarrett concluded, cradling his injured arm with his other, "Maybe our sniper is the witness, but why? Ben, I want everything you can find out about Julie Knobs – I want the book on her and I want it now!"
"Already on it, Steve. All we know so far is that she has lived in her apartment for five months - so far everything else has been a dead end. I'll check if we have anything more." Ben answered before he turned and asked the nurse behind the desk if he could use the phone as his boss turned his attention back to the uniformed officer.
"How much longer have we got, George?" McGarrett asked as he glanced towards the closed door of his friend's room.
Looking down at his watch, Kealoha answered. "About fifteen minutes, Steve."
"We need a plan." McGarrett mused.
"It's been almost twenty minutes!" The agitated young woman muttered to herself as she glanced down at her watch before she looked back up and stared glassy-eyed towards her two hostages. Her gun never wavered in her hand as she kept it pointed at the doctor's chest - a silent gesture of whom was in control as she continued to softly berate herself. "You said McGarrett would be here by now! What if he decides not to return? Maybe Williams isn't as important to him as you thought! Maybe we should show him how serious we are! "
Watching the girl warily, Bergman tensed at her mumbled words. "You gave McGarrett half an hour; it's only been twenty minutes." He reminded her gruffly.
The young woman jumped, startled by his voice and the crusty physician held his breath momentarily as her knuckle whitened around the trigger in response. Attempting to sound calmer than he felt, he softly continued. ""Give him a little longer; he'll be here. I promise." He reassured her anxiously before breathing a soft sigh of relief as the girl's eyes focused upon his face and her finger relaxed marginally from on the trigger.
"He'd better." She breathed quietly. "Because if he doesn't…" She silently signaled the rest of the unspoken threat by aiming the gun towards Danny's head.
The small group of detectives, officers and Dr Bronson, the acting Medical Chief of Staff, crowded around the small table in the small doctors' office located near the nurses' station, ignoring the frenzied activity outside in the corridor as patients from adjacent rooms to the hostage room were quickly and carefully moved to other rooms for safety. The fear that the situation could escalate into a more dangerous situation had prompted the lead detective to order the evacuation for the safety of the other patients.
McGarrett frowned as he stared at the rough layout of the room he had drawn a few minutes earlier. "There's only one way into that room and that's through the door. If we try a rush, there is a very huge probability that the girl could shoot either Danno or Doc before we could even get into the room."
"What about teargas, Steve? We could lobby some in and then rush her, try and take her by surprise." Chin suggested as he studied the room plan over his boss' shoulder.
"No teargas, Gentleman." Dr Bronsen quickly cut in. "Danny has a severe chest injury. Any teargas would immediately compromise his breathing and could quite possibly send him into respiratory arrest. Without immediate medical intervention, Danny would die within minutes. Also the teargas would spread through the hospital within minutes through the ventilation system, affecting the other patients and staff."
Sighing, McGarrett nodded his agreement as he glanced down at his watch. "So no teargas. And a rush of the room is out of the question," McGarrett mused. "We know that she has made only one demand and that is for me. Maybe we should let her have what she wants on the condition that she releases either Danno or Doc or more ideally both! I am what she wants so let's bargain with her."
"Steve, you can't! " Chin objected vehemently. "She has two hostages already, you going in there gives her a third! At least wait until Ben can find some background on the girl so you know who you are dealing with."
"Chin, we are almost out of time. She has threatened to kill both Danno and Doc if I don't go into that room. I am not going to risk their lives by not taking the threat seriously. " McGarrett answered firmly, leaving no doubt in everyone's mind that the decision had been made. He quickly straightened and headed towards the door. "If there is any trouble, Chin, I want you to come in hard and fast but only if you hear trouble, understand?"
Nodding unhappily, Chin accepted the unpalatable order as he followed his boss from the room.
The soft worried female voice from somewhere behind him as he stepped into the corridor caused the lead detective to momentarily freeze. He had known that the coroner's wife had accepted a couple of shifts to help cover the standard holiday shortage in the ICU but he had not considered the possibility that she would be on duty now. He struggled to maintain the stern mask as he slowly turned towards the frightened woman. "Dora."
"Is it true, Steve? Is it true what everyone is saying?" She asked, trying to control the fear in her voice as she lightly grabbed the detective's arm. "Are Niles and Danny being held hostage in Danny's room by some lady with a gun?"
"Dora…" Steve began unable to hide the truth from the woman he considered as part of his small ohana.
"Oh my," she gasped, raising her hand to her chest as she stared wide-eyed at the expression on his face. "It is true! Why? What does she want?"
"Dora, I promise we are doing everything we can to get both Niles and Danno out of that room safely." Steve began firmly; deciding the best way to handle the frightened woman was to treat her as one of his own. "So far her only demand is to speak to me in the room. I intend to use that demand as a bargaining chip to secure Niles' release."
"Please, Steve, be careful." Dora whispered as she struggled to maintain her own fragile control, placing her faith in the man standing in front of her. "Please promise me that you will do your best to get everybody out of this safely!"
Squeezing the hand that held his arm, McGarrett nodded, swallowing hard to clear his throat before he softly spoke. "I'll try Dora, I promise, I'll try!"
The ICU nurse nodded her head silently as McGarrett gently pulled away and headed towards the room where her husband and the young detective she had come to think of as a son were being held.
"Where's Steve?" Ben asked breathlessly as he hurried into the corridor.
"Gone to the room in an attempt to negotiate with the girl to release Doc or Danny. " Chin answered as he glanced down the corridor towards the room to which his boss had just headed
"Oh NO! We got big pilikia, Bruddah." Ben breathed as he hurried down the corridor to where McGarrett stood near Danny's door Chin close on his heels. "Steve!"
Pausing, McGarrett turned and watched his two detectives as they hurried towards him.
"I have an identification of the girl. She is big pilikia, Boss!" Ben announced softly as he noticed Dora Bergman standing nearby, not wanting to upset the nurse by letting her overhear what he had to say.
"What do you mean?" Steve asked quietly as the detective reached him.
"The girl in the room is our witness from the sniper attack at the Palace yesterday. Only she is no longer a witness but our main suspect." At McGarrett's and Chin's confused looks, Ben quickly explained. " HPD found the gunsmith who made the alterations on the gun. The description he gave the officer matches our witness. I also spoke to the nurse who said she noticed a new nurse enter the ward minutes before Danny and Doc were taken hostage. She was able to give me an extremely good description, Steve and there is no doubt our sniper from yesterday is definitely the woman in Danny's room."
"No wonder why we had no luck with the APB. She played us totally to keep the heat off herself!" Chin muttered in disgust.
Ben nodded before continuing. "Che managed to pick up some prints at Knobs' apartment and they ran it through the iron brain and the FBI. We got a hit almost immediately. Julie Knobs has been identified as Akela Poloami, 33 years old." Ben did not notice Chin gasp at the name or McGarrett's eyes open wide in recognition of the name as he continued. "HPD believes that she has probably only been in Hawaii for only six months, coming here immediately after she escaped from a psychiatric hospital in California.
Have a call in now to speak to the Psychiatrist in charge of her case; he was unavailable. I did how ever manage to talk to a resident who worked on Poloami's case. He says that the girl was admitted to the hospital about ten years ago after the death of her brother. He is not sure of the details but believes the brother, Kena, was killed in some sort of shoot out with police here in Honolulu."
"Are you sure the doc said the girl's name is Akela Poloami and her brother's name was Kena?" Steve asked quietly, glancing at Chin as a cold shiver ran down his spine
Checking his notes to confirm the name, Ben looked back at his colleague and nodded. "Yeah, that was the brother's name that the doc was able to give me. Why? Do you know her?"
"I was right, Steve, the girl wasn't after Danny at the Palace- she was after you!" Chin exclaimed as he turned and looked back at the closed door, paling at the memory that he could recall as if it was yesterday.
Ben frowned in confusion. "Why would she be after you, Steve?"
"I was the officer that shot and killed her brother after Poloami and his accomplices took hostages during a failed bank holdup. I had no choice but to shoot him to save the life of one of the hostages .His sister tried to claim that I had shot him in cold blood. She threatened that one-day she would make me regret what I had done. The family took her back to the mainland- it has been at least ten years…" McGarrett looked towards Chin who nodded his agreement. "I guess now we know why she hasn't been back till now.
"So you think…"
Steve nodded. "After ten years in a mental hospital..."
"Steve, you will be walking into a death trap if you enter that room. Let either me go in there." Chin admonished.
"Tell McGarrett if he is not in here in two minutes he will have dead bodies on his hands!" The agitated shout from within the room caught the three detectives' attention and they turned towards the door.
"No, Chin, you heard her. If I don't go, then Doc and Danno don't have a chance. I'm going! Just remember, at the first signs of trouble, I want you in there hard and fast. Our top priority is getting Danno and Doc out of that room safely even if that means taking out the girl!" Steve ordered as he stepped towards the door.
"Be careful, Steve!" Ben whispered.
"I intend to," Steve promised as he turned and called to the girl through the closed door. "In the room - this is McGarrett! I am willing to come in and listen to your demands but not until you release either Danny Williams or the doctor first!"
Biting her lip in indecision, Julie glanced at the doctor and then at the man asleep in the bed before returning her attention back to the closed door as she murmured to herself. "What do you think?"
"The doctor isn't important, if it means that we'll have McGarrett. As long as we still have Williams then everything is going to plan. Agree to let the doctor go but only after McGarrett is in the room." The voice whispered in her ear.
Nodding her agreement, Julie turned back towards the door. "The doctor can go but only after you have come in, unarmed. But I am warning you, McGarrett. Try any tricks and both the doctor and Williams are dead!"
"I'm unarmed." McGarrett called back as he stepped towards the door and turned the handle. "I am coming in now - no tricks, just be ready to send the doctor out."
Doc held his breath as he watched the door slowly open and Steve step inside, his hands held above his head to show that he was not a threat. The girl trained the gun towards the door, her knuckle white around the trigger as she watched the Five O detective's entry.
"Search him for a gun!" She ordered the older man, never taking her eyes from McGarrett. "And then get out of here!"
"I'll search him. "Doc said softly as he rose from his chair and slowly approached McGarrett, "But I am not leaving! Not while I have a patient in the room."
"Go Doc, now is not the time to be a hero. This girl is dangerous." McGarrett growled softly at the doctor as Bergman began to search him. "With you out of danger, I can concentrate on getting Danno out of here."
"Steve, Danny's condition is critical! He needs constant medical care." Doc whispered fiercely back. "We don't know how long we are going to be trapped in this room with this mad woman, Steve. Danny's condition is going to deteriorate. I am the only chance Danny has to survive a prolonged hostage situation and I am not going to allow you or anyone else to take that chance away from him! I'm staying!"
McGarrett sighed, aware that Doc was right but still not willing to allow a civilian, even a doctor willing to risk everything to save his patient, to remain in the line of danger. Danno was a cop; he knew the risks and he would understand why he could not allow Doc to remain even at the high risk to his young friend's life.
"Steve, unless you plan to physically remove me from this room then please move aside." Doc said softly as he moved to step around the detective.
Grabbing the doctor's arm, McGarrett decided to try the only argument he had left that might sway the determined man from staying. "Doc, Dora is waiting outside. She begged me to get you out of here alive and I am not going to let her down."
"Dora will understand why I stayed, Steve." Bergman sighed softly before he gave a slight grin. "She will probably make me sleep on the sofa for a month for doing this but she will understand. In fact if Dora were in here instead of myself, she would do the same thing. I'm staying Steve! It is my decision - end of discussion!" Doc finished firmly as he turned and looked at the woman watching them intently and announced. "I'm staying."
"You don't remember us, do you, McGarrett?" Julie asked softly ignoring the doctor's announcement as she slowly walked around the edge of the bed, her gun never wavering from the detective's direction as she moved, "Maybe you remember my brother, Kena Poloami. After all he is the boy you gunned down in cold blood ten years ago today."
"I remember Kena. " Steve answered quietly as he stepped towards the girl. "And I also remember what happened the day he died."
"You mean the day you shot him down like a dog in the street.' Julie yelled, turning angrily towards the lead detective. "The day you forced us to stand and watch him die in the gutter because you decided that it was too dangerous to approach him and give him any medical help!" Julie breathed as she walked around McGarrett to the other side of the bed.
"He was robbing the bank and about to kill one of his hostages. I tried to get him to surrender but he refused. I had no choice." Steve defended himself.
"You had a choice and you didn't give him a chance! You left him bleeding in the street. We can still remember his moans and cries for help. Do you know just how much that tore us apart- to know that our own brother was dying in pain and only be able to watch?" Julie screamed hysterically, the gun she held shaking in her hand.
A groan from the bed caught the woman's attention. She turned and stared down at Danny as he tossed in his sleep, disturbed by the loud shouting. McGarrett held his breath, worried that Danno's sudden restlessness would further agitate the highly unstable woman.
Julie stared silently at Dan for several seconds before her face suddenly brightened and she looked malevolently back at McGarrett, sending an icy shiver down his spine as she spoke. "But you are going to find out just how much it hurts, McGarrett. You see, we never meant to shoot Danny Williams yesterday. It was you that we were aiming at but we missed and hit Williams instead. But maybe it's better this way. You see, McGarrett, we have been watching you for months. Watching everything you do and one thing we have discovered is how close you and Williams are- almost like brothers." Pointing the gun towards Danny's chest, Julie cackled. "Now it is your turn to watch someone you care about die and not be able to help him."
"No!" Steve gasped; his heart beating wildly within his chest as he stopped himself in mid step from rushing the unstable woman threaten his friend. "No, this is between you and me. Danny Williams and Doctor Bergman are just two innocent bystanders. They had nothing to do with your brother's death. Please just let them go and we can talk about what happened."
"You killed him, McGarrett, and we have waited ten years to make you pay!" Julie growled, her finger tightening on the trigger. "Ten long years waiting to make you pay for what you did!"
"Ten years is a long time to carry such pain, my dear." Doc interrupted quickly, stepping in front of the lead detective and gaining the girl's attention. "It must have been terrible to watch your brother die." Startled by the doctor's soft and supportive voice, Julie glanced towards the doctor, uncertain if the older man was mocking their pain or truly interested in how they felt as the man continued to speak. "I gather your brother and you were very close."
"He was our baby brother." Julie nodded as the tears began to build up in her eyes. "We did everything together."
"Bet you did things together like surfing, beach parties and just hanging out." Doc mused, giving a small encouraging smile as the girl nodded again. "The type of things my young friend here enjoys." Doc breathed quietly, nodding towards Danny.
Glancing at the detective in the bed, her interest piqued, Julie asked. "He's a surfer? We thought he was just a cop!"
Doc laughed, "Oh, he's a detective alright but he is also a ardent surfer and an extremely good one at that. We can't keep him out of the surf if the big waves are hitting the North Shore; he has given us quite a few scares with some of his wipeouts. Word is he could have turned pro when he was younger but he decided he enjoyed being a cop more. "
"Kena was like that! Loved the water." Julie smiled sadly as she turned her attention back to the man in the bed, her finger relaxing on the trigger as she continued to speak. "He was a good kid, never any trouble. He loved life and his friends and ohana. He was planning to go to UH, wanted to be an engineer."
Doc nodded as he stepped a little closer. "He sounds like a very nice young man. What happened?"
Swallowing hard, Julie continued to study Danny as she answered; ignoring the voice in her head that screamed that the doctor's interest in Kena was just a trick to win her confidence. "He met some guys one day while he was surfing. They invited him to a beach party. We tried to warn him not to go- there was something about them that we didn't like but he wouldn't listen. We think that was the first time he ever did drugs. After that night he seemed to change."
"That must have been extremely hard for you to watch." Bergman sympathized as he continued to move close, aware the young woman appeared to be hearing voices.
"Careful, Doc, careful." Steve breathed in warning, stealthfully edging his way closer as he anxiously watched the Coroner win the girl's confidence. "Don't try and push her, she has a hare-trigger."
A diminutive nod was the only indication that Doc gave to indicate that he had heard McGarrett's quiet admonishment as he stepped closer to the bed, drawing the girl's attention away from Danny as he continued to talk. "Was that when he first began to get into trouble with the police?"
"It was just little stuff at first – you know – drunk and disorderly - shoplifting. "Julie shrugged as she bit her bottom lip to stop the tears that threatened to fall. "Then he started getting into more serious trouble. We tried to stop him but nothing worked."
"That wasn't your fault," Bergman reassured her gently as he took another step closer being careful not to glance towards the gun she still had aimed at Danny's chest. "I'm sure you did everything you could to try and help him."
Julie shifted uneasily, casting a quick and guarded glance around the room before she looked towards the doctor and whispered fearfully. "I did but she doesn't believe I tried, she blames me just as much as she blames McGarrett for Kena's death!" Unconsciously lowering the gun, she confided softly. "I think she intends to kill us both after we kill McGarrett."
Seizing the moment of the girl's unconscious distraction, Steve lunged forward and grabbed the girl from behind. Pinning her arms down in front of her as he pulled her away from the edge of the bed as Doc grabbed the gun by the barrel and wrenched it from her hands.
"No! NO! NO!" Julie screamed as she kicked and tried to bite, attempting to break free from McGarrett's steel grip as the door was kicked open and officers with their guns drawn rushed into the room. "I warned you that it was a trick! But you wouldn't listen! He's supposed to be dead! We were supposed to make him suffer! But you fell for their tricks! You betrayed Keno and me! We promised Keno that McGarrett would be made to pay for what he did, we promised." Julie sobbed as the fight suddenly left her and she sunk to the ground, still held tightly by McGarrett as she continued to mutter and berate herself.
"Easy, easy," Steve murmured distractedly to the disturbed young lady as he watched Doc carefully pass the small gun to Chin before turning his attention to Danny, scanning the heart monitor above the bed. "How is he, Doc?" Steve asked anxiously as he silently handed over custody of the sobbing girl to Ben to handcuff and remove from the room.
Shaking his head, Doc laughed in relief. "Sound asleep Steve. I can't believe he slept through the whole thing."
"Steve, this was a great idea." Jenny smiled as she followed the three detectives into the elevator and watched as Ben juggled the gifts in his hands as he reached out and pressed the button that would take them up to the ICU. "Danny was a little down when I was visiting this morning that he was not well enough yet to make the Christmas party."
"He was trying to pretend that it didn't matter but I knew we couldn't let the head elf of Five O miss out on the fun of Christmas just because he has to spend it in a hospital bed." Steve replied as the elevator jerked to a halt and the doors slid open.
"I would love to see his face in the morning and discovers that Santa has been here." Jenny wished aloud.
"Lets hope that he doesn't wake up tonight and discover Santa's helpers at work." Ben interrupted as they passed through the decorated waiting room to the doors that opened into the ICU.
Chin laughed. "After all the yelling and drama that boy slept through yesterday, I doubt that four elves have any fears in waking him."
"Especially with all the medication Doc still has him on." Steve added
Dora Bergman glanced up from the chart in which she was writing and smiled as she watched the small ohana of the Five O staff and their family members enter the ICU armed with a Christmas tree, decorations and gifts." How did the Christmas party go? Danny has been fretting about it all evening." She asked as the small group approached her desk.
"Wasn't the same without him." Jenny commented sadly as she juggled the box of colored tree decorations and the large gift she had placed on top.
"The kids had great fun though " Chin commented with a smile. "Especially when Santa appeared."
Ben chuckled as he placed his chin on the pile of gifts he held in his arms, steadying them a little. "I think that Santa had as much fun giving out the presents tonight as the kids had receiving them."
"I'm sure he did!" The nurse chuckled sure that McGarrett would be blushing. "I'm just sorry that both Niles and I had to work tonight."
Chin grinned. "I gather you have forgiven Doc for what he did yesterday?"
"Lets just say, Santa had better be bringing me something extra special tonight after the fright that Niles gave me by staying in that room yesterday!" Dora warned with a smile.
"Don't be too hard on the man, Dora. It was Niles who managed to break through the girl's psychotic behavior long enough to enable the two of us to disarm her without anyone being hurt." She heard McGarrett comment from somewhere behind the small fir tree he was carrying.
"I know, Steve, and after he explained the reasons why he stayed, I understood completely. I'm just thanking the good Lord that things turned out the way they did. Niles, Danny and you are safe and the girl is receiving the help that she so desperately needs." Dora answered softly as they others nodded their heads in agreement.
"Is Danno asleep?" McGarrett asked, eager to change the subject from the drama that would haunt his dreams for days to come. He had come too close in the last two days to losing the man he considered his kaikaina.
"Sound asleep. I just checked on him a few moments ago and I don't think he has even stirred since he was given his pain medication for the night." Dora grinned as she rose from her desk and led the small group to the room before opening the door and checking in on the patient sleeping in the bed. Turning back to the others, she whispered as she stepped aside. "Still out like a light; go on in."
"Thanks, Love," McGarrett whispered as he followed the small, excited group into the room
Laughing softly, the nurse allowed the door to close silently before she returned to her duties. "I wish that I could be here in the morning when Danny wakes and sees what the Five O Santa and his elves have left while he was asleep." She whispered to herself before making a silent mental note to remind Niles that she had made plans for them to visit Dan during the afternoon tomorrow during the short staggered visits that he would be allowed on Christmas Day.
The muted sounds of a Christmas carol playing softly through the hospital speakers greeted him as he slowly awoke. Unwilling to open his eyes, Danny sighed and tried to return to sleep, depressed to be spending Christmas day in a hospital room instead of celebrating it with his friends.
"Don't you want to see if Santa left you anything during the night or are you afraid that you didn't make his good list this year, Aikane?"
"Steve?" Danny managed to croak through dry lips as he slowly opened his eyes. He panned the room in confusion at the Christmas decorations the now adorned the walls, bedside tables and the machines that were still attached to him until his eyes settled on a small gaily decorated Christmas tree covered in flashing lights in the corner of the room under which brightly covered gifts spilled out. "What?"
"Merry Christmas, Aikane." Steve grinned as he watched the confusion on Dan's expressive face change to shock to delighted surprise. "Seems that you had a visitor last night from Santa and some of his elves."
"How?… When?" Danny blinked still unable to believe his own eyes, finding the effort to even talk still exhausting.
"Magic, Danno, one of the miracles of Christmas," Steve told him quietly as he carefully adjusted the bed, allowing Danny to sit a little higher before he placed a brightly colored envelope into Danny's hand. "Merry Christmas, Danno."
"Steve… I'm sorry…your present,." Danny breathed, his disappointment at not having his friend's gift to give him on Christmas Day evident in his exhausted face.
Steve smiled as he rose and went back to the Christmas tree, sorting through the piles of gifts until he found the one he was searching for. Awkwardly picking the large flat brightly wrapped gift up in his left hand, he turned back to his friend as he held it up for Danny to see. "Is this it?" He grinned as he walked back and sat on the edge of the bed. "Jenny knew that you had it in your apartment. She picked it up yesterday and wrapped it for you, Aikane " He explained as he held the gift in his lap.
"Open yours first." Steve gently ordered.
The young man nodded and began to weakly open the sealed envelope, tearing it away to expose the tickets that were held within. Picking up the two tickets, Danny's eyes opened wide in surprise as he stared them in disbelief. - Rolling Stones concert tickets! He had tried unsuccessfully to purchase tickets to the sold out concert weeks ago but had no success "Wow!…How did you?" he gasped as he slowly looked up at his boss.
"Ben mentioned a few weeks ago how disappointed you were to miss out on buying tickets to the concert after you pulled the stakeout duty on the Howard case when Ben went home ill. I overheard him tell Jenny later that you had cancelled plans to buy the tickets to cover for him and when you went after finishing your shift the tickets had all been sold." McGarrett smiled. "As for the how I got them, Aikane, that's a secret that I promised that I would never reveal. The concert is not for another month so I am positive that you will be well enough to go."
Danny blinked back the tears that began to blur his visions. "Mahalo, Steve!" He whispered, still clutching the tickets in his hand as he turned his attention to the gift McGarrett held. "Your turn."
Clumsily tearing away the Christmas wrap; McGarrett stared down at the painting in his hands, unable to speak. He had first seen the painting of the old sailing ship being tossed on a stormy sea when he and Danno had been trailing a suspect in the International Markets several months before. Unable to purchase it while on duty, he could still remember the disappointment he had felt the following day when he had returned and discovered it had been sold. "Danno, I don't know what to say, Aikane." Steve managed to whisper as he continued to stare at the gift.
"Mele Kalikimaka Steve," Danny grinned tiredly, delighted that his friend loved his gift.
Steve looked up at his friend's eager face, ignoring the tears that he could feel were beginning to trickle down the sides of his face as he reached across and gently squeezed Dan's arm and whispered. "Danno, just seeing you on the road to recovery is all I wanted for Christmas. Your friendship is the greatest gift I have ever received and a gift that I will always cherish above any other. Mele Kalikimaka, Aikane, Mele Kalikimaka!"