A/N: Hello all… thanks ever so much for being extremely patient! I hope you're still with this fic. Life has gone fast forward lately and time has been at a premium… preparing to leave the country for two years has taken up my writing time. As it is, I can't promise that things will be updated regularly, especially after I'm out of country, but I can say that I will do my best so don't give up on it! Anyway, this is a fairly short update to hopefully get things moving again somewhat… ;)
Kono took a moment before turning to face the judge, jury, and quite possibly executioner after shutting the door behind her. She fully expected the patented McGarrett glare when she finally looked at him, but was taken off guard when she found him slumped in his chair, fiddling with his fingers.
"Boss?" she asked carefully. He let out a breath as he leaned forward on the desk and looked up at her.
"Noshimuri," he said simply. Kono swallowed hard before she nodded once.
"I owe you an explanation," she said, sinking down into the chair and rubbing her knees uncomfortably. She watched him pinch the bridge of his nose.
"In one way, yes you do, Kono. Seeing as how we left things and all. But in another, you really don't," Steve said, looking at her again. Kono nodded again. She didn't want to be lying to her boss again, or in any case, omitting anything.
"What do you want to know?" She'd leave it to him to ask the questions that she would answer.
"I saw pictures. Chin had a guy on you, he followed you and Noshimuri," he said. Kono nodded.
"I gathered you knew about… Adam and I," she told him. "And I didn't lie to you about what I told you before. Adam doesn't know where Joe White or his father is. And he doesn't talk to me about business, at all. Even if I ask in a general sense." Silence fell as Steve watched her face for any sign to not trust that answer. He nodded, knowing more than anything that he did trust her, even with the situation being what it was.
"If I asked, would you be able to walk away?" he asked carefully, watching closely for any tell. She was silent, and he could sense the unease in her thoughts. He slumped back in his chair again with a sigh. "On a professional level, Kono, I am asking you to walk away. I shouldn't have asked this of you in the first place. I normally wouldn't ask on a personal level, that's not how I operate. But… Adam Noshimuri is the de facto head of the Yakuza until his father's whereabouts are secured. And as an officer of the Honolulu Police Department and a member of the Five-0 task force…"
"I know," she interrupted, a hand up to stop him from continuing. "Believe me, Steve, I know. If you think I haven't talked this over in my own head a million times after I made first contact with him…"
Steve stood up from behind his desk and moved around to the front. He didn't want to be boss and employee at the moment, although a small voice in his head chided him that this had already far surpassed boss and employee by any standard of conduct. It probably had the day he'd hired her, if he were truly honest. Steve ignored all of that for the moment. He needed this conversation to be frank and unofficial so he knew ahead of time what trouble this could all bring. Rather than lean against his desk, he sat in the chair next to Kono's.
"How did you make first contact?" he asked, looking down at his hands again. Kono gave a humorless chuckle.
"Completely by accident, actually," she said, thinking back. "Malia had called and we were going to meet up. We'd decided to meet at the new place Kuhio Ave out in Waikiki."
It hadn't been a particularly noteworthy day. Just a rare day off and Malia had wanted to grab a coffee before her shift at the hospital. Still making up for that lost time, as the other woman had joked. Kono looked down at her phone in frustrated bemusement as she hung up. Her new cousin-in-law was late. It wasn't like Malia, who was usually so prompt and put together. Chin's laid back attitude was definitely rubbing off. Kono chuckled to herself as she picked up her coffee and turned to go find a table in the crowded restaurant. Incidentally, a man in an expensive suit was reaching just beyond her for a napkin for his own drink. The result of both of these actions, of course, was a brilliant spatter pattern of coffee imprinted on the poshly draped arm of said man - and two very distinct frowns.
"Let's just say," Kono said with a quick embarrassed cough. "Kind words were not exchanged at that moment. I had just realized who he was when Malia walked in the door. I'd offered to buy him a new drink when he'd recognized me… "
"How?" Steve asked with a concerned frown. Kono tilted her head to give him a look. He felt like he should know the answer.
"From the news reports. Fryer," she reminded him with a small smile. It was still a bitter taste in her mouth, but she could forgive him for the momentary lapse. "Forget who Adam is for a moment, his connections. That news report was run for weeks with my picture all over the place. And the resulting exoneration, of course, made the news as well. The whole island knew who I was for a while there."
"Yeah." That didn't make him feel any better.
"I didn't let you finish before," she said, eyes locking on his. "Are you personally asking me to walk away?" The question hung heavy in the air as they continued to look at each other. Steve's blue gaze lowered, knowing that there was only one answer to her question that he could live with.
Kono sucked in a silent breath as something clutched in her chest. It was hard to tell at the moment what the reaction was. She nodded tightly, but he didn't see it.
"I can't ask that of you, Kono."
Silence fell between the two, each trying to read the other without catching the others gaze. For a brief moment there was something tangible there, something neither one really understood but realized it had been there for quite a while. Still, all they could do was sit there uncomfortably.
"I have a medical examiner to go see," she said quietly, standing. Steve nodded quickly as he stood too, the job clicking back into focus.
"I'll let you get to that." She smiled gratefully at the return to professionalism. It was a relief to be out of that conversation without war wounds. And from the look on Steve's face, he felt the exact same way.
"Call you if I get anything," she said as she opened the door and walked out. She said a quick 'see ya' to Danny as he approached Steve's office. That heavy feeling was still in her chest…
"Everything okay?" Danny asked, eyeing Steve as he watched Kono prepare to go see Max. When Steve looked back at Danny, there was a troubled expression on his face for a split second before he masked it.
"Fine. Why wouldn't it be?" the man answered before shrugging casually. Too casually. Danny looked quickly over to Kono as she exited and then back to his partner.
"I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark here, but I think this may be the time to make you King of Passive Aggressive Conversations. Which is odd, by the way, considering your interrogation tactics," Danny mused.
"You don't know what you're talking about, Danno," Steve told him. Danny raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, but I think I do. In this, I definitely think I do. I'm not just a pretty face around this place… I have certain skills," he said. Steve rolled his eyes as he leaned back against his desk and crossed his arms.
"These so-mentioned skills, have they acquired anything new on the case then?" Steve asked. Danny pointed a finger at the man with a knowing look.
"I'm right. I know I'm right because you just changed the subject. But as to your question, I'm actually waiting on your ass, Your Highness since we're going to confab over the B&E evidence,"
"Right." Steve nodded once and started out of the office, Danny quickly behind him.
"Holy crap, it's worse than I thought," the blond muttered.
"Don't know what you're talking about," Steve responded, not turning to look at his friend.
"Yes you do. But that's not the point. Friendly advice?"
"Fine, don't you ever say I didn't try. And I will not be hosting beer-guzzling pity parties. My foot is down on that…"
"You're a jackass." Steve just smirked as he held the door open for his friend.
"It's too bad that McGarrett killed Nick Taylor. We could have used his particular skillset right now. The assassination attempt on Pak was a waste of time and resources, not to mention a risk of further exposure," the man said. The other man just hummed a general acknowledgement as he looked over the set of pictures in front of him.
"As you well know, the Pak situation was a necessity, a non-negotiable. That particular conversation ends there, if you're smart. Now, we now have too many loose ends tied together in our current business dealings. We need to start cutting those strings and eliminating them altogether," he said, his eyes staying longer on the picture of Officer Kalakaua caught in a candid shot with Noshimuri, the younger. He pushed the picture in front of his companion.
"This situation could easily get out of our control. We need to neutralize it. I'm tired of trying to keep my eyes on it when I have bigger things to be concerned about." His voice was bored as he gave the order, but there was a bit of apprehension in his eyes as he realized how close he would be cutting things. It still needed to be done though. There was no room for doubt, not with Five-0 circling in the waters.
"It will be done," his companion said, picking up the picture. "I will make sure our associate knows."
"Did you get them?"
"I couldn't. The police were there. We're going to have to wait until dark. Then I can get at them again."
"Adam, if we don't get everything out of there, they will be found. And we'll be dead men. You know as well as I do that we can't afford mistakes right now… There have been too many already."
"I know." Adam sighed as he ran a hand over his face. His held the cell phone in a white-knuckled grip. "Can you tell me where you are?"
"No. I cannot. I don't have much time. But alert me when everything is moved."
The phone went dead.
He smiled as the message came in. It was time to settle the score… Patrick Flynn, nee Frank Delano, dialed a number on his cell phone to get things going. He was going to enjoy this.
To be continued…
A/N: As always, I'm curious as to what you think: love, hate or indifferent. ;)