A/N: This is a gift for dante_s_hell. In her wishlist, dante_s_hell requested Danny-centric hurt/comfort. My plan was to simply fulfill that wish. Then I was visited by Ms. Plot who insisted on being included. Then Mr. Sex-scene decided he should get a showing. So this happened. I am posting it with dante_s_hell's kind permission. Thanks BB! And Merry Christmas!
Chin and Kono weren't even pretending that they were doing anything other than listening in. Steve and Danny's voices were so loud there was no possible way they could not have heard what they saying. They'd seen them disagree but this, this was different. This was real anger, a major disagreement the likes of which they had never before witnessed.
"I have warned you. I have told you more times than I can count. But that still doesn't stop you," Steve said, his voice practically rattling the windows of his office.
"You don't listen. You neverlisten," Danny retorted.
"I am in charge. I don't have to do it your way. Why is that such a hard concept for you?" Steve demanded.
"I know you are in charge. I have never questioned that. Not once. Your methods are not what I would choose but I do it your way."
"You question every statement I make. Try to contradict every order I give. I ordered you into the warehouse but you refused," Steve said.
Danny took a step closer, his hand nearly bouncing off Steve's chest as he illustrated his point. "The warehouse was not secure. We could have all been killed."
"I'm trained to assess these situations. I knew it was safe to enter."
"You're trained…." Danny said, recoiling back from him. "You're trained. And I got my badge out of a box of Cracker Jacks. Thank God there is someone to show all us amateurs how to do police work. Otherwise we'd just be stumbling around blind hoping to trip over a criminal we could arrest."
"That's enough," Steve said in a tone Chin and Kono had never heard him use before.
"No. No that is not enough. I'm sick of you acting like you are so much smarter, so much better trained than the rest of us poor slackers. The almighty Commander Steve McGarrett. Showing us how it's done." Danny jabbed his finger in Steve's chest to make his point, Steve's body going rigid at the contact.
"Back off, Detective."
"Or what, Commander? Are you going to shoot me? Because that is your answer to everything. Violence is not the only answer. At least not to normal people," Danny shouted.
"I won't be talked to like that," Steve shouted back.
"You should be. Because then maybe you would think before you act. Did the Navy train or beat or scare that capacity out of you? Because I've never seen you try it," Danny snarled.
Chin and Kono alternated between staring at each other and staring through the blinds at the anger radiating off Steve and Danny. Their spines were so straight they could have snapped, their faces fiery with emotion.
"You need to get out of my office," Steve said in a hard, low voice.
"No. No I do not need to get out. I need to get some sense into your rock hard head."
"I told you to leave," Steve said in the same deadly quiet voice.
"And I said I'm not. Not until you admit you were wrong. I know it's anathema for you to ever everadmit someone may have had a better idea. But you were wrong and we almost died because of it."
"No one was hurt. But that will change if you don't get out of my sight right now," Steve warned.
"Are you threatening me?" Danny demanded. "Are you actually going to shoot me if I don't obey the almighty Commander McGarrett? Lord of all he surveys."
Kono and Chin could see Steve stiffen even more at that although they hadn't thought it would be possible. The muscle in his jaw was jumping and he was bruising his own arm where he was digging in his fingers.
"Your insubordination is intolerable," Steve told him in rising anger. "And I will no longer allow it."
"You won't allow it," Danny repeated. "You won't allow it."
"Surrender your gun and your badge," Steve ordered, his hand outstretched.
Chin and Kono gasped at the words, instinctively moving closer to the door.
"Boss?" Kono said. She couldn't believe it. Surely they hadn't heard correctly.
"You don't have any part of this. Either of you," Steve said, turning his laser focus back on Danny. "Your gun and badge, Detective."
Danny's face was a blank. He stared at Steve like he couldn't understand a word he was saying.
"You are fired from Five-0, Detective. Turn in your badge and your gun. We will pack up your office and return your personal items to you. Chin, escort the Detective to his car."
Chin stared at Steve then at Danny. This couldn't be happening. Steve and Danny were friends. More than friends – they were brothers. How had it gotten this far? Surely Steve would back down and rescind his order.
"Lieutenant Kelly. Is there a reason for your delay in following my order?" Steve demanded, staring holes through Chin.
Chin shifted his gaze to Kono who was equally incredulous. The spell of silence was shattered when Danny removed his gun and his badge and carefully placed them on Steve's desk. With that, he turned on his heel and head held high, left the Five-0 offices.
"Danny?" Chin said as he followed him down the steps. Kono was right behind him, hurrying to catch with them both.
Danny didn't slow, didn't stop until he reached the Camaro. He stared at it, his body frozen.
"I don't understand this," Chin said, Kono stopping beside him.
"What happened?" Kono asked, tears shimmering in her eyes. "I mean. I know what happened. But what happened?"
"I…I don't know," Danny said quietly. "I've said the same to him before. I don't… he isn't…" Danny stopped and looked up at them. "Go back. I don't want you caught up in this."
"We're a part of this already," Kono said. "I'm so sorry."
"I'm sorry," Danny said softly. "I'm glad Grace is in England so I don't have to explain yet."
"What are you going to do?" Chin asked.
"I…have no idea," Danny admitted.
"I'll call the police chief. See if you can go back to HPD," Chin said.
Danny nodded absently. They weren't entirely sure he had heard them. The shock was still written all over his face. "I guess I should have asked about severance," he said quietly.
"We'll ask. And we'll let you know. I'm going to talk to Steve," Kono said firmly.
"No, Kono. Don't risk it. Not yet. Let him calm down," Danny said. "I'll call him tomorrow. Apologize. See if I can get my job back."
"But you aren't wrong, brah," Chin said. "He is out of control."
"We should have stood up for you," Kono said.
"We'll talk about it tomorrow," Danny repeated. "Right now, I need to…go." He waved toward the street, encompassing the Camaro.
"All right," Chin said, pulling him into a hug. "Do you want us to come by tonight?"
"No," Danny said, hugging Kono. "Maybe we can have lunch tomorrow."
"Good," Kono agreed. "1:00 at Kamekona's?"
"No," Danny said, shaking his head, sounding slightly desperate. "Some place else."
"All right," Chin said. "We'll have pizza."
"Better," Danny said. "I'll meet you there at 1:00."
"Call if you need anything," Kono said as Danny entered his car, watching with a frown as he drove off. "I can't believe it."
"Me neither," Chin said, shaking his head. "I thought I knew Steve. But this…this is…."
"Yeah," Kono said, taking a deep breath. "We better get back upstairs."
"Right," Chin said, their feet dragging as they mounted the steps.
Steve was in his office, his door closed, the blinds slanted nearly shut. That he did not wish to be disturbed was abundantly clear and they gladly respected his wishes.
Chin and Kono got to the pizza place at exactly 1:00 to find Danny already there, a tall glass of water in front of him. He was staring into space and didn't respond to them until they had spoken twice.
"I'm sorry," he said, looking up, his eyes clouded. "I was a million miles away."
"Understandably," Chin said, sitting across from him, Kono next to Chin. "How are you doing?"
"Not great," Danny admitted. "I woke up at 4:30 this morning. Couldn't get back to sleep."
"I think that's to be expected," Kono said in sympathy. She looked up at the waitress when she stopped by their table.
"The usual?" the waitress asked, glancing at Danny with concern on her face.
"Yeah. That'd be great," Kono agreed. The waitress nodded and left them alone.
"How is he?" Danny asked, staring into his water glass.
"Miserable. Angry. Yelling at everything that moves," Chin said.
"I'm sorry for you. But not for him," Danny said.
"Did you call him?" Kono asked gently.
"I called. Eight times I called. He didn't answer," Danny said. "Chief of Police called me. They may take me back. But they don't want to cross Steve."
"Will you accept?" Chin asked.
"I don't know. Maybe. I haven't decided. There are no guarantees anyway," Danny said.
"Don't decide right away," Chin advised.
"I hear there's an opening at Pearl Harbor gift shop," Danny joked. But it was entirely humorless.
"Take some time, brah," Chin said. "Consider it a vacation. You're owed pay for all your vacation time."
"Since we never get any, you have plenty," Kono said.
"I think I will take a little time. Kick back," Danny said with a sigh.
"You deserve it," Kono said, reaching over to cover Danny's hand with hers. "And we will always have your back. No matter what."
"Thank you," Danny said. He looked up when the waitress returned with their order, each of them taking a slice. Danny shoved his around his plate but never took an actual bite. He listened to Kono and Chin as they talked but did not contribute.
The cousins weren't anxious to leave him but they had failed to draw him out. After reminding him to call if he needed anything, they returned to HQ, glad that Steve was not there. He didn't return the rest of the afternoon, texting Chin that he was following up on some evidence from their latest case. Kono and Chin were skeptical but as long as Steve and his thunderous unhappiness did not return, they were just as glad.
Just like he told the cousins, Danny used his unexpected freedom to have a vacation, the first he had had in as long as he could remember.
On Friday morning, he got up early and went to a beach where the waves were prime but was a place he knew Steve never surfed. He fell off his board more times than not but the physical exertion felt good. He finally gave up when his stomach started to growl and his legs were trembling from his efforts.
He carried his surfboard across the sand to find a stranger lounging practically on top of his beach towel. "Can I help you?" Danny asked, standing up his surfboard and grabbing his smaller towel.
"You just might be able to," the man said, squinting up at Danny. He was several years older than Danny, a native of the islands. He had the body of someone who used to take pride in it but had let it go from lack of exercise and lack of interest. He had the demeanor of a policeman but Danny knew all the local cops and he was not one of them. He wore a pair of neatly pressed khakis and a navy blue polo shirt.
"How mightI be able to help you, Mr….?" Danny asked, leaving a verbal space for the man to fill in his name.
"I'm Ae Kumoimi, Detective Williams," the man said, standing to size up Danny. "I am chief of police at the Hawaii State University."
"I already have a degree. But thanks," Danny said, retrieving his tee shirt and pulling it on.
"I happen to know that, degree or not, you are unemployed."
"Do you always do your recruiting on the beach?" Danny asked, sitting on his beach towel and drinking from his water.
"When you're surfing," Chief Kumoimi said. "I need an experienced detective on my team. You need a job. Match made in heaven."
"I see," Danny said, looking from the waves crashing onto the shore to focus on the Chief. "How'd you know where to find me?"
"Chin Ho Kelly told me."
"Let me guess. You're a cousin," Danny said.
"Something like that," Kumoimi said. "Will you consider my offer?"
"Isn't there a process? A procedure? Can you hire people off the beach?"
"There are policies and procedures. No one more qualified will apply. And I can bring you on as a temp until all the hoops have been jumped through."
"I need to think about it," Danny said, squinting up at him.
"Of course. Here is my card with my cell phone number. Call me next week and we'll discuss salary and benefits. And you might be interested to know that employees of the university receive free tuition for their children."
"That's quite a perk," Danny said with a nod.
"It is," Kumoimi said. "I look forward to hearing from you."
"Right," Danny said, putting the card in one of his shoes. As soon as the Chief had pulled away in his car, Danny took out his new disposable phone. Room 225. Ten minutes.
came the instant reply.
Danny gathered up his stuff, carrying everything to the parking lot and strapping the surfboard to his roof. He drove the few miles to the no-tell motel, going directly to the room to open the door. He was body checked up against it as soon as he was inside, his mouth consumed by one that was oh-so-familiar.
"JesusGod I've missed you," Steve said into his mouth as he continued to kiss him.
"Not my idea," Danny reminded him as he dove in for more, his tongue practically down Steve's throat. Steve's hips rutted against Danny's, the friction as frustrating as it was delicious. "God," Danny groaned when Steve shoved his hand between their bodies to circle his rock hard erection. "Get them off. Off now."
Steve set to work on Danny's board shorts, very soon shoving them down as he rucked up his tee shirt, licking the salty, sunwarmed skin. He sank to his knees, taking Danny into his mouth, Danny's head banging on the door behind him.
"Don't wanna to come this way," Danny moaned, his fingers scritching Steve's head. "Need you fucking me."
"That's next," Steve promised after he reluctantly released Danny. He pulled Danny's shirt over his head, throwing it on the floor before manhandling him over to the bed. He shoved Danny backward, Danny bouncing before sprawling out in invitation. Danny could only lick his lips as Steve made quick work of his grey cargo pants and black polo. As soon as Steve was wonderfully naked, he climbed onto Danny, consuming his mouth and stealing his breath. "God Danny."
"Come on come on," Danny begged, thrusting his hips up in order to increase the friction between them. "Wanna fuck you."
"Thought you wanted me to do you."
"Don't care. Just hurry up."
Steve straightened enough to stare down at Danny's flushed face as he reached over for the lube. He spread it over Danny's cock, Danny moaning at the touch.
"Don't come," Steve ordered. Danny nearly disobeyed when Steve reached around his own back and roughly shoved two fingers into his body. "Uhnn…."
"Come on," Danny said, bruising Steve's thighs where his fingers were digging in, leaving a blossom of finger shaped bruises.
Steve moved forward, taking Danny deep with one thrust. Danny rose to meet him, gasping as he was encased. "God," Steve moaned.
"Move," Danny said, trying to get Steve to create the friction he craved.
"In a sec," Steve panted, resting his ass over Danny's groin, the blond curls tickling him. He leaned forward to let the hair on Danny's chest graze his palms. His grin in reaction to Danny's protest was best described as feral. "You want it?"
"I want it," Danny pleaded, thrusting up as well as he could. Steve relented, his thigh muscles flexing as he moved up and down on Danny. "Yesyesyesyes…." Danny hissed. He was staring up at Steve, drinking in the sight of his head thrown back, beads of sweat gathering in the hollow of his collarbones.
"You goin' do something about this?" Steve asked, grasping his own hard cock with one hand.
"That's mine," Danny said, batting away Steve's hand. "It's only mine."
"Uhnnn…." Steve groaned, biting his bottom lip as Danny touched him in the way he knew was Steve's hardest triggers. "God yes."
They had started so close to the edge it was only a few hot, frenzied minutes before they fell over. Steve collapsed on top of Danny, using his elbows to bear some of his weight.
"Oh God," Danny whispered before licking Steve's cheek just in front of his ear.
"Yeah," Steve agreed, flopping over on his back and turning his head to study Danny. "You okay?"
"I guess?" Danny said. "Don't like lying to Kono and Chin."
"I know," Steve said, tracing Danny's jaw with the back of his hand. "Why'd you want to see me?"
"Campus police chief offered me a job. Just like we expected," Danny said.
"What'd you say?" Steve asked, rolling on his side to better see Danny.
"I'd have to think about it. I couldn't look too eager. I'll call him Monday and accept," Danny said.
"Good. The sooner you find out what's going on, the sooner you can come back," Steve said, gently nipping Danny's ear.
"I don't know why the Governor said I had to do this," Danny said, not for the first time. "Why not get someone from the mainland to go undercover?"
"You know I asked him that. He said it needed to be one of us," Steve said. "It was easier for me to fire you than the Governor to fire me."
"I know," Danny sighed. "Good thing we didn't tell anyone about us yet," Danny said, gesturing between their naked, sweaty bodies.
"If we had, he couldn't have made us do this," Steve said.
"I guess," Danny said.
"Have you talked to Grace?"
"No. Rachel said it was best if I didn't. We're telling Grace I was fired only if it comes up. I'm hoping she doesn't find out until afterwards. She's going to be really pissed at you."
"Then I hope they aren't watching CNN," Steve said.
"Godammit. It's on CNN?" Danny said.
"Yeah. We're pretty famous," Steve reminded him.
"Shit. Well. Rachel said she'd deal with it. Thank God Denning said I could tell Rachel."
"I'd feel better if Chin and Kono knew the truth," Steve said, an edge of anger coming through. It was an argument he'd had repeatedly with the Governor. And he'd lost each time.
"Me too. You better go," Danny said reluctantly. "We can't risk having your truck near my car for too long."
"Are you going to rent a car?" Steve asked as he left the bed for the bathroom.
"I guess so," Danny said loud enough so Steve could hear him over the running water. "Make things simpler. You want to call and tell me I have to surrender the Camaro?"
"Yeah," Steve agreed. "I'll call you tonight. It will help with your cover."
"I hate this."
"I do too," Steve said as he left the bathroom to gather his clothes. "With any luck, you won't be there longer than a couple of weeks."
"I hope so," Danny said, watching him dress. Steve kissed him hard enough to last at least a day before checking the door.
"I'll call you tonight. On your regular phone."
"Okay," Danny agreed. "Any time. I have no plans," he said, his hands behind his head because he knew Steve enjoyed the view.
"You should," Steve said before reluctantly slipping out and down the block to his truck.
Danny was watching a tape of a game the Jets had actually managed to win when his phone rang. He wasn't really surprised to see the University Police listed on the caller ID.
"Williams," he responded.
"Detective. Chief Kumoimi," he said.
"What can I do for you?" Danny asked, trying to sound as disinterested as possible.
"I was wondering if you had considered my job offer," the Chief said.
"I said I'd call you," Danny replied.
"No time like the present. If we settle it now, you can report first thing tomorrow. Rumor has it that McGarrett seized your car."
"It was Five-0 property," Danny said, sounding angry. And resentful.
"As a campus detective, you will be issued a school car. No need to rent one," the Chief told him.
"That is an added incentive," Danny agreed as though he had to continue to consider the offer. "What is the salary?"
The Chief told him, Danny honestly impressed. It was nearly as much as he had been making at Five-0. That surprised him.
"How about this?" Danny said. "How about I come tomorrow and you fill me in on what my responsibilities would be? I'm not going to buy a pig in a poke."
"That's fair," Chief Kumoimi. "8:00 am?"
"Sure," Danny confirmed.
"How do you like your coffee, Detective?"
"Cream and sugar. And hot," Danny said, the Chief laughing.
"You'll have it. You know where my office is?"
"No but I can Google it. I'll see you tomorrow at 8 a.m." Danny said.
"I look forward to it," the Chief said.
Danny decided to dig out one of his ties for his first day. Better to make a positive impression. Plus he was still a haole and he didn't see any reason to pretend otherwise. It felt strange to have one on after having given into Steve's gripping and losing them. But it also felt right.
He grimaced when he got to the rental in his parking place. It was a beater, the cheapest one he could find on Oahu. Not that he cared what it looked like but it sure wasn't his beloved Camaro. Damn the Governor and his orders to investigate the University Police from the inside.
Danny got to the Chief's office at 7:55, the student worker behind the desk indifferent to his presence.
"Not here yet," he said, popping his gum before returning to his study of Facebooker or Tweeter or what-the-hell-ever.
Danny sat in one of the wooden chairs to wait, seeing no option. Not that he had anything else to do.
It was only four minutes later that the Chief arrived carrying a tray of coffee and a box from Lilha's Bakery. The cocoa puffs were one more sign of his determination that Danny would be joining his police force.
"Detective Williams," Chief Kumoimi said in greeting.
"Chief," Danny replied, standing to follow him into the back where Kumoini's office was. It looked over one of the largest courtyards on campus, several of the main academic buildings ringing it.
"Sit," the Chief said, waving at one of the chairs facing his huge desk. There were several piles of papers on the surface, post-it notes sticking out from each one. "Your office is just across the hall. Computer and phone already there. Once all the paperwork is completed, you'll be issued a badge and gun. Plus a cell phone. The usual equipment," the Chief said with an all-encompassing wave.
"I haven't agreed to the job," Danny reminded him, sipping the perfect coffee.
"Yet you are here. Dressed for the job if somewhat too formally. Hazard of being a haole," Kumoimi said with a laugh.
"So I've been told," Danny said. "What would my primary job responsibilities entail?"
"The University is, for the most part, a safe haven. We have our bad apples like any diverse population. Lately, the crimes have been stepped up. TVs and computers disappearing from classrooms and dorm rooms. ATMs being hacked from on campus. Grades being changed electronically."
"Sounds like you need a cybercrime expert," Danny suggested.
"We suspect it's the work of one group. The call themselves 'iliwai – the levelers."
"Levelers," Danny repeated.
"Rob from the rich. Give to the poor?" the Chief said.
"I see. Modern day Robin Hoods."
"That's their claim. We are, as you might expect, skeptical of their benevolence."
"Do you have evidence to link the crimes together?" Danny asked.
"Some. Not enough to make a case. That's why I'm anxious to bring you on. Your reputation is one of a problem solver," Kumoimi said.
"I appreciate your confidence but successful police work is collaborative. Are there others working the cases?"
"I have one other officer assigned entirely to investigating. She's young, fairly new to our force. You'll be a good role model for her."
"I see," Danny said, considering all that had been said. It did not align with the investigation Denning had assigned them but it was an entree onto the campus to find out what was really going on. "All right. I accept."
"Excellent," Kumoimi said, standing. "We'll get you set up in your office and you can fill out the necessary paperwork. I'll introduce you to Office Lekala Meuloi over lunch."
Danny followed the Chief into a fair sized office with a brand new desk, several visitor chairs, and a state-of-the-art computer. Already in place was a folder with Danny's name on it. Inside were the numerous forms necessary to make him an official member of the University Police force.
After briefly explaining the process, the Chief left him to it.
I've been hiredhe texted on his disposable phone.
Good. Get the info an dget out Steve texted back.
You know it.
No thakn God.
Danny spent the entire morning dealing with the paperwork necessary to be hired. A tiny part of him felt guilty about whomever would be processing them. He had no intention of staying on longer than he absolutely had to in order to fulfill the governor's request…order. He also did the electronic orientation required, finding it redundant and somewhat silly.
"Ready for lunch?" the Chief asked when he arrived at Danny's door.
"More than ready," Danny agreed. "I've never seen so many forms in my life. And I've spent all of my adulthood in police work."
"It's ridiculous," Kumoimi confirmed. "Our tax dollars at work."
"I guess so," Danny said, following the Chief out of the offices.
"I thought we'd eat in the faculty dining room. Give you a feel for the atmosphere."
"Makes sense," Danny said, following Kumoimi out of the main administration building where the police office was housed. They crossed the courtyard, most of the students ignoring them. Several of the students left the sidewalk as the Chief and Danny approached, watching them walk by. Danny had no reasonable explanation for their behavior.
The Chief led him to the Student Union, a large, imposing building that was all glass and concrete. Not Danny's taste in architecture but what did he know about these things? Kumoimi pointed out the college store, the central post office, the ice cream parlor, before they climbed one flight of stairs. Down the hall to the right was the faculty dining room, a small restaurant that was actually open to anyone, including students.
"The name is left over from the days when it was restricted to faculty," Kumoimi explained.
"Traditions," Danny said.
"We cling to them," Kumoimi confirmed as he crossed the dining room to a table set for four next to the floor-to-ceiling windows. There was a discreet placard that said Reserved. Kumoimi sat on one side, Danny on the other. "Lekala is on her way."
Danny nodded at that, looking up at the student waiter who had stopped by the table. "What can I get for you, Chief? Sir?" the young man asked after giving them menus, tension in his voice. Either he was brand new to being a waiter or something else was going on.
"I'll have a Coke, Wesley," Kumoimi requested. That seemed to negate the 'new to being a waiter' theory.
"Sir?" Wesley asked Danny.
"A cup of coffee and a glass of water," Danny requested, Wesley nodding and leaving.
"This dining room is open 7:30 to 7:30 Monday through Thursday. It serves breakfast on Fridays. Closed on the weekends," Chief said, watching the approach of a woman whom Danny assumed was Lekala. She was a few years older than Kono and resembled Amy Hanamoa. She wore slacks, and a light blue cotton shirt not too different from the one Danny wore. "Lekala," Chief said as she approached.
"Chief," she said with a brisk nod.
"This is Detective Danny Williams," the Chief said, indicating Danny.
"Detective," Lekala said, shaking his hand.
"Danny, please," he replied.
She nodded at that, moving toward Danny's side of the table. He automatically pulled out the empty chair so that she could sit.
Wesley returned with their drinks and a menu for the new arrival.
"Thank you, Wesley," Lekala said with a warm smile for him.
"You're welcome," he responded, his smile dimming as he put the Coke in front of Kumoimi. He didn't make eye contact as he gave Danny his coffee and water. "You want water?" he asked Lekala.
"Yes please. With extra lemon," she requested.
"Be right back," Wesley agreed.
"What looks good to you?" Kumoimi asked, indicating the somewhat limited menu. It had been printed out recently, the changing nature of the food being prepared by students studying culinary arts making it variable.
"I'm leaning toward the fish tacos," Danny said, looking over at Lekala who was studying her menu with an intensity that Danny found excessive.
"That does sound good," Lekala said, looking up to meet Danny's gaze. "So today is your official first day?"
"Apparently," Danny said. "I filled out so many forms, I have permanent writer's cramp."
"You must miss being with Five-0," she said in sympathy, her entire focus on him.
"I miss my two co-workers. The overbearing demands of the Commander I can live just as happily without," Danny said.
"I've heard Commander McGarrett can be something of a hard-ass," the Chief said.
"You heard right," Danny said. "Didn't leave it behind when he left the Navy."
"And it's true he's a SEAL?" Lekala asked.
"Was. Though he'd tell you once a SEAL always a SEAL. With him, once a pain in the ass, always a pain in the ass," Danny said, injecting bitterness into his voice he did not feel.
"Entire situation is unfortunate for you. Fortunate for us," the Chief said, looking up when the waiter returned for their order. They all made their requests, the topics turning to more general subjects.
"After we've finished eating," the Chief said to Lekala, "you can show the Detective around the campus. Get the lay of the land."
"Certainly," she agreed.
Lunch was tasty and uneventful, the Chief telling Danny more about the way in which the university operated. Lekala had little to add and mostly remained quiet.
As they were preparing to leave, a middle-aged, immaculately dressed woman came into the dining room. All heads turned to follow as she walked directly over to their table. The Chief stood, smiling broadly at the newcomer.
"Dr. Blankenshire," he said in greeting.
"Chief, Officer Meuloi," she said in response. Danny had also stood, recognizing the president of the university. Even if he hadn't recognized her name, her authoritative presence would have made it fairly obvious who she was. "You must be Detective Williams," she said, holding out a manicured hand to him.
"I am," Danny agreed, appreciating her firm handshake. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
"Welcome aboard, Detective. I certainly hope you can get to the bottom of the current crime wave," she said. She was smiling as she said it, practically winking at the Chief.
"I am going to give it my best shot," Danny replied.
"Excellent. Now, I hate to rush, but my party is waiting," she said, a sweeping hand indicating a large table toward the back.
"Thank you for stopping by," Chief said, his smile still in place.
"Chief, Officer, Detective," she said as she made her way to the back of the dining room.
"She is exactly as I would expect her to be," Danny said to no one in particular.
"She's been very good for the university," Chief said firmly.
The tone implied that there were others who felt differently but Danny had had no time to form or learn any opposing views.
They left the dining room, the Chief returning to his office, Lekala and Danny going the opposite way. As they walked down the busy sidewalk, Danny could see Lekala's mood becoming brighter.
"As a detective, it is my professional opinion that eating lunch with Chief is not high on your list of preferred activities," Danny said. He knew his voice was the one he used when Grace was reluctantly to tell him the truth but it seemed to work on lots of people, not just Grace.
If Lekala was surprised by his insight, it did not register on her face or in her body language. "It isn't," she said, pausing to greet three students who called out to her.
"Care to elaborate," Danny asked.
"No," she said. But it wasn't rude or abrupt. It was…a frightened 'no.' "This is the main library," she said, gesturing to the building where they were headed.
How was your first day? Steve texted at 7:30 that night.
Fine. What do you know of Chief Kumoimi?
Not a lot. Do I need to look into him?
His history mayb.e Not the man himself
Aslways have been. Chin and Kono talking to you yet?
More than before. I hate this.
Me too, babe. It's not for ever. I'll keep you posted.
Make sure you do
Roger wilco over and out.
Nobody usese that any logner. Plus 'over' means waiting for rply. 'Out' means done. Can't be both. Civilians!
Danny spent the first week learning the campus, the key players, the hot spots for trouble. He was introduced to the majority of the police officers employed by the University, a couple of them former HPD officers. He hadn't known them when they were with the Honolulu force but kept mental note of their names.
It did not escape his notice that the male officers were much more forthcoming around him. The female officers kept their distance and held their own counsel. If he asked one of the women a direct question, she would respond. But none of them initiated conversation with him.
"So I was noticing," he said to Lekala over lunch on Friday of his second week. They were at a pizza parlor off campus, none of the other diners from the university. "The female officers don't offer an opinion. They don't volunteer for athletic events. They barely speak unless spoken to." He was watching Lekala's face which was telling him that he was correct on all accounts. "You want to tell me what that's about?"
"Not if I want to keep my job," she said almost too quietly for him to hear.
"That is not something anyone should be saying. This is the 21st century. Women are not barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen."
"If it were up to Kumoimi we would be," she said in a low voice. "Except, of course, for Dr. Blankenshire."
"Is there something more there than professionalism?" Danny asked. He had seen the Chief and the President together twice since the lunch and each time his detective senses began to tingle.
"I've never witnessed anything outside the bounds of their jobs," Lekala said in a complete non-answer.
"But you've heard," Danny said in encouragement.
She shrugged not otherwise responding.
He decided he needed to let it drop. He didn't see how it could be related to the crimes being committed on campus. He also didn't know how he and Lekala could have failed to so far find any evidence of those crimes. But something was definitely going on.
"Are you working tomorrow?" Lekala asked after she finished her pizza.
"I wasn't planning to. I've done my time at homecomings," he said with an overly dramatic shudder. "You're working?"
"You should be here," she said, giving him a piercing look.
"All right," he said after studying her expression. She was trying to silently convey a message and he wasn't entirely sure what it was. All he was sure about was that she had concerns about the festivities taking over the campus tomorrow. "I'll email the Chief. He was still looking for officers, right?"
"Yeah," she agreed. "Don't wear a tie."
"Hey. I haven't worn one since that first day," he protested, making her laugh.
"Dress like you would to attend a football game. Do we need to go to the University store for a sweatshirt?"
"No, God. I will buy a polo shirt," he said.
"You don't have to buy it," she said. "Campus police will pay for it."
"All right," he said, leaving the pizza place behind her.
Guess who is goig to homecoming tomorrow?
The fun never ends, huh?
Jealous? I know you are, Danny texted.
More than I can say. Got plans for after?
None that I know of. But it could be really late.
Text me when you are leaving campus.
Danny arrived on campus the next day for the 5:00 briefing, just as he promised Lekala. He pulled his campus-issued car into the police lot, greeting the guard on duty. The older man waved at him but otherwise did not try to engage him in conversation.
The officers were gathered in the largest meeting room, most of them dressed like Danny, in khakis and University polo shirts. He took the chair that Lekala had saved for him, greeting the officers close by. From his vantage point, it looked to Danny that Lekala was the only female officer present.
It was only a few minutes after he arrived that Chief entered, handing around assignment sheets. They all contained the campus map with several areas highlighted.
"Those of you who have survived previous homecomings know these are the trouble spots. To those of you who are new, these are the places that always end up with the most arrests being made. Foot patrols will concentrate on these areas. The rest have your assignments on the back of your sheets. Be conspicuous but not overly so. Be friendly. Be courteous. Be on the look-out." He paused, looking over his officers. "Any questions?"
There were a few questions about protocol but they all understood their procedures and their goals for the day.
"I'll be either in my office or on patrol. Either way, I will have my phone and my radio. Call me if you have any questions or concerns."
The officers wandered out, Lekala one of the first to leave. "Detective," the Chief said as Danny was about to leave as well.
"Chief," Danny said, stopping at his voice.
"Stay alert and watch your back," the Chief said.
"I will," Danny said, waiting. He thought Kumoimi would add something more but when he only nodded, Danny left to find Lekala.
"What'd he want?" she asked as they left the administration building.
"To tell me to watch my back? Does that make sense to you?"
"No. But nothing he says is…well. Never mind. Let's swing by the stadium parking lot to check on the tailgaters. Then I want to check out the computer science building. The overnight officers reported an unauthorized entry."
"Sure," Danny agreed, turning toward the stadium. Lekala pointed out how the campus was much busier than a normal Saturday, the air buzzing with excitement. The quad was filled with booths selling shaved ice, cotton candy, trinkets and doo-dads. There was music playing from gigantic speakers, nearly deafening Danny as they walked by them. People were milling about, sitting on blankets, dancing, laughing, talking, celebrating their friends and their college.
They wandered through the stadium parking lot, greeting those who spoke, not finding any trouble that they needed to report. They saw several other campus police officers also checking out the revelers and left them to it.
They made their way to the computer science building, the trip taking longer than normal with all of the partiers milling about. The building was unlocked as were most of the academic buildings. Homecoming was treated as an open house, the alumni encouraged to visit their previous classrooms and professors. There were people gathered in the hallways, eating and drinking, talking and visiting with one another.
"The lab we want is on the third floor," Lekala said after they made their way through the crowds. Danny automatically followed her up the stairwell, pausing on the second floor landing.
"Look at this lock," Danny said, pointing to the door. The paint around the locking mechanism was brighter than the rest of the door, as though it had very recently been repainted.
"We should check this floor," Lekala agreed, opening the door to enter that corridor.
"What's on this floor?" Danny asked.
"Mostly classrooms and faculty offices. There are computers in most of the rooms but for the most part, nothing high end. All the computers have electronic locks so if they are removed without authorization, they shut down."
"Like a car radio," Danny said as they passed the classrooms. A couple of them had people in them, their conversations confirming the reunions in progress.
"Exactly," Lekala agreed. "This is the only office suite of any note. It contains Dr. Lenard's lab." She put in the code to release the electronic lock, frowning when the door failed to open.
"Dr. Lenard. She's the one trying to find the most distant galaxies?"
"That's her," Lekala confirmed, reentering the code. "This is the master code. Someone has tampered with the lock."
"Why is an astronomer in the computer science building?"
"There's a lot of crossover," she said. "She needs the computers to make her calculations. Can you call the Chief and ask him why this door would be locked on a different system?"
Danny dialed the Chief's number, waiting as it rang 10 times before hanging up. "There's no answer."
"Did you call his cell phone?"
"I did. I'll try his office," Danny decided, listening as the phone rang 8 times before it was picked up by one of the student workers. "Carl. Where's the Chief?"
"I don't know, Detective," Carl said, sounding harried. "I went to get a soda and when I got back, he wasn't here."
"All right," Danny said. "When he gets back, tell him to call me."
"Of course," Carl agreed, disconnecting.
"Is the Dean in his office?" Danny asked.
"Maybe? I think the door was open."
"If you want to wait here, I'll go check," Danny said.
"Right," Lekala said.
Danny went back downstairs and was about to push the door open to leave the stairwell for the corridor when the world went black. There was pain, a shove, then nothing.
"Chin," Steve said. He hated having to call but didn't have any choice left.
"Steve?" Chin responded. "You know it's well past midnight. You know that, right?"
"I know and I'm sorry. But I can't find Danny," Steve said.
"What? What are you talking about? Can't find Danny?" Chin said, completely confused.
"Danny is undercover, Chin. I had to fire him. The Governor's orders. I was going to meet him after the homecoming game but he never called. And now I can't find him," Steve said, his concern coming through the phone.
"All right. I'll meet you at HQ in 15 minutes."
"I'm here already. I'll call Kono," Steve said.
"Okay. We'll find him," Chin said, making it sound like a promise.
"Yeah we will," Steve confirmed. He hung up with Chin to call Kono, explaining to her as he had to Chin.
"I knew it had to be a mistake," Kono said in relief. "You two are too close for that to really happen."
"You're right about that," Steve said, hanging up with her. He debated with himself about the wisdom or the necessity of telling them the true nature of his relationship with Danny. Now that he was confessing, it seemed like the right thing to do to tell them everything.
Chin got there first, Steve telling him everything he knew about Danny's activities. He gave Chin Danny's new phone number, neither of them surprised that the phone had been deactivated.
Kono arrived looking far too fresh and awake, bringing with her three gigantic cups of coffee. "What do we know for sure?"
The guys told her what they had learned. Or more specifically what they had not learned.
"I'm sorry we had to lie to you," Steve said. "We didn't have any choice."
"What does the Governor think is going on?" Kono asked.
"Unauthorized expenditures. Disappearing academic research. The administration computers hacked. And no one knows how it's being done. But Denning said there are rumors that the university Police Chief is running the crime ring," Steve said.
"Great. So you sent him into the lion's den without back-up," Kono said with a frown.
"We were under Denning's orders," Steve said.
"If he thinks the Police Chief is behind the crime-ring, why did the Chief want Danny on his force? Isn't that inviting the fox into the henhouse?" Chin asked, a puzzled expression on his face.
"Because what better way to prove you aren't doing anything illegal than having a member of Five-0 on your force?" Steve said.
"Ex-member," Kono said. "Since we aren't there to watch his back."
"I know," Steve sighed. "I tried to convince Denning it was an unnecessary risk but he said 'risk is your business, Commander.' And that was that."
Kono was frowning at Steve, her displeasure radiating off of her in waves. "You are very casual with his safety."
"I am not casual at all," Steve said. "Danny and I have been 'dating' for the past 2 months. By dating I mean late night, mostly horizontal dating."
"Hot monkey sex," Kono guessed, squinting at him.
"That's a detail we don't need," Chin told her. "Why didn't you tell us you were together?"
"We thought we might flame out. Better we keep the fall-out between us if that happened. We were planning to tell you until Denning ordered me to fire Danny for his cover."
"Okay," Chin said. "We'll deal with the lies after we have Danny back safe. Do you have his partner's contact info?"
"No. She couldn't know so he said there was no reason for me to have her number," Steve said. "And we can't ask the Chief. Since there's a better than even chance that he's behind all of it."
"What is his partner's name?" Kono asked, typing into the tech table.
"Lekala Meuloi," Steve said, watching Kono. "Can you find her?"
"Yeah. Here's her personal cell number," Kono said, typing it into the search app. "It's active. We should call her."
"What if she's a part of it?" Chin said, studying the table.
"She's the only contact we have. Where is her phone?" Steve asked.
"On campus," Kono said, pointing at the blinking dot on the screen. "Call her," she said, a note of pleading in her voice.
Steve punched in her number. They waited breathlessly as it rang 7 long times.
"Hello?" a very quiet voice whispered.
"Is this Lekala Meuloi?" Steve asked.
"Yes," the tentative voice responded.
"This is Steve McGarrett. Caller ID said H50, right?"
"Yes," she said softly. "Are you calling about Danny?"
"Do you know where he is?"
"No. I think he's in trouble. There is something going on and I don't know what it is."
"Where are you? Are you safe?" Steve asked.
"I'm safe right now. I locked myself in a closet in a classroom after I came to," she said.
"You were knocked out?" Steve asked in concern.
"Yeah. I woke up about 5 minutes ago. I'm not willing to leave here to find out what's going on. There's still shouting and I keep hearing what sounds like tear gas canisters being deployed. I don't have a weapon any longer."
"All right," Steve said. "Stay right where you are. We are going to come and get you. Then we're going to find Danny."
"Okay," she said.
"Do you need an ambulance?" Steve asked.
"No no. I'm okay. Headache's all. But I'm really worried about Danny."
"We're going to find him," Steve promised. "Do you want us to stay on the line until we get there?"
"No. I'm safe right now. I'm in the computer science building. Inside room 233."
"We'll call you as soon as we get there. You can let us in," Steve said.
"Okay," she agreed.
"Shouldn't we call HPD?" Kono asked in concern.
"They don't have jurisdiction on campus," Steve reminded her. "Fortunately, it's not a problem for us."
Steve, Kono, and Chin put on their TAC vests before driving to the University, the lights warning the sparse traffic to get out of their way. They were not stopped by anyone on the campus, the streets empty. They could see remnants of the Homecoming festivities but no sign of the partiers.
The computer science building was dark when they arrived at the base of the steps leading up to the front doors, no activity visible. They assessed the situation, deciding they could neutralize any threats they might encounter.
"What about the tear gas?" Kono asked.
"I don't smell it," Steve said. "It isn't coming out of the doors."
"We should still have masks," Chin insisted.
Steve frowned but nodded, Chin hurrying back to the car for them. Steve and Kono remained deep in the shadows, Steve dialing Lekala's number.
"Hey," he said quietly. "We'll be in your location in 30 seconds."
"Okay," she acknowledged.
"Do you smell tear gas?" Steve asked.
"Maybe. I can't be sure," she said.
"All right. Hang tight." With that, he hung up and accepted the gas mask from Chin. When he and Kono also had theirs secure, they entered the front door of the dark building, no lights visible, there flashlights guiding their way. "They cut the electricity."
"Seems that way," Kono's distorted voice said. "Here's the stairwell." They passed through the door into the stairwell, Steve stopping.
"Do you hear that?" he asked, holding up his hand.
"Yeah," Chin said, entering further. He went behind the steps, Steve and Kono following. They all stopped in horror at what they found. There were four bodies, only one of them still moving. And that was Danny.
"Danny," Steve said, ripping off his mask to kneel next to him. "Danny. Can you hear me?"
Danny groaned, his eyes finally squinting open so he could blink up at Steve. "Hey," Danny said. "What are you doing at my mom's house?"
"We aren't at your mom's house. We're on the university campus. Do you remember what happened?" Steve asked. He could hear Kono behind him calling for an ambulance. Chin was cautiously going up the steps, his gun drawn.
"I drank too much?" Danny guessed. "Don't tell pop, okay?"
"I won't." Steve was checking him for injuries but didn't see any. Until he rolled Danny onto his side. The entire back of his shirt was stained bright red, blood spurting weakly with each heartbeat from a wound next to his right shoulder blade. Steve took off his outer shirt, balling it up to stem the blood flow as well as he could. "How long for the ambulance?" he asked Kono in a tight voice.
"Five minutes. They all dead?" she asked, pointing at the others.
Steve used his free hand to check for a pulse, finding one very weak one on the man furthest from Danny. "This one's still got a pulse."
"Who are they?" Kono asked. She reached into the nearest pocket, pulling out the victim's wallet. "Says here he's a student. Pauli Mechan. But his licenses lists his date of birth as 1986. Doesn't that make him a little old to be an undergrad?"
"Check the others," Steve instructed. They shrunk back into the shadows beneath the steps and turned off their flashlights when they heard someone coming down.
"It's me and Lekala," Chin said. He rounded the end of the steps, his arm around Lekala who was leaning heavily on him.
"How are you doing?" Steve asked, looking up at her and careful not to shine his flashlight directly at her.
"I'm okay," she said, kneeling beside Steve. "How's Danny?"
"Sis?" Danny said, squinting up at her.
"He's lost a lot of blood," Steve said. "He's not entirely with us."
Lekala nodded, looking over at Kono who was gathering IDs from wallets. "What are those?"
"School IDs?" Kono said in question. Why would a campus police officer not recognize them?
"Those aren't real," Lekala said, slowly standing to move over to Kono. "They should be blue on the back. These aren't students."
"Who are they then?" Chin asked. He opened the door to the outside when they heard the ambulance arrive.
"I've never seen them before," Lekala said. "I don't know every student but they don't look like the belong here."
"What the hell is going on?" Steve asked. He kept the pressure on Danny's wound as the EMTs brought in the stretcher. "We have two alive, including Danny. She also needs to be looked at."
The EMTs tended to Danny, putting him in the first ambulance. Lekala asked to go with him, the EMTs agreeing. The second ambulance arrived very soon afterwards, taking the man whose ID said he was an instructor by the name of Jonathan Keller.
"Let's go upstairs and see what kept Lekala hiding inside the closet," Steve said, bouncing on his toes.
Danny didn't quite know what was going on. His body felt like a solid knot of pain. When he tried to move away from it, as though that was even possible, he felt a welcome presence at his back keeping him on his side. But that didn't seem right somehow. Not nearly warm enough. And it didn't feel like he was in Steve's bed. The sounds were wrong. The smells were wrong.
Oh damn it to hell. He was in the hospital. But he had absolutely no idea why.
"Hey, Danno," Steve's voice said quietly in his ear. "You with me?"
"Uhn," Danny grunted. He shifted, trying to figure out what was going on. Why couldn't he move? Why was he in so much pain?
"You're in the hospital. Do you remember being stabbed?" Steve asked, his fingers entwining with Danny's.
"Stabbed?" Danny repeated, looking up at Steve's worried face. The crease between his eyebrows spoke of the worrying Steve had been doing. And was still doing from the lines around his eyes and mouth.
"You were attacked at the university. You were checking the computer science building."
"Lekala okay?" Danny asked as most of it came back to him. Learning about her was important. Getting some water was even more vital.
"She is. The people who hurt you never found her," Steve assured him.
"Water?" Danny requested.
Steve reached over for the hospital-issued pitcher, taking out a chip of ice to hold it to Danny's lips. "Better?"
"Better," Danny whispered. "Time it is?"
"You've been here for almost 24 hours. You lost a lot of blood. And you developed an infection from the screwdriver they used to stab you."
"Nice for me," Danny said. "Who did this?"
"I'll tell you but first I need to get the nurse. You are in too much pain to discuss it."
Danny reached out for Steve's hand to stop him from leaving. "Kono and Chin?"
"They finally stopped being mad at me. They'll be back in the morning. It's the middle of the night."
Danny nodded, letting his eyes drift closed as he waited. There was nothing required of him so he just lay there and contemplated the amount of pain his body was capable of feeling. God, did nothing hurt? Maybe the soles of his feet? His hair hurt so that didn't leave too much real estate to not be consumed by pain.
He managed to open his eyes when quiet footsteps sounded on the floor. He blinked up at Steve and the man standing beside him wearing scrubs.
"I hear you're in pain, Detective," the nurse said, checking Danny's vitals.
"Kinda, yeah," Danny said.
"Understandably," the nurse said. "I have your pain medication."
"'Kay," Danny said, watching as he injected it into his IV. It didn't take long for the medicine to enter his system, making his limbs heavy but in a pleasant way.
"What's that?" he heard Steve say, mostly curious. He didn't have a pre-ass-kicking tone so Danny relaxed to the effects of the pain killer.
"Anti-biotics," the nurse said. Steve hummed in response, sitting back by Danny.
"Thank you," Danny heard Steve say. He opened his eyes just enough to see Steve covered by a blanket. But that was all Danny knew before he succumbed to the pull of the drugs making their comforting way down his bloodstream.
"He'll be released day after tomorrow. Once the fever breaks and his blood count is up," Steve's voice was saying as Danny finally surfaced. His eyes were glued shut from the visit of the sandman, his lids too heavy to lift. He managed to raise one hand, attracting Steve's attention. "Hey hey," Steve said, covering Danny's hand with his own. "Take it slow."
"Uhn," Danny grunted, finally getting his eyes to cooperate. He was still laying on his side, staring directly into Steve's worried slate grey eyes. "'m okay."
"You are far from okay," Steve said. His expression was concerned mixed with a smile.
"More okay than you," Danny informed him, looking past him to see Lekala watching them with an amused expression. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," Lekala told him with a smile. "Bump on the head but that's all."
"What happened?" Danny asked either of them.
"You ready for this? Or you need pain med first?" Steve asked.
"Uhn," Danny responded. That was way too many questions. And it made his head hurt to even think about answering. Steve could decide. Steve was good at deciding.
"All right," Steve agreed as though Danny had told him which he preferred. "I'll get the nurse. See if she can give you enough to take off the edge but not so much you'll fall back to sleep right away. Sound good?"
"Good," Danny said, looking up at Lekala as Steve left. "Who did this?"
Lekala took Danny's hand, shaking her head in what was clearly disbelief. "Turns out the Governor was right. The Chief had his own crime ring. But they weren't the ones stealing the computers. They were trying to steal Dr. Lenard's research. Seems that Dr. Blankenshire and the Chief were going to take credit for her discoveries."
Danny frowned, watching Steve return with the nurse.
"How are you doing?" the nurse asked. She was old enough to be Danny's mother and in some ways reminded Danny of his mom. He found that extremely comforting.
"Hurts," Danny admitted. He figured if it had been Steve that was stabbed, he'd be up running a half marathon in an active volcano already. But he wasn't Steve and he wasn't too proud to admit that his body was one ache, pain everywhere.
"I would imagine so. Your body is working overtime to fight the infection. I have your anti-biotics. And your partner said you want to stay awake for a little while?"
"That okay?" Danny asked.
"The medication won't control all the pain without putting you out," she said.
"I'll take it," Danny said, closing his eyes momentarily to see if he could blot out some of the pain. That wasn't a success and he instead looked up at Steve.
"What is it, Babe?" Steve asked, a gentle finger tracing the lines wrinkling Danny's forehead.
"Uhn," Danny said. That was all he seemed capable of at the moment. "Thirsty?"
"Of course," Steve said, giving him precious ice chips.
"Tell me," Danny requested, looking past Steve to Lekala.
"We walked into their final phase. They were in Dr. Lenard's office, copying the files and getting ready to delete the originals," Lekala explained.
"Dead guys?" Danny asked.
"They were in on it as well," Steve said. "They were supposedly enrolled in Dr. Lenard's classes but they weren't really students. Dr. Blankenshire hacked the computer so no questions were raised about their presence. Once they got access to the computer program, they didn't need the fake students any longer."
"Oh," Danny said with a frown.
"Yeah," Steve agreed. "Homecoming was going to be the perfect cover. Busy campus. Lots of strangers milling about. Game distracting everyone that night."
"You suspected?" Danny asked Lekala.
"No. I just knew you needed to be there for homecoming. So the Chief would leave me alone," Lekala said, frowning.
"He was systematically intimidating all the female officers," Steve added.
"He didn't want any women on the force. But he didn't have any choice," Lekala said.
"Swell guy," Danny said.
"Yeah. He is. Or he was. He may be a little bit dead now," Steve confessed.
"Little bit dead?" Danny repeated, certain that the drugs had clouded his hearing.
"Steve killed him," Lekala confirmed. "When the Chief tried to shoot him and Kono."
"When'd this happen?" Danny asked.
"After the ambulance left, we very soon found the Chief. He tried to shoot his way out. I decided that wasn't going to happen," Steve explained.
"Kono? Chin?" Danny said in concern.
"They're fine. Not a scratch," Steve said.
"You?" Danny demanded, straining to look up at him.
"I don't have a scratch either. He was clever but not particularly smart," Steve said.
"Uhn," Danny said, letting his eyes close. "Kin and Chono?"
Steve laughed, running his fingers through Danny's hair. "I will go get Kin and Chono and then you can sleep."
"Kay," Danny said, looking up at Lekala. "You staying at university?"
"I will now," she said. "I'm leading up the investigation. And I'll be working closely with Five-0 to complete it."
"Good," he said with a shaky nod. He tried to smile up at Kono and Chin but was pretty sure he'd failed. "Hey."
"How you doing, brah?" Chin asked looking as worried as he ever did. Kono also looked uncharacteristically upset.
"Been better. Been worse," Danny assured them.
"Sounds about right," Kono had to agree.
"Sorry about lying," Danny said, his eyes drifting closed on their own. Apparently like his car, he no longer was in charge.
"Boss explained," Kono said, the back of her hand stroking his cheek. She had tiny hands. Especially for someone so tall. And pretty. But that didn't make sense. Being pretty didn't matter to your hands. "Go to sleep," Kono laughed, her hand continuing to stroke him.
"Said it out loud, huh?" Danny guessed.
"Yeah, brah. It's fine. And thank you."
"Uhn," Danny grunted. It had apparently become his favorite word…sound. He'd work on using different ones when he woke up….
Danny woke with a start, staring straight ahead and only relaxing when he saw the familiar walls of Steve's bedroom. Right. He was at Steve's. Asleep in Steve's bed. No, lying in Steve's bed notsleeping. And it was Steve holding him on his side. Not that hard prop-pillow thing.
"You okay?" his living, breathing pillow asked into his ear.
"I think so," Danny said. "I thought I was still in the hospital."
"I know the feeling," Steve agreed. "At least you slept."
"You?" Danny asked. He wanted to roll onto his back to be able to see Steve but that still wasn't such a good idea.
"I slept," Steve said, kissing Danny's bare shoulder. "You want breakfast?"
"In a minute," Danny said, pulling on Steve's hand until he got the message and scooted over Danny to lay facing him. Danny smiled at his rumpled appearance, his hair going every which way possible At least the shadows that had been under his eyes had lightened. Maybe Steve had slept while Danny did.
"What?" Steve asked, kissing him on the forehead.
Danny shrugged with his one shoulder, flinching from the pull of the stitches. "I want to move in here. Permanently. With you."
"Oh," Steve said, blinking at his words.
"No," Danny asked, disappointment and embarrassment vying for supremacy. Had he read it so wrong? Wasn't Steve ready?
"Stop thinking so hard," Steve teased, smoothing out the wrinkle on Danny's forehead. "I can hear the wheels turning."
"I thought you…we were ready," Danny said in explanation, closing his eyes to find his composure.
"We are ready, Danno. We are so ready that your clothes are already here. Your furniture is mostly here. The rest is in storage."
"What?" Danny said, looking at Steve in complete and adorable confusion. "What?"
"Me and Kin and Chono moved you in while you were in the hospital. That way you couldn't refuse. Because I'm not letting you out of my sight if I can help it."
"Oh," Danny said in realization. "Oh. Okay."
"Okay," Steve laughed.
"You didn't think to ask me?" Danny finally said, trying to sound stern.
"Nope. If I didn't ask, you couldn't say no," Steve pointed out reasonably.
"You are something special," Danny said, shaking his head.
"Yep. I sure am. And so are you," Steve said, kissing Danny to show him just how special he really was.