Cujo III – Reloaded – This Time It's Personal
Okay, here it is. Had to cram it all into this one monstrous chapter to wrap it up. This one was no more cooperative than the previous chapters and it took forever to wrestle the damned thing into submission. Thank you all so very, very, much for your patience and encouragement. This is the only story I was ever tempted to abandon but your support kept it going. Thank you.
Imaginary Beta is going to have her nervous breakdown now. I've given her permission to do so.
Disclaimer: Husband and ninja cats have their domestic back. Never made any money from this but had a great time with my imaginary playmates.
*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0* Hawaii 5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*
Faster Than A Speeding Rabbit
"If Kiki is somehow involved in this, my bet is that Mickey's involved somehow too." said Danny as he took a sip of his now cold coffee.
"But what's the connection between Kiki and Clara/Cecile?" wondered Chin as he leaned against the credenza in Steve's office.
They were waiting for Kono who, throughout the morning, had been tapping madly away on her keyboard before picking up the phone as she pursued a last-minute hunch. Cujo was lounging in Kono's usual place atop the credenza and Chin reached over to scratch behind the purring animal's ears.
"Thanks to our rodent control officer here, we have some kind of evidence. We just don't yet know how it connects all this together." said the Hawaiian
"Why would Kiki have a shell casing that could tie her to the murders?" mused Steve aloud. "She's obviously a smart woman if a umm . . . difficult one."
"It's okay Rambo, even Kono's called her the 'B' word."
"The 'B' word?" Steve rolled his eyes at the abbreviated derogatory.
"Yeah, well after your performance at show-and-tell, I am trying very hard not to follow your horrifying example. It's bad enough that Gracie asked what a pimp is."
"Well, if you hadn't been so keen on giving me shit about that disaster she wouldn't have even learned a new vocabulary word."
"How's your leg?" asked Danny quickly switching the conversation to a subject he wouldn't have to defend.
"Hurts like a 'B' word."
Kono chose that moment to nearly bounce into the office, eyes lit with excitement. "Hey you guys, I found out something very interesting about our newsperson." she announced
"Is it that she's graduated from the B word to the C word?" asked Danny with a smirk.
An eyebrow rising disapprovingly at Danny's question, (no woman ever wants to hear that word from a man or even the hint of it); Kono chose to table it for the moment. She could always rip into Danny later. "I just couldn't get over how, for lack of a better term, 'enhanced' her appearance is. She looks like she's had some major work done. Nobody is that perfect unless they've had some medical procedure to make it happen."
"Yeah, Cath said pretty much the same thing a few weeks ago when we caught one of her news reports." said Steve, "Only she didn't put it that politely." He leaned back a little in his chair and shifted his again furiously aching thigh to a more comfortable position. "So, what did you find out?"
"I tracked down a very expensive plastic surgeon that's had her as a client for several years. Her first visit was about five and a half years ago and there've been several since."
"If she's had some stuff done to change her appearance, I guess it could just have been for vanity or even for furthering her career but it could be something else." mused Steve aloud
"So Kono, you're saying that Kiki could actually be Clara/Cecile? That's a pretty big stretch. They really don't look alike from what we've seen on either of the mug-shots." offered Chin
"Yeah, I know hair can be dyed but her eye color is different too." said Danny
"What? You've never heard of colored contacts?" asked Kono
"Well, yeah but . . . "
"If her eyes are light enough to begin with, it's pretty hard to tell if she's wearing them unless you're looking for them. It's a bit easier to make them look natural if you don't have dark eyes." lectured their female detective. "To change the color of dark eyes, the lenses would have to be almost opaque and it wouldn't really look that natural."
"So you mean Danny could make his eyes a different color and it wouldn't look fake but you or I would have a harder time." summarized Chin
"Exactly. Steve's kind of a toss-up though."
"Yeah, Steve's always been pretty much a toss-up." snarked Danny, "Oh, you mean about eye color?"
"Go on Kono." ordered their hazel-eyed boss, too focused for distraction.
"That's about it boss. Because of client-doctor privilege I couldn't get any specifics." said Kono
"We should at least compare them. Chin, access photos of all three and put them up side-by-side." ordered Five-0's leader as they trooped to the outer office, Cujo jumping down to trot curiously along behind them.
They waited the ninety seconds it took for Chin, fingers flying, to obtain the requested information. The four of them peered upward to see the mug-shots juxtaposed with a full-face still from one of Kiki's crime scene stand-ups.
Cecile's on the left showed a girl with a bad complexion and hair bleached white-blonde. From under thick dark brows pale eyes peered with naked hostility at the camera. Her hair was in the style popular at the time, long and crinkled on the back and sides with the front of it standing almost straight up thanks to what was probably a massive amount of hair spray or gel.
Clara Ann's mug shot, the one rescued by Missus Ratliff, showed a dowdy looking woman in thick eyeglasses with mousy brown hair pulled straight back into a ponytail. There should have been another without the eyewear but, since the original records had been erased, this was all they had to work with.
Kiki's photo showed her smiling seductively at the camera; her hair and make-up perfect as usual.
"Okay, now do an overlay to compare them." was Steve's next instruction.
Chin adjusted the images for size and angle and the two booking photos were layered over Kiki's too perfect face. Besides the difference in hair and eye color the newswoman's face was thinner with cheekbones more prominent and a narrower nose but the basic structure was identical.
"I'll be damned." said Danny, "I think the rookie's hit one outta the park."
"Wow cuz," exclaimed Chin, "You done good."
"Way to go Detective Kalakaua." said Steve in admiration as Kono glowed at the compliments.
"My bet is that she's the one we saw crawling around on the floor. She realized she'd lost the casing when she dropped her purse, and came back to get it. We've gotta pull her in for questioning." said Steve
"Unless she's got a twin, it looks like Cecile/Clara is now Cecile/Clara/Kiki." said the blonde cop.
Chin, bending down to scratch Cujo behind the ears said, "If she was the one who broke in, we know she's going to have some pretty serious marks on her legs and ankles thanks to our wolverine."
"The woman wears skirts to every crime scene. She's got nice legs . . . ", mused Steve aloud as he continued at stare at the screen above them.
"If you buy me lunch I won't even tell Cath that you noticed that." said Danny
Frowning but again ignoring his partner, Steve went on, "Because Ms. Kenworthy knows she's got nice legs, she seems to always be wearing something to show them off."
"Yeah" said Chin in agreement, "Malia and I actually watch KAEO's news coverage in the evenings and have seen her several times. The camera always pulls back to show her legs. Even when she's reporting from the boonies and has probably had time to change into something more practical she seems to wear those short skirts and high heels."
"So, following that line of reasoning, if she's wearing something that covers them up while working the Governor's press conference then we've got a pretty good idea it may be because Cujo had sunk his fangs into her and left marks." said Danny with a smile as the animal in question jumped onto the smart table. "Good piranha." cooed Danny as he picked the cat off the table before Chin had heart failure. Cujo blinked up at him. "Your horrifyingly evil temperament has finally come in handy. We'll have to see about getting you a can of kippers."
"Okay, who stole Danny Williams and replaced him with a cat lady?" asked Kono in amusement.
"First of all, Cat Lady is Steve's title and though I hate to admit it; I owe the little shithead." said Danny as he stroked the animal purring contentedly in his former adversary's arms. "He helped out when Mickey tried to brain me with a flashlight, he chewed up an intruder at H.Q. which may give us evidence to use and the last but absolute best thing is he scared the ever-loving crap out of Tommy Fletcher. I think a can of those disgusting fish is the least I can do."
The Governor's platform and podium were already set-up with the rolling blue Pacific and a view of Diamondhead in the distance as the backdrop. The afternoon sky was a brilliant blue with a few white clouds drifting lazily across it as sunlight sparkled on the ocean. It was the perfect day for Denning to do his own show & tell.
Dave Matsui bustled around making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. Seeing the Five-0 contingent approaching he paused to gaze at Steve wearing a jacket and dark blue shirt. Barely stopping himself from giving a wolf whistle he turned to bark instructions at someone fiddling with the microphone but his mind was saying, God, please don't let me start drooling in front of everyone!
Before Steve could notice his admirer in the midst of this current bout of admiration; Matsui had rushed off to round up the rest of those who were to appear before the cameras. The aide had always likened this part of his job to herding chickens or maybe cats. People who are used to being in authority seem particularly difficult to corral let alone get them going in the same direction at the same time.
The gun in the holster under his jacket was barely noticeable. He'd gotten used to wearing the sidearm and was more than confident he could use it accurately if called upon to do so. Steve had been an excellent instructor, (besides being an attractive lunch companion). They'd had their postponed meeting at the gun range and it went well. With the SEAL's pointers and a few more practice sessions on his own, Dave had qualified with high marks.
Having herded his last few strays he now stood in front of the podium where the two Five-0's walked up to him. With the blue shirt, Dave noticed the Commander's eyes now seemed to take on the color of the ocean behind them.
"So, you guys ready for your photo op?" he asked the two peace officers who nodded to him in greeting.
"As ready as we're ever gonna be." answered Williams. Steve scowled next to him looking annoyed at the prospect of being put on display.
"Don't worry Steve, it will all be over soon." laughed Dave as he took in McGarrett's irritated manner.
"Don't mind him, we'll get him a Milk-Bone to gnaw on, that'll calm him down, it always does." said Danny with a wave toward the fidgety man beside him.
Not bothering to react to his partner's statement, Steve asked, "Dave, do you know where KAEO's people are going to be situated?"
"Over to your left as you face the crowd, why?"
"We've gotta keep an eye on one of their reporters; Kiki Kenworthy. She may be connected somehow to the case."
"Actually, her name may not even be Kiki Kenworthy." added Danny, "She may turn out to be someone else entirely."
"No shit!" said Dave in surprise. "I knew she looked a little too artificial. That botox, the nose job and those porcelain veneers didn't fool anyone."
"They didn't?" asked both cops as one, glancing toward one another in consternation – mostly because they'd spoken in unison.
"Well, there aren't many cops who pay attention to that kind of stuff." proclaimed Danny in excuse.
"You mean other than the gay guys and straight women?" asked Dave in amusement.
Steve chuckled as Danny colored and looked as though he wanted to kick himself for his remark – never mind anyone else doing it for him.
"Don't worry about it Detective, I know what you meant." smiled Matsui, adding, "By the way, you're looking very fetching today Detective. That tie makes your eyes look as blue as the Caribbean."'
"Uhh, umm, thanks." stammered Danny, "Well, we'd better get to the platform before we're trampled by Mickey Kilkenny rushing to make sure he's got a place in the spotlight."
With the Governor's aide chuckling in their wake, they made their way toward their places.
As they stood enduring the seemingly endless press conference, they could see Kiki standing at the front of the crowd of reporters. She was wearing a fuchsia blazer and tailored slacks showing no ankle whatsoever.
"You were right about that one." whispered Danny as he leaned toward his partner.
"We have to handle this really carefully Danny." Steve whispered back, "She could make it really ugly for Five-0 and by association the Governor."
"Oh, you mean you're actually going to do this by the book for a change?" replied his second-in-command.
Dave glanced over at them like a librarian shushing someone with 'the look'. Both men immediately straightened and tried to pay attention to the proceedings.
Kiki looked on with what Danny thought was a smug smile.
The speeches finally over after what, to Steve, felt like several lifetimes, the reporters began their questions.
"Governor! What does this mean for the coffee shops? Do you think it's safe for their employees now?" asked one of the throng of reporters as he shoved a microphone forward for the answer though the one on the platform was serving as the television audio feed.
"The employees and their customers are perfectly safe and, thanks to the excellent investigative work of The Governor's Special Task Force and the Honolulu Police Department, baristas can return to work with peace of mind." was Denning's reply
"Why wasn't the killer caught sooner; especially since your own special task force was on the case?" posed KAEO's star newswoman who'd assumed the tone of 'hard-hitting reporter', (one with an apparent agenda).
"My Special Task Force along with the Honolulu Police Department solved this crime in the quickest and most efficient manner possible. I feel that both agencies did an amazing job in doing so." replied Denning, the consummate politician, showing no indication of annoyance.
The cameras were immediately directed toward the men behind him. Kilkenny seemed to puff himself up to stand taller than his six feet. He'd even bought a new tie for the occasion. Kiki had picked it out for him.
The other three peace officers stood quietly trying not to look bored. At least two of them were trying also not to look annoyed at their suspect's insinuating question.
Still milling about after the conference concluded were state officials trying to impress each other, various HPD members catching up on the latest gossip and television people pulling cables and coiling them to put away. Dave Matsui sought out Steve and Danny before they could make their escape.
"The Governor wants you guys to come to the mansion for an 'after conference' get together." he informed the two; happy that he'd have more time to spend around the attractive team.
"Crap, Dave." said McGarrett in agitation, "I thought we'd fulfilled Denning's desire to put us on display."
The aide frowned in sympathy. "It'll only be for a little while. The coffee guys aren't done with us yet. Their board of directors apparently wants some personal assurances that crap like this won't happen in the future."
"Well, if they'd quit charging five bucks for a damned cup of coffee maybe there wouldn't be any more trouble." said Danny, annoyed the rest of his afternoon was going to be ruined.
"Sorry guys, I'm only the messenger." smiled Matsui putting his hands up as though in surrender.
"Okay, okay. I guess I can smile for another few minutes. Will there be beer at this thing?" asked Danny, Steve nodding his head in approval of the all-important question.
"Of course, but I've only got an hour to finish getting this shebang together so I've got to get outta here. You're not the only ones who aren't too happy at this impromptu gathering." said Dave, running a hand through his expensively cut hair in a sign of stress.
"If you've only got an hour, you've got quite a job ahead of you." said Steve sympathetically
"Yeah, hot dogs and potato salad it is." laughed Dave, as he rushed off, calling over his shoulder, ''and definitely beer!"
"Longboards!" called both men after him.
"You got it!" he said as he disappeared toward the parking lot at a quick trot.
"Wouldn't want his job." said Danny as he watched the tall aide hurry off.
"Police stuff is far less stressful, not to mention a lot more interesting." said Steve before getting out his phone to tell the cousins they were probably going to have to hold down the fort on their own.
"Yeah," snorted Danny, "Shootouts and explosions are much more exciting; provided you don't get our asses killed."
Chin and Kono had stayed at H.Q. to see if they could find a judge willing to issue a warrant to bring Kiki in for questioning. The cousins had laughingly told their compatriots they'd see them on the five-0'clock news as Steve and Danny left for the press conference.
Having taken the Silverado instead of the Camaro because the AC in the car was on the fritz, they arrived at the Governor's mansion where Steve declined to have the truck parked by a valet. He growled at the jacketed kid who asked for the keys.
"Just let him park this monster Steven, he's not going to steal it for chrissakes."
Steve blinked in irritation as the issue, to him, was an obvious one. "Danny, the truck needs to be where we can get to it in a hurry if we have to. I'm not gonna wait twenty minutes for some kid to bring it back to me."
"Whatever." waved Detective Williams who stalked off, his job at this moment, to detect where they kept those Longboards.
He was ushered through the mansion to the back of it and out the opened bank of gigantic French doors. Wandering into the gathering held on the large terrace that overlooked a huge swimming pool just below and the state's lushly maintained gardens on the next level down, he quickly located his target. He almost snagged an icy bottle for Steve but for all he knew, his partner had just kept on driving once he had the chance to get the hell out. Oh well, at least there was beer.
He noticed Kilkenny huddled with Kiki near the balustrades over the pool area and wondered just how deeply Mickey was involved in this. Despite his intense dislike for the man, he hoped Mickey's connection was nothing more than a chance to 'get some'.
At the buffet table, he was amazed at what Dave had managed to pull together in such a short period of time. Laid out before him was an impressive spread with artfully arranged sliced fruit, various cold salads, artisan breads and fancy cheeses, along with huge platters of cold cuts that were a bit more extravagant than bologna and pressed ham. There was even a large silver tray of smoked oysters.
Danny was just about to grab a plate and start piling it with roast beef, brie and some kind of oddly shaped rolls when Steve jogged up to him. "Hey" said the SEAL, "Did I miss anything?"
"I thought you'd left me here to endure the scrutiny of the coffee gods all by myself." said Danny as he daintily bit off a piece of a brie smeared roll.
"Oh please, you've died and gone to heaven." snorted Steve, "There's beer and salami with enough nitrites in it to cure an entire herd of whatever the hell it's made of and enough grease to lube an Oldsmobile."
"Almost perfect." amiably agreed his partner, "but there's no pizza."
"Show me where you got the beer." said Steve as he glanced over to where HPD's detective and the reporter were standing. Danny could see his partner clench his hands as though imagining them closing around the necks of their suspects.
"Where the hell did you go? I know it doesn't take that long to find a parking space."
"Well, I checked in with Kono and Chin and they haven't gotten a judge to agree to sign a warrant yet. Chin also said that Bob the maintenance guy is due to polish the floors and we have to make sure Cujo doesn't stay at the office tonight so I went to pick him up."
"Wait! What are you nuts! Never mind; I already know the answer, but tell me you didn't bring the piranha here!"
"It's fine Danny. He's in the truck. I parked it in the shade and cracked the windows for him and it's almost sundown anyway. He's got a bowl of kibble and some water. I even put a litterbox in there for him."
"You are friggin' certifiable." said Danny as he took a pull of his beer and pointed Steve to the table where they were kept on a bed of ice.
"Come on, let's grab some food and try to stay out of Denning's way. I don't want to have to be exhibited to the latte deities like a zoo animal." said Steve, taking one last hard look at Kiki and her pet detective.
Steve's statement left Danny an almost irresistible opening for a smartass comment and though it was difficult, he controlled himself. They took their beer and their food and scurried away to look for a place to hide from the bigwigs. "So you spotted Kiki and Mickey ever so cozily huddled together?"
"Uh huh" said Steve popping a chunk of pineapple into his mouth as Danny scowled at him in disgust. "Actually, I think we should make our way over there."
"Not a good idea Rambo. If you and Kilkenny aren't enough dynamite in one place at one time we now have Kiki added as a fuse. We have to wait until we get the warrant to drag her skanky ass in to interrogate her. Putting yourself in position to get into it with Mickey is definitely not a good idea."
"Oh come on it's a public occasion. I can control myself. Besides, we have to keep any eye on our suspect."
"You've already busted her for interfering and it didn't go down well with Mickey. He's spoiling for a fight. Just another reason the two of you can't share a cage."
"Cage?" repeated Steve with a scowl
"Just trying to keep you out of Halawa babe."
"Just think of me as your conscience."
"Oh, you mean like Jiminy Cricket in that Disney cartoon?"
"Well, I guess you are about the right size for him."
Cujo peered out the side window of the Silverado. It was comfortable in here but there weren't any toys to play with. He'd already taken several naps and explored every inch of the rolling box. When was his human coming back? He'd gone to join the others in the big house with the white stone tree trunks in front of it.
There were several humans who'd gone into it. He wondered what they were doing in there. Were they playing? Were they eating? Taking one last look, he decided to curl up where his human usually sat. Maybe he could dream of little fishes.
He sighed. He was bored.
Kiki had caught McGarrett's brief and not terribly friendly glance in their direction. She'd been on edge since realizing the shell casing was missing and then, of course, her confrontation with that vicious animal. Mickey had just been assuring her the case was over and done with but there was no way she was going to relax yet.
Had McGarrett's team found the casing? Would they connect it to the killings? Worse yet, would they be able to connect it to her? There were too many things left that could spell serious trouble.
"Why the hell do you seem so nervous?" asked Kilkenny, "Didn't you tell me that interview with the network rep went okay?"
"It was fine Mickey. I just don't like the looks those Five-0 assholes are throwing us."
"Relax, they just don't like that we're here sucking up some of their publicity. We don't have anything to hide, well from them anyway."
"Um hmm." said Kiki absently as she sipped from her wine glass; her turquoise eyes following the tall commander across the veranda to a bench under a gigantic potted palm where he sat next to Williams.
She saw him set down his plate and his beer and reach into his pocket to fish out his phone. He appeared to be listening intently before breaking into a grin and turned to Williams to say something.
Williams grinned back at him and offered his hand, palm up, for what looked like a congratulatory slap.
"Hey, here's one with the windows down a little!" loudly whispered the skinny youth bent on finding a vehicle to take him and his companion to the North Shore. He'd been grounded and wouldn't have access to the family car for at least another month but that wasn't going to stop him.
"We can use the hanger to pop the lock."
"What if there's an alarm? It's a big expensive truck. Whoever owns it probably set one."
"If they're stupid enough to leave the windows down, maybe they're stupid enough to not set the alarm. Come on Brah! We gotta get to Ewe's luau, it's getting late. All the booze is gonna be gone by the time we get there."
The other boy still looked apprehensive but handed him the coat hanger anyway.
Just a quick moment and a click and the door was open. Thankfully, the alarm hadn't been set.
"Come on get in!" said the first boy gleefully, "We're outta here!"
At that moment, something small and furry and pissed charged at them with an earsplitting screech.
"Chin and Kono are on their way with the warrant for Ms. Kenworthy." said Steve with a huge smile.
"Alright!" Danny smiled back in triumph, "Now we just gotta haul her in."
"Sit tight and eat your nitrites for a few minutes until they get here. I'm sure we can accomplish this without too much fuss."
"Okay, now you jinxed it!"
"Did not! What did I say?"
"You used the words 'I'm sure and 'not too much fuss'. Now we're screwed."
"Just eat your brie. The sound of your arteries clanging shut is entertaining."
Stupid humans. How dare they invade his rolling box. He hadn't managed to catch them. They ran as fast as the tall woman. It doesn't matter. He was out now and could look for something to play with or maybe something yummy to eat. His human had left food in the rolling box but it wasn't very yummy.
Unnoticed, a small grey cat slipped through the crowd. He paused to occasionally sniff the air or snatch up a morsel accidently dropped to the bricks of the terrace.
With all of these humans around, there's sure to be one who will leave something good on the floor or turn their back long enough so I can get food from the round flat things they keep it on.
Before, when he'd tried to eat what they left on the table, he'd only gotten yelled at then chased. Still, it was the best place to hunt. One time, he'd found an entire pile of the little fish things but it hadn't worked out all that well. He'll have to sniff the next pile very carefully before pouncing on it. His mouth still burned at the memory of it. And having a bath in stuff that's meant to drink was just wrong!
Suddenly, the cat froze in his tracks. He was now under the linen draped buffet table. He lifted his head to sniff something out.
Hmm, something up there smells good! It smells like little fishes!
She saw them looking at her again. She knew it wasn't just paranoia.
"Mickey, I think I'm going to go. These shoes are making my feet hurt."
"Okay, but don't you wanna stay and rub shoulders with the big guys? There's a buncha state officials here along with a couple of big time CEO's and others we don't even know the identities of. I know you told me it's good for your career."
"Well, it won't do me much good if I cripple myself." snapped Kiki impatiently; making her way down the steps to the level that held the pool and the exit that didn't lead back to the mansion, Mickey following her like a yapping but devoted dog.
Looking upward she could see that McGarrett and Williams had now been joined by the other two. This wasn't looking good at all.
"See you later Mickey." she exclaimed and setting her wine glass on top of a poolside table she began walking quickly toward the side entrance.
"Aren't you staying for the rest of the party, Ms. Kenworthy?" she heard behind her and turned to see McGarrett smiling at her, the two Hawaiian detectives beside him.
"I think I've had enough for this evening." she coolly replied over her shoulder, not stopping her progress toward the exit.
"I think we need to talk."
"I have no desire whatsoever to speak with you or anyone else on your 'team'" she growled in response as she kept walking.
"Stop where you are." barked Five-0's leader, "You have some questions to answer."
"Go fuck yourself McGarrett."
Mickey had now come up to scowl menacingly at the tall man. "What the hell! Leave the woman alone!" snarled the detective as his stance became one of aggression.
"This woman is a suspect in a murder investigation." said McGarrett, "We're taking her in for questioning. Don't interfere Kilkenny."
"Mickey! He's just being a dick because he thinks we've stolen his thunder!" said Kiki trying to keep the desperation out of her voice.
"I think so too." said Mickey, eyes narrowing and fists clenching into weapons.
"Stay out of the way Kilkenny. You don't know who you've been dealing with. This woman isn't who she says she is." snapped McGarrett not taking his eyes off the reporter.
"Yeah, while you were thinking you were just doing the horizontal hula, we suspect your girlfriend here was gathering information to help her evade capture for being somehow involved in the coffee shop murders." said Williams who'd materialized between Kiki and the exit.
"Give it up Mickey. You've been played." said McGarrett muscles tensing for what he knew was coming.
"Fuck you!" said Mickey, face growing redder by the moment
Egging Mickey on, Kiki yelped, "Don't let him treat me that way!" Maybe she could make her escape if her lover made a scene and everyone was distracted. "McGarrett's just throwing his weight around trying to intimidate me and keep me from exposing what a lousy job his so called 'special task force' has done! You're the real hero in this one Mickey!"
"Don't be stupid enough to listen to her." snapped McGarrett thinking; Kilkenny can't possibly be that big a fool.
Mickey took that moment to once again let his southern brain do his thinking and took a wild swing at the SEAL who easily evaded it.
Maddened at the way the man had so easily evaded his roundhouse, Mickey took another swing. Steve blocked this one with a forearm and jabbed a hard fist into the angry detective's midsection; hearing the air leave his opponent in a whoosh.
"You had enough?" inquired McGarrett at the now purpling complexion of his opponent who was bent over holding his midsection and gasping for breath.
"You're a dead man!" wheezed/growled Mickey as he charged forward.
"Have it your way then." answered McGarrett as he met Mickey's charge.
Kiki took that moment of distraction to make a break for the exit. She'd only made it two steps before Williams firmly planted himself in front of her.
"Still not going anywhere." said the compact man blocking her way
"Let me by dammit or you'll be sorry!" threatened Kiki
They'd now been joined by the Governor and a security guard who'd come to see what the ruckus was about.
The look in her eyes that of a cornered alley cat, Kiki reached into her pocket and pulled out a small handgun before anyone could stop her. She pointed it directly at Denning.
"Now." she said coldly, "Let me by or Denning's term of office is over for good."
Suddenly; there was loud pop and the gun spun away across the deck as Kiki windmilled into the water. The people gathered by the pool stared at her in shock.
Coming up sputtering and coughing, her hair plastered against her head, her make-up in ruin, Clara Ann Rucker had materialized in front of their very eyes.
The Governor's luncheon had proven far more exciting than his press conference.
At the sound of raised voices, its attendees had gathered at the edge of the veranda overlooking the pool just below. They had front row seats as the commander of Five-0, without even breaking a sweat, knocked an HPD detective into the dirt.
There was even a small smattering of applause from some of HPD's own members as the battle was so quickly over.
Then, they'd witnessed the alarming spectacle of a woman, (a reporter from a local television station), drawing a gun and pointing it at the Governor. There'd been a flat pop and the woman had splashed into the pool while the man they recognized as the governor's aide stood with a smoking pistol and a stony expression. The woman was quickly fished sputtering but unharmed out of the water and arrested as cell-phone cameras caught it all for posterity.
That part of the floor show over, the spectators turned back toward the mansion to find a small grey cat sitting happily in the middle of the buffet table and munching on a plate of smoked oysters. Someone yelled and the cat streaked off; managing to slosh his way through a large bowl of potato salad and track it across a tray of cold cuts, send a bowl of stuffed imported Spanish olives crashing to the floor to roll away in every direction and knock over a carefully arranged tower of pastries.
It had taken two of Five-0's officers and several of HPD's to round up the frighteningly fractious animal and stuff it snarling, howling and spitting into a pillow case.
Quite the floor show indeed.
One eye was now grey and the other turquoise. As her make-up had dissolved into the chlorinated water of the Governor's pool her face had lost its perfection.
"You are going to pay for ruining my career! I've worked too long and too hard for it! You'll regret this! I'm Kiki Kenworthy and I'm gonna make you pay! You can't arrest me!" she screeched
Kiki railed on as she sat dripping onto the concrete floor of the blue room. Steve stared down at the sodden woman. It was a bit disconcerting as the eyes that glared back at him were of two different colors.
Steve stared back at her for a long moment before calmly asking, "Do you want to be called Kiki, Clara or Cecile?"
"I don't know what you're talking about!" she snapped, trying to go for a hair flip and only succeeding in making her sodden locks slap wetly against her the sides of her face." And I need my damned contact lens! I can't see without it!"
"Well, right now you're not going to see much anyway, I mean other than the inside of a prison cell. Not much of interest to see there." said Steve as he stared back unblinking at the woman who would no doubt try to tear out his throat if she had half a chance.
"We know of your other names and the histories attached to them." spoke the blonde who stood beside his partner. "You may as well come clean about it, oh, excuse me. You've already had your bath haven't you?"
"Look! You little runt! You and your asshole partner are in big trouble! I'm a television news reporter! All I have to do is get on air and tell the world that you've held me under false pretenses! And when I get outta here, I'm going to have that vicious cat shot!"
Steve had almost flinched. Not at her threats but at calling his partner a runt – never, ever, a good idea.
"I'm gonna let that one go because you're obviously a little stressed." smiled Danny in a surprisingly even tone. "And, as for your threat to expose our so-called wrongdoing to the world, the world of course being however far your dinky little station's signal reaches, I'm not too worried. What you are probably gonna do is open a can of something, no, correction, you will be opening a can of something that won't smell very good to your audience. Your past will come to light and all of the suspicions that go along with it."
"Not to mention of course your intent to shoot the Governor of the State of Hawaii." added Steve
"Bite me!" snapped Kiki trying to ignore the water still dripping down the back of her neck from hair that was now beginning to frizz badly as it started to dry.
"What I'd like to know is how did you erase those databases? You can't have done it by yourself even though your, or make that Clara's, history shows you've had some education in electronics before you switched to journalism - your version of it anyway." said Steve now standing arms crossed and glaring down at her.
"We know that if you didn't do it yourself, you gave Timmons instruction on how to disarm the security systems at the coffee shop and at McGarrett's house." said Danny adopting the same pose as his partner.
"I don't have anything to do with that. Even if I did, you certainly couldn't prove it."
"Would Mickey Kilkenny know how you did it?"
"Mickey wouldn't know how to find his ass with both hands." dismissively snapped their sodden suspect.
"Oh, Detective Kilkenny would be so hurt if he knew you talked about him that way. I thought you two were umm . . . close." said the blonde detective
Refusing to answer, Kiki only sat glaring back at her inquisitors, eyes glinting with madness and looking for all the world like a Persian cat who'd been dunked in a tub of water. With all the 'fluff' gone, it was just a scrawny cat.
Phil and Jenny Brotman sat at the wooden picnic table sipping their drinks and conversing with Chin, Max and Cath as gulls wheeled and called overhead and the salty breeze ruffled the palms. Angie and Talia sat contentedly beside each other on the wooden chaise. Kono played in the surf with Gracie as Kamekona sat nearby calling out instructions on the best way the keiki could take down her opponent in the water fight. Danny was seated nearby calling out instructions to Steve, (which he ignored), on how to grill the steaks. The blonde had decided Steve was on his own when it came to grilling fish. That just wasn't right.
All of the ohana had gathered to celebrate the closure of the Macchiato Murder investigation. Kiki was in jail awaiting the report of the court appointed shrinks who'd done the evaluation to see if she was sane enough to stand trial. Mickey had resigned pending investigation of any wrongdoing and his wife had moved back to the mainland with the kids.
This was actually Angie's second trip to the islands in as many months. After having met and hit it off with Talia the red-haired camerawoman, she'd taken the rest of her vacation days and come back to see what would develop. She couldn't see moving here permanently but one never knows.
Danny smiled at his sister. She looked relaxed and content. She hadn't looked that way since before she and Nadine had broken up two years ago. That brief fling with Mary Ann had only exacerbated her unhappiness. He was happy for her.
Talia had told them all it was about time somebody caught up with Kiki. Even if she hadn't been a murderess, there was plenty of reason to throw her sorry ass in jail if only for just being obnoxious.
"Hey!" called Dave Matsui as he approached the gathering with a case of Longboards and a handsome companion. The tall, good-looking man with him was a guy he'd met at the gunnery range.
"Hey!" greeted the two, Steve saluting them with barbeque tongs.
Danny turned toward the newcomers as Dave plopped the case of beer at their feet asking, "Where do you want the beer?" He was directed toward the ice chest behind them on the deck.
"Danny," said Steve, "This is Lieutenant Warren Evans. We served together a few years ago."
Danny shook his hand, saying, "So, you've met Lt. Commander Chaos and still decided steaks and beer were worth enduring the insanity?"
Evans laughed and said, "Steve's one of the sanest guys I know."
"Now you're just scaring me." replied Danny
Dave rejoined them beer in hand and holding another out to his friend.
"Dave, never got a chance to tell you. Nice shooting." said Steve setting down his tongs and picking up his own beer.
"Yeah, shooting a gun out of someone's hand isn't easy." said Danny in admiration
"I'd like to take the compliments guys but I wasn't really aiming for her gun." laughed Dave
"Well you got the job done. You saved Denning's ass and Kiki's going away for a while even if it's not to jail and only to a hospital." Steve held his bottle out to toast the governor's aide and Danny did the same.
Danny added, "Her partial print had somehow survived on that casing and we managed to link her with Timmons through a cranky old lady who teaches an anger management class. It's pretty much tied up with a ribbon. Oh yeah, and Detective Kilkenny is under investigation and his wife split."
"We think he had something to do with helping Kiki get her records erased from both HPD and the DMV's data bases." said McGarrett, "So he's in big trouble."
Turning toward Steve, Danny said, "I heard your little friend Minnie is involved too. Sorry big guy."
"Minnie?" asked Dave
"Long story." said Steve quickly then asked, "How do you guys like your steaks?"
After the steak discussion was settled the conversation went back to the scene at the Governor's mansion.
"It was quite the show you guys managed to put on Commander. I remember seeing it on the news a couple weeks ago. That Kenworthy woman looked like a drowned and really pissed off rat. They got it all on cell phone cameras." said Evans
"Yeah, I'm afraid her fame isn't going to be for the reasons she'd planned."
"Speaking of quite the show, saw you on the internet last night Steve." said Dave glancing slyly at Danny.
"Huh?" asked Steve with a puzzled frown.
"One of the guys e-mailed me a video of you and your cat." smiled Evans, "They got it off YouTube."
Steve knew exactly which video the man was talking about. Face like a thundercloud he turned to Danny, "Didn't I warn you about your YouTube moments?"
Cujo chose that very moment to land in Danny's lap. Williams wasn't the least startled by the cat's sudden appearance.
"Is this the famous Cujo?" asked Evans
"The one and only." replied the blonde, "Just don't try to touch him and, oh yeah, make sure you've got your running shoes on."
"He can't be that bad." snorted the lieutenant
"Wanna bet?" asked everyone within hearing distance
"He's really umm . . . filled out since that video."
"Yeah, I told Steve we really need to cut back on the Friskies but he thinks this football with fur is just fine." Danny ran his hand down Cujo's silken fur from ears to tail and the feline began a rumbling purr.
"Don't let the purring fool you." warned Dave to his friend, "I know from experience that if he's in a pissy mood he'll try to take your arm off."
"Sounds like my ex." said Evans, as Danny's eyes rounded in surprise.
"Hey, that's my line!" he blurted, "I've got an ex like that too!"
"Well, I'm much happier now that Steve's introduced me to Dave." said Evans turning to smile at his companion.
"So, Steve, besides being a soldier . . . " began Danny
"Sailor!" yelled everyone within earshot
"Besides being a sailor and a cop, Rambo is now a yenta too?"
"What the hell is a yenta?" asked Steve
During the ensuing conversation, the little grey cat had kept his gaze on his human who was busy doing something with the box of fire. His mouth watered as he watched the huge pieces of meat being set on it. It's much better if they don't set fire to it. Don't humans know that?
Still on the loud man's lap; yellow eyes carefully watching what was going on, Cujo spotted a plate of fish his human had set next to the grill in preparation to cooking it. In a flash he launched himself off Danny's lap, landed next to the fish, grabbed one and took off like a shot.
"Hey!" yelled Steve who, having the very strong rabbit-chasing gene Danny had long ago observed, took off after the fish stealing feline. Cujo, catch in mouth, was making a beeline across the grass toward the house.
The three men sat drinking their beers and watching the show.
"I'll bet ten bucks Steve catches him before he gets to the back door." said Danny calmly
"You're on, Williams." said both Dave and his friend as they watched the Commander in hot pursuit of his cat.
*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0* Hawaii 5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*5-0*
I know I didn't get back to Cujo getting his revenge on McMommy but that would have made this chapter ten-thousand words long. Will have to save it for the next one. To those who are wondering, there will be another Cujo story sometime later this year.
Am taking a break to actually try to complete something before beginning to post it. Am planning on writing something dark and depressing but, of course, our heroes will always triumph over adversity.
I hope you liked this story. Would much appreciate your parting thoughts on it.