So yes! I am still working on my other Five-O story Mai Tais... it'll be finished soon! Promise!
I've been out of the scene for a bit due to a medical situation but I'm back at it and hopefully this short is worthy of your readership!
When Chin-Ho Kelly was a kid, an uncle had taken him on a hike deep into the jungles of Kauai for an overnight boar-hunting trip. His first one. Chin had been so excited and so ready to get his first boar that he'd decided to do some tracking on his own.
He ended up being lost in the wilderness for a day and a half before Search and Rescue found him and returned him to his family. His uncle had been furious that he'd wandered off but curiously hadn't let Chin out of his sight for nearly a month after the incident. In later years, his uncle had explained the unbridled fear he felt when he turned around and Chin hadn't been there. The idea that Chin was alone and a great number of things could have easily done away with him and worse... no one would ever be able to lay his body to rest.
The next time, a full year later, when Chin was finally allowed to go camping again, three of his uncles and his father had gone with him. At any given moment one was never less than a meter away with eyes as sharp as a hawk's.
All Chin really remembered from the incident was wandering through the woods and eventually using all the training his family had given him to survive. He'd built a small enclosure for himself in a sheltered area. He'd rationed out the small amount of food and water he had on him and found enough dry wood to start a small fire. The idea that there were things out there that could do him serious harm hadn't honestly occurred to him. He was a little spooked but mostly excited that he was doing so well.
Then he'd seen the look on his families face when he'd come out of the woods in the arms of Search and Rescue. Looks of people who hoped for the best and feared the worst. Looks of people who's lives would be changed had Chin not come back to them. It was pure and raw bond that would last eons in those gazes and that, that was something Chin would remember the most.
A saying that was often said in his large family circle roughly translated into; "Family is everything, everything is family." No questions, no doubts, it was family above all else. A saying which didn't just apply to blood relatives but to those close to the family as well.
Thinking back on that hunting disaster, Chin looked up from his desk peering out his window to where his boss, Steve McGarrett, stood at their computer table. As the man's hands idly moved things around the screen, threw them up to the main monitors and back again, Chin sighed.
Eight days, six hours, twenty-seven minutes and fifteen seconds and counting.
Eight days, six hours, twenty-seven minutes and fifteen seconds, since Detective Danny Williams didn't show up for work.
Eight days, four hours, twenty-seven minutes and fifteen seconds, since Steve showed up at Danny's apartment only to find no trace of the man whatsoever.
Seven days, six hours and twenty-seven minutes and fifteen seconds... well more like twenty-eight minutes now, since Danny Williams was officially declared a missing person.
And it was killing all of them.
Every inch of Danny's apartment had been searched. H.P.D. was rabidly searching every inch of the city and surrounding areas while the Navy and Coast Guard with local police forces searched every inch of every other island. Morbidly, they checked the waters as well. The amazing thing was, Danny had more friends on the islands than the mainlander probably even realized.
As soon as it had gone out that Danny was missing, Chin and the rest of Five-O struggled to handle the calls and visits of people wanting to help, wanting to be on the search but more importantly, the rescue. Chin had been impressed and slightly amazed at the stories he'd gotten.
A Coast Guard officer who's daughter had been mugged and Danny had caught the bad guy within seven hours. H.P.D. officers who'd witnessed Danny go without sleep for three days to catch a child molester. Navy officers who'd worked joint cases with Danny in his first year on the islands, stunned that Danny knew more local lore than they did. There had even been calls from New Jersey, New York, Vegas, Chicago and even one from Afghanistan, from officers, detectives, Fire fighters, Coasties, Army who at one point had worked with Danny and wanted to help find him.
It was shocking as some of these men said they barely knew the fiery Jersey Native but his work ethic, his attention to detail and his unrelenting need to get the job done had stuck with them.
Danny had stayed in touch with all of them. E-mails, texts, phone calls... turned out the better part of the United States of America knew the pint size detective and cared what happened to him.
The Governor had used his own Press Secretary to handle the media when it became too much for Steve who'd threatened to make a reporter eat his camera after three days of no leads. Mercifully, Chin stepped in to handle the press while Kono dragged their fuming boss back into the office.
Chin stood up, stretched his back and then headed for his office door. The only leads they had were weak at best. Along with all the good fame Danny had he unfortunately had bad fame as well. It was almost unnerving how many "potential threats" the remaining Five-0 members had trolled through to see who could have taken their team-mate.
Glancing at Steve's office as he approached his boss, Chin shook his head. Normally Steve's office was the military image of perfection. Chin and Danny even joking once they should use it as a recruiting poster.
It was far from that now. On the couch half-hazard thrown aside was a blanket and pillow. Take-out containers littered the coffee table and his desk had an impressive amount of empty coffee cups. Steve was running on fumes and no matter what Chin or Kono did or said, the man would not leave the office unless it was to track down another lead.
Chin rounded the computer table and just looked at Steve. There were bags under his red tired eyes, his brow was permanently scrunched in concentration while his normally room filling smile was cast down in an angry, frustrated frown.
"Steve," Chin said finally drawing the man's attention away from the table.
"You got something?" Steve asked. Chin just shook his head which drew an angry look from the Commander. "Then what the hell are you doing standing there?" he barked. However almost as soon as he'd done so he closed his eyes and stepped back from the table running a hand down his face. "Sorry... Chin... you didn't deserve that. I'm just... I mean where the hell is he? Where is he? These islands are not that big!"
"Steve you need to take a break," Chin said as gently as possible. "We'll get Danny back but you're hanging by a thread brah, sleeping in your office doesn't count." Steve shook his head but took a moment. Undoubtedly Steve knew Chin was right, he knew he was burning out and he was burning out fast.
"Grace called me this morning," Steve said quietly. Chin took a breath, telling Grace and Rachel about Danny had been the hardest thing Chin had ever witnessed Steve do. For several moments, Grace simply looked like she didn't understand what was going on while Rachel and Stan looked horrified. Then Grace had blinked rapidly and said, "But you'll get him back right? Right Uncle Steve? Uncle Chin? Danno's going to be fine right?"
At the time Chin and Steve both made the solid promise to the little girl and to Rachel and Stan. Failure wasn't an option and the islands weren't big enough to hide one of the most recognized faces in Honolulu. But with each moment that passed, each day, the hope filled faces around them sank and darkened. There'd been no ransom. There'd been no contact of demands. There'd been nothing and everyone in law enforcement knew the more time that passed... the less likely they were to find their missing person alive.
"What did she say?" Chin asked. Steve folded his arms across his chest before waving a hand in the air, something Chin had only noticed the Commander had started doing after meeting Danny.
"That's what's killing me," he replied with a heavy sigh, "She's stopped asking if I think Danny's going to be okay when we find him... she also started using the word "if"... She's just a kid and she's asking "IF" we find him can we have a luau at mine. This is killing me Chin... I mean it's freaking killing me."
"It's hurting all of us," Chin sighed. "Come on, we'll do dinner at my place and come back in the morning." Steve was shaking his head however,
"I can't... Chin I just can't," he replied. Then he looked down at the computer table in front of them and shook his head; "We've got two SEAL teams and almost all the military and police force of Hawaii looking for him."
"We're also a chain of volcanic islands that has more dense jungle than it does people... and resources," Chin tried to reason. "Steve," the Hawaiian said putting a hand on his boss's shoulder. "You need to rest." Amazingly, Steve's head bowed, he took a breath and ran a hand through his hair.
"Yeah," he said almost at a whisper. "Danny'd kill me if I screwed up his rescue by falling asleep and crashing the Camaro." Chin smiled and was just about to guide the beyond worn Navy SEAL toward the door when suddenly Kono burst from her office, cell phone jammed against her ear.
"Name?" she barked sternly. Chin and Steve instantly followed her to the computer table as she furiously started pulling up files. "What's the connection?... Okay... okay I'll call you as soon as I can."
"Kono, what? What is it?" Steve asked, all traces of sleep gone from his eyes. Chin's heart thumped in his chest as Kono brought up a photo of a rather unsavoury looking character.
"Mikhail Strazinovsky," Kono explained as she brought up a wrap sheet a mile long. "I just got off the phone with a retired detective from New Jersey who lives in Canada now. He's been on a fishing trip for the past week so he only just got word about Danny."
"So who's Strazinovsky and what does it have to do with Danny?" Steve asked.
"This detective was lead on a case against Strazinovsky who's Russian Mob, high up Russian mob," Kono explained. "Mikhail had a young son and a wife that were put into witness protection for testifying against him. At first the wife was being held under suspicion that she was involved in the illegal dealings and her son, Joseph, was put into a safe house."
"And?" Steve asked encouraging more.
"AND," Kono went on, "Danny was a patrol officer then but he was in charge of looking after the kid in the safe house. Mikhail tried twice to get his son away from the police but each time the police stopped and arrested anyone who tried. Danny stopped his thugs and in turn the kid, Joseph apparently wouldn't go anywhere without Danny until his mother was free to go into protective custody." Chin started putting the puzzle pieces together as he saw the information process through Steve's brain as well.
"Danny helped put them in protective custody," Chin stated. Kono nodded.
"Since the kid was so close to him, Danny's one of the few people who know where Joseph and his mother are," she finished. Steve practically snarled.
"So there's a good chance Danny's still alive, Mikhail wants his son back," he said.
"Exactly," Kono added. "Mikhail was released from prison two weeks ago and deported to Russia. Except Russian officials say they can't find him. And here's the thing... the Russian mob has ties here in Hawaii in the shipping industry."
"We've checked the ports and airports more times than I can count," Chin said.
"Yes we have... but there's a specific company H.P.D. knows has ties to the Russian mob that has a company compound where workers can stay for a few days while their ships in port," Kono explained. She brought up an areal image as well as blueprints to the compound. Chin saw it, the moment when Steve officially decided nothing else in the world mattered. The Commander's eyes narrowed, his jaw clenched and his spine straightened to his full intimidating height.
"And the address?" Steve ground out. Kono wasted no time, she brought it up and sent it to all of their phones. Steve looked at the address, he looked at it hard ingraining every letter, ever digit. Then the man looked up at the images and they too were stripped apart, put back together and seared into Steve's retinas.
"Gear up," Steve said without taking his eyes off the image. "Call SWAT, Call Navy rescue... call everyone but make damn sure they know to stay the hell out of my way."
The operation was one of the largest Chin had ever been a part off. All parts of military and law enforcement descended on the compound of six buildings like a firestorm in a dry forest. The few people who were in the compound really never stood a chance, half of them surrendered at the sheer overwhelming force that bombarded and surrounded the area.
The other half... well they ended up like the skinny pathetic looking man whose throat was currently under Steve's boot heel.
"Where is Danny Williams!?" Steve snarled. He pressed down on the man's throat and it was only after a gurgled sound did Chin realize the man was trying to reply but couldn't breathe.
"Steve, Steve! Ease off a bit," Chin said sternly. Steve's wild, adrenaline pulsed eyes found Chin's before looking back to his captive and doing as he was told.
"Forth building..." coughed the man whose gun was now being placed in evidence by H.P.D. "Shed out back." Steve, Chin and Kono never ran so fast in their lives. Chin knew that for sure as his heart slammed away against his rib cage.
They came to a screeching halt in front of a small but sturdily built shed with a pad lock on the door. Steve motioned for them to be quiet as he listened for signs anything was inside. They wanted Danny back but they weren't about to going blindly running in to a trap. When they heard nothing, Steve gave a slight knock with the tip of his gun.
"Five-O, anyone in there?"
Nothing. Not even a whisper. Steve tried again.
"I said this is Five-0! Is there anyone in there? On the count of five I'm breaking the door down!" When nothing more happened Steve looked at Chin and Kono and raised his hand to silently count down from five.
When he reached two he lifted his foot only to be frozen in mid kick when a weak but relieved voice said;
"D, did you... try the door k, knob?" Chin felt the smile burst onto his face as Kono slapped him on the back with a laugh and Steve's eyes once again developed a life in them that had been missing for days.
Even better, was when Steve did try the door handle, the double doors opened easily without so much as a squeal of their hinges. With the doors open, however, Five-0's smiles faded.
The smell hit Chin first, then the sight nearly made him lose his lunch. Finding an abduction victim was nothing like the movies made it out to be. The victim was rarely just banged up and bloodied but relatively okay as was the case right now. Danny had more than a weeks worth of beard, his normally slick golden hair was a bloody tangled mess and he'd been stripped to his boxers which would undoubtedly have to be thrown out. His body was marred with burns, cuts, bruises and by the swelling of his left leg and right arm there was no doubt they were broken. One of Danny's eyes was swollen shut and even with broken limbs he'd still been forced to endure being tied wrists and ankles the soiled chair he now sat on.
But it looked like none of that mattered, Danny's bruised face split wide with a bloody grin.
"Go team," he chuckled. The laughter quickly dissolved into coughing which then dissolved into tears as the detective's teammates quickly went about getting the man help. As medics swarmed in, Steve gave them only enough room to work staying right at his partner's side all the way to the ambulance. Since those first few words, Danny had broken down into barely coherent ramblings of "thankyou's" "I owe you's" and "I knew they'd come".
Four hours later, Chin, Steve and Kono all quietly sat in a private waiting room. While the three of them had been shown to the quiet spot, they'd been told by the nursing staff, there were a good 35 others who'd all inquired as to Danny's status or were waiting in the public waiting area for news.
The soft ping of a text drew Chin from his thoughts to his phone. He quickly pulled it out and opened the mail his heart sped up a little as he read it. It was from Duke and it simply read;
"Strazinovsky's in custody at HPD. Maximum-security watch until we get him to Halawa."
Groaning Chin looked up from the phone and then climbed to his feet drawing Steve and Kono's attention. Chin knew standing up now would save him a few seconds of having to run after Steve once the man was out the door at this new news.
"What's up cuz?" Kono asked clearly sensing his change in demeanor. Steve, although half asleep, lifted himself from his chair no doubt also sensing something was up.
"They got Mikhail," Chin explained quietly. And there again was that look, Steve's eyes widened while his pupils turned to pinpricks. His whole body turned into one diamond cut machine in the blink of an eye.
"Where?" he growled.
"HPD," Chin replied.
What happened next stunned Chin to no end as Steve snorted, shook his head and then collapsed back down into his chair. The two cousins looked at one another before Chin slowly took his own seat again and looked at his boss.
"Did you want to go talk to him?" Chin asked. Steve snorted again and shook his head, revealing his completely exhausted worn out eyes.
"No," he replied. "It's almost a relief to not have to track this guy down ourselves… And Danny'll need us here to help him get better. I can't do that if I'm behind bars for murdering some dirt bag." Chin felt a flutter in his chest and knew it wasn't adrenaline that had been causing such for the past several days.
"Sounds like you've been hanging around Danny too much," he joked. Steve's grin nearly split his face wide open as he nodded.
"Maybe… maybe," he chuckled. "But you know what guys?"
"What's that brah?" Chin asked. Steve waved his hands elegantly through the air and for a second, Chin wondered if that was it. If that was the very "Danny-esk" like answer he was going to get from their leader. But then Steve spoke again;
"I'm pretty damn okay with that," he added. As his hands danced a dance worthy of a Jersey native he added, "Let the scum bag rot, Ohana is all that matters. Though you should probably tell HPD if Mikhail ever gets inside the same State as Danny or I again, I will kill him." Chin smiled but the smile fell as Steve's eyes developed a very dark and very serious tone to them.
"Chin… I will kill him," Steve repeated. The Hawaiian had no doubt whatsoever that was a statement of fact and most definitely not an idle threat. Probably, deep down in Steve's gut, the man was just as nervous at the comment as Chin was, simply because they knew it was all true.
Chin also knew it was undoubtedly the reason why Steve was suddenly opting to stay at the hospital to wait for word on Danny rather than being a part of or witnessing any interrogation. Besides, they'd seen the loyalty Danny had with other members of the law enforcement community and they knew Mikhail wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
As if an answer to their prayers, there was a slight knock on the door and the poor highly sought after doctor they'd hounded for information earlier walked in.
"Doc?" Steve asked rising again to his feet. The doctor's face curled into a happy slightly relieved, smile.
"He's hurt," she said. "But he will be okay."
A month later, Chin looked up at the office doors as if knowing it was time for the heralded return of the one and only great Detective Danny Williams. When he saw the man himself walk through the doors, Chin had to control himself from bursting into laughter.
Danny, still with the slightest of limps and fading bruises, stormed in the door, arms flailing and heading toward Steve and Kono at the computer table like he was on a mission.
"Seriously Steven?" Danny balked as Chin joined the fray. "Seriously?! The luau where you invited half the continental United States to your backyard to celebrate my return wasn't enough but now I find out you got the Governor to fly in my parents for a two-week visit at the Hilton!? I mean, I get it, you missed me and I am touched, babe, I'm really touched but I have more than a mountain of your ridiculously accumulated paper work to mine through not to mention the fact that my first day back all I'm thinking about is how amazing it will be to spend some time with those old fogies! Pops'll be ranting on about how a should'a been a house monkey instead of a cop and mom will be drowning me in lasagna and telling me "Daniel you're too skinny, you should eat more!"."
At this point Kono's cheeks were pink as she tried to restrain her laughter while Steve's Cheshire grin could have lit up the sun. Chin had to cover his mouth as their favorite mainlander went on oblivious.
"And on top of that you have planned, yet another, another may I reiterate, luau and this time on the Governor's property because apparently your backyard will only fit half the continental United States not all of the continental United States who you've apparently invited to be at this event! I'm an event Steven! And EVENT! How the hell did I end up knowing so many damn people just for doing my job!?"
There was something in that last statement that Chin couldn't help but speak up. He put a hand on Danny's shoulder giving it a squeeze as much to reassure the man as to reassure himself their fourth member was back.
"Not for doing your job, Brah, for being who you are," he explained. Then he looked at Steve and Kono, "For Ohana." Kono's eyes twinkled with happiness at the comment knowing exactly what family saying Chin was referring too. Steve however let his amusement drop completely from his face.
For a second, Chin was almost concerned the man was about to pass out but then Steve just reached out. He took Danny's hand in his, pulled the smaller detective into his large frame and gave him a hug worthy of the brothers they were now and forever.
When they broke apart, Steve gave a smiling Danny a pat on the shoulder while still holding his hand in his.
"Seems like the world missed you Danno," he said before clearing his throat, shaking his head and with a breath that sounded like the first breath he'd taken in one month, eight days, six hours, twenty-nine minutes and one second, Steve added, "We missed you." As he did so he waved to Chin and Kono who stood with equally as grateful smiles.
Danny's eyes, (and he would completely deny it later) misted over just a bit at that comment and he shook his head with a Jersey worthy grin before shoving his partner playfully away.
"You just miss driving my car," he shot back.
"Well there is that," Steve shrugged innocently. When the members of Five-0 burst out laughing, Chin couldn't help but think back to that hunting trip and thinking back to that look he hoped to never see again and yet now, was very glad he did.
The look in Steve's eye, in Kono's eye and he was sure his own was relief, hope, sadness, gratitude but most of all family love.
Danny wouldn't be doing a whole lot of anything on his own for a while and some how… Chin didn't think the man minded such an idea one bit.
Who else could claim they had a six-foot ridiculous, 200 pound pure muscle and killing machine as their ever loyal guard dog?
Chin smiled as his friends continued to joke with one another before reaching for his phone.
Somehow it felt like a good time to see if his Uncle was up for another hunting trip!
"STEVEN!" Danny's voice sounded clear through ever surface of Five-0 causing Chin to look up from his cell phone to find the detective once again glomphed in an octopus like hug from his taller Navy SEAL partner. "Get off me you monster!" Danny laughed.
Steve broke the bond moments later and held up a small black wallet.
"Lunch?" he asked. As he darted for the door like an excited child, Danny took a moment to pat himself down before throwing his hands in the air and chasing after the man.
"That's my wallet!" he hollered. "And where are my keys!?"
Chin roared in laughter, nearly dropping his cell phone as he joined Kono who was barely keeping it together herself.
"Good to be back to normal, eh Cuz?" she chuckled. Chin wrapped an arm over her shoulders.
"Good to be back Kono," he replied, shaking his head. "Great to be back."
So pure fluff, but I needed something to get me back on the rails and this was it! Hope you loved the bonding!
I'd love to have some reviews on this one!