DISCLAIMER: I, ShakespeareIsMyMuse, do so solemnly swear that I do not own Hawaii Five-0 or any of its affiliates, which includes: any familiar story plots, creation of original characters belonging to the show, cast and crew. Rights, property and ownership belong rightfully and wholly to CBS and its Original Creator: Leonard Freeman (1920-1974), also to reboot creators: Peter M. Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci.
I, ShakespeareIsMyMuse, do however claim ownership of any unrecognizable characters and the formation of plot(s) that follows. Any invention or similarity of any character or plot line that is seen here after represented really or fictitiously, alive or dead, is purely coincidental and unintentional.
*Exhales* I hope that about covers everything. *Cracks Neck* Now, on with the story.
Steve had once asked Danny how it had taken him four years to learn of the detective's mild claustrophobia. But when the blonde discovers a heartbreaking— buried— secret about his friend, Steve asks "How did you know?" while Danny found himself wondering, how did he not?
You found me
When no one else was lookin'
How did you know just where I would be?
[...] you broke through
All of my confusion
The ups and the downs
And you still didn't leave
I guess that you saw what nobody could see
So, here we are
That's pretty far
When you think of where we've been
No going back
I'm fading out
All that has faded me within
You're by my side
Now everything's fine
Kelly Clarkson; 'You Found Me'
How Did You Know?
Lieutenant Commander Steve stood somewhere— off-kilter— in Arlington National Cemetery, staring at the head stone in front of him; a fresh garland of orange and white star gazer lilies had been laid over the top of it. He had thought he was alone, until from the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of a figure next to him. His vision had been so focused that he hadn't even seen or heard the other person approach.
The person had placed a beautiful bouquet of white and reddish pink roses mixed with violet blue clematis on the grave. Steve didn't even have to glance off to the side to know who it was.
"How did you know?" His voice was soft and kind of far away.
"I read people," his partner, Detective Danny Williams, told him in an equally soft voice. "Sometimes, some are a little harder to puzzle out than others. That's when general behavioral clues come in handy; and you avoided looking at that memorial like it was Medusa."
After spending weeks attempting to wrap up a case that had brought mass amounts of explosives to the Hawaiian Islands, the Governor appointed State Task Force; Five-0 had managed to capture only one suspect alive, who, as it turned out, was on the Pentagon's top ten most wanted list of identified terrorists.
The Five-0 unit had agreed to a prisoner transport in association with the Pentagon in exchange for future collaboration and support on any and all suspected information or related cases. The unit's leader had tasked both himself and his partner with the transference to the District of Columbia where the prisoner would be securely monitored under the supervision of appointed staff of the United States Military while awaiting proceedings.
The ten hour flight from the Island of Oahu all the way to the nation's capital had been grueling, but the physical part of the transport has gone well. Once the plane landed the men were greeted by members of the United States Air force, "You're Five-0?" and asked to show their credentials in confirmation. Afterwards the partners and their detainee were escorted to a Marine base where upon approach Steve received and returned a greeted salute and Danny, a courteous head nod and the prisoner was handed off to receiving officers.
An unfamiliar elder army General approached the two men and— once more— greeted Steve with a salute, "Lieutenant Commander McGarrett."
"Sir," Steve returned salute.
"Detective Williams," the General stuck his hand out in Danny's direction. Steve was about to open his mouth to identify the man in his rank when Danny accepted the hand, smiled and nodded, "Commander General."
Steve looked impressed and while the Commander General returned the gesture, the Navy man recomposed himself quickly. Apparently the detective didn't always need the SEAL's help when it came to unaccustomed territory.
Over the years Danny had managed to adeptly acquire the dexterity of identifying the brass, ribbons, stars and stripes that so often accompanied the Military dress and had become almost fluent in the lingo and the protocols.
Steve had come to realize and appreciate how Danny would reign himself in when it came to being completely immersed in Steve's secondary life no matter how awkward and out of place he felt or was. The blasé attitude; the banter, good-natured ribbing and the snarky, sardonic temperament would be tucked away and saved for the more relaxed and dissolute paced norm of home.
It was an effort that was evident and acknowledged, and at most times, not just to the SEAL. More than once, Steve had received compliments on how well he had trained his civilian partner in regards to jargon and procedures. To which Steve would reply that he had performed no such task; the man simply knew how to – and at times, attempt to –blend.
It had only been twice—since the very beginning –that Danny had ever mussed the (to him) unusual terminology in front of Military personnel. To which the reaction was only that the honest mistake was promptly ignored and subtly corrected in continuation, as if it had never occurred.
"If you two will please come with me, there is just a few more details to iron out over future partnership and some required signatures for the final transfer paperwork." The old General escorted the two men to a waiting Escalade. It was at those words Danny had glanced at his partner and could tell they were thinking the same thing. That maybe they should begin to worry that they may have made a mistake and that the higher-ups at the Pentagon were going to start giving them a hard time. However, they were pleasantly surprised when it had just turned out to be a reiteration of the previously agreed terms and conditions.
"That went surprisingly well. I was expecting someone to have demanded changes be made somewhere in the agreement," Steve said to Danny as they were walking down the hall of the building.
"Me too, but this is your territory, babe, so I was going to let you do all the heavy lifting on this one while I stood around and looked pretty."
"And how could you not in this stunning ensemble," Steve teased; gesturing to the nicely fitted buttoned jet black suit, crisp white oxford button down and royal blue tie, perfectly taut in a Windsor knot and tie pin . Though he may have given Danny a hard time about the whole formal look in Hawaii, in truth Steve, really did appreciate the coordination Danny had assigned himself to match his dress blues (that as Danny had pointed out numerous times, were really black) among the throng of Service Personnel.
Steve knew his partner had a great respect for his secondary life. But that he took the time to outwardly show it, especially among the top brass; reminded Steve just how professional Danny really was.
A white gloved hand extending from perfect posture on the gleaming gold push bar had Steve holding the outside door open for his partner.
"Oh, what a gentleman," Danny teased right back as he stepped through. The comment had Steve chuckling as he placed his hat atop his head and followed.
There were several sections of pathway that led out to the main thoroughfare, where the Escalade was waiting to return them to their plane. Not fifty feet ahead Danny noticed a huge gray marble slab erected along one of the path edges. It was rough and hammered around the sides and the back, but the front had been polished to a glass smooth finish. The grass in front had been cut away into a half moon shape and beautiful creeping shrubbery and assorted colorful plants had been planted beneath. Whatever it was, it looked pretty. Suddenly, Danny heard Steve clear his throat and he turned to see what was wrong. There was a look in his eyes that Danny had never seen before and couldn't identify.
"Let's go this way," Steve pointed to the adjacent pathway. Seeing the question poised in his eyes, Steve told him, "It's shorter."
One glance at the path told Danny that that wasn't true, but that unidentifiable look made him not want to press the matter further, so he said nothing and just kept pace with the Navy man.
Not five minutes into the "short cut" the partners' path was block by oncoming traffic; an older looking man with salt and pepper hair and a woman, who Danny assumed—based on her pantsuit and smart tablet— was an assistant. Steve stopped immediately and Danny did too. When the older looking man with the salt and pepper hair stopped in front of Steve, he was automatically at attention, "Sir."
"Lieutenant Commander McGarrett, it has been a while."
"Yes, sir, it has."
"I hear that you are running some sort of special task force for the Governor of Hawaii?"
"Yes, sir, I am. This is my partner," Steve gestured to Danny, "Detective Danny Williams. Danny this is Ray Jarvis, Secretary of the Navy."
"Detective Williams," the man greeted.
"It's a pleasure, Mr. Secretary," Danny said shaking the man's hand.
"So, tell me, Detective, I know that police procedure and naval procedure must differ on some levels. How is it working with the Lieutenant?"
Steve almost made a face, but kept his composure.
Danny, on the other hand, chuckled and smiled. "It is an experience. I would definitely categorize it as 'on the job' training."
The Secretary laughed. "Well you must be exceptional at your job, Detective and have quite the backbone. I have heard stories of trained and experienced men and women go running, screaming and crying from McGarrett."
Danny looked thoughtful for a second, before shrugging his eyebrows and saying, "Well…that's probably because he was chasing after them with a pocket full of hand grenades and a loaded AK-47."
The Secretary and his assistant cracked up over that. Danny smiled and when he glanced over, he saw that even his partner was fighting off a smirk. When Steve winked at him, Danny wondered exactly how close he had come to hitting the nail on the head.
"A sense of humor, eh? That's a good quality to have," he told Danny before returning his attention to Steve. Danny of course tried not to be too offended, like he had said, earlier, this wasn't his turf, it was Steve's. "I heard you were in D.C. and I was hoping to catch you, McGarrett, before you left. This task force, uh, Five-0? How appropriate. It mainly focuses on thwarting terrorism and gun running?"
"Among other situations, yes," Steve nodded.
"That's good, I was wondering if I could borrow you for about ten minutes or so? Get your opinion on something?"
"Yes, sir," Steve nodded once more, and then turned to Danny not sure of what to say next, because he was certain SecNav wasn't going to invite him along.
"It was nice meeting you, Detective Williams," the older man once again stuck out his hand. Danny had always been pretty astute; he knew that meant for him to go away now. So he politely nodded and said, "Same here." Seeing that his partner looked a little hesitant, Danny assured him, "It's cool. I'll just go wait by the car," as the Secretary and his assistant walked off.
"No, listen there's a café called Luigi's, they make great cappuccino, you should try one. Take this path all the way down," Steve pointed off in the distance, "about twenty feet to the left there is a row of benches that line the sidewalk, cross the street and make a right, Luigi's is on the corner at the end of the block, I'll meet you there, okay?"
"Okay." Danny watched his partner catch up to the Secretary and his assistant as they walked into the large building.
Along the way Danny took note of all the little shops he passed: a book store, a specialty delicatessen, a florist, a little boutique that sold infant clothes and, just like his partner had said, the café on the corner. It hadn't been a far walk, but the detective was just going to have to take his partner's word on how good the coffee was as Luigi's was currently closed for renovations. Not being familiar at all with the D.C. area, Danny decided it was best to just go back the way he'd come. He would probably meet Steve on the way anyhow.
He found the pathway again, not a problem. He saw the door where Steve had gone in through and now the Secretary of the Navy and his assistant were coming out, getting into a waiting town car and driving off. But, Steve, he noticed, was nowhere in sight.
Not wanting to look suspicious by just standing still and keeping the door Steve had entered in sight; Danny continued walking along the path. He walked until he, once again, noticed the huge gray marble slab on the adjacent path Steve had moved them off of before.
Curiosity getting the better of him, Danny made his way over to it. When he was up close he noticed that it was a stone memorial. It was dedicated to service members and Pentagon employees who had lost their lives; each of their names etched into the polished glass-like finish.
But there was one name that caught Danny's eye and he couldn't believe what he saw. He ran his fingers over the letters in the name just to be sure he was seeing it right.
Could it be true?
Was this the reason for that strange look he had never seen before in his partner's eyes?
Danny reached into his pocket and found his cell phone. No missed calls and the clock told him it had been over an hour since Steve had said he'd meet him. He, once more, eyed the door to the building where he had seen his partner enter. SecNav had already left and if Steve had come out he would have seen him or they would have crossed paths or he would have called by now to find out where Danny had gotten off to.
Eyeing the name on the memorial stone, Danny found himself retracing his steps.
Steve eyed the bouquet; he gave a small smile at the colors his partner had chosen. They were appropriate and, Steve knew, they had come from the heart. "You didn't know her."
"I know you," Danny reminded him. "Why didn't you ever say anything?"
"It's not really something that comes up, is it? Besides, after what happened with you and Rachel. I know you're not a big fan of marriage. You even told Chin not to get married."
"I was only joking, Team Nine thought it was funny," Danny corrected him. "And it's not that I'm not a big fan of marriage. I enjoyed married life just fine. It was when it ended, that was the part I wasn't a big fan of."
"Same here," Steve told him, and then added, "I guess, also, I didn't want to bother you."
"You could have. You should have…I wish you would have, brother."
Another small smile claimed the SEAL's features as he said, "Danny meet Dany."
Danny stared down at the marker in front of them:
DANYELA "DANY" O'RIELLY-MCGARRETT
APRIL 13TH 1971 – SEPTEMBER 11TH 2001
BELOVED DAUGHTER, FRIEND, SISTER, WIFE
A HEART THAT LOVED,
A VOICE THAT COMMANDED
AND A SMILE THAT LIT UP THE WORLD
"She wasn't much of a talker," Steve informed.
"Ah." Danny nodded.
"But you would have liked her anyway, little miss by the book she was, didn't take any B.S. from anyone; a real whip cracker." Steve told his partner. He then reached into his inside jacket pocket, pulled out an old silver locket and handed it over.
"Sounds like my kind of woman. She's gorgeous," Danny commented, staring at the picture of –judging by her simple white dress and Steve's sailor dress whites—what he assumed was the day the couple wed. She had beautiful chocolate brown locks to her shoulders, bright green emerald's for eyes and in affirmation to her remembrance, a smile that did look like it could light up the world. He smiled; Steve looked so young, no older than a dopey teenager. She looked a little more mature than he, not older, just less rambunctious, yet still driven. Fiery.
"She was a First Lieutenant on the carrier I was stationed on as a Midshipman. From the first second I met her, I fell in love and I was also always in her cross hairs. She insisted that with my behavior I was forever going to just rub everyone I met the wrong way. Not even at Annapolis did I manage to rack up that much disciplinary action from a superior officer."
"You mean he couldn't charm his way out of trouble? Him? Really?" Danny directed his comment at the silent head stone.
Steve laughed. "She swore was completely immune. But I still hold firm to the fact that she just enjoyed giving me a hard time."
"Sounds about right for a highly respected Naval Officer, you know, to keep you on your toes. My guess is that that is how they bring out the better in good people. It keeps you focused on the task at hand and leaves little room for any mistakes." Danny eyed his partner.
Steve chuckled. "I'm not that bad, am I?"
"Occasionally, I still want to shoot you; however, you have managed to tone down the antics in recent years."
"I find it's needless for an intelligent man who's proven his argument to continuously have to prove it further."
"I appreciate that," Danny said, then wondered "…Would she have considered me insubordinate?"
"She would have loved your temper, but not your whining."
Danny was about to say something when Steve quickly amended, "Sporadic whining. I was eighteen when we got married, she was twenty-three."
"How did you get her to say yes?"
"It was an early Sunday afternoon. We had just, that morning, docked in Puerto Rico; she was inside a corner bar. She had had a drink, she never had more than three, ever. But I was stone cold sober so I bought her another one and when she finished it, I then challenged her to a game of darts. I told her if she won I'd never step out of line again. If I won, she had to marry me."
Danny laughed, "You coerced her into marrying you?"
"More like I betted," Steve said, then a mischievous smile crept over his face "….and then I bedded."
"Well," Danny agreed, "you won."
"Nope," Steve told him, "I lost."
Danny shot him a confused glance. "What?"
"Apparently, she threw better with a couple of drinks in her then I did sober."
Danny couldn't help himself, he laughed. "So how…?"
"She told me that her parents had been happily married for over twenty five years and her father's motto was 'a happy wife equaled a very happy life'. Therefore, the only way she could be certain that I would keep up my end of the deal would be if I vowed to 'love, cherish, honor, and obey' …her."
This time, both men laughed.
And even though Danny already knew the answer, he asked anyway. "So did you?"
"Oh, yes, I was a very good boy, otherwise if she wasn't happy, neither was I…in more ways than one."
Danny chuckled, smiled and nodded. He understood perfectly well what his partner had meant.
"By five o'clock that same evening we were husband and wife. Come to think of it, aside from that little corner bar and an old church in San Juan, I honestly couldn't tell you what Puerto Rico looks like.
"Are you sure you were a good boy?" Danny teased.
"Well…" Steve smiled at the long since past memories.
Shifting the weight of the locket in his hand, Danny's finger felt the difference in the smoothness on the back of the locket, there was something etched into the metal. Turning it over Danny read the inscription:
DANY & STEVIE
TIL DEATH DO US PART
SEPTEMBER 11TH 1994
Steve heard his friend's breath catch in his throat and immediately knew why. Sadness crept into his voice as he spoke. "Yeah, the irony of it all; it was our seventh wedding anniversary. Lucky seven it was not. We were supposed to go to lunch that afternoon; we had planned on continuing a discussion of when we would start a family. She wanted very much to be a mother."
Danny closed his eyes, his heart pained at those words.
"I was Naval Intelligence, too, by then; I was on my way back to the Pentagon when we got word of what had happened. If my meeting hadn't run late that morning, I would have been in the building, too, when the plane hit."
Steve took a breath and Danny felt the need to distract him from the pain, even if it was only a little bit.
"So do you have a thing for people with the names Danyela, Danielle, Daniel or Danno… or is it just the letter "D" that you like, Stevie?"
This time Steve laughed. "'D' for danger?" He suggested. "…I hated being called that when I was a kid and I think she may have guessed that too. But when she said it, I didn't care. I loved when she called me Stevie. When we were on deck or below it was always Midshipman or McGarrett, but when we were alone, it was always Stevie. It was kind of a dumb move at the same time, though; marrying her meant that we could no longer be stationed in the same location anymore; but when we were on leave… yikes!"
"Why do I get the feeling that there were a lot of places you never saw the outside of?"
Steve's smile grew. "Paris was the exception. It really is a beautiful city."
"I don't doubt it. I'll bet she loved every inch of it?"
"She did." He sighed, "Sometimes it's hard to believe it's been twelve years." Steve sighed once more before saying, "We should get going; we have a long flight."
The detective watched the man— with the dull ache that would forever be held in his heart –kiss his finger tips and place his hand on top of the head stone as he passed by.
Danny stood behind a few seconds longer, forcing himself to swallow the lump that had formed in his throat. For as long as he lived, Danny knew that he would always remember that rare, delicate glimpse of tenderness that had broken loose from an otherwise very robust man.
Realizing he was still holding onto the silver locket, Danny tucked his hand into his blazer pocket to keep it safe, and then nodded once to the memorial of the woman his friend had loved so deeply and whispered, "I'll watch out for him for you, I promise."
To those who lost their lives on September 11th 2001
To those who lost their lives fighting for the freedom of others
To those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy
To those who still fight for the freedoms we enjoy
To those who lost their lives on September 11th 2012
To those who come back broken and wounded and still fight to live on.
Words can never express the right amount of gratitude.
We, as a country stand behind you, because you are brave enough to stand in front of us.
To those who face the struggle every day of living without those who fight (and fought) for the freedom of others.
The following story was inspired by the song You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson. I would like to thank Kelly and the writers of this song for doing such a job at delivered something that is both so heartwarming and heart moving.
-It is with a light and open heart, along with a great deal of anticipation that you, my reader, enjoy my work, just as with all my writing, it really means a great deal to me.
-Reviews and/or constructive criticism are not required here, but are always welcome.
-Flames are not required nor are they welcome; and while I cannot stop you from posting them, I will warn you, I usually don't take them to heart.
Love, Hugs, and Kisses,
Muse : )