Two Sides of A Coin:
With editing by gm and as
What’s the ruckus, Chief?” Steve McGarrett asked, surveying the scene in the HPD squad room.
A uniformed officer and one detective in a suit were scuffling with someone who had apparently just been arrested.
Chief Dann replied, “Just an obnoxious guest. Step into my office and I’ll give you the lowdown.”
The suspect was a
teenager, seventeen, eighteen maybe, McGarrett thought, no more than five foot
eight or nine inches tall. The tan, haole boy was wearing a belligerent
expression, had a raft of curly, sun-bleached hair that drooped into his blue
eyes and bubbled onto his ears and the top of his neck. He was wearing an
over-sized t-shirt with the logo from a local surf shop, cutoff blue jeans, and
dark, high-top sneakers – a pretty ragged sight as far as the head of
As the uniformed officer grabbed the young man, whose hands were cuffed behind his back, the plain-clothes detective spat loudly at the prisoner, “Don’t make me shackle you, boy! Now you settle down!”
McGarrett wasn’t certain whether it was the verbal threat or the fact that the officer had the boy in a chokehold, but he stopped struggling. Three other suspects, who were seated at different desks for questioning or arrest processing, watched the incident with interest.
“That’s better,” the detective intoned, and then he turned to the uniformed officer and said, “Take the kid to Juvee. We’re not gonna get anything out of this one.”
As the officer nodded and guided the boy through the maze of desks toward the hallway, they passed the Chief and McGarrett.
As the pairs started to slip past each other, the uniformed officer greeted his superiors, “Chief, Mr. McGarrett, sir.”
Chief Dann nodded, “Joe. How’s it goin’?”
Steve nodded at the officer, but was transfixed by the young prisoner, who had lost his defiant face and now looked a little nervous. Hmm, he looks familiar, McGarrett thought.
The young man seemed to be avoiding eye contact with the state’s senior law enforcement official as though he recognized him and might actually be intimidated.
First to Joe, he asked, “What’s the charge?”
The reply was quick, “Shoplifting.”
Then Steve’s gaze came to rest on the uneasy figure before him. He had to know, “Where are your parents, son?”
The young man’s mouth dropped open slightly, and he looked back at his escort, who seemed to be almost amused at the question.
Joe Kimura opened his mouth to speak, when Chief Dann put his hand on the officer’s shoulder. “Let the kid answer the question, Joe,” he said.
The “kid” cocked his head to glance towards the chief, and then looked as though he’d just been asked to do something he did not know how to do. He sighed and looked up at the much taller man before him. His blue eyes locked onto the steel-blue eyes gazing sternly at him.
“They’re dead,” he responded matter-of-factly. “My uncle raised me.”
“And how many times has your uncle had to collect you from Juvenile Hall?”
There was something vulnerable about the young man as he shrugged and shifted uncomfortably, no longer willing to make eye contact with McGarrett. Instead, he kept glancing uncertainly at Chief Dann, who occasionally glanced his way. The chief seemed more interested in Steve’s reaction than in what the prisoner was saying.
McGarrett had a few more questions he would like to have asked, but just then the squad room door opened and Chin Ho Kelly, one of the Five-0 detectives, stepped around the corner.
“Steve!” The barrel-chested man called.
At that point, Joe excused himself and his charge, and the pair moved on into the hallway and around the corner.
“Steve! We’ve got a break on the Keoke murder!” the Chinese detective said, quiet excitement tinged his tone.
That was all McGarrett had to hear, “Chief, I’ll catch up with you tomorrow on the personnel usage issue.”
“Sure, Steve,” the chief replied, doubting he would see the head of Five-0 for days. As the two Five-0 detectives rounded the corner, Chief Dann found himself chuckling.
Joe Kimura and his prisoner continued around the corner, and then ducked into one of the interrogation rooms that lined the corridor.
“WHAT was that?” The “prisoner” exploded and spun to face the officer. “Uncuff me NOW, damn it!”
Joe, fumbling for his keys, in a loud whispering voice replied, “Take it easy, Danny! Someone will hear you! I’m not sure what the chief was up to, but I sure as Hell wasn’t going to blow your cover with him standing there signaling me to keep my mouth shut!”
“Great! This is just great!”
Danny Williams rubbed his wrists and paced the small room as he continued to rant. “I’m introduced to THE top law enforcement official as a snot-nosed hoodlum! I guess good test scores just don’t count for much anymore, do they?” He kicked and toppled one of the metal chairs that had been positioned in front of the table. “Joe, did you know I graduated top of my class from the Academy? And now Steve McGarrett – THE MAN – has just patted me on the head as I go off to juvenile detention! I’m 25 years old, for Pete’s sake and – and – I – I need a cigarette!”
With the steam vented, Danny Williams expelled a big breath of air and retrieved the assaulted chair and sat down. With arms dangling beneath the table, he put his head down on the table, and spoke softly now to the poor officer who just received the brunt of Williams’ frustration.
“Joe, I’m sorry to let loose on you. I know it wasn’t your fault,” the detective mumbled.
Joe moved closer to Dan and put his hand on his shoulder. Dan continued with his makeshift apology.
“It’s just that – Joe, I haven’t been to my apartment in weeks – I’ve been living in that rat-infested flop house – I have to sleep with one eye open – these guys are real creeps – no regard for human life. Riley Davis actually bragged to me that when he arranged for an explosive to be delivered to someone, he would always put the address of a cemetery as the return address – sort of his own twisted private joke. I tried to get him to give me a real-life example of when he’d done that, so I could have the pleasure of booking him later, but he never would. And then, there’s this other sleazy—oh nevermind – I’ll just include it in my report,” The undercover officer sighed with fatigue.
“It’s okay, bruddah. I know this is a bear of an assignment, but it looks to me like you’ve made it into the inner circle of the Ali’i.”
“Well,” he let out a derisive laugh. “I wouldn’t exactly call it the inner-key-player-circle – I’d call it the inner-not-a-cop-so-it’s-okay-to-ignore-me circle.”
“By the way, you put on a good show for Tommy Pi’ilani’s right-hand man out there,” Joe said, changing the subject to the suspect that had witnessed Dan’s belligerent performance in the squad room.
The memory made Dan rub his throat. “I’ll probably have Larry’s fingerprints visible on my neck tomorrow!”
“I’ll round you up a cigarette and some chow,” Joe said as he chuckled and squeezed Dan’s shoulder one last time.
“Thanks, Joe. The food’s awful over at Juvee and they won’t let me smoke!” Some of the undercover officer’s sense of humor was slipping back into place.
Days had gone by, and, as Chief Dann predicted, McGarrett never did return to discuss the in-progress undercover cases and related personnel issues.
Kono Kalakaua, a
Five-0 detective, and McGarrett were parked on the
street in one of the older sections of
“Hey, I recognize that kid over there,” he said, pointing to Williams without taking his hands off the steering wheel. “I spoke with him at the station last week.”
The big Hawaiian directed his attention to where his boss was pointing. Kono studied the group, and then replied, “Boss, are you talkin’ about Danny – the one with the high tops?”
Steve looked at the other detective. “You know him?”
“Sure – we surf together every chance we get, which ain’t been too often lately what with him on this gig right now.” The meaning of Kono’s words took a second to sink in.
“Gig? You mean he’s a cop?” Steve looked back in the direction of the group across the street.
Kono was surprised that his boss was unaware that Williams was the undercover contact on the inside of the street gang that called themselves the Ali’i.
“Yeah. A good one, too. Didn’t Chief Dann tell you last week?”
He looked back at the man speaking to him and replied, “Huh, I got side-tracked with the Keoke case.” He shook his head, “My God, how old is he?”
Kono looked at the ceiling of the car and hummed, “Let’s see, I think he must be at least 25 or 26 by now. He looks real young, but he’s scary smart – kinda like you.”
Steve started slightly at the unexpected compliment and the comparison to the young undercover officer, and glanced towards Kono only to notice that the detective had not made the statement to flatter – rather, he was just making an observation. The idle comment triggered the buried memory in the senior detective’s brain, and he began to snap his fingers as the scene in his mind’s eye came into focus.
He exclaimed, “I know why he looks so familiar! I presented him with the top cadet award when he graduated from the academy!”
The Hawaiian detective nodded, “Yeah, that would’ve been Danny.”
“Scary smart, eh?” McGarrett half mumbled.
Still staring in Dan’s direction, Kono continued, “Yeah, only he doesn’t know it. I think they’re wasting his talent with this undercover stuff – and I don’t think he likes it much.” Kono realized that his boss might take the information the wrong way, so he added quickly, “Not that Danny ain’t real good at this, too.”
“He’d better be sharp and able to keep his cool. The Ali’i mean business. He could end up dead in a dumpster if…” Steve let the sentence die in the air before he completed it. “I mean, I think I’m the last one to know that he’s a cop. If there were to be a leak…” McGarrett made a note to stop by and get briefed on the situation sooner rather than later.
Kono was used to the unfinished sentences and thinking out loud that punctuated drives with his boss, so he just did his best to follow the train of thought. “A leak, even an innocent one, from inside the force, would be one big bunch of pilikia for Danny.”
“I thought he looked familiar,” Steve mentioned, unable to let the subject drop just yet.
Kono laughed, “He looks a lot different with that hair!”
“Chief, I apologize for not getting back over here sooner! I was overtaken by events,” Steve addressed the chief, who motioned for the head of Five-0 to take a seat at the table. “As usual,” was Dann’s response. “Where shall we start?”
“There’s one case in particular that I’d like to hear about – the Ali’i case.”
“Ahh, we’re keeping that one under wraps to the degree that it’s possible.”
“That punk I met last week –” McGarrett paused.
A grimace and then a smile flashed across Dann’s face as he asked, “Who told you?”
The man across the table replied, “My point exactly. Who knows about Williams?”
“Unfortunately, there are quite a few officers on the force that know. This didn’t start out to be a case against the Ali’i. We had a routine little street cleanup activity going, you know – to get a few dealers off the streets, sign on a few new informants. Williams was a good candidate because he’d never been on the streets in uniform. We started him out on undercover assignments right out of the academy.” Dann looked out the window of his office as he continued speaking, “Then one day a couple months ago, Williams reports in that Tommy Pi’ilani himself has got him running for cigarettes and shave ices for him.”
“The man at the top of the Ali’i food chain.” McGarrett mused.
“One and the same,” replied Dann, and then continued. “Anyway, now he’s upping the ante and using Williams as a messenger, a lookout – a general all-purpose errand boy. He circulates among the Ali’i gang members unnoticed. A bust with the right evidence could really crack that rotten egg of a gang wide open.”
Always one to have a suspicious thought, McGarrett asked, “Why does Tommy Pi’ilani like Williams?”
“Williams’ report states that he’s not sure why Pi’ilani zeroed in on him. We know that Pi’ilani was very impressed when Williams was the only kid that managed to slip through our little dragnet one day. Now, Williams seems to be one of the trusted minions. And, as far as we can tell, Pi’ilani thinks he’s as harmless as he looks!”
“I have to admit, Chief, he looks the part. But I need to ask – how innocent is he really? Does he understand what kind of trouble he could be in if this thing goes south?”
“He says he does. I’m not sure what more I can do.”
At the chief’s reply, McGarrett stood up. “Please keep me filled in on the progress of this case.”
“So, let me get this straight – I turn over to you all of the money that Pi’ilani gave me, and I don’t get anything back, like say, money to buy food and toothpaste?”
Dan Williams stared incredulous at Joe Kimura, who stopped by for the express purpose of collecting evidence.
Joe looked apologetic, and replied, “Uhh, basically, I guess that’s correct, Danny. I’ve got five bucks in my pocket – you can have that.”
Dan dropped his gaze to the floor, and leaned against the wall in the interrogation room. With hands in his pockets, he said in what seemed to Joe to be a completely serious tone, “Well since I can’t exactly march into the bank and cash a check, that leaves me with only shoplifting and burglary as means of support.”
Frank Lee, the lead detective on the Ali’i case, had been briefing Steve McGarrett on the latest developments in his case from the adjoining observation room, so the exchange between Williams and Kimura had been broadcast over the room speakers.
The head of Five-0 turned his attention to Lee and intoned, “Something in this system is broken!” McGarrett shook his head and let out a single sarcastic laugh, “My God, after he helps crack this case, he’ll be sent up for three to five on burglary charges.”
Frank was apologetic in demeanor as he spoke, “Steve, the funding of undercover operations is tight right now. I’ve already been called on the carpet twice for budget overages. I know Williams needs—”
McGarrett was impatient with what he deemed a poor excuse for not supporting an officer on the front lines. Cutting the detective off, he pulled out his wallet, and removed four ten-dollar bills. He slapped them into Frank’s palm and snapped, “Fix this problem, and in the meantime, make sure the kid has spending money!”
He was lying on his back in a corner of the room. From the doorway, McGarrett could only see the young man’s legs and high tops braced against the wall as the table obscured the rest of the view. Joe Kimura, Frank Lee, and a man with a stethoscope around his neck were bent over the prone form.
“NO stitches, Doc!” a damp, exhausted Williams whispered. “Don’t you see if I come back with stitches, they’re gonna ask questions.”
The doctor, who was pressing a bloody washcloth against the bend in the detective’s left arm, replied, “Son, this could get infected if I don’t sew it up.”
Frank squatted down beside Dan’s head, and said, “How are you feeling otherwise, Danny?”
The officer took a few breaths to assess himself, and then answered, “I think I might have a cracked rib or two, but mainly, I think I’m just a little tired.”
The doctor chimed in, “I would say tired is an understatement. You look exhausted. And the black eye and bloody nose aren’t helping either.”
McGarrett, who noted that the officer had clearly lost several pounds since he had last seen him, spoke up. “Well, we’re not sending anybody back into the fray with wounds gaping open. Doc – sew him up, and do whatever else you need to do to put him on the mend.”
Dan rolled his eyes up
and focused on the man who’d just stepped into the room and taken command. At
least the head of
Then McGarrett squatted down and addressed his next comment directly to the officer sprawled on the floor, “This is your health we’re talking about here, son.”
“I just need to close my eyes for a few minutes…” Dan mumbled, as he seemed to drift off disturbingly fast.
Steve felt compelled to push a snatch of wet hair from this determined young man’s face, who didn’t stir from Steve’s brief touch. Not rising immediately, he leaned one elbow on his leg and slowly stroked his chin as he pondered Williams’ dedication. For a reason that McGarrett couldn’t comprehend, he found himself frustrated at his inability to do more to protect the kid.
“Frank, what happened? Was his cover blown?” McGarrett stood and Frank Lee followed suit. They stepped out of the small room and into the adjoining observation room, where they could hear the doctor making some requests from Joe regarding the comfort of his patient. “See if you can’t find a pillow and a blanket or two. He’s chilled.”
“Steve, his cover’s still solid. Danny says it was just some routine dissension among the ranks. Two of the runners got a case of the ass about the new kid gettin’ the choice runs. A simple case of jealousy.”
“I don’t think he can take too many fits of jealousy. If you send him back out, what makes you so sure they won’t just kill him the next time?”
“Danny seems pretty sure that he can handle the situation,” Frank hesitated. “Steve – I know he looks young, but he’s tough, and he can handle himself. He’s been doin’ this practically since he came on board with HPD a couple years ago. Read his service record, and see for yourself. He wants to go back out – he’s put in a lot of blood and sweat into this case. He wants to see these scum off the streets.”
the doubts hovering in the back of his mind, relented, “Frank, this is your
baby, and I’m not going to step in and take over, but please use all due
caution. Call up that free clinic, the one that backs to
Frank agreed, and the pair stepped back around to the interrogation room. The doctor had prepared a sterile field, and was swabbing the wound with betadine solution. Dan, who had turned over on his side, was curled up and sound asleep.
Joe looked up at Frank and Steve. “I don’t think I could sleep on this floor,” he said, shaking his head.
“You could if you knew you were sleeping among friends for the first time in weeks.”
McGarrett was impressed. Clearly, this officer was committed and willing to put his neck on the line for what he believed. Dedicated and stubborn, he thought, debating whether stubborn was plus or a minus.
The doctor spoke as he injected lidocaine into the skin around the wound, with not so much as a twitch from his sleeping patient, “I’m going to sew this up, and wrap his ribs. That’s about all I can do for him. I strongly suggest you let him get a little rest before you dump him out onto the street.”
Frank replied, “Thanks, Doc. We’ll let him sleep for awhile, but he can’t be missing for too long, or somebody’s liable to get suspicious. And we’re too near a big bust to mess this up now.”
Several weeks had passed since Dan’s brush with the jealous runners. Kono strode into McGarrett’s office, where he and Sam Nohea, the Five-O second-in-command, were having their usual daily disagreement about something. Both men snapped their heads in his direction, irritation still showing on both faces.
Without waiting for a greeting, he jumped in with his news, “Boss, thought you might like to know – HPD’s bust on the Ali’i is goin’ down in a few hours!”
The information got a rise out of the head of Five-0. He stood and slapped a nearby stack of papers as he responded, “That’s great! I’ve been waiting to hear that!”
“Frank Lee said if you’re interested, you’re welcome to ride shotgun with him.”
Knowing he should stay at the office and continue working through the mountain of paperwork that never seemed to get smaller, he opted for the more interesting choice for that afternoon. The Williams kid had been on his mind after learning that HPD had had only very brief and sporadic contact with him since his “trip” to the free clinic. He’d been out there on his own since then.
“We’ve got film rolling from the window above the dry cleaners,” Frank said to Steve motioning with his head rather than pointing. He continued, “From our vantage point, directly across the street from Mimi’s Café, we have an unobstructed view of everybody coming and going. Danny’s wired for sound, so if the deal goes down like it’s supposed to, he’ll tap a signal into the mike. If he thinks it won’t be a productive bust – that we’ll only catch a small fry or two, he’ll give a different signal. At that point, we call it off until we can hook the big fish. We don’t want to risk blowing Danny’s cover over anything less than the top guys at this point. We have vehicles stationed three blocks away, and every officer that will be involved in the takedown is inside one of these adjacent buildings. Most of them don’t have a line of sight on the street, so they’ll be waiting for my GO signal.”
McGarrett nodded, satisfied that precautions were being taken.
The wait seemed interminable, but in actuality, only ten minutes passed before McGarrett tensed. He could make out the form of Williams as he casually stepped into the doorway of the cafe, unwrapping a piece of gum as he stood.
Suddenly, Frank’s walkie-talkie crackled with the voice of the officer manning the audio van, “Frank! It’s Matt! We are a GO!”
Frank jumped, “That’s it-- It’s gone down like we hoped!!”
He picked up his walkie-talkie and barked the move-in order. He and Steve darted out of the building and ran headlong across the street with eight other police officers.
Williams did not react to the oncoming stampede of police until the officers were upon him, at which point he backed into the room suddenly with his hands above his head.
Steve knew this was so that no police officer would mistake him for an armed suspect. The shouting and commotion that ensued ended quickly, with officers bursting into the room from all doors completely unexpected. Danny had been the lookout, so for all intents and purposes, they had been sitting blind.
The dining room was filled with explosive chaos for a minute as the police shouted at the suspects to disarm themselves and get face down on the floor. Only a few of the shocked meeting-goers attempted to escape through the kitchen, but members of the assault team blocked their way. Only one individual in the room put up a fight. He was Leo Pi’ilani, who took an enraged swing at McGarrett, who slammed him back against the wall.
“Get your face against the wall, Leo!” the head of Five-0 shouted.
This Pi’ilani brother, while not the head of the family, certainly held the distinction in McGarrett’s mind of being the most ruthless. Steve knew he was responsible for the grizzly bombing murders of three informants the previous year, but there had not been sufficient evidence to indict him.
His smug defiance had frustrated McGarrett, but the Irish cop, who was not known for his patience, promised this man that he would be patient, and that eventually, he would personally lock the cuffs onto his wrists. McGarrett remembered his pledge as he secured the man’s hands, and said, “Perhaps there is something to be said for patience after all.”
“If we could get a sharpshooter up there on one of those girders, we might be able to end this with minimal collateral damage,” McGarrett spoke softly to Sam and Kono as they viewed the hostage situation from behind the nearest squad car.
Sam nodded and replied, “I’ll see what I can do, but getting somebody up there may be the tough part. Unless the guy’s part monkey, it could take awhile or cause quite a commotion, to say the least.”
“Explain the problem to Chief Dann and see if he’s got any mountain goats that can shoot – and hurry – I don’t think this guy’s gonna wait too much longer before he starts shooting hostages.”
“Right,” Sam said and scurried around the corner to his sedan.
Minutes seemed to drag on as the officers listened to the very hostile man on the other side of the fence shout obscenities and threats. He was holding his ex-wife and ten of her co-workers hostage.
“What is taking them so long?” McGarrett spat impatiently at Kono and Chin.
Just as Chin was about to reply, Sam and a young man in khaki pants and a bulletproof vest raced around the corner. The sharpshooter, whose rifle was slung over his shoulder, wore a khaki baseball cap backwards in preparation for taking a shot. McGarrett, Chin, and Kono all recognized the raft of curly hair protruding from under the cap immediately. All five men squatted as the exchange began.
“Danny – Howz it, bruddah?” Kono greeted.
Dan spoke quickly, anxious to get down to business. “Good – good, Kono. Chin, Mr. McGarrett! Chief Dann has briefed me on the situation – He says you’re lookin’ for somebody who’s not afraid of heights!”
The head of Five-0 regarded the younger man only for a moment, then, sensing the confidence he thought would be required, he tapped the muzzle of the rifle on Dan’s shoulder and made eye contact with him.
“You any good with this?”
The matter-of-fact answer held no vanity and was accompanied by a thin smile. “Yes, sir, I’m good.”
Kono interjected, “He’s the best, Steve!”
Convinced, McGarrett nodded and pointed to the high-rise building under construction.
“Do you think you can make it up onto one of those girders so that you can get a shot down into the courtyard?” He asked. Then added an explanation. “We can’t get a clear view into the courtyard from that office building because of the trees.”
Dan scanned the new high rise for a few moments, and then turned back to meet McGarrett’s gaze. “It’ll take me a few minutes, but I can make it. Do we know what the guy’s packin’?”
The Chinese detective responded, “Danny, we know he’s got a rifle – we’re not sure what kind— and he may have a hand gun as well.”
“Hmm, okay… Mr. McGarrett, do you want me wait for a signal, or do you want me to take him out at my earliest opportunity?”
McGarrett placed his hand on Dan’s shoulder and made eye contact. “You take him out the first chance you get. Try your best to minimize the risk to the hostages,” McGarrett said levelly, and then he turned to Kono and, in the breath said, “Kono – go with him as far as you can.”
“Right, boss,” Kono nodded, and with that, he and Dan trotted around the corner.
The officers on the ground watched nervously as their sharpshooter scampered up a ladder, paused, trotted precariously across a one-foot wide girder, and then repeated the process.
The journey from the third to the fourth floor was made without the benefit of a ladder. At first, seeing no way to proceed upward, McGarrett thought the officer would have to stop there. Instead, Williams moved up one of the girders like an inchworm, gaining footholds on bolts that were invisible to the ground. Within two minutes, the young man was high enough to have a view of the activity inside the secluded courtyard.
“Yeah!” Chin shuddered, “I feel dizzy just watching.”
Pressed against a girder, Williams leaned out cautiously, and apparently not satisfied with his situation, leaned the other direction to peer from the other side of the metal beam. Gently slipping to a sitting position, Dan straddled the beam. He then took his rifle off safety, and pulled the weapon to an unsupported firing position.
“Damn, he’s going to have to take an unsupported shot,” McGarrett cursed softly, realizing that there was no place for the sniper to lean his arm.
At that moment, Kono scurried back. “Sam Yasamura and his team are ready to move in from the other side if you give the word.”
Throwing Kono a glance of acknowledgment, McGarrett spoke quietly to an unhearing Williams, trying to will him to move as he, McGarrett, would move, “Come on… come on… steady…”
Just then, the report of the rifle popped in the officers’ ears. Screams from behind the fence began as Dan lowered his rifle, and gave the thumbs up sign. Letting out the breath he’d been only partially releasing for the past few minutes, McGarrett stood slowly.
Sam, Chin, and Kono raced toward the gate that hid the hostage scene from their view. Before the detectives could reach the fence, several people in states nearing hysteria flung open the gate and scurried towards the police.
Satisfied that tragedy had been averted, the head of Five-0 looked back up at the young man still sitting on the beam from where he had fired his weapon. Now, Dan sat with his rifle draped across his lap, and his head leaning on the vertical beam in front of him. Even from the distance, it was clear to McGarrett that the young man was affected by the shot he had to fire.
“Do we need to call the Fire Department to get your man off the steel up there?” The question came from an ambulance attendant who’d been standing by, prepared to render first aid in the event of injuries.
McGarrett let out a brief chuckle, “I doubt it!” He cupped his hands and shouted, “Williams!” The name echoed from a cinderblock section of wall. The officer looked down at the man calling his name as Steve barked, “Get down from there!”
Nodding, the detective slung his rifle across his back and reverse inch-wormed his way back down the beam from whence he came, trotted back along the one-foot wide girder as if it were a ten-foot wide sandy trail. McGarrett and the ambulance attendant watched until the view of Dan’s progress was obscured by the foliage. Within a minute, Williams appeared from the brush, trotting towards McGarrett, who began moving in his direction.
“Yes, sir?” Dan asked in an anxious tone.
Steve patted the officer on the shoulder. “You okay?” The taller man studied the face and demeanor of the young man standing before him.
The reply was hesitant, “Yes – yes, sir.” Dan tried to maintain eye contact with his interrogator, but after a few moments looked at the ground. “It all happened by the numbers – I acquired the target, sighted on him, and released a round – right into that guy. Not a target – a human being. I just didn’t think it would feel—” He didn’t look up, but he stopped talking.
McGarrett squeezed Dan’s shoulder and said, “You did what you had to do, and, as a result, the lives of innocent people were saved. Don’t bleed too much over it. In our line of work, son, you won’t last if you do.”
With that pronouncement, the officer suddenly looked up into the face of the more experienced man. He almost seemed startled, Steve thought. The sniper took a breath and apparently steeled himself to answer in the most neutral, free-of-emotion way that he could. “No bleeding – I understand, sir.”
The reticence in Williams’ voice was palpable to McGarrett, but the senior officer was pleased that the officer acknowledged the advice. Willing to learn, McGarrett thought as he patted Dan on the back and said in a little more gentle tone. “It’s not easy advice to take, but I have a very strong suspicion that you can do it.”
As the magnitude of the compliment just began to sink in, Dan once again looked up into Steve’s confident face. Steve McGarrett – a living legend in the law enforcement community – stood before him, offering up to him – Dan Williams -- an anonymous nobody (to Dan’s way of thinking) undercover cop / sniper – the benefit of his wisdom and experience.
Dan replied, “I’m going to give it my best shot – so to speak – sir.”
The head of Five-0 sat at his desk rubbing the back of his tension-filled neck. The hostage situation was successfully resolved because law enforcement personnel kept level heads throughout the ordeal, and because a skilled sharpshooter was willing to put himself at risk to save innocent lives. The Williams kid…gutsy, but too sensitive… McGarrett pondered. Or maybe I’m just too jaded. The detective nodded in recognition of the probability of the thought.
Suddenly, he leaned forward and slapped the button on his intercom, “Kono!”
“Get on the horn right now to Dan Williams. Make sure that he knows that Hayes is going to survive the gunshot wound.”
“I think he’s off duty by now.”
“Did I ask you whether he was on duty? I want him to know TODAY – NOW – that Hayes will live to stand trial.” The lead investigator was not normally too concerned with assuaging the anxiety of delicate detectives, but something about Williams was special. He’d perused his file when the young officer was undercover within the Pi’ilani organization, but he decided that he needed to review the file in detail. Perhaps there was something telling in the officer’s official records that would shed light on why this young man made him feel introspective.
“I don’t date cops – It’d give me a bad name on the street!” The young man said with exaggerated seductiveness to the two female uniformed police officers. He winked and one of them tugged at the sandy curl dangling just above his eyebrow, responding in an equally seductive voice, “I thought you were rejoining the fold since you made detective.”
“I am – I just wrapped up my last undercover gig a couple days ago!” He laughed. “As a matter of fact, I’m on my way now to get sheared!”
The one with her finger wrapped in his curl giggled, “Just like a sheep!”
The two young women suddenly stiffened, and the one pulled her hand away from Williams’ hair and said, “Good afternoon, sir!”
Dan turned and straightened as well as McGarrett spoke, “Good afternoon, officers.”
“Mr. McGarrett,” was all that came out of his mouth.
The senior detective then put his hand on Dan’s shoulder and pulled, motioning for him to walk with him, leaving the other two officers to whisper conspiratorially.
“Detective Williams, that was some pretty impressive shooting out there yesterday.”
The officer blushed at the simple praise and replied, “Thank you, sir, but actually, luck had a lot to do with it.”
Modest – good sign, mused McGarrett, as he sized up the man walking beside him. “I’m told that you’re HPD’s top sharpshooter. And I’ve seen you in action in the undercover department, so I know you can think on your feet.”
Dan canted his head in acknowledgment of the compliments as he looked up at the much taller legend in whose presence he basked. “Mr. McGarrett, I’m a pretty lucky guy.”
“Brains, skill, hard work, and guts are what make you lucky, son.” The senior detective stopped walking to make eye contact with Dan. “The point I’m trying to get at here is that I occasionally have a need for HPD support personnel at Five-0. Would you be interested if Five-0 requested your services?” Before the astonished officer could reply, Steve cautioned, “Fair warning - that usually means overtime.”
The young man’s
expressive face was easy to read, and it pleased McGarrett to see Dan’s
excitement at the prospect. “Mr.
“Of course, I’ll expect a little more professional attire than you’ve been sporting – AND the mop has to go!” Steve admonished, referring to the hair.
“Consider it gone, sir!”
Satisfied with the outcome of the conversation, McGarrett indicated the audience was over with a brief, thin smile and a nod. Then he turned and headed out the door.
With his mouth still open, Danny Williams let out a hoot, and stepped on into the recesses of the building whistling as happy a tune as he’d whistled in a long time.
“Steve, no-can-do on Williams,” Sam stated succinctly. “The watch officer tells me he’s been temporarily re-assigned – doesn’t know where though.”
Steve pulled his hands from his desk to fold them across his chest. “What do you mean re-assigned? WHERE on this rock – or any of our neighboring rocks – could he be assigned that I can’t have him re-re-assigned back to me?”
Bristling with annoyance that Sam didn’t have the curiosity to notice that the statement was odd, he still managed to notice that Kono had started into his office, but stopped when he saw that Steve and Sam seemed ready to jump into one of their disagreements.
He called to the big Hawaiian, “Kono! Get in here!”
The detective spun around again, rolling his eyes. “Boss, this stuff can wait if you’re busy,” Kono said, hopeful that the pledge might allow him a quick exit from the room.
“That’s not what I want to talk to you about,” Steve started as he motioned for Kono to sit.
Before any further words could be exchanged on that front, Sam jumped in to respond to the veiled accusation about Williams’ re-assignment. “You know – I’m not in the business of scheduling HPD personnel OR tracking their comings and goings.”
With that, he turned and marched from the room, closing the door a notch too loudly for McGarrett’s taste, Kono suspected. Making a mental note to take up the issue of respect with Sam later, Steve turned his attention to Kono.
“Have you heard where Danny Williams has been re-assigned?”
“Yeah, boss. He’s at a division in New York City as some sort of mutual back-scratching thing.”
“What?” McGarrett nose wrinkled in perplexity. “What does THAT mean?”
“Well, as best I can tell you, there are one big bunch of murders in that town – so many that the different investigative units can’t handle the load. So, what they do is offer up training in homicide investigations to police agencies that don’t have the volume they have. Detectives from all over go there to go through the training and-- as Danny describes it-- to serve as slave labor on all kinds of cases.”
Steve understood now, and turned away from Kono momentarily. “Ahhh, so each detective’s home department pays their man’s salary, so the New York units end up with cheap, skilled labor, and the detectives end up with a greater depth and breath of exposure to murder investigations.”
“Yeah, boss, that sounds right.” Kono continued, anxious to get the rest of his story out. “Danny’s been gone for about three months. I talked to him on the phone the other night, and he said the commander of the unit he’s with offered him a permanent job there.”
McGarrett felt a wave of annoyance at the faceless individual who had the effrontery to try to steel one of HPD’s better cops. He stiffened as he casually asked, “And?”
Kono looked into his boss’ eyes. “And what, boss?”
Exasperated at the detective, with strained patience, he asked again, this time using a full, no-doubt-about-the-issue question. “What did Williams decide to do about the job offer?”
Kono gave a brief laugh when realized what the boss what driving at. “I don’t think Danny would ever take a job somewhere else, Steve, especially somewhere that he couldn’t surf!”
“With all due respect, sir, the body had to have been dumped here. There’s just no way that body could have washed ashore here!”
The sandy-haired man stood perched on a large outcropping of lava rock as he cautiously addressed his boss. The more senior detective stared with an intense, annoyed gaze at his wet-behind-the-ears subordinate.
Pete Beauprez, the Chief of HPD Detectives, snapped, “Williams, you’re here to learn, not mouth off to show your volumes of experience is this area! Now get your ass down there and make sure you didn’t miss anything before the medical examiner hauls the guy off!”
A brief flash of anger at the rebuke was visible on the young detective’s face before he threw McGarrett a glance that reminded him of a teenager who’d felt he’d been unjustly punished. He hesitated only momentarily before deciding it was no use arguing and stepped off the rocks and walked down to the surf line, where a uniformed officer, two white-coated attendants, and a representative from the medical examiner’s office stood next to a crumpled, prone human form.
With hands in his pockets, the young man exchanged a couple of words with the men there, and then stepped about twenty paces away to stare at the large waves breaking in the distance. He seemed oblivious to the surf that lapped at, and occasionally over, his shoes.
“Sorry ‘bout that, Steve. The pup got a little hoity-toity training in murder investigations from New York, and now he thinks he knows everything.” Beauprez shook his head and smiled apologetically. “The body definitely floated in with the tide.”
The head of Five-0 had received the call about the body on the North Shore just as he was heading to a breakfast meeting with the Governor and several members of congress. Now he stood staring at Williams as he apparently shook himself from whatever thoughts he was pondering to direct the removal of the body. He grunted an response to Beauprez before mentally dismissing the detective’s comments.
“You’re not making your boss very happy.”
McGarrett’s voice caused Dan to look up suddenly. He had not noticed the imposing figure’s approach. A brief smile crossed his face as their eyes met, and then he looked down as he replied, “Displeasing my boss is never my goal, Mr. McGarrett.” With that, he kicked a piece of shell a few feet.
“What makes you so sure that the body was dumped here?” McGarrett never took his eyes off the young man, who hesitated. “Well?” The senior detective’s voice took on an impatient tinge.
Dan looked up suddenly and spoke quickly with almost desperate fervency, ”Sir, a body – a beach ball – a surf board – NOTHING can make it from beyond the surf onto this beach at this time of year. I may not have enough experience in murder investigations to suit Detective Beauprez, but I’m a surfer, and I DO know my currents.”
McGarrett stepped closer and urged Dan. “Go on.”
“Just beyond the breaks, there’s a current that runs parallel to the shore.” Dan looked out at the sea. “Its exact position changes with the seasons. Right now, it’s tight in to the shore. If I were to go out on my surf board just beyond the first breaks, I’d be sucked along the shore that way.” He pointed and glanced at McGarrett, who followed his finger. Dan continued, “I wouldn’t have a shot at hitting land for at least five miles – and then I’d have to paddle like crazy to get free of the current. So, an object – like a dead body – couldn’t possibly make it to the sand, where this guy turned up. That’s why this beach is so pristine. Nothing can wash up here.”
McGarrett allowed his gaze to pan the beach and close-in waterfront for a full thirty seconds before he responded to the younger detective’s comments.
“Son, never let a pig-headed boss talk you out of the truth!”
McGarrett’s tone was a little harsh, but his blue eyes were full of an almost fatherly countenance. He’d found himself impressed with this young man again and again over the past months. With each encounter, he felt more attached to the idea that he could bring up a newer detective, one that would be willing to be schooled in the ways and methods of Five-0 a.k.a. McGarrett.
Dan looked up at the striking figure, whose bouffant of rich, brown hair was blowing down into his face, and accepted the advice with a slight smile and a nod. “Is that what you think I did?”
“Well, I followed Detective Beauprez’ orders, but I did also take the liberty of letting the uniformed guys know that I need to have a sweep of the beach all the way back to the parking area. If they happen to stumble on something important, I thing Pete Beauprez will be big enough to make use of the evidence.”
“Especially if he gets the credit,” McGarrett muttered softly almost to himself.
Dan shrugged, “That’s okay – as long as the crime is solved.”
“I’m impressed with your attitude, Danny,” McGarrett said as he let a slight smile form on his lips.
Dan hoped he wasn’t blushing at the compliment, but couldn’t help but smile. “That’s pretty high praise for what I hope is a common attitude among detectives, sir.”
“Steve,” McGarrett said.
“Call me Steve – and that’s not a request,” McGarrett said as he shot a glance towards the detective. “Now I want you to do EXACTLY as I tell you!” Williams stepped closer to McGarrett and furled his brow prepared to listen intently to the instructions. “When I get to the top of the hill and I’m standing up there with Beauprez, I’m going to call down to you. When I do this, I want you to respond appropriately – and call me Steve. Is that clear?”
Dan nodded, “I understand, sir – Steve, I mean.”
Really, Dan did not understand any part of the mysterious instructions. The novice detective accepted that this man had volumes of experience which he seemed to be very willing to impart, a fact which was contrary to the stories that circulated among the HPD ranks about the distant, fire-breathing chief who ate detectives whom he found lacking in any regard. Maybe he only eats detectives that have no faith. Dan didn’t have time to ponder. Instead, he determined that he would have faith and do exactly as McGarrett directed.
“Good man,” Steve intoned under his breath as he turned. He moved away from the perplexed detective, who stood watching him depart for a few seconds before starting over toward the place where the body had been found.
Within about thirty seconds, Dan had made his way over to the uniformed officer and the ME rep when he heard McGarrett’s shout. “Danno!”
Williams turned suddenly, knowing that the head of Five-0 had to be addressing him. And just as if he’d heard McGarrett calling to him a hundred times before, he casually acknowledged the call. “Yeah, Steve?”
“Make sure you do a sweep of the beach to check for evidence!”
Upon hearing the instruction, Dan couldn’t keep a grin from his face as he responded, “Sure thing, Steve!”
Even from his vantage point below, he could see that his boss, Pete Beauprez, shifted uncomfortably after hearing the exchange. Dan knew that this scene served two purposes. First, McGarrett had made certain that Dan would not be reprimanded for ordering the search of the beach. Second, it made the Chief of Detectives acutely aware that his detective was on a first-name basis with the top law enforcement official in the Pacific. Williams mentally bumped Steve McGarrett up a few more notches in his estimation.
“That’s a lot of people to check out before Friday, Steve,” Chin Ho said as he flipped through the pages of his notebook.
“I know, bruddah. Get Kono to help you. You two should be able to knock off all the names without too much difficulty,” McGarrett responded without looking up from the stack of papers on his desk. The Chinese gentleman hesitated a few seconds, and his boss stopped fingering through the pages and looked up at him. “What is it?” he asked, feeling a little short on patience – after all, the instruction was simple enough.
“Steve – Sam sent Kono to Kailua to –” Chin started.
“WHAT!!!” The Irish temper came out with volcanic force. “I told Sam –” McGarrett stood and slammed his fist down on the stack of papers. “Why can’t he keep me up to date? That’s all I ask?”
Chin had worked for Steve long enough to know that his anger was not directed at him, but it was still disconcerting to be anywhere in the vicinity when the temper eruption occurred. For a few moments, the two detectives stood there, one tapping his fingers on his desk and the other standing still as a statue, both considering alternatives. Then, Chin spoke up.
“Could we get some backup from HPD?”
The still simmering head of Five-0 had arrived at the same answer, and before the sound of the words had died, he reached for the phone on his desk, and dialed.
“Central, this is McGarrett. I’m requesting that Detective Williams provide backup to Chin Ho Kelly…Yes…No, I want Williams. Can you patch him through?”
The delay was less than thirty seconds, but the impatient Irish detective began to fidget and snap his fingers.
“This is Williams,” came the voice.
“Danno, Detective Kelly requires some assistance with the legwork on his investigation. Can you give us a hand?”
It was clear to the young officer on the other end of the line that the question was not a request, but the tone of his reply rang with eagerness, “Sure, Steve! What do you want me to do?”
“Get over to my office, and Detective Kelly will brief you.”
“I’m on my way, sir! Williams out!”
The Chinese detective breathed a sigh of relief as his boss’s mood visibly lightened. Also, the familiarity with which his boss had addressed the young officer was not lost on him.
McGarrett turned to Chin as he put down the phone, “Let me know how he does.”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure he’ll do just fine. You know he was one of the investigating detectives on the Cox case?” McGarrett’s eyebrows shot up and he cocked his head, and before his boss could speak, Chin continued, “He’s a sharp kid – a little excitable – and a little too readable, but actually I find that sort of refreshing.”
With that, Steve let out a short laugh, “I know exactly what you mean, my friend.” He patted Chin on the back as the Chinese detective left to wait for Williams in his own office.
“This could take
years to sort out!!” Kono moaned looking at the six boxes filled with papers
and office paraphernalia. He lightly kicked one of the cardboard cubes, each of
which was slightly larger an orange crate.
“And we STILL might not find any proof that Boggs was swindling the Pacific Rim Foundation,” Chin added his comment to the Hawaiian detective’s opinion.
The evidence, which had been collected during the execution of a search warrant on the suspect’s home office, now sat at Five-0 headquarters in a corner of McGarrett’s office.
“AND therefore had a motive to arrange for hits on Marie Apuna and Lynne Yates,” their boss mulled as he leaned over and pushed open one of the flaps with a pencil. “Just organizing it is going to be a pain in the—”
Just then May, Five-0’s official executive secretary, stuck her head through the ajar office door. The woman, in her mid-thirties, was no more than 5 foot 5 inches and of average build with her short, dark brown hair set and teased into the latest do.
“Steve, Mr. Stuart just left a message about the Boggs case. Unless you have additional evidence to support murder-for-hire charges, he’s going to cut a deal with Boggs’ attorney for lesser charges on Monday. He said he’d rather see him get slapped on the wrists for something than to get off scot-free and leave the country.”
“I guess I’m not surprised,” Steve gritted his teeth as he spoke, knowing that the attorney general – Walter Stuart – was here when the boxes of evidence were dropped off. May continued with the reminders. “And you need to leave if you’re going to be at the Governor’s dinner party on time.”
She looked sympathetic as she broke the news to her boss. She knew he’d rather spend the Friday evening in the solitude of his office combing through the boxes of material that had been stacked there.
McGarrett looked down at his watch and said an epithet to himself, and then out loud to his two detectives. “ Sam is on his last week of vacation before his retirement is official and, Kono, you’ve got the security detail for this evening for the festivities.”
Chin looked down and frowned, clearly concentrating very hard as he spoke, “Hmm, boss, I guess I could miss my daughter’s dance recital.”
May, who’d been more or less hanging in the doorway, stepped into the office and stood with her hands on her hips staring intently at McGarrett. Steve would have loved nothing better than to keep his senior detective in the office that evening, but from the stern, almost threatening look on his secretary’s face, he knew better.
“No, Chin, I appreciate your dedication. But I think it’s more important that you see your daughter perform.”
His tone was resigned, and the words felt like they were going to catch in his throat as he spoke. He patted the Chinese detective on the back as May stood down from the defensive posture she had taken up moments earlier.
McGarrett sighed and continued, “Well, let’s see, the three of us are going to be up to our eyes for the rest weekend in dignitary security issues. Damn! This ambassadorial conference couldn’t have happened at a worse time.”
Kono nodded and commiserated, “Yeah. Shouldn’t it be Alaska’s turn?”
The other three people in the room looked up at the affable detective, but before anyone could respond, they heard the outer office door open. May stepped over and pushed McGarrett’s door all the way open to reveal Dan Williams walking briskly toward them with a manila folder clutched in his hand.
“Hi, Steve – May – Kono – Chin!” His voice was upbeat and energetic. He continued as everyone returned the greeting. He shot a glance at his wrist-watch before inquiring, “Chin, shouldn’t you be on your way to Suzy’s big performance?”
Chin threw a look at McGarrett and started to reply, but his boss answered in his stead. “Yes, Danno, he should.” Then to Chin, he said, “Get outta here, bruddah!”
Smiling appreciatively, Chin said, “Thanks, boss! I’ll see you first thing tomorrow!”
“Yeah. The three of us should convene at 07:00 at the Punchbowl administrative office.”
The Punchbowl was the local name for the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and there was to be a wreath-laying ceremony, at which all of the dignitaries were to be present. Chin and Kono nodded, and slipped from the office with May bringing up the rear.
She called over her shoulder. “Steve – the time!”
“Yes, yes, May, I’m going!”
Before McGarrett could address him, Dan jumped in, “Steve, here’s the report. I hope it’s what you were looking for.”
“Thank you, Danno,” McGarrett replied as he absentmindedly accepted the envelope.
There was what Dan felt was an uncomfortable pause, as the senior detective appeared to lose himself in thought. He hated to break the silence, but he wasn’t certain whether the “thank you” had been a dismissal.
“Uhh, if that’s all, I’ll be—” the officer began as he started slowly back towards the door. Suddenly, McGarrett spun to face the detective. Dan fervently hoped that McGarrett had not seen him jump. For an instant, an image of a scared rabbit popped into his head.
“Danno!” The tall man gazed down intently at the young man who was a half-foot shorter, and continued, “I need a small favor.”
Dan met McGarrett’s gaze as he nodded, “Sure, Steve.”
As quickly, as he could, he outlined for Dan the situation with the boxes of evidence. “If you could spend whatever time you can sorting through some of this stuff – just to see if anything jumps out at you – I would very much appreciate it.”
The officer ran his hand through his curls as he stared for a few seconds at the stacked boxes. “Umm, yeah, I’ll do what I can—” he started the sentence.
McGarrett had heard what he needed to hear, and jumped in, “Good man! Thank you! I’ve got to run, so if you’ll just lock up when you leave, there’s a spare key in my top middle desk drawer. Oh, and uh, there are several other projects that I’d like for you to take on for me. We can talk more about them next week.”
“Sure, uhh,” Dan said as he watched McGarrett grab his suit jacket from the rack.
He slipped it on, and he had almost breezed out the door before Dan could utter another word, but stopped. With a perplexed expression, he asked, “By the way, how did you know about Chin’s plans this evening?”
“Chin mentioned it to me a couple of weeks ago when I was helping him run down those leads.”
McGarrett did not appear surprised, but clearly he was as he asked. “Now WHAT would make you remember a mundane detail like that?”
Dan cocked his head, secretly thinking the question odd for a man who was obviously running late for an important engagement. He replied, a faint smile passing over him. “It wasn’t mundane to Chin.”
The man in the doorway blinked, and then nodded, “Ahh, yes, of course.” With that, he was gone.
Dan ran his hand over his face, and left his mouth slack-jawed as he stood there, gaze bouncing between the boxes and the office door of the man who just left. Another comic flash entered Dan’s thoughts – this time a fox was patting the rabbit on the head and leaving him with a stack of documents to sort.
“Hmmph,” Dan mumbled. “Just enough time to cancel with Corinne.” He lifted the lid off the top box and peeked in.
As McGarrett trotted to his car, he mulled over Dan’s very insightful remark. It wasn’t mundane to Chin.
It was just before 6:00 AM on Sunday morning when McGarrett flipped on the light switch in the outer office. He hoped to squeeze in a couple hours sorting through the boxes before he had to meet Kono and Chin again for the final day of running herd on the myriad dignitaries that were attending the conference. By the time he was five feet away from his door, he could make out the words on a note taped to it:
Whatever you do, don’t sneeze! The puzzle is still missing quite a few pieces, but the picture is forming. If you have any questions, let me know.
He stared at the note as he pushed the door open and turned on the light until his eyes came to rest on the sight on the left side of his office. His mouth dropped slightly as he gazed at what appeared to be a hundred small paper squares which dotted every square inch of vertical surface of the two chalk boards.
He focused on the top left squares closest to the door, and read, “March 1963 – PRF signs contract w/ DuBois Financial Services.” McGarrett scanned the squares, and declared softly, “It’s a timeline.”
Thousands and thousands of dollars worth of PRF moneys were being deposited, per the signed agreement, into the account managed by DuBois. The money was then held up to two weeks longer than it should have been held before being applied into productive PRF-related activities. It was hard to spot because the transfers were so frequent.
Dan noted that the interest alone from those held funds ran into the thousands of dollars. There were numerous deposits that went straight into the DuBois account, and never back into any PRF holding. Even though earmarked “for the benefit of Pacific Rim Foundation,” the money was deposited into an account held in the name of Pacific Rim Corporation.
Dan hypothesized in one of the squares that the corporation was being used to siphon off money and pay another company, coincidentally a Honolulu-based firm.
Scrawled on another note from Williams:
“Will have to wait until Monday to check on Bogg’s ties to Kaneohe Imports, Ltd.”.
There was one full piece of typewriter paper that Dan had tacked on the far right of the chalk board. It read:
WHAT IF LYNNE YATES WAS INVOLVED IN THE FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY, AND DIDN’T EXPECT TO BE KILLED WHEN BOGGS DID IN MARIE APUNA?? JUST A THOUGHT.
“That would explain a lot!” the detective once again spoke out loud. “What if, indeed!”
McGarrett had to admit that he was impressed with Williams’ productivity and rapid organization of the data on the project. The effort had not yet turned up the proof he’d hoped for, but it would give him a direction, and the evidence that he would need to prevent the attorney general from making a deal with the murdering swindler, Luther Boggs. As he moved over to his desk, he noticed another note placed neatly on the center of his blotter.
I’M SORRY TO BUG OUT ON YOU, BUT CHIEF DANN HAS PULLED ME TO HEAD AN INVESTIGATION IN LIHUE.
PS – IN RESPONSE TO YOUR REQUEST OF YESTERDAY AFTERNOON FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE, I REGRET THAT I CAN NO LONGER ACCEPT ASSIGNMENTS WITH FIVE-0. I SINCERELY APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY YOU AFFORDED ME. IT HAS BEEN A PRIVILEGE TO WORK FOR YOU.
The message contained in the polite note was like a blast of icy water in his face. What does he mean? Things were going so well. So much talent… What would make him…?
“You wanna re-wax before we head out again, Danny? “ Kono inquired loudly over his shoulder.
“Sure.” The detective looked up from a scuffmark he’d been inspecting on his surfboard.
The Hawaiian ran his hand over his face to wipe away the drops of ocean clinging to his skin. Then he took a breath and broached the subject,- he had been thinking about all morning. “So, bruddah, I hear you don’t wanna pull any more details with us. Steve’s not taking it too well, if ya know what I mean.”
Dan stiffened and he sighed. “It’s not what I want, Kono. I’m between a rock and a hard place on this.” His gaze had been transfixed on the blemish on his board, but suddenly, he turned to face his friend as the floodgates opened and a confession burst forth. “Working with Five-0 has been great – I’ve learned so much, but it’s been like serving a two-headed dragon. Steve pulls me in one direction, and then Chief Dann rips me in the other direction. I work all day for one, and then all night for the other sometimes.” The wind picked up and the two men paused to take in the power of nature that surrounded them. Dan pressed on, now realizing his need to unburden himself, “I can’t serve two masters, and the master that claims me is Chief Dann.”
“Bruddah, I understand. Steve thinks a lot of you – I can tell you that.”
Dan smiled sadly, “He’s a great man, and I respect him immensely. He sort of reminds me of my –” He didn’t finish the sentence before starting on a new one. “I’m gonna end up not doing a very good job for anybody if I don’t stop burning it on both ends. Anyway, I don’t really have a choice.”
“What do ya mean?”
Dan looked down and hesitated before replying. Glancing at his friend, he confessed, “Kono – Pete has as much as told me that if I accepted any more assignments with Five-0 that he would make my life a living Hell.”
The big Hawaiian leaned his large frame onto the side of Dan’s old red Dodge pickup as he spoke thoughtfully. “Pete. You mean Pete Beauprez?”
Dan nodded, “Yeah – the head of detectives. I’ve gotten several assignments directly from Chief Dann, but I actually report to Pete.” He looked down again. “He told me that I was ticking off several of the more senior detectives, who all think that—that I’m pushing for the open Five-0 slot.”
It was well known amongst the rank and file at HPD that a Five-0 slot was one of the tougher positions primarily because of its driven leader, who demanded long hours and unwavering faithfulness to duty. Because the governor had appointed Steve McGarrett directly from the Navy, rather than internally from HPD, McGarrett had no truly close ties on the force. With unfamiliarity came tales – many true but blown out of proportion AND many just plain true – of the harsh, but incredibly effective leader, with the highest conviction rate in the United States.
On the other side of the coin, however, was the authority bestowed upon Five-0 detectives, who outranked everyone in HPD. They also enjoyed a nominally higher pay scale. The prestige alone that went with the job was more than enough of a lure for many. SO, the very rare, very prestigious slot that came open when Sam Nohea retired the previous week was the root of hours of speculation about who would be appointed.
“Danny, I’m tellin’ ya, man, Steve IS lookin’ in your direction.”
“Yeah, right Kono, why would Steve tap me on the shoulder when there are at least two dozen more experienced, better-qualified detectives – Pete Beauprez included I might add – waiting in the wings?” In Dan’s mind, the question was rhetorical.
Amazed that his friend could be so oblivious to his value to Five-0, Kono almost shouted. “Bruddah, that’s a pretty thick comment for somebody so smart.”
Before Kono could add anything else, Dan stood up and said, “Look, Kono, I appreciate what you’re saying, but let’s just drop it.” He started to walk away, but turned, and staring at his surfboard again, said a little less forcefully, “I’m very careful about what I hope for. Life is too short to waste it hoping.”
Kono understood a lot about how his friend came to feel the way he did. The day before Dan’s 3rd birthday, his parents were killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Along with a few other children in similar situations, a very generous Hawaiian ohana, the Kulani family, took Dan in and raised him with their own brood.
When his father’s much younger brother, Jim Williams, returned from his naval tour of duty in 1945, Dan moved in with him. Jim joined HPD and did his best to do right by his nephew, who called him Pop. This very principled and ethical man presented a stern father figure with a strong work ethic to Dan. He instilled in his charge the importance of education and self-sufficiency, but his weakness for fast cars and a good party was not lost on his nephew either.
Dan worshipped his uncle and was crushed in March of 1953 when his pop was killed in a three-alarm structure fire. His was the first unit on the scene, and he ended up trapped himself after managing to rescue several people from certain death. Dan was 14 then and the horrible event left him emotionally adrift for the remainder of his childhood. He was welcomed back into the Kulani fold for the remainder of the school year.
After that, Dan’s
went to live with his only relative, an older woman whom he had never met. His
Aunt Clara, who lived in
and other times less so, with his aunt’s requests, he constantly pressured her
to let him return home to
The fact that he had been orphaned twice might have made him a bitter adult, able to blame any failures or shortcomings on the tragedies in his childhood. While there was a period of time after his uncle died that he had been a little reckless and hard-to-manage, he grew to accept, gracefully even, many thought, the cruel blow that fate had dealt him. His likable, self-effacing demeanor, energy, intelligence, and all-American boy good looks generally won him the favor of his caretakers, teachers and employers. As a result, life presented him with many opportunities that a less personable individual might not have had.
“You startin’ to sound like Doris Day, bruddah!” Kono smiled.
Dan chuckled, “Yeah, I guess ‘Que sera sera’ fits!”
Kono thought momentarily about the philosophy that his friend had just shared with him before he replied. “Bruddah, just keep an open mind. You know just maybe YOU should spend a little time thinking about all the reasons Steve should hire YOU.”
Dan stopped staring at his surfboard and made eye contact with his friend. He sighed and let out a short laugh. “Okay, okay. You win – I am God’s gift to Steve McGarrett!! Now are we gonna shoot a few more curls or not??”
With the attempt to lighten the mood, Dan slapped Kono on the shoulder, as the larger man said, “Yeah, yeah, let’s do it!” As they trotted to meet the surf, Kono muttered, chuckling, “God’s gift to Steve McGarrett…”
“Well?” The head of Five-0 glanced back into his office from his lanai. Kono had just stepped into his office with a handful of papers.
Rather than answer the question immediately, he sat down in one of the leather chairs that were angled in front of the boss’s desk. He’d been considering the best way to say it, but time was up. McGarrett stepped inside, slipped into his desk chair, and arched his eyebrows emphasizing the earlier question.
“Look, boss, I guess Chief Dann has been dogging Danny. For every hour he spends on Five-0 stuff, the chief has been making sure that he puts in double on HPD cases. And Pete Beauprez has been loudly less-than-enthusiastic about Danny spending time on Five-0 cases.”
“Why didn’t Danno say
something to me?” Anger at Chief Dann and Detective Beauprez, and frustration
at Williams, bubbled up inside of the head of Five-0.
“And blow the whistle on his boss? One thing you might oughta know about Danny Williams -- I can promise you that he’d walk over hot lava barefoot before he’d be disloyal.”
McGarrett mentally kicked himself. Why hadn’t he realized that Chief Dann would take offense at Five-0’s demands on someone who was blossoming into one of HPD’s top detectives?
The roots of McGarrett’s often delicate relationship with HPD went back to the very inception of Five-0. There was general disgruntlement at all levels of Hawaiian law enforcement when the governor accepted Attorney General Walter Stuart’s recommendation and appointed an outsider to head up the new state police unit.
Stuart had on more than one occasion during his career as a Naval prosecutor worked with a brilliant and tenacious investigator, a Lieutenant Commander Stephen McGarrett. Governor Jameson and Stuart agreed that in order to move Hawaii, new in its statehood, into a pivotal economic role in the Pacific – and in the United States – they would need to have an experienced, no-nonsense leader in the role of Chief of State Police. Stuart knew that the man who was on track to become the head of Naval Intelligence was such a man, AND with the right bait, could be coaxed into accepting the position. The deal clincher for McGarrett meant that he would have complete authority and autonomy to build his investigative unit as he saw fit to accomplish his mission.
The cool, hyper-disciplined former military intelligence officer introduced a level of urgency and rigor into the justice system that law enforcement in the islands had not previously known. As horses new to the harness balk under rein, so did HPD personnel. A more diplomatic individual might have worked toward the necessary changes / improvements in the department without ruffling so many feathers, but Steve McGarrett, schooled in the ways of the military chain of command, set about his business without regard for stepped-on toes. Over the course of time, he came to realize that what worked well in the Navy, with the complete backing of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, was not entirely successful in the civilian sector, especially in a region that is renowned for its easy-going and friendly people. McGarrett was forced to accept that “hurry” does not mean the same thing to everyone.
Whatever concessions he made, whatever olive branches he extended toward the status quo of HPD usually seemed strained. Eventually, the man they called the malihini (stranger) came to be respected amongst the rank and file for his investigative ability and tough stand on crime. As his “no-deals” philosophy saw the Five-0 conviction rate skyrocket, the legend of the haole hao – man of steel – and his elite unit grew. Despite the respect he commanded (and frequently the fear he generated), he was never completely welcomed into the fold.
“So, Beauprez’ and Dann’s tack was to drive the kid back into the HPD fold by intimidating him and overloading him with assignments.”
Steve thought out loud, and Kono continued the thought, “And Danny, being Danny, believes that he’s Doris Day.”
It was all suddenly so clear. McGarrett slammed his fist on his desk so hard that the Hawaiian detective jumped. He hit the intercom. “May! Send Chin in here now!”
Thirty seconds later, the Chinese detective opened the door, slipped into the office and closed the door behind him.
“Chin, Kono – this discussion is NOT to leave this room.”
The two detectives glanced at each other before leveling their gazes at their boss as he continued. “I’m giving very serious consideration to offering Danny Williams our vacant slot.”
The two detectives smiled and exchanged glances. Their boss continued. “You are both astute enough to realize that when there’s friction between two or more members of a team, the team effort suffers.”
Both nodded their agreement, knowing that Steve was speaking of the strained relationship between Sam and himself. There were more days than not that the entire staff felt the stress. The friction frequently made the Five-0 office a less-than-pleasant place to work. Steve, who had been standing behind his desk, moved and sat on the front edge of his desk.
“I see this vacant slot as a tremendous opportunity,” McGarrett started. The enthusiasm and passion in his voice mesmerized his detectives. He continued. “An opportunity to re-structure this unit – to add an officer that complements our strengths and – ideally speaking – may be strong where we find ourselves lacking.”
Steve knew that he had used the “royal” we in the conversation. What he’d meant was that he intended to add an officer that complemented HIS strengths and was strong where he found HIMSELF lacking.
“Gentlemen, I truly believe that Danny Williams is the medicine for what ails this unit. My goal here is to fill the position with somebody that is not just a good detective. I need – we as a team need – an individual without an ax to grind – somebody that can not only pull his share of the load, but can work well with all of us. Someone that will not add to the natural tension this work summons.” How could he explain to his men that he was tired of the daily battles and lack of support from a key player? “That said, gentlemen, I’m posing a question to you. Is Williams someone you can both live with – and you know I mean that in a literal sense!”
The detectives knew that their boss was referring to the long hours the Five-0 men spent together on the job.
“Boss, you know what I think!” Kono said enthusiastically.
Chin spoke next. “I think Danny is a great choice, boss. And he definitely worships you.”
Steve couldn’t help but smile at the observation. “Well, maybe that’s what we need around here – a little more worshipping and a little less lip,” McGarrett said aloud, but to himself, only half-joking.
The other two detectives exchanged raised-eyebrow smiles, and both men nodded, and in unison, both replied, “Maybe so, boss!”
The head detective turned to see the amused faces of his two officers, and the trio started laughing.
Knowing full well that his next observation would not deter his headstrong boss, he felt obliged to say it anyway as the chuckling subsided. “You know you gonna take some heat for this. I mean there are more experienced detectives that believe they’re in line for the position.”
“Ahh, yes, Chin – the politics of it all will rear its ugly head probably before he officially accepts the offer –” A horrible thought flashed through McGarrett’s mind. “Kono, he will accept, won’t he?”
The Hawaiian cocked his head for a moment, and then replied, “I think so, but I can’t make any promises. Chief Dann and Beauprez have got him pretty keyed up.”
“Hmm, okay, well I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. And as for the politics, I am in command of this unit, and I will decide who best suits the needs of Five-0.” His voice was firm and almost sharp, but his detectives knew that was just his way. Suddenly, he turned back to face Kono and asked, “Wait a minute – did you say something about Doris Day earlier?”
“Not that you recall,” Kono replied evasively.
Chin smiled and the boss decided to let it drop.
The knock at the door startled Dan Williams, as he was not expecting company on this particular evening. He opened the door and couldn’t have been more surprised if it had been the President of the United States. Steve McGarrett stood in his doorway attired in an outrageously loud, long-sleeved luau shirt! Dan’s mouth hung open as he took in the spectacle.
“May I come in?”
With the request, Dan realized he needed to respond. “Steve! Oh, yes, sure, come in.” He pushed the door open wide as he stepped back for the head of Five-0 to enter.
As McGarrett, out of habit, took in the room with a detective’s eye, he inquired. “Am I interrupting anything? I can come back another time if you’d prefer.”
Dan was taken aback by the presence of the imposing man and made no attempt to hide that fact. McGarrett noticed that the young man, while surprised, seemed comfortable in his presence.
“No, I just got home. Detective Beauprez has had me manning a stakeout in Pearl City for the past several hours.”
Could Kono be right? Dan’s thoughts turned to the conversation they’d had on the beach early that morning.
Steve moved casually from the living room into the small kitchen area with the ease and superiority of a general moving through a private’s barracks. The younger man was so curious and impressed that the activity neither offended nor bothered him.
“What do you eat anyway?” Steve asked as he inspected the inside of Dan’s fridge. Eggs, milk, and jelly were the complete inventory.
The young man, a little amused that the head of Hawaii’s elite investigative unit was interrogating him about the contents of his fridge, stepped closer to see what the interrogator saw, and then replied, “Eggs, milk, and, hmm, jelly.” Recognizing the humor in the situation, McGarrett glanced sideways at the detective as Dan turned and added, “Oh, and peanut butter – I keep it in the cupboard right there. Can I offer you some milk or coffee – or jelly?”
McGarrett chuckled, “No, thank you.”
Dan was ready with
his next question as soon as McGarrett’s reply was finished. “So, why do I rate a personal refrigerator
inspection by the head of
The young man before him now had a relaxed, poised air that McGarrett had not noticed before.
“May I sit?” McGarrett asked as he glanced towards the living room.
Danny smiled, and replied, “Why do I feel like I’ve just fallen down the hole after the white rabbit?”
“Does that mean yes?” Steve inquired, moving towards a chair in the living room.
A little startled at himself and chagrined that he had not had an immediate polite response, Dan answered quickly. “Oh, yes, please, sit down!” He too moved to the sofa and sat as his guest did likewise.
“So, Kono tells me that you require sleep occasionally.” McGarrett wasted no time in bringing up the two-headed dragon issue.
Dan caught his breath in mild surprise. Almost to himself, he seemed to say the word as a curse, “Kono!”
Steve smiled his gaze steady. “Don’t blame Kono. I’m pretty persistent when I want something.”
“I have no doubt of that!” Dan’s annoyance with Kono softened as he began to recognize what his Hawaiian friend had been up against. “I guess that brings us to the next question, Steve, and please don’t take this the wrong way. What DO you want?”
The clear blue eyes locked on the imposing legend who sat across from him, as he cut to the chase. McGarrett smiled and looked down for a moment before re-focusing on the young man. There was no guile in the face that did look too young for the job, but the head of Five-0 had learned that the appearance was deceptive.
“Danno, I’m here to offer you the vacant slot on my team.”
The words hung in the air as McGarrett watched the surprise on Dan’s face. The detective ran his hand through his curly hair as he digested the offer.
After a full twenty seconds, when no response came, Steve added. “There is an associated pay increase. Of course, you’ve had enough exposure to the office to know that the hours stink. I’d like you to start within the next two weeks, if you’re interested, that is.”
Dan answered slowly, moving only slightly as he responded. “I have it on very good authority that there are a number of very senior HPD detectives that would kill for the position. I have less experience than any of them.”
“I’m not looking for experience. Time has a way of giving everyone that. I want someone who can learn from it as they gain it. I want talent.” McGarrett’s voice became more forceful as he spoke, and the young officer turned towards him. “I want brains, persistence, guts, honesty, a good attitude, a team player.” Dan could not take his eyes off of the man whose gaze pierced him. “I’ve been watching you for a long time, and, Danny Williams – exceptional detective – YES, young – YES, a little lacking in the self-confidence department – YES, a little impulsive at times – YES – you have what I’m looking for. I admit that I’m not an easy task master.” The detective let out a short laugh before continuing. “And I’ve never been nominated for any congeniality contests, but I DO have experience, and I AM willing to teach you – IF you’re willing to learn.”
He stood suddenly and so did Williams.
“Your work, your life – private and public – may – probably will be – scrutinized by the press. So I can’t tell you that your life will be easier. As a matter of fact, most of the people who are clamoring for the offer I’m extending to you wouldn’t be able to stand the heat.”
Steve paused long enough to circle the sofa and gaze out the balcony. The cool ocean breeze suddenly filled the drapes with air, and he turned again to face the young man, who was clearly impressed and hanging on his every word.
“Are you willing to learn? If the answer’s yes, then I promise you the opportunity to make a difference on a grander scale than you might have imagined.”
Dan could almost feel the sizzle in the air as the inspiring words blanketed him with goose bumps. He stood, filled with the emotion the moment called for, and replied, “I’m willing – willing to learn – and I can’t imagine a better teacher than you.”
Stirred by the unadulterated compliment, and by the effect his words had on the young man standing across the room from him, McGarrett smiled.
“I want the job – more than anything.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear.” McGarrett, with a deep sense of satisfaction and relief, slipped back around the sofa and extended his hand. Dan reciprocated.
As their hands clasped, Dan couldn’t help but say. “You know you’re probably gonna catch a lot of flack for this.”
“Not probably – count on it! But you know what? I can take it, and every instinct I have is telling me that you can take it, too. We’ll get through it, and prove to all the naysayers that I was right.”
Dan smiled, now filled with a volume of determination and inspiration that he had not felt before, responded. “Steve, I’ll do whatever I have to do to help you prove it!”
“Very good!” McGarrett put his hand on Dan’s shoulder, remembering the political logistics that would need to be addressed as his plan came to fruition. “Now, I don’t want this to leak out until I give Chief Dann a courtesy call and complete the paperwork. That’ll take me a day or so. Once the paperwork is submitted, the office of Five-0 will issue a short press release – which will no doubt spawn a press conference.”
Dan nodded as he listened attentively.
Steve paused and looked intently into Dan’s eyes. “Be prepared for a small firestorm. There will be a lot of controversy about this because it’s a high profile and coveted position. I expect you to handle the grief you’ll get for awhile. It’ll die down after we get down to work.”
A flash of concern crossed over Dan’s face. “You’ve sure got a lot of confidence,” he said, the admiration very readable on his face.
Steve grinned. “I have EVERY confidence, and YOU have to have it too. I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
The young man nodded determined to swallow his doubts, and live up to this great man’s expectations.
Steve continued, “You’ll have the opportunity to tie up loose ends on the HPD side before I start filling your Five-0 IN box.”
“Okay, Steve! I won’t let you down!”
The fresh, eager face gazing at him convinced him all the more that this was the right thing to do. McGarrett glanced at his watch, and said, “Now, if you’ll walk me to my car, I’d like to give you some paperwork that you need to fill out and get back to me ASAP.”
As the two men left the apartment, and strode down the hallway to the elevator, Dan broke the silence. “You know that was the most inspirational speech I’ve heard in years. But you had me at the I’m-here-to-offer-you-the-vacant-slot-on-my-team line.”
McGarrett snapped his head to look at his newest detective, who didn’t return his gaze. Instead, he just smiled and kept pace with his new master, who shook his head and smiled with the satisfaction of a mission accomplished.
“Yes, I’m sure – It’s not just scuttlebutt in the halls of HPD – I heard it directly from Chief Dann’s mouth early this morning.” Pete Beauprez took one last drag from the cigarette that hung from his mouth before he flicked it from the phone booth into the street nearby. He continued, “I’m virtually certain that Williams won’t go for Plan A – He’s still too damn naďve about what it takes to make it in this world.” The senior detective spat the words like an invective. “Yeah, well, if plan A doesn’t work, I’ll be ready with plan B, which, by the way, may work out more to our advantage in the long run.”
With that, he hung up the phone, and then, suddenly and violently, kicked the side of the booth, cracking the abused shelter in the process.
“How do you like that guy? Promoting that kid to that position!” An older detective grumbled as he sugared his coffee.
Detective Frank Kealoa stepped up and poured himself a cup. “Oh, I don’t know, Bill, I can think of a lot of people that I’d hate reporting to more than Danny Williams. I’m betting he can keep his ego in check.”
“I guess, but—”
“And besides, who in their right mind would want to report directly to Steve McGarrett?” Frank nudged his co-worker. “It’s not worth the money, bruddah!”
Bill had to laugh. “Yeah, Frank, you have a very good point. I heard Sam Nohea wanted out of there so bad his last year that he actually talked to the Chief about taking a cut in pay and finishing his time with HPD.”
“I heard that story too, and I can tell you that there’s no way I want anything more than passing exposure to the King of Five-0!”
“Yeah, I tell you, Sam, I’m pullin’ for Danny! It’s kinda like that Cinderella story!” The tall, slender Samoan slipped off his blue uniform shirt and hung it in the locker. His colleague, in a similar state of undress, laughed loudly, drawing the attention of several other men in the HPD locker room.
“Nephi, are you sayin’ that the glass slipper fit Danny’s foot?” Everyone was smiling at the exchange.
“You guys know what I mean!”
“Yeah, I do, and I tell ya, man, I got no problems with Danny movin’ up. He’s always done right by me.” There was nodding and general agreement.
“Governor – sir – I have never been more certain of an appointment than I am of this one!” McGarrett’s voice was emphatic. “And I think you know me well enough by now to know that I didn’t make this decision lightly. Yes, sir….yes, sir…. I’m aware of that. I’ll have him in your office at ten, sir. Thank you, Governor.”
The detective gently recradled the phone handset back in its place on his desk. In the face of all of the negative commentary about Dan’s impending appointment to Five-0, the lead detective of the outfit was still convinced. It just feels right, he mulled.
As Steve had expected, Chief Dann objected on the grounds that he had invested a lot of time and money in training Williams. McGarrett countered that argument with the fact that Chief Dann had certainly gotten his money’s worth out of the young detective, and that any training that he had received would be put to use toward a common goal, for the benefit of both Five-0 and HPD. Besides, McGarrett was, after all, not touching any of the more seasoned detectives, who on the surface would be considered a bigger loss to their respective departments.
May stepped in and interrupted her boss’s reverie with the news that the press conference was scheduled for the following day at noon, following the Ten 0’clock meeting with Governor Jameson and the Attorney General Walter Stuart.
Double-knotting his tennis shoes before he stepped out the door of his apartment, Dan trotted down the stairwell. He passed through the empty lobby and started out the front door. He gasped and recoiled slightly as a bright beam of light suddenly leapt into his eyes, and a woman’s voice accosted him.
“Detective Williams!! I’m Lisa Fletcher – Channel 4 News! Talk to us about your impending appointment to Five-0! Do you feel you’re qualified?”
The officer, still aghast and dismayed at the intrusion into his private morning routine, panned the scene. There were two men, one holding a large, high-candle power light and the other one standing with a large video camera perched like a vulture on his shoulder. Both men were dressed in t-shirts and jeans, and had straight, scraggly hair that extended just below their chins. Dan recognized the woman from her television news reports.
“What? What are you talking about? It’s Five-thirty in the morning!” Dan found himself backing away from the aggressive trio until he backed into the side of the building.
“I’d like to get the up-close and personal on Danny Williams,” the woman spoke quickly.
Still staring at the petite and very attractive brunette who so obnoxiously pushed the microphone into his face, he shot a glance directly into the camera, and snapped, “Your camera is two feet from my face! Isn’t that close enough?”
“Do you have any comment about your appointment?” Ignoring his defensive posture, Lisa Fletcher persisted.
Recovering from the shock he knew the answer he needed to impart. “You need to go through proper channels and contact the HPD press liaison. It’s not my place to make any statements about anything.” He moved suddenly and caught the three off guard as he maneuvered through them and starting to trot away.
The reporter called after him. “Who do you report to?”
He called over his shoulder. “I currently report to the Chief of Detectives, Peter Beauprez.”
“One more question – please, Detective Williams!” She shouted as he moved to round the corner of the building and trot out of sight.
He held up his right hand but did not look back as he shouted, “Channels!!”
Steve had warned him, but he was shocked that the news had leaked out so quickly. McGarrett had only officially informed Chief Dann three evenings before. It was still hard to believe that anyone could be so interested in him – a run-of-the-mill detective. It was going to be an interesting, if not stressful, day, with the meeting with the governor and his entourage, and then a press conference, which would make the news officially public.
Maybe it won’t be such a story after it’s out in the open, he thought. As he jogged along the street toward the beach, he promised himself that he would do everything in his power to show that Steve had made the right decision.
“Why does the governor want to meet me?”
“Your slot is one of only three senior detective slots allocated to me. A lot of authority and power comes with the territory for each of those positions. This meeting is simply his way of showing me that he’s – shall we say – interested in whom I am bestowing such responsibility.” The head of Five-0 patiently answered each question as he perused the stack of messages that May handed to him as they stood in the doorway of his office.
“What if the governor disapproves?”
“He can’t disapprove – he can disagree, but it’s not his decision.”
May and Chin stood silently near her desk, which sat in its sentry position just outside McGarrett’s office, and listened to the back and forth between the two men.
Suddenly, Steve looked over at Dan. “Did you get a haircut?”
Nonplused, Dan ran his hand over his curls as he replied, “I’m practically bald.”
May had to chime in. “Steve, he looks adorable.”
Chin chuckled loudly and shook his head. “Yeah, Danny, you’re adorable.”
Dan looked exasperated. “Oh, that’s great!”
The secretary ignored the remarks and further inspected the nervous detective. “Hmm, maybe you should try parting it.” She delicately attempted to fluff the sandy locks with her fingers.
“Parting it? That would imply that I can get a comb through it. My hair and I have an agreement – I don’t touch it with a comb and it doesn’t grow out of my ears or nose.”
May and Chin both burst out in laughter. Even the boss smiled and suppressed a chuckle as he spoke up again. “All right, we’re all in agreement that you’re adorable. We’d better go. Chin, mind the store and make sure Kono’s back in time for the press conference. I want both of you there.”
“Right, boss! Good luck, Danny!” Chin said firmly.
May chimed in and nodded encouragingly. “You’ll do great, Danny!”
He smiled as he and Steve turned to head out. “Thanks!” His thoughts turned back to the impending meeting.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Steve? If you change your mind at this point, it’s no harm, no foul, ” Dan said as he tugged at the tight Windsor knot in his tie.
The pair was moving down the aisle toward the door to leave the Five-0 office space as the younger detective gave his future boss the opportunity to back out.
McGarrett glanced over at Dan, and then stopped, turned and tightened the tie that Dan had just loosened as he said. “Danno, Danno! I’m completely and utterly convinced that you are –” He paused long enough to finish what Dan thought was the beginning of a strangulation with his own tie before he released his hold on the tie and continued taking steps toward the door. “God’s gift to Five-0!”
An almost electric shock of dismay shot through the young detective as he realized that Kono must have blabbed about his sarcastic comments on the beach.
“Kono!” Dan groaned, and McGarrett chuckled, then laughed, as he nodded his head for his new subordinate to catch up. With Williams shaking his head as he felt his cheeks burn, McGarrett, still chuckling, patted him on the back as they left.
“Your service record
indicates that you have expertise in sharp shooting, explosives,
counterfeiting, narcotics investigations, hostage negotiations, murder
investigations. You’ve won numerous shooting – hmm and surfing – competitions –
Quite impressive,” the Governor said glancing at the file he held. “Hmm, you’re
the one that took out that shooter at the
While Governor Jameson was politely reserved, his questions and statements seemed pertinent and gave Dan a sense that the head of state was interested and at least had an open mind.
Even Walter Stuart’s body language revealed his skepticism over McGarrett’s decision about Williams. With arms crossed, he remained standing as he spoke. “You’re 28 years old – that’s very young.”
The statement came down like an indictment, but the young man to whom the accusation was directed elegantly sparred back. “The last time I checked, sir, that was not a crime.”
Stuart’s eyes flashed. “Not a crime perhaps, but a shortcoming in this case.”
McGarrett fought the urge to jump in and defend his new associate. He decided it would show a lack of confidence if he did not let the young man defend himself.
Stuart continued, “And not to be indelicate, but you’re not married, and as a Five-0 detective, your private life will be open to public scrutiny. Are you comfortable with that?”
Initially undecided as to whether he was amused or offended by the confrontational attitude and adversarial line of questioning, he finally came down on the side of amused, “So you’re asking me if I can – because I’m a bachelor – control my libido enough to keep the womanizing and any aberrant sexual behavior low key?”
The attorney general had intended to show the Governor and the head of Five-0 that the young man was easily flustered and would have difficulty managing public opinion in his new role. He flushed with embarrassment at the frank manner with which the detective had taken control of the conversation.
The detective looked at his new boss, who, while displeased with Stuart, was keeping his mouth shut. “I’m sorry to be – what was the word – indelicate, Steve, but you’re a bachelor. Do you have trouble with impulse control?”
McGarrett smiled thinly, “Only in moments like this.”
Dan acknowledged both the spoken and unspoken answers with a brief grin and nodded. Then he looked back sharply at the balding man with a goatee. “Sir, I submit to you that if I were to have any difficulty in that regard that my boss would be able to very quickly guide me back onto the path of upstanding behavior.” Now on a roll, Dan took in a sharp breath and continued, “Unless, wait a minute – maybe I should be issued a wife?”
Jameson, who had been leaning forward in his seat listening intently, leaned back, crossed his arms and smiled, but remained silent. Steve felt the governor shift, but remained frozen in his standing position by the chair he was meant to occupy.
Stuart cocked his head and folded his arms across his chest. “Okay, okay, kid – point taken.”
For the first time, Steve saw Dan bristle. He rose from the chair in which he been sitting and moved to stand behind it where he squeezed the back of it as he spoke.
“Mr. Stuart, I’m not
a kid – I’m almost 29, and I’m a very good detective, with a lot of very costly
training and an excellent breadth of exposure to a wide range of law
enforcement issues. Steve has offered me an opportunity, not only for personal
growth, but to make a positive difference in the lives of the people of this
state – my home – where I was born and raised. It is my intention to accept
this position and to do everything in my power to help Steve further the
When Dan Williams stopped speaking, the silence sizzled in the air for several seconds before the Governor took a deep breath, and stood. Dan shifted to face Jameson as he moved toward Dan with his hand outstretched.
“Detective Williams – I have faith in Steve McGarrett, and therefore, I must also have faith in you. Let me congratulate you on your new position.”
As the two men shook hands, Dan smiled, secretly hoping that his frayed nerves from the sparring match with Stuart did not show.
Steve was happy to note the confident and poised demeanor of his new protégé. Slowly, and a little grudgingly, Steve thought, the attorney general moved to shake hands with Dan.
The referee having spoken, Stuart added. “Yes, congratulations. May you live up to your new boss’s expectations.”
Walter Stuart did have to admit to himself a certain amount of respect for the kid’s willingness to stand up to him in front of such a prestigious audience.
Immediately forgiving and relieved that the meeting was coming to a close, Dan responded with a round of thank yous.
After the two detectives left the Governor’s office, Jameson turned to Stuart and asked, “Did I hear Steve call Williams Danno?”
Stuart shrugged and, still stinging, grumbled, “Probably his nickname back at the soda shop.”
As the two detectives made their way back to the Five-0 offices, the taller man dragged his hand over his entire face and, with his mouth still covered, said, “Oh my God!” He pulled his hand from his face and bumped the much slighter Dan in the shoulder. He laughed.
Dan smiled and replied, “I think I need to change my shirt before the press conference.”
As the pair opened the outer door to the Five-0 offices, Chin, Kono, and May greeted them.
“How was it?”
“How did it go?”
The simultaneous voices of all three were tinged with excitement. It was a very rare occasion to bring a new detective into the fold.
Steve spoke first. “He chewed out the attorney general, but other than that it went fine!”
The statement ignited his audience with curious questions about the details of the meeting. The boss, appreciating and understanding the interest, gave a condensed version of the sequence of events. Steve was more animated than usual as he regaled his audience with the tale. Dan listened only partially as he leaned on May’s desk and smoked a cigarette. His thoughts had moved on to the press conference.
“Danno! Earth to Danno!”
Pulled back suddenly from his thoughts, Dan realized his new boss was addressing him.
“I was saying that the press conference will be held on the front steps of the Palace. No matter how stupid the questions are, do your best to field them in a friendly manner – and PLEASE no quotes that mention aberrant sexual behavior!”
Chin and Kono both whooped, and May’s mouth dropped open.
“Right, Steve,” Dan replied with a smile, and then, as an aside to May, he said, “The Attorney General started it.”
“Well, I need to return a few phone calls before the conference. We’ll reconvene here in about forty-five minutes.”
The head of Five-0 checked his watch and slipped into his office without further ado. As the door closed behind Steve, the others gathered closely around their new co-worker.
“Danny,” Kono was the first out with the question, “What’s with the Danno thing??”
Chin nodded, “Yeah. He always calls you Danno!”
Dan shrugged. “I’m not sure. He just started calling me that, and I knew he was talkin’ to me so…” He could think of no other explanation.
May shook her head at the three men, and took Danny’s arm as she guided him back to the coffee pot, “Well, I know!”
The petite woman wore a floral, sleeveless dress, and her brown eyes sparkled with what seemed to be a secret to the men surrounding her. She poured the last bit of coffee into an empty cup, and started the activity of making a fresh pot.
“Well?” Kono pressed. “Why does he call Danny Danno?”
“It’s simple and obvious!”
The three detectives exchanged glances before directing their attention back to May. It was Chin’s turn to press the issue, “Okay, May, give!”
“Affection!” She said the word. Kono and Chin looked at each other and then at Dan, who did not look away from May as she continued, “Oh, I doubt the boss would ever in a million years admit it.” She suddenly looked out the window and pondered almost to herself. “I wonder whether he even realizes it.” Just as suddenly as her ponderance began, she turned back to the coffee-making task.
Dan felt himself grow a little uncomfortable as he felt the eyes of his two very amused co-workers burning into him. The feeling quickly abated as Chin and Kono both gave him manly shoves and grabbed him. They chuckled, and teased, but in such a way as Dan realized that they felt it was okay – even good – that the boss liked him.
Dan, looking a little sheepish, responded. “Affectionate name, huh? You only have it half right, May. He also uses it like a death threat!”
Kono laughed and wrapped the much smaller detective in a bear hug as he exclaimed, “Nah, Danny, May’s right! But I don’t blame Steve! I love you too, bruddah!”
Forty Five minutes later:
“Must be a slow news
day,” Dan mumbled as he noted the crowd of at least a dozen reporters on the
steps of the
About forty other people, curious about the reason for the press presence also milled about. What caught the Five-0 detectives’ attention, however, was the abundance of uniformed HPD officers present. Steve quickly estimated that there were at least fifty of them present for the announcement. He noted they all seemed very upbeat and animated. Dan nodded at several of them and they smiled and nodded back.
McGarrett leaned over and whispered to Dan, “Quite a show of HPD support!”
Dan, Kono, and Chin
all agreed as they approached the microphone-laden podium. McGarrett had no
paper from which he would read. He’d mulled over the speech several times in
his mind and knew exactly what he was going to say. With a slight clearing of
his throat, the lead detective of
“It is with pleasure
and optimism for the future of law enforcement in
McGarrett spoke on for a couple more minutes, outlining Dan’s major accomplishments. All the while, his new boss spoke, Williams stood there, hoping he looked more comfortable than he felt. It helped to have Chin and Kono nearby.
As he finished with what he wanted to say, McGarrett shot a glance back at Dan and smiled, before addressing his audience again. “Are there any questions?” The cries and shouts of reporters trying to make their voices heard began instantly.
“Detective Williams! Are you confident that you’re up the task?”
The shrill voice of a skinny, bald man in a conservative blue suit broke through the shouts. With a gentle flick of his head, McGarrett motioned for Dan to step up to the podium. Dan did so, and carefully scanned the audience.
As Five-0’s newest detective listened to his new boss make the expected announcement, the significance of the occasion struck him. He realized that he was living a moment that he would remember for the rest of his life, and he determined at that moment that he would do his best to relax and savor every aspect of the day.
McGarrett sensed something different, an ever-so-slight change in demeanor, but couldn’t quite define or quantify the difference.
“Confidence,” he repeated the word. “I am surrounded by the best and most experienced law enforcement professionals I know. How can I be anything but confident?”
The reporter started to ask another question, but another usurped his spot. Questions were fired rapidly from all over the crowd, and Dan fielded each of them expertly, and occasionally a little shyly. McGarrett stood nearby, looking typically confident and aloof. What was atypical for Steve McGarrett was the fact that he felt so proud of this young man as he observed the scene and silently rooted for his new detective.
“Danny! Kevin Davis, Surf Monthly!” The Polynesian man, possibly in his late thirties, introduced himself.
Dan nodded, “Yes, I remember you, Kevin.”
“Are you going to continue surfing competitively?”
“In the amateur meets, as my time permits.”
“I’m just curious. I recollect that back in ‘62 or ‘63, there was some talk of you going professional. Why did you decide not to go that route?”
“I would’ve had to be a lot better than I was,” he laughed.
“That’s not how I
Steve knew that Dan surfed, but until that moment, it had not occurred to him that the detective might be good enough that a reporter from a surf enthusiast’s magazine would be attending the press conference. He made a note to inquire about exactly how involved his detective was with this dangerous sport.
“Geez, he don’t seem nervous or nuttin’, bruddah,” Kono mumbled to Chin who leaned in towards his associate to better hear him. The Oriental detective nodded and grunted slightly at the comment.
“Your bio mentions no family,” Lisa Fletcher, the Channel 4 reporter who had accosted him earlier that morning, finally got her chance.
“My parents were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. My uncle was killed in a structure fire in 1953.”
The reporter pressed the issue. “So, you have no other family?”
Dan sighed inwardly,
not particularly wanting to discuss what he felt were irrelevant personal
issues, but McGarrett’s words echoed in his mind, “Your work, your life – private and public – may – probably will be –
scrutinized by the press.” So, he did his best not to flinch as he replied. “I have an aunt who lives in
Fletcher softened a little and jumped in again smiling, “No girlfriends?”
Everyone chuckled and Dan smiled and looked down a little demurely before he responded. “None that are related.”
More chuckles erupted from the audience, and with that McGarrett stepped in, “Okay, thank you everyone. No more questions.”
And with the edict
that the conference was over, he gently guided his new protégé away from the
podium. The Five-0 men made their way through the crowd, Dan shaking the
proffered hands as they moved up the steps of the
“You did great!” Steve said quietly, but emphatically as the four men walked briskly into the office and closed the door behind them.
Kono and Chin murmured their agreement with their boss as they both slapped and pushed Dan.
Dan laughed. “Thanks! Whew! Am I glad that’s over!”
May rushed up and threw her arms around Dan’s neck. “You were fabulous! They carried the press conference live on Channel 4!”
“Thanks, May!” Dan ran his hand through his curls and looked at his watch as he replied. “Oh, man! So much for glory. I’ve got some major loose ends to tie up! Pete has three reports that he wants complete before close of business today!”
McGarrett let out an hmmph as he spoke. “Well, he’s got you till the end of this week. Next Monday, you’ll be doing my reports!” Dan smiled a crinkle-nosed smile, not certain whether that sounded any better than his current lot. Chin and Kono tittered, and their boss continued. “I’ll collect you Monday at Five-thirty for a morning run before work!” McGarrett winked at his new detective, who continued staring even after his new boss closed his office door.
It was Friday, and Dan had just gotten home from his last official shift with HPD, only to find his phone ringing.
“Williams,” he supplied in his usual official phone voice.
“Danno, how’d the last day on the job go?”
Dan smiled, warmed that his new boss was interested. “Actually, it was a pretty decent day. Some of the guys surprised me with a farewell luau.”
“I heard. They didn’t scare you too bad, did they?”
Dan let out a short laugh and replied, “Ohh, you DID hear! And yeah, they scared me all right!” Kono had been present at the party, and must have filled Steve in about the humorous epitaphs and limericks that his fellow police officers had written and recited for him. “But I’ve got the weekend to forget – don’t I?” Dan asked, suddenly aware of the possibility that his new boss was calling to put him to work.
“Oh, yes, you’ve got the weekend! Just don’t go out and get yourself hurt. And certainly be aware that reporters come in many shapes and sizes.”
“I’ll remember.” Dan paused before he said, “Hang on, Steve – somebody’s pounding on my door!”
He set the phone down on the end table by the sofa and opened the door. To his surprise, Pete Beauprez stood there, with an unopened fifth of Vodka in his hand. He smiled and stepped into the apartment without an invitation. Dan stepped back to allow his “guest’ to pass him unhindered, and started to say that he was on he phone, but before he could say anything, two more “guests” whom he did not recognize brushed past him as well.
The two men each outweighed Dan by fifty pounds apiece. One was a tall Caucasian and the other was a stocky Oriental man, Japanese, Dan guessed.
Pete spoke first. “Sorry I missed your little luau. I had a limerick all prepared, so I thought I’d stop by.” Dan’s former boss had never been to his home before and he glanced around curiously as Dan shifted uncomfortably.
“Oh, uhhh, okay.” Dan was beginning to have the sensation that he had invaders and not guests standing here.
Beauprez suddenly and dramatically recited,
“There was a young copper named Dan,
Who became part of Five-0’s master plan.
He’d tried with his gun
But now, he makes coffee for the man.”
Dan blinked and passed a gaze over the three men, who all wandered apparently aimlessly around the room.
“You KNOW who the man is, don’t you Danny?” Pete asked. “It’s McGarrett. You’ve been doing good things up to this point, and now, you’re gonna be at the bottom of the food chain over there at Five-0.”
Dan had had enough. “What do you and your – your friends want, Pete? And please don’t insult my intelligence with another limerick.”
The older detective let out a peel of husky laughter before he stopped and smiled thinly. “I want you to turn down the appointment.”
“What?” Dan was incredulous as Beauprez placed a packet of bank-bundled twenty dollar bills on the table by the door. “Money?” Dan’s surprise and disdain were apparent. “You’re offering me money to turn down the Five-0 appointment?”
He walked over to stand in front of the end table where he knew the phone lie off the hook. His mouth was still open in shock as he turned to face the barrel-chested man, who shrugged and put his hands in his pockets.
“Danny, listen to me. You’re young. You’re bright. There’ll be other – other offers of advancement. I’m not offering you just this one-time payment. I’m offering you a monthly stipend, shall we say. And all you have to do is to tell McGarrett that you’ve decided that you’re not ready – you don’t have enough experience – you’re happy where you are – whatever. Nobody will fault you or think any less of you. You’ll go on about the business of being a hot shot HPD detective, and, in the long run, you’ll end up financially much better off than if you’d taken the Five-0 position.”
Still reeling from the shocking request, Dan responded. “And exactly how are you going to pay me every month? Last time I checked, even veteran detectives don’t make enough to be doling out payoffs.” Dan paused before speaking a little more loudly. “UNLESS payoffs are being doled out to them!”
The accusation hung in the air as Beauprez shook his head and the two thugs who’d never been introduced to Dan suddenly grabbed him and pinned his arms.
“Hey! Let go of me!”
“Danny, boy, I was REALLY hoping that you and I would go out and do a little celebrating tonight. As it turns out, you’re gonna do a little too much celebrating, and then you’re gonna do what any respectable Hawaiian boy would do – accidentally fall into the ocean and drown!”
“Oh, and exactly how am I gonna do that?” Dan spat sarcastically.
“Boys!” The two men pinning his arms struggled for about twenty seconds with Dan. Despite the fact that he was able to get one knee into the face of the larger of the two, they finally managed to pin their prisoner with his back to the floor.
“Danny, Danny! Don’t fight it so,” Beauprez said as he open a bottle of sleeping pills and carefully dropped four of them into the bottle of vodka on the counter.
“Why not just drop the whole bottle in there, Pete?”
“Because we don’t want him throwing up my little potion. The sleeping pills are just because I like you, Danny, and I don’t want you to suffer any more than necessary.”
“Thanks, Pete,” Dan growled through gritted teeth. “You’re a true pal, but I hope you don’t expect me to just open wide.” From the bag, Beauprez pulled a funnel with an eight-inch tube secured to the narrow end with what appeared to be duct tape.
“You see this little device?” Pete held it up, smiling. “All I need to do is shove this down your throat. All you have to do is hold still, and the boys are going to help you with that.”
Dan struggled again, but was outmatched with the two larger men sitting on him. “Why, Pete? Why are you doing this?”
“I guess the least I owe you is an explanation.” He moved to Dan’s head with the bottle and the funnel and knelt down as he spoke, “Tom, a little tighter hold on his head, if you please – yes, that’s better.” Beauprez grit his teeth as he forced his captive’s mouth open, pushed the funnel in as far a few inches. The man’s casual tone belied the violent act he was calmly committing. “I learned this little trick from Melia last year when I had to make sure that Vince Oshito wouldn’t be available to testify.”
He put his hand under Dan’s neck, tipped his head back, and pushed the funnel tube the rest of the way down. His gag reflex was of no help since the tube was well past his vocal chords, so the pinned victim was helpless to prevent the action. All Dan could do was to hope that the phone connection was still open.
As he poured the liquid into the funnel, Pete explained, “It should have been me. If McGarrett had looked at the data objectively, I should have been picked for the Five-0 slot that he’s handing to you.”
Dan could feel the coolness of the vodka as it traversed its way down his esophagus.
Beauprez paused, and his jaws clenched before he continued, “You’re a kid – a green detective! If McGarrett hadn’t developed some bizarre emotional attachment to you, he wouldn’t have given you second look. Now, don’t get me wrong, Danny! You’re clearly just brimming with potential— a blank canvas— a lump of clay ready for the artist to mold. Unfortunately, it’s left me unable to help Melia out in the way that I had promised – kind of a wrench in my career path, if you get my meaning.”
The bottle empty, he sat it down and pulled the funnel from Dan’s throat. Still pinned to the floor, Dan coughed uncontrollably for almost a minute.
“There! A fifth of vodka and a few sleeping pills should make your trip into the drink not very painful at all. Let go of him, boys.”
The “boys” complied and moved away from the prone figure. The room was beginning to spin for Dan already as he rolled over and managed to get to his knees.
“You’re going to kill me because you think you’re next in line for – MY – Five-0 slot?” His speech was already slurring, but his righteous indignation managed to come through.
“You’re missing the point, my drunk, young friend. He’s taking a lot of heat for selecting you because there are clearly better candidates than you. In addition to adding a black mark on the reputation of the Five-0 unit as a whole, this will serve to discredit McGarrett’s decision, the first in a series of bad decisions that will eventually lead to his resignation or firing. You won’t be around to witness his demise, but you will have unwittingly had a major hand in it. Melia has promised me a substantial expression of his gratitude.”
The smug expression on Beauprez’ face enraged Dan, and he tried to run at the man, but was caught in mid-attack by Tommy, who grabbed Dan around his waist and had no trouble lifting him from the ground. The world was reeling for the drugged detective, and there was very little he could do to help himself.
“Steve can see through people like you! You won’t get away with this!” Dan said as loudly as he could.
“Well, enough talk,” Pete said cheerfully. “Let’s get this over with. You’d better gag him, Tommy. We don’t want to disturb the neighbors on the way out.”
Pete handed Tommy a cloth from the bag, and as his accomplice pushed the cloth into Dan’s mouth, Beauprez collected the funnel and the empty vodka bottle. No longer in a condition to even remove the gag, Dan hung at Tommy’s side limply, becoming less able to help himself out of his predicament with each passing minute.
The three men started to leave the apartment with their prisoner, but the sound of a door opening and closing made them slip quickly back into the safety of Dan’s place. Two men stood about six feet from Dan’s door, between the kidnappers and the elevator. A conversation took place in Chinese for four or five minutes. The wait was frustrating for Beauprez and his associates, who were growing impatient. By the time the two men laughed and finally moved down the hallway to the elevator, Dan was completely disoriented and limp. They waited another minute, and then Beauprez carefully opened the door to peek out.
With explosive power, the door slammed open. The sound of wood splintering and collateral crashes added to the chaos as Beauprez was knocked back into the other two men and their semi-conscious prisoner.
Kono had hit the door with all the force he could muster, and McGarrett was right on his heels, gun drawn and desperately seeking a target. The Hawaiian detective went for the thug nearest to Dan, who lay sprawled on the floor, unmoving.
“DON’T MOVE!” McGarrett’s voice was vicious as he jumped onto the dazed Beauprez and relieved him of his gun.
Kono took the weapons from the other two, and called, “Danny – bruddah?”
Dan did not stir as McGarrett rolled him over onto his back and pulled the cloth from his mouth. A soft moan escaped, and Dan’s eyelids lifted slowly. He tried to focus on the figure that was holding his head.
“Danno, it’s okay. I’m calling an ambulance. You’re gonna be fine,” McGarrett said slowly.
“Steve? Steve! Pete wanted to kill me!” His speech was not crisp, but at least he was conscious, McGarrett thought.
“You’re gonna have a hard time proving that,” Beauprez had managed to sit up.
“Oh, I don’t know, Pete. I’ve got a limerick for you.
There once was a cop who turned crook.
Now we all found him quite sad to book,
But the pinhead was wrong,
And it didn’t take long,
Because the phone had been off of the hook.”
He glanced back at Kono, who had raised his eyebrows. “Not bad, boss!”
The expression on Beauprez’s face turned to dismay as he scanned the room for the phone. Four uniformed HPD officers then stepped through the doorway. As the other officers took over control of the prisoners, Kono stepped over to the phone and picked it up.
“Chin – you there? Did you get all of it on tape? Good -- we’re working on him now. Do you know what they gave him? Oh, man! Okay, bruddah, mahalo.”
Kono put the phone receiver back on the switch hook, and turned to McGarrett, who still sat on the floor with Dan, who was struggling to sit up.
“Chin says they gave him a fifth of vodka with a sleeping pill chaser.”
“Can I throw up?” Dan pleaded.
“I think that’s a very good idea.”
McGarrett responded as he helped his rubbery detective to his feet and then practically dragged him to the bathroom, where they made it with no time to spare. After a few minutes of vomiting, followed by retching and dry heaves, Dan attempted to lay down by the toilet.
“Danno, I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable in your room. Why don’t we go wait for the ambulance out there?” Steve said gently as he got Dan back on his feet.
The young man protested weakly. “Steve, I don’t need a doctor – I’m drink – or drunk.”
“Drink or drunk, you’ll be more comfortable out here, my friend.”
Shortly after McGarrett had gotten Dan comfortably situated on his bed, Doc Bergman, the Medical Examiner, and coincidently, the Official Five-0 Physician, arrived. “That door needs help that I can’t render,” the doctor shook his head as he passed by.
After a short examination of the sleeping patient, Bergman concluded that Dan just needed to sleep it off. The building maintenance man, Akira Tanaka, showed up to do an interim patch job on the door, as Bergman was leaving.
“I’ll sleep here on the couch – just in case, Doc,” McGarrett said to Bergman as he left.
The doctor nodded. “A little coffee and aspirin in the morning is about all I can recommend unfortunately, Steve.”
Steve made himself some coffee, and checked on Dan one more time before settling into an easy chair in the living room. It amazed him to think that Beauprez thought he could somehow make it into the rarified strata of the inner circle of Five-0 by committing an act that was counter to everything for which the organization stood. Steve shuddered to think what would have happened to his new detective if he hadn’t been on the phone with him at the time.
It wasn’t until now that he assessed his own physical and mental condition. After the shocking sound of HPD’s Chief of Detectives assaulting one of his own, Steve and Kono had raced headlong to Dan’s apartment. He remembered the panic he felt as he realized that Danno’s life was in danger. The subsequent scuffle, arrest of the culprits, and management of the groggy, ill victim had occupied his thoughts up to this point. Now, here he was in Williams’ apartment, standing watch over his new detective, like a mother bear guarding her cub. Not until this moment did all of his feelings and silent notes to himself roll themselves into an epiphany for Steve McGarrett.
Here was a man different from him in almost every way. Where Steve was generally of a cool and reserved demeanor, Dan was outgoing and warm. As reluctant as Steve was to reveal weaknesses, Dan seemed able to use his self-deprecations to endear people to him. McGarrett recognized himself as very self-confident, and knew that his new protégé needed to have a little – perhaps a lot – more faith in himself. Steve enjoyed more solitary activities, like cooking, running, and sailing. While Dan clearly had a love of nature – hiking and surfing being among his favorite off-duty pursuits – he also immensely enjoyed social situations – beach parties, night clubs, and team sports. Dan was well-liked by his fellow officers, as revealed by the high turnout of blue uniforms at the press conference earlier that week, and Steve truly lived the old lonely-at-the-top adage.
Yet, Dan shared with Steve a commitment to justice and duty that the head of Five-0 had not seen in anyone else for a long time – perhaps ever. It all seemed so clear suddenly – Danno was the yin to Steve’s yang. These principles in Chinese philosophy described the complementary nature of opposites in the universe. Dark cannot exist without light. Sour has no meaning without sweet. Opposites balance each other, and with balance comes peace.
Steve knew, sitting there in the dark, as certainly as he knew the sun would rise, that Dan offered balance to his universe. Two opposites would pull together, under the same yoke, with common goals, each giving the other a measure of serenity by his very existence. He felt it and KNEW he had stumbled onto the reason he’d been drawn to protect Danno and bring him closer to the nucleus of his influence.
The conscious recognition of this gave Steve deep satisfaction and a sense of optimism that he had not seen in himself for many years. He fingered the rim of his coffee cup and nodded to himself. Beauprez never had a chance of edging Dan out of the slot. The fight to keep the yin from the yang was not to be won. Steve shook his head, and smiled. Yes, Dan had lessons to learn and some toughening up to do, but Steve would be there to guide, instruct, and advise.
“God’s gift to Steve McGarrett,” he intoned softly, chuckling before he grew serious again. “Hmmm, maybe so.” With that, he picked up the phone to call Chief Dann and make arrangements for the necessary press release on the arrest of Pete Beauprez.
“How’s Danny this morning, boss?” Chin inquired.
Steve let out a single laugh. “A little shook up from the press attention, but doing okay. I’m glad he at least had one day hangover-free!”
“How was the run?”
“It was like running with an Irish Setter!” Chin laughed out loud at the image the statement painted. McGarrett, smiling, leaned down to the intercom on his desk, “May, send you-know-who in when he arrives.”
“Ten four, boss,” came the disembodied reply.
“Danny! So it’s official as of Eight AM today. You’re re-assigned to Five-0,” May warmly bubbled, as she took the arm of Five-0’s newest – and youngest – detective. She continued, “If there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know.”
“Thanks, May! I still can’t believe I’m here!” the detective replied, smiling.
The shout came from inside the office of Steve McGarrett, and was loud enough to make Williams jump.
May, already acclimated to the fact that her boss didn’t always use the intercom system, didn’t flinch. Instead, she said lightly, “Well, it looks like the boss is looking for you!”
With a nervous laugh, the detective replied, “Yeah. I’d better…” He didn’t bother finishing the sentence before he tapped on the closed door of the head of Five-0, and then nervously entered the “chamber.”
As he stepped inside and closed the door, he noted that his new boss was standing behind his desk, with a pleased smile on his face. Chin Ho Kelly and Kono Kalakaua, the other two Five-0 detectives moved to welcome him into the fold. Both men shook his hand. Chin grabbed his shoulder and gave him a manly shake, and Kono, already long-time friends with the officer, put him in a short headlock, and gave a half-baked attempt to mess up Dan’s curly, impossible-to-mess-up coif.
By this time, Steve had come around from behind his desk and moved to shake the young man’s hand and give him a squeeze on the shoulder. “Danno, I’d hoped to spend a little time with you today, but, as usual, the criminal element of our little island paradise has other plans for our day.” Dan nodded and started to reply, but the boss continued. “So, of course, that means that we won’t be having our discussion until later on this evening.”
The young officer flashed a glance at the other two officers for reassurance, and both men provided it with encouraging nods and smiles. Once again Dan, attempted to acknowledge the commands, but was not able to get his mouth open before McGarrett continued.
“Kono and Chin, you two go on ahead and get started with that list. Do what you can to get through it as soon as possible. In the meantime, Danno will be heading over to HPD records to pull the files of every name on your list.”
“Will do, Steve,” Chin replied, and as the two men left the office, the Oriental detective paused in the doorway, “Danny, we’re real glad you’re here!”
“Thanks, Chin! I’m very happy to be here!”
With that, they slipped from the room, leaving Williams alone with a man that he had long admired. He knew he had a lot to prove to this man to show that he could meet or exceed any expectation that his new boss had for him.
Steve put his arm lightly around the young man’s shoulder and pulled, bidding him to move towards his desk. In a softer, less businesslike tone, he said, “Danno, before we get lost in the details of the day, I want to take a moment to welcome you to Five-0. I have great plans for this organization, and I have a sense that you will figure prominently in those plans.”
Williams, overwhelmed and pleased, replied, “Steve, I can promise that I will do everything within my power to advance the mission of Five-0. And to make sure that you never regret your decision to bring me onboard.”
Steve looked at the fresh face that gazed at him. He had to admit that the feeling of adoration and worship – was worship to strong? No, no, he decided, worship was appropriate – felt good. Like balm on sunburn, it felt good.
Before any more words could be exchanged, May tapped on the already-a kilter door, and then, without waiting for a reply, bustled into the office with a package twice the size of a shoebox. She set the box down in the middle of Steve’s ink blotter.
“Your new stationery,” she said casually, tossing a wink and a smile to the two men. Then, she handed Steve a small, over-stuffed, manila envelope, and added, “Oh, I think this might be important!”
Her boss gave her a look that told her he had in fact forgotten the important little envelope, and responded, “Oh yes! Thank you, May!”
She collected an item from the OUT box, and returned to her desk.
Steve opened the envelope and offered the contents to Dan, who felt the warmth of belonging as he saw it was an exceptionally nice, black leather case, which contained the distinctive Five-0 badge, officially identifying him as a member of Five-0. He swallowed down the lump that seemed to be growing in his throat as his fingers lightly brushed across his personal ID number.
“Wow,” he whispered.
Pop would be SO proud, thought Dan, as he slipped the treasure into his suit jacket. Suddenly thinking it best to rise above the emotions he felt at the moment, he said out loud, “I guess I’d better start earning my paycheck. You said something about a list of records?”
Appreciating the rescue from one of those potentially very personal moments that made Steve uncomfortable, Dan’s new boss had slipped around to the other side of his desk and slid a paper across his desk.
As Dan stepped to pick up the paper, Steve said, “Here it is. Your first official duty is not too exciting, but there may be a piece of information contained in one of those that completes the puzzle Chin and Kono are working on.” Dan listened intently as Steve continued with the instructions. “I want you to collect the files, and then spend some time reviewing them, so that when Kono and Chin get back, we’ll be able to review their findings, and quickly cross-check them against your information to see if we can zero in on a suspect.”
The young detective nodded and said, “I’ll get right on it.” With a brief exchange of smiles, Dan turned to leave the office.
As he turned, he glanced
down at the unopened box of stationery, which Steve gently pulled towards
himself and slid his letter opener under a piece of tape which held the top on
the box. The new detective noted the unfamiliar name of an office supply store,
When the final puzzle piece mentally locked into place, panic filled the young officer. In a flash, he spun back around and jumped onto the desk screaming, “It’s a bomb!”
In a single movement, Dan swept the suspect box and most of the other items on the desk off onto the floor. As the items hit the ground, the momentum from his leap onto the desk carried him forward toward his surprised boss, whom he slammed into with enough force to knock backwards to the floor out of his chair.
Just as Dan landed on top of his boss, an explosion caused the big desk to jump and confetti to burst from the other side of the desk. The compression wave was brief, but painful to the ears of both men, who were momentarily dazed. For a few seconds, neither man moved. Then, Steve tried to cough, but his backward fall, and the subsequent landing of his new officer on his chest had knocked the wind out of him.
Dan stirred and shook his head, trying to re-orient himself. As Steve’s hand pressed on him, he realized that he was pinning his boss to the floor. He willed the vertigo away long enough to roll off of Steve, and land with a thud on his back.
A fiery burning on his upper right leg caused him to lift his head long enough to see that the letter opener was protruding from his torn pant leg. He reached down and tugged it out, and as a wave of queasiness washed over him, he let his head drop back to the floor. Had the officer been clear-headed, he would never have touched the office-tool-turned-weapon, for he would have remembered that manipulation of any impaling implement could cause a wound to hemorrhage.
The next few minutes were a blur for the two men. At one point, Dan registered that Chin was helping him down the hall. He was saying something, but Dan’s ears were ringing and the room was spinning. He could see Kono a few paces ahead with his arm wrapped around Steve, supporting him.
Firemen and uniformed HPD personnel seemed to float in and out of the room. May’s concerned face was close enough at one point that Dan reached out and touched her cheek. Different people tried to speak to him, but he couldn’t make sense of the words through the din of noise still echoing in his head.
Slowly, Dan mentally pulled together the events of the morning, and he realized that Steve and May were sitting in Five-0’s anteroom, on the uncomfortable sofa that lined the back wall. He was stretched out on the floor near their feet.
“Steve, are you okay?”
Dan tried to sit up to better see McGarrett, but realized that a burning pain, which started at his right hip, was radiating down his leg. He cried out in surprise. The reality of the pain made him realize that an older man, perhaps in his mid-fifties, with distinguished salt-and-pepper hair, was applying pressure to a bleeding wound on the front of his upper right thigh.
As ambulance attendants entered, he noticed that Steve had leaned down toward him, and placed his hand on his shoulder.
He could hear McGarrett’s voice through the ringing in his ears. “Danno, take it easy! Doc Bergman is here to fix you up. We’re gonna go to the hospital together.”
The young officer relaxed a bit as he saw that his new boss seemed to be in one piece and more oriented to the situation than he was.
A nonsequiter thought passed through his head, and he spoke, “Why is the medical examiner working on me?”
He rode on the
stretcher and Steve walked beside him. The man Steve called Doc Bergman
continued the pressure on Dan’s leg, and Kono followed closely behind Steve
down the large staircase at the
As they rode in the ambulance, one of the attendants maintained a painful level of pressure on Dan’s leg. He overheard the doctor interrogating Steve, and he came to know that Steve probably had a sprained right wrist and possibly a broken arm.
Once at the hospital, Steve called reassuringly to his new detective. “Danno! I’ll be over to check on you as soon as I can!” A wheelchair whisked the head of Five-0 off in the opposite direction from that of Dan’s stretcher.
Doc Bergman was standing next to Dan’s gurney, and called out to the figures peeking through the doorway. “Come on in. I’m about finished here.”
The three men slipped into the room delicately. McGarrett, with his wrist wrapped in an ace bandage, his arm in a sling, and a small bandage over his right eyebrow walked a little more cautiously than the two detectives he had in tow.
Dan was lying on the elevated gurney, covered by a sheet and a thin, cotton blanket, the right third of his nude body completely visible, as the doctor stitched on his hip. The young man was fast asleep, his neck hyper-extended by a pillow beneath it. An IV bottle dripped liquid, and the tube traveled under the sheet on his left side.
“I’m just wrapping up the outer layer of stitches. He had a pretty decent gash that nicked his femoral artery. Kono, you probably saved this young man a transfusion by applying pressure to the wound as soon as you did.”
The doctor’s praise was acknowledged with a distracted nod from the big Hawaiian. “How is he otherwise, Doc?”
The detectives moved around to the other side of the snoozing patient to face the doctor, who glanced up to see three concerned faces staring back. Steve reached up to the IV bottle and twisted it so that he could read the contents.
“We started the IV in the emergency room, just as a precaution. I’ll be pulling it as soon as I’m done here,” Bergman supplied in his most reassuring tone. He continued, “In addition to the gash on his leg, he’s got numerous small cuts, bruises, and abrasions, just like you Steve, but he’ll be fine, gentlemen. He’s not unconscious – the painkiller’s just made him sleepy. All told, you were both extremely fortunate to have been behind the desk when the bomb went off. “
“I’ll be honest, Doc,” McGarrett said as he rubbed his sore right shoulder and visually inspected the bruised cheek of his new employee. “I’m not sure how Danno knew that there was a bomb. It happened so fast.”
“Well, I guess you’ll just have to ask him,” the physician replied. He glanced from his repair effort. “Danny!” He said only a little softer than a full-blown shout. “Danny – wake up and talk to us!” The words caused his patient to stir slightly and let out a weak groan, but his eyes didn’t open.
Encouraged by the doctor’s bravado, Kono reached over and put his hand on the top of his friend’s head, and scratched. “Danny! Open your eyes!” Kono implored.
The action caused more groaning and then a ragged reply. “Ummm, yeah, what?”
“Danno, open your eyes and look at me!”
Steve commanded, and then almost jumped when the blue eyes opened immediately. It took Dan a few seconds to re-orient himself, remember that he was supposed to be holding still for the doctor, and then focus on his co-workers.
“Heck of a first day on the job, bruddah,” Chin intoned.
The detective, still a little glassy eyed, digested the comment, and then smiled, “Yeaaah,” he said slowly, and then averted his eyes in what appeared to Steve to be embarrassment. “Almost killed from a letter opener on my boss’s desk.”
The detectives, and the doctor chuckled, all relieved to see the young man’s mental faculties unimpaired.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Steve began slowly. “You saved your boss’s life the first fifteen minutes you were there…BUT, on the other hand, you did make quite a mess of my desk – before it was blown apart.”
McGarrett’s sharp blue eyes sparkled as he winked at the detective, who flashed a short smile and then allowed concern to cloud his eyes as he visually inspected his boss. “Steve – I’ve been worried about you.”
McGarrett couldn’t help but notice the odd sensation of affection welling up. Having spent a lifetime cultivating control over emotional attachments and the revelation of them, feelings he considered intimate were hard for a loner like the head of Five-0 to acknowledge. He knew the sentiment was probably revealed in his expression, but he just didn’t care right now. His new detective was proving to have some unexpected, and refreshing, qualities that Steve realized might be good for everyone in the office.
“I’m fine, thanks to you – which reminds me we need to talk about that.“ McGarrett tenaciously worked his way back to the bomb investigation. “What made you realize that package contained a bomb?”
Dan diverted his eyes
to a spot on the ceiling for a few moments, replaying the memory, before he
looked back into the eyes of his boss. “It was a couple of things actually. I
noticed the address on the box, and realized that it was the location of
Chin jumped in, “The Pi’ilani brother that’s in the slammer right now as a result of that undercover operation you were in on?”
“Yeah, that’s the guy,” Dan responded. “Anyway, I recalled that on one occasion when I was undercover, Davis himself told me that when he makes up his little explosive gifts for people, he likes to put the address of a cemetery as the return address.”
McGarrett loudly blew out a breath before he spoke. “I’m alive because of a memory you had while you were on an undercover assignment what was it?? Three years ago…”
“Well, I also recollected that you are slated to testify against the other Pi’ilani brother. The one you arrested a few months back – so it seemed like there could be a motive for sending you an explosive gift,” was Williams’ neutral assessment.
“Whoa, bruddah! That’s pretty out there,” Kono intoned, his eyes large.
McGarrett responded, “Out there, but on the mark! You feel free to bring up any theories you have – no matter how ‘out there’ they may be, Detective Williams!”
The patient smiled
ever so slightly as he said, “I only hope you’ll say that after I tell you my
theory about the
Properly intrigued, the head of Five-0 stepped closer to put his hand on his new detective’s arm as he spoke, “I’m all ears!”
Before another word could be exchanged, Doc Bergman, who nodded toward Steve, interrupted the conversation. “Nooo, you need to leave, so I can finish up with this boy! I’ve got to pull a little office shrapnel out of his backside.”
“Office shrapnel, Doc?” the patient asked. He and his associates were confused.
“Your x-ray showed a few staples and what I believe are wood splinters from the desk embedded in the small of your back, and some slightly lower.”
“Desk war is hell,” Kono injected as he winced. The comment elicited a smile from everyone, except the patient, who wrinkled his nose and sighed. Bergman continued, “I’ll have him settled in a room within the hour.”
“A room?” The detective immediately became more alert. “I don’t need to stay. It’s just a few stitches!”
“A few stitches which are keeping the blood from pouring out of your femoral artery, young man,” The doctor snapped. “If you’re a good detective tonight, and don’t give the staff here any trouble, I’ll release you first thing in the morning.”
“But it’s my first day on the job,” Dan replied glumly, looking to his new boss for support.
“Danno, the doc’s right. Plus you’ve made a big enough mess in the office for one day. I don’t want to have you bleed out on top of everything else.”
The sense of humor Steve McGarrett was revealing today surprised and delighted his two veteran detectives, but the detective lying on the bed before him just looked at him, not certain as to how to take the indictments.
Steve studied him for a moment before he grinned and suddenly admitted, “Joke – I was joking.” Dan let out a shallow sigh and seemed to relax a bit, but still was not convinced. McGarrett did his best to soften his tone. “You’ve earned your paycheck today. If you hadn’t done what you did, the three of you would probably be standing around a tray in the morgue checking me out. Mahalo, Danno.” The words had the desired effect, and the tension slowly left his expression.
“Now, the three of you get out of here!” the doctor demanded loudly and firmly.
“Danno, I’ll be back to collect you in the morning,” Steve promised as the trio progressed toward the door.
Kono chimed in, “Or one of us with arms will be back!”
McGarrett shot a pained look at Kono, and then corrected matter-of-factly, “Someone with arms will be our driver!”
The young man nodded and smiled as they left the room. The relief he felt that his new mentor was unharmed was tremendous. Just as he closed his eyes again, the doctor made him roll over onto his stomach to complete his course of treatment.
“Why does he call you Danno? Does he know something the rest of us don’t?” Bergman inquired as continued his repair effort.
Dan winced as something sharp poked him, and then he couldn’t help but smile again, “Yeah, Doc, maybe he does.”