Aloha Aikane






"Here's the paperwork on Makai and Evans."


The reports were placed on the desk and Steve McGarrett looked up at the young officer making the proud, forceful announcement. Every particle of HPD Detective Danny Williams seemed to bubble from an inner source of energy.


There was something almost effervescent about Williams, McGarrett thought with some amusement. Fresh, almost too bright -- like the first tip of the golden sun cresting over Koko Head on a new summer dawn. Danny Williams, native island son, radiated like that tropical, unique morning sun; his blue eyes gleamed with enthusiasm like the sparkling light dancing off the waves at Sunset Beach.


Williams had worked with Hawaii Five-0 on several cases in the last few months. First as a top sharpshooter from HPD, then as an extra detective for Five-0 on an extortion case, then more cases in the ensuing months. Steve appreciated the young man's talents. Dan was the embodiment of intelligence, skill and youth, which were the new breed of the police force


Williams had been born and raised in Honolulu. He held a BA Degree in Criminology with a minor in Psychology from UC Berkeley. After graduation, he joined the Honolulu Police Department and was promoted with unusual speed through the ranks.


In the last few cases, including the one with Evans and Makai, Danny had been filling in as the fourth man on the team since the retirement of Officer Kaimano, McGarrett's second-in-command. Evans and Makai were sleazy murderers who had given the forces of law and order some nasty moments. Danny had proven his courage and quick thinking when he turned out to be the officer to nab the killers; saving lives, proving he was a good man to have on the team.


The image of Kaimano brought an automatic twitch to Steve's lip. Kaimano and he had never agreed on the color of the sky, let alone anything to do with Five-0 work. The older, veteran Kaimano was a stalwart cop with a good record, a sharp mind and, unfortunately, a basic personality conflict with McGarrett which grated on them both every time they were in the same room. With the top two officers at odds, it was amazing Five-0 had achieved such high success in the few years it had been in existence.


Thinking of Ray Kaimano and Danny Williams in the same moment was like switching a picture from negative to positive. Where Kaimano resisted Steve's programs, Williams almost fell over himself to obey an order before Steve spoke. McGarrett wasn't used to hero worship. As a former officer in the Navy, he had earned grudging respect and loyalty among his subordinates, but never much affection. The same had applied, more or less, to his stint as chief of Five-0. He had never inspired much fellowship within the ranks.


Perhaps Five-0 needed a feeling of brotherhood and camaraderie to be the most effective possible crime fighting unit. Their statistics were impressive, but the organization had no heart. As if he was still with the Navy, Steve had pushed and prodded Kaimano, Chin Ho Kelly, Brian Tosaki and Kono Kalakua. They worked together, but never so much as a team, just as an organization. Tosaki returned to HPD earlier in the year, forsaking the grueling Five-0 schedule for a simpler life in Robbery Division. Now that Kaimano was retiring McGarrett hoped to bring in some new blood and pull his men together as a solid, tandem unit.


Perhaps as the new replacement, Williams would be just what they needed. The team mood had generally improved when Kono had come aboard. Kono was a huge, implacable Hawaiian who had a record as solid as his girth. His personality was easy going and tenacious enough to endure the rigors which Five-0 -- McGarrett -- demanded of the member officers. Kono had lent a new, calmer dimension to the group. McGarrett anticipated an even better change now. Williams and Kalakaua were friends. Maybe that would help bind the officers closer together.


Steve made a show of glancing through the papers. In reality, he was watching Williams pace the office. He wondered what it would be like having someone so fresh, so young, so enthusiastic on the team permanently. Danny was cheerful, open, gregarious. This office had not seen that brand of idealism before.


There was a down side, too. Williams had a few minor vices; a smoking habit which McGarrett could not abide and would therefore help him kick; a wild social reputation which would be blunted once he worked the long hours expected of staff members. Danny had a lot of talents, too, although he was not yet thirty. With little practical experience in the field as a detective, he had plenty of room to be mold -- taught. There were many other experienced, qualified officers available to replace Kaimano. His old friend HPD Sergeant Duke Lukela for one, particularly since Steve was looking to the future, for someone to eventually fill the slot of second-in-command.


The thought formed full blown in his mind: Danny as his right-hand man. He knew instantly it was perfect. Williams would come onto the team as his protégé, then in a few years -- after seasoning and experience -- could move into the slot of second-in-command. They would work together, in the same direction, with the same goals. It would be like restructuring the organization all over again.


Of course there would be some strain, some give and take. Danny would lose his hero-worship soon enough after some of the grueling cases and endless hours he would field with Steve. There were some rough edges, some untested emotions in the brash Williams that undoubtedly would be blunted and tried to the limit. Some of the idealism and enthusiasm might tarnish with the grit of harsh reality. However, McGarrett was sure most of the core optimism would remain. It would be like having a younger brother to guide and tutor. A brother to argue with, to correct, to keep at his side through good and bad. Dan would be a man to count on for implicit loyalty because he was part of Steve's life, not just part of the job. It would be like being part of a family. Ohana.


Suddenly he knew that a lack of family was a missing part of his life he had been yearning to fill without realizing it until now. He was alone in the world except for his sister and brother-in-law in LA. Danny was alone except for some aunt somewhere on the mainland.


Quite uncharacteristically, Steve had visions of not just working with Danny but socializing as well. The possibility of building a relationship beyond the confines of the job was appealing. A loner all his life, he found himself imagining they could do those myriad things that friends do together. There had been co-workers and associates, some very good ones, but never one he could say was a real friend. Aikane, was the Hawaiian word for friend. He wondered if this was an opportunity to stretch Five-0, and himself (seemingly synonymous), into a new, fresh direction.


There would be resistance from others about this appointment. Objections would come from some veterans who would feel they were better qualified; the media, who would rip apart the new kid, the governor who would probably prefer some stable, greying sergeant with no edges and no uncertainties.


'No future, there,' Steve concluded with finality.


At any rate, the governor always let him do as he pleased with his personnel because Steve would get his way -- he always did. Besides, he admitted he sometimes was stubborn enough, arrogant enough, to occasionally thrive on controversy.


There had been objections when Walter Stuart had nominated McGarrett as head of Five-0. Although he had been an investigating officer with Naval Intelligence for years, and been in the Islands for years, he had never been a regular cop. The press and some people in HPD had resented his instant leap to the top of law enforcement in the new state of Hawaii. He had proven those critics wrong. He felt Danny would prove wrong any negative attention he would attract.


With the new blood of Williams, there would be a new direction for Five-0. Mixed with the stable experience of Kelly and Kalakaua, and the motivation and drive he himself provided, Five-0 would become a force greater than the sum of its parts. It would be almost like a legacy, a building, growing organization, evolving into something lasting and permanent. Something of meaning beyond the moment and beyond himself.


McGarrett decisively slapped the papers on his desktop. "Good work, Danny," he congratulated. "There is one more thing."


The young officer's expression darkened as if a storm cloud hovered like a harbinger on the transparently sunny face. He'd have to teach Danny a few things about concealing such open feelings.


"What is it, Steve?"


"Since Kaimano left there's been an opening on the Five-0 staff. I'd like you to join the team."


Several minutes went by while a completely thunderstruck Williams searched for words. A few times he tried formulating a reply, only to have shock mute his efforts at a response.


Steve had never noticed the tendency of Williams to be speechless under intense pressure. In this case it was amusing. He laughed at the incredulous astonishment still dominating the young officer.


"I can't believe it," Danny breathed out at last. He fell back into one of the chairs in front of the desk. The incredulous surprise made him seem much more boyish than usual. "You want ME as part of Five-0? As a detective?"


McGarrett could almost read Dan's thoughts as the young man went through the self-doubts and uncertainties of his qualifications. There was an amazing lack of ego, sometimes a disturbing lack of self-confidence and self-trust in Williams -- traits Steve would have to bolster. 'I think I have more than enough ego to spare,' he thought flippantly. Dan would also have to acquire a tough shell to work in Five-0. He knew Danny had the temerity and integrity inside, it would just take time to cultivate it and callous Danny's skin.


Steve reached into the middle drawer of his desk and pulled out a leather case. "Maybe this will help," he said as he opened it and laid it on the desktop. It was a Five-0 shield. "This is yours." He pushed it toward his new officer.


Williams stood. With slow but confident steadiness, he picked up the badge. "I don't know what to say."


The words were slightly doubtful, but there was no uncertainty in the firm voice. The dazzling, intense pride, gratitude and loyalty in the sparkling eyes were almost embarrassing, but Steve forced himself to bask in the full brilliance of the adoration. He may have to get used to this for a while.


He smiled in his most engaging manner. "Say you'll be here first thing in the morning to report for work."


"You bet!" Danny snapped back.


A huge grin lit up the youthful face. He was the literal embodiment of the phrase 'Bursting at the seams!' McGarrett thought. 'Danny'll probably beat me here in the morning.' He pulled out the extra keys to the office and the Palace. Danny would probably get a lot of use out of these.


McGarrett came around the desk and placed a hand on the shorter man's shoulder. "Good to have you on the team, Dan . . . Danno, " he stuttered.


The appellation was spontaneous and unconscious. Danno was an affectionate Hawaiian nickname for someone named Dan. The kind of name you'd use for a kid brother, and Danno was the consummate kid brother.


"Mahalo nui loa, Steve."


There was a subtle nod of acceptance and appreciation in the response. Like a covenant sealed; an unspoken mutual understanding. "My pleasure, Danno," he responded sincerely. McGarrett held out his hand and they shook on the pact. He felt strangely in touch with destiny; the past, the future. Right now the future looked very good.