Missing scene V for VASHON – The Father

 

GUARD DUTY

by

gm

 

 

“Being a target is not one of my favorite occupations.”

 

“No fun at all,” Williams agreed as he stepped out to join his friend on the lanai.  The  beautiful, partial view of the sunset was dramatic, and while they could only see a portion of the orange-streaked ocean from McGarrett’s condo lanai facing Diamond Head, but it was breathtaking.  “Maybe I should keep you inside.”

 

“Don’t push your luck,” Steve smirked, glancing over at his detective for a moment, then focusing again on the sunset.

 

Dressed in casual clothes, sipping a cold drink, it could have been any night after work, enjoying a rare moment of serenity with a friend.  Except that’s not how officers at Five-0 spent their evenings.  It was either work or – work.  When they socialized it was meals, sometimes active sports to exercise-out the tension generated from their high-pressure careers.   Very seldom relaxing.  While McGarrett easily could imagine this was purely social, the underlying tension shadowing him reminded this was a matter of life and death.  His.

 

Williams had arrived here a while ago to go over a few last minute items of business, but McGarrett saw through the ruse.  His second-in-command was taking the first shift of guard duty, ostensibly working, while trying to make this seem less of a bitter pill for the controlling and vexed boss to swallow. 

 

“And I thought we were doing a pretty good job of two aikane unwinding after work.”

 

The boss could not detach himself from the reality of the situation enough to fall in with the subterfuge  “I can take care of myself,” McGarrett assured crisply as he steered back into the condo.  He glared at the couch, piled with a pillow, a light blanket and a suit bag.

 

“Only until we get this guy, Steve,” Williams reminded.

 

That the private and tough leader was chafing at the overt protection was obvious.  The debate about how much protection McGarrett would accept was still ongoing, but Williams had figured if he showed up on the doorstep with his gear and tenacious attitude, he could wear down the boss.  It was for his own good. Vashon wanted him dead in a committed vendetta, and could strike at any time.  The younger officer had set up security – difficult at best for the constantly on-the-go head of Five-0.  That it rankled against McGarrett’s independent nature was expected.  That it might save his life was all that mattered to the second.

 

“You don’t have to do this,” McGarrett griped, obviously wanting to say ‘Don’t do this.’  That he was showing some restraint meant that Williams’ arguments were getting to him, or he was seeing the logic of added security without actually admitting it.  “There are patrolmen out in the hall, Danno.  There are guards down at the entrance to the building –“

 

“And Vashon is determined to take you out,” he finished evenly, taking a seat on the sofa.  “So it won’t hurt me to spend a night on your couch.”

 

He had come over in the Mustang, dressed in casual clothes and offering take out from Ono’s Barbeque.  It had been his proverbial foot in the door for his master plan to keep close watch on his friend.  Steve said he had no death wish, but Danny couldn’t swear to that sometimes.  In the quest for answers, in the name of solving a case, the boss had a blind side for his own safety.  Now they were forewarned that there was a contract out on Steve’s life and as a colleague and friend, Danny was not going to let anything happen to the stubborn chief.  The only way to assure that was to stick with the boss like one-finger poi. 

 

Shaking his head in ruefully acceptance, McGarrett sighed.  “All right.  For tonight.”

 

“Okay.”  He would argue over tomorrow’s guard duty tomorrow.  One small victory at a time was sometimes all he could manage around Steve’s stubborn pride.

 

 

*****

 

 

Never a heavy sleeper, Williams managed a decent doze on the couch, but not restful.  His subconscious preoccupied with his duty, he started at every unfamiliar noise.  When the alarm went off in McGarrett’s room, even though it was a muffled sound through several walls, it was enough to wake him.  By the time McGarrett emerged, prepared for work, Williams had checked in with the overnight guards downstairs, brewed a pot of coffee and coordinated overlapping HPD security for the Palace and anywhere else the boss would be today. 

 

After his own morning prep, Williams would switch cars and head for the Palace.  He should have driven the LTD, he decided in hindsight, then he could have followed McGarrett into the office.  All right, room for improvement for his sentinel efforts.  He would be more thorough today.  He had to be.  This was Steve’s life on the line.

 

“All quiet on the living room front?” McGarrett joked as he charged into the kitchen and grabbed one of the cups of coffee.

 

“All quiet,” Williams confirmed, moving to the chair where he had draped his suit bag.  “I’ll meet you at the office.”

 

 

*****

 

Williams just finished knotting his tie when pounding reverberated the front door, and Patrolman Thompson shouted his name.  Heart racing, afraid something had happened to McGarrett, he dashed to the entrance.  The startled officer in the hall breathlessly told him a bomb had been found in McGarrett’s car downstairs.  Grabbing his jacket, he jogged to the elevator that had been left open for them.

 

“Steve is okay?”

 

“Yeah, he figured it out in time.”

 

“Bomb squad on the way?”

 

“Yeah.  Duke’s got more troops coming.  And he already alerted Ben and Chin, too,”

 

Williams gave a tight nod, cursing that he should have done a better job with security.  Overnight patrols had not been enough, obviously.  The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and Williams dashed out, racing to the sunny concrete parking deck overlooking the Ala Wai Canal.  The morning was already warm and bright with the promise of another beautiful day in paradise, but the detective ignored the extraneous and coiled with tension, focused on the threat.  Several HPD uniformed men were hovering near the black Mercury, McGarrett startlingly visible – a good target -- in his light suit as he paced around the rear of the big car.

 

“How’d you find it?” Williams asked him as he fell into step with the boss.

 

“Checked the thread on the hood.”

 

An old spy trick – leave tight threads in doorways or openings -- or hoods and trunks of cars.  Pretty crafty of McGarrett to think of that.  If the thread was broken, there had been an unauthorized entry.  Simple, but effective.  Most culprits would not be looking for something so elementary and subtle.  Certainly this would-be assassin did not suspect such an old ploy, but it had just saved Steve’s life, thankfully. 

 

When the HPD bomb officer asked them to clear the area, Williams joined McGarrett behind a pillar near the Mustang.  Not until then had Williams considered he should have moved his prized vehicle out of the way.  For that matter, standing here behind a concrete pylon was not the safest place to be, depending on the size of the blast.  IF there was a blast.  Chin and Ben were not far away, either.  He didn’t get a good look at the bomb, so he didn’t know specifics, but he should insist that they all take cover.  If there was a misjudgment on the part of the explosives officer, the entire detective staff of Five-0 could be taken out!

 

Holding his breath, he sighed deeply when the all clear was given.  McGarrett crisply snapped out orders.  With partial attention Williams listened, preoccupied with his revised plan for security for the rest of this ordeal. 

 

 

An explanation of why the Mustang is parked at Steve’s apartment during this scene