epilogue to: King
of the Hill
KING OF THE ISLANDS
For a few minutes, Chin Ho Kelly sat in the chair in his office. Staring at
the desk he did not really see the neatly stacked papers, the clock, the memos. Finally settled enough, he extracted his pipe and
took comfort in the familiar habit of charging and lighting the instrument. It
had been one terrible day and Kelly felt justified in the few stolen moments of
solitude after the life and death events of the last few hours.
Feeling more at peace with the world, he reached for the phone and called
"Hello?" Mai Kelly sounded harried and tense. A blaring TV
commercial echoed in the background. She had been waiting for word.
"Hello, dear. I wanted to call and let you
know everythingís all right."
The relief and joy in her voice were instantly evident. "Wonderful,
Chin. You werenít hurt, were you?"
"Not a scratch, dear. Iím just fine. So is Danny."
She sighed again. "Thatís what the news said. Is he really going to be
Was that a little catch of emotion in her voice? The Five-0 unit was ohana.
May, the secretary, did her part as a surrogate
guardian. Steve, Kono and Danny were still single. Mrs. Kelly looked after them
like a den mother since she was the only detective-wife. She felt Steve needed
shepherding since he was so fiercely independent but secretly alone (according
to her). Kono needed someone to cook him home meals since he
lived far away from his own ohana on the Big Island, and he so appreciated good
kau kau. Danny,
well, Danny seemed young and innocent -- in need of mothering. Chin tried
occasionally to correct her impressions of his colleagues, but she insisted on
these labels. He thought she had enough to do with eight children of her own at
home, but adopting the Five-0 crew seemed something else required of her and
she filled the need.
In moments of crisis, like today, Mrs. Kelly's comfort and care were
welcomed by all the guys. Chin released a shuddered sigh. He hoped to never
relive anything so terrible as this again. He thought
it was bad some months back when Danny was arrested for killing an unarmed
kid.* Steve talked tough to Danny, but chewed up the island trying to clear his
young officer. When Steve brought in the slimy drug dealer Big Chicken (who
could clear Williams), Big Chicken was bleeding. Chin never asked what Steve
did to the criminal -- heíd rather not know the details. When the boss went to
personally spring Danny out of HPD lock-up -- well, heíd never seen Steve
Maybe that incident should have been a warning for what would occur if
anything more serious happened to Williams. Like if Danny ever went down in the
line of duty. The risk was something they all lived with but rarely mentioned.
When Steve had been shot a few months ago they thought he would die. Danny had
been so distraught, consumed with fear. The only thing keeping him going was
the need to carry on for Steve. Everyone in the office felt apprehensive for
those few terrible days. Steve McGarrett dead -- unthinkable.
Somehow they had carried on despite that horrible threat hovering over them
while Steve lay in the hospital recovering from bullet wounds. Dannyís
desperate hope and dedication kept them together.
Late last year Chin himself had been injured from a severe concussion.
Reports indicated Steve took it pretty hard -- went downtown and threatened the
suspect. Something only McGarrett could get away with. A
risky, illegal, but touching, sentiment. The incident had been minor
league compared to this morningís crisis at the hospital.
Today Chin, Kono Kalakaua, HPD and medical personnel were still reeling
from the emotional volcano that had erupted at the hospital. Sparks flew big
time when McGarrett discovered HIS Officer Williams,
had been shot and held hostage by a deranged gunman.
Fear, thatís what Steve had felt -- fear for Dannyís life. Foreboding was
what McGarrett instilled in everyone who witnessed the incredible, volatile
reactions of the normally cool and controlled McGarrett. Everyone from hapless
HPD officers, to military personnel, to doctors had been singed by the heat of
his rage. Regardless of the danger to himself or
others, Steve wanted to rush the room to save his wounded friend. Barely
holding the boss in check was the threat to the invalid patients in the
hospital wing. If Steve wouldnít have come up with the clever plan to tune in
on the madmanís fantasy -- well, Chin didnít want to think of McGarrett pushed
to the limit. The extremes displayed today were shocking enough.
"What a nightmare," Kono Kalakaua muttered with a heavy sigh. The
big Hawaiian slumped into a chair by Chinís desk and offered his colleague some
manapua, which Chin declined. "Man, Iíve never
been so scared in my life. Almost made me lose my appetite.
I thought Steve was going to kill somebody."
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Chin smiled at the affable cop whoís native sagacity always seemed to defuse the tension of
the job. Kono and Danny were surfing buddies, had known each other for a while
in HPD before Kalakaua, then Williams came into Five-0. If Kono was relaxing
then Danny must be okay. Kono confirmed that Williams was in surgery and the
prognosis was hopeful.
"Didnít want to stick around -- too dangerous!"
He shivered with distaste. "One atomic explosionís enough for me in one
day. Could make me a nervous wreck or something being that
close to a big blast."
Just the two of them in the office, Chin felt secure enough to discuss the
events. "Iíve never seen Steve react so -- so -- "
"Pupule like a madman, bruddah. Go ahead,
say it, ainít no one here to
argue. He ainít gonna be
back for awhile. Heís sticking close as theyíll let him at the hospital."
Kono laughed. "I think the doctorís too scared to tell him to leave."
Chin leaned away from the desk and shook his head. "Never
thought I would see Steve get so close to someone on the force. Heís
always kept a distance, like he was afraid to get too involved with us
personally." His laugh was rueful. "Or maybe it was just working with
Sam Nohea in those early years."
With sober regret Kalakaua recalled the former days of Five-0 when
McGarrett first assembled the unit. There were personality clashes among the
detectives. Some were testing their limits with the legendary ex-Intelligence
officer McGarrett. Others were resentful of a leader coming out of the Navy to
run a police unit. While the new state police force achieved results, their
little group was not a happy place to work. The tension eased when Sam Nohea
retired and Danny Williams came aboard.
"Always thought it was a good thing Steve and Danny became
friends," Chin ruminated. "Until this
"Still a good thing, bruddah," Kono assured, judging the big
brother attitude to be a generally positive relationship for the tough
McGarrett. "Just remember we canít let anything happen to Danny or we gonna have big pilikia. Steve is king of this rock. Better
nobody mess with his kaikaina." On Chinís
questioning look he translated. "Little brother."
The phone rang and Chin answered it. He said a few words then hung up. To
Kono he reported it was a call about Corporal Auston.
The soldier who had gone into the violent flashback that nearly killed Williams
was now recovering from his head wound. Ironically, Auston
regained consciousness with no memory of the deadly drama he had caused at the
hospital. His last memory was of stopping at the ball field and asking a
slight, sandy-haired man if he could hit a few balls to the kids. The two
detectives sat in silence for a time, contemplating the harrowing events of the
day -- the desperation, fear and heroics they had experienced in the course of
a few hours. After a time they settled into the paperwork debris of the crisis.
The office door slammed and McGarrett sailed up to the doorway, a grin
plastered on his haggard face. "Dannoís out of surgery. Heíll be
fine." Breathing a quiet sigh, he revealed, "I talked to him for a
minute in recovery. Heíll be okay." Steve laughed a bit sadly. "He asked
who won the ball game." Rubbing tired eyes that seemed unusually moist, he
shook his head. "Dannoíll be fine."
The others expressed their relief and joy, both restrained, worn-out after
the ordeal. McGarrett gave them leave to go home and come back in the morning
ready to make up lost ground. Dismissing them, he retired to his office and
closed the door.
Walking through the rituals of returning after a long day, Steve could not
bring himself to settle down, to rest his fatigued body, to think. He opened
the blinds, then opened both lanai doors to let fresh
air into the stuffy office. Pacing around the desk he moved papers, glanced at
memos, removed his jacket and shoulder holster. After replenishing his cup with
fresh coffee and going over items on Mayís desk, he returned to his office,
once more closing the door and gravitating to the lanai.
Leaning on the wall he sipped the hot, bitter liquid and let his mind
wander. Inevitably, memories returned to the horrifying hostage drama, the
anguish of knowing Danno was injured and without help, the fear of losing his
friend. Not just his colleague, his officer, his protťgť -- his friend. During
the months of their association, Williams had impressed him, opposed and
challenged him, but mostly supported him with unbelievable loyalty. Somehow,
during the year they had known each other, Danís devotion and Steveís
admiration turned to mutual friendship.
Placing the empty cup on his desk he walked out to lean on the white,
wrought-iron railing on the lanai. Breathing deeply of the fresh evening air
his shaky nerves raced with his unsettled thoughts. From the moment he heard of
Dan being wounded and held hostage, he experienced a form of dread nearer to
panic than he had ever known. Fear fueled the extreme temperament that drove
him beyond even his limits of behavior.
ĎYou donít know what you have until you lose it,í was an old adage
he never fully appreciated concerning friends. Sure, in the Navy heíd had mates
who were loyal buddies. None of them, even when endangered, made him feel like
his guts were being torn asunder like when he thought heíd lost Danno. Danno --
even the fond local nickname engendered a kind of brotherly relationship
lacking in his previous associations.
Now, hours after the crisis, after heíd talked to Williams in recovery, he
shuddered to think what he would have done, what he would have felt, if Danno
The recollection of his visit brought a sad, ironic scoff to the surface.
Danís first comments had been an apology of all things! To Steve! For being a victim
-- for being shot! Then he apologized because he had failed to shoot Auston when he had the chance.
Steve was sympathetic, carrying his own guilt -- he couldnít reach Danno
sooner. Then, to top it off, in the pain-filled state of shock during the hostage
crisis, Dan somehow figured out some of McGarrettís wild behavior. Dan was a
little humbled that the boss would go out on a limb like that for the new kid
on the team. (In the delirium of the sedative, Danno mentioned the frequent
ribbing he received from colleagues that Steve had adopted him as a little
brother and anybody messing with him was going to be in for big trouble). That
didnít do anything for Danís irritation at himself for the way things went down
or how heíd handled everything. Dan felt he had to live up to Steveís image of
the perfect cop and sometimes came up lacking.
Steve, rattled by the close call and the unexpected revelations, tried to
assure Williams that none of this reflected badly on him. Indeed, McGarrett held
nothing but enhanced esteem and affection for Danís bravery while wounded and
captured. Danno was right, however about McGarrett feeling responsible for his
guys -- for Dan. If Steve was the king of the islands as his critics insisted,
then Danno was the heir apparent, and nothing better happen to his Ďkid
brotherí or they would have to answer to the king!
* AND THEY PAINTED DAISIES ON HIS COFFIN