epilogue to: King of the Hill






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 his wife.


"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 everything’s all right."


The relief and joy in her voice were instantly evident. "Wonderful, Chin. You weren’t hurt, were you?"


"Not a scratch, dear. I’m just fine. So is Danny."


She sighed again. "That’s what the news said. Is he really going to be all right?"


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 -- he’d rather not know the details. When the boss went to personally spring Danny out of HPD lock-up -- well, he’d never seen Steve happier.


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. Danny’s 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 morning’s 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, that’s what Steve had felt -- fear for Danny’s 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 wouldn’t have come up with the clever plan to tune in on the madman’s fantasy -- well, Chin didn’t 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 Chin’s desk and offered his colleague some manapua, which Chin declined. "Man, I’ve 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 who’s 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.


"Didn’t want to stick around -- too dangerous!" He shivered with distaste. "One atomic explosion’s 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. "I’ve never seen Steve react so -- so -- "


"Pupule like a madman, bruddah. Go ahead, say it, ain’t no one here to argue. He ain’t gonna be back for awhile. He’s sticking close as they’ll let him at the hospital." Kono laughed. "I think the doctor’s 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. He’s 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 morning."


"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 can’t let anything happen to Danny or we gonna have big pilikia. Steve is king of this rock. Better nobody mess with his kaikaina." On Chin’s 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. "Danno’s out of surgery. He’ll be fine." Breathing a quiet sigh, he revealed, "I talked to him for a minute in recovery. He’ll 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. "Danno’ll 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 May’s 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 protégé -- 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, Dan’s devotion and Steve’s 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.


‘You don’t know what you have until you lose it,’ was an old adage he never fully appreciated concerning friends. Sure, in the Navy he’d 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 he’d 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 he’d talked to Williams in recovery, he shuddered to think what he would have done, what he would have felt, if Danno had died.


The recollection of his visit brought a sad, ironic scoff to the surface. Dan’s 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 couldn’t 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 McGarrett’s 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 didn’t do anything for Dan’s irritation at himself for the way things went down or how he’d handled everything. Dan felt he had to live up to Steve’s 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 Dan’s 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 ‘kid brother’ or they would have to answer to the king!