Epilog to:

Most Likely to Murder

Synopsis:

Danny's old friend Lew Morgan is a patrolman with HPD. Lew and his wife Margery went to high school with Danny and they are all old pals. Margery is found murdered. McGarrett calls on Five-0 and HPD to go all out and find the killer. Slowly, an ugly picture emerges. McGarrett reluctantly informs Dan that Margery had several boyfriends, including one who is a dangerous ex-con.

Lew resents Dan being in the "private club" of Five-0 and takes his own path. He finds the ex-boyfriend and kills him. McGarrett then finds out that the ex-con had an alibi for the murder and Steve knows Lew killed her. In McGarrett's office, Lew confesses and Danny is disillusioned and upset at the fall of his friend.

 

 

MURDER CHANGES EVERYTHING

by

GM

 

 


The silence in the office was oppressive. Steve McGarrett waited, hardly breathing, tarrying from any action, any movement, any comment. He awaited some response from the stunned younger detective standing by the door.

Dan Williams had just watched his longtime friend Lew Morgan taken away and arrested for murder one. Previously, the last few days of intense investigation had been a grueling prelude to this moment. The scandalous discoveries that were revealed slowly -- as if peeling back an onion and the offensive odor growing stronger the closer you came to the unsavory heart -- had been painful for Williams. It had been tough on all the cops on Oahu. When one of their own was hurt it affected all of them. Of course that applied to families as well. A family member injured, in trouble -- murdered -- well, they had all tightened together as ohana. McGarrett didn't look forward to releasing the awful information that Lew Morgan had been the murder. Not only of his wife, but of her boyfriend, also.

What made McGarrett most angry was how Morgan had used Williams. Danno had tried to help Lew, as all the cops on Oahu had, when they believed Margery Morgan, Lew's wife, had been killed by an intruder. The ugly truth was that she had been murdered by Lew because she was cheating on him. All that time Williams, and McGarrett, had believed Lew and worked hard, along with the other cops, to find the murderer. To make matters worse, Lew had framed a criminal, Gary Oliver, and killed the ex-con in an attempt to cover-up the first crime.

Adjusting his sights on Lew had not been hard, Steve mentally decided. In all honesty, he had looked first close to home -- an investigator always did with murder. Morgan had a good, but not perfect alibi and Steve had pressed to find out more. Danno had been stung to find out the truth, but at the core Williams was a great cop. He knew what had to be done. And he was mature enough, even though Steve still looked at him as the kid on the team, to accept the gritty necessities of detective work.

McGarrett had barely contained his fury at Morgan when he discovered the real facts. It was bad enough that Lew was a murderer twice over. That he used his brother policemen as his pawns was galling.

Now, as he stared across the room at his friend, McGarrett felt himself plunge into another, deeper level of wrath. Lew had used Danno -- despicably used him. He had played on Dan's sentimental attachment to the good old days in high school. Worse, he had tried to play Dan against McGarrett, against Five-0, for insider information, for favors, for Lew to work the case with the with the intent of covering up evidence or tracking the suspected killer.

With a flush of pride, Steve knew none of Lew's entreaties had worked with Williams. Danno did not see a separation between Five-0 and HPD as Lew had implied. He only saw the distinction between right and wrong.

There were few people in the world that McGarrett would make any possible sacrifice for. One of them was standing at the other side of the office, stunned into silent misery by Morgan's betrayal. Livid, Steve tried to get a grip on his bubbling anger so he could act in a calm and helpful manner for Danno. It was tough. Steve could never forgive Lew for what he had done by betraying his shield, and for stabbing Danno in the back. Faithful, honorable Dan Williams. The younger detective deserved a lot better than Morgan, and McGarrett hoped that when comparisons were made, he would qualify as a solid friend to the man he had come to accept as his closest ally and friend.

Skirting away from that issue, Steve tried not to examine his actions too closely in this case. He had suspected Lew of murdering his wife for a while. Danno had been resistant and naturally defensive of his old school chum. Of course he would. Staunch was practically Danno's middle name. How else could Williams react when his boss/relatively-new-friend made such an accusation against a tried and true pal?

As McGarrett hoped, Danno's faith in him -- the system -- in right -- prevailed and he came to accept the difficult truth. Lew was a calculating, cold murderer.

When Morgan killed Oliver there was no trace of sympathy anymore from the once supportive cop brotherhood, yet the loyalty from Williams remained in a tempered, disillusioned form. The old sentiments had been crushed and the gulf between the old friends became insurmountable. Dan's intrinsic integrity enabled him to see Lew for what he was; an out of control killer, a loser.

Striding over to join the shorter man, McGarrett hesitantly placed a gentle hold on Dan's arm. "Danno?" His friend looked pale and dazed. He led them over to the sofa in the corner of the room. "Why don't you take a breather."

Dazed, Williams plopped down on the couch and shook his head. "I couldn't believe it. Lew -- how could he do it? Killing Oliver, in a fit of rage was bad enough. But premeditated -- murdering Margery . . . . I thought I knew him."

Steve drew up chair close to his associate. "Yeah, I know. It's tough to swallow."

There was no pride in this success: the abrasive tension between them when McGarrett voiced his theory of Lew's guilt, Danno's automatic defense of a pal being capable of such a crime. The scenes played quickly through Steve's mind. What he remembered most were his emotions -- not the triumph of being right again and solving another case. Not the brilliant detective work. Not the skepticism when others were blinded by Lew's acting. He remembered the regret when Danno's face had folded into profound, regretful sorrow when it all came to light. And he still felt the anger -- the hate that rippled through his emotions when he thought that someone as true as Williams could be so cruelly used by Lew.

Williams sighed with a moan. "I bet you wonder how a cop could be so easily deceived."

"No," he admitted quietly, but firmly. "I feel a lot of hostility for someone who could manipulate a good friend like you for his own ends."

Williams ran fingers through his hair. "Thanks."

"For what? The truth?"

"He played me for a sucker."

Steve almost smiled. Danno was a veteran cop, but sometimes, when he was particularly vulnerable, he seemed like such a kid. "Lew knew your weakness, Danno." At the startled look from his friend he quickly explained, "Your devotion." His voice rattled with anger and he took a breath to calm down. "Lew didn't deserved your friendship, Danno. Not for a long time. I didn't even have to be there for your high school years to know he manipulated you. Sure, he was a baseball star and popular, but he strained at it all, didn't he?" Danno didn't have to verbally respond, the answer was plainly apparent in his readable expression. "You were the one with the easy charm, a lot of friends, a good life. Lew used you way back then, I'm sure. It's in his personality to siphon the strengths from those around him to make up for his deficiencies."

Shaking his head without making eye contact, Dan's misery was still palpable and he mutely disagreed with the unflattering assessment.

McGarrett forged on. "You shouldn't feel guilty." Williams flinched and Steve knew he had hit the emotional target dead center. "Danno, you're a good guy. Part of the talent that makes you a great cop is that you have never lost your compassion. Lew used that, he played all of us and used all of us, but you were his focus to milk all the pity that he could out of you. Not because of your friendship, even, but because he needed you to help his cover up. But you couldn't keep your sharp cop instincts suppressed and when you saw what Lew was like inside, when you learned the evidence, you knew the truth and accepted it."

Williams seemed unconvinced.

"We've always known that murder is a nasty business," McGarrett continued softly. "Not just the victim, but all the layers around the actual act. The motives, the underlying suspicion, the unexpected and sometimes revolting solution. We learned that Lew and Margery Morgan were not the good friends and loving couple you saw from the old days. That wasn't easy for you, I know."

"Did they change, or did I?"

"You grew up. You've always embraced life. Lew seems to have battled it and resented it when things weren't easy like they were in high school." He paused to see if his analysis was having any affect. "He hated what he and his wife had become. There was a lot of anger inside him."

Taking a breath, Dan shifted his hands to wipe his face. "I didn't realize," he admitted shakily, "that Lew hated Five-0 so much. Hated me so much."

Another swell of ire surfaced within McGarrett. Morgan had certainly lashed out at Danno and him for being members of the exclusive Five-0 club. Steve was blamed for excluding Lew and others, from never allowing other cops into the rarified circle of camaraderie within the state police force. That kind of attack was not something unique or new, but it had never been voiced with such personal contempt as it had from Lew. And although Steve denied the accusations, he had to admit that Five-0 WAS a closed, tight unit. Few were given the privilege of being invited onto this team and that was because, in Steve's tough, perfectionist view, few were worthy. Lew certainly wasn't. He had hated what he could not attain. And because Danno WAS exemplary enough for Five-0, that was yet another reason for Morgan to hate the young cop.

"He was jealous, Danno." This wasn't the first time they had encountered a situation where outsiders tried to divide their unit. It never worked. Beyond the fabric of tightly woven working relationships, was the underlying texture of friendship that made Five-0 solid and effective. "Resentment is a festered emotion he's harbored for a long time, I think. His railing about Five-0 was just part of the big picture." His tone warmed. "And his petty insecurities blinded him to all the great things he had."

He was amazed that Danno could not see it; view the matter with his sharp and unerring perspective. Lew had been the old friend who had fallen into disgrace and tried to pull himself back up by pulling Williams down to his level. He had appealed to Dan's old loyalty. McGarrett had demanded rational thinking and current fidelity from his detective. Williams had been stuck in the middle, tugged by devotion to his job and boss and, yes, friend, in opposition to Lew's sentimental attachment to the past. Steve's anger abated somewhat when he reminded himself that the good guys won in this emotional tug-of-war. The parallel of the two friendships old and new -- with Dan in the middle -- was obvious, he understood with a swell of pride. He won. He never had a doubt. Danno had been tested and had proven his loyalty was to Five-0, to McGarrett. It was an old test that his friend had passed before, and would probably be called upon to endure again. McGarrett had no worries Danno would always make the right choice.

"Lew was a fool to not see what a good friend you really are." Williams' face flushed with embarrassment and McGarrett's eyes narrowed with resolve. "I mean it, Danno."

Dan glanced up and managed a weak smile. "Thanks."

Patting his friend's shoulder, Steve grinned. "Sure. You deserve it." He sobered and squeezed Dan's shoulder. "Now you've got to put the past behind you. Lew was part of your youth. This is a different life, now.

"Yeah," he agreed half-heartedly. "Things are sure different now."

"Murder does that. It changes everything."

 

PAU