REST, RELAXATION AND RELIEF

EPILOG to R&R&R

by Gina Martin


When Dan Williams screeched his car to a halt near the jet airliner, he was relieved to see McGarrett coming down the steps escorting the recently widowed woman they were trying to protect. Emerging from the car, Dan watched his boss, relief returning to anxiety when he realized Steve's left hand was bandaged and he seemed to be a bit 'off-balance'. Walking quickly, Dan reached the ramp just as McGarrett stepped onto the tarmac. Mrs. Sysmanski was taken away by someone from the army.

McGarrett held onto the railing of the mobile stairs, swaying slightly. Dan took him by the arm, noting blood spots spreading on the handkerchief wrapped around the injured hand.

"Come on, Steve, let's get you to the hospital."

Apparently light-headed, Steve nodded, leaning on his second-in-command as they walked slowly toward the car.

"I hope you at least caught the killer."

The tone was more bitter and recriminating than a wounded officer should receive, but as much as the wayward McGarrett deserved. Seemingly oblivious to the inflection, Steve gave a slight nod. Carefully easing his friend into the car, Dan rushed around to the driver's side, fuming and muttering under his breath about his stubbornly independent boss.

Showing the initial symptoms of shock, McGarrett leaned his head back during the quick ride. Siren blasting, Williams sped through the Honolulu streets with near reckless maneuvering -- anxiety and anger fueling his speed. Nobly he refrained his curiosity and let his friend rest, though his mind was bubbling with questions.

If he lived to be a hundred he would never understand Steve's penchant for running off and being the lone wolf. Every time it got Steve into trouble. One of these days it would get him killed.

Staying with McGarrett, Dan learned, to his dismay, the gash on the left palm was a knife wound. Subdued with suffering and shock, McGarrett haltingly told the story of having to grab the knife to save his life.

Williams winced, aching at the unimaginable pain that must have caused -- amazed and in awe of the mettle it took for McGarrett to hold onto that blade long enough to kill the assailant. It gave a whole, profound new dimension to the incredible legend of Steve McGarrett. Dan's already intense respect for his friend elevated to the level of reverence. No question, McGarrett was the most complex and incredible person on the planet. While Dan admired him completely, he also knew there were chinks in the armor to keep Steve from reaching perfection. One flaw in the personality was the motivation for today's injury. If Steve didn't insist on such absurd heroics, he wouldn't have so many injuries.

With that reverence also came a level of fear. Steve would do anything -- anything -- to conclude a case. Sometimes he had no sense of survival it seemed. The fear settled into a new, depressing understanding of his foolhardy friend and it sobered Williams to know how his friend courted danger.

Sedated and settled in a private room, McGarrett in repose seemed benign and non-threatening. Deceptive, Williams decided. A sleeping tiger waiting to spring. For now the tiger was safe from the worst criminals and from his own folly. Shaken and unsettled, Dan returned to the office, but his thoughts never left his formidable friend in the hospital.

*****

Taking a breath for courage, Dan knocked on the door. A command to enter was barked from the other side. Entering, Dan shook his head in resignation. McGarrett was sitting up in bed, newspapers strewn around him, snapping irritably at someone on the phone. With a bandaged hand he motioned Williams to enter, then quickly terminated his conversation and slammed the phone down. The violent motion jarred his injury and he winced, hissing with pain.

 

"Danno, where have you been? I've been trying to get you for an hour. Did you bring my clothes?"

Words like machine-gun bullets, Dan nearly ducked under the intense onslaught. He held up empty hands. "No. I didn't think they'd release you --"

"They aren't. I'm releasing myself. How can I leave without clothes? Did you take my suit from yesterday?"

"Yeah, it's at the cleaners."

"Danno, I need some clothes."

Having a whole night to ponder the problem, Dan had come up with some excellent comments to Steve's foolhardy risk of the day before. Techniques on disarming a suspect, calling for back-up and general police procedure all fizzled away under McGarrett's blast of authority. Not to be cowed by the gale, Williams cut to the bottom line.

"Steve, you need R&R -- you know -- rest and recuperation. No, on second thought, you DON'T know what that is."

McGarrett's eyebrows elevated at the sharp tone. "Are you all right, Danno?"

Exasperated, Dan nearly laughed. "No! No, I'm not all right, Steve! I'm mad!"

"What's wrong?"

"You."

Incredulous, McGarrett's momentarily startled expression was priceless. He stuttered out the beginnings of a question, then fell silent. Dan knew an opening when he had one and plunged into the breech.

"Your Lone Ranger stunt could have killed you yesterday, Steve. One of your worst weaknesses. You didn't bother to let the rest of us know what was going on, you just ran off to handle things yourself."

Steve had the decency to be chagrined. "There didn't seem to be time, Danno. I'm sorry." He twitched his left hand. "Believe me."

Tight, fists clenched, Dan paced the small hospital room. "Now you're injured, in obvious pain, and you want to leave the hospital. Take a break, Steve! You're not the only member of Five-0, you know. I can take care of things for a few days." Worked up, he stalked closer to the bed until he was next to the subject of his wrath. "It's not against the law for you to get some rest and relaxation. These combat soldiers from 'Nam come here for R&R. You LIVE here in paradise, Steve, you should give yourself some R&R."

A tolerant smile of pride, of affection, of amusement played at his lips. "This really has you wound up, doesn't it, Danno?"

Taking a deep breath, Williams blushed. "Yeah. Sorry." He took a seat on the edge of the bed. "The way you take insane risks sometimes, Steve, you -- you drive me crazy."

McGarrett nodded his voice rueful. "Well, in hindsight, sometimes I do seem obsessed to get the bad guy." He patted his friend on the arm. "And I don't want to drive you nuts, Danno, so --" he shrugged and sighed. "Where do I go to get a holiday from paradise?"

Williams warily brightened. "You mean you'll take some time off?"

"R&R. I'll show you I can take a few days off, no problem."

Dan hid a scoff inside a cough. "And your insane risks --"

"Don't push your luck, Danno."

With a sigh Dan backed off, settling for a compromise for now. With a promise to return with clothes the next day, Dan left; hoping his boss was serious about taking a recuperative vacation. Glumly, he predicted Steve would be back in the office by the end of the week. Oh, well, at least a little R&R was better than nothing.


PAU