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10 November 2012 @ 10:27 pm
Every Direction is Ocean and Sky 2/10  


<< Chapter 1

~Chapter Two~
Finding What is Lost (and Forgotten)

(10188/50000 words)


Danny has the key to the house and after a few careful glanced towards Steve he agrees to let him in, as long as he doesn’t go psycho on him or something nuts like that. He has a gun, Danny reminds him, and he will use to pistol whip Steve into submission should things get hinky.

Steve assures him he’ll be fine.

Blood is on the carpet of his father’s house. The same house that he grew up in, the house when his family was still happy and together. Now it’s the house that his father died in. Steve doesn’t know if he can live with that.

“What have you found?” He asks Danny as they make their way through the mess, sitting his duffel back against the wall.

“I agreed to let you in, but I can’t....” Danny cringes. “I can’t talk about the case with you.”

“This is my father we’re talking about.”

“Look, I get it, I do. But I’m also an officer of the law and will not divulge information that may cause you to interfere with this case. I’m sorry, man.”

Steve sighs and looks around and he could probably do this - investigate, even without Danny’s help. He’s a trained Navy SEAL and he’s not an idiot. There are bloody boot prints trailing through his father’s office area and he can’t help but eye the scuff marks left by the chair his father....

“Steve, may be you should just...,” Danny says soothingly like he can see how affected Steve is,

Steve doesn’t want to leave. “No, I’m fine. Just let me look for a sec.”

Danny gives him a wary look but lets him wander close to the desk in the room. Papers and case folder are stacked a foot high, but pushed to either side of the large mahogany desk. Steve sits in the chair and considers the void in the middle, just large enough for...

“There was a laptop here,” Steve points out.

“I know.” Danny gives him a quick nod.

Steve thinks back to the ambush that day. Someone was tracking them. Tracking Steve to get to Hess’s brother.

“Someone was with him. With Hess, here at this desk.”

“What?” Danny comes around to stand beside him, brow furrowed. “How can you tell?”

Steve can see it in his head. “Hess called me, but someone was here with a laptop to track the signal. Hess was over by my father, even held the phone to his ear,” he explains. “Hess couldn’t have been doing both. Couldn’t track me and kill my father at the same time, could he?”

“Steve, stop.”

He looks down to see his fists curled tightly, the knuckles of his hand white.

“We’ll get him, okay?” Danny places his hand back on his Steve’s shoulder and it’s feel good to have it there again. He breathes deeply and falls back into the chair, rubbing his still tear-raw eyes.

“Let’s get out of this room.”

Danny pushes Steve into the kitchen area and steps back to pull out his phone, a single finger indicating he wants Steve to give him a minute.

The kitchen is smaller than he remembers. He knows, though, it’s because he’s grown and not that the room as shrunk. Steve towers over most things nowadays, even the detective. Walking around, Steve touches things, this and that, remembering like it was yesterday to have been eating here. There are still a few dishes in the sink and a knife sitting beside a cutting board, vegetables probably tossed out by the police. The window behind the sink still bears the same drapes his mother decorated them with, all those years ago. They’re in need of washing, dusting or something, Steve’s not sure about these things. He’s never had to keep up a house before.

His cellphone rings as he stares out the window watching the grass bend with the wind. “McGarrett,” he answers quickly when he doesn’t recognize the number.

“Commander, this is the Governor.”

He’d been warned that the Governor might try to contact him when he came ashore, but he hasn’t had the time to think about what to say to her, or consider what she might ask of him given his experiences in the Navy.

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“I’m sorry for your loss, your father was a good friend of mine. His death has come as a great shock to all of us. I hope this isn’t a bad time to discuss a few things with you,” she says. Steve can hear in her voice that if he asked it of her, she would give him more time. Danny is still speaking quietly into his phone in the other room and Steve wonders.

“No, now is fine.”

~
It’s done. He’s just agreed to head up a new task force for the state of Hawaii. A fucking task force with immunity and means, the Governor had said. Steve is still working it all out in his head when Danny walks into the kitchen, hand still holding his cell phone, smile on his face.

“Good news. I just called headquarters and their sending out a cleaning crew to take care of this... mess. And I, because I’m just that awesome, will be taking you to get some food while they do that and because, really, you’re looking a bit on the thin side my friend and you might fall out on me. You’re a big guy and I, sadly, cannot carry your ass.”

Steve smiles and can’t really do much else but stare at Danny.

“What?” Danny wipes at his stubble, looking at his hands. “Is there something on my face? Coffee that escaped from my cup, what?”

“Nothing.”

Danny frowns and points at him. “No, it’s not nothing. I brought you in here on the verge on tears and now you have this... this face and I don’t believe it’s ‘nothing’. Tell me.”

Steve walks over to him in the doorway. “I’m your new boss.”

Danny backs up a step and frowns. “Excuse me?”

“I just got off the phone with the Governor of Hawaii. She’s made me the head of a special task force that works directly beneath her, full immunity and mean. We’re gonna do everything we can to catch Victor Hess and you’re going to help me. I’m making you my partner, Danny.”

Steve laughs to help lighten the tension that Danny has let settle around them. “Danny?”

The man has a shell shocked looked on his and he has to re-evaluate things for a moment, eyes squinted and searching Steve’s face. “You’re serious? Just like that,” he says with flourish of his hand.

Maybe Danny doesn’t really want this, or perhaps Steve overestimated Danny’s amiability towards him. “I though you were having trouble with HPD? Do you even fit in there?”

Suddenly, Danny is crazy defensive. “You don’t just... waltz up in here and change my job description without... consulting me, jesus, you could have just asked first.”

“So that’s a no?”

Danny huffs. “No, I just...”

“Danny,” Steve encourages. The detective looks indecisive and fidgety, running his hands through his perfectly combed hair, messing it up and Steve likes it better that way. Steve, right, focus.

“I’ve only been here six months,” Danny eventually says, eyes on Steve to gauge his reaction.

“Oh,” he says when, yeah, maybe he didn’t think this through all the way. He doesn’t actually know Danny, like, at all. At first, when he found out the guy worked with his father, he just latched on to Danny as someone he could trust. But beside that, nothing.

Steve scratches the back of his head and can only give a short laugh.

Danny sighs and then returns his smile. “Right. Lets do lunch and get this shit straightened out.”

And once again, Steve follows.

~

The car that Danny drives, the car he didn’t hear pull up, is a silver Chevy Camaro. He drops down into the passenger’s seat and has to curl up his legs before Danny falls in beside him and cringes. “Sorry, Grace is like, the size of your thigh, man,” and then proceeds to help Steve pull the seat back and he can stretch his legs out.

“Who’s Grace?” he asks a few miles later, watching the scenery pass through the window’s tinted glass.

“Hm?”

“You mentioned a Grace earlier.” Danny might be evading his question. But the whole point of this little ‘outing’ is to learn more about his new partner (hopefully his new partner).

Danny watches the road, eyes tracking the vehicles around them before glancing at Steve. He doesn’t say anything for a few moments and Steve doesn’t know what to make of that since he knows Danny heard his question.

Danny seems to come to a decision and apparently wants to share something with Steve. He’s coming to see how secretive the man is about his persona life. He pulls down the sun visor and pulls a photo from beneath the strap and hold it out to Steve.

It’s a photo. On the back is written in a neat script says, Gracie Age 8. Steve flips it over and finds a photograph of a small child, pigtails and pink skirt to match her fingernails. She’s smiling and looking adoringly at the camera, or rather, the person taking the photo. Steve looks beside him to find Danny flickering his gaze from the road to Steve.

“She’s yours?”

Danny beams. “That’s my Gracie. Light of my life. Reason I’m on this rock to begin with.”

“What do you mean?” Steve questions because Danny’s... situation is not making sense to him. “You’ve been here six months, but you have a daughter that’s here also. Did you not move here together? What about your wife?”

And that, it seems, is a touchy subject if the looks Danny is making is anything to go by. He grimaces and curls his fingers tightly against the steering wheel. “You,” Danny says with shake of his head, “you ask a lot of questions, my friend.”

“Guess that means I’ll be good at my job then,” Steve deadpans. Danny is not amused. His face says it all. Steve just stares right back.

“Okay, Fine. Stop with the Army death stare.”

Steve pretends to be mildly offended. “I’m in the Navy. Not the Army.”

Danny turns them down a road that leads down to one of the dock communities into a local restaurant that Steve knows serves tourists regularly. “Here, really?”

“They have good crab claws and cheap beer, do not argue with me on this,” Danny insists. “That and I’m buying, so cheaper is better.”

“Whatever you say, man.”
Danny buys their food (extra large for Steve, “You’ll wither away, eat some fucking calories.”) and leads them to a table in the corner where they can talk more privately.

“So?” Steve urges.

“So...” Danny begins. “I’ve divorced. Shocking, I know.”

Steve keeps quiets and raises his eyebrow, wordlessly telling Danny that his currently reply was not enough of an answer.

Danny huffs, but carries on, munching on his crab claws between words. “We met, my wife and I, when I was a rookie in New Jersey. Crashed her fucking in car into my cruiser. I should have known then this would end in disaster if that’s how it started.”

He devours three more crab claws and a large spoonful of cole slaw.

“Grace was seven when we divorced. Rachel, that’s my wife,” Danny points out, “remarries. Some sleaze ball businessman name Stan. Horrible name, I know this. Stan gets a job here and Rachel decides to uproot our family and move along. And I, being the doting father I am, followed my baby girl out here.”

“Wow.” Steve’s in awe of Danny’s devotion to his daughter and yeah, he’s jealous, envious and little sad. His own father would have never done what Danny’s done; followed his children half-way across the world to be there for them. “You’re a great father, Danny.”

Danny tries to wave him off. “I hate it here, but there’s no where else I’d rather be either, you know?”

Steve understands all too well. He hated that his father sent them away, and forbade them to return, telling them it wasn’t save to be there. He dreamed of Hawaii constantly, smelt the beach at random times and was so homesick it only make him run further away, knowing he couldn’t ever return to the one place he considered home.

“Where she goes, I go,” Danny says, looking Steve right in the eye and Steve knows there is no other partner for him anywhere. This is the kind of guy he wants to work with.

“Eat your food, what’s the matter with you?”  

Steve looks down and sees he’s only eaten a fraction of what Danny has. He digs in and Danny seems satisfied enough to return to his own food.

Danny finishes before he does, but is content to wait while he finishes his food and Steve is careful to eat everything in front of him to placate his partner.

Danny checks his watch and tells him that the cleaning crew should be in another hour and that they’ve got time to kill. Steve tells him that he doesn’t have to chauffeur Steve around the island, that he can find something to do with his time, but Danny won’t hear of it.

“Come on, I want you to meet someone, you might remember them, who know?”

Behind the restaurant are several tourist traps, selling diving gear, cheap skim-boards, and Hawaiian merchandise that Steve can’t stand. One of the shops sells boat tours that launch from the pier not to far away and Danny enters the shop looking around casually until he spots someone in the back and makes a beeline towards him.

The guys a native, kama’aina and Steve recognizes him instantly. He’d watched enough of the guys football replays to recognize him anywhere. Chin Ho Kelly, quarterback legend at his alma mater.

The guy greets Danny and they shake hands like old buddies. Danny turns to Steve to pull him into the greeting, settling a hand on Steve’s back and Steve flushes at the contact. “Chin, this is Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett, John’s boy.”

“Commander, I’ve very sorry for you loss. John was a great friend and my mentor when I was on the force. He’ll be missed,” Chin says while tightly squeezing Steve’s hand, his opposite hand wrapped around Steve’s wrist of the same arm.

“Thank you.”

Chin Ho Kelly is about Danny’s height, with a few inches on him, but no where near Steve’s own height. His dark complexion and black hair make his slanted eyes and sharp cheek bones stand out. His smile his friendly, if somewhat haunted, but Steve imagines that he tries to put on that face everyday. What else can a guy do?

“You were on the force?” Steve asks. “But you’re not now?”

Chin gestures at his clothing and Steve can see it’s a uniform, a security uniform. Steve glances at Danny and the man shrugs like saying “what the fuck can you do, hu?’.

“I was investigated for supposedly taking bribes and embezzling money from the department,” Chin says with sadness in his voice because he’s obviously told this story many times. “My career never recovered even though I was never charged with anything.”

“But you didn’t do anything?”

“Doesn’t matter now. Everyone sees you differently when they thing your a dirty cop. Can’t wash that kind of image away.”

Steve knows a man in need when he sees one and is determined to help this man. “So did you take the money, Chin?”

Chin’s gaze is icy when he say, “No, I did not.”

Danny is watching their conversation with a wary look, probably wondering what Steve is up too with all his questions again.

“Come work for me.”

Danny is flabbergasted, “Steve!”

“Work for you?” Chin asks. “What do you do?

Steve’s got him hooked, he can tell. “I’ve been appointed a task force by the Governor to handle crimes on the islands, starting with Victor Hess, the man who killed my father. We will have full immunity and mean, to do whatever is necessary to take this man out.”

“Even after what I’ve told you?” Chin backtracks.

“You said you didn’t take the money, now we never have to speak about this again.”

Chin looks at Danny like he can’t believe Steve is real. Danny just throws his hands up.

“Count me in, boss.” And so their group becomes three.

~

Danny drops Steve by his house with a promise to call him the next day. The cleaning crew’s van is still parked in his yard, but assures them they’re finished and hands Steve the key to the house.

“I still don’t think you should be staying here, but I know you won’t listen to me anyways,” Danny tells him, watching Steve turn the house key over in his hands. “Hess could be watching the place, expecting you, you know?”

“Maybe.” Steve shrugs. “I can’t say I wouldn’t be happy if he showed up tonight.”

“Stop, just stop, you’re making me worry. I don’t need this kind of stress, McGarrett.”

Steve doesn’t think Danny and him are on the same page. He will kill Hess if he sees him. Danny, strangely enough, just wants him safe. “I highly doubt anything happens tonight, Danny, don’t worry.”

His partner squeezes his eyes tightly and makes a shooing motion with hand. “Out, McGarrett, get out of my car, before I change my mind.”

Steve laughs but opens the door, turning to watch the cleaning van pull out onto the road, speeding away into the darkening evening. “You know,” Steve says as he leans back down to look at Danny through the car, “I’m a trained Navy SEAL. I’m more than capable of defending myself.”

Danny still hasn’t looked at him, eyes closed and face turned away. “Goodbye, Commander.” He shifts the gear to reverse and that’s Steve’s signal to close the passenger door and watch Danny drive away.

The house is dark, and growing darker as the sun curls around the sky to meet the edge. Like Danny said, the mess is indeed gone. All of his father’s paper have been stacked neatly back on the desk, which is also reorganized. The furniture is back in it’s proper place, or however his father had it arranged. The most obvious change is the blood. He kneels and can feel that the carpet is still slightly damp, but clean. He can’t even tell there was blood there to begin with, but he can see it in his minds eyes, the shape that it left.

He shakes his head, and think about what Danny would say. McGarrett, I swear, I told you not to go psycho over these things. Now get up and get your ass something to eat.

He moves on and tries not to think about his father so much, but it’s hard to when he’s surrounded by all of his father’s things.

The place smells cleaner than before. Steve’s not sure what all they did, but he can at least smell the difference. The dishes are washed and the drapes are no longer icky with dust. There is a large fruit basket on the table and Steve sits down and plucks a card out from underneath the basket.

Our deepest condolences, Lieutenant Commander McGarrett - Honolulu Police Department

Steve picks out a shiny red apple, appraising it’s color before puncturing the skin with fingernail, watching the juice run down to his palm. He’s tired, has been for a while and while he doesn’t want to go to sleep just yet, he doesn’t was to do this - sit idle.

His plans for his future had changed drastically with the death of his father. In the past 10 years, Steve had excelled in his career as a Naval Officer and he’d done everything he could to be stationed as far away from home as possible, taking dangerous missions and commissions that sometimes took him to places no sane person would want to return to. He’d nearly died several, several times in his life, but that’s what it took to live like he did. On the edge and fearless, confident and headstrong.

He didn’t feel like the sailor he had once been, and even that had been a big ploy to convince himself that he didn’t need a family. He didn’t need to rely on anyone to be happy.

Lies - all of it, lies. Steve knew that, always had.

He was miserable and lonely and most of all, hurt. The story of his life.

No more, Steve though. He just couldn’t do this anymore.

The juice from the apple dripped steadily on the table and Steve didn’t realize how long he’d sat there, contemplating himself when his cell phone dinged. He took his cell phone out with his clean hand, and saw the text from Danny light up the screen.

Eat the fruit Steve. I’ll buy you breakfast in the morning. Both of the bedrooms have clean sheets, don’t sleep on the couch, you giant.

Steve smiled and took a bit from the apple. The juice was sweet on his tongue and he felt better.

~

“So, you’ve talked to the neighbors?” Chin asked from their conference table. Equipment was still being unloaded and installed around them, but for now this would do. “Have either of you talked to the neighbors?”

Steve shook his head at the same time Danny spoke, “Yes. HPD sent uniforms to each door after we arrived, but no one has come forward with any information. The elderly couple that lived next door remembered hearing the gunshot, but when they called it in to HP, dispatch had already sent out units. They never saw anything.”

Chin grimaced but tried again. “What about the beach?”

“What about it?”

“What if they entered the house through the back, came in on the water,” Chin explained. “Was the backyard canvased for evidence?”

“I’m actually waiting for the files to be sent over from HPD right now.”

Steve was overwhelmed, but tried to jump in anyway. “We need to check on the boot print found at the scene and run ballistics on the bullet.”

Danny smiles at him. “They’re both being run through a database, forensics will tell us when they find something and on either.”

“Now we just...” Chin beings but turns when two men enter the conference room with several boxes.

“Case 11224, McGarrett,” one of the men says as he sits the boxes down. “Sign here and it’s all yours.” Steve signs a transfer form and looks around at Chin and Danny.

“Let’s dig through this and see what we can find,” he tells them, tugging a box to himself.

~

Steve’s in his office reading case notes when Danny taps on his office door. He waves him in and sets the files aside.

“Forensics just called and said they got a match on the boot print, it’s Hess’s, but that really doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know.”

Danny walks forward to plant his hands against Steve’s desk and lean in close. “The bullet, though, we got a hit on.”

“Great. Is the weapon registered?”

“No, but the gun was used in a couple of robberies a few years ago. There’s this guy named Doran who’s name comes us as an associate the guys who were tagged for the robberies. He’s got a record, possession and selling of illegal arms. We think he might have sold him the gun.”

“Right, so when Hess comes to the island he goes to Doran for a weapon.”

“Exactly.”

“How did Hess even get on the island. He’s been flagged on every agencies list for years. He couldn’t have just flown here,” Steve points out.

Danny scrubs his face and puts his hands in his pockets. “Just another question we’ve got to answer, babe.”

And that’s the third time already that Danny’s called him ‘babe’ that day and Steve doesn’t know what it means. But he’s not going to tell Danny to stop anytime soon.

“Do we have an address for this Doran guy?”

“Yes, we do. I’ve already sent in for a warrant to get a phone tap. If this guys doing business, he make some phone calls, I can tell you that.”

“Great work, Danny,” Steve tell him. “I um.. I need to step away for a few minutes.”

“Everything okay?”

“I’ve got to call my sister,” Steve ducks his head because even Danny knows he’s been putting this off for too long.

“Go, do it, Steve.” Danny tells him, walking up to him and places his hand on the same place he always does only this time Steve can feel Danny rest his thumb against the back of his neck, just barely touching his hairline. His chest grows tight and he huffs out a gust of air. “Yeah, okay, Danny.”

Danny has been there for him everyday since they first met and maybe he’s depending on him too much, but Steve doesn’t know what else to do. In the morning, Danny calls and makes sure he’d eaten and is decent before he comes to pick him up and drive him to the office. They’re going next week to get Steve a vehicle of his own. Steve’s never owned his own vehicle before, he tells Danny so and watches as a Danny smiles fondly at him, tells Steve that he’ll help him pick out just the right one for Steve.

Steve doesn’t really know what Danny thinks of him. But he thinks the world of Danny, and doesn’t know what to do to let Danny know he appreciates him. The most he can do for now is smile at Danny and be grateful for him.

“You’re the best, Danny.” he tells the man and watches a quizzical look pass over his partners face. “I know that...”

Danny laughs and tells him to stop. “Really, Steve, you don’t have to do this.”

Steve is confused. “Do what?”

“This whole ‘I don’t know what I’d do with out you’ thing,” Danny says. “You’d have done exactly what you’re doing now, hunting this guy down, with or without my help.”

Steve’s stunned by Danny’s dismissal of himself and he says so. “That’s not true. Danny, I’d have probably never walked into that house without you. God only knows how skinny I’d be by now.”

Danny shakes his head, eyes trained on the ground and Steve might have seen him blush, but he can’t tell now. “Phone call, McGarrett, don’t try to change the subject.”

“Danny...,” But Danny is already walking back out of his office.

~

The phone number he calls is disconnected, but he can’t find the nerve to tell Danny that.

~


That night is cool and breezy out of the lanai. The ever crashing waves are a pleasant background noise and Steve almost feels almost peaceful when he takes a seat in the adirondack chairs that he pulled from the garage. He sits his beach towel in the opposite chair, the one Danny usually sits in when he’s over.

He has a problem... with Danny. Steve hasn’t had this kind of problem in a long time and it’s surprising that it’s come up again with Danny.

Danny’s an attractive guy and Steve can’t keep his eyes off of him sometimes. The guy’s smile blows him away sometimes and Steve will do anything to keep that smile on his face, even at the cost of his own dignity. His eyes are so blue Steve wonders, that if the ocean could envy something, if it would be those eyes, clear, blue and sharp.

Steve wishes that he could touch Danny as freely as Danny does him. A hand here, a tap here, fingers spread against his t-shirt to push him away or pull him back. Danny doesn’t seem to mind getting his hands on Steve. It burns him up sometimes to think about it.

Steve berates himself for thinking about Danny so much, but he can’t help it. Danny is never far from his thoughts.

He walks from the lanai to the beach and sinks into the water, it’s warm embrace pulling him further out. The waves crash against his chest and he dives under the next swell and arcs his body against the tugging currents. When he breaks the surface he’s over 200 feet out and he starts to swim his way out, arm over arm, twisting his body through the salty ocean. The blackness of the water meets with the sky and all Steve can see is stars, the inky water making everything else melt away.

He paddles out further and further, this chest and arms burning, thinking if only he could swim over the edge of the world, none of his problems would matter anymore.

TBC in Chapter 3