melissas_corner: (Steve/Danny)
[personal profile] melissas_corner
Author's Notes I: I really should learn to not introduce Rachel to new fandoms. *sigh* I was happy just sitting back and watching Steve and Danny try and pretend they're not banging every chance they get. Then I talked Rachel into watching Ke Kinohi and the following happened. Well, not right away, of course. But the idea came during the watching of said episode. What started out as just talking about Steve and Danny as lovers turned into them being Vampires, so there is now one more fandom in my Vampire Series.
Author's Notes II: Yes I know this is basically a transcript of the pilot, with additions to fill in the scene changes and other things, but it lends itself really well to showing how Steve and Danny are struggling to come to terms with being reunited. For more info on this series click here.

Sequel/Series: The Edge of Forever
Summary: After the murder of his Cover father, Steve returns to Hawai'i and is reacquainted with someone from his past.

Steve's POV:

I wouldn't exactly call it another day at the office, being that I don't have an office, but it's still a fairly typical day for me in Pohang, South Korea. Everything's quiet, almost too quiet, which is ironic considering how loud this armored truck is but I'm still getting the feeling that this is too easy. I know I need to be focused but there is such a thing as being too focused, which can drive any soldier's combat paranoia into firing at shadows. As my dubious luck would have it, my phone rings at the most inopportune time possible, which would be any time I'm on duty but especially right now: while I'm riding in a convoy to take Victor Hesse's brother, Anton, to a secure location to use as bait.

"This had better be fucking important," I snarl into my phone, hoping the person on the other end will take the hint and hang up.

"I wouldn't be calling if it wasn't," one of the last voices I ever expect to hear responds.

Here? Now? I ignore the looks from my men when I begin speaking Welsh Gaelic, asking the voice on the other end of the line a rather antiquated equivalent of today's modern "What the fuck do you want?"

He's calm, almost irritatingly so. "You need to come home."

"Why?" As if I'll just drop everything and go running home because he says I need to.

I certainly don't expect him to say, "He needs you."

The quiet tone of my caller's voice doesn't help my current threat-seeking instinct, and my nerves start to make a cold, tight knot in my midsection. "What's happened?"

A heavy sigh drifts over the line. "You don't keep track, do you?" A brief pause where I'm sure I'm expected to make some kind of excuse but since I know what he's expecting me to say, I keep my mouth shut. "You just need to come home. Now."

"I'm a little busy right now…"

"Look, I know you're having the time of your life chasing the scum of the earth, but it doesn't change the fact that you need to come home."

"I didn't mean that. I meant…"

"Fuck that. I've been covering for your ass for close to a thousand years. If he-" Different 'he' from earlier. "-finds out, we're both in deep shit. You owe me."

Actually by my count, we got even over twenty years ago. "Look, D-" I begin again, trying to explain that I cannot just rush home right this minute, but he doesn't let me finish.

"You'll be getting a call right after this."

The cold knot in my stomach grows, because I know that tone of voice, and it never means good things when I hear it. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm sorry. But it's the only way to give you the proper excuse to return." And the thing of it is, he almost does sound sorry, which definitely can't be good.

"What-?" I start to sputter, but the line goes dead.

I pull the phone from my ear and stare at it like I've never seen it before. This is gonna suck fucking rocks. "Son of a bitch," I mutter.

My attention is pulled from the phone in my hand when one of my men clears his throat. I encourage whoever it is to speak up with a raised eyebrow. "Uh, what language were you speaking, sir?" Anderson asks, his voice hesitant as if he expects me to bite his head off for asking such a simple question.

I lean my head back and sigh. "That was Welsh Gaelic, Anderson."

"You speak Welsh, sir?" Anderson leans forward in his seat across from me.

Swallowing a laugh, I allow a smile to cross my face. "I learned for a girl." They don't need to know the girl in question was my mother.

"Of course you did, sir," Jones quips with a snicker from his seat at the end of the bench.

"Was that her on the phone?" I raise my head to eye the new guy, Dave Something – while it's unorthodox for us to be on a first-name basis, after all his time in the service he still insists on people calling him Dave, which is not really a common practice in the Navy – for asking such a stupid question. And personal, too. We might work together and we might be combat buddies, but this is so not the time for Twenty Questions. Come to think of it, I thought I saw something in his file about some slight social anxiety issues.

But I shrug and answer vaguely, trying to be flippant so he'll realize I'm not so keen to answer. "No. It was some guy I became friends with during the class. He likes to call at odd times and bug me."

"Why would he do that?" Dave wonders, obviously not catching on to the fact that he's pushing his luck and this time even Anton, the smug bastard, gives Dave the 'What the fuck, dude?' face.

I shrug. "Because he's an ass?" And I have a suspicion he's that way because he knows it pisses me off.

"Have you ever thought of changing your number?" I narrow my eyes on Dave's face and decide then and there that as soon as we're back on US soil, he's being sent home. Clearly this kid is new to the idea of what 'classified' means. We aren't Seaman Recruits bonding in Basic Training anymore. I get that he's scared and trying to fit in, but Jesus.

"Dave," I say sharply, trying not to snap and yet still remind him of my authority, which leaves him blinking at me with a 'What'd I do?' expression on his face. "Changing my number wouldn't stop him. He has a way of finding it out no matter what I do." Of course that may have something to do with the fact that he's the one who gave me my new number twenty years ago when I had need of a new cover identity.

"Tried it-" Dave begins only to be elbowed in the ribs by the guy sitting next to him hard enough to make him grunt.

"Shut up!" is hissed at him from all sides.

"What?" he asks, looking around the back of the humvee.

Everyone groans and it becomes quite clear that despite his impressive service record, Dave is not cut out for my team. Maybe it's all the combat he's seen in his relatively short career, but I make a note to see he gets to a shrink when we get home, because I'm not so sure he's just got slight social problems.

Dave opens his mouth to dig the hole bigger but before he can, Anton decides to try and intimidate me. It's odd that I almost appreciate the change of pace.

Anton leans forward and smirks. "Ya know what's funny? You don't look Hawai'ian."

I share a smile with my men. It's so cute when bad guys try to be intimidating. "You're going to tell us everything."

"But you were born there. Weren't ya?"

"Every terrorist cell you and Victor helped arm." I continue like he hadn't said anything. "Every supplier you worked with, all your trafficking associates, everyone you've every sold weapons to."

"Chasing my brother and I around the world for five years, like a little doggy looking for a bone. You don't think we'd do our homework on you?"

Just then my phone rings again and my heart drops to my feet. Fuck! Everyone in my life at this moment is in danger, with my Cover Family being most at risk. I can deal with almost any threat as long as it doesn’t involve… I firmly push that thought aside and silently curse that first call for putting him back in the forefront of my mind. For fifty years I've worked hard to keep thoughts of him locked away in the back of my mind so as not to become distracted while chasing scumbags like the Hesse brothers.

"You should get that," Anton says calmly, like we're buddies and he knows I'm expecting a call. "You don't speak to your father near enough."

I narrow my eyes on Anton's face. Very few people know how often, or not as the case may be, I call John McGarrett, the man the world knows as my father. And even fewer know just where he lives. John knew the risks involved in allowing me to use his family name and made adjustments to his life accordingly; even going so far as to be almost completely off the grid.

Anton and I have a brief staring contest before I give in and answer the call. "Dad." Even after nearly twenty years as Steve McGarrett, I find it difficult to call John 'Dad' without thinking of my Human father.

The voice on the other end is depressingly defeated, in a way that is not normal for my current Chosen father. "Hey, Champ." John isn't the kind of man to give his kids nicknames like 'Champ' so I know he's trying to tell me something. He sounds out of breath, like he's been in a fight and if Victor Hesse is at his house, I can almost guarantee he has been.

"You alright?" I ask, my gaze locked on Anton's face.

"Who are these people, Steve?"

"Now I know where you get it from." Victor Hesse's voice is cold and calculating over the line and his words tell me that while they were able to discover John McGarrett's location, they were unable to break my cover and expose me as a Vampire. "You got a tough old man here. Steve, we both have something to lose, here." I tap the man sitting next to me and signal for him to hand me pen and paper. I write 'Send Honolulu P.D. to my father's house ASAP!' and hand it to the man in the shotgun position. "Now listen to me very carefully. I'm offering you a trade: your father for my brother. All things considered, I'd say it's more than generous. Wouldn't you?"

"You're smart enough to know that's never going to happen." It pains me to have to put John's life on the line like this, but he was fully aware of the risk he was taking and he was glad to do so. He actually had to convince me to let him become my father when Dean first brought him to my attention twenty years ago when I needed a new identity.

"I appreciate the compliment. Are you smart enough?"

"Come on, Victor. You know how this works. We don't negotiate with terrorists."

"Make an exception." Does he really think I'd put my career on the line for my father? While most Humans probably would, and I would most likely be one of them, I can't let that sway me here, now. I have to stand firm and not give in because to do so now means that the next bad guy won't hesitate to use my Cover Family against me.

When I hear a man in the background giving out the convoy's location, I silently berate myself for allowing Victor to draw me in long enough for him to get a fix on our position.

"I'm not going to negotiate like this." I glance to the side and see that Anton's starting to look far too damn smug for a man wearing my cuffs.

Victor's tone is almost flippant. "Oh, are we negotiating now?"

"Kill him and you get nothing." I put on my best Commander voice, one that usually has men jumping to do as I say. Of course I don't expect it to have that kind of effect on Victor but it does have my men sitting up straighter in their seats.

I can hear John still panting in the background and I'm beginning to worry the man might have a broken rib or two. I can only hope that Victor didn't use his full strength while beating him up. "Give me the phone, please," John pants. "I can get him to help you. He'll listen to me. He's my son." The panting is closer, telling me that Victor has handed the phone to my father. "Listen to me, Champ-" There's that non-nickname again. Whatever it is, it must be very important.

"Dad." I allow worry to creep into my voice, since it's expected. "I'm gonna get you outta there, alright? Don't you worry about it."

"I'm sorry that I lied to you."

Now I'm confused. As far as I know he's never lied to me. "What? Lied to me about what, Dad? What are you talking about?"

"I love you, Son." Something else John McGarrett rarely ever does: call me 'son' and tell me he loves me. "I didn't say it enough. Whatever these people want, Steve-" he pauses to take several gasping breaths, like he's in serious pain. "-don't give it to them! Don't you give it to 'em!" He's interrupted by the sound of something hard, the butt of a gun most likely, striking his head.

"Dad. Dad!?" I wish I was there so I could tear Victor Hesse limb from limb before Dusting his sorry ass.

"No more games!" Now Victor's pissed. Good. A pissed off bad guy is a careless bad guy. Makes it easier to catch the son of a bitch. "I'm taking my brother now!"

"I swear to God, I will hunt you down and kill you!" I let all my anger and frustration out, knowing it looks like I'm just pissed that someone is using my father as leverage against me.

Anton grabs my attention by whispering, "Hey." When I look over at him he continues, still in that creepy whisper, "Boom." And that's when a sound I wasn't registering as a bad thing becomes loud enough for the Humans to hear: a helicopter has been hovering just over the crest of the hill we're climbing.

The helicopter shoots a missile that takes out the lead humvee and that's when all hell breaks loose. I barely have time to process the lead car being tossed into the air by the explosion and go flipping back-over-front, flung like some children's toy, when the convoy stops and my men stream from each vehicle, shooting at the helicopter and the men repelling down from it. The air is filled with the rat-a-tat-a-tat of automatic weapons, my people's M4 carbines and FN SCAR-Ls going up against another automatic that I'm not sure of until I spy one out the back of the open transport: H&K G36 with RIS foregrips and some damn nice sights, making my new opponents guys who obviously know what they're doing, as if the masks and body armor and freaking aerial gunship with rocket launchers wasn't clue enough. I lose several good men in the following firefight, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let Anton Hesse get away.

I can't go out the back of the truck because I know it's where they'll be waiting for me. Wrapping one hand in the front of the Kevlar vest Anton's wearing, I pull him out through the top and down over the hood of the truck, knowing that they wouldn't dare set the gunship on me while I'm so close to Anton Hesse. I pull him along behind me as I duck for cover behind the armored vehicle, taking shots with my HK416. As we step around behind it, I'm confronted by one of Victor's men aiming his G36 at me. I pull Anton around in front of me while I try and figure out how best to salvage this situation, and it turns out that Anton might as well be a bullet-proof shield because the gunman doesn't fire.

Before I can see if my reflexes are good enough to bring my weapon up quick enough to beat my opponent in pulling the trigger, however, one of my men gets in the way, backing around the rear of the transport and right between me and my current opponent. When I yell at him to move, Victor's man shoots him and I toss Anton aside to defend myself. This, unfortunately, allows Anton the opportunity to scramble down an incline and grab the sidearm off one of my fallen men.

When I realize this, I yell, "No, no, don't do it!" Tucking my rifle aside, I pull my pistol. "Put it down!" Anton, of course, doesn't listen and fires at me with my own man's Beretta. I'm forced to defend myself and fire three times, just like I was trained.

As Anton falls backward, I approach slowly, my gun still held at the ready. The closer I get the easier it is to tell that my aim was true and I ended up hitting center mass despite not wanting to, clipping the collar of his vest and probably going straight through an important blood vessel. This is not going to be good. I kneel down and quietly urge, "Come on, Anton." Holstering my pistol, I pull Anton's vest open and pull the collar of his shirt aside so I can see his wounds. "Come on. Come on, Anton," I urge, as if just by giving him encouragement, I can keep him alive. Placing two fingers to his neck, I hope for a pulse, despite having heard his heart stop beating several seconds ago. "No, no, no!" Shit. John McGarrett is a dead man because of me and Mary is now an orphan. Fuck it all to hell.

I suddenly realize how quiet it is, but at the moment I'm not sure if my men have won or if the enemy has seen their objective fall and retreated. Almost ironically my phone begins to ring and I know it's Victor calling to gloat about how his brother escaped. I almost don't answer it but know I must.

"What happened?" The fury in Victor's voice is unexpected, but then it makes sense that he has men on the ground feeding him updates

"Victor, listen-" I'm not sure what I can say to stop him from killing my father but I have to try.

"Put Anton on the phone." I can't help but back away from the dead body of Anton Hesse. I've never had a mission go so horribly wrong, and Victor senses that something's amiss. "My brother's dead. Isn't he?"

"Victor, listen-" I again try to find words to explain.

"Isn't he!?" There is nothing I can say at this point to stop what's about to happen, but I do try. I open my mouth but nothing comes out. "Then so's your father."

I scream, "No!" at the top of my lungs as the sound of a gunshot carries over the line.

I've heard, and seen, many men die but this one death will haunt me for the rest of eternity because it was my fault. I could have stopped it but I failed.

I make the trip home in a daze. I vaguely recall the pilot asking how long it had been since I'd been home. When we land at Hickam, I get a call from Governor Jameson requesting I meet her at Pearl Harbor.

Once there, I stand staring out at the ocean that is the burial ground for so many men. While I didn't fight in the war that cost them their lives, I'm not unaware of the effect the surprise attack that day in December 1941 had on the family that honored me by allowing me to claim them as my own. I have a feeling the Governor brought me here to soften me up for something because she knows how I feel about this place.

"Commander," her voice breaks through my thoughts and I turn to see her walking toward where I'm standing.

"Governor." I shake her hand, reminding myself that despite her being from a very old Chosen family I don't 'know' her and so should try and not say or do anything that would look like an insult to an outsider.

"Thanks for agreeing to see me. I am so sorry about your loss." And she is genuinely sorry.

"Is this about the investigation?"

She nods. "Yes, we have alerts across all the islands."

"You won't find Victor Hesse with roadblocks and search warrants. He's gone underground until he can find a safe way to leave the island. Now why am I here?" I'm finding it much more difficult than I imagined it would be to not insult this woman. It's not her fault Victor was able to get onto O'ahu and to my father's house undetected.

She pauses for just a second and I can see her trying to decide if she should take offense at my tone or not. "I'd like to help you get what you came back here for." Oh, really? She can turn back time so that my father doesn't die by Victor Hesse's hand? "Let's walk."

The path she chooses takes us past most of the ships anchored in the Memorial and I know she's doing it to appeal to my patriotic side. I find it easy to not let all this American pride sway me. I want Victor Hesse on his knees before me and a broadsword in my hand so I can Dust him like the scum he is.

"Your father's death was a wakeup call to me and every law enforcement agency in Hawai'i. Which is why I'm putting together a task force and I want you to run it."

I smirk at that. Governor Jameson doesn't know Steven J. McGarrett so why would she want him to run this task force? "You don't know me."

"I know your resume: Annapolis, five years Naval Intelligence, six years with the SEALs. Your superiors say you are the best they have ever seen."

I stop walking, forcing her to stop and turn to face me. "Let me stop you right there. I've been tracking Victor Hesse for five years. If he was bold enough to surface, I promise you he already has an exit strategy planned and he knows I know it. Which means I can barely afford the hour it's gonna take to bury my father, let alone stand here talking to you." I replace my cover and step around her. "Excuse me."

"I can help you find this son of a bitch-" her voice holds barely contained tears and that has me pausing in my exit and turning to look at her. "-with full immunity and means. Your task force will have blanket authority to go after guys like Hesse and get them the hell off my island." She slowly approaches where I'm standing, listening to her impassioned plea. "Your rules. My backing. No red tape. And I promise you, Commander, what you see with me is what you get."

That angers me for some reason and I decide to tell her that I know exactly what kind of game she's playing. "Here's what I see: an election year coming up and a politician who needs the PR. Who's willing to do whatever it takes including bringing me down here to Pearl Harbor where my grandfather was killed so I might-" I have to pause to take a breath I don't need and fight the tears that are just now threatening to spill. "-feel some kind of obligation to fulfill my family destiny. Is that about right, Governor?"

It surprises me when she looks hurt. "None of those things make me feel any less responsible. I knew your father, Commander." That also surprises me. I knew she knew him as another Chosen but I wasn't aware she knew him outside of Vampire society. "This is personal for me too."

I can't let this get to me. All I want right now is to bury my father, clear out his house so Mary doesn’t have to, and go hide somewhere for the next hundred or so years. "Pass." I'm sure I could have said it a bit nicer, but I find I really couldn't care less if I insult her at this point or not. She's been wasting my time standing here talking about some fucking task force when I should be at the cemetery burying my father so I can then devote my entire attention to finding Victor Hesse and removing his head from his body.

She nods as if she understands my anger. And as a Chosen she, more than other Humans, does. All Chosen know what a struggle it is for Vampires to stand by and watch the Humans in their lives die. Most of us learn to accept it but when one is murdered because of something you personally did, it's a very bitter pill to swallow. "Alright." She takes something from her pocket. "Here's my private number. Please think it over?" I can tell how difficult it was for her to ask that of me. "Thanks." I take the card from her with every intention of throwing it away the first chance I get. She turns, her lips pressed tight to hold in whatever emotion is running through her at this moment and heads back to her car.

I stare at her card, wondering what to do now, when a familiar voice breaks through my thoughts. "She's a smart lady, that one."

I turn and find myself looking at Chin Ho Kelly, another Chosen. While Chin Ho isn't from a long line of Chosen he is one that has a special place in my heart. Chin Ho found me out one night needing to feed but not wanting to enter a Diner looking like I'd just gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson. I had come across a gang of Vampires and Vampire wannabes attacking two middle-aged women. The leader was attempting to feed from the older of the two women while the others were taking turns raping the younger one. The ensuing fight left all but one Vampire a pile of dust and the three Humans involved wishing they were dead as well. "Steve McGarrett, right?"

"I know you." A statement, not a question, but passers-by won't hear it that way.

"You better. Chin Ho Kelly." Chin Ho approaches where I'm standing.

"Oh. Chin Ho Kelly," I greet him, extending my hand for him to shake. "Kahuku High School." He chuckles. "You were a great quarterback," I point my finger at him and step back.

"Oh, that's very kind of you to say, considering you were the one to break all my records." And there's where the cover is made. Filling in the little details of a life never actually lived and finding people trustworthy enough to vouch for you should anyone come calling.

"Ah, that was a long time ago." I fake the modesty Steve McGarrett would feel at hearing someone praise his prowess on the football field.

Chin Ho motions for me to accompany him on the rest of his rounds. "I heard you became a cop," I say to get the conversation moving.

"I worked with your father in the 7th. He taught me everything I know about wearing a badge." That sounds like John McGarrett. He always went the extra mile for the rookies. Where most of his colleagues would give the newbies a hard time, John made sure they were welcomed and knew the ropes.

"Well, it looks like you moved on to greener pastures." I point at the Pearl Harbor Security uniform he's currently wearing.

"Let's just say the Honolulu PD and I had a disagreement over my job description." I can hear bitterness in his voice and wonder what I've missed chasing Victor Hesse around the world. "But your father understood." Of course he did. If there was even a hint of injustice in the reason for Chin Ho's dismissal, John would be on Chin Ho's side. "He was very good to me after I was let go. He stayed my friend and I know that cost him something. I only wish there was some way I could pay him back." He stops walking and puts his hand on my arm to get me to stop too. "Now that you're here, maybe you can do something.

"What d'ya mean?" What can I possibly do?

"I hear the chief of police put a haole on your father's murder investigation. Word is he's fresh meat from the mainland, which means he has no clue how this island works."

Chin Ho's words spur me to investigate the detective in charge of finding my father's murderer but don't get very far. It's almost like my old contacts hear the name McGarrett and just immediately shut down, only confirming that the detective in charge is from the mainland.

Stalled at the precinct, I head to John's house, the bottom of my stomach dropping the sight of the crime scene tape. At my father's house, I duck under the tape and turn on lights I don't need and begin examining the scene.

The sight of the blood splattered over some trophies and up over the framed picture hanging on the wall behind them has me stopping short, and flashing back to John telling me he loves me just seconds before Victor pulled the trigger and ended his life. I have a brief moment of sadness that a man who is actually my descendant treated me as more of a son than my own father ever did. The memory of the sound of the bullet that took John away from me leads me to another recent memory: the twenty-one gun salute from the Honor Guard, just before the flag that was draped over John's coffin was folded and handed to me in preparation of the coffin being lowered into the ground. The grief is heavy, and it hurts. If I knew I could get away with it, I'd return to Ardeth's desert village and never allow another Human to become important to me. Each death is beginning to weigh me down. Twelve hundred and fifty years is a hell of a long time to have to deal with so much death.

Shaking off the depression that's building, I begin examining the evidence left behind. Finding a boot print on the floor, I compare it to mine, then crouch down and snap a picture. In the study, there's a space cleared on the desk. I can just barely make out a palm print. A brief search finds an old tube of wheel lube that can be used to make the print more noticeable so I can take a picture for comparison at a later date. I sprinkle some of the ultra-fine-grain graphite on the desk and blow gently to spread it, and the prints are illuminated by the near-crystalline sparkle. I find it almost as picturesque as the nice, clear palm prints with beautiful ridge detail, left behind by Victor's accomplice.

In the garage I find John's 1974 Mercury Marquis covered by a dust cloth. Tossing the cloth back revels that John was working on restoring it. I feel regret that he will never see it completed. Looking around, I spy an old beat up Champ toolbox on the workbench behind me. Seeing it reminds me that John called me 'Champ'. Could this be what he was trying to tell me?

Opening it up, I find a gold key and a tape recorder. Pressing play I'm greeted by John's voice detailing what may have well been his final case. "I can't continue this investigation into the police department from the inside. I don't trust the people I work with,-" Okay, that explains why I was shut out at HPD. "-so I'm going to have to do this on my own. It's all about the key. I just don't know what it's for." A creak from a floorboard inside the house grabs my attention for a moment. "I have only been able to find two sources-" The sound of a door slamming has me turning the recorder off and quickly putting it back in the toolbox.

A man enters the garage, his head just barely visible from over the top of the car, and a familiar scent reaches my nose. What's he doing here? Is this why Dean called me? "You! Put your hands up!" a voice orders, one I could never forget for as long as I live, as the familiar body of my Soul Mate comes into view. "Hey, don't move."

He's the haole investigating my father's murder? What am I saying? Of course he is, because my life just sucks like that. I pull my own gun. "Who are you?" we both demand at the same time.

"I am Detective Danny Williams-"

"Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett. This is my father's house."

"Put your weapon down, right now."

"No, you put yours down."

"I'm Honolulu PD." And I'm a Navy SEAL, what's your point?

I advance and growl, "You show me your ID," forcing him back a step.

"You show me your ID, right now." He tries to intimidate me like I just did him.

"I'm not putting my gun down."

"Neither am I." Damn, I forgot how stubborn he can be.

"Use your free hand, take out your ID."

"Please, after you." He motions with his gun for me to go ahead.

"At the same time?" I offer a compromise.

"At the same time?" he mocks.

"Yeah, at the same time." I give a one shouldered shrug. Why is that such a hard concept to grasp?

"What, like, on the count of three?"

"Sure, okay. Three's good."

He seems surprised at this but complies, taking his left hand off his gun and reaching toward his back pocket while saying, "One, two-" We both hold up our IDs as he says, '-three." We both stand down, some of the tension leaving our bodies as we holster our weapons.

While I'm not exactly expecting him to rush into my arms declaring his undying love, I'm sure not expecting him to continue to pretend he doesn’t know me. "Listen, uh, I'm really sorry about your father, but you can't be here right now. This is an active crime scene." Really? If it's so active why aren't there any officers guarding it? Not that that would have stopped me. I would have been able to enter without them even knowing I was there.

"Doesn't seem that active," I retort, waving my arm to encompass the house and the lack of officers.

He walks slowly closer, talking with his hands in a way he never has before. Must be something he picked up to sell his current cover. "I can't share any information with you-"

I can't let him just kick me out without sharing what I've discovered. "Hesse wasn't here alone when my father was murdered. Someone was sitting at the desk in the study. There was a space cleared for a thirteen inch laptop when my father hated computers." John always said that computers would eventually leave the Human race without any social skills because they allow you to interact with others without actually having to know how to behave in polite society.

"I'm gonna ask you again. You gotta leave." Why does him telling me to leave this time hurt just as much as the last time he said it fifty years ago?

"You got it." I pick up the toolbox and step around him.

"And you can leave the box. That is evidence, you know that."

"I came with this." No way in hell am I letting this box outta my sight right now. Not with him sniffing around. Chin's right. He doesn't know how the island works and this evidence could – read will – get lost in the shuffle.

"No, you didn't come with it." He calls my bluff. Maybe he does know a thing or two. "I can see the dust void it left right here on the counter. What is in the box? What are you hiding?"

"How long have you been with the Honolulu PD?" I deflect his question with one of my own. If he's going to act like we're complete strangers, then so be it.

"None of your business. What are you, Barbara Walters?"

"No, it is my business if you're investigating my father's death."

"I am. And I'd like to get back to that. So the sooner you leave, the sooner I can."

Turning, I begin to leave the garage, taking the box with me. "Anything you say." I'm having a difficult time not flashing back to our last argument that ended with him telling me to leave and never come back.

"Leave. The box. Or get arrested. Alright?" He uses what I once thought of as his Lord and Master of the House voice. One that used to cause me to go weak in the knees and just about kill myself to make sure he was pleased. But not now. After fifty years apart, and centuries arguing before that, he no longer has that much control over me.

"You're going to call for backup?" Really? He's going to arrest me? This is gonna be interesting.

Danny just stares me down. "An ambulance." An ambulance? Does he seriously think I'm going to fight him?

I tilt my head back and stare down my nose at him for a moment, then with a nod of my head I make a decision and place the box on the trunk of the car. "Thank you," he says with just a hint of sarcasm.

"Don't thank me yet." I pull my phone from a pocket and dial a number I have no idea why I memorized.

"What are you doing?" I've managed to fluster him. Good.

I give him the 'just a moment' finger. "Uh, yeah, Governor Jameson, please. Tell her it's Steve McGarrett."

"Oh, please." He obviously thinks this is a ploy to get my way so I step closer and put the phone on speaker just as the Governor comes on and says "Commander. Governor Jameson here. What can I do for you?" Danny's response is a muttered, "You're kidding me" as I take the phone off speaker.

With my eyes locked on the back of his head, I say the words I never thought I'd ever say, "Governor, I'll take the job. Well, let's just say I found something that changed my mind. No, no, no, immediately. I'll transfer to the reserves and I'll run your task force. Wha…? What, right now?" She seriously expects me to take the Oath of Office right here and now? Over the phone? "Okay." Turning my back on Danny, I give in and transfer the phone to my left hand so I can raise my right one to take the Pledge. "I, Steven J. McGarrett, do solemnly declare upon my honor and conscience that I will act at all times to the best of my ability and knowledge in a manner befitting an officer of the law. Thank you, Governor." I turn to find Danny leaning on one hand against the hood of the car. Picking up the box, I inform him, "Now it's my crime scene." Without a backwards glance, I exit the garage not even caring if he follows or not.


The unexpected reunion with my Mate leaves me feeling agitated and frustrated in a way I haven't in years. In an effort to calm down, I take to the water and swim like my life depends on it. While the water does go a long way to cooling me off, it doesn't have the effect I was hoping for.

Eventually giving up on trying to tire myself into no longer thinking about where I'd much rather be, I drag myself from the water and up to the house.

I towel off on the lanai and enter the kitchen to grab a beer and the phone. Finding the house too claustrophobic, I head back outside to flop down in one of the chairs and stare out at the ocean, turning my phone over and over in my hand while I debate rather or not to use it.

Taking a long pull of the bottle in my hand, I decide to bite the bullet and make the call, punching in the number from memory.

"Speak," a distracted voice answers.

I cough to cover the chuckle that threatens to escape at the very masculine grumble I can hear in the background, which explains why the person on the other end is distracted. "You knew, didn't you?" I don't feel the need to elaborate. Besides, he'll know what I'm talking about.

"I'm sorry, who are you trying to reach?"

"Fuck you, McGillis."

"No thanks. Besides, I'm fully Bonded. And you are not my Mate."

"You know what I'm talking about. Stop playing dumb."

A deep sigh comes down the line, followed by a whispered conversation that I don't listen to. "I told you. It was the only way to give you a proper excuse to come back."

"So you let my father die?"

"No, Steve. I didn't let your father die."

"You telling me you didn't know Hesse was here and so couldn't call to let me know so I could stop him?"

"You don't get it, do you McGarrett? You needed an excuse to return. Hesse was kind enough to provide one. All I did was not call you before he arrived at your father's house."

"And now you admit it. Thanks." I take another long pull of my beer. I know Dean is not unmoved by this tragedy, but he also knows that what's done is done and me being angry at him isn't going to change things. Besides, I'm pretty sure we've done worse to each other and maybe even some innocent bystanders in the past. "But not really what I was talking about."

"What-?" I can hear him moving around and what sounds like him preparing a goblet of cloned blood. "Oh. You're talking about him. No, I don't know anything about him. Why? What's up?"

"He's here," I grit out through clenched teeth.

"You mean at your house?"

"Again, fuck you. But no. Here, in Hawai'i. And what do you mean you don't know? You have even better contacts than Nick."

He sounds almost amused this time, and rather officiously informs me, "Not even my contacts were enough to break the brother-officer code of silence when it comes to when one of their officers transfers, and/or where he transfers to."

"What about the rest, hm?"

"You talking about that bitch he married?" He chuckles. "Careful, Teyrnon, your jealousy is showing."

"Dean," I growl warningly.

Apparently my tone's enough because he stops fucking around and gives me an honest answer. "Thought you knew and approved for whatever fucking reason. I've spent centuries with you, remember? I know how you feel about the man. Seems to me if he got himself hitched, it was with at least your knowledge, if not your outright approval. Since him marrying a Human breaks our most sacred law."

"So you didn't get the memo about him telling me to get lost and not come back fifty years ago?"

"Damn, Steve. You really need to figure out how to get him to accept that he's a Vampire now."

"You're telling me." I rub one hand down my face, scratching at the stubble on my chin. "I've spent the better part of the past twelve hundred and ten years trying to do just that."

"So force him to listen."

"Hm. Seems to me we were having a similar conversation last summer, only it was me telling you to get off your ass and just telling him already."

"Fuck you, man."

I don't even try to stop the laugh that bubbles up at his response. "Bring it."

"Again, I'm fully Bonded."

"So bring him. I haven't had a threesome since that last time with you and me and Danny."

"Apparently I'm not the only one who hasn't gotten a memo. I don't share. With anyone."

"Hm," I hum at his response. "Bummer. I hear Carter's a tasty little morsel." I lick my lips loudly, smirking when I get the desired response: his low throaty growl of warning. "My, my, Dean. I never knew you were such a possessive bastard."

"I am when the person is worth it."

"Is he worth it?"

My response seems to stop him short, and now all hints of joking are gone from his tone. "Fuck, Steve. Things must be bad if you're asking me that."

"You haven't seen the look in his eyes, Dean." I heave myself out of the chair and pace a small circle. "He's lost. So fucking lost and I don't know how to reach him."

"I'm having my own problems, here, Bud. You're gonna have to muddle through on your own."

"Fuck you, Dean! You're the asshole who forced me to come home."

"Ah-ah, now. That was Victor Hesse."

"But you could have stopped it. Or at least called me so I could have."

"I was advised not to."

I grit my teeth against a scream of frustration, spinning on my heel to slam the palm of my hand against a wooden support beam. "What makes him think he can meddle in my life when he doesn't even fucking know me?"

"He doesn't know he's meddling in your life, Steven. He thinks he's meddling in mine." He chuckles.

"Whatever." I run the fingers of one hand through my hair and tug.

Before I can say anything more, I hear more whispering on Dean's end and then Dean's saying, "Look, Steve, as much fun as it's been catching up with you here, I've got people to do, things to see." He chuckles softly at his own joke. "You know what you need to do. Now go do it." He doesn't give me a chance to respond, just whispers something else to whoever he's with and seems to hang up as an afterthought.

Well, fuck. What am I supposed to do now? I have a Mate who refuses to acknowledge my existence and a homicidal maniac on the loose. With a world-weary sigh, I flop back down in my chair and pick up my beer, draining it in one swallow.

"You look hungry." I jump slightly when Chin Ho's voice breaks through my thoughts, and I look up to see him standing in the doorway into the house. I find I'm not surprised that he knows where my father's house is, and it's like he knows that I'm not going to kick him out. Chin Ho has always been pretty perceptive about that.

I wave my beer at him but don't bother standing up. "I am. Was just about to get up and head to a Diner."

He leans one shoulder against the doorframe and appears to be settling in for the duration. "Why feed from a stranger when you can have someone you already know you like?" His question has me looking sharply at him.

I can't help narrowing my eyes suspiciously, but he's calm and collected, like he's just offered me a cup of coffee or something. I wonder, "When's the last time you Donated?"

He grins. "How long have you been gone?"

"Seriously?" I get up and approach where he's standing in the door leading into the house.

"There aren't that many on the island, brah. When you left-" he leaves the rest of the sentence unsaid and gives a small shrug.

Stopping in front of him, I lean in and scent his neck, darting my tongue out to take a taste. "Mm. Almost forgot how good you taste, Chin Ho," I murmur, taking him by the hips and backing him toward the stairs.

He chuckles and scratches the back of my head. I nuzzle behind his ear and begin walking him up the stairs and into my bedroom.

The evening is spent with us relearning about each other, what gets us all hot and bothered and what turns us off. I learned long ago how to feed from one Donor all night long. It's all about moderation; taking a sip here, a swallow there.

While most Vampires, myself included, usually feed from the carotid, there are other places one can feed from; many more. And one of my favorites is the femoral artery. Especially on men like Chin who have such well developed leg muscles. I always take my final drink from the leg of my Donor and usually thank them by turning the lick to close the wound into one last orgasm.

We fall asleep sometime after midnight, curled around each other.

I wake to the sound of a typical Hawai'ian storm, an empty bed and Chin nowhere in the house. Only evidence that I had a visitor last night is a file folder on the kitchen counter. Apparently Chin knew I would get shut out by HPD, which isn't a bad thing after listening to John's message about not trusting any of the officers he worked with. John McGarrett was a damn good judge of character and if he said he didn't trust someone, then there was always a damn good reason for it.

After pouring myself a bowl of cereal, I take a seat at the bar and flip through the folder. It quickly becomes obvious why Chin brought me the file: Danny has ordered a wire tap on a Fred Doran. Guess I need to go see Danny and find out why.

Snatching up the phone, I dial for a taxi and make a mental note to get myself a vehicle of some sort soon, before heading upstairs to shower and throw on some clothes.

By the time I'm done, the taxi has arrived. Dashing from the front door to the car, I climb inside, shaking water from my hair and give the driver Danny's address.

When the cab arrives at Danny's place, I jump out and, using the file folder as an umbrella, dash across the sidewalk to the door.

He answers my knock rather quickly. "I swung by your precinct and spoke to your captain. He said you requested a wire be put on someone named-" A quick glance down to try and gather my thoughts again after seeing the blank look on his face. Is he really gonna play this like we've never met? "-Fred Doran. Tell me about it." I don't give him a chance to not invite me in, just step around him and into his crappy apartment. It's obvious he hasn't touched the money I left for him, which I already knew, but it's sad to see it confirmed.

"Come in," he says with a bite in his voice.

First thing I notice, after how tiny and unkempt the single room is, is a small table with his gun and badge and a picture of a little girl on it. A call to some friends of Dean's told me he'd married a woman whose boyfriend disappeared after she announced she was with child so that the child in question would have a name.

Picking the framed photo up I ask, "Is this your kid?"

"Yeah, that's stunning detective work."

"You don't actually let her… stay here with you, do you?" I ask, waving one hand in a vague circle to indicate the crappiness of where he's living, as if he doesn't already know.

"What are you, uh, Nanny 911?" he answers my question with one of his own. I don't know what Nanny 911 is so I just ignore his question, and setting the frame gently back on the table, I respect the unspoken command to put the photo down.

Flipping open the folder, I pull out a picture of Doran. "So what do you know about this guy… Doran?"

"Oh, but surely you don't need my help, right?" he snarks and sits down on the only chair in the room.

"Enlighten me." I'm willing to play his game, for now. Eventually I'm gonna grow tired of it and then we'll see just how cocky he is.

"He's a suspected arms dealer. Two years Maui Correctional for weapons possession. He's currently a person of interest in an unrelated homicide. The weapon was never found."

"So what's he got to do with my father's case?"

"When I ran a ballistics comparison to the bullet that killed your dad, I got a hit to the Doran investigation. See, I think the first thing Hesse did when he got to the island was hook up with Doran and get a gun." His voice takes on a sympathetic tone when he says the words 'killed you dad'. I can only hope he still has some feelings for me, however deep he might have stuffed them.

"And maybe Doran still knows where he is, so let's go talk to him." I start walking toward the door.

Danny hops to his feet, and really, he needs to lay off the coffee. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Excuse me. Are you suffering from dementia? This is no longer my case."

"The captain said you transferred in from New Jersey six months ago so your eye's still fresh."

"You know, I appreciate it, but my psych eval's not for six weeks."

I shrug and proceed to administer my own version anyway. "Fold-out bed, no ring on your finger. You obviously moved out here to be close to your daughter, which means that between visits all you got is your job and you take pride in it. That's what I'm looking for." I don't like the way he smiles as I profile him. It's obvious he doesn't like that I know him so well. Well, that's just too bad. He's the one who wants to pretend we don't know each other and Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett would definitely profile Detective Danny Williams like I just did him.

"Yeah, but you know what? It's guys like you who think they know how to do everything better, and that only makes my job harder." He's starting to get pissed.

"You got no choice, Detective. Governor gave me jurisdiction – I'm making you my partner. We're gonna get along great." Of course we're not. Not until he decides to drop the act and accept that I'm back in his life, through no choice of my own, and that I'm here to stay. I don't let him respond, just open the door and walk over to the Mustang 5.0 that's sitting in the spot for his apartment.

We climb into the car, him behind the wheel and me in the passenger seat and head out for Doran's place.

The ride is silent until his phone rings. I have to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing as the theme from Psycho plays. Must be for his ex-wife.

When he doesn't answer it I figure the relationship with her must not be a good one. "I take it your marriage didn't end too well." I glance at his profile, then back out my window at the passing scenery.

"No," he grunts and I can tell the end of his marriage still hurts. "It would have, had my ex not remarried and dragged my daughter to this pineapple-infested hellhole." Gee, Danny. Tell me how you really feel about Hawai'i.

"You don't like the beach?" How can he not like the beach? His cover's from New Jersey. They have plenty of beaches there and from what I've heard plenty of people from Jersey spend a good portion of time at the beach.

"I don't like the beach." Since when? If anything I'm the one who should hate beaches. Then I remember how he was Turned and silently agree that, yeah, he has good reason to dislike the beach.

"Who doesn't like the beach?" I ask, incredulous.

"I like, uh, cities, you know. Skyscrapers, no tsunamis, no jellyfish." He talks with one hand, the other griping the wheel tightly.

"Tell me you can swim." I happen to know he can. And quite well, actually.

"Can I swim?" he repeats, as though he can't believe I asked him that question.

"You don't know how to swim." I'm enjoying his game at the moment, pretending we don't know each other allows us to banter like never before.

"I know how… I swim – I swim for survival, not for fun." Well, there was this one time in Italy…

"All right."

The Bernard Herrmann violins start screeching again from the center console, and this time he answers his phone. "Yes, dear?" His voice is quite sharp, which makes me wonder just how much the ex-wife must nag if he ducks her calls on a regular basis. Then he begins to chuckle, and blossoms into an embarrassing display of smiling affection that hits me like a knife in the gut. I can't remember the last time he looked at me with that sparkle in his eyes. "Hey, Monkey. No, no, no. I thought you were your mom. I am so glad that everyone liked Mr. Hoppy. I'm excited too, Baby. We're gonna have so much fun this weekend." And there goes my plans to spend the weekend trying to convince him, again, that being a Vamp in general, and my Mate in particular, isn't the end of the world he's always making it out to be. "Hey." His voice goes all soft, telling me just how much he loves the little girl he's speaking to. "Danno loves you."

"Who's Danno?" I ask when he hangs up the phone, and it's a hard fight to keep my voice neutral and curious.

"Don't," he orders, his voice quiet but even sharper than when he thought he was speaking to his ex-wife.

"Hm?" I hum, being purposely obtuse.

"Just…" he falters.

"Okay." I decide to give in.

"Thank you," he whispers.

My world comes crashing to a halt as I realize he's really set on not letting me in. I turn and look out the window and mutter, "Yeah."

We continue the trip in silence until we pull up to Doran's place and Danny turns the engine off. I go to get out of the car and he stops me by saying, "Hey, hey. This guy Doran is a shooter. We shouldn't be doing this without backup."

I lean down to look at him through the open passenger door. "You are the backup."

"I'm the backup," he mutters. I begin to walk away and can just barely make out him mumbling, "I hate him. I hate him so much" and it makes me smile. At least he's no longer indifferent to me.

Anxious to get this case solved so I can Dust Hesse, I stride toward Doran's house not caring that Danny has to practically jog to keep up. "Hey. Hey. Slow down, huh?" he calls but I ignore him. I know it's going against everything he was taught at the academy, but I have my own way of working a case and since I have carte blanche, I'm going to do it my way.

Sounds of a domestic can be heard coming from Doran's place. A woman is yelling that he ruined her life and a loud crash signifies that something was thrown against the wall. I pull my gun and check to make sure it's loaded, motioning for Danny to proceed me up the stairs to the porch. Doran tells the woman to be quiet and sit down but she doesn't listen and Danny grabs her, putting his hand over her mouth so she can't scream, when she comes out the door.

I can hear Doran calling for the woman, Tracy, but he pauses before he gets to the door. Maybe he sees Danny's shadow? Tracy manages to bite Danny's hand, causing him to release her, and she yells a warning to Doran.

Doran fires a gun out the window, narrowly missing Tracy but getting Danny in the arm. For the first time, ever, I'm glad the Bond is too weak for me to feel Danny's pain. It's enough that I know just how much it actually hurts to be shot, but to have to feel it from him would just distract me right now.

The assault surprises both of us, particularly Danny, who I watch fall backward out a window and onto the roof of a car. "Danny!" I find it difficult to pretend I'm not worried for him.

He just hollers "Go! Go! Go!" and that's all I need to know he's okay.

I run up the stairs and into the house, following Doran through the narrow rooms and out the back wall where he shot out the window. I chase him between other houses and out to the road. I come around the corner between two buildings and run across the road behind a stopped car. I manage to see another coming at me just in time to hop up and slide on my ass across the trunk of the stopped car, narrowly avoiding getting my ankles clipped between its bumper and the bumper of the car that slams into it. My boots hit the ground at the same time the second car's headlights and at least one of the front car's rear windows are pulverized and thrown at me in clouds of plastic slivers.

Doran has taken a woman hostage and is threatening her with the weapon he'd used to shoot Danny: a Heckler & Koch G36C, with the stock folded. It's the same model used by Victor Hesse's men when the prison transport was ambushed, minus the add-on sight and fore grip, but it tells me I'm definitely after the right person.

"Put your gun down!" he yells at me.

"We don't have to do this, man."

"I said put the gun down."

"You sold a weapon to a man named Victor Hesse. I'm not after you. I want him." I'm pretty sure that everything I'm doing goes against proper police procedure and that Danny will inform me of that fact, just as soon as he realizes what I'm doing.

"I'm not talking to you."

"Where is he?"

"I said I'm not talking to you! Now put the gun down or I'll kill her." He has the Heckler & Koch G36C pointed at the woman's back and I believe he'd actually pull the trigger. "You don't think I'll do it? I'll do it! I'll kill her right now"

I start to put my gun down and Doran lifts his weapon just as the glass in the car window behind his head explodes and a bullet rips through his skull. I bring my weapon back up and point it in the direction the bullet came from, even though I know Danny's the one who fired the shot.

A few minutes later the HPD have arrived along with EMT and Tracy's being arrested while Danny's being examined and treated by a paramedic. I head inside Doran's place looking for evidence of Hesse and find a room with a woman tied to the wall.

"It's okay. It's okay," I murmur, trying to calm her fears. "It's okay. It's okay." I hold the hand not holding the flashlight out to show I'm not armed and reach up to turn on the single bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. Crouching down, I say again, "It's okay." And then ask, "What's your name?" as I begin untying her. When she looks at me in confusion, I ask again, "Ni jiào shén ma mín z?."

She answers with, "Chen-Chi."

"Chen-Chi. Chen-Chi." I repeat her name to confirm I have it right. "Gen wo lái. Gen wo lái," I say, helping her stand up so I can lead her out to the EMTs, who examine her.

Pulling Danny over to the side and out of the way, I tell him what I was able to get out of Chen-Chi. "Okay, so she was smuggled in four days ago in a cargo ship from China, with her parents, a couple hundred refugees. She gets here, she's traded to Doran." I turn in a circle, looking back at Doran's place, not having to imagine the fear she was feeling and the horror she experienced tied in that little room.

"Okay, excuse me, I'm sorry, this is typically where you would, uh, say 'thank you' for saving your life." He did not just say that to me.

"You just shot my only lead." I have to pace away in order to not give in to the urge to punch his face.

"Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?"

I ignore his outrage and continue. "These are the same guys who are moving people out of Asia. They could've smuggled Hesse into Hawai'i."

Danny doesn't seem to register the fact that him shooting Doran has pissed me off. "You just took a stupid risk, okay? Understand that." He's all but vibrating with building rage. What does he have to be angry about? He's the one who killed my only lead. "I am not getting killed for your vendetta. I have a daughter, okay?" Oh, well, if he's gonna bring Grace into it then I can understand why he's pissed, but I'm pissed too.

"Yeah, that girl there is someone's daughter, too."

"You don't get it. You don't get it." Actually I think he's the one not getting it. This is twice now that I've lost my family and the first time I wasn't allowed vengeance. But this time is different. This time I can take my revenge. "I mean for someone who just lost his father, you're pretty dense."

"What did you just say?" I get right in his face, my own anger building. "What did you just say to me!? What if she was yours, huh? Is there anything that you would not do to hunt down the son of a bitch who did that to her and kill him?"

He gets right back in my face, pointing a finger at me. "Do not question my resolve…"

"One warning – take your finger out of my face." I know it's been fifty years since we've seen each other but he should still recognize the signs that I'm beyond pissed.

"Listen to me, you son of a bitch!" He pokes me in the shoulder. I don't even think, just grab his hand and twist until I have him on his knees and his hand twisted around in a thumb lock that I know from experience is very painful. It's hell in equal parts on the thumb, elbow, and shoulder, so I'm not surprised when he yelps.

I calmly inform him, "What did I tell you? I warned you."

"What are you, a ninja? Let go," he grits out. Still trying to give the orders. He doesn't understand that he's not my Master anymore. He stopped being my Master the day he told me to get lost.

"In front of all these nice people-" He used to be the one concerned with appearances and what others thought of us. Guess that takes a backseat to protecting Grace. I glance up and see two uniforms headed our way and I call out to them, "-it's fine. Go back to work. It's fine." They don't look convinced, but they back off. "Now you don't have to like me, but right now, there's no else to do this job."

He growls at me like an angry dog. "Okay. Let me go." I hesitate for a second because I know what kind of temper he has, but since I'm aiming for goodwill here I let his hand go and back up to give him room to stand up.

I decide it's safer to pretend like that hadn't happened. "Alright, look, we need to find these Human trafficker-" I start, only to be interrupted by him landing a very nice right hook which has me stumbling back into the hood of the clunker behind me. Damn if he hasn't learned a thing or two over the years.

"You're right, I don't like you."

When I stand up and turn around, it's to find he's already walked back to the car. "Son of a bitch," I mutter, flexing my jaw to try and take the sting out.

Approaching the car, my steps falter at the sight of Danny sitting behind the wheel looking for all the world like he just lost his best friend. I stop dead in my tracks as I realize that I'm responsible for putting that look on his face. For the past twelve hundred and ten years I've been trying to get him to accept his new lot in life. While I've been telling myself I'm doing it for him, I now realize that I was actually doing it for me.

When I was growing up I loved hearing stories about Vampires but I never wanted to be one. Until the man I love became one; especially when it became obvious that we're Soul Mates. So yes, I was extremely selfish in everything I did to try and get him to stop hating himself.

But surely that's not a bad thing, right? I mean, if he had been able to Dust himself that first year after he was Turned then we wouldn't have had all the wonderful adventures we've had – well, once I managed to get him to stop throwing himself a pity party and actually enjoy what we were doing.

I make a decision and continue on to the car, opening the passenger door and flopping into the seat, slamming it behind me. He turns to frown at me, his glare quite clearly saying 'Don't slam the door'.

I chose to ignore it in favor of jumping into what I want to say. "So you're really going to play it this way?"

"I said 'don't." He starts the car with an almost vicious twist of his wrist.

"Really? Coulda sworn that was about the whole 'Danno' thing." I'll be damned if I'm going to let him continue pretending he's not who he is.

He frowns, like he's got a bad taste in his mouth. "It's about everything, okay? I've got a good life here and you're not allowed to come in and fuck that up." He throws the car in reverse and, with a squeal of tires, backs out of the parking spot and onto the road.

"Not trying to fuck anything up." I turn to stare at his profile. "I didn't even know you were in Hawai'i. Last I heard you were still in England with Arthur."

Now his eyebrows shoot up, voice practically oozing with sarcasm. "I guess he got tired of me and sent me on my way a few years after you walked out."

After I walked out? Not how I remember it. I open my mouth to argue that point but notice the firm set to his jaw and decide that there's no way I'm going to win that particular argument. At least not today. "Fine. We don't know each other. Is that how you want it? I mean, really?" He looks away from the road just long enough to narrow his eyes on me and I give in with a shrug.

Dropping the subject I feel we really need to talk about in order to honor his wishes, I turn to watch the passing scenery. Could he possibly really prefer it to be like this for the rest of eternity?

Unable to take the silence any longer, I ask the first thing I can think of that won't cause an argument. "How's the arm?"

"Let's just not talk." Apparently everything I say is wrong.

"You mean right now or ever again?" Can he not see how this hurts me? Is he really happy being this miserable?

He rolls his head a little like he's losing patience with me. "Just both, okay?"

"You know, I think… I think I may know why your wife left you." I regret the words the instant they leave my mouth.

He bristles. "Really?"

Well, in for a dime, in for a dollar. "Yeah, you're sensitive."

He gives a huff of humorless laughter, like he's glad I find that so funny. "I'm sensitive, huh?"

"Yeah," I agree, playing along and plastering a big smile on my face, hopefully the smile that used to help diffuse his anger so long ago.

"You think I'm sensitive?"

Apparently I'm out of practice in calming him down, so I hedge, "Well, a little bit, you know." I know this little back and forth is going to send him on a major rant but I suddenly don't care. I'd rather hear him rant at me than sit in awkward silence.

Turning my head so I can look at him, I can't help but smile a bit as he really gets into it. "When did you come to the conclusion that I was sensitive? Was it when a bullet was tearing through my flesh, is that when I seemed sensitive to you? Huh? I am really happy that you are not afraid of anything. Okay? I am glad that you have that GI Joe thousand-yard glare from chasing shoe-bombers around the world, okay? But in civilized society,-" Civilized society, really? That's funny coming from him since his people weren't considered civilized for several thousand years. "-we have rules, alright? It is the unspoken glue that separates us from jackals and hyenas, alright?"

"Jackals and hyenas?" I think he's just throwing words around now.

"Animal Planet, whatever." Definitely throwing words around. "Okay, the point is, rule number one: if you get someone shot, you apologize!" He turns his head to scream at the window, and I'm amazed to not see any foaming at the mouth.

Contritely I inform him, "I'm sorry."

It's like he doesn't even heard me. "You don't wait for a special occasion." I say, "I'm sorry" over his continued ranting. "Okay? Like birthdays-" Again I say, "I'm sorry" but he can't hear me over the sound of his own voice. "-or fucking President's Day."

"Hey, man-" I say a bit louder, getting his attention this time. "-I'm sorry, okay? I said I'm sorry, sincerely sorry. That's what I was trying to tell you… last year… when this conversation first started."

Either I shot some of the wind out of his sails or he's run out of rant for the time being, but either way, he deflates a little. "Your, uh… apology is noted." He looks a little embarrassed at how he'd just spouted off. "Acceptance is pending."

"You let me know, now."

"Yeah, I'll let you know."

I really want to ask how we ended up here but I know that he won't want to talk about that because he's still so touchy about how we left things fifty years ago. So instead I say, "Make the next left up here."


"I think I know someone who can help us."

We arrive at Pearl Harbor, looking in the little tourist-trap rest stops until we find Chin Ho taking his lunch break, and sit down at the table with him. After introducing Danny and Chin, I show Chin a picture of Chen-Chi on my phone. "Her name's Chen-Chi."

"Where'd you find her?"

"Locked in a house. She came here to start a new life. They drugged her and turned her into a prostitute. The guy we're looking for is high profile: Victor Hesse. CIA, FBI, Interpol - he's on everyone's radar, which means he didn't just land here and get his passport stamped – he was back-channeled in."

"Mm. And you think the same network that brought this girl to the island smuggled Hesse in."

"Well, he made a fortune trafficking kids out of Malaysia, so…"

"Then you're looking for a Snakehead. Local Chinese gangs that specialize in Human smuggling."

Danny speaks up with, "Okay, we need a name."

Danny's statement makes Chin think he's crazy, if the smile he turns on him is any indication. "What, are you kidding? Look at me. I'm a rubber gun now."

"Come on, you were on the force for fifteen years." Apparently Danny paid attention in class the day they taught how to convince a hesitant witness to co-operate.

"Okay, look, I know a guy who's got ties to that world. But you-"

"Great. Get us an intro." I know Chin and he wouldn't mention his contact if he didn't think the guy would help.

"Forget it. He's a former confidential informant. He trusts no one. Especially haoles."

I can't let this go. Victor needs to die. Preferably by my hand. "You talk to him then." Seems like a good compromise to me.

Chin snaps back with, "I'm busy" which is Chin code for he doesn't want to get used to doing police work again when he's had his badge taken away.

Danny, who doesn't quite yet speak 'Chin Ho', counters with, "You're busy? What, are you expecting a crime wave in the gift shop this afternoon?"

This just pisses Chin off and he leans forward, braces his arms on the table and says, "Look, I can't be a cop anymore."

His reluctance is pissing me off and I lose my patience, and my temper, and snap, "Why not!?"

"Because I can't be! You understand? HPD accused me of taking payoffs. So I'm the last person the department wants to see wearing a badge." He gets up. "I gotta go."

Danny mutters, "This is going really well."

"Did you take the money?" I ask despite knowing the answer. I need Chin to say it out loud for Danny's benefit.

I hear Chin grind to a halt and turn around. "Excuse me?"

Danny and I turn to look at where Chin's standing almost to the door. "Did you… take the money?" I ask again, slower so there's no mistake in what I'm asking and hopefully he knows why I'm asking it this way.

Chin's answer is short and to the point, "No."

I stand and face him as an equal, and a friend. "Then come with us… and we don't need to talk about this again. Ever." I can see in his eyes that he knows I know the truth; I did keep tabs on him while I was away. He knows that I will never again mention his disgraceful discharge from the force and that I will defend him against those that would. "This is your ticket back into the game. Call it payback, call it whatever you want. I don't care, but I need you."

"How do you know you can trust me?" And this right here is what I love most about Chin. He doesn't know that Danny's my Mate and so he's playing along like we don't know each other, like I don't already trust him with my life.

My response to his question is one that I know will satisfy anyone listening, "Because my old man did." And that's what it all boils down to: Steve McGarrett still trusts his father's faith in his fellow man.

Chin takes us to a shave ice and souvenir shop on the beach. "Hey, Kamekona!" he greets the rather large man behind the counter, leaning in to do the bro hug-hand shake thing. "How's it…?"

"Good to see you, my brother," Kamekona replies.

Chin lowers his voice and leans in real close to Kamekona. "Hey, bro."


"I need a name."

Kamekona eyes Danny and me and then says with a flick of his head, "They wait out there." Danny and I turn to step back. "After they pay." He then turns to the person working the shave ice machine. "Two cones, two t-shirts. To go."

I pull out some cash and say, "Medium."

Kamekona counters with, "X-L and up, brah." He holds up one of the shirts. "My face don't fit on anything smaller."

"How much kala, bulleh?"

"You speak bird, huh?"

"Yeah, I grew up here." Not officially, of course, but I did spend about twenty years here building my cover and learning things that Steve McGarrett would have picked up during his childhood on the island.

"Don't matter. You still look haoli to me." I share a look with Chin, who shrugs, and then pass Kamekona a fifty. He looks at it then says, "This one feels a little bit lonely, brah." I pass him another fifty, slapping it into his palm. It's not the money that has me agitated, it's being played by this bulleh. He looks at it and says, "Coo'!" like he's never seen a fifty before. I've barely taken a step when he calls me back with, "One more thing – I need you two fine white gentlemens to do…" I have a feeling I'm going to regret this.

A few minutes later finds Danny and me leaning against his Mustang wearing oversized shirts with Kamekona's face on them, holding shave ice cones. Danny is as frustrated by this as I am. I can feel it just pouring off him and if he wasn't pretending he's never met me, I'm fairly sure he'd be giving me a rather large piece of his mind about it.

Just when I think this day can't get any worse, the cutest little girl walks up and asks me, "Are you a cop?"

I'm confused as to why she'd ask me that. I'm not wearing a badge or a gun, although Danny is wearing both, even if they are covered by his new shirt. "No."

"Well, you look like a cop." Her response startles me and I look over at Danny before kneeling down to her level.

"You like cotton candy?" Why did I ask her that? I've never been good with kids. "Go find your mom."

She replies with, "I don't like cotton candy" pronouncing the Ts in 'cotton' like she's in a diction class.

Danny must sense my fear because he steps in to rescue me. "I got something you might like, okay?" He hands me his cone then reaches into the open window of the car, into the backseat, and pulls out one of the biggest, pinkest, fluffiest stuffed rabbits I have ever seen. "How about… How about that?"

He hands it to her and her face just lights up. "Yeah. Thanks." And off she skips to show her mother what the nice strange man gave her.

"You're welcome." I can't stop looking at him. I remember how he was with his younger sisters and brothers and his gaggle of nieces and nephews but I haven't seen him interact with a child in years. Grace must have him wrapped around her finger, and I hope that's something I get to see sometime soon. He notices me staring and the smile falls off his face. "What?" he demands.

Before I can answer him, Chin comes walking up, laughing his ass off.

"You better have a name." I practically growl at the man.

"Oh, I have a name. Actually, I have more than a name but I need a computer."

"You need a computer? I got a computer." I point at myself, a small smile lifting the corners of my mouth. Finally, we might be getting somewhere.

We all pile back into Danny's car; he really needs to get a bigger one. I make a mental note to talk to him about that. And why he never used the money I left him.

At the new head quarters of the State Police Task Force – it really needs a much better name than that – I hand Chin a laptop and he gets to work pulling up the info on the name Kamekona gave us.

Once Chin's found what he's looking for, he turns the laptop toward Danny and I and begins telling us about the name Kamekona gave him. "Sang Min. Came here from China eight years ago and, according to my man Kamekona, he runs the island's Human import/export business. So Hesse could've used him to get on or off the island."

Danny, ever the one to play devil's advocate, says, "So let's say this guy's for real. Still got no reason to tell us where Hesse is."

I shrug. "Well, we find some leverage, twist his arm."

"Define leverage," Chin says levelly. No doubt the man has heard a few stories about my past and he's most likely wondering if I mean that figuratively or literally.

I try to put him at ease by explaining, "Simple bait-and-trap. Wire up an undercover, send him in."

"Only one problem, malihini. That might work on the mainland but we're on an island with less a million people, which means the bad guys know the good guys. So we need to look for our bait outside the box."

The look on Chin's face has me smiling a bit. "I take it you have the perfect guy in mind?"

Chin just grins back. "Oh, yeah."

The three of us pile into Danny's car, again, and head out to one of the local beaches where more tourists than locals are riding the waves. It makes me long to shuck my clothes and join them. I make a promise to myself to buy a new board once this case is closed and Hesse is a pile of Dust at my feet.

As we watch, a pretty twenty-something in a blue and yellow stripped bikini catches a decent wave. Danny looks impressed but I can't tell if it's for her skill on the water or her skill in filling out a bikini.

"That's your cousin?" he asks, a tinge of awe in his tone.

"Choose your next words carefully-" Chin warns. He is a tad protective of Kono, and so am I, but we both know she can handle her own. She used to be a competitive surfer which is still a male dominated sport so she had to learn quick how to give back whatever she was given. "-both of you." He turns to say to me, still keeping up appearances.

"Well, she's very talented," Danny replies and even from where I'm standing on the other side of Chin I can tell that's not what he was originally going to say.

"Oh, she's off the charts. Spent three years on the pro circuit before she blew out her knee. Kid was devastated. Had to reinvent herself and decided to wear a badge. Graduates from the academy in a week. Unfortunately she's family, which means the HPD will never take her seriously."

While we watch, another surfer encroaches in Kono's wave and they crash, plunging beneath the surface as the wave breaks over the top. Chin and I feel for her and a quick glance at Danny shows he's not too sure how to respond.

The guy who lost Kono her wave makes it to the shore before her and doesn't even appear to care that he almost injured another surfer with his selfish disregard for proper surfing etiquette.

As we watch Kono exit the surf, pushing her wet hair back from her face and carrying her, surprisingly, unbroken board, I turn to Chin and ask, "You sure she's ready for this? She has no street experience." But Kono walks right up to the jerk, says, "Ho, brah" then lands an impressive right cross when he turns as if to put the lie to my words. Shoulda known she'd show me up.

All three of us chuckle as the douche drops to the ground and Kono gives him a very important piece of advice, "Think twice next time you want to drop in on someone's wave."

When she spies us standing there, it's like she didn't just punch a man twice her size in the face. A brilliant smile crosses her face and she picks her board up before walking to where we're standing. "Cousin!" She calls a greeting, hugging Chin like she hasn't seen him in a long time.

"Oh, you had him, Water Woman! Double-overheads." Chin points out at the beautiful surf and again I feel the pull of the water, like a siren's call urging me to take a board and ride a wave.

"Waste," Kono replies. "First good pipe of the season."

"Tourists-" Chin bitches. "-whatcha gonna do?" Chin turns to me and introduces us. "Kono, meet Commander Steve McGarrett-" Then turns to Danny. "-and Detective Danny Williams."

I shake hands with her. "Nice right cross," I say, fighting the urge to rub the spot high on my cheek where Danny's fist landed little more than an hour before.

"Nah, man, that was a love tap," she counters.

When she shakes Danny's hand he says, "Hi" and doesn't let go right away and I can tell he's hungry. Oh, I can't feel it through the Bond like I should, but I can tell from the way he's eyeing her and his fangs peek out just the tiniest bit.

Chin only notices how long Danny holds Kono's hand and how he stares at her. "That's good, brah," Chin finally says.

Danny drops her hand like he's been burned and mutters, "Sure."

An awkward silence follows so I fill it by bringing Kono's attention back to me. "So your cousin tells us you're graduating from the academy next week. How'd you like to earn a little extra credit before you do?"

She smiles, just like Chin, and says, "I'm listening." I think she's gonna fit right in with our team.

We all head off in different directions. Chin heading back to HQ to work on an in with Sang Min, Danny heads off to get the supplies we'll need and Kono, well, she tags with me for a bit while I fill her in on what she'll be doing.

When I'm finally able to head home, the first thing that greets me is a message about the palm print I found in Dad's study. I'm standing at the desk, staring at the guy's mug shot when Danny walks in.

"Yo," he greets. "Just spoke with Chin – he's setting up a meet with Sang Min. I got that surveillance equipment you asked for." I barely glance at the box he's carrying, my entire attention focused on the man who helped Hesse kill my father.

"You recognize this guy?" I ask, knowing it's a long shot.

Danny leans in close and it takes everything within me to keep my hands to myself. "No. Who is it?"

"Jovan Etienne. His file says he worked for the Russians as a computer programmer in SVR." I stand up, feeling the need to pace or something but not wanting to show my agitation to Danny. "He was here when my father was murdered. I found his palm prints in the study, partial boot prints in here."

Danny interrupts me with, "Wait a minute, how do you know the boot print didn't belong to Hesse?"

While he has a point, I know my prey. "Hesse wears a size eleven, like me, except double-E. The print I found was smaller, and Hesse gets his footwear custom made. Direct injected polyurethane mid-sole with a nitrile rubber outsole."

Danny gets this look on his face that clearly says he thinks I'm a stalker. "Oh. Your, uh, brain must be a… miserable place." Not as miserable as my life has been lately. "I need a beer." He walks into the kitchen and helps himself to the beer in the fridge and I can't keep the smile off my face that he feels at home enough in my space to do so.

I snag a beer for myself, as well as a clean shirt, and head out back to the tiny spit of beach I can call my own. The sound of the waves breaking against the shore has had the power to relax me from earliest childhood and I need that soothing sound now more than ever.

I set my beer down on one chair pulled close to the tide line, but just far enough back to avoid being washed out to sea. When I hear him joining me, I ask, "So, you gonna tell me what 'Danno' means?" I know he probably doesn't want to but I need to know.

"Yeah, when you tell me what's in the box," he counters, ever the stubborn Viking.

Slipping the clean shirt on over my head, I reply, "Truth is, I don't know yet. All I know-" I pick up my beer and sit down on the chair, resting my arms on my knees. "-is that my father wanted me to find it." For the first time since his death, thinking about that last conversation hasn't had me swamped by an overwhelming sadness. "Right now it's just a puzzle." I take a sip from the bottle, eyeing where he's standing staring out at the ocean.

"Ya know, me and Grace, we like puzzles." I bet he's spent countless hours helping her put together a jigsaw puzzle, those big fat ones for very small children at first and slowly working their way up to the ones with the smaller pieces that always seem to have one missing.

I can sense his self-doubt concerning his parenting skills and rush to let him know he has nothing to worry about. "You're a great father."

"Yeah, maybe, I don't know. Ya know?" He shifts in place like he can't quite stand still but doesn't want to pace. "There's three ways of looking at it. One… I could get myself killed chasing some meth-head scumbag and then what kind of father would I be?" It hurts to think that he's right. He could get 'killed' by some lowlife and have to leave Grace behind. But that's the price we pay for doing what we do.

"I always looked up to my father for that. Ya know, the sacrifices he made. I'm sure Grace is gonna feel the same way."

He finally takes a seat in the chair next to me. "Yeah, maybe. Either that or she may think I'm just a selfish son of a bitch. You know, the truth is, this is all I got. I need this." And oh, how I want to reach out and take him in my arms and remind him that Grace, and being a cop, aren't all he has. Remind him that he has me. Tell him that I'm not going anywhere this time. But I know he's not ready to hear it. I can still see the wall he's built between us. See that he wants to keep pretending that we don't know each other. And it hurts. Deep down where I'm still his property, it hurts to know that he'd rather deny me than take another chance. "I wanna do what I'm good at, I want to be reminded I'm good at what I do. If that means… having to put up with your twisted belief that you are never wrong-" Oh, he has jokes now, does he? "-so be it."

I clink my bottle against his and we share a smile for the first time in fifty years. Behind the smile I can see the wall cracking just a little bit and it gives me hope that someday he'll let me back in. "So, what's the third?"

"Well, even if I tell myself this isn't permanent… it's Gracie's home now. It's my job to keep it safe."

Wow, we've shared a real moment here. More so than any we've had in the twelve hundred and thirty years we've known each other. Before either of us can say anything else, my phone rings and I pull it from my pocket.

A quick look at the caller id and then I answer it. "Yeah?" I listen to what Chin has to say. "Alright. Good work."

"What d'ya got?" Danny asks when I end the call.

"That was Chin. Sang Min bought the pitch. He meets Kono tomorrow morning." I can't believe this is working and I'll soon have Victor Hesse on his knees before me so I can Dust his ass.

"Alright, still no guarantee he's gonna tell us where Hesse is." I know Danny's just trying to make sure I keep things in perspective but I don't care. Sang Min is now my only connection to Hesse and he will tell me what I want to know.

"He has to." I sound like a child but again, I don't care. "This is the only chance I have of finding the man who killed my father."

We fall into a somewhat companionable silence and watch the sun set over the ocean. After a while Danny heads home and I move into the house and upstairs, preparing myself for bed, my mind whirling with what happened with Danny on the beach.

Slipping between the sheets, I stare at the clock, willing it to move faster and wishing it was morning already. Dawn is still hours away when I finally give up and get out of bed and spend the extra time swimming extra laps around the cove.

I've just finished dressing when Danny arrives to take me to the meet site. He's quiet during the drive and it's almost as if he's afraid he revealed too much to me the night before. I want to say something to ease his discomfort but I have no idea what.

We set up position in the trailer of a semi with a parabolic mike attached to the side and pointed at the warehouse where Kono's to meet with Sang Min.

Chin and I make some final adjustments to the equipment. "Alright, guys, Kono's in play." I step over to the monitor and flip some switches to turn it on so we can see what's happening inside. "Here we go," I say as Kono walks into frame.

"Okay, kid," Chin tells her. "Just get him to say how he's smuggling these people off the island."

"My friend says you need my help," Sang Min says in his nasally voice.

"I have an aunt and uncle in Nanjing. They would very much like to live here." Kono's a natural. Her voice holds just the right amount of nerves to allow Sang Min to relax his guard a bit.

"I can have your family here within a week. Getting them out of China's easy. Paying for it… That's the hard part."

"I have money."

"Do you mind if I ask what you do?"

Luckily we planned for just such an occurrence and Kono built this whole elaborate back story for herself. "I work at the cannery on Pacific… and weekends as a housekeeper at the Royal Hawai'ian."

"Two jobs?"
Sang Min seems surprised. Or maybe he's impressed. "Very commendable." Okay, so he's impressed. "Only I'm afraid the kind of money we're talking about might be out of your reach." As we watch, he lifts one hand to finger her hair and I have to fight down a growl at the possessive way he's treating her. "Unless, of course, we find some other form of payment." His fingers still in their trip down Kono's hair, his brows lower over his nose and he pulls something from her hair, rubbing it between his fingers. "Sand." Damn. Should have made sure she didn't go surfing this morning. "What kind of person working two jobs has time to go to the beach?" I'm afraid her cover's about to be blown.

"Alright, that's it. Pull the plug. Let's get her outta there." Danny proves that he can read my mind despite the Bond being non-existent.

Chin refuses to listen. "Relax, the kid can handle herself."

"Hey, he smells trap, he's gonna kill her, alright?"

Chin looks at Danny over his shoulder. "Trust me." I know I can trust Chin's judgment here but Danny doesn't. Not yet, but he will.

"I surf during my lunch hour." Kono's voice is getting more assertive, more like her normal tone and that's not good.

"Or maybe you a cop." Sang Min's obviously not stupid. "Did anyone check her for a wire?" He's starting to smell a trap. This is not going to plan.

"We checked her when she came in," one of Sang Min's goons says.

But that's obviously not good enough for Sang Min. "Maybe you missed it." He steps away from Kono. "Take off your dress so I know you're not wearing a wire."

I know Kono's panicking and I wish I could rush in there and save her this embarrassment but sometimes you have to do unpleasant things to sell a cover. She slowly lowers the side zipper on the dress then pulls it over her head, dropping it on the floor at her feet, leaving her standing there in just her plain beige bra and white panties.

"Turn around," Sang Min orders. She hesitates, then does as instructed. He walks up to her, walks around her and then it appears he touches her back before he returns to his seat behind the desk.

"I'd like to put my dress back on, now," Kono says through gritted teeth. Sang Min picks up his phone and holds it like he's taking a picture. "What are…? What are you doing?"

"Going to send this photo to a friend of mine."
He tosses the phone down on the desk.

"Okay, we got a wire on that phone. Trace the call, Danny." Danny snaps to it and I'm glad that he appears to be willing to follow my lead.

Sang Min is still talking about the picture. "And he's going to show it to his friends. If anyone recognizes you-" Danny turns from his computer and says, "Mobile number. Unlisted." Kono puts her dress back on. "-you're dead."

Damn. "Got a location?" I need to know so I can get Kono out of there, now. Danny turns to another computer and seems to freeze when the computer chirps. "Danny!" I let my frustration bleed into my tone.

"Ringing inside my precinct."

Chin says what we're all thinking, "You got a mole in there" just as Sang Min's phone rings. I don't need to see the screen to know what the message says: Kono's cover is blown.

Danny and I seem to actually be on the same wavelength because just as I decide this is over now, he says, "We gotta move."

All three of us jump out and I head around to the driver's side and climb inside. Putting the truck in gear, I lay on the horn to give Kono warning and then I drive it right through the wall, plowing through the pitiful sheet metal, some random debris, and possibly a Human if the sound of the thud against the front grill is anything to go by. It's dangerous, yes, and messy, but I've always been a big fan of surprise attacks. Well, as long as I'm the one doing the attacking.

Bringing the truck to a stop, I climb out through the passenger's side, gun drawn, to find Kono picking up a Beretta from one of the downed goons. "You're early." Didn't realize the girl was so damn snarky.

"You alright?" My protective side rears its head and reminds me just whose soul she has and that she is to be protected at all costs.

She nods just as Danny and Chin come in and assist in cuffing the guys on the ground. Sang Min takes this as his opportunity to try and escape but I see him begin to move and train my gun on him, ordering, "Hey! Let me see your hands!" I approach Sang Min, preparing to frisk, then cuff, him when one of his men leaps to his feet with a pistol raised. "Gun!" I yell, tossing a round right into his face, which gives Sang Min the opening he needs to pull a Micro Galil assault rifle from a desk drawer and then pepper the area with a hail of bullets.

We all dive for cover and fire when we can without getting ourselves shot. "Anybody hurt?" I call out once the sound of gun fire stops.

I get a chorus of 'good' from everyone just as I hear the sound of squealing tires outside. Sang Min's trying to escape and I can't let him do that. Jumping up from my hiding place, I change clips and head outside, standing in the middle of the road so I can fire at the windshield of the approaching car, trying to distract him enough that he'll crash. It doesn’t even faze him, if anything it makes him swerve toward me, causing me to jump up onto a bench behind me to avoid being hit by his car.

One last shot takes out the front passenger tire and he loses control and crashes into a freight container. The force of the crash is enough to have his alarm blaring.

I change clips again and approach the car slowly, saying, "Keep your hands on the steering wheel." When I get to the driver's side, I open the door and pull him from it. "Outta the car, right now. Hands behind your head." My team exits the building. "We're clear," I inform them.

Chin steps up to the passenger side of the car, nearest the container and notices noises coming from the container. "We got movement over here."

Danny, still riding the adrenaline wave, raises his gun and slowly approaches Chin's six. "Go ahead. Go ahead, I gotcha."

Danny and I exchange glances because we now that the dust is settling, we can smell the Humans inside the container. But we're still shocked by what we find when Chin opens it. Close to two dozen men, women and children are packed into the tiny space. "Listen, Danny-" I begin, not really sure what I'm going to say with Chin, Kono, Sang Min and all these refugees present but I needn't have worried because Danny meets my eyes and nods his head, understanding what it is I'm thinking without me having to verbalize it.

ICE, EMS and several members of HPD arrive and begin sorting out the refugees as well as Sang Min and his men. Danny has Chen-Chi's family off to the side while we wait for her to arrive. When the cop car escorting her to the scene arrives, I open the back door and assist her out. "Ni hoa, Chen-Chi," I greet her with a smile and lead her over to her parents.

After making sure that Chen-Chi and her parents are properly reunited, I approach the room where Chin has taken Sang Min to interrogate him.

The closer I get to the room, the better I can hear Chin playing the recording of Sang Min's confession. "Getting them out of China's easy. Paying for it… That's the hard part."

"Laser audio surveillance. You don't need a wire to get a confession out of your hupo ass."

"I'm gonna sue you for entrapment. And when I'm done collecting, I'm gonna find that little hottie you sent in here, and this time, I'm gonna be less of a gentleman."

Standing in the doorway, I watch as Chin grabs an ashtray and uses it to hit Sang Min across the face, which is the least he deserves for his veiled threat to rape Kono.

Deciding it's time I make my presence known, I enter the room. "Sorry, Boss," Chin apologizes, which is completely unnecessary in my book. If the little maggot had made that comment to me… well, let's just say I would've started by feeding him his own fingers. I actually have to admire Chin for showing restraint and playing honorably at a time like this.

Crossing my arms over my chest, I glare down at where Sang Min's tied to a chair. "I didn't see anything."

"You didn't see anything!?" Sang Min explodes. "Son of a bitch hit me!"

"You want to file a report, you're gonna need a witness. Do you want to file a report?"

Sang Min just replies, "I wanna go to jail now."

Chin steps up close to where Sang Min's sitting and demands, "Where is he? Where's Hesse?"

When Sang Min stays quiet, I walk over to a box sitting on a bench near the door. Picking put the folder on top I ask, "What about your wife and kid? You know where they are?" I glance up from the pictures to gauge the expression on his face as I say, "I do." His jaw clenches. Even bad guys can have feelings for their families. I hold out the picture of Sang Min's wife. "She's getting her nails done on Kalakaua Avenue." I then hold up the picture of his son. "And your boy… is at his private school in Diamond Head. You know, I wonder what he's gonna think when he finds out that Daddy takes kids just like him and put them on the streets to be pumped full of black tar Heroin, and sold to strangers like animals.

"You're going to jail. That part's not up for negotiation. Your family is about to lose a husband and a father. In my eyes, now they're your victims, too. The trouble is, the law doesn't see it that way. Your wife –" I hold up her picture again. "-she's from Rwanda. She'll be sent back. They both will. If they're lucky, they'll make it to a refugee camp." I lean down and put the picture of his son right in his face. "And your son? Seven's old enough to hold a gun for the Hutu militia." I wait for several heartbeats, then stand back up. "I can prevent all that." Walking back to the box, I put the pictures back in their folder. "But I don't help people who don't help me." I walk back over to stand next to Chin with my arms crossed over my chest.

"What kind of cops are you?" Sang Min's voice cracks. Good to know the guy cares what happens to his family.

My answer is short and to the point, "The new kind."

Sang Min finally breaks and agrees to help me.

With Hesse's location in hand, I grab Danny and a blue and white and head out to the port, giving the Governor a call to ask that she get the Coast Guard to close the port so that the ship doesn't sail away with my prey.

"Sang Min put Hesse and Etienne on a cargo ship headed for China – The Emma Karl."

The Governor tries to talk some sense into me, despite her knowing it won't do any good. "Steve, do not even think of-"

I cut her off because I really do not have time to argue with her about this. "Governor, you wanted a task force that would do whatever was necessary. You promised me immunity and means."

"No, no. Not – not – to provoke a diplomatic incident by boarding a Chinese freighter headed for international waters."

Danny gives me a worried look and I can tell he knows I'm about to do something stupid. "If China's caught smuggling a terrorist, trust me, they won't say a word. I did my job, Governor. I found Hesse. Now you do yours. Tell the Coast Guard to block the port, that ship is not going anywhere." I hang up the phone, not giving her a chance to respond to my demand.

"That was incredibly stupid, ya know." A glance at Danny shows that he's not looking as worried as I thought he might. It's a look I remember from the few years he knocked around Europe with Dean and me. A look that says he's not sure he should be encouraging my stupidity but is going along to make sure I don't kill myself.

I just grin in response. "She loves me."

"Uh-huh." I can tell he's not convinced. "She a Chosen?"

"From a long line of them, yeah. And before you ask, I've never fed from her."

"Okay. But that's between you and her."

I just shrug and we spend the rest of the drive in silence.

Danny's phone rings, with his ex-wife's tone, just as we pull into the port. "Son of a bitch," he mutters, answering it anyway because it just might be Grace. "Yeah?" His body language instantly changes and I know it's not Grace. "Rachel. Rachel, don't start with me. I left you two messages telling you, you need to pick her up. Don't tell me you had to change your plans. You send the driver for her half the time anyway." I really can't wait to meet this woman and give her a piece of my mind for her treatment of my Mate. "I can't… I can't do that right now. I'm in the middle of something. Please stop for a second. Can you just do me one favor? Just tell Gra- Tell Grace Danno loves her, alright?" His voice goes all soft and emotional as he says that last.

He looks over at me and we share a look. "Okay. Gracie was three, she tried to say my name, and all that she could say was 'Danno'. That's all that came out, 'Danno'. Okay?"

I'm slightly confused. Here I was expecting 'Danno' to have some deeper meaning when all it is, is the nickname his daughter gave him. "That's it?"

"That's it. That's it." He braces himself against the roof of the car as I take yet another corner on two wheels.

"That's cute." And it is. Wish I'd thought of it years ago myself.

"Shut up."

"Why – why – why can't I think it's cute?"

"Don't - Because, because I don't need you thinking anything about us. It's between me and my daughter."

"Alright." I give in and take the final corner that brings up to the actual slip for the cargo ship, stopping about a hundred yards away. "There it is – The Emma Karl."

"Taking off. How do you wanna do this?" I pull my gun and do a brass check against the dash, earning myself a disapproving glare from Danny. "Right." He's obviously resigned himself to the fact that I'm crazy when it comes to catching the bad guys.

"Hold on," I say and floor it, driving the car up the ramp and onto the deck – God, I really love surprise attacks. I force one shooter between two containers, losing a side mirror in the process, and actually run over a second. Bringing the car to a stop and ignoring the hail of bullets around me, I turn to Danny and say, "Cover me. I'm gonna go find Hesse."

Danny doesn't even take time to roll his eyes at me before he exits his side and takes out the guy I almost ran over when we 'boarded' the ship. A shooter off to my left blows out my window but I return fire and he goes down. I feel a little guilty about leaving Danny to all these gunmen but I know that with only the two of us around, he doesn't have to play Human for the time being, and besides, it's not his first time taking over a ship by brute force. So while he's busy with that, I begin searching the ship for Hesse and it doesn't take long before he's jumping me from around a corner.

He knocks my hands up and grabs my left wrist with his left, holding it over my head. He brings his right one down and around. I catch a glint of gunmetal – it looks like a stainless steel Jericho Baby Eagle, which is not a weapon to sneeze at – and crack it with the butt of my SIG p226 just as he manages to squeeze the trigger, sending the shot wild. Since he's being kind enough to continue holding on to me, I twist around to slam my right elbow into his abdomen and push him back against a container so I can get better leverage for my punches. I get him twice in the sternum before he manages to break free and lands a right cross to my face and then a swift kick to my solar plexus that has me stumbling back and falling to my knees.

When I get up I discover that Hesse has run up the stairs on top of a shipping container and I follow him. He's not getting away this time. I fire in order to force him to duck behind some cover, buying me a chance to leap across a gap to the container he's on.

He picks up an AKMSU from one of his fallen men, thanks to Danny's excellent marksmanship I'm sure, and fires at me. I fall and drop my gun as the bullet tears through the flesh of my upper arm. Now Danny and I have matching wounds.

Hesse drops the empty gun and stalks where I'm lying. I manage to get to my feet in time to block a knee to the groin but not an elbow dropped onto my shoulder like a falling axe that takes me to one knee. I get to my feet with an uppercut to his jaw that has him staggering back a couple of steps. I land a nice left hook but he blocks my next punch. The next several seconds are filled with flying hands, punches met by blocks and parries. He's old like me, skilled, fast and strong and very good at being the best in the fight, and it's a pretty tight match until I get the opportunity to crack him on the nose with the hard curve of my forehead and follow it with a spinning back fist that sends him staggering a couple of steps. Then he shows me his fangs and I launch myself at him.

Hesse tries to kick me, but I side-step it easily enough and land a kick to the back of his thigh that should have brought him to his knees but doesn't. Several more blocked fists fly, another uppercut from me and he manages to grab me by the forearm and underarm and use my momentum to lift me into the air and slam me onto the ground.

As I'm trying to get up, Hesse drops to the ground so he can put his full muscle power into slamming his foot into my face, and I go flying off the container we're on and land on the wheelhouse of a small yacht that's tied there for shipping, rolling off the windshield and coming to a stop on the roof of the cabin. As luck would have it, I land right next to my pistol. Looking up, I see Hesse loading an AKMSU. "There's something you should know about your brother," I tell him.

"What about him?"

"He died the same way you did." I grab my gun and fire, landing two in a tight cluster over his heart. I know this won't kill the son of a bitch, but it will give me time to get him before The Council for the crime of killing a Human. I hear him gasp, can even hear the wind escaping through his new holes, and he staggers backward.

I hear the sound of a gun hitting the container just seconds before the splash of Hesse's body hitting the water. Damnit! He wasn't supposed to fall into the harbor; finding him could take hours. I climb up onto the container and stare down at the evidence of where Hesse's body landed, wishing I could dive in after it but knowing I have other things I need to do right now. Besides, Hesse will be in a healing trace for a few hours so he's not going anywhere, at least not for now. Hopefully he'll be unconscious long enough for the police divers to locate him.

Meanwhile, Danny's been busy rounding up Hesse's men. His presence on the ship is brought back to my attention when I hear him say, "Hands behind your back. Don't make me shoot you again."

I walk over to the other side of the container and stare down at where he's sitting on a cuffed perp. He seems almost proud of himself, like it's refreshing to have boarded and taken over a ship again for the first time in a long time, and he even smiles and nods at me. I nod back. "Hey. Get the Coast Guard to find that body."

"What do you want me to do with this one?"

I just can't resist saying, "Book 'em, Danno." The pissed off expression that crosses his face at that has me smirking.

"What'd I tell ya about that?" He looks down at the wriggling body beneath him. "Where are you trying to go? Where are you… Where? Where? Where?" He stands up. "Go ahead." I can't stop the smile at how relaxed he looks teasing the perp. "Do you want me to shoot you? Stop. Just stop."

Back at HQ, workers are moving stuff around and fixing the place up. Guess we have a home, now and I bet Chin will have all the newest toys soon. I find Danny in the office he claimed as his, clearing the paperwork off the desk.

"Hey." I wait for him to look up before entering the room. We share a look and I hold a gift card envelope up before setting it on the desk.

"What, uh, what is this?"

"Three nights at the Kahala Hotel. Look I know you're gonna say no…"

"Yeah," he interrupts me. "You're right I'm gonna say no. What is it with you and my living arrangements?"

I really want to use my being his Mate as my answer but can't because of all the unknowns in the room, so instead I answer, "Gracie's coming over this weekend, right?"

"Yeah." I love the look he gets on his face at the mere mention of Grace. He used to look at me that way. That still hurts, but I don't count myself defeated yet.

Maybe it's a little sneaky going at him through his daughter but it's not like I'm having much luck. "Okay. So, I hear this place has a pool, you can swim with the dolphins. Just take it."

I'm almost out the door when he calls me back. "Hey. Oh, you, uh, you look really bad." We both chuckle at that because we know I won't have so much as a bruise in a few hours. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"Thank you," he says again as I walk from the room.

After the workmen have left, my team and I are sitting around, drinking beer and getting to know each other when Kono says, "Okay, guys, honestly, I think we need a name."

"A name?" I question.

"What kind of name?" Danny asks at the same time. "What are you talking about?"

"Yeah. Like something to call ourselves. What do you think?"

"Why do we need a name?" Chin asks.

"Because we're going to be working together, and it'd be cool." Leave it to the youngest member of the team to try and make us 'cool'.

"I got it," Chin says and I just know it's gonna be some long-ass Hawai'ian name that hardly anyone not Native Hawai'ian can pronounce. "A'ohe hana nui ka alu'ia."

We all laugh. Kono says, "You, too."

Chin asks, "What? What are you laughing at? C'mon. That means, 'no task is too big when done together'." We laugh even harder. "This is the problem with you haoles – no team spirit. No island spirit."

Kono tries to talk him out of it. "No, honestly. C'mon. We need something cool like 'Strike Force'."

Chin questions her choice. "Strike Force?"

"Yes. Strike Force."

Danny chimes in with, "I hate that so much."

I put an end to the argument by saying, "You know, I say we keep thinking."

The topic changes after that and as the sun dips below the horizon, we all head off on our own.

I hear Chin and Kono make plans to hit some bars together later and I know Danny's going to get Grace and take her to the hotel. As for me, well, I'm off to feed since I haven't done so since that night earlier in the week with Chin.

I spend the weekend at an underground Diner in a binge that leaves half the Donors unable to entertain Patrons for the next eight weeks, but I think I'm allowed the overindulgence after the week I've had. Sunday morning finds me at home and so I resume my normal routine: a swim around the cove in the early morning hours followed by a quick shower before heading out to the garage to examine the car that John was in the process of rebuilding.

Only this morning my routine is interrupted by a knock on the door.

The scent wafting in on the ocean breeze tells me it's my Mate on the other side of the door. A part of me does a little happy dance at the knowledge that he's come to me, while deep in my gut I know that's not why he's here.

He's made it perfectly obvious this past week that he has no plans for us to become an 'us' again no matter my feelings on the subject. And I'm trying really hard to respect his wishes on this, but his very soul calls to mine like a siren's song and it's all I can do to not drag him off to bed so I can remind him just where he truly belongs.

Opening the door, I can tell from the set of his shoulders that this is not going to be pleasant by any stretch of the imagination.

He takes a page out of my book and shoulders past me and into the house without waiting for an invitation. He comes to a stop about half-way across the living room and spins to glare at me. "I want to thank you for the weekend with the dolphins. Grace loved it." So maybe this won't be so bad after all. "However,-" he says holding up one finger to stop me from speaking when I open my mouth. "-you don't have the right to mess with my life like that so I'll thank you to leave me the fuck alone."

Anger flares in my gut. "I'll say this again, I'm not here to fuck with your life." I step closer, getting in his space. "Fifty years ago you told me to leave and never come back. I've spent the past fifty years happily living my life, rarely thinking of you. And then a couple of weeks ago I get a call telling me I have to come home because you need me. I thought he meant home as in England, since that's where I left you. But then he said that I'd get another call that would give me the excuse I need to come home." I run one hand down my face. "I had no idea what the hell was going on until I answered that second call and it was John McGarrett. At that point I thought he meant that Dad needed me."

I pace a bit away, fighting the overwhelming sadness that boils up at the thought of John's death. Danny jumps on the moment it takes me to regroup. "Let me guess. The first caller was Dean." His voice is dripping with scorn and I look sharply at him. "He needs to butt outta my life even more than you do. I. Do. Not. Need. Any. Assistance! Especially from you."

"You must have lost your hearing during the past fifty years because I'm trying to tell you that I had no idea you were in Hawai'i." Now I take a page from his book and poke him in the chest. "It wasn't until Chin told me that a haole was running my father's murder investigation that I discovered you were here. When I found that out, I figured we might as well give it one more shot. But you acted like you'd never met me before and I decided to follow your lead on that. I'm still willing to let the outside world think we're strangers. But only because I don't want to Register."

"You still don't get it." He throws his hands in the air and paces a circle. "I never wanted any of this."

"I didn't either, Danny."

"Really? Coulda fooled me. You should be beyond excited about being around to watch how Humanity has spoiled your precious nature and then help them rebuild it."

"Do you really think that? That I wanted to be around to watch how Humans have destroyed our planet?" How could he think that?

"When the Industrial Age started you complained almost constantly about how the smoke from the factories was ruining the air quality, before people even knew what that was."

"This-" Pointing one finger at the floor, I twirl it in a circle. "-is not about any of that. This-" Now I twirl the finger at his face. "-is about you and me and the fact that we're supposedly Bonded Soul Mates but you apparently don't want anything to do with me. I said I'm fine with that; out in public. When we're alone, we will be talking about this."

"Bullshit!" He launches himself at me, hitting me in the chest with enough force to have me stumble back a couple of steps.

The ensuing fight is mostly Danny trying to knock me on my ass while I just block each of his punches and back across the room. He's fighting me hard enough to make me fear for his safety, which has me pulling my punches and has the fight lasting longer than it should. Finally I bring his struggles to an end by pulling his cuffs from their holster clipped to his belt at the small of his back and cuffing his hands behind his back, then spinning him so that I'm pressed up against his back, so that he can feel my erection against his ass. I don't normally get hard from fights, but since this is the most contact I've had with my Mate in fifty years I'm not the least bit surprised.

With one arm locked around his neck to deter him from further struggles, I walk the fingers of my right hand down the buttons of his shirt. "Don't tell me you don't want this, Lars," I whisper in his ear, smiling smugly at the shiver that chases down his spine. When my hand reaches the waistband of his pants, I untuck his shirt to make it easier for me to slip my fingers inside. He sucks air into his lungs, effectively making my quest that much easier when his stomach flattens even more in his effort to avoid my touch.

"Don't call me that," he snarls. God, I forgot how tough he can be. Our weakened Bond hasn't been enough for me to feel how he's doing but being near him has allowed me to see that he's not faring very well.

"It is your name." I lick a stripe up his neck, his familiar taste bursting over my tongue and pulling a moan of need from deep within me. It's been fifty years since we were last together and I've missed him like crazy.

"Hasn't been for over twelve hundred years." And so it hasn't. After we were Turned Arthur changed our names to help us to blend in better. But even then, he preferred me to call him Lars in private.

With a wiggle, I get my fingers under the elastic of his underwear and tangle them briefly in the wiry hairs before moving on to wrap around the erection I find tucked down the left leg of his boxers. "Is this for me?" I drop my voice to a deep dark growl and start speaking Norwegian, knowing how it turns his crank. And now's no exception. The flesh in my hand twitches with the first word out of my mouth.

"There was a time when you wouldn't touch me without my express permission." I can hear the pain in his voice but despite having known him for over twelve hundred years I have no idea what's causing it. "Who's the master and who's the slave?"

Running my left hand in a rough and possessive caress down his body, I squeeze his pecs hard enough to have him grunting. When I reach the waist of his pants, I quickly undo his belt, then with a flick of my fingers, I open the fly and tug the waistband of his boxers under his balls. I cup them in my hand for just a moment, refamiliarizing myself with the weight and feel of them. "At this moment in time, I'd say we're each a little of both."

I can hear Danny grinding his teeth in frustration. "Don't." Such a small word but it holds a world of meaning.

"You're no longer my master, Lars." I begin to slowly stroke my hand up his length. "You have no control over me."

His body tenses as I begin to jerk him with the express purpose of seeing him fly apart in my arms. Placing my mouth to his ear, I tell him each and every nasty thing I want to do to him in great detail. Having once been his pleasure slave gives me knowledge of his body that I use now to pull his orgasm from him. The exact same instant he climaxes, I sink my fangs into his neck. My eyes close in bliss at the remembered, and sorely missed, taste of his blood.

It takes several seconds but eventually I become aware that the Bond didn't flare bright and hot in the back of my head like it did that first time twelve hundred and ten years ago. A quick look around finds a small orb glowing fainting not far from where I'm standing.

Approaching slowly, hesitantly, I kneel next to the dim light and pick it up to cup it gently in my hands. I blow lightly over the faint luminescence pulsing in my palms and it brightens briefly, for only a second, before returning to its original dim light. This tiny light is all that's left of my Bond with Danny, and a deep sadness overwhelms me at the thought that it might die if I can't get him to Bond with me.

I become aware of another presence and I look up, startled to see Danny standing on the very edge of the light given off by our Bond. Standing slowly, I cradle the tiny orb close to my chest. "Lars." His name is a whispered plea. I start to take a step toward him but the flood of negative feelings from him has me staggering back a couple of steps.

"Danny." I use the name he prefers, hoping it'll get him to open up to me but instead it makes all the feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness and pure hatred increase, and it makes the light in my hands flicker and almost sputter out completely. "Daniel!" I beg, taking a step toward him.

I fully expect him to shove me away and so am surprised when all he does is up the amount of hatred and that's when I understand just what it is he hates: me. Or rather the fact that I'm a Vampire.

That realization is so shocking that I pull my fangs from his neck rougher than I should before quickly licking the wound closed. "God, Danny," I breathe, wiping my hand off on my pants and fumbling to get the tiny handcuff key out of its pocket in the side of the handcuff holster.

My hands are shaking so hard it takes longer than it should for me to uncuff his hands. Before I can get the cuffs and the key returned to their proper place, he steps out of reach and spins to face me.

"Is that really how you feel? About me? About us!?" I demand, slashing the air with my hand in my agitation.

He glares at me, rubbing his wrists. "How dare you?" He's like a pissed off cat, bristling and hissing. "How can you accuse me of anything after the way you've treated me?"

Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and a leap of faith. "I will never leave you again."

"You said that before," he reminds me. "Or did you forget that?"

"No, I didn't forget." I lean back against the couch behind me. "But did you forget my exact words? In case you did, what I actually said was 'If you free me, I'll never willingly leave you' and I never willingly left you."

"How can you say that? No one held a gun to your head and forced you to walk away."

"You did, Danny." I step closer only to have him step back.

"I never forced you to leave me, Steven." His chin tips up and I recognize the motion for what it is; his warning that he's about to dig his heels in and will be at his most stubborn.

Settling back against the couch, I cross my arms over my chest and my feet at the ankles, and bow my head and fight the urge to throttle him. "But you did." I look up at him through my lashes. "Did you really expect me to just stand by and watch you fuck everything in sight while refusing to Bond with me?"

"You weren't exactly faithful either!"

Ducking my head I hide a smile at the petulant tone of his voice. "We never agreed to that. And even if we did, we don't have it in us to do so. My people didn't have a word for monogamy and I do believe yours didn't either." Lifting my head, I meet his gaze head on. "Did you really think I'd fall for that argument, Lars? You know me better than that." The stubborn shuttered look that crosses his face gives me pause. "Were you trying to make me jealous?"

He shrugs indifferently. "I dunno." He tries to look like my response isn't important and fails miserably. "Did it work?"

I chew my tongue to stop from laughing at his not so subtle attempt to pretend it doesn't matter. "It might have." Shifting, I lean one hip against the couch and rub my hand along my neck. "Did you really expect me to stick around and watch you fuck everything that wasn't me!?"

"You didn't seem to mind at the time!"

"Really? That's your comeback? Seriously, Lars; I think you can do better." I click my tongue.

"You never stayed for long. And stop calling me Lars!"

"I never stayed for long?" I shove the fingers of one hand through my hair. "How long was I by your side the first time, hm? Two hundred years, that's how long." I don't let him answer. "And how long was I gone before I came running back? Two, maybe three years!" The look on his face would have had me dropping to my knees to beg his forgiveness for being so harsh but not now. Because this, this, has been a fucking long time coming and I'll be damned if I don't say my piece. "Then when I convinced you to leave with Dean and I, you left us after just five years. I thought we'd been having a hell of a time fucking our way across Europe." I school my features into as bland a look as possible and can tell by the narrow eyed look I get in return that I'm not successful. "But I guess that wasn't the case. At least not for you." I have to look away from the anger building in his eyes before I do something stupid, like punch him in the face again.

"What do you want from me, Teyrnon?" He manages to catch me off guard by not only asking that but by calling me by my real name; a name that I haven't heard from him in over fifty years.

I open my mouth, then close it when I realize that my first thought would only strengthen the wall he's built between us. Running the fingers of one hand through my hair, I consider my words very carefully. "What I want, Lars, is for you to give us a chance. Something you haven't even once tried since you were Turned."

"I was Turned Without Consent!" He seems to finally realize that his pants are still open because he tugs his boxers back into place with jerky movements before closing his fly. "Did you really expect me to just accept it? Or jump for joy when you Turned?"

"Jump for joy? No. But at least try and make it work? Yes."

"Make this work? Make this work!? You of all people should know how No Consents are viewed. You couldn't possibly want to be tied to that."

My mouth falls open and I gape at him. "How could you even think that of me!? I Turned for you! The second I touched you when I found you on that beach, I knew we were Soul Mates. My choices were: Turn or risk losing you forever when I die. As far as I'm concerned it was a no brainer."

"You would have been reborn, Teyrnon," he whispers.

"Like it matters. Especially when you were looking to be Dusted. Vampire souls do not come back!"

"So that's what this is all about? You were afraid your soul would wander the Earth for eternity alone?"

Throwing my hands in the air, I pace the length of the room, fisting my hands in my hair to keep from punching him in the face. "Our souls aren't supposed to be alone, Lars. That's why we have Soul Mates! That's why people tend to pair off, even in societies where the word monogamy doesn't exist." I spin to face him. "There were times when you seemed to accept it. If you didn't really, were you just fucking with my head?"

"No." He crosses his arms over his chest and lowers his head to stare at the floor. "I would get tired of the arguing and you giving me the silent treatment and so would, at times, try and accept it. But as you know it never lasted for long. All it would take was overhearing one Vampire bad-mouthing No Consents and I'd be reminded of what kind of life you'd have with me."

"No one had to know! In fact, no one did know! I mentioned it to Dean just recently and he was surprised. It's not like you have a sign on your forehead or that you act differently. My gods, Lars! This is all in your head."

His head snaps up at that. "So now I'm crazy!?"

I close my eyes to try and keep the tears from escaping, but I'm not totally successful and one from each eye rolls down my cheeks. Emphatically I tell him, "No. I don't think you're crazy, but I do think your excuse for not trying to accept being a Vampire is."

He flexes his jaw like I'm starting to get him riled up again. "And now you think you can force that?"

"No." I step closer and am encouraged when he doesn't back away. "I'm not going to force anything. I just want to be able to love you and show you that we're stronger together."

Danny tilts his head, his brow furrowing in confusion. "So, when the Governor gave you carte blanche, and you picked me, it was with the hope I'd let you back in?"

Stepping close enough that the toes of my feet are touching the toes of his shoes, I tilt my head down so that I'm looking up at him through my lashes. "I was hoping that by being in each other's space, you'd see that we work better when we're on the same team."

"That's not an answer."

Fuck. Forgot how perceptive he is. I scrub my hands over my face. "Fine. Yes, I was hoping that by being together for the majority of the day, you'd see that you belong with me and you'd let me back in."

"And what I want doesn't mean shit?"

I open my mouth to respond that of course what he wants matters, but then realize that when I made the decision to make him my partner, I didn't care what he thought about it. All I was concerned about was how much I wanted back in his bed. Tucking my hands in my pockets, I sigh deeply. "You're right. I wasn't thinking about that and I'm sorry."

He appears to think about it for several seconds before nodding his head. "Okay." He points one finger in my face. "Here's how it's gonna go: at work, we're partners who just met; when alone, well, we'll play that one by ear."

I scratch the back of my neck and chew my lip, scuffing the toes of one foot against the floor. "Chin Ho and Kono are both Chosen. They know I'm a Vampire and Chin has been around long enough that he's probably figured out that you're my Mate."

He throws his hands up and takes a couple of steps away from where I'm standing. "Great, just effing great." Placing his hands on his hips, he stands with his back to me and bows his head.

"Danny-" I start but have no idea what I'm going to say.

He holds up one hand. "Okay," he mutters still with his back to me. "I can handle this." He turns to face me. "Is there anyone else I need to worry about finding out?"

"I haven't told anyone, if that's what you're asking."

He eyes me like I'm a suspect, then nods his head. "Okay, fine. So, here are the ground rules: you are not allowed to get handsy with me, especially at the office. You are not allowed to get handsy with me when we're alone, either. In fact, just pretend like we don't know each other."

Placing my hands on my hips, I tilt my head back to stare at the ceiling and silently beg for the strength to not punch his face. "How about we compromise?"

"What, because it worked so well last time?"

"Yes." He lifts one brow and waves a hand in a 'Do go on' fashion. "At work, I will resist the urge to get, as you say, 'handsy'-" I make the proper air quotes. "-with you. When we're alone, we talk, and by that I actually mean talk, about our relationship. Until you walked into the garage last week, I thought I had gotten used to being alone, but seeing you proved that I hadn't and in fact all I want is to curl up around you."

"We've been through this-" he begins, stabbing the air between us with one finger.

I interrupt him with a growl and barely manage to avoid flinging my hands into the air. "Oh, get off your fucking high horse! I'm not gonna force you. I just want to talk. Ya know, like we should have twelve hundred years ago? I admit I was a bit high handed in forcing you to work with me but look at you." I wave one hand in his general direction. "You're a mess. And you're a great detective. We make a great team. And that's the real reason I picked you." Crossing my arms over my chest, I prop one hip against the couch. "I promise you that no matter what, I'm not going to leave ever again. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it. But-" I hold up one finger to stall the retort I can see hovering on his tongue. "-if you truly don't want to be with me, I will respect that. I just want to be near you. Is that so wrong?"

He mimics my posture with his arms crossed over his chest but instead of leaning against something, he has all his weight on one foot. "You're a distraction I can't afford right now."

That has me standing up straight. "I'm a distraction?"

He shakes his head. "I can't do this right now."

When he turns to leave, I jump forward and grab his sleeve. "Just one fucking minute. You can't come in here and tell me I'm a distraction then walk away."

He shrugs off my hand and turns to face me. "Rachel is on my ass about my visitation with Grace. If she was to find out about you, it'd all be over. Okay? Are you happy now!? If the choice is you or Grace, I'll choose Grace each and every time."

His declaration is like a knife to my heart. "I told you I'm not here to fuck up your life. If Rachel finding out about me will adversely affect your relationship with Grace, then you don't need to worry about it. If I ever meet Rachel, I'll be sure to not let on that you're my Soul Mate." I throw my arms out to my sides. "Is that good enough for you? Because it had better be seeing as it's the most I can do."

He chews his lip and I can see he's actually thinking about what I've said. Finally he nods his head. "It'll do. For now. I reserve the right to change these rules at will and without prior notice."

I feel like a ten-ton weight has been lifted off my shoulders. "I'll take it." I have to actively fight the urge to take him into my arms and carry him upstairs to my bed.

With a curt nod of acceptance, he turns and walks out leaving me hopeful that eventually we'll be properly Bonded. And even though that 'eventually' might not come for a long time yet, I still have hope that he'll let me love him again. I just have to hold on until then.

part two

Steve was born Teyrnon in 760 in Wales where Cardiff is now. He was the last of a line of Druids thought to have died out centuries earlier. Druid knowledge is usually past from father to son but when the last male Druid only had daughters, he chose to impart his knowledge on them in the hopes they would have sons and pass it to them.

Danny was born Lars Olafson in 760 in the far north of Norway. He was one of nearly forty children born to his father, and one of about ten that were not born to his father's wife.

His mother was a slave from somewhere near Italy. She was originally bought to work in the kitchen. Eventually she caught the master's eye and when she became pregnant with Danny she made him promise that no harm would come to her or her child (or any others she might ever have) and that he'd free her.

Danny was never treated as less than a legitimate son by everyone except his father's wife. Due to his lack of height, he learned early on that if he acted tough people tended to not mess with him.

When Danny turned nineteen, his father began introducing him to suitable mates. Danny turned them all down which angered his father and he punished Danny by not allowing him to go on the next raid; forcing him to stay behind with the women, children and old men.

In 780, Danny's father attacked Steve's village killing everyone except Steve and all women of childbearing age.

Steve was given to Danny as a slave.

In 790, Danny and Steve left Norway and began traveling the world on their own.

In 800 they were in Wales when Danny was attacked by a rogue Vampire and Turned Without Consent. In 801 Steve was Turned by Arthur Pendragon.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-15 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] popkin16
Oo, I like how angsty this is. I wish more fics would explore the dislike Danny felt for Steve in the beginning; I think it's fascinating to go from hate to friends to lovers :D

I wonder if Chin does know they're Mates? I wonder what he thinks about it, because in that first episode it was pretty obvious they didn't get along. I can't wait to read more :D

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-15 04:01 pm (UTC)
hellbells: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hellbells
I'm intrigued by this potential verse. I love this fic, angsty with no simple resolution but just hope for the future.

I hope to see more.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-16 12:55 am (UTC)
ext_411194: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
OMG - I don't know anything about vampires or the supernatural or anything like that or watched any shows like that on Tv or in movies - or even read any books - but this fic has hooked me - well at least to the Steve/Danno part of the equation...

I hope you do more of this! this was great reading!! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-16 01:32 am (UTC)
ext_411194: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
in that case I'll be waiting! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-16 02:50 pm (UTC)
sjh2009: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sjh2009
This is fantastic, I love AU fics which still have my favourite characters recognisably themselves and you write them really well. I love the anger and angst here, Steve's love for Danny and Danny's obvious struggle to come to terms with their relationship. I really look forward to more.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-19 05:02 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
Huh. I like it. And I'm intrigued enough in the world to go see what the rest of the series is like.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-12-08 04:15 pm (UTC)
rungirl60: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rungirl60
Is this story still a WIP or is it finished and posted somewhere?


melissas_corner: (Default)

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