Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song
by Peg Keeley
Steve and Chin arrived at the hospital together. Steve's expression of was one of total shock. In five years I have never had an officer seriously injured. How did this happen? They were supposed to be picking up a report. He found Danny quickly. The younger officer was sitting on a metal chair in the waiting room staring at the floor.
"Danny, how is Kono? What happened?" Steve demanded.
Chin silently assessed Williams accurately determining that Danny was in shock himself.
"I don't know," Danny murmured. "It was a traffic stop."
"Traffic stop! What were you doing making traffic stops?"
Danny looked up at him. Does he think it was my idea? "I don't know. He ran a light -- Kono wanted to stop him. I don't know what went wrong."
Steve's patience was nearly non-existent. "You are a professional. 'I don't know' doesn't cut it with me. Now tell me what happened."
Chin lifted an eyebrow.
Danny tried to pull the events together. It doesn't make any sense. "This guy ran a light. Kono wanted to ticket him. The guy shot him four times, point blank."
"Where were you? Did you see the shooter?" Steve demanded.
He looked a bit vacant. "I was in the car, calling the plate. A lot of glare off the windshield " God, how to I admit that I wasn't even paying attention? I didn't want to be there, I didn't want to do it. I was angry at Kono. It's my fault.
Steve glanced at Chin. He was not accustomed to Danny melting under pressure. A puzzled scowl crossed his features. "Chin," he muttered. "Talk to him, I'll go see what I can find out about Kono."
Chin sat down next to Danny, in no hurry to push for answers. I have known Danno all his life. Under that cavalier tough exterior he is not always so sure of himself. "Bad day," Chin finally said after a short time. When he got no response he patted Danny's arm. "Come outside with me. Let's have a smoke."
Wordlessly, Danny followed Chin outside of the ER. There was a small alcove off to one side that was heavily littered with others' past smokes; cigarette butts scattered about as mute testimony to many other anxious stories.
Chin lit his pipe and took the time to puff it twice before using his lighter on Danny's cigarette.
"I'm supposed to be stopping you know," Danny muttered.
"You will -- someday," Chin said good-naturedly. "But it won't likely be today."
Danny took a long, slow drag on the cigarette and exhaled the smoke through his nostrils. "Kono has that new girlfriend. She was all he wanted to think about. I guess he wanted to be a hero cause of her."
"He always liked making traffic stops," Chin remarked. "Got the department record for 'em two years straight right before he came to Five-0."
"Don't know why. They're petty, time consuming and dangerous." The last word caught in Danny's throat.
Chin looked at Danny more closely. "Steve is going to want you to have something to say. Description of the guy, the car."
"Dispatch has the tag number."
Chin frowned. "Danny, what did the guy look like?"
He slammed a fist against the iron railing, scraping his knuckles that started to bleed. "I didn't see the guy."
"You must have -"
He wiped the bleeding knuckles against his shirt that was already stained by Kono's blood. "I don't remember his face." How do I tell Chin I messed up? I wasn't even looking! How do I tell Steve? How do I tell him I was being careless and Kono is paying for it?
Steve had pestered the desk clerk until she went in search of information on Kono. She returned with a doctor.
"Are you McGarrett?" the physician asked without pleasure.
"What can you tell me about Officer Kalakaua?" he demanded, skipping the pleasantries.
"Your guy took four .22 caliber projectiles - two in the chest, two in the upper abdomen. He's in surgery. I wouldn't place any bets right now."
Steve turned away. I have sent men to die in combat, I've seen the face of death myself, but I have never lost one of my own officers. He struggled to shut away the grief that threatened to wash over him. He will make it. He has to make it. We will find the bastard who dared to do this and make an example this town will never forget.
He went in search of Chin and Danny. They were just re-entering the ER with a uniformed officer that Steve recognized as Sergeant Duke Lukela.
"License plate is a blank," Lukela reported. "No record."
No record? Did Danny get the numbers wrong? Steve's scowl intensified. "Did you run plates similar, number reversed."
Duke nodded. "Nothing close on a white vette."
Steve flexed his jaw in anger. "Get out the word -- someone must have seen something." He leveled his gaze on Williams. "You need to give a description to the police artist."
Danny did not reply. He was trying to assimilate that the number was non-existent. How can that be? I called in the number before Kono was shot. How can it be a blank?
"Any word on Kono?" Duke asked.
"In surgery. Took two to the chest, two to the abdomen," Steve reported quietly, concern showing. "Too early to know. I want everyone we've got out there drilling every snitch, every punk they ever used and I want something on this guy." He turned back to Danny. Hopefully a few minutes with Chin has cleared his mind. "I want that description," he demanded in less than a friendly tone.
Danny stared at his superior, pallid white. He felt suddenly nauseated. "I can't remember," he uttered through almost closed lips. The rest room door was just to Duke's left. "Excuse me," Danny dodged through it.
"What the hell is wrong with him?" Steve demanded so loudly the sound echoed back through the tiled hallway.
"Steve," Chin tried calmly. "He's pretty shook up. He needs a little time."
"Chin, time is the one thing we haven't got," Steve snapped back, pulled free from Chin's grip and stormed through the rest room door.
Danny was rinsing his face at the sink and looked up as Steve exploded into the room.
Steve tried, unsuccessfully, to soften his glare. He lost his nerve so bad he threw up! "What is going on with you?" Steve demanded, no sympathy evident in his tone.
"I can't give you what I don't have," Danny attempted to reply.
"Danno, we don't have time to indulge our own emotions here. We need to get this guy and I want it now." Steve hesitated just a moment. Can it really be that he has never faced the death of a friend? "Kono's going to make it," he said in a sudden change of subject. "He's too stubborn to die."
Danny managed a stiff nod.
"Right." Which is worse, Steve's anger or his patronizing? He
wadded up a paper towel tightly in his hand. "I'll get it done, Steve."
He threw the trash into the bin and left the room.
An hour and a half later, Chin reported in to the office. May looked up expectantly at him, but could tell from his discouraged look he had no good news to offer. "Nothing yet," he replied to the unspoken question. He glanced over towards Danny's cubicle where the younger officer sat with a box of description transparencies before him. There were four composites pushed to one side. Chin noted that none of them looked remotely alike.
Danny looked up at him. "Nothing's coming, Chin." His look was frustrated. "I must have seen something -- anything." He pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes. "I just can't think."
Chin gazed quietly at the four images. "They all got brown hair. You remember the guy having brown hair?" he asked quietly.
"I'm not sure. It just looks right. Damn, Chin. I won't be able to identify the guy in a line up. What good is all this?" He shoved himself away from the desk. I was so careless. It's costing Kono his life. All because I didn't want to cooperate.
"Maybe you should take a break," Chin advised. "You know where that girl of Kono's lives? The press will be talking about this any minute now. Maybe you'd want to get to her before she hears it on the radio."
Danny jumped to his feet, imagining Chancy's horror at learning the day's events. He readily recalled the address Kono had given for the flowers. I can remember that, but not Kono's attacker.
In fifteen minutes, he was outside the door of home where Chancy was a guest. He rang the doorbell.
A middle-aged man in golf attire answered the door. "May I help you?"
"My name is Dan Williams; I'm a friend of Chancy's. Is she here?"
He could already hear the footfalls approaching. "Danny! How good to see you!" Chancy exclaimed. "Uncle Hal, this is Dan Williams. He's one of the people I mentioned meeting yesterday. He and his friend Kono work for Five-0 and took me surfing yesterday."
Hal extended a gentle hand and gave a half-nod. "A pleasure to meet you."
Danny accepted the handshake. "Likewise." Amenities complete, he focused on Chancy. "I need to talk to you," he stated, some of the urgency creeping into his voice.
"Of course." She led him back into the living room.
Danny spotted the crystal vase of red roses instantly.
"Beautiful, aren't they?" Chancy said with a smile. "Kono sent them. He included the sweetest card. Funny, I did not imagine him to have such a way with words."
Danny felt his face flush, but pushed emotion away. "Chancy, it's about Kono."
Her smile slipped just a little. "Is there a trouble?"
"Chancy, Kono was shot during a routine stop this morning."
"Shot!" she gasped in alarm.
"He's in the hospital, in surgery." He stopped for a moment. "I-I just wanted to let you know personally."
She sank down on the edge of the couch. "How awful!" She looked over at the rose. "How awful." She repeated. "Is there something we can do?"
"Just wait," he replied.
"Are you going back to the hospital?" she asked.
"Let me come with you."
Danny was a little surprised. She is really is some girl. She just met Kono yesterday and wants to keep watch in the hospital. "Chancy, you don't have to do this-"
"I want to," she insisted.
"Kono won't be awake. You may not even get to see him."
She picked up her purse. "Then I will go for you."
He was mildly startled. For me? He did not remember anyone considering he might need something done for him all day. He was grateful.
As Danny drove towards the medical center, Chancy asked him about the incident. "What happened?"
Danny bit the inside of his lip. "He was doing a traffic stop. A guy who ran a red light."
"Detectives do that here?" she asked.
He turned a corner. "Not usually. He just saw it happen and -" he shrugged. "Kono is a guy of high principles. He wanted to make it right."
She was quiet for a moment. "Were you with him?"
He turned to look at her, nearly forgetting his driving. "Yes."
"You must feel so awful -- seeing him get shot and all."
He focused on the road again. Maybe I'd feel better if I had seen him shot.
She paused to put a lock of hair behind her ear. "Did you catch the man who shot him?"
He did not answer right away. She is just trying to help, he chided himself. She doesn't understand all this. She thinks she's helping and doesn't realize she's tearing my heart out. "No." His reply was almost lost in the engine noise.
Sorrow washed across her pretty face. "Oh, Danny. Are you okay?"
They had stopped in traffic, but he stared straight ahead, trying to push down the churning sense of anger and guilt. "I'm okay," he replied.
"I can tell you are really upset," she replied. "I hope I'm not being too forward or anything -- but I can tell."
He still dared not look at her. "I hope Kono's out of surgery when we get there," he said to change the subject.
Minutes later, they were entering the waiting room of the hospital. Danny recognized Kono's mother, two brothers and four cousins that were all waiting. Kono's family was large and those here represented just a mere fraction of all the relatives. He gave Kono's mother a gentle hug and she patted his arm.
"Any word?" he asked.
"They say to wait," she replied.
There was movement in the doorway and Danny spotted Steve. McGarrett approached him and Danny felt his palms go sweaty. I have nothing to tell him. "Anything on the street, Danno?"
"Nothing yet," he replied. "I've been working on a description."
"Get it out as soon as you feel it's accurate," Steve stated. He could tell that Williams was nervous; an emotion that was out of character for his young detective. Ordinarily Danno had an air of confidence about him that usually increased when he was uncomfortable. This obvious lack of assuredness was at least inconvenient and at worst a warning sign that something was very wrong. As much as Steve wanted to take Williams aside and find out what he was thinking, the time was not right. Nor was he certain that Williams would tell him. He's been in this department now a year, but there are times that I feel like he's not part of us at all. He hangs out with Kono during his time off, Chin is practically his father; it's me he has no relationship with and no trust. Whatever is going on with him right now he is covering up. What is it?
Danny had moved away towards the girl who had arrived with him. Steve supposed it to be the girl Kono had been so enamored with earlier. Danny put his arm around the girl's shoulder. "Okay?"
She nodded. "Kono has a big family."
"Kono has a Hawaiian family -- very extended," Danny explained.
The large wooden double doors opened and a man in surgical scrubs stepped into the waiting room. "Kalakaua family?"
Every head in the room turned towards him. He cleared his throat, not having anticipated such an audience. "He has come through surgery well," the doctor announced. "Time will tell. He is comfortable and awake. Visits need to be very limited, I don't want him to be worn out."
"I need to speak with him," Steve declared. "I need to find out what he knows about the man who shot him."
The doctor did not seem impressed. "Is there a Chancy here?"
Surprised, Chancy stepped forward timidly. "Me."
"He has asked to see you," the doctor announced. "That means you are first, my dear."
Danny stepped forward. "I'll go with her, Steve. I'll try to talk with him."
Steve grudgingly nodded.
Chancy, feeling mildly embarrassed, stepped to the door, realizing she, a relative stranger, was seeing Kono before his mother. "Maybe this isn't right," she whispered to Danny.
"It's right if it's what Kono wants," he replied, taking her hand for assurance. For an instant he was captured by how small her hand was, how child-like her clasp, how delicately small her features.
They were directed to the intensive care room. Danny was not certain what to expect. He'd been inside a hospital only on two occasions and never to an intensive care ward. There was a big screen on the wall that beeped with Kono's heart rate. A glass IV bottle dripped yellow fluid down the tube into his arm and an oxygen mask was over his face. There was a tube coming out of the large Hawaiian's nose connected to a suction bottle.
Danny heard Chancy give a small sound like that of a gasp. "Okay?" he murmured.
She managed a nod.
Kono opened his eyes slowly, and saw Chancy. He tried to smile.
She stepped close and took his hand. "Are you all right?" she asked.
He managed a nod.
All right? Of course he isn't all right. I guess she didn't know what else to say. Danny felt sorry for Chancy, for Kono, angry with himself. This is my fault. It is a relief to see him alive. "Hi, Kono," he said quietly. "Guess we'll have to cancel surfing tonight. Waves aren't high anyway." He swallowed the lump in his throat.
Kono did not seem to hear him. He just gazed at Chancy.
"You remember anything about the guy?" Danny asked.
Kono turned to look at him. "Nothing," he mouthed as much as whispered.
"They're only gong to let us stay a moment," Chancy said, taking Kono's hand. "I'm sure your family wants to see you." She leaned forward, her dark hair falling across Kono's face, and kissed his forehead. "Get better quickly -- and listen to the doctors," she counseled.
They turned back towards the waiting room.
Chancy commented. "You asked Kono if he remembered the man who shot him, but he didn't. Is that normal?"
Danny managed a nod. "Shock does that. Sometimes it comes back later."
"You don't remember either?"
He stopped walking and turned to her. They were alone in the short, green tiled hallway; within an arm's reach was the door out into the waiting room. Danny thought about McGarrett who waited on the other side. I need to tell someone! "I can't remember because I wasn't paying attention to the bust. I probably got Kono shot." He felt the breath catch in his chest. Why did I tell her that? I could not contain the disappointment I would be to Chin and Steve. Steve? Why do I need to make myself worthy of his approval?
She stood there staring at him.
God, was this a mistake? What will she do?
Her face was filled with compassion and sorrow. "How awful -- this must be killing you," she finally said.
Without another word, he opened the door out to the waiting room wishing he had remained silent and wondering if her pity was worse than McGarrett's consternation would have been.
Danny opened the door for Chancy, helped her into the car, then made his way around to the driver's side, still questioning his common sense.
As he got in Chancy commented. "Let's go to the place he was shot. Maybe that will help."
"I've already done that, Chancy," he said quietly. "Look, I'm not expecting you to provide me to any answers here."
"Well," she said slowly. "I do have one more idea." She hesitated.
He looked at her expectantly; hand on the ignition switch, not turning the key.
She took a deep breath. "My mother is a psychic."
He rolled his eyes and turned the key.
"Now see," she said with a wave of her hand, a little frustration showing. "That's just what I thought you'd do. Hear me out. Somebody had to make some money - I told you my father was a big gambler. She's not a real foretell-the-future kind of psychic. I mean, I don't know if there really are those at all. She always said that most people already possess the answers to their problems. They just have to be led to find them."
"Are you telling me I already know what the shooter looked like?" Danny asked.
She shrugged. "Maybe. Can't hurt to try. I mean, I saw her do it often enough." She gave another shrug with a lifted eyebrow.
Golly, am I really this desperate? Maybe I am.
Steve had held back, waiting for Kono's family, immediate and extended to visit him. Danny's short comment that Kono, at this point anyway, did not remember the shooting had been direct and very defensive.
Does Danny think I'm holding him responsible for what happened? He isn't a novice, he knows things happen. Certainly he should know that I know things go wrong. He had long grown bored with the bland view of the roofs of houses that the solarium window offered, but he continued to stare unseeing through the plexi-glass as twilight settled over Honolulu.
The last of Kono's family and been in to see him. Most departed, leaving a brother and a cousin keeping watch in the waiting room.
A nurse stepped into the room and noticed Steve. "Are you here for Mr. Kalakaua?" she asked.
He turned, knowing the brief visiting hours had lapsed and that no doubt Kono was exhausted from visitors. "I don't mind waiting," he replied. I don't? Actually I do, but this is a good exercise in patience.
She gave a small smile. "I'm sure he will want to see you, Mr. McGarrett."
He did not ask how she knew his name. Perhaps it did not matter. Grateful for the opportunity, he followed her back into the intensive care.
Kono was a big man. Even in the bed with tubes and wires he looked powerful. It was hard to imagine him weak. "Kono?" Steve said quietly.
His eyes slowly opened and he grinned. "There you are, boss. Wondered where you were," his voice was a faint whisper.
"You're doing fine, Kono," Steve offered the encouragement.
"Did you see her?" Kono whispered.
"Chancy." Even in pain there was a starry look in his eyes. "She was here."
Steve recalled the girl who'd come in the Danny. "Oh, yes. Very nice girl."
"She's beautiful," he whispered.
"Get some rest, Kono." Steve patted his arm. Steve gave a gentle smile considering how Kono seemed unconcerned with the man who's shot him. Love really can be blind. Maybe tomorrow he'll do better. He left the room and as he stepped into the hallway a doctor was standing there. "How's he doing, Doc?"
The man closed the clipboard
he had been writing on. "Very guarded. Both the bullets to the abdomen
pierced the great intestine. We did all we could, but his temperature is already
starting to climb. There may be peritonitis setting in. He's going to have a
rough road ahead. He isn't out the woods yet."
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