Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song
by Peg Keeley
Danny arrived at the hospital just in time to receive the news that Kono was stable, his temperature dropping. The staff was preparing to move him out of ICU.
Danny waited the precious time it took to accomplish that, but was relieved past words that his partner was going to survive. I cannot change that this is probably my fault, but I can find a way to make it up to Kono somehow.
"You get Chancy fruit?" Kono asked as soon as he was settled into his room.
"Fruit?" Danny asked.
"Yeah, fruit and a nice little note. You know girls like little sentimental things. You were going to order fruit."
"Oh, yeah. I'll do it as soon as I leave," Danny promised. "I wrote the note already."
Kono smiled quietly. "You're good friend, Danno."
He instantly was awash in guilt. Am I? What about the feelings I have for Chancy myself? She is so beautiful and caring. Maybe this is the way I can make it up. Just stay away from her. "Kono, Steve wants me to have you check out this picture." He pulled out the group shot of the marines. "This is 20 years old -- so it may not help."
Kono squinted at the black and white glossy. "That's the old guy with the flowers," he gestured to Thornton. "An officer, huh?" He studied the image a little longer. "I don't know, Danno, what do you think?"
"This is supposed to be your identifying, remember?"
"Do you think the guy is here? Who do you think it is?"
He did not answer.
"Come on, Danny, don't get all professional with me," Kono complained, expressing more energy than was good for him.
"Kono, I never saw him," Danny said quietly.
"You -- yes you did. Sure you saw him."
"Danno, you must have-"
He brought both hands up in frustration and anger. "Kono, I didn't okay. I just didn't. I screwed up, man. I wasn't paying attention and I got you shot."
Kono paused to gather some strength and consider his friend. "Okay, Danno," he said quietly. "Okay, man. It's okay. It's not your fault. These things happen."
It is not okay. "No, Kono. These things to not just happen. I was stupid -- careless. I can't make this up to you. I messed up. Getting this guy won't make it right. Nothing will do that. I am really sorry. You could never trust me at your back after this. I don't deserve to serve with people like you and Chin." There, it had all come spilling on the guy least healthy enough to handle it. How else can I screw up? I need to get out of here. Next Kono will offer me sympathy.
"Hey, Danno. Ain't nobody perfect-"
"Don't say it, Kono. I'm gonna get this guy, I promise. If it's the last thing I do."
"Hey, Danno, ain't nothing you done yet been stupid, just human. Don't do something stupid now."
It had probably been the right thing to say, but it was not well received. Danny started for the door.
Kono called after him. "Hey, I'll work on the photo. I'll keep trying. I know you're gonna get the bastard. It's cool, Danno. Take care of you."
Danny, furious with himself, headed back to the office. I went to offer help to Kono and he's giving it to me! He glanced another copy of the photo and examined each man's face closely. Did I see this guy? Did I? He pulled up to a red traffic light and looked at the faces again. There is something here. What is it? He could feel a fear gripping his chest, sapping his strength away. Sweat was pouring off him and it was unrelated to the heat. He could hardly breathe.
A horn blared behind him
He jumped, slammed the car into gear and peeled rubber away from the light. For an instant he had wanted to take out his gun and shoot the driver behind him. This is nuts! What is happening? Chancy said we have the answers within ourselves. Is that true?
Chancy's eyes widened as Danny stepped through the door laden with a large fruit basket loaded with all sorts of tropical fruits. "My goodness, Danny, I don't even know what some of these are!"
"Kono wanted me to bring you some fruit by," he explained.
She plucked off the envelope from the midst of the arrangement and opened it. "What a beautiful poem! Danny, is this from Kono? It's your handwriting."
"He told me what to write -- I just wrote it for him. You know, in the hospital he can't write for himself and all," Danny answered uncomfortably.
"Listen to this -- My love for you is like the sea alive and longing for the shore, reaching, reaching, ever ebbing tides that stay the same, yet ever changing and never quenched. You can just feel the passion. I could never have imagined he'd have such a way with words." She held the note to her chest. "It doesn't seem like him. He is so sweet and sincere." She lay the note down by the fruit. "How are you doing?"
"You look tired."
He gave a small smile. "Just a little."
"Did you find any answers?"
"Seems like a lot more questions, but we are making way. If it wasn't for you-"
"I didn't do anything, you did it," she corrected, running a hand through her hair.
Her hair looks so soft, I'd like to bury myself in the softness of her hair. ..I am too tired!
She was standing there, as if waiting for him to say something. "Danny? You okay?"
"Hum, yeah. Sure. Listen, I know if a little place to eat. Great shellfish. You hungry?"
As they finished up dinner, Chancy again asked about Kono's shooting. "So, now that you have that photo, what happens next?"
"Steve is running the photo through the licensing department here, but it will be Monday or Tuesday before Washington can give us anything. Too bad tomorrow is Sunday."
The bar tender in the far corner turned on the TV and the sports caster's face appeared, discussing that the Twins had won the first two games of the series and now it was the Dodgers' opportunity to attempt a win on their own turf.
Danny's attention was drawn instantly. "The game is in California, we can get it live."
Chancy did not seem excited. "You brought me here to watch a baseball game?"
"The World Series," he corrected, still attentive to the screen.
"Danny, I don't want to watch baseball."
He did not seem to have heard her. "Osteen is pitching. It would be better if it was Drysdale."
A man at the next table grumbled. "That Dysdale threw away the first game. He's a bum."
"Danny!" Chancy jumped up and threw down her napkin. "I am not going to sit here and watch baseball all night."
"Huh?" he responded, but she was already headed for the door.
The other man laughed as Danny jumped after her. "Let her go, sonny, you can always get another girl. The Series is only once."
Danny glanced back at him, and then headed after Chancy. I can't believe I did that. Where is she? What will Kono think? "Chancy!" he called after her.
She turned from where she was headed for the moonlit beach. "Go back to your television and baseball," she said hotly.
He caught up with her. "Hey," he said gently. "I'm sorry. Really." He put an arm around her. "Really."
She gazed at the waterfront. "Let's go walk on the beach."
He glanced at the shoreline. Even by moonlight there were quite a few people down there. "Come on, I can show you a beach you will love." He took her back to his car, his two-month-old mustang convertible and with the roof down, the salty breeze flying through Chancy's raven hair, he left the lights and people of Honolulu behind and headed up the western coastline. He knew it would not be wise to take her to the beach he'd shared with Mali, it was too personal, but he knew of several others that at night would be empty. Six miles up the coast, he pulled over into the overlook and got out.
Taking Chancy's hand, he led her down to the beach. The bright moonlight was like day as they strolled the edge of the water, hand in hand, and the phosphorescence shimmered back in the sea spray.
Chancy pulled her hair back and smiled at him. "Now this is a special moment for a girl from Nevada. No beaches in Los Vegas!"
He chuckled. "I guess not."
They walked and chatted until they lost track of time. Out on the far horizon, a squall was firing up lightning bolts -- but it was hundreds of miles away. After a time, they sat down on soft sand near some rocks to rest.
"I cannot imagine spending my whole life in such beauty," Chancy said with a sigh. "It's like the ocean is alive."
"It is alive," he replied.
She giggled. "I know the fish and stuff are alive but -"
He shook his head. "No, the ocean is alive. Sometimes it seems to have a mind of its own. We will have a storm come in that totally smashes one section and shore and leaves the one next to it totally unharmed. We use it, it is part of us, but we need to always respect it."
She picked up a muscle shell and rubbed it between her fingers as they walked. "I saw some little children making shell necklaces earlier today. Did you do that when you were a child?"
He grinned. "Not hardly. That is a girl thing. I was surfing, swimming -- you know, all the boy stuff." She smiled and when she did, the moon seemed to radiate a glow in her face that captivated Danny. I love her. No I can't love her. I can't.
"Do you like me?" Chancy asked suddenly.
"Do I -- of course I like you," he asked in surprise.
"You always talk about how much Kono likes me, but you never say what you think."
He toyed with a handful of sand, avoiding making eye contact. "I like you fine, Chancy."
She snuggled a little closer and looked up at him. "I think I love you, Danny."
He placed an arm in compassion around her. "Chancy," he whispered, "Kono-"
She planted on open-mouthed kiss over his protest, then drew back.
They looked intently at each other for moment. She is so wonderful, I love her. I cannot help it, I love her. Danny gathered her into his arms and kissed her
He heard a scream and it startled him out of sleep. Sleep? Yes, I was sleeping. Where am I? How did I get here? Danny blinked, recognizing he was still on the beach, Chancy sleeping at his side. Who screamed? A woman screamed. It wasn't Chancy. Who screamed? He got to his feet, listening intently. Did I dream that someone screamed? Even as he turned, he heard a quiet voice begging for help. Did I really hear it? Did I imagine it? Am I hearing things?
He tried to slow his pounding heart and rapid breathing. A dream, it must be another of those horrid dreams. Feeling the terror that boiled in his mind, he focused on slowing his breathing, trying to make sense of what was happening. This is not real. Grown men don't have these things. I am not a child
Danny, you are too old for this you should be ashamed of yourself
He literally gasped at the echo of Aunt Clara's voice from his past. What is wrong with me? He shivered.
There is nothing to be afraid of. Stop this right this instant. Do you hear me?
Danny felt an uncontrollable rush of betrayal, helplessness and panicked fear. What was that about? I don't remember. What had I done? Aunt Clara rarely showed such disappointment in me. What was it? I can't remember. I can't remember. I won't remember Too much wine. I need to get Chancy home. I need to think this through. What time is it? He pulled his watch from his pants-pocket, surprised that it wasn't later. "Chancy," he touched her shoulder, trying to mask his emotion.
Her eyelids fluttered and she smiled. "I must have dozed off," she whispered as she opened her eyes. She ran a finger up Danny's arm. "Is it late?"
"Late enough," he replied gently. "We don't want to alarm your Uncle Hal."
She got up, dusting the sand from her clothes. She gazed at the moon that was almost setting on the western horizon. "I've never seen a moonset before."
He knew she was hinting about waiting. It would take another half hour. I don't think I can survive another half hour, but he gave a nod anyway.
They sat back down on the sand, facing the shoreline, arms around each other. "You know what they say about us gypsy people?" Chancy whispered into Danny's ear.
"Gypsies will steal your soul by moonlight and hold you captive forever." She got to her knees behind him, placed both arms around him and massaged his chest gently with her fingertips. She leaned forward, softly kissing the back of his neck and her raven hair fell forward, tickling his back. "Shall I steal your soul?" she whispered gently into his ear.
The panic from a moment before was forgotten as he willingly gave in to the passion and warmth of Chancy's touch. Her fingers played across his flesh seeming to know exactly what he longed for and how to please him. He could feel the stress and anxiety melting and falling away like ice from his frozen heart. Every nerve, every inch of him tingled from her touch. I have never felt like this before. He turned to face her, embracing her and meeting her kiss of desire. Her touch was intoxicating, every movement choreographed and timed for his pleasure. Equally exciting was knowledge of her desire for him. All self-restraint was abandoned and he could not have stopped if he had wanted to -- which he did not
"Did you miss the moonset?" Danny asked softly, giving one last gentle kiss.
"Yes," she replied with a smile. "We must try to see it again tomorrow night."
The moonlight as gone and, except for the stars and the faint reflected light from distant Honolulu, all was dark. The breeze was cooler now, coming in off the ocean as Chancy rose and ran to the water's edge and splashed into the surf up to her knees.
Danny followed, only able to make her form out dimly in the faint light. He took her hand and led her out into deeper water when they allowed the salty current to massage their bare skin.
Chancy embraced him as a small wave lifted them gently. "It really is alive," she agreed.
His reply was a gentle kiss on her cheek. "I still need to get you home." He scooped her up into his arms and carried her effortlessly out of the water to where they had left their clothing. Her soft breast resting against his chest, the touch of her in his arms, her arms gently playing across his neck rekindled his desire.
As he placed her on the sand she looked up and giggled. "I guess we're not ready to go home yet."
It was Sunday. Steve could hear the church bells pealing, calling parishioners to worship as he lay on his back enjoying the brief moment that came only once a week -- or sometimes less: The small luxury of sleeping in. He'd told the team yesterday they could take the day off. There would be little they could do until Washington sent back names on the men in Thornton's unit. Unless the APB pulled in Thornton today, it would be a day of rest.
Around 10 o'clock he rose, washed, made himself a puree of vegetable juice and glanced through the newspaper. Kono's tragedy was already old news and gone from the headlines, replaced by the latest casualty reports from Vietnam. Just as he was deciding to take a morning run before it got too hot, the phone rang. With a sigh, he answered it.
"McGarrett." He never bothered with phone graces, his number was unlisted and only a few knew it. No one called by accident.
"Hey, Boss, I was thinkin' about you," declared Kono's voice.
Steve smiled. "Thinking about you, too. I was going to come by and see you later today."
"Danno left that photo
here yesterday -- I think I know the guy," Kono told him.
Kono was trying to find the desire to eat his liquid diet of Jell-o and chicken broth they'd given him for lunch when Steve arrived. "Got any mahi mahi with you?" Kono remarked.
"Sorry, not this time," Steve answered, giving a pensive look at the tray. "Not very appetizing, is it?"
Kono made a face and pushed it away. "Guess I should be glad I'm still able to taste anything, huh? Doc says I'm doing better. Maybe by the end of the week I can get out of here. Get some of my mama's good cooking."
Steve gave another grin and contemplated Mama Tutu's style of Sunday dinner. "Well, you sound better anyway."
Kono held up the photo. "I think I can recall the guy."
Steve noticed one face had a pencil circle around it. "Are you sure?"
"No I'm not sure," Kono retorted. "It happened so fast. I don't know if that's the guy or not, but if it's not, he looks something like him."
Steve nodded. "We have Ids on everyone in the photo coming back from the FBI tomorrow. I'll send this one through motor vehicles first thing."
"You seen Danny today?" Kono asked.
"He has the day off," Steve answered.
"Oh." A look of disappointment crossed Kono's face. "He didn't answer his phone. I was wondering if Chancy liked her fruit."
That girl again. Kono has really been taken by her. "Well, you're thinking about eating and girls, Kono. Sounds like you are on the road to recovery to me," Steve said with a smile. He glanced down at the photo in his hand. And this sorry son of a bitch is gonna get nailed.
"He'll come by later," Kono said aloud, reassuring himself. "He's come every day at least once. And he'll want to brag on the game last night. The Dodgers pulled a good one. Guess we'll have a good series after all."
Steve gave a grin. It is good to have Kono sounding more like himself. "I going to see what we can get on the guy in the photo. Good work, Kono."
Steve went to the office. Once there, he began to closely examine the photo and particularly the face Kono had circled. By magnifying glass, he could make out the slight edge of a tattoo on the arm of one of the men in the photo, but it wasn't the one Kono had indicated. But if the story from Gus was correct most or all of these guys might carry the tattoo. The man Kono had spotted did not seem to stand out in any way. A GI with the bars of an E4 on his shirt. Age in the photo Steve guessed to be around twenty-five or so, making him now to be about forty-five. The black and white did little to reveal eye or hair color and the short hair cut did not provide clues to hear type. Monday seemed a long way away. Steve looked again at Thornton's image in the photo. The sharp features of an officer, stiff smile for his team, but no doubt that he was in control. It was difficult to compare that to the man Danny described hiding between triple locks in a high-rise apartment building. Time changes everything. And what else changed things? Thornton, according to Hannah had helped fifty Japanese families escape to America in two years. That was almost two a month. How did he accomplish that? He had to have help. Whose help? Someone in Immigration? Someone who was now afraid Thornton would expose him in his book with Hannah? Yet Hannah was portraying Thornton as a hero of the oppressed. At a time when Americans had little love for Asians, Japanese in particular, Thornton was helping them. What else is there to this story that someone would want to keep hidden? Something worth killing Thornton for. Something worth forging plates for so if you are spotted during the hit and run, you cannot be found.
Steve settled back at his desk, contemplating the evidence before him. The bells were again ringing -- church was over, the congregations would be leaving their pious pews and scrambling for the best seats in the restaurants -- brotherly love left in the parking lots. Steve had little patience for religion. Raised a Catholic who had once contemplated the priesthood -- but that was before his father's death
His phone rang, and he startled slightly, not expecting it to ring during the solitude of Sunday. "McGarrett."
"Steve, you need to
get out here to the flower shop." It was Chin's voice at the other end.
"Mamiko Sye is dead."
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