Mea Huna

By Cokie

Author's Notes: Last weekend, the urge hit that I had to write some whump, just to get it out of my system. I never have figured out WHY I have this craving, and maybe I don't even want to know, but it is there. So, on Monday, I began whumping poor Steve and suddenly my missing Muse came back and decided to write a paragraph. Unfortunately, she catapulted me and the story into another time zone and things were happening that I had no control over. So, if you aren't satisfied, please blame her.

My great big fat thanks to Sam who has proofed this no less than four or five times this week. You should hear (or read) some of our disagreements over what is right and what is wrong. We disagree on the logistics in this one, but that's OK. I wouldn't trade those emails for anything! I love our "chats". Thank you, Sam!

Readers, there are a couple more notes at the end. I hope you enjoy!

McGarrett Residence - 0655

The day had started well. The sun was now a golden ball in the east, finally rising above the horizon. When he had left the house, its light was just a glimmer beneath the purple sky. Steve gave a final long push with his paddle and jumped off the board when it hit the beach. He grabbed his towel from the table and quickly ran it through his hair and across his face before tossing it over his shoulder while checking his phone for messages. Reaching down Steve picked up the board and headed to the garage to store it away before getting ready. He needed to hurry; he had a meeting with the governor at 0800 and he had stayed in the water longer than he had planned.

Steve rounded the back side of the house and heard a noise coming from the opened garage door. Quietly he set down the board but kept the paddle in hand. Just in case. More than likely it was a cat or something, but it was always good to be needlessly prepared than unprepared when needed.

He crept forward, seeing and hearing nothing, but was stopped when a sharp sting suddenly hit his right lower back. Before he could turn, he felt another hit at his left shoulder and immediate dizziness caused Steve to drop to his hands and knees, dropping the paddle on his way down.

"Unh," Steve grunted and tried to rise back up. He pulled his right knee forward while turning around to find his assailant. But before he could catch a glimpse, an all-encompassing pain burst just above his left ear.

He was unconscious before his body thudded to the ground.

H50

Five-0 Headquarters

0912

Chin glanced at the time on the computer table and asked, "What time was Steve's meeting with the governor?"

"Eight o'clock," Danny replied. "Steve said yesterday it would take about twenty minutes. Since it is nine, I'm guessing he was wrong."

"Yeah, and when he gets here," Grover added, "after an hour with Denning, he might not be in the best mood."

"Which means the loco moco he promised to bring might be a thing of the past," Danny said with regret.

"Always thinking about your stomach, Brah?" Kono asked with a grin.

"It's all about me, right?" Danny shot back.

"Always," she agreed.

Grover's phone rang and he glanced at the screen, a quizzical expression on his face before he answered. "Five-0, Grover." He listened for a moment, running his fingers over the computer table in front of him. "No, sir," he replied. "We thought he had a meeting with you."

That statement got everyone's attention and they all stared at him.

"Yes, Sir. Of course. We'll get back with you." Lou ended the call and told them, "Steve never showed. Think he overslept?"

Danny immediately reached for his phone to call his partner. "Why did he call you?" he mumbled under his breath and glared at the former SWAT captain.

Lou shrugged. "Might have me on speed dial from before. Who knows?"

"Does it matter?" Chin asked. "And its doubtful Steve overslept," Chin said while activating GPS on the console.

"He's not answering," Danny told them.

"His truck and phone are at home," Chin confirmed.

Grover and Danny headed to their offices. "What are we waiting for?"

"Kono and I will stay here in case he shows up," Chin said. "Maybe there's a problem with the truck and he got an alternate ride."

"Maybe," Danny agreed, coming out of his office with his badge and weapon. "But without his phone?"

"Call us," Kono requested as Lou and Danny headed out the door.

"Will do," Grover called over his shoulder.

H50

McGarrett Residence

0956

Chin and Kono arrived at Steve's house right behind two squad cars that parked off in the grass. EMS had already arrived, its lights flashing from its space in the drive. They raced across the yard, reaching Lou who was standing near the garage. Officers spilled from the units and also converged around Lou.

"How is he?" Chin immediately asked, their attention all focused on the gurney as it was quickly pushed by. From the angle, all they saw was a blood-soaked white pad of gauze on the left side of Steve's head. Danny barely noticed them as he ran past behind the gurney.

"We'll be there as soon as we can," Kono called after him. "Take care of him."

Before answering Chin's question, Lou said, "Just a sec," and turned to the officers, pointing through the trees. "We tried not to contaminate the scene, so whatever you find, mark it. Our footprints should be on both sides of where we found Steve. Right over there," Lou said and pointed to the place where the evidence of triage was still clearly visible. "Looks like he came around the side of the house from the back. The front of the house was locked up; we checked inside and found nothing out of the ordinary. There's a bloody wrench along the tree line," he added, pointing vaguely in the direction of its location.

"CSU was right behind us," Duke told them, glancing at the ambulance that hit the siren as soon as it turned onto Piikoi Street.

Grover turned back to Chin and Kono. "In answer to your question, Steve's unconscious with a nasty head wound," he said, pointing to a spot above his own left ear. "Bloody weapon was dropped in the grass, so I will assume the intruder wore gloves." Lou stopped and sighed. "He was hit in the head with a monkey wrench that probably came from his own garage. And he was also hit in the back with a couple of small darts. My guess is that the darts took him down and then they hit him in the head. We didn't see any more wounds." He thought for a moment and then added, "But after that one hit, they didn't need another one."

H50

Queen's Medical Center

1102

"Danny, any news?" Lou asked as soon as he spotted him across the waiting area.

Danny stood to meet him. "Not yet. They rushed him back as soon as we got here. Did you find out anything?"

Grover shook his head. "Nothing. CSU has the wrench. It has the initials "JM" on it, so we're pretty sure it belonged in the garage. There was a shoe print just outside the garage door but it could have been Steve's. Or anyone else's, for that matter, but they made an impression just in case it pans out. Looks like a few things were tossed in the garage, but we couldn't tell if anything was missing. Chin and Kono are keeping watch over CSU."

Danny paced to the end of the row of chairs and then turned back again. "How the hell does he get in trouble at his own house?"

Lou shook his head. "Steve's paddleboard was on the side of the house. No one was home; the garage door was probably open. Anyone could have gotten in there."

"Yeah, but not 'anyone' carries darts with them," Danny argued. "Steve was targeted."

Grover nodded. "Looks that way. Who knows what they were looking for?"

"Or if they found it," Danny muttered.

"Family of McGarrett?" a voice called from the round desk in the center of the room.

"Here," Danny said, heading her direction with Lou right behind him.

The clerk barely looked up. "Through the doors to your right, first conference room on the right. Dr. Kele will see you in a moment."

Danny took off in the direction she pointed. Lou nodded and thanked her before following.

1127

"Where the hell is the doctor?" Danny mumbled while pacing the small room. "She said 'in a moment'. Twenty-five minutes isn't a moment."

Lou sighed in agreement. "Yeah, I agree. He's gotta be soon."

A harried young doctor appeared at the doorway, her arms laden with a file; her glasses propped on top of her head. "McGarrett?" she questioned.

Lou stood as both he and Danny replied, "Yeah."

She let out a sigh and dropped into one of the chairs around the table. "Have a seat, please. I'm sorry but I wanted another set of eyes on the scan we performed." She glanced at the two of them. "I'm Dr. Kele," she said.

Danny dropped into a chair. "How is he?"

"And you are?" she asked.

"Detective Danny Williams," he impatiently introduced himself. "This is Captain Lou Grover. Steve is my partner and head of Five-0."

The doctor nodded. "Yes, I read the Cliff Note's version of his file.

"I repeat, how is he?" Danny tried again.

She nodded and got down to business. "The patient sustained a non-displaced skull fracture on the left side. He was lucky in that no loose fragments broke away. That would be very nasty. Due to the force of the blow, he is still unconscious. Although his state of consciousness could also be due to the darts. Lab is working on the substance but if it was a tranquilizer that may also affect his alertness. We will know more soon."

"Can we see him?" Danny asked.

"In a bit," she replied. "They are repairing the wound. Head wounds are difficult; the skull is hard and there is little leeway in trying to stitch. I'm sure he will have a couple of staples and also some stitches in his ear; there's a nasty cut there as well."

"How much blood did he lose?" Lou asked.

"Surprisingly not a lot," she replied, then paused. "But I'm sure it looked like more than it was. Head wounds are like that."

Both men remembered the scene they had found a couple of hours ago…

Flashback

0929

Danny and Lou both jumped from the car and quickly surveyed the area. The front door was closed and Danny headed there first while Lou went around the left side of the house to the back.

The front door was locked and after knocking, Danny reached for the spare in its hiding place. Before he retrieved it, the door was opened from inside.

Lou met him in the open door. "Back door was open; no signs of anyone inside but I just glanced through the first floor."

"Yo, Steven?" Danny called upstairs. "Your sorry ass better not be sleeping."

They checked all the rooms. Steve's bed was made (as always when he wasn't in it) and nothing was out of the ordinary. His badge and Sig were on top of the dresser, undisturbed.

"I didn't see anything out back," Lou said. "But the garage door is open. I'll go check there."

"I'll check down by the water," Danny replied. "He's there every morning."

They both left out the back door; Lou moving through the trees around the side of the house while Danny headed toward the chairs on the beach.

"Danny! Here!" Lou yelled, then pulled out his phone, punching in 911 before Danny even made it around the house. "Officer down, 2727 Pii…"

Danny stopped when he saw Steve, sprawled on his stomach in the grass, blood covering his head and face. "Shit, Steve." He moved to his partner's right side and dropped to his knees, placing his fingers on Steve's neck where they were quickly soaked with blood. "He's alive," he breathed.

"Bus and HPD are on the way," Lou told him while dialing Chin. "And I'm getting Chin and Kono."

Danny took a closer look at his partner, noticing the two small darts with yellow plastic tips embedded in his skin, a red swollen whelp circling each spot.

Grover dropped to his knees on Steve's other side, staying away from the blood-soaked grass. "That's a hard hit," he said quietly while peering at the wound. Looking around, he stood and walked to a tree next to the property line. "Got a weapon," he told Danny, pointing to a large… and very bloody… monkey wrench at the base of a tree. "Looks like he tossed it, not caring if it was found."

"He keeps a first aid kit under the sink in the downstairs bathroom. Can you grab that?" Danny asked.

"Sure thing," Lou said as he took off to the back of the house once again.

"This looks very personal, Steve," Danny murmured, laying his hand on his partner's back. "What have you gotten into this time?"

~~H50~~

They were brought from their reverie when the doctor mentioned ICU. "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?" Danny asked.

"He will head to ICU as a precaution until he wakes up and we can determine the severity of his injuries," Dr. Kele told them. "Unfortunately we are waiting for a bed, so the commander will remain in the ER until a room has been cleaned. It shouldn't take too long. But on the bright side, both of you can remain in the trauma room with him once he is stitched up."

"Doctor, Commander McGarrett was attacked in his own yard," Grover told her. "Until this person or persons are contained, we will have police protection outside his room."

She stared at them for a moment and then nodded. "I understand. Don't worry, we'll work with you."

"Thank you," he told her.

"Of course," she said. "Someone will let you know as soon as you can come back."

H50

Queens Emergency Room

1147

He awoke to a world of hurt. Well, maybe awoke wasn't an accurate word. Steve was aware. His body was leaden, heavy and unmoving. He knew people were talking but not only did he not know who it was, he couldn't even understand the words. There was a ringing in his ears which added to the unbearable pounding in his head. All he wanted was for it to stop. Had he been able to scream, he would have done so, but his entire body felt frozen. All he knew was the unrelenting, sickening pain that held him in its fiery grasp.

~~H50~~

"Has there been any change?" Danny asked the nurse who was checking Steve's vitals.

"No, not yet," she replied. "I'm sorry."

Lou and Danny watched as she added a drug into one of the tubes which dripped into Steve's right arm. "Dr. Kele ordered something for nausea. When he comes to, it's a good bet he will be sick. That's one of the main side effects of head injuries. We are just trying to keep him comfortable when that happens."

"Any idea when he might wake up?" Lou asked.

She shook her head while rearranging the IV lines into the pump next to the bed. "There's no way to tell, but hopefully soon," she told them, looking up when Dr. Kele arrived.

"How are things?" she asked the nurse.

"No change. Vitals are within a good range."

The doctor glanced at Danny and Lou. "The darts were filled with a fast-acting tranquilizer. From the quick information I was given by the lab, he would have been immediately incapacitated. I doubt he had a chance to even defend himself."

"I'd say it was a coward who hit him in the back with darts and then bashed his skull," Grover mumbled. "And I can't wait to find him."

"I hope you do," she replied. "They should get the commander to ICU within the hour," she added. "Let us know if you notice any change," Kele said as both she and the nurse left the room.

They turned back to their vigil, waiting.

"The bruises are getting worse," Danny commented, staring at his partner's swollen face. The bruising started beneath the white bandage that circled Steve's head and extended to his forehead, left eye and cheek. Another bandage was folded over the top of his ear which was also swollen and a deep shade of purple.

"Yeah," Grover sighed. "And he's gonna look worse before he's better."

"Just as long as he gets better," Danny told him.

Queens ICU Waiting Room

1315

"How is he?" Kono quickly asked when Danny and Lou met her and Chin in the waiting area.

Danny ran his hand through his hair. "No change. They don't seem too concerned yet, but he took a really hard hit to the head. I just hope he wakes up soon."

"Did you find anything at the scene?" Grover asked.

It was Chin's turn to sigh. "Not really. Things had been tossed and moved around in the garage, but no one could tell if anything is missing. No unknown prints. House was clean – I doubt anyone was in there. The footprint near the garage was a size 13. Whoever it was, he was a big guy."

"And he packed a punch," Lou grumbled.

"Can I see Steve?" Kono asked.

"Yeah, sure," Danny said. "I'll take you back."

~~H50~~

The fire was back in his brain and he wished someone would quench it. The pain sliced through his head to the core and he wanted to beg it to end. He felt less restricted and dragged his heavy arm up to squeeze his head; anything to counteract the endless pain.

Hands touched him, wouldn't let him move and he growled in frustration. But just that small amount of exertion had tired him and he fell back into the blackness.

~~H50~~

"Whoa, Steve, hang on. Are you awake, Buddy?" Danny was quickly out of his chair and reached for Steve's wandering hand. Grover moved to the glass door and got the nurse's attention and she immediately came, hoping her patient was regaining consciousness.

"Is he awake?" she asked.

Danny shook his head. "No, but he moved his hand toward his head and then groaned. But that's all."

"Commander McGarrett?" the nurse asked. "Can you hear me?"

She got no response as she waited patiently, but her patient had retreated back into sleep.

1635

Steve once again became aware; one second he was blissfully asleep and suddenly he was awake and in agony. An unexpected cry of pain surprised him when he heard it reverberating through his head. As before, his arms were held still. He wanted to beat his head to try and stop the pain on the inside and he tried to break the bonds, kicking his feet to get away. All Steve wanted was to get away from the pain. Anyway he could.

But he was held captive by both it and the forces holding him down.

~~H50~~

"Steve? Come on, man, wake up," Grover said. "Come on, can you hear me? Everything's fine." He turned when the nurse came back in, his hand on Steve's arm. Each time he came to, Steve's movements were more intense; he was weak, but trying to fight.

Which Grover took as a good sign.

Chin had gone back to HQ while Kono and Danny were downstairs for coffee. Even though the nurse assured them that they would be right there if Steve awoke, he didn't want to leave. This was the fourth time Steve had shown signs of waking and the episodes were becoming closer together. Lou had hoped that one of these times when he woke, Steve would be coherent. Hopefully, he could tell them something of the attack.

The doctor had said that would probably be a long shot since with most head trauma, the circumstances surrounding the event are blocked. More than likely for the good of the patient.

"Commander, wake up," the nurse once again called. "You're safe," she assured him, reaching for his hand. "Can you squeeze my fingers? Come on, try."

After a few moments, she laid his hand back onto the bed. "Not yet," she told Grover. "But he's working toward it," she assured.

2340

The pain was back. The spikes came in waves, making him nauseous. He could feel the fire eating from within. This time when he woke, all was quiet. He tried to remember what had happened, but even the attempt caused the nausea to creep upward to his mouth. He couldn't figure out much, but one thing he did know was that puking would be a really, really bad thing.

Just the mere thought of it caused his reflexes to kick into gear and he gagged, arching his body off the bed.

~~H50~~

"Steve!" Danny said, quickly jumping to his feet. "Hang on. Jan?" he called for the night nurse who rushed in.

The nurse had been expecting the nausea to make an appearance and she was ready to combat it. Steve was carefully turned onto his side and she gave him a bolus of Phenergan to try and calm his stomach. With one hand on his shoulder, she talked to him as he dry heaved. Unfortunately, with nothing in his stomach, little came up.

She carefully washed his face and stood back up, rubbing her hand on his arm. "Are you back with us?"

"Yeah," he breathed. "Stop…"

Her hand stilled on his arm. "Stop touching you?"

He grunted. "Head hurts. Make it stop."

"It will feel better soon," she assured him. "Try to get some more rest.

0430

Grover eased back into ICU in the early morning hours. He finally had given up and got out of bed because sleep was sporadic and filled with disturbing dreams. Rather than wake Renee again, he got up and came back to the hospital.

Danny appeared to be sleeping… sideways… in the chair beside the bed. Steve looked about the same in the dim light that showed over the bed. And 'about the same' meant he looked like shit in Grover's eyes.

"Hey," Danny said in a low voice. "Thought you were coming at seven."

"Sorry, didn't mean to wake you," Grover told him. "I couldn't sleep. How are things?"

Danny wiggled in the chair and stretched. "About the same. He keeps waking up in pain and they say they can't give him anything until he is fully aware. So far, when they ask his name or anything else, he doesn't answer. And he hasn't opened his eyes. And let's not forget the nausea. It gets worse every time and he doesn't have anything in him to puke up."

"Danny?" Steve asked in a low voice.

"Hey, Partner," Danny said and jumped up to lean over him. "Are you back with us?"

"Please… make it stop."

"You got a headache, huh?"

Steve swallowed convulsively. "Somethin's wrong."

"Yeah, you were hit in the head. It's—"

"No, something's not right. Head's gonna explode."

"I'll have them call the doctor," Grover said, stepping out of the room.

"Do you remember what happened?" Danny answered.

"No… Jus… head hurts. Bad."

0450

Dr. Kele came into the room, glancing through the chart from the night before. "Gentlemen," she said, glancing at them. "Rough night?"

"You got it," Danny agreed with a loud sigh.

"I understand he finally was able to talk to you," she said.

"Yeah, he was begging for us to do something," Danny told her.

"I imagine the pain is unbearable, but until we have him fully conscious, we can't give him large doses of pain meds.

" 'M 'wake," Steve told her. "It's gotta… stop. Don't care what you do."

"Commander. Do you know where you are?"

"Hospital." He swallowed away the nausea then added, "My name's Steve McGarrett. And if you don't do somethin' soon my head's gonna explode."

"All right," she assured him. "I'm going to ask your friends to wait outside so I can examine you, all right?"

She met them a few minutes later. "I called for another scan. Yesterday there was no evidence of internal bleeding but I want another look in there. They will come get him very soon."

0555

Danny and Grover were sitting in the waiting room with Chin who had brought good, hot coffee from outside the hospital.

Dr. Kele made a bee line toward them and she didn't waste words. "The scan showed a bleed, so he's heading for surgery. Dr. Mason's first surgery was cancelled so I was lucky to grab the time slot. They are prepping him now."

"Will this help with the pain?" Grover asked.

"It's a start," she said. "He's not out of the woods yet, but hopefully this will head us in the right direction. It will probably take three to four hours, so feel free to leave and come back."

"We'll stay," Danny said, glancing at the others for confirmation.

1210

Danny had finally gone home to shower and change clothes and was now back, once again watching his partner sleep. Steve had looked bad earlier this morning and Danny had thought he couldn't look worse, but he realized he had been wrong. Very wrong.

Steve now had bandages on top of bandages, covering almost the entire left side of his head. But the worst thing was the drain that was in place behind Steve's ear. It was attached to a small bag that was clipped to the bed near his head and in it, a bloody liquid was seeping out.

The bruising was more pronounced, but beneath the color, Steve was pasty white. And he hadn't moved a single muscle since he had been brought back into the room.

"I can hear you worrying," Grover told him, glancing from Steve to Danny.

"Aren't you?" Danny countered.

"Yeah. I am," Lou admitted. "This don't look good."

"I wish we knew who did this. And why? It just seems… random."

"Not a single damn clue," Grover said. "Not one. How the hell did it even happen?"

"I don't know," Danny replied. "But we're not giving up until we find this piece of shit."

H50

Unknown Location

2130, AFT Time Zone

"I've been waiting for your call. You're late."

"I told you I would take care of it. I had to plan, but all is taken care of."

"And I have confirmation?"

"I just sent it. And my pay?"

"Payment will be sent as soon as I see the picture. I will send you the details of the drop."

"But—"

An empty line was all that remained.

~~H50~~

2145, AFT

The wooden door creaked open and he was back in the room, staring at the person huddled in the corner.

Stringy, matted hair covered the dirty face; the clothing was a torn, ragged tee shirt, three sizes too large.

He moved to tower above her but she didn't move. "I promised you I could get to anyone. Here's my proof." He tossed down a small photograph, dropping it on the floor. It showed a man prone on the grass, blood covering his face.

She still didn't move, but he heard a soft gasp. He bent over and grabbed her hair, pulling her head up so that she had no choice but to look at him.

He grinned which was an ugly sight, but he wanted a reaction from her. "Don't worry, he's alive. But if you don't cooperate, he won't be for long." He shoved her, releasing her hair. "Next time I come, I expect your attitude to be improved. Do I make myself clear?" He reached down and snatched the photo from the floor.

She quickly reached out for it. "No… no, please." She hated the sound of her own voice, begging from this man.

He chuckled. "You are human; I got a reaction. You want this? Here," he said, smiling as he tore it into tiny pieces, tossing them on the dirt floor before turning to leave, laughing as he closed and locked the door.

Queens Medical Center

0647

Grover had spent the uneventful night waiting for Steve to wake. There had been no change and no awareness since surgery the day before. Lou could tell that the medical staff were beginning to be concerned. The hourly checks were now down to every fifteen minutes. Nurses would try to wake Steve but so far, he remained unresponsive.

Danny had just arrived with coffee and was disappointed at the news. They had hoped for a change by now. Any kind of hint that Steve was coming out of this. He knew it was less than 48 hours since the attack and much less than that since the surgery, but Danny had never claimed to be a patient person.

"Come on, Steven, give us a sign. Anything would be good."

~~H50~~

Consciousness came slowly once again, but this time it was different. Steve immediately recognized the persistent headache, but it wasn't the stabbing, fiery pain from before. It was still pounding, but not the type that threatened to rip him apart. He didn't know what had happened, but something was better. He lay there, not moving, feeling like he needed to do something. It was right at the edge of his consciousness, but every time it got closer, the pain would push it further away.

Sounds finally penetrated his thoughts and he recognized both Danny and Grover's voices. He sighed and began the process of opening his eyes.

"Hey, Sleeping Ugly. Are you waking up?"

Steve's left eye was too puffy to work but he managed to get the right one open before quickly shutting it again. "Light," he managed to ground out.

"Sorry, we can't turn that one off," Grover said, moving to stand on the other side of the bed. "Here, I'll hold this magazine so the light doesn't hit your eyes. Now try."

He tried again, and blinked away the sleep, seeing the blurry shapes of his friends. Blinking rapidly, his vision cleared, and with it, so did his mind and he remembered what was so important. He looked at Danny, panic filling him.

"Hey, hey, everything's fine," Danny assured him, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Calm down."

"No, Danny. I have to… you gotta help me."

"Right now, you need to relax," Danny told him, trying to calm him down.

"Don't unnerstand. Cath's in trouble," he said in a rush, closing his eyes when dizziness and nausea overtook him.

"What? How do you know that?" Danny asked, immediately thinking Steve did remember the attack.

Steve was silent for a moment, breathing through the nausea. "Not sure," he finally admitted, looking at them once again. "I just know." He made a move to try and sit up before Grover pressed against his upper arms.

"Hold tight there, Commander. You're not going anywhere for now."

"Have to—"

"Steven, be still! You've got a rubber hose pushed into your head siphoning your brains out. You're not going anywhere. So lay there; I'm gonna get the nurse to give you something before you turn any greener."

Steve was swallowing hard trying not to puke. " 'K," he breathed, grabbing onto his partner's arm. "I'll stay for now… but soon, right? I gotta find her. Soon."

His hand dropped back to the bed as his eyes slid closed and he breathed out through the pain.

"Cath… Love you." Lou heard him whisper before he fell back to sleep.

Unknown Location

1350, AFT Time Zone

Catherine had painstakingly smoothed out the torn pieces of the photograph and pieced them together on the dirt floor, staring at it in fear. A single tear escaped, the wetness tracking down the dirt on her cheek. She rocked back and forth, whispering "Steve, I'm so, so very sorry. I never meant for any of this to get to you. Forgive me. Please." She choked as more tears threatened to fall. "Love you."

Honolulu

0815

A mangled body lay in the sand on Waikiki, the body twisted and broken from the fall from above. A size 13 athletic shoe was nearby where it had fallen after being flung off on the trip down.

As promised, payment was delivered.

And received.

A couple of notes: The title means "Secrets" or "Being or kept hidden from public perception." I think that fits with the Muse's tangent.

Also, this is a one-shot. Yes, it is open-ended but it is the finished product. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Cokie: 1.29.16

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