A/N: I've never fully understood how Danny could have such a trashy apartment in early episodes, yet somehow have a nice car that he keeps in pristine condition. I've often wondered if Steve is the driving force behind the Camaro's cleanliness.
A/N: This is as close to being a true story as one can have when writing about a cockroach that lives in a glove compartment. If you ever see a small, battered, blue car in the Kailua area, avoid the glove compartment.
"Whoa!" Kono jumped slightly in her seat and leaned away from the glovebox as far as she could. "What the heck is that?"
"What? Oh. Yeah." Peering over at the clutter spilling from the glove compartment, which didn't quite close due to it being overstuffed well past capacity with papers and granola bars and the odd wrapper or stray bit of trash, Danny spotted the perpetrator perched on an envelope near the back. "That's George."
"It's just an insect."
"A cockroach is not 'just' an insect, brah," Kono gagged, scooting the seat back as far as she could manage. "In the name of all that is holy, why do you have a cockroach in your glovebox?"
"Don't tell me you're afraid of him?" Danny asked with a sly grin. He was not about to pass up this apparently excellent opportunity to dig at the youngest member of the team. "It's just a harmless roach."
"Those things carry diseases! And you missed the important question: why is it here?"
"It came with the car," Danny shrugged.
"And the car came from…?" Kono pressed, her eyes drifted over the trashy, stained, and definitely un-Camaro interior with a mixture of discomfort and disdain.
"I told you- my neighbor let me borrow it while my car is in the shop."
"Most shops let you have a loaner free of charge," Kono pointed out, her legs now pulled up into the seat with her. "Why didn't the shop give you a car?"
"Cause it's not that kind of shop."
"So what kind is it?"
"The kind for divorced men with massive child support payments and crappy government salaries," Danny ground out moodily as the conversation shifted suddenly to a topic he'd been trying to avoid. He was just as unhappy with the car as Kono, but her criticism made him almost defensive of the trashed hunk of metal that he was saddled with for the next few days. He gritted his teeth, irritated. Beggars couldn't be choosers, and right now he was most certainly a beggar. Christmas had been rough, some unexpected payments had come up, and therapy for his re-flared ACL hadn't been cheap. Insurance only covered so much.
He jerked the wheel a little harder than necessary coming around the corner and frowned as it listed slightly in his hands. He'd have to remember to warn Steve about its quirks before letting his partner get his hands on it.
Kono was quiet for a minute. "Okay, so I get that your neighbors are slobs who can't take care of their stuff," she finally said. "But naming the little beast? That's a sign of attachment, brah. Isn't that a bit much?"
"You name your surfboards," Danny pointed out.
Danny shrugged. "George isn't as bad as you think. We get along fine. He's always excited to see me, doesn't make a mess, doesn't need to be fed…"
"You can stop now."
Danny flashed a grin. He was making it up as he went along, but, he reflected, all of what he said was still true. "George doesn't bark or make noise at 3 a.m., he doesn't shed, he cleans up after himself, I'm not allergic to him…Think about it: he's like the ideal pet."
"Seriously, please stop," Kono begged.
"I just don't see what the big deal is," Danny said nonchalantly. "Why worry about one little cockroach when you could be griping about the takeout containers, old beer bottles, and whatever the heck that green thing is?" As he spoke, he nudged a piece of trash away from the gas pedal and tried to kick it under the seat. Had he realized his neighbor was this messy, he would have looked elsewhere for a temporary vehicle, but that ship had sailed.
"You're acknowledging the cockroach is unsanitary?"
"I'm saying it's not any worse than what's already here," Danny responded evenly.
"I think that's debatable." Kono flinched as the cockroach ran suddenly toward her, stopping on the edge of the glovebox. "Pull the car over."
"So I can kill it."
"Kill it!" Seemingly offended, Danny reach across the seat and gently pushed the glovebox closed, sequestering the insect inside. "You can't kill it; it belongs to Mr. Pulani."
"Is that the same logic you used when deciding to not clean the car out? 'I can't throw this trash away; it belongs to Mr. Pulani.'?"
"Uh huh." Kono squeamishly pushed several empty coke cans away with her foot. "I'm sure that if you kill George, George's cousins will all move in shortly, so your neighbor will have plenty more to take his place."
Danny didn't have a snappy comeback for this. He actually agreed with Kono on all points, but he would never admit it. Anything that annoyed her probably also annoyed Steve, and was therefore a source of entertainment for Danny. Opportunities to tease the FearlessWonder were few and far between, so Danny usually settled for lecturing Steve on his driving habits or whatever else came to mind. With the cockroach, however, he had a feeling that he had just struck the motherload. Bummer his own car would be fixed soon…
"So," he took the Kaneohe exit toward their crime scene, "you think I should clean the car and kill George before I give the car back? Should I wash it and wax it, too?"
"Probably wash it. I'd wash it."
"But then Pulani hasn't learned a lesson. Shouldn't this be some kind of lesson in cleanliness and order?"
Kono raised an eyebrow. "If he hasn't learned anything so far, then it's not going to happen now because you cleaned his car."
"So why help him out?" Danny pulled into the crime scene parking lot and killed the engine just outside the police tape. "And don't tell me 'virtue is its own reward' or some crap like that."
"You're a cop, aren't you? Isn't virtue its own reward for this job? I know you don't do it for the salary."
Danny sighed inwardly. Aloud, he said, "Maybe I'll keep George as a pet when I return the car."
"See, now you're just trying to mess with me."
Danny grinned. "Is it working?" he asked as he flashed his badge at the officer guarding the tape and followed Kono into the building.
"No." But in the elevator, Kono jabbed the 3rd floor button a little harder than necessary. The elevator whirred, groaned, and chugged slowly upwards. After a moment, Kono cast a curious look in Danny's direction. "Why George?"
"Why George? Why not Tom or Harry or Suzy? Do you even know if it's a boy?" She paused. "Are you assuming its gender?"
"It's a boy," Danny insisted even though he frankly didn't have a clue, "and I've named him George after my partner."
"Your partner when you first got to Hawaii?"
"No. George was my partner briefly back in Jersey. The roach is named in honor of him."
"Brah, if that's how you honor your friends, then I'd hate to be Steve."
The elevator chimed and they stepped out into the hallway.
"Oh, George and I weren't friends," Danny explained as they made their way down the long office hallway.
"I said we were partners briefly. Like, very briefly. About two weeks, in fact."
"Why?" Curiosity was biting hard and Kono found herself more interested in this side-story than she intended.
"George was a slob," Danny shrugged matter-of-factly. They entered the crime scene area and he paused to take in the carefully-posed body on the floor, the tidy room, and the distinct absence of blood spatter. His partner, he observed with a satisfied smirk, had yet to arrive. Squatting next to the body, he continued the story to Kono. "George was a slob and a hoarder who never threw anything away. He really should have been on that Hoarders show. I tried to sign him up, but the application process took too much time and effort, so I gave up and left him to it. He seemed happy. Who am I to tell him otherwise?"
Kono didn't quite see the connection. "But you didn't live with him. Who cares if his house is a pig sty?"
"You don't get it- the guy was like that everywhere. As his partner, I had to ride with him. Day shift." Pulling on a pair of gloves, Danny lifted the sleeve gingerly and observed a faint needle mark in the woman's arm. "So that meant we had to clean the car out for night shift. And since George never threw anything away, ever, and since I was the junior partner, that delightful little chore fell to me." Danny heaved in a small breath, remembering the routine. "Every. Single. Day."
"Yeah." Rolling the body slightly, Danny checked the partially-dried blood pool on the concrete floor. Max's autopsy report would be interesting. "Anyway, after two weeks of asking him to take out his own trash, I finally went to the sergeant and put in a request for a transfer. End up in New York not long after that."
"Speaking of partners…" Kono pointed a gloved hand toward the doorway and Danny saw that Steve had finally arrived at the scene. "You gonna tell Neat-freak Bossman about your little passenger, or can I?"
Danny considered this a moment. "Neither. I want him to find out for himself. Can you keep a secret?"
Kono flashed a wicked grin. "As long as I get to hear all about it later."
A/N: Wrote it as a one-shot initially, but decided to split it into chapters. Short, happy little chapters.