Spirited

Chapter 5

The next two hours passed in surfing and horseplay. The three Hawaiians were shocked when Danny took off running down the beach and launched himself into the ocean. A powerful stroke pulled him out just passed the breaking waves and he floated over swells smirking at them.

"What the hell!" Steve exclaimed.

"Damn, the haole does swim!" Chin was slightly awed at the speed that had been displayed.

"I knew he could swim," Kono grinned. "But not that well." Picking up boards the three headed out.

Playing on the waves the men easily agreed of Kono's board superiority. Chin and Steve were able to manage quite well. Danny, well he was able to stand up and ride, but his ending style caused lots of laughter and cat calls. He took the teasings in stride, although he had his revenge.

Being a good swimmer he dove under the water and snuck up on an unsuspecting surfer. Legs dangling in the water the Haole would grab an ankle and tug them off. The ensuing shout of surprise would send the other two into gales of laughter.

"How come you never swam with us like this before?" Chin asked as he pulled himself back on his board. He'd shrieked like a girl when Danny had upended him. The dancing blue eyes of the Haole showed his pleasure as he held onto the front of the board.

"I had an image I needed to uphold," he admitted. "At least, I thought I did. Didn't want to show I actually might like it here in this pineapple hell hole."

"So, you like it now?" Kelly asked carefully.

"Eh, it grew on me," Williams admitted. "Ohana really helped ground me. I guess I'm just happy that you three really want me after all the hell we went through." Chin grinned as he bumped fists with his friend.

"I'll have to use one of my wins so you can share with Steve and Kono," he said.

"You could do that, bro," Danny agreed before dropping back under the water and tapping his friend's foot, not pulling him off for a change. The Jerseyite swam into shore and wandered inside to rinse off. Although he enjoyed swimming he was still tired and decided to check out the options for lunch.

After once more cleaning the kitchen the four team mates sat at the table, this time tall glasses of iced tea were being enjoyed. Chin carefully shifted the cards around leaving the two small piles of four alone.

"Interested in going back to the discussion?" Steve smirked. "Me and Danny are safe!" The older detective grinned as he pulled a card out, face down. His team mates followed his lead and flipping over their choices Kono found she had high card. She handed the card to her cousin.

"What really happened with Malia?" she asked, face full of concern. "I always thought she dumped you." Chin tapped the cards on the table and set down the pile carefully.

"It was never Malia," he said. "I left her. I wanted to protect her from the fall-out of the IA investigation. We had so many friends in common and I couldn't take them away from her. She was so angry and hurt." Kono reached out her hand and held his.

"I didn't even explain why, just cut it off. You know Malia, she kept after me for several weeks trying to get it through my thick skull she loved me and believed me and wanted to be with me," he shook his head sadly. "I just couldn't accept that. I figured she'd come around and agree with the rest of the family. After 5-0 was founded I ran into her a couple of times at the hospital. It was like we were never apart. She still had the ring I gave her."

"I'm happy for you, cuz," Kono said. The other two men sat silent, allowing the two to share this moment. With a quick squeeze Kono straightened up and pulled a card.

"Don't think that's necessary," Danny said dryly. "You're the only one left." She did the mature thing and stuck out her tongue. A flip of the cards and Kono once again had high card. She made a big show of collecting the outstanding three losing cards.

"This is interesting," Chin remarked. "What question will you ask?" Steve was curious. Since Williams hadn't proclaimed this scenario against the rules he waited. Kono closed her eyes gathering her thoughts.

"When I was booked," she began, "all I could think of was how alone I was. I watched you get photographed and later heard how you had gone back to HPD. I really appreciated your support, Danny, but you had so many things happening to you I couldn't just throw myself on you."

"I would have been there for you," Danny said.

"I know. But I also know you were totally overwhelmed," she said. "So I sucked it up. Thought I could handle whatever they threw at me. I knew the witness wasn't viable and I figured Wo Fat had somehow came up with her. I just needed to ride it out." She twirled her tea glass watching the ice cubes tumble.

"Then, then Fryer came, accusing and angry. Said he knew that we were behind the missing money," she said. "Even though all the money was there, it wasn't the same. He kept grilling me but I refused to say anything," Kono said. "The 'interview' continued, spread over several days both at HPD and then various spots outside. He was following me." Chin moved a little closer, hand placed carefully on her shoulder. She glanced at him and accepted the comfort.

"I used to wonder about you, cuz," she said. "How you shut yourself off from everyone. And you, bro," nodding at Danny. "You left everything and everyone and came here for Grace. I won't even go on about you, Boss, going solo seems to be your modus operandi."

"You got that right!" Danny interjected with a pained smirk.

"I couldn't imagine being alone, going alone," she sighed. "I always have had ohana. But then Fryer came and took all that away. I had no one, no back up. I was scared." She stared at her hand holding the glass.

"Hey," Chin put slipped his arm over her shoulders. "Hey, it's ok. Don't you think I was scared when IA took me on? I was terrified."

"And me, when I watched my entire world shatter?" Danny added. "Grace and Rachel gone, Steve in that squad and Chin putting him there? I had absolutely no idea what to do!" Steve reached over and took her hand.

"Believe me, Kono, when I came to after being tazered I was terrified," he said. "I felt completely alone and I had put myself there."

"Anyone ever tells you they'd never be scared in those situations are just lying," Chin confirmed.

"But I'm telling you now, with us, you'll never be alone," Danny said. When I told Chin I had his back, I meant it. I have your back and Steve's. And they have ours as well." Tears were blinked back although a few managed to fall.

"Ok, this is way too mushy," Kono wiped her eyes.

"Catharsis is good for the soul," Chin intoned seriously. Steve bopped him on the shoulder.

"Navy Seals do not do catharsis!" he exclaimed, but tears sneaking out the corners of his eyes negated the statement. This started Kono giggling followed by Danny. There were tears, but there were smiles as well.

Catharsis indeed. Steve wiped back a tear as he looked at his ohana. Once more whole.

PAU