Hi, it's been a while but i'm back. No real reason why I've not been about except that RL takes up way too much time. Ironically I've had the most barmy couple of weeks, hence a new chapter! We've just had a general inspection at work (school) - not sure what happens in other parts of the world; here I feel a good analogy is BUDs Hell Week - only with fewer press ups and way way more paperwork!
This is a random light fluffy chapter. Please suspend disbelief a little and enjoy - I did do some research and there is absolutely no reason why this couldn't happen! (honest!)
Disclaimer - obviously I don't own them. If I did Steve would wear a shirt WAY less. Don't sue me please.
Lastly - The super skilled, extra efficient and ultra amazing Gone2far has helped me with this! How exciting to have such a talented beta! Thanks, Mrs! So obviously any mistakes here are deliberate so you still believe it is me….
"Ok, it's official. He wants me dead. It's clear now. He has been plotting this day since that night in the garage when we met."
Kono Kalakaua looked away from the binoculars she held trained on the sky and glanced at the irate man behind her. She raised her eyebrows at Chin who gave a little shrug.
"It's going to be ok, Danny." Chin spoke calmly. He stopped his scan of the horizon to turn and face the wound-up detective.
"Ok! 'It's going to be ok,' he says…" Warming to his topic, he flapped his arms. "I'm going to have a heart attack, seriously, right here at this very moment, I am going to have an honest-to-goodness heart attack and die! And you, YOU say it's going to be fine!" Danny Williams was not in the mood to be easily placated.
"Steve knows what he's doing, Brah", Kono tried to back her cousin up; hopping down from the tail gate of the truck she was perched on to stand beside her friend as he paced nervously. He stopped his relentless back and forward movement as she blocked his short path but fixed her with an incredulous glare.
"Oh he knows what he's doing alright," Danny stated darkly. "He's killing me! That's what he's doing. Murder." he raised his arms melodramatically, rant in full swing now he had both of their complete attention.
"I always knew this day would come…that it would be his fault I met an early demise…" Kono snorted in amusement and stepped back out of his path as the pacing began again, accompanied by frenetic arm movements. He was warming to his topic.
"I mean I had kinda been resigned to the idea of getting shot ya know…or a small explosion, or a large explosion. Something violent… something going 'bang'…or a car wreck, a blazing ball of fire because Captain Combat, as I have often lamented, has no idea how human beings operate on the highways and byways of this earth!"
Here he paused, ensuring both Chin and Kono were still paying proper attention to his diatribe, "However, I never imagined, even in my wildest nightmares, of the hideous ways I might die on this damn island, never…not even once . . . did I imagine he would use my own daughter, my beautiful, innocent Grace…that he would use HER to bring about my end!"
He sighed dramatically as Kono unsuccessfully choked back a giggle
"Oh this is funny to you, Kalakaua?"
"Little bit, yeah."
His look was frosty. Unabashed, Kono returned to searching the sky.
"Danny," Chin shot his cousin an amused look and stepped over to place a calming hand on the other man's arm. "Take a deep breath. She and Steve will both be fine. Seriously, are you not proud of your daughter?"
"Proud of her? She is the single greatest child that has ever walked this planet."
Chin laughed aloud at this. "I agree. And do you not remember what you told your ex-wife when she threatened to prevent this from happening?"
Danny huffed out a funny little sound of annoyance, "We agreed you would never mention that again."
"Yeah, well that was before you threatened to die noisily and mar my 'proud uncle' moment. Plus I agreed not to tell Steve, I never said I wouldn't remind you of what you said!"
Danny made another huffed sound. Chin held his gaze like one might a naughty child, "Do you remember?"
Danny nodded his head, still reluctant to allow his nervous energy to be curbed.
"Seriously, Danny. Come on, Brah, we've got the best seats in the house for this!' Danny allowed Chin to gently push him towards the tailgate of Steve's large Silverado parked beside the other support vehicles.
"Quick, guys! Here they come!" Kono called excitedly, lowering her binoculars to point at the horizon she had been scanning.
Two Months Earlier:
"Are you out of your explosion addled mind? I mean, you must be!"
"Don't you dareDanny me. In fact…in fact, just don't even address me at all!" Danny stormed out of his office leaving Steve standing in the middle of it. He folded his arms across his chest as he watched his partner's retreating back; clearly having no intention of following him to continue whatever conversation had ended so badly.
Kono and Chin exchanged glances across the smart table as Danny stormed past them muttering 'Unbelievable" to the ceiling tiles.
Steve waited until the coast was clear and the main door had been slammed shut before he reemerged to join the cousins.
"So…?" Chin waved a hand in the general direction of the air recently occupied by the blond detective.
"So. That didn't go as badly as I thought it might." Steve grinned at his colleagues. Chin shook his head, grinning as well while Kono looked blankly between the two. "I mean he's mad, but he didn't punch me out and, more importantly, he didn't say no."
Chin barked a laugh, "Only you could consider that a win."
"Wait till Gracie gives him a face full of those baby brown eyes." Steve's voice was confident. The two men looked after Danny with identical grins on their faces.
"Grace?" Now Kono was completely lost. "You two care to fill me in on what just happened? What's this to do with Grace"
They shifted their attention back to the rookie. Chin made a gesture to suggest Steve fill her in.
"Gracie came to see me last week while Danny was out with you on the Dickson Case."
Kono nodded, remembering the long hours in the hot car with an increasingly overheating Jersey detective. They were watching an old dumpster - the glamour of police work. "Yeah, still waiting for that shave-ice you promised to bring us when we got to our 5th hour on that one." She looked darkly at her boss who had the good grace to look a little shamefaced.
"Anyway," Chin cut in before Steve could start his defense about the governor etc. "She wanted her Uncle Steve's help with an idea she had for her school's charity event."
"Oh?" Kono was all ears now.
"Yeah" Steve took up the tale. "She and her classmates were asked to select a charity to support this year and, with Grace's input, they selected 'The Navy Safe Harbor Association'" Kono could see his pride in his adopted 'niece' as he spoke. "Obviously, Grace has great ideas and feels bake sales etc are" Here he paused using air quotes to mimic the little girl, "'Boring things grown-ups want to do'"
"She has a point there," Kono agreed. "So what did she decide would be better?"
Steve shook his head in proud disbelief, "She came to me and asked me if I knew any of the SEALs with the Leap Frogs."
"Leap Frogs? As in the Navy parachute team?" Kono's grin was now almost as big as Chin's and Steve's, That little girl always thought big! "I'm assuming you do?"
Here Steve folded his arms and leant back against the Smart table looking like the cat that got the cream, "I went through BUDs with a couple of them, actually."
Kono laughed out loud at that, "Course you did, Boss."
"So, I was able to chat with them about an appearance at Gracie's school in a couple of months. She's already persuaded some local stores to front stalls and other things. The Leap Frogs are to be the main attraction."
"Wow! That's really cool!" Kono slapped Steve's arm but her grin disappeared as she thought about Danny. "But that is fantastic, why was Danny behaving as if you just shot his puppy?"
"Ahh, well. Since I know the guys and they know me, they have offered to take Grace and one other classmate up with them for a sponsored jump. Grace is a couple of years from being old enough to jump solo, but a tandem jump is safe and, if sponsored, they should make an absolute killing."
"And you just filled Danny in on the plan this afternoon…" Danny's earlier departure suddenly made much more sense to Kono. "Who would Grace tandem with? I mean, it would be a fully qualified instructor, obviously, or one of the SEALs?"
Chin started to laugh at this.
Kono's eyes grew wide with realization as Steve's grin grew wider. "No! Oh man!"
Steve was right, Danny's reaction had been quite mild considering Steve had just suggested he strap Grace to his chest and jump out of a plane with her.
The atmosphere was a little strained for the following few days. Grace pleaded her case and Danny remained resolutely against the idea, his concerns and disgust boiling over at least once a day into rants, epic by even Danny's standard.
Kono and Chin stayed out of the way, though occasionally they too had to listen while Danny marveled at the lunacy. Only his partner could see that jumping out of a perfectly good airplane as a suitable pastime and only someone with his complete lack in social knowledge could think for even one second that doing it with a child, any child, let alone his child, was in any way acceptable.
Steve, surprisingly suffered these insults in stoic silence; a slight grin on his face. As Grace told Steve when they conferred, "He's still ranting so he's not decided to say no yet!"
In fact each of these rants would end with a few questions like, "And how exactly would a small child be included in a display by trained Army guys?" allowing Steve to elaborate slightly on the plans currently being fostered. Steve let the 'Army' insult slide on these occasions.
The idea so far was that Steve and Grace would jump from the plane first at around 15,000ft - landing and then being in a prime position to watch as the Leap Frog team did their thing. The whole exercise was being picked up by local news and would be an amazing publicity opportunity for the charity and Grace's school. The other pupil, Grace's friend and co-conspirator, had already obtained her parents' consent to a tandem jump with one of the display team. Only Grace still needed the green light.
The push Danny needed to finally agree came from an unexpected source.
On the third day of this pattern of 'rant then question', Rachel arrived in the office. Steve had been summoned to the Governor's office about their current case and Chin and Danny were reviewing files sent over from HYPD about their suspect. Kong had been dispatched on the urgent task of gathering lunch.
Rachel stalked onto the H.Q. her displeasure obvious to Chin who watched through the glass wall of his office. Danny faced his ex-wife, hip resting on the corner of the smart table and arms folded. Shaking his head ruefully Chin turned back to the open files on his desk.
"You cannot be seriously agreeing to this, Daniel!" Rachel's clipped tones floated through the open door of Chin's office. He continued to read the open file.
"I, uh, I haven't decided if I'm honest."
"There's a surprise!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"When Grace told me you hadn't told her, in no uncertain terms, that this was not going to happen, I knew you were actually considering it! I am absolutely not going to allow this."
"And I am not going to make a decision on something so important to OUR daughter" he said, emphasizing the word 'our' and standing up straighter, "based on my first emotional response."
Chin's head jerked up at that line, his expression a mix of amused disbelief. He gave up the pretense of reading and leaning back in his chair; no longer pretended he wasn't listening to the increasingly loud conversation taking place a foot from his open office door.
"Daniel, you NEVER make a decision that isn't emotional and I cannot truly believe you would consider allowing Grace to do something so dangerous. You complain all the time about how reckless Commander McGarrett is and how many risks he takes, and now you would consider putting Grace's life in his hands? On a whim?"
"Now, hold on there, Rachel…"
"I will not 'hold on.' This is all your fault for exposing her to the antics of that man. She positively idolizes him. And now she's going to throw herself out of an airplane at 15,000ft. Seriously Daniel?"
"Enough." Danny's tone was sharp. "I do not like the idea of my little girl doing this, I don't but" He paused, running a hand through his hair and beginning to pace back and forth in front of his ex.
"Here's the thing, you need to get this straight.. I trust Steve McGarrett with my life and I certainly trust him with my little girl's…he would lay down his life for her and if he says it's safe for her to do this..er..this tandem jump thing with him then I believe him. He might not be a stickler for police procedure but he is an expert, an expert in this" he waved his hand upwards encompassing the heavens as if half-expecting Steve to parachute through the ceiling.
"He's a Navy SEAL, Rachel. A highly decorated war hero who has jumped out of planes all over the world while armed to the teeth and doing who knows what! This, this is FUN to him, it's like breathing. It was his JOB. Even ignoring his years of elite training, he would never put Grace at risk. He adores her and is …well, as far as being an influence on her goes . . . good. I would NEVER expose our girl to anything I thought would harm her. She's lucky to have people like Steve and Kono and Chin prepared to go to bat for her. If she is going to do this…this…thing, then it's going to happen the only way I will agree to this madness - knowing Steve would be right there looking out for her." He grimaced as he realized he'd just put forward an argument for the jump to happen. Choice made then. Drat.
He paused again turning to face Rachel. The corner of his mouth quirked up slightly, "Besides, she's got that stubborn look on her face YOU get when it's a done deal. You wouldn't be here if you didn't know YOU aren't able to change her mind."
Rachel left a short time later, slightly mollified and with the decision having been made to let the jump happen. Danny returned from walking her to the door to find Chin leaning against the frame of his office door, smug smile in place.
"You uh, you heard all that then did ya?" Danny rubbed the back of his head looking sheepishly at the older man.
Chin nodded, "I did."
"I, I uh, I guess it would be too much to hope that you will forget hearing all that?"
"I'm not sure. What part are you referring to? Elite training? Good influence? Trust with your life?" He was clearly enjoying the moment. Danny just scowled at him.
"Great, just great."
"Danno, Danno! Did you see! Oh Danno!" Grace raced towards the detective and threw herself into his arms, Steve following closely behind, a huge grin plastered on his face.
"The girl did good, Danny." He patted his partner's back as Danny tightly held the overexcited girl. She hadn't stopped her garbled stream of chatter.
"She did good? Good he says? She was amazing! Monkey, you were incredible!" Setting the girl on her feet he gave her and his partner a quick once over. Judging from the way Grace was talking at an alarming rate and the ridiculous grin on his partner's face, it had indeed gone well. He on the other hand was just so relieved to have his baby back on solid ground. His heart rate had yet to return to anything approaching normal.
"You should have seen her, Danno. Fearless. She's a natural." While Grace seemed to be riding an adrenaline high the ex-SEAL had a very serene air about him, his smile huge and genuine; a rare sight to see him appear so completely at ease. Typical for the lunatic to feel rested after a stunt like this! He was dusty and still wearing his harness, his helmet in his hand. He reached for Grace and started unfastening her from her harness and helmet. The whole time she didn't draw breath, simply moved the limbs necessary to unclip her harness when Steve gently prodded her. Her focus was entirely on telling her Danno everything.
"Oh, Danno!" Grace hugged him again when Steve had finished. "Uncle Steve was incredible. I started feeling nervous and he told me all about his first jump and made me giggle until I forgot to be scared."
"Oh, that I want to hear," Danny smiled darkly at Steve.
"And he knew all the team and they all have cool nicknames, even Uncle Steve…they called him Smooth Dog…Uncle Steve didn't know why they called him that." Her tone was slightly puzzled as she paused for breath and Danny tried to stifle a laugh at his partner's obvious discomfort. If Danny didn't know better, he'd have almost have imagined the ex-SEAL was blushing.
"Ah, Gracie. We can tell Danno everything later. Come on, the plane is on its way back over. You don't want to miss the main event, do you?" Steve's grin held a certain desperate element as he changed the subject away from what Danny was fairly certain was unsuitable territory!
Grace beamed at Steve and flung herself at Danny once more for another hug. "Uncle Steve has done HALO jumps Danny. Do you know what a HALO jump is like? You are so high up you need to have oxygen masks on! Uncle Steve wouldn't tell me where he's done that" she lowered her voice to a conspiratorial whisper, "That's classified."
Steve had the decency to look a little sheepish at that as Danny rolled his eyes at him. "But Boots, he's the one in charge of the Leap Frogs told me he was one of the best jumpers at the academy. And Tatts said he set records that no one has been able to beat yet!"
Danny filed this information away for future consideration as he did all rare insights to Steve's military career. The plan was to take the team out for drinks after the display when Grace was safely returned to Rachel's protective clutches. He intended to milk them for all the information he could get. He'd met the team briefly as they prepared Grace for the jump and had high hopes of many embarrassing stories.
Steve cleared his throat, clearly again eager to change the subject. Danny helped him out this time; he'd allow modesty, "You weren't even a little nervous?" he asked gathering Grace's full attention to her own experience again and tweaking her braids.
"A little bit, the plane was very noisy and when you open the doors… It's so high up! Oh!" She looked at her wrist where a white Altimeter sat. "Look! Uncle Steve gave this to me when the plane took off! Look! Isn't it so cool!" Genuinely touched by the way his partner cared for his daughter combined with the very real relief of her not dying horribly caused Danny to catch Steve's eye and mouth 'Thank you' over his daughter's precious head before both men looked away embarrassed.
Sensing the emotional undercurrents, Kono weighed in. "Wow, let me see that!" she took hold of the young girl's arm, admiring the small device her proud uncle had given her.
"You were amazing, Keiki!" Chin came up behind Kono. The three grinned at each other.
"Grace, the plane is almost back so if we want to see the main event we need to go now!" Steve motioned towards the stadium where the crowd was being entertained by the school marching band as they waited the Leap Frog's display. Jumping up and down in delight, Grace grabbed Steve's offered hand and skipped along beside him to the stand for a better view of the returning plane. "Come on, Danno!" She called over her shoulder.
Danny stood a moment and watched them walk away.
"You ok, brah?" Kono gently bumped him with her shoulder and Chin placed a calming hand on his back. "I think she enjoyed herself."
"Yeah, I think that's a safe assumption." Danny rubbed a hand over his face. "If she's going to become an adrenaline junkie I don't think I'll live to see retirement."
Chin laughed. "She's exceptional, Danny."
He nodded pride filling his chest.
Her excited voice floated back towards them, "So do they let girls into the SEALs Uncle Steve? I want to do that again right now! Will you train me to do a HALO jump? What's the lowest altitude you've ever jumped from?"
That spurred Danny into action and he hurried to catch up with the two of them, mumbling things about brainwashing and idiot Super-SEALs indoctrinating innocent children.
Laughing out loud now, Kono and Chin followed after their friends.
There. Done! Hopefully you are smiling and haven't smashed your electronic devices in disgust. Please let me know what you think! My happiness at receiving reviews is ridiculous - really, I have a problem...