Hi everyone. Thanks for the kind comments and great reviews. Here's the next chapter.
Some of you may not like the way this part ends - but I can assure you there is a method to my madness.
Also, let me assure you that I am very good at math and I haven't made any mistakes or typos with ages. You'll just have to trust me on this – all will be revealed in good time.
These first two Chapters have been from Steve's point of view. Chapter 3 and beyond will be dual POV from both Catherine and Steve.
Secrets – Chapter 2
Disclaimer: I don't own any rights to the show or characters of Hawaii 5-0. I'm only borrowing them for a while. J
Summary: Catherine's past collides with her present. Is the love she and Steve share strong enough to survive it?
Please see Chapter 1 for all other author notes.
Five-0 Headquarters – Steve's Office - Mid Friday Afternoon
Steve looked at his watch for the tenth time in the last half hour. Catherine had only been gone for two hours but it seemed like days. He kept checking the GPS tracker to see where she was but he was starting to feel like a stalker.
She had caught up with Kelsey at Waimanalo Beach but Kelsey's GPS left the area almost immediately. Catherine's hadn't moved since that time – so either she dropped her phone and left it behind or she was still on the beach.
Steve's gut told him she was still there though and it was taking all his strength to not jump in his truck and drive over there. Whatever was going on between the sisters was something they needed to work out. Cath was a grown woman and the last thing she needed was him hovering like some clingy, overprotective boyfriend. She promised if she needed him she'd call. He had to trust that she would.
Chin and Kono had gone down to the lab to see Fong. Steve still had an odd feeling in his gut about this case but figured the uncomfortable knot that had been increasing steadily all afternoon was more to do with Catherine than the case.
Steve heard a swift knock on the door. Steve shoved the GPS tracker under a manila folder just as Danny walked in.
"I know you're stalking your girlfriend Steve. You don't have to hide it from me."
"I'm not stalking her," Steve scowled as Danny dropped into the chair on the other side of his desk.
"Uh huh. And just what do you call tracking her phone every five minutes?"
"Don't you have some work you have to do?"
Danny shrugged. "Not really. Chin just called. Ballistics was a bust. No matches for the bullet casing or the tire residue."
Steve flopped back in his chair and his scowled deepened. "I think we should go back down to the bank and see if anything else at the scene jumps out at us. This should be a simple open and shut case Danny. It's almost like they are taunting us. I don't know why I can't figure it out."
"Because Super SEAL is supposed to figure everything out on his own?" Danny scoffed. "None of us have been able to Steve. These guys are good."
"Well we have to before they hit another bank Danny." Steve started rifling through his desk looking for his badge. "Let's go back over there."
"Whoa, whoa, slow down big guy. Why don't you send Chin and Kono? How are you supposed to stalk Catherine and go over the crime scene at the same time?'
"You know what Danny, I'm over you," Steve snapped. "If you're not going to help me solve this case, will you please find something to do because you're getting on my nerves?"
Danny just sat back in his chair and watched Steve making even more of a mess of his desk. "Where the hell is my badge?" Steve barked.
"Check your belt," Danny offered, then asked more quietly. "Has she moved?"
Steve's hand went to his belt and felt his badge clipped there. He expelled a harsh breath and sat down in his chair again. He looked at the GPS tracker again. "No. She's still in the same spot."
"What about her sister?"
"She's up on the North Shore. By the looks of it she's checked in at Turtle Bay."
"Sweet. Guess the Rollins family has money."
Steve frowned as his best friend. "Yes, Catherine comes from money Danny. Since when does something like that matter to you?"
"Since when did you become so sensitive all of a sudden?"
Steve's mouth dropped open in shock. "Seriously Danny? Were you not here two hours ago when all that went down?"
"Of course I was." Danny leaned forward in his chair. "And I understand you're worried about Catherine, but Steve, you're driving yourself crazy here. Catherine is a big girl and I'm sure she can handle her little sister. Hell, she could lay you flat on your ass with minimal effort."
Steve couldn't believe Danny was giving him such a hard time right now. "I'm not worried about her physically Danny. Do you actually have a point you're trying to make?"
"Yes, yes I do, my friend." Danny sat back again. "Give Catherine her space and stop obsessing over this. You can see where she is on your stalker machine," Danny gestured to the tracker Steve still held in his hand. "She'll come to you. She always does."
Steve sighed heavily. "I know. I know. I don't know what's got me so on edge. This case is eluding me. Now this. I was planning to take Catherine to Kauai this weekend for a quiet romantic getaway and now that looks like it's blown out of the water."
"I didn't know you were going away this weekend."
"Danny I don't report all my movements to you."
"Why were you going away?" Danny questioned.
Steve shook his head exasperated. "You do remember Cath's birthday is Monday right?"
"Of course I remember." Danny looked offended that Steve would even ask him that. "Grace and I bought her birthday gift last night actually. Grace is really excited to give to her."
"Why would you ask me why I was taking her away then?" Steve growled. "And why do I even need a reason to spend a romantic weekend away with my girlfriend?"
Danny held up his hands in surrender. "I didn't say you need a reason. I was just asking. Where were you taking her on Kauai? Were you going to stay at a hotel or did you rent something?"
"Why does that even matter Danny? What is with your obsession with my and Catherine's relationship? You really need to get a life of your own, you know."
"Well at least you are now finally admitting it is a relationship. My work here is done." Danny grinned.
"I really hate you sometimes," Steve sighed.
Danny smiled. "You love me and you know it." After a beat Danny asked curiously. "You expecting visitors from the base?"
"What? Where did that come from? Do you have ADD?"
"Some fancy dressed Navy dude just walked in." Danny gestured to the tall man in Dress Whites standing in the main office area.
Steve turned his head and his eyes widened. "That's Catherine's father."
"Oooh. The plot thickens."
"Shut it Danno." Steve shoved the tracker in his pocket and walked out of his office. Danny followed behind him.
Admiral Jason Rollins was a formidable looking man. With a full head of salt and pepper hair, he stood several inches taller than Steve at six foot, six inches.
He'd once been a SEAL but had moved into Naval Intelligence after he'd been wounded during an op in the Vietnam War. He was known throughout the entire military as the man who built the military intelligence division to what it is today. That's one of the reason's Catherine excelled so well at her job. In addition to her natural intellect and instinct, she trained under the man who built it.
Steve held his hand out to the man in front of him. "Admiral Rollins, Sir. It's been a long time."
"Hello, Commander." The Admiral shook Steve's hand. "And I've told you to call me Jason."
Steve nodded then turned to introduce Danny. "Admiral, let me introduce my partner – "
"Danny Williams," the Admiral finished for him as he reached out to shake Danny's hand. "Cat's told me all about you."
Danny grinned as he shook the Admiral's hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you Admiral." Danny elbowed Steve in the side. "Did you hear that Steven? Your girlfriend is talking to her father about me."
Steve just looked at Danny blandly. "She probably told him how incompetent you are next to me, that's all."
"Incompetent?" Danny retorted and was about to start in when the Admiral gestured to the two of them.
"She told me about this," he said referring to their bickering. "So McGarrett, I'm sorry to drop in unannounced like this but I'm looking for my daughter."
"Which one?" Steve asked.
The Admiral grunted. "So Kelsey did show up here."
"Yes, this afternoon."
The Admiral looked around curiously. "Where are she and Cat now?"
"They had a minor argument," Steve said diplomatically. "Then Kelsey left and Catherine followed after her."
The Admiral glanced over at the shattered glass wall. "Minor, huh? I don't think I need to ask which one of my daughters did that to your wall." He sighed heavily. "That girl and her damn temper."
"She and Catherine have very different personalities, don't they?" Danny observed aloud.
"That's an understatement son."
Steve looked at Catherine's father closely for the first time and he could see shadows beneath his eyes. He also carried the same haunted look Catherine had earlier.
"Catherine didn't mention she was expecting company."
The Admiral narrowed his eyes at Steve. "Now McGarrett, let's not play games. I think you know she wasn't expecting either one of us."
"No," Steve agreed, glad the man didn't want to beat around the bush. Maybe he would get some answers. "All I do know, Sir, is that after Kelsey accused Catherine of lying to her, she showed something to Catherine that made her turn white as a ghost. In all the time I've known Cath I have never seen her that shaken. And I've seen her in some pretty intense situations that would rattle even the bravest men."
Steve watched as the giant man in front of him deflated slightly right before his eyes. "I tried to protect both of them but I knew one day this would all blow up in our faces."
"With all due respect sir, what would?" Steve growled, frustrated.
The Admiral straightened his back. "It's not my place Steve. You'll need to speak to Cat. Do you know where they went? Neither of them is answering their phones."
Steve looked at him for a long minute then pulled the GPS tracker out of his pocket.
"Catherine is at Waimanalo Beach and Kelsey is at Turtle Bay Resort."
The Admiral raised his eyebrow. "Is my daughter aware you track her like that?"
"Steve's a stalker by nature. Don't mind him," Danny offered helpfully. "It must be a SEAL thing."
Steve glowered at Danny before answering. "There is very little I do that Cath is unaware of."
"I bet," the Admiral chucked darkly. "Thank you."
Steve nodded then spoke seriously, addressing the Admiral by his first name for the first time. "Jason, you have my cell number. Call me if she needs me.
The Admiral put his hand on Steve's shoulder. "Don't worry son, she'll tell you everything now I'm sure. She's wanted to for years." He frowned sadly. "My girl has carried this burden alone for far too long." He removed his hand and put his hat back on his head. "She's right about you. You're a good man McGarrett."
"Thank you, Sir." After a beat, Steve admitted quietly. "Your daughter is my life."
He heard Danny hum with approval beside him but Steve ignored him, knowing full well Danny would gloat about Steve's admission as soon as he got the chance. At this moment though Steve didn't care, because despite his hang ups about his and Cath's relationship, what he just said to her father was the truth.
"Remember that Commander," Catherine's father warned him before saying goodbye to Danny. "Detective Williams."
"Admiral," Danny replied as he and Steve watched Catherine's father walk out of the 5-0 offices.
"This has got to be something pretty serious for her father to fly in like that," Danny offered worriedly.
"Didn't I tell you to shut it Danno?" Steve growled as the knot in his stomach clenched tighter.
Steve cracked his neck and stretched as he sat back in his chair. He'd sent Danny, Chin and Kono home a while ago since it was obvious they weren't going to solve their case today. Steve had been trying to focus on some paperwork, just stupid busy work to keep him occupied while he waited to hear from Catherine, but he'd been looking at the same piece of paper for the last twenty minutes and he still had no idea what he read.
He looked at the clock on the wall. It was six thirty. The late afternoon sun had already fallen below the horizon, leaving his office bathed in darkness, except the small desk lamp illuminating the stack of papers Steve was failing to concentrate on.
"Screw this," Steve muttered to himself and stood up. He was done waiting. He looked at the GPS tracker, expecting to see Catherine still at Waimanalo Beach but the map had changed since the last time he looked at it a half hour ago.
"Damn it," Steve cursed. Catherine was on the move finally and by the route she was taking, it appeared she was heading home.
He grabbed his keys and rushed out the door, wanting to make it there before her so she didn't come home to an empty house.
Steve pulled up to the house and cursed again. Even with his speeding and breaking about a half dozen traffic laws, Catherine still managed to make it home before him. Her car was in the driveway but the house was still dark.
Steve walked in the front door and looked around. All the lights were off except the one over the sink in the kitchen. The house was silent but he knew she was here. Even if he hadn't seen her car he would have known. He could always sense when she was near. Had always been able to since the day he met her all those years ago.
Sometimes it seemed strange that he and Catherine had known each other for so long. Other times it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. He could still remember the day he met her at Annapolis.
Catherine was seventeen and was in her first year at the Naval Academy. She had graduated from high school at sixteen and had gotten her parent's permission to enter the Academy one year early. Steve was twenty-two and was in his last year at Annapolis, planning to join the SEALS as soon as he graduated.
It was almost exactly three months to the day before graduation when he first saw her. She was walking across campus on her way to Chauvenet Hall. He was playing a game of touch football with some buddies on the lawn, and when some of the guys started whistling and calling out "hey baby," he looked up and watched her just shake her head, then flip them off, without even breaking her stride. Unable to take his eyes off her, he watched until she entered the building, getting tackled in the process because he wasn't paying attention to the game.
He saw her around a few more times after that, usually at Nimitz Library. She seemed to spend a lot of time there and so did he as he was studying for his finals. He'd always be able to sense she was there, even before he saw her, and made sure wherever he sat she was in his line of sight. It always made him smile to see her with her head buried in a book, turning down one guy after another as they came by her table asking her for a date. Guys were always hitting on her and asking her out but she always turned them down.
The first time Steve decided to ask her out, it was on a dare from his buddies. Despite their best efforts, no one seemed to be able to crack her aloof exterior. One Sunday afternoon, Freddie dared Steve to give it a try, figuring that if Steve "Smoothdog" McGarrett struck out, there was no hope for any of them.
He took the dare and was turned down flat. To say his ego was bruised was an understatement. But Steve McGarrett was not a man accustomed to not getting what he wanted so he didn't give up. He asked her out three more times prior to graduation and she always declined; always demure and polite about it and it made him want her all the more.
Finally the night before graduation, he and his buddies were out at a bar having a pre-celebration. Catherine and several of her girlfriends came in. Steve managed to talk her into playing a game of pool with him and within an hour they had both ditched their friends. One thing led to another and they ended up falling into bed.
She was sensual and fun and confident and sexy…. and she rocked his world. He stumbled to graduation the next day after having barely an hour of sleep but it had been worth it. Although he looked for her, he didn't see her at the ceremony and was shipped off to SEAL training the next day.
It was almost five years before he saw her again at Coronado. But their night together stayed with him. He invited her to dinner but they didn't make it. They had barely made it to her bedroom that night.
As the years passed, they came across each other at different times. And they'd always end up falling into bed – whether it was for a night, a weekend, or a week of leave – but neither of them put any kind of demands on the other and there was no expectation of exclusivity between them. They worked a few missions together during his later years as a SEAL but their individual missions kept them on opposite sides of the world most of the time.
About seven years ago, they tried an exclusive relationship when they were both stationed at Pearl. For two years they were off and on, but all too often individual missions kept separating them. When Catherine was assigned to an eighteen month tour in Kabul they decided to take a break. They kept in touch but, when it felt like he'd been kicked in the gut after he heard that she had started a relationship with Billy, Steve decided a clean break was in order. During his last year in the Navy they had no contact at all, not until she called him after she heard about his father's murder.
After he formed 5-0, and he started calling her for favors, they began to grow close again; but they never defined their relationship this time. They fell into a pattern of her visiting him when she was on leave, or, when he could, he would fly to wherever she was in the world. They never discussed being exclusive again, but it just happened, neither one having any desire to pursue other relationships. Finally after she was permanently stationed at Pearl again, they became more serious and now they practically lived together.
Steve wasn't sure exactly how that happened since Catherine still had her own home in Aina Haina. It wasn't a conscious decision on either of their parts, but she had slowly taken over half his closet, half his dresser and half of the medicine cabinet. It had been months since they spent a night apart and she only went to her house a few times a month, just to check up on it. The fact that she automatically came here tonight was very telling and as Steve stood there in the darkened house he decided it was time they actually talked about their living arrangements.
"Catherine," he called out but got no response. He walked up the stairs and checked the bedroom and bathroom but didn't find her. He walked back downstairs and out onto the back deck. Finally he saw her sitting on the sand at the edge of the water.
He watched her silently for several minutes before he approached her. He saw her shift and her back relax slightly as she sensed his approach. It made him smile that she could sense his presence.
"Hey," he greeted, moving to stand beside her.
"Hi," she looked up at him and smiled softly. She looked genuinely happy to see him even though her eyes still carried that haunted look he's seen in her office.
Steve plopped down on the sand beside her. She bumped him gently with her shoulder.
"I heard my dad stopped by 5-0."
"Yeah. Lots of unexpected visitors today."
"Yeah," she sighed. "I should have called you but I just needed some time to clear my head."
"Don't apologize Cath. I'm just glad you're alright and you made it home safe." Steve shifted closer, needing more contact with her. "I've been really worried about you."
She leaned her head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry I worried you Steve. I hope you weren't too distracted from work."
Steve leaned his face down and pressed his lips to the top of her head. He inhaled deeply and finally felt the knot that had been inside him all day loosen. "Forget work Cath. Where's your dad now?"
"He's staying at Turtle Bay with Kelsey. Well, if she's still there," Catherine added as an afterthought.
She didn't say any more. They both sat in silence for several minutes listening to the waves rolling up on the sand. Finally Steve couldn't take it anymore.
"Do you want to tell me what today was all about?"
Catherine nodded her head and her breath hitched as she sighed.
"You know I'll do anything in my power to help you. You just have to let me in."
"There is nothing for you to help with Steve. It is what it is," Catherine murmured resigned.
Steve turned to face her and urged her to do the same. He took her hands in his. "What was Kelsey talking about this afternoon Cath?"
Catherine sighed slowly and looked back at the water for a second before meeting Steve's eyes again.
"Kelsey isn't my sister."
Steve's brow furrowed. That certainly wasn't what he was expecting her to say.
"You mean biological sister, right? Is she adopted?"
Catherine shook her head. "No."
"Are you adopted?" he asked.
"No," Catherine answered and looked down at their joined hands.
"Okay," Steve drawled. "I didn't think so. You both look too much alike to not be related." Catherine lifted her head and her lips curled up on the right side as he struggled to understand. "And you both look just like your dad so I don't understand Cath. What-?" Steve stopped mid-sentence, at a loss to continue.
Catherine tightened her fingers around his. "I vowed never to tell anyone this. I made my parents promise. I made Ethan promise. I expected to take this to my grave, Steve."
Steve lifted one hand to Catherine's face, cupping her cheek tenderly. "Now you're starting to scare me, Cath. What is it?"
Catherine leaned her cheek in his palm as she looked in his eyes.
"Kelsey isn't my sister Steve. She's my daughter."
To be continued…