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McGarrett’s unease about Farrar came to a head the next day. The kid who bought the gun used by Karen Adamson identified Farrar as the man who had him buy it. Furthermore, they had been unable to reach Joyce all day.
That evening, McGarrett decided to check Joyce’s apartment. To his relief, she was there, having spent the day at the beach with Farrar.
Joyce was indignant when he told her he was taking her off the case, and scoffed at the idea that Farrar could be implicated in the crime, even with the evidence of the gun.
“You can’t hypnotize someone to commit murder. It doesn’t work that way!” she said scornfully. She stood in her sunken living room looking across at McGarrett, standing in the apartment’s small entryway, with flashing eyes, her face pale above her bright fuchsia housecoat.
“We don’t know how it works. So far it’s the only explanation. Now, until I find out for sure I want you to keep away from Farrar,” he told her.
“You can’t order me to stay away from him on my own time,” she challenged.
“Joyce, I hope it’s not necessary for me to order you to do anything,” he said quietly. “Now, he’s a dangerous man.”
“You’re the one who’s dangerous!” she threw back at him, sounding almost hysterical.
“What’s the matter with you?” McGarrett asked, annoyed, stepping forward to take her by the shoulders.
“Let go of me, let go!” she exclaimed shrilly, struggling. She reached up and slapped McGarrett across the face.
He stepped back, frowning in puzzlement.
Joyce seemed to suddenly come back to herself. Her face lost its expression of fury, and she lowered her upraised hand. Turning away, she looked down in confusion, shaking her head.
“I...I’m so sorry, Steve. I...I must be tired. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.” She looked up at him uncertainly.
“You’re off the case. You understand that?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.
Joyce nodded, smiling.
“You’re not to see Farrar under any circumstances. Now, that’s an order.”
Giving her a last look, McGarrett went out the door. That was
Back at Five-O, Dr. Abrams from Island Hospital came by for a
consultation. He theorized that it would be plausible for someone to be
hypnotized to commit murder by using regression to associate the intended
victim with some childhood trauma.
The telephone rang.
Steve, standing behind his desk in his shirtsleeves, leaned to pick it up. “McGarrett.”
He straightened abruptly, turning to face the room as he held the receiver to his ear. “Joyce? Where are you?”
Chin and Danny looked on. Chin was in shirtsleeves and Danny had the top of his shirt open, his tie hanging undone around his neck. It had been a long night, and didn’t look like being over yet.
“Wh...Now, look, honey, I told you to stay away from....” McGarrett said angrily. He abruptly broke off.
“What happened?” Danny asked, concerned.
McGarrett reached for the phone, rattling the hook up and down. “She hung up.” He sounded uneasy.
“Where is she?” demanded his second-in-command.
Steve replaced the telephone receiver. “She’s up at the university. She asked me to come up there alone.” He looked down, worried.
“Alone? What for?” asked Chin.
“She didn’t say, she just asked me to come alone.”
“You sure it was her?” Danny asked.
“Oh, yeah, it was her.” Steve strode to the coat tree beside the lanai door and started putting on his tie.
Danny followed him, his hands clenched around a coffee mug. “Steve, I don’t like it,” Danny said. “Remember Karen Adamson!”
“I’ve got to go, Danno. She sounded like she needed help.”
“It could be a setup. Why risk it? We could all go in there, and....” He gestured with his free hand.
“And what?” McGarrett asked. “If it is a setup, that would only blow it.” Steve was putting on his tie. “You heard what Dr. Abrams said. If we shake her up too much she could suffer post-hypnotic trauma. Shock. Total breakdown.” He took his jacket off its hanger.
“Let us at least follow at a distance, so we’d be nearby if anything happens,” Danny implored him.
“No. I can’t take the risk of Farrar seeing you.” Steve finished putting on his jacket, then stepped around his second-in-command and strode from the office.
Danny looked after him anxiously. Steve, I wish you wouldn’t do this sort of thing. At least this time you have a gun, but...I’d be much happier if I were by your side. I suppose I’m always much happier by your side...not that you’ve seemed to want that since I came back from San Francisco, and...well, I guess I’ve been too proud to ask.
“Do you think Steve will be OK?” Kono asked.
“I don’t know.” Danny said, pacing in front of the desk. “Why would Joyce want him to come alone if it’s not some scheme of Farrar’s? I don’t like it at all.” He stopped and turned to face Chin and Kono. “And what if Farrar didn’t just convince her to get him out there? What if he’s somehow hypnotized Joyce like Karen Adamson, made it so she’ll hurt Steve? He wouldn’t be on his guard with her like he would with Farrar.”
“Could be, Danny,” Chin said, looking concerned.
“That’s it. I’m going up there,” Danny snapped.
“Danny, Steve chose to go alone,” Kono reminded him.
“And I’m choosing to go after him,” Danny declared. He hurried towards the door, tying his tie as he went.
He drove through the night-time streets with his siren blaring. Steve, please, be safe....
When he approached the university, he killed the siren and cruised slowly towards the classroom building. There’s Steve’s car. He pulled up some distance away and parked, then climbed out of the car, easing the door quietly shut. He walked cautiously in the direction of the car, the wind rustling in the trees, the scene dimly lit by moonlight and the small overhead lights on the building’s walkways.
Suddenly, a gunshot rent the soft tropical night. Danny drew his own gun and ran towards the sound, which seemed to have come from somewhere in front of the two-story classroom building ahead. As he turned the corner, he was startled to see Steve, looking battered and bloody in his blue suit, standing on the landing of the concrete steps facing Joyce. Her peach dress was pale in the moonlight, her dark eyes wide in her white face. In her hands she held a gun pointed at McGarrett. She was pulling the trigger repeatedly, the hammer falling with a click on an empty chamber. Danny reached her and grabbed the gun.
“Joyce! What the hell are you doing?” he shouted, holstering his own gun and sticking hers in his waistband. He grabbed her by the shoulder, shaking her.
“I...I shot Steve,” she said, sounding dazed.
“Shot?” Danny demanded. He turned to look at Steve where he stood on the landing. “Steve?” Oh, God, there’s blood all down the front of his jacket!
“Yeah,” Steve said. “My shoulder.” He was swaying a bit.
Danny was at his side in three strides. “Steve! Lie down,” he ordered, helping him do so, then taking off his jacket and folding it to place under Steve’s head. He tried to assess the damage, but couldn’t make much out through the bloody mess of Steve’s once-white shirt. He took out his folded handkerchief and put it over the wound. “I’m sorry, this is going to hurt,” he said as he pressed down firmly.
Steve grunted and squeezed his eyes shut for a second. “So, what took you so long, Danno?” he asked softly, with a half smile.
“What took me so long? Maybe the fact that you insisted on running off on your own, with no backup!” Danny said angrily. “Steve, don’t ever do this to me again!”
“Joyce!” Danny snapped, looking over his shoulder at her as she stood at the bottom of the steps. “Go to Steve’s car and radio for help!”
Joyce was staring into the distance. “Mother?”
“Joyce! Snap out of it!”
She blinked. “Danny?” she asked, bewildered, looking up at him.
“Yes, ‘Danny’. Now go to Steve’s car and radio for an ambulance!”
Just then another car pulled up behind Steve’s, and Chin and Kono climbed out. “Danny! What happened?” Kono called, seeing Five-O’s second-in-command bent over the prone form of their boss.
“Steve’s been shot. We need an ambulance, fast!”
Chin radioed, while Kono walked towards Joyce, who was still standing in shock. “I shot Steve?”
“She shot Steve?” Kono demanded, looking up at Danny.
“She was hypnotized or something,” Danny told him. “Take care of her, will you? And it looks like there’s someone on the ground by the building. See who it is, and if he’s still alive.”
“Steve, are you all right? Stay with me!” Danny ordered.
“I’m OK, Danny,” he answered, his voice hardly audible.
Kono ran past them up the stairs, exchanging a worried glance with his friend.
he handkerchief in Danny’s hands was warm and sticky, soaked through with blood. Where the hell is that ambulance? he thought.
“It’s Farrar over here. He’s dead,” Kono called.
The ambulance finally arrived. Danny crouched in the back, anxiously watching as they cut away Steve’s clothing, exposing the bullet wound. McGarrett’s eyes were closed, and his face was pale under the blood and bruises.
“Is he going to be OK?” Danny asked anxiously.
“Well, it didn’t hit a major artery, or he’d have bled to death by
now,” said the doctor, working busily. “But he’s still losing a lot of blood.
We need to do surgery to get the bullet out.”
Danny paced the small surgery waiting room. It’s not as bad as when Trinian shot him, he told himself. But, in a way, it’s worse. I thought then that I couldn’t bear to lose him, but now he’s even more precious to me. Now that I know what it’s like for him to be mine. For me to be his. And we wasted this whole week on some kind of silly fight. How could we be so stupid? What if I never get a chance to apologize? Please, he has to be OK....
“Danny, he’ll be fine,” Chin reassured him from his seat in one of the uncomfortable vinyl waiting room chairs. “You know one measly bullet isn’t enough to stop Steve.”
Danny tried to smile. “Thanks, Chin.”
“It seems like just a little while ago that I was here with Steve. He was pacing the same way while you were in surgery.”
“Eleven months,” Danny said. Has it really only been that long? My life has changed so much since then. I’ve never been so happy as for these eleven months. Eleven months of happiness. Not long enough. Not nearly long enough.
Kono came in carrying a shopping bag and a thermos. “Sandwiches and coffee from my Mom,” he said.
“Just like last time,” Chin said, with a chuckle.
“Danny, you and Steve need to stop getting shot,” Kono told him seriously, pouring a paper cup of coffee and handing it to him.
“Thanks, Kono, I’ll keep that in mind.” Me getting shot was worth it, since it’s led to the best times in my life. Steve getting shot...I hope it doesn’t lead to the worst times in my life.
He went back to his pacing, warming his hands on the cup against
the chill in his heart.
The white-coated surgeon came into the room where Five-O waited. They stood, forming an expectant semi-circle.
“We got the bullet out and stopped the bleeding. That fight he had after being shot didn’t do him any good, but I think he should make a full recovery, with some physical therapy.”
“When can we see him?” Kono asked.
“We’re transferring him to the ICU, so you can see him there. One at a time, please.”
“Chin, Kono, why don’t you go home and get some rest?” Danny said. “I’ll go sit with him.”
“Same as last time....” Chin said softly as he passed Danny.
Steve opened his eyes. Hospital room. I’ve been spending too much time in these lately.... he thought, blinking. He tried to turn his head to look around, and let out an involuntary groan.
Danny was suddenly leaning over the bed. “Steve? Don’t try to move.”
“Danny. How’m I doing?” Steve looked up at him, trying to focus.
“They say you’ll be fine. Just rest now,” Danny said, gently taking Steve’s hand and pulling his chair closer.
“Thanks, Danno....” Steve felt consciousness receding.
When the Five-O chief awoke again, daylight streamed through the window. Danny was asleep leaning forward onto the bed, his head pillowed on his folded arms. Danny. Thanks for being here, he thought.
He drifted in and out of sleep until Danny stirred and sat up, yawning and rubbing his eyes.
“Awake?” Steve said, smiling.
“Sorry, Steve, that’s supposed to be my line,” Danny told him, stretching his arms. “How are you feeling?”
“Been better....” Steve admitted.
Danny looked at his watch. “Crap! I have your meeting with the Governor to go to in half an hour, and I have to run home and change.” He looked down at his shirt, still stained with Steve’s blood. “Steve...I need to tell you....”
“...’s OK, go change. See you after work?” Steve’s eyes closed
He stood at the altar, beside Cathy Wallis, in a white dress and veil. “Wait! I can’t get married!” Steve protested. “Danny....”
He looked desperately around the church. “Danny...Danno...where are you? I need you here, I need to stop this....”
The priest was reading the vows.
“Cathy, no!” Steve cried frantically. He tried to leave the altar, but Cathy had his hand in a firm grip, and wouldn’t let him go. He turned to her. “I have to go find Danny! He’s the one I need by my side!”
“Why? I thought you didn’t want to need anyone. Didn’t want your happiness to depend on someone else being there. You’d be better off with me, then you wouldn’t have to care,” she told him.
“Danny!” he shouted. “Danny!”
Keeping his right hand clutched in her left, she produced a
gleaming chef’s knife, raised it high, then plunged it into his left shoulder.
“Ahh!” Steve cried out in pain.
Danny clung tightly to Steve’s hand, frantically trying to hold him down by his good shoulder. “Easy, Steve! Easy, I’m right here. Please, don’t try to move, you’ll hurt yourself.”
“Sorry...nightmare,” Steve muttered. “Never mind. Meeting. How was the meeting?” His voice was slightly blurred with pain and medication.
“Fine. The governor is happy about the reduction in violent crime rates, and he thinks the anti-burglary task force you suggested is a good idea.” Even in this state, he thinks of work first? How very Steve. He looks so pale, except for the bruises. If Joyce hadn’t shot Farrar, I could kill him just for doing this to Steve’s beautiful face. Is it odd to think of a man that way? Well, he’s beautiful to me....
“Good. Thanks, Danno,” he said.
“Five-O sent flowers,” Danny said, with his free hand indicating a table next to the wall with several arrangements on it. “The one with the red antheriums. Chin and Kono are here to see you, too, but they’ll only let us in one at a time and I claimed the first visit. I suppose I should let them have their turns,” he said, smiling.
“Wait. I need to say something....”
“No, you don’t. They’ve got you doped to the gills, and anything you say now you’d probably regret,” Danny told him. “Just rest now, and tell me later.”
“No, I have to tell you now, while...while I can,” Steve insisted, clutching Danny’s hand tighter and trying to sit up, then wincing and falling back onto the pillow.
“Steve. Lie still!”
“Then listen. I...I want to apologize for this week. Scared...I was scared by how much I missed you. How empty my life seems now when you’re gone. When you went surfing...called the guys over to try to convince myself I didn’t need your company....”
“Steve, why didn’t you just tell me you didn’t want me to go?” Danny said exasperatedly.
“Didn’t want to keep you from spending time with your friend. It’s just...your first day back....” he trailed off.
“Steve, I’m sorry, too. I...I was hurt that you didn’t seem to want me around, so I guess I wanted to make you ask me...then when I saw you standing there with all the blood...I was so afraid that we’d never get a chance to make up.” he said, his voice breaking. He looked away to hide the tears in his eyes.
“Danny...nothing’s any good when you’re not around.....”
“Don’t worry, you won’t be able to get rid of me once you get
home,” Danny said. He glanced up at the round window set in the door.
“What was it you said?” He leaned over and gave Steve a quick, gentle
kiss on his battered mouth. “Just this once....”
“How’s the worst patient ever doing today?” the doctor asked McGarrett.
“If you let me out of here, you won’t have to worry about whether I’m a good patient or not,” McGarrett growled.
“I will if you end up back here”
“I’ll make sure he doesn’t,” Danny said. “He’ll rest if I have to sit on him.”
That sounds good, Steve thought with amusement. I might not get too much rest, though....
Danny looked over at him, caught his expression, and blushed.
The doctor sighed. “Against my better judgment, I’ll let you go home this evening. No work for at least another two weeks, though, and keep that arm in the sling!”
Danny unlocked Steve’s door.
“It’s nice to be home,” Steve observed, standing in the living room looking around the condo. His arm was in a sling, the dark blue fabric incongruous with the colorful flower pattern on his long-sleeved aloha shirt.
“I’ve been staying here to...to keep your plants watered,” Danny told him. I know it’s silly, but sleeping in your bed made me feel at least a little closer to you.
“Thanks, Danny,” Steve said with a smile.
“Kono’s mom sent some chicken soup to heat up for dinner, so you’re saved from my cooking this evening.”
The ate the soup sitting across from each other at the kitchen table.
“Thank Kono for me,” Steve said. “After the hospital food, this is just what I needed. So, what cases are we working on now?”
“We aren’t working on anything,” Danny told him. “Remember, you promised the doctor.”
Steve made a face. “I won’t go to work, but surely he didn’t mean I couldn’t keep up from here.”
“Oh, yes, he did,” Danny said, waving his spoon for emphasis. “Besides, don’t you trust me to run things while you’re gone?”
“Of course I do, but since I don’t have anything else to do, I might as well keep up!”
“What you have to do is rest!” Danny said heatedly, then paused. “I’m sorry, Steve, we shouldn’t be arguing.”
“Let’s change the subject,” Steve said, eating a spoonful of soup.
“OK, I’ve been curious...when you were dreaming in the hospital you said something...who’s Cathy?”
“Cathy! What did I say?” Steve asked, chagrined. He picked up his water glass.
“You said, ‘Cathy, no!’ and then...then you were calling my name.”
“Cathy Wallis. She was the sister of one my classmates at the Academy. After we graduated, I was...seeing a man.” He glanced up at Danny, then looked down. “Secretly, of course. Cathy pretended to be my girlfriend to throw off suspicion.” He studied the glass in his hand.
“She was willing to do that?”
“She was dating a Japanese-American officer. Her parents would have had a fit if they knew, so she was happy to have an acceptable boyfriend to bring to family functions.”
“It doesn’t seem right to have to lie and hide to be with the person you love,” Danny said indignantly.
“No. I’m afraid life just isn’t fair.” Steve set the glass down and looked across at Danny with a half smile.
“What happened to them? Did they get married?”
“No.” He leaned back in his chair, looking into space as though seeing the past. “Cathy dumped him for some rich guy her parents approved of.”
“I guess love isn’t always enough,” Danny said, looking down at the spoon in his hand. He raised his eyes back to Steve. “What was she doing in your dream?”
“I...I don’t quite remember,” Steve said, looking away evasively.
After dinner, Danny helped Steve change into pajamas, which required taking off his sling temporarily as he sat on the edge of the bed. Steve moved his arm slightly, wincing.
“Steve! Don’t move it if it hurts,” Danny remonstrated.
“How will I know if it hurts until I try?” Steve asked reasonably, as Danny leaned over him, helping get the sling back on.
“Just don’t overdo it. Is there a spare blanket around here somewhere?”
“The hall closet. Why?”
“I’m going to sleep on the couch.”
“Don’t you dare,” Steve said, looking up at Danny.
“When I was shot, you said you were no good at resisting temptation,” Danny reminded him, waving his finger.
“Who said I was going to resist?” He smiled.
“See, that’s why I have to sleep in the living room.”
“Please...just...just keep me company?” Steve asked, glancing up at Danny and then away.
“OK, Steve. If you promise to just sleep.”
As Steve lay listening to Danny’s even breathing beside him, trying to ignore the pain in his shoulder, his last conscious thought was, When did it become easier to sleep with someone else in bed with me? Well, not just anyone else. Danny....
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