He’ll Never Notice

Author’s Note: This is a response to a challenge on a Hawaii Five-O writers’ group to use one or more of a number of phrases. The ones I chose were “Bruddah, there’s no way Steve is not going to notice,” “Maybe Danny might know what that is?” “I don’t think that’s such a good idea, boss,” and “Chin, Kono! In my office right now!” In and of itself this is (almost) completely gen, but technically speaking it’s set in the slash universe of my series “The Telephone Rang.”

McGarrett strode into the outer office of Five-O headquarters. “Chin, Kono! In my office right now!” he snapped. After he had been left waiting for half an hour the Governor had rescheduled their meeting, and he didn’t want to waste any more time.

“Uh...I don’t think that’s such a good idea, boss,” Kono said, moving to stand with his back to Steve’s office door, blocking Steve and Chin’s path.

“What do you mean, it’s not a good idea? What’s going on with my office?” McGarrett demanded.

“Nothing! It’s just...I...I think we should meet in Chin’s office, instead,” Kono said desperately.

“Yes, there’s...there’s something I need to show you there, boss,” Chin chimed in, pulling at Steve’s elbow.

“What is wrong with you two?” McGarrett shook off Chin’s hand. “Kono, move!” He put his hand on Kono’s shoulder to gently shove him out of the way, reaching for the doorknob.

Kono shrugged and stepped aside, covering his face with his hand. He thought back to Danny’s blithe words....

‘Steve’s off at a budget meeting. They’ll be here to pick it up in an hour. He’ll never know! Besides, where else can we put it?’

Kono looked down at the carpet. ‘Bruddah, there is no way Steve is not going to notice.’

‘Crap...Kono, I’m going to run and get some carpet cleaner. Make sure no one comes in here.’

‘Danny, wait! What if Steve comes back!’

‘Don’t worry, those meetings always take forever.’

They left the office, closing the door behind them. Kono took up a position near the door, trying to look casual.

In the present, Kono watched with a feeling of dread as McGarrett opened the door and entered the office. Kono and Chin trailed after him.

Steve started to stride towards his desk, then stopped dead. “What...what is that?” he demanded, pointing at the small furry brownish-gray animal currently chewing enthusiastically at the leg of one of the white leather chairs, next to a large stain on the carpet.

“Um...I...I’m not sure....” Kono said.

“Yeah...I’ve never seen one of those before, Steve,” added Chin.

“Do you think maybe Danny might know what that is?” McGarrett asked them in an ominously calm voice.

Kono looked nervously around the room. Chin stared at his shoes.

Just then, Danny came running in, carrying a bottle of cleaner. “Steve!” He stopped short.

“Yes, Danno?” Steve fixed him with an icy blue glare.

“I...I can explain, Steve,” Danny said, crossing to dislodge the small creature from the chair and picking it up.

“Please do,” McGarrett said, raising his eyebrows. Chin and Kono tried to fade into the woodwork.

Danny faced him nervously, trying to hold his furry burden still. “Well, we went this morning to search for the stolen jewelry at that house on Prospect street. We found the jewelry, but we also found this. She’s a baby wombat.” He held the wombat up.

“You don’t say,” McGarrett said drily, inspecting it. “That does not explain what it’s doing in my office.”

“Well, we called Fish and Wildlife, but they said it would be a while before they could send someone, and she was in this awful filthy little cage....” Danny said. “Ow! Don’t bite!” He readjusted his grip on the squirming animal. “So, you can see we couldn’t just leave her there, and my apartment doesn’t allow pets...so we brought her here, and I was afraid that in the outer office someone would open the door and she would escape, and you were in your meeting....”

“I see.” Steve regarded him sternly, crossing his arms.

“Steve, I’m really sorry about the chair, and I’ll clean the carpet right now...please, can she just stay here a little while longer until the wildlife officer gets here?” Danny gave McGarrett a pleading look.

“Very well. Just this once, and if you promise to watch it so it doesn’t do any more damage.” He knows perfectly well that when he looks at me like that with those blue eyes I can’t refuse him anything....

“Thanks, Steve,” Danny said, with a relieved smile.

The head of Five-O realized he was smiling in return. He quickly resumed his stern expression and looked over to where Chin and Kono were trying to blend in with a bookcase. “Don’t we have any cases you could be working on?” he snapped.

“Yes, boss,” Kono said, hurrying out of the office with Chin.

Outside, the door safely closed behind them, he complained, “Danny gets away with everything! Can you imagine if one of us put that animal in his office? Lights out!”

“Yes, well, Danny has a special place in Steve’s heart....” Chin said, with an inward smile.

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