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Chapter 2 – Day Two

Steve McGarrett leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes, thinking that not having slept since the hijacking was adding to the feeling of being caught in a waking nightmare. Despite the early hour, the temporary command post was busy with people from various agencies, a low buzz of conversation filling the room. McGarrett picked up the half-full paper cup of cold coffee from his desk and took a swallow, grimacing at the taste. Setting it down, he left the office and walked down the hall and into the public section of the terminal, crossing to the wall of glass overlooking the runway where the distant plane sat, bathed in light from an encircling ring of portable floodlights. He looked around at the tasteful carpet and dark wood paneling of the empty gate area, strangely bereft without its usual throngs of happy tourists, then turned his gaze out the window. Dawn was breaking, washing the scene in deceptive beauty. Danny’s out there, injured, in pain, counting on me like the other fifty-nine passengers, he thought.

Chin Ho came to join McGarrett at the window. “Steve, I’ve finally got some information from L.A.,” he said. “The names were aliases, like you thought, and the tickets were paid for in cash. The good news is, that was unusual enough that the woman behind the ticket counter remembered this ‘Diego Volver’ guy who bought them. She said he seemed real nervous, too. They’ve made a sketch from her description and LAPD are circulating it in the Curaguayan community there.”

“Good, Chin. Have them wire a copy of that sketch to me and to Washington, ASAP. I want to know who these men are!” Steve declared.

McGarrett started to pace in front of the windows, snapping his fingers. “I haven’t been thinking straight. Something doesn’t add up here. What kind of hijackers have no stated political agenda, no revolutionary demands prepared? They haven’t even asked to talk to the press.”

“What are you thinking?” Chin asked.

“I don’t know, but it doesn’t feel right. What if the hijackers never meant for this plane to land in Honolulu, and now they’re left without a plan? What did Danny say, they shot the remaining pilot?”

McGarrett suddenly stopped pacing. “Chin! Get me the tape from the control tower of the communications with the aircraft from the minute it reached Hawaii airspace, and call LAX and tell them I want to hear the tape from their end, too.”

“You got it, Steve,” Kelly said, hurrying off.

The head of Five-O returned to the command post and his temporary desk. Currently Carstairs from the FBI was sitting on it, eating McGarrett’s forgotten sandwich and conferring with Simons from State, with Kono listening to their conversation. As Steve crossed the room to join them, an official from the Hawaii Department of Transportation came bustling in accompanied by Duke Lukela of HPD.

“Steve, the security cordon around this end of the terminal is complete,” Duke reported. “Mr. Craig here wants to know when can we reopen the airport to civilian traffic.”

“We need to get that plane off the runway and closer to the terminal first,” McGarrett told them. “If nothing else, they’re going to run out of battery power for the radio soon. Duke, talk to the ground crew about arranging to tow the aircraft if I get the go-ahead from the hijackers.”

Steve looked to his left, “Danno, I want you to...” he started, then stopped and closed his eyes in pain for a second.

“Steve....” Kono began.

“I meant Kono,” snapped McGarrett. “When this airport reopens United is going to start flying the families of the passengers in. I want you to coordinate with the Hawaii Visitors Bureau and the airline to get them information and accommodations. Set up another room here at the airport where they can wait.”

“I’m on it, Boss.” Kono hurried from the room.

The telephone on Steve’s desk rang, as it had been doing more or less continuously for the past twelve hours. He picked up the receiver. “McGarrett.”

“Good morning, Steve,” came the Governor’s voice.

McGarrett automatically answered, “Good morning, Governor.” Not that I’ve had too many worse mornings in my life, he thought.

Jameson continued, “The newspaper and television people are demanding news about the hijacking. I think it’s time we call a press conference and give out what information we have.”

“Yes, I suppose we’ll have to,” Steve said resignedly. “How about we schedule it for eight? I hate to create more chaos here, but I don’t want to leave the airport until this is over. I suggest we hold it in the baggage claim area, since we won’t be needing that for anything else until we re- open to civilian traffic. To forestall your next question, Governor, I recommend we do that as soon as we can get the hijacked aircraft off the runway.”

“Good, Steve. You know how important it is to our economy to keep the tourist trade flowing. This hijacking is bad enough publicity without leaving thousands of tourists stranded for days.”

“Yes, Governor, I know,” McGarrett told him.

Perhaps motivated by the note of weariness in Steve’s voice, the Governor asked, “Steve...is...have you heard anything more about Dan?”

“As far as I know, he’s still alive,” McGarrett said flatly.

“I have every confidence that you’ll get him and the other hostages back safely, Steve,” the Governor assured him.

“Thank you, Governor. Aloha.” Steve put down the receiver. Everyone has every confidence. My responsibility if anything happens to the hostages. To Danny. I can’t think of him now. He’s going to be fine. He has to be fine, he thought desperately.

McGarrett picked up the phone again and dialed Five-O headquarters. “Jenny, good, you’re in early,” he told her. “I need to set up a press conference in an hour, Honolulu International Airport baggage claim.”

“I’ll arrange things with the airport staff and let the press know, Boss,” she assured him.

“Thanks, love,” the head of Five-O answered.

“Have...have you heard anything more about Danny?” she asked anxiously.

“No. But as far as I know he’s still okay,” he reassured her. He has to be okay....

Steve looked at his watch, then took a deep breath and picked up the radio microphone, pressing the button. “McGarrett to Diego. McGarrett calling Diego on flight 78.”

The radio crackled to life with the hijacker’s voice. “Mr. McGarrett. I hope you are calling to report progress on our demands?”

“We’re working on them. In order to get you your fuel, we’d like your permission to tow the aircraft closer to the terminal. That will also allow us to give you an electrical hook-up to power the radio and lights without draining the batteries,” McGarrett said.

“This is a trick of some sort! You want to tow us to where you can move on the plane without us seeing!” Diego sneered.

“No trick. We’ll leave you as far from the terminal building as we can reach with the cables, but it’s the only way we can give you the fuel you want,” McGarrett declared.

“Very well. But remember that I will have a gun on your detective the entire time you are moving the plane, and if I even suspect anything, I will blow his head off. Diego out.”

Chin returned to the temporary command post, waving two envelopes. “Here’s the sketch and the tape, Steve.”

“Good, good,” McGarrett said, taking the envelopes. He put the tape reel onto the machine on his desk and hit play. As they listened to the communications between the tower and the incoming flight Steve noted, “We’re only hearing from the Captain, not the first officer. And listen to his voice—he sounds strained, anxious. What was that?” He stopped the tape.

“It sounded like the captain just said, ‘Confirm we are on course to Honolulu Airport, no deviation in progress’,” Chin, leaning close to the machine to listen, said.

“The tower made no mention of a deviation, and their response sounds confused.” McGarrett snapped his fingers. “Now, we’re getting somewhere! Chin, I want to talk to the controller who was on duty when that plane landed. If he’s not here, have HPD pick him up immediately. And get me the LAX controller right...as soon as I’m finished with this press conference.” Steve glanced at his watch in frustration. He picked up the envelope with the sketch of “Diego” and strode out to meet the press.

Danny was in bed. Steve, his head propped on one arm, was smiling down at him with those long-lashed deep blue eyes. His dark haired lover leaned down and kissed him, sliding his left hand up Danny’s chest and then down his stomach until it closed over his cock. “Steve....” he moaned, and then woke to a renewed knowledge of his present painful circumstances. Mrs. Miller was bending over him feeling his forehead.

“Good morning,” she said, and he realized that sunlight was once again streaming through the windows of the plane, the air temperature already uncomfortably hot. “You don’t seem to have a fever, but you were mumbling in your sleep,” she said. “Something about ‘Steve’?”

“McGarrett.” Danny thought quickly. “I...I really wish I could tell him what’s happening in here, help him with the negotiations, and....”

He was interrupted by Garcia coming to sit in the aisle seat across from the one he was tied to. The hijacker was carrying one of the guns, and he trained it on Danny, ordering Mrs. Miller away from him.

Is this it? Steve...I wish I could see you again, or even just hear your voice once more. I’ve never even really told you how I feel about you.... Danny thought desperately.

There was a jolt, and the view of the runway outside the aircraft began to slowly move past the windows, until the dark shape of the terminal loomed on the left side of the plane.

The plane came to a halt. Garcia remained where he was, gun pointed, until Fernandez came from the cockpit and said something to him in Spanish in which Danny recognized “enough” and “no problem.” Both hijackers returned to the cockpit, and Mrs. Miller rejoined Danny.

“I was afraid that.....” she began, her face pale.

“Me, too,” he admitted. “Do you know why they moved us?”

“Something about needing us to be near the terminal for refueling, and also so we can be connected to electrical power,” she said.

“I hope that means they can run the air conditioning,” Danny said. “I’m worried about some of the passengers if it stays this hot.”

“I wonder how much longer this can go on,” she said anxiously.

“Steve will get us out of this,” he assured her. If anyone can, he added mentally. “Is Captain Carlton still...with us?” he asked.

She glanced down the plane to where the pilot lay under blankets in the aft galley. “Yes, but still unconscious. He needs to be in a hospital, soon, if he’s to have any chance.”

Their conversation was interrupted by raised voices from the hijackers, who were congregated around the cockpit door.

“...if you hadn’t blown the plan to begin with by letting that bastard pilot land in Honolulu! You were supposed to be watching him!” came one angry voice, speaking English, Danny was interested to note.

“How was I supposed to know where we were in two thousand miles of ocean? I’m not a navigator! And it was you who shot the captain. Now what do we do for a pilot?” another hijacker protested indignantly. Unlike the other three, this man’s English was unaccented, and Williams wondered if he might be American by birth.

“That nurse had better get him awake,” the first man said.

“If she doesn’t, we can start cutting bits off her pet cop,” answered a third with a nasty laugh.

What Danny recognized as Diego’s voice cut across the others. “Silence! All of you! We’re just going to have to change our plan.”

The radio on Steve’s borrowed desk beeped. He picked up the mic and announced, “McGarrett.”

“Mr. McGarrett,” came Diego’s voice. “Do you have my fuel ready?”

“Not yet. We’re working on it,” the head of Five-O answered.

“If I do not see the truck in one hour, I’m going to send you out a little souvenir, as I promised,” Diego said. “In the meantime, I want you to send in food and water, and I have a list of medical supplies we need. Canned food in sealed containers. No lifts, trucks, or racks, I want it carried up the stairs by four women. No more than four, and no men. They can make two trips if they have to. I will have a gun trained on them at all times, and my associate will have one on your Mr. Williams. Do you understand?”

“I understand,” Steve told him. “We’ll make the preparations immediately. What about medical care for the pilot? Surely you don’t want him to die.”

“No. Anyone you sent in would be a cop or a solider. We have a nurse; she will have to do. Diego out.”

McGarrett set down the radio handset and turned to Chin Ho, who had hurried over upon hearing the radio. “Chin, get on the phone to HPD. I want four policewomen here as soon as possible. Get them uniformed as caterers, then bring them to me.”

“Right, Steve,” Chin said, hurrying off.

Steve crossed the office to where Colonel Masters of the Army was talking to an HPD sharpshooter. “Colonel, we need sealed rations for sixty-five people for a couple of days. Can the Army provide that?”

“Yes, I’ll have them sent from base at once,” Masters told him.

“Mr. Craig!” McGarrett called across the room to the HDOT official, who had taken over one of the desks in the room. “I’d like you to arrange a set of air stairs ready to drive out to that plane. I want them rigged with bunting or panels that would conceal at least three men underneath the stairs.” “Wait, wait, Mr. McGarrett,” interjected Carstairs, the FBI man, coming to join Steve. “I don’t think it’s time for that sort of direct action yet.”

“Neither do I, but I want the option for later, and if we change the stairs then it will be obvious,” explained the head of Five-O.

He looked at the clock. 2 PM, twenty-four hours since the plane landed. It feels more like a week, he thought. At least he had finally had something to eat, thanks to Chin shoving a sandwich into his hand as he ran out to door on his way to the press conference, saying, “Don’t waste this one on the FBI, Steve!”

Reviewing the tape from LAX over the phone had convinced him that all was well until the plane had passed out of Los Angeles airspace. The first officer had handled communications on takeoff, and everything sounded normal. The hijackers must have waited until the plane was in the no- man’s-land over the Pacific Ocean. Where could they have been headed? he wondered. Let’s see if we can make a guess....

McGarrett picked up the phone on his desk. “Operator, get me Pearl Harbor Naval Base.”

When he was connected to the base switchboard, he said, “This is Steve McGarrett of Five-O. Let me speak to Lt. Commander Paul Jones, please.”

After a pause and some clicks, he heard a familiar voice.

“Steve! It’s been too long. But I know you didn’t call to chat.”

“Jonesey, I need your help with this hijacking,” McGarrett said.

“Of course, anything at all I can do....” Jones told him.

“Can you come to the airport right away? Bring a chart with every islet and atoll in the Pacific where you could possibly land a DC-8,” Steve requested.

“Will do,” came his friend’s crisp voice. “I’ll be there as soon as possible.”

“Thanks. It’s just a hunch I have, but at this point I’ll try anything,” McGarrett said grimly.

“See you shortly, Steve.”

“Yeah. Bye, Jonesey,” the head of Five-O said, replacing the receiver.

“What are you thinking, Steve?” asked Kono, who had come over to the desk to report while McGarrett was making his phone call.

“I think the hijackers never meant to come here. I think they planned to divert the plane elsewhere, maybe meet up with a boat. But who are they, and who’s backing their play?” he asked, striding across the office to the desk being used by Simons, the state department man, its surface currently covered by his lunch.

“Mr. Simons! Any word from Washington on that sketch?” McGarrett demanded.

“We’re having trouble getting the picture wired to their country,” Simons said with his mouth full. “We don’t have formal diplomatic relations with them, after all.” “I don’t care if you have to carry it over the border on a mule, I want to know who these men are!” McGarrett snapped, emphasizing his words with his fist on the desk, the impact upsetting the diplomat’s paper cup of coffee.

Mopping spilled coffee and trying to rescue his sandwich, Simons glared at the head of Five-O, but Steve had already turned away and was walking briskly back to his own desk.

“There’s something moving outside,” Mrs. Miller said, returning from tending to the still unconscious Captain Carlton in the rear of the plane and taking a seat on the floor beside Danny.

“They must be bringing over the stairs to deliver the supplies the hijackers ordered,” Williams told her.

She stood and went to look out the window of the row behind the one Danny was sitting in. “I see a truck, too. It looks like a tanker. It’s going around behind the plane. Mr. McGarrett won’t really let them take off with all of us still on board, will he?” she asked in a frightened voice, returning to her previous position in the aisle.

“Not a chance,” Danny reassured her. “He’s just stalling for time.”

They stopped talking as Garcia left the cockpit and approached them. He carried an open folding knife with a nastily efficient-looking blade.

“Move!” he curtly ordered Mrs. Miller.

“No! Leave him alone!” she cried, standing protectively in front of Danny.

“Fernandez! Get her out of the way!” the hijacker ordered curtly over his shoulder, and the other man came forward to roughly pull her aside.

Garcia knelt beside Williams. As he saw the hijacker reach towards his head with the knife, Danny fought down a wave of sheer panic.

“No! No, don’t!” he shouted, trying desperately to move away from the blade.

Garcia grabbed him by the hair and growled, “Hold still, cop, or you’ll really get hurt.” He made a swift slash with the knife, and Danny felt a flood of relief when he realized that the hijacker had only taken a chunk of his hair.

Garcia stood up and reached into the pocket of Danny’s jacket, thrown over a nearby seat. He extracted a handkerchief and wrapped the hair in it, then opened a box of playing cards he had taken from the plane’s supplies. He took out most of the cards, then stuffed the handkerchief in and closed the box, throwing it up and down to test the weight. “That should be about right. A nice souvenir for Mr. McGarrett,” he said with a nasty laugh, tossing it to Diego, standing in the cockpit door.

Danny watched in growing horror. They were going to send that out to Steve, and, after their threat, Steve would think.... Imagining what this would do to his lover filled him with a sick fury. “You bastards, is this a game to you?” he shouted.

“Be quiet, Mr. Williams, or I will see to it that you are permanently quiet,” Diego ordered. “Now, how to make this even more convincing?” the hijackers’ leader mused.

McGarrett stood behind his desk in the command center as the policewomen who had delivered the food to the plane came in to report, escorted by Chin Ho Kelly.

“From what we could see, the passengers were unharmed. They were on the right side of the plane, away from us. There was what looked like a body under a blanket lying across the left front seats. We couldn’t see the injured pilot, but we didn’t get a look down into the back of the plane,” Officer Lihue, the pretty, local policewoman who had led the crew told Steve and Chin.

“What about Danny Williams?” Steve demanded.

“Mr. Williams was sitting on the floor tied to the back of the first row of seats on the left. He looked pretty bad,” she said. “He had a bandage around his head and there was blood all down the side of his face and on his shirt.”

“Did he say anything?” McGarrett asked.

“No, one of the hijackers had a gun pointed at him the whole time,” she told him.

“Okay, you can go,” McGarrett told them. “Give Duke Lukela your complete statements.”

“Wait, there’s one more thing,” said Lihue. She took a small box from her pocket and held it out. “The hijacker gave me this. He said it was a present for you, Mr. McGarrett.”

Chin, standing beside her, took the little box. As she left, he handed it to Steve, who had come around the desk. They exchanged horrified looks. “Do you think it’s....” Chin asked anxiously, unable to complete his sentence. “But we sent the fuel truck!” he protested.

McGarrett shook his head helplessly.

“Let me open it, Steve,” Chin offered, seeing that McGarrett’s hands were shaking so badly he could barely hold the box.

“No. This is my responsibility,” Steve answered grimly, forcing himself into at least a semblance of calm. He sat down in his chair, carefully setting the box on the desktop to steady it. He took a deep breath and pried the end flap open. Chin watched from across the desk, hardly daring to breathe.

McGarrett slid the white handkerchief out onto the desk blotter. Taking a pen, he slowly unfolded the cloth, revealing the object that lay within.

Chin looked puzzled. “What is it, Steve?” he asked, looking up at his boss.

“A piece of Danny’s hair.” McGarrett sat down abruptly. “Thank God. They didn’t...oh, thank God.” He buried his face in his hands.

The radio beeped.

Steve raised his head to give it a look of loathing. He picked up the mic, forcing his voice to remain almost steady. “McGarrett,” he answered through clenched teeth.

“Ah, Mr. McGarrett,” Diego said in a satisfied voice. “Did you like my little gift?”

“Very funny,” McGarrett snapped.

“Now, now, I thought if things don’t work out, you might like a memento of your Detective Williams,” the hijacker said with a laugh.

“How thoughtful of you,” Steve ground out.

“Well, you did finally send my fuel. Just remember, if you don’t finish the rest of my arrangements, I can always send out the real thing. So get back on the phone to Washington, Mr. McGarrett, and this time you had better get results. Diego out.”

McGarrett set down the microphone and stood up. “Chin! I want to meet with Lieutenant Commander Jones and his map, Colonel Masters, and Mr. Simons as soon as possible. Then I want you to find me a United pilot’s uniform and arrange some time for me with a DC-8 pilot instructor,” he snapped, his voice coldly furious.

Chin Ho hurried across the room to round up the men in question.

Steve sat down again and reached out to gently touch the little swath of Danny’s hair. He bent to catch the faint scent of cologne on the handkerchief. Danny’s handkerchief, too. Will I ever see him alive again, or is this all I’ll have left? he wondered as he tenderly re-folded the handkerchief and tucked it into his inside jacket pocket.

He looked up to see the three men he wanted to talk to approaching his desk and stood to greet them, with an effort forcing himself back to business. “I don’t think this plane was supposed to land in Honolulu,” he began. “I think it’s possible it was going to land somewhere in the Pacific and be met by a boat, and I want to find out where. Now, Jonesey, let’s see that chart.”

They unrolled the chart on the desk and clustered around it. “I’ve circled every speck of rock that has an airstrip, however disused,” said Jones. “These with red ‘x’s’ have a permanent U.S. military presence.”

“There’s no way to know which of these they’d choose!” said Masters. “And what would be the point?”

“A way to move weapons into Curaguay using the hijacked airliner as cover and the passengers as human shields, maybe,” McGarrett said grimly. “Is there any way we could get a flyover of some of these islands?” he asked Jones.

“We have maritime patrol planes at Barber’s Point that could be ready in a few hours, but you’d need to convince the admiral,” his friend told him. “And he’d probably want the go-ahead from Washington first.”

“Jonesey, if you had to guess, if you were in their place, which island would you choose?” McGarrett demanded.

“Well, this one and this one don’t have good harbors,” he said, pointing. “And this one is too near Guam. I would say these three are the most likely. This one here has quite a long airstrip left over from the war, but the island is abandoned now,” he said, putting his finger on the speck of land.

“OK, let’s try that one first, then the other two. Mr. Simons, have your boss in Washington ask the Navy to send out some patrols,” McGarrett ordered.

“It’s not that easy, McGarrett!” Simons protested.

“I don’t want to hear that from you! These people’s lives may depend on it, and we can’t burn a lousy few thousand pounds of fuel to take a look?” Steve demanded.

“This all just seems very far-fetched...I don’t want to go out on a limb....” the state department employee temporized.

“You don’t want to go out on a limb? Mr. Simons, which is more important, looking good to your superiors, or saving these people’s lives?” McGarrett shouted.

“I don’t think that’s called for!” Simons protested.

McGarrett took a deep breath and tried to regain his calm. “Jonesey, do you think you could get me through to talk to Admiral Bonden?”

“Let me give it a try,” his old friend said, picking up the phone.

After a considerable period of wrangling, Jones handed the phone to McGarrett. “OK, Steve, I had to call in a favor with his secretary, but here he is.”

“Admiral, this is Steve McGarrett, Five-O.”

“I’m a busy man, Mr. McGarrett. You have five minutes to state your case,” the rear admiral in charge of Hawaii’s naval forces said gruffly.

“Admiral, as you undoubtedly know, we have a hijacking situation here. I think the hijackers planned to land on an atoll in the Pacific and meet a boat for refueling and perhaps to pick up arms and men. I’d like to check out the possibles with a flyover,” Steve told him.

“What evidence do you have?” asked the admiral.

“No direct evidence, but the scenario fits the facts,” McGarrett said. “I want to know who these hijackers are. So far we have no real ID on them, and they haven’t said a word about their political agenda. I think someone’s backing them. Maybe the Russians, maybe the Chinese...I want to know who.”

“Even if you find your mythical boat, what makes you think it will matter?” the admiral said skeptically.

“If there’s any chance it will help, isn’t it worth the time and fuel?” McGarrett asked persuasively. “Please, Admiral, I’m begging you as a personal favor to me to send those planes. I know you don’t know me as well as your predecessor did, but....”

“That’s right, you’re that Steve McGarrett. In Naval Intelligence a few years back?”

“Yes, sir,” Steve acknowledged.

“I reckon that if you believe this will help, the Navy will take your word for it,” the admiral said. “I’ll give the order. Stay on the line and I’ll have my aide put you through to Barber’s Point.”

“Thank you, Admiral. You’ve been a great help.”

McGarrett handed the phone back to Jones. “He’s transferring us to the Naval Air Station. Give them the coordinates of those atolls.”

He turned to the representative of the State Department. “Now, Mr. Simons, I need ammunition to stall with until we hear from those planes, which will be mid-day tomorrow at the earliest,” he said briskly. “I want you to get someone, anyone, in authority from the country to the south of Curaguay to talk to the hijackers. I want an expert on the political status in the area. And get those pictures through to Curaguay.

Danny lay on his side, trying vainly to find a more comfortable position. It didn’t help that it had now been almost a day and a half since he’d had anything to eat. He looked at his swollen hands. “I can’t feel my hands properly anymore,” he said worriedly to Mrs. Miller, sitting in the aisle at his side.

She leaned over to examine them. “Danny, I know it hurts, but keep wiggling your fingers. You need to maintain circulation.”

He did his best to move his fingers, wincing in pain.

Diego and Garcia were arguing in front of the cockpit doorway, while Fernandez and the fourth hijacker, whose name Danny hadn’t caught, watched the passengers. “When we have the fuel, we’ll just go on to our target as planned and rendezvous with the boat to get the men and weapons!” Garcia declared.

“And will they still be waiting? What if McGarrett has found out about the boat?” Diego demanded.

“He’s the head of the state police. What will he do, send the Navy?” Garcia scoffed.

“All he has to do is call up our friends’ government and let them know that he knows. You know this has to be kept secret, or they won’t be involved! I say we announce our plans and fly directly to our country. Our people will welcome us with open arms!” the leader said, gesturing.

“Don’t be an idiot. We’d be shot down before we were five minutes over the border,” Garcia said, arms folded. “And without the weapons, what good could we do them?”

“We must talk to the press and let our people know! They will rise up and refuse to shoot us down!” Diego said excitedly. “Even without weapons, our act will be a rallying point.”

“Can you two please stop arguing for five minutes?” complained Fernandez from his position part way down the aisle.

“Everything’s gone wrong with this plan from the start....” muttered the fourth hijacker.

“We’ll wait until morning and see if the diplomats come through for us before we make a decision,” announced Diego.

Outside the sun was sinking, sending sunset colors through the plane. Is this the last sunset I’ll ever see? Danny wondered. It’s silly, but I wish I could share it with Steve. Maybe he’s looking at the same scene....

McGarrett stood at the sweep of terminal windows looking out at the sunset. He turned as Chin Ho Kelley materialized at his elbow. “Chin, you go home and get some sleep,” he said. “Tell Kono he can go, too—there’s not much we can do until Washington comes through for us. I’ll keep an eye on things here.”

“Steve, you need rest, too. You’re only human. You can’t just keep driving yourself forever,” the older man told him.

“I can drive myself for as long as it takes to get those people safely off that plane,” McGarrett said grimly, turning back to the window.

“You’re no good to anyone if you’re dead on your feet,” Chin protested.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure there’s a cot around here somewhere,” Steve reassured him with an attempt at a smile.

McGarrett returned to the command center. He checked with Simons and the HPD observers, who both reported no news. Absently eating a sandwich from a tray someone had brought, he read through the report on the political situation in Curaguay in more detail, then once again studied the information on the possible landing sites to be flown over the next day, the information on the hijackers from Los Angeles, and the reports of the policewomen who’d been on the plane. I wish I could think of something more to do, he thought, rubbing his eyes, feeling impossibly weary. Glancing at his watch, he decided that Chin had a point, tracking down a cot in a crew rest room and arranging to be woken before dawn, or if there were any further word from the hijackers.

He lay on the cot in his shirtsleeves, unable to sleep. Probably all that coffee, he thought. Then Danny was waking him up. A Danny completely whole and uninjured, and smiling as Steve sat up on the cot in wonder. “Danny? How can you be here?”

“It’s OK, Steve. It was all just a terrible mistake. I wasn’t on that plane at all,” he said.

Steve then realized that neither of them was wearing any clothing. Danny leaned over and put his hands on Steve’s shoulders, and they shared a passionate kiss, Steve clinging to him desperately. Danny disengaged his mouth to kiss his way down Steve’s chest, sliding the rough blanket off McGarrett’s lap and kneeling before him to take his erect cock into his mouth.

“Danny....” Steve gasped, then groaned with pleasure as Danny’s tongue worked its magic. “I’m so glad you’re safe,” he managed to gasp.

Danny raised his head to look up at him with bright blue eyes and smiled. “Steve....”

“Steve, wake up.” Duke was gently shaking Steve’s shoulder. “It’s 4 AM.”

Steve sat up groggily. Where did Danny go? He was just...then the present punched him in the gut. He had to turn his head away for a second to blink back tears. That was a low blow, he thought. I can be as tough as I like all day, but I can’t armor myself against dreams.

“Thanks, Duke,” he managed to say in an almost steady voice. “I’ll be back in the command post in a few minutes.”

Steve stopped in the lavatory to splash cold water on his face and shave with a razor he’d bought in an airport gift shop. He wished he had a change of clothes, but, like hunger and the rest of his minor physical discomforts, it was irrelevant.

McGarrett re-donned his jacket and tie, and strode down the hall back to the command post in search of coffee.

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