Crash and Burn - Chapter 5: Mo'olelo 'ino?

After the departure of the governor and Special Agent Logan, utter silence descended on the Five-0 office.

“That was interesting,” Danny murmured, sneaking a glance at his partner. “I’d say, very interesting, but I don’t have all the data, yet.”

“Shut up, Danno!” Steve snapped.

“Yes.” Danny nodded. “I’m definitely leaning toward ‘very interesting’.”

Catherine checked her watch and excused herself.

“Cath, wait!” Steve rushed after her, reaching her in the hallway. “Wait.”

She turned, her eyes sad and accepting. “No, Steve. You said we’d talk, but there’s not much to say, besides the obvious is there?”

“Cath—”

“I love you.”

Steve opened his mouth, tried to find the words, but couldn’t. He just couldn’t.

She nodded. “See, you can’t even say it back.”

“Cath, I...”

She placed her index finger on his lips. “I know you care about me, but you don’t love me.”

Which was a pity, because there was so much capacity for love inside him, not even he knew how much. She’d known from the very start that Steve McGarrett fell into that category of rare men only capable of truly loving one woman in their lifetime. At first she’d hoped she might be the one to fill that spot, but somewhere in the first year of their relationship realized that was an impossible dream. So she’d been prepared for a goodbye, she just didn’t know it would hurt so bad.

“I won’t say goodbye, because I promised I’d help if you ever needed it, so, please, next time you call, don’t feel bad.” She smiled and kissed his cheek. “I really hope she deserves you.”

With one last smile, she turned and walked toward the elevator.




5525 Kalanianaole, Honolulu

Night has fallen when Reena brought her bike to a stop in front of her rental, a single-level cottage-style house surrounded by a miniature rainforest, its living room’s sliding doors opening directly onto the beach.

It was probably childish, but she felt a little sliver of satisfaction, when the front door banged shut behind her. She was feeling a little bit combative after her earlier conversation with Marc at his new residence, and since there was no one around for her to beat the crap out, she had to get her satisfaction by banging doors.

She went into her kitchen, poured herself a glass of orange juice, and moved into her den. She barely glanced at the contents of the file on her desk. She didn’t need to, she knew it by heart, every line, every picture...She massaged her nape, trying to come up with a plan for tomorrow. She would need to talk quickly and bring something to the table if she had any hope of fulfilling the governor’s latest order.

Not that she took orders from the guy, she was just humoring him most of the time. For the rest, all her big brother had to do was give her the look and she was putty in his hands. And the asshole knew it. Just like he knew all the right words to persuade her to stay on the island when she’d first found out who the leader of the Five-0 task force was.

It’s been two months, but she was still reeling from what she saw as his betrayal. How could he have done something like that to her? To lie to get her here, and lie some more to keep her here. And then he told her to trail the task force, to familiarize herself with the big case involving the dead governor, Steve’s father, the Yakuza and a bunch of international terrorists, mostly all dead, and a crime-lord slash arms dealer, who was still very much alive...And now this last request.

On top of seeing Steve McGarrett again for the first time in five years. Healthy, alive, vibrant with that energy so uniquely his, so damned sexy it should be illegal...And hating her guts. Not that she blamed him. The way things had ended between them, he was more than entitled to a fit of temper or two. Or a hundred. But to act like she was some kind of traitor, that just rankled. To act like he was still harboring some kind of hurt where their history was concerned, while he had his girlfriend in tow. That rankled even more.

Not that she was jealous. She wasn’t jealous. Really, she wasn’t. They were over. He’s obviously moved on, and so had she. So what if she hadn’t had a relationship—long or short—in five years...So what if she kept comparing every possible boyfriend candidate to tall, dark, and sexy Lieutenant Commander Steven J. McGarrett.

Okay, she was jealous. But she was an adult and she had complete control over her emotions. She wouldn’t let her feelings for Steve prevent her from doing her job. She could be professional. She would be professional. She’d finish this, and none would be the wiser as to how she really felt. None, that is, but her brother. However, she knew she could count on him for keeping mum.

Okay, she definitely needed to do something to distract herself. Because if she kept on like this, she’d never go to sleep, and if she did, the usual nightmare would most definitely strike.

So she peeled her leather second skin off, pulled on a ratty T-shirt and old jogging shorts, and moved into the basement, where she’d assembled a small gym.

She dropped on the mat in the middle of the basement, did her twenty minutes of yoga, then stood, plugged her phone into the speaker system, and when the first notes of Lifehouse’s Crash And Burn sounded, started kicking the hell out of the sandbag.




Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu

“So, who’s Sabrina?”

Danny has finally finagled Steve out of his office, though his mood still needed improving. Now they were seated at the team’s usual table, nursing their beers, completely ignoring the live music.

When Steve didn’t reply to the question, just stared, still brooding, into his beer glass, Danny elbowed him. “Did you hear me, Steven? Who’s Sabrina?”

“It’s a long story.”

“Yeah, I deduced as much. Want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Yeah, I deduced that, too.” Danny looked around, took a drink of his beer. “So why don’t you just give me the cliffnotes, huh?”

His partner was silent, so Danny nudged him again. “Okay, I’ll help. When did this long story start?”

Steve sighed, leaned back in his chair, and stared up at the dark sky. “Six years ago.”

“And when did it end?”

“Ten months, two weeks and four days later.”

Ouch. Danny knew a man only kept count when he was in love. “It ended badly?”

“Excellent detecting skills, Danno.”

Danny huffed. “Drop the sarcasm, man. I understand. You know that.”

“Yeah, I know.” A beat of silence. “I’m sorry.”

“Apology accepted.” After a few minutes, Danny picked up the conversation again, “So, what exactly happened?”

Steve looked away, at the crowd, back at Danny. “There was someone else.”

Double ouch. “Did you ask her?”

Steve only nodded.

“What did she say?”

“She didn’t deny it.”

That was interesting. Not denying didn’t necessarily mean confirming. From what he’s seen earlier, Sabrina Logan wasn’t someone who didn’t deny things. She looked like someone who came up and said whatever needed to be said, no matter what.

“Did you confront the guy?”

Steve shook his head.

“Do you know who he was?”

Another shake. “No, but I think it might’ve been our new governor.”

Triple ouch. “What makes you think that?”

“There were a few mentions of a Marc when we were together, but nothing specific.”

“So what makes you think he might be the guy?”

“You were there. Didn’t you see it?” Steve made a fist on his thigh. “First-name basis, the smiles, the touches...I don’t know, it’s just a feeling, but I can’t shake it.”

Danny nodded. “I understand. Your instincts are usually right.”

Steve let out a bark of mirthless laughter. “And I thought she was the one.”

Quadruple ouch. Danny has never before seen his partner so vulnerable. “I thought that about Rachel. And you know how that one ended.”

“I actually left the SEALs for her.”

“What?”

Steve nodded. “Yeah, with my deployment, we couldn’t spend much time together, so I decided to change careers. Naval Intelligence sounded just right. Desk job and all.”

“And she still dumped you?”

“She doesn’t know.” Steve’s eyes were serious. “And she will never know. You hear me, Danny?”

Danny nodded. “She won’t hear it from me.”

“She broke it off on the night I was planning on telling her.”

“That sucks, man.” After a beat, he asked, “Does Catherine know?”

Steve took a swig of his beer, nodded. “Apparently I talk in my sleep.”

“You didn’t tell her?”

“I didn’t know.”

“And?”

“It’s over.” Another small curving of lips. “She said she could never compete with a ghost, but seeing the ghost is still living...”

Danny chuckled. “I see. And how do you feel about that?”

Steve shrugged. “I don’t know. I really don’t, Danny. I never wanted to hurt her, yet I did.”

“It would’ve happened sooner or later,” Danny said softly. “You didn’t love her. Not the way you were supposed to.”

Steve was taken aback by his partner’s insightful comment. Not that he’d ever say it, but Danny was right. And so was Catherine. He didn’t care about her the way he should. He would miss her, of course, but there would be no emptiness inside him when he thought of her. An emptiness one felt when someone you loved took your heart with them when they left.

He sure knew how that felt.

“I guess this deal with Catherine is on a strictly need-to-know basis as well,” Danny said, pulling him out of his reverie.

“Yeah.”

“So, what do we do?”

“Nothing.” Steve sighed. “Sabrina probably won’t show again. She’ll go away as quickly as she appeared. It’s what she does.”

Danny could hear the hurt in his partner’s voice. He could tell this thing between Steve and Sabrina was far from over, at least where his friend was concerned. There were still feelings there. Running deep.

“Okay, man, I hear you. Tomorrow, business as usual.”

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