Crash and Burn - Chapter 13: Ki'i kama'aina

“Peter Weiss and Albert Reeves.” Chin brought up both pictures on the screen. “Dismissed from the force for conduct unbecoming. Mostly police brutality and gardening.”

“Gardening?” Reena queried.

“Planting evidence,” Chin supplied. “They’ve been off the force for three years now.”

“How long has the gun been missing from evidence?” Steve asked.

“A little more than three years,” someone replied from behind them.

They turned to see a stocky, middle-aged man with a buzz cut and sharp, weary eyes.

“Vincent Fryer,” he said.

“IA,” Chin supplied.

Fryer nodded. “That’s right. And I’m here to stop you from blowing an open IA investigation. You’re through.”

“They killed two women,” Steve snarled.

“I’m sorry for their families, but I have bigger fish to fry,” Fryer replied. “And you’re standing in my way.”

Steve made a move toward the older man and Reena quickly placed a hand on his arm. “Steve, don’t,” she whispered. “There are other channels.”

Fryer’s eyes narrowed on the young woman that hadn’t appeared on his radar during his preliminary investigation of the Five-0 task force. “And who might you be?”

“Special Agent Sabrina Logan, Homeland Security.” Reena smiled sweetly. “Governor’s special liaison in the task force.” Her smiled disappeared as she took two steps forward, placing herself between Fryer and the rest of her team.

“And if you think you can just waltz in here and shut us down, you have another thing coming. Not only does this task force have full immunity and means granted to them by the state and governor of Hawaii, but my ID here...” She pulled her DHS identification out of her back pocket. “...trumps yours anytime. Domestic terrorism beats the IA roaches any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

When Fryer opened his mouth to deliver a, what she believed would’ve been, fiery retort, she shook her index finger in his face. “Ah-ah-ah, Captain Fryer, in case you’ve missed it, this isn’t a debate. You don’t get to give input unless it’s something relevant to our case.”

“On second thought...” She smiled slyly. “...go ahead, try and shut us down, I’ll be more than happy to arrest you for obstruction of justice. I can already see the headlines. ‘IA top watch-dog brought up on federal charges’. Because the media are funny that way. They hear the word ‘fed’ and start drooling. And imagine the front-page snapshot. A man of your age and stature led by the handcuffs by little, tiny me.” She blinked coyly up at him. “Please, give me the satisfaction.”

He sputtered, but after a few poisonous glares, Captain Vincent Fryer turned on his heel and left without another word.

Danny clapped, Kono and Chin joined him, while Steve, working his trademark pose with his arms crossed over his chest, looked at her with an emotion Reena was afraid to analyze too closely.

“Some things never change,” he murmured with a soft smile.

“So now we just need their records,” Kono said.

When four pair of eyes looked at her expectantly, Reena grinned. “Why not go through official channels on this one? I’ll call the governor.”

Was it her imagination, or did a dark cloud pass over Steve’s expression. It was quick and he turned back to the screens, so she couldn’t be sure. Maybe it had been a trick of light, she mused as she stepped into his office for some privacy as she rang her brother.

Steve stared unseeingly at the data in front of him, as he took a deep breath, counted to ten, then slowly released it. One mention of him and he almost ruined everything he’s accomplished today.

“The commissioner went home for the day,” Reena announced, casting a surreptitious glance at Steve. He didn’t look angry, so she must have been hallucinating. It was probably because of the sun and the heat. “We’ll get the investigation file tomorrow.”

“I hope that’s not a problem, being Saturday and all.” She looked at Danny. “Or do you have Grace this weekend?”

Danny blinked at the question. “No, I don’t. How did you—Never mind, you know everything.”

She grinned. “Not everything, but most of it. You made a beautiful baby girl, Detective.”

“Thanks. I had help.”

“So,” she started again, “tomorrow?”

The others nodded.

“Sure.”

“No problem.”

“Okay.”

“Great.” She took a few minutes to gather her laptop, helmet, and leather jacket. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

The Five-0s looked at each other. It was Friday, usually the end of their work week, the night when they all unwound together over dinner and beers. They’ve made plans of going to dinner together, as they did every Friday, and it would’ve been rude not to invite the newest member of their team. Sure, Steve apart, they didn’t know Sabrina that well, yet, but she’s blended marvelously with them today, and she has blown the case wide open. And what better way than to get to know someone than mingle in a social, non-work-related setting.

Three tiny nods later, Steve called after her, “Do you have plans for tonight?”

Reena turned. “Not really, why?”

“We’ll go grab some dinner. Want to join us?”

She’s been accepted. “Sure.” She lifted her computer bag. “Do you mind if I leave this in your car until later?”

“Go ahead.”

She put on her jacket, and then followed them to the car park. “Lead the way.”




Hilton Hawaiian Village

Steve and Danny found themselves at their regular table for the second time that week. Only this time they weren’t alone and the conversation was much less somber. Kono and Chin competed who would tell the funniest story about one of Steve and Danny’s already-famous arguments, Danny added his own stories about their car-versations and outrageous renditions of Steve’s ‘ninja powers’ as he called them, while Steve just sat back, relaxed, digested his dinner, drank his beer, listened to music, and enjoyed the show of Sabrina Logan laughing her heart out beside him.

“And I’m not exaggerating,” Danny finished the last little anecdote.

“Oh, I know you aren’t,” Reena agreed. “I believe every word, trust me.”

Comfortable silence descended on their table as each remembered the real incident, now turned into an anecdote, with smiles and soft chuckles, while Reena wiped tears of laughter out of her eyes.

“You know,” she said, her voice wistful. “It’s great you guys are so tight. I’ve seen many task forces break under the strain of competition and rivalry. But you work as a unit, each contributing something to the team and your investigations. It was wonderful watching you work today.” She turned to Steve. “Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your team for a little while.”

He nodded, not wanting to break the charm of the evening by telling her he was just following the governor’s orders. And he especially didn’t want to dwell on that last ‘little while’ part.

“I’m just glad you fit right in,” he said simply.

“You know me, I’m adaptable.”

Kono, unable to hold on to her curiosity any longer, decided to use that as her intro. “So, how did you two meet?”

Her cousin kicked her lightly under the table and she knew she’d blown it. They might just as well call an end to the evening. Then Steve completely surprised them all by looking at Sabrina and saying, “Go ahead, you tell the story better than I do.”

Reena blinked, her mind racing. What was he up to now? “It’s a silly story.”

The other three, intrigued, leaned forward in their chairs.

“Silly ones are the best,” Danny retorted.

Steve nodded encouragingly. “Go ahead. I even promise not to correct you.”

She rolled her eyes, took a breath, and began, “Okay, one night I’m in my office, having to work late, because I had a comp-videoconference with an intelligence agency deputy chief from the other side of the globe. Finally, the guy decides to log in, and we start our meeting, when there’s a bout of static and we suddenly bump into another conversation.”

“On a secure connection,” Steve supplied.

“Yes, thank you. We were on a secure connection, so was the other party, and we suddenly listen to each other. And this was no business meeting. This guy...” She pointed at Steve, grinning like an idiot beside her. “...was having cyber-sex on a secure connection from Afghanistan.”

“It wasn’t cyber-sex,” he defended. “We were just talking.”

Reena scoffed. “She had her hand down her panties. If that isn’t cyber-sex, I don’t know what is. I’m sure she wasn’t looking for her keys down there,” she said dryly.

Steve threw his head back and roared with laughter. The other three soon joined him, leaving Reena looking at them as if they’ve gone crazy.

“Trust me, I wasn’t in the mood for laughter that day. Especially not after more static that finally cleared the connections, only to leave me staring at this guy’s surprised mug and my work-date into some bimbo’s crotch.”

They laughed harder, and she finally cracked a smile. “Turned out to be a good thing. He never trusted network connections from that day on, always flying to meetings personally.”

“Then what happened?” Kono asked.

“When the connection broke?” Reena shrugged. “This idiot wouldn’t let me off-line. We started talking and—”

“The rest is history,” Steve finished for her, one look telling Kono the inquisition was over. The subject would not be touched again.

“What he said,” Reena added and felt the phone in her pocket vibrate. The caller ID showed a private number. “Logan.” She grinned. “Hey, Keagan. Hold on a sec.” She excused herself and walked off for some privacy.

“Cyber-sex?”

Steve grinned. “If you don’t know what that is, look it up, Danny?”

“Ha-ha. You’re killing me.”

“Not yet. Give me time, though.”

They all laughed and as Danny contemplated the incredible changes in Steve’s demeanor ever since Sabrina has shown up—he apparently couldn’t stop smiling and he’s even started developing a sense of humor, Sabrina returned.

“Sorry about that.” She looked at Steve. “That was the friend I sent the video to. He also confirmed the audio could not be saved.”

“But?”

“But, his wife might be able to help. She’s a mean lip-reader. We won’t get anything on Jameson’s part, since she was turned, but your father and Wo Fat shouldn’t be a problem.”

He could kiss her. “Thanks, Reen.”

“Don’t mention it.” She clapped her hands. “Okay, guys, the next round’s on me.


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