Crash and Burn - Chapter 16: Pa'ina

Waikiki beach, one week later

Kamekona has graciously, after a few well-placed threats and even more well-placed bribes, agreed to close his shaved-ice hop for the day and let Danny use it as party HQ for his daughter’s birthday celebration.

While the owner of the establishment served as nothing more than a smiling ornament, doing nothing but occasionally directing people to where they could get more of his shaved ice, Danny served as entertainment, Kono as waitress, Chin as child-herder, and Steve as BBQ master.

“I wonder where Sabrina is,” Danny commented as he stopped by the grill for a swallow of beer.

The Five-0s have officially taken their newest member into their fold, which meant birthday party invitations on days off and the likes.

“She’ll be here,” Steve replied. When, was another question. There was something bothering her, he knew, and he suspected it had a lot to do with his father’s case, yet she kept mum. And after asking her a few times, always receiving the same non-answer, he’s decided to drop the subject. For now. She couldn’t keep her silence forever, and he knew, when she had something solid, and pertinent to the case, she’d come to him. He only hoped she’d give him the entire story.

“Hey, big guy!” Sabrina’s voice drifted across the beach.

Danny and Steve turned just in time to see her balance a large, aluminum-foil-covered tray in her left hand, as she gave Kamekona a high-five with her right.

Danny whistled softly between his teeth. “Wow. When she loses the uniform, she loses the uniform.”

“Stop staring,” Steve growled.

Danny grinned. There sure was plenty to stare at with Sabrina wearing just a white, tight-fitting tank top, cropped shorts, and black flip-flops. And judging by the look on Steve’s face, his partner more than agreed.

“I will, if you stop drooling,” he whispered conspiratorially. “Do you need a bib?”

That earned him a one-armed shove, that, though friendly, made him stagger back.

“Whoa there, Detective.” Sabrina laughed as she came closer. “Is everything all right?”

“He got rid of the tie,” Steve explained. “It’s messing with his balance.”

“I see.” She took Steve’s beer, took a swallow. “Ooh, I needed that. Thanks.” She supported the tray she still carried with both hands and looked at Danny. “I didn’t know what to get the birthday girl, so I went with the failsafe.” She pushed the tray into Danny’s hands and took off the foil.

The tray was filled with two layers of cute little cupcakes in different colors with matching sprinkles.

Danny’s mouth watered. He loved cupcakes and Grace had certainly inherited his gene. “Where did you get these?” he asked. He planned of visiting the bakery that made such beauties regularly from now on.

“I made them.” She slapped Steve’s fingers away. “Don’t touch. They’re desert.”

He grinned. “I’m hungry.”

“Eat a burger.”

“They’re not ready yet.”

She blinked innocently up at him. “What? Big, tough SEAL like you afraid of nibbling on raw meat.”

He could tell her what he’d like to nibble on, but refrained, merely winked and turned back to tending the grill.

When Reena noticed Danny eying the cupcakes, she took the tray from him, put it on the nearby table and covered it again. “This tray is off limits. Trespassers will be subject to severe bodily harm.” She glared at both of them. “Understood?”

Before they could object, a little voice intruded. “Uncle Steve, are the burgers ready yet?”

Reena arched her eyebrows. Uncle Steve? When did the big, tough SEAL turn into an ‘uncle’ softie? Then she looked down into the expectant face of a little girl with her daddy’s eyes and instantly had her answer.

“Hi,” she said, crouching. “You must be Grace. I’ve heard so much about you.” Well, technically that wasn’t true. She’s read much about Grace Williams, not heard, but who cared about semantics. “I’m Sabrina.”

The little girl smiled. “Daddy told me about you. But you don’t look like Xena.”

Danny chuckled, blushing as he looked at Sabrina. “I said you fight like Xena.”

“Thanks, I guess.” She smiled at Grace. “And your daddy told me you like gymnastics?”

An exuberant nod.

“Maybe you can show me some moves. But first, happy birthday.” She stood, uncovered her cupcake try and offered it to Grace. “Pick one.”

As his daughter decided, Danny sent a hurt look toward Sabrina. “Why can she have one?”

“It’s her birthday.” She could’ve sworn she heard him mumble that the world wasn’t fair, but her phone chirped at the same time. It was a text message from her brother. And it wasn’t good news.

“Sabrina!” Grace called her, a pink cupcake in her hand. “Come meet my friends!”

She slipped the phone back into her pocket and smiled. “I’m right behind you.” When the girl ran to join her friends on the sand, Reena turned to the two men. “Weiss and Reeves are dead. Prison fight.”

“Delano didn’t want them to talk,” Steve murmured.

“Exactly,” she agreed. “Fryer isn’t pleased, but that’s hardly news. Roth and Liwai weren’t as much of a liability. They’re safely behind bars where they belong. ” Grace called her again, and she smiled. “If you gentlemen will excuse me, I have friends to make. Don’t touch those cupcakes! And Steve,” she ran toward the group of girls, throwing the words over her shoulder, “try and make those burgers before the next birthday.”

The party was in full swing, with burgers, hot dogs, French fries, shaved ice, cupcakes, and soft drinks galore. Steve was showing kids how to fly a kite, Chin was giving them rides on his bike, Danny was juggling, Kono made balloon animals, and Sabrina taught those patient enough some easy yoga positions. Her new bestest friend in the world, Grace Williams, naturally wanted to see the standing split positions her daddy, whom she inexplicably sometimes called Danno, but Reena didn’t want to pry, had told her about.

She was rescued by the cake-bearers, in the form of a long-haired beauty and her square-jawed companion, which turned out to be Grace’s mother and step-father, Rachel and Stan.

“Hello,” the woman greeted with a pronounced British accent. “I’m Grace’s mother, Rachel.”

“Hi, Sabrina Logan.”

“Oh.” Rachel looked at her ex-husband. “She doesn’t look like Xena.”

“I said she fights like Xena, and how would you know that?”

“Grace told me.” She then, in true Brit fashion went into full-hostess mode, by introducing her husband, and cutting and passing around the cake.

Reena looked from Danny to Rachel and back. There were definitely undercurrents there. Unresolved issues, deeply buried feelings, and a truck-load of frustration. And a baby on the way, if the protective way Rachel Edwards occasionally touched her belly was any indication. And loads of frustration connected to the baby as well, since Danny kept giving the evil eye to his replacement and sending longing looks at Rachel’s tummy.

Steve caught her gaze, shook his head slightly, and she nodded minutely. She wouldn’t pry, but she wasn’t blind.

“Anything?” he asked her when they were left at the fringe of the partying group.

She didn’t have to be psychic to know what he was asking. “I heard from Keagan this morning. Irene, his wife, is almost done. She’ll write it all down and send it to me. And I’ll,” she added, before he could fully open his mouth to speak, “forward it to you immediately.”


She rolled her eyes. “You have nothing to thank me for. It’s the least I can do.”

She left in search of the cake before he could ask her why, and before she succumbed to the urge to tell him.

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