“Is Grace excited about the luau tonight?” Kono asked Danny as they walked out of Five-O headquarters.
Danny checked his watch; he had to pick up Grace from school soon. “Oh yeah, are you kidding? It’s all she’s been talking about. Apparently, not being from Hawaii, she’s the only kid in her class who’s never been to one.”
“And you?” Steve asked, nudging his partner with his shoulder. “Are you excited for the luau?”
“Food garnished and served with pineapple, oh yeah, I can hardly contain myself,” Danny replied sarcastically. His three teammates tried – and failed – to suppress their laughter. “Laugh all you want, but it would give you pause too if you were going to be served a fruit that you had BEEN TURNED INTO!”
“Sorry, yes, absolutely it would,” Steve said, trying to reign himself in. “But to those of us who’ve never lived a day in the life of a fruit, it’s still funny.”
Danny stopped in his tracks. “What happened to all of that concern that you had not so long ago?” They stopped and turned to look at him. He shook his head and continued on, holding up a hand as he passed them. “Ya know what, never mind. It isn’t going to be so funny when you three get turned into fruit. Except to me, I’m going to laugh and say ‘I told you so’.”
“Oh come on Danny, the curse that turned you into a pineapple was some sort of ancient curse… probably the only reason that guy even knew of its existence was because tell of it was passed down through his family from generation to generation,” Steve reasoned.
“Yeah,” Chin said with one last chuckle, “most people don’t even believe stuff like that anymore. Until it happened to you, I was one of them.”
A staunch smile appeared on Danny’s lips. “Perhaps, but I have faith that this fruit infested hell hole will produce more people fruit and I only pray that it will happen to you three for laughing at me and taunting me with pineapples.”
Steve arched an eyebrow. “What do you mean ‘taunting you with pineapples’?”
“Oh don’t pretend you haven’t noticed all the pineapples scattered around here. And one in the bathroom… really?”
“Oh come on, that’s just mean you guys!” Kono said as she pushed open the doors and descended the steps leading to the parking lot, looking from Steve to Chin. “Laughing when it’s brought up is one thing, but planting pineapples around the office…”
“I didn’t plant any pineapples anywhere,” Chin said earnestly.
The three looked at Steve. “Well don’t look at me, I didn’t do it!”
“Uh huh,” Danny said, looking at him skeptically. If anyone, he knew it was probably Steve. “We gotta go pick up Grace from school, we will see you two at the luau.”
“Okay,” Kono said as they parted ways in the parking lot.
Steve made a grab for the car keys but Danny secured them in his hand and held them up. “Huh uh, not today.”
“Come on Danno, I didn’t plant any pineapples in HQ, I swear.”
Danny ignored him and slid into the driver’s seat. “Talk to me when you can prove it.”
“We’re gonna be late,” Grace said with a frown.
Danny felt the car speed up as he turned slightly in the passenger seat to look at his daughter; he shot Steve a warning look that silently said ‘not too fast, I want my daughter to arrive in one piece’ before focusing his attention on her. “Only just a tinsy little bit, but ya know what? We’ll probably only miss some guy making an opening speech for all the tourists and we’re not tourists, are we?” A small smile appeared on Grace’s lips and she shook her head. “So see, we’re really not missing anything at all, are we?”
Her smile grew wider. “I guess not.”
“’Course we’re not,” Steve added assuringly, looking at the little girl in the rearview mirror. “We’re almost there.”
When they arrived, they found that Chin and Kono were already seated and had saved them three of the best seats. “Hey Grace,” Kono greeted her with a bright smile.
“Hi Kono, hi uncle Chin,” Grace said, beaming back as she took the middle seat. Chin smiled at her, but didn’t get a chance to say anything as the main event started.
The night progressed pleasantly with Grace being invited to learn the hula dance, Danny picking the pineapple out of his food, Steve teasing Danny about the old adage of ‘you are what you eat’… or in this case ‘you eat what you were’, one of male dancers flirting with Kono, and Chin flirting with one of the female attendants.
Towards the end of the luau, Kono rejoined their little group, the dancer who had flirted with her throughout the meal and then lured her away with her. “Aww,” she said as she laid eyes on Grace, who had fallen asleep with her head on Danny’s leg, “looks like all the fun got the best of her.”
“The belly full of food helped too,” Danny added, stroking her hair adoringly.
“Who’s your friend?” Steve asked, eyeing the dancer with his naturally suspicious look.
“Oh, this is Makemae; his family has been hosting and performing at luaus since before they became a tourist thing.”
“Wow,” Chin said, genuinely impressed. “You’re from one of the old families, huh?”
Makemae smiled and nodded. “Yep, my kupunawahine says that our lineage can be traced back some of the first families on the island.”
“Kupunawahine?” Danny asked.
“It’s grandmother in Hawaiian,” Chin explained.
“Oh, well why didn’t you just say so,” Danny replied.
“Makemae!” an old woman called as she hurried towards him at a surprising pace.
“Speaking of kupunawahine,” Makemae murmured as he turned to look at the woman. “What is it kupunawahine?”
Kono shifted uncomfortably and whispered, “she doesn’t like me.”
“Don’t take it personally; it’s not that she doesn’t like you, it’s just… she had this dream once of a woman that was supposedly my soul mate and so now she only wants me to be with the girl of her dreams.” They all gave him a look of disbelief. “Yeah, exactly.”
“Makemae, the fire needs more wood!” the old woman said sternly.
“I just added wood not twenty minutes ago,” he complained.
“Wood burns fast,” she rebutted. “Now go add more wood!”
“Alright, fine.” Makemae smiled at Kono. “I’ll be back,” he said, giving his grandmother a pointed look on the last word.
The old woman frowned deeply after him before putting on a smile and looking at the group. “Did you have a good time?”
“Oh yes, Mrs. Kapa`a, we had a wonderful time,” Kono said with a smile.
The woman’s smile turned to something akin to devious. “Good, I’m glad.” From behind her back, she produced a plate containing a sliced star fruit and held it in front of Kono’s face. “For you dear.”
Kono’s smile widened; she was making the effort to be nice. “Oh, thank you Mrs. Kapa`a,” she said, taking a slice.
“That looks good,” Steve said.
“Not for you!” she said, her demeanor completely turning in an instant. Steve and Danny exchanged a surprised look.
“Eat up,” she insisted and persisted until Kono had eaten the whole thing. With a wicked smile, she hurried off without another word.
“She seems like a lovely woman,” Danny said sarcastically. “She’ll make someone the perfect cliché in-law.”
“No kidding,” Chin remarked.
Kono yawned. “Maybe we should call it a night.”
“Yeah, we need to get Gracey home,” Danny said, carefully cradling her head as he got up and then picked her up in his arms.
Makemae jogged over. “Are you leaving?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Kono said.
He made a face. “It was my grandmother, wasn’t it? She finally scared you off, didn’t she?”
Kono smiled a little. “No, not at all. She was actually quite nice just now. No, it’s just, it’s been a long day and it’s finally catching up with me.”
Makemae smiled coyly. “So, you’d have dinner with me sometime then?”
Kono gave him a small wave goodbye as they made their way up the beach to the parking lot. After saying goodnight to Steve and Danny, Kono handed the keys to her car to Chin. “You drive. Take me home.”
Chin stared at the keys. “If I take you home, who’s going to take me home?”
“You can take the car and pick me up in the morning.”
Chin shrugged. “Alright.”
On the way home, Kono drifted in and out of sleep, fighting it as best as she could because waking up out of a dead sleep to get ready to go to bed was always a drag.
“You’re home cuz,” Chin said as he pulled in the drive.
Kono smiled. “Thanks,” she said sleepily as she opened the door.
“No problem.” Chin watched her stumble up to her door, retrieve the spare house key and waited until she was inside before pulling out of the drive.
Chin pulled into Kono’s drive at precicely the time that she normally picked him up and honked the car horn. After a couple of minutes with no sign of his cousin, he turned off the car, got out and went to knock on the door. “Kono?” No response. He looked through the keys on her keyring, found the house key and let himself in. “Kono, come on, we’re going to be late to work!” Still no response.
Everything looked normal, there were no signs of a break in or anything that might be cause for concern. Chin cautiously opened Kono’s bedroom door, hoping that he wasn’t disturbing her in the middle of something. Again, Kono was nowhere in sight and everything looked normal, except… the bed looked as though it had been slept in and then hastily made. But Kono didn’t make her bed on a daily basis, she always left the covers folded back, ready to crawl back into.
Chin carefully approached the bed, took hold of the covers and pulled them back. In the bed was Kono’s sleep shirt and a star fruit. Chin quickly pulled out his cell phone and called Steve. “It’s happened again. Kono’s a star fruit.”
“Alright, we’re here,” Danny called as they entered the house, “and we brought Makemae and his… grandma.” He suppressed the urge to call her crazy or anything else that might pop to mind.
“In here!” Chin called back.
Makemae caught sight of the star fruit lying on the bed. “Kupunawahine, what did you do?!” The old woman stood in dignified silence.
“Mrs. Kana`a, I know that you don’t want Kono to be with your son, but that’s no reason to turn her into a star fruit,” Chin said, trying to keep his calm.
“Turn her back kupunawahine,” Makemae demanded.
“Kupunawahine,” he said in a warning tone.
Steve stepped forwards. “Mrs. Kana`a, you need to turn her back or else I’m afraid we’re going to have to arrest you.”
“On what charge?” she said smugly. “Cursing someone? A charge like that hasn’t been recognized for centuries.”
“Ma’am, we’re Five-O, do you know what that means?” Steve asked. She simply stared at him.
“It means we could arrest you for breathing to much air and it would fly,” Danny supplied, uncomfortable with the general situation.
“Kupunawahine, don’t be stupid,” Makemae begged. “It’s not like she’d ever go out with me after this anyways!”
She seemed to find validity in this. “Fine, but if I ever catch you two together again, it’s back to being a star fruit for her and she’ll stay that way,” she looked at Steve and Danny, “jail time or not!” She closed her eyes and spoke something in Hawaiian that even Chin didn’t seem to understand.
They all watched and waited, but, aside from the star fruit quivering a bit, nothing happened. “It didn’t work,” Danny said.
“Oh, it will,” she assured them, “it’s working as we speak. You might want to give her some privacy, she might fill that shirt back out or she might end up on top of it.”
Upon hearing that, they all exited to the living room to wait. Within minutes, the door opened and a very pale Kono cautiously stepped out. Steve, Danny and Chin all breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Makemae stood and cautiously walked towards her. “You alright?” Kono nodded. “I’m sorry for what my grandmother’s done.”
“It’s okay,” Kono said quietly. “She just want’s the best for you.”
“Not that she knows what that is.” Makemae stared at her for a few more moments before turning and walking over to where his grandmother sat. “Come on kupunawahine, let’s go,” he said unhappily. With one last small wave from him, they left.
Chin crossed over to his cousin and cupped her upper arms. “Are you really okay?”
“Yeah,” she replied with a nod. “But it’s going to be a while before I can eat star fruit again.”
Danny grinned. “Welcome to the club.”