Doctor Andy Yablonski was never surprised to be called into work on a Saturday. Organs became available when people died, and they had to be procured and transplanted quickly. With his hands and talent, he could have had a cushy 9 to 5 medical practice performing cosmetic surgeries on rich women, but his goal had always been to save lives in the most significant way possible. If his profession required giving up his weekends, so be it.
He was surprised to be grabbed by his coat and pushed into a medical supply closet on his way across the hospital. If he'd still been in his teens, when he'd been in the habit of engaging in regular brawls, he would have decked the guy immediately. Years of working in the hospital made him repress his instinctive desire. Hitting an angry patient or a member of a patient's family never helped a tense situation, so he waited to see what the guy would do first.
The guy pulled his head down and kissed him. Passionately, with lots of tongue, his fingers spreading through Andy's short hair. It was a very good kiss, and Andy relaxed into it, slumping to accommodate that the guy was at least five inches shorter. Andy was a rock star as a surgeon, but his love life had been pretty much in the toilet since his wife had gotten tired of his profession's demands. Unfortunately, it wasn't a long kiss, the guy making an impact and then releasing Andy's lips to murmur against them. "Thank you, babe, thank you so much. I am so sorry how things worked out. Well, not completely sorry, because Aunt Sarah's going to get her heart finally, but sorry that it's messed everything else up and I promise we will deal with telling everyone the truth as soon as she's out of the woods, okay?"
The guy dropped down on his heels, smiled in apparent satisfaction at Andy's befuddled state, and gave his ass a fond pat. "I promise, babe." Then he walked out, leaving Andy to stare at the door as it swung shut.
As soon as Andy changed out of his weekend clothes and into the blue-gray scrubs he wore around the hospital, he saw his mysterious blond again, because 'Aunt Sarah,' was Sarah Williams, the woman who'd been called to come into the hospital as a perfect heart for her was finally available after a wait that had become perilously long. There were a significant number of people in the room with Sarah, most of them talking. Andy was accustomed to analyzing family interactions, identifying this as a loving but boisterous one, and hoping they'd have a firm matriarch or patriarch who would keep them under control.
He paused just inside the doorway, smiling in a reassuring fashion, which usually made people stop talking and focus on him. He was the doctor, come to save their beloved family member, and he had to admit the deference was pleasantly satisfying. This time no one reacted to his presence. "I'm Doctor Andy Yablonski," he said.
The blond gave him a cranky look, not nearly as appealing as his kiss. "Don't fool around, Steve."
Steve? "I'm going to be doing Mrs. Williams' surgery today."
Sarah waved a hand at him. "That's who you look like! You look like Steve. I told you Steve looked like someone," she said to her nephew.
He and Steve must look a hell of a lot alike, if the nephew had kissed him in mistake. Then the others in the room, one by one, stopped speaking and turned to gape at him. And something behind him.
"Steve?" the blond said with a certain amount of confusion in his voice.
Andy turned to look at the doorway, and there stood… himself. Wearing a dark jacket and jeans, similar to what he'd been wearing when he walked into the hospital. He'd heard of everyone having a double, but he'd never expected to meet his own. The guy looked as gobsmacked as Andy felt. Then what seemed like everyone in the room started talking, exclamations of "Oh my god" and "Can you believe it" and "You didn't us your boss had a twin" and Andy swung back around to face them all.
"This," he said, waving between himself and the guy standing in the doorway, "is interesting but not immediately relevant. We have a heart arriving and I need to have a last consultation with my patient. Mr. Williams, you can stay if Mrs. Williams would like you to. I'm going to have to ask the rest of you to leave."
And thankfully there was a patriarch, and a man who resembled Mr. Williams enough that he was probably his brother, and presumably the father of the blond, hustled everyone out, even as the talking and exclaiming continued. Andy took a moment to grab his double's jacket. "Will you be around after the surgery? I want to talk to you."
"I'll be here," the guy said, before holding out his hand. "I'm Steve McGarrett."
"Andrew Yablonski." Andy accepted his hand, shook it. His brother's hand? How could such a physical resemblance be accidental? Later, he reminded himself. Later. He had a life to save.
Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett thought he was extremely accustomed to handling surprises. He'd been trained by the Navy to be combat ready, to anticipate enemy moves, to react instinctively, a skill he'd honed all over the world until the last year, when he'd settled in Hawaii. His entire adult life had been spent never knowing what dangers he might face that day, first enemies of the country and now criminals.
Nothing had prepared him to meet his double at a hospital in Pittsburgh.
He pulled out his phone, remembered that he was in a hospital which might have rules against the use of cell phones, and tucked it back away. "I'm going outside to call Chin."
"I'll come with you," Danny said. "So do you have any idea who that guy is?"
"No. No idea."
"Because I gotta say, he looks identical to you. Absolutely identical. Well, he may not have all the body art and I would be surprised if his abs are as perfectly ripped, but otherwise identical."
"What's going on, Danny?" Danny's father demanded. Danny and his dad looked and sounded a lot alike, more than Danny and Matt had, but that was only a strong family resemblance, not this freaky twin thing.
"I don't know, Dad. You guys go to the waiting room. We're going to call Chin and get him researching, see if he can find out."
"I'll still be night in Hawaii, honey. You shouldn't call there yet," Danny's mother said, resting one hand on her son's forearm. The Williams touched often and talked more, and Steve was looking forward to being accepted as a member of their family. At one time in his life, he'd thought the Navy was his family, but since losing his father, he realized having only a sister could be lonely. He wanted to be embraced by the noisy Williams clan, as soon as he and Danny found a time to tell them that they were a couple. The news of Sarah finally receiving a heart had come almost as soon as he and Danny had arrived in New Jersey, and everyone had simply piled into cars to drive to Pittsburgh, to support her and Uncle Harry. Steve understood priorities; he would wait.
"It's okay, Mom. Chin won't mind. You guys go to the waiting room. We'll be back soon."
Danny's dad hustled the family away, and Steve and Danny took the elevator downstairs. Chin was indeed asleep, but after the first muzzy, "Hello?" his voice snapped to wakefulness as Steve explained the situation. "A twin?"
"Swear to God, Chin. He looks just like me. It's unnerving. His name is Andrew Yablonski and he works as a heart transplant surgeon at Three Rivers in Pittsburgh. There should be a profile page on the hospital's website that'll give you his background."
"I'm on it, boss. I'll call you as soon as I have something."
Few people outside of the medical profession understood why Andy found being a surgeon so compelling. The amount of knowledge and studying he'd undertaken had been daunting, the hours were long and exhausting, and the dedicated attention he had to pay during each surgery was physically and mentally taxing. The costs were worth it, because nothing was more exhilarating than walking into a waiting room and announcing to a patient's family that he'd pulled off another miracle, cheated death once again, all on behalf of their loved one.
Still, five hours on his feet also left him starving, so he was relieved when Mr. Williams said, "My nephew and Steve went to the cafeteria. They needed to make calls. They said they wanted to talk to you. I can send one of the kids to get them." He'd turned toward his grandkids, but Andy interrupted.
"I'm starving. I'll go find them."
He got a plate of food first, before seeing them at a table close to the door, talking intently, a note pad full of scribbles between them. "It looks like you two have been busy." He sat down and started cutting up his dinner, trying to pace his eating so he wouldn't wolf it down.
"I think we're brothers," Steve said, which didn't surprise Andy. Surgery didn't allow time for daydreaming, but he'd thought about the two of them as much as he could, and being relatives was the only thing that explained the striking coincidence of their appearance.
"We can do DNA testing here at the hospital to confirm. The question is how?"
"Your parents were likely the biological parents," Steve said dispassionately, and Andy had to appreciate his calm. They'd dealt with this circumstance at the hospital a number of times, people who believed they were related until they tried to donate organs, and the tests revealed otherwise, but it had to be a world changer to learn that the people who raised you had lied. And unfortunate that it wasn't the other way, as Andy would have preferred different parents than the ones he'd known. Of course, his brother, his *twin,* might feel the same way. Had the McGarretts been loving parents? "Neither of us was born at the hospital, but you were examined within a few hours of birth and given a birth certificate by the hospital," Steve continued. "My mother gave birth at home and a midwife turned in the certification two days later."
"You've looked up my birth records?" Andy said, taken aback by the ease with which Steve had done research on his background. Hospital records shouldn't be available to total strangers. He'd thought they would discuss possibilities of what might have happened, not have Steve lay out the entire history. "Can we back up a moment? Who are you anyway?"
Steve gave the blond a helpless look, like explaining himself was more than he could handle.
"You have to forgive my partner. He occasionally gets ahead of himself in his need to get things done. I'm Detective Danny Williams, and Steve is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves. We both work in Honolulu as part of a Governor's task force called Five-O. We're cops, which is how we can access this information, though one of the other task force members has been doing most of the heavy lifting. He's back at headquarters with the nifty computers; we've just got the annoying phones," he added, waving his iPhone.
"So you think my – our – mother had twins and just handed one away?"
"We don't know for certain that's what happened or if it is, what made her give up one twin. We do know that you had an uncle and an aunt, Janusz and Anna Yablonski, who died in a car accident the day after your birth. Janusz was a beat cop. Within a few days, John and Anne McGarrett and their newborn son Steve moved to Honolulu, where John joined the police force.
"We hit a lot of dead ends researching John and Anne McGarrett's early life. We know John supposedly had a grandfather who died at Pearl Harbor. We think maybe someone used him as a convenient name."
"I always thought I had a grandfather who was a hero." Steve's gaze was distant, his life and perceptions of himself torn to shreds, and Andy contemplated how difficult this must be for him, and how different from his own background. His – Steve's biological family – had been mostly drunks and criminals. He'd never had any family heroes to revere. Or lose.
"We hit a lot of dead people, which is a convenient way to build a history. Even the midwife who turned in the certificate for Steve's birth," Danny squinted at the notepaper, "Martha Gorski, she died a few years ago of a stroke."
"You know her?"
"She was a friend of my Uncle Mike's."
"Uncle Mike is still alive, right? Tell me he is still alive," Danny implored, putting his hands together in a prayer position, "because we would like some sort of break in this case."
"Yes, he's still alive. He's not the most reliable person though." Andy shoveled in the last of his food. "A DNA test will be more conclusive."
"A DNA test will be the proof, but it won't explain what happened," Steve said, flipping the notebook shut. "Let's do the test and then talk to Uncle Mike. Do you know where we can find him?"
"He'll be at his favorite bar. Saturday night is for drinking."
Steve loved being in the military. He'd thrived during his four years at Annapolis, studying and training, reveling in the dedication to keeping his body fit, to learning hand-to-hand combat and the use and handling of weapons, military strategy and intelligence tactics. Life as a SEAL and then in Naval Intelligence was dangerous and exhausting, but Steve had relished the belief that he was doing something special to defend his nation. Being willing to die or kill for his country had been bred in his bones, a legacy of his grandfather's death at Pearl Harbor. Or the man he'd been told was his grandfather.
Steve strolled into the bar, pausing to let his eyes adapt to the dim lighting. At least smoking was banned, so there wasn't any stench of tobacco, just alcohol and cheap perfume. Uncle Mike's favorite bar wasn't exactly high-class.
He saw Uncle Mike at a table in the back, taking a moment to steady his breath, because the man was almost identical in looks to his father. The lines of his face were more ingrained, like he'd had a harder life, his hair styled differently, but Jesus, there was no doubt that John McGarrett was related to Mike Yablonski. "Uncle Mike."
"Andy," Uncle Mike said, leaning back a little to look up at him, cementing how identical he and Andy looked. He'd insisted on tackling Mike first, as if recognition by another family member would confirm what his own eyes and the DNA tests had already proved. "I didn't expect to see you again."
"I was thinking about the old days." Steve dropped to sit in the other side of the booth, making himself at home.
"I thought you didn't want to be reminded of the old days."
"The old days I don't remember, when I was born."
Mike looked cagey. He might facially resemble John McGarrett, but Steve guessed they had very different thought processes. John had been an adamant believer in the law, not a petty criminal. "That was a long time ago. Why are you interested in it now?"
"Doctors work at hospitals, don't they? Life, death. You were there when I was born, weren't you? At the hospital."
"Yeah, sure. You were my brother's kid."
"I thought I was born at home."
"Yeah, sure, that's right. You were born at home, not the hospital. Martha was your midwife, you remember her? Good woman."
"Did everything go okay with the birth?"
Mike's shrug was careless. "What could have gone wrong? Your mom cried and screamed a lot, but women always do that."
Steve felt the tension in him snapping, and exploded, lunging toward Mike, grabbing his shirt by the lapels, dragging him halfway across the table. "Do you even know how to tell the truth?"
"Steve!" Danny's voice was sharp, but it didn't make Steve release Mike. He could hear people making exclamations, as Danny and Andy rushed into the bar. "Let him go, Steve."
He delayed until Danny and Andy reached them, until he saw Mike give a shocked glance between him and Andy. Then he shoved Mike back into the booth. "So is there anything you want to tell us now, Uncle Mikey?"
"Jesus. They did do it. I knew both twins survived, I knew it. And Janusz? My brother? How is he?"
The sudden hunger in Mike's face almost made Steve feel sorry for him. Whatever had gone down, Mike had lost a brother too. But he stifled his sympathy, remembering Andy's warning on the drive over that Mike could be manipulative. "My father John McGarrett was killed by a gunrunner last year."
"Jesus," Mike whispered again, his sorrow appearing genuine.
"My mother Anne McGarrett was killed in a car accident in 1992." No need to get into the fact that she'd been killed by a car bomb, or to mention his sister Mary. Adopted sister, he mentally corrected himself. Was Mary the biological daughter of John and Anne McGarrett, or had she been procured too? It wasn't surprising now that they'd never looked like siblings.
"I always wondered if they were really dead, but to know they weren't - " Mike rubbed his eyes with the back of one hand, like trying to stifle tears, as Andy sat in the booth next to Steve. Danny stayed standing by the booth, crossing his arms.
"What happened?" Andy asked, his voice hard.
"Janusz was a cop. He was always the good one of us kids. His wife Anna, she was having trouble conceiving. And then your mom got pregnant with twins, but Elijah knew they couldn't afford two kids. Hell, they couldn't afford one. Elijah used to joke about splitting the twins, giving one to Janusz. But then Janusz got into some trouble. I never knew the details except that he'd antagonized some of the local mob guys. They didn't like him being so dedicated to his job. Then you two were born at home, only one of you was supposedly stillborn and the next day, Janusz and Anna were killed in a car crash. I always thought it was too coincidental. I tried to get Martha to tell me the truth, but she wouldn't. She swore you were born stillborn."
"That's all you know?" Andy questioned his uncle again, his tone still sounding like he had reason to doubt him.
"Yeah, it all happened pretty fast." He snapped his fingers. "Like that. Like someone was making things happen."
"You never talked to anyone about this? Followed up to find out more?" Danny waved his hands in disbelief. "You lose a nephew, a brother and a sister-in-law in two days and you didn't question it?"
"Of course I didn't question it," Mike answered crossly. "I've been in prison, Andy knows that. Janusz got on the wrong side of the mob, because he was a do-gooder. The fact that he got his wife killed too wasn't surprising. And babies die all the time, especially those not born in a hospital. I wondered about the coincidence, but I didn't take it beyond talking to Martha."
Andy slid out of the booth, and stood. "Why didn't you ever tell me about this?"
"Why bother with telling you about people who were dead before you could talk? They were gone. It didn't matter."
Sliding out too, Steve figured they hadn't done too badly. At least they knew the reason why he and Andy were separated. They were have to do more investigating though, because a beat cop must have had help arranging the faked car crash and creating the new identities.
"Hey, you guys just leaving? You should stay and have a beer. I've got another nephew now."
Mike's jovialness was disconcerting, but Steve looked at Andy, letting him take the lead.
"You lied to me all my life. All my life."
"Kid, there wasn't any reason to tell you. Why should you know you had a brother who died? What would that have gotten you?"
But Andy was already turning away, disappointment on his face.
"Hey, there was one odd thing around that time." Andy stopped, looking back at his uncle. "I saw a guy with Janusz a couple of times. He stood out, because he was Asian. I didn't think Janusz knew any Asians."
Steve exchanged a startled glance with Danny. It couldn't be Wo Fat; he wouldn't have been old enough. "Did you get a name?"
"Just one name. Kelly. I thought it was funny, an Asian guy having an Irish name."
After the revelations from his uncle, the pinging of his phone was almost a relief as they stepped outside the bar. Andy pulled it out, reading the text, appreciating the normalcy of the act. "It's just an update on your aunt. She's continuing to do well."
"Good." Danny shoved his hands into his coat pockets. "So you think this Kelly is related to Chin?" he asked Steve. "Chin Ho Kelly is one of our task force members," he added to Andy. "He was Steve's Dad's partner on the Honolulu Police Department."
"Must be. I remember one of Chin's uncles did some work for the FBI, translating, research on Asian gangs, that kind of thing. Maybe Janusz and Anna were relocated as part of the federal witness protection program. It would be easy for Chin's uncle to help them move to the islands, and then he could have watched over them."
"They're not Janusz and Anna," Danny said. "They're still John and Anne McGarrett, your parents."
"Andy and I are really brothers," Steve said, with an uncompromising expression on his face as if he was going to face reality, no matter what anyone said. "But my parents weren't my parents. They were my aunt and uncle. I don't even know if my sister is their daughter. Maybe they found her somewhere too."
"Hey." Andy put a hand on Steve's shoulder, squeezing. "Family is what you make it. Steve and Anne McGarrett were your parents, and if you miss them, well." He took a strangled breath, hating to admit what his childhood had been like. "You got the better side of the deal, frankly. I don't miss having family because I've never missed my own." He wished he could sugarcoat the past, pretend that their parents had been ideal, but Steve didn't seem like the kind of guy who'd appreciate lies.
Steve curled one hand around Andy's wrist, and it was weird to see his own face looking sympathetically at him. "I'm sorry. I'd like to hear about them, even if they weren't good parents."
"Look, we should find some better place to talk," Danny suggested, and he was right. Andy had grown up in Washington Heights before he'd escaped to university, and the neighborhood hadn't improved since his departure. If they kept standing on the sidewalk in front of a bar, they'd be propositioned by a hooker or a drug dealer soon.
"I rent a hotel room by the hospital and I've got cold beer in the refrigerator."
Steve and Danny gave each other one of their silent looks. Andy knew from Danny's kiss that the two were more than partners, but he would have guessed anyway from the non-verbal communication. Jealousy swept him for a moment at the way the two men seemed to have a better understanding of each other than he and Rena had ever achieved, then he suppressed it. His marriage was irretrievably broken, but he could still be happy that his brother had found a partner to love.
"Let's go," Steve said.
This entire day had blindsided Steve. He'd thought it had been bad enough to learn that his mother had been killed by a car bomb and not in an accident, and that both his parents' deaths had been orchestrated by Wo Fat, but now to learn that they weren't his parents at all?
He was grateful for the comfort of a beer bottle and a table covered with unhealthy appetizers ordered from the hotel's room service, as well as the noise and passion of Danny's family, who'd somehow ended up following them after they'd made a brief visit to the hospital.
His brother obviously did well as a surgeon. The hotel room he rented was a luxury suite, with a small kitchen and living room with a high-def widescreen television. Danny's nieces and nephews were lying on the floor in front of the TV, debating which xbox game they would play when they were finally allowed, while Danny's parents and uncle were comfortable on the couch and armchair, leaving Danny, he and his brother, and Danny's sisters squeezed around the kitchen table.
Everyone was talking about everything, it seemed. Amazing over the events of the day, planning family gatherings when Aunt Sarah was well enough to enjoy them, sharing stories of their lives. Steve sat between Danny and Andy, for once not ribbing Danny about the amount of calories he was consuming, instead enjoying that his partner was eating as enthusiastically as he was talking. Danny's energy, even when it was cranky, always buoyed his own spirits.
"But this is great that Steve has a brother. You can be his best man," Amy enthused at Andy.
"He can what?" Danny yelped.
"Well you two are going to get married in New Jersey, aren't you? Yeah okay, it's only a civil union, not a real marriage like it ought to be, but it'll be easier for you to fly Grace and Steve's sister out here than for all of us to go to Hawaii."
"I want to go to Hawaii!" one of Danny's nephews called from the living room, a sentiment which was loudly shared by several others.
"I don't know if he'd want me to be his best man. It sounds like you're close to this Chin guy." Andy gave Steve a smile, a teasing one, and it felt weird but nice, like they truly were siblings, not just two guys who'd barely met. His brother seemed like a genuinely nice person, someone who would step forward if Steve needed a best man, but who'd also willingly bow out without complaint.
"Is everyone assuming Steve and I came out here to announce our engagement?" Danny asked, getting several loud exclamations of "Yes!" as an answer. "Oh, well, I guess it's good that we did then." He beamed at his family before kissing Steve, which earned them an vigorous round of catcalls.
Steve cupped Danny's cheek, kissing him back, feeling the warmth and approval surrounding them, his brother's side pressing against his own. Andy was right. Family was what you made it, and he had Danny and the Williams clan, Kono, Chin, and Mary, and now Andy. His family; his ohana.ETA: Epilogue, as requested by whittyrabbit
Danny had never been a man to contemplate fate or destiny much, but pulling off his tie, watching Steve begin undressing, he had to admit that today's coincidences were pretty amazing and fabulous. His poor aunt had been struggling for months, waiting for a heart. That her surgery was performed by Steve's unknown and long-lost twin was like an actual miracle or one of those sappy yet heartwarming movies his mom loved.
"We should have insisted he keep the bed," Steve said, yanking off his socks, giving one of his constipation looks at the thought of Andy sleeping on the couch bed.
"He was right. He's more likely to get called out in the middle of the night."
The evening had ended with several rounds of Guitar Hero and much amazement from the grandkids when Danny's parents took a turn, rocking with the best of them. Then luggage was collected from the car, and the concierge got all the Williams settled into other rooms in the hotel, rooms for which Danny suspected the bill would never appear, to be added to Andy's monthly tab, but he figured that argument was better handled later.
Steve made a disgruntled sound in response, not liking to concede when someone else won an argument, even his own brother.
"Hey, at the hospital earlier..."
"Did I push you into a supply closet and kiss you?" He was pretty sure now that he'd kissed Andy, if nothing else because Steve was more handsy when given a chance for a fast smooch.
Pausing in the act of taking off his shirt, Steve stared at Danny. "Did you introduce yourself to my brother by *kissing* him?"
"Um, maybe? It's not my fault, babe. He really does look exactly like you. And you were both wearing dark jackets and jeans. I'm not used to seeing you in a reasonable amount of clothes."
Steve tossed his shirt to the floor, exposing his lovely abs and fascinating tattoos. His tendency to shirtlessness had been disconcerting when they'd first started working together, but it was a sight Danny always appreciated. "Does he kiss like me?"
"Not just like you, no. He was sorta...passive mostly. I think I surprised him."
Advancing on Danny, Steve pinned his hands to the door on each side of his head. "Just so you're clear on how I kiss, I'm not passive," he growled, before claiming Danny's lips.
Danny would have wholeheartedly agreed, except his lips were too engaged to talk.
~ the end ~