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Kono had been given a choice, which really wasn't a choice at all. She knew she had to do it as soon as the words had left Fryer's mouth.

“You work this case, or we will open investigations on the rest of Five-0. You do this, and it all goes away.”

It had both been the easiest and the hardest decision she’d ever had to make. Easy, because she’d do anything to protect her team, her ohana. Hard, because it meant misleading those same people; the people she trusted with her life, and in turn trusted her.

In her head, she knew it was all an elaborate ruse, but her heart ached. She had to cut ties; make everyone believe she was dirty, a disgrace.

The hardest thing for her was trying to keep it a secret. Every time Chin had come to see her, back when she had first lost her badge, it took all her willpower to play the part and not tell him what was really going on. She hated it, but again, she had no choice.

She ignored her phone. It had been hard at first, especially when someone from her family called, or the few times Danny had called in the beginning. Slowly, the calls tapered off. That was almost worse.

The longer she stayed undercover, the harder it was to separate herself from the role. It also became easier for her to forget about her ohana. It wasn’t like they were making it hard. The only person who’d come to see her and even attempted to talk to her was Chin. She had betrayed him, and yet he still found the time to come around. She never made it easy for him. She hoped he would just give up and leave her alone.

On the other hand, she wanted to know why no one else had made an effort to see how she was. She was doing everything for them. It hurt more than she could say. She hated that it actually helped in making her role believable. Delano had questioned her more than once. It was easy for her to say that Five-0 didn’t care what happened to her anymore. She was no longer one of them.

It wasn’t long before everything started to fall apart. She had known it would only be a matter of time before Five-0 crossed paths with the band of dirty ex-cops. It actually surprised her that it hadn’t happened sooner.

The look on Danny’s face had nearly broken her. She had done that to him. Steve’s wasn’t much better. The most telling part was when he had told the new girl, Lori, to cuff her. He couldn’t do it himself, and he wouldn’t force Danny to do it either.

She wanted to scream back at Steve; ask him why he hadn’t bothered to check up on her. Instead she looked away, telling him she couldn’t tell him what was going on. She tried not to flinch when he slammed the chair on the ground. Then Chin had come in and tried talking to her. She did the same, her heart breaking as she tried pushing them away even more.

Then the truth came out. She already knew she was being used, but not all the details. At that point, though, it didn’t matter. She had to finish what she had started.

It felt so strange to be back in Five-0 Headquarters. She still wasn’t back, and she oddly didn’t feel like she belonged anymore. It hurt more than anything else that had happened. The people she had done everything for had seemingly moved on without her.

After everything was over, and they’d all walked away from the scene together, Kono asked Chin to just drop her off at home.

“I just need some time, okay. Please.”

“Yeah, okay.”

She was glad he hadn’t pushed. She didn’t know what she was feeling, and she wasn’t sure she could put it into words quite yet. Once she was home and alone, she sank down on her bed and cried herself to sleep. If anyone asked, she’d tell them it was from the pain from the wound in her arm.

She woke late the next morning. She felt relieved that the undercover assignment was over, but she had never felt more alone than she did at that moment. Like she had been used and then thrown away. Like she didn’t matter anymore.

Shortly after 10am, there was a knock on her door. She’d expected it to be Chin. When she opened the door, Danny was standing there. She stood there quietly, not knowing what to say or do.

“Can I come in?”

“Would it matter if I said no?”

“No, it wouldn’t.”

“Fine, come in.”

She moved aside and let him walk into the small house. She closed the door behind him and then walked over to the sofa and sat down. Danny followed and sat down beside her.

“How are you doing?”

“I’m fine.”

“You sound about as believable as Steve.”

She rolled her eyes. “Why are you here, Danny?”

“You took off really quick yesterday. I was worried…”

“You were worried. You sure have a funny way of showing it.”

The look of shock on Danny’s face was almost laughable to her. She stood and glared down at him.

“If you were so worried about me, where were you for the past month, huh? Where was Steve?”

Danny stood up and held his hands up in surrender. “Kono… calm down… give me a chance…”

“A chance?” She yelled, almost in tears. “You’ve had plenty of chances to reach out to me.”

The words were spilling out before she even had a chance to think. She hated how she felt, but she couldn’t help it. She didn’t know, and she needed to.

Danny reached out to her. She wanted to run, but she couldn’t.

“Kono… I’m sorry. I know it’s not enough, and I wouldn’t blame you for not accepting it as an apology. We’ve had a lot to deal with… I know it’s not an excuse. I should have tried harder…”

“Danny, just… stop…” She sank back down onto the sofa and put her head in her hands.

Danny sat down slowly and put his arm across her shoulders. She leaned into him.

“I did this for you, for him. I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t let them go after the rest of you.” She paused to take a steadying breath. “He used me, and for what? I don’t even know. I mean, yeah, I saved Trisha, but three other people died. What for, some vendetta?”

“Hey, babe… it was a bad situation all around. Fryer is an asshole. You shouldn’t have been put in that situation, and for that I’m sorry… You really need to talk to Steve. He needs to know how you feel, and it can’t come from me.”

She let out a pained chuckle. “Yeah, I know.”

Danny put his hand on Kono’s chin and turned her face toward him. “Hey, it’s okay. It’s over.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I also came to tell you that Steve is working on getting you reinstated in Five-0. If Fryer stays true to his word, you should be back within the week.”

She nodded. “I need some time.”

“You do what you need to. Go surf, or whatever.”

She smiled.

“Well, I’ll leave you to it. Are we okay?”

“Not yet, but we will be.”

“That’s all I ask. I really am sorry.”

“I know. Mahalo.”

“For what?”

“For letting me yell at you. I needed it.”

“Anytime.”

They both stood and walked to the door. He turned and hugged her. This time she hugged him back.

After he left, she sat back down on the sofa. She knew she had to talk to Steve. It would be hard, but as Danny pointed out, it had to be done. She needed to clear the air with everyone before she could return to Five-0.

Before she could do that, though, she had to talk to her parents. She just hoped that conversation would be easier.