“The only person, who stood by me through all of it, was you.”
Chin’s words echo in her head long after she’s closed the door on him, when she lies in her messy bed, naked to the waist and unable to sleep. The breeze from the open window brings the ever-present sigh of the ocean and Kono tries to match her breathing to its rhythm.
She remembers those first weeks after Chin’s suspension; the haggard look on his face, the bitterness that she now sees in the mirror. Kono had visited him every day. In the beginning just sharing space, both of them quiet and worn as Chin refused to talk about it, refused food or drinks, unwilling to even leave the house. She remembers too the frantic, desperate need she’d had to help, to do something, anything, to make it better.
After Malia left, she’d been furious, had wanted to tear her apart for doing that to Chin. How could she, when he loved her; treated her like the most precious thing in the world? If Kono’d had that she would’ve never let it go.
Except... it looks like she has to, now.
The room is dark and the night pressing against her bare skin feels oppressive, suffocating. Slowly, Kono curls her hands into fists, digging nails into her palms until the urge to pick up the phone and call him, just to hear his voice, eases.
She wants to talk to Chin so badly, aches with the need to explain what she’s doing, why she’s doing it; for the team, for him.
It won’t be long until the sympathy in his eyes will turn into suspicion, but Kono cannot risk telling him the truth. No matter how much the thought of Chin looking at her with distrust, with disappointment, kills her.
Eventually, the dawn spills in through the curtains, chasing away the shadows and strengthening her resolve.