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hanu i waho

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"Everyone's safe?" Malia murmured drowsily when Chin slipped into bed beside her.

"Sorry," he whispered, pressing a kiss to the tangle of her sleep-mussed curls, "didn't mean to wake you up." He'd been as quiet as he could, but while moving in together and getting married had been relatively quick and painless, the kinds of hours that a doctor and a cop tended to keep made unpacking a much slower process. Boxes of Malia's stuff were still stacked around the bedroom, and at two in the morning, navigating around them inevitably required hesitant, noisy shuffling if you didn't want a stubbed toe.

"It's okay," she said, sounding a little more awake. "Mrs Ichioka had complications and we had to bring her back into surgery. I didn't get home til almost one." Malia tucked herself in against his side, and Chin closed his eyes for a moment. It had been a long, hard day—having to hear, refracted through phone calls and old video footage, the sharpest parts of a friend's pain; having to rescue a little kid from being taped to a chair in a storage unit—that left him feeling bruised, slow. Malia's hair tickled pleasantly against his cheek, and her toes were warm against his calves. Chin knew it was blind luck that had brought her back to him, not anything he'd deserved, and at times like this, his heart was so grateful for the comfort she brought him that it made his breath catch.

Chin wrapped an arm around her, rubbed his hand in slow circles on her back, the way he knew she liked. "Yeah," he said, "we got Grace back safe. Stan's staying in overnight for observation, and Peterson's in custody."

"Likelihood of me having to prescribe blood pressure medication for Danny tomorrow?"

"Pretty high," Chin said dryly. In the dim safety of their bedroom, he exhaled slowly, thinking of his fear at what might happen if they weren't quick enough to find Grace, of how many times more magnified that fear must have been for Danny and Rachel. He remembered how it had felt to kneel on the rough asphalt, sweat soaking his shirt, the explosive collar tight around his neck and panic clear in the eyes of his teammates. Since he'd joined Five-0, it had become easier for Chin to accept that letting himself have a family didn't have to mean that he'd be hurt—that he'd hurt others—but on days like today, all the old fears came flooding back.

As if Malia could sense what he was thinking, she pressed a kiss to his shoulder and said, "You found her, ipo."

"Yeah," Chin said, trying not to think of the hunted look in Danny's eyes: how close he'd come to being destroyed. "Yeah, we did." For Hawai'i, the night was cool, and he tugged the comforter closer around them.

"And she's okay."

Despite himself, Chin smiled, and tightened his arms around her. "You are not a subtle woman."

"Don't have to be, when I'm telling the truth," Malia said. She pulled back a little, just enough so that she could look him in the eye. Her expression was kind, but utterly serious. "Things are going to suck for a while, Chin, and it's going to take some time for everyone to find their footing again, but you did good." She poked him lightly in the chest with the tip of her finger. "The bad stuff that happens isn't what says anything about you—it's what you do after that counts, and you always make it count."

"Yes, ma'am," Chin said, reaching out to tuck a stray curl behind her ear.

"Pfft," Malia said, leaning in and kissing him, sweet and sharp, before putting her head back down on his chest and yawning. "Don't ma'am me. You know I'm right. And you know you're going to make a good dad, because if we were ever in the same situation that the Williamses were in today, you'd do the exact same thing for your kid, no questions asked."

Chin jerked in shock, eyes widening as he stared up at the ceiling. He opened his mouth to say something, even if his brain didn't yet know what that something was, but before he could speak, Malia patted him on the chest. "Not right now, silly. But in a little bit. You'll be a good dad."

He stayed awake for a long time after, but when Chin's breathing evened out to match Malia's, by the time he finally let himself rest, he was smiling.