The man trudging wearily down Kalakaua Avenue looked much like any other homeless person in Honolulu. His dirty clothes, the slippers that looked too small for his feet, the messy beard and the greasy and tangled mass of blonde hair on his head would never point to a detective from New Jersey, part of the Governor's Task Force.
The dirt covering Danny's hair and clothes also did a good job of covering dried bloodstains at the side of his face and on his side. He was limping slowly, not really focused on his surroundings, not looking very concerned about his current state.
The truth was that Danny was not having a very good week. Three days ago he had woken up under some kind of pier, wrapped around a pole, coughing up water. He had had enough energy to drag himself away from the water and collapse in an exhausted heap, hidden from the eyes of people at the beach by the structure looming over his head. He had woken up some hours later to a terrible headache, numerous aches and pains all over his body, cold that made him shiver from head to toe and no memory of how he had gotten to his current situation. Most distressing of all, he couldn't remember himself. He couldn't remember his name, where he was or even the day's date. His mind was a huge blank, and everything and everyone around him were strangers.
He had spent the better part of two days wandering aimlessly. He didn't have any shoes, no id, and no money. His appearance and the coughing lags that plagued him from time to time made the tourists move away from him, and he was too scared to approach anyone that may help him.
At some point the pain on the soles of his bare feet made him snatch a pair of slippers that were lying in the beach unattended, he had been eating anything he found discarded and didn't look too bad, and he slept wherever exhaustion caught up with him, curling up by the side of a building or under a beach umbrella, his dreams plagued by a little girl in pigtails who smiled at him and told him he was loved.
Right now he was looking for something to eat. He had only managed to find a half eaten sandwich that morning, and it was now close to 6 PM. He didn't know if it was the lack of food or his head acting up again, but he was starting to feel a bit dizzy, or dizzier than he had felt during the day at least. Fortunately, he could see a truck with some tables around it nearby.
He approached cautiously, trying to see if there was anything left on some plates on the few empty tables. He found a half eaten plate of shrimp and a soda can on a table by the side of the truck. Not seeing anyone nearby, he moved quickly, intending to snatch whatever he could and move away, but a wave of dizziness forced him to sit on the bench. He closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths, and was assaulted by a coughing fit that left him panting. When he finally got his lungs under control, he straightened and got ready to tuck into the few shrimps left in front of him, but before he could even lift the fork he felt a large hand landing on his shoulder. "Now why would you eat these cold shrimp when you could have a freshly made dish for only 10 bucks?"
Danny looked up and immediately tried to move away, but the large hand on his shoulder had a very strong grip. The hand belonged to a huge bald man with a round belly and a kind smile. When Danny looked up, the giant blinked, looking surprised. "Brudda! Where you've been! McGarrett's been tearing up the island looking for you!"
If Danny heard the large man's words, he didn't acknowledged them, too busy trying to get away from the strong grip on his shoulder. Once the man released him, he bolted to his feet unsteadily. "I'm sorry, I don't have money… I gotta go…"
Before he could move away the giant appeared behind him, steering him back to the table. He pushed on his shoulder until Danny had no choice but to sit back down. "Easy, easy, brudda… You know your money's no good here at Kamekona's. You just sit tight and I'll get you your favorite, ok?"
Danny sat down tiredly, too confused by the giant's actions to attempt to escape again. Somehow he felt that he could trust the huge man with the kind smile. He wondered if he was just being nice with a stranger or if he really knew who Danny was.
Some time later, a steaming plate of shrimps and rice appeared in front of Danny and the giant sat down at his side. "What happened to you, brudda?"
Danny shook his head, moving his hand to his throbbing forehead. "Don't know…" He picked at his food, feeling suddenly nauseous. He looked up at the man sitting next to him, debating whether to ask him for help, he finally decided that it was worth the risk. "Do you know who I am?" He asked in a small voice.
Kamekona raised his eyebrows. "Do you know who you are?" He asked, in way of an answer.
Danny lowered his eyes, and with a shuddering breath he shook his head slowly. He could hear Kamekona giving a sad sigh and suddenly he felt a couple of pats on his back that almost made his head fall off his shoulders. "Don't worry bruddah… I know who you are and your ohana will be here soon to take care of you…"
Danny looked up, getting nervous. Someone was coming for him? Well, someone had hurt him and left him in a random beach, half drowned, hurting like hell and not knowing who he was, so he was not very keen on being found by whoever was looking for him. He moved away from Kamekona, standing up, but before he could bolt, he was distracted by the screeching of tires and a blue truck coming to a sudden stop nearby. The sight of three people coming out of the truck and hurrying in his direction reminded him of the fact that he was supposed to be running out of there.
He didn't make it very far before the three people that came out of the truck were surrounding him. He could see that they had badges and guns. He didn't mind the badges, but knew not to trust in them blindly. The guns were less than reassuring, but at least they were not pointing them in his direction.
They were two guys, one of them looked Asian and the other would look military if it wasn't for the scruff on his face and the exhausted look about him, and a girl, also Asian, taller than him and kind of athletic. The three of them seemed perfectly capable of taking him out without any need of their guns, which made him look more frantically for a way out.
His escape plan was interrupted by the tallest of the group moving closer to him. "Danny, it's so good to see you…"
Danny took a step away from the tall man. "Don't come closer! Who are you?" He asked, trying to keep an eye on the other two in the group.
The tall man looked baffled for a moment, but he was stopped from saying anything by the giant's voice. "I told you not to spook him, bra! Told you he was scrambled in the head!" He made his way to stand protectively in front of Danny, and Danny unconsciously moved closer to the giant man, looking for protection.
The tall man looked at the giant, and then at Danny, wincing in sympathy at what he hadn't noticed before. He lifted his hands, trying not to look threatening. "I'm sorry, Danny, I didn't mean to scare you… I'm Steve, I'm your friend, we work together and we've been looking all over the island for you…" He said, starting to move closer towards Danny.
Danny was still trying to hide behind the giant. "No! Don't come closer! You… I don't know you…" His head had started to pound and he lifted his hand to rub his forehead, making an effort to maintain his balance.
Steve stopped for a second, but soon enough started moving again. "Danno, we're just trying to help! We were worried about you…"
At the use of that name Danny gasped. "What'd you call me?"
Steve moved a little bit closer. "Danno, that's what Gracie calls you… Do you remember Gracie?"
Danny shook his head confusedly. A wet cough rocked his frame and his knees finally gave up the fight of keeping him upright. He would have hit the floor if it wasn't for Steve reaching out and lowering him carefully to the ground. "Easy, Danno… It's alright… I'm sure you remember her…" Steve said, while shifting to get something out of his pocket. He fiddled with it for a while until it lit up, showing an image of a 10 year old girl happily dragging out of the water a pink surf board.
Danny reached out, gently caressing the girl's image with his finger. "I dreamt of her… She said she loves me…" He said in a hoarse croak. He could feel himself starting to shake.
Steve tightened his hold on his friend and drew him closer, letting him rest against his chest. "She does love you, Danno, more than anything in the world…"
Danny took a shuddering breath, watching detachedly as Steve signaled something to the other Asian guy. He stifled a cough and reached out to squeeze Steve's hand, trying to catch his attention. "Do you really know who I am?" He asked, looking at Steve's eyes to judge his reaction.
Steve smiled, trying to reassure his friend. "I really know who you are, we've worked together for more than a year and I consider you one of my best friends…"
Danny apparently was convinced by his friend's statement, because he settled more comfortably against his friend's chest. He suddenly tensed when he saw an ambulance stopping nearby and two paramedics coming their way. He tried to get his legs under him, but Steve was having none of it. "Easy, Danno… They're here to help…"
Danny shook his head, unsuccessfully trying to pull away. "Just wanna go home…"
Steve wouldn't let him move away, but kept a protective arm around his shoulders. "I promise I'll bring you home as soon as we can, but they need to check you over first, ok?"
Danny relaxed minutely, muttering a quiet "ok." The approach of the paramedics made him nervous, which in turn made him breathe faster, which in turn brought a coughing fit that left him gasping for each painful breath. He could feel hands moving him to a flat surface, a cold thing being placed over his face and the prick of a needle on his arm.
He felt exhaustion taking over and decided that it was not worth it fighting this time. He allowed darkness to take over, hoping that Steve kept his promise and would help him find his home.