“I told you we needed to wait.”
“No! Five minutes, Steven… five minutes! Chin and Kono would have gotten to the dock, and we wouldn’t be tied up on the deck of this damned boat in the middle of the ocean!”
“They would have gotten away. Besides, we aren’t that far away from shore.”
“Oh, is that supposed to make me feel better? We may not be that far from shore, but have you missed the fact that our hands are tied behind out backs, and our ankles are tied? How there hell are we supposed to swim when they finally throw us overboard? Huh?!”
Steve opened his mouth to speak but stopped short when two of the goons that had captured them walked over.
“This is the end of the line for you two. Time for a swim.”
They bent down and manhandled Steve and Danny up until they were standing. They both tried to fight, but were greatly hindered by their restraints.
“Whoa, hey! You don’t have to do this.” Danny was starting to panic inwardly. He was doing his best to hide it though.
The goons didn’t say anything, just moved them over to the railing running along the side of the boat.
Danny and Steve shared a look, neither of them saying anything, but neither of them needing to.
Danny hit the water awkwardly, and he went under quickly. He had taken a breath before he was pushed, but the impact of the water stunned him and he lost some of the air he had reserved. As he had feared, he was unable to maneuver himself because of the restraints. He panicked, and it wasn’t long before his lungs were screaming for air. Grace… Steve…
Steve knew he could hold his breath for a long time, but that did little to calm his mind as he hit the water. He had tried to keep an eye on Danny, but as soon as he hit the water, he’d lost sight of him. He knew that he had to try and get his hands undone, but no matter how hard he fought, they wouldn’t budge. He tried to calm himself, but all he could think about was Danny, and Grace. Danny…
Chin and Kono arrived at the dock moments after the boat carrying Steve and Danny had pulled away. HPD was right behind them.
Chin pulled out his tablet computer and started a trace on Steve’s phone.
“Chin, I’ve got us a boat.”
“Good, I’ve got Steve. Let’s go.”
Chin, Kono, and four HPD officers boarded the boat, and Chin steered them out to sea.
“Chin! I just lost the signal!”
“Damnit! We’re still a few minutes away.” He hoped they wouldn’t be too late.
Kono was the first to see the other boat. It was sitting still, and she could see three men on the deck looking over the side. One of them must have seen the new boat arrive, because they suddenly took off.
Chin turned to one of the cops that was with them. “Radio back to the dock, and tell them to get the Coast Guard out to search for that boat.”
“Kono, I think they’re in the water.”
Chin stopped the boat in nearly the same position the other boat had been in, and turned off the engine. They all went to the side and looked over.
Kono was the first to see what looked like something light blue under the surface of the water.
“There,” she pointed at the light patch of water.
Both she and Chin were in the water soon after. Kono dove down and knew immediately that the patch of light blue she had seen was Danny’s shirt. He was floating a few feet below the surface, unmoving. She pushed that fact to the back of her mind and swam down to him. She put her left arm around his chest and pulled him up to her. She then kicked with all she had and rose quickly to the surface. She made sure his head was above the water, but it was awkward with his hands tied behind his back. She looked around, but didn’t see Chin, or Steve.
It took Chin a few times before he finally spotted Steve. He was floating about six feet below the surface of the water. Chin swam down to him and looped his arm under one of Steve’s and pulled him to the surface. He pulled Steve’s head up out of the water and then looked around to find the boat. He spotted it just as Danny was being pulled aboard. He swam over and Steve was pulled from his arms and onto the boat.
By the time the cousins climbed the ladder back onto the boat. The four officers had already cut the restraints and were working on reviving both men.
“Oh God, Chin…” Kono was stunned. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
Before Chin could reply, Danny took a stuttering breath and started to choke and expel the water that was in his lungs. The officer that had been performing CPR turned him on his side to help.
Kono and Chin dropped to their knees next to him and Kono began to run his back in an attempt to sooth him. All-the-while, they watched as Steve continued to lay there motionless as the officers continued CPR on him.
After a few moments, Danny began to get his breathing under control, and his vision started to clear. The last thing he remembered was being in the water and panicking as his air ran out. He started to struggle against the hands that were holding him in place. When they wouldn’t let up he tried to speak. “Steve…” It came out quiet and breathless.
“Danny, hey. Don’t try to talk, just relax. You’re okay.”
As if he’d heard his name, Steve took a gasping breath and coughed violently as the water came up from his lungs. Like with Danny, the officer turned him on his side to aid him in expelling the water.
Danny reached out toward Steve. Steve had yet to open his eyes, but his breathing was clearing slightly, and the coughing had become less violent. Not long after, Steve blinked his eyes open slowly. He didn’t say anything, but he found Danny and they stared into each other’s eyes, unblinking. A smile formed on both of their faces shortly before they both closed their eyes again.
Chin and Kono both sighed in relief. Their friends, their ohana, would be okay.
“I am never going into the ocean again.”
“Oh come on, Danny…”
“No, I’m not going to, and there is nothing you can do or say that will change…”
Danny was interrupted by the door opening. Chin and Kono walked into their hospital room, followed by Grace.
“Danno! Uncle Steve! You’re awake!”
She ran excitedly toward Danny’s bed.
“Are you going to be okay, Daddy?”
“Of course I am. We’re just waiting for the doctor to come and tell us we can go.”
“Mommy said I could come over and stay with you this weekend.”
“Oh, she did?”
“Uh huh... can we go swimming while I’m there? Please, Danno!”
Danny’s mouth gaped, but he couldn’t find any words.
“Yeah, Danno, can we go swimming?” Steve looked over at him with a gleam in his eye and a goofy grin on his face.
Danny glared at him.
Chin and Kono both looked at him, amusement written all over their faces. The whole situation had been anything but funny, but true-to-form, Steve had broken the ice spectacularly.
Danny crossed his arms over his chest. “None of you are funny.”
“It was a little funny,” Steve said.
“I hate you.”
“No, you don’t, Danno. You love Uncle Steve. You say it all the time.”
Danny couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face. He bent down and lifted Grace up onto the bed and hugged her.
He looked over at Steve as he said, “Yeah, I do love the big goof.”
“I love you too, Danny.”
They shared another look, not unlike the one they’d shared on the boat before the whole ordeal happened. This time, though, it meant so much more.