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The Definitions of Family

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Throughout his life, Steve had defined family in many different ways. There was, of course, the family that he was born into. His father, mother, and sister; the grandfather he never met, but was named after. That family no longer existed, and hadn’t for a long time. Sure, his sister Mary was still alive, but he only got to see her a few times a year.

After losing his first family, the Navy took its place. Steve gave his all and it was his everything. When he became a SEAL, he became part of an elite ‘family’. They were a close knit group of brothers and they had each other’s backs. They would always be there, in a sense.

Everything changed on one fateful day in September of 2010.

Steve had never expected to return to Hawaii for an extended period of time. Of course, he’d been there off and on through the years, but not for any prolonged length, opting to get out of there as quickly as he could. The memories were too raw and distracting.

He ended up finding a very unlikely family upon his return home.

It didn’t take long for Steve to realize that Five-0 had become more than just a government task force. They had become more than friends; they had become family… ohana. Danny and Chin were the brothers he never had, and Kono was a new little sister (of course, he’d never call her that to her face). He loved Grace like she was his own daughter.

The four of them had been through thick and thin, nearly losing each other, but always coming together in the end. Steve didn’t know what he’d do if he ever lost one or more of them. They’d become his life, more so than any of his other ‘families’ ever had been.

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Looking back, Steve knew it hadn’t been the best way of going about things. He had taken off, leaving Danny a letter, and then not kept in contact. He hated not answering the phone, but there was no way he would endanger his family. Danny was a little more than pissed off about the whole thing.

So, Steve had agreed to talk to Danny before he took off again, if he ever took off again. He just didn’t expect for it to happen so soon.

Steve dialed Danny’s number, but it rang and rang before going to voicemail.

“Danny… I really don’t want to do this over voicemail, but I told you that I’d talk to you before leaving again, so, here goes. Joe, uh, he’s taking me to Shelburne. All I know is that we’re headed back to Japan, but he won’t tell me anything else. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, but I’ll keep you in the loop this time. I’m sorry, gotta go. I’ll call as soon as I know what’s going on. Bye.”

He hung up the phone and hung his head. He hated abandoning his family again, but at least this time, he’d finally have the answers he’d been pursuing for so long.

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“Mom?”

Steve was in shock. He couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that he was staring at his mother, who had supposedly died when he was 15. Her death had been the catalyst that had destroyed his childhood and set his current life in motion. He didn’t know what to do. His fight or flight instincts kicked in, but he couldn’t move.

“Steve, honey, it’s me.”

He opened his mouth, but no words came.

Doris McGarrett stepped toward her son and wrapped her arms around him. It didn’t take long for him to come out of his stupor. His first reaction was to try pulling away. He struggled weakly, but she held on like her life depended on it.

“Stevie.”

That one word was Steve’s undoing. He stopped struggling and relaxed into his mother’s arms. He put his arms around her and laid his head on her shoulder. He felt like he was a kid again. Everything else in the world disappeared and it was just the two of them. All that mattered at that one moment in time was that his mother was alive.

For the first time in a long time, memories of his childhood flooded his mind, and it brought a tear to his eye, and a smile to his face. He knew he needed explanations for what his mother had done, but he held on to the hope that maybe his first family wasn’t completely lost after all.