As soon as Kono got home, she took a shower. The hot spray against her back was the best thing she’d felt all day. Only wave time would have been more perfect, but she was too sacked out to even pick up her board. She was definitely gonna take some beach hours tomorrow. She’d earned it.
After almost ten minutes under the pounding water, it finally felt like the sweat and cigar smoke and everything else about that place had almost been washed away. Kono breathed in the steamy air for just a moment more. There was a call she had to make.
The black dress was still crumpled on her bedroom floor. She left it there.
Her burn phone was good until tomorrow. The briefly-visiting haole who'd provided it, introduced to Kono through an untraceable source, wouldn’t hear from her again. Using the same supplier twice would be an obvious mistake. Kono punched in a number.
It didn't take long for somebody to cheerfully and politely answer. Kono didn't bother to mask her tiredness as she replied.
“Katrina Mills for room 445.”
There were a few silent moments. Then Jenna came on.
“He bought it so far.” I think/hope
There was a pause, like Jenna knew what Kono was thinking but hadn't said. Kono closed her eyes, and a huge part of her relaxed for the first time in days. Her every word was being scrutinized right now – by HPD, by IA, by Frank Delano, by Chin. To know that she was understood, even though she couldn't say everything and that that was okay too, was a luxury.
She lay back on the couch and took a deep breath. That was another luxury. The whole situation was suffocating, like she was trapped underwater and no matter how hard she kicked, she stayed under.
“Fine.” Jenna's tone was forcefully polite. There was a world of meaning in that. She sounded like Kono felt. “I'm still working on the same case.”
Still working for Wo Fat, and still working on bringing him down. Jenna was walking a razor's edge, but she refused to back off. She did whatever Wo Fat told her to, knowing that it meant he could implicate her in a dozen crimes later if he wanted. She did it to keep those she cared about safe. But she was also still secretly trying to work out what his endgame was.
Kono hated it. They were both stuck, sinking in quicksand. It was only a matter of time.
Jenna cleared her throat – she hated it too. “What's he like?”
The emphasis was clear. Frank Delano. Kono's expression twisted into something way more eloquent than words could communicate. She tried anyway. “Reptilian. Smart.”
Jenna knew what that meant. Wo Fat was definitely going to want Delano and his group of dirty cops dealt with - they were taking too much without Wo Fat’s permission. So Kono would have to go in deep, because Delano had his eye on her now. That could mean a lot of things. It could mean that Kono might struggle to get out again afterward. Jenna knew that too. She'd read the same files as Kono.
“As smart as.....”
“Steve and Danny?”
“Still pretending everything's fine after Danny almost left with his ex-wife and Steve was in prison.”
Kono could sense Jenna's smile, that small affectionate one that slipped out when she was comfortable enough to let it show. Kono pressed a fist to her heart. They both needed more of these moments. Because Wo Fat wasn't just smart. He was a chess-master, with so many strategies and plans that it was almost impossible to see everything that he had in play and what he planned to do with it all. It was the 'almost' that kept them going.
Steve wasn't a chess-master. He'd probably just sweep all the game pieces off the board.
Kono squeezed her fist harder. Chin was a rock in H5-0's rushing tide, and the haole profiler wouldn't have a foothold yet, it didn't matter how good she was. The team needed help. But she was boxed in. She was under a lot of microscopes, and she'd already found bugs in her house and car. She had no privacy, no safehouse. No way out.
Just like Jenna. And like Jenna, she’d keep on doing it because it kept her ohana safe.
She missed Jenna unclenching her fist.
It could all be Wo Fat's plan – the new governor, Agent Weston, Delano. They could all be working for him, or they could all be oblivious that he was using them for his own ends. Wo Fat specialized in secretly and seamlessly linking separate pieces up into his own cohesive whole. If Kono or Jenna put a foot out of line, everything they valued could crumble.
The silence between Kono and Jenna didn’t break. That was more than fine. It was comfortable and it was safe – the only thing in Kono’s life that was right now. The words were there anyway, they just weren't being said out loud.
Kono closed her eyes again. She needed a vacation.
Wo Fat probably had spies on the mainland. Kono's jaw tensed. There had to be a way to get out from under the microscopes, even for just a weekend. In Hawaii, all she was doing was constantly and purposefully hurting her family and friends so that somebody else wouldn’t.
There was only so much more she could take.
And the IA investigation had to be completely untangled – what was Fryer’s beef? And the new Governor still wasn't completely vetted by Jenna, neither was Agent Weston. Nothing could ever be taken for granted again, not while Wo Fat was pulling the strings.
Kono took in a deep breath. Tomorrow both of their phone numbers would change. Jenna would do whatever Wo Fat asked her to and Kono would hang out some more with Delano’s crew, because if she lost that spot, who knew how Wo Fat would punish her for her failure?
Everything here would stay the same. Until somebody she loved died, or until she and Jenna somehow found a way to end it all. The former looked more likely every day.
She could hear Jenna's breathing, and the typing that was an almost constant background to Jenna's world. Kono smiled. She missed hearing that in person.
She could feel Jenna smiling, a tiny bit, back. Kono's fist started to loosen.
She fell asleep on the couch, the phone balanced against her ear – a skill perfected through a lot of recent practice. She dreamed of huge beautiful waves and the caress of water on her skin. She woke up to the sound of typing loud in her ears, even though Jenna had hung up hours ago.