/ / / Prologue / / /
“Hey shortie,” Danny said with a grin when he answered the phone. Steve flicked his eyes over not used to that nickname for Gracie even though that was definitely Danny’s Gracie tone. “What!”
Danny waved Steve’s worried question off.
“When? I’ll get the next flight home. Are you sure? Of course. I can come home for it. Oh, okay. Shortie, I’m sorry. Yeah. Love you too. See you then. Call me if you need anything regardless of the time. Yeah of course, say hello for me. Love you too, bye.”
Danny tucked his phone back into his pocket. “Take me back to mine okay?”
“But?” Steve pointed at his driveway.
Steve nodded and turned the car around. “What’s wrong?”
“I really don’t want to talk about it right now.” Danny said his entire body language shut down in a way Steve had never seen before.
“Okay,” Steve drove them silently back towards Danny’s little apartment, halfway there Danny’s phone rang again but Steve recognised this ringtone as his mother’s.
“Hey Ma. Yeah she called. I know. Of course she can. It’s probably good for her to get away. No Ma I am happy to. Ma. Ma. Ma! God dammit Ma! Sorry Ma. I know Ma. Look I shouldn’t have said it. Right. Ma I will look after her. Of course. Ma.” Danny laughed. “Okay Ma love you too.”
Danny dropped the phone into his lap and let his head drop back onto the chair closing his eyes and swearing softly.
“Danny,” Steve said trying for a gentle tone. “What’s going on?”
Danny sighed. “I really just can’t okay. Leave it; I will talk to you after the weekend okay?”
Steve nodded and pulled up in front of Danny’s apartment building. He sat back and watched Danny get out of the car and move towards his apartment, something in the two phone calls had ruined his good mood. They had caught the men responsible for their latest murder and Steve had mostly followed common sense rules to get them there so they were supposed to go back to his place for beer and steak. They would have had too much to drink, Danny would have found something to watch they could argue about and then would have fallen asleep on Steve’s couch. Steve sighed and drove home alone instead. He threw the steak into the freezer grabbing his boardies and going down for a night swim instead.
/ / / One / / /
On Monday Danny called Kono and told her he wasn’t coming in. He wasn’t at home when Steve dropped by to check up on him. Danny didn’t answer his phone but sent a message afterwards telling Steve he was fine using the signoff that signalled to Steve he wasn’t being held and forced to send the message. Steve called Kono and asked her to trace Danny’s location, it spoke to the history of his team that Kono didn’t make a comment just traced it as soon as Steve had asked even knowing that Danny wasn’t in trouble.
A few minutes later when Steve was halfway to Five-0 headquarters Kono called him back to tell him that Danny was at the airport. Steve remembered the phone call yesterday, an offer to get the next flight home.
“Kono, can you see if Danny is booked onto a flight home to Jersey?”
“Sure,” Kono sounded hesitant. “I am looking but Steve what’s going on?”
“I don’t know,” Steve admitted.
“There is no flight to Jersey until tonight, and there is no Daniel Williams on it. But there is a Molly Williams on a flight from Jersey landing in an hour.”
“Oh,” Steve swore softly. “I’ll be in soon then,” Steve wondered why Danny wouldn’t have told him his sister was coming to see him. He remembered Danny talking about Molly; she was a chef in New York, a year younger than Danny and his favourite sibling though she travelled a lot working in restaurants around the world.”
“And we shall pretend it never happened.” Kono said before hanging up and Steve put his indicator on to go and get her Cocoa Puffs before he went into work to buy some silence.
/ / / \ \ \
Danny paced at the arrivals gate, the flight had landed but coming from the mainland there would be some delays Molly would need to go though so he knew he would be waiting. He hadn’t been able to convince himself to stay at home after the call to Kono knowing Steve was going to appear at his apartment the moment that she let him know about the call. He’d spent the weekend with Grace; he’d explained everything to Rachel and Grace was spending Tuesday with him as well this week so he had a day to look after Molly before he had to worry about dealing with work or Grace. Grace had been so excited about her Aunty Molly coming to visit that he had had trouble getting her to stop pouting when he and Rachel said she couldn’t come to the airport to help pick her up.
Danny ignored Steve’s phone call but sent a message back reassuring him he was okay. He figured it would send him off to Chin and Kono for more information and maybe give him another hour before SuperSEAL invaded his life but none of this was his story to tell and regardless of how close his team was he didn’t want to talk about it all at the moment.
Half an hour later Molly walked through the gate and into his arms, she smelled of recycled air and sweat but she clutched him close and buried her head in his neck.
“Hey shortie,” Danny whispered into her ear.
Molly pulled back, pulled herself up to her full height and glared at him. “Shortie?”
Molly smiled and grabbed his arm to tug him towards the baggage claim.
“So not working today?”
“No,” Danny said snagging a trolley; he assumed she hadn’t learned to pack any lighter in the last year and a bit. “Though at some point my partner Steve will track us down and demand answers.”
“You didn’t tell him?”
“No,” Danny took a deep breath. “I didn’t want to say anything until I knew more, not really anyone else’s business.”
“Yeah, but this is Steve we are talking about. The way you talk about him he’s a friend, almost like family so I thought you’d tell him.”
“The second I told him he’d get all uncomfortable. He’s not bad at the comfort when something is going to hell in a hand basket, like when that arsehole carjacked Gracie but this type of thing leaves him uncomfortable and I didn’t want to deal with him trying to make things better when I was dealing with my own stuff.”
Molly nodded, she looked tired and worn out but determined and Danny couldn’t help but notice how much she looked like their mum, a giant in comparison but their mum anyway.
“So, what are we looking for?”
“I’ll spot it, you get it off,” she said. “He would have tried to make things better?”
“He’s fucking Action Man, he doesn’t know how to be idle he only knows how to do things to help out and this isn’t a do things situation.”
“He is going to be annoyed when he finds out you didn’t tell him something like this.”
“He doesn’t get to be annoyed, he will find out tomorrow when I will have to go into work and leave you to play on the beach and that is a fine amount of time for him to have to wait.”
“Wait? That one with the green strap.”
Danny grabbed it. “He was in the car when I got your call, and Ma’s. Jesus Molly this weighs a tonne.”
“It does not you little wimp, he was in the car and you didn’t tell him what was happening?”
“No, just asked him to take me home.”
“What? I called in the evening. Were you on a date, have you finally asked him out?”
“My God you are almost as bad as Ma with the meddling. He’s my partner we cracked a huge case so we were at his place celebrating and he’d picked me up that morning so we were driving back together.”
Molly’s face fell and Danny wished he could have kept the happy look for just a little while longer before the deeply etched sorrow came back. “You should have told him.”
“I wanted to be alone.”
“And you think I’m like Ma, I tell you big brother you are Ma with the talking and the hand gestures and the bottling up the big stuff while you ramble on and on about the stuff that you don’t really care about.”
“Any more bags Molly?”
“Yeah, that one there with the orange strap.”
Danny grabbed the bag and lugged it over to rest on top of her other bag.
“Any more Imelda?”
“No,” she smiled at him but he could see how fragile she was under the happiness to see him and he wanted to get her to his apartment already so she could relax.
“My apartment isn’t much but it’s much cheaper than a hotel room. We will be set upon later without a doubt; they probably already know that someone with the last name Williams flew in.”
Molly let him push the cart and slid an arm through his. “It will be fine, Danny are they stalking you?”
Danny laughed. “No, but you remember how Ma had every mother in the neighbourhood as part of her intricate network of people keeping an eye on us when we were little? And she’d keep an eye on any kid she saw around, and it was annoying but kept us all safe and she knew the moment I fell off of Josh’s roof and was there before the ambulance?” Danny paused and watched Molly carefully but she just smiled tightly and nodded.
“That was how you all found out about me and Josh; I thought you were going to kill him.”
“I was,” Danny said putting her bags into his car and opening the door for her. “Shouldn’t have kissed you without asking my permission first.”
Molly laughed. “I was seventeen and kissed him because he would never have done anything to me even though he’d been giving me puppy eyes for a year.”
“Harlot.” Molly laughed loudly and Danny smiled at the sound.
“Anyway, so Ma and the rest of the town was protective and loving and did it with our best interests at heart. My team is more nosy than Mrs Mazur who lived at the end of the street. When I called in to tell them I wasn’t coming in Steve called and then would have had them trace my mobile and found out where I was and then Steve would have checked to see if I was going home at which point Chin or Kono would have found your information.”
Molly was still laughing. “Oh God could you imagine if Ma ever learned how to do any of that stuff?”
“I live in fear of her developing skill with the internet,” Danny said with a smile. “You hungry or anything? I have food at home but I can get you something.”
“I just want to dump my stuff and go to the beach.”
Danny groaned. “Of course you do, pain in my arse.”
“Sand isn’t the devil’s handiwork Danny.”
“I don’t believe that, but I have the perfect beach it’s not too crowded and we can get some shave ice. You’ll like Kamekona, and he will love you.”
“Ex-sumo you were telling me about?”
“Yeah,” Danny smiled.
He took Molly back to his apartment put her bags in the lounge room, she dug out her bathers and a sun dress and disappeared. When she came back and saw him still wearing his jeans and polo shirt she rolled her eyes and demanded he get changed. Danny groaned but went and grabbed his boardies and a t-shirt before collecting some beach towels and sunscreen. When he walked into his lounge room Molly was cutting sandwiches and grabbing water from the fridge for them both.
“Lunch,” Molly said. “You can buy me shave ice for desert.”
Danny nodded and followed her out of the house, he wanted to talk to her but he didn’t want to push so he’d just follow along until she was ready. They went to the beach near Kamekona’s shave ice stand. They found a spot to leave their stuff and Molly poked and prodded until Danny finally took his shirt off, lathered himself with sunscreen, glaring at her until she did as well. While she was busy he sent a quick text message to Chin telling him that his sister was in town and he’d be in to work tomorrow morning; Chin with his surrounding wall of calm would probably be the best bet for the entire team not to be sitting on his towel when they came out of the water. Molly smiled at him when he checked the time to ensure they had waited the right amount of time and he nodded standing and leading her down into the water.
“The Jersey shore isn’t this good,” Molly said swimming out and around enjoying herself.
“If I agree with you, you can never tell Steve I said anything.”
“I cannot wait to meet him,” Molly said with a smile.
Danny rolled his eyes. “This is not going to go well for me.”
“Probably not,” Molly admitted swimming away and enjoying the sun.
They spent a long time in the water not talking just enjoying the sun and the water and the company of family they hadn’t seen in over a year. Danny finally dragged her out of the water and pushed her onto her towel to dig out the sandwiches she’d made.
“How on earth did you make ham and salad taste this good?” Danny asked devouring the sandwich.
“Years of training all over the world,” Molly said with a smile.
“Did I ever tell you, you are my absolute favourite sibling?”
“Only once when I lied to mum for you when you were sixteen and wanted to break curfew for your date with Mary Jane Gerber,” Molly said.
Danny laughed. He looked over towards Kamekona’s and saw that the man was still staring at them pointedly allowing the rest of his staff to serve customers. “Do you want shave ice?”
“Not yet,” Molly said throwing her sundress back on and stretching out in the sunlight. “After I’ve dried off.”
“More sunscreen please,” Danny said throwing his top back on and applying more sunscreen to his legs, arms and face.
“You do realise I am an adult and can take care of myself.”
“Shortie, doesn’t matter how old you are I am always going to look after you. And you do realise that Bob Marley died of melanoma right?”
“Hand it over,” Molly took the sunscreen and started applying it not commenting on the fact it came out pink.
“Seriously, I don’t care what I have to do to make Grace want to put it on every two hours,” Danny said reading her face.
Molly leaned over and hugged him tight burying her head in his neck again. “I love you Danny, thank you.”
Danny held her tight while she collected herself and then pulled away.
“Later okay?” she said and he nodded with a small smile.
She laid back out and put her sunglasses on resting in the sun. Danny stretched out next to her and stared up at the few clouds in the sky keeping an eye on her out of the corner of his eye while she rested. He would need to buy an umbrella like everyone else on this little island if she intended to do this every day. He never had before because he always took Grace home as soon as they were done swimming and when they did linger it was normally at Steve’s where there was plenty of natural shade.