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One Last Breath

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Kono sat on the edge of the boat, her hands and feet tied, listening as the man with the toothpick talked on the phone. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what choice Chin had made, and she knew it was the right one. If she made it out of this in one piece, she would make sure that she told him.

As the man stood and moved toward her, she prepared herself, taking a few deep breaths through her nose. She was able to take one last breath before she was pushed backward into the water.

Her first instinct was to try to swim to the surface, but she knew it would be too difficult with her tied hands and feet, so she had to fight it. Instead she relaxed to conserve her air and energy. She then started trying to get her hands loose.

At first, Kono tried to pull her hands apart, but the ropes only tightened. So, she tried twisting them in opposite directions. Surprisingly, she could feel the ropes loosen and before long, she was able to work her hands free. She then pulled the duct tape off her mouth.

She hadn’t realized how long it had actually taken, though, and her lungs started screaming for air. Even though her feet were still tied, she didn’t have time to think about them. She had to get to the surface quickly.

No matter how hard she tried, panic was settling in and she began to struggle. No, damnit, calm down or you won’t make it, she chided herself. It didn’t make much difference though, as black spots began to show in her vision.

She looked up toward the surface and began to pull herself toward it with her arms. She dolphin kicked as well as she could with her feet, but her progress was too slow. She felt one of her hands break the surface, but it was too late. Her last conscious feeling was another hand grabbing her own.

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Kono felt like she was floating, but she knew she wasn’t in the water anymore. Distantly, she felt intermittent pressure on her chest and air being forced into her lungs. There were muffled voices, but she couldn’t make any words out.

Time was at a standstill, and she had no idea how long she floated there, but suddenly Kono gasped and coughed as she expelled the water that had entered her lungs. Her eyes blinked open once she had gotten her breathing under control, but she couldn’t focus. She began to cough again, and then felt herself being lifted and then settled back against something… or someone. A mask was placed over her mouth and nose and cool, refreshing air entered her lungs. A blanket was then draped over her.

She wanted to say something, ask about Chin, about how they found her, but all that came out was a groan.

“Don’t talk, babe. Just relax. It’s over.”

Kono nodded when she heard the familiar voice. She closed her eyes and relaxed back into his hold. She felt safe.

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Kono slowly opened her eyes. She blinked a few times to focus and then looked around the room. The hospital room was sparsely furnished and she was relieved to note that she wasn’t hooked up to anything. Her eyes stopped when they reached the chair next to her bed.

Danny was sitting in the chair, his eyes closed, and his head lolled to the front. He was wearing hospital scrubs and his hair was askew and beginning to curl. Kono smiled.

“Danny.”

He came awake suddenly, lifting his head and blinking rapidly. When he laid his eyes on Kono he smiled. He moved his chair closer to the bed.

“Hey. How do you feel? Do you need anything?”

“I’m tired… little bit of a headache.”

“Okay. I’ll call the doctor…”

“Wait, Danny. Tell me what happened. How did you find me? Where’s Chin?”

Danny leaned back in the chair and ran his hand through his hair. He took a deep breath.

“Chin called me, when he found out that you had been taken. I was already waiting at the marina when he and Delano got there. We got to you just in time.”

He dropped his eyes for a moment. Kono could see that he was hiding something from her.

“Danny, where’s Chin?”

“He’s with Malia.”

She heaved a sigh of relief, but something in Danny’s voice and demeanor told Kono that something was very wrong.

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“Kono…”

“I’m a big girl. I can handle it.”

“Okay… Malia is in the ICU. Chin found her at their home. She’d been shot.”

Kono sat up and moved to get off the bed.

“Whoa there. What do you think you’re doing, huh?” He put his hands on her shoulders, trying to get her to stay still.

“I need to be there.”

“No… you need to be here. You drowned last night, Kono.”

She growled out of frustration, and slammed her fists down on the bed.

“Kono, if you wait five minutes for the doctor to come and check you over, he was planning on discharging you once you woke up and he was sure you were okay. Then, and only then, you can go and be with Chin and Malia.”

She visibly deflated. “How bad is it? Is she going to be okay?”

Danny looked her in the eyes and said, “It’s touch and go, but the doctor is optimistic.”

She nodded, unable to articulate her feelings. Danny placed his hand on one of hers and squeezed.

“I’ll go get the doctor. Just relax. Everything’s going to be fine.”

He flashed a smile, and then turned and walked out of the room.

Kono did her best to calm down. She just needed to be patient, but that was easier said than done. She lay back down on the bed and waited. She hoped that Danny was right, and everything would be okay.