5-0 had been working a case for weeks. Men were kidnapping homeless teenage boys and selling them to traffickers. Nahele had been one of them and Steve hadn’t stopped beating himself up once he realized that he had failed the teenager so badly.
The case had been hell from the start. Every suspect they had gotten to speak had been shot or killed. There had been a bomb planted in Steve’s house and the only person home had been Junior, though Eddie had thankfully warned him in time. Danny’s car had been rammed into an electric pole, though thankfully he hadn't had the kids like he was supposed to.
After too many financial searches and stakeouts and too many days of being one step behind, Steve and 5-0 finally felt they had enough evidence and enough of a lead to take down the jackasses who were hunting kids.
The building was in Downtown Honolulu. A former warehouse, it was now marketed as a four-story co-working space. That was just for the books, though. Traffickers were operating a slave ring out of the building: hosting auctions, conducting medical trials, caging them, whatever they wanted to do, while they waited to unload their cargo.
5-0 was going to take the lead from SWAT to Steve’s great consternation. Steve and Danny, who was thankfully uninjured, were going through the front. Lou and Junior were going through the back door. Tani and several HPD officers had taken the side doors. SWAT would go in first. 5-0 and HPD would flank them.
SWAT barged in using stun grenades and smoke bombs to clear the space out. Steve shot at any traffickers he saw, but his only priority was getting to the kids and getting to Nahele. A heat map had shown that the boys were kept in the basement, which meant he needed to get down there and find out how to get them out. If all else failed, he would shoot the locks. He was separated from the team though and distracted by his anxieties, not something that would have happened seven years years ago, so he didn’t see a lone guard come up behind him. He felt bullets tear through his abdomen and collapsed to his knees as blood pooled underneath him. He knew that something vital had been hit.
Steve wanted to work his phone out of his pocket and call for help, but both hands were attempting to put pressure on the bleeding holes in his body. Steve felt consciousness flicker and his eyes began to slide closed as his heart slowed down.
He knew this was the end and he prayed for it to be gentle.
Above him he heard a bell chime and he wondered where it came from. He felt his body grow warm and his skin begin to restitch and he realized that he must be dead, a thought he must have said aloud.
“You’re not dead Dad. I won’t let you die. I cannot heal you all the way, I need you to hold on until Danno gets here, until an ambulance gets here. He’s on his way. I’ll stay with you.” Steve’s half-closed eyes could make out shaggy hair, green eyes, dirty clothes, bony wrists. Whoever this boy was he must have been in his 20s. And his hands were glowing. And he had called Steve “dad.”
Steve’s eyes slipped shut again. This boy, this young man who thought Steve was his dad, had healed the wounds in his body, but Steve had lost pints of blood and he knew he must have a concussion from collapsing. It would make more sense than angels who could half-heal and called him dad.
“Stay with me Dad. It sounds like Danny is on his way down,” The boy yelled in the direction of the stairs. “Help, Steve is hurt, help!” Finally, the boy looked back at Steve as what must have been Danny’s footsteps moved closer to him. “I’m sorry I have to go Dad. I love you. I'll see you.”
Steve finally worked up the breath to speak. “Your…name…what’s your name?”
The young man looked at Steve, a heartbroken expression on his face, as he stepped back. “Chris. Chris Perry. After Grandpa’s grandfathers. It’s what Grandpa wanted you to name your son. But, ” the boy paused as the footsteps got closer, “I’ve not been born yet technically. You’ll meet me in 25 years Dad. I’ll miss you. I love you. Take care of yourself. Stay alive.”
The bell chimed again and Steve watched as the young man disappeared into a ball of blue lights, the likes of which Steve had never imagined before and now would never stop imagining. He shook his head in disbelief, joy overtaking his battered and exhausted body. He thought to himself. “I have a son.”