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Mall Madness

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Of course. Just as Danny started to fall asleep in his comfortable hotel bed after a full day and night of dealing with his extended family, of course someone calls. The Five-0 office, judging by the ring, which meant he had to answer it. After knocking the phone to the floor, he flipped it over and answered it, switching it to speakerphone.

"Somebody had better be dead."

"Hey, Danny. How was the wedding?"

"Huh? What? Kono?"

"Sorry, did I wake you?" Kono asked, innocently.

"Kono...? Do you know how many times zones there are between you and me? It's 3 a.m. Why are you calling me at 3 in the morning? And why are you using your undercover I'm-so-sweet-and-pure voice?"

Kono hesitated. "We just hadn't heard from you in a couple days, and were wondering if the Williams clan was short a few members now. How are your cousins?"

"They're cousins. It's one running fight after another. Melissa was pretty, the bridesmaids weren't, by design, from what I understand. Ma wouldn't sit on the same side as Aunt Tina at the rehearsal, and the fight hasn't slowed down since. It's a family wedding." Danny stared at the phone for a few seconds. "You're distracting me. Why are you calling? You can tell me now, or we can set a traffic rotation up when I get, back."

"Uh, well, something kinda happened, and uh, Chin and I thought you should know before you got back, and definitely before you heard from Rachel, and uh, Chin looked at me, raised an eyebrow and said, 'Rookie.' Then he disappeared into the computer lab, the bastard. And Steve is in his office with Grace, doing paperwork. So, uh, I'm hiding in my office and calling you."

"Breathe, Kono. I'm the one that talks too much." Danny paused, inhaling sharply. "Wait. Why is my daughter at Five-0 at nine in the evening?"

"Well, are you sitting down? Are you calm?" Kono started to sound really nervous.

That got Danny's attention. "I was asleep in bed, lying down, like a normal person. I don't know how you do it. And I was calm. Not so much, any more. What aren't you telling me?"

"Well, it's kinda a long story. And funny, now. But you're gonna get upset."

"Kono." Danny growled. "Start talking. Or I'm getting on the next plane."

"Okay, okay." Kono sighed. "Just...wait until I'm done, okay, before you freak, brah. And remember, Grace is fine. No one's left to take her home yet, and no one really wants to call Rachel to have her picked up."

"Before breakfast, Kalakaua."

"Okay! Don't snap at me! I'm not Steve!" Kono paused, breathing, to gather her thoughts. "Steve took the afternoon off to do some Christmas shopping for you and Mary, he said."

Danny just shook his head. "Of course he'd have his shopping done before Thanksgiving. I swear our boss isn't human. What'd he get me? And how's Grace involved? Did Rachel let her go with him? I know she doesn't care about her coming to the house, but I didn't think she'd be okay with just him."

Kono laughed and tossed back, "I'm not telling you, but it has Grace grinning, so be afraid. And no, Grace didn't go with him. Grace had apparently dragged her nurse - Lucy, I think? - to the Ala Moana Center to do her holiday shopping, mostly because it has a Disney store."

He buried his head in the pillows. "My family is full of insane over-achievers."

"This is not news. Anyway, Steve ran into them in the food court. Apparently Lucy has some sort of head cold, so he offered to take Grace around the mall to do their shopping together and let Lucy go home."

"Poor man. He had no clue what he was in for." Danny couldn't help but chuckle at the image of Steve trying to keep up with an 8-year-old in a mall.

"He thought it would be a good way to spend more time with her."

"He sees Grace every weekend I have her, and has ever since I moved in with him. How much more time does he want? Not that I'm complaining, but really?" Danny drawled out, waving a hand in the air.

Kono laughed. "Better not, brah. Your daughter has your boy wrapped around her finger. But he wanted Steve-and-Grace time, not Steve-and-Danny-and-Grace time. Back to the story. So, you know how crazy the Center gets this time of year?"

Danny sighed. "Yeah, kinda reminds me of Jersey malls, the crowds. How long did it take her to drag him into the Disney store?"

"First stop. While they were in there, Lucy must've got back to the mansion, because Rachel called Grace. After 'talking' to Steve and getting everyone calmed down, they went back to shopping."

"I'm still not hearing a good reason, not even for my ex yelling at my current, to call me. At three in the morning, did I mention?" Danny rolled onto his back

"They hit a few other stores and were headed out from one of the jewelry stores..."

"Jewelry store? What was he buying? For who?" Danny interrupted, fully awake and curious.

"You'll find that out at Christmas. Maybe sooner, now. But they were leaving, walking through the crowds when Grace realized she lost her phone. She says she thought she left it back at Disney, since she used it then. She went back to get it, apparently at the same time Steve was jostled by someone. He turned back around...and couldn't see her."

Danny snapped up from the bed to his feet, immediately pacing. "She did what!? She knows better! What was she thinking? She knows to...."

"Calm down, she's fine and she knows she's in a lot of trouble - Steve got us to agree to withhold surfing lessons for at least two months - and that she should expect more punishment when you got home. She says she said something to him, but you know how loud that mall can get, between crowds and music and traffic. But he turned around after getting bumped and couldn't see Grace anywhere in the crowds. You know how calm and rational your partner can be? He...." Kono hesitated, and giggled slightly. "You know how he sometimes reacts without any apparent thought or planning? He kinda flipped out. I mean, even for him, he flipped out."

Danny stumbled to a stop. "Oh, no. How bad was it?"

"Bad. Very bad. He, um, called in a child abduction."

"He." Danny leaned against the dresser and groaned. "He what?"

"He called in a child abduction and mobilized the state police to lock the entire mall down."

"He locked down a mall." Danny hit his head against the wall. "On a Friday." Thump. "In November." Thump. "What time of day?"
"About 4:30."

"Oh, god," Danny moaned, burying his face in a hand. "He shut down the whole mall. With everyone in it. At the busiest time of the day. During the holiday shopping season. Does the governor know?"

"Yes, and she is not happy. That's why Steve's doing his paperwork. On the same day it all happened, in fact. If it weren't for Grace actually disappearing, and that it could have been an actual abduction, he might actually be in real trouble."

Danny slammed a hand into the wall. "Thank you for that lovely reminder that there are people that see my daughter as leverage against us. So much for sleeping tonight."

"I know, Danny, I know." Kono said comfortingly. "Anyway, he ordered the mall locked down and had the police search every store. Well, Grace had already made it to Disney and couldn't find her phone, and when she realized he wasn't behind her, she left again to find Steve. Who had gone to the mall office to coordinate the search."

"Did either of them ever learn to stay put?" Danny muttered through clenched teeth.

"You've been his partner how long? How often does he stay put and wait? And she says she did go back to where she had left him, but he had already disappeared. Long story short before you blow a fuse? Two hours later, after arresting four shoplifters, an even dozen pickpockets, two drug dealers, three illegal carries, and annoying thousands of shoppers, the police finally found her back in the Disney Store." Kono breathed in slowly. "And no, he didn't think to call us even though were on Maui checking with CIs, which has Chin and I mad at him, and no, he didn't think to call Grace, not that she had her phone, and no, he didn't think about checking the Disney Store first, which has everyone mad at him, since he ordered the police to start at the west end of the mall, regardless of actual procedure or common sense. His excuse is that by the time he wasn't so panicky about losing your daughter, everything was already out of his control."

Danny collapsed back onto the bed. "Can I kill them both?"

"Kill Grace, no. Yell a little, yes. Steve, on the other hand, may do your work for you himself." Kono chuckled evilly. "Did I mention that he's not only doing the paperwork for the call-out, he's been ordered to do the sheets for the other 21 arrests?"

"He hates paperwork." Danny let a small vengeful grin onto his face at the thought of his partner filling out all those forms.

"It gets better. Governor Jameson further decreed that, since it was his great idea, he should write the first draft to explain to the media why the Center was closed this evening."

Danny paused, pondering Steve's normal level of tact. "She's not actually planning on using it, is she?"

Kono laughed louder. "Doubt it, brah, but it's fun to watch him try to write it. Anyway, Chin and I decided you should probably know about all this before you got back, so we can all be mad at him as a team. And it'll give you time to cool down a little."

Danny sobered up. "Are you sure they're okay?"

"Yeah, she's fine. A little bit shaken, still, and not leaving Steve's side. Not that he'd let her. He is seriously rattled, man. I think he's actually afraid of you not letting him see her again or something. I'm not certain, but I think Rachel even agreed to let her stay at the house tonight with him."

All the air went out of Danny at once. "Okay. I can't do anything from here, and I need to sleep before I talk to him, or it'll just be yelling. Go kiss Gracie for me and tell her to call me in the morning. To him, tell him that I'm not too mad, but that I would've rather heard this from him and that he better call me after she hangs up."


"I'll be okay, Kono. We'll be okay." Danny collapsed noisily back onto the bed. "I was moving my flight up anyway, since I am in fact going to kill my cousins, so I'll be back before Monday. Tell Chin to bring popcorn and you two can watch. Don't tell Steve, though. He deserves to be ambushed for this."

"We'll be there. We aren't refereeing, though. You're on your own for that." Kono laughed, lightly.

"Oh, I'll win, if he knows what's good for him. And you didn't mention what he got in the jewelry store." Danny snuck in, hoping for a clue.

"Not a chance, brah. You'll find out when he wants you to. Go back to sleep. I'll make sure they call. And that they're safe."

"Thank you, Kono. And next time? You can take her shopping, instead."