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Australian Wildlife

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Danny counted how many times the wheels touched down as they landed in Sydney. “Four,” he groused to Steve. “It took our pilot four times to get the wheels to stick to the ground.”

“The landing was fine,” Steve said, waking only as the plane taxied and trying to stretch as much as he could while still crammed up against the plane’s window. He twisted to dig his cell phone out of his pocket.

“Oh, I have orders to bring back a kangaroo or a koala. Or both. I was told it would be okay to bring back both. Don’t let me forget, okay?” Danny told him.

“What? You think we’ll get off the plane and they’ll just be one hopping past the Relay shop?” Steve was yawning and glaring at his phone as it took its time powering up.

“A toy, you moron. A stuffed kangaroo or koala. I didn’t think I needed to specify.”

“Oh, for Grace,” Steve said as he finally got his phone to cooperate and clicked on the you’ve-got-mail icon.

“Yes, for Grace. Who did you think? Did you think the governor sent me out here to bag an actual kangaroo or something?” Danny watched as Steve read his email with growing constipation-face. “What? What? Tell me they did not lose him. They damn well better not have –“

“They didn’t lose him, Danny, Jesus. But there’s some kind of paperwork snafu between their law enforcement department and our embassy and the ambassador has already left for the weekend, so it’s going to be Tuesday before they can actually surrender Wo Fat’s little lapdog to us.”

Danny rolled his eyes. “But they still have him, right? I mean this isn’t some kind of delay tactic or –“

Steve showed Danny the email. “He’s in solitary, in maximum security. They have him.”

“Good,” Danny bit out. “Because you were not the one who answered the governor’s call where he made it very, very clear how bad it would be for a certain taskforce if we don’t return with that stupid bastard.”

Steve seemed to think for a minute as they were finally able to stand and get their bags from the overhead compartment. “Here’s the good news, Danno,” he said.

“What’s that?”

“We just got three days paid vacation in Australia.”

Danny smiled as he made his way off the plane.