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Hunt on the beach

Chapter Text

Just before the finish line, Kono called and Steve gasped. Danny next to him in the passenger seat threw his head back when he saw the name on the speakerphone. Steve reduced his speed, turned into the hotel driveway and headed for the car park. Only then did he pick up the call.
"Kono?",
The way he pronounced the name said it all: His displeasure at being disturbed and his astonishment that she was asking for the two of them right now, even though they hadn't been on the road that long.
"I just wanted to hear if you arrived safely," Kono said, as if she suspected that she was disturbing them.
", We are, just now!", Steve had his trouble staying friendly. He found that particularly difficult, but not because he didn't like her, that wasn't true. He had just had a wild time and together with Danny he wanted to enjoy his well deserved holiday.
"May I take their luggage?", A woman appeared at the window and didn't seem to notice that Steve was on the phone.
"You are alone aren't you?", Kono now asked, who had of course heard the woman.
"Of course we're alone, why wouldn't we be?", Steve already knew he wouldn't get rid of Kono so easily, no matter what he now tried to tell her.
"Because I just heard someone," Kono said, her voice now more serious.
"You both know you're not supposed to be having fun, you're supposed to be on holiday and relaxing," Kono admonished Steve and Steve took another deep breath.
"That was just one who works here at the hotel. She looks after our luggage, that's all," Danny grinned at Steve, he of course had other plans but Steve didn't go into it.
"I hope so for your sake, because if it's not I'll make sure you have to go back immediately," Kono said and Steve knew she meant it.
"No don't worry, we're really having a relaxing holiday," Steve assured her and Kono acquiesced.
"Are the others from team delta actually here yet?", Kono inquired and Steve got out of the car with Danny.
"I think so, but we haven't met any of them yet," Steve explained while the nice woman from the hotel had already loaded their suitcases onto a cart and was now pushing it into the hotel.
"Well, I won't bother you any longer. But remember to let me know as soon as you know what this is all about," Kono reminded them before she hung up and Steve slipped his mobile back into his pocket.
"I don't have anything against Kono, but she can be a real pain sometimes," Steve ran his arm over his forehead and wiped away the sweat. It was another hot day on the island and it was hard to really stand it in the sun.
"Oh you know her. She's just worried about us, especially after our last case, which could have turned out very differently," Danny took the whole thing totally calmly and wasn't angry about anything. But he had only been acting this way since they had successfully solved the last case.
"Yes, I can understand that, but we're here on holiday and nothing can go wrong," Steve said and the two entered the hotel.
"Don't say that. We didn't know that a dead person could suddenly come back to life," Danny said and Steve nodded. Remembering the case gave him goosebumps all over his body. He just wanted to forget what had happened.
"Let's not talk about it anymore and just forget about it, okay? Besides, let's see about finding Team Delta here," Steve wanted to stop thinking about the last case and move on. The two of them went to the front desk.
"We're Steve and Danny. We've booked a room here for a week.", Steve introduced himself and the man behind the counter typed something into his PC, then nodded and looked at the two.
"That's right. They have room 303, here are their keys.", He handed them the keys and also two cards.
"These cards are for the external areas of our facility. They can use them to access all the rooms.", he explained to them and they took the cards. They had just left the reception when a man in a white suit approached them.
"Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams, how nice to finally meet you here!" he greeted them both with a big grin on his face and pulled one by one into a hug.
"My name is Liam Dixon and I'm with Team Delta. I run the team.", Liam Dixon introduced himself and showed his ID.
"Nice to meet you.", Steve smiled at the officer.
"So, what do you think of this magical hotel?", Liam asked as the three of them walked to the outside of the hotel where, among other things, the pool was located.
"Well, I have to say we haven't checked it out yet, but I guess we'll have time," Steve said and they sat down at a table at the bar.
"But it's really nice here," Danny added after Steve hadn't answered Liam's question.
"I'm really pleased to hear that. I'm here every year at this time and I just love this hotel," Liam Dixon enthused and Danny found his behaviour disturbed now but said nothing more about it. After all, he didn't want to spoil his holiday.
"But I have to confess to you that things haven't been the same here for some time now," Liam ordered a soda for everyone and when the drinks were finally brought to the table.
"What do you mean?", Steve raised an eyebrow.
"Well, someone disappeared here last week without a trace and no one can explain it," Liam explained the facts.
"People here are talking about a murder, although no one knows yet exactly what actually happened and where the missing person is.", Liam took his mobile phone out of his trouser pocket and showed them both a report that had appeared in the newspaper.
"But that doesn't surprise me that people think it was a murder when you can read something like that in the newspaper," Steve and Danny looked at the report.
"And how exactly did this happen? So how did you guys go about this?", Steve wanted to know but Liam shook his head.
"That's the thing. Nobody's doing anything." said Liam, putting his phone back in his pocket.
"The whole thing is being treated like nothing ever happened, which isn't true because someone really did disappear," Liam took off his sunglasses and put them on the table.
"This hotel is also known for hosting guests from all over the world. A lot of business people come here too who just want to relax, but then they care more about their work than really relaxing. But you know how people are, so I'm not surprised anymore," Liam put his sunglasses back on and ran them through his hair.
"Hm okay, and what's your guess?", Steve wanted to know, who wasn't planning on working this case, but knowing a little more about it was never a bad decision.
"I'm guessing there was a burglary here where a person disappeared who either had something to do with it or witnessed it unintentionally," Steve settled for that.
"Well I'm sure that if something really did happen here, the people here already have it under control,", Steve sat back and drank some of his lemonade.
"But Steve, how can you just sit here so calmly when something so bad has happened?", Liam looked at the two of them as if they were aliens.
"Listen Liam, we are here to have a holiday. While we are supposed to be assisting Team Delta, we are not actually investigating a case. We've had a very busy time and would like to relax a bit before we have to go back to work ourselves," Steve explained and Danny was glad Steve had declined even if he didn't like it.
"Oh, right, I've heard about that. It must have been really awful for you guys," Liam muttered.
"But if you'll excuse me. I've got to get on as well now. I have a lot of appointments today. I think we'll see a lot more of each other here," Liam Dixon said goodbye to the two and left them alone at the table.
"Is it just me or is this Liam Dixon a bit crazy?", Danny looked at Steve.
"Oh, he's a businessman and an officer. He's always busy so he's never relaxed," Steve commented and Danny nodded.
"That's what it looked like. He was getting on my nerves already!", Steve grinned.
"Danny now don't say things like that. Be a bit nicer to him. He's just doing his job.", Steve tried to be serious but couldn't manage it.
"What do you say we look around here a bit and go to the sea? It's not far from here and the hotel has its own beach!", Steve said and Danny agreed and so they set off for the sea.
Danny walked along the beach. Towards evening, the sky had turned dark blue and where the sun set on the horizon, the sky turned red orange and yellow. The weather was wonderful as usual, which was nothing new for Hawaii. Danny didn't regret living here and having sights like this. He loved it here and would probably stay here forever, also because Grace loved it here.
"Say, how are things going with Christin anyway?" asked Steve after the two of them had walked along the beach and were slowly making their way back to the hotel.
"Oh, you know, I've given up chasing a Phantom if it doesn't make sense," Danny said, sighing inaudibly.
"Why is that? I thought you guys were going to talk to each other and work things out," Danny just shook his head in reply.
"If it was that simple, but she won't let me talk to her.",
"I'm sorry to hear that, I hope it does work out somehow," Steve tried to cheer his friend up.
"Oh, it doesn't have to gr anymore. We are two different people who don't fit together. And you should come to terms with that and not get attached to something that will never be the way you want it to be," Danny said, even though the words hurt him a little, he had to say them. He and Christin hadn't spoken in a very long time and he would probably never speak to her again as it made no sense.
"And Grace? Is she taking it well?", Steve wanted to know.
"Grace has never liked Christin. So it's only right that she never has to see her again. And if I'm honest then I can understand Grace too. Christin is not an easy person and everyone has their problems with her," Steve had to laugh.
"Gee Danny, I never thought I'd hear you talk like that.",
"What is it? I'm really serious. Christin didn't really have any friends and there were hardly any people who liked her. I never wanted to understand why, but now I do, as bitter as it sounds, but the others were right all along," Danny said and Steve just laughed.
"Well I hope it gets better soon and maybe you find someone better to be with," Steve said.
"I hope so too.", Danny said and the two entered the hotel.
"Hey you two!" called a voice Danny knew all too well. It was Liam.
"Oh no not him again.", Danny said quietly and got a shove from Steve.
"Behave yourself!", Steve admonished him and Liam came up to them both.
"I see you've already had a look around," Liam said and Steve nodded.
"We've just been to the beach and it's just heavenly here," Steve told them while Danny said nothing.
"Do you guys have a minute? The team would like to meet you.", Liam Dixon led them once around the hotel until they stopped at a door and he opened it.
"Welcome to our team.", he called and they entered and were looked at askance by two other men.
"These are my two best investigators who have never left a case open!" said Liam proudly while Danny stared at him again, almost rolling his eyes. He just couldn't stand that man and he never would. Christin would get along with him just fine. The two were very similar and would get along fine without any problems.
"The two of them are also investigating the case of the missing person here in the hotel, but we're not making much progress at the moment," Liam said and they all sat down at the large table in the room that looked like a meeting room.

Chapter Text

Danny stared alternately at Liam Dixon and the two men at the table while the most impossible things happened in his head. Somehow he wanted nothing to do with these people and wanted to do everything so that he would never have to cross their path again. But that wasn't so easy, because this was already about solving a case. Danny was aware that they were supposed to solve this case, but he was also aware that neither he nor Steve were on duty and were only here to take a holiday. So why should they be bothered?
"Liam, we've already told you that we're not going to be involved. We're here to have a holiday, we need it badly," Danny said after he had managed to tear himself away from his thoughts and found his voice again.
"We'd help, there's no question about that, but we're not on duty," he explained and Liam nodded.
"But we rely on the help of professionals, surely you understand that too, don't you? We're just not getting anywhere and we don't know what else to do to solve this strange case," Liam was not only an investigator and officer, but also a great actor who knew exactly how to make people listen to him or respond to his words. But Danny was not so easily drawn into it. He knew exactly what Liam was up to and he also knew how to prevent it. His thoughts still hung on the last case, which had drained all their energy and now they were here to finally relax in peace. Danny wouldn't let anyone take that away from him.
"It doesn't matter. We're here for a holiday, not another story we're going to lose our nerve over," Danny said and before anyone else could comment Danny was up and had grabbed Steve by the arm.
"Steve? We're leaving and we're leaving now!", Without waiting for a reaction from Steve, Danny pulled his friend out of the room by his arm and slammed the door behind him.
"Danny? What was that about?", Steve looked at his friend and colleague, stunned, while the latter just shrugged his shoulders, unaware of any guilt.
"What was that about? I just saved our well-deserved and much needed holiday," Danny said, leaning against the wall in the hallway. Once again there was an unbearable heat, but the hotel was equipped with good air conditioning, so it was possible to bear it a little.
"You're right, but still, we can't just go out there and pretend we're not interested in the whole thing. What do you think people will think of us if they know what we're like?" asked Steve but Danny just shrugged again.
"I know this is a case and I wouldn't react like this if we were in a position to help, but after you were almost killed in the last case, it's more important for me to calm down instead of rushing into the next case and getting killed," Danny said and Steve could understand his colleague, but he was still angry about his behaviour.
"Okay well, I'll just tell them that we won't be involved. But if something happens here again, then I feel compelled to intervene so that it doesn't get any worse," Danny agreed with that too, even though he only commented on it with a grumble and said nothing else. When Steve came back out of the room and had closed the door, the two of them made their way to their rooms, not having seen each other at all yet. But that was when the next problem arose, one that the two were a little overwhelmed with.
"How now? We only have one bed in this room?", Danny looked around stunned when they had entered the room and realised that it was not meant for two people, but only for one. There was only one big bed, a small kitchen and a TV, and a small bathroom. That was all there was.
"Great!" Danny was pissed off and at that very moment he realised that he already hated this hotel and the whole holiday before it had even started.
"It's all going according to plan!", Danny sank down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. The two of them really hadn't expected that.
"Oh, Danny, calm down. I'm sure there's a perfectly normal explanation for this. Just wait and see, I'll take care of it," said Steve and he grabbed the phone next to the bed and called the reception. He was on the phone for 15 minutes, then hung up angrily.
"Okax well, we really have a bit of a problem here. This is actually the room they left for us and we can't book another room.We have to stay in this room.", Steve too now sank down on the bed.
"Yeah, that's great," Danny growled, his mood already gone.
"I really could have thought of a lot of things for this holiday, but not like this!", Danny had run out of steam and just stared at the ceiling while Steve got up again and paced the room.
"Okay don't panic. We'll get it done this week. I mean, it's only a week. What's the big deal about us sharing a bed?", Steve looked at Danny perplexed.
"What's wrong with it? People might think we're a gay couple!", Danny said, not saying it as an insult, but more as a kind of fear. The two of them were very well known on the island, after all, and Danny didn't want the press making up stories and running after them with them forever.
"Okay fine, we'll leave the shutters down here and just never open again. It's only a week Danny, we can handle it!" said Steve and finally Danny relented and said no more, even though he didn't like the way things were going. But the first night neither of them could really sleep that well. Steve turned from side to side and Danny stared at the ceiling and just couldn't close his eyes. At some point he couldn't stand it any longer and got up. Not having taken off his shirt and trousers because he knew he couldn't sleep, he quietly left the room so as not to wake Steve, who had somehow managed to fall asleep.
"I really don't understand how he can sleep," Danny muttered after leaving the hotel and standing in the car park. He had no idea what he was supposed to do out here, but he knew he couldn't sleep and so he had to get out of here first. Danny sat down on the curb and looked around. He didn't know this part of Hawaii very well because he had never been here before. But that didn't interest him either, because since the thing with Christin he already felt strangely abandoned anyway and couldn't do anything about it. Everything in his life seemed to be going wrong. No matter what he did, he did the wrong thing. No matter what he said, he said the wrong thing. And no matter what he tries, he tries the wrong thing. It had been going on like this for a few weeks now and Danny eventually got it into his head that he had gone mad, even if he would never admit it publicly or tell anyone.
"Can't they sleep either?", Danny jumped up startled and turned around. Standing on a balcony was a woman wearing a bathrobe. She held a cigarette in her right hand while holding a beer in the other. She smiled at Danny.
"I didn't mean to scare her!" she said, apologising to Danny, who nearly had a heart attack.
"It's all good, no problem. I just didn't expect to find anyone here at this hour," Danny said and sat down again, but this time so that he could see the woman.
"You're not from around here, are you?" asked the woman who introduced herself as Amanda Spring.
"Well, how you take it. I already live here on the island, but not in this part," Danny explained, telling her that he was a policeman and wanted to holiday here with his colleague.
"Unfortunately, things are not going the way we wanted and I couldn't sleep, so I went outside to get my mind off things," Danny finished his sentence and the woman smiled.
"I can understand that. If everything went wrong for me, I wouldn't be able to sleep either.", she smiled at Danny and handed him a beer.
"Don't worry, it's non-alcoholic.", she said after Danny stared at the beer questioningly, not knowing if he should drink it or not.
"Yeah, in that case, no problem," Danny opened the bottle which was ice cold and took a sip of the beers.
"Well, I can't really help it. It wasn't our idea to come to this hotel. It was the idea of a colleague who thought it would be good here!", Danny said while enjoying the cool beer.
"Well, your colleague has good taste. The hotel here is really very good," Amanda said and Danny laughed.
"So yes, the food is good, but other than that? No,I haven't noticed anything else good here!", Amanda started laughing as well.
"I'm sure you guys will have fun here. You should just take your time and see what happens!", Amanda said and Danny nodded. Maybe this stranger here was right after all and they just needed to take their time. Or maybe she wasn't, and he was just wasting his precious time here.
"Anyway. I'm going to sleep now. I have a hard day ahead of me and I'd like to sleep while I can first," Amanda said goodbye and left Danny sitting alone in the car park. Danny finished the beer, then went back to his room where Steve was still asleep.
"I just don't understand how he does it!" muttered Danny, watching his sleeping colleague. Steve seemed to have no problem with the fact that he was in a new place. He slept like a baby while Danny just couldn't get any rest. Danny lay back in bed and tried to sleep. Eventually he did fall asleep, even though he fell into a fitful sleep.
"Hey, Danny. Get up!" someone shook his shoulder and Danny mumbled something in his sleep that Steve couldn't understand.
"Now come on, we've got work to do.", Steve tried again to wake his colleague, but he was fast asleep and did not respond to Steve. Just as Steve was about to try to wake Danny again, the door to their room opened with a thud and Liam Diyon rushed into the room. Danny was startled and fell to the floor screaming, where he pulled the bedspread to the floor with him.
"Danny? Are you okay?", immediately Steve was concerned as Danny had not been feeling well lately and was acting strangely quiet.
"I'm okay, everything's fine!" said Danny, slowly picking himself up off the floor.
"But what's he doing here?" he pointed at Liam Dixon who was standing in the room of the two of them, out of breath, watching the events with Danny's fall without saying anything.
"I'm here because we have another case that happened here at the hotel!", Liam seemed to realise that Danny didn't like him, yet pretended not to care.
"What's happened?" now Steve asked and Danny rolled his eyes.
"Once again, a person has disappeared," Liam said, keeping his voice short.
"And what's the big deal about it now?", Danny wanted to ask as much as he could, but he preferred to keep it to himself.
"But this time it's a child that's gone missing, while the child's father has been found dead in the hotel pool!"
"A child has disappeared? And the father is dead?", now Steve was getting worried. He just hadn't perceived the first case as he normally should, and now here was another incident already.
"Exactly. And people here are panicking and some have already left because they're afraid something similar might happen to them too!", Liam Dixon had closed the door by now.
"I'll have to call Kono, if there really is something wrong here and this kind of thing always happens, then we'll have to intervene,", Danny groaned.
"Now that I think about it, I think I sprained my wrist when I fell," Danny said but Steve just laughed.
"Danny, now don't act like something bad happened. You just fell off the bed," Steve said with a grin.
"So, do you know how many people get hurt doing that?" said Danny.
"A fall from the bed like that can be very dangerous too," Danny added, but Steve had already stopped listening to him and had called Kono.

Chapter Text

In the next few minutes, neither of them was able to really do anything about the child's disappearance. They knew their way around the island, but they had never been to this place before. It was difficult to get an overview if you don't know the place.

"I think," Liam started to speak as they walked down the hotel corridor and towards the elevator. "It would be a good idea to get an overview of the current case." he finished his sentence and Steve nodded to him.

"The kid's grandma is still at the hotel. I suggest you both question her while I call the rest of the team," Liam offered and Dann immediately agreed. He was glad when Liam wasn't around anymore, the man was annoying.

"You'll find her on the second floor, room 34b." Liam said and they got into the elevator. Steve and Danny got out on the second floor.

"Don't you find Liam annoying?" Danny couldn't help it and had to ask Steve this question after Steve apparently liked Liam, which Danny didn't really understand.

"I don't find him annoying, just a little too engrossed in his work," Steve said.

"Wow, of course you can call it that!"

"Danny, now calm down. I'm sure Liam knows what he has to do. He behaves absolutely correctly.", said Steve who was surprised about Danny's behavior towards Liam. He had never seen Danny like this when they were helping someone else at work.

"What's your problem with him?" Steve wanted to know but Danny didn't comment and didn't say anything while they searched for Grandma's room.

"Liam has a very good reputation here - in general he's not only well known, no, he's also solved some serious cases. So I don't understand your problem."

"I'd just like to take a vacation," Danny said after they found the room and Steve knocked on the door.

"We can do that too, but I feel obliged to help here if they need our help.", Steve answered and the door opened.

"Yes?" asked a woman with gray hair and a wrinkled face.

"Miss Hopfield?" Steve asked and the old woman nodded.

"Yes? What can I do for you?" she asked while looking at Steve, then at Danny and then at Steve again with a questioning look. Danny knew those looks all too well. It wasn't the first time that the two questioned someone and were looked at like that.

"It's about your son and his child who has disappeared. We have a few questions for you." Steve explained to the old woman why they were here and what they wanted from the woman. She finally nodded and let the two into her room. Inside, the room looked exactly the same as Steve and Danny's - just a bit older, Danny thought.

"So, what do you want to know from me?" the old woman asked, sitting down in her chair.

"Well," Steve began, "We'd like to know when you last saw your son and grandson."

"Oh, if I remember correctly, that was last night.", the woman said while Steve wrote everything down.

"We went to the zoo yesterday and afterwards we ate together here at the hotel," she said in a sad voice.

"So your son has a different room here than you do?" Steve asked and the woman nodded.

"It's the room next to mine. The number is 36b," she explained, handing Steve a card that opened the doors of the hotel room. "Why were you here in this hotel?" Danny asked and caught a warning look from Steve.

"What do you mean?" the old woman asked, looking at Danny questioningly and confused.

"Well, I don't see any suitcases here. So if you were here for a holiday, you would certainly have taken more than just a few clothes that fit in a small bag. And besides, your room is too clean. There are no objects here around that belong to you." Danny said, pointing to the empty room that contained only items that belonged to the hotel.

"You're right," said the old woman.

"My son was here for work. He's a marine biologist and was out on his ship with his colleagues all day long. I just came along so I could look after his son." She explained and Danny nodded while he gave Steve a nod gave a successful look.

"So your son was always at sea?" Steve asked and the woman nodded. She got up, walked over to the bed where there was a small bag on it and took something out of the bag. Then she sat back down in her chair.

"Here." She handed them both a flyer. "This flyer tells about the project he was working on. He was very environmentally conscious and always cared about the environment," she explained while Steve took a closer look at the flyer.

"The latest project just started a few weeks ago. They wanted to measure some water temperatures, take a closer look at the Tire and measure the plastic waste in the sea here," she said. "But somehow I have a feeling that his death in the pool wasn't an accident as judged by the police."

"So you mean it's a murder?" Danny asked and the old woman nodded.

"My son recently told me he felt someone was sabotaging his work. Someone had recently tampered with the ship's engine, leaving them unable to drive and requiring the Coast Guard to collect them.", she said to Steve and Danny.

„Do you have a glue who is sabotating his work?“ Steve asked but she just shakes her head.

„I don´t know. My son was working with hundreds of others – some of them quit the job because of the sabotage going on.2, she said shaking her head.

„But his ex plays a big roll in his work. She also is in the same branche as he was. Maybe she knows more about it and what happend to them.“Steve and Danny thanked them and left the old woman's room after she told them everything she knew about it.

"Somehow I find something strange about this thing." Danny murmured after the two were back in the hallway.

"And that would be?" Steve asked.

"I don't know, but there seems to be a lot more to this. I mean, who would want to harm people when they're taking care of the environment? That's weird, isn't it?" Steve considered Danny's words and finally nodded.

"That's right. I have to agree with you. There's something wrong and we'll find out.", Steve said and pressed the button for the elevator.

"But first we'll go eat something and visit the beach. I need some sun now and want to go swimming while we're here." Danny immediately agreed to this plan and so the two set off. They went into their room for a moment, got their bathing suits and towels and then set off

Chapter Text

"What's up with that katie girl?" Steve asked as the two of them lay on the beach under an umbrella and sipped a cocktail. Katie was a good friend of Danny's and they seemed to be having a little romance, or so Steve thought.

"She's just a good friend - nothing more." Danny said, his eyes closed and daydreaming.

"Just a good friend? It didn't look like it when she was here." Steve said, wanting to annoy Danny a bit.

"We've known each other since school and have always been very familiar, so that's how it looked to you. But I can reassure you. We're just friends and we'll always be friends.” Danny said, his eyes still closed. The two colleagues and friends spent half the afternoon on the beach until they were startled by Liam, who once again managed to find them. Danny rolled his eyes when he heard Liam's voice.

"So there you are!" said Liam and stood under the umbrella since the sun was even stronger at this time than in the morning.

"And I'll be searching the whole hotel for you two while you're lying here on the beach enjoying the sun!" Liam sounded like he was upset about this, which prompted Danny to make a comment that Steve probably wouldn't like.

"You may have overlooked one small thing – we're here for a holiday!" Danny's words came out sharper than he'd intended, but finally he was right and Liam finally seemed to get it for just a moment.

"Yes, I know that, but I thought you would help us solve these cases because you are one of the best teams I know. We need your help very badly.” Liam said and Danny groaned inwardly. But this man couldn't solve his problems on his own, could he?

"What's going on?" Steve asked who had been surprised about Liam's appearance.

"Well, it might sound totally silly and made up, but we received a threatening letter about the kid who disappeared without a trace. But before we could respond to the demands, the child showed up in the lobby." Liam explained the current state of affairs.

"The kid just showed up in the lobby?" Steve and Danny couldn't believe what Liam was telling them.

"That doesn't make any sense. I mean, what criminal writes a threatening letter when he's kidnapped a kid and then releases the kid before he gets the ransom or anything?” Danny murmured because now the case was very different from what you previously assumed.

"We've been wondering that too," Liam said, scratching his head. "But we also have no idea why the child is back here after we received the letter.", he added and looked at the two questioningly.

"It's really very funny. It doesn't make any sense.” Steve hadn't said anything the whole time, just stared at the sea, lost in thought.

"Steve? What do you think of this?” he was torn from his thoughts by Danny.

"Do you think we're dealing with a bogus scam here like we did back then?" Danny asked and Steve nodded slowly.

"I was just thinking about that too – at least it seems to be the only thing that makes sense." Steve said while Liam looked at the two and didn't understand a word.

"What is this about, please?" Liam finally asked and Steve told them about a case they had recently worked on. It was about a scammer who faked crimes, made crime scenes look like a crime had just happened there, and then sent threatening letters, which shortly afterwards are no longer relevant because he had released his hostages.

"This is totally insane. I've never heard of someone like that before!” Liam said after Steve had finished talking.

"And you couldn't catch that guy?" Liam asked and the two friends shook their heads.

"Unfortunately not. Not only is he good at fabricating crimes, he always seems to be one step ahead of the police force,” said Danny, who remembered the case very well. At that time, his little daughter Grace was almost in danger, which had weighed heavily on him. To this day he is afraid that something like this could happen again if the guy were to strike again.

„You know, you can´t really figure out when this guy is about to do his next crime. They happen when you dont expect them to happen. And you can´t catch him at the places he was before.“ Steve said after Liam gave them a look which was saying like „and how do we catch him?“

„So what do we have to do then? We can´t just do nothing because we dont know what he´s going to do next. We have to do something“. Liam said.

„Liam, we are aware of that more than you are!“, Danny said stressed. This guy was playing with his nerves already freaking him out.

„You have to be cool and wait until he strikes again, after that you will know more about that whole thing, just trust me.“ he added but Liam wasn´t listening to him. His face looked like he was freaking out because he coulnd´t do anything about it to stop that guy, but that was the thruth he had to face first.

„But was the kid saying anything?“ Steve asked when Liam wasn´t saying anything after what Danny had told him about the guy.

„Not really.“ Liam said a bit disappointed . „The only thing he said was that he saw a guy in a van following him and his dad when they got home from the boat.“ Steve mubled something nobody could understand why Danny wasn´t saying a word about it. He wasn´t a fan of Liam and his ways he forced them both to help him.

"So were you followed after you left the boat?" Steve asked and Liam nodded as if that was enough of an answer.

"And the father didn't notice?" Danny asked and Liam shook his head.

"Apparently not," he said.

"I'm surprised." Steve said, remembering Grandma's words.

"Because she told us that there had been some sabotage on the ship in the last few weeks, which is why some men and women of the crew are no longer with them. They are scared and someone is targeting the project." Steve told Liam what they had learned from the old woman.

"If that's really true, then we're dealing with someone who will stop at nothing and is even willing to kill." That was it. Someone who is ready for everything and doesn't let anyone tell him anything, made it to the small island again. Sometimes Danny hated Hawaii for exactly that reason, but of course he couldn't say that in front of Steve. He had come here exactly for this reason, because the small volcanic island was exactly the right place for him to be able to lead a life with his daughter, even if everything wasn't always exactly right and he was exposing her to a danger associated with his job was.

"So you're saying it could be this guy who fabricates crimes?" Liam asked again, although he'd already had multiple answers to that question.

"Well it would at least give an explanation as to why such strange things are happening here," said Steve, who wasn't entirely sure if they were dealing with the same perpetrator or if it was someone else entirely.

"Fine, then I won't bother you any longer," Liam said, stepping out from under the umbrella.

"I'll tell the others about your assumptions and then we'll see what we can do next." With these words, Liam said goodbye and left the two alone on the beach.

"Honestly then," Danny began, leaning back while closing his eyes and putting his sunglasses back on.

"We all agree that it can only be this bogus cheater, right?" he asked Steve, who only gave a growl in response.

"Because who else would kidnap a child, write a threatening letter and release the child before he gets any money or something?" Danny murmured to himself.

"Unless there was never a kidnapping, just a murder," Steve said in a serious voice.

"Something's not right here and I'll get to the bottom of it. It has to be something to do with this hotel." Steve was sure: someone wanted him and Danny to investigate this, even if there was no actual crime.

In the evening Steve and Danny entered a small restaurant, which was very close to their hotel. the small restaurant called "seashell" belonged to a chain of restaurants that only existed in hawaii.

"What can I offer the gentlemen for dinner?" asked the waiter who had just walked over to their table and was holding a small notebook in his hand.

"I'd like this!" Danny said, pointing to the number 34 on the map.

"I have no idea how to pronounce that, but you know what I mean." He said to the waiter who wrote down the number and gave Danny a smile. Steve opted for a Coke and a small pizza. He didn't want to eat anything exotic that evening. When they got their food a good half hour later and were sitting comfortably at a window, Danny's gaze fell outside where the sun was just setting and the sky had turned orange and yellow.

"Tell me," he began and stopped eating. He narrowed his eyes and tried to see the person better in the slowly gathering darkness.

"Am I wrong or is that Liam Dixon over there?" Steve was now looking out the window and Danny was right.

"Yes he is," said Steve

"And who is that next to him?" Danny asked, watching the two people and immediately getting a bad feeling in his stomach. Liam met with an unknown person. The two looked quite familiar, he thought.

"I don't know. I don't know everyone from the island.", said Steve, who had turned his attention back to his pizza.

"You, he puts something in his hand. It looks like a small bag." Danny whispered, still watching the two people.

"Maybe it's a friend of Liam's bringing him something." Steve said without looking out the window. But Danny didn't want to believe that.

"I'll keep an eye on Liam. He's weird."

 

"Danny, why do you see a criminal behind everyone?" Steve rolled his eyes. Danny was exaggerating again, which had been happening more and more over the past few weeks.

"Honestly, I'm totally sure about Liam this time. It's not true about him.", Danny said and turned back to Steve after Liam had disappeared and he couldn't see him anymore.

"And why do you think that?" asked Steve, who had finished his pizza in the meantime.

"Because he's acting very weird and he's also annoying," said Danny, convinced Liam was hiding something from them.

"That's no reason to accuse him of being a criminal, is it?" Steve said but Danny declined.

"I don't care if you don't believe me, but I'll tell you one thing. I know there's something wrong with Liam and I'm going to prove it to you."

„Alright then prove it.“, Steve said, not believing Danny at first.

„You know, I´ve been working as an Detectiv for many years now and I know when something isn´t right with the people around me.“ Danny said but Steve just laughed at him.

"I remember the last time you took an old woman for a thief just because she was carrying such a heavy bag." Steve laughed at the little incident that had happened a few weeks ago.

"Yeah well I admit it. That was wrong of me but that can happen to anyone." Danny defended himself but Steve just laughed.

"Well, if you think there's something wrong with Liam, then I won't stop you from getting to the bottom of things. But I warned you.", Steve said and Danny was satisfied with his answer.

"But we should now slowly go back to the hotel. We should talk to the child tomorrow, maybe that will help us in this case.", Steve said and the two got up and left the restaurant.

Chapter Text

That night Danny couldn't sleep because he kept thinking about Liam, whom he had seen with another man outside the restaurant. It was clear to Danny: Liam had something to hide and he had to find out what it was. When it was finally 2 o'clock and he still couldn't sleep, he got up, got dressed and left the room. He wanted to take a little walk to get his mind off things.

"I see you can't sleep again. Am I right?" Danny recognised the woman on her balcony whom he had seen two days ago. She was standing on her balcony again, a beer bottle in her hand, looking around.

"And I guess you don't either!", Danny made as a comment and the woman laughed.

"I prefer to sleep during the day!" she said to him, handing Danny a beer bottle.

"And you'd rather go to work when you're here on holiday," she added and Danny nodded.

"If it were up to me, we'd really only be here to go on holiday, but my partner has other intentions," Danny explained and drank some of the beer, which was still cold.

"What do you work here for?" the woman asked curiously and Danny laughed.

"I'm something like a policeman and we've been assigned to help the other investigators here with a case. I'm not allowed to tell them any more than that though, I'm afraid." The woman only nodded as if she knew that Danny had a certain duty of confidentiality as far as his job was concerned.

"I can understand you, it's just that strange things happen here in this hotel all the time," she said conspiratorially.

"Seriously now?" asked Danny who immediately brightened up and got an idea.

"Yes, I've been here several times and really every time there was some case the police had to solve because something was wrong here." The woman told Danny about her previous stays in this hotel and Danny listened attentively.

"That's very strange indeed," Danny said, lost in his thoughts as he immediately had Liam Dixon in front of his eyes again.

"Say, you wouldn't happen to know this investigator Liam Dixon?" he finally asked her and she nodded.

"Of course I know him. He's such an annoying and stupid guy. Oh, I can't stand him!" she said in a serious voice and Danny laughed.

"So I'm not the only one who has a problem with this guy!" "You know, Liam Dixon may be a nice person, I'm not saying anything against that, but I get the feeling that he always wants to be the centre of attention and be the best, but he can't do anything on his own," the woman said and Danny could only agree with her.

"He really can't do anything on his own," Danny said and they both laughed.

"And I've been watching him do something that seems very strange to me," Danny added and told the woman about what had happened outside the restaurant.

"Oh okay." she said, "Well that is very strange indeed." Danny nodded silently and drank some of his beer again.

"But your partner doesn't seem that fascinated there, does he?" she asked and Danny shook his head.

"Steve just can't do right by others. He's been like that before, so I didn't expect anything," Danny said.

"But once I can prove it that there's something wrong with Liam, then he'll change his mind. I'm convinced of that," he added.

"If there's anything I can do to help them, I will," the woman said, winking at Danny.

"Maybe you could just keep an eye on Liam for a bit. I'm sure he's not planning anything good and you just have to be able to prove it," Danny said and the woman agreed.

"I'll see if I can help them with that. After all, it would be a shame if Liam wasn't a good man and the others never knew," the woman said.

"People like that have to be stopped or they will go on and on and never stop and that can't be.""Let me guess. You didn't get any sleep again?" Steve asked the next morning as they sat in the hotel dining room eating breakfast together.

"What do you mean by not being able to sleep?" said Danny and drank some of his coffee.

"Well, I live in constant stress!" Steve laughed at Danny's statement.

"That's not true at all!" said Steve who had a roll with jam on his plate and picked it up carefully, but unfortunately it slipped out of his hand and flew across the table, directly onto Danny's shirt.

"Hey, you've got to be kidding!" shouted Danny, who was now allowed to wipe the jam off his shirt, while Steve just laughed and ordered a new roll.

"And that's all I need!" said Danny who had spotted Liam Dixon walking towards them and gave Danny a strange look when he noticed the stain of jam on his shirt.

"Just don't say anything,okay?"

"Uh, yeah....also I have some information for you here. The kid disappeared without a trace tonight!" said Liam, sitting down next to Steve at the table while Danny was still trying to wipe the jam off his shirt.

"The kid's gone again?" asked Steve.

"Yeah, it just disappeared again," said Liam who was not only being watched by Danny at that moment but also by the woman sitting a few tables away.

"And how can something like that happen again? I thought they had taken the child to his grandmother's and the police had been told to post guards." Liam nodded.

"The guards were stunned and the granny and the child disappeared!""Looks like our suspect!" said Steve and Danny nodded.

"If you two don't mind, I'm going to put on a new shirt for a minute before we get to the bottom of this, okay?" With those words Danny straightened up, said goodbye to them both and Steve handed him another key card with the room number. As Danny ran out of the dining room, someone passed him. It was the woman wearing a long bathrobe from the hotel.

"Detective? Wait a minute!" she called out and Danny stopped.

"I think I just saw something that might help you."

"Liam has a key in his right pocket that doesn't belong to him!" she said and Danny looked at her questioningly.

"What kind of key?" he asked.

"It's the key to the room the granny and the kid were in last!While Steve and Liam were looking into the matter of the missing child and the missing grandma, Danny had other plans. He went to the reception to find out more.
"Hello!" he greeted a young man standing at the reception who was busy with an old woman complaining about the hotel.
"But if I tell you! Someone was at my locker while I was swimming!" the old woman said angrily, while the young man didn't know what to do now.
"As I told you before, a member of staff will take care of it in a moment." The old woman just shrugged her shoulders and then walked away from the reception until a member of the hotel staff approached her and disappeared down the corridor with her.
"And how can I help you?" asked the young man who now had time for Danny.
"Well...this is a bit embarrassing but I can't find my key," Danny had decided to find a spare key to access Liam's room.
"What's your number?" the young man asked and Danny told him Liam's room number.
"Okay, just a moment.", the young man said and disappeared behind a wall, a moment later he came back with a key and handed it to Danny.
"Thank you very much," said Danny who immediately went to Liam's room. He wanted to take a closer look at the room and maybe he would find proof that something was wrong with Liam and that he had been right."Where is your colleague, Steve?" asked Liam, after he hadn't seen Danny for an hour.
"Oh, he's not doing too well at the moment and I guess he went to his room to get some rest," Steve said without mentioning that Danny thought Liam was a criminal.
"What's wrong with him? Is there anything I can do to help him?" asked Liam as the two entered the conference room where the rest of Liam's team were already waiting for them.
"I don't think so. Danny has some private problems that even I can't help him with." Steve felt like the biggest liar, but only because he couldn't tell Liam what was actually going on and why Danny was acting so strangely. Steve had tried to persuade Danny it was a stupid idea to investigate Liam, but Danny wouldn't listen to Steve and was determined to find out what was wrong with Liam.
"Commander!" one of the men said as Steve entered the room and stood up.
"I'm very pleased to finally meet you!" Steve smiled at the man who held out his hand and looked at him kindly.
"We've heard a lot about you and we'd like to take your help. There seems to be something fishy going on here and we are unfortunately forced to admit that we will not be able to solve this case on our own," the man said and Steve nodded.
"And how exactly do you want me to help you with that?" he asked, after he had been shown the documents and a file on an unknown man whose fingerprints were all they had.
"Well, maybe you can do something with it. We only have the fingerprints of an unknown person so far - but we assume it's a man, as some of the hotel guests have described a man who hasn't checked in here but has been seen here several times." Steve looked at the file for a moment.
"Very well, I can't decide something like this on my own. In most cases I consult with my partner Danny and the rest of my team who will of course help," Steve said. "My partner Danny couldn't make it today though. He's not feeling too well," Steve apologised on Danny's behalf.
"Well, that's not a problem. I'll just be glad if you help us make the hotel safe again as soon as possible. The owner of the hotel can't afford it if people get scared and leave." Steve nodded. He understood the situation and he also understood that it was urgent to do something about it. They only had a week, two days of which had already passed, and so far they had lost a child, a dead one, as well as numerous thefts in the hotel, but no good news yet. And that had to change as soon as possible, otherwise it would look pretty bad for the hotel.
"Don't worry, we will help you and I am sure we will be able to catch the culprit!"

 

Chapter Text

"Danny?" Steve had gone back to the room straight after the meeting in the conference room to check on Danny, but Danny wasn't there. Steve looked in the bathroom but he wasn't there either.
"Danny?", Steve called again but this time he got no answer. It was not usual for Danny not to answer Steve's questions, generally Danny always contacted him or left him a message.

Steve thought nothing more of it, because Danny had already spoken several times about how he needed his rest now and then and didn't want to be disturbed. So Steve thought nothing more and did not look for Danny. But he could not have known what had happened to Danny.
Danny had not missed the chance to get the key for Liam Dixon's room. This key consisted of another card, like all the other doors, no keys but cards were used to open the doors. It wasn't the most secure option, but it was enough for a small hotel.
"Well let's see what Liam is hiding here," Danny said as he opened the door and looked around again, but no one seemed to have noticed him.
Liam's room was not clean. No matter how clean the guy might look, his room was a disaster.
"It doesn't look like Liam made this mess, though," said the woman who appeared in the room behind Danny moments later, looking at the mess the two of them were in.
"It's not his fault?" asked Danny and the woman mumbled something Danny couldn't understand.
"Then who do you think did it if it wasn't him?" Danny's mood was getting worse. First the incident with Steve and the jam bread, then the thing with the key in Liam's pocket and the missing grandma and child, and now this mess in Liam's room which couldn't be his. How should one be able to concentrate on a missing person case under such circumstances?
"I don't know, but I've known Liam for quite a while. He's not a person who lives in a mess like this, let alone would ever make a mess like this," the woman said in a serious voice. Danny groaned and rolled his eyes as he turned back to the chaos, trying to make out something other than simple chaos. There had to be traces somewhere if the chaos wasn't Liam's. Everyone leaves traces, Danny knew that for many years and he was sure he would find traces here if he would search the room long enough.
"So you're saying we're dealing with a break-in that ended in chaos?" Danny looked at the woman and she nodded in agreement.
"Well, then I guess it's better if we leave the so-called crime scene and go get the others. I don't want us to get in trouble for breaking and entering later. After all, we did break in here without permission," Danny said, ready to leave the room and let the others know. But nothing came of it. 
Suddenly the door slammed behind them and they were trapped in the room.
"Who locked the door now?" the woman asked, her voice having taken on a hysterical tone.
"I don't know either, but maybe we weren't alone in here," Danny said suspiciously, glancing again at Chaos at his feet.
"But since we're locked in here, we might as well consider what someone was looking for here and why this mess was made." Danny knew he had to use his wits in situations like this so he didn't put himself or others in danger and used the time wisely. Even if it wasn't the most optimal situation, he had to use his time. Maybe they would find something that could play an important role in the missing person case - or maybe not.
"You said to me you've known Liam for a while, right?" asked Danny while searching the sofa and putting aside the pillows that were blocking his way.
"Just call me Amanda. When you call me by my first name I always think I'm really old and I'm not," the woman said and Danny nodded. He had almost forgotten her name again.
"So Amanda, you've known Liam for a while?" asked Danny again and Amanda nodded as she looked a little closer at the small kitchen.
"Liam is here several times a year as a guest. Since he has such a good reputation as an inspector, people don't want anyone else here but him and he gets to solve the most impossible cases while he's at this hotel," Amanda explained.
"And what do you know about Liam?" asked Danny, who couldn't imagine that an inspector with such a good reputation could have anything to do with drugs or burglaries, let alone the missing child. But it was very easy to be mistaken about people when you hardly knew anything about them.
"Well I honestly don't know that much about him," Amanda said, coming back into the living room from the kitchen.
"Liam Dixon used to be a regular patrolman before he became an inspector." Danny just nodded and mused while Amanda went into the bathroom to examine things.
"And I don't think he ever had another job before," Amanda added.
"Why not?", Danny wanted to know and from Amanda only a light laugh sounded from the bathroom.
"Well, he has that typical cop face, or is it just me?" Now that Danny thought about Amanda's words, they made sense. Liam did indeed have the typical cop face as seen in the movies. A serious look, dark eyes that said nothing about you, dark and always styled hair and a pointed nose. That made up just about every cop. 
"You got that right." Now even Danny had to grin when he was interrupted by his cell phone. Steve was calling him.
"Hi Steve!" replied Danny, hearing Steve breathe a sigh of relief on the other end.
"Oh my god! Danny!!! Why didn't you call me?" he was directly pierced by Steve with what felt like a thousand questions.
"Hey hey, slow down. What's going on with you?" asked Danny after Steve sounded totally upset, like something had happened again.
"I've been looking for you for the last four hours but couldn't find you anywhere," said Steve who was relieved to finally reach Danny on his cell phone.
"And I've called you several times but your cell phone was kind of off," Steve added.
"Oh, okay, but you don't have to worry. I'm fine, and Amanda's fine, too," Danny said, trying to calm Steve down a bit.
"Who's Amanda then?", Steve wanted to know and Danny slapped his forehead. 
"That's right you don't even know her yet," he said and he heard Steve laugh.
"I think you have some things to tell me there. So where do you want me to pick you up?" asked Steve.
"It's best if you come to Liam's apartment first. Amanda and I are stuck there. Someone locked us in there and now we can't get out," Danny said, and shortly after he heard someone tampering with the door. After two minutes, Steve entered the room and freed Danny and Amanda.
"What are you guys doing here anyway? And how does it look here?" again Steve had too many questions and Danny patted the commander on the shoulder.
"Well first, one question at a time Steve, and second, we wanted to look around here because I wanted to follow up on a suspicion. That's when we noticed the mess here," Danny said, and Steve looked around the apartment a little more closely.
"I'll get forensics," he said, making a phone call to the reception