Danny should have known something was up when Steve insisted the detective had to fly to Hilo on the Big Island without fail on Thursday morning.
According to the Commander, someone had to interview the possible witness to last Saturday’s downtown shooting. Danny naturally pointed out that the cops on Hawaii had already interviewed Allan Ha‘O, an unfortunate islander who had come to Oahu for the day to shop and ended up witnessing a brutal murder, and 5-0 already had his statement in hand. But Lt. Commander cross-every-t-and-dot-every-i, had insisted that a member of 5-0 had to do a follow up interview, in person, and Danny was elected since he’d never had the chance to visit the Big Island before. Steve had grinned when he said that like he was doing his partner a huge favour.
Danny – once again just trying to be helpful – pointed out that he had no desire to visit an island with an active volcano thank you very much but Steve was unmoved which was why the Jersey native sat on this small plane, fanning his face in the un-air conditioned cabin. Did he mention that the cabin wasn’t air conditioned because the plane was having mechanical problems? Of course it did. This was Danny’s life. On the bright side, the plane’s mechanical problems were discovered before they left the airport in Honolulu, not thousands of feet up in the air over the deep, dark, empty ocean.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the Captain announced over the scratchy P.A. system, “I’m afraid our mechanical issues won’t be solved as quickly as I’d hoped so I’m sorry to tell you this flight will be cancelled. There is another flight to the Big Island in two hours and, although it’s fully booked, we can add your names to the stand-by list or we can refund your fare if you so choose.”
Danny sighed in annoyance and stood up grabbing the small overnight case he’d brought with him from the overhead compartment. Even though the flight to Hilo was only an hour, Steve thought that during this trip it would be a good idea for Danny to touch base with the local cops and develop a positive relationship between them and the 5-0 team. Steve had very kindly booked Danny a hotel room for the night so the detective didn’t even have to worry about coming back the same day.
“You deserve a break Danno,” Steve had announced with a self-satisfied smirk, “this will give you a chance to unwind a bit and, you know, get that stick out of your ass,” a comment that had earned the taller man a well-deserved punch in the shoulder.
Danny clambered off the plane with the other passengers. There was no frigging way he was sitting around the Honolulu airport on the off chance he’d get another flight to Hilo today – to hell with that. He’d head back to work and if Steve still insisted he still had to go to Hawaii, he could book Danny on a flight next week. He had Grace tomorrow night and there was no damned way he was giving up his Friday night dinner and movie date with his baby girl.
Danny pushed through the main doors of the 5-0 offices feeling very put-upon and ready to bitch out Steve for Hawaii, its airlines and the state of his life in general.
The detective dropped his bag and looked up to see the entire team standing around the tech table with a short, fireplug-shaped man who Danny, even if he had grown up in a remote village in the Kalahari, would have recognized as a member of the military. The visitor, who appeared to be in his mid 70’s, was only a few inches taller than Danny but possessed of dark green eyes that Danny had no doubt could freeze water into ice with one glare. The older man had steel grey hair, a barrel chest and thick biceps that looked like they could snap the Jersey native like a twig if he so desired.
As he entered the offices, Danny’s three team members and their guest looked up at him in surprise. But while Kono and Chin looked pleased, Steve, for some reason, looked shocked and even guilty.
Danny furrowed his brows at his partner’s reaction as he walked up to the table to join the team. Steve’s mouth opened and closed several times as his eyes darted nervously between Danny and his guest.
“What? What are you doing here?” Steve asked his partner finally. “You’re supposed to be on a plane to Hilo.”
Danny shrugged as he looked up at Steve feeling even more confused by the ex-SEAL’s reactions.
“The plane had mechanical problems so the flight was cancelled. The next flight is in two hours but it’s fully booked so I decided to throw in the towel and come back to work. I’ll go next week if you still think it’s so all fired important.”
Danny examined their visitor for a moment then raised his eyebrows expectantly at Steve who seemed to have suddenly become mute and showed no sign of introducing his partner to their guest. Giving a huff of annoyance, Danny stuck out his hand to the older man.
“Hi, I’m Danny Williams,” he announced himself as the other man took his hand in a near bone crushing grip.
“Admiral Henry Pike, United States Navy – retired,” the other man boomed as if addressing a classroom of Naval cadets, “good to meet you Williams.”
Danny smiled at the other man.
“Everyone calls me Danny. I suppose people call you Hank?”
The older man pulled himself up to his full 5’8” and eyed Danny critically.
“Actually they call me Admiral,” he replied, his voice hard and a bit affronted.
Danny gave a smirk and opened his mouth to respond when Steve stepped over to him putting on hand on his partner’s shoulder and giving it a squeeze.
“Danny, Admiral Pike is an old friend of mine from Annapolis. In fact he was my Propellants and Explosives instructor in my second year.”
“Oh you’re the one who...” Danny began before Steve’s fingers tightened their grip on his shoulder in a clear indication that he should shut up.
“He and his wife are in Hawaii overnight on their way to Japan and he was kind enough to stop over and visit me.” Steve continued firmly.
Danny suppressed a gleeful smile. No wonder Steve looked so freaked out when Danny arrived. The old Admiral was probably a source of terror for an 18-year-old cadet Steven McGarrett.
The Jersey native smiled happily at the Admiral. Maybe if he played his cards right he could get some embarrassing stories about Steve.
“Well...it was nice of you to take the time to stop off and surprise Steve Admiral,” Danny grinned as he gestured at his partner wishing he’d been here when this old warhorse had slammed into 5-0 probably barking Steve’s name like he was about to send him into battle. The cool Lt. Commander had probably pissed his pants at seeing his unexpected visitor.
Pike raised an eyebrow at Danny as if the smaller man was an idiot.
“I don’t do surprises Williams,” he barked, “they’re for children’s birthday parties. I told Steve I was coming two weeks ago. Told him I wanted to meet his team and see his set up here. Make sure he was running this place with proper Navy discipline,” the Admiral continued as he gave Steve a light punch on the upper arm and smiled up at the Lt. Commander fondly.
Danny felt himself go cold as if a wave of ice water had washed over him. He stared at the Admiral for a moment before looking up at Steve in dawning realization. Suddenly it all made sense. No wonder Steve looked so guilty when Danny walked into the 5-0 offices a few moments ago.
“Two weeks ago?” Danny ground out, feeling his throat constricting.
“Danny...” Steve began as he shifted nervously from foot to foot.
“That’s why I had to go to Hawaii today,” Danny continued, his voice cracking. “So I wouldn’t be here when the Admiral came.”
“Danny...” Steve repeated uselessly, his eyes darting over to the Admiral who, along with Chin and Kono, were looking at both men with confusion.
“Danny look,” Steve started again but Danny shrugged the other man’s hand off his shoulder and turned to give the Admiral what he hoped was a genuine smile.
“It was nice to meet you sir,” Danny said, putting out his hand for the flummoxed Admiral to shake again. “I hope you enjoy your time in Hawaii.”
Danny turned to face Steve unable to meet the taller man’s eyes instead locking his gaze somewhere in the vicinity of the third button of Steve’s shirt. He swallowed thickly before he could speak.
“Commander, if it’s alright with you sir, I’m going to head out and follow up a few of the leads we have on the Takai case. I’ll be gone most of the afternoon so I won’t interrupt your reunion.”
“Danny please let me...” Steve tried again as he reached a hand out towards his partner.
The Jersey native stepped away from his partner’s reach and, with a brisk nod at the Admiral and his teammates, turned on his heel and strode out of the offices without looking back.
A pale-faced Steve glanced back to the Admiral and the rest of his team. The looks of shock on Chin and Kono’s faces told him they had just figured out what he’d done but Pike looked up at him in growing confusion.
“Steve what the hell is going on around here?”
Without responding Steve turned and hurried across the office pushing through the main doors and running down the hall and down the stairs to the main entrance in the hopes of catching up with Danny. He just made it to the parking lot when the Camaro sped by, engine roaring as Danny raced the car away from 5-0 headquarters.
Steve stopped dead in the middle of the parking lot, his shoulders slumped as his heart lodged itself in his throat. He rubbed one hand down his face and released a shaky sigh.
Chin climbed off his motorcycle resting his helmet on the handlebars before glancing around the crowded beach trying to spot Danny. It was noon and since Danny tended to be a creature of habit, the Hawaiian detective took the chance that his friend would show up at Kamekona’s shrimp truck for his afternoon meal. Sure enough Chin spotted a blonde head sitting at the edge of one of the picnic tables dotted around the truck. Chin walked across the parking lot and over the sand towards where Danny sat at the table poking idly at his plate of shrimp, his jaw resting on the palm of his left hand.
The Hawaiian detective slid onto the bench across from the blonde detective who looked up at him and grimaced in annoyance before dropping his eyes to his uneaten food once again.
“I don’t want to talk about it Chin,” Danny grumbled giving one piece of shrimp a particularly vicious stab with his fork.
Chin shrugged nonchalantly and twisted in his seat to signal to Kamekona to bring him his regular order before turning back to face his friend.
“OK. I’m just here for lunch anyway. It’s a complete coincidence that I ran into you.”
Danny glanced up at his friend and rolled his eyes.
“Isn’t it you who says coincidences take a lot of planning?”
Chin grinned and nodded.
“It’s nice to know you listen to my words of wisdom brah.”
Danny sighed heavily and looked back down at the plate of shrimp.
“Chin I’m fine ok? I just need some time to think.”
The Hawaiian detective couldn’t help but feel a wave of sympathy at the misery on his friend’s face. Danny Williams might be loud, opinionated and self-assured but he was also sensitive and the opinions of the people he loved and respected meant a great deal to him.
“Look Danny,” Chin began as he leaned forward to rest his elbows on the picnic table. “I’m not going to try to explain why Steve did what he did – only he can explain that – but this Admiral Pike he’s a hard-ass brah. He’s like a stereotypical Navy Admiral – like someone you’d see in an old Hollywood World War II movie.” Chin tried a tentative smile when Danny looked up at him.
“He looks like he probably ate Plebe’s for breakfast at Annapolis. I actually think Steve is a bit scared of him.”
Danny made a dismissive sound and waved his hand weakly as if brushing away Chin’s words.
“I doubt that but even if he is, what’s that got to do with Steve sending me off the island so I wouldn’t be around to meet this precious Admiral of his?”
Chin paused for a moment as one of Kamekona’s staff brought over his plate of shrimp and set it down in front of him. The older man chewed and swallowed a forkful of the meal thoughtfully before turning his attention back to Danny.
“It’s just...the old guy looks like his alarm clock is set to Reveille every morning. I think he gets out of bed and spit polishes his bedroom slippers,” Chin smiled at Danny nervously but received only a blank stare in return. He older man cleared his throat as he scooped up another serving of shrimp.
“I don’t know,” Chin continued helplessly, a bit lost for words. “Maybe Steve just thought it would be easier if...” the detective’s voice faded away as he realized he had no good way to finish that sentence.
“Easier if his loud-mouthed partner wasn’t around to say something stupid and embarrass him,” Danny supplied bitterly pushing his uneaten plate of food away.
Chin looked over at his friend sympathetically.
“Danny I’m sure that’s not the reason,” the Hawaiian officer replied even though he felt in his gut that was exactly the reason.
Danny shook his head and let his gaze drift out to sea. When he spoke again his voice was so soft Chin head to lean forward to hear what he said.
“I just...” Danny shook his head again and dropped his eyes to his hands which were clenched tightly together on the surface of the picnic table.
“I know I can be loud and abrasive and...I guess I get on people’s nerves but no one has ever sent me away. No one has ever been so embarrassed by me that they’d send me away to keep me from meeting someone.”
“Danny...” Chin interrupted gently reaching across the table to put his hand over Danny’s tightly entwined fingers.
“Don’t bother Chin,” the detective replied abruptly pulling his hands away from Chin’s and climbing out from the picnic table.
“It’s not...I’m fine. It’s no big deal. I just...Steve is...I thought we were...” Danny swallowed heavily and turned away as he dug his keys out of his pocket. “I have some more information to follow up. Will you tell Steve I’ll be gone for the rest of the day and probably part of tomorrow morning?”
Without waiting for an answer Danny trudged off to the Camaro, Chin’s eyes following him all the way.
The young Hawaiian officer straightened up from the tech table and turned around to favour Steve with a cold look.
“Yes?” she replied blandly.
The Commander stepped out of his office and shut the door behind him leaving Admiral Pike to examine Steve’s various medals and Navy memorabilia.
“Do you know where Danny is? And Chin?” the Commander asked quietly.
Kono turned back to the tech table and began sorting through files angrily.
“Danny is out following up some leads on the Takai case, as he told you this morning,” the young officer replied over her shoulder, her voice dripping with acid. “And Chin has gone out for lunch.”
“Kono,” Steve started again, taking several steps towards the young officer. “I can explain what happened.”
The female officer turned and gave Steve a look that would have crippled a lesser man.
“I’m not the person you need to explain anything to...Commander,” the officer replied coldly. She turned back to the table again, her posture making it clear she did not care to discuss the subject any further.
Steve stood staring at her for a moment then sighed in resignation before turning back to re-enter his office.
Steve stared into his scotch glass his eyes watching the play of light from the setting sun as it rippled across the amber liquid. He sat on the balcony of one of Oahu’s finest restaurants with Admiral and Mrs. Pike trying desperately to enjoy his time with the older couple but unable to keep his mind off Danny.
Mrs. Pike’s voice jerked Steve from his reverie and he looked up at her expectantly.
“Yes ma’am?” the Commander answered trying to focus his attention back on his dinner guests.
The older woman smiled at him warmly.
“Steve is something bothering you?”
The dark-haired man shifted in his chair.
“No ma’am I’m just...I’m sorry I’m a bit tired. We’ve been busy with our latest case.”
Mrs. Pike reached over the table and laid a warm hand on Steve’s forearm.
“Steven, I know it’s been some time since I’ve seen you but I can still tell when something’s bothering you.”
Admiral Pike examined his former cadet appraisingly.
“It has to do with today doesn’t it son?” The barrel-chested Admiral interjected his voice surprisingly gentle. “I saw what went on between you and Williams. You hadn’t expected him to be in the office and you were surprised when he showed up. Why?”
Steve swallowed thickly and swirled the scotch in his glass nodding slowly.
“Yes sir,” he replied quietly. “I-I sent Danny away today on purpose...to keep him from meeting you.”
Steve glanced up at the Admiral. The older man looked at him with shock then unexpectedly bellowed with laughter causing several diners at the surrounding tables to jump in surprise.
“Me? You didn’t want him to meet me? What the hell did you think I’d do to the boy? Am I that scary?”
Despite his overwhelming feelings of sadness and guilt, Steve couldn’t help the smile that twitched at his lips at the Admiral’s reaction. He shook his head firmly.
“No sir that’s not it. I wasn’t afraid of you doing anything to Danny I was...I was worried about how Danny would behave around you,” Steve felt his cheeks flame in humiliation and he bolted down the last of his scotch.
“Why?” the Admiral demanded.
Steve leaned forward in his chair and rubbed his hands over his face briefly before dropping them to his lap.
“Danny is...he’s a hell of a cop and he’s my best friend...” Steve swallowed thickly and took in a ragged breath. “The best friend I’ve ever had in my life. But he’s loud and opinionated. He has no respect for rank or authority. He says whatever the hell comes to his mind and he has no problem telling anyone – especially me – when he thinks they’re wrong.
Steve slumped back in his chair weakly.
“I just...you were only going to be here for a few hours. I didn’t know what he’d say if he met you,” The Commander looked up at the Admiral nervously. “I didn’t want him to come up with some smart-mouthed comment that would anger you sir. He’s about as far from being an obedient naval officer as you can get. It just seemed easier to keep him away from you and avoid any upset.”
Admiral Pike pressed his lips together and nodded in understanding.
“Well Commander you’re right, I do like Navy order and discipline. It keeps all systems running smoothly. But I also know that with 5-0 you’re not dealing with members of the Navy you’re dealing with civilians, even though they are police officers. I may not have loved your Detective Williams, might not even have liked him, but I trust your opinion. If you think he’s a good cop, if you’re happy with his work, if you care about him and consider him a friend, I like to think I would have taken that into account in my dealings with him. I’m not that much of a hard-ass you know.”
Steve closed his eyes and sighed regretfully.
“I’m sorry sir. I seem to have insulted many people today.”
Admiral Pike reached over the table and slapped Steve on the upper arm in a jovial – but painful – manner.
“Then you’d better get busy fixing the mess you’ve made Commander,” he barked at the younger man, “Starting right now.”
Steve looked up at the older man in confusion.
Mrs. Pike chuckled at Steve’s confusion.
“I think he means go find your friend and apologize Steve.”
The former SEAL glanced between the two.
“But our dinner...”
“Oh Helen and I are still having dinner Steve,” the Admiral snapped back lifting his hand to signal the waiter. “And you’re still paying for it. Just leave the waiter your credit card information and get going. Mrs. Pike and I will call you on our way back from Japan in a couple of months.”
Steve sat frozen to the chair for a moment seemingly unsure what to do. Admiral Pike raised an eyebrow at the younger man clearly wondering why his order hadn’t been obeyed instantly.
“You’re dismissed Commander!”
Danny sighed in annoyance as the knock sounded on the door. The pizza delivery guy had just left a moment ago, had he forgotten something or was he going to grouch at Danny for the tip the detective had given him?
The blonde man switched off the TV and climbed to his feet leaving the as yet unopened pizza box on the coffee table as he crossed the room to open the door. He almost slammed it shut when he saw Steve standing nervously on his stoop.
“What do you want?” Danny growled up at the taller man. “I’m off duty Commander. Unless we’ve got a case I wish you’d get the hell away from my house and leave me alone.”
“Danny,” Steve responded softly, his voice tinged with regret. “Please, let me speak to you.”
The detective tightened his jaw and stared at a spot just over his partner’s left shoulder.
“You’ve said everything you need to say Commander. I got the message loud and clear. I’m a source of embarrassment to you and I need to make myself scarce when your Navy friends come around.”
“Danny please,” Steve repeated taking a small step towards his friend one hand stretched out. “Please can we talk? I just...I know I hurt you today. I know what I did was stupid but...if you would just let me explain.”
Danny gave a mirthless laugh and gestured wildly into the house.
“Oh please do come in. I haven’t been kicked in the teeth enough today, you might as well finish the job.”
The blonde detective swiveled angrily and stomped into the house and flopped down on the couch crossing his arms tightly over his chest. He was mad as hell, not just because of what his supposed best friend had done to him but because he was near tears; him, a grown man wanting to blubber in pain and humiliation. He clenched his jaw firmly. There was no god-damned way he was going to give Steven Fucking McGarrett the satisfaction of seeing him weep like a god-damned teenage girl.
Steve entered the house and closed the front door softly. He looked over at Danny for a moment before approaching slowly and sitting on a nearby chair facing his partner. Steve clasped his hands on his lap and regarded Danny quietly for a moment as he considered his words.
“What I did today was stupid. I had no right to send you off like that. I had no right to keep you away from the office just to make my life easier.”
Danny sat in stony silence and Steve leaned forward slightly trying desperately to think of the words that would fix this mess.
“Danny...Admiral Pike and his wife took care of me when I first arrived at Annapolis. I was alone and had no family, nowhere to go on holidays. That first Christmas I’d resigned myself to staying at the academy reading and working out when the Admiral showed up on Christmas Eve and ordered me to pack an overnight bag and come with him. He took me to his house in Aspen Hill and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with his family.”
Steve shook his head slowly in wonder as he thought back to that lonely time and the few hours of happiness provided by Admiral Pike and his family.
“They had presents for me and everything. I just, I’ve always loved and respected him, always considered him the epitome of a true naval officer. His opinion means a great deal to me.”
Danny looked over at his friend with moist eyes.
“And you thought if he met me, your loud, obnoxious partner, he would lower his opinion of you?” Danny asked in a husky voice. “You thought I would do something to humiliate you? To make him think you’re not doing a good job with 5-0 because you hired such an asshole to be on your team?”
Danny’s voice broke on the last word and he dropped his chin to his chest as he struggled to control his emotions.
Steve felt his throat go tight seeing the pain he’d caused his best friend. He stood up from the chair and came across the room to kneel down in front of Danny laying his hands on his friend’s knees.
“Danny, you’re my best friend and you’re a terrific cop. You’ve taught me a hell of a lot about being a cop – and about being a friend. I’m not ashamed of you...”
Danny opened his mouth to argue but Steve put up a hand to stop whatever the smaller man was going to say.
“I’m not ashamed of you,” the taller man repeated firmly. “I’m proud of you and I’m proud you’re part of the team. I don’t want you to be anyone other than who you are. I just...I made a mistake sending you away. I thought the Admiral wouldn’t understand you, that he would take offence to something you said – even as a joke – and he would get upset. He’s an old man and he likes things a certain way. I just thought it would be easier to avoid any potential conflict.”
To Danny’s humiliation one tear escaped his eye and slid down his cheek before he could brush it away angrily.
“Do you really think I’m that much of a jerk that I would purposely say something rude to an old man – a decorated Navy officer, someone you care about? You could have just talked to me Steve. You could have explained the situation but instead you saw me as a problem, as a loose cannon that you had to deal with.”
Danny let out a tremulous breath and squeezed his eyes shut to prevent any further tears from escaping.
“Maybe that’s the way you’ve always felt about me. How many other ‘special assignments’ have I been sent on to keep me from meeting your friends and embarrassing you?”
Steve shook his head and squeezed Danny’s knees under his hands.
“No babe, it’s not like that. You have to believe me Danny. Today was a one-time thing and it was stupid of me. I took the easy way out instead of trusting you to handle the situation.”
Steve ducked his head trying to catch Danny’s eyes.
“Danny you’re my partner and my best friend. I love you and I would never knowingly hurt you. What I did today – sending you away like that – was stupid and thoughtless. It was my failure as a person not yours. Please, please believe me when I tell you I’m not embarrassed by you or the man you are. I just...I didn’t think the Admiral would understand you and I didn’t want him to dislike you. I should have had more faith in him, and in you.”
The two men sat quietly for a moment, Danny taking in shuddering breaths while Steve chewed his bottom lip nervously praying that he hadn’t destroyed the most important relationship in his life.
Slowly Danny raised his now wet eyes to Steve.
“I-I thought...” his voice broke and he shook his head rapidly raising one hand to cover his eyes. “...I thought you were ashamed of me.”
Steve felt his bottom lip tremble as he leaned forward and pulled his best friend into his arms and held the smaller man tightly.
“I’m so sorry Danny,” he whispered brokenly. “I am so sorry.”
“All I’m saying is that you have to be a bit crazy to become a Navy SEAL,” Danny postulated as he gestured animatedly with his fork. Steve sat next to him rolling his eyes while Admiral and Mrs. Pike sat across from him at the table.
“So I can’t help wondering if people like Steve are born with the crazy, have it drilled into them at Annapolis, or if they just pick it up as they go through BUD/s training?”
Mrs. Pike smiled indulgently at the quick-witted and smart-mouthed young man across from her while Admiral Pike watched the blonde idiot with an indulgent smirk. Steve had called the two at their hotel late last night begging them to meet Danny and himself for breakfast so they would have the chance to personally meet the partner he was so proud of before their plane left for Japan later that morning.
“Well I can’t speak for every Navy SEAL of course,” interjected the Admiral in his deep, rumbling voice, “but as for Steve, I think he came to the academy with a bit of the crazy already inside him.”
“Admiral!” Steve responded with mock effrontery. “I never did anything crazy while I was at the academy.”
Pike favoured Steve with an incredulous look.
“Really Steven? Do you want to explain scaling the outside of Bancroft Hall – without proper climbing gear by the way – and draping a 15 foot wide Gay and Lesbian Alliance rainbow flag across the front of the building?”
The Commander’s mouth dropped open and his eyes went wide as Danny hooted in glee next to him.
“I didn’t...how did you...what makes you think it was me?” Steve asked in a strangled voice.
Pike snorted in derision as he picked up his cup of coffee and took a sip before answering.
“After that long argument you and I had at supper two evenings before about how stupid Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was and how the Navy had to catch up to the times? Not to mention I’ve seen you climb; no one else could have done that.”
Steve shrugged his shoulders petulantly and dropped his eyes to his plate of eggs.
“Well it was a stupid rule,” he grumbled.
Danny clapped his hands happily and grinned over at his friend.
“Did you get caught?”
Admiral Pike huffed out a small laugh.
“He did not. Fortunately his superiors could see that, despite his proclivities for acting before giving it any kind of rational thought, he was going to be a fine naval officer and we decided that we would pretend we had no idea who had pulled the stunt.”
“You see!” Danny announced jabbing his fork towards Steve, “I was right all along – you’re insane. You’ve always been insane.”
Steve looked up and gave his friend a bland, toothy smile.
“And you’re my friend and partner. What does that say about you?”
Danny’s smile dropped away and he slumped in his chair shaking his head hopelessly.
“It tells me the insanity is catching.”
Admiral Pike bellowed with laughter as Mrs. Pike shook her head fondly at the two young men.
“I think you’re both a little crazy,” she offered lifting her pineapple juice glass in a toast. “It’s fortunate for the State of Hawaii that you found each other.”