KILLER ON THE LOOSE

A Hawaii Five-O story

by Deana Lisi

*********

"Hey, Danny. What, are you gonna work all night?"

Danny looked up. He hadn't heard Chin Ho come in. Danny had taken over for Steve while he was in Hilo testifying at a trial. It was hard work, and boy, was he tired. He yawned as he looked at his watch.

"I didn't realize what time it was," he said, as he got up from Steve's desk.

"Uh, oh," said Chin, smiling. "Now you're getting like Steve."

Danny smiled back as he put on his suit jacket and fished out his keys.

"Well," he said, as they left Steve's office, "at least nothing too serious has happened while Steve's been gone."

"Yeah," Chin answered, in relief.

Danny yawned again. He was so tired, that he didn't notice the sound of a message coming over the wire. He locked the door and they left.

*********

The minute Danny walked into HQ the next morning, he knew something was wrong.

Chin and Ben were standing there, Chin holding a piece of paper. They did not look happy.

"What?" Danny asked.

Chin sighed. There was only one way to tell him, and that was just to say it.

"Charlie Wilson escaped from prison last night, Danny."

Danny just looked at him for a minute, shocked. Charlie Wilson was a convicted murderer. Sent to prison only two months ago, thanks to Danny's cousin, Carolyn, and her husband, Jonathan Taylor. They'd witnessed the crime, and Wilson had threatened to kill them.

Now he was free.

"Oh, God," Danny said. "Let's go!" The three of them ran out the door.

*********

Danny sped to his cousin's house. He pulled up, and they all got out.

"You two look around out here," Danny said. "I'll go talk to them."

Chin and Ben nodded, and went around the back of the house. Danny knocked on the door. No one answered it.

"Carolyn!" He called. Nothing. He turned the handle on the door. It was unlocked. He opened it and walked in. What he saw made him stop, and stare with horror.

Carolyn and Jonathan were both lying on the floor, dead from gunshot wounds. They were holding hands, as if one of them had sought comfort -- or given it.

"No!" Danny said, in utter grief. "No..."

Suddenly he remembered something. Panicking, he bolted past them, into a small room down the hall. He sighed in relief when he saw that their infant son, asleep, was still alive. Some sixth sense made the baby wake up. He opened his eyes and looked at Danny. Danny picked him up and held him close. He remembered how terrified Carolyn had been when Wilson had threatened them. It had taken a while, but Danny promised her he wouldn't give up until he'd caught Wilson. It finally happened, and the day after Wilson had gone to jail, the baby was born. Carolyn and Jon were so grateful to Danny, that they'd named the baby after him. Danny had been thrilled. Now, they were dead, and the baby had no parents. Danny tried to blink back tears.

He brought the baby out of the room, keeping its head turned away from the bodies. Trying not to look at them himself, he went back outside. He sat down on the steps, rocking the baby. Chin and Ben came over then, and were surprised to see Danny sitting there. Especially when they saw the baby, and the look on Danny's face.

"Danny?" Chin said.

Danny sighed. "It's too late," he said, his voice unsteady. "Too late..." Chin and Ben ran past him and into the house. A minute later they came back out. Chin sat next to Danny, and put a hand on his shoulder. Ben went to the car and radioed for the M.E.

*********

Like Danny, Steve knew something was wrong when he walked in. He saw a sad look on Jenny's face that made him run straight to his office, and open the door. He saw Danny, sitting on the couch, his head in his hands. Steve was surprised to see a baby seat -- containing a sleeping baby -- on the coffee table.

"Danno?" he said urgently. "What's happened?"

Danny looked up at him. Steve thought he looked totally distraught. He went over to him.

"Charlie Wilson broke out of prison, Steve." Danny said, slowly. "He -- he killed Carolyn and Jon." Danny dropped his face back in his hands.

Shocked, Steve sat down next to him. Danny spoke again.

"I could've prevented it, Steve." He said it so softly that Steve wasn't sure he heard him right, but he knew how Danny was, how he often blamed himself.

"No, Danno. You can't let yourself think that," Steve said. "There was no way for you to know."

Danny shook his head. "The message came that Wilson was out, last night. But I left before it came. And now, because of me, they're dead!"

Steve sighed, and shook his head. He put a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Danno, you can't blame yourself, that's ridiculous! How were you supposed to know about it? What, you think you're supposed to wait around all night for messages? There's nothing you could've done. Nothing," he said, hoping that it was true. Danny said nothing more.

Steve looked at the baby. So tiny, and young. Steve had seen him many times, had been acquainted with Carolyn and Jon. Steve wondered what would become of little Danny Taylor.

Suddenly, the baby started to cry. Danny jumped, as if he'd been startled. He picked up the baby, and looked around for his bottle. Steve picked it up, and gave it to him. Steve watched as Danny fed him. It seemed as if Danny was treating the baby as if he was his own.

"Danno," Steve said. "Who can take the baby?"

Danny looked at him as if he didn't understand. "Take him?"

"I mean who's going to take and raise him, keep him?" Steve said.

Danny didn't answer at first. He looked at the baby and sighed. "He's my responsibility now, Steve."

Steve was surprised, but then again, not. "Danno," he said firmly. "You can not hold yourself responsible for what happened, don't you understand?"

Danny didn't answer.

"Are you saying you're going to keep him?" Steve asked.

Danny stood up. "I don't know, Steve! I don't know what I should do." He began pacing, while still feeding the baby at the same time. "I can't just give him to some strangers to adopt! This is my cousin's baby. A cousin that I grew up with. Saw nearly every day. We were like brother and sister..." his voice started to shake. "Now, she's gone..." -- he paused, almost unable to contain his grief -- "...and her son is all alone in the world." He stopped, looked at Steve. "What would you do, Steve?" It wasn't a challenge, Steve saw, but a question.

Steve thought about his own sister, and understood Danny's feelings. But before he had a chance to answer, Chin and Ben came in.

"Hey, Steve," said Ben.

"Welcome back, Boss," said Chin.

"Aloha, bruddahs," Steve said. "What's that?" He asked Ben, pointing to a large bag he was carrying.

"Oh," said Ben. "Here, Danny. There's baby bottles and stuff in here." He put the bag on the floor. "We figured you'd be taking care of him for a little while."

"Yeah," said Chin. "We took all the necessary stuff. There's more in my car. We figured you -- uh -- wouldn't want to go in the house again."

Danny looked at his friends, saw the compassion and concern in their faces. "Thanks, guys." He sighed for the hundredth time, and looked at the baby. He'd finished his bottle. Danny put it in the bag.

"Can I hold him?" Chin asked.

"Sure," said Danny, and handed him over.

Chin Ho smiled. He made silly noises at the baby, who stared at him with big blue eyes.

Ben watched, laughing, and finally said, "My turn!" He took the baby, and made faces at it.

Steve and Chin laughed, and the silliness of it broke through Danny's sadness for a minute, and he smiled.

"Why don't you hold him, Steve?" Chin asked.

"Oh, no thanks. I'm not good with babies," Steve said hurriedly.

"Aww, come on," said Ben, "look at this cute little face." They were putting Steve on the spot, and were enjoying it.

Danny couldn't help it. He joined in. "Why not? What are you afraid of, Steve?" He took the baby from Ben, and placed it in Steve's arms.

Steve looked at the baby. It squealed and laughed. "Oh, sure, that's what you think of me?" Steve said.

"I think he likes you, Steve," Danny said.

Steve smiled at the baby. "Well, how about that? I think you're right." A minute later, he said, "Uh, oh."

"What?" Danny asked.

"I think I spoke too soon. Danno, you want to take care of the little guy, right?"

"Of course." Danny said, not sure of what Steve was getting at.

"Well, start by changing his diaper!"

Chin and Ben busted out laughing, as Steve handed Danny the baby.

"Very funny," Danny said. He took the bag of baby stuff, and headed for the bathroom.

As soon as he was gone, they all looked at each other.

"Poor Danny," said Chin. "I can't believe this happened."

"Me neither," said Steve. He sat down at his desk with a sigh. "Fill me in on the details, guys."

"Okay," said Chin. He told Steve how they got there that day to find the message, and that it had been dated from the night before.

"It came just after we left," said Chin. He sighed. "That's my fault. I'm the one who made Danny go home. He was exhausted, Steve. You could tell just by looking at him. It's not easy being the head of Five-O."

Steve rolled his eyes. "No kidding," he said.

"We went to the Taylor's house this morning, after reading the message," said Ben. "We checked around outside, while Danny went in to tell them." He paused. "He found their dead bodies. They'd been shot."

Steve shook his head, in sympathy.

"We found Danny outside with the baby. You should've seen the look on his face."

Steve got up from his desk. He looked out his lanai doors. "I should've been here," he said. "Maybe I could've done something."

"No, Steve. Now you sound like Danny! There was nothing anyone could've done," Chin said.

The door opened, and Danny came back in.

Ben smiled at him. "Good as new, huh?"

"Yeah," Danny said. He looked at Steve. "Well, you're back in charge now. What do you want me to do?" he asked, sounding depressed.

Steve looked at him. "Do? What I want you to do is go home! Take the baby, have a few days off. Get yourself together," he said.

"You're not gonna let me work on this case?" Danny asked, sounding pathetic.

"Danno, you've just suffered something horribly traumatic. I don't think you should. Besides, how are you supposed to if you're going to take care of the baby?"

Danny thought for a minute. "Jenny can watch him. I'm sure she wouldn't mind. All he does is sleep," he said.

"Lucky guy," said Ben.

Chin elbowed him.

Steve sighed.

"Steve," Danny said. "I have to catch this guy. I did it once, I can do it again."

Steve was silent for a minute. He looked at Danny, saw the sorrow in his face. But there was also determination there.

Thinking Steve was going to say no, Danny sighed, and looked at the floor.

That made Steve feel sad. He loved Danny like a younger brother, and couldn't see him like that. He couldn't refuse him. "Okay, Danno. On one condition: start tomorrow. Stay home the rest of today, huh? You gotta get the little guy settled, you know."

Danny didn't protest. "Yeah," he said. He turned and headed for the door. Ben opened it for him.

"Thanks," he said, and left.

A minute later, Steve noticed that Danny had forgotten the baby seat. He grabbed it.

"I'll be back, guys," he said.

Before he got to the door, Chin said, "There's stuff in my car he'll need for the baby."

Steve nodded. "I'll help him with it. I'll be back later."

*********

What the heck is this thing? Steve wondered. He'd helped Danny bring in all --and there was a lot -- of the baby stuff. They were trying to figure out where to put some of it. Steve didn't know where to put the thing he was holding. It had a plug, but he didn't know what it did. Danny came out of his bedroom, after depositing the sleeping baby in the bassinet, which he'd placed beside his bed.

"Danno," Steve said. "Do you know what this thing is?" He held it up.

Danny nodded. "It's a bottle warmer. Carolyn..." -- he paused -- "...said it was one of the best inventions. Wondered why no one had made them sooner."

Steve put it down on the counter. He put a bunch of formula cans in the refrigerator. He watched as Danny sat down with a sigh. He went over to him.

"You okay?" He asked.

"Tired," Danny answered, rubbing his eyes.

"Why don't you get some sleep?" Steve said. "I'll put the rest of this stuff away, and watch the baby for you."

"You don't have to do that, Steve. I'll put the rest of it away later. I just ... I gotta think," Danny said.

Steve knew Danny had a lot to think about. What to ultimately do with the baby. And Steve knew he was trying to figure out how to catch Wilson. Steve looked around. There wasn't much left to put away. A bunch of baby clothes and blankets, some bottles on the counter, which is probably where those would stay, anyway.

"Okay, Danno," he said, reluctantly. He felt bad leaving him here this way. He put a hand on his friend's shoulder.

"Everything will be fine, Danno, you'll see. If you need me, if there's anything I can do for you, you know where I'll be." He turned to leave.

"Steve?"

"Yeah, Danno?"

"Thanks. I appreciate it." Danny said.

Steve smiled. "Anytime, bruddah."

*********

The next morning, Danny went to HQ early. He knew Steve would be there by now, but was surprised to see Chin and Ben already there too. Obviously, they were as determined to catch Wilson as he was. Danny was touched. He decided that his three friends were the best people in the world.

"Mornin', Danno," Steve said. He noticed the shadows under Danny's eyes. "You look tired. Did he wake you up in the middle of the night?"

Danny shook his head. "Surprisingly, no. He's a good baby," he said, as he set the baby seat down. "He slept all night. I didn't." He sighed. "I called my Aunt Clara last night. She'll be here in a few days. She wants to take the baby."

Steve raised his eyebrows. "Good. That's good, Danno."

Danny shrugged. Chin and Ben immediately surrounded the baby.

"You're lucky," said Chin. "When my kids were babies, they'd sometimes cry all night."

"Hey, 'Little Danny'," Ben said. He held out his finger, and the baby grabbed it.

Steve watched, amazed at their reaction to the baby. The tough Five-O detectives were all softies.

"Hey, Steve. Check out his outfit," Ben said, laughing.

Steve came closer. The baby was wearing a one piece outfit that was white, with light blue stripes that resembled a baseball jersey, and he had matching booties, and the tiniest baseball hat Steve had ever seen, and it still looked too big on him. It was adorable. As Steve looked at him, the baby looked right back. Steve realized his eyes were the same bright blue as Danny's. The family resemblance was strong. Steve could see why babies -- and especially this one -- were so appealing.

"Cute, huh?" Chin said, smiling.

"I bought that outfit for him months ago," said Danny.

"You did?" Steve said.

"Yeah. I knew it would be a boy. Carolyn thought so too." He sighed heavily. "She wanted to go buy baby clothes one day. Everyone had told her to buy white and yellow stuff, since she didn't know what it was. I went with her, and we ended up buying a whole bunch of boy stuff. You should've seen the look on Jon's face when we came back, and he saw. It was funny."

But Danny didn't laugh. He suddenly looked pale, to Steve. He imagined that Danny must've relived what he was telling them in his mind ... realizing that the pleasant past memories were over for good.

"Sit down, Danno," Steve said, concerned. He took Danny by the arm and led him over to the couch. Danny let out a shaky breath as he sat.

"Don't think about it, Danno," Steve said, gently.

Danny looked up at him. Ben and Chin, holding the baby, both came over. They all looked worried.

"I'm okay," Danny said. They looked like they didn't believe him.

Suddenly, the phone rang. Steve answered it. "McGarrett. Yeah, Che."

Danny stood up, and pointed to the speakerphone, wanting to know what Che had to say. Steve pressed the button.

"I finished the autopsies, Steve." Che was saying. "Mr. Taylor must've died immediately, shot in the heart. His wife didn't. The bullet didn't hit any organs. She likely bled to death."

Danny gasped, "Oh, God."

Steve looked at him. Looking even paler then before, Danny sat back down.

"Steve?" Che was saying. "Something wrong?"

Steve shut off the speakerphone. He sighed. "Danny heard that, Che. I had you on speaker."

"Oh, Steve! If I'd known he was listening..."

Steve cut him off. "If you figure anything else out, let me know," he said. He all but slammed the phone down, angry. He realized that it wasn't Che's fault though, it was his. He sighed again.

He looked at his friend. Danny was staring into space, in shock. Chin and Ben were saying something to him, Steve didn't hear what, and he doubted if Danny heard them either. He went over to them.

"I'm so, so sorry, Danno," he said, not knowing what else to say.

"She suffered," Danny said, not looking up, his voice far away.

"Maybe not. She probably wasn't conscious," Steve said.

Danny shook his head. "Yes she was. When I found them, they were holding hands. He was dead, and she knew it. She held his hand, until she died. We both know what it feels like to be shot! She laid there and suffered...." His voice sounded choked up. Suddenly he looked at his friend. "Steve," he said, wide-eyed, "She could've lived, she would've lived...." He realized.

The look on Danny's face was more then Steve could bear. Danny tried to hold back tears, but wasn't succeeding. Steve sat next to him, took a handkerchief out of his pocket, and put it in his friend's hand. He wished there was some way he could comfort Danny, make things right again. It was heartbreaking seeing him this way.

Steve looked at Chin, to see him furiously blinking back his own tears as he fed the baby. He saw Ben wiping his eyes. Steve couldn't take it anymore. He put an arm around Danny, and let him cry on his shoulder. Steve began to feel rage at Wilson, for doing this to his closest friend. They stayed that way for a while. While it was hard for them to see Danny so broken up, they knew that it was good for him to let it out, not to keep it bottled up inside. He'd probably feel better when he was done.

Steve heard Ben sigh. Ben was a sensitive guy, and really felt bad for people who were suffering, especially when that person was a friend. The four Five-O men were close, considering each other family. When one of then was hurting, they all did.

After a while, Steve noticed that Danny's tears had stopped, and he was just sniffling. Danny sat up.

"You okay, bruddah?" Steve asked him.

Danny nodded. He slumped back against the couch, exhausted. They all just looked at him. Danny saw the concern in their faces.

"I'm okay," he said, barely louder then a whisper.

Steve sighed. "Why don't you go home and get some rest, Danno?" He said.

Danny shook his head. "I gotta find Wilson," he said.

"We put out an APB on him, Danny." Chin said. "He hasn't been spotted. You don't think that you can just find him like that..." -- he snapped his fingers-- "...do you?"

Danny sighed.

"Take a nap right here then." Steve suggested. "On the couch. How are you going to track this guy down if your mind's all fuzzy from lack of sleep?" said Steve, trying to trick him.

Danny sighed again. "I wish I could sleep, Steve." He rubbed his eyes.

Steve got up and went in the bathroom. He came back a minute later. "Here," he said. "Take these." He handed Danny sleeping pills.

Danny looked at them for a minute, then looked at Steve. "You sure they're safe?"

"Of course. I wouldn't give them to you if they weren't. I know from experience," he said. "They're not addicting, or anything."

"But time could be wasted that I could be working on the case," Danny protested.

"Danno, it's not even eight o'clock in the morning yet! By the time you wake up, you'll still have all day to work on it," Steve said.

"But what about the baby?" Danny asked.

"We'll take care of him," said Ben, who was holding him now.

"We'll take turns," said Chin.

"Yeah," Steve said, smiling. "Me too."

Danny finally realized that he'd lost the debate. Suddenly, all he really wanted to do was sleep.

"Okay," he said. He took the pills. "Happy, now?" He asked Steve.

"Yup," Steve replied.

"How long do they take to work?" Danny asked, as he laid down on the couch and tried to get comfortable.

"Not long. You'll feel better when you wake up, Danno. I promise," Steve answered.

Danny yawned. He couldn't keep his eyes open. "Good," he mumbled. Within seconds he was fast asleep.

"Wow," Ben said, "They sure do work fast. Let me try them sometime."

Steve almost laughed. "They don't work that fast, Ben. It looks like he didn't wait for them."

*********

It was noon, and they'd gotten no clues whatsoever on the whereabouts of Charlie Wilson. Chin and Ben were out talking to friends and relatives of Wilson's, so Steve was keeping an eye on the baby, and Danny, who was still asleep. The baby was surprisingly quiet, for the most part. Even when Steve was on the phone, which was when he expected the baby to start screaming, or something.

He was talking to the warden of the Oahu State Prison.

"We didn't notice Wilson was missing till around nine o' clock," the warden said. "According to his cell mate, he'd been gone a while. 'Took you long enough.' He'd said to the guard."

"How did he escape?" Steve asked.

The warden sighed. "Well, around four o' clock we'd let the prisoners go outside. I don't know how, but he must've gotten out then."

Steve bit back a reply about proper security, and said instead, "Nine p.m.? Something doesn't sound right to me." He grabbed the message from the wire. "This message got here at ten that night."

"Yeah. We looked for him first. We thought he might be hiding, and hadn't actually gotten away."

"Okay. Thank you very much," Steve said. He hung up, and sat, thinking.

Suddenly the baby started to cry. Steve quickly picked him up, not wanting the noise to wake up Danny. He looked around for the bottle, but the baby stopped. He'd just wanted to be held. Steve looked at Danny, he was still asleep.

Steve smiled at the baby. "I guess you really do like me, huh?" he said to him.

There was a knock on the door. Steve almost yelled "Come in," but then remembered Danny, so instead went to the door and opened it. It was Che Fong.

"Hi, Che. You got something else?" Steve said.

"Yeah." Che said. He saw the baby. He smiled. "Hey, little guy!" He said, tickling the baby, who giggled. "He's adorable!" Che said.

Steve wondered who else was going to get charmed by the cute little face. Steve put a finger to his lips, motioning for Che to talk quietly. He gestured to Danny on the couch.

"Oh, sorry," Che said. "How's he doing?"

"He's been better," Steve said.

Che sighed. "Well, I wanted to tell you that the bullets were from a .357, Steve. And also the time of death..." -- he looked to make sure Danny was still asleep and couldn't hear him -- "...for the Taylors was between six and eight that night."

Steve was surprised. "What? Between six and eight? Are you sure?"

Che made a face. "Well, yes. I'm sure. When they were found they'd been dead at least 12 hours." Che couldn't understand why Steve was smiling.

"This means that Danno can't blame himself for this anymore," Steve said. "The message didn't come that Wilson was out until 10 that night." He explained. "So even if Danno had seen it then, he couldn't've prevented it, it was already too late. Che, you're a lifesaver!"

Che smiled. "Thanks. Always like to be of help." He looked at the baby again. "Bye bye!" he said to it, tickling it again. He smiled. "See ya, Steve." He left.

Steve was so happy about these latest developments, that he couldn't wait to tell Danno. Now he wished he would wake up.

*********

Finally, late that afternoon, Danny woke up. The sleeping pills had really knocked him out, and he had no clue what time it was. Steve had been right, though. Aside from a bit of grogginess, physically he did feel better.

He opened his eyes, and saw Steve, Chin, and Ben all sitting there watching him. Danny was a little surprised to see that Steve was holding the baby. The other strange thing was that they were all smiling.

"Feel better?" Steve asked.

"Yeah, I do. Thanks," Danny answered.

"No problem. Danno, guess what? Wilson had been missing from the prison since four o'clock that day." Steve told him.

Danny frowned. "Really?"

"Yeah. Che said that the crime took place between six and eight."

Danny's eyes widened.

Steve went on. "The message didn't come that he was missing until ten that night. Don't you see, Danno? It's not your fault! Even if you'd seen the message when it came, you couldn't've stopped it. You really can't blame yourself."

Steve stopped, giving Danny a chance to let all that he'd said seep in. It finally did, for Steve saw the look on Danny's face go from confusion, to relief. Like a burden had been lifted off his shoulders.

"I couldn't've prevented it," Danny said, to himself, it seemed.

"No," Steve repeated. "It wasn't your fault."

Danny rubbed his still tired eyes. He seemed speechless. After a minute, he finally said. "Whoa. I don't know what to feel now." He just sat there for a while, trying to shake of the grogginess that still lingered. He looked at his watch, blinked at what he saw.

"4 o'clock?!" He said. "I've been asleep for 8 hours?" No wonder he felt groggy.

"Yeah," Steve said. "You needed it. We didn't come up with any clues or anything about Wilson, so there was no reason to wake you up. You didn't miss anything."

Danny sighed. He noticed that he was holding a handkerchief in his hand. He looked at it, confused. It wasn't his. A second later he remembered where it came from. He handed it out to Steve.

"Keep it," Steve said.

"Thanks." Danny stuck it in his pocket.

The baby started to cry. Danny held out his arms, to take him.

"It's okay, Danno, I got it," Steve said, grabbing a bottle from his desk.

Danny was surprised again. He rubbed his eyes. Maybe I'm not awake yet. He thought. When he opened his eyes, Steve was feeding the baby, smiling! Danny couldn't believe it.

"What's been done so far?" Danny asked

"We talked to as many relatives of Wilson's as we could find," said Chin.

"There weren't many," Ben said. "No parents or siblings. Just a few cousins, a couple of aunts and uncles. They all hate him, or so they said."

"We had flyers put up," said Steve. "An APB, of course. The airports have been informed."

"Have the neighbors been questioned yet?" Danny asked. "Maybe they saw something."

"We went to see them. No one was home," Chin said.

"We can go try again," Ben suggested.

Danny shook his head. "No, I'll go. I know them anyway." He stood up.

"Oh, Danno, one thing. The Child Protection Services called," Steve said.

Danny stopped dead. "What did you tell them?"

"I told them you'd call them back," Steve said, smiling. "I'll come with you, Danno," said Steve. He went to put the baby back in the baby seat, but both Chin and Ben put out their arms, to take him.

"My turn!" Ben said.

"Now, now, children. No fighting," Steve said.

Chin put his arms down, laughing, letting Ben take the baby.

Steve looked at Danny. He saw what almost passed as a smile on his face. It was no big grin, but it was good to see, anyway.

*********

Steve pulled up to the house next to Carolyn's and Jon's. He noticed that Danny deliberately avoided looking at his late cousin's house. They knocked on the door. A man answered it.

"Danny! Come in," he said. "Tami!" He yelled. "Danny's here."

A woman came running in. She took Danny's hands. "Oh, Danny. I'm so, so sorry," she said, with tears in her eyes.

Danny sighed. "Tami, Matt, this is Steve McGarrett," he said. Steve shook their hands. "Matt and Tami Anderson," he told Steve.

"We'd like to ask you some questions, if you don't mind," Steve said.

"We don't mind at all. Ask away," Matt said.

"Did you two see anything suspicious Wednesday night?" he asked.

The two of them thought.

"I don't think so." Tami said.

"I didn't. I went to bed early," said Matt.

"This'll be between six and eight that night." Danny said.

"Six and eight?" Tami said. "Wait a minute! A car. It parked in front of our house for a minute, then kept going. I remember I saw it out the living room window, I was waiting for the news to come on."

"What did the car look like?" Danny asked, getting excited.

"Uh, well, it looked new, know what I mean? I think it was white," she said.

"Did it have two doors, four doors?" Steve said, trying to help her remember.

"I'm not sure. Maybe four."

"What kind of car was it?" Matt asked her, throwing in his own question.

She started to look upset. "I don't know. I'm sorry, Danny! It looked like every other car on the road."

"It's okay, Tami," Danny said. "At least it's something. It's our first real clue."

That seemed to make her feel better. "I'm glad I remembered it at all," she said.

"Me too," Danny said. "Did either of you hear anything?"

They both shook their heads.

"You mean none of you heard the ... the shots?" Danny asked, almost not able to say it.

"No. We would've called the police if we had." Matt said.

"Yeah, of course," Danny said. "Well, thanks for the info."

"We're here if you need anything else, Danny," Matt said.

"Thanks," he said. They left.

They walked down the walkway, towards the car. Danny stopped, and Steve walked a few more steps before he noticed. He turned, saw Danny staring at Carolyn's house. Yellow crime scene tape surrounded it.

"Danno?" He said.

Danny didn't respond. Steve took his arm, and led him to the car. They got in, and Steve drove away. Danny stared out the window for a while.

"Wilson must've used a silencer," he finally said.

"Yeah," Steve agreed. He picked up his CB. "McGarrett to Central."

"Central Dispatch."

"Patch me through to my office, please." He waited. Ben answered.

"Yeah, Steve?"

"Can you find out for me if HPD got any reports of a stolen late model white car since Wednesday?"

"Sure. Hold on." A minute later he came back. "No, Steve. No stolen cars at all this week."

"Okay, Ben. Thanks." Steve put the CB back.

"Figures," Danny said. "Unless....."

"Unless what?"

"Unless he stole it from a car dealer. One missing from dozens might not be noticed immediately."

Steve raised his eyebrows. "Good thinking, Danno. Real good. Where do you want to start?"

Danny thought. "Wherever's closest to the prison," he said.

*********

They pulled up at the first car dealer they found near the Oahu State Prison. They walked in, to see the owner on the phone. He hung up as they walked over.

Steve took out his badge. Before he got to introduce himself, the man spoke.

"Wow," the man said. "You guys sure got here fast."

"Huh?" Danny said.

"I was just telling the cops that one of my cars had been stolen." The man told them.

That hit Steve and Danny like a ton of bricks. Steve opened his mouth to speak, but Danny beat him to it.

"Stole one of your cars? Was it a white, newer model?" He asked.

"Yeah. How'd you know? Did you find it already?"

Steve and Danny looked at each other, elated.

"Do you have anymore like it?" Danny asked.

"Yeah. A bunch of them."

"Can we see them?"

"Sure." The man turned around and went out a back door. Steve and Danny followed him. When Danny saw the cars, he ran over to them.

"What, did he find my car, like it, and want one for himself?" The man asked, as they followed Danny. Steve almost laughed at his unintentionally funny question.

"No," he said. "And sorry, we didn't find the car. It's a long story." They reached Danny and the cars.

"You must have twenty white ones." Danny said. "What, do you count them every day, and notice that you had one less?"

"No," the man said. "The car that's gone is the only one that had a license plate. It's my car."

Danny's eyes widened. He looked at Steve.

"I drove it here on Wednesday morning." The man went on. "Since then, I've driven around that black one over there..." -- he pointed -- "...with the dealer plate. My wife test drove it, said it drives funny. I've been trying it out. There's nothing wrong with it."

Danny couldn't've cared less about the black car that "drives funny." "Your car. With a plate. What's the plate?" he asked.

"It's JM-1208," he said.

"I'll go put out an APB!" Danny said, and ran to do it.

"APB?" The man said. He still had no idea what was going on.

*********

Steve and Danny walked into Steve's office. Chin and Ben smiled at Danny.

"Now we're getting somewhere," Chin said, holding the baby.

"Yeah," Danny said, plopping down in the chair in front of Steve's desk. "Finally. I just wish we'd found Wilson by now."

After they'd left the car dealership, they'd driven around for an hour, hoping to spot the car. They'd had no such luck.

"Oh, by the way, Danny, the CPS called again while you were gone," said Ben.

Chin sighed. "They want to take the baby, Danny."

They all just looked at him, waiting for a reaction. Danny just stood there.

"But my Aunt wants him. What did you tell them?" He finally asked.

Ben smiled. "I threatened them."

"You what?!" Danny and Steve both said.

"No, I didn't. I wanted to, but I just hung up on them instead," Ben said

Danny looked at Ben, and shook his head, almost smiling. "Thanks, Ben."

Steve said to him, "I think we should make you the official phone answerer."

Ben laughed.

Suddenly, the phone rang. Contradicting himself, Steve answered it. "McGarrett." He listened. His eyebrows went up. "Sir, " he said. "Would you mind repeating that?" He pressed the speakerphone button.

"Uh, yeah," the man on the phone said, sounding nervous. "I was just watching the news, and I know where the car is that you're looking for." He paused. "The white one, with the plate JM-1208. I live in one of the apartments on Alewa Drive. The car is outside. I guess the guy rented an apartment here."

Steve looked at his friend. Danny had leaped out of his chair when he heard the man's statement.

"Good. Would you mind telling me your name, sir?" Steve asked.

"Why?" The guy asked back.

"So we can contact you if we need to speak to you again." They all heard a click. "Hello?" Steve said. Nothing.

"Don't you hate that?" Ben said. "People think they're doing you a favor, but then they don't want to get involved."

"Who cares? Let's go!" Danny said, and ran out the door.

Steve shook his head. "I guess you guys have to play babysitter again," Steve said, heading for the door.

"That's okay. I never heard of a babysitter getting paid what we're getting!" Chin said, laughing.

*********

Steve and Danny quietly walked over to the apartment building, having parked up the street. They didn't see the car anywhere. Steve pointed around the side of the building, indicating where Danny should look. Danny nodded and headed in that direction.

Steve looked around. He couldn't find the car. Suddenly, he realized something that hit him so hard, he stopped dead. The man that had called had given them the plate of the car. Steve hadn't given the plate to the media! It had to have been Wilson, but why had he set a trap for them? Unless the Taylor's weren't the only ones Wilson wanted revenge on...

"Danno!" Steve yelled. He started running in the direction that he'd sent his friend. Suddenly, Steve heard a sound that sent his heart into his throat. The sound of tires screeching, and a loud crash.

*********

Danny was looking around, trying not to get frustrated. He couldn't find the car, either. He didn't see that it was parked around the corner, hidden from sight. Suddenly, the driver put the gas to the floor, and Danny turned to see the car heading straight for him. He didn't have time to pull out his gun. He dove out of the way, hitting the ground hard enough to knock the wind out of himself. The car crashed into some trash cans and kept going.

Danny just laid there for a few seconds, dazed, trying to get his breath back. He realized that Steve was calling him. He tried to sit up. Suddenly Steve was kneeling beside him.

"Danno, are you all right?!" He said.

Danny saw the car getting away. He tried to pull himself up, using Steve's arm for leverage.

"He's getting away!" Danny said, frantically.

Steve tried to hold him down, not sure how badly he was injured. He had scrapes everywhere. But Danny struggled, and Steve was forced to help him up.

Danny tried to run -- as if he could catch the car, which was gone by now -- but he stumbled, wincing. Steve grabbed him.

"It's too late, Danno. He's gone. Take it easy."

Danny was extremely upset. Still breathing hard, he said, "We almost had him, Steve! Almost had him." He shook his head in dismay.

Steve helped Danny over to some steps. He was limping badly on his right leg. Steve sat his friend down on the steps.

"Anything broken?" He asked, worriedly.

Danny tried to calm down, tried to answer Steve's question. "No. I don't think so." He tried to move his leg, and even though it hurt, he could still do it.

Steve sighed, relieved. "Come on, Danno. Let's get outta here."

*********

Steve and Danny entered Steve's office. Chin and Ben stood, instantly knowing something had gone wrong.

"What happened?!" Ben said, when he saw Danny all scraped up and limping, his clothes all dirty.

"Wilson tried to run him over!" Steve said, as he helped Danny limp over to the couch. He told them the story.

"The car actually hit you?" Chin asked.

"Yeah. Ouch!" He said, as Steve dabbed at the cuts on his face with antiseptic.

"Sorry," Steve said.

"I didn't even have time to blink," Danny went on, "before it was practically on top of me."

"Wow. What a sicko. You sure were lucky, bruddah," Ben told him.

"Yeah. You can say that again," Steve agreed. He looked at his watch. "Why don't we call it a night, gentlemen. There's nothing else we can do tonight."

Chin and Ben nodded. They said goodnight and left. Danny stayed where he was, staring at the baby, which was asleep in the baby seat.

"Danno?" Steve said.

"Huh?" Danny looked at him.

"If this guy is after you, now, I don't think it's safe for you and the baby to go back to your apartment. He could break in there in the middle of the night, or something. You can stay at my place."

Danny was touched by the offer. It was nice to know people cared. "I appreciate it, Steve. I don't want to risk anything happening to the baby."

Steve smiled inwardly. That was a typical Danny statement. Making sure everyone else was taken care of first.

"And I don't want to risk anything happening to you, bruddah," Steve said.

*********

Steve unlocked his door, and opened it. Danny limped in, and Steve carried the baby over to the coffee table, and set the seat down. Danny sat on the couch, as Steve went in the kitchen. He was starved. He suddenly realized that he hadn't seen Danny eat all day.

"Danno," he said. "When's the last time you ate?" He was horrified at Danny's answer.

"Uh, two days ago," Danny said.

"WHAT?!" He went over to Danny, and looked at him. "Two DAYS ago?"

"I'm not hungry, Steve," Danny answered.

"You have to eat something, Danno!" He said. He went back in the kitchen, and opened the fridge. He knew the kind of junk that Danny usually ate, but Steve liked to think that he had more sense, himself. He made a turkey and cheese sandwich. He'll have to settle for this. He thought. He brought it over to his friend.

"Eat it," he said, trying to sound stern.

Danny just looked at it.

Steve felt so bad for him, that the situation of the past two days put him in such a state. "Sorry, no salami," he said, trying to make Danny laugh. It didn't work. "Come on," Steve said. "Your blood sugar must be nonexistent. You'll feel better."

That almost made Danny smile. "Gee, Steve. Not only are you my boss and my friend, but now you're my doctor, too."

Steve shook his head. "No. I'm your friend, then your doctor, then your boss," he said, smiling. Steve usually didn't show his feelings very often in words, but he could see that Danny needed it.

That, finally, made Danny smile, in spite of all the problems. "Thanks, Steve," he said.

Steve went back into the kitchen, and came back with a glass of milk. "No coffee for you," he said. He put it down, and watched Danny contemplate the sandwich.

"Okay, okay," Danny said, finally giving in. He picked it up.

Steve stayed there, making sure he ate all of it. "Now, was that so hard?" Steve joked, when he finished.

"No, not too hard," Danny joked back. "Thanks."

"You're welcome. Want another one?" Steve asked.

"No. One's enough."

"Okay." Steve went back in the kitchen, and made himself one. When he came back out, Danny was feeding the baby. Steve went over to the windows, looked out them, and closed the blinds. As he went back over to his chair, he saw Danny tiredly rubbing his eyes.

"You take the bed, Danno. I'll sleep on the couch."

"You don't have to do that, Steve. I'm okay."

"I insist, Danno. You know better then anyone that once I make up my mind, it's made up."

"Yeah. You always were stubborn," Danny said, busting on him. He got up and slowly limped over to the bedroom. "Hey, Steve. Where should I put the baby?" He called out.

Steve followed him into the room. He looked around. Seeing his bureau, he went over, and opened one of the drawers. He took the clothes out of it, and put them on a chair. He left the room, and came back with a pile of sheets. He put them in the drawer. "Ta-da," he said.

Danny put the sleeping baby inside. "I guess that's okay," he said.

Steve patted Danny's arm. "Get some sleep, Danno," he said.

"I'll try. G'night," he said.

"G'night." Steve went back in the living room.

Danny sat on the bed, and took off his shoes. He laid down, and fell asleep instantly.

*********

Steve sat on the couch. He was tired, but the situation was nagging him. He couldn't believe the nerve of Wilson. Steve vowed that he would make it his life's mission to hunt him down, until he found him.

Much like what Danny had done almost three months ago.

Steve looked at his watch. It was only 10:00. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to sleep anytime soon, but he'd sure try. He shut off the light, and closed his eyes. A second later he opened them, and sat up. The light was still on in the bedroom. He got up and went to make sure that Danny was okay. He went in to see that his friend had fallen asleep on top of the covers, with the light on. He tip-toed over to his closet and took a blanket out. He draped it over Danny, and shut off the light.

*********

The smell of coffee woke Danny up. Boy, did it smell good, too. For a second Danny didn't know where he was. He opened his eyes, noticed he wasn't in his own bedroom. Then he remembered. He pulled his left arm out from under the blanket, to look at his watch, and winced. His leg wasn't the only thing that hurt, his whole body ached. What do you expect, he thought to himself, when you get hit by a car? Suddenly the baby started to cry. Danny groaned. He didn't even feeling like moving, nevermind finding out what the baby needed.

Steve heard the baby from the kitchen, and ran in. He didn't want it to wake up Danny. Steve was going to let him sleep until the very last possible minute. When he got in, he saw that it was too late.

"Mornin' Danno. How are you feeling?"

"I've been better," he said, as he sat up on the side of the bed. He watched as Steve picked up the baby.

"It's his diaper," Steve said. Oh, great, he thought. "I'll change it." he found himself saying.

"Thanks," Danny replied, relieved.

*********

When Steve and Danny entered Five-O HQ, they got shocking news. The absolute last thing they ever expected to hear.

"Danny," Ben said. "Charlie Wilson's dead."

Danny just stood there, staring, for so long, that after Steve got over his shock, he put the baby seat down and waved his hand in front of Danny's face to get his attention.

"Dead?" Was all Danny could say.

Ben and Chin nodded.

Danny went over to the couch, and sat down. "Why? How?" He asked.

"He was shot," Chin said. "No gun was found at the scene."

"Where was he found?" Steve asked.

"Kaelepulu Pond. Right next to the water," Ben said.

"This just doesn't make sense," Danny said. "He escapes from prison, and gets murdered? Who wanted him dead?"

They all just looked at him. Danny realized a minute later how that sounded.

"Oh, Steve...," he started to say.

"You don't have to say it, Danno. We all know you wouldn't do something like that," said Steve.

"Oh, man," Danny said, running his hands through his hair. "The papers will see it differently. I can see the headlines now: 'Cop Murders the Man Who Murdered His Cousins'."

Suddenly the baby in Steve's arms squealed. "See," Steve said. "Even he knows that's ridiculous."

Danny sighed. "When did this happen?"

"Not sure yet. Probably last night." Chin said. "Che's got the body."

"Come on, Danno," Steve said. "Let's go see him."

*********

"A .38." Che said, holding up the bullet.

"Just like mine." Danny commented, seemingly to himself.

Steve pretended that he didn't hear that. "Where was Wilson shot, Che?" he asked.

"In the head, at point blank range. Probably died instantly," Che answered.

Steve and Danny just stood there. "Anything else? Did you see anything suspicious around?" Steve asked.

Che shook his head. "No, Steve. No footprints, either, other then the ones that appear to be his."

Danny looked at Steve, puzzled.

"All right, Che, thanks," Steve said. They left.

"I don't get it," Danny said. "We're clueless on this one."

"Yeah. I know," Steve replied.

When they got to Steve's car, they heard Chin calling over the radio. Steve grabbed it.

"Yeah, Chin?"

"The D.A. wants to see you and Danny, Steve," Chin told him.

"Okay, Chin. We're on our way."

As Steve drove away, Danny looked at him. "Why do you think he wants to see me, too?" he asked.

"I don't know, Danno."

Danny sighed. "I'll bet it has to do with Wilson's murder. Maybe the papers did print something stupid."

Danny sounded nervous. Steve sighed. He hoped his friend was wrong.

They arrived, and went in. They walked over to the door bearing John Manicote's name, and Steve knocked.

"Come in." They heard. As they entered, Manicote stood up from his desk. "Good morning, Steve, Danny," he said, shaking their hands.

"Good morning, John. What did you want to see us about?" Steve asked, as they sat down.

Manicote sighed. He looked like he wasn't sure how to phrase what he was going to say. "About the Wilson murder. Do you have anything on it, yet?"

Steve sighed. "No. Just a bullet from a .38."

"A .38." Manicote said. He rubbed his chin. "Like the guns you guys use."

Danny got even more nervous.

Steve noticed. "So?" He said to Manicote.

Manicote looked at Danny. "You're the only one we know of that would've had a motive for killing him."

Steve stood up. "Now, wait just a minute! You know Danny would never do such a thing!"

"Steve. Sit down," Manicote said.

Steve obeyed after a few seconds, glaring at Manicote, who didn't seem to notice.

"Do you have an alibi for when the murder occurred?" Manicote asked Danny.

Steve answered before Danny had a chance to. "Yeah, he does. Me."

Manicote opened his mouth to speak, but Steve cut him off. "Wilson tried to run him over yesterday. He actually got hit by Wilson's car. I let Danny stay at my place, since Wilson was after him."

Manicote held his hands up. "Okay, Steve. Okay. But you wouldn't've known if Danny had left in the middle of the night."

Steve stood up again. "I don't believe what I'm hearing!" He said.

"Look, Steve. I just want you two to know the seriousness of this situation. Everyone on Oahu knows what Wilson did, and now this! You know how this looks. You know what people are going to think!" He paused, looked at Danny. "Personally, Danny, I don't think you murdered this guy. But you two better find out who did soon, or..."

"Or what?" Steve asked.

Manicote sighed again. "Or you might end up getting charged with murder, Danny."

Steve looked at his friend. Danny looked pale, in utter shock. Steve realized that Danny hadn't said a word the entire time. He was struck speechless.

"Don't you think he's been through enough?!?" Steve said. He took Danny by the arm, and practically yanked him out of his chair and out of the room.

Manicote sighed yet again, as Steve slammed the door behind him.

*********

"Steve," Danny said. "Steve, slow down."

Steve was still holding onto Danny's arm, and was so angry that he didn't even hear his friend. A minute later, he realized what Danny had said. He saw that Danny was limping again, and couldn't keep up with him. He stopped.

"Oh. I'm sorry, Danno," he said.

They continued on at a slower pace. They got in Steve's car and headed back to HQ. Neither of them spoke for a while. Steve broke the silence.

"You okay?" Steve asked Danny.

Danny sighed. "I can't believe it, Steve. I..." He paused. "I just can't believe any of it." He shook his head.

"Don't worry, Danno. It won't happen. I won't let it happen."

They were silent for a few minutes, not knowing what else to say.

"I know one thing that will help," Steve said. "Your gun. It won't match up with the bullet."

"True. It won't. But all that proves is that I didn't use my police issue gun. They'll say I was smart enough to use a different one." Danny said.

Steve sighed, and looked at his friend. Danny looked like he'd had all he could stand for the next year.

"You want me to take you home?" Steve asked.

Danny was tempted to say yes, and ask for more of those sleeping pills. Then he could at least forget about all this for the next 8 hours. But he shook his head.

"No. Let's go check out the scene. Maybe we'll find a clue."

Steve nodded. "Okay, Danno."

*********

They didn't find anything. They both stood there, looking at the spot where the body had been found.

Danny sighed. "I hoped we'd find more prints."

Steve nodded his head. "Yeah, me too." The only set of footprints there appeared to be Wilson's, all right. They led up to where the body was, and no prints went away from the body. Steve continued to stare at the ground, thinking with all his might. The body had been lying on its back, with its right side facing the water. Wilson's right hand had actually landed in the water.

But something wasn't right about the whole thing. Steve couldn't put his finger on it.

"Steve," Danny suddenly said, sounding puzzled.

Steve looked at him.

"He was shot in the right side of his head, point blank." Danny said. He frowned. "But he landed this way." He turned so that the water was to the right of him. "How did the person shoot him? The murderer would've had to be standing in the water. It doesn't make sense."

Steve snapped his fingers. "So you're saying..."

"That he wasn't killed here, maybe. And maybe those footprints aren't Wilson's."

Steve wished that that could be the truth. It would be proof that Danny hadn't killed him.

"But where are the prints leading away from the body?" he asked.

Danny's expression changed from a hopeful one, to an 'oh yeah' one.

"Maybe ... maybe he noticed he was leaving prints, so he took his shoes off?" Danny said.

Steve almost laughed at that, it sounded so ridiculous. But he saw the look on Danny's face, a look that showed that Danny didn't care if it was ridiculous or not. If what he said was a possibility, then he wouldn't face a murder charge.

"It's a long shot, Danno." Steve didn't want to get his friend's hopes up on something that had such a remote chance. "But we'll check it out."

*********

"Sorry, guys," said Che. "They really are his own footprints."

Steve and Danny both sighed. They'd taken a cast of the prints, and taken them directly to Che Fong. It had been a waste of time.

"Thanks anyway, Che," Danny said. They left, and went back to HQ.

As they entered the main door, they heard the baby crying, very loudly. Danny ran over to Steve's office and threw the door open. Jenny was there, holding the baby, trying to quiet him. Chin and Ben stood by, helplessly.

"What happened?!" Danny nearly shouted. The young Five-O detective sounded a nervous wreck. Too much had happened to him in too short a time. Steve put a hand on his arm, to calm him down.

"I don't know. Nothing," Ben said. "He just won't stop. We didn't know what to do, we don't know what he needs."

Danny went over to Jenny, who was making soothing noises to the baby, bouncing him a little. Danny put out his arms, and Jenny gave him the baby.

"He needs his mother," Danny said, sadly.

The baby cried for a few more minutes, then fell asleep in Danny's arms.

"What did Manicote want?" Chin asked.

Steve sighed, wishing Chin hadn't asked that. He looked at Danny, who continued to stare sadly at the sleeping baby.

Steve told them what Manicote had said.

"What?!" Jenny said.

"That pupule haole!" Said Ben. "I never really liked him. Now I know why."

"Auwe!" Said Chin. He shook his head.

Steve sighed. He looked at Danny, who was quietly sitting on the couch, still holding the baby.

"We have to figure this out," Steve said. "Today. Anyone have a theory?"

"I know something it can't be," said Chin.

"What's that?" Steve asked.

"Suicide. That can be ruled out, since no gun was found at the scene." He paused. "Too bad."

"Yeah," said Ben. "If ever we needed a case to be easy, it's now."

"You can say that again," Steve said.

*********

By the time evening came, they still had not figured out a solution to the case. They'd gone back to the scene, talked to Che, and still came up with nothing. As time kept passing without progress, Steve could actually feel the anxiety coming out of Danny, and it was growing. Steve vowed to himself that he would crack this case within the next 24 hours. He figured that if he set a time limit, the act of trying to keep it would actually allow him to. Yeah, right, he thought. I wish. But still, there was something nagging him about the murder, but he couldn't put his finger on it. He sighed as he and Danny entered Five-O HQ. Jenny was still there, watching the baby. She'd offered to do it earlier, when the Five-O men wanted to all go back to the scene of the crime, so now she was here later then usual. Danny saw the clock on the wall, and only now realized it.

"Jenny! You're still here!" He said.

"Of course," she said. "You think I'm going to leave 'Little Danny' here all alone?" She decided not to tell him that the CPS had called three times that day, and she had copied Ben, and hung up on them.

"No, I mean..." He paused. "Sorry."

"Oh, Danny, don't even say it." Jenny said. "I'm happy to do you this favor."

Danny sighed. He hated to drive people crazy, but he felt like that's exactly what he was doing.

"Thanks," he said to her. "I appreciate it."

"No problem at all, Danny." She said, smiling at him. She gave the baby a kiss on the cheek, said goodnight, and left.

Danny sighed again, for the umpteenth time. He looked at the baby, who was asleep in the baby seat.

"What are we gonna do?" He asked Steve.

"I don't know, Danno. But I have a feeling we're going to crack it."

For the first time all week, a hopeful look crossed Danny's face. "You do?"

"Yeah. Maybe tomorrow," Steve said.

"Do you have a theory?" Danny asked.

"I have something, I'm just not quite sure what, yet."

"Oh," Danny said, sounding disappointed.

Steve put a hand on Danny's shoulder. "Be optimistic, Danno. You don't know what tomorrow will bring."

*********

Danny tried to keep Steve's statement in his mind as he drove home. It was hard not to let himself speculate on what exactly 'tomorrow would bring.' What if it wasn't something good? What if they didn't solve the case, and he ended up in jail? It had happened once before, but thanks to Steve and the rest of Five-O, he'd gotten out, and the murder charge was dropped. Stop it, he told himself. He tried not to think about what Manicote had said. Would he really do that to me?, he wondered.

Suddenly, he heard a car blow its horn at him, and he jammed on his brakes, realizing that he'd almost gone through a stop sign. The other car kept going, and Danny was glad it was dark out, so the person wouldn't recognize him as a member of Five-O. That's just what he didn't need.

Suddenly, the baby started to cry, and he realized that his lack of attention could've gotten the baby hurt -- or worse. If that car hadn't honked at him, Danny would've hit him! Danny realized that he was shaking. He turned around, and looked at the baby, seat belted in the back in the baby seat. The baby stopped crying when he saw him, as if he'd only wanted Danny's attention. Then a car behind them beeped its horn, telling them to go. Danny sighed, and kept driving.

*********

At home, Steve paced. He was practically going nuts, trying to make sense of the situation. He tried to figure out what was nagging him. He thought back to when it started. It was hours ago, after he and Danny had come back from Che's lab.

Suddenly, it struck him.

He stopped dead, as -- hopefully -- the solution ran through his mind. He shook his head in amazement. It was a shocking, and quite unbelievable, thought. He ran to the phone, to call Danny, to tell him. But before he started to dial, he put the phone back down. His theory was so far-fetched, that he didn't want to get Danny's hopes up, in case he turned out to be wrong. He looked at the clock. Eleven p.m. He smiled as he remembered what he'd told Danny just before they'd left HQ earlier. Now he only wished the morning would hurry up and come!

*********

"There you are!" Steve said, as Danny walked into HQ the next morning.

Danny was puzzled. He was early, but Steve was acting like he'd been waiting for him.

"Huh?" He said.

"Come on, let's go. Leave the baby with Jenny," Steve said.

Danny was even more puzzled now. "Go? Go where?"

*********

"What exactly is going on?" Danny asked, as they pulled up, and got out of Steve's car.

"Danno," Steve said. "Last night, I had a brainstorm. I just hope it was right."

As they walked over to where Wilson's body had been found, Chin and Ben walked over to them.

"Anything?" Steve asked.

"Not yet," Ben answered.

"Anything, what?" Danny asked, wishing that his friends would clue him in.

Steve was still reluctant to tell him, in case he turned out to be wrong. But he couldn't stall any more.

"We have divers in the pond," Steve said.

"Divers?" Danny echoed.

Suddenly, they heard voices. They ran over, to see the diver's heads above the water. One of them was frantically waving something. They came to the shore, and the man handed what he was holding to Steve. It was all Steve could do to not whoop with glee. He held it up.

It was a gun, with a large rock tied to it.

"Danno," Steve said. "He killed himself."

Danny just stared.

"Remember how you thought it was weird, how the body was found? The bullet wound facing the water? He did it on purpose. After he shot himself, the gun fell into the water, and the rock made it sink. He wanted it to look like murder -- like you killed him. He wanted revenge on you, too."

Danny just stood there, in a state of shock. Not only because of what Wilson had done -- and tried to do -- but also because it was finally all over, and he was in the clear.

"Danno?" Steve said, concerned about his blank-stare reaction. "Are you all right?"

Danny let out a breath. "Yeah," he said, his voice unsteady with relief. "I am now."

*********

The rest of the day was kind of like a blur to Danny. Bringing the gun to Che, finding Wilson's prints on it, despite the gun having been in the water. Ballistics had matched up the gun with the bullet, and Manicote had apologized -- quite humbly -- to Danny.

What a week, Danny thought. He was currently sitting up on his bed, still not able to believe it was over. It was a wonderful feeling when a truckload of fear and anxiety went away. But his nerves were totally shot, and he felt drained beyond words. But yet, he was too wired to sleep.

Danny heard a noise, and saw that the baby, in the bassinet, had woken up. He took him out, and put him down on the bed. The baby gurgled and kicked its little legs around. Danny watched the smiling, happy baby. He wished he could keep him, but he knew it wouldn't work. Danny wasn't married, and he had an important, demanding job. Besides, it wouldn't be fair for the little guy to grow up that way. At this young age, the baby needed someone to nurture it, not go to Five-O HQ all day, being watched by whoever is there, whether it be Jenny, or Chin and Ben. And even Steve. Five-O isn't a daycare center. Although it was funny watching Steve go from not wanting to hold the baby at all, to actually holding and feeding him.

Danny looked at the baby again, and decided that it was the right thing to do to have Aunt Clara take 'Little Danny'. Besides, there was no such thing as telling her 'no'.

*********

The next morning, Danny went to HQ, happy for the first time in a week.

"Hey, Danno," Steve said, as Danny walked in. "How are ya?" Steve was overjoyed to see Danny smile. A real smile.

"Okay. I think the shock of everything is starting to wear off." He put the baby seat down, and plopped down in the chair in front of Steve's desk. He looked at Steve. "Steve, you're a lifesaver. Somehow, 'thank you' doesn't seem like enough."

Steve smiled at his friend. Danny always had an easier time showing his feelings then Steve himself did.

"Anytime, bruddah. Anytime," Steve replied. He smiled again. "You know, the night before last I vowed to myself that this case would be solved within 24 hours. I couldn't stand to see you get eaten up. The time limit worked! Maybe I should always do that!" Steve looked at the baby. "When is your Aunt coming?"

"Funny you should ask that." Danny said, just as the door behind him opened. In walked Chin and Ben. "I talked to her before I left this morning. She'll be here tomorrow night."

Ben looked disappointed. "What? So soon? I got attached to the little guy."

"Me too," said Chin.

"So did I," said Steve, surprising them all. He picked the baby up. Danny smiled, still not able to believe it.

"It's not like we'll never see him again," Danny said. "Aunt Clara is going to stay in Honolulu for a while. She wishes she could live here."

"You're kidding?" Steve said.

"Really. She told me last month that she was thinking of coming here again."

"Well, who knows, maybe she will stay," Steve agreed. The baby squealed at him. "Uh oh," Steve said.

"What?" Danny asked.

"Boy, do I have bad timing!" He held out the baby. His next statement made them all bust out laughing. "Change his diaper!"

The End

Copyright 1999 by Deana Lisi. All rights reserved.