"I don't like it."
Captain Terry Harada looked back and forth between his two young detectives and shook his head.
"I don't like it," he repeated.
"I know it's not the best set up," one of those detectives, Chris Gains, replied.
"But it is the Chief's daughter's boyfriend that's involved," the other one, Danny Edwards, added.
Harada sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"I don't like the idea of you two doing anything without back up," he said.
"We're partners! We take care of each other!" Danny exclaimed, putting his arm around Chris's shoulder.
"That's what worries him."
The two detectives turned and watched as Detective Sean Harrison and his partner, John Declan, entered the Captain's office. Danny rolled his eyes at Sean's remark.
"Look," Danny began. "It's just a scouting trip. We're going to a party, seeing who's buying and who's selling. No arrests."
"At a secluded beach house, where the only way in or out is by boat," Sean commented, skeptical.
Chris looked at Harada again, pleadingly, and said, "I believe I heard the Chief say you'd be able to skip his wife's New Year's party this year if we did this..."
Sean and John both raised their eyebrows at that remark.
"Hell, I'd pay the boat rental for these two, myself, if I could get that deal!" Sean laughed.
"Fine," Harada reluctantly agreed. "But I want a check in every hour."
"Yes, sir!" Danny and Chris chorused.
At 10:00 PM, Danny and Chris met up with their contact, a minor marijuana dealer named Ricky Jones. He was the boyfriend of the HPD's Chief's daughter, and if things panned out as well as Danny and Chris hoped, the soon-to-be EX-boyfriend of the HPD's Chief's daughter.
Ricky invited them aboard his small speedboat.
"For a while there I didn't think you were gonna show," Ricky told them as he cast off.
"Sorry," Danny said. "Car trouble," he added, shrugging his shoulders at Chris's raised eyebrow, sarcastic look.
"So where're we headed?" Chris asked.
"We'll meet up with Chuckie in about fifteen minutes," Ricky replied. "Then we'll take his boat to the beach house."
"Which is... where?" Danny asked.
"Don't know," Ricky replied flippantly. "Never been there. Just know it's on the way to Waikiki."
"And we couldn't just drive there?" Danny asked.
"Nope," Ricky replied bluntly, ending the conversation.
Chris cast a glance back at the docks, knowing John and Sean had watched their departure, and wondered if they were making a big mistake.
Sure enough, about fifteen minutes later, they met up with "Chuckie" and his boat.
"Who are your friends, Ricky?" Chuckie asked as they pulled up along side the boat.
"The two I told you about," Ricky replied. "Danny and Chris. They're looking to score some weed tonight, maybe become regulars."
"How ya doin'?" Danny spoke up, giving Chuckie a nod.
"You check them out?" Chuckie asked Ricky.
"Yeah, like I told you."
Chuckie stared at Danny and Chris, who just stared back at him. Ricky looked back and forth between the three men.
After a few moments, Chuckie clapped his hands, rubbed them together and said, "All right. Come on aboard."
Chris and Danny glanced at each other before climbing aboard Chuckie's boat. They were directed to a couple of seats at the rear of the boat before Chuckie returned to the cabin. There were two other men sitting in the rear, as well.
"How ya doin'?" Chris greeted them as he took his seat.
One of the men nodded his head at the detectives. The other just ignored them.
Danny nudged Chris with his elbow as the boat started away from the meeting place. He pointed to Ricky's boat.
"He's headed back to Honolulu; not following us," he whispered.
Chris nodded his head.
They rode in silence for another fifteen minutes before the boat headed for shore. They looked around them, saw a small, dimly lit dock at the southern end of a small cove, with several small speedboats moored near it.
As their boat reached the dock, Chris, Danny and the other passengers rose from their seats and headed toward the side to disembark.
"All ashore that's going ashore!" Chuckie called, gesturing to his guests.
"Head on up to the beach house and make yourselves at home!"
Danny and Chris followed the other two men off the boat and up the dock towards the beach house. They tried to act naturally as they looked around the area, trying to see through the dark for any dangers. They also tried to pick out any landmarks that would identify the place so that they could find it on their own later on.
When they reached the beach house, they entered and were led into a great room. There were about a dozen or so other people, male and female, there already. The smell of marijuana filled the air and there were beer bottles and cans strewn about the floor. Chris picked up a bottle of beer from a cooler and cracked it open.
"Hey, good lookin'," a young woman greeted Danny, handing him a bottle as well.
"Hey, yourself," he replied with a smile.
She put her arm around his waist and led him toward the center of the room and a couch. The two made polite conversation as Chris continued to roam the rooms of the beach house, meeting and greeting people as he went.
After an hour or so, he met up with Danny outside on the deck.
"Anything good?" Danny asked.
"That chick I met up with when we got here has a good coke source, it seems," he began. "She mentioned Johnny Cho by name."
Chris nodded and added, "A couple of other people mentioned his name to me, too. I'm thinking that this might be his place, not Chuckie's."
"You get a hold of Harada?" Danny asked.
"Yeah. Told him that everything was cool so far. Tried to give him an idea about where we are."
"There you are!" Chuckie yelled as he left the house and walked onto the deck.
"Great party," Chris remarked, holding up his beer in a mock salute.
"Ricky said you were looking to score a new weed supplier, right?" Chuckie went on.
"Yeah, that's right," Danny replied. "Our last guy got busted."
"You got someone in mind?" Chris asked.
"As a matter of fact, I do, boys. Come on with me, he just arrived a little while ago."
Chuckie went back inside the beach house and after a quick, glance at each other, each silently agreeing to go, the two detectives followed him in.
They followed Chuckie down the hall toward one of the bedrooms. As they entered, they heard Chuckie introducing them.
"Hey, Johnny, these are the two guys I was telling you about, Danny and Chris."
But as they entered the room, they found themselves quickly drawn down on by one of the men already in the room.
"They're cops!" the man shouted in anger.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Chuckie exclaimed as he backed away, his arms up.
Danny, recognizing the man who'd blown their cover as Damien Ho, whom they'd arrested almost a year ago, quickly grabbed Chuckie and shoved him toward Ho.
"Lets go!" he shouted to Chris.
The two knew that they were no match for any of Cho's people, let alone the crowd of party-goers. Even though they were armed as well, they were just plain outnumbered. Their only hope was to run for it.
Chris grabbed the door and shut it behind him, hoping to gain a few precious seconds as they headed for the beach house's front door. The two shoved their way through the crowd, ignoring the shouts of protest, hoping everyone would ignore Cho's orders for anyone there to stop their escape.
As they left the beach house and hit the sand, they heard the sound of gunfire.
"Over to the dock!" Chris yelled, getting out his gun as he ran. He saw that Danny had done the same.
They instinctively ducked their heads as bullets flew past them, hitting the sand.
"So much for an easy scouting trip," Danny muttered as he paused to return fire.
"Here!" Chris shouted, jumping into one of the speedboats at the dock and starting it up.
He was untying it from the small dock as Danny threw himself over the side, firing his weapon at the half-dozen men running after them.
"Go! Go! Go!" Danny shouted, still returning fire.
He quickly grabbed onto the side rail and fell onto one of the seats as Chris gunned the engine and steered the boat out into open water.
"I can't believe he remembered us!" Chris shouted over the engine's noise.
"I mean, of all the luck! What are the odds?"
Chris kept his distance from the dark shoreline, not sure of the waters they were in, if they were in any danger of hitting rocks or shallow water. He'd have to wait until they got to another well-lit dock, private or public, before bringing the boat in.
"Man, Harada is gonna kill us!" he continued.
When Danny failed to respond to any of his remarks, Chris became worried.
"Danny?" he called, looking back.
Looking quickly around them, seeing that they weren't being followed yet, not that he could see in the dark, anyway, Chris shut down the engine and moved to the back of the boat. There he found Danny on the deck, slumped against the side of the boat.
"Danny?" he called. He knelt down and shook Danny's shoulder, eliciting a moan in response.
When Chris pulled his hand away, he realized it was wet with blood. "Shit! Danny?!"
"Don' yell so loud," Danny murmured painfully.
"Why didn't you tell me you were hit? How bad is it?"
Chris was frantic with worry, his hands now touching Danny all over, looking for any other wounds, but he only found a single bullet's entry wound on the back of Danny's left shoulder. He quickly removed his shirt and tied it around Danny's shoulder and chest, hoping to stem the bleeding.
"We gotta get you home," Chris murmured.
He moved back to the front of the boat, started the engine and moved the throttle forward, speeding back toward Honolulu.
"We'll be back before you know it!" he shouted to Danny, worry still in his voice.
And then the engine died.
Chris frantically tried to restart the engine, without success.
Slapping his forehead, Danny got out his cell phone and dialed Captain Harada's number.
"Cap? It's Chris. We're in trouble. Danny's been hit. Yeah, our cover was blown. Damien Ho. Look, just listen: We're dead in the water, the boat won't start. No."
Danny saw the lights from the boats coming from the beach house. "Chris, they're coming!" he shouted.
Chris tried to start the boat again.
"Shit. We're sitting ducks if we stay here," Chris continued in his conversation to Harada. "We're not far from shore. We gotta ditch the boat. Hurry."
He ended the call quickly, grabbed a life jacket from the boat's small cabin and went back to Danny.
"Listen, partner," he said quickly as he started to put the jacket onto Danny. "We gotta abandon ship. I'll take care of you."
Danny had heard Chris's half of the phone conversation and had seen the lights of the other boats getting closer. He nodded his head and helped get himself into the jacket.
"Ready?" Chris asked.
Danny met Chris's gaze. "Yeah," he replied, his complete trust given to Chris in that one word.
Chris helped Danny up and over the side of the boat and then jumped in after him. He grabbed onto the life jacket with one hand and swam toward shore, pulling Danny along. He hoped to be far away from the boat by the time Johnny Cho's men found it. He also hoped that the darkness hid them well.
"Kaleo!" Harada yelled from his office.
The big officer appeared, asking, "Yes, boss?"
"Take Tamiya and go find Ricky Jones. Get his ass in here. Go to the Chief's house if you have to," Harada ordered.
"We're on it," Kaleo responded and left the office.
Harada then picked up his phone and made several phone calls - he had two officers to find and not a lot of time to do it.
"Almost there, Danny," Chris got out, fighting against fatigue and cold and waves.
As they'd gotten closer to shore, the waves had broken over them too many times to count. Chris knew that if he hadn't tied his belt through the armhole of Danny's life jacket, the two would have been separated long ago.
He reached up and touched Danny's cold cheek, felt for the gentle breath under his partner's nose and sighed. Danny had lost consciousness more than ten minutes ago, after a wave had sent them both underwater. They'd both come up coughing up water, but before that, at least Danny had been talking, helping... watching as Cho's boats searched for them.
"One more breaker, partner," Chris said and set to swimming again.
He let the waves carry them, holding his breath as he was sent under again. And this time he felt sand beneath his feet and dug in, breaking the surface, pulling his partner with him. About ten more feet toward the shore and he was on the beach. He dragged Danny with him, out of the water, and laid him on the cool sand.
"Danny?" he called, shaking his partner gently.
He leaned down and tilted Danny's head back and checked for breathing.
"Shit!" he swore, when there was none.
Chris pinched Danny's nose and opened his mouth and sealed it with his own, blowing two breaths into his partner's lungs.
"Come on, Danny, don't do this to me," Chris murmured as he checked for a carotid pulse, all those in-service training sessions on CPR coming back to him.
He continued rescue breathing for his partner for what he deemed too long, before Danny began coughing up water and vomit. Chris quickly rolled him onto his side and sighed in relief as his partner continued to breathe on his own.
"Any idea where to start looking?" Sean asked as he headed toward the helipad.
"Chris said he thought they were about halfway to Waikiki, in a secluded cove," Captain Harada replied.
Sean stared at him blankly.
"I know, it'll be like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially in the dark."
"Kaleo and Linh didn't get anything out of Ricky Jones?" John asked.
"He never went to the beach house," Harada replied. "Part of their security, I guess."
The three officers climbed into the helicopter, Captain Harada taking a seat up front next to the pilot, and began their part of the search, coordinating with the Coast Guard's Search and Rescue team.
Chris rested his head back against the palm tree and sighed. Danny lay against his chest, shivering from the cold. Chris held him tighter, willing what little body heat he had left into his partner.
"Soon, Danny," he whispered. "They'll find us soon."
"Good guys or bad guys?" Danny managed to retort through chattering teeth.
"Good guys, of course."
I hope, Chris thought to himself. He'd never been so thankful as when Danny had regained consciousness. While he knew his partner was far from being out of the woods - he'd lost a lot of blood, lost a lot of heat, was still cold and wet, and was as weak as a kitten - just having him conscious again, brought Chris some hope.
Danny shifted in Chris's arms and cried out as a sharp pain burned through his shoulder.
"Easy, Danny," Chris soothed. "Don't move so much."
"Guess I'm getting out of the Chief's wife's New Year's party this year," Danny murmured.
"Since when have you ever been invited?" Chris countered.
"They'll find the boat, right?" Danny asked, changing the subject again. "And then they'll find us. The good guys, I mean."
"Yeah, Danny," Chris replied.
He didn't mention that he'd seen Cho's boats show up. That it looked, from a distance anyway, as if they'd taken their boat back. So the good guys wouldn't have any easy way to find them.
"I'm cold, Chris," Danny whispered, burrowing into Chris's chest.
"I know, partner. Me, too."
"It's impossible to see anything; it's too dark," John spoke up, frustration easily heard in his voice.
"We'll find them," Sean responded, determination in his voice. "Sanchez and his crew already found the beach house," he added.
"I know," John ceded. "But that was the easy part."
"Let's get closer to the coastline," Harada suggested to the pilot. "Gains said they were going to try to swim for the shore."
"You hear that?" Chris asked, perking up. "Danny? I think I hear a chopper!"
Danny failed to reply, though.
Chris did a quick, panicked check of his partner's vital signs, determined him to be still, thankfully, alive, and gently got out from behind him. He laid Danny gently down onto the sand and walked out onto the small beach, searching the sky as he did.
Over to his right, the south, he heard and saw the helicopter in the distance. He began to frantically wave his arms in the air, repeatedly shouting, "Over here!" as loudly as he could, hoping to be seen.
"Over there!" Sean cried out, pointing down toward one of the beaches. "Go back! I think I saw something!"
The pilot circled back around and slowly aimed the craft's spotlights toward the water's edge.
"There!" Harada shouted. "It's Gains!"
The pilot maneuvered the helicoptor down and landed on the beach as Captain Harada radioed to the other search teams that they'd found Gains. The pilot supplied the coordinates to their location.
As soon as the helicopter hit the sand, the detectives were out the doors and rushing to their coworker, who had now turned and run away from them and back toward Danny.
"Danny!" Chris shouted. "They're here, buddy! We're going home."
When Sean, John and Captain Harada reached Chris and Danny, Chris was in the process of trying to lift Danny off the ground to carry him to the chopper.
"Let us, Chris," John offered, reaching for Danny.
Chris nodded his head and let John and Sean take hold of Danny, lift him, and begin to carry him to the helicopter.
"You okay?" Harada asked Chris, putting his arm around Chris's shoulders.
"Yeah, fine. Let's just get Danny outta here," he replied.
Harada nodded his head and followed his men to the waiting helicopter.
Within half an hour they'd made it to The Queen's Medical Center and Danny had been handed over to the trauma team. In the next half hour, Chris had been quickly checked over, given some dry clothes to wear, in the form of some surgical scrubs, and been discharged. Now the four police officers waited patiently for news of their friend.
"Did they at least arrest those guys?" Chris asked as he began pacing the floor.
"You mean Cho and Ho?" Sean asked with a smirk.
"Any of them. All of them," Chris replied tiredly. "Shit, everybody there was using or selling," he added. "And most of them were just kids. Cho was probably the oldest guy there, and he's only, what, thirty, maybe?"
"I don't know who Sanchez wound up arresting," Harada spoke up. "I'm sure we'll need you to identify people later on."
"What about Ricky?"
"According to Kaleo, the Chief himself was in to deal with him," John replied.
"Chris, sit down," Harada ordered gently.
But just as he was about to, one of the doctors came out from the emergency room.
"How is he?" Chris asked abruptly.
"We've just gotten him stabilized - got him going with warm fluids - and we're bringing him up to surgery," the doctor replied. "That's all I can tell you right now, but we'll let you know if there are any changes." And with that, he headed back into the emergency room.
"He's gonna be fine," Sean said, hoping to be reassuring.
Chris nodded his head and sank into one of the chairs, putting his head into his hands and letting out a sigh.
The first thing Danny noticed was that he was warm. Blessedly warm. The next thing he noticed was that he was numb. Blessedly numb. He opened his eyes and let out an appreciative sigh. It was light out, he was warm, dry and drugged up in a hospital bed. The good guys had come.
"'Bout time you woke up."
Danny turned his head to the right and caught sight of his partner. His smiling partner. He smiled back.
"How long?" Danny asked, stifling a yawn.
"Only about a day or so," Chris replied.
Danny nodded his head.
"Not yet, but you will," Chris replied with a laugh.
Chris laughed again at how Danny's mind was working; how it was only allowing two word sentences. Must be some good drugs he's getting, he thought.
"Caught," he replied with a smile.
Chris put his hand over Danny's and gave it a squeeze. "We're partners. We take care of each other," he said, recalling Danny's words almost forty-eight hours earlier.
"Yeah," Danny agreed and returned to sleep.
"Yeah," Chris whispered.