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Fic: kumu

Title: kumu
Author: paburke
Beta: faithdaria
Artist: galadriel34
Word Count: ~30,000
Rating: teen
Characters/Pairings:  slight Steve McGarrett/Cath Rollins, canon-like Danny Williams/Rachel Edwards, Kono Kalakaua, Chin Ho Kelly, Grace Williams
Warnings language, adult situations, minor character death, tons of OCs, one side mention of killing children, tiny crossover with NCIS:LA and shirtless Steve.
Summary: Wing!fic AU.  This also is about six months after the events of ‘5 Times Steve saw Danny’s Wings and 1 Time He Didn’t’  Really should read that first.  Danny has hidden his wings and his daughter's their entire lives, but the secret is about to be exposed.  Steve has to protect his 'ohana and prove to Danno that he can teach more than Grace.
Spoilers: Canon-ish until ‘UaHiki Mai Kapalena Pau,’ mostly Season One AU, using most of the plot points of the aforementioned episode. 
Disclaimer: The characters belong to someone else. The OCs are mine. I don’t make any money on this.


Danny’s relationship with his wife had improved. So much so that when she called in the middle of the day the detective merely looked wary instead of irate. He answered her ring tone with a deceptively quiet, “Hey.” Whatever she had to say was enough to make Danny stiffen but not with fury. “Her teacher said what? Are you sure Grace is okay?” Danny asked.

Steve wasted no time: he made an illegal u-turn and sped toward Grace’s school. Steve knew he was making the right choice when Danny didn’t immediately yell. Steve didn’t catch much more of the conversation and then Danny hung up.

He grunted. “You know, this is not technically an emergency.”

“It’s Gracie,” Steve answered. “What happened?”

“They were learning about the Holocaust.”

Steve frowned and tried to gauge Grace’s age against the horrific period of Earth’s history. He also lightened his foot on the gas pedal; she wasn’t bleeding. “She’s heard of it before, right?”

“In the abstract sense, more like bad people did really bad things to people just because they were different. This was the first time that she’s heard of the atrocities in detail.”

“What detail upset her?”

“The part where the Nazi built a four-story tower at each of the death camps and pushed the prisoners off it to see if they could fly.” At the bottom of each tower, prisons slated to work were given the task of putting the corpses onto a cart and taking them to the incinerator.

Steve had never thought about history in light of Danny (and Grace’s) abilities. Obviously, Rachel knew about them if she was calling Danno to take care of it. Normal problems, Rachel dealt with as the custodial parent and (maybe) told Danny after the fact. She must pass all ‘wing problems’ to Danno. Sometimes Steve wondered if Rachel had moved to Hawaii to take Grace out of Danny’s influence. Maybe she thought that if she had separated the father and the daughter for a little while, Gracie’s beautiful sparrow wings would become transparent and unsubstantial and ‘normal.’ Everyone else of Steve’s acquaintance had shadows for wings. The whole world had shadows for wings and wanted them real. Rachel’s daughter had real wings and Steve was pretty sure Rachel wanted them to be shadows.

Obviously, Rachel had discounted Danny’s stubbornness and had underestimated Gracie’s genes. Danny followed wherever Grace went.

Steve glanced at Danny and wondered if he should admit that he knew that Danno and his daughter could fly. Every person was born with wings and Danno and Gracie were the only ones with wings solid enough to use them. Sometimes, Steve thought that the witnessed event had been wishful thinking or a dream. In the last six months, Danny had been working with Steve and Chin to make their wings substantial with mixed and often frustrating results. Now both of them could activate their wings into something solid, but if any pressure was applied to the wings, they reverted to their normal shadows. Steve knew better than to try to fly, his wings would never withstand that kind of pressure. Grace, on the other hand, could fly with her father’s assistance. Once, Steve had witnessed the event for a split second.

What if Grace had been in that Nazi camp? Yeah, none of the Williams were Jews, but the Williams couldn’t keep their mouths shut when they disagreed with bullies. Where other governments since the being of time had experimented with their own people to create a group of people who could fly, none killed so many in the attempt as the Nazis. The Russians came close with their Gulags and China had mysterious numbers of their prison population disappearing every decade or so.

Steve took his eyes off the road a second time to judge Danno’s state of mind. Could he ask Danno if he could fly again? Would Danno tell the truth this time? Danno had refused the question previously and Danno hadn’t known Steve had been spying when he personally witnessed them flying …

“What?” Danno snapped at the attention.

“What what?” Steve answered. He looked at his partner again to judge his mental state. Chin had just told him this morning that Danny’s car was free of electronic bugs, continuing the streak of someone snooping only on Steve and not the rest of 5-O. He wouldn’t have to worry about someone listening in.

“What do you mean ‘what what’?” Danny was not in the appropriate mood to pry truth from his lips.

Steve McGarrett, big bad SEAL, chickened out. “I just was wondering when we’re going to have another BBQ at Chin’s.” That was code for ‘when are you going to make our wings solid again?’ Danno’s ability to make other peoples’ wings solid probably put him more at risk than being able to fly. It also made him worth more alive.

“Now is not the time, Steven.”

Steve dropped it because when Danno used his ‘Dad Voice’ on Steven, it was much too similar to Jack McGarrett’s tone. Steve found it amusing that Danno was so good with his ‘Dad Voice’ since he probably used it more on Steve than Grace.

Steve pulled to a stop in front of Gracie’s public school. Danny jumped out of the car before Steve had even put it into park. Steve chased his partner down and found him asking the front secretary, “Grace Williams. Nurse’s office?”

The woman nodded. Danny looked back at Steve. “Go on. I’ll find out what happened here.”

Danny ran off, presumably in the correct direction.

Steve addressed the woman. “So what exactly did happen?”

She hesitated and Steve showed her his 5-O badge. “I’m his partner,” he explained. The badge shouldn’t get him the answers, but it might be enough to persuade her to offer a discreet explanation.

The secretary opened a file on her desk and flipped it around so that Steve could read it. It was the school’s incident report. Yes, Grace had been disturbed by the Nazis’ atrocities, but what had really set her off was the reports of what happened to those that had survived the fall. All historians agreed that the survivors of the fall were due to the bodies of the previous victims cushioning the fall, but the Nazis believed that anyone who had survived the fall to have rudimentary control of their wings. They had experimented on those survivors, ‘operating’ on their backs while the captives had been awake and alive, for example.

Grace had been so upset by the idea that she had thrown up her breakfast and then she couldn’t stop. She had been dry-heaving for a while before the nurse and her teacher could calm her down. She had never exposed her own wings during the mishap and Steve was immensely proud of her for that. She was her father’s daughter. She was stubborn about the right things even when emotional.

Grace’s teacher wrote that she only used this specific example of the Nazi horrors because even children Grace’s age knew that no one could fly without a plane and that the Nazis were being stupid for asking their prisoners to use their wings. She also tried to tie into a lesson of ‘never, ever try to jump from a high place to see if you can fly.’ Steve didn’t react at the statement. He wondered how many of those children believed that they would be able to fly with their wings someday. Steve hadn’t totally given up hope in the idea until the day his mother had died. He had quit believing in anything impossible that day.

Anything he wanted, Steve would work hard to get. Then he met Danny and made him his partner and created 5-O. The ‘ohana of 5-O had fallen in his lap. He hadn’t had to work hard for that at all.

Steve thanked the secretary and asked for directions to the nurse’s office. There he found Grace listening to her father, sitting in his lap. Her tears had dried and she didn’t smell too much of vomit.

Father and daughter smiled grimly at Steve as he entered.

“Well, look who’s here,” Danny told Grace. “You know who that is?”

“That’s Uncle Steve.”

“No, that’s our chauffer. He’s going to take us for some shaved ice. What do you think of that?”

“It’s a good idea,” Grace told the men seriously.

“I’m glad you think so, ‘cause I’ve been working on it for the last five minutes.”

Grace grinned at her father’s silliness. Steve had to join in. He stepped as if he was in a dress uniform and lined up his heels and straightened his shoulders. “Would m’lady be interested in anything other than shaved ice?”

Grace thought about the question seriously. She looked up at her father. “Will you be there?”

“I will always be there when you need me. I promise.”

Grace accepted the vow as truth then turned to address Steve. “Just shaved ice, please.”

Crisis adverted.

In the end, Danny and Grace got an unplanned outing and Steve got to bask in the periphery. Rachel looked pleased when Danny finally dropped their daughter off. She even said ‘thank you.’

Steve considered that a win. All he had to do was find the man who ordered his parents’ murders and all would be right in the world.


Jenna’s intelligence was getting them closer and closer to Wo Fat. Steve was chasing the man with every resource available. The governor had let them, not insisting they solve any other cases for the last two weeks. They ran down associate after associate and found the money trail behind every shell company.

Then Jenna found the safe house. She had every indication that it belonged to Wo Fat. Steve sent Kono into the neighborhood with thermal imaging. When she reported that there was only one person in the house and he seemed very comfortable there, Steve set up the assault with HPD SWAT for Friday morning. As focused as he was with explaining to the new help how dangerous Wo Fat really was, he still managed to sideline Jenna. The woman wasn’t an agent, merely an analyst and didn’t have the training of when to stay out of the way. So he borrowed a pair of handcuffs from a SWAT officer and cuffed Jenna to the nearest car. He wasn’t trying to humiliate her in front of the guys; he just wanted to keep her safe. He was pretty sure that no one saw what he had done. If this went wrong, Steve needed her skills to find Wo Fat again.

The op went wrong front the first ‘knock.’ The front door was rigged to blow. A HPD officer was down and Kono –responsible for the thermal imaging unit- yelled that the man inside was on the move.

Steve made the decision to go in alone. He had experience finding tripwires and other minute signs of improvised explosion devices in high stress situations. He sent the rest of the team to surround the perimeter for surely the guy inside was going to run. Kono transmitted that the man was upstairs and Steve followed.

Steve ended up pointing a gun at Sang Min and Sang Min was just as surprised to see Steve’s face as Steve was to see his.

Sang Min turned and jumped out the window.

The escaped felon might not have been Steve’s target, but he had information Jenna could add to the pool.

Steve followed and updated his team. (He might have used his wings to soften his landing and was pleased with his control.) He wanted 5-O ready to spot the new target.

Steve lost Sang Min for a moment in the chase, but Danny came through. He reported over the radio Sang Min’s new location. Steve led the rest to converge of Danny’s spot, three houses down. Steve had arrived on scene, just as Sang Min stole one of the owner’s cars and bust out of the closed garage door.

Steve managed not to get run over mostly because Sang Min was trying to escape, he wasn’t trying to kill Steve. It was the second time Sang Min could have killed Steve. The first was upstairs when Sang Min had a gun pointed at Steve. Sang Min was not reacting within normal parameters.

Steve put several bullets into the white Cadillac. Kono had been attracted by the noise and came running around the corner. Steve knew Sang Min had too much of a head start to chase him in another car. He relayed the car’s make and license plate to Kono, knowing she’d take care of the BOLO. He just made sure she cast as wide a net as possible. She disappeared to do as ordered. Steve wanted Sang Min caught now.

Chin remained. Steve used him as a sounding board. Chin knew better than Steve all the ways to leave the island in a hurry. He’d take care of closing any routes.

Jenna walked up the drive, still wearing the handcuffs, but not where he left her. Her dark grey wings were disappearing as she gathered up her dignity. Steve would have to be more insistent making her stay put next time. She asked about Sang Min and Chin filled her in.

Jenna surmised that Sang Min was staying in the safe house because he was a fugitive.

Steve wasn’t so sure about that. He postulated about Sang Min trying to take out Wo Fat himself. He added up the evidence: the front door rigged to blow, plus the general desperation about Sang Min. The man was a loose end but he was also a survivor. He would want to take out Wo Fat before Wo Fat removed his loose end.

All speculation ceased at the sound of the cough.

The team turned to look and immediately knew something was wrong. Very wrong. Danny had his wings out. Out and solid and then transparent. Steve had never once seen Danny’s wings transparent. He had assumed it wasn’t possible. Danny’s wings disappeared and then reappeared solid this time. Danny hid his wings whenever there were strangers about. He didn’t mess around with this.

Danny’s general appearance could be summarized as ‘shit.’ He looked horrible. He couldn’t stand on his own two feet. He was shaking and sweating. He had been fine five minutes ago at the beginning of the op. What had gone wrong?

Steve rushed to his partner’s side, vaguely aware of Chin, Kono and Jenna doing the same. Steve automatically assumed gunshot wound, since Danny had gotten close to Sang Min. Danny denied the wound and claimed he couldn’t breath. He was clammy and shaky, sweating and overheating as he tried to take off his Kevlar vest and tie. Jenna checked his vitals and Kono called an ambulance. Whatever had happened, they needed experienced medical personnel now.

Steve asked what happened to gain a perspective on Danny’s mental acuity. Danny reported that there was a body inside, no pulse. Steve was so focused on Danny, he only peripherally noticed Jenna crossing between them to enter the house. The movement sparked the need to know in Steve. What had done this to his partner? He assigned Danny’s care to Chin and followed her.

Jenna stopped him five feet from the body Danny had mentioned. She was focused on the scene and it was obvious she had completely forgotten about Steve handcuffing her to a car. This was not a power trip. She was concerned. She was the first one to say the word ‘biological.’ It made sense.

Kono yelled for their attention. Steve left the dead body as he found it and ran to Danny. His partner was in even worse shape than before, his wings flickering in and out of existence, mostly solid. Chin reported convulsing. Normally Steve would have forced Danny to control his wings before letting strangers near but Danny could barely keep conscious. Whatever would result because of the exposure of his wings, would happen. 5-O would deal with it as it happened.

Steve was with Danny every step of the way to the hospital. Danny’s wings caused problems in the ambulance, but the medics did a great job working around them. They couldn’t keep him strapped to the gurney with normal straps. What was the proper tightness for a man without wings was deadly when the wings just appeared under him. And when they adjusted the straps for the wings, they were useless when the wings vanished and Danny fell back to the gurney with a thump and a moan. The paramedics got inventive and used bungie cords that would keep tight but wouldn’t hurt him when his wings suddenly made an appearance. The wings were also getting caught in his shirt, so they cut it off him when the wings had disappeared. Steve held it to keep his hands busy and discovered the carefully hidden Velcro openings in the back of Danno’s shirt. For wings. The same wings that were giving the medics fits. Steve had to admire their quick thinking, though. They got the basics out of the way and still had time to insert an IV before arriving at Hawaii Medical Center.

As the doctors heard the medics rattle off the Danny’s stats, Steve knew just how serious this was. The fact that Danny had gone this far downhill in thirty minutes was another indicator. He didn’t need the doctor telling him to hurry to identify the toxin, because Danny was hanging on by a thread.

The time spent waiting as the doctors fought to give Danny time and his team struggled for clues was the longest of Steve McGarrett’s life. Then Jenna called saying that Danny had been exposed to sarin. She backed it up with the symptoms of the victim in the house. It didn’t explain what was happening to Danny’s wings precisely, but Steve would let the doctors assume that it was an atypical reaction to the nerve agent. Steve ran and informed the doctors that they needed to get Danny on pralidoxime immediately to save Danny’s life.

The waiting now was even worse than when they didn’t know what was wrong with Danny. Sarin was a known killer. They could have been too late with the drug. Steve paced the hallway. His team arrived as the doctor delivered the good news that Danny was reacting well to the pralidoxime. He was already showing signs of improvement, and the doctors were optimistic that Danny would survive.

5-O spared a moment to be thankful. Steve wanted to be sure to acknowledge Jenna standing on the outskirts of the circle. Her quick identification had saved Danny’s life.

Jenna didn’t say ‘you’re welcome’ or take credit. She was as focused on Danny as the rest of them. She asked about people who would care about Danny and Steve told her about Rachel and Grace. Chin remembered that Danny had custody starting that day and Steve knew what he had to do. Kono wanted to see Danny, but the doctors wouldn’t let that happen until they had moved Danny into a recovery ward. Unfortunately, sarin was bigger than Danny. Steve had to focus 5-O on investigating the nerve agent. He assigned Kono and Chin to preventing any more people from getting sick. He left Jenna in charge of communicating with the CDC and containing the scene. She offered to send off a sample of the nerve agent to a contact and Steve was pleased that she was jumping right in.

Steve thanked Jenna again, not for being helpful on the case, but for saving Danny’s life. This time, Jenna accepted the heartfelt appreciation. Steve promised to be available via cell if anything came up that needed him to bulldoze through. He had to go get Grace.

Steve managed to arrive at Grace’s school just as the final bell rang. Sang Min called to gloat, but Steve didn’t have much attention to spare the felon. He voiced his theory that Sang Min was trying to kill Wo Fat. Sang Min pretty much confirmed it and offered to give Steve the yakuza boss. Steve refused, knowing he couldn’t trust Sang Min’s information. He hung up on the man and concentrated on the current emergency.

He turned around and Grace was standing on the steps, looking for her father. She was pleased to see a familiar face and Steve got a pretty good hug out of the deal. Her first question was about her father. Steve had to tell Grace that Danno was in the hospital and the girl took the news like a champ.

She asked if Danno would be okay. Steve told her that her father would be fine, because any other alternative was unacceptable. They waited in the hospital hallway for the doctors to allow visitors.

Steve used that time to keep updated on the situation. He was relieved with the report that they couldn’t find any more sarin. It wasn’t a full-fledged terrorist attack. They had a little room to breathe. It was a mystery, for sure, but one that Kono and Chin could investigate without him hovering. They followed the clues of the homeless man and the caretaker.

By the time that the doctors pointed Steve and Grace to Danny’s room, he was groggy but awake. He was breathing better and coherent. He clung to his daughter but kept the conversation light so as not to worry her. His wings were hidden as usual. Yes, Danno was back.

Steve was confident in leaving Danny and Grace together in the hospital. He did quietly assign an HPD officer to keep unnecessary personnel away from the family. He also called up Kamekona. The big guy knew everyone on the island and would know if someone didn’t belong. His sheer size could be intimidating. He would make an unintentional wall between Danny and the outside world. Steve tried to feel some remorse for using Kamekona like that, but couldn’t. Sooner or later, people were going to start asking questions. Steve wanted Danny fully alert when that time came. If the officer was careful and Kamekona was himself, Danny might never know he had been in protective custody.

Danny did have his daughter to occupy his attention and Steve would return and take Grace home at night when the time came. Danny had nothing to worry about and had some quality time with his Monkey. He would enjoy that even with his ‘hangover.’

Steve left and concentrated on the case. The caretaker turned out to be a dead end. The Fallons were presumably the target and not Amoka, but why? Kono found a fingerprint off of the hidden key at the Fallon’s home, leading them to the COO and brother-in-law. Steve took Jenna with him to question the new suspect. Kono and Chin were to ask Jeff Fallon about his brother-in-law and his side of their reported contention.

Jenna did a pretty good job questioning Eliot Connor and spotted the lies quicker than Steve did. Steve spared a moment to think that Jenna and Danny would have been fun to watch interrogate someone. They both had the dry humor when they got going and they were good with steering people in the way they wanted the subject to go. Steve spotted the signs of infidelity and pursued it. He wasn’t surprised that Eliot Connor’s secretary was also his mistress.

Kamekona spared a few moments to call Steve to let him know that Danny had called him into the hospital as well, wanting to hunt up some of Sang Min’s contacts. Steve told him to do so to the best of his abilities. He was pleased that Danny was feeling well enough to conduct an investigation from his hospital bed, with his daughter by his side.

Steve focused on tracking down the sarin, letting Danny follow Sang Min. Kono had news about a Russian named Yursky by the time he and Jenna returned to the office. Yursky wasn’t in his hotel room and then Kono found him at an ATM. Steve and Chin hurried to the site and chased via car and then on foot. The chase was short lived as Yursky’s driving had damaged the sarin. The man died by his own weapon. Steve found several biohazard containers in Yursky’s trunk and knew that the case wasn’t over yet. Yursky had no reason to want the Fallons dead.

In the midst of Danny being sick and Wo Fat and sarin and Sang Min, IA was the last department Steve wanted to see represented in 5-O’s office. They revealed the lie with the serial numbers and that they now had proof that Chin hadn’t stole the money originally. IA was going to go forward with their case against Chin’s uncle. All of Chin’s lies meant nothing. Steve asked for the true origin of the cash that Chin shouldn’t have gotten his hands on. Chin admitted to going to the bookie, Markham, and making a deal for his house. Steve ordered Chin to undo it. He was pretty sure the bookie would rather erase the original exchange than to mess with 5-O again. If he didn’t, Steve was willing to force him.

Jenna brought their focus back onto the sarin by finding the source of the hazardous storage containers and finding a connection, a set of phone calls, between Yursky and Eliot Connor.

Eliot Connor didn’t show any of the previous signs of deception and it wasn’t long before they realized that the secretary had been the instigator. She had been trying to get her man, get her man more power with the added bonus of getting a lot of money for herself. In the parking garage, Steve dived out of the way of a second vehicle gunning for him that day. He was more successful stopping this one after the fact. Chloe didn’t have Sang Min’s driving skills.

Chloe’s interrogation was short. She didn’t feel any shame for her deeds. The case was solved and within enough time for Steve to return to the hospital to check up on Danny and to take Grace home for the night.

Steve was completely surprised to see Rachel asleep on Danny’s shoulder. He couldn’t deny the pleased contentment that permeated Danno’s whole body. He was surrounded by the girls he loved and would heal quickly. Steve went home alone, but happy.


Things were quiet in the office for a full day. The doctors were reluctant to release Danny and Steve had given Kono and Chin a couple hours off for a job well done. As soon as he got an ETA for Danny’s return, he passed it to the rest of the team. Everyone was in attendance.

Steve was momentarily distracted by another returned clue from his father’s toolbox but even that paled in comparison to Danny’s return.

Danny looked good, not like he had been on death’s door a mere thirty hours prior. He was in good spirits and Steve knew that was because of Grace and Rachel. Danny made nice with Jenna and Steve was pleased that the team was united, even the unofficial member.

Steve had to pry about Rachel. He had been a witness through some of the horrible custody disputes and felt invested enough to get an accurate assessment of the situation. Danny was vague but happy enough to tease Steve. Steve delighted in teasing Danny back.

Then Sang Min showed up –how the hell had he gotten into the office without anyone stopping him?- and everything went sideways. Sang Min might be claiming sanctuary, but he was still a double-crossing snake.

Sang Min might get Steve one step closer to capturing Wo Fat. Or Sang Min might get Wo Fat one step closer to Danno and his very special abilities.


Chin checked for bugs when he dropped Danny home that night and Steve wasn’t surprised that suddenly the detective was important enough for surveillance.

Danny hated, hated, hated it but he called up Rachel from the current safety of his car and cancelled his next weekend with his daughter. 5-O had a new priority: find who was planting the bugs at Steve and Danny’s residences. Kono and Chin managed to match the manufacturer. Whoever was bugging one man was surely bugging the other. Steve wouldn’t be surprised if Wo Fat was behind it all.

Steve decided that no one should be alone. He asked Chin if Kono could sleep on his couch and brought the protesting Danny home. He could have Mary’s room until they solved the case.

And Steve was sure that they would solve the case. Whoever it was would tip their hand soon. Danno’s talents were just too tempting to wait.

(Part 2)