Step By Step

 

My explanation for Kono’s disappearance after Season 4

 

(Slight crossover with M*A*S*H)

 

By Sylvia

 

Late March, 1972

 

Kono Kalakaua felt out of sorts. He had for a while.

 

He’d recovered well from his shooting last November, during an assassination attempt on the governor. The bullet that had hit him in the back had been removed during surgery, and Kono had been on his feet and at his Hawaii Five-O job quickly.

 

But off and on, he’d felt…strange. Doctor Bergman, the coroner and personal physician to the Five-O detectives, had assured him that he’d have times when he’d feel unusual sensations. But Kono’s sense of Hawaiian psyche told him there might be something different.

 

He’d had a couple of wipeouts on the surfboard on relatively easy waves – unusual for him. Danny Williams, his friend, colleague and fellow surfer, had supposed Kono was just slow getting back into the thick of things.

 

Now, Kono was going up the steps at the Iolani Palace to the Five-O offices, following Detective Chin Ho Kelly. He was laboring.

 

Chin turned around. “What’s the matter, Kono?” he asked. “The poi for lunch catch up to you?”

 

“I guess so,” said Kono, shaking his head.

 

 

The Five-O detectives spent the afternoon gathering information on the Aldretti brothers, three men who were hardly a loving family. The brothers had long rap sheets of thefts, assaults and murder attempts, and Steve McGarrett wanted to put them out of business once and for all.

 

The phone rang in Steve’s office. He picked it up. “McGarrett,” he said.

 

After listening to what was on the other end, he said, “Thanks,” and hung up.

 

“That was Ben Kokua,” he said. Ben was a homicide detective with the Honolulu Police Department. “He said the Aldrettis are holed up at their warehouse.”

 

“We’ve got a clear shot at them?” asked Danny, amazed.

 

Steve nodded. “Ben and Frank Kamana have been investigating whether the Aldrettis are tied to a homicide in the area,” he said.

 

“What’re we waiting for? Let’s go!” said Chin.

 

Steve got his jacket, and Danny, Chin and Kono ran to get theirs. As Steve barreled through the Five-O office, the other three detectives followed him out, and down the stairs.

 

Kono almost missed the turn on the stairs; he would have fallen if Danny hadn’t been there to catch him.

 

“Thanks, bruddah,” Kono said.

 

“You OK?” Danny asked.

 

“Yeah,” Kono said. “I was distracted by that wahine over there,” he added, motioning near the door.

 

“Where?” Danny asked. But Kono grinned and beat him out the door – enough so that Danny didn’t see the subsequent look of agony and confusion on Kono’s face.

 

 

Steve and Chin parked their cars about a block from the warehouse. They got out and met Ben and Frank. “What’ve we got?” Steve asked.

 

“A clear shot,” Ben said.

 

“We’re waiting for Duke Lukela and a few others to join us,” added Frank, who was Ben’s partner.

 

“You thinking of storming the warehouse?” Danny asked.

 

“Yeah,” Ben said.

 

“They’ll have plenty of weapons in there,” said Kono, shaking his head.

 

“Yeah, but we have the element of surprise,” said Ben. He smiled and waved a document. “And a search warrant.”

 

“Good thinking,” said Steve.

 

He looked up to see several HPD cars drive up. Sergeant Duke Lukela got out of the first car and put up a “halt” sign for the others. Duke, who had become a liaison between HPD and Five-O a few months before, walked up to Steve. The other officers followed.

 

“You have the layout for the warehouse, Ben?” Steve asked. Ben gave him a large sheet of paper. All the detectives and officers looked it over.

 

“OK, we’re going to need a decoy as we go in,” Steve said. He looked across a lot at an old van.

 

“That van has seen better days,” Duke said.

 

Steve nodded in agreement. “Kono,” he said. “You go with Officer Pahua and push the van-“

 

“Push?” asked Kono, with a skeptical look.

 

“Push,” Steve confirmed. “When they see the van moving, you guys get out of there in a hurry. Then we’ll go in.”

 

“Got it,” said Kono. His boss could often have unusual hunches or ideas, but they usually turned out to be right. “Let’s move, Bernie,” he said, motioning to Pahua.

 

Danny, now Five-O’s best-trained sharpshooter, moved into position, along with Frank and Ben. Steve went with Chin and Duke, who had gotten walkie-talkies for the officers who would move into the building.

 

Pahua and Kono got behind the old van, but as they sank down, Kono had problems again.

 

“Trouble, Kono?” Pahua asked.

 

Kono shook his head. “There’s a little mud in this area, that’s all,” he responded. No sense upsetting the operation.

 

“Whenever you’re ready,” Pahua said.

 

Kono got a hold of a door handle on the van. He motioned Pahua to take the passenger door handle.

 

“OK, let’s go!” Kono called.

 

The two officers began to move the van.

 

“OK, there they go,” Steve said. “When they get it in front of the building, we move.”

 

Kono and Pahua had moved the van about 30 feet, when Kono’s legs gave out. As he went down, he let out a yell.

 

That attracted the attention of the Aldrettis from the warehouse.

 

Quickly, Duke handed Steve a bullhorn.

 

“This is Five-O! You’re surrounded! Come out with your hands up!” he called.

 

The answer was a shot, causing the officers to duck.

 

Steve repeated his call, which was answered by another shot.

 

“Steve, I think Kono’s hit,” came Danny’s voice on the walkie-talkie. “I saw him go down before.”

 

“How did they get him behind the van?” Steve wondered.

 

“I don’t know,” Danny said. “But he’s on the ground.” Kono and Pahua did not have radios, so they couldn’t communicate.

 

Steve knew that getting in was now going to be tougher. The Aldrettis had a powerful arsenal of weapons. But he wouldn’t order Danny to go after any of the brothers unless he knew they had shot first.

 

He looked over at the van, where he saw Kono, apparently in pain.

 

“Do you want me to go to him, Steve?” Duke asked.

 

Steve didn’t want to risk another officer being shot. He looked at the path to the van, where there were bushes.

 

“I can go by the bushes. They won’t see me there,” Duke said.

 

“OK. Go to it, but be careful, Duke,” Steve warned. As quietly and quickly as possible, Duke set off.

 

Danny used the rifle sight to look inside the warehouse. “What do you see, Danno?” Steve asked on the radio.

 

“I’m looking at them, and they’re looking at us,” Danny answered.

 

“Maybe going in from behind?” Chin wondered.

 

Steve got on the radio again. “Is there a back entrance?” he asked.

 

Ben got on his radio. “There is,” he said.

 

“All right,” Steve said. “Ben, you and Frank are going to go in from the back. Danno, you’re going to fire as a decoy – but be careful.”

 

“OK, Steve,” Danny responded.

 

“Duke, what’s the story with Kono?” Steve asked.

 

“Well, he isn’t hit….but he can’t move!” Duke said.

 

Steve, Danny and Chin exchanged stunned glances. “What do you mean, he can’t move?” Steve asked.

 

“Just what I said…..It’s like he’s paralyzed,” Duke said. “But I don’t see any blood on him.”

 

“We’ve got to get him out of there,” Danny said.

 

Steve turned to Chin. “We’ve called an ambulance already, saying that an officer is down,” Chin said.

 

Well, he’s down, but we don’t know how or why. “Duke, can Officer Pahua get to you?” Steve asked.

 

“Yeah, I think so,” Duke said.

 

“OK, let’s get him over there, and keep him by Kono. I need you to help guide the paramedics when they get here,” Steve said. “We don’t dare move Kono after what you’ve just said.”

 

Duke motioned Pahua over, and they kneeled protectively over Kono as Danny traded a couple of shots with the Aldrettis and Ben and Frank silently moved out of range.

 

“Steve,” Danny called on his radio.

 

“Yes, Danno?”

 

“Tell Central Dispatch to relay that the ambulance driver should turn off the lights and sirens.”

 

“Good thinking,” Steve said. They didn’t want to draw the attention of the brothers and possibly put Kono, Duke, Pahua and the paramedics in more danger. He relayed the message.

 

The ambulance arrived quietly. Steve motioned the paramedics over.

 

“We need to get the gurney in there, Mr. McGarrett,” said one of the paramedics.

 

“I know,” Steve said. “We’ve got two – make that three problems. First, the terrain is bumpy. Second, my officer can’t move on his own. And third, if the men in that building see you with the gurney……”

 

“We understand,” said the other paramedic. “Mr. McGarrett, if it helps any, I wrapped up my service in Vietnam about a year ago, so I know about moving people under enemy fire.”

 

Steve nodded. “Good,” he said. “When you feel it’s safe, go.”

 

The paramedics took note of the terrain and Kono’s location. Quietly and as stealthily as possible, they slowly took the gurney forward.

 

Meanwhile, Danny had reloaded after trading shots with the brothers.

 

Steve got on the radio again. “How are you doing, Danno?”

 

“I’m afraid I’m spending our bullet budget,” was Danny’s response. “How’s Kono doing?”

 

“The paramedics are getting to him,” Steve said. “Once they get him out of there, we’re going to have Frank and Ben move in.”

 

“Right,” Danny agreed.

 

 

The paramedics had reached Kono by this point.

 

“He’s conscious, but he can’t move,” Duke said.

 

“You feel anything, Detective?’ one of the paramedics asked.

 

“Nothing,” Kono said.

 

The lead paramedic, the one who had been in Vietnam, looked at his partner, Duke and Officer Pahua.

 

“We’re going to cover you while you get him on the gurney and out of here,” Duke said.

 

The two paramedics followed their procedures, counting, then lifting Kono onto the gurney.

 

“Boy, you guys are good at your jobs,” Kono told them. “I’m heavy lifting.”

 

The paramedics, Duke and Pahua couldn’t help but smile.

 

“Take it easy, bruddah,” Duke said.

 

“OK, let’s get out of here,” the chief paramedic said.

 

Slowly, they moved him along. Then, the gurney hit a rock and got stuck.

 

As the paramedics, Pahua and Duke moved to get it out, a bullet whizzed by them.

 

“Get him out! Get him out!” Duke yelled.

 

“Move in! Move in!” Steve called on the radio at the same time.

 

He and Chin moved forward, shooting their rifles, as Danny did the same. In the back, Ben and Frank shot their guns as they entered the warehouse.

 

While Duke and Pahua provided cover, the paramedics lifted Kono from the gurney and carried him the rest of the way. It was not ideal, but it would have to do.

 

Finally, Kono was put into the ambulance. They sped away, with no idea of what had happened, or what was coming.

 

 

Dr. Bergman was at the emergency entrance to meet the ambulance, along with Dr. George Shimel, the orthopedist. Shimel had treated Steve when he’d had his temporary paralysis in an attempt by Wo Fat to frame him.

 

“Do you feel anything, Kono?” Bergman asked.

 

“No, Doc,” Kono said. “Have you heard anything from the warehouse?”

 

“Well, no other ambulances have been sent out there,” Bergman said. “I’ll let you know if anything develops, Kono.”

 

“Thanks, Doc,” Kono said.

 

Shimel began some movement tests. Kono winced at one.

 

“Seems to be the lower extremities that are the issue,” Shimel said. “Mr. Kalakaua, have you had problems recently with movement?”

 

“Yeah,” Kono said. “Like a leg going out from under me, stuff like that.”

 

Shimel nodded. “OK, we’re going to do a variety of tests on you……”

 

“Do you know what this could be?” Kono asked.

 

“We’ll find out,” Shimel said.

 

 

Kono woke up to a bright light. It framed a young Hawaiian woman with the sweetest face he’d ever seen.

 

Had he not made it? What about his colleagues? Was he dreaming?

 

“Angels?” he wondered.

 

The woman chuckled. “No, Mr. Kalakaua,” she said. “You’re still in Queens Hospital.”

 

But what about Steve, Danny, Chin and everyone else? “Nurse, do you know anything about my co-workers? When I left the warehouse, there was shooting.”

 

She smiled. “That was yesterday,” she said. “They arrested everyone. Mr. McGarrett and your co-workers are outside. They’ve been waiting to see you.”

 

Kono breathed a sigh of relief, then wondered.

 

“I’ve been asleep since yesterday?” he asked. The nurse nodded.

 

“I’ll call Dr. Bergman and Dr. Shimel,” she said.

 

 

At that point, the two doctors were giving an update to Steve, Danny and Chin.

 

“There’s no break in Mr. Kalakaua’s spinal cord, but there is a blockage,” Dr. Shimel said. “Kind of like a bone spur.”

 

“How did that happen?” Danny asked.

 

“Our guess would be when he was shot during the attempt on the governor….either from the shooting, or from the hard fall he took,” Dr. Bergman said. “It’s the kind of thing that happens when there’s extreme pressure on something, and Kono had it – and probably has aggravated it since then, with running, jumping and all that other sedentary stuff you guys do,” he added with a twinkle in his eye.

 

“He’s spoken to us about a loss of motion, about one leg going out from under him,” Dr. Shimel said.

 

“So what happened to him at the warehouse?” Chin asked.

 

“That was basically the bone spur shutting off his movement…..He’s not paralyzed, but potentially could be,” Dr. Shimel said.

“So can anything be done for him?” asked Steve.

 

“Yes,” Dr. Shimel said. “There’s an operation that can remove the bone spur and help Mr. Kalakaua recover complete movement.

 

“You might have heard of one of its most famous success stories – Michael Collins, one of the astronauts on the first Apollo mission to land on the moon.

 

“About a year before that mission, Collins began to feel numbness and other symptoms of a bone spur,” Dr. Shimel said. “It seemed to date from hard landings he had as an Air Force pilot, and may have been aggravated by another hard landing from a previous space mission. He had surgery, and as you know, he recovered fully.”

 

“So if Kono has the surgery-“ Steve began.

 

“He can certainly do the things he did before,” Dr. Shimel said.

 

Danny grinned. “Maybe even fly to the moon,” he joked.

 

 

When Kono opened his eyes again, that heavenly face was there – plus four more that were friendly. He rested his eyes on the tallest one.

 

“Boss?” he asked.

 

Howzit, Kono?” Steve asked.

 

“The Aldrettis?”

 

“All in custody, thanks in large part to Ben and Frank,” said Danny.

 

“What happened after I, uh, left?” Kono wondered.

 

“Well, believe it or not, all the distraction at us shooting to deflect attention from the ambulance leaving with you enabled Ben and Frank to sneak into the warehouse,” Steve said. “Ben shot one of the brothers in the leg; the other two surrendered.”

 

“No one else was hurt?” Kono asked.

 

“No one,” Chin assured.

 

Dr. Shimel and Doctor Bergman entered the room. Bergman looked at Steve with a hard stare.

 

“How many people are in this room, Steve?” Bergman asked. “I’m talking about non-medical personnel.”

 

Danny chuckled. “We get the message, Doc,” he said.

 

Steve patted Kono’s shoulder. “We’ll see you tomorrow, bruddah,” he said. “Take care of yourself.” Danny and Chin gave their good wishes and followed their boss out.

 

Kono looked from one doctor to another, then at the young nurse. She gave him a smile, which calmed him.

 

“Mr. Kalakaua, we were telling Mr. McGarrett and your colleagues about your condition,” Dr. Shimel said. He explained to Kono the details of the bone spur in the spinal cord, and the need of surgery to correct it.

 

“Son, do you want Steve to call your family?” Bergman asked.

 

“Yeah,” Kono said. “My mother especially should be here.”

 

“We’ll get her over,” Bergman said, and he and Dr. Shimel walked out.

 

The nurse looked down at Kono. “Does your mother live in Honolulu?” she asked.

 

“No,” said Kono, with a faraway look. “Hilo.”

 

The nurse looked surprised. “I’m from Hilo!” she said.

 

“You are?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“What’s your name?” Kono asked.

 

“Lea Manu.”

 

“Lea – that’s a pretty name,” Kono said.

 

Lea blushed. “Thanks,” she said.

 

“Is your family over there, too?” he asked.

 

“Yes,” Lea said. “I came here because I wanted to go to a bigger hospital, where things were more exciting.”

 

Kono chuckled. “Sometimes too exciting?” he asked.

 

Lea nodded.

 

“For me, too,” Kono said.

 

Lea smiled. “But you must be a good policeman if you’re with Hawaii Five-O,” she said. “Mr. McGarrett and the rest – they really regard you like family. That’s good.”

 

“Yeah,” Kono said.

 

 

He was in his royal bedchamber. In came the young maiden to serve him. She was petite and beautiful, with long, dark hair.

 

“Here is your dinner, Your Highness,” she said, curtseying as she placed a tray before him.

 

“Thank you,” he said. “You are new here?”

 

“Yes, Your Highness. I am Miss Lea.”

 

“A beautiful flower you are, Miss Lea.”

 

“Thank you, Your Highness.”

 

“I wonder if you would dine with me tonight?

 

She frowned. “Is that appropriate, for Prince Kono to ask a simple servant to dinner?”

 

“I can do anything I like.”

 

“Perhaps your mother, the Queen, would object-“

 

“My mother…..”

 

“My mother…..”

 

Lea chuckled as she tried to wake Kono up. “Your mother is here, Detective,” she said. “Wake up.”

 

Kono opened his eyes. As in the dream, he saw Lea, but in her nurses’ uniform.

 

He hoped she hadn’t overheard any of the dream.

 

She smiled again. “Your mother and quite a few cousins are in the waiting room,” she said.

 

Kono chuckled. “Have they been tough?” he asked.

 

“They’ve been great,” she said. “I’ll bring your mother in, if you’re ready.”

 

 

“How long will he be out?” the governor asked.

 

“It could be up to four months, but Doctors Shimel and Bergman both say he’ll make a full recovery,” Steve said.

 

“That’s good, but you still need a temporary replacement for him,” the governor said.

 

“I know,” Steve agreed.

 

“Got anyone in mind?” the governor asked.

 

“Well, Duke Lukela has been a liaison between HPD and Five-O since the shootout at Diamond Head,” Steve said. “I don’t think he wants to give that up, though – even temporarily. And we don’t want him to.”

 

“Anyone else?”

 

Steve nodded. “Two homicide detectives might be willing to serve temporarily,” he said. “Ben Kokua and Frank Kamana.”

The governor nodded. “They’re both good men,” he said. “I know they’re both HPD veterans, and highly decorated.”

 

Steve smiled. “Including one by you,” he said.

 

“That’s right,” the governor said. “Any one in particular?”

 

Steve thought a moment. “Frank Kamana is married, with a young daughter,” he said. “I don’t know if he’d be keen on the long hours it takes in this job.”

 

“You have Chin Ho Kelly, married and the father of eight,” the governor cheerfully reminded him.

 

“I know, but Frank’s wife has been battling illness,” Steve said. “Frank often has to be the caretaker for their daughter.”

 

“I’m sorry to hear that,” the governor said. “What about Ben Kokua?”

 

“He’s worked with us on quite a few cases,” Steve said. “Ben’s a go-getter.”

 

“Family life?” the governor asked.

 

“He has a fiancée, an assistant physics professor at the University of Hawaii,” Steve said. He smiled. “Ruth Gorola. Actually, she’s helped us with a few cases, too.”

 

“Keeping it in the family,” the governor said. He smiled at Steve. “You think very highly of Ben Kokua, don’t you?”

 

“Well, I was thinking that if you ever get the go-ahead from the Legislature to expand Five-O’s budget, he’d be a very good addition to the team,” Steve said.

 

“Well, the jury’s still out on that,” the governor said. “But go ahead and do what you think best while Kono’s recovering.”

 

“Thank you, Sir.”

 

 

“Kokua?”

 

“Yes, Chief?” Ben looked up at HPD Chief Mike Dann.

 

“Head over to the Iolani Palace for a meeting with Steve McGarrett, as soon as you can,” Chief Dann said.

 

“Yes, Sir,” said Ben, relieved to temporarily get away from the report he was writing.

 

He walked over to the palace and up to the second floor. When he came in, he saw Danny, who came over and shook his hand. “How are you, Ben?” Danny asked. “Especially after getting the Aldretti Brothers with Frank?”

 

“Good,” Ben said. He laughed. “I think Frank’s still recovering.” He furrowed his brow. “What’s the latest on Kono?”

 

“He’s having his surgery tomorrow,” Danny said. “Even assuming everything goes well, he’s still going to be out for the next four months, at least.”

 

“Man, that’s tough,” Ben said. “What are you guys going to do in the meantime?”

 

Before Danny could answer, Jenny Sherman, the main Five-O secretary, looked up. “Steve McGarrett’s ready for you, Detective Kokua,” she said.

 

“Oh, thank you,” Ben said. He looked at Danny. “I’ll catch up with you afterward.”

 

“Sure, Ben,” said Danny. Ben opened Steve’s office door and went in.

 

Jenny looked until the door closed. “He doesn’t seem to have any idea, does he?” she asked.

 

“No,” Danny said. “But he will soon enough.”

 

 

“A temporary assignment with Five-O?” asked Ben, surprised.

 

“Yes,” Steve responded. “While Kono is recovering, you will be working with us, if you accept.”

 

Ben chuckled in disbelief. “Oh, I accept,” he said.

 

 

“I’m glad you’re here, Mama,” Kono said.

 

“So am I,” said Mrs. Kalakaua. She squeezed her son’s hand. “You’re going to be all right, Kono. The spirits are with you.”

 

Lea walked into the hospital room. “Hello,” she said, and smiled. “I don’t want to interrupt, but I do need to take your son’s temperature and blood pressure.”

 

Mrs. Kalakaua stood up. She had seen her son’s face when the young nurse walked into the room. “Please, go ahead, Nurse.” She smiled at Kono. “I will be right back, my son.”

 

Kono smiled. “Thank you, Mama,” he said.

 

Mrs. Kalakaua left the room and Lea stuck a thermometer in Kono’s mouth. “Your surgery will be tomorrow,” she said.

 

Mmmmm,” Kono mumbled through the thermometer. Lea giggled.

 

“Sorry, I should never make conversation with a patient when he has a thermometer in his mouth,” she said, and waited a moment. She then took out the thermometer.

 

“I said, ‘I know,’” Kono said, chuckling.

 

Lea looked at the thermometer and smiled. “Normal,” she said. “Anyway, Dr. Shimel and the other doctors involved in the surgery will talk to you later about what’s going to be done.”

 

“Will you be there?” Kono asked.

 

Lea shook her head. “I’m not a surgical nurse,” she said, as she started putting the blood pressure cuff around Kono’s arm.

 

“Do you want to be a surgical nurse?” he asked.

 

Lea began to take his blood pressure. “Not really,” she said. “I like talking to patients; I like knowing from them what I can do to help them feel better.”

 

She watched the blood pressure monitor. “Your pressure’s good,” she said, taking off the cuff.

 

Mahalo,” Kono said. “Can you stay and talk a few minutes?”

 

“Sure.”

 

He asked her for some more detail about her growing up in Hilo. They discovered that he was five years older, but they had gone to the same school, shared many of the same teachers and been to many of the same hangouts.

 

“Do you ever go back?” Lea asked.

 

“During Thanksgiving and Christmas, if I can get away from work,” Kono said.

 

“Me, too. Do you miss it?”

 

“A lot sometimes,” Kono said and smiled. “Everyone at Five-O is like family, but getting back to Hilo is always special.”

 

“I know what you mean,” Lea agreed.

 

Mrs. Kalakaua walked back into the room. Lea smiled at her.

 

“His temperature and blood pressure are fine, Mrs. Kalakaua,” she said.

 

“Thank you, Nurse,” the older woman said. She looked at Kono and noticed he couldn’t take his eyes off Lea.

 

Lea smiled at them both. “I’d better get to the other patients,” she said.

 

“See you later,” Kono said, causing Lea to smile again.

 

Mrs. Kalakaua sat in the chair next to her son. She had seen a lot of things in roughly 60 years of living, and she knew her son liked the young nurse very much.

 

“She is a nice girl, Kono,” Mrs. Kalakaua said.

 

“Yeah,” Kono agreed.

 

 

Later that night

 

Lea looked in on Kono, and could see the detective was restless. She walked in.

 

“Hi,” she whispered.

 

He smiled at her. “Hi.”

 

“Can I get you something to help you sleep?” she asked.

 

“No…..Can you talk?” Kono asked. He smiled. “I always seem to want to talk to you.”

 

“I like talking to you, too,” said Lea, pulling over a chair and sitting down.

 

“I’m not keeping you from patients?”

 

“No. I have a few minutes,” Lea said. “Your mother?”

 

“She’s staying with one of my cousins here in Honolulu,” Kono said. He looked pensive.

 

Lea eyed the detective. She knew he was apprehensive about the surgery. “Dr. Shimel’s a great doctor,” she said.

 

“Oh, I know,” Kono said. “He helped my boss a while back……” Kono told Lea about the frame Wo Fat had set up against Steve, which involved temporary paralysis.

 

“Wow,” said Lea, shaking her head. “You guys have some tough cases.” She smiled again. “Do you get any free time?”

 

Kono chuckled. “Do you?”

 

“Not enough,” Lea said.

 

“Same here.”

 

“What do you like to do when you have free time?” Lea asked.

 

“I like to surf,” Kono said. “Sometimes, I’ll take a walk to the beach, too, and just sit and look and listen.”

 

He grew pensive. Lea took his hand.

 

“You’ll still be able to do that, Kono,” she said.

 

Kono stared ahead, not saying anything for a moment, then looked at Lea. “What do you like to do in your free time?” he asked.

 

Lea giggled. “I like to read,” she said. “And I like walking on the beach, too.”

 

Kono smiled. “What do you like to read?” he asked.

 

“Mostly Hawaiian history. And novels.”

 

Kono nodded, and soon was deep in thought again.

 

“It’ll be OK, Kono. You’ll see.”

 

Kono looked into her brown eyes.

 

Mahalo,” he whispered.

 

They looked each other for what seemed like minutes. Suddenly, Lea remembered. “I…..uh……have to go make my rounds,” she said.

 

“Thank you,” Kono said.

 

She smiled and touched his shoulder. “I’ll be back later to take your temperature and blood pressure,” she said. “Try to get some sleep.”

 

She walked to the door of the room. “Lea?” she heard. She turned around.

 

“Thanks again.”

 

 

The next day, Kono’s family all gathered in the waiting room as the long surgery took place. As evening fell, Danny joined them. He planned to contact Steve at the office, and Chin at home, as soon as there was word.

 

Danny saw the unease on the face of Mrs. Kalakaua.

 

“He’ll be all right,” Danny said softly.

 

“Thank you, Mr. Williams,” Mrs. Kalakaua said.

 

As they waited, Danny looked around at the various relatives. The children ran around; some sat or lay on their stomachs on the carpeted floor, reading or playing board games. The older cousins sat in the chairs, talking.

 

Danny, whose Aunt Clara was his only living relative, couldn’t fathom such a big family, though he and Kono had a little bit in common. One of Kono’s uncles had helped his mother raise him, since Kono’s father had abandoned the family when the boy was little.

 

They’d discussed that and other things quite a bit through the years. Danny sat back and smiled, remembering the first time he met Kono……

 

Early 1959

 

“Uncle Jim!” Danny called excitedly as he opened the door.

 

“In here, Danny,” called his uncle from the den.

 

Danny tossed his college books on the couch and came into the den. “Hi-“ he stopped, seeing his uncle with another Honolulu police officer, a big, burly man. Danny nodded politely.

 

“Danny, this is one of our rookies at HPD, Kono Kalakaua,” Jim Williams said. “I’m mentoring him this week. I thought I’d invite him for dinner with us.”

 

Kono smiled. “Hi,” he said.

 

Danny reached forward and shook Kono’s hand. “Hi, Officer Kalakaua,” he said. “Pleased to meet you.” Danny looked puzzled. “Kalakaua as in the street?”

 

“Danny, Kono’s descended from Hawaii’s royalty,” Uncle Jim said. “His family has been in Hawaii for 1,000 years. They originally came from Tahiti.”

 

“Neat!” Danny exclaimed.

 

“Your uncle tells me you’re studying psychology,” Kono said. “Are you going to be a doctor?”

 

Danny blushed. “I really don’t know,” he said.

 

Kono chuckled. “How old are you?” he asked.

 

“Eighteen,” Danny responded.

 

“You’ve got a lot of time to decide, Danny,” Kono said.

 

“I suppose,” Danny said.

 

Kono smiled. “Your uncle tells me you like to surf, too.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“How about going to the Banzai Pipeline one Sunday?”

 

Danny beamed. “Really?”

 

“Really.”

 

 

 

Kono was different from the other young HPD cops Uncle Jim mentored. At 22, he was three years older than Danny, but his joy of life made him seem younger, somehow. They quickly became friends.

 

When Uncle Jim was murdered later that year, Kono was among many who offered support to Danny. They stayed friends through Danny’s transfer to the University of California at Berkeley, his return to Hawaii and enrollment at HPD’s police academy and acceptance at HPD. By that time, Kono had become one of the Five-O detectives.

 

When Danny joined Five-O in 1965, Kono and Chin helped him ease into the swing of things. Chin was a fatherly presence, while Kono talked Danny through the day-to-day pressures – and working with Danny’s idol, Steve McGarrett:

 

“I don’t know about this, Kono,” Danny said one day. “I feel like I don’t deserve to be here – I feel like such a yokel.”

 

Kono frowned. “A what?” he asked.

 

“Yokel – you know, someone who doesn’t know anything,” Danny said.

 

“Well, you’re not a yokel, bruddah. You’re akamai,” said Kono, using the Hawaiian word for “smart.”

 

“You know a lot more stuff than I do,” Kono continued. “And the boss knows that, too. That’s why Steve hired you.”

 

Danny shook his head. “I told him when he hired me that there were more qualified people at HPD.”

 

Kono patted his friend’s shoulder. “He saw something in you, Danno. And he’s right.”

 

 

Danny also remembered other times with Kono – serious times, such as when his friend visited him in jail after he turned himself in for shooting Thad Vaughn, and Kono jokingly offered to trade spots with him after sitting on the jail cell bed. And fun times, such as going surfing and having double dates.

 

Danny smiled. Maybe not all the double dates.

 

He looked up as the clock ticked.

 

 

Lea looked down at her long, pink dress. This should be appropriate for a special meeting with a member of the royal family, shouldn't it?

 

A lady-in-waiting came to her. "Miss Lea, Miss Lea, the prince is waiting for you," she said.

 

"I shall go," Lea said.

 

"Lea, Lea," another lady said.....

 

"Lea!"

 

Lea came out of her daydream and looked up at Nurse Kealani Kellye, who smiled at her. "You were a thousand miles away. What were you thinking about?"

 

"Oh, just a dress I have," Lea said, blushing.

 

Nurse Kellye smiled. "More like the date who's going to see that dress," she said knowingly.

 

Lea stood up. "What's going on?" she asked.

 

"Detective Kalakaua's surgery is wrapped up," Nurse Kellye said. "It went well."

 

"Good," Lea said, trying to tamp down the happiness bubbling up in her. "I can go see his family."

 

"Go ahead," Nurse Kellye said. The veteran nurse smiled as she watched the younger one leave the lounge. Crushes between staff and patients were frowned upon, but Nurse Kellye sensed that Lea had more than a passing feeling for Detective Kalakaua.

 

 

Lea got updated, then walked out to the sight of the Kalakaua family in pleasant chaos - older members sitting in conversation, younger ones sitting on the floor, playing or reading.

 

Danny was the first to spot her. "Nurse?" he asked. Mrs. Kalakaua rose along with him.

 

Lea smiled at them. "He's out of surgery, and it went well," she said. Mrs. Kalakaua clapped her hands, and all around her was hushed.

 

"They removed the bone spur," Lea said. "Dr. Shimel is going to come down in a little while and explain exactly what was done. Now don't be frightened, Mrs. Kalakaua. He's going to be in a body cast and with a kind of metal halo on his head for a little while - it's to stabilize him and make sure his spine gets back in order."

 

"I understand," Mrs. Kalakaua said. "When will I be able to see my son?"

 

"He's still in recovery, so it will be a while before he'll be moved back to his room," Lea said. "Probably a couple of hours."

 

Mrs. Kalakaua clasped Lea's hands. "Thank you - may I call you Lea?" The young nurse nodded.

 

"You are a great comfort," Mrs. Kalakaua told her.

 

Lea blushed. "I'm just doing my job," she said.

 

Danny interrupted. "Thank you," he told Lea softly. "If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go call the office and tell them the good news."

 

As he walked away, he thought about the look in the young nurse's eyes as she talked about Kono. He remembered the last time he'd seen that look.

 

It was the way Jane Michaels had looked at him.

 

 

Kono opened his eyes. There was a strange object floating out in front of him. He wanted to grab hold of it, but he couldn't seem to move his arms. Where was he?

 

Then, in front of him, he saw Lea. "Easy, Kono, easy," she said softly. "Remember, you have a body cast and a halo on your head."

 

Kono finally did remember. "A halo. That might be a first for me," he whispered. Lea smiled.

 

"You have a great family," she said.

 

"Have they behaved?" Kono asked impishly.

 

She laughed. "Yes," she said. "I like your mother."

 

"I think she likes you, too," Kono said.

 

Lea looked down.

 

"I agree with her," he added.

 

Lea looked at Kono, then down again, shyly.

 

The spell was broken by Dr. Shimel, who came into the room. "Ah, good, you're awake, Detective," he said. "How are you feeling?"

 

"Chained," Kono said. Lea giggled.

 

The doctor chuckled. "Understood," he said. "Sorry about that. We just want to make sure everything heals well."

 

"I understand, Doc," Kono said.

 

As Dr. Shimel examined him, Kono kept his eyes fixed on Lea, as she assisted.

 

"Looks good," Dr. Shimel said.

 

I won't argue that, Doc, Kono thought to himself, as he watched the young nurse.

 

 

 

The next day

 

"How many bruddahs teased you about that hat, Kono?" Chin asked.

 

Kono looked up at the halo and sighed. "Too many," he said. "Guess I'm stuck with it for a while."

 

"Some would say it's a reference to your royal roots," Steve said.

 

"Now we'll never be able to live with him, now that he's worn the crown," Danny teased. They all laughed.

 

"Did your family all get to see you?" Steve asked.

 

"Yeah.....In shifts," Kono said. "Mama's been here most of the time. They've got her down at dinner now, so she'll be back soon."

 

Kono looked at Steve. "How's Ben doing at Five-O?" he asked.

 

"He can't fill your shoes - no one can-" Steve began.

 

"Especially those dainty size 13s," Danny chimed in, to laughter.

 

"But he's doing a good job with the cases," Steve said.

 

"Good," Kono said. "Jenny came by at lunchtime. She said she spoke to May, who's coming tomorrow." May Parker, the Five-O secretary throughout the squad's first decade, was now working in the governor's office.

 

Lea came in and smiled. "Sorry, detectives," she said. "Mr. Kalakaua's going to need some sleep."

 

Steve, who had been sitting in a chair next to Kono's bed, rose.

 

"Ahhh......this nurse just wants you to herself, Kono," Chin teased.

 

It was an innocent comment, but Lea blushed. Danny caught it, and looked at Kono, who only had eyes for her.

 

"See you tomorrow, Kono," Danny said.

 

 

Lea was on her way to see another patient when she heard "NO!" from Kono's room.

 

She rushed in. No one was there, but Kono was in the throes of a nightmare, and thrashing as much as the cast and halo would let him.

 

She gently put her hands on either side of his head. "Shhhhh......Shhhhhh......" she said, over and over, as she stroked his hair.

 

"Don't let them get me," Kono said, still obviously in his nightmare.

 

"No one will get you......no one," she responded.

 

"I promise, my love, we will be married," Kono said.

 

"Oh.....yes," Lea said. Does he have somebody else, someone who cares about him?

 

 

 

There she was. His Lea, coming to rescue him as he lay, imprisoned and bound, in this dungeon.

 

"Don't let them get me!" he exclaimed to her.

 

"No one will get you....no one," Lea said.

 

How lovely she looked in her pink dress. He knew it was his fate, if he survived, to take her as his wife.

 

"I promise, my love, we will be married," he said......

 

 

 

Lea's shift was ending as Nurse Kellye came in.

 

"Nurse Kellye, I'd like to talk to you about a transfer for a while," Lea said.

 

"Come and sit down, Lea," the older nurse said. "What's the problem?"

 

"I think it's just.....getting to me," Lea said.

 

Nurse Kellye smiled. "Is it any one of the patients?" she asked.

 

"Oh.....I.....no," Lea said, too late.

 

Nurse Kellye nodded. "It's Detective Kalakaua," she said firmly.

 

"I know I'm not supposed to get involved with any of the patients - and I'm not involved with him, really I'm not," Lea said.

 

"It's discouraged, Lea, but it's not a hard and fast rule," Nurse Kellye said. "If two people are destined for each other.......But we do transfer those who feel they can't work around patients, or at least assign them to others."

 

She looked at Lea intently. "Are you sure?" Lea nodded.

 

"OK," Nurse Kellye said. "I'll move you somewhere else tonight."

 

 

 

At Five-O

 

Ben Kokua sat in Steve's office while Steve paced back and forth. They were stuck on the Hostetler case, seemingly wallowing in mud as Pete Hostetler, a pimp who may have drugged and raped some of his prostitutes, might go free.

 

"Maybe Herbie," Ben said out loud.

 

Steve turned and looked at Ben. "Pardon?" he asked.

 

Ben looked directly at Steve. "I have a source on Hotel Street who helps me sometimes," he said. "I knew him back when he was young and strong enough to work on the docks where my father was a fisherman."

 

Steve had been fascinated by the story of Ben's beginnings: He had a Hawaiian father and until Ben, there had been a long history of the Kokua men being fishermen. His mother was from Samoa; she'd come to Hawaii as a child.

 

"Did he work with your father?" Steve asked.

 

"Sometimes," Ben said. "Sometimes he would fish, but usually, he'd prepare boats, things like that."

 

Steve, who had been working on his old boat for years, could relate. "How did - Herbie, was it? - wind up on Hotel Street?" he asked.

 

"Well, he had an injury," Ben said. "He couldn't work on the docks anymore. We didn't see him again after that. My father had no idea what had happened to him, and neither did I until about three years ago, when I saw him on Hotel Street while HPD homicide was investigating a murder. Herbie became a 'greeter' for one of the clubs."

 

"Sees all, knows all, is that it?" Steve asked.

 

Ben chuckled. "Something like that. I can find out if he'll help us. He's usually pretty good about it."

 

"Payment?" Steve asked.

 

"No, actually," Ben said. He shrugged his shoulders. "He kind of does it for me.....old ties, I guess."

 

Steve nodded. So far, he liked what he had seen of Ben and the energy, intelligence and resources he brought to the job. Perhaps, once Kono was back from medical leave, he could use Ben as a way to lobby the governor to expand Five-O by another post.

 

 

 

"Hi, Kono," Danny said, poking his head into the room.

 

"Hey, Danno," Kono responded. "Grab a chair."

 

Danny did. "Doesn't that thing drive you crazy?" he asked, motioning toward the halo.

 

"Yeah," Kono said. He grinned. "But it's worth it, just to see Lea at night."

 

Danny looked at his friend intently. "You really like her, don't you?" he asked.

 

"Yeah. I've been having the weirdest dreams about her - must be the drugs," Kono said.

 

Danny chuckled. "What kind of weird dreams?" he asked.

 

"Dreams where I'm the prince of Hawaii, and she's a lady who I want to become my princess," Kono said. "And I'm trapped in a dungeon, and she's trying to free me, and I ask her to marry me."

 

Danny laughed again. "They've gotta get this stuff off you sooner or later," he said, waving toward the halo and the body cast.

 

Kono chuckled and turned serious as he looked at Danny. "Danno - when you were dating Jane - how did you feel?" he asked. "Did you - love her?"

 

"Yes," Danny said. It was almost a whisper. "I did."

 

He paused a moment. Kono waited for his friend to continue.

 

"I never told her, though," Danny said, his voice breaking. "I'm always going to have to live with that, with the fact that she died never knowing that I loved her."

 

He looked down. Kono wished he could reach out and pat Danny on the shoulder.

 

Instantly, the young detective recovered and looked at Kono.

 

"Kono, are you saying you're in love with this woman?" Danny asked seriously.

 

Kono had a half-laugh. "All I know is, I'm happy when I see her, when we talk. Do you know she's from the Big Island, too? From near my family. And I know she's busy with her rounds, but she always has time for a few minutes to talk.

 

"And she's beautiful, with a great smile," Kono continued. "She laughs at my jokes." Danny chuckled at that.

 

Kono paused a moment, then continued. "I wonder how things could be if we could see each other - well, without me in this stuff," he said, referring to the halo and cast.

 

"You should find out, Kono," Danny said. "And Kono - if you love her, don't wait to tell her."

 

"Yeah," Kono said.

 

Nurse Kellye came in. "Good evening, Detective," she said, smiling. "Let's take your temperature."

 

"Where's Nurse Manu?" Kono asked, puzzled.

 

"She's been transferred," Nurse Kellye said. Seeing Kono's look of dismay, she said, "That happens sometimes."

 

Kono and Danny exchanged a look.

 

"She'll come to visit you, I'm sure," Danny said.

 

"Sure," Kono said, staring up at the ceiling.

 

As Nurse Kellye took Kono's temperature, she wondered what to do.

 

 

 

"Physically, he's much better," Dr. Shimel told Steve. "We're taking off the halo and the cast and putting on a back and neck brace."

 

"Emotionally?" Steve wondered.

 

"He was feeling pretty 'up' until a couple of days ago," Dr. Shimel said. "Since then, he's been unenthusiastic about everything, including his family. Of course, that can happen sometimes with patients - they get tired of the confinement."

 

"Thanks, Doc," Steve said. With that, he walked into Kono's room.

 

"Howzit, Bruddah," Steve asked.

 

"Hi, Steve," Kono said. Steve noticed how glum he looked.

 

"Hey, why the long face? You're getting better. You'll be able to sit soon, then stand, then walk," Steve said.

 

"Yeah," Kono said.

 

Nurse Kellye walked into the room. She'd known Steve since Korea, when she was a nurse at a M*A*S*H unit. "Hi, Steve."

 

"Hello, Kealani," Steve said, giving her a hug. Kono gave the friendly nurse a brief smile.

 

"I'll be right back, Kono. I'm going to talk about some old times with your boss," Nurse Kellye said.

 

"Sure, Nurse," Kono said.

 

She motioned Steve outside the room. "What's going on?" he asked.

 

"He's been pretty low-" she began.

 

"I know - Dr. Shimel told me," Steve said. "What do we do about it?"

 

"I have a hunch it has something to do with the woman who was his nurse, Lea Manu," Nurse Kellye said. "He liked her."

 

Steve chuckled. "Kono has about one girlfriend a week," he said.

 

"Maybe so, but Lea seems to have made a deeper impression," Nurse Kellye said. "He's here, he's scared, he doesn't know whether he'll have his life or career back, and here's this friendly face - especially since she's from his hometown."

 

"Well, what happened to her?" Steve asked.

 

"I'd like to know the answer to that, too," said Danny Williams, walking up to join them.

 

"We transferred her to geriatrics - at her request," Nurse Kellye said. "She was afraid she was getting too close to Kono, and that it was going to affect her ability to do her job properly."

 

"That can happen," Steve said. He recalled only too well Nurse Edith Lavallo, who had helped him a couple of years before when he had been temporarily blinded during the bombing of his car.

 

"I can't help but feel she's made a mistake," Nurse Kellye said. "I tried to talk to her, but....."

 

Danny thought a moment. "Maybe I should try," he said.

 

Nurse Kellye smiled at him. "Geriatrics is on the fifth floor. Her shift is starting."

 

 

 

The elevator doors opened and Danny walked out and went to the nurses' station.

 

"Hello," smiled a pretty, blonde nurse from behind the desk.

 

"Hello," Danny said, smiling back. "I'm wondering if you could help me. Does Nurse Lea Manu work here?"

 

"Yes. She just started her rounds," the woman said, looking slightly disappointed.

 

"Well, I'll tell you what it's about. I have a friend in the hospital, down in her old section - orthopedics - and he kind of misses her," Danny said.

 

"Oh, I see," the woman said, smiling again. "And you?"

 

Danny chuckled. "I'm Detective Dan Williams, Hawaii Five-O," he said.

 

"Nurse Sheila Travers," she said. "Lea should be back in a few minutes."

 

"Good," Danny said. He checked her fingers. No ring. "What time do you get off your shift?"

 

Nurse Travers smiled.

 

 

They'd just made arrangements for a late supper when Lea walked by. "Mr. Williams!" she exclaimed. "What are you doing here?"

 

"Can I speak to you for a couple of minutes?" Danny asked.

 

"Of course. Follow me," Lea said, leading Danny into a family lounge. They sat down.

 

"Yes, Mr. Williams?" she asked.

 

"Kono's been really depressed since you've been transferred," Danny said. He noted the expression on Lea's face.

 

"Well, patients can get depressed after surgery," Lea said, looking down.

 

"I know, but I don't think surgery is all of it," Danny said.

 

"Well, Mr. Williams, he's got his family and a fiancée, doesn't he?" Lea asked.

 

Danny looked puzzled. "Fiancée? Where did you get that idea?"

 

"I thought I heard him mention someone he loved," Lea said. She didn't want to dare tell Danny she'd heard it in a dream.

 

"Lea, I've known Kono for more than a decade; the most I've ever seen him have a steady girlfriend was for two weeks," Danny said. "He's usually pretty casual about it."

 

"Oh," Lea said.

 

"But I think you've made a lasting impression on him," Danny said. "I'm a bad one to be giving advice - I usually don't do much better at relationships than Kono does - but I think you two should talk to each other."

 

Lea thought a moment. "You're right, Mr. Williams," she said. "I'll come and see him tonight."

 

 

 

Danny told Steve, but not Kono, about his visit with Lea. He decided to let his friend be surprised.

 

"Tilda has a recital tonight, which is why Chin's not here," Steve said.

 

"And Ben's coming with me to watch the game on TV tomorrow," Danny said.

 

"Good. Thanks, guys," Kono said, still looking a little down.

 

Into the room walked Lea.

 

"Good evening, Nurse Manu, is it?" Steve asked. He looked back at Kono, whose whole bearing had changed.

 

"Good evening, Mr. McGarrett, Mr. Williams," she said.

 

"We'll be going now," Danny said. "Goodnight, Kono."

 

"Good night, guys," said Kono, not really watching them leave. He was too busy seeing Lea move toward him. She took a chair next to him.

 

"Are you comfortable?" she asked.

 

"Sure," he said. "How are you doing with your new patients?"

 

"OK, but actually, Nurse Kellye told me I was going to come back here," she said. "My transfer has been denied."

 

Kono looked puzzled. "They can do that?" he asked.

 

"I guess so," Lea said. She looked into his eyes. She touched his cheek.

 

"Lea," Kono whispered.

 

"I left because of you, Kono......I was afraid," Lea said softly.

 

"Of what?" Kono said.

 

"Of the way I was beginning to feel about you."

 

"You mean because nurses aren't allowed to feel anything for patients?" Kono asked.

 

"Well, it's not encouraged," Lea said. "But Nurse Kellye said that sometimes, things take their own course."

 

Kono's heart beat a little quicker. "Meaning...." he prompted.

 

"Meaning....this," Lea said. She leaned down and gave him a long kiss.

 

They broke the kiss and both smiled as Lea leaned back. She blushed.

 

"I've never done that before," she said. "Been so forward in kissing a guy."

 

"I don't mind," Kono said, still smiling.

 

They looked at each other a moment.

 

"Can I tell you something?" Kono asked. Lea nodded.

 

"I've been having dreams about you," he said.

 

Lea's eyes grew wide. "I've been having dreams about you, too," she said.

 

"Really?" he asked. She nodded again.

 

"I'm wearing this pink dress, and you're the ...." she began.

 

"Prince of Hawaii," he finished. They both laughed, until Kono grimaced from the confinement. Lea reached over to make sure he was comfortable.

 

He rolled his eyes at the halo above him. "I want to get out of this thing," he said. "So you can see everything I am."

 

Lea smiled. "I've seen everything you are, Kono," she said.

 

A lump formed in his throat. "Is it too soon to say 'I love you?'" he asked.

 

"Not for me," Lea whispered. "I love you, too."

 

 

A month later

 

"Ready?" Lea asked.

 

"I thought I was," Kono said.

 

"This is something new - Kono, who’s never been afraid to bust through a door, scared to stand up," Danny teased.

 

"Hey, I ain't scared, bruddah - just taking my time," Kono said, glaring at Danny.

 

"You'll go when you're ready," Steve encouraged.

 

"Any way we can help?" Chin asked.

 

“Well, Mr. McGarrett and Mr. Williams, if you could stand on either side of the bed and help Kono up,” Lea said. She motioned Chin to bring forward a metal walker.

 

“OK, you can grab hold of this, Kono…..I’m going to be standing across the room, and you’ll walk over to me, all right?” Lea asked.

 

“OK,” Kono responded.

 

With Steve on one side and Danny on the other, Kono braced himself on their arms and slowly rose. Chin put the walker in front of Kono, who let go of the other men and grabbed the walker. Drops of sweat beaded on his forehead.

 

Lea smiled at him. “Come on, Kono, you can do it,” she encouraged.

 

Step by step, Kono inched forward, toward Lea. Silently, his colleagues urged him ahead. Finally, he reached her.

 

Kono and Lea smiled.

 

“Didn’t know he was so tall, did you, Lea?” Danny asked.

 

Lea put a hand above Kono’s. “Very tall and regal,” she remarked.

 

The other detectives cracked up at the “regal” label. “Yeah….he’s a regular king,” Chin joked.

 

Lea squeezed Kono’s hand. “OK. Now do it again,” she urged. “Turn around and walk to that chair over there.”

 

Kono slowly turned the walker and began his march toward the tall chair next to his bed.

 

“You know, he’s walking faster than he usually does,” Chin teased.

 

“Yeah. Kono’s usually slow, slower and slowest,” Danny chimed in.

 

Kono looked at his boss. “Steve, can’t you fire them or something?” he asked. All around him laughed.

 

“Sorry, bruddah,” Steve said. “I’m already short one detective.”

 

“Isn’t Ben doing well?” Kono asked as he reached the chair.

 

“He’s doing great,” Steve said. “But we miss you.”

 

 

In fact, Ben Kokua was doing so well that Steve was going to have a dilemma when Kono came back – unless, somehow, the governor could get the funding for another Five-O position out of the Hawaii Legislature.

 

That was because Kono was also doing well. He had moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation center, where he was doing physical therapy. While Lea no longer provided nursing care, she came to visit him every day, and they grew closer.

 

One day, she came while he was doing therapy in a swimming pool, walking across the pool.

 

“Hi,” Lea said, and smiled.

 

“Hi. Wish I had my surfboard with me,” Kono said. Lea chuckled.

 

“Does this help?” she asked.

 

“Yeah, it does,” Kono said. He walked to the steps of the pool, walked up the stairs, got a towel and walked over to Lea. “But seeing you helps more.”

 

Lea blushed, both at Kono’s words and at the sight of him in swim trunks. Kono smiled at her as he dried off.

 

“How do you like my All-American Boy physique, huh?” Kono asked. Lea laughed. Then, she grew serious and kissed him.

 

Kono pulled back, sensing something wrong. “You OK?”

 

Lea took him by the hand and led him to a bench, where they both sat down.

 

“Kono, I just got a call from my mother. My grandmother is very sick,” she said.

 

“I’m sorry.” Kono replied. “I hope she gets better.”

 

Lea looked down. “They don’t give her much hope,” she said, and looked back up at Kono. “She’s very old.”

 

“Are you going back to the Big Island?” Kono asked.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Maybe I should come, too.”

 

Lea looked at him, astonished. “Really?”

 

“Sure. I’ll visit my family – you’ll get to see all my cousins again, if you didn’t get enough of them while I was in the hospital,” Kono said, and joined Lea in a smile. “And….”

 

“You can meet my family, too,” she said softly.

 

“I was hoping you’d say that,” Kono said, and kissed her.

 

 

“You’re going back to the Big Island?” Danny was surprised.

 

“Yeah. Lea’s grandmother is very sick, and anyway, I want to see my family and meet hers,” Kono said. “Danno – I need your help with something.”

 

Danny smiled. “I think I know what it is.”

 

 

Hilo

 

Hand in hand, Kono and Lea walked on the beach.

 

The health of Lea’s grandmother had improved a bit; other family members suspected it was happiness at seeing her beloved granddaughter – and meeting the detective she’d fallen in love with.

 

It had improved Lea’s spirits, which made Kono happy, and eager to go ahead with what he had planned.

 

“Want to sit down?” Kono asked. Lea nodded. They sat down on the sand and looked out at the waves.

 

Lea smiled. “Going to try surfing soon?” she asked.

 

Kono chuckled. “Maybe dog paddling for a few days,” he said.

 

“You’ll be fine,” Lea said.

 

“I know….Actually, I brought you out here to ask you about something,” Kono said. He smiled. “You remember when we were having dreams about each other? In the hospital?”

 

Lea blushed. “Yes,” she said. She looked down. “I felt so foolish……I woke you up out of one, where you’d just said, ‘I promise, my love, we will be married.’ I thought you had a fiancee.”

 

Kono chuckled. “Serves me right for talking in my sleep,” he said. “But it was you I saw, Lea…..And I made a promise, and I plan to keep it.”

 

Lea looked at him. “Kono….are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

 

He took her hands. “Will you marry me, Lea?”

 

She released his hands and flung her arms around him in a tight hug. “Yes, Kono! I will!”

 

They spent the next few minutes quietly celebrating, with lots of hugs and kisses. Kono laughed. “I forgot,” he said, and pulled out the engagement ring he’d bought with Danny’s help.

 

It was a gold band with a simple diamond. “Kono, it’s lovely,” Lea said.

 

He placed it on her finger. “I’m going to give you a wedding ring with a lot more history to it, but I wanted to start a new tradition with you with the engagement ring,” he said.

 

“I like the way you start new traditions,” said Lea, chuckling. “And I love you.”

 

“I love you, too, Nani Lea,” Kono said, using the Hawaiian word for “beautiful.”

 

They hugged quietly. “Lea, what about your grandmother?” Kono asked gently.

 

Lea kissed him. “Something tells me she won’t miss this,” she said.

 

 

One month later

 

Indeed, Lea’s grandmother rallied so that she would be well enough to attend the wedding ceremony. It seemed like everyone was going to be there.

 

Even amid the bustle of wedding preparations, Kono and Lea had plenty of time together in Hilo, to talk and think and dream and plan. They had both come to some decisions that were going to change their lives and destinies.

 

In Kono’s case, he was concerned with what his friends at Five-O – especially his boss – would think.

 

They all came the day before the wedding. Before the bachelor party, Kono pulled Danny aside and told him his news.

 

Danny smiled and shook his head. “I can’t say I’m surprised,” he said.

 

“You think Steve will be?” Kono asked.

 

“I can’t say that, either,” said Danny, chuckling.

 

 

Later that evening, as the party broke up, Kono found Steve on the beach, staring out at the water.

 

“It’s beautiful here, Kono,” Steve said.

 

“Good place to paint, Boss,” Kono said with a grin.

 

“I think you’re right,” Steve agreed. He turned to Kono. “How did you decide to leave all those years ago?”

 

Kono looked his friend and boss in the eye. “I guess those were my priorities,” he said.

 

They were silent for a moment, looking at the Pacific Ocean. Then, Steve looked at Kono. And he knew.

 

“You’re not coming back, are you?” Steve asked. “You’re not coming back to Honolulu. To Five-O.”

 

Kono grinned broadly. “You are the greatest cop,” he said. “For figuring that out.”

 

Steve had a small smile.

 

They were silent for a moment. Then, Kono broke it.

 

“I had a lot of time to think in the hospital, then the rehab center, now here,” Kono said. “Maybe what happened to me was a sign that I needed to go in a different direction.

 

“I can never forget everything you’ve done for me at Five-O,” he continued. Steve smiled.

 

“The best part of these last 12 years has been working with you and Chin, Danny, May, Jenny and everyone else,” Kono went on. He grinned. “But tailing crooks, tracking down license plate numbers…..”

 

“Not the greatest thrill anymore?” Steve asked.

 

“Not if there isn’t something to balance it, something – or someone - that means a great deal,” Kono said. “Until I met Lea, I’d never found it.

 

“But we both came back here because her grandmother was sick…..And we discovered we wanted more for ourselves and each other…..including our families,” Kono continued. Steve nodded.

 

“I still want to be a cop……But I want to be able to balance that with time with my family and not feel guilty about it,” Kono said. “I know Chin does that, but he also talks about how he’s had battles with Tim, and now Alia, over the time he spends on the job. I don’t know if there’s a way to avoid that when Lea and I start a family, but it might be easier if I’m not in Honolulu anymore.”

 

Neither spoke, but listened to the waves for a few minutes.

 

“What will you do?” Steve asked.

 

“Probably apply to the Big Island’s police.”

 

Steve patted Kono on the back. “I’ll put in a good word for you,” he said. “And Kono – we’ll always welcome you back to Five-O, you know that.”

 

Mahalo,” said Kono, flashing a big smile.

 

 

Dressed in the traditional white, Kono and Lea stood in front of the old kahuna, who had known them both since birth and now performed their wedding in the ancient Hawaiian traditions – including the language.

 

Danny, who was Kono’s best man, had been primed about this, and had learned some of the terminology and customs, including the exchanging of the leis. Once again, as he did so frequently, Danny thought about Jane. Would she have gone for a ceremony like this instead of the country-club weddings her friends had? Probably not, he reflected.

 

But he observed the happiness on Kono and Lea’s faces as they looked at each other. Would he, could he ever have what they did?

 

A number of HPD officers were also at the ceremony. Besides supporting the happy couple, many were also serving as translators. One was Duke, who translated the Hawaiian words and customs for Steve.

 

But there was no mistaking when Kono and Lea kissed, long and happily, at the end of the ceremony. They were husband and wife.

 

The celebration went long into the night; when the newlyweds parted, there was some regret on the part of the groom with his friends from Hawaii Five-O. He knew it would be a while before they saw each other again.

 

“Aloha to you bruddahs,” said Kono, shaking hands with Steve and hugging Chin and Danny.

 

 

On the flight to Oahu, it was Steve’s turn to think back …..

 

August, 1960

 

“Yes, Governor?” Steve asked.

 

Governor Paul Jameson smiled. “The Legislature has just approved the creation of a new position for Hawaii Five-O,” he said.

 

“That’s wonderful news, Sir. Thank you.”

 

Since Hawaii Five-O had been created the year before, Steve, Chin and May had been the staff. They had done the amazing and impossible. Now, Steve would be able to recruit a new officer.

 

Chin had been his first choice the year before, admittedly because of a terrible twist of fate; the man Steve had originally wanted to recruit was Jim Williams, Danny’s uncle, who was murdered during a robbery the day before Steve would have interviewed him.

 

Steve had carefully pondered how he would fill this new spot. His first choice to interview was Ted Phillips. But the veteran patrol officer loved walking a beat.

 

“Thanks, Steve, and it’s a great tribute to me that you’d ask me. But walking the beat has always been where it’s at for me. Anyway, more hours at Five-O would take me away from Alice and Elizabeth.”

 

Alice was his wife. Daughter Elizabeth, known to her friends as Beth, was in college in Ohio, studying to become a teacher.

 

Then, Steve had come to his next choice – Duke Lukela.

 

“I appreciate it, Steve, and I know it’s a great honor and opportunity, but my wife is expecting the baby…..I wouldn’t want to do anything to cause her problems.”

 

Eventually, Steve sat down with Chin and they pondered what to do.

 

“Maybe we need a young cop, Steve,” Chin had said. “Someone who can work here easily. Maybe another married guy might not be a good idea right now.”

 

Steve smiled. “You mean someone who can let you have a night off from time to time?”

 

Chin grinned and shrugged his shoulders.

 

Steve had started looking through the records of various HPD recruits. Many were impressive, and he started going through the interview process with them.

 

Then came a very important day for the governor of Hawaii. The Japanese prime minister was coming to the island for the first time since it became a state. The governor would meet him at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

 

Steve and Chin had coordinated all of the security. One HPD officer on the security detail was a young recruit named Kono Kalakaua.

 

Kono had been nervous. Duke had talked to him, calmed him down and patted him on the shoulder.

 

“You’ll do fine, bruddah,” Duke had said.

 

Kono flanked the governor as he stood waiting for a car to pull up to the palace with the prime minister. Steve was next to him. He’d seen him before, had heard that he was descended from Hawaiian royalty.

 

Steve was impressed at the size of the young officer. “What’s your name, Son?” he asked.

 

“Kono Kalakaua, sir.”

 

“How long have you been with HPD?”

 

“A year.”

 

An unmarked limousine was readying to pull up. Steve had insisted there be no markings, for security purposes. The flag of Japan would not necessarily be welcome here.

 

Steve noticed movement across the street. He pounded on the roof of the limousine and shouted for it to keep moving, then got the governor inside the palace.

 

“The governor’s safe,” Steve radioed Chin. “The prime minister?”

 

“On his way to the place we’d talked about, but it may not be necessary,” Chin said. “Kalakaua’s got the suspect.”

 

Steve was puzzled. “What do you mean, got the suspect?”

 

Chin chuckled. “He tackled him. Better than some of those football players.”

 

Later, Steve had a chance to see for himself: Kono stood, like a statue, over a middle-aged man who had served in World War 2 and was trying to shoot the minister.

 

In coming weeks, Steve and Chin worked with Kono on more cases. They were impressed not only with his toughness, but also with his sources among Hawaiians and his sense of the history of the land that had recently become the 50th state. It was especially helpful to Steve, who got one more positive note about Kono – from Duke.

 

“I think he’s ready, Steve,” Duke said. “You should take him for Five-O.”

 

When Steve told the governor, however, there was skepticism. “He’s very young, Steve.”

 

“Yes he is, Sir…..23 years old.” Steve smiled. “But he can only get older – and better.”

 

“A lot of veterans will not be happy,” the governor said.

 

“Two of those veterans have already suggested to me that I pick Officer Kalakaua, Sir,” Steve said.

 

“Reliable veterans?” the governor wondered.

 

“Ted Phillips and Duke Lukela.”

 

The governor nodded. “All right, Steve. I’m depending on you.”

 

“I…and Kono….won’t let you down, Sir.”

 

A few days later, Steve called Kono into his office.

 

“Officer Kalakaua, how would you like to come work for Hawaii Five-O as a detective?” Steve asked.

 

Kono’s usually calm face changed into shock. “Me?!” he asked.

 

“Yes, you……You’re a good cop, Kono,” Steve said. “We need someone with your skills.”

 

Kono beamed. “Wait ‘till my mama hears about this…..”

 

 

How could 12 years have passed so quickly?

 

It was time to move on, time for a new Five-O detective. Steve quickly offered the open position to Ben, who accepted.

 

One day, Steve opened a drawer and took out a small item. It was an amulet, referred to jokingly as the Five-O aumakua, or personal god. Kono had given it to Steve for good luck after he was temporarily blinded by a car bomb.

 

“It’s a good gift, Kono,” he had said at the time.

 

And now, it was a reminder – and a constant connection to the friend who had given it.

 

PAU