Chapter 01

“You’re gonna get us killed, ya know that!” Detective Danny Williams yelled from the passenger seat of his own car as he clung to his seat for dear life.

“I’m not letting him get away again,” Steve growled. “He is notgetting in the way of my trip!”

For the last few days, the Five-0 Task Force had been working a case involving the son of a Chinese toy maker who was using his father’s products as a means to smuggle cocaine into Hawaii via freighters. They were brought in on the case when a five year old girl was exposed to the drug while playing with one of the toys that the smugglers had missed when dividing up the drug toys from the regular ones.

“Watch it, watch it!” Danny yelped as Steve almost sideswiped a car in the oncoming lane.

Steve’s phone rang and was quickly answered by the hands-free setup. “McGarrett, talk to me.”

The road block’s set up boss, HPD is standing by,” Chin said as he and around twenty officers waited for them, further up the highway.

“I want this bastard Chin, he’s not getting away again. Take out his tires,” Steve ordered.

“Just promise not to take out mine!” Danny added as the car weaved in and out of the highway traffic, keeping up with the suspects car easily. “We’re doing One-Ten right now! Do you see that!”

Steve glared at his partner momentarily as he and pulled up by the other car, just as they reached the road block. Nakamura had nowhere to go.

Defeated, the drug smuggler slowed the car to a stop as the HPD officers trained their weapons on him and his vehicle.

Pulling up alongside Nakamura’s getaway car, Steve quickly got out, lept over the hood of Danny’s car and ripped Nakamura’s door open before dragging the weasel out and slamming him against the side of his own car. “Thought you could get away huh?” Steve growled. “I warned you that things would end badly for you.”

“Arrest me! Do whatever you need to do, just please don’t hurt me!” Nakamura was tempted to hit him, afterall the girl could have died, not only that but Five-0 had been given the runaround by the pathetic little scumbag now begging him.

Slamming him against the car once again, Steve simply said, “Book ’em Danno,” before walking away.

Danny sighed as he looked after his partner. “Really? That again? I thought we were over that,” he shouted to the man before turning back to their new prisoner. “You, on your feet. Don’t make me kneel. My knees are bad enough from my partner,” he complained as he secured the man’s hands behind his back with a zip-tie.

Chin laughed as he watched Danny walk off to pass Nakamura to HPD. Making his way over to Steve he handed him over a cold bottle of water. “I heard from the hospital. She’s going to be fine. They don’t suspect any long term damage,” he said.

“Good,” Steve breathed a sigh of relief. “Any word from the DEA? They were supposed to move in on the docks an hour ago.”

“Kono is with them right now. She’ll update us when she gets a chance. I’m sure they have their hands full,” the older man smiled.

Steve nodded, “Well, we’ve got him. Do me a favour and wrap things up here. I gotta get back to the office and file my report before I leave.”

“No problem. Give Ziva our best,” he waved before making his way back to take over from Danny in booking the blubbering prisoner.

A moment later Danny returned, shaking his head. “I hope they throw away the key,” he sighed. “Anyway, Chin’s transporting him to lock-up. HPD are taking care of the car and getting traffic moving again, so I take it that you want to get out of here?”

“What do you think,” Steve grinned. “Let’s get back to the office so I can get the paperwork filed. If I’m lucky I may be able to get a flight out tonight after all.”

“What do you mean if you’re lucky? You’ve had your luggage packed for the last two weeks,” Danny said as they made their way back to his car. “Do you want a ride to the airport?”

“Nah, you said you were having Grace over, I’ll get a cab,” he replied as he headed for the drivers side.

“Whoa whoa whoa, what are you doing?” Danny asked, stepping in front of him.

“Driving us back to the office,” Steve replied with a frown.

“Like hell you are, you almost gave me a heart attack just now. I’m driving,” he replied, taking the keys. “The last thing I need is a pissed off ex-assassin coming after me because her boyfriend killed himself in a car accident.”

“Alright fine, just be sure to get us there quickly,” Steve relented and moved around to the passenger’s side.

~o.O.o~

As per usual, the NCIS Headquarters were bustling with activity. The members of the Major Crimes Response Team were busy catching up with paperwork, following up on old cases and generally doing the busywork they hated to do when they had just put a case to bed.

The entire morning, and the previous days, Ziva’s cold had grown to persistent coughing that appeared to grow worse and more violent. Despite concerned comments, she insisted on finishing her work as she tried not to cough her germs over her computer monitor.

“If only Agent Jardine were here,” Tony smirked as he eyed Ziva from across the bullpen. “She’d recoil in fear at the mere sight of you.”

“And I can still kick your hairy butt despite being under the weather,” she replied with a glare as she tossed another overused tissue into her nearly full garbage can for the day.

“I don’t know Ziva, you don’t look so good,” McGee said, looking over. “You want me to pick you up some soup from the machine?”

She rolled her eyes. “I am fine. It is just a cold. It will pass.”

“Besides McBrown Noser, if she’s capable of kicking my ass, I’m sure she can fetch her own soup,” Tony said defensively. “Wait… forget I said that.”

“Seriously Ziva, you’ve been fighting this for a couple of days now, Gibbs’ll understand if you need the time off,” McGee added.

Ziva shot her partner a look of death as her irritation of him grew. “DiNozzo…” she warned.

“Oh I know what it is… she’s supposed to be meeting up with loverboy this weekend,” he said as he read the card that he had sent with the two-dozen roses he had delivered to her. “Looking forward to this weekend Ziva. Can’t wait to see you. Love Steve. She’s hoping to be fit and healthy because she’s got a big weekend planned for them.”

“She’s not the only one who’s got a big weekend planned DiNozzo. My foot’s going to have a nice reunion with your ass if you don’t grab your gear. We’ve got a dead Petty Officer. Call Ducky and Gas the truck,” Gibbs barked as he entered the bullpen to retrieve his badge and sidearm.

Ziva snatched the card back from Tony’s hands before stopping for a coughing fit that sounds like she was trying to hack up a lung. When she finally settled down again and popped a cough drop in her mouth, she reached into her drawer for her sidearm when a hand appeared over hers to stop her.

Gibbs paused in front of Ziva’s desk, stopping her. He studied her closely for a moment. “You, I don’t need to see you for the rest of the day. Or tomorrow.”

The frown on her face became more pronounced. “But Gibbs…I am capable of doing my job…” she started to object when a couple coughs rumbled through her and she struggled to keep them suppressed.

“You heard me,” he scowled, the typical ice-cold eyes shooting back at her before his features warmed slightly. “Take care of yourself. Call if you need anything.” With that, he stalked toward the elevator.

Ziva let out a breath of air as she secured her sidearm to her belt. Tony and McGee did not dare to say anything as they followed their leader, only passing her sympathetic smiles. She took a quick swig of non-drowsy cough syrup she had in her desk and grabbed her purse and backpack.

Making her way to the rear elevator which was closer to where she parked her car in the garage, it took a little while longer for it to come. Assuming it was because of Ducky and Palmer loading their gear in to meet Gibbs at the scene, she was relieved when it finally came. Stepping in, she let her head fall back against the cool wall, surprised at how soothing it felt.

The familiar ping of the main elevator rung out and the doors slid back. Escorted by Agent Jaworski, Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett had arrived in DC and headed straight for the Navy Yard. He had gotten his earlier flight as he had hoped and wanted to surprise Ziva.

His smile soon faded however. Neither Ziva nor Gibbs, DiNozzo or McGee were in sight.

Jaworski frowned. “Hmm, the team must have been called out. I’m sorry Commander but it appears your visit will have to wait. Unless you’d like to return to the reception area and wait?”

Abby had just been coming down the stairs from visiting with the Director when she caught sight of the two in the bullpen. “Steve!” she cried out before running the rest of the way down the stairs and around the wall to give him a running hug.

Having not felt a tackle that hard since his football playing days, Steve was surprised by the ball of energy that was Abby, not to mention her vice-like bear-hug.

“Abby! Hey, how are you?” he managed to wheeze. “It’s good to see you.”

“What are you doing here? I thought you weren’t supposed to arrive until Friday,” she asked as she let him go to go place a small box on Gibbs’ desk. “The Gibblets were just called out on a case. I doubt they’ll be back anytime soon but you are welcome to hang with me if you want.”

“Sure, I’d be happy to,” Steve smiled before Jaworksi gave him a friendly nod and departed for his office on the ground floor. “Kono asked me to thank you for the CD’s you sent her when Ziva visited last.”

Abby grinned as she went over to McGee’s desk to steal a couple of his Nutterbutters for her and Steve. “That’s not a problem. As soon as I get my hands on some new material I’ll make more or send it online. Follow me,” she waved him on behind her as she headed for the elevator and pressed the button for the basement.

“So I finally get to see the lab,” Steve smirked, “McGee said it’s where all the magic happens.”

“McGee may be right in some ways but it is Gibbs who is magic,” she replied. “Of course the other magic that McGee would actually prefer is in my coffin.” Just as she finished the sentence, the doors opened and she led him right into her lab, quickly jumping right into her introductions to just about every machine she had ranked and named.

After learning quite a bit in Abby’s whirlwind lesson about the tools and equipment in her lab, Steve couldn’t resist the urge to ask any longer. “You have a coffin? And McGee wants to be in it?”

She only gave him a knowing smile. “Have you had any lunch yet? I doubt the plane food was worthwhile and judging from your clothes – you came straight from the airport, right? How about a pizza. I can order something from Luigi’s. They have the best veggie pie ever. But their meat lover’s is pretty good too.”

“I’ll be fine with whatever you’re having,” he said as he began looking around the lab. “No Caf-Pow machine?”

“It’s in the staff lounge upstairs. You want some? I know I could use a refill,” Abby shrugged as she grabbed two cups and tossed them in the trash from the early morning.

“No, but you go ahead. It’s just that Tony implied that you’d replace your blood with if if you could. I just figured if the machine would be anywhere, it would be here,” Steve smiled. “So come on, give me the tour, show me everything.”

“Tony doesn’t always know what he is saying. I think he’s had a few too many slaps to the head if you know what I mean. So, I introduced you to everybody in here, right? I have some things running through for identification but I’m sure they’ll be awhile. Come on, I’ll give you a tour of the building,” she said as she grabbed her keys to lock up the lab.

~o.O.o~

“This is one of our intel departments,” Abby continued as she led Steve through another brightly lit hallway. Just as they were to round a corner, one of the team’s favorite analysts came out from her office wearing a blue surgical mask and elbow length latex surgical gloves. “Nikki! What’s up?”

“Uhh, Director Vance asked me to bring him a report ,” Nikki replied as she eyed Steve closely. “I figured with winter gripping the city and the heating system on, the squad room would be a minefield to walk through. There is a flu bug going around you know.”

“I heard. Nikki Jardine, this is Steve McGarrett. A friend of ours that we met in Hawaii when we went out there a couple months back,” she introduced the two cheerfully. “Don’t worry. I got my flu shot and have not experienced any sniffles.”

“Hi Nikki,” Steve smiled, hoping to hide the puzzled look on his face. He held out his hand for her to shake but she just stared at it oddly for a few moments before noticed Director Vance heading in their direction.

“Director, I have that report you asked for,” she smiled, however he could not see beneath her surgical mask.

“Thank you Agent Jardine,” Vance nodded as he took the file and thumbed through it, ignoring the cheeky smile from his forensic specialist for the moment and giving the man with her a cursory glance. “Did you find any information on that other case I asked about?”

“About the research Agent David is conducting?” Jardine asked. “No sir, unfortunately not. However I will keep trying.”

The man nodded. “Very well. You may return to your other duties. Ms. Sciuto. It is rare to see you in this area of the building,” he said dismissing one girl for the other. “Especially with visitors without clearance.”

“But he has clearance, well I’m assuming he has clearance, he knows a lot about Naval Intelligence and Ziva says he even knows quite a bit about Mossad operations and I’m rambling again aren’t I?” Abby spoke quickly.

“A little,” Steve grinned.

Taking a deep breath, Abby looked at the Director. “Director Vance, I’d like you to meet Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett of the Five-0 Task Force. Steve, meet Leon Vance, Director of NCIS.”

Vance shook the man’s hand as an expression of recognition filled his face that he would not comment on considering the question he just asked of Agent Jardine in their presence. “Pleasure to meet you. So you are the man that has Governor Jameson on my back the last few months,” he said carefully, confident that the easily excitable scientist did not know of the liaison request made specifically for the services of Agent David.

“I wasn’t aware that my request had caused you any grief Director. Governor Jameson said that my proposal would be mutually beneficial to the Hawaiian State Police and to the NCIS operations at Pearl Harbour. I figured that you shared in her assessment,” Steve replied, his eyes narrowing slightly.

“I am not unopposed but this is neither the place or the time for such a conversation. I take it your visit here is personal and not professional,” Vance questioned as he held the file in his hands in front of him, studying the man back.

“Mainly personal, yes sir. I wasn’t due to arrive until the weekend but Admiral Hawthorne owed me a couple of favours. I jumped on the first flight out from Pearl,” Steve replied.

The Director nodded with a small smile. “Frank is a good man. A bit shady with a deck of cards in his hand if you ask me. Should you speak to him again, remind him that he still owes me a bottle of Excelsior.”

“Will do,” Steve nodded. Vance was correct about Hawthorne being a shark, having played across the table from one of the former SECNAV’s top advisors, he also knew about the mans gambling debts.

Leon raised an eyebrow. “Be sure to meet with me before you return home. I am sure there are some things that we need to discuss. Ms. Sciuto,” he nodded to the girl before continuing on his way.

“Wow. Any clue what he wants to talk to you about?” Abby asked, a small worried frown on her face.

“While we were working together in Hawaii, Governor Jameson and I discussed establishing a firmer relationship between our Agencies. What with the Navy playing a key role in Hawaii’s economy and strategic importance,” Steve explained without going into too much detail.

She nodded with a shrug, wrapping her arm around his as she pulled him away back towards the bullpen, detouring to show him where the MTAC room was. “The room is awesome. It’s like a very high tech movie theatre. One year, Tony actually got Vance to agree to let us watch a movie in there since we managed to close a case on Christmas Day. It was a blast – until Ziva and he got into a popcorn fight and he was made to clean up by hand.”

“If I had done that at the MTAC at the Pentagon, I would never have made Lieutenant Commander,” Steve smiled.

“That’s the difference between you and us. We are civilian. We don’t answer to any admirals or generals,” she pointed out and looked at her watch.

“No, you answer to politicians, corrupt or otherwise, so it’s sorta the same,” Steve nodded as they made their way down the stairs to the bullpen.

“Which is why Vance and Gibbs made him clean it up by hand. Come on. The pizza should be here by now…” she said as she saw Jimmy coming off the elevator.

“You sure we shouldn’t wait for the others?” he asked.

Abby only smiled. “Hey Jimmy! You’re back already? Where is everyone?”

The tall skinny man pushed his glasses back up on his face. “Oh hey Abby. Just Dr. Mallard and I are back. Gibbs and the guys are still going over every inch of the scene. I just left a bag of evidence in your drop box since you locked your lab up.”

“That didn’t take long,” Steve smiled, “I guess Gibbs wants to move at 100 miles per hour all the time, not just when he’s away from DC.”

“Well Ducky and Palmer deal with the body only. The team has to deal with everything and everyone else of course. You know that. Gibbs is a skilled investigator. He doesn’t stop until he is confident he has his man,” Abby remarked, giving him a scolding finger playfully. “Let’s go back to the lab. Gibbs will likely call soon for details.”

“Sure, can’t have your rep as a miracle worker come under fire,” he grinned. “Plus I’ll get to watch you work this time. And I promise I’ll stay out of your way.”

Grabbing their pizzas that security left on Tony’s desk, she led them back down to the lab where she immediately pulled out her bucket of evidence. “Stand back and watch the master work!”