Log in

No account? Create an account
do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

H50/Chaos fic: Interagency Cooperation 5/7

April 19th, 2012 (06:59 am)

feeling: happy



As far as plans go, this isn’t the worst one’s been screwed up. There was that mission in Beirut, when Simms had almost gotten sold into the sex trade and Casey wound up working as a transvestite while Billy got himself locked up on suspicion of drug trafficking. There was also the unfortunate incident in Nigeria, complete where the entire lot of them had caught a local stomach bug and ended up spending more time squatting over holes in the ground than actually capturing the bad guy. And that didn’t start in on their asset in Mongolia, which had led them on a wild goose chase and left all of them in the hospital with varying degrees of improbable and mostly serious injuries.

So, really, Michael knows this could be worse. He does well in his line of work to keep perspective on things; at the very least, it helps keep panic and dread at bay. And it’s a nice platitude to live by, that things could always be worse.

And things could be worse. 5-0 could have brought them up on charges for operating within US borders. Their mark could have already escaped back to Japan. Billy could already be dead.

So the fact that Billy and Detective Williams have been kidnapped at gunpoint and shuffled away on the mark’s boat is bad, but it’s not the worst thing that could happen.

Still, as Michael glances at his temporary partner, he’s fairly certain that this is not the time for such clichés. McGarrett is tense at the wheel of their boat; he hasn’t so much as blinked since they boarded, has hardly flinched at all, even as the spray of the ocean catches them in the face while they speed along.

Not that he can blame the man. Sideways missions are never easy, and there’s not a lot they can go on at this point. Casey and Chin have set up the charges, so that much is still in order. Rick and Kono haven’t picked up much chatter on the microphone, but just enough to ensure that Billy and Danny are still alive and that the meet is still live. They’re going to chase the seller, which is against protocol, but Michael thinks it’s decent improvisation, so he lets it slide. They will need all hands on deck when this goes down and with Danny and Billy out of the picture, Michael has a feeling they’ll need all the help they can get.

There are still a lot of unknowns, though. The flaws and assumptions are more obvious now. There’s no way of telling if their charges will be set far enough to ensure the boats don’t slip by. There’s no way of ensuring that the bug will pick up the details on the buy in order to orchestrate the sting. There’s no way of guaranteeing that they can keep a safe distance and still be close enough to make the bust complete.

All in all, it’s actually pretty stressful. Michael handles stress by pretending it doesn’t exist. Steve McGarrett clearly deals with stress by getting scary. Michael can respect that. More than that, he can use it.

“We’ll have to move quickly,” Michael says, and he keeps his voice conversational. He and McGarrett are on the same side, but he’s aware of how tenuous such loyalties can be. Still, Michael uses his presence as a solidifying force, lingering next to Steve at the helm while the SEAL navigates them on a circuitous route toward the coordinates of the meet.

“You mean, we’ll have to move quickly after we make the bust before they realize who Danny and Billy really are,” Steve clarifies for him. Then, purposefully, he looks at Michael, his expression terse. “Before they kill them.”

Michael understands the implicit accusation. McGarrett hasn’t made a secret of his general distrust of the CIA. In fact, he’s made his doubts and suspicions quite clear. Michael knows this has less to do with the CIA and their mission, and more to do with the fact that it isn’t Steve’s idea; he’s not the one behind it all. For a man like McGarrett, that kind of thing can be unnerving, almost more than anything else.

So Michael takes the aggression for what it is and smiles forcibly in return. “They’re not going to have time,” he says logically. Which is true, and Michael’s spent some time thinking about this. While Michael doesn’t know Danny Williams, he knows Billy. Billy won’t give up their cover – not in the least, and he’ll do what he can to ensure that Danny follows in kind. This means that there will be no hard evidence against Danny and Billy. True, the likes of Ito aren’t really about to give a fair trial, but he’ll be careful, like any man in power should be. He’ll want to have all his ducks in a row before dealing with the messy loose ends.

Meaning, he won’t want Danny and Billy dead until he’s sure they’re safe to kill. Which means he won’t do it until after the meet has gone down.

This gives them time. A small window, to be sure, because as readily as Michael knows that Ito hasn’t had Billy and Danny killed yet, he also knows that putting a pair of bullets into them will be the first thing they do once the meet has been completed.

In all honesty, Michael would prefer a little more time to work in a rescue, but he’s not about to voice that to McGarrett. Not when the man looks like he wants to try killing Michael with his bare hands right now.

“We’ll get them out,” Michael says instead, keeping his voice calm and even.

McGarrett’s jaw is tight as he looks back out to the ocean. “No thanks to you,” he mutters.

Fortunately, Michael has spent years deflecting the emotions and concerns of others. With Casey around, he’s even managed to perfect unabashed displays of disapproval and distaste with relative ease. So while the average person is probably intimidated by Steve McGarrett, Michael knows the fear the other man is hiding.

More than that, Michael knows how to work around it for the good of the mission. And that is what matters right now – the mission. Michael’s staked his life on it. More to the point, he’s staked Billy’s and Danny’s and he’s in too deep now to let himself think twice about the choices he’s made.

Michael allows a few moments to lapse, lets the silence slip away into the wind that whips by them as they speed along. “When this goes down, we’re going to need to be on the same page,” he says after a while.

Steve doesn’t look at him, doesn’t even respond.

“If we’re not, this could go badly,” Michael continues with a certain amount of caution.

At this, Steve looks at him. “I think it’s already going badly,” he says.

“They’re alive,” Michael reminds him. “They’re still alive and I intend to get them out of this alive. I also intend to arrest the sons of bitches responsible for this and complete our mission, all personnel in tow. But if we’re going to do that, we have to stay united.”

Steve’s jaw works and he looks back out at the water. “You’re asking for my trust again,” he says.

“I know,” Michael replies.

“After you get one of my men captured,” Steve says, voice taut. “You want my trust.”

“I’m just one person, just like you are,” Michael says, and he says this seriously, genuinely. “I’ve done everything I can to make this mission work and I’ll do everything I can to bring our people home. But I’m not too proud to admit that I need help with that. If what’s happened has shown us anything, it’s that we need each other.”

Steve doesn’t move, keeps his eyes ahead.

Michael plays one last card. “For Billy and Danny,” he says emphatically now. “We need each other.”

Steve is stiff at the mention, but he looks at Michael. “For Danny,” he agrees. “And for Danny only.”

It’s not a full fledged support, but Michael will take it. People will risk their life for causes, especially if they’re cops or spies. But the most powerful motivation is always people. McGarrett cares for his team; he cares for Danny. He’ll do what he needs to do to bring him home.

Michael can count on that. Michael has to count on that. Because for him, it’s really the same. For all his talk of the mission and the greater good, it’s always been about his team. If they complete the mission and Billy still dies, then it’s nothing short of failure for Michael. In fact, it’s nothing he can even consider at all.

“Good,” Michael says. “We can definitely work with that.”

Michael’s not trying to be flippant, but his words garner nothing more than a cold shoulder from Steve as he continues to guide the boat along the waters. Michael keeps himself nonchalant but eyes the GPS on the console, noting their proximity to the target. They’re far from land now, just a few nautical miles from international waters.

Turning his eyes out to the ocean, the waters in most directions are clear. But in the distance, Michael can make out a vessel, already anchored.

“Whoa,” Michael says. “We’ve got company on our nine o’clock.”

Steve pulls back on the engine slightly, turning his head to check it out. “It’s within the range,” he says.

“We’d have to be closer for a visual ID,” Michael says, squinting out at it. He picks up the binoculars, giving the vessel a good look. “But it looks like our mark’s boat.”

“The trajectory is right,” Steve agrees, pulling the boat around and pointing it toward the vessel. “And they’re within the confines of our dragnet?”

Michael nods. He can’t see signs of the charges to visually confirm that detail, but he knows Casey, so he knows he doesn’t have to confirm it. “They won’t be getting away.”

Steve doesn’t seem to take solace in the news. Rather, the SEAL seems intent on positioning, bringing the boat around so it’s aimed toward the anchored vessel. Michael is expecting him to kill the engine for the wait ahead, but instead Steve moves them forward at a low speed.

For a few seconds, Michael watches impassively, keeping an eye on the boat ahead and another at the helm. When it seems clear that McGarrett is intent on going forward, Michael lifts an eyebrow and says, “You know, part of this plan involves not being seen by our mark.”

McGarrett doesn’t spare him a look. “Part of the plan is also getting our people out of the boat before they get killed,” he says flatly.

That’s a valid point, but Michael also knows that risking the first part of the mission will invariably risk the second. “You don’t think if a third party shows up prematurely that that’ll tip them off that they’ve been compromised?” he asks.

McGarrett doesn’t flinch.

“And you don’t think that killing Danny and Billy will be the first thing they do?” Michael presses, not because he likes that scenario but because when it comes to stubborn and dogged leadership, Steve McGarrett certainly seems intent on giving Michael a run for his money.

Expression still taut, McGarrett finally kills the engine. He looks at Michael coolly. “I have to check in with Kono,” he says, and Michael notes that there’s no admission of anything in the plaintive statement. “Can you get your man on the other boat? I want all the pieces in play or this is not going to happen, your years of intel be damned.”

It’s actually a fair assessment, even if it is prematurely angry and lacking in trust. Still, Michael knows people well enough to know not to argue. Steve McGarrett is about control – now, more than ever – and Michael has no qualms with surrendering the illusion of control if it gets him what he wants.

And Michael wants this mission. More than that, he wants Billy back alive. He’ll do what he has to do, even if it means playing second fiddle in some super SEAL’s gung-ho band. Michael understands the bigger picture; if he was a man of much ego, a career in the CIA would have been a bad choice.

In that, it’s pretty simple. Michael doesn’t make bad choices, so he doesn’t make prideful ones either.

Content, he smiles, pulling his phone out of his pocket. “Not a problem,” he says agreeably.

His ready acquiescence makes McGarrett scowl, but as he picks up the radio at the helm, it’s also pretty clear that he’s not about to disagree.

Turning away to dial, Michael is keenly aware of the SEAL’s eyes on his back, but he doesn’t let it bother him as he pulls up Casey’s number. The older agent answers on the second ring.

“About time,” Casey grouses on the other end. “Our friends have been anchored for nearly fifteen minutes.”

“The charges are in place?” Michael asks.

“Do you really have to ask?” Casey asks in that way of his, and Michael doesn’t have to see his operative to see the annoyed slant of his eyes at the cursory question.

“You know how it is,” Michael says.

It’s clear, even over the phone, that Casey is rolling his eyes. “Red tape and procedure,” he gripes. Then he pauses. “Are we still sure about this plan?”

There’s only a hint of uncertainty in his voice, but for Casey’s that’s a fairly large indication of his doubts. Doubts that Michael shares, for all intents and purposes. Doubts Michael can’t let himself indulge. “We’re sure,” Michael says instead, hoping his curtness sounds like confidence. He keeps his voice even, though, refusing to give away anything else – to Casey or to McGarrett, who Michael is quite sure is eavesdropping.

“We’re sure sure,” Casey reiterates. “This is Billy’s life on the line, you know.”

Michael knows. Michael knows better than Casey – better than all of them. Still, Michael nods, grim and resolved. “When the blasts go off, it’s going to be chaos out there. I want you and Kelly to focus on apprehending the prisoners.”

“And you?” Casey asks knowingly.

Michael allows himself a bittersweet, grimacing smile. “I just need to know you’ll be doing your part, so I can do mine.”

It’s not explicit, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s the advantage to being so well honed as a team. Casey sighs. “Understood,” he says. “And Michael?”

“Yeah?” Michael asks.

“Do your job well,” he says, and it’s as much as a request as it is an order.

Michael’s smile turns wry. “Always,” he promises.

With that, the call disconnects. Michael allows himself one moment to take a breath, to gather himself before turning back to McGarrett.

As expected, the other man is watching him. He lifts his chin and asks, “Everything good?”

Michael’s smile is perfunctory. “The charges are set and secure,” he says. “We’re all good on that end.”

There’s clearly an inclination to doubt Michael at his point, but Michael also figures that Steve’s out of time and options on that front. They’re yoked together for this part, for better or for worse and no matter how much McGarrett may dislike it.

McGarrett nods tightly in understanding. “Kono and Rick have a line on the boat they suspect to be the seller,” he says. “Looks to be a chartered ship, originating from Canada before it stopped in Hawaii. The name it’s registered under looks to be a dummy corporation – none of the names check out.”

“Sounds like a viable lead for our mystery suppliers,” Michael says.

“Yeah,” McGarrett agrees. “Kono’s got them on radar and they’re keeping their distance for now. She puts the ETA any time now.”

“Then we’ve got good timing,” Michael says, nodding back toward the horizon where Ito’s ship is anchored. “Because I think our seller just showed up.”

This catches Steve’s attention, and he comes alert, stepping forward and snagging his own binoculars from the console. Holding them up, his entire body is rigid with anticipation.

The radio crackles. “Boss, we’ve got action,” the female voice comes.

Steve picks up the receiver, eyes still on the ships. “We see it,” he says. “What kind of chatter are you picking up?”

“The deal is going down,” she says. “Not much small talk.”

Michael holds up his own binoculars, sees the people on deck. There are two distinct sides, each as uncomfortably formal as the other. This meet is big, but it’s certainly not friendly, and the prominent display of firearms is a ready testament to that.

Through the binoculars, the scene is clear, even without updates from Kono and Rick. One side produces a package, another produces some money. There’s an exchange, things are double checked, and both sides nod.

“It’s good,” Michael says as the two sides break and the exchange begins in earnest.

McGarrett’s hand goes to the throttle, ready to start it up again.

Michael shakes his head. “They need to be in possession of the goods,” he says. He glances from behind his binoculars. “All of them.”

The answer is true, even as much as Michael hates it.

McGarrett hates it more. “We’re wasting time,” he mutters.

“No, we’re securing the evidence,” he says. “If you want this arrest to be valid in American courts, you need evidence. You need to observe due process.”

At that, Steve glares at him. “I have full immunity and means,” he says pointedly.

Michael quirks an eyebrow. “That covers you,” he says. “Not your cases.”

McGarrett scowls and looks back.

Michael joins him, noting how fast it’s gone. Most of the men from the seller’s ship have gone back. There’s one last package and the boat springs to life.

Before Michael can remind Steve to wait for the seller to depart, Steve’s already barking into the radio. “Go, go, go!”

There’s no further hesitation, and Michael barely has time to brace himself as the boat roars to life and cuts across the water with fresh speed.

It happens quickly now. That’s the nature of life in the CIA. Days and weeks and months can pass without excitement. They spend countless hours devoted to intel and planning, making small talk in the break room and planning pranks on Blanke. And it’s all in anticipation for the two hours of a mission that matter, the fifteen crucial minutes of make or break, when Michael’s heart is throbbing in his ears and his entire body pulsates with adrenaline.

That’s how it is. That’s what it feels like. All their planning, all their risks: it’s coming down to this.

This is Michael’s plan; this is the cause he’s championed. He’s the one who set it up, he’s the one who put it in place. He’s the one who kept them all on track even when the pieces were falling out of place. This is payoff now.

Payoff or disaster.

The next fifteen minutes will decide.

McGarrett makes short work of the distance, and Michael drops the binoculars as they approach at breakneck speeds. The crews of both boats clearly are aware of an impending problem, and on the far side, Michael makes out what must be Casey and Chin even as Rick and Kono approach from another angle. They’re not in the van; this should be surprising since it goes against a direct order, but it’s really not. Rick’s been in the ODS too long and the youngest 5-0 member clearly has a mind of her own.

It’s all converging, and the seller pulls out first. Ito’s boat has yanked its anchor and the captain puts the speed on fast and hard, engine roaring as it comes to life.

McGarrett has to pull a circle to slow their momentum and the force still almost throws Michael to the deck. He’s regaining his footing as Steve positions them right before the first charge goes off.

It’s louder than one might expect, sending a spray of water into the air as the boat jolts heavily. The force of it rocks their own boat, and Michael does lose his footing this time, hitting the deck unceremoniously while Steve curses somewhere beside him.

It doesn’t take long for Michael to regain his feet, and he’s just in time to see the second charge go off, sending the boat rocking once again.

This is expected, Michael knows. He’s planned on this.

But then the boat rocks again, exploding from somewhere within, only this one rips through the hull, sending the boat sprawling as flames lick up into the air with sudden fervor.

For a second, all he can do is stare as the flames settle and continue consuming. There are people yelling, splashing, and the boat creaks, its hull groaning even as it tips precariously in the water.

And he keeps staring, mouth slightly open, because for everything he’s planned on, he hasn’t planned on this.


During his time on 5-0, Chin has gotten somewhat used to fireworks. Most of the time, however, that’s more figurative than literal.

Although, when it comes to Steve, Chin has learned not to rule anything out.

Still, as far as explosions go, this one is pretty impressive. Part of it is the setting, Chin is sure – the open water and deep blue sky is an apt backdrop and the flames that skyrocket seem to reach the sky before fading back into a horrifically magnificent array of colors.

Of course, this would be more impressive if they’d actually planned on it. Because when Chin planned on setting charges at sea to disable Ito’s vessel, he had planned on a controlled explosion. Something modest but effective.

It’s like most things that matter in Chin’s life: the best laid plans always go awry, no matter what he intends or what he does.

And somehow, their controlled explosion has become a massive fireball that is threatening to sink the vessel in question. As Chin pulls their boat in closer, he sees that it’s even worse than he feared. The ship isn’t going down yet, but it’s just a matter of time, if the gaping hole in the hull is any indication. At this rate, it’s a tossup if the flames or the water will do it in first.

“What kind of charges do you people use on this island anyway?” Casey yells at him over the growing melee.

Chin frowns, shaking his head as he sees gang members start to bail into the sea. “They were low grade,” he insists as he pulls the boat up and slows the engine, positioning them near the now frantic waters. “They must have had some kind of accelerant that accidentally came into contact with the explosive charge.”

Casey lifts his eyebrows. “You think?”

“And if it burns its way into the engine...,” Chin muses, not sure if he wants to envision the situation possibly getting worse.

Casey snorts, even as he maneuvers himself toward the edge of the boat. “Usually I’m all for explosions, but this may have been overkill,” he says.

It seems more than somewhat appropriate that Casey has a penchant for understatement when it’s clearly the time to give into melodrama. Chin isn’t prone to such things himself, but the growing fear gnawing at his stomach is something he hasn’t felt for a long time, not even when Wo Fat had a bomb strapped around his neck.

That had been frightening, no doubt, but Chin has never valued his own life above those around him. Above those of his team.

No one will blame him for this, but Chin blames himself. There’s no one else to blame.

Casey seems to have no time for guilt, though. He’s perched on the lip, nodding toward the now splashing men in the water. “Now keep it steady,” he orders practically. “We have to go fishing.”

The questions regarding the explosion are pressing on Chin’s mind, but he’s still a pragmatic sort of person, and Casey’s right. The men in the water are flailing now, swimming away from the wreck, some with the seeming intent to get away.

Desperation makes people do strange things. Chin knows this. But he’s never understood how it can make people be so stupid as to swim for open water when miles from solid ground.

In this, their task is now suddenly easy. The flaming boat is a strong deterrent, effectively herding the criminals away and leaving them no place to hide. It’s a pattern he and Casey don’t talk about but find anyway. Chin steers their boat alongside one of the men and Casey scoops him out. Most of them are too stunned and waterlogged to resist; the few who do quickly regret it as Casey subdues them with skill and efficiency.

Normally, that’s all Chin would need. A task to perform and a simple way to do it. But even as he scans the waters for bobbing forms, he’s really not interested in the bad guys like he should be. Because making the arrests is the crux of the mission – it’s why he’s out her, after all – but he’s looking for Danny and his CIA partner. Because Chin knows they were on that flaming boat. And if they’re not in the water, then they’re still on board.

This is a simple either/or. There really aren’t any other options.

The problem is, however, that Chin’s been all over these waters. They’ve picked up three men already and Chin’s already spotted the remaining few bobbing in the waves. It accounts for all of Ito’s team.

But there’s no sign of Danny. No sign of Collins either.

His previous conclusion is cold in his stomach. If Danny’s not in the water, then he’s still on board.

In some ways, there should be solace in knowing where Danny is. That certainly makes finding him easier, but as he takes his eyes from the water and looks back at the flame-ridden vessel, there’s not any solace whatsoever.

The flames have spread now and the boat is tipping precariously, far more submerged than it should be. Far more submerged than the boat will be able to tolerate for long.

It suddenly seems like an all too familiar sight to Chin. Not that he often sees ships accidentally sinking at sea, but he’s used to seeing things go down slowly in flames. His career, his relationship with Malia: things he saw failing but hadn’t been able to stop.

Neither one of those had turned out the way he wanted. Chin doesn’t want to consider throwing Danny’s life on that list.

And yet, that’s what he has to do. Because the suspects are his responsibility. If he doesn’t take them in, he’s not sure who will, and he can’t fail.

He’s failed enough, he can’t fail this, and he has his orders.

Throat tight, Chin navigates again, moving alongside another suspect. This one almost lunges at the boat, his clothes clearly wearing him down, and he doesn’t fight as Casey reaches out a hand to pluck him from the water.

As Casey drags him out and ties his wrists with a zip tie, Chin takes stock again of the rest of the situation. The seller’s boat has taken off, and Chin can see it getting smaller on the horizon. It’s heading back toward American soil, which is a small blessing, to say the least. This is one part of the plan that may go right, because Chin has faith that Kono has done her half of this job better than he has completed his.

That’s only part of the story, however, and not one that Chin can do anything about at the moment. The water is kicking up with fresh fervor though, and even as Casey yells at him to head due west for another pickup, he sees another boat pull up, cutting speed off dangerously close but with expert precision.

Chin doesn’t have to look closer to know that that’s Steve. It has his MO written all over it, and Chin’s actually surprised that it’s taken the SEAL this long to show up.

To Chin’s surprise, Steve doesn’t jump in right away. Instead, he stands at the edge of the deck next to Dorset and looks.

Casey has hauled up another bad guy, grunting as he shoves him down. He steps over their new detainees, wiping away a spray of water from his face as he comes alongside Chin and looks across toward the other boat.

“About time,” Casey mutters in exasperation, but somehow Chin still hears concern, relief. It’s not spoken, not acknowledged, but it’s there.

Either that, or Chin’s projecting his own emotions.

It’s probably a little of both.

“Any sign of them?” Steve calls toward them.

Chin swallows, feeling grim. He shakes his head, but can’t quite find his voice.

Next to him, Casey grunts. “No,” he says. “So you may want to get on that.”

The words are short, curt, but they’re not cruel. Even if they were, Steve’s not one to let sticks and stones break him, and mere words in a moment of crisis are certainly below him. At least, when time is of the essence and Danny’s life is on the line.

Especially when Danny’s life is on the line

True, it doesn’t come up as often as Danny would have them all believe, but Chin’s seen that flicker of panic in Steve’s eyes when the Jersey cop is in peril. Some friendships are as unlikely as they are strong, and there’s something in Danny and Steve that works. They complement each other; they need each other. Calling it friendship is too simple; a partnership is too broad. It’s both those things and more – a bond that’s beyond duty and not just friendly.

It’s Steve and Danny, the heart of how 5-0 works. It defines everything; it sets the tone.

They need it – all of them.

Steve’s already stripped down, removing his vest and his shirt and kicking off his shoes. Next to him, Michael is joining him and when Steve jumps in, Michael lingers long enough to look Chin in the eyes. “We’ll get them,” he says, and it’s a certain promise coming from his mouth.

With that, he joins Steve in the water, both men making short of the distance to the troubled ship. Chin’s heart lurches as the hull groans, and he tries not to think of how dangerous this kind of rescue is. Water rescues are precarious enough as it is, but a sinking boat...

He knows when the vessel goes down, it’s going to go down fast, taking anyone in it down with them to the depths below. There won’t be much time to escape once that happens.

There’s not much time now.

And Danny could still be down there and Steve’s going in after him. For a second, Chin realizes just how bad this can get. He’s prided himself on keeping from melodramatics, but the reality suddenly seems stark. To rescue Danny and the CIA operative, Steve has to go in – and fast. There’s a chance he’ll be successful, they’ll all come out alive.

The boat creaks loudly, fire still burning.

There’s also a chance they may all go down.

At his side, Casey is stiff. “Over there,” he says, nodding tightly.

Chin follows his gaze woodenly, not sure what he’s looking at in the waves.

“We’ve got our last suspect over there,” he says.

It takes work for Chin to focus, more work for him to see the man still bobbing in the water. He’s swimming awkwardly away, laden down by a leather coat that stands out awkwardly in the waves.

“Ito himself,” Casey says with some satisfaction.

To some extent, Chin understands that. He’s a cop and he’s always been a cop, so the notion of bringing in the bad guy has always had some resonance for him.

And this is what it’s been about since the beginning. Since they found their unidentified vic on the beach, this is what they’ve been working toward. Not just catching the one who pulled the trigger, but the entire network that set up a mostly innocent man and exacted unnecessary retribution.

Locking up Ito will keep Chin’s island safer. It’ll keep the world safer.

But Chin can also still hear the crackling of the flames and the shifting of the boat in the water behind him. It’s really not a contest between Danny and justice but it feels that way.

Chin takes a deep breath and rallies his courage. He has deep reserves – always had. His unfailing sense of right and wrong had kept his spirits lifted, even while exiled from his career and his family. His penchant for doing the right thing had made all of it palatable, even when he was working a dead end job while his colleagues rose the ranks at HPD.

He can do this.

He will do this.

With a nod, Chin tightens his hand around the wheel, goosing the engine in the direction of Ito’s pathetically retreating form.

They’re on him quickly, and Casey doesn’t even wait for Chin to kill the engine when he’s already reaching down toward Ito.

Unlike his men, Ito puts up a fight. He thrashing, lashing out, but Casey easily dodges the blow and wraps his hand around the flailing wrist instead. The motion throws Ito off balances and his face plunges toward the water.

With a firm grip, Casey is clearly in control, and if he holds the gangster down under the water a little longer than necessary, Chin’s certainly not going to be the one to call him on it.

After a long moment, Casey yanks him upward, and Ito comes out of the water gasping and flailing with new vigor. But there’s nothing he can do, not as Casey pulls him single handedly out of the water and tosses him roughly onto the deck. He rolls the man unceremoniously onto his stomach, wrenching his arms back and tying them tight before Ito is even finished coughing up sea water.

When he’s done, he looks up at Chin. “Would you like to do the honors of arresting them?” he says.

Chin looks down darkly. The ship behind them is still moaning and there’s been no cries for help, no new sound at all. Chin doesn’t let himself think about that.

Instead, he struts forward, looking down with contempt. “My pleasure,” he says. “Katashi Ito, you are under arrest.”

As he recites the man’s Miranda rights, he can’t help but look out back across the water, toward the boat, hoping that the murder of Danny Williams and Steve McGarrett isn’t added to Ito’s list of crimes.