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13 June 2012 @ 01:23 pm
Olowalu Paintball Explosion 2/3  

Title: Olowalu Paintball Explosion 2/3  (Link to part 1)
written for casestory big bang! 
Author: tkeylasunset
Artist(s): anuminis
Fandom(s): Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
Type: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~19,800 total; part 2 ~4,300
Characters/Pairings: Steve McGarrett, Danny Williams, Chin Ho Kelly, Kono Kalakaua
Warnings/Spoilers: none
Summary: While the Hawaii Five-0 team are playing paintball, they come across a young man who worked there and has been killed with a single shot through his head. They must figure out why he was killed and what the killers were trying to hide.

Author’s Notes: Proofread by two most important people: lyricoloratura (for grammar, punctuation, effect vs. affect) and rocsfan for Hawaii 5-0-ness. Undying love and gratitude to both!! (Any remaining errors are all mine. Because I couldn’t seem to avoid rewriting even after I had their blessings.)

This is my first ever Big Bang!! Wow. Thanks to the mods at casestory for taking us all on!

Link(s) to Art Master Post(s): By anuminisFound Here!

I arrived at 5-0 headquarters the next morning at 8:30, the time they generally reported to work. Only Danny was present when I entered the bullpen. He looked up from his computer and waved me over so I joined him in his office.

“Good morning,” I said.

“Good morning to you,” Danny returned. “You’re here early.”

“Isn’t 8:30 the usual time for you guys?”

“Generally,” he confirmed. “Steve and Kono are shredding some waves. And Chin is still on his honeymoon.”

“Hasn’t he been married for over a year?” I asked with a laugh.

“Yeah, well,” Danny shrugged with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Have you discovered the secrets to the taskforce?”

I had to laugh again, shaking my head. “You four are unique in many ways.”

“I never doubted that,” he agreed.

“What do you think accounts for your success rate? It’s impressive by any standard.”

“Having the backing of the Governor, with the means to get the job done,” Danny said. It sounded well rehearsed. I’m certainly not the first who has tried to figure out how they got so much done with so few people.

“And the dedication all of you show to your work,” I suggested.

“It helps,” he agreed, rocking back slightly in his chair.

“It also helps that you and Chin are veterans of police work,” I said to his nods.

“Yeah. Steve’s come a long way since the task force was formed but he still crosses the line more times than I’d like,” Danny told me.

“I am curious about that,” I admitted. “He’s military. But he doesn’t follow the rules. He’s kind of a walking oxymoron.”

“That he is,” Danny said with a laugh. “It’s because he was a SEAL. They had to get it done how ever they could. Military code has its place but when you are trying to find terrorists who don’t play by any rules, you can’t either.”

“Yes,” I agreed, considering his words. “Your conviction rate is amazing.”

“You mean what with him going off the rails at the drop of a hat,” Danny said lightly.

“Chin and Kono were telling me stories from your first year. Sounds like Steve has been reined in a lot since then.”

“He has,” Danny agreed. “Being arrested for Governor Jameson’s murder quelled some of his gung-ho-ness. He realized he did need to think twice or three times before rushing in. And with appropriate back-up, preferably me.”

“Do you think your task force can be replicated?” I asked, very curious about his perspective on the possibility. I was beginning to think they were a rare breed who came together perfectly and the pattern could not be copied.

“Our processes probably can be, if your governor is willing to provide you the authority and the freedom. The four of us all have specialties that make sure it works.” He paused, his focus turning inward. “I don’t know if any other task force would be so lucky.”

“You are right about that,” I agreed, standing. “I thought I’d look through Ronnie’s files.”

“The table is turned off,” Danny said in warning.

“Chin showed me how to turn it on. He promised not to scold if I used it before he arrived.”

“Have fun then,” Danny said with a wave at the outside of his office. He was still smiling as I left his office to boot up the tech table.

I pulled up the files Chin had downloaded from Ronnie’s computer, looking at the invoices. Something seemed off but I couldn’t tell exactly what it was. I was about to ask Danny if he had time to come look when Steve and Kono arrived, their faces open and happy, their skin glowing as it would only do from copious amounts of fresh air and sunshine.

“Have fun?” I asked with a laugh.

“Waves were prime,” Kono said, fist bumping Steve before disappearing into the break room for some coffee.

“You ever surf?” Steve asked me.

“No. Washington isn’t known for its friendly shoreline,” I said.

“Too bad,” Steve replied before going into Danny’s office to listen to Danny lecture him on adult responsibilities and arriving on time and setting an appropriate example for the other members of the team. I could see Steve nodding but I had the feeling he had no idea what Danny was actually saying, a situation I had been told was typical of them.

It wasn’t long after that Chin arrived, all smiles and bringing with him a sense of calm. He wore a blue shirt with subtle pale blue flowers that would work only for him.

“’Morning,” he said to me, looking up at the invoices on the screens.

“Good morning,” I returned, going to the next invoice.

“Find anything?”

“No,” I said, looking up at them again. “But these seem off somehow. I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

“Hmm…” Chin said before taking his phone out. “This is Chin Ho Kelly.”

“This is Nepoe, Ronnie’s…uhm… I mean.”

I could hear that his sentence ended with a hiccup as though Nepoe was having trouble retaining his composure, which was certainly understandable.

“Yes, Nepoe. Take your time. I’m going to put you on speaker so we can all hear you, if that’s okay,” Chin said warmly.

“Yeah. I mean, sure, okay,” Nepoe was saying when Chin hit his speaker button. Nepoe sounded exhausted, weighed down by sorrow.

“What can I do for you?” Chin asked.

“I was…uhm… going through… uhm… Ronnie’s computer,” Nepoe said. “I figured I needed to put an auto-reply on his email accounts.”

“I know how hard this must be for you, Nepoe,” Chin said in sympathy, looking over at Danny and Steve when they left Danny’s office. Chin continued to speak in the same soothing tone. “Would it help if I came to see you?”

“No… I don’t think so,” Nepoe said, taking an audible breath. “I found an email. In the draft folder. He never sent it.”

“Who was it to?” Chin asked with patience.

“It doesn’t say. But it says he thought something strange was going on. At Olowalu Paintball.”

“I see,” Chin said. “Are you comfortable forwarding it to me?”

“Sure. Of course,” Nepoe said with some relief.

Chin provided his email address, waiting just a moment before a new message appeared on the tech table. “Thank you. Are you hanging in there?”

“As well as I can,” Nepoe said. “The funeral isn’t until Monday. It would have been Sunday but it’s easier for me and Hiako for it to be Monday. Not that I couldn’t have gotten off work. But somehow knowing I’ll be on the beach tomorrow and Sunday makes it easier.”

“I understand,” Chin said. “We’ll keep you informed if we find anything out.”

“Thank you,” Nepoe said before hanging up.

“This is the draft Ronnie never sent,” Chin said for Kono’s sake as she joined us by the tech table. He opened it, displaying the unsent message on the screens.

maybe it’s notihing. I don’t know. But maybe it’s improtant. I guess I should let you decide. It seems mostly to be shelter 16 and 12. I can meet you there tomrrow.

“When did he compose this?” Kono asked, studying the screen.

“Mmm…looks like Monday,” Chin said. “Nepoe said it didn’t have a recipient in it.”

“Shelters 16 and 12,” Danny said. “Are they both storage shelters?”

“According the map they are,” Chin agreed.

“Danny and I will go check those storage units,” Steve said, the others nodding in agreement. “Kono, call Hiako and let her know we’re coming. Chin, call Nepoe and ask if you can borrow Ronnie’s computer. If he’s okay with it, you can go and get it.”

“Right,” Chin agreed.

“You coming with us?” Steve asked me.

“If I won’t be in your way,” I said.

“Not a problem,” Steve said. Making sure they had everything and that Kono would call Paintball Explosion, we went downstairs and into the Camaro. I got into the back as Steve got into the driver’s side and Danny took the passenger seat.

“Is this really your car, Danny?” I asked after Steve had pulled out of the parking lot.

“Yes,” Danny said, frowning over at Steve. “I’m guessing your next question is why does he always drive it.”

“No,” I said, laughing. “I don’t have to ask.”

“See, Super SEAL. Everyone knows what a control freak you are,” Danny said.

“I didn’t hear anything about ‘control freak,’” Steve said in a tone that implied he couldn’t possibly care less what I or anyone else may or may not call him.

“It was heavily implied,” Danny asserted.

“Implied,” Steve repeated as though he didn’t know the meaning of the word.

“Yes implied. This is my car. Which I am never permitted to drive.”

“You drive like an old man,” Steve said as though that explained it all.

“You drive like a mad man,” Danny countered, breaking off long enough to answer his phone. “Hey Kono. Got you on speaker.”

“I talked to Hiako. She’ll meet you at the office.”

“Thanks,” Danny said. “Are there many players out today?”

“Not yet. She said there will be 65 or so by noon,” Kono said.

“All right. We won’t be there that long,” Danny said.

“Mrs. Sharper called,” Chin’s voice said over the phone. “She wants to know if we can release Ronnie’s body tomorrow.”

“Double-check with Max,” Danny said. “If he has no objections, then it’s fine. If Max has no need to retain it, we can release it to his family today.”

“Roger that,” Chin agreed. “And Nepoe said he will bring Ronnie’s computer here. He’ll drop it off on his way to Waikiki.”

“Okay,” Steve said. “You’ll mine it for info, just in case.”

“Of course,” Chin agreed.

“All right,” Danny said. “We should be back well before lunch. We’ll let you know when we’re on our way home.”

“All right,” Chin said before Danny disconnected.

I watched the beautiful scenery pass by the window as Steve and Danny argued the entire time about… something. I wasn’t paying attention to their conversation in all honesty. And I think they had forgotten I was with them.

Steve pulled the Camaro into a space close to the office, and he and Danny left the car. Danny held his seat up while I climbed out, not the most athletic or graceful of maneuvers but I was standing next to it before Steve made it to the top step of the building.

We entered the cool white building that housed the offices, the windows open to allow the breeze to blow straight through. There was a young woman behind the front counter who looked like she had lost her best friend. I thought that perhaps in this case the cliché was a truth.

“May I help you?” she asked before blotting her nose with a crumbled tissue.

“Five-0,” Steve said. “We’re here to see Ms Ueuna.”

“Yes, of course,” the girl whose name tag read Na'ee. “You’ll find out who killed Ronnie, won’t you?” she asked, her eyes filling with tears.

“We are going to do everything we can,” Danny told her gently, a reassuring hand on her arm.

Na’ee sniffed and nodded, pointing back toward one of the offices that appeared to be empty.

“Is she here?” Steve asked, frowning at the girl.

She looked up at him with a slightly apprehensive expression, a new tissue pressed to her nose.

“She knew we were coming,” Danny explained in a much gentler tone. “We thought she would be in her office.” Any answer Na’ee may have given was cut off by the opening of the front door to allow Ms Ueuna to enter.

“I’m terribly sorry,” Ms Ueuna said as she came closer. “We were having a problem out in area 4C. I hope I haven’t kept you waiting.” The color was high up on her cheeks, her hair disheveled no doubt from the wind that had been picking up.

“It’s fine,” Danny said warmly. “We’ve only been here for a couple of minutes.”

“Good,” she sighed. “You want to check the storage buildings?”

“Yes,” Steve said. “Buildings 12 and 16 specifically.”

“Of course,” Ms Ueuna agreed, lifting the part of the front desk which closed off the entrance to the office from the waiting/gathering area. “I’ll get the keys.”

Steve nodded, frowning at her as she went into her office. Danny nudged him into the corner further away from the front counter where Na’ee was silently crying.

“What’s with you?” Danny demanded quietly.

“What?” Steve asked. But it was clear he was prevaricating about not understanding.

“Stop yelling at everyone. They aren’t suspects. Na’ee hasn’t stopped crying since we came in. Hiako looks like she’s barely holding it together. They’ve lost a friend. They don’t need you going hard-ass on them.”

“They may be suspects,” Steve said, crossing his impressive arms over his equally impressive chest. His tattoos peeked out from under the edge of his sleeves, his shirt almost the same color as his ink.

“There’s no reason to think they are involved,” I said, Danny nodding.

“They are victims too, Steve. Stop scaring them.”

“I’m not doing anything,” Steve protested, Danny shaking his head.

“Go outside and continue not doing anything. We’ll be there in a minute.”

“Fine,” Steve said, clearly reluctantly to do as Danny asked. But he did leave the building. We could see him through the front window pacing as we waited for Hiako to return.

“Everything all right?” she asked, two lanyards clutched in her hand, the keys clanging very softly.

“Steve’s wound a little tight,” Danny assured her. “Would it be easier if we went by ourselves?” Danny asked, moving aside to let 4 paying customer approach the front desk. Na’ee managed to compose herself enough to check them in, making sure they signed all the requisite forms.

“Would you mind?” Hiako asked in relief. “I would go but….” She glanced over at Na’ee, clearly worried in a maternal kind of way.

“It’s not any problem,” Danny assured her. “We’ll contact you if we have any questions.”

“Of course,” she said. “The golf carts are behind the office if you want to take one. There’s room for all three of you.”

“That would speed things up,” Danny agreed.

“You think Steve will let you drive?” I asked Danny quietly as Hiako went to get the golf cart key.

“Doubtful. We should have brought helmets,” he said before accepting the key. “We’ll bring it back unharmed.”

“I’m not worried,” she said. “Please do whatever it takes to find out who did this terrible thing.”

“We will,” Danny promised with a nod. We left the office, Danny explaining that we were going to take one of the golf carts to the first storage building. He shook his head when Steve held out an expectant hand. “No. Absolutely not. You are not driving the golf cart. You will take the curves at 50 miles an hour, overturning it and killing us all.” Danny did not pause in his rant as we went toward the back of the building.

“If you drive, it will take until next week,” Steve said, standing stubbornly by the driver’s side, his hand still out.

“If you drive, we’ll all die,” Danny countered, giving him a gentle shove out of the way and taking the driver’s seat. I sat on the shelf at the rear, my back turned to them. Better to disguise the fact that I couldn’t help but laugh at them.

“Fine,” Steve finally conceded, climbing into the cart and folding his legs to make them fit. Danny nodded in satisfaction, carefully backing the cart out of its station and driving down the path. “Take the next right,” Steve directed, pointing at the crossroad and then referring to the map he held.

Danny did it, driving at a reasonable rate of speed until we arrived at shelter 12. It was painted green, visible through the trees but not disruptive to the overall feeling of the paintball park – that you were out in the middle of no place. The shelter had four picnic tables and a small grill beneath the open roof. The back of the shelter was enclosed with a sign that said EMPLOYEES ONLY PLEASE.

After pulling on his gloves, Danny unlocked the door and turned on the light. The storage area had no windows and would have been pitch if not for the lights overhead. Before us was a wall of containers, all of which looked like standard Rubbermaid storage bins, dark grey, about 3 feet long, 2 feet high, Paintball Explosion stenciled on the sides.

“Paintballs?” Steve said, using the sturdy stepstool to hoist down the one from the first stack of bins, four high.

“What else would it be?” Danny said, pulling open the top. Inside were 12 white plastic containers, barrel-shaped with screw-on lids. He pulled out one of the jars, taking off the top to find it filled with yellow paint balls. “Paintballs.”

“Clearly,” Steve said, taking down the second bin in the stack. Opening it revealed that it also contained 12 jars of paintballs. “Blue.”

Danny opened the third container, also discovering yellow paintballs. “Well. This seems pointless.”

“Is there a way they can tell what color paintballs are inside?” I asked, looking at all of the identical bins facing us.

“They all look exactly the same,” Danny said, shaking his head. “How do they how many of each color they have?”

“Wait. Wait,” Steve said, stepping back up to take down the top bin from a different stack. He placed it on the floor to open it, pulling out red paintballs. “Look,” he said, pointing at the stenciled words. “It’s in red. This one is blue, this one yellow.”

“Of course,” Danny said. “The colors inside match the words on the outside.”

“Yeah,” Steve agreed. “But where does that leave us?”

Danny looked from the stacks of bins to Steve and back. “We have yellow, blue, and red so far. See any white or green?”

“Here’s white,” I said, pointing to the stack against the wall. Steve moved the stepstool in order to reach up for the bin. When I opened it, I found jars of white paintballs, as advertised.

“Everything seems to be in order,” Steve said in some frustration. “Why would anyone kill him over paintballs?”

“There’s got to be something we’re missing,” Danny said, shaking his head. “It makes no sense.”

“His unsent email said he thought something was wrong,” I said out loud although I was talking mainly to myself.

“But not what,” Danny said, his gloved hands on his hips as he stared at the bins in accusation. “This seems pointless.”

“Let’s go to 16,” Steve said, putting the bins back in order. “Maybe we’ll find something there.”

“I hope so,” Danny said, leaving the building and locking the door behind us. “No, you still aren’t driving.”

Steve frowned at him but rounded the golf cart to get into the passenger seat without verbal complaint. I resumed my seat in the storage area, not the most comfortable place I’ve ridden but not the worst either. I was glad I was wearing jeans since the dirt wouldn’t show overly much.

We passed two groups of paintballers as we drove down the path, Danny slowing as we approached them, giving them ample time to clear the path for us. They waved at us, their faces reflecting the fun they were having pursuing their friends across the paintball course.

We left the cart when Danny pulled in front of 16, the three tables unoccupied. This shelter also came equipped with a bathroom which I decided to take advantage of while there was the opportunity. When I entered the storage area, Steve was taking down a bin to set it on the floor next to one already there.

“Anything?” I asked as much to let them know I was back as to learn what they had found out. I pulled my gloves back on, aware of the need to keep any possible evidence uncontaminated.

“Not yet,” Danny said, opening the bin that Steve had just hoisted down. “Wait,” Danny said, straightening to look down at the bin with white stenciled words. “There are two jars missing.”

“That’s strange,” Steve said. “Why wouldn’t you take the entire case if you need white paintballs?”

“You would, wouldn’t you?” I said, feeling a little stupid. But it was strange. Why would anyone take two jars and leave the rest behind?

“Check the next white bin,” Danny said, pointing up at the bin on top of the next pile. Steve stepped up for it, bringing it down for Danny to open. It also contained only 10 jars.

“Call Hiako and ask her to come,” Steve said, pulling down a red bin and opening it. It had 12 jars.

Danny nodded, leaving the storage area to make the call. It was only a moment later that he returned, putting his phone in his pocket. “She’ll be here as soon as she can.”

Steve nodded as he opened the white bin he had taken down. It also was missing two jars. “All the white bins so far only have ten.”

“Are some colors used more than others?” Danny asked as he lifted a yellow bin from its place.

“Not really. You can request a color if you are particular. Otherwise they are assigned randomly,” I said as Danny opened the bin with yellow lettering. It contained only 10 jars. “These are yellow, aren’t they?” I asked. Danny unscrewed one of the lid with a frown, finding yellow paintballs inside.

“The other missing ones were white, right?” Danny said, showing the yellow ones to Steve. Steve nodded, taking down another white bin. It had 12 jars inside. The next three bins he took down were all full, the fourth one a yellow bin with only 10 jars.

“Did you find something?” Hiako asked as she came into the storage room.

“Some of these bins only have ten jars,” Danny said, pointing to the open bins that were taking all of the spare floor space.

“That doesn’t make sense,” Hiako said, looking into one of the bins of white paintballs.

“If you need a certain color, you take the entire bin, right?” Danny asked.

“We do,” Hiako agreed. “There’s no reason that the bins shouldn’t be full.”

“We haven’t checked every bin,” Steve said unnecessarily as it was clear some were still in their tidy stacks. “So far the ones with ten have been white and yellow.”

“I don’t understand why they wouldn’t contain twelve jars,” she said again. “Do you think someone killed Ronnie because of the missing jars?”

“That hardly seems likely,” Danny said soothingly. “The locks weren’t damaged. Who has keys to these units?”

“I do. And Ronnie did. That’s all. If I wasn’t here, Ronnie was. If neither of us were, we made sure there were enough of every color for the day’s play.”

“No one else had access?” Steve asked.

“No. Na’ee only works Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We have several other part-time employees. Ronnie and I were the only ones full time. It’s company policy that only full-time employees are allowed keys to the storage shelters.”

“We’re going to need to take a several of these bins,” Steve said.

“Of course,” Hiako said with a nod. “Take as many as you need. We have plenty of each color.”

Steve nodded, picking up one of the yellow bins. Danny and I each picked up one of the white ones. “We’ll return them after we’ve had our lab check them over.”

“Of course,” she said, going out with us. “I’ll take you back,” she said to me since my ‘seat’ was now filled with bins.

“We’re done?” I asked, just to make sure.

“Yeah. We’ll take these to Charlie Fong and have him check for anything anomalous,” Danny said, sitting in the driver’s seat while Steve climbed into the passenger side.

I nodded, getting into Hiako’s golf cart with her.

“You aren’t a part of Five-0,” she said conversationally.

“I’m here from Washington State,” I explained. “Our governor wants to see if we can create a task force like theirs.”

“You are in law enforcement?”

“I am the governor’s law enforcement liaison,” I said to her nods.

“That makes sense,” she said. “Are you enjoying your stay?”

“Hawaii is beautiful. I haven’t had a lot of time to enjoy the beaches,” I said.

“Will you?” she asked glancing over at me.

“I hope so. I’m here for another week. I had thought I’d have the weekend to go to the beach but we’ll be working straight through.”

“Please make sure Commander McGarrett understands how much we appreciate Five-0 looking into this terrible thing,” she said, her eyes filling with tears.

“I will,” I promised, leaving the golf cart when she had it safely parked in its space. I rounded the building to help move the bins from the cart to the trunk of the Camaro, which was larger than it looked. Steve had to do some rearranging to make room, Danny complaining about all of the random shit stored in his car.

“Tear gas. Really, Steven? And a SR-25 sniper rifle? Really?”

“The rifle is Kono’s,” Steve said, moving it further back.

“That’s not helpful. And the tear gas? That could have exploded while Gracie was in the car with me?”

Steve just shrugged, putting a few of the smaller items in the well with the spare tire. There wasn’t a lot of room available because he apparently used it for storage on a regular basis. “I put the hand grenades back here. Like you asked me to.”

“That would be a great help if I was rear ended,” Danny said, shaking his head. “You really are a Neanderthal, aren’t you?”

“I don’t think Neanderthals used explosives,” I suggested, earning me a scowl from Danny and a smile from Steve.

“No comments from the peanut gallery,” Danny grumped, picking up one of the bins now that Steve had made room for them.

“Danny, be nice,” Steve said, putting the last bin in the trunk.

I just laughed. Their method of communication was unorthodox but it worked for them. And that’s all that mattered.


To be continued...

kristophorioskristophorios on June 13th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, new part...ok going back to sitting and waiting
Are 6 dogs too many?: danno happytkeylasunset on June 15th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! Hope it ended satisfactorily for you!!

From a little spark may burst a mighty flamedante_s_hell on June 13th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
The banter between Steve and Danny is so spot on! I just love it.
Are 6 dogs too many?: grace and dannotkeylasunset on June 15th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you bb!!

(Deleted comment)
Are 6 dogs too many?: Scott & Dottkeylasunset on June 15th, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! Hope the final chapter worked for you!