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Mission: Classified

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Danny’s tired.

He looks at the face of Agent something or the other – Ezra, Danny reminds himself, Ezra Hayes – and scowls. The Agent stares at him with a blank look, and it pisses Danny off, it does, but he’s so friggin tired that he has a problem standing straight. Chin and Kono have his back, a calming presence for his mess of feelings and he’s not sure if he would be able to hold at all if not for them.

Hayes turns his head to the side, eyebrows carefully drew together, and he looks at Danny down his nose, like Danny’s a particularly ugly bug or dirt on his shoe. The latter, Danny thinks with chagrin, he doesn’t like it, this kind of pompous behavior but getting answers is more important right now than pettiness. So he stills himself, trying to remember times long forgotten, times he would rather keep locked deep down in his memory than use. He doesn’t have a choice, though.

He squares his shoulders and looks Agent Hayes down even if the man is 5 inches taller than Danny. Surprise crosses his eyes, and Danny has the need to smirk, but he refrains from doing so, not now, but soon.

“Where’s he?” He asks and feels more than sees the surprised jerk of Kono’s body at his tone.

He feels like gutting himself right then and there because he kept a secret from his team, a big secret and he despises himself for it.

The Agent tilts his head to the side; jaw clenched as he scrutinizes Danny. Danny knows he's trying to figure something but has a problem grasping it.

‘Good luck with that’ Danny thinks.

Hayes finally replies, and the answer is the same one he gave them the last 347 times. “It’s classified.”

Danny understands that he understands more than he lets on but he needs to find Steve and without knowing where is he, Danny can’t do a damn thing.

The phone he keeps in his pocket burns him like a fire, white-hot pain just below his hipbone and he stifles the urge to look down and make sure he’s not on fire for real.

Guilt.

Guilt and secrets can burn hotter than hell flames.

He knows from the set of Agent Ezra shoulders that he’ll need to call the big shoot, and he hoped he'd never have to do that, but he figures that McGarrett would be the cause if he ever did.

Stupid, idiotic, insufferable Steven McGarrett, the bane of Danny’s sole existence.

Danny clicks his tongue, trying to focus on the matter at hand instead of his partner goofy grin, his tattoos, and those stupid cargo pants. “You showed up here with your CIA and FBI buddies,” he glances over to the Navy Admiral and snarls, “and a fucking Navy Admiral and roped Steve into coming for your little agenda, God knows where... even if there’s plenty of others who could be just as good! You just walked here and—”

“Detective Williams, it’s not up for the disscu—”

Danny looks sharply at the man and grits, low and dangerous. “I know that you federal clowns don’t know what common courtesy is, but cutting someone when he’s talking is not what people in general commonly consider nice,” Danny ignores the part where he, himself cut the man in the middle of the sentence but it wasn’t important right now. “Are we clear?”

The Agent looks like he’s about to have a stroke or about to try and strangle him, nose flaring and veins popping and Danny takes great pleasure in that. “Are we clear?” Danny repeats louder and hears an amused noise somewhere from the Admiral’s general position.

He doesn’t give time for the Agent to say anything and continues, “you took Steve and made him part of your team of misfits, and you knew that he won’t refuse, because he’s loyal to this country, and now…” Danny takes a big breath, steadying his voice, “and now that team of yours is back half the size it’s been, after three fucking weeks and Steve’s not here. I just want my partner back, because you can’t just waltz your way into our lives,“ he gestures at himself then at Kono and Chin. “Take one of our own, expecting us to just roll with it." He pauses for a second trying to regain his footing, "and not to tell us where he is when you obviously left him behind when you thought he’s a liability.”

Ezra opens his mouth, but Danny growls at him not giving him a chance to speak, “he’s not dead, something must have happened, and you left him because it was this kind of mission, wasn’t it? A one where you leave behind a ballast for the sake of completing the damn assignment.”

Chin moves beside him, and Kono lets out a shaky breath. Agent Hayes squints at them for a moment, then his face smooths out, and it takes everything in Danny to not punch this bastard in the face.

Chin curls his hand on his bicep, and only then Danny feels how tensed his whole body is, he focused so much on Hayes that he completely overlooked how wound up he is.

“Danny, we called the Governor already, there’s nothing we can do. It’s bigger than…” Chin squeezes his arm, and Danny knows by Chin’s tone of voice that he’s angry and resigned but most of all pained, pained of being completely powerless. There’s also hate lurking in the timbre of his voice, hate for the unfairness of the situation. “It’s bigger than us.” He finishes, his hand shaking a bit, it’s minuscule, but Danny feels it, and he knows that Chin would go to the end of the world and do anything to find Steve, just like Kono would and Danny, too. Danny who was about to risk it all for his idiot of a friend, boss, partner.

His everything and how exactly is it his life?

“Chin.” Kono’s soft and broken but still resolute whisper spins Danny into a decision.

“You heard him, Williams, there’s nothing you can do.” The Agent says, and Danny sighs, fishing his phone out.

Hayes looks at him quirking his brow like he's better than Danny then he smirks with the superiority he thinks he has over him.

He’s in for a big surprise.

“You’re right, Chin." He glances at the man by his side and smiles weakly, "It’s bigger than us, so we just need something bigger to help us with it.”

Chin glances at him, and his face may not look like it, because Chin seemed zen and chill and collected most of the time, but there’s confusion hiding in the corner of his eyes.

“That makes zero sense, brah.” Kono lets out, and Danny laughs.

He shakes his head. “It makes all the sense.” He scrolls down his contact list and picks a number he swore he’ll never use. He puts the phone down on the screen table and flicks the call onto the big screen.

There’s silence as a figure, a little grainy but still very much unmistaken for anyone else shows up on the screen. There’re gasps from the people inside the Five-0 HQ including his team members. Danny hates that he didn’t tell them even if he couldn’t because there were lives at stake. Still, he’ll be lucky if they forgive him. If Steve forgives him, once he knows what Danny was hiding from him and that's a pretty big 'if.'

Danny shakes his head and looks at the person on the other side. The man smiles, beams almost, but there’re worry lines around his eyes. “Colonel Williams.”

Kono chokes on air and Danny shuts his eyes for a second, trying to ground himself, prepare for what’s to come.

“Mr. President,” Danny says, grinning just a little bit because he can’t do otherwise when the man on the other side of the video call greets him with one.

He can feel Chin shocked stare and even more shocked glare of one Agent Hayes. He ignores the Admiral who radiates amusement all over the room.

Danny sighs, suddenly weary and more tired than ever.

He’ll deal with this later, now though, now he needs information about his moronic partner whereabouts, and he swears that once he finds this friggin Ninja SEAL who thinks he’s bulletproof and a God and who knows what else, he’ll punch him or kiss him.

Preferably both.

Once this is over, he’ll deal with the consequences, so he looks at the President of the U.S and musters with all the seriousness intertwined with the desperation gnawing at his throat, “I’m afraid I need to cash out that favor you owe me, Sir.”

The silence that follows his sentence almost makes him look over the people in the room, he doesn’t, but he already feels a headache coming.

President looked grim and severe and worried all at once, but he says ‘of course’ with such power that gives Danny the ability to breathe again.

That’s when all hell breaks loose.