MONDAY, JUNE 24TH - HAWAII (EARLY AFTERNOON)
Chin and Steve drove in silence after speaking with Governor Denning. To describe him as angry at the top of their meeting would have been a complete understatement. The risk to having a mistrial had only increased with their own knowledge of an insider on the prosecutions' team. No one yet knew if others were directly implicated or McNamara was now working as a solitary mole for Allen Darien. Denning admitted appreciating that Five-0 was already well-immersed in investigating each member of the team and not just McNamara. Like they did, he wanted to know more and he wanted to know it quickly.
After a long meeting, the three decided to stay the course until Five-0 could gather more intelligence which would be presented back to Denning. He in turn, would discuss next steps with the judge to establish a continuance. For the foreseeable future, Pete Channing would remain under lock and key, Danny would remain under police protection and Steve would conduct himself as he had been all along. If the internal investigation were to burst wide open and become public knowledge, the trial would be over instantly and a great deal of credibility would be irretrievably lost for the prosecution and Darien would gain significant ground. The worst case for them would be a complete win for the mobster where he'd be released on any number of legal technicalities.
The new caveat was that Denning demanded this be resolved within twenty-four hours since he was now obligated to support the interest of justice for the people. As a surprise to both men, Denning's initial instincts were to determine a valid reason for the judge to issue a continuance before either side could make the request themselves.
"He can be somewhat remarkable," Chin broke the silence first as they approached the hospital. Neither were lawyers of course, but Denning had a stunning wealth of knowledge about what might be done with the right layers of information.
"This Sua sponte which the judge can make without a motion or request?" Chin shook his head as he tried to wrap his brain around the concept and then shrugged because he was in awe and what had happened with the Governor was worth repeating.
"I had no idea that was even possible. Denning can be remarkable."
Steve completely agreed with the sentiment. Denning had briefly described the ability for the judge to issue a continuance per his own act of authority. It was the validity of the reason that was the essence of the act. And they all wanted that to be as far from Brian McNamara and either legal team as possible so that the integrity of the charges and proceedings would remain intact.
It opened a door that allowed Five-0 to breathe a bit easier to avoid jeopardizing the overall legal case, themselves. In fact, Denning's public relations team had been keeping a close eye on the press. Unaware to them, the press coverage was becoming an issue of major concern itself to the overall health of the trial. Regardless of the gag order that was in place, coverage of the criminal activity and the trial had become increasingly excessive with every passing day. That editorial speculation had become problematic and worrisome. The high profile arrest had caused a great deal of conjecture which had already impacted selection of the jury, making that initial process twice as long as necessary based upon concerns the pool had been influenced by a contaminated opinion. Alistair Landon would not necessarily complain about public opinion as it was mostly in his favor to persecute the mobster to the fullest extent of the law. However, the defense team was already long rumbling about unfair lack of justice for their client.
Adding the secretive, threatening notes to particular jurors only exacerbated the fears of those selected to participate. In the end, it gave either side the right to question if a fair trial could or couldn't be held in the current established venue. What no one wanted was the threat of a mistrial or a situation that the court itself could not control from the onset. The Governor didn't want to risk a conviction being reversed if Darien's team could make any declaration that their client might be deprived of a fair trial. So, he was willing to nip it in the bud and discuss this tactic with the judge if the validity of the Sua sponte was firmly defined and established.
At the end of the meeting, Denning's anger had changed to an attitude of acceptance and even a bit of devious mischief. Five-0 was providing him with an impetus to initiate discussions with the judge for what was already a desired change of venue. The existing jury would be disbanded and a new selected, but the charges the mobster would remain untouched and relevant.
Five-0 would provide Denning with the right information as it related to his needs. They in turn, had carte blanche to go after Brian McNamara and anyone else identified as participatory or affiliated to Alan Darien. However, it was critical that nothing hit the press or become even rumored in public knowledge.
"We have a lot to do." Steve scrubbed his fingers through his hair as he digested what they were told. In some respects, pressure was taken off but in others, it remained as critical as ever. He would drop Chin at the offices to assist Kono and then visit Danny. But he needed to return to his team quickly to help drive the situation to a suitable end.
Chin was staring at him though and he knew the next question before it was asked. "I still don't think we can take the chance."
"I disagree, Steve. Grace and Rachel both need to know. This changes everything and I understand the original concern. But we own this now and even the Governor is on the same page." Chin had disagreed with keeping the two entirely in the dark from the start. He completely disagreed now that Danny was home and they had both argued about it the entire day on Sunday.
With Danny's memory returning, it gave Chin's objections even more credence. They all knew that Grace was still in a terrible state of mourning and to him, the risk was well worth taking.
"We can keep them safe if we need to. There's always a way." The smile was as devious as Denning's and Steve frowned. "Besides, if you are so driven in being extra careful, I have an idea if Rachel will go for it."
Steve found himself eventually smiling and then agreeing. He spontaneously changed direction and pulled on the freeway. Chin cocked his head quizzically and then smiled in return since they were headed towards the Edwards' residence. There was no time like the present and certain things absolutely required being handled in person.
"So what exactly happened to you? This looks like more than a fender-bender."
Brian McNamara gave a wry grin to Alistair Landon as they ate a communal lunch. Wry, but not entirely friendly. Landon could set a monk on edge. Under his suit jacket and with sleeves rolled up, the myriad array of cuts, scratches and small bandages seemed to litter both arms. Landon had glanced at the impressive but superficial injuries and then asked the question for a third time. On top of it, McNamara's knuckles showed what were now old bruises and he still had a skin-toned bandage on his cheek.
"On the way to see my father one last time, a pickup truck blew a stop sign and hit the rear passenger side of my car. This is all from broken glass and I hit my head on the frame. I guess it's a bit more than a fender-bender, but it could have been worse." He kept it light and short. He was repeating himself endlessly to Landon and others on the prosecution team. With just the right amount of disgust, he added another key point to keep the story consistent. McNamara tried to mock himself by adding an offended and very put-out grimace for the inconvenience.
"Somewhere between the accident and the hospital, my things were stolen. Right out from under my nose. My wallet, cell phone and my carry-on bag. I had already missed my flight though."
"So you've said." Landon was eating quickly as he kept the conversation moving at a lively pace. He was cross-examining McNamara though as if he were on trial himself and the man's patience was wearing thin. Mac bristled when his boss eyed his arms and the bruise on his face that peeked out from under the bandage. Landon frowned as he eyed the injuries again; he was aggravating McNamara with the repetitive issue of the accident being termed a 'fender-bender'.
"Looks worse than a fender-bender.. Anyway, how's your father?"
"I got practically t-boned by a pickup truck." McNamara had already received his very public dressing down in the office from Landon. He repeated himself angrily now to correct the verbiage from what Landon seemed to be harping on. He had apologized to the lead prosecutor and to his team ... profusely. However, his tardiness and evident inability to contact any member of his team was an enormous ongoing issue. Regardless of injuries and personal theft, he or someone should have made an effort to contact his office.
"My father's fine ... he's ... ah ... getting up there now. He's ninety-four years old but still sharp as a tack." The bland non-verbal sound was instantly irritating as Landon ate his lunch. McNamara knew he was listening; perhaps too much even though he suddenly seemed preoccupied. Landon was a bull-dog and he'd learned to be exceedingly careful around the man. His tale was accidentally becoming bigger with each new question or feeling of doubt lobbed in his direction.
"He must be upset about your accident. Parents are like that, God bless them." Landon balled up the wrapper from his sandwich and then the paper-bag it had come in. He aimed well and sunk the garbage from where he sat into the wastebasket in the corner of the room.
McNamara blushed in anger as he pushed his lunch away. "He thought I had been in a bout, so I let him think that." The lies were piling on and McNamara almost couldn't stop. "It wasn't worth getting in to and he was just happy to see me."
"Oh? I thought he was sharp as a tack?"
McNamar's anger flared at the immediate challenge, but he kept it well in check as he raced through options. "I meant to say most of the time. These looked like fight bruises to him, so he had a moment. Trust me, I didn't like it myself."
"I can understand that." There was a slight trace of empathy but not necessarily sincerity and McNamara remained on edge. He waited for Landon's next move without another word.
"Alright then." Before leaning back with a somewhat satisfied look, Landon tapped the long table firmly. His entire team was having lunch together prior to the opening arguments being voiced. He and his mid-level council were now decidedly done on a few different topics. He tapped the table again and then pointed a warning at his lawyer.
"Never again, Mac." The only evidence of his annoyance was the hard white-lined set to his mouth. Instead of answering Landon, he nodded and then excused himself to freshen up in the men's room. The discussion was now officially over but he was being reprimanded and warned. That warning would stand indefinitely.
MONDAY, JUNE 24TH - HAWAII (LATE AFTERNOON)
"So, I don't have TV anymore?"
The first words from Danny's mouth were compounded by the remote waving idly through the air. It was pointed at Steve and then upwards towards the screen which had a canned TAMC channel regaling its viewer with a laundry list of services available in the fine facility. Other pre-programmed choices included a home shopping network, and just one or two odd other options. But zero outside channels to the rest of the world.
"That looks like TV to me. Maybe you should give the program a chance, it might get better." Steve had dropped Chin off at the office after their meeting with Rachel. He measured Danny from head to toe before nodding in approval. "You look better, Danno."
He strolled in to find Danny wide awake as Ramirez had so reported to him on the phone. He was wide awake, still feverish, but more himself as he tossed the remote to the foot of the bed with obvious disgust. What wasn't yet there, was the obligatory verbal jibe Steve half-expected. Instead he got a silent attitude that erupted into more serious questioning. Still though, Steve couldn't be more pleased.
"Well, who is he?" Danny was abrupt and offered no preamble. "Did you find him?"
Danny had been looking at his blankets and now he stared directly into Steve's eyes. What he saw made him pause and his expression immediately brightened. Steve was smug and he knew that very special look like the back of his hand. Very chuffed with himself as Rachel might say and Danny's face slightly altered again as he zoned out. He saw her then, heard her saying the words in her lovely accent, and Danny heaved in a shuddered breath as another memory clicked and took hold. He wanted to ask about them now and he absolutely needed to see Grace. But as he was trying to force his mouth to work, Steve suddenly left the room.
Completely confused, Danny could hear soft conversation in the corridor. When Steve came back in, his original happy look was on the back burner while he gauged Danny's mood. In turn, Danny was trying to understand what else had just happened.
"Why did you leave?"
Steve's question was hesitant and almost disappointed. "Are you okay?"
"Why did you leave?" His jaw clenched as he countered the question and refused to be swayed. Danny was annoyed and he dug in as Steve's near-guilty look grew. "Steven?"
There was a glimmer of a smile at that and Danny squinted in temper which brought on a bigger smile. His own repetitive question resulted in another exasperated squinty frown and Steve had his answer before Danny finally gave in to speak. He asked again though just to be sure.
"You're okay, right?"
"I'm fine. Things are coming back," Danny admitted and then had to smile because he was feeling better. He also innately knew he wouldn't get more either until he convinced his personal watchdog of that very fact. "I was thinking again about Grace and even Rachel. It just happened and threw me. Is that why you left?"
Steve waited the narrow breadth of a heartbeat and then his smile was back firmly in place. "Wait here!"
"Ya think?" Danny griped in utter confused disgust as Steve oddly left the room again. His hand slapped the bed in the direction of his elevated and bandaged feet as he muttered to Steve's retreating back. "What is wrong with you?"
It didn't take long for his partner to reappear, but this time an enormous Hawaiian man showed up behind him carrying a pile of blankets. Steve's smugness was now amplified as he crossed his arms and allowed the big man to approach the bed with his odd bundle.
The man carefully shifted his load and smiled grandly with a happy, cocky shaka. "Howzit, bruddah?"
Danny stared dumbly at him before glancing once towards Steve. He squinted again before finally smiling and then pointed his finger directly into the Hawaiian's face. "Shave ice, Shamu!"
And then the blankets moved.