Kamekona: No, no, no, I love the ocean. I just got sick of pulling those hooks out of those poor little fishies.
“I’m sorry, Danny,” he hears, Steve’s voice scratchy and faded, like a record played too many times.
“Steve?” He can feel their eyes on him: curiosity, worry, concern. He can almost feel Chin physically holding back his questions as he tenses out of the corner of Danny’s eye, but all of his concentration is focused on the broken up voice on the other end of the line.
“I wanted to make things right,” Steve continues, the background noise almost drowning him out. Wind, maybe, and something else. “I wanted to-“
He breaks off and Danny can’t tell if the connection cut out or if it’s some thing worse.
“Steve just listen to me,” Danny says, turning away from the table, hunching over and pressing the phone to his ear as hard as he can. “Just tell me where you are and I can come and get you. Just tell me where you are.”
“I should’ve said it before, and I’m sorry, Danno. I guess I’m my father’s son after all.”
It’s hot in L.A., hotter than he’s used to these days, but ice slides down the length of his spine when he hears the broken sound of Steve’s laugh. “Steve, what are you-“
“I always meant to say it. I meant it every day.”
The background noise cuts out abruptly and Danny’s yelling Steve’s name before he realizes it, his heart thundering in his chest.
It’s two beats too long before Steve says, his voice sad and fond, “Aloha, Danny.”
He only realizes he’s standing when his knees cut out from under him and he lands hard on the bench. He blinks dazedly at the warmth on his shoulder before he realizes it’s Callen’s hand steadying him.
“Danny?” Chin says gently, and Danny blinks up at him. He can see the worry etched in every line of Chin’s face, because Chin’s family too. “What’s going on? What did he say?”
Danny has to work to get any sound past the tightness in his throat. His mouth opening and closing before he can spit anything out, rough and aching, as he stares down at the silent phone in his hand. “He said goodbye.”