The end of Danny’s career in law enforcement happened because he had exceptionally good peripheral vision. It was certainly good enough that, as he drove home one sunny evening, he caught a glimpse of a familiar license plate which caused him to make a U-turn. Tucked mostly behind an over-filled dumpster was the latest in a long line of expensive Mercedes belonging to one Wo Fat.
It wasn’t that Danny stalked the man. He just felt that it was prudent to keep abreast of the man’s chosen means of transportation, including his 2 yachts, 3 cars and 1 Lear jet. Danny could rattle off their VIN and license numbers before his first cup of coffee. He didn’t mention his ongoing research project to Steve because he figured his partner had his own sources of information on his nemesis.
When asked later Danny wouldn’t be able to recall why he hadn’t called in his location as he parked his own car around the corner of the warehouse from Wo Fat’s. Perhaps it was the coolness of the Mercedes’ engine block, indicating that it had been parked there for hours. It might have been the deceptive sense of peace that emanated from the empty lot and seemingly abandoned warehouse. He was personally inclined to believe it was simply that he flat out forgot to the instant he heard shots ring out.
His weapon was unholstered and he was making his way through the unlocked door before it ever occurred to him to pull out his phone. The next flurry of gunfire had him ducking and scurrying along the shadowy edge of a stack of old shipping crates. There were cries, the sound of a body falling and swearing in a language he guessed might be Cantonese but could easily have been Mandarin or Malay for all he knew. Carefully poking his head around a corner, he had seen the perfect Hollywood set up for a Mob interrogation scene, Asian style.
There was one man tied to a fallen wooden chair, head bent over his own knees. Blood had pooled beneath and around the chair. In front of him, another man had fallen; the spreading puddle of blood explained his silence. The gun still clenched in the fallen man’s outstretched pointed past the bound man. When Danny cautiously made his way over there, he found another man just as dead as the first. A quick reconnaissance of the rest of the warehouse revealed that he was alone with three corpses.
It occurred to him as he reached for his phone that he didn’t actually know the condition of the third man; he might need an ambulance. When he reached the captive, his fingers found a weak pulse in the throat before his eyes recognized what, who he was seeing. The man’s head rolled back so that he could look sideways at Danny as he gasped out, “Detective Williams. How unexpected.”
Danny holstered his weapon and knelt down to check the man’s injuries. The blood was seeping steadily from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Wo Fat’s pained gasps were the only noise in the warehouse for a long moment. Then Danny set down his phone and pulled out a small pocket knife. He cut the ropes binding Wo Fat to the chair, then carefully removed the chair before lightly pushing on the man’s shoulder to encourage him to lie flat on his back.
“It is a strange fate that you should be my rescuer, Detective Williams. I suppose I shall owe you a favor now.”
Danny shook his head. “Nope, no favors.” He righted the chair then sat down about five feet away from the stricken man.
It took Wo Fat no more than three heaving breaths to understand the implications of Danny’s words and actions. “You can’t do this,” he hissed at Danny, who simply sat and stared at him.
Wo Fat tried again. “I need medical attention, Detective. It’s your duty to help me, no matter how you feel about me.”
Danny pursed his lips as he considered the man’s words. Eventually, he nodded. “You’re right. I’m a sworn officer of the law. I can’t just let a man die in front of me, not and be true to the oaths I took. Not even someone as much of a bastard as you.”
Wo Fat’s eyes closed in relief as Danny stood up, walked over and picked up the phone he had set down on the floor. One speed dial later, Danny waited through the cheerful greeting from the person on the other end. Then he said, “Cynthia? Have you got a pencil? Terrific, I need you to take a message for me and hand-deliver it to the Governor as soon as possible. Ready? Here it is: I resign, signed Daniel J. Williams.”
He listened to the squawking for a moment then said steadily, “That’s it. Just let him know, all right? Be sure to time-stamp it, too. Thanks, babe. Aloha.” Then Daniel J. Williams, newly-unemployed, turned off his phone, sat back down in the wooden chair and proceeded to watch Wo Fat die.
The dying man screamed and swore, cried and finally begged. But Danny remembered crime scene photos showing an exploded car; he remembered walking into Jack McGarrett’s house to see his brains sprayed across the painted wall and floor; he remembered Steve being led away in handcuffs; helping to carry Steve through the Korean countryside after his torture at the hands of this man; he saw the body of Jenna McKay.
It gave him no pleasure at all to see the man who had tormented his team mates and made his friends suffer. But Danny had a very finely tuned sense of Justice; there could be no mercy for this man. Quite simply, the world would be a better place without him in it. If the cost of that better future was his own career, he was willing to pay that price for Steve and Mary, for Chin, for Jenna and the countless others who had suffered because of Wo Fat’s machinations. The only compassionate thing Danny allowed himself to do was to make certain that he did not die alone.
When it was over, when he was left alone in a warehouse with three corpses and the stink of blood and death, Danny finally got up. He walked stiffly to the door and stepped out into the cool night. He turned his phone back on. Ignoring the thirteen missed calls and 4 voice mails from his team, Danny dialed 9-1-1.
It took months for Steve and the rest of the team to forgive Danny his abrupt departure from the Five-0. It took even longer for them to stop badgering him for a reason. The only thing he would say, again and again was, “It was necessary.”
Eventually they accepted that he would never tell them his reasons. But he knew that Steve had figured it out the night he opened his door and found himself clutched to Steve’s chest. The disjointed litany of “you shouldn’t have done that, you could have stayed, I know you wouldn’t, Danny, why, can never repay you, thank you, thank you,” felt more real than any citation or award for meritorious service he had ever received.
If his subsequent career as a private detective in Hawaii wasn’t as glamorous as that of Magnum, P.I., it paid the bills and came with far fewer threats to Danny’s life and limbs. It was certainly worth the peace in his friend’s eyes.