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the island of conclusions

Kaikua'ana (Jenna, Kono, gen)

the island of conclusions

bright star

Kaikua'ana (Jenna, Kono, gen)

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Kono
Huh. This seems to be my coda for 1.24. It’s pretty oblique, but there are spoilers.

Title: Kaikua’ana
Rating: PG
Genre: h/c
Characters: Jenna, Kono.
Word count: ~2.6K
Spoilers/warnings: takes place after 1.24
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit.

a/n: written for jesseofthenorth’s prompt at Running Hot. Originally posted there.

Summary: The only man she’d ever loved was dead. Her mother was all the way home in Cupertino. And the most badass woman she knew was smoothing her hair back from her face with gentle hands.



The second time Jenna dropped something, Kono sent her home.

The first time, a flash drive slid out of her fingers as she tried to plug it into a USB port—skittered into the shadows under the table. Jenna was on her hands and knees feeling around for it, her head pounding, when she saw a pair of slim, black-clad legs striding into the room.

“Jenna?” Kono crouched down, peered at her. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah.” Jenna waggled the flash drive in her hand, feeling foolish. “Just dropped this.”

She scrambled up, narrowly avoiding smacking her head on the edge of the table, and tried to tug her shirt and jeans straight.

“You okay?” Kono was still staring at her. “You look a little—“ She gestured vaguely at Jenna’s face.

Damn. Jenna knew she should have forced herself to put on some makeup. But she’d been so late getting started, and the idea of even the lightest layer of anything touching her sinuses, never mind her eyes, had been just too awful to contemplate. But now here she was, sniffling and watery-eyed and red-nosed, with Kono pursing her lips at her worriedly.

“Mmmm.” Jenna fumbled the flash drive into the USB port, dug a Kleenex out of her pocket and blew her nose. Ugh—too loud and too wet. It was probably the kind of thing Kono could do gracefully. She everything gracefully. “Just allergic to something. Maybe catching a cold.”

“Aw, that sucks,” said Kono. She gave Jenna a brief sympathetic smile, and then went on with whatever she had come in to do in the first place. Kono was like a knife these days, Jenna thought, blowing her nose again: streamlined, deadly, not letting anything get in her way. Danny was like a bomb on a complex hidden trigger; you could sense the layers of explosives packed behind the casings; could tell that the eventual detonation would lay huge areas to waste. Chin—well, she hadn’t seen enough of Chin lately to know, but she was sure he was like some kind of lethal weapon, too.

But Kono, out on bail and awaiting trial, was like a knife. Carving through the mountain of possible evidence that might prove Steve had been framed by Wo Fat as if it were soapstone. If there had ever been a milligram of fat on her—and Jenna didn’t think there had been—it was gone now. The bones in her shoulders stood out so sharply Jenna kind of wanted to sit her down and feed her pot roast and chicken and dumplings and apple crumble. Or the Hawaiian equivalent, whatever that was.

Or she would have wanted to, if the thought of food hadn’t been making her slightly sick at the moment. Because right now Jenna didn’t feel like a weapon in anyone’s arsenal. She felt like a wet mop, sodden with the kind of snot no amount daytime cold medicine could get rid of. Or maybe like an old feather duster, fraying at the ends.

She sneezed.

Things went on like that for a while. The two of them worked their way through a pile of surveillance reports so old they’d never been scanned into the databases, papers yellow and spongy in their hands: Kono as swift and efficient as ever; Jenna at half-speed or slower, snuffling, and now coughing, too, a bit.

Finally, carrying a load of more papers over to the work space they were using, she tripped over her own feet, and sent everything tumbling to the floor. And then there she was on her knees again, face hot, scrabbling at the papers and just about to cry with the futility of it all. And Kono was standing over her, sleek and cool, letting out just a tiny sigh before she knelt to help Jenna with her task.

“Go home, Kaye.” Kono’s voice was soft, but not particularly gentle. “You’re miserable, and you’re not getting much done. Just sleep it off, and start in fresh in the morning.”

Jenna ducked her head so that Kono wouldn’t see the tears pricking in her eyes for real now. Kono was right, of course she was right, and it wasn’t Jenna fault she’d been ninja’d by some Hawaiian virus. But she couldn’t help but feel like she was being sent home in disgrace, like she was letting down the team.

+++

When she got home, Jenna downed another round of cold pills and took her temperature. 101.1: it was going to be one of those colds, apparently. Which she should have known already from all the ridiculous crying. Sheesh.

She got into her sweats, forced herself to drink a glass of orange juice and settled down on the couch with a blanket around her shoulder and her laptop on her knees, determined to get something done. The apartment felt chill and bare around her. She hadn’t spent much time there, with everything that had been happening since she’d come to Hawaii. Even the cushions on the couch felt new and stiff—no Jenna-sized furrow to huddle into.

But work was futile. Somehow the congestion—barely dented by the meds—was affecting her all synaptic functions. She kept going over the same paragraph twice, three times, completely unable to take in the words in front of her.

Just when she was about to give up and troll for old Big Bang Theory episodes on the internet, the doorbell rang. Startled, Jenna put the laptop on the coffee table, pulled the blanket around her shoulders and went to peer through the spyhole. It was Kono.

“Hey,” Kono said when she opened the door. She had changed out of her work clothes into khaki shorts and a red tank top, and she was holding two plastic bags. “I brought you some ginger ale. And some ice cream.” She held up one of the bags conciliatorily.

“Oh.” Jenna opened the door wider and Kono moved past her towards the apartment’s galley kitchen. “Um, thanks. That was sweet. But you didn’t have to—I’m fine.”

“I know.” Kono put the ice cream in the freezer, the soda on the counter, and located a glass for Jenna like this was her ninety-ninth visit instead of her first. “I was just remembering this time, my first year on the tour, when I got this horrible stomach bug in Thailand, of all places. And there I was, all alone in my hotel room—my mom on the other side of the Pacific. And—well, it sucked. And then I felt bad about sending you home without even asking if you had everything you needed.”

“Oh.” Jenna brought the glass Kono had just handed her up to her face to hide the fact that her eyes were pricking again. “I do—but I--I really like ginger ale. Thank you.”

Kono smiled, and picked up the other bag. “Brought you some DVDs, too. Except I didn’t know what kind of cold it was. Is it a fast cars kind of cold?” She pulled out a copy of the first Fast and Furious movie.

Jenna couldn’t help smiling at that. She’d driven with Kono, and it made perfect sense that Vin Diesel’s shenanigans would be the kind of thing Kono would find comforting when she was sick. She shook her head, though. “Maybe not right now. I’m a little dizzy already—meds and stuff. Don’t know if I could take the action.”

“That’s okay. Maybe it’s a Jane Austen type of cold, then.” Kono pulled a boxed set edition of the BBC Pride and Prejudice out of her bag. It was still in its wrapper. “Yeah,” she said, noticing Jenna’s expression. “Steve got it for me last Christmas. I think he just walked into Barnes & Noble and asked them what kind of movies girls like. I’m hoping this year he looks at the ads in Guns and Ammo instead, because this girl—“ She stopped abruptly, like she’d just remembered that they had no idea where Steve would be this Christmas. Where Kono herself would be, for that matter.

“Um, yeah, okay,” Jenna said into the sudden awkward silence. She had seen the series more times than she could count—maybe even had a little bit of a thing for Colin Firth in his wet linen shirt—but she had a feeling even Darcy and Elizabeth might reduce her to a puddle of goo tonight.

“You don’t sound too sure. There is one other option—but you have to promise not to laugh, okay? I just brought it because it’s what my mom always used to watch with me when I was sick.”

Jenna nodded, and Kono pulled a third DVD out of her bag. This one had a picture of a woman with short hair and a black dress against the backdrop of green meadows and snowy mountains. The woman had her arms outstretched and her mouth open in song.

Jenna felt her whole face crumpling. She had to put her hand to her own mouth to stop a giant sob from getting out.

“Honey, what is it?” Kono sounded alarmed. “Did you have some traumatic experience with The Sound of Music I should know about? With nuns?”

Jenna shook her head and sniffed hard. “No—it’s just that my mom--too—“ She had to sniff again and press her tissue to her eyes. “Don’t mind me. I just always get really weepy when I’m running a temperature.”

“You have a fever?” Now Kono looked alarmed and a little worried.

“Yeah, nothing bad, and I took some—“

But Kono had already pressed her cool fingers to Jenna’s forehead. And somehow that was the last straw. The only man she had ever loved was dead. Her mother was all the way home in Cupertino. And the most badass woman she knew was smoothing her hair back from her face with gentle hands.

The sob escaped. And then another. Shit. They were never going to let her near another crime scene after this.

But Kono just dragged her into a full-fledged hug. “Oh, girl, it really is a Sound of Music kind of night, isn’t it?” she said, rubbing short firm lines across Jenna’s back. Kono’s arms were smooth and cool and strong, and Jenna really wished she could smell things right now, because she bet Kono smelled good. Like sandalwood, maybe, or fresh sea grass.

“Go on,” Kono said, releasing her, though Jenna could have stayed like that for a long time. “Go put it in. I’m gonna get you something to eat, and then I’m gonna watch it with you for a while—it’s been too long since I’ve spent some quality time with the von Trapps.

Jenna did, sniffling. The big TV had been an engagement present from her folks when she and Brian first moved in together, and she hardly ever used it. But it was silly to let a big box of wires remind her of stuff. She hit play on the remote.

“My mom would kill me if I let you have ice cream without something healthy first,” Kono called from the kitchen. “You want one of these organic frozen things?”

The thought of the spices and the salt made Jenna’s stomach lurch. “No thanks,” she called back.

Trying to talk that loud made her throat hurt, but there was something nice about shouting back and forth between the rooms. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d done that with someone. Only people who knew each other well did that, right? Friends.

“Grilled cheese sandwich?”

“Uh-uh.”

“Not much else in here, Kaye. Yogurt? I could put some honey in it and it would pretty much be just like ice cream.”

“Yeah—yeah, okay--thanks.”

Kono came into the living room with a bowl in one hand and a half-full bottle of white wine in the other.

“Mind if I have some of this?”

“No, no, of course not. Not sure how long it’s been open, though,” Jenna said, a little embarrassed by the state of her larder.

“Won’t matter, not with the week I’ve had.” Kono handed the bowl to Jenna and went to find a glass. Jenna realized it might have been the first time she’d ever heard Kono complain about what was going on at work—in her life.

She seemed in good spirits when she came back, though. She curled up on the other end of the sofa, feet tucked under her and wine glass cradled in her hands.

“Well, Jenna, how do you solve a problem like Maria?” she asked.

Jenna laughed, though it came out more like a snort. The cold yogurt felt good going down, but it was making her kind of chilly, and she worked her way under the blanket again.

“I was always fascinated with the nuns, when I was little,” she said.

“Forget the nuns,” Kono countered. “I couldn’t get over the snow. All that cold weather gear. It might as well have been taking place on Mars, it was that weird.”

They gave their attention to the screen. Jenna gave Kono a sidelong look when she heard her humming along to “A Few of My Favorite Things,” but Kono just broke into a wicked grin and started singing for real. They both did—though Jenna knew she sounded more like a crow.

“Time for ice cream,” Kono said decisively.

She came back with two bowls, more soda for Jenna and more wine for herself. Jenna thought Kono’s mom would probably have a few things to say about her daughter’s dinner of ice cream and booze, but she didn’t want to bring it up herself.

“We’d better not tell the guys about this, huh?” she said instead. “We’d never hear the end of it.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Kono replied. “Danny has a little girl—I bet he’s watched this often enough to memorize it.”

“Okay—you’re probably right about that. He’s probably developed some kind of secret crush on Julie Andrews.”

“Well, he does like those proper English types. And I know Chin’s seen it, because he watched it with me last time I was sick. And the time before that, too.”

“And they probably taught Steve fifty lethal uses for musical comedy in the SEALs.” Jenna warmed to the subject.

“Hey, ‘Edelweis’ at 100 decibels is a very effective interrogation tool. They crack like soft-boiled eggs.”

This time, they both managed to giggle at the memory of Steve’s more unexpected talents. But Kono sobered quickly.

“I miss him,” she said.

“Me too. We’re going to get him out. You too, you’ll see.”

Kono shook her head, like she appreciated the thought, but didn’t believe it. On impulse, Jenna stuck her socked feet out from under the blanket and up against Kono’s bare toes. She nudged at them a bit, trying to convey without words that everything was going to be okay.

It must have worked, or at least Kono didn’t seem to mind the gesture. When Jenna pulled her feet back under the blanket, starting to feel the chill again, Kono followed. They ended up with their ankles intertwined, warm, companionable. Jenna wondered if Kono found the contact, minimal as it was, as comforting as she did.

Jenna drifted through some of the von Trapp family’s adventures after that, fever and exhaustion finally hitting her. When she started awake again to the sound of “So Long, Farewell,” she saw that Kono, too, had crashed, head tucked into the corner of the sofa, wine glass tilting precariously in her hands.

Kono didn’t look like a knife right now, Jenna thought, disentangling herself and sliding the glass out of her hands. She looked like a girl who had put in too many late nights on an impossible task. A girl who had seen too many hard choices and faced down every one.

Jenna put the glass on the coffee table and carefully rearranged the blanket so it would cover them both. It was early yet. She’d let Kono catch a nap while she could.

the end

  • I loved this a lot! I got a little wibbly in parts, like Jenna's observations of the team as deadly weapons, and her feeling like a wet mop. And then this: "Steve got it for me last Christmas. I think he just walked into Barnes & Noble and asked them what kind of movies girls like." Oh, Steve.

    Feeling all of the post-finale team love right now. ♥
    • yay! if I could stir up some of the post-finale team love, my work here is done! (sorry for the wibbles)

      thanks for reading!
  • You know, you just managed to capture something about the show that I really, really love: strong women who are more than just stand-ins for the "woman-quota" or damsels in distress. Both Jenna and Kono are wonderful to read about and I love how you captured their voices.

    Admittedly what amused me the most was the following:
    "The bones in her shoulders stood out so sharply Jenna kind of wanted to sit her down and feed her pot roast and chicken and dumplings and apple crumble."
    Every time I see Kono I think "She's gorgeous but she needs to eat. She's going to break in half any second now." ;)

    Thanks for sharing!
    • yay! I love that about the show, too--and I'm so happy it came across in this fic!

      I know what you mean about Kono--her strength to body-weight ratio is just extraordinary ;)

      thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • *wibbles*

    I don't as a rule read stories that focus too much on Kono and/or Jenna, except when you're writing them, because damn you are good at it.

    I want to wrap them both up in a blanket and take care of them, but you beat me to it. :)
    • Aw--thanks so much! I had this craving to see what my favorite kind of h/c would look like between two women (instead of my usual two men)--and Kono and Jenna may be my favorite ladies at the moment :)

      thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • Oh, this is so lovely! Sometimes even a badass girl like Kono needs some girl time. And Jenna makes an adorable wet mop! ♥
    • Thanks so much! The show hinted that they might get along, and I wanted a situation where they both might let down their defenses a bit.

      Thanks for reading--I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
  • Lovely! A real story about real girls. Well done.
    • A real story about real girls
      Yay! that's exactly what I wanted to write--and I love these characters because you can imagine them being human together--not just cardboard Barbie dolls--

      Thanks for reading--I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
  • Oh, this is so lovely. It's great to see a real friendship developing between these two, even in all the stress and trauma following the finale. And it made me tear up a little bit, because I always watched The Sound of Music when I was sick as a kid.
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! The show hinted that they could be friends, I think, and I'm glad the fic made it seem plausible.

      And I'm glad it rang true! My friends who have girls watch it with their kids (I just have boys), so I hoped it might. All I remember watching is "Let's Make a Deal."

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      (am halfway through the latest chapter of werewolf!Steve and loving it to pieces)
  • (no subject) - ember_reads
    • You're very welcome--I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm really glad the imagery worked, too.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Wow, I really enjoyed this. Great moment between Kono and Jenna, and I like how it's almost h/c both ways - Kono needed some girl time too. Great story!
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm happy it came across as h/c both ways, too, because I wanted to find some way for Kono to have a break too--

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • What a lovely fic, very nice.
    • Thank you--I'm so glad you enjoyed it! *covets your Jenna icon*
      • Oh thank you! I have two...she's hard to screencap though. I think she's adorable and can be very pretty, but trying to freeze the frame on that is tough.
        • That one's great too! I can imagine it would be hard to capture her--she has such a mobile face--which is such a big part of her charm. I want like a tiny gif of her widening her eyes!
  • I love how Kono is looking after Jenna, but brings out Jenna's protective instincts. This is an awesome bit of h/c.
    • Thanks so much! I really wanted to see what my favorite kind of h/c would look like between women--and these ladies are my favorites right now :) I was hoping it would come across as going both ways!

      Thanks for reading--I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
  • I loved this so much I rec'd it before I commented. Love ur metaphors & the simplicity with which u set these two up to help each other.
    • *beams* Thanks so much--I'm really glad you enjoyed it and that the metaphors worked. I was thinking these two would come together pretty simply, so I'm glad that worked.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      • yw :) I was thinking these two would come together pretty simply, Yes. Absolutely.
  • Thought you might like to know
    your fic, Kaikua’ana, has been recced HERE
    at h50_rec_room
  • Awwww. This is very sweet! I like the idea of Jenna and Kono bonding over a crappy day and "The Sound of Music."
  • Just lovely, absolutely lovely. Perfect characterisation and setting and tone. And a wonderful tag.

    Thank you
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