Time Heals All Wounds
The next day, Mia woke up with a headache from not being able to sleep and from crying all night. She felt like everything was slipping away, Steve included, and there was nothing she could do about it. Mia didn’t feel like getting out of bed but there was someone who needed her, Sophie. Mia had to pull herself together for Sophie so she pushed the covers away and got up to get ready and face the day.
Steve felt like his head was going to explode. He had promised himself he would never get drunk again but last night he hadn’t wanted to go home so he ended up in a bar. Despite his drunken state, he clearly remembered every single word Mia had said. They really needed to talk but right now the pounding in his head would make it impossible and the noises from the kitchen were making it worse.
Steve pushed himself off the couch and dragged his body to the kitchen to check who or what was making all that noise. “Do you really have to make so much noise so early in the morning?” Steve mumbled as he walked to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water.
“No one told you to go out and get drunk,” Mia replied back sarcastically knowing she was pulling at Steve’s chain but not being able to contain herself.
“You really want to do this now?” Steve asked slamming shut the door of the refrigerator. “Because I am not in the mood to hear more of your excuses.”
Mia was about to make another sarcastic remark but her daughter’s presence stopped her. “I’m not going to get into this right now, Steve. Not in front of my daughter.”
Steve turned his gaze to his daughter who was sitting on her high chair looking at him with big wide eyes. “Hey princess,” he said softly, placing a small kiss on her forehead. “What are you eating?”
Mia watched Steve interact with his daughter and couldn’t help the small smile that formed on her lips. There was no doubt Steve was a wonderful father. She had no idea how he managed a whole year on his own but she was proud of the job he had done. “You’re a great father, Steve. I don’t know how you did it on your own but thank you,” Mia said softly.
Steve stood up straight next to his daughter and looked at Mia. “You don’t have to thank me, Mia. Sophie is my daughter, too, and that makes her my responsibility,” he replied. “Besides, I had a lot of help from the team and especially from Mary.”
“Of course,” she whispered as she turned around and resumed what she was doing.
“Where is Mary? Is she still sleeping?” Steve asked as he rubbed his face trying to fully wake up.
Mia tensed and stopped what she was doing. So he hadn’t spoken to Mary either, she thought. Mia turned around slowly to see an expectant Steve looking right back at her. “Mary has been staying with a friend for a week now,” she said as calmly as she could.
Steve scrunched his forehead in confusion. “What, why?” he asked not understanding why his sister would move out, unless. “Did you kick her out? Did you get rid of her like you got rid of the security detail?”
Now it was Mia’s turn to look confused. “What? No! I didn’t kick her out. She left on her own. You can ask Savanna, she was here the day Mary left.”
“Then why did she leave?” Steve asked.
“Maybe you should ask her that,” Mia said softly before turning back to fixing the dishes.
Steve placed a hand on Mia’s arm, startling her, and turned her around. “I’m asking you, Mia, why did she leave? Did you two fight?”
“You really need to stop sneaking up on me,” Mia said. “And no we didn’t fight, well not really.”
“Okay Mia, it’s either yes you did fight or no you didn’t. Which is it going to be?” Steve asked annoyance creeping into his tone.
“I don’t know, okay? She just got mad when she found out the reason why you and I were barely speaking. She thinks I cheated on you and took it so personal,” Mia said in a rush.
“Ultimately, isn’t that what you did?” Steve asked sarcastically before turning around. “Did she at least say what friend?”
“No,” Mia whispered looking at her feet.
Steve turned around to see Mia looking at her feet. He hated to see her like this, hurting, but he was hurting too. All Steve wanted was to have her in his arms, love her, and move on but the wound was still fresh and he didn’t know how to start trusting her again. “I’m heading to the shower,” Steve said but stopped at the doorway when he remembered the reason he came into the kitchen in the first place. “By the way, what are you doing with all those dishes?” Steve took in all the dishes, pots, and pans covering the counters.
Mia hesitated before answering, “I’m putting everything back where it was. I don’t know what I was thinking when I rearranged everything in the first place,” Mia answered but was surprised by the laughter coming from Steve. It was the first full-hearted, genuine laughter she had heard in such a long time. Mia whirled around surprised she didn’t hurt her neck but Steve was gone.
Steve left the house with the excuse that he had gotten a case but in reality he needed to get out of the house. He needed to clear his head and think about everything somewhere alone but first he needed to clear up some things with someone.
Danny was in the middle of organizing his desk at home when someone started pounding on the door. He didn’t know who would be in such a hurry to be let in or who would even be visiting him. Chin and Kono were with family and Steve, well Steve wasn’t exactly talking to him unless it was work related. Danny was even surprised Steve didn’t tell him to leave the day of the funeral.
He walked to the door and opened it to find none other than Steve getting ready to knock, or better yet, pound on the door. “Steve? What are you doing here?” Danny asked clearly surprised.
“Can I come in?” Steve asked rather awkwardly.
Danny took in the fact that Steve was uncomfortable, which didn’t surprise Danny. Steve would never ask to come in. He would simply walk in after Danny would open the door. So Danny nodded and opened the door all the way to let Steve in. “Can I offer you something to drink? Water? Beer?” Danny asked a he shoved his hands in his pockets looking at Steve expectantly.
“No I’m good, thanks,” Steve said as he just stood in the middle of the living room with his hands on his hips.
“Okay,” Danny said awkwardly as he clasped his hands together. “So, how’s Mia?” As soon as the words left his mouth, Danny instantly regretted them and the piercing look Steve was giving him wasn’t helping matters either. “You know what, forget I even asked that.” Danny sighed scratching the top of his right eyebrow not knowing what to do or say. “Look Steve, I don’t know what to say and you standing there looking like you want to kill me isn’t helping either so why don’t we get this over with and-”
“Did you sleep with my wife?” Steve asked toneless interrupting Danny.
“I beg your pardon?” Danny asked confused not knowing if he had heard right.
“Did-you-sleep-with-my-wife-Daniel?” Steve asked one more time.
“What? No of course not! Why would you ask such thing,” Danny exclaimed outraged by Steve’s bizarre question. “I would never do that to you or Mia or any other friend. What kind of man do you take me for?”
“But you will kiss your friend’s wife, right?” Steve asked.
“You know what Steve, whatever I say or do won’t change anything. You can hit me, yell at me, and do whatever you want to me but at the end of the day what’s done is done. The kiss meant nothing and deep inside you know it too but you’re afraid to accept it and you know why?” Danny asked but didn’t wait for an answer. “You’re afraid to admit that you could have lost Mia a second time. That kiss made you realize that Mia might never recover her memories, memories of you two together. You’re afraid she won’t fall in love with you all over again. This is what it boils down to, your fear of losing Mia again.”
Steve was clenching his jaw so hard he was surprised he didn’t break it but he couldn’t help but recognize the truthfulness in Danny’s words. As much as he hated to admit it, Danny was right. This was no longer about a kiss he knew had meant nothing to either party involved. This was about him knowing he could have lost Mia, again. Steve clenched and unclenched his fist not knowing what to say.
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry, I’m sorry for giving Mia the wrong impression, for the kiss, for the problems it caused between you two, I’m just sorry,” Danny said waving his hands around in defeat and thinking Steve’s silence meant he didn’t believe him.
Steve released the breath he was holding and slumped his shoulders. He sat on the edge of the coffee table and hid his face between his hands rubbing the exhaustion from it. When he felt a bit of the tension leave his body, Steve clasped his hands together and rested his chin on his clasped hands. Looking out the window, he spoke softly, “Mia got her memories back.”
Danny wasn’t sure he had heard right. He walked to the ottoman on Steve’s left and sat facing the side of Steve’s head. “Did I hear right? Mia remembered everything?” asked a surprised Danny.
Steve dropped his head and let out a small chuckle. “Yeah,” he answered softly. He turned his head sideways to face Danny and asked, “You want to know the best part?”
Danny didn’t understand what could be better than Mia remembering everything but he simply nodded for Steve to go on.
“Instead of doing what any other couple would do, you know, celebrate and be happy, we’ve done nothing but argue,” Steve said returning his gaze out the window. “I guess I find it easier to be mad at her than to deal with the reality of what this could mean.”
“What do you mean?” Danny asked not knowing what Steve was talking about. If he were in Steve’s situation, he would be over the roof with excitement.
Steve stood up, placed his hands on his hips and said, “Mia remembers everything, everything.” He turned to face Danny but was greeted with two raised eyebrows. “Don’t you see it? Mia will finally know who kidnapped her from the hospital and if she knows WoFat was behind that she’ll want to get away from everything that is tied to that criminal, including me.”
Danny stood up and said, “First of all, we don’t know for a fact that WoFat was involved-”
“Oh please Danny, you and I know it was WoFat, it’s just a matter of time before the truth comes out,” Steve said bitterly, interrupting Danny.
“Okay fine, so it was WoFat but what makes you think Mia would want to run? And you? How are you tied to that man besides the fact that he ordered your father’s death,” Danny asked.
“That’s exactly why, Danny. This whole thing started out the day my father was murdered. I swore I would find the man responsible for his death and because of that everyone close to me has had to suffer the consequences,” Steve said. “Mia was held captive for over a year, a year, and it was all a result of my personal vendetta. It was all my fault.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa slow down right there buddy. You listen to me and you listen well. None of this, absolutely none of this is your fault, you hear me? Before Mia came back to Hawaii she was already tracking down WoFat so we don’t know for a fact if this was to get back at her or at you,” Danny said trying to make Steve see none of this was his fault or anyone else’s. “WoFat is a criminal who gets rid of everything and anything that gets in his way. What happened to Mia is not your fault, okay? Mia loves you and she will do whatever it takes to keep her family safe, together with you.”
“Yes Danny, the old Mia. The Mia we all knew before any of this happened would probably do all those things you said, but the new Mia? Because let’s face it, Mia will never be the same woman again. I don’t know what the new Mia is capable of doing,” Steve said.
“You’re wrong, Steve. Yes everything that happened to her will affect her up to some level but at the end of the day, the Mia we all know is still there. Talk to her Steve, but really talk to her. You won’t know what she’s thinking or feeling until you talk to her. Until you do you’ll just be tormenting yourself with things that probably aren’t even true,” Danny said softly.
Steve looked at Danny knowing he was right. But how did he approach Mia without scaring her off or picking another fight.
“Don’t overthink it too much Steve. Just do it,” Danny said as he placed a comforting hand on Steve’s shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze.
Steve nodded not knowing what else to say. “Thank you for listening, Danny,” Steve said.
“Anytime, that’s what friends are for, right?” Danny asked.
Steve smiled and nodded before walking to the door. He opened the door ready to leave but stopped and turned to face Danny. “I’m sorry for the way I reacted at the office,” Steve said referring to the time he beat up Danny after finding out he kissed his wife.
Danny waved him off and said, “Already forgotten.”
Steve smiled before walking out closing the door behind him.
“You’re a really good friend, Danny.”
Danny turned to find Gabby at the top of the stairs.
“I’m sorry,” she said as she descended the stairs. “I couldn’t help overhearing everything.”
“It’s okay,” Danny said he said softly, meeting her at the bottom of the stairs.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Gabby asked.
“I didn’t want to upset you over something insignificant,” Danny said.
“Insignificant? Danny, you almost lost a friend over a woman,” Gabby said.
“But I didn’t okay? Mia didn’t know what she was doing. She confused things but she realized on her own the mistake she was making. Nothing happened, Gabby. Let’s just forget about it,” Danny said before placing a soft kiss on her lips.
Steve drove around the city aimlessly, with no exact direction. He knew what he had to do but he wasn’t ready just yet. Steve felt like he needed more time to gather his thoughts. He knew what he wanted and that was Mia and Sophie, together with him, forming the family they always dreamed of. Before they could finally move on, Steve knew there was still many issues to be resolved. He just hoped they would be able to overcome every obstacle.
Right now, Steve had to talk to his sister. He called her and MaryAnn answered on the fifth ring. “Mary, we need to talk,” he said cutting straight to the point.
“Hello to you too brother. I’m glad you made it home safe and sound,” Mary said in a mocking tone.
Steve sighed knowing his sister wasn’t going to make it easy. “Hi Mary, can you meet me at Kamakona’s shrimp truck?”
“Are you buying me lunch brother?” Mary asked.
“Sure, whatever, just meet me there in twenty alright?” Steve said.
“Yes, sir,” Mary said before ending the call.
Steve shook his head before placing his cell phone on the cup holder and driving towards Kamakona’s.
Steve was sitting on a bench facing the ocean when two hands covered his eyes. “Hi Mary,” he said recognizing her right away.
“Seriously?” Mary complained as she walked to the other side of the table and took a seat across from Steve. “I can never get one past you.”
Steve gave Mary a lopsided grin and said, “You should know better.”
Mary rolled her eyes and then turned serious. “I’m glad you’re home,” she said softly.
“Me too,” he said back. Steve stared into Mary’s eyes reminding him of their mother’s. “Mary, why did you leave the house?”
Mary sighed before looking away. “I think it’s time I find a place of my own or maybe go back to LA,” she said looking anywhere but at Steve.
“No one is kicking you out, Mary. You’ve been the biggest help I could have ever had. I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you but that house, Mary, that house is your home too,” Steve said sternly.
“No it’s not,” Mary responded just as stern. “That house stopped being my home the day dad send us away. That house belongs to you and Mia now. It’s your home, not mine.”
“What about mom?” Steve asked.
“Mom and I will be fine. She has her own place, maybe I’ll move in with her, I don’t know. I just know I don’t want to be in the same place as Mia at the moment,” Mary said.
Steve scrunched his forehead in confusion. He didn’t think things were worse than what Mia had said.
“Did you two fight? Did she say something to upset you?” Steve asked.
Mary snorted. “It’s more what she did to you. Really Steve? How could you forgive what she did with your best friend? I mean I know this is between you two but nothing excuses what she did.”
Steve shook her head. “You’re right, Mary. This is between Mia and me and I understand you’re looking out for me. Thank you, but Mia and I will be okay.”
“So you’re staying with her?” Mary asked in disbelief.
“I love her, Mary. The kiss meant nothing and I want to make my marriage work. I’m not going to waste another second without Mia. I thought I lost her once, I’m not going to lose her again,” Steve said in a serious tone.
“I know she’s the mother of your daughter Steve but are you sure this is what you want? I have been there with you and I have seen the pain you’ve been through so tell me Steve, is she really worth it?” Mary asked as she laced both hands with Steve’s.
Steve squeezed Mary’s hands and nodded. “She’s worth it,” he said feeling more positive than ever. “I love her and I am willing to do whatever I can to reassure her of what we have.”
Mary smiled and squeezed Steve’s hands in return. “Then I guess I’ll just be happy for you and wish you the best. Just give me some time to get over the whole Mia and Danny fiasco.”
Steve smiled. “Whatever you need, Mary. I’m serious, if you need anything you let me know. If you want to move back, the door will always be open.”
“Thanks big brother,” Mary said. “Now buy me lunch.”
Steve laughed and then called Kamakona over to take their orders.
Mia had just put Sophie down for her nap and was making her way down the stairs when Steve walked through the door. She stopped halfway down surprised to see him home so early. “I thought you had a case. I figured you’d be gone the whole day,” Mia said to Steve.
“Oh hey,” he said turning to look up at her. “Umm, yeah, there was no case.”
“Oh,” Mia said softly as she continued descending the stairs. “I see. If you needed to get out you didn’t have to lie. I understand I’m probably the last person you want to see.”
“That’s not true, Mia,” Steve said to her retreating back as he followed her to the kitchen and watched her wipe the counter tops.
“It’s okay, Steve, really I understand,” she said as she turned to face him. “That’s why I’ve been thinking.”
Steve crossed his arms and leaned against the refrigerator. He raised an eyebrow and asked, “About?”
Mia took a deep breath, let it out and held Steve’s gaze as she spoke. “I think it would be best if Sophie and I move out,” Mia said in a single breath. When she saw Steve was ready to protest, Mia continued, “Just until you decide what you want to do about this whole situation, about us.”
Steve stood in front of Mia, the only barrier between them being the island. He pressed his palms on the counter top and leaned in close. “First of all, I am not letting you take my daughter anywhere. This is her home and the only place she’ll call home until she’s old enough to decide for herself,” Steve said in a low menacing tone. “Second, I know what I want and I am not going to get it with you moving who knows where. I want you, Mia. I want you, Sophie and me to be a family, the family we planned. Is that clear enough for you?”
Mia felt the tears welling in her eyes but she swallowed the lump in her throat and returned the same intense look Steve was giving her. “What about Danny? Can we move on past that without you throwing it in my face every chance you get?”
Steve’s gaze never wavered from Mia’s. “I don’t want you anywhere near Danny, at least for a while. It’s going to take time, Mia, for me to forget what happened.”
“I understand that, Steve, but what about at work?” Mia asked.
Steve looked at Mia with confusion. “Work?” he asked.
Mia nodded. “I want to go back,” Mia said.
Steve shook his head as he turned around. “No,” he said firmly.
“No?” Mia repeated in disbelief as she walked around the island to stand in front of Steve. “What do you mean no?”
“It’s not safe Mia,” Steve said. “Besides, you’ll need to do some training to get back in form for the field and Sophie needs you here.”
“Okay stop right there, Steve. You and I know that wherever I am I will never be safe and I’m not just talking about WoFat. Anything could happen to me, to you, to anyone any day, any time, or anywhere,” Mia argued. “And Sophie? I’ll never stop being her mother but we can get her a babysitter. You and I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later when I got pregnant. As for training, that’s not a problem.”
“No Mia. We haven’t even talked about your kidnapping,” Steve said and noticed right away the moment Mia tensed.
“See, that right there is another reason why you can’t go back. I don’t know if you’re emotionally ready. You need to deal with what happened before anything else.”
Mia turned to face away from Steve, hugging her arms to her body. “I’m fine, Steve. Kidnappings happen all the time.”
“Okay if you’re fine then tell me what happened. Tell me how you managed to escape the explosion. Tell me who kidnapped you and what they did to you,” Steve said as he stood behind Mia and placed both hands on her shoulders. “Tell me, Mia, was it WoFat?”
Mia froze on the spot. Why was Steve doing this now? “Why can’t you just let it go, Steve? I’m home, I have my memories back, just forget about it,” Mia said softly.
Steve turned Mia to face him and held her from her upper arms. “Are you seriously asking me to let it go?” Steve asked incredulous and feeling like he’d been slapped. “My wife was kidnapped, not once, but twice. I was told she had died in an explosion only to find her a year later with her memories blank and you’re asking me to let it go?” Steve gave her a gentle shake to try to shake some sense into her.
“What did they do to you Mia?” Steve insisted. “Did they threatened you? Is that it? I know it was WoFat. Every lead and clue we find screams his name, Mia, but we can’t hold anything against him unless you testify it was him.”
Mia let the tears fall as she saw Steve’s desperate look for answers.
“Mia, please, whatever it is we’ll get through it. I just need you to trust me and the team in doing our job. Talk to me, please,” Steve pleaded.
Mia shook her head and leaned into Steve’s arms. She felt Steve wrapped his arms around her and she lost it. “I can’t,” Mia sobbed. “Not now, please, please.”
Steve felt his own eyes stinging with unshed tears from seeing his wife hurting so much but not knowing who or what was causing her all this pain. He hugged her tight to him and placed a small tender kiss on top of her head. “What did they do to you, Mia?” Steve asked in a whisper more to himself than to Mia whom he knew wasn’t going to answer him.
Later that night, Steve laid awake in bed while Sophie slept across the hall and Mia slept next to him with her leg draped over his and her arm across his bare stomach. He had wanted this so much he couldn’t believe it was real. Steve was slowly getting his family back but there was still an important thought at the back of his mind preventing him from going to sleep: what had Mia so terrified she couldn’t tell him what happened during the whole year she was gone? Steve looked down at Mia noticing how at ease she looked in her sleep, a big difference from earlier in the day.
After Mia had calmed down from her meltdown in the kitchen, Sophie had woken up from her nap shifting Mia’s attention. Then they had taken Sophie on a picnic in their backyard. Steve noticed that as much as Mia tried to join them in the fun she was still distracted, distant even. When he had finally put Sophie down for the night and made his way to his room, Mia had already fallen asleep.
Now two hours later, Steve didn’t think he would get any sleep from all the thoughts running through his head. He gently disengaged himself from Mia and sat on the edge of the bed rubbing the tiredness from his face.
“What’s wrong?” he heard Mia asked from behind as she sat up and placed a hand on his bare shoulder.
Steve placed a hand on top of Mia’s and said, “Nothing, don’t worry just go back to sleep. I’m going to go downstairs for a glass of water.”
“Oh okay,” Mia whispered tiredly before lying back down on the bed and going to back to sleep.
Steve grabbed the shirt he had left on the chair and put it on before walking out of the room.
Steve had lost track of time after coming downstairs. His original plan was to grab something to drink and go back to bed but the nagging feeling of the back of his head made him make a detour. He went to his study and grabbed his laptop to bring up Mia’s kidnapping case. The house was very quiet the only noise heard coming from Steve’s laptop until he heard another noise. Steve looked up from the screen and listened for the noise. It sounded like crying and Steve was pretty sure it was coming from upstairs. He closed the laptop and walked to the stairs, the noise becoming more audible with each step he took up the stairs.
When he reached the landing he realized the person crying was Mia. Steve quickly walked into the darkened room which was illuminated with the moon’s light. He stood at the foot of the bed and noticed Mia was sleeping but she was indeed the one crying. Walking to her side of the bed, Steve gently sat at the edge to not startle her and tried to wake her up by calling her name softly and placing a hand on her arm. “Mia,” he whispered shaking her gently. “Mia wake up.”
Mia jolted awake gasping for air.
“Hey, hey it’s okay,” Steve whispered as he turned to sit against the headboard and bring Mia into his arms. He stroked her hair as she continued to cry against his chest. “Shh, it’s okay.”
“You left,” Mia said in a broken whisper.
“I was just downstairs,” Steve said looking at the time on his nightstand clock and noticing it was almost four in the morning. “Want to talk about what you were dreaming?”
“It was nothing,” Mia whispered.
“Mia, you were crying in your sleep and you literally jumped when I woke you up. That is definitely something,” Steve said.
Mia wiped the tears from her face and managed to put on a smile for Steve’s benefit before looking up into his worried eyes. “I promise it was nothing. Just a stupid nightmare,” she lied. Mia noticed Steve was about to argue with her but she silenced him with a gentle kiss. “It’s nothing to worry about, Steve.”
Steve wasn’t convinced but for the sake of not starting an argument he let it go, for now. He opened his mouth to say something but Mia silenced him with another kiss, this time a more probing kiss. Steve knew what Mia was doing, she’d done it before and it wasn’t going to work even if other parts of his body thought otherwise. Steve broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against hers as he tried to regain his breath. “It’s not going to work, Mia,” he whispered in a husky voice. “I know what you’re trying to do. Some things never change do they?” He gave her a knowing smirk before placing a kiss on her forehead. “I’ll let the topic go, for now, but sooner or later you’re going to have to face all your demons Mia. Now let’s get some sleep.”
Mia sighed knowing she had not been able to fool Steve. He knew her too damn well. Mia knew she had to find a way to get Steve to back off and keep her family safe at the same time.