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|Title: Home and Dry
Author: Eleanor K.
Fandom: Hawaiian Dick
Pairing: Byrd/Mo Kalama
Posted: 5 May 2003
Spoilers: mild for issue #3
Disclaimer: Hawaiian Dick belongs to B. Clay Moore, Steven Griffin,
and Image Comics, and everyone should go read it immediately so they'll
make money and do more.
Notes: Hawaiian Dick takes place on Oahu in 1953. Byrd is a private
detective, and Mo is a cop. They were buddies in the war (World War
II, Pacific Campaign). The website's here if you're interested, and
they've got some nifty pictures:
"You ought to come in," I told Mo when we pulled up in front of my
house. "Get dried off."
He wasn't the one who had taken an unplanned dip in the ocean, but
his clothes were as sodden as mine. Still, he could've said no. He
could've dried off just as well at home, and it wasn't that much farther
"Sure," he said. "Thanks."
The rain was warm, but I had goose bumps all up and down my arms and
pricking at my legs. The Pacific can be one mighty cold mother of
an ocean when she wants to, and that was no night for swimming.
Mo opened the door for me. He put a hand on my back to guide me through,
and it was so large it covered my whole shoulder blade. Warm, too.
I could feel that warmth through my clothes, and I wanted to stay
there and lean back into it.
"Keep on walking, ali'i. You're letting the rain in."
He gave me a push. It wasn't much, but I was cold and wet and dead-dog
tired. I would've fallen if he hadn't caught me. He took my shoulders
and held me at arm's length, frowning.
"You sure you shouldn't have stayed at the hospital?"
"I don't like hospitals, Mo. You know that."
"Yeah. I also know you're a stubborn son of a bitch who doesn't have
the common sense god gave a doorknob."
"Yeah. Don't know how I made it through all those years without you
around to look after me."
He shook his head sadly. "Blind luck, man. Sheer blind luck." He punched
my shoulder, so lightly I barely felt it. "Go get dried off. I'll
After I dug out some dry clothes for Mo--biggest I had, and they'd
still be tight on him--I got in the shower.
It's funny what makes you feel clean. I remember the coastal swamps
we always seemed to end up fighting in during the war. I remember
having so much blood on me that mud and sand felt clean by comparison.
I soaped myself up and thought about scrubbing my hands with sand,
scouring them because I couldn't stand the sticky-tacky feel of semi-congealed
blood any more. Thought about Mo doing the same, kneeling beside me
in waterlogged sand that sucked at our knees under a hot steel sky.
We all stank so bad by then that our noses went on strike. We couldn't
smell our own stench, and after a while it got so I couldn't smell
Mo's either. We marched side by side when our unit was on the move.
We stood watch together. We ate together. We slept together.
I woke up one morning to find him gone. I followed his tracks in the
sand and found him standing in the surf.
"I miss home, Byrd," he said. "Let's ditch this place. If they come
looking for us, we can hide out in the mountains on the Big Island.
They won't have any better luck finding us there than we're having
trying to find the Nips here."
"Sounds good to me. We'll hop the next plane. The Army can suck my
dick if they don't like it." I shielded my eyes with a hand and scanned
the horizon. Empty ocean in front of us, miles of trackless jungle
behind us. "So when's that plane due? I want one of those fruity tourist
drinks they give you in first class."
"With little umbrellas."
I kicked at the waves. They should have come to extract us five days
"Yeah. Little umbrellas."
We were there for two more weeks. When we ran out of toothpaste, Mo
found some vine he recognized from home that bled oozy green when
he cut a chunk off, and used it to scrub his teeth. I had my doubts,
but he made me do the same before he'd kiss me.
I looked down at the blue-green tile of my shower floor and thought
about the way his mouth tasted, bitter and fresh and cold.
Hot water poured over my head, and my shivers eased. I wondered what
his staying here tonight meant, but I was too tired to really care.
I wanted him here. If I could get him into my bed, even better. I
wasn't looking to jumpstart what we had ten years ago. Just having
him beside me tonight would be enough.
"Took you long enough." Mo handed me coffee. "Though you'd melted
and slid down the drain. Didn't you get enough water tonight?"
"I was cold," I mumbled around the rim of my coffee cup. The steam
bit at my eyes, and I closed them.
The next thing I felt was large, warm hands at my waist, pulling me
back against him. He draped an arm over my shoulder, across my chest.
His chin rested on the top of my head, and the rumble of his voice
vibrated through my body.
"Hell, Byrd, I would've warmed you up. Haven't you figured that out