Finally, Catherine woke up. How she will deal with her current condition and memory loss when it comes to Steve McGarrett – “someone who was very important to her“. Let’s find out!

Mahalo for reading!!!

 

“our friendship meant too much to be labelled anything else. Relationship doesn’t always work out, but friendship always does.”

“Maybe I accidentally hurt you, I mean… I didn’t mean to, but maybe I did. Maybe while I think it was you who broke my heart, I did the same to you by not fighting for you, by trying to move on”


Chapter 11:

Catherine wasn’t able to stay awake long. After some small talk with her parents and Kono, she felt really tired, so everyone left to give Catherine some time to rest. She insisted her mother stay with her, and of course, her mother was more than happy to comply.

“Catherine, you really don’t remember Steve?”, Caroline hesitated to ask her daughter, she didn’t want to cause Catherine more pain, but she needed to know what was happening.

“Mom, who is he? Why does everyone look at me like I did something terrible to him?”

“You heard the doctor. You are experiencing “motivated forgetting”. Maybe you choose to forget about him on purpose to protect yourself from being hurt”.

“Why would I do that? I don’t understand. Who is he? He hurt me so bad that I choose to forget him? He looks like a nice guy, I don’t get it.”

“All I can say is that you two have some history, he was someone very important to you. I had always thought you two would get married one day, but then you two broke up and went on separate paths. You were on some classified mission overseas and I couldn’t talk to you about it. We haven’t talked for a while.”

“Wow. That’s a lot to take in. But if we already broke up, how come he’s still here and acts like he still cares?”

“That poor kid… I’ve always considered him as… Never mind, I’m in no position to tell you anything about him. You really should talk to him, whenever you’re ready. But right now, you should rest.”

“I’m really tired, my hands are killing me, but I need to know. I need to understand”, Catherine was just being herself, stubborn and all. How could she rest when she knew something as dramatic like this was actually happening in her life?

“How stubborn you are, Catherine!”, David stepped inside the room, smiled at his precious daughter, “Listen to your mom, take a rest first!”

“I will, but right now, can you tell me what exactly happened?”

“What do you remember?”

“I was wrapping up a mission, I was so close, until my cover was exposed, I got captured and the rest is history. Here I am and… I seem to remember everyone, yet I forget someone who is supposed to be important.”

“What else do you remember? Do you feel like you are missing something?”

“I remember leaving the Navy, and then joining the CIA, but I don’t remember why. I always loved the Navy, I don’t know why I retired so early, or why I chose to join the CIA. I’d always been a Navy brat, I wanted to be like you, Dad. I’ve never wanted to be a spy. There are a lot of holes and blank spaces in my memories. Nothing adds up. I remember being stationed in Hawaii, but I have no idea why I settled down here and became close to those people, Kono, Chin, Danny, Max… They feel like family, and now they all look at me like I’ve just done something really bad. And Doris… she’s like a legend in the CIA, it’s actually very flattering to know that she came to visit me”, Catherine cracked up a smile.

“Any recollection of Steve?”

“I tried to walk down memory lane, but I got this terrible headache just thinking about him. I want to know, at the same time, my mind won’t let me.”

“That’s what the doctor meant about “thought suppression.”

“You need time, Catherine. Now please go back to sleep! Your body needs rest, we are here to make sure you get it! Try to get some some sleep. We won’t leave you!”, David leaned down to kiss Catherine’s forehead. He couldn’t remember the last time he used such a gentle voice to order Catherine to sleep. It felt like decades ago. He wished he could have spent more time with his daughter when she was little.

Tiredness finally caught up with Catherine, no matter how much she tried to to fight it. She didn’t need much convincing from her parents to finally fall back asleep. She never thought something like this would actually happen to her, she thought those ridiculous stuff only happened in movies or romance novels.


Catherine woke up after 5 hours of sleep. She caught that handsome man trying to fix the blanket to wrap around her. She was touched, but it didn’t mean that this situation didn’t creep her out a bit. At the end of the day, this guy – is his name Steve? – was still someone she just met. Like about 6 hours ago.

“Sorry, the blanket fell. Did I wake you up?”, Steve got nervous when he noticed the change in Catherine’s breathing pattern, he knew she woke up. He wanted to look at her sleeping a little bit longer. He was afraid that she would push him away, considering she was going through a tough time.

“No, it’s okay. I’m sick of sleeping anyway. Where are my parents? They said they would always be here.”

“They were, they’ve been here since you arrived at this hospital. I told them to go get some sleep. They haven’t slept much for the past few days. It took a lot of convincing though…”

“Oh, okay”, Catherine hesitated. After hearing from her parents that “Steve was someone very important to her”, she felt awkward about not being able to recognise him. She didn’t know how to react in front of him.

“Catherine, about my reaction earlier, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t…”

“It’s okay.”

“Let me try again. My name is Steve. Steve McGarrett”, Steve smiled at Catherine. He remembered the first time he introduced himself to her.

“Catherine. Catherine Rollins.”

“Yes, I know”, Steve let out a small laugh.

“Sorry. How much do you know about me? How long have we known each other?”

“I know pretty much everything about you, well, except for the past three years, I guess. A lot of things have happened. We’ve known each other for 16 years, since the Academy. We started as friends, then best friends, then we fell for each other. We were both committed”, Steve didn’t try to hide his smile, it always made him blissfully content whenever he thought about what they had since day one – regardless of what happened in the past three years, he had feelings for her since the very first moment he laid eyes on her. Correction, he has always had feelings for her whenever he lays eyes on her. “It was an exclusive relationship, even though we had never put any labels on our relationship. We agreed that our friendship meant too much to be labelled anything else. Relationship doesn’t always work out, but friendship always does.”

“But my mom said we broke up.”

“Yes. We were too afraid of losing each other, we hesitated, we freaked out, then we somehow lost each other when you chose the job over me. You stayed in Afghanistan. Do you remember Najib in Afghanistan?

“Yes, I remember him. I remember staying in Afghanistan.”

“You came back to Hawaii, to me, and you then left me, again. I tried to move on. That didn’t work out so well. We were getting back together though. The day before when you got captured, we made up. I was waiting for you to come back home so we could work together to fix things, to move forward together. That was your promise”, Steve’s face saddened.

“I keep thinking about the reason I chose to forget you. The doctor said it’s intentional motivated forgetting. Did you do something that hurt me so bad, that made me hate you so much that I’d choose to get rid of all memories about you?”

“To be honest, the whole time, I always thought of me as the victim in this whole thing. You were the one who got away, broke my heart, left me behind, and I want to know the reason you did what you did. You said you would explain everything when you come back, but you’re here now, and you don’t even remember who I am”, Steve said bitterly, silently rubbed his eyes, revealing his vulnerable side in front of this woman. “Maybe I accidentally hurt you, I mean… I didn’t mean to, but maybe I did. Maybe while I think it was you who broke my heart, I did the same to you by not fighting for you, by trying to move on”, Steve thought about the moment he introduced Lynn to Catherine and the look in her eyes. He was too angry at her to put things into perspective, to realize how lost and broken she was, until Lynn told him about it when she ended things between them. It took him a while to hold himself together before continuing, “I don’t know. I took you for granted for a really long time, I assumed you would always be there. We never talk about those things, actually, both of us were never good at talking. I planned to work on that, actually, when you come back. But right now… I don’t know anymore…”

Steve couldn’t look into Catherine’s eyes, so he looked at her injured hands instead. He was so afraid of the look in her eyes – that distant look when he realized she really had no clues who he was. To his surprise, her hands gradually moved closer to his face, gently wiping out the hot liquid running over his cheeks. He couldn’t feel the touch of her skin, her hands were covered with thick layer of white bandages, but her gesture melted his heart. Steve realized how familiar this scene was. Of all the years in his adult life, Catherine has been the one and only woman who got to see his tears, his sadness, his bitter disappointment, his moment of failure and vulnerability. The only woman he had ever truly let in. Nothing could change that, not even Catherine’s current situation, when she was suffering from memory loss and he was nothing but a stranger to her. Steve couldn’t believe how stupid he was for not fighting harder for her – for them. Maybe if he did, none of this would have happened.

“Steve, I am so sorry. I don’t know what I can do to make this better for you. I tried, but every time I search my memory to try to remember something about you, my head starts to hurt really bad. A relationship of 16 years is really something, it’s not fair for both of us. You want answers, so do I. If you are the man of my dream for 16 years, I deserve a chance to understand why I chose you, why I loved you, why I left you, or why I forget about you. We both deserve to know, but it’s a lot to take in… I can’t handle the pain inside my head”, Catherine kept her hand on Steve’s left cheek even when she already wiped out all his tears. She could tell he’s not a weak man, and she was touched when he wasn’t afraid to cry in front of her. This whole situation seemed way too familiar, yet she couldn’t clearly remember a damn thing. It was just like de-jà-vú. She was getting mad at herself.

“Take it easy, Catherine! I’m really glad we are on the same page now. We will figure this whole out together, but right now, I need you to fully recover first, okay? This is as hard on you as it is for me. Don’t be too hard on yourself!”

“Thank you for being understanding, Steve!”, Catherine gave Steve a watery smile.

“You are welcome, Cath”. Seeing the change in her facial expression, Steve hesitated, “Can I call you Cath?”

“I’m not sure. Maybe Catherine for now?”, truthfully, she just knew Steve for a couple of hours since she woke up, Catherine wasn’t sure she’s comfortable enough to hear her nickname from him. Although she had to admit, the sound of it coming from his lips was like music to her ears.

“Fair enough. Catherine, I need a favour”, even though Steve agreed with David that he wouldn’t push Catherine, he couldn’t help saying all the familiar things to her, hoping one of them could ring a bell. “I need a favour” can be a good start.

“With my current condition, I’m not sure if I can help you do anything, to be honest”, Catherine winked at Steve. She didn’t seem like she recognized the familiar phrase, which was indeed disappointing to Steve.

“No worries. Catherine, actually, I was hoping that you could let me take care of you when you stay in the hospital, along with your parents. Don’t push me away! Even when we are not in a relationship, we are still each other’s best friend. I care about you as much as your parents do. I hope you know that.”

Just because I’m not in your life anymore, doesn’t mean I don’t still care about you.”

I know, I know.”

That short conversation flashed inside Steve’s head. Back then, Catherine was trying to keep their promise from years back – even if their relationship didn’t work out, they would always stay friends. Her brave smile and her blessing to him and Lynn hurt him so much, but probably it concealed an even deeper hurt for her. That moment, he was so numb and bitter that he didn’t want to try to make sense of anything. Everything added up now. Right now, Steve just hoped Catherine could accept him as a friend, for him to be able to take care of her and help her remember who he was.

“I know that now. Feel free to come in whenever you like, Steve. But please… keep in mind that I might be no longer the same Catherine you once knew and loved. I will try my best, but I can’t pretend I know you as my best friend, or my boyfriend. I still don’t know you. I don’t want to hurt you, Steve.”

“I understand. Thank you, Catherine! This means a lot!”, Steve squeezed Catherine’s wrist, mindful of her shattered fingers. Catherine smiled sweetly, thinking to herself: That was so sweet of him – always being considerate was one of those things Catherine noticed when she was still on the plane. That was one of the reasons why she didn’t push him away even though she – at least the current Catherine – literally just knew him a couple of hours earlier, so technically, he’s just a bit more than a stranger to her.

“Catherine.”

“Don’t tell me to sleep more! I’m sick of sleeping”, looking into Steve’s eyes, Catherine felt like she could read his thoughts, so she responded even before when he opened his mouth.

“That sounds like Catherine that I know”, Steve laughed, “Being stubborn as always.”

“But really, my eyes hurt from sleeping too much”, Catherine sighed, “Can we talk? I really don’t want to sleep anymore, I promise I will rest in bed, just not sleep, please”.

“Okay. How are you feeling? You lost quite a lot of blood. You got shot in your shoulder and arm, can you move?”

“I tried earlier, but I guess I was too weak. My whole body is sore. I still feel dizzy most of the time, and I constantly have a headache, especially when I try to think about the things I seem to want to forget.”

“I can’t believe I am actually saying this, but I guess your memory will return to you when you are ready. You have a more important mission right now: getting back on your feet as soon as possible.”

“What about the CIA? I am still with the CIA. Maybe I should contact them to let them know about the failed mission?”

“You didn’t fail, the evidence you had gathered was enough for the CIA, and Simon and Doris got the last piece of evidence when they rescued you. That was supposed to be your last mission, and Doris took care of everything. You no longer have to report to the CIA.”

“Wow, Doris took care of everything for me? She’s like a legend in the CIA, you know that?”, Catherine was a bit excited talking about Doris. She remembered hearing a lot about this legendary agent when she first joined the agency. She remembered idolizing Doris. For some reason, she remembered being close to Doris, but again, Catherine had no idea why that would be the case.

“Doris McGarrett. I actually only knew her as a mom. My mom. A mom who faked her own death and left her own family for the CIA. I only knew her for 15 years – the 15 years of her life that she was so good at being a mom, not a CIA operative. I probably know less about her than anyone in the CIA”, Steve’s face saddened, his eyes became cold and distant at the mention of his mom. And then, Steve realized that he did that again. Sharing about his personal life with Catherine, even when she wasn’t the same Catherine that he knew. She was no longer – or not yet – his best friend. There was no doubt that no matter she remembered him or not, there was still something about her that made him let her in completely. It has never been easy for him to open up to talk about Doris with anyone, Catherine was always the one and only exception. He stopped sharing 3 years ago when she left, there were a lot of things he didn’t even talk to his team. Or his sister.

“I’m sorry to hear that. I know I’m in no position to judge or to give you advice, but you know what I think?”

“What?”

“I don’t know what happened in the past, but I know one thing for sure: she’s also the mom who came back to be there for you in your hour of need. Or at least this time. I’m sorry I put you through this, but I’m glad Doris is here for you right now. She’s still your mom, she will always be your mom.”

Steve looked at Catherine, he didn’t know what else to say. He leaned in closer and embraced Catherine in a tight hug, tucked his chin to her shoulder, and closed his eyes. Catherine didn’t push him away, she silently listened to the thud of his heartbeat, secretly wondering if he felt her racing heartbeat. His unique scent travelled to her nose, giving her a sense of peace. She didn’t know where that came from, but she enjoyed his tight, warm hug – very assuring and comforting.

Neither of them knew how long the hug was, both of them were too lost in their own train of thought.


(to be continued)

P.S: All pictures were found from Tumblr.

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