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Posted here by permission of the author.


Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of One West Waikiki, and don't intend to infringe on their copyright with my little story. It's just for fun and I get no money for it.

Author's note: Acutally, I thought about writing a Sentinel story about the subject, but I had trouble imagining Jim Ellison in this "role", and as I didn't want to write anything referring to Cypher I couldn't use Blair either. Hence, I suddenly thought of Mack Wolfe who seems to bear an astonishing resemblance to Jim.

Anyway, this story is dedicated to all the little Macks in the world who are afraid of the Man in White. And for Manu.


Toothache
by DannyD

Everything was just perfect, and everything was just so wrong! It was one of those sunny Hawaiian days you dream about and see on postcards. The sky was bathed in a warm blue, mirroring the depths of the Pacific Ocean. There were no clouds to shatter the beauty of the early Saturday morning, and the world-famous Waikiki beach was already crowded with sun-worshippers and surfers. So, everything was simply perfect, and Mack Wolfe had actually planned on enjoying himself at the beach, watching beautiful women, wearing almost nothing but bare, magnificent skin, and maybe do some surfing. He had his day off, the weekend was waiting for him, no interruptions in sight - just perfect.

But Mack's wonderful day hadn't even started yet, and he already knew that he could forget about the weekend at the beach and all its promises. Waking up alone was a tragedy in itself, but waking up alone and in pain was something else entirely.

It all happened last night, a few hours before he had went to sleep - alone, as said before. Chewing one of his inevitable lollipops, he suddenly tasted something totally different and definitely not belonging to the candy. The pain made itself known almost right after the 'incident', and much to his horror, Mack discovered a broken filling! Hoping the pain would subside, drowning himself in the strongest whiskey he could find, Mack went to bed. Surprisingly, he was soon asleep, more due to the alcohol but he wanted to hope that it was beause his tooth had cured itself overnight.

Morning dawned and the pain returned with a vengance. Mack tried to distract himself by thinking of the day ahead, but he couldn't fool himself anymore. Going to the dentist would have been the easiest thing to do, but - he never admit it to anyone, Lt. Mack Wolfe of Honolulu PD was scared to death, only thinking about the torture such a visit would bear.

A small part of his brain was of course perfectly aware of the fact that his toothache wouldn't get better unless he went to the dentist, but maybe if he could just dull the pain, it would be okay soon. If the pain was gone, the tooth was fine, right? At least the little child in Mack dared to hope that.

Pondering about all the options he had, or better, didn't have, Mack jumped to the conclusion that he 1) or a) had to go to the dentist 2) or b) had to go to the dentist or, last but not least, 3) or c) had to go to the denist. He'd rather burn in hell, or attend one of Doc Holliday's autopsies.

The telephone rang. Mack flinched in suprise, looking instinctively at his watch. 10:34am.

"Wolfe," he said into the receiver, glad that he could distract himself a little.

"Hi, Mack, it's me", Kimo said, sounding a little unsure. It was Mack's free weekend, and he virtually smelled the usual arguement.

"What's up, Kimo?" Mack asked, closing his eyes when the throbbing in his tooth started again. When he concentrated on Kimo's voice, he could deal with the pain. Whatever the reason was Kimo was calling, it was better than staying at home and waiting for his head to explode.

"I'm sorry to disturb you on your free Saturday, Mack," Kimo already apologized. "There's a dead body at the old Ellison farm and the big boss requires your presence. I told him it's your day off, but Herzog didn't seem to listen. Did you piss him off lately?" Kimo babbled.

Work meant distraction. Distraction from the pain, so Mack replied: "No problem at all, Kimo." He sounded almost cheerful. "I'm on my way."

"You are?" What was wrong with him? Kimo wondered.

"Yep." Ouch.

***

Dr. Dawn Holliday finished the report, signing the paper and adding her initials as the ME in charge. The young woman scribbled onto a piece of paper, her mind miles away while she already mentally wrote the final report. Holli flinched, startled, when she suddenly sensed a person standing behind her. She turned around, and her mouth almost gaped, recognizing Mack Wolfe who studied the alleged crime scene in front of them. Stoic, mute, and definitely not Mack-like.

"Mack!" she exclaimed. "You startled me!" she raised her eyebrows, surprised at the silence radiating from the police officer. Usually, Wolfe was the kind of guy who could easily talk one's ear off, making macho remarks and sometimes even dirty comments, but a silent Mack was something entirely new. Maybe he had a bad night, she thought, some girl must have said no.

"Hi, Doc," the lieutenant greeted quietly. "What do we have here?" Mack asked without moving his mouth too much. He was absolutely not up to any small talk today, although Holli was his favourite 'victim'.

Holli... A thought flashed through Mack's pain-filled mind as he watched her stuffling her notes back into her bag. Maybe, maybe he could get some pain medication from her? Nah, Mack sighed inwardly, she would want to know the reason behind his request, and Mack would do anything else but tell her about it. 'You're such a coward, Wolfe,' he scolded himself. Holli would probably not be the help of the hour but maybe Nui Shaw would? All he needed to do was reward her with one of his charming smiles, and she'd melt in his hands. He hoped. So, Nui was the person to ask, Mack decided. All he had to do was head for the morgue and talk to Nui. The murder victim here would even give him a plausible reason to be there. Yes! Things were already looking up.

"Mack? MACK!?" Holli's voice seemed concerned as she tugged at his arm when she received no answer.

"What?" Mack came back from his train of thoughts and forced his aching cheeks to smile reassuringly. "I'm listening, Doc. I'm listening...."

"Yeah, probably from Venus - no pun intended," Holli grinned, remembering his enormous wear and tear of women. "Are you okay?" she added, her eyes concerned, as she watched a grimace flashing over his face.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Mack replied, returning to the police routine. "What's wrong with him?" he repeated his question, pointing at the dead body that was now covered with a white blanket.

"He's dead," the medical examiner answered and closed her bag.

"I mean besides the obvious things." The damn tooth made itself known again, knocking and pounding inside Mack's mouth. He needed to go to the morgue soon, no kidding.

"He's dead," Holli stated once more and waved two orderlies take the body into the waiting ambulance.

"What do you mean?" Mack asked, watching in astonishment as the corpse was taken away.

"What part of 'he is dead' didn't you understand?" Holli teased smiling, however getting more and more worried at the sight of Mack's strange behaviour. This looked like more than just a lonely night.

Mack shook his head, regretting his movement instantly when a sharp pain shot through his jaws. He didn't flinch though, didn't show the pain, and after a few moments, he explained: "He can't just be dead." If the guy was only dead he wouldn't be taken to the morgue for autopsy, meaning Mack wouldn't get a chance to make eyes at Nui, meaning in turn he could forget about the pain relief, meaning in turn .... that he had to go to the dentist. No, being just dead was no option today.

"Mr. Ellison was 97 years old, Mack. I think he had a right to die sooner or later," Holli explained. Mack seemed to be disappointed. "His heart just stopped and he died peacefully." She turned to leave but Mack grabbed her arm.

"No!" His sharp voice startled her.

"Mack! Let go of me," she demanded in an equally sharp voice when his fingers dug into her small arm.

"It's not possible," Mack refused to believe that, the tooth throbbing and he involuntarily increase the pressure on Holli.

He needed the meds! No dentist. No dentist.

"I mean...you are here. You always find something out of the ordinary," Mack stuttered almost hysterical.

"You're hurting me," Dr. Holliday said calmly, and Mack released her arm.

"Sorry, Doc," he didn't smile, didn't say anything, but turned around and left the place. No work for him today. Back luck.

****

What had he done to deserve such torture? Who was trying to punish him? Had he pissed off any girls lately who now took revenge, making him suffer the torment of Tantalus? Maybe it was because he'd forgotten to call Naomi back to thank her for the incredible night of passion and love? Or Sandy, the curly head sunshine, selling teas and all that esoteric stuff in a small shop at the beach?

Mack got out of his car, crossing the street and entering the building at One West Waikiki only moments later. It was almost 9pm, and his tooth sent agony through his body with each inhale of breathe. He hadn't been able to eat the whole day, just driving aimlessly through the city to find a distraction. Beautiful woman smiled and waved at him but he could only wave back. Smiling had also become too painful.

He was almost about to go to the dentist - tomorrow, of course - and now all he needed was to get hold of Nui Shaw, who certainly was still working, writing reports or filling in papers.

"Hello, you magificent flower of the night," Mack poked his head into the door of the lab where Nui was working. The room was dim, and only her desk was illuminated by a small light.

Nui looked up in surprise. "Oh, Mack. I hope you're here to kidnap me and take me to some magical place to have a nice dinner?" she smiled at the police lieutenant, waiting for a comment in kind.

"You name the place and we're out of here," Mack agreed quickly, and reached for her hand. "If you have time," he added looking at the papers on her desk but Nui already stood and switched off the light.

"That can wait! I'm starving and would do anything for a nice meal," she smiled, taking his offered hand. Mack didn't return her smile but stopped her before they could leave the room. It was almost dark now, only the light from the hallway illuminating the place.

"What?" Nui asked, when Mack somewhat blocked her way. He looked pale but that could be due to the light, Nui thought. Then she noticed the small bead of sweat on his face.

"Are you okay, Mack?" She reached up to touch his face, but he took her hands into his.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Just a real terrible headache," he sighed, partly for effect, partly because of real pain. Nui nodded understandingly, and Mack saw his chance and asked the questions of all questions: "You know, I hate to bother you with this, but do you have anything here to dull the pain a little?" Mack sensed her hesitation, adding quickly: "I don't want to destroy the evening, you see."

Nui thought for a moment. She wasn't allowed to give out any pain medications and would get into a lot of trouble if she did.

As if reading her thoughts, Mack made a dismissive gesture. "Forget it! Sorry that I asked. I don't wanna cause you any trouble, Nui." He guided her out of the lab, but the young assistant ceased his movement.

"Wait a second!" She returned to her desk, and Mack's heart jumped in his chest. He was so close to...

A voice interrupted his mute enthusiasm. "Hi, guys! What are you doing here so late?"

Mack almost jumped out of his skin, when Doc Holliday appeared at the entrance of the lab. Noooooooooo, why must everything be so difficult? He walked over to the desk where Nui was standing, also a little bit startled at the sudden presence of her boss. Mack grabbed her arm and walked towards the open door.

"Hi, Doc! Still here, huh? Nui and I just wanted to grab some dinner," he explained. He tried to shove Nui out of the lab but she stopped in her tracks.

"Hey, Holli, Mack has a terrible headache. Do you think we have something for him to make him feel better?" Nui asked innocently, feeling a little bit guilty that she had done almost exactly that without permisson.

"Since when has it been bugging you?" Holli asked concerned.

Now it became dangerous and Mack just wanted to get out of there before things got out of his hands.

"Oh, it's actually nothing, Doc," he lied and forced a pained smile. He of course couldn't fool a doctor, watching in almost slow motion as Holli reached for the lights. Brightness hurt his eyes and he quickly covered them with his hand.

"Doc! Please...." he complaint and now pulled at Nui's arm to get them out of there.

"Mack!" Holli's voice sounded urged, and he just wanted to dismiss her with one of his typical Wolfe-remarks, when her hand came up and touched the left side of his face, cupping the cheek gently. The pain bomb in his head detonated and he jerked back against the wall, holding his face with both hands.

"What...?" Nui and Holli exchanged concered glances before Holli stepped forward and laid a comforting hand on Mack's arm. The police officer had closed his eyes, the sweat running down his face.

"Mack?" Holli spoke in a low voice, supporting Mack's body as he slid down to sit on the floor. "Mack, come on, tell me what's wrong." Nui appeared at her side, kneeling in front of him as did Holli.

When she received no reply, the ME tenderly touched one of Mack's hands that still covered his aching jaws. The man whimpered in agony, when she tried to pry the hand away. Again, Nui and Holli exchanged concerned looks. Finally, the hand was gone, and in the bright light the two women noticed the swollen cheek, revealling the truth about Mack's request for pain meds.

"When did it start?" Holli asked, hoping to get at least a few answers.

"Yester'ay 'ight," Mack mumbled, and winced when Holli's hand again touched his burning face.

"Yesterday?" It dawned to her, but Holli needed to ask the question. However, not wanting to embarrass Mack in front of Nui, she turned to her assistant. "Nui, could you please get my bag? It's in my office." Nui nodded and left.

"Why didn't you go to the dentist?" Holli asked gently, taking Mack's sweaty hand into hers.

Mack wanted to die, anything to get rid of the pain, and so it seemed even less painful to tell Holli the truth. After that he could die...

"Guess what, Doc," Mack whispered. "The tough guy Mack Wolfe has a thing about dentists," he grinned and moaned immediately when the tooth protested by sending waves of lightning through his head.

Holli nodded. "Okay, Mack, I understand that... but it won't get better, you know," she said calmly, stroking his hand in a soothing rhythm.

"I know."

"Then why don't you let me call Dr. Banks to take care of you?" Holli suggested softly. Suddenly Mack grabbed her hand.

"No, no, he's a butcher, Holli!" Shivers ran through his body. "You can't let him do that to me, please." His blue eyes were panic-filled. Holli smiled reassuringly and continued stroking his hand.

"He's a good dentist, Mack!" she tried but stopped when the big Mack Wolfe suddenly pulled her into a fierce embrace.

"No, please, Holli," he begged. An idea came to mind. "Why..why don't you take a look at it?" he asked hopefully. Yes, Doc Holliday would never hurt him. She was a gentle woman and a fine human-being. Mack trusted her.

Holli laughed to ease his fears. "Mack, I'm a medical examiner, no dentist. And besides," she added with a wink. "My patients have to be dead."

Mack's hand came up, suddenly holding his service revolver. "Then shoot me!"

Startled by the frantic tone in his voice, Holli carefully removed the weapon from his shaking hand. She put it onto the floor beside her.

"You must go, Mack!" she insisted, a voice becoming sharper now. "I'll call Dr. Banks now. This is a case of emergency." She brushed over the man's short hair. "Don't worry, Mack. Everything will be okay soon. I promise!" Holli stood and slowly walked over to Nui's desk to make the call.

Mack rested his head in his hands, sighing deeply and trying to face his fate. "Doc?" he called, taking a deep breath to brace himself.

Holli looked up from the phone where she had just dialed the number. "Huh?"

Mack seemed lost as he sent hurt glances over the distance, pleading for comfort. "Are you coming with me?"

"Of course, I am," Holli nodded and listened to the sounds of the phone.

"Doc?" His voice now sounded like a little child, and Holli looked up again, sending warm vibes with her eyes and smile.

"Could you...would you... I mean..." Mack stuttered, suddenly embarrassed by his request.

At the other end of the line, someone picked up the phone, but Holli only watched the bundle of fear and pain huddling on the floor in front of her.

"Yes, I will," she simply replied and made the appointment.

~The End~


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