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For the first time

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My hands grip the steering wheel tightly and I stare resolutely out of the window, refusing to meet Danny's eye. It is only a matter of time before he starts complaining. I can tell by the way he keeps glancing over at me. I roll my eyes. This is typical of him; bottling up his emotions and refusing to talk until it all bubbles over. It is usually messy and I'm the one who has to deal with it. The silence continues to stretch out and after a while, growing annoyed at Danny, I let out a sigh and ease up on the accelerator so I can glance over at him.

"Why don't you just come out and say it, Danny? It's obvious you're dying to say something." I say before turning my attention back to the highway stretching out before us. The car purrs loudly, a sound that simply begs for a speed, and I put my foot down, easily weaving in and out of the traffic.

Danny snorts quietly and crossed his arms. "Poor choice of words there Steve. How am I the one 'dying' to do something when you're the one who went after a serial killer without weapons or back-up?" He snaps, sounding incredibly irritated. "And when you've barely recovered from your last injury."

Great. Here we go again. "I'm fine. It barely even hurts anymore." This, for once, is actually (mostly) true. The bullet had only grazed my arm and the doctors had reassured me the scaring would be minimal. Not that that is something I'm concerned with anymore. What's another scar to add to a growing collection? But then Danny does enjoy worrying about nothing.

Without warning Danny leans over and pokes the bandage still wrapped around my right arm. A jolt of pain courses through my shoulder and I grit my teeth to stop myself from swearing. "What the hell Danny? Are you trying to make me crash this car?" I yell, not wanting to admit outright just how much that had hurt.

"Really? It barely even hurts anymore." Danny says, his voice tinged with an irritating smugness. "You're bleeding again by the way."

"It probably doesn't helped you just poked it!" I growl in reply, glancing quickly down at my arm. Sure enough there is blood soaking through the white of the bandage. I'll have to change it when I get back to the office.

A heavy silence falls over the two of us. I know I should probably say something to break it but I'm reluctant to. The pain now throbbing in my arm is making it hard to think straight and I just know I'll say something that will annoy him more. At the same time Danny doesn't seem to be in a hurry to break the silence either.

After a few more minutes I glance over at him and am surprised to find him watching me with an anxious expression on his face. I frown at him. This is out of character for Danny. Usually by now we would have descended into a full blown argument. "What is it? What's wrong?" I ask, turning my gaze reluctantly back to the road. Sometimes, despite how long I've known him, I don't know what's going on in his head. My life would be a hell of a lot simpler if I could read his mind.

Now it is Danny's turn to let out a sigh. I am aware of him continuing to look at me but deliberately keep my eyes on the road. The last thing we need is to be involved in a road traffic accident. "That last incident of yours scares me Steve. When I saw you lying there with blood oozing out your arm..." His voice shakes with barely suppressed emotion. "I know you'll tell me off for worrying but every time you go running off or take stupid risks there is always this fear you won't be coming back." His voice fades away to nothing and silence falls inside the car again.

I feel my heart skip slightly. Really? Danny was worried about my wellbeing? I swallow hard, wondering how on earth I reply to a statement like that. With a small jolt, and a degree of amusement, I realise this is the longest we've been in a car together without getting in a heated argument. A slow smile spreads across my face.

Danny, of course, assumes the worst when he sees it. "It isn't funny Steve. One of these days you're going to get hurt and I won't be there to pick up the pieces." He sounds so sad I almost stop the car so I can comfort him. I remember however that because we're in the centre of a major freeway this would be a stupid idea.

Instead I do what I always do when things get a little serious and try to make light of the situation. "Aww, Buddy, I never knew you cared."

Danny audibly grinds his teeth together and reaches out to punch the dashboard in front of him. "Of course I care I-" He stops suddenly and I glance over to find him watching me with a soft expression on his face. He swallows hard and runs a shaking hands through his hair. "I love you Steve."

In a moment of utter shock I almost ram the car in front of us, barely managing to hit the brake in time. I can't have heard him right. There's no way Danny could ever admit something like that out loud. With shaking hands I slowly put the car back into gear and pull away, taking the nearby exit so I can head back to the Palace. For once in a car ride with Danny I find myself at a loss for words. I had never imagined or dared to dream that he could ever feel the same way I did. For a very long time I've wanted to say something to him but could never sum up the courage. It feels so unreal I can hardly believe it is actually happening!

Interpreting my silence for another emotion entirely Danny leans back in his seat and stares down at his hands. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything." He says without any trace of his usual confidence.

My heart goes out to him and, taking one hand off the wheel, I reach over to lay a hand on his knee. His body shakes in response to my touch and I look briefly over at him to find him watching me with a hopeful expression on his face. I give him a smile. "Danny, I've wanted to say this for a very long time but never found the right moment." I pause long enough to take a deep breath, preparing myself for what I am about to say. "Danny Williams you are my everything and I don't know how I would live without you."

It feels incredibly freeing to finally be able to say the words and know I have nothing to fear. Sure our lives are going to change but it's definitely going to be for the better. My smile grows wider when Danny places his hand over mine and gives it a light squeeze.

"Does that mean you're going to stop rushing headlong into danger?" Danny asks, his voice tinged with laughter. I think he already knows the answer to that question. While we are both a part of Five O we'll have to accept that occasionally we'll be put in danger in order to save other people. Before I can say anything Danny carries on talking. "What am I saying? Of course you won't." He shakes his head. "So, what happens now?"

It's a good question and one I don't have the answer to right now. The thought of the unknown sends a thrill running through me. Not to mention all the first times we have to look forward to... Danny is giving me a look, probably waiting for me to answer the question. "Well the first thing I need to do is get my arm seen to, and then- I don't know. It's been a long time since I dated anyone."

Danny lets out a low chuckle and gently strokes the back of my hand with the ball of his thumb. "How about a quiet night in? I could cook us dinner while you rest your arm." He says in a tone of voice that suggests there is no point I'm arguing with him. I have always rather liked it when Danny takes control.

I let out a sigh. "Sounds perfect." I say, already looking forward to our first of many more first times that are to come. Silence falls but it is an easy one of the sort you can only get between best friends or lovers. This thought makes me smile because, like many people before us, Danny and I have crossed the thin line that exists between the two. "I can't wait."

Chapter Text

So far it has been a surprisingly peaceful evening with the two of us sitting facing each other as we eat the pasta I cooked. Though Steve and I have done this many times before there is something different on this occasion- a sense of anticipation that something is going to happen. Still, despite this, the conversation flows as naturally as always. Once we have both finished I collect up the dirty dishes and carry them through into Steve's kitchen.

It had been an unanimous decision to come back here with both of us agreeing it would be a good place to start off on this new phase in our relationship. I had also been a little worried about how pale Steve was looking and figured Steve would probably appreciate being in familiar surroundings. So far it seems to have worked and he has seemed hardly aware of the injury to his arm.

When I had finally gotten a good look at it back at the Palace I'd been surprised by just how deep it actually was and had almost lost my temper with him. So much for the bullet just grazing him! There is a large chunk of flesh carved out of his arm. At the time the sight of it had made me feel a little on the faint side. It's how I always feel when Steve gets injured and it's probably only going to get worse from now on. I suppose that is one of the problems when you care about someone so deeply...

I turn away from the sink, intending to grab the pan off the stove, and let out a sigh when I see who is standing behind me. "I though I told you to stay in the front room." I tell Steve, who has just walked through the door and picked up a dishcloth. "I don't need any help. It should only take me like five minutes." I should have known he would try and be stubborn.

Steve gives me a look in reply that plainly says I really should have known better. "This is my house, Danny. It's unfair to expect you to do all the cleaning up." He says before taking up position beside the sink.

Letting out a sigh I dump the pan into the hot water I have already poured out and start scrubbing it with a vengeance. Yes, I might be imagining it's Steve face right now. I love him dearly but sometimes he can be oh so irritating. "Fine. Knock yourself out."

After a few minutes it is all too clear he is struggling. Every time he reaches to grab something off the draining board or goes to put something away, he winced and let's out a quiet hiss of pain. I think the worst part is the fact he is trying to hide it from me. Still, despite this, he gamely soldiers on.

I watch him for a few more minutes, marvelling at his determination and his ability to push the pain aside like it isn't even there. Gradually however, as the ridiculous scene continues, my fascination turns into anger. Why the hell doesn't he ever listen to me?! I've only got his best interests in mind after all.

Rolling my eyes I take my hands out of the bowl of soapy water and spin round to snatch the dishcloth out of Steve's hands. Right. That's it! I've had enough of his stubbornness. He lets out a small sound of protest but makes no move to take the cloth back. I take this to mean he might actually listen to me for once. "This is ridiculous! You're obviously in pain and struggling to do this. Why don't you go sit down and let me finish?"

I am half expecting him to fight back and tell me off for being such a mother hen, but to my surprise he lets out a tired sounding sigh and nods in acknowledgement. Then, without saying another word, he heads off in the direction of the living room. As he walks past him he pauses long enough to press a light kiss to my cheek.

A thrill runs through me in response to the kiss and I reach up to lightly touch my cheek with my fingertips. "When you're finished, feel free to come and join me." Steve throws over his shoulder. He then disappears without bothering to wait for an answer.

I stare after him for a few seconds, thinking of all the things I would like to do when I join him... Stop it Danny. There's no point torturing yourself with something that isn't going to happen just yet. At least give Steve a chance to heal first. Shaking my head at myself and wondering when I became so impatient I quickly finish the drying up and head into the living room, leaving the kitchen cleaner then when I first walked in. It is easy to tell Steve has been single for a very long time. There will definitely have to be as changes if I'm going to live here at some point in the future.

There is a slight spring in my step and a grin on my face as I walk through the door, but they both fade away when I find Steve curled up in one corner of his large three seater sofa staring off into space. What with the way he is cradling his injured arm he looks so much like a wounded animal trying to protect itself from further harm. All thoughts of how I hoped this evening might end go out of the window. That isn't what he needs or probably even wants right now. Instead I settle down beside him and wrap an arm around his shoulders. Steve tenses and seems to be about to pull away from me. Then he relaxes and rests his head on my shoulder with a quiet sigh.

There is silence for a moment but then Steve says something that takes me completely by surprise. "Maybe I should try and take the day off tomorrow." He says, sounding as though he actually means it.

This is the first time I have ever heard Steve suggest something so sensible and I have to admit I am a little taken aback by it. "What's with the sudden change of heart? A few hours ago you couldn't wait to get back to work." I ask, genuinely curious to hear what his answer is going to be.

Steve looks at me with a smile. "Figured I'd listen to you for once. You were pretty insistent I should take it easy for a couple of days."

While this is true it isn't something I ever thought I would hear coming from his mouth. I let out a shocked laugh and shake my head. "I should have asked you out sooner if that's true. Think of all the times you've thrown yourself back into work without a single care!" I say, grateful I won't have to worry about him for at least a few more days. I'd assumed he would throw himself head first into danger again. It makes me feel special when I realise what an effect I have on him. Not many people can say they have made Steve Mcgarrett actually listen to them.

With a grin spreading across my face I lean down and lightly press my lips against Steve's. He lets out a sleepy sounding sound in response and reaches up to slip his arms around my neck back he can pull closer to him. Jolts of electricity course through my skin at the touch of his skin against mine and I slowly run a hand down his arm...

Steve lets out a quiet hiss of pain and I quickly pull away from him. Shit, for a moment I had managed to forget all about his wound. He looks worse then he did earlier because there is now a paleness to his face that wasn't there before. Being careful to not cause him any more discomfort I hug him tightly. "I'm sorry Steve." I tell him, feeling him relax against me once more.

He doesn't reply, instead letting out a yawn. He grins at me sheepishly and I reach up to run my .fingers through his hair."Feel free. I'm not going anywhere." I say quietly even as his eyes are already closing. It isn't long before his breathing deepens and settles into the rhythms of sleep. Obviously the pain killers have finally kicked in. Which is fine by me because I'm content with any small moments of peace I can share with Steve. I don't care what form they may take. I smile to myself and gaze down at the man sleeping peacefully in my arms. Even now that it's actually happening I am struggling to believe it is real... But that's something to worry about another day. Settling down into a more comfortable position I close my eyes and let myself drift off to sleep. For once it feels the world is as it should be and right now, in this moment of time, I honestly couldn't be happier.

Chapter Text

I jerk awake with a gasp, my heart racing hard enough to make me feel light-headed. It is several seconds before I have calmed down enough to realise I am safe in my own home. It's been months since I've had a nightmare this bad. Why, just as I was beginning to feel happy, did they have to come back now... A jolt of pain runs down my arm as though to remind me the injury is there. Oh yeah, that's probably the reason. Everything I get injured, no matter how big or small it might be, I suffer from really bad, tear you from your sleep, nightmares. With a groan I double over and attempt to control my breathing, forcing myself to take deep breaths even though all I want to do is gasp for air. A hand touches my shoulder and I found back, pressing myself further into the very corner of the sofa.

"Steve, what's wrong? Come on you can tell me anything." Danny says as he gently squeezes my shoulder.

Somehow, impossible though it might seem, I managed to forget Danny spent the night. The nightmare must have affected me more then I realised. I shake my head, ashamed to have shown such weakness in front of my partner. There is always the worry someone will treat you differently once they've seen you at your worst.

I take a deep breath and force myself to look up at Danny even though all I want to do is keep staring at the floor. I don't think I could cope with seeing sympathy in his eyes. That is one emotion I never want to see when he is looking at me. "It was just a nightmare. Nothing I'm not used to." I say in an attempt to make light of the situation.

Danny however doesn't look impressed and glares down at me. Well, at least there's no sympathy I suppose. "How long have they been going on?" He asks, his voice soft as he reaches up to lay a hand on my cheek. I let out a quiet sigh. "I could have helped you."

I swallow hard and close my eyes, not wanting to see the disappointment in his eyes. I need to learn that it's ok to rely on other people sometimes. "It's fine. The nightmares only come when I've been shot." Which, now I think about it, is slightly ironic because I'm not the focus of the worst of the nightmares. No, those are reserved for the people I care about the most. I open my eyes again and turn my gaze to Danny, needing to reassure myself that he really is ok even though I know there is nothing wrong. Slowly unfurling from my protective stance I wrap my arms around him in a hug and bury my face in his shoulder. I don't know what I would do if anything happened to him.

Danny reaches up and lightly strokes his fingers through my hair. I almost, but not quite, let out a quiet purr at the sensation. "Do you want to talk about it?" He asks, his voice shaking slightly. I don't blame him. This is the first time he has ever seen me showing any sort of weakness and I imagine he is struggling to know how he should react. I can only hope this does not end up scaring him off.

I hug him a little tighter. Last night's nightmare had been a particularly bad one and even now, several hours later, I am unable to shake the image of Danny bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds while I am helpless to do anything to stop his life from slowly slipping away... A shudder runs through me. I honestly do not know how I would live without him if the worst should ever happen.

I take a deep breath and tell myself to calm down because thoughts like these are ridiculous. Nothing will happen so long as I am there to protect him. Swallowing hard I finally start talking, admitting out loud something that, up to now, has been one of my biggest secrets. "It was the same as always. Me or somebody care about getting hurt and me not being able to do anything to help them." I tell him, my voice breaking as I struggle to stay in control of my emotions.

Danny begins to shake and the fingers rained in my hair tighten until it feels he is pulling several strands out by the roots. I reach up and lightly away at his hand. It takes a moment but eventually he gets the message and slowly lets out with a muttered apology. He seems distracted though and a few seconds later the reason for this becomes clear. "Why didn't you tell me? I could have helped you." He says in a repeat of what he said earlier. Its always a bad sign when he starts to sound like a broken record. It usually means shock is starting to kick in.

However, before I say anything or even try to reassure him, Danny pushes me gently away and regards me with a intent expression on his face. I swallow hard, unsure how to decipher the look shining in his eyes, and shift uncomfortably. "You know me Danny, I'll be fine. I always am."

My partner slowly shakes his head. "I still can't believe you were dealing with this all on your own," He pauses and leans down so his lips are inches away from mine, close enough for me to feel his warm breath against my skin. My heart speeds up and my throat becomes dry when I see the look of desire in Danny's eyes. I know then what he intends to do and I am more than ready to willingly submit. "Well from now on you won't have to be alone. From now on I am not leaving your side." He says, swallowing hard. Then he closes the gap between us and crushes his lips to mine.

An electric jolt runs through me in response and I reach up to wrap my arms around his neck, barely noticing when the movement pulls at the wound on my arm. I have something better to focus my mind on. This is what I would have liked to happen last night but my thoughts were too clouded with pain to be able to concentrate. Now though...Well let's just say I'm planning on enjoying every moment. Danny must feel the same way because the kiss is a hungry one that is burning with desire and the two of us grab at each other like drowning men who are desperate for air.

You would think it would be strange, to go so suddenly from being friends to...whatever it is we are now (it's too new to have a official label) but this whole thing just feels so natural- like it was always mean to happen. Then any further thoughts are driven from my head as Danny's hands slowly move down my body, leaving my nerves feeling as though they are on fire.

I let out a moan and press myself harder against him. Danny's lips curl up in a smile and he lets out a low chuckle. His hands move lower past my waist and I bite my lip to stop myself from letting out another moan. I unwrap my arms from around his neck, intending to unbutton his shirt but before I can do anything like that a jolt of pain courses down my arm. I let out a hiss and curse loudly.

Instantly Danny breaks off the kiss and leans back so he can gaze into my eyes. "Is your arm still hurting you?" He asks, reaching up to gently lay a hand on the bandage wrapped around my arm. There is genuine concern in this voice and I find myself, even though I want this to continue, telling him the truth before I have really stopped to consider my answer.

Swallowing hard I let out a shaky sigh. "It's hurting again. Might be time for me to take some pain killers again." I go to stand up only for Danny to lightly push me back down. Then he heads into the kitchen to grab a glass of water and the bottle of painkillers. He watches me intently while I take them and I find myself becoming uncomfortable beneath his gaze. "Stop it Danny! You're making me feel like an invalid." I say, setting the glass down a little harder than I intended and spilling water on the glass topped table.

Danny shakes his head but otherwise appears unfazed by my brief flare up of temper. In fact he almost appears to be amused by it. "I'm sorry but I can't help it. Whenever you're hurt of suffering I just want to take care of you and you're finally letting me do it." He says with a slight smile on his face. "It's ok sometimes admit you need help. Besides right now you are an invalid. I mean, let's face it, you can barely move that arm without it hurting."

I have to admit he does have a point but I know it's going to be a while before I adjust to having someone who will be there to catch me when I fall. The thought sends a feeling of warmth flooding through me. I think this is something I can definitely get used to. Letting out a sigh I settle back against the sofa cushions and close my eyes, allowing myself to drift off to sleep safe in the knowledge Danny is here to look after me. Just before I fall down into the warm darkness of sleep a sudden thought comes to me and I find myself smiling. This is the first time I have ever let my guard down around another person.