It surprised a lot of people when they realize that the Five-0 team isn’t actually joined at the hips. In fact, very few people do realize as much. They’re seen together a lot, and enough cases have been opened by the team coming across suspicious circs during their downtime, that most of HPD believed that they spend all of their time together. Rumors run rampant as to who is sleeping with whom, though Danny had to admit that those rumors have died down a bit since Kono challenged a couple of the worst offenders to one of her uniquely athletic training sesssions. Danny had little doubt that there was still talk, but they at least had the decency to keep it out of the team’s faces these days.
So yeah, they spend time together away from work, but not nearly as much as people generally believed. Danny knew for a fact that Kono spent practically every second of her spare time on a surfboard. She was really something to watch, but Danny didn’t like the beach, didn’t like the ocean, and didn’t like the reminder that he was surrounded by gorgeous people and still hadn’t had more than a first date since he got to the island.
Steve spent most of his downtime alone. Danny knew that he got together with Chin from time to time for obscure Hawaiian bonding rituals. He’d been invited, but spear fishing, or whatever the hell they were doing this week was seriously not his thing. And periodically there was a date with Catherine, more frequent when Steve had been asking her to use expensive military equipment to do him a personal favor. Most of the time though, Danny could find Steve at his kitchen table staring intently at his laptop. It was always snapped shut as soon as Danny was through the door.
If Chin’s cryptic comments at work were anything to go by, he managed a fairly active social life in spite of the way his family had stepped away from him. He dated with a frequency that Danny envied. He was always available if Kono wanted someone to join her at the beach, or Steve was in need of some manly outdoor activity. He was always around if Danny needed to spend a few hours in a quiet bar somewhere and forget about life for awhile. Danny sometimes wondered if Chin’s social life wasn’t actually as exciting and fun as it looked from the outside.
As for Danny himself, his social life was non-existent. His world outside of the team pretty much boiled down to Grace. Didn’t mean he spent all of his free time with them. Most of his weekends with Grace were spent exploring her favorite new places on the island, and setting aside his dislike of sand and saltwater. They were spent searching for the ever elusive decent slice of pizza or a hamburger joint that didn’t try to give him something with eggs and gravy. When Grace wasn’t around, he kept himself busy. There was the near endless array of exercises his physical therapist had ordered him to do for his knee, and he’d stepped up his general fitness routine since joining Five-0 as well. His team was in truly insane shape, and while he didn’t really have a whole lot of faith that he was ever going to match them, he could at least try not to slow anyone down.
Today is actually a pretty rare day for them, all things considered. It’s in the middle of a three day weekend. There were no actual guarantees, but the governor had promised she’d do her very best to give them some time given that their last case had involved more than 72 hours without sleep before they had to deal with the paperwork. Danny had spent the first day asleep. He suspected that Kono had as well, but Chin and Steve had probably both kept to their normal, insane, schedules. This, their second day off, was a very special day for Danny, because it was a day with Grace. More importantly, it was the day he would celebrate Grace’s birthday with her. Rachel and Stan were planning a big princess-themed party that her school friends would be invited to. When he’d asked if she wanted anyone at their birthday dinner, she’d asked for the team.
Steve had pushed for something extravagant, but Danny had insisted that Grace was going to be ten and didn’t need fancy dinners. Chin had just shrugged, and suggested the beach. Kono had seconded the suggestion with a smile, and offered to plan it, a whole day of fun. Danny hated the beach, but Grace loved it. He’d agreed, reluctantly, and judging from the bright smile on Steve’s face, and the smirk on Chin’s he’d been played from the start.
He was awakened at the crack of dawn by an altogether too perky Kono and dragged out to the beach near Steve’s house. Steve was, of course, already up. He had at least taken some kind of pity on Danny. A mug of coffee was pressed into his hand, and Steve waved a hand at a paper bag on the table. Danny could tell by the faint grease stains that it was full of Malasadas. “Don’t get used to it, but I figured you hadn’t eaten.” Steve shook his head when Danny held out the bag in offering as Danny had known he would, but Kono delicately lifted one from the bag and ate it.
Two hours later Steve’s backyard had been decorated far more than Danny had anticipated, and it was time to pick up Grace. “You’re going to be late.” Kono said with an even tone, expression carefully neutral.
“I am not going to be late. I’ll just drive like Steve on the way. Now swear to me that you are not going to promise my daughter surfing lessons for her birthday.” Danny dismissed her concern with a wave of his hand. He’d cut this closer. There were more important things to be concerned about at the moment. This was a promise he’d been trying to extract all day long.
Kono rolled her eyes, and Steve stepped in close behind her. “Come on, Danny, you know it’s going to happen sooner or later. She’s a strong swimmer, I checked with Rachel and then with her instructor. You aren’t going to keep her out of the water for ever. At least this way you know that she’ll be taken care of. Who would you rather have teaching her about a board, Kono, or whoever Rachel can pay an outrageous fee?”
“Fine, but there will be ground rules, and I don’t have time to set them now.” Danny’s hands fly up in exasperation. He should know better than to fight when they gang up on him like this. It doesn’t help that he knows that Steve is right. Grace is a good swimmer. The letter she’d proudly brought home from one of her lessons at Stan and Rachel’s club had said she was good enough to train competetively, and while Danny knew enough to realize that maybe ten or fifteen percent of the kids who took letters like that home were actually good enough to compete, he also knew that the hopeless kids weren’t getting an invitation to train. Besides that, he’d seen her swim, had watched as Steve and Chin taught her how the ocean was different from a swimming pool, and how to compensate for the rolling waves that even calm days brought. Kono would take care of her, and if he was perfectly honest, he couldn’t be upset about making Kono a role model for Grace. He’d never met a stronger, more independent woman.
He wasn’t late, but he probably had broken a few traffic laws to make sure of it. Grace was waiting for him, already at the gate. That wasn’t unusual, but Rachel standing next to her was. “Have fun, sweetheart. Let me talk to your father for a moment.” Rachel hugged Grace and released her quickly. Grace smiled and waved before throwing her arms around Danny and hugging for all she was worth. Danny kissed her forehead.
“We’ll go in just a second.”
“Alright.” Grace was nearly always easy to get along with. Danny could only hope that lasted into her teenage years which were fast approaching.
Danny waited for Grace to climb into the car and shut the door. “What did you need Rachel?” He knew he sounded wary, but he couldn’t help it. They’d been friendlier with each other lately, but it wasn’t that long ago that Rachel had tried to take his already limited time with his daughter away.
“Mostly, I wondered if they’d managed to talk you into the lessons. I promised Grace she could learn some basic surfing skills this summer, and if you haven’t then I’ll need to arrange for an instructor.” Danny once again had the feeling he’d been outmaneuvered. Ever since they’d run surveillance out of Rachel’s house, she’d been altogether too friendly with Steve. The two of them were not supposed to join forces. It was against the natural order or something.
“Yes, okay, fine. I told Steve and Kono that there would be ground rules, but Kono could give Grace lessons as a birthday present. Why God, is this my life? My boss and my ex-wife are conspiring against me.” Rachel rollsedher eyes at Danny’s dramatic display.
“We are not conspiring against you. Grace wants to learn, and you are being unreasonable. There’s a difference.” Rachel smirked a little at the way he shakes his head in response. “Have fun, and remember that I’ll be out until six tomorrow night, so you don’t need to have Grace back to the house until seven.”
Danny went back to his car. “I still call it a conspiracy. Seven o’clock, got it.”
Chin was there by the time Danny and Grace got back to Steve’s. Danny wondered where he’d been all morning, but it wasn’t like they’d needed the extra help. Wherever he’d been, it had involved the food. He was setting out more food than the five of them were possibly going to be able to eat including a cake that looked shockingly like the beach they would spend most of the day on. This wasn’t some generic beach, it was the little stretch of sand just yards away from Steve’s door, and in the ocean two surfboards with small figures on them were carefully placed. The yellow board was larger, and the figure had nut brown skin and black hair. The lavender board was significantly smaller and the tiny figure was pale with lighter hair. “Pretty sure of yourselves. I guess you were in on this too?” Danny gestured at the cake and then at Chin.
“I absolutely don’t know what you mean, brah. I just picked up the cake.” Chin wasn’t even trying to lie well, and it should annoy Danny, but it doesn’t. He just smiled and shook his head.
They ate and ate and ate some more, before Grace is so wound up with excitement that she cannot stand to wait one minute longer to open her gifts. Danny had bought her a silve bracelet, with a small dangling disk that had her name written across it, and Love, Danno engraved on the back. Steve presented her with a child-sized surfboard in the exact shade of lavender as the small one on the cake, and Chin gave her a wetsuit. He must have gotten her size from Rachel, or at least had Steve do it, because it was perfect. When Kono had said she’d be teaching Grace for her part of the gift, Grace let out a screech that nearly caused Danny’s eardrums to burst.
“Rules. There are rules.” Grace pouted, and he wavered a little. “Keep up your schoolwork, no bikinis, and we’ll work out the rest later.” His little girl’s brilliant smile was worth all of the worry this was going to cause him.
Steve insisted that they wait a little longer before they get in the water, but before that can send Grace into another spectacular pout, Chin took her off to build a sandcastle. Soon Steve is helping, and things start to get kind of outrageous then. By the time it’s done, their sandcastle is an architectural wonder that would make most structural engineers green with envy. Kono slipped a camera into Danny’s hand. “Your turn. I’m going to change so we can get in a little bit of board time before it gets dark.”
Danny snapped shot after shot, of Grace laughing and climbing Chin and Steve as if they were jungle gyms. When Kono comes out dressed in her own wetsuit and carrying both of their boards she shrieks again, and races to Danny. “Can I? Please?”
Danny hugged her. “Yes, but you will listen to every word that Kono says, and do whatever she tells you.”
“Okay. Can I get changed now.”
“Go on.” Danny watched as she goes inside.
In record time she’s back out, and Kono is leading her into the water. Steve is there too, and that makes Danny feel a little better, that the two strongest swimmers he knows are on either side of his little girl as she climbs onto a surfboard for the first time. He watched, taking pictures when he remembered, but not taking his eyes off of her for a second. Chin slipped down onto the sand next to the chair he’s sitting in. “She’s doing really well.”
Danny shrugged. He wouldn’t know. “Sure. Listen, thanks. I’ll have to thank Steve and Kono too, but for whatever your part was in this, thanks.”
Chin smiles, “No problem, brah, we’re ohana. It’s what we do, yeah.”
“Yeah, I guess it is.” Ohana, it’s not the first time he’s heard the word, not even as applied to the team. It might be the first time he really gets the implications though. Meka had used it for them once, and when he’d looked it up and found it meant family, he’d thought Meka meant the brotherhood, like his partners in New Jersey. He’s pretty sure, even now, that it wasn’t ever more than that. This though, this was more. This was family. This was what he’d been missing since he’d packed up his meager belongings and moved to an Island in the Pacific Ocean to be near to his daughter, no matter how far it took him from everything else he knew and everyone else he cared about. They might not be blood, but they were more than friends, more than partners, more than a team. They were ohana, and finally, Danny understood that he wasn’t alone. He wouldn’t ever be alone on this island again. Despite the rumors, they weren’t joined at the hip, but the Five-0 team was close enough to justify pretty much everything that was said about them. If Danny ever figured out who started the rumor that he and Steve were getting married, he was still going to kick their ass, or at least send Kono to scare the crap out of them.