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The first time it happened, Danny had chalked it up to fucking crazy Hawaiians. The second time, he wasn’t sure if Chin was screwing with him…or Steve. After the third, he started the think there was something going on.

It went something like this.

No one could deny that Steve McGarrett was a psychotic motherfucker with a death wish. That he had a distinct lack of interest in procedure or due process or sometimes even the law. What Danny never expected was to see the hardass ex-Navy SEAL playing with a ball of yarn.

The day had started out calmly enough. Since they had no case, they were stuck in the office doing the part of police work that never made it onto TV or into movies: paperwork. In a spirit of solidarity (and in an effort to keep anyone from sneaking out), the task force had scattered themselves around the main room of their headquarters. The day had been quiet, punctuated by questions about cases and how they were explaining any blatant disregard for rules.

The last half hour or so had been silent except for the tapping of fingers on keyboards so a low whistle caught Danny’s attention easily. He looked up to see Chin and Kono apparently having a conversation with small gestures and eye motions. Danny didn’t think they were arguing; it appeared they were plotting. He was afraid to consider what though.

A drawer slid open on Kono’s desk and something passed from her hand into Chin’s. Danny saved his file, now much more intrigued with what they were doing than in any work. Steve was still bent over his own work; Danny wasn’t sure if he didn’t hear them or was just choosing to ignore them.

Chin noticed Danny watching the two of them and motioned for him to roll closer to them. “Want to see something really funny?” he whispered when Danny’s head was bent over next to his.

Danny looked down at Chin’s hands, surprised to see a blue ball, about the size of a hand ball. When the older officer turned it over, Danny was able to see the ball was actually constructed from yarn. “What are you going to do with that?” he asked.

“Watch,” Chin replied before raising his voice, “Hey. Steve.”

At the sound of his name, Steve’s head came up just as Chin lobbed the ball across the room towards him. Automatically his hand darted out to snag the ball out of mid-air. A flick of his wrist sent the ball spinning back into the air, unraveling it slightly, before it fell back into his hand. He was just about to toss it up again when it appeared to register what he was doing. He glared across the room at Chin before chucking it at his head. “Not a kitten, brah,” he grumbled.

Chin quickly re-rolled it. “Come on, Steve,” he coaxed. “Live a little. Have fun.” He tossed it back at the other man, obviously understanding the comment and expecting Steve to catch it.

Still glaring, Steve did catch it before throwing it to Kono this time. Her response was a grin before she tossed it to Danny. “Um,” he asked. “Why are we…?”

“Just throw it,” Chin replied. “If nothing else it’s a more fun than doing paperwork.”

Danny gave him a look like he was insane, but threw the ball back to Kono. He’d been cooped up in the office more and more as it got closer to the time for his surgery so they were sure it would be easy to get him involved in the game of catch. When she tossed it to Chin this time, the older man ran his hands across it, hoping to put the idea in Danny’s head. Tossing it back to Danny, Chin watched as the mainlander automatically copied the motion, then tossed it at Steve’s head, grinning as the man’s hand shot up, snagging it right before it smacked him between the eyes.

Steve drew it past his face, nostrils’ flaring as he caught the scent of something. His fingers clenched for a moment on the yarn, then he threw it almost viciously at Chin. “Enough,” he growled. “We’ve got paperwork to finish.”

Chin got up, dropping the ball of yarn on Steve’s desk as he passed him. “You need to relax, kika,” he informed him, drawing a growl from the other man.

Kono laughed when Steve looked around for something other than the yarn to throw at the officer. He settled for glaring when he couldn’t find something that wouldn’t cause semi-permanent harm. Instead he turned his attention back to his work, apparently hoping that ignoring them would stop the harassment. Danny watched him for a few minutes longer, trying to see if he could figure out what Chin had called him, but Steve was studiously ignoring the rest of the team.

When Steve stood up about thirty minutes later and stalked into his office, taking the ball of yarn with him, Danny shook his head and muttered, “Crazy fucking Hawaiians.” Obviously whatever had prompted the game and Steve’s mood change, no one was going to explain it to him.