Steve has no idea where the thought comes from or why the words leave his mouth before he can stop them.
Danny's ranting about something; fruit on pizza, Rachel, not having Grace this weekend, the beach, Steve's driving, who knows. Steve's learnt to listen to the tone of voice to know when he needs to be participating in the conversation and when he can just let the words slide over him. He's not really thinking about anything in particular, just watching the road roll under the wheels when he realises that he really doesn't want to have to go home to his quiet, empty house and cook a meal for one.
He still doesn't quite understand how he got from that to "Come out to dinner with me tonight."
It's not the first time that he's left Danny speechless, though it's rare enough, but it's the first time he's been unable to look his partner in the face afterwards. The silence seems to last for minutes, though Steve knows it's really only a few seconds.
"OK. But you're paying and you'd better be taking me somewhere decent." Danny's tone is superficially light, but Steve can hear past the banter and there's something heavy and intense underneath. He wonders what the hell he's doing.
Danny starts talking again, as if Steve asking him out to dinner is perfectly normal, but he's unusually subdued and the tension sits between them like a physical presence. By the time that they get to Danny's place, Steve's twitchy and almost ready to take the invitation back, if only he could find a graceful way to do it.
He doesn't get a chance, because as soon as he stops the car, Danny's climbing out. Steve's pretty sure that he's broken something he doesn't know how to fix, but then Danny leans in through the car window. Steve glances up, surprised and catches a thoughtful, considering expression on his partner's face.
"So, what time?" Danny asks, voice neutral in a way Steve didn't know he was capable of.
"Seven-thirty." Steve says, before he can change his mind. There's a flutter of anticipation in his stomach that's a little unexpected and wholly inappropriate.
"Fine. Don't be late, and don't crash my car on the way." Danny turns away and Steve watches him until he disappears inside his apartment. He doesn't look back once.
Steve drives home, obeying all the speed limits because he's distracted and he really, really doesn't want to start the evening off with a speeding ticket.
Even with the slower than normal drive, he's still got plenty of time before he has to collect Danny, so he takes his time getting ready; long hot shower, even shaving and pulling his good suit out. He calls his favourite restaurant and books a table. As soon as he hangs up, the nervous thrill is back and he gets that exciting and terrifying sense of standing right on the edge of a cliff.
He wonders what Danny's thinking right now. Danny's perceptive and smart, and Steve's pretty sure that he's no more oblivious to the currents between them than Steve is. He just doesn't know how Danny feels about it. For a man who appears to wear his heart so proudly on his sleeve, Danny can be hard to read sometimes and Steve's too invested to be objective about the odds that they want the same thing.
The thing is, he could still turn this around. All he has to do is put the suit back, dig out his jeans and a t-shirt and cancel the reservation at the restaurant. He could take Danny to any one of a number of good, casual restaurants off the tourist track and they could eat seared tuna, drink some beer and probably catch a game. At this stage, the end result would probably be the same. He doesn't want to though. He wants to take Danny somewhere classy, wants to watch him drink good wine and wants him to know that Steve thinks he's worth it.
He gets to Danny's place a good ten minutes early and he'd feel incredibly stupid if it wasn't for the fact that his partner is already outside, leaning against the wall of his apartment. He's wearing dark pants, blue shirt and the tie that Steve bought him, ostensibly as a joke, for Christmas. Steve never mentioned where they were going, but either Danny's lucky, or he can read Steve even more easily than normal. Steve can't shake the idea that the course he's accidentally set them on tonight was inevitable, sooner or later.
Danny's always been more than Steve expected. He's challenged and badgered and supported Steve from the start and Steve's never met anyone who can tell you you're an idiot one minute and have your back in fight without hesitation in the next.
Steve watches Danny walk over, hands in his pockets. He's trying to look casual but he can't quite pull it off. It makes Steve a little less uncertain, but it ramps up the butterflies in his guts.
Dinner is actually pretty relaxed, once they're settled at the table. Danny agrees to wine without putting up much of an argument, although he insists on choosing it. His choice is a good one; though where Steve would have expected him to pick a white wine. He doesn't say anything, but Danny still smirks, like he knows what Steve's thinking. Steve mocks him, and Danny tells him that even Jersey cops can have good taste. Steve doesn't ask whether that good taste comes from Rachel or not.
The wine is good. The food is excellent, and Danny's as relaxed as Steve's seen him, one arm hooked over the back of his chair, wine glass in his other hand, loose limbed and lazy. When he wants to be, when he's not busy shouting at Steve, Danny can be bitingly funny and effortlessly witty.
Steve sticks to one glass of wine, so when they leave the restaurant a couple of hours later, the warm buzz that Steve feels is entirely due to the company.
It's only when he's pulling up outside his house that he realises that he assumed that Danny would be coming back here with him. But then, Danny hasn't said anything, hasn't asked why the hell they're here, so Steve takes that as tacit agreement.
Anticipation makes his skin prickle and he's far, far too aware of every movement that Danny makes in the passenger seat. This time he's the one out of the car first and he manages to get the door to the house unlocked without problems, despite the sweat that makes his fingers slippery and clumsy.
He means to offer Danny a drink when they get inside, but Danny brushes past Steve on the way through the door and all of a sudden, Steve's impatient and he wants. He slams the door behind him with one hand while the other reaches out and wraps around Danny's bicep.
Danny lets himself be pulled in, offering no resistance at all and it so very unlike him that it seems so ridiculously hot that Steve shivers at the thought of it.
The first kiss is awkward, Steve bumps Danny's nose and he can't seem to find the angle and he's sure he wasn't this clumsy the very first time, but Danny makes him so stupid sometimes that it's hardly surprising. Danny leans back a little, makes a noise that manages to indicate amusement and an unflattering comment on Steve's technique before he presses a hand either side of Steve's face and pulls him down, getting aligned properly this time.
He's tried not to give too much thought to how Danny might kiss; no point dwelling on things you can't have, after all, but the few times he has, he'd imagined Danny would be all movement and flirtation. Instead, he's relentlessly focussed and he kisses like there's nowhere else he wants to be, like there's nothing on his mind but kissing Steve. He slows them down, takes the frantic desperation and makes Steve burn with an entirely different kind of heat.
They don't make it to the bedroom, which doesn't surprise Steve that much because nothing about this evening has gone the way he thought it would. He's adaptable though, and he can roll with the punches.
He lets Danny move them across the room and when the backs of his legs hit the couch, he sits down before Danny has to push him. Danny uses his own legs to shove Steve's knee apart, until he can stand between Steve's spread thighs. His eyes are heavy lidded and he'd look half asleep if t wasn't for the way he's looking at Steve, possessive and hungry.
The tie comes off first, soft whisper of pale grey silk through Danny's capable fingers, before he drops it on the floor behind him. The shirt is next, and Steve's fascinated by the strip of throat and chest that's revealed. Danny doesn't look away, eyes on Steve the whole time and Steve's turned on beyond all reason and wondering why although it's Danny getting undressed, Steve's feeling stripped and vulnerable. It's the slowest, most intense striptease he's ever had the good fortune to witness.
He can't look away, doesn't want to in case he misses something. He couldn't move if he tried, too caught up in the slow and deliberate seduction.
The shirt joins the tie and Steve shifts, wanting to touch, but not prepared to cut the show short. Most people tend to look smaller, less impressive without clothes, but Danny's just as large as life; all lightly tanned sun over well defined muscles that Steve always suspected were hidden under those stupid shirts.
Danny's belt slides smoothly through the belt loops and falls to the floor with a muffled thump. His pants hang precariously low on his hips and Steve wants to rub his thumbs over those hipbones and trace the tan lines with his tongue. He wants to shove his dick against the dusting of hair over Danny's belly and leave his mark over the ridge of muscle that disappears into Danny's pants.
The pants drops and Steve can't tell if Danny went commando, or the underwear hit the deck the same time as the pants, but either way, Danny's naked and comfortable in his skin. Steve doesn't get long to look, because Danny's straddling his lap, naked skin pressed up against Steve in lots of interesting places.
Steve has to touch, hands curling around Danny's hips, the skin just as smooth and as hot as he thought it would be. Danny rolls his hips down into Steve's and Steve shudders from scalp to the soles of his feet. It's so dirty to be sitting on his couch, fully dressed, while Danny writhes in his lap like they're fucking. Steve presses up as Danny pushes down and between them they get a rhythm going. Steve peels one hand off of Danny's hip and shoves it into Danny's hair so he can yank his head down until Steve can kiss him.
The kiss is sloppy and rough, and as much as Steve doesn't want to stop he doesn't have the coordination. Danny rests his forehead against Steve's and looks down.
"Come on, come on." Danny's voice is low and wrecked and Steve suddenly knows just what he'll sound like when Steve's fucking him. The thought drags him close and when Danny shoves a hand down between and palms Steve's dick through his pants, it's enough to tip him over, orgasm punching through him and stealing his breath.
He's too busy trying to remember how to breathe to care about the fact that he's just come in his pants when Danny demonstrates a remarkable flexibility, given his dubious knee, and leans back, dick in his hand. Steve has just enough presence of mind to anchor his partner with the hand that's still on Danny's hip before Danny's gasping and twitching, making a mess of Steve's shirt and pants and probably the couch as well.
When they've both stopped shaking, Danny tips sideways and slumps down, one leg still thrown over Steve's lap. Steve rests a hand on Danny's calf and lets his head fall against the back of the sofa. When he finally has to look at Danny, he's on his back, one arm flung above his head and over the arm of the sofa. He's boneless and covered in sweat and semen. And Steve doesn't quite know what to do with the feeling in his chest, so he says the first thing that pops into his head
"You always put out on first date?"
Danny lifts his head a little and opens one eye, "Only for people who buy me dinner first."
Steve laughs, because Jesus Christ, they've just had their first real date and he didn't even realise until now.
"Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up. I'm not the one who came in his pants."
"Does that mean you're the girl?" Steve asks.
"I know where you keep your gun and I will shot you in your sleep." Danny says. He's probably trying for menacing, but he just looks satisfied and maybe a little smug. It's a good look and Steve's going to try very hard to keep it there.
Outside of work, at least.