"You've been quiet this morning," Steve said, looking at Danny with concern across the computer table. Danny had hardly said 10 sentences this morning, which for Danny, was silent as the grave.
Danny grimaced, flailed a hand half-heartedly. "Sorry, I got things on my mind. I won the lottery last night."
"You won the lottery?" Steve said cautiously, waiting for the punch line. Not that punch lines were normally Danny's style, but it wasn't natural for anyone to look so sour about winning a million dollars.
"Yeah, isn't that a kick in the pants? You remember when I bought that lottery ticket?"
"You mean yesterday? When you left me covering three bank robbers while you went across the street to buy a lottery ticket? Where you did it just to piss me off?"
"They were on the ground and handcuffed," Danny grumped. "You had them covered."
"But that's great, isn't it?" Chin asked, exchanging a glance with Kono, which may have had a hint of 'crazy mainlander' in his eyes.
"Eh." Danny shrugged. "It's a lot to think about."
"So…" Kono asked what she figured they were all wondering, "you're going to be leaving us?"
"Leaving you? What, quitting my job? You think I'd quit being a cop because of money?"
"A lot of people would," she answered. "You're rich. You can do anything you want. You could travel the world."
"I'm not a lot of people and I wouldn't try to take Grace traveling during the school year, even if Rachel would allow her to go. Besides, Williams are good with money. We may not necessarily have a lot of it, because we tend to have noble but low-paying jobs and a healthy number of children, but what we have, we use wisely. Especially unexpected windfalls. No way am I throwing up a perfectly good profession, a profession for which I studied diligently, to be stupid and reckless with my million dollars and end up bankrupt."
Steve hoped his relief didn't show. Because losing Danny as his partner… he didn't even want to contemplate how difficult it would be to do this job without Danny's constant presence. Or how lonely his life would feel. "You'll have to buy a house. Get out of that rathole of an apartment so Grace can have her own room. Kono, one of your cousins is in real estate, isn't she? You can have her contact Danny."
"Excuse me? Did I ask for advice or instructions? Did I not say Williams are good with money? I will decide what I want to do with my winnings."
"Yeah, but you'll buy a house," Steve said, and maybe it was more of a demand than a statement, because if Danny had a house, he'd have more of a stake in remaining in Hawaii. He couldn't pack up and move back to Jersey without dealing with the hassle of selling it. "At least three bedrooms, one for you, one for Grace, and one for a den or a guest bedroom."
"With a million dollars you can get one on the beach. Go swimming or surfing in your own front yard."
Danny glared at Kono and Steve. "Your idea of heaven is not mine. I will decide what I'm doing with my winnings. Wise, intelligent decisions that may or may not include buying a house."
And that was that. At least for the time being.
Chin slapped a piece of paper in front of Danny. "So, brah, did you want to tell me something?"
Danny swallowed his bite of malasada and wiped his napkin over his lips. "Happy birthday?"
"It's not my birthday for another two months."
"Is there any point in telling you that you shouldn't have?"
"No, not really."
"Shouldn't have what?" Kono asked, wandering into Danny's office to filch a malasada.
"Danny put eleven five into my IRA."
"Eleven thousand five hundred dollars," Chin enunciated carefully.
"Over twelve thousand and I gotta pay gift tax to the IRS, which I did not want to do. I figure eleven five still gives me 500 if I want to buy you a nice gift. Something that isn't a new surfboard."
"Cool. Did you do that for me too?" Kono teased, then looked flummoxed when Danny nodded. "And Steve?"
"Steve what?" Steve asked, leaning in the doorway to Danny's office.
"Danny's been making donations to our IRAs," Chin explained, waving his quarterly statement. "Eleven five for Kono and I."
"I haven't decided what I'm going to do for Steve. I did make the full contribution to my own, as well as a pickup for last year, since it was still allowed. I told you, Williams are wise with our money, when we actually have it."
"Buy yourself a house and a decent bed," Steve said, torn between feeling hurt that he was excluded from the gifting, and pleased that Danny wanted to get him something different. Of course, considering their occasional combativeness, Danny's idea of an appropriate gift for him might be scary. "There's a nice place that just went on sale in my neighborhood. You'll be closer to pick me up. That's what you can do for me."
"Once again, all instructions on spending my winnings will be taken under advisement and possibly, summarily rejected. Now scat." Danny waved his malasada at them. "I have email to answer."
"Hey, Annie, not really a good time!" Danny fired at the perp, ducked back behind the car. "You got all the information? Okay, call again and leave it on my voicemail. I won't answer. No, do not email it to me! Email isn't secure. Just leave it on my voicemail."
Steve fired, ducked down again. "Was that your sister?"
"Yeah." Danny tucked the phone back into his pocket, released the clip, and loaded a new one. "She got all my niece and nephews' Social Security numbers. I'm going to set up scholarship funds for their college educations."
"What about Grace? Are you going to set one up for her?"
"Already done," Danny said with definite gleeful satisfaction. "Hers and one for Meka's kid. Gracie's father will be paying for her college education, not Step-Stan."
Peering over the car, Steve scanned the surrounding area. "I'm surprised you haven't bought a mansion for her to live in."
Danny's expression changed to annoyance as he twisted back into firing position. "She's already got Step-Stan buying her more than she needs. I'm not going to get into a competition with him on spoiling her. I'm not going to ruin her. Not that she could be, because she is an adorable child who will grow into a lovely young woman, but I'm not going to risk it."
"Then a nice, middle-class home. With a bedroom of her own. That place in my neighborhood is still available."
"That remains under advisement," Danny said, and then the perps started firing again. The conversation was shelved, but not dropped. Not in Steve's opinion.
"So you did finally go crazy buying toys," Kono said, after the four had dragged themselves into their headquarters at the end of a long day to find a large selection of boxes stacked neatly in the middle of the room, all addressed to Daniel Williams.
"Where are you even going to store all this stuff?" Steve asked, decidedly irritated. Danny shouldn't have ordered a bunch of junk before buying a house, a house which would signify he finally felt settled in Hawaii.
"Here." Danny slid his keys along the tape, beginning to open a box. "All of it stays here."
Here? Steve had a sneaking suspicion what that meant. "Danny, what did you do?"
"I may have been a bit un-Williams. I may have gone a bit crazy. But no, really, all good investments, necessary and important for my continued good health, and the continued health of my team members, and therefore also for my sanity. Wise, responsible purchasing."
As understanding dawned, Kono and Chin attacked the boxes too, Kono giving a squeal of joy as she pulled out a sniper rifle. "Danny! Just the model I've always wanted."
"Yeah, I got you two. New vests and body armor and backup vests and body armor for everyone. New guns for everyone. Ammo. Lots and lots of ammo. That should keep the jackals in the Legislature off our backs about our overspending. And of course." Danny yanked out an espresso machine. "New coffee maker. I even set up an account that should cover a fresh supply of coffee beans for years. Oh." With a glance around, Danny realized one thing was missing. "The refrigerator hasn't arrived yet. But the microwave and popcorn maker should be here. And I set up accounts with a couple of food places to cover snacks and late night meals."
The commitment to the team warmed Steve. Danny must have spent thousands of dollars on this much equipment. He looked at the rifle Kono was fondling and the Kevlar vest Chin was holding against himself, revising his estimate upwards. This would make a significant dent in his winnings. But still – "Have you looked at that house in my neighborhood yet? If you haven't, there's an open house this weekend."
"Jeez, would you just help unpack? There should be a couple cases of beer and some bottles of Scotch for your office somewhere, so you can be prepared the next time the Governor stops by."
With a sigh, Steve began ripping at the tape. When the hell was Danny going to buy a home?
"Your house needs a new roof," Danny said, twisted around in his deck chair, so he could stare critically at the McGarrett house. "And when was it last painted?"
"House maintenance wasn't one of my dad's priorities." Steve looked away from the house, toward the ocean, as he pulled his shirt up and over his head, before dropping it to the sand next to him and settling into the other deck chair. "And you are not renovating my house as a present."
"You need new plumbing too. Your water pressure is a joke."
"*You* need to buy yourself a house."
"You're really a broken record sometimes, you know that?"
"Buy a house and I'll shut up." Steve glanced over at Danny, who had finally turned away from analyzing the McGarrett home and was gazing out at the ocean, sipping at his beer. "What is your problem anyway? Everything else you've spent money on is about planning for the future."
"I told you, Williams are wise with their money."
"What's more wise than buying a house?" Steve reached toward Danny, then dropped his hand, deciding against touching him. "It's the ultimate in planning for the future and your future is here, in Hawaii."
"Yeah," Danny agreed, but he looked sad. "I told Gracie about setting up the college fund. First thing she talked about was going to the University of Hawaii so she wasn't far from Rachel and I. She loves the islands."
Gracie could easily change her mind in the next ten years, but Steve found the thought that she wanted to stay reassuring. It meant Danny would stay. Emboldened, he reached out again, this time curving his hand over Danny's forearm. "She's got good taste. And that's at least another ten years, then four more for college. Longer if she does a Master's. A house would be a good investment."
"I looked at that house," Danny admitted. "The one in your neighborhood."
"What did you think?"
"It was nice. Seemed like a lot of space for one person."
"You get used to it."
"Yeah, I guess you do," Danny said, but now there was a weird bitterness to his tone. He stood abruptly. "I need to go."
Steve stood too, their bodies almost touching. "We were going to order pizza."
"I'll take a rain check."
"Danny." Steve put his hands on Danny's upper arms, giving him a gentle squeeze. "Tell me. Why won't you buy the house?"
"You!" Danny jabbed his finger at Steve's breastbone. "You are not a broken record. You are a freaking pitbull with a bone. You asked for this, so remember that." He pointed toward the McGarrett house. "I do not want to buy a house in Hawaii because that's the only house I want to live in, okay? I want to put my money into renovating it and making it into a place for both of us. I do not want to be your neighbor and pick you up in the morning after you've tumbled out of bed with Catherine. I'm filthy rich and I should be over the moon because everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but me, I am going crazy because all I want is you and Gracie in my life full-time and I can't buy that." He jabbed Steve's breastbone again. "Money does not buy happiness. There, that's the truth, are you satisfied now?"
Steve looked down at the finger jabbing into him, and carefully wrapped one hand around Danny's hand.
"And I'm sorry if it offends you that I find your steely G.I. Joe gaze and your rippled abdomen to be incredibly appealing, but Ninjaing me to my knees again - "
Danny paused in his speaking as Steve carefully brought Danny's hand behind his back, using their joined hands to force their bodies closer, and placed his other hand at the base of Danny's skull, tilting his head. "What are you doing?" Danny asked.
Steve didn't bother answering Danny's question verbally, instead slanting his mouth over Danny's, and kissing him as hungrily as he'd wanted to do for months. Danny's mouth was slack at first, letting Steve explore his taste, before he gave a low groan and joined in, dropping his beer and sliding his free hand slowly up Steve's spine. The capitulation relaxed Steve, let him soften the kiss, making it gentle and lingering.
He'd never seen Danny's eyes so bright and blue, Steve thought as he released him, stepping back a little bit to allow him space if he wanted to bolt. "That's why I wanted you to buy a house, Danno. Because I don't want you to ever leave Hawaii. Or me. I'll help you move in tonight if you're willing."
"She's been telling me I'm an idiot for a while now."
Pulling Steve's head down, Danny brought their lips together, whispering, "Now I feel like a lucky man."
~ the end ~