Steve poured himself a cup of coffee from the team’s new machine (“Don’t ask, brah,” Kono had said with a wide happy smile the day after Danny moved into Steve’s place, “just enjoy it.”) and then started back towards his office, sipping at the absolutely perfect cup of Hawaiian Kona coffee. The coffee was one of his favorite things about being home, besides the surf and the people and the weather and… Well, everything else about living on the island. There was just nowhere else on earth that could compare as far as he was concerned. There was a reason people called it paradise.
Steve was wondering if maybe he could justify taking his team out for a ‘business lunch’ on the beach behind his house. The surf report that morning had been awesome, and he knew Kono and Chin were wishing it was Saturday already just like he was. Even Danny was probably wishing it were Saturday, though not because he wanted to surf. Danny was going to have Grace again for the weekend, and as Steve got closer to Danny’s office he wondered what Danny and Grace had planned for the three of them. It was Thursday, so he knew that they would have something lined up already. Grace always knew by Tuesday what she wanted to do with her ‘Danno’ the next time she saw him, and Danny usually tried to make it happen.
“Daniel, I thought we had agreed that you were going to keep your … flings … away from Grace,” a woman with a slight English accent said sharply, making Steve’s eyebrows go up in surprise as he paused just before he reached the door to Danny’s office. Danny had the blinds he had gotten put in almost as soon as he claimed the office (Steve still thought they were so Danny could nap while no one was looking, but Danny insisted they just made his office seem more professional.) closed so Steve couldn’t see into the office, but the door was propped open and sound carried easily out into the main room. “You know how she is about expecting that the people she likes will stay part of her life, and—“
“Wait, what?” Danny sounded amazed and kind of pissed, which made Steve’s lips twitch.
It had to be Rachel that was in Danny’s office. He hadn’t heard anyone else but him get that tone out of Danny without making a real effort at it, and he knew Danny had been alone when he walked past a minute ago.
“You—“ Danny tried again before he broke off with a laugh, but Steve recognized it as Danny’s too-shocked-and-pissed-not-to-laugh laugh that he only dragged out when Steve had done something really, really stupid that worked, but happened to put one or both of their lives in danger. “You came down to my work – my work, Rachel! – to accuse me of bringing somebody home when Grace is with me?! Assuming I had time to meet someone – which I don’t, by the way, what with putting bad guys in jail or doing paperwork pretty much every minute Gracie’s not with me, but let’s just say I do have time to date, just for the hell of it. If I did, I would never bring them around Grace. I’m not you, and I don’t want her getting attached to anyone that won’t stick around. I remember how devastated she was when the guy before Stan got that part on Broadway and decided he was too famous for you.”
“Stop lying to me, Daniel,” Rachel said frostily, making Steve blink in surprise. “Grace told me all about Steve. She talks about him constantly after her weekends with you, and while I’m perfectly fine with you dating men, I am not fine with you getting Grace attached to them! She says you even moved in with him two weeks ago, and you call him your partner.”
Steve bit his lip to keep from laughing as Danny practically roared, “Steve IS my goddamned partner!”
Steve moved to Danny’s office door, trying hard not to laugh as he leaned one shoulder against the doorframe. “Whatever it is, I didn’t do it this time, I swear. I was getting a cup of coffee.”
Rachel was a few inches taller than Danny, but a glance at her feet told Steve that was only because of the stiletto heels she was wearing. She was kind of thin but pretty with dark hair she had pulled back into a rather severe bun, and wearing a navy blue skirt suit that Steve was sure cost more than Danny made in a month as a cop. She actually reminded Steve a lot of Catherine, which was a little scary if he thought about it, so he put the idea out of his mind.
Rachel turned to look at Steve in surprise then, frowning, but he smiled at her anyway before he looked at Danny, feigning curiosity as he added, “Who’s your friend?”
Danny was standing half way between the door and his desk, and he looked like he might strangle Rachel at any moment as he glared at her and growled, “Steve McGarrett, meet Rachel.”
Steve looked back at Rachel, pretending to be surprised. “I should have known, you’ve got Gracie’s eyes. Nice to meet you.” He plastered on a grin he hoped didn’t look too much like a smirk as he moved further into the office to stand by Danny and hold his free hand out to Rachel, who was still just staring at him in surprise. “Gracie talks about you and Step-Stan all the time.”
“Uhm, hello,” Rachel said a bit hesitantly, beginning to look confused as she shook Steve’s hand. Steve was sure she was thinking about Danny’s adamant insistence on following police procedures and wondering why Danny’s live-in partner would be at work with him. “What are you doing here?”
“Steve works here, Rachel,” Danny said pointedly, still glaring at his ex-wife. “He’s my partner. As in fellow cop that I work with catching the bad guys.”
“Aw, c’mon, Danno,” Steve said, turning towards Danny with a faked little pout. “I thought we were closer than that. You did move in and all...”
Danny looked at him in shock for an instant before he scowled. “You were standing at the door listening the whole time, weren’t you?”
Steve couldn’t keep from grinning a bit as he admitted, “Just since she started in on you about your flings.”
Danny let out a low angry noise that reminded Steve of the Rottie that Kono had brought home from a drug bust last month, reaching out to take Steve’s coffee cup as he said, “You’re fired.”
Steve snickered, watching Danny take a drink of his coffee. “You can’t fire me, I’m your boss.”
“I hate you,” Danny said as he lowered the cup, surprisingly starting to seem like his usual calm, affable self again as he smiled at Steve. “You know that, right?”
“Especially when I make you waffles for breakfast,” Steve agreed, smirking at Danny and not looking at Rachel, even though he could still feel her staring at them.
“They were whole wheat waffles,” Danny said quickly, looking scandalized. “Waffles are supposed to be all golden and fluffy with scads of butter and enough maple syrup to put me in sugar shock, not good for me.”
“They taste the same,” Steve said, amused.
“If you close your eyes,” Danny said, still looking scandalized. “They should be golden and delicious-looking, not look like wheat bread that got run over! And what is the deal with the pineapple syrup, anyway? Isn’t maple syrup good enough for you?”
“Gracie loved it,” Steve pointed out, smirking.
“Gracie thinks you walk on water because you talked me into letting you teach her to surf,” Danny countered with a snort. “Grace would probably eat broccoli if you asked her to try it.”
“I could make beef and broccoli stir-fry for dinner tomorrow,” Steve offered, grinning. “That’s how my mom got me to love the stuff.”
Danny brightened slightly. “You know how to make broccoli beef?”
“The secret’s in the oyster sauce.” Steve reached for his coffee cup, which Danny absently passed over without any protest. “That and the combination of good dark and light soy sauce. It adds a little something extra to combine them instead of just getting that Kikkoman’s crap.”
Steve sipped at his coffee as Danny grinned at him, pleased. “Forget Grace, we’re having that for dinner tonight.”
Steve laughed. “Whatever you say, Danno.”
Rachel sniffed loudly then, making Danny and Steve look at her in surprise as she gave Danny a slightly annoyed look and said frostily, “I don’t appreciate being lied to, Daniel.”
Steve’s eyebrows went up in surprise as Danny let out a shocked little laugh. “Lied to?! What did I lie to you about?”
“About your partner,” Rachel said pointedly, glancing at Steve and then looking back at Danny. “You may well work with him—“
“For him,” Danny pointed out, “because he’s also my boss—“
Rachel kept going as if he hadn’t spoken. “—but it’s obvious that you two are in a relationship, and—“
“And you’re insane!” Danny exclaimed, throwing up his hands. “What part of my boss don’t you get, Rachel?!”
“I’m not stupid, Daniel,” Rachel said just a bit sharply. “He may be your boss, but you act more like an old married couple than we ever did, so don’t try to tell me there’s not a lot more going on.”
Steve looked at Danny, trying to seem serious. “I’ve been meaning to ask you about that. Do we act like we’re married? People say that so often that I figure there has to be a reason, but you’d know better than I would, since you’ve actually been there and done that. I never make it past the first time I forget a date because I’m busy with a case.”
Danny glared at Steve as he said flatly, “You’re not funny.”
Steve wanted to laugh, but he tried very hard to keep the serious expression as he added, “I know we’ve got the not having sex part down pat, but if we are married, which one of us is the wife?”
“No, really,” Danny said then, taking Steve’s coffee again and still glaring at him. “You’re not funny, and I hate you.”
“I know you do,” Steve agreed, unable to keep from grinning any more as he watched Danny drain the coffee mug.
“And you’re the wife,” Danny added as he passed back the empty mug, suddenly smirking.
“How do you figure that?” Steve asked, surprised.
Danny smirked a little more smugly, ticking things off on his fingers. “You do the cooking, and the cleaning, and the laundry, and make the beds – I like the Army corners, by the way, they’re nice – and you drive me insane when we have to go grocery shopping.”
Steve just stared at Danny for a moment before he laughed, letting the ‘Army corners’ comment pass for now. He knew that Danny remembered he had been in the Navy, not the Army. “Can’t argue with any of that.”
“I know,” Danny agreed, smug. “That’s because I’m right.”
“Enjoy it, Danno,” Steve said with a grin, turning to head quickly back towards the coffee machine. “It probably won’t happen again for weeks.”
“Oh yeah,” Danny said with a little snort of a laugh, “we’re totally married.”
Steve just grinned wider as he walked out the door of Danny’s office, only to stop short just outside because he almost ran into Kono and Chin. Kono had her knuckle in her mouth and was biting down on it, obviously trying very hard not to laugh while Chin stood next to her looking amused, and Steve knew that he and Danny would be getting teased for weeks about this one.
Steve snorted and headed back towards the coffee maker as he heard Rachel say, “I withdraw my objections, Daniel. Steve is welcome to be around Grace.”
Steve stopped again to look back towards Danny’s office in surprise as he heard Danny laugh and then Danny said, “I don’t care if you want him around Gracie or not, Rachel. She’s my daughter too, and she’s crazy about him, so you’re just going to have to put on your big girl panties and deal with the fact that when Gracie’s with me, she’ll be with Steve, too.”
“You spend that much time with him?” Rachel asked, sounding surprised.
“Every waking minute, pretty much,” Danny said. “If I let him out of my sight he’s got a habit of getting into more trouble than I can get him out of.”
Rachel walked out of Danny’s office then, pausing slightly in surprise when she saw Steve, Kono, and Chin all watching interestedly. She gave them a nod and then continued towards the door as she said, “Better you than me, Steve.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Danny asked as he followed Rachel out into the main room, stopping at his office door to watch her go.
Rachel stopped at the door, pausing there to look back at Danny. “It means, Daniel, that I think he’s a saint to put up with you, and I’m glad that you’re being supervised.” She left without letting him get in another word, closing the door behind her.
Danny let out an inarticulate noise, throwing up his hands as he looked at the others and exclaimed, “You see what she’s like? She makes me so crazy I just want to strangle her!”
“Don’t do that, brah,” Kono said, trying not to look as amused as she was even though her sparkling eyes totally gave it away. “Steve would get himself thrown in jail too, trying to get you out of it, and then Gracie would end up with Step-Stan.”
Danny stared at Kono a moment and then shuddered. “Okay, yeah, no killing Rachel.”
Steve snickered, turning away to continue on towards the coffee maker as Chin added, “Unless of course you really did marry Steve. Then he could sue for custody, and with his connections and how much Grace likes him, he could probably get it.”
Steve stopped and looked back in surprise, watching as Danny stared at Chin a moment and then asked, “Is that even legal here?”
“Sure, brah,” Chin said with a slightly surprised expression, amused. “Legally it’s called a Reciprocal Beneficiary Agreement, but it’s the same thing as a civil union.”
Kono grinned widely. “But I know someone who could marry you too, Danny, if you want.”
Steve blinked, bemused at the way Danny was suddenly staring into his eyes. “That shouldn’t sound like the best idea I’ve heard in weeks, should it?”
“Won’t your family have something to say about you marrying a man?” Steve asked. It was kind of telling that he didn’t have any objections to the idea beyond that, he knew. “It’s not exactly the kind of thing a good Catholic boy from Jersey does.”
Danny snorted. “Mom caught me with my first boyfriend when I was sixteen, and she probably already thinks we’re together. She’s been wanting to meet you ever since I moved in, so you can expect her and Dad to show up eventually.” Steve laughed, surprised, and then Danny added, “And don’t even try to tell me you’re too straight to consider marrying a guy. No straight man likes to scrub the floor.”
Steve just stared into Danny’s blue eyes for a moment, trying not to think too hard about the fact he wanted to say yes right then and there. “I’m not marrying anyone that hasn’t even asked me out on a date, Danno.”
Danny grinned, looking suddenly pleased with himself. “Monday night? I’ll pick you up at our place, we’ll go find some real food. There has to be a decent Italian place on the island somewhere.”
Steve laughed, he couldn’t help it. “Okay.”
Steve turned away to head for the coffee machine again finally, careful not to look at Kono or Chin. He was sure they were probably both trying not to laugh at him, since they had made comments about Steve and Danny being married more than once. Kono and Chin both had seen through Steve's attempts to pretend Danny was just his partner a long time ago, and he was starting to think that Danny had too, whether Danny ever said anything about it or not. He was sure that was why Danny had accepted the offer to move in with him after the roof in Danny’s old place sprang a leak that poured a waterfall of the upstairs neighbor's bath water right in the middle of Danny’s uncomfortable hide-a-bed while Danny was in it.
“Fork it over, cuz,” Kono said cheerfully just as Steve reached the coffee maker. “I told you they wouldn’t make it another month before Danny finally got a clue.”
“You’ll have to wait for the rest,” Chin replied, sounding amused, and Steve risked a glance to see that Chin was taking some cash out of his wallet. “I only have sixty on me.”
“I know you’re good for it,” Kono said smugly, smirking as she took the money Chin offered her and then moved over to offer it to Danny. “Dinner on Monday is on us, brah. I’ll even get you reservations at Santiago’s. They’ve got the best Italian food in the islands, you’ll love it.”
Danny made no move to accept the cash, looking amused. “Let me guess, you know somebody who knows somebody who can get me a table.”
Kono grinned, reaching to stuff the money into Danny’s shirt pocket. “Nope, my uncle works the grill there.”
Danny laughed. “Of course he does.”
Steve chuckled and turned back to the coffee machine to refill his mug as he said, “I’m not wearing a suit and tie.”
“It’s Santiago’s,” Chin said quickly with a soft laugh, sounding surprised. “Everyone wears a suit and tie to Santiago’s, brah.”
Steve turned back towards them with his coffee, smiling as he leaned back against the table the coffee machine was on. “I don’t have to, I’m the wife, remember?”
“I’ll be glad to help you find the right dress,” Kono said then, smirking. “You can even borrow my diamond earrings.”
Danny smirked. “This could be interesting…”
Steve’s eyes widened. “I’ll wear the suit.”