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For A Little Peace Of Mind

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It was one hell of a week. Danny is used to a lot, but even for Five-0 standards the last couple of days were a nightmare. They’ve been working on a kidnapping and ransom case and finally, they’ve been able to return the abducted boy safely to his parents.

Despite the lucky outcome, the case has been hard on the whole team. None of them has really slept in the past 72 hours and even before, the days have been long and tiring, while the nights were cut tragically short.

Once the case was closed and the adrenaline high had faded, even Steve was pretty much dead on his feet. He didn’t even object when Danny insisted on driving the car, which really says something about his state of exhaustion. After dropping Steve off at his house, Danny had returned to his own apartment with the full intention of falling face down on his bed and sleep like a rock for at least twelve hours. Preferably more.

That was three hours ago.

He’s been tossing and turning ever since he lay down to catch some sleep. The digital numbers on the display of Danny’s alarm clock inform him that it’s almost midnight. By now, he gets the feeling they’re mocking him. He tries closing his eyes, willing his mind and body to relax, and he almost thinks he’s dozing off... only to open his eyes again and find out only ten minutes have passed.

It’s driving him insane.

Danny can always sleep, he’s pretty much the opposite of an insomniac. Even after the hardest and emotionally draining cases, he manages to get some shut eye after watching some hockey clips on YouTube, even if it isn’t as restful as usual. After a week like this, he should be dead to the world in an instant, but it’s like he’s even too exhausted to sleep.

He can’t seem to stop thinking, to slow down enough to relax. Not that Danny’s thoughts are very deep right now. They are squirrely and fleeting, they twitch here and there and always come back to a mantra, which goes like “I want to sleep! Why can’t I sleep? Please God, let me sleep! I’m gonna kill someone if I don’t get some sleep!”

To add insult to injury, the crappy foldout Danny calls his bed hasn’t been kind to his back lately. Try as he might, it’s impossible to find a comfortable position and it’s far too hot in this room anyway.

With a groan, he throws off the thin sheets and gets up. He will go nuts if he has to stare at his alarm clock any longer. Scrubbing a weary hand over his face, Danny ponders his options. He could watch TV, but the thought isn’t very appealing. Knowing his luck, the boring program wouldn’t be enough to put him to sleep and he’d end up transfixed by the sheer horror of late-night television until the early morning.

Normally, Danny doesn’t like medicating himself with alcohol, but right now, getting a little bit drunk and therefore drowsy sounds like a great idea. Of course, he doesn’t have one single beer in the house, much less anything stronger. With a sigh, Danny pulls on a pair of jeans and grabs his car keys.

 

***

 

Danny dumps the six-back of Longboards on the passenger seat and starts the Camaro. He’s about to drive back to his apartment, but he takes another route instead. All of a sudden the thought of being back in the stuffy little rat hole (Danny’s allowed to say that, it’s his rat hole after all) feels intolerable.

Spent in an airy, spacious house like Steve’s, a night like this would be much easier to bear. Well, in a house like that most nights are a little better - Danny supposes this is one of the reasons why he spends more of his time at Steve’s place rather than at his own apartment. It actually feels more like home, too. As much he claims to hate the beach, Danny suddenly longs to sit on the lanai behind Steve’s house, listen to the waves and drink his beer.

Before Danny knows it, he pulls into Steve’s driveway.

 

Of course, the house is dark and quiet. Danny’s standing on the door step with the six-pack tucked under his arm, not really sure what to do next. He doesn’t even know what he was thinking - it’s not like he had expected Steve to greet him cheerfully at the door in the middle of the night. He’s probably sound asleep, happily dreaming of grenades and bazookas and all the other scary things he likes so much.

On the other hand, Danny is really exhausted now and he drove all the way here, even if it was an idiot thing to do. Steve wouldn’t mind if he just let himself in and made himself comfortable on the lanai, he figures. The big goof can be generous like that and he didn’t give Danny the keys for the house and the alarm code for nothing. In fact, Steve seems to like it when Danny moves around in the house as if he owns it.

Although right now, Danny should make sure not to wake and startle Steve - accidentally getting killed by his partner isn’t exactly high on his list.

He manages to make it quietly into the house and out onto the lanai. With a sigh, Danny plops down on one of the deck chairs and uncaps the first beer. Maybe this wasn’t an idiot idea after all. He drinks deeply from his bottle and slouches a little further into the chair as the cool beer runs down his throat.

The warm night is much easier to bear with the fresh ocean breeze on his face. Danny closes his eyes and just listens to the steady sound of the waves lapping against the shore. It’s incredibly soothing and Danny can feel himself relax.

That’s more like it, he thinks drowsily.

 

***

 

When he opens his eyes again, the first thing Danny registers is the pale light of dawn, which indicates that he has actually slept for a few hours. His back will probably kill him, but most importantly, he has really slept. Danny blinks sleepily and turns carefully to loosen his tense muscles.

That’s when he notices Steve in the deck chair right next to him. He must have been asleep too, because his hair is mussed and his t-shirt is rumpled. Now he’s watching Danny through his eyelashes, a fond smile spreading over his face. It makes Danny’s heart stutter a little.

“Hey,” Steve says, his voice husky with sleep.

Danny bemusedly shakes his head. “What are you doing here, babe?”

Of course it’s Steve who should ask this question and not the other way around. But apparently, this thought hasn’t even crossed his mind.

“Couldn’t sleep, found you here. Thought I’d keep you company.” Steve mumbles lazily, still smiling at him. “It’s nice out here, isn’t it?”

Danny can’t answer at first, overwhelmed by an odd feeling of tenderness for this sleepy guy who doesn’t bear much resemblance to Steve’s bad-ass professional persona.

“Yeah, it’s very nice.” Danny says softly. “But I’m afraid I can’t sit here much longer. Not if I want to be able to move in a few hours.”

Steve just grins. “Danno, you’re getting old.” He gets up far more gracefully than Danny could manage right now. “Come on, we need more sleep. My bed is big enough for both of us.”

After a short moment of hesitation Danny lets Steve pull him out of the chair and dazedly follows his partner inside. Steve doesn’t let go of his hand.

 

***

 

It’s much, much later when Danny wakes up for the second time. Bright sunlight is filling Steve’s bedroom and Danny supposes it must be way past noon. Getting up can wait a little longer, though. For the first time in days Danny feels well-rested and comfortably lazy. It’s something he wants to cherish.

But most importantly, Steve is sleepily nuzzling Danny’s shoulder and has an arm wrapped around his middle.

It’s definitely something Danny could get used to.