Danny leaned back in his chair, away from the computer, and stretched. He was tired of staring at a blank screen and it was obvious that, for the moment anyway, the words were just not coming. He looked over at Steve. Steve appeared to be zooming right along on his script for the night, but Danny could tell by the face he was making that it wasn’t a script he was working on.
Danny got up and strolled over to Steve’s desk, walked up behind him, and peered over his shoulder. “What are you up to over here?”
Steve jumped and alt-tabbed to another screen, then swiveled to face Danny.
Danny raised an eyebrow and perched on the edge of Steve’s desk, looking down at him. “What’s up, Steven? That did not look like a script to me, although you tabbed out of it so fast I couldn’t tell what it actually was. What are you doing? Writing a love letter?” He grasped at the first embarrassing possibility that crossed his mind. To his surprise, Steve turned slightly red.
Danny tilted his head, looking at Steve. “Really?”
“What? No! No. I was just--” He took a deep breath and Danny watched as Steve’s training kicked in. His face went blank as he forced his embarrassment away and sat up straighter. “It was nothing, Danny. Just working something out for myself. It’s personal.”
“Hmm. Okay.” Danny decided to let it go for now; he knew he wouldn’t get anything out of Steve while he had that face on, the SEAL face that annoyed the crap out of Danny. Sometimes it still surprised him that Steve had ended up here after his stint in the Navy and with the SEALs. Sports show anchor just didn’t seem like a natural next step. He mentally shrugged himself out of that line of thought and continued. “So what do you think about making tonight’s big topic all about the Yankees? They’re just-- They totally suck right now and I can’t take it. I could use a good rant and they’ll make the perfect target.”
Steve grinned. “But you love the Yankees, Danno.”
Danny glared for a second, but then dropped it. He’d long ago made peace with Steve’s co-opting of his daughter’s nickname for him. “Yes, I do love the Yankees. When the Yankees are the Yankees. I don’t know what the hell has gotten into them lately, but...they deserve a good rant.”
“From someone who loves them.”
“Okay, sounds good. You write that part.” He waved a hand toward Danny’s desk. “I’ll put some color around some of today’s games. Still waiting on scores for a couple of things, but I think we already have some decent highlights.”
At that moment, Kono popped her head in. “Hey, where are we with the script? We wouldn’t mind a little heads-up about the clips we’re going to need for the show.”
“Wow,” Danny said, getting up and turning toward the open door where Kono stood. “That was almost magical. Check with him about today’s games,” he said, gesturing at Steve. “Me...I’ll need some Yankees clips for the last few weeks. Hey, want to send Jenna in? She can help me find the perfect clips for this.”
“Will do. Steve, send me a list ASAP, okay?”
Steve had already turned back to his computer; he nodded absently at Kono as she left.
When Jenna flew in a few minutes later in her usual state of controlled frenzy, Danny was already well into writing his “editorial” rant. “Ah, just the woman I want to see,” he greeted her with a smile. “I am in need of your stellar research skills.” He pointed at his computer screen and Jenna came around to peer over his shoulder. “I need some Yankees clips to accompany this.”
Jenna read and started to protest, but then chuckled. “Okay, boss. I’ll see what I can find. Send me that when you’re finished, would you? I’ll get back to you with some clips in, say, 45 minutes?”
“Perfect. Thanks, Jenna.”
That task taken care of and his editorial mostly written, Danny’s attention wandered to Steve again. It really wasn’t like him to be so secretive. About things in the present, anyway; the past was a whole separate issue. There wasn’t much more infuriating than hearing, “It’s confidential, Danny,” but Danny knew there was nothing to be done about it. This, on the other hand...
He decided a full-frontal assault was called for.
“Okay, time’s up. Tell me what’s going on.”
Steve’s shoulders stiffened in surprise, but quickly relaxed as he turned toward Danny and gave him a laconic smile. “What?”
“Come on, spill. This is not some TOP SECRET mission, unless you have re-entered the Army--”
“Whatever. Without my knowledge. What are you hiding from me? Come on, what is it?”
“It’s really driving you crazy, isn’t it?” Steve asked, the smile turning slightly predatory.
Danny narrowed his eyes. You have no idea, he thought, but all he said was, “Shut up.”
“Okay.” Steve went back to his computer, a smug grin on his face.
Danny spent a short time finishing up the editorial, then emailed it to Jenna and got up. She’d sent him a message a few minutes ago to meet her in the video editing room to look at clips.
He glanced at Steve, who was still intent on his computer screen, then headed out the door.
When he got back to their shared office, he took one look at Steve and stopped in his tracks. Steve was wearing the biggest cat-who-got-the-canary grin that Danny had ever seen on his face.
Danny frowned. “What’s gotten into you?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Steve continued to grin at him, though, so Danny knew better than to take that at face value.
Kono popped in again--she really had an uncanny knack for showing up at the perfect moment--and Danny took the opportunity to get her on his side. It never, ever hurt to have Kono on your side in an argument.
Danny leaned casually on the edge of his own desk, ankles crossed. “Steve is keeping secrets from me, Kono.”
“Oh, really?” She looked at Steve speculatively.
Steve reined in the grin just a bit, but still kept his mouth shut. Risking the wrath of Kono, which Danny wasn’t sure he was on board with.
“You really aren’t going to tell me. Or even Kono.”
“Nope.” He clicked off his computer. “But my script is done. How about yours?”
“Great. Let’s go get a bite to eat before showtime.”
Danny looked at the clock. “Um, what about wardrobe?”
“There’ll be time.”
“Wait. No,” Danny protested weakly, but got up and moved toward the door anyway. “You are going to get us in so much trouble. As usual,” he muttered as he followed Steve out of the room, trying not to notice Kono’s death stare.
“Don’t blame me,” he tossed out to Kono at the last moment. “You know how he is.”
Kono just stood there with her arms crossed over her chest.
“I swear I will never in a million years understand you. Why did you just drag me 50 blocks to get a sandwich? When there is a perfectly good sandwich shop downstairs?” Danny glanced around as they entered the offices, noting the people scurrying here and there. “And we’re late for wardrobe. Of course.”
Steve shoved Danny into their shared office and leaned close to him. “Shut up, you want to get me into even more trouble with Kono?”
“Maybe I do, it’s not like you’re sharing anything with me here.”
Steve rolled his eyes and finally relented. “I had to get something. For Gracie’s birthday. I didn’t know if I’d be able to find it, so I didn’t want to say anything. Besides, it’s no one’s business but ours if I want to get your daughter a nice birthday gift.” His hand was resting on Danny’s shoulder, thumb rubbing restlessly, but gently, against Danny’s neck.
It was all Danny could do not to just melt into Steve’s touch. But they really needed to get to wardrobe. “Okay. Fine. Wardrobe? Please?”
Steve nodded and they turned around only to be confronted with Kono, arms crossed and eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Gonna tell me?”
“Nope,” Steve replied stubbornly.
“How about you?” She turned her glare on Danny.
“Me? How did I become responsible for this? It’s his secret.” Danny poked at Steve’s arm as he spoke.
“You’re always responsible for him, you should know that by now.” Kono rolled her eyes at Danny. “All right then, if you aren’t going to tell me, you’d better get to wardrobe,” she sing-songed as she stalked off toward the control room.
Ten minutes later, Danny watched Steve nonchalantly saunter out of wardrobe in shirt, tie, jacket, and...boxer shorts.
No pants. There were no pants to be found in wardrobe, including the cargo pants (Steve’s) and slacks (Danny’s) they’d worn into wardrobe. Kono’s doing, there was no doubt about it. Punishment for keeping secrets.
Danny sighed and followed Steve, just as resolutely if not quite so casually.
They ignored the catcalls and whistles that followed them across the bullpen and into the studio. As they reached their shared desk, they glanced at each other, nodded, and turned toward the control room.
They bowed, hearing the control room erupt in laughter, then settled into their chairs.
Chin poked his head in to wish them both a good show, paused, looked them up and down, and shook his head. “I don’t even want to know.” He popped out again and Danny knew he’d go back to his office to watch the show from there.
He and Steve exchanged embarrassed glances. It’s one thing to parade around in your underwear in front of the rest of these clowns, but in front of the boss? Oops.
Danny sighed again. He knew that no one would ever be able to tell that he wasn’t wearing pants for this broadcast. Other than on the rare occasions when they used the interview chairs off to the side, no one watching the show would even be able to tell he had legs, let alone pants. But still.
This was his job, and he was a professional. And he wore pants to do his job, dammit.
Okay, he thought, I can do this. Yankees rant. Right. In my underpants. He threw a glare in Steve’s direction. You are going to pay for this, McGarrett.
There was no time for anything but settling in and waiting for the camera to roll. The count started, the camera rolled, and they were on the air. "Good evening, everybody, from New York City. I'm Steve McGarrett alongside Danny Williams. You're watching Sports Night on CSC, so stick around."
They got through their first segment smoothly, then had a commercial break. Danny looked up at the control room. “Really, Kono? Was this necessary?” He gestured to include Steve and himself.
“Yep. You keep secrets, you get no pants. Pretty simple.” The disembodied reply came over their in-ear receivers.
Danny squinted, but couldn’t quite see Kono. He was sure she was grinning wickedly anyway.
They got through the show. Nothing terrible happened because they weren’t wearing pants, and Danny’s rant was, if he said so himself, masterful. The Yankees wouldn’t know what hit them.
Immediately following their signoff, Steve and Danny retreated to their office to reconnoiter.
Danny was slouched on the sofa and Steve was pacing in front of it.
“Do you think she’s going to give us back our pants?” Danny wondered aloud, a hand shading his eyes.
“Ah, this is bullshit, Danny. Let’s just go.”
Danny slowly lowered his hand and glared at Steve. “Do I need to remind you that you don’t have any pants? And that I also don’t have any pants? She managed to take everything. Even the shorts I work out in.”
“So what? I’m not afraid to walk outside in these,” Steve replies, pointing at his boxers.
“Yeah, and if either of us actually had a car here that would be...well, it wouldn’t be okay but it would probably not end with either of us being arrested. However, our choices for transportation home are: bus, subway, taxi. None of which are appropriate options for two men running around in their underwear. Not to mention that, oh god,” he groaned. “It’s not like we’re completely unknown. What if someone recognized us?”
“Yeah, that...that would be bad,” Steve agreed, dropping onto the sofa next to Danny.
“You could just tell her.”
Steve turned to look at him. “You really think this is about Gracie’s birthday present?”
“Huh. No, I guess not. So what is it about? Enlighten me.”
Steve frowned at him. “Since when am I the one with the insight? I can’t believe you don’t know. She’s been a little...testy with us for quite a while.”
“Yeah, I noticed that, but...I thought maybe she and Jenna were fighting and she was taking it out on us.” Danny shrugged.
“Huh. No. Danny, you didn’t notice that her bad mood almost perfectly coincided with the first time we--” Instead of finishing his sentence, he wiggled a hand vaguely between the two of them.
Danny rolled his eyes. “Are we in third grade now? Okay, no, I hadn’t realized. I’ve been distracted! Between you and Grace and, and,” he waved his hands expressively, “this place, I’ve had a lot on my mind.” He quieted for a moment, thinking it over. “So she suspects something and is pissed off about it?”
“That’s what I thought until today.”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s not angry about me not telling her about Gracie’s present earlier. And she’s not angry about us getting together, she’s angry that we haven’t told her.”
“Oh. Well, she must understand...we’re sports anchors, we have to be careful.”
“But she’s our friend, Danny, and we have been hiding things from her.”
“You have a point.” Danny sighed and reached for Steve’s hand. He leaned toward Steve and gave him a quick kiss, then hauled himself to his feet, dragging Steve with him. “Come on, let’s get this over with.”
“Yes, now, I don’t know about you but I’d like my pants back.” He looked at Steve, head to toe and back again. “Then I can take you home and get you right back out of yours again.”
Steve grinned. “Okay. Let’s do this.”
They took a deep breath and walked out of their office, hand in hand, to find Kono, confess, apologize, and, hopefully, have their pants returned to them.