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Filling the Niche

Chapter Text

 
 

Releasing the seat belt with one hand while he pulled the keys from the ignition with the other, Danny stared out the windshield as the heat from the Chevy’s engine danced in waves above the hood; the effect was heightened by the overly bright morning sun.

 

He could feel the frown that had been on his face since he had woken up, deepen slightly. Danny closed his eyes to the glare from the hood as he let the questions that had riddled a winding path through his mind the entire way there, make their way through on yet another pass.

 

Why do I come here? What if I get caught? What would Rachel say? What about the team? What about Steve? Why can’t I stop? Do I want to? Would it change anything?

 

He was helpless to stop them from forming; each one leading to another and then another and another. Sighing he shoved open the door and crawled from the driver’s seat. He knew the answers; they never changed, just as the questions never did.

 

He stared over the roof of the car for a few moments, at the tiny figures in the brilliant aquamarine waters of the North Shore; some catching the fast rolling waves with enough dexterity and poise to make an Olympic class athlete jealous, while others were eaten by the cresting white fury of Poseidon’s wrath in a matter of seconds.

 

One last time, he muttered repeatedly under his breath, one last time and then he would quit and nobody would ever know; he would quit this madness before anyone discovered what a deviant he really was.

 

With one more quick look at the daredevils waging war with the sea, he turned and hurried towards the copse of trees behind the car; as he neared them, he sensed his heart rate quicken, he told himself that it was from his pace, but deep down he knew it was for what lie ahead.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve adjusted the strap of the hike bag on his back, before he continued to soldier on as he had time and time again. Forget the fact that he once was a Navy SEAL, forget 5-0, forget the oaths of honor, morality, and duty he has given over the course of his life; they were just hollow words. Time had proven that he was flawed, fallible.

 

It didn’t matter that he hadn’t murdered the governor; his name would be synonymous with the transgression anyway. One minute he was Steve McGarrett, son of a well- known and respected Honolulu Police detective and the next he was a man that would spend the rest of his life atoning for a crime he didn’t commit.

 

Three months.

 

For three months he was pinned down, not in a jungle or a field of battle, but in a solitary cube of reinforced steel and concrete, with a bed made of a light pad on a cement slab. Steve had been caged like an animal for the crime of being a hardheaded McGarrett; well, that and the death of a crooked politician.

 

In the end though, his team came through for him, working themselves tirelessly, balancing precariously on the fringe of the law to find a way to free him and they had succeeded. He loved them for their tenacity and their determination, but mostly he loved them for their unwavering faith in his innocence; his team, his friends were the best in his eyes, but love does not equal trust. He couldn’t allow himself to get close to them again; he wouldn’t be the one to drag them . . . or anyone else down the road he found himself on. The road that he continued to follow.

 

The feeling that he would only ever let people down had first stolen into his soul in prison, where it had festered and spread until someone taught him how to properly make amends for his mistakes. It only took a few attempts for him to learn to respect the need for atonement, but once he did, it was as if he could feel his soul lightening, if only for a brief time.

 

And if he learned anything at all during those long months on the inside, it was how to apologize repeatedly. For one hour a day, everyone would turn away as he completed his penance at the feet of whoever was offering forgiveness that day.

 

He had made this trip several times in the month and a half since his acquittal, so many in fact that he knew that in just a few more minutes he would see the back of the structure beginning to peek through the trees and then hopefully he could appease his guilt.

 

Quickening his pace yet again, Steve continued on his pilgrimage to the place he was starting to refer to as his sanctuary, the one place on the entire island where he would get down on his knees and receive absolution for his sins.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny could see the small building in the clearing from his vantage point atop the rocky ledge, the grayish-brown weathered wood making it nearly blend into the thick growth of trees it butted up against. 

 

He had only been walking for ten minutes, but the warmth of the sun was already making the light cotton of his button down stick to the skin of his lower back as he covered the distance to the public restroom.

 

Danny first heard of this place from a young street hustler that Meka and he had busted sometime within the first couple of months of his arrival to this tropical pile of volcanic rocks. Meka had been on the phone with Amy, leaving Danny to listen to the kid, Ethan something-or-another, rambling on and on about how difficult it was to make connections on the island without getting caught; Danny had found himself silently sympathizing with the kid.

 

In New Jersey, he had always been somewhat comfortable with acting on his hidden impulses, all it took was a trip over the bridge to the city and he was no long Detective Daniel Williams of the Newark Police Department, he was just Danny, closeted homosexual. Anonymity was a blessing easily found in the city, he remembered as he stepped over a sunning lizard; he didn’t have the same luxury here.

 

His arrival in Hawaii had definitely put a stop to any and all of his sexual activity. Women didn’t appeal to him at all anymore, though he had become quite good at faking interest in them . . . and men . . . well, there was only one man really; one man that he had to fight his attraction to, with every passing minute of every single day.

 

 He just couldn’t risk it. It would be his job, if he was ever caught. Hell, it could spell the end of his visitation rights if ex-wife ever found out and he would never get to see Grace again, Rachel would see to that.

 

No, he had to rein in his urges, tamp them down deep into his gut, but sometimes . . . sometimes all it took was a the sound of Steve’s laughter or a flash of his haunted eyes  or Steve’s hand on his arm and Danny was driving like all the furious beasts of Hell were on his tail.

 

His destination? The public men’s restroom near Waimea Bay Beach, there he could silently, anonymously get his needs fulfilled. In doing so he could spend another day in Steve’s presence without giving up all that he had worked so hard to hide.

 

Meka had been heading back to the car when the kid let the location of this place slip; a tidy little secluded location away from the islands many military installations and the numerous schools and universities, so no MP’s or campus security to bust in. Danny secured the information away in his mind because, well, you never know.

 

Danny had made a reconnaissance trip the very next day, before the sun had even barely begun to flash its brilliance down upon the island. The kid was right it was clean, yet not too clean, suggesting that it was tended to regularly but not daily.

 

He came back several times those first few weeks before he was even brave enough to venture inside. It was longer still before he ever left satisfied.

 

He saw a couple of guys standing out front of the restroom, near the outdoor showers. They both looked young, but definitely old enough, he thought, sizing them up. He started slowly down the ridge, keeping one eye trained on the young men.

 

Glancing down to skirt around a particularly nasty looking jagged rock, he cursed his rising hope as the sound of feminine voices reached his ears. A quick glance confirmed his rotten luck as two girls in bikini tops and cutoffs joined the guys and they started on down the trail in a fit of shrieks and laughter.

 

He had never had to wait longer than a half an hour, but after the vivid dream he had last night of Steve, water running down his chest as he climbed out of the water, much like he had when he and Kono had dove down to the armored car during the triathlon case, he was prepared to wait for as long as it took.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve had heard the door to the restroom squeak open before it clanged shut with a thud, a watery cough followed as a stall door banged open down the way. Stepping into a pair of blue beach shoes, he tucked his socks into his boots and tied the strings together. Hanging them them on the hook on the back of the stall, he pulled off his tee shirt and pulled a pair of faded blue board shorts from his bag.

 

He had been sitting here for nearly ten minutes, but he knew that he would stay here as long as it took to appease the gnawing beast within his soul.

 

The man down the way blew his nose loudly and Steve shook his head at the melodramatic groan he heard. Some people really had no sense of public decorum, he thought with a slight quirk of his lips, before remembering why he, himself had just hiked over fifteen miles to this very location, to this very stall. The smile slid away as the door gave another screech of door’s rusty hinges.

 

The room suddenly echoed with the exuberant echoes of a couple guys talking about their girlfriends and the ‘killer waves, brah’, Steve smothered a sigh as he pulled a towel from his bag and flipped it over the door of his stall. A blatant signal, he knew, but he could feel the want starting to itch beneath his skin.

 

The sound of the door brought silence, well, except for the clearing of a congested throat down the way. Steve folded his pants and slipped them into the bag before pulling on the board shorts. Maybe he could borrow a board down at Waimea before he headed back to his truck.

 

The door gave its exhausted groan again, causing his stomach to tighten in expectancy.

 

He needed to have a taste of the forbidden. He needed to feel the weight of someone’s cock on his tongue, pushing down his throat. He needed forgiveness for his guilt, for his desires. Fuck, he just needed.

 

*S/D*

 

Reaching the front of the building, Danny crossed to the right side and pulled the door marked Nā Kāne open, stepping in, he could immediately feel the cooler costal breeze swirling in from the open vents spaced evenly along the top of the wall. The opaque skylights allowed light to filter in, but not necessarily make the interior into a furnace. It was as comfortable as it could be.

 

Crossing to the sink, Danny washed his hands and looked into the stainless steel mirror in front of him. He could see the line of stall doors behind him.

 

Of the six stalls, the first was occupied as was the last. The three next to the front were open, their emptiness obvious even in the wavy image. The next to the last door was mostly closed, but he couldn’t make out if there were feet peeking out from beneath it.

 

Glancing over his shoulder at the last stall, Danny could make out a pair of lightly tanned feet in flip flops. Really a surfer then, Danny pondered with a grin, especially since the plain white towel flipped over the door had already planted that thought into his mind.

 

Drawing in a breath made shaky by anticipation, he turned and slowly made his way to the last stall. Laying a silent flat palm upon the door, he gave it a gentle nudge and smiled quickly when it wouldn’t budge. It was his lucky morning, he thought, releasing the air silently from his lungs as he shifted his hand to the stall next to it and pushed the door open to reveal a shadowy, yet empty space.

 

 Stepping in, Danny hurriedly engaged the lock and removed the toilet paper dispenser from its mounting bracket on the wall and laid it on the back of the stool. The hole that was revealed was nearly six inches across and ten high, so that men ranging in a multitude of heights could find pleasure through it. Danny had never used one before finding out about this one, a hole or rather a glory hole, if you wanted to argue semantics, but since travelling halfway around the world he was willing to try nearly anything to satisfy his secretive needs.

 

 Unbuttoning his faded jeans that he had thrown on in his rush to leave the apartment, he lowered the zipper slowly, the clicking sound of the parting teeth echoing off the porcelain fixtures. It was also a signal to his partner on the other side of the partition to remove his own toilet paper unit so that the hole between the stalls would be usable.

 

A toilet flushed further down the line and Danny heard the water run briefly at the sinks before a shriek of salt rusted metal indicated the door opening and closing. The silence that remained settled both he and the man on the other side of the wall into pregnant, yet blissful, quiet.

 

Shuffling slightly closer to the wall, Danny reached a hand up to brace himself while he pulled his hardening cock from the confines of his boxers; he trained his eyes on the cement and wood beam ceiling and could feel the doubt and self-recriminations starting to build; like they did every time he allowed himself to seek this out.

 

It had been nearly five months since he had been physically intimate with someone and that had been with Rachel, which in turn had turned into a nightmare of infidelity, false-positives, and re-broken hearts. She had returned to Stan and Hawaii with an ecstatic Grace in tow, which he was thankful for, but she had also returned to being the ice queen and making his life generally miserable.

 

A grinding on the wall of the stall brought Danny back to the present as a small glimmer of light stole through the hole to the other side. He preferred not to looking directly through the hole or to even try and find out who was over there; he had come here for privacy and liked to assume that the other man did as well.

 

Looking down as he fed his half-hard cock through the hole between the stalls, he caught a brief glimpse out of the corner of his eye, of a fingertip tapping the hole, signaling him to come closer. He edged a few inches closer and soon felt the hot, wet heat of someone’s mouth close over the head of his penis, sighing at the sensation he leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes.

 

*S/D*

 

As he edged closer to the front of his stall, trying to make his feet a little more noticeable, Steve closed his eyes, preventing himself from looking through the cracks at whoever was at the sinks.

 

He preferred not knowing who was going to be acting as his judge today . . . or any day for that matter, because no matter who was on the other side of that wall, it would only ever be one person in Steve’s mind. Of course it was the one person he couldn’t ever have, but that didn’t stop him from imagining taking Danny into his mouth and causing him to break apart into a million pieces with his tongue; of swallowing him down and milking his cock with his throat until neither of them could breathe for the eroticism of it all.

 

No, Steve knew he was fucked in the head if he ever thought that he could have Danny. Danny, who was a cop and his partner; Danny, who was a father; Danny, who was straight as they come; Danny, who had rekindled his relationship with the woman he once swore was the devil’s daughter.

 

Yeah, fucked in the head, Steve thought grimly as he heard the stall door next to him swing open.

 

He pulled the towel from its place over his stall door and folded it into a cushion for his knees. Lowering himself a gracefully as he could, he slid a hand down the wall, allowing his fingers to glide to a stop along the edge of the gap.

 

By touch alone, he formed his mouth into a soft ‘O’ and took the head of the proffered member in. He let his tongue play along the edges of the slit for a moment and then stiffening it, he stabbed repeatedly into the slit, gently at first and then more urgency; he heard a soft gasp from the other stall. Pulling off, he flattened his tongue and gave the entire head a few solid licks before taking it further into his mouth.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny couldn’t keep the gasp in as the man on the other side of the wall started fucking his slit with his tongue. He had never quite experienced it like that before and god help him he loved it. It felt so dirty and so, so very right all at once.

 

He felt the other man’s fingers curl around his shaft; the palm was warm and dry as if he had it in his pocket until just a second before. A quick pull and Danny felt his hips jut forward against the wall.

 

He envisioned that it was Steve over there and that he could see his deep hazel eyes, made nearly black with lust, as he stared up at Danny from his knees. The thought alone made Danny’s dick twitch violently in the stranger’s hand.

 

Danny felt the tongue give a few gentle swirls around the crown of his cock before it started a exploring the vein that ran down the underside, leaving a trail of moisture in its wake. The warmth of the hand vanished as a brisk breeze from his partners’ pursed lips caused his length to swell more.

 

A finger tapped at the base of the hole, its nail brushing against the soft skin where his scrotum met his cock; taking it as an indication of the other man’s desire to have access to his balls, he moved to comply. Rising slightly on his toes, Danny used a hand to settle himself more fully in the hole.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve could taste the excitement on his tongue, its tang was strong and heady as it settled onto his taste buds causing a flame of want to flare up deep within him. Craving more contact, he ran a finger along the wooden partition that separated him from his desires.

 

Steve felt a foot bump up against the inside of his knee. He slitted open his eyes and glanced down, but his gaze never reached the floor. He saw a hand adjusting the cock nestled in the hole until soon; he got a glimpse of the man’s testicles, swollen with anticipation, being eased through the hole. Reaching his left hand up, he cupped them as if testing their heft.

 

Not being able to help himself, he surged forward and took the thumb resting along the side of the cock, into his mouth. Worrying the pad with his tongue, he felt the knuckle of a finger caress the corner of his lips. The touch scorched his skin, causing him to recoil slightly. It was the most compassion one of his partners had ever shown him.

 

A pair of fingers straightened alongside the enlarged shaft, Steve delved down upon them and the cock they steadied, his saliva causing the fingers to slide loosely over the heated skin it lay against. Soon they were withdrawn, along with the rest of hand. He mourned their loss.

 

He pulled away again, to work his open lips down the length from its head, purpled with carnal need to the broad base nestled in a furry patch. The man was thick . . . and long, but that didn’t bother Steve, he would feel it all wedged low in his throat before he was through.

 

With his nose deeply buried into soft wiry hairs that curled around the man’s scrotum, Steve sucked first one and then the other testicle into his mouth. The heady smell of soap, sweat, and musk wove themselves permanently into his senses; he would always remember this one . . . and how he smelt somewhat like Danny.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny withdrew his fingers and gulped back a moan at the glistening moisture he saw on them. He touched them briefly to his own lip, savoring the slickness as they slid a bit. He added more of his own saliva to his fingers and lowered them behind his back to slither between his cheeks.

 

The wetness ghosted over his hole at the same time as the man a few inches away sucked his way around Danny’s balls, causing his hips to buck, driving him neatly through the hole in front of him, until the bowl of his groin was pressed flush with the painted wood. The fingers of his left hand scrambled for purchase across the top of the divider as the tip of his index finger sank into his own warmth.

 

The thought that it had never been this good or this amazing before flitted across his mind briefly before all thoughts and air left his body in a rush as the cavernous heated mouth on the other side swallowed him down once, twice, and once again only to draw back and set a more shallow yet punishing pace. He kept it up for a solid couple of minutes, only using his hands for guidance before he again worked Danny’s dick deep into his undulating throat.

 

Danny felt the wood warming beneath his cheek as he plastered his entire body against the stall wall. The skin beneath his stubble starting to feel the friction as it rasped repeatedly, minutely across the grain.

 

He knew he wasn’t the biggest man alive, but he definitely wasn’t small everywhere. He was impressed with his partner on the other side of the hole. The image of a man on his knees with his nose rubbing against the skin of his abdomen settled before his closed eyes. Not just any man, the man. The man that haunted him day and night; the same man that he thought he had lost forever only a few short months ago.

 

Just picturing Steve in that position brought him closer to tipping over the edge into the orgasmic abyss. He wanted to reach down and tighten his fist around the base of his cock, to draw out the spangling sensations running through his gut, but seeing how there was barely a hair’s width between his stomach and the wall, he knew he could never achieve it.

 

Besides he was fully gripping the top of the stall with one hand and was pleasurably two fingers deep in his own ass with the other. He wasn’t at the proper angle to reach his prostate and for this he was relieved; if he had been able to, it would have been over minutes ago.

 

He felt the hot breath of the other man on his sensitive tip again. It was if the man didn’t want this to be over either, he thought absently, but the reprieve was brief as the tongue began another assault on the slit again.

 

“Please.” he whispered under his breath, the sound barely leaving his lips.

 

He knew that it was bad etiquette in speak in situations such as this, but there was no way he could hold his tongue with the attention being shown him at that very moment. Is this what heaven feels like? He wondered fleetingly.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve heard the breathy plea from behind the wall. The man was close, that was for sure, but so was Steve. He had perfected his skill at sucking cock in prison; the other inmates had held him down for that one hour a day and forced him, thought that they were torturing him, making him perform for them, making him do something against his moral code; little did they know that he enjoyed it, that he always had.

 

Switching the cock in front of him to his left hand, he continued to alternate between a rapid, punishing suction and taking it as deep as he could. With his right hand, he pulled the string to his board shorts loose, letting them fall around his knees as he took his own throbbing shaft to hand in a nearly brutish pace.

 

Steve opened his eyes and admired the dusky penis in front of him as he pulled away, a trail of spit and pre-come a brief connection between them. The nest of hair at the base was too dark to be Danny’s but when he closed his eyes again, he envisioned that it was, in fact, Danny he was pleasuring.

 

He could feel his balls tightening at the thought.

 

Applying as much suction as he could, he continued to bob his hollowed cheeks in time with his own slapping hand. He was so close. So very close.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny could hear the repeated whispering of skin on skin from the next stall. He had felt the hand change and was now picturing the Steve in his mind, using Danny’s own come as lubrication.

 

It’s too much, his brain told him as his vision whited out and he could feel his spunk starting to channel its way up his cock.

 

He removed his fingers as quickly as he could from his own slick, loose ring of muscles, he had intended to make a motion to his partner that he was going to come, but as he pushed the fingers through the wall they were enveloped into the wet, hot lips on the other side.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve slurped at the fingers in his mouth, reveling at their musky taste as it mixed with the flavor of the man’s own come. He continued to jerk erratically on his own cock until the seeping pre-come turned into streaming cords of white-grey viscous fluid. He heard it splatter on the concrete floor in front of him.

 

His partner on the other side of the hole, groaned and his own semen painted Steve’s face and chest in ropes of white. It burned a path of need fulfilled as it rolled slowly down his skin. It crept down the side of his nose and pooling briefly before cresting the edge of his lip. Steve opened his mouth and let it slide in.

 

He moaned at the taste.

 

*S/D*

 

Wiping his hand on the back of his jeans, Danny tucked his sensitive penis back into his boxers. He felt spent, yet more satisfied than he had in years. He fought the urge to whisper through the hole, to ask when his partner may return to their stalls.

 

He had never experienced a blow job of that caliber before, one that made him feel like he had just had the most amazing sex ever; one that made him feel like a whore. Hell, he had stuck his fingers up his own ass because of a talented tongue. He could feel the self-loathing growing within.

 

He pivoted slightly and took the paper dispenser from the back of the toilet and reaffixed it in its proper fittings. He always felt like an ass doing that, forcing the connection to be closed between him and his companion, but he couldn’t risk being identified. The sense of danger was just too strong.

 

The door of the building gave its obnoxious screech and the voices of man and a young boy could be heard. The dad was promising that they would return to their sandcastle building after they used the facilities.

 

Danny rested his head against the wall, jeans still gaping open.

 

The guilt continued to eat at him as he heard the toilet down the way flush and the pair laughingly tidied up and left, door groaning from overuse. 

 

He was a pervert, a sexual deviant, a miscreant. He maintained the personal name calling until he heard a quiet noise from next door. Resting his ear against the wall he whispered a soft query.

 

“What?”

 

The reply that came back muffled, almost unrecognizable as legitimate words as if the voice didn’t want to be discovered as even belonging to a person, but Danny caught it anyway.

 

“Thank you.”

 

*S/D*

 

He shouldn’t have spoke in the first place, Steve berated himself . . . and he really shouldn’t have repeated it. But in all the times he had been coming to his sanctuary, he had never come to completion until after the man in the other stall had left and sometimes not even then. He didn’t know why he did this time, just that between the smell, the taste, and feel of those fingers . . . he was defenseless, made weak by the man in the neighboring stall.

 

He had glanced at the hole as it was being covered up by the metal back of the paper dispenser, but all he caught was a peek at a pair of faded blue jeans. Why was his usually strong resolve so flimsy this time? He sat back on his heels and bowed his head.

 

Widening his mouth in an attempt to stretch his weary jaw, he took in the view of his spunk congealing on the concrete in front of him. With a sigh, he rocked back onto his feet and used the towel he had been kneeling on to give the floor a perfunctory wipe down.

 

Standing, he heard the door latch next to his give, the soft footsteps that exited caused a hollowness to seep into his post-orgasmic haze. The loneliness that he had been holding at bay since May was suddenly back, a physical ache in his chest flamed hard and tight, he could usually control it, but something happened in the past half an hour to make it burn with regret.

 

The sound of water running in the sink basin and the sound of soft footsteps heading to the door found Steve leaning back against the wooden wall of his cubicle, his hands fisted behind his back to prevent him from reaching for the latch of his stall.

 

He may be missing the one opportunity of happiness in a lifetime, he thought bitterly, but to keep his job, his friends, his Danno in his life, he would sacrifice anything.

 

The annoying squeal from the door sounded out again, but only halfway, as if it were being propped open in a moment of indecisiveness. Steve felt a quaking beginning in his gut.

 

Suddenly a familiar ringtone sounded out, cutting through the silence, echoing off the fixtures within. Steve lifted his head and reached a hand for the stall door, but then the sound was covered up by the main door’s hinges groaning into action and with a thud; Steve knew that he was right not to act.  It would only lead to more disappointment when he discovered that his companion hadn’t who he hoped it was. Who he wished it was, sighing again, he started to gather his belongings.

 

*S/D*

 

“Hello?” Danny asked as he started to head for his path up the ridge.

 

“Hey, Danny.” Chin’s pacifying tone filtered into his ear, forcing the worry to wait.  “So Kono and I were wondering if you wanted to get together tonight. We thought we might head over to Steve’s and see if we can’t break down some of the walls he seems to have put up when he was in jail. Get him back to the McGarrett, we know and like.”

 

Danny stopped in the middle of his path and looked at the toe of his right shoe. There covering most of the toe and the laces . . . Hell, even the cuff of his pant leg, was the very real evidence of how he spent his morning. The very real drying evidence, his mind supplied, whirling through the possibilities that the stains could reveal to him.

 

“Danny?” Chin asked, a note of worry in his voice.

 

“Yeah . . . yeah, Chin, sorry got caught up in a commercial . . . on the TV.” Danny lied. “So, what? A barbeque or something?”

 

Casting a quick look over his shoulder at the tired looking building nestled back in the trees, Danny started slowly picking his way up the rocky ridge towards the Camaro; taking care to not to stir up too much dust.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text


Filling the Niche – part II

 

Danny lay on the sofa in his weary little apartment and watched as the sun began to push through the slats of his blinds, painting the green walls with slender brilliant lines of light. It reminded him of the iron bars of all the dilapidated old jails from the spaghetti westerns he would watch with Pop. It reminded him of Steve.

 

Sighing, he folded his hands behind his head and wondered again what had happened to his friend in prison. He hadn’t asked at first, not wanting to bring the whole experience back to the front burner, but when Steve hadn’t pulled out from behind the barriers he had erected to keep everyone out, Danny had pushed . . . and pushed . . . and pushed some more, until Steve had eventually closed himself off even more, hidden behind the gates that held strong against everything, the team included.

 

Sure, he would still joke with the team occasionally and he definitely hadn’t forgotten how to continually throw himself at danger at every given opportunity, but something was different. It was as if he wouldn’t allow anyone to actually see him anymore. It was as if he had become a caricature of the old Steve and the new Steve was slightly more aloof and infinitely more secretive. Danny watched as the shadows of blowing branches outside disrupted the flow of light; making the lines fade and blend against each other.

 

He missed Steve.

 

He missed Steve, the irritating man from before and secreted away man now. Missed him so much that it felt as if an entire chamber of his heart had vaporized the minute he had collected him from the hell that Wo Fat had put him through, and Steve could barely meet his eyes.

 

He brought his right hand down to scratch idly at his chest. Perhaps his weakening heart wasn’t wholly imagined, Danny thought absently.

 

He had fallen for Steve pretty much from the word ‘go’, but seeing as how his boss was a graduate of Annapolis and a Navy SEAL, Danny was pretty sure that he was going to have to find other ways to satisfy the mind numbing yearning that seemed to only grow with every terrifying risk Steve took.

 

His hand continued to scratch lower along the blond hair of his chest and stomach, until it followed the narrow trail down below the waistband of his boxers.

 

He allowed his mind to recreate a series of vivid images of Steve at the office as he took himself to hand; leaning over the tech table, perfect ass in those cargos, presenting itself for Danny to want to bury himself so deep within it, that he would never find his way back out.

 

Danny rubbed with a bit more pressure at the last image.

 

His mind supplied him with a likeness of a Steve sprawled ever so suggestively in his desk chair,  dark hair mused and that goofy grin upon his face, unknowingly offering up a smorgasbord tantalizing sinful fantasies.

 

Picking up speed he pictured the SEAL across from him at his desk, twisting a pencil absently, loosely in between those sensuous lips. He could feel them on him, licking and sucking, hot, wet mouth taking his cock deep within his throat before sliding back and dipping into his slit over and over and over and  . . .

 

Fuck!

Danny yanked his hand from his boxers as if they had somehow ignited in the shame of the thought of exchanging his Steve for the anonymous mouth from the rest stop.

 

Danny huffed out an angry breath at the thought.

 

Steve was better than that. He would never stoop to going to someplace like that to have his needs met by a complete stranger. He could have anyone he wanted.

 

You know, he mumbled at the wall mixed of dark and light, its times like this I miss Matty.

 

Matty, who knew his secrets . . . all of them . . . and didn’t judge him at all for having to keep them.

 

Matty, who had taken those secrets and ran away to fucking South America, leaving his older brother not only to clean up his trail of deceit and heartache, but also adrift in an ocean full of his own personal shame and lies.

 

Swinging his legs to the floor, Danny heaved himself up and started for the kitchen. Coffee, a shower and then work and then . . . who knows, maybe he will come across that mouth again this afternoon. Then he can leave Steve safely upon the pedestal he has placed him on.

 

*S/D*

 

Wading into the cool morning water, Steve peered to his left as the sun started to break the horizon. He had missed so many things about the outside during his brief stint in prison, but there were only a handful he realized he couldn’t live without and swimming in the ocean right outside his back door was one of them.

 

 He dropped down into the waist deep water and started a long smooth stroke to propel his lithe frame out to the buoys.

 

In all his years with the Navy, both in the intelligence sector and with the SEALs, he had always dreamed of returning to his family’s home and swimming away his troubles like he had when he was a teen. Of course the troubles he has had to endure in the past year made his teenage angst seem so trivial and ridiculous now.

 

Stopping for a moment, he glanced over his shoulder to judge his distance from the shore, deeming himself far enough out he turned his body parallel to the beach and started what would become several ‘laps’ from one buoy to the other.

 

Swimming not only kept him in fighting trim, but allowed him to really concentrate on issues with the team and dealing with the new governor, his lack of faith in nearly everything else . . . and his secret longing for his partner.

 

As his powerful arms cut through the water, Steve pictured Danny’s smiling face the morning he had retrieved him from the prison and how his bright blue eyes clouded when Steve had merely walked over to the passenger side of the Camaro and waited for Danny to disengage the locks.

 

Steve hated himself for taking the beautiful light from those eyes.

 

It wasn’t that Steve hadn’t been overjoyed to see the blond detective again, he was. Fuck, he thought miserably, how he had missed being able to touch him. But that was just it. He could touch him and Steve was scared that if he did, a simple brush of a hand on the small of his partners back or hand upon one of Danny’s broad shoulders, would be entirely too revealing.

 

DADT had been officially nullified about two weeks before his release from his stone and iron hell, but that didn’t mean that he could let his secrets out, no more than he could let anyone in to explore them. That is why he hadn’t been anywhere near Waimea Bay in the past two weeks.

 

His sanctuary had been compromised and by his own volition. He had allowed himself to place the Danny from his mind and his heart into the stall across from him. Taking the sanctity of the man and tainting him with his own filthy, sinful needs.

 

Sure, he thought, his muscles starting to twinge from exertion, Danny didn’t know this and Steve swore to himself that would leave the island before he ever found out. Danny was a good cop and an even better man; he didn’t deserve to be saddled with a worthless closet case for a partner.

 

Steve turned his long form for another length in the warming water, his mind bitterly chewing through his faults and fears for what seemed like the millionth time. He knew he couldn’t stay away from the glory hole forever, any more than he could stay away from Danny.

 

He had grown soft since his return to the islands.

 

*S/D*

 

“So, slow day, huh?”

 

Danny looked up from his computer to take in the vision of Steve leaning against the door frame to his office, one hand rubbing idly at an itch or something high on his abdomen, rucking his shirt up in the process and exhibiting his toned stomach and a dark trail of hair secreting down below the button of his cargos.

 

Danny could feel his entire body tense with the desire to touch, to lick, to taste. He whirled tightly on his chair and whipped open a file drawer next to his desk.

 

“Uh, where’s everyone else?” He threw over his shoulder, his voice sounding choked, even to him.

 

“Jenna and Kono took those files over to the D.A.’s office and Chin went to the range to get re-qualified.” Steve replied as he strode into the office and perched on Danny’s desk.

 

Danny kept his eyes trained on the computer screen in front of him. He hadn’t truly been alone-alone with Steve since he came out of jail. Not because he didn’t want to, oh, he wanted to all right, but because he did have an amazing sense of self-preservation that he had been cultivating since his teen years, he tried to always have someone else around.

 

“What’s this?”

 

Danny cocked his head just enough to see Steve testing the weight of something with his hands.

 

‘Fuck!’ his heart screamed, while his mind set about calming all the rest of his organs down and working on a plan to get the bag out of his partners’ hands without sending up an red flags.

 

“Nothing.” He replied reaching for the sealed evidence bag that he had stupidly left on the chair next to his desk.

 

“Seriously, Danny, what’s in the bag?”Steve twisted away as he set about turning the oversized manila evidence envelope over and over in his hands. He examined the sealed flap.

 

Seriously, Steve, it’s nothing. I was just showing Grace how we bagged evidence when she was here the other day.” Danny replied as nonchalantly as he could, as he reached up a hand for Steve to hand him the bag.

 

“Grace?”

 

“Yes, Grace. You’ve met her. Adorable little girl with brown hair and eyes. Calls you ‘Uncle Steve’ and me ‘Danno’. Grace, you know . . . my daughter. Apple of my eye. Light of my world. Grace.” Danny knew he had a tendency to over talk when he was nervous, but hopefully, Steve would tune him out like he used to.

 

“But she’s like what, ten now?” Steve asked his eyebrows rising along with his questioning voice.

 

“Grace is nine . . . and what does that have to do with anything?” Danny said as he snatched the parcel away from his partner.

 

“Nothing, really. Just figured you had already shown her that when she was younger.” Steve replied, holding his hands up in surrender.

 

“I did. But I wanted to show her again. Is that okay with you, Steve?” Danny was inwardly cursing himself for the snarky tone in his voice, but he felt helpless to rein it back. He stood and leaned his hands against the edge of his desk.

 

“Grace?”

 

“Christ, Steve. What’s so hard to understand about my showing Grace something about my work?” Danny could feel the exasperation turning his cheeks pink.

 

“Nothing, Danno. It’s just that, well, your daughter is pretty bright, right?” Steve asked his fingers rubbing along the desk next to Danny’s hand.

 

“Pretty bright? I’d say she’s damn near brilliant. Why?” Danny watched as those fingers rubbed a long lazy line along the beveled edge and started back again. Back and forth. Back and forth, they glided.

 

“Well, if she’s brilliant, why did you have to show her the evidence thing again? That’s all I’m saying.” Steve’s face took on a bit of a hurt expression, as if Danny had actually implied that he was stupid . . . or worse, called him stupid.

 

“Look. I  . . . she was done with her homework and I had a bit more paperwork to do. So I gave her something . . . a pair of old pants to tag and bag. Okay?” Danny hoped that would be enough to bring the teasing back. He hated himself for the downturned lips and sad eyes. It reminded him of when he had found Steve in his office after putting his sister on the plane for the mainland; only this time he was responsible for it.

 

“Oh.” Steve said looking at the bag that Danny had tossed into the seat of his desk chair. “Just thought maybe it was . . . I don’t know . . . some evidence that could break the Strand case or something.”

 

Danny leaned a hip against his desk and cocked his head at Steve.

 

“You don’t think that I would tell you if I had said evidence? What do you take me for? Jeez, Steve, I wouldn’t hide anything that big. You do know that, right?”

 

“Yeah.” Steve answered slowly his face sliding back into its normal expression. “I just . . . Hey, what you up to tonight?”

 

“What? Oh, um, well I was going to go do some laundry and pick up some groceries, cupboards bare you know. Not even a bone. What about you?” Danny said as he pasted a weary grin on his face as he allowed the image of Steve asking that question burn itself into his memories for future bedtime fodder.

 

“Oh.” Steve said again, quieter this time. “Probably going to work on the Marquis some more. It was running fine before impound got a hold of it.”

 

Danny could sense something in his partners’ voice, but couldn’t quite put a name to it. It almost sounded like disappointment, but it seemed a bit too relieved for that. He was baffled at the constant flux of emotion that could flood into a room based on one having a conversation with Steve.

 

“Anyway.” Steve continued. “Might as well take off. Get some rest now before Strand blows up in our faces.”

 

“Yeah, probably right. I’ve a few more forms to finish up and I’ll be out the door behind you.” Danny said, laying a hand on Steve’s shoulder as he walked to the door. He had plenty of room to get around him, but he had to have at least one touch today. Something to tide him over until later.

 

Steve followed him and then edged past him out the door, his hip brushing against Danny’s waist.

 

“See you tomorrow, Danno.”

 

“Sure thing, Steve. Don’t let that tank you call a car get the better of you tonight.”

 

“Not a chance, man. Not a chance.” Danny watched Steve went briefly into his office and then left out the double glass doors of the main room.

 

He felt like a shit. Steve was maybe going to ask him to hang out or get a beer or do something tonight and he had fobbed him off so that he could go get his dick sucked. And hopefully find that mouth again, his cock supplied, perking a bit. Yep, he thought sharply, a class-A shit.

 

*S/D*

 

Easing his pack onto the back of the toilet, like always, Steve set about preparing himself for his penance. He heard the door open just as he finished changing his clothes, a odd practice, he knew, one probably not anyone else probably did, but to him it was a method of separating himself from Steve McGarrett, Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy and leader of Five-0 into Steve McGarrett, sinner and cock lover.

 

He had a feeling that he would be here for a while tonight. He had felt too raw today as if he had woken and his skin was inside out for the world to claw at. He needed relief and if that couldn’t be achieved, he needed to be worn out.

 

He heard the grating of the paper dispenser being removed from the wall of the neighboring stall and took a few cleansing breaths to steal away his hope. He knew the chances of it being the one, the one that brought him so close to exposing himself was slim to none, but as much as he didn’t want to ever see that man again; he craved his cock, hot and heavy in his mouth.

 

Reaching down he pulled the toilet paper holder from its screws and set it aside. Kneeling he closed his eyes and brought his right hand up to the opening in the wall. Lightly grasping the proffered shaft he lowered his head and started to lick gently at the crown. His disappointment grew rapidly.

 

It wasn’t him.

 

*S/D*

 

Reaching the highway, he continued walking along the shoulder from the scenic lookout. It was still about an hour until sunset, but the night was coming on quickly now that the sun had begun to sink lower than the mountainous interior of the island.

 

 Danny winced at the brightness of the headlights as a car crested a rise in the road. He stepped a little closer to the outside edge of the narrow shoulder. He should meet up with the path soon.

 

This was the latest he had ever come to the rest area, but he had a wild idea that maybe his talking had thrown his silent companion from before off and now he was avoiding Danny. Stupid thought, really, Danny told himself, but then he had also almost convinced himself that he wasn’t thinking like a stalker. Granted he had been here now, five times since that initial meeting with the man with the amazing mouth. And it hadn’t even been two full weeks yet.

 

Christ, he started the mental reaming for the umpteenth time, so much time wasted on trying to find that pair of sensual lips, that mouth that had been made for sucking dick, my dick, that throat that seemed like fucking Shangri La, and no name, no face, fuck, no way of ever find that piece of heaven again . . . well, one way, but after today, Danny knew he had to get rid of that evidence bag.

 

Danny kicked at a lump of weeds growing along the trail. How had this become his life? Avoiding his ideal man to try and meet up with an ideal mouth. Fuck, but he was sick, he thought bitterly, standing on top of the ridge staring down into the shaded clearing.

 

Reaching into his pockets he touched the drop phones that he had picked up last week in his left and his work phone in his right. He didn’t know if he would be able to follow through on his plan, but if He was there he just might be brave enough.

 

*S/D*

 

The man on the other side had started to softly moan in earnest now, his hips rocking wildly against the wall. Steve tried to figure the different scenarios in his head, of what would happen if he brought the guy off too quickly.

 

Would he be grateful or would he put up a fight for wasted time? Steve welcomed the conundrum; it allowed him to detach himself from the act.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny opened the door to the restroom and was assaulted by pleading from the stall next to the far end. He could hear someone uttering the stupidest platitudes, such as: “Oh, Baby, yeah, take it all.” And “I’m the best you’ve ever had, I can tell.” And stupidest of all “Ungh, yeah, suck me like a sucker.”

 

Really, Danny thought, his stomach churning in loathing. ‘Suck me like a sucker?’ Who the hell says shit like that? The voice had quieted in tone, but he could still hear murmured words down the way.

 

Reaching for the door handle, he contemplated just leaving, but two things stopped him. One, he had come clear across the island, given up a night with Steve, and frankly, had been hard since Steve bumped him in the doorway to his office.

 

 And two and this was a big ‘if’ he knew, but if that man down there was acting as if he was having his dick sucked clean off, it might be the man he was looking for in the far stall.

 

He pulled the door open and then let it shut, noise echoed throughout the room. He then silently crossed to a stall and eased the door shut, as the murmuring again returned to a frenzy of grunts and “Oh, baby’s.”, which soon melded into a brief but painful to listen to howl.

 

Danny leaned his head against the wall with a dull thud as he heard a stall click open and hurried footsteps making for the door, bypassing the sinks completely.

 

Stepping down to the only occupied stall in this side of the building he breathed out three words, barely audible above the silence and then held his breath.

 

“Are you done?”

 

It was nearly a full thirty seconds later before he heard the terse whisper.

 

“No.”

 

He stepped into the vacated stall and locked the door.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve stood slowly and shook out his knees and flexed his jaw. The last guy wasn’t that big, so the strain hadn’t been terrible. Just the soundtrack, he thought grimly.

 

He reached into his bag and grabbed the small bottle of mouthwash, uncapping it; he rinsed and spit three times before the unwanted flavor of the ‘talker’, as his brain so readily supplied, was gone.

 

Putting his pack down the floor behind him he pulled out a water bottle and took several swigs before he situated himself on his knees again and waited for the neighboring paper holder was removed.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny could hear the man swishing and spitting repeatedly into the toilet of the stall next to him; it made him feel a little better about using the same man as the guy before. Well, in the sense of hygiene, but he still felt like an ass asking someone to repeat something they just completed.

 

Undoing his belt and unfastening the button of his khakis, he unzipped and reached in and pulled his cock out. The man’s pleas from before had put a damper on some of his excitement, but with a few strokes and an image of Steve’s abs swirling through his mind, he was able to return to his previous state of anticipatory hardness in a matter of a minute or so. 

 

Stepping closer to the divider he gently removed the toilet paper holder to reveal an already open hole. Easing forward he rested his cheek against the wall and waited.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve glanced at the cock in front of him and could feel the anxiety rising within him. A few open mouthed kisses down the shaft until he nosed against the soft patch of pubic hair confirmed that the hope that had been beat down by the last guy was blooming again.

 

It was the one. The man with the fingers, the guy whose smell and taste alone had brought him such sweet completion last time.

 

Returning to the head he screwed his tongue lightly against the sensitive underside, causing a soft gasp to float down through the hole in the wall. Sliding his tongue along the slit, he jabbed a few times in a sort of subtle introduction.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny plastered his body against the wall. Arms outstretched, palms flat against the painted wood with his nails seeking purchase in the low lying grain.

 

It was the mystery man. The man that made him see stars last time and come like he hadn’t in years.

 

It was him.

 

*S/D*

 

Pulling off, Steve took the cock in his left hand and started stroking lightly, teasingly. The hips caught the rhythm and started to rock in a counter beat. His hand dropped to the waistband of his red board shorts and pulled on the end of the drawstring.

 

He flexed his aching jaw again and reached for his pack with his right hand. Pulling out a condom and a small bottle of lube, he laid them by his knee as he continued to kiss around the purpled crown. He flipped the lid of the lube open as quietly as he could, poured some sloppily into his right hand and reached behind him.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny was a bit disappointed that his companion hadn’t started sucking in earnest, but he told himself that he understood, that he had just finished giving head to the jackass before him and his jaw was probably tired.

 

Soon though, the hot and heavy dampness of the mouth returned, plunging quickly down his length before pulling back excruciatingly slow. The insides of the cheeks gliding softly, tightly along his cock as the mouth pulled back only to dive back down. It is exquisite, Danny thought, floating a bit inside his own head.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve prepared himself as best he could in the position he was in., He could have probably stood to have a few more minutes, but he had told himself when he was tossing items into his pack this afternoon, that if the man from before, this man, were to ever cross his path again, he was going to make a complete appeal for his soul.

 

Wiping his hand quickly on the towel upon which he kneeled he picked up the condom and let his mouth pull off the gloriously hard length in front of him.

 

Ripping the wrapper gently with his teeth, he bent down and whispered against the hot flesh in front of him

 

“Let me.”

*S/D*

 

Danny felt the words as much as heard them. His mind was trying to catch up to the proceedings, but when the sheath of latex started to encompass his dick; he could feel the confusion starting draw his brows closer together.

 

The man had let him shoot his come all over him last time. Which in these days of safe sex wasn’t exactly, well, safe. But why the condom now, he silently questioned his partner in the other stall.

 

Oh.

 

Ooooh.

 

There was pressure, sweet, sweet pressure and then the giving of muscles, before he felt the tight warmth starting to envelop his cock, the taut skin pulling and pushing at his length.

 

Oh. Fuck. YES!

 

*S/D*

 

Steve knew that the rhythm would be tricky and that he was definitely going to feel this in the morning, maybe for the whole day, but something about this one . . .

 

*S/D*

Danny tried to hold still and to not make any sudden jerks, but as the man on the other side pulled away slightly and then pushed back harder still; he could feel himself surging forward ever so slowly.

 

It had been nearly three years since he had had this; after the divorce, before his exodus to Hawaii. Three years since he could feel a body locking with his as tightly as a pair of puzzle pieces or . . . or . . . or he couldn’t think of anything else. He didn’t want to think of anything, just him, his companion, his cock and the ass he was working at becoming buried in.

 

The man pulled forward again and then Danny felt the fabulous drag of flesh cutting through flesh as he backed down as far as the wall would permit.

 

He felt the strangers hand come back and separate his cheeks more allowing him to sink back a few more millimeters onto Danny’s rock hard cock.

 

He wasn’t going to last, he knew. It had been too long and he had been excited earlier. But fuck, it was going to be Heaven and Hell wrapped so tightly together he didn’t care where he ended up.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve reached a hand backwards above him and gripped the top of the divider, his right he flung out and braced against the stall door. Dropping his chin to his chest he whispered the word “Go” and waited for the plunge and thrust.

 

He wanted the burn and the ache, He wanted the cock, this cock to split him open and reveal his secrets.

 

He wanted to feel again.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny saw the bracing hand above his head and reached up to lace the fingers of his left hand with it. It held tightly to his as if fearful Danny would take his and himself away. It made him want to embrace this solitary man as a kindred spirit. Obviously he wasn’t the only one going through this lonely existence taking what he could when he could.

 

Hips, pistoning as much as they could in the confined space, Danny rose up slightly on the balls of his feet and felt his heavy sack start slamming against the man’s flesh. The sound was obscene as it echoed against the fixtures of the otherwise, and blessedly so, empty room.

 

He could feel the heat building rapidly, low in his gut as it struggled to exit his body and fill his companion with his warmth. Danny had never felt so in tune with his body before. It was as if the secrecy and the anonymity collided to create a special void within his consciousness. A void for him to fill up and share with no one, but the man in the next stall.

 

 *S/D*

 

Steve could feel his cock bobbing angrily against his stomach, the pre-come matting in the stretch of hair below his navel. He pulled his hand from the door and trusting the anchoring hand above him; he locked his fist around his shaft and started a punishing tempo.

 

Too soon, he felt the snap in his testicles and watched as he covered his belly, hand and floor with his come. He groaned at the sensation of emptying his cock while being filled and knew that he would have to have this again soon.

 

Very soon.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny heard the groan that followed the muffled splatter, but more importantly he felt the muscles around his still ramming cock as they constricted and spasmed in the most delicious way.

 

A few more rugged twitches with his hips and Danny followed the man into a heart-pounding, brain melting orgasm.  He bit his lip to keep from crying out and could taste the coppery tang of blood seeping onto his tongue. He could feel the condom filling and hoped that it would hold.

 

*S/D*

 

Pulling forward, both Steve and the man behind him winced audibly at the act of separation. He could have stayed like that for much longer, but he knew that being conjoined through a wall was probably not an ideal post-coital position.

 

He felt the hollowness that came after being filled so full, discomforting. Not physically, but it was a very visceral feeling deep within his body. He had only been used twice for sex in prison and neither of the times was it meant to be an act of love and compassion. Like now? His mind questioned, disbelieving what his heart obviously felt.

 

And fucked was he in the head that he was starting to imagine a relationship through a fucking hole in the wall.

 

Steve backed against the door and covered his face with his hands as though by hiding his eyes, none of it were true.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny regretfully re-hung the paper holder, again separating him from the man that he identified so much with.

 

He pulled off the condom and wrapped it in toilet paper to toss on his way out. Tiding himself up as best he could from within his stall; Danny readjusted his clothes as quietly as possible, hoping beyond hope, that his partner, his friend would say something, anything. But the stall next to him was silent.

 

Patting himself down, making sure that he had his keys and everything else he came in with, Danny came across the cell phones in his left pocket. Pulling them out, he tucked one under his elbow and he typed as quick a text as his thumbs would allow with the other and laid the phone on the back of the toilet. He reached into his back pocket and extracted a folded sheet of yellow notepaper. He pulled off a few squares of toilet paper, placing both the note and the phone from under his arm on them and laid them gently on the floor.

 

Unlocking the door, he allowed it to swing in. Peeking out he saw that their coupling had gone unnoticed or at least there was no in the room with them at that moment. Sliding the small pile on the floor to just beneath the neighboring stall. Danny grabbed the phone from the back of the stool and left the cubicle. As he walked slowly to the sinks, glanced back at the ankles and feet beneath the stall door. Washing his hands briskly. He picked up the phone again and hit send.

 

The light of the phone shone brightly beneath the closed stall.

 

He paused until, he saw a hand come down and pick up the phone.

 

He wanted to get to know the man, this man, but tonight was not the night.

 

Sighing, he pulled open the door and listened as it groaned into place behind him.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve stared at the phone in his hand. He was confused at first, but the message was not meant in malice, but it was direct, if not polite.

 

*Thank you! Please read the note. Please. Good night.*

 

He stared at the note for several minutes before the motion-activated lights, sensing that everyone had gone, went out.

 

He was alone again.

Chapter Text



Filling the Niche, part III

 

A watched pot never boils, Daniel. Go make yourself useful and I’ll call you when it’s ready. The voice of Danny’s grandmother chided him gently. Her voice so clear in his memory, he fought the urge to check over his shoulder to make sure that she hadn’t somehow escaped from his Aunt Valerie’s in Hoboken and jetted to Hawaii merely to lecture him about his impatience, much like she had when he was a boy.

 

But today the pot in question was just as she had said, not boiling . . . or ringing, he thought joylessly, staring at the burn phone peeking out from beneath its hiding spot under a random scrap of paper.

 

It had been three days since he had taken the unprecedented . . . and possibly stupidest step of his life, by attempting to make a better connection with the man from beyond the wall. Maybe, he thought dismally, maybe he should have left well enough alone and let the power of fate and folly take its course, but, well, he’s never believed in fate and it seemed that all he had ever followed, besides Grace, were follies.

 

Follies that had always managed to pan out okay before, but this one . . . just yeah; this one had the possibility to destroy him. 

 

Sighing, Danny lifted the edge of the paper and hit the button to power up the touch screen. There was no notification of an incoming message or a missed call. Turning in his chair towards the monitor with its half filled report and its angry, blinking cursor, he forced himself to resume his version on the take down of the morons running the sloppiest chop shop on the island. It was amazing that the Strands had had them running around for so many long, stupid days.

 

After he caught himself glancing at the black edge of plastic from beneath its paper shroud for the third time, Danny opened the drawer of his desk and swept the phone into it. Slamming it shut, more out of annoyance at his own weakness than at the silence from the only number programmed into the cell, he closed his eyes and counted to ten.

 

I hope that Grandma Williams is right, he murmured sullenly under his breath. I need her to be right.

 

*S/D*

 

He could feel it as it brushed against his thigh with his every step as he strode from his office to the water cooler in the main room.

 

He had carried the phone with him as a reminder of what it had and would cost for his salvation. His soul torn between his original need for repentance, for absolution and the need to feel the closeness of someone again; even if it were just through text messages and an hole in the wall.

 

How much of a whore was he that he desired a connection with a man, that man, so much that Steve knew that he would blindly go to his knees for him time and time again at the merest glowing word from the phone. That question, ultimately, was what was preventing him from making contact; he didn’t know the answer. He was pretty sure that he didn’t want to know.

 

Its solid warmth was present when he sat, stood, ate, and worked. A slender suggestion of what he could have, of what was being made available to him. The only time he had a reprieve from the gravity of the situation was when he went out for his morning swim or took a shower. But that didn’t stop his mind from racing through his memories of their mutual depravity, their shared deviance, in vivid recollections.

 

He could feel the instant coolness against his flesh as he took the phone out to re-read the only message in the inbox. An occurrence that had developed into a habit within a matter of hours after it had blinked to life on the floor of his stall. He knew he should respond, that he shouldn’t leave the man twisting in the wind, but he was at a loss of what to say; he needed his anonymity just as much as he needed to feel the flesh of another man.

 

Steve looked through the glass walls of the various offices and watched his team working diligently away at their desks. He wondered if any of them knew of his shame, of his search for someone to ease his guilt.  They had all been so excited to see him after his release, even Jenna. But after that first couple of weeks, they seemed to be more wary around him. But that could be because of his own need to guard them from his new pastime, or to be fair, guard himself from their disappointment.

 

They didn’t try to get him involved outside of work anymore. Kono quit calling in the wee hours of the morning in search of a surfing buddy. Chin hadn’t brought up spear fishing since the second time Steve had declined. He couldn’t tell them that he wasn’t available because the need to visit his sanctuary was tearing at his gut; making him avoid what was once the norm for something he felt so deeply in his heart.

 

And Danny.

 

Danny, who had tried the hardest at first to help Steve to reacclimatize to life outside of prison; he seemed to always be busy anymore. Danny had taken to shooting out of his office with a brief wave or a nod in Steve’s general direction before heading out the double glass doors of the office for parts unknown.

He even bitched less in the car as they covered the highways of Oahu over and over again. To Steve it felt as though Danny was using everything in his power to try and keep up appearances, but in reality, he was finishing the systematic extraction of Steve from his life that he had started before Steve had his little government issued vacation.

 

Steve never asked where he was going; he just naturally assumed that he was meeting up with Rachel on the sly still. Sure, the beautiful brunette was back with Stan, but that hadn’t stopped her and Danny before, why should it now?

 

And what could I offer him that she couldn’t, Steve’s brain sneered at him. He’s better off with a married woman than with a man that missed the title ‘ex-con’ by just a few signed slips of paper.

 

He missed them, all of them, but he had had a decision made for him in his time away. A reversal of one he made long ago. He had given up so much when he had followed his father’s dreams for the future. Now with his dad dead and buried and his own reputation in shambles, Steve was finally going to fight for what he wanted, what he needed. Well, he would fight when he could muster up the courage to do so.

 

He was still standing at the water cooler, staring at the phone in his hand, screen darkened again in disuse, when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Looking around he saw Danny watching him with an eyebrow scrunching expression. Steve swallowed the frigid water down past the small lump that had formed in his throat and nodded. Slipping the cell back into his pocket, he tossed the paper cup into the small bin and headed back to his office.

 

Now was not the time to be thinking of reaching out to his secret friend, especially when he couldn’t even face ones made of flesh and bone.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny sat on his sagging green nightmare of a sofa, watching the small brash animated penguin get schooled by the brilliant blue wall of water yet again. It’s a stupid movie, he thought as he idly smoothed Grace’s hair away from her sleeping face on his thigh.

 

Why do penguin’s need surf boards anyway? Don’t they glide naturally through the water? But his Monkey loved the movie and so they were watching it yet again after he picked her up from her weekly piano lesson. He found that he wasn’t fond of the sound of unsure little fingers skipping sporadically across the glossy white and black keys, but it was worth it to get to spend every Wednesday evening with his little girl.

 

He was contemplating turning off the DVD when an unusual muffled chime caught his attention. He pulled his phone from his shirt pocket, but after thumbing the screen alive, he saw that it held no unread messages.

 

Turning the phone over in his hand a few times before he returned it to its cotton cocoon, he cast a speculative look at Gracie’s book bag across the room. He was piecing together the probability of his being able to hear a phone zipped in a bag clear across the room, when it struck him.

 

The other phone.

 

The phone in his pants’ pocket, the companion to the one he slid under the stall door nearly a week ago. Slipping a hand into his pocket, he cradled his daughter’s head with the other, careful not to jostle her awake. The screen lost its glow just as he pulled it into his lap. Swallowing his anxiety, he held it for nearly a minute before he could bring himself to bring the phone back to life.

 

Following the few simple prompts to reach his message inbox, Danny held his breath as the screen flitted to the new message.

 


**

hello**


 

Letting the breath out from between his dry lips, Danny felt his heart rate pick up in pace, until it thumped dangerously fast against his ribs. If a one word text could bring about this response, what would happen when there were more?

 

Hitting the return icon, Danny slowly set about formulating his reply.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve sat loose limbed in the deck chair, the phone silently resting upon his flat stomach as he took a draw from the long neck in his hand, Soon though it lit up with a small buzz signifying that he had a return message. He stared at it until the screen dimmed and went dark again.

 

He knew that if he started this, that if he became an active participant in whatever he and the other man planned out, he could be setting himself up to take a much bigger fall than the one he had just lived through.

 

Wiping the condensation from the bottle on his board shorts, he picked up the phone and poked a long finger at the menu button.

 

**Hi. How are you doing?**

 

Steve stared at the innocuous words on the screen. Sucking in a tight breath, he took another pull on the beer before he typed out his answer.

 


**

I’m good. You?**


 

 And we’re off, he thought, a touch of nerves escaping from his body through a small shaky laugh.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny smiled as the words let up the screen. He couldn’t do anything tonight, not with Grace here, he thought looking down at his dozing angel, but now that the man had decided that the phone might be a good way to communicate they could, well, they could pretty much guarantee that they would be able to be together or at least feel one another through the hole.

 

**I’m sitting here, letting my dinner settle**

 

Danny sent back after a few seconds of wild thinking. He couldn’t very well say that he was acting as pillow for his sleeping daughter, could he?

 

**Anything good? Having a beer myself** came the reply.

 

 

**No. Beer sounds good**

 

 

He didn’t wait for a response before he sent a second message.

 

**Im guessing you read the note. Is it okay?**

 

He watched as the credits rolled on the TV screen, the weird medley of beach tunes were replaced by The Dude singing along to a ukulele as the print got smaller on the screen.

 

The phone remained silent in his hand for several minutes.

 

**I did and yes. It is as important for me to keep my two lives separate as it is for you.**

 

 

Danny felt his muscles weaken in relief as he read the text. He was hoping that he hadn’t been too forward in the letter; well, not anymore forward than asking a stranger to blow him through a hole in the wall at least.

 

He looked down as Grace shifted in her sleep, her head sliding nearly off of his leg. Setting the phone down on the worn green arm of the sofa, he gently lifted her head and eased his leg out of the way before lowering her, peaceful smile playing on her lips, to rest on the cushion. Standing silently, he snagged the phone and wandered into the kitchen. A beer or two really did sound good.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve thought of the note in his bedroom, hidden away in a frame, behind a photo of his mother as he waited for a reply.

 

He had read it so many times that he could destroy it now and still be able to tell you every word, where every comma fell, every spot where the pen was held a fraction too long, and how painstaking it must have been for the man to print every word in small block letters.

 

Except he didn’t want to destroy the note, he had read it at least once a day since it was slid under the wall into his reach. Sure, it wasn’t the most romantic he had ever received, but it was composed from the heart. How else would the man have had the guts to do such a thing? Contrary to popular belief, not every man thinks with his cock, he mocked himself and tipped the bottle up again.

 

He looked at the silent phone in his hand and could feel the doubt starting to shred at his calm. Maybe I should offer to go meet him. Maybe he doesn’t really want to get to know me, just my mouth. Maybe the note was just a way to lure me in. Maybe I am just an available whore to him. Maybe I . . . the light of the phone interrupted the growing steam of his self-recrimination.

 

**Sorry. Had to get a beer. I know we don’t want real names but what can I call u?**

 

Shit. I hadn’t thought of that, Steve mumbled into the rim of his nearly empty beer. In his mind he flipped through the names of nearly everyone he knew, but discarded each possible selection.

 

**You can call me Frank**

 

Steve looked at the name on the screen, the glow more obvious in the setting sun. Frank. Well, then how about another Rat Packer, he thought smugly, typing back a message to call him Dean.

 

**Okay, Dean. All we need are a Sammy and a Peter and we got ourselves a pack!**

 

Steve laughed out loud at the return message. He reached down and grabbed a second Fire Rock. Popping the top, he took a second to read the inside of the cap before his fingers scurried over the touch screen of the phone.

 

**Exactly. Though I think you have Peter covered. Hey did you know that Koa means warrior in Hawaiian?**

 

As he hit send he could feel the anticipation of what Frank would say to his innuendo setting his stomach to twisting slightly. It was as if he were back in grade school, passing notes and praying that they reached the proper hands without being leered at by the prying eyes of his classmates or worse, the teacher.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny laughed at the hint of playfulness in Dean’s message. As he reached down to pick up his own beer cap, he was hit with how good it felt to have someone know his secret, even if they never talk about it, he wasn’t so alone anymore. Glancing at the cap, he laughed again, causing his goofy thumbs to misspell the word three times before he got it right.

 

**and Ki

ha is

burp. Longboard? AND I think it was u that had Peter covered. Both times**

 

The message notification had said sent for barely a few seconds before he got a reply.

 

**Fire Rock. And what can I say. I liked it. A lot!**

 

Danny felt his cheeks flush with delight, He glanced over his shoulder through the creeping dimness of the living room; Grace was still sleeping as the weird penguin voices spoke awkwardly from the start screen on the TV. It was nice this, sitting on the step to his place, talking with someone, with no agenda, no reason to be anyone else.

 

**Did you want to meet?**

 

Danny read the screen and felt the sourness of the beer start to crawl back up his throat. He cast around his mind for a believable lie that wouldn’t give his family situation away.

 

**I cant right now. Work thing. Tomorrow?**

 

*S/D*

 

Reading the message again, Steve felt an unexpected wave of relief wash over him. It wasn’t that he wasn’t willing to drop everything and hurry up to Waimea Bay, he was. But he also liked the conversation that they were having. He had never been able to just let all of his insecurities and shields down. He typed his response in the rosy twilight.

 

**Tomorrows good for me. Day? Night?**

 

He glanced out at the soft whitecaps barely visible in the cove beyond the sandy beach. A soft buzzing brought his eyes back to the cell in his hand.

 

**Night works best. 7ish? And do you remember the letter? Anything you want**

 

The text made Steve drop his hand into his lap and seriously think of what was being offered. He knew that he would enjoy it, no doubt about it, but there was something that made him hold back from stepping into the other stall. He quickly typed what he thought was a placating reply.

 

**Lets stick to same stalls. If that’s okay.**

 

He scowled at the phone, worry starting to build at the lack of immediate response. In the note, Frank had said that he was up for anything, but Steve couldn’t bring himself to leave the last stall; he wasn’t ready. He had so much to atone for, before he could find true pleasure in his time spent at the little wooden building.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny stared at the message, the joy that had building steadily left in a whoosh of disappointment. Here he was offering to give the man . . . no, Dean . . . a blow job, a hand job, hell, even his ass and he was being turned down. It was a serious blow to his psyche.  He knew he should respond that it was okay. He had said anything, but . . . fuck.  Really?

 

*S/D*

 

The despair of possibly losing someone he had just found was a new pain to Steve, one that hurt worse than being arrested by Chin. It had taken him weeks to get over that. But this? This was a sudden, sharp ache at the base of his sternum, a physical throb of anguish.

 

**Frank?**

 

He sent the message and lay the phone down on the arm of the chair. Standing, he swallowed the rest of his beer, a little seeping from the corner of his mouth to drip onto his bare collarbone. He snagged a third from the cooler and popped off the top.

 

He walked the short distance to the edge of the water and looked back at the house; his father’s house. Had he just let Frank down? Sure, he had had a blow job before, but not from a man and he had never fucked a man; what if he couldn’t? What if he was always supposed to be on his knees?

 

He caught the faint glowing light of the phone as it lit up in his peripheral vision. He was scared to see what Frank had to say. Maybe he would recommend that they call it off. Steve wouldn’t hold it against him if he did. Christ, he thought angrily, I’m like a fucking teenage girl!

 

Turning away from the cool water lapping at his ankles he walked back to the deck chair and picked up the silent phone.

 

**Did you know that Hau’oli means happy. Anything you want Dean. I want you to have pleasure too**

 

*S/D*

Danny stared at the little smiling talk bubble on the phone that meant that his text had been sent. Dean must have been hurt in a previous relationship, he mused as he thumbed the screen to keep it from growing dark. That must be why he feels that he always has to be the one to provide the service.

 

He heard Grace starting to shift on the couch inside. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, but he really didn’t want her to witness him setting up a time to act out his sexual fantasies with another man. Not that she would know that that was what he was doing, but . . . but he would.

 

The stupid smiling bubble lit up with a reply from Dean.

 

**
Thanks**

 

Danny didn’t need to see the man to understand the sense of relief in that one word.

 

**No prob. Still want you Hau’oli too :) **


 

He hit send as he heard Grace get up and start padding towards the screen door.

 

“Danno?”

 

“Yeah, baby, I’m out here. Why don’t you go brush your teeth and put on you PJ’s. We’ll watch another movie as we go to bed. Okay?” Danny talked quietly through the door. He heard the small chime of his phone, but Dean would have to wait a minute.

 

“Okay, Danno. Can we watch the Dead Pirate Roberts again?” She said rubbing her nose lightly on the screen.

 

“Sure, Monkey, but go take care of those teeth, before the R.O.U.S.’s come out and play.” He laughed at her mispronunciation before reaching up to push lightly on the dent her nose was making.

 

With a sleep-addled giggle she shot off to the bathroom and he thumbed the phone alive again.

 

**I will be. I have an idea for both of us.**

 

**Sounds like a plan. Ive got to go, but Im looking forward to tomorrow. Goodnight Dean**

 

Danny could hear the water running in the bathroom sink as Grace warbled a bit of one of the songs from the penguin movie. The brief vibration of the phone made him jump a bit in the darkness.

 

**Okay, Frank. Until 7 tomorrow then. Sleep well and goodnight**

 

Danny rose from the step and flexed his stiff knees. Tucking the phone back into his pocket, he reached for the door. He could feel a smug grin starting to crawl across his lips. Who’s the brilliant bastard that thought of the drop phones, he thought. I am. He bent down and snagged the half-full beer and the other empty bottle.

 

Stepping across the threshold, he called out.

 

“Hurry, Monkey, I think I hear the steps of a giant coming.”

 

*S/D*

 

Crossing the main room, headed for his office, Steve couldn’t wipe the smile off his face if he tried. Stepping into the office, he started to whistle a little as he sorted through the pile of folders on his desk. He had had his morning swim, a breakfast of toast and fresh fruit, traffic wasn’t as snarled as it usually was, lunch had been on Danny as a payoff for some bet he had with Chin, and now in a less than three hours, he was going to get to be with Frank.

 

Frank, the man that had text him awake with a reminder of their ‘date’ and a ‘Good Morning, Sunshine.’

 

Steve felt somewhat stupid for being so taken with a man he had actually never met. But for once it felt good to just let go of it all, to let go of the fear and the misgivings. He had come up with a way for both of them to find their own happiness during tonight’s meeting and then maybe they could figure out where to go from there.

 

“Are you whistling the theme from Gilligan’s Island?” Came the incredulous voice from his open doorway. Steve whipped his head up to see that the look on Danny’s face matched his tone.

 

“No.” He answered somewhat petulantly. “I’m whistling a tune to an Emily Dickinson poem.”

 

“Seriously, Steve. That was Gilligan’s Island. I watched that show everyday afterschool for years.”

 

“Yeah, well, I didn’t. I had other things to occupy my time.”

 

“Ooh, that’s right, Mr. Football Star. Well, then I’ll have you know that that was the theme to Gilligan’s Island that you were whistling.” Danny posted his fists on his hips and leaned forward a bit in defiance. “And you call yourself a sailor.”

 

“Actually, Danny. I call myself a SEAL and if the need arises, it’s Lieutenant Commander, Steve McGarrett. And that was a tune to an Emily Dickinson poem. That’s how I learned to memorize them.” Steve replied, his voice rising a little in exasperation.

 

“Well, I learned that it was The Yellow Rose of Texas.”Danny answered with a touch of haughtiness creeping into his tenor.

 

“What?” Steve asked, dropping the folders back onto his desk and quirking his eyebrows up in confusion.

 

“The Yellow Rose of Texas. That’s how you memorize poor Emily’s poems.”

 

Steve stood and watched as Danny puffed up a bit as if he was getting ready to wage war. He glanced over Danny’s shoulder and was met with two gleaming set of teeth, grinning at him from the tech table.

 

“What?” he repeated to the Cheshire cousins in the main room.

 

“Nothing, Boss.” Kono replied sliding a bit closer to Chin.

 

“It’s just good to hear.” Chin said evenly.

 

“What? His spastic whistling or the lame excuse he has for said whistling?” Danny taunted as he whirled to face the Hawaiians.

 

“Neither.” Chin said, eyes dancing mischievously above his broad cheek bones.

 

“What then?” Steve questioned, his good mood starting to evaporate like an afternoon of rain showers.

 

“You two bickering. It’s been a while, is all. Sounds good.”

 

“Yeah. Like old times.” Kono added, brave enough now to step away from her cousin’s side.

 

Danny turned and cocked an eyebrow at Steve.

 

“Yeah, well . . .” Steve was stunned by the honesty he had just heard. He hadn’t realized just how much the team had been at odds in the past few months. “Well, it was an Emily Dickinson poem.”

 

He joined in with Chin and Kono’s laughter as they all watched Danny throw up his hands and wander towards his office.

 

It felt good. He felt good. Better than he had in a long time.

 

*S/D*

 

There wasn’t a towel hanging over the door like the first time, Danny checked his watch. 6:53. Sure he was a little early, but he wanted to be sure to meet up with Dean. He checked the stall doors and saw that they were all empty.

 

He thought about stepping outside to get a drink from the cracked porcelain water fountain affixed to the front of the building, but he was scared that if Dean saw someone loitering around, he might not come close to the rest room and then all his careful planning and the cost of the phone and his own growing joy might be for naught.

 

Washing his hands quickly, Danny decided to just take his place in the fifth stall and wait. Sliding the lock closed, he unfastened his belt and pulled his shirt loose from the waist of his khakis. He wondered if tonight’s engagement was going to be a blow job like before, all hot and wet and positively mind-melting. He started to unbutton his shirt when the door creaked out a warning that he was about to lose his privacy in the echoing chamber.

 

“Frank?”

 

He heard the whisper that was nearly drowned out by a soft knock on his stall door.

 

“Yeah.” He replied watching a blur of dark blue glide past the crack between the hinges. The door to the last stall swung shut with a dull thud followed by the metallic clicks of the lock engaging.

 

He had been looking forward to this all day, well, since last night really, when they had finally started communicating. But now that the time had arrived, he could feel the nervous butterflies starting to torment his gut. It wasn’t out of any fear that may have been lying dormant in his heart, but from the growing feeling of attachment he had for the man in the next stall.

 

With shaky hands he thumbed the button open on his pants and released his hardened cock from the stretched to the limit confinement of his pants.

 

*S/D*

 

He hadn’t meant to be late, in fact Steve had left work a couple of minutes early, but a vicious case of doubt had found him in the truck parked in the lot a mile behind the structure, banging his fist on the steering wheel. His good mood from the day throbbing away with every sharp twinge of pain he had inflicted on his hand.

 

He wanted to believe that this wasn’t a trap. That Frank wasn’t a cop taking part in a sting, but after the idea planted itself firmly in his mind on the way to the rendezvous, he couldn’t shake it.  He hadn’t heard a word through the usual channels about any upcoming undercover operations that the HPD were working on, but that didn’t mean that it couldn’t happen; he had been pretty preoccupied lately.

 

He would get this way before a big op when he was with the SEALs, but even if everything went south, he usually had a team with him that would help him carry out the plan. Now though, now he had himself and no one else to rely on; no one to catch him if he fell.

 

Steve shook out his hands again as he crested the small hill that lead up to the clearing. The evening light had cast a warm glow against the weather wood, making it seem inviting, like a refuge from a gathering storm; a safe haven.

 

He entered and winced at the ever-constant shriek of the rusted door hinge. If he didn’t use the obnoxious noise as a warning signal, he knew that he would sneak a can of spray lubricant in with him sometime.

 

Steve crossed the concrete floor, boots making a soft resounding thump with each step. Lifting a hand to the closed door next to his, he rapped quietly as he whispered Frank’s name.

 

Hearing the quiet ‘yeah’ through the wooden wall, Steve, stepped into his self-appointed stall, locked the door and then just stood there regrouping. Frank had come like he said he would, Steve let a soft rush of air leave his body, trying to cleanse it of the now unnecessary nervousness.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny reached down and removed the paper dispenser to its temporary home on the back of the stool. He rubbed idly at the soft hair leading down from his navel; he had taken a shower after work, wanting to be as clean as possible for Dean and whatever his plan was.

 

Bringing his left hand up, he licked the fingertips of his index and middle fingers and then his thumb, before lowering them to roll his nipple roughly about. He hadn’t discovered how sensitive they were, until he experienced the constant torment they were under by the roughness of the nylon backing of his tac vest through his light cotton shirts.

 

In New Jersey, he nearly always wore undershirts, but here, well, the humidity could make a man start panting without any extra stimulation at all. Plus, being McGarrett’s partner made the vest a daily wardrobe option.

 

He remoistened his fingers and started to tease the other tightening little bud. His other hand dropped dangerously close to his erection, making it bob and sway higher and higher towards his abdomen.

 

Moaning softly at the sharp little stabs of desire radiating from his chest, he took his right hand away from the temptation of his cock and used it to prop himself against the wall; fingernails scrabbling at the paint.

 

“Hurry.” He breathed out on the tail end of a soft moan. He didn’t know if Dean could hear him, but if the man didn’t hurry, it wouldn’t only be a whisper that came out of his mouth, but a high pitched plea for relief.

 

*S/D*

 

“Hurry.”  Was the first thing Steve heard as he quietly lifted the toilet paper holder from the wall. He wondered what Frank was up to over there.

 

His pondering was short lived as his companion shuffled forward a bit to ease his red and tormented shaft into Steve’s waiting hand. Steve gave it a firm squeeze, the heat from it bringing dampness to his palm.

 

He pulled his tee shirt up to bind tightly against his chest as he stepped forward to brush the tip against the supple hairs leading into the waistband of his cargos. The movement brought a sharp intake of breath from Frank.

 

Switching hands, he pulled at the fly of his pants, making the button pop easily and the teeth to cause a glorious friction against his own cock.

 

Knocking his left hand high on the wall, he danced his fingers lightly across the top of the divide. The hint had been taken as soon a warm hand with damp fingertips curled around his. He felt a wicked grin start to form on his face as he anchored the hand down and then removed his other one from the now leaking length in front of him.

 

Delving down into the front of his boxer briefs, he used his wrist to ease the elastic band beneath his sack. The cooler air of the stall, after the sultriness of the confinement of cotton and nylon, brought a quivering sensation to the newly exposed flesh. He could feel the goosebumps starting to make their way up his stomach and onto his chest.

 

Steve stepped a little closer and fed the head of his cock through the wall above Frank’s. As their cocks brushed lightly, he could feel the desire ratcheting up low within his abdomen. God, how he loved to feel another’s skin against his.

 

If this is sinning according to everyone else, then for the love of all that is holy, I am a sinner, he thought, gasping as Frank’s hand gripped his shaft firmly against his own. Fuck, yeah, I am a sinner.

 

*S/D*

The velvety skin of Dean’s penis brushed against Danny’s hand before he realized what was going on with his own. Glancing down, he felt the soft scrunch of hair as it rubbed against his sensitive slit, and caught a glimpse of the edge of a hand guiding his cock to lie under the other man’s.

 

Fuck.

 

In all his years of sneaking a quick, somewhat satisfying release for his more basal desire, Danny knew that he had never experienced a hand job like the one he was about to. Dean was taller than him, but his length was very close to the same as his own, which saved any extreme awkwardness to their coupling, he noted and where his own cock was broader at the base and slimmed towards the crown, Dean’s was magnificently thick from root to tip.

 

Lifting his hand to his mouth, he licked a couple of broad stripes over his palm and up his fingers and thumb, before returning it to Dean’s shaft; the tip of his pinky finger ghosting over the tip.

 

He pushed his hand up the length a few times and felt Dean’s knuckles brushing against his own as the other man tried to find a rhythm that alternated his own.

 

Shutting his eyes and tipping his head back as far as it would go, Danny concentrated on the only two things that held any importance for him at that very point in time. First, trying to stave off the rapidly building orgasm that he could feel in the heat pooling low in his belly and secondly, trying to savor the exquisite texture of the taut skin that he was being allowed to touch for the first time.

 

*S/D*

 

Frank’s hand was smaller than his, was the first thing that Steve noticed, but what he lacked in size he made up for in dexterity. The  quick tightness of the down slide was partnered with a looser, slower upstroke that ended with a twist around the head, the creases of the knuckles on his small finger playing at his slit.

 

Though his experience with the male body was limited to his own, his tormentors in the prison, and the nameless, faceless few from beyond the hole in the wall, Steve knew that he was never going to ever feel the carnal, sensuous pleasure like he was this first time.

 

It was longing and hunger and passion all at once performed by a deviously precise fist with a punishing grip.

 

In a word, Steve thought hazily, it was torture. Delicious, forbidden torture.

 

He felt his own attempts at pleasing Frank falter a few times, as he felt the boiling of his blood and the rushing of his climax collide within his testicles.

 

Gripping the hand wrapped within his  above the wall, tightly, he felt the crashing surge as it started its exodus to leave his body.

 

He felt helpless in the onslaught of bliss and want, as it shot out of his cock in a gush of come that drizzled into the light brown hairs at the base of his companion’s shaft.

 

He heard a light keening noise echoing against the walls and fixtures of the men’s room and was surprised to realize that it came from him. He had never heard that before, not from when he had fucked any of the women that he tried to convince himself he was interested in, not from when Catherine had offered to help him find himself, and especially not when he was being held down just a few short months ago.

 

He could feel the shame for not extending the pleasure starting to eat at his insides as he felt Frank’s hand let go of his cock and circle around his own motionless one on his partner’s throbbing length.

 

Steve had forgotten his place in all of this. He closed his eyes to the agony of his body’s betrayal.

 

*S/D*

The warmth striped his hip and Danny could feel the spunk as it pulled lightly at his pubic hairs. Nothing had ever felt so hot in his life. And the sounds? God, to think that he drew that sound out of another human being was invigorating, mesmerizing . . . Hell, it was admirable on both their parts.

 

Wrapping his now unneeded hand around Dean’s dormant one, he pumped them both raggedly along the blistering flesh of his cock. It didn’t take long before he too tipped over the edge and felt the hot stickiness surging into the silky hair rubbing at his tip.

 

Letting go of his softening shaft, he lifted his hand up to rub at the one still clinging tightly to his over the wall. Dean’s hand loosened suddenly and started to pull away, but Danny held fast and caressed the supple skin of the wrist with his fingers.

 

 If this was to be their only way to celebrate their joining, he thought stubbornly, well, so be it.

 

He continued to rub, even though the edge of the wall was biting into his arm. Soon a second hand snaked up from the other stall and joined in the mix of sweaty fingers clinging to one another.

 

They remained like that for a few moments, offering one another comfort in the only way they could., before Danny spoke softly against the wood separating them. He knew that his voice was guttural after he had sex and by pressing his lips lightly against the divider, he was sure that it was damn near unidentifiable.

 

“I want to kiss you.”

 

*S/D*

 

The words were soft and slurred, but when they came to Steve, floating down from above the wall, he yanked his hands free and flipped his back against the wall next to the hole.

 

He had gone too far. He had let this man in and now what? Was he supposed to just forget their agreement? Ignore that they had promised to keep their lives separate? He couldn’t let Frank get hurt by his past, by his guilt.

 

Snagging the dispenser from the top of the toilet tank, Steve fitted it loosely down onto the fittings, missing one in the process, so that it swung unevenly across the hole.

 

Tucking in as fast as he could, he was buttoning his cargos with one hand as he popped the lock on the stall door with his left hand.

 

He could hear the last stall door still rattling closed as the lock slid over on the other door.

 

In a matter of steps he was out the door, the metal handle banging a divot into the worn wood behind it, and heading for the trees.

 

He had to get away.

 

He couldn’t do this.

 

Not to Frank.

 

*S/D*

 

He knew it was hopeless, but Danny peaked out the unlocked door of his stall anyway. All he could hear was  the main door to the room settling back into place after Dean had nearly ripped it off its hinges in his flight from his stall. The room was otherwise empty

 

Leaning back against the wall of his stall, he sighed and cast a brief glance to where a moment ago he was briefly connected to someone that he thought understood him. Wanted to get to know him better. Lifting his arm, he took in the angry red depression of where the wall had cut at his flesh.

 

Well, he thought bitterly, no use wallowing in fluffy post-orgasmic haze. He reached down and replaced the paper dispenser and then pulled some off to clean up.

 

Holding the wad of paper over the toilet, Danny felt a moment of clarity. He had fucked up with the jeans,; leaving them lying around his office for Steve to question. He had washed the jeans twice after he removed them from the stupid evidence bag. But this . . . this little token of Dean’s pleasure was maybe the perfect way to find out a bit more about him.

 

Danny stood there, pants still divided, cock hanging limply over his boxers, shirt still unbuttoned, and just stared at the tiny bit of Dean he had left.

 

It was several moments before his fingers twitched open and the paper fell into the water. He couldn’t do that to Dean. No, he was going to have to reach him some other way.

 

Reaching out to hit the lever, Danny watched the water swirl away a second chance of knowing the true man from the other side of the wall.

 

Sighing again, Danny set about righting himself and his clothing, then he would worry about righting his situation with Dean.

*S/D*

 

Steve pulled the truck into the driveway and killed the lights. He felt a fool for his juvenile reaction to what Frank had said through the wall.

 

Fuck, I’m such an asshole, he thought, the self-loathing growing thicker within. He pounded his fist a few more times against the steering wheel for good measure, before opening the door and climbing out.

 

Slamming the door, he set the alarm and started around the back of the house. He needed a swim to clear his mind, to help him find perspective. He started stripping the minute he stepped onto the sand. Leaning against the back of the deck chair, he unlaced one boot and then changing hands he pulled the ties on the other.

 

Pulling his tee shirt over his head, he worked the fastening on the cargos for the second time that night and let them pool at his feet. He was trying to decide whether to go in his boxer briefs or to let the water truly cleanse him when he heard the distinct buzzing of the phone.

 

Frank’s phone.

 

Bending over, he pulled it from the pocket of his cargos and looked at the dimming screen. Steve’s hands dropped loosely to his sides as he stared out at the moonlit water of the cove.

 

He knew he had a decision to make, he just didn’t know if he could make it alone.

 

For not the first time since he was released from prison, Steve wished that he hadn’t closed Danny out. Sure he may have lost his respect, but he would still have a friend to talk to.

 

The soft slapping of the water as it rolled up on the beach had lost its soothing qualities. It felt as if he were back in jail again.

 

Chapter Text

Hello,

 

That seems logical to me, saying hello.

 

First, please hear me out. The phone is a disposable one. One of those that you have to buy minutes for, which makes it pretty untraceable. I think that is important. To you as well, I’m guessing.

 

I am also guessing that you are wondering why I gave it to you. To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve come to this place a few times in the past, to find release, and pleasure, I suppose. But none of my past experiences have clung to my soul as that first time with you. You have touched me deep inside. I know that is cliché, but there you have it.

 

I know that makes me sound like sap. Well, fine, I’m a sap. I don’t know how to do this.

 

I am not able to allow myself to be open about what I like. Not to anyone. And I fear that if I were to act on my desires in the open, my life and my job as I know them would be taken from me. I cannot allow that to happen. I have been hurt before.

 

I realize that maybe you may not be able to be as free as you would like either and I promise that I will never try to figure out who you are. I just would like to share some time with you.

 

You have to believe that this letter and the phone are not a trap. I want to meet with you again, desperately and I thought that this may be an easy way for us to communicate and still keep our privacy intact.

 

If this is too forward or if you have no interest, just text me the word “no” and I’ll never contact you again. Keep the phone and do with it what you want.

 

But please consider it. I am assuming that I am leaving a very satisfied man right now and that means that twice now you have given me so, so much and I would like to offer to give to you what I can. Even if it is just to bring you a fraction of the same pleasure that you have brought me.

 

Please think about it.

 

The man from the other side.

Chapter Text

 


Filling the Niche, part IV

 

“No, that’s not what I’m asking.” Steve could hear the agitation starting to creep into Danny’s voice as they walked together into Headquarters. They had driven to work separately, which was becoming the norm, Steve thought, what with him still making the frequent trips to his sanctuary on the edge of Waimea Bay and Danny skinning off for . . . well, he didn’t know what, but he had a pretty good guess.

 

It still stung a bit that Steve had to hear about Danny and Rachel getting back together from Jenna. He could still picture the look of abject horror on the poor girls’ face as she backed away from him like she had the time after he first broke into her hotel room.

 

Nobody ever truly wants to be the bearer of bad news, but apparently, especially not if they were being the one to inadvertently break bad news to Lieutenant Commander Steven J. McGarrett.

 

But, Jenna had had nothing to fear. He had just stood, and merely walked away from the bulletproof glass of the visitation cubicle and went and stood at the door by the armed guard, waiting for the door to buzzed open.

 

“Jesus, yeah, I get that . . .” Steve paused at the door, waiting for Danny to start walking again after he had stopped short, held the phone away from his head and aimed his finger as if it were a gun and  mocked pulling the trigger at it. “Okay, Smokey Joe, you need to put down the pipe for a sec, okay? If both parties involved are utilizing the same tool, do they cancel one another out? Null and voiding said tool?

 

Fine. You know what? You just watch to see what kind of help you ge . . . I don’t know . . .’Do two wrongs make a right’ sort of thing.” Danny leaned his shoulder against the wall, presenting his back to Steve.

 

Toast, Steve’s brain supplied as the owner of said brain took a second or two, to take in the tension in the broad shoulders of his partner, that, and well, the fit of his slacks. Steve glanced back at the expanse of grass and shrubbery in front of HQ, where a small platoon of men armed with whackers and mowers reignited their weekly battle against nature.

 

What does Danny need with Toast? Steve pondered absently as a man nearby grumbled a mix of bird and blue words about the fact his trimmer wouldn’t start.

 

“Yes! Oh, come on, really? That’s the best you got?” Steve could tell that Toast must have finally answered Danny’s inquiry because now they were involved in the same sort of verbal sparring match that he and Danny used to.

 

Well, like they used to, before he went to prison.

 

“Seriously, I’m pretty sure that Disney still has the number to that ‘Chim-Chim-Chiree” guy that hung out with Mary Poppins on a rolodex somewhere. I bet we can get him to come out to muck out that overabundance of resin you got cloggin’ up your brainpan.”

 

Steve listened as the merriment flowed from Danny’s voice for a few more troubled moments, and then he just pulled the door open and let the air conditioning wash over him as he strode towards the stairs.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny grinned to himself as he signed off on the last piece of miserable documentation of one Morgan Calvin Strand, Jr., the cruelly stupid, yet unbelievably fortunate king of the alleyway sleaze parade. They got a lucky break with him on Tuesday, when they finally opted to go with plan E, seeing how A thru D were complete flops.

 

Now, two days later, well, twelve days and two additional days later, Strand was cooling in the HPD long-term cells, awaiting his trip to the prison and the team was celebrating a surprising victory after so many blown leads and chances.

 

Who knew that Jenna could actually pull off the sexy librarian look? Sure, she had the librarian angle down, but sexy? He shook his head in residual awe, Kono’s sexy, had sexy covered in spades while Jenna . . . Jenna did have a nice tookus and was . . . maybe a Trekkies wet dream, but sexy? Nah, his mind supplied to accompany the small chuckle erupting from deep within his chest.

 

Flipping the folder closed with a flourish, Danny tossed it on top of the teetering pile of others that he needed to pass off to Steve.

 

Just thinking the SEALs name made him look up through the various layers of glass, towards Steve’s office. Steve was tipped back in his chair; phone pressed to his ear as he fiddled with something in his lap; the early afternoon sunlight that slipped in through the half-closed blinds cast a hazy halo, surrounding him in a soft glow. Danny could almost see the look of stubborn determination on his partners’ partially visible face; he knew it would only grow steelier in resolve, the longer he talked.

 

Danny felt the vibration in the left breast pocket of his blue pinstriped button down, his gut starting to do its little anticipatory dance as he sat back down at his desk and slid the compact smart phone from his pocket.

 

It had taken him a series of apologetic texts and then some that were nearly sappy, but Dean had forgiven him for blurting out his desires in the stall. Dean had admitted to Danny that he hadn’t much experience in matters of the heart, especially from someone that he felt connected to in such a short time. His fear of being found out had caused him to flee, an emotion that Danny could totally understand.

 

He poked the smiling inbox icon on the screen and held his breath.

 

**I miss you! Can’t wait for later**

 

Danny felt the goofy little jig deep in his gut start to ebb out to the entirety of his body. It was an occurrence that seemed to accompany every text from Dean lately.  It was the same little swelling he has always gotten when Steve looks at him a certain way or touches him, and now he was having it for a man he hardly knew. Thumbing in a quick reply of ‘me, too!’ he slipped the phone back in his pocket.

 

That feeling, well, and the sex that he was sort of experiencing with Dean, made him wonder at the possibility that he was falling for a man he had never actually met.

 

Was it possible that he could be in love with both men?  Steve AND Dean?

 

Steve represented everything physically in a man that Danny found so appealing. Those broad shoulders tapering down to those lickable abs, the dark enchanting eyes, the furry chest that Danny wanted to burrow against, Steve’s lust inducing hips, the slow sweet grin that was sadly becoming more elusive and the powerful thighs that Danny could lose himself between for days on end.

 

But Dean was reawakening the need to connect to someone who got him, the easy ability to share his thoughts and desires without being judged; the romanticism that Danny had thought had bled out when Rachel had fucked him over . . . again.  

 

Danny knew that he was in over his head, that his feelings for both men was tangling deep within his core and it scared him stupid. He had always fought back those feelings, only releasing them when they were too much, but that had been with some nameless man in an alley or in some dingy hallway of a club back in the city. They were men that he could find satisfaction with, without the guilt and shame of letting anyone down.

 

Now it felt that whenever he was with Dean he was cheating on his feelings for Steve, the man he would die for and likewise, any of the little time he got with Steve outside of work made the urge to apologize to Dean, rear up strong yet brittle in his throat.

 

Should he tell one of them about the other, he wondered vexed at the prospect, maybe he should.

 

But which one?

 

*S/D*

 

“Hey, I left the folder for Strand and the open one for Chang on my desk, if you need them.” Steve said, popping his head into Chin’s open office door.

 

“You out?”

 

“Yeah, I, ah . . . I got an appointment later on base, so I thought I would grab a late lunch and then head on over.” Steve could feel Chin’s eyes giving him the once over, as if he didn’t quite believe him, but wasn’t able to pinpoint why.

 

He didn’t know why he was lying to Chin . . .well, yeah . . . he did, but to actually create a lie to cover another lie was dangerous territory and it wasn’t that he hadn’t been in that territory before; it was just that he hadn’t been there with people who knew him so well.

 

“Okay. You want that I should contact you if something comes up?” Chin asked looking back to the pair of monitors on the small table beside his desk.

 

“Yeah . . . um, yeah. I can’t say that I can get away right at that moment, but I will be reachable.” He knocked on the door jamb a couple of times with the side of his loose fist. “I don’t think I’ll be back to the office tonight, but I’ll be here in the morning, okay?”

 

“Okay, Steve.” Steve watched as Chin’s fingers danced over a keyboard and one of the monitors blinked through a set of command boxes before a collection of numbers started to scroll quickly down the screen. 

 

Steve turned from the preoccupied man and started through the war room.

 

He gave a little wave to Kono on his way out the door.

 

It was still a surprise to Steve, at how comfortable his double life had become. Sure, he had been trained in the Navy to separate, to compartmentalize the various emotions and events that came into play during an op, but this was different, he thought as he pushed through the doors into the warm afternoon.

 

This was his real life.

 

His work had always been something that kept him grounded, secure in his abilities, but since his return to Hawaii, he could feel the space that he had always blanketed around himself becoming more rendered;  It frayed and tattered the closer he allowed people to come to him.

 

All he knew is that now that Frank had come into his life, his need to relieve his guilt was lessening . . . and it scared him. That’s why he was going to go down his knees for a different judge before their ‘date’ tonight. So that he could get the absolution he needed before he spent time with man he desired.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny was collecting up his things to make a spirited escape from work when, he heard “Under the Sea” tinkling from somewhere on his desk. Smiling, he pushed the papers around on his desk until he finally extracted his phone from under a manila envelope that had once contained Ernesto Chang’s record, mailed to them from the American consulate in the Philippines.

 

“Hey, Monkey, how was school today?”He asked in a way of a greeting, shoving his keys into his pocket and powering down his computer.

 

“Daniel.”

 

“Whoa, hey Rach . . . sorry, Rachel. What’s up? Why do you have Grace’s phone?” He had stopped cold at the sound of Rachel’s voice, but his pleasant feeling from before was still pulsing through his veins, making him try to be more civil.

 

“Mine was damaged last night, so I borrowed hers today. Is that alright? Wait, why am I asking you that? Stan pays the bill.” She sounded extremely agitated, but try as he might, Danny couldn’t think of anything he had done recently that would have set her off.

 

“Hey, hey, hey, I was just asking, okay? “ He wanted to fish around to see if her ire really was aimed at him, but the sense of self-defense that he used as a shield with his ex had already kicked in. “What’s up? Is Grace okay? Nothing happened did it? Are you both okay?” The worry starting to build in earnest.

 

“It’s nothing, Daniel. We’re fine, so calm down. I just need you to pick up Grace after school today and then bring her home after dinner.” Her voice had lost its iciness, but Danny could still hear the hard edge of authority coursing through it.

 

“I kinda have plans . . .” he started.

 

“You are always saying that you don’t get enough time with her, Danny. Now when I need you, you are trying to shrug out of your duties? Need I remind you that Grace is your daughter?”

 

“Dammit, Rach. You know it’s not like that.” He had purposefully shortened her name this time and be damned if he was going to correct himself. “I was going to say that I kinda have plans . . . but that I would see if I could push them back or even postpone them. Of course, I will gladly go and get our daughter. Where will you be?”

 

“Fine.  I should be home by seven. You can bring her home by eight, right?” The staccato clip of her tone was softening, Danny could hear it, but he knew that he would only find out her plans if he asked Grace and he wouldn’t do that. His Monkey was not a criminal that needed to be grilled for information.

 

“Eight, yeah, okay. And you’re welcome, Rach.” He couldn’t resist one last barb before hitting the red ‘end’ icon.

 

He pulled Dean’s phone from his pocket  typed out the quick text, **Can’t make it til 830, Sorry. I’ll be there! **

 

Danny pocketed his wallet and both phones before grabbing his #1 Dad coffee mug to take to the break room to rinse.

 

“You may be tiny, but I doubt that you’re going to actually fit in there.”

 

Kono’s head popped out from behind the refrigerator door, judging her pinking face, Danny wondered how close his statement had been to the truth.

 

“Hey, Danny. You know we don’t actually have any food here, right? I could have sworn that there was a block of cheese here or even some leftovers. But all that I could find was condiments and some of Chin’s organic green tea chai protein crap.” Danny laughed as she screwed up her face in obvious distaste.

 

“Yeah?” he mocked her by feigning interest in the shake. He crossed to the sink and gave his mug a rinse before upending it on the towel next to the sink to dry.

 

“I can smell your bullshit all the way over here, Williams.”

 

“What? He laughed. You didn’t have lunch again, did you?”

 

“I had lunch, but that was like four hours ago and I want a snack.” She crossed her arms in front of her as she gracefully nudged the refrigerator door shut with her hip. “Wait. Where you goin’? What’ll it cost me to get you to bring me something?”

 

I am going to pick up Grace from school and then I am going home, as in not returning to the office.” He watched the hope drain from her face. “But I’ll tell you what. You pass that message on for me and I’ll let you know where I keep my peanut butter and cracker stash.”

 

“Done and done, big man.” She flashed him a dazzling smile. “Lead me to it.”

 

*S/D*

 

It was hard to determine which hit him first, the blinding sterile light of the main room or the edge of the wooden door as it was kicked in at him. Still on his knees from seeking forgiveness, the door slammed him awkwardly against the side of the toilet, causing his head to crack against the half-moon seat.

 

“Well, lookee here, boys. We got ourselves a queer.”

 

Steve sensed rather than heard his sanctuary, his asylum becoming tainted in hate, but that could have been the ringing in his ears or the sturdy rubber soles of the surf shoes landing harshly against his ribs.

 

“You like sucking dick, you son-of-a-bitch? Want to feel that dick up your ass, whore?”

 

The shoe landed a second more solid blow and a third, before Steve could gather his senses to fight back. He lashed his leg out at his attacker as he listened to the laughter of the man’s friends. He was able to distinguish two different voices, maybe three,  which helped him to start formulating a plan to protect himself . . .  and to get out, not only the stall, but also the building without being recognized.

 

*S/D*

 

“Danno!” Grace went from a trot to a full on run when she saw him.

 

“Hey ya, Monkey! How was school?” He gathered his daughter up in his arms, noting that even though he had just dropped her off at school this morning, after her weekly overnight, she had grown in his absence yet again.

 

“It was okay. We talked about how the stars helped people get from one place to another place way back when. Even before you were born, Danno.” She pecked him on the cheek as he let her gently down.

 

“Hey!” He said, pulling lightly on one of her somewhat lopsided braids. He could have sworn they were straight when he plaited them this morning.

 

“Where’s Lyle?” Grace asked a bit unsurely. So, she did know what Rachel was up to, Danny thought briefly, tamping down the urge to ask. Otherwise she would have asked for her mom other than their driver.

 

“Well, mommy had something to do and I don’t know where Lyle is, so I said I would come. That’s okay isn’t it?” He asked as he shouldered her surprisingly heavy book bag and took hold of her hand to cross the street to the Camaro.

 

“Sure.” She swung their hands broadly between them. “Can we go get a shave ice?”

 

“Took the words right out of my mouth, Gracie. You drivin’?” he asked the old question, before spinning her this way and that on their way to the car.

 

*S/D*

 

The kick landed against his attackers shin and Steve could feel the bone give way beneath his boot. In the numerous visits he had made to Waimea Bay, to his fucked up version of a confessional, there had only been two days that he hadn’t taken the time to completely change his clothing and luckily, today had been one of them.

 

“Fuckin’ pole smoker.” Steve heard the epitaph before it was drowned out by a cry of pain and then a deep groan as the guy went to the floor outside of the stall.

 

He caught sight of a second man turning towards the opening then, his feet stepping between the legs of his downed friend. Reaching out, Steve grasp the bottom of the open door and waited a second or two before the standing man stepped fully into the stall doorway, then he shoved the door closed with all his might.

 

A howl of pain echoed throughout the room as Steve brought his leg up to hold the door closed. He watched as the cement floor beneath door started to fill up with a series of red splotches. His brain supplied the odd thought that it looked like a demented dot-to-dot.

 

Shaking his head to try and clear it, he stood and leaned his body against the door as he slid the towel and his tee shirt closer to him with his toe.

 

*S/D*

 

“Hey there my kaikamahine pēpē. ‘Bout time you come and see your Uncle Kamekona.” Danny watched as Grace flushed with delight before her tiny frame was engulfed by the big man’s hug. He braced himself for the slap on the back he was sure to get.

 

“Just you two today? Where be my brother from another mother?”

 

“Yep, just us. Unless you want a break a little girl’s heart and not serve her any shave ice because we left Mr. Action Hero back at the office. Cause, if that’s the case, we can go to Ailana’s and get whatever my Monk . . .”

 

“Hey, hey, hey, haole. No, sorry, sorry, detective, I didn’t say that. I would never . . . c’mon, nani, whatever you want.” Kamekona fitted one of his meaty hands down gently on Grace’s shoulder and led her up to the stand. He cast a hurt eye back over at Danny. “Whatever you want, nani. On da house.”

 

“You are a house.” Danny muttered under his breath as he smiled and followed the pair up the slight rise towards the ice shack.

 

*S/D*

 

He could feel the door being shoved against and then slammed against by the ramming body on the other side, so Steve braced his boot against the bottom of the toilet as he tucked the last of his belongings into his pack and zipped it.

 

“You gotta come out sometime, Faggot. And when you do, we’re gonna teach you how to really get fucked.”

 

Steve glanced at the top of the stalls and tried to estimate if he could pull himself up and have enough clearance to make it to the end without braining himself on the beams or if he should just take his chances going through the door.

 

A hand started to come through the hole in the wall, followed by a good chunk of a forearm. Reaching out, Steve grabbed the arm and yanked it towards him, hearing a satisfying snapping sound followed by a steady stream of vulgarity. A second hand came through the hole to pull back the first. Steve let it go.

 

He peeked over his shoulder through the crack and could make out one man on the floor, his hands wrapped around his leg and a second man, face covered in blood as it came closer to the door he had his shoulder to.

 

The arm owner had to be the third one, he estimated. Now he had one with a broken arm, another with a damaged leg and what must have been a third with what might be a broken nose, still ramming against the door.

 

He steeled himself to step away from the door, because when he did, the bloodiest one was going to come through after him. And then it was going to be up and over.

 

*S/D*

 

“Danno? “ Grace asked poking at her father’s hand with her spoon. “I got a new movie at the library at school. Can we watch it when we get home?”

 

“What’s that? Um, a new movie? Okay, yeah. Wait . . . do you any homework to do first?”Danny had been watching the surfers battling the smaller afternoon waves. He had only seen Steve surf once, but it had taken him days to get over the warring emotions that that one time had roiled up low in his belly.

 

I wonder if Dean surfs. Danny tried to picture it, but seeing how all that he had ever seen of Dean was his mouthwatering cock, he was having difficulty not just superimposing Dean’s cock on Steve’s mostly nude body. . .

 

“I got most of it done in class. Mrs. Johnson gives us a little time to work on it between sections.” Danny watched as she tipped the cup up daintily to get the remains of the juice. “I only have to do my reading, but mommy says I can wait to do that as a bedtime story.”

 

“Hmm . . . oh . . . ah, Does she?” He asked as he licked the edge of a napkin and reached across the hood of the car to wipe some of the green sugary substance off of her chin. “Well, okay, but if mommy gets mad at me . . .I’m . . . I’m rolling over like a fish on a hook and ratting you out, Monkey.”

 

“She won’t.” Grace said trying to avoid the impromptu grooming. “Besides, this movie has one of those people you like in it.”

 

“One of those people that I like . . . an actor?”

 

“Uh-ha, he was in that movie you always say.” Danny grabbed their cups and deposited them in the trash can in the grass a few feet away from the car.

 

“I always say . . . uh okay. What’s your movie about, Monkey?” He lifted her down and opened the passenger door for her to climb into the back seat.

 

“It’s about a boy who loves a star and he has to go through the wall to save the star. And there’s an evil queen, who’s really, really pretty, but still really, really mean, and these brothers that turn into ghosts.” Danny slid into the Camaro and watched as she ticked each character off on his fingers.

 

“Sounds . . . intriguing.” He said as he started the car and backed it from its space. He also wanted to say that it sounded familiar, but that was a can of worms best left unopened.

 

“Oh, and there’s a pirate that likes to wear dresses. That’s the . . . actor you like.” She said watching the world roll by outside the car.

 

You need to think before you agree to things, Danny thought wryly, as he turned the Chevy for home.

 

*S/D*

 

Slipping the pack strap over first his left shoulder and then switching the weight of his body holding the door closed, Steve leaned up enough to worm his right arm through the other strap.  He stepped quickly away from the door just as the man was going to slam his body against it again. Flattening himself to the wooden wall opposite the rest of the stalls, he planned to use the man’s form as leverage to take him up and over the stalls.

 

As the man crashed past him to slam into the cement back wall, a head popped over the divider and then dropped from view again.

 

Fuck.

 

Ducking his head, Steve shoved off the wall towards the door, jerking away from the outstretched unbroken arm of the man in the other stall as it snaked through the hole trying to grab him.

 

He would have made it cleanly from the stall if the arm hadn’t grasped the back of his pack and slowed him just enough to get his foot tangled in the post of stall door, causing him to fall into the man still sitting on the floor. He felt his arm buckle slightly as it slid off the man’s form and into the concrete floor.

 

“Fuckin’ cocksucker, fuckin’ broke my leg. Gonna kill you, faggot.”

 

Steve could feel the man’s spittle on his bare chest as it flew from his mouth along with the words of hate.

 

Enough, his mind told him as he worked to right himself.

 

Getting to a knee, Steve headbutted the man under his chin. He could feel the moisture of the blood as it showered over his shoulders. His eyes whited for a second from the sting of pain on the top of his head.

 

The door to the other stall opened to reveal the man with the broken arm staggering forward. His pants were still undone.

 

“Enough.” He nearly shouted as he crawled to his feet and pushing off the guy on the ground, he whirled a kick towards the man he had just pleasured . . . and he had pleasured him, Steve could still taste it crowding his mouth, that and the rising bile from his throat.

 

He connected, his boot against the limp member and then he fled. The shrieking sound of the door chasing him into the trees.

 

*S/D*

 

It was nearly time to go when the credits started rolling on Gracie’s movie. Danny could admit to himself, that even though it was kind of chick flick, he liked it. Not that he was too sure of De Niro as a cross-dresser.

 

“Okay, pumpkin, gotta get your stuff together and get you back to your mom’s before you turn into a little girl.”

 

“Danno.” Grace said, giggling at his silliness.

 

“What? You wanna be a little girl? Really? Well, okay, but I think a pumpkin is so much better. Big green leaves, smooth skin, shiny yellow teeth. People love you on Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Oh and don’t forget that you get to be orange.” He tweaked her nose and hit the open button the DVD player. “Grab your disc and put it in the case and then we will make sure we’re one minute late so that you can have your wish.”

 

After he got Grace settled in the car and he slid in himself, she asked him if the pirate was gay.

 

“What? De Niro? No he was just acting, honey. He got paid to pretend to be like that.”

 

“I know that, Daddy, I just wondered if the pirate was gay. He liked to wear dresses and to be pretty.” Her small voice seemed to fill the car with uncertainty.

 

“Well, Grace . . . um,” Danny was at a loss as to what to say. He didn’t want to scare her or think that everyone that was different was a freak, but then he wasn’t too sure on cross-dressing himself, never actually knowing any that he hadn’t busted for some lewd act back in Newark. “I think the pirate just liked to dress up. It’s okay to wear what you want sometimes. You wear pants sometimes and he wore dresses.”

 

Danny cursed himself for his cop out, but what could he do. He didn’t actually know what she thought ‘gay’ was and he was scared to have to explain it to her.

 

“But I think he liked boys, Danno.” Her voice had a pleading edge to it. Danny continued to steer the car towards the more pampered and polished section of Waikiki, where Stan and Rachel’s ‘Not-A-Mansion, Daniel’ mansion was located.

 

“So, what do you think about that, Monkey. Boys liking boys . . . well, men liking men . . . or ladies liking ladies? Do you think that’s bad?” Danny knew he shouldn’t get into it with her right now, but if he let it go, her nine-year-old brain could draw some interesting conclusions. A thought struck him then. “Have you asked mommy what ‘gay’ is?”

 

He glanced in the rear view mirror and saw his daughters’ big brown eyes looking back at him, the question in them unwavering in the sporadic glow of the street lights.

 

“She said that sometimes two people are drawn to one another and they can’t help it. That they like each other so much that it can’t stop them from what they feel.”

 

“Did mommy say it was bad?” Danny knew that he was bordering on the fine line between innocent questions and interrogation, but he felt himself helpless in the desire to know what his ex’s thoughts were on the subject that struck closer to home than she might guess.

 

“Noooo . . .” Grace drug the word out as if she was frightened to say it. “She said it was like when you see something really pretty, like a flower and then you learn all about the flower, why it grows and how, and it makes you like it even more, until you want to be a flower too. I don’t know about loving flowers though.”

 

Danny grinned to himself at his daughters worry over falling in love with a flower as he pulled the car up to the gate of the Edwards home. Punching in the code, he waited for the gate to swing all the way open before he answered the unasked question in Grace’s last statement.

 

“Your mommy’s kinda right, Monkey. But I’m with you, I don’t think I could love a flower.” He nosed the car up to the front of the house. “How about this. Sometimes a man looks at another man, or it could be two women, whatever, but a man looks at another man and he sees something that he admires that he doesn’t have himself. Like the other man is stronger or he thinks he is smarter or something. So he starts to like this man because of it, him being stronger. Then he realizes that the man he likes thinks something nice about him, do you understand so far?” He felt the phone in his pocket vibrate in indication of an incoming message, but he didn’t reach for it.

 

“I think so. The first man thinks that the other man is stronger, but the other man thinks the first man is smarter and that makes them like each other.” Danny was in awe of how his sharp as a tack daughter boiled his clumsy words down into a concise statement .

 

“Okay, good, that. So the first man tells the other man that he likes him because he is strong and that he wants to be friends with him because of it, him being strong, I mean.”

 

“And the other man wants to be smart so he tells the smart man that he wants to be friend with him. Right, Danno?”

 

“Right, Monkey. So now we have to men that like each for different reasons, but soon they realize that they like each other because they like how they themselves feel when they are together. The smart man feels stronger when he is with the strong man and the strong man feels smarter himself, when he is with the smart man.” Danny unhooked his seat belt and pivoted in his seat to face his daughter.

 

“Sooo . . . they both know that they are smart and strong, but only when they are together and then they kiss and hold hands, right?”

 

“I think you’re getting it. They fall in love. Like Nana and Poppie, liked things about each other and fell in love. Like . . .like mommy and Stan liked things about each other and fell in love. Do you understand now? You first will like something about another person and then when you realize you can’t live without them, you will know that you love them and that they love you back. It’s just that sometimes, that other person isn’t . . . isn’t that different than you.” Danny opened the door and went around to open the passenger door for Grace to crawl out.

 

Giving her a hug as Rachel looked on from the open doorway of the house, Grace whispered in his ears the most beautiful yet horrifying words.

 

Buckling himself back in the car, he pulled Dean’s phone from his pocket and lit it up with one hand, while he turned the key with the other.

 

**Called away to Hilo for weekend. Can’t make it tonight. Sorry**

 

Sighing, he steered the Camaro around the drive back to the gate. Danny knew that he was going to have to make a decision soon, if not for himself, then for his daughter.

 

“It’s okay Danno, that you think Uncle Steve is strong. Cause I think he thinks you’re smart.” She had whispered, so innocent, so sincere.

 

The words kept playing over and over and over as he headed for his rundown apartment. Tangling themselves with his desires and his denials until he could feel the ache of loneliness pressing against his heart.

 

*S/D*

 

Staring in the mirror above the vanity, Steve dabbed the washcloth in the warm water of the sink and started to work on the miniscule cuts and scratches that he had received from the trees and shrubs that he ran through on his journey from the rest room to his truck parked in the beach lot of Shark Cove.

 

His ribs, high above the low waistband of the drawstring sleep pants, were working on blossoming into a bouquet of purple and black, but luckily it didn’t seem as though anything was broken. They would be tender for a while, but nothing that would hamper his performance at work too much.

 

Same for his left wrist. He remembered jambing it as he hit the floor leaving the stall and despite its swollen appearance, he had full, if somewhat painful motion. He had broken it his final year at Annapolis, so he knew what a broken wrist felt like and the pain he had now was entirely bearable, so he was pretty sure it was just a sprain.

 

Wincing, Steve pulled a small thorn from below his right nipple. Tossing it in the trash, he reached for the bottle of peroxide that he kept in the cabinet above the toilet.

 

He hoped that Frank hadn’t gone to the rest room, anyway, that he got the text in time. Because if he was attacked or injured in anyway . . .

 

Steve stared at his face in the mirror until he barely recognized himself staring back. He could feel the hate of the attack still crawling along his skin, but at least Frank hadn’t been there and been brutalized as well, he reasoned with his frowning duplicate behind the glass.

 

He watched his eyes widen at the realization that if Frank had been there with him, not only would they both had been in danger of trying to defend themselves, but they both would have been outed to each other and possibly the whole of Oahu, if Steve couldn’t have gotten them both out.

 

Touching his fingertips to the darkening bruise that went from right above his right brow to over near his temple, he knew that he couldn’t have lived with himself if he hadn’t been able to save his ‘secret’ friend.

 

Flipping the plug release to allow the tepid, dirty water to swirl down the drain, Steve could feel a plan starting formulate behind the bruises. He had been working on a way for he and Frank to become more connected, but hadn’t really felt as if they were ready for that step yet.

 

 But after tonight . . . Steve tossed the washcloth over the shower rod and turned for the door. He had some research to do.

 

He might not think that he was ready for the next step, but the assholes back at Waimea Bay had called his bluff tonight and he knew that he was going to have to take it anyway.

 

Hitting the light switch, Steve trotted gingerly down the stairs towards the desk and his laptop.

 

*S/D*

 

**How’s Hilo?**

 

Danny scowled at the sent message as if it had offended him in some manner. Well, he justified irrationally, it had. It still remained unanswered now more than twelve hours after he sent it.

 

He had slept fitfully, what with the fun afternoon he had spent with Grace ending as it did and then not being able to meet with Dean. It had made him try to take stock of how his tortured yet supposedly nonexistent love life was suddenly eating away at him, every waking minute of his day. Finally, fed up by his unanswerable questions and unending doubt, he had just gone to bed, partially so that he didn’t spend the entire night at the bottom of the bourbon bottle.

 

And when he arrived at work this morning he discovered from Chin that Steve had business on the base today and wouldn’t be coming in. His partner had already been gone when he left yesterday, so he fought back the fear that Steve was going to reactivate and leave. An irrational fear, he knew, but when one is left out of the loop . . .

 

He blew out a disappointed breath.

 

Danny did make an attempt at doing some serious background work on the Chang case, but one of the good things about having a partner was being able to bounce information off of them, or him in this case and with Steve absent today, it seemed that Danny questioned his own brainstorming session until the brainstorm was more like a sporadic sprinkle in 100˚ heat. His thoughts barely touched down before they evaporated.

 

Now after a quick bite at the build your own burger place by the mall, Danny was kicked back on his sofa, staring at the yellow pad of paper in his lap. Both of his phones were resting on the nearly threadbare green arm next to him, mocking him with their silence.

 

He had decided to do the pros v. cons thing that his mom always swore by, when faced with a possible life changing decision.

 

But he found that he couldn’t commit to either trying to let Dean go or make a series of promises he wasn’t completely satisfied with, just to get to know him better and given his previous attempt at a fugitive relationship, thanks, Rachel, he muttered bitterly, he didn’t really see that anything he promised to, would or could ever succeed.

 

Tipping his head back against the wall, he closed his eyes and tried to think.

 

A buzzing to his right startled him from his almost slumber and caused the pencil to fall from his loosened fingers.

 

**Boring. Want 2 talk. Found a way**

 

Danny stared at the message long enough that a second came and then a third.

 

**I did some research and found a way for u and I to keep our secret without giving anything away. I miss u and since we cant go to our place I thought that we**

 

**could do this. Follow the instructions and then call me. Your last name is Johnson and password glory. I’ll be waiting**

 

Danny only had to wait a few moments before a detailed plan filled the screen, giving him directions to what looked like a government website and how to download an application that would change his voice on the phone to whomever he was speaking with.

 

He could feel the smile starting to twitch at the corner of his lips. It was why he called Toast yesterday. He wanted to find an app that would allow him and Dean to converse, but all he kept finding were ones that you recorded your voice for a few seconds and then it went across the speaker sounding like an alien or a robot or some other nonrealistic thing.

 

Danny had to start over twice on the small buttons on the touchscreen before he entered in the codes, his full yet fake name and the password properly.

 

Dialing Dean’s number when he was prompted, his nerves started to do their little dance.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve had had to use the voice changing application a handful of times before, when he was meeting with an undercover agent when the SEALs were involved in some dicey op. It was created to give everyone involved a better sense of security.

 

He had thought about it a couple of times during his short relationship with Frank, but seeing how he could get in a bit of trouble for employing it for anything short of national security, he had resisted the urge.

 

Now though, he needed to hear from his friend and since their meeting place had become even more dangerous, well, he tried to rationalize; it was in the act of public safety.

 

Pushing against the ground with his toes, Steve felt the hammock sway lightly above the cooling ground. The cove was empty save a few sailboats headed to the docks and the water lapping softly at the beach, turned dark with golden surf in the coming night.

 

Even though he was gazing at the phone in his hand, he jumped at the unfamiliar ringtone.

 

Hitting the answer button, he released a silent breath.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Hi, Dean.” Came a deep voice through the receiver. “It’s nice to hear your voice.”

 

“Frank. You, too. Howzit?” He swallowed in an attempt to ease the scratchiness from his throat. “I hope this is okay. I . . . I wanted to talk.”

 

“It’s . . . it’s good, well, it’s great actually. I just am a bit . . . uncharted territory, you might say.” Steve listened to the soft baritone as it gave a chuckle. Even if he knew that Frank didn’t sound like this in real life, he could feel the relief growing inside him at the ability to finally have a real conversation with him.

 

*S/D*

 

“So first crush, huh? Well I would say that was . . . wait, famous or real?” Danny had pulled his tie loose some time ago and was scratching lightly at his collarbone. They had been talking for about an hour or so. The afternoon light had faded to twilight, bathing his apartment in soft darkness.

 

“Both.” Dean laughed at him. “Come on. I’ll tell you mine.”

 

“Okay, okay. Famous would have to be. No, real first, Joe Peterson, my high school wrestling coach.”

 

“Liked it when he demonstrated the holds, didn’t you?”

 

“What?” Danny spluttered a bit. “No! . . . Well, yeah, but I tried to think about other things, you know. Not, um . . .I tried to avoid being the practice dummy. Okay? Now you.”

 

“Nope. Your famous crush first. Frank, come on.” Danny grinned at the mock pleading. It had taken a few times, but he was getting used to being called Frank.

 

“Charles.” Danny finally admitted.

 

“Who?”

 

“Charles, from Charles in Charge. I . . . he was just so . . .he wore these loose polo shirts and these jeans that . . . well, a teenager discovering sex didn’t have to use his imagination that much, is all. There was a TV station that showed it in reruns all the time afterschool.” He could feel the flush rising up his cheeks. It was a nice warmth to add to the ache from grinning too much.

 

“Ah, I kinda remember that one. Was he the tall dark one or the short blond?”

 

“Tall, dark, seemed to know how to fix every situation, even though he was one that usually created the problem in the first place.” Danny almost groaned at the description he just gave. It sounded too much like someone he knew now, but Dean didn’t know Steve, so he bit his tongue. He didn’t want to have to explain Steve . . . or his feelings for Steve, to anyone. “Okay, Dean. Your turn. First crush.”

 

“Um, let’s see . . .” Danny knew that even though Dean’s real voice probably didn’t have the same tonal quality as the phone was emitting, but there was something playful and lilting, sing-songy to about every single word he heard. It made the desire to touch him, to hold him, to fuck him, run strong and vibrant through his veins. “Famous would have to be . . . now, no making fun of me. I didn’t watch a lot of TV. But I remember watching this old movie with my mom once and I had to go to my room. I didn’t want her to know that I . . . I had gotten . . . you know, excited.”

 

“It’s okay, Dean. I promise not to laugh.” There was a wistfulness flowing, an emotional twinge in Dean’s voice that the computerization couldn’t mask. “Much.”

 

“It was a Disney movie. Swiss Family Robinson. I liked the oldest son. Fritz. He was just so . . . handy and . . . even keeled, even though his family was shipwrecked. And I’m sure the colorization process messed with them, but he had these blue eyes. God, I wanted to sail to the most remote island and see if I could find him. Hey! You said you wouldn’t laugh, Frank. You promised!”

 

“I’m not! Well, okay, I am a bit. It was just how you described him that tickled me. Even keeled? I practically describe how I wanted to lick the pants right off of Charles and you say the Fritz is even keeled?” Danny couldn’t help it. He knew the movie and could picture the young actor in his mind. Dean had good taste.

 

“Fine. Fine. I liked how his shirt was always a bit tattered and you could see his chest. Happy?”

 

“Yep.” Danny answered Dean’s mock petulant voice as he too laughed. “So Fritz, huh? He look anything like your real crush?”

 

“Uh, no. Um, my real crush was . . .well, I didn’t see him that often and when I did, I would try to stay out of his way, you know. I didn’t want him to know.”

 

“Come on, Dean. I told you about mine.” Danny wheedled.

 

“Yeah, but I’ve never met Wrestling Joe. My guy still lives on the island and how do I know that you don’t know him or something.”

 

“Okay. So no names. Just, um . . . how did you meet him? What made you like him?” Danny listened to the pregnant pause as it stretched and grew in the silence. Dean had grown up here. Danny wondered if he realized that he let that little tidbit slip.

 

“I . . .” Dean sighed. “He was my dad’s partner . . . his business partner . . . and he had these strong, real strong hands and dark eyes. I . . . wanted to feel those hands so bad.”

 

“I know the feeling.” Danny replied, knowing his voice sounded deeper than normal. He wondered how it sounded to Dean. “I get that feeling.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Yeah. I like your hands.” Danny lowered the zip on his pants, quietly, and plunged his hand in.

 

*S/D*

 

Still swaying in the hammock, Steve let the dusk overtake him. He liked what they were doing, the back and forth of a shared secret. He had gotten a bit nervous when he almost let it slip that his first crush had been Chin, but when Frank hadn’t called him on it by demanding a name, he relaxed.

 

“So did you like my hands or my mouth better?” He didn’t know if this is what Frank had in mind when he made his last comment, but Steve was feeling a bit adventurous and since he had never backed away from risk before . . . “Or did you prefer my ass?”

 

“God! How can you even compare them? They were all . . . Dean. You are a skillful, talented man. I want to explore them all again. Repeatedly.”

 

Steve grinned at the shortened pronunciation the Frank was using, his breathlessness evident in the clipped words. That and the praise were making the nugget of lust deep down, start to spin and build in size.

 

“I could tell you that you liked them. But did you know that I loved them. That I tried to keep coming up with ways to make it better for you; to make it so that you would come back for more. For me to give you everything I could. I wanted . . . no, I want it just as bad as you.” There was something about anonymity; Steve thought rashly, I can give into the recklessness. I can let someone close enough to touch.

 

“And I want to do the same to you. I want to wrap my lips around you and have you fill my mouth. I want to taste you, tease you, to drink from you.” Frank’s voice had gone deeper still as he slowly described something that Steve had never received from a man before. “I want to lick at your balls and pull them into my mouth, have their weight nearly choke me.”

 

It was like dried palm fronds on a beach bonfire. The fire was burning him up, each word making a quick flash of heat and lust as the wanting and the longing started to consume him. Steve let his right hand slide down his battered torso. Teasing himself with hope and need.

 

“Are you touching yourself, Frank? I want you to. I want you to imagine me going down on you.”

 

“I am. Do you think that I could even say those words and not be imagining that? That thing you did with your tongue . . . and my . . . my slit. Fuck.  I wanted to knock down the wall right then and give you everything you needed.”

 

Steve swallowed as his fingertips slipped below the waistband of his board shorts. They tangled with the damp hair at the base of cock in the confined space. Pulling his hand out, he loosened the tie and resting the phone on chest momentarily, he awkwardly tugged his shorts down.

 

“ . . . and then I want you to feel me exploring.” Placing the phone back up to his ear with his still stiff  left hand, Steve missed a brief bit of whatever Frank was saying, but his tone told him that Frank was still in the game. “Do you want that, Dean? Do you want to feel my tongue there, slipping and sliding between those luscious cheeks? Poking and stabbing at that sweet little hole, until your body is gasping for the pleasure? I want that Dean. I want . . . I want to taste your heat and your desire. I . . . I . . . God, I can feel it, Dean. I can taste you.”

 

Steve gave his palm a quick lick and lowered it to his cock that was lying, throbbing and ruddy, against his abdomen, now that it had been freed. A few experimental tugs had it singing with need.

 

“I want that, Frank. I’ve never . . .I mean . . .I want to feel you like that. There.”

 

*S/D*

 

Danny, his own ears clogged by the racing blood in his veins, caught what Dean was about to say and then didn’t. Making a decision, he slowed his hand from its building pace and took a few experimental deep breaths. Tonight was going to be for Dean.

 

“Do you, Dean? Do you want to know what that feels like?”

 

“Gah, yeah . . . yes. Please. God, Frank, Please!” Danny was taken aback a little at the obvious mix of tension and passion evident in Dean’s pleading voice.

 

“Dean. Where are your hands? Are you touching yourself?” Danny tried to slip a touch of authority into his voice, not in a dominant sort of way, but he wanted to be the one to pleasure Dean this time, kind of like switching stalls, his brain supplied.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Good. Can you use both hands and just listen? I want to hear you, but I want you to listen more, Okay?” Danny paused until he heard an affirmation across the line. “Dean, I want you to lick the tip of your finger and rub your slit. Do you feel that, how it sparks at your nerves and shoots up and down your cock? That’s what you did to me that first time. You made me want to come right then when you did that.”

 

“Frank.” Danny heard a thousand silent words that were imbedded in that one utterance from Dean.

 

“You don’t know how lucky I feel, Dean. Meeting you that first time. It was like I had been searching for someone to awaken me from my miserable life. And you did, Dean. With that tongue, that mouth of yours. Your hands. Do you feel it now, like I did then?”

 

“Yeah . . . I feel it . . . you. I feel you, Frank.” Danny was rather shocked at the naked emotion that filled his ear.

 

“Me, too, Dean. I feel you every time I touch myself. It’s you that’s touching me. Okay, Dean, I want you to grip yourself and then with the other hand, play with your balls. Can you feel me doing that to you, Dean?”

 

‘Yeah, I want you . . . fuck. Frank.” It was heady to Danny, hearing Dean gasping for him. Sure, he had said Frank, but it was still him that was causing the other man to pant and beg.

 

“Good, because you have me, Dean. I’m all yours and . . . nobody else’s. I’m yours, Dean. Just like you are mine. Now with the hand on your sack, I want you to lick your fingers. Get them good and wet and let them slide down until they’ve reached your . . .” Danny paused at the sound of soft keening he heard. “Does it feel good, baby? Does it make you think of my tongue and where I want to bury it?”

 

Danny started up a more strident pace on his own dick, the noises coming through the phone tickling his ear and urging his hand to go faster.

 

“I can taste you and it’s heavenly. You’re amazing, Dean. So wet and the musk and the heat. God, you are so hot, so fucking hot. I never want to let you go. You’re mine.” Danny knew that he wouldn’t be able to hold it in much longer, not with the heaving breaths and short grunts pushing towards the finish.

 

“You’re mine. Don't you know that, Dean? Mine. But I’m yours, too. I’m on my knees for you. I want you to picture it. Can you? I’m on my knees, begging you for whatever you’ll give me. I’m yours, De . . .” Danny cut himself off at the low strangled cry that filled his ear and his heart. It only took a few more punishing pumps and his cock was coating his stomach and his hand with semen that was now reserved for Dean.

 

“I’m yours, Dean. It’s all for you.”

 

*S/D*

 

Steve lay in the hammock, still swinging swiftly from the thrashing movements from his powerful orgasm. His ribs ached from his gasping there towards the end, but it wasn’t the pain that had caused his breath to heave and skitter from his chest. It was Frank and his words.

 

He could hear the words crashing through his brain like the surf during a storm. “I’m yours, Dean. It’s all for you.”

 

Hearing them and believing them were two different things, Steve knew, but sometimes faith and hope were what happened when you had repented enough; when you had atoned for everything sin you had ever committed.

 

He wanted to believe Frank and he wanted to confess everything, but something still held him back. Now was not the time. So he whispered the next best thing he could think of.

 

“And I am yours, Frank. Completely.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Looking at his reflection in the mirror, Danny worked the Windsor knot over again, but his attempt at looking like a professional was being thwarted by the low grade red silk. Scowling he pulled it loose and marched back to the living room to yank a different one from the rack on the back of the closet door.

 

Back in the bathroom, he was just measuring the ends when he felt the phone in his pants pocket vibrate. Grinning, Danny dropped the ends of the blue pinstriped tie and shoved his hand hurriedly into his pocket.

 

**Morning! Just wanted to say that**

 

**Happy you did! Have a great day**

 

**Talk 2 you tonight!**

 

Thumbing back a quick reply, Danny laid the phone on the counter and returned his eyes to the mirror. He was reaching for the ends again, when he let his hands drop to the edge of the sink. Leaning in, he let his eyes fall out of focus, just a bit, therefore making his reflection hazy around the edges.

 

He felt as much as saw his lips quirk at the corners.

 

Five days now, his mind supplied. Five days that he had performed this ritual and for five days he could see the slightly goofy grin and crinkling eyes, could feel the charging pulse, could sense the man on the other phone burrowing himself deeper into his heart. Man, he said staring at the grinning man in the mirror, I’ve got it bad.

 

It was like a repeat of when he and Rachel had first met. All gentle reminders of affection and playful exchanges. A feeling of excitement for the moments they would share together.

 

Only it was much, much better than that. Much Better.

 

There were no feelings of pressure, no need to prove his manhood, no fear of the disappointed look.

 

None of that was happening and at first Danny was surprised that it didn’t bother him more, but after a slow afternoon in the office finally writing out his pros and cons like his mother had taught him, Danny found that what he had with Dean was nothing short of amazing.

 

Yes, he nodded to himself in the mirror, they hadn’t officially met or laid eyes on one another yet, but he could feel them growing closer to it. There were only one or two things that bothered him about this pseudo relationship, he pondered, head tilted in thought.

 

One, he tapped the sink in emphasis, the fact that they had never met, but he couldn’t hold that against Dean without feeling like a hypocrite himself, so that wasn’t a huge deal.

 

Two, a second finger snuck out against the cracked porcelain, his feelings for Dean was kind of messing with his feelings for Steve. But again, since Steve wasn’t really a viable option for being anything more than partner and friend, then he just needed to work harder to overcome that little obsession hurdle stuck in his path.

 

And three, he didn’t know how to go about moving the relationship from fake to real without scaring Dean off again. Especially since they were only communicating through phone now. They hadn’t been able to meet since the time they had jacked each other off while holding hands above the partition.

 

So, fine, four things that bothered him if he wanted to acknowledge the recent lack of personal touch, but he felt as if he could work with those odds. He had worked with less and still had great results.

 

Staring at his lips as the smile faded into a slight frown, Danny fingered his tie ends again and shrugged to his reflection in a ‘what can you do’ manner.

 

Stripping the tie from his neck, he unbuttoned the first button below the collar and tapped the collar back down with his fingertips.

 

He was still spending every hour not at work and not with Grace with Dean and he was loving every expensive minute of it. He had already had to buy the little minute cards several times over now, but then Dean must have also and he never complained and Danny knew he wasn’t about to either. It was worth it just to hear Dean’s rich voice every night, even if it wasn’t really his.

 

Besides, he was working up to figuring out a way for them to meet after he got back from his and Grace’s trip to New Jersey next week for Thanksgiving.

 

The frown disappeared totally as he thought about finally getting a chance to see his family again, see the old neighborhood. Plus, since Rachel and Stan had already planned to take Grace to England for Christmas, and Boxing Day, Daniel, his mind mimicked Rachel’s tone. He, with the help of his lawyer, had finagled  nearly five whole days with Grace.

 

Running his hand over his hair once more, Danny flipped the switch next to the door and went to re-hang the tie. You know, he thought blithely, Steve was right; it was good to dress down occasionally.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve was crossing the war room after lunch, to refill his water bottle, when Kono joined him.

 

“Looks better today.” She commented, nodding towards his now greenish-yellow mark on his forehead. “Couple more days and it’ll be gone. Seriously, you might want to think about protecting your po’o, Boss. I know it was a training exercise, but really.”

 

“Yeah. And not a moment too soon.” He grinned at her. “It’s been like nobody has ever seen a bruise before. I swear that Heather down at the info desk was going to chase me down with her make-up yesterday.”

 

“Nah.” Kono laughed, “Then she wouldn’t have enough for herself.”

 

“Kono!” He admonished through the grin on his face.

 

“It’s true. That girl cakes it on like . . . like I expect her to back away one day and her face will still be there. Hanging in the air, just staring at me with hollow eyes.” Steve laughed as he imagined people running from a body-less face.

 

“Well, yeah, I can imagine that and thanks,” He slugged her lightly on the shoulder, “if I have nightmares tonight, I am so calling you.”

 

“Hey, you two. Danny.” Chin called out as he walked out of his office, knocking on Danny’s open office door. “We got something.”

 

Everyone, minus Jenna, who was at the Japanese consulate on another fact finding mission, grouped around the tech table as Chin started swiping images onto the hanging monitors.

 

“HPD has been watching this situation for a while now. But in the past week or so, things have really started to escalate. Captain Bushnell reported it to the Governor and Governor Denning has decided that we, in tandem with the HPD and MPs, are going to throw down a blanket raid tonight and see if we can’t put an end to the violence. Of course, with the marriage bill passing and this being paradise, tourism could take a big hit, if these attacks aren’t stopped.” Chin explained, as he clicked open yet another folder on the table and several document icons filled the screen.

 

“What violence?” Danny asked staring at the several electronic images that stared back at the group from the monitors. “I mean, I see, what is apparently the aftermath, but what is this? Gang work? Gang initiation? Pimps gone bad?

 

“Danny . . .” Steve started, his eyes drawn to one face in particular. A man with a nose that looked like it had been flattened with a two-by-four. Or a stall door, he thought bitterly.

 

“What? I’m just askin’?” Danny said turning to stare at Steve as the intensity of the situation had apparently turned his partners face stony.

 

“Chin?” Kono prompted.

 

“So for the last couple of months, there has been a noticeable rise in violence against the gay community. Mostly men and mostly along the North Shore, but there has been a few women as well. Nearly every victim has been alone when they were jumped. Last week though, there was an incident up at Waimea Bay, in which three men were beaten resulting in a broken arm and a cracked pelvis for Jacob Bryant, a broken nose and low-grade concussion for Michael Ma’akona, and Kyle Mitchell suffered a fractured tibia and nearly bit his tongue in two.” Chin said, flipping a new picture front and center as he listed off the injuries.

 

“One man did all this?” Steve asked quietly from his place behind everyone else.

 

“They’re thinking he’s trained. That’s why Governor Denning is involving the Military Police. Plus, they will help us cover a lot of ground.” Chin answered, looking down at the screen. He swiped another picture onto the screen, covering the previous three.

 

Steve could feel the loathing and his plate lunch curdling high in his stomach as he fought to keep his face impassive.

 

The image of the nude man filled the screen. The fact that he had been beaten was obvious, but there were odd marks, slices, really, that lined the skin of the man’s back as well as very defined circular bruising.

 

“Zachary Forrester. Twenty-three. Originally from Chandler, Arizona. Moved to Honolulu thirteen months ago to go to graduate school. They found him this morning in the surf off Kapaleo Beach. Max estimated that he had been dead going into the water and that his attacker or attackers hoped that between the salt water and the proximity to Chun’s Reef, any distinguishing evidence would be lost.”

 

“Was it?” Danny asked softly, leaning both hands on the edge of the table. “Did the reef make those marks?”

 

“There was trace semen found, well, there’s no delicate way to describe it, in his stomach. He had ingested it and the marks were made by a sharp edge, but Max doesn’t think it was a knife. The round marks seem to be from a softer implement, but whatever it was; it was used in a stabbing motion.” Chin explained, moving his arm repeatedly in a thrusting manner.

 

“So, we’re looking for one man or a man with friends that is possibly trained and is bearing some sort of grudge against homosexuality, right? Do we know where the attacks are happening? Other than just along the North Shore.” Kono asked, summing up the facts, before noticing that Chin hadn’t mentioned that particular one.

 

“Yeah, they have a really good idea. Seems that there are several restrooms in the North Shore area that have, what is commonly known as glory holes. They think that that is how the attacks are going down. He gets his man involved in what he thinks is a bit of sexual adventure and then when the victim has his defenses down, he attacks. Sick, if you ask me.” Chin answered, failing at keeping the bitterness from his voice.

 

Steve stared at the faces of the three men that had attacked him. He knew it was them, because he was trained and he knew exactly where he had injured them. He could feel his head starting to ache behind his bruise and he rotated his left wrist, to feel the slight catch in it.

 

He wanted to do more than beat them. Not for just his own attack, but for Zachary Forrester and all the other individuals that had been brave enough to report their own violence and even for those that didn’t. He wanted justice for the hate that those three were raining down upon his island. His home. His sanctuary.

 

He slid his eyes back over to the image of the latest victim and tried to make sense of the marks.

 

“Steve?”

 

Steve looked at Danny, who had moved to stand in front of him, mirroring his wide stance and crossed arms. He could see Chin and Kono both looking at him expectantly from their places at the tech table. He had a feeling that maybe Danny had been saying his name for a while now.

 

“Steve?” Danny repeated, flexing a hand out towards him, but drawing it away before it could make contact.

 

“Let’s get the bastards.” Was all Steve said, before he strode to his office to gear up.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny walked to his office to grab his gear, but as he reached his desk, the tangible taste of repulsion mixed with an unexplainable sense of foreboding had caused a wave of nausea to overtake him. He sat heavily in his chair and fought to drawn in some deep breaths in hopes that his lunch would stay down.

 

It hadn’t been the image of the dead kid, though that wasn’t helping matters; it was the idea, the fact that he had gone to those places, well, one of those places. Several times over, he had gone to satisfy his urges and it could have been him. He could have washed up on the beach today, bare and beaten and for what? A little sexual release? A blow job, so that he could forget his own misery for while? He could have left his Monkey without a father and for what, a chance to feel another man’s’ lips on his cock?

 

He choked a bit on the thought that either he or Dean could have been victims of so much more than loneliness and isolation.

 

Dean.

 

What about Dean? They hadn’t met for about a week now, there was no way he could be capable of such violence.

 

Was there?

 

Danny shoved that thought out of his mind as fast as it had entered it. The Dean he knew wouldn’t do anything like that. Sure, he didn’t know the man, didn’t even know his real name, but he had had several opportunities to inflict pain on Danny and he hadn’t. He had offered himself up to Danny. Repeatedly. Just as he had shown apprehension and fear at being discovered, over and over again, Danny’s mind added to the internal argument.

 

He had held his hand.

 

 Not once, but twice.

 

Dean, the man who crushed on Disney stars and hated spam; Dean, who texted him every morning and talked for hours when he called to say goodnight didn’t seem capable.

 

Danny shook his head slightly as if the action alone would clear his mind, but he knew that now the seed was planted, he wouldn’t be able to stop it from germinating and growing into some hideous creature, living off of his doubts and eating his hope raw.

 

Rising, he flexed his hands a few times, holding his fingers taut and stiff until the skin around his knuckles turned white. It wouldn’t do to go to a raid with shaky hands, especially if he was in a car with Mr. Smooth and in Control. Steve would know something was up. He may be aloof, but he wasn’t stupid. Not by a long shot.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve pushed his way out of the glass doors to the building, the sudden switch from the overly cool re-circulated air to the sun warmed salty breeze, caused his throat to constrict a little. He walked slightly behind Kono and Chin, both on their phones, finding out where the team was going to be needed the most.

 

Being the head of the task force, he supposed that he should be the one to handle the details, but since they had formed a little over a year ago, he had encouraged each member to act on his behalf in the interest of forming a tighter bond. Granted he had provided himself the overriding vote in matters, but he had refrained from using that option lately. Look at what good it did him last spring.

 

Nearing the Camaro, Steve was glad that he had left the building before Danny, because he wanted to have a chance to contact Frank; to warn him not to go to their hideaway, or any of the other rest rooms for that matter. But as he was pulling the phone from his pocket, he felt the silent presence of his partner behind him.

 

Turning, he barely got his hand up to stop the keys from pegging him in the face. Danny merely walked around him to the passenger side and waited for Steve to disengage the locks.

 

“You don’t want to drive?” Steve asked perplexedly.

 

“Would I have given you the keys if I did? Doors, Steven.” Danny’s voice was off, Steve thought, identifying the clipped consonants and the subdued tone. But then the image of the last victim was burned on his brain, so there was no reason it might not have affected Danny in a similar manner. Maybe not the same, he told himself, but it was still a very a troubling photo.

 

“Sorry.” He pushed the button and pulled the driver side door open.

 

“Hey, so we’re to cover all public restrooms between Shark’s Cove and Sunset Beach. There are thirteen in all. If nothing’s going on, we’re to follow the shore north. We’ll have some uniforms with us.” Kono called out from the passenger side of the Traverse.

 

Steve nodded and slid into the car.

 

“Did you catch that? Shark’s Cove north to Sunset Beach.” He asked as he brought the Camaro to growling life and put it in reverse.

 

Danny nodded as he fastened his seatbelt. Steve waited for the normal argument of why he didn’t wear his, but Danny stayed strangely quiet and stared out the window.

 

“What’s up?”

 

He glanced over at his partner again and caught the dark glare aimed at him in full force.

 

“Really? What’s up? Did you not see those photos in there? What the . . .no, never mind. Just let’s go and get this fucker.” Danny ground out.

 

“Sorry.” Steve said quickly, silently shocked at the vehemence in Danny’s voice. He let the silence of the car wrap around him and worked at keeping the anger tucked deep within.

 

He merged onto the Kamehameha Highway and hitting the switch for the lights, Steve gunned the engine.

 

He could feel the phone in his pocket, rubbing against his thigh every time he pressed down on the accelerator. They would be there in less than half an hour, barring any traffic snarls. He had thirty minutes to get a hold of Frank and even then it may be too late.

 

He pressed his right foot down a fraction more.    

 

*S/D*

 

“What makes someone do that? Kill a man because he’s gay?”

 

They had been speeding up the highway for nearly ten minutes when Danny broke the silence. By the look of surprise that crossed Steve’s tense face, he could tell that Steve had been just as lost in his own head as he was.

 

“Um, maybe the attacker is uncomfortable with his own sexuality or had something happen when he was young . . .” Danny watched Steve’s eyes as they cut across the car at him. They were as troubled as he, himself felt. “ . . .or maybe he and his friends get off on inflicting pain and hate.”

 

“You don’t think its one guy?” Danny asked, he hated how his voice rose at the end. Something about Steve’s comment nagged at the edges of his memory.

 

“No.” Steve said simply, hitting the switch to set off the siren to get them through a busy junction.

 

Danny watched as Steve maneuvered the Camaro around a slow moving convoy of trucks from a pineapple farm. His partner held the wheel tightly at ten and two, his knuckles nearly whitened by the grip. There wasn’t a muscle moving on Steve’s body either, save the tic along his right jaw, where he was obvious grinding away at his teeth.

 

“Why?”

 

“Look, Danny . . .” Steve started hotly before he gusted out a pressured breath. “I . . . I think that there was more than one. The variety of the marks on Forrester’s body could possibly indicate that. The long cuts and the round bruises. I . . . I also, think that they aren’t trained, not professionally, at least. More likely street fighting, if anything. Shows in their use of weapons. He wasn’t cut or stabbed, just . . . just tortured with something, like a . . .”

 

Steve’s eyes widened fractionally causing the firm line of his eyebrows to peak near the deep frown line between them.

 

“Like a . . . what? Like a . . .” Danny let his mind return him to the last image they had seen on the monitors. He could see the long, even welts and slices and the dark purple rings, nearly black against the pale, waterlogged skin. “Like a . . . cane. A cane tip, the rubber stopper. The bull’s-eye pattern. ”

 

“Or it could be a crutch.” Steve said sliding his dark hazel eyes over to Danny, before returning them to the road. “Um, didn’t one of those guys have a broken leg? One of the three from Waimea Bay.”

 

Danny thought a few seconds before he started to nod slowly as if he were agreeing, he started to pull apart the information file that Chin had built for them.

 

“Wait. No. That was one of the victims, Steve. Are we accusing victims’ now?”

 

“I . . .it’s worth looking into, Danny. Call Chin and Kono and see what we have on that guy . . . Mitchell, Kyle Mitchell” Danny noted Steve rocking his usually steady right leg back and forth, his knee thumping lightly on the console with every pass. The case must have hit a nerve, he thought idly, as he pulled his phone from his pocket.

 

*S/D*

 

Watching the landmarks and signs as they blurred past the windows, the sense of anxiety and dread in his gut started to bother Steve. He knew the truth. He knew who had beaten the three men and he knew, maybe not with any evidence but his own experience, but he knew that they had killed Zachary Forrester in retaliation.

 

It could be a coincidence, his mind tried to reason with his heart, but he knew, just as he knew that they would keep on with their hate spewing rampage until every gay man, out or closeted, was going to pay a price. Steve glanced out of the corner of his eye at Danny, as he made affirmative noises into the phone.

 

His need to contact Frank was becoming a screaming ache in his gut. He rocked his leg idly, feeling the phone, Frank’s phone, glide over the lining of his pocket; a thin layer of nylon, separating him from what he had to do.

 

“Seems as though both Mitchell and Ma’akona have records, both have charges for aggravated assault and a string of petty thefts and misdemeanors on their juvie books. Bryant appears to be pretty clean. Family just moved here from Cali about five months ago.” Danny said finally, thumbing the end button on his phone.

 

“They’re minors?” Steve was shocked.

 

“No. Kyle Mitchell and Michael Ma’akona are twenty. Bryant is twenty-one.”

 

 Steve felt a miniscule amount of relief start to seep into his muscles. He already felt like the a fuck for beating his way out of the restroom at Waimea Bay that night, but if they had been minors, well, the guilt would have eaten at him. It would be a different guilt than what he suffers with occasionally for his actions while on active duty. At least then he could tell himself that he was acting on behalf of the United States Navy

 

Navigating the muscle car around the island bus that connected the North Shore to Honolulu, Steve swerved into the far right lane to make the curving ramp to head northeast.

 

“Hey!” Danny said grabbing the door and the roof. “We’re going to get there, you ass. Just . . .let’s make sure it’s in one piece, okay? I still got that daughter, you know.”

 

Steve looked over and saw that it wasn’t anger or fear in his partners face, nor was it irritation, glancing back at the road for a second, he turned his head again towards his passenger and saw a weird flash of understanding glide over Danny’s features. Understanding for what, he had no idea, just that he knew he could trust the blonde detective with anything.

 

“I need you to do something for me. Send a text.” Steve leaned back in the seat and started to shove his hand in his pocket.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny shucked his phone from the breast pocket of his light blue button down.

 

“Okay. Shoot.” He said looking at the little touchpad on the phone. He tipped it over on its side to make the buttons larger.

 

“No.”

 

“Look, I . . .” Danny turned to look at Steve and nearly caught a hand with a phone clutched in it, full on in his teeth.

 

“Use this phone, Danny.” The skin around Steve’s mouth was pulled taut in a grimace as he dropped the phone in Danny’s lap. “Just use my phone. I’ll explain it all later, just . . .please, Danny.”

 

“Watch it!” Danny picked up the simple black phone and turned it over in his hand. Unlike Steve’s normal one in its protective shell, this one was just like the one that he carried . . . oh.

 

Oh, no.

 

He hit the button to wake up the phone and saw that it was exactly like his phone. His secret phone.

 

Thumbing the contacts key, he saw that there was just one name.

 

Frank.

 

*S/D*

 

“Just type ‘if you are at the spot. Get out. Explain later.’ Okay, Danny? Do it.” Steve knew the time was short to get his message off. There was a strong likelihood, that whoever was searching the Waimea restroom may already be there.

 

“Danny!” Steve practically shouted, “If you are at the spot. Get out.”

 

“Steve . . .” Steve heard the confusion, thick and pungent, in his partners’ voice.

 

“Danny. I’ll tell you later, I . . .it’s a friend that I know that goes to these places. He . . . he doesn’t deserve this. None of them do. Just DO IT, Danny.” Steve pulled the car into the gravel lot behind a couple of police cruisers. He saw the Traverse pull in a few cars down.

 

He shifted into park and saw Danny hit the send button. Prying his hands from the wheel, he dropped them to his thighs.

 

He had done what he could to protect Frank. Now he had to wait to see if it was enough.

 

*S/D*

 

The minute he hit send, Danny waited for the phone secreted in the right front pocket of his slacks to notify him of an incoming message.

 

Swiveling his head, he stared at Steve, who in turn was staring at his hands.

 

Danny looked down at those hands and imagined them touching him, caressing his own hand above a thin piece of wood, gripping his cock. The silence of the car was oppressive. He could feel his lungs fighting for every tiny bit of air possible and then deflating when it wasn’t enough.

 

It would never be enough.

 

Just as Steve’s hands curled into tight fists, he felt it.

 

A small vibration, a small motion through the thin pieces of cotton that made up the lining of his pocket and his boxers, a tingling sensation against the side of his cock.

 

Fuck! His mind screamed at him. It couldn’t be true. It’s not true, he kept saying silently, over and over and over in his head, but he knew that if he pulled out the phone, he wouldn’t have to read the message to know what it said.

 

Steve was Dean.

 

Dean was Steve.

 

*S/D*

 

Chin’s face filled the passenger window of the car as he gave a sharp little knock against the glass.

 

They had searched four rest areas so far. None of them showed any signs of being used for anything other than their intended purpose.

 

Steve was somewhat worried that he hadn’t heard from Frank yet, but he was even more worried about his partner. Danny had turned monosyllabic sometime ago and his usual gruffness had been amped up more than a notch or two.

 

Chin knocked again.

 

Steve watched as Danny didn’t move a muscle to let down the window or to reach for the handle. No, his partner was alternating between staring at his hands and then at Steve’s hands.

 

Steve hit the power button on the master controls for the window, allowing the breeze to fill the car.

 

“So it all may be for nothing. Just got a call from Sergeant Shepherdson of the MP, he and his team had the area around Dillingham Airfield over to Kaiaka State Rec. and they caught an attack taking place. We’re still waiting for word if it was the same attacker, well, attackers, looks like there were two of them. And . . .Guys?” Chin leaned into the window a bit, when he didn’t receive a response to his news.

 

Steve let his eyes drift from his silent partner to take in the concerned look on the Hawaiian’s face. He nodded slowly and reached for the door handle to his left.

 

“Were . . .was it Mitchell? Ma’akona?” He asked over the top of Camaro after he pulled his long frame from behind the wheel.

 

“He didn’t say. But then they were still trying to get an ambulance there to stabilize the victim. Captain Bushnell, wants us to still carry out the search. If we find a hole, we’re to mark it to be repaired.” Chin leaned back down to look at Danny, still sitting in the car. “Danny?”

 

Steve watched as Kono spoke to the quartet of uniforms that they to be working with. He heard Chin speaking quietly to his partner, something about finding the bastards who committed the heinous crime.

 

Turning to watch the surf break along the sandy coast, Steve felt the tension of the past hour or so start to abate a bit. Hopefully the MPs had captured the right men and he, himself wouldn’t have to figure out a way to point them out without outing himself.

 

For not the first time since he came out of prison, Steve was thankful that he had co-workers that were friends and that cared for one another. He knew that he shouldn’t have pushed away their show of friendship or downplayed the camaraderie that they had openly shown him, time and again, but he knew that his distance was for their own good.

 

 He had been tainted by his experience, sure, but since coming out of that cell, he had not only found a way to find the sexual satisfaction he desired, he craved, but he had also found someone to share it with. If Frank wasn’t tangled up in the sting today, Steve thought, I want to figure out a way to go past the phones. Go past the hole in the wall. Go past the fear.

 

Something had switched in him in the past hour. He could feel it, deep within his body. He wanted to have someone to share his life with. Someone, who wanted him as much as he wanted them. And Frank was that someone. He had known it since that letter, but his own fucked up doubts and sense of guilt had held him back.

 

He wanted to be done hiding in a stall. He wanted to face a man and know that there was nothing but compassion and lust in eyes, not hate and bigotry.

 

Not anymore, he decided, turning to watch Danny’s blonde head emerge slowly from the car.

 

He may not be able to have what he wanted, but he could at least have happiness.

 

“Ready?” he asked, seeing Chin’s broad back retreating over to where Kono and the uniforms were huddled around a map on the hood of one of the cruisers.

 

“Danno?” He watched as Danny’s blue eyes, darkened with emotion, slide across the roof of the car and climbed up his chest until they burned into his own hazel ones.

 

“Dean.”

 

And then Steve felt his worlds collide.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny knew he shouldn’t have said it. Not then at least, when they were on the job. He wasn’t even sure that he had said it, until he watched the steady and strong face of his partner morph into one of agitation and suspicion. Steve eyed him through a shuttered gaze, letting Danny know that he had fucked up.

 

“What’s that?” Steve’s voice was icy and sharp.

 

“I . . .you’re . . .you’re Dean.” Something about Steve’s entire stance made Danny glad that there was a car between them right then.

 

“You’re mistaken, Danny. C’mon, let’s get this over with.” But Steve didn’t act like he was about to walk away, so Danny stood his ground. To say that Steve was rattled, would have been an understatement, but Danny knew that they were going to have to have this out now, because once one of them left, it was all over.

 

And he didn’t know about Steve, but Danny didn’t want it to be over. Not by a long shot.

 

He placed his hands on the roof of the car and could feel the heat from the afternoon sun filling his palms with warmth. It felt like the only heat his body was going to have for a while.

 

“You are Dean. I’m . . . well, I’m Frank. I . . .it’s . . . nice to meet you.” Danny wanted so bad to just walk around the car and find a way to make that blank expression leave Steve’s face, but he stayed where he was. Clearing his suddenly dry throat, he spoke again as his eyes sought acknowledgement from his friend.

 

“Finally.”

*S/D*

 

The wind whipping through his ears had nothing to do with perpetual breeze of the coastline, there was no salt in it either, but that didn’t stop the burning he felt crawling over his skin.

 

Steve could feel the pinpricks from each tiny droplet of moisture as he started to sweat. He was sure the feeling would go away once he was able to breathe again.

 

There was no way.

 

No way in hell that Danny could be Frank.

 

No fucking way! His mind screamed at him, pulling his suddenly arid tongue from the roof of his mouth, he licked absently at his lips.

 

“Not funny, Danny. Let’s . . . let’s  just get this over with.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and turned to walk towards the others.

 

“No!” Steve whipped his head around as Danny scrambled to head him off as he crossed behind the car. “You . . . hate spam, you like tattoos, you wanted to be a pro-surfer, you always wanted a dog, you. . . but . . .Steve.”

 

Steve stopped walking, but he couldn’t make himself look at the other man.

 

“You already know all those things. You’ve known them forever.” He ground out between clenched teeth.

 

“Dean had . . .No. You had a crush on Fritz from Swiss Family Robinson.” Danny said softly, reaching out and grasping Steve’s bicep before continuing even more quietly. “And on your dad’s. . .on . . .on Chin.”

 

Steve looked up at the man in question, pacing by the cruiser, phone pressed to his ear. He was frowning, but gave them a thumbs up when he caught both men staring at him. He pulled his arm away from his partner, but it was quickly seized again.

 

“And you wanted Frank, me, to get away because you know who is doing the attacks. You know . . . you know, because you fought back last week.” Steve finally turned his head to look at his partner, but his fear of the hate or the rejection or the patented Danny look of scorn wasn’t what he saw.

 

There was shock and definitely anxiety, but there was also surprise and apprehension. What does he have to worry about, Steve thought wildly, he’s not about to be shoved bodily from a place he had never expected to find himself.

 

Oh.

 

“You know that it was Ma’akona and Mitchell and Bryant, because you didn’t go to a training exercise last week. You went to Waimea Bay. You went without me and got beat for your troubles.” Once he had his eyes on Danny, Steve couldn’t seem to look anywhere else, so he saw the anger that was in his partner’s voice as it glided to stop on his strong features.

 

“I . . .” was all Steve got out before Kono strode up to them.

 

“You could tell anyone, so you made up the lie about being at the base, didn’t you? Where were you? Did you hide out at your house? Did you try and hunt these guys down? Jesus, Steve, I ought to . . .” Danny had been whispering angrily at Steve, but was interrupted by Kono.

 

“You were right, Steve. It was Mitchell, Sergeant Shepherdson just called in to say that Ma’akona and Mitchell are in custody and the victim, a Brian Harris, just touched down at Queens. They had to call in a chopper because he was unresponsive, but they brought him back. Thank god.” Steve watched out of the corner of his eye as she looked at him and then at Danny before returning her eyes to him. “You guys okay?”

 

“Yeah. Just . . .Okay, you and Danny are together now and I’m with Chin. Let’s see if we can spot any more evidence and get this case wrapped up tight.” He hadn’t taken his gaze off of Danny’s face when he gave the orders, but he could see the frown growing deeper on the rookie’s anyway. “We’re not letting these guys go on a technicality.”

 

Pivoting to force Danny to let go of his arm, he heard one last utterance from his partner.

 

“We are talking about this later, Steve. Don’t think we’re not.”

 

Steve felt his muscles flex rigidly at the threat, but kept walking towards the other officers. Hopefully he could catch a ride with Chin back to headquarters.

 

He wasn’t ready to deal with the last ten minutes of his life. Or the ramifications of the last month and a half.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny glared at the computer monitor on his desk and finalized his open reports. He was leaving in less than thirty-six hours for the mainland and like any good foot soldier in the war against crime, he didn’t want any loose threads to trip up his vacation.

 

He glanced up at Steve’s darkened office again. The bastard hadn’t come back to the office after they had finished their sweep of the rest areas and he didn’t answer any of the messages he had sent or left on his voice mail. It was like Steve had turned tail and ran to the ends of the earth to avoid having to talk to Danny.


If Steve wasn’t going to listen to him face to face, then he was going to make his case the old fashioned way.

 

Hell, it had worked before.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve took a bite of the seared mahimahi and watched the sunset over the water. He knew that Danny thought he was running scared and maybe he was, but it was all too much at the time. As soon as Chin had dropped him at the office and handed Steve the little black phone that Danny had handed him at the raid, Steve was off.

 

He was like a crab trying to outrun a pack of the stray beach dogs. And so, like any self-respecting crab, he ran for the water.

 

From the first moment of standing on the deck of the little sailboat he borrowed from Mamo, Steve fought through every argument his brain could supply. The trip had been far from relaxing so far, but it had granted him the time away from everyone that he needed and the time to really think about what he was going to do about Danny and his own feelings about his newly embraced sexual identity.

 

Flaking off another morsel of the fish, he pondered on the one dilemma that he couldn’t find an answer to. He knew that he had developed his feelings for his partner at about the time they had met, or at least nearly about that time. He had hidden them away, nursing those feelings until they ran deep and strong through his veins as quick and sure as any of his own blood. For the past fourteen months, he had hid those feelings behind a dam of denial.

 

What would happen if he allowed that dam to crack and he allowed Danny in? And what if once there, Danny decided that his own feelings were for Dean and not Steve, even though they were one and the same? Would he retreat, leaving Steve flooded and well, adrift in a sea of his own tortuous emotions?

 

Steve shook his head at his thinking and not for the first time in the past three or so days. All of his arguments involved metaphors for the ocean. Sighing, he sipped from the bottle of water at his elbow. Well, if he was going to stick with that, he muttered a loud to himself; he really needed a lifeguard at that moment. Figuratively, of course, not literally.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny stood at the kitchen door and watched the snow fall silently beyond the curtained glass. It had been an amazing trip thus far. His folks and two of his sisters had met them at the airport on Wednesday afternoon and it had been nonstop through the black Friday shopping bonanza, which had started at around 2 AM this morning.

 

Now the house was silent. Even more silent than when his father had asked that Matty be watched over wherever he was at, during the blessing over Ma’s twenty-three pound golden brown turkey.

 

Danny sighed at the memory. It caused the glass to briefly cloud in front of his face. But the snow was still falling when the glass cleared.

 

His sisters had bundled up to head home to squirrel away gifts and with hugs and promises to return for dinner and their children later on, they were gone.

 

His dad had gone on his own shopping excursion to the neighborhood hardware store, with an excuse that he needed to get a new surge protector for the tree lights. But Danny knew that he was playing a few rounds of hold ‘em with the boys in the back room.

 

“Danny?” he turned at his mother’s voice. He hadn’t heard her come into the kitchen.

 

“Yeah?” he asked, trying to lighten his voice. He watched her cross over to stand next to him, raising her sure fingers to his hair to ruffle it a bit.

 

“You look like a lion with a great greased back mane, Hon. Which isn’t far from the truth is it? What with how you were storming around the shops after Grace today. A fierce lion protective of his cub.” She commented, brushing the hair she displaced back into line with her fingertips.

 

“She’s nine, Ma.” Danny defended himself.

 

“And you’re thirty-five, Danny.” She retorted softly. “She’s going to grow up, Hon. Whether you want her to or not. Coffee?”

 

Danny turned as she walked over to counter and grabbed the carafe off the coffeemaker, before turning to the sink to fill it.

 

“That’s not what’s bothering you though, is it? What’s going on, Danny? Is it Rachel again.” Danny started shaking his head before she even had the first part of his ex’s name out.

 

“It’s nothing, really. Just needed this vacation, you know. A chance to see all of you, see the old neighborhood, the old haunts.” Danny knew he was being evasive, but really, what could he do? He could explain about Steve and about Dean, but he didn’t think he could do it without coming out and while his mother was an amazing and open-minded person, he didn’t know how she would take it. It had never come up before.

 

He reached into his pocket and fingered the phone that he couldn’t bring himself to leave in Hawaii. It had been silent since that last morning before the raid, when Dean, no, Steve had text him good morning. He felt a small smirk grace his lips and then fade just as quickly; he was still having a small issue with the idea of Steve being romantic.

 

Not that Danny wouldn’t welcome the chance to be the object of all that romance, because he would, in a heartbeat, but he also knew that he had blown his chance. And now here he was in his family home wanting so bad to tell someone and he couldn’t find the words.

 

He really was an ass.

 

“Then why haven’t you arrived?”

 

“What?” Danny turned from the window and watched his mom place two mugs on the counter.

 

“You said that you needed this vacation, but you’re not here, Hon, you’re somewhere out in the Pacific and only your body has landed in Jersey.” Danny could feel his mouth open to dispute her statement, but closed it again, when he knew he couldn’t. “Come, have a cup with me and tell me all about it. You’ll feel better.”

 

Danny crossed to the kitchen table, draped in a soft brown cotton cloth and sat down.

 

“I . . .” He started as his mom sank into the ladder-back chair next him and placed a steaming cup of coffee in front of him. “I met someone, kinda, but it looks like, well, I think I messed it up pretty good, like always.”

 

*S/D*

 

Steve stared at the two pieces of yellow note paper that lay on his chest and listened to the first of the morning birds calling in the pre-dawn outside of his bedroom window. It was early Sunday and he was still at a proverbial fork in the personal road to happiness.

 

He had docked late Wednesday, his mind made up on what he had to do, but when Mamo asked if he was watching the game tomorrow, Steve realized that Danny and Grace had flown out hours before.

 

He had watched the game, but it was at the office, where he had gone to immerse himself in the paperwork he had abandoned during his seafaring adventure. It was quiet, too quiet in the war room, so he wheeled the TV into his office and set about getting caught up. Stopping only long enough to run out and pick up some chicken long rice and bao.

 

He hadn’t even noticed when it had gotten dark and when he discovered that it was after midnight, he merely slumped onto the leather sofa and watched reruns of classic sitcoms until he fell asleep. That’s how Chin had found him Friday morning when he came in to run a computer update.

 

Together they had gone to see Brian Harris, the latest victim of the cruel bastards, who had admitted in police interrogation that Chin had watched through the two-way, that they had started their beat downs as a form of entertainment, but after they themselves were attacked by an unidentified man, they decided to rid the island of as many gays as possible. That weighed heavy on Steve’s heart, if he had left well enough alone or hadn’t injured them as bad, Zachary Forrester may possibly still be alive.

 

As they walked out of the elevator and down the hall to Harris’ room, Chin confided in Steve that he and Kono had a cousin or two that were gay and while he didn’t think they had ever gone to one of the rest areas, the thought of losing them to such a senseless act of hate, really bothered him and made him want to do something more to ensure that everyone on the islands would be safe for being who they were.

 

Steve just looked at him and knew that while he had already respected Chin for who he was and how he fit into their little ‘ohana, that respect had grown tenfold in the last few feet.

 

Maybe if things with Danny went south, like he half expected them to, he could at least rely upon Chin as an ally. It was time for him to man up. DADT had been set aside and he was only a reservist now. Besides, it wasn’t like he hadn’t figured out how to operate within the confines of discretion.

 

The visit had gone well and Brian Harris’ parents were kind and understanding folk, who, even in the violent attack on their son, embraced him for who he was. It made Steve a bit melancholy for his own parents, though he was pretty sure that his dad wouldn’t understand at all. But it seemed like he was being surprised everyday anymore, so who could say what his dad would have said.

 

 Steve was somewhat glad that another day was nearly done as he pulled the truck into the drive. Because in a few short hours it would be Saturday and then only one more day until Danny was home and they could talk about . . . well, everything.

 

After a Saturday spent tinkering on the Mercury, Steve had cleaned up and had gone to bed in hopes of catching up on all the sleep his overactive brain had prevented him from getting all week. But after an hour of lying there and another hour of sit-ups and push-ups, he relented and pulled the two notes from their hiding place behind his mom’s photo.

 

*S/D*

 

There never seemed to be enough time, Danny thought as he lay in his childhood bed and stared at the framed art print where his poster of Springsteen in his ripped jeans had hung on the wall next to the door.

 

His talk with his mom had gone okay. He hadn’t let it slip that the person he had fucked up with was a man or his boss or his friend or even named Steve. And she had listened patiently, like she always had before and then told him to follow his heart.

 

“And if that doesn’t work, maybe you should ask your Steve out. Gracie seems to think he’s pretty cool.” Danny had grinned at her when she had laughingly said that, but on the inside he was riddled with crack lines and the flood of remorse was pushing him against the edge of reason.

 

It wasn’t until he had finished getting everything together for their unforgivably early flight out and was brushing his teeth, that the idea that his mom was serious and that she may have a little more insight into her son than he thought. That’s when it dawned on him that he had used gender-neutral pronouns when he had described his problem to her.

 

Fuck.

 

He spit into the sink and looked up. It appeared that taking a vacation did nothing to stop the worry lines that had formed around his eyes in the last few days, from deepening, carving the fear of the unknown into his flesh.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve picked up the first note, the one that he had received with the phone that was currently laying on his abdomen and read through it for what must have been the hundredth time. Now that he knew who the author was, he could see some of Danny in it. Especially when he compared it to the letter he had found in a sealed envelope on his desk, when he had gone into the office on Thanksgiving.

 

Picking up the second letter, he stared at Danny’s neat little tilting scrawl before he started at the beginning and read through it again.

 

Steve,

 

I don’t know what to say right now, which probably surprises you. I know that you must really hate me and you have every right to. I hate myself for this entire mess. I didn’t mean to lead you on or hurt either of us in anyway. But I know that I have. Hurt you, hurt myself, and it kills me that you won’t even talk to me about it. Please, know that I am sorry, more than you can ever know for putting you through this.

 

But I cannot apologize for the moments that we’ve shared both through the phones and when we met at our place. I will not say sorry for that. Everything between us, when we thought that we were both other people, was real. At least it was to me. I have developed feelings for you that run deeper than I could have ever imagined possible.

 

I have thought back over every conversation and have read through every text until my head is spinning and my eyes have blurred. I cannot believe that Dean is you, not for the fact that I don’t want you and Dean to be the same person, quite the contrary, but how could I have missed the fact that the man that I have allowed myself to become emotionally attached to over the past year is the same man that I have been physically involved with for the past seven weeks. It’s mind blowing. Though I’m pretty sure you know that.

 

I am not proud of what I have done to you. Taking and taking and taking, without ensuring that you would be okay in the end. On that last day, before we left for the raid, I feared that Dean would be involved in some way. I’m ashamed that I let my fear consume me and I didn’t try and contact him you as you did me. To feel that phone ring in my pocket – well, I’m a greater fool than anyone ever thought.

 

I’m leaving Tues. night/Wed. morning for home. Thanksgiving with the folks, but I will return on Sunday. I would like to meet with you and see where we stand, if that is okay? If not, we’ll play it the same as before. Text the word ‘no’ and we’ll never speak of it again.

 

If you would like me to transfer back to HPD, I will, since this is entirely my fault. But please hear me out first, that’s all that I ask. Please do that for me Steve. Just let me tell you how I see this going.

 

Danny

 

He picked up the phone and read through the final exchange again. The few short words showed so much hope, so much hope wrapped in pain. He remembered how that prickly hope caught at his soul, when he stood at the raid and thought about what it would be like to have someone, to have Frank in his life. Licking at lips slightly chapped by the ocean air, Steve thumbed a brief message and then hit send quickly; before he could talk himself out of it.

 

And now the wait, he thought sadly.

 

Folding the notes together again and replacing them behind the frame, Steve replaced the phone on the nightstand and turned out the light. The surf had always been soothing before, but now it seemed to mock him in the darkness.

 

*S/D*

 

 

Danny let the Camaro coast to a stop in front of Steve’s neighbors’ house. Pi’ikoi Street was lined with cars, mainlanders visiting for a holiday break in the sun no doubt. Stepping out of the car, he grabbed the plastic carrier bag and the paper cup of coffee he had gotten at the convenience store near the airport, before he eased the door shut and set the lock.

 

He had dropped Gracie off at Rachel and Stan’s per the agreement that he bring her straight home after they landed, so that she could be rested for school the next day, but for the past hour he cruised streets still slumbering in the pale moonlight. He turned from the car and started walking slowly up the street until he reached the McGarrett driveway, which he followed silently around to the back of the house.

 

Pulling the phone from his pocket and reading the last message again after he had settled into one of the deck chairs on the lanai, Danny knew that he was ready to face Steve or was mostly ready. Sighing, he looked out at the gentle surf rushing slowly along the beach, he tried to make out if there was a swimmer beyond the shallows, but it was still too dark to tell.

 

Propping his feet up on the neighboring chair, he slouched and squirmed a bit until he was mostly comfortable. Danny had no idea how long he was going to have to wait, but at least he had provisions, he thought idly, sipping at his coffee.

 

*S/D*

 

After a fitful night of tossing and very little sleep, Steve rose and pulled a pair of clean board shorts out of the second drawer of his dresser. Crossing to the bathroom, he performed the bare necessities before sliding off his boxer briefs and pulling on the well-worn blue trunks.

 

A swim may clear his head and make him tired enough to catch a few before Danny’s plane landed. He knew that the blonde would contact him sometime today. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be a repeat of the first time they worked together, he thought as he started down the stairs. But if Danny slugged him again, he would let him. He deserved it.

 

Stopping in the kitchen long enough to drink a cool glass of water, Steve slid the lanai door open and stepped out into the muted blue-grey of the dawn.

 

Pulling his left arm over his head to warm up his muscles, he saw the plastic carrier bag on the table at the same time he heard Danny speak.

 

“You do know that the only Hawaiian words I know, I’ve learned from bottle caps, right?”

 

Letting his arm fall slowly to his side, Steve took in the ghostly face of his partner, dark splotches beneath his eyes, highlighted by the glowing screen of his cell phone.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny stared at Steve, standing in the half-light of dawn, his body flexing minutely as he stood at a surprised attention. He wondered if he stood from his deck chair, if Steve would bolt. Dropping his hands down to the arms of the chair, he slowly levered himself to standing, eyes never leaving the bare-chested man in front of him.

 

They both winced at the sound of his knees popping as he crossed the lanai to stand directly in front of Steve. Stopping an arm’s length away, he tried to smile reassuringly, but he knew that there was a good chance that his lips hadn’t moved.

 

Steve’s eyes were unreadable in the darkness, a situation made even more difficult by his insanely long, dark eyelashes. They shadowed Steve’s gaze, leaving Danny frustrated, yet not surprisingly, aroused. He was still lost in that look, when Steve’s voice broke the silence.

 

“E kala mai ia ‘u.”

 

Danny wanted to throw his arms around him right then, just to get the hesitancy in Steve’s voice to leave, to evaporate in the salty air.

 

“I’m sorry, too. And there’s nothing to forgive, Steve.” There was a moment of confusion that passed over Steve’s stoic features right then. Danny heart rejoiced, because that look meant that Steve was still emotionally invested. “You did nothing wrong.”

 

“Danny . . .” Steve started, his right hand lifting briefly before dropping back to his side.

 

“It’s called a smart phone for a reason, Steven.” He could feel the smile now as he tucked the phone into his pocket. He took a deep breath and blew it out before running his hand through his hair, messed up by hours of travel.

 

“What do you want, Steve? Where are we going with this? Do you want to see if we can do this? Because, I gotta tell ya, I do. I really do. I want to see you happy and if I can be the one to make you so . . . well, then I’ve made somebody happy up there.” He jutted his chin to the sky. “So it’s up to you, Steve. We can go as fast or as slow as you want. Just . . . just what do you want? I’ll do whatever you want, whatever it takes.”

 

He let his voice soften and then float away with the breeze. He had said his piece, had told Steve where he stood, now it was up to him.

 

Danny saw it. The exact moment that Steve capitulated. Steve hadn’t moved a muscle, but something released in that tall, lithe body in front of him. A small tic, a twitch of an eyelash, or a barely there sigh, Danny knew he would never be able to identify it, but he knew.

 

Stepping closer, he lifted his hand to Steve’s stubbled cheek and he reveled in the coarseness he felt beneath his palm. Letting his hand glide down and around Steve’s neck, he pulled at him gently, forcing him to lean forward, a little off balance.

 

Danny knew the reason that people wrote poetry the minute his lips found Steve’s. They were cool and somewhat chapped, but God, they were glorious. He set about warming them, working his own against them until they parted slightly. He caught the sigh on his tongue as he dipped it out to run along the seam.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve had yet to lift an arm or to move into Danny’s space; he merely teetered there in the growing light, allowing Danny to take what he wanted, what he needed in way of an answer.

 

He had been kissed before and had returned those kisses, but this time . . . this time it was like finding the sun in the middle of the rainforest. It was warm and moist, hot and sultry. He could feel the power of the man in front of him and he wanted to drink it in. Let it bring his blood to a rolling boil.

 

Pulling away to gasp in the cool morning air, he looked at the lust and hope that sparkled Danny’s always expressive blue eyes. They were dilated, but the rim of blue still shown in the ever-brightening dawn.

 

“I want . . .” he started, but couldn’t find the words within him to describe everything coursing through his body right then. He cleared his throat slightly and tried again. “I want . . . I need you.”

 

*S/D*

 

That was all Danny needed to hear.

 

He let his hands drift up to Steve’s shoulders before sliding his fingertips down amongst the soft brown hairs of his chest. He felt his calluses catch at Steve’s nipples, drawing a stuttered breath from the man in front of him.

 

Lowering himself down to his knees, he let his hands caress the contours and dips of Steve’s abs, until they reached the waistband of the wash-softened trunks. Leaning forward he let his lips find and then map out the hardness he found beneath.

 

Glancing up, he took in the wrecked expression on Steve’s face.

 

“Let me.” He whispered, not wanting to startle the man in front of him, the man he wanted to worship, to praise, to love. He continued to nuzzle against the heat inside the nylon shield; his own stubble catching in the miniscule stitching. “Let me do this . . . one thing for you.”

 

*S/D*

 

Never in his life, Steve thought wildly, never in his life had he ever seen anything so desirable, so tempting, and so fucking hot as when he watched Danny sucking on his cock through his shorts. That was until Danny’s fingers caught at the drawstring and he eased the trunks down over his shaft.

 

Danny barely leaned back as he stepped out of the blue trunks. Sucking in a breath, he watched Danny as he nuzzled at the dark hair at the base of his cock, mouthing along his balls. The first brush of Danny’s fingers along the taut skin of his cock brought a rippling shiver through his body.

 

He had dreamed about this for nearly a year now, dreamed of shutting Danny up with his cock shoved deep in his throat, but looking down now and seeing it happening was so much more satisfying than any dream he had ever had. He felt his skin burn wherever Danny placed his hands, the wet heat seeping through his skin wherever Danny’s mouth went.

 

Tipping his head back, he allowed the sensations to override his brain, allowing him to concentrate on his senses. The noises were soft, but he could hear the soft slurps of Danny’s tongue as it licked along the vein running up his underside of his length. He could smell the heady odor of sex as it floated up on the salty air. He could still taste the coffee that had been on Danny’s lips, when he licked at his own. Bringing his hand up, he touched Danny for the first time, letting his hand cup his neck, his thumb brushing at the suck-hollowed cheek beneath it.

 

“Danny . . .” Steve choked out as Danny started tonguing along the enflamed crown; dipping and teasing along his slit.

 

“Anything for you, babe. Anything to make you happy.” Steve heard Danny say as he peered up through golden tipped lashes. Steve felt his gut roll at the intensity of his gaze.

 

Danny’s hands gripped his hips, thumbs fitting snuggly into the grooves, and then he lowered his mouth slowly, ever so slowly, until his nose was buried in the damp hairs at the base. Steve thought that he had found nirvana, that was until Danny pulled off just as slowly.

 

He heard the small keening noises intermixed with his stuttering pants, but he was helpless to stop them; just as he was unable to stop the flow of burning desire building at a monumental pace deep within his gut. He wasn’t going to last, but he felt that he had already lasted longer than he would have imagined for his first time with Danny.

 

*S/D*

 

Danny felt Steve’s hand tighten against the crook of his neck and shoulder, the short hairs pulling between Steve’s fingers. He also felt the telltale sign of loss of rhythm in the short thrusts he was allowing Steve’s hips to make.

 

Pulling most of the way off, he continued with shallow bobs alternating with grinding the tip of his tongue into the nerves at the base of the head of Steve’s cock. It only took a few moments before the lanai was filled with a long, low moan, building in intensity and volume as Steve’s come flooded his mouth. Swallowing greedily, Danny coaxed out every drop he could, before slowly exchanging his mouth for his hand.

 

Resting his forehead against Steve’s hip, he offered his shoulders for stability as Steve dropped weakly in front of him; knees folding beneath his sated body.

 

“Danny . . .” Steve whispered in his ear, wrapping his long arms around his torso and pulling him forward into his sweat dampened form.

 

“Yours, Steve. Nothing has changed. I’m still yours.” Danny could hear the roughness in his own voice as he whispered hoarsely into Steve’s ear. “I will be yours for as long as you’ll have me.”

 

“Never letting you go, Danny.” Steve said as he pulled away from Danny, just far enough to look him in the eyes. Danny saw the wetness in Steve’s eyes, but didn’t call him on it.

 

“Good.” He said cupping Steve’s jaw before he leaned in to kiss him softly. “We still need to talk. I know that. But what say we find someplace a little more comfortable?”

 

“How do you feel about the couch?” Steve asked quietly.

 

“Couch? Couch’s good. Anywhere’s good. So long as we both fit.” Danny said, mouthing down Steve’s neck. He wanted to recommend Steve’s bed, but he knew they really need to that that talk first. Then bed, he smiled to himself as his lips traced the sensitive skin beneath Steve’s ear.

 

Pushing off of Steve’s shoulder, he hoisted himself up. His knees ached as did his jaw, but it was a good ache. Hopefully soon he would have more aches to embrace, he thought slyly, offering his hand to help Steve up.

 

*S/D*

 

Steve rolled onto his back a few moments after Danny let his legs drop from around his waist. The sheet bunched below his shoulders from where it had been pulled from around the mattress by Danny’s clawing fingers.

 

Tipping his head to the side, he could still see the blissed out haze present in his lovers’ face. Steve smiled, knowing that if he were to look in the mirror, his own features would be quite similar.

 

“Wow.” Danny gusted out, flopping the back of his hand onto Steve’s ribs.

 

“Yeah.” Steve answered.

 

“Wow.” Danny repeated.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Okay, I know we could do this all day, but let’s not.” Danny replied, rubbing the backs of his knuckles across the fur on Steve’s chest.

 

“You don’t want sex all day?” Steve asked feigning ignorance.

 

“Ass.” Danny said, tweaking a nipple between his knuckles.

 

“Ow! Hey! I make love to you all afternoon, worship you body, feed you and bathe you and this is what I get?”

 

“Make love? Worship my body? What are you a poet?” Danny’s voice was filled with incredulousness, but his face still carried a soft, silly grin.

 

“I gave myself to him  And took himself for pay.  The solemn contract of a life  And ratified this way  The value – oof. Jeez! I’m trying to woo you here.” Steve said letting the singsong-y nature of his voice slip into mock indignation as Danny rolled over on him.

 

It’s The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Danny said pressing his nose to Steve’s.

 

“Well, I say that its Gilligan’s Island and since you’re now sleeping with a sailor and Texas is nowhere near Jersey . . .” Steve allowed Danny to shut him up by slipping his tongue into Steve’s open mouth, but it was only because he would rather be kissing the man than arguing with him.

 

 



Fin

Whew!

 

 

Po’o = head

E kala mai ia ‘u = Forgive me, I’m sorry!