Three Weeks Before...
As Grace reached up and placed the star on top of the tree, she finally made the wish she had spent so long thinking about...
Danny sighed as he turned off his computer and left his office.
The team wasn't going for drinks tonight, instead Danny was heading home to spend time with his daughter. Rachel had decided that since they were facing the holidays without their leader, Danny could have Grace all weekend.
He knew he should be pissed off over her pity, but if he got extra time with Grace, he was keeping his mouth shut for once and thanking the heavens.
Steve would give him that look if he said that out loud.
Or he would if he the fucking Navy hadn't sent him to a hellhole in the middle of...of...somewhere.
'I'll be fine Danno, the team will have my back. I have done this before...' Steve had said as he got ready to leave.
'Yeah, but Five-0 won't be there to hold you back from blowing things up; I won't be there to back you up!' He had replied, his arms flying in a wild arch around him.
Steve had just grinned at him, and continued packing.
That was almost five months ago and they still hadn't heard from Steve. Of course he had insinuated that he was going deep undercover and might not be able to contact them for a while, but five months?
Danny was worried sick and was tired of having to deflect his daughters questions.
He had no idea when Uncle Steve was coming home.
He had no idea if Steve was coming home at all.
Grace sat at the desk in her room and looked at the pictures on the walls.
Before Steve was sent away to help fight the bad guys, her Danno and Steve had decided to make their arrangment permanent and finally Grace was allowed to make the room her own.
Most of the pictures were of her and various members of the team building sandcastles on the beach out back. She would never tell Danno this, but Uncle Steve was better at building them than Danno was.
She missed her surfing lessons with him.
And although he tried to hide it, she knew her father was miserable.
So here she was sitting at the desk, staring at her favourite photo of her Super SEAL while trying to think what to say.
After a few minutes of thinking, her dad came in and flicked her braid playfully.
''You were quiet Monkey, that's not like you. What's wrong?'' He asked, softly.
''I'm writing a letter.'' She said, picking up her pen.
''To Santa?'' Her father said.
She tried not to giggle; she hadn't the heart to tell him she had stopped believing in Santa when she had caught Step-Stan putting the presents under the tree last year.
''I'm writing to Uncle Steve for Christmas.'' She smiled.
Danny stared at her for a full minute before reaching out and pulling her into a bear hug. ''That's a great idea, Monkey.''
She smiled against his shoulder, ''Will you send him one too?''
He nodded, ''I'll get right on it. Maybe Chin and Kono would like to send something too...''
Finally pulling away from her father, she started the letter, the words falling from pen to paper effortlessly.
Danny wasn't entirely sure what he had done to deserve such an amazing child, but he was sure as hell not complaining.
Of course now that he had promised to send Steve a letter, he had no idea what to say.
'What you? In the last two years of knowing you I can count on one hand how many times you have been speechless. Are you sick, Danno?'
He should probably be worried about hearing his partners voice in his head, but he honestly could not give a flying fuck.
Danny wished Steve was here just so he could rant at him about the Miranda rights or something, because at least that would mean he was safe.
He was aware that Steve would laugh his balls off if he was in-fact here right now but Danny knew that the big goofball would eventually gather himself and never mention it again.
Sighing, he told himself to shut up and started working.
After finishing his letter an hour later Danny called both Chin and Kono, letting them in on what he and his daughter were doing. They both agreed to join in and said they would have their letters ready by the morning.
Later that night while he tucked Grace into bed, he told her that he would find out about sending the letters to Steve. She beamed at him and launched into a tale about what she had put into her letter, without actually telling him anything.
'She would make a fantastic cop...' He thought proudly.
One Week Later...
Steve sat in the tent, stock still listening to everything around him. They had set up camp for the night and he had just finished his shift. The undercover had been blown almost a week ago, after receiving bad intel.
Once he decided that for now they were not under attack, he could afford a couple of minutes to open the mail he had been given this morning. They had been shoved into his hand then shoved into his pocket, only to be brought out eight hours later.
They had been burning a hole in Steve's leg all fucking day and he had itched to just take them out and read them.
Slowly he checked the handwriting on each of the three envolopes and picked up Kono's. Excitement bubbled up in his stomach as he unfolded the paper.
Hope you're doing okay out there, and can get back home soon. The ocean is missing you! We're all missing you!
Happy Holidays Boss, come home soon, your Ohana is waiting...
Steve chuckled to himself and set the paper aside, before picking up the next. Chin's.
Come home soon Steve, the team is missing it's leader.
Danny hasn't ranted at anyone in almost six months, personally I'm convinced he is going to go all Jersey on us if you don't you get back quick.
Be safe, Brah
He smiled and opened that one immediately, leaving Danny's until last.
Dear Uncle Steve,
I usually write a letter to Santa, but this year I decided that you needed cheering up more than I needed a Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse. Danno told me that even if I did write a letter to Santa, he wouldn't be able to bring you home just for one day, when you have such an important job to do.
I wish you could be here for Christmas Uncle Steve, but don't worry I have your present all wrapped up under the tree!
This year I get to spend the entire weekend with Danno because Mommy said he needed some extra Christmas spirit. He's been sad since you've been gone Uncle Steve, so you have to come home really soon!
Mele Kalikimaka Super-Steve!
Lots of love,
No matter how tough his training had been, it had never prepared him for such innocence. Therefore it was enitirely understandable that the words brought tears to his eyes.
Glancing around the tent, to be sure no-one saw, he quickly ran a hand over his face and placed the three letters into his chest pocket.
Finally he picked up the last one. Danny's letter.
Well we both know that I'm better at face-to-face communication rather than writing, but here we are. I'll make it short *
Get your butt back to this place before Kono goes completely insane and blows us all up! Honestly, I think you have her brain-washed. Even Chin sees' the resemblance.
So in short *
Again, Shut up*,
we all miss you, you overgrown goof.
Get home safe Steve and soon, your back-up's waiting...
Steve licked his lips and swallowed back the lump in his throat.
His Ohana was waiting for him back home, and even though each damn day was pretty much unbearable, he knew he would fight tooth and nail to get back there.
Christmas Day...(Present Day)
Danny awoke the next morning to Grace's delighted squeal.
He smiled into his pillow and pushed himself up.
''Danno!'' Grace called, excitedly.
He quickly made his way to the bathroom and took care of his business, before hurrying downstairs.
''Santa's been...'' He said, ignoring the look on Grace's face. Sure, he knew she didn't believe in him anymore, but so what? She was eight for God's sake! Besides, Grace would always be his little girl, no matter how old she was.
''He didn't eat the cookies...'' She smiled at him.
Danny pursed his lips, ''Well, I have it on good authority -being a police officer and all- that Santa is very partial to malasadas these days...''
Grace giggled and tossed a small present to him, ''Open it Danno!''
So he did.
Chin and Kono had come by for Christmas Dinner, but after an unfortunate accident with the cranberry sauce, things were running behind. They and Grace were in the front room, playing some video games on the Wii.
As Danny concentrated on the task of setting the timer, he sighed. He had kept a smile on his face so far today and was feeling very drained. But it wasn't right. He knew Grace was missing Steve, and Chin and Kono.
He was missing the idiot too, but would still shoot him if he came home injured.
There was just some shit Danny couldn't deal with, and the thought of losing those he cared about was the worst feeing in the fucking universe.
After making sure everything was set, Danny joined everyone in the front room and beat Chin spectacularly on Donkey Kong.
Grace was setting her new soft dolphin down by the tree, when she saw the headlights pulling into the darkened driveway. She watched as a man got out of the car and spotted her in the window.
Her eyes widened as he gestured for her to be silent. A smile spread slowly over her face.
''Monkey? You okay?'' Danny asked as he came back from the bathroom.
''Mmhmm...'' Came her distant reply. He shook his head, and was about to ask asgain when the doorbell rang. He went to answer it but Grace beat him to it with a quick, ''I'll get it!''
Kono called him into the kitchen, so he left it for now.
A few minutes later he heard Grace squeal again, he ran into the front room. And stopped dead.
''Merry Christmas, Danno...'' Steve said, grinning goofily at him.
Steve stood in the middle of his living room and stared at the little girl in front of him, who was currently trying to force him to hold up a bow.
''Please Uncle Steve?'' She whispered, pouting. And really? Who the hell could resist that?
So there he was; dressed in his Navy Blues holding a pink bow in his hands, smiling at his partner, while trying to look as manly as possible.
Danny stared at him a for a few moments then suddenly burst out laughing. Kono who had walked out behind him joined in, with Chin trying to surpress his own laughter.
Grace looked up at him, ''Merry Christmas Super-Steve...''
''Merry Christmas Gracie,'' He replied, softly.
Later that night, after Grace had gone to bed and Steve had gotten changed, he found Danny out on the lanai.
''Hey,'' He greeted.
Danny tipped his beer bottle towards Steve, ''Hey.''
Steve grabbed his own beer and leant againt the beam.
''Man, it's good to be back...'' He said quietly, almost to himself. Danny silently nodded, not knowing what to say first.
''I got your letters.'' Steve stated a little while later.
''It was Grace's idea, but the cousins and I decided to help her out.'' He grinned at Steve. ''Besides, she had to send a Wish List to someone...''
Seve perked up a bit, ''Speaking of which, Grace's Christmas present will be arriving in the morning. I know it's late, but-''
Looking back on this later, Danny will swear blind it was the beer, but at that moment in time he didn't really care.
He pulled Steve down for a hug, and a slap on the back.
''Danno? I can't sleep.'' Grace said from the doorway.
Danny pulled away from Steve and crouched down in front of her, ignoring the twinge in his knee.
''Why not, Monkey?''
Grace shrugged, ''I just wanted to thank Uncle Steve...''
Steve stepped forward and lowered himself down next to Danny.
''For what, Gracie?'' He asked, perplexed.
She beamed at him, ''For giving me my Christmas Wish,'' With that she threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tight.
Danny smiled at him from over her shoulder, and seriously?
Best Christmas Ever...
Thanks for reading!
*Grace's gift from Steve was the Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse.
*Mele Kalikimaka - 'Merry Christmas' in Hawaiian