Danny’s having a bad day.
He’s started to measure whether days are good or bad by the number of disagreements he gets in over the course of working hours. He’d started today with a routine trip to the precinct, but now he’s in the middle of a group of three vamps that have been causing chaos in downtown Honolulu for the past week. He can’t see how this can end without a fight: hence, bad day.
Danny’s hand rests possessively on the hilt of his sword, his gaze tilted to the deserted beach surrounding them and he wonders, briefly, whether they thought that waiting for him to be alone would mean their chances of success would increase. They’re wrong.
Vampires can’t do much harm to a man like Danny.
Danny makes sure his expression remains indifferent, standing unwaveringly still as they circle him. One of them – the biggest and ugliest son of a bitch – leans in and takes a deep whiff before a flicker of disgust overcomes him.
“Wolf,” he says with a snarl. “It’s all over you. You let your dog fuck you?”
Danny stays calm.
If these vamps had half a clue what happens when a man like Danny is calm, they’d be running by now. He doesn’t move an inch, keeps his hand on his sword and ignores the flap of his tie as it’s blown back by the hot winds drifting in from the ocean.
“You let it mate with you,” the same vamp taunts.
It’s news to Danny, but he doesn’t react. He refuses to flinch. He’s gonna make Steve’s life a living hell later on, but right now he has bigger concerns.
“It’s all over you. It’s disgusting,” the second in the chain of command mocks.
“What about you?” Danny asks of the third. He’s a little smaller and looks like the weak link. In his four hundred years alive, Danny’s learned not to underestimate anyone or anything, so he’s not thinking of this as his way in. He’s just thinking that he better appraise the whole situation for what it’s worth. “Any last words?”
“Yeah,” the third says with a smirk, a giddy laugh slipping past his lips. “You two do it doggie-style?”
Danny counts to ten as he pulls the sword free from its sheath, practicing old moves that are innate in his muscles by now. He’s never felt old, but he’s often felt practiced and never more so than when there’s a battle on his hands. Thirty seconds later, Danny’s spun on his heels twice, bringing the sword down with a practiced vengeance that few could ever mimic.
Sixty seconds later, he’s surrounded by nothing more than ash. It smudges his cheeks and he brushes it aside after he tucks his sword in the scabbard before digging out his cell phone from his pocket.
He dials Steve instantly.
“You and me,” he says, voice low as he strides through piles of ash and bone. “We need to talk.”
200 KILOMETRES NORTH OF LONDON, ENGLAND
He vaguely recalls the pain of a sword pushed into his chest, cracking open his ribs and piercing just above his heart. This is not the thought on his mind, but instead the memory he thinks most important to hold onto at this precise moment.
Daniel Williams opens his eyes to a fog-covered battlefield cleared of the fight and his fellow soldiers either bleeding or bled out surrounding him. Contrary to the rest of them, however, Daniel has a beautiful young woman crouched over him wearing a black dress with a high collar and carrying a black umbrella that blots out the sun.
“It will hurt,” she warns.
Daniel squints to try and better see her features, recognizing her as the flowerlady who pressed a rose into his buttonhole when he passed her in the street three mornings past. “It does a lot more than hurt, milady,” Daniel responds, his voice rough. Every part of him aches and he feels as though he’s not fit to breathe, let alone stand. His fingers trace down his torso and circle around the mark of the sword’s wound, the ugly pattern defined against his chest. “I died.”
“Yes, you did. Temporarily, though.”
She sounds entirely too chipper, considering the topic is life and death. “Is this heaven? Are you an angel? You’re beautiful enough to be,” Daniel murmurs, a faint daze keeping him from feeling in control of the situation.
The woman smiles at him wryly and twirls her parasol within dainty fingers. “You know, that wouldn’t even be the worst attempt at romance that I’ve heard. I doubt you want to get into my petticoats. And if you do, it’s hardly your priority. Deep breaths, Daniel,” she coaches. “My name is Rachel Smith. We’re alike, you and I.”
“And what are you?”
“Immortal.” She leans down and offers one of those small hands out to him. His is bloody and he feels a strange compulsion to keep her gloved hands clean, though she shows few signs of being insulted or offended by the bodily fluids. “I’m what you are. You’re like me, you’re going to live for a very long time, unless you have an accident with a blade.” At this point, she presses her rapier against his neck and Daniel swallows back a breath he didn’t think he’d ever get to take again. She withdraws the sharp point and smiles at him, but it holds a certain cruelty that warns of potential malice. “I’ve been lonely, though.”
“So you’re going to keep me?” Daniel asks warily.
“For now,” Rachel says. Daniel clasps hold of her hand, giving her a sort of trust that she’s yet to earn. She begins to talk, and he doesn’t interrupt once as she explains what they are and what it means to be immortal – dying young of a violent death, called to fight one another, and with only one true escape from endless life.
They’re arm-in-arm by the time they reach the battlefield’s edge. Daniel’s already acknowledged that he has no choice but to trust this woman if he doesn’t want to die a second time this day.
“We need to find you a different sword,” she says, eyeing his military-issued gun with disdain before turning her gaze to the dull-edge of his sword. “Bullets won’t protect you any longer and dull swords will lead you to your death. There are terrible things in the night, Daniel,” Rachel warns, “and you’re one of them, now. You need something better to defend yourself.”
She keeps hold of him as they traverse the marsh to make their way back to the city. Daniel still bears the wound on his chest as he walks – impossibility in motion. He catches sight of her every time he gives a sidelong look and finds himself struck with the thought that he shouldn’t be able to feel his heart beat so fast when he isn’t sure his heart is working any longer.
“I have many questions,” he warns her.
“I’ll give you answers,” she says in reply, giving him a sweet smile as she twirls the parasol and steps closer in order to shield them both from the sun. “After we find you a sword,” she says pointedly.
She directs him towards a carriage, opening the door for him and waving to the interior expectantly, as though he ought to trust her completely. Daniel watches her warily, unsure as to whether he’s truly been rescued or simply switched from one enemy to another. One can never be too careful.
“Where are you taking me?”
“Back to London. I’ve a man there who will help outfit you with protection and you need answers,” Rachel replies. “I can see it all over your face. You’re very easy to read, Daniel, do you know that? You don’t trust me and you don’t understand.”
“Should I trust you?” he asks, taking a step inside the carriage, a hand on his gun. “Should I understand?”
“No,” she admits. “And get your hand off that silly gun, it won’t harm me. The most it will do is annoy me and you don’t want to see me when I’m annoyed. I’ve been lonely; that’s the only reason I’m letting you live. Don’t test my magnanimity.”
The ride to London takes days and is spent in turns of silence and sleep. Daniel isn’t sure whether to let his guard down, but eventually exhaustion catches up with him and makes the decision for him. When he rouses on the third day, he can hear the telltale clatter of chaos that tells him they’ve arrived in the city.
“I need a drink,” he informs her, voice scratchy.
“Sword first, then drinks,” Rachel replies. “You’ll thank me later.”
Four hundred years later, Danny hasn’t thanked her. He measures it as a point of personal stubborn pride.
MARYLAND – THE APPALACHIANS
The noises of the forest sound magnified to Steven’s ears. He turns over, his nude body encountering a sticky and warm substance. He realizes, perhaps too late, that it’s blood. It’s made more worrisome by the fact that it is most certainly his own blood, spilling sluggishly from three claw marks embedded deep in his chest.
He opens his eyes and searches the canopy of the forest before turning his gaze to the horizon. There are no predators near, but the wound is fresh. The sun is beginning to creep over the edge of the land and there’s a sense of peace looming within the forest. Steven listens and hears only the chirp of birds and the light snapping of twigs that belies small animals.
He had entered the forest to travel north in leisure, having promised Mary and his father that he would see them soon.
He thinks that his arrival may be delayed.
Steven sits slowly to begin inspection of the wound. It’s deep, but the major arteries are untouched. The birds continue to chirp in the treetops; none seem to want to come near him. Delicately, Steven sniffs the air and finds himself overwhelmed by the sudden stench of a thousand smells he can’t put a name to, attacking him. He looks at his bare form and warily watches the ripple under his skin, as though muscles and bones are trying to reorganize themselves.
“What monster has done this?” Steven wonders with fearful awe, but they are the last words he says before an agonized howl is ripped from his being.
The last thing he sees before falling unconscious is the fading remnants of the full moon in the sky.
When he comes to, Steven is vaguely aware that the world looks different, if only that the color has been leeched from every object around him, but the smells are clearer and he feels powerful. He rears himself to his feet and discovers that there are four of them and that his body is covered in black and silver hair.
The moon is high in the sky, waning and bright above the canopy of trees, and Steven howls towards it, the shock of such a transformation gripping him to his core.
He’s been told stories about this since he was a boy. They were whispered old folk tales, the kind of thing that children ignored once they reached a certain age, but his father had been insistent on telling them. “There are creatures out there,” John had warned both him and Mary. “There are things in the dark that can hunt you and you must be careful.”
The stories had gone away, but in their place had come training. Steven and Mary could both wield a shotgun and aptly use a knife. They had never questioned their father’s insistences, only listened as he taught them their lessons.
“Silver for wolves,” he’d always said, but had never touched the silver himself. “Immortals need to be beheaded, but if you stay out of their affairs, they won’t harm you, for the most part. Vampires can be staked, beheaded, or set aflame, but it will take a good amount of force. Steady your hand, Mary,” he had always said. “Shapeshifters need to be stabbed through the heart and pray to God that you never come across a fae.”
“And what of spirits?” Mary had asked with a hopeful look. “Perhaps Mother is still out there somewhere?”
“Spirits aren’t real,” John had replied gruffly. “Everyone knows that.”
And so they learned their lessons and grew stronger as a family, but Steven reflects that it’s not been strong enough to avert whatever evil has befallen him tonight. His silver dagger lies untouched in his canvas bag – suspended high above him in a tree – and the animal that attacked him is long gone.
He tracks his way north in the forest and lets human thoughts whisper through the wolf’s mind.
Find your pack, is the unbidden response to rational thoughts of clothing and food. Find the ones that belong to you.
He continues north to the cabin and smells out the scent of his sister and his father. His sister’s scent is fading, but that of his father’s is strong. It is the alpha and Steven is to obey it, whimpering as he lies down in front of the door and waits. He stays there until the sun rises and the door is drawn open.
John looks down, finding Steven, and in less than a minute’s span of space, Steven watches an array of pained expressions pass over his face.
“I had hoped to never condone you to this life, but I fear that I was optimistic and stupid,” he says quietly. “There is much we have to speak about. Concentrate, pup,” he says. Steven, all of twenty and one, does his best to focus, but he cannot seem to change. He lets out a sharp whine.
John leans down and grabs at Steven’s ears.
“You’re no domestic animal, you’re a wolf,” he says sharply. “Concentrate or I’ll send you back out there to the bears and whatever else lurks in the night. Change.”
Steven’s response to this new tactic is far less meek. He lets out an angry growl that speaks of his frustration as his human mind fights the wolf to put the pieces together. He begins to understand his father’s knowledge of the dark things in the night and why he never so much as touches silver with his bare hands. Steven also begins to understand that perhaps his mother’s death was no accident after all.
He changes, and instantly leaps forward to pin his father to the front of the cabin, fury blinding all other senses. He abandons dignity and knows that while he is standing there nude, there are far more pressing matters at hand.
“Did you kill her?” Steven demands. “Did you kill Mother?”
“I don’t know,” John replies, sorrow in his gaze. “Sometimes, I wish that spirits were amongst the things created when the world changed so that I could ask if it was me. All I know is that I became the wolf one night and when I returned in the morning, she was gone from this world.”
“Why can’t you remember?” Steven demands. He presses his forearm tighter against John’s windpipe, letting the anger flood through him. “I remember last night as the wolf. I remember the tracks I took and the urges pulsing through me.”
“It will fade. What you seem so sure of now will fade within hours. There are older wolves who say they’ve worked through meditation to retain those memories, but I’m young at this, Steven. I was attacked in the forest only seven years ago.”
“Did you do this to me?”
He receives no response.
Steven tightens his grip and pushes harder. “Did you do this?” he asks again, with great slowness.
He provides little room for John to respond and all he can eke out are short, choked sounds, gasping for air as his face begins to turn blue. “I think...” He splutters again and breathes in rapidly and desperately. “Yes,” he wheezes. “The wolf in me wanted its pack.”
Steve doesn’t hesitate as he storms inside the cabin to find the silver dagger they always used in their training, wrapping his palm around it in order to bring it down on his father’s neck and stab as hard as he can, pure fury pushing through his blood. His intentions are stopped when a second’s clasp of the dagger burns like fire and he drops it. Distantly, Steven hears the weapon clatter to the ground.
“Put some clothes on before your sister comes home, Steven,” John says hoarsely. “We have much to discuss about the rest of your very long life.”
As soon as Danny gets to Steve’s house, he unclips his sword from his belt and places it carefully in the front hall closet amidst the other weapons. When that’s done, he doesn’t hesitate with every determined step inside in search of Steve. He takes a deep breath, but his sense of smell measures as weak against other creatures.
If anything, it’s become dulled over the last four hundred years. There are some smells you aren’t eager to recall, and Danny had lived in London for a long time before they’d started cleaning it up.
“Steven!” Danny growls, some of his old accent bleeding into his words. “Where are you?”
Steve comes in from the lanai, taking long strides to get closer to Danny. When he gets within three feet, he recoils with a look of disgust flickering over his face. The ‘happy puppy’ look that Danny had coined not long after they met has been replaced with ‘angry wolf’. Danny feels sorry for anyone who dares to cross Steve in one of these moods – the kind where he’s not afraid to use his teeth.
“You smell like vampire,” Steve gets out past his bared teeth.
He sniffs the air again tentatively and the look only grows darker.
Danny waits for Steve to suss it out, knowing that it’s coming. “Come on, do your freaky thing.”
“Three of them.”
“And?” Danny prods.
“And I can smell their ashes on you, too,” Steve says with great relief, taking long steps forward and surrounding Danny in a tight embrace, pressing his face into the crook of Danny’s neck and shoulder, inhaling deeply and nuzzling softly against the bare skin. “Next time, call me. Three of them is more than you usually deal with on your own.”
“I’m two hundred years older than you, Steven,” Danny warns mildly. “I don’t need you to tell me what I can and can’t handle.”
“You said we had to talk? On the phone?” Steve says as he pulls away from the sniffing he’s been doing. He’s done this every time they reunite after being apart, since the beginning of their partnership. While it’s odd, it’s become constant and Danny might find it stranger if this wasn’t the usual greeting when he comes by Steve’s place. “What’s up?”
“What’s up?” Danny echoes. “That’s it? What’s up? Okay, let’s start from the top. So, I get ambushed by these three bloodsuck-fuckers on my way back from HPD to do the paperwork from last week’s bust. Not only are these vamps the kind of rude assholes who looked like they’d been feeding off of rats for the last week, but they told me something interesting. Do you want to hear the interesting thing, Steve?”
Steve flinches slightly; he looks like he’s edging quickly into ‘hurt puppy’ territory. “Maybe?”
“They took one sniff, scum of the earth these vamps are, and they told me that I had wolf all over me. They told me that some wolf has mated with me!” Danny practically explodes. “What the hell were they talking about, Steve? What’s going on? Since when are you excreting pheromones on that kind of level that they rub off on me, huh?”
Steve’s wide-eyed look only gets a shade guiltier, but it’s enough that Danny understands perfectly.
“You did, didn’t you?” Danny says. “When?”
“You really don’t want to know,” Steve admits.
“The day we met.” Steve flinches slightly after relaying the news, as though he’s afraid that Danny’s about to retrieve his sword from the front hall and smack Steve over the head with the hilt.
Truthfully, Danny might just do that and leave Steve unconscious while he processes the information. It’s just a shade too much for Danny to handle, even when he considers what he’s grown used to from Steve.
This is a man who’s made a living out of being surprising in all the worst ways, and now Danny gets to hear about the act that takes the cake almost a year later. It’s no wonder he hasn’t been able to get a date since he got here and this is the one time that he’s pissed that immortals don’t have a heightened sense of smell. If they did, Rachel might have figured it out and Danny would have known about all of this a lot sooner.
Steve opens his mouth to protest, but Danny cuts him off with a single finger raised in the air. “No,” he warns. “Nuh uh, you don’t get a say. Not right now. I need to process.”
“Danny,” Steve pleads. “It’s not like I did it intentionally! I was in my wolf form, these things just happen sometimes.”
“As if that makes this better?” Danny demands, his eyes wide. “Steve, shut the hell up! Let me think about this!” Danny turns to head out to the lanai to try and compose his thoughts, but like every time he wants to be alone, Steve is set on preventing that from happening.
One of Steve’s most annoying habits is the way he shifts from human to wolf to heighten the effect of intimidation. It’s what he does, now, at Danny’s heels. He shifts into his animal form and growls at Danny, as if it’ll get him to stay put.
“Are you serious? Do you honestly think that scares me?” Danny demands. “Now that I know you humped my leg, metaphorically, the first time we met, you’re not scary! End of story!”
He’s starting to get really upset, as evidenced by his natural accent bleeding through, suppressing the flat vowels and even the Jersey edges.
“When were you planning on telling me?”
Steve cocks his head to one side and studies Danny, leaning in to brush at his pant-leg with his cold nose.
“Human, Steven,” Danny warns.
The shift is flawless, and if Danny had blinked, he would have gone from staring at a wolf to looking at a man. Steve’s good at it, but he’d better be, being over two hundred years old and experienced at this kind of thing. Steve takes the few steps back inside to retrieve his clothes, sliding back into the Henley and jeans easily. Danny knows so very well that Steve doesn’t bother with underwear (it interferes with the shift is the excuse) and the fact has never done anything but severely distract Danny. He keeps his arms crossed and stays angry through sheer force of will.
“When?” Danny asks again, the questions rapid-fire, as if this were an interrogation. “When were you going to tell me?”
Steve presses his lips together while that furrow in his brow grows deeper. “You know what, Danny? I don’t know that I was.”
It’s the worst possible thing that Steve could say.
Danny throws his hands up in frustration, storming back inside the house to get his sword. He can’t even look at Steve without wanting to punch him, and he can’t see that changing anytime soon. He points a finger furiously in Steve’s direction and then lets it fall back to his side, the intended words not cutting enough to be spoken aloud.
“Danny,” Steve pleads.
“You mated with me and had no intention of telling me about it. Steve, I’ve been around the block enough times that I know these things have implications, so what have I not been aware of for all these months, huh?” Danny asks, a hopeless kind of anger sinking into his bones. “What have I been missing out on?”
Steve looks so lost that Danny almost feels bad, right up until the moment that he remembers that he’s been mated with and wasn’t told -- actively. He would still be in the dark if it hadn’t been for three asshole vamps and their inability to keep a secret.
“Danny, it’s not like I’ve done this before!” Steve says helplessly. “Wolves mate...they mate...”
“Say it,” Danny growls.
“They mate for life.”
Danny balls up his fists and lets them loosen when he realizes that he has absolutely nothing to say to Steve. “You...” He takes a deep breath and raises both hands in the air in a harmless strangling motion – unless Steve feels like volunteering his neck, at which point Danny will happily get harmful. “Steve, I swear to god, the next thing you say better be an explanation.”
“I was the wolf, Danny, I was listening to my basest impulses,” Steve explains, a fraught look of distress on his face.
“Your basest impulse when you first met me was to mate for life?” Danny echoes, putting sharp emphasis on the words. “And you didn’t tell me the minute we became partners because...?”
“Because I didn’t remember! Because I didn’t realize I’d done it until we’d been working together for three months and then what was I supposed to do?” Steve snaps, sounding like he’s slowly beginning to lose control. “You didn’t seem to notice, it didn’t seem to be affecting you, and I didn’t see any of the signs that Dad mentioned when he talked about mating with Mom.”
“Tell me right now.”
“Danny, you’re in the middle of storming out,” Steve points out. “You don’t seem like you want to talk about this.”
Danny squints at him, shaking his head incredulously. “Are you fucking kidding me? No. No, I am going to stand right here and you are going to tell me, in incredibly specific detail, what signs you were looking for.”
“There was supposed to be more of a noticeable shift in your personality in wanting to stay by my side. There were supposed to be physical benefits, but I’ve never met a wolf who mated with an immortal, so maybe we’re rewriting it all,” Steve says. “Danny, please don’t leave like this.”
The truly pathetic look on Steve’s face is almost enough to give Danny pause. Almost.
“Right now, Steve,” Danny sighs, “I need to be elsewhere, okay? I’ll see you at work tomorrow and don’t you dare do anything stupid or too...” Danny gestures aimlessly in the air with his hands, like he can pull words out of thin air and make them appear, “...wolfish. No dead rabbits on my front porch. You got it?”
Steve nods, but he doesn’t look happy about it.
“Good. I’m going to see Rachel and ask some questions,” Danny says, trying to keep a lid on his anger so that Steve doesn’t end up doing anything in a panic (like lock Danny in the house until he suddenly becomes accepting of the whole mating thing) or decide to follow him. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Steve. And trust me, trust me, we will be talking about this at length.”
Danny leaves the McGarrett home without answers, but comfortable knowing that with his particular brand of determination, he is going to find some in the next twenty-four hours.
September 20th, 2010
The smell of death is thick in the air when Danny arrives at the crime scene. He’s been alive for a hell of a long time, but there are some things that you never grow used to. While he’s become accustomed to death, he can’t get over his sense of disgust at the sight of particularly brutal crimes. It’s just his luck, then, that the McGarrett case falls neatly into that vile territory. He brushes past the police tape at John McGarrett’s home and stops for a minute to survey the premises with his senses.
He doesn’t hear anything and doesn’t sense any other immortals near.
He starts with the scene of the crime and focuses on the details directly in front of him. He measures the blood splatter angles and carefully records everything in his notebook -- he’s never managed to get the hang of technology, but he’s forced to use it with the changing times (it doesn’t mean he has to like it). His handwriting is steady and slopes left, a touch of calligraphy here and there that betrays a sense of history in his work.
Danny’s busy with the ballistics when he hears a slight echoing sound coming from the garage.
He swears under his breath; hand on the hilt of his sword rather than going for his gun. It’s not human feet that he hears, he realizes, but the patter of paws against concrete. His gun isn’t loaded with silver bullets because the weapon is police issued, and while they permit the use of additional weapons, they don’t equip their officers with stakes, silver, or salt.
“I’m armed!” he warns the intruder as he heads for the garage, keeping a clear line of sight on every point of exit and entry. “My sword is treated with silver, so whatever you are, no sudden movements!”
Inside the dusty garage, he stands completely still beside the tarp-covered car, listening for any movement, but registers only the faintest of shuffling.
Then, he feels it -- something furry and four-legged winds its way around Danny’s legs, all the while whining pitifully. Danny stares downwards, sword pointed and at the ready to attack. He’s seen multiple wolves before – some good, some bad – but he’s never seen one so cowed and frightened.
Dare he say it, the wolf almost looks traumatized.
“Hey,” Danny says worriedly, crouching down to look the wolf in the eyes.
Just as Danny’s beginning to think that the animal is tame, he shows his teeth and growls when Danny gets close. It lasts for all of a tentative few seconds before he sniffs Danny, cold nose pressed into his neck. The wolf continues to smell him, lick him, and Danny remains there in a crouch, as though frozen to the spot.
Then, the wolf calms.
“I’m Detective Danny Williams,” he introduces himself, hand burrowing through the wolf’s fur and tangling with a mat of it behind his ear. “Who are you? I know what you are; you can shift in front of me.” He’s on his feet in a hurry, stripping off his tie and shirt, leaving him in his trousers and a tight blank tank-top. It’s all so he can extend his striped button-down out to the wolf as a peace offering.
At first, it doesn’t seem like the wolf is going to shift. Danny’s beginning to worry that he’s somehow involved in the murder, but he’s not here to make assumptions without proof. His sword is still in hand, ready to strike if this is all a trap, but Danny doesn’t think that’s the case. He thinks the wolf in front of him is stuck in animal form, simple as that.
Danny sighs and tries to figure out a new approach. “Look, I’m investigating John McGarrett’s murder,” he says, foisting out the shirt one last time – one last offer. “Do you know anything about it?”
The wolf shifts as Danny is speaking. He’s seen the transformation before and the sound of breaking bones no longer sickens him. Once upon a time, he’d been wary of the pain involved, but a wolf had once told him that their bodies produce a ridiculous amount of some kind of chemical (it was two hundred years ago when it was explained to him and he truly doesn’t remember) that limited the pain during the shift.
The cowering wolf turns out to be a man taller than Danny, so when he slides into the waiting shirt, it looks comical and doesn’t cover near enough.
Danny smirks when the wolf still tries to make it work, flipping up the sleeves and standing there in a half-buttoned shirt that manages to show off his completely nude lower half. Danny clears his throat and looks pointedly lower. It’s not exactly the worst he’s seen, but not what he generally wants to see at a crime scene.
“I’m not giving you my pants,” is all Danny says, searching the garage for something to help.
It’s an active crime scene, says the little voice in his head that fully obeys procedure, but he doesn’t think one of the towels hung on a hook is really going to make or break the investigation. He picks it up and tosses it to the wolf, watching him cover up his bare ass by wrapping it snugly around his hips.
“Who are you?” Danny demands.
“Steve McGarrett,” the man gets out hoarsely. Danny’s beginning to wonder how long he’s been the wolf. “That’s my father in the other room.”
Danny is starting to understand all of this a little better.
“You saw, didn’t you?” Danny says when the epiphany strikes. The son had seen and has been in wolf form ever since, prowling around the house and unable to shift back due to the flood of overwhelming grief. He’s seen it before. The wolf takes over when the human brain can no longer endure the trauma. “Who did this?”
Steve’s face darkens. “Vampires.”
“Oh, good, I love it when the fangs rebel,” Danny mutters. “You wanna maybe make my life a little easier, here? Tell me who did it?”
“Victor Hesse. He killed my father and I’m going to rip his throat out,” Steve says, flashing his teeth once more. While definitely not as threatening as the set of fangs he’d been sporting only moments ago, the sudden flash of white is enough to unnerve Danny. “Don’t try and stop me.”
“I’m not an idiot,” Danny promises, one hand up in the air as if to show Steve that he isn’t about to make any sudden movements. “But I also think that you need help. How are you going to find Hesse? Vamps are damn good at staying hidden when they want to be, and Hesse is a criminal on top of that. If he wants to be off this island, he’d be off.”
“I know that,” Steve snaps back.
“Do you know why Hesse would hurt your father?” Danny demands.
Steve gets a look on his face that Danny reads as guilt or knowledge. Either way, Steve has got deeper involvement in this than just being a material witness to a murder.
“I killed Anton Hesse, I killed Victor’s brother. I was overseas and completing a mission for the government. He tried to drink one of my men, so I put a stake through his heart,” Steve yells in reply, like Danny’s the enemy, not the vamp that’s probably islands away. “I had to do it, I couldn’t let that man die.”
“I know,” Danny says as soothingly as possible. “I know, but let’s think about this. Let’s think about this logically. You need someone to get you to Hesse. I need all the help I can get, because I’m damn good with a sword and a bite won’t do anything to me, but it hurts like a bitch and I’m too old to be a vampire smorgasbord.”
“What are you saying?” Steve asks warily, sniffing the air between them and stepping closer. He looks ridiculous with a towel serving as pants, and Danny tries to subdue the inappropriate sick sense of amusement at the sight.
He shakes his head and dispels the darkly humorous mood once and for all, reminding himself of the crime scene just next door. “I’m saying that you and I should work together. Partners.”
Relief lights up Steve’s face. “Oh, good, you agree, then.”
Later, Danny will look back on this moment and realize he was a genuine idiot for agreeing with Steve, but in his defense, he genuinely thought that they were just talking about the case at hand. How stupid he’d been.
“I have resources at HPD. You have that freakish sense of smell and whatever else you wolves keep hidden from the rest of the world,” Danny says, not beating around the bush. He’s well-versed in the political underbelly of the various supernatural groups. It’s the same with his kind. Immortals aren’t running around giving all their secrets, and the ones who might are dealt with swiftly and quietly.
Steve steps closer, nostrils flaring as he takes in another deep inhalation, head tipped towards Danny’s neck. He seems to like what he finds, given the look of abject bliss that flickers over his face.
“My partner,” Steve agrees with the edge of a possessive growl in his words. “I like that.”
“Great,” Danny says sarcastically. “Maybe later we’ll throw a party.”
Danny holds out his hand expectantly. Maybe he’s old-fashioned in a couple of ways, but he expects that if he’s going to end up being someone’s partner, that they’ll shake on it. It’s just who he is. Steve leans in and sniffs him again, his nose lingering against the pulse-point on Danny’s wrist. He licks it, slightly, and then sniffs once more before straightening his posture.
He shakes Danny’s hand and that’s it – done deal, partners.
Wolves, especially ones who can revert back on command, usually have better control over themselves than this. Danny reckons the trauma of watching your own father die must have been enough to force Steve to crawl back into the animal.
“Okay, let’s get out of here. I have a lead we can pursue and you can tell me about what you saw on the way,” Danny says, clapping Steve on the back to forcibly lead him out of the garage before the sniffing can continue.
Steve lingers close in Danny’s personal space. Danny doesn’t think it’s so strange, given the circumstances of the day – he figures he’s got a wolf that’s seen a murder and is in need of a little attention on his hands.
He’s wrong, but that’s a problem for another day.
Danny’s ready for the day to be over. Maybe if it had just been the vamp attack, he could have managed, but adding the sudden revelation that Steve’s technically his mate and that anyone with a well-developed sense of smell has known for months pushes him over the edge. He’s too exhausted to function and he’s too tired to care that it’s not his day to be at the house.
He leans his weight forward on the gate, hand firmly on the buzzer. “Rachel,” he mutters. “Rach, open the door. I need to talk to you and I want to see Grace.”
At eight, Grace is just a girl. She’s not the first child that Danny and Rachel have taken in, but she is the one they’re least sure about. Rachel has a finely-tuned sense when it comes to sniffing out potential immortals. She’s been roping Danny into helping her bring up their kind from childhood in order to prepare them for the potential world of immortality.
Rachel has as much as admitted that she’s unsure whether Grace is one of them. “She could be human, for all we know,” she’d said to Danny one night over a shared bottle of wine. “Besides, you know the lore...”
“Yeah, yeah, no violent death, no immortal life,” Danny had replied.
It doesn’t matter much to Danny, who’s been alive long enough to know that his life is better when he has a son or daughter in it. Life’s made better with someone to bear his name and call him ‘Dad’. Well, usually they do. Grace had been an orphan when Rachel had found her at six months old, but it’s like some part of her has always known that Danny's not her biological father. He’d become ‘Danno’ and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t undo it.
He supposes it’s better than being called by his proper name, which is how Grace has always addressed Rachel.
The gate is finally buzzed open and Danny trudges inside, unbuckling his sword from his belt at the front door and making a big production of showing Stan, the new husband, that he’s unarmed. “I’m not here to behead you. Today,” he allows, quelling his senses to stop alerting him that there are other immortals around. He already knows. It’s like a goddamn doorbell that he can’t turn off.
“Daniel,” Rachel greets from the top of the stairs. “You look like shit.”
“Yes, thank you, dear,” Danny replies, allowing for an incredibly brief shift back to his natural British accent. He’d dropped it the moment that they arrived on American soil and Rachel hasn’t forgiven him since. “You’d look like shit, too, if you had the kind of day that I did.”
Rachel leans her hips against the doorframe and makes a tutting noise as she regards him. She pushes away and descends the stairs, tapping the hilt of his sword with her fingers when she meets him in the front hall. “You know the rules,” she warns.
“I’m putting it with the rest,” he promises, throwing the sword in the pile with Stan and Rachel’s large collection. Some of them are more ornate than Danny’s ever seen before in his life, which only leads him to think that they want to be noticed. “What do you know about wolves?”
“Other than them making quite the decent pet if you find one obedient enough? Very little,” she admits. “I’m more versed in fae and shifter lore, remember? It’s why I came here in the first place.” Hawaii has the highest population of both compared to the rest of the world. It’s a haven of sorts and when Rachel had begun to study them, she’d made a home of the islands. “What, specifically, are you looking for?”
“Mating habits,” Danny says.
She’s a smart woman, his Rachel, and Danny knows that there’s no way that he can announce something like that and not have her connect the dots instantly.
It has to be done if he wants answers.
Rachel gestures to the bar and Danny nods, knowing that he’s definitely going to need a drink for this. “As far as supernatural creatures go, at least you were picked by one that has a similar life-expectancy to ours, given the way their lives are tied so intrinsically to the moon.”
“Steve tried to explain that to me once, I still don’t get it,” Danny admits. It’s got something to do with how after a person is turned, their lifespan doesn’t follow mortal rules. The only time that matters is the time spent as a wolf. Given that the full moon is the only time the wolf needs to be loose, a werewolf can live hundreds of years – thousands if they’re healthy and don’t shift too often. The moon controls them, Steve had told Danny, but it’s just a bit too complicated for Danny. The last thing he wants is to get bogged down in mathematical formulas to work it out.
Rachel tilts her head, tapping her fingers against her cheek. It’s an old habit of hers that means she has something to say and isn’t saying it because she thinks he’s going to fly off the handle.
He lets out a small, frustrated sound. After the day he’s had, Rachel’s sympathetic face is only making him angrier. “Say it,” he snaps.
“Why don’t you just ask your wolf?” Rachel asks. “It’s the most logical solution, Danny. He knows the most about this and the man is practically glued to your side. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind another excuse to spend time with you.”
“That’s the problem.” Danny pinches the bridge of his nose. “He mated with me and never told me. Hell, he doesn’t even remember doing it.”
“And what do you want, Daniel?” Rachel says bluntly. “What is your innate problem with this? Is it the fact that he mated with you or is it that you’re angry that he didn’t tell you that he did it? Or,” she continues, her tone growing sharper in the way that makes Danny worry that he’s really not going to like what’s coming next, “are you upset that you’ve been wasting all this time when you could have been with Steven in a way you and I haven’t been able to achieve for over a century?”
Danny scowls heavily. He hates the fact that, as usual, Rachel’s hit the goddamn target on the head.
“What happened to us, huh?” Danny asks, rubbing his hand over the back of his neck.
Rachel’s smile still has that edge of sympathy, but once Danny asks her that question, the one he’s been asking since it all fell apart, there’s a small degree of sadness that filters in. “Can’t I blame our arrival into this godforsaken country? And to New Jersey, of all places, Daniel,” she sighs.
It’s not a real answer. They’ve stopped looking for a real answer when they realized that they couldn’t find one exact cause for their relationship falling apart.
“There are a number of werewolf experts on the mainland,” Rachel says after taking out her phone and searching her contact list, fingers flying over the keys. “I’m sure Steve wouldn’t be terribly upset if you left for a weekend. Or will he? Have you been apart from him for a long duration? Or is that one of the side effects of mating with him..?”
“Rachel!” Danny snaps. “I don’t know!”
“Yes, I know, Daniel,” she responds calmly. “You don’t need to snap at me. What about Steve’s friend? That woman he calls on for help. She’s well-versed in supernaturals, isn’t she? Doesn’t she work in intelligence with a specialization in supernatural crime?”
“Catherine? His little Ramboette?” Danny clarifies. “The woman he screwed around with before me?”
“When you put it so nicely...” Rachel says snidely.
“What? She was his fuck-buddy!”
“And is likely more than that to him. Daniel, you’re over four hundred years old. Respect?”
“What are you, my mother?”
“In a way, yes,” Rachel says. “How is it that we’ve been divorced for a century and yet you still manage to get me riled in ways I thought impossible?” she demands, with a frustrated exhalation.
“It surprises me too,” Danny says with a smirk on his lips, glancing up the elegant staircase in the direction of the bedrooms. “Is she asleep? Can I see her?”
Rachel shakes her head and gives him a rueful smile, her fingers doing their best attempt at hiding it, but it’s no use. “Grace, your father is here,” Rachel summons without looking away from Danny for a single moment. “She’s different from our other children. You always took a shining to them, but never quite like Grace. You agreed to move to Hawaii for her.”
“She’s my little Monkey,” Danny says with an idiotic smile on his lips. “What was I supposed to do? I still hate you for moving out here, but I guess I owed you one after you followed me to Jersey.”
“That,” Rachel concurs firmly, “you did.”
Soon, Grace is barreling down the hall, feet pounding against the expensive hardwood. “Danno!” she shrieks delightedly, jumping into his arms with the total and utter faith that he’ll catch her -- and he will, he always will. He wraps his arms around her tightly, burying his face in her neck and praying that if the day ever comes that she ends up on the wrong side of a violent death, he won’t be anywhere near or he might find himself interfering.
He doesn’t think that anyone will appreciate that kind of vengeance.
“Hey Monkey, Danno had a bad day,” he confesses. “I hope you’ve got something to cheer me up. What’s Dolphin Trainer Annie doing, huh? I feel like maybe the tales of her life will tide me over.”
“Danno, what’s wrong?” Grace asks worriedly, staring up at him with that face that makes Danny want to fix everything. “Can I help?”
“What are you talking about? You? How could you do anything but help, you’re the best helper in the world,” Danny rambles, distracting himself with the way she starts to smile like he’s personally grabbed the sun out from behind the clouds. “Come on, Monkey. Let’s go cheer Danno up, huh.”
Danny feels strangely guilty going behind Steve’s back to talk to Catherine. He knows that she’s going to have answers, but he doesn’t like doing this without telling Steve about it. He just wants to know as much as possible before he talks to Steve so that he’s well-informed in his yelling. She’d answered his call, but told him that she had to call him back from a satellite connection.
It’s left him pacing back and forth in his office, trying to ignore the way Steve keeps plaintively staring at him from his office. Danny ducks his head into the hall and Steve is instantly on his feet, which would amuse Danny if he weren’t still so annoyed with him.
“Yeah?” Steve asks eagerly. “Danny, can I do something for you?”
“Yeah, just, leave me alone for a little while. I’m expecting a call,” Danny says, his gaze lingering on Steve as he retreats back into his office, his cargo pants shifting tightly over his ass in such a goddamn appealing way that it makes Danny even angrier -- because he could have been doing something about that for months.
Danny locks the office door and resumes pacing. He stares at the phone the whole time, like it's an uncooperative suspect.
It’s another half an hour before the phone rings and Danny pounces on it, pressing the receiver tightly to his ear like he can protect the conversation. “Catherine?”
“Danny Williams,” she greets him with a hint of amusement in her voice. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Ditto,” Danny admits with a rueful smile, sitting on the edge of his desk and watching how Steve is determined to look like he doesn’t give a crap about what Danny’s phone call is about, but Danny knows for a fact that Steve’s pencils do not need that level of organizing. He huffs out a laugh, shaking his head. “Sorry,” he apologizes. “I’m watching Steve be an idiot.”
“He does have a tendency to do that,” Catherine says. “So, what can I do for you, Danny?”
“How well-versed are you in wolf-lore?”
“It’s not my best subject,” Catherine admits. “That’s fae, but I’d say that as far as werewolves go, I know enough. I take it this has to do with Steve?”
“Give the woman a prize. I’m about to tell you something that is confidential, can you promise that you won’t spread this around? Not even to Chin or Kono when you see them,” he insists stringently. “Catherine,” he warns when he receives nothing but silence on the other end. “I’m serious.”
“Okay, Danny, okay,” she finally says. “I’m listening. What do you need to know about werewolves?”
“I need to know about mating.”
There’s a long pause and Danny can only imagine the look on her face. “...Seriously?”
“I swear to god, Catherine Rollins, I am four hundred and two years old,” Danny says. “I am well aware of the intricacies of mating with men, women, and in one very unique case, a shifter stuck between two forms. I know all about mating. What I don’t know is what happens when a wolf mates with you for life and you don’t find out about it for eight months.”
“Yeah, oh,” Danny agrees, rubbing a hand tiredly over his face. “Look, I just need to know a couple things. Have I been experiencing any symptoms I don’t know about?”
“They’re not really symptoms, Danny,” Catherine says. “As the person that Steve’s mated with, you would have likely begun to experience a diminishing level of attraction to other people. Have you noticed that?”
“Honestly?” Danny scoffs. “I figured that was because of the workload and the near-death experiences taking their toll on me. When I spend every day thinking that Steve is actively thinking up new ways to kill me, yeah, I’m not exactly going nuts thinking about sex.”
He’s not thinking about sex with other people, but he does spend a good portion of his time thinking about sex with Steve. He takes in a deep breath and faces the music, aware that if he doesn’t tell Catherine the whole truth (and nothing but the truth), she won’t get the full picture.
“Okay, okay, fine, I’m lying. I think about sex all the goddamn time. It’s just always about Steve.”
“That sounds normal,” she assures him.
Danny laughs, a choked feeling catching him and settling in his throat. “Normal? Obsessing about Steve all the time is normal?”
“I’d be worried if you didn’t think about him,” Catherine says. She doesn’t sound overly sympathetic like Rachel might in this situation. She just sounds kind. He drinks it up, not sure when he’ll receive this level of warmth again. “Listen. Danny, I’d like to give you more information, but I need some more details.”
This is how Danny ends up in the midst of an hour-long conversation with Catherine about his day-by-day reactions to Steve. It seems excessive, but if it’s going to help her get a better read of the situation, then Danny is all for it. He only cringes twice in the conversation and that involves detailing exactly how long it takes him to become aroused when the moon starts to rise to its fullest state.
“Not a long time, okay?” he gets out, gripping the phone tighter and praying that no one is listening in on this. “It’s pretty easy to get me there when the moon is full.”
“I’ll look into this,” she promises, “but like I’ve said. I don’t think that you’re going to experience much of a difference. Now,” she says, and she sounds serious, so Danny starts paying attention, “mind you, if something happens to Steve, you’re going to know about it and it’s going to hurt. That much isn’t so secret when it comes to wolves and their mates. God help you, Danny, if he goes first. That’s a lot of pain to deal with, considering you’ll be bearing it for a very long time.”
“I stopped believing in God two centuries ago, Catherine,” Danny replies, unable to focus on her actual words (the mere thought of losing Steve is like a sword through his heart). “But you’re saying that I’m gonna turn into a miserable bastard if Steve gets killed.”
“It goes both ways, Danny,” she warns. “I’m sure you can only imagine how Steve would be if he lost you.”
Honestly, Danny doesn’t want to entertain that idea for very long. It’s chaos in the very brief moment that he gives to the thought. He doesn’t think that the islands would ever recover from their inevitable destruction.
Apparently, Danny’s going to have to survive every battle he comes across and never, ever die. That, or he and Steve better work out some kind of murder-suicide pact in advance.
“Listen, I’ll look into it. But promise me something, Danny,” Catherine says.
“Why do I have the feeling I’m not going to like this?”
“Because you’re not,” is her swift response. “Be nice to Steve. It’ll benefit the both of you in the long run. I promise.” Danny’s considering making faces, but he has this feeling that Catherine has the uncanny ability to hear it through the phone. After all, she’s been putting up with Steve and his Faces for the last couple of years. She’s probably the Face Whisperer, by this point. “Danny,” she says again when he’s yet to promise.
“Fine, yes, I will throw the dog a bone.” Danny can’t even help his amused little smirk. “Not literally. At least, not yet.”
“Has anyone told you that you’re not funny?”
“Chin and Kono, mostly. Steve. Occasionally Rachel. Grace. HPD,” Danny lists, veering away from any degree of seriousness somewhere around citing HPD as a source of people telling him that he’s less than hilarious. “Fine. Fine, I will treat Steve as kindly as I can in the face of the fact that he’s basically pissed all over me and claimed me as his.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll ream Steve out for that. He should know better.”
Danny shifts uncomfortably, hating that he’s about to hop the fence in order to take Steve’s side after so long lambasting him. “In his defense, his father had just been murdered. As far as ‘thinking in your right mind’ goes, that’s not really a highlight.”
“Hang in there, Danny,” Catherine says and he can hear the smile in her tone. “I know you’re not going anywhere, but I’ll get you this information as soon as I can.”
She hangs up and Danny is left considering just how he’s supposed to be nice to a man that he still wants to punch every time he sees him. The cute puppy act is only serving to piss Danny off even more, because the wolf in Steve is what got them into this mess in the first place.
He inevitably gives in to the part of him that hates to think about Steve being depressed and stops by the man’s office, leaning against the doorframe. He tries to ignore the flare of pleasure he gets when Steve literally drops everything to give Danny his full attention. “Yeah?” Steve asks, perking up.
“Down, boy,” Danny says wryly. Steve scowls, because he’s never, not ever, liked being given commands -- even if Danny has occasionally drunkenly insisted that he could make Steve like anything.
Steve growls at him and Danny grins right back.
“Speak,” is Danny’s next command, a wicked look in his eye.
“I will maul you,” Steve snaps.
“Yeah, but I’d win,” is Danny’s easy reply, sinking down into one of the visitor chairs in Steve’s office. “Also, considering I know that you’re practically in heat every time I walk down the hall, that’s less a scary threat and more of a sexy one.”
“Dogs, Danny. Wolves are related to dogs, not cats. Cats go into heat.”
Danny rolls his eyes and mimics a little hand puppet jabbering away. “Yeah, yeah, so, look, I’ve been thinking that maybe Catherine is right and I ought to cut you a little bit of slack, if only because not talking to you during our plentiful and endless car rides is getting incredibly awkward and I refuse to let Chin ferry me around on that motorcycle of his. So, I’m not saying you’re absolved for what you pulled, and you bet your ass we still need to talk about it, but for right now, I’m declaring a truce.”
“A truce?” Steve echoes suspiciously.
“Yeah, have you not heard that word in the two hundred some years you’ve been alive, you ancient dork?” Danny replies instantly and doesn’t even let Steve get a chance to jump in and note Danny’s age. “And yes, I’m aware I’m older, but I at least make a passing attempt to be aware of current pop culture. You, you, my friend, you are just sad. Sad and pathetic and ...Steve. Steven, what have I told you about the puppy-dog eyes?”
“I’m not doing it on purpose!” Steve says irritably, reigning in the doe-eyed look he’d been giving Danny. “It just happens around...”
“Yes? We’re waiting,” Danny coaxes.
Danny sighs and presses his palm to his chin so that it hides the ridiculous smile that’s burgeoning on his face and is perilously close to making him look like an absolute idiot in front of a man that he’s sworn to be mad at. It’s difficult when it’s the same man you’ve been trying not to jump and you’re running out of reasons.
Danny finally lets his hand slip and offers Steve just a glimpse of said stupid grin, just a tiny hint that Steve’s not alone when it comes to being in too deep in a situation that makes no sense while simultaneously making all the sense in the world.
Sure, Danny doesn’t like how he’s gone about it, but the idea of being stuck with Steve for life isn’t so bad once you get past the constant ringing in your ears thanks to the increased grenade usage.
“Why are you calling Catherine?” Steve asks, changing the subject with alacrity.
“How did you...” Frustration flashes over Danny’s face when he realizes exactly how Steve knew and, of course, Danny doesn’t like it at all. “Okay, just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you get to spy on everyone’s phone conversations.”
“I was worried. You were being avoidant,” Steve replies defensively, crossing his arms over his chest as his nostrils flare with a brief burst of anger. “You could have been looking to transfer out of here, maybe back to HPD or the Jersey department or Scotland Yard. Danny, I don’t know,” he admits.
“Fuck the Yard, the benefits were terrible,” Danny mutters, shaking his head. “I was calling Catherine to ask her about what you did in a frantic moment of panic and loneliness, since your answers haven’t exactly been enlightening.”
Steve presses his lips together so tightly that they seem to vanish. “And?”
“And,” Danny says in reply, sighing out the next words, “We’ve got a lot to talk about when I can talk to you without wanting to punch you in the face.”
“Do you want to test your resolve tonight?” Steve offers hopefully. “I’ve got steaks that we can grill up. And I’m taping the Knicks game.”
“You think you know me so well,” Danny says, an edge of grumpiness to his tone because it does sound like a damn good night – especially if the steaks are anything like the last ones Steve got, the ones that made Danny think that all wolves have an inherent sense of the best cuts of meat. “Fine. Yeah, I’ll be over at seven.”
The look on Steve’s face is hilarious. It’s made doubly so by the knowledge Danny has that if Steve were in wolf-form right now, he’d have fractured his tail with happiness.
Danny walks into the office the next day to find Chin and Kono sparring in the first floor training room, Steve absent, and someone new sitting in the main room with a thick folder clutched in her hands. He clears his throat to get her attention, which makes her jump to her feet, gesturing at the sword with an expansive hand.
“I try and go by Danny,” he replies. “It’s easier to say.”
“No, I mean,” the woman closes her eyes tightly and takes a deep breath. “I’m sorry, I’m nervous. I was sent here because you have a reputation for being the best on the island and you’re involved in a case that I’m looking into, so I came here. I know that there are two natives, human, and then a wolf and an immortal, and you’re the immortal. The swords always give you guys away.”
“They do,” Danny agrees mildly. He’s known some of his brethren to conceal their weapons, but it takes too long to retrieve and assemble. He’d rather be obvious than dead. “Who are you?”
“I’m Jenna. Jenna Kaye,” she introduces herself, extending a hand while she pushes her glasses up her nose at the same time. “I’m sorry about the whole anxiety-nerves-whoa thing, but I’ve been looking for someone to help me for so long and I’ve never had any luck. You guys are my last option.”
Danny keeps a hand on the hilt of his sword, surveying the office. “Steve’s not here?”
Her look of confusion reminds Danny that he’s probably the first one she’s spoken to.
“The wolf,” Danny clarifies. “Also known as the pain in the Hawaiian infrastructure's ass.”
“You’re the first person I’ve seen,” Jenna says apologetically. “I can wait to brief you on what I’m here for if you want to wait?”
Danny has a bad feeling that Steve is out shooting things or possibly stalking the jungle in his wolf form, tearing the throats out of poor innocent animals. It might be time for another guilt-trip with Grace so Steve stops upsetting the goddamn ecology with his immature moods. He’ll probably be back in a couple of hours, which gives Danny time to look into some reports of a vampire that resembles Hesse, close down a couple of active cases (one jewel thief, two assaults, and one shifter accused of identity theft), and give Catherine a check-up call to see if she’s uncovered anything else.
He’s pretty sure it won’t upset the apple cart too much if he pencils Jenna in.
“Chin and Kono ought to be upstairs in about thirty. You willing to wait?” Danny asks as he heads to his desk to start rearranging his papers and make as many phone calls as he can.
She nods emphatically and Danny wonders what the hell has got her acting more high-strung than Danny is when Steve’s done something borderline insane. He makes her a cup of decaf and has her sit in the main room until Chin and Kono come back, at which point Danny meets them by the door.
“Where’s Steve?” he demands.
Chin and Kono exchange a look. Danny swears that they’re holding out on him because there’s no way they should be able to sense each other’s thoughts as seamlessly as they do without being telepathic. “I thought you would know, brah.”
Danny does. He just really wishes he didn’t know Steve well enough to know exactly where he is.
His grip on the folder tightens in his hands and he shakes his head, well aware that of the many things they have to do today, there’s only one that Steve is pursuing. It’s the last time Danny leaves his work lying open around the McGarrett home.
“Son of a bitch,” he swears, digging out his cell phone as he points into the main room. “That’s Jenna Kaye. Says she needs our help in regards to something otherworldly. She’s nervous, so no sudden movements.”
“What are you doing?” Kono asks.
“Me? I’m calling home the dog,” Danny says, glad that Steve has picked up in the middle of that sentence because he wants Steve to understand how thoroughly pissed off he is. “You,” he growls. “Office. Now.”
“No buts,” Danny interrupts. “I know you’re chasing after the lead on Hesse and we will do that, Steven, but we will do it together. Now get your ass back here because we have a visitor and I’m not going to make her repeat what she has to say because you can’t be punctual.”
There’s silence on the line, as if Steve is weighing out the benefits of listening to Danny versus ignoring him.
“Get your ass back here and tonight I’ll come by your place again and maybe I’ll think about staying the night,” Danny says, starting to play with the weapons he’s got, if Steve is going to insist on being difficult. “Steve?”
“Fine, I’m coming.”
“Ten minutes, dear,” is Steve’s sarcastic reply. “You know,” he adds, almost as an afterthought, “One day, one day soon, Danny, you and I are going to sit down and figure out this thing between us. As far as I’m concerned, it’d better be soon. It’d better be soon because I don’t know how much longer I can take watching every move of yours and not being able to claim you. I feel like I’m going to burst for every moment you’re in public and people can’t see that you’re mine. Do you know how much that kills me?”
Danny’s speechless. He’s standing in the foyer of the office, staring as Chin and Kono make Jenna comfortable, and he’s speechless. “Steve, I...”
“Yeah, Danny?” Steve replies, his voice thick with something beyond mere frustration.
“Just get back here. We’ll deal with the rest later.”
He hangs up before Steve can say anything else to slowly undress him of all his wits, relieving all sensible and pragmatic thought. He doesn’t even know how to describe what Steve does to him, but he knows that if he’s not careful, Steve can make him lose control completely. He takes an extra moment to compose himself before meeting the others with a placating smile painted on his lips.
“He’s on his way,” Danny says, taking a seat. “So? Are we all friends?”
Chin and Kono don’t look half as cheerful as they did when they came upstairs from the training room. Jenna looks slightly less nervous, but considering she was verging on the edge of critical mass, it’s probably good for everyone around that she isn’t about to blow – so to speak.
“Jenna’s here because she thinks we can help her,” Chin says.
“That’s a good start, we tend to do that,” Danny concurs, sliding his phone into his back pocket. He crosses his arms over his chest and encourages her on with a nod of his chin. “Well?”
“She wants our help contacting a spirit,” Chin goes on.
Well, that explains the look on Chin and Kono’s faces.
“It’s -- it’s my fiancé. Or it was my fiancé. He’s not around anymore because of a vampire. It’s a man, a creature, named Wo Fat. And I know that everyone swears that ghosts don’t exist, I know that there are four hundred years of records of all the scary things that go bump in the night and all the rumors about ghosts turn out to be fake, but, but I don’t know if I believe that and if it isn’t true,” Jenna says, rambling on and taking in deep breaths of air like she can’t continue without a shot of oxygen courage, “If it isn’t true and if spirits are out there, then maybe, just maybe, I can talk to Josh and I can ask him what happened. Maybe I can take Wo Fat down, because I know I’ll never get Josh back, but if I can’t do that, then justice is the next best thing.”
“Wo Fat?” Danny asks. It’s a new name to him and, from the look of Chin and Kono’s faces, to them as well. “Why would you think we had any kind of resources to help with him?”
Jenna peers back at them, unflinching and confused through her tears. “Wait, you don’t know?”
“What don’t we know?” Kono asks suspiciously.
Steve enters, then, and Danny pinches the bridge of his nose, fully aware that this isn’t going to go well. “Who are you?” Steve demands of Jenna, only confirming Danny’s suspicion that Steve’s social skills at work are akin to a bull in a china shop.
“Steven, this is Jenna Kaye, our guest,” Danny says, emphasizing the ‘guest’ part of his sentence.
“Thank you, Daniel,” Steve replies sharply. So yeah, he’s pissed. Danny’s not surprised, given that Danny’s pulled him off of Hesse’s trail and he knows as well as anyone that it could mean losing the vamp to the underground. “What do you want?”
Jenna’s eyes have widened and she’s meek as she stares at Steve.
“Don’t worry, I’ll yank on his leash if he lunges,” Danny says, shaking his head in dismay at the horribly poisoned work environment he’s a part of. “Steve, seriously,” Danny continues, harsher than before. “We’ll chase the lead later.”
“You all know Wo Fat, even if you don’t realize it,” Jenna speaks quickly, as if she’s trying to get out the information before Steve can cut her off. “Hesse works for him, so does Sang Min. That’s why I came to you. You’ve been dealing with his infrastructure of immortals and vampires for months. I thought, I thought you’d have figured out their connection to Wo Fat by now,” she says the last part mostly to herself. “But nonetheless...”
She doesn’t get a chance to finish.
Steve is already clenching the keys to the Camaro in his fist and making for the door. Danny takes a long breath to calm himself, shooting apologetic looks to Chin and Kono. “Can you make her comfortable, get as much information as you can? I doubt we’ll see you until tomorrow, but we’ll meet again and debrief.”
“Wait, where are you going?” Jenna asks, confused.
“Steve,” is all he says in explanation, shifting his sword so when he starts to run after Steve, it isn’t smacking against inopportune places. Steve’s walking like a man determined to find an end to something, but Danny’s running.
It doesn’t take long to catch up. He ducks in front of Steve, shoving against his chest with both hands.
“Hey!” Danny starts loud, aware that this conversation might turn into a fight very quickly, but he’s not above shoving sense into Steve any way he can – whether with very loud words or very firm fists. “Hey, asshole, are you serious? Are you seriously about to storm out there without me and try and take on a homicidal...we don’t even know what he is,” he says with a huff of frustration. He pokes at Steve’s chest again, taking minute pleasure in the way Steve recoils and glowers. “Are you actually serious?”
“Danny, he’s connected to Hesse. That means he’s connected to murdering my father.”
“I get that, Steve,” Danny says, proud of the way that he keeps his voice from denigrating into pure irritation and anger. “Trust me, I hear you on that front, but you know what? Remember the guy who’s been investigating that same murder since day one? Remember the guy you bloody well mated with in a garage?”
“Danny,” Steve interrupts.
“Your accent is slipping.”
“Thank you for pointing out the obvious, it does that when I get furious with knobheaded idiots!” Danny shouts, taking a moment to reign himself in. “Steve! You mated with me, okay? I know we’re avoiding talking about it, but let’s bring it into the spotlight for a brief moment to talk about the obvious. You picked me! You picked me to be the person with you for life, which means that when you go chasing homicidal maniacs,” he says, using his hands to gesture in the air, “you take me with you! And right now, you aren’t in your right mind to track down anybody, so you’re taking me home.”
Steve’s nostrils flare and he doesn’t need to say a word for Danny to know what he wants to get out into the open.
“You’re taking me to your home and we’re going to talk like civilized adults. We’re going to discuss the case. We’re not going to mention the way you’re eyeing my neck or the fact that when you get angry, I want to just...” Danny makes fists with both hands in place of saying ‘fuck you against the nearest hard surface’.
He’s pretty sure Steve’s aware of Danny-to-English translation by now.
At the very least, Steve adjusts his stance and Danny can pick out the very slightest trace of relaxation in his shoulders. He lets out a sigh of relief and leans forward to steal the car keys from him, wiggling them in the air as high as he can. “You’re not driving, not in this state.”
“Danny,” Steve protests. Most of the anger has faded from his voice and all that’s left is resignation.
“Do I want to die in a car crash? No, Steve, no, I do not. So, right now, let me drive.”
Danny’s not sure that words are going to do it for him, so he steps forward and places his splayed palm flush against the space between Steve’s arched shoulder blades. He eases closer until they’re practically sharing the same air and looks up through the distance between them. He’s forcing himself to take deep breaths in an effort to become calm, projecting it furiously in Steve’s direction at the same time.
“Hey,” Danny breathes out, watching the way the sunlight catches Steve’s cheek from this angle. “Calm down, babe,” he says soothingly. “It’s going to be okay, we’ll find him. Let’s just figure out a way to do it and keep us all alive. Okay?”
Steve nods. His expression is dazed, almost as though he’s been put in a trance by Danny’s touch and words alone, which is one hell of a power trip to be handed.
“Okay. I assume you still have the evidence that I prepared?”
“Good, then we’re going back to your place. We’re going to go over it, and when you’re ready to deal with people again, we’ll meet up with Jenna and you’ll play nice.” Danny has yet to move his hand from Steve’s back and might have slipped it under the fabric of his shirt so that his fingers are brushing and curling against warm, inviting skin.
They might be, that’s all.
“Got it?” Danny coaxes, as sweetly as he can.
“Anything, Danno,” Steve says, leaning into the touch and sounding like a man possessed. Danny crooks his fingers and marvels at the way he’s probably stroking the intricate whorls of ink on Steve’s back. It’s a thought he puts aside, focusing instead on trying to register whether Steve is calm enough to let go of. “Anything for you.”
“Good,” Danny says, withdrawing his hand – to Steve’s great displeasure. “Let’s get out of here, babe, before you get pent up again.”
Danny doesn’t stop thinking about that damn tattoo the whole ride back to McGarrett’s place, imagining tracing out the lines with his fingers and his lips and marking it pink with possessive marks.
When he passes out in Steve’s bed after one too many beers, he even dreams about the damn thing.
Danny’s woken by the sound of the doorbell ringing. He has to take a minute to place where he is. After the fight, he and Steve had knocked back a couple of beers, but Danny doesn’t remember anything happening that he’d need to feel ashamed about.
Still, he’s in Steve’s bed and Steve is...
Danny shifts in order to find him, but doesn’t have to look very far. He’s not in his arms, but the warmth at his feet is tell-tale enough. Danny sighs and sits up, still fully dressed save for his tie. He arranges his body until he can peer down at Steve in his wolf form, curled protectively around Danny’s bare feet.
“Babe, someone’s at the door,” Danny murmurs, his voice husky.
They’ve yet to discuss the whole mating situation again, but they’ve reached this tentative truce. Danny’s glad for it. He refuses to acknowledge it out loud, but fighting with Steve had put him in a deep mood of despair (and according to Catherine, he couldn’t even be sure how much of that mood had been from himself and how much he was blaming on Steve). He sits up and reaches down to scratch behind Steve’s ears, smiling fondly at the adorable whine Steve makes at the touch.
“Door,” Danny reminds him. “Shift and put some clothes on, because I’m not getting up,” he says, adjusting his wrinkled work-shirt and pulling the covers up to his shoulders as he curls up to try and steal a couple more minutes of sleep.
Steve shifts back to human in the midst of a lupine stretch, giving Danny an up-close and personal look at the way Steve’s back stretches out gracefully and how the morning light from the window hits the tattoos on the lower portion of his back. The curve of his spine is sinful and makes Danny want to touch it reverently, but he avoids it in order to stubbornly pretend he’s not looking at all, eyes affixed on the wall.
Out of the corner of his eye, he watches Steve slide into a t-shirt and a loose pair of shorts and only when Steve’s gone does Danny let loose a tense breath that he’s been keeping in.
He is going to explode soon if he doesn’t figure out what to do about the whole ‘mate’ situation. If Danny doesn’t have sex with that man, he will...he’ll...he doesn’t actually know what he’ll do, but he imagines it will involve his sword and some very poor decisions.
Five minutes pass and Steve doesn’t come back to bed.
Ten minutes and Danny starts to hear voices at the edge of his peripheral hearing.
Twelve minutes after someone’s rang the doorbell and Danny is starting to wish he’d been the one to answer. “Up here, you said?” There’s absolutely no mistaking that voice and Danny is about to be caught in Steve’s bed, in yesterday’s clothes, with a sleepy and blissful look on his face. He’s about to be caught by Rachel and she is never going to stop giving him smug ‘I told you so’ looks. At the very least, Danny has the small solace of knowing that he’s still fully clothed.
Of course, they’re yesterday’s and they look like they’ve been put through a wringer in the meantime. So, you know, Danny’s not exactly going to win any battles looking like this.
Rachel’s got both hands resting comfortably on her sword as she stands in the bedroom doorway and simply looks at him pitifully.
“Daniel,” she sighs and unstraps the buckle of her sword, setting it in the corner as she approaches. Steve is behind her, but he’s remaining tentatively in the hallway, as if he’s unsure on whether he’s supposed to intrude. “Come in, Commander. This conversation includes you. More so, now that you’ve smeared your pheromones all over my Danny.”
“I haven’t been yours in a century, Rachel,” he warns, his accent slipping slightly. She brings it out of him and when he’s frustrated, it comes out loud and crystal clear. It’s like four hundred years haven’t passed at all and he’s still walking the streets of London with his weapon at his side and a battle on the horizon.
Steve is bristling visibly at all this talk of Danny being anyone but his, which Danny should have expected. He sighs and sits up, giving Rachel a look in warning when she reaches over to brush at his shoulder and remove a piece of harmless lint.
Steve growls like she’s just stabbed Danny in the heart.
“Oh, he’s very vocal, isn’t he?” Rachel says with heavy bemusement, casting a look over her shoulder at where Steve has decided to make his stand. He’s in the doorway with his arms crossed tightly over his chest. It’s doing worryingly wonderful things in pulling his t-shirt too tight across his pectorals.
Danny revisits his earlier assessment. He’s not just screwed; he’s going to end up so thoroughly fucked by the time they work this out.
Rachel rolls her eyes and gestures to the bed. “Come here. I hope you appreciate what I’m doing, because I think it’s very magnanimous, though Stan is of the opinion that it’s practical suicide.”
“Wait,” he says. He looks up at Steve, who hasn’t taken a step closer, then looks back to Rachel. She’s looking at him like he ought to be able to read her mind. “What are you doing here?”
“I got to thinking about our little conversation,” Rachel says, adjusting her skirt so that she can reach out and forcibly tug Steve onto the bed with him, stretching his t-shirt in the process. “And I thought to myself that maybe my four-hundred year, approximate, claim on Daniel wasn’t helpful in the face of your new bond.”
“Oh, Jesus,” Danny mutters when it finally clicks.
“What?” Steve asks cluelessly.
Danny wishes that he didn’t have this mental bond with Rachel where he can practically predict every step she makes. “She’s about to do a ceremonial thing. She’s...she’s here to make a gesture. I swear to god, Rach, if you brought a ribbon to cut, I will behead you,” he warns.
“Oh, Daniel,” she croons. “You’re so sweet to me.”
She reaches over to grasp Steve’s hand and drag it atop Danny’s, placing them there together with a sure look on her face – only made more unbearable by the degree of smugness to her grin. “Rachel,” Danny says wearily. “Seriously, what the hell are you doing?”
“By the power vested in me as Daniel’s appointed caretaker, I hereby transfer said duties, responsibilities, and possession...”
“Whoa, hey, no one is possessing anyone here!”
“...to Commander McGarrett for the duration of his lifetime or Danny’s, whichever ends first.”
Danny stares at her. He’s expecting something more to come and he’s not sure how this can get worse, but Rachel has always had a way of surprising him. He chances a look at Steve and wishes he hadn’t, because all he sees is relaxed bliss flickering over his face. His lashes are pressed to his cheek and he’s breathing out slow and calm.
Danny wants to stab everyone right now. “Steve, you have got to be...Rachel, this is...”
“A very nice gesture that you’re about to say ‘thank you’ for?” she remarks sharply. “That’s how the rest of your sentence goes, unless you’d like to find out the new techniques Stan has been teaching me. The ones that you don’t know about,” she says, words rife with implication.
Danny takes in a deep breath and weighs his options.
There’s no way this is going to end well if he holds tight to his desire to shout and scream and so he squeezes Steve’s hand, gives Rachel as polite a smile as he can muster, and even goes so far as to say, “Thank you.”
“Excellent. Now, let’s discuss Grace.”
Danny’s still clad in yesterday’s clothes, the sheets strewn around his waist, and Steve is slowly closing the distance between him and Danny – as if he can manage to do it without Danny noticing if he’s sly enough. Rachel doesn’t show any indication of leaving.
“...is this going to turn into a threesome?” he asks warily.
“It’d better not,” Steve says in a deceptively calm tone. “Seeing as you and I haven’t even done anything yet.”
“Wait. What? Daniel, you told me that you’d talked about this,” Rachel says, choosing this time to be the one that she doesn’t see any of Danny’s ‘quit, quit now’ hand gestures. “Well, at least you’ve had all these months to thoroughly explore the realm of making out...” Yeah, Danny’s fingers are going to be sore from the gestures he’s making, but she’s not getting the hint.
And now Steve’s face has fallen with irritated disappointment.
“When you said that Steven had mated with you, I will admit that I’d imagined that you two might have worked through some of these issues already,” she says, narrowing her eyes at Danny. It’s like the sun. He knows he’s not supposed to stare, but he can’t look away. “That’s not a crazy assumption. Correct?”
“Right,” Danny says slowly, waiting for impact.
“And you’ve yet to kiss him,” Rachel says.
When Danny looks, Steve’s now directly at his side and is fiddling with his waterproof watch like it’s suddenly the most interesting thing in the world. Traitor, Danny thinks to himself and gives Steve an elbow in the side to try and make himself feel better. It doesn’t work. In fact, it does the opposite of what it’s meant to and now Danny feels like shit for kicking a dog while he’s down.
So to speak.
Danny lets out a long breath and runs his fingers through Steve’s hair absently. Steve curls into the touch, resting his forehead on Danny’s shoulder where his shirt has slipped away and given way to bare skin, warmed by the sheets and Steve’s proximity.
“I didn’t know,” he says.
“You could have done something anyway. Do you really need to be someone’s mate to jump their bones?”
“Yeah, Danny,” Steve mumbles, sounding half-drunk, “do you?”
“Stop, stop ganging up on me, both of you!” Danny says, eyes widening incredulously. He points an accusing finger in Steve’s direction. “He was sleeping with someone else!”
“Yeah, about that...” Steve mutters
“Is that why you were so physically ill when Catherine was last in town?” Rachel asks curiously. “I thought it was just the flu.”
Danny hauls Steve off of him by the scruff of his shirt and stares at him with fury in his gaze. Steve seems aware of the danger in front of him and all the drowsiness has evaporated from his expression. In its place is a very guarded look as he extends his hands in the air. “Danny...”
“I thought I had the flu! I was miserable, only made worse when the Governor hauled me out of bed for a murder case. I was running to the bathroom to puke every other hour and now, now, you’re telling me that it was your fault? It was because of your mate-happy instincts?” Danny clenches his knuckles and takes a deep breath, just like so many therapists in the past have instructed him to do when his anger gets too overwhelming. “You owe me a new sweater.”
“Okay?” Steve replies warily, sinking back in against Danny’s side. He’s getting comfortable, by the looks of it, sneaking an arm around Danny’s waist and shooting Rachel all these little ‘hands off, he’s mine’ looks. It’d be cuter if Danny wasn’t a grown man capable of choosing for himself and if Rachel wasn’t capable of killing Steve within three seconds if she really wanted (she’s never told him how old she is, but he guesses it’s old. He’s heard rumors floating around that she’d been Cleopatra, once upon a time).
“No, Rachel, no, I have not kissed Steve or made out with him, I have not groped him, we have not fucked,” Danny begins to list off all the things they haven’t done. “I have not sucked him off, I have not stuck my tongue up his ass, I have not stretched him out with my fingers, I don’t know what he looks like when he’s got my dick in his mouth...”
Danny winces when Steve’s hand around his waist gets very tight.
“Danny, now would be a good time to stop,” Steve says, his tone strained. Danny doesn’t need to look at him to know that if he doesn’t shut up, he’s about to be fully claimed in front of Rachel and God. “Unless you want...”
“No,” Danny cuts him off. “No,” he adds, flashing a panicked smile to hide the fact that yes, he does in fact want Steve to follow through on that predatory smile and pin him to the bed to finish off what they started a long time ago. “Rach? Steve and I actually do have some work to go over and a lead to follow, so can you...?” He makes a little shooing motion with his fingers.
“You were just getting started, too,” she says with a lamenting sigh. “You always were so good at being bad.” She chances a look in Steve’s direction. “Don’t worry. Stan satisfies me plenty these days. I don’t step on toes that don’t belong to me anymore. You boys place nicely, now, and I’ll see myself out. Danny, call me later so we can talk about Grace’s situation.”
Danny listens carefully for the last click of her heels before he lets out a breath he’d been keeping in. He collapses back against the sheets and pillows of Steve’s bed, glancing to the side to see that Steve has reverted back to wolf form.
“Coward,” he accuses, reaching out to tangle his fingers in Steve’s fur and haul him closer.
Steve’s answering whine isn’t much of a denial, either. Danny can’t even blame him. If he had the option to retreat after facing down Rachel like that, he would. One more hour of sleep, he tells himself as he curls up with Steve again. One more hour and he’ll be ready to face the day, their leads, and whatever Jenna has to say.
Danny thinks that they’re probably going above-and-beyond indulging Jenna in this little team-meeting. He’s of the opinion that once a person (or being) is dead, that’s it for them, no second chances.
History backs him up. The first account of any supernatural being is rumored to be from before time, but they were rare. They became less rare when the Vikings hit the newly-found land and the numbers practically exploded in 1592. As far as normals are concerned, that’s Year Zero for this stuff.
Danny knows better, but it’s not something that he goes shouting about. As far as numbers go, pre-Discovery, there hadn’t been enough to even write it down. All that they have pre-Discovery is bound in the oral history passed between generations. The population of each species numbered a hundred at best. Post-Discovery, they number in the thousands. Shifters, wolves, vamps, mers, immortals, faes, and more than Danny can name in one sitting all started to flood out of the cracks of the world and no one knows why.
There’s one thing that isn’t on that list, though, and that’s spirits.
He feels bad. He knows that Jenna is wasting her time, but she has valuable information and he isn’t ready to give up on it just because he doesn’t have a couple of hours to spare. She’s due in the office in a couple of hours and Danny’s taking advantage of the time to put some of his old cases in order. At least, he had been until Steve walks into his office, closes the door behind him, and locks it.
Danny looks up suspiciously. “Yes?”
“I want to tell you.”
Okay, Danny’s officially lost.
“Steve, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says. He puts down his pen and sets aside his requisition form for a wiretap into one of the local deadbeat hangouts and when he looks up to see if Steve’s ready to talk, Steve isn’t there anymore.
There is a pile of clothes and a wolf sitting obediently atop them.
“I seriously hope you stripped before you shifted, your budget for new clothes is ridiculous,” Danny grumbles as he pushes away from the desk in order to start picking up after Steve, draping pants and the t-shirt over his arm as he looks into those hazel-tinted eyes. He reaches out to run his fingers through the fur, scratching just behind the ear where Steve likes it best. “What do you want to tell me, huh? I know you’re a wolf. I know you mated with me. We’re running out of stories here.”
Just as quickly as Steve had turned into the wolf, he’s back to himself. And he’s naked.
“Steve, damn it, at least give me some warning!” Danny snaps, practically lunging for the blinds so he can yank them shut in a hurry. The last thing he needs is to find out just how jealous he can get when he thinks Kono and Chin are looking in on something he’s as good as decided belongs to him. He whirls around and watches as Steve calmly redresses, like he hasn’t just gone through a pointless shift. “Okay. Explain.”
“I want to tell you how this happened to me and I want you to tell me what happened to you. We’re going to be spending a lot of years together, if I get my way, and I don’t like being in the dark,” Steve says, tugging on his t-shirt and settling the fabric around his chest. “Deal?”
“Steve, I’ve told you...”
“No, Danny, you haven’t. All you’ve said is you died young and violently.” Steve is over there pulling faces like he wants to go back a couple centuries and change that, but if he does, then no present-day Danno. It’s almost adorable watching that conundrum settle and how Steve processes it with a pinched look on his brow. “I want to know how you met Rachel. I want to know how you died. I want to know everything so we can try and make this ‘mate’ thing work.”
Danny’s still somewhat lost. “What’s to say it’s not already working?”
“Danno,” Steve says, perching on the edge of his desk, his arms crossed over his torso. “You and I might possibly be spending the next three centuries together, depending on how much I shift. We can be great, but I don’t want any secrets between us.”
“It’s history, Steve,” Danny says, trying to get out of talking about long-ago times.
“It’s your history.”
Danny’s suddenly praying that Jenna’s one of those compulsively early types, but every time he glances at the main office door, she still hasn’t come through and Steve has started to look at him with a mild tinge of desperation. It’s like he’s willing to try whatever avenues he can in order to get him to talk.
“Fine,” Danny finally concedes. “This is stupid, Steve, but fine. You were turned in Maryland when you were out camping, and it took you ten years before you could hold onto the memories of what you did during your shifts. What am I missing?”
Steve’s staring at the wooden slats in the floor, suddenly awkward – considering this was all his idea. “My father turned me.”
“What?” Danny’s eyes widened. “Okay, yeah, Steve, that’s kind of one of those things that’s new information,” he admits, sounding a bit strangled. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks, hushing his voice as he takes long strides closer to Steve, reaching out to rub his thumb against Steve’s jaw in an effort to reassure him. “Fuck, Steve, that means...that means you’re the alpha of your pack, now. That means that the day your father died, you didn’t just lose him, you lost your leader.” It’s all coming into clear focus. Even Steve’s insane acts are beginning to make sense. “Is this why you’re so insane at work? Some need to mark the ground as the alpha of the team? Look, babe, I have no need to be in charge. I’ve learned it’s better for me to lie low. It does good things, you know, extends the life expectancy,” Danny says, his thumb steadily stroking the soft skin at Steve’s cheek.
Danny’s beginning to understand a little more of the picture.
It’s not just a wolf that’s mated with him. He had an alpha imprint on him without realizing, mere days after he became leader of his pack. “It’s just you and Mary, right?”
“Officially,” Steve says with a curt nod. “Unofficially, I consider you, Chin, and Kono to be part of my pack. I’m pretty sure my father did the same with the Governor.”
“But you’re not trusting her the way that he did,” Danny says suspiciously.
He shifts awkwardly on the desk and Danny’s touch is doing nothing to soothe him now. “I don’t trust fae. We’ve had too many double-crosses on missions in the Navy for me to give Governor Jameson the same kind of leeway that my father did.”
“Keeping her on a short leash?” Danny jokes with a proud smirk on his face.
“You have a book, don’t you,” Steve accuses. “You have a book of dog jokes and you keep it hidden from me, just so you can be absolutely infuriating.” Danny says nothing, choosing instead to smile and stay silent. He’s learned that it pisses Steve off more than anything else. “But yeah. Long story short, my Dad turned me, Hesse killed him, and I’m the alpha.”
“And you mated with me,” Danny says, reminding him of that little side-plot in the story. “Don’t skip that part, I’m still kind of angry with you about that part.”
“Not all the time, though, right?” Steve asks, as if checking on the progress of Danny’s anger.
Danny takes in a deep breath and tries to deal with Steve’s little bombshell. He’s already fairly in the dark when it comes to the care and feeding of wolves – not to mention their mating habits – and adding in alpha traits doesn’t exactly clear it up so much. He pinches the bridge of his nose.
“Does Catherine know?”
“So, all this stuff she’s telling me,” Danny says, waving his hand in the air to give it something to do. He feels like if he sits still, he might burst. “She’s telling me with you, specifically you, in mind?”
Steve nods. “Yes,” he confirms, as sure of her as if he’d done the work himself. “Danny, it doesn’t change much.”
“Actually, it kind of explains your control freak issues,” Danny points out, scratching at Steve’s sideburn before withdrawing his hand and shoving them both in his pockets as he begins to pace the floor. With Steve’s confession out in the open, he knows what’s coming next. He paces a little while longer to see if Steve will give up the ghost, so to speak, but no dice. “Seriously, Steve, I have no idea what you’re looking for. What is it you want to know?” he asks helplessly when he turns to find Steve staring at him with that laser-like look of his.
It burns and itches, getting under Danny’s skin until he thinks he might combust if Steve doesn’t look away.
“It was 1644,” Danny starts, thinking that the beginning is as good a place as any. “I was fighting in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.” It’s depressing for Danny to even think about because no one these days even knows about the damn thing. “Anyway, I wasn’t looking and I got a sword right through my chest,” he says, tapping two inches above his heart and letting his gaze linger there.
It’s the only scar he’s ever carried, the diagonal puckered shape of a sword that brought him into this second life.
“That was the First Death. I’m trying not to hit a second,” he says, giving Steve a sharp look. “And sometimes, Steve, I swear to god, you’re trying to kill me permanently.”
“You’re immortal, you can take it,” Steve says defensively, his attention stuck on the place on Danny’s chest that’s been gestured to. “I’ve never seen you without this off,” he admits, taking slow strides across the room until he’s standing above Danny, his chin tipped towards his chest as he reaches his fingers out. “Can I...?”
“Not here,” Danny says, trying to shake off the feeling of discomfort that’s come on the heels of the need to say yes and practically beg Steve to rip his shirt off. “Later.” It’s always later with him. “Besides, I thought you wanted the whole story. That’s just the start.”
His hope for Jenna’s arrival remains steadfast, but the door never opens, which means he’s going to have to get into the details.
“Rachel was my first teacher,” Danny explains, not shouting at Steve when his fingers start to fidget and play with the collar of Danny’s blue dress-shirt. “For a couple hundred years, we had a romantic relationship. I’ve challenged, I’ve been challenged, and I picked up policework about two years after my second life began. Rach and I came over here in 1911, things started to fall apart, and then she met Stan. She came out here to do some research about other supernatural creatures and I followed, because she brought Grace.”
“Grace isn’t the first,” Steve murmurs, his attention rapt when it comes to the fabric of Danny’s shirt, just above his heart.
Danny’s fairly sure that it isn’t a question, but he owes the answer. “No,” he says. “No, she’s not. She’s the fifteenth. Rachel is somewhat retired. She’ll fight if she’s challenged, but she doesn’t seek it out. She tries to teach the ways of it, instead. She’s got this uncanny knack of sensing other immortals out, it’s amazing, Steve. She’s only wrong for maybe two in ten. We’ve had fifteen children. Three died of natural causes, four died violently, but weren’t like us. Eight, though, eight of them, she was right about.”
“How many of them are still out there?”
“Four,” Danny says. He doesn’t need more than a moment to remember. “Rachel was challenged by one of them, a couple others lost their battles, but there’s still four out there. Matthew, Lauren, Elizabeth, and Margaret. They’re around my age and they took my name, but I’m not allowed to call them my kids anymore,” he says ruefully. “I can get away with calling them family, so I’ll take what I can get.”
“And now, you two have Grace,” Steve says with a fond smile on his lips, like he’s already decided to make Gracie one of his pack. “Is she...?”
“We won’t know until she dies and honestly, I’d really prefer we don’t even approach that road for another three decades at least,” he strains his words, just in case Steve is thinking up ways to test her. “So that’s it, that’s me.”
“How many have you killed?”
Or maybe they’re not done.
Danny grimaces and notes that Steve is done manhandling his shirt. He’s decided to loom in Danny’s personal space until he gets his answer. “Steve, do you really want to hear this?” Danny asks, reflexively gripping the hilt of his sword at the mere mention of the challenges. When Steve doesn’t answer, Danny dares to stare him down, refusing to blink or look away. “Fine,” he gets out. “I’ve lost track, but the last time I thought about it, the number was sixty. Maybe seventy. I try to follow Rachel’s example. I don’t challenge unless I have to.”
Truth be told, he is goddamn waiting for the day he gets to challenge Sang Min. They’ve met before, but there’s always been Holy Ground or human law to stop it. One day, those things won’t get in their way and Danny’s going to get his chance.
“Unless you have to,” Steve echoes, an unhappy growl lurking behind the words. He’s fisting Danny’s shirt, hauling him closer. “Don’t.”
“Don’t. No more challenges, no more battles. You’re mine, you don’t fight.”
“Sometimes, I won’t have a choice, Steven,” Danny says mildly, trying to shove Steve off before this gets too close and personal for him to cope with. “Get back, Jenna’s going to be here any minute and I don’t exactly want her thinking that me mounting you on top of the desk is a normal everyday occurrence.” Steve licks his lips and bears closer to Danny.
He thinks this might be it.
Danny stops checking the door for Jenna’s arrival and occupies his hands with the fumbling and fondling of the hem of Steve’s shirt rather than being shoved away. Steve is so overbearingly close and Danny can feel the moist warmth of his breath against his cheek and he’s so tired of putting this off for other so-called ‘important’ things. He looks up in the short distance between them and takes hold of Steve’s hand, pushing it off so that he can lean in, splay his palm out over Steve’s neck, and hold him in place as he leans up on his toes.
“Guys! She’s here!” Kono interrupts before Danny can get any closer.
He sinks back to his heels, a grimace written in bold colors across his face. Danny doesn’t hold back his vivid swear as he runs a hand over his tie and tries to make himself look presentable. He chances a look at Steve, who is still staring at Danny with a dazed look in his half-lidded eyes, looking like he doesn’t intend to move anytime soon.
“Babe,” Danny says with a sigh. “We have to go.”
Steve seems to acknowledge that fact, but isn’t pleased about it. He grabs hold of Danny’s arm and forcibly hauls him into the main room where the talk is about to begin. Apparently, Danny’s new role in the department is ‘Steve’s rag doll’. It’s a step above chew toy, at least. He greets their company with a tight-lipped smile.
“Ignore him,” Danny says, trying to brush Steve off of him before grab-handling Danny becomes a thing. He manages to pry himself away, steadying his hand on the hilt of his sword to regain some of his composure. “Ms. Kaye, it’s a pleasure to see you again and let me apologize again for Alpha Boy’s behavior.”
“It’s really no problem,” Jenna hurries to insist with a nervous smile as she begins to spread out pictures on the table. “I’m just glad you guys are seeing me at all. If I had to attend one more séance...” She pulls a face, eyes bugging out, lips pushed out by a breath. “Well, I might have screamed. What I really need is access to your database. I’ve got a couple of patterns to look for and I’d like to take copies to help my search. In return,” she goes on, splaying the photographs out in a fan-pattern, “I want to give you all the information I have on the man who orchestrated the kill on Commander McGarrett’s father.”
Steve is staring at the photographs intensely, to the point that Danny’s beginning to get a sympathetic migraine from just looking at him.
“Okay, from the start. Who is Wo Fat?” Danny asks, deciding to speak up as the voice of reason, if no one else is willing to tear themselves away from staring at the pictures.
“What,” Jenna responds. “That’s the question you’re looking for. What is Wo Fat?”
There it is. There’s that chill down his spine that Danny’s been expecting. “Are we talking fae?” he asks in a hush, jumping to the worst case scenario.
“No. No, thank god, though I hear the Governor of the islands is a benevolent...the point, right,” Jenna says, focusing her attention on the photographs. “Wo Fat is a vampire. The rumors are that he’s about three hundred years old, but there are accounts of him dating back to Hideyoshi’s rule in the late fifteen-hundreds.”
“Great, a contemporary shows up and of course he’s a douchebag,” Danny mutters to himself. He chances a look to his side to see how Steve is doing, aware that he shouldn’t have even bothered looking. Steve’s reacting as expected – a low growl caught on his lips, his full fury bearing down on Wo Fat as he appears in the pictures. “Okay, but hold up, Hesse pulled the trigger. We’re searching for Hesse.”
“Wo Fat is the puppet master behind all of this. Hesse wouldn’t have even touched John if not for his orders,” Jenna says, staring up warily from the table. “I’m pretty sure he’s back on the island because...” She trails off, her attention fixed on Steve.
Danny’s been reading people’s body language for a long time now, and it doesn’t take very long before he understands what Jenna’s saying.
“He wants to kill Steve so no one will pick up the trail,” Danny says, blanching with horror at the mere thought of losing Steve to a fangy maniac. “Okay, so, first of all, there’s no way in hell that bastard’s getting his hands on Steve, not on my Steve, not on my watch.” He chances the look at Chin and Kono that tells him what he already knows – they’re incredibly amused by this little show. “Second, we’ve still got Sang Min to deal with. We all thought he was under Hesse’s employ, which means...”
Jenna nods vociferously. “Yes, yeah, he is definitely working for Wo Fat. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s broken out of jail anytime soon.”
Danny smiles darkly, almost hoping that Wo Fat decides to jailbreak Sang Min – any good excuse to bring on the challenge. He can sense Steve looking at him and tries to reign in his morbid delight at the thought of collecting another head. “So, now we know who’s behind all this.”
“Now we go see Sang Min,” Steve decides, “in prison, where no one can be challenged,” he continues, practically forcing Danny to raise both hands in surrender, “and then we talk to the Governor and see how she hasn’t caught wind of this.”
“You would think that she knew,” Kono says as she starts compiling folders to keep all the evidence. Danny watches as Chin pulls up their files on supernaturals and realizes that they’re about to trust their database to this woman.
God, he hopes they’re not wrong on this count.
“Steve, let’s go,” Danny says, grabbing at his sleeve –turnabout is fair play – and hauling him down to the parking lot. “Look, I’m not going to challenge him. Technically, I can’t. The prison’s built on hallow ground, plus the whole bulletproof glass thing sort of spoils the fight...” It’s a weak joke, but excuse him for trying to lighten the mood.
It doesn’t work. Danny can practically feel dark and grim radiating off Steve. He reaches over and grabs at Steve’s other shoulder, holding him a foot away with an iron grip.
“Steven,” he says, giving him a mild shake to reiterate his point. “We’ll catch the bad guys. And do you know why? It’s because we’re the good guys and the police. And what do the police do?”
“They put the bad guys behind bars,” Steve narrates in reply, reciting by rote. “Danny, what if...”
“No, nuh uh, no way, no hypotheticals,” Danny interrupts. “Okay? We’re just visiting today. Pretend it’s your really ugly cousin and your scary aunt that we’re going to see. No hypotheticals, no thinking about silver bullets, and no thinking about challenges. Understood?”
Steve doesn’t look like he likes it, but that’s tough.
“Get in the car and warm it up. I’m gonna say goodbye to Chin and Kono, see if Jenna wants us to ask anything in particular,” he says, jutting a thumb over his shoulder.
Danny takes the walk as an opportunity to try and calm his mind, which is brimming with crazed panic as he thinks about all those scary hypotheticals he’s trying to ignore. Yeah, okay, he’ll say it – he’s worried. He’s worried about some maniac in the shadows with a gun, silver bullets, and a freakish inability to die via normal methods. He’s worried about Steve and he’s a little worried about himself.
Maybe he needs to ask Rachel to protect him, just for a couple of days.
He puts all those thoughts aside so that he can seem cool, calm, and collected when he heads back into the office. Chin, Kono, and Jenna are all bent around the main computer table and look pretty damn engrossed by whatever it is they’re finding. “Everyone having fun in here?” Danny asks.
“You guys have so much information,” Jenna says with an awestruck look on her face.
Danny shrugs as he picks up his trenchcoat – the one he wears when he doesn’t feel like letting his sword announce what he is. “Immunity and means. It’s pretty handy when you want to call up the FBI or the CIA and use political authority to get what you want. Chin, Kono, I’m out for the weekend after this. Don’t do anything stupid.”
“We won’t,” they reply in chorus, both too preoccupied with the information at hand to really bother with Danny. Just as quickly as they’ve said goodbye to him, they’re back to quiet conversation about a potential lead that Jenna had suggested.
Danny lingers for just a moment longer. He needs it to get his wits about him, because every moment that he spends thinking about the possible danger that’s looming for all of them – namely Steve – it throws him into a heightened state of alertness where he wants to lock Steve in a panic-room Steve until this is over. He’d feel bad about it if he weren’t so sure that Steve’s already making plans to do the same to him.
He forces his face into a neutral expression so that Steve doesn’t think anything is wrong. Well, scratch that. It’s so that Steve doesn’t think anything’s gotten worse.
“We ready?” Steve asks.
“We’re ready,” Danny confirms, sliding into the passenger seat of the Camaro with ease. “One day, you and I are going to have a discussion about the fact that ‘alpha’ does not mean ‘automatic car driver’.”
Steve doesn’t even glance over at Danny, revving the engine as he peels out of the parking lot. “Funny. Because it’s in the Oxford-Wolf dictionary.”
Steve’s smiling, though, which temporarily calms Danny’s singing nerves. They’ll get worse again as they approach Halawa, but for right now, Danny’s going to count every small blessing as a practical miracle.
As far as the world is concerned, Daniel has been dead for eight months.
Rachel has quickly taken Daniel as one of her own – her family -- but Daniel isn’t sure how much trust he places in a woman he’s only just met, even if she has been very helpful in keeping him alive. She’s taught him the rules of hallowed ground before explaining how a fight progresses when the earth beneath them isn’t sanctioned by faith. She’d forced him to stand to the side as she collected another victory and one more in a long line of heads. She’s told him all she can, but Daniel has yet to meet another immortal in combat.
That’s about to change.
He senses the other immortal instantly as he’s passing through Piccadilly and a group of constables pass him. Daniel stops immediately, his hand on his sword as he locks eyes with a tall man with brown hair. If he’s an immortal like in Rachel’s many tales, he also possesses a determined desire to live.
The only trouble is that Daniel Williams is a terribly stubborn man. He’s positive that his will to live exceeds this constable’s. He’s killed many in his former life, but he had always rationalized it under the notion that he was fighting a war and men are permitted to do terrible things. He’s not sure he’ll be able to use the same excuse in these endeavors.
Rachel insists on one absolute truth to this life: kill or be killed when it comes to the battle.
Daniel watches the constable carefully. He has to be careful not to exhibit any sign of weakness, lest he put himself in danger of becoming one of the sorry excuses for an immortal – the kind who can’t even live past a natural life’s span. The man is making his excuses and edging towards Daniel, which gives him a limited amount of time to find an area to wage the battle. Instinct has pushed Daniel towards issuing the challenge with him barely realizing it. He might not have coaxed out the fight by anything but instinct, but now that he has, he’s raring for a victory.
He thinks he can do this. He knows he can do this.
In his natural life, he’d found victory many times on the battlefield, but he lives in a far more terrifying world now where the bumps in the nights truly are monsters. There’s no telling how skilled this man is, so it’s best to be cautiously on-guard and assured in the skills that Daniel does possess.
“Are you sure about this?” the man asks, as if he’s trying to press doubt into Daniel, who has already rid himself of most every shred of it. “Once we begin, you know what the only possible conclusion will be.”
“What’s your name?” Daniel asks, spurred on by a sudden need to know. He withdraws his sword as a response to the man’s question about whether he truly wants to continue. “Constable...?”
“Constable Andrew Sawcott,” the man replies, drawing out his rapier. It’s thinner than Daniel’s and far more elegant. Rachel had been insistent that Daniel purchase a blade that would weather whole centuries. Hers is a leftover from the Viking regimes, and is an impressive thing for such a petite woman.
Daniel casts his overcoat to the side of the small clearing they’ve found, circling Sawcott with long strides. Were this still the wars, the attack might have been faster and without precision, but there are no armies and little strategy. As far as Daniel can tell, there is only the steel resolve to walk away with one’s head intact. He doesn’t precisely have a way to evaluate his opponent’s fighting technique except to know that Sawcott is trained for this.
The upper hand remains in Daniel’s favor, given that he’s trained in a far more barbaric type of combat. Sawcott has no idea of this. Rachel has paid for Daniel’s clothes and he no longer looks like a man of the infantry. Now, he looks as though he comes from society and might have no clue about how to wield his blade except for sport with fellow-minded men.
They circle each other for five more paces before the first strike is made. Sawcott lunges and Daniel shuffles to his right -- avoiding a defense by being out of the way entirely. Interestingly enough, Sawcott’s first strikes are not aiming to take off Daniel’s head.
He wonders if that’s common or if this is a unique trait to just one man.
“What will you do, if you win?” Daniel finds himself asking, attention shared between Sawcott’s paces and his tense grip on his sword, trying to predict where the next attack will come from. The heavy grip of the sword implies that whatever blow does come next will be an attempt to end Daniel’s life. “Do you have a wife at home?”
“No. Do you?”
Daniel pauses, wondering what Rachel is to him. “No,” he finally says. Rachel is nothing so simple as anyone’s wife. Even without her there, he doesn’t want to insult her by saying that’s all she is. Just as he’d predicted, the next attack is swift and forceful. Sawcott steps to the side, drawing back his sword in an attempt to catch Daniel off guard and remove his head from behind, but his reflexes are sharper than that. He brings the sword up quickly in defense and the metallic clash brings the blades close to eye-level.
His sword is brand new, but Sawcott’s looks aged. There are even well-worn rusting spots, as though he’s allowed the blood to remain as a warning to any who might think it prudent to challenge him – people like Daniel, who had to take on a first fight at some point and is growing more confident with every passing moment.
Daniel knows with great clarity, within mere moments of evaluating Sawcott’s stance and expression, how this battle is going to end -- and it will most certainly be in his favor. “What is it you do?” Sawcott asks, his gaze fixed on Daniel’s neck. It’s like eyeing the trophy before it has been won. It’s very poor sport.
“I’m still deciding. Do you like constable work?”
“It provides a sense of justice,” Sawcott says, striking forward to parry and stab at Daniel’s abdomen. He lands a hit, though only a rip of his shirt and a shallow flesh wound at best. It’s deliberate on Danny’s part with the knowledge that any wound will be temporary, but a victory will be permanent.
Sawcott is smiling privately, as though he’s cottoned onto some private knowledge. He thinks that Daniel is weakening – a fresh immortal with no skills – and that soon he’ll have another head. Daniel intends to keep him believing this false truth for as long as he can. He feigns weakness with every parry and thrust.
Inevitably, Daniel has to fall. He crumples to the ground, sword at an unnatural angle as dust stains the knees of his trousers. He sways forward, tucking his chin to his chest and remaining in the role of the ever-weary soldier.
Sawcott is laughing. It’s quiet, but it’s unmistakable.
Instantly, that laugh brings to mind a perverse knowledge of how much Daniel is going to enjoy stealing that smug belief of victory away. He waits patiently, listens for the sword as Sawcott prepares himself for the final swing. Daniel’s body practically shakes with a need to move, but he hears the tell-tale sound of a sword coming down upon him soon enough.
Then, it’s over almost as quickly as it had begun.
Daniel rolls forward and when Sawcott’s blade comes smashing down, it’s embedded in the heavy earth below. Daniel’s already got both hands on his sword as he pivots, aware that he only has a finite amount of time before Sawcott recovers. Daniel is a new immortal and if this battle rages on for too much longer, he’s not sure whether he’ll survive.
It’s now or it’s never.
He spares a brief thought of sympathy to the people in Sawcott’s life who loved him. Sometimes the world is cruel, and sometimes people have to play the villains if they expect to live on. Daniel’s hands are steady as they see the task through, removing the head from the body with an efficient blow. He rises as he watches the head roll clumsily on the alley ground, energy beginning to crackle about him.
When he returns to Rachel that evening, he’s not the same man who left that morning. His clothes are ruined, but he feels like he’s better acquainted with how the world works. “What on earth happened to you?” Rachel demands, running her fingers over the remaining fringe of Daniel’s shirt – now in tatters. “Do you have any idea how much I paid for all of this? Honestly, Daniel, I hope you have a bloody good reason...”
“I won,” is all Daniel feels compelled to say. “And I think I figured out what I’d like to do. What do you think about police work?”
Danny is lingering beside the Camaro, unable to shake the horrible feeling in his gut. They’ve promised Jenna that they’ll help her and she’s given them reams of information, which means that now they get to confront Sang Min about who he’s really working for. If that weren’t enough to make Danny twitchy, he’s also got to deal with the idea that the mastermind behind all of this could be watching them at any moment.
It’s just not fucking sitting well.
Steve is loading his body with weapons from his personal armory housed in the trunk of Danny’s car. He’s holstering guns to thigh, shoulder, arm, and probably to some hidden foot holsters. Danny’s already equipped himself with silver bullets, knowing that Steve can’t even go near the things without breaking into a cold sweat. He’s pretty sure that’s half the wolf recoiling and half his human memory remembering what a silver bullet did to his father.
The prison looms over them and every minute that they don’t go inside to have this talk and get it over with is another minute that Danny feels like he’s going to be sick. The one consolation is that he’s on holy ground and he’s allowed to let his guard down, if only for a moment.
“Steve, seriously,” Danny says, as Steve tucks away an iron-cast knife in a holster at his wrist. “What are you doing, you really think they’re even going to let you in there with all that strapped to you? You’re practically a suicide bomb.”
“Immunity and means,” Steve grunts in reply.
“Immunity and...you know what, I am so tired of that saying. You know how tired I am of it? I am beyond sick of it and don’t think for a second I don’t know how much you like it,” Danny accuses, poking his finger in Steve’s face. “I bet you have it cross-stitched on a pillow somewhere in your house, you gigantic immunity-and-means-loving freak.” He crosses his arms impatiently when Steve leans half his body into the trunk. “Okay, I swear to god, if you haul a battering ram out of my trunk, I’ll batter you with it.”
“Relax, I’m just grabbing a mag,” Steve says, holding it up before tucking it into his utility belt – so equipped that it would give Batman a healthy dose of envy.
Danny shakes his head, taking long strides towards the prison entrance. “You’re sick, you know that? I genuinely fear walking in here with you looking like that, it is disgusting, you could go off and I’d just be shrapnel, you’re so overly-armed, and is that a grenade on your belt!?”
Steve shrugs, looking like he doesn’t understand what’s so terrifying about that. “I had one in the glove box.”
“You had one in the...okay, Steven, when we’re home, you and I are going to have a talk about this.”
Danny’s not sure what part of his furious tone made Steve stop in his tracks and grin like a grade-A goofball, but he’s just stopped walking and that idiot grin is all over his face.
“What? What did I do?”
“Home,” Steve repeats.
Danny waves a hand to try and dismiss Steve before he starts getting so goofy that Danny doesn’t know what to do with him. “We are standing outside of a prison and we’re about to interrogate a man who’s over a hundred years old and who’s serving a full life sentence. Do you know how long that is, for an immortal? There is zero, zip, nothing, nada that we can use as a bargaining chip since we’ve already tapped the resource of his wife. And then, then we have to go walk on eggshells around a fae and ask her politely, ‘Ma’am, why the hell didn’t you tell us there was a vengeance-happy vampire on your island?’ and pray, pray, that the response isn’t ‘because I wanted him here’.” He sucks in a breath, desperate for the oxygen, and glares at Steve.
Steve is, predictably, smirking away.
“What is so funny?”
Steve leans forward and taps on Danny’s forehead lightly. “There’s this vein in your forehead that starts throbbing when you get really angry. It’s kinda cute, Danno.”
“I’ll give you cute,” Danny mutters under his breath, slapping away Steve’s intruding fingers and storming towards the entrance. “C’mon, werewolf-time-bomb, let’s go see our man.” He takes the longest strides he can, but Steve’s long legs mean that even at Danny’s most furious speed, he keeps pace.
The security they encounter when they enter the prison is minimal. Danny tips his gaze to the ceiling as if pleading with someone up above and takes a deep breath to center himself before Sang Min shows up and his senses go haywire. “Take that look off your face, McGarrett,” Danny warns without even needing to look at him. “You’re the one who made the rule that they have to leave our weapons alone; you don’t need to look so smug every time we come here.”
His chin is forcibly grasped and maneuvered so that he’s looking dead-straight at Steve.
“What? What is the need for the manhandling?” Danny yelps, hands rising to smack Steve off of him. “And in public, why’s it always in public?” he mutters to himself in grievous complaint.
“No one touches your sword but you,” Steve says, like he’s been picking up on a couple of tips here and there on the care and feeding of immortals, “and those you trust the most.”
Danny knows there’s a lot of implication in those words considering that Steve’s handled Danny’s sword on more than one occasion – and has since two days after the first time they met – like he’d decided that once he appropriated Danny into his life, all his possessions and relationships came with the package.
Now that Danny knows about the mating bond, he could blame his trust on that. Truth is, though, Steve has a tendency to insert himself in other people’s lives, whether they like it or not. Danny’s practically ready to wish pity on the poor bastard who’s stuck with that for the rest of his life before the reality of their situation catches up to him and he remembers that it’s him.
The guard shows them to their usual spot.
“I find it ridiculous that we have a regular booth,” Danny voices aloud as he takes the chair, sitting with a quick adjustment of his sword. He places his palms flat on the counter as Steve leans over his shoulder, chest pressed firmly to Danny’s back. “What? What is it?”
“Nothing, just noticing the dent in the glass is still here from last time,” Steve murmurs, right into Danny’s ear.
“Fuck you and your lame, thinly-veiled excuses to try and get close to me and sniff me,” Danny says sharply. “I’m onto you. I know you.” He ignores the little voice inside of him that pipes up with how good it feels to sense Steve so close.
That little voice is fired. It’s going to be dragged out back, shot, and buried.
There’s a time and a place for what Steve’s doing and when Danny’s senses are already in overdrive at the proximity of so many immortals, he’s already at the end of his rope. If he ends up shoving Steve up against that chipped glass and giving him a hickey on his stupid neck for the world to see, it’s going to be his own fault.
“Danno, calm down,” Steve says, right into his ear. It’s all fine and well, but then he has to go and brush his lips over Danny’s pulse point.
Danny practically flips. “How the hell am I supposed to be calm when you do things like that!”
Steve kisses the point blatantly. This is no accidental move, this is something designed to make everyone in their immediate area sit up and take notice that Danny Williams is hands-off. Danny’s almost willing to play into this madness – or he would have been, except that his senses start scrambling.
It means their company has arrived. “Off,” Danny says, making a shooing motion with his hands. “Off, he’s coming.”
Steve doesn’t comment on Danny’s dog-like commands as he slides into a rigidly-straight stance, hands folded behind his back as he stands at attention.
Sang Min saunters up to the chair and sprawls down onto it, holding the prison phone in his hand and contemplating Danny from behind the glass for longer than he needs to. Danny can sense Steve itching to start this process, but Danny wants to revel in Sang Min’s imprisonment for just a moment lest he get too eager to break him out for a night, just to collect his head. “You’re looking a little lost there without your personal effects,” Danny comments into the phone, smirking like he’s taunting an old friend. His tone’s missing all the warmth.
“You won’t be so happy to see me when I get them back,” Sang Min warns.
“It’s good to see the criminal class is still so woefully ignorant, Steven,” Danny comments idly, never once taking his eyes off of Sang Min. “You have no idea how happy I’ll be when you’re out and you get them back. What’ve you got? Multiple life sentences? We’ll even make a date.”
Steve presses a hand to Danny’s shoulder and squeezes hard, as if to get him back on track. It’s gone as quickly as it arrived, but it reminds Danny of why they’re here.
“Speaking of dates, there’s a little bird going around telling me that you haven’t just been seeing Hesse when it comes to your dastardly little plans,” Danny says, watching Sang Min’s face for any kind of reaction. “The name Wo Fat make you happy in your pants at all?”
That gets a reaction, even if it’s not as dramatic as Danny had been hoping for. Sang Min squirms slightly and wrinkles his nose in disgust.
“You’re crazy, haole,” he spits out. Sang Min starts to fidget, scratching his cheek and looking like he’d rather talk about almost anything else. “What’s the deal with your dog? Never seen a mute mutt before.”
Danny wonders if he knows what a bad idea jumping to that ledge of a topic is.
“His dog,” Steve cuts in, words edging on too-calm -- and Danny, who knows how dangerous the situation is going to get if McGarrett sounds this calm, starts to pray for patience -- “is trying to think of a good reason not to come into that prison and take your head off myself.”
Danny waves a hand and takes in a deep breath to remind himself that half of what Steve does is just for show and he doesn’t really mean this stuff.
“We could easily spread a rumor that you helped us,” Danny points out. “I know two of the immortals behind these bars because I put ‘em there. Both are older than you, and if they find out you’re the kind of guy who snitches, they might not be able to kill you, but they could make your life hell.”
Sang Min looks impassive, giving Danny a look that seems to demand ‘is that all?’
“Listen to me,” Danny gets out, edging on desperation as he pokes a finger at the glass. “This is not a guy you want to be affiliated with. You’re caught up in some bad business, sure, but Wo Fat is into murder, and the nasty kind, at that. You really want to be in bed with this guy?”
Something’s sinking in. Sang Min gives Danny a thoughtful look as he leans forward, phone dangling lazily in his fingers like he’s deciding whether or not he’s done with this conversation. “What’s in it for me? I helped you bring in Hesse, you let me see my family.”
Danny hadn’t been too happy with that, but for Meka? For Meka, he’d have done anything – even if he’d had to let Chin escort Sang Min so that Danny didn’t end up killing their prisoner during the commute.
“If I help you this time, what will you give me?”
“I make sure Detective Williams doesn’t collect your head,” Steve says.
“He’s not, you can’t...” Danny sputters, pinching the bridge of his nose and wondering if he can ask Rachel for a copy of the ‘How to Be an Immortal for Dummies’ book that’s quietly passed along the underground of their kind. “Look, you help us out, I’ll make sure you steer clear of other immortals as long as you want in this place. Hell, I’ll transfer you in with the fangers if that’s what makes you happy. Think of it as prime real estate in exchange for information on a name.”
“That doesn’t sound like much to me,” Sang Min says.
He’s right, too. Danny hates the fact that there’s so little they can offer him. He knows what Sang Min is aiming for, and he could give him that offer. He just hates that he has to say it out loud, it burns through every fiber of rightness in his body. “We could look at shortening your sentence,” he gets out.
Sang Min grins. “Hurt you to say, didn’t it?”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s true. If Steve or I put in a good word for you to the parole board, you could see some of those life sentences dropping away like flies,” Danny says, tensing up. “Just tell us, is Wo Fat the guy at the top? Is that where your orders come from?”
Sang Min lets the phone drop to the counter. The offer goes untouched, he gives no response, and they’re up shit creek without a paddle.
Danny’s already tired of begging this creep, and he’s not willing to offer him anything more than what’s already on the table. He doesn’t even think there is anything more they can offer. “You done? Is that it?” Sang Min sits there resolutely silent, crossing his arms over his chest. “Wo Fat. Remember that name,” he says, a little louder just in case Sang Min can’t hear him. “We’re taking him down and then you lose whatever meager protection he’s providing you.”
He hangs up the phone firmly and makes a dismissive gesture with his fingers to get the guards to take him away. He watches Sang Min’s retreating back before pressing his fingertips to his temple to try and ease the tension away, feeling Steve breathing down on his neck. He keeps standing there, not saying anything.
Danny doesn’t bother with Steve until Sang Min is out of sight and the buzzing in his head is gone.
“What the hell is wrong with you, huh? You can’t talk?” Danny snaps.
“Think of it this way, Danno,” Steve says as he offers a hand out to Danny. Despite his hesitations, he takes it and lets Steve haul him up to his feet. “We’ll call it a trade-off. You do the talking here and I do the talking with the Governor since she ‘gives you that freaky feeling’, whatever that means.”
“Look, fae-powers aren’t fully documented. She could be doing anything and we’d never know,” Danny insists, walking side-by-side with Steve on their way out of the prison. “Look at you, look at that face,” he says, gesturing to Steve when he notices that Steve’s lower lip is slightly jutted out and there’s a crease in the middle of his forehead. “Are you disappointed that you didn’t get to use a grenade?”
He’s met with guilty, guilty silence.
“You’re a menace,” Danny says, pushing the exit door open and greeting the sun with a hand over his eyes to reduce the glare. “If the Governor can read my mind, I hope she can sift through my murderous intentions and my need to find out if you get uncontrollably growly in bed to see the respect I have for her.”
“I didn’t think you respected anyone but Rachel, your children, and the esteemed honor of Jersey.”
“New, this time,” Steve says. He stops in order to grab Danny by the hip, anchoring him to the spot while he pushes his hand into Danny’s front pocket to get the Camaro keys out from where Danny had shoved them upon arrival. He keeps searching for them, like they’re mysteriously hidden and those fingers of his linger on the thin fabric that separates Steve’s hand from Danny’s thigh.
Danny’s not complaining, right up until the moment those fingers start getting a little too close to his inner thigh. “Public,” Danny gets out in a strangled voice. “Why do you always do this when we’re in public?” He shifts his hips forward based on his body’s need for more, but forces himself to take in a deep breath and calm down. Steve finally fishes the keys out and heads for the driver’s seat, grinning boyishly as he does. “What?”
“Uncontrollably growly,” he says, enunciating the words and drawing them out. “I have been known to give in to the wolf from time to time while in bed.”
“Should I be asking Catherine about this, too?” Danny asks darkly. “Do not think I’ve forgotten how ill you made me by having dirty, athletic sex with her. Given how furiously sick I was, I’m guessing that you hot-sexed her for at least three rounds. You still owe me for that.” He slams the door shut harder than he needs to, but takes great delight in imagining it falling off its hinges.
He’s so busy picturing it that he’s caught off-guard when Steve crosses the divide of the gearshift, grabs Danny by the hair and hauls him towards the middle of the car. He’s leaning forward, his gaze lowered to stare at Danny’s lips as if contemplating exactly where he’s going to start paying back his debt to Danny. The grip in his hair tightens, and then loosens as Steve lets his hand descend and cups the nape of Danny’s neck, bringing him in for a kiss.
Danny’s not about to let this happen without escalation.
He reaches down to Steve’s belt and yanks hard, fisting his t-shirt in his hands at the same time in order to forcibly haul Steve right over the divide and practically into Danny’s lap. “Public,” Steve warns when Danny lets him have a minute to breathe.
“Fuck you,” Danny retorts, biting on Steve’s lower lip to suck it between his teeth and get back to kissing Steve until he’s done mapping out the inside of his mouth. “You only have yourself to blame,” he mumbles against Steve’s neck, slumped there as he tries to catch his breath. One hand is still slipped between Steve’s pants and his belt, the other has moved from the t-shirt to Steve’s thigh. “Fuck, you’re hot.”
“Wolves burn hot when we get worked up,” Steve replies. “Which means I’m ready to explode anytime I’m around you.”
“And you’ve killed the mood,” Danny announces, backing away with a consolation-pat to Steve’s thigh.
Steve lets out a small noise of discontent that sounds eerily like a puppy’s whine. Whatever it is, it makes Danny grin and, for a second, he forgets what they’re heading off to do.
“Okay, let’s get this over with. If we survive this day, you might even get lucky when we get home,” Danny says, and should have really expected it when Steve guns the acceleration pedal. “But not if you kill me before we get there!” he shouts above the sound of the Camaro peeling out of the prison parking lot.
Steve obeys the traffic laws on the drive to the Governor’s mansion, which is good, but not good in that he has time to cast thoughtful looks Danny’s way, like he’s strategic-op-planning his way into Danny’s pants.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” Danny sighs and prays aloud (despite his insistence on a lack of faith). “I’m not going to survive this mating process, am I?”
“Trust me, Danno,” Steve assures him in that tone he has that says he’s capable of dealing with even the strangest of things – that tone that comes out when there are cases like mermaid incursions or that terrifying pixie plague – and intends to win. “I’ll get you through. Come on, it’s bad form to keep the Governor waiting.”
He’s out of the car instantly, like he’s not the one who started all the hanky-panky in the first place at the prison. Danny has to struggle to catch up, getting his sword adjusted while he fixes his hair before they enter the fae’s nest.
Steve’s waiting for him at the door. Danny unclips the catch on his sword, just in case, and prepares himself for an encounter with the unpredictable. “The last time we saw her, she asked us to look into the murders of those girls, and I’m pretty sure the cyclone off the islands was due to her grief,” Danny says under his breath. “I’m just saying, Steve, go against your Rambo instincts, please. Tread carefully.”
“Yeah,” Steve notes distractedly, ringing the doorbell. “Sure, Danno, whatever you say.”
“You’re gonna get me killed, and that means you’re never getting that thing you want,” Danny says, choosing to advocate discretion, given the fact that they’re about to walk into a serious meeting with the highest-ranking official on the island.
The doors are drawn open by the Governor herself, whose skin is as luminescent as ever. It’s far from unearthly, but one thing fae have in common is their visible tendency to glow. Danny once cracked that you could spot a fae with ease because they were all just overgrown fireflies.
“Don’t worry, Detective Williams,” Governor Jameson assures. “You’re going to give him that thing he’s been longing for. And you should stop thinking about how he’ll injure your knee. You should know that any injuries are short-term.”
Danny’s posture goes rigid and he chalks up a couple more notches in the column of ‘can read minds’.
“Governor,” he greets her, trying to be pleasant with a woman who’s probably burrowing through his mind as they speak. “It’s a pleasure.”
“It’s business,” she corrects him, gesturing inside. “Come in, boys. I’ve got Longboards in the office and I already know what you’re going to ask. I figured I’d try and couch your disappointment with alcohol.”
Danny feels a slight nudge at the small of his back. He presses his lips together and bites back an insult directed at Steve, choosing instead to obey their little agreement and play second fiddle on this particular visit. He jabs Steve in the side as a silent ‘get moving’ and drops back to follow behind him, trying to get his mind off Steve, sex, and his knee – now that it’s been placed there as quickly as you could say ‘pink elephant’.
“I don’t like the sound of that,” Steve says bluntly as they follow her into the den. “You don’t even know what we’re here to ask.”
“You want to know about Wo Fat,” the Governor replies. “Am I wrong?”
Steve hesitates, giving Danny a clear signal to ‘help’, but Danny’s got nothing. “Yes, but...”
“I’ve never heard of that name before in my life,” she says.
The glow of her skin turns vaguely angrier, if Danny has to put a word to it. It pulses red for a moment and then returns to normal; if you’d blinked, you might never have seen it at all. Whether it means she’s lying or just pissed they even came here to ask, he has no clue. He does know that he hovers closer to Steve than he might otherwise, placing a hand on his hip to keep close.
“Steve,” Danny mumbles in warning.
It’s no use. Steve’s already decided what tactics he’s going to use. “This is a man who’s orchestrated the death of my father, attacks on your island, and now has a price on my head. Who knows, he could be out for yours, as well!”
“Are you implying that I can’t take care of myself, Commander McGarrett?” the Governor questions with a graceful arch of her brow.
“That is not...” Danny cuts in. “Steve, tell her that’s not what you meant.”
There’s terrifying silence for a moment, and Danny has to forcibly step on Steve’s toes to elicit a response before they die and Danny never gets to experience sex with Steve. His whole body is practically vibrating with tension. If they don’t get out of here soon, Danny’s going to take out his sword and cut his own head off.
“It’s not what I meant,” Steve finally says and he even sounds genuine. Danny casts a wary look in his direction and is grateful to see that he looks like he means it, too. “Governor, my life is at risk, which puts my partner’s life at risk. It means that your island isn’t as safe as it could be. You’ve never heard of Wo Fat? You have no idea who he is?”
The Governor pauses just a moment too long, brushing her thumb against her cheek compulsively as she looks away from them. That’s when Danny realizes how screwed they really are. “I’m afraid I can’t help you, gentlemen. Would you like to indulge in that beer, now?”
Danny hooks his arm in Steve’s in order to drag him in the direction of the front door, smiling politely as they go. “Actually, ma’am, if it’s fine by you, I thought maybe I’d take Steve here and get him into a private place. You know how it is,” he says with a strained smile. “Mates, and all.”
“Steve,” Danny says sharply, turning to look him dead in the eye, trying to communicate ‘if you ever want to get laid in your life, go with me’ in a single look. “We’ll come by next week with an update of the situation, right?”
“Of course you’ll be kept apprised,” Steve agrees. He has that pinched look on his face that Danny’s coined as ‘angry robot’. Danny pinches his side again to prevent him from shifting into his wolf form and taking out said anger in a decidedly more animalistic way. “Thank you for the drink offer, Governor. We’ll be seeing you soon.”
Danny hauls Steve out with him, clamping his hand forcibly over Steve’s mouth the minute that he tries to say something. He ends up having to do it three times before they get to the Camaro.
He just needs a minute to think about the fact that the Governor is lying to them. He’s been on the force for a lot of years and he’s dealt with a lot of scumbag witnesses. He knows when someone’s not telling him the full story, and he’s just seen a bag of evidence that says the same about the Governor.
Danny leans his forearms over the roof and lets his posture slump as Steve grips the door until his knuckles go white. They don’t move and neither says a thing for almost five minutes. Inevitably, it’s like a silent switch has been flicked and they look over the car to meet each other’s eyes. Danny wonders if he looks as worried and angry as Steve does, but he knows that he’s definitely leery of the whole thing.
Because if the Governor is lying to them, it means that she’s in bed with Wo Fat. It means that their best chance of a powerful ally in all of this is actually working against them.
“So,” Danny finally says, taking in a deep breath. “Are we in trouble or are we severely and truly screwed?”
“If the Governor isn’t really on our side?” Steve says, brows knit together in worry. “Danny...”
“No, whatever it is, no,” Danny cuts him off. “We’re not even going to approach worst case scenarios right now.” He runs his free hand through his hair, tugging on it slightly to try and inspire some kind of genius thought to come along. “Look, it’s mid-afternoon now. I’ll head back to headquarters and brief the team on the situation. You go let off whatever steam you’ve been keeping in, because I can practically feel it coming off you in waves. I’ll be at your place for dinner,” Danny says. “That’s a promise, Steve.”
“You’d better come by, Danny,” Steve warns as he gets into the car, his grip on the steering wheel loosening as he casts a glance to the passenger seat. It’s like all he needs is one look at Danny in order to brighten up. It’s like he’s forgotten all about the dangerous situation they’re in or the fact that there’s a maniac out there with a silver bullet intended for Steve’s heart.
One look at Danny and Steve looks like he’s the luckiest man in the world.
It’s a goddamn powerful thing. Danny knows, in that moment, that today’s going to be a game-changer. Even if nothing happens later on, the events of the morning at the office in combination with the visits have exhausted him. Danny spends the whole drive going through a dozen possible scenarios in his head.
All of them, each and every single one, are better than his knowledge that tomorrow morning – when all the denial is shaken off and he can’t ignore the threat anymore – is going to be the harshest light of day he’s ever seen.
Danny’s had a key to Steve’s house practically since the day they met. Now that he knows Steve mated with him immediately, maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising that Steve began trusting him with his possessions from the very start.
Despite having the key, Danny hasn’t taken it as an invitation to make Steve’s home into his own. After the day they’ve had, though, Danny doesn’t want to be anywhere else. There’s a price on Steve’s head, Sang Min is as frustrating as ever, and the Governor won’t help them. It’s just another day in Oahu.
As promised, Danny heads to Steve’s place, grateful that he’s not about to spend the night alone in his apartment, mired in a thousand unsavory thoughts. Steve had called to say he was out at Diamond Head for a long run, but should be back soon. If nothing else, Danny’s finally following through on his promise to get to the ‘eventually’ they keep circling.
At first, he just sits in the living room. He paces the floor and studies Steve’s old family pictures on the mantle, brushing his fingers over the frayed edges. Even the best of care hasn’t preserved them entirely. Danny can’t help his bemused snort at what Mary used to look like back in the late 1800’s. He’s definitely not going to let her live that down anytime soon. The lack of pictures of Steve makes him wonder how many pictures from the olden days are hidden away in boxes.
Danny’s got his own portraits from the early days of his new life, but has yet to share them with any of Five-0.
He thinks that he might need to haul out the oldest portrait of him as a young boy at some point soon, if he and Steve are really going to end up together for the long haul. There aren’t many because his family had a large number of children and while they were well-to-do, they couldn’t afford many sittings.
Rachel had paid for more after Danny ‘died’, but they’re tucked away safely. Danny tries to keep his past behind him as much as possible. It keeps him securely locked in the present and ensures that he doesn’t obsess over his former actions.
He sets down the picture and lets his fingers drift over the wood of the mantelpiece until they arrive at a glass jar with a distinctively familiar item inside. It’s a silver bullet. It doesn’t take Danny’s deductive skills to understand exactly what it is and it breaks his heart the minute he realizes. It’s the silver bullet – the one that Hesse used to kill John McGarrett.
Here it is on the mantelpiece, like some morbid sort of souvenir.
Danny palms the jar in his hand and tips it upwards so that the bullet catches the fading light from the west-facing windows. He wants to pitch the thing into the ocean and pray that it stops haunting Steve, but he knows it doesn’t work like that. Steve probably finds a kind of comfort in having it close-by.
His grip on it tightens when he hears the front door being unlocked. He doesn’t put it down, but turns to anticipate Steve’s return.
“Danny?” Steve calls out. “I saw your car in the driveway, are you...” He stops in the doorway of the living room. “...here? Danno, what are you doing with that?” he asks, an edge of panic lurking in his voice. With those long legs of his, it doesn’t take him more than four steps to cross the room and snatch the jar from Danny, setting it back on the mantle with careful fingers, twisting it until it’s facing some supposed ‘right’ way.
Danny raises his brows, giving Steve a dubious look. “Is this just your Dad-specific OCD or have you been hiding more crazy in the basement?”
“Danny, everything in this house belongs to you,” Steve says heatedly. “Even if you didn’t know it, I made that call the day I took you as mine, but not that,” he growls. “Not that, not ever that.”
“Technically, I could arrest you for stealing evidence, Steve,” Danny replies mildly, trying to ignore the fact that Steve looks like he’s about to pounce on Danny and tear his throat out if he doesn’t agree. “This belongs in the cage with the rest.”
“So arrest me,” Steve says. “Get your cuffs out, slap them on my wrists, and haul me off.”
Danny bites his lower lip, aware that it’s probably a little worrisome that he finds that image as hot as he does. He shifts, one hand hauling up the waistband of his trousers to try and conceal the fact that Steve’s got him to half-mast with a mental image alone, then realizes that Steve isn’t that far behind.
Danny puts the jar out of mind, taking it out of sight by grabbing Steve’s hips and forcibly putting his body between Danny and the bullet. There are so many issues to talk about, but Danny wants to shove them aside for one night. He’s done his due diligence and warned the team about Jameson possibly being on the take. They’ll pick up the case again in the morning, but until then, Danny thinks it’s time for something he knows they both want.
“You know that thing we keep putting off?” Danny murmurs, letting his gaze drift slowly over Steve’s body, taking in the increased breathing pattern, the flush over his cheeks, the way the hairs on his arms are standing up on end. “I think maybe it’s time we face it.” He’s looked into this as much as he could, but it turns out that outside of a couple really sleazy romance novels, there’s not much talk about immortal men building a relationship with an alpha wolf.
It’s almost funny how Steve manages to subvert the world’s expectations one crazy way at a time – or it would be if it didn’t scare Danny with how that brings insanity to his doorstep.
He licks his lower lip, sucking it between his teeth as his gaze drifts to the hem of Steve’s shirt. He thinks about the variety of tattoos hidden just behind the cloth and how Danny is absolutely free to explore each and every one of them. If he wanted to bruise that tramp stamp with purpling hickey marks, he absolutely could.
Danny’s almost embarrassed to say that it’s that thought that pushes him from interested to straining at the seams of his pants. He swallows hard, and that singular action pulls Steve’s attention down to his Adam’s apple. “What?” Danny murmurs. “What is it?” he asks again, when Steve’s expression goes glazed.
“You have no idea how badly I want to mark your skin,” Steve growls, running his arms down Danny’s biceps and gripping tightly enough that pleasure is pretty far out of sight as pain signals are the only ones broadcasting.
Wolves are known to have a fair amount of strength and Steve’s is on display when he lifts Danny off the floor with nothing but a grip on his biceps and practically throws him down onto the couch. He straddles Danny in a hurry, bending his head in a way that brings to mind dogs howling at the moon.
“Oh my god,” Danny says, realizing a moment too late what Steve is actually doing with his head bent low over Danny’s neck. “You’re scenting me.”
“You smell so good, I can’t help it,” Steve says. “Please, Danny, just let me,” he begs, tugging at the collar of Danny’s shirt with his teeth to pull it aside, pressing a tongue-heavy kiss to his collarbone before sliding the tip of his nose along the bone and sniffing his way to Danny’s shoulder. “Please,” he breathes out, each word adding a soft puff of breath to Danny’s neck. “Please,” he begs again, hips moving in a graceful thrust that makes it seem like Steve’s whole body is fluid -- how is he even doing that? “Danny, just let me smell you, god, you have no idea how good you smell.”
“You’re starting to freak me out,” Danny says warily, shifting as he tries to find a comfortable spot on this couch, which isn’t looking possible anytime soon. “I know you own a bed. Get me up, c’mon, I’ve been alive over four hundred years and this is, by far, the most uncomfortable thing I’ve been on.”
“Do you ever shut up, Danno?” Steve asks, eyes widening in vague alarm as if he’s concerned that such a thing isn’t possible.
“Rachel says that sex defaults my settings and turns me off. Wanna find out if she’s right?” Danny says with a smirk. It’s dirty play, bringing up an ex to a possessive werewolf, but it does the trick in getting off the couch. Steve slides a hand up Danny’s back, hauling him half-vertical and then tucking Danny’s legs around his waist as he carries him upstairs. “Whoa, hey! When was the memo sent out about me not having use of my legs, huh? Huh!”
“Danno!” Steve laughs in fond exasperation, pausing on the third step from the top in order to level him with a look of disbelief. “Shut up before I make you.”
Danny locks his ankles around the small of Steve’s back, tipping his head to one side and searching for that elusive spot on McGarrett’s neck that makes him sigh in ecstasy. When Danny thinks he’s found it, he digs his blunt nail in against the area and scratches. He keeps scratching until he’s got his hands buried in Steve’s hair, scratching and soothing him like a cherished pet.
Steve’s lids flutter, and while he keeps trying to get them to the bedroom, he falters every other step when Danny’s fingers burrow deeper into Steve’s thick hair.
“If you make,” Steve mumbles, his voice lazy, “a single ‘good dog’ comment, I’m going to throw you down the stairs, just because I can.”
“Abuse,” Danny sighs. “Abuse and domestic violence, I should have known this was a volatile home.”
Steve doesn’t follow through on his threat. Instead, he tightens his grip on Danny and continues to tote him up the stairs, taking him straight to the master bedroom. Danny’s not blind enough to think that things will remain the same past tonight. If he wanted, if he asked, he could stay here for the rest of his very long life and Steve would actively let him – more than that, he’d want it.
They stumble into the bedroom in a hurry when Steve’s steps falter, like suddenly he’s forgotten that he’s walking on two legs instead of four. He grabs Danny by the waist, shoving him onto the bed when he bends them over and gets close enough that it’s not far to fall.
Danny takes in deep breaths, fingers fumbling to get his tie loose.
“Stop,” Steve orders. “Don’t even think about it.”
“Yeah? You want to do this?”
“I’ve been thinking about destroying your ties for months, you’re not taking away that away from me,” Steve warns, crawling atop Danny on all fours. He seems at home in the stance, like his baser urges are bringing him back to the wolf inside. He doesn’t stop until he’s looming over Danny, his knee pressed between the small space of Danny’s parted thighs. “I’m gonna take it off, I’m gonna rip that shirt off you, I’m going to tie you to the bed with that belt, and when you’re finally stripped naked for me, I’m going to make it so tomorrow morning, you won’t be able to sit.”
Danny exhales shakily, trying to get out an irreverent laugh.
Turns out, he’s not capable of doing much. His brain is shorting out at the thought of Steve fucking him until he’s screaming for mercy. Danny’s fingers are itching to touch now that Steve’s forbid him from helping. Now that he’s been expressly told no, his body is screaming yes and it’s a challenge not to disobey Steve.
In the end, he does anyway.
While Steve is busy stripping off his t-shirt, Danny takes the opportunity to loosen the knot of his tie, getting two of the buttons on his shirt unfastened before Steve catches onto his movements. In a flash, he’s on Danny, pinning his wrists above his head and leaning right into his personal space, upper lip curled in anger and something akin to disappointment.
“You’re not listening, Danny,” Steve says, giving Danny a look that is, no joke, making his hard-on go from pesky to absolutely fucking painful. Steve’s practically searing him with his eyes alone. “I told you not to do that.”
Danny shivers. His shirt falls open, revealing the barest hint of his scar, which takes Steve’s attention off of him and places it dead on the puckered and pink mark on his chest. Rachel’s always treated it reverently because it’s a symbol of the bridge between Danny’s first life and this one.
Steve stares at it like it’s going to come to life and bite him on the damn nose.
“It’s just a scar, Steven,” Danny says as he shifts upwards, only to be forced flat on his back by Steve’s grip on his wrists. Danny’s left trying to give Steve a significant look to get him back on task. “Steve,” he says again. “Steve! I’m aware you bitch and you bitch about this every day and this is the first and only time I’m agreeing with you, but will you get these clothes off me before I change my mind?”
“You won’t do that,” Steve says with an air of confidence.
“No? Why not?” Danny challenges. “Because I am so close, Steve, so close.”
“You won’t because you love me and you want this as badly as I do,” Steve says, sliding his fingers slowly down Danny’s arms. The calloused fingertips leave goosebumps in their wake as Steve gets his hands on Danny’s collar.
He tugs, once, before burying his fingers in the knot of Danny’s tie, loosening it. Steve eases back and wraps a hand around the material, using the tie to yank Danny into a sitting position at the same time as Steve settles into a straddle of Danny’s hips in a hurry. The sudden friction of Steve’s thighs against Danny’s coaxes a guttural sound from Danny’s throat. He can’t even begin to imagine how badly he’ll react when there aren’t several layers of clothing between them.
“Steve,” Danny gasps out breathlessly, watching how Steve doesn’t really know where to look. His eyes are everywhere, scanning everything from the way Danny’s chest heaves with breath to the flush in his cheeks, seeing as Danny feels like he’s at about a hundred degrees without trying. “Come on. I’m letting you have control here, but I can just as quickly take it back...”
Steve just grins, gripping Danny’s tie firmly as he lets his other hand descend and grab at Danny’s waist. Just when Danny’s opening his mouth to protest again, Steve takes the opportunity to swoop in and kiss him.
Each kiss is aggressive, like he’s trying to push Danny away by lips alone, but for every outward force, he balances it by pulling him back by the tie. Every time Danny gets an inch too far for Steve’s liking, the tie gets yanked and Danny’s jerked forward into a deeper kiss.
“Ste...” Danny can’t even get the word out before he’s being silenced by Steve’s lips. There are going to be bruise marks all over his neck and swelling around his lips, but all his protests fall away when he chooses instead to let the give and take lull him into a good rhythm. When Steve starts kissing too hard and Danny starts falling back towards the bed, Steve’s hand on his waist slides roughly up his body until it’s buried in his hair, gripping tight and pulling him closer.
Danny doesn’t know how long they stay like this, but it’s, in turns, too fucking long and not even remotely close to long enough.
It’s been half an hour since they got to this point and Danny still hasn’t managed to get rid of a single piece of clothing. He lets loose a frustrating groan and grabs Steve by the hem of his khakis.
“Do you want to fuck me or what?” Danny demands sharply. “I like the foreplay, I really do, but right now, I just want to get you in me already.” He slips his fingers lower until they’re brushing against the edge of Steve’s boxers, a devious smirk on his face. “Or I could just decide to do it. You wouldn’t say no. Could you, even?”
Danny shoves his hand lower, splaying his fingers out and cupping Steve’s erection. He doesn’t apply too much pressure, teasing and doing barely more than squeezing.
“Could you say no to me? If it really mattered, if I really wanted something, would you ever really say no?” Danny murmurs the words against Steve’s neck, lips pressed against Steve’s overly hot skin, coated by a thin sheen of sweat. Danny nips at the skin in between words, his other hand groping at Steve’s ass to haul him closer. One rock of his hips and there’s instant friction that makes his vision go temporarily blurred before he focuses on a spot on Steve’s neck, a small freckle that he wants to mark.
Steve’s trying to get it together, but all he musters is a, “Please, Danny.”
“You couldn’t,” Danny says triumphantly, tipping his head to the side to run his tongue over the freckle, shifting to press a slow kiss to that place. “You couldn’t say no to me.”
“No,” Steve agrees, eagerly. “No, Danny, no, I couldn’t. Wouldn’t.” He sounds like he’d say just about anything if it meant that Danny would keep his hand down Steve’s pants and start touching him instead of just teasing.
He knows that Steve will flip them over soon enough. Soon, Danny’s going to lose whatever upper hand he has, so he has to work fast. He yanks the tie off and flicks it across the room, untucking his shirt from the pants.
Steve’s licking his lips the whole time, bending his head in order to press a reverent kiss to Danny’s heart and the scar formed around the skin.
It’s the only permanent mark Danny’s worn all these years.
Steve’s gentle with it, taking his time as he flexes his shoulders back, hands scrambling to get Danny’s pants off while he presses kisses down his chest. It reeks of impatience, but Danny’s not exactly eager to sit around and chit-chat all day. He’d rather get right down to it.
He reaches up, grabs Steve’s jaw and holds him where he can get at him, kissing him possessively. “Mine,” Danny gets out in a guttural tone. He pulls his hand out of Steve’s pants and grabs at his waist, taking in sharp breaths as he fixes his gaze between them. “Steve, pants off, get your goddamn pants off or shift and rip ‘em, for all I care, but if you’re not prepping me, fucking me, and making me beg for more in the next ten minutes, you’re fired.”
“I thought I was the boss, Danny,” Steve mocks in turn, a smirk on his lips.
“You wish you were. You think it, but Kono, Chin, and I know better,” Danny says, watching the way that Steve’s back arcs so fucking beautifully as he reaches for the lube, his tattoos stretching with every pull of muscle. Danny feels a bit dry in the mouth and he’s only watching.
Steve seems to take Danny’s challenge to heart. The lackadaisical pace is gone. Steve’s got a hold of Danny’s hips and forcibly turns him. Before Danny can ask what Steve’s doing, he’s got Danny pressed flush against the bed with a knee between Danny’s parted thighs and a hand on the small of his back as he aligns their bodies and slips in. Danny gasps sharply as his body grows accustomed to something he hasn’t done in decades.
Danny’s been through this enough times to know what to do.
It’s all the same until suddenly it’s not, when Steve begins to press slow kisses down Danny’s back, murmuring a reverent, ‘you feel me, Danny? Huh? You feel that? You’re fucking mine,’ in a possessive growl, more animal than human. Then it’s everything Danny’s spent the last four hundred years trying to achieve and only getting there with Rachel every other decade.
He stops thinking, his ability to speak cuts out. He stops everything but the frantic push back against every one of Steve’s thrusts, letting out whatever damn sound wants to get past his lips. It’s just sex, but it’s Steve, it’s his mate, it’s the man he’s going to spend the rest of forever with and fuck, but that ought to sound sappy, but right now with Steve’s dick in his ass, it’s working to make Danny feel like any minute, he’ll see stars.
“You’re next,” Danny gets out, his words choked. When he finally finds speech, this is what comes out. “You are so next, you’re, you’re, fuck, Steve, I’m gonna screw you into this goddamn mattress until you’re begging for more,” Danny gets out, fisting full handfuls of the sheets in his palms and forcing the tenseness from his limbs, getting to a place of sheer, relaxed bliss for the first time in years.
Words abandon him when Steve pushes as deep as he can and just stays there, like the goddamn asshole he is. Danny musters out a choked cry, spitting Steve’s name out angrily, pressing his forehead against the sheets and deciding that Steve doesn’t get to have full control anymore if he’s just going to fuck Danny and not give a single thought of concern to Danny’s dick in all of this.
Danny releases the sheets with a soft moan, wrapping his hand around his dick and imagining it’s Steve’s hand, that Steve isn’t just grabbing him by the hips, but that it’s him jerking Danny off. He must get that into words or Steve isn’t telling him something about their connection, because it’s only seconds after Danny so much as thinks that and Steve’s suddenly got his hand over Danny’s, slotting their fingers together as he leans forward to help bring Danny off.
“Danny,” Steve ekes out, a desperate plea. “God, Danny,” he whimpers, pressing kisses down his neck in sloppy haste. “I can’t...”
“So don’t,” Danny cuts him off heavily. He doesn’t care whether it’s ‘can’t do this’ or ‘can’t hold on’. Whatever it is, Danny doesn’t care, he wants Steve to do it. “Steven, fuck,” Danny moans, pressing his lips together and breathing out heavily as Steve thrusts deep, rubs his calloused thumb torturously slow over the head of his dick, and then bites on Danny’s earlobe before whispering, ‘you’re all mine, Danny. I’ll kill anyone who thinks otherwise’.
One by one, Danny might have been able to stand each of those things.
Together? Well, he’s screwed.
He’s coming before he even realizes what he’s doing. Steve doesn’t move his hand. He doesn’t pull out. He just stays deep in Danny and he can feel Steve’s smile pressed up against his shoulder blade.
“What?” Danny mumbles. “What’s that for?”
Steve thrusts, his other hand still clasping Danny’s hip possessively tight. “You’re mine, now,” he says smugly, with sharp little thrusts, pushing Danny’s sanity right to the edge until he comes, moments later, and slumps over Danny’s back, flush against his naked body. “Anyone will smell me on you.”
“Everyone already does,” Danny grumbles, but he doesn’t move an inch. “Steve, you’re fucking heavy.”
Steve crooks his fingers – nothing more than a twitch – but they stroke along Danny’s limp dick and suddenly it’s taking interest again.
“Oh, fuck, no,” Danny complains with a sharp whine. “You’re the kind of guy who doesn’t believe in recuperation time, aren’t you?”
“You know me best, babe,” Steve’s smug tone is back and Danny hates it as much as he ever has. Steve’s fingers twitch and Danny’s hips snap forward. Vaguely, he recalls Catherine hinting at this, at the shortened refractory period (and Danny hadn’t believed her, idiot that he is). “I’m not even remotely done with you.”
Danny gets a first-hand opportunity of finding out how true that is.
Steve doesn’t give him a chance to breathe. If he’s not jerking him off, then he’s flipping Danny over and introducing him to the knowledge of how talented that tongue of Steve’s is (which isn’t one of those facts you ever really forget). And when Danny thinks they’re done, he gets Steve’s fingers massaging at his back, chin pressed to the inward curve of his spine. Danny isn’t sure if he’s slipped into a sex-coma, but he’s pretty sure he hears Steve give a thoughtful noise.
“What?” Danny asks warily.
“I was just thinking about your lips wrapped around my dick,” Steve admits, and well, fuck, but that sets them off again.
Danny’s in charge, now, not about to be outdone. He grips Steve by the shoulders, pushing him down into the bed, intending and capable of giving just as good as he’d got earlier in the evening. It feels like hours have passed by the time Danny’s through marking Steve’s skin with kisses, bites, and the hard press of his fingers.
With one last kiss to Steve’s lips – a lingering, desperate thing – Danny slumps to the side, and runs a hand through his sex-mussed and likely ridiculous hair, not bothering expending energy on something like keeping his eyes open. “I’m going to sleep, now,” Danny mumbles, shifting and groping his way to get a hold of Steve’s hip, pulling him flush against Danny’s body. “We can do the cleaning thing in the morning. And maybe some more of the sex thing.”
“The sex thing,” Steve echoes, sounding way too awake considering what they’ve just done. “Is that what we just did, the sex thing?” Danny hears the sound of rustling sheets and suddenly he’s being maneuvered into Steve’s space, his temple pressed against Steve’s heart. Danny smiles lazily at the steady rhythm beneath his ear, the best lullaby he could ever conceive.
“Fuck you,” Danny says.
“You did. Twice.”
“Yeah, and I’ll fuck you again if you’re good. Go to sleep, Steven,” Danny says with heavy protest. Finally, the adjusting stops and Steve settles.
It almost seems like Danny’s going to get some extremely good post-sex sleep out of this. The last time he’d had sex this good, he’d slept twelve hours straight and had only woken up when Rachel had dumped a bucket of cold water on his head, informing him that the sex hadn’t been that good (they’d agreed to disagree).
Danny’s dreams of sleeping blissfully through the night are crushed when reality comes crashing through the door and said reality is in cahoots with an insane maniac like Steve.
He’s woken by a familiar and frustrating sound.
Danny is sore in all the right places and some of the wrong ones, his muscles screaming from the kind of workout he hasn’t indulged in for a long while. He grimaces and flops over until he’s on his stomach in Steve’s bed, face buried in the pillow, inhaling the familiar scent of Steve on the linens.
The sound isn’t going away. It’s hard to miss, what with it being a wolf’s howl at the moon.
Danny mutters to himself as he reaches to the floor to pick up a pair of strewn boxers. It’s too dark to tell whether they’re his or Steve’s, but it’s not like it matters. He doesn’t intend to be up for very long. He squints, checking the sky to see how full the moon is, and when it’s only half-waxing, he wants to shout at McGarrett even more.
“Hey!” Danny shouts out the bedroom window.
Abruptly, the howling stops. The wolf turns and cranes its snout up towards the source of noise, tail beginning to wag happily at the sight of Danny. A quick glance to the clock behind him tells him that it’s four-fifteen and Steve is bound to have some very pissed neighbors, at this rate.
“Get your ass back to bed,” Danny insists tiredly, pinching the bridge of his nose and wondering what it is he’s got himself into. “It’s way too early in the morning and you’re waking everyone up.”
The wolf settles into a sit, perfectly rested back on its haunches, but Steve doesn’t move.
In fact, he looks like he’s trying to invite Danny outside with him. The sun should be rising any minute, now, but Danny’s not the kind of idiot who goes for swims at dawn, like his erstwhile mate has a habit of doing. Danny pushes the curtains back a little more and leans his bare torso out the window. “I’m going back to bed,” he informs Steve. “If you come up now, you can curl up with me and cuddle for a while. And if you do, I might just be inclined to reward you for it when a decent hour of the morning gets here.”
Steve rises to all fours and starts to lope in the direction of the house. Danny listens carefully as the sound of four feet on the stairs turn into two and he gets comfortable in bed, waiting for Steve to get back.
It doesn’t take much longer and then he’s being rewarded with Steve at the bedroom door, naked as the day he was born.
Danny grins and gestures to all the empty space in the bed. “We have a lot of work to do in the morning. Are you telling me you’d rather spend all that time outside like a maniac instead of here in the nice warm bed, beside me?” Danny pats the bed twice. “Get in here and be the little spoon, already.”
“I have so many protests, but I’m going to demonstrate how much I love you,” Steve says calmly, using his hands to gesture between him and Danny as he closes the space, “and I’m not going to say anything at all.”
He curls up against Danny, shifting his ass against Danny’s hips in a deliberately taunting way. “You love me, huh?” Danny asks, with a smug smirk on his lips.
“Fuck you, Daniel,” Steve sleepily mumbles.
“We’ve already covered that. We’ll get to it in the morning.” Danny thinks about the schedule for the day and amends that to, “Maybe a quickie.” He punches Steve in the thigh and then grabs at his hips to forcibly reposition Steve into something more comfortable. “Sleep, you overgrown wolf-pup,” he says, giving in to the exhaustion that’s been trying to claim him since he was rudely awoken by the howling.
The only reply he gets from Steve is a loud snore.
Steve wakes to the pale dawn light spilling into his bedroom, casting lines all over Danny’s body. His smile is instant and stupid as he takes in a deep breath. For the first time in months, he feels settled by what he smells. Danny has Steve’s scent all over him and it’s intoxicating and refreshing all at once.
He could lie here in bed all day, sniffing Danny from head to toe and re-marking him with Steve’s scent.
Steve intends to do that, too, but his cell starts ringing and he’s suddenly a tornado of naked activity trying to get to it before it wakes Danny up. He manages to grab a pair of shorts in the process, curling the phone and holding it between neck and shoulder.
“Mary, what have I told you about time zones?” he hisses, pulling up the waist of the shorts, trying not to disturb Danny in the process. Thank god he’s a deep sleeper (though at the same time, tactically, Danny’s at a disadvantage and Steve will have to make contingency plans for that). “It’s six in the morning.”
“Well, it’s not, here,” is her infuriating reply. “Happy anniversary.”
“What?” Steve asks, lost.
“You. Me. The day you turned me into a monster controlled by the full moon? It’s that day again. I called to say happy anniversary,” she goes on. She’s done this every year since they split apart and Steve’s hated it more with every passing time. In the beginning, she did it out of anger and cruelty. It was a way to punish Steve when she knew she couldn’t change their circumstances and had two options – she could live with it or she could take a silver knife to her throat and end it all.
Mary’s always been too stubborn to just give up.
Over the years, these phone calls have become somewhat more affectionate. With their father gone, they’re all the family either of them has and Steve knows that Mary isn’t stupid enough to throw that away so carelessly. “So, I was thinking that I’d fly over today and we could spend the weekend hanging out and talking about old times. You can even take me to dinner to the place that does steaks really rare.”
Steve glances over his shoulder to where Danny is slumbering peacefully, having stolen Steve’s pillow in order to bury his face. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, Mare.”
“What?” she replies with sharp shock. “We always do this.”
“Mary, we’re investigating someone connected to Dad’s murder. It’s safest if you stay off the islands,” he says, which is the truth, but not the whole truth. Steve has a bad feeling that Mary’s going to see right through him.
There’s a long silence on the phone.
“Steven,” she says evenly.
“What’s at the house that you don’t want me to see?”
It’s at that very moment that Danny starts to rouse. It’s nothing more than the sheets rustling and a soft sigh, but Mary’s got enhanced hearing the same as Steve does and he’s not far enough away that she won’t pick up on those sounds. Steve screws his eyes shut tightly and waits for it.
“Oh my god,” Mary announces with glee. “Someone’s there with you! You have someone at the house, Steve, you’re finally getting laid again? It’s been ages since Cath and her ‘oh god’ this and her ‘that’s right, fuck me, Steve’ that. So! Who is it? Is it Kono? What about that cute guy from fingerprints?”
“Wha...?” Danny mumbles, barely coherent.
Steve covers the mouth of the phone (as if that’ll do any good). “Nothing, go back to bed, babe.” He turns away from Danny and takes a deep breath, readying himself for the onslaught that can only come from little sisters. “Go on,” he encourages. “Let me have it now instead of later. I do have to work at some point today.”
“Immortal Danny?” she clarifies.
“No, Mare, mechanic Danny from the garage. I randomly decided to hook up with him because of the way he greases my axles,” Steve replies instantly, blaming some of the sarcasm on Danny’s influence – and wishing that thought didn’t make him grin like a loon.
He expects her to instantly come back with something sharp, but instead Steve’s greeted with silence.
“...I thought I smelled him on you, but I thought it was just the proximity of working with him every day,” Mary finally speaks, disrupting that awful crackle of silence on the phone. “You mated with him, didn’t you? That’s why I could smell you on him and him on you so strongly. Ew, Steve,” she protests. He can practically see her wrinkling her nose, even though she’s hundreds of miles away. “Is that why I’ve been having weird maternal desires when I think about him? I thought I was broken, you could have told me.”
“He didn’t actually know,” Steve says. Or, well, he mumbles it underneath his breath.
Mary pauses on the line. “Sorry, what was that? I lost my idiot-to-English dictionary. Did you just mumble that he didn’t know?” she says incredulously.
“I did it accidentally, I was trying to let it...just go away.”
“Oh my god, you are such an idiot,” Mary says. “How am I even related to you?”
“Honestly, after two hundred years and you making a point not to live even remotely close to me...” Steve doesn’t mean to sound so bitter, but it’s hard not to, especially when the issue of family comes up. They’ve both lost Dad and he never asked to be so distant with his sister. At the same time, it’s not like he can blame her.
He’s the one who dragged her forcibly into this mess, after all.
Steve runs a palm over his face as he tries to regain some kind of control of the situation. “Mary, I’ll take you out when I come to the mainland. Maybe when this is all over, I’ll bring Danny with me and we can all sit down and talk now that everything’s out in the open.” Steve tries to play down how much he wants to do that. He might be the alpha of his pack, but it’s a small one and he feels like Mary’s drifting from him by the day.
If he can just get her back, if he can undo the distance they’ve put between them over the last century, maybe they can make headway in attempting to be a closer-knit family in the decades to come.
The silence on the line is practically accusatory and Steve knows that if she were there, she’d be leveling that ‘you’re an asshole’ look in his direction.
“Mary,” Steve says. He’s half a step away from pleading, and he’ll do it. He’ll do anything to keep her safe.
“You’re the last family I’ve got,” she says with heavy frustration weighing down her words. “You’re it, Steve. And you want me to, what, sit here on the mainland on my hands and not do anything?”
He bites his tongue because that’s exactly what he wants her to do.
“God, you’re so frustrating,” she barks at him. “If you die...if you get silver in you like Dad did, I’m never going to forgive you. I’m not ready to be this family’s alpha,” she says and Steve can’t take it anymore.
“You think I was?” he snaps. “I don’t know how to do this Mary, I don’t...” He trails off when he realizes that he’s woken Danny up. He’s sitting up in the bed, his hair tousled, his eyes lazy with sleep, and looking like the very best thing in the world. Steve’s tempted to hang up, throw the phone as far as he can, and pounce on Danny before another second passes.
In the end, he knows that if he does that, Mary will just call back. She’ll keep calling until Steve picks up and the thought of going down on Danny while his sister leaves messages on his machine doesn’t set the most romantic of moods.
Steve settles for pressing the phone in the crook between neck and shoulder, crawling back into bed with Danny and sitting with his back pressed to the headboard, grabbing Danny with a hand cupped around his neck to bring him closer. He drops an absent kiss to his forehead before turning his attention back to Mary. “I’m serious about the danger, though,” Steve says. “Stay where you are. I’ll contact you with time and place coordinates when everything is safe.”
He hangs up before she can get a word in edgewise (because she always does) and turns to find Danny looking at him incredulously.
“What?” Steve protests.
“Time and place coordinates?” Danny echoes. His forehead pinches in a really sexy way and Steve wonders if he should be worried that he finds Danny’s hypothetical-future-wrinkles sexy. “That was your sister? How the hell did you talk to your father? Did you tell him you loved him in morse code? Oh god, I can’t believe this is the kind of emotional regression I married into.”
Steve experiences a heady frisson of delight and doesn’t bother to hide his smile, aware that he probably looks like a stupid idiot. “I didn’t propose.”
“You didn’t have to, you did the next worst thing,” Danny grumbles, sitting up and grabbing a pillow to smack Steve in the face with it. “You mated with me for life. I’d better get something out of this.”
Steve opens his mouth to reply.
“If you say the sex is what I’m getting out of it, I’m going to cuff you with silver,” Danny warns, cutting him off before Steve can say something exactly along those lines. Danny shifts, sprawling out on the bed and giving Steve a close-up of the way Danny’s muscles move in the most amazing ways. “Steve, we have to get to work,” Danny says, nudging a crooked finger under Steve’s chin to get his attention.
“Hm?” Steve mumbles.
“You’re making ‘do me’ eyes, but we need to get to work, they’re waiting for us.”
“Just one more, Danny,” Steve insists, grabbing hold of his hips and pinning him to the bed. He kicks at the phone with his foot, pushing it off the bed before covering Danny’s body with his own, threading the tips of his fingers into Danny’s hair and kissing him as deeply as possible, the best convincer he’s ever used. “One more,” he murmurs. “One more, babe, c’mon, just one.”
“Fine, but when we’re late and I have sex hair, you’re glaring for me,” Danny sighs, poking a finger right in Steve’s face.
Steve, still with no patience for that kind of behavior, grabs Danny’s wrist and shoves his whole hand down between their bodies. Fifteen minutes later, neither of them are dressed, Danny’s hair is somehow standing straight up, and Steve thinks he can’t move his left leg.
“Danny,” Steve says. They’re lying shoulder-to-shoulder, staring up at the ceiling, and Steve’s convinced that he’s never been more in love than he is at this very moment. “You’re incredible.”
“And you’re insane,” Danny replies, hand splayed over his stomach. “Steve?”
“Don’t you go anywhere on me,” Danny says.
Steve wishes he could promise, but with Wo Fat out there gunning for the whole McGarrett pack, it’s not a guarantee – and he knows Danny would die trying to protect him. He’ll feel better when the threat is buried, but for now, he needs to remember that it’s not all bad. This, right here, is the best reminder of all.
Steve walks into the office to find Danny standing there wielding a sword in each hand, wearing a belt that has at least three centuries’ worth of knives on display, and wearing an expression that says that all the calming Steve did last night has worn off. “This is why you wanted to drive in separately?” Steve asks in disbelief. “Danny, if you wanted to roleplay as Rambo, you could’ve just told me.”
“Very funny,” Danny dryly responds. “Get downstairs. Now.”
Steve blames his instant abeyance to the fact that Danny earned a lot of brownie points the night before and he’s more than willing to do whatever he says – mostly because Steve thinks he can earn himself a repeat.
Steve follows Danny closely down the stairs, still wary about what they’re doing.
Wariness turns to abject anger when Danny turns and offers the hilt of his sword out to Steve, only for him to find out that it’s been forged in silver. His hand burns audibly before he yanks it away, letting the sword clatter to the concrete floor.
“Danny, what the hell?” he hisses.
“Look, Steve, I realize that in your wolf-brain, the sex might have pushed everything else to the backburner, but I’ve been alive long enough to prioritize these kinds of things,” Danny clarifies. “Someone out there is trying to kill you, and I realize you’ve been a Navy SEAL and have been defending your life against all manner of human threats, but Wo Fat isn’t human.”
“Danny, I get that my life is in danger,” Steve gets out through gritted teeth.
“We’re going to spar today and every day going forward,” Danny says, crouching to pick up the dropped sword. “I’m going to remind you what it’s like to fight supernatural scumbags left, right, and center. You’re going to build up a tolerance to silver—”
“Danny, it doesn’t work like that…”
“Hey!” Danny snaps. “We don’t know that, so we’re going to try,” he insists. He still sounds fairly heated, but Steve’s been reading Danny’s small tics for a long time now. This is as patient as Danny’s ever going to get.
Steve senses that he’s going to need to appeal to reason. “Okay, listen, Danny,” he says as he watches Danny start to unearth weapons from the cupboards. “Think of this in the other direction. Danny, what if – what if Wo Fat comes after me and I’m weakened by this?”
Danny falters. It doesn’t last longer than a brief moment, but Steve’s paying attention. He sees and seizes.
“Danny, I know you’re worried.”
“You know, huh?” Danny echoes, sounding slightly hollow. “Steve, I didn’t force a mating bond between us. Even if you hadn’t, if you died, I would probably try convincing a siren to put me in a haze. You’re important to me, okay?”
Steve stays quiet, brushing his brow with an idle scratch of his thumb as he tries to find the words to tell Danny that he knows, that Danny is important too, and that he’d never actively choose death when life with Danny Williams is an option.
“I think you’re on the right track with this idea, Danny,” Steve says.
“God, I can hear the ‘but’ coming from miles away,” Danny interrupts, a wry smile on his face. “But…?”
“But we do it hand to hand or wolf to sword. We don’t waste our time testing out old wives’ tales.”
There’s no knee-jerk reaction, giving Steve a sense of relief that Danny’s actually taking this seriously. He counts to ten and there’s still no angry retort. Steve might actually have won this argument. Finally, when Danny doesn’t seem to have a reply, Steve pushes forward, reaching back to pinch his polo shirt and yank it off in one fell swoop.
“Whoa,” Danny protests – as expected. “Steve, we’re not having--”
Steve rolls his eyes, shucks off his pants, and shifts to his wolf form.
“—sex. Right, you were shifting, obviously. Ignore me.”
In this form, Steve’s senses go into overdrive, but he never remembers the exact smell, taste, or sound of anything when he goes back to being human. They linger, of course they do, but it’s a hazy memory – like trying to piece together the night before when you’ve woken up after an evening of heavy drinking. Danny smells incredible, and that’s heady enough to make Steve feel like he’s incapacitated with the most blissful of drugs. He reminds himself that they’re training and digs his front paws into the floor, baring his teeth and letting loose a threatening growl.
It really would help if Danny didn’t laugh at him.
Steve barks in disapproval, prowling forward in order to circle Danny.
“Sorry, babe,” Danny gets out through a huff of laughter. “I know you’re the big, bad wolf, but you spend half your time curled up on my feet. Your tail twitches when I rub your belly with my foot. To me, you’re not dangerous. That said, I know you’re the animal that tends to rip birds’ heads off in the neighborhood, so congratulations on keeping me just this side of wary that you’re secretly a cold-blooded killer under it all.”
Steve approaches slowly, sniffing out the situation and trying to figure his way in. This is hardly the ideal training scenario. It’s Danny. If ever there were a person in the world that Steve knew inside and out, it’s him – so this whole exercise just feels like a waste of time.
He says as much after he shifts back to human – in the midst of pulling his shirt back on.
“Steve,” Danny complains sharply, and for all that Danny keeps talking about Steve’s faces, Danny’s wearing a pretty clear face of his own right now. “Don’t do this.”
“Danny, I know you. Okay? I know your style, I know your technique, and I know how to defend myself from you and how to defend you. This is a waste of time. I’d rather be spending it making the last few months up to you,” Steve says, knowing that if he plays his cards right, he can wheedle his way back into the bedroom.
Danny still looks wary, so Steve has to proceed with caution.
“Steve, your life is in danger,” Danny says.
“So, let’s go hide out at your place. Literally, no one would ever actively look for someone there. No one,” Steve insists. “Danny, you have all the money in the world, what is it with you and that place?”
“I’m holding out until I find somewhere perfect!” Danny heatedly replies.
Steve smiles to himself, pleased to see that he’s on the right track. He needs to keep Danny away from the danger at hand and this is the perfect time to bring up another topic: “Well, what about my place?”
“What about your place?” Danny echoes suspiciously.
“I mean, do you want move in?”
“Do I want to move in?”
Steve furrows his brow. “Are you just repeating everything I say?”
Okay, well, at least Danny’s stuck on just the one particular phrase. Steve wants this more than he’s wanted practically anything – outside of what the wolf demands – and he doesn’t know what he’ll do if he doesn’t get it. “Yeah, well, you know. My place has felt too big and lonely since Dad was killed. Mary’s on the mainland, she’s not coming back. Plus, you know, now that we’re mated and we’re sleeping together, it’s kind of a logical step. Right?”
“Steve, to you, logical step implies binding a suspect before pulling the grenade pin and tossing him to the sharks,” Danny says.
“One time! And those were two separate incidents…”
Danny’s pursing his lips together, but Steve knows better. He’s not pissed. This is how Danny tries to hide his amusement, which means that Steve’s got a half-decent shot at getting what he wants.
“Come on, Danny,” Steve says, thumb lingering over the button of his jeans, fully dressed again just in time to intrude on Danny’s personal space, lips hovering just above Danny’s. He leans in close enough so that every time Danny exhales a sharp breath, Steve feels it. “Don’t you want to know what I look like first thing in the morning?” he asks, shoulders curved as he leans down to shorten the distance between them. “I don’t really sleep in clothes.”
“And I really like morning sex,” Steve adds.
“See, that? You start with that,” Danny encourages, but for all his bitching, that smile is breaking through the grumpiness. Steve’s winning this fight. “Start with the morning sex bid. You can move on to logic later.” Steve takes that last half-step he needs to press up against Danny, sliding his arm around his back to hitch him in close. “Steven?”
“I’m not forgetting that your life is in danger.”
“No,” Steve says, a very serious and severe look on his face. “No, not at all. But, I mean, if we went to your place, I could be persuaded to try and make you forget. I hear that really good oral has an amazing way of loosening the mind’s ability to make short-term memories.”
Danny lets out a scoff of delight and Steve can feel the way Danny’s chest expands with that amused breath. “No shit, huh? You’re that good with a blowjob?”
“You want to find out?”
It’s such a non-question that Steve never should have bothered to ask in the first place. Danny practically bowls into him and pushes him towards the door with a hand on each shoulder, muttering ‘go, go, get out of here’ as he does. Steve takes no small amount of pleasure in the fact that Danny can protest until the cows come home, but Steve knows the truth.
He’s in this just as much as Steve is – and he likes it.
There’s one new message on Five-0’s phone when Jenna gets in. Thinking nothing of it, she plays it, her blood running cold the minute she hears the voice on the other end of the line. “You can’t keep out of this?” the Irish accent is strong and unmistakable. Jenna’s been working on Wo Fat and his known associates long enough to know Victor Hesse when she hears him. “Then I’m getting your team involved. I hope you said goodbye.”
The line goes dead after that, leaving Jenna scrambling to make phone calls to people she’s only just met, not knowing which of them are in danger (if not all of them).
She calls Danny first with the belief he’ll know how to handle this. “Danny? Danny, are you there, are you okay?” she rapidly asks. “Hesse called the office, he says he has one of the team, are you there, are you safe?”
“Jenna, I’m okay. Trust me, Hesse isn’t stupid enough to go for an immortal,” he promises. “Steve’s here. He’s okay. We’re on our way in. Call the others, we’ll be there as soon as Steve attempts to behead me in an insane car accident.”
“Danno,” Steve growls in the background angrily, but then Danny hangs up and Jenna is left with two more phone calls to make, her heart in her throat.
She’s an analyst, for god’s sake, she’s supposed to be behind a desk compiling data and looking for trends. She isn’t supposed to be getting in the middle of a supernatural grudge match. She should’ve stayed home, she should’ve left well enough alone, but she’d been so determined to find out if Josh’s spirit could possibly be out there...
It’s too late to focus on that.
She calls Kono and can’t help the immediate sense of dread that floods her when she picks up within two rings. Now, Jenna knows who’s in danger. She almost misses the confusion of being in the dark, because at least then she’d have hope. “Kono, I think Chin’s been taken,” she says, pulling up the board and looking for any trace of GPS. “His phone’s been turned off, maybe destroyed, I can’t...I can’t find him!” Jenna says through a thick lump of frustration in her throat, pulling up other archives and databases. “His GPS says he’s still at home.”
“He’s not, I was just there to pick him up,” Kono replies, sounding just as panicked as Jenna feels. “Jenna, pull up the file on the desktop that says ‘Stalking Is Illegal, McGarrett, You Army-Happy Idiot’.” Jenna stares at it in confusion. It’s an .exe program; she’s wondered at the name more than once, but she can’t see how it’s going to help. One double-click of the program later and suddenly Jenna is a little breathless and fearful, at once.
“Oh...” Jenna gets out. “Wow.”
There’s a map of Oahu on the board and four little red dots, blinking away happily. There’s a blue dot in the picture as well, safely ensconced at the elementary school. It doesn’t take very long for Jenna to realize what this is.
“Where are they?”
“Subcutaneous, in the hand,” Kono replies tersely. Jenna doesn’t blame her. They can discuss tech later when everyone is safe. She’s already isolating the points, eliminating Kono, then Danny and Steve, then the blue dot she assumes to be Grace. “We need to find Chin. I just got a message that Sang Min wasn’t in his cell when they did their early morning rounds. Tell me what you see,” she demands.
On the screen, Jenna looks at the last remaining point. Kono and Steve’s small red dots had been flashing. Danny’s point holds still.
So does Chin’s.
Jenna’s not sure she likes the implication.
“He’s near the docks, I think he’s on a boat,” Jenna says, typing as fast as she can to bring up the manifest. “It’s called the Osprey. I’m sending you the coordinates and I’ll get Danny and Steve to meet you here. You three can leave together.”
“I’m only taking Danny with me,” Kono insists. “Wo Fat is after Steve, and if they’ve gone as far as taking Chin...” Her voice, which has been holding up until now, shakes at her cousin’s name. “I’m not letting him get his hands on anyone else. We’re keeping Steve at the office at all costs.” She hangs up, leaving Jenna to wonder how the heck she’s supposed to restrain a werewolf.
They don’t exactly cover that in analyst training.
She doesn’t have long to figure it out, either. Within five minutes, the office doors are pushed open, slamming into the wall. Danny heads straight for the weapons chest while Steve keeps striding towards her in the center of the room. “Kono says you know the location. Give me the coordinates.”
Jenna swallows, hard. It’s time to stand her ground. “No,” she says, setting her shoulders back with determination.
“Excuse me?” Steve growls.
“I said...” And here, she takes a deep breath to bolster herself. “No. Kono says I can send Danny, but that you’re not allowed to go.” She’s in the middle of wondering what her next move is because Steve is starting to get that look on his face that makes her worried for her jugular.
Luckily, Kono arrives before any blood can be shed. She doesn’t waste any time as she enters the office and catches Danny’s eye. They both nod, like they’ve silently exchanged some kind of secret code.
Immediately, their focus turns to Steve as they approach him from opposing angles.
“Easy way or the hard way, babe,” Danny offers, adjusting the new belt he has on that allows for the use of two swords. “You’re not going out there. Wo Fat wants you. He’s using Chin as bait, you really think that walking right into the trap is the smart thing to do?”
“How is you going any smarter?” Steve growls. “He knows I’ve mated with you.”
“And the only way to kill me is to chop off my head. Kono will be there to watch out for me, but it’s something you have to be pretty close to do!” Danny shouts back at him. “Even a bomb isn’t guaranteed to take my head off. Steve, silver will kill you, and there are too many ways for Wo Fat to do that. You’re staying here, so pick the hard way or the easy way before I choose for you.”
“Danny, there’s no way that I’m staying here while you go out there...”
Jenna’s pretty sure Steve meant to go on, but while he’s been glaring at Danny and starting in on his impassioned speech, Kono has positioned herself behind him, raising up a silver bound book in her hands, clocking Steve with it. He crumples in a graceless heap, not looking so good from where Jenna’s standing.
“Is he going to be okay?” she asks warily as Danny and Kono start hauling Steve across the floor, coordinating how many sets of handcuffs they’ll need (Kono insists one ankle and one wrist, but Danny wants to be safe and cuff every limb in case he tries to shift). “He went down pretty hard.”
“What, with that head?” Danny scoffs. His light tone is doing nothing to erase the worry from his expression and Jenna’s just glad that she’s not the only one who’s not totally on board with the whole ‘violence in the workplace as a preventative measure’ thing. “It’s going to take more than one little book...huh, Police Procedure Circa the Early 1900’s,” he reads the side of the book with a sickly bemused smirk before he refocuses. “You know what I mean. Stubborn, thick head. Relatively little book. He’ll be fine when he wakes up. He’ll be incredibly pissed off and I wouldn’t want to be the first person he sees, but fine.”
Kono’s goes back to gearing up. Jenna had been impressed with the Five-O locker when she’d first arrived – it’s well-stocked with a variety of weapons, from silver-tipped stakes to guns with wooden bullets. Kono’s taking enough to start a war.
“Jenna, are you in or out?” she says, tossing several small sheathed knives in Danny’s direction.
He catches them easily, tucking them into his belt. The whole time, his focus is on Jenna. They’re waiting for her, she realizes. They’re waiting for her to decide whether she wants to take revenge into her own hands. It doesn’t take her very long to remember why she’s out here in the first place. The data on spirits is still being run through every database she has, and she’s been sitting on her hands while Wo Fat threatens the lives of the people who have been nothing but kind to her.
Now, they’re offering her a chance to get into the game.
“I don’t want to slow you down,” she says, aware that she might be stammering slightly. She’s never been this nervous before, apart from leading the strike on Wo Fat, and even then, she had been cocksure and over-confident. She hurries after Kono and Danny when she realizes what the alternative is.
She can go with them and help take down a monster -- or she can stay put and wait for a different kind of monster to wake up and realize he’s been betrayed.
She somehow thinks it might be safer to stick with the devil she knows. “I’ll come,” she says.
“Good,” Kono says, her gaze and her tone equally steely. “I’ll drive.”
Danny takes the front seat and Jenna grips the handle in the back as tight as she can. She might have whiplash from the corners, but Kono gets them to the harbor in record time. Jenna’s been following this team for weeks, but she’s still taken by surprise when she remembers how efficient they are – and how deadly they can be. She lags five steps behind Kono – who has Chin’s shotgun at the ready – and eight behind Danny, who’s wielding two swords expertly.
They’re on a determined path towards the Osprey when Danny stops in his tracks.
“Danny?” Kono demands, worriedly. “Danny, what is it?”
“Get back, both of you,” Danny says, sweeping his arm out in front of them and stepping forward towards the boat. The light is low, but when Jenna squints, she can make out the faint hint of a shadow. “I heard you busted out. Was that thanks to Hesse?”
The man steps into direct sunlight and Jenna recognizes him immediately – Sang Min.
“You’re always thinking small, haole. Hesse was busy with your boy, I got out on my own,” Sang Min says.
“I don’t buy it.”
“You don’t have to. It’s time,” Sang Min says, never once taking his eyes off of Danny.
Jenna can feel Kono’s fingers tugging at her shirt. Eventually, she manages to pry her eyes away from the two men circling each other. “Chin is still inside,” Kono says, staring at the point on her tablet. “Come on, we have to help him.”
“What about Danny?”
“We can’t interfere,” Kono says, throwing a helpless look over to Danny. “Not now.” Jenna affords one last look at the sound of swords clashing together and she immediately thinks with regret that they never should have tied Steve up like they did. What if Danny dies today, what if he dies and Steve doesn’t get to say goodbye?
She’ll never forgive herself, especially not if she lets that happen to anyone else the way it happened to her.
“Jenna!” Kono snaps, hauling her inside the houseboat. “We can’t interfere. It’s against the rules. Danny’s on his own.”
“He’s over four hundred years old and he’s pissed,” Kono says, her voice low as she digs out her gun and begins to clear rooms. “He’ll be fine. If he’s not, Steve is gonna kill me,” she admits, despair in her tone (gone as quickly as it’s come). “But he’ll be fine. He will be.” Though they’re entering the shadows, Jenna can see the look of doubt on Kono’s face. “He should be,” she says, like she’s just not completely sure. “He will be.”
“I hope you’re right.”
Jenna’s heart leaps with hope. Outside, she can hear Danny cursing away and the sound of blades meeting, but the very fact that Chin is inside and speaking to them (she hopes, because if this is a shifter, she’s going to be pissed at Wo Fat and then herself, in that exact order). Jenna hurries down the hall, but she’s beat by Kono’s desperate push forward.
It takes some navigating, but they find Chin on his knees and bound with silver around his wrists and neck. Jenna staggers to a stop when she sees him – eyes a chilling amber, teeth sharp and glinting in the dull light and clearly pointed. “Oh my god,” she exhales, panic striking her. “Oh my god.”
Kono doesn’t say anything. She hurries to her knees beside Chin, searching his face. “Cuz, what happened?”
“Hesse,” is all Chin says. He doesn’t have to say anything more. He tips his neck to one side and though the light is dim, it’s clear enough to show two fresh puncture wounds and the pale, waxy tint to his skin. Jenna’s studied the subject as much as she’d been able to and she knows the look of the newly-turned when she sees it.
She thinks she might throw up.
Outside, she can hear Danny cursing vividly and loudly. It means the fight might not be going in his favor, but at least it means that he’s still alive. She hovers out of Chin’s reach. As much as she hates herself for it, she’s still in possession of a healthy amount of fear when it comes to vampires – especially those who are new and yet to learn how to control their cravings.
Kono isn’t shying back at all. She’s fearless, and Jenna wishes that she had half of that determined strength. Or maybe what she’s missing is family connection and the deep love that breaks even the most paralyzing of fears.
“Come on, we need to get you out of here. We need to feed you,” she says, visibly steeling herself. Jenna doesn’t need to be able to read minds to know what comes next. Next, Kono will probably offer herself.
Chin shakes his head. “Alamea, I can’t do that. Not to you. You think Auntie would ever forgive me?”
Kono grits her teeth in a visible attempt to stop herself from crying. She looks away, but Jenna can’t. She’s drawn to watching, like a car crash, and her heart is racing. It’s distracting to her, but more so to Chin, whose attention snaps in her direction. “I’m sorry,” Jenna gets out. “I’m sorry, I’ll...” she trails off, inhaling deep breaths to try and steady her pulse to keep it from being too tempting.
Kono wraps her arm around Chin, hauling him to his feet. “I don’t care what they say,” she says, slinging her other arm around Chin’s waist and holding on desperately tight. “I should never have let this happen to you. I need to do something.”
Jenna’s been so focused on Chin that she realizes she’s stopped listening to the sounds of the fight outside. When she pays attention, she hears nothing but silence. There’s no sound of blades, no constant company of Danny’s colourful swears.
She can only assume the worst.
She feels sick, half on her way to a panic attack as she thinks about how she’s supposed to tell Steve about all of this. Chin’s been turned and Danny killed, all because of trouble that Jenna’s brought to their door. She knows it’s not like that, she knows Wo Fat would’ve struck anyway, but taking the blame seems natural.
Kono’s so busy tending to Chin that she’s not paying attention to anything else.
“Oh god,” Jenna gets out, feeling sicker than before. “What are we going to tell Steve, do you think he knows? Do you think he felt it?”
“Felt what?” Kono replies distantly.
“What about me?”
Jenna almost lets out a sound of joyous relief when she hears Danny’s voice in the doorway. She turns to look at him, forgetting that she barely knows him and charges forward to embrace him tightly, so grateful that the worst case scenario has been averted. “You’re okay,” she says, fingers wrapped up in heavy fistfuls of his shirt.
“Hey, yeah, I’m good,” Danny says, soothing her and hugging her back just as tightly. “Sang Min thought he had me, but overconfidence is the easiest way to get killed in this game.” He’s smiling, but there’s no happiness in it. He turns his attention towards Chin, grief rife on his face.
“Guess you and Steve aren’t gonna be the only ones to make it to next century,” Chin jokes weakly. He’s still half-slumped over and he’s not going to gain back any strength until he’s fed. Jenna keeps her mouth shut and Kono takes the silence as an opportunity to try again.
“Chin, take a pint, it’ll be just like I’m donating...”
“No, cuz. And that’s final,” Chin says. “I’ll use the blood service that every other vamp uses.”
“No offense, Chin,” Danny says, in the process of unbuttoning his cuff and rolling up his sleeve. “You look like shit and the services take a while to match up a vampire to the blood that best serves their nutritional needs. You need blood, now,” he says, coaxing him towards him with a crook of his fingers. “Come on,” he says, extending his bared arm to Chin, veins tipped in a way to make them look appetizing.
“Danny,” Kono says angrily. “He’s my family. It should be me...”
“Kono, I’ll heal by dinner. You’ll need days and iron pills to recover. There’s no argument here. I know he’s your family, but he’s mine, too.” Danny’s begun to sound impatient, like he’s aware that the longer they wait, the more torture Chin will experience as he suffers through the hunger and the weakness.
Jenna stands back, letting Danny and Kono have their staring contest. She doesn’t know who folds or what changes things, but eventually Kono gives in. “Fine,” she says quietly. “Do it.”
“Wait!” Jenna says suddenly, when Chin has his fangs extended and is about to puncture Danny’s skin.
Everyone’s looking at her, and she doesn’t want to do this, but if Chin drinks too much and falls to sleep to recover, she won’t get the chance to ask.
“I’m sorry,” she says, making sure her words are emphatic and genuine. “I have to ask. Chin, was Wo Fat here? Was it just Hesse?”
A dark look comes over Chin’s face. “No. He was here,” he says, one hand gripping Danny’s wrist tightly. It looks painful and like it might bruise, but Danny doesn’t make a sound. He endures it like it’s the least he can do. “Hesse strapped a bomb on me to make sure I wasn’t going to move. Wo Fat gave him instructions – turn me, hope that I was pissed at McGarrett enough to feed, remove the bomb, and then head back to the safe house. I think the plan is to take another run at Steve soon.”
“He’s probably already come back around,” Danny says when Kono looks at him worriedly. “Wo Fat’s gonna see this one through.” He turns to Chin, his arm still extended out in offering. “Are you feeling like taking a run at Steve? Because, god knows, I feel like it all the time, but usually I leave my most murderous intentions at home.”
“I’d never,” Chin says, baring his fangs in anger. “I don’t care what Hesse or Wo Fat think they know about me. They might think I’m a traitor, the kind of cop who takes dirty money for himself, but I didn’t take it. That’s not me, and I’d never hurt Steve.”
“Good,” Danny says, trying to keep the mood light. “Because I’ve got dibs.” He flashes a tense smile in Chin’s direction, foisting his arm out a little further. “Come on, let’s do this. Take two, three pints. Kono, I hope you still have those protein bars in your trunk, because I’m gonna need them.”
“And we should get back to the office as soon as possible so we can uncuff Steve,” Jenna says, drawn to watching the way Chin’s fangs puncture Danny’s skin and the blissful look that comes over him as he starts to drink.
She should look away, but she can’t. She watches everything, from the way Chin swallows the blood reverently to the way he hitches Danny closer, and though she feels mortified, she still doesn’t look away when Chin’s jeans tent outwards, in heady pleasure from the feed. At the rate of consumption, Chin should take three pints in the course of four minutes and when that time elapses, she clears her throat as politely as she can.
“Guys?” she reminds them. Kono’s just returned, holding out two power bars for Danny to take. Chin is licking the last remnants of Danny’s blood from off his fangs, but he already looks better – healthier. Danny’s pale, but he’d been pale to begin with. He devours the food, claps Kono on the back in thanks, and is already determinedly heading for the door.
“Jenna’s right, the big lug’s probably murderous, by now,” he admits. “Chin, take Kono’s car, stay in the back. Sunlight shouldn’t harm you too much, but you’re not gonna love it right now. Not while you’re adjusting. I’ll meet you at the office,” Danny says.
Jenna follows alongside Danny, hurrying up to him as she does. “Can I ride back with you? I don’t want to...” She doesn’t know what, but she has a feeling she means to say ‘intrude’. What’s happened is monstrous, and whatever private, family moment that Kono and Chin want to have together shouldn’t come equipped with an outsider.
Danny nods his response and she gives him a relieved ‘thank you’ before climbing in the passenger seat.
The ride back is tense. She’s not surprised, given the events of the morning and the lack of knowledge as to what they’re walking into. Danny, especially, seems well-aware of the fact that Steve is already bound to be pissed. If you add to that what they found at the harbour, it’s going to border on near-impossible to stop him from seeking revenge.
“I’m sorry we didn’t get him,” Danny finally says, as they take the final turns. “Wo Fat. I know you wanted to see him go down.”
Jenna shakes her head, feeling like an apology for what’s happened isn’t enough. Instead, she remains silent, quietly grateful for his sympathy at the same time as she’s angry that men like Wo Fat even exist in this world. Danny parks as close as he can to the door, taking a deep breath. He looks worried. He looks really concerned.
“Are you okay?” Jenna finally asks when she can’t take it anymore.
Danny musters a smile, shrugging as he does. “Steve’s going to smell vampire on me when I walk through those doors,” he says, cuffing his sleeve shut so that the marks are hidden. “I can tell you from experience that he doesn’t react well to that scent in my general vicinity.”
“But it’s Chin,” Jenna says, like that makes a difference.
“Yeah. I hope he’s aware enough to remember that.”
Danny takes a bolstering deep breath for courage as he pushes his way into the building, heading straight for Five-0’s offices. Jenna can see Steve free of his binds and waiting in the middle of the conference room. They’re ten feet away when she watches Steve catch a new scent in the air, tipping his nose upwards and drawing in a deep breath. He crosses his arms tensely over his chest, sights set on Danny.
He doesn’t move. He stands there, as if waiting for something that Jenna can’t even begin to guess at.
“Hey,” Danny greets Steve as they enter the office. “Babe, sorry. I’m sorry that we knocked you out and chained you up, but there was no way you could have gone with us...” He trails off when he realizes that Steve isn’t paying attention to him. His attention is singularly on Chin and Kono as they approach.
Jenna realizes, then, that she’s never seen Steve when he’s really angry until this exact moment.
“Shit,” Danny mutters, ditching his swords and grabbing at Steve’s wrists to try and hold him back.
Jenna’s confused. “What? What is it? What’s happening?”
Chin and Kono enter the room and within seconds, chaos dominates the room. Danny shouts a warning to ‘get Chin out of here, now,’ Steve is growling, lunging forward, pinning Chin to the nearest wall with a hand wrapped around his throat, holding him securely and strangling him all at once. Kono has a gun aimed at Steve and Danny’s trying to pry Steve back by the shoulders.
“Guys!” Jenna tries to shout over the din, but her voice falls on deaf ears.
“He’s mine,” Steve growls gutturally, shoving another wave of weight against Chin and choking him harder. “Mine,” he repeats.
Chin struggles, tipping his chin defiantly upwards. No words come out, but Chin’s fangs slide out. It makes Jenna falter backwards – she’s not used to seeing that feral look in Chin’s eyes and the hungry look on his face. It doesn’t even cause Steve to hesitate. He presses his forearm tighter against Chin’s windpipe and Jenna watches helplessly as both Kono and Danny try to pry him off of Chin.
Jenna didn’t sign up for this.
She’s here to look for the existence of spirits and to see if she can find some kind of peace when it comes to the personal turmoil she’s been experiencing. With that in mind (and to the cacophony of chaos around her), she leaves the room, locks herself in the women’s bathroom, and counts – all the way up to a hundred.
Maybe by the time she’s finished, things will be calmer.
There’s a small part of her that fears that, for Five-O, nothing will be normal or calm ever again.
The tension in the main office is thick the day after the disaster. Chin is hovering in the shadows with his arms crossed and his eyes tracking Danny around the room, much to Steve’s irritation. Kono keeps staring worriedly at Chin, and Jenna’s foot is tapping away nervously. Danny, for his part, is still twitchy after his fight with Sang Min and the way Steve keeps checking him for scratches every two minutes makes him want to check Steve’s head for any residual sense.
They’ve been sitting in the office for twenty minutes and no one’s said a word.
“He doesn’t feed from Danny.” Steve says, breaking the silent detente.
“Excuse me, what?” Danny reacts instantly, glowering at Steve. “I’m sorry, Steven, but did you stop to think, for one minute with that pea-sized brain of yours, that whether or not Chin feeds from me is my decision? My blood doesn’t have any residual wolf traces in it. It’s full human, and...”
“And it’s your neck, Danny! I know a thing or two about immortals!” Steve interrupts, the volume of his voice already set to eleven. “Rachel’s told me about injuries to that area! Those don’t go away easily or at all...” He weakens when Danny shoves out his wrist, where the two puncture marks are. “And...”
“And you don’t like it,” Danny interprets, yanking his sleeve down to cover his wrist again. “Steven, I’m aware of the fact that neck wounds tend to linger. It’s why I’m not stupid enough to offer it to a vampire! My point stands. I’m immortal, losing a pint or two of blood doesn’t really do much except make me look as pale as a lily. Seeing as I’m already in the running for haole of the year, what’s the harm?”
Steve glares in reply. “I don’t...”
“...like it,” Danny finishes, along with Steve. “Yeah, cue up the orchestra and play a shocking refrain. I got that part.”
They glare at each other, ignoring everyone else in the room. They probably would’ve continued to do so if it weren’t for Kono. Danny loves her and hates her at the same time for getting in the middle of all this, mostly because he’s not done being pissed at McGarrett.
“Can you two please have this fight later?” she snaps. “There are bigger issues here. My cousin has just been turned, and you two can’t stop for a second and focus on someone other than yourselves? This isn’t about you. It might’ve started with you, Steve, but Chin’s been dragged into this mess, which means that we all have.” She sounds like she’s barely holding it together, but the way she’s defensively crossing her arms over her chest and the fraught and angry look on her face clearly telegraphs that she doesn’t want any sympathy. “The logistics about how we feed Chin or what window treatments he needs to have put into his apartment will come later. Can we please figure out how to take this son of a bitch down, so he can’t hurt anyone else that we care about?”
“We know that Wo Fat is still on the island,” Jenna speaks up tentatively. She’s managed to tone down the nervous fidgeting, but still sounds apprehensive. “Look, I know that I’m not part of your team. I’m just someone who wants something, but...but I feel like this is partially my fault,” she says, glancing at Chin briefly. She looks away almost immediately, like she can’t bear to look at his ashen-like pallor.
Danny rubs a hand over his forehead, trying to put his emotions aside. Considering he practically runs on emotion, it’s no small task. Past all this, he has to worry about his relationship with Steve. After the altercation in the office, he’d stayed at his own apartment the night before and Steve is none too pleased with that fact.
Add in that Danny’s worried that Wo Fat might attack any minute and he’s acting like he’s had a heavy dose of speed.
“I have an idea,” Jenna says. She’s been talking about logistics and plans, but Danny’s tuned her out. At least, he had until suddenly she’s looking at Danny warily, like she’s about to say something that he really won’t like. “He wants Steve. We give him Steve.”
“Okay, I see something wrong with that,” Danny says, raising his hand like he’s objecting to the goddamn sauce on the sandwich and not them dangling his mate in front of the psychopathic murderer who wants him dead. “We’re not handing him Steve on a platter!” He can see Steve opening his mouth and Danny knows Steve well enough to know that he’s ready to throw himself into the fray. “No. No! Steve, no, you’re pissed that he did this to Chin, fine, but if ever you listened to me about procedure and backup, now is the time. We’re not using you as bait. Use...use me!”
“No,” Steve growls. “Case closed.”
“What, so I don’t get a say?” Danny scoffs. “You get to veto my involvement, but you? You just get to do this?”
“He wants me, Danny. He stops going through my family to get through me. He’s already tried to kill you. Why else would he break out Sang Min?” Steve says heatedly, growing angrier by the second. “He tried to take you out. I’m not giving him a second chance. We’re going to use what we have. He thinks you’re dead, Danny. He thinks Chin is against me.” Steve searches the room and though there’s a faint hint of annoyance on both the mentioned men’s faces, they don’t look like they’re about to kill Steve at the drop of a hat.
Danny has a bad feeling he’s not going to like seeing this plan in action.
“Chin, I want you to run with that,” Steve says. “Get out there and run your mouth about wanting to finish me off. Spread the word that you’ll know where I’m going to be.”
“I’ll run surveillance, see what I can get,” Jenna offers, an apprehensive smile on her face.
Danny wants to know what she’s so guilty for, but he has a feeling he doesn’t want to go near that potential can of worms. He keeps an eye on her as she leaves, followed by Chin and Kono.
Since yesterday, Kono hasn’t drifted more than two feet from Chin’s side. Danny’s not sure how safe that is when Chin is still getting his cravings under control, but he has to admire the way that they really take ohana to heart out here. When they’re gone, Danny turns to face Steve and address the issue they’ve been tucking under the carpet for about thirty-six hours.
Steve, predictably, has already wandered off to get ready to storm the metaphorical castle.
Danny follows him to the weapons room and leans his weight against the frame of the door, gnawing on his lower lip as he debates exactly what he can possibly say to smooth the situation over. ‘Sorry your co-worker got turned into a vampire and I nearly got taken out in an attempt to drive you mad with grief?’ ‘That crazy maniac might not have succeeded this time, but he’s still out there?’
Danny’s coming up short (and thank god no one’s around to make a pun on that one).
“Steve,” Danny says under his breath. “Is this our future? Every time I do something that pisses you off, you spend a week not talking to me and delicately fondling grenades?”
He gets a grunt in reply.
“Look, I get that you go flying into a spiral of possessive rage whenever you so much as smell anyone else on me,” Danny says, pushing himself away from the door and wandering inside until he’s standing in Steve’s shadow where he reaches out and absently fixes Steve’s shirt where it’s slightly wrinkled. “I’m immortal, Steve, and you’re not dying anytime soon if I have something to say about it. So, and I say this as nicely as possible, get the fuck used to it,” he snaps.
That gets Steve’s attention.
Danny scrapes his teeth over his lower lip as he bares it and readies himself for an argument. What he’s not prepared for is Steve to drop the jousting pole and the very sharp sword to the ground and stride forward in one fell swoop.
“Whoa, hey! Weapons! Weapons of mild destruction!” Danny protests, ready to argue some more up until the moment that Steve grabs him by the hips and pins him to the door. He’s effectively silenced with a possessive kiss that tells Danny that Steve is still planning on being the kind of guy who claims first and asks later.
Danny grabs at Steve’s hair, tugging on it to try and earn some leverage.
“Hey,” Danny gets out hoarsely, hooking one leg around Steve’s calf to pin him in against Danny’s body. “What the hell, what are you doing?”
“Exactly what you said, Danny,” Steve says. He sounds so calm that it’s pissing Danny off. “Getting the fuck used to it.”
Danny feels as if somehow they’ve skipped a step in the middle of this. He’s supposed to keep talking until his voice is hoarse and Steve is supposed to make a couple dozen faces that are actually pretty damn amusing. Steve isn’t supposed to be fondling Danny’s ass like he is – a move which is definitely against script, though Danny can’t find it in him to complain.
Steve’s got a good handle of the situation if his hold on Danny is any indication. The way he slides his thumb slowly up the curve of Danny’s ass before allowing it to descend straight down the middle in the direction of no-man’s-land is just one more sign that Steve needs to learn about inappropriate workplace activities. Danny bows his head forward and leans it against Steve’s shoulder with his cheek rubbing against the comforting fabric of his shirt.
“Steve,” Danny gets out, repeating a mantra of sensible facts in his mind. They have to focus on the task at hand. “Steven!” he chokes out when Steve grabs him and hauls him closer, sliding a hand in between their bodies to grope at Danny’s dick. “Do you want to follow this plan or not?”
“I’m not so good at following,” Steve mumbles against the shell of Danny’s earlobe, biting at the spot of his neck just below.
Danny rolls his eyes. “Yeah, Steve, me and the free world know that.”
“So?” Steve asks, gripping at Danny’s hips -- the intent to mark clear from the press of his fingertips against Danny’s skin -- pushing aside fabric in order to sneak those wayward fingers in and get much closer.
Danny wants to smack his head against the wall. Actually, no, he doesn’t. He wants to demand that Steve take him home and fuck him until they’re both screaming, but if they want Jenna’s plan to work, they can’t. They can’t because there are steps they’re going to have to take. Steve nudges his stance forward and suddenly it’s very clear how hard Steve is.
Danny really wishes he hadn’t known that. It’s going to make turning him away even harder (what is it with him and the bad puns, today?) and Danny’s not about to be distracted, either.
“Steve,” he says past the immense desire he has to say ‘fuck it’ and just screw here in front of the open weapons cabinet. “I need to make like a groundhog and disappear. If you want Wo Fat to think I’m dead, I need to go underground.”
“Where?” Steve asks, nearly growling.
“Rachel’s is probably safest. She likes to keep off the radar because, well,” Danny says with a rueful smile, “Rachel’s made more than her share of enemies in her time as I’m sure you can guess from her winning personality.”
“I’m not the one who slept with her for three centuries.”
“Two,” Danny corrects, pinching Steve’s ass. “And I’m sleeping with you, now, so it looks like my taste is still pretty shitty.”
That earns a derisive scoff that’s huffed against his neck.
“You think that’s funny, do you, big guy?” Danny teases, using the lapse in high tensions to untangle his legs from Steve’s waist and set both his feet on solid ground. “Because I’m not even sure I’m joking, just yet.” He pushes Steve away with a flattened palm and surveys the room to debate how armed he wants to be when he goes to Rachel’s. “Look, I’ll get Rach to buy a burner phone and she’ll contact you with the information. While Chin is out there spreading a pretty story about hating your guts, I’m gonna pretend to be dead.”
“Well,” Steve says, cocking his brow upwards. “More dead.”
“Yes, thank you, Captain Pedant.”
Steve presses his lips together as he idly lets the backs of his knuckles trail over the exposed skin of Danny’s arm, causing shivers up Danny’s spine. “I don’t like this,” he says, for what has to be the seventh time since that morning.
“I know,” Danny sighs. “And I like it even less. I swear to god, Steve, if you get yourself killed because I don’t have your back, I’m going to make sure the afterlife is definitively unpleasant for you.”
The space between them is too wide, but Danny knows if he closes it, he won’t want to leave and if he doesn’t leave, then someone is inevitably going to find out that he’s not dead. If they’re going to use Steve as bait, then Danny’s not willing to be the one to ruin the plans. He presses a palm to Steve’s chest to keep space between them, even if Steve keeps trying to be a thorn in his side and press closer.
“Steven,” he lectures sternly.
“I’ll come with you.”
“No, you’ll act like you’re supposed to. You’ll act like you’re inconsolable with the grief of losing me in a highly secure location so Wo Fat doesn’t strike while you’re pretend-sobbing into a bowl of Cherry Garcia,” Danny says, pushing back with his fingertips every time Steve surges forward. It’s a sway of an ebb and flow – enough to make Danny grin like an idiot. “Steve. Do not make me tie you up.”
Steve grins that goofy smile that makes Danny’s heart beat three times too fast. “I might like that.”
Danny shakes his head and starts to pack up all the weapons he might need if he has to defend himself at Rachel’s (even though he’s got no doubts that Rachel can defend herself and Grace better than he ever could). “Don’t be an idiot. Of course you’ll like it; when you and I can be in the same space together again, it’ll be the first thing we do.” He’s rambling idly as he packs, now, barely paying attention to Steve. “I’ll tie all fours so that even if you shift, you won’t be able to get loose and...”
He’s interrupted from putting his broadsword in his duffel bag by Steve bending over and kissing him, pushing upwards until he’s backed Danny to the wall. His hands on Danny’s hips, he grips on tight and if this is a goodbye kiss, then it’s definitely the best in Danny’s books.
When Steve decides the kiss is over – and Steve is definitely the one who decides because Danny’s got no goddamn say in it, seeing as he’s too busy trying to stay vertical – they stand there silently with only the sound of their heavy breathing between them.
“We’ll end this, Danno,” Steve says confidently, even though this is the most unsure he’s ever looked in his life. “I’ll bring you home to me.”
“Make Chin’s sacrifice worth it,” Danny says, the sharpness of his words betraying the need to blame someone. He’s not brave enough to shoulder it all himself and not cruel enough to lie it all on Steve’s back, but he needs them both to accept that it’s their faults. “Steve, I trust you,” he says, offering an encouraging smile as he tips Steve’s chin upwards with two fingers. “We’ll be okay.”
“Yeah?” Steve replies warily.
“If we’re not, I’m taking out this whole island in retaliation,” he says, cupping Steve’s cheek firmly and memorizing his features -- just in case.
When he realizes his memory will never do justice to the real thing, he eases back and picks up the duffel bag in hand, clenching it tightly to avoid doing something cowardly like deciding to stay put and risk everyone’s lives as a result. He’ll never forgive himself if he gets any of them killed in the permanent way.
He manages to make it out of the building without turning back and doesn’t even call Steve when he gets to Rachel’s. That lasts all of two hours and Danny has never loved Rachel more than he does the moment she hands a prepaid cell to him with a sympathetic look.
“Call him and stop moping,” she instructs. “Grace is beginning to worry.”
“It’s been two hours, I’ll look desperate,” he protests.
Rachel leans down in front of him, clasps him by the cheek, and presses a chaste kiss to his forehead. “Daniel. You are desperate,” she reminds him.
Well, if he’s going to be desperate, there’s no reason he can’t be desperate and talk to Steve, so he calls him and has one of the world’s most cryptic conversations that lasts all of ten too-short minutes. They can’t talk too much longer in case Steve’s calls are being traced, and during the time they never discuss anything too personal or exchange names.
Danny hates it. He hates it and he wants it to be over immediately.
The first day passes like molasses and the second isn’t much better. Three plods to four, but Danny still hasn’t heard anything. By day five, Danny is genuinely considering going on a one-man mission to bring down Wo Fat. The only consolation he has is that Steve calls in daily to check in and give Danny proof that he’s still alive.
Day six is the worst of them all and Rachel actually ties him down to the bed. It wouldn’t be so humiliating if Grace hadn’t wandered in and started to color at his bedside like nothing was the matter – he genuinely worries for the world if she does turn out to be immortal, given that her upbringing has been untraditional, to say the least.
And then, on day seven, Danny gets the best phone call in the world.
“It’s time,” Steve says. “Meet me at Malaekahana. And Danny...”
“Bring everything you’ve got.”
Danny’s ready in record time, but before he can get out the door, he makes a stop in the doorway of Grace’s bedroom and takes a moment to memorize this -- just in case. “Danno,” Grace says, looking up from her homework. She’s wielding a pink pencil like a weapon and Danny has never been prouder of her than this moment. “You look worried.”
“Yeah, well, Danno has to go and make sure that Uncle Steve doesn’t die,” he says, leaving the duffel in the hallway as he closes the distance between them. He smoothes back her hair and presses a kiss to her forehead. “Monkey, I need you to do me a favor.”
“Anything, Danno,” she swears, turning in her seat to look at him.
“If anything happens to me, I want you to look after Rachel, okay?”
Grace purses her lips together and gives Danny a hilarious look, like she’s concerned about what’s going on in his brain. “But Rachel’s way braver than me,” she says matter-of-factly. “You, too. She’s even stronger than a fae.”
“I don’t know about that,” Rachel says from the doorway. “But I will take the compliment.”
She looks at him in that disarming way that she has. After four hundred years and change, Danny doesn’t doubt that she can read him with a single look and he stands there with his soul bared to her and he knows that she understands what’s about to happen. To her credit, she doesn’t appear to be that troubled over it.
“I always liked you best, Daniel,” Rachel confesses with a fond smile. “Even if I have had to save your arse more times than I can count.”
“But it’s such a nice ass.”
“Danno,” Grace whines from her chair.
“Yeah, yeah, I know, not in front of the children,” Danny replies with a wistful smile on his face. He turns his attention back to Rachel, heart in his throat, and knows that he needs to do this. “If he dies and I live? It’s not going to be a pretty sight. I have to do this.”
“I know,” Rachel agrees simply. “My only advice is this: do it well,” she says, a grave look on her face. “You’ve watched whole civilizations crumble. You’ve seen revolutions. You’ve absorbed enough power to be great and watched the world change. If anyone can do this for him, Daniel, it’s you.”
“I’m not as strong as you, though,” Danny points out.
“You don’t have to be,” Rachel replies. “You just have to be strong enough to survive today. This isn’t a goodbye. I’m not letting you say goodbye to me.”
“Rachel,” Danny says as he grits his teeth together and tries to fight past the frustration she’s so talented at evoking in him.
She shakes her head stubbornly before lifting her chin with heavy-handed superiority, a move she mastered long before she ever met him. “No,” is all she has to say. “I refuse to send you off to your doom with you thinking that all is well and we have closure. You go out there and you fight, Danny Williams,” she says, a determined and terrifying glint in her eye. “And you win.”
He opens his mouth to subvert her demands and say goodbye, but she clamps her palm over it and marches him straight for the door. “Rachel,” he protests when he finally gets a chance to. “Please,” he exhales. Danny’s aware that getting Rachel to change her mind is next to impossible when she’s decided. Now is going to be no exception.
She stands by the front door with her arms crossed and an arch look on her face. “Yes, Daniel?”
“Nothing, dear,” he sighs. “I’ll see you later,” he says dutifully, even going so far as performing a mock salute – even if that pisses her off, maybe he does it especially because he knows how much it makes her livid.
He turns and marches to the Camaro and doesn’t look back once he’s sure that his sword is securely fastened to his belt. Danny had considered going in with as many weapons as possible, but in the end, he has to trust in the weapon he has. Steve’s going to be there and he knows there’ll be back-up waiting in the wings.
The drive to Malaekahana is the longest Danny’s ever endured, even if he’s only travelling five miles, all told. His legs are trembling, he’s cracking his knuckles in such an annoying way that he’s lucky that Steve isn’t here to forcibly stop him. He keeps dreaming up worst case scenarios and somehow amending them until they’re truly death-defyingly scary.
At this rate, Danny almost wishes someone would kill him before he comes up with a fourteenth variation of how this can all go wrong.
He parks beside Steve’s truck and quickly exits the car to join Steve – who is in the process of hauling every weapon imaginable from the trunk.
“Hey,” says Danny.
It’s like they’ve been seeing each other every day. It’s like no time at all has passed. In actuality, Danny wants to plaster Steve to the side of the car and fuck his mouth until he’s choking on Danny. Realistically, they just don’t have time for that. He settles for a quick grope of Steve’s ass when he leans in for a kiss.
“Danny,” Steve says coolly.
“Oh, for...what, so now I’m not allowed to touch you?” Danny says, indignation running strong. “Since when are you Mr. Restrained when I practically have to peel you off me and re-explain the concept of a personal bubble on a daily basis?”
Danny sighs and mutters a quick prayer under his breath. “Okay, well, can I least give you a goodb...”
While Danny might not be seeing his fantasy through, the tables turn alarmingly quick as Steve presses him firmly against the exterior of the car, digging his forearm into Danny’s windpipe. Danny’s patience is already at an all-time low and this little move makes it so that he’s bordering on a kind of irritated rage that Williams men are excellent at.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Danny rasps out.
Steve has a wild look to him. Danny wonders if this is what he looked like in those first years, when the wolf was still young in him and the balance between animal and man had yet to be found. If Danny looks past the wildness, he can easily spot the fear and panic. Suddenly, Danny understands why he can’t say goodbye.
He can’t end something that’s just starting -- even if it’s only with words.
If he condemns this to failure, then they walk into the fight with that looming over their heads. Danny takes in a deep breath and pushes down every last selfish desire to find some kind of closure before it all goes down.
“Steve,” Danny says, forcibly pushing his arm off. “If I can’t say...” He gestures to indicate what he might have said, “Then I need to say something else.”
“Make it quick, Danny,” Steve says curtly. “Jenna says that Wo Fat is on his way now that Chin’s established my location.”
Danny wonders if every SEAL team that served with Steve was just as lucky to have such a talkative and warm leader. He pushes past the desire to make a sarcastic quip or to surround himself in the safety of a joke. There isn’t time for that and if Steve won’t let him say goodbye, then he’ll go one better.
Steve’s already in motion as he slams the trunk shut and begins to storm out to the dusty plains before them. They’ve tracked several murder investigations through these parts and they unsettle Danny due to the number of bluffs and sniper points available.
Right now, they’re standing in the dangerous open plains of the valley.
“Steve,” Danny exhales, chasing after him and trying to think of the best way to say what he wants to. He wants to ask whether Kono is in place, he needs to ask if Chin is okay, but most of all, he needs to tell Steve that if all goes wrong, then the one constant lies in that Danny loves him.
He refuses to let the day pass without Steve knowing that.
It’s all he gets out before Steve goes down -- hard. One minute, he’s standing at attention with his flak-vest covering the important parts of him, the next he’s hitting the ground with his knees and blood beginning to pour out from both his shoulder and a graze to his neck.
“Danny,” Steve says, eyes wide in shock.
The panic is front and dead center, easy to see (and quick to break Danny’s heart). He’s sure that it’s mirrored on his own face.
He scrambles to slide into his jacket – a modified version that protects his neck with a brace-like appendage – kicking up dust in the sprint to Steve’s side. He only manages to fasten one side of the Velcro as he slides in, like he’s back to playing baseball in downtown Newark. The cloud of dust should obscure any sniper shots while they get a handle on the situation. “Steve!” Danny shouts desperately, searching over his body to appraise the damage.
The bullet hasn’t gone through. The bullet is still inside Steve.
“Oh, god. Oh, shit,” Danny swears freely. “Steve, babe, tell me it’s not, tell me it isn’t...”
Steve grimaces heavily. Danny can visibly see each wave of pain coursing through him. Every minute that passes, Danny feels weaker and weaker, sick to his stomach in something like sympathetic pains.
“It’s very interesting, isn’t it?”
“You asshole,” Danny swears as he looks up from where he’s trying to stop the bleeding from Steve’s shoulder. The wound is festering and is tinged with necrotic tissue, tainting it black and seemingly poisonous. “Silver?” In the haze of the dust, there’s a shadow of a man. Danny’s never met Wo Fat, but he’s seen enough pictures to know him on sight.
“What else?” Wo Fat replies with a smile that might’ve had a chance at being charming on anyone else. “When I realized the close connection you and McGarrett have, I began to look into some of the history of such rare bondings. Do you know what I found?”
Danny’s having trouble seeing straight. The world is swimming around him and though he’s struggling to keep Steve upright, he’s beginning to worry that he’s gripping onto Steve like a lifeline. He’s sweating heavily, the nausea growing worse, and he can begin to feel a dull physical pain assaulting his shoulder.
It can’t be a coincidence.
“The more I hurt him,” Wo Fat says, drawing his gun on Steve, “The more I hurt you. Would you like to see?”
Danny opens his mouth to scream hoarsely, but it’s too late. Wo Fat fires at Steve’s thigh, sending him to the ground – left to do nothing more than writhe and let out the basest of whimpering sounds. Steve, the SEAL that Danny knows, would never let pain show like this. The silver must be making Steve suffer to such a degree that the wolf has assumed control.
“Stop,” Danny begs. “Stop, before we kill you.”
“Your woman is being held captive,” Wo Fat informs him. “Miss Kalakaua, I believe. Three of my men are currently guarding her. Chin Ho Kelly is still in Honolulu, given that he’s come into contact with an alarming amount of silver. Chains, I believe, as Hesse has promised me. As for your other associates...well, Mr. Williams, what help are they to you, now?”
Danny draws his sword in a futile effort to fight back. He staggers to his feet, standing in front of Steve’s body protectively. Though he’s swaying shakily, he manages to center his focus and, with trembling fingers, he turns the point of his sword on Wo Fat. It gets his attention, fangs popping out, and Danny reminds himself that he’s fought harder battles.
“You’ll feel that bullet soon, Detective Williams,” Wo Fat warns. “I’d make a move while you still have a chance.”
Danny begins to list to the side, but he takes a run at Wo Fat, blade straight and true. Wo Fat fires one, two, three shots at Danny’s legs, but the unsteady nature of his steps mean that the first two miss. The third, though, lands. It lands right in his knee. While it won’t kill him, it’s going to hurt like a bitch.
He lets out a sharp shout of pain as he lands hard.
“It goes both ways, of course,” Wo Fat explains as he digs out a new clip. “The pain you feel, McGarrett will experience, as well. Hasn’t he got enough to worry about?”
“You son of a bitch,” Danny coughs out hoarsely. He tries to drag himself back to his feet, but all that he manages to do is scrape at the ground until there’s clay and dust under his fingernails. “You’re going to pay for this. You won’t survive.”
“Detective Williams,” Wo Fat says, yanking off the portion of the flak-vest covering Danny’s neck and pressing a thin blade to his skin. “I think that you’re very optimistic. It’s a valuable trait, of course, but flawed in this situation.”
Danny closes his eyes.
“Steve,” he calls over to the man behind him – curled up in a heap and no doubt trying to think of a way to save the day, even if he can barely function due to the pain. “Steve, listen to me...”
“No, Detective Williams, I think that everyone needs to listen to me right now.”
Danny’s feeling pretty goddamn out of it, so he thinks he can be excused for thinking that they had an angel intervening on their matters. It’s not a messenger from heaven, but it’s definitely a vision from hell. Danny blinks and tries to determine whether he’s actually seeing Governor Jameson standing on the bluff or whether he’s slid into a cozy hallucination.
If he is dreaming it up, then he’s doing a bang-up job when it comes to the impossible.
The Governor’s feet are a ways above the ground. She’s floating and surrounded by an effervescent glow that seems both radiant and rageful, at once. Danny uses the opportunity to scramble back to Steve’s side, leaving a bloody trail as he goes. He manages to get Steve’s head in his lap.
“Babe,” he exhales worriedly. “I keep trying to tell you I love you.”
“Danno, did you think I didn’t know?” Steve gets out. He sounds so small and weak that Danny closes his eyes to avoid looking at him and confirming that Steve is quickly on his way to giving up.
“What are you doing here?” Wo Fat turns to the Governor, confirming Danny’s worst fears. They’ve been in this together since the goddamn start. “This isn’t how we decided it would happen.”
“No, it isn’t,” the Governor agrees. “But let me tell you something. If you thought that you recruited an idiot as an ally, you were wrong. You were growing brazen. How many reports of your criminal doings did you think you could flaunt in my face before I would do something about it?”
Fae powers are a great and terrible secret, but Danny is beginning to see that the world is right to be wary of the species. Within seconds, the Governor does nothing more than set her feet on the ground and press both palms in Wo Fat’s direction, but she sends him tumbling backwards and his weapons scattering. Danny has to wonder if pride is really all this boils down to, but considering the intervention is saving his ass, he’s not sure he’s going to complain.
“Every morning, there they were on my desk – proof of your ill-doings. I went into this with you because you promised to keep yourself under the radar and benefit my intentions. You’ve done no such thing. In fact, it’s become clear that you want the power in your own hands. I should have seen that coming the minute you went after the McGarrett family, but I allowed you that one error. I’m not so generous that I’ll give you a second,” Governor Jameson informs Wo Fat, her tone icy and dangerous.
Instantly, the power has shifted.
“I let you put your hands all over my island’s infrastructure because you weren’t making waves, but I never agreed to this,” Governor Jameson warns. There’s an edge to her voice that sends chills down Danny’s spine. He’s grateful they never crossed her, because he’s not sure they would’ve made it out alive. “I never agreed to the execution of my task force. These men and women have been doing my work just as long as you’ve been doing what you like because I turned a blind eye, but those days are over.” With each word, her voice grows deeper, more imposing. “Especially not when it means that the little respect you had for me seems to have vanished.”
With every step she takes towards him, Danny almost feels a touch of sympathy for Wo Fat’s fate.
“No,” Wo Fat says, on the cusp of begging and Danny has never been more eager to hear a criminal plead for his life. “No, you can’t do this.”
“As ranking fae on this island and Governor of its people, I think you’ll find that yes, I can,” she says. The Governor’s palms look practically nuclear as they glow red and angry. She turns them away from her body, towards Wo Fat with a hard push, blasting a wave of steady light and sound and force with it.
The whole area turns apocalyptic in a flash – too bright to look at by half. Danny closes his eyes for mere seconds, but when he opens them, there isn’t a trace of Wo Fat where he’d once stood and the angry red glow of the surrounding area has faded to a calm normality.
“What the hell...?” he mutters, gripping hold of his knee.
There isn’t a man, but there is a pile of char and ash and rubble where he once stood. Danny stares up at the Governor fearfully as she approaches, grabbing hold of Steve’s biceps to haul him in tighter – as if he could protect him, even if he’s on the verge of passing out.
“Ma’am?” Danny manages weakly.
She presses a palm to his forehead and Danny thinks -- that’s it, I’m done, goodbye Hawaii, goodbye Grace, goodbye Steve -- but the only thing that happens is the pain in his knee abates. The sick feeling remains until the moment that the Governor does the very same to Steve. She actually goes so far as to pry the bullet out of his shoulder with her bare hands.
“Governor, I need to help...”
“Kono Kalakaua and Chin Ho Kelly? Their situations are being dealt with by my aide,” she promises distractedly, dismissing the silver bullet over her shoulder as she leans down to Steve’s eye-level. “Steve, I want to apologize. I should have intervened before your father was killed, but I didn’t. I thought that things could still be salvaged. I can promise you that the days of Wo Fat running my island are over.”
Steve stares warily at Danny, as if asking silent permission to take the Governor to task for ever being in bed with Wo Fat in the first place.
Danny shakes his head slightly to discourage that notion, testing out his knee tentatively. “Ma’am, at the risk of sounding ungrateful...what did you just do?”
“I cleaned up,” she says. It’s not what Danny meant and he’s fairly sure that she knows that, but he doesn’t make a move to ask again and she gives no sign that she’s going to clarify. “Boys, my office on Monday. I’d like to discuss an increased role in the policing of supernatural matters, going forward. Nine AM, sharp. Don’t be late. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” she warns with a beguiling smile on her face.
“We’ll be there,” Steve promises hoarsely. He’s managed to work himself into a sitting position and is practically standing at attention, even with his ass on the ground and blood staining every part of his body. “Ma’am.”
“Lieutenant Commander,” she says.
And then, in the blink of an eye, she’s gone and the only sign she was ever there is a faint swirling of dust in the stead of her body.
Danny doesn’t even know if he can begin to process what’s just happened, but he’s aware of this: they’re alive and he doesn’t feel like he’s about to puke at any given moment. As far as he’s concerned, that’s a win.
“Hey, Danno,” Steve says as he picks himself up and winces as he begins to brush off whole segments of his body covered in blood and dust. Danny’s too busy with a thorough onceover of his body – paying special attention to his neck to make sure that he’s not dead and having a really pleasant afterlife dream.
He manages to give Steve his full attention after the third ‘Daniel Williams!’ shouted at him in Steve’s best Navy-drill sergeant voice.
“What?” Danny snaps.
“Right back at you,” is all Steve has to say. “But I think you know, already.” He limps his way back to the Camaro and waits expectantly at the driver’s side with his hand out for the keys.
Danny can put up with it. Danny can put up with a lot of things right now, seeing as Steve’s heart is still beating and the man that’s wanted them dead is nothing more than a bad memory and a mess of a burden in one of Oahu’s natural parks.
“Steve, about Monday...” he says as they get into the car.
“Trust me, Danno, we’ll be there an hour early.”
“Okay, good. I didn’t think there was a woman out there scarier than Rachel. I have – I have never been happier to be wrong,” Danny says with a strangled laugh. From the look Steve gives him from the driver’s seat, it looks like he agrees wholeheartedly.
It’s about as far as goodbye as he can get, and it feels fucking perfect.
When they get back to Steve’s place, Danny gets out of the car and shrugs his shoulders back, adjusts his shirt, and fiddles with his tie. Then, he waits for Steve to come around the car. He waits for the perfect moment to haul back his arm and punch him right in the face. Danny shakes out his hand and breathes deeply while he calms down.
Steve rubs his cheek, glowering at Danny. “What the hell was that for? I thought everything was good! I thought we were good!”
“You almost died, I’m mad about that,” Danny replies instantly. “Let me explain this simply so even your Neanderthal brain cells will get this. When I get mad and you’re directly involved in the reasons why, my desire to punch you increases. Hence—”
“I’m sorry, did you just say ‘hence’?”
“—I will punch you in the face as much as I goddamn want when you nearly get killed and give me an immortal-style heart attack!” Danny finishes, his voice jumping two octaves over one sentence. “Look at you! Look at your wounds, Steven, those were silver bullets and the Governor’s little light show didn’t heal that graze. You’re probably in pain right now!”
Steve’s answering wince is proof enough.
“Get inside,” Danny sighs. “Get inside and I’ll patch you up.”
Steve obediently makes his way in, seemingly cowed into following orders, given Danny’s mood. Danny makes sure that none of the ordinance in his car is going to go up in flames, checks his own wounds in the mirror, and then follows Steve inside in time to see the man stripping off his shirt.
The movements are delicate and by the time Steve gets down to his boxers, Danny can see that though the wounds are healed, the entry holes are still gaping open wide and probably feel just as bad as they look.
“Danny,” Steve says wearily, looking across the short space between them, giving him a half-desperate look. “Come here?”
Against Danny’s better judgment (he knows if he gets too close, Steve will get him distracted from patching them both up), he goes. He manages to prod Steve upstairs so that they’re not giving the neighbors a real show. Steve shuffles along with his boxers halfway down his thighs and Danny spares a thought towards being pleased that Steve does have moments where he isn’t Mr. Perfect.
This, right here, with his dick hanging out and an exhausted set to his body, is one of them.
Danny will be damned if it doesn’t make him fall just a little bit more in love with the idiot. He shakes his head and curses himself for being so soft after four hundred years. He directs Steve to the bed with a wordless gesture of his fingers and parts ways to head for the bathroom, stockpiling enough gauze and band-aids to build a fort.
“Steve, grunt if you’re about to pass out,” Danny calls lightly, trying to keep the mood up. He needs to not think about how many of Steve’s wounds have lingering silver in them – he’s not sure he believes the Governor put them back to full health, seeing as Danny’s knee is still echoing with painful twinges.
Mostly, he needs to not think about how close he came to losing Steve. If he can keep his mind away from that dark place, Danny’ll be in good shape.
Steve manages to stay conscious for a whole seven minutes, which is actually fairly impressive given that a lesser man would’ve fainted from the pain hours earlier. Danny smiles fondly at Steve because the idiot in front of him – the idiot who bonded with him – would never take the easy road out.
Danny takes advantage of the time and gets out as much silver as he can, trusting Steve’s body to do the lion’s share of the healing over time. It won’t be instantaneous and it won’t be without a good deal of pain, but Steve will be alive. Danny sets aside the cloth and bowl of tepid (and filthy) water when he’s done, making room in the bed for his exhausted body.
He tries not to focus on the fact that they were dead men. If not for the Governor, they wouldn’t have survived, and he’s still not sure what to make of the situation going forward. He doesn’t know if this is just a temporary detente or whether the Governor is lining up her eggs in new baskets.
“Danny,” Steve says in a hoarse croak. “You’re thinking too much.”
“Who are you to pass judgment, huh?” Danny replies, leaning down to pry off his socks. Every single muscle in his body is screaming in soreness and the easy task before him seems gargantuan. “I’m pretty sure you never stop thinking. It’s plan-this and mission-that and you’re probably sizing up a threat and figuring out how to take it down as I speak, aren’t you?”
Steve looks at Danny in a way that says he’s right.
It also says that Danny is said threat.
“I don’t like that look,” Danny says warily, flinging his socks across the room. He’ll clean it up later when he doesn’t want to sleep like the dead that he is. He briefly debates trying to get his blood-crusted pants off, but that seems like too much work for one day. “Steve, what are you doing?”
“Thinking,” he grunts.
“Great, so we’ve established that both of us can think. Wonderful. Amazing. Can we move on?” Danny coaxes as he gives himself permission to collapse in bed and let exhaustion start to creep up on him. Steve is still looking at him like a task in waiting and Danny lets out a loud groan, picking up a pillow to shove it over his face and muffle the sound. “Steve!”
“Danny,” Steve says. “Tomorrow, I’m going to make a phone call. Then, Rachel will head over to your apartment and send the rest of your stuff. That way, you can officially move in.”
That gets Danny’s attention. Instantly, he shoves the pillow away from his face and stares at Steve with all the horror a statement like that deserves.
“Whoa. No. Steve, excuse me?” he scoffs. “You do remember that you don’t get to just say things and expect them to happen. Wishing is not a way of getting things done around here, and I swear to god, Steve, do not bring up the time we earned a favor from a djinn,” Danny cuts Steve off before he can even open his mouth.
“It’s not a wish, Danny. It’s common sense,” Steve explains.
Danny closes his eyes tightly and tries to work out why not, but the truth is that he can’t manage to find a good enough argument against. He lets out a sigh and pins Steve to the bed with a splayed palm to his bare chest. When he rests his cheek to the warm skin below, he takes great pleasure in the steady beat of his heart.
“You’re not arguing,” Steve points out lazily. His words are slurred, like he’s back on a path to sleep. “Why aren’t you arguing?” he asks suspiciously.
“Because every once in a blue moon, you have a good idea,” Danny confesses. He hides his delighted smile against Steve’s chest as he tries to ignore the pleasure he gets from mundane fantasies of a day-to-day life with Steve. “You know, seeing as you and I are bonded...”
“Oh, because of that. Only because of that?”
“Only,” Danny confirms swiftly with a smug smirk on his face. He makes sure to turn his face in Steve’s direction so he sees it, but all it earns him is a swift and tired kiss. “Hey,” he exhales. “We need to have the team over. We need to check up on them and make sure everyone is still...” He trails off before he can say ‘alive’.
The guilt might just eat him whole if he says that.
Danny runs a palm over his face as he adjusts and lies alongside Steve. He picks a point on the ceiling and stares it down, as though he can wear it to pieces with a glare alone. “How the hell are we supposed to apologize to Chin for this?” he asks, voice raw. He feels like rage and despair are waiting in the wings to tear him to pieces.
“I think,” Steve says in a calm and rational manner that doesn’t usually befit a McGarrett, “that I have to treat this like I did my father.”
“You mean, shoot a lot of people and nearly kill me?” Danny asks warily. “Can I veto this? My knee kind of hurts like a bitch, babe, I’m not ready for more Dukes of Hazzard mimicry.” He props himself up on one elbow to be able to look down on Steve while they talk – experiencing an immature moment of power from it.
Steve rolls his eyes so hard that it looks like it hurts.
“No, Danny,” he says, practically huffy as he gets defensive. “But we can’t let his sacrifice be in vain. We need to fight harder than ever before and show him that he’s always going to be a part of the team. Our ohana. And I want them here as soon as possible, Danny,” he says, sliding into command mode.
In this tone of voice, Danny knows that Steve is not to be messed with.
“As soon as we can, Danny, as soon as you’re ready for us to have guests in our home.”
Danny’s pretty sure that Steve’s gunned the relationship from zero to sixty without telling him. They’ve gone from accepting the bond to dating tentatively to planning to live together to ‘this is your home, too, Daniel Williams’.
“Okay, first off,” Danny says as he fidgets with the gauze at Steve’s neck to check on the dressing. “I still haven’t moved in. We may be bonded forever and ever like the idiots we are, but this is still your place and while I have the intention to move in, I thought we could take this slower. Secondly? There will never be any question about whether I’m okay having the team over. This extends to Kame, Max, and sometimes Fong. They are all okay. They aren’t okay until about ten in the morning, because I intend on waking you up with the dirtiest methods I can think of, but after ten, open doors.”
Steve is grinning like an idiot, so Danny guesses he’s saying the right things.
“We’ll bring ‘em over and we’ll apologize to Chin,” Danny says resolutely. “And, also, I think, I think that we have to tell Jenna that her research trip is a bust.” He exhales a long breath. For all that they’ve been looking into this with all the resources they’ve got, nothing’s panning out.
In all the years that Danny’s been alive, there’s been no evidence to confirm the existence of spirits. He’s really goddamn disappointed that the supernatural world isn’t about to make an exception in this case.
“Steve?” Danny asks, when Steve doesn’t reply. “Steven, are you even...” -- listening. He’s not, though, because he’s passed out. His fingers are curled and the crooked knuckles brush against Danny’s stomach in soft revolutions.
Danny wastes little time in adjusting the pillows and curling up with Steve as closely and as comfortably as he can get.
They get about five hours of sleep, combined, which is too much (considering the adrenaline pulsing through their systems) and not enough (because neither of them have been able to sleep well). It has to be enough, because the team has already arrived for a small barbeque and they’ve only just started to prepare the meal.
Rachel’s been dropping boxes by all day, Grace is helping with the condiments, and Kamekona is trying to fit individualized shaved ice into the freezer.
“Big guy,” Danny says, hands in the air sharply as he tries to gesture to the freezer and to the general laws of measuring that surround them. “They are not gonna fit. Please, please, I beg of you, if you make it so I have to stay up even later tonight to cook everything that thawed, I am not gonna be very warm and welcoming to your new franchise ideas.”
“Jersey, from what I hear, that’s not what you’re gonna be up late doing,” Kamekona says with an overdramatic wink.
Danny places both hands over Grace’s ears and gives Kame a pleading look. “Really?” he deadpans. “Seriously? In front of the children?”
“Danno’s delicate,” Steve pipes up from the lanai.
“You’re a celibate man, McGarrett!” Danny shouts in warning.
“Not in front of the children, huh?” Kono says with a bemused smile, taking a sip of her beer. They’ve mostly assembled in the kitchen, but Chin is out by the barbeque with Steve. For the most part, they seem locked in serious conversation and while Danny wants to go out and offer his apologies, he doesn’t want to ruin whatever delicate balance they’ve got going. “Hey, Danny, look...I’m sorry about...”
“I refuse to accept any apologies,” Danny insists, finally taking his hands off of Grace’s ears as he goes about splitting cheese for the burgers. “You said what you said, and let’s be honest. Maybe Steve and I can be a little self-centered. We needed to hear it.” He brings her into a tight one-armed hug, pressing a kiss to her temple. “We’re good,” he promises. “We’re always good.”
He turns back to staring worriedly at Chin and Steve, right up until Kono nudges him in the side with her elbow. “Go,” she whispers. “I can handle getting the cheese ready for the grill.”
It’s completely against his instincts – which are telling him to stay very far away – but he intrudes on the conversation just as Steve is saying something.
“...those first few years, they were the worst, but it...”
Steve trails off, which Danny takes as a signal to step in and help.
“Eventually, it sort of balances out,” Danny says. His fingers rest on the hilt of his sword as if in constant reminder that though he looks and walks and talks like any other person, he’s not normal. Neither is Steve and now Chin isn’t, either. “Look, Chin, it’s gonna be hard. I don’t want to sugar-coat it and I doubt Steve will, either. But you? You’re Chin Ho Kelly. And you’ll always have us.”
“Always,” Steve agrees stubbornly. “How are you? With the ...” He gestures to his neck.
Chin looks vaguely amused by Steve and Danny’s discomfort – like any other given day. “The cravings? I went to one of the Centers for Healthy Vampiric Feeding and enrolled to their registrar. I’ve been matched to the right blood type for my body and I signed up to receive three shipments a day.”
“And hey, anytime you want junk food...” Danny trails off as he offers out his wrist in jest. He takes no small pleasure in the way that it elicits a possessive growl from Steve. “Or not. I don’t think malasadas are good for you, even once they hit the bloodstream.” He drifts closer to Steve to wrap an arm around his waist.
Inside, Kono has pulled Jenna aside and the two of them look as though they’re deep in serious conversation.
“Is that...?” Chin asks uncertainly.
“Yeah, I think Kono is telling her,” Danny agrees, fingers pressing just that much tighter against Steve’s hip. “She can take it,” he says, though he’s pretty sure that he’s convincing himself more than anyone else, at this point. “You think she’ll stay on? I know we all agreed we’d ask, but you really think someone would stick around after working for the CIA for so long?”
“What’s not to like?” Steve asks, with a cock of his right eyebrow upwards. “We’re offering werewolves, vampires, immortals, and a dodgy alliance with a fae who might kill us any day.”
“Why am I still here?” Danny scoffs.
“Because you love me,” Steve murmurs, right into his ear. “Possibly, maybe a little.”
The responding shiver is all the confirmation Steve needs to know it’s true.
They watch silently as Jenna listens to what Kono is saying. There’s no mistaking the very instant that all hope leaves. Jenna’s shoulders slump forward, but soon enough there’s a hopeful look on her face – as if she’s determined to get through the pain on the spirit of good hope alone.
“Shit,” Danny exhales. “Four hundred years and life’s still not fair.”
They move inside as the burgers and hot dogs finish grilling. Whatever solemn pall might have been cast over the room earlier is gone by now, and it’s noisy when they re-enter. Rachel, Grace, and Kono are discussing surfing (Danny is going to have a heart attack for real this time, immortal or not), while Jenna and Kamekona are deep in a debate about conspiracy theories.
Chin brings the food inside and offers a controlled and fangless smile.
Danny lingers by the door with Steve as he takes in one breath, two breaths, and then a calming third as he tells himself that he deserves this. Steve presses a reassuring hand to the small of Danny’s back before he joins the fray and the noise level increases tenfold. By the time Danny gets there, it’s practically a parade of chaos.
It stays that way through the night.
The mood is buoyant and joyous. Despite the fear of the unknown path ahead, the team doesn’t seem inclined to think about it. They eat more than they should and tell stories until the early hours of the morning. It’s only Grace’s gigantic yawns that break up the party.
Rachel offers an apologetic look. “I’m sorry, it seems that even potentials can grow very tired once the midnight hour passes,” she says as she hurries Grace into her coat, pressing a kiss to Danny’s cheek as she readies them to leave. “I’ll bring the remainder of your things from my place in the morning, Daniel.”
“Much obliged, dear,” he replies with a respectful bow of his head.
He catches Steve watching him with a funny look on his face, but doesn’t get to ask him about it until they’ve said goodbye to the rest of the team. It’s two in the morning and Steve is taking his time forcibly stripping Danny of his clothes.
“Yes?” Steve replies dutifully, sneaking a hand down Danny’s pants and wrapping his hand around Danny’s dick.
“Wow, okay,” he gets out breathlessly, trying to get a hold on the English language before it fully escapes him in the face of what Steve is about to do to him. “You. You in the front hall. What was with that look?”
“Danny, my hand is on your dick. Do you really care?”
“Steven!” he barks.
“Maybe I like it when you go all Old World,” he confesses and by the twist of Steve’s hand, he definitely likes it enough to show Danny how much it pleases him. “A lot,” he growls, sliding his hand over Danny’s hip and out of his pants long enough to give him a two-handed shove onto the bed.
Danny gets exactly five seconds before Steve is on top of him.
He stays there the whole of the night and part of the next morning, too. By noon the next day, Danny can barely move and though he’s always been a quick healer, he marvels at the fact that somehow Steve McGarrett has found a way to subvert that. He’d shout at the man, but sometime around nine, Steve abandoned human form for the wolf and there’s a heavy heap of a wolf slumbering on Danny’s feet – curled around his cold toes to provide a kind of warmth.
It’s disgustingly endearing.
Danny makes a note to yell at Steve another day because – and he takes great pleasure in this knowledge – there are plenty more to come.
Danny comes in next Wednesday morning with his collar buttoned up tighter than usual, fingers passing over the starched cotton carefully. He’s trying to hide the fact that underneath the fabric is a definitive mark of Steve’s wolf-teeth carved into his skin, marking him as one of the pack. Steve’s scent is all over him and he’s caught Chin looking at him warily all morning.
It takes until noon for someone to say something.
“It’s kind of disgusting,” Kono says, throwing an arm over Danny’s shoulder and giving him a one-armed hug. “At the same time, I’m glad you figured out how to cope with Steve being...well, you know better than anyone.” She pries away the collar and peeks at the wound, which Danny’s left after treating it with some salve. “I can practically feel the ‘stay away’ vibes,” she adds, relinquishing his collar when she gives the mark one last look. “He did a good job.”
Rachel had been crystal clear on this rule. Danny knows that any wound to the neck will take nearly half a lifetime to heal. He’s happy to bear this one for as long as it will last.
“C’mon, we have work to do. The last thing we need to do is sit around discussing the shape and cut of Steve’s teeth,” he says, warily sure that he’s just resigned himself to that very fate by mentioning it aloud. He tries to conceal his stupid grin when the team starts talking about where else Danny might be marked, but he doesn’t hide it very well.
Honestly, he can’t bring himself to care.
Eight Months Later
“Just another Monday, huh,” Kono says with a wary look to her side.
Danny’s got his sword drawn, wincing heavily as he readjusts his hold on the hilt of it, the blinding heat of their surroundings making the metal hot to the touch. Steve’s shifted back to his wolf form, his clothes perilously close to being swallowed up by flames, and is standing protectively in front of Danny as if he can shield him.
Chin cocks his shotgun and stares forward unflinchingly.
Kono would love to know how the hell he does that, but maybe that’s just part of the newfound blind courage that comes of being undead.
Jenna’s lurking several paces behind, meekly stepping forward with her hand raised in the air. “Um, guys? I have a suggestion. I mean, I’m just spitballing here, but can we maybe talk to the dragon before we start stabbing things? I think, maybe, that it would be a good idea so we can stay alive.” She casts a glance to her side, where Steve’s wolf ears are pointed, Chin’s fangs are drawn, and Danny’s grip on his sword is practically fused. “Well,” she amends, “some of us.”
Steve’s growl turns angrier.
“I don’t speak wolf!” Jenna says, her eyes wide.
“He’s saying that if the thing even so much as touches me, he’s gonna rip its throat out, which is hilarious considering Steven thinks he can destroy a dragon, which aren’t even supposed to exist!” Danny shouts up at the dragon, which has turned its head in their direction, rearing back and lunging forward to let loose another stream of fire.
“Get out of the way! Go!” Chin orders.
Chin’s the last one out of the path of fire, but they’ve narrowly escaped it in time. The area they were just standing in is now licked with flames and Kono is beginning to think they’re incredibly outmatched. “I thought dragons didn’t exist! We’ve had four hundred years to figure out what’s lurking, no one’s ever said anything about dragons!” she shouts above the dragon’s angry roar.
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” Danny admits, adjusting his grip on the sword. Kono’s seen Danny walk through flames before, but he’d bitched about the pain for four hours afterward. She has a bad feeling he’s only thinking about the crazy part and not the consequences right now. “Okay, I’m taking a run at it.”
He’s studying the layout of the land, figuring out his way in, but is stopped by a very defensive wolf in his path.
“I’ll heal!” Danny snaps.
“Not without a hundred complaints first,” Chin mutters under his breath, to which Kono gives a snort of agreement. “Steve!” Chin shouts, when Kono elbows him in the side. Of all the people who stand a chance of getting through to him besides Danny, Chin’s typically the best bet. “He’s right. He’ll heal and I can’t go near the flames if I want to get out of here alive.”
Kono’s not even going to ask why sunlight isn’t a problem for Chin, but fire is. It’s one of those things that she’s sure has reason to it, but she’s not sure she cares that much. Sun good, fire bad does the trick in covering it.
Danny seems to be getting ready to take the offensive when the dragon rears back, showing his underbelly and what appears to be a less-armored portion than the rest of the scaly hide. When the dragon sinks back – digging its claws into the soil – it looks like it’s ready to let another plume of fire loose.
Kono really doesn’t want to keep taking chances. Law of large numbers (and their injury count) says that someone’s going to get hurt the more times the dragon goes on the offense.
As if aware that things need to change, Steve shifts from his wolf form into a very naked human -- directly in front of her.
“Steve,” Chin protests weakly.
“Um,” says Jenna.
Danny’s cursing away, watching the dragon and looking to Steve in turns as he takes long strides back to their weapons bag, digs out a set of clothes, and foists them on Steve, forcibly pushing them into his abdomen and sending him stumbling back two steps. “What part of mine do you not get?” Danny snaps. “Get dressed or learn to shift into clothes.”
Steve’s keeping a wary eye on the dragon (who’s huffing out smoke, as if charging up the reserves) as he dresses in a hurry.
There’s a stupidly excited look on his face.
It might be Danny’s influence, but Kono has come to dread that look because it means that nothing good is coming. “I got a thing,” Steve says with glee, rushing out to where the Camaro is parked some hundred feet away. “I’ll be back.”
“Oh god,” Danny says. If it weren’t for the fact that he has to lunge for the dragon’s forearm when it takes a swipe at them, he looks like he might have pressed his face into his palm. “Kono, if I die, tell Gracie that I love her.”
“You? I’m mortal,” Kono replies incredulously. “If I die, I will create a limbo universe of spirits just to haunt you, Williams.”
Steve comes trotting back on just two legs, but he looks happy as a puppy and he’s carrying...
“Whoa,” Kono says in awe. “Can I hold it?”
“Where?” Danny sputters. “Where was that? Where were you keeping a grenade launcher in our car? Why were you keeping it there?”
“It was under a false board in the trunk,” Steve says as he checks the specs and loads it up. “And because we might need it,” he continues calmly and logically. “Like right now.”
“We’re fighting a dragon!”
“And aren’t you glad I had a grenade launcher in the trunk?”
“I swear to god, Steven, when we get home...”
Danny doesn’t get the opportunity to finish his thought. Steve’s loaded up the grenade and with a heavy clunk, it’s ready for delivery. Danny steps forward and uses the sword to pierce at the dragon where he can, aiming to get him to rear up on his hind legs once more. It takes a good parry and thrust, a strong jab into the dragon’s shoulder area (because Kono’s not sure they have actual shoulders), but eventually it rises up, scaly neck extending and head pointed upwards.
“Take cover,” Steve warns and then he lets the grenade loose.
Kono sprints for cover behind a large rock nearby, grabbing hold of Jenna by the forearm to take her down with her as they slide in the volcanic rock and dirt, shielded from any of the shrapnel. Through the smoke, she can see Chin taking cover behind a wall. Danny’s covering Steve’s body with his own as best as he can, despite the height difference, with no other protection.
When the explosion dies down, Kono chances a peek out from behind the rock.
“A grenade launcher? Are you serious? Are you kidding me? When we get home, you’re giving me an itemized inventory of the weapons you have so I know where to find a catapult if I need one!”
“Well, you’d know how to use it, at least,” Steve replies with a smirk.
“That is no one’s business as to why!” he snaps, finger pointed in Steve’s face.
In tandem, they approach the clearing dust to see if a grenade can really take down a dragon. Kono waves a hand to clear the smoke, coughing when some of it manages to filter down into her lungs. The dragon’s not breathing anymore – although, they’re pretty magical creatures and she’s not sure that lack of a pulse means it’s down for the count, but it looks dead.
“Do we know for sure it’s dead?” Kono asks warily.
Steve and Danny exchange a look. Moments later, Danny’s sighing and pulling out his cell phone, muttering something about how he hates Steve.
“How do you do that?” Kono demands. “I need to know. Mostly so I can find the big red ‘off’ button that has to be there. It has to exist,” she says, watching as Danny paces back and forth, gesticulating wildly with his hands.
“...yes. No, Rachel, I’m aware...yes, I’m sure I’m not drunk, I’m staring at it right now. I don’t care if you killed the last one during summer festivities at Versailles, we found one and psycho-Steve...”
“Trust me,” Steve assures, constantly tracking each of Danny’s movements. “There’s no ‘off’ button.”
“...what are you talking about, Grace is exhibiting...No, Rachel. No, I am not taking her out to teach her the basics of sword-fighting when she’s eight. Even with Mattie, we waited until he was thirteen. Look, can you come down here and give us a time of death on a dragon or not?”
Kono’s pretty amused by the show. With a quick glance to her side, she sees she’s not the only one. The one-man-Danny show goes on for a little while longer until he hangs up and lets out a heavy sigh, as if he’s been suffering right up until this moment. Steve is the only one who dares to take a step forward and holds out his palm expectantly.
In another show of their kind-of-creepy telepathy, Danny wordlessly hands over the cell phone.
“Well?” Steve prompts.
“She’s on her way. She says that if she has to save my life again, I owe her a fancy dinner,” Danny grumbles. “Also, she says don’t go anywhere near the mouth. Even dead, dragons are apparently capable of some post-mortem fire-breathing.” He smiles tightly. “I love the supernatural world, I love it, I love it so much,” he says, as if constant repetition will convince him of the fact.
In the middle of his ranting, Steve has leaned in until they’re practically sharing the same breathing room. Kono should look away, but it’s like a train wreck – she just can’t.
“...I love it every time something unknown pops out of the shadows to eat me alive and...”
Danny’s rant is interrupted when Steve leans in and nips at Danny’s lower lip, sliding an arm around his midsection to haul him closer. It’s not the first possessive public display she’s seen from Steve and she doubts it will be the last.
Chin groans and Jenna is hiding her gaze (only peeking through a slit in her fingers). It looks like Kono’s the only one who’s actually sort of into this.
“Boss,” she reminds him with amusement. “Do we all have to stay? I mean, obviously one of us will stay to make sure you don’t throw Danny over a maybe-not-dead dragon for victory sex, but do we all have to be here for that?”
Kono spares a moment to give Danny a sympathetic look, but if the glazed look on his face is any indication, Danny doesn’t need a single thread of empathy from anyone and seems plenty happy to let Steve ravage him over some dragon-scales.
“Rachel will be here soon,” Steve says, standing at full attention while somehow still managing to keep a lazy arm slung around Danny. “You guys can go. Take the rest of the day. It’s not every day you slay a dragon and I definitely think that deserves some kind of reward. Don’t you agree, Danno?”
Danny’s response isn’t pretty. He manages to babble out a couple consonants, but that’s where it ends and he ends up gaping speechlessly at Steve in a strange mixture of desire and horror.
Lately, that’s become Danny’s usual expression.
“Danny,” Kono says, hooking her arm in Chin’s, ready to get the hell out of there before Steve changes his mind. “Stay strong, bro,” she instructs. “Don’t let him take your honor in front of something from the old ways.”
As she goes, she can hear Danny muttering ‘I love my team, I love my team’, but it doesn’t last for very long. Steve’s too busy shutting him up, after all. Kono makes it back to the parking lot before she shares a fond smile with Jenna and Chin.
“So, see you guys tomorrow? What are you thinking?” Kono asks as she leans her forearms on the roof of her car. “Unicorns?”
“Definitely,” Chin agrees.
“Oh, definitely,” is Jenna’s serious assertion. “I’ll pencil in unicorns for Tuesday.”
From behind them, Kono can hear Danny ranting about the sanctity of a dragon’s burial site and she thinks she catches something about ‘bond-divorce’.
It’s just a typical Monday with Five-0, and she wouldn’t change that for the world.