Considering how exhausted he was, it was an honest to God miracle that Danny had managed the drive home without ending up wrapped around a lamppost, or having run up on the curb. He shuffled his way into his tiny apartment and collapsed on the fold-out, not even bothering to toe off his shoes. His body ached: four days chasing down the next wannabe BTK or Ted Fucking Bundy, grabbing power naps at his desk and only coming back to his place for a change of clothes when he ran out of the spares at the office and he was done. Officially done.
Sean Livingstone was a fucking psychopath with a wrap sheet as long as Danny’s arm. It included several convictions for domestic violence before he’d stepped it up to the torture and murder of his long suffering girlfriend, Adele Masters. Danny scrubbed his hands over his face, trying to erase the image of her battered and bloodied body from his mind. God, she’d just been a kid: 22 years old, training to be a teacher, and the only thing she did wrong was fall for a whack job like Livingstone. She hadn’t deserved the death she’d been given, and Danny promised himself that they’d get the guy who did it to her.
They’d gotten the bastard. Steve had run all five of them ragged for days, pushing them to the limit and driving himself there too, taking stupid risks and flinging himself literally into the line of fire on far too many occasions, nearly giving Danny heart failure in the process, but they’d gotten him. Livingstone hadn’t wanted to be taken alive, but Danny made damn sure he'd survived to be processed so he could pay for what he’d done. This was one time he didn't mind being told to 'Book 'em, Danno'.
And now, he was done. Governor Denning had given them all three days downtime for a job well done, which Danny had taken gratefully and hightailed it out of HQ. He needed a shower, eight hours sleep and food that hadn’t come out of a wrapper or a vending machine, not necessarily in that order. However, the thought of actually moving to go get said shower or food made Danny want to swear long and loudly, so, sleep it was. He tiredly kicked off his shoes and half dragged the blanket over him, unwilling to move to get it the rest of the way out from underneath him.
He tried to punch his pillow into some sort of shape, sank back into the uncomfortable mattress and closed his eyes, but sleep didn’t come. He wriggled out of his constricting clothes and, in desperation, started counting the myriad of cracks on his ceiling in hopes that he could bore himself into unconsciousness, but sleep still wouldn’t come.
He was actually beginning to contemplate reciting some of the nursery rhymes he’d taught Gracie or counting fucking sheep when the wash of headlights and sound of a car pulling up near his apartment shook him from his contemplation. He knew the sound of that truck, and his theory was confirmed moments later by the pitter patter of size 11 army boots on the steps up to his front door. He heard scraping at the handle and he sat up just in time to glare when Steve pushed open the door that had previously been locked.
“You know, in civilised society, people knock,” Danny informed him as Steve tucked his lockpick kit into his back pocket, used Danny’s own keys to lock the door behind him and kicked off his boots.
“You apartment is pathetically easy to break in to,” he was informed as Steve shrugged out of his button down and cargo pants, leaving him standing there in a t-shirt, boxers and the Superman socks Gracie had given him for his birthday. “I should report it to someone.”
“You…” Danny spluttered, pointing between Steve and the door, and including a hand gesture his incredulity at Steve’s utter lack of social graces. Steve blithely ignored Danny’s steadily rising blood pressure and climbed into the bed beside him, burrowing under the covers.
“Get some rest, Danno,” he said, sounding halfway unconscious already.
“What the hell?” Danny was completely lost.
Him and Steve, well, they had a thing: a post-adrenaline rush, no emotions, fuck buddy situation going on that did not include breaking and entering, and cuddling.
Ok, so Steve wasn’t exactly hard on the eyes, something Danny’d come to terms with within the first ten minutes of their friendship. And maybe he was beginning to realise that he was feeling more than just lust for the nutjob when he spent twenty minutes last week trying to count the freckles on Steve’s neck when he should have been listening to Lori going over some specifics for a court appearance.
So yes, Danny was living out every rotten movie cliché out there and falling for his friend-with-benefits, but that didn’t explain what Steve was doing here, in his crappy apartment, on his creaking fold-out, a blissful smile on his face as he settled down to sleep. Oh, he knew that Steve had the emotional maturity and stability of a freaking lemming, but surely there must have been something Danny had missed in the past four, adrenaline and caffeine filled days to warrant this.
“Steve, hey Steve,” he said, poking his partner in the side.
“G’way,” Steve mumbled into the pillow, pushing Danny’s hands away when he kept getting poked.
“Steve, what are you doing here?” Danny asked, exasperated.
“Trying to sleep,” he mumbled, grabbing Danny’s hand and pulling him down onto the mattress. “Which is what you should be doing. It’s been a hell of a few days.”
“I’m not arguing with that,” Danny said, body relaxing against Steve’s without conscious thought. “I’m just saying, you’ve got a perfectly good bed at the house and…”
“I don’t sleep well when you’re not there,” Steve said, honest, quiet and awake. Danny turned to look at him in shock.
“I know, I know. It’s every damn cliché in the book, but D, this works.” He slid a hand over Danny’s hip to wrap around his waist. “You know it, I know it. Hell, everyone we have ever met knows it.”
After a long moment where Danny’s tired brain refused to comprehend Steve’s words, and the anxious look on his face, he laced his fingers through the hand on his stomach and turned to settled down. He didn’t mind being the little spoon, just this once.
“Danno?” Steve asked hesitantly.
“Go to sleep, Steve,” Danny replied, body relaxing back into his warmth. The traitor. He could feel the warmth of Steve’s breath on his neck as he settled down behind him and tightened his grip on his waist. “We’ll talk about this in the morning.”
Steve didn’t reply, except to press a tiny kiss to the base of Danny’s neck.
“Night, Danno,” he whispered into the dark.
“Night, Babe,” Danny whispered back, and slipped into sleep.