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“Look… I get that there isn’t a better plan; that this is the only way, but you won’t have any backup.”

“Danny… I’ll be fine. It’s not like I haven’t done anything like this before.”

“That doesn’t make me feel any better.”

Steve sighed. He closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms around Danny.

As he held Danny close, he said, “I know, but I have to do this. I’m the only one that can.”

Danny pulled back slightly so he could look up into Steve’s eyes. “I know…”

“Stay with me tonight.”

“Steve…”

“Please… it might be a while before…”

“Okay, babe.”

Steve leaned down and kissed Danny. It was desperate and messy. After several moments, Danny pulled back and stared at the look of longing in Steve’s eyes. Steve led Danny up to his bedroom, shedding clothes as they went. A few hours later, they were asleep in each other’s arms.

----------

Steve woke early as usual. He slowly climbed from the bed, careful to not wake Danny. He walked into the bathroom and showered. He then went about transforming himself into James ‘Jimmy’ Dornan, low-level gun and drug smuggler from Australia.

He left the bathroom twenty minutes later, his hair buzzed cut and he was wearing dark jeans and a blue polo. He didn’t shave, so the dark stubble stood stark against his skin.

He walked over to the bed and looked down at his sleeping partner. He wished so much to say goodbye, but he knew that he should just leave… before it became too hard.

“See you soon,” he whispered.

He turned and walked to the door. Just before leaving and closing the door behind him he turned back one last time.

“I hope.”

----------

Danny woke an hour later to the sound of his phone beeping that he had a text. He wasn’t surprised that Steve wasn’t there. He knew he wouldn’t be. That’s why he originally didn’t want to stay the night. It would have been easier.

I’ll think about you the whole time. -S

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Danny knew that he probably wouldn’t hear from Steve again for at least a couple of days. Steve was going deep undercover, into a major drug and gun ring that had recently taken up residence on the islands. None of the major players had spent time in Hawai’i, so none of the locals knew who the top brass were. Steve’s job was to infiltrate and get in close with the higher ups. He’d feed Five-0 and HPD whatever intel he discovered, and then work from the inside to bring them down.

If everything worked the way they hoped, Steve, or Jimmy, would rendezvous with Chin once a week. They would meet at a different place and time, so as to not draw any suspicion. Danny had wanted to be the one to take the meetings, but Steve had pointed out that it wouldn’t work.

“It has to be someone local that won’t stand out,” Steve had said. Danny knew he was right, and didn’t fight it.

Danny was well aware of the fact that undercover operations of this type could take weeks, or even months. What worried him the most was that Steve was alone. If something went wrong he wouldn’t have his team—he wouldn’t have Danny—to back him up. Steve was cut off from everything. Chin was the only contact he would have.

----------

Chin’s first meeting with Jimmy had gone smoothly, much to Danny’s relief.

“How is he?”

“He looks good. He seems to be holding up well.”

“I hate this.”

“I know you do, Danny. Hell, we all do. He knows what he’s doing, though. We have to trust him.”

Danny nodded. “So, what have we got?”

“He hasn’t been able to get as close as he’d like yet. He has met with one of faces of the ring though, Marcus Ambrose.” Chin pulled his picture up on the smart table. “He’s a mid-level drug trafficker. No one’s ever been able to pin anything on him though.”

“Did he say anything else?” Kono asked.

“He said there is something going on in a couple of weeks, but he hasn’t had any luck finding out what that is yet. He’ll let us know.”

“That’s it?”

“For now. I’m meeting him again on Monday. He hopes to have something more concrete by then.”

“Okay. So there isn’t much we can do until he gets back to us. Now what?”

“We wait,” Danny stated.

“Oh!” Chin pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to Danny. “He wanted me to give you this. Don’t worry, I didn’t look at it.”

Danny took the piece of paper from Chin. “Thanks.” He turned away from the table and walked into his office. He sat down in his chair and unfolded the piece of paper.

I’m okay.

Please try not to worry too much, Danno.

I’ll see you soon.

S

He smiled down at the piece of paper in his hand. He sat it on his desk and pulled his wallet out of his pocket. He folded the paper and placed it inside his wallet, then returned it to his pocket.

Instead of going home to his apartment that night, Danny went to Steve’s. He drank a beer out on the lanai and then fell asleep in Steve’s bed. He slept better than he had since Steve had left.

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Monday morning came bright and early. Grace had spent the weekend with Danny, and even though he was happy she was with him, he still felt empty.

“What’s wrong, daddy?”

“Nothing… I just miss your Uncle Steve.”

“When will he be back?”

“I don’t know, baby.”

He hadn’t slept well on Sunday night, so he was exhausted when he walked into HQ. Chin was on his way out, so Danny stopped him. He pulled an envelope out of his pocket.

“Chin, can you give this to him?”

“Sure thing, brah. I’ll see ya later.”

He walked the rest of the way into the main room to see Kono standing next to the smart table.

“What was that?”

Danny smiled. “Just a little something from Grace. Well, I wrote it, but it was from her.”

“You didn’t sleep well last night, did you?”

“How do you do that, huh?”

“Well, it’s not hard to tell. You look like shit.”

“Thanks. I love you too.”

Kono grinned back at him. “He’s okay. If something was wrong, he’d send the code word.”

“Yeah, I know. I can’t help it. I’m his backup and I’m not there to back him up.”

“You will be when the time comes.”

“I hope so.”

He turned and walked into his office. They didn’t have any cases to work on, so he figured he’d get caught up on some paperwork while he waited for Chin to get back.

----------

Chin walked in about two hours after he had left. Both Danny and Kono came rushing out of their offices to meet him.

Before Danny could ask, Chin said, “He’s good. A little tired, but he’s doing okay.”

“He doesn’t have anything big yet, but he may have an in. He’s taking part in a sale tonight. If everything goes well, Ambrose is going to introduce him to the higher ups. He also gave me another name, Alan Kinohe. He’s the dealer they are meeting tonight.

“He’s supposed to call me tonight, after the meet. Don’t worry, he has a burn phone that no one else but the four of us know about. Ambrose wouldn’t give him any information about where the sale will be or exactly when it will happen, so again, we have to wait.”

Danny sighed. He hated the waiting. He turned to Kono. “See what you can dig up on this Kinohe guy.”

“On it, boss.”

“I’m not the boss, Kono.”

“Technically, you are. At least until Steve’s back.”

“Fine, whatever… just don’t call me boss.”

“Okay… boss.”

Danny rolled his eyes at her retreating back. He turned to Chin, hoping that Steve had sent him another note.

Chin pulled another small piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to him.

Like before, he turned and walked into his office. He unfolded the paper and read.

This is going slower than I’d hoped, but I think I’m finally getting somewhere.

It won’t be long now.

See you soon.

S

Danny put the note in his wallet, next to the other one. He leaned back in his chair and tried to relax.

Kono came in about half an hour later with the information on Kinohe. They again gathered around the smart table.

“He’s a local dealer. A few arrests for possession and intent to distribute. Served a couple of years, and has been out for about eight months.”

“Didn’t take him long to get back into the game.”

“Okay… we need to pick him up.”

“Danny…”

“Just listen. It’s possible that he could recognize Steve.”

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem, brah. He doesn’t exactly look like himself right now. Plus, he’s talking with the accent. He’s really gotten into the role.”

“Okay, but I think we should still bring him in. He may be able to tell us who was there, or at least give a description. We don’t have to do it tonight. Just get a tail on him and bring him in in a few days. That way it won’t look too suspicious.”

“Okay, I’ll get HPD on it.”

“Good. Make sure they know not to engage him, just follow. As much as I hate to say this, the sale needs to happen.”

Danny sighed as he watched Chin walk to his office to make the call.

“Are you sure this is a good idea, Danny?”

He pinched the bridge of his nose. “We need to do everything we can on the outside to help him. I think this is the right thing to do.”

“I do too; I just wanted to make sure that we were on the same page.”

Chin chose that moment to walk back into the room.

“HPD is going to put a tail on Kinohe. Since we don’t know where the sale is taking place tonight, they are going to put someone on his place; wait for him to get home.”

“Good. Let’s go grab lunch and then call it a day.”

“Sounds good, brah.”

----------

Danny was lying in Steve’s bed again, struggling to get to sleep. He rolled over onto his left side to look at the clock on the bed side table—1:30 am. Frustration and worry were getting the best of him. Chin told him he’d call once Steve had gotten ahold of him, but there had yet to be a call. He just needed to know that Steve was okay.

He jumped when his phone rang. He grabbed it off the table and answered without looking at the number.

“Hey, Chin.”

“Danny?”

“Steve? What?”

“I had to… hear your voice.”

“Steve… babe… are you okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’m good.”

Danny hesitated. He could tell something was wrong.

“Steve, talk to me.”

“The sale went well… I’m in. Meeting on Friday. No time or place.”

“Whoa, Steve… slow down.”

“I don’t have time. I’m being watched. Not this minute, but…”

“Okay, okay.”

“I’m meeting with Joseph Kingston on Friday. Ambrose answers to him. Radio silence till after.”

“What? Steve...”

“I may be in, but he doesn’t trust me yet. I’ll be spending more time with him. I have to get him to trust me.”

“Just be careful. We’ve got HPD on Kinohe’s place. They are going to pick him up…”

“Too late… they won’t find him. Check the docks.”

It didn’t take a genius to figure out the implications of that statement. “Okay, I’ll let them know in the morning.”

“Tell Chin… Sunday afternoon. He knows the place.”

“Okay…”

“Tell Monkey that I love her. I’ll see you soon.”

“Steve!” but it was too late. Steve had already hung up the phone.

Danny threw the phone down on the bed. He knew he needed to call Chin, but he needed a minute to figure out what had just happened. Steve didn’t sound well. He sounded broken, almost scared. Danny wanted to drive over to whatever hellhole he was staying in and drag him back home; to wrap his arms around him and hold him, let him know he was loved and needed.

He took a deep breath then picked up his phone.

“Chin, I think we may have a problem.”

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Tuesday morning, Danny got a call from HPD. They had found the body of Alan Kinohe. He had been shot in the back of the head—executed. They’d found a gun next to the body. There were no prints, and all serial numbers had been filed off.

Danny realized that even though they knew what had happened, they couldn’t link Ambrose to the murder. Anyone that was there that night, including Steve, could have pulled the trigger. So, for the time being, it would remain unsolved. Kinohe didn’t have any family, so they wouldn’t have anyone breathing down their necks to find out who had murdered him.

The three remaining members of Five-0 gathered around the smart table. Chin pulled up the images from the crime scene.

“I don’t know exactly what happened last night, but I’ve never heard Steve sound so… I don’t know. He wasn’t himself, and it had nothing to do with playing his role.”

“Did he give you any indication that there was a problem?”

“Well, no…”

“Danny…”

“I get it! These things take time. Sometimes you have to do things that you wouldn’t normally do to get the job done. I’m just worried that this was much more than we originally thought, and he’s in over his head.” Danny deflated.

Kono walked around the table and pulled Danny into a hug. “You really love him, don’t you?”

Danny took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Yeah… I really do.”

“Neither one of you has said so, though. Am I right?”

“No… I was going to tell him last night, but he hung up before I got the chance. I wanted to call him back so badly, but…”

Chin put his hand on Danny’s shoulder. “I’m pretty sure he knows, and he feels the same way.”

“I just worry that I’m never going to get the chance to tell him.”

“Do you trust him?”

Danny glared at Chin. “Do I really have to answer that?”

“Okay, then trust him to know when he’s at his limits. If he’s in trouble, he’ll contact us.”

“We are talking about the same man, right? He likes to test his limits all the time. I just worry that he’ll let it go too far this time.”

Neither of the cousins had a comeback for that statement. It just floated in the air between them. The implications were too much for them to even ponder. They just had to hope that Steve would do the right thing when the time came.

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Sunday afternoon came and went, and no Steve. Chin had gone to the meeting place they had agreed on, and he never showed. Chin waited an hour and then drove back to HQ.

When Danny saw the look on Chin’s face when he walked in, he knew something had gone wrong.

“What’s wrong?”

“He didn’t show. I waited an hour. I even sent a coded text. He still hasn’t answered.”

“Damnit, Chin!”

“Danny…”

“Don’t, okay. We need to pull him. Where is he staying?”

“Stop, Danny! We can’t. I don’t know where he is, he’s cleared out of the place he was supposed to be staying. Don’t you think I would have tried that already?”

“Shit! So, there’s nothing we can do. He has to be the one to contact us.” Danny sounded defeated.

“Yeah… we can’t put out a BOLO on him without laying suspicion on him. We just need to trust him.”

Danny nodded. He had a lump in his throat and he couldn’t get any words past it. It was a few minutes before either of them spoke.

“I’ve… gotta go.”

“Danny… don’t do anything stupid.”

“Who are you talking to?”

“Just be careful.”

“You know me.” Danny was out the door before Chin could respond.

He got in the Camaro and drove to Steve’s house. Once inside, he went straight to the kitchen and grabbed a beer from the fridge. He was on his way out to the lanai when he saw the light flashing on the landline phone. Steve hardly ever got calls on the landline.

Danny walked over to the table the phone was sitting on and pressed the button.

Hey, Mate! Sorry I missed our rendezvous, but I was unavoidably detained. I wanted to invite you to a party some of my mates are having on Thursday night, let’s say 10ish. I believe it would be very beneficial to us both. Bring some of your buddies along. It’ll be a riot. You know those new warehouses… yeah that’s where we’ll be.

There was a slight pause before the voice continued.

Tell Monkey I keep her close to my heart. See ya soon.

Danny listened to the message three more times before he thought to write down the information Steve had left. He took solace in the fact that even though Steve was talking with an Australian accent, he sounded more like himself.

He called Chin, and within an hour, both he and Kono were at Steve’s house. Danny played the message for them.

“How did he know that we’d get the message if he called here?” Kono asked.

“I was here the night he called. He must have heard the waves in the background or something.”

“Okay… let’s analyze what he said. The party on Thursday night at 10… a big meeting, probably quite a few members of the ring will be there. He said some, so he’s not sure who all will be there.”

“Right… he wants us to raid the warehouse.”

“Let’s just hope all the big players are there. The last thing I want is for him to have to keep this up for too much longer.”

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The week dragged by so slowly that once Thursday got there, Danny wanted to shout from the rooftops. He was on edge and he felt like he was going to explode. It could be the end of the whole operation. He just hoped everything went at least a little smoothly. He had no illusions that many of the people at that warehouse were not going to go quietly.

At nine, Five-0, HPD, and SWAT gathered two miles from the warehouse. Danny gathered everyone together.

“HPD will set up a perimeter around the warehouse, to catch anyone who gets by us. We’ll go in the front. SWAT will split up and take the sides and the back. Don’t forget that we have a man in there. Okay, let’s get ready to head out. We move in an hour.”

----------

At 10:05, Danny gave the word, and they moved in.

“Five-0, freeze!” Danny yelled.

He wasn’t a bit surprised when almost everyone in the large room pulled guns and started shooting. Danny, Chin, and Kono ducked down behind some crates that were lined up near the front entrance.

“I’ve got to find him.”

“Danny, that’s crazy.”

He didn’t care, he had to find him; make sure he was okay. He looked around the side of the crate he was behind, and by some luck he spotted Steve toward the back. It was obvious he was trying to stay out of the action. He was hard to miss, as he was taller than many of people around him.

Danny watched as Steve took a few shots, but it was obvious he was shooting too high. There was so much going on, no one around him would have noticed, though.

Danny continued to watch as Steve turned and went through a door near where he was standing.

“I found him. I’m going to try and get to him.”

“Fine… we’ll cover you.”

Danny stayed behind the crates for as far as he could and then took off at a fast clip toward the east side of the warehouse. He made it to where SWAT had taken up position. There was no way for him to continue, so he went out the door and made his way around to the back of the warehouse from there.

There was no one around, and the only noise was coming from inside the warehouse. He made his way along the side, keeping close to the outer wall to try to stay as invisible as he could.
He was concentrating so heavily on reaching the door that was halfway along the wall, that he didn’t notice when someone came up behind him. It wasn’t until he heard the clip of a gun being cocked that he froze.

“Put your hands up and turn around,” a voice said from behind him.

Danny’s heart nearly stopped. Even with the accent, he knew who it was. He slowly raised his hands, making sure his gun was ready to use if need be, and turned around. Danny did the best he could to school his features.

Steve was standing there with his gun pointed at Danny’s head. There were two people standing behind him and to either side. Danny recognized one of them as Marcus Ambrose. He’d never seen the other one before.

Before Danny knew what was happening, Steve had taken his gun and stuck it in his waistband. The whole time, both sets of eyes were staring at each other. Danny was shocked at how Steve looked. His eyes were bloodshot and he’d lost weight. His hair was shorter than he’d ever seen it, but it didn’t look like he’d shaved his face in a couple of weeks. His skin was pale against his dark hair.

“Yo, Jimmy! What’s the hold up? Kill ‘em and let’s get out of here.”

“I’m not in the business of killing cops.”

“Yeah, well you may just have to make an exception.”

Danny knew what Steve had to do. He didn’t like it, but he was going to have to let Steve go. Danny nodded just enough for Steve to see. He was giving him permission to do whatever he needed to do.

Steve rushed him, and before Danny could put up any kind of defense, Steve had his arm around Danny’s throat. He squeezed, not enough to kill, but enough to cut off the air supply. Right before Danny lost consciousness, Steve whispered into his ear. “I’m sorry.”

He wasn’t out for long, but by the time Danny regained consciousness, they were long gone. He coughed and tried to sit up. That’s when he realized he wasn’t alone. Chin and Kono were kneeling on either side of him.

Chin helped him into a seated position.

“Brah, you need to take it easy. Can you tell us what happened?”

“It was Steve. He surprised me… took my gun. He had Ambrose and another guy I didn’t recognize with him. He’s gone…”

Kono shook her head and looked over at Chin.

“What? What is it?”

“They got cornered by SWAT and Steve turned on Ambrose. Ambrose shot him before SWAT took him down. We haven’t identified the other guy yet, but he went quietly. Ambrose is dead.”

Danny struggled to stand up, nearly falling over from dizziness. “Is he…?”

“He’s already on the way to the hospital. He was awake when the ambulance left. I don’t know how bad it is.”

“I need to get to him. Please…”

“Okay, but you can barely stand. We should get you checked out first.”

“No! Hospital first. Once I know how he is, then I’ll let them check me out.”

They helped him up and walked him to a waiting squad car.

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“Family of Steve McGarrett?”

Chin and Kono stood up on either side of Danny. He couldn’t find the energy to move.

“That’s us. We’re his team,” Chin said.

“I’m his partner,” Danny said quietly.

“You must be Danno. He was asking about you. Wanted to know if you’re okay.”

“I will be once I know if he’s going to be okay.”

The doctor smiled. “Yes, of course. I’m Doctor Allen. Mr. McGarrett…”

“Steve… call him Steve.”

“Okay, Steve was brought in with a bullet wound to the shoulder. It was a through and through so we were able to clean and suture the wounds with relative ease. That’s not the biggest worry though. He’s malnourished and was suffering from dehydration. We’ve also found a small amount of cocaine in his system.”

“What?!” All three of them said.

“I asked him about it. He said to tell you that he had to do what he had to do. He said you’d understand. Can you explain it to me so I can understand?”

Danny looked the doctor in the eyes. “He was undercover. He had to play his role well in order to get in deep and bring them down.”

“I see. Well, I’m not sure how much of a problem that will be for his recovery. It all depends on how much and for how long. There wasn’t much in his system, and we didn’t find anything to suggest any long term use.”

“It’s been two weeks since the first time. I have no idea since then.”

Chin and Kono both looked at Danny. They were shocked at his words.

“That night he called me. I could tell something wasn’t right.”

“Okay, well we’ve settled him into a room. He was asleep when I left, but you are more than welcome to go up and sit with him. I’ll have a nurse come take you up there. I want him to stay for a few days while we rehydrate and get his nutrient levels back where they need to be. I also want to watch for any possible withdrawal symptoms from the drugs.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

----------

Twenty minutes later, they were walking into Steve’s hospital room. The only medical equipment around the bed was the IV. That didn’t make much difference, though. Steve looked terrible.

Danny walked over and sat down in the chair next to the bed. All the energy he’d found that got him up to the room was expended. He reached through the bars on the side of the bed and clasped Steve’s hand. He sat there silently for several minutes.

Chin and Kono stayed by the door. They didn’t want to interrupt whatever was about to happen.
Steve opened his eyes and looked over at Danny.

“Danny?”

“Steve…”

“I am so sorry. I did what I had to do. I didn’t want to hurt you…”

“Shut up, okay. Just shut up. I’m not mad at you about that. Hell, I’m not mad about any of it. I’m just…. What happened to you in there?”

“Ambrose made me test the product that night. There were two more buys before the big meet. I swear I only did it three times. I cheated it some, so it wasn’t enough to have lasting effects. It was for show… and it worked. I had to do it. I hated it, but…”

“Jesus… I knew something was wrong that night. I had a feeling, but I didn’t want to believe it.”

“Are you okay?”

“Not really, but I will be. I promised these two that I’d get checked out once I knew you were okay.”

“Before you go, I need to tell you something.”

“Yeah?”

“I love you. I have for a while.”

Danny smiled. “I know, and I love you too. I was going to tell you that night, but you kinda hung up on me.”

“I was too, but I had to stop myself. They were nearby, and I couldn’t risk it.”

Danny leaned down and kissed Steve. Neither one of them had the energy to drag it out, though. Danny pulled back and smiled down at Steve.

“I’ll be back once I get checked out. I shouldn’t be too long. Don’t go anywhere.”

“I don’t think I could if I wanted to right now.”

Danny stood and walked toward the door. Chin and Kono walked to the bed, and both wished him well.

“We’ll make sure he takes care of himself till you get out of here.”

“Thanks, guys.”

The three mobile members of Five-0 left Steve’s hospital room. He smiled and was asleep before the door closed.

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Luckily, Steve didn’t have any severe withdrawal symptoms from the cocaine. He’d had a mild depressive episode, but Danny had been there to reassure him that everything was okay. After that, Steve had been a model patient.

Danny had informed him that they had managed to capture five members of the drug ring that night. Many more had been killed in the raid.

“Unfortunately, whoever the head honcho is, he never showed. He just sent a couple of lackeys in his place. He’s still out there, Danny.”

“His organization has crumbled. It won’t be long till he makes a mistake and he gets what is coming to him.”

Steve just nodded. Danny knew that it would haunt Steve for a while, but he’d be okay.

----------

Five days after the raid, Steve McGarrett was resting comfortably at home. He was freshly shaven, thanks to Danny, and he was beginning to look more like himself. His arm was still in a sling, and it would be another few weeks before he was back up to full mobility.

Steve was lying down in his bed when Danny came in to the room.

“Babe, how are you feeling?”

“Stiff, but otherwise okay. Come here.” Steve patted the bed next to where he was lying.

Danny climbed onto the bed and scooted up next to Steve. Steve put his arm around him.

“Move in with me.”

“Okay.”

“Okay? That’s it? No rant telling me what a stupid idea it is?”

“Nope… no rants. I… I didn’t realize how much I loved you until I almost lost you. I’m not going to take that chance again. Besides, I spend more time here already, than I did at my apartment.”

Steve had one of his goofy grins on his face. Danny leaned over and kissed him. It was a chaste kiss, and didn’t last very long, but it meant everything to Steve.

“I already have a lot of my stuff here, but I’m going to wait until you are closer to one hundred percent before I bring everything else.”

“Why the wait?”

“Because I have plans for my first night as a full time resident of this establishment.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes… I can’t be worried about you reinjuring yourself when the time comes.”

“I can get behind that.”

Danny turned a serious look toward Steve.

“Just promise me something. Don’t do that again. I don’t think I could handle it.”

Steve took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“I will do my best.”

“I guess that’ll have to do then.”

He leaned back over and kissed Steve again. That time it was much more passionate, and lasted quite a while longer. After several long minutes, Steve pulled back and looked deeply into Danny’s eyes.

“I love you so much.”

Danny smiled. “I love you too, babe.”