Steve grinned as he surfaced from beneath the waves, board bobbing up next to him. The surfing was good today and few tourists ever visited this beach meaning there weren’t too many people about. Few enough that he could clearly see Mary, who’d, tagged along against his wishes as it was, talking to a boy. Not just any boy but a boy who was too attractive and close to her own age to be anything but trouble.
This had to be stopped.
He started to wade towards shore as quickly as possible, stumbling slightly as he tried to get his board to co-operate with him. Once he’d regained his balance he trotted over to where his sister was standing, ramming his board into the sand when he reached her.
“Hey Mar, we got to go home soon, Dad said he wanted us back before...” Steve slowed pretending to notice for the first time that she had company. “Sorry.” He held out his hand, giving the little weasel as charming a grin as he could manage “Steve McGarrett, Mary Ann’s big brother, and you are?” the guy at least had the sense to look a little edgy but shook his outstretched hand. His eyes widened when Steve tightened his grip, just enough that it would be uncomfortable for the younger boy.
“Uh...Sam.” The guy was clearly uncomfortable and don’t think Steve missed the way he subtly rubbed his hand once they’d ended the shake. Good. What was less good was that Mary was glaring daggers at him, while that was not that much different from normal, what was new was her mouthing the words ‘I will kill you’ slowly and carefully over Sam’s shoulder. The second he turned his gaze to her she was back to the sweet innocent face that she used to pull to get out of trouble with her Dad. Steve always knew he was in trouble when that face came out.
“It’s ok Sam. You can go.” Mary smiled at him encouragingly “I won’t let Steve get you, anyway if he does, his bark is way worse than his bite, honest. Steve couldn’t hurt a fly.”
“Thank you.” Sam was so clearly relieved his voice broke slightly. He caught Mary in a hug and Steve couldn’t conceal the growl that bubbled out of his throat. He knows damn well he didn’t imagine Sam murmur ‘You should keep him on a leash’ into her ear as he let her go.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” And no, just no. His sister should not be looking at anyone’s receding back (and slightly lower areas) like that until she’s at least thirty...maybe forty.
“Who was that?” Steve fixed her with the same stare his dad used when he wanted them to talk, his attempt may have been less effective but then again, his dad has had years as a police officer to perfect that look, how often does Steve get to interrogate people?
“Please Steve. You don’t scare me. I’m not going to tell you anything.” She looked up at him with a smug smile on her face. Steve was just not having that.
“Oh yeah? Well I guess if you won’t tell me then I’ll just mention it to dad.” That certainly stopped the smug face “I’ve got a name and a description and a rough age, I reckon that will be enough for him to go on, don’t you? I hear his rookie is really-”
“Fine Steve. Enough. You win ok?” Steve grinned at her, looming as much as possible, and looped his hand in a ‘please, do go on’ gesture. “He’s just...my surf buddy.” Steve arched an eyebrow.
“Neither of you had a surf board and you paused between just and my. Who is he really?”
“You can be really obnoxious sometimes, you know that right?” Steve agreed with a quick head bob. “If you must know he’s in my class at school.”
“And...” Steve prompted his hand making a rotation in front of him in the international sign for ‘please, do go on’.
“And I like him. LIKE, like him. And I think, thought, he might like me too but now you’ve gone and ruined that one for me you big freaking idiot” She added a punch to his scrawny arm for good measure. Steve’s gaze had softened slightly and he pulled her in for a sort of sideways hug.
“If he liked you he’ll get over it. If not then I guess I just did you a favour and you should be thanking me.” She thumped her brother again. This time lightly on the shoulder but she was smiling so Steve reckoned it was a win. “So...surf buddies, huh?”
“Shut up.” But she was laughing now. A loud, happy sound, so maybe he hadn’t messed up too bad.
Steve was feeling pretty fucking good right now. He’d spent the morning with Danno, his sister was back on the island and (just because this deserves a double mention) he’d spent the morning with Danno. Shirtless. Surfing. Wet. If he’d wiped out more often than usual today then the blame can be placed entirely on Danny and his stupidly hot body and stupidly attractive face and seriously. No one’s back should look that good but Steve just wanted to lick off the drops of water trailing down between his shoulder blades. If he’d spent almost the whole time tensing his own muscles, making his abs stand out as much as possible, then that was Danny’s fault too. More importantly it was the fault of his stupid big fat crush on his partner.
Steve prides himself on the fact he keeps his thing for Danny hidden as well as he does.
“So...You guys like surf buddies now huh?”
Or apparently hid it as well as he thought he did. Which apparently he didn’t. It was all he could do not to drop the coffee he was holding.
“Uhh... Yeah, kind of.”
He shot a look at Mary. How did she know? She must do because over the years ‘surf buddies’ had somehow turned into a sort of code for liking someone and now she was using it with Danny sitting right there. Time to change the subject.
And it worked...briefly
“So we are kind of surf buddies, now?”
Oh God. Danny is making it so much worse and what does he say? He can’t very well say yes can he?
“Are you sensitive right now?”
Good. That works, resort back to snarking and mocking, the default setting of his and Danny’s relationship.
“Yeah little bit.”
This he can work with. Give a pitying look and then leave the room as fast as possible so he doesn’t have to look at Danny’s pouty face (which by all rights should not be as adorable as it is).
He wouldn’t mind so much except over the many years since that first time, not only had the saying become a familiar term between he and Mary, but then his dad found out and told Chin so then he went on to tell his family and eventually thanks to the vastness that is the Kelly-Kalakaua clan everyone knew. Everyone he or Danny knew anyway and that was enough thank you very much. It’s not that he objects to people mocking him about Danny, the married jokes have become common place. He’s just worried they’ll work out that, on his side anyway, it isn’t a joke, he loves Danny and he doesn’t know what to do about that and certainly doesn’t know how to deal with it if other people know. Just the fact Mary knows freaks him out.
“Yo Steve!” Danny punctuated his words with a hard flick to his ear; when had he got that close to Steve and how had he not noticed?
“Where’d you go? You got stuck in your own head again? You want a map to get out?”
“I just wanted to know if you were ready to go. Gracie’s not going to pick herself up is she?”
“Wh- No I guess not. And what do you mean again? I never get lost in my own head! Danny. Why are you laughing? Come back here!” Danny ignored him.
Steve pushed his chair back from his desk with a sigh. He loved his job but the paper work was torture. He reached above his head and rolled his shoulders feeling satisfying pop in his spine and cracking in his aching fingers. Report finally finished he eased himself up out of his chair and into the bullpen. Danny was waiting for him out by the tech table, Danny had given Steve a lift in today which meant he also had to give him a lift home (which usually meant just letting Steve drive like usual as it saved a lot of arguing), he didn’t notice Steve as he emerged from his office though as his back was to him and he was deep in conversation with Chin.
“Wait...So you and McGarrett are surf buddies?” Chin looked surprised and Steve’s stomach jumped
“Well yeah, though I really don’t get why you’re quite so surprised about that Kelly”
“I’m not I jus- oh well here’s the Boss man himself.” Chin grinned at him as Steve edged warily closer “Congratulations Brah. I’m happy for you both, it’s about time anyway.” Steve didn’t have time to protest, Chin was already up and giving him a manly pat on the shoulder before making his way out of HQ.
“I’m off. Unlike you guys, me and MY wife have plans.” He threw a shaka over his shoulder as he went.
“Was that meant to be a married joke?” Steve shrugged
“I think so.”
“Also, what does he mean it’s about time? What was that about?” Steve took hold of the hand Danny was waving in front of his face between his thumb and index finger moving it delicately out of his face and a little lower down towards his stomach.
“Who knows?” Steve answered warily; knowing there was a chance Danny wouldn’t let this go unless the subject was changed he added “You coming over for a beer?”
“What do you think?” Danny gave him a look that was half fond, half exasperated. Steve just grinned back and, maintaining his hold on Danny’s hand which somehow he’d just never released, dragged him out of the palace and to the car.
The surf buddies thing was dropped for a couple of days until Kono came into the office after her day off refusing to speak to either Steve or Danny. That always meant trouble because if nothing else she was fucking terrifying and if she was mad at you, you would almost certainly regret it.
After a small argument inside Steve’s office where Steve tried to push Danny ahead of him in the direction of Kono’s office and the two of them ended up wrestling; a match during which two of Danny’s buttons popped off and his hair became thoroughly dishevelled, Steve’s T-shirt may or may not have become a v-neck and like Danny he had not escaped an overall rumpled appearance. After Danny pulled a bitch move and poked the area in Steve’s ribs that he knew was ticklish before giving him a wedgie he was pronounced winner and after muttering about the upsides to having a lot of siblings Steve was forced to go into the lion’s den first.
“Hey Kono?” She glared up at him from her desk
“We,” Steve glanced next to him to find Danny had yet to appear “Hang on.” He leant out the door and Kono could just make out some loud whispering, a yelp and a solid thump before Steve appeared back in the room dragging Danny (who was glaring at Steve and rubbing his neck).
“We, Danny and I, were wondering what we’d done to incur your, frankly terrifying wrath.” Kono smiled at the word terrifying. Something was not right with that woman.
“You guys are... you know... surf buddies and you didn’t tell me. I had to hear it from Chin!”
“Is that what this is about?” Danny queried at the same time as Steve yelped
“It’s not like that.”
“It’s ok Kono I’ll still surf with you anytime.” Danny grinned and Kono threw him a slightly horrified look.
“How could you Danno!” Steve joked and Danny smiled at Kono again.
“Looks like Steve is a bit possessive when it comes to surf buddies so I may have to rescind my previous offer Kono.”
“You know what Danny? I think I’ll be ok. I can safely say I would not have taken you up on it anyway.”
“Hey! I’m really not that bad.” It was about now that Kono finally took in the pair’s ruffled appearance. Steve’s shirt was all stretched out and slightly ripped, Danny’s shirt was untucked and missing buttons, Steve’s underwear waist band was sticking out of his cargo pants and Danny had a purple bruise forming on the juncture of his neck and shoulder.
“Looks like you two came in here in the middle of... surfing.” She smirked and raised an elegant eyebrow.
“What do you mean? Kono? What are you...” Danny trailed off as he caught sight of he and Steve in the reflection on the window. He sputtered for a moment before turning on his partner, a look of horrified realisation on his face. “Steven Jack McGarrett I think you and I need to have a word. My office. Now.” Steve was hard pushed not to salute as Danny turned on his heel and walked out. Kono shot Steve a confused look but he ignored her, too distracted by the fear that had settled in the pit of his stomach. At Danny’s shouted “Now McGarrett!” He quickened the pace.
As he walked into the office Danny shut the door behind him and set about closing all the blinds.
“Now Steve. I think you’d better explain to me what is going on here... Why does Kono think we’ve been. You know. And why on earth did she refer to it as surfing? Is this some sort of weird Hawaiian thing?”
“To be fair we do look like we’ve-”
“I think we both know there’s more to it than that Steven.”
“I don’t know where to start...”
“Try the beginning .” Steve glared at him
“When Mary and I were young we used to use the phrase ‘surf buddies’ to describe someone we liked or, later, that we were going out with. My Dad found out and told Chin who told Kono and basically the whole Kelly-Kalakaua clan.”
“Huh. So when I told Chin-“
“Yep. You told him we were dating.”
“So Kono and him think-“
“Huh.” Steve nodded making sure to look everywhere but at Danny.“There is still something I a little confused about though.”
“When Mary asked if we were ‘surf buddies’ you said kind of. Not ‘no’. And then with Chin you didn’t deny it, just let him think it” Steve let out a shaky breath and dropped his head to his chest, knowing he’d been caught.
“Steve, babe? Look at me.” Danny gently placed a finger under his chin and tilted Steve’s head upwards to look at him. “I really hope I’m not wrong here.” Steve’s breath caught in his throat as Danny leant in and pressed his lips to Steve’s cheek before leaning in to whisper in his ear. “If you’ll have me I would like nothing more than to be your surf buddy.” Steve jolted his head back to look into Danny’s eyes searching for doubt or apprehension that he didn’t find. Danny leant in and rested their foreheads together breathing the same air “I told Grace we were surf buddies and she grinned and said she was pleased because she really likes you and you make her Danno happy. I think your sister may have gotten to her.”
And Steve just grinned at him, a look of disbelief and confusion and joy and Danny couldn’t help but place a hand on the back of his neck and drag him down because the guy was an absolute goof. Steve just revelled in the feel of Danny’s lips pressing tenderly against his, growing firmer as the kiss went on and Steve couldn’t quite believe he could do this now, that he was allowed to touch. Slowly he allowed his hands to wander, one resting on the small of Danny’s back the other tangling in his hair. He growled as Danny pulled away but his partner simply took his hand and pulled him out of the office and over to Kono’s.
“Take the rest of the day off, Super SEAL and I are going out for a surf.” He sent her a wink before leaving heading for the parking lot. Steve just stood in the door way grinning after him for a moment before he caught sight of Kono’s fond look.
“Well go.” She made shooing motions with her hands and he seemed to snap back to it.
“What did I do?” He just grinned at her before racing out of the building after his Danno.