Danny kept his breath even and steady as he waited in his perch. He had an arrow knocked and was ready to pull back the string and release it into his quarry as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
He ran his tongue against the line of his lips and let his breath out slowly, blue eyes intense, and pulled on the release catch and watched as the arrow flew from his compound bow and buried itself into the base of the pig's skull. He heard Grace let out a shout and watched as she carefully picked her way through the brush with Billy, both of them beacons of bright orange against the lush green foliage, closing in on the body of the feral pig they and Amy would be eating over the next few days, prepared by his family in the traditional Hawaiian way in honor of Meka and his birthday, close to a year after his death.
Hunting was special father-daughter time he and Grace had shared since the first time they'd gone camping and he'd told her stories about his grandpa taking him and Matt camping and hunting when they were little boys; Grace was a bit of a girlie girl, her mother's influence and desire to see Grace in dresses and skirts regularly helped that along, but she still enjoyed the wilderness with him and learning something from him that he'd been taught by his family. Rachel had never really approved of the activity but Grace enjoyed the time she spent with her Danno, so she often capitulated whenever they both asked if they could go.
Including Billy this time had been something Grace had suggested, she wanted him to feeling he was helping honor his dad; Danny had never been more proud of his little girl. He grinned as he got himself down from his spot, listening to his Monkey tell Billy how to start getting the feral pig ready to move so they could dress it and take it back to Amy an Meka's parents.
Making Kalua Pig for the family gathering would not be his first choice, especially since they found Meka's body in an imu, but it had been one of his kuaʻana's favorite meals. He was happy that the Hanamoa's were including him and his daughter in the small celebration they were having to remember Meka, something that was just them and not members of the force, the man was family and he'd do anything he could to help honor his memory. He'd do the same for his team now, after all they were his Ohana; Meka was just the first person he'd added to it in Hawaii and celebrating his life was a nice way of forgetting the pain of losing him.
It wasn't something he'd shared with the team yet—Meka had been the one to get him hunting again, even taking him to the places locals never let the tourists near, and had him help get the game for whatever they were doing—he enjoyed going out by himself and exploring the terrain, and from what he understood the others preferred spear fishing to hunting. Soon though, he figured someone would recognize him, one of the hundreds of locals and family members Chin and Kono and Steve knew, would out him and he'd be terrorized and teased mercilessly. Maybe he'd even tell them he knew a lot more than just hunting, but could actually survive out in woods and track when he needed too, though playing ignorance was one of the few ways to really rile any of them up and he wouldn't be able to play on some of that once this got out.
Chin Ho Kelly chuckled as he flicked through the events planned for the annual gathering for the families, friends, and officers themselves, to gather and compete in a friendly competition that would give teams and departments bragging rights until next year. There were teams set up to play a few games of baseball and a couple of other events too, including a paintball game, archery, and spear throwing and the like. It would be the first time in a while he'd be allowed and even accepted to join the festivities.
He continued to peruse through the various activities and the list of who was bringing what in regards to food when the mail icon in the corner of began to flash, signifying a new message. He couldn't help but quirk a devastatingly regal eyebrow as he looked over the message; it was the confirmation of an order for archery equipment for the task force being approved. He couldn't help the smirk that pulled across his face as he noticed who had placed the order, but decided this was something he would keep to himself. It would be good for Kono and Steve, him probably most of all actually, to be surprised by the abilities some of them had; they were far too used to being the only ones with all the nifty abilities and tricks. Chin moved the confirmation letter over to his own computer, simultaneously hiding it from the other two and giving himself the option to dig into how far their Haole's talents were known and to see if there were records about how good he was.
This, he had the feeling, was going to be good.
The Annual Oahu Police Gathering was in full swing early that Saturday morning. There were booths filled with so many different types of food that one almost couldn't decide what to eat. Different groups in different color t-shirts; homicide, vice, narcotics, gangs, the lab techs, Five-0, they all had their own color or an insignia separating them from the others. As it was many of the groups were covered in random splotches of paintball paint and blossoming bruises from the games already played.
Kono had some purple paint in her hair as she teased Danny while he ate a grape flavored shaved ice, poking and prodding him for getting hit by the paint grenade Steve had lobbed towards the members of Homicide that'd had Danny cornered. They were all covered in different colors, Danny most noticeably in a brilliant neon blue from his own boss. Grace was giggling beside him as he defended himself, ranting and hands slicing through the air with a scowl on his face even if his blues eyes were laughing as they gazed at Steve. Chin, the least paint splattered of the lot of them, rubbed at a neon green spot of his thigh as Malia grinned into her own Mango shave ice, their fingers interlaced.
Homicide had cornered them and challenged them right out of the gate, not allowing them to scope out the rest of the activities, but everyone had their eye on one activity or another. The ones they mostly wanted to participate in were the team games, this was their first year, their chance to shine and show the other departments that they belonged and were just as good as them. So far, though, the only other department to get as much crap as they were was I.A. and they'd had their collective asses whooped by Narcotics in a small game of volley ball. Chin, Danny, and Steve didn't really feel sorry for them after what they'd put Kono through, they tried to keep their vindictive pleasure from their faces as they caught the tail end of the game, but the three men couldn't help the rather dark glee that was in each of their eyes when the game ended.
Chin Ho smirked into his shave ice as he watched Oahu's one of their regular SWAT teams wander over, shaking his head at the questioning look his wife shot him when she caught the rather mischievous look on his face, a good majority of these guys were long range experts and had been the top dogs in Archery competition for the past three years; this was going to be so amusing.
He'd kept quiet about what he'd found out during his digging into their Jersey transplant's extracurriculars, thinking that watching Steve's face as he watched their Haole as he Robin Hooded some arrows during the games would be pleasure enough for holding in the secret and not outing the man. Really, the crush the SEAL had on Danny was too cute for words but it was also increasingly frustrating and hopefully this would push him to actually say something just so he could learn more about the blonde's hobbies. If it all went well it would put them all out of their misery and Steve would jump Danny when he realized his partner was a 'BAMF' archer, as Kono was going to phrase it after she saw him in action. Not to mention it would probably get some of the more desirable characters in the HPD off of Danny's back.
Hekili Hirata—a smug Hawaiian nationalist who had, several times during their time as Five-0 and before when Danny was in Homicide, undermined Danny's authority and tried to sabotage him—was at the front of the group, superior grins on their faces as they goaded both Steve and Kono into a competition over at the range that had been set up just for this, another about a hundred feet away for spear throwing. Danny's eyes were hooded with a secret amusement, a rather dark grin on his face as listened to Hirata try to insinuate that they'd take it easy on them because they had a mainlander who had no experience on their team, trying to keep Grace from laughing herself into passing out; she was laughing so hard it was almost silent and appeared to be crying.
The thunderous on Steve's face as he took in his partner and his daughter almost scared the group off, but Chin could see the malicious pleasure in their eyes when Kono growled out their team's acceptance after their boss turned away to help Danny with Grace. When they had left and Steve was kneeling next to the little to girl to try and comfort her with a hand to the small of his back, Danny began laughing too, a small dark chuckle that confused Kono, Steve, and the rest of their friends. Finally getting her laughter under control, Grace wiped her eyes and couldn't help the small giggles that escaped when she looked at her Uncle Steve's confused face before looking at her Dad, "Are you going to show them, Danno? I know you said that you're not supposed to antagonize bullies, but they just assumed and they're police officers, they should know better shouldn't they?"
Steve looked at his partner and took in the grin on his best friends face, full of teeth and shark like, very similar to the bull shark he'd met in the water during of his ops in the SEALs, and had to hold back a shiver of desire and a little bit of fear. Danny could be very frightening when he wanted to be.
Kono had furrowed her eyebrows together before looking to her cousin, her frown getting deeper as she took in his grinning countenance and how relaxed he was in the face of the challenge. She and Chin both had experience with a bow from family gatherings and she knew Steve was more than likely well versed in it as well, it was hard not to be when it was much easier to find or make one yourself and go hunting as something as a bit of teenage right of passage in this area, but Danny had never mentioned anything about knowing archery—she narrowed her eyes at her cousin, knowing she could get info out of him easier than Danny. "What do you know and why are grinning, Cuz, and for that manner how did you figure out whatever you're grinning at?"
Danny quirked an eyebrow at their more stolid teammate, one hand resting on his hip waiting for the explanation, the other on Grace's shoulder as her head tipped to the side slightly as she watched everyone around her. Chin shrugged, "You shouldn't have had them send the confirmation for the requisitions to the main computer, the email notice for it came on the smart table. By the way, nice compound bow." Danny couldn't help it as his ears turned pink at the tips and Grace giggled once again.
Sighing deeply at his nosy teammates, he shook his head and clapped his hands together before rubbing them in an anticipatory manor, "Well then, now that we've established that Chin Ho has a small yenta streak that he hides very well, shall we all go show Hirata what we can do? I'd really like to show him what an ignorant haole can do after all."
They all started to move towards the range set up for the challenge, Hirata and his team already there and warming up. Steve followed slowly after them, wanting to take the lead and show the prejudiced pricks not to mess with his team, but more importantly his partner, but still a little bit thrown from the information that had been inferred as he watched Danny walk beside Chin with an bemused little grin on his face as Kono peppered them both with questions. Danny knew how to use a bow? Danny requisitioned one for the office? His shoulders tightened as he set his mouth into a firm line, he'd see how good Danno was at archery and then, later after everyone was gone and Grace was in bed at his house, he'd pry every secretly fletched arrow from his partner's soul.
He wanted to know everything; he had to.
Their scoring was different than the normal 20 ends fired; they wanted to give other departments chances after all, so each person just took the normal three or six shots, depending on the distance. It was four targets to a person one at 45m, 60m, 75m, and 90m, you started from the closest and made your way to the farthest.
Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. 45m, 1 gold, 2 X's—the first forced into an odd angle.
Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. 60m, 2 gold, and 1 X.
Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. 75m, 1 red, 3 gold, 2 X's—One arrow splintered into pieces, the tip of the first forced farther back into the target, the second at a slight angle after it broke the first arrow, as close to Robin hood style one could with carbon fiber shaft; Danny promised to buy a replacement for it.
Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. Thwack¬. 90m, 1 red, 4 gold, and 1 X.
Hekili Hirata stared as Danny beat out everyone's scores, the steady calm the man exuded so different from the normal ranting and hand waving. Chin blinked, the scores Danny got coincided with the records he managed to pull from the club Danny had been in, in Jersey but it was another thing to watch his teammate dominate the sport so thoroughly. Kono was bouncing on her toes, a near manic gleam in her eye as she thought about getting Danny to teach her to shoot arrows like that. Grace was dancing in place, quiet until her Danno was done showing everyone that he wasn't a stupid haole. Everyone that had stopped to watch the SWAT team and Five-0 go head to head was surprised at the ease and proficiency the blond had with the sport, the casual grace he held the recurve bow with.
Steve had his mouth open slightly, eyes wide and body tense. Danny had gone last out of all of them, offering to take the last turn with a small grin and almost electric blue eyes, something like anticipation making him almost vibrate with energy. From what he'd understood between Danny and Chin earlier, he'd known Danny was good, but this—this was phenomenal. Danny had 6 X's, and a total of 173 points, he had the most points out of anyone that day so far by a good thirty. The grin on his face was filled with exhilaration and the grin he gave Hirata nearly out shown their beautiful Hawaiian sun and Steve almost wanted to have it pointed at him, if he hadn't seen the dark edge of vindictive pleasure hiding in Danny's eyes.
He couldn't help but squeeze Danny's arm in a painfully tight grip as he congratulated him and they left the area to participate in some of the other activities, Grace bouncing beside them as she gave them a play by play of each of their best shots. He and Danny would speak later and the blond knew he wouldn't be able to avoid it, no matter the rant he was sure to have trying to dissuade Steve from trying, it was going to happen, whether he liked it or not.
Danny sighed as he closed the door to Grace's room in Steve's house. He leaned against the wall beside it and rubbed at his eyes, the skin on the bridge of his nose and across the top of his cheeks tight with the small sunburn he'd gotten from being out all day, he used the breathing techniques he used for archery to will away the stress of the coming conversation. Steve was stubborn, pig headed, and almost suicidal in his courageous accomplishments during work; so it was safe to assume he'd be the same in his private life as well.
His steps were unhurried as he made his way downstairs and grabbed two Longboards as he made his way through the kitchen to the lanai, wondering what he would have to tell Steve to make him understand. Was he going to get an aneurism face when he told him he had a hunting license? That he had several trophies from competitions dating back close to thirty years? That one of the few things he missed the most was the handmade recurve bow passed down to him from his great-great-grandfather, but he didn't trust it to not get broken during the flight or trip here? The crossbow he made in shop class during high school?
He handed the beer to his partner and tried to ignore the way those blue-grey-green eyes bore into the side of him and settled into the chair next to him, taking a long draft from the bottle in his hands, waiting for the questions to begin.
Steve stared at Danny's profile, taking note of the slightly tense posture and the slight sunburn on his face and ears, how the soft cotton tee he was wearing stretched across his chest and hugged biceps that had easily pulled back the string of the bow before he loosened the arrow into the targets so far in front of him. Salt and plumeria tickled his nose along with the scent of the cocoa butter sun block Danny tried to used earlier. He kept watching until those electric blue eyes pinned him back into his seat from the forward lean he'd been doing and let out his own breath. All he realized he could do is ask why Danny hadn't shared this with him, they were roommates, teammates, and partners; but god he wanted to be so much more.
He let Danny take the question as he would, waiting to see how he'd answer.
Danny sucking in the smell of flowers, warm sand, and the ocean, his eyes closing as he thought about his childhood and stalking through the woods with his father arrow nocked and arrowhead pointed towards the ground, waiting and looking for prey; of Grace as she giggled when Rachel had looked at her Danno with horror, seeing the bruises from the first time she loosened an arrow and her arm got in the way but so proud of herself because she managed to hit the target that the pain meant nothing.
Danny took another long pull of his drink, "You don't let anyone but you touch the Mercury Marquis, it something that is just between you and your Dad. Archery is something that was only between me and mine, before he past, and it's something just between Grace and I, it's personal and special. It's hard to share it with someone outside of it, even when you're so close to them you feel like you could never pull yourself away.
"I guess I wasn't sure if I could share it with you, with anyone without twisting it into something else. It's why I haven't offered to help with the Marquis; I know it's all you really have left, one of the few good memories you still have, especially with the fuckin' toolbox and the mess its contents have us in. I wasn't about to intrude on that."
Steve was quiet for a few moments as he stared out at the ocean that was part of his back yard, "I wouldn't mind sharing it with you, especially not now. In the beginning . . . in the beginning, despite the easy friendship we fell into, I didn't know you, I didn't know the heart and passion you put into each of our cases or how much love you held for Gracie, how your ranting is a sign of affection and how you express you worry over the stunts I pull. I guess we've just gotten so close I figured that you would have told me about this by now, you know about Dad's car and Mary and I've told you about my mom, you know more about what I used to do as a SEAL than any other of my relationships that I've had except with those who are actually part of the Navy—"
A frown pulled at Danny's mouth, "I suppose that’s another reason, petty though it might be."
Danny's hand had begun waving in various gracious arcs and sweeping tangents and his index finger was making a sharp jabbing motion every time he finished a sentence, his other hand moving less forcefully due to his beer, "Catherine, Nick, Joe, the Navy; it's like this impenetrable wall between us where you seem to think that I don't understand the training you've been through or the camaraderie between you and your fellow servicemen and woman. It's not like my grandfather wasn't an Army Ranger or anything, and yes, I know, Navy not Army, but you are all still in the armed forces that protect us outside of the country and they do work together despite the rivalry between the different branches.
"If you haven't stopped to think about it we, as if Chin Ho, Kono, and I, not to mention the rest of the HPD, are also a form of said service, just domestic and we have working rivalries with the other branches to, not just departments within the precinct but the firefighters and other emergency response teams as well. I understand more than you think and you tend to take that for granted, thinking I know nothing about the training you've gone through and things you've done, cause let me tell you there are quite a few things I've had to do and learn that you, like the Miranda Rights you bulldoze over, like undercover, learning how to analyze how to negotiate someone down WITHOUT," blue eyes glared slightly at him as Danny pointed at him, "a debilitating injury or death occurring."
Danny took a deep breath and a drink to calm himself down, Steve staying silent as he watched his partner, understanding where he was coming from but also not quite able to push down the surge of pure want and affection he felt for the Jersey native as he ranted at him. "We work well together, very well, and sometimes I wonder if there is more that could be between us but then you talk about going to dinner with Catherine or you flirt a bit with Lori and all I can do is just bite back the acid I want to spit at them and at you, so I keep it tight, hold on to my secrets so I don't get any closer and get hurt again like I did with Rachel."
Eyes currently more blue than grey-green widen at that and stare at the man beside him and his rather desolate posture, "What about Gabby? Aren't you two, um, dating?"
Bright blue looked at him scathingly, "If by dating, you mean we meet every few days for coffee during lunch while I rant about whatever insane stunt you've decided to pull that day and how bad I miss my little girl and she complains about her girlfriend and her son and the jackass that’s his dad, yeah we go on dates. In fact we'd meet twice a week anyways because Josh, that's her girlfriend's son, and Grace are the same age and are in the same soccer league and oddly the same team for now."
Danny shrugged and looked at the water as he finished his bottle.
"Oh," Steve fidgeted and made an aborted move to touch Danny as the blond grunted at him, before gathering all the guts and courage his SEAL training had pounded into him and stood and moved between Danny's legs. "If I had known that I, well, I wouldn't have flirted back at Lori the way I would have." One of Danny's very expressive eyebrows raised in a sardonic manner and Steve couldn't help the chuff of laughter that left him before he shook his head and leaned down to seal his mouth to the often over active one below him.
As he pulled back he grinned at his partner, "So, no more Navy and Lori for me and no more misconceptions about Gabby from you, and just us, what do you think?"
Blue eyes far more mellow than they had been earlier looked him over from head to toe before Danny let out a rather explosive sigh, "I suppose that'll work for me, you big goof," he smirked as he looked up at his man, eyes lidded with mischief, "Does that mean I can trade you sex for reading our perps their Miranda Rights?"
Steve couldn't help the loud bark of laughter that left him as he dropped his bottle and slid his fingers in Danny's hair and held the blonde's lips to his as he kissed them.
Steve was crouched in the brush with Gracie, tracking the feral pig they were going to prepare for Malia's baby shower tomorrow. They had herded it into the area where Danny was hiding, waiting for the right moment to kill it. He didn't hear the man loosening the arrow but the effect it had on the pig was almost instantaneous as the body fell on its side, the shaft sticking out of the orbital socket. Gracie grinned at him and lifted up the bag that held the equipment to clean the animal and began pulling on his arm as Danny appeared in the clearing.
Close to ten months after the Annual HPD gathering and the games that had ended up with him speechless and hot under the collar seeing his partner so adept and at ease with archery and the revelations it had led too and they were now hunting as a family for special occasions. Steve couldn't help the burning kiss he gave Danny as Grace turned her back on them, knowing about the odd ritual Steve had added when he had begun joining them on their outings. The giggles from the girl always made sure that everything they did remained PG when she was with them but seeing his partner so competent at something always led to a rather enjoyable bout of sex later that day.
It had taken a while for them to adapt to their new situation and even longer for the air to be entirely cleared of all the insecurities that rose up between the two, but their relationship had become even stronger for all the obstacles in the way. They often found themselves alongside Gabby and her girlfriend during Grace's soccer games and practices, tormenting Kono about when she and Charlie Fong would finally tie the knot, or playing poker with Kamekona with Grace in-tow, the girl often kicking all their asses when it wasn't Danny doing it. Chin Ho was almost floating with the news of his son and scared all of them with his joyously silent appearing and disappearing act.
Over all, things couldn't be better, and Steve was happy that all it took was watching his partner shoot a Bullseye and prove that a haole he may be, but never count him out.