Steve sat on a picnic table bench, watching Danny and Grace playing on a stretch of grass. She had her pink baseball bat, her father was underhand pitching to her, Steve was cheering . He moved Grace’s camo backpack and stretched out his feet in front of him.
He hadn’t felt he’d had a family since his father had sent him away. He could also recognize that he had never been as possessive as he felt about the idea of family before. It was a warming feeling.
“Excellent Gracie! You’re hitting all the bad pitches he sends to you!” Steve clapped and then winked at the girl.
“No comments from the peanut gallery!”
Steve settled back against the table.
He’d taken a lot of crap from Danny when he’d come back with Wo Fat in custody. Steve knew that he deserved it, and he absolutely should have talked to Danny before he left. Should have talked to Danny before he thought of leaving. Was made painfully aware after coming back that he never should have just left a letter. Danny had definitely put him through varying lengths or tirades about it.
But Danny never left over it. Steve knew that Danny would be there when he got back, no matter how angry, Danny would still be there. Steve was also aware that it was how he left that angered Danny rather than that he’d gone. Danny understood him, he didn’t always agree, and he didn’t always get Steve, but he understood that the entire mess that his father’s murder had started in Steve’s life was something that Steve needed to get to the bottom of, something that Steve needed unraveled. He seemed to respect it, and was there for Steve when he needed Danny. And so they’d gotten through it. God he loved that man.
Rachel had quieted down. Steve was under the impression that she didn’t know he’d taken off unannounced, didn’t know what Danny had done to try to get Steve back, and Steve wasn’t going to offer it up. There was a chance she was coming around, but Steve didn’t trust her. She’d been too quiet, happily accepting Danny’s calls when he was working late and couldn’t get Grace. However, Steve had stopped commenting on Rachel, Stan hadn’t lit into Danny again. It was a tentative truce he supposed.
He and Danny fought as much as ever if not more than before. And it was wonderful. Danny’s laundry pile system made Steve insane, but Steve had also found that once things were ironed, Danny’s clothes were put away and no longer strewn about. Steve learned to push through laundry day. Danny had learned to push through laundry day as well, or do it at his own place.
He planned to suggest Danny move in when his lease was up. Danny stayed with him most nights when he didn’t have Grace. He was slowly learning to be neater, Steve was slowly learning to be less uptight. The packages of blue post-it notes he found when he went on cleaning rampages always brought him back to center.
That was IT he supposed. They worked well with each other, the sex was incredible, the soft moments were mind blowing. They pushed each other’s buttons, they forgave, and they accepted. What else was there? Actually, Steve couldn’t wait to find out.
Grace connected with the ball and in the blink of an eye the ball soared back at Danny, hitting him in the shoulder. Steve jumped up and clapped. “Alright, it’s all fun and games until it’s time for pizza.”
“Only half ham, please, I’m begging you both.” Danny rubbed at this arm as he followed Grace through the park and back to the picnic table.
“Pineapple on the side!” Grace chimed in and looped her arms through the backpack Steve held out for her. He rubbed Danny’s shoulder as Grace grabbed the bat and ball, then turned to smile brilliantly at both of them and mouthed at her father The One.