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The Ga(y)tekeepers

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There’s a certain satisfaction to be had in being an officer of the law.

          One of them is not the predicament Danny currently finds himself in.  Not at all.

          Five-0 and HPD had coordinated for a massive sting operation; long story short, Filipino drug and gun runners planning a massive drop right in the middle of Pearl Harbor because they’re idiots.  Seriously, in the middle of the most famous naval base in the Pacific?  There is such a beast as a dumb criminal.  Steve tries to give them all the benefit of the doubt that they have a little bit of intelligence but Danny knows better.  It’s only a two-bit narcotic kingpin that tries to offload two tons of cocaine in spitting distance of Nimitz-class carriers, the USS Missouri monument, and the like.

          It had been going smoothly, truly.  Steve had been on point, taken a couple rounds to the Kevlar, and then they’d all but nuked the place.  Danny had been happy to process them after they’d been smoked out.  Fighting on boats – big ones at that – had never been his favorite thing.

          Which is why he’s on the poop deck of a positively gorgeous yacht, straddling a guy that’s trying to throw him off much like a championship bull.

          See, Danny’s got a lot of practice at holding big, burly dudes to the dirt.  Or teak wood, in this case.  Steve, when he wants to be, can put up quite the fight and while it’s not fair he brings in those SEAL level moves into the bedroom it is good for sparring – even though most of the time Danny’s just trying to hold him still so that he can do unspeakable things to his body.

          “You know,” Danny pants, the knees of his chinos starting to get worn out where they’re struggling, “you’d think that a broken nose would slow you down.”

          The guy spits something garbled in Spanish and Filipino that Danny’s sure has something to do with ass having something awful done to it.  Just another charge to add – resisting arrest.  Danny tells himself that sure, he could do this all day, but he’s starting to get tired of keeping the guy’s wrist pinned.  See that’s part of the problem – he’d run out of handcuffs, and no one has yet seen it fit to bring him another pair.  For a country that likes to arrest druggies, Danny’s sure there would be enough around to lock them all up.

          “I’m gonna throw you overboard here in a minute and let the sharks eat you.”  Danny shifts with his charge, squeezing his thighs around his ribcage a little harder.  He has to be struggling to breathe, given that his nose is a mess of cartilage and blood right now.  It shouldn’t be so prickly a legal situation as to toss a prisoner overboard so that he’ll calm the hell down.  Isn’t Five-0 supposed to have special power and privilege?

          Danny grunts as the guy gets a hand loose and reaches for his throat. He dodges him for a second before he flips them, and suddenly Danny’s on his back.  He lets the guy choke him out – he’s so angry about his broken nose that it must have slipped his mind that Danny had a gun.  Blood drips onto Danny’s face and into his mouth as he unholsters the pistol and with a very, very stout whack hits the perp against the temple.  It takes him a second but down he goes, rolling off of Danny and onto the deck next to him.

          “I hate this job,” Danny mutters.  He sits up and makes sure the dude’s good and unconscious, just in case.  If he wakes up, Danny’s just going to pistol whip him into the drink and watch him struggle.  Of course his luck would be that guy’s a master swimmer and would scurry back up the side of the boat and come after Danny all over again.

          He’s still poking him when Steve finally comes along, tapping Danny on the shoulder to announce his presence.  Danny’s so involved in making sure his bad guy stays down the he jumps a little when he looks up to find Steve looming over him.

          “Any other time you’re on your knees, I’d ask you to come closer.”  Steve’s smile reaches up under his sunglasses and Danny thinks about sweeping his legs just to put them on the same level.

          “One track mind, Steve, is what you’ve got – and I need to borrow your cuffs.”  Danny’s already unhooking them from his belt while Steve helpfully crowds into his space a little more.

          “What happened to yours?”

          “They’re in use.  Kind of arrested a bunch of these guys today, you run out of cuffs after a while.”  Danny uses his sleeve to wipe the sweat out of his eyes before he slides the handcuffs on his charge.  He rolls him over after he’s finished and Steve whistles when he sees the guy’s face.

          “Shit Danny, what’d he do to piss you off?”

          With a nonchalant shrug, Danny stands up.  “He struggled a little too much.  Don’t they know they’re supposed to down easy?”  As if he needs a reminder of the incident, the back of his right hand throbs in sympathy.  At least he didn't break it.  That’ll make him more attractive in the prison beauty pageant, he’s sure of it.

          Steve hasn’t said anything for a minute, a pondering look on his face.

          “You’re thinking about us wrestling, aren’t you?”

          “You started it.”  Steve does his best to look helpless and Danny frowns at him.

          “Like I said – one track mind.  C’mon, help me lift this bastard – and if he wakes up, you’re going toe to toe with him, Commander.”

          “Hey, I took two bullets today.”

          “It’s not a contest to see who gets more injured, Steve.  I’m not the one who flexes in the mirror every night to see if my scars will stand out.”  Danny stumbles a touch under his weight, their charge groaning with semi-consciousness.

          There’s a waiting HPD patrol boat next to the yacht and it’s already got three sullen bad guys on it, not to mention the harbor policeman also guarding them.  It dips a little lower in the water when Steve, Danny, and their perp get on, and Danny automatically reaches out to Steve to catch his fall.

          It’s only a little brazen when Steve catches him by the hand and kind of pulls him to his chest.

          “I was managing.”

          “Bullshit.”  Steve smiles, except this time it’s the smile he gives Danny when he’s about to lean in and snog him for a hot minute.

          The sudden lurch of the boat kind of ruins the moment and they’re left to hang on to the support bars that border the perimeter.  There isn’t room to sit really so they end up crouched down until they come into contact with dry land again.

          Chin’s waiting on the dock for them, looking far too amused about something.  Danny spots the grin before they’ve even tied up at the dock.

          “Uh-oh.”  Danny’s out of the boat first to help start unloading their arrestees. “Why do you look happy?”

          “I’m not the one who got shot or went three rounds in the ring with their second in command.”

          The guy with the broken nose gives both Chin and Danny a look that would make Danny’s balls crawl up inside his body if he weren’t already in cuffs.

          “Well put a feather in my cap for the day, I beat him and won.”  Danny waves at the guy as he’s loaded into a van and cuffed to the seat.  The dirty look remains fixed on his face.  Broken nose or not, the dude’s still terrifying.

          “More like wore him down until he gave up.”  Steve walks up to them, cleaning his sunglasses with the hem of his shirt and showing off a hip that bears three fresh hickies, courtesy of one Danny Williams.

          “Hey – I beat that guy fair and square.”  Danny puffs out his chest and crosses his arms, holding Steve’s gaze in mock offense until Steve puts his shades back on.

          “Yeah, I saw you ‘wearing him down’ – didn’t you say you wrestled in high school?”

          Chin backs up, watching the exchange with growing amusement.

          “Hey, the guys I took down were in my weight class – I’d never have touched a guy like him.  It’s called a fair fight, and even with a broken nose that wasn’t one.  You could have helped you know.”  Danny sticks his tongue out and starts to walk towards a clump of HPD officers.  They look like they aren’t in the mood to mock him.

          “I was getting patched up where I got shot.”  Steve follows, wincing a bit with each step.  Danny motions his hand like he’s talking with it, miming the words back to Steve.

          “I’m gonna be hearing about that one for a week, aren’t I?”

          “Unless something worse happens.”

          Danny looks at a sheaf of paper one of the officers hands him, ignoring Steve.  Everything looks relatively straight; due process of the law is gonna be busy with these guys for a long time.  Danny’s glad he’s not the one in the courtroom sorting it all out.

          Right in the middle of reading through them, his phone starts to blare The Imperial March.

          Rachel.

          Danny groans, fishing it out of his pocket and letting it ring right up before it goes to voicemail.

          “Hello?”

          “Daniel, are you busy?”  Even through the phone Rachel manages to sound aggravatingly domineering.  Danny mouths damn right I am before answering.

          “Kind of.  Why?”

          “I need to see you – urgently.”  Doesn’t really sound like she’s leaving a ton of room for argument.  All the same, Danny’s not about to just drop everything and run.

          “How urgently?”

          “Within the next half hour.  It’s important.” 

          Danny turns his face out of the sun so that he’s now facing Steve.  Steve’s eyebrows go up in a “problem?” sort of way and Danny shrugs with his clipboard hand.

          “Can you make it an hour?”  It’s not a request he expects to be granted but it’s worth a shot.  If they can has this out over the phone rather than meet face to face, Danny will take it.  Three years out here on the island and the space between them still doesn’t feel big enough.

          “No, I cannot.  I need a favor.”

          Danny tries hard to not laugh – Rachel owing him one?  That he can get on board with.  Very, very quickly.

          “Yeah – sure.  I’ll be right over.”  Danny hangs up before Rachel can respond and grins triumphantly.  Steve notices the glee on Danny’s face and smiles back.

          “Hey look, you won an argument!”

          Danny turns to one of the officers before he starts to walk away.  “I’ll have this ready first thing in the morning – I gotta run.”  With a nod of confirmation from the HPD guy, he’s practically jogging, ignoring the way his thighs hurt with every step.  Okay, maybe that was a rougher tumble than he had originally thought.

          “By the way, Steven – I win arguments far more than you think.”  Danny slides into the passenger seat and puts his phone in the center console, clipboard in his lap.

          “Must be when I’m not around.”

          “But you’re always around.”  That part’s certainly true enough; there hasn’t been an extended period of time in the last couple years that Steve and Danny haven’t been more than twenty or so miles apart.

          “Do you argue in your sleep with someone?  Pretty sure I’d have picked up on that by now.”  The Camaro starts with a throaty rumble and peeling paint before Danny’s really got his seatbelt buckled.

          “Only you – it’s like your voice never gets out of my head.  It’s kind of aggravating.”  He tries to sound full of malice but he’s distracted by Steve’s arm, right fucking there where he’s got a high grip on the steering wheel and being all muscley with his biceps.

          “My voice is beautiful and you know it.”  The entrance to Pearl Harbor zips past and they’re on the road, barreling towards Five-O headquarters.

          “Hey, slow down there McQueen – we’re heading to the lair of the she-wolf.” 

          “It’s McGarrett, and Steve McQueen wasn’t all that great.”

          “Says he whose only driving instruction was from the movie Bullitt.”  Danny nudges Steve with the back of his hand, and Steve smiles at him.

          “To the lair of the she-wolf.”

          Danny always feels underclass when he rolls into the neighborhood Stan and Rachel live in; just because he’s middle class from New Jersey doesn’t mean he should, but… all of the houses here are three stories tall and have gates at the front.  It almost costs money to breathe here.

          The gate is already open as they roll into the driveway, an airport taxi waiting for them. Stan’s out front, pacing behind it and talking animatedly on his phone.  If he notices Steve and Danny at all, he doesn’t give any sort of indication.

          “Danno!” Grace bounds out the door as soon as Danny’s out of the car, hugging her arms around his neck.  She’s eleven and growing like a weed, already almost as tall as Danny.  Time flies too damn fast, and all Danny can really do is not hold on too tight to his little girl.

          “Hey, monkey.”  Danny kisses her cheek and lets her go before she runs to hug Steve as well.  Danny hears a muffled “Uncle Steve, put me down” as she’s swept up in a bear hug.  Danny smiles inwardly as he walks in the house, having seen Rachel through the door – Steve treats Grace like she’s his own.

          Rachel’s zipping up a suitcase that looks entirely too overpacked, struggling and cursing and making it all sound very posh in that stiff upper lip accent of hers.

          “Allow me,” Danny says, pulling the zip closed and easing the burden on Rachel.  She’s flushed with exertion and her hair’s a little mussed and for a second – but only a second – Danny remembers when she looked like that for entirely different reasons.

          “I was wondering when you would show up.”

          Ah, there it is. Moment ruined.

          “Like I said, we were working.”  Danny shrugs and shoves his hands in his pockets.  “So what fresh hell is this that you’ve seen fit to tear me, who protects and defends your home, from chasing down drug runners.”

          “Exactly what you just said – protecting and defending my home.”  Rachel hefts the suitcase to the floor and straightens, hands on her hips and her brow furrowed – like she’s daring Danny to argue.

          It’s a testament to his well-practiced poker face that he can swallow that information without letting it show.  “Do I look like ADT?”

          “No – but Stan insisted.”

          Now the incredulity shows.  “Stan?”

          Rachel nods, the motion making the gray that’s creeping into her temples flash.  They’re both pushing forty and yet she remains as lovely as ever, tinsel or not.  “Yes.  He wanted someone to look after the house while we’re away.”

          “Yeah speaking of – where are you going?”

          “England.”  She doesn’t quite manage to keep the where else, dumbass tone out of her voice.

          Danny waves it off and presses on.  “And you’re taking Grace halfway across the world to the Merry Land… why?”

          “Because, Daniel, my father is being knighted, and we’ve been invited to stay for the rest of Grace’s summer vacation.  Stan has business on the Continent during that time anyway, so we thought-“

          “Thought you’d just take the whole family and make a vacation out of it, I see.”

          “Vacation out of what?”  Steve sidles up next to Danny and makes himself look intimidating – which means he just stands as he normally does and fixes Rachel with a you better not be fucking with my partner  look.  It’s cute how protective Steve can be.

          When it’s not terrifying, of course.

          “The Queen’s father here is being knighted and they’re going to take a few weeks to oversee the Empire from home.”  Danny inches a little closer to Steve, making it obvious that this is indeed two against one and okay, Danny feels much better with Steve’s solid, muscle-bound mass behind him.

          “Ignoring your condescending remarks about my home country, I will finish.  I’d like you stay here while we are away.

          “What?”  Steve’s excited tone is just a little bit louder than Danny’s simultaneous disappointing one.

          “You may stay in the guest room – but no guests.”  The look Rachel fixes on Steve implies that yes, she knows, and that no, Steve is not invited.

          “Hey, he’s housebroken and doesn’t drop food.  He can at least stay during the evenings.  You know, if we’re not too busy doing actual work instead of guarding the palace.”  Steve flicks Danny’s ear as soon as he hears the word housebroken.

          “I am paying you-“

          The collective gasp of delight is kind of loud.

          “In a way.”

          A slightly more disappointed gasp.

          Rachel digs around in her pocket and starts to hand over a credit card.  “Your expenses for while living here are covered.  Stan does understand that your time is valuable and, dare I say it, more than we could ask for from a security system.”  It’s not exactly a “you’re good at your job” but Danny will take it.

          “So… how long are you and the King going to be gone.”

          “For the rest of Grace’s summer vacation.”

          “That’s almost six weeks!”

          “I know, Daniel – and the visitation time will be made up for when we return.”

          Danny opens his mouth, finger pointed and at the ready, prepared to come up with a counterargument – but then he realizes that Rachel’s letting a lot of her pride go and that, well, that can’t have a price put on it.

          “Fine.  But Steve stays overnight too.  It’s a big place, and I can’t duplicate myself.”

          “Weekends only.”

          Danny bites his cheek to keep himself from saying anything that might ruin things further.  “You drive a hard bargain, Rachel.”

          “Bear in mind that Grace will get to meet more of her family, and will probably want to tell you all about it when she returns.”

          No wonder Rachel is so damned good at her job.

          “Might want to get going, TSA being what it is?”  Steve picks up her suitcase and starts towards the door, Steve bringing up the rear and Rachel watching to make sure her luggage isn’t scuffed.

          Grace is doing a final check of her plane bag when Danny gets back outside and loads Rachel’s bag into the back of the taxi.

          “I don’t want to go, Dad.”  She says it quietly and the frown on her face makes Danny’s heart ache.

          “I know, baby – but it’s important you meet more of the family – and it’ll keep Mom out of my hair.”

          “You keep saying that she’s the one who puts the gray in it.”

          “Hey, hey, not gray – it’s just lighter blonde then the rest of it.”  Danny smooths his hair back, probably still a little wild looking from earlier.  And yeah, there is some white amongst the gold.  It’s not exactly like he’s getting younger.  If he was, Steve and he’d be going for double orgasms every night instead of just weekends.

          “Whatever you say, Danno.”  Grace kisses his cheek and grips his hand.

          “Call me as soon as you land – don’t care what time it is, you do it, alright?”

          “I will Dad.”  Grace hugs him one more time and lets him go, and Danny almost keeps the tear from dripping down his left cheek.

          “Love you monkey.”  Danny blows her a kiss as she gets in the car.

          “Love you too, Danno.”  Grace climbs in next to Rachel – who just waves – and Stan, whose still on his phone.  The taxi starts to move as soon as the door’s closed, and Danny and Steve are left standing in the driveway.

          “Say, Danno – did she give you a key?”

          Right as Danny’s about to start looking, his phones chimes a message alert

          From The Dark Lord: under the mat

          “Yes, she did.”  Danny walks back to the front step and looks under the mat, the key in question glinting silver in the late afternoon sun.  He pockets it and turns to look Steve in the eye.  “We’re still on the clock, aren’t we?”

          Steve nods, reaching out to lay a hand on Danny’s shoulder and rub his thumb over his neck muscle.  “Yeah – five minutes at headquarters ought to fix us up though.”

          Danny steps a little closer to Steve, hooking his index fingers into Steve’s front belt loops. “And then what?”

          “You and I are gonna grab supplies and then – then Danny, we’re going to make an action plan of which room we want to mess up first.”

          “You’re going to enjoy this, aren’t you?”  Steve’s close enough now that Danny has to tilt his head up to look at him.

          “Far too much babe, far too much.”

___

          It’s a whirlwind couple hours, between wrapping things up at headquarters and then tearing back to Steve’s place for clothes.  It’s convenience supreme that most of Danny’s shirts are in the dryer and Steve owns very little aside from t-shirts, cargo pants, and cargo shorts.  Packing doesn’t really take all that long.  Well, it takes a little while longer than it should; Steve hasn’t had the chance to be handsy all day and decides that as Danny’s bustling around the house while getting things ready is the perfect time to grope.

          “Steve, come on, I’m still tracking down my laptop charger.”  Danny’s in the study off the living room, looking behind the chair and desk while Steve keeps rubbing his butt.  Totally not distracting at all.

          “Can’t help it Danno.”  Steve does back off when Danny snaps upright, holding the errant charger up in victory.

          “Found it – and didn’t you take a couple slugs today?  Should that not be slowing you down at least a little bit?”

          “The painkillers are working right now.”  Steve smiles like that gives him some sort of magic power.  “And watching you run around and kick ass all day has me thinking about, well, your ass.”  Steve tries to reach behind Danny to grab his butt again, only for Danny to dodge just out of reach.

          “Two things.  My butt hurts where I landed on it on that damn boat and two, are you actually feeling toppy today?  Let me mark that on the calendar.”  The days that Steve wants to give it to him  up the ass are rare days indeed – Steve’s a receiver.  (Danny only made a football joke a couple times about wide receivers and Steve’s butt.)

          “Well… no.  Just it’s been looking really great lately.”

          “Lately?  My ass always looks good, McGarrett.”  Danny turns around and wiggles his hips, only for Steve to grab him from behind and rub himself against the curve of his butt.

          Danny knew that was going to happen anyway.

          “Damn right it has.”  Steve tries to go for his neck but Danny shrugs him off.

          “We have a mission right now but if you can wait until after dinner and nothing is absolutely pressing, you can feel me up to your little heart’s content.”  Danny’s voice carries a lot of promise – it’s not like he doesn’t enjoy having Steve’s hands on him. Hell, Steve’s hands in his proximity are a continual highlight of his day.  It’s just that they don’t tend to stop unless it’s a life or death situation, and they’ve kind of been burning hard since before dawn.

          “Alright.”  Steve looks downtrodden, but not so much that Danny can eake out much sympathy; patience is golden.

          “C’mon – I think we got everything else.”  Danny does squeeze Steve’s hand for a second, feeling his partner’s thumb run over his knuckles. It always makes him sweat, just a little bit, to just take Steve’s hand like that.

          He’s also the only one who ever looks nervous when it happens.

          Steve starts to open his mouth to say something, then closes it, adjusting his fingers where they’re more comfortably threaded with Danny’s.  Danny’s mouth goes a little dry, but he tightens his grip a little more anyway.

          “Do… do you want me to let go?”  Steve, for all of his badassery and skill with every weapon under the sun, looks positively intimidated when asking for something as simple as holding Danny’s hand.

          “No, you… you don’t have to.”  Danny starts to put a foot towards the door and much to his surprise, Steve follows without letting go.

          Steve will sit in Danny’s lap and make out with him until they’re both blue from oxygen deprivation, suck him off in the Camaro, sneak kisses at work and just about everything else but holding hands?  It’s just not something they do very often.  Feels a little surreal, to do probably most g-rated thing ever and yet both of them have a difficult time actually doing it.  Sure during sex they lock fingers, cuddle up afterwards and all that but to just… do it – Danny finds himself trying to keep the surprise off his face.

          Steve locks up behind them, cases in hand and ready for the six week stay.  Well, mostly ready.  It’s not like they’re moving out, just moving up for a while.  Almost like a vacation, but not.  Danny keeps his hand free if Steve wants to take it and before they’ve gone ten feet towards Steve’s truck, he’s there.

          “You palm is sticky.”  Steve pulls a mock disgusted face behind his shades.

          “It’s because I sweat too much here.  Damn pineapple and surfboard infested island.”

          Steve chuckles, deep and kind of loud as he tosses his case in the back of the truck.  “What the hell do those have to do with the heat?”

          “They generate it.  I don’t know how, but I’m sure of it - they have to be a source of heat.”  Danny knows it’s complete and utter bullshit but it’s just them, his brain is tired, and if he’s babbling a little, well, tough.

          “I’ll have to take you down to the underground secret city where we melt down all that stuff.  We islanders are used to it, so it only affects mainlanders.”  Steve’s voice is temporarily cut off as they go around the sides of the truck and get in.  “Think you could handle a trip under the earth’s crust?”

          “You fucking try me, Steven.” 

          Steve reaches over and squeezes his knee before starting up and pulling out, taking one last look at the house in the rearview mirror.

          Traffic is murder on the way to the store, and they end up cranking the radio up as loud as it’ll go and singing along to Bon Jovi and Van Halen.  One thing that they agree on completely is that classic rock is superior to all other forms of rock – it’s classic and it rocks. 

          Watching Steve try to drive and air guitar at the same time is amusing as shit, especially since he gets far too into it and the pitch of his singing voice raises goosebumps on the back of Danny’s neck.  Steve notices the way Danny’s looking at him and smiles, that smile that’s for Danny only and no one else, leaning over and kissing him on the cheek before the light turns green and he mashes the accelerator with way too much conviction.

          “One thing that hasn’t changed – you still drive like a maniac.”  Danny’s glad to have solid ground under his feet again as he clambers out of the truck, smoothing his hair back where they’d had the windows down.

          “A maniac who gets places quickly.”  Steve fishes around in his left pocket, producing a piece of paper and handing it to Danny.

          “When the hell did you have time to make a list?  All I remember you doing is following me around and groping my ass.”  Danny quirks his eyebrows at Steve in question.

          “I do lots of things when you’re not looking.  Just thought it’d save a little time.”  Steve’s in hand holding range again and this time, he actually meets Danny halfway.  Spooky, but not quite as much as before.

          Danny half wonders if he might have accidentally inhaled some sort of drug on the boat, and it’s only an illusion that Steve is willingly holding his hand in daylight.  With other people around.

          “You’re scaring me a little.  Making lists, looking far too happy about our crap assignment, this” - Danny raises their joined hands up to eye level – “what’s going on, babe?”

          Instead of clamming up or looking away, Steve just shrugs, entirely too casual. 

          “You ever think that maybe I don’t have a hidden motive or reason and that maybe I enjoy time and contact with my boyfriend?”

          Almost three years together and it still makes Danny smile and feel all goofy when Steve says the word “boyfriend” and it’s in direct, complete reference to him.  Like he’s a little buzzed or he’s found ten dollars lying on the ground.

          It’s a really great feeling.

          “Yeah, okay weirdo.  Let’s see what you’ve got on your list.”  Danny bumps Steve’s side, hoping the bruises from earlier don’t hurt too badly.

          Giving that Steve nudges him back, they must be alright.

          There’s not much surprise at the contents of Steve’s list; steak, potatoes, beer – all scrawled out in his blocky, masculine handwriting.  It’s legible enough, but there’s no mistaking who it belongs too.  Characteristic, is the term Danny applies.

          “We’re getting vegetables before we leave.”  They’re in dairy, loading up milk and eggs.  Omelets are the order of breakfast most every morning, and Danny has to admit that he’s very good at making them interesting.

          “Why?  That’s what vitamins are for.”  Steve inspects the dozen he’d holding for cracks, and deeming them worthy, places them in the basket.

          “Because, they’re good for you, and this looks like we’re feeding a frat house, not two of Hawaii’s finest officers of the law.  What would the citizens say if they knew we were eating like this constantly, slowing our bodies down with nothing but protein and cholesterol?”  Danny waves his arm back and forth between the two of them, one foot propped on the cart so he can lean closer to Steve.

          “You’ve been working on that for a while, haven’t you?”

          “Since I started living with you.”

          “Why do I feel like you’re not joking?”

          “Because, babe, you eat like a machine and it’s not like we’re getting younger.”  Danny looks Steve in the eye and waits for him to argue.

          “So you’re saying that in order to invest in our futures better, we should eat less steak and eggs.”

          “You, my friend, are correct.”

          Steve smiles and puts another carton of eggs in the buggie.

          “My words,” Danny laments, “are wasted.”

          Danny does manage to talk Steve into stuff for at least one salad in the next week; he doesn’t specify how big it should be and since this is on Rachel and Stan’s tab, Danny buys enough for a big one.  All organic too, since that’s supposed to be better for you.  Honestly he doesn’t taste much difference but this is splurging, and doing it once in a while is perfectly alright.

          Even if Steve does grumble the whole time about how potatoes are more than an acceptable vegetable and why should he have to eat anything else.

          They’re getting ready to check out when Steve pulls the cart away, nearly running Danny’s foot over in the process.

          “I don’t think we forgot anything, babe.”  Danny follows Steve – uncomplainingly, because hello Steve’s butt – and navigates through shoppers and around displays until they turn down the aisle with band aids and what not.

          “Condoms.” 

          “Condoms?”

          “Yeah – the things that go on your cock to catch your come.  Rubbers, if you will.”

          Danny contemplates running him over for being a smartass and then realizes that if he does, it’s a little too late.

          “Yes, thank you for telling me.  Why do we need them?”

          Steve tosses two boxes of Magnums Ultra Thins – the thirty six count, Danny notices, into the cart and picks up two more.  “It’s not our house.  Shouldn’t we try to not be messy while we’re there?  In case you haven’t noticed Danno, we’re both kind of…”  Steve makes a motion with his hand that is a fairly good imitation of a geyser.  Danny leans his weight on one leg so that there is at least an attempt made at concealing the sudden boner he’s popped.

          “Gonna feel weird,” Danny says.  “Been a while since we used them.”  It comes out unintentionally seductive and he’s suddenly aware of the quick splash of cologne Steve put on to cover up the gunpowder smell from earlier.  Hell, he smells that too.

          Steve is leaning in, putting his hands over Danny’s where they’re gripping the cart.  “You uh, you think we could get used to them again?”

          “Might have to try it several times, just to be sure.”  Danny licks his lips and right as he’s about to kiss Steve, he remembers where they are.  He shakes his head and straightens, ignoring the throbbing sound his pulse is making in his ears.

          “Why don’t we head out before we commit something related to public indecency?”  Danny’s eyes drop to where Steve’s hand is shifting his dick down his leg.  So much for what he just said.

          “Yeah.”  Steve starts for the front of the store and Danny falls in next to him, Steve’s fingertips tucked into his belt all the way to the register. The cashier only registers mild surprise at the four boxes of condoms and smiles a little; it’s not like they’re buying anything illegal.

          Steve’s hand moves from Danny’s knee and up to his thigh on the way home, and if he reaches in for a couple squeezes at Danny’s crotch then Danny will just have to live with it.

          The stir fry is sizzling on the stove when Steve comes down the stairs from his shower, having started it while Danny grabbed one first.  Sure it would have been nice to go together but hunger won out over seeing each other naked.

          Danny’s adding in a little more seasoning to his veggies when Steve’s arms go around him from behind, nose snuffling at his damp hair to accompany his voice.

          “Smells good Danno.”

          “What, me or the food?”

          “Both.”  Steve’s fingers are working their way under the hem of Danny’s t-shirt, touching his hips and belly.

          “You wanna maybe not grope the chef while he’s making dinner?”  Danny tilts his head to the side as Steve’s lips brush over his neck, warm and damp.

          “I’m not groping,” Steve says matter-of-factly.  “Just… appreciating.”

          Danny moans just a tiny bit as Steve’s fingers massage his sides.  “This is just unfair, taking advantage of me when I’m trying to whip up the grub.”

          Steve somehow manages to get even closer, his short, blunt nails dragging over Danny’s ribcage and making his head swim.  One thing Danny has to hand to him is that he’s extremely good at seduction – and Danny’s a sucker for it, hook, line, and sinker.

          “Just trying to make up for lost time, Danno.”

          Danny mumbles something unintelligible and turns the heat on the beef down.

          Steve takes the spoon out of Danny’s hand and sets it on the so-shiny-you-can-see-your-reflection granite countertop and turns Danny around.  Danny takes Steve in and whistles; he’s not wearing a stitch of clothing save for a pair of black briefs that leave not a damn thing to the imagination.  If Steve stands in the light the right way, he can make out the fat, long helmet-shaped head of his cock.  The bruise on his chest where from the bullets earlier really doesn’t do much else aside from make him even more alluring.  Shit, Steve looks good when he’s been beat up a little.

          “Now this” – Danny brandishes his hand at Steve’s person – “is truly unfair.  I’m trying to make dinner, and you’re wearing the ‘get Danny into bed really fast’ underwear. Steve, I was gonna bump uglies with you after dinner anyway.”

          Steve shrugs, massive shoulders coming up just an inch. “They were the first skivvies I grabbed out of my suitcase.”

          “Uh-huh.  I think you just wanted to make me feel overdressed.”

          Steve makes a grab for Danny’s shirt, catching the bottom of it in his fingertips.  “I can help with that.”

          “And as the cook, I insist on staying dressed while around open flame.”

          “It’s an electric stove.”

          “It’s still hot, Steven, and I am not going to risk burning myself.”  Danny picks up his spoon again, held at the ready like a sword.  He makes a pointed effort to not look at his nether regions, lest he should lose an already insanely pitched battle in Steve’s favor.

          Steve hangs close anyway.  “What are your objections to not wearing pants while cooking?”

          “One, my junk is closer to the heat source then the rest of me.  Two, I’m not wearing any underwear.”

          Steve’s face lights up like the big Christmas tree in Danny’s hometown during the holidays.  “Really?  Can I verify that for myself?”

          “If you want to-“  Danny doesn’t get to finish, because all of a sudden Steve’s on him like they’re magnetized, his left hand down the front of his shorts, fingers kneading Danny’s cock and balls. With a sigh, Danny stands back and pretends to be mightily annoyed.

          “You’re wet.”

Before Danny can get out a reply, Steve tugs the waistband of Danny’s shorts down and gets his cock out, foreskin drawn back between his fingers.  For a man who was shot not that much earlier, Steve gets to his knees awfully fast to spend about ten seconds sucking at the head of Danny’s cock before getting back to his feet.

          The way he smacks his lips as he savors the taste of Danny’s body makes Danny nearly forget about his steamed vegetables.

          “You’re saltier than normal.”

          “I am so, so glad that you’ve eaten enough of my come-“

          “And precome.”

          “Yes, and precome, to know the many, subtle differences in its taste.”  Danny pulls his shorts back up and ties the drawstring a little tighter, but his boner gives him away all the same.

          “More than that Danny – we’ve been together long enough that I’ve tasted them all at least twice.”  Steve goes over to the high-end refrigerator and grabs a beer, Danny forgetting to respond for a minute because those undies make Steve’s ass look even better than it already is.

          “Yeah?”  Danny turns back to his pan and pokes at the beef a little more.

          “Yeah.”  Steve twists off the cap and takes a very long pull.  Danny watches his throat bob as he swallows; it absolutely floors Danny that Steve manages to look either terrifying or pornographic when he does something.  Right now it’s definitely the latter.

          Once finished, he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and goes to lean against the counter near Danny.  “I like it.  I like knowing you and your different tastes.”

          Danny smiles, deeming dinner to be ready.  “Just like?”

          Steve puts his beer down and takes Danny’s hands, holding them tight as he leans down.

          “Fine – love.”

          Kissing Steve has yet to lose any of its magic.  It’s never stopped surprising Danny that Steve is actually the biggest softie when he kisses, his mouth all warm and pliant.  He’s got nice, inviting lips and Danny steps in every time they say come on, always getting a little thrill at the inevitability of Steve opening his mouth to Danny.  Steve loves to have his tongue sucked on and tasted, and Danny can’t see himself stopping doing those two things.

          The kiss kind of echoes in the kitchen, as it’s not a continuously held sort of thing. It’s actually several kisses in quick succession, each one getting a little louder the more they open and lick into each other’s mouths.  Danny’s got two handfuls of Steve-butt, and Steve can’t quite decide where to leave his so they roam up and down Danny’s spine, nails over skin making those damned goosebumps come back.  Danny pretends to be hard to get but really he folds like a cheap card table when Steve’s got his hands on him. 

          If anything, Steve succumbs to charm even easier and Danny absolutely loves it.

          “Think dinner’s getting cold.”  Steve barely breaks a kiss to say it, and Danny just hums back into his mouth.  No harm in reheating if they have to.

          Still, that stir fry does smell wonderful…

          There’s a tacit agreement to pick this up after they’re done, and they carry it all into the small dining room off the kitchen.  They have a bigger one but somehow Danny doesn’t think it’s necessary to eat in what he’s deemed to the state dinner room; the flooring is less expensive in here anyway if they drop something.

          The chairs at the table even manage to make Steve look small, and Danny nearly sinks down in his.

          “What the hell are these, half recliners?”  Danny pulls himself back up to the table and takes a swig of the beer that he’s been nursing for half an hour now.

          “They’re comfy.”  Steve wiggles his butt in the chair for a minute before he starts destroying his beef and vegetables.  Danny will pencil in picking on Steve for how eagerly he’s eating them for later.

          “Sure, if you’re trying to take a nap and eat at the same time.

          Steve points his fork at Danny, complete with a slice of carrot on the end.  “Best time to nap is after a good meal.”

          “Or at your desk in the middle of the day.” 

          “Mid-morning when you’ve been up since before the crack of dawn chasing hooligans around the island.”

          Danny chuckles at Steve’s word choice.  “Hooligans?”

          “Criminals.  Perps.  I have a ton of synonyms, Danno.”

          “Fine – the people who wreak havoc and mayhem because they’re too damned mean or lazy to make an honest living.”

          “Meanness doesn’t mean they don’t do honest work – take you, for instance.”  Steve grins around his beer bottle and Danny gently kicks him under the table.

          “I am not mean.  You are, showing up in the kitchen while I’m busy looking like the centerfold of Gay Porno Sex Time Magazine.”

          “Oh, so you read that one too?” 

          Danny kicks him again, only he misses a little and kicks the leg of the chair Steve’s occupying.

          It’s not that funny but Steve laughs for a solid two minutes anyway.  If Steve laughing like that weren’t such a rare thing – honest and freely – Danny would rightly shove one of his Hawaiian rolls in his mouth.

          By the time they finish, there isn’t a lot of food left and the six pack of Long Boards is completely gone.  Danny can already envision the workout Steve will put him through tomorrow morning before work to burn it all off but for right now, he’ll take the satisfaction of being pleasantly buzzed and his hunger being sated.  The dishes go in the fancy, space age looking dishwasher (Danny thinks he pressed the right buttons) and finally, Danny lets his worries go for the day.

          Scratch that – Grace is still up in the air somewhere and until he’s absolutely sure she’s touched down, he’s going to worry.  Good thing Steve’s here to keep his mind off of it.

          There’s a landing at the top of the stairs with a television (a big one, sixty inches across – Steve drools just a little bit when he sees it) and a sofa long enough that even Steve could stretch out and his feet wouldn’t touch the other end.

          Steve whistles, taking in the whole room.  “For just three people in the house, they sure do live well.”

          “See, this is why I could never be rich – I couldn’t justify all this.  How on earth are you going to watch six televisions at the same time?”

          “You seem to be able to watch hockey and blow me simultaneously.”  Steve makes himself comfortable on the couch, legs spread and body stretched as comfortably as he can, considering his injuries.  Danny drinks him in for a second before joining him, cuddling up to his side while Steve turns the tv on and flips through the channels.

          “Don’t really think that counts.  I mean, both activities are going on in the same room.”  Danny puts an arm across Steve’s stomach, careful to not touch his chest; Steve’s been moving gingerly and trying his hardest to disguise it.

          “Being able to multitask is a talent.”

          “You know, according to science there’s not actually any such thing as multi-tasking.”

          “What science?”

          “The science on the internet.”  Danny hums softly as Steve scritches his side, fingers moving under the soft cotton of his undershirt.

          “Because the science on the internet is always right.”  Steve raises his arm a little more so that Danny’s head is resting in the crook between his arm and shoulder.

          “Damn right it is.”  Danny kisses the side of Steve’s chest, inhaling as he does.  Steve still smells sort of gunpowdery but aside from that it’s clean and masculine and more than anything, powerful.  Danny used to find it a little intimidating that a person could just exude power via scent but now it’s like home.  Also makes it hard to pull himself away from Steve at times.

          Steve leans over and kisses Danny’s temple, the baseball game on the television very quickly being forgotten.  He mouths in Danny’s hair, breath ghosting over the shell of his ear as Danny’s pulled just a little closer, his other hand rubbing Danny’s thigh.

          “You know,” Danny murmurs, “I bet I’m still leaking a little if you want to check that out.  Maybe find some sort of way to fix that problem.”

          Steve’s hand inches up Danny’s leg to the outline of his dick.  “Way to demonstrate your porn dialogue there, Detective.”

          “Someone’s gotta be good at it.”  Danny parts his legs as comfortably wide as they’ll go and leans up into the kiss that Steve’s already started to go for.  He sits up enough to cradle Steve’s head in his hands, opening his mouth further as Steve’s hand finds its way into his shorts.  Steve cups his balls, rolling them between his fingers and tugging at them, rubbing his wrist against the underside of Danny’s cock as he goes.  Danny ruts his hips a little, reaching over with his right hand to rub Steve through his underwear. 

          Danny could sit and be groped and touched by Steve for the rest of his days like this, honestly.  So far as sexual partners go, Steve’s content with simple stuff like handies and blowjobs, hell even dry humping. They don’t go all the way all the time, and at the end of the day – especially a long one like this – Danny’s more than fine with that.

          Steve ceases jerking Danny off for a second while he pulls his shorts down.  “Think it’s okay if you’re naked now.”

          “Fair’s fair, soldier – take those off.”  Danny grabs the collar of his shirt and pulls it off, throwing it in the direction of the television as Steve gets up and shimmies his briefs off, making a show of it for Danny.

          “Looks like you need to call a plumber too there babe.”  Danny reaches up and gets his fingers around the top half of Steve’s dick, smearing the drop of precome around the bottom of the head with his thumb.  Steve moans, thighs quivering just a little.

          “Been that way ever since our little tete-a-tete at the store.”

          “You’re easy to start today, aren’t you?”

          Steve’s eyes close as Danny jerks him off a little more forcefully, his left hand in Danny’s hair.  “With you babe?  Always.”

          Danny stands up and puts his free arm around Steve’s waist, drawing them close together.  Steve leans down to kiss him, all tongue and not much finesse.  Danny grunts when Steve gets his hand on his balls again, going past gentle to serious.

          “Lay down, baby.” Danny commands gently.  Steve stretches out on the couch, hands never really leaving Danny’s body as he gets into position on top of him.  Here the difference in height isn’t quite as noticeable and Danny presses the advantage, keeping his right hand on Steve’s dick while he uses his left to hold Steve’s right above his head.  Their fingers squeeze each other automatically, and Danny knows it’s gonna be awhile before he gets it back.

          Steve shifts so that their cocks are pressed together, both sticky with precome.  Danny feels Steve’s fingers touch his as they circle their cocks, making a tight fit, thrusting together into their hands.  Steve catches his frenulum piercing as he finds the right grip and Danny sees stars for a long moment.  Bless Steve for encouraging him to have it redone a couple years back.

          Danny bites his bottom lip, heat and friction radiating up his body.  “I’m not too heavy on that bruise, am I?”  Danny indicates to his chin towards Steve’s chest.

          “You’re good, Danno – just keep doing that.”

          “What, this?”  Danny drags his cock really, really slowly against Steve’s, up from his balls all the way to the head.

          “Shit, yeah.”  Steve shudders, trying to match the slow pace against Danny.  Who even knew that rubbing dicks could be so goddamn intense?

          “Nice and slow, babe, no one here to bother us.”  Danny kisses Steve again, his lips still wet from the previous one.  He feels Steve’s legs tangle with his, pulled close that they’re as lined up as well as they can be despite the differences in height.  Oh, such an inconvenience to be trapped like this, Danny thinks to himself.

          It’s a while before the kiss breaks, more out of necessity to breathe than anything.  Steve’s face is flushed, the pinkish tinge going all the way down to his chest.  Danny licks a long stripe from his collarbone up to his neck, rubbing his thumb over the head of Steve’s cock while he tongue fucks Steve’s mouth.

          Steve’s steadily going to pieces and Danny really, really wants to undo him completely.

          “Promise not to go anywhere for a second?”  Danny kisses the hinge of Steve’s jaw as he keeps performing sweet torture on his dick.

          “Scout’s honor, Danno.”  Steve sounds a little raspy and desperate, and the timbre of his voice sends a pleasant shiver down his spine.

          “Be right back.”  Danny kisses Steve on the forehead and extricates himself from his embrace, moving as fast as he can down the hall to the room they’re sharing.  It’s hard to move quickly with a raging boner but he manages, ending up holding it still while he walks. 

          The house has five guest rooms, and he pokes his head in the wrong one twice.  It’s not exactly like they’ve had much time to get the lay of the land well, and it’s been even longer since Danny was upstairs.  Most of the time he gets to the front room and that’s it. 

          On the king-size bed his duffel is laying open where he dug through it earlier, and he pulls out all of its contents to get to the bottom.  It’s shifted a bit on the journey over but under his socks lies his Fleshlight and a near empty bottle of lube.  Scooping them up quick he bounds back to the landing, Steve still stretched out on the couch, making strings with his precome between his thumb and forefinger.

          “Any other time, I’d pay to watch you do that.”  Danny settles himself back down on the couch and uncaps both the Fleshlight and lube.

          “Yeah?”  Steve licks his fingers and gives Danny an intensely filthy look.  Like Danny needed any further convincing, seriously.

          “Yeah – but right now, we have other priorities.”  Danny ends up emptying the lube into the Fleshlight, smearing the remainder over both himself and Steve.  Steve nearly goes cross eyed when Danny works the lube into his skin, his whole body pulled taught.

          “Someone’s ready to go,” Danny says.  He’s careful to not place too much weight on Steve’s body, their hands joining again like they were before as he slides the Fleshlight over both of them.

          Steve offers very little in the way of a reply, the words lost to Danny as the Fleshlight swallows both of them.  There are ridges on the inside and while it feels absolutely nothing like the inside of Steve’s ass, it’s a hell of a thing to experience.  This isn’t the first time they’ve done this but it’s certainly been long enough that Danny feels his brain scramble anyway.

          “Think… shit, Steve, feels so fucking good.”

          Steve kisses him in agreement.

          They both make a game try at thrusting into it at the same time, only there isn’t much room to move with both of them inside; Danny sets a slow, intense rhythm that has them moaning loudly enough that the noise from the television is drowned out completely.  They were on edge before and now Danny knows they’re both close, the Fleshlight pleasantly too tight.

          Steve’s grip on his hand becomes decidedly more vice-like.  “Danno, ‘m close.”  He’s breathing heavily, chest heaving against Danny’s.

          “Right there with you babe, c’mon, let’s-“  Before the words “come together” are out of his mouth, Danny’s doing exactly that, his spunk warm against his own skin.  Given the way Steve tosses his head back in a silent but hoarse shout the timing was perfect and soon Danny feels it, too slippery to be just him, running back out of the Fleshlight because there’s nowhere else for it to go.

          Steve’s still shaking five minutes later when Danny finally remembers to pull the thing off of them.

          “Does… does that count as not making a mess?”  Steve keeps rubbing Danny’s back like it’s helping his words take on more coherence.

          “Uh… yes.”  Danny’s got his face in Steve’s neck and trying to ignore the sticky feeling between his legs.  He’s still holding the Fleshlight, trying to keep it business end up so that it doesn’t spill.

          Steve reaches for it, letting Danny’s hand go and holding it up over Danny’s back.  He dips in two fingers, getting them wet up to his knuckles.  Danny thinks about moving out of the way lest some get on his back – then realizes he doesn’t care all that much.

          He does make the effort to sit up and watch Steve fellate his own fingers, savoring their combined taste.

          “Thought you got enough protein at dinner,” Danny says with a smile.

          Steve ignores him for a moment and goes for another taste.  “And it’s been a solid twenty four hours since I tasted your come, so you can shove it.”

          “Don’t think I’m much good for that right now.”

          Steve offers him a freshly coated finger and Danny takes it, holding Steve’s hand still while he sucks it off.  He feels Steve’s dick try to get hard again but it’s a lost cause; they’re both done for the day.  All the same he makes a show of licking it up before Steve just upends the whole mess into his mouth because he’s a dirty fucker and they end up spending half an hour kissing it back and forth.

          “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you’ve turned me into a pig, McGarrett.”  Danny pulls Steve up off the couch and leads him to the bathroom.

          “And you have yet to go anywhere, so it must not bother you that much.”

          “Hey, only because it’s you babe.  Don’t think I’d swap spunk with anyone else.”

          Steve pulls him into a hug from behind.  “Makes me feel all the more special.”

          It’s hard to brush teeth with Steve hanging all over him but he truly doesn’t mind, especially since Steve’s warm and the house is a little chilly.  They watch each other in the big mirror, smiling around their toothbrushes and fondling each other’s junk because they can.

          Danny never imagined domesticity with Steve to be conventional – and it certainly isn’t – but this is pretty damned nice anyway.

          Steve wets a cloth in the sink so that he can wipe the stickiness off of them.  “You get the feeling that Rachel’s doing this just because she can?”

          “Oh, I know she is.  It’s not fair how she uses Grace as a card but… she’s my kid, and I’m enough of a sucker to realize it.”

          “You’re not a sucker, Danno.”  There’s no double meaning behind the words, for once.  “You just love those close to you.  Nothing wrong with that.”

          “Not one of my better traits, is it?”

          Steve smiles and wipes himself down.  “Can’t say it’s a bad thing though.”

          Danny sees something flicker in Steve’s eyes, like he’s been searching for something and just now found it – and then just as suddenly makes peace with his discovery.  It’s momentary, but Danny commits the look to memory anyway.

          “Yeah.”

          Steve takes Danny by the hand once they’re done and leads him back to their room, unceremoniously shoving their bags into the floor; they’ll be there tomorrow.  Danny turns the covers down while Steve sets the alarm on his phone, slipping under them and sighing.  Unfair as she might be, Rachel does know how to appoint a bedroom.

          “Hey, Danny?”  The lights are off and Steve’s back is to Danny’s chest, his arms around those broad shoulders.

          “What’s up?”

          “Thanks for being you.  With the whole holding your loved ones close.”

          Danny smiles into the back of Steve’s head.  “You’re just saying that because you’re being cuddled right now.”

          “I’m serious.”  Steve puts his hand over Danny’s where it’s covering his heart.  “And thanks for including me in that.”

          It’s close to an “I love you” –very, very close.  It’s known, it’s demonstrated – but hardly ever outright said, so Danny leans in, voice as soft as the sheets surrounding them.

          “I love you too, Steve.”

          The call for Grace’s landing reaches Danny before they even drift off to sleep, and for once, Danny rests in complete peace.

___

          Staying at Rachel’s place, for Danny at least, is more bittersweet than anything.

          For one, it’s huge fucking house.  Danny doesn’t feel like he’s guarding anything so much as constantly making rounds; there is no easy vantage point for him, to keep an eye on everything at one time.  He and Steve do the best they can but so far as a defensible position goes – on the ludicrously low chance they should need one – it’s been hard to pick one.  It’s not exactly like there have been a ton of break-ins in this neighborhood anyway.

          It’s also farther from headquarters than Steve’s place is.  (They’ve lived together for the last two years and Danny still doesn’t really think of it as his – not yet anyway.)  The extra ten minutes it takes driving really cuts into morning sexytimes and Danny’s not super happy about that, no matter how ridiculously comfortable the bed is that they’re sleeping in.  Just not the same when he can’t wake Steve up with an extra-long blowjob.  Steve’s definitely noticed his frustration and goes out of his way in the evenings to make up for lost time.  He’s a good guy like that, and reciprocating isn’t in the least bit an issue.

          What hurts the most above all else, though, is it’s a constant reminder of just how much he’s lost to time and Rachel.

          Back when they were in the process of getting divorced, the estate was definitely divvied up in Rachel’s favor; she had custody of Grace, she needed more stuff in the house as a result.  Not that Danny had a lot to begin with – he wasn’t left with much else aside from the clothes on his back and what he could pack into his car.  It’s been years and having to hock his autographed baseball collection to make child support still stings whenever he thinks about it.

          The guilt never does quite fade away when that little voice says in the back of his head “but it was worth it in order to keep seeing your daughter.”  He’s gotten good at suppressing guilt in his time, but that always, always makes him feel worse for thinking it in the first place.

          Seeing Grace for twenty four hours a month really doesn’t add up to much. He’s missed two birthdays and a lot of school events, either from work or him simply not being allowed the time to see here.  It’s just tough luck that the life of a cop isn’t seen by the court as a safe occupation.  On a fundamental level, okay, sure it makes sense; he can’t just up and leave his daughter in the middle of something in order for him to go and shoot at someone, or go on a high speed chase.  Maybe if she was older, he could have more flexibility.

          There’s also the heartache of realizing that she’s simply getting older; Grace’s room is decked out with pictures of boy bands and tween/teen movie idols.  Gone is the interest in Barbies and My Little Pony and other appropriate little girl stuff.  Adolescence is right around the corner and God, he’s going to have to talk to her about boys soon.  He’s sure Rachel’s handled it at some point but it’s just one of those things a daughter needs to hear from her father, and Danny wants to make sure his little girl stays safe.

          Funny thing about envisioning that conversation; in every iteration of it, Steve’s there.  Come to think of it, Steve’s there for a lot of those “growing up/life changing” scenarios whenever Danny thinks about him.  For a long time he tried to keep his life with Steve and his life with Grace separate, then somewhere along the line the two had become the same.  There are equals amounts of love and affection for both of them, and the feeling goes way, way deep.  Kind of hard not to, considering that Steve is just as protective of Grace as he is.

          There’s also that little smile and twinkle Steve gets in his eyes whenever he witnesses Danny being a hands-parent.  Maybe it’s heartwarming for him, Danny’s never really asked.  There are a lot of things between he and Steve that are just... understood.  They don’t need a lot of elaboration.

          Living in this great big house – where it’s really easy to find a place for some alone time – has made Danny think hard about them.  Most of the time it’s not intentional but Steve’s presence is so strong in his life that it’s hard – really hard, in fact – to not let his mind wander.

          Three weeks to the day they’ve been here, and it’s late.  Like he should have gone to bed when Steve went two hours ago late.  He finally worked up the courage to go into Rachel’s study/library and try to find something to reconnect him with the lost time between himself and Grace.  Rachel’s one of those people who believes very strongly in having photos developed as a result, has a ton of photo albums.

          It’s not quite as good as being there, but Danny gets to see some of those events and achievements he missed out on.  Hearing about them from Grace, as special as it is, isn’t quite actually having visual proof.

          There are photos of her in a soccer uniform, looking muddy and happy, science fair projects, her tenth birthday party – each one makes Danny smile wider and wider while also making the pressure in his chest grow.  He feels hollow, incomplete, more than a little frustrated about what he’s missed.  Here’s his kid, already starting to do great things and it hurts that he’s not allowed to be a part of that as much as he wants to be.

          He takes some of the photos out to examine them more closely, commit them to memory.  Grace proudly holding up her honor roll certificate, showing signs already that she’s smart as a whip.  The last of her baby teeth falling out right after they moved to Hawaii.

          “Gonna grow up to be something there, monkey.”  Danny wipes a tear from his eye and picks up another album, in the process of opening it when he hears a soft “Danno?” from the doorway.

          Danny looks up and there’s Steve, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes and clad in blue cut-off sweatpants that once said “Navy” and nothing else, his veins still showing from his workout that evening.  He’s got the drawstring of his shorts done up tight so that his bulge is shown off quite nicely and any other time, Danny would be on him awfully quick.

          Today he just turns his head and tries not to let Steve see the sadness on his face.

          “Hey baby,” Danny says, quietly.  He moves a couple albums so that Steve can come and sit down next to him if he likes.

          Steve’s there in a second, sinking in next to Danny on the small sofa and leaning against him.  His cheeks is stubbly against Danny’s neck but he doesn’t ask him to move, putting his arm around Steve’s back and holding him close.

          “Thought you’d be out like a light after that workout.”  Danny curls his fingers over Steve’s hip and sighs gently when Steve kisses his cheek.

          “Not used to falling asleep alone, you know?”

          Danny gives him a tired smile.  “Big baby.”

          “You’re a good pillow Danny, what do you want me to say?”  Steve picks up one of the albums Danny had been looking through.  “I see what’s keeping you up.”

          “And what would that be?”

          “Nostalgia.”

          Danny doesn’t see much reason in denying it.  “Just trying to fill in some of the gaps, is all.”  Steve opens the album and looks at Grace, squeezing Danny’s shoulder as he does.

          “I see what you mean.”

          They go back through a couple of the albums, Danny telling Steve highlights, retelling stories he’s already shared and okay, having Steve to talk to about it is a little bit easier than going through it alone.  Steve’s nothing if not engaged, listening and nodding and trying not to yawn too much.

          “What about this one?”  Steve picks up an album that looks older than the others, one that Danny had just pulled off the shelf by accident.  He doesn’t recognize it, not at first anyway.

          “Good question,” Danny says.  “Let’s find out.”

          The first photo is Rachel and Danny’s engagement photo from the local paper back home in Jersey, and Danny feels his stomach cave in.

          “Don’t really think we need to see these, right?”  Danny tries to close it, only to have Steve hold it open.

          “Oh no – we’re looking through this one.”

          Grace he can handle revisiting no problem.  Looking back at he and Rachel’s relationship is definitely not his idea of a good time.  Really that was a whole different time and decade ago, and Danny would rather continue to suppress than dig the memories back up.

          Like Steve is going to let him have that kind of a break.

          “You mean to tell me you’ve had the same hairstyle for this long?”  Steve ruffles Danny’s hair and kisses his temple, still looking with glee through the photos.

          “Hey, once you find a good formula you don’t change it.”

          Steve giggles and keeps looking through the album.  There are lots of pictures from the time leading up to their wedding; dancing, eating snow cones, the one time Danny took a slug and had to be rushed to the hospital and Rachel took a picture with him after surgery.  At the sight of that one Steve tries his hardest to snuggle closer and touch Danny’s hand.

          “I’m still here, Steve, lemme go.”

          “Negative, Detective.”

          Danny hugs him back anyway, and on the next page is photos from the rehearsal dinner; Danny’s groomsmen, looking the same mix of mischievous and sad that all do when one of their own gets hitched, Rachel looking cheerful – the memories play through his mind, the anticipation, the excitement – all there.  Danny had loved that time, for a while.  Getting married was something he always wanted, to be someone’s significant other like that.  American dream, wife and kids, all of that – he’d wanted it.

          The wedding photos on the next page make his heart stop.

          “Wow,” Steve murmurs.

          “Yeah, she looked great, didn’t she?”  Rachel had been bright as a star that day, the picture perfect blushing bride.  Danny’s knees tremble a little remembering it now.

          “I’m talking about you, babe.”  He points to Danny in his tuxedo, tailored just right so that his powerful, compact body is shown off, the smile on his face so unabashedly genuine that it makes him reflect it now.

          “Was a little binding in the crotch, if I’m remembering things right.”

          Steve’s hand settles over the front of his boxer briefs, cupping Danny gently.  “Well that’s because you’ve got a big cock.”

          Danny playfully pushes his hand away.  “No, it’s just big on me.”

          “My ass always begs to differ but, alright.”  Danny turns the page and there are post-wedding photos, taken at the church and the reception; there’s Danny with cake all over his face, Rachel tossing her bouquet, the whole “tradition” – Danny tries to not let his heart ache too much.  He and Rachel are as done as done can be, and there’s not any affection left for her.

          Still, it had been a happy time, for a while.

          “Different lifetime, then.  Didn’t think that at the time I’d end up out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean guarding her mansion with my own personal SEAL to keep me warm at night.”

          “Is it really that terrible of a trade off?”  Steve picks up the album in Danny’s lap and sits it on the floor, turning so that his head is in Danny’s lap and he’s looking up at him. 

          Danny cradles Steve’s chin with his right hand, his left in his hair.  Before Danny says he anything he takes a second to look at Steve – really look.  There’s more gray in his hair now then there had been three years ago – he’ll be full salt and pepper given another couple years.  The lines around his eyes are more from laughing than stress now, and Danny likes to think he’s had something to do with that.  His face is still sharp and handsome, but the light in those big dark eyes isn’t so much from aggression and adrenaline now; it’s happiness, and contentment.

          It’s a world of difference from when Danny first set foot on the island and the status quo was “you are going to constantly use your gun and drive through explosions and I am a giant ball of stress and issues that I won’t tell anyone about.”  Granted some of that’s still there, but now Danny knows.  That first kiss up on the mountaintop was just the beginning of understanding Steve McGarrett, and Danny’s happy to have stuck around long enough to find out more.

          “Danno?”

          Danny shakes his head and tries to remember what Steve asked him.  “Sorry babe.  Just reminiscing a little more.”

          “About?”

          “Us.”

          Steve smiles and reached up to touch Danny’s cheek.  “Good reminiscing, I hope.”

          “Definitely.” 

          Steve draws him down as much as he leans forward himself, their lips brushing as Steve puts his hand on the back of Danny’s head.  They join hands over Steve’s heart, holding the kiss for as long as Danny can bend his head, taking their time before Steve opens his mouth.  He tastes like Aquafresh, his lips and tongue warm.  Danny sinks right into it, enjoying the gentle pressure of Steve keeping his head in place and the soft beat of his heart under their hands.

          It’s in that moment that Danny decides that yes, he is going to marry Steven McGarrett and make him the happiest groom that’s ever walked the face of the earth.

          Steve feels the smile and breaks the kiss.  “What?”

          “Nothing, babe – just glad your inability to sleep alone brought you down here.”

          On that point, Steve yawns.  “Speaking of…”

          “Lead the way, Commander.”

          Danny’s still smiling when he falls asleep with Steve’s head on his chest.

___

          Danny is a model of “playing it cool” with the decision that he’s secretly made.

          At work it’s easy enough to not think about it; they grouse and snipe and carry on a little more than usual, not out of malice but because Danny likes to watch Steve’s mouth when he fires back a retort and his arms cross against his chest.  He gets all flushed and muscle-bulgey and it makes Danny’s heart beat a little faster.

          They’ve never brought up the subject of marriage, not even under the influence of post-work beers or after-sex euphoria.  It’s not that they aren’t close like that – they are, and Danny hasn’t so much as looked at another person since he got together with Steve – but there’s still this sense that Steve can’t be quite pinned down like that.  Hell, the guy has spent a good part of his life moving around the world, going where needed, and so on.  The chance of him being asked to do that again in some capacity still remains, and Danny’s never been in that situation where his significant other is called to duty and he’s left home.

          Thinking about all of it makes Danny’s brain hurt to a great degree, and he tries very hard to focus on the fact that Steve warms his bed every night and kisses him before his feet hit the floor.  That ought to speak Steve’s position on the matter clearly enough, right?

          The worry and concern is starting to give him acid reflux, and he wishes that was the least of his problems. With Rachel, things had been easy in that regard – marriage was something she wanted from the get go.

          Danny certainly isn’t opposed to marriage again, in spite of it not quite working the first time.  Call him old-fashioned but he gets a great deal of satisfaction from putting work like that into a relationship, and Steve can be a challenge but it’s fun.  A big part of Danny wants to make that a lifetime sort of project.

          Still, a break from all this is definitely in order.  They’re two more weeks into their assignment and the mental stress – along with keeping the estate in good order – is wearing Danny thin.  Not to mention the normal adrenaline overload of their day job.

          When Steve had come into his office that afternoon telling him that some of his Navy buddies were in town and “can I go have a beer with them, Danno?” (which kind of made Danny feel bad because Steve never, ever should have to feel like he has to ask permission) there hadn’t been any hesitation in him answering “yes.”  He could use some peace and quiet, and given what Danny knows of them they’ll go hard and long at reminiscing.

          Yeah, a few hours of time alone doesn’t actually sound bad.

          It still didn’t stop Steve from kissing him deep before he went out, leaving Danny on the doorstep of Rachel’s house.  He’d stood and watched Steve’s truck until it was down the driveway before he’d gone back in, promptly changed into his swimming trunks and ordered some pho, cracked open a beer, and headed towards the positively gigantic pool out back.  The sun had almost set by the time his food arrived and he’d overtipped the driver in his enthusiasm.  Ah well, the guy could probably use it.

          He’d propped his tablet on his legs and caught up on NHL news while he ate (bless Stan for paying for fast, far-range wi-fi) and enjoyed it thoroughly.  He supposes there’s merit to waiting two hours before going back in the water after eating, but fuck it; this water isn’t full of sharks or waves or Steve knifing through it like he has gills.

          The ache in his joints is more profound than he realized as he slips into the water, sighing as it swallows him up to his chest.  It’s nice and warm, too, and the smell of chlorine is comforting after so much time spent in the actual ocean.  The water off the Jersey Shore had never exactly been optimal for swimming, so a pool was more than welcome any time he could get it.  Maybe if they get married he could talk Steve into getting one.

          Night descends, and save for the lights on the back patio Danny’s left in the dark, the water lapping at him as he floats on his back and looks up at the sky, a few twinkling stars visible over the lights of Honolulu.

          Peace at last, Danny thinks, and he’s thankful they don’t have work tomorrow.

          He’s seeing how long he can hold his breath at the deep end of the pool when a cloud of bubbles appears at the far end, too dark to make out the cause but by the time he’s swam far enough to investigate, the Steve-shaped mass is holding him close and kissing his neck.

          “Didn’t think I’d find you out here.”  Steve’s only slurring a little bit, and the grip he has on Danny’s body isn’t slack enough to be influence by alcohol.

          He also smells like grass and exertion, and that gets Danny’s curiosity more than Steve’s not-drunkness.

          “Why do you sound so surprised?”  Danny squirms so that he’s facing Steve.  His face is read from the fast swim and his hair’s soaking wet.

          He looks absolutely gorgeous.

          “Because,”  Steve kisses Danny’s mouth before continuing – “you don’t like the water.”

          “I happen to find a nice pool very relaxing.  Just not your shark-and-surfer infested shorelines.”

          “Neither are an infestation, and you know it.”

          “Believe what you want Steve, but I stand by my words.”  Danny feels Steve’s legs go around him and, hello, Steve’s naked.  Very, very naked.

          “Two questions,” Danny says.

          “Shoot, baby.”

          “One, why do you smell like grass, and two why aren’t you more… flush with catching up with your cronies.  Yeah, let’s stick with that term.”

          Steve smiles and rests his head against Danny’s shoulder.  “Because, over drinks someone bet that I couldn’t still throw a football and we kind of forgot about drinking to go play a couple rounds in the park.”

          “Kind of figured you’d be out later, anyway.”

          Steve nuzzles Danny’s neck.  “Well, all the tackling and sweating made me miss you.”

          Danny can’t help the laugh that comes bubbling up out of him.  Count on Steve to associate violent sport with missing him.

          Wait, Steve doesn’t think their relationship is like that, does he?

          “Glad to know that ‘tackling and sweating’ are synonyms for me in the McGarrett thesaurus.”

          Steve picks his head up and gives Danny that look – the one that makes him go very, very weak in the knees and his mouth feel like someone’s poured sand in it.  It’s a good thing he’s in the water, because right now he’s pretty sure his legs would give up on him.

          “I also kind of just… missed you.”  Steve looks down and away like he’s ashamed, almost.

          “No no no no, don’t do that babe.”  Danny tilts Steve’s chin back up at him.  “Say it again.”

          “I missed you, Danny.”  It’s uttered quietly, and with a little bit of a smile.  Danny’s knees do that funny thing again.

          “It’s just my nature to ask so don’t take it personally – but why?”

          “Didn’t we have this discussion not long ago?”

          “Refresh me anyways – I’m getting old and my memory isn’t what it used to be.”  Danny sets them adrift towards the deeper end of the pool. The water will go over his head but he’s sure Steve will hold him up and keep him from going under.

          Steve sighs, then closes his eyes and rests his forehead against Danny’s.  “I always enjoy it, babe.  Like, really, really enjoy it.”

          “You’re not so bad to hang out with yourself.”  Danny kisses him on the cheek; they both taste like chlorine.

          “I know it’s weird, seeing as how we’re already partners – but I like going home with you.”  Steve links his hands behind Danny’s neck.  “It’s a lot better than not having someone, you know?”

          Danny nods.  “Gets lonely.”

          “Exactly.”

          Danny floats with Steve halfway wrapped around him, both treading water gently.  The half-light makes Steve’s eyes even darker than normal, wide and sexy.  There’s a slight pant to his breath, likely still catching his breath from football earlier.  Danny smiles as the flash of a memory plays through his mind; they’ve fulfilled the football jock/baseball player fantasy a lot of times, and each one had been more enjoyable than the one before.  It’s hot to know that Steve’s old football gear still fits him.  Makes his ass and shoulders look incredible.

          “What?”  Steve nudges Danny’s cheek with his mouth.

          “Just thinking.”

          “About?”

          “You in your football pads and jersey.”

          “Shame we didn’t pack those along with everything else, isn’t it?”  Steve’s on his way to his ear, and Danny lets him nibble at whatever he can get to.

          “I’m not too beat up about forgetting it.  I mean we…”  Danny almost says “we have a lifetime to do it some more” but no, not right now Danny.  Just… not now.  No need to put that sort of weight on the moment.

          “Danny?”

          Danny saves himself by putting his hands on Steve’s waist.

          “We can always come up with other activities that get us to that same sort of place.”

          Even in the low light Steve’s smile is heartening.  “Yeah?”

          “Yeah.”  Danny licks up the side of Steve’s neck, ignoring the chlorine smell and taste in favor of the salt and sweat still on him.  He pulls them as close as he can together, catching Steve’s eyes before he kisses him.  Steve relaxes into the kiss, his mouth opening as soon as Danny’s mouth touches his.  The guy’s such a sucker for making out like this that Danny can’t help but feel a little guilty for engaging him in it so often.  He’s probably created a monster, but that’s not the worst thing to happen.

          Steve doesn’t let the intensity drop as Danny feels him wiggle his fingers down his sides and slip his trunks off, throwing them in the general direction of the edge of the pool.  Danny hums as Steve’s fingers wrap around his dick, jerking him slowly and thumbing at his piercing.  Even in the warm water Danny shivers, having put the capture ring in today in favor of the barbell.  Steves’s got a serious fixation with that tiny bit of metal and likes to remind Danny of it as often as he can.

          Still, Steve’s not about to get the upper hand here – not yet, anyway.  Danny kicks his feet and they swim towards the pool’s edge, still trading kisses and holding each other so that they don’t slip under the water; it’s ten feet down here, and Danny’d rather not have to be rescued.

          The chance does come for him to test out if his stepping up his arm and shoulder routine has been working; ever since he resolved to marry Steve, Danny’s been hitting the gym pretty damn hard, more than before anyway.  If he’s going to propose then he’s going to look as hunky as possible when he does.  Steve deserves at least that much.

          “Watch this, babe,” Danny murmurs into Steve’s mouth.  He finds Steve’s hips and, gripping as tightly as he can, lifts Steve clear out of the water and for a moment, keeps him suspended completely in the air before setting him on the still sun-warmed edge of the pool.  Steve giggles as he’s set down, smiling as he leans back in towards Danny.

          “Not often that I’m the one picked up.”  Steve goes for a kiss but Danny dodges him.

          “Been wanting to do that for ages now.”  Danny slides his hands up Steve’s calves and thighs, wet muscle bulging under his fingertips. They haven’t worked out together in a bit, simply due to Steve likes to do it in the morning and Danny after work; even then, Danny can tell Steve’s leg game has been strong lately.

          “Like ‘em?”  Steve reaches out and touches Danny’s shoulders and biceps, caressing them much in the same way Danny’s doing to his legs.

          Danny leans down and plants a kiss to the top of each thigh, still ignorning Steve’s hard cock.  “Love ‘em, actually.”  Danny sinks a little lower in the water and kisses up the inside of each, still not getting close enough to touch Steve’s dick.

          “Might say the same for you – shoulders look fucking massive, baby.” Most of the time, it’s Danny talking Steve’s muscles up; he’s the testosterone junkie, not Danny.  Still, hearing those words come out of Steve’s mouth makes Danny’s stomach do a flip, and he flexes under Steve’s touch.  Steve traces the outlines of his muscles, fingertips moving and memorizing each one.

          Definitely worth the ache that persists after the workout, for sure.

          Right as Steve’s starting to reach down his spine towards his ass, Danny licks a long stripe up the bottom of Steve’s cock and swallows him whole.  It takes Steve by surprise and whatever expletive was forming on his lips dies away as Danny’s tongue swirls around the head of his cock.  Steve grabs a hold of Danny’s shoulders, his feet dug into the small of his back.  Danny’s eyes are watering as he keeps going right on down to the root, humming around Steve and scrambling his brain in the process.

          “Shit, Danno, your mouth feels so fucking good.”

          So much for rendering the Commander speechless.

          Danny’s reminded of the first time he ever put Steve’s dick in his mouth quite vividly; up on the mountaintop in a natural spring during a mandatory vacation weekend.  That water had been cold as shit but Steve’s warm body underneath his touch had more than made up for it.  It certainly wasn’t the first time Danny blew him that day.  God, what a weekend that had been, all of that unresolved sexual frustration coming out as soon as they’d gotten back to Steve’s place.  There had been a lot of overturned furniture and ruined sheets and naked Steve then, and Danny still beats off to just how wild those sixty odd hours had been.

          Not much is different now, except he’s really, really good at giving Steve head.

          Steve rubs the back of Danny’s neck as his head bobs up and down, stroking and sucking all in one fluid, practiced motion, over and over again.  Danny palms Steve’s weighty balls with his other hand, pulling and tugging and squeezing, worshiping them with his fingers.  Steve gets loud, a constant stream of “Danny” and expletives and moans echoing around the spacious backyard.  Danny kind of hopes the neighbors are watching, because this isn’t likely to be a show that they catch again.

          “Danno, god, Danno, so fucking good shit-“  Danny manages to interpret that as warning and he’s almost ready for when Steve comes, spurt after spurt going right down his throat as Steve pumps into his mouth.  It’s an effort to not choke but Danny’s an old hand at this by now, and as soon as he feels Steve start to go limp he lets him go, coughing as he looks up and smiles.

          “Shit,” Steve breathes, touching Danny’s fuck-swollen lips and red cheeks.  Danny’s out of the water fast to kiss Steve and let him lick his mouth clean.  Danny feels his own cock get that much harder when Steve pulls his tongue out of his mouth and sucks on it, hard enough to where it hurts but shit if it doesn’t feel a little good at the same time.

          “Think you sucked the life out of me,” Steve says, laying down with a smile on his face.

          “Hey, you’re not done yet McGarrett.”  Danny points down at his cock, achingly hard to the point of throbbing. Sucking Steve off gets him going just as much as it does Steve.

          “Shit, I’m sorry babe.”  Steve starts to get in the water to assume position but Danny stops him.

          “Not like that – I want to fuck those pretty thighs of yours.”  Danny gives them a couple good smacks, and the look Steve gets in his eyes is positively lascivious.

          Steve is very helpful in letting Danny bend him in half, his feet soon pointed towards the starry sky.  Danny splashes a little water on them since they don’t have any lube, making the space in between Steve’s thighs as tight as he can.  Steve keeps eye contact with him the whole time too, sucking on his lip as Danny finds the most comfortable angle.

          “Feels good, Steve,” Danny says.

          “Gonna have to test my gains out soon,” Steve says.  “Think I’ll spend a whole day riding you just to see if they give out.”

          The very prospect of it makes Danny’s cock pulse.  “Are we allowed to use vacation time for that?”  Danny isn’t serious but Steve’s expression is.

          “Kind of a waste to not find out, huh?”  Steve flexes his thighs as Danny starts to fuck in and out, feeling his foreskin get pulled tight as he pushes forward.  Steve licks the ends of his fingers and makes short, fast circles against Danny’s piercing, adding about ten thousand different sensations to the mix.

          “Shit’s not fair, Steve.”  Danny nips at Steve’s left calf and they both nearly end up back in the water from Steve’s surprise.

          Steve doesn’t let up, making Danny swear.  “Just want to make you come, baby.”

          Danny can’t help but chuff a laugh.  “Don’t think there’s any danger of me not doing that.”  Danny’s close, really close, between Steve touching him there and the taste of come still in his mouth and just… everything, absolutely everything about this moment.  Danny wants to freeze frame it and come back to it whenever he gets down.

          Steve props an arm behind his head, stretching a whole bunch of muscles and abs and other things that make Danny’s already weak knees move even further towards liquification.

          So not fair, at all.

          Steve does let up on his piercing long enough to point at his own body.  “Right here Danny, want you to come all over me.  Want to feel it run down my come gutters.”  Steve traces over the hard v of his abs and hips, and hell, Danny can’t just ignore a request like that.

          Danny hates to disappoint, but half of his semen ends up shooting past Steve’s head and onto the tile beneath them.  The rest does end up on tanned chest and stomach muscles, Danny trembling and shouting.  Volume wise, he won, by far – he expects the neighbors to call the police for domestic disturbance at any moment now.

          When Danny opens his eyes again, Steve’s licking come off of his fingertips and smiling.  He has his legs around Danny’s body, holding him in place.

          “Taste like pineapple,” Steve says.  “Thought you hated the stuff.”

          “I make pineapple smoothies whenever you aren’t looking.  Didn’t you know that?”  Steve reaches for him and in the water they go, floating back and forth until they’re both so wrinkled and pruny they can barely grip the rail to get out.

          It distracts Danny for a while at least, even if he does really, really want to run the name “Danny McGarrett” by Steve, just to see his reaction.

___

          This whole “keeping stress to yourself thing” is for the birds.  Seriously.  Danny has a hard enough time letting little things go, but what’s worse is that absolutely no one but him knows about what he’s planning.  Hell he tries to wake up a couple times each night to make sure that he’s not accidentally mumbled something about weddings – Steve might hear him and question him, and this isn’t something he wants him in on.  Not yet, not until he can somehow divine without actually asking if Steve wants to make that sort of commitment.

          Which is hard to read off of a guy whose three facial expression include maniacal when he’s holding a gun, pure and unadulterated bliss when he comes, and variations on a face whose base emotion is “constipated.”

          It still doesn’t stop Danny from spending most of his free time without Steve Googling wedding stuff.

          Neither he or Steve can afford a big wedding – their salary allows them to live comfortably, and nothing more, and it’s not like staying in Rachel’s mansion has given either one of them illusions of actually having more wealth than they know what to do with.  Hell, they barely even have time to manage the task they’re charged with, and it’s not like it’s that hard.  The security system on this place is probably near military grade and no doubt someone would be here in a flash were there actually trouble.  It doesn’t feel… cozy.  Not like Steve’s place.  (Which Danny tries hard to think of as his own as well but he can’t quite get there yet.)

           Right now he’s leaning against the hood of the Camaro, the sun beating down on them in such a way that his sweat is starting to sweat.  Heat makes crime go up, and since no one’s really bothering to do anything so gruesome as murder or stuffing cocaine in breast implants, he and Steve are filling in on traffic duty.  All this skill and knowhow and they’ve volunteered to fill in because a couple of guys got heat stroke this morning. 

          They’d stopped for a couple of shaved ices (I don’t care what flavor it is Steve, so long as it’s big and cold) and Danny is starting to wonder what the hell is taking so long – not that he’s complaining that much, as he’s currently pricing wedding rings on his phone.  Out of all the thought he’s devoted to this whole crazy idea, the rings are the one detail he’s spent the most on.  That’s what’s going to last the longest, and honestly the only part he actually cares about – never mind the sixteen different versions of vows he’s written in his head, absolutely all of which he’s traced at least parts of into Steve’s back with his finger after sex.

          So far, Steve has yet to pick up on the fact that he’s been doing it.

          He opens another tab, looks at another ring. Danny’s looked at and considered just about every single gold ring there is, dabbled with silver, and now he’s onto other materials.  Should they actually get hitched, they’re going to need something that will last and stand up to a great deal of punishment, because hell if Danny’s not going to wear that ring constantly. 

          “Here’s your ice.” 

          Danny nearly drops his phone from Steve startling him.  Way to go Danno, real fucking smooth.  He quickly hits the lock button and shoves it in his pocket, taking his ice from Steve without making eye contact.

          Steve leans next to him against the hood, close enough that their elbows are touching.  “Sooo…… you’ve been buried in your phone for the last two weeks – what’s going on?”

          Danny still doesn’t look up, instead becoming very, very invested in his ice.  “What flavor is this, blueberry? It definitely tastes like blueberry.” 

          “Danny…”

          Danny tries his best “I am completely innocent of whatever you think I am guilty of” smile.  “I’ve been playing Candy Crush.”

          “Bullshit.”  Steve looks at him over his sunglasses and sucks the ice off of his plastic spoon, bating Danny perfectly.  Dammit Steve, why do you have to use fellating inanimate objects against me?”

          “Not bullshit – I’ve been trying to beat Grace’s high score.”

          Steve still doesn’t look convinced as he scoops up another spoonful of what smells like cotton candy flavor.  “Is there another man?”

          Danny actually wants to smack him a little.  “Steven, dear, dear Steven – no there isn’t another man.”  He has to whisper it so he doesn’t laugh, because come on – cheating on Steve (which he would never do anyway) would be a death sentence for not only himself but for the other person as well.

          “Fine – another woman.”

          This time Danny does punch him in the arm.

          “Yeah, there’s another woman Steve, I sneak out and see her during the two hours of the night when you aren’t wrapped around me like a vine.”  That much is true – Steve’s a cuddler, both awake and when he’s passed out.  Danny kind of loves it, too.

          Steve forces mock hurt and rubs his arm where Danny hit him.  “That addresses two of my three concerns, at least.”

          “What’s the third?”  If he says marriage, Danny’s just going to say to hell with it and propose on the spot.

          “I know you had a physical recently and they didn’t uh… find anything, did they?”  Steve sounds so genuinely serious that Danny has to take a moment to get a response together.

          “Uh, no, baby, nothing.  Just the normal wear and tear of a cop in his late thirties.”

          “Nothing with your knee or anything?”  Steve reaches down and rubs Danny’s right thigh – even though his bum knee is on the left.

          “Not a thing.  Says I might want to ease up on putting so much strain on my hips – that’s when he asked me about my sex life.”

          “And you said?”  The slight hint of “I’m thinking about your cock” in Steve’s voice is enough to make the Styrofoam cup that contains his ice feel that much colder in relief to his skin.

          “That it was… active.  I didn’t tell him that I can still come twice in the space of an hour, seeing as how he checked my prostate too.”  The guy had been thorough, for sure – which had been fine, just being with Steve had made him sensitive to touch back there.  The boner he’d popped had been near the top of the list of “most embarrassing experiences.”

          Steve isn’t saying anything, just staring at Danny’s crotch.

          “Steve, I’m up here.”

          Steve looks up, his face as pink as his ice.  “Your bulge looks really good right now.”

          Danny looks down and alright, maybe his pants are pulled a little tight to where he’s kind of bulging, but not enough to merit any sort of excitement – unless you’re Steve, in which case it doesn’t take very much.

          “Steve, we’re on the job, remember?”  It’s still better than having him interrogate him about why he’s been hiding his phone so much.

          “And your bulge looks good on the job, Danno, what can I say?”

          Danny finishes drinking his melted ice without replying; he decides that he really wants black rings, with maybe a very small silver band through the middle.  Or maybe blue, to offset Steve’e eyes…

          “Danny?”

          Danny lowers his cup and smiles, showing blue tongue and teeth.  “Sorry – I was thinking about replacing your spoon with my dick.”  It’s a lie, but Steve buys it.

          Ten minutes later, Steve does exactly that, and Danny doesn’t protest that much.

___

          Just two weeks out from Grace – and Rachel, he supposes – return, Danny’s finally sleeping through the night again.

          Okay, yes, that’s partly due to them literally working sixteen hour days.  For whatever reason, this heat wave has made people angry and they’ve been murdering each other, committing fraud, and all sorts of shit.  By proximity, all of your run-of-the-mill gangs, terrorists, and everyone else have been taking advantage of the mess to do their absolute worst.

          Truly, Danny has seen more dismembered bodies in the last four days then he cares to ever set eyes again.  He didn’t even know bones and limbs could bend that way, on some of them.  What’s worse is that they haven’t actually solved that many; a bunch of them are still pending investigation, but Five-O’s resources only stretch so far. Yeah, he and Steve do their absolute best but come on, there’s a limit, and no matter how much Steve resembles – and acts like, to an extent – Superman, he isn’t him. 

          Not that Danny is opposed to seeing him in sexy glasses and tight, red briefs, not at all.  They might actually need to roleplay that at some point, just to see if the vision Danny has in his head matches up to reality.

          Keeping busy also keeps his mind off of the dilemma of popping the question to his own personal Clark Kent; no one thinks about wedding rings when they’re rounding up bomb makers.  Well, at least no one in their right mind does.  Danny has never once claimed to be fully in his right mind, but that’s his business and no one else’s.

          The guest room they’ve been staying in doesn’t get a ton of sunlight until mid-afternoon, which suits Danny just fine; he sleeps that much better if the temperature is closer to freezing than anything.  He really ever get cold though, because Steve is a fucking space heater.  It doesn’t matter how many fans he runs or how few covers they sleep under, he’s always warm, especially since Steve likes to spoon.  Seriously, if he feels Danny’s arms come from around him during the night, he’ll put them back around his body in his sleep.  On one level, it’s really kind of adorable. 

          On another, it hurts, because there’s a lot of Steve to try and get his arms around and keeping himself around those massive shoulders and biceps kind of makes him ache after a while.

          Danny turns over, determined to squeeze in at least another hour before he has to get up.  It’s the weekend, but that doesn’t mean a damned thing; they’re taking a half day, going in after lunch.  Not the optimal way he’d spend his Saturday (there’s hockey on, Steve, why can’t we watch that instead of crime scene footage?) but duty calls, and whenever he starts to get tired he just reminds himself that he’s making it a safer place for Grace whenever she gets back from Merrie England.

          Right as he’s about to stick his face into Steve’s chest and fall asleep again, two things occur to him.  One, there isn’t a pair of magnificent arms around him and two, Steve’s side of the bed is long cold.  He cracks open an eye halfway, blinking away the bleariness so he can have a look around.  Steve’s phone, wallet, and keys are all still on the nightstand, exactly where he had laid them the night before.  Reaching for his own phone, he checks to see if Steve’s left a message; there is none.

          “The hell did you get to, McGarrett?”  The Egyptian cotton sheets don’t answer him, so he sits up and swings his legs out.  Time to get up anyway.

          He stretches himself out as he pulls on his gym shorts, forgoing a shirt since they’re the only ones here anyway.  He doesn’t really feel like going a Steve hunt through this great big house, especially when he’s not particularly awake yet.

          He checks the kitchen and living room first, finding nothing but his own shadow and a sense of “this house is too fucking big for even the people who live here.”  God bless the maid or whomever cleans this place, because Rachel certainly doesn’t.  She never really was the homemaker type.

          Steve on the other hand tackles housework with the same intensity as he applies to going through locked doors – with Danny’s help of course.  It always gets done fast, and it would go faster if Steve didn’t stop to grope Danny every ten minutes.  The groping is fine but dirty floors won’t sweep themselves when Steve has his hand down the front of his trousers.

          “Steve, I know you’re here.”  He sticks his head out back to see if he’s in the pool and nope, not a soul.  It’s raining a little though, which means that when they inevitably have to go out and save the island later they’re going to get wet.

          Terrific.

          The basement is his only option – and so far, Danny’s only been down there once, and only enough to stick his head in the door.  There isn’t an outside door, so as a hiding place it’s not really that great; one way in, one way out.  Still, it’s not like there are many more options so far as places for Steve to be go.  He could be out running, yes, but Steve really isn’t a runner.  He always says “I did enough of that in the Navy” – and Danny believes him.  Running is awful enough when you do it in the field and there are, you know, guys with guns chasing you.

          Danny treads quietly down the stairs, not bothering to find a switch for a light.  He listens for Steve, only to hear what sounds like heavy breathing and the clank of metal against metal.

          Huh, that’s weird.

          Ten more steps brings him to the second room of the basement, which is, lo and behold, a home gym.

          Currently using that gym is a nothing-but-a-jockstrap-and-sneaker clad Steve, bench pressing and counting under his breath.  Danny hears “fifty” and then Steve sets the weights back on the rack and sits up, wiping his face with a towel.  Danny tries hard not to gape at the sight of his boyfriend but goddamn all that muscle is currently rippling like the Pacific Ocean on a windy day.

          “There you are.”  Danny leans against the doorframe, hands in his pockets and licking his lips at the sight of Steve’s sweat-matted chest hair.

          Steve stands and stretches, that poor jock doing its best to stay on Steve’s narrow hips.  “Hey.”  That killer smile almost outshines the sheen on his abs and Danny’s stepping forward to meet Steve before he’s even aware of it.

          “Bed was getting cold and I decided to come and find my source of warmth.”  The scent of sweat and exertion hits Danny’s senses about two seconds before Steve is within arm’s reach; consequently, Danny’s knees wobble.  Pheromones man, they totally fucking exist.

          “Sorry about that.”  Steve stops short of actually touching Danny, but he’s close enough that Danny has to look up at him.  Fuck, Steve looks huge right now.  “I know we’ve been running hard this week, and I didn’t want to-“

          Danny decided that he’s going to be sweaty anyway and just… right to hell with it.  That soft look of concern Steve’s eyes as he’d been talking had been enough to make Danny want to jump his bones even more than normal.  It takes Steve a second to kiss back but he does, God he does.  Steve tastes like salt and power right now, adrenaline and testosterone sitting right there on his tongue.  Danny slides his fingers into Steve’s sweaty hair and grabs as much as he can, trying to fuse them together by sheer willpower.  It doesn’t exactly work but by the time they pull apart, Steve’s even more flushed than he was five minutes ago.

          “I didn’t want to wake you,” Steve finishes.  Danny’s vaguely aware of Steve’s hands on his hips right now but shit, that face right now, all big eyed and scruff-covered, it’s too goddamn much.

          “Hey, it’s fine.  Just means I get to see you in your workout clothes.”

          “I don’t have a gym to wear this in at home, so I figured I’d take advantage of it.”

          “I’ll buy you one for Christmas so long as you promise to wear nothing but this when you use it.”  Danny gestures with his eyes and chin at Steve’ body.

          “If I go late enough to my normal place they’d probably let me get away with this.”  Steve’s cheeky grin does nothing but make Danny want him more – and he’s not even seen him from the back yet.

          “And how would that make us, two fine, upstanding officers of the law look?”  Danny decides to hell with it and licks Steve’s collarbone, making Steve shiver.  It’s so fucking easy sometimes, doesn’t take a thing to get him going.

          “Uh, it’d bring in more business to that gym.”  Steve kisses him again and Danny moans, reaching around to Steve’s back and feeling up his muscles.  Man, how much of this workout did he miss?

          “You’re not done yet, are you?”  Danny has to suck in a breath to make that sentence happen, seeing as how Steve just stole all of his right out of his lungs.

          “No – I still have to do pull ups, then I’m done.  Why, you have something in mind?”  Even if he wasn’t a detective Danny could have picked up on the “that something had better be sex” in Steve’s voice.  His boyfriend’s a horn dog, and there aren’t any two ways about it.

          “If you go and do fifty of them there will be.”  Danny smacks Steve’s naked ass hard enough that sweat flies off when it jiggles.

          “Right on, Coach Williams.”  Steve has the fucking gall to wink and let Danny go without so much as a conciliatory kiss, because calling him Coach Williams doesn’t exactly leave a whole lot of buttons un-pressed.  Hell, this roleplay scenario list keeps getting longer and longer.

          Yeah, they’ll have to get married just to carry all of them out.

          “That wasn’t fair, McGarrett,”  Danny goes and sits down on the weight bench, just far enough away from the pull up bars to afford him a positively magnificent view of Steve’s back – and backside.

          “All’s fair in love and war, Danno.”

          “War?  What war?”

          Steve turns around, shrugging before he reaches before the sky.  Danny watches muscle shift that he didn’t even know was in the human body, and he’s mapped pretty much everything Steve’s got with his tongue at least a hundred times.

          “Against crime?  Drugs?  Pick one Danny, I’ve got a lot.”  Steve grips the bar and up he goes, all seventy three-ish sweaty inches and two hundred and fifteen pounds of him.

          “I think you just said that because you didn’t have anything cleverer.” Danny manages to keep his tone even despite all of the (probably deliberate) flexing Steve’s doing right now.

          “That doesn’t sound like a real word.”  On the fifth pull up Steve manages to clear the bar with his chin and if he could hold that position long enough, Danny’s pretty sure he could drape his legs over his shoulders and eat him out until Steve’s clever mouth was nothing but moans and appreciative renditions of Danny’s name.

          “Thanks Webster, I’ll be sure to consult you in the future about what constitutes a ‘real word.’  Says he whose vocabulary consists mainly of grunts and angry faces.”  Danny leans back and shoves a hand down his shorts because why not, Steve’s putting on a show and this is better than porn.

          “To be fair, babe, most of the grunts are your fault.”  Danny hears “twenty five” and fuck, his partner is so goddamn sexy when he’s determined; Danny hadn’t actually meant for him to do fifty pull ups but he isn’t going to stop Steve, either.  The sweat is pouring down his back and over the curve of his ass, and Steve’s legs are spread just wide enough that every time he goes up Danny can see his hole peeking out from the dark hair down the middle.

          The not-quite-serious boner Danny had a few minutes ago becomes very, very serious and when he hauls his dick out, he’s not surprised to find that he’s wet.  Damn Steve and his exaggeratedly beautiful everything.

          “Danny?”

          “I can see your butthole, Steven.”  No use in lying about why he suddenly stopped talking.

          Being the shit he is, Steve pulls himself up with his left hand and holds himself there while the other – seriously, goddammit Steve – drops to his ass and pulls one cheek aside, letting Danny get an even better look at him.  It’s not like Danny hasn’t seen those parts up close and personal about a thousand times now but for Steve to just be so comfortable with showing himself off like that, well… it warms Danny’s heart as much as it makes his dick hard.

          Steve actually does five pull ups like that, his head turned so that Danny can see the shit-eating grin on his face.  Oh he knows Danny’s jerking off too, because who wouldn’t to all of that manly manliness on full display?

          “Just so you know, this only one of like, three reasons I’m up this early.”  Yes they all have to do with Steve not being in bed with him, shut up.

          “You didn’t even know I was down here.”  Steve finally stops trying to be a hero and puts his other hand back on the bar, pushing through the last ten or so pull ups quickly.

          “You’d have come out eventually.”  Danny thumbs his dick piercing (he’d had the capture ring in the last couple days, just for something different) and stifles a moan that threatens to be obscenely loud.  Steve hears him anyway and he drops to the floor with a bounce, all veins and hairy pecs and a look that says “I’m really fucking horny and you’re the reason why.”  Kind of scary all at once but Danny would sooner try his hand at spear fishing then not move out of Steve’s path of advancement towards him.

          Danny suddenly feels very, very small, what with sweat-soaked Steve looming over him, hands braced on the weights he’d been using earlier.  He’s boxed in, overwhelmed by the scent rolling off of Steve and this definitely isn’t a thing he’s wanted to do before but he kind of wants to shove his face into one of Steve’s armpits and just breathe all that scent in.

          “You know,” Danny begins, dick still in hand and his voice cracking just the slightest bit, “if you want to uh… do that something we were talking about earlier, the lube is upstairs.”

          “I know.”  Steve is close enough to him that the sweat running down his nose drips off and gets lost somewhere in the dark blonde forest of Danny’s chest hair.  There’s this look in Steve’s eyes – not the lust – but something deeper, something warmer.

          It’s trust.

          Danny starts to open his mouth to say something, anything, but Steve gives the barest shake of his head, no need to speak; they long ago got to be really, really good at reading each other’s expressions, and this is the secret room of the McGarrett psyche, one that Danny can’t remember being let in beforehand.  Oh they trust each other – they have to – but this… this is deeper than simple “I’ve got your back and won’t let the bastards shoot you.”

          Suddenly Danny’s agonizing over proposing to the man seems a little silly by comparison.  Still, this is not the time or place to do it.

          Steve’s hands come off the bar and he grabs Danny’s face, gently pulling him in.  The angle at which Steve’s bent can’t be comfortable but Danny doesn’t say a word, just kisses Steve as their lips brush.  Unable to decide which part of Steve to hold on to, he finally decides that his biceps are as good a place as any; they’re absolutely throbbing from his workout, and maybe later when they’re not doing anything important he’ll throw a tape measure over them see how big they’ve gotten.

          Danny doesn’t realize he’s being lifted until his feet are no longer touching the ground and Steve’s cradling his thighs in his forearms.

          “Well now you’ve got me, King Kong, where are you going to take me?”  Danny doesn’t get picked up very often but when he does, man – it’s good.  Really good.

          “Just trust me.”  There’s that infuriating little half-grin and the eyebrow raise and then they’re leaving the basement, Steve carrying him up two flights of stairs without so much as batting an eyelid.  Danny does his best to hold onto Steve’s slippery body, enjoying the ride (and the feeling of his dick against Steve’s belly.  That’s pretty nice as well.)

          Fully expecting to go to the room they’ve been using, Danny’s surprised when they keep going down the hall, past Grace’s room and towards the master bedroom.  The door’s already open enough that all Steve has to do is nudge it open with his foot and they’re in.

          “She’ll kill us if we mess her bed up.”

          “Good thing we’re not headed to the bed, isn’t it?”  Steve’s arms are finally starting to shake as they enter the bathroom and Danny’s finally set down as gently as he was picked up.

          Danny’s not been in here enough to remember what it looks like, and why the hell anyone needs a bathroom this large is beyond him.  There’s a marble bathtub AND a two head shower that could have come straight out of one of those pornos where everyone pretends to not be looking at the other guy’s junk; it’s overdone and expensive and Danny doesn’t even give a damn.

          Steve’s already taking off his sneakers and heading towards the shower.  “Figured this would be appropriate. Besides, how many times have you fucked in a twenty five thousand dollar bathroom?”

          “None, that I can remember.”  He thinks about theirs at home, cozy with its Jacuzzi and shower right next to each other and not at all overwrought like this mess.

          “Me neither.”  Steve’s still in his jockstrap as he pushes Danny’s shorts and underwear down, his hands settling on his hips and drawing him forward.  Danny steps out of his clothes and comes willingly, his hard cock brushing against the thick slab of Steve’s left thigh.

          “You planned this, didn’t you?”  Steve’s holding his hands, backing up so that he can maintain eye contact with Danny as they step from the cool linoleum of the floor to the sand-colored tiles of the shower.

          “We were gonna end up here anyway, babe.  Besides, it’s payback.”

          “For?”  Danny’s trying to get Steve’s jock off but he’s not making that task easy, moving out of reach to turn the water on.

          “For how she’s treated you, Danno.  It’s not much but I kind of thought coming all over her nice shower might be some sort of condolence.”  Steve is so fucking sincere right now that Danny gets that too-warm feeling in his heart again to the point of making his chest feel constricted.

          “C’mere,” Danny says, and Steve does.  He thinks about kissing him, changes his mind, and hugs him instead, tight around his neck.  Steve hugs back just as hard, and Danny kind of wishes Steve didn’t manage to get right down to his emotions that quickly because it’s almost too much.  No he hasn’t really been plotting any revenge (because what the hell can he do?) but Steve is thoughtful in his own good-intentioned way that he isn’t going to say anything. 

          When he’s not creating explosions, Steve is actually an incredibly sweet guy.  That’s just another reason that Danny loves him so much, and why he thinks that the whole forever thing would work really, really well for them.  Now if he could just man up and say it.

          Steve backs them up under the water until Danny feels it cascading down his shoulders, turned up to the point of near scalding, right where they both like it.  One thing they agree on is the fact that a shower should come as close as possible to burning your skin off.

          Danny finally gets Steve’s jock off and he tosses it aside, the wet shchlunk it makes as it hits the far wall of the shower echoing loudly.  Steve’s hard too, pushing against Danny’s hip impatiently as they go for a wet, messy kiss that sears Danny’s brain as well if not better than the water running over their bodies.  He reaches for Steve’s cock, holding him tight while they rut and thrust against each other.  Lovely as that activity is – and it’s very, very lovely – it’s not what Danny wants, not after that look Steve gave him downstairs.  No, he wants to be engulfed, to the point where absolutely nothing exists but Steve.

          “Baby, look at me,” Danny whispers.  Steve pulls back from the kiss and God, the water’s absolutely plastered his hair to his head and it all ends in little curls, a little more gray amongst the black then there had been six months ago.

          Danny cups his cheeks with both hands, rubs his thumbs over the space beneath his eyes.  They’re both still tired as hell but right now there’s not any weight pushing down on Steve, just Danny’s body and proximity keeping them both grounded.

          “I want you inside me, Steven.”  Danny kisses each word into Steve’s mouth, open eyed so that he can watch Steve understand.  Nine times out of then it’s the other way around but Danny needs this right now, trusts Steve to give that to him.

          Steve kisses him one more time and doesn’t say a word, the full length of his body pressed against Danny’s back.  Despite the shower Danny can still feel the body heat Steve radiates so intensely; it sticks them together, Steve’s cock nestled against his ass, rutting gently while they kiss over Danny’s shoulder.  Danny tries to keep one hand behind him to grab the back of Steve’s head but Steve gathers his wrists and pins them against the wall, his hand sliding up a moment later to grab Danny’s fingers.

          “Let me, Danno, okay?”  Another whisper barely heard above the water.

          Steve doesn’t stick around to hear Danny’s agreement and gets to his knees behind Danny.  Danny keeps his hands against the wall as Steve kisses up the backs of his thighs, each one tender and loving.  Each contact raises goosebumps on the back of Danny’s neck, closing his eyes and letting himself be carried away on sensation alone.

          It’s been a long, long time since Steve’s been this close to those parts of his body (blowjobs don’t really count) and as Steve’s tongue licks over his perineum he gasps, almost closes his legs involuntarily before he realizes Steve’s intent.  He realizes that his thought earlier about eating Steve is a little ironic, considering that Steve’s hands are on his ass and spreading him so wide that the trickle of water over his hole makes him squirm.

          “Got such a nice hole, Danny.”  Steve’s voice is a little slurry as he mouths the words into Danny’s left butt cheek, and Danny feels his precome drip more.  He can’t really vouch for Steve’s statement, seeing as how he doesn’t spend a lot of time checking those parts of his body out in a mirror; he believes him all the same anyway.

          Danny swears he has a reply ready but that typical McGarrett zealousness catches him before he can open his mouth, Steve’s mouth and tongue right there on his hole, already starting on the alphabet.  Or something.  Fuck, Danny doesn’t care, he’s only aware of Steve’s tongue doing things to nerve endings that don’t get action that often. It’s really fucking awesome and yes, he’s going to cut in on all the bottoming that Steve does from now on because this is absolutely fantastic.

          Steve does him the favor of moving him partly out of the water so that he’s not drowning as he licks Danny open, each swipe and swoop of his tongue making Danny moan louder and louder.  If this was there house they could be heard downstairs quite clearly (Kono had walked in on them one day and promptly ribbed them about it for a week) but here Danny isn’t worried; the maid could do all of the housework necessary and never hear them.  The louder he gets the deeper Steve goes, growling and trying to match Danny in volume, only it’s muffled and the vibrations from his voice makes Danny’s cock drip even more.

          Danny pounds his fist on the wall in surrender, his eyes watering from being stimulated so long.

          “You… you win Steve, I’m ready.”  Like he had to work that hard to wear him down, but he has to say something to make up for moaning like a whore.

          Steve’s smug grin as he kisses Danny almost makes him want to pinch him but he doesn’t; they’re both way too easy for each other, Steve’s just glad he’s not the one begging right now – or so Danny figures.  He feels just a little violated as Steve’s hand covers his again and his lips are forced open by Steve’s tongue, reminding him that Steve could very, very easily be dominant full time if he wanted to be – but he isn’t, always wanting Danny to take point and lead.

          “Lube?”  Danny’s not about to take Steve’s big dick without something to grease the way in, no sir.  He doesn’t even take his own fingers like that.

          “Got it covered.”  Of course he does, and Danny’s eyes follow Steve’s hand to where their bottle of Wet Platinum is resting on one of the shelves.  Danny doesn’t actually see Steve uncap it and slick his fingers up because he’s got his mouth full of Steve’s tongue again.

          Steve’s fingers are rough and thick but he’s gentle as he slides two in, letting Danny ease back on them.  Another loud moan as Steve touches his prostate, rubbing over it with the tip of his finger and then pulling back out to the top knuckles, thrusting in and out very, very gently so that he can open him up.  It’s been a while since he’s had anything back there and Steve takes his sweet time, kissing him until he’s three fingers in and Danny feels as ready as he’s ever going to be.

          “’M ready babe, jus’ do it.”  Danny almost sings “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” as Steve lubes himself up and hopes he hasn’t suddenly learned how to mind read.  Steve probably can and just hasn’t bothered to tell Danny about it.  Ah well, could be worse.

          There’s this moment where Danny kind of loses awareness of literally everything save for the push of Steve’s girthy cock into his body, feeling like it’s rending him open and Steve is going to consume him.  Steve bites into his shoulder so he doesn’t lose his concentration, teeth sunk deep into his skin.  Danny barely feels it, the only thing holding him together being Steve’s hand on his, the other holding himself steady against his hip.

          “You… you’re tight, Danny.”  Steve announces that in a voice so raspy with lust that it could sand wood.

          It takes Danny a few seconds to gather up the speaking parts of his brain where they’ve been pushed up into his skull by Steve’s dick and once he gets them working, he hopes to God that whatever comes out of his mouth makes some sense.

          “Thanks for telling me, Commander, not like I can’t…shit, Steve, don’t move yet… not like I can’t feel it.”  Danny does a quick check and yep, there’s as much of Steve in his ass as Steve can get in him.

          But it doesn’t feel bad, just… full.

          Thirty seconds, then a minute, then two minutes goes by, both of them getting used to their reversed roles.  It dawns on Danny now why Steve enjoys receiving so much; it feels really fucking good.  Danny’s only bottomed twice, ever, in their whole relationship and it was so long ago that this might as well be a new experience for him; kudos to Steve for fulfilling his desire.

          Steve kisses his neck and wraps his right arm around Danny’s body.  “You’re warm.”

          “Speak for yourself.”  Danny’s got more sweat than shower water on him now.

          “No, like… inside, you’re really warm.”  Steve kisses the back of his head and starts to thrust so gently that Danny thinks he’s just adjusting himself.  Of course it feels like a telephone pole moving around inside him but at least it’s slow.

          “Good, my secret identity as a Lizard Man is safe.”

          Steve laughs and noses at Danny’s jaw, wanting another kiss – Danny gives it to him.

          It’s like that that Steve starts to fuck him.  Softly, slowly, deep, long thrusts that makes Danny’s insides turn molten.  Steve’s doing exactly what he wants, surrounding and holding and being Danny’s whole world for the time being.

          Danny is a mouthy top – not dirty talk per se, just he and Steve don’t really hush during sex.  They get loud and sloppy and it’s so, so good but now Danny’s quiet, his mouth covered with Steve’s.  Trust Steve to be the sweet one when he’s pitching and really, what was he expecting?  Steve to constantly talk like he does?

          His train of thought gets messed up when Steve starts to use the hand he had on Danny’s chest to jerk him off in time with his thrusts.  Trust him to be able to time that perfectly.

          There’s not much of a change in speed but it’s enough to make Danny bite Steve’s bottom lip in reaction.  Steve starts to thrust more up than in, right on Danny’s sweet spot, his hand on Danny’s cock barely moving; he’s right on his frenulum, jerking him off slower than he’s thrusting.  Each short, intense stroke makes Danny see stars, overstimulated so that his whole body feels like he’s going to snap.  Steve keeps him together, gripping Danny’s hands as tightly as he can against the wall.

          Whenever the end comes, he might actually fall down.

          Steve must feel him start to tighten up because he starts to go faster, and he buries his face in Danny’s neck.  He manages to get one hand free of Steve’s grip so that he can reach back and hold onto his hip, willing Steve deeper.  Steve clutches Danny’s other hand, settling it so that they get that just-right hold on each other.

          Danny comes when Steve rubs his thumb over his ring finger, God, right where a wedding ring would go and fuck, fuck, fuck fuck he blows so hard that he’s almost crying, Steve’s hand milking out every last drop against the wall and floor.  Steve’s hot on his heels too because he slams himself into Danny one last time, really fucking hard, and keeps whisper screaming shitshitshitshit into his shoulder.

          Coming down from that high is almost painful, because normal feeling returning to his body is kind of a shock.  Steve pulls out and a second later they’re on the floor, Danny sitting in Steve’s lap with come and lube running out of him down the drain.  He knows they’re both worn out when Steve doesn’t even try to recover any to swap.

          Instead he kisses the side of Danny’s head and reaches for the soap to start washing him.

          “Just so you know, work is gonna be really tough to get through today.”  Danny finally to find his voice about halfway through Steve washing his chest.

          “Why’s that?”  Steve’s had his chin hooked over his shoulder this whole time, holding him and kissing whatever happens to be in reach at the moment.

          “Couple reasons – my ass hurts and after that well… I kind of don’t want you to stop touching me.”  Danny leaves off the ever.

          Steve doesn’t say anything for a few minutes, just keeps washing Danny right on down to between his legs.  Danny leans back and spreads his legs, wincing a touch when the washcloth brushes over his hole.  He’s can’t get what Steve did right there at the end out of his head, the way he touched Danny’s ring finger, almost like he was twisting an imaginary ring around.

          It doesn’t help matters when Steve sets the cloth aside and holds both of Danny’s hands across his belly.

          “We don’t have to stop, babe.  Can always find an excuse to be around you.”

          Danny’s chest constricts again, and by the time they get out of the shower they barely have twenty minutes to get to work.

          Neither of them are the least bit sorry about it, either.

___

          Six days.

          Six. Days.

          That’s all Danny has left before his little girl is back on Terra Firma and he can stop worrying about whether or not she’s secretly been found out to be a Crown Princess and is never going to see Danny again because she has a country to see over. Yes, Steve’s been trying hard to take away some of the worry for him but there’s just one small problem – Steve is the other source of worry right now.

          What concerns Danny more is that he knows he’s been acting really fucking weird for a while now and so far, Steve’s barely commented on it.  No “hey let’s sit down and talk about why you’re more fidgety than normal” or “why are you constantly and guiltily closing the laptop when I enter the room.”  Nope, Steve’s just been playing it as cool as a cucumber and been doing the whole “I’m a goddamn supercop, hear me roar” thing better than ever.

          So when Steve enters his office that afternoon, looking pensive and flushed and decidedly, well, not Steve like, Danny’s concern goes up.  Way, way up.  He’s seen just about every face Steve McGarrett makes, and this is one that very, very rarely makes an appearance, and Steve is nothing if not real with him about his emotions, so this has to be sincere.

          “Hey Danny, you got a sec?”  He’s hovering in the doorway, those big shoulders slumped and his hands shoved in his pockets.  Danny remains behind his desk, inviting Steve to come in further if he wants to and if not, he can remain where he is.

          Deciding that this paperwork can certainly wait five minutes, he eases his chair back and reclines.  “Sure, babe.”

          Steve smiles a little at the pet name and a little of the tension in his shoulders eases visibly.  “It’s not anything bad, I promise.”

          Danny shrugs and smiles.  “Didn’t think it was, Steve.”  The thought that maybe the doc found something in Steve’s last physical did cross his mind, but Steve had spent a solid two hours after his appointment showing Danny that he was indeed a prime specimen of perfect health.

          Steve blows out his breath, then finally makes eye contact with Danny that lasts more than two seconds.  “I wanna go on a date.  Like, ties, dinner – all of that.  Tonight.”

          Why it took Steve screwing his courage up that much to ask, Danny can understand. They don’t exactly do traditional dates like that, never have – good Chinese on the couch with blowjobs and the game on low volume in the background is about as fancy as they get, and so far no one’s complained. 

          Still, Steve in a tie with candlelight playing over those gorgeous cheekbones…

          “What’d you have in mind?”  Danny finally stands up and walks over to his couch, patting the seat next to him.  Steve graciously accepts, like his legs were two seconds away from ceasing to function.  Danny slips an arm around his waist and kisses his cheek, because this is kind of making him nervous too.

          Shit, Steve’s probably been on to him since day one about this whole marriage thing.

          “Well, I was in the garage yesterday and you know, that Bentley really needs to be driven, it’s bad to just leave it sitting there and I thought ‘why the hell not, it’s not like Stan’s using it.’  So I kind of made sure it would start and then on my lunch I went home and got our suits from the closet.”  Home meaning Steve’s house, and not Rachel’s – Danny’s finally admitted to himself that that is home, and not anywhere else.

          Steve can be really, really sweet, especially when it involves what probably counts as car theft and him looking down at the floor because he admitted to actually planning ahead of time.  He likes to be spontaneous but to think out a date, man, Danny kind of loves that.

          Danny rubs Steve’s knee with his left hand and uses his right to turn Steve’s face toward his.  His eyes are big and dark right now, full of more light than usual.  Danny feels his heart skip a couple beats and God, he wants to tackle this man to the couch and maybe just hug for a couple hours because Steven McGarrett has made him feel irrational things on a constant basis since the day he met him.

          “Your pretense for asking me is flimsy, but since it clearly required so much thought and courage to ask me, I graciously accept.  You even get to pick the restaurant.”  Danny kisses him and lets his lips linger for just a second.  He can feel Steve open his mouth right as Danny pulls back.

          The look of elation at Danny’s acceptance and sadness at not getting to make out on his face makes him about a hundred times prettier than he already is, and Danny pencils in at the top of his mental list “make out with Steve for an hour later.”

          Steve’s jaw resets to his normal “I’m a hardass and want everyone to know it” expression and he furrows his brow at Danny.  “My pretenses are rock solid, bulletproof and better than yours.”

          “Yeah, I would have just asked ‘hey babe, do you want to go on a normal date like a normal human being?’  See how easy that was?”

          Steve stands up and pulls Danny with him, Danny’s feet leaving the ground for a split second before Steve catches him.  “You’re easy.”

          “Oh, oh that’s really mature, Steven.”  Danny grins as Steve kisses his neck and yes, Chin and Kono can probably see them but honestly they should just accept this as part of daily life by now.  Not like anyone can really stop them. (Though they would if they asked.)

          Steve turns to hugging Danny and breathing in the scent of his cologne, his lips against Danny’s neck.  The scratch of his stubble kind of makes Danny want him to leave beard burn on a few other parts of his body, especially after that rimjob in Rachel’s shower recently...

          It’s not until Steve lets him go and returns to his office with a smile that Danny realizes Steve never gave him a comeback to his “mature” comment.

          Two seconds later, his phone buzzes.

          For the record, I am VERY mature.

          Danny just grins and lets the argument stand where it is and deciding that tonight – that’s right, tonight, he’s going to ask Steve to marry him.

___

          It’d have been better if there had been something to shake the rest of his day up, something to distract him but there’s nothing.  Not a single call, murder, nothing.  Almost like the Big Island wants him to work himself up into a tizzy over this.  Trouble is, Danny’s not about to go back on his decision now, not with Steve asking for a romantic dinner in suits, no less.

          Steve tries very, very hard to not look nervous the rest of the afternoon, and even more so on their way back to Rachel’s.  Whatever’s gotten into Steve is starting to make him antsy as well, and Danny’s antsy enough all on his own.  They keep trying to talk but every time they interrupt each other, laugh nervously, and then lapse into silence again.  It’s not like the comfortable silence that punctuates their usual cycle of bicker, conversate, debate, bicker – this is weird, like both of them have something to say but can’t get the nerve up to say it.

          Well, Danny has something – Steve’s just, well, he doesn’t have an answer for his strange turn.

          Whatever’s eating at Steve, it’s not enough to stop him from kissing Danny breathless as soon as they’re in the door.  Danny’s caught off guard so that it feels like his heart stops mid-beat, and the kiss Steve gives him isn’t an “I’m so horny I can’t think” sort of kiss but one of those fast-slow burn “I’m going to probably make you come with just my mouth” kisses – and it doesn’t really stop until they’re upstairs and naked, with Steve fingering himself open to ride Danny slow and sweet.  What does it for Danny in the end is the fact that Steve’s hand or hands never leave his grip the entire time.

          It’s not until after and the sheets are sticking to them with sweat does Steve calm down, and even then he doesn’t drift more than a couple feet from Danny’s side.  Sure they both loom in each other’s space a lot but this is different, this almost feels like it borders on Steve needing to be within Danny’s reach.

          Danny doesn’t tell him to go anywhere.

          They’re both standing at the double sink in the bathroom attached to their room, naked from the waist up and shaving.  Aside from occasionally catching each other’s eyes in the mirror, the only sound is the clink-swish of their shaving brushes through hot cream.  Danny’s not quite up to straight razor status like Steve is but they both prefer soap to the canned stuff, so brushes and bowls it is.  There’s something about that particular fact that Danny finds to be endearing, one more little thing they have in common.

          “Hey, Danno?”  The soft cadence of Steve’s voice makes Danny look over at him, his face half-covered with white.  He’s already starting to go for the hairs on his neck, chin tilted up so that every motion of his wrist is as efficient as he can get it.

          “What’s up?”

          Steve goes for a couple long swipes before he responds.  “You ever driven a Bentley before?”

          Danny smiles, the beginnings of a memory playing through his mind.  “Believe it or not, yeah I have.”

          “Was it yours?”  Steve raises and eye brow and starts to work on his jaw.  Danny takes a moment – alright, two moments – to watch him, those motions beautiful and smooth as the smooth power of Steve’s facial structure comes out from under that never-scraggly five o’clock shadow.

          Danny turns back to his part of the mirror.  “Nah – it was evidence in a case.”

          “Wanna tell the story or save it for later over dinner?”  Steve smiles and rinses his razor off, the quiet sploosh of water making an echo.

          It might actually be better to tell later – no, no no, he’s going to ask Steve something else.  Besides, this is helping take the edge off just a little.

          “This was maybe my third year on the force back in Jersey, so I wasn’t quite one of the guys yet but everyone thought ‘hey, this guy’s not dead yet, let’s bring him along.’  It was a high profile murder case, very gruesome.  Some high roller – financier, I think – murder his wife and mistress in the backseat of his Bentley before he just fucking disappeared with his fortune.  Found out he was funding some really illegal stuff, the wife found out about his side piece, they fight, he kills them with a hammer and dumps them in the car.  Well, this all has to be processed, so guess who gets to drive this 300,000 automobile back to the station?”

          “You?”

          “Right on the first try, babe – me.  And man, I wasn’t even that mad about having to ride where there were, you know, brains splatter – I was not about to wreck something that costed more money than I ever knew what to do with.”

          “And did you wreck it?”  He doesn’t hear it but he sees it in Steve’s face – he’s looking for a chance to tease him.

          “Yes, Steven, I plowed it right into a telephone pole and I’m still trying to shake that incident from my record.”  Danny sticks his tongue out at him, narrowly avoiding tasting shaving cream.  “No, you ass, I didn’t wreck it – but I certainly didn’t do more than twenty miles an hour turning it over to forensics.  Of course I got laughed at because it was evidence, and it’s not like much could be done as a result if something happened to it.  Kind of hard to worry about getting your Bentley back when no one’s asking for it - save for the guy’s insurer.”

          Steve’s face through all this is mostly barely contained laughter, and by the time he’s finished, Steve has to put the razor down because he’s trying so, so hard to hold it in.

          “You wanna share with the class what’s so funny, McGarrett?”

          Steve actually has to wipe tears from the corners of his eyes before he answers.  “You.”

          “You were expecting me to wreck it, weren’t you?  Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?”

          Steve finally just lets it out and Danny waits until Steve’s done, holding his stomach, face still covered with shaving cream, and his towel starting to slide down his hips.  “N…no, Danny, it’s… I’m just picturing you driving granny speed, all this blood in your backseat, and everyone looking at you like you’d done it but no, no, just evidence, nothing to see here.”

          Danny ignores him, pointedly finishing shaving himself because that’s what he’s supposed to do, not indulge this Neanderthal in something that happened well over a decade ago.

          “The windows were tinted, you ass.”

          “You like that word this evening, don’t you?”  Steve drops his towel and wiggles his butt in Danny’s general direction.

          “Mooning me isn’t going to win back any points, so you can just put all that away.”  Danny smacks his left cheek so hard that Steve actually yelps and scurries back to his side of the sink, still laughing and looking at Danny.

          Yeah, way better than weird, tensiony silence.

          Putting the suits on actually takes a while, because Steve didn’t get all of his handsiness out of his system earlier, apparently – it takes Danny ten minutes to put his trousers on because Steve keeps doing this thing where he grabs his face and kisses him so tenderly that his knees turn to butter.  It’s really, really infuriating in a sweet way, because, you know, plans and hey I need to ask you a very important question.

          Best part is that it gives Danny hope that Steve will say yes.

          “You look almost presentable,” Danny declares once Steve’s tie is in place.  It’s dark blue to go with his suit, and for once his hair is actually very nicely parted to the right.  He looks like a 1950s movie star, if he stares long enough at him.

          “Almost?”  Steve spritzes on just a touch of cologne, then proceeds to move behind Danny as he’s buttoning up his jacket.  “What would make me fully presentable?”

          “I don’t know, maybe actually telling me where we’re going?”  Danny gets the feeling that wherever it is, it’s going to end up costing a week’s salary by the time it’s all said and done.  Damned good thing that Steve’s worth it.

          “You just drive Danny, I’ll direct.”

          “There speaks a voice of experience.”  Danny winks at him in the mirror and turns around, Steve’s arms around him.

          “I’ll be the good guy and just say it – you look incredible.  See, that sounds better than ‘almost presentable’, doesn’t it?”  Steve grins and if he didn’t look so handsome right now, Danny would pinch him.  Seriously, this guy sometimes…

          “You know, if you keep up with that, I might just keep you for life.” Yes, it’s a feeler.  Yes, Danny starts to feel a little lightheaded after he says it.

          Steve’s only reaction is to get real quiet and look down at Danny’s hands, trying to contain his smile.

          “Let’s go eat some lobster, yeah?”  Danny leads him to the garage and has to put a far greater deal of concentration into walking than normal because, you know, in about an hour’s time he’s going to ask the most important question of his life.

          Steve hands Danny the keys with a kiss (honestly, he figured Stan would have taken both sets with him) and gets in, leaving Danny by himself for a moment.  He draws in a deep breath and climbs in, his nervousness compounded by taking Stan’s Bentley out for a joy ride.

          Neither of them have ever been particularly bowled over by cars like this – they aren’t practical, expensive to maintain, and just as likely to be stolen as anything else.  Still, it is nice to drive something that purrs more than roars.  Danny takes a minute to adjust the seat and settles back into the leather, Steve next to him frowning at the gleaming array of buttons that look like they could launch a horde of missiles at any given target.

          “I’ve driven Humvees, tanks, and in one instance, landed a C-117 Globemaster – why the hell can’t I get the seat to go back?”

          Danny chuckles as he eases them out of the garage.  “Because you’re still not domesticated.”

          “Uh, you want to rethink that Mr. These Are The Best Pancakes Ever?  I believe that’s what you said the other morning.”  Steve finally gets the seat to slide back and gives up on trying to make it go any further.

          “Hey, I was gonna say anything after that particular blowjob.  Right or left, babe?” 

          “Left – and they were good, whether I’d made you blow your brains out through your dick or not.”  Steve looks triumphant and puts his hand on Danny’s knee.  It’s really warm through the fabric of his pants, and Steve doesn’t try to move it any higher.  Were he not currently someone else’s car, he’d definitely be holding his hand right now.

          “I demand a second tasting then, just to be sure.”

          And so it continues until they’re at the restaurant, some very upscale-looking place called the Queen Leilani Grille.  Most everyone he sees there is similarly dressed, so at least he and Steve aren’t the only ones overdressed for the occasion.  Maybe if he just stays in the car he won’t have to ask Steve that question, they can just get something to go and eat on the couch and they’ll wake up engaged, osmosis and ESP doing the work for him.

          Too late, because Steve is already out of the car and pulling his door open.

          “C’mon babe, I’m starving.”  Steve’s earlier nervousness is now replaced by excitement and alright, dinner does sound good right now.

          “I’m not the one who decided to wear themselves out beforehand.”  Danny finally slips his hand into Steve’s and God, Steve’s thumb rubs over his knuckles gently and makes his stomach do a couple flips.

          “Yeah well… you looked extra good today.  Sue me.”  Steve actually means that, and Danny squeezes his hand a little tighter.

          “I look extra good every day.”

          The appetizing smell of seafood cooking hits Danny before they even walk in the door – to say it’s mouthwatering is an understatement.  The hostess approaches them, smiling and before Danny can say anything, Steve steps forward, whispers something to her and then rejoins Danny.

          Her smile only grows wider as she leads them to a private booth and leaves them be, saying their waiter will be with them shortly.

          “That was fast.”  Danny decides to sit across from Steve, since he needs to see his face the whole time.  “Why was she smiling so much?”

          “No idea, Danno – but I had made reservations, if you didn’t notice.  Say thank you, Steven.”

          Danny starts to argue back but no, not today.  “Thanks, babe.”

          Steve pours himself a glass of water and swallows down half of it before he sets it down and reaches for Danny’s hands.

          “Thirsty?”

          “Yeah, a little, after earlier.”  There’s this weird tone to Steve’s voice, like if he speaks too loudly something bad is going to happen.

          “Again, that’s all your fault.  Of course, we can always do it again tomorrow to see if we’re just as tired because I’m not gonna lie, that was the best this week.  Uh, sex I mean.”

          Steve nods and licks his lips, not rising to Danny’s bait.  He’s not doing anything except staring and man, those eyes make him want to spill everything.

          “But isn’t it at least, you know, pretty good every time?”

          Danny’s answer is interrupted by their waiter, recommending the lemon-drizzled tuna steak and they both accept, no, just water to drink, thank you – obviously he picks up on them wanting to be left alone as he quickly makes himself scarce.

          Steve’s already downed another glass of water, his hands never having left Danny’s.

          “To answer your question, babe, yeah…” Danny can see how much Steve’s invested in his reply, so he takes a breath and focuses his attention completely on Steve.  “Steve, there’s never been anyone who’s ever come close to making me feel the way you do, and… God, I’m not talking about just in bed.”

          Now, Danny, right fucking now.

          Steve scrubs a hand over his face, and shit, he’s tearing up, holding onto Danny’s hands even tighter.  “I gotta confess something, Danno.”

          “Make it quick Steve, because I kind of have something to tell you, too.”  Danny doesn’t consider it much of an advantage that his voice is slightly more stable than Steve’s right now.

          “This afternoon when…” – Steve pauses to collect himself – “when I made the reservation, I made it under Steve Williams.”  Steve’s voice gets so quiet towards the end that Danny has to lean forward even more to hear him.

          “You… you did?”

          “Yeah – because, oh fuck it, Danny, I want that to be my real name and I want to marry you.”

          Danny Williams, motor mouth extraordinaire, is stunned into silence because the words “I want to marry you” just came out of Steve’s mouth.  Directed towards him.

          Him.

          “Danny?”

          Seeing as how Steve’s got tears flowing unchecked down his face, Danny doesn’t see much point in holding back either and he has to blink a couple times so that he can see Steve more clearly.  He looks halfway between elated and heartbroken – Danny’s answer depends on which one he settles on.

          “You….”  Danny shakes his head, smiling so widely his cheeks hurts.  “Steven, you son of a bitch, I was… that’s what I wanted to ask you.”

          Elated it is.

          “You’re serious?”

          “Babe, I’ve been trying to get the nerve up to ask you for weeks now.”  The knot that’s tied itself in Danny’s stomach over the last month slowly starts to unravel, letting him breathe a little easier.  “You’d think I would say no, after all we’ve been through together?”

          Steve shakes his head and he gets up, coming around to Danny’s side of the table – except he doesn’t make it that far, because Danny’s out of his seat to meet him halfway.  “I mean, I know you’ve been married before and I didn’t know if-“

          Danny touches a finger to Steve’s lips to shush him.  “Steve, I’d divorce you just for the sake of marrying you all over again, so don’t even try to go there.”  He takes his hand away and then kisses Steve full on the mouth.  His lips are a little cold from his water, but that’s okay – it’s better than salty tears.

          Steve draws back before they go overboard and make a scene.  “I love you, Danny.”  His thumbs brush Danny’s cheeks as he says it and yeah, Danny’s definitely made the right call – even though all of that agonizing was for nothing.

          “I love you too, Steven.”  He looks up at Steve, holds onto his arms and squeezes, because he can.

          Their waiter kind of ruins the moment by softly clearing his throat.

          “Gentleman?”

          Danny turns his head to address him.  “Yeah?”

          “Your plates have arrived.”

          He’s sent away again with ten dollars in his pocket to not come back until they’ve finished.

          Since it’s hard enough to not touch Steve anyway, they both sit on the same side of the booth, legs pressed together and as in each other’s space as they can be without knocking elbows.

          “So I uh, kind of didn’t get a ring.  I hope that’s okay.”

          “Me neither, Danno.  Figured you weren’t really a ring sort of guy.”

          Danny swallows his forkful of tuna.  “And you were right.  Kind of thought the same for you.”

          “Not when it can be put towards a nice wedding ring.”  Steve kisses his cheek and scoots even closer, if it was possible.

          “See, that I do want.  Black, something really hard wearing.”

          “How about black with silver edges?”  Steve’s voice is getting huskier and huskier the more they talk about it and shit, is he getting turned on by this?”

          “Thick ones, so…”  Danny has to swallow to wet his throat.  “So that everyone knows.”

          Steve actually moans a little and Danny reaches under the table to caress the inside of his thigh.  “You like that, don’t you?  People knowing we’re together?”

          “I do.”

          “Me too, baby, me too.”

          They kiss again, and Danny’s feeling a little lightheaded by the time they break.

          “You uh, didn’t have a particular date in mind, did you?”

          Steve whispers against the shell of Danny’s ear and kisses the side of his head.  “As soon as possible.”

          Now it’s Danny’s turn to make an unbecoming noise.  “One condition.”

          “Go ahead.”

          “I want to wait for Grace first.  But that day, man, we can go straight from the airport to the courthouse, or church, or however you want to do it, babe, but that’s the only thing I ask.”

          “I know someone who can – a former classmate, she’s a justice of the peace.  May have already told her about it, too.”

          Danny smiles.  “You slick bastard.”

          “Danny, I really, really want to be with you in a forever kind of way, so…”  Steve loses track of his words and takes a shuddery breath, making Danny put his arm around his waist.

          “Hey, listen – I know, and I do too.”  Danny feels himself tearing up again and wipes them away with his hand.  “Forever, Steven yeah… we’re on the same page.  I’m really glad you actually did that.”

          Steve has always, always been tough, hard to read, stubborn as hell and even through all of that, right now all Danny sees is the softness, the warmth he knows he has in him.  It’s more intimate than any physical activity they can do together, to see that trust right there in Steve’s expression, so naked and open.

          “Our dinner’s getting cold.” Steve whispers.  He’s not exactly making an effort to eat any more of it, opting to hold Danny’s face more instead.

          “Don’t care, babe – kind of have more important things to care about right now.”

          The fact that they don’t get home until three in the morning after walking on the beach for hours doesn’t bother them in the least, or the sand in their suits from lying together on it.  All Danny cares about is that Steve’s hand is in his and that in less than a week’s time,  the name Steve Williams is going to be a real thing.

         

         

___

          “Just to make sure I heard you correctly – you said Washington?”  Danny was halfway into his third cup of coffee and then Steve drops this on him.  Less than what, eighteen hours of them being engaged and of course something has to come up where they aren’t within touching distance of each other.

          Steve shrugs, looking sheepish.  “This wasn’t exactly a volunteer sort of thing – and not something I can tell them over the phone, much as I wish it was.  Protocol’s protocol, Danno.”  He shoves his hand in his pockets and sits on the arm of Danny’s couch.  They’re both still insanely elated but the weariness from their late night is catching up with them, and fast.  Getting out of bed had been incredibly tough that morning, not constantly being in each other’s presence even worse but work is work, and they just have to deal with it.

          Danny rubs his face with both hands, trying to take away the sandy feeling he gets if he holds his eyes open for too long.  “I know, babe, I know, just…”  Danny looks up and leans back in his chair.  “I hate our respective careers sometimes, because it means we have to go places and do stuff.”

          “And this is stuff that yes, I could take care of myself here but it’d take up a lot of time that I’m not willing enough to spend away from you – so I’m gonna let the guys at the Pentagon handle it and focus on, you know, you and Five-O.”  Steve leaves where he’s perched and comes around to Danny’s side of the desk, Danny stands up and rests his head against Steve’s chest, listening to the gentle tattoo of his heartbeat.

          “See, now I can’t be angry at you – because that’s about the only reason for you going all the way to Washington I was going to accept.”

          Steve puts his arms around him and kisses the top of his head.  “Believe me, it’s going to be a lot less of a pain for both of us if I do this.”

          “That and I think you just wanted to get out of helping me pack our stuff up.”

          “It’s clothes and sundries, babe, don’t think it’ll take you that long.”

          “And washing the sheets we used, and making sure there’s not any bodily fluids in unfortunate places, if you know what I’m saying…”

          “If it can’t be seen without a UV light, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

          Danny laughs and kisses Steve’s throat. “I’m not the one who’s a damn sprinkler when they come.”

          “That,” Steve says as he tilts Danny’s head up, “is only because you’re inside me.”

          “It ends up outside you anyway.”

          “Yeah, but it goes back in shortly after.”

          “Are we really having a conversation about come swapping at the office, in broad daylight?” 

          Steve nods, his smile just a touch lewd.  “Sounds like it, babe.”

          “You’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?”  Danny, in spite of his exhaustion, does feel just a little twinge of arousal.  Not enough to be concerned about, but spitting his come back into Steve’s mouth isn’t exactly the most casual of thoughts.

          “To be fair, you started it.”  Steve kisses Danny, and Danny doesn’t try that hard to stop him.

          “When do you leave?”

          “Tonight – I’m flying out on a military transport, straight through to Washington.”  Steve sounds subdued and absolutely miserable about it.

          Danny nods.  “Any idea how long you’ll be gone?”

          “Could be in and out in an hour, could be three days – just depends on how much they want to know.  I’d share what it is they’re after but…”

          “It’s classified, and you’d have to kill me if you told me, I know.”

          Steve takes Danny’s hands and rubs his thumbs over his knuckles, feeling each and every one.  “See, I would actually have to think really, really hard about killing you, because you’re my fiancé – and that’s kind of worth not killing you over.  I could fake your death, though, if that makes you feel any better.”

          Danny kind of stops listening, grinning to himself and drawing figure eights over Steve’s heart.  Last night’s still in his mind, and Steve just said it out loud, and that, well, that’s a very good thought to latch onto.

          “Danny?”

          “Sorry babe – all I heard was the word ‘fiancé’ – what were you saying?”

          “About how I could fake your death – but I understand why you got distracted.”  Steve whispers the last few words into his mouth and soon Danny’s getting what feels like the life kissed out of him.  God, being married to this man will actually be the death of him and if he goes, then he’ll do it with a smile on his face.

          Steve pulls back after a minute and touches his forehead to Danny’s.  “I can’t stop thinking about it, babe.”

          “Me neither – but if you fake both of our deaths, you don’t have to go at all.”

          “And then when our marriage certificate turns up at the courthouse a couple days later, we’ll both be charged for…well, I don’t know what that would be called, but probably some type of fraud.  Would hate to start married life with that hanging over us.”

          Danny’s grinning again and this time, Steve does too.

          “I’m kind of surprised you’re so eager to tie the knot this quickly.”

          “Babe, you have no idea.  I wanted to ask you for almost a year.”  Steve finally steps back and lets go of Danny, the sound of either Chin or Kono’s footsteps approaching.

          “A year?  Really?”  Danny really wishes he’d closed the door after Steve had come in so that maybe they wouldn’t be interrupted.  Tough luck on that one.

          “Yeah.  Danny, I really, really want this.”

          It’s always a rollercoaster with Steve, doesn’t matter what it is – right now Danny feels like he could just float away if a strong enough gust of wind came along.  “Didn’t know that, Steve.”

          “I was afraid to ask, just in case it messed with yours and Grace’s relationship, or something.”  Steve shuts the door right before Kono steps in, turning around to give her a “wait a minute gesture.”

          “And I thought that maybe you just… didn’t want to get married.”  Danny’s life would be about ten times better if Steve would come back and hug him again.

          “Not on your life, Danny.”  He blows him a kiss and lets Kono again, still looking at Danny out of the corner of his eye. 

          Danny approaches them, hearing something about a group of carjackers and “do you guys want to go check it out?”

          Hey, at least it gets him a little more time with Steve before he has to go.

___

          They had a lot more stuff then Danny thought they’d brought over.

          There are clothes, of course – mostly work clothes and their suits, but some of them he definitely doesn’t remember packing.  He’s not exactly in the mood to fold each piece and put it neatly in a suitcase, so he just sort of stuffs them.  Steve left five days ago and he’s only heard from him once – when he touched down, and that he’d talk to him as soon as he could.

          It’s late, really late (alright, it’s only eight in the evening but he’s been up since five) and Danny’s trying to avoid going to sleep just yet.  Steve isn’t there to fall asleep with and he’s gotten so used to him being in the same bed as him that having to adjust hasn’t been easy.  It’s the longest they’ve been apart since they first got together, and it sucks ass.

          One consolation is that Grace comes back tomorrow, due to land at 1:34 p.m. Hawaii time, which leaves them twenty six minutes to get to the courthouse.  Danny’s got his dress blues from the precinct back home all pressed and ready – it seems only appropriate that he wear that, as he doesn’t own a tuxedo, and he’s willing to bet good money that Steve’s going to wear his dress uniform as well – he can’t let Steve get the jump on him so easily.

          Right as Danny’s about to fight the luggage downstairs, he hears a knock at the front door.

          “Who the hell?”  Just in case it’s a burglar, Danny checks his pistol and tucks it into his waistband and heads downstairs.

          He lets his guard down as soon as he sees that it’s Chin, peering in the door looking for him.

          “You could have called first,” Danny grumbles as he lets Chin in.  “I’m not supposed to let strange men in the house.”

          “You and Steve have been here for a month and a half, it’s already got strange men in it.”  Chin smirks and steps inside, whistling.  “Nice digs.”

          “Thank God I don’t ever have to do this again.  Too damn big.  Want a beer?”  There are only a couple left and Danny had plans to knock out both of them but it just wouldn’t be right not to share.

          “Nah – I just came by to help you move your stuff out.  Steve sent me, said you needed assistance.”

          “Oh, he said that, huh?”

          “And said to make sure you don’t hurt your back carrying your suitcase down the stairs.”  Chin, by this point, is grinning and Danny realizes that he’s being put on.  “And why did he bother to get in touch with you and not me?”

          Chin shrugs and heads for the stairs.  “Because he could only contact one person and he said something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to listen to Danny run his mouth for an hour when I have very important things to do.’  His words, not mine.”

          “I’m gonna hurt him when he gets back.  I don’t care if we’re en-“

          Chin turns around.  “What?”

          “Nothing.  Nothing at all, keep going.”  Danny’s attempt at keeping a straight face is kind of ruined by his turning bright red.

          “No no, what were you gonna say?”  Chin blocks his way up the stairs, his arms folded across his chest.  Danny could push past him easily but Chin’s one of those people who has spent a great deal of time with Steve, thus he’s more stubborn than any normal person should be.

          “Look, it’s a surprise and God willing, you’ll find out tomorrow.  Can you move, please?  I’m ready to go home.”

          Chin regards him with suspicion, one eyebrow crooked up as he steps aside.  “I don’t like how that sounds.”

          “Yeah well… tough.”  Danny’s decided that Chin gets to carry the heavier suitcase just for being aggravating.

          Chin doesn’t grumble a bit as he helps carry their stuff downstairs, his motorcycle waiting next to Danny’s Camaro.  Obviously helping him move stuff literally meant taking it from the house to the car and nothing further.  It’s that McGarrett thoughtfulness that Danny loves more than anything, truly.

          “Don’t suppose you’d be willing to help carry it back in, would you?”

          Chin rubs the back of his neck and shrugs.  “Sorry.  Got a date.”

          “I’ll remember your magnanimity.”  Danny pats Chin’s shoulder and starts to get in the car, more than ready to wash his hands of Rachel’s house and its trappings.

          “Hey, wait a sec.”  Chin grabs the door before Danny can shut it.

          “Yeah?”

          Chin’s expression turns seriousness, his voice quiet.  “Whatever it is that’s happening tomorrow – and I think I know what it is – just… Danny, Steve’s happier now than he has been in a long time.”

          Danny nods, and studies the pavement the car’s sitting on.  “Thank you.”

          “Take care of him, Danno.”  Chin winks and heads for his bike, leaving Danny by himself.  Chin’s right – Danny’s watched that progression himself.  Steve isn’t an angry person anymore, not really.  That’s not to say he isn’t deadly or incapable of anger, but he’s not a walking time-bomb, either.  And yes, Danny would like to think he had something to do with that.

          Danny’s still thinking about what Chin said when he gets home – their home – and decides that the suitcases can wait a while.  He’s tired and hungry and wants nothing more than a sandwich and to pass out on the couch.

          He goes to unlock the door, only to find it already open.  Great, now he actually has a burglar on his hands.  Why can’t Steve just man up and get an actual security system, or at least a scary looking dog?

          Danny nudges the door open, gun at the ready.  He checks the living room – all the electronics are still in place, so that’s not what they’re after, and Steve’s safe is upstairs in the closet.  He starts for the stairs, listening very, very quietly and trying not to step on the creaky floorboards.  He finds one anyway and before he even thinks to stop himself, he curses, thumbs the safety off on his pistol and-

          “Danno?”  Steve comes out of the kitchen, turning on the light and looking at Danny’s frozen-at-the-ready stance.

          “Thought the place had been broken into.”  Danny lowers his gun, already crossing the room and smiling.  “You weren’t going to tell me you were home, were you?”

          Steve’s arms fold around him, making Danny put his gun back in his waistband.  “Was planning for it to be a surprise but you ruined it.”

          “Most of the time when these things happen, the guy’s in their service uniform and has like, flowers or something waiting.”  Danny touches Steve’s face, rubbing his scruffy cheeks and inspecting the bags under his eyes.  “You look rough.”

          “I’ve been on a plane for sixteen hours – and didn’t get a lot of sleep while I was there.”

          “So you aren’t asleep now because…”

          “I was waiting for you?”

          Danny can’t even pretend to be mad.  “Can’t say I slept much better myself.”

          Steve drags his fingers up and down Danny’s spine and backs them up until they’re leaning against the doorjamb to the kitchen.  “C’mere.”

          In spite of them both being exhausted, Danny gets kissed like it’s the last one he’ll ever get.  Steve’s tongue is in his mouth before their lips even touch, their bodies pressed together.  Steve’s wearing only a tank top and sweats, so Danny has plenty of freedom for his hands to roam.  Seeing as how sex probably isn’t going to happen, he settles for putting them on Steve’s hips and pulling him as close as possible.

          Steve’s pulled tight from his trip so Danny tries his best to relax him, pulling Steve’s bottom lip into his mouth and opening his eyes, making eye contact as he runs his tongue along plush skin, then follows it up with another kiss.  Steve actually shudders and scratches Danny’s back, the plug on his tension pulled.  Danny smiles inwardly, pressing his advantage to slide his fingers into Steve’s hair and scritch his head.

          He knows he’s won when Steve rests his head on his shoulder and makes happy little content sounds.

          “That feels so fucking nice, Danny.”

          “Gotta take care of you, don’t I?  I’d be a really terrible husband if I didn’t.”

          He knows Steve smiles without having to look.  “We’re not married yet.”

          “I know – just wanted to try it out, see how I liked the word.”

          “And?”

          Danny kisses his neck and puts his hands under the back of Steve’s shirt.  “I like it.”

          It’s a while before they come unstuck from that spot, holding each other in the quiet of their house.  The only sounds are their breathing and the gentle lap of water down at the edge of Steve’s private beach, and they lull Danny into a half-doze.

          “Babe, we can’t fall asleep here.”  Steve pulls them both upright but doesn’t let go.

          “Why not?”

          “Because of our bachelor party.”

          Danny tilts his head and narrows his eyes at Steve.  “Bachelor party?  Are there strippers or a keg of beer?”

          “No – just pancakes and Bridge On The River Kwai.”

          “I didn’t know we were having a party, or I would have found a stripper who specializes in British Army uniforms.”  Danny follows Steve to the kitchen, where he’s gotten no further than greasing the pan and getting the mix out of the cupboard.

          “That’s a really specific request.”

          “And you’re the one who’s worn out our copy of that movie, so I’d only be doing it for you anyway.”  Danny gets the milk out of the refrigerator and sets it down next to the pan.

          “Tell you what – you can just buy me a new copy as a wedding present and we’ll skip the stripper.”

          They don’t even make it an hour into the movie, between the spectacular pancakes and Steve’s warm body blanketing him on the couch; yeah, if this is what married life is going to be like, Danny can’t hardly wait for the sun to rise tomorrow.

___

          As per tradition, Danny doesn’t see his groom at all on the day of their wedding.  In fact, he doesn’t even know when Steve left or where he went.  He goes to Five-O headquarters since they haven’t technically taken the day off and who knows, just because he’s getting married today doesn’t mean something won’t come up.

          Chin and Kono are there, poring over the table in the war room.

          “You guys seen Steve?”

          They both quickly conceal smiles and turn back to their case file.  “Not since this morning.”

          “It is morning – not even nine thirty yet.”

          “We were here at seven – and congratulations.”  Danny’s hugged before he’s given the chance to opt out – oh well.

          “Like Chin didn’t know last night.”

          “Hey, I only said I had an idea.  You’re the one who almost said ‘engaged.’”

          “So?”

          Kono pokes Danny in the chest.  “So?  We didn’t even know about this.”

          “Because it wasn’t any of your business.”

          “Danny, we were going to find out anyway.”  Chin actually beams, and that in itself is weird to see.  “So you’re out of luck, brah.”

          “It’s not like you two are masters of subtlety anyway.”  Kono goes to her office and comes back with champagne and three glasses.  “And before you say no, you’re going to drink with us.”

          “What if I tell you I’m allergic to champagne?”  It’s not like he and Steve exactly agreed to keep this all a secret, just he’d rather have kept this on the downlow until after they were married.

          “Too bad.”  Kono’s already poured and handed Danny a glass.  “To Danny, who might be a mainlander but he keeps the boss happy-“

          “And if the boss is happy, everyone’s happy,” Chin finishes.

          The bubbles only tickle his nose a little bit, and just to spite Kono he finishes the whole glass.

___

          Danny doesn’t get nervous until he finishes doing up the tie on his dress blues, taking one last look at himself in the mirror.  He’s in the restroom at headquarters, as coiffed and fresh as he can make himself with the resources on hand.  Thank God he’d not had to chase anyone this morning, though Steve does find the whole sweaty look appealing.

          Grace lands in twenty minutes, and it’s going to take him that long to get to the airport.  One advantage of wearing the uniform – people will give him a wide berth, even though his only intention is to get his daughter so she can bear witness to him getting married.  He’s not in the least bit concerned if Rachel decides to go or not.  Hell, he’s not even going to tell her, might just let her read it in the newspaper.

          “Danny, you’re gonna be late.”  Kono’s outside, acting as spiritual help – and his ride to the airport.  She insisted that Danny shouldn’t have to drive on his wedding day – and that she knows a shortcut to get him there faster.

          “I’m coming.”  Danny checks himself over one more time and steps out, his heart racing so fast it sounds like a Clydesdale’s hooves pounding in his head.

          Kono whistles and claps her hands.  “Look Chin, he actually looks nice.”

          “He actually looks nice,” Danny mocks.  “I always look nice, seeing as how I’m the only one who ever wears a tie.”

          “And until someone bothers to put together a standard uniform for us, what we’re wearing now will be fine – now c’mon.”

          Chin nods to both of them.  “I’ll see you at the courthouse.”

          Once he’s in the passenger seat, Danny manages to calm down just a little.  “I swear you had better not do your Steve impression while we’re driving – I know you learned from him, and I feel like I’m gonna hurl anyway.”

          Kono just gives him a little smile and they go rocketing away – so much for that.  Danny ignores the lurching feeling he gets in his stomach and concentrates on the vows he’s written in his head – Steve is not about to get away with a simple “by the power vested in me by the state of Hawaii…” and so on.  Hell no.

          “We’re here.”

          Danny finally bothers to look out the window, right as a British Airways 747 comes in low and touches down; Grace is ahead of time.

          “Let’s go.”

          The airport is jam packed with people, and Danny has to fight his way to see what gate they’re coming in on.  Kono sticks close by, helping him look – Danny notices how closely they’re inspecting the boards, someone asks if they’re looking for a terrorist, no, just my daughter – but my ex-wife could be one.

          Danny’s glad that someone laughs at the joke.

          “Gate twelve, c’mon.”  Danny moves as fast as his dress shoes will let him, Kono right behind him.

          Grace is nearly the first person off the plane, and she’s smiling so wide as she approaches Danny his heart swells.  “Danno!”

          Danny’s on his knees to catch her a split second before they collide and he picks her up, not as easy as it used to be but dammit, he’ll always do it if he can.  “Hey monkey.”  Danny kisses her cheek and sits her down, just a couple inches shorter than Danny is now.

          Rachel and Stan hang back, letting Danny have a moment alone.  “Why are you all dressed up, Dad?”

          “I’m going to a wedding.”  Kono steps in for a hug and sticks by Danny after she’s released Grace.

          “Whose wedding?”

          Danny takes her hands, smiling.  “Mine.”

          “You’re getting married!”  Grace lights up and grins even more, then looks at Kono.  “It’s not to Kono, is it?”

          Danny shakes his head.  “I wish – no, I’m gonna marry Uncle Steve.”

          Grace looks at Kono again and holds out her hand.  “You owe me five dollars.”

          Danny pulls his best mock offended face: “You two were betting on Steve and myself?  I ought to arrest you – you too, young lady.”

          “Kono didn’t think you would, but I did, and she said that if you got married she’d give me five dollars!”

          “Well, you two will have to sort that out later – we’re gonna be late, and you know Steve wouldn’t let me hear the end of it if I was late.”

          Grace grins, waving goodbye to Rachel.  “See you later!”

          Kono’s triumphant little grin at both Rachel and Stan kind of makes the situation that much better.

          Danny appreciates that Kono drives slightly less dangerously to the courthouse, considering that Grace is now in the backseat.  She’s going a thousand miles a minute, telling Danny about England, excited as she can be and Danny really, really tries to listen but he can only imagine how Steve looks right now, how he feels, because if it’s anything like what Danny is experiencing right now well… it’s going to be tough to get through the ceremony without crying a whole fucking lot.

          “Dad, are you ready?”

          Danny exhales and looks back at Grace.  “Will you walk me down the aisle?”

          “Of course, Danno.” 

          The air inside the courthouse is near freezing, the air conditioning working overtime to keep up with the heat and humidity; Danny barely registers the change in temperature, the sweat rolling down his back, Grace holding one arm and Kono bringing up the rear.  The justice’s offices are on the second floor, so up they go, the elevator ride taking forever and no time at all.

          There are only four other people in the hallway, Danny sees.  Chin, next to the wall and laughing at the conversation being held, Justice Miranda Mao, Steve with his back to Danny, and Steve’s friend Kamekona – who’s the one that spots Danny and spins Steve around to let him know he’s here.

          “Dad, move.”  Grace nudges him in the ribs and he takes a step forward, eyes locked on Steve.

          If Danny had to choose how he envisioned getting married again, it would have been complete with music, a church full of his family from back home, and maybe his boyhood priest officiating – this is even better than that, because that final detail he always missed is there.

          Steve.

          Steve’s in his Navy dress blues, black jacket tight on his shoulders, his chest proudly decorated with his rank and commendations.  Danny’s never seen in him the hat before but it’s there, sitting perfectly but at odds with the joyful tears Danny can see in Steve’s eyes, even from here.  Steve finally moves, almost running towards Danny and were it not for Grace on his arm, Danny would too.

          Steve’s hands are just as sweaty as his, thank God, but that’s fine – it just means they’re both here, actually doing this, and Danny hopes to God no one tries to blow up the island within the next hour or so.

          “Nice of you to dress up for the occasion, Commander.”  Danny straightens Steve’s collar and looks up at him, his voice catching when he realizes Steve’s cheeks are wet.

          “Thought it would be appropriate – but your uniform is too small, Detective.”  Danny gestures at the way Danny’s jacket is straining to contain his shoulders.

          “Well, I’ve not worn this in a few years, and my workout partner is insistent I bulk up.  Real hardass, you ought to meet him some day.”

          Steve smiles and hugs Danny, whispering “I’m ready” so softly that Danny wouldn’t have heard it had he not been right there next to him.

          Danny’s hands stop shaking a little when Steve slips his fingers between his own, following Justice Mao into her office, the rest of their entourage right behind.  Not exactly a sanctuary but that’s fine, especially since he’s not looking at anything or anyone but Steve.

          Justice Mao opens her notes, her own smile just as genuine as everyone else’s in the room.  “Are you ready?”

          “Yeah.”  Whether it’s him or Steve that says it, Danny’s not sure.

          “Friends and family, we are gathered here today to bear witness to the marriage of Steven John McGarrett and Daniel Edward Williams.  As they are eager to be joined in matrimony, I ask now if they would like to exchange vows.”  Miranda steps back, and it takes Danny a moment to realize that one of them has to speak – except he’s kind of lost his voice.  Not his fault, definitely Steve’s.

          “Babe, you uh… you want to go first?” Danny’s grip on Steve’s hands tightens, trying to keep his knees from shaking any more than they already are.

          Steve nods, his jaw quivering as he opens his mouth.  “There…”  Steve has to stop, swallow, and then wipe his eyes before he resumes.  “There haven’t been a lot of people in my life that I’ve gotten close to.  Teammates, partners, my unit mates – I was always afraid to lose them, to let them in because if they went, I didn’t know if I could handle it.”  Steve reaches up to brush a tear from Danny’s right cheek, his touch as soft as could be – and now it’s just Steve talking to him, like after sex or between chases in the car, where no one else can hear them.  “That didn’t change until you came into my life.  You taught me how to trust, to love, to let people in and see what they have to offer.  I want to spend the rest of my life learning that from you, Danno, and I don’t ever want to stop loving you.”

          Danny spends a long minute standing there, looking into those dark, wide eyes, rubbing the backs of Steve’s hands with his thumbs and not saying a word – because what can you say to that? 

          “Since I have literally about two minutes left to call you this – but you’re really good with words McGarrett, did you know that?”

          Steve laughs and kisses Danny’s forehead.  “You’ll just have to get used to calling me something different, babe, that’s all I have to say.”

          “Alright.”  Danny licks his lips and reaches up to touch Steve’s cheek, keeping his hand there.  “There was a time after I first moved here that I thought it couldn’t get any worse, that my life could not be any more uprooted and turned over than it already had been – until I joined Five-O and found out that yes, it could, because I was partnered to a trigger happy, bomb toting Navy SEAL who thinks a road is a racetrack.  I actually prayed to God that I’d survive another day, another minute just to find out if there was more to you then that – and I was right.  Home… home is important to me, and always has been, and I never thought that this could be one.  I was wrong, Steven, so, so wrong, because you’re it now – and I want to spend the rest of my life building that home with you.  I will never, ever stop loving you or the place that we make.”

          Danny tries so, so hard to not break proper wedding protocol any further but he fails and wraps Steve in a tight hug, his tears staining the dark wool of his jacket.  Steve hugs him back and rubs the back of his head and Danny finally lets it go, that last little bit of antagonism at being here, so far from Jersey and his family. No – his other family, because he has that here now, right in his arms.

          Justice Mao – who has been an absolute model of patience – gently clears her throat.  “Do the grooms have rings?”

          Kamekoa steps forward and taps Steve on the shoulder – Danny looks up just in time to see the big guy wipe his own eyes before he winks and steps back.

          “Good call babe – I kind of forgot about those.”  Danny’s heart stops when Steve opens the little box they’re in; they’re black with silver edges, exactly like they had discussed before.  He’ll ask later where Steve got them from – right now, Steve’s sliding the ring on as Justice Mao proclaims them.      

          “And now, by the power vested in me by the state of Hawaii, I pronounce you husbands.”  Danny slides Steve’s ring on and as soon as it’s in the right place he kisses him, long and deep and happily.  Steve tastes like elation and tears, and there’s applauding, hugs all around when they break apart and this, this is the start of the rest of his life.

          Danny finally comes back to earth after they’ve signed the marriage license and Steve McGarrett is now Steven McGarrett Williams – no hyphenation.

          “So – now what?”  They’re down in the lobby, hand in hand as they enjoy a few more minutes of quiet before Hawaii throws something else at them.

          Danny looks up and takes Steve’s hat off his head, brushing his hair back in place where it had been sitting for so long.  “Well, most people go to their reception after the wedding, but seeing as how we didn’t really plan that either… back to headquarters to see if Kono has any champagne left?”

          Steve kisses him on the steps outside and takes his hat back.  “Think maybe we can steal a bottle to do body shots with later?”

          Since married sex is a thing that’s going to happen with great frequency now, Danny may as well see if Steve’s butt feels any different since they’ve gotten hitched.  He sneaks a quick squeeze before he puts his hand back in Steve’s and they get in his truck.

          “I think that can be arranged.”

Steve doesn’t say a word as Danny slips his hand down to the inside of his right thigh, Honolulu positively shining before them.

___

There had been a very large part of Danny that had been resolved to not be part of that statistic of couples who don’t have sex on their wedding night.

They handily avoided that by not even going home.

Thirty minutes into their impromptu reception at headquarters, they’d gotten the call; one of their long term cases had suddenly gone hot again after months of not so much as a blip on a radar, and they’d gone in guns blazing in the most literal sense of the term.  There had been a lot of bullets spent that day, and while they hadn’t taken their serial rapist alive, he wouldn’t be hurting anyone else.

If only that had been it.

His death had only revealed a far larger operation of human trafficking and they’d spent a solid twenty four hours digging into the guy’s operation, and had barely stopped the “shipment” out of the harbor.  It had turned up a whole bunch of women that had gone missing over the last two years, malnourished, weakened, and abused, on their way to Russia for purposes that Danny would really rather not dwell upon.  Russians are always the nastiest, he’s found – and this doesn’t even have anything to do with Communism, just a bunch of shitty people doing shitty things.

It still doesn’t diminish his joy at being married to Steve.

There had been a couple points at which they probably should have split up to cover more ground but just this once, Steve sticks right by him, always within reach.  They hadn’t exactly been able to touch each other but just his presence had been more than enough, working in perfect sync to get their job done.  He almost wishes things had devolved into a full out brawl so that he and Steve could have fought back to back – always another chance, Danny reminds himself – and he doesn’t even like fistfights if he can avoid them.

The adrenaline and coffee had finally stopped burning late the next day and they’d finally, finally made it home.  Steve had tried to go straight to bed with his boots still on but Danny had just enough awareness left for them to both jump in the shower real fast – no way they were gonna go to bed that grimy.

Danny doesn’t remember falling asleep so much as blacking out not a minute after his head hit the pillow.

Given the way his head aches on waking, he reckons he was out for a solid fourteen or so hours, and he hasn’t moved in all that time.  Steve’s still asleep on his belly, his left arm thrown over Danny’s chest and his face tucked in between their pillows.  Danny is very aware that he should probably let him rest more, but it’s now almost eleven o’clock and there’s a certain something they didn’t get to after the ceremony.

Danny keeps as still as he can as he reaches for Steve’s left hand, placed right over his heart, fingers splayed.  He brings it to his lips and kisses each fingertip, each knuckle – Steve’s hands are rough from work, his gun calluses hard knots that Danny spends extra time loving on.  Steve starts to stir after a while and right as Danny’s about to fellate his ring finger his eyes open.

“Mornin’, Danno.”  Steve’s smile is sleepy but happy and he brushes Danny’s cheek with his knuckles.  Danny kisses his palm and rolls over onto his side.

“Morning, Mr. Williams.”  He touches Steve’s wedding ring and rubs it, the warm metal smooth under the pad of his thumb.

Steve smiles even wider and gets on his side, his arms going around Danny to draw him close.  “You didn’t take advantage of me during the night, did you?”

“Whether you’re my husband or not, Steven, I still wouldn’t do that to you, and you know it.”  Danny knows he’s got morning breath but Steve kisses him like it’s going out of style anyway; he knows Steve’s intentions are serious when he rolls them over and Danny finds himself on top of his husband and his legs tangled with his.

“Another reason why I married you,” Steve murmurs.  “Always so thoughtful.”

“Hey, there aren’t many thoughtful guys left in the world – someone’s gotta be.”  Steve kisses him again and this time there’s tongue, and lots of it.  Danny smiles the whole time, especially when Steve rubs the back of his head and wraps an arm possessively around his waist.  The good news is that it’s just as exciting to kiss Steve now as it was three years ago; the even better news is that Danny doesn’t see that intensity of attraction diminishing in the slightest.

Steve breaks the kiss when they start to run out of breath, his hold on Danny still tight.  “Too bad you’re off the market now, that’s one less quality guy for everyone else.”

“Hey, if everyone else was half as wonderful as I am, the world would be a better place.”

Steve laughs and kisses him again, and this time he ruts his hips against Danny’s; Danny’s been hard since Steve grabbed and pulled him on top of him, and yeah, now is an excellent time to act on that.  “I’m not going to disagree with that simply because I really, really want to have sex with you.”

“Now?”  Danny wiggles his hips against Steve’s, just to make him more frustrated.

“No, tomorrow – yes now, Danny.”

Danny dips his head to nip at Steve’s collarbone.  “Mr. Williams, you’re a pushy bastard, you know that?”

“Is that what it’s going to be now instead of ‘McGarrett’?  Because if so, I don’t have a problem with that.”  Steve tilts his head back and hisses through his teeth as Danny sucks a mark into his chest.

“Oh don’t worry – I can always find something else to make you grouse at me.  It’s required for you, I think, to have something to grunt about.  Keeps you healthy, I imagine.”

Steve tries to mumble something about how he’s going to give Danny something to grumble about but Danny shuts him up with a kiss as he plunge his hand past the waistband of Steve’s briefs to grab his cock.  Steve goes all pliant when Danny rubs the pad of his thumb over his slit and it comes away wet with precome.

Danny removes his hand from Steve’s underwear and offers his thumb to Steve, deciding that now would be a really great time to not wear clothes anymore.

“I’m salty today,” Steve says, throwing the covers back so that he can watch Danny take his boxers off.

“Just means I need to feed you pineapple later.”  Danny gives him a quick kiss before he stands up on the bed and shimmies out of his Hanes – only to be pulled promptly back down and put on his back, courtesy of Steve’s hands and the way too eager “I want to suck your dick” expression on your face.

“You know, you could have just shitfuckStevet”  - Danny’s train of thought gets derailed as he watches his boyfriend – no, his husband – swallow him down to the base.  Steve’s left hand reaches for Danny’s right and he threads their fingers together on Danny’s belly, holding them tightly while his mouth and throat work absolute magic.  It hadn’t been in Danny’s plan to have his dick sucked – he wanted to love on Steve, not the other way round – but he’s not going to complain, either.  Steve gives absolutely tremendous head and it’s like that little bit of metal on his left hand has suddenly unlocked a whole new skill level of dick sucking, and Danny’s the sole benefactor.

This is already better than his first marriage by a longshot.

Danny puts his other hand on Steve’s head and runs his fingers through his hair, torn between closing his eyes because it feels so fucking good and looking at Steve’s face.  Trouble is, if he does the latter then he’s definitely going to come, and he doesn’t want this show to be over yet – even though this likely isn’t going to be their first round today.

“Steven, babe – you gotta ease up.”  Stringing together that sentence requires a far greater deal of effort than he’s ever going to admit.

Steve comes almost all the way off, leaving just the head in his mouth.  Danny’s eye twitches when he feels the tip of Steve’s tongue swirl around its circumference, landing square on his piercing as he completes his loop.  The worst part is that Steve knows exactly what he’s doing, making Danny watch his own foreskin slide up and down, the fingers of his left hand now curled around his shaft, his wedding ring the focal point of this magnificent picture Steve is currently painting.

Danny’s literally two seconds from coming when Steve bites his hip and stops that whole process cold, sharp teeth making Danny roll away, his dick smacking against Steve’s face as he turns over.

The bastard has the gall to pretend nothing happened, too, getting up on his knees so that he can take his underwear off as Danny rubs the sore spot on his hip.

“That was unnecessary,” Danny says.  “Squeezing the base of my dick works just as well, you know.”

“And I actually tasted a little come, so I had to do something drastic.  It worked, didn’t it?”  Steve tosses his underwear aside and comes to lie down next to Danny, pulling him to his body so that they’re chest to back.

“Always so long as the end justifies the means with you.”  Danny doesn’t grumble a whole lot more, seeing as how Steve’s kissing his neck in apology.

“My methods are effective, Danny, and you know it.”  Steve brushes his fingers over his nipples and he fucking knows those are practically hardwired to his cock.  Danny moans so obscenely that it’s one of those sounds he’s glad only Steve knows, and Steve kisses him so that at least part of it is muffled by his mouth.

Danny’s feeling mighty blissful as Steve pulls away a couple minutes later.

“I need like, ten minutes and then we can keep going.  Promise not to come without me?”

As hard as it is for Danny to let him go, he knows that what he’s about to do is necessary.  “I’ll be in roughly the same spot, or at least in the same area.”

Steve gives him one more kiss and gets up, pulling Danny to his feet so he can put his arms around him.  “I love you, okay?”

“I love you too, baby.”  Danny pushes his chest and makes him head for the bathroom.  “Go, babe, or I’m gonna pull you back down here and well…”

“Ten minutes.”  Steve walks backwards so that he doesn’t have to stop looking at Danny the whole time, lust almost winning out over the absolute devotion that darkens his irises.  Danny’s heart feels fit to burst with all of the crazy feelings this man causes him on a regular basis, and he stands there staring at the door for a minute after Steve’s shut it.

          The gentle chime of his phone draws his attention away from Steve and his stupid face and everything else attached to him, and whatever it is had better be really fucking important.

          From Kono: are we working today?”

          Considering that Danny has no plans to let Steve leave this house unless there’s a fucking tidal wave, the answer is no.  Strictly optional – but Steve and I are still worn out from yesterday.

          A moment later:  You’re naked, aren’t you?”

          That is none of your business.

          Danny grins at his screen and sits down on the bed.

          See you tomorrow – don’t wear him out too badly.

          Oh, Danny’s going to do absolutely that.

          He knows Grace took some pictures of them yesterday, both during and after the ceremony.  Danny flips through them and God, so many of them are wonderful.  He didn’t realize until now just how close they were standing while they were there and now, well, Steve looks even more handsome.  There’s this one that she took right as they kissed and until they have official wedding photos made (it’s happening and Steve’s going to have to be okay with it) this is the one he’s going to keep.

          Danny’s wiping tears away when Steve come out of the bathroom and crawls up the bed to snuggle up to Danny’s side.

          “Whatcha got there?”

          “Wedding photos.”  Just saying those two words together makes Danny’s skin tingle, and Steve looks at the one he was studying.

          “I want this one framed.”  Steve kisses his neck as his hand slides down his front again, steadily on its way to Danny’s cock.

          “Can’t enjoy something nice without you being handsy, I swear.”  Danny puts his phone aside and does exactly what Steve’s doing to him.

          “I enjoy something nice all the time, and his name is Danny.”

          “You’re going to be sappy for a while, aren’t you?”

          Steve pulls Danny on top of him again and reaches under the pillow for lube.  “Can you blame me?”

          Danny chuckles and kisses Steve’s chin.  “I guess even SEALs get to be sappy too.”

          “Especially newlywed ones.  That’s an acceptable condition to be sappy under, isn’t it?”

          “So long as you’re not going completely soft one me, Steve, I think that’ll be okay.”

          Steve ruts against Danny so that he can feel his still rock-hard dick.  “Don’t think there’s any danger of that.”

          Danny raises and eyebrow and sits back to squirt lube onto his fingers.  “Oh great, now he’s a comedian.  Did marrying you unlock some whole new side I’ve not been made aware of until now?”

          Steve doesn’t flinch a bit as Danny slicks him up, his eyes never leaving Danny’s face.  “See that’s why I married you – you get to spend the rest of your days seeing how many sides I’ve got.”

          “Good – I like a challenge.”  Danny eases himself back down on top of Steve, his left hand slipping between them.  “Kono wanted to know if we were working today – I told her no.  That’s okay right?”

          Steve doesn’t get the chance to answer, Danny’s index finger sliding in and then back out, gently at first but Danny’s achingly horny now and they can take their time later; this is the sex they should have had the day before yesterday.

          “Fuck, Danny.”  Steve’s already breathless but that’s fine, very, very fine, and Danny kisses him sweetly.  Steve opens right up and whimpers as Danny adds his middle finger, then his ring finger, his ring bumping against Steve’s body.  Every time it does, Steve’s back arches and he moans like it’s the best damned thing in the world, that one little piece of metal working him up like Danny hasn’t seen out of him before.

          “Shit, Danny, keep… god that’s so fucking good.”  Steve tries to reach for his cock but Danny uses his other hand to keep Steve’s arms above his head, his five fingers tangled with Steve’s ten.

          “Just relax babe, you’re almost ready.”  Danny curls his fingers inside Steve’s body, right on his prostate.  Steve nearly bites through Danny’s lip and yep, that’s the signal Danny was waiting for.

          Steve’s still kissing him as Danny wets his cock and lines himself up, Steve’s legs quivering around him as he pushes in, Steve all tight heat and moans that Danny swallows like a man dying of thirst.

          It’s only when he’s hilt deep that they finally manage to re-center themselves.

          “You with me, Steve?”

          Steve opens his eyes and smiles, stuck fast to Danny with sweat.  “All the way, babe.”

          Danny thought that their first time like this would be hard, fast, and desperate, to the point of leaving them sore beyond belief.  This is a million times better and Danny takes his time, whispering sweet nothings against Steve’s lips the whole time.  Later they can be rough and loud but right now?  Danny wants to love Steve.

          “Harder, Danny,” Steve whispers, his hands still held in place by Danny’s.

          “Don’t have to rush, babe, got all the time in the world.”  Danny slows down, fucks Steve right on the part of his cock where he’s thickest.

          Steve shudders, his body damp with sweat where Danny’s keeping him right on the edge.  “So… fuck, Danny, ‘m close.”

          “Want you to come like this babe, know you can.”  Danny’s right there with him, very much aware of how Steve’s already tightened up around him.

          Maybe it’s the way Danny looks at him, the fact that they’re both right at that point of perfect desperation, or maybe it’s just from Danny unwittingly find some spot he’s not hit before – but they both come right after.  Danny feels Steve spurting against his belly, hot and sticky and perfect right as he buries his face in Steve’s neck and he’s gone too, his whole body going slack from his climax.  He gets blurry eyed because it feels so fucking good, because it’s Steve –

          They’re both boneless when they come to a minute later, panting hard against each other’s skin.

          “There’s come running down my thigh,” Steve says, his words slurring just a little.  “Just thought you should know.”

          “I can take care of that.”

          It’s a mighty effort to push himself up and even mightier one to pull out of Steve, but he does it anyway, not stopping until his face is between Steve’s legs.  He also knows it isn’t fair to tease Steve by running his tongue up the inside of his thigh to catch his come, nor is it fair to lick it out of his fucked-out hole.  Steve claws at the sheets as Danny gathers up as much as he can, watching Steve’s face the whole time.

          Steve’s still as much of a comeslut now as he was before, and Danny’s intimately reminded of them swapping spunk in that tent up on the mountain.  At this point he counts on snowballing as a measure of normality in much the same way as he expects the sun to rise every morning.

          Steve was right about one thing – he is salty today.  Probably something to do with them being dehydrated the last couple days.

          Danny had plans to let it drip into Steve’s open mouth but Steve isn’t feeling that patient, given the way he grabs Danny’s face and licks the inside of Danny’s mouth clean, sucking on his tongue and lips and all Danny can do is try to push back and hang on.

          The clock downstairs chimes twelve by the time they relent, strings of spit and come connecting their lips.  Danny resists the urge to wipe his face, instead leaving himself messy for Steve’s enjoyment.

          “So… I had a question for you.”  Danny flops down on his side of the bed and Steve cuddles up next to him, scritching his fingers through Danny’s chest hair.

          “I’m all ears.”

          “Where did you get the rings?  I kind of forgot about them in all the excitement.”

          “Washington – I know a guy who makes stuff like that specifically for people in our line of work, real hard-wearing stuff.  Told him what I wanted and well, the rest is history.”  Steve reaches for Danny’s left hand, rubbing his ring as he talks.  “I kind of had to guess your ring size, so if it needs to be resized, I can have that done.”

          “It’s perfect, babe, promise.”  Danny turns his head and captures Steve’s lips in another kiss, slower, gentler, not so much heat as just contentment.  He knows it won’t be long before all that returns and they’re at it again, but he’s going to enjoy this while he can.

          “Oh – I got you a wedding present.”  Steve breaks his embrace and rolls over onto his other side, digging in the bottom drawer of his nightstand.

          “Is it a lifetime supply of lube?  Because I’m pretty sure we’re gonna need that.”  Danny feels kind of bad about not getting Steve something but hey, they’ve got plenty of time for that.

          “Hardly – here.”  Steve hands Danny a letter-size white envelope, the seal of the United States Navy waxed over the fold.

          “Alright, this makes me nervous.”

          Steve has them sit up while Danny opens it, putting his arms around him from behind and resting his nose in Danny’s hair.

          Danny pulls the sheaf of papers out and reads the first two lines of the letter:

          “This letter hereby releases Steven John McGarrett from all duties, obligations, and services to the United States Navy and its Reserve, and confers upon him with retirement the rank of Commander…”

          “Now,” Steve whispers, “I’m all yours, Danno.”

          Danny thought he’d gotten all of his tears out a couple days of days ago but Steve’s proved him wrong and all he can do is put his arms around Steve because this?  This he wasn’t expecting at all.

          “I swear, Steven, you keep finding all sorts of ways to make me emotional.”

          Repeating his gesture from the other day, Steve wipes away Danny’s tears.  “That’s the real reason I went to Washington – because I wasn’t going to marry you if I knew I could be called back up.  I’m done with it Danny – I’ve got a family now.”

          And for that, Danny finds that he loves Steve that much more.