Harada down in the motor pool office holds a grudge. Danny has not gotten a car out without offering a kidney in collateral since he brought that one Camaro back with a couple of minor scratches. He’s considered explaining that it could have been a lot worse, what with the whole playing-chicken-with-a-jet thing, but he somehow doubts it would help.
He tries sliding the SUV request form across Steve’s desk at the end of the day casually, hoping it’ll be a non-event.
Steve glances at it and goes back to typing whatever it is he’s been typing. “Harada still hates you, huh?”
That smirk is just uncalled for. Danny’s not sure what Steve has on Harada that he still has access to anything above a scooter, but it must be massive.
“Could we not do this, and say we did? Because I’ve got to go get Grace, and you’ve got a lot of Tetris leveling to get through, and if you could just sign the form, we could get back to that.” Danny’s not hopeful, but it’s worth a shot.
Steve tilts his head vindictively, and sits up very straight. He’s wearing his This Is Serious face. Steve is a prick.
“Alright, Detective Williams. Tell me why you need to requisition an SUV from the overextended depths of HPD? Wouldn’t a compact car be more fuel-efficient? Would you care to explain this to the taxpayers at the next budget review?”
Danny is ten seconds away from sticking his tongue out at him, swear to god. “My parents are flying in for Grace’s birthday next month and I’d like not to have to stuff them in the back of a sports car like aging sardines. “
Steve blinks up at him, and yeah, okay, surprise is always funny on him. “What about the truck?”
And now Danny can feel his eyebrows rise of their own accord. “You’re worse about that truck than I am about my child. You’d really hand over the keys?”
Steve shrugs. “So I’ll drive. There’s enough room.”
“Yeah, because that’s a good plan.” Danny snorts. “It’s bad enough you and my parents will be in the same zip code. You want to shrink that down to a five by five box?”
“You don’t want them to meet me?”
Danny’s anticipating a pissy squint. He gets that blank face instead, the one that makes Steve’s eyes look too damn big for the rest of him. He hates that one.
It’s in the category of the few expressions that Danny still has trouble translating. On the one hand, Steve can haul it out there deliberately just as fast as he does the rest. Danny has seen him play innocent and bewildered with gunrunners thirty seconds before going ninja on their asses.
On the other hand, he loses about ten years and a thousand levels of badass when he looks like that, and Danny’s not as immune as he’d like to be.
“Okay. Fine. They’re flying in on the 27th. You forget, and I make you listen to my dad’s lecture on his bunions one time for every minute we’re late.”
And that’s how it starts.
Steve shows up to work a month later looking almost like a professional. Danny is hesitant to say a professional what, given that the undone shirt buttons and dark suit are more Come, Sex Me Now than Law Enforcement Officer, but there is a shirt with buttons, and more than 50% of them are closed. This is unparalleled in the history of the Steve McGarrett workday wardrobe.
He looks like he pulled up ‘presentable’ in the dictionary and made a checklist. Fuck, it’s Steve; it’s a distinct possibility.
Chin raises an eyebrow in Danny’s direction. “We have an undercover gig I don’t know about?”
Danny makes a show of thinking about it. “No, not ringing any bells. Walk of shame, maybe?”
Because there is no justice, Steve doesn’t ever look like he’s too lazy for a tie. He looks like he just decided against one. A suit tends to make Steve look like the kind of guy who eschews ties as beneath him. A suit also makes him look like the kind of guy who uses words like ‘eschew.’
Currently, he’s looking like he’s about to tell them all to fuck off, if the appearance of Mildly Constipated Face #4 is anything to go by. Didn’t get laid, then. “You can be replaced, you know.”
Kono’s got her head cocked to the side, giving him the once-over. Steve grunts. “You got something to add, Kalakaua?”
Kono shrugs. “Nope, I’m good.” Then she smiles brightly. “Just wondering which restaurant you’re moonlighting at.”
Steve rolls his eyes and retreats to his office, but Danny catches the laugh hiding under his breath. He follows him in for maximum ribbing potential.
“Alright, fess up. Hot date tonight?”
Steve is shuffling papers like he has any intention of doing something with them. “Yes. With your mom.” He stops and winces, catching up to his own mouth, and covers with more shuffling. “And your dad. You can come, too, if you have to.”
Danny snorts and leans against the desk. “Very generous. But yeah, you’re off the hook. Dad decided he wanted the freedom of the open road and rented a car.”
Steve holds two papers up in front of him for comparison, like he’s not just stalling, but Danny is wise to his ways. “You’ve explained that it’s an island, right?”
Danny nods. “I have. He’s a stubborn man, when automobiles are involved.”
But what he’s really thinking is, Huh. Because Steve has been normal until now, clothes aside, and suddenly he looks like somebody stole his favorite grenade launcher. He’s frowning at his paperwork.
Apparently, this is an actual thing, Steve not getting to play chauffer tonight. Danny has no idea why this is a thing, but there it is.
And like a rank amateur, he caves.
“You want to grab dinner with us later in the week? Like, maybe Thursday?”
Steve doesn’t even have the decency to cover his triumphant smirk. Danny senses that he’s just been played.
So, there’s this:
The thing about Steve – the one that it took Danny a while to figure out – is that Steve is never out of control. Danny is pretty sure he’s never actually seen Steve lose his temper.
For all the chaos that Steve perpetuates, every last inch of it is born out of a calculated understanding of how to get what he wants in the shortest possible amount of time. Even the ninja wristlock he pulled on Danny on day one of their partnership – maybe the closest Danny’s ever seen to a legitimate snap – was more like a dog dominance humping the competition than real fury.
It’s not that Steve has anger management issues; it’s that he’s got the patience of a five year old. Steve is a firm believer that the straightest distance between two points is a good smack upside the head.
Danny is about 80% certain that there are deep waters buried somewhere in there. Writing Steve off as simply batshit insane is doing him a disservice; his partner is fully capable of being both batshit insane and terrifyingly complicated at the same time. He’s talented like that.
Steve, though... Steve is a master at not showing shit unless he wants to. He can be caught off guard occasionally, but only in downtime. Danny’s got a sneaking suspicion that the number of people who’ve seen Steve relaxed isn’t that high. He would dearly love to see Steve play poker, if he wasn’t so convinced it would devolve into either nudity or gunfire. Possibly both. This is the kind of thing that happens to them.
All of this is kind of irrelevant, in the day-to-day sense. It doesn’t mean Danny’s got any less chance of developing an ulcer, or that he spends any less time absolutely certain that he’s going to be the poor bastard stuck explaining it all to the Governor when someday one or all of his team sinks the island in a cloud of smoke and multilingual expletives.
The fact that Steve can calmly and rationally decide to pitch a guy into a shark cage does not actually make matters better, is the point.
The other point - the one that is front and center right now - is that Danny has the strangest idea that he might just be on the short list of people who can read Steve, and he’s got no damn clue what’s going on in his head every time the subject of Danny’s parents comes up. Steve is clearly working some kind of angle here, and Danny would feel much better if he knew what it was. Also, if there were no high-grade explosives anywhere within Steve’s access, but one goal at a time.
They manage to make it through an entire week without Steve showing clear evidence of bizarre behavior. (For Steve.) Sure, he waits a whole minute for backup on Monday, and maybe there’s an odd moment where Danny suggests that they try not breaking and entering for once and Steve almost looks like he’s thinking about it, but then he threatens a pimp with a woodchipper on Wednesday and all is right with the world.
There is absolutely no reason why Danny should be more weirded out by the backup than the woodchipper. He knows that. It doesn’t help.
He blames long-term exposure to Steve.
The tie is the final fucking straw.
It’s been a very long day. On the plus side, they’ve got three million dollars worth of heroin in impound, two kingpins in custody, and a pretty sizable chunk of the illegal shipping infrastructure of the state heading for permanent retirement.
On the downside, Kono broke a knuckle on some guy’s face, Chin isn’t talking to anyone until they agree that they will never again include his bike as part of one of Steve’s plans, and Danny is perpetually stuck in the moment when Steve disappeared over the side of a cliff with a drug dealer around his neck and a couple thousand feet of falling in his near future.
Because he’s Steve, of course, he managed to swing onto an overhang and claw his way back up like a fucking gecko while the dealer screamed all the way down, but there were a good thirty seconds there where Danny was seeing a different outcome. He would really like to pretend that he had it together enough to be dreading telling Mary, or feeling bad about that last good shouting match they had in the car, but he didn’t.
Mostly he just thought, No.
He’s spent the last two hours splitting his efforts between the required “So You Want to Catch Bad Guys HA HA HA” paperwork and absolutely not watching Steve be alive in the next room over.
Neither of those is going well. His stack of forms is still threatening to overflow his desk, and he is fairly sure Steve lied when he told the medics that his shoulder was just fine and he was not in any way seeing double.
And then he’s standing in Steve’s office door, completely aware that he’s supposed to be picking his parents up in ten minutes, and not at all sure that he can fake being in a normal headspace to the people who wired his brain in the first place, when Steve finally looks up.
“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Steve smirks, because smirking is like breathing for him. And hey, look at that, Danny’s back to being glad Steve’s breathing. “Rules to memorize? Buttons to push?”
“Parents to feed,” Danny agrees easily.
Steve goes rigid.
“Shit, that’s tonight.” He’s on his feet in a blink, barely weaving, and tossing a quick glance up at Danny while he rifles through a desk drawer and buttons his over-shirt one-handed. “Sorry, man. Just a sec.”
And then he pulls out a tie.
It’s gray, just solid color with some small print in a lighter shade picked out over the fabric, and he loops it around his neck and under his collar with a deft touch that says he has, in defiance of all evidence, done it before. He goes through the motions quickly and cleanly and comes out with a perfectly even double windsor, no mirror in sight.
And, okay, Danny was wrong. Steve does not look like the kind of guy who eschews ties right now. Steve, as Danny’s eyes are clearly telling him, looks like the kind of guy who runs fucking screaming from ties because they make him look like a junior accountant.
Danny has a sudden vision of his mother asking him why he’s been so mean to this nice boy.
“Jesus christ,” Danny says, and has to scrub a hand down over his face. “Would you stop it?”
Steve blinks at him, and yeah, those circles under his eyes are doing nothing for Danny’s ability to deal with this situation.
This is going to take up the last available row on his Chart of Bugfuck, he just knows it is. (Yes, there’s an actual chart. There are sparkly star stickers added for every new incident. Sometimes the effects of fatherhood are not subtle.)
“Alright, what’s with the Stepford Steve routine?”
He stops making eye contact. “I don’t follow.”
“Bullshit. You get your Bond on to pick them up, you act like someone shot your puppy when you can’t drag them around the island, you... There’s neckwear involved, here.” Danny waves vaguely at his everything. “Come on, Steve. Level with me: Do you have a thing for my mom?”
Danny holds the serious expression together right up until Steve blinks at him like a goldfish, and then he laughs. Probable head injury and all, Steve catches on quick and snorts. Danny will not be distracted, though.
“So fess up. What’s going on?”
“I like to make a good first impression on all of my squad’s next of kin. Kono and Chin I’ve got covered, so that just leaves you.” Steve grins like he’s kidding, but Danny thinks maybe he isn’t. “I don’t want them to think you fell in with the wrong crowd.”
“Provided you do not actually get me killed or talk me into matching tattoos, I think you’re safe.”
He’s definitely mostly serious this time. “Danny... they’re your parents.” He shrugs. “I don’t want them thinking I’m the asshole who gets their son shot at all the time.”
“You are the asshole who gets their son shot at all the time.” It’s a testament to how strange their lives are that that comes out obscenely affectionate.
Steve half-grins. “Fair enough.”
“You’re also the asshole who tries to get shot first,” he says with the accompanying hand gesture of extreme frustration. “And while you will thereby still be responsible for my future coronary, they do appreciate the thought.”
At some point, it’s become a matter of pride that he’s damn good at finding the other half of that grin.
“Now – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – lose the tie and let’s get out of here. You can hang with my parents on a night when I’m less convinced you’ll faceplant in the appetizers.”
Danny calls his dad on the drive over to Steve’s place to tell him he’s going to have to meet them later. Steve leans back against the headrest at the second stoplight with his eyes closed, and Danny doesn’t drive more carefully the whole way. That would be stupid.
Steve shows up at work on Friday. At least he’s not wearing a suit this time.
Danny has this low-grade, throbbing ache that sets in across his shoulders at the end of every long week. It’s predictable, and persistent. Danny calls it ‘Steve.’
He blames Steve the Muscle Spasm and Steve the Figurative Pain in the Ass both for making him easy prey for Kono. She corners him by the coffeemaker with embarrassingly little effort while he’s busy grumbling about masochistic SEALs and their inability to accept the concept of a sick day.
Kono has the decency to wait until he’s got a cup poured before she springs, at least.
“Party’s at the Boss’ place on Saturday. Are your parents okay with tuna?”
“Yeah, they good with anything. Never even kept kosher,” he says absently, still inhaling coffee fumes. “Wait. What? Grace’s birthday thing was last week, at that place with the creepy fish robots.”
Across the room, Chin twitches slightly at the conference table. Danny always knew he was a good man. Those robots are just disturbing.
Meanwhile, back in the fishless world, Kono looks at him like he’s hopeless. “Your parents are here. We should do something to celebrate. Throw something big.”
“They do not want to be wined and dined like –“
“Come on, they’re tourists. Let them be tourists.” She grins, but softly. “They’re here to see the sights, get some sun, meet the family.”
The unspoken claim in the last one takes all the argument out of him.
“Does McGarrett know about this?” he tries, lamely.
She laughs. “Whose idea do you think it was?”
He sighs. “Right, right. Because I don’t work with a whole team of party people.”
Chin looks up from across the room. “I do love a good disco ball,” he deadpans.
Danny shrugs apologetically. “Okay, half a team. They make up for it in enthusiasm, though.”
This is how he winds up watching the sun hover a foot above a postcard-perfect horizon while his parents, his daughter, his team, and half of the island turn a stretch of sand into a block party.
Danny is expecting the inevitable meeting of his parents and Steve to be a Big Event, caps necessary. In the end, it’s kind of anticlimactic, and kind of not.
Steve has the charm cranked up to 11. Danny’s parents are ‘Mr. and Mrs. Williams’, protests be damned. He shakes each of their hands with a smile, gives them a quick tour of the house, escorts them around the beach like the world’s best host.
If you didn’t know better, you could almost miss that he’s nervous as all hell. For all he’s in his regular cargoes and a t-shirt, he’s carrying himself like he should be in dress blues. He looks like the fate of the free world rests on whether Danny’s dad likes his interior decorating.
Then Rachel’s driver drops Gracie off, and like always Danny’s universe shrinks down to the space she takes up. He’s busy for a while making sure she’s got sunblock and a towel and strict instructions on how not to give him fits by going near the water alone, and he misses Steve’s strategic retreat.
Eventually, though, his mom asserts her grandmotherly right to shoo him away and take over, and he gets his first good look around. Steve’s in a chair on the porch, looking settled in. Danny will get to him last.
He catches sight of his dad and Chin staring at Chin’s spotless-since-Thursday bike, talking with their heads bent over the engine. His dad’s grinning like a kid and telling the story about the time he froze his face solid riding on the turnpike in November with a crack in his helmet - Danny knows the choreography well enough to know exactly which words he’s on at any given time - and Chin looks incredibly entertained.
Kono’s out on her board, along with a handful of other ridiculously attractive and coordinated people with a deathwish. He’s going to pretend that she’s not using her splinted hand. Her laugh carries over the water now and then, easier for him to pick out than it should be.
Gracie camps out front and center, talking her grandma through the architectural wonders of sandcastle creation. Danny’s considering cutting off her access to the home improvement network in the very near future. He has visions of tree house blueprints from hell. He sits down in the chair next to Steve’s on the porch, mouth opening to say as much, and stops.
Steve is honed in on the mini construction site. His eyes track Danny’s mom when she reaches over to brush Grace’s hair back. It would almost look like idle staring, if it weren’t for the lean of his shoulders, one long line of focus down his neck and back.
Danny investigated Jack McGarrett’s murder, and by extension Jack McGarrett. He knows when he was born, where he grew up, when he got married. He knows when and how his wife died, that his daughter left home at sixteen, that his son hadn’t come back for anything short of funerals in a long time. He knows that there was nobody else to contact as next of kin.
It takes a while, sometimes, to remember that these are things he knows about Steve, too.
Danny’s never been good at not saying things. “You don’t talk about her.”
Steve freezes, just for a second, and then leans smoothly back in his chair and redirects his concentration to the bottle in his hand. To his credit, though, he doesn’t pretend not to get it. “What would I say?”
“Anything.” Danny shrugs. “What was she like?”
Steve looks back at the beach and his lips twitch. “Tolerant.”
Danny laughs. “Yeah, thanks, I’ve met you. She’d have to be.”
A full smile flickers across Steve’s face and then fades. “I don’t...” He shakes his head. “There’s a lot I never asked, you know? I mean... it’s all stupid things, what I know. What her smile was like, what color hair she had.” He pauses, looking for words. “I don’t know who she was, though. What she wanted to do with her life, outside of having Mary and me.”
“Parents are like that,” Danny says, voice low. “I’m sorry I never met her.”
Neither of them says anything for a while.
“She always smelled like the water. Taught us how to swim before we could walk.”
“So you weren’t born half fish, then?”
Steve laughs quietly. “Nah. Didn't even get any webbed toes.”
Danny watches the tension around his eyes and waits him out.
“Dad... he never got over it. I think he just stopped, when she died.” He says it like a confession.
Danny thinks about how well Steve fits here, and how long he was gone anyway. He thinks about the way that Steve only ever talks about his dad from a distance, but with affection all the same.
“I’m sorry I never met him, either,” he says, and Steve stares at him for a long minute, figuring him out. Finally, he nods.
Steve leans back and looks up at where the stars are coming out, and the set of his shoulders is better. He’s warm through his t-shirt when Danny brushes by on his way to grab another drink.
Twenty feet away, Grace and Danny’s mom plan out one more turret for their castle.
Chin, apparently, is due for a beer as well. Danny gets the caps off for both of them.
“Hey. Saw you with Dad earlier,” he says. “I’m surprised he let you go. He’s got to have at least a few more stories to tell.”
Chin shakes his head, though, looking mildly impressed. “Your old man knows his engines.”
“Yeah. Thanks for keeping him occupied. Dad hasn’t been near a bike in thirty years.” He grins. “Now, Mom might kill you when he starts looking at Harleys again, but thanks.”
“Nah. We’re good.” Chin settles back and crosses his arms, and for once it doesn’t look defensive. He stares out at the party like he’s soaking it in. “Haven’t been to one of these in a while.”
He’s saying about fifty words in the silence there, and Danny is suddenly damn glad he went down without a fight on this one.
“Yeah, I’m thinking maybe we make this a regular thing. Keep McGarrett out of trouble once in a while, right?”
The quirk of Chin’s lips says he isn’t buying it, but he nods and says, “Good thinking,” anyway, and they watch Kono coast in on the last few waves before she loses the light.
When he glances over, Steve is down in the sand with Gracie. He’s digging a moat. Leave it to him to think about tactical advantages.
Danny’s mom says something with that look on her face that tells him it was exactly the kind of dry, dirty joke that she loves to make when she wants someone to drop the polite bullshit. The fact that he can hear Steve’s surprised laugh from this far away is just confirmation.
Steve keeps right on looking comfortably blindsided, Danny’s mom keeps right on looking pleased with herself, and Grace starts building a drawbridge.
For the first time in a while, Danny has absolutely nowhere else he’d rather be.
He drops Gracie off at Rachel’s with a kiss, and his parents off at their hotel with a promise to pick them up for breakfast before their flight.
His father pulls him into a hug, slaps his back and hangs onto his shoulders for a beat like he does when he wants to say something but can’t quite. Danny nods, because he gets it, and his dad smiles.
His mother kisses him on the cheek and then holds his face in her hands for a long moment, looking him over.
“This place looks good on you, kiddo,” she says.
He says, “Yeah. Yeah, maybe,” and hooks his chin over her shoulder when he hugs her goodnight. She smells like hyacinths.
It’s still early, by his standards, and his apartment will be quieter than any place he wants to be right now. He winds up back at Steve’s almost without thinking about it, but when he walks in to find his partner standing in the center of his living room with a trash bag, a field of debris, and a lost expression, he thinks he’s made the right call.
“I don’t think your standard plan of attack is going to cut it here, Rambo.”
Steve rubs a hand over his neck and continues to survey the terrain. “This was not in the training manual.”
“And don’t I know it,” Danny says under his breath, and then louder, “How about I grab a bag and you grab a bag and we divide and conquer?”
Steve nods, like he’s thinking it over. “Could work.”
It takes most of a half hour to get everything back in order, but it’s a peaceful half hour. Danny is particularly grateful to whoever brought the paper plates when he’s got the dishes in need of washing together and they all fit in the sink. He’s rolling up his sleeves when Steve walks up next to him.
Danny takes the preemptive strike. “I’ll wash, you dry.”
“Why do you get to wash?”
“Because I don’t trust you with anything more complex than a dishtowel. You’d find a way to turn soap into a deadly weapon.”
Steve tilts his head. “Well, now that you mention it...”
Danny tosses the towel at his head. “Quarterback, my ass. You were such a chem nerd in school, weren’t you?”
Steve grins crookedly. “Never said I wasn’t both.”
He never expected to miss this. If you’d asked him years ago, he’d never have put household chores on the list of things he ranked high up there about marriage, but it gets to him, sometimes. He hates that he only has his own socks to fold, that there’s no one to tell him what the soup needs more of or to stop flipping channels.
It’s nice, this rhythm.
It’s all good, until he reaches up with his forearm to push the hair back out of his eyes and gets caught in the reflection in the window over the sink. It’s full night outside, and the glass mirrors back a kitchen in soft yellow light.
Danny stares back at himself, at the wet line over the front of his t-shirt at sink level, at the faint flush of the skin over his nose from too much sun. At Steve, who is staring at Danny.
He’s been doing that more lately - he’s always done it more than he should - and Danny... Danny is tired of not noticing.
“You’re awfully invested in my continued stay on this island.” It’s not a question, exactly, but it’s a start.
“What, like I’d subject some other place to the Jersey Motherland Lecture Series?” He shrugs, slipping another plate into the drying rack just a little too casually. “I’ve built up a tolerance.”
Danny translates that, allows for the words that Steve edits out, and comes up with an answer he maybe already had.
“Mom thinks Hawaii’s been good for me.”
Steve grunts like he’s barely invested, but Danny can see the upward twitch of his mouth out of the corner of his eye.
“I’ve been thinking too, though, and I don’t think it’s Hawaii.” Danny watches Steve’s hands falter. He wets his lips and toes out a little farther in the water. “I was actually doing pretty shitty before some whackjob hijacked me into a new career pathway.”
And there, there is that look, the one that Danny never sees Steve aim at anyone else. Danny’s not always first to the mark, but he is a goddamn detective. He gets there in the end.
Danny has played it safe often enough that Steve is not expecting him to follow through. That much is obvious from the loose sprawl of Steve’s body next to his, from the way he reaches for the next dish like that’s all they’re going to say.
He turns when Danny moves, though. Winds up with his back to the sink and a question on his face, and Danny brackets him in with an arm on either side. Surprise looks less funny on him, this close.
“Tell me if I’m reading this wrong.” He stares at Steve, waiting for permission.
Steve stares back. “Not unless you want to be.”
“I really, really don’t,” Danny says, and kisses him.
His lips are dry. He tastes like the electric blue alcohol Kono’s friends started mixing after dark, just shy of too sweet. His cheek is warm and rough against the tip of Danny’s nose as he slowly pulls back to see.
Steve’s eyes are closed, mouth slightly open, and he looks like he’s holding himself so still that it hurts. His knuckles are white on the counter edge, and Danny has clearly not been giving Steve enough credit for self-control, if this is what want looks like on him.
Danny nudges between his legs, fits his hips to Steve’s and his hands over his waist. He gets close enough to feel Steve’s breath and says quietly, “Hey. Look at me.”
He does, and his eyes are wide and blue and very clear, and then he’s moving. He slouches down and rolls his hips, and his hands find their way under Danny’s shirt like they’ve got homing signals. He’s right there, and Danny stops having any kind of plan and just goes for it.
It’s overload. It’s the sudden knowledge of what the hollow of his throat tastes like, what frequency his chest vibrates with on a groan, how the calluses on his fingers feel over the skin of Danny’s back.
They’re still fully dressed and upright in the kitchen, and Danny is not at all sure he’ll survive more. It’s very hard to care.
He curls his fingers into the space between Steve’s skin and the top of his pants, runs his knuckles back and forth just to see what happens. Steve’s head goes back against the cabinets with force, and Danny has never hated his bad knee so much as right now.
He gets Steve’s fly undone and lets him step out of his cargoes before he slots their legs together and gets his hand on Steve for real. Steve groans and arches against him, and Danny does it again because he can. Steve lets him set a rhythm, and then a better one, and he keeps time with a litany of Danny’s name. Danny sucks on his neck and his shoulder and the edge of his jaw in reward until his hands twist in the back of Danny’s shirt and his hips buck hard and when he comes, he curls around Danny’s hand like he’s had the wind knocked out of him. His breath hitches once, and again. Danny strokes him through it, feels the aftershocks everywhere they’re touching as he shakes himself apart.
“Jesus fuck, Danny.” He’s panting against Danny’s collarbone, riding the high on down and leaning like his strings have been cut.
Danny shifts him back against the counter because he really needs to see this.
Steve looks he’s been ridden hard and put away wet, and Danny badly wants to try that next. His hair is soaked with sweat. Danny doesn’t make a conscious decision to run his clean fingers through it but then he’s doing it all the same. Steve tilts back into it, eyes closed.
And then he moves his thigh and Danny is abruptly conscious of just how hard he himself still is. Steve picks up on it too, and takes some of his own weight back just long enough to sink to his knees.
His eyes are still glazed over but he keeps them locked on Danny’s all the way down. It’s hotter than it has any right to be. Danny makes a sound that he is sure started out as Steve’s name, braces his hands on the counter and locks his knees.
Steve is good. God, of course he is. His mouth is hot and his tongue is skilled, and the calluses on his hands are perfect here, too. Danny could almost work up some distant resentment, if it didn’t feel so damn good.
He rests a hand on Steve’s neck, needing the contact, and fuck Steve hums around him and keeps humming. His tongue flickers just right and he looks back up at Danny and Danny comes down his throat without knowing he’s going to.
Steve goes down the rest of the way and swallows, breathing shallowly. Danny will never insult the Navy and their training programs again.
He realizes he might have said that aloud when Steve pulls back and laughs against his hip.
They’re a mess, the kitchen is still a disaster zone, and Danny actually, for one wild second while he’s still mostly dazed, contemplates fixing those situations. He’s aware of how not right that is, but he’s been the designated responsible adult for a long time.
And then Steve happens. The bastard stands up, weaving on his feet, his hair sticking up at odd angles, and that’s it for the cutlery. He drags Danny down the hall by the front of his shirt before he can get any more ideas.
He gets them both on the bed, at least, before he mostly gives up on coordination. Danny makes it thirty seconds before he twitches, unsure where to put himself, whether to find his pants or ditch his shirt.
Steve rolls over and throws a heavy arm over his ribs to hold him down. “It’ll still be there in the morning.”
Danny grumbles, “That’s the problem,” but it’s mostly just to be difficult.
Steve pauses like he’s waiting for Danny to do something, and then when Danny doesn’t he goes boneless. Danny is stupidly fond of the smile he’s wearing.
“Shut up or I won’t buy you breakfast.”
It’s a mark of pride that it’s slurred around the edges. Danny grunts into the pillow and closes his eyes. “Pancakes. I’m no cheap date.”
His dad always gets the check anyway. Steve will learn.
He fades out to the sound of the waves on the other side of the walls and the feel of even breathing against his shoulder and the certainty that tomorrow will bring awkward breakfast conversations and overdue housework.
There are worse things.