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drowning in the blues

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(one) tell me i’m your babe

The first person Danny says it to is not a member of his team, but one of the local gang members that he’d tackled to the ground mere moments ago.

“Listen, babe,” Danny snarls, jabbing his good knee into the small of the guy’s back. Steve’s brows rise in surprise. “One more squirm and I’ll land such a good blow to your kidneys that you’ll be pissing blood for weeks.”

When Chin pulls the perp up to his feet – Danny is pleased to see that the entire left side of the guy’s face is scraped raw – and nudges him forward, Danny turns around to see what his dear partner is up to.

He finds Steve staring right back at him with Dumbfounded Face in full force.

“What?”

The lines around Steve’s mouth deepen. “You…”

“Spit it out, Steven. I don’t have all day.”

“You called him babe.”

Danny shifts his weight back and crosses his arms. “I did?”

“Yeah, Danny. Babe.”

“It just slipped out,” Danny shrugs. “It’s a Jersey thing.”

“It’s… an affection thing,” Steve flubbers. “Did you… feel affection? For –”

“Whoa whoa whoa,” Danny interrupts, holding up both hands. He reaches out and pats Steve on the chest. “Let me just – okay. It’s not just an affection thing, alright? Yes, I usually use it with people I care for, but sometimes it slips out sarcastically. That was definitely a case of the latter.” He pauses to narrow his eyes. “What the hell, Steve? Affection for an armed robber? Really?

“Well, that’s why I’m confused!”

Danny snorts. He walks forward and plucks at Steve’s shirt to get him to follow.

“C’mon, babe. I want to go home and take a long, hot shower. And since I have to drop you off first – because you are a car hogger –, I’m gonna need you to move it.”

Steve frowns. “Are you using that sarcastically now, too? I can’t really tell if –”

“No, you goof. I’m using it affectionately. But if you keep me from my shower, I will be using it sarcastically. So? What’s it gonna be?”

Steve picks up his pace.

 

 

 


(two) always walking after you

They’re barely twenty minutes into the hike when Danny starts to sigh.

“Steve,” he says. “You do realize that neither of us are particularly young anymore? Nor are we active soldiers in the military? And that I have a bum knee?”

“It’s a beautiful hike, Danno. You haven’t been on a single one since you moved here, and there’s just so much that the island has to offer.” Steve doesn’t even glance back as he happily trudges deeper into the forest.

“Sure,” Danny says, shoving a frond out of his face. “But you couldn’t have taken me on a hike that won’t take the whole day to complete and potentially cause me to break my neck?”

Snorting, Steve leaps over a few slippery rocks and continues making his merry way down the riverbed. Danny stares after Steve’s bare back – because of course he’s doing this hike completely shirtless – and wonders what he’d done wrong in his past life to be resigned to such suffering.

But they’re already here, and Steve has the stupid car keys, so Danny takes a deep breath and soldiers on. He’s going to have horrible t-shirt tan lines after the hike, but he can’t afford to go shirtless because of his soulmark. Steve may be ridiculously dense sometimes, but Danny’s sure that even he will notice the mark (and what it is) if they’re doomed to spend the entire day together.

After an hour, they finally come across the first of many waterfalls.

There’s a nice little pool in front of the waterfall, and Danny tosses his pack aside in favour of sloshing into the cool water. He sighs in pleasure as the water takes away some of the heat seared into his flesh. Closing his eyes against the brightness, he hears Steve bustling about a few feets away, his movements sending ripples out through the surface of the water.

“Want a protein bar?”

“Is ‘protein’ your favourite word?” Danny asks, extending a hand all the same. Steve drops a bar into his outstretched palm.

“There’s a possibility,” Steve says, and Danny can hear the grin in his voice.

After a few more minutes, Danny finally gets out of the water and settles next to Steve on a fallen log. They scarf down the protein bars, share half a bottle of water, and Steve gives Danny some time to snap some pictures.

Photography is one of Danny’s favourite past times (not that he has many), and he has to admit that this hike will most definitely produce some beautiful photographs. As Danny fiddles with his camera, Steve slips into the pool and swims around in lazy circles.

It’s almost inevitable that Danny turns the lens onto him.

Steve doesn’t notice, and Danny takes a few sneaky pictures of the ridiculously attractive man against an equally picturesque backdrop. A couple of them turn out beautifully – Danny makes a mental note to develop them. He takes a few indulgent moments to watch Steve move through the clear water, as those back muscles bunch up with every stroke, as the light catches the few greying strands of hair on his head.

“Hey, Super SEAL. Let’s go. I want to get this over with before my knee gives out.”

 

 

 


“I swear to God, Steve. If there’s another goddamn waterfall after this one, I’m hightailing it out of here.”

Danny’s drenched from head to toe, and his palms have nearly been rubbed raw from all the ropes they’ve had to use in order to scale those damned waterfalls. They’ve scaled four so far, and for some reason, Steve looks as though he’s ready to scale another dozen.

“Don’t worry,” Steve laughs. “The next one is too dangerous to scale without proper equipment. Let’s take a break here, and we can start to head back.”

“This is the end?” Danny asks, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. “Really?”

“Well, we still have to head back,” Steve says, fumbling around in his pack for (probably) more protein bars.

“Right,” Danny says. After a pause, he drops his pack and wrings more water out of his shirt before retrieving his camera from its waterproof pouch.

As Danny fills up his SD card, Steve tends to a few cuts and scrapes he’d gotten along the hike. They’re mostly superficial wounds, but there’s one down his shin that probably needs to be disinfected and dressed.

Danny may or may not have taken a few shots of Steve’s profile as the latter’s preoccupied with his task. And he may or may not think that Steve would make a great photography subject. Just because, you know, the man has amazing facial structure, eyes that seem to change colour with the light, and ridiculously long eyelashes.

Giving himself a mental slap to the face, Danny resolutely turns back to the waterfall and brings the viewfinder back to his eye.

 

 

 


“What now, Steven,” Danny groans, slumping against the side of his car. His feet are aching, but Steve is refusing to unlock the vehicle, instead veering off onto a side path.

“Just indulge me a little, Danno. Come on, it’s worth it.”

When Danny emerges into the clearing, Steve is already seated on a flat rock with his arms propped up on his knees. Danny heads over and drops down next to him, leaning back onto his forearms to admire the sunset. The orange light wraps the island up in a soft glow, and Danny has to admit that this is worth however many minutes they end up spending on this rock.

“It’s… quite a sight,” he admits, squinting slightly against the light.

Steve turns to look at him.

The light brings out the blond of Danny’s hair, the faint scar on his cheek, and the faint sheen of sweat on the bow of his lip.

“Yeah,” Steve agrees. If Danny notices the sudden roughness of his voice, he doesn’t comment on it. “Quite a sight.”

 

 

 


(three) sweet children of mine

The courthouse is bustling with people, and yet, Danny’s never felt so alone, so helpless.

His custody hearing is in fifteen minutes, and while he thinks of himself as someone who sees the glass as half full most of the time, he’s pretty sure that this case is a lost cause. Will any decent judge disagree with Rachel? With the hard, cold truth that his job is indeed dangerous? That his children may very well face danger on a regular basis? That Rachel and Stan are able to provide a much higher standard of living for Grace and Charlie than he ever will be?

Sighing, he slumps against the wall and closes his eyes.

“Danny.”

Startled, Danny’s eyes snap open.

“Steve? What – why are you here?”

“For your hearing,” is the reply. “For support.”

For a long moment, Danny finds himself unable to do anything else but stare at his partner.

“Thanks,” Danny says thickly. “That means a lot. And wow, you, uh, look very nice. Suit and tie, that’s good.”

“I wore this for you,” Steve shrugs, stepping closer and settling down next to Danny. “Anything that could potentially help win you some points, you know?”

“Not if you can’t even tie your tie right,” Danny admonishes, reaching over to fumble with the haphazard knot.

“Didn’t want to be late,” Steve mumbles, lifting his chin to give Danny better access. When Danny’s fingers brush against the hollow of his throat, Steve tightens his grip on his combination cap and tries not to let the thudding of his heart go out of control.

There’s a simple sort of concentration in Danny’s eyes – in this particular moment, all he wants to achieve is to straighten out Steve’s tie. But if Steve looks just a little closer, he sees the desperation the man has for keeping a hold on his children, even if it is just for 2 days a week, for a handful of hours of their lives.

Danny’s so devoted to Grace and Charlie that it brings a forlorn sort of pain to Steve’s heart. Worse people have lost less, and Danny doesn’t deserve to lose anything.

“There,” Danny says, patting the tie. Steve swears his stomach just belly-flopped. “All good.”

“Hey,” Steve says, reaching out to squeeze Danny’s thigh. “It’ll all work out, okay?”

 

 

 


“Excuse me, Your Honour?”

At Steve’s interruption, Danny whips around immediately. The man has a tendency to interfere when it’s not in his best interest, and Danny fears that this is one of those instances. He really cannot afford to lose his children.

Before he can kindly tell Steve to just sit back down and let him fuck up his own life, Steve starts talking. It takes Danny one look into Steve’s eyes – today, they’re as blue as the sky – to realize that Steve isn’t acting on impulse at all. So he lets Steve talk, allows the sheer earnestness of Steve’s words to wash over him, and the noose around his throat seems to slacken.

During his statement, Steve only looks over at him twice.

The first time, Steve glances away instantly, as if he’s afraid of reading disapproval or anger on Danny’s face. The second time, however, when it sinks in that Danny is actually appreciative of his words, Steve lets his gaze linger. Just for a few beats.

Apparently, that’s enough for Danny to fall head over heels for him.

It helps, of course, that Danny ends up winning joint custody of his two angels.

“Thank you,” Danny says, slumping against the wall once they’re out of the courtroom.

“I feel like you lost a part of your soul, thanking me.” Steve’s words are serious, but his tone is nothing more than teasing.

“No,” Danny says, staring at the knot of Steve’s tie. “Seriously. Thank you. Without you, I would’ve probably lost my kids.”

“Hey,” Steve says, voice dropping. He pats the strong curve of Danny’s neck. “Ohana, remember?”

“Yeah,” Danny says. “Ohana.”

 

 

 


(four) seeing red

Danny notices the sniper a little too late. By the time he registers the fact that the glint he’d seen a few seconds ago belongs to a rifle scope up on the rooftop, Steve is already sprinting down the street, sights trained on his target. Light bounces off the scope quickly, and Danny realizes that the sniper’s turning to focus on Steve. Steve, who has no fucking idea that he’s seconds away from getting a bullet to the brain. He can’t tell Steve about it, because running – like he’s doing right now – is probably Steve’s best bet at staying alive.

Hey!” Danny yells, running out from behind his cover. He fires off a few shots. “I’m right here, you asshole!”

Never in his life has Danny felt relief when there’s a gun pointed right at him, but when the rifle turns back to fixate on him and away from Steve, Danny feels pure relief rushing through his veins.

Somewhere to his right, he hears movement coming from Chin, and he hopes that Chin has a plan up his sleeve.

Danny empties his clip in the direction of the sniper and launches himself behind a car just as a barrage of bullets come flying his way. Reaching up, he breaks off the car’s side view mirror and angles it towards where the sniper should be. If he’s lucky, he’ll be able to momentarily blind the fuck out of that guy and make it around the nearest building.

He reloads his firearm with one hand, and rests the muzzle on the hood of the car for some support as he fires off another round of shots in the vague direction of the sniper.

“Danny!” Chin says into his earpiece. “I have a visual on the sniper. Intercepting.”

So Danny sits back, tucked up behind the car (he feels a slight twinge of guilt towards whoever this car belongs to), and waits for Chin to announce the all clear. He knows that Steve heard Chin, but he figures that they’ve got about a minute or two to secure the sniper before Steve comes thundering back into the line of sight.

“Got him,” Chin announces, sounding a little winded. “Guy tried to put up a fight.”

“Got him good in the jaw,” Lou adds.

“Great,” Danny grunts, placing most of his weight on his good knee as he stands. “Thanks, guys. Book him, if you will.”

He’s barely holstered his gun when he senses Steve in the vicinity. Near vicinity.

“What the hell were you thinking?” Steve demands, and Danny envisions the man to be standing with his hands on his hips. He turns around, and sure enough, he is.

“What do you mean, what was I thinking,” Danny says flatly.

“You ran out into the open with a sniper on the roof, Danny. Why the hell would you do that?”

Danny boggles at him. “Because if I didn’t, you wouldn’t be here bitching at me right now!”

“You have kids, Danny. You can’t just run out and make yourself a target. You could’ve just thought of another way to –”

“He already had his sights on you,” Danny interrupts angrily. “What was I supposed to do, huh? If I’d waited just to come up with a game plan, what’s to say that he wouldn’t have already emptied a dozen bullets into your thick skull? And you do not, Steven, you do not use my kids against me, you got that? They love you too – how am I supposed to explain to them that I let you die because I waited a few seconds too long?”

“You –”

“This job throws a lot of shit at me every day, Steve. And I will deal with most of them. But I will not deal with potentially losing you because I didn’t do anything.”

With that, Danny turns on his heel and stalks away.

“Boss,” Kono says, sidling up to Steve. “You know why he did what he did, right?”

Steve frowns at her.

She sighs. “He was willing to put himself in harm’s way just to get you out of it. I saw him move; he didn’t hesitate even in the slightest.”

“Yeah,” Steve says, sounding a little confused. “I’d do the same for him, and any one of you. Doesn’t mean I’m okay with his decision.”

Kono sighs again. “Unbelievable.”

 

 

 


(five) fixer upper

They’re halfway through their mandatory medical leave, and Danny’s pretty sure he’s a few days shy of being driven insane. By a certain Steven J. McGarrett.

“Steve,” he sighs, squinting up at the restless man pacing back and forth in the living room. Danny himself is slumped in the armchair, trying his very best not to doze off. “Can you please come and sit? All this pacing is tiring me out.”

“I haven’t gone into the ocean in twenty days, Danny,” Steve whines. “Just five minutes?”

“And risk you fucking up your healing ribs? Hell no.”

“My ribs are fine, Danny. They don’t hurt when I move anymore.”

“You think I’m going to believe a SEAL, one who would do and say anything to be out in the water, that his broken ribs have magically healed in three weeks? Nope.”

“You’re a horrible friend,” Steve grouses.

“You’re insufferable,” Danny returns, sinking deeper into the chair and closing his eyes.

 

 

 


Something’s nagging — incessantly — at him. Danny’s eyes spring open and he sits up. Steve’s sprawled out on the couch next to him, face deceptively calm.

“Steven.”

“Hm?”

“You went swimming, didn’t you?”

“No,” Steve answers, eyes firmly trained on the television. “Do I look like I’ve gone swimming?”

Danny narrows his eyes. True; Steve looks completely dry, and Danny can’t spot a damp lock of hair on his head. But.

“Come here,” Danny orders, crooking a finger. Steve frowns. “Come on.”

Huffing, Steve gets to his feet and takes a few steps towards Danny.

“Bend down.”

“What?”

Danny reaches up and yanks Steve down by the neck. It’s takes just one sniff.

“Your hair smells like seawater,” Danny says. “What do you have to say for yourself?”

The corners of Steve’s mouth curl mischievously. “Was a good swim.”

Danny rolls his eyes. “Sit back down, you idiot. Let me check your ribs.”

Steve looks way too satisfied with himself as he settles back onto the couch and allows Danny to poke and prod at him.

 

 

 


(six) your name is music to my ears

As he reenters the house, Danny finds Charlie struggling to haul Steve’s Christmas present out of the bag they’d brought it in.

“Need some help there, bud?”

Without waiting for an answer, Danny heads over and takes it out of Charlie’s small hands.

“Go on,” Danny says, jerking his head towards Steve’s direction.

“Uncle Steve! Merry Christmas!” With tiny fingers curled into Danny’s pant leg, Charlie tugs his father over to where Steve is standing and gestures excitedly at the package in Danny’s hands.

“Merry Christmas,” Danny echoes, passing the gift over to Steve. “Charlie helped pick the, uh, design.”

“Thanks,” Steve says, gaze heavy on Danny. It softens as he glances at Charlie. “Thank you, little man.”

“Open it, open it!”

Steve sets it down on the table and tears the wrapping paper apart – he sticks the bow on Charlie’s chest and the boy giggles in delight.

It doesn’t take long for Steve to figure out what it is.

“I haven’t played in a long time, you know,” Steve mumbles, taking the guitar out of its case and taking a seat on the armchair. The body of the guitar settles onto a thigh, and strong fingers curl around the neck.

“Yeah, I know. Figured you could start again. Helps to have one, right?”

“I picked blue because seals live in the water and the water is blue,” Charlie says, grinning proudly. “But they didn’t have a lighter blue, so maybe this could be like the water at night?”

“Water at night,” Steve nods solemnly. “I love the colour, Charlie, thank you.”

Charlie beams at Steve again before he bounces off to play once more.

“Guitars aren’t cheap,” Steve comments, plucking absently at the strings. “You really didn’t have to.”

“It's worth it,” Danny shrugs. He keeps his eyes on Steve’s fingers.

“Hey,” Steve says, nodding at the countertop by the wall. “There’s an envelope sitting on the counter there. Mind grabbing it for me?”

Danny does.

“That’s for you,” Steve says, still playing a gentle tune on his new guitar. “Merry Christmas, Danno.”

Inside are three tickets to New Jersey, valid for two whole years.

“Whenever you’d like to go back for a vacation, just pick a date and let me know. I’ll get the flights all set up for you.”

“Wow. Thanks, Steven. This is great. The kids are gonna love this. Grace hasn’t been back in a while, and Charlie’s always wanted to see Jersey.”

“I know,” Steve says softly.

Danny can’t help but return his smile.

 

 

 


(seven) a small bundle of joy

The amusement at seeing Steve walk into work with Joan strapped to his chest fades instantly after the first soiled diaper.

“Have you ever changed a diaper before?” Danny asks, a hand on his hip and the other one held out as if it would help prove his point.

“No,” Steve admits, holding Joan up in the air as she gurgles. His face is pinched, and Danny can tell that Joan really needs to be changed right about now. “But I’m a fast learner.”

“Uh huh. Did Mary actually give you anything to learn before she booked it the hell out of your house?”

“No,” Steve says again. He pouts at Joan, who giggles at him in response.

“Luckily for you,” Danny says breezily. “I know how to change a diaper.”

He grabs a soft blanket and lays it out on the couch, before gesturing for Steve to place Joan right in the middle of it.

“First step. Take the gross diaper off. Surely you can do that part?”

Steve gives him the stink eye. “You’re only saying that because you don’t want to get hit with the stench of shit.”

“Can you blame me?”

Bundling up the dirty diaper, Steve chucks it into the trash can with a grimace. “Alright. Now what?”

“Wipe her clean,” Danny says, gesturing for a wet wipe. “Front to back. Then wipe her dry.”

He bops her on the nose, and Joan babbles happily. Danny grins down at her, then steps aside and lets Steve take his place again.
“Grab a new diaper. Open it, then slide it under her. The adhesive tabs go in the back. Hold her legs together, and lift her bottom up with them – gently. Yes, good.”

Steve manages to figure it out from there.

“Make sure it’s not too tight,” Danny says. “You should be able to fit two fingers between the diaper and her belly.”

“It’s good,” Steve says, testing it just like Danny said to.

“Good job, Steven. Maybe you’re not as bad as you look to be.”

“Hey,” Steve says indignantly.

Danny walks away with a chuckle.

 

 

 


By the fourth diaper, Steve seems as though he’s got a solid handle on things.

“You look like you’ve done this for years,” Danny comments, leaning against the door frame of Steve’s office.

“Told you,” Steve says smugly, grabbing a new diaper.

Danny snorts, but stays silent as Steve cleans Joan up.

“You’ll make a great father,” he says eventually. His voice is soft, just as gentle as his words. Steve looks up at him.

“You think so?”

Danny thinks about how his kids adore the life out of Steve McGarrett, about how they’re just as excited to spend time with Steve as they are with him. “Yeah. I think so.”

And as much as he’d like to enjoy the bright smile on Steve’s face…

“Uh, Steve?”

“What – oh fuck.”

It’s a stroke of luck that Steve has a spare shirt tucked away in his desk. Or he’d have to go home with a shirt soaked in pee. Kono would probably keel over from laughter if that happened.

 

 

 


(eight) he’d break his neck just to get to you

Kono doesn’t remember ever seeing Steve like this.

Like he wants to burn half the island down just to find Danny. Like he wants to dive into the coldest ocean and let the iciness take away his fear. Like he’s willing to be home to ten dozen bullets just to make sure Danny lives.

She feels like she should say something, should help Steve believe that he won’t be losing another person he loves to Wo Fat. But what could she possibly say? She can tell him that it’ll be okay, that they’ll find him, that Danny will be just fine. But those are simply words, and words can sometimes be impossibly hollow. She will never be able to understand, never be able to empathize, never be able to give Steve the promise of a good outcome that he so desperately wants.

So she keeps her mouth shut and settles for watching as Steve tries to stay strong for the whole team, for Danny, for himself.

 

 

 


(nine) nightmares like fistfuls of sand

It’s been three days since Steve had gotten Danny back, three days since their first kiss, three days since the nightmares started. Honestly, Steve had expected them – it didn’t take long for them to arrive after his father’s death, and even Jenna’s death had replayed itself over and over in his mind’s eye for a couple of weeks after his return from North Korea.

What Steve didn’t expect was for them to be so vivid.

It’s the same one that plays over and over again: his father’s limp body, draped over a chair, flickering into Danny’s and back again; the blood splatter on the wall impossible to scrub off; bright blue eyes gazing lifelessly up at the ceiling. The shot rings out a split second before Steve gets his hand on the door handle, and Wo Fat always manages to disappear before Steve can close his fingers around the man’s collar. Steve is never fast enough, and blood never fails to paint his hands a stark red.

He’ll bolt up in bed, silent screams lodged painfully in his throat, and cold sweat plastering the fabric of his shirt to his back. Danny, drugged up with pain meds, will sleep through Steve’s fitful slumber.

It takes a week for Danny to realize that Steve can’t fight off the demons in his mind.

“Hey, Steve – Steve!” Danny pins Steve’s arms down to the man’s sides, ignoring the dull flare of pain around his chest. “Babe, wake up. It’s a nightmare, you gotta open your eyes.”

Steve’s eyes snap open, and Danny reads pure terror in his eyes – jet black in the dim light.

“Danny,” Steve gasps, fingers fisting in the sheets.

“Yeah, it’s me. Breathe – hey, come on, focus on your breathing.”

Danny waits until Steve’s got his breathing under control before loosening his hold on Steve’s arms. “You need some water?”

“No,” Steve says, swallowing painfully. “No. Stay.”

Judging from the look in Steve’s eyes, and how they’re flicking all over Danny’s body, Danny is pretty sure that Steve is doing his very best to restrain himself from reaching out and making sure Danny is actually there, alive and whole.

“How long have you been having these nightmares?” Danny asks. He pushes Steve’s hair off his clammy forehead.

“Since you came back,” Steve sighs, body sagging against the pillows.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“I don’t know,” Steve mumbles.

“Steven,” Danny says, sitting up a little straighter. “Have you spoken to a professional since your father’s death?”

“No.”

“Steve, you can’t just bottle things up. I know you think it’s efficient, that it’s the best way to ensure that life goes on as it should, but when it comes to trauma like hearing your father’s murder and witnessing my torture – you need to let stuff like these out, Steve. If you don’t, it’ll eat you up inside, and at some point, you won’t have anything left for it to feed on.”

“I can’t – I don’t know where to start, Danny.”

His voice cracks on Danny’s name, and Danny’s heart shatters when he sees a lone tear track down the curve of Steve’s cheekbone.

“Anywhere, Steve. Just start somewhere.”

“People think I’m strong enough to handle anything that’s thrown at me – and I know that I’ve never tried to convince them otherwise –, but I’m really not. I’m not, Danny. I try to be, and I try so hard, but sometimes I can’t. I can’t do it. I did it once, kept my head on straight as I negotiated for my father’s life, but with yours? God, I was so lost. I couldn’t – if you had – Danny.”

All Danny can do is to hold Steve through his tears, to keep a hand pressed against the base of Steve’s skull and another flat across his back. Steve cries quietly, the only indications being the shaking of his shoulders and the progressive dampening of Danny’s shirt.

“Steve,” Danny mumbles. “Would you be willing to seek professional help?”

Steve doesn’t answer.

“You can’t possibly stay afloat for the rest of your life just by treading water,” Danny tries. “You’ll need a… lifeboat, or at the very least, a life preserver. Steve?”

“Okay,” Steve eventually agrees. “Just because you used that particular analogy.”

“I’m serious, Steve.”

“I know. I’ll get help, Danny. I promise.”

When Steve pulls away, Danny tries his best to wipe his tears away, thumbs swiping frantically across Steve’s cheeks. Those beautiful eyelashes are clumped together, and his eyelids are starting to puff up.

“Can you sleep? Or do you want to stay awake?”

“I’ll try to sleep,” Steve says. “You should too.”

“I’m not the one with nightmares,” Danny mutters, tucking Steve back under the covers. “Next time, please wake me up. Don’t suffer all by your stubborn self.”

Steve gives him a watery smile. “Okay, Danno.”

 

 

 


(ten) i’m a sucker for the way that you move, babe.

Their first time is more than a little unexpected, to say the very least.

Steve’s knee-deep into his undercover identity, out on the dance floor with a flock of women – and the one man – pressed up impossibly close to him. Danny’s been relegated to the bar, and he’s trying his best not to burst out in laughter as he nurses a glass of scotch. Steve may have the physicality to command that much attention wherever he goes, but he’s rarely ever happy with the attention. This time is no different, despite the fact that his soulmark is clearly visible even in the dim light.

It’s a straightforward case – someone’s been drugging tourists in this particular club before taking them to a hotel and assaulting them. The cameras aren’t of great quality, and they’ve only managed to determine that their suspect is a six feet tall man of average build, and with blond hair.

Kono’s working the floor, looking for men that fit their profile so that Chin can catalogue their faces with the help of the camera attached to her pendant. As time ticks by, Danny gets into the groove of scanning the club repeatedly, bringing the glass of scotch to his lips now and then.

Forty minutes into their op, Danny glances over at Steve to find that the man’s now topless, his shirt lying ripped – quite literally – on the ground.

“You missed it, brah,” Chin says, and Danny can hear the laughter in his voice. “One of the girls – the one in red, I think – grabbed him so hard that his shirt tore. The hole’s like, ten inches wide or something. After that, I think he just gave up and got rid of it.”

Danny snorts and nearly inhales a mouthful of scotch.

“Shut up,” Steve mutters into the comms. “Not funny.”

“Very funny,” Danny corrects, shielding his mouth with his glass.

The club is dark, littered with strobe lights and flashes from phones. Yet, Danny can still make out the faint sheen of sweat across Steve’s chest. He sees the outline of the tattoos on Steve’s arms, the faint scars scattered down Steve’s ridiculously toned back, the birthmark on the cut of Steve’s hip. Sure, Danny’s seen Steve half-naked countless times, but it’s always a sight to behold.

When Danny flicks his gaze back up to Steve’s face, he finds Steve looking right back at him, a miniscule smirk on his face. A shiver runs down Danny’s spine, and he drains his glass of scotch.

 

 

 


The air between them on the ride home is shot through with electricity, and Danny has to try extra hard not to look at Steve’s bare chest. The superficial scrapes he had sustained in tackling their suspect to the ground only serves to make his body seem that much more attractive, and Danny keeps dragging his palms down his thighs.

“You okay there?”

“Yeah,” Danny says, wincing when his voice comes out hoarse. “Fine, great.”

“Right,” Steve says slowly. He makes a turn, and the moonlight bounces off the sheen on his forearm. Danny sees the flexed muscle there and muffles a groan.

Thankfully, they get to Steve’s in the next few minutes, and Danny books it to the shower in an attempt to calm himself under a stream of cold water. The thought of sex – with Steve – is something that he’s entertained for a while now, but he has absolutely no idea how to deal with it. It’s not as though he’s never slept with a man before, and he knows that Steve isn’t completely clueless about how gay sex works, but it’s just… weird.

When he finally pulls himself together enough to finish his shower, he finds Steve waiting just outside the bathroom, a towel and a fresh change of clothes in hand.

“Took you long enough,” he says lightly, sidling into the bathroom just as Danny heads out.

“Yeah, really needed that shower.”

“So,” Steve says, tossing his towel on the rack. “Am I gonna need these?” He holds up his clothes.

Danny stares at the clothes, then at Steve, and back again.

“What,” he splutters, blushing furiously. “Yes, you will need them! What the hell are you talking about?”

“Dunno,” Steve shrugs, still holding onto those damn clothes. “With the way you were eyeing me the whole night, I assumed that I wouldn’t need them when we got home.”

Danny’s throat goes desert dry. That damned smirk slowly slides back into place on Steve’s face.

“Gotcha,” he sings. “Be out in a few minutes.”

The bathroom door swings shut, and Danny’s left gaping at the door as the shower turns on. He can hear Steve humming, that bastard.

 

 

 


Danny’s half-tempted to sleep in the guest room, but he knows Steve will have none of it, so he slides into Steve’s bed and tries not to think about what might happen in the next ten minutes.

Unsurprisingly, Steve emerges from the bathroom in nothing but a towel around his waist. Danny wants to punch that smug look right off the asshole’s face.

“Did you clean those scrapes?” Danny asks, staring resolutely at the book in his hands. He has no idea what book it is.

“Oh,” Steve says, sounding genuinely apologetic for a moment. “No, I didn’t.”

“You should. Just in case.”

“I will,” Steve says, and moments after, Danny hears the medicine cabinet in the bathroom open and close. “Hey, there’s a couple on my back from where the girl dug her nails in. Mind getting those for me?”

The second Danny enters the bathroom, he finds himself pinned against the shower stall with Steve’s hands cupping his face and a pair of very pliant lips on his. His attempt at resisting lasts a pathetically short three (or four?) seconds.

Danny inhales a lungful of the fresh scent of Steve’s body wash and faint hints of the man’s natural scent underneath. It drives him a little crazy, and he digs blunt nails into the curve of Steve’s hips with a need of grounding himself. The first aid kit lies forgotten on the sink.

He sucks greedily on the swell of Steve’s bottom lip and relishes in how willingly he opens up for him. Steve hums when Danny slides a hand up to his hair, fingers messing up the damp strands as Danny tries to press even closer.

There are fingers playing with the waistband of his boxers, but they do nothing more than tease. When Danny finally pulls back for air, he looks up into Steve’s eyes and sees a question in them. He’s asking for permission, Danny realizes.

“Bed?” He says breathlessly. Steve smiles.

 

 

 


“Hey, we really don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”

Danny all but murders Steve with his glare. Its effect is softened somewhat by the pale moonlight slipping into the room from the windows.

“I’m literally about to come down your throat and you pull away just to tell me that? I’m actually going to kill you, McGarrett.”

Steve barks out a laugh and reaches for supplies in the bedside drawer. He drags the back of his hand across his – very shiny – lips, and Danny nearly comes from that view.

“Okay, okay. Do you wanna do it? Or do you want me to?” He drops the bottle of lube down next to Danny’s head and waggles the condom packet. With his free hand, he absently fists Danny’s cock.

“You,” Danny mumbles, head flopping back onto the pillow when Steve does something wonderful with his wrist. “As punishment for being an insufferable idiot, you get to do all the work tonight.”

“Not really a punishment,” Steve points out, dribbling a copious amount of lube onto his fingers. “But if you insist.”

Danny ends up having to hold back his orgasm twice during the entire duration it took for Steve to prep him to his satisfaction.

“Good?”

“Hurry the fuck up, McGarrett.”

“So sweet,” Steve teases, then nudges the head of his cock past the first few rings of muscle.

A hot, sweet burn spreads across his shoulder, and Danny’s gaze flicks up to Steve’s in surprise. They glance down at Steve’s soulmark and are amazed to see it glow, just as brightly as it did after their first kiss.

“Deeper,” Danny grunts, nudging at the small of Steve’s back with his heel.

By the time Steve’s fully seated inside Danny, the light from their soulmarks are enough to illuminate their immediate surroundings. The moonlight can’t hope to compare.

“Fuck, alright,” Danny says, pushing himself up onto his elbows. The position brings his soulmark off the sheets, and the extra light seems to bring out the green flecks in Steve’s eyes. Breathtaking.

“Yeah?”

Danny nods in reply, and Steve sets a steady pace. Danny can tell that Steve is a little distracted by the glow, but so is he.

“Hey,” Steve mumbles, nose bumping against Danny’s cheek. “Give me a kiss.”

Danny willingly does so, a groan bubbling up in the back of his throat when his cock rubs up against the ridges of Steve’s abs.

“Let me –” Steve slides his arms underneath Danny’s back and hauls him upright. Danny ends up seated in Steve’s lap, legs curled around his hips, and Steve rests his chin on the strong set of Danny’s shoulder.

Danny’s never felt this full before. This position is a godsend, he thinks, eyes fluttering shut with every roll of Steve’s hips. He moves in sync with Steve, dropping down when Steve thrusts up, and it doesn’t take long before that, combined with the stimulation his cock is receiving tucked up between their torsos, drives him over the edge. He comes all over their bodies with a stifled moan right into Steve’s ear, and he can feel Steve tense against him as he chases his own orgasm.

The subtle pulse inside him when Steve comes feels like perfection.

 

 

 


They take ten minutes to clean up the bed and rinse off in the shower.

“I’m probably going to pass out in the next thirty seconds,” Danny informs Steve, curling up under the covers and yawning. His hair, soft from the lack of product, falls into his eyes, and Steve pushes it back.

Chuckling, Steve joins Danny under the covers and basks in the pleasant ache of his muscles. He really hopes Danny isn’t going to feel too sore tomorrow.

“Goodnight, Danno.”

He presses a kiss onto Danny’s forehead.

“Love you,” Danny mumbles.

“I love you too.”

They fall asleep instantly.