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You Fell Victim To Your Own Denial

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Danny's having a bad day.

Seriously, it is the sort of bad day that dick-punches all other bad days on purpose and with malicious intent.

His coffee maker (the only thing in his admittedly rat-hole of an apartment that he'd truly let himself splurge on) is broken thanks to this island's freak fucking weather, and the fact that he'd forgotten to close the kitchen window completely before going to bed.

Steve had also managed to get them a case pretty much the second he stepped into the office, which meant all Danny could do was throw a longing look at the office's state-of-the-art coffee machine and bitch at Steve all the way to the crime scene.

No one should have to deal with the crazy that is Commander Steve McGarrett without a decent cup of coffee first. And no one, absolutely no one, should have to endure getting shot at without coffee.

Which is why when one of the assholes they're arresting interrupts him as he's informing Steve about all the cups of coffee he owes him -- eleven, at least, and Danny will order the coffees himself because otherwise he knows Steve's going to pull a dick move, like adding pineapple or something equally disgusting in them.

"Get a fucking room," Asshole #1 says, and when both Steve and Danny glare at him and tell him to shut up, he ignores them and adds, "How long have the two of you been married?"

That joke stopped being even remotely funny around the time his sisters caught wind of Kono's jokes through Grace (it is entirely possible his sisters have turned his sweet baby girl into a spy). Seriously, Danny now has monogrammed His and Her towels hidden in a closet with the hope and belief that Steve will never, ever have cause to look through Danny's stuff; and every so often a book with a title along the lines of The Joy of Gay Sex or Don't Let Marriage Ruin That Sexual Spark will be delivered to his door which leads to Danny opening up a few beers at night and eventually actually reading the damn things.

The point is, Danny's having a bad day and that joke was never that funny, even before his sisters got involved, which is what makes him actually respond to Asshole #1 with a snapped, "One month, twenty seven days and ten hours. Now shut the fuck up before my fist slips into your face."

The expression on the two assholes faces are identical in shock, like Danny announced he was actually Abraham Lincoln and flew his rocket ship to Jupiter every weekend, and it pisses Danny off even further and he hauls Asshole #2 to his feet and leaves Asshole #1 to Steve. "What, are you assholes not only idiots who beat up innocent women, you're homophobic now too? Fuck it, I'll make sure all your pals in prison hear how you got arrested by gay cops. It'll be great bedtime story."

Asshole #2 laughs shakily, like he's not sure he should, and says, "But seriously?"

"What, you want me to pull out a marriage certificate?" Danny asks, "Maybe I should friend you on Facebook, right; let you poke around in the photo albums. Would that make you happy?"

Asshole #2 looks almost contrite as Danny shoves him into the back of the car and says, "No, it's just...respect, man. My sister's got a gay son."

"Yeah, well," Danny says and slams the door shut before that conversation can continue anywhere.

From the other side of the car, Steve fixes Danny with a weird look.

"Don't," Danny says, "Not now, preferably not ever, but at the very least not until I've had coffee and some malasadas first."

"Fine," Steve says, holding his hands up in surrender. "Fine."

*

Steve buys him two cups of coffee and a bag of malasadas. Danny takes them with sincere 'thanks' and then goes to manfully hide in his office, because he is not looking forward to the conversation with Steve in any way, shape or form.

When Chin steps into his office, Danny's reaching an almost Zen state in his awareness of the mistake he'd made in rising to the bait of Asshole #1. Because Danny can explain away rising to the bait if he explains about his day, but it's the specificity of his response that Steve's gonna get stuck on. It's certainly the part Danny's stuck on, because the words had tumbled out of his mouth without much thought, sure, but even bullshit words are never that specific. No, that number had been countdown specific, like Danny had been circling days on his calendar and scratching the hours into his bedroom wall with a pocketknife.

"Chin," Danny says, pleased at the distraction. "What can I do for you?"

"Oh, I just wanted to drop by and offer my congratulations," Chin says, breaking into a shit-eating grin. "I also figured I should find out where you guys are registered -- it's never too late to have a wedding party, even if I'm a little offended I wasn't invited to the ceremony."

"Shut up, why would you say that?" Danny groans. "How the fuck do you even know about this? Did Steve tell you?"

Chin laughs, settling down on the couch. "No. Apparently you were shouting louder than usual, it attracted the attention of some of the HPD officers. It spread pretty quickly after that. Always does when there's money at stake."

"What the hell does that mean?"

Chin looks a little shifty-eyed as he says, "There was a bet going around about the two of you."

Danny feels baffled. "What?"

"You know," Chin says, clearing his throat a little and Danny stares at him. It's entirely possible his brain is being willfully obtuse in order to avoid dealing with what Chin seems to be implying, but Chin gives him a, quite frankly, pitying look and continues with, "they're betting on your relationship status."

The only explanation for what Danny replies is morbid fascination, he swears, because it's like a conversational black hole that he can't help but be drawn into even though he knows it's probably not going to lead to anything good. In any case, instead of shouting about how that's a huge fucking invasion of privacy, my God, do people have nothing better to do on this island, he says, "What were the options?"

His voice sounds way too interested in the answer, and the arch of Chin's eyebrow tells Danny he thinks so too. God, Danny is having such an awful day. Still, he waits for Chin to answer, and Chin does, with a little pained expression on his face. "Well, as far as I know, the options were platonic partners, BFFs, fuck-buddies, dating, married and waiting for adoption paperwork."

Danny splutters. "What the hell is wrong with this island? Do the Honolulu police really have nothing else going on that they resort to invading the privacy of fellow policemen for money? I never should've left Jersey, I'll take wannabe mobsters and bad fake tans over this shit any day of the week."

"C'mon, brah," Chin says, placating. "No one actually meant it seriously until you went and announced to criminals and everyone within earshot that you'd gotten married to your partner."

"I didn't mean for anyone to take it seriously," Danny says, "It was just to get the asshole to shut up, which he did, so it was mission fucking accomplished up until you informed me this island is crazier than I thought."

"'One month, twenty seven days and ten hours' is oddly specific," Chin points out and Danny buries his face in his hands.

"I know it is," he says, "I fucking know, alright? I'm having a bad day and a worse week, and all I wanted was some coffee and pastries; what I got was shot at while still deprived of caffeine and lip from some asshole who goes around beating up women, and I snapped. Ideally, Steve would decide this is another one of those feeling things we never have to talk about and I could forget all about it, you know, put it all behind me; but I forgot to factor in the fact that you're all crazy!"

Chin snorts and gets up. "Considering the amount of money changing hands, I think you'll be lucky if it dies out before Easter."

"Easter's ages away!" Danny whines, "I did not force anyone to make, frankly, ridiculous bets on my relationship status!"

"I think the fact that you do things like going to dinner with him at a five star restaurant is what keeps the speculation fire fueled," Chin says, "So it kind of is your fault."

"What, are we being stalked now? Should I be checking my apartment for wires and video cameras?"

"Look at the bright side, Danny," Chin says, "Now that you've confirmed your marital status, it'll quiet down again. No more speculation."

Danny sighs. "Just go," he says. "If I end up stabbing myself with my pencil, I don't want a witness."

"Sure thing," Chin says, walking out the door only to pop his head back in a second later. "Just to make sure -- the two of you don't happen to have some adoption papers lying around, do you?"

Danny throws his pencil at Chin's head. If Chin had stayed still, it would've hit, but as it is it bounces off the door while Chin's laughter echoes mockingly in the room. Danny puts his head back in his hands and contemplates banging his head against the desk.

"What was that all about?" Steve asks, and Danny tilts his head so he can see Steve strolling into Danny's office with the kind of faked nonchalance that means he definitely has a goal in mind and Danny groans.

"I hate this day," he says sincerely, "I feel like the universe hates me."

"So," Steve says, "Not a good time to have that conversation, then."

"No," Danny sighs, sitting back upright in his chair and running a hand through his hair. "Because if that conversation takes place, you'll ask me about the number, and I haven't actually got an answer for that one yet."

"Okay," Steve nods. "In that case, Kono thinks she tracked down the guy the assholes were working for."

"Then by all means," Danny says, "Let's go get shot at again."

*

The house of Ricky Haren is empty and locked, but this doesn't deter Steve in the slightest from picking the lock while Danny reminisces about the days of proper police procedure and waiting for court orders or probable cause to enter, instead of ironically breaking the law to catch criminals.

Steve ignores him, but this is par for the course, and Danny's just still so grateful that Steve isn't pushing the whole 'marriage' comment to get annoyed about it. He's mainly just talking so that things won't get awkward, while very aware that it's not really helping.

And because today is an awful, awful day that makes him want to set things on fire and punch people in the face; Haren's house turns out to not have Ricky Haren conveniently disarmed and handcuffed to a radiator. There's something on the radiator, alright, but Steve disarms the bomb quickly and Danny drags him out of the house with one hand while he dials the HPD Bomb Squad with the other.

"If there are more bombs, we're really putting everyone at greater risk by waiting," Steve says mulishly, and Danny flips him off.

"Too bad," he says, "I'd rather we both survive this day, no matter how awful it is. We're waiting for the bomb squad, we're going to let them do their job, and then we can search the house, okay?"

Steve clenches his jaw for a moment, like he's considering making a run into the house anyway. "Okay," he says and fishes out his cell phone, calling Kono to try and track down Haren's current location.

The HPD Bomb Squad arrives in under twenty minutes and gets to work, Steve hot on their tails into the house. Danny counts it as a win that Steve lasted this long at all, and heads into the house after him.

"All's clear," Mark, one of the bomb technicians says, waving the disarmed bomb around vaguely with his other hand. "This was the only one in the house. We'll take it to the labs, see if we can't find anything on it."

"Thank you, Mark," Danny says, and because he's starting to get to know the HPD Bomb Squad better than anyone who doesn't work there should, adds, "How's the wife?"

"Doing great," Mark says happily, "Only a few weeks left until her due date. I called her up on my lunch break, told her about you and Steve. She'll probably call you tonight to yell about not telling us all before."

"Great," Danny says, "I'm looking forward to that conversation. Listen, I really should tell you --"

"And you!" Mark calls out, ignoring Danny completely as Steve steps into the room.

"Mark, shut up." Danny warns as Steve freezes for a moment, then cautiously creeps closer, giving Danny a questioning look. "No, Mark, seriously, shut up, you don't know what you're talking about."

"Did something go wrong with the bomb?" He asks, wearing the expression that Danny likes to call his I Doubt It, But I'll Humor You Anyway face.

"No, brah," Mark says, still cheerful and claps Steve on the shoulder. Steve looks baffled and Danny kind of wants the ground to swallow him whole. "I just wanted to congratulate you, man, you made a great catch."

"Oh Jesus," Danny groans. "Mark, why do you never listen to me?"

"Ah," Steve says, shifting uncomfortably. He gives Danny another look and then says, "I know?"

Mark beams and claps Steve on the shoulder again, before he turns to Danny. "What were you saying?"

"Never mind," Danny says, "It's too late now. Let's just get to work, yeah? Great, sounds awesome. Bye Mark."

Steve falls into step beside him. "We really do need to talk, you know."

"You don't think I know? I know, alright, it's like this situation is water and I'm trying to drink with my hands. It's all getting out of control. Who the fuck would've thought a joke would get out of hand this bad?"

"It was very specific for a joke," Steve says, and Danny pulls a face.

"I knew you were going to say that," he says, "ask Chin, I told him you were going to say that."

"That's great," Steve says, "But not actually what I was asking, was it, Danno?"

"Lunch," Danny says desperately, "We'll talk at lunch, okay? As in, not when there's an absurd amount of HPD officers eavesdropping on our every word?"

Steve pulls out Bitchy Face #14: You Infuriate Me, But I'm Willing to Overlook It For Now, but more importantly, he nods.

"Thank you," Danny says sincerely, "And for being so cool about me apparently losing my mind."

Steve shrugs. "You seem to be having a day worse than usual," he says, "I'm willing to let it play out. Besides, Kono apparently stands to win big on this and promised me half."

With that the fucking bastard speeds up, leaving Danny standing behind, speechless for a moment, feeling more than ever like the butt of some huge cosmic joke.

*

Lunch turns into dinner, because Chin runs into Ricky Haren at a coffee shop -- no, seriously, Danny's not making this up, Haren literally ran into Chin while carrying a cup of coffee that then ended up all over Chin's shirt -- and they spend the afternoon at the office.

They do have lunch, mind you; it's just that lunch happens with Chin and Kono giving them both shit-eating grins over their pizza and Danny's hatred for this day climbing steadily higher. Whenever Danny opens his mouth to speak to Steve, Kono will coo and Chin will laugh and Steve will look like he's getting ready to shoot someone. It doesn't matter that Danny explains it was a heat-of-the-moment, get-the-asshole-to-shut-up kind of thing, because what they all come back to is the specificity of it all and Danny's got an idea about that now, but he's not looking forward to sharing with the class.

It's why he's a little grateful he still has a couple more hours to meditate on the matter before he has to spill the beans to Steve -- and seriously, he has to, because he cannot come up with a bullshit story plausible enough that Steve will accept it, besides which past experience has shown him that he's kind of horrible at lying convincingly to Steve. At any rate, whatever he shares with Steve is not going to be in front of Kono and Chin, because neither of them are clearly as good a friend as Danny had been under impression that they were.

Back to the case on hand, Haren's a little reluctant to talk and seems as surprised as they were to find out that there'd been a bomb strapped to his radiator as they'd been, and since he's already at the office, Steve doesn't have a chance to throw him to the sharks or dangle him off a roof, which means it's mainly down to Danny's method -- that is, the legally correct method -- to break him.

Danny might've punched him one or twice, but that's neither here or there, and it was completely fucking deserved.

What matters is that at the end of the day, combined with what they find at Haren's house, a phone call from Mark, and Haren's confession, the case is solved. Haren's been paying small-time thugs to beat up women whose husbands or boyfriends owe him money, an operation that he'd apparently been doing for quite sometime once Kono finds his account and they take a look at the transactions, and it would've continued if only one of the women hadn't been a friend of a friend of Kono's.

The bomb turns out to belong to one of the husbands seeking revenge, who some cops from the HPD bring in and only leave after flipping Danny off -- Kono tells him with more glee than it warrants that they'd been one of the few (the few, Danny's certain he's going to develop a twitch any moment) to think Steve and Danny's relationship had been completely platonic.

"I didn't mean it, why on Earth are you encouraging them?" Danny asks her, "I feel like when this all gets cleared up I'm going to get fucking rained down by hate mail from cops who feel like I owe them money."

"I think it'll be worse than that, boss," Kono says cheerfully. "Besides, there's no way this is going to die down that easy. You're going to be married to Steve for quite some time."

Danny throws his hands up in despair and the only thing that stops him from informing her to fuck off is because he can feel Chin preemptively glaring at him.

From his office, he can see Steve rocking his constipated look for the rest of the day as Danny fills out paperwork with the quiet determination that only people certain they're seconds away from going postal can accomplish. The only breaks he takes are whenever Steve happens to walk past the windows and to supply his body with more coffee and then...relieve his body of the ensuing liquid.

At five, half an hour after Chin and Kono shouted out their goodbyes for the day, Danny sends off the paperwork and shrugs on his coat, and goes into Steve's office. "Hey," he says, "Dinner?"

Steve looks up from his computer and smiles, nodding. "Sounds good, Danno. Just give me a minute."

"Okay," Danny jerks his thumb over his shoulder and says, "I'll go get the car and you can meet me out front."

"Right," Steve says, and Danny heads on out.

*

They end up getting pizza and taking it over to Steve's place, because Danny doesn't want to have this conversation in public -- knowing his luck, the restaurant would have half of the Honolulu PD dining there at the same time -- and because Danny's apartment really is a shithole. Not to mention, holding the conversation at Steve's place means that if everything goes pear shaped, Danny has an escape route.

Their pizza is a compromise: half-pineapple for the freak of nature that is Steve McGarrett and half-meat for those with actual taste, which sadly only means Danny.

Their conversation is not so much a compromise as it is Steve getting them both beers, sliding one over to Danny and grabbing one of his freak pizza slices, before fixing Danny with a look. "Explain."

"What," Danny says, can't help stalling for more time. "No chitchat? No 'let's talk about our day' or sudden realizations that your pizza topping is shit?"

"Mm," Steve says, taking an exaggerated large bite of his pizza and smacks his lips over a piece of pineapple. Danny frowns with distaste. "Okay, we can do it your way. I've had a weird day, Danno, because my partner suddenly decided to announce to the entire Honolulu police force that we're married. Strange, right, because I feel like I'd remember getting married or having sex with my male partner. Maybe you know the guy -- he's from Jersey, about midget height, kind of loud-mouthed and hates pineapple."

"Ha-ha, you're hilarious," Danny glares, because there's no reason to be a dick, seriously. "I was having a bad day, the assholes were giving us lip and I'd gotten really sick of that damn joke and I snapped, okay? It happens. You go get kidnapped or shoot up some criminal's car, I let my mouth run on ahead of my brain. End of story."

"Doesn't it usually do that?" Steve asks, "And how is that end of story? That's not even a summary."

"Fine, what do you want to know? Ask and ye shall receive, et cetera et cetera."

"Alright, if that's the way you want to play it," Steve says, "What happened one month, twenty seven days and sixteen hours ago?"

"I said ten hours," Danny points out, and Steve rolls his eyes.

"I know, but six hours passed since then," he says, and then kicks Danny in the shin. "Man up, Danno, and answer the question."

"I'm just warning you now, it doesn't make a lot of sense and it's kind of...weird." Steve makes a 'get on with it' gesture with his hand while his face pulls out the And This Is Different Than Usual, How? expression. Danny sighs. "One month, twenty seven days and sixteen hours ago was a Saturday. We were out mini-golfing when that lead came in and we ended up on that dinner cruise, remember?"

"Undercover due to a suspected drug deal going down," Steve nods, like they go on so many dinner cruises it needs clarification. No wonder there's a city-wide betting pool regarding them.

"Yeah," Danny nods, "Right, do you remember what happened after we got made and I got jumped on my way to the bathroom?"

"They got you with a pipe in the back of the head and tipped you over the side just as I was coming up on them," Steve says, and the expression on his face is one of the dangerous ones, one that implies that Steve is seconds away from going down to the prison and beating the guys up.

"Right," Danny says, "Do you by any chance remember what it was you said while you dragged my barely conscious and heavily concussed self back away from the dolphins and onto the boat?"

Steve frowns, clearly annoyed that he doesn't. "Do you?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Why would I bring it up if I didn't?" Steve shrugs at him, hands spread out like a lot of the things Danny does is a mystery to him. Which is rich, coming from Commander Crazy. "Anyway, let me refresh your memory. You said, 'C'mon, you gotta breathe, Danno. Grace needs a father and I need a partner.'"

"So?"

"Right well, this is where it gets kind of weird," Danny says, and takes a large swallow of beer. "My memory of that night is a little...jumbled. And I did not realize it until today, but it is entirely possible that my brain may have misinterpreted that evening."

"Misinterpreted," Steve says blandly.

Danny nods. "Yes, that is indeed the word for when someone interprets something incorrectly."

"How?"

"My honeymoon with Rachel was on a cruise," Danny says quickly, hoping that if he talks quickly enough, this entire situation will suck less. "We ate, we danced, we mini-golfed, we went for a swim -- admittedly it was in the pool and not the shark-infested waters outside the cruise, but a swim nonetheless. Now it's the only thing that makes sense."

"What is?" Steve asks, and the expression on his face is new and vaguely terrifying. "That you mistook me for Rachel?"

"No!" Danny says, "I mean yes, you both infuriate me to the point where I worry about my blood pressure like I'm 90, but no, what I'm saying is that in my confused and rather addled state, my brain interpreted it as a honeymoon. Rather, our honeymoon."

Steve stares at him for a long, excruciating moment, and then starts laughing so hard he nearly spills his beer all over the floor. "Why Danno, I never knew you felt this way."

"Fuck you," Danny says, though he's fighting a smile of his own. Fuck it, it is kind of hilarious. "I clearly had a serious head injury and all you can do is laugh? I never thought I'd say this again, but I want a divorce."

"For your information," Steve grins like a cat that got the canary, a look that goes predatory as he slides off his stool and stalks over to Danny. "I'm a big believer in dating someone before I marry them."

"From what Catherine used to say, you didn't even date." Danny eyes him warily. "What are you doing?"

"I'm trying to kiss the groom, only he won't fucking shut up," Steve says solemnly, but his lips have barely touched Danny's before he cracks up again.

"I must be more brain damaged than I thought," Danny says, "Or you've actually gone around the bend."

"Can't it be a little of both?" Steve asks, and this time when he closes the space between them, he doesn't start laughing and makes a small noise in the back of his throat as Danny pulls him closer, deepens the kiss.

When Steve pulls back again, his eyes are dark and blown, and he's staring at Danny with the sort of intensity he usually saves for new weaponry. "By the way, before this goes any further, I just want to make it clear that our honeymoon would not be a fucking replica of yours and Rachels, never in a million years."

"Hold up," Danny says, sobering up and giving Steve a weird look. That actually sounded like a halfway proposal. "You say that like it's going to happen."

Steve smirks, mouths at Danny's neck as he says, "Who knows what the future holds?"

Danny groans, fisting one hand in Steve's hair and says, "There's no way I'll ever be that brain damaged."

*

"Thank you, Kono," Steve says as she hands him a stack of bills a few days later. Danny narrows his eyes. "It's a pleasure doing business with you."

"That is way too much to cover lunch," Danny notes, and Steve leans in to tap Danny's nose with the bills.

"Kono just funded our honeymoon with half of her winnings," he says, smirking. "What do you think? Where should we go? Skiing? Australian outback? Anything that isnt a cruise?"

"I'm never going to live that down, am I?"

"Nope," Chin and Kono say cheerfully, and seriously, this team is a pain in his ass. Chin adds, "Just let me know when the adoption papers are signed so I can collect my own winnings, yeah?"

"Fuck you all," Danny says, turning back to his paperwork. They all laugh at him, in the way they laugh whenever he talks about how mainland police professionals act, and Danny sighs, trying to hide his smile.

Things are most definitely starting to look up.