It was all Google's fault.
He was actually looking up stand mixers, of all things, trying to decide if investing in one would be worth it. But he accidentally typed two ns into the little bar, and before he could go back and erase it the browser popped up with a suggestion.
Stanny - 5-0 task force
Danny's knee-jerk reaction was to wonder if it had something to do with Rachel's now ex-husband, but that didn't make any sense. He knew there were a couple of social media accounts that called themselves "5-0 spotters," but he was sure none of them could connect him to Stan. Then he remembered Grace saying something about how "stanning" was a new word for being a fan of something, and he decided maybe it meant that the team had a fan club of some kind.
Correction - Steve probably had a fan club. Which meant Danny could at least have the joy of harassing him about it.
He clicked on the suggestion, and a set of search results popped up. At the very top was an opinion piece by someone named Michelle Stanny, but the one right underneath that was called 5-0 Central. He clicked on the link, and up popped a banner with pictures of the team from various articles and the occasional TV news spot. Beneath that was the site name and a description.
Dedicated to RPF fanfic and art for the bravest, sexiest crime-solving team outside of a television show - Hawaii's very own 5-0 task force! Everything from McWilliams/Stanny to McTega/Sterry welcome.
He knew what art meant - he imagined swooning teenagers drawing Steve's pecs and biceps - but he'd never heard of RPF before. Thankfully, he wasn't the technological luddite some people accused him of being, so he opened another window and Googled it.
Real person fiction or real people fiction is a genre of writing similar to fan fiction, but featuring celebrities or other real people.
So... detective stories? Maybe with a heavy dose of Steve randomly being shirtless for no reason. That wasn't so bad, even though he sure all the writers forgot he even existed. If they didn't, they probably made him the bumbling sidekick.
The idea annoyed him just enough that he went back to the original site to take a closer look at it. He found a categories list further down the page, with a number next to each link in parentheses. The top category said Family/General, which had the number 157 next to it. Next was Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams, with the number 845 next to it. Deciding that this must be the collection of stories that focused the most on the two of them, he clicked the link.
Later, Danny would rank this among the top 10 stupidest things he'd ever done in his life. Because when the list of stories popped up, each of them with descriptions underneath, they were not at all what he'd expected.
Room With A View by KonoRoxx
Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams, Kono Kalekua, PWP, voyeurism
Steve and Danny have a little fun in Steve's office after everyone else has gone home. At least, that's what they think.
what becomes of the brokenhearted by MrsMcGarrett221
Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams, Steve McGarrett/Junior Reigns, angst, jealousy, I won't tag for infidelity, you'll have to read to find out if it happens
Danny notices Steve's attentions turning to Junior Reigns, the hot new member of the team. Can he win back Steve's love before it's too late?
Tripping for You by McWilliams_forever5
Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams, Tani Rey/Junior Reigns, Chin Ho Kelly/Lou Grover, combo team, high school au, fluff, humor, hurt/comfort
New student Danny Williams tries out for the football team in order to impress star quarterback Steve McGarrett. Unfortunately, things don't work out the way
It's Getting Hot In Here by xteamsexyx
Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams, Steve/McGarrett/Chin Ho Kelley, Danny Williams/Kono Kalekua, please don't make me tag all the ships, original team, team orgy, so much PWP
It's the hottest summer on record in Hawaii, but the 5-0 task force is about to make things even hotter.
Always by SteveDanny4ever
Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams, angst, feels, I'm serious about the angst, I sobbed as I wrote this, deathbed confessions, I should probably apologize.
Steve didn't want to die. But if he had to go, he would rather it be in Danny's arms than anywhere else in the world.
Danny finally tore his eyes away from the screen at that point, squeezing his eyes shut as if that would be enough to erase all the images pouring into his mind. He knew it should have been the orgy that made him run away screaming -- kissing Kono would be like kissing his sister -- but he was gut-twistingly certain he'd had nightmares that looked looked almost exactly like that last story.
Still, it was clear that the people writing this RPF stuff were a bunch of lunatics who thought that the team spent their days having sex and soap opera-style dramatics instead of, you know, doing actual police work. If Danny had a brain in his head, he would run away screaming and try like hell to forget that dozens if not hundreds of people in this deranged collection of islands spent their free time picturing him and Steve having sex. He himself had spent years carefully not picturing him and Steve having sex, and he was not going to break his extremely impressive track record for a story that had Kono watching them through blinds they'd apparently been too damn stupid to close.
Decision made, he opened his eyes prepared to close out of the browser window like a sane and rational person. As he started to, his gaze fell on the story located a few down from the dying Steve story that would never again be discussed.
Movie Night by 5-0defender
Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams, fluff, domestic, established relationship
Romance movies are easier to deal with when you have the love of your life by your side.
Danny hesitated, trying hard to ignore the tugging in his chest. It was completely coincidental that the story reminded him of the time they almost got kicked out of what was supposed to have been a double-date to the movies. Or the time when they'd snuggled on the damn couch while watching "The Notebook," cuddling up while Steve's actual girlfriend had been on the opposite end of the couch. It was probably just a whole "action men hate romance movies" cliche. It would be terribly written, and he would most definitely hate it.
Danny clicked on the link and started to read.
When you loved someone, you made sacrifices for them.
Both Danny and Steve loved Danny's daughter Teilor enough that they sacrificed for her every movie night, watching the romances she wanted instead of the dozens of other possibilities. Danny had always watched these kind of movies with Teilor, but it was easier now that he could watch them pressed up against Steve on the couch. His head was tucked up against Steve's shoulder, Teilor draped along his other side, and he'd positioned the popcorn bowl just right so that all three of them could reach it.
He complained, because that was what he did, but Danny would watch the Weather Channel 24 hours a day if it meant he could stay here snuggled up to the two most important people in his world.
It went on like that for about a thousand more words, full of snark about the predictability of romance movies and teasing little comments that showed their affection for each other just as much as the touches did.
When he was finished, Danny had to actually touch his cheeks to make sure he wasn't crying for the first time in decades. Not that the story was a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it had felt like something that could actually happen. Like in a world out there where Danny was braver, and Steve was less straight, he could be having nights that looked like that story every single damn day of the week.
He clicked on the author's name, found out that they'd written five other stories, and read all of them. They were much the same as the first one had been, little domestic moments full of dialogue that sounded like things they would actually say. He had kids in all of them, though their names and ages were always different, and there were a few other little things that were different. Mostly, though, they all felt more like reality than fantasy.
Except that wasn't true, of course. They were just as much fantasy as anyone else's on the website, except this time they were Danny's fantasy instead of some sex-crazed teenager. Snippets of his perfect life, written by a complete stranger and spread out on the Internet for everyone to see.
Once he started reading the oldest of the stories, however, he realized he might have been wrong about a part of it. In the story, he-- Danny, the completely fake Danny that had nothing whatsoever to do with him, and Steve were having a teasing conversation about how they'd first gotten together.
Danny put his arms around Steve. "How was I to know punching you in the face was the secret button to shut off RoboSEAL?"
Steve grinned. "Maybe I just decided I wanted you to talk me to death instead."
Danny's brain seized on the lines like it would break a case wide open. The punching story had never come up in any media about the team, even that stupid behind-the-scenes show. Unless they'd been standing in the crowd at that exact moment, before 5-0 had ever become 5-0, there was no reason for some random person on the Internet to know anything about it. And even if someone on the HPD went home from work that day and told their spouse that the haole hauled off and punched the SEAL, there was no reason for anyone who didn't know them to remember that fact long enough to stick into a story they'd written six years later.
Which meant only one thing. The person who'd written the damn stories actually knew them.