"I just don't understand why my choice in fashion seems to be such an issue for you."
"It's not an issue… it's just… you know what, forget it." Steve took a deep breath. It was the fifth time in a month they’d had the same argument. Discussion. Whatever. Truth was, it shouldn't matter to him that Danny insisted on wearing those ties, those dress shirts, those damned loafers or even that abomination of a hockey jersey. It shouldn't, but it did.
Danny was clearly getting beyond the normal level of agitation during their bickering. "You said you wanted to hang out today. What the fuck is wrong with me wearing a New Jersey Devil's shirt? It's comfortable. It reminds me of home."
"THAT! That is what the problem is." Before Steve could stop himself the words started spilling out. "You've been here for a year now and you still take every opportunity to remind anyone in earshot that you'd rather be any place but here. Especially if that place is New Jersey. I'm sorry that our little backwater islands don't live up to your standards and that we're not what you'd really like, but it would be nice if you'd at least make an effort not to rub it in all the time."
The look on Danny's face, along with his unusual silence, told Steve that he was just as stunned as Steve felt at the outburst. He'd said far more than he'd intended to but he wouldn't take the words back even if he could. What he couldn't do was stay around to watch the pity on Danny's face.
"I'm going out for a swim. Stay… go… whatever. I'm done with the fighting over it." As Steve grabbed his keys off the counter, he wondered if he'd still have a partner when he got back.
A few miles and an hour or so later Steve still wasn't in a better mood. He spent much of the time berating himself for unloading on Danny like that. It wasn't Danny's fault that Steve had been stupid enough to fall in love with the man. Still, they'd formed a great partnership and relationship.
Problem was that every time Danny clung to a piece of New Jersey or talked about it as "home" Steve felt the punch in his gut that Danny wasn't staying in Hawaii because he wanted to be there. He was there because he had to be, for Grace. Steve loved Grace and would never deny her her spot as first in Danny's life. He just wished he could rank somewhere above a state that was known for mobsters and loudmouthed reality stars.
After rinsing off in the beach shower, Steve made his way inside knowing that Danny would be gone. Steve figured chances were he wouldn't see him until Monday morning. The sudden thought that Danny might not want to work with him anymore punched him in the gut all over again. He started to wonder if he'd fucked up the best working relationship he'd ever had. Then he wondered how he'd be able to do the job without Danny around.
'Beer,' he thought as he headed towards the refrigerator. A truckload of beer and takeout were what he needed to drown himself for the rest of the weekend and forget just what a screwed up mess he'd made of his-
What Steve saw next made him question whether he'd suffered some sort of head injury or oxygen deprivation while he was out. There was no way that what he was seeing was real. Yet his senses told him it was.
There, ten feet in front of him was one Detective Danny Williams, formerly of Newark, in a grass skirt and coconut bra. The words 'grass skirt' and coconut bra' kept repeating in his head.
"What's wrong, babe? You said you wanted me to look a little more local."
It wasn't just the ridiculousness of Danny's outfit that was causing the connection between Steve's brain and mouth to malfunction. What was really causing the problem was his unobstructed view of Danny's torso. Well, mostly unobstructed if you didn't count the coconuts. Steve was finally getting his chance to look, really look at Danny.
The way Danny's broad, muscled chest tapered down to a slender waist. The way the grass skirt and jeans shorts Danny wore rode just low enough to highlight his hip bones and abs. He also noticed Danny noticing him. Steve saw the playfulness, the fire, the… Oh god, the lust that was in Danny's eyes. He wondered how he'd missed that there before.
"Steven? You going to say something?" There was a hint of a smug smile on Danny's face as he asked the question. That's all that was needed to kick Steve's brain back into gear.
"I didn't want to be rude, since you've obviously gone to a lot of trouble, but that outfit isn't exactly 'traditional'." It wasn't until Danny was backed against the couch mere inches away that Steve even realized that he'd moved into the other man's space.
"So, wait. I dress in this get up and you're still going to bitch?" The slight smirk on Danny's face and his playful tone told Steve there was no fire behind those words.
"I'm just saying that if you're going to go to the trouble, you might want to know that it's not quite authentic."
"That so? So, Mr. 'I'm a fashion consultant when I'm not busy blowing shit up', what is it about the outfit that isn't up to your standards?"
"Since you asked…" Steve slowly moved his hand to cup the back of Danny's neck as he spoke. "It wasn't until the haoles showed up that the locals felt the need to cover their chests." Steve untied the coconut bra and let it fall to the ground.
"Huh… anything else?" Danny's blue eyes had turned dark with desire as he spoke.
"Now that you mention it, the "jorts" are definitely not up to standard. That's on general principle, by the way, not just for this particular outfit."
Any protest that was going to be made was cut off when Steve found a particularly interesting spot to kiss behind Danny's ear while he reached down to unbutton the offending piece of clothing. It was understandable that Steve was more than a bit distracted when he realized that Danny was commando under the shorts as they fell to the ground.
That lapse in concentration was all the time Danny needed to gain the upper hand, so to speak. Steve found himself falling ass over teakettle onto the couch with an armful of Danny going along for the ride.
"So, babe, I think it's time we talk about your part in this little fashion discussion." As they settled onto the couch with Danny sitting astride Steve's lap, Steve was more than happy to let the other man drive for a bit. "10 pairs of cargo pants and 20 t-shirts in varying colors do not exactly qualify you to be giving advice on this sort of thing."
"Hey, I have other things to wear. That just happens to be the most practical outfit. You know, the one that won't cause me to die of heat exhaustion one day while chasing a bad guy." Steve felt very confident that he had the upper hand on this particular issue. It was pure pragmatism really.
"Okay, fine." As Danny settled more on his lap, Steve's erection reminded him that there was currently only a grass skirt and the thin fabric of his swim trunks between the two of them. He could both see and feel that Danny wasn't completely unaffected either.
The other man's voice was still steady as a rock though. "What I'd really like to discuss is your pathological need to take your shirt off in days ending in the letter y."
"I don't - " Steve was cut off by Danny's finger over his mouth. Really though, he didn't think he took his shirt off an inordinate amount.
"Babe, if there's a stiff breeze, you're there whipping your shirt off." It was Danny's turn to find that one spot near Steve's clavicle that made him turn to jello and hard as steel all at the same time. "Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to concentrate when you're walking around all muscles and tattoos?"
"Uh… sorry?" Steve knew he didn't sound the least bit contrite. In fact, it gave him more than a little rush to know that he did that to Danny.
It was clear that Danny knew he wasn't the least bit sorry either. "All I'm saying is maybe save it for… Screw it. You're going to take it off anyway. How about we set a new rule from now on?"
"Sure." The idea that there was still a 'from now on' for the two of them made Steve more than willing to agree to whatever Danny asked.
"For every time you take your shirt off in public, you have to take it _and_ your pants off for me at home."
"Absolutely!" Steve's lizard brain went straight to the whole being naked with Danny part of the equation. A different part of his brain though fought through to grab one word. "Home?"
"Yeah, home." Danny's tone had changed to the one he used when he wanted to be absolutely sure that Steve was listening to him. "Steve, I'm sorry that I haven't said it before but it's not just Grace that keeps me here anymore. You're my family now too. Chin, Kono, and especially you."
It wasn't so much that Danny leaned down or Steve leaned up for the kiss, they just sort of met in the middle somewhere. Steve knew that first kisses were supposed to be fireworks and butterflies (or 7 levels of awkward) but kissing Danny was all of that and none of that. It was just like being with Danny. It was natural and familiar and comfortable and made him want more. It was home.
Later when they were on the floor relaxing in what Danny insisted was _not_ afterglow, the age-old argument started once again.
"…so you'll wear a grass skirt and a bra, but you won't even try that?"
"No, Steven. The outfit I do because I love you, but there are certain things that are just wrong and crimes against nature. Pineapple on pizza is just plain sick and wrong."