If you had asked Danny what the shock of his life had been on Tuesday morning, he would have grinned and told you about Rachel taking him out for a nice dinner, handing him a small box over his spaghetti, and smiling when he’d opened it to see an engagement ring.
“Are you going to ask?” she’d said, and he’d bitten his tongue and gotten down on one knee and given her the ring back, and they’d gone on from there.
Now, though, now his answer is different. He vaguely supposes it was really only a matter of time before Steve ousted Rachel in the ‘crazy shit my significant other has done’ category, but this – this is a doozy.
“Hey,” Steve says, crossing his arms over his chest. “Can I have some sort of reaction? Anything at all? The gaping fish look really isn’t giving me much to go on here.”
“I’m sorry,” Danny responds almost automatically. “It’s just – can you repeat that for me?”
Steve’s arms clench a little more tightly over his chest. “I have a rare condition, you apparently have a complementing rare condition, we beat the odds,” Steve says, voice flat. “I’m pregnant, congratulations, we’re going to be dads.”
Yeah, Danny thinks distantly, this beats the Rachel thing hands down.
So Steve is pregnant, and he tackles it like he does everything else – with determination, but not all that much eloquence, and a need for backup that he never acknowledges. Three mornings later, Danny finds him coming in from the lanai, in his bathing suit but not even a little wet.
“You okay?” Danny asks, a little warily. He’d asked something similar last night when Steve had stumbled getting off the couch, and Steve had bitched at him for a good twenty minutes about hovering and mother-henning and whatever. Steve looks a little green right now, though, and given everything Danny’s read over the past few days – it’s been a lot, and he isn’t sure whether to thank Jenna for using her terrifying research skills to find information on their situation, or to cower in fear - he’s expecting this pregnancy to go pretty much like Rachel’s had.
“Something smells,” Steve tells him, and yeah, that’s definitely morning sickness talking. “Down at the beach. I couldn’t even get in the water.”
“Just go heave,” Danny advises. “You’ll feel better.”
Steve turns greener and bolts, but he looks a lot better when he comes out.
As it turns out, Danny should have run from Jenna when he had the chance.
“What the fuck,” he says as he walks into the bedroom. Steve is curled up on his side, reading a book. “Is that What To Expect When You’re Expecting?”
“Jenna got me some books,” Steve says, gesturing to the bedstand, which – holy fuck, how are there even that many different books on pregnancy, okay, and why is Steve reading them, anyway?
“What are we learning?” Danny asks instead of blurting that out. Steve’s at about five weeks, and he’s been weirdly emotional lately, wanting to just sort of snuggle all the time. Which, fine, Danny can snuggle like a pro, whatever, but he doesn’t want to cross the line from Clingy Steve into Bawling Steve, because there are some things in life that he’s just not prepared to handle.
Steve turns a page in the book thoughtfully. “Apparently I’m supposed to be having cravings.” Ha pauses and squints at the book, then looks up at Danny. “Can you get me some bananas?”
Yeah. He should have taken Steve and run far, far away from Jenna while the going was good.
He runs into Bawling Steve for the first time at around seven weeks. Steve’s riding a desk and will be until after the baby is born, a fact that he’s not happy about, but Danny had gone over his head on that one. He comes home one day to find Steve sitting on the couch, a box on his lap and tears streaming down his face.
“Babe,” Danny says, instantly concerned. He crosses the room in a few steps and sits down right next to Steve, tossing an arm over Steve’s shaking shoulders and pulling him in. “Talk to me, Steve.”
“We were a family,” Steve says into his shoulder. Danny looks down at the box in Steve’s lap and sees –
The picture on the top is of Steve’s mom, sweaty and mussed, lying in bed with a tiny bundle settled on her chest. She’s beaming out of the photo, and there’s careful handwriting across the bottom, a script that Danny recognizes as Jack McGarrett’s.
Rebecca and Steven, four hours
The pictures aren’t in any particular order; the next is of Steve around four years old, with Mary toddling after him in the backyard. There are a bunch of pictures in the box – Danny guesses two hundred, at the very least, but there could well be more – and they all show the McGarretts at various points. Danny leafs through, noticing that the photos only seem to show Steve until he’s about fifteen or sixteen, and Danny remembers that that’s when Steve’s mom had died.
Danny sort of feels like crying himself. Instead, he puts the box on the coffee table and tugs Steve down onto the couch with him, rubbing at his back until he falls asleep, tucked against Danny’s body.
Danny finds himself comparing Steve’s pregnancy to Rachel’s more than once. It’s not like he sets out to, but sometimes he looks at Steve and thinks about how Rachel started showing by ten weeks, and how Steve’s not – the skin around his belly is tighter than normal, and he frowns when he buttons up his cargoes, but there’s nothing there, not yet. Or he’ll remember how Rachel ate nothing but tuna fish for her entire third month, and be thankful that Steve is apparently craving bananas and peanut butter.
Or, like right now, he’ll think about how Rachel had anticipated each doctor’s visit, each chance to check in on the baby, and how Steve is definitely, definitely not Rachel in this regard.
“We have an appointment,” Danny says for the fourth time. “Get your ass in gear, McGarrett, and let’s get going.”
“It still looks like a peanut,” Steve complains, scowling as he finally gets out of the car. “I don’t see why we have to go get another picture taken.”
“This may have escaped your notice,” Danny says dryly, “but you’re the fourth recorded case of male pregnancy in the history of ever. They kind of want to keep an eye on you, make sure Peanut is doing well.”
“Don’t call it Peanut.” Steve scowls even harder. “Those nicknames stick.”
“Peanut’s not bad,” Danny objects. “My Gram said my sister Lindsey looked like ET. That was a bad one.”
“Don’t call it Peanut,” Steve repeats, but he’s scowling less, and that might even be a smile lurking under there. “Call it Baby or something.”
“I think it’s catchy,” Danny says with a straight face, glad that he’s behind Steve so Steve can’t catch his eye. “I’m going to do it every day.”
“I hate you,” Steve sighs dramatically, flopping into a chair. “So much.”
The doctor sees them right away – Danny has this theory that Dr. Kusinagi is writing a book about Steve and Peanut, he really does, and he’s pretty sure Steve agrees with him, even if he does scowl every time Danny brings it up. She smiles brightly as Steve sits on the exam table. “How have things been, Commander?”
“The same,” Steve sighs, looking down at his stomach. “I mean, if it wasn’t for the bananas and peanut butter thing, I wouldn’t even know anything was different.”
“Go ahead and change,” the doctor says, checking something in Steve’s chart. “We’ll get a closer look at the baby in a few minutes.” She breezes out of the room, and Steve has a silent staring contest with the paper gown on the end of the table for a moment. Apparently he loses, because it’s only about a minute before he sighs and stands to change.
Dr. Kusinagi has been doing everything herself, rather than delegating to nurses (another point for Danny’s book theory, he thinks), so she walks back in a few minutes later and smiles again. “Ready?”
“Sure,” Steve says, opening the flaps on the front of the gown and baring his stomach. Dr. Kusinagi hums as she works, spreading the gel on Steve’s skin before moving the machine into place.
“Hey,” Danny says, smiling softly as the image projects up onto the screen. “Look at that, huh?”
“That,” Steve breathes, and Danny turns to look at him. Steve’s eyes are glued to the screen, and he reaches out and grabs Danny’s hand without looking away from it. “That is a very tiny human, Danny.”
“Say hi to Peanut,” Danny tells him, and Steve’s eyes well up as he starts to laugh.
“I have a problem,” Steve announces fourteen weeks in. He’s just come out of the bathroom from his shower, and Danny smiles when he catches sight of him. Steve has finally started showing, and even though it’s still small, the view has yet to fail to make Danny grin.
“What?” Danny asks, flicking his eyes from Steve’s belly to his face. He’s scowling again, which means less now than it had before this whole thing started.
Steve is silent for a moment, and Danny has the feeling this is one of those pregnancy things that Steve is obsessing about that isn’t actually a big deal, like when he’d stopped wanting bananas all the time and panicked that it meant something was wrong. Finally, he opens his mouth. “My pants won’t button.”
Danny can’t help it; his grin stretches out and he laughs a little. Steve’s scowl deepens, and his cheeks turn dark pink.
“No, babe, come here,” Danny says, still smiling as he stands and walks towards Steve. He puts one hand on the tiny bump and curls the other around Steve’s neck, pulling his head down so Danny can kiss him. “That’s not me laughing at you, that’s me being happy.”
“Oh,” Steve mutters, cheeks going redder. It’s new, this embarrassment thing, but it’s kind of adorable, in that way where Danny will never, ever use that word out loud. “So, um. I think I need to go to the store.”
“Probably,” Danny agrees. Steve had steadfastly refused to go shopping for maternity clothing, but there’s only so long he can put it off, and not being able to fasten his pants is a big step in that direction. “Let’s see what we can do, okay?”
Danny remembers this from Rachel’s pregnancy; she’d been horrified to learn that women actually did it at first, but had quickly folded and done it herself when her clothing had started to get tight. He grabs one of the hair ties from Grace’s room and returns to their bedroom, looping it around the button on Steve’s pants. He threads it through the buttonhole before letting the other end slip around the button as well.
“It’s not going to hold forever, but it’ll keep them closed for now,” Danny says, looking up at Steve’s face when he’s done adjusting his pants. Steve’s looking at him thoughtfully. “What?”
“Nothing,” Steve replies too quickly, and the blush returns with a vengeance. Danny raises an eyebrow and reaches down to tug at Steve’s pants again, and –
“Stop being embarrassed,” Danny says quietly, unhooking the elastic and pulling Steve’s pants and boxers back down. “It’s absolutely normal, and it’s not like it’s a hardship on my part.”
“If you say so,” Steve replies, but his head’s already tilted back and his hips are thrusting forward, so Danny doubts he takes it to heart.
“Holy shit,” Steve says in the middle of the Safeway at eighteen weeks, a box of Ritz crackers halfway from the shelf to the cart. His eyes are ridiculously wide, and he’s staring straight ahead.
“What, what,” Danny says, instantly on alert. “What is it, does something hurt, is something wrong-”
“Holy shit,” Steve repeats, but he’s smiling all the way up into his eyes. He drops the crackers into the cart and puts a hand on his belly, now a definite lump beneath his shirt. He stands there for a minute, still smiling, and then he twitches and laughs.
“Peanut’s moving,” Danny guesses, feeling his own grin creep across his face. “I’m right, aren’t I?”
Steve reaches out and grabs Danny’s hand, putting it on the side of his belly. Sure enough, there’s a tiny flutter of movement a minute later, and Danny laughs along with Steve as they stand in the middle of the aisle and feel their baby move.
“Decision time,” Dr. Kusinagi says at twenty-three weeks. “I can see the gender pretty clearly on the scan, and I’ve marked it down for the record, but you don’t have to know if you don’t want to.”
It’s been a point of several conversations; Gracie had been a surprise, and Danny likes the idea of not knowing. Steve, on the other hand, wants every last detail he can have about Peanut, to the point where he’s got every single ultrasound picture taped sequentially to the refrigerator, and he spends time looking at them far more often than he probably admits to Danny.
The most recent conversation had ended with Steve glaring angrily at the television, huge tears rolling down his face, and when Danny had tried to apologize Steve had just told him to go to hell. He’d actually apologized to Danny later, soft and unsure, and Danny thinks that the hormones had never hit Rachel this hard. Danny had apologized right back, admitted that he was just being stubborn and that it didn’t really matter to him, and Steve had been overjoyed enough that he’d teared up again.
“Damn it,” he’d said, kind of watery, and Danny had laughed and kissed him until he’d stopped.
“Yeah,” Danny says now. “We’d like to know.”
Dr. Kusinagi turns on the monitor, and Danny feels Steve grab his hand as they both stare intently.
Steve notices it first – Danny knew he’d been studying those pictures – and he gasps softly. “A girl,” he says, almost like he’s in awe, and Danny squints and tilts his head, and – oh, yeah, okay, Steve’s right.
“A girl,” Danny repeats, squeezing Steve’s hand, and Steve squeezes back.
When Danny looks over, Steve is beaming at the monitor, and his eyes are wet again.
“This is ridiculous,” Steve moans at twenty-nine weeks. “Seriously, Danny, this is just beyond insane.”
“I told you before, it’s completely natural,” Danny reminds him, unfazed. Steve just moans again and pushes back onto Danny’s fingers, clenching down tightly as he goes.
Steve has a pretty active libido; before all of this, they’d fucked on a pretty regular basis. He hasn’t been interested lately, though – or he hadn’t been, not for the past few months, and it’s fine, Danny can take care of himself. For the last week, though, it’s been the complete opposite. Steve pretty much doesn’t even want to put clothing on now, because as soon as he wakes from napping after, he’s ready to go again.
“Please,” Steve groans. Danny’s being careful – they’d never really taken to over-prepping before, but he’s not taking any chances now – and Steve’s being impatient, but it’s enough, so Danny pulls out his fingers and pulls a pillow down from the top of the bed, tucking it under the side of Steve’s belly. Then he moves around behind Steve, arranging both of them so Danny can lay and slowly, gently push in, and then Steve is moaning, pushing back and leaning his head into Danny.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Steve says, voice a little breathy, and Danny keeps thrusting in and in. It doesn’t take long before Steve is reaching down around his belly, jerking himself roughly, and he comes on a drawn-out sigh before Danny is even particularly close.
“Keep going,” Steve says drowsily, settling back against Danny more fully when Danny stops moving. “It’s good. Keep moving.”
And seriously, why would Danny even want to protest?
“Hey, Peanut,” Danny says quietly at thirty-four weeks. He’s laying halfway down the bed, legs curled up beneath him, face pressed close to Steve’s belly. “You getting ready in there?”
“She’s got a month and a half, Danno,” Steve says sleepily, and Danny looks up and grins as Steve blinks blearily down at him. “She better stay in there for a little while longer.”
Danny presses a kiss to Steve’s belly and scoots up the bed to kiss Steve properly. “I was just talking to her.”
“Yeah,” Steve replies, lazy morning smile crossing his features. “I don’t mind. I just don’t want her getting any ideas.”
“Given your genes, I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t roll out ahead of schedule with three backup plans in place,” Danny says, but it’s affectionate where it once would have been frustrated.
Steve pokes him in the shoulder. “Given yours, I’ll be surprised if she’s quiet enough for covert ops.”
“You’re hilarious,” Danny informs him dryly, but Steve is stretching, easing himself out of bed, and heading for the bathroom. He comes back a few minutes later and climbs in nest to Danny, lying down so he can rest his head on Danny’s chest.
“You haven’t given me your opinion yet,” Steve reminds him, and Danny wants to groan. Kono had shown up with baby name books a few weeks ago, and Danny has been staring down organized lists of possible first and middle names for their child ever since. The latest list had been handed to him yesterday, and Danny suspects that if he doesn’t pick something soon, Steve is going to go with something absolutely ridiculous out of frustration.
“I’ve been thinking about it,” he says quietly, and his tone must give something away, because Steve makes the effort to shift so he can look up.
“You have an idea and you don’t want to tell me,” Steve guesses.
Danny makes a teetering motion with his hand. “I have an idea and I don’t know if it’s going to upset you or not, so I haven’t brought it up,” he clarifies.
“We’re not naming her Rachel,” Steve deadpans, and Danny rolls his eyes and pokes Steve in the shoulder.
“Actually,” he says, clearing his throat, “I was thinking about Rebecca.”
Steve doesn’t say anything for a long time, and this is why Danny hadn’t wanted to bring it up, though it’s been on his mind more and more lately. “Hey,” Danny says after a few minutes of silence.
“You want to name her after my mom,” Steve says, and there’s a vulnerable note to his voice, something soft and surprised all at once.
“I’ve been thinking about it,” Danny replies, but before he can say anything else on the subject, Steve has an arm looped around Danny’s waist and is sniffling into his shirt, one hand on Danny’s hip, the other on his belly.
“Rebecca,” Steve says in a quavering voice, and Danny runs a hand down Steve’s back until he stops shaking and looks up, eyes bright and a tremulous smile on his lips.
“Danny,” Steve hollers at thirty-eight weeks. There’s something panicky in his voice, and Danny drops the pot he’s scrubbing into the sink and heads for the stairs at a run. Steve is sitting upright in bed, leaning against the headboard, and the look on his face matches his tone. “Something’s weird, Danny. She’s moving all over the place, and my stomach is cramping like crazy.”
“Okay,” Danny says, reaching for the calm that he’s been storing up for this exact moment. “Okay, babe, sounds like we’re a little early here. Let’s get you down into the car, and I’ll call Dr. Kusinagi, okay?”
“It’s too early,” Steve argues, but then his face scrunches up and he bends forward a little, hands resting on his belly. He breathes in and out on a ten-count, and then he relaxes back into the headboard. He looks up at Danny. “Okay, maybe you’re right on this one.”
“I’m pretty sure I am,” Danny agrees, walking over to help Steve stand. He grabs the bag that’s been sitting by the end of the bed for a week and slings it over his shoulder as Steve makes his way to the stairs.
“Hey, Doc,” Danny says into the phone as soon as he gets Steve buckled into the car. “Steve’s having those cramps you were talking about, and I know it’s a little early, but-”
“Bring him in,” Dr. Kusinagi says, tone professional. “Actually, scratch that. Take him directly to the hospital, and I’ll meet you over there. If this isn’t his birthing pains, I’ll want to monitor him there anyway.”
“See you in fifteen,” Danny replies, shutting his phone. “Doc says we should just met her at the hospital.”
“Okay,” Steve says, tilting the seat back a little. It bumps against the infant car seat already installed in the back, and Steve turns to look at it, a little smile on his lips. “This is really about to happen?”
“This is really about to happen,” Danny confirms. Steve’s still smiling, so he concentrates on getting them to the hospital both quickly and safely.
Dr. Kusinagi smiles when she finishes her examination. “It looks like your little miss is in a hurry to get out,” she tells them, and Danny grins down at Steve.
“I told you she’d be early,” he says, and Steve rolls his eyes. Dr. Kusinagi makes a few notes on Steve’s chart and walks to the door.
“I’ll schedule the surgery for five,” she tells them. “The nurses will be by to monitor you, and I’ll be back in about an hour.”
“Five,” Steve says when she leaves. “What time is it now?”
Danny checks his watch. “One in the morning.”
“We’ve got a little time,” Steve observes, then winces. He pulls his knees up a little and breathes through the cramps, the closest his body can come to contractions, until they ease.
“Do you want me to call anyone?” Danny asks, reaching over to rub the small of Steve’s back. Steve makes a contented sound and leans back a little. “We told Mary we’d let her know what was going on.”
“We’ll call her when Peanut is born,” Steve says with a shrug. “There’s no need to wake her up now to tell her she’ll be getting a much more exciting call in a few hours.”
“Fair enough,” Danny replies. “I’m gonna call my ma, though. She’ll want to know.”
Ma laughs pretty delightedly when Danny tells her the news, then insists he put Steve on the phone. He has no idea what they talk about, only that it seems to keep a smile on Steve’s face, and that’s good enough for him. They talk for half an hour or so, and when Steve finally hangs up, he closes his eyes with a smile on his face.
“She wants to come for a visit,” Steve tells him. “See Grace, meet Rebecca.”
Danny can feel the grin spreading across his face. “You don’t seem upset about the thought of your mother-in-law visiting.”
Steve opens one eye. “Your mom makes some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, and she thinks I’m adorable,” he says reasonably. “Also, the focus will be on Peanut, not on me.”
Danny snorts; it’s all true. “I’ll call her about plane tickets later,” he promises.
Danny has no name for this face, none at all, but he thinks he loves it more than anything else he’s ever seen, this look of utter amazement and joy and terror on Steve’s face when Dr. Kusinagi hands him a little bundle, wrapped in a soft yellow blanket. “Congratulations,” she tells them again, smiling as she herds the nurses out of the room.
“She’s so little,” Steve says, a wondering tone in his voice. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so little before.”
“She’ll grow,” Danny replies, leaning over to rest his head against Steve’s so he can look at Rebecca properly as well. Steve is reaching into the bundle and pulling out her hands; Danny’s pretty sure he’s counting fingers, and will soon move on to toes.
“Hey there, Peanut,” Danny says, touching her palm with his fingertip and smiling when she reflexively grabs on. “Nice to meet you.”
Steve tilts his head into Danny’s, and that’s how their team finds them later, smiling and staring down at the baby sleeping against Steve’s chest.