“What are you doing?” Danny asked in an endearingly sleepy voice as he turned part-way over to see Steve sitting up against the headboard.
“Arranging flights to Miami,” Steve said as though it should be perfectly obvious.
“It’s…” Danny reached over for his phone, squinting to see it said 5:45. “Not even 6 in the morning. We got home from San Francisco at 12:30. Did you sleep at all?”
Steve shrugged one bare shoulder, smiling down at Danny. “It’s not every day your son gets to the Super Bowl.”
“I completely agree. But he’ll still be going to the Super Bowl at a decent hour of the day. Like 9:00…10 o’clock,” Danny pointed out before burying his head deeper into his pillow.
“Go back to sleep,” Steve said, leaning down to kiss him. “I’ll try to type more quietly.”
“Don’t type again until 10,” Danny recommended, knowing it was useless. Steve was awake and nothing short of a blow to the head would coax him back to sleep. And a blow to the head wasn’t always a guarantee of that.
“Do you want me to go downstairs?” Steve asked, studying the list of flights displayed on his computer screen. For an answer, Danny rolled over to face him, curling his left arm tightly around Steve’s bare thigh. “That’s what I thought,” Steve said with a quiet laugh.
Steve knew Danny was just as excited as he was about John leading the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl to face the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens had been to three of the last five Super Bowls, winning two of them. They were heavily favored, already, to defeat the 49ers – the old guard versus the new guard is the way many sports casters were characterizing the match-up. Never mind that John had led the 49ers to a league best 14-2 record – the Ravens were still the early favorites to win.
Steve and Danny had been in San Francisco just the day before to watch the 49ers defeat the New Orleans Saints to earn their trip to the Super Bowl. In truth, it wasn’t much of a game. John threw a 43 yard touchdown pass on their first possession and the Saints never stood a chance, reflected in the final score of 43 – 10. John hadn’t played the fourth quarter, Danny and Steve thinking that the coach made the right call to protect him for the next, really big game. John had told them he’d have played every minute of the game but he too understood why Coach Sterling had replaced him with his back-up.
Steve was trying to coordinate everyone’s schedule, a herculean task. Their entire ohana had made tentative arrangements in late November to be available to go to Miami for the Super Bowl the first weekend of February. Now that the 49ers had played their way into going, Steve had to finish his spreadsheet with flight times, departure airports, arrival times, ground transportation, and hotel reservations. They’d managed to pre-book a block of rooms at the same hotel where the 49ers would be staying, the team giving them rare permission to stay there. The team had most of the rooms booked already and had reserved one for Steve and Danny. John had reminded the team officials about the rest of their ohana and they had contacted the hotel to allow Steve to reserve the block for the Williams-McGarrett/Edwards party.
He and Danny were flying to Miami on the Wednesday before the game and returning the next Tuesday. The timing meant that Steve would miss two of his classes at the community college but he had already notified his dean and prepared the students’ out-of-class assignments. Once they got to Florida, they would see John sporadically and could spend the rest of the time sight-seeing. Although Steve thought going to the Miami beaches would be a let down, Danny said he would like to go to the Keys. Steve had reserved a Volvo convertible for their time there, six other cars on stand-by. He wasn’t sure how many they would end up needing, but he thought six plus theirs would be enough.
Grace and Amou were flying over on Thursday. After much discussion, they decided to leave five year old Alania, three year old Kelani, and eighteen month old Nohea with Amou’s parents. They had mixed emotions about being away from the kids but ultimately decided that Kelani and Nohea were simply too young to take to the Super Bowl. They considered only taking Alania but after even more discussion, decided that having a long weekend to themselves would be a rare and wonderful treat. “After all,” Amou had said in reassurance. “We’ll be back on Monday.”
Steve had sent them their flight confirmations, ready to turn his attention to Alicia’s flights. She was in rehearsal in New York but had gotten special permission to be absent Saturday through Monday. She was beside herself with excitement, unable to remember the last time she’d been with her entire ohana. She had insisted to Steve that she was perfectly capable of finding and purchasing her own flights but he’d said that he and Danny were taking care of all of them. Danny had frowned when Steve had originally made this announcement but knew better than to argue. He also knew that if they didn’t buy the tickets, John would gladly have done it. Steve had decided and that was that.
Steve found Alicia fairly convenient flights, apologizing for the need for her to change planes in Atlanta. It seemed stupid to change planes so close to Miami but as she pointed out, he didn’t run the airlines. It would still get her to Miami early afternoon on Saturday. Plus she didn’t have to fly all the way from Hawaii.
He’d made absolutely certain that she hadn’t wanted to bring her boyfriend before buying her tickets.
“He’s not really my boyfriend,” she had repeated. “He’s just a friend.”
“Not according to Facebook,” Steve had replied with a smile.
“Stay off Facebook,” she’d pleaded, making him laugh.
“All right. I won’t Facebook stalk you if you promise not to unfriend me.”
She’d laughed at that, shaking her head as she looked at him from his computer screen, love in her eyes. “Never. When I have a ‘real’ boyfriend, you’ll be one of the first to know.”
“Good,” he’d said with a wink before disconnecting the video call.
With almost no intervention from Steve, Emma had been granted permission to attend the Super Bowl. She was temporarily stationed in Little Creek Virginia, making hers the shortest of all the flights. She’d been granted leave from Friday to Monday, the process somewhat simplified by the fact that she was still recovering from multiple breaks to her right arm. She wasn’t at liberty to say how or where she’d been injured and would be fully recovered in another three weeks. Danny threatened to fly to Virginia to beat the truth out of someone there but Steve had reminded him that Emma was tough and a SEAL and broken limbs sometimes came with the territory.
She was going to wear her uniform to the game since she’d been asked to be part of the salute to the troops. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that aspect of it but after talking to John, decided to do it. Her presence would in no way detract from her brother being one of the quarterbacks. The family had all agreed it would only add to festivities.
“I guess you didn’t need to call in any favors after all,” Danny had remarked when Emma had said she was going to be part of the salute to the troops.
Steve shrugged at that. “I still have plenty in reserve.”
“From when you served or when you were governor?” Danny asked.
“Yes,” Steve said, laughing when Danny smacked him.
The Navy said they would make sure Emma was in Miami on Friday and would get her back to Virginia on Monday. Steve made a note of that on his spreadsheet, sending her the hotel info so she’d have it to give to her COs.
Rachel and Stan were flying to Miami on Friday and returning on Monday. Zach was going to be with them although he was still campaigning in his own way to fly with Steve and Danny. Rachel and Stan had tried to explain that sometimes Steve and Danny needed time just to themselves. Zach finally accepted it, especially since his hotel room would be right next to Steve and Danny’s. Steve said he’d pay for their flights but they had declined.
Henry Emery was flying down Thursday and returning on Monday. He said he’d fly down on Wednesday but Steve and Danny said they could be without him for one day, making them all laugh. He would be bringing his girlfriend, Josey, whom he’d met at the exclusive wine tasting Steve and Danny had given him for Christmas. They still weren’t sure about this Josey but Chin had said she didn’t have any criminal activities in her background and as far as he could tell, was exactly the perky brown headed vintner she presented herself to be. Steve and Danny were very happy to see Henry so happily in love, having almost given up hope he’d ever find his perfect someone. Their primary concern was that married life might interfere with the one thousand and one details that still seemed to fall to Henry to handle. But they certainly had no intention of standing in his way of finding true happiness.
Chin and Malia were going to Florida on Friday and staying the entire next week. Neither of them had ever been to Disney World and decided this was their perfect opportunity. They’d stay with the ohana until Monday then drive to Orlando, enjoying the scenery on the four hour trip.
John’s fiancée Leah Kelekolio had gone with Steve and Danny to San Francisco for the final playoff game that sealed the 49ers trip to the big game. Steve said she could fly to Miami with him and Danny but she couldn’t take that much time off her job. She had already arranged to take off the days before and after Super Bowl weekend, leaving the prosecuting attorney’s office short with her and Grace’s absence. But Honolulu’s prosecuting attorney would never deny two of his best litigators the chance to attend the game. The fact that he still owed Steve approximately 1500 favors from his time as governor had nothing to do with his decision to allow them leave at the same time. That was his story and no one was going to question him on it.
Steve confirmed Leah’s flights and emailed them to her, noting them on his spreadsheet before smiling down at Danny.
“What you goof?” Danny asked although he was barely awake.
“Our little boy is getting married.”
“First, he’s not so little,” Danny reminded Steve. “And second, I know that he is. But not for another five months and not at the ass-crack of dawn today.”
“Well,” Steve said with shrug. “John said Leah could stay with him in Miami. Think that will scandalize the press?”
“Doubt it,” Danny said. “If they have a problem with it, she can always say she’s staying with Alicia.”
“There is that,” Steve agreed, returning to his spreadsheet and thinking about how lucky they were that Leah Kelekolio was going to join their ohana, adding even more love to the mix. Leah was perfect for John and Steve liked to think John was perfect for Leah.
Leah had considered moving to San Francisco when she’d accepted John’s proposal but they had finally decided that she would stay in Hawaii. John had houses in both of his ‘home-towns’ and she’d move into his beach house once they were married. Maybe she’d eventually quit working to follow him from game to game but he had known of her determination to continue working from their first date.
John and Leah had thanked Grace multiple times for introducing them, even if they had been initially leery about the blind date she’d arranged. That first date had pretty much decided for them both that they had met their one-true-love.
Plans were being made to declare this truth publically in May when they got married in the backyard of Steve and Danny’s house. Leah had said that they could get married in John’s yard but it wasn’t quite as big as his fathers’ yard and they knew they’d be an overflow crowd at their wedding. Danny had expressed some doubt that their yard would accommodate all the people expected to attend but John and Leah had assured him that he would work his miracles and the wedding would be perfect. Danny had passed on their reassurances to Henry who simply shrugged and went back to making a list of things to be done before the wedding day.
The hardest decisions were those made by Kono and Charlie. Taking all the children felt like a logistical nightmare although their ohana had reminded them they wouldn’t be there alone. Still – six kids seemed like a lot to corral.
Kono wasn’t especially concerned about being away as the second year of her first gubernatorial term started. It wasn’t like her absence would shut down the government. There were those who would undoubtedly complain that she was neglecting her state by going to the mainland but everyone in politics had critics.
“We know you want us there if they win,” she said to Steve and Danny at the lunch they shared before Steve and Danny were set to fly to San Francisco to attend the play-off game.
“And we want to come,” Charlie added, passing the warm bread to Kono who smiled her thanks.
“We know,” Danny said. “And you know if they get to the Super Bowl, John will understand why you can’t be there.”
She nodded, studying her lobster ravioli. She didn’t really like ravioli and wasn’t sure why she’d ordered it. Except her kids all loved it so maybe it was maternal reflex. “We both really want to be there,” she said with wistful tone.
“We know,” Steve said. “Bring the kids if we get to go to the Super Bowl. We’ll all be on kid-duty.”
“I’ll talk to Shan,” she decided, referring to Lt Governor Shan Tsutsui. “I’m sure he’ll think it’s fine for us to go.”
“I’d think so,” Charlie said.
“You could come if Kono can’t,” Danny suggested.
Charlie laughed, shaking his head. “I’m sure you would fly off to Florida if Steve couldn’t go.”
“Absolutely,” Danny lied.
Kono smiled her dimpled smile, laughter lighting her eyes. “What a liar you are.”
Danny shrugged, smiling over at Steve.
Ultimately, Kono and Charlie, with positive reassurances from their ohana, had decided to take the entire Kalakaua-Fong clan to Miami for the game. Kono had agreed to be a featured speaker at the White House sponsored conference on Native American rights the week following the game, which meant they could take the governor’s private plane to the mainland. Danny had tried to hitch a ride with her but when she reminded him that they wouldn’t be going to Florida until the Saturday before the game, he’d agreed a commercial flight with his husband was the better alternative.
Kono, Charlie, the six children, and their live-in nanny would have three rooms in the hotel. It would be something of a tight squeeze but no one would complain, all of their rooms connecting and across the hall from Steve and Danny.
The final item on Steve’s spreadsheet was the actual tickets to the actual Super Bowl game. John was allocated six tickets, as was each member of the teams. Clearly that was way too few for the ohana. John had tried bribing some of his teammates into giving up their tickets but he could only score three more. Nine tickets was still way short of the 22 they needed. It was a tiny mercy that Emma didn’t need a ticket since she was to be a guest of the NFL but they weren’t sure what to do about the shortfall.
“Call Roger Goodell,” Danny suggested as Steve continued to perseverate over the problem. “He owes you 11-hundred favors.”
“There is that,” Steve said, considering it. “I don’t want to risk any smack of impropriety for John.”
“He won’t be accused of fixing the game in John’s favor just because we need tickets,” Danny had insisted. “Do you want me to call him?”
“Okay,” Steve had agreed finally. “No, wait. He needs to give them to us because we’re the former governor of Hawaii, not because we’re John’s father.”
“I don’t recall being governor of Hawaii,” Danny said, making Steve frown at him as he dialed his phone. “I guess he would be in his office on Saturday this close to the end of the season.”
“Yes, may I speak to Commissioner Goodell, please?” Steve asked. “Steve Williams-McGarrett… yes, former governor of Hawaii… yes, I’ll be glad to wait…. Commissioner.”
“Steve. So good to hear from you,” the Commissioner said when he’d picked up.
“You too, Roger. Great season,” Steve said. “It was good seeing you at the all-star game. I’m sorry we didn’t have time to chat.”
“Me too,” Roger said. “You’ll have to come to New York so we can talk.”
“Love to,” Steve said. “I’m sure you can guess why I’m calling.”
Roger laughed in confirmation. “Not to worry, Governor. I’ve already reserved a box in your name.”
“That isn’t necessary,” Steve said. “We can sit in the stands.”
“It’s frankly easier to give you one of the league boxes than find an entire section just for you,” Roger said.
“I guess that is true,” Steve said. “Can we pay you for the box?”
“Absolutely not,” Roger said. “We always reserve plenty for friends, supporters, the current and former governors of Hawaii.”
“You’ve talked to Kono, I see,” Steve laughed.
“Her office may have called earlier this morning,” Roger said. “Something about not being able to host the all-star game unless tickets were made available to the family of one of the quarterbacks?”
“She has always been especially good at empty threats,” Steve agreed.
“That’s precisely what I said. I thought she was going to inform you that the box was reserved.”
“She’s been tied up with the new legislature session. This time of year is always more crazy than normal.”
“True, true,” Roger said. “I know you don’t miss that part of the job.”
“There aren’t many aspects of the job I do miss,” Steve said.
“I hear that,” Roger said. “I’ll make sure I stop by your box during the game.”
“I look forward to it,” Steve said. “Thanks so much for your help.”
“Glad to do it,” Roger said. “And let’s plan to meet in New York in the spring. There are a couple of ideas I want to run by you.”
“Sounds good,” Steve said. “Have your office give me a call when you have the details.”
“You got it,” Roger said, ringing off after their good-byes.
“What’d he say?” Danny asked when he returned from the kitchen with two glasses of iced tea and a plate of warm from the oven cookies.
Steve told him about the box, and that the commissioner wanted him to come to New York in the spring.
“He’s going to offer you a job, again,” Danny said.
“I’ve told him no three times. Isn’t that enough?” Steve asked, taking another cookie.
Danny shrugged, giving his cheek a chocolaty kiss. “Then we won’t go to New York.”
“If you hadn’t forced me into teaching, I could work for the NFL,” Steve tried. He wasn’t even a little surprised with Danny laughed at him.
“You are such a bull-shitter,” Danny said looking over at the front door when it opened to admit Zach and Leah. “Hello son and soon to be daughter.”
“Danno,” Zach said with a nod. “Steve.”
“Hi ya,” Leah said as she followed Zach in. “Is Henry in the dining room?”
“Henry’s not here,” Danny said. “Is he supposed to be?”
“We’re meeting to talk about the wedding invitations,” Leah said, checking her phone. Her black hair fell in dark waves over her shoulder as she looked down at it, the tiny frown not marring her beautiful face. “At 12:30.”
“Huh,” Danny said, turning to Steve who was talking to Zach. “Did we know Henry was coming to meet with Leah?”
“He’ll be here in five minutes,” Zach said.
“How did you come by that information?” Danny asked him with a laugh.
“He’s stopping for Thai food,” Zach said.
“Oh,” Danny said. “Okay. Did you bring the invitation samples?”
“I have the entire book,” Leah said, indicating the fat binder in her oversize tote. “There must be a thousand different selections.”
“But you’ll know the one you like right away,” Steve assured her. “Danny picked ours out in five minutes.”
“I hope so,” Leah said. “Do you have your list ready?”
“Not yet,” Danny said. “I’m having trouble getting someone to narrow it down to 100 people.”
“I had no idea we knew so many people,” Steve admitted.
“It’s John and Leah’s wedding,” Zach reminded them. “You can’t only invite your friends.”
“They aren’t, sweets,” Leah assured Zach. “I’d like them to keep their list to 50 but I don’t think that’s possible.”
“Doesn’t seem likely,” Steve had to agree. “Unless we don’t invite any of our list. Zach’s right – it’s your wedding.” He looked over at Danny with one eyebrow cocked in question.
“Family only?” Danny said in tentative agreement.
“Ohana only,” Steve said. “That means only a dozen or so invitations.”
“I don’t know,” Leah said, chewing on her lip. “John will be disappointed if you eliminate your entire guest list.”
“We’ll still invite the Obamas,” Danny said. “And between our family and yours, the entire backyard will be filled to overflowing.”
“Plus John’s teammates,” Steve said.
“They will take up a lot of room,” Leah laughed. “All right. I’ll talk to John about it tomorrow.”
“Sounds good,” Steve said with a nod, greeting Henry when he entered with a cardboard box of food. “We’ve decided our invitation list will be ohana only.”
“That will simplify things,” Henry said, leading them into the dining room. Zach followed Steve into the kitchen, returning with plates and silverware. Steve returned shortly after with beer for everyone except Zach who requested his usual water.
While they were eating, Steve told them about the box the NFL was providing them at the Super Bowl. They all agreed that it would make things a lot simpler, having everyone in one place.
“Did you tell John?” Leah asked them.
“Not yet,” Steve said. “I’ll text him when we’re finished eating.”
“The Commissioner wants Steve to come to New York this spring,” Danny said, laughing at Steve’s expression.
“Tell him no if you don’t want to talk about a job,” Leah told him just as Danny had.
Steve shrugged, nothing further to add to that part of the conversation.
“When will you start looking for your dress?” Zach asked Leah when there was a lull in the conversation.
“Mom and I are going to start looking right after the Super Bowl,” Leah said. “I think the bridesmaids can chose their own style as long as they are made from the same fabric.”
“That makes sense,” Henry said. “Especially since you’ll have so many of them.”
“Is it a lot to have six? My three sisters, Grace, Emma, and Alicia?” Leah asked.
“Are you sure Grace will do it?” Danny asked. “She keeps telling us she’s too old to be a bridesmaid.”
“She has to do it,” Leah said. “I can’t have my sisters without John’s sister.”
“She will,” Steve assured her. “She’d never disappoint John, or you, by refusing.”
“Good,” Leah said. “I am a little worried about Emma’s dress.”
“She’ll send her measurements and have it altered on base in plenty of time,” Steve said.
“And she will be given leave to come home,” Danny said, making it sound like the decision was his. But she rarely took leave, knowing she needed to save what she had for ohana occasions. And she didn’t want to have to depend on Steve calling in favors for every day off she was granted.
Steve ignored him, reaching for more food and making sure Zach had enough of his favorite dishes. By the time they were done with lunch, Chin, Malia, Grace, and Amou had joined them. Not that anyone was surprised, since the beach house tended to be a gathering place for their entire extended family.
“Where are our perfect grandchildren?” Danny asked Amou as they were clearing the table.
“Alania is at ballet class,” Amou said.
“Since she worships Alicia,” Danny acknowledged.
“Completely. Kelani is at the mansion at Mele’s birthday party. I wasn’t sure about leaving her but Grace said she needs some independence,” Amou said with a shrug. “I’ll go pick her up in ten minutes. It’s a Disney princess party so I may have trouble getting her to come with me. And Nohea is with my parents. Dad wanted to try painting him although I doubt No will sit still long enough for him to make any sketches.”
“You want me to come with you to pick up Kelani?” Danny offered.
“That might help,” Amou agreed. “Grand-Danno trumps even the princesses.”
“Glad to be of service,” Danny laughed.
“Hey Amou,” Chin called from the backyard.
“Yeah Bossman?” Amou called back.
“Your beautiful wife said you need to go pick up your beautiful daughter.”
“Roger that,” Amou said. “Grand-Danno is going to come with. Help pry her away from princess heaven.”
“Good luck,” Chin said to Danny, laugh lines etched around his eyes.
“Swing by for Alania,” Grace reminded them before they got out the front door.
“We will,” Danny assured her with a wink as he closed the door.
“What about this one?” Leah asked. “Steve?”
“Huh?” he said, looking up at her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t hear what you said.”
She laughed and placed the book on his lap. “What about this invitation? Do you like it?”
Oh God. This is one of those fatherly things he always tried to palm off on Danno. Did he really have an opinion on invitations? He spared a quick glance over at Henry who was trying very hard not to laugh openly at him. He did give Steve a tiny nod before Steve turned his focus on the page Leah had displayed. The invitation looked…fine. It was white with gold lettering and scrolls. Nothing too fussy. “It’s nice,” he finally said, hoping that would suffice.
“I don’t know,” she said, retrieving the book and glancing over at Grace. “Don’t you think something a little fancier?”
Steve was temporarily off the hook when Leah sat back between Grace and Malia, their heads bent over the book.
“Good save,” Chin said quietly to Steve.
“There are still daddy duties I can’t fathom,” Steve admitted.
“I would guess that will always be true,” Chin said.
Henry came to sit next to Chin and agreed with his assessment. “SEAL school doesn’t teach you about wedding etiquette?” Henry laughed.
“Not when I went. I’ll double check with Em. Do I really need to have an opinion on invitations?” Steve asked softly, glancing at the women.
Chin laughed at him, shaking his head. “Dude.”
“If John were here, she would no doubt ask him,” Zach pointed out.
“There is that,” Steve said. “Grace only asked Danny. Although I have the feeling Rachel kept full veto power.”
“Mom was surprisingly hands-off,” Zach said. “Grace confided that she’d excepted her to be more… insistent.”
“Huh,” Steve said. “I hear you are getting serious about a certain professor of computing.”
Zach wouldn’t meet Steve’s eyes, staring instead into his glass. “She’s really nice.”
“And smart,” Chin said.
“And beautiful,” Henry added.
“And completely smitten with you,” Steve added. “That’s plain to anyone who sees you two together.”
“But I’m not… I don’t know….” Zach trailed off, unsure what else he wanted to say, or how to say it.
“No one has any expectations,” Steve assured him. “Take it in your own time. Felicia isn’t going to pressure you.”
“I know,” Zach said. “I was thinking about inviting her to the Super Bowl but she doesn’t really like football.”
“It’s not entirely about football,” Chin said. “Adele is performing the half-time show and Felicia is a big fan.”
“There is that,” Zach agreed. “Would it be okay if I invite her?”
“Of course you should,” Steve said. “She can share Alicia’s room.”
“Okay. I’ll talk to Mom and Dad just to make sure,” Zach decided.
“Good,” Steve said.
The next Sunday, the entire Williams-McGarrett/Edwards clan and friends were bedecked in 49ers jerseys and gathered in the luxury box the NFL had so generously provided to them. Emma had just left the field, the pre-game festivities wrapped up. She was very glad to be up in the box, confiding that the field was engulfed in madness. There was still 20 minutes to kick-off, time she was glad to observe from a distance.
The box had plenty of room for all of them, the Kalakaua-Fong children exploring every inch of it. Charlie was standing guard over the food, preventing the kids from taking all of it. The waiter had assured them that he was on stand-by to provide any additional food or drink they might want and that spillage was not a problem. Still, the kids were buzzed by all the excitement. Plus it was well past their Hawaiian bedtime, their brief stay in Florida not giving them a chance to acclimate to the change in time. Kono confided that she fully expected all of them to be sound asleep shortly after kick-off.
Zach was being as attentive and solicitous as he knew how with Felicia. Because she and Zach had known each other for several years, she wasn’t unnerved by his unusual behaviors. She looked at him with patience and affection shining in her eyes, and he seemed to bloom under her attentions.
“Maybe he will have his happily ever after,” Danny whispered to Steve as they watched their interactions.
“He deserves it,” Steve said before smiling broadly at Zach when he sat down next to him, Felicia on Zach’s other side. “You both get enough to eat?”
“Goodness,” Felicia said in amazement. “How many people did they think were coming?”
“We told them 22,” Danny said with a laugh. “Not 222.”
“I think they plan to feed both teams and their entire families,” Felicia said.
“The NFL is very generous to the current and former governors of Hawaii,” Leah observed with a smile for Steve and Kono.
“It isn’t like they need to bribe us,” Kono said, getting up to rescue the crudités from the fingers of her four year old. Charlie was breaking up a fight between their six year old twins, assuring them they were still plenty of cupcakes for them both.
“Did you get to talk to John today?” Grace asked Leah from where she was sitting behind her.
“He called me at 3:00. He sounded excited, not nervous. Didn’t you think so, Steve?”
“Excited,” Steve agreed. “Did you see him down there?” he asked Emma.
“For a hot second,” Emma said. “I got a fist bump from him. And he said we may be able to meet Adele after half time.”
“Really?” Felicia asked breathlessly. “Oh my. That would be….” She waved a hand rather than try to explain her excitement at the possibility.
“The Commissioner said she would be in his box after the show,” Steve said. “He’ll bring her by if there’s time.”
“That would be wonderful,” Rachel said, smiling at the happiness on Felicia’s face.
“So we’re going to use maroon and gold as the colors,” Leah was saying to Alicia. “John said it didn’t need to be a 49ers wedding but we have to have colors anyway, don’t we?”
“It makes sense,” Alicia said. “They are very nice together and will make a beautiful wedding.”
“I’ll send you the fabric manufacturer and color. You’ll be able to have your dress made in New York, right?”
“It won’t be a problem,” Alicia assured her. “One of the ballet costumers does private sewing on the side. She said she’d make my dress.”
“That’s fabulous,” Leah said in delight.
“Do you want me to send you the design?” Alicia asked.
“Can you send it to me?” Emma requested. “I don’t have any idea what I should pick.”
“Sure,” Alicia agreed.
“Do you where you’ll be when you leave Virginia? Will you still be in the states?” Leah asked.
“I don’t know yet,” Emma said, aware that her fathers had begun listening to their conversation. “I probably won’t get my new orders until I’m released by medical.”
“Should I make a few calls?” Steve asked.
“No, Daddy,” Emma said with a sigh. “Please don’t.”
“All right,” Steve said, winking at Danny.
“I’ll get my dress made wherever I end up,” Emma promised Leah.
“I know. I’m not worried,” Leah assured her. “Have you decided?” she asked, turning in her seat to talk with Grace.
“Not yet,” Grace said. “I’m thinking I’ll match my dress to Alania’s. Or hers to mine.”
“That sounds like a good idea,” Leah said. “Henry will order the invitations when we’re back in Hawaii, won’t you?”
“Absolutely,” Henry agreed. “I have Kamekona reserved to cater.”
“I thought he’d come with us to game,” Emma said, glancing around as though to make sure she hadn’t overlooked him.
“He considered it,” Danny said. “But he decided to host several Super Bowl parties with signed 49er jerseys as prizes.”
“A great money making opportunity,” Chin said.
“He said he’d come to the next Super Bowl John plays in,” Malia added.
“Maybe next year,” Danny said, fist-bumping with Steve.
It wasn’t too much longer until the game got under way with much fanfare and celebration. It wasn’t long into the game that it was clear that the 49ers had come not just to play but to win. And win they did. They soundly defeated the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 28 – 10. John was chosen unanimously as MVP, Steve and Danny bursting at the seams in pride of the accomplishments of their “little” boy. They both had tears in their eyes as John accepted the Lombardi trophy on behalf of his entire team, dedicating the win to the 49er fans, and especially to his ohana. (Google reported that ohana was the most searched term for 24 full hours following the completion of the game.)