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In Between

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With Danny and Grace gone the house feels empty, as if they took all the noise and life with them when they left. It leaves Steve feeling itchy and irritable. He busies himself with picking up the few things Danny and Grace left behind and washing the dishes.

When he catches sight of his reflection in the window he grins and heads to the bathroom. Bemused Steve stares at himself in the bathroom mirror, wondering just what was going through Grace's head when she decided to paint on him and then, with a sigh, leans down to wash the color away. The orange proves especially resilient and necessitates some heavy scrubbing.

Afterwards he wanders through the house aimlessly and then steps out on the lanai. Danny isn't back yet and Steve finds himself at loose ends. He hates waiting. When he finds one of the Grace's colorful hair ties, he turns it over in his hand several times, before he pockets it.

For a moment he thinks about heading down to the water and going for a swim, but the certainty that Danny will be back, once he's dropped Grace off at her mom's, stops him. It might relax him, easing the nervousness and worry and the restlessness of waiting, but he wants to be here when Danny comes back.

After their almost kiss earlier that day, he has felt on edge and it has taken all of his self-control and patience and the constant reminder of Grace's presence to stop himself from just dragging Danny off to the bedroom and take that step that would finally take them from friends to lovers.

He still remembers the way Danny had looked at him, blue eyes blown wide and how reluctant he'd been when he'd forced himself to step away. The attraction had been there from the very beginning and had grown the better they got to knew each other. Steve had been fascinated from the very start. Danny's condolences had been one of the few that had rung true, even though back then they'd come from a stranger. And Danny had been one of the few people, who didn't back down from him, he might bend, let Steve have his way more often than not but when it came to the really important things, Steve just knew that Danny wouldn't back down, wouldn't bend or break, but stand his ground.

He'd been slightly stunned that Danny had picked that moment, but then had just gone with the flow. Danny's timing had been awful and it had been a good thing that Steve had had his arms full with Grace, because otherwise he'd have dragged Danny down onto the hammock with him and refused to ever let him go, especially as Danny had looked as if he'd kiss Steve any moment now.

Danny had looked as wrecked as Steve had felt and after that moment the tension between them had been almost unbearable. Normally Steve loves having Grace over, but today he'd eagerly waited for the time when Danny would take her home.

Danny had promised 'later' and Steve finds it hard and harder to wait for Danny to come back. He wonders if Danny is having second thoughts. He is honest enough with himself to admit that he has them.

Steve knows that this will be a risk. They work together. Danny is still recovering from a harsh divorce that left deep wounds and Steve's experience with any kind of relationship is limited to almost non-existing. He doubts that his arrangement with Catherine counts as a relationship. Both the military and the police-force aren't exactly known for their liberal and understanding attitude. Yet not taking that last step strikes Steve as absolutely inacceptable and he has never before shied away from any risk and he has no intention of starting now. Especially not with when it concerns Danny.

All he's left with now is waiting for Danny to come back, so that they can figure out where this thing between them will take them. He hates waiting, but he knows that some things require a certain amount of patience and Danny is worth it and so much more.