Despite the fact that he knows who Steve is and who he'll be in the future before he even meets him, Danny finds himself utterly and completely infuriated by him.
"He's a menace," he tells Rachel during one of their more civil phone conversations. "I shudder to think about what the rest of the military is like if he's the sample population."
"Having the barest idea myself, I really can't comment," she replies.
"Are you laughing at me right now? You're laughing at me. I cannot believe this."
"He seemed polite enough, even when you two were barging into my home and setting up an operation in my bedroom," Rachel continues. "Really, I should be the one who's surprised that you've found someone more insane than you are when it comes to your job."
Danny snorts. "You just like him because he liked your tea."
"I make a good cup," Rachel agrees. "Not that you would know anything about that, you heathen. But he's one of them, isn't he? Your dream people."
He opens his mouth to deny it but stops. Rachel might not have a gift like he and Grace do, but she's perceptive as hell and has a better handle on Danny and his tells than most of his blood relatives. It's useless lying to her, always has been, and he doesn't know why he thinks that would be any different now.
"I wasn't going to say anything," he finally settles on.
"I would have known even if you hadn't admitted it just now," she says. She pauses, then says, "You'll tell me more about them, won't you? Once you know for sure?"
Danny shuts his eyes, and his fingers tighten around the cell phone. "You know I will," he replies, throat tightening.
He's surprised when it's Chin who makes the first move. He's seen Kono do it more times than he can count, and Steve on two or three memorable occasions, but never Chin. Danny normally hates it when things like this don't happen the way he's expecting them to, but this - this is something he can live with.
"First," Chin says.
Danny mouths at his jaw. "Shut up, shut up," he says. "You're more annoying than Steve is when you've won something. Also, it's not actually a competition."
"Of course it is," Chin says. "I got here first, and you didn't even see it coming, did you." He's somehow managing to look smug despite being out of breath and shaking from orgasm, and Danny lunges up off the couch to kiss the smirk right off his face.
"You know exactly what I've seen," Danny murmurs against his lips.
Chin's smile grows wider and warmer. He kisses Danny again, all tongue and breath and promise, and thinks loud and clear, Yes, I do.
Perfect, Danny thinks. He lets Chin push him back down against the cushions and start all over again.
The day they arrive in Honolulu, Danny takes Grace off to one side while Rachel and Stan direct the delivery men carrying all of their new furniture into the house. He crouches down close to the ground and looks her in the eye, hands resting on her shoulders. She's practically vibrating with excitement and obviously wants to check out her new room and the backyard, but Danny can tell the moment she picks up on the fact that he has something important to say to her.
"We don't tell anyone, you hear?" he asks.
She nods her head.
"If it gets to be too much, you tell your mother or you tell me," Danny continues, "or you find a quiet place to sit until you're feeling better. You remember what we taught you, about breathing and all that?"
Grace nods again and takes a step forward to wrap her arms around his neck. Danny closes his eyes and gathers her close to his chest, picking her up as he stands. He hasn't had the opportunity to hug her in weeks, he doesn't know how often he'll get to do it now, and it makes his bones ache painfully. Danny tightens his arms around her middle, feels an answering squeeze from her.
"Mommy says this is going to be good for all of us, even you," she says. "So don't be sad, Danno."
He thinks about telling her that he's not sad - but then, there's really no point in lying to an empath.
Kono spills water on the break room floor, but instead of grabbing a paper towel to mop it up, she twists her hand, and the water flows up off the ground, through the air, and into the sink. She has her back to the door and apparently hasn't heard him, so Danny holds his breath as she starts to pour herself another glass. This is the first time he's seen her do it for real, and while he wants nothing more than to rush in and hug her and tell her how amazing and wonderful she is, he backs into the hallway as quietly as he can and returns to his office.
Kono's not ready for him to know, the same way Steve and Chin aren't ready to say anything either. Patience has never been Danny's strong point, but he's trying. For them.
She stops by a moment later, sticking her head into the room and smiling at him. "Hey, you," she says. "Didn't hear you come in."
"I've been taking stealth lessons from McGarrett," Danny tells her. "Decided it wasn't fair that he got all the fun." Kono laughs and waves a hand, then wanders off towards the computer table. He lets out the breath he's been holding in with a woosh and leans back hard in his chair.
It'll happen, he thinks. Very, very soon.
Danny dreams about the three of them off and on his whole life, and he's hurt but not surprised when Rachel brings them up during one of their whispered, late night arguments.
"Do you even care?" she demands. "Does it matter that I'm the one you're married to when you have them to look forward to?"
"Of course it fucking matters," he says. "I love you. I don't know who they are. I don't even know if I'll ever actually meet them. That's not how this works, and I've told you that before, you know it."
"No, Danny, I don't know that. I don't understand any of it, I never have, and I really don't want to."
She retreats into the master bedroom after that, shutting the door so quietly that it's obvious she'd rather be slamming it. Danny feels like breaking something, wants to drive his fist into the drywall so much, he can taste it. But there's a muffled whimper coming from Grace's room and a matching one from Rachel, and the fight bleeds out of him, leaving him hollow and numb. This - the anger, the bitterness, the arguments, all of it - is a future he hadn't seen, one he can barely even comprehend even as it goes on around him, and he hates that he was unprepared for it more than anything else.
That night, Danny dreams that the end is coming. He moves out the following morning, crashes at Matt's apartment and drinks himself silly for two days. He's expecting it when Rachel serves him the divorce papers a few weeks later.
He glares at Kono when the wave he was sort of almost riding properly disappears from underneath his board. "I was actually doing it right that time," he says, "don't try to tell me I wasn't." She laughs at him and makes a spinning motion with one finger, and he has to hold on even tighter as the water whirlpools around him and spins him until he falls off and into the ocean. He comes back up after a moment, spluttering and wiping the water out of his eyes. "Oh, that is just not fair at all. You can't let up on me for one minute? Just one?"
"I have to have some fun, too, you know," she calls back to him.
"You're a terror. I thought you were teaching me so I could actually do this with Grace one of these days."
Kono grins, then cocks her head to one side. "You want an interruption-free lesson?" she asks.
"What, have I been talking to myself the last five minutes? Yes, I would like to learn the basics of surfing without you pulling my pigtails."
"Come to my family's luau tomorrow night," she says. Danny raises his eyebrows at her. "My mother and all the aunties want to meet this guy Chin and I don't stop talking about, so I figure - like a bandaid." She mimes the ripping part and gives him an evil smile that has a hint of uncertainty swimming like a shark beneath it.
Danny rolls his eyes at her. "A manipulative terror, that's what you are." He pretends to think about it, then says, "Mind if I bring Grace along?"
The happiness on her face sends sparks of warmth all down his spine, and Danny knows that this was the right thing to say, even though he hadn't known it was a test in the first place.
The sunlight filtering through the curtains is Danny's first reminder that he isn't in his own bed. There are warm bodies curled up next to him on either side - the second and third reminders - and Chin's voice in his head tells him to come downstairs and have coffee. Ah, Danny thinks. We're in Steve's house.
Yes, we are, replies Chin. And if there's going to be any chance of us getting into the office on time this morning, you're going to have to get up now.
"You're no fun, Chin," Steve murmurs into Danny's right shoulder. Kono nods in agreement against Danny's left and tightens the hold she has around his chest.
Danny sighs and struggles out of their grasp to sit up on the bed. He doesn't make it very far. Almost as soon as he tugs his arm out from under Kono, he's being forced back down onto the mattress. Both Steve and Kono snuggle in closer, effectively trapping him.
"Chin can fight crime today if he wants to," Kono says. She hasn't even opened her eyes. "Though I really think he should come back upstairs and nap with us."
Chin's laughter echoes up the stairs but promises to come up as soon as he's done making coffee. Danny settles down, closes his eyes, and breathes.
There's a bullet in Kono's left arm and blood trickling out of the hole it's made in her skin. The red spreads across her white shirt like an inkblot until most of the sleeve is soaked, and even though wounds like this are to be expected in their line of work, Danny feels his stomach turn at the sight. Steve motions to him to give her a hand, the I'll cover both of you, I'm getting us all out of here alive and mostly whole left unsaid, and both he and Chin move close together to block the impending second assault on their hiding place.
"You're not going to puke on me, are you?" Kono rasps out. "That would really put a damper on this date."
Danny shakes his head. He rips the buttons off his shirt in his haste to take it off, then presses the fabric against her arm, wincing when she groans in pain. "One of these days, the four of us are going to have a nice, quiet dinner together, and no one will end up shot or poisoned or kidnapped. It's going to be fucking glorious."
"Sounds boring," Kono tells him with a wink.
"I'll make it worth your while," he replies.
He taps her nose lightly with one finger. "I promise."
Kono smiles and closes her eyes. A crease appears between her eyes, and Danny checks to make sure he isn't making her wound worse before he realizes Chin must be telling her something. He wonders why he's not getting the same message, then realizes that Chin's a little busy at the moment. All of our concentrations are worn down, he thinks. Something tugs at his gut, different from the rolling nausea, and Danny jerks his head around to look at Steve. "There's a grenade coming our way," he whispers, knowing Steve will hear him even with all the gunfire around them.
Steve curses but grabs hold of Chin and tugs him back to the wall where Danny and Kono are resting. "Okay, here's the plan," he starts to say before Danny waves a hand in his face.
"If you're about to say you'll draw fire while we run, I will hit you so hard. You don't even know how much you can take before the healing shuts off," Danny says. Steve grins and leans forward to plant a kiss on his jaw.
"Totally worth it," Steve says, and then he's off, running through the shot-up restaurant and shouting at the top of his lungs.
Chin taps Danny on the shoulder. "You heard the man," he says.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Danny says.
Steve almost drops Grace into the water when she pushes a wave of pure joy happy contentment joy joy joy into him. The look of shock and surprise on his face is so comical and un-Steve-like that Danny can't help but burst out laughing at him. Steve glares in the direction of Danny's spot on the beach (Goddamn super hearing, Danny thinks fondly) but adjusts his hold on Grace to ensure she won't fall off the board just yet. Danny chuckles again and brings his phone back up to his ear just in time to catch Rachel calling his name.
"What's so funny this time?" she asks.
"Grace just hit McGarrett with one of her specials," he says. "I don't think he's felt that much childlike glee since he was in the womb."
Rachel's giggle rings like a bell in Danny's ear. "Your lieutenant commander can be a serious one, can't he. Though I don't think he's as sad as you seem to think."
"What? Guy makes taking things too seriously into an Olympic sport. He's the best there is at it." She mmhmms him, and Danny groans. "I know what that sound means, Rachel, and for the record I think you're wrong."
"For the record," she says, "I think you're ignoring what's right in front of your face. Honestly, Mr. Unobservant, precognition is completely wasted on you."
Danny looks back out at the water to find both Grace and Steve staring at him with matching expressions of curiosity mixed with concern. He knows Steve's heightened hearing caught both sides of his conversation with Rachel, but Danny's fairly certain he doesn't understand what it is they're talking about exactly. "This is something we're going to have a conversation about later, isn't it," he grumbles. Steve's face breaks out into a wide grin, and he leans over to whisper something in Grace's ear that has her giggling a moment later.
"It'll be worth it," Rachel says.
"How do you know that?"
"I don't," she replies. "But I want it to be. I think this is what you've been waiting for."
He doesn't answer. She hangs up, and he blinks sweat and salt out of his eyes before dropping his phone back in Grace's beach bag.
"You know, this trend of me not being allowed to drive my own car?" Danny says, cringing as they turn a corner and fishtail before straightening out again. "Yeah, it's gotta stop. I'm officially sick of it. To whom do I address my letter of complaint?"
"You have to be first in the parking lot if you don't want other people driving the car," Steve says. He glances over his shoulder to Danny and grins. "Rules are on the whiteboard, remember?"
Danny counts back from ten and doesn't punch Steve in the face, choosing to check his gun instead. Kono curses and spins the wheel as the car they're following makes a sudden turn onto a side street. There's a dock up ahead, empty save for one sorry-looking fishing boat, and the car ahead of them slams on the breaks just in front of it, causing Kono to curse again and bring them to a screeching halt. Chin pulls up on his motorcycle just as the driver's emerging with a gun in his hand. He aims it at Chin and fires once, but then Steve is there and deflecting the bullet off into the wall of a nearby building before Danny can even blink.
A funnel of water shoots up out of the ocean and wraps itself around the shooter, picking him up off the ground and whipping him across the street. He lands on a dumpster with a sickening thud. Danny looks over to Kono and raises an eyebrow at her.
"What?" she asks. "He would've kept shooting at them."
"I'm not saying anything," Danny replies, "except that maybe you and Steve need to sit in separate corners from now on." Kono grins and punches his arm. "Now, see, that was totally unnecessary and painful."
"You good, cousin?" she calls over to Chin. He gives her a thumbs up, and Steve pats him on the back before they start making their way over to their suspect. Kono looks at Danny and nods her head in their direction. "You maybe want to do some police work too?"
Danny can't stop himself from laughing at that. "Lead the way, rookie."
"I'd ask you how you know this won't end badly," Chin says, "but that would be stupid of me, wouldn't it."
Danny presses his face into Chin's bare shoulder and sighs. On his other side, Kono snuggles in closer to his back, her skin sleep-warm and smooth. He considers not answering Chin at all, thinks about letting him trip through Danny's memories of all the prophetic dreams and premonitions he's had until he finds one that will help him make sense of everything, thinks about kissing him good morning until he forgets he asked in the first place.
"I wouldn't call it stupid," Danny says. He feels Chin shift around until he's lying on his side facing Danny.
"Tell me," he says.
Danny opens his eyes. They stare at each other in silence, the heavy air between them breaking only when Kono scrapes her nails down Danny's side and he shivers. She's still asleep, murmuring something about Steve against Danny's skin, and he and Chin both laugh softly.
"I don't know it won't end badly," says Danny. "I haven't seen the end - just the beginning, which is almost over already, and the middle parts, and even those change from time to time."
"So how do we know we're not just making a huge mess of our lives?" Chin asks.
Danny reaches up a hand to Chin's face and traces the line of his jaw up to his ear. "We might be," he says. "But I think - I think it'll be okay. I think we'll be okay. I feel like this is right, or as close to it as we'll get. Does it matter? Right now?"
Chin turns his hand and presses a kiss to Danny's palm. Danny tugs his face forward to kiss him properly, and a moment later Kono's awake, demanding to know why they didn't wake her immediately for the morning makeout session.
He doesn't dream about the McGarrett case until the night before he's assigned to work it. The file lands on his desk first thing in the morning, and when he glances up at the chief, he notices all the eyes in the station are on him. It's unsurprising, if a little unnerving - Jack McGarrett is, or was at this point, a legend on the force, and his brutal murder has been the number one topic of discussion for the last three days.
"You really want to give me this one?" Danny asks.
"You're good, Williams," the chief says, "and you're not involved the way we are. Take those fresh eyes over to the house and do your thing."
It's not just that, Danny realizes. It's the chief's way of helping Danny prove himself to the rest of the force. He's not sure whether he should be grateful or angry for the unexpected push, but he finds himself pulling into the driveway twenty minutes later anyway. There's tape surrounding the house but no guards, so he ducks underneath it and takes the key he'd found in the file out of his pocket. He inserts the key in the doorknob and turns it, and -
"Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett, this is my father's house -"
Danny staggers back way from the door, gasping, his right hand coming up involuntarily to cover his eyes. He reaches for the railing with his left hand but misses and falls hard on his knees. There's heavy pressure on his chest and his lungs are burning like he's drowning, but just as quickly as it came over him, it's gone again. He inhales deeply and coughs when he gets a mouthful of the dust his fall had kicked up from the porch. He stands back up and looks around. There's no one around, thankfully, so Danny leans back against the railing and looks up into the overhang.
"Tomorrow," he says. He closes his eyes. "This starts tomorrow."