If it's good to complicate then both of us are doing fine.
Just keep your eyes on your part and leave me alone to mine.
If it's good to instigate, we're a fast horse, bet on us.
I'm not calling you an animal; I think we just fight too much.
Steve isn’t sure how it works, only that it does - this thing between Danny and himself. If he thinks about it hard, which he tries not to, he has seen couples like them before; bickering and fussing as each other, calling out their flaws and idiosyncrasies. Only he can’t be sure how they act when they’re alone with each other.
Danny is his rock; a more than solid foundation for Steve to build upon or support himself against and when they go home, he helps Steve shrug off the day like he hasn’t been able to before. The nights are no longer spent replaying the day and wondering, wishing, regretting. Danny presses up against him, brushes his hands against every bit of Steve’s skin he can get to and just makes Steve melt. Where his partners words were criticizing earlier, they are now full of adoration and affection and Steve soaks it up like a sponge because he aches sometimes with how much he loves Danny.
They’re not married - can’t be legally anyway, but everyone, everyone knows that they are. Steve wakes up to Danny every morning, touching, caressing and kissing his partner until he wakes with a whine, fussing at the early hour. Together, they make a small breakfast before work and their hands are never far from each other. By the time they make it to the office, his partner has finished his first cup of coffee and makes a bee line to the office coffee maker. Steve stands behind him, nosing his neck as Danny pours sugar into this cup. Chin and Kono are far beyond familiar with this sight.
When they’re out and about in the Camaro and it’s still to early in the morning for Danny to have conjured anything to fuss about, Steve will lace their fingers together over his thigh and lets Danny talk about Grace and his latest conversation with his parents in New Jersey. Steve's nerves are soothed when Danny is relaxed, but he knows it won’t be that way for long. It wouldn’t be fun it did.
We're both aligned in frame of mind
But circumstance got us good.
And now you're seeing a side of me
I wish no one ever would.
“You already know how this ends,” Danny snarls at him, fists curled and Steve does indeed know where this is going. “I can see that you do, but you are still trying to talk your way out of it.”
“Danny, it’s only–”
Steve snaps his mouth closed with a click! of his teeth and the scowl Danny gives him is slightly frightening. Slightly.
“We are going to sit our asses, right here,” Danny stabs a finger at the ground beneath them. “And we are waiting for HPD to get here. Alright, Captain American?”
He’d have waited. He honestly would have, but the simple task of arguing with Danny about it relieves some of the stress of actually waiting for the backup to get there. Steve will never tell Danny that, but he likes to let Danny think he’s got him whipped.
On second though, Danny does have him whipped, Steve just doesn’t like to acknowledge it at times.
Despite their patience, Steve will point out later, gunfire breaks out around them and they are set in motion, whether Danny wants to be or not.
Steve ends up taking a bullet for Danny in the arm and he doesn’t – will never regret it. He plans to tell Danny so with as much conviction he can muster, but Danny is currently too pisses to talk to him as they make their way home from the hospital.
“How can you be mad about this?”
Danny cuts his eyes to the driver’s side. “I can damn well be upset about whatever I want, Steven.”
The situation doesn’t get any better by the time he pulls into the yard and he watches Danny dart from the car and into the house without waiting for him. It’s safe to say that he’s in deep trouble, but Steve knows that when Danny and him are together in their home, Danny will at least be honest about it. Maybe that’s why he ran inside, you know, to compose himself or something. Steve wants to fix this, or let Danny have it out with him.
“Babe?” Steve says into the dark foyer. Danny hasn’t cut any of the lights on and it’s quiet inside. He finds Danny sitting at the kitchen table, looking uncomfortable and agitated. “You know I love you, right?” his lover says in the darkness before Steve turns the light on.
Steve’s not exactly sure what this is about, but he’s determined to find out. “Of course, Danny.”
That just seems to make Danny more upset. “Then why, Steve? Why do you do this?”
“Do what? Take a bullet for you?”
Danny growls. “Yes!”
Steve can tell that this will take some groveling and massive amounts of touching to convince Danny of what he’s about to say, because his lover has always undervalued himself. Steve hates it.
“No, Steve, I just, how do you...” Danny tries. “How can you even think that getting shot for me is the right thing to do? Explain that to me.”
“Because I love you too, just as much, and I’d never let you get hurt when there is something I can do about it,” Steve says softly, despite how angry Danny appears. “I’ll always worry about your safety before my own.”
“That’s not fair.”
“Because I feel the same way, but somehow I’m not the one who has been shot,” his lover points out, turning to face Steve.
“I love you too much to see you get shot again, can’t that be enough?”
“Steven, I can take care of myself, and I do not want other people getting hurt for me, not even you, babe.”
Steve shakes his head in disbelief because Danny is not listening to him, the stubborn bastard. Dropping to his knees, Steve pushes his way between Danny’s thighs and grips his partner’s hip, gently rubbing his nose against Danny’s stubbled chin. “Oh, Danny, you’re not hearing me,” Steve whispers.
Danny’s arms slowly rise and Steve feels hesitant fingers curling around his neck and just that simple touch is a relief. “I know what you think, Steve. You think that I feel like I’m not worth it - if you die. I can’t help but think that.”
“Baby, you are worth it,” Steve pleads, kissing his partners neck, willing him to feel differently. “You’ve always been worth it, even before I fell in love with you.”
Danny’s face is wet and Steve tries to kiss away his tears. “Danny look at me.”
Danny’s crystal blue eyes make Steve ache inside and he wants to wrap around him and keep him safe. “I know you’re scared, but I want to protect you and keep you safe. I want you to be happy here with me. I want to love you. Let me, please?”
Trembling lips press against Steve’s mouth and say, “Yes.”
Even diamonds start as coal.
Give it time girl, the fire feels divine
The sweetest things, they burn before they shine.
~Diamonds and Coal, Incubus