Steve can only remember one time he’s disappointed his father in his life and it’s not the day he gets him killed by an alpha terrorist.
Victor Hesse had been a surprise that even Steve hadn’t anticipated: attempting to ransom John McGarrett’s life in exchange for the release of his beta brother after he'd finally tracked the arms dealer down and caught him in South Korea. In the proceeding gunfight, Anton Hesse was fatally wounded and Steve listened to finality of a gunshot travel across a phone line, ending his father’s life with swift retribution.
He’d returned to O'ahu for the funeral and the Governor enlisted him to run a new task force in order to hunt down Hesse and clean up Hawaii’s underworld before his father was even six foot in the ground. Steve had been thinking about transferring to the Reserves for a while but her offer had been the final push to finalise the decision.
No, being complicit in his father’s murder isn’t how Steve disappointed John McGarrett. The real moment he disappointed his father was the day he finally presented.
The nightmares start almost as soon as he’s back on the island. After he’s buried his father. Vivid, overwhelming memories mixed with imagined events.
He dreams of his father’s death as if he was standing in the room when it happened and each time Steve wakes up in his hotel room feeling like he can’t move. Immobilized by his own destructive fear. The McGarrett house is still a crime scene but he's going back there tomorrow anyway to look for clues or a lead. Anything that will help him.
He’s going to catch Victor Hesse and he’s going to kill him.
Firstly, though he needs a team. The haole working on John McGarrett’s murder might be hopelessly adapting to Hawaii with his professional ties and ridiculous loafers, but he’s a good detective. Even if he pulls a gun on Steve the first time they meet.
So he’s smart at least. Can recognise a threat when he sees one.
Steve selects him to join the task force first. Mostly because he’s already an outsider, like Steve, and though most of HPD’s precinct hasn’t heard much of him since he left for the Navy right out of high school there are still rumours floating around. About him. Though he knows his father didn’t talk about it. Steve still doesn’t want to deal with any of their judgement if he can help it.
A fresh face seems safest. Even if the haole is unmistakeably an alpha and the status alone is enough to be a problem. Being a Navy SEAL means Steve’s seen enough alphas to last a lifetime, especially the thick-skulled ones that think everything on the goddamn planet belongs to them for their knots alone, chiefly any omega they can sniff out within rutting distance.
Steve knows not all alphas are like this, his Navy buddies were some of the few who weren’t fitting that stereotype, but unfortunately the statistics speak for themselves.
The thing about Danny Williams, though, is that he’s different.
He doesn’t fit the atypical alpha model which is partially why Steve even considers giving him the time of day on his task force. He’s short, very short for an alpha, but he’s stocky and has an explosive temper that lacks the proper bluster of alpha rage.
He doesn’t even try to intimidate like other alphas do. The boys at the precinct call him Menehune alpha behind his back after the deep forest dwarves in Hawaiian mythology but it’s a friendly nickname, which the haole good-naturedly rebuffs with minor cursing and eye rolls.
He’s got an easy confidence to him that screams natural leader in a way Steve can never pull off and he bristles at how simple he makes it look. But he’s a good detective, better than expected, so Steve shows up at his place and makes Danny his partner like it’s that easy.
But Danny doesn’t seem to want to make it that easy. There’s something about him that winds Steve up like alphas usually can’t and they’re already butting heads about how best to chase the lead Danny found.
"Alphas like you they think they know how to do everything better and that only makes my job harder," Danny says like he’s not an alpha and it’s not a statement, but a fact, and it makes Steve’s jaw click, even as approval surges in his blood.
“Governor gave me jurisdiction and I’m making you my partner,” he says, ignoring the insult. “We’re gonna get along great.”
He finds Chin Ho Kelly next, a beta ex-cop who’d partnered with his father and wants back into policing again despite all the rumours and accusations of payoffs taken on the job. One good look at him and Steve knows he’s anything but dirty. The close relationship with his father might be a threat, but Chin gives no indication that he knows anything, about Steve or what happened so he offers him the job.
His cousin alpha, Kono Kalakaua is a good addition to their group. She’s fresh out of the academy, fresh out of the surf and Steve is surprised when Danny lingers on their handshake, openly hitting on her. Kono seems a little startled, but she doesn’t get aggressively offended about it like Steve’s seen some other alphas do when another alpha hits on them.
There’s nothing truly against same-status relationships but there are plenty of assholes, notably alphas, that get offended and cite narrow-minded excuses like going against the biology of nature to voice disapproval. As far as Steve is concerned, nature can go fuck itself.
Nothing else comes of it though, despite Steve being unnecessarily irked by Danny, defying all of his alpha expectations. All of them will make a good team together and that’s enough for Steve. Two alphas on the team seems risky, but he knows how to handle it without creating unnecessary complications.
Then they start working the case to find Victor before he enacts his extraction plan to get off the island, following Danny’s lead from the arms dealer, Doran, who supplied Hesse with the gun he used to kill Steve's father and in the following confrontation, Danny gets shot.
It’s only a flesh wound. Steve’s more concerned with the omega girl being trafficked from China, taken from her family and drugged into prostitution who they find tied up in Doran’s house. If Doran wasn’t already dead, Steve would make him wish that he was.
Once they’ve made sure the girl is safe, he’s too focused on thinking this is exactly how Victor Hesse plans to escape O'ahu to worry about the implications of Danny shooting their only lead, protecting Steve like a natural born alpha. It makes his teeth sharpen with the urge to bite.
"Okay, excuse me, I’m sorry. This is typically the part where you say thank you for saving your life."
Steve’s fists tighten. “You just shot my only lead.”
It grows out of nothing, but in the next moment they’re arguing like nothing else, drawing the attention of the nearby witnesses, EMT’s and the HPD with their warring wills. There’s a snarl sitting in the back of Steve’s throat, waiting to make itself known but he tampers it down, keeps himself under control. Because it’s that unflappable control that’s protected him for so long.
But then Danny escalates it further by shoving his goddamn finger into Steve’s face and he’s on the verge of snapping, spitting out a warning for Danny to back the hell off but the alpha’s on a roll, yelling about stupid risks and not dying for Steve’s vendetta because he has a daughter. And then to make matters fatally worse, the sonofabitch is bringing up Steve’s father.
It’s the wrong move. Steve’s anger is as fast as a slash of claws and Danny’s still pointing that goddamn damn finger at him. In the next instant, he’s got a hold of Danny’s hand, jerking it into a lock and twisting his arm behind his back. The itch in his fingers warns him he’s close to popping claws and Steve has to breathe deeply to regain control.
For a brief moment he feels a wild thrill at having an alpha trapped beneath him like this, crotch very nearly pressed up against Danny’s ass as he holds him there, knowing nothing can get him free. His alpha strength, his scent and not even his alpha tone will sway him. Only if Steve wishes it. There’s a heady sense of power to it, having an alpha subject to his whims.
Danny swallows and ever so carefully flexes the wrist caught in Steve’s painful arm lock as if testing the give. Steve jams his arm higher, pushing it right to the edge of breaking and Danny swallows again, the sharp taste of pain masking something else Steve can’t distinguish.
He holds him there a little longer than necessary, heat thrumming in his sternum as he listens to Danny’s heart beat slow, radiating calm that any alpha being forced to submit could never possess. Steve's surprised he didn’t go rogue which alphas are known to do once they’ve been backed into a corner. There’s a rabid sense of violence to going rogue, a berserker laced quality to it that’s as terrifying as it is senseless.
Displays of power and control can keep alphas in line when they go too far but there’s always the chance it might backfire and that Steve will have to fight for his life. It doesn’t seem Danny’s the type though and when he flexes his wrist again in Steve’s hold, he feels the sudden heat between them.
It's that realisation that makes him let go- before his body reveals anything. Considering the matter settled, Steve’s barely changed the subject back to the human traffickers before Danny’s letting loose and punching him in the face.
He staggers at the shock of it, pain exploding across his nose, but it’s not broken and even if it was, it would heal. His astonishment is more surprising than anything else. He really hadn’t expected Danny to hit him.
Sometimes his own instincts betray him. Steve can feel the reflex to whine rising up in his disbelief so he keeps his jaw firmly shut, fighting the urge.
“You’re right,” Danny snaps, seemingly much calmer now that he’s punched him, and the rigid lines of back muscles rippling through his tight shirt confront Steve’s eyes as he storms away. “I don’t like you.”
They’re off to a great start.
They get information on Victor Hesse by wasting an unreasonable amount of money on Chin’s CI’s shave ice shop. The CI, an easy going beta named Kamekona, forces Danny and Steve into t-shirts to advertise his business and insists they wait outside with their shaved ice like a couple of glittering alpha displays while he talks to Chin inside.
A little girl approaches and Steve’s behaviour instantly piques her suspicion before she's asking flat out if they’re cops. When Danny easily reaches into his car and suddenly procures a horrifyingly large, stuffed bunny, Steve watches as the little girl smiles and happily accepts the gift from a strange alpha without question, chirping out a sweet 'thank you' as she scurries away.
After that, Steve needs to re-arrange his brain a little. He’s never been especially good with children, but somehow he’d expected Danny to be no better. Even with a daughter of his own. Most alphas aren’t, too busy frightening children to play with them but that’s no problem for Danny. Apparently nothing is.
Because Danny’s not a frightening alpha, he suddenly realises. He doesn’t exert his status, flaunting it like a trophy when he enters the room. Danny doesn’t even try to take up that mantle, happy to do his own thing in his own way.
Steve’s never seen anything so unlike what it’s accepted to be in anyone but himself before. He and Danny are more similar than he realised.
“What?” Danny wonders, realising Steve is watching him closely.
Steve jerks his head sharply and shrugs. “Nothing.”
They send Kono in, since she’s a fresh face not even out on the beat yet and she’ll be less likely to be recognised by the locals. She holds her own and with her help they uncover the rest of the people being trafficked from China, reuniting the omega girl with her family and finding the final location of Hesse before he departs Hawaii for good.
He’s on a Chinese freighter ship about to leave the harbour and Steve doesn’t even think, just listens to the sound of Danny tightening his grip on his seatbelt and bracing his hand against the door frame when Steve floors the accelerator.
The car lands on the boat without much preamble. They take out Victor Hesse’s men, splitting up so that Steve gets to say his final words to the man who murdered his father in cold blood, right before he shoots him three times in the chest. The resounding splash as his body tips into the harbour isn’t even close to satisfying.
Danny’s already booking the surviving targets and Steve’s leaping down from the cargo freight he’d been lying on several seconds earlier to join them. He’s covered in a light sheen of sweat, courtesy of those long pants and tight shirts he stubbornly insists on wearing for some semblance of professionalism and Steve has no sympathy for it, even if the sharp smell makes his gut clench.
His boots thump loudly onto the metal and Danny just shakes his head at the imposing entrance, standing over the perp he’s already cuffed.
“I don’t know how your omega at home lives with you,” he says, half serious, half mocking.
It’s a throw away comment. Not meant for further thought but Steve stiffens considerably, hackles rising with the urge to attack and defend. This shouldn’t be happening.
“Don’t,” he growls, hands shaking. “Don’t- talk about…. My-“
“Omega?” Danny echoes, surprised. “You're one of those crazy possessive alpha types aren’t you?”
Steve, if anything, feels angrier. “Shut up, Danny.”
Danny just shrugs, raising a hand in surrender and carefully putting the beta perp between them like a shield. It’s a good instinct. The fresh wave of neutral beta scent is somewhat settling, but Steve’s insides are still churning.
“Fine, okay. Since we’re partners and supposed to be getting along I won’t mention your private life and secret omega who I’m hoping you’re not holding against their will somewhere.”
Steve bares his teeth in a very clear display of aggression and Danny takes the hint, cuffing his perp to the railing and striding off to find the captain in order to navigate both the freighter and the car currently parked on top of its deck safely back to the docks.
It’s easier to think after watching the back of his blonde head disappear around the corner and when he’s finally calmed down, Steve holsters his weapon.
It's only later on, once they’ve finished up and are sitting in the open space of their new office- no real furniture or proper electronics yet but give it time- that Steve is able to broach the subject again.
“I’m not,” he says as Danny heads towards the glass doors, watching Kono and Chin busy about in the uncluttered space. The privacy glass installed means they can’t hear their conversation.
“Not what?” Danny wonders absently, stepping further away.
“Holding an omega against their will,” Steve pushes, thinking carefully about his words and rolling them out in a mindful rhythm.
Danny turns to face him then, head cocked at the careful detachment in his tone as if Steve’s cagey behaviour is of some interest to him. Steve can’t be sure, Danny flirts with alphas after all. But maybe that only applies to women. His ex-wife had been an alpha too.
At least, that’s what Steve suspects.
“Right,” Danny agrees, eyeing him closely as he raises an eyebrow. “If I really thought that we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
“You’d call for back up?” he wonders, closing the space between them, unable to resist the challenging edge to his voice. He can’t help it; Danny brings it out of him. Along with a lot of other unresolved issues.
Danny doesn’t do anything at the display of alpha posturing, merely tilts his chin lazily and stares into Steve’s face as if he has all of the time in the world to respond and nothing that he can ever do or say will provoke him. Steve grinds his teeth in frustration.
“An ambulance,” Danny corrects evenly, without fear and he doesn’t understand how a hothead like Danny can have so much control over his instincts in the presence of another alpha.
Sometimes alphas can’t work with one another, can’t even be in the same room because their wills and egos are too large to share the same space.
But Danny doesn’t seem to have that problem. Yet another reason why Steve is starting to regret having him on this team. It would have been easier dealing with a shithead alpha. Not this.
Steve swallows and doesn’t step back, steps around him to open the door into HQ.
“Noted,” he mutters. “Just- leave it alone, Danny.”
“Alright, you like your privacy. And I can respect that, okay, because I am a reasonable human being. I won’t bring up your omega again.”
Steve grits his teeth and in the interim Danny ducks under his arm, entering the room first. It’s a micro-aggression, a small power play, but Danny does it unconsciously and in such a way that it’s not an insult. Or a challenge. Or demeaning.
Steve hates that he makes being an alpha look so easy.
He strides in after him and tries not to think about the accusation of Danny’s words. I won’t bring up your omega again. Steve really hopes he doesn’t.
Mostly because there is no omega waiting for him at home.
And there’s no alpha Lieutenant Commander, Steve McGarrett, either.
Steve has never looked like an omega. All of his life, he’s been large, tall and sinewy; muscular and alpha grace on and off the field. He’d been the high school quarterback, turning heads, breaking records (Chin’s, in fact) and sweeping through the main halls, seas of people parting for him like the alpha he was anticipated to be, even a late blooming one.
But then his mother died and he presented. As an omega. He'd had his first heat in his childhood bed and then his father sent him and Mary to California to attend the Army and Naval academy for his senior year.
His father never said anything about Steve being an omega, but he could see it in his face, in the awkward set of his shoulders whenever they were around one another.
Steve was never meant to be an omega. They all knew it. He was too big, too strong, too fast and too quick to anger to be anything of the sort. He was a capable leader, smooth talker when he wanted to be, smart when he applied himself and vicious when necessary.
He was the ultimate alpha. At least that’s what he should have been. And when his father had him sent him away, Steve decided that his best option was to become one.
“The pills aren’t working anymore,” he announces by storming into his doctor’s office after waiting twenty agonising minutes to see her.
Doctor Sey only blinks at him. “Could you describe the symptoms which would suggest they are no longer working?”
Steve waves an impatient hand. “Scent me.”
The Doctor frowns marginally at him, but her nostrils flare thoughtfully. “I can smell two alphas. One of them is you. Have you come into contact with another alpha lately?”
“Yes,” Steve bites out. “He’s the one who scented omega.”
Doctor Sey’s eyebrows disappear into her hair. “That is unusual, but not unheard of. I cannot scent anything to suggest an omega, but this alpha might have heightened senses.”
“Heightened senses?” he repeats. “I’ve been surrounded by alphas all of my life and not once has another alpha smelt an omega on me. There. Is. Something. Wrong.”
“I can run some tests,” she offers, compromisingly. “But I suspect this is more to do with that particular alpha rather than your medication, Commander.”
Steve taps his fingers against his hip impatiently, trying to control his anger. “What has this got to do with him?”
“How much contact have you had with this alpha? Weeks? Months?”
Doctor Seys nods understandingly. “The scent of him is strong, as if you have been in contact for a much longer period. The fact that his senses are also stronger suggests that he is a True Alpha.”
Steve has heard of True Alphas- alphas that go beyond the features of a regular alpha and are something more entirely, but he’s never met one before. He’s heard the rumours, about how they can knot for hours on end and even omegas in heat can’t always satisfy them when they’re in rut. Steve highly doubts the accuracy of that but there’s no denying rumours always have a hidden kernel of truth.
No wonder Danny’s an alpha with such ease that it’s frustrating.
“It is my duty once again to suggest that you consider abandoning the omega Blockers or transition entirely to alpha status. These pills are a detriment to your health, Commander. The exceptional length in which you have consistently taken these experimental drugs is highly alarming. Since you are no longer in the Navy, I must encourage you to reconsider-“
“No,” Steve insists, stubbornly. “I can’t. I have to take them.”
Doctor Sey’s eyes glitter with empathy. “This is highly unprecedented, Commander McGarrett. Doctor Morgan, who previously took you as a patient and has since retired, should have lost his licence to practise years ago because of this unethical treatment he endorsed.”
Steve has heard all of this from her before, ever since he was transferred to her care upon returning to Hawaii a week ago. He knows her opinions on the gravity of how heavily medicated he is and the long-term effects it will have on his body but Steve is always too stubborn to listen.
“I am concerned with your health and wellbeing,” she continues. “The physical demands notwithstanding, the effects this drug could be having on your mental facilities is very real and indefinite.”
“I’m fine,” he insists. “As long as it’s working.”
“When was the last time you had your heat, Commander?”
The rooms are sound protected, but Steve jerks his head as if someone might overhear and burst through the doorway to accuse him. Doctor Sey watches all of this with narrowed eyes but he can still feel the sympathy in her regard.
Steve hates that about her most of all, he thinks, the way she empathises with him. She’s smart enough to sense how volatile it makes him and it’s only in the rare moments that her compassion can be felt. He knows she’s a better doctor than Doctor Morgan’s gruff, no nonsense, no questions approach but sometimes he wishes everything was still that easy.
He knows that this isn’t practical for long term use and that he can’t ignore it forever by pretending it doesn’t exist. It was always bound to catch up with him eventually. Steve just hadn’t anticipated that the catalyst would end up being some aggravating, short tempered True Alpha though.
“Once this month?” she wonders, glancing at the computer screen that houses all of Steve McGarrett’s details and most intimately held secrets.
“Once after I presented.”
Doctor Sey drops the pen she’d been tapping against the side of her cheek for the past few minutes.
“Oh my God,” she gasps, horrified, as her professional manner abruptly falls away. “Tell me you're joking.”
Steve hunches his shoulders and refuses to be cowed by her expression. “No.”
“This can kill you,” she snaps. “Do you realise the severity of this? The drug was experimental when you first started using it in your developing years and since then numerous studies have debunked the validity of its use with overwhelming evidence of the debilitating side effects. The pharmacology of this drug is to halt hormone production and stifle your cycle, it doesn’t regulate and lessen heats like the safe omega suppressants available over the counter."
"Do you understand what I’m saying? I’m aware that you’ve taken this drug during your service because omega suppressants were of little to no effect twenty years ago, but they’ve improved monumentally since then. Your mood swings aside, blocking heats for so long can only have damaging effects on your body. I’ve never seen such dangerous methods in my profession, particularly when there are so many safe avenues of omega suppressants available today. I do not presume to think you wish to conceive, but infertility is a real possibility as well as a future chemical imbalance in your brain from prolonged exposure which will unavoidably incite psychosis and possibly lead to brain damage. Not to mention organ failure.”
Steve knew the risks when he started his prescription. At the time it hadn’t mattered.
“I’m ending your prescription immediately-“ she begins and he needs to sit down, since his legs suddenly feel like they've been knocked out from under him.
He’s shaking all over, ears ringing with the finality of the words. She’s ending his prescription, it’s all coming out. They’ll know. Danny will know. Steve’s claws burst forth and in the next second he’s tearing into the fabric of his pants to ground his surging emotions.
“I am not denying you your right to alpha status,” Doctor Sey promises, sensing his immediate distress but wisely not approaching him. “You will be supplied alpha scent markers as well as omega relaxens to soften the power and stress of the withdrawals that you will experience weaning yourself off of this drug.”
Steve almost cannot hear what she’s saying, his heart is pumping so fast.
“You will experience heats,” Docter Sey announces. “So if you do truly wish to continue with a status reassignment surgery, please let me know immediately so that I can alter your medication accordingly.”
He can’t think straight. He’s never had this option before. Not since he turned eighteen and presented. Slowly, he retracts his claws and manages to breathe again.
“I- I don’t know,” he admits, staring at his hands. His large, alpha looking hands.
Should he do this? Is this what he wants?
“If not, once it is established that there are no withstanding side effects after the drug is flushed from your system, I can supply you with omega suppressants to help manage your heats in an infinitely safer manner that does not stunt your hormones or cause any risk to your body. However, that is in the event that you might experience them. Frankly Steve, there is a much higher chance of you never experiencing heats ever again.”
He isn’t sure how to reply, but she certainly doesn’t seem finished yet.
“I will also be referring you to a psychologist in the meantime, so that you might be able to discuss this at length. For now, I would like to be certain that you will be comfortable experiencing dulled heats until your cycle resumes, if it does resume. As I’ve said, I’m afraid there are no guarantees of this, or if you would like me to begin a separate treatment instead.”
Steve swallows heavily around the lump in his throat and tries not to hate himself. Hate what nature let him become when his body looks like something different. But there’s another side of him that relishes the thought of slick thighs, that burning need to be filled and cared for. Steve doesn’t need an alpha, but there are times when he thinks maybe he might want one.
He’s always been a mess of contradictions.
“I’ll have the heats,” he agrees. “But no one will be able to scent my status?”
“No,” Doctor Sey promises. “The scent markers you ingest will present the same alpha indicators as the drug you are taking presently without any of the danger. Your True Alpha might be able to sense you better, though.”
Steve feels his skin heat. “He’s not my True Alpha,” he protests. “We work together.”
“I’m apologise for assuming anything,” she says, already filling out the prescription in flourishing script and handing it to him. “Take these to your chemist and contact me immediately if there are any changes that you are uncomfortable with or make you unwell.”
“Thank you,” he parses out cautiously, feeling like a skittish animal, but meaning it.
“Here’s the name of a highly recommended omega specialist,” she says without preamble, handing Steve a business card. “I’m assuming you will be more comfortable discussing this with an omega psychologist rather than a beta or alpha but please let me know if you would prefer otherwise.”
“I’m aware that you take your job very seriously, Commander, but I’m afraid I have conditions before I sign the paperwork that states you are fit for duty. I’m going to insist you visit a psychologist regularly until you come to a decision regarding your status and if you violate this agreement I’ll have no choice but to inform the Governor of Hawaii that you are unfit to work.”
Steve feels the air get sucked out of the room. “You would tell…”
“God, no,” Doctor Sey promises, appalled. “Everything we discuss here is absolutely confidential. I would merely insists as your doctor that you are not meeting the requirements of your treatment and have you declared unfit for fieldwork until an alternative can be reached. Your mental health is of vital importance and I have a duty of care that cannot legally permit you to be placed in high risk situations when your emotions are so unstable.”
“Because I’m an omega,” Steve echoes dully, looking at the tattered state of his pants.
“Because you are going into withdrawal after taking this medication periodically for a frightening period of time and the outcome, even with scent markers and relaxens I am prescribing you, remains uncertain. This is unchartered territory, Commander, and it is my duty to ensure that this is done carefully and with as much respect to your wishes as I can safely allow.”
Steve hasn’t truly permitted himself time to ever think about this past the next prescription and it’s hard to deny the panic that curls in his blood. This will be anything but easy.
“I know it won’t help to hear this from me, but being an omega is nothing to be ashamed of,” Doctor Sey quietly adds when the silence has settled in between them for too long.
“It is if you look like this,” Steve promises, with a touch of self-deprecation.
Doctor Sey only smiles at him sadly. “It is never under any circumstances, anything to be ashamed of. And neither is identifying as an alpha.”
“Thank you,” he repeats, meaning it.
His head is still swimming as he leaves, even with her encouraging words.
Once he’s filled the prescription and returned back to the McGarrett home, he steps into his childhood bedroom for the first time since he’s been back. His discussion with Doctor Sey brought all the memories of where it began to the surface and the compulsion to be in here again is a strange one. The room reeks of faded heat, his first and only and Steve flushes angrily as he sits on the bed, staring at all of his trophies placed neatly about the room.
He has an appointment with his new therapist on Saturday since he works weekdays and refused to change his schedule because he can’t think of a believable lie to tell his team about it. About any of this.
There’s nothing to tell them.
Steve rocks up onto the balls of his feet and heads back downstairs, the door snapping shut behind him, sealing his secrets inside.
The nightmares of his father’s death don’t stop. But they shift to include the shame of his first and last heat now, the lingering sense of helplessness trapped upstairs in a heat room of his own making, knowing that his father is about to die.
There's a perverted kind of fascination to the dream. His body is unable to move and Steve lies there in his old heat room, powerless, as the gunshot rings out over and over again.
The changes aren’t as drastic as Steve always feared. Nobody appears to notice the difference between the alpha scent markers and his Blockers, although he's aware of Danny watching him more closely than usual.
He knows that his senses are heightened enough to be aware of the change, but Danny's not a complete asshole so he doesn’t comment on it whenever they’re on a case and trapped in the confined space of his Camaro. Steve still hates that the knowledge is there though, sitting between them like an announcement.
His first meeting with his omega psychologist goes differently than anticipated.
The receptionist is also an omega and Steve is instantly aware of the attention he's gained even if he’s professional enough to mask it. When the omega lets him into Doctor Ishiguro’s study, his fingers accidentally brush against Steve’s hip and he’s so on edge about this already that he flinches, hard enough to garner a reaction.
“No,” he says sharply as the omega startles and flushes deeply with embarrassment. “I’m not-“
“I’m so sorry,” the man promises, keeping his hands where Steve can see them as he closes the door behind him sharply.
Doctor Ishiguro is watching the exchange patiently with intelligent eyes that tell Steve he’s under the microscope and in the pause between speaking he’s already sweating.
“Hello, Mr. McGarrett. I am Akira Ishiguro,” she greets him kindly. “Or should I refer to you as Lieutenant Commander?”
“Steve is fine,” he promises, but doesn’t take a seat in front of her.
There's no desk and the casual setting of the room has been put together strategically as an artful means to relax clients, but Steve is anything but. He wishes the other omega hadn’t shut the door, even with the office waiting room completely empty. Doctor Ishiguro’s isn’t open on Saturdays and she only made the exception at Doctor Sey’s request.
“Can I shake your hand, or do you have an aversion to touch altogether?”
Steve is surprised by the question, enough to stop shifting so restlessly on his feet. He considers it carefully.
“No, it’s- fine,” he finally settles on before striding forward and offering his hand.
Doctor Ishiguro doesn’t seem too concerned by his behaviour and gently shakes it. “It is nice to meet you, Steve. Would you like to take a seat?”
Steve quickly drops her hand and steps back into the safest part of the room, out of the line of sight from the window and not too close to the door. He can see Akira Ishiguro analysing his movements and the room seems overheated.
“There’s a jug of water by the window,” Doctor Ishiguro informs him. “Do you feel unsafe in this room, Steve?”
“No- I,” he fumbles before striding toward the cups of water and filling it up. He drains it quickly. “This is just- a lot. I need to move around a little.”
“Can you tell me why you feel so restless?”
“You know,” Steve mutters, filling the cup and draining it again. “Doctor Sey told you.”
“I have reviewed your medical records, yes,” Dr Ishiguro replies. “But I have had no such discussion with Doctor Sey.”
Steve relaxes a little at that information. “I’m here because I work with a True Alpha and he can smell what I am and probably knows a lot more now since I’m off Blockers.”
She doesn’t take any notes for which Steve is grateful, but her eyes follow him attentively as he paces about the room.
“And why did you go on these pills to begin with?”
Steve pauses mid-step and turns to stare at her. “Look at me. I’m not meant to be an omega. I’m not-“
He doesn’t even know how to finish the sentence.
“Why aren’t you meant to?”
Steve flushes, mind going blank at the prospect of having to explain this. “I don’t look right,” he manages quietly. “I’m too tall, too big, too assertive to be someone’s omega.”
Doctor Ishiguro waits and when Steve doesn’t say any more she pauses for a moment before filling the silence. “So you are saying that if you looked differently then you would not feel the desire to conceal your omega status?”
Steve tries not to flinch at her words. It’s hard to adjust to being openly addressed as an omega. There’s always the first instance of fear when it happens, as if someone will figure it out or overhear them. It’s a good thing the room is heavily sound proofed. He’s only just become familiar enough with Doctor Sey not to visibly react to the word anymore.
“I- maybe,” he admits. “I don’t know.”
Doctor Ishiguro seems undaunted and unaffected by his unwillingness to respond to questions, particularly when the topic revolves around his feelings. Something tells Steve that she’s unflappable. “Do you regard yourself as an alpha? Or is it something that you believe is expected of you?”
Steve can’t seem to think, he’s not sure how to string his words together. “I’m meant to be an alpha,” he manages. “I look it. I have all of the same traits.”
“You mean you fit the stereotype of what society conceives an alpha to be,” Doctor Ishiguro clarifies. “But your earlier reaction to my receptionist was atypical of the ‘expected’ alpha behaviour.”
Steve can feel the heat in his face and paces over to the jug of water again, refilling his cup and tossing it back in one gulp.
“Do you experience attraction toward omegas? Or is it male omegas to which you have an aversion?”
“No,” he insists sharply, then realises how bad that sounds. “I mean, I don’t have problems with same status relationships or male omegas. I just- I don’t-“
“You don’t experience physical or romantic attraction at all?” she asks. “Asexuality and aromanticism is not uncommon.”
“I know,” he says. “I experience both, but it’s hard to be physical when I feel like I have to hide- that.”
“So then it is my understanding that other omegas make you uncomfortable because of the status you conceal, yes?”
Steve shifts his chin incrementally in response. He can’t seem to think of words long enough to structure them together into an explanation that makes sense.
“I feel like they know,” he whispers. “Like it’s something other omegas can sense.”
Dr Ishiguro only nods and they sit there in silence while Steve processes his own answer. He’s not sure he’s ever said it out loud, the realness of his own fear is staggering.
“Have you been in a serious relationship before?” she wonders evenly and Steve has relaxed enough to pause behind the couch across from her that he’s expected to sit in.
He’s too agitated to do it yet. “Not really. I’ve been dating a beta on and off again for a few months but she’s still in the Navy so we don’t see each other very often.”
“So in some ways you wish for alpha status as a means of protection, particularly in your Naval career, but you also have no desire to fulfil the stereotype further by pursuing another omega.”
“I- yes. I don’t-“
“Tell me about your family, your friends,” Doctor Ishiguro asks and Steve doesn’t find that question too threatening so he answers.
He tells her about Mary, his Aunt Deb about some of his old Navy buddies. He tells her a little about his task force, but doesn’t offer anything about Danny in particular because that’s a loaded topic to begin with. He doesn’t mention his father at all.
“How many hours do you work, Steve?”
“About 42 hours a week.”
“And how many of those hours involve high risk situations?”
“About 80 per cent.”
“Do you avoid mirrors often?” she wonders apropos of nothing. “Do you exercise excessively?”
“What’s excessive?” Steve demands. “I was a Navy SEAL, that training doesn’t just go away. What does it matter if I don’t like mirrors?”
Doctor Ishiguro, frustratingly, doesn’t answer. “How many people know of the status you conceal, Steve?”
He hates these questions. Hates that she can sound so reasonable and rational as his deepest secrets are being torn apart. When he’s worked so hard to bury them. He knows of the wrongness of the whole thing, but it can’t be stopped.
“My doctor, my sister Mary, My aunt Deb before she passed and… my father.”
She’s smarter than he expected and seizes onto his hesitation immediately. “Can you tell me about your father, Steve?”
“He’s dead,” he replies, flatly.
“I’m sorry for your loss, but that’s not what I asked. Did he know about-?”
“I presented late,” Steve admits. “After my mother died and then my father sent Mary and I off to the Army and Naval Academy in Cali.”
Doctor Ishiguro nods thoughtfully. “And when did you decide to start taking the experimental drugs known as Blockers to present yourself as an alpha?”
“Once I turned eighteen,” he admits. “It was only a few months after we’d moved. I’d only had the one heat.”
“And you’ve taken them non-stop since then?” Doctor Ishiguro asks and the shock is colouring even her professional calm. Steve determinedly meets her gaze.
“How old are you, Steve?”
Steve’s hands are tightening into fists and he has to remove his hands from the top of the couch in front of him or he might accidentally gouge it with his claws. He resumes pacing again.
“I’m thirty eight.”
Doctor Ishiguro drops her composure completely. “You have been on these unsafe drugs which essentially block any and all of your biological functions as opposed to regulating them, for twenty years?”
“Yes,” he grits out.
“Obviously you value your health very highly if you have continued training even as you remain in the Reserves, so I have to wonder why would you continually put your health at risk for this?”
Steve can’t think of an answer. “I can’t-“ he sighs, frustrated. “Because it was easier.”
“Was it your father who initially made you feel uncomfortable with your status?”
He can’t just sit there and let her think badly of his father, even if she might be partially right. “My father was a very traditional man and rigid in status roles but he never said anything against my presenting as an omega.”
She’s too clever to be put off by that. “But he never explicitly gave you any encouragement on the matter, either.”
Not for the first time, Steve wishes that his doctor hadn’t recommended such a capable psychologist. She’s going to pull him apart piece by piece and there’s nothing he can do about it.
“The men in the McGarrett household weren’t the type to discuss feelings. I grew up like that, I’m no good at it, even now.”
“Expressing your emotions is an important part about being human,” she observes. “Without this, emotions get bottled up and manifest themselves in negative or harmful ways. By expressing how we feel we have the chance to be listened to and have our emotions validated. Repressing your emotions can be very isolating.”
“It’s all I know,” Steve admits, heavily.
“From what you’ve mentioned of your partner he does not seem to have the same issue. Tell me more about this True Alpha.”
Steve almost wants to refuse, but if that means they’ll stop talking about his father, he’s willing to suffer through it. “He’s… passionate. More passionate than any alpha I’ve ever met without being violent.”
“But he expresses his emotions clearly,” she repeats and Steve is starting to see where she’s going with this. “And he’s an alpha.”
“But he’s not a normal alpha,” Steve argues. “He doesn’t need to dominate to be heard- he just- it’s easy for him.”
“What is normal?” she wonders patiently. “Who decides what is acceptable and what isn’t? Do you resent that he isn’t a standard alpha?”
“But you do resent him almost as much as you admire him.”
Steve’s pacing again. “I don’t know. Yes? He makes being an alpha seem so simple, so easy and he doesn’t even buy into all the typical alpha bullshit to do it. He’s got a kid for fucksake. He hits on other alphas. He’s small.”
“And that makes it harder for you to understand the conflicting feelings within yourself? Because he is different and unashamed of it?”
Steve doesn’t want to give her a yes, but Doctor Ishiguro knows she’s right already. Dammit, she’s good.
Doctor Ishiguro glances at her watch and smacks her hands together. “I’m afraid that’s our hour, Steve. Will the same time next week be suitable for you?”
He nods as she elegantly rises to her feet and then his eyes widen.
She’s taller than she appeared, folded neatly in that chair, taller than Steve actually and she’s not even in heels. Her blouse stretches with the movement and he realises it’s because of her muscular physique shifting as she stands. His mouth falls open in surprise.
“Oh,” he says stupidly and flushes.
“There is no certain way that omegas are required to look, Steve,” she offers kindly. “Or betas. Or even alphas. I do hope next week you get the chance to sit down. That couch is especially comfortable.”
Steve is too dumbstruck to reply and permits her to lead him out of the room. The male receptionist smiles politely as he leaves, but Steve can still smell his lingering embarrassment.
He’s still reeling from the whole interaction as he drives home.
Danny’s ex-wife is calling again and Steve is listening attentively to the resulting argument.
She’s skipping out on picking up their daughter from school, citing work plans when everyone within the car who’s listening to the phone call can hear it's not the whole truth. Plans with Stan after work maybe.
Danny hasn’t said much about the guy but Steve can already tell that he’s less than pleased about him uprooting the whole family and moving them to O'ahu for his work. Particularly since he uprooted his own life and followed soon after just to be close with his daughter.
He waits until Danny hangs up the phone, hands moving wildly with agitation before he speaks.
“We’re not too far off closing this case. We could swing by and get her.”
“I am not having my daughter in the car just so she can watch you toss another guy off a building for more of your ‘fear of death’ interrogation.”
He’s never going to let Steve forget that one. What’s the point of having immunity and means if they don’t use it to its fullest extent? How else was the guy gonna talk?
“That was one time, Danno. You need to let it go.”
There’s a sick kind of satisfaction to riling Danny up. Mostly because Steve is testing the waters, always testing to see how far he can push until Danny snaps. But he never does. He gets annoyed for certain, but he never loses grip on that impossible control of his. Steve is almost beginning to think that he doesn’t have alpha rage.
Danny shoots him an unimpressed look.
“What did I tell you about calling me that? Only my daughter calls me that. You know I hate it when you do.”
“Fine,” Steve says, ignoring his complaints. “We’ll tie the perp to the hood of your car instead.”
Danny actually laughs before he realises that Steve is 100 per cent serious.
“Like hell we are! Are you out of your goddamn mind? First of all, that’s illegal and dangerous, and second of all there’s no way in this godforsaken hellhole of an island that you will do that with my daughter in the car.”
Danny’s also got a real problem with anything that isn’t New Jersey, professional ties and traditional slices of pizza. Which is why the true paradise of O'ahu seems to be lost on him as if it's his own personally designed torture chamber. Steve really doesn’t understand him most of the time. It’s a wonder Danny gets along with anyone at all, let alone worked at the HPD precinct for an entire year beforehand.
“Alright. Tell Kono and Chin we’ll meet them after.”
Danny places the call but he’s still fuming with the old hurts that linger in the interactions of his broken relationship.
“What uh- happened to you two?” Steve asks, with no idea why he’s so interested.
“What happened? Oh, where do I start. You know when you think someone’s going to be your person and you let them in closer than anyone else? You know, trust them, try to make them happy and somehow you think no matter what you’re going to make it through together?”
“Yeah,” Steve lies, shifting uncomfortably at the fantasy of it. Of having a person like that exist for him. He’s seeing someone but Catherine’s nowhere near the person Danny’s describing. He’s never known anything like that. Never trusted enough to let that person in.
Danny watches him thoughtfully for a second before his hands are suddenly outstretched wide in the way he seems to do whenever he’s gotten his point across.
“She wasn’t my person,” he says simply.
Danny’s daughter isn’t what he expects. She’s shy, sweet and cute beyond all reason and Steve wants to hate her on principal. Mostly because children frighten him to no end, particularly in the way they manage to unsettle him. It’s always a concern that how he acts around children might somehow reveal something.
But it’s not like that with Grace. She wins him over easily when Danny first brings her over to the McGarrett home in order to meet him. Steve warms to her so quickly that he knows it should be worrying, especially after taking her swimming out in the ocean that is his backyard and Danny’s yelling about making sure Grace is looked after and threatening to drown him from afar while he guards the meat cooking on the barbeque.
Grace giggles, like the whole situation is her own private joke and Steve’s helpless to her whims. They come over a few more times after that, until suddenly Danny and Grace are permanent fixtures in his home and Danny’s subtle rants about Rachel out of Grace’s ear shot become the norm.
Danny an effortless father, a good parent, but watching him be so caring and gentle and kind, without a thought of insecurity in the vulnerability of it, makes Steve hungry.
“How are you feeling?” Doctor Ishiguro asks, in their next session.
She’s adapted quickly. There’s no omega receptionist working a Saturday shift this time. It’s only Doctor Ishiguro as she greets him at the door and leads them back into her private study.
Steve makes a beeline for the water jug again, mostly because it's settling and the conversations that are supposed to take place normally make his throat dry.
He drains a glass first before he has the ability to answer. “The team is settling in well. We’re calling ourselves Five-0.”
Doctor Ishiguro’s relaxed demeanour doesn’t flicker. “Did you listen to my question or are you wilfully deflecting it?” she wonders. “Let me rephrase then. How are you feeling emotionally and physically in light of the recent changes?”
Steve has to take another drink.
“It’s not as terrible as I expected,” he admits. “I think the- omega relaxens are helping. I can do my job.”
“Is that all of you want out of this? To do your job?”
Abruptly he's reminded of that moment in Danny’s car a few days ago, talking about there being a person for everyone and how much he'd been taken with the idea. Yearning isn’t an emotion that he’s entirely familiar with.
“Yes,” he lies.
Doctor Ishiguro doesn’t press further because she must sense she’s brushing along the walls of Steve’s defences. It’s a relief when she hesitates, but wilfully backs off.
“And where did the idea of Five-0 come from?” she questions, curious as she shifts her weight in the chair and readjusts.
“My father- when we were kids he called us Five-0 so we didn’t feel like such outsider haoles growing up in the 50th state so-“ Doctor Ishiguro moves again and Steve freezes. “Are you hurt?” he demands, approaching closer.
Doctor Ishiguro smiles wanly. “I fractured two ribs whilst training on Tuesday. I am fine, Steve.”
“You could’ve cancelled,” he accuses, hating the idea that she appeared here only to see him. "Broken ribs isn’t something to smile at."
“Would you like to leave?” she counters and he realises that she takes her patients and her job very seriously. There’s something commendable in that, deserving of his respect.
“Yeah,” he admits, because she knows when he’s lying anyway.
“Will you leave?” she clarifies carefully as if she can’t quite read him.
Steve hovers behind the couch opposite her but doesn’t take a seat. He very much doubts that he’s ever going to sit down in this room, which will probably frustrate her to no end.
“No,” he agrees and starts moving back toward the water jug again.
It’s a good thing that Doctor Ishiguro’s practice has its own bathroom facilities. He's definitely going to have use for them before the session is over.
The thing is Steve doesn’t want to like Danny.
It’s a self-preservation thing, keeping alphas close just enough to watch and be sure they aren’t a threat, but never close enough to mean anything.
The problem is, Danny’s not like that at all. Within their first week together, Steve seems to know all that he can know about him. Or at the very least, more than he should or expected to. Surprisingly, the True Alpha doesn’t hold back, he’s more comfortable talking about his feelings than Steve has ever been in his entire life.
He calls people babe, mostly just the team as if they should think nothing of it, but what’s worse, is that they don’t. The first time Danny calls him babe Steve nearly spills hot coffee all over himself by piercing the Styrofoam with his claws.
He'd already disappeared into his office by then and Steve had been too confused by his own feelings and the reaction to figure out if he wanted him to stop or not. The fact that Danny extends it to Chin in gratitude the next day for helping him readjust the monitor, calms Steve somewhat just as much as it irks him.
But he doesn’t say anything, so Danny doesn’t stop. It doesn’t escape his notice that Danny calls him babe the most, though. He’s not sure what to make of that at all. Or the selfish thrill it gives him.
He calls Steve an animal too, but that doesn’t bother him as much as long as he gets the job done. They have very different ideas on how to catch criminals, that’s all.
It’s worse, because already he can tell that Danny is an upfront, what you see is what you get kind of guy. He’s not sly or cunning, doesn’t manipulate behind the scenes to get his own way or use his alpha status to enforce it.
He just says his piece and then moves on, regardless of whether or not anyone agrees with him. He doesn’t force it. Because he doesn’t have to, and Steve wishes that he wasn’t different like this, at least not enough for him to notice. Be just like every other alpha he’s kept at a cautious arms length. That would make things so much easier. He just wants an efficient working environment where nobody actively tries to kill each other.
But Danny’s likeable. In a grouchy, belligerent kind of way that has a lot more bark than bite to it. He’s a hothead, but he’s not an asshole. It’s nearly unimaginable for an alpha to be anything more than bite, though Kono’s got an eerily calm demeanour for an alpha, which keeps Steve on edge half of the time.
He’s not afraid of alphas. Thanks to his body, his strength and his training, he can handle himself in a fight. If an alpha came at him like some have done in the past before he taught them not to, he's confident that he’ll win. But alphas are volatile, prone to loss of control and raging fits of violence that get people killed.
Steve’s not afraid of alphas, but he doesn’t trust them. Never has. The alphas he’s been exposed to never encouraged that degree of vulnerability.
The problem is, is that the Navy takes a certain set of alpha who likes the idea of fighting, of wars and killing more than protecting their country like Steve’s done and that’s the type he’s been surrounded by for most of his life. It’s unsettling to open up into this new avenue of seeing the world, for seeing alphas as something more than teeth and ruts and violence and claws. He can’t quite reconcile the two just yet.
But it’s going to take a lot more than two of his alpha teammates for Steve to relax his guard.
It’s a while before Lou Grover joins their team. He and Steve clash immediately and Steve hates him more when he realises he’s an omega waltzing around with an alpha swagger as the captain of the HPD Swat team. Nobody questions his authority in the HPD. He makes Steve feel like a fraud.
They argue over how to do things almost as much as he does with Danny, but the difference is, in this, Danny’s got Steve’s back. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t got an opinion on the matter though.
“Is it because he’s-“ Danny starts to ask after Grover’s nearly destroyed the chances of their latest investigation going to trial.
Steve immediately knows what he means. Is this because he’s an omega?
“No,” he snaps, temper raging as he blazes out of the office, door slamming hard behind him.
In the aftermath of his daughter’s kidnapping and the lengths he went to, to ensure her safe return, Grover is forced into an early retirement by the HPD and disgraced. Chin's sympathetic, Kono encouraging and Danny is understandably wary.
Steve offers him a place in Five-0 the next day.
Jerry comes a little while after. He's strange, but mostly harmless and the intel he gathers is helpful enough to justify keeping him around. That and his niche set of skills for avoiding and evading all types of surveillance. They rarely see him in the sunlight. Or loud, highly visible public spaces.
Nobody seems too concerned that he approached them first, but he's a beta and once Steve runs a background check on him there's really no reason not to pull him into the fold. He just wants to help people. They don't give him a badge or a gun though. If he ever got his hands on immunity and means Steve has no doubt the first door he'd be knocking on is Area 51.
They don't need that kind of heat.
It doesn’t take very long for Steve to figure out what Danny is doing. Despite his misgivings partnering up with an alpha, a True Alpha at that, they do work surprisingly well together, but it’s the bickering that gives him the first clue .
Steve doesn’t bicker. If there’s an argument, he wins it. If there’s another person, alpha or not trying to control him, he eliminates the threat and makes it clear he won’t be walked over. Once he decides something, that’s it, end of discussion and he won’t be convinced to change his mind.
But Danny isn’t like that at all. He rants; longwinded, egregious speeches about anything really: the state of Hawaii, the HPD’s lack of professionalism, too much sunlight, pineapples on pizza. Whatever it is he doesn’t agree with he’ll spend longer than necessary waxing poetic about the various intricacies of the injustice of its existence. He rants, but without a hint of the danger Steve expects from angry alphas.
There’s agitation yes, frustration absolutely, but alpha rage? Alpha violence? It doesn’t even blip on his radar and Steve is nothing but constantly aware of the possibility of it. Staying vigilant is how he survives.
Danny doesn’t rage. Does he get frustrated with Steve? Always. Angry, irate and grumbling about it for hours afterward? Absolutely. But violent and raging? Not a chance. He’s passionate with his opinions, his thoughts, his ideas but he’s not forceful with them. He openly suggests Steve is an idiot on more than one occasion when he doesn’t agree with the Navy SEAL approach he brings into cases, but he never tries to force him to do anything else.
He reasons with him instead. Tries to explain his opinion without assuming it has to be accepted as law. So obviously, Steve needs to furiously defend his side of things because he’s not planning to roll over just because an alpha suggests it.
And this is how they end up bickering.
They never get physical, not once after they first met, but Danny is surprisingly tactile and it’s clear that he likes to touch. Not sexually, or to distribute his scent or any exchange as calculating as that, but it’s just the way he is with everyone. Reassuring of his kindness, expressing his friendship through contact.
He realises pretty quickly that Steve doesn’t like it, and he worries that’s going to start complications until Danny backs off without comment, throwing his arm around Chin’s shoulders instead at the end of a long day, permitting Kono to try and teach him how to surf.
He doesn’t fight for his right to exist, to be present in a room and have everyone focus their gaze on him in deference to his will. He and Kono never clash- as if they’re not even aware that they’re supposed to. It’s unnerving to realise that Danny isn’t like that, that he doesn’t need to be.
But he does like to bicker. Particularly with Steve and it’s to his suspicious and ever unrelenting rigid surprise that he realises he enjoys it too.
It takes a while before he grasps what it means though. Being a part of this team, this is the longest he’s spent in close quarters with alphas since he left the Navy, but this is different. Steve isn’t just part of a team now, he’s the leader. And he’s not just tolerating the presence of alphas anymore. He’s adapting to them. Even relaxing the reins of control by allowing their input and expertise. Especially with Danny.
Soon he realises the bickering isn’t just bickering. What it means is they’re communicating, exchanging ideas and thoughts without the expectation that they have to agree on everything or that Danny is going to try and make him. They’re on equal ground and he unfolds at the novelty of it, getting in too deep before understanding what Danny’s expressive personality is doing to him.
He’s responding to it. And Steve is somehow revealing more emotion than he’s ever expressed in years of his life because Danny makes it so easy. It’s not much by anyone’s standards, not enough for anyone to notice, but for Steve its nearly earth shattering.
First it’s irritation, at Danny’s attitude, his go-by-the-book inflexibility. Then it’s admiration at his skills, his experience on the force, his instincts when it comes to taking on and tracking down perps. Then, surprisingly it’s friendship and amusement, fondness at Danny’s impromptu rants and the way he blows off steam.
Trust is the last thing he expected to share between an alpha.
Steve knows how to give the illusion of trust. It’s what got him through high school, through the Navy, through life. He gives a thin veneer of it, enough so that nobody can suspect he’ll cause any problems, but it always sits below the surface, the knowledge that no matter how long he’s known someone they are all still a threat to him. To his secret. His body, his life.
He trusts family, sure. But they’re a different kind of threat. They’re the threat of his two worlds colliding, one where they know and the other where they know the lie he’s told them.
Steve understands the strange camaraderie that he’s built with Danny is held back by his secret, by the way he struggles to hide himself from the world, but the fact that he’s let an alpha in this close, close enough to see the carefully constructed story unravel is astonishing in itself.
He knows it’s because Danny’s different. Because if it came down to it in a fight, Steve would win, he’d win against any alpha, any person who was a threat to him. He’s trained himself that way. This closeness should be dangerous, it should be enough of a warning for him to pull back, to force distance, but he can’t.
Because he doesn’t want to.
The bickering doesn’t stop.
The sessions continue. Enough for Doctor Ishiguro to gently extract things from him, little by little. He’s aware of it happening but she does it in such a way that whatever small detail or parcel of information he gives up is simple enough to part with willingly without any fear of repercussions.
It’s not hard to notice that he’s beginning to like her. She’s a trained in MMA and that’s where the rib fractures came from. Steve can’t resist the idea of an omega blatantly training in full contact combat. In some ways he wishes he’d been brave enough to do the same.
He doesn’t say that to Doctor Ishiguro, however. There are some things safer left unsaid.
Eventually Catherine has a weekend off and flies in to see him. They celebrate the occasion with a bout of enthusiastic sex but Steve doesn’t feel any different than he usually does. Since he’s been off the pills there’s been no heat at all and besides the sudden itch in his fingers and the soreness of his gums and lower back there haven’t been any other side effects. He knows how lucky he is that it’s just that so he doesn't complain.
He knows the withdrawal might have been worse without the omega relaxens but so far he feels like he’s on top of things. Talking with Doctor Ishiguro isn’t so bad and no one at work seems to notice anything is amiss.
Steve is just as happy to be sorting this out alone.
Catherine doesn’t ask about his ruts because for one, he’s never had one and secondly, she knows there’s nothing serious between them. She offered once to help him through it when they first started out, but he'd quickly declined before she could ask more questions.
He takes her out for drinks at the Mai Tai bar that sits right on Waikiki beach once they’ve wrapped up their latest case of international firearms dealing and seized the huge shipping container filled with weapons worth millions. The men responsible are already sitting in their holding cell and Steve thinks that deserves a beer for sure.
Usually he doesn’t drink more than two or three. Mostly because there’s always the fear waiting in the back of his mind that he’ll relax his inhibitions and reveal the parts of himself that he normally keeps close to the chest. There’s too much at stake and it’s not worth the promise of an alcohol infused buzz.
This is the first time the team is meeting Catherine so Steve doesn’t overthink it when he brings her inside, finding Kono, Chin, Grover, Max and Danny seated at one of the best tables looking out over the water. Jerry doesn’t like to be in too many public places because he’s more paranoid than not and no one is too shocked by his absence.
It’s the openness of the place that probably turned him off. Steve resolves to choose a better destination next time so everyone can join them.
They’re all friendly enough, though Chin’s smile is a little too pleased and Kono’s jokes are probably more sexual than they need to be. Grover is impressed, because nobody can doubt Catherine is impressive, but it’s Danny’s reaction that surprises Steve the most.
His usually easy going smile tightens when Catherine slips her hand into his and it’s only because they’ve been spending so much time together lately that Steve even picks up on it. There’s an uneasy feeling settling in his chest like he’s forgotten something but he shakes it off in favour of buying the first round, ignoring Danny’s disbelief that he’s paying for once when he turns to head toward the bar.
Catherine doesn’t mind being left with the sharks so Steve weaves through the crowd as best he can, noting how quickly people move out of his way and wonders, not for the first time lately, if it’s because he smells like an alpha or if it’s just because he’s big and imposing.
Everybody’s after beer for their first round so Steve orders six Kona Wailua wheat ales and the bartender, Pauahai, who Steve knows by name since this is one of the task force’s favourite haunts at the end of a long day, is already heading off to the taps to pour them when Danny sidles up to him.
“I know you’re still seeing that omega,” he mutters and Steve feels a tug in his abdomen as if someone’s buried a hook in there and yanked. “And I know I’m not in the best position to be giving relationship advice, but you haven’t mentioned him and since Catherine doesn’t seem to know about him either, I’m assuming you’re not in a polygamous relationship and I need to say that cheating on your partner is a real shitty thing to do, Steve.”
He can’t believe he didn’t think this through. Of course Danny was bound to notice this. Catherine’s a beta and even if Danny’s hasn't mentioned the omega again since that first time, Steve knows he’s not stupid. He’s a detective from New Jersey. It’s his nature to remember small details like that. And obviously Danny can smell him. It’s not something he can deny.
“What do you care?” he argues, knowing he’s sounding like an asshole but can’t help himself, the panic is already setting in. “You want him for yourself?”
“No,” Danny snaps, but there’s the slightest blip in his heartbeat and a flush crawls up his neck when Steve spins to stare at him.
“You do want- my omega,” he repeats, shocked, as he crowds into his space in order to scent the reaction better.
Danny’s nostrils flare at the trace of his omega- of Steve’s natural scent unconcealed- and he tenses with the thrill that unfurls within his chest at the compliment.
“I would never do that to you,” Danny promises, not answering the question and for a second Steve reels back, thinking he knows, he knows, before his brain catches up with the conversation.
He’s promising he’d never try and make a move on anyone Steve's dating and it’s a good thing Pauahai’s return is enough to end that conversation. He uses the interruption to recover his composure.
“We’re not exclusive,” he says, not using any specific pronouns so Danny can hear he’s not lying, even if he is talking about Catherine and not his non-existent omega. “I’m not cheating on anybody.”
Danny seems to accept that. “Okay. That’s- good. Look, I shouldn’t have called you out like that. I just- there’s a lot of assholes who mistreat omegas and I didn’t want you to be one of them.”
He nods vaguely as he pays for their drinks and tries not to overthink Danny’s words. Pauahai hands him the change with a friendly grin and Steve’s barely put it back into his wallet before someone grabs his ass.
He’s all reflex in the next second, twisting out of their grasp and whirling around to punch the guy in the face. But it’s all wrong, the instinct to defend from unsolicited alphas when he's encountering the scent of omega instead. The rush of the omega’s panic is brutal and he tries to pull his fist back, but the strength in it means there's no time to suppress the full force of the strike.
That is, before Danny reaches out and snaps at his wrist to prevent him, hard enough that he crushes the bone there. His fist stops mere inches from the omega's face even as he flinches backwards in fear.
“What the hell, Steve?” Pauahai cries. “Do you want security to kick you outta here?”
Steve has trained himself not to react to pain with the markers of an omega which urges betas and alphas instinctively to help them and seals his jaw shut as the omega startles back and makes an apologetic sound. He hates that sound the most, he thinks.
The omega shakily goes to tilt his neck in submission before Danny stops him.
“No,” he says, waving a hand and the omega pauses, even without Danny using an alpha tone on him. That’s how powerful his presence is naturally. Steve’s actually never even heard him use it, never seen him flash his red eyes either because he doesn’t need to. “You. Do. Not. Hit. Omegas. Apologise, Steve.”
His chest tightens with fury as he yanks his hand free and the bones in his wrist slowly reassemble themselves.
“I’m sorry,” he promises, meaning it. “But you shouldn’t touch people without their consent.”
“What he means,” Danny clarifies patiently. “Is that you should probably check someone’s not a Navy SEAL before you touch them and definitely, ask next time. Can we buy you a drink for your trouble?”
The omega seems more embarrassed than anything now that he’s calmed down, but graciously accepts the drink Danny offers.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn't have- I didn’t realise you two were-“ the omega gestures between them as if that’s enough to signify what he means. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Danny promises and Steve has to quell the way his skin feels warmer when he doesn’t deny it. Especially when he’s known a lot of alphas who would have. “No harm done.”
He hands over the beer without question, easy as anything. Everything’s easy for Danny. Steve grits his teeth again and resists the urge to rub at his wrist.
“Jesus, Steve,” Pauahai breathes once the omega is out of hearing distance. “What have you got against omegas?”
He flushes and tries to push down all of the internal hatred that bubbles up at the question. “Nothing,” he promises, even though it’s an obvious lie. “He surprised me and I reacted.”
That part is true at least. He’s emotions are in turmoil by the time he reaches out to grab half of their beers to carry. Danny gets the other half.
“Thanks,” he manages eventually, because he knows how badly that could’ve gone. “For stopping me.”
Danny doesn’t answer and Steve knows he's still stuck on the lie about omegas. He hopes Danny doesn’t dwell on it for too long, but even he knows he’s not that lucky.
He ends it with Catherine after that. They’re better off as friends anyway and the long distance and the lying had been getting to him for a while. He knows she’s disappointed and that maybe she wanted more from him, but she accepts it gracefully enough. She’s good people.
They were only really fuck buddies anyway, nothing serious. At least this way there’s no chance Danny can confuse him for a cheater or keep asking too many questions.
He wakes up from a vivid dream a few nights later, cock jerking messily into the sheets and slick between his thighs as his hand grasps violently at his wrist stretched out above his head. When he remembers it’s the wrist Danny held onto tight enough to break, he lets go with a shudder, rolling over onto his back before taking a deep breath to settle himself.
It’s harder to do that when he can feel the slick he’s produced in his sleep. He gasps a little at the sensation, too shocked to think about jerking himself off as his fingers drift cautiously between his cheeks to feel the heat there.
He hasn’t had a wet dream since he first presented and doesn’t know what to think of the thick warmth settling in his bones at the knowledge that he's still capable of this even after using the Blockers for so long.
Steve patiently waits for the flow of slick to stop and determinedly ignores the stiffness of his cock before cleaning himself up as efficiently as possible, changing the sheets and tumbling back into bed.
It’s too long before he settles back into sleep after that.
Steve’s a little on edge the next day, distracted by his own body so much that he can’t concentrate. It’s definitely not a great mindset to be in in the middle of a warehouse shootout between two of their perps.
They’ve tracked them down to Kamake Ukelele in Honolulu and it’s pure luck that the ukulele factory is closed on Saturdays to tourists when the men storm the place in a final effort to hide out from Five-0. Chin quickly helps escort the craftsmen out of the building but thankfully the perps hadn’t thought to take hostages so it leaves them at the rest of the team’s mercy.
Kono’s got them covered with a sniper rifle outside from a good vantage point in case things get too out of hand, but they don’t want them dead. Their testimonies are essential to the case so the whole team is proceeding with caution.
Danny and Steve have taken cover behind one of the shelves of unfinished ukuleles and he has to grit his teeth at the koa wood being blown to pieces by the spray of bullets. He's not entirely sure how much time is put into constructing the beautifully crafted models of different types of ukuleles but it’s probably a lot.
The loss is somehow more offensive since the Kamaka family business has a history of hardworkers and good people, hiring disabled staff and being famously endorsed by various musicians. They don’t deserve this.
Grover’s almost in position, shifting quietly around the outside of the shelves and machines and creeping toward the men while Steve and Danny are supposed to draw fire in the interim when his patience runs out and he makes a move.
He’s not really thinking about it, he just wants them to stop destroying everything but Danny catches the movement and knocks him down, hard, out of the range of bullets, landing on top of him, covering Steve’s body and shielding him. The surprise comes first. Since Danny is shorter and when Steve has planted his feet he’s pretty much impossible to shove anywhere. At least, he usually is. Danny’s stronger than he assumed.
Then panic crawls out his throat at the flashing thoughts of alpha and on top of him before a different kind of jolt courses through his body, scooping out the insides of his chest and leaving him bare. He heaves Danny’s body off of him just as he’s instantly rolling away like they’ve had the same immediate thought and decided Steve doesn’t want an alpha on top of him.
He doesn’t examine how Danny knew to do that- probably just a logical response to his evident dislike of touch- and instead returns cover fire. Danny recovers almost as quickly and spreads out, giving heat from another direction while Grover closes in.
The rush of panic lingers warningly in his mouth but his wires must’ve gotten crossed somewhere because the bitter taste of fear and anger he usually feels after a confrontation with an alpha isn’t present. He’s still not sure what that jolt of emotion was earlier, but he knows it’s never happened before.
That alone is enough to make him worry. Grover gets the men in the next few minutes and when they surrender their weapons, Chin is returning just in time to cuff them while Kono climbs back down from her perch, danger averted.
That’s about when Danny turns on him.
“What the hell was that?” he demands, and oh hell is he angry. Steve just stares him down unflinchingly. “What were you thinking?”
“Distracting them Danny,” he offers briskly, tone at war with the grizzly emotions swirling in his chest. “Like we agreed.”
“Oh-oh okay, seriously? That is not at all what we agreed. What we agreed was not to die. Do you know what that was, Steven? That was a death wish in case you’re not already familiar. You trying to lay your life on the line for a couple of ukuleles or what?”
Steve just shrugs, since his heartbeat is pumping too fast for him to answer safely and stalks over to join the rest of the team before Danny really gets rolling.
He definitely doesn’t want to talk about this.
That’s not the worst of it. After his dream, Steve’s agitated in the next few days, full of restless energy and the urge to sink his claws into something. He’s been going for early morning runs and swims, pushing himself harder than he usually does just to sweat out some of the excess build up, but it’s not working.
And he’s hungrier than usual, to counter all of the energy being used. He’s so insatiable that he has to go grocery shopping twice in one week to make up for the amount of food he’s consuming.
It’s only when he nearly pummels the hell out of one of their perps and Danny has to pull him off the guy that Steve gets some idea of what might be going on.
“Get this rutting alpha off me!” the beta shrieks and his words are enough to ease the rage in his chest when Danny pushes him back towards his Camaro and Chin and Kono expertly cuff the guy.
They’ve drawn the attention of a few witnesses, but Steve didn’t hurt the perp too much and when they flash their badges they keep on walking. Nearly the whole island has heard of Five-0 by now and they know they’re not to be messed with.
“What the hell are you doing, babe?” he demands as Steve breathes deeply, getting himself under control while Danny keeps a restraining hand on his chest. It’s comforting to know how easily he can push him away if he wanted to.
If he wanted.
Danny’s hand tightens abruptly into a fist, scrunching up the fabric of his shirt and his eyes seem wider all of a sudden when he swallows. Steve watches his throat move and wonders what’s going on.
“Oh,” he says faintly. “Your omega’s about to go into heat. Why didn’t you say anything? Go home, I can look after everything while you’re gone.”
The observation is so shocking that he doesn’t protest, just gets into the driver side of Danny’s silver Camaro RS and drives them both back toward headquarters.
Danny shifts minutely once they’re on the road back to downtown Honolulu and Steve abruptly realises the arousal in the air isn’t just his own. He inhales sharply and his fingers tighten on the wheel.
“Sorry, babe,” he mutters. “He just- fuck, he smells amazing.”
Steve shudders and swallows stiffly, focusing solely on not getting hard in his pants at the words. He thinks he needs to breathe, but he probably needs to be out of this car even more.
If Danny can sense his impending heat than he probably has more time to plan for it since he knows for a fact that nobody else can smell it on him. The benefits of being a True Alpha. But to Danny, at least, it smells good. Really good. Steve smells good to him.
“It’s okay,” he manages weakly. “I know you won’t touch him.”
The longing in his tone is painfully clear and he tries his best to ignore Danny’s confusion. Instead he grips the wheel tighter and tries not to do anything stupid.
“When did you know you were a True Alpha?” Steve asks as a way to divert his focus.
“I, uh- didn’t,” he admits. “Not until I put my first boyfriend in the hospital.”
Steve figures he understands exactly how his boyfriend got there. But when he thinks about how Danny reacted at the bar he realises that the scent of embarrassment isn’t about sex, but the fact that he hurt him.
“How did you-?” he wonders, unable to help himself from asking.
“I, uh- overexerted him,” Danny explains delicately and Steve flushes.
“Right,” he mutters as they pull into Ali’iolani Hale and the parking lot for HQ.
He’s out of the door before the engine is cold and rushes over to his car without hesitation, keys already out and prepared to drive as far away from Danny as he possibly can.
“I’ll be back in a fortnight,” he mutters. “Call if you need me.”
“Two weeks?” Danny demands, eyes widening with fervour. “Are you trying to kill the guy?”
His spine ripples with the urge to fight, to run, to do something. This is his first heat in twenty years; he’s got no idea how this is going to pan out. A two-week heat where nothing goes wrong would be a miracle.
Steve just waves his hand in reply before sliding resolutely into his car.
He drives all the way out to Waipahu, past Pearl City to find a sex shop where nobody will recognise him.
The place is empty except for a beta and omega sequestered in the knotted dildos section, arms wrapped around each other and giggling softly at the more ridiculously shaped ones.
The alpha behind the counter is watching them with a bored expression that tells Steve he’s worked here too long.
Steve lingers by the lube and tries not to have a core meltdown as he waits for them to leave. The couple rings up a few items by the counter and only once they exit does he have the guts to approach the knotted selection of dildos.
He barely has a moment to stare at the range of different toys in order to realise just how out of his element he is. He’s definitely too old for this shit.
“Got a limp knot? Or is it so small your partner can’t even feel it?” the employee wonders snidely, sidling up to Steve and staring at his crotch as if he can see his non-existent knot.
The alpha is nowhere near his size or strength to make a threatening impression.
Steve goes still and allows an expression he lived by in the Navy to repossess his face, eyes narrowing with the threat of something powerful, ruthlessly controlled and guaranteed to be painful if unleashed as he stares the alpha down.
All it takes is a second before the alpha recognises what he’s dealing with is beyond his ability and curses, pointedly stepping backwards. Steve waits until he appears suitably cowed and only after he’s satisfied the asshole is rightfully shitting himself, does he spin on his heel and leave the store.
He doesn’t buy anything.
“I’m going into heat soon,” he tells Doctor Ishiguro at his next session.
It’s his seventh session so far and since he’s been doing nothing but sit at home and wait for his heat to arrive, he’s meeting her on a Wednesday instead of his regular Saturday.
When he’d had to walk past all of the other patients sitting in the waiting room, Steve almost wished he hadn’t changed the day.
He’s standing by the window directly out of an effective line of sight, efficiently draining one of the jugs of water she has there- she’s bought another one since she took Steve on- and she still hasn’t managed to coax him to sit down yet.
“Are you certain? After so long how can you be sure?”
“Danny smelt it,” he gasps around the water he’s guzzling. “I’ve been eating a lot and I’ve been overly agitated.”
“Aggressive,” he clarifies when she frowns and opens her mouth to ask.
“So you’re saying you feel as if you have a mixture of the symptoms of both an alpha’s rut and an omega’s heat.”
“Yes,” he agrees, colouring.
“Are you worried?”
“I don’t know what to expect,” he admits. “It’s well- it’s been a while.”
Doctor Ishiguro smiles at his poor attempt at humour. “Does your concern lie with going through your first heat in twenty years alone? If that is the case then are many services that would provide you with a necessary partner.”
He flinches at the idea. “No, I don’t want to do that.”
“My apologies for suggesting it,” Doctor Ishiguro replies. “I realise that it would require an incredible amount of trust in a person for you to be intimate in that regard.”
“I nearly punched an omega last weekend,” he admits, without her prompting and to her credit, Doctor Ishiguro doesn’t appear horrified.
“Explain what happened.”
“I was at the bar with Danny when the guy grabbed my ass and I just reacted. I thought-“
“You thought he was an alpha,” she guesses and Steve swallows thickly at the memory. “It was instinctive to defend yourself from such an attack despite the person not being the status you assumed they were. You have the right to respect and safety of your own body, even as an alpha. Tell me did you hurt the man?”
“No,” he says, relieved that his partner was there. “Danny stopped me in time.”
“Does that frighten you, that he was able to stop you?”
“A little. I’m not used to alphas being fast enough to stop me, but I’m glad he was there.”
“I’ve noticed you like to avoid talking about Detective Williams,” Doctor Ishiguro observes. “And if you’ll forgive my frankness, your scent currently gives the impression of a deeper intimacy than you’ve advertised.”
He knows he smells of Danny just like he knows no one else in the task force does, but that’s because they spend so much time together. Sharing the same car, the same breathing space so frequently must account for some of it. Not for the reasons she’s thinking.
“We’re work partners,” he insists. “That’s it. Danny’s brand of alpha is just more… potent than a regular alpha. That’s why it smells like-“
“You’ve rolled in the sheets for months on end?”
It’s almost laughable. Especially since Danny respects his space and never touches him, unless its in a life or death situation and he needs to get Steve’s attention without making a sound and even then it’s the barest brush of leather gloves at his shoulder.
He wasn’t exaggerating about alpha potency. Danny touches the team much more freely and frequently than his partner but that doesn’t seem to stop his scent from enduring with Steve. He drains the first jug and gets started on the second before he’s pacing again.
“We’re not like that.”
“Have you perhaps considered that you might want to be?”
Steve almost trips over his own feet before he can get his jumbled thoughts together. “I couldn’t. I- there’s too much going on right now. I went to a sex shop,” he offers, switching topics erratically.
“Was the experience as you anticipated?”
“Yes,” he mutters. “I was looking at the- knotting displays when the alpha owner came over and insinuated I couldn’t satisfy my partner sexually.”
Doctor Ishiguro actually looks angry for the first time since he’s met her. Steve had assumed her collected calmness was unremitting. “I am very sorry that happened, Steve. I know how much of a risk that would have felt like for you to make the trip there and to have the owner act extremely unprofessionally would not have been encouraging. I can assure you that that kind of cruelty is not the norm for sex shops, but might I suggest if you no longer feel comfortable pursuing that avenue to acquire supplies for your approaching heats, that shopping online is also an option.”
Steve hadn’t even thought of that. “Thank you,” he manages. “I think I’ll stick to that for now.”
“I am truly sorry that that happened, Steve. You are completely deserving of respect and it astounds me that people can behave that way. Despite popular belief, I can promise you that ignorance is not always the norm.”
“So what is it?” he asks, unable to take it any longer. “What’s wrong with me? I can see it in your eyes that you already know.”
“There is nothing wrong with you, Steve,” Doctor Ishiguro promises patiently. “I believe that you have been suffering with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since your late teens brought on by presenting as an omega, the lack of encouragement from your father and the assumed disparity between this status and the body type you possess. Your reliance on a harmful drug to camouflage this disparity, extreme training practises, excessive grooming and natural avoidance of mirrors suggest the compulsive behaviours you employ to hide these perceived flaws."
“Suffering from BDD brings an often irrational obsession to aspects of your body that you deem as flaws which in your case would include your height, your physique and strength and I suspect, also the size of your hands. This persistent preoccupation with these traits have been detrimental to your self esteem, the way you conduct yourself in life, your relationships and the ways in which you isolate yourself emotionally in order to conceal these problems. Your controlling behaviours in the workplace and in your relationships stems from the need to compensate for the lack of control over these feelings of inadequacy.”
Steve stills in his pacing, helpless in the way she’s unpeeled him so thoroughly. “What can I do?” he wonders.
“You have a very strong constitution,” Doctor Ishiguro observes. “In more extreme cases of BDD, sufferers undergo surgeries to correct these perceived flaws, develop eating disorders, are unable to function in everyday life, cannot leave their homes and even attempt suicide. I suspect your service in the Navy has given you a sense of purpose and power over this disorder without completely eradicating it so that its effects on your life have lessened to a manageable degree, but I’m concerned that these now manifest in obsessive compulsive ways.”
“Can you fix it?”
“There is nothing to fix, Steve,” Doctor Ishiguro assures him. “But what we can try is cognitive behaviour therapy which will help change these negative thinking patterns which compelled you to conceal your status and teach you how to recognise irrational thought patterns when they overwhelm you.”
“Okay, I can do that.”
“I also would suggest, as you adjust to experiencing heats again that you might avoid being intimate with an alpha until we can begin your therapy as I feel you will react negatively.”
Steve frowns, but he’s not exactly going to argue. There’s a reason he’s never been intimate with an alpha before, mostly because he’s never met any alpha that made him want to be. “How negative are we talking?”
“You might kill them,” Doctor Ishiguro says without a hint of disapproval or judgement. “Your constant hyper-vigilance suggests that you are also suffering from a relapse of PTSD brought on by the death of your father, the return to your childhood home where the trauma took place and the vivid nightmares you’ve been experiencing. What I will suggest is several self-help tips to help lessen your post-traumatic stress, but if your PTSD symptoms do not improve there might be some difficulty acquiring a suitable medication that does not negatively impact your recovery from the Blockers."
"For now, I believe your training as a Navy SEAL might present itself if you are in an intimate situation with an alpha and they give into a baser animalistic instinct and attempt to dominate you. From your reaction to my receptionist and the omega who assaulted you at the bar, it is my opinion that your latent issues with alphas causes you to panic when forced into situations out of your control and induce these violent behaviours.”
“I don’t want to be like that,” he admits, pacing back toward the final jug of water and filling a cup. He can’t quite look her in the eye.
“I realise that this violence frightens you with its similarities to the domineering and controlling alphas that consider themselves superior to all other statuses and who disrespect and mistreat omegas but it is also the way in which you protect yourself from them.”
“So I’m just part of the vicious cycle then? That’s not very encouraging.”
Doctor Ishiguro smiles. “I think, you are a very capable and controlled man and that no alpha will ever be able to command you to do anything should you not wish it.”
Something settles in his chest at that as if she’s soothed a lifelong fear. It's true, though. Alphas have never been able to tell him what to do, why should that suddenly change now?
“Thank you,” he says, draining the cup and heading for the door since their time is up.
“Sooner or later I do hope you will end up in that comfortable chair, Steve,” Doctor Ishiguro says, gesturing at the couch opposite.
He shakes his head, smiling as he disappears out of her office. He’s feeling calm enough to offer a friendly wave at the omega at the desk who startles, but smiles shyly back before Steve’s heading outside into the hallway.
He barely takes two steps before he sees the approaching mop of blonde hair standing in his path.
Steve doesn’t even think, a snarl bursts out of his chest, fear and the threat of Danny’s presence warring with each other as he pins him to the opposite wall.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he demands as Doctor Ishiguro’s reception area erupts into confusion behind him. They can see everything through the glass doors. “Did you follow me?”
“What? No? Dammit, Steve. I’m here for the case. Now would you let go of me already? What the heck is the matter with you?”
Danny struggles a little but otherwise doesn’t fight off his grip, lets it stay there as if it’s not a bother to have another alpha pin him to a wall. But what about an omega?
The doors open up behind them, but Steve’s too angry to look.
“Steve, please unhand the man you are currently assaulting.”
It’s Doctor Ishiguro. The receptionist probably called her out of her office. His grip tightens exponentially, blood boiling under his skin and his jaw aches with the desire to bite, to sink his teeth into Danny’s neck and lay claim to it.
It’s that thought that brings him back into awareness, realising he’s pressed his partner up against the wall just for the fear that he might know why he’s here.
And maybe for a few other reasons he’s not ready to address yet. He’s warring with his instincts telling him to hold tighter and to let go. But Doctor Ishiguro is suddenly there, an overwhelming presence as she gets between them and forces them apart. She pushes Steve hard enough that he hits the glass behind him, but thankfully it doesn’t shatter.
“Jesus,” Danny whistles and he’s darting around Doctor Ishiguro and helping him stand up. “What the hell was that? Are you alright, babe?”
Doctor Ishiguro watches as Steve allows Danny to assist him, straightening his shirt and brushing at imaginary lint as he inspects him before approaching them again.
“You must be Detective Williams,” she assumes and Steve growls at her, a warning to keep her mouth shut.
But Doctor Ishiguro only stares him down knowingly until he feels foolish for the response.
“What are you doing?” Danny snaps. “Don’t be rude, you’re an animal.”
“Yes, hello,” he greets her, shaking her hand politely. “And who might you be?”
“I am Akira Ishiguro, the clinical psychologist and omega specialist here and this is my office. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Yes, I have some questions regarding a patient of yours who was recently found dead, a Mr Kaoao?”
“Certainly, I would be happy to answer any of your questions, Detective Williams.”
Doctor Ishiguro helpfully gestures towards the glass doors of her practise and with a final curious glance at him, Danny allows himself to be encouraged inside. As he walks away, Doctor Ishiguro turns back to Steve who’s still breathing heavily with the offsetting panic of Danny’s arrival.
“Steve, I’m sure that you understand my meaning when I say that you need to go home.”
Doctor Ishiguro intentionally steps into his path when he moves to follow after Danny. He wants to know what he’s doing here, maybe he should never have taken time off to begin with. This case has gotten too close and he doesn’t relish the thought of his professional and personal life colliding.
“If you don’t understand my meaning then take a moment to recall your precarious emotional imbalance right now and the negative reactions we discussed previously.”
Doctor Ishiguro glances pointedly at the back of Danny’s head and he finally parses out her meaning. Oh, he’s an alpha. In his state right now, she thinks he might kill him. Steve hands are clenched at his sides, claws out and his blood is pumping with the adrenaline of an attack.
She’s right, he realises with some degree of horror. He might actually do it.
Steve goes home.
He follows Doctor Ishiguro’s advice. Once he’s back at the McGarrett house he orders two different types of dildos he likes the look of online as well as lube in case he doesn’t end up producing enough slick. He pays for express shipping and wonders what his father might have thought if he knew this was what Steve was using computers for in his own house some twenty years later since he left it.
Probably hate them even more than he used to. It hasn’t escaped his notice that he had to bring all of the technology back with him when he returned home. He shakes his head almost picturing his father’s shuttered expression before grabbing a beer out of the fridge and settling into the couch.
His phone buzzes just as he’s located the remote underneath the couch cushion. It’s Mary with her weekly check in.
How’s everything at home?
He’s only been here for a short amount of time, but now it’s starting to feel like forever.
Mary doesn’t respond after that, which is good because he can’t think of anything else to say. When his phone buzzes again twenty minutes later he’s a little startled to see it’s Danny.
Hey, everything alright? Want to talk?
Steve doesn’t know why it upsets him but it does. In the next moment his face is burning and his heart is pumping faster. It’s an unexpected shock having to deal with this all over again. He feels like he’s travelled back to the past where he’s freshly turned eighteen, realising he’s an omega and hating himself for it.
He manages to type out a reply.
I’m fine. Don’t worry about it, Danno. Sorry for getting in your face.
His phone buzzes again a second later.
No harm done. You’ve got a lot going on. Let me know if you need anything.
Sure, he replies already feeling like an asshole for his outburst earlier.
Danny must think he’s just some trigger happy alpha gearing up to fight at the slightest threat to his authority. Steve hates that. That’s not how he wants to be at all. He wishes this wasn’t all so complicated.
He stays there, sitting on the couch, drinking beer and sighs.
There’s a knock on his door Thursday afternoon. Steve almost doesn’t go to answer it, thinking it’s Danny and he’s somehow going to have to invent some convoluted lie about where his omega is since there’s only one heartbeat in the house.
But it’s not Danny. Or Kono. Or Grover. Or Chin. Or Kamekona. Or Max. Or Jerry. Or anyone else who frequents the McGarrett household lately.
“What are you doing here?” he demands, after angrily swinging the front door wide.
“Hey, Steve. Love you, too. So happy to be here and I’m doing great thanks for asking.”
Her familiar beta scent washes over him and he grudgingly stops blocking the door. “I’m sorry. You caught me off guard. I’m not expecting anyone because-“
I’m going into heat soon. Jesus, he can’t even tell his own sister. And she already knows.
“Alright. Lay it on me. You might think you’re an impenetrable shell but I know you, Steve. And I can tell when you’ve got some heavy shit going on which is why I flew all the way out here to see you.”
She’d been here for their father’s funeral but she hadn’t even stayed the night, taking the red eye back to California. It’s been a while, but somehow Steve is still glad to see her anyway. Even with the circumstances as they are.
“I need a beer,” he manages before he’s heading off to the kitchen and Mary’s stomping loudly up the stairs to the guest bedroom to dump her bags.
“Make it two,” she yells back at him and by the time she returns, Steve’s already sitting on the couch and guzzling.
“Jesus, slow down, cowboy. Tell me what’s going on. Why aren’t you at work?”
“I’m on heat leave,” he gasps.
Mary is shocked as she accepts the beer he passes over and perches on the edge of the couch beside him. “But you still smell like…”
Steve flushes and takes another pull of his beer. “I lied about having an omega partner. The new doctor I’m seeing, she found out I was still on Blockers, took me off the them and gave me alpha scent markers and omega relaxens to help with the withdrawal.”
Mary hisses out a sharp breath. “You said you’d changed drugs after they did that exposé on Blockers, saying how unsafe they were and all of the people who had died taking them.”
“But-“ she insists. “Didn’t you see that study they did on TV? How unsafe it is? How they’d pulled it off the shelves because it was killing people, causing liver and kidney failure, brain damage, making them infertile?”
“Yes,” he says, taking the last sip of his beer, emptying the bottle. “I saw the study. I just didn’t care.”
“God, Steve,” she groans. “Are you okay? How bad is the withdrawal?”
“I’m mostly fine. My body’s a bit sorer, more sensitive and my emotions are a little compromised but it’s not as bad as I was expecting. I’m seeing an omega specialist.”
Mary’s drinking almost as quickly as he is. “But do you have any lingering side effects? If you’ve been taking it this long-“
“My doctor is going to run some tests once the pills are flushed completely from my system, so I guess we’ll see.”
“Fuck, Steve. Are you- are you okay?”
He’s twirling the empty beer bottle between his hands, staring at them morosely before he can think of a reply. “Not- really.”
“Are you- do you need anything? For your heats?”
Steve’s flush darkens. “No, I’ve uh taken care of that. My doctor didn’t even think I’d be able to have them anymore, since, since I’ve been on Blockers for so long but Danny could already smell it-“
“Danny, the guy you work with? Is that who I’m smelling all over this house?”
He’s so used to it by now that he forgets about it. That is until someone else is walking inside and scenting the place. Danny’s familiar scent is everywhere.
“And don’t think I can’t smell a little kid either, Steve. Are you dating him now?
“No! He’s just my partner.”
”Your partner? And he could smell an approaching heat? Steve, I’m sitting right next to you and all I can smell is alpha. Though it’s less aggressive than it used to be when you were on those pills. More natural.”
Steve sighs and rubs a hand tiredly across his face. “Danny’s a True Alpha. He can smell my omega scent so I lied and said I’m dating an omega guy so he wouldn’t be suspicious.”
“But-“ Mary wonders, frustrated. “I mean, do you want to keep doing that? Isn’t that the point of seeing an omega specialist to understand how Dad fucked us both up royally? Or do you want to stay an alpha?”
“I don’t know,” he admits. “I’ve been so afraid of the truth for so long. In the Navy it was for safety but now it’s just, I’ve gotten used to being an alpha. I don’t know how to be an omega.”
“Then don’t be,” Mary says. “Just be Steve.”
“You know Dad expected me to be the omega.”
Steve pauses, and glances across the space between them to stare at her in confusion. “What?”
“He assumed it’d be me. You know, because I’m female. He even had an alpha lined up and waiting before I presented as a beta.”
God. Steve needs to breathe. He jerks to his feet without an answer and heads towards the glass doors leading out to the backyard. He stops when he reaches the sand and only once he’s got air back into his lungs does he realise that Mary followed him outside.
“I didn’t know,” he whispers, horrified that his father did that to her. Made her feel like that. How humiliating it must have been to have to correct him. How uncomfortable and distressed he would have made her feel.
John McGarrett was not a man that needed to be corrected often. He hadn’t realised Mary had had it almost as bad as he did.
“I’m sorry,” he says, upset.
“It’s fine,” she says. “I made my peace with it. Hey, did I tell you I’m gonna have a kid?”
“Yeah, I’m gonna adopt.”
“That’s- a huge responsibility,” he says meaningfully. Mary hasn’t particularly been a role model for that in the past.
“So you can play house but I can’t?”
Steve makes a strangled sound. “I’m not-“
“Steve, Danny and his little girl are all over this house. All over it. I can’t even smell Dad anymore and he lived here nearly all his life.”
“He’s a True Alpha. His scent is more potent. It lingers.”
“On you as well?” she wonders, slyly. “Because it’s not the one alpha I’m smelling on you. If I couldn’t see your unmarked neck, I’d guess you were bonded.”
Steve feels a rush of pleasure so heady that his knees almost buckle. “Does it really smell like that?”
Mary gives him a patient look and drains her beer. “Steve, it smells like you’ve been fucking on end for months.”
This is- he has to sit down, heart pumping frantically as he takes this all in. Is that what people think when they see them? They smell them both and think he and Danny are together? His chest feels warm and too tight all of a sudden and he needs another beer.
“I haven’t slept with anyone in weeks. Least of all Danny.”
Mary folds her legs under her and sits down beside him. “It’s probably just an after-effect of compatibility. Really strong compatibility. Stronger since he’s a True Alpha. What do you reckon he’d do if he found out about your status?”
Steve’s not sure he wants to think about it. “I don’t know. He’s interested in my omega. Definitely attracted to him.”
Mary frowns at him. “Your omega?”
“My fake omega. I mean, me. Sorry, it’s habit.”
“Don’t be sorry for anything. I understand. I was there, remember? When you presented, Dad acted like you died instead of giving you the respect you deserved.”
Steve tenses up, but can’t speak. He’s not sure he wants to relive this.
“I just. I understand why you did it. That’s all I’m saying. But I think if you want Danny to trust you, you’re going to have to be honest. If you decide to stop hiding your past, the people closest to you who had no idea about it might not handle things very well.”
He knows she’s right but he also knows that he won’t be able to do it.
“I know you’ve never gone near alphas, but from what you’ve told me about him, he seems different.”
“Just don’t write him off completely because of his status. He‘s good for you. You seem more grounded than you used to be and more at ease than I’ve seen you in a while. I mean, I’ve never even heard you talk like this before. I’m really happy to be here to listen to it.”
Steve doesn’t answer. He’s not sure that he can.
The package full of sex toys and lube arrives the next day and Mary offers to stay in the house with him during his heat. Just in case something goes wrong.
“No,” he says quickly after she asks. “I don’t want-“
“Okay, that’s fine. Just keep your cell phone in the room in case you need to call me. You know I’m here for you.”
She insists on waiting until it starts and promises to check into a hotel since her flight back to California doesn’t leave until the end of next week.
They fry up the barbeque for dinner and even Steve is surprised by how much food he manages to put away. Mary watches him eat with wide eyes and when she grabs a beer from the fridge she brings one back for him as well.
He gets the text when he and Mary are settled comfortably in front of the TV watching a film that he's hardly paying attention to. It’s Danny again.
I know you’re prob busy. But can I call?
Steve barely replies his agreement before his phone is ringing.
“Hey,” he says, purposely not speaking Danny’s name since his sister is clearly interested in the conversation already.
“Hey babe,” Danny replies easily enough but Steve jolts at the sound of his voice after a few days without it and gets to watch Mary’s eyes widen as a grin curves at her mouth.
It’s not like that, he wants to insist. He calls everyone in Five-0 babe. It’s not exclusively Steve, but the damage is done. Mary looks like she’s been given all the ammunition she needs. Steve could kill him.
“What did you want to talk about?” he wonders, frowning at her and making motions with his hands to instruct her to go away and stop eavesdropping.
Mary doesn’t budge.
“Are you busy?” Danny asks, mistaking his tone as an indication that he doesn’t want to talk, not that he wishes Mary would stop jumping to conclusions. She needs to get her facts straight. “With- uh…”
The meaning in his words is unmistakable. Mary seems even more delighted, leaning in closer with interest.
“No,” Steve says sharply. “No. Just. Talk.”
“When you put it so encouragingly like that,” Danny mutters sarcastically while Mary smirks at him. “Here I am worried I did something to upset that cavemen brain of yours. But obviously I was reading too much into you throwing me into a wall-“
“Danno,” he sighs trying to think of how best to explain what’s been going on with him lately and that none of it is Danny’s fault.
“I wanted to make sure that you’re okay and that everything’s- are you okay?”
Steve feels heat travel pleasantly down his throat, pooling into his chest and settling in his gut like he’s just swallowed warm liquid along with the taste of knowing Danny cares about him. Not his omega. Steve.
He cares that Steve is okay.
“I’m fine,” he replies, swallowing heavily, flushing now at the knowing look on his sister’s face. “There are just some things about me that I haven’t told you- haven’t told anyone- but I think that I want to. Tell you.”
“Sure,” Danny agrees and the tenor of his voice sounds thicker than usual, layered with honeyed smoothness that Steve could listen to for hours. “Whenever you’re ready, babe.”
His skin feels hot with the rush of it. Because Danny won’t push. Not until he's ready.
“Thanks, Danny,” he murmurs and his voice comes out sounding stranger than it usually does, almost unrecognisable with a sudden delicate strain.
“Are you sure everything’s fine? You sound a little different.”
Steve realises what’s happening about a second before Mary does and her forehead is crinkling with concern just as he feels the first pulse of slick.
“I’m fine,” he gasps into the cell phone. “I gotta go Danny. Talk later.”
He hangs up before Danny can ask any more questions. Mary’s watching him with outright panic now that the moment has finally arrived despite the fact that Steve's been preparing for it for days. He’d been less prepared for it to happen when he was speaking to Danny though.
“Did he just start your-“ she babbles, shocked. “Just by talking-“
“No,” he insists, cheeks feeling hotter than before as slick rapidly soaks his briefs. Somehow he hadn’t expected to get so wet so quickly. “That was a coincidence.”
The problem is that he’s not so sure of that and Mary doesn’t seem convinced either. She helps lead him upstairs. When he winces and tries to turn into his own bedroom still reeking with his first heat, Mary tugs him past the door.
“Not in there,” she determines, eyes hard. “Too many bad memories for you in there. Parent’s bedroom it is.”
“Mary,” he protests, flushed and embarrassed at the thought but she’s already leading him forward.
“The bed is bigger, there’s an ensuite and there’s more room for you. You’re not hiding away like some dirty secret this time, Steve. You’re going to be comfortable and enjoy yourself.”
He isn’t sure his face is red and flushed because of her outrageous words or from the rush of heat hitting him all at once.
Mary sits him onto the bed and goes to retrieve the items he set up in his old room. She comes back bearing protein bars and bottles of water and the box full of dildos and lube and something else. She’s gingerly holding the fabric as if she doesn’t want to spread her scent on it more than she already has.
It’s a shirt. But it’s not his.
“I found it in the spare bedroom,” she explains somewhat awkwardly. “He must’ve left it accidentally.”
Steve doesn’t need to lean forward to inhale it. The scent of Danny bursts so strongly across his tongue that Steve’s legs buckle underneath him and he nearly tips off the edge of the mattress.
“Get it out of here,” he mutters, gritting his teeth. “I don’t want it.”
Mary looks worried by his claws already shredding the sheets.
“He didn’t leave it here for that,” Steve snaps, viciously. “I’m not going to whine for him.”
She listens eventually, apologetically pulling Danny’s shirt out of reach and edging toward the door.
“Call me if you need anything."
Steve clenches his jaw shut so he doesn’t say anything to upset her. Once she’s out of the room, tactfully shutting the door behind her and that overpowering scent is gone, he can clear his head a little.
The scent of Danny is faint in this room at least, because he’s very rarely been in it but the traces of it still somehow linger. Not enough to be a problem for him, though, by now he’s actually gotten accustomed to it.
It’s almost- safe. He waits until the front door closes announcing Mary’s departure before doing anything else. Only once he hears his car start and peel out of the driveway does he allow himself to relax.
Slowly, carefully he begins to remove his clothes. His shirt comes off almost immediately and by then he’s already working at his cargo pants, unbuttoning them and jerking his hips out of the confining material.
The bulge in his briefs announces very loudly to the open space how hard he is but he can ignore it as he reaches the edge of the bed where the box of supplies are awaiting him. It’s not uncomfortable yet. There’s a buzzing in his chest and his skin feels like its been dipped into a humid summer day where the very air seems aflame with heat. It’s bullshit, but it’s bullshit he can handle.
That he will handle. When Steve finally pulls out the two dildos capable of expanding to produce a silicone knot and stares at them in his hands, realising they’ll be inside him soon, it’s followed by a sudden spark of desire curling inside him. So he resolves to try and enjoy himself.
No. He will enjoy this. The pleasant slide of naked skin against soft sheets, the heat coiling in his lower abdomen, the slickness that’s soaking through his briefs and will soon reach his thighs. Steve is going to make these orgasms worth it.
He’s not going to let himself feel ashamed. He’s not going to think of all those painful memories sealed in the staleness of his old bedroom down the hall.
The slick soaking his briefs is impossible to ignore any longer so he impatiently tugs the material past his hips, working himself out of them and exhaling at the sudden sensation of exposure. Steve doesn’t do this very often. If he’s ever trying to release tension, it’s usually when he’s in the shower and it’s much more perfunctory than it is carnal. He doesn’t sit around touching himself whenever he gets the chance, doesn’t draw it out any more than necessary when the whim takes him.
But he knows perfunctory isn’t going to cut it this time. No. This kind of thing is made to be drawn out, at least until his body is satisfied and Steve doesn’t intend to shy away from that now. He’s shied away from anything omega enough as it is.
Now he’s going to touch and let himself feel.
He slides his fingers down his chest first, feeling along the ridges of muscle delicately with no real rush or sense of purpose before eventually teasing a touch along his cock. The sharp bite of pleasure and reward he feels when he finally gets there, leaves him a little breathless. It’s- nice, actually. Steve hums a little and works his hips against the mattress, liking the feel of resistance against his ass as he does. The slick makes the movement much more sensual than it might have been without it and he idly traces a nipple before scooting further up the bed to lie against the pillows.
He makes sure to grab the dildos, lube, water bottle and a couple protein bars as he moves just so they’re all within reach and sinks into the comforting scents and the embrace of pillows.
His slick is getting a little out of hand already so Steve’s glad he thought to put soft sheets on the bed even if he hadn’t expected to spend his heat in this room. In spite of the fact that he’s been sleeping in the master bedroom since his return home. He feels absurdly proud of his body for a moment, that it’s capable enough to resist the drugs he’s exposed it to for so long and produce the fluids he’s attempted to deny it. That it can still function this way even after that.
It’s probably the heat settling in. Making him irrational and he shakes his head as if to dislodge the strange thoughts so he can focus on what’s important. Getting through that first easy orgasm that will kick off the beginning of this whole thing.
His first heat had been pretty miserable. Mostly because he’d been so embarrassed and the shame had tinged the sweetness of it, heightening the pain rather than the pleasure.
Steve lets the pleasure win out this time and reaches down to cup himself experimentally as his other hand skirts under his ass to reach the place where he’s wet and slick. It feels hot to the touch and he can’t stop the groan that slips free as his fingers brush the opening, which unfurls so readily that the tips of his fingers catch on soft edges and slip inside.
It’s only two fingers but the flash of heat is desperate and urgent despite not even pushing past the knuckle and the small tease of awareness of what his body wants, what it’s going to get is entirely satisfying. Steve doesn’t do anything more but leave them there, just barely curved inside his body as a small act to placate a larger need and resumes his attentions back onto his cock.
His other hand is already moving on the upstroke and the sharpness of his dry palm is almost electric before he’s scrambling to reach for the lube. His free hand gets lost somewhere between as his body clenches around his opposite fingers, coating them in more slick and Steve sighs softly and drifts down to find the wetness there. It’s enough to accommodate him so that when he pulls away to grip his cock again, the fingers of his left hand are still half buried in the space where he’s hot and open, and his right hand is wet with his own slick.
He strokes determinedly, the fluids encasing his skin and causing spikes of pleasure in the touch, slick acting as lube as he slowly thrusts into the warmth of his clenched hand. The fingers in his ass act as means to ground him, a heated contentment stirring slowly in his gut and coiling tighter as his orgasm builds.
He comes a few minutes later, clenching around the hint of fingers as he shoots across his chest, hand twisting at the head to squeeze the last few spurts out of his cock. The sensation only prolongs his need and Steve reaches quickly for the dildo closest to his outstretched hand, ready to wring more pleasure out of his body.
He feels hungry for it, but there’s no mania to his desire and his limbs feel light and pleasant when he carefully pours lube onto the dildo before putting it where he wants it most. Withdrawing his fingers seems cruel now but the promise of something thick and unrelenting spurs the decision and he’s already pressing the tip to flesh, body blossoming eagerly under it.
He needn’t have bothered with the excess lube. The amount of slick his body is producing seems excessive enough as he curls onto his side to make the angle easiest, but when the tip of the dildo slides in without warning, Steve understands the appeal. The sounds of his own soft gasps seem foreign to him and they are because he’s never allowed himself to sound like this.
He fights the temptation to force it inside all at once, and wring out a quick, frantic orgasm because he knows the brutality of it will only send him spiralling back into the memories of his first heat. He wants to enjoy this, so he has to be careful, treat himself gently like he knows he deserves.
The slow, tender slide of the dildo inching inside him sparks much more brightly than a sharp thrust would have and Steve curls his face further into the pillow needing something to bite into as his clenched fist reaches his open mouth. It rests there comfortingly against his teeth like a reminder as the moans slip past his fingers and rise in volume, the deeper he pushes the toy into his body.
When the base finally rests snugly against the heated flesh of his ass, Steve squeezes his eyes shut in order to focus purely on the sensation of fullness. His body has opened so easily for this, and closed so determinedly around it that the dildo feels like a part of him now and he experimentally rocks his hips back, jostling it inside him.
It presses resolutely against his prostate and Steve comes again on a cry, too shocked to even consider activating the knotting function as he spurts. Clenching up around the rigidity of it while it remains there unyielding inside him, sweetens the satisfaction of his orgasm and he’s biting firmly but not deeply into the flesh of his curled fist, still resting against his mouth to distract from the pleasure.
He remains hard and the urgency in his body is still present, but it’s lessened somewhat knowing it’s being taken care of and Steve pulls his fist away from his slackened mouth, licking his lips as he reaches for the nearby water bottle. He’s sweating by now and the coolness travelling down his throat somehow has him thinking of other things and before he’s really conscious of it, his opposite hand is working at the toy inside him again.
He flicks the switch at the base as he gets close to the edge again and comes just as the knot expands inside him.
The smell of semen and satisfaction are choking up the room, but Steve only rocks his hips deeper to grind against the knot, slick allowing better movement as the steady heat blazes within him.
It’s so good. Much better than he’s ever remembered but the sudden slam of a car door brings him out of his haze of pleasure, fingers curling around the base of his gun, stowed beneath the pillows as his pulse skyrockets.
The footsteps fade before Steve’s even flicked off the safety and he realises the sound is coming from the neighbour's house next door.
The sudden shock of sound is sobering but he knows his sister locked the house up and that he’s safe here, even if he’d forgotten about it. The insistent pulse of his body is enough to derail him again and Steve releases his grip on the gun for the grip of his cock as he steadily rocks his hips into the climbing pressure.
By the time he comes again, strung out and locked up tight around the knot, he’s forgotten about the outside world altogether.
The bedside table says he’s about five hours into his heat when he breaks the toy. The flimsy plastic just doesn’t hold out against the enthusiasm of his body and it’s lucky it breaks at the base so it can still be removed, but he holds off first in order to come again.
Steve didn’t even know it was possible to come this much. It certainty hadn’t been like this the first time, though back then his heat had been an entirely different experience.
He discards the broken dildo and tosses it carelessly onto the floor. It’s useless now. He lies there panting for a few minutes in order to get his breath back while he’s drenched in a mixture of sweat, slick and come. When he has enough energy, he reaches out for a protein bar and somehow manages to rip it open with his sex numb fingers. His body feels heavier than he’s used to after so many orgasms and he’s a little light heated with heat haze when he works his jaw around the bar and starts chewing.
The flow of his slick has slowed some and Steve feels overheated and dirty enough to drag himself into the shower once he’s eaten every last bite. His steps are heavy and discoordinated as if he’s not used to being on his feet, but he manages to make it into the shower and sits, using the wall as a brace to reach the ground.
He reaches up for the knob and for the first onset of cold water without even bother with the heat. It’s the last thing that he needs right now. The cool, sluice of water encasing his skin is like a soft balm and instantly Steve feels much better.
The urgency of his heat has petered off some, but he knows his body isn’t finished yet. In no way does he feel sated. By the time he's clean enough to step out from under the spray he’s already hard again. He towels off quickly and gets himself dry, finding the sudden coarseness of the fabric grating against his sensitive skin.
Steve edges back into the bedroom, steps slow and careful as if he’s not sure he can trust his body to walk. He ignores the confusing sensations overwhelming his mind and reaches for the spare sheets he’d stacked atop of the dresser. By the time he’s stripped the bed, tossed the dirtied sheets into the furthest corner of the room and put the clean sheets onto the mattress, his skin has grown warm again and the slickness is back.
He guzzles as much water as he can, spreads himself out to get comfortable, overtly aware of the overpowering smell of his scent and his scent alone on the mattress and the sheets.
The second toy is a little different but his body accepts it just as welcomingly as the first. There’s enough slick being produced that Steve doesn’t use lube and the buzz of pleasure he feels once he’s eased it inside is enough to make his eyelids flutter closed. His body feels shaky and sensitive before he’s even come again and he lies there basking in it, without touching his cock.
While his body focuses entirely on the satisfied pressure of being filled up, Steve gently trails his fingertips across his skin just for the feeling of it. His nipples are the most sensitive and the soft quiver of his body as he jerks his hips against the toy is thrilling. His orgasm builds at a gentle pace and he doesn’t do much else but grind his hips and savour the feeling of something moving within him, grazing the zone where his prostate lies.
It’s really good. Too good almost. His body feels worshipped and Steve’s not used to feeling that way when it’s sexual. He’s had good sex, of course, but nothing at all like this where he feels like he might fall apart with it.
By the time he comes, locked up tight by the knot of the toy somehow without even stripping his cock and it's still overwhelming. His body twitches sensitively around the toy and as he’s idly sliding his fingers through the come on his stomach, reaching down to grip the base of his cock where he’s still hard, he wonders how it would feel to be filled up by an actual flesh and blood cock.
He’s heard omegas complain about it before when he’s been way out of acceptable listening earshot and they haven’t noticed him invading their privacy. His paranoia used to be so great that any mention of the word ‘omega’ would have him focusing on any conversation or group nearby, terrified that he might somehow be the subject of discussion.
His fear now is nowhere as extreme as it used to be. But because of it, he's heard many private conversations bemoaning the difference between an artificial toy and the feeling of a real dick, of actually sharing a heat with someone.
When Steve twitches his hips again, shifting the toy inside so that it’s pressing up directly against his prostate he really doesn’t see what they were complaining about.
It’s almost too much and his breaths sound raspy and uncoordinated when he rolls over to rut down into the mattress, soft friction against his cock as he moves. He reaches behind himself to push the toy in deeper, get that knot locked inside and collapses fully onto the mattress, losing balance altogether when it does.
He realises a moment later that he’s whimpering with pleasure and the startling sound of it, of Steve thoroughly enjoying himself pushes him into the next orgasm.
Since he has nothing to compare the feel of the toy inside him to, there’s not much to feel like he’s missing out on, especially when he’s working through the aftershocks of another mind shattering orgasm. He keeps the toy wedged firmly inside but reaches out shakily for water and another protein bar to make sure he’s not pushing himself too far. There’s still no guarantee how long this is going to go.
Omegas heats usually last 1-3 days before the urgent haze breaks and they’re left just feeling horny and hopefully incredibly sated.
Steve is worried about it, like everything else worries him but for now he just feels really, really good as if he’s been treating himself right and his body is thanking him for it.
He’s not uncomfortable like he would've been in his old heat room, his body feels warm and well used with his muscles shaking a little from the workout. It’s not awful, or painful, or even makes him feel like it’s not enough. It’s manageable, he realises, he can do this if it comes around again next month and he’ll take care of himself again without being ashamed.
Steve knows it would be just as wonderful with a partner, but it's good to know he’s not falling apart without one. Those alphas who always talk of omegas being incapable of spending heats alone because their need for their knots is so great are full of shit. He doesn’t need anyone to do this with.
Although there is someone he might want to. If he’s being honest, there’s only one heat partner for him to have even the slightest possibility of choosing. But for now he’s okay, he feels grounded and confident in his own needs and he’s not afraid of it anymore.
His heat doesn’t last the standard amount of time an omega goes through the urgency of heat for. It lasts an entire week.
Steve has so much come everywhere that he actually has to get up and do washing, though the experience works out a little differently since he can’t part with the knotting toy yet.
It’s definitely a new experience pouring detergent into the washer when he’s hard and has a dildo lodged firmly in his ass. It’s a small miracle he doesn’t come all over the cupboards. There’s a slight haze to his thinking but he accounts that mostly to the pleasure his body has been constantly feeling. He hasn’t spaced out entirely which some omegas are known to do if they go through a particularly bad heat and they or their partner don’t know what they’re doing.
If he was really worried he’d text Mary, but the sex haze feels like it’s getting clearer. He’s made sure to keep cleaning himself up and the toy, keeping fed and hydrated. It’s just a lot harder to concentrate when his body keeps trying to think with his dick.
He still keeps his gun within reach at all times because he doesn’t feel safe otherwise, the state he’s in is vulnerable. His movements are slow and jerky since each step moves the toy in unbearably good ways and he keeps needing to stop and rest before he makes it back upstairs again. It’s still too much. He comes before he makes it past the second step, but at least there’s a railing to hold tight to through the aftershocks.
The pure driving need of his heat burns out around Sunday evening, when seven days have past. His heat isn’t finished by any means, he’s still producing enough slick to keep his body lubed up, but the urgency is gone and the refractory period is starting to become sporadic again.
Thank God, at least one dildo survived. He makes a mental note to only buy that particular brand from now on.
By the time Wednesday rolls around he’s stopped producing slick entirely and the edge of desire running beneath his skin like a live wire has petered off. Steve makes himself a sandwich, checks in with Mary to tell her he’s okay, washes his sheets and the steps again and heads back upstairs.
He showers and finally puts on some briefs, unused to the feeling of the material against his skin after so long. Then he collapses onto the bed, scenting the fading smell of heat and the remnants of his emotions. The bone-deep satisfaction he feels at the smell of contentment and pleasure helps him fall asleep instantly.
When he wakes up again, Mary’s hovering over him with a crinkle in between her brows.
“Hey,” he murmurs sleepily once he knows it’s her, relinquishing his grip on the gun underneath his pillow.
“Steve are you alright?” she wonders cautiously. “It’s been two days since you called me to tell me your heat was finished. I came home and you wouldn’t wake up.”
Steve still feels too satisfied to panic yet. “I’ve been asleep for two days?” he checks around a yawn. “Huh.”
“Are you okay? Do you think I need to call-?“
“I’m fine, Mary,” he says, surprised that he really means it. “It just tired me out. The heat haze went for seven days and I was exhausted.”
Her eyes are wide and shocked. “The haze went for seven days? Shit, Steve that’s meant to be when a heat finishes. How long exactly was it?”
“Ten,” he admits, climbing out of bed.
He’s shakier on his feet than he realised and stumbles into Mary, who only just manages to catch him.
“Fuck,” she mutters. “You need more food.”
She leads him downstairs and helpfully deposits him on the couch while she goes to make something. Steve can’t help but notice the way her nose wrinkles on the staircase. He’s definitely going to have to try harder to get that scent out. She also brings him his phone and he makes an appointment with his doctor and psychologist for tomorrow.
It’s Saturday, but considering the circumstances, they’d wanted to see him immediately after his heat had ended. He knows they’re going to want to know how he’s feeling, physically and emotionally.
Although he’s still drained, the general consensus is good. Really fucking good. Steve can’t believe his luck. He’d anticipated more complications.
“How do you feel?” Mary asks once she’s brought him lunch and a ridiculously large glass of water.
Steve is so grateful that he hugs her longer than necessary.
“Okay,” she laughs a little and manages to extricate herself. “I think you’re still coming down from the emotional high. I love you too, bro.”
He's already too busy eating to reply, but manages a smile that Mary pats his cheek fondly in response to.
Steve’s really glad that she’s here.
Doctor Sey’s appointment is first so he drives his truck over to her office the next morning. She’s the only one waiting in the doctor’s surgery for him and Steve at least appreciates that she’s gone out of her way to ensure that he is psychically okay.
“How do you feel, Commander?” is the very first question she asks once he’s sat down.
“Tired,” he admits. “It- went longer than anticipated.”
Doctor Sey is already typing notes into her computer. “How long?”
Her fingers pause on the keys as she contemplates the response. “Most likely a bodily reaction to the first unmedicated heat cycle. How long did the heat haze last?”
“A whole week,” Steve admits.
“Can you describe the nature of it? Were you fully conscious? Or was it so extreme that you have no recollection of it?”
“My thoughts were fuzzy and focusing was difficult but not impossible. I didn’t have any memory gaps.”
Doctor Sey makes a soft noise and enters the information into the system. ‘I’ll be honest with you Commander, I was entirely serious when I gave my doubts of you experiencing any potential future heats. It’s astonishing that this was even possible and I suspect that once the rhythm of your cycle is more consistent that the length of your heats might hopefully readapt to an average duration.”
“Why do you think it worked?” he wonders. “The- heats, I mean.”
Doctor Sey rises slowly to her feet with a steady sigh and starts setting up the area to work. “That is partially what these tests will help to figure out. I do suspect that the distinct presence of a True Alpha has been a significant factor.”
Steve feels his cheeks heat up despite the fact that Doctor Sey is a professional and isn’t actually implying anything. He’s so distracted by the idea of Danny and the very clear memory of his heat starting while listening to his voice and possibly encouraging the reaction that he almost doesn’t notice the sharp bite of the needle when Doctor Sey takes his blood.
Once she’s finished she requests urine samples and gives him the small cup to pee in. Afterward, she inspects his claws and his sharpened senses before requesting slick and semen samples and then gently directs Steve to a soundproofed room while his skin still feels flushed with embarrassment.
Steve gives her the samples she wants and tries not to overthink or worry about what the results might say. For now he’s just going to bask in the relief that his heat is now over and nothing overly terrible happened. He can save his dread for discussing the event in his next appointment with Doctor Ishiguro, at noon.
Doctor Sey explains the test results should take several days and encourages him to call immediately if he notices any issues.
“I’m very happy to hear that you weren’t in too much discomfort,” she continues without any awkwardness. “I understand that this has been very difficult for you and I’m exceedingly glad that you didn’t encounter any further complications.”
Steve’s face is still red. “So am I,” he manages before using the lull in conversation to escape the room.
Doctor Sey doesn’t seem too offended by it and escorts him out of the surgery since they’ve done all they’ve needed to do. He realises suddenly just how lucky he is to have her as his doctor.
“Thanks,” he offers, when she lets him out, opening the locked door and offering his freedom.
“My pleasure. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.”
He doesn’t promise that he will, because they both seem to know already that he won’t.
One step at a time.
Doctor Ishiguro is also interested to see how he’s fared. Steve feels just as awkward being subjected to this the second time around.
“Hello, Steve,” she says, folding herself easily into her chair once they’ve both entered her office. “How are you?”
He doesn’t even bother with hesitating by the seat opposite and moves over to the water jug. He pours her a glass as well this time and steps backward to hand it to her.
“I’m fine,” he says, even more surprised that it’s actually true.
“That is good to hear. I was hoping I might suggest beginning one of the cognitive behaviour therapy methods to counteract your disorder today if you feel comfortable doing so.”
“What kind of method?”
“Until our next session, I would like for you to stand in front of a mirror each morning for one minute and write down every thought that comes to mind when regarding yourself, negative or positive. If one minute is too much, thirty seconds should be fine. What I would like to do, is to start helping you dissect your observations so that you might begin to recognise harmful thought processes.”
Steve considers it for a moment. It won’t be an enjoyable experience, but it sounds manageable enough. He nods. “I can do a minute each morning.”
“Wonderful. We will discuss your results in our next session in more depth. For now, would you like to discuss your heat or is there something else you’d feel more comfortable sharing?”
“No,” he hurries, thinking if they stray off topic she’ll only head straight back to her default setting, which happens to be Danny lately. “We can talk about- it.”
“Do you feel satisfied with the re-emergence of your cycle or were you discomforted by your heat?”
“I guess I’m glad that so far, everything seems fine. I’ll have to wait on my results to know if there are any other problems. My heat was- better than I’d anticipated. I was planning on being alone the entire time but Mary showed up and waited around a couple of days before it started.”
“Were you surprised by her visit? The last time you said you saw your sister was at the funeral of your father several months ago.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t expecting her I guess. But she knows me. She knew something was wrong. We talked a lot, about dad and she told me a few things that I never knew about.”
That intrigues Doctor Ishiguro. “What things?”
“My father expected Mary to be the omega. He even organised an alpha for her first heat before she presented as a beta. Both of his kids never were what he wanted them to be, I guess.”
“Do you truly believe that?”
“No- I mean, maybe. I think a part of him wanted us to be simple, easier for him to understand without my mother around. Athletic kid’s gotta be an alpha, reckless daughter’s probably an omega, you know. Stereotypes.”
“Did this new information upset you?”
“I panicked, actually,” he admits. “Because it hurt knowing he’d done that to her when I’d already checked out and retreated into myself too much to notice. I wish I’d been there for her and I guess, it really hit me that I hadn’t been alone this whole time.”
“It’s understandable to regret missed chances to support a loved one, but it’s also important to understand that you can’t take responsibility for your father’s actions. It is not up to you to feel guilty for his harmful behaviours or for the way you responded in order to protect yourself."
Steve frowns and finishes off his glass of water with a sigh. “I know I can’t change what happened. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling frustrated about it. I’m still glad Mary told me and that she was there when- well, she made me spend my heat in the master bedroom instead of my old room.”
“And why do you think Mary insisted upon that?”
“There’s a lingering atmosphere in there. Bad memories. She was just trying to protect me.”
“And do you appreciate that protection or resent it?”
Steve mulls it over whilst he’s pacing about the room. He’s got nearly every detail of her office memorised by now. “I do and I don’t,” he says. “Sometimes she’s right and sometimes she’s gets these notions in her head without any idea of what she’s talking about.”
“I assume you are talking about her observations about your work partner.”
Steve pulls back, startled. “I- yes. How did you know that?”
“I was certain the topic was bound to come up between the both of you eventually and since it's a topic that unsettles you more than talk of status which your sister is already well aware of, I anticipated it was the former.”
“Well, okay fine. It was about Danny. But she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
“Doesn’t she?” Doctor Ishiguro wonders. “One might assume as your only sibling that she would know you quite well.”
“It’s not about how well she knows me, it’s about how well she knows Danny which is not at all since they’ve never even met. She hasn’t met any of my team yet.”
Doctor Ishiguro parses over his words for a moment before replying and he prepares to be further unsettled. He should never have brought it up to begin with.
“So as you say, it is not you whose feelings are in question, but Danny’s. You would like to know of his feelings for you if you ever wish to proceed.”
“No,” he protests, hotly. “I- I’m still trying to work through all of this. I can’t be worrying about Danny’s feelings on top of that.”
“It seems as if you will, regardless. Feelings do not simply go away because you wish them to. Why do you feel the need to deny your own so stubbornly? Do you find it difficult to admit your attraction because he is an alpha who goes against every negative association you’ve built up against them or because he challenges these defences you’ve devised to guard yourself?”
“He’s slipping through,” Steve manages to admit. “No matter how much I don’t want him to, and he’s not even trying.”
“Do you wish for him to try?”
He’s not even sure he can imagine it, or if the experience is survivable. “I don’t know. Maybe. I told him when my heat started that there were some things I hadn’t been entirely truthful about.”
Doctor Ishiguro frowns. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. He was present during your heat?”
His mouth opens with a sharp exhale as his skin flushes. “No. We were talking over the phone and then it started.”
Doctor Ishiguro’s frown deepens. “So your heat began whilst you were having a conversation with an alpha. Can you recall what you were talking about at the time?”
Steve licks his lips. “He- he was asking if I was okay.”
“Did you inform, Doctor Sey of this when you spoke to her this morning?”
“No,” he admits, folding his arms. “I didn’t think it was relevant.”
“I’m very concerned about this, Steve,” she informs him. “This goes beyond compatibility. What you might be experiencing is a pseudo-bond based on your connection and evident suitability to one another. I have some concerns that this will begin to effect your cycle and you emotional state the longer the two of you are in contact.”
“What connection?” He demands. “We hardly even touch once he figured out it puts me on edge. The only time we share the same space is in his car. How could a pseudo-bond have developed out of that?”
“Pseudo-bonds are not only created through physical attachment but an emotional connection as well. I’d wager Danny’s emotional self-awareness would have made it very simple for a pseudo-bond to develop between the two of you once you began to let him in.”
Steve’s claws itch like they’re about to pop out of his skin. “So he did this on purpose?”
Doctor Ishiguro merely raises an eyebrow. “Pseudo-bonds are very rare and impossible for one person to create intentionally. It is a bond based on mutual connection, not manipulation. You’d have to contact Doctor Sey to find out for certain, but I certainly do not consider the manner in which your heat started as standard. Heats are particularly influenced by scents, not sounds. Did Danny use an alpha tone?”
“No,” he grits out. “He’s never used it around me or any of my team before. I don’t think he ever uses it.”
“Then my unease lies with the possibility of a pseudo-bond. I really encourage you to contact Doctor Sey in the hopes that my fears are unfounded.”
“What- what are the symptoms?” Steve wonders. “Will it affect me enough that I lose control?”
“It’s very difficult to pinpoint specific symptoms of a pseudo-bond as each bond is inherently different. Although, I very much doubt that you are ever in danger of losing control, Steve.”
“Thank you,” he replies, humbled but pleased.
He promises to call Doctor Sey on Monday, but he truly doesn’t believe it’s going to be a problem. Steve’s never gotten close enough to bond with an alpha in his life and he doubts it’s going to start just because he and Danny work together.
Mary suggests they head to Wailana Coffee House in Waikiki on Sunday for breakfast and since Steve’s still got a lot of energy he needs to replenish, he’s all for it. Their parents used to take them to Waikiki’s family restaurant when they were younger and it’s nice to know some traditions haven’t died with them.
Steve certainly hasn’t stopped coming here. Ona’s on shift and she greets them with familiarity as Steve orders the biggest stack of pancakes imaginable. Mary orders a close second.
Ona fetches them two mugs and promptly fills them up with coffee and he asks for some milk but Mary drinks it black. He resists the urge to ask for butter to put in it, Danny gave him enough crap for that a few weeks ago.
“It feels good that we can still do stuff like this,” his sister says, stretching around a yawn. She’d still been parked out on the couch watching TV when Steve went to bed last night. “Just not so early.”
“It’s barely ten,” he laughs, but he’s heard Danny’s complaints enough to know there’s no point protesting.
“Yeah, on your planet,” she retorts before cautiously cradling the rim of her mug and attempting to blow some of its heat away.
Steve rolls his eyes and takes a careful sip, humming in satisfaction when it doesn’t burn his tongue. The place is pretty busy, but it takes less than ten minutes before Ona is returning with both of their plates. Mary passes him the coconut syrup without him needing to ask as she drenches her pancakes in maple. Steve quickly pours the coconut all over his plate and sets it back onto the counter, taking the maple when Mary is finished and covering his pancakes in that too.
He grabs the cutlery and starts cutting into the warm stack, inhaling deeply with the anticipation of filling his stomach. Mary’s already got her mouth full and grins across the booth at him. He smirks but not before pausing and tilting his head to the side. He scents him before he sees him and after looking around he spots Danny paused at the host stand, chatting away with Ona, Gracie at his side.
Danny grins once he sees him and quickly finishes up his conversation, guiding Gracie over to them with a hand on her shoulder. His expression shifts a little once he spots Mary, but it’s mostly because he doesn’t recognise her and being partnered with Danny means they pretty much know everything about each other now, including the people they know and associate with. Well, almost.
“Hey, Steve,” he greets, sidling up to their booth. “How you doin’?”
“Uh hey,” he manages, flustered. He should’ve known Danny might turn up here. Steve’s the one who introduced him to the place and they’ve been here a few times together.
“Uncle Steve!” Gracie says, climbing up onto the booth and wrapping her arms around his neck. Steve isn’t expecting it and drops his fork with a clatter. Gracie’s normally pretty shy around people. Maybe the promise of pancakes is the true cause for her enthusiasm.
“You smell good,” she says, and he startles at her words, flushing and trapped in Mary’s delighted stare as she watches them.
It’s the leftover hormones from his heat, making him smell sweeter even with the alpha scent markers masking his status. He has no idea what it smells like to Danny, considering his senses are more refined. Stronger, definitely.
“Hey now,” Danny chides, jaw clenching as he reaches around to pull her off him. “What did we talk about, Grace?”
“Scents are private,” she repeats and when Danny softly removes her hands, his knuckles brush accidentally against the vulnerable area of Steve’s neck. “Sorry, Uncle Steve.”
“Sorry,” Danny echoes, even when Steve doesn’t flinch violently or have any other reaction he would’ve expected at the touch. It is harder to swallow for a moment, especially when Mary’s watching him so closely.
“That’s okay,” he promises, addressing them both. “Gracie, this is my little sister, Mary. Mary this is Gracie and Danny.”
“Nice to meet you,” she assures them, extending her hand for Danny to shake. He slips his fingers into her own without hesitation and Steve scoots over so Gracie can sit comfortably beside him.
“It’s nice to put a face to the name,” Danny admits with his usual easy smile.
Mary’s attention slides back to Steve. “This punk talked about me?” she wonders, surprised.
“Just a little. Nothing bad, I promise.”
Steve rolls his eyes at her.
“Want to join us?” she offers, sliding her gaze back to Steve to check he’s alright with it.
Steve feels like he should be concerned about his non-reaction to Danny’s touch and the possibility of close contact further encouraging a pseudo-bond but he shifts further over like he needs to make room for two of them.
Turns out he does, because Danny takes a seat next to Gracie and they order their pancakes together. By the time Ona comes over with their food, Danny’s already got a cup of coffee in his hand and is seemingly much more cheerful. It's not for laughs that he's earned the nickname Detective Sunshine, especially whenever he's midway through a good rant without a morning dose of coffee. Danny's other hand that’s closer to Grace is resting on the edge of the table and Steve can’t help but notice he hasn’t moved it since he sat down.
Steve passes over the boysenberry syrup with as much judgement as he can muster and hands Gracie the maple. When he gets back to his own pancakes, Mary’s already polished off her plate and watching him closely. For a second it feels like he’s been caught before he manages to dig back into his food and ignore her.
“There is nothing wrong with putting boysenberry syrup on pancakes,” Danny insists a second later.
Steve’s already smirking. “Sure there isn’t.”
“It’s kinda gross,” Gracie agrees.
Steve smiles broadly and nudges her shoulder. “See, Danno? It’s gross. Your own daughter said so.”
“That’s just because the both of you are animals who don’t appreciate fine food.”
Mary takes a sip of her coffee to hide her amusement but he knows her well enough to notice the signs. She’s probably filing all of this away for later so she can use it against him. They’re not even doing anything though, he doesn’t see how eating pancakes proves how compatible they are.
It horrifies him to wonder what she’ll say if she finds out about Doctor Ishiguro’s suspicions that they’ve formed a pseudo-bond. He knows exactly what kind of conclusions she’ll jump to then. Bad ones, obviously.
It’s good though, having them all together. Steve still doesn’t quite enjoy the idea of his two worlds colliding, but if he’s planning on telling Danny the truth eventually it’s something he needs to adjust to. Plus, so far nothing seems to be going wrong. If it stays that way he will be more than grateful. Everyone seems to like each other.
“So how long are you in Hawaii for, Mary?” Danny wonders once everyone has finished eating.
“Just tonight. I’ve got an early flight tomorrow.”
Steve wasn’t expecting time would go so fast or that he’d wish she wasn’t leaving already. He and Mary haven’t been as close as they used to when they were teenagers but it still brings out a warm feeling knowing the possibility of it is still there. If they both want it.
“I guess we’ll leave you to it,” Danny says, sliding out of the booth.
“You don’t have to go,” he protests, a little unnerved by the thought of him leaving. He bites the inside of his lip to keep from saying anything else because it’s probably just an aftereffect of his heat, wanting an alpha around. Or they really do have a pseudo-bond.
“Nah, I gotta get Grace back to her mother,” he explains. “But I’ll- uh see you Monday?”
“Yeah,” Steve agrees, turning his head to look at him. “I’ll see you Monday.”
Gracie smiles shyly at him before she scoots out after her father. Mary waves goodbye. When they walk out of Wailana’s he can’t help but feel like he’s lost something.
“God the look on your face,” Mary says, waiting until Danny’s out of the restaurant.
“Shut up,” he hisses urgently, watching through the glass as Danny turns around to glance back at them. Mary doesn’t know how good his True Alpha senses are, but Steve does.
Danny pauses and cocks his head to the side as if in question and he schools his expression into something that won’t raise any alarms before gesturing at him not to worry about it.
His frowns deepens but Gracie is already tugging at his hand to lead him back to his car and Steve exhales a sigh of relief when Danny finally turns away. His heart won’t stop pumping like it’s trying to explode out of his chest. That was close. Danny already knows there’s something going on, but Steve doesn’t want to trigger his detective instincts any more than he has to.
“He’s a True Alpha, Mary,” he snaps once he’s certain Danny’s out of hearing range. “All of his senses are sharper.”
“Oh I noticed,” she replies, smugly. “You didn’t see his face when he first smelt you post-heat.”
“Omegas smell good to pretty much anyone post-heat,” he mutters unthinkingly before remembering what he’s talking about and in public. He glances around quickly but nobody is visibly listening or appears to care. “Besides Danny’s got more control than that.”
“Really? You sure about that?”
She gestures at the space where Danny was sitting, specifically the area where his hand was curled around the edge of the table the entire time. Steve’s eyes widen at the crushed wood and how perfectly it resembles the shape of Danny’s fingers.
“What,” he says, senselessly.
“He might have impressive control, but I’d wager you definitely still got a reaction out of him.”
Steve can’t find the words to speak all of a sudden. Hesitantly he traces his fingers over the crushed wood as if to chase the sensation of it and make it more real.
“You sure you’re not into him? Because it really seems like you are. I mean, he touched your neck and you didn't even blink.”
“Mary,” he warns, swiftly pulling his hand away and resting them in his lap.
“Okay, okay,” she complies. “He seems like a good person though.”
“He is,” he admits, looking out the window again.
It’s probably what frightens him the most.
Going back to work after so much time off should probably feel strange but he's so happy to get into the rhythm of it that Steve jumps back in full force. It’s barely midday and he’s already got one of their perps in a headlock, grinning with victory as Danny chases off after the other alpha along Waikiki Beach.
“Could you at least pretend like you’re not having a good time?” Danny complains once he’s caught and dragged his perp back. He’s out of breath, hair in disarray and covered in a sheen of sweat and Steve can’t stop looking at him.
Or his alpha perp as she scowls viciously at him, bag of diamonds secured in Danny’s hand. Kono, Chin and Grover are still chasing down the third who took off into Waikiki Beach Walk’s open air mall.
Steve and Danny have barely encouraged their perps into the HPD police cruiser when Kono radios in that she’s caught the omega. “I got her, she’s still got her share of the diamonds in her possession and- oh crap,” she mutters, crackling over the comms. “She’s just gone into heat.”
Danny pauses beside him and they exchange a look. “Can you handle it? Or do you need to opt out of this one?”
“Jesus, no,” Kono parses out, sounding pained. “I need back-up.”
“I’ll go,” Steve offers, handing Danny the Camaro’s keys.
“Now that is a bad idea,” he argues. “You might think you’ve got control and you can handle it, but not many alphas can. I’ll go.”
“Danny, it’s fine. I-”
“Since you two lovebirds are so busy arguing about it over the comms,“ Grover pants. “I figure now’s the time to mention I’m a block away from Kono’s location.”
“I might be closer,” Chin responds soon after. “Hold tight, cuz.”
“Hurry,” Kono begs, sounding flustered. “She keeps trying to- just hurry.”
Grover’s laughter echoes over the comms and Steve’s teeth sharpen at the sound of it. He’s opening his mouth to rip into him for being so insensitive, especially since he’s a goddamn omega as well but Danny’s already talking.
“Would you please be quiet?” he barks. “This isn’t funny and if you can’t respect the omega even if she is the criminal mastermind of this heist, then you better back off until Officer Ho Kelly arrives to takes her into his custody. C’mon, we’re supposed to be professionals.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Grover mutters. “Won’t happen again.”
Danny takes his comms out and makes a frustrated sound before he stalks away from Steve, raking his fingers through his hair. He listens to Chin announce he’s got the omega and is bringing her back and once he acknowledges the message, he removes the comms as well.
“What is going on with you?” Steve wonders, approaching him warily.
“I shouldn’t have done that,” Danny mutters. “But I shouldn’t have to tell an omega to respect another omega, or even have the right to. I mean, surely Grover already knows how much bullshit they get from betas and alphas on a regular basis. You don’t- it’s not something you laugh at.”
“Look, Danno, I get it,” he mutters evasively, unwilling to admit yet just how much he gets it. “It’s not a joke.”
Steve hesitates for a second, but Danny’s distress is too much to ignore and he lifts his hand slowly, well in Danny’s peripheral vision so that his eyes can track the movement and allow the opportunity to say no before he's resting it carefully against his shoulder.
Danny feels warm to the touch and he can’t ignore the sharp rush he gets watching his reaction to it. He called Doctor Sey this morning to inform her of Doctor Ishiguro’s fears but she didn’t seem as convinced of a pseudo-bond when he’d explained how his heat had started. It’s probably not even a problem. He’ll find out this afternoon at the latest. Doctor Sey said his results should be in by then.
For a second, Danny leans into the touch as if Steve might be the one holding him up and he’s not sure what to do with that kind of trust.
“Are you ever going to tell me what your problem is with omegas?” he wonders quietly, voice low but firm and out of earshot of the HPD officers on the scene. “Was there a traumatic experience? Or am I pushing too far and you don’t want to talk about it?”
Steve removes his hand and folds his arms across his chest as if he’s defending against Danny’s interest. “It’s a little more complicated than that, but I want you to know. Drinks at mine tonight? Maybe we can talk?”
Danny seems calmer somewhat and nods his head in silent agreement, but even Steve can feel the weight of his expectation. He has no idea how he’s going to do this.
But he wants to try.
Steve gets the call from Doctor Sey when he’s heading to his car. He's got his phone on privacy settings so no one can overhear her words as she informs him that any evidence of a pseudo-bond came up negative. She tells him his results are looking good so far, but they’ll need to compare the tests after his next heat to be sure.
It’s more of a relief than he realised. Steve didn’t like the idea of what influences a pseudo-bond might create. That loss of control means something to him.
They fetch takeout from Me’s Bar-B-Que on the way home because Steve loves their Bibimbap and Danny’s a fan of their Kalbi and it’s one of the best Korean barbeque joints in O'ahu.
Steve fetches beers from his fridge once they get back to his place and Danny automatically leads him outside into the cool evening air. He tries not to think about the romantic dates he’s had with Catherine out there and watches Danny’s hair ruffle softly in the breeze as he grabs one of the chairs and collapses into it.
They get themselves organised: passing beers, forks and containers and Steve doesn’t mention the Sujeo set he has in the kitchen when Danny complains about how difficult it is to eat his beef ribs without making a mess. He passes over the napkins without comment and gets started on his food since his stomach is protesting the length of time between his last meal.
Danny somehow manages to eat without much difficulty and Steve’s too focused on his own food to admire the skill in that. He’s probably going to be eating like this for a few more days until his body readjusts from the energy lost during his heat.
It’s not as much as a problem as he might’ve panicked over a few months ago, but even he knows his eating habits have drawn Danny’s attention. At least alphas suffer the same energy depletion after heats and overeating is just as standard for any status after experiencing or helping out during one.
Steve tries not to think about why he’s brought Danny here and takes a long pull of his beer. When he's done, he gathers the containers and leaves Danny alone outside, heading into the kitchen to put them into the trash. When he reemerges Danny’s still perched thoughtfully in his chair, fiddling with the curled edge of the beer label and Steve sinks quietly into the seat beside him.
“Where is your-?” Danny starts, carefully once they’ve sat there in silence for a while. “I can smell-“
“He’s gone,” he finishes abruptly, hearing the edge of a lie in his tone. “For good.”
“Oh great,” Danny says, relieved while Steve stares vacantly at him. “Can I kiss you?”
“I don’t think I’ve been reading this wrong, but if I have you should let me know so I don’t make a bigger ass of myself.”
He can’t think straight watching the earnest warmth in Danny’s eyes. He drops his beer and it lands half upright, what’s left of it oozing sluggishly into the sand. Steve could care less.
“You- haven’t,” he manages. “Read this wrong. Yes- you can- yes.”
Danny grins, easy and unselfconscious and leans across the space between them while Steve responds. The scent of him this close is nearly overwhelming and his mouth eases open in welcome as their lips touch.
Steve doesn’t think that this is the first time he’s ever kissed an alpha in his life or that this is his work partner or that Danny still doesn’t know the truth about his closely held secrets. His first thought is how right it feels.
His fingers slide carefully into Danny’s perfectly slicked hair and it’s softer than he expected when his hand curls down to cup the base of his skull. They make no move to deepen the kiss. It’s all soft presses of their mouths, warm and wet with the tentative study of a first conversation. This dialogue is something Steve could get used to learning.
He becomes aware that Danny is very pointedly not touching him anywhere else, respecting his aversion to it and he reaches inelegantly for those hands clenched tight at Danny’s knees and uncurls them. Carefully, he takes a hold of Danny's wrists and lifts them up to his throat. Danny lets out a strained noise into his mouth and Steve swallows it when he lets go, and Danny leaves his hands there.
His pulse is drumming in his ears but Danny’s hands are warm and sure at the back of his neck, anchoring him before fingers are slowly disappearing into Steve’s hair, gauging his reaction. There’s an urgency gradually unfurling in his blood and he crowds closer, prompting Danny’s mouth to open. It does, allowing him to surge deeper, mouths slick with heat as Steve allows himself to feel.
Somehow they end up in the sand, Steve gripping the front of Danny’s shirt and tugging hard. Their bodies collide in the best way and they twist into a mess of tangled limbs together, rolling across the surface. Steve’s disoriented and breathless, seeking Danny’s mouth again in the confusion and gripping his arms as they roll apart and collide again.
They’re both laughing when he gets tangled between Danny’s knees and ends up on his stomach. Danny is sitting on his back, seizing onto Steve’s hips for purchase to stop himself from falling and the atmosphere shifts instantly.
Steve feels the first flood of adrenaline filling him with the threat of danger. Danny’s in an alpha position over him, crotch pressed up tight against his ass and he can feel that Danny’s hard. Steve is hard too, but that doesn’t stop the flash of his instincts objecting to the idea of an alpha on top of him, no matter who it is.
He knows that he can throw Danny off without a problem. He’s trained to defend himself. Steve knows every technique to escape any alpha position that attempts to stimulate an omega into submission.
“No,” he grits out, the easy moment lost.
It’s a test. Steve knows exactly what he’s doing. He could throw Danny off if he has to, but he wants to see if he needs to first. The significance of the gesture is not lost on him, if he has to intervene Steve knows that he’ll never be able to trust Danny again. Not with this. Not with his secret.
But Danny stops immediately, removing his hands and rolling off of his back so fast that the sand kicks up around them.
“Are you okay?” he murmurs, low and soothing, sensing the change between them. “Did I do something wrong?”
Steve flops over onto his back, staring up at the stars and pointedly keeping distance between them, even as he’s flushed with heat and emotion. Danny actually listened. He should have known all along that Danny is worthy of his trust, but that’s entirely the point. Danny’s earned it, by respecting his feelings, his personal space and his decisions even if he doesn’t always agree with them.
His body betrays him only a second later. The wetness of slick between his legs is unmistakeable. He's only been intimate with Catherine since he switched medications and this never happened even when he'd been worried about the possibility of it. Somehow, kissing Danny has him more worked up than he's ever been.
Danny exhales a soft breath and Steve knows that’s what he’s scenting right now. The hidden intimacy of his body reacting to him. The responding flush of Danny’s arousal is heady in his nose. Steve squeezes his eyes shut.
“What-?” Danny starts, confused but he's already waiting for it.
“There is no other omega. It’s me.”
Danny’s emotions are so vivid and violent that he can almost taste them. Bewilderment, shock, hurt, anger and even more pointedly, arousal. Danny’s interest hasn’t lessened or grown in any way. That's too much for him. He needs to be alone and think about this.
“You should go,” he says, swallowing hard. He’s drenched in Danny’s scent and his cock is still straining against his cargo pants, slick dampening his briefs but he has no interest in doing anything about it.
“Okay,” Danny agrees easily, as if it’s not a problem at all. He carefully climbs to his feet and brushes away some of the sand he’s covered in. He needn’t have bothered, they’re all but buried in it.
They’re probably going to have to shower at some point.
“If you want to talk about it, I’ll be here,” he promises and Steve hates him for that. Hates him for handling it so well, hates that it only makes Steve want him to stay.
He turns his head, biting his lip enough to bleed and doesn’t reply. He doesn’t open his eyes to watch him leave but listens to Danny’s footsteps as he walks away.
The ocean crashes accusingly in his ears and the ensuing panic dumps over him like a wave. Steve breathes through it, realising quickly that it’s a panic attack. He focuses on the push and pull of the water, retreating into the rhythm of the waves and matching it to his every inhalation while his body fights an imaginary threat.
He knows Danny hasn’t actually driven away yet. Steve can hear his car idling as he waits, listening to him panic. He knows about his PTSD, Danny’s too clever not to. But he doesn’t come back and when the attack finally passes Steve doesn’t bother to move, bodily exhausted.
When Danny’s car finally rolls out of the driveway he manages to scramble to his feet and limp back into the house like he’s injured, snagging the abandoned beer bottles as he goes. He’s unsteady on his feet as he tosses them into the recycling before reaching the stairs. When Steve heads straight for the master bedroom, the satisfaction of his leftover heat hits him like a slap in the face before he retreats into the bathroom.
He tears his clothes off quickly and climbs into the shower, washing the remaining sand off. Steve ends up sitting on the floor moments later, staring at nothing but catching the lingering traces of Danny’s scent on his skin.
It’s seems impossible that his cock is still hard but it is, his slick washed away in the steady stream of warm water along his back. He’s softened during his panic attack but the scent of him and Danny together has roused him again.
Gingerly, he takes himself in hand with wet fingers and strokes. He feels raw like an unconcealed bruise, purpling with the memory of a past hurt. The rush of pleasure is as confusing as it is incredible, and it’s encouraging enough that Steve keeps going.
When he comes a few minutes later it’s not because of the way Danny smells or how he makes Steve feel or the way their bodies felt rolling together across the sand.
It’s because he stopped.
Steve struggles with the idea of going to work the next day, but he does it anyway because it’s his job and he can’t afford to do anything less.
Danny gives him a wide berth. Not because he’s avoiding him but because he’s respecting his space. He only responds when Steve approaches him with a question on their latest case or when he directly engages him in the conversation.
The team has picked up on the resounding tension between them but none of them feel the need to comment. That doesn’t mean he and Danny won’t be the topic of conversation once they’re out of earshot though. When Steve rides along with Grover instead it raises a few eyebrows, but Danny takes Kono with him as if it happens everyday and there’s no problem at all.
Steve hates how calmly he’s handling this and can’t stop thinking of the way Danny’s mouth felt under his. He's strung tight and cornered in a way that has him on edge all day.
Everyone’s so quick to head home once everything’s wrapped up that Steve feels guilty for creating a bad atmosphere at work. He intentionally lags behind everyone else and watches Danny climb into his Camaro. The jolt he feels seeing his blonde head disappearing into the car does something to him.
He’s got his cell phone in hand before he can overthink it, pulling up his messages as Danny drives away.
Come over if you want to talk, he types and sends it before he loses confidence.
Steve’s phone buzzes only a moment later, even though he knows- they both know- that Danny is still driving.
Be there in half an hour, is his reply and the tightness in Steve’s chest eases a little. He’s not going to enjoy talking about this, but he knows it will be good for him in the long run.
Doctor Ishiguro must be rubbing off on him.
When Danny arrives Steve wordlessly hands him a beer and extends his hand in invitation. A little perplexed, Danny accepts it and he leads them upstairs into the master bedroom.
Danny jerks to a stop on the threshold as if he’s been hit by something solid and his fingers slide out of his grip when Steve continues forward and perches on the edge of the bed.
“I’ve been on Blockers since I was eighteen right after I presented,” he starts without preamble. “You’re the first person to ever scent omega on me.”
Danny seems to have recovered because he walks into the room, approaching slowly, but very pointedly doesn’t take a seat on the bed next to him.
“Blockers? The pills they did that documentary on where they were killing omegas?”
“That’s the one,” he declares harshly. “I only recently stopped taking them. When I took heat leave, that was the first heat I’d had in twenty years.”
“Oh my God,” he breathes, but then doesn’t speak again as if the words have abandoned him.
“My father wasn’t a bad person, but he was a hard man and had a habit of being unwittingly cruel. So when his football star athlete presented as an omega, let’s say he wasn’t as supportive as he could’ve been. He sent Mary and me to the Army and Naval Academy in California for my senior year and that’s when I started taking Blockers. In the Navy, it was just easier being an alpha so that’s what I did, and it was what I continued to do for the next twenty years of my life.”
“Steve-“ Danny begins, but doesn’t say anything further even when he pauses and waits for him.
“I’m seeing an omega specialist. Actually you’ve already met her-”
“Doctor Ishiguro,” Danny finishes, sharp as ever. “That’s why you lost it when you saw me outside her office.”
“I panicked. I was afraid you somehow knew. Nobody else but a select few in my family knows.”
“Not even your army buddies?”
He feels a pulse of fear so strong it knocks the breath out of him. “No.”
“Hey, sorry. Bad question.”
“No- I. I want you to know all of this,” he insists, thumb brushing the condensation from his bottle just for something to do with his hands.
“Do you?” Danny wonders sounding strained. “Or are you just testing me again?”
Steve jerks his head up to look at him, astonished.
“You think I didn’t notice?” he demands, real emotion in his voice. “You’ve been doing it ever since we met, pushing any boundary you can to see if my baser instincts will take over. If I lose control and go into an alpha rage you’ll be right about alphas after all, isn’t that it? That’s what you were doing last night and what you’re doing right now by bringing me into your heat room when it smells like-“
Danny exhales a ragged breath and waves a hand to silence himself mid-rant. His cheeks are flushed and Steve knows it’s affecting him more than he’s letting on.
“I didn’t plan last night,” he starts, quietly. “Not until you were on top of me.”
“I heard your panic attack after, you know I did. Why would you let me anywhere near you, Steve, if alphas make you feel like that?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you afraid of me?” Danny asks, voice soft and bracing for hurt.
Steve’s expression twists but he swallows a pull of his beer first. “I’m afraid of how you make me feel. I’m afraid of what trusting you might do to me. I’ve never trusted alphas my entire life, but I know how to protect myself from them. I didn’t want to get to know you or let you in, but that’s what happened.”
“You’re still testing me, even now.”
“It’s the only way I can trust, seeing how you react for myself. You don’t know how many times I’ve been waiting for some type of alpha posturing from you.”
“Do you really see me that way? As a knothead?”
“No,” he promises. “But it’s safer to expect it, that way I’m never surprised.”
“And that’s why you avoid Kono, 'cause she’s not a typical alpha either.”
Steve lets the silence agree for him. His heart is beating too fast.
“Can we- get out of here please?” Danny asks. “I’m finding it hard to concentrate.”
He makes a small sound of agreement and climbs to his feet. “You know my doctor didn’t think I’d ever have another heat again?”
Danny’s already out of the room by then. “If you’ve been on Blockers for so long, I’m finding it hard to believe either. Have- have their been any side effects from the pills?”
“We’re waiting until it’s completely flushed out of my system before testing for anything,” he affirms, pausing at the closed door of his old bedroom.
Danny pauses too once he’s realised they’ve stopped.
“I just want to help you understand,” he says before swinging the door open and stepping inside.
Danny follows, but the sound his makes this time is infinitely worse. Steve winces at little, remembering how attuned his senses are and how much of his leftover eighteen year old emotions he must be scenting. The guilt, embarrassment, shame, pain and loneliness.
“Steve,” he whispers and he sounds agonised, clutching at the wall for support.
When he looks over at him his eyes are wet. Steve’s startled by the sight of it, even now, he made his peace with his past but Danny’s breathing is shallow like he’s been physically hurt. Still, he can’t regret showing him this.
This is Steve. What made him what he is today.
“My father was an alpha,” he continues. “Doctor Ishiguro believes that’s where my issues with alphas originated and then became more cemented in the Navy and SEALS later on. I have Body Dysmorphia because I couldn’t accept how my body could look this way and be something different and I’m sure you’ve already realised about my PTSD as well.”
Steve moves out into the hallway again and waits for him to emerge. When he does his face is pale and he’s doesn't speak, a faraway look in his eyes .
But as he moves to close the door Danny throws an arm out to stop him, noticeably holding back from touching.
“No, don’t,” he says. “Don’t lock it away like it’s a bad secret. It’s a part of you and if you’re ever going to move forward you need to let the memory breathe. It’s the only way it will heal and the scent echo will start to fade.”
Steve considers it. He’s already claimed the master bedroom as his own, is this really the worst decision to make? Or just another step in making this place a home again?
He leaves the door open.
“Can we- can we go back to your bedroom?” Danny asks hesitantly.
Steve suspects he’s trying to wash away the past hurts lingering in his senses. When they head back to the master bedroom, Danny inhales deeply and shamelessly lets out a soft groan.
“Anyone else but me would think they were two different omegas,” he notes. “That you could even enjoy- I’m really glad Doctor Ishiguro is helping.”
Steve flushes with warmth and when he leads him back downstairs into the lounge room, he’s feeling more relaxed than he could have ever anticipated.
“Look,” Danny says once they’ve gotten settled. “I really like you Steve. Whether you’re an alpha or omega. Or both. Enough that I want to pursue a relationship with you. None of this is a deal breaker for me. I want to be around you, with you in any way I can even if it’s not sexual.”
Steve’s face heats at the admission, at how sincere Danny is. He’s being honest. He doesn’t care what parts of Steve he gets to share, just as long as they try. Together.
“I’m not asexual,” he clarifies. “I just don’t think I can be- intimate in an alpha position.”
“I’ll never do that to you again. I’m sorry, I wasn’t even thinking about it when we were fooling around last night.”
“It’s not like you knew I’m an omega anyway,” Steve concedes. “But thank you.”
“Besides I don’t think we need to rush into anything sexual right away. It would probably end up being too much. For both of us.”
“Can I- hold you?” he asks and Steve swallows hard at the rush of anticipation it brings forth.
Danny moves an inch closer, slowly putting his arm around him so that Steve can judge if he wants the contact or not. It feels good. Really good and he takes a deep breath before cautiously allowing his head to rest on Danny’s shoulder.
Steve almost forgot how amazing he smells up close. Someone turns on the TV, Danny probably because he’s too wrapped up in the exchange of warmth to focus on anything else.
“Thank you for trusting me with this,” Danny murmurs a few minutes later.
Steve breathes him in and smiles.
Dating Danny is something Steve could never have thought to expect. Nothing much changes between them. They do their job, the bicker and they hang out with the rest of Five-0 at a variety of their favourite local places.
The only difference is sometimes they kiss. A lot of sometimes. The first time he does it in front of the team, Steve leaning over unthinkingly and kissing Danny hello when he brings back the second round of drinks, Kono promptly spills beer all over her lap in surprise.
“Called it,” Jerry announces as if he’s discovered the fact by himself, and since they’re at one of the more secluded pubs he frequents they’re graced with his presence. Chin rolls his eyes at him and Grover’s smirk is sharper than necessary.
Steve’s embarrassed for a few minutes by the rowdiness of the team’s reaction but when he notices Danny’s pleased smile as he's passing out beers, it doesn’t seem to matter so much.
Danny goes along easily with everything, letting Steve decide the pace of their budding relationship and there aren’t any words for how much he appreciates that level of understanding.
When Steve takes his hand under the table once they’re done ribbing them, Danny smiles a private smile around the rim of his beer and squeezes back.
Doctor Ishiguro is supportive of his new relationship, particularly once he explains he’s the one deciding how it progresses and how patient and reassuring Danny is. Her cognitive behaviour therapy is working and she’s helped Steve identify and separate his negative, irrational thought processes from his positive ones when it comes to his own body.
Walking past a mirror isn’t such an emotionally charged practice now. Danny helps a little with that as well, effortlessly announcing how sexy Steve is, how gorgeous and perfect all of his imperfections are when he senses he’s having a bad day. Sometimes he asks to hold Steve’s hand and waits for permission to kiss his fingers (he figured out Steve’s hyper focus on the size of his hands all by himself).
Whenever he acts like that, Steve’s so flustered he can’t speak for a few minutes after, but Danny doesn’t push and he’s always patient. He thinks that's something he could easily start to love about him. If he doesn't already.
He starts to get worried with his next heat looming over them, but as always, Danny surprises him.
“Do you think I could be there?” he asks delicately the week beforehand. Danny’s already informed him his heat will be soon and for once he appreciates the early warning system.
He stills at the suggestion, but Danny’s still talking. “Not to do anything,” he hurries to clarify. “Just to- watch. Could you trust me to be there when you’re vulnerable like that and not do anything else?”
“What if I’m- begging?” Steve mutters. “The heat haze wasn’t too bad last time, but having you there might make it worse.”
“I can always leave the room if that happens,” he suggests. “I’d be just as happy waiting downstairs the entire time but I want you to know that I’m around to be there for you in any way you need.”
“Just not sexually,” he adds. “I know we’re not there. I don’t want to rush into this either."
Steve likes the idea of being intimate with Danny, but he’s not sure in what way yet.
“If you don’t feel comfortable having me in the house at all that’s also okay. I’m going to worry about you either way. But I’d really appreciate if you check in when it’s over to let me know you’re alright.”
Steve pulls Danny’s hand slowly to his neck, letting it rest there, testing.
“Can I let you know?” he asks after a minute has passed and Danny still hasn’t moved or spoken.
“Sure, babe,” he agrees. “No rush. Whenever you’re ready.”
“Danny wants to be there for my upcoming heat,” he tells Doctor Ishiguro in their next session.
She seems a little surprised and Steve doesn’t want her getting the wrong idea about Danny trying to force him into anything.
“No to- uh participate. But he asked if he could watch. Or even be in the house when it’s happening. He wanted me to think about it, but if I’m not comfortable with it he asked if I could contact him once my heat is finished to let him know I’m okay. He said he’s going to worry about me either way.”
“How does that make you feel?”
Steve paces about the office, feeling like the tread of his feet must be wearing away the carpet by now. “I like that he explained his feelings, that I know he’s not going to be upset whatever I decide. I just- I don’t know what I want.”
“That’s understandable,” Doctor Ishiguro agrees. “This would be the first time that you have the option to share a heat with someone fully aware of your past and your secrets. This is an incredibly intimate moment for you, Steve, it is not unreasonable to have misgivings or to not feel ready yet.”
“But it’s not like we’d be doing anything. He’d just be watching.”
“It is not the act of sexual intercourse that breeds intimacy as I’m sure you are well aware. This is a very private part of yourself that you would be sharing; your body and your desire.”
“I’m afraid of wanting him too much,” Steve whispers. “What if I fall into a heat haze and end up begging for him?”
“There is nothing shameful in omega desire. The true shame lies in how society fetishes this desire into a sexually objectified feature catered only to alpha consumption. What Danny really seems to be asking of you is for the chance to be placed in a position of trust.”
“I do trust him. More than I trust anyone.”
“But do you trust for him to be alone with you when you are truly vulnerable? If not, then you should not agree to this until you are ready.”
“I’m going to do it,” Steve decides, abruptly. “I trust him. I want him to be there when I- I want to share that with him.”
“I’m happy you’ve made this decision, but it would be remiss of me not to suggest that the both of you discuss this at length and set up some very clear boundaries. It would be very distressing for you and I think, very detrimental to your slowly changing perspective of heat experiences, if you were to injure him out of self-preservation. It would also be extremely damaging to associate further guilt and self-hatred to your heats if something were to go wrong.”
“I understand how serious it is. I’ll be careful.”
“I’m glad to hear it. This is a very big step for you, Steve, and I hope that everything goes well.”
He hopes so too.
“I want to do it,” Steve tells him at work the next day, after he’s walked into Danny’s office and closed the door behind him.
“Gonna have to be more specific, babe,” he replies absently from the incident report he’s reading.
“I want to share my heat with you,” he elaborates. “I want you to be in the room when I- I want you there. I’m about to put in my heat leave if you want to put in yours.”
Danny looks up, frowning a little even though he's smiling. “They know we’re dating, Steve. The team’s going to figure something out if we both smell like alphas and go on heat leave.”
Steve hasn’t told anyone else but Danny yet. Mostly because he’s not sure how they’re going to react. Especially Grover. He hasn’t been prepared for that kind of situation yet. Now he is.
“I don’t care,” he says stubbornly. “I’ll worry about that later. Do you want to be there or have you changed your mind?”
“I want to be there,” Danny promises. “I’ll file my heat leave this afternoon if you’re sure.”
“You gonna kiss me since you stormed in here all gung-ho?” Danny teases, but he’s not pushing anything.
“Maybe,” Steve retorts, pretending to think about it before he’s leaning over Danny’s desk to reach his lips.
It’s as reassuring as it is devastating, the pressure of them colliding and Steve needs to anchor his hand on the desk's surface to stop himself from falling over it. Chin wolf whistles sharply enough that they can somehow hear it through the soundproofed glass when he catches sight of them.
“So unprofessional,” Danny grumbles against his mouth but doesn’t pull away until Steve does.
“Talk about it at my place tonight?” he asks as Steve’s heading for the door.
“Sure thing, Danno.”
They’re eating dinner in Danny’s living room when Steve brings it up again.
“We should set up boundaries. For my heat.”
“Sure,” he agrees effortlessly around his next mouthful. “What do you feel comfortable with?”
“I talked to Doctor Ishiguro and she had concerns that I might hurt you if something goes wrong.”
“And do you think you’re going to hurt me? I always knew you were trying to kill me.”
Steve nudges his shoulder but he knows Danny's taking this seriously and is attempting to offset some of the tension. “I think no touching would be safest. I don’t know what I’d do if I’m in heat and an alpha touches me, even if it’s you.”
“No touching,” Danny agrees. “Can I make sure you eat and drink properly during the heat? Do you want me to talk to you at all or just leave you alone?”
“No, I meant it before. I want you in the room. I want you to talk to me, just don’t- talk about my body.”
“Can I tell compliment you and say you’re beautiful? Can I be encouraging, telling you you’re doing well or is that too much?”
Steve’s mouth is dry at the thought. “Yeah. I’ll tell you if it gets too much.”
“Should we have a safe word for when it gets too much? Or if you want me to leave the room?”
Those boundaries sound very clear. Steve shoves more food into his mouth, barely tasting it as he distracts himself. “Yeah, I think so,” he agrees, once he’s swallowed. “What should we-“
Danny’s completely serious and he has to resist the urge to laugh.
“I don’t think I should take my clothes off either,” he continues. “My scent’s pretty strong if you haven’t already noticed and I don’t want to make the situation harder.”
Steve raises an eyebrow. “You really think you smell that great?”
Danny's smile is wide and optimistic. “You know I do, babe.”
The team don't see this side of him very much, cocky and sure. Steve likes it a lot, but rolls his eyes for appearances and leans in to press his nose against his neck. When he inhales, Danny actually shudders against him and he can smell a mixture of heady arousal and natural smells that make Danny, Danny. Steve’s hard in his pants too but neither of them do anything about it.
When he reluctantly withdraws, Danny’s pupils are blown wide and he’s gripping his bowl and fork much too tightly.
“You owe Wailana’s a new coffee table,” Steve slyly points out.
Danny cringes with embarrassment. “I hoped you wouldn’t notice that. God if you knew what you smelt like then, what you smell like now… I’m lucky you wear alpha markers otherwise you would’ve killed me.”
Some of the humour slides away. “Does it bother you that I use the scent markers?”
“No. You could use them for the rest of your life or twice a week or whenever you feel like it and it still wouldn’t bother me. I respect your choices, Steve.”
“Okay,” he replies because he can’t think of anything to say. He doesn’t even know what he plans to do about the alpha markers in the future. It’s something he has to figure out on his own.
“I think you’ve only got another day left before it starts,” Danny guesses. “Do you need anything? Food? Dildos?”
Steve spits out the water he’s drinking. “You have-“
“Yeah,” he confirms without preamble. “I can bring some of them over? Cleaned obviously.”
He’s almost lightheaded at the thought of something that’s been inside Danny, potentially going inside his body as well.
“I had two,” he says. “But one broke last time. You should-uh… bring some of yours.”
“It broke? That’s such bullshit. At least you had a back up. Sure, I’ll bring my favourites.”
Steve’s cheeks are red hot. “I might have been- overenthusiastic.”
“After twenty years between heats, I bet you would. I’ve broken a lot of furniture during my ruts over the years. You’re not alone.”
Steve snorts but appreciates the sentiment. It means a lot that they’re even talking about this right now, that he can talk about it. He knows how far he’s come.
“I don’t know when to expect it,” he admits. “The last time it started I was on the phone talking to you. My doctor thought we might have a pseudo-bond.”
“Jesus, really?” Danny exclaims, amazed. “I’m pretty sure that I would have sensed it if we did.”
“We don’t. They ran tests to make sure, but they thought it was unusual that you seemed to trigger it.”
“I thought scents are usually what kickstarts a heat?” Danny muses.
“They are,” Steve agrees and then leaves it at that.
He’s not sure what it means either.
When it happens, it’s at the worst possible time. They’ve just taken down a drug trafficking ring and Steve’s got a beta pinned to the concrete with his knee, the team rounding up the rest of them when Danny fumbles the handcuffs in his grip and drops them.
Steve notices, because he’s always kept track of Danny’s movements whenever he’s in his sights- at first out of self-preservation but now for an entirely different reason. When Danny’s expression goes slack, Steve, who’s breathing heavily from the exertion of the bust, straightens a little and raises his hands in silent question.
“Shit, Steve, babe,” Danny groans. “You need to get into the car.”
Like that doesn't seem ominous. The expression on his face is convincing enough and Steve cuffs the perp beneath him in one swift movement, before he’s stepping back. He only just parses out his meaning when he’s halfway to Danny’s Camaro and the first throb of slick, slips out of his body.
“Oh, fuck, fuck,” Danny snaps and Steve can see him scrambling frantically to pick up the cuffs again before he’s handcuffing the girl to a steel pipe. “Guys you gotta take care of the rest of this. We’ve gotta go.”
Steve’s already sitting in the passenger seat, not able to focus on driving at a time like this, especially when half the team is still frozen in shock. They could smell his slick, even if they don’t understand what’s happening. Guess it’s not much of a secret any longer.
“Danny,” he grunts but Danny’s already moving toward him, a string of colourful curses announcing his approach as he makes it to driver’s seat.
“I’m sorry,” is the first thing he says when they’re on the road driving back to Steve’s house. “I should’ve sensed it sooner.”
“It’s fine,” he spits out through a clenched jaw. “They were bound to find out eventually.”
“I’m still sorry that’s how it went down,” he insists. “How are you feeling?”
He’s already hard, but it’s not urgent. Somehow he’d still figured he’d be panicking with Danny in the same space, but he’s not. Not at all. Danny smells really good.
They get back to Steve’s place at a speed that isn’t legal and Danny’s helping set everything up while he heads for the master bedroom.
Steve strips his clothes off, folds them because he needs to distract himself and places them atop the dresser. He strips off the duvet until only the pillows and sheets remain and takes a deep breath before lying down. His thighs are wet and dampening at the smell and sound of an alpha moving around the house but it’s Danny, it’s fine. He’s safe.
He still slides his gun underneath one of the pillows, not because of Danny, he argues with himself. This is still all very new to him, Steve just wants that extra sense of protection that the vulnerability of his heat won’t allow. One that Danny wants to offer.
When Danny comes back he’s got several bottles of water, protein bars, a few pieces of fruit and a couple dildos and lube that Steve hasn’t seen before. By then, he’s already sitting up at his approach, perched on the edge of the bed. Danny steps forward, hissing out a breath at the sight of his naked body, but Steve is too distracted by the confusion of scents to feel self-conscious.
Danny places the items on the edge of the bed, within reach but doesn’t approach any further than that. Steve can’t believe how much his head is swimming at the presence of an alpha in the room with him. The presence of another person sharing this intimate space.
“Do you need more lube?” he asks, voice sounding tight and scratchy to Steve’s ears, subtly hinting this isn’t a walk in the park for Danny either.
“I’m- wetter much more quickly than I was last time,” he manages, swallowing hard when he pulls out his own toy and carefully adds it to the pile.
It’s a struggle not to touch himself yet.
“That’s probably because of me,” Danny murmurs, voice soft as a breath before taking a seat in the chair Steve dragged up here specifically for this purpose.
He can’t wait anymore, hand sliding down to wrap around himself with a groan.
“God, babe,” Danny sighs. “You’re so beautiful. Thank you for including me in this.”
“Which one do you like the most?” Steve asks gesturing shakily at the toys laid out beside him, unable to handle the sweetness of his words.
“The blue one is my favourite,” he mutters. “The knot vibrates.”
Steve makes a strange noise at the back of his throat that he’s never heard before but Danny hums softly in reply like he understands. He latches onto the blue dildo with trembling hands and has to remind himself to be gentle. He wants to enjoy this, he wants Danny to enjoy watching this just as much.
They exhale as one in the silence of the room when the toy finally breaches him, slipping hotly inside and he's lost to the sensation, curling up on his side to make the angle deeper and easier to reach.
Danny shifts the chair, legs scrapping across the floor and Steve’s jolted out of his pleasure at the sound of it, free hand slipping beneath the pillow to cradle the gun in alarm.
“Sorry,” he pacifies, voice soothing. “I just want to see your face.”
Danny moves the chair closer to the bed, but not within touching distance, only so his gaze can be better focused on Steve’s face. On the expressions he makes at each slide of the toy inside his body. He skin flushes with heat at the implications of it and warmth settles comfortingly in his chest.
He can smell how hard Danny is, and the mixture of alpha and omega arousal pacifies his instincts while he sinks deeper into the mattress. He works his hips into the mounting sparks of pleasure and stares into Danny’s kind face, full of awe and reverence.
The first orgasm feels like a promise.
His heat is hazier this time, confused by the presence of an unhelpful alpha in the room but Steve doesn’t lose himself in it, fully conscious of everything he’s doing. And everything Danny’s not doing.
He speaks soft words of encouragement, soothing Steve with the rumble of his voice. He doesn’t move from the chair, though his claws are out and he’s painfully hard in his pants. His control is breathtaking and Steve grinds his hips harder for it.
He helps Steve when he gets up to clean himself after the first few hours, not touching, but gently reassuring when he staggers into the bathroom. Danny runs the shower overhead whilst Steve lowers himself onto the tiles, offers him food, water and changes the sheets for him whilst he’s still in the bathroom.
He doesn’t leave their heat room, disappearing into the ensuite only to use the bathroom and Steve is glad for his unwavering company. He doesn’t leave his sight for long and his clothes stay the same throughout. When Steve naps, exhausted and spent for a brief moment of respite from his need, Danny is quiet and alert watching over him.
Blearily Steve wonders when he sleeps, if at all, but the haze settles over him in snatches, urging his pleasure until it’s all he can think about.
Danny only leaves the room once, when Steve’s coming for the nth time on the fourth day, knotted up nice and tight by one of the toys and Danny’s name falls breathlessly from his trembling lips.
When he comes back after what feels like days later, he’s changed clothes and Danny’s eyes are bright and determined. He brings back more food as well, which he persuades Steve into eating before reclaiming the chair again.
He's careful not to say his name after that.
The heat haze breaks on the seventh day, and when his head is totally clear again he makes his way into the bathroom to clean most of the evidence off. Danny sits on the toilet lid, thoughtfully astounded and Steve’s too tired to question him about it.
“Was the first one that long?” he asks faintly.
“That was just the haze,” Steve explains, around a yawn. “My heat hasn’t finished yet. Last one lasted ten days altogether.”
“Jesus,” he gasps. “You know that this is not the standard for an omega heat? Usually the whole thing is wrapped up in less than a week.”
Steve sighs, staring down at his cock which is slowly hardening again just by listening to Danny's voice. “Guess this is the leftover gift from using Blockers for so long.”
“You’re doing so well, babe,” Danny presses and he’s not even aiming for anything but Steve sighs and wraps his hand around himself just the same.
“I don’t even know how you’re sitting upright right now,” he continues, amazed. “You’re incredible.”
The praise draws out a soft groan and he comes into his fist a second later, wrung out and satisfied.
“You’re an animal,” Danny says, with unmistakeable fondness.
Steve smiles wearily and climbs to his feet.
The next few days are a little different. Danny drags out the TV from Mary’s old room and sets it up in the master bedroom so they can pass the time. Steve’s heat is dying down and since the urge to wrest another orgasm from his body is only appearing every five or six hours, he convinces Danny to climb up onto the bed with him.
Danny still refuses to touch him, since he gave his word that he wouldn’t for the duration of his heat but Steve still appreciates the closeness anyway. He’s never been this intimate with a person before, and the significance of it and Danny being here has him reeling.
He naps at Danny’s insistence between the diminishing bouts of arousal, so much so that when his heat finally draws to a close on the tenth day, Steve doesn’t fall asleep for another two days like last time.
Once he’s dressed, clean, fed and mostly alert, Danny drives him over to see Doctor Sey. It’s a Tuesday so her practice is pretty full and they wait together for his name to be called.
Doctor Sey does another round of tests and says she'll let him know the results once they’re ready. Steve organises his next appointment with Doctor Ishiguro as well with just as much enthusiasm.
By the time they go back to work Steve tries to organise a team meeting to set the record straight.
“Hey, it’s okay you don’t need to explain,” Chin says before he even gets started.
“We got your back no matter what,” Kono agrees with sincerity.
“So let me get this straight,” Grover begins and Steve feels Danny tense up beside him, ready to defend. Heat curls sweetly in his chest. “You’re an omega who spent the last twenty years of your life training with the best of the best, the Navy SEALS, which is made up of about 90 per cent alphas and you still came out on top?”
“Yes,” Steve deadpans, arms folded across his chest while he waits for the other shoe to drop.
“You’re a goddamn hero.”
His lips curve up at the praise and Danny groans. “Don’t give him any ideas. His ego is big enough.”
But his knuckles brush gently against the back of Steve’s fingers so he knows he’s only half serious.
It takes him two more weeks to work out what he wants. Articulating it to Danny is just as hard. So Steve just goes for broke.
“I think we should have sex,” he says one morning when they’re grabbing coffees at Danny’s favourite café before work.
Danny splutters out a disbelieving sound and instantly spills hot coffee all over himself, foam splattering his blue button down shirt as he winces. Steve quickly fetches some napkins while he mops himself up and when Danny disappears outside to fetch his spare shirt out of the car, the redness of his skin has already healed.
Steve follows him out, coffees forgotten, mostly because he wants to see Danny’s bare chest. It’s pink from the fading burn and he checks carefully for any sign Danny doesn’t want him to touch and when there isn’t any, places his hand on his skin like an apology.
“What is it with you and announcing things when I’ve got hot coffee or a dangerous criminal on my hands?”
“Sorry, Danno,” he mutters, wincing. “Can I kiss it better?”
Danny’s not overly upset, but manages a put upon expression. “Yes, obviously.”
Then he tilts his head up for Steve’s mouth, not realising how literal the words were. Steve is already moving down, bending to reach Danny’s chest. He waits for Danny to catch up and when he does, he moans as if it’s painful.
They’re tucked in between the Camaro and the open driver door in the empty parking lot and mostly out of sight for this. Steve refuses to get onto his knees but ducks his head, exposing the back of his neck to his partner as he leans down.
“Yeah babe,” Danny consents and Steve kisses the healing skin, mouth trailing along the lines of Danny’s stomach, the muscle quivering beneath it. All he can hear is the sharpness of his breath and the roaring in his ears.
When he reaches Danny’s waistband he can see and smell how hard he is. Steve pauses, waiting to see if Danny will do anything about it, shove his crotch in Steve’s face, or try to push him to his knees with a hand around his neck, even when he knows the fear is not rational.
But Danny’s perfectly still.
When Steve straightens up he helps Danny get into his clean shirt and assists him with the buttons, standing close enough that they can share body heat. He leaves the top two unbuttoned because he likes how Danny usually wears his shirts and once they're finished, he’s reaching for him again.
“Can I-“ he starts to ask.
“Yeah,” Danny agrees without listening.
“Kiss you,” Steve finishes, needing that permission.
Danny’s eyes are already sliding shut. “Yeah babe.”
Steve slowly curls his fingers into the made-to-behave-with-product, mop of Danny’s golden hair and joins their mouths together. It’s unbelievable that he never thought he could feel like this with anyone.
He’s so glad that he was wrong.
They organise a date, but agree to get tested first before they're intimate with Danny insisting Steve let him know if he changes his mind and that it won’t affect anything if he does. He understands that, truly, but it doesn't make him any less determined. The results come back fine for both of them and when Steve’s heat results also come back without any issues there’s nothing stopping them.
When the day creeps closer he starts to get nervous though. He knows Danny promised he’d never try to put him in an alpha position again but what if Steve can’t handle it in any position? What if he just can't be intimate with alphas? What if he has an attack while Danny’s cock is pressed deep inside him and he slashes Danny’s chest to ribbons before tearing his throat out?
When their sex date is only a few days away Steve brings up his fear in Doctor Ishiguro’s session.
“What if I don’t like it?” he says, pacing furiously. “What if I like it too much? What if I panic and kill him like you thought I would last time? I don’t know if I can do this. I want to, I want to try this with him but I don’t know if I can without hurting him or myself.”
“Breathe, Steve. Have another drink of water,” Doctor Ishiguro insists and waits until he does. He doesn’t stop moving around her office, though. Keeping himself active helps somehow. “You are never under any circumstance required to do something that makes you uncomfortable, no matter what the situation. In the past, your open communication with your partner has benefitted you greatly. What has changed?”
“Because I’m the one who suggested this,” Steve groans.
“People are capable of changing their minds, Steve. You may want something and then decide you no longer wish for it and that is perfectly acceptable. What is not acceptable is pretending you want something because you think it is what someone else wants. Has Danny ever been anything but understanding when it comes to your feelings?”
“No,” Steve agrees, thinking of his old bedroom and the smell that’s almost faded by now. “But I don’t want to disappoint him.”
“Lying to him, and to yourself would only disappoint him more. Please try and talk about this before you do anything you’re not comfortable with. The outcome might not be as terrible as you think.”
Steve drains his glass of water but doesn’t reply.
“I don’t think I can give you what you want,” he says when they’ve finished dinner and he’s followed Danny into his bedroom.
Gracie is at her mother’s house this weekend so they have Danny’s place to themselves.
“Oh?” he echoes, back to him as he toes out of his loafers. He has no idea what Steve is talking about but that’s not going to stop him. Not this time.
“I can’t get in the alpha position. I won’t ever get on my knees for you. I don’t even know if I can get your dick inside me without losing control and trying to hurt you.”
“I understand how difficult this is for you. But what if I do?”
“What if you do what?”
“Get on my knees for you.”
The air gets so thin its like it’s been sucked out of the room. “What?” he splutters. “You’re an alpha.”
“So what? So are you most days.”
Steve’s mouth is opening but there’s nothing coming out of it. Danny watches him struggle patiently before taking a seat on the bed.
“I think there’s been some miscommunication,” he admits. “See when you said you wanted to have sex, I kind of instantly assumed it would be you on top-“
“But I still don’t know-“
“As in you fucking me,” Danny clarifies. “I know you’re not ready for anything else, maybe you’ll never be ready and that’s fine. I just figured that this was what you meant.”
“But-“ he flounders. “If you’re only doing this-“
“It’s not only because of you. I like it just as much. You don’t even know how badly I wanted to be under you the first time we met and you put me in that lock, had me in one move. I was- God, I was super into that, I’m surprised you couldn’t tell. It pissed me off so much.”
Steve manages to laugh. “I was into that just as much, you have no idea.”
They stare at each other for a second, sizing up their feelings and the present atmosphere. Surprisingly, he’s not as concerned about it as he was before, now that they’ve at least talked about it.
“I want you to ride me,” Steve decides, finally. More at ease than he was a few minutes ago. “I don’t want to put you in an alpha position. Not for our first time.”
Danny groans, and his eyes are bright and alert. “But another time?”
“Yeah,” he swallows. “Another time I’ll put you under me so good you’ll still feel it the next day. I’ll be so gentle with you, babe, you won’t have to worry about your knee.”
“Fuck,” Danny sighs and he’s visibly straining against the fabric of his pants now and Steve can’t get enough of it. “Can I get on my knees for you now? Before I ride you?”
“Yeah,” he agrees, hard as well and already unbuttoning his pants as Danny edges forward.
He holds up a hand to stop him first, and moves toward the bed to fetch one of the pillows. Danny places his palm flat against Steve’s chest and encourages him against the wall. As if he’s going to need something to prop himself up against for this.
Steve drops the pillow and takes Danny’s hand to help ease him down on to his bad knee. The heat of his skin is nearly unbearable, but he still wants more.
“Let me know if you don’t like something,” Danny urges. “Or if something’s gonna trigger you.”
“I will,” he promises and his tone is strained and eager.
They work to tug his pants down together, but Danny loses interest in that endeavour quick enough and presses his mouth against Steve’s briefs once they’re exposed.
Steve hisses at the sensation against the fabric and his dick is already leaking as he nudges his hips forward, feeling the friction of Danny’s mouth. The heat of it crawls up his spine and nudges deep in his belly, flickering with warmth and arousal.
The wetness comes next. Steve tips his head back at the first flood of slick but watches Danny’s nostrils flare as he groans and tugs his cock free. The touch of cold air draws a soft gasp from his lips and Danny doesn’t hesitate before he’s swallowing him down.
Steve’s hands fall onto his shoulders for support as he cries out at the burning clutch of his mouth enveloping him. He goes easy though, not taking all of him in at once and Steve doesn’t know if he’s grateful or dismayed.
The urge to press deeper, to fill his mouth up entirely is so strong that he takes his hands off of Danny and embeds his claws into the wall instead, keeping him in place. Danny cautiously swirls his tongue around the head and Steve nearly loses it. His slick is coming much faster now, wetting his briefs and he just wants to grind against something until he comes.
But he keeps himself from moving.
“Baby, can I?” he moans. “Can I thrust? Can I fuck your mouth? Oh- God, fuck, you’re incredible.”
Danny barely hums in agreement, the sound travelling wonderfully up Steve’s cock before he’s opening his throat and pushing hard until his mouth meets the base, entirely engulfed.
Steve cries out and grinds into the plush heat, orgasm building quickly and nearly spinning out of his mind as he gently rotates his hips, pushing forward. This is so much more than he ever thought he needed. Danny pulls back to breathe deeply before he’s lavishing the head, tongue pressing into the slit and making Steve unravel completely.
“I’m close, Danno,” he warns. “If you want to-“
Danny’s answer is to swallow him down completely again.
“Are you sure?” he hisses, fighting hard not to come.
But Danny only hums again, fingers curling around Steve's balls, applying a light pressure. The orgasm punches through him so hard his vision blurs and Danny just-
Swallows as much as he can.
“God, can I kiss you?” he gasps, when Danny’s already tilting his head up for it. He tastes himself on Danny's lips and the sensation of it causes a shiver, before he's clutching at Danny harder.
By the time they pull apart, Steve still hasn’t gotten his breathing back under control.
“Still want to-“
“Yes,” he groans. “I’ll be hard again once I start prepping you.”
Danny licks his lips as if he’s really enjoying the sound of that. “I was hoping- I mean if you’re comfortable, can we use your slick? As lube?”
“Yeah,” he breathes, cock twitching at the idea.
They make it to the bed and Steve asks if he can remove Danny’s clothes. They end up working together to get naked and Danny ends up straddling Steve’s stomach, still hard and leaking pre-cum. Maintaining eye contact, he reaches past Danny to collect the slick already pooling between his thighs, coating his hand first and getting it as wet as possible before bringing it back up to Danny’s ass.
The slick makes the first finger slide in like it belongs there and Danny braces himself on Steve’s chest, pushing his hips back to welcome it. They quickly work up to two, stretching him wide and getting him ready. The constant sensation of Steve’s fingers brushing against his own entrance to collect slick makes him hard again, asshole clenching around nothing as he stretches Danny until they’re both on edge.
There's no more need for waiting when they're both desperate for this. He lubes his cock last and helps him sit on it. Danny’s thighs are straining by the time they manage to line up and the look on his face is exquisite when he finally pushes down, sliding onto Steve slowly. The heat of his body is perfect and he needs to distract himself as Danny adjusts, so he wipes his hand onto the sheets before bringing them up to cradle Danny’s hips.
“God, you feel so good,” he groans, neck tilted back in bliss as he works his internal muscles around the girth of it, nearly tearing Steve’s orgasm out of him too early.
“Fuck,” he curses, trying to make this last, but it’s Danny and he’s inside him and nothing is ever going to be as memorable as his face as he adjusts to Steve’s cock.
Danny’s first movement is a cautious twist of his hips, grinding down and learning the feel of him, before he’s lifting up slowly and letting gravity do the rest. The sounds he's making are perfect. Steve’s on a short tether already and the slide is unbearably good, so good that he’s jerking his hips off of the bed to meet him mid thrust, feeling Danny’s heart beat in his own ribcage.
His breaths are short and stilted as if all the air has been pushed out of his lungs when Danny finally reaches for his own cock, wrapping a dry hand around himself. That is until Steve gets his own hand wet again and joins it.
“I’m almost there,” he moans, moving with Steve’s grip. “Fuck.”
So he applies more pressure and pushes more strength into his hips, thrusting hard and fast into Danny to help speed the process. He’s too close to orgasming again as it is.
Then Danny clenches up tight and comes and Steve’s lost as well. When his senses start firing again and he glances up to check Danny's alright, he’s quick to notice the new change.
Danny’s popped his knot. It’s like a water bucket’s been dumped on his head. He had sex with an alpha and the alpha knotted. It doesn’t matter that Steve’s still inside him, the evidence is staring him right in the face.
He’s never been so close to a knot before.
“Can I touch it?” he wonders, while Danny’s still getting his breath back.
“Yes,” he sighs, biting his lip. “Just- careful. It’s always really sensitive.”
Cautiously Steve dips his fingers inside himself, wetting them and bringing them back up to encircle Danny’s knot.
Danny’s gone silent, watching him closely as he smears his slick onto his cock, gently inspecting the protruding flesh that Steve’s never touched before. The soft sounds he makes are encouraging and Steve keeps exploring it with his fingers, applying different pressures and sensations until Danny clenches around him beautifully and comes again all over Steve’s chest.
And the knowledge that he wants the knot, inside him locking their bodies together someday, is another thing he didn’t expect. But only Danny’s, it’s the only one he wants, because he trusts him enough to do it.
He takes some of Danny's come into his mouth to taste and offers his slick coated hand in exchange. Danny's eyelids flutter with pleasure before he closes his mouth around Steve’s fingers and licks most of it off.
He almost wishes he was in heat so he could get hard again quicker.
“That was…” Danny tries, easing himself off of Steve now that he’s soft.
“Yeah,” he agrees.
Steve fucks him a few days later, Danny flat on his stomach under him, their bodies pressed tight together, drenched in sweat and other things as he keeps his arms locked around Danny’s chest.
He’s nearly incoherent by the time Steve finally comes inside him and Danny ends up knotting Steve’s mattress.
Steve isn't too upset about it.
The symptoms of his PTSD start to fade, or at least they become more manageable. Steve stops having so many nightmares about his first heat and his father’s death and Doctor Ishiguro’s treatment for his Body Dysmorphia seems to be helping a lot.
He can look at his hands now without thinking they’re too big or too strong. They shoot a gun just fine, cradle Danny’s face gently, hi-five Kono when she protects their backs with a sniper rifle, pick up Gracie whenever she wants to be cuddled, clean Grover out at the monthly poker nights, spear a fish with Chin whenever they free dive, pat Jerry encouragingly on the back when he starts talking about aliens and always, always slides smoothly into the warmth of Danny’s outstretched hand.
He knows he’s not fixed, because he was never broken. He’s not perfect and he's probably never going to quite be an omega or an alpha, but that’s okay.
He’s made his peace with it. And even now, he’s getting better at handling it.
It’s two more heat months passed and spent with Danny in the chair again when Steve finally feels that he’s ready.
The results come back from his heat and Doctor Sey can’t see any other long-term effects now that the Blockers are finally out of his system, although she has doubts he might ever be able to get pregnant. Steve’s fine with that for now, he’s not sure he wants any more than the one he and Danny already share with Rachel, but there’s always adoption anyway.
Doctor Sey tells him he’s incredibly lucky nothing worse came of it, and for once, Steve actually believes her. He is lucky.
He lets his feelings stew for a few more days to be certain it’s what he wants before mentioning it to Danny. When he only becomes more certain, it’s as good a sign as any.
“I’m ready,” he announces on a regular uneventful Wednesday night when they’re lying half naked in Steve’s bed together, in briefs only because they make the bed too hot with the heat of their bodies.
“Ready for what?” Danny murmurs sleepily, scratching idly at his stomach.
“Ready for you to fuck me.”
Danny blinks a few times before the message sets in. “What, babe?”
“I want you inside me,” he declares unashamed. “I’m ready to share that with you.”
“Are you sure?” Danny checks but Steve is already rolling on top of him, holding some of his weight back because he doesn’t want to crush him.
“I’m sure,” he agrees, rolling his hips encouragingly.
“What. Like right now?”
Steve scowls and clenches his jaw. “Yes, Danno, like right now.”
Danny licks his lips and he’s already responding, but Steve can smell the confusion and wants to be sure.
“Unless you don’t want to?”
“I want to,” Danny says evenly. “This just seems sudden and I don’t want you to regret it.”
“I’ve been mulling it over for a week now, even talked to Doctor Ishiguro about it. Trust me, I’m not regretting anything.”
“Okay,” he confirms, already caught up in the idea. “This how you wanna do it?”
“Yeah,” he murmurs. “I might panic if I’m on my back, even if it’s you hovering over me and I need to see your face while we do this.”
“You can control the pace better when you’re on top,” Danny agrees, going along easily. “Do you want me to knot? It might be too much for your first.”
“No knot,” he says. “No yet.”
“Okay, babe,” Danny replies and starts tugging down his underwear.
Steve shifts a little to help and his thighs are wet by time they’re both completely bare. Danny is slow and considering with every single thing he does, watching his reactions to make sure he’s comfortable and asking him questions.
When he finally slides his fingers through Steve’s slick and over his perineum until he’s cupping his balls, Steve’s going out of his mind.
“Would you just-“ he barely starts before Danny’s pulling back, catching on the edge of his rim and nudging a finger inside.
Steve loses his ability to speak and instead focuses on the way it makes him feel. There’s so much difference between a toy and something that’s connected to Danny’s body. What he notes first, is the unexpected warmth as he stretches him, the strength in his hand as he tests Steve’s limits.
When he works in a second, Steve’s body is flushed with heat and he’s already moving gently against it, trying to find some friction. But Danny’s determined to do this right, stretching him as long as he can before inserting a third finger. Then a fourth and Steve’s not sure he can take it anymore.
He doesn’t beg, but he enjoys it when Danny does and it’s almost impossible how intuitive his instincts are.
“Please, babe,” Danny croons, working his fingers against Steve’s ass in a parody of how he plans to move he’s hips. “Please let me in.”
“Yeah, fuck,” he gasps, slick gushing around Danny’s fingers, making it so much easier when he finally slides them out.
His body clenches around nothing but Danny’s already prepared, arranging Steve so he’s in the right position to slide down onto his cock. The first initial stretch to his hole seems completely new even though he’s had things inside him so many times by now.
Steve focuses on his face and when he carefully eases Danny's cock inside he actually witnesses Danny's eyes flash red for the first time since he’s known him. Danny’s control is so strong that it vanishes a second later, but he shudders at the sight anyway and starts bearing down.
He lets his cock press deep, the slide of unmoving heat in him eliciting a moan as he inches down, spreading around Danny and pulling him in.
“God, babe, baby, fuck. Are you okay?”
“Yes,” Steve hisses, when he’s flush with Danny’s hips, balls pressing up snugly against his ass. It’s so- so good. It feels right having Danny there, spread out beneath him and when he swallows hard around the soft whine of pleasure it releases, Steve starts to move.
He eases his hips up slowly and drags them back down, feeling the pulse of Danny inside him as he struggles to keep still.
“Move,” Steve urges, already lifting himself up again.
Danny doesn’t waste any time, raising his hips back up to meet him. When his cock slams back inside, Steve loses his grip on his thighs, slipping through sweat and tips forward, the angle changing instantly and nudging into his prostate.
He keens and chases the sensation, hands bracing against Danny’s biceps to keep them still so he won’t distract him and gets into a rhythm. Their bodies roll as one and Steve can’t think of anything past the tantalising drag of Danny’s cock as it pushes into him. They crash together at a solid pace that quickly carries Steve towards the edge.
He doesn’t even have the chance to warn him before the next slide hits his prostate again and he’s coming before Danny’s balls even reach his ass. Danny groans and jerks his cock in deep as Steve convulses around him, clenching tight and gripping him with the heat of his body. Danny follows him straight after, filling him up with come and the new sensation of it is extra heady.
When he collapses on Danny’s chest, wrung out, exhausted but utterly satisfied, he kisses Danny’s nipple and lets his eyes fall shut. Danny pulls out with a hiss and they lie there in the mess of it for a while, too content to move.
“Thank you for trusting me,” Danny whispers against his throat when he’s finally got his voice back.
“Thanks for earning it.”
The next heat they share together Steve drags Danny into the bed with him, lying on their sides, legs tangled and arms wrapped tight around one another so that when his knot pushes in so sweetly Steve comes on the first try, overwhelmed by the feel of it, of Danny keeping himself inside.
Steve worries he's going to wear Danny out too quick, but his rut hits soon after the heat starts and it's a good thing he's already used to unusually long heats and higher stamina because Danny's excessive.
By the end of it, they wear each other out.
“We should bond,” Steve announces a year later at the monthly barbeque they’re having out on the lawn of the old McGarrett home, now Steve’s and Danny’s new home with Gracie.
Jerry turns bright red as Kono grins, Grover dropping his burger in surprise as Renee raises an eyebrow, their kids frowning in confusion. Chin’s face is carefully blank as he holds out a plate full of burger for Gracie while Max blinks slowly behind his glasses. Kamekona’s brow furrows and Steve’s only just realising what he’s said.
He’d been watching the waves, standing by the grill with Danny and arguing about how best to cook a burger when the realisation hit him.
He turns to the only person whose reaction matters, his partner, in all things now, only to discover Danny’s poured beer all over himself in his shock, even as his mouth spreads wide with a blinding smile that makes Steve’s chest hurt with happiness.
As the rest of the team whoop and whistle at him, Steve realises there was probably a better time when he could have brought this up.
Danny doesn’t seem to mind though, because he immediately says yes.
Steve tells Doctor Ishiguro all about it in his next session when he takes a seat opposite her on the couch.
It is surprisingly comfortable.