It was one of those rare days when the team was actually able to enjoy a day off and not have to deal with the mess caused by some drug dealer or international crime lord or anything else Hawaii seemed to have a habit of spitting out.
So how did they decide to spend it? Together. Like the team didn't spend enough time with each other as it was. But hey, ohana is ohana.
Kono had been the one to suggest the beach, so here they all were.
Lou's cigar was half hanging out of his mouth, face set in disbelief at the third or fourth conspiracy theory Jerry was now avidly describing to Sam and Will, both of whom were hanging on to every word. On the other side of the picnic baskets Renee, Abby and Sabrina had been discussing wedding ideas for a while, drawing little pictures in the sand every so often and waving their hands in description at others. Meanwhile Max was now sitting there with a look of terror etched into his face much to the amusement of Chin and Adam.
By contrast Kono had hit the waves ages before and had now been surfing so long that even Steve had left her to ride the waves alone. Instead the former SEAL had joined Danny in chasing Grace and Charlie at the water's edge; resulting in the adults being splashed at endlessly and giggles or squeals from the children when they were caught.
"Okay, I'm officially worn out and you two need some more sun cream and to sit in the shade for a bit." Danny rasped out, ignoring the protests from his children. "Yes, yes I know. I'm mean, I'm cruel, blah blah blah. But it’s for your own good, and the last thing I need is your mum giving me sh-hassle if either of you get burned, okay? Thank you, so c’mon move it. Charlie, no, I said no, no, Steve would cut that out and help me, oh thank you that’s a big help, come here, no no, Charlie. Charlie! If I get you an ice cream will do as I ask, yes? Good. Yes Monkey you can have one too. Steve? Well you are practically a man-child, what, of course you are, I’ve known you five years, you’re either an animal or a child. Yes, yes you are. Oh for… do you want the ice cream or not? Yes? Okay, at last thank you. Geez, you’re more work than my four year old. Yes you are. Yes you are! Here take Charlie for me, I need to grab my wallet. I’ll be back in a few.”
There were a couple of people waiting to be served at the beach bar, but it was relatively quiet considering the number of people on the beach at the time.
“Aloha, what can I get for you?” The bubbly waitress behind the counter grinned at Danny.
“Aloha to you too. Erm, can I get a twister, a strawberry cornetto, a white magnum… and a, an almond magnum. Oh and two Fire Rocks please, thank you.” The waitress nodded, disappearing to the fridge for the bottles.
Danny turned back, unable to hold back a grin and chuckle when he saw Steve swinging Grace around as Charlie sat on his shoulders, head thrown back as he giggled. If you had asked the blonde not long after he and Steve had first met if you’d trust him to be competent with kids the answer would have been a resounding ‘no’. But now? Now Danny couldn’t imagine anyone else helping him with Grace or Charlie, not even Rachel.
“Your partner’s cute with kids. Are they yours or is one his or…” The waitress’s voice came from behind him having returned with the two beers and ice creams silently, and was now staring in the same direction as Danny.
“No, they’re both mine. Grace is just fifteen and Charlie is almost four, but I swear to God, sometimes Charlie acts more mature than Steve. That man is a Neanderthal.”
The waitress chuckled, adding up the amount on the register.
“But he’s your Neanderthal.” Danny hummed in agreement, only paying half attention to her as he glanced back over to the trio as they joined the rest of the group. “Been together long?”
“Six ye- wait, what?” The detective turned back having just realised properly what she had said.
“I said ‘but he’s your Neanderthal’ and then I just asked how long you’d been a couple… that’ll be $12.50 all together.” She chuckled, pushing a brown strand out of her mouth. Danny just stared at her open mouthed for minute.
“We’re, we’re, me and Steve- it’s not, we aren’t, we’re not a couple.” He rushed out when he regained himself and behind the bar young woman went a colour matching her crimson top.
“Oh God, I am, oh God, I’m so sorry! I just thought with the kids, and, and the looks you guys were giving each other and all the- shit I am so sorry! Fuck, I swore. Shit, I did it again. Oh God. I am so sorry.”
“You honestly thought we were a couple?” Danny queried, surprised in himself that the mistake didn’t bother him like it would have done five years ago. In fact, it gave him a warm feeling in his chest and he realised: that feeling had been there for a few years now when Steve was involved, he had just somehow completely missed it. The waitress pursed her lips but nodded. “Can, erm, can I ask what struck you that we were?”
“… Honestly? If it wasn’t for the kids and the fact you don’t look related, it would be because you two look like you’re in love. Like when you were in the water and you had caught your son and he had your daughter, there erm, there was this moment. It was kinda like the kids weren’t there anymore because you two just looked at each other in a way you only really see in movies, like you two were lifelines for one another.” Danny’s gaze fell from the woman to the bar and then to Steve who was now being play attacked by Grace and Charlie. “You guys look… right. Plus you had sparks that suggested you guys would be seeing fireworks tonight, courtesy of each other.”
The waitress grinned, eyebrows waggling, her nervousness ebbed away by Danny’s chuckle.
“You know it’s funny because people have been saying we’re like an old married couple for six years, but I never saw it.”
“Maybe six years ago wasn’t the time for you to see it. Just because you click with someone instantly doesn’t mean there’s anything there to really pursue yet, maybe you guys needed time, if of course you felt that way about each other.” She gave him a sincere smile, before looking at the bar. “Oh God, your ice creams, they’ll melt if you don’t head back now!”
“Christ, yeah. What was the amount? $12.50?” When she nodded he reached into his wallet he pulled a fifty. “Keep the change, please, no, I insist. For helping me realise six years later that he’s not just a Neanderthal but that I need him to be my Neanderthal. Seriously. You, you are- what is your name?”
“Anna.” The brunette chuckled as she took the note from Danny.
“Anna, you have just helped me see something that all those people sitting there have probably been trying to make me and Steve see for a very long time, so thank you.” With that the blonde turned around.
“Hey, wait!” Danny paused at the shout before him, turning back to see Anna holding out the drinks and ice creams to him. Oops.
“Whoops, can’t leave without these. Thanks.” The detective grinned, taking the goods from the woman’s hands.
Anna just grinned. “Go get your Neanderthal.”