They don't get home until well after midnight. Steve feels exhausted from talking over what Max told them, a weariness that makes his bruises ache more than they really should. He dry swallows a couple of Ibuprofen before they leave the office, but still can't help wincing when he's taking off his boots and socks.
Danny catches the gesture out of the corner of his eye, does a double take when he sees the mottled blue-and-black that darkens one of Steve's hips. "What," he says, "What is that? Don't 'what' me, Steve, where did you get those bruises? They weren't there last night. Were you stealth dropkicking people again? We have talked about this."
Steve sighs. He will never understand why Danny is so stubbornly opposed to some really basic things. "And who was it who told me that I should help out my mother, huh? Danny? You. It was you."
Which makes Danny stare, and boggle, and make frustrated-looking gestures with his hands, as if he's trying to throttle thin air. "Yes, help your mother out! By which I meant the sorts of ways that normal people help out their mothers. You know, helping her pick up some supplies from Home Depot, some light DIY around the house, drive her"—his hands shift so that they're grasping an imaginary steering wheel for a moment—"to a doctor's appointment or something. What the hell were you doing with Doris that required dropkicking someone?"
"Have you met my mother, Danny?" Steve pulls his shirt off over his head and Danny stares, distracted in a satisfactory kind of way and okay, conversation over, Steve thinks. Hopefully.
But Danny blinks, shaking his head. "Yes, tragically, I have met your mother. But that doesn't answer my question." His eyes narrow as he catches sight of another bruise on Steve's shoulder. "What the hell kind of trouble did you two get into?"
"Four of us. There were four of us." Steve slides his briefs off in what he hopes is a seductive manner. "Can we stop talking about my mother now?"
Danny squints at him. "You and Doris and two other people went around dropkicking people?" Danny folds his arms and yeah, that's not a good sign; Steve rarely gets laid when Danny folds his arms like that.
Steve sighs and pulls his briefs back up. "Can we not—"
"Who else would get inv—Mick and Wade. It was Mick and Wade, wasn't it, because she— Oh my god," Danny says, his eyes widening. "What is this, is this some sort of thing where McGarretts pull people into their orbit with their, their wiles—"
"Jesus Christ, Danny." Steve really doesn't want to think about Doris and anything, let alone both Mick and Wade.
"Wiles, Steven! Am I going to end up breaking into Fort Knox or something, huh, just because you entranced me with your abs?"
Steve is torn between the conflicting impulses to roll his eyes or to feel smug.
"Or are you going to smile and flutter your eyelashes at me and somehow I'll end up snatching the Hope diamond out of the Smithsonian and giving it to you?" Danny asks. "Do not laugh, Steven. You and your wiles are no laughing matter."
The look on Danny's face is one of genuine panic and Steve can't help but laugh. "Right, Danny. Wiles. If my wiles were that irresistible, you'd be naked and in my bed right now. Instead of yelling at me."
"I am not—" Danny shouts, then lets out a long breath, eyeing the bed before looking back at Steve. "Yelling. I just—please, tell me you didn't do anything outright illegal."
Right. Time to change tactics. Steve knows how to handle Danny.
He closes the space between them. "Say, Danny," he says in a low voice, "It's late, why don't we talk about his later, huh?" He leans down and kisses Danny, soft and sweet.
"These are definite wiles," Danny murmurs against his mouth when the kiss ends. He's solid against Steve, warm and steady, and Steve never seems to get over how right it feels, to have Danny's hands resting on his arms, his shoulders, as they kiss. "I'm wise to your game, McGarrett. Trained detective here."
"Uh huh," Steve says, and kisses him again, a little deeper this time. Danny's stubble scrapes against his, and the sensation makes Steve shiver. He shuffles that little bit closer so they're pressed close together, tries to slowly maneouvre Danny back towards the bed.
"You," Danny says, "are not a subtle man." He kisses Steve briefly, gently, then puts his hand on Steve's chest to push him back slightly. "But I mean it, Steve. Please tell me you didn't do something illegal—tell me there's nothing I need to worry about here. And before you try to justify your way out of anything"—Danny holds up one hand, looks at Steve with worried blue eyes—"we're together so if something serious is going down, this gets classed as a thing I need to know, okay? Steve?"
And it hits Steve, almost like a punch to the gut, what Danny really means. It's not about the yelling or scolding, it's about Danny being part of his life. Sharing his life, just like he's shared his bed for the past few months. And that includes the parts Steve keeps deep inside, hidden away from the rest of the world.
Because Danny never does anything by half-measures.
"What? What is with that face?" Danny asks, his expression gentle and amused.
"We broke into the office of a corrupt CIA agent and took back the microfiche he stole from her," Steve says in a rush.
Any other time, Steve might have found the look on Danny's expression comical.
Danny blinks rapidly, takes a step back, scrubs at his face with both hands. "I'm sorry," he says, "I must have misheard you, I could have sworn you said you burgled a CIA agent to steal back classified information. That was me not getting it, right?"
Steve folds his arms, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "Look, I had to do it, okay? If I didn't help out, they were going to do it anyway, and this kind of op is not what you do when you're their age."
"Or any age!" Danny exclaims. "Sixty-somethings shouldn't be trying this, I grant you, but neither should you! You're not indestructible, Steve, and you're not some lone agent. You can't just run off and pull this shit without telling us. You can't rely on always getting out safely, and you can't always rely on people thinking you did the right thing. What if you'd been caught, huh? You think the Governor would have turned a blind eye to something like this? How about the CIA, huh, the Navy?"
"Well," Steve says, "we did get caught. But this guy would have shot us long before he turned us over to the Governor."
Danny stares at him; his jaw drops. "Is that supposed to assuage me?"
"But we got the microfiche back. I tricked him into thinking I destroyed it." Steve grins, still proud of his awesome sleight of hand abilities. He wishes Danny could have been there to see it.
Danny, clearly dismayed, waves a hand at him. "What? Look at you, you're all—"
"We got in through the elevator shaft," Steve adds. "I tell you, Doris has skills, man. She was pretty impressive." He may not trust his mother, but Steve likes to think he's generous enough to recognise skill with a zip line where he sees it.
"So, what, this was the best night ever for you?" Danny asks, incredulous.
"Well," Steve says, "it could be. If you took your pants off."
Danny lets his head roll back on his shoulders, stares up at the ceiling for a long moment while audibly exhaling. "Your standards are, and I'm being charitable here," he says eventually, looking back at Steve, "idiosyncratic, Steven."
Steve raises his eyebrows.
"No," Danny says, pointing a finger at him, "no cracks about my vocabulary, because that is honestly the most fitting term that doesn't involve expletives. I love you, you asshole, do you get that? Which means that I would appreciate it if every now and then you stopped treating your whole damn life like some black ops mission. You realise how you just told me that you and Doris got up to some seriously illegal shit—no, don't make that face, illegal!—and glossed over everything with a hey, it worked out, how about that, let's make out?"
"But it did work out," Steve says. "Because I am damn good at what I do. And yes, I do want to make out with you, because I love you too, asshole. Why can't you see that?"
Steve's not really sure what the big deal is, except that sometimes everything is a big deal to Danny.
Danny goes quiet for a moment. Unnervingly so. Finally he says, "We just live in two totally different worlds, don't we?"
His voice is quiet and a little sad and suddenly Steve can't breathe, there's not enough air in the room. He needs to find his clothes and get out of there, right now. Because he doesn't want to hear what he's pretty sure is coming next.
"Hey hey hey, what are you doing?" Danny snatches the t-shirt out of Steve's hands.
"I'm going for a walk." Steve gives up on the shirt and reaches for his pants instead.
Danny steps between Steve and his pants. "No, you are not, not with that face."
Determined, Steve reaches for his pants again, but Danny grabs his arm with a grim look of determination. Steve lets Danny push him until his legs hit the bed and he sits, too tired to resist. His chest is too tight, making it difficult for him to breath properly. And when Danny stands between his legs, hands on Steve's shoulders, his expression gentle and sympathetic and a little bit worried, Steve thinks, great, here it comes. He readies himself for the worst.
"I'm not going anywhere," Danny says, to Steve's surprise.
Steve licks at his lower lip; his mouth feels suddenly, achingly dry. "Danny—"
"No." Danny holds up one hand. "No, I have something I want to say, and I think it's important for you to be actually hearing what I've got to say, so please, just... two minutes, okay?"
"I... okay," Steve says, because Danny's still standing there, looking right at him, and Steve can hardly remember a time when he didn't want to make sure that Danny has everything he wants.
"Okay." Danny takes a breath. "I love you. That's a given. That's not going to change."
Steve feels a sudden tremor run through him, as if he'd let go of a weight he hadn't known he was carrying.
"And that's why I keep pushing on this. You're not a superhero, Steve. You're a good man and you try to do the right thing, but the way you act sometimes, it's like you think that's not enough. Like you've got to be all things to all people, all by yourself. And that... sometimes it terrifies me, okay?"
Steve feels Danny's fingers curl inwards, digging into his shoulders—not enough to hurt, but enough to make him reach up to rest his hands on Danny's waist, to let Danny know that he's still there.
"I don't want to look around one day and find you're gone," Danny continues, "because you didn't feel like you could trust the rest of us with what's going on. I need you to love me enough to let me be your partner."
"Okay." Steve closes his eyes and pulls Danny closer, until he can lean his forehead against Danny's chest. He feels like he's dodged a bullet, like he's made it through an op that went pear-shaped in the worst way imaginable.
Danny runs a hand over Steve's head, ruffling his hair. "I don't expect you to completely stop doing crazy things, you know. I just want to be able to temper the crazy. Will you let me do that?"
Steve nods, rubbing his head against Danny's shirt. "Okay. But next time Doris is in trouble," he says, raising his head to look Danny in the eyes, "I'll send you over to talk to her."
"Please do." Danny's smile is more than a little scary.
Sometimes Steve forgets that Danny's got his own brand of crazy. It's kind of hot, Steve thinks, though probably Danny wouldn't be very appreciative of that observation.
"Now," Danny says, leaning down to brush his lips against Steve's. "Why are you still in your underwear?"
"I have no idea," Steve manages. He can't take his eyes off Danny's face, thoroughly enjoying the predatory gleam in Danny's eye.
Sliding his hands down over Steve's chest, Danny grins as Steve lifts his hips and backs up on the bed, allowing Danny to slip his fingers under the waistband of his briefs and pull them off.
"That is much better, thank you." Danny crawls up over Steve, still fully dressed, and settles in on Steve's hips.
Steve hums in agreement. "But you," he adds, tugging at Danny's shirt where it's tucked into his pants, "you're still way too dressed."
"Maybe," Danny says, leaning in so that he can press a kiss to the hinge of Steve's jaw, his neck. Steve swallows convulsively. "But maybe I just want to be dressed like a professional here. Because you know, when something's worth doing, it's worth doing right."
"Something?" Steve says, mock outraged. He reaches up to rest one hand on the nape of Danny's neck, tangling his fingers in the soft strands there. "Someone, thank you."
"Aye aye, cap'n," Danny murmurs, running his hand down Steve's chest, over his belly, to cup Steve's slowly hardening cock.
"I'm not a cap—" Steve begins to say, but gets cut off when Danny kisses him. Danny's kiss is determined, focused, and Steve tries his best to live his life without regret, but he still kicks himself for waiting as long as he had to make a move on Danny.
"Danny," he murmurs against Danny's lips, suddenly worried that Danny might not know.
Danny kisses him again, hand tightening on Steve's cock, making him gasp for breath.
"Danny, please," Steve tries again, one hand on Danny's shoulder, slowing him down. He tries to still Danny's hand on his cock but Danny takes hold of his wrists and pins them to the bed, on either side of his head and whoa, that's kind of—wow.
"Yes, Steven?" Danny asks, casual and airy, as if Steve isn't panting and breathless beneath him.
"You're the best thing that ever happened to me. You get that, don't you?"
Danny's expression softens. "You," he says, shaking his head, and there's that small, surprised smile, the one Steve loves so much. "Okay. Yeah. And you know what? I'm going to happen to you all over this bed."
Sudden laughter bubbles up out of Steve. "How is that even a thing?"
"Look and learn," Danny says, releasing Steve's wrists and unbuttoning his shirt with nimble fingers, tossing it into the corner of the bedroom. "Because I'm pretty sure that between you and me, we can take advantage of every square inch of this mattress."
Steve has a sudden mental image of him lying prone, face pressed into the pillow and legs spread with Danny kneeling over him. He feels his cock twitch at the wash of heat that spreads through him. "I'm looking, Danny," he says. "I'm looking."
And he can't not look, not with Danny grinning at him like that, bare-chested and gleeful, all those swirls of golden hair scattered across his chest. Danny fumbles as he tries to unfasten his pants and Steve reaches out to help, sitting up and kissing Danny as he unzips Danny's pants. Danny gives up on undressing and holds Steve tight, kissing him deep and dirty and it's enough to make Steve's head spin. When Steve at last gets a hand wrapped around Danny's cock, Danny moans into his mouth, wonderfully desperate.
His own cock is nestled between them, and Danny takes hold of it as he leans down and mouths the side of Steve's neck, scraping his teeth along Steve's skin. Steve shudders and tries to push Danny's pants down past his hips, but he can't, Danny's not moving, he's too busy with the crook of Steve's neck. And his fingers, running along the tip of Steve's cock, making Steve uncoordinated and clumsy.
"Danny, come on," Steve insists, trying to lift Danny's hips.
"No, no, you come on," Danny teases, sliding away from Steve's grasp to kiss his chest. "So bossy, Steven."
"Am not," Steve says, though he sounds ridiculous even to his own ears, voice hoarse as if he's just run miles in the hot sun. And Danny is hot against him, skin pressed warm against Steve's own, and it makes Steve feel lit up. He arches his back, trying to get closer, relishing the friction of his cock pressing against the cloth of Danny's pants. Steve wonders if he could come like this: just from Danny holding him down with his hips and his clever, clever mouth.
"Cheating," Danny says, sounding dazed. "No cheating, Steve, you can't distract me like that."
"No?" Steve grins, does it again, laying back and circling his hips this time so that he grinds up against Danny. "Looks like it's working though."
"See," Danny says, sitting back on his heels, "if you keep doing that, I'm going to get stubborn. You know what happens when I get stubborn?"
"No?" Steve says, though judging from the expression on Danny's face, he's probably going to like the process of finding out.
"When I get stubborn, I tend to slow down." Danny looks down at where Steve's cock is lying hard and flushed against his belly; slowly runs the fingertips of one hand the length of Steve's erection, feather-light from base to tip. "How long do you think I could keep you like this, babe? Hmm?"
"Jesus." Steve bites his lip, and the heat that was building under his skin before is nothing like how he feels now. Danny can do a whole lot of things if he puts his mind to it; Steve has no doubt that Danny could keep him on the edge of orgasm for hours, if he wanted. "Please."
"I bet," Danny says, slow and considering. He takes Steve by the wrists again and gently places his arms over his head again, watching Steve closely the whole time to see if Steve's going to say no. Steve just nods once, jerkily. "I bet I could take a really long time with you. Let's consider it positive reinforcement, huh? You tell me what feels good, you answer my questions, and everything just…" He leans down and kisses Steve briefly, sweetly. "Everything just keeps going."
Steve nods. "Okay. I… yeah, keep going." He could spend the rest of his life like this, here in bed with Danny, and Danny's sly smile.
Danny kisses Steve's chin, then pulls himself up, so that he's hovering over Steve on his hands and knees without touching him. He hums to himself, looking Steve over thoughtfully before reaching down and running his tongue up the side of Steve's neck. "How do you like that?" he asks, his breath chilling Steve's damp skin.
Steve gasps and shudders, it's like a shockwave through his body, his reaction all out of proportion. "Uh," he says stupidly, moving his hips. He wants to rub his cock against Danny again, but Danny's too far away.
"Use your words, Steve." Danny's lips brush Steve's ear as he whispers into it.
Steve breathes in sharply. "I like it."
Danny sucks on Steve's earlobe and Steve digs his heels in. He had no idea his ears were so sensitive. "Like that too?"
Steve wets his lips. So dry. "Yes." He can feel Danny hovering above him, knows Danny's warm, hard body is just inches away and he wants, oh god, he wants.
"If you're good, I might touch you with other parts of my body. How would you like that?" Danny asks.
Steve spreads his legs, pulling his knees up.
"Words," Danny says again.
"Yes," Steve says.
Danny nods once, decisively, and then pulls back so that he's kneeling over Steve. Steve almost sits up to follow him, missing the warmth of Danny's body near his own, but remembers himself just in time. Danny smiles in approval, and then reaches down and touches him. He uses the fingertips of one hand only, runs them in long, soothing strokes down the line of Steve's neck, along his collarbone, the lines of his tattoos. Danny's movements are slow, almost meditative, and Steve finds himself getting lost in them. He's still hard, but his attention is caught now by trying to predict where Danny will move his fingers next, by the focused look on Danny's face and the furrow of concentration that's appeared between his eyebrows. Danny's fingers map out the line of his arms, the sensitive spots on his flanks, the scar tissue left behind by half a dozen close calls. They press lightly against the fresh new bruises, testing them, making Steve gasp. Steve's arousal is a low-banked thing, and without the possibility of a race towards orgasm, Steve lets himself relax into the sensations.
"The thing is," Danny says conversationally. Steve has no idea how much time has gone by since they last spoke: since the air was filled with anything other than the sound of their breathing. "I should have figured it all out a long time ago." He places his palm flat on Steve's chest, right over his heart. "You had me all goofy from the first day we met. Mad as hell too, sure, but I couldn't stop looking at you. I mean, obviously, the fact that you're all kinds of hot didn't hurt. You know how many times the hot water ran out on me when I was taking a shower thinking about you, huh?" His hand inches down towards Steve's belly, maddeningly slow. "I have to say, the idea of sucking you off in your office was a personal favourite."
"Jesus," Steve gasps out.
"But there you were," Danny continues. "Watching me and watching me, looking like I don't know what. I was looking at you but I think you were looking at me first, and all that time, Steven, all that time you never said."
"Too afraid," Steve says, and oh god, he had been afraid, he had been terrified, of Danny's response, of losing Danny's friendship, of losing himself in Danny.
"Yeah." With a wry laugh, Danny nods in understanding. "Crazy, huh? You wanted me, I wanted you, and all we did was argue. When we should have been fucking."
He slides both his hands up Steve's chest, his touch firm now and Steve arches into it, a whimper escaping from his throat. Danny leans forward and kisses him, rough and wet and full of hunger. He pulls away all too soon, mouth moving over Steve's chest, running his tongue over a nipple and then sucking hard on it.
Steve feels it all the way down into his cock. He groans and whispers, "Again. Do it again. Please."
Danny obliges, sucking on one, then the other nipple, putting just enough teeth behind it to make Steve's cock ache. The slow burn has heated up now. Steve feels like he's on fire.
"Turn over." Danny's voice is ragged.
Danny moves aside and Steve immediately turns over, rubbing his cock shamelessly against the mattress. There's a rustle of clothing and he turns to see that Danny is finally naked. Beautifully, completely naked. He gets a tantalizing glimpse of Danny's thick, jutting cock and then Danny's spread out over him, chest against Steve's back, cock sliding between Steve's cheeks as his fingers grip Steve's shoulders tight. It's breathtaking, the weight of Danny's body on his, holding him down, anchoring him in place.
"What do you want, Steve?" Danny's breath rushes against his ear. "Tell me, what do you want?"
"Fuck me," Steve says, and there's an adrenaline surge that thrums through his veins when he says that, the same as if he'd just launched himself into a high altitude jump. "Do it slow."
Danny takes Steve at his word, getting lube from the nightstand and using it to open Steve up with slow deliberation, fingers reaching deep inside, making Steve push back against him. He makes Steve talk the whole time, gets him to say what feels good, what feels better, what he wants more of. Steve can't remember the last time he talked this much in bed, and for a while it feels a little awkward but then it's as if something gives, some internal dam bursts and he's all but babbling: encouraging Danny, telling him what feels good, what feels right, begging for more, telling Danny to fuck him already.
He hears Danny swear, then the sound of him opening and putting on a condom and then God, finally, finally, Danny's pushing his way in: one long, steady thrust that has Steve panting, scrabbling to get up on his knees, forehead resting on his folded arms, so that Danny can go deeper.
"Jesus, you are so beautiful." Danny's hands slide restlessly over Steve's sweat-slick skin. "And we, we are going to hold still here, for just a moment, so I can look at your beautiful fucking back while I get a grip, because, because—god."
Steve goes completely still as Danny rambles, even though he wants to move, wants desperately to rock back into Danny, to force him to go deeper. But he can hear the edge in Danny's voice--Danny's fighting for control and right now Steve will do anything Danny needs to keep this going. He takes a deep breath, steadying himself, hands fisted in the sheets.
After a long moment he feels the mattress shift behind him as Danny shuffles closer, his knees inside of Steve's knees, pushing them further apart. "Come on babe, we got this," Danny says, and his voice is calmer now.
Danny begins to move with small, slow strokes, grinding against Steve's ass as he pushes in. It's perfect, it makes Steve moan and ache, makes his blood sing in his ears. "Yes," he says, and his voice is so ragged he barely recognizes it. "This, Danny. Fuck yes."
Steve closes his eyes, concentrates on his breathing, on the low noises that Danny's making, the trickle of sweat running down the back of one thigh. Steve's cock hangs heavy between his legs and he reaches down to squeeze it. His body is crying out for more friction but Steve doesn't want this to end, not yet.
"That's good," Danny says, "yeah," shifting forward.
The change in angle, Danny going that last little bit deeper, makes Steve gasp, but what really forces the air from his lungs is the way Danny curls around him, pressing careful kisses to the curve of Steve's spine. There's affection in the gesture, such gentle care, that Steve can't help it: he's shuddering and coming and saying, "Danny, Danny, Danny," so frantically he doesn't know if he'll ever be able to stop. His orgasm is as much relief as it is a climax, a cessation of tension so profound that Steve almost sobs from it.
"Oh, oh, oh, babe," Danny says, running his hands down Steve's sides, steadying him. "You're just—"
Danny picks up the pace and Steve moans again, little tremors of aftershocks sweeping through his body and it still feels good, Danny burying his cock deep inside him, using him for pleasure. He'd give it all to Danny, let himself be fucked for hours, just to keep on hearing Danny make those little noises.
He feels dazed, floating along in a haze of post-coital pleasure when Danny does come, straining against him with a startled, guttural sound, then resting snug against his back, panting for a long while before finally pulling away and landing on the bed beside Steve with a small whimper.
Steve gingerly stretches out his legs, rolling onto his back as Danny disposes of the condom, stretching across Steve's body to toss it into the trashcan. Steve wraps his arms around Danny and pulls him down, even though they're both a mess, hot and sweaty and pretty damn sticky.
"Ooof," Danny grunts. "Oh, hi. Hi, hi." He grins, and then kisses Steve, a lush kiss rife with bliss and satisfaction.
"Hi," Steve replies when the kiss finally ends. He feels happy, languid, pretty damn goofy himself; it makes him kiss the tip of Danny's nose, just because, delighted when the gesture makes Danny laugh.
"You," he says, "What am I gonna do with you, huh?"
"Stay," Steve says, tightening his arms around Danny's waist. "You could stay."
"Hrm." Danny rests a hand on Steve's shoulder, runs one thumb along Steve's collarbone. "Are you asking?"
"Yeah," Steve says, and who knew using words could be this terrifying—could be this freeing. "Yeah, Danny, I'm asking."
"Well then," Danny says, "I'm not going anywhere. Consider me entirely seduced by your wiles." Danny kisses Steve's chin. "And your abs. Along with your cock. And your mouth. And every other part of your body. Fuck, you make me crazy." He rubs his cheek against Steve's neck, breathing deep.
Steve grins, a big stupid grin as he runs his hands down Danny's back. He's glad that Danny is lying on top of him, because he feels so light he just might float away.
"And," Danny adds, raising his head to look Steve in the eye, "seduced by your willingness to talk to me before you go running off to do crazy, outlandish superhero things, hmmm?"
"Yeah," Steve says with a nod. "Talking. I can do that." He spreads his hands over Danny's ass.
"Because who knows, I might make you a better offer." Danny waggles his brows, as ridiculous as can be.
"Really now?" And he just might, Steve realizes to his surprise. Being with Danny can give him the same kind of rush he gets when climbing up an elevator shaft or rappelling down the side of a building or careening down the highway at 90 mph. "That could work."
Danny laughs, kissing Steve before sliding off and swiping a hand down the front of his body. "I think we need a shower here."
"Nope," Steve says, too content to move. He rolls onto his side and rests his head on Danny's shoulder. They can shower in the morning. Because Danny will still be here, right next to him.