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The Duty Ours

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Days like this, Danny’s not really sure how it’ll go. Which, he has to admit, is sort of par for the course when it comes to Steve anyway. Before (when he first joined Five-0, before they really became them) he wasn’t sure what he should do, could do, what crazy Williams “gotta fix this” magic he should perform. But finally, Danny figured out that there’s nothing to fix, no magic more holy than simply being himself. Being himself is enough, and the sweet relief of that still staggers him down to the core.

So if Steve wakes at dawn to pound the sand and churn the waves, sweeping away secret memories of unmentioned and unmentionable missions, Danny waits with coffee and malasadas. If it’s that kind of day, there might be dozing on the couch, a team BBQ to wrap Steve in the kind of care and voiceless warmth that only their ohana can provide.

If Steve wakes quiet and disappears to the attic (and the steel filebox of medals and memorials) only to stumble down hours later, red-eyed and tense, Danny gives him his space. Eventually, Steve will unbend, unwind, tongue haltingly parting with stories of friends lost over bitingly sharp shots of tequila and Danny is there to coax details, knowing the kind of grief that goes with losing the partner at your back. Finally, he is there to pour Steve, loose-limbed and calm-eyed, into bed.

Danny is prepared to roll with the punches, be it uncertain silences, calm reflections or (most memorably last year) waking to Steve’s insistent mouth and demanding hands. Shit, the memory of that lengthy morning still makes Danny’s toes curl, basking in Steve’s scorching heat and doing his best to remind him he was whole, safe, alive.

Steve’s restless shifting on the mattress pulls Danny awake, blinking in the grayish glow of early, early morning. Danny doesn’t know how this day will go, one in a lengthy parade of days to celebrate and mourn those who commit to serving their country, whether it will be a day of joy or grief, company or solitude. Still, he leans over to brush a kiss against Steve’s shoulder, murmur a sleepy “morning, babe”, because Steve’s been there for him too, and can hear the unspoken Happy Memorial Day as clear as anything.