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Love's a Battlefield (and the Navy Did Not Train Steve for This Shit)

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Steve loves his team, he really does. He may have been the one to recruit them, but they were the ones who made Hawaii home again, welcoming him into their family and treating him with the same easy affection that they had with each other. He would die for them, without hesitation, and knew they would do the same for him.


That doesn’t mean that they can’t, at times, drive him completely batshit crazy.


Steve still doesn’t know how they found out about Cath meeting someone and breaking off the benefits part of their friendship. Privately, he suspects Chin. The man is uncanny with technology and far too perceptive.


It's not like he's heartbroken or anything. He and Cath are good friends and always will be. The sex was a matter of convenience for them both, and they knew it wasn’t going to last once one of them found someone else. And to be honest, he’s kind of enjoying the solitude. The past sixteen years were spent sharing tight quarters with dozens of other men, and it’s nice having his own space for a while.


He tries to explain that to Kono, several times. With diagrams.


“Sure,” Kono agrees, then, “I have a friend who’s into extreme water sports. I think you’ll like her.”


Okay, so maybe he got a little excessive during a few cases, and there may have been some gratuitous property damage. He might also be realizing how empty and quiet his house is, when he’s on another insomnia jag and he's sitting alone watching Iron Chef reruns.


He goes on a couple of dates.


But while it's not so bad when it’s just Kono, things get a whole lot more uncomfortable when her aunts get involved and Steve starts getting calls at all hours of the day about what his preferences are and when he’s free, and if he likes Thai food. He manages to fend them off, but his excuses are getting weaker and he can feel them circling closer like sharks sensing a kill.


It’s when Chin mentions, very casually, that Malia has a couple of single doctor friends, that Steve snaps.


“Look,” he says, planting both hands on the tech table and accidentally opening up a game of Angry Birds. Kono's, from the score. “I appreciate you guys trying to hook me up with every single woman on this island, but I’m seeing someone now. So you can stop. And tell your aunts to stop, they keep calling my cell phone and it’s starting to freak me out.”


It's a total lie. Not the freaking out, because her aunts are scary, but the dating someone part. He does feel a little guilty about lying to his team, but if this goes on, he is going to run away to sea.


“Oh, sorry, brah,” Kono says. “Why didn’t you tell us sooner?”


Steve opens his mouth, and in his mind he formulates something about privacy and preferring to keep his personal life out of the work place and how the relationship is so new that he wants to make sure it’s working before introducing them. Except that's lame and doesn't really explain why he didn't say anything when it could have so easily put a stop to the whole thing. (Especially after Date #11. Holy mother of fuck Date #11, Steve has never been so happy for someone to be murdered because he didn't think anything short of the governor calling Steve in would have let him escape that date with his body parts intact.) No, what he needs is a reason he would want to keep it secret, something that they would understand-


“It’s a guy,” he blurts out, and wow, that was not how he was planning on telling his team about his bisexuality.


Chin and Kono, because they are awesome and the best team ever, take it in a stride. And because they are detectives, they start grilling him for information.


“What’s his name?” Kono asks. “Do we know him?”


“It’s not the coffee shop guy, is it?” Chin asks. “Because he’s way younger than he says he is.”


“You don’t know him, and why the coffee shop guy?” Steve tries to remember if he ever spoke with the man beyond a hello, and comes up with nothing.


“He’s been flirting with you for months,” Kono says, the unspoken duh loudly implied in her tone. “You think he gives everyone a free bagel with their coffee?”


“I thought they were complimentary?”


Kono blinks and cocks her head. “Wow. Suddenly, I’m getting what Lani meant when she said you were lucky you were pretty.”


“Hey!” Steve tries to glare at them, but Kono just grins and Chin looks amused. “Okay, can we get back to the case now? You know, the possible serial killer running around Oahu?”


“Oh, come on, boss,” Kono protests. “You have to give us something.”


Steve groans and thinks longingly of Afghanistan. “Danny, okay? His name’s Danny. And that’s all I’m going to say about him.”



Except that’s not all he says, because Chin and Kono are wily, persistent, and experts at extracting information from unwilling subjects.


“He’s got blonde hair and blue eyes.” Steve racks his mind for something equally generic. “He’s shorter than me.”


“Everyone’s shorter than you, brah,” Chin notes dryly.


“Yeah, well, he’s a lot shorter,” Steve retorts. “He’s like a midget.”


“The romance is dead,” Kono murmurs sadly to Chin. He nods, eyes dark and solemn, then they both snicker.


“I hate everyone in this room,” Steve says.


The problem is, the extended Kalakaua-Kelly clan knows everyone on the island. If he pretends his imaginary boyfriend is a native, they will figure out he’s making stuff up and vengeance will come in a tsunami of blind dates that will not end until he is satisfactorily married. It’s pure strategy to make Danny the biggest mainlander that ever graced Oahu, the kind of person that the extended Kalakaua-Kelly clan would never meet or associate with.


“He doesn’t like the beach?” Kono looks as if someone told her that surfing was outlawed. “Who doesn’t like the beach?”


“He’s a city boy,” Steve says. “He likes skyscrapers and asphalt. I think he’s still homesick. He wears a tie to work every day because that’s how they do things on the mainland.”


Kono stares at him like she’s wondering if his last concussion finally caused lasting and permanent damage. “He doesn’t sound like your type.”


Steve shrugs. “He’s got his good points.”


The questions taper off after a month, much to his relief. Chin and Kono don’t seem to suspect anything despite his reluctance to introduce his fake boyfriend, and they don’t mention him again except to offer the occasional invite.


“Why don’t you ask him over tonight?” Chin suggests. “Malia would like to meet him.”


“He has to work,” Steve says.


“At eight p.m.?” Kono furrows her brow. “What does he do?”


“I told you, I’m not giving you his last name or profession,” Steve says sternly. “He doesn’t need you cyber-stalking him, or looking up his personal records.”


“Yeah, it’s not like you ever did that with any of my boyfriends, huh, boss?” Kono asks, voice dangerously sweet.


Steve exchanges a guilty look with Chin, then deflects. “Danny’s job has long hours. That’s all.”


Steve doesn’t even know why he chose the name Danny. It might have something to do with the bottle of Jack Daniel’s he found in his father’s desk, when he was packing away his stuff to donate, and he is not going to look too closely at that in case there’s some latent daddy issues lurking in there, waiting to ambush him.


Too bad it isn’t as easy to avoid Kono’s mother.


“Oh, shit,” Kono says, one slow afternoon when they are all hanging out in his office, and shrinks down in her seat. Chin freezes like he thinks he won’t be seen if he stands perfectly still, even though his Aloha shirt is the brightest thing in the room. Baffled, Steve looks over to see a tiny, terrifying woman storming through the glass doors like they are made of Normandy.


There are words, a lot of words. About family obligations (“Yes, we know, family is important and we have to be there for each other.”), cancellations with no justifiable excuse (“We were seizing a cocaine shipment, that’s totally a valid excuse!”), and lack of communication, not even a phone call to say hello (“Our phones are on the bottom of Mamala Bay. Again.”).


“I am very disappointed in you. You are all terrible children,” Ailani Kalakaua says. Not in those exact words, but that’s what Steve gets from it.


He still doesn’t know how he got dragged into the situation. He hasn’t even met the woman before.


“There will be dinner at my house next Saturday. You will all be there.” Ailani turns to Steve. “My cousins tell me you’re seeing someone.”


Steve reflexively straightens up and sits at attention. “Yeah. Yes. Ma’am.”


She stares at him like she is looking straight into his soul and knows that he’s a lying liar who lies. “Bring him.”


“Uh, I’ll ask him, but he might be busy-”


Ailani pins him to his chair with a gimlet-eyed glare. “You will bring him.”


“I’ll bring him,” Steve agrees weakly.


Ailani nods and strides regally out of headquarters. Steve gives Kono a vaguely shell-shocked look, and she pats him on the back with a sympathetic grimace.


“Try growing up with her.”


“Well, at least we know what our plans are for next weekend,” Chin says philosophically. “I’ll tell Malia to keep her schedule clear. Is Adam in Hawaii?”


“If he isn’t, he will be.” Kono flashes them a grin. “He’s terrified of my mom.”


Chin snorts. “We all are, cuz. What about you, Steve? Think Danny will be free?”


“Yeah,” Steve says, and if he didn’t have an ironclad control of his body, his stomach would be flipping like a Cirque du Soleil gymnast from the sheer, unmitigated panic zipping through his veins. “He’ll be there.”



Steve has a plan.


There are internet hook-up sites and gay bars, and yeah, convincing someone he just met to pretend to be his boyfriend of three months is going to be a hard sell, but he’s persuaded people to do crazier things in the line of duty. Worse comes to worse, he can hire a starving actor or a starving acting major from UH.


Then the governor personally drops a case in their laps and they are island hopping up and down the chain, trying to catch an arms dealer before he makes it out of Hawaii with the blueprints for an anti-aircraft missile prototype. They survive on coffee and energy bars and about twenty-four hours of sleep in the span of a week, and somewhere along the way, his plans to secured a fake boyfriend are left in a dusty corner and forgotten.


Steve does not remember actually catching the guy. It’s like the guy magically appeared in front of him, handcuffed and nose bloodied, and if Steve looks at his hand, he suspects that he will see bruises on his knuckles. He stares dazedly at the man and the weird shadows on his face, cast by flashing red and blue lights, and it’s oddly mesmerizing.


“Hey, Steve,” Duke says gently. “Why don’t you let me take it from here, and you go get some rest?”


Steve blinks owlishly at him. “Oh. Hey. When did you get here?”


Duke gives him a kind look. “We’ve been here for ten minutes.” Patting him on the shoulder, he asks, “Do you need one of my guys to take you back?”


“Huh? No, I’m fine. Thanks. Uh, here.” He thrusts the suspect at Duke. “I’m gonna go...go. Home. Call me if you need anything.”


The drive back is a blur, and it takes him a couple of tries to disable the alarm. Dragging himself up the stairs is the hardest thing he’s done since BUD/S, and he doesn’t so much as go to bed as collapse on the mattress and black out for eighteen hours straight.


When he wakes up, there’s a message waiting for him from Chin: Dinner at 4. Need the address?


Steve drops his phone. “Oh, fuck.”


He dives for his laptop, and the next ten minutes are spent frantically Googling and calling, and he may have abused his special immunity and means to hack into and retrieve personal contact information. Two calls go straight to voicemail, and the one guy who answers yells something about calling the police, and okay, Steve may have come off a little intense in their conversation.


He has one finger on the call button, on the verge of asking Kamekona if he knows any hookers, before deciding that one, that’s crazy, and two, Chin and Kono will definitely find out.


Are you coming soon? mom starting to look like shes ashamed to know me


Steve stares at Kono’s text for a long moment, then replies.


Leaving now.



About halfway through the drive, Steve pulls over so he can have a minor freak out. He gets out and leans against the side of his truck, staring blankly at the sky.


He could lie, say that Danny was called away by an emergency, but he has the feeling that Ailani will see right through him and then rip him to pieces.


It might be best if he just comes clean. It’ll suck telling Chin and Kono that he was lying to them the entire time, but they’ll understand. And maybe he can explain to them that the blind dates just depress him, because all of those women are great and sweet and achingly normal, and they make him realize how fucked up he is. He doesn’t have baggage, he has an underground bunker with landmines buried in strategic locations, ready to blow up in the face of anyone who gets to close. No one is going to want to deal with that.


Scrubbing his face with both hands, Steve looks out at the crowded street and all the people milling around him. What the hell, Steve thinks, and calls out, “Danny!”




Steve jumps and almost sprains something whipping his head around, because holy fucking shit.


Several parking spaces ahead, a blonde man is watching him quizzically, one hand on the door of a silver Camaro.


He is tiny.


No, Steve corrects himself as he moves closer and gets a better look. Short, yes, but not tiny, not by any imagination, because he has some very nice shoulders, broader than Steve’s, and his arms and chest are straining against the fabric of his t-shirt.


Steve stops about a foot away and they stare at each, the man craning his neck way back. He is really short.


“Can I help you?” the man asks, eyes narrowing suspiciously.


Steve wants to poke him, to make sure he’s not a vivid hallucination. “Your name’s really Danny?”


The man frowns, one hand dropping to his empty hip. There’s a dent on the belt, as if there is usually something clipped to it. “Detective Danny Williams. What’s this about?”


Steve feels his stomach drop. A detective, the guy is a cop of all things. “Fuck, you’re not going to work, the Kellys are definitely going to know you.”




Steve blinks. “The Kellys, they’re- How do you not know them, they make up like half the police force on these islands.”


Williams barks a laugh. “Don’t know if you noticed, babe, but I’m not exactly from around here,” he says, accent getting thicker as he moves his hands to underscore his words. “Which is, apparently, a shunnable offense in this beautiful paradise. Unless I insulted a distant cousin on the mainland and, by some bizarre Hawaiian tradition, am now locked in a blood feud with the entire clan, they don’t know me and I don’t know them, and why are you smiling?”


“No reason. Come on.” Steve grabs him by the arm and drags him to his truck, and maybe he should revise his opinion on tiny, because his hand pretty much engulfs Williams’ entire wrist.


“What? No, hey, what are you-” Williams digs in his heels, and Steve smoothly shifts to push him from behind. “Hey! Will you stop, you neanderthal?”


“Can’t, we’re already late.” Steve ducks an elbow to the face and grabs Williams’ other arm, trapping both high behind his back.


“Late for what?” Williams yells, trying to kick him in the shins, and they are starting to attract a crowd. “My own kidnapping?”


“Dinner, at Kono’s mom’s house. She already thinks I’m a failure of life, so if you can just- Ow!”


Williams almost breaks free while Steve is reeling - and seriously, what the hell did Williams do, Steve didn’t even see him move - but Steve was trained to take down the enemy even when concussed and half-dead. He throws himself at the man and they fall to the ground in a tangle of limbs and loud cursing.


It takes him a lot longer than he anticipated to pin Williams down, because the man is sneaky and mean, and Steve is going to have a bruise two inches below his balls. It only ends when Steve makes the tactical decision to sprawl on top of him and crush him with his superior weight until he stops fighting.


“There is something,” Williams tells him, “so very wrong with you.”


“Listen,” Steve says desperately, “I need to you come to this thing with me because I told them you’d be there, and Kono’s mom, she will kill me if I show up alone, kill me in front of thirty cops, and none of them will say anything because she is that intimidating, do you understand?”


Williams stares at him, mouth half-open in astonishment.


Steve nearly whines as his phone beeps with another incoming text, and he doesn’t have to look at it to know it’s along the lines of, this isnt funny steve she will kill you with fire. “Can we just go? I’ll explain more on the way.”


“No,” Williams says slowly, “no, I get it. You made up a boyfriend to get out of some kind of family obligation, possibly because you’re an idiot, more likely because you have the emotional maturity of a hyena that thinks snatching people off the street is a socially acceptable way to ask someone out. But now everything’s coming back to bite you in the ass, and you need me to play Danny the loving partner so you can keep sitting on your throne of lies.”


“That’s...exactly it, yeah.” Steve gazes down at Williams in surprise, and not a little paranoia. “How did you know that?”


Williams rolls his eyes extravagantly. “I’m a detective. Piecing things together from witnesses who are hysterical or stoned out of their little minds is kind of my job.” He stiffens and squints up at Steve. “Are you high? Your pupils are kind of dilated.”


“It’s the adrenaline,” Steve replies automatically.


“So you’re like this naturally. Fantastic.” Williams raises a brow at him. “You want to get off, babe?”


“Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry.” Steve releases him and scrambles to his feet, but stays close enough to grab him if he tries to run.


Williams gets up slowly and rakes a hand over his hair, smoothing it out of his face. He takes out his phone and checks something, glances at Steve, then the sky, and sighs. “Where is this thing?”


Steve almost hugs him. “A couple miles north. I can drive, just get in the car.” Unlocking the truck, he shepherds the man to the passenger side and opens the door for him, nudging him to make him move faster.


Williams - Danny, he should call him Danny now - mutters something uncomplimentary under his breath, but he climbs in. “Just promise me you’re not planning on making a skin suit out of me.”


“Are you kidding?” Steve scoffs. “You’re like a third my size. You’d make board shorts, at most.”


He shuts the door on Danny’s outraged glare and runs to the driver’s seat. Pulling into traffic, he guns the motor and prays that Kono can fend her mother off for a little while longer.


“So what’s your name, sunshine?”


“What?” Steve asks distractedly as he receives another text: SHES THREATENING BABY PICS IF ADAM SEES I WILL END YOU!!!!! “It’s Steve. Steve McGarrett.”


“McGarrett?” Danny sounds a little funny, but Steve is trying to keep his eyes on the road and text one-handed at the same time, so he just nods. “Lieutenant Commander Steven J. McGarrett, head of the governor’s task force?”


Steve has to look over because Danny’s voice is reaching a dangerous pitch, and then he’s letting go of the steering wheel to lunge for the child safety locks, and everything dissolves into swearing and honking and some really creative driving skills that Steve hasn’t utilized since that mission in India.


“What the hell is the matter with you?” Danny yells. “Did they not teach you how to drive in SEAL school? Or is homicide-suicide your idea of a good time?”


“Me? What about you?” Steve shouts back. “I wasn’t the one about to jump out of a moving car into a freaking highway!”


“You lured me in here under false pretenses! I want out, drop me off on the side right there, I’ll find my own way back.”


“What? Why?”


“Because, because, Steven, you are bad news.” Danny jabs a finger at him from where he’s pressed against the door, putting as much space between them as possible. “Do you know how many cops get killed or maimed under your watch? It’s like they’re the extras in a Michael Bay film, the kind where everyone dies in the first ten minutes! I don’t want to be a part of this, you are a workers’ comp waiting to happen to any poor schmuck who gets sucked into your schemes.”


“Schemes? Really?”


“Don’t like my vocabulary? Stop the car and you won’t have to hear it.”


“No way.” Steve grips the steering wheel tightly, jaw locked in determination. “You promised, there’s no take-backs.”


“No take-backs?” Danny howls. “What are you, eight?”


By the time Steve parks, they are both hoarse from yelling, Danny is a ball of sulk, and Steve has never been more furious in his life, and that includes the time Mary stole his G.I. Joes for her tea party.


Steve breathes deeply and tries to remember what his instructors taught him about maintaining self-control in hostile situations. Except they obviously never met Danny, because no amount of training was going to keep Steve from murdering him and burying his body in the Waianae Mountains.


“Look,” he says with forced calm, “we’re already here. We’ll go in, stay for an hour at most, and after we leave, we’ll never see each other again.”


One blue eye slits open to glare malevolently at him. “Oh yeah? And what happens when they expect me to show up at more family gatherings?”


“I’ll tell them we broke up, today, after this,” Steve says. “And let’s be honest, the number of times we tried to kill each other in the past twenty minutes alone? They’ll totally believe it.”


Danny scoffs, but he finally uncurls from his miserable huddle and gets out of the car. He eyes the line of small, neat houses with distaste. “Well, pumpkin? You want to show me where to go?”


Steve pinches the bridge of his nose. This is never going to work.



It works.


They snipe at each other, trading barbs, quips, and quotes back and forth, lightning quick. Danny is smart and a smartass, laughs when Steve tries to intimidate him, and challenges him to his face. Steve has to scramble to keep up, and his blood sings with an exhilaration he hasn’t felt in a long time.


Kono thinks they’re adorable. Kono’s mother looks appeased.


Danny touches him a lot too, bumping his hip to Steve’s thigh, tugging on his shirt, and smacking him to get his attention. It’s very disconcerting. Ever since his father sent him away, Steve can count on one hand the number of times someone touched him without harmful intent, outside of sex or medical emergencies, and he keeps twitching when Danny reaches for him.


“Will you stop that?” Danny hisses at him. “People are going to think I’m abusing you.”


“This relationship is built on abuse,” Steve mutters back darkly.


But he makes himself relax and touch Danny back, and once his body stops registering Danny as a threat, it’s nice. Surprisingly nice. He finds out that Danny fits perfectly under his arm, whether he drapes it over his shoulders or wraps it around his hip. The hair at the nape of his neck, where it hasn’t been gelled into submission, is surprisingly soft, and Danny nearly purrs when Steve digs his thumb into the tense muscles there.


“I will forgive ten percent of your infractions if you keep doing that,” Danny moans, arching into Steve’s touch.


“Ten percent? That’s it?” Steve frowns at the top of Danny’s head. “Here I am, literally working my fingers to the bone for you-”


“You’re lucky you get that much, pal.” Danny tilts his head back, meeting Steve’s eyes upside down. “Your transgressions are many and horrifying-”


“Who uses ‘transgressions’ outside of a court room?”


Danny lazily thumps him. “I would have been well within my rights to arrest you. I’d probably be doing the public a service, you neanderthal animal.”


Steve would take offense, except Danny is smiling at him, a real smile, one that crinkles the corners of his eyes, and he is leaning bonelessly into Steve like he doesn’t have a single doubt that Steve won’t let him fall. The acerbic bite that was underlying his words is gone, too, softening into something that sounds dangerously close fond, and Steve does not know how to deal with any of it.


Swallowing hard, Steve nudges Danny’s head forward so he can get at the base of his neck. “Yeah, well, I think it should be at least twenty percent.”


The weird thing is, it feels comfortable, right, to have Danny there. Like Steve was originally designed to come with a loudmouth Jersey attachment standing solidly beside him and watching his back.


Like it’s the most natural thing in the world, when Danny nudges him and hands him a fresh beer, to say, “Thanks, babe,” and drop a kiss on the top of his head.


They both realize what happened at the same time. Danny’s eyes widen, and for a split second, Steve thinks he is going to be punched in the face and that they are going to have round three of their mutually-assured destruction in Ailani Kalakaua’s backyard. Then Danny tilts his head, like he just discovered something unexpected and interesting, and Steve’s throat goes inexplicably dry.


Setting his beer down, Danny reaches out and tugs Steve closer by his belt loops. Steve stands stock-still as Danny studies his face, feeling helpless and unbelievably vulnerable - ridiculous, when he knows three different ways to incapacitate Danny in their current position alone. But then Danny ducks his head and laughs silently, murmuring, “I’m insane,” and he curls one hand around the back of Steve’s neck and pulls him down into a soft, sweet kiss.


Shuddering, Steve cups his jaw and runs his fingers up his cheek, feeling stubble rasp against his the pads of his fingers. He gently licks into Danny’s mouth, and lets Danny do the same, wraps one arm around Danny’s waist and slides his hand into the rear pocket of his jeans, bringing him in close. He is kissing the only person in the world capable of sending him into a rage blackout just by talking, and fuck if it doesn’t feel like finding home.


When they break apart, Steve is panting like he just ran ten miles and all he can see is Danny and his blue, blue eyes.


“Hi,” he croaks.


Danny snickers at him, and Steve rubs his thumb over his laugh lines.


They stay for longer than an hour.



Later, Chin comes up to him and says, “Duke just called. He has several witnesses who say they saw you assaulting and kidnapping another man earlier today. What’s going on?”


“Uh,” Steve says.


Danny laughs so hard he slides out of his chair and crashes to the ground.



It’s late when Steve takes Danny back to his car.


Though the drive is considerably less hostile, it’s also completely silent. Steve keeps sneaking looks at Danny, who is staring out the window with an unreadable expression on his face. He does not know what the proper protocol for the situation is, and really, what can he say? “Hey, thanks for playing my boyfriend, but everyone thinks we’re two seconds away from buying a dog and adopting a baby together, so I don’t think the whole we hate each other and want to break up story is going to work anymore. How do you feel about going steady?”


“This is me,” Danny says.


Steve starts, and realizes he pulled up across the street from the Camaro on pure autopilot.


“Oh,” he says blankly. “Uh, here, I’ll walk you to the car.”


“What, all fifteen feet?” Danny huffs and waves him off. “Don’t worry about it, McGarrett. I’m sure my virtue will be safe.” Unbuckling his seat belt, Danny opens the door and hesitates, turning to look at Steve.


Steve’s heart, the traitorous bastard, stutters.


“This was, this evening, it’s been...” Danny twirls a finger in a circle, “traumatizing. Really traumatizing, and if you ever decide to see a therapist, I have the number to a good one.”


Despite his words, Danny is smiling at him, soft and teasing and unspeakably fond, and Steve can feel an answering grin split his face. He probably looks like an idiot, but he can’t find it in himself to care.


“It wasn’t all bad, right?” Steve asks.


Danny makes a seesaw motion with his hand. “There were some good parts. The food, for one. Many attractive women in bikinis, that was also nice-”


Steve cuts him off with a kiss, because he discovered that it’s the best way to shut him up. Noses bumping, lips sliding wetly over each other, the scrape of stubble, and Steve wishes he could stay there forever.


Danny is the first one to pull back. Leaning in, he presses a last chaste kiss to Steve’s cheek. “I’ll see you around.”


Steve watches him get into his car and drive away, before heading home.


When he undresses for bed, he finds the business card tucked into his shirt pocket, a phone number scrawled on the back. Below it, in barely intelligible handwriting, is, Before you start strategizing over the socially-acceptable amount of time to wait before calling, there is a Jets game on Thursday. Bring beer.


Smart and considerate. Hard to believe Steve just found him in the street.



On Sunday, Steve vacuums the house, cleans the downstairs windows, and scrubs his shower. Then, and only then, does he allow himself to pull up Danny’s file, from his time in Newark as well as Honolulu. And if Danny didn’t want him doing that, he should have remembered to put his address down as well as his phone number. Steve has to find it somehow, and accessing personnel files is the easiest way.


He conveniently forgets that he could have just called Danny and asked. Then he drives over to Danny's apartment to make sure he knows how to get there and cases the places a little, and it's sort of horrifying because Steve stayed in shacks in developing countries that were nicer.


Monday creeps by at an interminably slow pace. Steve keeps looking at the clock, hoping each time that he could make it go faster with the force of his mind.


“Hot date tonight, boss?” Kono teases.


“Thursday,” Steve says despondently.


Kono gives him a funny look and leaves. Half an hour later, Chin walks into his office with a box of coco puffs and a pint of ice cream.


“Would you like to talk about it?” Chin asks sympathetically, face perfectly straight except for the gleam in his eye.


“Get out,” Steve growls.


“If you want an expert, I can call my niece,” Chin offers. “She’s twelve-years-old, she’ll understand.”


“I killed people for a living,” Steve says. “I’m still very good at it. Why does no one remember that?


Chin laughs at him and leaves the ice cream.


Tuesday comes with a new case, and Steve throws himself into it with a fervor bordering on manic. There is no way he is canceling on Danny, even though as a cop, Danny would understand the rigors of the job and its unpredictable hours better than most. But Steve wants to see him, and if he has to hold a guy over an open window to speed things up, then it’s worth the angry phone call from the governor.


Thursday afternoon, Kono comes up to him as he finishes zip-tying the last of the human traffickers.


“Sam just called,” she says. “Danny’s been shot.”



Chin tackled him and pried the keys out of his hands, which is why Kono is driving him to the Queen’s Medical Center. Steve spend the entire ride digging his fingers into his legs so that he doesn’t try to take over the wheel, or roll down the window and shoot every idiot that gets in their way.


Sam gave them all the information he knew: Danny was talking to potential witnesses when someone took a shot at him. It was just a routine canvassing, he hadn’t been wearing Kevlar. Sam arrived just as they were loading him into an ambulance and he did not know how bad it was.


Steve knows the damage a bullet can do and the images flash across his mind: shredded muscles, bones shattered into slivers beyond repair, severed arteries spouting blood quicker than fingers than close them. That compact, mobile body, crippled and broken or lying utterly still, tanned skin and blue eyes bleached into pale gray. The six-pack sitting in his fridge, bought days in advance because Steve wanted to make sure he didn’t forget it.


Kono drops him off at the entrance and Steve storms into the emergency room like a gale force hurricane in a tac vest. He argues with the desk staff, snarling as they refuse to tell him anything, flashing his badge and crazy eyes in equal measure until someone finally, finally, directs him to a curtained-off bed.


Danny is hunched over in his shirt and boxers, poking disconsolately at the dressing on his right thigh. His hair is an unholy mess and there’s a scrape across one cheek, but he is otherwise unharmed.


“Fuck, Danny,” Steve groans, his hands almost shaking with relief.


Danny looks up and gapes. “What the hell? What are you doing here?”


“Nice to see you too, pumpkin.” Steve grabs a stool and puddles into it.


“No, seriously,” Danny asks dazedly, “how did you know? I don’t think they called my parents yet.”


“Kono’s nephew was one of the unis who responded to your call.” Steve reaches out, hand hovering over the bloody gauze. “What happened?”


“Some punk got a lucky shot.” Danny shrugs, like it’s no big deal that someone pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger.


“Did they catch him?” Steve tries to sound innocently interested, but it comes out more homicidal than he intended.


Danny scowls at him and flicks his ear. “Yeah, they did, he’s in custody and will be going to jail for a long time, so you can stop with the aneurysm face. Ah, ah!” He waves a finger when Steve opens his mouth to protest. “It’s just a graze. The nice lady already injected me with a local. A few minutes for it to kick in, a couple of stitches, and then I can go home and watch the Jets get their asses kicked.”


Steve sulks as he texts Kono an update.


But he cheers up when Danny lets him stay while the doctor sutures the five-inch long gash on his leg. Mostly because he gives Danny an imploring look until Danny rolls his eyes and tells the doctor, “No, it’s fine. He’ll probably rappel down from the ceiling if you kick him out.”


They give Danny a pair of scrub pants to wear, his slacks long cut up and consigned to the biohazard bin. There’s a prescription for antibiotics, too, which Steve plucks from the doctor’s hand. He smiles winningly when she raises a brow at him.


“I’ll take good care of him,” he says, smacking Danny’s fingers when he tries to snatch it from him.


“Right,” she says slowly. “Detective Williams, do you have any more questions?”


“No, I’m good, it’s all great, hooyah,” Danny mutters, pushing himself to his feet. He bats at Steve when Steve edges closer, ready to catch him if he stumbles. “No, thank you, I can walk by myself. I’ve been doing it for over thirty years.”


Kono is waiting for them outside, scrolling through her phone. She looks up with a smile and a, “Hey, brah! Glad you’re okay,” which quickly morphs into an open-mouthed stare and, "Holy shit, I thought Steve was kidding about the ties.”


“What?” Steve looks at Danny, and okay, all of his considerable focus was on Danny’s leg, so he could be excused for missing the thing around his neck.


“What’s that supposed to mean?” Danny asks, bristling.


“Nothing, your tie is fine,” Steve says soothingly. He gently ushers Danny toward the waiting Cruze.


Danny pokes his head around Steve to glare at Kono. “I’ll have you know, my daughter gave me this tie.”


“It looks good on you,” Kono says, all wide-eyed sincerity. Steve sees that expression often, usually accompanied by, “He walked into my roundhouse kick,” or, “I didn’t know you wanted him conscious. My bad.”


Danny gives her a suspicious look, but accepts the compliment at face value. As they settle him in the back seat, Kono tells Steve, “Chin drove your truck back to your place. We can finish everything up, if you want to take off early today.”


Steve sighs in relief. “Mahalo.” He has plans for the weekend, most of which involves stashing Danny in his house and never letting him leave.


“Where to?” Kono asks as she starts the car.


“Pharmacy,” Steve says at the same time Danny mutters, “HPD.”


Steve twists around in his seat and looks at Danny. Danny looks back.


And then Danny sighs and says, “Pharmacy, then HPD.”


“You’re heading back to work?” Steve asks, voice rising in outrage.


Kono pulls out of the hospital parking lot, doing a great impression of someone who can’t hear the conversation happening right next to her.


Danny makes a face at him. “No, of course not. I just need to grab my work laptop. There are forms to fill when you’re injured in the line of duty, and seeing as how I’m going to be sitting at home in my underwear for the next couple of days, I might as well get started on them.”


“Have your partner bring it over,” Steve says.


Danny scratches his jaw and mumbles something.


Steve squints at him. “Sorry, I didn’t catch that. You want to try again with actual words?”


Danny scowls and slumps down in his seat like a petulant teenager, glaring out the window and avoiding Steve’s eyes. “I said, I don’t have a partner. My last one dumped me a week ago, and since Meka’s still on disability leave, the captain can’t find anyone else willing to put up with me.” He smiles tightly. “I have a reputation for being hot-headed and difficult to work with.”


“Oh,” Steve says.


“I need to get my car, anyway,” Danny mutters.


“Okay.” Steve turns back to face the front. There is a tense, awkward silence, then Danny growls out, “Stop it.”


“Stop what? I’m not doing anything!” Steve protests.


“Do not, do not tell me you are not planning some kind of ninja op to take out HPD’s homicide division, because I will not believe you.” Danny pokes the back of Steve’s head. “I don’t need you fighting my battles for me, Steven. I grew up in Jersey, I’ve been five-foot-five since the eighth grade, I can take care of myself.”


“I think it’s sweet,” Kono pipes in.


Danny gives her a look of utter betrayal. “What is this? Are you enabling him? Have you been enabling him all this time, is this why Five-Oh showing up on the news with captions like ‘Death and Destruction in Waikiki’ and ‘Apocalypse Now, Really, It's Happening Right Now’?”


Steve leaves them like that, Kono laughing and Danny accusing her of all kinds of things, and runs into the pharmacy to fill Danny’s prescription. When he returns, they are in a spirited debate about surfing lessons.


“Fun, good exercise, perfectly safe, brah,” Kono says.


“Sharks, skin cancer, my daughter in a bikini, boys watching my daughter in a bikini,” Danny says.


Grace Williams, who Danny uprooted himself and traveled five-thousand miles to follow. Steve remembers Danny talking about her, almost cooing as he told Chin about how she was the top speller in her class, his face bright with love and so much pride that Steve’s heart hurt.


He wonders if it’s selfish of him, to want to steal a piece of that love and keep it for himself.


He gets out with Danny at HPD and gives Kono a few last-minute instructions before waving goodbye. When he turns around, Danny is standing there with arms crossed over his chest.


“And how, exactly, are you getting back to wherever you need to be?” Danny asks in the tones of someone who already knows the answer and wishes he didn’t.


Steve beams at him. “You can give me a ride.”


“I can give him a ride, he says.” Danny throws both hands in the air as he heads toward the entrance. “Too kind, no, really, I am overcome by the generosity of your spirit.”


Steve has eyes only for Danny, so he sees the exact moment when he loses the relaxed slouch he had in the car while bantering with Kono. The line of his back straightens, becomes guarded, braced for attack. He keeps his eyes straight ahead as he limps into the bullpen and toward a desk crammed in a corner.


Trailing behind, Steve scans the busy room and takes note of the way everyone glances at Danny. It might be from the incongruity of seeing a man wearing a tie and loafers with scrubs, but from the unfriendly cast to some of those looks, Steve doubts it. No one approaches Danny or offers a word as he stacks a couple of manila folders on top of a laptop and locks his desk.


Steve grabs everything before Danny can and tucks them under his arm. “Ready to go?”


Danny nods tersely and leads the way to the exit. They are nearly at the door when someone bellows, “Williams!”


Danny tenses, shoulders drawing up, before pivoting on his good leg. “Sir.”


The man walking towards them is older, more salt in his hair than pepper, and he is frowning like someone spat in his coffee. “Heard you were shot.”


“Yes, sir,” Danny says. He is standing straight at attention, eyes focused over the man’s left shoulder, hands perfectly still by his side.


The man sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. “Witness statements, Williams. I gave you that job to keep you out of trouble. How did you screw that up?” He shakes his head. “Never mind, I don't want to know. Take the week off. I don’t want to see you until Monday.”


“Yes, sir.”


Steve clears his throat. The man flicks his eyes at him, frown turning less severe, dropping into the range of general dislike of humanity. “Do you need something?”


“Nah, just I’m helping Danny with his things, Captain...?”


“Akau,” he replies tersely.


“Captain Akau. Fantastic.” Steve smiles at him and does not offer his hand. “I’ll be seeing you soon.”


“What was that?” Danny demands as soon as they are outside.


“What was what?” Steve asks innocently.


“What do you mean, what?” Danny asks, voice rising in volume. “Did you or did you not just threaten a captain of the HPD?”


“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Where’s your car?”


Danny says some unkind things about Steve and his ancestry, especially when Steve snatches his keys and jumps in the driver’s seat. Glaring fiercely, hands slashing the air like it’s the only thing preventing him from visiting violence upon Steve’s person - it’s the most normal Danny’s looked since they stepped foot in HPD, and Steve cheerfully provokes him to keep him going.


By the time Steve pulls into his driveway, though, Danny is quieter and withdrawn, head drooping with exhaustion.


“I should head home,” he mumbles as Steve helps him out of the car.


“I have beer,” Steve says.


Danny thinks about it for a moment, then trudges to the front door.


Steve settles Danny on the couch and goes to check the fridge. He has some chicken breasts, and there are enough vegetables for a salad. Nothing too fancy, but he has a feeling Danny isn’t going to be up for much more than that.


“Hey.” Danny pokes his head in, peering around the doorway.


“What’s up, babe?” Steve digs through a cabinet, pulling out his portable grill.


Danny shuffles in, rubbing the back of his neck. “Do you mind if I use your shower?”


“Yeah, ‘course, let me-wait, we need to cover your stitches.” Setting the grill on the counter, Steve steers Danny to the stairs. “Bathroom’s the second door on the left. Give me a few minutes and I’ll be right up.”


Danny is sitting on the toilet in just his boxers when Steve gets there, first aid kit in hand. Steve takes a moment, because as tight as Danny’s shirts were, they did a damn good job of concealing what was underneath. He is all heavy, compact muscle, broad shoulders tapering to a trim waist, and how he does not collapse of heatstroke, Steve has no idea, because he is hairier than the neighbor’s spaniel.


“Enjoying yourself, babe?”


Steve lifts his eyes from their perusal of some very nice pecs and sees Danny watching him, mouth softened into a small smile. The smartass retort dies in the back of Steve’s throat and he steps over, between Danny’s open legs. Cradling his jaw in both hands, Steve bends down and presses a kiss to his forehead, his nose, both cheeks, and then his mouth. Danny slants his head and parts his lips, and they kiss slowly, indulgently, breathing each other in.


Danny is glassy-eyed when they pull apart, and he gently knocks his forehead against Steve’s chest with a rueful huff. “I should really take that shower now. Unless you want our first time to be in a bathroom.” Steve opens his mouth and Danny smacks a hand over it. “The correct answer is no.”


Chuckling, Steve opens the first aid kit and kneels in front of Danny. The hospital already shaved the area around the wound, so Steve just has to apply the waterproof dressing and press it firmly in place, smoothing his hand around the edge to make sure it’s sealed tightly. And hey, it’s not Steve’s fault that it’s high up on Danny’s thigh, so if Steve’s hand keeps bumping into the growing bulge pressing against the fly of his boxers, then it is all purely coincidental.


“You are a menace,” Danny groans. “Seriously, you need to stop. I haven’t had sex with anyone since Rachel. That was two years ago, I am very sensitive right now, and I refuse to come in my underwear like a teenager.”


Which, challenge.


Danny yelps and swats him and calls him names while Steve, laughing, drags him up and presses up against his back. He wraps an arm around his chest and cups him through his boxers, and Danny swears loud and long, but his hips buck eagerly as Steve rubs the heel of his palm over his dick, hard and fast.


“I am going to kill you,” Danny pants.


“Whatever you say, pumpkin.” Steve squeezes him, tight enough to border on painful, and Danny comes with a guttural moan.


Steve supports his weight as he goes limp and rubs soothing circles on his belly. Pressing a kiss behind one ear, he says, “You weren’t kidding about the hair-trigger.”


“You know your parents probably had sex in this bathroom?” Danny shoots back.


Steve’s agonized, “Why would you say that?” was probably heard by the entire neighborhood. Danny’s howls of laughter chase him downstairs, and Steve focuses on making dinner and not thinking about anything, ever.


Danny comes down wearing a Navy shirt and an old pair of sweatpants, legs rolled up so many times that he looks like a little kid playing G.I. Joe. Normally, Steve would hate the thought of anyone going through his drawers, but the sigh of Danny wearing his clothes makes a primal part of his brain rumble in pleasure.


“Hey.” Steve pulls him into a kiss, sneaking one hand down the waistband to reconniter, and yeah, Danny is going commando underneath the sweatpants. He can’t help sliding his fingers over the cleft of Danny’s ass, feeling the muscles twitch and jerk as he lightly traces circles on the skin.


Danny squirms and whines in the back of his throat. “Steve, if you make me come in my pants again, I will punch you in the dick.”


Steve mouths the sensitive patch of skin behind his ear. “Didn’t earlier take the edge off?”


“No, earlier woke up my libido and reminded it that it has some catching up to do.” Danny gently pushes him back and smiles wryly down at the tent in the sweatpants. “Fuck, I haven’t had a refractory period this short since I was twenty.”


“I know how we can fix that,” Steve says with a filthy, filthy smirk.


Danny chuckles and presses a kiss to the underside of his jaw. “Food first. Then you can have your wicked way with me.”


Except the day finally catches up to Danny, because he barely finishes half his plate before he starts nodding off. Steve gives him his antibiotics, sends him upstairs with directions to a spare toothbrush, and cleans up the remnants of dinner. He’s a little disappointed that he won’t be able to explore that compact body, but it gives him time to submit a transfer request and getting started on the paperwork for the human trafficking case. And maybe he glances at the clock every few minutes, waiting for the moment it reaches a reasonable hour to go to bed, because Danny needs his rest and Steve might not be able to keep his hands off him if he goes up too early.


Danny is curled up on the right side of the bed, blankets pulled over his head until only a mop of messy blond hair is sticking out the top, when Steve makes it upstairs. He brushes his teeth as quietly as he can and uses the toilet, then strips down to his boxers. As the mattress dips below Steve’s weight, Danny makes a sleepy noise, rolls over, and slings an arm over his waist, all without waking. Burying his face in Steve’s shoulder, Danny heaves a contented sigh and goes still. A reflex left over from a decade of marriage, if Steve had to guess, something not even its acrimonious end could erase.


Steve knows the divorce was hell on Danny. He was matter-of-fact when he told Steve about it as they sat together in the private beach behind Ailani’s home, hidden from view. But Steve saw the raw hurt in his eyes, anger bleeding into self-recrimination and doubt; he knew Danny blamed himself for how it ended, no matter how much he complained about his ex-wife.


Steve hated it, how Danny looked so small and lost, so he started talking, about the car crash that killed his mother, his father sending him away and refusing to let him come home, and he honestly thought his dad could not stand the sight of him anymore, thought the grief broke the man so much that he did not want any reminder of his wife. Then came the Hess brothers, and the phone call, and coming back to Hawaii for the first time in eighteen years. And he is living his father’s house, and he knows everything was cleaned up, but sometimes he can still see the bloodstains on the wall. He blamed himself for the longest time, but now he knows there was nothing he could have done, Hess was a psycho, some things were just out of his control, and does Danny understand what he’s trying to say?


“Yeah, babe,” Danny said softly, and he leaned into Steve and listened while Steve pointed out the constellations.


Malia took a picture of them like that, Danny with his head propped on Steve’s shoulder, sighting down his extended arm at Na-hoku-pa. She had it framed and Steve keeps it on his desk because people are supposed to have pictures of their significant others in their work space.


And maybe he should be worried, because there’s moving fast, and then there’s what they are doing, the next step would be marriage, and Steve never had a relationship where both parties were in the same country for an extended period of time.


But he also found Danny right when he needed him, a cocky, mouthy, irritating bastard who strutted past Steve’s defenses and made himself at home in his heart, kicking up his feet and demanding a beer like he owned the damn thing. And Danny is fucked up too, but that’s okay, because it means he doesn’t run away screaming in the face of Steve’s general screwed up-ness; he shoves himself into Steve's space and stays, because that's the kind of man he is, because he knows what it's like to be alone in the dark with nothing but self-loathing and doubt keeping him company, and Steve does not want to remember a time when he didn’t have him.


A hand smacks into his face. "St'p thinkin'," Danny mumbles. "M'tryin' t'sleep."


Steve huffs a laugh and presses a kiss to the top of his head. "Sorry, babe. Just got a lot on my mind."


Danny grumbles under his breath and turns, pulling Steve with him until he is spooned up against Danny's back. He tugs on Steve's arm, pressing a kiss to the palm of his hand before wrapping it around his waist. "Sleep, Super SEAL. Beds are for happy things only, so save it for tomorrow."


Steve manages to stay quiet for all of ten seconds. "What kind of happy things?"


Danny groans. "I swear, I will murder you and an entire box of kittens right now. Go to sleep."


Grinning, Steve buries his face in Danny's hair and closes his eyes.



Steve gets up at five in the morning, with an accompanying chorus of, “Why?” and, “No really, why?” Grumbling, Danny burrows into the warm spot left by Steve’s body and falls back asleep before Steve is finished changing.


He usually goes for a run on Fridays, but Steve doesn’t want to stray too far just in case Danny needs him. It’s completely possible, Danny’s still injured and is in a strange house. Never mind that he’s a trained cop, is still pretty mobile, and would probably kick Steve’s ass if he could hear Steve’s thoughts right then.


Somewhere, somehow, Chin is probably laughing at him.


Steve swims for an hour and is nearly done cooking breakfast before Danny stumbles into the kitchen, latches on to Steve like a koala bear, and steals his coffee.


“Hey, babe,” Steve says, trying not to laugh, because Danny’s bed head is hilarious.


Danny mumbles something that might have been English and buries his face into Steve’s back, only resurfacing to take sips from the mug. It is intoxicatingly endearing and Steve doesn’t have the heart to make him go wait at the table, despite the difficulty of cooking with a cranky, ex-Jersey handicap.


He feeds Danny an omelet and another antibiotic pill, tells him where he can the fixings for a sandwich if he gets hungry later, and leaves before Danny fully wakes up and notices that Steve stole the keys to his car and apartment.


“You haven’t seen his place,” Steve says when Chin raises a brow at the Camaro in his designated parking spot. “It’s a hellhole. He can’t live there with a healing gunshot wound, he’ll get MRSA.”


“This is oddly cute, in a controlling, stalker-ish way.” Kono muses out loud.


“Whatever,” Steve says, and hides his copy of the transfer request.


He meets with the governor in the afternoon. It’s one of their monthly evaluations, where Denning asks pointed questions about some of their cases and requisitions, and Steve answers with his best I Have Been Trained to Withstand Torture, Just Try Me manners.


This time, though, instead of dismissing Steve after the veiled threats, Denning sits back in his chair and gives him a piercing look. “Now, let’s talk about Detective Sergeant Williams.”


Steve stiffens, not liking the ominous tone underlying his words. “Detective Williams is a decorated homicide detective, with extensive experience in narcotics and organized crime. I believe he will be a valuable asset to the task force.”


“He’s been with HPD for a year and he already has a list of reprimands longer than my arm,” Denning says dryly.


“And he has a longer list of commendations from his captain in Newark,” Steve retorts. “You know what it’s like for haoles here, sir. Most of those reprimands weren’t his fault, not entirely.”


“He drove across Oahu with a man tied to the hood of his car.”


“Kaleo? The man was a dirty cop, he deserved it.” At Denning’s unimpressed look, Steve clarifies. “Kaleo was selling information that compromised several investigations. When IA got involved, he tried to frame Detective Hanamoa and then kill him to cover his tracks. Detective Williams was the one who got Hanamoa to the hospital in time to save his life, and he was the one who found the evidence to convict Kaleo.”


Denning tilts his head. “And the car ride, that was just for kicks?”


Part of it was, but Steve does not mention that. “Kaleo was storing his money in Singapore, they still have strict confidentiality laws. Detective Williams was just trying to convince Kaleo to tell the bank to release his account information. Which he did.”


Meka had been Danny’s only friend on the island for a long time. For all his faults, Danny was fiercely loyal, and he did not take the murder attempt kindly.


Denning studies Steve for a long moment. “Do you see the quandary I’m in here, McGarrett?”




“About once a week, I get a complaint about you or your team, and I have to spend precious hours of my time soothing ruffled feathers and apologizing to people, important people, who contribute greatly to the island economy. And now you want me to allow a man, who is just as reckless and loose with the law with you, to join the task force and grant him special privileges?”


Steve blinks in confusion. “Danny’s not reckless.”


Denning opens a drawer and pulls out a photo. It has the grainy quality of something that was taken on a camera phone, and shows a silver Camaro speeding through a red light with a man strapped to the hood, mouth open in a silent scream. Steve’s seen it before. Danny has a copy of it in his email. He had it printed on high-quality photo paper and used it to make a get-well card for Meka. Which, again, Steve isn’t going to tell Denning.


“Those were extenuating circumstances. He’s normally very by-the-book,” Steve says earnestly. “He's always telling me I can’t do things without a warrant, or even with one. I think he’ll be a good influence on the team.”


Denning gives him a flat look.


Steve leans forward, and he’s starting to feel a little desperate because this is important, in ways that Steve still doesn’t understand. “Governor, I’m not saying Danny is perfect. He has a mouth on him, and issues with authority. But he’s one of the smartest men I know, and the most dedicated. If HPD isn’t willing to give him a chance, then he’s wasted there.”


“All right.”


Steve opens his mouth to argue, then stops. “What?”


A manila folder has been sitting on his desk since Steve arrived. Denning flips it open and starts signing the stack of papers inside. “I called HPD earlier, to ask them about Williams. A Captain Akau all but begged me to take Williams off his hands. Now, this might be just me, but I prefer not to have unhappy, armed law enforcement officials on my island. It tends to lead to bad situations.” With a final flourish, he closes the file and hands it to Steve. “Give this to my personal assistant on your way out and she’ll push it through. Detective Williams can start in Five-Oh as soon as he is medically fit.”


“Yes, sir,” Steve says. “And thank you.”


Denning grunts and waves him off. “I hope, for both your sakes, that he is as good of a an influence as you say.”


Steve grins all the way to the car and drives straight to HPD to pack up Danny’s desk. There are a couple of stares from the other detectives, and Steve gives them his nicest smile, the one that shows all of his teeth.


“Don't we have an anti-fraternization policy?” Chin asks, leaning in the doorway of what is going to be Danny’s office.


“Technically, I’m still in the Navy.” Steve adjusts his phone, squinting at the picture he took of Danny’s desk at HPD. He sets the autographed baseball on the left corner, next to the toy car. “We’ll keep things professional, don’t worry.”


“Right,” Chin says dubiously. “And Danny’s not worried that people might think he slept his way on to the task force?”


Steve freezes for a moment. “No,” he says, really unconvincingly.


“You didn't tell him, did you?” Chin asks, face a cross between horrified and amused.


“I haven’t had the time!”


“Time for what?” Kono walks over, bumping hips with her cousin. “What’s going on?”


“Well, the good news is, we’re getting a new teammate,” Chin tells her. “The bad news is, we'll be down to three again, and leaderless, once Danny finds out McGarrett transferred him without asking.”


“Oh, no, boss,” Kono says sadly. “Chin, did you tell him how open communication is the foundation of every good relationship?”


Chin gives her a mock stern look. “Don’t blame me, cuz, that was your job.”


“No, mine was to explain to him how it’s okay to ask for help sometimes. I made a PowerPoint and everything.”


Steve pointedly puts the phone where Danny can easily reach it from a sitting position. “If you two have so much free time, there’s still some paperwork left from the last two cases.”


“Shoots,” Kono tosses over her shoulder, already running for her office.


Chuckling, Chin turns to follow her, then pauses. ”Hey, Steve?”




“It’s good to see you smile. All teasing aside, we’re happy for you, brah.”


Steve flushes and looks at anywhere but the man in front of him. “Thanks, brother.”


Chin smiles gently at him. “Go home. Kono and I can take care of things here.”


Steve really did have the best team.



The house smells fantastic.


Steve pauses on the doorstep, hearing someone moving in the kitchen with the radio playing in the background. It’s been so long since he came back to something besides an empty house, and he feels a sharp twinge of longing for his childhood home, him and Mary racing to the beach after school and their mother laughing when they tracked sand in and slipping them cookies before dinner.


Danny is wearing a different shirt and a pair of cargo shorts that are ridiculously long on him. Humming along with the radio, he stirs something in a pot and removes chunks of bacon from a skillet to a paper towel, patting them dry. He tosses chopped onion into the skillet, and Steve can hear it sizzling.


“So, did you come with the creepy habit of staring at people, or did the Navy train it into you?” Danny asks casually.


Steve grins and walks over, wrapping his arms around Danny’s waist and peering over his head. “What are you making?”


“Carbonara. It’s my mother’s recipe, so it’s guaranteed to be delicious. Even if I did have to use bacon instead of guanciale.”


Steve smirks at the disgusted tone. “I didn’t know I had bacon.”


“You didn’t. I took your truck to the store.” Danny side-eyes him with a sardonic grin. “My car decided to drive off without me this morning.”


Giving him his best puppy-eyes, Steve smacks a kiss to his temple and nuzzles his hair. It’s still an epic mess, sticking straight up and every which way. “What’s in the oven?”


“Bread pudding.” Danny stirs the cooking onions, and adds a handful of minced garlic. “It doesn’t really go with the dinner, but hey, I got shot. That means I can make anything I want.”


Steve groans. “I’m going to have to run like ten miles tomorrow.”


Danny jabs an elbow into his ribs. “Who says you can have any? As far as I can tell, I’m the only wounded party in this household.”


Steve slips one hand under the shirt, scratching lightly at the fuzzy belly. “I’ll make it worth your while.”


“Off, off, you animal,” Danny grumbles, smacking Steve’s hand as it dips below the waistband of the shorts. “I’m working with bacon grease and a hot stove, burns are not sexy. Go make yourself useful and drain the pasta.”


Steve helps Danny finish cooking, stealing the occasional kiss and running his fingers over the nape of Danny’s neck, the small of his back. They eat on the couch, watching the recorded Jets game, and Danny yells at the players and the referees in turn. Afterwards, Danny curls into Steve’s side and sulks, glaring at the tv like it is responsible for the Jets losing, and Steve feels more content than he has in a long while, longer than he can remember. That doesn’t mean, however, that he won’t taunt Danny. Mercilessly and without compunction.


“You might want to support another team. You know, one that doesn’t suck so much,” Steve suggests smugly.


“Shut your mouth.”


“How many games have they won now? Oh, wait, that’s right. They haven’t won any.”


“You’re a terrible person and I hate you.”


“I’m just saying, the Redskins are doing well this year.”


Danny glares at him. “Mrs. Hoapili thinks I’m your boytoy, pal, so I’d lose the moral superiority.”


“What?” Steve blinks. “Wait, what?”


“Your neighbor? The eighty-year-old grandmother? How do you not know your own neighbor, I would’ve thought that you did recon and background checks on everyone within a two-mile radius.”


“I know who she is,” Steve says impatiently. “I was asking why she thinks that.”


“Oh, yeah.” Danny stretches, arching his back. “She saw me when I was coming back with groceries and we started chatting about her garden. Did you know her Kahili gingers win prizes?”


Steve gives him a flat glare. As usual, it bounces of Danny and he continues cheerfully, “Anyway, she noticed I was wearing your clothes and asked what I was doing at your house. I told her you took me off the streets and weren’t letting me go home until you were satisfied.” He shrugs. “It’s not my fault she jumped to conclusions.”


“I,” Steve states calmly, “am going to muzzle you.”


“Oh, kinky.” Danny leers at him. “Should have known you were the dominating type.”


Steve growls and lunges, Danny bolts for the stairs, and they mock-wrestle each other all the way up, shedding clothes and swapping kisses and exploring every patch of skin as it is revealed. They are both naked and flushed by the time they reach the bedroom. Mindful of Danny’s leg, Steve gently pushes him onto the bed, pins him down by his hips, and swallows his cock.


Danny lets out an embarrassingly high yelp, startling Steve into a fit of snickers, and he has to pull off before he chokes.


“Yeah, yeah, I’m hilarious,” Danny grumbles. He threads his fingers through Steve’s hair and tugs softly. “Get your mouth back on me.”


Steve obliges, because he’s a good host and because Danny tastes and smells so damn good. His hands roam everywhere, tweaking nipples and ruffling the hair on his chest, and down, rubbing the crease of his groin and cupping his heavy balls. Then further back, lightly tracing past the perineum and up the cleft of his ass, and at the first touch on his entrance, Danny jolts like he’s just been shocked.


“Huh,” he says.


Steve watches his face carefully, lightly rubbing over the furled skin. Danny squirms and widens his legs, and when Steve presses the very tip of his finger in, Danny exhales with a soft, “Oh.”


He doesn’t last long much after that.


Steve’s still wiping his mouth when Danny hauls him up and flips him on his back. They kiss, messy and wet, then Danny slides down the bed and wraps one hand around his dick. Steve clenches his hands in the sheets, because he has been hard since forever, balls practically throbbing with pent up need, and at the first cautious lick, his head damn near explodes.


It’s obvious Danny hasn’t given many blowjobs before, if ever. But his mouth is hot and slick and eager, and he keeps making these little grunts in the back of his throat, like he is fucking hot for Steve’s dick. Steve isn’t going to last at all, and when he feels his balls drawing up, he nudges Danny and tries to pull him off. But Danny, stubborn amazing Danny, withdraws until only the head is in his mouth, sucks hard, and Steve is gone.


Through the ringing in his ears, he hears Danny say, “You’re sweet. Why are you sweet?”


It takes Steve a couple of breaths to get enough air into his lungs. “Pineapples, babe.”


Danny makes a face, because he is a ridiculous man with an unnatural dislike of bromeliads, and Steve has to kiss him.



On Monday, Steve comes back from his run to see Danny sitting at the kitchen table, awake and fully-dressed.


“Hey,” Danny says. “Not that I don’t enjoy being your kept man and all, and believe me, if I could leave a rave review on Yelp, I would. But if I want to keep making my alimony payments and feed myself, I need to get back to work.”


“Oh,” Steve says. “Right.”


He drives Danny to his apartment with the justification that Danny shouldn’t put undue stress on his leg. Danny eyes him but doesn’t comment and they bicker peacefully over radio stations. Steve waits in the car while Danny changes and tames his hair, because if he sees Danny with his clothes off, he won’t be able to help himself and they will be more than a little late.


Steve pulls into ‘Iolani Palace and they both get out, looking at each other over the roof of the Camaro.


“So.” Danny rubs the back of his neck. “I’ll call you. Or you can call me, you probably have crazier hours than me.”


Steve can’t seem to get throat to work, so he just nods.


Danny holds out his hands, making gimme motions. “Keys, Steven. I know you’re in love with my car, but I need it just a little bit more than you.”


Steve is struggling to find the words to say, “You actually work for me now, good times,” when Kono arrives like a knight in military-grade body armor.


“Hey, you’re just in time,” she greets cheerfully, holding up a four-pack of coffee. She tells Danny, “I didn’t know how you took your coffee, but we have cream and sugar inside if you need it.”


“Thank you, that’s really sweet, but I really need to-” Danny pauses and stares at the cups. “Is that Kona?”


“Freshly brewed, brah. C’mon.”


Danny trails after Kono like he’s hypnotized, and Steve would be jealous if he wasn’t so grateful. Chin is already inside, staring intently at something on the tech table, but he looks up with a smile as they troop in.


“Hey, guys. Thanks,” he tells Kono as she hands him a cup.


Danny dumps four packets of sugar and two creams into his, and at the first sip, he closes his eyes in bliss and makes some serious pornographic noises. Steve’s dick twitches in interest, and he casually steps closer to the table, letting it hide his groin from view.


“You sure you’re up for active duty?” Kono asks.


“Light duty, yeah,” Danny says. “I’m stuck behind a desk until my doctor says otherwise.”


“You should get started on the personnel forms, if you want your first paycheck before next year,” Chin suggests. “HR hates us. They’ll make you redo everything twice before they accept them.”


Danny stares at him confusion. “What?”


As one, Chin and Kono turn to look at Steve.


“It didn’t come up,” Steve says. It’s a weak defense, and from the looks on their faces, they know it too.


“What didn’t come up?” Danny asks suspiciously.


“Weren’t you guys together the whole weekend?” Kono asks.


“Well, yeah, but we didn’t talk much.” Steve snaps his mouth shut, realizing just exactly what that sounded like. Which, actually, okay, they did spend the entire weekend having sex, with the occasional break for food and naps, but no one else needed to know that.


“Wow,” Kono says.


"No. Fuck no,” Danny says, clutching his coffee to his chest. “I’m Five-Oh now, aren’t I? I’ve been press-ganged, because you’re Navy and that’s what the Navy does, and now you’re going to make me play master and commander with you every day.”


“Wait, really?” Kono asks.


“No not really!” Steve yelps.


“Bro, oversharing,” Chin says with a pained grimace.


“This is why Ma always told me not to follow strange men home,” Danny tells his coffee sadly.


Steve growls and grabs Danny, marching him to his new office. “Look.” He waves expansively at the polished wood and glass interior, everything shiny and untouched. “This is your space, just yours, you don’t have to share it with twenty guys who hate you. You’re going to have a better salary, better equipment, everything, and if you don’t like something, we’ll fix it.” Steve turns to him, voice low with fierce determination. “We like you, Danny, and we’re always going to have your back, so don’t tell me that you’d rather be at HPD.”


Danny gazes up at him with steady blue eyes. “You sure, babe?” he asks, and there is so much loaded in that question.


“Yes,” Steve answers without hesitation, because Danny is smart and stubborn and drives him up the fucking wall, and Steve has never felt more sure in his life.


Danny tastes like coffee and sugar, and somewhere behind him, Steve can hear Kono whistling and Chin saying something about the honeymoon period.


“Stay,” Steve says.


Danny smiles and says, “Always, babe,” and Steve knows it to be true.