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Fic: Who says you can’t go home? - [Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams]

Title: ‘Who says you can’t go home?’ - [4/5]
Author: jen_jm
Pairing: Steve McGarrett/Danny Williams
Rating: mostly R, but it gets NC-17 later on
Warnings: slash, presence of OCs. They also work a case, sort of.
Words: about 30,000
Spoilers: none
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, unfortunately. Title borrowed from Bon Jovi.
Notes: I’d like to point out that I do not share Danny’s view of Hawaii, I think it’s a gorgeous place. Also, I love pineapples.
Summary: Danny is having a hard time finding a new living arrangement and things get even more complicated when he has to deal with a new roommate, a high-profile case and a car accident that endangers someone he cares about. Also, pineapples occur.

Crossposted

[Chapter 1] -- [Chapter 2] -- [Chapter 3]

~~

4. The one where Danny doesn’t see it coming (but should have)

As it turns out, there is a reason for which Danny has to sit this one out and let the team handle it; he’s technically still off duty and he’s got only about an hour before Grace comes out of school. He spends it buying some groceries and the necessary to cook them meals for at least one more day. Rachel hasn’t asked him to keep Grace with him for that extra day or two, but he assumes that’s how it’s going to go; it doesn’t make sense to hire a stranger to look after her when he can do it.

In the middle of his shopping he calls her, just to be sure, and he’s surprised to hear the relief that fills her voice; maybe the concussion has made some damage, after all.

They won’t be releasing me until the day after tomorrow,” Rachel tells him and she does not sound happy about that. “Stan will be away two more days. He says thank you.

“Yeah, well, tell him to shove it,” Danny mutters into the phone and that earns him a stern look from the old man standing next to him at the cereals shelf.

Danny!

“What?” Danny isn’t proud of the judgmental tone he uses, but he can’t help it. “What is there in Europe that could be more important than his family, uh?”

I know it’s hard to understand, but--” Rachel whispers, but he doesn’t give her time to continue.

“You’re right, it’s hard,” Danny agrees, furious. “If I’d done something like that, you would have ripped me a new one.”

It’s not like you ever put us before your job!” Rachel sounds a little bitter and Danny feels the sting of her words right in his heart.

“I was catching killers, Rachel, not drinking French wine with some European businessman in the hope of screwing him over for money,” Danny retorts and lower his voice, since the last thing he wants is to make a scene in the middle of the store. “And believe me, I would have come running. Oh, wait, I did.” That’s a low blow, he knows it, but he’s too infuriated to even think about what’s coming out of his mouth. “For fuck’s sake, even Steve came running.”

What d’you want me to say, Danny?” Rachel’s voice sounds so broken and so small the anger immediately flies out of him and he feels a jerk of hugeass proportions. “That I made a mistake? I’m not gonna say it, I love him, that’s not a mistake.

“Look, I’m sorry okay?” Danny takes a deep breath and closes his eyes for a second. “Just try to get some rest and I’ll see you later after I pick up Gracie from school.”

Fine,” Rachel huffs out and hangs up a moment later.

Danny feels like the conversation is far from over, but it’s not the time or place to continue it and he’s painfully aware that he should have kept his mouth shut, it’s not something to discuss over the phone. Maybe it’s not even something to discuss, period. After all, Rachel is pregnant with Stan’s baby and he’s not sure breaking up another family would be such a great move. Still, he will punch Stan in the face as soon as he sees him, and no one’s going to stop him. As for now, he picks up a pack of Rachel’s favorite cookies as a peace offering to bring with him later.

He checks his list for remaining items and the last one makes him snort: more dog food. It’s crazy how much Newfies eat, and apparently the dog is going to stay with them all week. Grace is crazy about it, needless to say, but he’s starting to think that having a giant dog who thinks the couch is her exclusive property is not all that great; especially since Grace has Danny’s room and he’s sleeping on said couch with the fear that the dog will sit on him in the middle of the night and suffocate him.

Once he’s finally out of the store he barely has the time to go back to the apartment to drop off the bags, then he has to rush to Grace’s school: his improvised chat-slash-drama with Rachel has made him run late. Olivia is there, nose buried in a huge anatomy book, but she offers to put away the groceries, for which he’s truly grateful. As far as acquaintances go, Grace is not too enthusiastic about Olivia; she’s polite and smiles, but she doesn’t exactly like her and Danny will be damned if he has any idea why.

He doesn’t have much time to think about that as he rushes down the stairs and into his car once again, checking his clock. He has Rachel’s cookies with him and a small treat for his daughter too, because he’s nothing but a fair man. The entire process has a housewife-ish vibe to it that he’s not exactly fond of, but he can’t deny it’s a nice change to have a bigger responsibility in Grace’s life once again.

The moment his daughter sees him and smiles, he tells himself that no, he really doesn’t care how housewife-ish it gets, she’ll always be worth it.

“Danno!”

“Hey, Monkey, how did it go today?” Danny hugs her for a moment, then leads her to the car.

“I got an A in my math test,” she informs and waves the paper she has in her hands as she climbs in the back seat. “Are we going to see mom?”

“Right away,” Danny confirms and hands her the sweets he bought her. “I knew you’d ace that test, so I was a step ahead.”

Grace beams at him and he mirrors the smile in the rear view mirror, then starts the car and turns on the radio. There’s a Bon Jovi song playing and he laughs out loud, but luckily his daughter doesn’t ask him why.

The moment they enter the hospital room, though, he can feel that Rachel is still mad for their conversation. Oddly enough, he makes the wise choice of keeping his mouth shut and just hands her the cookies he’s bought her. It seems to be enough of a peace offering, because Rachel huffs out a chuckle and her stern gaze softens.Thank God for pregnancy cravings, Danny thinks to himself.

~

Danny doesn’t hear from the team until that evening. He’s drying the last dish - it’s his week for dishwashing - when his phone rings; he grabs it and flips it open without even checking the caller ID.

Hey, brah, how’s retirement going?” Chin jokes with a clear smile in his voice.

“Ha, funny,” Danny mutters, trying to hide his disappointment when he realizes how badly he’s been waiting for Steve to call him. Oh man, even a screwdriver would be ashamed of how screwed he is. And not in the interesting way, unfortunately.

Sounds like you’re having a blast,” Chin points out and he sounds mildly worried; and really, Danny feels like a jerk, because he’s glad to hear from his friend, he is, so he might as well stop sulking.

“Washing the dishes,” Danny offers as an explanation of his tone, and as lame as it is, Chin seems to find it reasonable and laughs. “Did you call to mock me?”

Mostly,” Chin confirms, but his voice turns to business a moment later. “And because the Big Boss asked me to update you.

“And the Big Boss couldn’t do it himself?”

He’s on a date,” Chin says casually, and Danny almost doesn’t hear what comes next. “Harris is nowhere to be found, we’ve got an APB out.”

On a date with whom? Danny wants to ask to satisfy the burning itch that settles in his stomach. Instead he says, “What about those prints?”

His were on both McCallister’s yachts, but not on the crime scene boat; we’re still looking for other matches,” Chin answers matter-of-factly. “Keeping an open mind.

“Good, thanks for keeping me in the loop.” Danny glances at his daughter, who’s watching TV with Olivia, and takes a deep breath.

Aren’t you gonna ask?

Chin’s question is so sudden that he’s not even sure what he’s talking about. When he realizes it’s probably about Steve’s date, he panics. “About what?”

About the boyfriend,” Chin says like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

“Steve has a boyfriend?” Danny can see both Grace and Olivia turn to look at him with surprised expressions and clears his throat, realizing that maybe he spoke a little too loudly. Just a tad little bit.

Chin hesitates on the other end of the line for maybe ten seconds, then says, “I was talking about Victoria McCallister’s boyfriend.

“Of course you were,” Danny mumbles and slaps himself on the back of the head. “What about him?”

We might have a lead.” Chin still sounds mildly hesitant and a little amused and Danny does his best to ignore him. “A neighbor might have seen him.

“We gotta be careful with this guy, if he hasn’t come forward there might be something shady about him too.”

Could be,” Chin agrees, and his words are followed by a rustling sound of paper. “Or maybe he’s waiting to see where this goes. Victoria’s best friend said she doesn’t know who it is, but got the distinct idea this guy is big deal.

“Keep me updated, I won’t be in tomorrow.”

Danny is perfectly aware that it’s completely useless to remind him, but he’s just trying to make sure Chin forgets about his inappropriate question about Steve. Chin obviously doesn’t.

Sure thing, brah,” Chin answers promptly, then after a few seconds adds, “So, that would be interesting to see, uh? Steve’s boyfriend, I mean.

“Yeah, well, he doesn’t seem like the type,” Danny disagrees and feels his stomach twist at the truth in his words.

Appearances can kill,” Chin warns him and Danny can tell his colleague is smiling.

“That’s an interesting way to put it,” he agrees, laughing, and feels relieved that it’s Chin he’s talking to; the guy would never embarrass him publicly by telling Steve about it. He wouldn’t, would he?

I’ll let you go back to your retirement hobbies,” Chin says after a brief pause; he’s reported all he had to, and even got a bit of fun on the side, so his task is done. “Say hi to Grace and Olivia.

“Will do, bye.”

Danny looks at the cordless phone for several seconds after he hangs up, conflicted down to the bone. He really, really wants to play it dumb, call Steve to invite him over for a movie and see what response he gets. On the other hand, he’s painfully conscious that’s a) childish, and b) potentially disastrous, because his mood, ego and generally his entire self really don’t need to be turned down on said invitation by Steve, who - keep it in mind, Williams - is planning on having sex with someone that’s not him, tonight.

He’s tempted to call him just to ruin that plan, but then remembers point a) and desists with a mental self-slap. At last, he makes up his mind and walks to the couch, where he takes a seat next to his daughter. He puts the phone on the coffee table and turns to look at the TV screen.

Apparently, though, his luck is running thin tonight.

“Uncle Steve has a boyfriend?” Grace asks so abruptly that Danny stares at her for about twenty seconds before he actually realizes he’s supposed to answer.

“I don’t think so, Monkey,” Danny reassures her with what must be the most unnatural of smiles. “No sane man would put up with him.”

“You do,” Graces states candidly, but at least she doesn’t sound upset.

“She’s quite right about that,” Olivia agrees with a huge grin, which earns her a glare from her roommate.

“Yeah, well, I don’t have much choice,” Danny offers in a tone that he knows is way too defensive. “I work with the guy.”

“But you like spending time with him off work,” Olivia points out and Grace nods readily, and really, is this what they are going to bond over?

“He’s my best friend.” Danny shrugs and grabs the beer he positioned on the coffee table earlier, before washing the dishes. It’s slightly warmer, but still drinkable, so he takes a long sip. Amy glances at him for a brief moment, than decides he’s not all that interesting and goes back to sleep with a soft groan.

“So you’re saying you’re not a sane man,” Olivia reasons, and she sounds way too entertained for Danny’s liking.

I lost my sanity when I moved to this pineapple-infested trap, he wants to say, but he’s considerate enough to think that it might feel Grace guilty, since she’s the main reason he’s there. “There’s no way I can win this, is there?”

“Nope,” Grace chirps cheerfully and laughs along with Olivia.

He bends to place a kiss on the top of his daughter’s head and wonders how obvious he is to the people around him. An irrational fit of panic makes his throat close, but he tries to relax and looks at the television. When he manages to, he realizes how late it actually is.

“C’mon, Monkey, it’s time for bed, go get ready.” Danny pats her on the back to encourage her to stand.

“Can we call mom?” Grace asks as she walks towards the bathroom.

“When you’re in your bed, all set up,” Danny concedes and retrieves the phone from the coffee table.

Twenty minutes later, Grace is in bed and asleep, Rachel probably is too, a few miles away. He goes back to the couch only to find Olivia is watching a documentary about baby seals, and he really feels like calling McGarrett just to tell him to fuck off. Seriously, the guy manages to mess up his life even sideways, sometimes.

“Wanna talk about it?” Olivia is tentative, like she’s not even sure she should offer, since they have known each other for only about a month. Danny appreciates that she does ask, though. “You know I won’t judge you,” she adds with a brief chuckle. “Obviously.”

“Thanks, but no,” Danny answers and shoots her a grateful smile. “I’ll get over it. Eventually.”

“You know where I live, if you change your mind,” Olivia just says, and Danny thanks Heaven that he’s got himself a discreet roommate and not a nosy gossip-addicted ass kisser.

The realization that he basically just came out for the first time to someone outside his imagination makes his blood freeze just a tiny little bit. But it’s enough to shut him up for the most part of the next hour, and that’s definitelysomething.

~~

The following day he drags himself off the couch after Amy wakes him up by licking his face and he can already tell it’s not going to be a good day. He has confirmation when he steps out to take the dog for a walk - he still has fifteen minutes before he needs to wake Grace up and prepare breakfast - and the first thing he sees is a big, dark cloud hanging right above Honolulu. He manages to get back in the house before it starts raining, but that doesn’t really cheer him up.

Olivia is already out, so he cooks breakfast for Grace and himself, and he can tell his daughter is just as happy as he is about the rain. After he drives her to school, he settles for going straight to the office; he’s taken another day off, so he can’t go chase suspects or interrogate them, but he might take advantage of those empty hours to get some of the overdue paperwork out of the way. When he walks in the office, though he’s surprised to only find Kono there.

“Hey, where’s everyone?”

“Chin went to see Victoria’s neighbor with a sketch artist, Lori and Steve are following a lead on Harris,” Kono explains with a smile, then look back down at the computer table. “I’m taking another look at the surveillance videos, maybe we can get a clearer image of this guy from another camera.”

“On his way to the docks, maybe,” Danny agrees. “Found anything, yet?”

“Kind of,” Kono says and taps on one of the clips she’s saved. “Look at this, three minutes after Victoria and the hypothetical killer get there, someone else shows up.”

Danny looks at the video and though the quality is pretty bad, he can clearly tell the second guy is trying to stay hidden; not from the camera, but from the other two. “Maybe this guy’s the killer.”

“Well, I hope so,” Kono replies and taps on the computer again. “Because we know who he is.”

Danny looks at one of the screens and a picture appears. It’s a screen caption of the second guy and the face is clearly visible even in the dim light of the dock. “Robert Harris? What was he doing at the docks?”

“It would explain why he’s on the run,” Kono muses, head tilted to the side. “She met a good guy, she wanted out. Harris followed them and killed her out of jealousy.”

“And the boyfriend is either dead or saw it happen and he’s too scared to come forward,” Danny agrees with a thoughtful nod.

“Not likely,” Chin objects as he strolls in, holding a sketch in his hand. “The boyfriend is very much alive.”

“Who is he?”

Chin holds up the sketch in front of them and smirk. “Looks familiar?”

“That’s Jason Miles,” Kono immediately says, and Danny has to admit she sounds a little excited. “He’s in that new action movie coming out next week. How could the neighbor not recognize him?”

“She’s eighty, and not too fond of action movies, I believe,” Chin informs, and rests the sketch down on the table. “Checking his alibi will be fairly easy.”

“I think he was at a premiere here in Honolulu, there’s tons of pictures online,” Kono offers, and it earns her a knowing grin from Chin and a skeptical one from Danny. “I’ll check, though, just to be sure.”

“I had no idea you were a fan of action movies,” Danny comments, much to Chin’s silent amusement.

“A girl has got to have a guilty pleasure,” is all Kono gives as an explanation, and her smile says it’s all she’s going to tell him.

“So, if Kono’s right, we have a third man in the picture, now?” Danny bites on his lower lip and stares at the caption from the video, the one with Victoria and the stranger. “Who got on the boat with her?”

“Maybe we have someone who can answer that,” Lori calls from the door behind him.

“Seriously, what’s with you guys and theatrical entrances today?” Danny turns around to look at Lori and Steve, who are leading Robert Harris in by gently - yes, he feels sarcastic today, okay? It’s the rain - dragging him along.

“We’re taking the show to Broadway,” Lori jokes and steers for the interrogation room, taking Harris with her. Steve hangs back and joins them at the computer-table.

“Then it’s a good thing our other suspect is an actor,” Chin responds when Lori is out of earshot. It wouldn’t be wise to tell Harris they have another suspect.

“No shit,” Steve deadpans as he takes a look at Jason Miles’ sketch. “Kono, Chin, go talk to him and see what he has to say about the whole story.”

“Sure,” Kono immediately replies, and the way she trots to the door makes Danny feel warmer with affection; he sometimes forgets that Kono is still the youngest in the team and that’s she a lively, healthy girl, other than a good cop.

“She looks pleased,” Steve points out with a chuckle, then focuses on the file open on the table. “I’ll go question Harris.”

“And I’ll patiently wait out here,” Danny asserts, more to himself than to him, since his partner is already halfway across the room. Sometimes, having days off sucks.

He checks his watch, just to be reminded that yes, it’s still a few hours before he has to go pick up Grace for their last afternoon together. He tries not to think about it that way, because the world isn’t ending, and he bets Rachel will be more understanding from now on, when it comes to time he’s eager to spend with his daughter.

For a moment he wishes their interrogation room had an observation room right next to it, like they used to have at HPD, so he could have a closer look while Lori and Steve question Harris. Instead, he accesses the video surveillance from the computer table and focuses on the scene.

I am not talking to you,” Harris declares in his thick Australian accent. “I haven’t done anything wrong.

Really?” Lori inquires with a cocked eyebrow. “Then you won’t mind explaining why you were at the docks at the exact same time as the victim.

Look, I cared about Vic.” Harris looks at Lori first, than at Steve, who’s leaning against the wall, arms crossed and apparently busy with looking mildly threatening. “I thought she was in trouble and I followed her.

Why would you think that?

That new boyfriend of hers,” Harris mutters and shakes his head, clearly angered. “He was no good news. Guys like him don’t stick with gals like Vic.

So you decided to avoid her the heartache and just kill her,” Steve muses with a provocative tone.

How could you-- I would have never hurt her!

Yet, you didn’t seem to have a problem when it came to selling her potentially lethal drugs,” Lori points out, taking a slow, measured step in his direction.

She didn’t do drugs,” Harris whispers, and Danny almost doesn’t hear him. “She was the-- she was the only clean thing in my life. She--” he pauses for a second and Danny realizes the guy is crying. “I loved her.

Is that why you made it look like suicide? So you can convince yourself it wasn’t your doing?

I did not kill her!” Harris tries to stand from the chair, but the handcuffs stop him. “But I saw who did. And when I get my hands on him, he’ll wish he was never born.

Danny watches as Steve pushes off the wall and changes tactic. “If she was as clean as you say, why the fake ID?

Her father couldn’t know we were friends,” Harris answers in an irritated way, like they should have known that. “She was such a sweet girl. She even tried to get me to quit.

Then help us catch who killed her,” Lori says, ready to jump the emotional opening he gave. “Tell us what you saw.

Danny holds his breath for a moment and fears the boy will close down once again, but after a quick look at Steve, and a longer one in Lori’s eyes, he begins speaking.

~

“Anything good?” Chin asks when he and Kono come back right after lunch.

“You could say that,” Steve confirms and points at the still active video surveillance. “Harris’ description fits the man in the tape,” he continues with a shallow sigh. “He says he followed Victoria and saw her get on the boat with our mystery guy, but then, when she understood she was in danger, she tried to shoot him.”

“She missed,” Kono says, matter-of-factly.

“Exactly,” Steve confirms with a nod. “Then she tried to escape, but stumbled and lost a hold of her gun,” he adds and takes a brief look at the live feed on the screen. “Harris says that before he could do anything, the guy grabbed the gun and shot her in the head.”

“Can we believe him?” Chin looks a little skeptical and Danny can’t blame him. After all it’s a drug dealer they’re talking about.

“I checked the rest of the surveillance, he left ten minutes after he arrived,” Lori informs and pulls a short video on screen. “And he left running like hell was chasing him.”

“What about the other man?”

“Nothing,” Lori denies, shaking her head in a rueful way. “He probably took the boat out to sea where it was found, and arranged everything to make us think it was suicide.”

“How did he get back?” Danny suddenly asks, clearly confused. “You can’t exactly walk home from there.”

Steve looks thoughtful for several seconds after his remark and scratches his forehead briefly. “Coast Guard has been monitoring boat activity with a special attention to night movement, to fight illegal smuggling,” he reasons after a few more silent moments. “Someone must have picked our man up by boat. We could ask them to check who else was in that area.”

“Why didn’t police do this before?” Kono asks, resting her hip against the table.

“They thought it was suicide,” Danny offers with an arched eyebrow. “Didn’t seem necessary.”

“Well, it is now,” Lori declares and clasps her hands together. “I’ll make the call.”

Steve agrees with a nod and she goes off to her office without another word. “What did you find out from the boyfriend?”

“We got two questions barely answered before his agent stonewalled us,” Kono replies and she sounds positively disappointed. “We need something stronger to get a real sit down.”

“Let’s do what we can, for now,” Steve declares and gestures briefly at the screen. “Get another sketch artist and see if Harris can come up with a face for the guy at the docks, it’d be a good place to start.”

“This case is starting to look like a drawing contest,” Danny complains with a grimace. “If I see another sketch, I’ll be sick.”

Chin laughs and goes off to his office to presumably take care of some paperwork, and Danny finds himself alone with Steve in the big main room of the office. There’s no indication that Chin told Steve about his unfortunate slip over the phone, so he relaxes, even though he only now realizes he’s been subconsciously worried about it.

“So, Rachel’s gonna be out tomorrow?” Steve asks with a mildly concerned tone. Danny appreciates the thought, but doesn’t say it out loud; he’s being girly enough around Steve, lately.

“Yeah, in the morning,” Danny confirms and scratches his arm absent-mindedly. “I’ll probably need to give her a ride home, but I’ll be in for work.”

“It’s not like you’ve spent the past three days sunbathing and surfing,” Steve remarks with a grin that’s way too entertained for Danny’s liking.

“Yeah, because I’m very likely to that with my spare time,” Danny retorts with a eye-roll that earns him a brief laugh. “About that, since Olivia is out with Kay tonight, me and Grace are having a pizza and movie night. Wanna join us?”

Steve seems surprised by the invitation, but in a good way, and Danny feels himself smile, somewhat relieved. “Sure, if nothing comes up on the case, I guess I’m all yours.”

I wish. Danny is thankful that he’s not drinking anything, because he would have probably chocked on it. Why does he have to react like a fourteen years-old girl to a perfectly innocent phrase that has nothing to do with undying love? He’s sure his daughter will be more dignified with her first crush. Not that he’ll ever let a boy step close enough to her to actually date her, at least until she’s thirty-four; but still, he’s made his point.

“Good then,” Danny declares, then clears his throat and adds, “I’ll see you tonight. Now I’ve got some surfing to do before I go get Grace in school.”

Steve laughs, but doesn’t say anything as Danny walks out, smile firmly on his face.

~~

“Uncle Steve is coming?” Grace beams as she puts her homework away. They’ve spent the previous two hours taking care of all her weekend homework, so Grace would be able to spend some time with her mother the next day. Also, Danny doesn’t believe in doing homework on a Sunday, so they got to work right after coming home from their daily visit to Rachel.

If he doesn’t have to work late,” Danny confirms, stretching the first word. He doesn’t want to get her hopes up, he knows how work can ruin an evening at the last minute. “Now go get a shower and prepare your things for tomorrow.”

Grace mumbles something unhappily and walks to her room with a frown on her face, and Danny really hopes Steve makes it.

“She likes him a lot, doesn’t she?” Olivia asks with a warm smile. She’s standing in front of the mirror next to the door, and attempting to put on her earrings.

“She’s crazy about him,” Danny confirms and walks up to her when she starts fumbling with a necklace. He gestures her to let him help, and she does. “Sometimes I’m afraid that someday she’ll like him more than she likes me.”

“Not gonna happen,” Olivia denies forcibly, and meets his gaze in the mirror, just as he snaps the necklace closed. “She worships the ground you walk on, Jersey.”

“It’s good to hear that,” Danny admits with a little grin and lets his arms fall down against his sides. He can hear the shower running in the bathroom, which means his daughter is out of earshot and they can talk with relative freedom. “And let’s face it, I might not be the best dad in the world, but I’m definitely more mentally equipped than Steve to be a father. The guy can be a psycho, sometimes.”

Olivia laughs quietly and turns around to face him; she self-consciously checks both her earrings again, then eventually looks up to meet his gaze once again and this time there’s a trace of sadness in her look that he doesn’t quite understand right away. “If my father had been half the man you are, Danny, I would have had a much happier childhood.”

“You turned out pretty well, though,” Danny offers with what he knows must be a tentative smile. They haven’t talked much about their past, but Danny knows Olivia’s father is long dead and her mother still lives in Washington DC. Somehow, he’s surprised she even mentioned him.

“You’re not too bad either, Jersey,” Olivia admits and her eyes brighten up a little. She shakes herself after a couple of seconds and heads for the door, grabbing her keys. “That is, for a cow murderer.”

Danny doesn’t fight the brief laughter that works its way up his chest, and gestures her to get out. “Have fun, be wild.”

“I fully intend to.” And with that, she’s out of the door.

The next half an hour goes by pretty quickly, Grace gets her things ready, since the next day she would go back to her own home with her mother, and Danny sets the table, trying not to think about that exact topic. He loves having Grace around and he knows he shouldn’t hope they keep Rachel one more day in observation, but deep down he can’t deny that he does hope that. It doesn’t make him a terrible person, but not a great one either.

“What’s wrong?” Grace joins him in the living room and sits on the couch, while he finishes putting the glasses on the table.

“Nothing!” Danny says in a way too defensive tone. “Why would anything be wrong?”

“You look worried,” Grace points out, and gets that this time she’s not going to let it go.

Luckily for him, there’s a knock on the door right after Grace says that, and he addresses her what he hopes is a reassuring smile, then quickly goes to open. He doesn’t feel like it’s right to spoil the last evening together by bitching about it, and with his daughter of all people. So he sucks it up as best as he can and opens the door.

“You’re actually on time,” Danny remarks as he lets Steve in.

“If you want I can go out and wait on the stairs for, I don’t know, half an hour,” Steve proposes with a cocked eyebrow, and Danny realizes that maybe he’s sounded a little too amazed. He tries to feel bad about it, but all he can to is try to hide his grin. “But of course then, the ice cream would melt.”

Danny looks at the bag Steve’s holding and purses his lips in mock uncertainty. “You can stay,” he declares after a few seconds, and leads him in the living room.

“Uncle Steve!” Grace is on her feet and next to them in no time, and Steve crouches down to hug her as soon as she’s within reach.

“Here, let me take this.” Danny takes the bag with the ice cream and heads for the kitchen, while Grace drags Steve over to the couch. When he turns around, she’s sitting next to him and chatting away like she hasn’t seen him in two years. “I’ll order pizzas, you two behave.”

Steve seems surprised - by now, everyone on the team knows how not fond of delivery service calls Danny is - but doesn’t say anything and just focuses back on his mostly one-sided conversation with Grace. Danny throws them one last glance, then steps in the bedroom to find some quiet while he makes the call. He doesn’t even need to ask Steve how he wants his pizza, he knows by heart and that’s surely not a good sign.

When he walks back in the living room, Steve looks at him with a smirk on his face that makes him wonder what he and Grace have been talking about. He’s not completely sure he wants to know, so he doesn’t inquire, but keeps his eyes on them the whole trip to the fridge and then back to the couch. He hands Steve a beer and Grace a Coke, and sits down with them.

~

Three and a half hours later, Grace is in bed and Danny walks back in the living room with a tired smile on his face.

“Time off really isn’t good for you,” Steve points out with a small grin.

“I need my bed back, the couch is killing me,” Danny admits with a pang of slight guilt. Of course he hasn’t thought twice about giving his bed to Grace and he would do it again right away, but he has to admit his back isn’t going to endure it for much longer. Steve’s couch was far more comfortable than this one.

“You’re getting old, Danno,” Steve mocks him as they both sit down on said couch once again.

“Shut up.” Danny punches him in the arm half-heartedly and huffs out a chuckle. “Now that my daughter is safely asleep and away from the bad influence of this kind of talk, tell me how the rest of today went.”

“Coast Guard is getting back at us in the morning and Harris has nothing else to tell us,” Steve reports, never moving his eyes away from him. “And how was your day, honey?”

Danny shakes with silent laughter and rests his head back on the couch. Steve’s presence is something really close to reassuring and for the first time in a few days, he allows himself to actually relax and let his guard down a little. Of course, that lasts about thirty-six seconds.

“So, a boyfriend, uh?”

Fuck. Danny doesn’t open his eyes and sets his mouth in a thin line. “I’ll kill Chin. Painfully.”

“Actually, I got it from Grace,” Steve corrects him and Danny’s gaze is instantly on him. “She said you were upset because you thought I had a boyfriend.”

What?

Steve laughs at his unbelieving expression, but it’s a careful laughter. “So, are you upset?”

“Why would I be?” Danny tries to sound unaffected, but he’s conscious that panic is probably showing all over his face.

“I’d say that maybe you’re a homophobe, but you live with a lesbian, so I’ll take that off the list,” Steve reasons with a light tone, but doesn’t try to meet his eyes. “Maybe you’re jealous, or maybe you’re mad I didn’t tell you.”

“Those are a bunch of possible reasons to be upset,” Danny admits, trying to find a way to get out of that conversation with some dignity left. “But none of them apply to me.”

“Okay,” Steve accepts with a slow nod, and Danny mirrors it before getting to his feet. He walks to the kitchen and grabs two more beers from the fridge. It’s their third and they both know that they’re going to feel sorry in the morning if they don’t cut it off, but he needs the alcohol to forget the previous conversation.

Which, apparently, is far from over. “So if I had a boyfriend, you’d be cool with that?” Steve is standing next to him when he turns and he almost jumps. Almost. He will not give him the satisfaction. Freaking ninja, he thinks to himself.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” Danny goes for the defensive line, knowing better than anyone that’s a clear admission of guilt - he is a detective, after all - so he tries to sound amused and light-hearted when he says it. An easy way to bail out of an extremely dangerous territory.

“Yes, but I’m not sure you’d like to listen,” Steve deadpans, looking at him straight in the eye, and that’s definitely not the answer Danny expected. The change in the air is almost palpable, but he does his best to ignore it and act as if Steve isn’t about to admit something possibly terrible and game-changing.

“What d’you mean?” Danny puts the two beers on the counter and turns to get the bottle opener, but when he does, Steve is right there in front of him.

“There’s only so many hints a man can give, really,” Steve mutters with an almost exasperated tone. “And the mixed signals don’t help either.”

“What-- what are you talking about? What mixed signals?” Danny stares at him with a mix of fear and honest-to-God confusion, and just when he thinks Steve is about to either kiss him or punch him, the man shakes his head and takes a step back.

“Forget it,” Steve just says, and the awkwardness of his movements when he checks his watch is the oddest part of that conversation. Steve McGarrett isn’t awkward. Ever. He’s smooth and confident and charming, and annoyingly so down to his toes. So that’s what sets all Danny’s alarms off. “I should get going, Sunday or not, we’re working tomorrow.”

Danny is still trying to figure out what’s going on and follows him on the way to the door. “Whoa, whoa, wait up, what was that?”

Steve looks longingly at the door, like he’s really wishing to be anywhere else; and that’s kind of hurtful, Danny realizes. “It’s nothing.”

“I demand you tell me what the fuck is going on,” Danny retorts, placing himself between Steve and the door. “This past week has been crazy enough without you suddenly making nonsense half-confessions. Because really, I can tolerate that shit from everybody else, but you’re--” Danny doesn’t finish his sentence. You’re my safe place, he wants to say, but he can’t get the words out of his mouth, it’s just not like him to sound like a scared kid. Instead, he says, “You’re my best friend.”

“Yeah, I got that,” Steve admits with a little smile.

“Then talk to me, tell me what’s going on,” Danny knows he must sound exasperated, but he can’t help it. There’s a knot somewhere in his throat that is making it hard to breath, and a feeling in his gut that tells him he should stop pushing this, because it’s going to end badly. But he can’t shut the tiny voice in his head that suggests that maybe, what Steve’s trying to say is the very thing Danny wants to hear. Or it could be the exact opposite. His brain can be a bipolar, sadistic bitch, sometimes.

He expects a set of various replies: ‘You don’t want to know what’s going on’ is the most probable, knowing Steve, but for a brief entertaining moment there’s also a ‘You can’t handle the truth’ there. What he doesn’t expect, however, is Steve pushing him against the door with his whole body and kissing him. Oh, fuck it, he did expect that, on some level. He was hoping for it, for sure.

And what he wasn’t expecting at all is his own reaction. He goes as still as a stone statue and panics almost instantly. Because one thing is fantasizing about your partner bending you over a desk, another is feeling his very real body against yours, his lips on yours, asking for some kind of response. A response Danny is incapable of providing, for some unfathomable reason, or maybe simply because his own body has decided to have him killed there and then; because no, there’s no way he can survive this.

The realization that he’s actively freaking out dawns on him right when Steve pulls back, avoiding his eyes. “This is what’s going on,” he whispers with a hint of anger in his voice, and Danny just lets himself be moved out of the way of the door, not sure what else to do.

When it shuts after Steve, Danny snaps out of his panic-induced trance and turns to look at it, astonished and, for the first time in a long while, speechless. He thinks about going after him, but he has no idea what he would say, and he’s not going to leave Grace alone in the house.

Fuck. Grace.

He drags a hand over his face and groans, his mind flooded with all the possible explanations he can give his daughter as to why Uncle Steve suddenly hates him. Because the possibility of Steve not hating him after tonight is pretty much non-existent in his head.

Amy barely glances at him from her corner, but doesn’t seem interested in his heartache at all. With all that rolling around in his head, he drags himself to bed (the couch) and falls asleep fully clothed, angry - at himself, at Steve, at his freaking nerves - and a little depressed.

~~

A/N: well, it had to happen, sooner or later, right? A guy just has to say it at some point, I guess. And yes, I’m aware that I’m heartless and mean for leaving the chapter like this, but you’ll have answers, I promise.
In the meantime, let me know what you think about this one. And yay, new episode tonight. Can’t wait. <3
JM




Tags: fanfic: steve/danno (mcdanno), fanfiction, hawaii five-0, slash
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