From the end of November through the beginning of January, he was surly and bad tempered and just...scrooge-like. He sneered at Santas and holly and tinsel with enough scorn that Kaleo had spent all of last December whistling You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch whenever Danny was around.
Chris knew that Danny would ignore all attempts to cajole him into joining the season's festivities and would instead spend 8 weeks drinking too much and fucking his way through the less respectable of his acquaintances. The only concession he made to the season that Chris was aware of was the Christmas cactus he sent, along with his regrets, to Chris's mother every year when he turned down the invitation to the Gaines-Matoh-Kalani holiday party.
What Chris had never been able to figure out was exactly what was Danny's issue with the holidays. Oh, he was pretty sure the words 'Miami' and 'Claire' were mixed up in it somewhere, but the specifics eluded him. He was done worrying about Danny's issues, though. It was the week before Christmas and the family holiday blowout was rapidly approaching.
"Hey, Linh! You'll be there on Saturday, right?"
"That depends, Chris. Is Manny making the punch again?" Linh peeked at him from underneath her bangs and Chris tossed a balled up scrap of paper at her.
"Would it be a party without Uncle's special punch?"
She rolled her eyes and tossed the paper into the recycle bin. "You know, I'm pretty sure if the DEA ever tested a batch of that, Uncle Manny would be unavailable for holiday parties for the foreseeable future."
"Vicious lies, Linh. Uncle swears up and down nothing goes in that punch you can't buy completely legally." Chris leaned back in his chair and waved to get Harrison's attention. "What about you, Sean?"
"Aunt Mary better have made extra rum cake this year."
"She made one just for you." Chris turned away as Declan started harassing Harrison about keeping cake to himself and turned to his partner. "And, Danny, do I have the pleasure of conveying your floral regrets to my mother this year?"
Danny paused in the act of straightening up his desk for the night, "Actually, I was planning on going this year."
And then he walked out of the station as if nothing weird had just happened.
"Talk about your Christmas miracles." Kaleo sat in Danny's chair.
"What are you talking about?" Declan handed a file to Linh and leaned against Chris's desk.
Kaleo leaned back and linked his hands over his stomach. "Ever since Danny showed up in Hawaii, he's avoided the Gaines holiday party in favor of whoring around some of the seedier clubs on the island. This year he's going to the party, though. Is he dating one of your cousins, Chris?"
Chris made a face, "Come on, man. You know my oldest cousin is only 17."
Kaleo shrugged and pulled himself out of Danny's chair. "I'm just saying something weird is going on."
Chris thought maybe Kaleo had a point.
Chris was never listening to Kaleo again.
It was bad enough Danny had called him to pick his drunk ass up at three in the morning, but to do it on a Wednesday? That was fucked up, even for Danny.
Plus, Chris was sick of listening to Grinchy McScrooge whine about Christmas and crowds and parents and -
"And then, then, do you know what she said to me? She said I was sucking the life out of Christmas! Me! I wasn't the one using my purse like a battering ram, Chris."
Chris couldn't resist as he manhandled Danny into his bedroom. "You were carrying a purse?"
"No! Not even a manbag." A drunk Danny was sometimes an earnest Danny. "I hate Christmas, Chris. Christmas Chris. Chris Christmas."
Chris tuned out the rather unmanly giggling coming from his partner and concentrated on pulling off his boots and stripping him of his tight jeans, so he wasn't prepared for the clumsy hand knocking into the side of his head.
"I don't hate you, Christmas Chris. Chris-to-pher. Christopher James Christmas. I love you, man."
Chris rolled his eyes, way too familiar with Danny's drunken affection. "Yeah, I love you too, buddy. Now lie down."
"No, man. I love you." Big hands gripped Chris's shoulders and pulled him down to Danny's eye level. "But, shhhhhh, it's a secret. Not even Chris knows, and he's my Best. Friend."
And Chris knew he shouldn't listen to a damn thing Danny said - even when he was at his best, let alone completely trashed at 3am on a Wednesday - but he couldn't help the way his stomach twisted at Danny's words.
Danny murmured, "So pretty," And sort of...petted his face for a second before closing his eyes and dropping back onto his pillows.
"What?" But Danny was out cold, already snoring into his pillow. Chris tried to brush it off as normal drunken Danny affection, but he couldn't deny the tiny flutter of hopeful pleasure he felt at the thought of Danny returning his less-than-platonic feelings.
There was just no way, though. While he'd never made a big deal about his bisexuality, he'd never made a point of hiding it either and Danny seemed willfully blind to the whole thing.
Chris rolled his eyes at his own foolishness and finished getting Danny settled into bed. And if he brushed his fingers through Danny's hair, no one was the wiser.
With very little visible effort, Danny laughed and shook hands and kissed cheeks all the way through Chris's extended family. It always amazed Chris to see Danny turn on the charm. After bearing witness to his near daily verbal displays, watching Danny turn up his smile and turn off the switch marked 'asshole' was a little weird.
The only thing that worried Chris was the look his cousin Yuki was giving Danny. Yuki was 17, looked like she was 25, and acted like she was 45, divorced, and bitter. Chris knew the only reason his uncle hadn't 'suggested' Danny head home for the night was the fact that he seemed completely oblivious to her. In fact, Danny was currently being expertly conscripted to play the role of 'Horsey' in whatever game Aunt Melinda's five boys were creating.
He lost sight of Danny when his mother and aunts cornered him for yet another round of the 'marriage and babies' waltz. He was convinced he was going to have to shoot his way out when his dad rescued him by putting him to work manning the grill while he got 'just one more' cup of Uncle Manny's punch.
By the time Chris met up with Danny over the cold salad table, over two hours had passed and Danny was slightly flushed and his eyes were bright in the glow of Christmas lights. "You know, I always thought Linh was kidding about your uncle's punch, but she really wasn't."
Chris laughed into his own cup of innocent looking punch. "And now you're sorry you missed it all these years?"
"Among other things." Danny slammed back the remainder of his cup and tossed it into one of the trash bins scattered throughout the party. "Oh, crap. Hide me."
"Hide me." Danny darted behind him and scrunched down.
"What are you doing?" Chris tried to turn around to see Danny, but Danny grabbed onto his waist and circled with him.
"I'm trying to stay out of prison, Chris." Danny dug his fingers into Chris's side. "Your jailbait cousin has been stalking me all night."
Chris laughed and rolled his eyes, but the sight of Yuki bearing down on them like a tiny, underaged scud made him reconsider his amusement. She had the look of a woman on a mission. He reached around and grabbed Danny's wrist. "Come on."
Never losing his grip on Danny, Chris led them through an obstacle course of friends and family. He shamelessly used the larger members of his clan to shield them from Yuki's increasingly frustrated search. He was laughing and breathless and, when Danny pressed up against him to peer around the corner of the Robertson's garden shed to watch Yuki stomp off, he could feel Danny shaking with suppressed laughter too.
"Mission successful, my friend." Chris shifted to lean against the shed and had to stop himself from pressing against Danny when the other man didn't move back. It was too dark in the Robertson's backyard to see Danny's expression, but Chris was pretty sure he was smiling. "Danny?"
Danny answered by sliding one hand around Chris's waist and the other into his hair and pulling him into a kiss. There was nothing tentative about the movement of Danny's mouth on his and Chris wondered for a brief, crazy moment if Uncle Manny really had been spiking the punch with something more potent than liquor. He didn't want to believe his uncle had been feeding the neighborhood hallucinogenic punch for the past fifteen years, but Danny was kissing him.
Danny was kissing him underneath the banana tree in the Robertson's backyard and with Mr. T, Candy Robertson's bad-tempered Pomeranian, frantically barking behind the patio door.
He had to be hallucinating.
Danny pressed him against the side of a garden shed and groped his ass. He slid his tongue into Chris's mouth, rocking their hips together, and that was enough to shock Chris out of his passive acceptance of Danny's advances. He used his grip on Danny's shoulders to push and twist until the taller man was leaning against the side of the shed.
Chris wasn't sure why Danny had kissed him, or if this was going to be his only chance to touch him, but he wasn't going to waste it. With a quick movement, he had Danny's pants undone and he pushed them down as he slid to his knees. Danny was already hard and Chris licked a hot stripe over the length of him before sucking him into his mouth. He paused when Danny's head thudded against the side of the shed, but his groan was more pleased than pained, so Chris gave a mental shrug and got back to the business of giving Danny the best blow job he knew how to give.
Not that Chris had ever had any complaints, but, damn, the sounds Danny made were fucking gratifying.
He could do without the hand fisted in his hair, though.
Oh, well. He'd just have to tie Danny up next time.
Danny's hand tightened in his hair and he came with a shout before Chris's jaw even started to hurt. Chris hoped it was late enough and the party was drunk enough to ignore the noise, but he couldn't really bring himself to care. Danny's eyes were glittering in the darkness and a big hand clumsily tried to smooth down his hair where it stood up in curly spikes before giving up and pulling him to his feet.
"Danny - " Whatever Chris was going to say was lost in another kiss. He thought about pulling back, about how they really shouldn't be doing this, but he wanted Danny, maybe even loved him, and Danny was touching him. Kissing him. Licking his way into his mouth and petting his back and arms before unzipping his jeans and reaching inside to pull Chris out.
And even though the angle was obviously awkward, Danny didn't let go of his mouth as he jerked him off. Danny's hands were bigger than his and a little rougher, but he did this thing with his wrist that Chris was sure was going to kill him. Blowing Danny had turned him on so much, it seemed like only a few seconds passed before he was shuddering through his own orgasm.
He pulled his mouth from Danny's and pressed his forehead against Danny's throat; too out of it to complain when Danny leaned slightly to rinse his hand off in Candy's giant birdbath. A million questions battered against the sex-induced daze clouding his mind and, if he knew Danny at all, the smug expression that had to be on his face would be no help. He would be damned, though, if he was going to ask Danny anything.
That would just be too easy.
He had to admit, though, that things were looking pretty good when Danny nudged his head up with his wet hand and kissed him again, with just a little tongue.
"So do you want to stop by my place and open your present tonight?" Danny leered at him and Chris rolled his eyes in response, but then Danny kissed him again and held him close for a few seconds before carefully tucking him back into his pants and pulling up his own. "Can you drive?"
"Yeah." Chris had only had one cup of punch earlier in the evening.
Danny finished refastening his own pants and kissed Chris again. "Let's go home then."